Page 1

Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Ex-Oyo SSG: no pact with Ladoja’s Accord

How to resolve Boko Haram, by Dasuki NEWS

•‘Why I visited ex-governor’

•Ex-Sultan advocates justice Page 4

NEWS Page 10

VOL. 7, NO. 2238 TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2012



Zambia probes Nigerian firm for $5m oil ‘swindle’ Anyiam-Osigwe: we didn’t participate in any oil transaction


ID Zambia pay a Nigerian businessman $5million commission for crude oil that was never delivered? “Not a single drop” was transported to Zambia, Mines, Energy and Water Development Permanent Secretary George Zulu said at a media briefing at the weekend. Speaking in Lusaka, Mr Zulu said he recently travelled to Nigeria where he met the businessman, George Anyiam-Osigwe, who, according to him, claimed that he had been acting as a middleman be-

In Nigeria, there’s a gentleman..., a Nigerian national, who claimed he was given $5 million commission from the Zambian Government over the deal

tween Zambia and Nigeria for the supply of crude oil. Mr. Osigwe denied any wrongdoing yesterday. Zulu said: “The President of the Republic Zambia recently sent me to Nigeria because he has always wanted to have cheaper or affordable prices of fuel in Zambia. “In Nigeria, there’s a gen-


•The late Vincent

tleman called George Anyiam-Osigwe, a Nigerian national, who claimed he was given $5 million commission from the Zambian Government over the deal. “He claimed that he had been at the centre of negotiations between the Zambian Government and the Nigerian Government to supply

At no time did any member of our Group participate in the oil transaction either as alleged or at all and not a cent came to any one of us either as alleged or at all

crude oil. So I sought permission to go to Nigeria to speak to Anyiam-Osigwe and it is true. This man was engaged.” Zulu said he was shocked with what he found in Nigeria, adding that the oil purported to have been supplied did not reach Zambia, yet documentation existed indicating that the Zambian Gov-

ernment had paid for the supply of the commodity. “This agreement has been in place for the past few years, except that the previous administration treated this matter in a confidential manner such that we are not sure whether the nation benefited from this arrangement. “Due to this uncertainty,

the government would engage investigative wings to look into this matter to ascertain what actually happened,” he said. Zulu said if it was established that some individuals’ actions were questionable, the law would take its course. “The nation will be kept abreast on the developments of this issue,” he said. The permanent secretary said the government was finalising procurement of crude oil from Nigeria through a Government-toContinued on page 4

Former Central Bank Governor Ola Vincent dies at 87

HE business community lost yesterday a prominent member. Mr. Olatunde Olabode Vincent, former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, director of many companies and an art enthusiast, died in Lagos. He was 87. Encomiums were showered on the man fondly described

By Segun Balogun 1963 as an assistant general manager. He was general as “Mr. Integrity” who passed manager between 1963 and on at a Lagos hospital during 1966. an old age related illness. The Industrial And GenerA consummate banker, the al Insurance (IGI) Plc anlate Vincent was governor of nounced “with heavy heart” the apex bank behis death last night tween 1977 and 1982. SEE ALSO in a statement by He started his the company’s ExecPAGES 2&3 banking career in utive Vice Chair-

man, Mr. Remi Olowude.” Olowude said: “For us in the IGI Family, this is a great loss. Pa Vincent meant the world to all of us. We will forever appreciate his profound contributions over the years to the growth of our company. We will miss his words of wisdom and the rich professional experience he always

shared with us.” The late Vincent was a founding director of IGI. He was was born in Lagos on May 16, 1925. An administrator and economist, he attended St. Saviour’s Primary School, Lagos (193035), CMS Grammar School, Continued on page 61

NURTW supports Lagos Traffic Law By Mariam Ndikanwu, Staff Reporter


AGOS got yesterday a major support for its new traffic law. The National Union of Road Transport Workers pledged to cooperate with the government to ensure full implementation of the law, which has been controversial. It punishes eating and telephone calls while driving, among other penalties. The president of the union, Alhaji Najeen Usman Yasin, who made the pledge at Lagos House, Ikeja, while on a visit to Governor, Babatunde Fashola, said members of the union would remain law abiding. Yasin, who led other top officials of the national body of the union on the visit, noted that the Fashola administration had, through its people-orientated policies, especially in the transport sector, enabled the union to prosper by establishing a mass transit operation. He told the Governor: “Implementation of the BRT scheme by the union has, apart from Continued on page 4

•Governor Fashola (in bow tie), Mrs Orelope-Adefulire, Alhaji Yasin (second left), Alhaji Tomori, Chief Olaoye (second right). Back row: Special Adviser on Information Lateef Raji (left), Dr. Ahmed, Mr. Ibirogba and Mr. Watkur...yesterday PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES





‘A man should no

• President Goodluck Jonathan (right), Vice-President Namadi Sambo (second right), Minister of Communications and Technology Mrs. Omobola Johnson (left) and Minister of Women Affairs Hajia Zainab Maina (second left) during the launching of second Edition of the YouWin Women Programme at the Presidential Villa in Abuja... yesterday. PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN.

MR Ola Vincent was Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) between 1977 and 1982. He joined the apex bank as an Assistant General Manager in 1961, from the Ministry of Finance and rose to the position of General Manager before joining the African Development Bank (ADB) in 1966 as Vice President, Operations. Vincent was to return to the apex bank as Special Adviser to the Governor in 1973 before being appointed Governor in 1977. He retired in 1982. In this 2009 interview with The Guardian, Vincent, who died yesterday in Lagos, dissected the banking system and the economy. Excerpts:


•Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun (second right), Head of Economic Development and Cooperation, Embassy of Japan, Takeshi Hagino (left); Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Rywichi Shoji (second left) and Chief Representative, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Tetsuo Seki (right) during a visit by the Japanese Ambassador to the Governor's Office in Abeokuta...yesterday

• Abia State Governor Theodore Orji (middle) speaking at a news conference in Umuahia...yesterday. With him are his Chief Press Secretary Mr. Ugochukwu Emezue (left) and Commissioner for Information Dr. Eze Chikamnayo.

• Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC) Prof. Julius Okojie (left) and Vice-Chancellor, Bayero University Prof. Abubakar Rasheed during the NUC/British Council Strategic Partnership Roundtable on Cross- Border Higher Education in Abuja...yesterday PHOTO: NAN

OW do you see the intervention of the CBN in the risk portfolios of the five Nige-

rian banks? Well, there is one principle, which must be observed - fair hearing. The present situation was not brought about by what the bankers did. But when the result of the audit was prepared, those involved should have been invited and the matters exposed so that you hear what they have to say on the findings. This is a basic rule. In a bank audit, when the examiner visits a bank, he discusses with those involved; and when he has formulated his opinion and the result of the audit prepared, the Central Bank will still send this to the Managing Director with a request that he should convene a meeting of the board to discuss the proposition. So, whatever we have now is not because of the actual misdemeanor of the bank executives. The real issue is that an audit was carried out; the person whose account has been audited should be invited by the person who authorised the audit to look at the issue and figures together. In the face of what has happened, the CBN has not done this. And fair hearing is a major issue in law under a democratic system. Let us hear the other side. Whether what the bank executives and the debtors had to say would have modified something is a different matter. But you need to give him the opportunity to explain themselves because the auditors might have been looking at the matter in a different way. He will then tell them this is what has happened. How would you react to the EFCC-assisted loan recovery drive of the apex bank, at least in the context of the debtors’ claim of discrepancy in figures published by the CBN? The loan recovery technique is a bit rough. It is quite possible that some of the borrowers did not heed the request of the bank; but it is important to sit them down and clarify why they have not paid. If he was expecting money from the government and this fund is not forthcoming, you cannot compel him to go elsewhere to bring the money. The principle of fair hearing also applies to the question of the debtors. They should know that borrowing or lending is not a criminal affair; it is a matter between a willing lender and a willing borrower and if there is any disagreement, they should sit down together and look at it. Do you mean the intervention of the EFCC is actually unnecessary? EFCC may be looking at it in the sense that these are public funds and it is not fair that one chap acts in a way that will make it impossible for the banks to perform its duties to other customers. But it is not, in the first time, a discussion with the

EFCC. In what ways does the government contributes to the issue of non-performing loans? This is why there should have been prior discussion. Until you talk to the other person, you won’t know whether, or not, government is behind it. The idea of jumping into conclusion is the problem that we have. There is no financial system, which is based on credit, where this sort of thing does not happen. That is why when this kind of situation occurs, you have to discuss with the borrower - not to drag him as if he or she is an armed robber. The lesson, which we have to draw from the present situation, is that if somebody had been assumed to have gone wrong, we must talk to him first; and it is during the discussion that you know if it had been a deliberate attempt on his part to disregard the normal rule. .Is the injection of N420 billion part of the intervention you are suggesting? The government issued treasury bills and most of the buyers are banks. They have a system whereby if a bank requires more money, it can go back and negotiate and convert the treasury bills into cash. As soon as it has the cash, it returns the money. That’s why they have the EDW. It was prescribed by the CBN to allow banks, which required liquidity to go to the CBN. It started since last year and it has been going on. Was it not a kind of response to the crisis? The new CBN Governor’s view is different. He must have had his own reasons for going the way he went. He carried out an audit. There are 24 banks. Before first action, which he took, every bank should have been examined and we know to what extent they are involved. Then, when you want to deal with the matter, it is not only the reaction of the banks that one needs to consider, but also that of the international banking community and the financial system in the country. The governor had to go to London to explain, which shows the international character of the system. We buy goods from them. People have to pay us and we have to pay people. We are interconnected. So, whatever is happening here will be interpreted by other people. The culture and function of the Central Bank is to lend as the lender of last resort. If a bank is in a liquidity problem, the CBN should allow it say, six months to resolve the problem; and if the liquidity crisis persists, it will call the shareholders to say ‘you have to recapitalise otherwise we intervene.’ The CBN did that through the Expanded Discount Window. And that was the misunderstanding that some people in the National Assembly had. It is the function of the CBN to lend. There is a pool of money from which they divert funds to the banks. But CBN said it actually printed the N420 billion... Well, to have a currency, you have to print it. It is the inter-linkage of the financial system that makes it a delicate organism. And sometimes, people




ld not be condemned until proved guilty’ T

There is a principle that we have to apply. A man should not be condemned until he has been proved guilty. You carried out an audit, and then you should bring in the person whose books have been audited to comment on the report. Then it is quite possible that a compromise or an agreement will be reached on how to deal with the particular situation

‘ Sanusi, Soludo, top bankers mourn‘Vincent

•The late Vincent


By Ayodele Aminu Group Business Editor

ORMER Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governors and top bankers yesterday described the late ex-CBN Governor Ola Vincent as a man of integrity. Those who spoke with The Nation are Joseph Sanusi, Prof. Charles Soludo, Union Bank of Nigeria’s Managing Director, Mrs. Funke Osibodu, First Bank of Nigeria’s Group Managing Director, Olabisi Onasanya, Managing Director, Sterling Bank Plc, Mr Yemi Adeola, the immediate past Managing Director, United Bank for Africa Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu, Managing Director, Mainstreet Bank Limited, Ms. Faith Tuedor-Matthews, Managing director, Keystone Bank Limited, Mr. Ikomi Oti and the Managing Director of the Bank of Industry Limited (BOI), Mrs. Evelyn Oputu. Sanusi said Vincent was reliable. He said: “That (his death) is terrible because I am just hearing this. Oh my God. That is sad. He didn’t give any sign that he was ready to leave. He was a great man, very objective, highly focused and above all his integrity. He will always speak the truth at all time. In any situation, you can rely on him.” Soludo said the late Vincent’s death is a great loss to Nigeria. He said: “This is a great loss to Nigeria. Nigeria has lost a big mind but we thank God for his life. He lived a fulfilled life. I pray for the repose of his soul.” Osibodu described the late CBN governor as role model for the banking industry and as one of the most loved past CBN governor. "He was a fine gentleman, very intelligent, descent, disciplined and one of the most loved past CBN governor Nigeria had ever had. He was well respected and had high level of integrity. We attended the same church where he was also well respected. "After leaving CBN, he continued to be a pillar of support for monitoring and mentoring of the young generations. He does not see money as a means to an end," she said. Onasanya described the late Mr Vincent as man of integrity and discipline.

The First Bank boss said: “He was one of the most disciplined and professional bankers we have ever had in the banking industry. It will be very difficult to replicate that background, discipline and integrity in the banking industry.” Adeola described him as an extremely forward looking conservative banker. He said: “He did an excellent job although the global economy wasn’t realy as challenging as it is now because then banking supervision was negligible because bankers were conservative. However, for his generation, he stood out. He was quite enlightened and focused. But that kind of his generation is almost gone. If you’re looking for a role model in central banking, he stands for this.” Mrs. Oputu described the late CBN governor as a great man. She said: “I am just arriving the country now. I am just getting to know about his demise. I am short of words. I can’t comment. But he was a great guy.” Elumelu described the late economist as a banker of repute who laid the foundation for the banking industry. He said: “He was fine banker of repute. We shall miss him for the pioneering foundation he laid for the banking industry in Nigeria.” Ms Tuedor-Matthews described the late CBN governor as a bright and humble economist, under whose tenure Nigeria enjoyed macroeconomic stability. She said: “Nigeria enjoyed macroeconomic stability during his tenure as CBN governor. He was a brilliant economist, humble and highly respected elder statesman who will be missed by all; a loss to the banking industry.” Oti said the late Vincent would be very much missed in the industry. “This is very sad. I want to pray for his repose. He will really be missed in the industry,” he said.

blame the Central Bank: why did you allow the banks to do this? If you say bank X is not good, Mr. A. who banks with Bank Y may say, ‘look these people might go the same way.’ nd if there are 20 banks, all of them will be under suspicion. It is this linkage that makes it difficult to deal with a bank without giving it sufficient notice, because it’s going to affect those who have nothing to do with it. If Bank X fails, why should somebody think that Bank Y would not fail? Are you saying the action of the CBN Governor is not the best? Well, I cannot judge, for the simple reason that when the 13 other banks come out, we will be able to see. But there is a principle that we have to apply. A man should not be condemned until he has been proved guilty. You carried out an audit, and then you should bring in the person whose books have been audited to comment on the report. Then it

ters Act). Has he said he’s offering them to foreign investors? A foreign investor can own a bank 100 per cent under the current law. It is not a new thing. And if we’re talking about an existing company, then the procedures laid down in CAMA would now be followed. You see, people are imputing motives and projecting things. I don’t think we have reached the stage where people can objectively discuss the matter. An audit has been carried out; those affected should be given a copy and they discuss it in a way that would not disrupt the economy. And the fact that somebody is supposed to maintain 30 per cent liquidity is at a given date. Errors could be made, but my position is that we should be fair to one another. This is a democracy and the rule that you must hear the other side


is quite possible that a compromise or an agreement will be reached on how to deal with the particular situation. The CBN is lending money, but it has already changed the banks’ leadership. Does this amount to takeover of the affected banks? Lending money is the work of the Central bank. The change in leadership is a separate operation. And the procedure or process for this is laid down. I’m not a judge and they’re in court about that; if you want to look at this matter properly, you have to empty your mind. People say that the N400 million is a loan and the other people can rally around and pay. You have first, the liquidity ratio, which is related to the N25 billion capital. When issues have become controversial, people try to explain in different angles. The question of changing ownership is laid down in CAMA (Companies and Allied Mat-

is fundamental. I wouldn’t like to be condemned on the basis of what another you see, because what we see may not be the reality. So what the auditors have seen, the people running the bank should now say that they did them or not. That does not mean the Central Bank should believe or take them. But it should obtain from them their explanation on actions, which they have taken and have resulted to a particular situation. That is my own view and I won’t try to judge until all the facts have been out. The banks are human organisations handled by human beings’ so, there could be mistakes. Once you’ve decided to check what they are doing, you should bring whatever are your findings to the notice of those who are running the banks and ask for their own opinion. And on the basis of that, you can then take actions.

hen the question is that if you say Bank A is going down, then the public will say what happened to Bank A might happen to Bank B. So, you will disturb their emotions. But at times, you cannot help it because the owners of the bank should have been told the problem and asked how much time they required to correct the errors, because the principle of fair hearing is fundamental. Many banks have gone down. Since one of the biggest banks in America - Lehman Brothers- fell, the signal became clear. People should have been careful; when such a big bank went down, everybody should have taken care. Something happens to a particular bank, and the customers of the other bank are put on edge, as they begin to wonder whether the same thing would not happen to theirs. And that is why we have the Deposit Insurance Commission. You can have a situation where you want to instill confidence. If somebody has N50 million as deposit, his problem is different from somebody who has only N1 million. So once you declare a bank bankrupt, you will now say anybody who has deposits below N500,000 (and can prove it), will be paid immediately. Delay disrupts the system. The promise to pay should be automatic. And that’s part of the thing you have to discuss with the bank before it goes out of operation. And that’s how to increase confidence, because if you don’t lose money in a bank, you don’t have to worry. But if you have money in a bank and it is declared bankrupt and it is taking months or years before you get your money back, it upsets depositors. On margin loans There is no stable electricity supply; so the real sector is not working. What was left for the bank as at the time the loans were granted was to service those who wanted to buy stocks. There is another issue of not having the refineries working; so, the products have to be imported, which involves foreign exchange. This has always created problems between the banks and the oil companies. The Dollar now goes for N150, and that’s a major upset. Banks are involved in this. So, we have what is called environmental factors. If we had refineries, banks would still be involved, but everything will be in Naira. With electricity supply, the projects from the real sector will be attractive enough and the banks would not spend so much on stock exchange affairs. These are issues that require delicate handling. At the moment, let them bring the report of the other banks. Under your watch, what did the regulatory functions of the apex bank look like? Under my watch, there were only about five banks. We tried as much as possible to help banks stay in business. It was like a virus, because if bank A is down, there is no way you can convince customers of bank B that the same fate could not befall their bank. We also attached a lot of importance maintaining confidence in the system. At the moment, people are abusing the politicians - they stole money, they laundered money - and this is an occasion for the politicians to be given a respite. Isn’t it? Talking of memoirs, what do you like remembering about your days as the number one banker in the county? The colleagues I worked with had respect for one another. We shared information and we agreed as to the best thing to do in every situation. We spent a lot of our time discussing; people were generally aware of what was going on. When we did not have executive director, we discussed.



NEWS Only justice can solve Boko Haram insurgency, says ex-Sultan Dasuki


•Widow of former CBN Governor Mr. Ola Vincent, Adenike, being consoled by Mrs. Femi Laguda at her home in Lagos…yesterday PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE

Drivers’ union supports Lagos Traffic Law Continued from page 1

assisting our union to acquire vehicles for mass transit operations, also gone a long way towards boosting public transport and accessibility to safe and secure road transportation in the State.” The President praised the Ministry of Transport , LAGBUS and the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) for working assiduously to fashion out modes of operation of the mass transit buses through the objective selection of routes and locations so as to ensure ease of administration, deployment, maintenance and convenience of prospective passengers. According to him, because of the enabling environment created by the Fashola administration, the union was able to immediately deploy to Lagos some of the buses allocated to it early this year by the Federal Government to cushion the effect of the withdrawal of oil subsidy. The decision was also informed by the fact that Lagos is the economic capital of Nigeria, he said. Replying, Fashola urged the union members to be champions of the change that the state is bringing about through the Traffic law, because, according to him, “you are the greatest beneficiaries”.


The only way to succeed with the new law is for the members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers to play within the rules as provided in the law and not outside it,” Fashola said. The law, according to the governor, does not seek to punish anyone but to ensure that sanity is restored on the highways. What many people do not realise is that each time a vehicle drives against traffic, the resultant traffic congestion results in loss of man hours. He explained that contrary to insinuations in some quarters, the new Lagos Traffic law has not banned the activities of the NURTW but has only directed that all activities of transport unions be conducted in the union offices. His words: “Just as professional associations like lawyers and accountants collect their dues from their members in an organised manner, devoid of running after them publicly, the same should now apply to the transport unions who must stop using the motor parks and bus stops for collecting dues from operators.” Fashola, who expressed dismay that motor parks have been seized by touts who misbehave while the parks have become selling points for alcohol and drugs, went on:

“It is in the best interest of the transport unions to support the government initiative as that will assist the government in identifying touts who operate in the motor parks but masquerade as transport union officials and allow the law to take its natural course as it affects them.” The Governor, who commended the union for the visit and kind words by the President pointed out, The NURTW is a critical stakeholder in the transport sector just as the government realizes that it is its responsibility to provide road infrastructure”, adding that it is also the duty of the union to ensure its sustenance. He reiterated that when the government builds roads, it is for the prosperity of those in the transport sector, stressing that as such businesses expand, there must be a corresponding sense of responsibility shown to the commuters who travel through the roads. Reiterating that the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) blue buses belong to the NURTW while the operation is only being regulated by the government, Fashola said: “As a way forward, the government has included a BRT dedicated lane on the Lagos Badagry Expressway which is being expanded into a-10 lane super highway”. The same has been done on

Mile 12-Ikorodu Road, which is about to be built, just as the government has also designed Ikorodu township to have a BRT dedicated bus lane. The Governor expressed gladness that companies have started engaging lawyers to train their drivers on the provisions of the new law and urged the unions to also ensure that their drivers are trained at the Drivers Training Institute which has been equipped for such tasks. The governor defended the provision that all articulated vehicles, except tankers, can only move from 9pm on Lagos roads, saying that it is aimed at bringing back sanity to the roads. Present during the visit were the Deputy Governor, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, members of the State Executive Council, including the Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, Information and Strategy, Mr Lateef Ibirogba, Works and Infrastructure, Dr Femi Hamzat, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Ademorin Kuye and Special Duties, Dr Wale Ahmed. Among members of the National EXCO of the NURTW on the visit were National Vice President, Alhaji Adegboyega Tomori, Deputy General Secretary, Chief John Olaoye and General Secretary of the Union, Mr. Clement Watkur among others.

NLY Justice, served without discrimination can end Boko Haram insurgency, former Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Ahmed Dasuki, said yesterday. The ex-Sultan whose son, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) is the National SecurityAdviser (NSA), also criticised North’s governors’ approach to security in the region. The North has been battered by violent killings and attacks for which Boko Haram (western education is a sin) has claimed responsibility. Although the governors recently set up a committee to look into the security situation in the north, the former Sultan is not convinced about their approach to the problem. He spoke at a news conference in Kaduna. The former Sultan who was deposed by the Abacha regime and banished to Kaduna said the nation was going through a serious mess. He urged leaders to urgently correct the negative state of things if the nation must move forward. He said he had personally alerted the governors of the north to security challenges, but they did not show any interest in his suggestions for peaceful co-existence. He kicked against the agitation for state police, aligning himself with those who argue that governors will misuse such security outfit. He said: “Justice is very important, justice means everywhere. Everyone is entitled to justice and we must do justice.... Last year, somebody asked me how to solve Boko Haram problem and I said let the government from local government to Aso Villa declare justice and the problem of Boko Haram will finish. “But if injustice continues, I don’t think the problem will be solved. The Boko Haram leader was killed and somebody who was responsible for it is still moving freely without any arrest. That is injustice. “Only fairness, justice, transparency and honesty will solve Nigerian problems including security challenges. Let the government at all levels declare justice everywhere and stand by it. Our country is in a mess”. Speaking on the ability of Col Dasuki to address the security challenge, he said: “my

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

son was given the job and I think we have started seeing the positive results. My son is a mature person with his family and he is capable of taking decisions. Now, I go out every day to pray without being afraid of any attack” On the agitation for state Police, he said: “State police will not help. “Governors will run state police like local government councils. The courts are corrupt, people buy justice now in this country. Only in this country we have over 700 first ladies from president, governors to local government council chairmen’s wives. “I sent ten copies of my Peaceful Co-existence plan to northern governors but none of them showed interest. Only the federal government and Kaduna state showed interest in the book. Kaduna State government set up committee to that effect. “The security system is a licence for oppression. Think of someone arrested on an unproved offence. He will be asked to pay something before he could be given bail. Or think of the recent past whereby security officers wrote fake reports on someone else then collect large sum of money to establish the truth of that given case. “They go to their villages, keep the money, come back with another false report in order to collect more money. This will go on and on until they report that the person they were pursuing had died in a car accident. That is the end of the matter. We have got very cheap and unbiased security system through the traditional institutions,” he said.

•Ex-Sultan Dasuki

Anyiam-Osigwe: we didn’t participate in any oil transaction

HE Anyiam-Osigwe Group has exonerated itself from alleged involvement in fraudulent crude oil supply to Zambia. The Group, through its media consultant, Tope Ajayi, said it did not participate in any oil transaction with the Zambian Government and did not collect any money from them. “At no time did any member of our Group participate in the oil transaction either as alleged or at all and not a cent came to any one of us either as alleged or at all. Consequently, should any article be written that impinges on our integrity negatively in any way, we shall not hesitate to take effective and appropriate action to defend our persons legally.” Ajayi noted that sometime in

Zambia probes Nigerian firm for $5m oil ‘swindle’ Continued from page 1

Government bilateral arrangement, adding that the two countries had continued enjoying cordial relations and would not let an individual jeopardise that friendship. Zulu said the conclusion of the negotiations and subsequent signing of the April last year, the Group made a representation to the Zambian President Banda for supply of crude oil to the country and also revamp its Indeni refinery with the assistance of the Group’s United States technical partner - Honeywell International. But after the representations and some consultations with Zambian government officials and the High Commis-

contract on finished products was an assurance that the country would have a stable supply of fuel. “I will inform the nation in due course regarding the progress on the conclusion of the contractual processes with the preferred supplier of petroleum

sion in Nigeria, the government went behind and had a government-to-government engagement with the Nigerian Government for the oil supply. A letter made available to The Nation and signed by Mr. Michael Anyiam-Osigwe dated April 02, 2011, stating the Group’s displeasure over how the oil supply transaction was treated by the Zambian Gov-

feedstock,” he said. Trafigura PTE Oil analyst, Letessier Guillaume said the one-year contract was valued at $500 million involving the supply of 216 million litres of diesel and 21 million litres of unleaded petrol.

ernment is entitled, “Representation to His Excellency President Banda in respect of the crude oil allocation to Zambia by Nigeria,” reads: “With regards to our ongoing discussions with your goodselves and His Excellency President Banda in respect of the Oil and Gas and Zambian Investment opportunities, we would like to reiterate that our group is willing to

strategically partner with the Government of Zambia under the leadership of President Banda. This was what informed the strategic meeting held in the USA and the follow up with regards to the subsequent meetings in Abuja with His Excellency President Banda. “We were pleased to note that one of the initiatives of which we had intimated His Excellen-

cy President Banda, the application for a Bilateral Agreement for the Supply of crude oil has been approved by our Government of Nigeria for the supply of 20,000 barrels of crude oil to the Government of Zambia. “We brought this to the attention of your Embassy officials via the Economic Secretary, Margret Kaemba and the present High Commissioner who stated that he would check and get back to us. He is yet to do so. “However, you would imagine our surprise when we were further reliably informed that the Zambian authorities had designated another entity entirely to operate the business on behalf of the Government of Continued on page 61

ADVERT HOTLINES: 01-280668, 08070591302, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678



NEWS Lawmaker raises alarm over phone hacking •Says I am not stranded in the UK . From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation


HE Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Senator representing Kogi West, Senator Smart Adeyemi has raised the alarm that his MTN telephone number 08033193502 has been hacked into by unauthorised elements. He said the hackers had been soliciting N7.5million assistance because he is stranded in the United Kingdom . He said that hackers have also been making outlandish claims of how he could help them acquire choice plots of land within the FCT upon payment of a particular sum. In a statement last night, Adeyemi said he is not stranded in the UK and claimed that he had discarded the phone number many months ago owing to undue pressure. He expressed regrets that the same number has been “ hacked into by unknown persons who used it to send messages to many of his contacts seeking financial assistance from them as well as promising them some kinds of favour. The statement said: “The message by the hackers to Senator Adeyemi’s contacts was: ‘Sorry I didn’t tell you about my trip to UK for a short vacation, kindly assist me by sending someone to credit the account of one of my younger brothers who is billed to join me in the UK next week with about N7.5m. I really need the money urgently. Please, let me know if you can help me out. I’m looking forward to hearing from you’. “Senator Adeyemi described the hackers as unscrupulous, conscienceless, evil and ungodly, emphasising that he neither sent nor authorized anyone to send out such messages on his behalf. “He therefore asked all those who have received the ludicrous, antic, burlesque, risible, silly and zany solicitation to ignore it, while thanking well-meaning Nigerians who brought the issue to his attention.

NUC cautions Kano, Osun over sponsoring of students to Ukraine


HE National Universities Commission (NUC) yesterday cautioned Kano State Governor Rabiu Kwakwanso and his Osun State counterpart Rauf Aregbesola over the sponsorship of too many students to one country for higher studies.It said the trend would not promote diversity of knowledge. Speaking in Abuja yesterday at a roundtable on Cross Boarder Higher Education Strategic Partnership organised by the Commission and the British Council, NUC Executive Secretary Prof Julius Okojie noted that sending about 500 students to one country on scholarship would not encourage the spread of knowledge. He lamented that recent Needs Assessment of Nigerian varsities has revealed that they have more than 60 per cent lecturers without PhD, a development, he said, that must be checked. His words: “There is nothing wrong in Nigerian students going for higher degrees abroad, but we can’t send all of them in one direction. If all students go to University of Ibadan (UI) now, we won’t have a spread of knowledge. Some universities have special capacities and prospects; Ibadan is known for medicine and agriculture. It is also wrong to

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

send all the students to the United Kingdom (UK) or United States(US). “Spread them so that when they are coming, they will bring their wealth of experience from different countries. There would be that diversity; you need that diversity among the teaching staff; you can’t stay in the same university, with the same people who graduated from the same university, you won’t learn anything from each other. Diversity is very important. When all of them about 500 or 70 per cent of them go in the same direction, we are going to have problem when they come back.” Urging wealthy individuals to send their wards to the right places for higher qualifications, Okojie specifically identified Kano State government, which he alleged recently awarded scholarship to 500 deserving students. It noted that about 70 per cent of such students are going to Ukraine while the rest are to go to Turkey , Jordan and other countries. He suggested that the Federal Government should collaborate with the British Council to coordinate and regulate cross boarder higher education so that de-

serving students can be directed to the right places. Okojie said: “We are talking of facilities. When I was a lecturer at UI, British Council gave me some funds to go and complete my thesis at Edinburgh . We have a problem of what I call competence staff that is going to supervise PhD students. With our regulations, you can’t take more than the given number of students if you are a supervisor and you must be senior lecturer with a PhD. Look at the system where you already have more than 60 per cent who don’t have PhD. “How are they going to supervise? We are looking at the possibility of our people going out which is good for us and still retaining their jobs here because we call it split side training system. “With the Tetfund fund of N3 billion for research and the recent launch of professional journals, you will find out that we are going to stimulate the system for better researches and publications. We also encourage managers of the research fund to include post-graduate students in their programme. It makes room for multi-disciplinary approach to research endeavour.” Okojie expressed optimism that the situation

would change in the next five to six years when academic staff sponsored for overseas training by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (Tetfund) return home. The Deputy Director of the British Council, Amir Ramzan, also corroborated the fact that there are Nigerian lecturers without higher qualifications. He noted, however, that cross-boarder tertiary education strategic partnership can help solve the problem. He added that crossboarder tertiary education would also help to address the problem of time and resources militating against acquisition of higher qualification by bringing education opportunities to the country. The British Council deputy director said the roundtable would afford Nigeria and United Kingdom the opportunity of regulating and coordinating cross boarder tertiary education through sharing international experience and learning from other countries. Five universities from the UK which include: Nothingham University , University of Birmingham , University of Huddersfield and 35 Nigerian universities were represented at the roundtable.

Brazilian Navy ship in today


•Ekiti State Deputy Governor Mrs Funmi Olayinka flanked by Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Ganiyu Owolabi and renowned Oncologist and member, United States National Cancer Advisory Board, Prof Funmi Olopade when the professor visited the Deputy Governor in Ado-Ekiti... at the weekend.

Nigerians should stop this professinal miscalculation, financial suicide



WO persons have been arrested in London over the disappearance of two Nigerian teenage girls from care in West Sussex. A 34-year-old British man and a 25-year-old Nigerian woman were held in Enfield on suspicion of trafficking. The man was also arrested on suspicion of abduction in an operation involving UK Border Agency officers, Sussex Police and the Metropolitan Police. The pair were held over the alleged trafficking of women from West Africa into Europe for sexual exploitation. The Home Office said the arrests were linked to the disappearance of two teenage girls from care in Worthing in March. Chief immigration officer Jonathan Bush, from the UK Border Agency, said: “We believe we have disrupted a significant organised crime group suspected of being involved in the trafficking of young women into Europe through London. “Today’s arrests were part of a six-month investigation.” The pair are being questioned at police stations in London.

By Precious Igbonwelundu

Senator recommends sack of CBN Governor Sanusi ENATOR Femi Ojudu representing Ekiti Central District has recommended the sack of Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi on the grounds that his planned introduction of N5000 note amounted to a misconduct. The Senator, in a statement yesterday said the CBN’s plan to restructure the nation’s currency will cause more harm than good to the nation’s economy and the people’s well-being. Ojudu, who expressed dismay at the proposal, wondered how CBN could, in all sense of professionalism and progress, be thinking of such when the country’s inflationary rate currently

Two held over missing Nigerian girls

By Eric Ikhilae

stands at 12.9 per cent. He urged President Goodluck Jonathan to invoke the provision of Section 11 of the CBN Act to remove Sanusi and his deputies “as their present act of trying to worsen the living conditions of Nigerians constitutes a serious gross misconduct.” He argued that in a country like Nigeria where prices hardly come down, the CBN Governor and his team are literally pronouncing death sentence on Nigerians. In the statement by his media aide, Mr Dimeji Daniels, Ojudu said: “As opposed to its tag ‘Project

C.U.R.E’ (Currency Restructuring Exercise), the socalled project will bring cancer rather than cure to the Nigerian economy. He urged all well-meaning Nigerians to support the opposition to the CBN plan. The Senator said although he was not opposed to a limited autonomy for the apex bank, he believes the current development necessitates an urgent amendment of CBN Act. Ojudu claimed that it has become imperative for all Nigerians to halt what he terms professional miscalculation and financial suicide on the part of the CBN. The lawmaker added that incidents like this only serve to accentuate the need to

overhaul the CBN Act that confers too much powers on the CBN Governor. Relying on Sections 6 subsection 2 (a) and 7 subsection 1 of the CBN Act, Ojudu said it was appalling that the same Governor, who is in charge of the day-to-day management of the CBN, is also the Chairman of the CBN Board to which the management is answerable, meaning that the CBN Governor is answerable to himself. Ojudu said the most unacceptable part of the CBN Act is Section 8 subsection 3 which states that the board stipulates the salaries of the Governor, Deputy Governors and staff of the CBN, which, in other words,

•Senator Ojudu

means that the CBN Governor also stipulates his own salary. He noted that while he believes that the CBN autonomy is very important, there must be checks on such autonomy to ensure that the CBN does not embark on fruitless jamborees like it is currently doing.

ARELY a week after a United States Naval ship, HSV 2 SWIFT visited its Nigerian counterpart for a joint training, the Brazilian Navy offshore patrol vessel AMAZONS P120 is billed to arrive in the country on a four-day port call to the Nigerian Navy. A statement by the Information Officer, Western Naval Command, Lt. Commander, Jerry Omodara, said the ship will berth at the Apapa Port by noon. It will leave on September 7. He said in the course of the visit, the ship’s company will be involved in professional training with the Nigerian Navy. “The Brazilian ship while transiting to Lagos from Cotonou, Benin Republic, Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Nwamba and Shaldag boat of the Nigerian Navy will join her at the seas and conduct a joint maritime exercise today. “The Commanding Officer will pay a courtesy call on the Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, tomorrow, while an anti-piracy training demonstration for selected Nigerian Navy personnel will take place onboard the visiting ship on Thursday,” he said. Omodara noted that there will be other ceremonial activities on September 7, to mark the Brazilian National Day.



NEWS Police arrest five robbery suspects in Ogun

ONDO 2012

Youths back Akeredolu’s industrial drive


GROUP, Ondo Youth Alliance (OYA), led by Mr Oluwakayode Adeyemi, has invited a delegation from a Chinese firm to tour Akoko land to ascertain the suitability of the rocks in the community for quarry business. Ondo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

•Chinese keen on setting up quarry plant From Damisi Ojo, Akure

(SAN), had promised that if elected, his administration would develop the quarry for the benefit of the state. One of the representatives of a popular Chinese firm, Mr Simon Tia, affirmed the suitability of the rocks for quarry.

Adeyemi said there is no reason the youths could not be gainfully employed, when ACN forms the government in the state. He said: “Already, this plan of setting up quarry plants in Ondo can conveniently absorb 10 per cent of the total job creation policy

of Akeredolu on a shift basis. “This is without bringing the agricultural and technology sectors into the frame. So, all those shouting blue murder that Akeredolu cannot create 30,000 jobs need to think again.” The youth leader and his constituents hailed.



Akeredolu berates Mimiko


HE Akeredolu Campaign Organisation (ACO) of the Ondo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday criticised Governor Olusegun Mimiko for neglecting Akoko land in the last three and a half years. The organisation noted that despite this, the governor still went to the community to ask for their votes. In a statement by its spokesman, Mr Idowu Ajanaku, ACO urged Akoko residents to ask the governor where the roads he promised were build, “what happened to the tomato paste factory, in which N5.6 billion has allegedly been committed”. The statement added: “The people of Akoko should ask him which industry and how many of their youths he has employed in his three and a half years. What about the neglect of roads in Ikare, Akungba, Oka, among others? Akoko residents should ask him why they should support somebody who betrayed their son, the late Adebayo Adefarati, in 2003. “The people of Akoko should not vote for a government that thrives on deceit and propaganda.”

ACN leader petitions IG From Damisi Ojo, Akure

CHIEFTAIN of Ondo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Mr. Timehin Adelegbe, yesterday alleged that some supporters of the ruling Labour Party (LP) planned to kill him. Adelege particularly accused some notable LP leaders in Ose Local Government Area of threatening him. The politician has petitioned the Assistant InspectorGeneral of Police (AIG) Zone 11, Osogbo, on the matter. He copied the Commissioner of Police and the Director of State Security Service (SSS). Adelege alleged that because of the intimidation against him, he went underground. He wondered when it became a sin for someone to join his preferred political party. Some suspected LP thugs attacked the convoy of ACN governorship candidate, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) at Okeluse in the same Ose Local Government Area during a familiarisation tour of some wards in the area. Adelegbe urged security agents to save his life. He added that members of his family live in fear.


•Akeredolu campaign secretariat billboard destroyed by suspected Labor Party (LP) thugs in Owo, Ondo State. PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN

ACN chieftain warns against violence


CHIEFTAIN of the Ondo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and an Ambassador for Peace to the United Nations (UN), Gbadebo Olamerun, has warned the residents against violence.


Olamerun, who is from Okitipupa Constituency 1, said Ondo people are lovers of peace. The politician attributed the recent violence to the influence of some bad eggs in various political parties in

the state. He urged Ondo indigenes to see themselves as brothers and sisters, despite their political difference. “We should not allow ourselves to be used by selfish and self centred leaders.

Elections come and go but our people remain, irrespective of the differences,” Olamerun said. The ambassador warned those who want to use political differences to cause mayhem to think twice.

‘Count us out of NLC’s support for Mimiko’

GROUP, Concerned Civil Servants in Ondo State, yesterday dissociated its members from last week’s public declaration by the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) for Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s second term bid at Owo. The chairpersons, on be-

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

half of the three unions, expressed support for Mimiko’s second term bid. But in a statement in Akure, the state capital, the Chairman and Secretary of the group, Olaleye James and Akinlolu Muyiwa, said: “The Civil Service Rules 04210 and 04211 expressly state that no government worker should engage in partisan politics. “We thought these union

leaders would be concerned about the plight of primary school teachers in the state over their unpaid two months’ salaries, salary areas, 2012 leave bonus for workers, among others. But the reverse is the case. “We hereby call on the Ondo State Civil Service Commission and other concerned commissions to institute necessary disciplinary actions against the union leaders, as stated in the rules and

regulations of the State Civil Service, especially the Civil Service Rules 04101 and 04102.” The group warned union leaders to desist from dragging civil servants into partisan politics. It said: “We are only seen but not heard. If they fail to do the right thing, we shall be left with no option but to approach the court for further action against them.”

Mimiko promises more projects in Ondo community


NDO State Governor Olusegun Mimiko yesterday promised to establish life-enhancing projects in Akoko South West Local Government Area. The governor addressed supporters of the ruling Labour Party (LP) in the community when he began his re-election campaign in the local government. At Supare Akoko, the hometown of his running mate, Alhaji Ali Olanusi, the governor began the construction of the N700million township roads in the community. He told the residents that his administration would make life better for them, if

he is re-elected in the October 20 election. The residents expressed their appreciation to Mimiko for choosing his running mate from the community. At Iwaro Oka, the governor inaugurated some projects, including a N10.1million town hall for the community. The people of Iwaro Akoko were led by the Owalusi of Iwaro, Oba Oloruntele Ogunoye. At Oka Akoko, the headquarters of the local government, Mimiko inaugurated the N140million Oka Neighbourhood Market for market women. The Olubaka of Oka Akoko and the paramount tradi-

tional ruler in the area, Oba Adebori Adeleye, thanked the governor for the projects his administration established in the local government. Addressing the residents, Mimiko said: “I want to assure you that we will continue to work for you. We will continue to make our state a cynosure of all eyes; Ondo State must continue to be a shining example for all. We shall continue to put in place projects that will edify our people, make their lies better and impact positively on our economy. “Never again will our youths be made to do menial jobs. We shall harness their incredible energy not

productive ventures and turn them into employers of labour and responsible youths. Our infrastructure shall continue to receive urgent attentions. Our parents shall not have to dispose of their properties before they send their children to school. “Our women and children shall not die because of common ailments. Never agin will pregnancy be a death sentence in our land. Together, we shall take Ondo State to heights hitherto unimagined. These and many more are our wish and I want you to support us by voting for the Labour Party on October 20. And on my part, I will not disappoint you; I promise you.”

HE Ogun State Police Command yesterday said it has arrested five robbery suspects responsible for the various robberies and snatching in Ota industrial town of Ogun State. The police gave the suspects’ names as Taofeek Osho, (aka Otin), Babatunde Akanni (aka Jedi), Olurombi Sakiru, Abayomi Akiola and Seyi Durojaiye. They were reportedly arrested at the French Village, Badagry, Lagos State, following information from the State Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The police command’s spokesman Olumuyiwa Adejobi said some incriminating items were recovered from the suspects. He said the command is committed to achieving a crime-free Ogun State. Adejobi said: “In its effort to rid the state of criminals, the Ogun State Police Command has arrested five notorious armed robbers which specialise in highway robbery and snatching of motorcycles in and around Ota. “This was made possible by the timely intervention of men of the State Command’s Anti–Robbery Squad (SARS) who acted swiftly on information received on their hideout in French Village, Badagry, Lagos State. “They stormed the area where the suspected robbers were hiding and arrested them. “Items recovered from the suspects include six cut-to-size locally made pistols, a UTC axe and an expended cartridge. “The command uses this opportunity to reiterate its commitment in giving the residents the best security of life and property. It also warns people with criminal tendencies to relocate or turn a new leaf, as the state is no longer conducive for criminality.”

Seven fail Hajj test in Ekiti From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti


EVEN intending Muslim pilgrims for this year’s Hajj in Saudi Arabia have been disqualified for allegedly failing a mandatory test. The test was reportedly organised by the state’s Pilgrims Board when the intending pilgrims were screened for final clearance in preparation for the Hajj. Addressing reporters in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, the Chairman of the Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Abdulganiyy Olowoyo, explained that the seven failed the basic test on Islam. He said those disqualified could not recite Suratul Fatiha (Chapter One of the Holy Qur’an) and did not know some other basic aspects of the religion. According to him, the failed candidates would have their fees refunded. He warned that the screening was monitored to prevent those with ulterior motives other than religious. Olowoyo added that the board ensured that this year’s Hajj would be an improvement upon last year’s.



NEWS Naval school reviews training curriculum By Precious Igbonwelundu


Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State (middle) addressing traders affected by the removal of illegal structures currently going on at Iwo Road, Ibadan ...yesterday. With him are the Commissioner for Works and Transport, Alhaji Yunus Akintunde (right), his Lands and Housing counterpart, Mr. Ajiboye Omodewu (left) and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transport, Hon. Yemi Aderibigbe (second left).

Mimiko betrayed us, says Tinubu Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu at the weekend spoke with reporters on national issues in London. He was on his way to the Democratic Party’s Convention in the United States. Excerpts: On Ondo election IMIKO is a traitor. We are going to defeat him without rigging. He has betrayed others in the past. He got into the late Chief Adebayo Adefarati’s executive council in 1999, betrayed him and moved to the Peoples Democratic Pary (PDP). He later betrayed Olusegun Agagu and came back. He promised that within 30 days of his declaration when we were fighting the case in the court, he would join Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and after being sworn in, he started dilly-dallying. That is his trait. He’s not principled; a person with character would not do that definitely. Adebanjo’s stone at ACN We don’t know them in ACN and they have tried as much as possible to work against us; it is not new. They were in PAC, they sold the defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD) to former President Olusegun Obasanjo. They

Mimiko betrayed us. We are going to defeat him without rigging... He promised that within ‘ 30 days of his declaration when we were fighting the case in the court, he would come to ACN and after being sworn in, he started dilly-dallying. That is his trait. He’s not principled



came under the Democratic People Alliance (DPA), they failed, they went to bed with Gbenga Daniel in Ogun State, they failed. They are still going to fail. I don’t see what is Afenifere in that. Lagos traffic law What is anti-people in the

law? The law is against those who want to violate the traffic. For instance, if you smoke and the cigarette light drops on you while you are driving, it can lead to an accident. So, why not be patient till you get to where you are going. Why can’t they obey simple law like in any other country. The opposition parties who are criticising the law are benefit of ideas. Governance is about ideas. The law is for safety and the government has the responsibility to guarantee the safety of lives primarily, then properties. So, you are saving lives and prop-

erty. A vehicle is an asset People should learn to obey simple laws; it is for their own good; it is not by government. If you are not in violation, no one will arrest you. If you are in violation, no court will listen to you. And if you don’t have money to defend yourself, the Office of the Public Defender is there, established by the government for those who don’t have money. We should clap for the government. Everybody wants the easy way out. Nigerians will urinate even in the water they will drink.

We have to be civilised. Look at how clean this place is. The N5, 000 note It is an indication of devaluation. It is not his own problem. He is a banker for the entire nation. He keeps an eye on the economy and comes up with policies. The problem that we have is that we are spending what we don’t have. We are not managing our resources very well. If you are losing over $6 billion in oil revenue to theft. If you are losing $6 billion to $10 billion to subsidy theft, and if you’re spending 75 per cent of your budget to service recurrent expenditure and you’re borrowing for no long term activities and development that will sustain the nation on the long term, you get devaluation and you’re seeing the effect of devaluation. The economy is on reverse; it’s a yoyo economy. This government is not serious; they don’t know what they are doing.

Fed Govt doles out N1.3 billion to entrepreneurs


HE Federal Government has doled out N1.3 billion to woman entrepreneurs, it emerged yesterday. Speaking at the second phase of the YouWin programme at the Presidential Villa yesterday, President Goodluck Jonathan said the scheme targeted women because they are better managers. He said the second phase was as a result of the successes recorded in the first phase. Jonathan said since the commencement of the programme last July, about 933 of the 1200 beneficiaries of the first batch have received the first tranche of about N1.3 billion from the funds. He said those yet to receive would do so by the end of next week. The President said the main objective of the YouWin Programme is to create jobs. He said: “Building on this encouraging outlook and also recognising the increasingly central role women play in our

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

overall economic development, this second annual YouWin Business Plan Competition, essentially targets women that will help address the relatively low participation of women with just about 17 per cent of winners in the first edition, the one that was meant for men and women. Under this phase, 1,200 winners, all women, will be

selected to increase the number of female participants that will receive N1 and N10 million over the next 12 to 18 months. “In addition to the grants provided to the 1,200 winners each, at least 6000 aspiring youths entrepreneur, will be selected, trained and equipped with high quality business skills each year. This will enable them harness their business and job creation acumen potentials.

“We recognise that our youths constitute not only a large proportion of today’s working age Nigerians, they are also the bedrock of our economic future. That is why we are unequivocally committed to job creation, a core component of our economic transformation agenda and to lay a new foundation for economic growth. “Let me reiterate that YouWin Programme is

meant for all our youths in the six geo political zones, irrespective of political or religious affiliations. “To follow up on today’s launch event, I’m directing the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, working in concert with the Ministry of Finance, Communication Technology and Youth Development, to mobilise women entrepreneurs to participate competitively in the programme.

$18.6m project to fight toxic chemicals


O reduce effects of toxic chemicals, the Federal Government (FG) yesterday launched an $18.6 million environmental project. The four-year project, which is jointly financed by the Global Environmental Fund (GEF) and the Federal Government, is aimed at eliminating health hazards

From Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja

caused by Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCBs). Speaking at a workshop on PCB management in Abuja, the Minister of Environment, Mrs. Hadiza Mailafia, disclosed that the project was initiated to improve on public health and address effects of toxic wastes.

Mrs. Mailafia said: “This project is designed to improve public health and environmental quality by preventing the environmental release of PCBs from active and demomissioned electrical equipment in PHCN facilities and from other private sectors such as oil refineries, airports, textile mills etc so as to ensure

sound management and ultimate safe disposal.” The Minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Taiye Haruna, anticipated an increase in the level of awareness as well as management of PCBs and PCB-containing equipments at the completion of the project.

O order to surmount security challenges, Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC) is reviewing its curriculum. The Flag Officer Commanding, (FOC), NAVTRAC, Rear-Admiral Azubike Ajuonu, said the review is to enhance the navy’s capacity to function maximally within the requirement of these challenges. He spoke at a parade organised by the Command in Lagos. He said: “We are all aware of the security challenges facing the country and that it demands high state of discipline, loyalty, responsibility and professionalism. As trainers, we must be seen to be above board and on top of these values. “The role of the country’s navy has changed from traditional deep sea patrols to brown water operations within the creeks as well as internal security in some parts of the country with security challenges. “The command under my watch will continue to provide a conducive environment for training. Accordingly, I have directed that we continue to train the trainers at the various schools in order to enhance their teaching capabilities. Additionally, an e-learning centre has been established and your training dockets will be made into soft copies. We will continue to work out modalities for the provision of one computer per personnel in our training institutions. ‘‘I enjoin you to also take advantage of existing training facilities like the French Language Laboratory, Simulation Centre, among others to acquire the requisite skills and knowledge. ’’

Carter, Annan for ABU 50th anniversary


HE Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria will honour former United States President Jimmy Carter, former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe with doctorate degrees of the university during its 50th anniversary. The golden jubilee anniversary holds between October 4 and November 24. The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof Abdullahi Mustapha, in a statement by his media adviser, Malam Waziri Isa Gwantu, said former South African President Thabo Mbeki and former Namibian President Sam Nujoma will also attended the event. Mustapha said ABU is reputed for selecting only credible and selfless leaders who have served humanity for its honorary doctorate degrees. He added that the university is committed to maintaining this laudable principle imbibed from the late founder of the university, Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto.



CITYBEATS LAMATA to A hold meeting on BRT By Yinka Aderibigbe

THE Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) will on Thursday hold a stakeholders' meeting on the planned extension of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to Ikorodu. A statement by LAMATA's Managing Director Dr. Dayo Mobereola said the forum which would hold at the Cherubim and Seraphim Primary School, Majidun, by Ogolonto junction, near Ikorodu, is to inform stakeholders about the purpose of the project and secure their co-operation during implementation. According to the statement, high ranking government officials, including federal and state lawmakers, commissioners, traditional rulers, transport unions, market leaders, business owners, community leaders and property owners are expected at the meeting. The forum is aimed at ironing out all grey areas for the project's successful take-off. The statement said: "The public need to be aware of the project, timelines, and differences between the existing and proposed ones and the expectation from them during the implementation phase.”

DRAMATIC twist was yesterday brought to the ongoing inquest into the June 3 Dana plane crash, following the filing of a suit to stop the case. In an originating summons filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos, a non-governmental organisation, Civil Aviation Roundtable Initiative (CARI) and its founder, Captain Dele Ore, are claiming that the Lagos Coroner Court lacks jurisdiction to conduct the inquest. Captain Ore is a former pilot with the defunct Nigeria Airways. Alleging that the coroner headed by Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe breached Section 29 of the Civil Aviation Act No 26 of 2006, the plaintiffs want the court to nullify all steps so far taken either by way of summoning or invitation of witnesses to testify or give evidence at the inquest. The defendants are Lagos State Chief Judge, the Chief Coroner and the AttorneyGeneral of Lagos State, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Federal Ministry of Aviation. Others are the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA), the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Nigerian Air Space Management Authority (NAMA) and Dana Airlines Limited. The plaintiffs also want the court to quash the proceedings of the coroner on the grounds that he lacks the requisite authority to investigate the cause of deaths arising from the crash.

08033054340, 08034699757 E-mail:-

Ex-pilot, group seek to stop inquest into Dana crash They are busy bodies, says Lagos THE Lagos State Government has described the Civil Aviation Roundtable Initiative and its promoter, Captain Dele Ore, as busy bodies for filing an action to stop the inquest into the Dana crash. In its counter-affidavit and written address filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos, it said Ore and his group has no locus standi said that the non-governmental organisation, Civil Aviation Round Table Initiative Limited and aviation expert, Captain Dele Ore (rtd) have no locus standi to file the suit. The government’s papers were filed by a Senior State Counsel Mrs. Osibanjo Olawunmi and Mr. K. Akinjide Bakare, for the Coroner, Magistrate Alexander Oyetade Komolafe and the Lagos State Chief Judge, the Chief Coroner of of the state and the Attorney-General of the state. In the written address, the government submitted that the plaintiffs do not have any legal right that can be protected by the court. It said: “The 1st plaintiff (the NGO) is a private company limited by guarantee with its set objectives. It does not have any constituBy Adebisi Onanuga

They also sought six other reliefs: •A declaration that the coroner and the Chief Judge of Lagos State cannot exercise or carry out any form of inquisition or inquest into the deaths arising from the Dana crash or any matter related to aviation accident or deaths arising from it. •A declaration that the appointment of Magistrate Komolafe as coroner on the crash is ultra vires the pow-

By Adebisi Onanuga

tional role to play and has said nothing in its affidavit in support of the originating summons to show that it has any rights that were being breached or are likely to be breached by the exercise of powers by the 1st defendant (the Lagos Coroner as represented by Magistrate Alexander Oyetade Komolafe).” In the statement, Bakare said the sole issue for determination is whether the plaintiffs have met the conditions for the grant of interlocutory injunctions. Bakare referred to paragraphs three and four of the affidavit in support of the originating summons saying: “The plaintiffs did not state who charged them with the responsibility to perform the objects of its incorporation. It is clear therefore that these objects are self appointed and can therefore not lead to obligations for third parties except subscribers to their memorandum of Association. It is thus my humble submission that the plaintiffs do not have any locus standi in this matter.”

ers of the Lagos State Chief Judge having regards to among others, the fact that the cause of death is known. •A declaration that the provisions of Sections 14,

15, 17 and 25 of the Coroners' System Law of Lagos State No. 27 of 2007 are not applicable to deaths arising from aviation accidents, specifically within the contemplation of Section 29 of the

Civil Aviation Act No. 6 of 2006. •A declaration that the deaths occurring from the crash are not such that falls within the contemplation of Coroner's Systems Law of Lagos State 2007, particularly, Sections 14 and 15. In a 29-point affidavit in support of the originating summons, Captain Ore deposed that , " having read the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, the NCAA Act No. 6 of 2006 and the Convention on International Civil Aviation, Chicago 1944 (ICAO), in conjunction with the Lagos State Coroners' System Law of Lagos State 2007, the honourable Chief Judge of Lagos State and the Coroner have no power to inquire into causes of air accidents and deaths arising therefrom." Ore added: "It will be in the interest of justice and continuing pursuit of safer air travel in Nigeria for passengers and users of the Nigerian aviation sector to stop the abuse going on in the name of inquest as foretasted."

29 children get scholarships


WENTY-NINE children in correctional homes in Lagos State have been granted scholarships for educational and vocational training. The children were selected by the donors, Bake for Change and AIPA following an examination process and application to indicate their areas of interest. Ten of them were offered educational scholarships, 16, vocational training, and the others got materials needed to set up their own businesses such as tailoring, shoemaking and photography. At a ceremony held at the the Correctional Home for Girls, Idi-Araba, Lagos, the donors urged the children to use the scholarship to transform their lives. Miss Nkem Uwaje of Bake

By Miriam Ndikanwu

for Change urged them to embrace knowledge, saying they must remain diligent and determined. She said: "I challenge you to have courage because to be successful in life, you need to be courageous. Make sure you grab this opportunity to rewrite your story to become the person who you dream to be.” Special Adviser on Youths and Social Development Dr Enitan Badru praised the donors for the programme that have impacted positively on the children’s lives. "I want to thank you for giving life to these children because without this programme, some of these children may never make any headway," he said. He challenged the children

Man commits suicide


MIDDLE-aged man has committed suicide in Masha, Surulere in Lagos Mainland. He allegedly took poison, barely 24 hours after he was stopped from killing himself by climbing a Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) high tension electric pole. His body was reportedly found in his apartment on Sunday. He was said to have con-

By Jude Isiguzo

fessed to his friends that he was frustrated, adding that he felt that he was bewitched. A source said he had told his friends that only death could save him from his troubles, adding that the only way out was to kill himself. Residents, who saw him climbing the PHCN high tension pole, succeeded in persuading him to come down. It was gathered that just after he came down, the crowd

to make better use of the opportunity, saying there is no life without education. The government, he said, has rolled out other programmes to support the education and development of the children. Badru said: "Government has different programmes for these children. Besides, we have individuals who picked interest in a particular child and approached us to allow them to provide such children with scholarship and we have counsellors who monitor their progress.” The children in the homes, he said, are of different categories; comprising those under the care and protection of government; abused children and those in conflict with the law. started abusing him for attempting to kill himself. His friends took him away to counsel him to look at the bright side of life. But the next morning, his neighbours woke up and found that he had killed himself. He was said to have drank poison in the night. His body has been removed by policemen from Surulere Police Station where the matter was reported. A source at the station said an autopsy would be conducted to ascertain the cause of death.

Motorcyclists sue govt over new Traffic Law


OMMERCIAL motorcyclists have sued the Lagos State Government over its new Road Traffic Law which restricts their operations on major highways in the state. The motorcyclists sued the Lagos State Government under the umbrella of All Nigerians Autobike Commercial Owners and Workers Association. Other defendants in the suit are the state Attorney-Gen-

By Adebisi Onanuga

eral and Lagos State House of Assembly. They are seeking an order restraining the state government from prohibiting them from operating on major highways listed in Items 1-11 and other parts of Schedule II of the New Traffic Law. In the suit filed on Monday at the Lagos High Court, Ikeja, through their lawyer, Mr. Bamidele Aturu, they are asking the court to restrain the state government from mo-

lesting, harassing, arresting, seizing their motorcycles or subjecting them to any treatment not suffered by any other road users. The claimants urged the court to declare that the New Traffic Law constitutes an unjustifiable violation of the right to freedom of movement of the claimants and their members, guaranteed by Section 41(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.





NEWS Ekiti council seeks name change From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti


BONYIN Local Government Area of Ekiti State is seeking the endorsement of Governor Kayode Fayemi to change its name to Aiyekire Local Government. A statement made available to The Nation in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, by the local government’s Caretaker Chairman, Paul Abegunde, said Aiyekire was the council’s original name in the 1999 Constitution. Rising from a meeting at the instance of the Caretaker Chairman at the local government secretariat, which was attended by monarchs, chiefs and other stakeholders in the area, the council current name has been impeding it progress. It resolved to revert the name to Aiyekire Local Government, to address the challenges confronting the area. The stakeholders averred that most of the challenges arose from a discrepancy between the name approved in the Constitution and the one it is using. Praising Dr Fayemi for the development the state has made under him, Alabi said the council needs the governor’s approval to make the reversion officially implementable at state level in tune with the 1999 Constitution.

OOU holds 57th inaugural lecture


HE Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), AgoIwoye, Ogun State, will today hold its 57th inaugural lecture, entitled: That the home be one: counsellor’s mission. The lecture will hold at the Otunba Gbenga Daniel lecture theatre on the main campus at 2pm. It will be delivered by Prof Olufunmilayo Abosede Tumininu Sotonade, a Professor of Counselling Psychology in the Department of Educational Foundations and Counselling, Faculty of Education. A statement by the Head of the Public Relations Unit of the university, Mr Sam Oyeleye, said the Acting ViceChancellor, Prof Saburi Adejimi Adesanya, will chair the event.

•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (left) and the former Chief of Staff to the former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Elder Peter Babalola, during a world rally marking the end of Ramadan, organised by Babalola, at A.D.S Secondary School, Ikire, Osun State.

Demolition: Displaced traders’ll be resettled, says Ajimobi


YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has appealed for the understanding of the traders affected in the ongoing demolition of structures in Ibadan, the state capital, and its environs. He said that they would be resettled. The governor gave the assurance when he addressed reporters after inspecting the demolition of illegal structures on Iwo Road, the construction of Bodija-Secretariat Bridge, Mokola Flyover and other ongoing projects in the state capital.

our people. “Although there is nothing you do that people will not criticise you for, but for us we must be courageous enough to make a difference. I want to assure you that it will have a human face. In having a human face, we decided, even though they were illegally staying there, to move them to a new location. We are happy with what we are doing, regardless of what critics will say. We are very happy.” On the Apete Bridge project, whose contract was recently revoked, the gover-

nor assured that in the next one week, the contract would be re-awarded to a new contractor. He hailed the level of work at the ongoing construction of the Mokola Flyover Bridge, saying it was a wonderful job. Ajimobi said: “We are very proud of it. We are proud of the contractor. They are very efficient and professional.” The governor said the project would be completed on schedule. Addressing members of the state branch of the National Union of Road Trans-

port Workers (NURTW) at the Temidire Motor Park, Ajimobi urged them to cooperate with his administration by complying with the rules and regulations guiding their operations. He urged transport workers to move to the newly-inaugurated park to ease traffic congestion around the Iwo Road axis and ensure the beautification of the area. A statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Dr Festus Adedayo, said the governor added that the transporters should continue to maintain the existing peace in the state.

Oyo ex-SSG denies pact with Ladoja’s Accord


FORMER Secretary to the Oyo State Government (SSG) under the Adebayo Alao-Akala administration, Chief Layiwola Olakojo, has denied joining the Senator Rashidi Ladoja-led Accord. Reports at the weekend said Olakojo had abandoned the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and joined Ladoja to deplete the ranks of Alao-Akala’s supporters.

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

The former SSG was in company of the Southwest Chairman of the party, Mr Segun Oni, during a visit to Ladoja’s Bodija, Ibadan home, few months ago. Alao-Akala’s deputy, Alhaji Taofeek Arapaja, was also in the team. In a statement in Ibadan, the state capital, the former SSG

urged the public to ignore the rumour. He described it as an attempt to destabilise the ongoing reconciliation in the Oyo State PDP. Olakojo said as one of the chieftains of the party in the state, he is committed to the reconciliation of all factions to strengthen the PDP ahead of the 2015 elections. The former SSG explained

that he was at Ladoja’s home with Oni to persuade him to return to the PDP, which he cofounded in the state. He said those spreading the rumour should say whether or not Oni also wants to join Accord, as both of them were at Ladoja’s home. Olakojo said he was among the PDP chieftains, who attended the Oyo Federal Constituency meeting of the

party in Owode, Oyo under the leadership of Alhaji Isiaka Adebayo last Thursday. According to him, all the members of the Executive of the party in the local governments in Oyo and over 100 delegates promised their loyalty to the leadership of Alao-Akala. The former SSG said that he would remain in PDP and work for it to regain power in 2015.

Oyo ALGON absolves Ajimobi of illegal deductions


HE Oyo State branch of the Association of Local Governments (ALGON) yesterday praised Governor Abiola Ajimobi for taking the state to greater heights within a short time. It particularly hailed the governor for using the meagre funds available to it for construction and rehabilitation of roads and bridges destroyed by floods in several communities. In a statement in Ibadan, the state capital, the association debunked the report that Ajimobi illegally made deductions from council funds to finance the road projects.

Ajimobi confirms plan to reshuffle Exco


YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi yesterday confirmed his plan to reshuffle the State Executive Council (Exco). The govrnor made the confirmation when he addressed reporters in Ibadan, the state capital, after inspecting some ongoing projects in the city. He said there is nothing new or extra-ordinary in reshuffling the Exco. According to him, the practice is used by governments around the world to improve service delivery. Ajimobi explained that after 16 months in office, there is need to review the performance of his administration with renewed commitment to the people of the state.

Ajimobi said: “We have already spoken to them. We are moving them to a new location where they will no longer constitute an eyesore.” The governor spoke of the need for the state to wear a new look through regular environmental sanitation and improved aesthetics of major towns and cities. He said: “The message here is that Oyo State must change. We want a clean state. Everybody had been saying that Oyo State is one of the dirtiest states in Nigeria. We want to stop that. We, therefore, want the cooperation of


From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

ALGON described the report, which said the governor was illegally deducting from councils’ allocations, as false and misleading. It said the governor has never touched councils’ funds since he assumed office. The association has also said the Oyo State Government has rehabilitated 199 roads and several bridges, including those washed away by floods in Ibadan and some other communities last year and in July. A statement by its Chairman and Secretary, Yekeen

Popoola and Ayodeji AbassAleshinloye, explained that the Abiola Ajimobi administration is so open that Oyo residents have been freely following its steps, particularly at the local government level. The statement reads: “It is always open. We have always had our deliberations on what we want to do at the ALGON level. We seek approval from the Commissioner (for Local Government Affairs) or governor, as stipulated by the law. That is their only involvement. “The governor is a very strict person. He does not believe in such and won’t do that.

Anyone that reads the governor’s first anniversary programme would see the projects executed by the state as well as those executed by the local governments.” The report had said that there was a crisis between top leaders of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Ajimobi over alleged deductions from the Federation Accounts and Excess Crude Oil Accounts of the state’s 33 local governments. ALGON said the report was a figment of the writer’s imagination, adding that it painted the Ajimobi administration in bad light.

Ekiti CNPP hails Fayemi on urban renewal, others


HE Ekiti State branch of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) yesterday hailed Governor Kayode Fayemi for changing the face of AdoEkiti, the state capital, “to a truly urban setting”. In a statement by its ViceChairman, Ibitoye Francis, and Secretary, Pastor Victor Akinola, among others, the conference noted that the governor has a clear vision

•Passes confidence vote in state chair From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

of where he is taking the state through his renovation/construction of infrastructure. The statement reads: “No governor in history has done so much within a short period and no one else has earned the people’s confidence with such propensity.

“Those whose houses and other physical property were demolished in the unprecedented renewal drive have joined a the others to hail the governor. “No one has raised any litigation or query against either the governor or the government because both have acted within the ambits of the law. “Everywhere

across the capital and in other major towns are evidences that the government is not only alive but also working and focused in pursuit of the general good.” The CNPP has also passed a vote of confidence in its chairman, Prince Tunji Ogunlola. In a statement, the group

explained that “under the leadership of Ogunlola, we have forged ahead both as a party and as a people”. It added: “We have equally played our role of watchdog without let or hindrance, as stipulated in the constitution. “The government is hereby advised to be wary of detractors, who are against its agenda to transform the state.”





Naira falls on strong dollar demand


HE naira weakened against the U.S dollar on the interbank market yesterday, on strong dollar buying by some importers unable to obtain funds at the biweekly foreign exchange auction, and thin dollar supply from oil companies. The naira closed at N158.40 to the dollar on the interbank market, weaker than Friday's close of 158.20 to the dollar. "Strong dollar demand by some importers toward the end of trading pushed down the naira," one dealer said. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold $200 million at N155.80 to the dollar on its bi-weekly auction, compared with $180 million sold at the same rate at the last auction on Wednesday. The regulator did not disclose the amount demanded at the auction. Dealers said the upsurge in dollar demand toward the end of trading was driven by importers losing their bids at the auction and diverting to the interbank. "We see the naira hovering within the present level or strengthening a little on expected dollar inflows from offshore investors participating at the treasury bills auction this week," another dealer said. Nigeria plans to issue N142.97 billion ($903.73m) in treasury bills ranging from 3-months to 1-year maturities at its regular twice-monthly auction in the first week of September.

You will be surprised that we have some of these tractors in this country but they are all obsolete or need refurbishment. So if we have the arrangement to provide the spare parts and workshop where the tractors can be repaired when they set spoilt, then we are making sense.. - Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, Minister of Agriculture

Nigeria is 39th largest economy, says Minister


HE Federal Government yesterday said latest in dices on the nation’s Gross Domestic Product’s (GDP) performance level indicated that the domestic economy has inched up to the 39th position among the leading economies in the world. This is with prospects that the ranking would get better if the ongoing Gross Domestic Product rebasing exercise is concluded. Giving the hint during the inauguration of the Central Working Committee (CWG) on the review of the implementation of the First National Implementation Plan (NIP) for the Vision 20: 2020 in Abuja, the Minister/ Deputy Chairman , National Planning Commission (NPC), Dr. Shamsuddeen Usman, said the development showed clearly that the on-going Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government, particularly its three-phased National Implementation Plan components, is achieving the desired results. He described the work of the Committee as crucial to government’s efforts to reposition the nation’s economy as

• Vision 20: 2020: Jonathan moves against failure From: Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

one of the biggest globally by the year 2020, and therefore assured them of necessary support that would help accomplish the assignment given them. “What gets measured is done. By setting a target and measuring the progress that we are making, we are more likely to achieve desired result. But from the way we are tracking and really pushing, we have actually climbed to about 39 from the 44 we have been. So you can see we are making progress there in terms of GDP per Capital and we are going to make another big progress when the GDP rebasing figures come out.” The 1st NIP which commenced in 2010 is scheduled for completion next year and it provides a strong foundation for implementation of subsequent plans in the next eight years. The 2nd NIP is slated for implementation in 2014-2017 fiscal period. He said President Goodluck

Jonathan has approved that the NPC should champion the effort of developing for Nigeria a National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan, adding that Jonathan is concerned that despite a lot of efforts given to infrastructure: “it is unfortunate that its not been done in a coordinated or integrated manner. His words: “President Goodluck Jonathan has also approved that the National Planning Commission (NPC) should lead the effort of developing for Nigeria a National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan. Right now there are a lot of efforts given to infrastructure. But unfortunately it is not been done in a coordinated or in an integrated manner. “All the states are involved in the sense that when we were doing this plan we took into account the plans of all the 36 states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). “I think we are making progress with the Vision 20: 2020 but you see what get measured get done, I always repeat

this statement, we are measuring and we brought a professional group of people and it is just government that is involved. “We do not want to come out with an assessment that will not involve other sectors and people will later complain that it was because it is only government. Now we have put together a very technical independent group that will be able to come up with an assessment. He said the key elements of the first NIP, which has as its theme, ‘Accelerating Development, Competitiveness and Wealth Creation for All,’ are the overall macroeconomic targets of GDP of $300 billion by 2013; Per Capital Growth of $2,008, up from $1,075, achievement of average GDP growth of 11 per cent and a total projected investment of N32 trillion. The Committee, chaired by Moses Akpabosa, has its Terms of Reference as, determining the scope of the first NIP review period; developing and agreeing on template

NNPC allays fears of fuel shortage in Abuja From John Ofikhenua, Abuja


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

-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -10.5% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending -22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $35.8b FOREX CFA 0.2958 EUR 206.9 £ 242.1 $ 156 ¥ 1.9179 SDR 238 RIYAL 40.472

• Usman

for the review; determining the structure and format for the review of the First NIP; and working closely with MDAs and National Planning Commission with a view to obtaining relevant inputs on the achievements of the Key Performance Indicators and reviewing the macroeconomic framework and other sectoral targets for the Plan period. Others are, producing a detailed Report of the review, highlighting key gaps and challenges at macro and sectoral levels, and propose necessary solutions; arranging stakeholders’ validation of the Report; and articulating the preparatory activities for production of 2nd NIP 2014-2017, amongst others.

• From left: Professor of Economics, Ademola Oyejide; Minister of State for Finance, Dr Yerima Ngama; Director-General, Budget Office, Dr Bright Okogu and former Minister of Industry, Chief Kola Jamodu, at the Consultative Forum ... yesterday.

‘We’re against reduction of tariff on oil palm’


S food importers move to reduce tar iff on oil palm from 35 per cent to five per cent, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina yesterday, decried the move, saying it would not stand. Also, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), kicked against the measure, saying it will hinder businesses. Describing the proposed tariff as unacceptable, Adesina maintained that such a move would be economically suicidal for the country to throw open its ports to cheap palm oil. The Minister spoke yesterday at a Consultative Forum on the Review of Common External Tariff from 2008 -

From Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja

20012 in Abuja He said: “Those clamoring and making clandestine moves to reduce the tariff on crude palm oil from 35 per cent to five per cent should know that this government will not allow such to happen. We cannot mortgage the future of Nigerian farmers. Farmers and oil palm estate owners are now expanding cultivated area under oil palm. They are planting new high yielding varieties with expectations they will find markets. “if we allow crude palm oil from Malaysia to flood our markets, we will be dashing the hopes of these farmers and further sabo-

tage Nigeria’s economy.” The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), also threw its weight in support of the Minister, saying no to food import. President of MAN, Chief Kola Jamodu, said it is wrong for the country to import foods, especially what it is capable of producing. “This country has no business importing palm oil. We should produce more. We can do it with the right policy. Manufacturers have to back this, especially in areas where we have comparative advantages,” he stated. Opposing the importation of Crude Palm Oil into the country disclosed that farmers and Oil Palm estate own-

ers are not expanding cultivated area under oil palm and planting new high yielding varieties with expectation to find markets. The federal government recently handed over 1.3million oil palm seedlings to 18 participating oil palm estates as part of efforts to boost oil palm production in the country. However, the Minister disclosed that the ministry is committed to cultivating 250,000 hectares of additional new oil palm plantings by 2015. “We should be talking of how to become a major palm oil exporting country not to keep the shameful pattern of importing what we produce and can produce in abundance.

ARELY a week after ex periencing severe fuel scarcity, fresh queues surfaced again at petrol filling stations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), yesterday. As a result,, motorists besieged the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) mega station making the one lane of the expressway almost impassable. As some petrol stations were under lock and key, the few ones that were opened only rendered skeletal services with one pump. Motorists at the petrol stations, said they are engaging in precautionary buying in reaction to a publication in a national daily that most of the six major oil marketers have exhausted their stock and that scarcity was imminent. But the Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs, Mr Fidel Pepple, said there is no cause for alarm. He told The Nation on phone yesterday, the queues were simply the result of higher demand that comes after weekend. Asked why there were fresh long queues at the petrol stations, he responded: “Are there fresh long queues? I am not aware of that. But there is always higher demand after weekend. I don’t think it is anything serious,” he added.




CBN puts Nigeria’s daily oil output in Q2 at 2.12m bpd T HE Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) yesterday said the country pumped 2.12 million barrels per day of oil in the second quarter, well below the 2.48 million bpd which the Ministry of Finance has projected in this year’s budget. The CBN said in its second quarter review of the economy published on its website that oil production had risen from an average of 2.06 million bpd in the first quarter. Official oil figures normally come from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), but the CBN, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) sometimes give output figures on an ad

hoc basis. Their numbers rarely match up. If the BN figures are correct, Nigeria needs a lift in output in the second half of the year to fund all the spending in this year’s budget without taking on more debt or lowering its oil savings rate. The benchmark oil price in the budget was $72 a barrel, well below the market price and above which Nigeria is supposed to save extra revenues in the Excess Crude Account (ECA). But if production fails to meet projections, the government will need to take more money back from the ECA to meet the shortfall.

Finance Minister Ngozi OkonjoIweala, told Reuters last month that when putting the budget together her ministry lowered the production projections given to them by the oil ministry. She has pledged to increase the balance in the ECA to $10 billion by the end of the year, from around $7 billion now. If oil production figures underperform, Nigeria could be gambling on prices staying high to meet this pledge. NNPC said last month that crude oil production reached an all-time high of 2.7 million bpd but industry experts have questioned these figures, which are at the top end of

Nigeria’s capacity and come during a period when oil theft by criminal gangs is at record highs. The apex bank ‘s oil output data usually comes in lower figures those from the NNPC and the oil ministry, both of which have interest in showing progress in the industry’s performance, although they also have the best access to the data. The NBS admitted that its own official figures rely on data provided by NNPC The ECA has been raided frequently by government in recent years. The account contained $20 billion before the 2007 general election, but hovered around $3-$4 billion last year before Okonjo-Iweala began efforts to ramp up savings.

CPC seeks full disclosure on MTN airplane promo


HE Consumer Protection Coun cil (CPC) has directed MTN Ni geria Communications Limited to make available to consumers adequate information on its recharge and win aircraft promotion, tagged MTN-Ultimate Wonder Campaign Promotion. In a statement, the Deputy Director, Public Relations, Abiodun Obimuyiwa, said the Council’s directive was handed down to the communication company at a meeting convened by the agency to address the apprehension and concerns of consumers on the promotion. Led by its General Manager, Regulatory Affairs, Ms. Oyeronke Oyetunde, CPC said the firm left out some information needed to adequately guide consumers on the promotion. The CPC said: “MTN left out the market value of the aircraft

From: Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

to be won, the size of the plane, the delivery period of the aircraft to an eventual winner or cash equivalence in local currency for a winner, who may prefer a cash reward for the grand prize. “In all the existing communications on the promotion, con-

sumers are not properly directed to the site where the terms and conditions applicable to the promotion are published and the fact that the reference to those terms was in small print. “It directed the communication outfit to reflect and correct all these lapses in its subsequent media interactions and

communication, which MTN assured would be done within the next two or three weeks because of the intricacies involved, particularly in the change of its advertisement. “MTN explained that the promotion was introduced because it wanted to do something different and to start something that would excite its consum-

Shell shuts oil pipeline after leak


OYAL Dutch Shell said it closed an oil pipeline lead ing to a flow station in Nigeria, Africa's top oil producer, after a leak was discovered. Oil from the facility heads to the Bonny export terminal. Bonny is one of Nigeria's larger crude streams and is scheduled to ship around 140,000 barrels per day (bpd) in September.

"A leak was observed on a line from Well-39s flowing to Nembe Creek-2 flow station on 29th August," Shell said in an emailed statement. "The line was shut in, and booms were quickly deployed to stop spread of any spilled oil. "The spilled oil is contained within the flowline right-of-way and there is no impact on the en-

vironment." Shell said a joint investigation team was due to visit to determine the case of the leak. The company did not give any information as to whether production was affected. Oil spills are common in Nigeria. Companies say the majority of spills are from oil thieves hacking into or blowing up pipelines to steal crude.

NNPC, Ministry endorse Vulcan’s refineries By Emeka Ugwuanyi


ONTRARY to reports, investi gation has shown that the Ni gerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is in full support of the establishment of six modular refineries by Petroleum Refining & Strategic Reserve (PRSR) Limited and Vulcan Capital Corporation (VCC) Limited in the country. The refineries were facilitated by the Ministry of Trade and Investment. The Nation gathered that before the Ministry of Trade and Investment signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Petroleum Refining & Strategic Reserve (PRSR) Limited and Vulcan Capital Corporation (VCC) Limited for the project, it brought it to the notice of all relevant agencies including the NNPC, which also gave its approval. For instance, the ministry had written a letter dated April 12, 2012 with reference: PSTI/GEN/ 2012/294/Vol 1, titled letter of introduction and addressed to the NNPC. The letter highlighted the capability of the companies and the importance of the project considering the Federal Government’s aspiration in investment in the mid and downstream segments of the petroleum industry. The letter reads in part: “I wish to inform you that Vulcan Petroleum Resources Limited, a reputable international company with expertise in the oil and gas Industry has approached the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment for an MoU on the possibility of investment in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria, through the establishment of six modular refineries in partnership with Petroleum Refining and Strategic Reserve Nigeria Limited, and indigenous company based in Abuja.”



Tuesday, September 4, 2012 Website:-

* The Environment * Mortgage * Apartments * Security * Homes * Real Estate


Housing the ‘Form Technology’ way •Firm plans 50 houses daily under American model

•Block of flats built with Form Technology

The over 16 million housing gap has for long been an issue, which may soon be addressed by Crossover Mortgage Bankers. The firm plans to introduce a unique American housing model, Form Technology, with capacity to produce over 50 houses daily to bridge the gap, reports OKWY IROEGBU-CHIKEZIE.


•Lagos to build multi-level office complex at Secretariat

- PAGE 14

•For Ekiti roads, a new lease of life - PAGE 51

•Ogun opens up rural areas with roads - PAGE 52




Lagos to build multi-level office complex at Secretariat


AGOS State Government is set to build a multi-level office complex at Alausa, Ikeja, the capital. The project planned on a 24,700-square metre land in the old public park comprises an eight-floor blocks and two adjoining blocks of five floors, with pedestrian inter-links and twolevel parking area with capacity to take 600 vehicles, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Femi Hamzat, has said. He spoke during a tour of some projects. Explaining the rationale behind the construction of the complex, Hamzat said it is to stop the renting of offices outside the secretariat by government agencies. On completion, he said, the complex would enhance interMinistries, Departments and agencies (MDAs) networking, improve delivery and reduce the resources expended on rented spaces. On Isopakodowo Market in Oshodi, the Commissioner said it would be offered to the targeted beneficiaries with adequate mortgage facility to enable them to repay the cost of purchase over a period of 15 to

•A model of the multi-level office block By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie and Temitayo Ayetoto

20 years. He said adequate provision had been made to ensure that would-be owners are provided title documents so that the property would not only be bankable,

but could be used as collaterals for transactions. He added that the essence of the construction is to attract business to the area and also change the face of Oshodi. On sustenance, he said the market would be maintained by

a facility management company to sustain the standards. Hamzat also said the government was ready to reconstruct the Ilasamaja Bridge, adding that the bridge would be pulled down on Saturday to make way for a new one. Stating that the process of replacement had started with the completion of the sub-soil investigation, the commissioner noted that the bridge had earlier been blocked to avert any mishap and protect the public from danger. He said it was important to state that though the road belongs to the Federal Government, the state had sought and obtained the consent of the federal authority to replace the bridge that had some time ago been rehabilitated. Hamzat noted that the public may not see much work at the site due to changes in the method of construction, assuring that the construction work would be completed within the stipulated period of four months. Explaining challenges to construction, the bridge components, especially on Adisa Ajibulu Street and the Isheri

‘The public may not see much work at the site due to changes in the method of construction, assuring that the construction work would be completed within the stipulated period of four months’ Osun–Jakande projects, Hamzat said the need to put several piles in place and the nature of the terrain caused the delays. He stated that the road component could not be awarded without completing the bridge, adding that the state government usually phased its projects to ensure proper funding and adequate time frame for each.

50 houses daily coming under ‘Form Technology’ •CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17


NCREASINGLY, governments the world over are coming to terms with the difficulty in implementing one of the UN Habitat goals of ensuring full and progressive realisation of the right of people to adequate housing. No thanks to associated rising costs. To ensure enough housing, developers have come up with several alternative building methods to deliver affordable houses. Among those recently-introduced is Form Technology, a housing model which guarantees quick and quality construction, employing less labour, cement and almost at zero maintenance cost. It is pre-cast and assembled at site with re-usable materials to build other sets of houses at site. Vice-Chairman of Crossover Mortgage Bankers, the proponents of the technology, Bode Akinboye, said several housing schemes failed because they were not only over priced, but also not well thought out to reach the targeted audience leaving many people with poor and substandard housing options. He said with his firm’s solid financial muscle and over 800 housing units on Lekki/Ajah Expressway, 24 flats on LASU/ Iba Road and planned estates on the Lagos/Ibadan/Badagry expressways, Epe and Ikorodu backed by a mortgage facility of not less than 15 years, many desirous of owning houses would achieve their dream. Akinboye said the Form Technology, an American model used in mass housing production, would be produced in conjunction with Frontera Global Corporation, an American firm, that is not only financing the project under a contractor-financing terms, but also bringing the best model in community estates. He said it was only when they


•A bungalow built with Form Technology

met the requirements for American standard on community estates that they secured the funding for the project which includes schools, green areas, clinics, electricity, recreation facilities and others. On the cost of the housing units, he said: “Our target is to sell the houses, which consist of two and three-bedroom flats at not more than N5 million so that as many as possible will subscribe to our houses and we, in turn, will add our quota to bridging the housing deficit. The choice of Form technology

as our preferred model is to provide affordable and durable houses that can be easily maintained.” According to him, some houses become too expensive after construction due to the high cost associated with infrastructure provision, which is always between 30 ro 40 per cent; it could be higher. He advised the government on the need to provide necessary infrastructure that would encourage property developers to give their best to the sector and also reduce the price of

‘Our target is to sell the houses, which consist of two and three-bedroom flats at not more than N5 million so that as many as possible will subscribe to our houses and we, in turn, will add our quota to bridging the housing deficit’

houses. Akinboye regretted that a large percentage of the population is not encouraged to save towards owing houses as many of them seem to have given up believing the quest is unattainable due to economic circumstances. He said they have come out with a mortgage product that would encourage people to cultivate the habit of saving daily, weekly and monthly with as small as N500 just enough to buy recharge cards for their phones. He said owning a house is a personal decision to people who plan and adhere to certain strict financial regime. Akinboye said being a landlord never happens in a vacuum or by wishful thinking, advising that people desirous of such

should take advantage of the firm’s convenient saving plans which, in no distant time, would afford them the opportunity to be landlords in any part of Lagos, some parts of Southwest and Southsouth where the bank is through a targeted mortgage. He criticised the poor implementation of the National Housing Fund (NHF), which came on stream to assist prospective home owners to save towards owning their personal homes. He noted that the government missed it by restricting it to only the formal sector leaving the informal sector. The money collected was also not properly utilised as they were used to build gigantic structures that fall short of the needs of the majority of the people. Besides, some people collected loans without paying back, thereby depleting the pool of fund. Akinboye promised that the new technology deployed by his firm would soon make affordable houses available to a many. He encouraged people to take advantage of the offer and innovation.










OKAFOR I, formerly known and addressed as Mr. Okafor Johnson Ugochukwu, now wish to be known and addressed as Mr. Ojinna Jeremiah Promise. All former documents remain valid. General public take note. OJI I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Oji Chinyere Kanu, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Achinivu Chinyere Stanley. All former documents remain valid. General public take note. FASESIN I, formerly known and addressed as Abayomi Olujuwon Fasesin, now wish to be known and addressed as Abayomi Enoch Oluwafemi. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.

This is to inform the general public that I, SANNI UMMULKHAIR BABYYO is the same and one person as SANNI UMMA HALIMA. I now wish to be known and addressed as SANNI UMMULKHAIR BABYYO. All documents bearing the above names remain valid. University of Lagos and general public take note.

LAZARUS I formerly known and addressed as MISS. NESOCHI CHUKWU LAZARUS now wish to be known and addressed as MRS. NESOCHI IJEOMA OKENNA. All former documents remain valid. ESUT and general public please take note.


I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ajomale Adebanke Olajumoke, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Oni Adebanke Olajumoke. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.


I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Kelani Raliat Adetutu, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Okotete Faith Raliat. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.








Mr. Romney Reinvents history

Good idea, but ... • Video recording at collation centres can’t tell the full story of election rigging


HE decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to video-tape future elections, as recommended by its Registration Election Review Committee (RERC), chaired by Prof. Adele Jinadu, is a good one for fairness, openness and transparency. If well implemented, it is a crucial step in ensuring the sanctity of the vote; and therefore deepening the democratic process. If it is successfully pulled off and a free and open vote is backed by video evidence of excellent collation, then Nigerian elected leaders would finally have reached the threshold of full accountability to the people. That way, democracy is not only deepened, development and prosperity are assured. If leaders realise that their fate absolutely depends on the vote, and that the vote cannot be fiddled, and elected leaders want to stay in office for the maximum period the constitution prescribes, it logically follows that everyone would work hard to deliver democratic tangibles to the people. That could well be the start of sustainable development and prosperity. On the other hand, video recording of the electoral process could be self-corrective, brought to bear to support genuine grievances over alleged electoral infractions. It could come handy in electoral disputes in courts and help to shorten the length of electoral cases. But this electoral El Dorado, which electoral video recording promises, is hinged on if certain crucial steps were taken; and if the daunting logistics needed to effectively implement the policy are put in

place. On this score, the idea does not seem so well assured. For starters, collation which the proposed video recording is planned to cover, affects the final stages of the voting process – after voter registration and voting itself. For video-taping of collation to be of any use, all previous stages must have been fortified to produce free and fair voting. Is that assured? If it is not, videotaping collation would be an exercise in futility, for it would only keep faith with the systemic rigging already built into the relay, from the earlier stages of voting. Rigging, as it is clear to everybody, starts with skewing the voter register, padding it with fictitious names. If indeed ‘ghosts’ had voted without let at the polling booth, legitimising their vote with ‘transparent’ collation by video would only be a travesty of the electoral process. This brings to mind the suggestion that the videotaping experiment should start with the October 20 gubernatorial election in Ondo State . That is not a bad idea. But in that same state, INEC itself has raised alarm that one of the political parties in the election has been involved in fake voter registration. But INEC stopped short of mentioning the name of the party. Now, were INEC to proceed to experiment with videoed collation after the election, how is it sure that those who embarked on fake voter registration had not infected the ballots earlier cast with ghosts? To deepen trust in the process, INEC should get to the root of the allegation, bring the alleged perpetrators to book and undo whatever harm they

might have done to the Ondo State voter register. All these, it must be openly seen to have done. That is the only way a videoed collation would have any shred of credibility. But even if all these are done, the question of awesome logistics remains. How would INEC go about its plan? What mapping is it making? Is it fitting the collation centres with close-circuit television gadgets to capture everything that goes on there or what? If it is, how primed is it to acquire the hardware to implement the policy? Whatever the stage of preparation, INEC must be wary of going ahead if it is not sure of a comprehensive coverage. And if it achieves that, it must invest in mass enlightenment to educate the people on the new policy. INEC should therefore make haste slowly, if it truly wants the video policy to improve the electoral process.

‘For video-taping of collation to be of any use, all previous stages must have been fortified to produce free and fair voting. Is that assured? If it is not, videotaping collation would be an exercise in futility, for it would only keep faith with the systemic rigging already built into the relay, from the earlier stages of voting’

Caught napping again •Floods in Adamawa and Kano remind us of the need to be proactive in managing disasters


AMEROUNIAN authorities would want the world to believe that they fulfilled all righteousness on the floods that wreaked havoc in some parts of the country on August 24 and August 28, by telling newsmen that they warned concerned governments and agencies in Nigeria of the impending floods. This is true, but the warning came a little late. Cameroun’s deputy high commissioner to Nigeria, Mr David Sinou, said in Abuja that his country wrote a note verbale dated August 23 to the foreign affairs ministry, to the effect that Cameroun may have to release water intermittently from the Lagdo Dam on the River Benue in Cameroun should rainfall continue at the rate it was falling because the dam has nearly reached the limits of its capacity. Copies were sent to the water resources ministry, Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa

‘Only NEMA acknowledged receipt of the warning. Even then, we do not know what it could have done with it beyond also alerting the concerned authorities. The agency itself is suffering from chronic inadequacy of funds and personnel to cope with its enormous responsibilities. For the umpteenth time, we urge the concerned authorities, particularly the Federal Government, to take emergencies more seriously’

State as well as the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). By informing us of the impending release of water from Lagdo Dam on August 23, Cameroun merely fulfilled its obligation in the spirit of article 111, paragraph 3, of the 5th session of the joint commission between Cameroun and Nigeria, which took place in Abuja in November 2010. This has to do with the exchange of information on the activities of the Lagdo Dam and the Lake Nyos. But if the information had come earlier, perhaps we might have been able to salvage the situation and minimise the losses occasioned by the floods. At least 30 people were killed in both Adamawa and Kano states by the floods that came like a thief in the night, sweeping away many of the victims while fast asleep. While the floods occurred in Adamawa State barely 24 hours after Cameroun’s warning, the Kano incident occurred on August 28. In Kano, houses and farmlands estimated at N120 million were destroyed, and more than 2,000 families displaced. In Adamawa State, over 10,000 persons were displaced in the10 local government areas affected. Many were declared missing in both incidents. These were great losses which, regretfully, could have been minimised. However, if the release of water from the dam caught us unawares last month, we will have no excuse if subsequent releases of water from there cause more damage; it would only have confirmed that Nigeria is a country that learns nothing from emergencies, irrespective of whether it was alerted early or not. We

have had more than enough notice, especially since Cameroun has said it may continue to release water from the dam intermittently till October if rainfall does not subside. Although we have blamed Cameroun for not warning us early enough over this incident, the point is that we have no reason to believe that the situation could have been different if the warning came earlier. In spite of the press conference by the Camerounian deputy high commissioner, only NEMA acknowledged receipt of the warning. Even then, we do not know what it could have done with it beyond also alerting the concerned authorities. The agency itself is suffering from chronic inadequacy of funds and personnel to cope with its enormous responsibilities. For the umpteenth time, we urge the concerned authorities, particularly the Federal Government, to take emergencies more seriously. We cannot count the number of times we have been caught napping by natural disasters and preventable mishaps. Response to emergencies has gone beyond awarding of emergency contracts for blankets and other consumables that the Federal Government and many state governments usually embark upon in emergency situations. We even need beyond the early warning signals; these must get to the people who need them early too. It is important also for governments to invest in the gadgets and equipment needed for rescue operations instead of relying on multinational construction companies to provide these whenever disaster strikes.


ITT Romney wrapped the most important speech of his life, for Thursday night’s session of his convention, around an extraordinary

reinvention of history — that his party rallied behind President Obama when he won in 2008, hoping that he would succeed. “That president was not the choice of our party,” he said. “We are a good and generous people who are united by so much more than divides us.” The truth, rarely heard this week in Tampa, Fla., is that the Republicans charted a course of denial and obstruction from the day Mr. Obama was inaugurated, determined to deny him a second term by denying him any achievement, no matter the cost to the economy or American security — even if it meant holding the nation’s credit rating hostage to a narrow partisan agenda. Mr. Romney’s big speech, delivered in a treacly tone with a strange misty smile on his face suggesting he was always about to burst into tears, was of a piece with the rest of the convention. Republicans have offered precious little of substance but a lot of bromides (“A free world is a more peaceful world!”) meant to convey profundity and take passive-aggressive digs at President Obama. But no subjects have received less attention, or been treated with less honesty, than foreign affairs and national security — and Mr. Romney’s banal speech was no exception. It’s easy to understand why the Republicans have steered clear of these areas. While President Obama is vulnerable on some domestic issues, the Republicans have no purchase on foreign and security policy. In a television interview on Wednesday, Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state, could not name an area in which Mr. Obama had failed on foreign policy. For decades, the Republicans were able to present themselves as the tougher party on foreign and military policy. Mr. Obama has robbed them of that by being aggressive on counterterrorism and by flexing military and diplomatic muscle repeatedly and effectively. Mitt Romney has tried to sound tough, but it’s hard to see how he would act differently from Mr. Obama except in ways that are scary — like attacking Iran, or overspending on defense in ways that would not provide extra safety but would hurt the economy. Before Thursday night, the big foreign policy speeches were delivered by Senator John McCain and Ms. Rice. Mr. McCain was specific on one thing: Mr. Obama’s plan to start pulling out of Afghanistan at the end of 2014 is too rapid. While he does not speak for Mr. Romney, his other ideas were unnerving, like suggesting that the United States should intervene in Syria. Mr. Romney reportedly considered Ms. Rice as a running mate, and she seems to have real influence. But Ms. Rice is a reminder of the colossal errors and deceptions of George W. Bush’s administration. She was a central player in the decision to invade Iraq and the peddling of fantasies about weapons of mass destruction. She barely mentioned Iraq in her speech and spoke not at all about Afghanistan. She was particularly ludicrous when she talked about keeping America strong at home so it could be strong globally, since she was part of the team that fought two wars off the books and entirely on borrowed money. Ms. Rice said the United States has lost its “exceptionalism,” but she never gave the slightest clue what she meant by that — a return to President Bush’s policy of preventive and unnecessary war? She and Mr. McCain both invoked the idea of “peace through strength,” but one of the few concrete proposals Mr. Romney has made — spending 4 percent of G.D.P. on defense — would weaken the economy severely. Mr. McCain was not telling the truth when he said Mr. Obama wants to cut another $500 billion from military spending. That amount was imposed by the Republicans as part of the extortion they demanded to raise the debt ceiling. Ms. Rice said American allies need to know where the United States stands and that alliances are vitally important. But the truth is that Mr. Obama has repaired those alliances and restored allies’ confidence in America’s position after Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice spent years tearing them apart and ruining America’s reputation in the world. The one alliance on which there is real debate between Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama is with Israel. But it is not, as Mr. Romney and his supporters want Americans to believe, about whether Mr. Obama is a supporter of Israel. Every modern president has been, including Mr. Obama. Apart from outsourcing his policy to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on settlements, it’s not clear what Mr. Romney would do differently. But after watching the Republicans for three days in Florida, that comes as no surprise. – NewYork Times

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

•Editorial Page Editor Sanya Oni

•Chairman, Editorial • Executive Director Board Sam Omatseye (Finance & Administration) Ade Odunewu •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi • Gen. Manager (Training and Development) •Editor Online Soji Omotunde Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli

•Chief Internal Auditor Toke Folorunsho

•Managin Editor Waheed Odusile

• Senior Manager (Sales) Akeem Shoge

•Deputy Editor Lawal Ogienagbon •Deputy Editor (News) Niyi Adesina

•Advert Manager Robinson Osirike •IT Manager Bolarinwa Meekness

•Group Political Editor Bolade Omonijo

•Press Manager Udensi Chikaodi

•Abuja Bureau Chief Yomi Odunuga

•Manager, Corporate Marketing Hameed Odejayi

•Sport Editor Ade Ojeikere •Group Business Editor Ayodele Aminu

• Manager (Admin) Folake Adeoye





IR: Recent article published by Daily Trust on March 29, on the unveiling of the new identity and logo of Urban Development Bank Plc now renamed, Infrastructure Bank Plc. brought to light the reality of Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit. The article indicated that Nigeria infrastructure deficit requires an annual investment of approximately $20 billion over the next decade. We need to be very pragmatic and sincere with our planning; the reality for now is the need for a fortified adoption of Public Private Partnerships (PPP), Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools, and accelerated Human Capital Development if we ever desire to leapfrog to development. Infrastructure is very crucial because most developed nations are massively investing in infrastructure renewal to reinvigorate their


Infrastructure deficit and development economies while Nigeria is still at a very dawdling development stage. Eventual collapse of LagosIbadan Expressway and Benin-Ore Road could paralyze Nigeria economy if long-lasting solutions are not swiftly adopted. South West governments may also construct auxiliary highway (Odua Interstate Parkway) parallel to Lagos-Ibadan Expressway through PPP. PPP mechanism and considerable ICT utilization will help our nation reduce the amount of money needed

to fix various infrastructures across all sectors. ICT solutions streamline business processes and reduce cost of operations; the saved cost can then be utilized to better our lives through improved earnings and enhanced social amenities. Electricity, Fibre Optic Backbone, Railroad, Biotechnology and Nanotechnology should be the major focus of federal and state governments because that is the future. Hence; investment in ICT and Energy infrastructures are very cru-

cial because no ICT solution could work efficiently without a reliable communication networks and electricity. Indigenous ICT professionals in the country are offering innovative solutions but the infrastructures are not in place for effective utilization so the benefits could not be felt. We’ve all experienced what instant communication could enhance in our society; thus we should encourage more investments in ICT and energy sectors through effective

Re: Sanusi and the Ananias, Sapphira of our time


IR: I am delighted to read an analysis of the Governor Olusegun Mimikos’ administration in Mobolaji Sanusi column in The Nation’s July 6. I am delighted that the writer of the article entitled “Sanusi and the Ananias, Sapphira of our time, Ms. Temmy Oluwatobiloba resides in Akure and is therefore in a position to tell the truth about the so called abracadabra going on in Ondo State in the name of development. What is development or good governance? This can be defined as the “happiness of the greatest number”. Is the greatest number happy in Ondo State? I have traveled the length and breadth of the Ondo State; I am yet to see what Governor Mimiko has done to contribute to the upliftment of majority of the people of Ondo State. The markets that were made more conspicuous with red roofs? How do red-roofs translate to development? Of what value is a beautiful market not put into use by the people because that is not, their priority? I am from Ondo State. Along the road to Abuja right at the Owo/

Ikare road junction is a beautiful modern market that has been taken over by reptiles and weeds just because it adds no value to the lives of the people. To destroy the beauty and the economy of Owo, the governor demolished peoples’ houses and shops along the commercial nerve centre (Idimisasa-Ijebu), in the name of road dualisation, a project which has since been abandoned. The road has not only become impassable now that it is raining, but also the flourishing trades along the road have been destroyed with traders relocating to other towns. The school buildings Governor Mimiko is presenting as an achievement in five Local Governments are nothing but window dressing as the former Governor, Olusegun Agagu left behind more student-friendly structures. Apart from putting bus stops along the main street of Akure (Oba Adesida Rd) and painting every where red) there is nothing else Governor Mimiko has added to the roads which he inherited from previous governments. Yes he planted some flowers too by destroying some beautiful

structures he met on ground. The maternal Health care programme he celebrates always is not peculiar to Ondo State alone because it is an MDG project, except other governors do not make a noise in the news papers and on the TV and Radio. Afterwards maternal deliveries in the whole Ondo State in one year are not up to a quarter of deliveries in the Island Maternity alone in one month in Lagos State and all are free. In Owo, people have returned to the abandoned colonial spring water (Omiju) following the collapse of Chief Obafemi Awolowos’ pipebourne water provided in the 1950s. In some areas, people store rain water for as long as possible for drinking while many others rely on well water and to the glory of God, there is pure water for those who can afford it. How can a governor import Renault cars for innocent drivers for commercial purpose when he could as well give them pocket friendly Nissan or Toyota cars? A driver told me in Akure that a break pad of the Renault car sells for N5,000. A curious observer may wish to ask that when last was a Renault car seen on the Nigerian road. But does he

have to play on the intelligence of his people? Why is every gift just coming in at the tail end of a fouryear administration and all limited to the state capital? I wish to commend the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) for going for an internationally acclaimed man of integrity, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) as gubernatorial candidate as the October 20 gubernatorial election will be fought on the basis of integrity and reputation which the erudite lawyer is blessed with in abundance. Ondo people want to be part of the mass re-planning and development of old western region. We can only be part of this development if we are in the same government with our kins and kindred in the Action Congress of Nigeria from Lagos State to Edo. If Edo people are working hard to join the development train of the ACN, why must we vote for Governor Mimiko who will end up taking us back to Egypt in return for an oil well, “their regular trademark?” • Gboyega Awolumate, Festac Town, Lagos.

policies and investment incentives. We must also empower our people aggressively with modern skills and tools. Although, federal and some states government periodically employ thousands of people via poverty alleviation programmes but the numbers of available jobs are far from enough considering the number of university and polytechnic graduates we produce yearly. Plumbers, Electrician, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Technicians need to be licensed through vocational education and examination; they must also be bonded and insured in order to promote professionalism, accountability, and safety. Circuitously, a new group of structured professionals and employers are being created. Expatriate drilling technicians with no college degree at some of Nigeria offshore rigs earn approximately $70,000 (USA Dollars) annually with some attractive benefits; Nigerians should be seen more in these positions. Substantial numbers of middle class stimulates some sort of security and confidence in the system. High rate of unemployment is a threat to national security. We must encourage aspiring entrepreneurs through SMEDAN loan guarantee programmes coupled with succour from entrepreneur mentoring organizations such as New Era and Fate Foundations to boost small scale businesses across the country. Small businesses are the backbone of most developed economies and there are limits to what public sectors could do to generate employment, thus a productive platform for small business support would be an added advantage. Until Nigeria recognizes the importance of inventions, innovations and intellectual property we have no choice but to consume foreign technologies. However, Nigeria may take advantage of technology transfer and reengineering strategies, and we may revolutionize our manufacturing sector in the process. • Olukayode Bashir Are Lagos






OD bless Sir Olaniwun Ajayi for scale, he would perhaps have his book, Nigeria: Africa’s Failed turned Nigeria into a Asset? And God bless too Singapore, or a Yugoslavia (now defunct). Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, But in doing that, it is governor of the Central Bank of doubtful if he would not have Nigeria (CBN), for his nationalistic imposed his Yoruba world harangue at the public presentation of view and work ethos on the that book in Lagos in 2009. country. Even with mass That harangue was the imperative of Olakunle prosperity, but with the being more “Nigerian”, and less your national question still ethnic group, as a roadmap to nation, 08054504169 (Sms only, please) Abimbola unsettled, Nigeria could still building. well have faced the That 2009 “Nigerian” harangue, nationalistic tension that gave which by March 2012 had morphed into post-Josip Broz Tito’s Mallam Sanusi’s self-serving theory (in Yugoslavia its death kiss, after an interview with London’s Financial Times), of how oil derivation enriched the South-South and in turn led to the Boko Haram scourge, you begin to wonder if Pa a terminal civil war. impoverished his native North, drew a sharp riposte from But unlike defunct Yugoslavia, Nigeria today faces double Ajayi was not right in his postulations, after all. Ripples with a piece headlined “Sultan of CBN” (March 21). jeopardy: the dominant ruling northern elite (with their More importantly for this discourse, the Sanusi theory has The moral? That in a federation of contesting ethnic offered a theoretical base for the latest northern offensive on southern satellites scrambling for crumbs) with the least nationalities, blood is often thicker than water, despite any onshore-offshore dichotomy, which is premised on, not what winning ideas, have run the country aground. Yet, this group politically correct grandstanding to the contrary! But that wealth the North could grow but how much it could cream insists the ruinous status quo must remain! May God save contestation need not be a crime, if the rule of engagement from Nigeria’s continental shelf, even if it is so far away from Nigeria from Lugard’s children of perdition! is equity and fair play. No thanks to Boko Haram, and the North’s resultant parlous the ecological ruins the littoral Niger Delta states face as a That brings us right back to Sir Olaniwun and his book, security, that region needs state police more than any part of result of oil drilling. in the context of the ongoing public discourse over state But make no mistake: this is not yet another arrogant writer Nigeria. Yet, it insists on an ineffectual central police that has police and the onshore-offshore oil dichotomy. from the South attacking the North. It is more about the made a hash of the job, leading to the military security In these two controversies, the problem is not that, overall, domination motive. This is because domination was central to crackdown. But as E.M. Forster famously remarked in his A the North disagrees with the South. It is rather its body Passage to India, the military solve one problem but create a Nigeria’s nativity. language, which tends to suggest the North’s position must The British forged Nigeria to dominate its peoples and trade thousand others! be the Nigerian position. That could well be a thowback to On the poverty plague, the North is top of the league. So, it away its resources. Also, all of the Nigerian founding fathers British colonial perfidy, en route to creating a northern needs to radically exploit its local resources, solid minerals always left the domination window open. In fairness though, hegemony in independent Nigeria. the North, because of its manpower disadvantages vis-a-vis of choice buried in its earthly bowels, to create fresh In Nigeria: Africa’s Failed Asset?, Sir Olaniwun, doing the South’s educated elite, initially wanted to run its own show, opportunities for its people, give hope to the hopeless and extensive research and quoting copious British colonial at its own pace. But when the British opened its eyes to the dry up the ready pool of recruits for the Boko Haram insurgency. government documentary evidence, posited that the North’s domination game, it was not only game, it became quite adept Yet, its winning idea is to ogle the continental shelf hundreds political arrogance had its roots in the British deliberately of kilometres away and contest the South-South’s right to at it. skewing Nigeria that region’s way, to ensure northern offshore derivation! Some thinking! Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the Great Zik of Africa was redolent political domination. The northern hawks in the current campaign should note with his “Africa” rhetoric. But it was clear the core of that He added – and not unfairly so – that Nigeria could well this notorious fact. At independence, the derivation formula Africa was his own Igbo people, in the same way that the core end up a wasted asset with tragic consequences, because of Pan-Africanist Kwame Nkrumah’s Africa was his native was 50-30-20: 50 per cent to the region originating the wealth, those who dominated the polity (the North, from the 30 per cent in a central pool to be shared by all and 20 per cent Ghana. template Lord Frederick Lugard put in place from his 1914 If the Yoruba Chief Obafemi Awolowo had taken power as to the federal government. But Decree No. 9 of 1971 changed amalgamation of the protectorates of Northern and prime minister in 1960, and was able to replicate his winning all that to a mere one per cent! Later Niger Delta agitations Southern Nigeria, with the colony of Lagos, which later developmental ideas in the old Western Region on the national caused it to be shored up to three per cent and finally 13 per became a zestful British colonial policy and later still, a cent. Yet, the present derivation template has only enriched notorious reality in independent Nigeria), had the least a few but underdeveloped most parts of the country! “The dominant ruling northern elite winning ideas. The South-South, ironically an enduring satellite of the It was this criticism on the alleged barrenness in modern have run the country aground. Yet, northern power elite, tangles with the North in this latest developmental thinking, by the Northern ruling elite, that campaign. But instead of hitting back with clinical this group insists the ruinous status parasitic Mallam Sanusi took grave exception to, which led to his and devastating facts and figures to knock the bottom off the Onikan, Lagos, declaration of “Be a Nigerian first, and every quo must remain! May God save northern case, its underclass toughs respond with insane other thing would be added”! Yet, the Nigerian season of anomie continues; and But when two years later, the radical new Nigerian turned Nigeria from Lugard’s children of threats. the inevitable approaches. a zestful northerner, propounding an emotive theory of Let Nigeria return to the round table to shape the future. perdition!” how derivation caused mass poverty in the North, which Otherwise, Nigeria would soon be referred to in the past.

epublican ipples

God, save Nigeria from Lugard’s children!


F all the rationale presented for the restructuring of the naira as announced by Sanusi’s Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), I have struggled to find one that remotely links the measure to the more pressing problems facing the financial sector and the economy as a whole. The more I attempt to find the nexus, the more it strikes me as being another hare-brained initiative straight from Sanusi’s house of hubris. After nearly half a dozen years of reforms – fraught most times with costly experimentations – the wheels have simply turned full circle for the nation’s financial services industry. Consolidation. Currency redenomination. Sanitisation. Now, it is currency restructuring. Sounds familiar, isn’t it. Once upon a time, Nigerians took these concepts seriously. They were couched as solutions to address the problems facing the industry. Today, the citizens cannot be sure anymore – not with the persistence of the symptoms at a time the cost of therapy continues to grow in geometric proportions. If the citizens appear torn on the question of which of the reform element is a cure or a placebo, it merely reflects the lack of linkage between what is advertised as therapy and the supposed pathology. Of course, the latest attempt by Sanusi to restructure the naira – at best a placebo – derives from the same fundamental confusion of going after placebos where organic treatments are indicated. You know what placebos are – they are non-medicines disguised as one; they are “medicines” only to the extent that they have positive psychological effect on the patient. For a reform-fatigued financial services sector that has barely emerged from a debilitating anaemia, it seems rather convenient to go for the placebo of a currency restructuring. Of course, like Sanusi’s banking sanitisation, it suffers the same basic conceitedness – a reflection of the fundamental disconnect between the apex bank and the reality on the main street. No one argues with Sanusi’s CBN – on points of law. I do not think the issue is so much about the powers of the CBN to issue currency notes. At the moment, there is even the question of whether the institutional autonomy conferred on the CBN can be taken to the ridiculous heights of policy inscrutability!

‘How can a CBN that laboured assiduously only a short while ago to migrate citizens to the cashless society now seek to relieve the same citizen of the discomfort of carrying plenty of cash around?’

Policy Sanya Oni 08051101841

Sanusi: Remedy in search of disease Of course, as far as the arguments for the currency restructuring goes, it clearly remains as hollow as unconvincing. How can a CBN that laboured assiduously only a short while ago to migrate citizens to the cashless society now seek to relieve the same citizen of the discomfort of carrying plenty of cash around? If it comes across as dissonance in policy – Sanusi prefers to see it as financial re-engineering! And while we are on the argument as to whether wholesale currency restructuring is what is needed at this time, the process is advertised as the best package since the reform train came to town. Does it matter what the results out there show of previous efforts? Of course, the question of the value to be delivered by the policy in terms of its mitigation of the troubling inflation, the problem of low credit to the real sector, unemployment, declining industrial capacity, would seem secondary at this time. For the only governor without the encumbrance of a parliament, particularly one that claims to have acquired the divine rights to spend our money the way he deems fit, such questions would most likely border on the treasonable hence the current posture of considering any prospect of reconsideration as foreclosed. What is in the restructuring anyway? We begin with the rather dubious claim that it is aimed at bringing down the cost of handling cash. Really? Was that not the same reason the CBN advanced for pushing the cashless initiative? And talking of cost –to who? The same cost which the CBN has passed to bank customers withdrawing or depositing cash exceeding certain thresholds? Has the CBN undertaken measures to evaluate the impact of the cashless initiative in the

Lagos area where it currently runs on pilot basis, or, is it merely a case of throwing countless therapies on a disease in the hope that at least one would be efficacious? Talk of justifying the measure at all costs, another angle has since emerged to the restructuring story – the “polymer angle”. According to the CBN spokesman Ugochukwu Okoroafor, the current polymer notes, (that is the N5, N10, N20 and the N50 notes), are not just out of vogue, they are difficult to destroy in an environmentally friendly way. How the need to remove the polymer can be said to justify the wholesale restructuring of the currency is question best answered by the CBN. Why not simply substitute the outof-fashion polymer notes with the more acceptable materials if that was the problem? Would that not be cheaper, less obtrusive way of doing things? We turn to CBN’s exuberant proclamation that the impact of the restructuring would be neutral. Neutrality here meaning that it would neither generate inflationary pressure nor lead to loss in value of the naira. That is fallacious. To start with, the only assurance is the one offered by the apex bank that there would be no increase in money supply. Does one need to be a social psychologist to appreciate the complex interplay of non- economic factors in generating inflation? And who says that is the issue? Are there new studies by the apex bank to suggest that the lower notes would not suffer the fate of Soludo’s coins? The above merely begs the question of whether the billions to be poured into the permissive restructuring can be justified on the grounds of value to the economy. A staggering N40 billion on an exercise that neither pretends to be the tonic for relieving the financial sector of its anaemic condition nor addresses the pervasive problems facing the payment system can hardly qualify as money well spent. Going by current indications, there is no doubt that Sanusi would have his way – the same way that the hordes of long-suffering market men and women are guaranteed to laugh last. By then, it would be time for the fulsome debate on whether policy is made for man or man for policy.

‘A staggering N40 billion on an exercise that neither pretends to be the tonic for relieving the financial sector of its anaemic condition nor addresses the pervasive problems facing the payment system can hardly qualify as money well spent’





N a country not accustomed to probity and accountability especially in public office, the resignation or sacking of a public officer over conflict of interest in the discharge of his or her official duties calls for serious reflection. The departure of Professor Barth Nnaji as Nigeria’s Minister of Power last week offered an opportunity to assess the commitment or otherwise of the Goodluck Jonathan administration to transparency in governance and how far or close we are to achieving that goal. Although it remains unclear whether the former Minister left voluntarily or forced to resign (another name for sack), his exit, coming on the heels of the administration’s new drive to promote performance in government through the recently introduced Performance Contract Agreement by Ministers could be an indication that the government was finally ready to deliver on its promises to Nigerians. And one of those promises is the provision of no fewer than 10,000 Megawatt of electricity to the national grid, a task Professor Nnaji was expected to achieve, and I think he was well on the way to doing just that. Given the very low level of electricity generation in the country prior to assuming office, achieving the present 4,400 Megawatt was no mean achievement by Nnaji and nobody could deny that things were looking up in the power sector under the former Minister. So, what went wrong? Why did he resign or given the boot? The man at the centre of it all said he had done nothing wrong, including the controversial conflict of interest accusation and left to protect the integrity of the Jonathan administration in the face of some powerful interest groups interested in manipulating the ongoing power sector reforms to their advantage. He had stepped on the toes of these groups in the course of his assignment. President Jonathan has equally defended Nnaji claiming he had done well but for a certain conflict of interest involving a company in which the former Minister had an interest showing active interest in the ongoing power sector reform. Depending on which spin on the sack/ resignation you want to believe, the fact remains that something fishy has happened or is happening in the power sector which if not fished out and addressed immediately could affect the ongoing reform and our ability to generate enough Megawatts to power our economy. No fewer than 40,000 Megawatts of


NTIL recently, being peoplecentered, focused, patriotic with an uncommon commitment to the common good were rare virtues among most government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). But today, propelled partly by the transformation agenda of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, most MDAs are now sterling in their commitment to public good. A notable example of such government agency is the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), the apex regulatory body of the nation’s insurance industry. NAICOM, under the leadership of the incumbent Commissioner for Insurance Fola Daniel, has been imbued with zeal, vigour, verve and resourcefulness hitherto not easily associated with a government agency. The latest from the innovative amoury of NAICOM is the recent media campaign on compulsory insurances designed to publicise and endear the compulsory insurance products to Nigerians. Against the background of Nigerians dying helplessly from road accidents, collapsed buildings, negligence by medical personnel in several hospitals and workers dying on duty without adequate compensation, Nigerian lawmakers in their wisdom made some insurance products compulsory. The affected insurance products now known as compulsory insurances are contained in the Insurance Act 2003 and other sister legislations. They include: Group Life Insurance – in line with the PENCOM Act 2004, Builder’s Liability Insurance – section 64 of the Insurance Act 2003, Occupiers Liability Insurance – section 65 of the Insurance Act 2003, Motor Third Party Insurance – section 68 of the Insurance Act 2003, Health care Professional Liability Insurance – under section 45 of the NHIS Act 1999. Appreciative of the fact that enacting a piece of legislation is one thing and getting the citizens to obey the law so enacted is another, NAICOM decided to take the initiative both to educate the people and to mobilize them in furtherance of the ends of the compulsory insurances law as contained in the insurance Act of 2003 and other such legislation. NAICOM, at great cost to itself, initiated a series of public service campaign in the Press, on Billboards, Radio, Television and other

Before we crucify or applaud Nnaji electricity, according to experts is needed to achieve this. How do we achieve this and in what way would the exit of Nnaji help? If truly the sacking of the former Minister was due to the conflict of interest as alleged by the Federal Government, then his exit could help on the long run as it is expected that nobody in government with interest in the power sector no matter how remote and no matter how highly placed would be allowed to participate in the ongoing reform in the sector. This expectedly should also include some serving state governors who are alleged to be eyeing some of the successor companies to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). The Federal Government would do well also to look beyond the issue of conflict of interest and address Nnaji’s allegation that some powerful interest groups whose toes he might have stepped on were behind his decision to quit. Although it is not uncommon in Nigeria for us to blame everybody but ourselves for our woes, the allegation should not be swept under the carpet as it is not unlikely that was the situation given the culture of insider abuse in Nigeria by people in position of authority in the country. Rail transportation that was once the backbone of haulage business in Nigeria is in ruins no thanks to what the people believe to be the activities of some powerful individuals within and outside the government with interest in road transportation. Have you ever asked why Nigeria Airways died and some of our private airlines are still flying even in the face of harsh economic environment? The same could be said about the defunct Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL) and privately owned Nigerian shipping lines. The truth is that here we promote more of our selfish

interest above that of the nation and protect same. So if Jonathan could kick out Nnaji to protect his flagship power sector programme, he should also not hesitate to fish out and punish those others bent on thwarting the programme or manipulate it for their selfish interest. Can he do it? On the evidence of his swift move against Nnaji, he should not find it difficult to deal with this powerful enemies within. But as it is with Jonathan, don’t expect anything and if it happens, then you are lucky. Gauging from the reaction of members of the public to Nnaji’s departure from Jonathan’s cabinet, one could safely conclude that the former Minister is a man of integrity, but how he got caught up in this conflict of interest mess is still a surprise. More surprising is Jonathan’s feigned ignorance of Nnaji’s subsisting interest in the power sector even as a serving Minister. It is public knowledge that the former Minister had substantial interest in a company, Geometric Power Limited which is a major player in the power sector. I am sure Jonathan made him a minister with a view to tapping his expertise and experience garnered over the years in the sector, including his years at Geometric. As it is the practice elsewhere,the man put all his interest in his company in a blind trust, severed all relationship with Geometric and headed to the Ministry of Power to serve his fatherland with love and strength and faith. But how ‘blind’ do we expect this trust or even the Minister to be when a business venture that will naturally interest the company comes up in the Ministry? This is where the problem lies and I think this gave rise to the doctrine of conflict of interest. I think putting private interest in a blind trust while serving the public was a legitimate window to insulate a public officer

from the accusation of conflict of interest. This Nnaji did and I think Jonathan knew about it before appointing him a Minister. The SSS must have discovered this during their investigation the report of which must have influenced the Senate confirmation during his screening. With this known to those who should know, at what point did Nnaji violate his oath of office? Did he do anything while in office that was not known as at the time he was being made a Minister or did he do anything that was anticipated then? If he had not done anything new or unknown to Jonathan before to warrant being sacked on account of conflict of interest then the charge of conflict of interest cannot stand. There must be something else behind his sack; there is more to it than we are being told. Could it be those big toes that Nnaji stepped on that are behind his sack? Only Jonathan knows, but the president will not tell us. What a shame? And if the media talk now he will say we are biased. Nnaji himself is not without blame in this matter. How can he be so naive to think that he can eat his cake and have it? The law on this conflict of interest thing we are told is very clear, to allow a breach is like allowing insider trading on the stock exchange; it is unethical. If anyone had assured him that “nothing will happen”, now he knows better. You don’t trust the promise of a politician. Now as for those calling for his reinstatement, it is rather too late as the Federal Government has conveniently placed this charge of conflict of interest on his neck and except he or Jonathan opens up on it and tell us the truth, the charge is enough to keep him away from public office at least for now. That pipeline fire in Lagos Lagos has again experienced another pipeline fire due to activities of vandals. And at the rate this thing happens we might need a dedicated security outfit to protect this important economic facility. And since our security agencies appear incapable of doing this who is better placed to do it than the vandals themselves; the pipeline thieves. If we could hand over the protection of pipelines in the Niger Delta to ex militants and pay them millions of dollar every year, then the vandals here deserve the same thing, don’t you think so? This is the implication of implementing stupid policies. Jonathan over to you.

NAICOM and compulsory insurances By Odoalu Dialoke ancillary but vital medium of mass communication. However, the one campaign that seems to have really hit the bull’s eye is the ongoing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on compulsory insurances campaign in major national newspapers. The well thought out and carefully crafted campaign seeks to educate Nigerians on the whole essence of the novelty that is compulsory insurances. Mercifully starting from the basic, the FAQ campaign (which it is hoped will be broadcast on radio in due course) adopted the Question and Answer (Q & A) technique by raising salient questions and providing appropriate answers to the questions. Furthermore, the reading public is meant to realise that compulsory insurance focuses mainly on Group Life Insurance, Builders Liability Insurance, Occupiers Liability Insurance, Motor Third Party Insurance and Health Care Professional Liability Insurance. Courtesy of the campaign, the reader is made to appreciate the benefits of compulsory insurances. The benefits include providing securities to employees while in employment courtesy of group life assurance. In this vein, it not only subsidizes pension provision in event of mental or physical disability, it provides compensation to employee’s beneficiaries in case he or she dies while in service. The builders’ liability insurance provides compensation to work men or third party on site who may suffer loss, bodily injuries or damage to third party property. Occupiers’ liability insurance ensures compensation to any member of the public or third party who may suffer any loss, death or injury caused by the hazard insured against. Motor third party insurance, easily the most notable, provides compensation to third party in the event of bodily injury or damage to property while health care professional liability insurance vouchsafe for compensation to patients who may suffer injuries, loss or death arising from the negligence of healthcare professionals. The NAICOM inspired FAQ campaign went a step further to identify who and what are

involved in the different categories of insurance products. For the group life insurance, it avowed that it is the sole responsibility of the employer to take up the policy of the employees. Similarly, it notes that builders’ liability insurance requires the owner to ensure the building before commencement of work. Occupiers’ liability insurance requires the owner or occupier of a building to insure it against the hazards of collapse, fire, storm, earthquake and flood. Motor third party insurance makes it mandatory for vehicle owners and users to always provide in the very least, a third party motor insurance. Health care professional liability insurance simply stipulates that the adopted health care service provider is responsible for the insurance. To encourage patronage of the compulsory insurances, the campaign explains that the policies can be obtained from any licensed insurance company or any insurance broker. It goes further to assure that the rates are flexible and affordable. As to where it can be obtained, NAICOM assures that the policies can be obtained from any license insurance company or stock broker. Prior to the FAQ campaign the acronym MDRI was a mystique to many Nigerians. But not anymore. Today, Nigerians appreciate that MDRI which underscores the essence of the restructuring in the insurance industry stands for “Market Development and Restructuring Initiatives”. It is a medium term plan geared at installing the necessary reforms in the areas of industry capacity, market efficiency and consumer protection. It is also designed to build confidence in the Nigerian insurance market, promote public understanding of insurance mechanisms, grow the nation’s insurance premium volume and industry density, eliminate fake insurance agents and develop the network of agency system. NAICOM believes that the effective implementation of the MDRI will increase awareness and enhance access to affordable insurance products, reduce insurance gap and boost the insurance industry’s contribution

to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). It is expected that at the end of the plan period, there will be an increase in industry gross premium from N164.45 billion in 2008 to N1.0 trillion by 2012, increase revenue to Fire Service by way of fire service maintenance fund, creation of about 250,000 jobs in the insurance industry overtime, lowering of insurance gap from 94% to 70%, increase insurance contribution to GDP from 0.72% to over 4%, building consumer awareness and confidence in the Nigerian insurance market and wiping off fake insurance products and practitioners. NAICOM by this campaign initiative as well as other innovative programmes joins the league of high performing government agencies like the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in giving practical expression to the lofty ideals of the transformation agenda of the Jonathan administration. The ball is now in the court of Nigerians to wholeheartedly support NAICOM in its quest to positively transform Nigeria’s burgeoning insurance landscape. • Dialoke, a public affairs analyst, lives in Lagos.

‘In this vein, it not only subsidizes pension provision in event of mental or physical disability, it provides compensation to employee’s beneficiaries in case he or she dies while in service. The builders’ liability insurance provides compensation to work men or third party on site who may suffer loss, bodily injuries or damage to third party property’

Sunshine lament


Falconets practice Esperance loss penalties for U.S.A.

Pg. 24

Pg. 41

Sport Tuesday, September 4, 2012



Victor Moses, Nwankwo hit Eagles’ camp

•Enyeama expected Wednesday, gets Keshi's clearance

C •Victor Moses

HELSEA new boy Victor Moses and Obiora Nwankwo have arrived in the Super Eagles’ training camp in Abuja ahead of Saturday’s AFCON clash in Liberia. Moses hit the camp Monday morning after he tweeted Sunday night he was at the airport in London on his way to Abuja. Italy-based midfielder Nwankwo has also joined the team. Elderson Echiejile of

Sporting Braga, new Celtic signing Efe Ambrose, Ikechukwu Uche, Emmanuel Emenike and skipper Joseph Yobo were being expected to join later yesterday. New Real Betis signing Nosa Igiebor will arrive today after most likely making his debut in the Spanish La Liga Monday night. Goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama has been given till Wednesday so as to allow him sort a few things with his new Israeli club. The Eagles spent Saturday night at the movies, where they watched ‘The Expendables 2’ featuring action stars Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwartznegger. The Eagles are due to fly out to Monrovia on Friday on a chartered flight and return immediately after the game on Saturday.


I asked Ameobi primed to quit Baggies —Osaze for Everton return

Pg. 41

Pg. 24






Falconets practice penalties for U.S.A.


ENALTY shoot-out dominated Monday's training of the Nigeria U-20 Women's National Team ahead of Tuesday's (September 4) semifinal clash against the United States of America at the on-going FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Japan. The Edwin Okon-led coaching crew is not taking anything for granted since it was through penalties that Nigeria defeated the Americans two years ago in Germany. "Anything can happen at this stage even though we have always practiced penalties during our training sessions. But this time we felt it was pertinent to step up the tempo because of the possibility of the match going into extra time," he said at a Pre-Match Conference on Monday. Okon, who has continued to hinge the team's success on determination and a renewed spirit, said most of the mistakes observed in the previous matches have been corrected. "We had four days to work on the players' weaknesses and strengths and l can say that the response from them has been very encouraging," he added. Ironically, both Nigeria and the U.S.A. faced resilient opponents in their quarter final matches that went into extra time. While Nigeria won by a lone goal against Mexico, the U.S.A. edged out North Korea 2-1 to move into the last four.

U.S.A., champions o f t w o U - 2 0 competitions, have been in the semi final five out of six times, while Nigeria will be making its s e c o n d consecutive appearance. Incidentally, it was Nigeria that knocked them out in the quarter final two years ago 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out after regular time ended 1-1. Meanwhile, FIFA-badged referee, Esther Staubli who handled the Argentina versus Canada group match will be in charge of today's encounter that comes up at 8am in Nigeria and 4pm (Japanese time). A native of Switzerland but fluent in German, Staubli has been a referee since 2000 but became internationally acclaimed in 2006.


I asked to quit Baggies —Osaze


Stop Dunn, Ubogagu, Falconets warned


ALCONETS' coaches have instructed the country's U-20 team to play the game of their lives as they seek a place in the final of the FIFA Women's World Cup in Japan against the United States at the Tokyo National Stadium this morning. Speaking with NationSport from Japan Monday afternoon, one of the assistant coaches, Chris Nwaehi said that the players have been drilled on what to expect, what is at stake and the need for them to up their game to fashion out a win against the North Americans. He noted that having watched the USA’s games at the competition thus far, the Falconets parade players that can defeat their opponents without much sweat. Nwaehi confirmed that the coaches have warned the defenders to be alert to the dangers pose by Crystal Dunn, who wears jersey number 4, and the player with jersey number 9, Chioma

From Tunde Liadi,Owerri Ubogagu. "We are in Japan to win the Cup and having gone thus far our target remains intact. We are ready for the USA and I need to tell you that the coaches have watched their games and are confident of a win if the players lift their games. "For once, there won't be any inferiority complex and the players have been told to put jersey number 4 (Crystal Dunn) and number 9 (Chioma Ubogagu) in check and they have vowed to do that," Nwaehi told NationSport. A win will guarantee the Falconets back-to-back appearance in the final of the U-20 World Cup having played at that stage two years ago in Germany before bowing out to the hosts, 2-0. The two nations met at the quarter final stage in 2010 but the Nigerians triumphed on penalties.


Chelsea coaches support Africa

AS Chelsea FC, we are in Africa to support the COPA Coca-Cola Football Stars programme and not talent scout”, these were the firm words of the club’s Senior International Development Officer, Robert Udberg. Udberg made this strong statement to allay fears that they are on the continent to simply take promising and young talent back to Europe. Chelsea’s coaches are in the country to train and impact young players and not talent scout, which is done by a different arm of the Chelsea foundation. “We have a very strong and complicated scouting network around the world which is to recruit players of the highest quality to Stamford Bridge. What we are doing now is part of our mission to help to train and develop players from Africa. We are definitely not here to recruit players,” he said. Udberg, who has been involved with the programme for the past two years, said every year brings its own situations but he is happy with the talent that the teams

how new boss Steve Clarke convinced him to stay. And the Nigeria international insisted he has now put thoughts of a move behind him and rediscovered his hunger for the Premier League. “Summer was a time when, at my age, I had second thoughts about continuing to play at this level,” said the 31-year-old, who was the subject of a failed bid from Qatari club Al-Gharafa. “I thought there would be nothing new for me at West Brom and I gave it a try (asked about leaving) to see what would happen. “But the club said that it was too early for me to go and they thought I could play an important role for them and keep playing. EST BROMWICH ALBION “Then pre-season started and I got hungry again star Peter Odemwingie on for Premier League action and I forgot about it.” Monday admitted that he wanted to leave The Odemwingie, who hit 15 goals in his first Premier Hawthorns this summer. League campaign two seasons ago, signed a moneyThe striker lifted the lid on months of spinning three-year contract last summer and speculation surrounding his future and revealed responded with a further 10 goals last term.

produce annually. On Saturday morning, Udberg worked with the Mozambican team and he said they impressed him with their enthusiasm, athleticism and positive attitude towards football. “I have only started working with them this morning but I have seen some good things and I can’t wait to see how they perform in the tournament proper,” he added. While they work with the players, Udberg has encouraged the coaches to watch closely so that they can pick pointers that they can use in the future. “The coaches must look at the types of coaching that we do and learn from it. We are only involved with the players at training and their coaches will be in charge during matches because they know the players better. During matches we will sit back and take the back seat,” he said. Together with his five colleagues, they will be in the country for the duration of the tournament.



But he questioned his future at the end of the season and told new head coach Clarke about his doubts, although Odemwingie has dismissed a story claiming a training-ground bust-up between the pair in the wake of Al-Gharafa's bid. “I don't know where that came from,” he said. “People would have seen afterwards if there was a problem. “We sat down and had a normal talk. He was the new coach and he said 'give me a few weeks and see how we work, because we're ambitious for this year'. “I said I would give it a couple of weeks and after that I was enjoying training and it looked like it was going to be an interesting season, so I forgot about the offer.” Odemwingie created the opening goal for Shane Long in Saturday's 2-0 win against Everton a result that kept the Baggies unbeaten under Clarke and took them third in the Premier League. “I am happy for Shane because the run he made was that of a determined striker,” he added.

Ameobi primed

Skye Bank in good for Everton return start to title defense C S

KYE BANK began their defense of the Bankers Games football title on a flying start with a 1-0 defeat of a resilient Stanbic-IBTC on the opening day of the 2012 Nigeria Bankers Games (NBG). The official opening match came on the heels of a novelty All-stars match and a parade of colours by the participating teams in a ceremonial march past at the University of Lagos Sports Complex on Sunday. Industry chiefs including the Managing Director of Clearline Medical Insurers, Segun Ogundimu, Emeka Onodiugo of Chi Pharma and Barbara Harper of First Bank were on hand to witness the ceremony which was kickedoff with a match between the Insurance All-Stars and the

Telecom-All Stars. The InsuranceAll Stars were the surprise 2-1 winners of the tie with goals from Thompson Friday of Union Assurance while Yusuf Abubakar nicked the consolatory goal for Telecoms All-Stars from the penalty spot. Skye Bank’s quest to establish dominance in the opening game of the tournament met a steely resistance from a determined Stanbic-IBTC until late into the game when Alex Ude turned in an own goal off a Samaila Sanni cross with just two minutes left to play. For his efforts and daring saves, Stanbic-IBTC’s goalkeeper, Azeez Owolewa was voted the Most Valuable Player of the game. In the second match of the day, last year’s runners-up, Fidelity

Bank failed to pry open a well knitted Sterling Bank defense in a match that they played without their two illustrious members of the Corporate Hall of Fame, Theo Amadi and Kayode Agbalaja. The match ended 0-0 with Fidelity Bank’s Olaolu Aloo voted the Most Valuable Player. Three of the seven nominees for the Corporate Hall of Fame were unveiled following their selection by the members who voted in a secret ballot. The new entrants are Agbalaja Kayode, a Deputy Manager, Corporate with Fidelity bank, Rotimi Saka, a senior banking officer with Skye bank and Emeka Udegbulem, the Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Relations of UBA. The tournament continues this Saturday.

HEIK TIOTE and Shola Ameobi are set to return for Newcastle United at Goodison Park.


Tiote has missed the last four games with a calf problem. And Ameobi is yet to feature having been sidelined with a hamstring injury on the eve of the campaign. United manager Alan Pardew felt Tiote would have made a difference in Sunday’s disappointing 1-1 home draw against Aston Villa. Ameobi would have also given Pardew – who didn’t name a striker among his substitutes – a welcome option from the bench. However, the pair are pencilled in to return against Everton on September 17. “Shola has a good chance, and I’m hoping that Cheik has also,” Pardew said. “We have two weeks to get him right. “That’s what we hope to do – get him fit and strong. “That was Cheik’s game against Villa – we missed him like nobody else. “There was a lot of midfielders there, and he’s have bashed a few of them up. That’s what we needed to do.” Sammy Ameobi and Shane Ferguson are also closing in on their combacks.

Nwaneri eyes Eagles return •Says, 'I'm in Malaysia for the money’


ORMER SUPER Eagles defender Obinna Nwaneri has disclosed that he wouldn't mind returning to the national team. Nwaneri, who has won the double for his Malaysian side Kelantan, said he would not make a fuss about an Eagles return, saying that the national team handlers should know players who merit national calls. Nwaneri, who netted in his side's 1-1 draw against ATM in the group stage tie of the Malaysia Cup, said he had no regrets being ignored by the national team coaches, saying he contributed immensely to the team while he played. “I would not forget the last 2010 World Cup qualifier against Kenya where I bloodied my head and was urged on by Coach Shaibu Amodu to finish the game; I eventually helped my country qualify for the World Cup, only to be dropped for the World Cup finals,” Nwaneri recalls. “I'm happy for my contribution to the national team while I lasted but I will not make a fuss about getting recalled to the team because I believe the coaches, with help of the internet, know the players who are doing well. “I may be playing in Malaysia but does that matter? What matters is how much money you put in your pocket. “I may not be wrong if I say I'm playing for the money because the life of a player is short. So, I must also put those things into consideration. “I have won everything I needed to win in my short stay in Malaysia. We're

also in the quarter-finals of the AFC Cup and in the group stages of the Malaysia Cup. “I can also return to Europe to play again but that will depend on the offer. I'm happy here and doing well too.” Nwaneri left Swiss club FC Sion to have a taste of football in the Middle East, joining Kuwaiti side Kazma. He signed for the Malaysian club last season.


Sunshine lament Esperance loss


UNSHINE STARS goalkeeper Moses Ocheje has maintained his club did not deserve to lose to Esperance in a CAF Champions League encounter in Tunis. The Nigerian representatives lost 1-0 Sunday night courtesy of a 52nd minute own goal by James Ebitogwa, but Ocheje told that Sunshine did enough in Tunis to at least get a draw. “It was a painful way to lose a game, we played well and did not deserve to lose the game, a draw would have been the worst result for us there in Tunisia, but it was not to be. We created chances too but we failed to convert them,” he lamented. “The game has been lost and won. Now our attention is on how to scale through the semi-final. We know the

higher we go the tougher it becomes and we are ready for that.” The Akure club, who also reached the last four of last year’s Confederation Cup, will now await the winners of Group B between TP Mazembe of DR Congo and Al Ahly from Egypt in the semi-finals. Defending champions Esperance have won Group A as they have recorded an unassailable nine points with only a game to be played in this group following the disqualification of local rivals Etoile du Sahel. Esperance, who beat Sunshine Stars 20 in the reverse fixture in Nigeria in July, will play the final game of the group in a fortnight at bottom team ASO Chlef of Algeria, who are still to gain a point at this stage of the tournament.

Funds delay Edo State School Sports Festival


HE non-release of funds by the Edo State government is taking its toll on the proposed Edo State School Sports Festival billed to hold at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin-City. The festival is aimed at selecting student athletes that will represent Edo at the forthcoming 5th National School Sports Festival (NSSF) slated for October 11th 21st in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State. NationSport gathered from a reliable source that the proposal sent by the Ministry of Education to the state government is yet to receive a positive response from the authorities, even though the festival is around the corner. Furthermore, the source stated that several efforts have been made by the organisers to make sure that the event is held while the athletes discovered for

From, Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin-City the national event will be camped and groomed together in order to come out best at the festival in Port-Harcourt. The state is planning on taking part in fifteen events at the National Festival; they are chess, judo, basketball, handball, swimming, athletics, and football among others. The festival was earlier scheduled to hold in the month of July but was shifted as a result of the electioneering in the state; yet, two months after the elections, funds have not been provided. NationSport recalls that Edo State placed fifth behind the Cross River, Lagos, Ondo and Anambra at the last edition of the festival held in Calabar.



Page 25


Training for nurses - Page 26

Beware Abuja smart car thieves NGO builds for the poor - Page 27

• CSP Ben Igwe displaying an anti-tracking device


IKE everyone else, Abuja residents love their cars. The sleeker, the better, and the higher they fancy their ego. But, somehow, the smart car thief is their undoing. They have gone to great lengths to secure their prized acquisitions but it is just not working. The thief seems to be one step ahead. Carjacking is one of the commonest crimes in many parts of the world, say experts. For many residents of Abuja and its environs, the price of your car determines how you will be addressed. Abuja, for those who are car savvy can be described as a haven for the latest exotic cars. But as the privileged car owners cruise around with these high-priced cars, do they take safety factors into consideration? Experts say that “even though most carjacking occur for the sole purpose of taking the car, it is a crime without a political agenda and does not specifically target a particular person. “You can protect yourself by becoming familiar with the methods, ruses, and locations commonly used by carjackers. “Being obsessed with your new car is alright, but you cannot forget the safety factor.” When it comes to ensuring the maximum safety of cars, most car owners in the city take advantage of the very latest technologies by

“S Nnaji’s departure - Page 40

By Sanni Onogu, Abuja

installing tracking devices. While most people have resorted to car alarms, trackers and steering and pedal locks – both foreign and locally fabricated - these safety measures have proved terribly disappointing over time because they are not foolproof. “The smart car thieves,” according to experts “can run away with your car under your nose by cracking even the most sophisticated security systems. Even before the police can reach out to the thief, various parts of your car may already have been sold as second-hand (Tokunbo) vehicle parts or separately as junk metals.” Many never entertain fears about their vehicles being stolen until they meet an empty space where they must have parked their cars overnight or for a few minutes to dash into a departmental store. On August 11, 2011, a Honda car belonging to The Punch reporter, Ifeanyi Onuba, was stolen from where it was parked near the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) building in Abuja. Sadly, security agencies have no clue yet on the whereabouts of the car despite reports of the theft being made to the police a few hours after the incident. Onuba said it is over a year ago since the car was stolen.

“The police say they are still investigating,” he said. He is not alone. Many residents of the city whose cars were stolen in similar fashion, have had to live without cars for years. While some of the cars were removed from where they were parked during office hours or overnight, others were forcibly taken from their owners at gun point by armed robbers. The police agree that the incidence of carjacking is a major crime they are battling to curtail in the Federal Capital Territory. Much as the security agencies have stepped up efforts aimed at smashing the syndicates responsible for these and other criminal tendencies within the city, carjacking has simply continued to thrive. Most car owners have not given up the fight to retain their vehicles. They, in the face of ferocious attacks, have resorted to fortification of their cars in whatever fashion they deem fit ranging from traditional to the installation of hi-tech security apparatus in their automobiles. It is not uncommon to see car owners installing multi-level security gadgets in their cars to prevent them from being stolen. These range from steering locks, locally fabricated pedal locks, tracking devices, iron bars to fence off parking lots and the

deployment of private guards to ensure public and private car ports are safe. Of these devices, the most sought-after is the car tracker. People even boast of having had one installed in their vehicle. But how safe are anti-car theft devices especially trackers? The officer in charge of the FCT Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Ben Igwe, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), said some vehicles with the device installed have been stolen or used to kidnap their owners without trace. He said car thieves have found their way around the car tracker to avoid being detected. He said the device used by robbers to demobilise tracking devices is not yet known to the Nigerian motoring public. Igwe said: “If your vehicle is having a tracker and it is robbed or they use it to kidnap you, they have an anti-tracker. With the anti-tracker, when they carry the car, they will plug it in the car charger and once it is on, you cannot get any network.” Continuing, he added: “You will think that the tracker in your car is not working but it is because there is anti-tracker. This anti-tracker is not known to Nigerians. It is not known to •Continued on Page 26



ABUJA REVIEW •Continued from Page 25 Nigerian law. This is the problem we are having.” He revealed that there are two types of anti-trackers. “One helps to stop any tracking device installed inside the vehicle while the other one stops any tracking device installed inside the booth or bonnet of the car. It can stop GSM, GPS and GCS. Once you switch it on, even computers cannot work,” he said. On how the anti-tracking devices found their ways into the country when they are not known to Nigerian laws, Igwe said they were imported “illegally.” He said: “After stealing a car and the anti-tracker is plugged into the car charger, it can move from Rivers State to outside the country. It is a tough work. I have many of the anti-trackers. This one I am showing you was recovered from robbers that came into Abuja from Lagos after a shoot-out at Zuma Rock. The other one was recovered from robbers from the East.” He added that the robbers who are also responsible for breaking into parked cars and removing valuables from them are often armed with locally fabricated metal master key with which the circumvent the most sophisticated of car locks. He said this category of robbers known in police parlance as the “Open and Close group” target people who have withdrawn money from the banks. “They use what we call ‘master key’ to open your vehicle,” he said. “The master key is fabricated like a screw driver. They have one for Honda cars; they have another for other vehicles. They will use it and force the door or the booth open and remove anything they find there. After that, they will lock the car back. And that is open and close. “But when you reach where you want to go and make use of the money, you will discover that it is no longer there. It is the same fabricated key they use to move vehicles away from where they were parked. We recovered some of these keys from armed robbers,” he said. On how motorists can protect themselves against this latest virus being deployed by robbers, Igwe said there is no remedy yet. “There is no technology yet to

stop it. That is why I have been speaking on the television that if you put pedal lock or steering lock in your car, you can even put padlock because like this antitracker, all this Honda CRV, End of Discussion, Honda Civic and other series, the fabricated master key can open all of them. “You can see that it is locallyfabricated. If you have such a vehicle and park it and think it is locked, it is not locked. It is an open vehicle. I have told so many people that all these Honda Baby Boy, Academy and others don’t have keys. It is like the vehicle is open. If anybody wants to drive them, he will. Any vehicle whose censor is up to five years or eight years old from the date of manufacture would not work again,” he said. He blamed the criminal activities in the FCT on the improper planning of the satellite towns and the over 136 drinking gardens within the city. Igwe, however, said the police are not reclining on their rocking chairs. “We are fighting them head-on, You can see the posting I just did now; it is for people that will move out in the night. In the day, we are everywhere and in the night too. It is a restless work because Abuja is one of the most developed cities in Africa. “It is where everybody wants to come. Kidnappers want to come. Armed robbers want to come. They said they like the city because Abuja is where, if you want to snatch a car, you will see the latest products of Honda and the latest products of Toyota in dozens. So, every armed robber throughout the country wants to come here to rob. “One of our problems is that we have more than 16 satellite towns in Abuja like Gishiri, Mpape, Anagada, Giri, Kabusa, Ntasha, and people who live in these areas don’t have traceable addresses. Anybody can just buy a piece of land, erect one room and start living there. How do you detect such people? That is the problem we are having in the FCT. “Abuja is where people don’t ask questions. Where are the bank robbers? If you have been in Abuja for long, you will know that robbers do rob banks. Abuja is where every bank robber wants to come. They said it is where they

Training for nurses O fewer than 110 nurses have participated in a fiveday training programme in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja. The programme was organised by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria in collaboration with the Department of Nursing of the Health and Human Services Secretariat.


•Participants at the event

From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

The workshop which was the nineth session of the Mandatory Professional Development Programme for nurses and midwives in the FCT drew participants from both FCT hospitals, government agencies, parastatals and private health facilities in Abuja. Speaking to journalists at the

•Anti-tracking device and locally fabricated master key

Beware Abuja smart car thieves used to come before and get money. “If they break into a bank, they don’t go to where Naira is. They go to where they keep Dollars. But we have stopped them. Abuja has 136 drinking gardens. Go now and you will see the gardens full to the brim – ex-governors, ex-senators, expermanent secretaries, ex-directors, and ex-this and ex-that. “Those are the harbingers of kidnapping. But we have made sure that no kidnapper enters this town.

Once they come in and do anything we get them. That is why I am able to get all these awards you are seeing in my office,” he said. Recently, the FCT Police Command said it recovered 21 stolen cars and arrested seven people for allegedly stealing seven cars using the specialised ‘master key.’ Commissioner of Police, Ade Shinaba told reporters in Abuja that Paul Egwu, Samuel Chukwu,

One of our problems is that we have more than 16 satellite towns in Abuja like Gishiri, Mpape, Anagada, Giri, Kabusa, Ntasha, and people who live in these areas don’t have traceable addresses. Anybody can just buy a piece of land, erect one room and start living there. How do you detect such people? That is the problem we are having in the FCT FCT School of Nursing in the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital,Gwagwalada, the North Central Coordinator of Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Mr. Salau Yahaya said the training was to among others, ensure professional handling of patients. “We want to change the orientation of nurses towards patients care, we want them to be agent of change, we want the ideal nursing care to be given to our patients after this workshop.

“We have found that the problem we have is not that the nurses are not performing but the therapeutic relationship between patients and nurses is a bit poor, so we want to improve that so that the objective now will be that when they go back, they will be more sensitised. “The human relationship between patients and nurses will better off so that patients can have ability to express themselves without been bullied by anybody where they find themselves,” he explained. He said that the nurses would be subjected to a pre test and post test after the workshop which will determine their certification. “Unlike other workshop, we have a three credit load programme, where we give them a pre test and post test which you must pass before you are certificated. It is not just a workshop. If they do not pass, they need to come back again to rewrite and pass the test before they can be certified,” the coordinator

Nnamdi Umeh, Ifeanyi Udoh and Aliyu Ali were arrested on August 7, for allegedly using a specialised master key to steal cars. Seven cars including Honda Academy (NJ 338 AJ), Nissan Sunny (LQ 546 AAA), Honda Academy (AW 804 KMS), Honda Accord (no plate), Honda Civic (no number), Toyota Camry and Golf car (without plate numbers) were recovered from them. Notwithstanding frequent parade of suspected carjackers by the police and announcement of recovered vehicles, it is doubtful if the number of recovered cars by the security agencies compared to stolen ones is not in the ration of 1:10. Now that the new anti-tracking gadget is not known to Nigerians and the Nigerian law, it is believed that the FCT authorities should engage in massive sensitisation of motorists on the new dangerous device in the hands of criminal elements and also to put new measures in place to detect and flush out the virus from the system. said. Also speaking, the FCT facilitator of the programme, Mr. Lakareks James said that participants are required to pay 20,000 registration fee before being admitted for the programme which is a continuous one. He said that nurses who failed to renew their licenses as required are liable to be penalised by the council. On her part, a representative from the FCT Department of Nursing, Mrs Bosede Frank said that the Health and Human Services Secretariat of the FCT administration was committed towards ensuring quality service delivery by all nurses in FCT hospitals as well as private hospitals. Frank, who is a member of the organising committee for the programme added that the secretariat would ensure that all nurses participate in the programme as at when due for renewal of their licenses towards achieving the overall objective of the programme.

We want to change the orientation of nurses towards patients care, we want them to be agent of change, we want the ideal nursing care to be given to our patients after this workshop




NGO builds for the poor


BOUT 69,192 indigent rural families are to benefit from a housing project in Federal Capital Territory, it has been revealed. According to the initiator of the scheme, Community Social Humanitarian Project (COSHUP), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), the initiative is targeting Nigerians earning less than N320 per day. The Federal Capital Development Administration (FCDA), while applauding the initiative, reiterated its determination to partner with the NGO and others in the provision of social mass housing in the FCT. Speaking in Abuja at the groundbreaking ceremony, the Country Representatives/Executive Coordinator, Lilian Omekara disclosed that 93 units of one, two, three and four bedroom bungalows would be constructed in each local government area and the FCT. According to Omekara, the commencement of the project was a a dream come true, “After years of hard work, this is satisfying of an intense desire long borne to contribute positively to our society, a commitment towards reducing the challenges of inadequacies in the basic needs of fellow humans,” she said.. Saying that the poor and less privileged are the primary concern of the NGO, Omekara noted the importance of shelter in the lives of residents especially with the geometric growth in world population and Africa in particular. “We have seen that adequate shelter for the populace has become a strong challenge. Shelter is an area that needs more intervention from other concerned groups and NGOs to bridge the yawning gap between


HERE are strong indications that the intending pilgrims for the 2012 Hajj in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) may have the opportunity to use the permanent Hajj Camp located at the Airport Road, Abuja as opposed to a secondary school in Gwagwalada that hitherto serves as a temporary Hajj Camp. The resolution of the Minister of State for the FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide to make the Hajj camp ready for use for this year’s Hajj operation was contained in a release signed by the Secretary of the Ministerial Committee on 2012 Hajj, Alhaji Isiaka Kehinde.

From Dele Anofi

the privileged and the less privileged. “Adequate shelter will drastically reduce street destitute and encourage to a large extent better healthcare, inadequate shelter has stripped our brothers and sisters of all forms of human dignity. “COSHUP will therefore engage in building what we call ‘super informal houses” of one, two, three and four bedrooms with modern facilities specifically for those we have identified that earn less than $2 and $5 per day and gradually upgrade the beneficiaries after dealing with the first two categories.” While she stated that each local government would benefit with at least 93 housing units, Omekara said her organisation would partner with the communities to achieve even spread of the beneficiaries. She also revealed that some urban centres such as Abuja with medium and low income earners would benefit from the housing project too under a different arrangement. Omekara however revealed that to prevent abuse of the project and ensure its ownership by the host communities, the houses would be

•Representative of FCT Minister, Bashir Haiba performing the ground-breaking ceremony at the event made most affordable with the best repayment plan ever conceived. Besides the fact that the entire project was expected to be completed in four years, Omekara assured that it would not be a

COSHUP will therefore engage in building what we call ‘super informal houses” of one, two, three and four bedrooms with modern facilities specifically for those we have identified that earn less than $2 and $5 per day From Bukola Amusan

The permanent Hajj camp, when completed, would provide accommodation for the FCT pilgrims and those from the neighbouring states such as Benue, Kogi and Nasarawa. According to the release, the minister has ordered that efforts must be made to ensure that all necessary facilities that would enhance the operations of this year’s Hajj are in place and ready by middle of this month. To this end, the minister has requested the intervention of the Department of Engineering Services, which in turn has

white elephant project as funding by the NGO’s international donor partners would be fully involved. In his remarks, FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed, said the project would complement government’s efforts aimed at providing affordable housing for Nigerians. Represented by the Managing Director of Abuja Investment and Development Company, Bashir Haiba, the minister expressed delight that social housing which the NGO has embarked on was a key part of the National Housing Policy. “We are happy that the private sector and the civil society are buying into social housing

delivery because that is a very effective way of addressing the housing deficit facing the country. “In a way, COSHUP should be commended because certain stratum of our society was identified to benefit from the initiative because there are several positive impacts to be derived from such gestures”. While he urged others to emulate the NGO, the minister restated the commitment of the FCT administration to addressing housing problems in the Federal Capital. The FCT project was expected to commence immediately.

‘Hajj camp to be ready soon’ employed the services of Messrs Exsa Nigeria Limited and Setraco Nigeria Limited to execute aspects of its engineering infrastructural facilities which includes main estate trunk road, the parking lots, pedestrian walkways and provision of stand-by electric power supply at the camp. “At the moment, in spite of the inclement weather that stalls the pace of work; appreciable progress has been made while the running ground water hitherto

obstructing work on the site has been taken care of through the construction of sub-soil drainage,” she said.

Contract for the construction of the Hajj camp was first awarded to Messrs Imanil Haq Nigeria Limited in December, 2009.

At the moment, in spite of the inclement weather that stalls the pace of work; appreciable progress has been made while the running ground water hitherto obstructing work on the site has been taken care of through the construction of sub-soil drainage

Driver, conductor charged with stealing


•A Hajj camp

HE Police in Abuja have arraigned a bus driver, Raymond Nnabuenyi and his conductor, Sunday Edeh, before an Abuja Chief Magistrates Court for allegedly stealing a wallet containing cash and a Nokia C2 belonging to a passenger, Foluke Josephine Balogun, en route Wuse., Nnabuenyi, 5o of behind VIO, Mabushi and Edeh, 37 of Karimu were arraigned on Tuesday, before Chief Magistrate Azubuike Okeagu, on a two-count charge of joint act and theft, contrary to sections 79 and 287 of the Penal Code. The Police Prosecutor, Simon Ibrahim, told the court that the matter was reported to the police by Miss Balogun, of Block 35 Kings Court Estate, along Airport road, Jabi, on August 27. According to him, she boarded

From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

the bus from Airport road junction to Wuse when she was robbed of the said wallet containing N13,000 and the phone valued at N14,000. “The complainant on entering the bus, met the occupants, whom she believed were your friends, stole the said items and when she discovered the theft after they had dropped off, you immediately asked her to drop from your bus without showing concern”, Ibrahim put it to the suspect before the court. Both accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them by the police. Okeagu granted Nnabuenyi and Edeh bail in the sum of N200, 000 and one surety each, before he adjourned the case to September 28, 2012, for hearing.






GENDER Justice and Equity Initiative (GJEI), a nongovernmental organisation has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to appoint more women into positions of authority for the good of the country. Acting National Secretary of the organisation Nana Modupe Onwodi (HRM) stated this when she led a delegation of the group on a courtesy visit to the Abuja Bureau Chief of The Nation, Mr. Yomi Odunuga in Abuja. Chief Onwodi noted that the organisation comprises basically of women that contested for one position or the other in the last general elections. She said they are out for the development of women and the nation as a whole. Onwodi said: “We are not just politicians. We are not just people that want to be in office. We know we have issues in this country that has to be dealt with and if the women are not in the picture, there may not be any solution to these issues. “To be fair to the President, I believe he has given the highest number of appointments to women when it comes to his immediate cabinet. But these things have to be spread out. It is a systematic thing. “Even from the cellular level, there should be presence of credible women. When we say empower women for instance, we are not saying just bring anything that is in skirts. “We are saying round pegs have to fill round holes. We are saying the President has done well at that but there other aspects. “There are the board appointments for instance. Even in the party, in the last election into party offices, the Constitution says 15 per cent must be women but 15 per cent are not women. “It is not just ministerial appointments. Other appointments in the country we want more women to come. “The President has made some efforts but we are not satisfied. “Women are going to be on the face of the N5000 notes. We are happy about that but we are saying there are so many more women that have done so much in this country who have been forgotten. “We want them to be remembered so that young people like us can be encouraged to go out there and do what needs to be done.” Founder of the organisation, Mrs Patience Osaroejiji said it was unfair for government to neglect women who contested and lost elections in 2011 when making appointments. Osaroejiji, who contested for Senatorial seat on the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party

•Nana Modupe Onwodi (second left), Mrs Angela Ndidi Okoye (left), Mrs Patience Osaroejiji, Catherine Olatoye, Augusta Akusu-Ossai at the event

NGO makes case for women From Sanni Onogu

(ANPP) last year said: “Asking for this 35 per cent, if it is a reality, those of us who went to the battlefield should be allowed to participate in that 35 per cent because if Nigeria is there, it is for everybody. “It should not be for one group of people. Yes, some women have been called but those of us who went to the battlefield, not even one person has been called and that is what we are talking about.

“We now came out and said since it is like that, let us share the 35 per cent. Let 10 per cent be for political women. Another 10 per cent for the candidates -those of us who went to the battlefront and some of us were battered so that it can touch every woman not minding the political parties she belongs to. “You are saying women have been empowered, we don’t know where they came from. “Maybe they took them from one political party. But if they generalise it and get to every party,

To be fair to the President, I believe he has given the highest number of appointments to women when it comes to his immediate cabinet. But these things have to be spread out. It is a systematic thing…When we say empower women for instance, we are not saying just bring anything that is in skirts

Suspected car thief arrested


UCK ran out of a car snatching specialist, Mr. Onyebuchi Okoye in Abuja as a female official of Integrated Park Services Miss Gloria Matthias caught him

•A commercial car park

From Bukola Amusan

when he attempted to force open a Camry car belonging to a senior pastor of the Mountain of Fire and

Miracle Ministry at Utako Abuja. Matthias had engaged the support of other security men posted to the church leading to the eventual arrest of the car snatcher who was handed over to the Utako Police Station. However, the police have said the suspect is a “mad man.” Confirming the incident, the Divisional Police Officer of Utako Police Station Abdulbaki Umar, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, said the alleged car thief could have been an insane based on their p r e l i m a r y investigation. He promised that proper investigation would be carried on the matter. Umar also commended the parking agent for a

then we will know that they are doing something positive. Then we say the remaining five per cent should be for the friends of the President.” Other members of the team were Mrs Angela Ndidi Okoye, Mrs Catherine Olatoaye and Mrs Augusta Akusu-Ossai. Responding, Odunuga urged the women to sort out their differences and be more cooperative to achieve their political aims. He said: “When it comes to the issue of women in politics, I feel the women have not really helped themselves. “I must tell you that even the ones in government, those that really performed well are not that many because they focus too much attention on irrelevant things. “You can be fashionable without necessarily being simplistic. Why do I say women have not really been helping themselves? “They feel more comfortable working with men than their fellow women when they lead an organisation and I think that should be resolved first because you are saying you are more than 100. If the

President were to pick 10 of you and say this one will lead the others, probably it is even the men that will lead the women. “The other women will not like to see their womenfolk. It is one of the issues that must be discussed among women because it is even easy to get to Jonathan. The state governors are like lords. “In fact, the rot in Nigeria is at the states and local governments. If you have been to the local governments, you will know that most of the local government chairmen just go to share money at the end of the month. “How many elections do you have now that is truly a local government election? “Even councillors in my own local government, somebody that has never worked in his life will tell you ‘my wife is going to deliver in the UK.’ “So it goes down. Jonathan might not be the problem you will have, it might even be the wife. That is why I am saying when it comes to women; women still need to talk to one another about how to do things with a bit of moderation.”

good job, adding that sanity has returned to the Utako area since the park-and-pay agency commenced services. “First, let me confirm the arrest and hand-over of the suspected car thief by the agency. The agency’s female official, with the help of the police posted to the church, arrested the suspect.” Continuing, Umar said: “We commend the effort of the park company for assisting surveillance on vehicles within Utako and its environs. I must confess that they are helping the police on surveillance. Let everybody support the police for the task of securing in the city.” Speaking with newsmen in his office, the Chief Executive of the parking agency Abdul Iliyasu said his team was assisting car owners mount surveillance on their vehicles in the course of their services. He further disclosed that similar instances had been recorded in recent past with his official intercepting criminals from stealing cars in the park. He therefore promised to work

with the security agencies in order to secure cars in Abuja city. Recall that a Honda car was intercepted at Mpape two weeks ago by IPS agents while the alleged snatchers were arrested by the police.

We commend the effort of the park company for assisting surveillance on vehicles within Utako and its environs. I must confess that they are helping the police on surveillance. Let everybody support the police for the task of securing in the city



My undertaking is that we will ensure that such corrupt officers are shown the way out. They are a very potent threat to the survival of this profession and so we must delete them before they delete our profession • SEE PAGE 31



NBA 52


As they do yearly, lawyers were in Abuja last week for their Annual General Conference. It was a week of business, fun and drama. The conference was opened by President Goodluck Jonathan. Mr Okey Wali (SAN) assumed office as NBA president, succeeding Mr Joseph Daudu (SAN). The conference ended last Friday, with lawyers taking position on some burning national issues. The issues include true federalism, labour matters, insecurity, corruption, the planned introduction of N5,000 note and reform in the judiciary. Wali pledged to tackle corruption and unethical practices. Legal Editor JOHN AUSTIN UNACHKWU, JOSEPH JIBUEZE and KAMARUDEEN OGUNDELE report.

• Cross section of participants at the conference

NBA’s week of business, fun, drama • President pledges to tackle corruption, unethical practices


OR lawyers, last week was what is com monly referred to as the Bar Week. It is a week during which they take stock of their activities in the past year and also project into the future. By the time they rose from the Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja, last Friday, they had done these and more. The conference afforded the lawyers opportunity to examine major national issues, challenges facing their profession and ways of ensuring national development. The conference, which also attracted po-

litical leaders, afforded President Goodluck Jonathan and some governors the opportunity to explain some policy decisions that have generated debates in recent times. For the first time since his assumption of office, President Jonathan betrayed the fact that he is bothered by increasing public criticisms of his administration. He told the conference that his administration was the most criticised on earth and pledged to surpass public expectation in performance. In line with its tradition, the NBA took sides with the people as it examined burn-

ing national issues at its various sessions. The association examined true federalism, labour matters, insecurity, corruption, planned introduction of N5,000 note by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and reform in the judiciary, among others. The conference was not without an ugly side as some lawyers protested what they called the astronomical increase in conference fees. Despite the action, the conference organisers stood their ground, insisting that the conference was worth the cost. When it ended last Friday, there were di-

vergent views in participants’ assessment of the conference. Some called it the best ever organised by the NBA. Others said it was the “worst” they ever attended, arguing that it was dogged by controversies, occasioned mainly by the increase in conference fees and calls for electoral reforms at the Bar. No matter, observers are of the view that the conference would go down as one in which lawyers called a spade a spade. It was


Inside: Lawyers seek stiffer punishment for rape...- P.33 Nigeria as an emerging democracy: delimma ...- P.36




NBA’s week of business, fun, drama • Continued from page 29 action-packed, highly intellectual and exciting. The venue was the International Conference Centre, Abuja, and the theme was: Nigeria as an1 Emerging Market: Redefining Our Laws and Politics for Growth. President Jonathan opened the event open; the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese Dr Matthew Hassan Kukah, delivered a thought-provoking and erudite keynote address. The conference witnessed a potpourri of events beginning with an opening ceremony, a showcase session which featured five governors and 12 special sessions put together by NBA Section on Legal Practice (SLP), Section on Business Law (SBL), Section on Public Interest and Development Law (SPIDEL), Judges Forum, Corporate Counsel Forum, Women’s Forum, Young Lawyers’ Forum, Human Rights Institute, British-Nigerian Lawyers Forum and the Armed Forces Lawyers Forum. Highlights of communiqué NBA, among the resolutions contained in its communiqué issued at the end of the conference, rejected the planned introduction of the N5,000 note; called on government to apply for a revisit of the International Court of Justice judgment on Bakassi; sued for good governance, which it said is the antidote to rising insecurity; decried public corruption which pervades every level of government; and said a national discussion was imperative. Rejecting the new cash policy of the CBN, the association said: “The planned introduction of a N5,000 currency note is a shallow,

poorly thought-out and hare-brained initiative by the CBN which will devalue the naira, diminish the lives of Nigerians and push corruption and money laundering to unimaginable heights. “This measure will bring and mete unimaginable hardship to Nigerians. It is a cunning strategy aimed at devaluing the naira wholesale. We may well see a N10,000 or N20,000 note soon. “…Such far-reaching fiscal or currency

measures are beyond the competence or purview of the CBN. CBN is not the fourth arm of government. It is advised to submit the measure for legislative approval which the National Assembly is expected to consider in line with the wishes of majority of Nigerians. “NBA commends the Senate for its stay order on the scam and hereby asserts that if the CBN persists in its reckless plan to negatively alter the face of the Nigerian economy,

PAST NBA LEADERS •Christopher S. Williams (1900–1915) •Sir Kitoyi Ajasa (1915–1937) •Eric Olawale Moore (1937–1944) •E.J. Alex Taylor (1944–1950)

•Sir Adeyemo Alakija (1950–1952) • Jubril Martin (1952–1959)

•Frederick Rotimi Williams (1960–1968) •Peter Thomas (1968–1969) •Chief B.M. Boyo (1969–1970) •Chief Richard Akinjide (1970–1973) •Chief Adebayo Ogunsanya (1973– 1974) •Dr. Mudiaga Odge (1974–1975) •Dr. Nwakanma Okoro (1976–1978) •Chief B.O. Benson (1978–1980) •Chief Adetunji Fadairo (1980–1982)

•A.N. Anyamene (1982–1984) •Prince Bola Ajibola (1984–1985) •Ebele Nwokoye (1985–1987) •Alao Aka-Bashorun (1987–1989) •Charles Idehen (1989–1991) •Chief Clement Akpamgbo (1991–1992) •Priscilla Kuye (1991–1992)

•Chief T.J.O. Okpoko, SAN (1998–2000) •O.C.J. Okocha, SAN (2000–2002) •Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN (2002– 2004) •Chief Bayo Ojo, SAN (2004–2005) •Prince Lanke Odogiyo (2005–2006)

•Olisa Agbakoba (2006–2008) •Chief Olurotimi Akeredolu, SAN (2008–2010) •Joseph Bodurin Daudu, SAN (2010 2012) •Okey Wali, SAN (2012-)

•They were referred to as chairman

•They were known as president from 1960

it will go to court to see redress.” The association criticised the National Judicial Council (NJC), saying it was not firm about fighting corruption in the judiciary. It urged the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Muktar, to address what it called “this institutional weakness.” It canvassed merit in judicial appointments, saying: “Henceforth, judicial vacancies (should) be advertised so that qualified legal practitioners may apply as opposed to the current disgusting situation whereby cronies, relatives and adopted sons and daughters of a select few are appointed to the exclusion of the otherwise meritorious candidates and corrosion of an effective justice delivery sectors.” The NBA resolved to stick with its Delegates Electoral System, saying the universal suffrage is premised on universal adult suffrage, which implies that even in the larger world, only adults are permitted to vote. To address the concerns of those championing the call for universal suffrage, the NBA said the association would consider electing delegates at the branch level rather than hand-picking them. at the end of the conference on Friday, Mr Okey Wali (SAN) succeeded Mr Joseph Daudu (SAN) as NBA President. NBA has gone through a lot in over 100 years of existence. Between 1900 and 1959, its leaders were known as chairmen. From 1960, they became known as president. Between 1992 and 1998. NBA was withou nationalleaders following a crisis which arose from its Port Harcourt, River State conference in 1992. Incidentally, its current president is from the Port Harcourt Branch.

• General Secretary, Emeka Obegolu, First Vice-President, O. Justus Erhabor, 2nd Vice-President, Steve Abba, 3rd Vice-President, Francis Ekwere, Treasurer, Joyce Oduah and Legal Adviser, Sule Usman taking their oath at the conference

• From left: Assistant Publicity Secretary, John Austin Unachukwu; 2nd Assistant Secretary U. F.O. Nnaemeka; 1st Assistant Secretary, Paul Ebiala; Welfare Secretary, Kelvin Ejelonu and Publicity Secretary, Afam Obi taking their oath

• Former NBA Treasurer, Olufunmi Oluyede (left) and former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Alfa Belgore

• From left: Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), former General Secretary NBA, Lawal Rafiu Rabana (SAN) and Director of Legal Services, Naval Headdquarters, Abuja, Commodore Emmanuel Enemor

• Philomena Odiase and Aniedi Akpabio

• Hon. Talford Ongolo (left) and Chairman, NBA Yanegoa branch, Stanley Damabide.




NBA President talks tough, warns against judicial corruption


r Okey Wali (SAN), inau gurated as the 26th NBA President last Friday, has vowed to ensure that corrupt judicial officers are shown the way out. According to him, rather than grumbling, lawyers should identify corrupt members of the judiciary and be bold enough to report such cases to the NBA, the NJC, and anti-corruption agencies. Wali said: “My undertaking is that we will ensure that such corrupt officers are shown the way out. They are a very potent threat to the survival of this profession and so we must delete them before they delete our profession. “Let me seize this opportunity to reiterate the NBA’s longstanding demand that we become a part of the filtering process of the appointment of judicial officers, either from the Bar or from the Magistracy. We know our colleagues better. This is no ego tripping. It is about ensuring that the best among us get on the Bench. “Rather than do this, what we get is some rule of the NJC that excludes members of the Bar on the NJC from participating on

‘My undertaking is that we will ensure that such corrupt officers are shown the way out. They are a very potent threat to the survival of this profession and so we must delete them before they delete our profession’ such issues. As is the practice in other jurisdictions, we will insist that the list of prospective appointees to the Bench be sent to the NBA for our input.” Wali warned against early campaigns for 2014 NBA Presidency, describing the act as “indecent” and “a big shame”. “Let me warn that I am a stick-

• Wali (SAN) taking his oath of office

ler for rules, and so will stick to the rules and expect all to stick

to the rules. Nobody, I repeat, nobody, would be above the

rules, and any breach will have appropriate consequences. “Hear me and hear me well, you will be disqualified if you get involved in any electioneering campaigns before the National Executive Committee of the NBA officially permits campaigns in 2014. It is a matter of discipline, and one of the focal points of this administration shall be a war against indiscipline,” Wali said. He set up three committees on Bar Leaders Summit on the Future of the NBA, NBA Summit on Peace and Security in Nigeria and another on the review of the 1999 Constitution. Wali listed a 10-cardinal point agenda as branch capacity building, professionalising the NBA secretariat, financial responsibility, human capital building, institutional synergy with regional and international organisations, bar associations and law societies; human rights programmes, anti-corruption crusade, uplifting high professional standards, criminal justice and access to justice and robust legislative advocacy.

Tight security at venue


AWYERS were made to un dergo two stages of security checks before being allowed into the Abuja International Conference Centre. The main gate was closed to individual lawyers. They were asked to undergo screening at the FCT Sports Centre, about three minutes’ walk from the conference centre. Buses belonging to the Abuja Urban Mass Transit were provided to convey them in batches to the venue. Before boarding the bus, each lawyer was frisked and their tag examined. The buses were denied direct access to the gate of the conference centre, as the main road was closed. They were made to drive down to a nearby junction, make a U-turn,

and drive parallel the International Conference Centre to its gate, the beginning of the road partially blocked by a police van. On being driven into the premises, the lawyers would queue for a second screening at the entrance of the large hall. Everyone was asked to remove metal objects on them, including wristwatches. Then they would pass through a metal detector to the hall. One lawyer joked: “This is like queuing in the Law School.” Another said: “They should thank God it is not raining; otherwise I wonder how they would have coped with this security arrangement.” Traders and exhibitors also underwent similar security checks.

• Lawyers queuing for security screening at the venue

Showcase session examines federalism


HE showcase session fea tured two governors and three others who were represented. Rochas Okorocha (Imo) and Adams Oshiomhole (Edo) disagreed on what “true federalism” is and how it should work. While Okorocha decried the over-centralisation of “everything” in Nigeria’s federal system, calling for devolution of powers and a “true federal structure”, Oshiomhole said it is not Nigeria’s configuration that matters, but responsible leadership. Other governors represented at the occasion werev Dr Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (Osun) and Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara). Okorocha said every state is “a fragment” of the nation and should be treated as such. “Everything we practise in Nigeria is upside down,” he said. According to him, Nigeria is a victim of kwasiokorism, which he described as “big head, tiny legs and protruding stomach.” He said the “tiny legs” are the federating units which are in near-subjugation. He propounded another theory – Ohasierism – which he said is what Nigeria needed to practise. According to him, it comes from an Igbo axiom, which means that when a large gathering joins hands to cook for an individual, the individual would have more than enough to eat. In essence, the states should be

encouraged to ‘cook’ for Nigeria rather than them relying on the centre for nearly everything. “This agidi (a corn flour meal) and gworo (Kolanut) federalism does not work. Everything is centralised, including electricity and agriculture. There is no way states can develop without allowing them to tap their own resources. “Why should there be a Ministry of Agriculture? Does the Federal Government have land? We are not practising true federalism which allows for devolution of powers. “Every state should be allowed to discover its resources, because there’s no way God will create a state and not give it resources to manage,” Okorocha said. But Oshiomhole argued that no matter how Nigeria is structured, if there is no responsible leadership which recognises that resources belong to the people and that the government’s role is to manage them in a way that would benefit the greatest number of people, the country would remain backward. “What is true federalism? Who defines it? Can anyone tell me where true federalism is practised in the world?” he asked. Oshiomhole opposed the call for state police, saying he did not believe it would solve the problem of insecurity. He said if the way some governors have managed state elections was anything to go by,

then having state police could be dangerous, especially when left in the hands of governors who get into office through corrupt means. “I am not for state police, but it is not a vote of confidence on the Nigeria Police,” Oshiomhole said, adding: “Nigeria Police can do a lot better than it is doing.” He said creating a state police would not make all security problems “disappear.” The Edo governor said the Federal Government did not need more than 30 per cent from the Federation Account, which he believed should be enough to manage the embassies, maintain the armed forces, and gather a sound group to formulate policy. “There is too much money in Abuja. Federal Government controls 52 per cent of our natural resources. “Therefore, there is a need for radical review of the allocation formula,” Oshiomhole said. Besides, he said Nigeria could not move on if the rule of law is not strictly adhered to, and added that the NBA has a role major role to play in that regard. He referred to a case between Access Bank Plc and Erastus Akingbola which had to be resolved abroad, asking: “Who are those lawyers that made it impossible for Access to avoid Nigerian courts and go to the UK?” Oshiomhole said the needs of Nigerians were few, and that it was easy to impress them through the provision of basic

• Okorocha

• Aregbesola

amenities, such as good roads and clean water. He condemned the idea of roads being tagged “state” and “federal” saying states should manage all roads within their domain. Ekiti Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Dayo Akinlaja (SAN), who represented Fayemi, said Nigeria was paying lip service to federalism, which he argued ought to be defined by resource control. “If we must make a headway, we must tinker with Section 162 of the Constitution to allow for the constituent units to be independent of the central government,” he said.

According to him, the key to change, aside restructuring the system, is to shun corruption. In that regard, he said Ekiti has “spearheaded” the implementation of the Freedom of Information Law. “Once there is transparency, corruption in governance will reduce,” he added. Osun Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties Mr Bashir Ajibola, who represented Aregbesola, said there was an urgent need to address the basis of Nigeria’s federalism. To him, the present state arrangement is “merely administrative units, none of which can be said to be viable.”




Belgore, Lamorde, others speak at special sessions


FORMER Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mo hammed Alfa Begore, said Nigeria had failed to prosper as a nation despite its abundant natural resources due to unstable democracy. He said if the democratic process survives for at least 20 years, with its affairs well-managed, Nigeria would rank among the five most prosperous nations of the world. Belgore said bilateral agreements with European countries, such as Germany, which would have led to the country’s industrialisation, were abrogated by military juntas who truncated democracy and had no development ideas. Belgore said Nigeria was ahead of several countries until the military struck and reversed all the good plans for development made by democrats. “Those who have visited the Middle East in 1972/73 know that we were very much ahead of them until the military thwarted all the good plans. If we can have stable democracy for at least 20 years, we shall be among the five most prosperous nations in the world. Lawyers must ensure that democracy thrives by being ready to make impact on the development of the country,” he said. The Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Justice Lawal Gummi, urged the National Judicial Council (NJC) to “do away” with the requirement mandating judges to make returns on more than one area of adjudication. He called for specialisation in the legal profession, saying a criminal trial judge, for instance, should be allowed to remain so “for years.” Gummi believes that if a judge is allowed to specialise, they will be able to write authoritative books on their areas of specialisation. “The Bar must get professionalised in terms of specialisation. Judges need

to specialise,” he said. Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chairman Ibrahim Lamorde said “drastic measures” were needed to tackle corruption in Nigeria, which he said had “eaten deep” into the society’s fabric. He said existing laws were adequate to deal with graft, adding that all that is needed is effective enforcement. The EFCC chairman believes new anti-graft laws are not needed; existing ones may only be reviewed to strengthen them, he said. He said: “Everybody agrees that the existing legislation is adequate. There may be one or two amendments needed. But if the existing legislations are effectively enforced, we will be able to address issues of corruption.” “We are in agreement that corruption has eaten deep into the fabric of Nigerian nation and there’s need for drastic measures to address it.” A former Director of Academics, Nigerian Law School, Mr Kevin Nwosu, said there was no reason Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) cannot be adopted in resolving certain criminal cases to ensure speedier justice delivery. “ADR tools are practices that are based on existing laws. So, we get it wrong when we look for new laws on ADR in criminal cases. You don’t need that. The powers, privileges and discretions in our criminal justice system can be mainstreamed in ADR,” he said. Vice-Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Mohammed Saleh, and a former Abia State Attorney-General, Chief Awa Kalu (SAN) backed the call for the creation of state police, saying governors who abuse it should be impeached. Selah said: “State police can be created and made to perform limited functions. And in this case, if there is abuse of same by the governor, he should be impeached by House of Assembly. If the House fails to impeach a governor who abuses state police, federal might should step in

and restore order.” A university don, Prof Isawa Elaigwu, said there should be state police for states that need it, adding that checks could be put in place to prevent abuse by governors. “The National Assembly should provide for the establishment of guidelines for state police. The governors interested should send a bill to their respective state Houses of Assembly, which shall pass same alongside creation of Police Commission. “No state police officer should bear arms. They can use rubber bullets and batons, and they should not be used for elections. This is to ensure they are not used to do the biddings of the governor.” A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Rickey Tarfa, who spoke on Running a Law Practice as a Business – My Practice, My Business, said there was a shift from the traditional practice of law as a vocation to a business enterprise. “Running a law practice is in essence running a business, and like any other business it must be aimed at achieving results and making profits,” he said. Tarfa added: “The goal of marketing a law firm is to win clients and in return have the clients pay fees, which are the source of income and profit for the firm. “The volume of work that a firm does will not determine its profitability. Profitability will be determined by the type of work that the firm does for clients and which works are more profitable. To achieve this goal of profitability, a firm must be diversified both in client base and in areas or work. “Some areas of work, such as property conveyance, shipping and admiralty, commercial transactions are highly profitable, unlike criminal litigation, general civil litigation and general practice which are less profitable. “This disparity in profitability in different areas of work should be

borne in mind by a lawyer who wishes to establish a law firm or who already runs one.” To run a successful law firm, Tarfa said a lawyer needed to set a vision for the law practice, have a business plan, be strategic, and have management, financial, and client management skills. Lawyers called for the reform of the National Judicial Council (NJC) to make it effective in checking corruption on the Bench. They said it was not enough to dismiss corrupt judges from the Bench; they should be brought to trial and jailed if found guilty, the lawyers said. A former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Chief Thompson Okpoko (SAN), Mr Lucius Nwosu (SAN), Prof Clement Dakas (SAN) and Executive Director of Access to Justice, Mr Joseph Otteh, said corruption on the Bench and Bar must be totally repudiated. Otteh called for the establishment of a body to oversee the NJC. Director-General, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Peter Igho, called for a law that will criminalise “unsolicited” advertisements sent through the telecommunication system. He said all forms of lottery should be placed on the mass media for interested persons to participate voluntarily, warning lottery operators to desist from “intrusive” marketing. According to him, aside fact it has been associated with various scams and frauds, telemarketing calls or text messages can be annoying, especially when they occur during dinner hours, early in the morning, or late in the evening or night. Igho said legislations which subject telemarketing to regulatory and legislative controls related to consumer privacy and protection are “unfortunately yet to be enacted in Nigeria.” His words: “The Nigeria parliament should enact a law that criminalises unsolicited and intrusive telemarketing at odd hours.

“In the meantime, to protect the privacy of the public without necessarily suffocating the business of legitimate lottery operators, the National Lottery Regulatory Commission is instructing lottery operators in whatever form, as part of the condition of grant of any licence or permit, to avoid intrusive telemarketing. “Instead they should advertise the lottery or promo in the various available media and let customers who are interested elect to participate voluntarily; violation of which could lead to the revocation of the licence or permit. “Lottery is a multi-billion naira revenue spinner if done the right way. We should all support the various initiatives by the government, through the Lottery Regulatory Commission to sanitise the lottery industry and clear the coast of illegal operators. “This is in order to be able to rake in the much expected revenue from the sector for the benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians.” Managing Director of Interswitch Nigeria Limited Mr Mitchell Elegbe decried that there was no law to protect electronic card holders in cases of fraud. The only laws which regulate electronic transactions, he said, are embedded in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act and other common laws, some of which can easily be disclaimed. “There should be established a particular legislation to protect consumers instead of having everything lumped into the CBN Act,” Elegbe said. He added that there was also no clearly defined law to prosecute offences under the e-payment transactions, noting that “even prosecutors are confused as to which laws to use in prosecuting electronic fraudsters.” Speakers were divided on compulsory listing of major players in the telecoms and oil industry in the Nigerian Stock Market. While some argued that Nigerians deserve to benefit from the huge money the companies make, others said it may have negative implications for the economy’s development, as it could drive away foreign investment.

Protests rock conference over fee hike


OR three days, some lawyers protested the about 500 per cent hike on confer ence fees. They were led by Ikeja, Lagos Branch. Other members from the Agbor, Aba, Sapele, Ikorodu and Badagry branches joined the protest. The lawyers said they wrote Daudu, demanding a reversal or reduction of the fees, but got no response. The lawyers bore placards condemning the fee increase. Ikeja Branch Chairman Onyekachi Ubani said the branch chairmen were not carried along before the decision was made, and they were left with little or no time to explain to their members the need for such a hike. “We are urging the incoming executive, led by Mr Okay Wali (SAN) to revert to the old fee or ensure that there is only a minimal increase in the conference fees,” Ubani said. But Daudu said despite the increase, the conference fee was still low compared to those of other countries. He added that it is even subsidised. “I think people should learn

• Participants at the conference

to pay for what they benefit from.” On the day of the Annual General Meeting, some lawyers barricaded the gate, preventing participants and visitors from accessing the venue. Vehicles and accredited lawyers being conveyed in the busses were also not allowed to go in and out of the venue. The protesters insisted that they have a right to attend the meeting where the outgoing administration would render account of its two-year stewardship as fee-paying NBA members, whether or not they registered for the conference. The closure caused a gridlock around the venue and adjourning streets. Security agents said they were instructed to allow only accredited lawyers in, but the lawyers stood their ground for over an hour, and were eventually allowed in. Daudu condemned the protests, saying it did not portray the lawyers and their profession in good light. He admitted: “The AGM is an open meeting for all lawyers and all lawyers are welcome. The fee-paying

• Ubani (second left) with other lawyers protesting at the event

part of the Annual General Conference ended with the annual bar dinner on Wednesday

• Cross section of participants

night. You can see that I am not putting on my tag,” he said.




‘We will run an inclusive administration’ Inaugural speech by Okey Wali (SAN) on assumption of office as President of the Nigerian Bar Association on August 31, 2012.


THANK God Almighty who has made this day and event possible. It has been months of travelling and campaign for me and my colleagues and ofcourse our colleagues/delegates who travelled to Abuja for the elections between 15th and 18th of July 2012, and to His glory, there was no ugly incident. Let me congratulate my colleagues who have been elected with me to steer the ship of the Nigerian Bar Association for the next two years. I know that you recognize that it is a privilege and an opportunity to serve our noble colleagues and humanity. The enormity of the task ahead not withstanding, by His grace, we shall surely pre-

vail. To our colleagues who were in the contest but were not elected, I congratulate you for successful conclusion of your campaigns and also thank God for you for journey mercies. Your participation made the process more robust and I am convinced that it was all about service to Our dear profession, and so the results of the elections not withstanding, that passion to serve the Bar should still persist. As I said on the election night, you and your valuable ideas will be most welcome. Let us join hands to move the Nigerian Bar Association forward. It is the Nigerian Bar Association that has won. The seamlessness and transpar-

ency of our transition from one administration to another is evidence of our professional sagacity. Our debt of gratitude to our members who elected us National officers of the Nigerian Bar Association. Thank you for your very clear mandate which manifested in the very clear margins of victory. On behalf of myself and my colleagues, I state unequivocally that with humility and every sense of responsibility we accept your mandate and promise that we shall ensure that your confidence is not misplaced. We heard you and heard you very clearly in the course of pre-election interactions; we have noted your deep con-

cerns about the way forward for our once and forever great and noble Association, the Nigerian Bar Association. Hold me to this, we will continue to hear you, listen to you and carry you along. We will run an all inclusive administration. Several vital issues were thrown-up, some of which were increase in practicing fees, conference fees, stamp and seal, welfare of young lawyers, justice sector reforms etc. We will deal with these issues, guided by your views and of course the overall interest of the Nigerian Bar Association. That is why I have promised that meetings of the National Executive Committee of the Nigerian Bar Asso-

ciation will return to the old practice of two day meetings, so that issues will be exhaustively deliberated upon, before decisions are reached. The National Executive Committee is the parliament of the Nigerian Bar Association, and so it will cease to be the jamboree it is beginning to be. Only members of National Executive Committee will be allowed into National Executive Committee meetings henceforth. We will create more occasions for our colleagues to interact, unwind and relax. That way meetings of the National Executive Committee will return to the business of deliberating seriously and extensively on the very

important issues we shall be bringing to National Executive Committee of Nigerian Bar Association. APPRECIATION On behalf of the Nigerian Bar Association, I hereby congratulate our indefatigable past President, Prince Lanke Odogiyon, Chairman of the Electoral Committee 2012, for a job very well done. All well meaning members of the Nigerian Bar Association have declared unequivocally, that this is the best conducted election in the history of the Nigeria Bar Association, from the seamlessness of the accreditation exercise, to the declaration of the results. As a past President, you no doubt brought your experience and integrity to the entire process. Many thanks and congratulations to you and your team. Expectedly your report to the pre-conference National Executive Committee meeting of the 26th of August, 2012 made mention of areas that need improvement in our electoral process. We will look at them and in due course, we will set up a committee to review the constitution of Nigerian Bar Association and make recommendations to the National Executive Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association, as some of the issues raised in your report will need amendment of the Constitution of the Nigerian Bar Association and our electoral guidelines. We therefore urge our colleagues to exhibit some patience and decorum. You have elected us national officers and so we expect that you will give us the chance to do the job that you have graciously elected us to do. We are a very orderly profession and so there must be order at all times and nothing will be done to undermine your elected officers, definitely not under my watch as the President of the Nigerian Bar Association and never. If it is all in the interest of the National Bar Association, as I firmly believe that it is, there will be no need spoiling for war, we are all in this together to do what is best for our noble and honourable profession. Like you know, there are wrong ways of doing the right thing. Please do not indulge in that. Many of our very well meaning colleagues have made some very laudable suggestions, some in the most inauspicious forums or platforms, even apparently with most unaltrustic motives, we will entertain all views of our colleagues, which of course, is no endorsement of such acts, but because we believe that it is all about passion to reposition the Bar for the better, we will listen to all, in the greater interest of the Nigerian Bar Association, All we ask for is your patience and co-operation. I have noticed most unfortunately that intensive campaigns and infact on-line voting for preferred candidates are already on for the 2014 elections, this is a big shame, the Nigerian Bar Association can not be seen to exist for the purpose of elections only. • To be continued next week




• President Goodluck Jonathan and Chief Judge, Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta

• From left: Former President, NBA Joseph Daudu (SAN); former Legal Adviser Victor Nwaugo (standing); former 1st Vice-President, Blessing Ukiri and former second Vice- President, O. J. Erhabor.

•From left: NBA President, Okey Wali (SAN), Justice C. C. Nweze and former President, NBA OCJ Okocha (SAN)

• From left: Col. Bello Fadile (rtd), Minister for Youths Development, Inuwa Abdul-kadir and former General Secretary, NBA Olumuyiwa Akinboro

•From left: Chemeta Ochoga, Governor Adams Oshiomohole of Edo State, Rickey Tarfa (SAN) and Chief John Ochoga

• Chief Augustin Alegeh (SAN); Protocol to the President,Nura A. Rimi and former General Secretary, NBA Olumuyiwa Akinboro

• Former NBA General Secretary, Lawal Rabana (SAN) and former NBA President, Olisa Agbakoba (SAN)

• From left: Mr Willie Nnorom, Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Prof Epiphany Azinge (SAN) and President, National Industrial Court, Justice Babatunde Adejumo

• President, Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA), Boma Ozobia and Prof. Paul Idornigie

• Ofodile Okafor (SAN), Lady Debby Obodukwu and Chief Lateef Fagbemi (SAN)




• Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Dr Mathew Hassan Kukah and former President, West African Bar Association (WABA), Femi Falana (SAN)

• From left: Elachi Agada, IBB Benebe and Chairman, NBA Abuja branch Mazi Afam Osigwe

• Mia Essien (SAN) and Chairman, NBA Section on Legal Practice (SLP), Emmanuel Ukala (SAN)

•From left: Former Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) governorship candidate in Kogi State, Mr James Ocholi (SAN); Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Marvel Akpoyibo, and Chief Ziggy Azige

• From left: Jibrin S. Okutepa (SAN), Okechukwu Amechi (SAN) and Ogun State Commissioner for Education, John Olusegun Odubela

• From left: Senator Abubakar Danso Sodangi, Chairman Arewa Lawyers Forum, Hajiya Kwaku, Hauwa Ibrahim and former NBA General Secretary, Ibrahim Eddy Mark

• From left: Uwala Akpieyi, Emaka Ngige (SAN), Funke Adekoya (SAN) and Chairman NBA Umuahia branch, John Amajuoyi

• From left: Mark Igwe, Ebonyi State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Dr. Ben Igwenyi, Secretary, Eastern Bar Forum (EBF) O. O. Igwenyi and Eze Nwanja

• Former Chairman, Enugu branch, Theresa Uko and Pioneer Chairman, NBA Section on Business Law (SBL) George Etomi.





Nigeria as an emerging democracy: dilemma and promise Keynote address presented by Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan Kukah at the NBA Annual General Conference


IGERIA is an economic miracle waiting to happen…..the missing link is the right framework and the commitment to succeed….Charles Soludo The theme of your conference is Nigeria as an Emerging Market: Redefining our Laws for Politics and Growth. On the surface, this could pass for the theme of a conference organised by the Ministry for Commerce and Industry to attract direct foreign investment to Nigeria. The interest of the lawyers in this subject is welcome in view of the terminal condition of the Nigerian state. What is more, the interdisciplinary nature of the law profession makes central and indispensable its place in the polity. Amidst the encircling gloom and violence, with Nigerians themselves behaving as if they were under foreign occupation, we require a new jurisprudence to engender hope in our country. We require a new jurisprudence to ensure that Nigerians can laugh again, that Nigerians can embrace the future and its promises. I am neither a lawyer nor an economist but clearly, with the nation tottering dangerously on the precipice, with the increasing central role being played by non-state actors and institutions, with the political class treating our politics as a national bazaar, it is clear that the matters of the survival of our nation are too serious to be left to the political class which behaves as if there is neither a teacher nor a class. But before we progress, we must seek clarification by posing more questions. Evidence suggests that countries in transition remain quite prone to backsliding and failure. This is why we must never take it for granted that our democracy is secure. We may pride ourselves with having survived four back-to-back elections and create the illusion that our democracy has been strengthened. This is misleading because first, the elections are still massively fraudulent and our level of success is not measured by international best practices as such. Secondly, with very little evidence of changes in the lives of our people, our democracy remains risky, volatile and vulnerable to internal and external shocks. For example, empirical data on transitions to democracy show that democracy can be expected to last for 8.5 years if a country has a per capita of under $1000, 16 years if it is up to $2000, and 33 years if it is up to $4000…above $6000, democracy becomes the rock of Gibraltar. The study concludes that democracy has not fallen in any country with a per capita income of over $6000! This data is generous because up till date, we have not come anywhere close to the per almost $3000 capital income that was bandied during the Shagari era. Is there really and truly an emerging market in Nigeria? If so, where is the market emerging from and what is its destination? Furthermore, what are we marketing and who is our target? Which set of our laws do we believe require redefinition? Is it the constitution or the laws in our statute books? Will redefinition compel obedience to these laws? Does taking your clothes to the best dry cleaner necessarily improve your looks if you do not have a good body to hang the clothes on? Do we have consensus over our political

life and future? Is it a different kind of politics or the one that the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, has promised that it will hold on to power for another 60 years? Does redefining our laws necessarily guarantee an end to politics of the belly? Will the new politics in Nigeria end the regime of thugs, godfathers and mothers, cronyism and clientelism? Will the new politics end our demo-feudalism, that is, a government in which the political class merely uses their offices to share power and resources with prebendal institutions? Finally, when we speak of growth, what do we mean? Elsewhere, growth is measurable and there are existing tools for measuring governance and its effectiveness. These tools are tied to a range of weighting matrixes which Nigeria does not possess and has not even begun to contemplate how to design or apply it. For example, how many are we in Nigeria? Beyond the guesswork, few political actors know their constituencies beyond the major Local Government Headquarters or the exotic country homes of their political cronies. Our projected growth has often been measured by what I call, Power Point civilization. This was a favourite toy of the Obasanjo economic team. Discovered by the United States military, we are daily inundated with dazzling, mesmerizing and psychedelic slides that project growth in Road and Railway mileages, megawatts and kilowatts of electricity which never leave the screens. Billions of dollars later, the Consultants pick up their briefcases and return to Washington or London leaving us with more death traps and darkness. Pardon me if I am starting on a cynical and philosophical note. In presenting this keynote address, I believe my role is to apply some brush strokes around some key issues which should hopefully occupy your attention. In doing this, I will divide this paper into four sections covering many more questions. First, I will try to ask why after 50 years, we are still talking about an emerging democracy in Nigeria. I will ask why, after over 50 years, we still have no constitution. I will ask why, after 50 years, almost 80 per cent of the population is still poor. I will ask why, after over 50 years, we are still far from the goal post of free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria. My intention in this paper is to raise a few issues around some sub themes and hopefully provoke some thoughts. I do not have answers as such, but I am hopeful that we can continue to debate these issues. Finally, I will summarise my questions and attempt to point a way forward for all stake holders in the political future of Nigeria. 1: Nigeria: Flying without a black box: There has been a nagging concern as to how and why our country has found itself in this state of immobility and decay. This is not the place to reel out the statistics concerning our rut. Everyone, young and old, in the city or in the remotest part of the country knows and feels the pain of what is wrong with our country. How do we explain the fact that after over 50 years, we are unable to generate and distribute electricity, supply water to our people, reverse the ugly and avoidably high infant mortality, set up and run an effective educa-

• Kukah

tional system, agree on rules of engagement for getting into power, reverse the circle of violence that attends our elections, contain corruption, instill national discipline and create a more humane and caring society? Although this is not the place to advance the reasons for our tragic condition, it is important that we treat our malady as a symptom and not a disease. What is most disheartening is the fact that these ugly indicators are actually the fruits of an investment in a theory which a scholar has referred to as the instrumentalisation of failure. The idea behind this reasoning is that even though things are not working, in reality, their failure is an investment. The popular argument is the correlation between our failure to generate and distribute power, process and refine our crude oil and the rentier political economy that we have adopted which feeds only a few. Nearer home, the failure of our electoral system has thrown up a lucrative culture of electoral tribunals which have now become the latest cash cows in our democracy. Many lawyers and judges are now making fortunes from our electoral failure in the same way that the coffin maker benefits from death. The fact of the matter is that we have never really exited from the stranglehold of the military state that displaced our post independence experiment with democracy. The period of military rule must be held responsible for a significant phase of the tragedy that is Nigeria today. For, although in the early 60s and 70s, Nigeria was at a higher rung in the ladder of development than the Asian tigers, over thirty years later, those nations have since found a seat in the comity of respectable and developed nations. They were all under dictatorships of sorts, but their dictatorships produced results and while freedom may have been in suspension, their leaders laid a foundation for growth and development. Here, we lost both freedom and development. We are a nation that seems to despise our history and heroes/heroines. I am not aware of any country that despises its leaders the

way Nigeria does. In a way, we are reaping what we have sown over the years. This is because, today, we do not have a coherent history of our country that can serve as a take off point. Globalisation has caught us off guard and it is hard to tell what our cultural identity and future will look like, 50 years or so from now. We now have over 17 million Nigerians in Diaspora not to talk of the children of our elites from Nigeria, who do not speak their native languages and also do not think about Nigeria in the way an Asian in the diaspora might think or feel about their home country. The lack of both cultural roots and a sense of nationhood or patriotism are now testing our resilience. For example, a friend shared his frustration with me recently. He is a Nigerian-American. He said when he introduced his first son, Obinna to his guests back in New York, they gladly greeted him in Igbo, but the young man said to them: That is my father’s language. They said, aren’t you from Nigeria? He said, No, that is my father’s country. I am an American! We have the greatest turnover of leadership anywhere in the world. For example, most African and Asian countries who gained independence at about the same time as Nigeria have an average of 3 or 4 Presidents. For example, Singapore, Botswana, Malaysia for example each has produced just 4 Presidents since independence. Nigeria has produced a staggering 14 Presidents, harvested over ten military coups, and not counting those who were aborted by failed coups. Propelled by greed, these laid a foundation for a nation that I refer to as flying without a black box. Thus, today, we have nothing to draw from, no inspiration about the past to engender sacrifice and patriotism 2: The military legacy and its consequences: The nature of the military legacy and its cumulative impact on our polity has never really been studied. Some military apologists find this interrogation to be akin to hatred of the military and they also argue that so much time has passed and therefore the military should not be held responsible. Perhaps if the military had left us with working institutions and infrastructure, as the apartheid regime did in South Africa, these institutions would provide some mitigating circumstances. More than anything, it is the negative cumulative impact of their legacy and the persistence of the rut that makes it imperative for us to address this issue. This is important for two main reasons; first, it will help us to identify the weaknesses or strengths of the legacy and secondly it will provide us a means of redemption, correction or consolidation. The Nigerian military did not vacate the scene voluntarily. In a way, General Abdusalam’s spectacular show of patriotism, an appreciation of the frustration and a sense of fairness and moral rectitude enabled him to guide the military out of the Augean stable into which they had turned the nation. This is what turned General Babangida’s stepping aside into a shunting aside. Our transition was not the product of negotiation, bargaining, trade offs and elite consensus. • To be continued next week

• Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Prof Epiphany Azinge (SAN) (middle) with other officials of the institute during a walk for peaceful coexistence and against pollution and environmental degradation in Abuja last week





Lagos ‘LCDAs’: Constitutional federalism on trial

OMETIMES in 2009, the late President Umaru Yar’Adua wrote a letter to Gov ernor Raji Fashola of Lagos State. Through the said letter, the Lagos Governor was ‘directed’ to scrap the state’s 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) and, restore the state to its ‘constitutionally recognized’ 20-Local Government Area (LGA) structure. The late President contended that Lagos State’s 20 constitutionally listed LGA Councils remained the only valid Local Councils for the State. He further argued that until the seal of the National Assembly validates the 37 additional LGAs lawfully created by the people of Lagos, it will be unconstitutional to operate the LGAs. The unresolved dispute, regarding the actual constitutional status of the additional 37 Lagos LGAs, (code-named LCDAs), revolve around two simple questions. First; whether the non-passage of a Consequential Amendment Act by the National Assembly can preclude a State from operating additional Local Government Area Councils, notwithstanding proper creation of same by such State? Secondly, whether full compliance with the new LGA creation procedure, under Section 8(3) of the 1999 Constitution, is insufficient to entitle a state to commence lawful operation of additional LGAs in view of the provisos under Sections 8(5) and 8(6) of same Constitution? The subsisting Supreme Court’s decision, in AG Lagos V AG Federation (2004) 11-12 SC particularly at pages 101-102, appear to answer the above questions in the affirmative. The decision affirms that the additional 37 Local Councils created in Lagos were validly created but ironically, the same ‘validly created’ 37 Councils were held to be incapable of becoming fully operational except relevant consequential amendments to the Constitution are done by the National Assembly. The Supreme Court unambiguously held that the creation of the additional 37 LGAs was ‘valid but inchoate’ in view of the non-passage of a Consequential Amendment Act by the National Assembly in line with Sections 8(5) and 8(6) of the 1999 Constitution. The practical effect of the said judgment has been that the will of the people of Lagos State, to have more LGAs to govern themselves, have become subordinated to the whims of the National Assembly- to make or break. That practical deduction holds true when one considers that the new 37 LGAs have been code-named Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), a coinage not in contemplation at the time of their lawful creation and a coinage obviously unknown to the 1999 Constitution. More discomfortingly, the LCDAs are yet to be accorded their rightful constitutional spaces among the listed 768 LGAs of the amended 1999 Constitution. The National Assembly’s inexcusable refusal, to pass a Consequential Amendment Act, has rendered the constitutionality of the

• Akintayo By Iwilade Akintayo

said 37 LCDAs, a persistent matter of avoidable legal, socio-political and narrow partisan disputations. In attempting to examine the jurisprudential ramifications of the subsisting judgment of the Supreme Court, some pronouncements in the said judgment are isolated for critical analysis. To begin, one may note that the Supreme Court specifically held, inter-alia, that “….. the Laws enacted by Lagos State, that is , Law No. 5 of 2002 and the 2004 Law, are both valid Laws since the House of Assembly of Lagos State has the power under Sections 4 subsections (6) and (7), 7 subsection (1) and 8 subsection (3) of the Constitution to legislate in respect of the creation of new Local Government Areas and Local Government Councils which are one and the same for the purpose of Section 162 subsections (3) and (5) of the Constitution. However, in the context of Section 8 subsection (5) and Section 8 subsection (6), such Laws cannot be operative or have full effect until the National Assembly makes the necessary amendment to section 3 subsection (6) and part 1 of the First Schedule to the Constitution. The effect of this is that the Laws are valid but inchoate until the necessary steps as provided by the Constitution are taken by the National Assembly.” Till date, the above is the applicable Law on the status of the 37 Lagos LCDAs, being the pronouncement of the highest Court in the Land. However, notwithstanding the many conflicting opinions on the appropriate interpretation(s) to be accorded the Supreme Court’s subsisting decision as cited, its obvious implication is quite beyond debate and it is as follows: - ‘unless the Na-

tional Assembly enacts a Consequential Amendment Act to list the additional 37 Lagos LCDAs as LGAs under the 1999 Constitution, Lagosians cannot fully validate the new local government area councils they have lawfully created’. But, beyond narrow legal postulations, the constitutionally indeterminate status foisted on the 37 new LGAs- (brow-beaten by circumstances to be ascribed the after-thought coinage of LCDAs) - speaks to one of the fundamental structural crises plaguing Nigeriai.e the perpetual erosion of the fundamentals and minimum principles of true and constitutional federalism. With utmost respect, the literal wordings of the referred Supreme Court judgment seem to have put the final act of creation of new Local Government Area Councils within the discretional powers of the National Assembly. If this implication is further stretched, it will carry with it an unpleasant result such that; should the National Assembly decide to exercise its ‘discretion’ against the making of the needed Consequential Amendments (as the National Assembly has so far inexcusably done in the Lagos instance), a State’s new LGA creations will become permanently inoperative (i.e ‘valid but inchoate’ - as the Supreme Court put it). In Nigeria’s peculiar but visionless circumstances, the National Assembly affects a disposition as though it believes it has been imbued with “unfettered discretionary powers” to thwart the will of the people of any State, (Lagos in the current scenario), to have more LGAs to govern themselves. The judgment under reference, and indeed all parties, stated and agreed that Lagos State fulfilled and followed its constitutional obligations, in respect of the creation of the new LGAs, as prescribed under the 1999 Constitution. The only clog has been the failure of the National Assembly to exercise its “powers” in favour of the decision of Lagosians. This abhorent display of visionless scorn, by the National Assembly, against a decision popularly taken and rationally supported by the people of Lagos State, is a dangerous and continuous assault on the concept and prospects for the attainment of true and constitutional federalism in Nigeria. Before we return to the constitutional federalism question, it is proper to interrogate what the constitutional procedures are, for the creation of new LGAs. First, we contend that a deeper reading of Section 8(3) of the 1999 Constitution, which governed the additional 37 Lagos LGA creations, will reveal the most probable intendment of the constitution drafters as being that the decisions on any new LGA creation, are thought to be best exclusively left to the state and people concerned to make. This contention is consequent upon Section 8 of the 1999 Constitution which provides that the request for creation of a new local government area is to be presented, by at least two-thirds ma-

jority of members of the area demanding the creation of the new Local Government, to the State House of Assembly. The proposal, for the creation of the new LGA, is thereafter to be approved in a referendum of at least two thirds majority of the people of the Local Government Area where the demand for the proposed LGA originated. The result of the referendum is then approved, by a simple majority of the members in each local government council, in a majority of all the local government councils in the State. The result of the referendum is thereafter to be approved by a resolution passed by two-thirds majority of members of the State’s House of Assembly. The procedure for boundary adjustment, of any existing local government area, under Section 8 (4), requires a similar but less detailed procedure. Consequently, one point that must not be lost is that the entire wordings of Section 8 subsections (3) & (4), which deal with the substance of the creation of new local government areas and boundary adjustments for existing Local Governments, make no mention of the National Assembly or any Federal Government Institution. To create new Local Governments in Nigeria, the Constitution has clearly made it the sole decision of the people concerned to take, perhaps in a surface attempt to mimic true constitutional Federalism. The National Assembly’s involvement in any new LGA creation process is therefore very marginal, and rightly so. Thus, the constitutional inclusion of the National Assembly in the creation process ought never to have been construed as imbuing the National Assembly with any iota of discretionary powers to approve or disapprove of a decision already lawfully made by the people concerned. The National Assembly actually has a constitutional duty to give full effect to the decision already taken by such concerned people (Lagos as in the current scenario) - without delay. Our argument is supported by the wordings of Section 8 subsections (5) & (6) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). Section 8 (5) provides that; “An Act of the National Assembly passed in accordance with this Section shall make consequential provisions with respect to the names and headquarters of State or Local Government Areas as provided in Section 3 and in Parts I and II of the First Schedule to this Constitution.” Section 8 (6) goes further to provide that; “For the purpose of enabling the National Assembly to exercise the power conferred upon it by subsection (5) of this Section, each House of Assembly shall, after the creation of more Local Government Areas pursuant to subsection (3) of this Section, make adequate returns to each House of the National Assembly” (underlining mine). The operative word, under Section 8(5), is “shall”; while the operative words, under Section 8(6), are; “shall” and “after”. • To be continued next week

Immanent dualities? A socio-legal analysis of the character, attainments, and limitations of Gani Fawehinmi’s human rights praxis • Continued from last week V. Conclusion – Immanent Dualities? N conclusion, what might be learned from the contemporaneous analysis in this paper of both the attainments and limitations of Gani’s human rights praxis? What might we learn from that discussion about the nature of human rights as a phenomenon, and of human rights movements themselves, as a form of struggle? What might one learn from this one story of human rights activism about what I have referred to elsewhere as the “deep structure” of human rights praxis? What dualities (even contradictions), if any, exist in Gani’s manifest human rights praxis? And are these dualities immanent in life, law and human rights themselves? Five such dualities appear to characterise Gani’s human rights praxis. First, it is interesting in the present connection that the very same activist who has for so long displayed a deep and abiding commitment to the struggle for ES rights and the amelioration of the eradication of significant poverty did not, as we have seen, pay his staff lawyers a monthly living


By Obiora Chinedu Okafor

wage.While he paid them marginally more than the paltry “market rate”, he still did not pay them enough to keep them out of poverty. This is a troubling duality, nay contradiction, in Gani’s human rights praxis. Again, the very same activist, Gani, who railed relentlessly against the relative oppression of military rule and the alltoo-widespread breaches of CP rights committed by the relevant military juntas (including breaches of equality rights guarantees), did not do all that much work in the area of gender, and probably caused offence to women’s rights groups by preventing his wife from attending university and by practicing polygamy (although this last practice appears to be sanctioned by his Islamic faith).The same person who worked appreciably hard to mobilise his fellow citizens to actively resist military rule and various forms of oppression, also neglected to focus appreciably on the majority rural population of Nigeria, and was, as we have seen, also a loner (to a large degree) who too often did not work well in a team. The same activist, who railed persistently against foreigners fund-

ing Nigerian human rights NGOs as capable of leading to a reduction in the independence of the Nigerian human rights community, also neglected to engage in a meaningful or visible way with the pro-human rights local values, norms and practices that could have allowed him to resonate more readily with the very large population of nonwestern educated citizens in Nigeria. And the same activist who fought so long and hard to expand access to the Nigerian courts in fundamental rights cases once sought to constrict the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court of Nigeria in human rights cases because it would have suited a particular (admittedly progressive) cause. As we saw in the introductory section of this paper, the manifestation of such dualities in human rights praxis should no longer surprise the careful historian or scholar of the human rights discipline. Such manifestations of human rights duality have a long and deep history, and have characterised nearly every human rights movement, struggle or body of praxis virtually since the recorded history of such struggles. Human rights and human wrongs have always been the flip side of the very same coin. As we have seen the

very drafters of the American Declaration of independence which proclaimed that all human beings are born free and have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, did themselves own slaves! And many of the governments in most advanced democracies in Europe see nothing wrong with deporting helpless refugees from their lands so their current citizens can maintain their privileged life-styles. They also see little wrong in the fact that toxic waste moves around the world more freely today than refugees!155 Thus, there is little that should surprise us or even significantly astound or disappoint us in this story of Gani’s dualistic relationship to human rights praxis. For, as much as Gani is and will likely remain an iconic figure for all time, canonise him we must not do. For such a category, the saintly perfection we too often impose on our human rights heroes, is better imagined than actually experienced! The tale of the “living human rights praxis” is much less saintly and far more of this world than of any kind of heaven. And this world of ours is more or less immanently dualistic (night and day, male and female, good and evil). So are law and human rights. What more a mortal like Gani?

• The late Chief Fawehinmi

As such, this understanding – this realisation that dualities (and even contradictions) did characterise the human rights praxis of such a greatly respected and celebrated human rights figure and icon as Gani– should clearly not lead to a general loss of faith in human rights movements or struggles. For, as I have noted elsewhere, even UpendraBaxi(that global high priest of contemporary critical human rights scholarship) has gone as far as arguing that as contingent, contradictory and contested as human rights norms and praxis too often are, they “remain perhaps all that we have to interrogate the barbarism of power.”




Lawyers seek stiffer punishment for rape convicts W

ORRIED about the increas ing rate at which under age girls, particularly minors are being raped, two lawyers – Prince Kazeem Adebanjo and Mr Segun Otayemi – have asked the government to impose stiffer penalties on anybody convicted of rape. The lawyers , in separate interviews, condemned the increasing incidences of rape, particularly rape of minors by grown up men old enough to be grandfathers to the victims. While Adebanjo, who is the immediate past chairman of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Ikorodu Branch advocated life imprisonment for rape convicts, Otayemi, a former chairman of Ijebu North Local Government, advocated 10 years for convicts to stem the tide. “I lend my voice to the calls for more stringent punishment, at least, life imprisonment as stipulated in Section 358 of the Criminal Code but not castration”, Adebanjo said. He said incidences of rape have been on the increase because of the reluctance of most victims to pursue prosecution because of societal stigma adding, “most men would not want to go near a rape victim let alone consider marrying one.” Adebanjo lamented that cases of rape have continued to rise despite that our laws are replete with sufficient punishment for offenders and ascribed the development to the “misconceptions that an affair with a virgin is capable of curing perpetrators from sexually transmitted diseases! If this theory holds water, where else can they find a virgin nowadays except among minors.” He also observed that the incidence is on the increase because of the provision that stipulated that where rape involves an adult, lack of consent must be proved. The former NBA chairman urged


Convicting the murderers of Cynthia Osokugo


• Adebanjo By Adebisi Onanuga

government and its agencies to step up campaign against the act and make it unattractive to prospective offenders. “I submit that in addition to applying stiffer penalties for offenders, the government as well as nongovernmental organisations must speed up the campaigns against such criminal and anti-social tendencies in offenders. “Judges and magistrates handling such offences must be courageous enough to impose the maximum penalty which is life imprisonment. This might mean increasing the jurisdiction of the Magistrate in such cases. No right thinking man would contemplate raping let alone having it with a minor if this is done. There should be a brain test to determine the men-

• Otayemi

tal balance of anyone caught with the offence”, he added. He observed that the increasing exposure to pornography and indecent dressing by young girls might have contributed in making men tumble into the infamy of rape. Otayemi who regretted that only a few cases of rape are reported while much less of the few that were reported go to trial, however, posited that “the age of the victim and the circumstances of the offender must count in imposing stiffer punishment on the offenders. If the minimum sentence is five years, a man with three wives who rapes a minor should be in jail for not less than 10years”. He, however, added his voice to those calling on the government to step up public education and enlightenment on how to reduce the incidence of rape.

By Precious Igbonwelundu

institutions warning that its students will not be admitted to the Nigerian Law School unless its approval is obtained prior to commencement. Some universities have heeded while many more have not. “The key problem is that these programmes are started and run without adequate resources of funds and especially man power.” He said the situation has led to a glut in the number of lawyers which in turn cheapens the profession even as he called on the NBA to advise the approving authorities against granting licences to commence law to any institution within the first five years of its existence. He said institutions should meet strictly requirements established by the Council of Legal Education as well as the NUC, noting that other professional courses such as

Medicine and Engineering were not treated with such levity. “I still strongly urge the NBA to urgently push for a reform of Legal Education Act to make approval and accreditation of the LL.B exclusive to the Council of Legal Education and provide for stringent, specific sanctions which should include fining such proprietors and debarring of lawyers who provide services in illegal programmes. “The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria are doing well in this regard and its decisions are adhered to by the universities. There is no reason why the Council of Legal Education/NBA should not earn that respect from providers,” he said. On the number of lawyers called to the bar, Mamman said 89, 263 lawyers have been called to the Nigerian Bar between 1963 and 2012 by the Law School.

Why we want Akeredolu, by Ondo youths


HE Ondo State Youth Coa lition for Civic Develop ment (OYICODEP) said it would mobilise youths to vote for the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) at the forthcoming election. Its leader, Comrade Omotosho Bolarinwa said Akeredolu, a former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, has what it takes to win the election.

with gabriel AMALU

Law School DG decries impunity among IRECTOR GENERAL, Nige legal education providers rian Law School, Dr. Tahir

Mamman, has decried the impunity and lack of consideration for regulatory bodies by some institutions providing legal education. Among the institutions mentioned in the report presented to the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), during its annual conference in Abuja were Madonna University, Okija and the University of Abuja. Mamman alleged that both schools have turned the law faculty into a market place, urging the NBA to take necessary steps to address the ugly situation. He also pointed out the proliferation of law faculties in new universities as a challenge facing the sub sector as new schools secure approval of the National Universities Commission (NUC) at the very early stage of take off to start LL.B. Mamman said: “The council of legal education has been cautious in treating such requests by new


“The people of Ondo State are expecting a new dawn under Akeredolu. They don’t want to be left out of the progressives. They want to be part of the development sweeping through the Southwest,” he said. Bolarinwa urged all Ondo youths to who are eligible to vote to cast their ballot for the ACN candidate, and called for vigilance. “We must be on the alert to curb an attempt to manipulate the will

of the people. Youths must be ready to frustrate the plans of all the fraudulent moves of all the enemy of Democracy in Ondo State. “Voting for Akeredolu goes beyond party affairs. It is the concession of the People of Ondo State for change, as they are willing to enjoy holistic development. “Akeredolu is the person to provide that leadership.”

Legal Dairy A Book launch in memory of the Late human rights crusader Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN) will hold the tomorrow at Nigerian Law Publication House, Jobi Fele Way, Agidingbi, Ikeja by 11am.

E absolutely senseless facebook related murder of Miss Cynthia Osokugo, around Festac Town, Lagos, once again portrays the amoral abyss that many youths have sunk into. Reading through the newspapers’ account of the police report, one is appalled by the callous indignity and scurrilous imbecility exhibited by Nwabufor Echezona (33) and Ezike Ilechukwu Olisaeloka (23), who reportedly confessed to the murder of that beautiful young woman. But while we mourn Cynthia, the society will be better off, if the culprits receive their comeuppance. Also it is important that pharmacists Orji Osita and Maduakor Chukwunonso are not unfairly charged together with the confessed murderers. But I will come to that. Let me first join several other commentators to commiserate with the dearest mother and father of Cynthia; who must be wondering like every parent would, why God allowed their love and pride to be taken away from them in such a cruel manner. Reading through the interview granted by her mother, it is clear that the young hard working lady was obviously the pride of her parents. With a Major General as father, and a dotting mother by her side, it is interesting that Cynthia reportedly worked so hard to distinguished herself, instead of throwing around her family name and beautiful face as her only assets. It is also encouraging that the often vilified Nigerian police moved quickly on this murder case, at least to the extent of nabbing the confessed murderers. But it must be borne in mind by the prosecuting authority that getting the accused persons charged to court, and getting them convicted for culpable homicide does not inviolably follow as a sequence. The prosecution must proffer hard core evidence to prove their case, and the courts are never in a hurry to convict, where there exists any iota of doubt. Notably, the prosecution is made up of the investigation and prosecution in court. So, if the first is messed up, then the second will not succeed as matter of course, and that is why the proof of evidence must contain only hard core evidence, not unnecessary emotional baggage. Reading through some of the reported police charges, it seems they were coahed to secure the maximum custody of all the accused persons, regardless of the actual cause of Cynthia’s death; and this may harm the prosecution. In Lori vs The State, 1ACLC at page 217, the Supreme Court, per Nnamani JSC, held: “In a charge of murder the cause of death of the deceased must be established unequivocally and the burden rests on the prosecution to establish this and if they fail the accused must be discharged. It is also settled law that the accused or put differently, it must be shown that the deceased died as a result of the act of the accused”. Also in Uguru vs The State, 2002 FWLR at page, per Uwaifo JSC, the SC held: “The burden on the prosecution is prove not only that the act of the accused could have caused the death of the deceased but that it certainly did. If there is the possibility that the deceased died from other causes than the act of the accused, the prosecution has not established the case against the accused.” In Cynthia’s case, both the confessed felons and the pharmacists whose alleged complicity was that they sold ‘Rohypnol Flunitrazepam tablets’ (used to threat short term insomnia) over the counter without prescription were all charged for the murder. The police must have been in a hurry to be seen to have performed, otherwise how can they conscientiously also charge Maduakor whose offence is that he merely sold the same drug to an undercover police officer, long after the murder of Cynthia had taken place, for complicity in the murder?. Now if the police bothered to find out what the drug Rohypnol Flunitrazepam is, as clearly explained by the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), then unless there are other acts of complicity to ground conspiracy, charging Osita who allegedly sold the drugs to the confessed felons for the offence of murder; instead of dragging him to the Pharmaceutical Society for breach of professional ethics is preposterous. That perhaps explains why PSN is protesting against the charges, stating that the sale of prescription drugs over the counter is a mere professional misconduct, and can not rightly be ascribed to murder or even a conspiracy for murder. And they are right. In Njovens vs The State 1 ACLC at page 290; the Supreme Court held: “The overt act or omission which evidences conspiracy is the actus reus and the actus reus of each and every conspirator must be referable and very often is the only proof of criminal agreement which is called conspiracy. It is not necessary to prove that the conspirators like those who murdered Julius Caesar, were seen together …. They need not all have started the conspiracy at the same time …. The gist of this offence of conspiracy is the meeting of the mind of the conspirators…. Hence conspiracy is a matter of inference from certain criminal acts of the parties concerned done in pursuance or an apparent criminal purpose in common between them….” Is the alleged sale of Rohypnol such common purpose? Again the charge for armed robbery, against the two confessed felons and the Pharmacists is mere distraction. If the two real culprits took Cynthia’s belongings after murdering her; stealing will be more appropriate. In my view, the Director of Public Prosecution should review the unwholesome charges for maximum result; while the police should also cause a thorough investigation of the homicide to secure conviction. Meanwhile the police deserve the public accolades for a speedy resolution of this murder.




•From right: Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide; the •President Goodluck Jonathan (right) and President, Nigerian Bar Association,Mr Joseph Chairman, Kuje Area Council, Hon. Danladi Etsu Zhin, and Chairman, Abaji Area Council, Hon. Yahaya Muhammed, during the FCT Area Councils Joint Allocation Committee meeting Daudu during the association’s annual conference in Abuja (JAAC) in Abuja PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN

•From left: Prof. Abayomi Sofowora; Director, Hospital Management Services, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Wapada Balami; National President, National Association of Nigerian Traditional Medicine Practitioners (NANTMP), Prof. Omon Oleabhiele and Chief Medical • President, West Africa Road Safety Organisation (WARSO), Osita Chidoka (right) Second Director, RITAM Model Clinic, Dr Joseph Idowu during the African Traditional Medicine Vice President, Mrs Elwangary Maimouna Haidara and Secretary General, WARSO, Nestor Day Celebration in Abuja PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE Vitodegni during the 2012 WARSO executive meeting in Abuja

•From left: National President, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr Nasir Isa; Executive Secretary, Sierra Leone Tertiary Education Commission, Prof. David Koroma and Deputy • Children and teachers of Graceland Baptist Church, Newnyanya at the Holiday Bible Chairman, Technical Advisory Group, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Prof. Charles Study, "Follow God" led by Pastor Appolonia Aluko at the Church auditorium in Aworh at the presentation of TETFund sponsored Journals of Professional Associations in Abuja Abuja PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN PHOTO:ABAYOMI FAYESE

•From left: Executive Secretary , National Universities Commission ,( NUC) Prof . Julius Okojie ; Executive Serectary , Tertiary Education Trust Fund , From left: Minister of Labour, Mr Chukwuemeka Wogu; Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola (TETFund) Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and the Chairman , Senate Committee on Obada; Director General, Due Process Office, Chief Emeka Eze and Minister of Housing and Urban Education, Sen. Uche Chukwumerije at the presentation of TETFund sponsored Development Amal Pepple during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the State House, Journals of Professional Associations in Abuja PHOTO:ABAYOMI FAYESE PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN Abuja





O doubt, the news of the ‘resignation’ of Prof. Barth Nnaji as Minister of Power was the biggest at the Presidency last week. It was the first time in recent times that a minister had to resign over issues bordering on conflict of interest. Again, given the fact that Nnaji was listed among the ‘A’ ministers and also had the ears of President Goodluck Jonathan, accentuated the news of his departure. Even one of the critics of the administration, Mallam Nasir elRufai, could not agree less as he described the resignation as a setback for the power sector reforms, though workers of the Power Holding Company Nigeria (PHCN) see it differently, especially with the long battle they had with the minister over the privatisation process of PHCN companies. For those who feared that the ongoing reform in the power sector would be derailed, the Presidency had quickly assured that the resignation of the renowned power expert will not, in any way, affect the privatisation process. Government has argued that the resignation will rather give credibility to the process. Labaran Maku, who was reacting to questions on the effect of the minister’s resignation on the privatisation process, however, noted that other members of the council would have wished he was around to complete the process. But the mood at the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting last Wednesday did not reflect the summation of the minister as his colleagues carried on as though nothing happened. The hush-hush discussions and small group gatherings which usually characterise reactions after serious events were missing at the meeting. The meeting almost passed for the loudest in recent times as ministers joked and laughed uncontrollably before the commencement of the meeting presided over by the President Jonathan. Meanwhile, the Presidency has said that Jonathan will not be presiding over the ministry as speculated. A minister will be duly appointed, it stated. The Federal Government also, in the course of the week, approved contracts for the completion of Gurara Dam and Ilesha water projects. Both projects will cost the nation N40.6b. The decision to


INISTER of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide has urged Nigerians to promote the art industry by having a life of collecting works of art rather than mere admirers of its products. The minister made the call at the opening of a solo art exhibition by Mabel Chukwu of the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, FCT College of Education, Zuba at FCT Archives and Historic Bureau. She said: “It is not enough that people laud, admire and give verbal appreciation to artists

Nnaji’s departure and other matters

From the Villa By Vincent Ikuomola award the contracts, which have been lingering, was also reached at the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC). The Federal Government noted that the decision was in line with the Jonathan administration’s commitment to completing all ongoing federal projects. The breakdown reveals that Gurara Dam will cost the sum of

N37b, while the Ilesha water projects are awarded at the cost of N3.6b. The projects are expected to be completed between 12 and 18 months. The President was also at the opening of the 52nd annual general conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) where he said that state police will be abused by governors. The President, who

stated that he was the most abused leader in the country, however assured his critics of surprises in the coming year. The President was also at Anambra State where he made some promises including delivering the second Niger Bridge. He threatened to go on exile if he fails to deliver on the second Niger Bridge which was part of his campaign promises. He also inaugurated some projects in the state before returning to Abuja. The President later travelled to Ethiopia for the burial ceremony of Prime Minister Zenewi Meles. Earlier, he had met with President Boni Yayi of Benin Republic who paid him a courtesy visit to discuss the issue of Mali. Both leaders also agreed on the need to rehabilitate the BadagrySeme Road so as to ease movement and trade.

Also, the Vice-President was in Iran to attend the 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement.

The Presidency had assured that the resignation of the renowned Power expert will not; in anyway, affect the privatisation process

Nigerians urged to promote arts and craft From Bukola Amusan

and art works during exhibitions, but they can do better by acquiring such works to encourage the artist and promote creativity.” Akinjide, represented at the exhibition by her Special Assistant on Arts and Culture, Mr Niyi Olagunju, extolled the creativity of the exhibitor who, she said, has proven her mettle in the arts both as a teacher and painter. She fur-

It is not enough that people laud, admire and give verbal appreciation to artists and art works during exhibitions; they can do better by acquiring such works to encourage the artist and promote creativity

ther noted that the exhibitor serves as a beacon of hope to both women budding talents who have the flair for art and who want to go into the vast field of art. Earlier in his remark, Professor Muhammed I. Junaid, Executive Secretary, National Commission for College of Education, recalled that it was Mabel Chukwu’s desire to impact the knowledge she acquired in the field of art in general and painting in particular that inspired her to take up an appointment with the FCT College of Education, Zuba as an art teacher. He advised that “the only way the exhibition memory can linger on in the minds of the participants is for them to attend, admire, learn and acquire art work.” On what informed her choice of “Feminine Realities” as the theme for the exhibition, the artist said: “The essence is to re-

echo the ordeal of womanhood in graphic details so that the society may recognise a woman, adore and appreciate her perseverance in spite of all odds.” Some of the art works exhibited which had varied titles were ‘She Cares’, ‘Broken Heart’,

‘Where is She?,’ among others. They focused mainly on why women should be treated fairly in a male-dominated society. “My collections are both in private and public places like UNESCO and the National Gallery of Art,” she said.

NDE gives loan to women


OMEN at Ibwa 11 and Wuna villages in the Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory have received a loan of N400,000 to help alleviate poverty. The loan, which is interest-free, was given by the National Directorate of Employment in collaboration with Dpat Foundation. The president of Dpat Foundation, Mrs. Patience Ardey, noted that NDE has

From Bukola Amusan

assisted many rural women through the foundation. She explained that the loan which will not attract any interest, was given to encourage them to take active part in any business of their choice. Ardey said that the NDE would continue to partner with the foundation to put a smile on the faces of rural women in the area







Respite came the way of Imo State Government yesterday as the High Court sitting in Owerri dismissed the suit brought by the 27 local council chairmen in the state. But then the political crisis elicited by the government’s sack of the council bosses lingers. Correspondent OKODILI NDIDI reports.

Imo local govt crisis as Okorocha’s dilemma R

ESPITE came the way of the Imo State government yesterday as a High Court sitting in Owerri struck out the suit brought before it by the embattled 27 locan government council bosses fighting to retain their offices. But then, the political battle continues to rage as both sides have promised to fight until the law court finally rests the case. The battle for survival and political relevance will continue in the Heartland State as the political impasse between Governor Rochas Okorocha and the 27 local council chairmen persists. Neither side has shown any sign or willingness to lower its guard in this battle of wits considering what is at stake. However, Information Commissioner Mr Chinedu Offor said there is no crisis of any sort in the state. He told The Nation yesterday evening that if what transpired at the High Court was anything to go by, then the question of a political crisis should not arise. “There is no crisis at all as the tenure of the council chairmen has expired. It actually expired on August 8, and as we speak, the High Court sitting in Owerri this morning struck out the suit brought by the chairmen for abuse of court processes and awarded a N40, 000 cost against them”, he explained. Offor said the government had done a lot to reach out to those involved and that as a government for all people of Imo, the door is wide open for all who think they have anything positive to contribute to the development of thye state. “If you recall, they were invited twice to a parley and at those meetings discussions were made on the way forward. So, it would not be right to say the government has not reached out to them. Let me state very categorically that this is not a government that is employing a divide and rule tactic. Elections are over and Governor Rochas Okorocha made it clear that this is the period for governance and so he welcomes anybody with positive ideas to move the state forward”, he said. The anxiety, or, call it the ‘thinking’ of the governor is a common Nigerian phenomenon. It is usually assumed that for the sake of political expediency, the governor and the local council chairmen should belong to the same party. This, to some, is understandable but to others it smacks of political miscalculation, if not outright naivety. For Okorocha, the need to remove the chairmen from office was compelling given the fact that they are all from the opposition party in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

• Okorocha

To have a firm grip of the political structure in the state, the governor must ‘plant’ members of his party, the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in the council areas as chairmen. Okorocha sent an early signal to the opposition that he was not in the mood to accommodate them when in a state wide broadcast after his inauguration, he announced the dissolution of the council executives. This was in spite of frantic moves by the chairmen to register their loyalty and earn his trust. Immediately he was sworn-in, the chairmen who were about one year in office then literally saw what was coming and decided to switch boat but Okorocha, still basking in the euphoria of his electoral victory and his eagerness to impress it on his party members that he was out to avenge them of all the injustice they suffered during the PDP administration, refused to extend the olive branch to the fear stricken chairmen. Immediately after the dissolution of their tenure, the embattled chairmen and the PDP went to court and after a prolonged legal battle, regained their mandate through an Appeal Court judgment, which ordered their immediate reinstatement. But with the judgment, began a new offensive by the state government which had installed Transition Chairmen in the 27 council

areas from the APGA fold. At first, the government refused to obey the ruling as it took the case to the Supreme Court. After weeks of apprehension and media battle, Okorocha was asked by the Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke to obey the judgment to forestall anarchy in the state. When it dawned on the state government that the delay game was over, it quickly devised another means of keeping the Chairmen away from the council. After merely asking the chairmen to resume work in their respective council areas, the state’s Local Government Commission directed the senior staff of the councils to embark on a compulsory leave in a bid to frustrate the returnee chairmen, while the Transition Chairmen continue to run the affairs of the council behind the seen. The reported unwillingness of Okorocha to obey the Appeal Court ruling has been exhibited in several ways, including the recent move to officially terminate the tenure of the chairmen, insisting that their two-year tenure should have expired by August 8, 2012. According to a political analyst in the state, Chief Christian Onuegbu, the governor was ill advised by his party members and sycophants to reject the friendship of the opposition parties, force out the elected chairmen and reverse the policies of the previous administration. Onuegbu stated that the current battle between Okorocha and the chairmen may harm his future political chances and throw up the PDP once more in the state. “The governor would have decimated the PDP. If he had allowed the chairmen to continue with their tenure while he subtly made them defect to APGA”. The analyst who blamed the governor’s plight on inexperience, lamented that Okorocha’s administration is fraught with controversial policies that were meant to demean whatever was achieved by his predecessor. “For instance, the fourth tier government known as the Community Government Council (CGC) was allegedly conceived to weaken the powers of the elected council chairmen by polarizing governance at the last tier of government”. Recent developments in the state may have shocked the governor and his party members, who were not only surprised at the public sympathy the embattled chairmen were beginning to attract. Already the gap between the governor and the chairmen is widening and they may remain strange bed fellows, and according to

analysts, this portends serious danger to Okorocha’s re-election bid. Already the people of the state are beginning to see the governor as a desperate politician who will do anything possible to stifle the opposition and continue the governance of the state without the input of the people. To be sure, the battle for the control of the council areas is not the sole project of the embattled chairmen. PDP bigwigs in the state, after losing the governorship of the state, had hoped to hold on to the control of the third tier of government as a possible launch pad for future political campaign and relevance. These group have apparently joined forces and their impact is beginning to tell on the fortunes of APGA in the state. Recently in a House of Assembly bye-election in Oguta Council Area, the Governor’s Constituency, the ruling party lost to the PDP. Another issue that is depleting Okorocha’s goodwill among Imo people is his failure to consult the people before initiating and citing projects. In Owerri, the state capital for instance, the indigenes have resisted the state government’s plan to use communal lands for projects like hotels and the much touted “akachi tower”. Equally, the fact that Imo state boasts of front line politicians and eminent citizens like Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Senator Arthur Nzeribe and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Emeka Ihedioha and several others who coincidentally are from the PDP, demands that the state government should consult widely before embarking on projects that will affect the populace. Another example was the controversial plan to relocate the Imo State University from its old site to the Governor’s hometown. This sparked off severe protest among the elite and after developing the proposed new site for the university to an advance level, the state government reversed itself and instead gave out the site to a private university, which has been alleged to belong to the governor. As the chairmen, after rebuffing the governor’s peace parley, returned to Court to challenge the termination of their tenure by the state government, analysts are of the view that members of the state government’s think- tank should fashion out a way of managing the fallout of the political battle because win or lose, the effects will be far reaching and could define Okorocha’s political future in the state.

Angst over stoppage of Belgore’s gesture in Kwara Condemnation trails Kwara State Government’s suspension of free holiday lessons for secondary school students sponsored by the governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the 2011 elections, Mr. Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN). Correspondent ADEKUNLE JIMOH reports.


HE Kwara State Government is in the eye of a storm which has been raging for some days now. The government stirred the hornet’s nest when it wielded its axe on the free holiday coaching for secondary school students in the state. Behind the widely lauded programme is the state’s governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the 2011 elections, Mr. Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN). It was last week, precisely, when the state government instructed secondary school principals in the state not to allow their premises to be used for the programme. Not a few right-thinking persons and bodies in the state have condemned in no small measure, the stoppage of Belgore’s kind gesture by the

state government. The state chapter of the ACN is among them. While state ACN dismissed as “repressive, anti-people and shortsighted,” the decision of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led state government to stop the free holiday classes. But the state government on its part, castigated the promoters of the exercise for “not adhering to laiddown rules.” In his view, the state’s ACN chair, Kayode Olawepo, said the action of the government had further plunged its rating to a record low among the masses who are the beneficiaries of the gesture. “What this disgraceful, short-sighted and repressive act shows is that the government is not interested in the empowerment or development of its

youths, but only interested in saving its own skin,” Olawepo said. He spoke further: “We have read the lame excuse the PDP government gave to justify what public reactions have shown to be reactionary behaviour of this government. How low is this government prepared to go in the name of politics by attacking MDB volunteers and threatening schools that provide their facilities? “The effort by Belgore is not intended to, and cannot replace the educational facilities provided by the state. What he is doing is granting additional support through extra lessons for JAMB etc, and in the areas of IT. As a matter of fact, the government should encourage private individuals and institutions that help in doing this. Nothing should get in the way of uplifting our youths educationally.

“No right-thinking government that is concerned about the future of its youths would seek to hinder an educational opportunity for them. This should be number-one priority for any right-thinking government, unless you are the Kwara State Government which has clearly shown that the future of its youths should be compromised in the name of politics.” However, the state government has a reason for its action. It said it stopped the free holiday lessons sponsored by Belgore because the promoters failed to follow laid-down procedure. Senior Special Assistant to Governor AbulFatah Ahmed, Dr Femi Akorede, said “permission should have been sought from the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development rather than from school principals. This is because government’s laudable

education reforms are based on ensuring high standards of teaching for pupils and students. “The ministry screens such initiatives to ensure compliance with set standards. Sadly, the ACN candidate failed to follow the procedure, hence government’s cancellation of the scheme.” Also, a member of the state House of Assembly representing Essa/ Shawo/Igbodun Constituency of Offa, Hassan Oyeleke described the purported stoppage by the state government, of free holiday classes for secondary school students, as “myopic and parochial.” The ACN legislator, who is the House Committee Chair, Public Account, told The Nation that “I don’t know the state government’s reason •Continued on page 44





‘Jonathan’s Southwest dream laughable’

HE Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has described President Goodluck Jonathan’s boast that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will take over the South West states in upcoming elections as laughable. It rather insists that Nigerians will sweep away the PDP after 13 years of awful leadership that has wrecked the country. In a statement in Lagos, signed by the Lagos State Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Joe Igbokwe, the party said that while it sees the need to inflate the sagging hopes of what remains of the South West PDP, boasting of winning the South West with the kind of poor leadership Jonathan has demonstrated since he became president is inconceivable. It advised the president to rather seek ways of restoring the confidence of Nigerians in his capacity to steer the Nigerian state and not make vague boasts that are in clear contrast to the political reality on ground, “We feel that time has come for the president to measure his words

and ensure they conform to reality rather than making awkward and contradictory statements that have greatly devalued the worth of the Jonathan presidency in the eyes of Nigerians. We feel embarrassed that Nigerians have come to attach less value to the words of their president and that marks the shrinking of worth that has hit the Jonathan presidency since it berthed. “We know that the president and his party are apostles of power without responsibility and he may honestly nurse the dream that with its barren outing in the last thirteen years which has crumbled the sixth largest oil producer in the world to a land of seamless suffering and penury, PDP can ‘win’ any election by merely wishing and deploying its notorious rigging power. “We want to let him know that the PDP in the South West is a dying group of parodists whose false rise to relevance through election

rigging has been successfully frustrated by the people of the South West. We want to let him know that what remains of South West PDP is a bunch of political featherweights who have no known political base and who have turned into bitter vendors of puerile gossips and acidic propaganda with the hope this will curry political relevance to it. “But above all, we urge Jonathan to strive to make a meaning from the presidency he covets instead of always struggling to make statements that belittle the presidency. We want him to realize that Nigerians are presently united by how to ensure that his regime, which Nigerians see as a huge obstacle to their progress, is democratically offloaded to give way for the start of the quest to recover Nigeria. President Jonathan must know the minds of Nigerians to the fact that the PDP has become a noxious burden, which Nigerians are desperate to offload and that by 2015, PDP and its negative values that have wrecked Nigeria will become history.”

Angst over stoppage of Belgore’s gesture in Kwara •Continued from page 43

for stopping Mohammed Dele Belgore’s holiday coaching for secondary school students in Kwara, but I think their reason is political. If so, my view is that the step is myopic and parochial. If anybody is making an effort to improve on the dismal performance of secondary school students at both WAEC and NECO exams, that person should be encouraged and supported. The essence is to produce wellgrounded students to enable them gain admission into higher institutions. “If the reason for stopping him is to score some political points, I want to say that the state government was illadvised. It will bounce back because the students who are enjoying this facility will not be happy with that type of government. All hands should be on deck to improve the performances of these students and helping hands should be encouraged. “Notwithstanding, I urge Belgore not to be discouraged as it shows his concern for the educational system of the country. The action does not show it emanated from somebody who has broad mind on issues. All right-thinking people are looking for ways of improving students’ performances at these examinations. “I abhor that kind of policy. That is not the kind of policy the state government should practise. I appeal to Belgore to look for alternative venues for the coaching to continue. Why I said the action is myopic is that the students are not being trained to become Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) members. Many of them will not even vote for the party, but in rendering services to the community, politics should be out of it. This, I think, Belgore has been doing. I discovered that the gesture does not consider students’ party affiliation; it is non-discriminatory. “I am sure by my training as a teacher, that this type of educational tutorial will have spiral effects on the overall performance of the students. So, anything that will worsen students’ situations, any right-thinking person will oppose it. I am not happy about it. Therefore, I call on the government to rescind that decision. What it implies is that if by tomorrow, I as an ACN member want to do that in Offa Local Government area, the same action will be meted out to me. “I want to ask too that if Belgore decides to give scholarship to students, are they going to stop him, when they themselves are not giving scholarship? Whatever reason the government has adduced in this matter is parochial, counter-productive and an exercise in

•Gov. Ahmed

futility by implications.” Belgore said the state government ought to apologise to the thousands of potential beneficiaries of his truncated free holiday coaching rather than continue to give “lame and contradictory excuses.” The legal luminary also insisted that permission was sought and received from the concerned head-teachers before the scheme kicked off, contrary to what he called “contradictory and laughable” excuses by the state. Speaking further on the state government’s claim that he did not secure its approval to use the facilities, Belgore said the government lied and was only giving face-saving yet contradictory excuses. He said the initiative would proceed at private facilities if the government disallows the use of public-owned facilities for the laudable effort. In a statement, Belgore’s media aide, Rafiu Ajakaye added: “We cannot but laugh at the puerile excuses the Kwara State Government is giving for stopping an effort geared towards improving the educational standards of our youths. Rather than apologise to the people of Kwara State for such shameful conduct, the government has continued to give the lame yet fallacious and contradictory excuse that we did not comply with laid-down rules, which incidentally and laughably too, were just concocted after the incident to justify the shameful behaviour. “While the Governor’s spokesman, Muhyideen Akorede, said we ought to pass through the Ministry of Education and not the head-teachers, the Ministry of Education said anybody willing to use schools should apply through the head-teachers. For the records, we wrote to the head-teachers of the respective schools and got their nods to use the facilities. Permissions were sought and received.

• Belgore

“In fact, the action of the state government contradicts the universal human rights that make dissemination of useful knowledge a fundamental right of all human beings. It is therefore a shame that Kwara State Government, which has failed over the years to adequately equip the people with sound education, is bent on frustrating private citizens who see education as the only true means of empowerment and are working in that direction.” “This government is committing a grave error if it thinks that this action would deter us from reaching out to every Kwaran, irrespective of political affiliations, who desires assistance in the area of human capital development,” he added.

Active politics is back in Jos, the Plateau State capital, as parties are slugging it out over who will occupy the Senate seat made vacant by the sudden death of Senator Gyang Dantong. YUSUFU AMINU IDEGU examines the race so far.

‘Why I want to be Senator’


HO will replace the late Senator Gyang Dantong as a representative of the people of Plateau North Senatorial Zone at the Senate? Finding an answer to this poser is what has in recent times, kept the streets of Jos, the Plateau State capital, busy. Jos is flooded with campaign posters of aspirants who are jostling for the post under various parties’. With various promises, they are appealing to the electorate for votes. Already, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed October 6, 2012 as date for the election. The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has also announced dates for its primary election. Being a zonal election, the zonal executive of the PDP, Plateau North chapter, has come up with a consensus candidate after agreement with stakeholders and handed the slot to Mr. Gyang Pwajok, former Chief of Staff to Governor Jonah Jang. He has also been presented to the state executive of the party. That, however, will not stop the party from conducting primary election as constitutionally required. The party at the state level has already announced a date for its primary even if it has only one aspirant for the position. The popularity of the only aspirant, according to the party, will be affirmed by its delegates. The Labour Party (LP) features Lumumba Da Adeh, a former member House of Representatives from Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency and Dr. Danladi Atu, former chairman of Jos North LGA. Both of them are going to test their popularity at the party’s primaries. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) is set to conduct primaries for its two aspirants, Yusufu Pam and Senator John Wash Pam, former Deputy Senate President in the Second Republic. On the platform of Democratic People’s Party (DPP) is Col. David Dung (rtd) who contested and lost to the late Senator Dantong in 2011. The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) fielded the same candidate in 20111. However, among all the contending candidates, Mr. Gyang Pwajok has taken the bold step in presenting his mission and vision to the electorate. He did so through a press conference held at the state secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) where he formerly declared his ambition to run for the vacant post. There he disclosed how and why he joined the race and why he is the candidate to beat. According to Pwajok, “I was doing my job as Chief of Staff to Governor Jonah Jang. Stakeholders and our party leaders in the zone consulted among themselves and the choice fell on me as the only one capable to go for this vacant seat at the Senate. And I graciously accepted that responsibility to run for the office based on people’s confidence in me. I consider it as a call to duty and knowing the challenges we are faced with in the zone, I cannot shy away from taking up this responsibility. “I was not part of those stakeholders who held the consultations before approaching me, but I was told afterwards that what the stakeholders considered was the fact that Plateau North district needed someone who can, argue, persuade, convince, articulate and influence federal programmes in favour of the people of the zone. That zone needs someone who can also influence decisions at the state, federal and international levels. They thought that such prestigious office should be occupied by politicians that are consistent, focused, committed and compassionate”, he stated. Pwajok, a graduate of Political Science, University of Jos, also said, “My zone is still suffering the effect of mining in the past. Efforts will also be made towards the ecological problems created by the devastation of arable lands in my zone. At the same time, I will encourage the amendment of the constitution that will allow for review of constituencies in my zone. The constitution provides that the constituencies be reviewed after every ten years. So it has been long overdue.” Source within the party caucus revealed that Pwajok, having been part of the formation stage of the party since 1998 when he served as pioneer secretary of the PDP in Jos North LGA, and having also dedicated himself consistently to the party affairs in local and state levels, no other aspirant from the party can beat him in the primaries. • Pwajok

• Kebbi State Governor Usman Dakingari (right) presenting a PDP flag to a PDP candidate at the launch of Local Govt. Election campaign in Birnin Kebbi.





Only three million Nigerians are in NHIS O

NLY three million Nigerians are enrolled in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), an expert has said. With the government’s failure to vote at least 15 per cent of its yearly budget to the health sector, the Managing Director, Clearline, a Health Maintenance Organisation (HMO), Dr Segun Ogundimu, believed the scheme is headed for the rocks. According to Dr Ogundimu, the situation is worrisome for organi-

By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha

sations like his that have been agitating for affordable and quality medical care for Nigerians. Ogundimu said HMOs have been in the vanguard of ensuring the success of the programme as crusaders, gearing up the Federal Government to be alive to its responsibility of revamping the sector. “The slow pace of the envisaged growth of the NHIS in Nigeria has

led to a re-thinking and restrategising by HMOs especially, Clearline International. “The organisation has the opportunity of being one of the first registered HMOs in the country and is poised to offer qualitative and affordable medical care to Nigerians. “At Clearline, our core competence is in pooling funds from individuals, unions, associations and corporate organisations, managing the funds with a sound understanding of medical practice and finan-

cial management, to provide qualitative health care services to the enrolees through a network of accredited reputable health care providers spread nationwide. We provide qualitative, equitable and affordable health care for all,” he added. He said the vision of Clearline, which is to provide affordable medical care, informed the retail health insurance scheme strategy, which will facilitate the development of NHIS in the country. The concept of the Retail Health In-

surance Scheme, Ogundimu said, is a deliberate strategy to create massive awareness about the NHIS in order to sensitise Nigerians on affordable health care that does not take all their life earnings. “The scheme is also designed to make health services available for Nigerians irrespective of their socioeconomic background. Nigerians should not wallow in ignorance and poverty, thinking that quality medical attention is not their right”, he added.

‘Overhaul health information management’

DIABETIC patient (name withheld) was moved from a private hospital to a public one. His relatives were not allowed in during his admission. The patient was so weak when he was admitted. In a bid to sustain him, the hospital administered Dextrose IV Fluids on him. He died thereafter. The relatives alleged that the hospital killed their loved one. Another case involved a patient at a Lagos based psychiatric hospital. At the time of registration, his mother gave a fictitious name but real address. When the patient had to revisit the hospital, the mother could not readily recall the name she gave and it was hard tracking down the patient’s record through the address. The patient supplied the fictitious name and his case file was located and changes were effected to reflect the real name. And he was attended to. The Health Information Managers Association of Nigeria (HIMAN) alleged that these are some of the misnomers that go on with the health information management in the country. Health data management in Nigeria must be urgently addressed to meet with international exigencies. To move the health sector forward in this area, HIMAN has advanced unified coding system of diseases and computation in both private and public hospitals and electronic health recordings.


By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha and Olatunde Odebiyi

According to its President, Wole Ajayi, the present developments and challenges in the medical world are more daunting and rigorous in the area of information aggregation, clinical coding collaboration, consultation and even communication between care providers and third parties to deliver quality services using appropriate technology to enhance patient safety and outcome, while also improving cost effectiveness of care. “For us to achieve intelligent health care, we must be vigilant and constantly enrich the industry with accurate information to support decision making. “Electronic Health Record, Health data gathering, interpretation and presentation, and clinical coding collaboration must be backed up with a set of actions that will move us towards our vision of strengthening accountability of care processes,” he said. To this end, the association at its three-day 36 th Annual National Scientific Conference/ Annual General Meeting (AGM) highlighted challenges facing their profession and equally proffered solutions. The theme of the event was Enriching Accountable Healthcare- Opportunities and prospects of managing health information. Members were told that clinical

• From left: National Public Relations Officer, Adio Rasaq, Ajayi and National Secretary, Adepoju Kayode at the briefing on the activities of the association PHOTO: OYEYEMI GBENGA-MUSTAPHA

coding is a quality metrics and an important mechanism to analyse and compare clinical procedure and must be embraced. Ajayi said it is worrisome to note that a larger percentage of hospitals do not have uniform methods of coding diseases, injuries and causes of deaths. “The international classification manual used by these institutions if any at all are either outdated, or nonexistent and hardly can you find a hospital with a complete set of coding manual, including standard for-

mat for coding operations. This explains why the Nigeria health report is missing in international reports. Inconsistency, unavailability and unreliability of data have become the order of the day,” Ajayi lamented. He asked his members to brace up for quality measurements and improvement. He said: “Data that will be evidence based require painstaking and expansive review of medical records most of which are paper records. “This is the more reason, why our

health sector should embark on electronic health records, supported by appropriate technology and software that could handle large volume of health data. “Good health information is valuable to assess health care outcome. Health information is crucial to improved health. Valuing health information, at all levels of the system, is associated with a culture of accountability, a desire to improve ways of working, and a realisation that improving health outcomes requires not just more technical inputs, but also the more effective use of available resources.”

How to stay healthy after 50


•Lagos chairman of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Deji Elumoye, (right) presenting an award to Mrs Christy Obiazikwor, the representative of the Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof Paul Orhii, during the Lagos National Association of Women Journalists (NAWAOJ) week. PHOTO: OYEYEMI GBENGA-MUSTAPHA

TAYING healthy is always a good idea, whatever age you are, but staying healthy after 50 is even more important for your well being. Staying healthy is always a good idea, whatever age you are, but staying healthy after 50 is even more important for your well being. That’s because our bodies gradually start to wear out, making it more difficult to move around, shift excess weight, process our food and recover from illness. When you are over 50, you are more likely to suffer from life threatening diseases such as heart attacks and different types of cancer, as well as osteoporosis. It’s essential to find out how to stay healthy and to be proactive in seeking medical help. Here are some of the common conditions that affect men and women over 50, some of the preventive measures you can take and ways to stay healthy for a long time. Common conditions Some conditions affect men and women equally as they get older. For example, most people tend to gain weight in their 50s as their me-

tabolism slows down and their body’s ability to process nutrients declines. This increases the risk of developing heart disease and other life changing conditions. High blood pressure can affect your heart, kidneys, brain and blood. Left untreated, this puts you at higher risk of heart attacks. High cholesterol levels also affect the health of your heart and arteries. Staying healthy means keeping this under control. High blood sugar

levels can cause heart disease, blindness and kidney failure. As we age, our vision starts to decline. Cataracts and glaucoma are common in seniors, but can be treated if caught early. A testing regime With most conditions, early identification is the key to treatment, so there are a number of tests both men and women should have regularly when they reach their 50s. •Source:

Do you know? That you need not travel miles before you can access health care in Lagos State? These are the basic General Hospitals in your localities,that have been grouped into zones: Zone A: General Hospital, Lagos (GHL), Lagos Island Maternity Hospital (LIMH), Onikan Health Centre (OHC), Massey Street Children Hospital a (MSCH) and Ibeju Lekki General Hospital. Zone B: General Hospitals at

Ikorodu, Epe, Ijede and KetuEjirin. Zone C: General Hospitals at Gbagada, Isolo, Randle, Mushin, Trauma Centre at Toll Gate, 7up. Zone D: Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Ebute Metta Health Centre, General Hospital Shomolu and Havey Road Health Centre. Zone E: Orile-Agege, Ifako-IJaiye, and Alimosho General Hospitals. Zone F: Apapa, Ajeromi and Badagry General Hospitals.




LUTH, Pfizer hold free screening for T host communities HE Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), IdiAraba has held free health screening for residents of IdiAraba and Mushin, and other members of its immediate host communities. It was in collaboration with Pfizer Nigeria East Africa Region (Pfizer NEAR)as part of their anniversaries. Pfizer is 55, LUTH 50. The residents were screened for cardiovascular diseases, glaucoma, among others. The events, which ran simultaneously, were held at Idi-Araba Motor Park and Ojuwoye Market, Mushin. Specialists and other health care workers from various departments of LUTH attended to residents. Also, there were lectures by experts on HIV awareness, the correct use of male and female condoms, dangers associated with cholesterol, high sugar in the blood/diabetes and high blood pressure (BP). Speaking on Pfizer’s involvement, the Country Manager, Pfizer (NEAR), Enrico Liggeri, said the company was motivated to work closely with the communities because Pfizer was part of the Nigerian community which has been supportive since its existence. “For LUTH, it has been serving the people for 50 years and in giv-

•From left: Alhaji Haruna; Baale of Idi-Araba, Chief Daudu Kareem Ojeromi; Alhaji Lawal; Mr Liggeri, Mrs Margeret Olele and others at the event. Stories by Oyeyemi GbengaMustapha

ing back to the community we decided to celebrate our 55 years anniversary, which falls at the same time the hospital is cel-

ebrating theirs by providing these free screening opportunities for the communities in order to contribute positively to their health. “This is important because Nigeria has been said to have a high rate of patients suffering from car-

diovascular diseases, some of whom do not know they suffer from it or know little or nothing about same. The first step to managing such is to go for screening, which most people have little or no time for until

the disease starts showing signs.” Describing glaucoma as the number one cause of blindness, Luggeri said Pfizer has donated an equipment that can help detect this ailment, as well as high blood pressure, which are silent killers owing to the fact that they ‘hide’ in the body for years and start showing signs when they have reached the peak period. “Hence, providing screening facilities and access of same by beneficiaries are the major steps in staying healthy,” said Erico. Public Relations Officer, LUTH Hope Nwawolo said about 50 patients diagnosed to have problems in each category, would be given a tally for follow-up at the hospital. This, she said, is significant to the number of years being celebrated by the tertiary hospital. Expressing gratitude, the Seriki of Idi-Araba, Idris Lawal, who was represented by the Galadima of Idi-Araba, Abdul-Ganiu Lawal, thanked LUTH and Pfizer for their support to the community and for mobilising residents to benefit from such health care service which most of them have no time for or could hardly afford. He said: “We look forward to a good working relationship with the hospital and Pfizer in the nearest future.”

Fed Govt to set up more sickle cell centres


•From left: CEO, Health Forever, Otunba Olajuwon Okubena; President, Gender and Child Care Advancement Initiatives, Mrs Philomena Nneji; Chairman, Punch Nig. Ltd, Mr Wale Aboderin; author of the book, Pastor Ibekwe and Pastor Ituah Ighodalo at the event.

•Expectant mothers and nursing mothers, who had no seat, waiting to be attended to at the ante-natal clinic (ANC) at Ifako-Ijaiye General Hospital, Lagos. PHOTO: OYEYEMI GBENGA-MUSTAPHA

HE Federal Government is to establish more sickle cell centres, Minister of Health Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu, has said He stated this at a book presentation by Dabma Sickle Cell Foundation entitled: Sickle Cell Disorder: Early Warning Signals. Chukwu, who was represented by the Desk Officer for Sickle Cell Disorder (SCD), Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Alayo Shopekun, said the centres would be dedicated to the management, control and prevention of SCDs. The disease causes the death of 100,000 infants annualy. The minister lamented the plight of people living with sickle cell disorder. He said the disorder has been associated with poverty, maternal mortality, newborn and child mortality and HIV and AIDS, particularly in those with a history of frequent unscreened blood transfusion. He identified other problems faced by sufferers as stigmatisation, bias in job selection and absenteeism from schools or workplaces because of frequent admissions to the hospital, failure of children to grow well, cost of medication, depression and psychological challenges, among others. “The foregoing picture for this hereditary disorder, therefore, calls for urgent attention. A national guideline on the control and management of the disease was in an advanced stage to ensure that care provided at the health facilities are researched and conformed with international best practice. “The special centres for SCD have been provided with various machines to ensure that diagnosis of the disorder is accurate and that suspected newborns are screened for the disorder and interventions and follow up could be instituted to ensure the survival and improved quality of life for such children.”

“Database on the disorder is expected to be set up to provide information for effective planning and policy decision on the disorder “The capacity of the health workers in the already established four SCD centres has been improved through training.” he said. Chairman, Dabma Sickle Cell Foundation, Pastor Emmanuel Ibekwe, Nigeria accounts for three quarters of live births of the disorder in sub-Saharan Africa. This is an equivalent of 150,000 of every 200,000 births in the region. The figure shows the reality of the disorder and the need to address it to save lives as well as reduce related ailments. He said the ordeal of victims of SCD influenced his writing of the book. “We are launching a book that reveals the reasons sickle cell disorder patients keep wiping teardrenched faces daily, not knowing when the pain would come to an end due to the complications. Many go into crisis and all of a sudden their health takes a drastic turn around for the worst. “We are appealing to stakeholders to support education through adoption of schools and libraries, providing books on our experiences as instructional materials for public enlightenment and awareness among other things,” he said He called on the Federal Government to develop and encourage the non-for-profit social sector to reduce the burden of the disorder. HEWAN President Mr Azoma Chikwe, said the association’s participation is to “re-dedicate our commitment to addressing sickle cell anaemia.’’ “As health writers, our impact must be felt in the environment we live.” According to him, HEWAN’s partnership with DABMA would assist in disseminating the needed information on how to prevent or manage the disease.





The immediate past Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, held high hopes of fixing the power sector setting before some modest, but attainable targets, some which had been attained and others unaccomplished. What is the future of the power sector after Nnaji? EMEKA UGWUANYI looks at post-Nnaji power sector.

What’s the future of power sector after Nnaji?

•Prof Nnaji


HEN the former Power Minister Prof. Barth Nnaji assumed office in July 2011, he came with high hopes of restoring the limping power sector and didn’t mince words on his objectives, which he matched with action. In less than four months in office, he had sacked chief executive officers of four electricity distribution companies to send signals to others that it wouldn’t be business as usual. The chief executive of Olorunsogo power plant followed successively and by April, this another three top officers followed.

Nnaji was said to be determined to achieve the Federal Government’s objective of ensuring stable electricity supply, which meant stepping on big toes, which might be part of what led to his ousting. According to the President of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), Dr. Mayowa Afe, Nnaji left big shoes, which might be difficult to find someone to effectively enter and match. When Nnaji came in, he promised to raise generation to 5000mw from about 3000mw and end of last year, he had accomplished 5600mw generation, although some of the generated power were shut in owing to lack of gas and even the available generation of about 4400mw couldn’t be wheeled into the grid due to fragile and incapable transmission network. This year, he promised to lift generation to at least 6000mw, which is almost achieved. Besides, he had made efforts to strengthen the transmission network and at the last count,

the transmission had the ability to conveniently wheel 4700mw. Mayowa said: “Prof. Nnaji has performed. I must say that in the part of Lagos, where I live, we have been having constant light in recent time, which has never happened in this country. I don’t know why good things don’t last in this country. Yes it is unethical to be a player in the market you regulate but there could have been alternative sanction to enable him actualise his mission for this country.” Nnaji had been fighting battles since he resumed as Minister of Power. Series of issues with the workers of the unbundled Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), which made its leaders at one time to call for his removal. He was on the verge of addressing

the issue of casual workers in PHCN numbering about 12,000, the issue of ghost workers, which called for use of biometric verification for permanent staff. Report on this exercise revealed that a substantial number ghost workers were identified, the result, which has not yet been released. The negotiation with PHCN workers for their severance benefits in view of the impending privatisation, had been on since last year and each time had ended in deadlock. He resuscitated the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), which had been abandoned and had started making case for the completion of over 1,600 projects suspended when the agency was scrapped. The NAPE chief said it would take someone with a lot of guts to take

•From left: Chairman, Elcrest Exploration and Production Company, Sir Emeka Offor; Deputy Managing Director, Nigeria Agip Oil Company, Mrs Funmi Goka; Country Chairman, Shell Group, Mr Mutiu Sunmonu; and Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Andrew Yakubu, at the agreement signing for the final take-over of 45% equity in OML 40 by Elcrest from Shell, Total and Agip Joint Venture, at the NNPC Towers in Abuja.

over and successfully continue from where he stopped. Nnaji, however, explained what made him resign. He said: “I would like to reiterate that before I accepted to serve as minister, I resigned my directorship of all companies that I had interest in and put my shares in those companies in a Blind Trust; this means that I was not privy to the dayto-day business decisions of those who ran this Trust. “In addition, I publicly declared the participation in the privatisation process of a foreign company that did business with a company that I had interest in. This fact came to my knowledge only during the course of evaluating the consortia that were bidding for PHCN successor companies. Consequently, I also voluntarily recued myself from participating in the selection process. These actions, I should think, are in line with the finest traditions of transparency and accountability in governance.” “I feel particularly proud of the fact that my exit comes at a time that the administration has been able to generate and supply an unprecedented quantum of steady, reliable electric power in the history of our nation. “I am confident enough to allow history and the Nigerian people to judge my performance on the task that I accepted from the President.” Before his appointment as Minister of Power, Nnaji was the Special Adviser on Power to President Goodluck Jonathan and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Power. He had in 1993 served in the capacity of Minister of Science and Technology. He explained that he had to voluntarily resign to retain his integrity which has in recent days come under scurrilous attacks by powerful vested interests that were hell bent on besmirching the integrity and reputation that he has painstakingly built over the years. “This resignation is also to ensure that there is no spillover of these attacks to the President who is working very hard to transform the nation,” he said He noted that his resignation would give him the opportunity to go back to his integrated power projects which have been designed to accelerate the development of the nation.

NNPC chief urges IOCs to develop indigenous E&P firms


HE Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has called on the International Oil Companies (IOCs) to encourage the development of indigenous exploration and production companies (E&P). The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Andy Yakubu, an engineer, made the call during hand over of the 45 per cent equity shares owned by Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria Limited (SPDC), Total and Agip Joint Venture by the Shell at the NNPC Towers in Abuja. He decried the low level participation of Nigerians in the E&P segment of the petroleum industry, which makes the total oil production by locally owned firms account for less than 10 per cent of the total crude oil produced in Nigeria.

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

He urged other multinational oil companies to emulate Shell and divest some of their producing assets to local entrepreneurs. Yakubu said: “Shell divested their investment of 45 per cent of equity with the other partners, mostly on their land assets and the Federal Government was magnanimous to assign the 55 per cent equity to the National Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), a subsidiary of NNPC and other indigenous companies that declared interest in the other assets and bided for it through competitive bidding and winners emerged. I think we have executed three of such and today’s is the fourth one. “Sometime last year when the

other partners came on board, we went through the same process and a couple of weeks ago, we had a third partner on board. I think this is the same process of expanding indigenous capacity in the upstream. “I have always said each time I had the opportunity of doing so, that when we look at our participation in the upstream, indigenous participants have performed very poorly because we hardly have up to 10 per cent of total production in the upstream. “With this step, I believe it is an opportunity for us to grow indigenous capacity and grow in-country capability in the upstream. “I also hope that other partners will look at their assets - producing and non-producing and follow the path of SPDC in encouraging the

much cherished indigenous participation in the upstream. This, we believe if we push through will position us in local capacity growth, both in upstream and other parts of the hydrocarbon value chain. “It is with gratitude that I welcome you here today again to witness this signing ceremony, which will cap the transaction and also mark the beginning of our partnership with the new partners who are here.” Documents signed by the parties include first , the Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) for OML 40, the second agreement was the JOA between NPDC and Elcrest and the third one is the Innovation Agreement between the respective parties. Commenting, the Managing Di-

rector of Chairman of Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria Limited (SPDC) and Chairman Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mutiu Sunmonu, said: “This has been a very, very long transaction, but I think you should be very proud of what you have achieved, especially with respect with your AIM IPO, which I understand is the biggest AIM IPO since 2009. Let me also thank all the team that has worked on this. The NNPC team, SPDC, Total and Agip; this has been a very long task for each and every one of you. “I will also want to thank you for achieving closure today, and I must say this is one of the rare things, because, usually when we sign •Continued on page 49




From left: Frank Akogwu, Media Officer, NNPC Group Public Affairs; Fidel Pepple, Acting Group General Manager; Mrs. Jane Ebong, Acting Executive Director, Services, National Engineering and Technical Company (NETCO), a subsidiary of NNPC; Dr. Kennie Obateru, Manager, Public Affairs, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), Dr. Omar Farouk, General Manager, Group Public Affairs Manager, NNPC; and Mike Mukwuzi, Media Officer, when the management of the Group Public Affairs of the NNPC had an interactive session with energy correspondents in Lagos.

‘How to sustain reforms in petroleum sector’


ORMER Interior Minister Captain Emmanuel Ihenacho has said one way to sustain reforms in the oil and gas sector is open up the sector for more investors to come in and do business. Ihenacho, who also is the Chairman, Integrated Oil and Gas Limited, said the Nigerian downstream is a restricted market, which though supportive of a large number of trading entities, still retains significant costs for entry and market participation by new market entrants. He said: “Entry into and exit from the Nigerian downstream is not constrained by the existence of artificial barriers, there are, however, natural barriers to entry, which must be negotiated by new entrant traders in order to achieve market access. “Such natural barriers to entry include the high capital requirement needed to purchase and hold stocks; critical trading infrastructure requirements by way of a requirement to own vessels, storage tank farm infrastructure, road tanker trucks, filling stations; technical capacity requirement; and market and trading experience.” Ihenacho spoke at the conference of the National Association of En-

By Joseph Eshanokpe

ergy Correspondents (NAEC) in Lagos and entitled: Energy industry deregulation: prospects and challenges to the economy. In his paper entitled, “Achieving sustainable and effective petroleum downstream operations: Integrated Oil and Gas experience,” Ihenacho, who described the oil and gas sector as neither a monopoly nor oligopoly, however, said it is restricted as a result of some regulations. He said the rules have attendant costs, which ultimately, are passed to consumers in form of higher prices. The Integrated Oil and Gas boss, rejected uniformity in petroleum products prices because of many factors. He listed these as distance, bad roads, maintenance of trucks, overhead costs, among others. He also noted that the potential for the efficient operation of the downstream petroleum market in an environment where product prices would systematically bid down through the free interplay of market forces is currently constrained by the existence of a plethora of official regulations, which discourage competition and promote marketing ineffi-

Nigeria, Angola boost OPEC’s August output


RGANISATION of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC’s) crude oil output rose in August as Iranian shipments climbed slightly from its lowest in more than two decades and because of higher exports from Angola and Nigeria, a Reuters’ survey has showed. Supply from the 12-member OPEC averaged 31.53 million barrels per day (bpd), up from 31.30 million bpd in July, the survey of sources at oil companies, OPEC officials and analysts found. The most notable trend in August is the lack of a further decline in Iranian exports, which have dropped sharply this year due to United States and European sanctions. Supply rose by 50,000 bpd in August, according to the survey, to 2.85 million bpd. Iran’s crude became subject to a European Union embargo from July 1. The embargo also bars EU

insurance firms from covering Iran’s exports, hindering imports by non-European Countries(EU) buyers. More crude is heading in August to some Asian customers such as Japan, where government-backed shipping insurance has encouraged purchases despite the EU sanctions, sources in the survey said. However, Iran’s supply remains near a historic low. July’s output was its lowest since 1988, when it pumped 2.24 million bpd, according to figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Nigerian and Angolan and exports, which both tend to be volatile on month-by-month basis, climbed in August and pushed total OPEC production higher. Angolan shipments reached a two, one-and -half-year high due to extra cargoes of some crude grades and completion of maintenance at the Girassol oilfield, one of its larger production facilities.

ciency and high costs. He said: “The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) regulates the quantities of PMS (petrol), which may be imported into the downstream market and the price at which the product may be sold and other conditions appertaining to trading in PMS in the market. The PPPRA also administers the subsidy and Petroleum Subsidy Fund (PSF) refund programme, associated with the continuing regulation of the PMS trade. “Nigeria currently consumes a large quantity of PMS estimated at 30 million litres daily and in order to keep the delivered pump price at a fixed level of N97 a litre, the government currently underwrites the extra costs of importing and delivering PMS to the market. The huge fixed investment in this subsidy outlay has been the subject of a raging national debate with some people querying the rationale for the continued pursuit of such a policy particularly in the light of the observation that subsidy benefits, in fact, accrue more to the vehicular

mobile classes, that is, the middle and upper classes rather than to the poor in the society on account of which the subsidy policy is supposed to be maintained.” On the controversial subsidy, he said: “Subsidy is a good idea but it is money that is misapplied. It is a waste of money.” He advised that the government should use the money to increase the salaries of workers, adding that the common man who is supposed to benefit from the subsidy does not. Rather, it is the rich who have many cars and transporters who gain most from the subsidy policy. He urged the National Assembly to expedite action in the passage of the new Petroleum Industry Bill, saying the industry should be guided by a policy document. The Executive Secretary, Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Ernest Nwapa, listed the challenges in the petroleum downstream sector as sea piracy, old vessels, pipeline vandalism, bad roads and use of rickety trucks. He urged the government and other stakeholders to tackle them if they


want to see the needed changes. Nwapa urged the government to create more jobs. “We have to work with the government to get back jobs that should be done here,” he said. He commended the organisers for a good job describing the press as a major supporter to government’s policy implementation.

‘Confabs’ll unlock upstream, downstream investments’


HE oil and gas industry needs more platforms for key players to synergise on new opportunities, technologies and policies in the upstream and downstream market if more investments are to be freed up. Former Senior Special Adviser to Dr Goodluck Jonathan on Mass Literacy Programmes, Dr Kune Igoni, said this while making case for more conferences and exhibitions to be held in the country, such as South Africa, which holds close to 60 of such events annually. Speaking with The Nation in Lagos on the forthcoming Upstream and Downstream (U & D) International Exhibitions and Conference being put together by West Africa Exhibition and Conference, Igoni said by organising more conferences like this, it would encourage and proffer more investment options especially in oil and gas infrastructure. While admitting that the petroleum industry is currently undergoing strong restructuring and policy changes, Igoni, who is the director of the event, averred that for this reason it was imperative to

By Bidemi Bakare

get key players together to synergise on opportunities. He acknowledged the contributions of international conferences such as the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) and Offshore Asia to the development of the global oil industry assuring that in 10 years time the U & D event too would be positioned to compete favourably with these reputable conferences. He noted that the second edition of the event promises to be unique as over 2,000 international key industry players are expected to converge on Abuja. The event will be declared open by President Goodluck Jonathan. He said that after the successful hosting of the first edition, the event has received massive backing from oil and gas companies and government establishments as evident in the number of prospective attendees who have shown interest. Besides, he said the endorsement given by organisations, such as

Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) and National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) and other stakeholders is a further testimony of the credibility of the event. With Nigeria’s crude oil production hovering around 2.7 million barrels per day, oil discoveries coming up off the coast of Ghana and the hope of increasing production in the West Africa region rising, Igoni said there couldn’t have been a more auspicious time for such laudable event than now especially with the new Petroleum Industry Bill before the National Assembly. Resource persons expected at the event include Prof. Olusegun Okunnu, Director NNPC; Abdalla Salem el-Badri, OPEC Secretary General; Morrison Fiddi, Group General Manager, NAPIMS; and Dr. Alex Otti, Group Managing Director, Diamond Bank Plc. The threeday event holds at the International Conference Centre, Abuja from October 10 -12.




Oando, LAPO bank partner to deepen LPG use O

ANDO Marketing Plc has entered into an agreement with Lift Above Poverty Organisation Microfinance Bank (LAPO) to provide soft loans for low-income households in Nigeria to purchase Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) or cooking gas. The initiative is in line with Oando’s plan to switch millions of Nigerians from biomass to a clean, efficient, affordable and sustainable LPG using Oando’s OGAS -kg cooking stove, an integrated offering that comes with a cylinder, burner, and gas, said, Meka Olowola, the company’s Head, Corporate Communication. According to Oando Marketing, LAPO Microfinance Bank Limited is the largest microfinance organisation present in 28 states with over 270 branches, and is a pro-poor financial institution committed to the economic empowerment of low-income Nigerians through the provision of financial services to micro and medium enterprises on affordable terms. The agreement was signed by

Yomi Awobokun, Chief Executive Officer , Oando Marketing Plc; Dr. Kamakhya Singh, Chief Financial Officer, LAPO; and Tokunboh Ishmael, Managing Partner Alitheia Capital at Oando’s headquarters in Lagos last week. Access to LPG by the low income group has been hindered primarily by affordability and accessibility. To address the issue of affordability, Oando Marketing introduced a portable 3-kg cylinder to suit the purchasing power of this socio-economic group. The cooking stove cost N6,800 and customers can refill with any amount they can afford per time through the company’s Pay-As-UGas metering system or swap the cylinders for a refill at N800, the company said. The OGAS cooking stoves are available to end-users via the company’s vast network of over 500 retail stations and a growing network of authorised distributors. Oando Marketing through selected Microfinance Banks (MFBs) is developing a tertiary network

of retailers that ensures that O-GAS stoves are available within 10 minutes of every end user. To fund the MFBs, Oando Marketing created a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) called the Clean Cooking Fuel Initiative Limited, (CCFI) to provide on-lending debt capital. The SPV will be funded by Oando and other investors and managed by Alitheia Capital; an Asset Management firm specialised in impact investment. Olowola said LAPO is the first MFB to enjoy on-lending debt capital to kick start this initiative and provide low-income households an opportunity to start a new business venture. In addition to Oando Marketing’s partnership with LAPO, other seasoned MFBs are

poised to join the initiative in the near future. The benefits of this scheme include: an increase employment through entrepreneurial opportunity, provision of a cleaner and safe fuel option for lower income households, reduction of Indoor Air Pollution (IAP) that causes significant health problems, a decline in carbon emissions caused by dirty fuels, and a decrease in the rate of deforestation in Nigeria. On the deal, Mr Awobokun said: “This is another important step in our quest to provide innovative and affordable LPG cooking stoves to an estimated five million low income households over the next five years. We are strongly encouraged

by the reception and feedback from consumers and other relevant stakeholders since we introduced the three-in-one gas cooking stove this year. This partnership with LAPO is one of many to boost our effort to switch majority of Nigerians from the use of biomass fuel to deepen LPG utilisation.” Kamakhya Singh said: “We are pleased to be part of a truly remarkable program that will undoubtedly provide a healthier cooking people at the bottom of the pyramid as the first MFB to sign up. We will tap into our twenty year micro financing experience to encourage and support as many entrepreneurs as we can nationwide pan Nigeria leveraging our diverse customers’ base.”

Oil workers’ pay still rising, says report IL workers are enjoying strong growth in pay thanks, in particular, to a shortage of engineers, a trend that shows no sign of easing. Data released by last week also found Europe lagging other regions when it comes to the training that is crucial to maintaining a future supply of skilled workers. According to Reuters, executives at the Offshore Northern Seas conference last week said finding the right talent to keep the industry healthy was becoming a huge headache, especially in North America where the shale gas boom has taken off. “There are not enough people in the U.S. to fuel these beasts,” said Robert Potter, vice president of FMC Technologies, a manufacturer of drilling equipment. “Being able to bring the labour on board to support what we see in the future - that is what keeps me awake at night. That is the biggest challenge we face.” invited 170,000 oil and gas professionals from 50 countries to take part in its survey which was conducted in conjunction with industry consultant Air Energi. Some 71 per cent of respondents in Asia and Australia expected contract and salary pay to rise further. In the Americas the figure was 56 percent, and in the former Soviet Union and the Caspian it was 60


percent. Some 63 per cent expected an increase in the Middle East. The labour market looked calmer in Africa and Europe, with 47 percent in both regions expecting a rise, although only eight percent predicted a fall in Europe and 15 percent saw a downturn in Africa. Oil and gas recently overtook the troubled banking sector as Britain’s best paid industry with average pay of 64,000 pounds ($101,000), said, adding the hydrocarbons sector needed to improve its image among students. Meanwhile in Norway, where rates for locals are the highest in the world, according to a February survey by employment group Hays, on average an oil worker earns $180,300. The shortage is such that the population of industry workers is ageing fast, according to Mark Guest,managing director of “Skilled engineers are being dragged back into the industry and retirements deferred,” he said. “It is a very, very competitive market.” The new survey suggested the trends outlined in the Hays February data were intact. Hays said that from over 14,000 respondents among the industry’s employees, almost 50 per cent won rises of more than five per cent to their salary, compared with just under 30 per cent in its 2011 survey.

U.S. alone may release oil from emergency stockpiles


ITH Italy and Germany continuing to resist the release of oil from emergency stockpiles, attention will turn to the possibility of a unilateral release by the United States, possibly in conjunction with allies like Britain and France. The symbolism of a multilateral release would clearly be preferable for the White House since it would maximise the impact on global oil markets and limit criticism that the president is manipulating oil prices to help his re-election campaign, said Reuters. But the size of U.S. stocks ensures the threat to go it alone is credible, and may give U.S. officials leverage to bring other members of the International Energy Agency (IEA) on board if the Obama administration decides to push for a release. Even if they refuse, the president has

broad authority under U.S. law to go ahead alone or in conjunction with a few allies. The United States accounts for nearly half of all emergency stocks held by the 28 members of the IEA. At the end of June, the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) contained 696 million barrels of crude, just over 45 per cent of the total strategic stocks of 1.537 billion barrels held across the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In the most recent emergency action, in June 2011, the United States accounted for half of all the stock offered to the market - and substantially more than half of the stock actually sold. The SPR offered 30 million barrels, received bids for 60 million, and ended up selling just over 30 million. Other IEA members theoretically made 30 million barrels available to the market, but in practice sold much less.


Nipco holds safety campaign for fuel truck drivers A S part of its corporate social responsibility programme, Nipco Plc has organised awareness campaign for truck drivers in Lagos State. The safety campaign entitled: “Promoting safety on wheels by drivers” held at the company’s premises, attracted over 200 fuel transporters and officials of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), a segment of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG). The one day event was organised in collaboration with officials of the public education unit of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, Alausa, Ikeja. It was flagged off by the Managing Director, Nipco, Mr Venkataraman Venkatapathy through the company Administration Manager, Bonaventure Ehiem. The campaign was primarily aimed at improving the safety awareness instincts of tanker drivers through whose efforts petroleum products are conveyed to the nooks and crannies of the country, but would also improve effectiveness of fuel haulage across the country.

In his address, Nipco chief said that the programme is another major flank of the company’s resolve to continuously contribute positively to in the sector stressing that truck drivers represent a crucial element in the operations of the downstream firms. He said the safety awareness initiative with the technical support of key government agencies in charge of maintaining sanity on our roads is also in keeping the United Nations decade of action on road safety by reducing road traffic crashes and fatality by the year 2020. “Since we started operations in 2004, we have exhibited high level of zero tolerance to any unsafe acts within and outside our operational base, a feat that has earned us many accolades and awards for the unwavering commitment to safety consciousness,” he said. Venkatapathy noted that the campaign was also aimed at complementing government’s efforts at ensuring safety on our roads especially in relation with the recently signed Lagos Traffic Law. “We are of the view that public education is very crucial to the success of any

good initiative of government as it enables the citizenry to be carried along in the overall interest of the nation,” he added. He said that the economic impact of heavy traffic, which millions of Lagos residents are exposed to on a daily basis is awesome with its negative effects on the productivity of the workforce. Representatives of all the regulatory agencies advised the participants on the need for change in their lifestyle stressing that most of the accidents on Nigerian roads are as a result of flagrant flouting of traffic regulation by motorists. An official of the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation who represented the Commissioner, Mr Kayode Opeifa , Mrs. Habibat Basiru, counselled the drivers on the imperativeness of the new traffic law saying they should not to see it as punitive but a clarion call for all road users to change their way of life and be more safety conscious on wheels. Mr. Ozekhome Julius of the FRSC said the enlightenment campaign was apt especially at this time of the year when vehicular movements are very high with its attendant effects.

NNPC chief urges IOCs to develop indigenous E&P firms •Continued from page 47

these things, there are always some little things yet to be done. But today, we achieved complete closure. I also remember that Chief Emeka Offor made a promise, and I he will stand by the promise. “But I think it’s all about progress; sometimes we have to just make compromises, I hope and think that Elcrest will understand the compromise that has been made today is really to sup-

port you as a new comer into the industry, it is to support the indigenous partners, of Elcrest in particular and we hope that you will not let us down. “On behalf of Elcrest, we are here to guarantee that we are going to put this asset to very good use and we will keep all the promises and undertaken we have given. And we will continue to ask for your support. We’re an indigenous company as you know,

and we need all the support from the bigger companies,” he said. The Group Executive Director, Exploration and Production, NNPC, Abiye Membere, said: “I think we have seen the end of a journey, where there is a new beginning. As we begin a new one, we will give you all the support required for Elcrest and NPDC to ensure that we create the requisite value for this particular asset.“






For Ekiti roads, a new lease of life For the Governor Kayode Fayemiled administration in Ekiti State, opening up the communities through aggressive rehabilitation of roads is a priority. It has promised not to abandon any project, reports SALAWUDEEN SULAIMAN


•Ado/Iyin Ekiti Road


OAD users are in for a good time in Ekiti State. In Ado Ekiti, - the capital city, gashes and potholes are disappearing and the frequent visits of vehicles owners to mechanic workshops to fix damaged body parts and burst tyres are fading away. Travellers on the route to other areas are beginning to have smooth rides through Ado-Ekiti. Adjoining towns of Ikere, Ilawe, Ijan/Federal Poly, Iyin and Iworoko/EKSU have suddenly become closer to the state capital owing to the corresponding reduction in their travel times. Even members of the transport unions are attesting to the wind of change blowing in the state. They say their travel times have been halved with the construction and rehabilitation of roads in the Fountain of Knowledge State. Also being refurbished are intracity roads, with the popular Fajuyi Junction as the take-off point. The roads towards Adebayo/Teaching Hospital, Basiri Police Headquarters and Ojumose/Old Garage are all wearing new looks. It is difficult for passengers and first-time travellers not to notice that the city centre has temporary become a construction site. Such places where heavy presence of construction equipment are readily noticeable include: Ereguru/OkeOriomi/Atikankan; Ben Folarin/Ilawe road axis; Nova road; Odo-Ado/ Federal Poly and the Ado/Iworoko dual carriage way. The dualised Fajuyi-Old Garage road, through Okeyinmi through Ojumose, linking Ijigbo/Ikere Ekiti road, is receiving a face-lift. At an interactive forum with reporters recently,Governor Kayode Fayemi explained that his government’s intervention would ease the usual traffic logjam on the Post Office/Palace/Old Garrage road. He said the intention is to create access within and around the capital without any noticeable presssure on any particular road. Commissioner for Works and Transport Mr Sola Adebayo said the roads in the state capital are being repaired in phases, so as not to choke up residents. He noted: “Even despite the efforts to segment the rehabilitation, traffic still build up in some areas, especially on Adebayo road where we have made appreciable progress with the successful blasting of rocks at the School of Nursing side and the Adebayo/New garage end of the road. “When our attention was drawn to the tarffic pains of commuters on the road, we only instructed the contractor to quicken the pace of construction around the area and he complied. “We (including the state governor), also started to resume our daily assignment for effective monitoring. But in no time, the gridlock vanished.” According to him, there was a standing order from the governor specifically that the contractor handling the dulaisation of the AdoIworoko road should work 24 hours.

Although the initial plan was to complete all abandoned projects before taking on new ones, exigent imperatives advised that both abandoned and the new projects being together must go on at the same time to sufficiently cushion the effects of parlous state of the roads on residents


Project Manager of HAJAIG, one of the contractors handling the roads, Mr Kashif Tawwab, told The Nation that his firm has received tremendous support from the government in terms of funding Tawwab said: “The state government has been very kind to us (the company). It is the rain that has set us back a bit. But we are moving on. You notice we are on site 24 hours. “The major work on most of the roads are the drainages and for the ones which have to be dualised, the major work is the concrete median. “We want to do all the drainages and the road divider now. Once that is fixed, in the next couple of weeks, the rest of the jobs will be done in no time.” But the ongoing construction has thrown up temporary challenges within the metrpolis. According to Mr Kayode Kajola of 9 Omisanjana Street, a commercial

•Ongoing construction of drainage channel on Ojumose/Old Garage Road

•Afao-Ado-Ekiti Road ...almost completed.

•Fayemi flanked (on the right) by Senior Special Assistant on Roads and and Special Duties Mr Adunmo Sunday and Project Manager of Plycpcon Nigeria Ltd Mr Yemi Arije, during an unscheduled visit to Ado/Ikere Ekiti Road.

bus operator, the Omisanjana road is too narrow, considering the volume of traffic in the area.

“The mistake commonly made is the belief that traffic in the area is usually light, being a suburb. But this

is not so”, Kajola said. It is not only the roads in and around the immediate the capital that are being revitalised. Information and Civic Orientation Commissioner, Mr. Funminiyi Afuye, informed that many inter-city roads have either been fixed, or undergoing rehabilitation. Afuye said: “The entire stretch between Ado-Ekiti and Iboji, a border community between Ekiti and Ondo states has been completed; Igbara Odo to Ikere is 85 per cent completed; IjanEkiti to Isan-Ekiti is almost completed. May I add that even Ado-Ifaki-Ekiti road, which the state government took over from the Federal Government is almost completed as well. Afuye noted that although the initial plan was to complete all abandoned projects before taking on new ones, but the reality of the need to transform the state, advised that both the abandoned and the new projects should be taken in one fell swoop to sufficiently cushion the effects of parlous state of the roads on residents. He said: “Today, we are already seeing the result of the sheer will and focused determination of the Fayemi administration. Despite the paucity of funds at the state’s disposal, the entire road network across the state is being overhauled. “And we are assuring our people that, despite the ambitious volume of work this administration has set as a target for itself, at the end of our four years, no single road project will be an abandoned project. “You would recall that elder statesman Chief Ojo Falegan, in his comments during the State Economic and Development Summit last year, used the term‘development by destruction’ to capture the demolition of structures in the wake of the urban renewal project. He cautioned the government to be less ambitious about the projects it was undertaking. “Chief was right because he knew the state’s financial status. But we were right as well because we know the consequence of the total collapse of road infrastructure in our dear state. “It was truly an ambitious gamble. But it is already paying off today as commuting within the state has become less stressful and commercial activities boosted.”




How to choose your tenants wisely


•Ita-Eko, Sokori, Tontoro Road, Abeokuta, Ogun State

Ogun opens up rural areas with roads


HE Ogun State Government is opening up rural areas through road construction. The bulk of the project is being done in Ogun East and West Senatorial districts. Ogbere Road in Ijebu-East Local Government has been reconstructed, earning the government the people’s praise. Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Mr Kayode Ademolake, an engineer, said the government decided to address infrastructural decay in these areas because they are in the remote parts of the state.

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst Editor

Ademolake said roads in Orita J4, Abigi, Efire, Ibiade and Makun-Omi in Ogun Waterside, have been reconstructed to provide succour to motorists and residents, particularly farmers who, hitherto, found it difficult to transport their produce. In the same vein, he said a section of Imowo Road in Ijebu-Ode had been reconstructed to reduce the effect of the annual flooding in the area. He also said two culverts were being rehabilitated on Ondo Road

in Ijebu-Ode to allow for free flow of water. Ademolake also said Koro Otun, Koro Osi, Amadiya and Igbo Olori roadsin Ota, Ado-Odo Ota Local Government Area, had been rehabilitated. He said rehabilitation and maintenance of roads in Ota was paramount to the state government because of the economic importance of the area. He said construction of the 32km Sango-Ijoko-Agbado-Oke AroAkute-Ojodu Abiodun Doad would start as soon as the rains stop while contract for the award of the 10.2 km Ilo-Awela Road in the area would soon be signed.

Firm ready to hand over road to govt


HE stage is set for the inauguration of the NIHORT/ Elenusonso road in Ibadan, Oyo State. This followed the completion of works on a section of the project, an extension of Idi-Ishin GRA in the state capital. Ahead of the event, residents of the benefiting community have lauded the Governor Abiola Ajimobi-led administration for undertaking the road and opening up their area. For several years, the residents have been facing hardship because of the road’s deplorable condition, a section of which was given to Real Land Investment Company Limited to fix. According to its Project Manager, Salimon Olaide, his company swung into action immediately it was contracted to rehabilitate the road, assuring that it would soon

be completed. Olaide, who spoke to reporters along with the project’s co-supervisor, Mr Adebowale Aladeokin, said his company reconstructed the road. He said in line with the specification and quality assurance of the Ajimobi administration on virtually all the projects being awarded, Real Land carried out expansion works and excavation of the bushy sideways. Olaide said the quality of job done

‘Residents of the benefiting community have lauded the Governor Abiola Ajimobi-led administration for undertaking the road and opening up their area’

by his company would stand the test of time, adding that the era of roads being washed away by floods shortly after inauguration. Said he: “As a company with history of delivering quality job with its attendant time tested and long standing durability, we cannot but say that we are happy to be partners in progress to the Governor Ajimobi government in its avowed commitment to rewrite the story of Oyo State as a truly pace-setter state. “You can also see for yourself the quality of works going on here and I am proud to say that we don't have any cause to regret undertaking this project. “Like you asked earlier, of the long stretch of this road, ours is just 1.7-kilometre while the other end was awarded to another contractor. We are handing over this to the state government in few days upon its completion."

PepsiCo gets Stockholm Industry Water award


EPSICO has received the Stockholm Industry Water Award for its work to reduce water consumption in their operations and to help solve water challenges on a broad scale. The Award jury recognised PepsiCo’s efforts to increase water efficiency. The global food and beverage company conserved nearly 16 billion litres of water last year, from a 2006 baseline, through the application of water saving equipment and technologies, creative recycling and re-use, and by deploying a water management system throughout its manufacturing facilities. Award Committee Member and

Director of Water Projects at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Joppe Cramwinckel, said: “PepsiCo has set and achieved a high standard for its own operations, and has demonstrated that responsible water use makes good business sense.” The honourary award was presented to PepsiCo at a ceremony that took place during the World Water Week in Stockholm. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pepsico, Ms. Indra Nooyi, said: “PepsiCo is honoured to accept this award from the Stockholm Industry Water Award Jury. “This prestigious award is validation of our water conservation

efforts. Reducing our water usage drives cost reductions and reduces our overall environmental footprint, and so we’re innovating to make the most of every drop of water used. “These water reduction efforts are part of our overall performance with purpose strategy, which includes our promise to provide a wide range of foods and beverages for local tastes; to find innovative ways to minimise our impact on the environment by conserving energy and water and reducing packaging volume; to provide a great workplace for associates; and to respect, support and invest in the local communities where the company operates.”

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie HE zeal to become a landlord Asst Editor by many is being sustained with real estate develop- tired teacher, Mrs Alice Adiche ments on the Lagos/Ibadan/ who put all her savings from both Badagry axis. This is also true with her formal and informal source of other developments in Abuja sat- income to put up a small building ellite towns and other major cit- with a commercial unit and an apartment. She lived in the aparties. In recent times, and with the ment for a few years and but then crash of the capital market, many moved out “into a cheap rental Nigerians have veered into build- property to use the unit to genering or buying income properties ate some income. Recounting her experience, she and becoming landlords. It’s estimated that at least one- said: “This is the only investment third of the organised and infor- property I own. l charged N250, mal sector have at one time or the 000 per annum and moved into an other had a marketing executive N300,000 apartment per annum or two that tried to sell a property too. The tenant only paid for a year to them with mouth-watering and have stayed for three years promises of convenient payments using court injunctions to stay on to suit individual pockets. While without paying me. Besides, all the some took the opportunity to be- facilities have broken down as he come live-in landlords today, oth- went to his village and brought ers chose to build and rent out. It his relations and turned my house must be stated here that it is in- into a boarding house as it were.” structive to choose your tenants It is a fact that some tenants have carefully; indeed, it’s not advised the penchant to initiate frivolous appeals to obtain to hurry things rent-free housing when doing that as ‘It is always good without conscience. relying on hunches Adiche cried out to get property has been known to that the law seems management comfail in critical times. balanced in panies to find and so Sadly, some favour of tenants to people are yet to deal with tenants, the extent that the come to terms with but many small smalllandlords making use of the don’t have a chance. investors take the services of profesPeople get into do-it-yourself apsionals, especially business proach and select property in the real estate due to the belief that sector. It is always their own tenants. property has ingood to get propcome potential but Getting the right erty management they readily forget tenant, who pays companies to find that it is a business his rent on time, and deal with tenthat is highly reguants, but many respects his lated. small investors neighbours and It is advised that a take the do-it-yourlandlord should ask doesn’t become a self approach and nuisance can be a potential tenants select their own questions that may tricky business’ tenants. Getting the help you discover right tenant, who who your potential pays his rent on tenant is. For intime, respects his neighbours and stance you can ask where they doesn’t become a nuisance can be work and how much they make on a tricky business. monthly or weekly basis to know “It is a fact of history that trust- if it’s sustainable. You can ask how ing your gut feeling, when decid- many people will be living in the ing on which applicant to choose, unit, and get their names. is responsible for over 30 per cent You can also ask about their reliof the quantifiable losses of rental gious orientation and possibly property assets. Some technically where they lived before coming to knowledgeable tenants even know rent your place. In advanced counhow to cover up their activities and tries you may shy away from askchange their personal identities.” ing questions on race, ancestry, In Lagos for instance, some land- place of origin, colour, ethnic orilords are of the opinion that the gin, citizenship, creed, sex, age, tenancy laws is tilted too much in marital status, family status, handifavour of tenants making them to cap etc but here almost every questake advantage of the situation, tion is necessary. they subsequently has called for the Perhaps most importantly, landreview of the law. But the state lords and property management government insists that the law firms should seek out where the protects every one that acts within prospective tenant is coming from the ambits of the law. to find out if rent payments were Investigations have shown that made on time and if there were any there is a growing practice by un- problems with the tenant from his scrupulous tenants to manipulate past landlord or co-tenants going the law improperly and often dis- back two or three tenancies if poshonestly, to enable them to remain sible. in their rented premises for long If he is employed you may also periods of time without having to check out with his employer to pay rent to their landlords. make sure the information you This wide spread practice im- have been given is accurate. If you poses an unfair hardship on land- can, check court records. lords and reflects badly on the civil If you painstakingly do all these justice system, where a person you would hardly go wrong. So builds his house and will not be take your time, check out your proallowed to enjoy the benefits by a spective tenant before you give out non-paying tenant. your priced property! There is this story told by a re-

‘For instance you can ask where they work and how much they make on monthly or weekly basis to know if it’s sustainable. You can ask how many people will be living in the unit, and get their names’ •Contributions, questions? e-mail:



MARITIME CRFFN to collect fees at ports Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda

THE Federal Government has given the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) the go-ahead to collect fees at the ports. The Council is also to collect registration and yearly subscription fees from members. In a July 3 letter, the government approved transaction fees for airports, seaports and land borders cargoes as follows: N1.50 per kilo was approved for air cargoes; N1,000 per 20ft container; N2,000 per 40ft container; N500 per car/Jeep; N1,000 per truck or 20ft equivalent; N2,000 per truck or 40ft equivalent; N3.50 per ton for general cargo and N1 per ton for dry bulk cargo. The government also approved registration fees for Nigerians and non-Nigerians, ranging from N7,500 to N50,000, depending on the category of membership. Similarly, yearly subscription fees ranging from N10,000 to N60,000 were approved, depending on the category of membership. And to ensure compliance, the ministry directed the Central Office Planning and Information (COPI) of the NPA to “henceforth forward copies of all cargo manifests received to the CRFFN.” “In addition, the CRFFN should be represented at the Berthing Committee Meetings of the NPA.”

NIMAREX gets committee

•Seme Area Comptroller Abubakar Sadiq showing reporters some bags of seized rice.


Rice smuggling still thrives D despite ban ESPITE its ban, the importation of rice through land borders is still thriving, The Nation has learnt. Smugglers are said to have returned to their illicit trade following the high price of rice imported through the ports. Following the ban, the Federal Government approved that rice could only be imported through the ports. Capitalising on this directive, importers were said to have raised the price of the commodity to between N8,000 and N8,500 per bag. It was between N5,000 and N5,500 before the ban. To beat the importers in their game, the smugglers returned, selling at N6,000 and N6,200 per bag at the border towns of Owode, Lusada, Agbara, Atan and Igbesa. A Customs officer, who does not want his name in print, said they are trying to curb rice smuggling along these borders. He said the high cost of rice led to an upsurge in its smuggling. Since the ban, he said, Customs had been trying to stem rice smuggling despite the determination of some Nigerians to bring the com-

Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda

modity in because of the market for it. He said: “The truth must be told. If I tell you that there is no upsurge in rice smuggling since the Federal Government banned rice importation through the land borders, I will be telling lies. There is on upsurge because the same government that banned rice importation through the land borders has done virtually nothing to bring the price down in the market. “Nigerians are left in the hands of these shylock traders and that is a big minus on the side of our policy makers.” Investigation, however, revealed that major rice importers in Lagos are making between N3,000 and N3,500 on a bag. Sources said the landing cost of a 50-kilogramme bag of rice is between N5,000 and N5,500 depending on the grade. But the importers sell for between N8,000 and N8,5000.

A secondary school teacher, Mr Yetude Hammed, urged the government to lift the ban in the public interest. She said the price of rice has gone up geometrically, alleging that majority of those importing the commodity through the seaports are “shylock traders working against the interest of the country and the common man.” Some consumers attributed the high cost of rice to the new tariff regime introduced by the government. A rice merchant at Alaba Rago Market in Lagos, Alhaji Sheu Yahya, said when the ban on rice importation through land borders was lifted early last year, the landing cost of 600 bags was N2.7 million; it later increased to N2.8 million. He said the same 600 bags of rice now cost N3.65 million. Yahya said the price may not fall except the Federal Government reduces the tariff. However, some dealers at

Daleko and Oshodi markets in Lagos said the price is high because of the high duty the government placed on its importation. Mrs Kehinde Onibudo said the landing cost through the seaports is expensive compared to that of neighbouring ports. She denied that traders are shortchanging the government through duty evasion at the border , saying they were ready to pay at every border before bringing in the commodity. Another trader, Sehun Adetola, said they were aware that rice importers were required by the law to pay 20 per cent Customs duty in addition to a 20 per cent levy, a condition, she said, they always complied with it. She said:“It is bad for those in the government to tag us that are doing our legitimate business and paying the necessary duty to Customs as smugglers. We are not smugglers, but importers and rice merchants. “We prefer to import through the neighbouring ports because we cannot compete with the local importers who use billions of naira to import the commodity.”

Scanners for Onne, Port Harcourt ports


WO hi-tech gantry scanners have been introduced at the Onne and Port Harcourt ports by Destination Inspection (DI) service provider, SGS Scanning Nigeria Limited, to enable it meet the 48-hour deadline for cargo clearance. The scanners, according to the company’s Managing Director, Mr Nigel Balchin, represent the technology that will complement efforts aimed at reducing the cost of doing business at the ports. He said the scanners were not available in 2005 when SGS entered into contract with the Federal Govern-

ment as a service provider under the Destination Inspection regime. In line with his company’s quality service culture, he said, it sought the government’s permission to deploy the technology, which experts say, is more productive and cost effective than the traditional fixed cargo scanners; two of which were provided for the cost of one fixed scanner. The scanners scan about 34 trucks per hour compared with 16 trucks for a fixed scanner. The gantry scanner has a double tunnel; which means that two trucks can be scanned simultaneously. Its image quality is on par

with a fixed scanner. The trucks remain stationary during scanning (the scanner moves on rails) unlike a fixed scanner where the truck is pulled through the scanner on a conveyor that’s more vulnerable to maintenance issues. The scanner is mounted above ground unlike a fixed scanner where one of the detectors is four metres underground. In addition, a relocatable gantry scanner can be re-deployed to an alternative site, in a relatively short time, in case of any expansion or new development. The introduction of the gantry scanner will, no

doubt, impact positively on the economy of states in the Southeast and Southsouth regions of the country. It will enhance the operations of the Nigeria Customs Service, notably in trade facilitation and revenue collection. The scanner’s ability to handle about 34 containers/ trucks per hour makes the attainment of the 48-hour clearance target achievable, as more shipments can be handled at a time. For the “garden city”and its environs, the commencement of scanning operations at the Port Harcourt main port will check the importation of harmful and dangerous goods.

THE Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX) 2013 Planning Committee has been inaugurated in Lagos. The event held at the headquarters of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) by the National Chairman of the Indigenous Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Chief Isaac Jolapamo. The Chairman of the committee is Chief Chijioke Collins Egwuagu while Mr Bolaji Akinola is the Secretary. Noting that more stakeholders have been invited as members of the Committee “in order to increase the context of NIMAREX 2013,” the ISAN boss urged “all to work harmoniously together for the greater interest of the Maritime Sector and the nation.” Similar exhortations that NIMAREX serves as a veritable platform for transforming the maritime industry for the better came from the NSC Executive Secretary, Capt. Adamu Biu; Chairman, Ports Consultative Council (PCC), Otunba Kunle Folarin; and ISAN Exco member, Capt. Obinali Ejemba.

‘Promote maritime industry’ MARITIME lawyers have urged the Federal Government to put necessary policies in place to promote the industry. Speaking with reporters in Lagos, the lawyers said the dearth of human and material capacities has been a source of worry in the sector. They called on relevant government agencies at the port to complement stakeholders’efforts in capacity-building, noting that businesses blink first in the event of any government policy breakdown. Speaking on behalf of others, a maritime lawyer and consultant in the industry, Mr Frank Simpson, said the dream of the youth, who seek employment, is only realisable through job creation via the sector and human capacity building. He said the country can be the number one maritime nation in Africa if human capacity building is taken seriously.

Old vessels threaten Cabotage THE influx of old vessels by local ship owners, and the phasing out of single hull vessels by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) have been identified as one of the reasons Nigerians have not benefited from the Cabotage Act. A stakeholder in the maritime sector, Mr Bayo Adegbite, said in Lagos that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) should stop old vessels from entering the country, adding that they were being used for illegal bunkering. “If you allow ship owners to bring old vessels into the country and you register them as cabotage vessels, then you must be ready to give them jobs; forget about IMO laws and the other laws because you have collected money from the owners for registration and that is why NIMASA must stop them,” he said.

ANALCA backs 48-hour clearance THE directive by the Federal Government on speedy cargo clearance at the ports, has been commended by the President, Association Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANALCA), Alhaji Olayiwola Shittu. During an interview with The Nation, Shittu said the cargo clearance target could be met if the government agencies at the ports complied with the Federal Government’s guideline on importation. He urged importers and other clearing agents to make proper declarations and correct payments for their imports so that the initiative would become visible. “There is the need for the government to encourage importers and their clearing agents to operate at the ports during the weekends. This will surely reduce the delay in cargo clearance and reduce port congestions. But the agents and importers should also have the ability to make selfassessments of their goods, which will make the verification easier for Customs officers and eliminate delay in the release of cargoes so transparently declared.” The ANALCA chief added that the shipping companies have an important role to play in the 48 hours cargo clearance.




Brokers shift focus to macroeconomic transformation TOCKBROKERS under the aegis of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) will brainstorm with other major policy makers, influencers and enforcers in a renewed focus on the macroeconomic development of Nigeria. Brokers’ focus on macroeconomic environment came as the Nigerian stock market opened another bullish week, with the average year-to-date return at the market swinging upward from 14.57 per cent to 15.11 per cent by the end of first trading session. The benchmark index at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the All Share Index (ASI), reached a new recent highest index point at 23,864.05 points while aggregate market capitalisation added N36 billion to close at N7.596 trillion. The ASI and market capitalisation had opened at 23,750.82 points and N7.560 trillion respectively. Speaking at a media interactive session to announce the maiden annual national workshop of CIS in Lagos yesterday, President, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), Mr Ariyo Olushekun, said the institute decided on the national workshop as part of efforts to take its rightful place in charting a new course for Nigeria. According to him, brokers have resolved to take a more active role in influencing economic policy by organising annual national workshops that would contribute immensely to the transformation, not only of the capital market, but the national economy as a whole. He said that the workshop would bring together key players in both the public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy to brainstorm, and generate ideas, which will


•Equities rally to 15% By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

serve as useful input to the national budget and enhance the quality of the policy making process. “It will also assist government agencies to track budget performance and showcase best practices in service delivery. Further, the workshop will present an avenue to influence government policies thereby ensuring the growth and development of key sectors of the Nigerian economy,” Olushekun said. He pointed out that through the workshop, brokers would regularly collaborate with and engage key arms and agencies of government including the Presidency, National Assembly, Federal Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria, Securities and Exchange Commission and Nigerian Stock Exchange among others as part of their contributions to national development. This year’s conference, which holds on Thursday September 13, 2012 at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, with the theme, Working the Transformation Agenda: The Real Issues,’ will focus on the agricultural, telecommunications and power sectors of the economy. Olushekun noted that the three sectors were chosen because they hold strategic importance to the realisation of the vast potentials of the Nigerian economy, and reinvigoration of the capital market. Chairman, CIS National Workshop Committee, Mr. Albert Okumagba, said the workshop would serve as a platform for generating strategies for driving visible and measurable changes in the Nigerian economy. According to him, the inau-

gural national workshop has been structured to provide an interface between the policy makers and capital market stakeholders with a view to establishing an on-going dialogue that will ultimately facilitate better policies that will aid sustained economic development. The workshop would attract distinguished Nigerians from both the public and private sectors. Some of the guests, paper presenters and discussants at the event include the Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Arc Nnamadi Sambo, Honourable Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Honourable Minister of Petroleum, Honourable Minister of Communication Technology, Honourable Minister of Trade and Investment, DG, SEC, CEO, NSE, DG, PENCOM, MD/CEO, AMCON, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Dr Oba Otudeko, Dr Abraham Nwankwo, Mr Tony Elumelu, and Mr Wale Tinubu, among others. Meanwhile, total turnover at NSE yesterday stood at 133.58 million shares worth N1.24 billion in 3,561 deals. Banking subsector accounted for 88.92 million shares valued at N822.68 million in 2,045 deals. First Bank of Nigeria was the most active stock with a turnover of 18.23 million shares valued at N245.52 million in 588 deals. With three gainers to a loser, the pricing trend showed widespread bullish transactions. Flour Mills of Nigeria led the gainers with a gain of N2 to close at N55.50. Julius Berger Nigeria followed with a gain of N1.28 to close at N28 while Okomu Oil Palm added N1 to close at N32.50. On the downside, Arbico led the slackers with a loss of 63 kobo to close at N12.10. Presco lost 20 kobo to close at N14.80 while First Bank of Nigeria dropped by 8.0 kobo to close at N13.46 per share.





Currency overhaul to save N7b yearly, says CBN


HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), yesterday said that the planned introduction of the N5,000 note and currency overhaul will save the country about N7 billion in cost of currency management yearly. Speaking to journalists in Lagos, CBN Spokesman, Ugochukwu Okoroafor refuted claims that the printing of the proposed N5000 note will cost N40 billion. He insisted that the new denomination is aimed at saving the nation the cost of printing money, stressing that it will also allow easy transportation of cash, and better management of the nation’s currency, among other benefits. The CBN recently announced that it will be restructuring the Naira. Under the proposal, the existing N50, N100, N200, N500

By Collins Nweze

and N1,000 notes will be redesigned with added new security features. Sanusi explained that the lower banknotes -N5, N10 and N20 will be in coins, meaning that the currency structure will be 12 - six coins and six notes. While the coins will be 50k, N1, N2, N5, N10 and N20, the notes will be N50, N100, N200, N500, N1,000 and N5,000. Reacting to claims that the new note will jeopardise the ongoing cash-less policy of the apex bank, Okoroafor said that the new note will complement it. He also stressed that the new note will not lead to inflation since the amount of money in circulation will not be affected.” Justifying the currency overhaul, the CBN Spokesman said that every currency gets reviewed once in a while and that Nigeria is not an exception. “Right now,

the United Kingdom is reviewing its currency. So currency review is something that we must do. So as a monetary authority it is a responsibility enshrined in the CBN Act 200,” he said. According to him, given the apex bank’s record in the market and the things it had done over the past 20 years, there is need for the apex bank to be trusted. “In a world where people are always discovering things, you must ensure that you put the latest technology in your currency. “If you don’t embed it in your banknotes, the counterfeiters will take advantage of it. You must make sure that the features you put in your currency are so expensive that it will difficult for counterfeiting to thrive. That is what every nation does.” “We believe that the coins are very important. There is no soci-

ety that operates only on banknotes. People say they can’t carry coins, but the moment they go to other countries, they give them coins and they put them in their pocket. “The CBN is charged with the responsibility of issuing and managing the legal tender currency in Nigeria.” Besides, he said that global best practice demands that countries restructure their currencies every five to eight years to be ahead of counterfeiters. “The coinage of the lower denominations up to N100 was recommended by the currency management key stakeholders at different fora held in Lagos and Abuja prior to the restructuring to gauge their perceptions on the


ments and challenging assignments for practitioners. “In approving the introduction of the Practice Licence, the Governing Council has taken the initiative to further empower the Licensees to practice what they know best using their cognate experiences. We are confident that they will provide invaluable services to a broad spectrum of individuals and organisations in a professional and ethical manner. I therefore take the liberty of this occasion to call on the public and private sector organisations as well as individuals to give the licensees the opportunity to be of service to


N undisclosed Nigerian investment bank will partner Zambia’s largest distributor of power to mines in the financing and development of six new hydroelectric power stations worth over $1 billion in Zambia, an industry official told Reuters. Michael Tarney, the managing director for corporate development at Zambia’s Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC), said the six projects had a total capacity of more than 800 megawatts (MW). Tarney was speaking after the signing of an agreement for the joint development of power projects by CEC and the Nigerian company. “We are immediately looking at the $150 million

them,” she said. According to her, the licencing aligns with the CIBN Act No.5 of 2007 which gives the Institute mandate to, among others; determine the standards of knowledge and skill to be attained by persons seeking to become members of the profession. Section 16 of the Act also stipulates that a person other than a corporate member shall be deemed to practice as a member of the banking profession if, he engages himself in the practice of banking or holds himself out to the public as a member of the banking profession.


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

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




1.00 17.85 0.81 5.10 26.72 8.42 1.33 2.57 1.18 0.51


1.05 18.74 0.85 5.35 28.00 8.80 1.39 2.68 1.23 0.53

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

Current Before

O/PRICE 12.73 1.44 0.75 1.40 0.52 15.00 4.52 1.20 13.54 19.73

C/PRICE 12.10 1.37 0.72 1.35 0.51 14.80 4.47 1.19 13.46 19.71

CHANGE 0.63 0.07 0.03 0.05 0.01 0.20 0.05 0.01 0.08 0.02

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51
















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

Feb. ’11

July ’11

Dec ’11




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% 12.6%

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days


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

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

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

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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%



0.05 0.89 0.04 0.25 1.28 0.38 0.06 0.11 0.05 0.02

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m


LOSERS AS AT 31-8-12


dollar privatisation of its power sector to improve efficiency and had split the distribution network of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) into 11 different units valued at about $100 million each. “The relationship with Africa Finance Corporation whose shareholders include the Nigerian government means we have a local partner,” he said. African Finance Corporation CEO Andrew Alli said he was happy to find CEC as a potential partner. According to him, the power privatisation in Nigeria offered an opportunity for huge investment by CEC and Africa Finance Corporation outside Zambia.

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

OBB Rate Call Rate

Kabompo gorge hydro power project in north-western Zambia and the five Luapula river projects estimated to cost $1 billion. “The Kabompo project was moving well with financial close expected to be reached this year. The Luapula projects have a combined capacity of 800 MW and this year we are doing feasibility studies but I think we should be starting construction maybe 2013 to 2014,” he said. Analysts said the relationship with Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) should boost CEC’s chances of winning the bid for units of a Nigerian state power company lined up for privatisation, Tarney said. Nigeria plans a multi-billion




market does not want because it doesn’t fit into the structure, it will die. But are there people for whom the N5000 note will be useful to? If the answer is yes, don’t we at the CBN have right to serve them, he queried.



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

•CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido

Banks to fund $1b power projects

CIBN awards practice licence to members

HE Chartered Institute Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has awarded practice licenece to its members that met the stipulated criteria. Such applicants would have worked for five years post Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (ACIB) qualification, passed the qualifying professional examinations and fulfilled other procedures set by the agency. A statement by the Chairman, CIBN Practice Licence Board, ‘Debola Osibogun, said the banking industry offers variety and unique career patterns that provide opportunities, advance-

existing series,” he said. The redesign of the notes is aimed at making them more secure; to enhance their durability to last longer in circulation and to streamline their aesthetic and security features . The apex bank decides the volume and value of banknotes to be printed each year. However, the quantum of banknotes to be printed broadly depends on the rate of inflation, Gross Domestic Product growth, replacement of soiled banknotes and reserve stock requirements. He said the existing banknotes in circulation will circulate side by side with the new series. “I tell you that it is market forces that will determine what is popular. If you bring a particular denomination that the

Offer Price

Bid Price


9.08 1.00 124.22 107.28 0.74 1.10 0.91 1,733.14 9.28 1.33 1.80 8,036.24 191.08 1.62



Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2011

Current 07, Aug, 2011

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833




NEWS Chime mourns Vanguard Editor


NUGU State Governor Sullivan Chime has commiserated with the management of the Vanguard on the death of the newspaper’s Entertainment Editor, Mr. Ogbonna Amadi. In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Chukwudi Achife, Chime said Amadi’s death was a terrible loss to the media. He described the late Amadi as “a resourceful professional, who helped to nurture many talents and develop the entertainment industry”. Chime urged the management and staff of Vanguard as well as Amadi’s family to build on the deceased’s legacies.

Southeast governors donate $200,000 to Haiti church


OUTHEAST governors and some individuals at the weekend donated $200,000 to the Catholic community in Haiti for the rebuilding of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Assumption, l’Port-Au-Prince, which was destroyed by an earthquake in 2010. About 78 clerics were killed when the building collapsed. Presenting the cheque to the church, Anambra State Governor Peter Obi called on the international community to assist Haiti, adding that the country has not recovered from the effects of the earthquake. The governor, who was accompanied by the Catholic Bishop of Nnewi, Most Rev. Hilary Okeke, Commissioner for Information and Culture Joe Uzodike and Nollywood Actor Bob Manuel Udokwu, said many nations and organisations pledged to assist Haiti after the earthquake, but many are yet to redeem their pledges. He said: “What befell Haiti is too much for it to handle without assistance. Helping them rebuild this country is one of the ways to show love to our fellow men. Our intervention was targeted at one of the institutions worse hit by that natural tragedy.” The Papal Nuncio to Haiti, Most Rev. Bernardito Auza, thanked the governor.

Imo council chairmen: Court dismisses suit on tenure elongation


N Owerri High Court in Imo State yesterday struck out the suit filed by the 27 local government chairmen, requesting for tenure elongation. The chairmen were disengaged by Governor Rochas Okorocha following the expiration of their tenure, but they insisted that the law reducing the tenure of council bosses to two years was made after their election and should not apply to them. The chairmen sought redress in court and proceeded to the Appeal Court after the lower court ruled against them.

From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

The appellate court ruled that the governor had no constitutional right to sack elected officials and reinstated them. When their tenure expired on August 8, 2012, the chairmen went to court to seek an elongation of their tenure on the grounds that they lost one year of their term to Okorocha’s transition committee chairmen. The state government filed a counter-claim, saying that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. Yesterday, after assuming jurisdiction to entertain the

case, Justice Ngozi Opara said the court cannot extend the tenure of the council chairmen because they had instituted a similar case in Abuja. She said the Owerri court would be sitting at crosspurposes, if it hears the case. Secretary of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Imo State chapter, Mr. Enyinna Onuegbu said: “It is curious that Justice Opara, who adjourned the case for ruling on objection to jurisdiction, today (yesterday), after assuming jurisdiction, went ahead to dismiss a case which has not been argued

and in which parties have not filed their replies. “It confirms the earlier doubts over the mission of the judge as a vacation judge. When a case is said to be an abuse of court process, it is the earliest filed case that remains to be heard by the court. The latter cases are either struck out or adjourned sine die, pending the determination of the earliest case filed. “The case was filed before the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Akaolisa filed the Abuja case. So it cannot be an abuse of court process. ALGON will appeal the judgment.”

Group hails Fed Govt on Onitsha River Port By Ramat Musa


PAN- IGBO group, the Southeast Forum for Development and Prosperity (SEFDOP), has praised the Federal Government for inaugurating the Onitsha River Port. In a statement by its National Coordinator, Mr. Bonaventure Melah, the group congratulated President Goodluck Jonathan and Minister for Transport Idris Umar for the success of the project. It said: “We praise the Federal Government for the rehabilitation of the Onitsha River Port Complex. The importance of the Onitsha River Port to the people of the Southeast and Nigeria cannot be over emphasised. “Onitsha is a great centre of commerce, not only in Nigeria, but the entire West African sub-region. Therefore, making Onitsha River Port operational is very strategic, as it would boost commercial activities in the zone. “It is worthy of note that the Federal Government patronised an indigenous company, Inter- BAU Construction Limited, in the rehabilitation and equipping of the River Port. It shows the government’s concern for the growth of indigenous businesses. “We also thank the Federal Government for the successful dredging of the Lower River Niger from Baro in Niger State to Warri, Delta State, and the maintenance dredging of the River Channels. We urge the Federal Government to intensify the dredging of River Benue and the completion of other river ports and jetties, so that the inland water transport can be improved.”

PROPERTIES FOR SALE FOUNTAIN CITY ESTATE-MOVE N600,000 outright including survey N600,000 Instalment for 12 months and above excluding Survey

•Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Lagos District, Mr. Kola Babarinde and his wife (middle); former Chairman of the District Mr. Bisi Adeyemo (right); and the representative of the National President of the Association, Mrs. Abimbola Olumegbo, during Babarinde’s investiture at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos. PHOTO: RAHMAN SANUSI

South African APGA blames crises on PDP


HE All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), South African chapter, has blamed the crises rocking the party in the Southeast on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It accused the PDP of plans to destabilise the party. In a statement by its Chairman, Mr. Odinaka Emejuru; Secretary Kingsley MadukaYoung and Treasurer Kingsley Kanu; the South African chapter of APGA said: “To resolve the leadership crisis in APGA and Nigeria, we must rescue both from the stranglehold of the PDP.

•Abia council polls slated for January From Ugochukwu UgojiEke, Umuahia



Enquiries: 2ND FLOOR ERA-OLU SHOPPING PLAZA 74, Ladipo street,by Chichen George off Palm Avenue, Matori . Lagos Tel: 08159996961, 08025407357

“One problem that faces Nigerians is the lack of ideology by political parties. Most Nigerians cannot tell you why they follow PDP. All that is certain is that PDP followers can be as rich as they wish at the expense of service delivery, but that will not last. “APGA and any other progressive party must strengthen their ideological standpoint and educate Nigerians that there would be

more wealth in the absence of the corruption PDP represents.” On the plan to remove Chief Victor Umeh as APGA National Chairman in Nigeria, the South African chapter warned against removing him illegally. It said since Umeh was elected at the party’s national congress, he can only be removed from office, if there is proof of abuse of office or neglect of his duties. The South African chapter said: “Democracy demands that after election, all parties

must support the elected executives for effective service delivery. Where the ruling executive is not a person’s choice, the next election is the only available window to change that government. So the same should be applied in the issue of our national chairman. “We advise those calling for the head of our National Chairman and National Secretary to make reference to and apply our party’s constitution and wait for the next national convention to get what they want, if they can.”

1,800 houses for demolition in Aba

HEVEN PARK ESTATE –AGBARA AXIS N600,000 outright including N650,000 Instalment for 12-months and above excluding survey

OTHERS: Complete 6 rooms on a plot @ Ikotun Acres of land @ Ifo N250,000.00K per plot Half plot @ 1.2 Million Half plot with fence and gate @ governor road N2.5 Million Plot of Land in Ibadan N400,000.00K Storey Building @ off Iwo Road (Ibadan-Lagos Express) Buy any of our properties and get access to loan of N 5 Million – 15Million from our Mortgage Bank. Repayment is 10-30 years.

From Ugochukwu UgojiEke, Umuahia



BIA State Governor Theodore Orji has said the demolition of about 1,800 houses built on the waterways in Aba will begin after the rainy season.

Speaking with reporters in Umuahia, the state capital, Orji said: “These houses have been blocking the waterways in Aba. So they must give way for meaningful development and lasting legacies to be built. “After the rains, the caterpillars will move in and the drains, which have been blocked for years, would be de-silted. If the drains are not de-silted, any road built in that city will collapse within a short time.” Debunking insinuations that his administration neglected Aba, the governor

‘After the rains, the caterpillars will move in and the drains, which have been blocked for years, would be desilted. If the drains are not de-silted, any road built in that city will collapse within a short time’ said: “No administration will neglect Aba, because it is

very vital to the state’s development. That is why we have been spending so much money on the city.” Reiterating his administration’s determination to make all roads motor able, Orji said a road maintenance agency would be established soon. The governor said local government elections would be held in January, next year. In the past few years, the councils have been managed by transition chairmen. Orji said: “The last set of elected council officials left a debt profile of N2.6 billion, which the transition council chairmen have cleared. So we are ready to conduct elections in that tier of government.”



NEWS Akpabio mourns Ochigbo

Robbers kill man in Calabar From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar


RMED robbers at the weekend killed a petrol attendant, Emeka Ugo, in Calabar, Cross River State. The incident occurred on Palm Street about 10am. It was learnt that four gunmen, dressed as soldiers, drove into the petrol station in an Audi car, painted in blue and white, the official taxi colour of the state. An eyewitness said the robbers ordered everyone into an office, but Ugo thought they were soldiers and asked them to identify themselves. The source said the robbers shot Ugo in the leg and chest. The robbers stole an unspecified amount of money from the station and escaped. It was gathered that Ugo died on his way to the hospital. Police spokesman John Umo confirmed the incident. He said the police are on the trail of the hoodlums.

Man kills brother’s wife From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri


YOUNG man, Toofine lkpete, ha stabbed his elder brother’s wife, Mrs. Eloh lkpete, to death in Okuloh, Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State. It was learnt that prior to the incident, Toofine and the deceased had a misunderstanding and the suspect threatened to kill her, but no one took it seriously. Sources said the following day, Toofine stabbed the mother of three with a knife while she was breastfeeding her baby. It was learnt that her body had been deposited in the mortuary. The Divisional Police Officer, Mr. lsaac Edjobeguo, and the Delta police spokesman, Mr. Charles Muka, said Toofine has been arrested.

•From left: Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Azubike Ihejirika; Chief of Defence Staff Air Marshall Oluseyi Petinrin; Minister of State for Defence Erelu Olusola Obada; Permanent Secretary, Defence Ministry, Prof. Nicolas Damachi; and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice-Marshall Mohammed Umar, at a press briefing on the performance of the ministry’s 2012 Budget at the State PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN House, Abuja...yesterday.

Edo Election Tribunal begins sitting


HE Edo State Governorship Election Peti-

tion Tribunal will today hold its inaugural sitting on the petition filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the July 14 election, Maj.-Gen. Charles Airhiavbere. In a statement, the Secretary of the tribunal, Mrs. J. Aliyu, said the sitting would begin at 9am. Airhiavbere is challenging the re-election of Governor Adams Oshiomhole. In the petition, he alleged that the election was marred by irregularities.


Airhiavbere claimed that the modern school certificate presented by Oshiomhole was not genuine and that the governor does not possess the qualification he claims to have. In its preliminary objection, filed by Mr. Ken Mozia (SAN), the ACN said the Electoral Act does not state that governorship candidates must have a particular educational qualification. It said the argument that the voters’ register was not updated was a pre-election

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta



HE Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Rywichi Shoji, yesterday said Ogun State would remain an attractive “centre of industries” in Nigeria because of its proximity to Lagos State and other West African countries. The ambassador noted that this is further enhanced by the state’s pioneering feat in various fields of human endeavour. Historically, he said, the state parades the best brains and is endowed geographically with a rich land mass. Shoji spoke in Abeokuta, the state capital, when he led a

delegation of Japanese to visit Governor Ibikunle Amosun. The ambassador explained that the visit would afford the team the opportunity to share firsthand information on areas of cooperation between Japan and the Gateway State. Amosun said his administration would continue to promote cooperation with Japan for the establishment of an automobile assembly plant and an industrial park. He added that the government was ready to collaborate with Japan in human capacity development, industrialisation, energy and longterm financing. In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to Governor on Media and Communications, Mrs Funmi Wakama, the governor described Japan as “a very good example of what a nation without oil can do”. He urged the Asian country to invest in Ogun, saying the state remained a hub of

Five arraigned for N10m fraud


‘The petitioners are not entitled to the reliefs claimed or any relief at all. The petition should, therefore, be dismissed with substantial cost and the tribunal should affirm the return of the first respondent (Oshiomhole) as the duly elected governor of Edo State’ matter. ACN said: “The petition-

ers are not entitled to the reliefs claimed or any relief at all. The petition should, therefore, be dismissed with substantial cost and the tribunal should affirm the return of the first respondent (Oshiomhole) as the duly elected governor of Edo State.” The PDP, which is the second petitioner, has filed a motion seeking to withdraw from the petition. PDP Chairman Chief Dan Orbih, at a press briefing, said the party leadership was mindful of the consequences of protracted litigation.

‘Ogun is attractive for industries’

Ocean Basket opens in Lagos CEAN Basket, one of the world’s favourite seafood restaurants with headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, will tomorrow open its first outlet at Tiamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. The Chief Executive Officer of the restaurant, Mr. Kayode Olu-Martins, made this known in a statement yesterday. He said the outlet would offer a bright, airy, serene and attractive ambience and a professional and friendly service, which would give customers a home-away-from-home feeling.

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

IVE persons have been arraigned at the Warri Magistrate’s Court 1, Delta State, for allegedly defrauding the Managing Director of Delek Marine Services, Mr. Adeleke Ogundalu, of N10 million. El-Nassar Ogbo (47), Banjo Kehinde (42), Okiewhuru Freedom (37), Okeleke Friday (40)

and Ogbudeke Mathias (45) allegedly defrauded Ogundalu on the pretence that they owned two million barrels of crude oil and needed money to move the vessel from Escavos to Cotonou, where the oil would be sold. Ogundalu reported the suspects to the police, when they demanded another N15 million and they were arrested.

gas, human resources, land and other potentials for industrialisation. Amosun said there was a time when Japan and Ogun collaborated in human capacity exchange.

The govrnor urged the Japanese government to take advantage of the enabling environment under his administration by bringing in multi-nationals to invest to the state.

AKWA Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio has described the former Commanding Officer of the Sixth Motorised Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Abak, Lt. Col. Jumbo Ochigbo, who died in the ill-fated Dana air crash on June 3, as “a diligent officer, who served God and humanity well and left behind legacies of integrity and selfless services”. Akpabio spoke at the weekend in Otukpo, Benue State, during Ochigbo’s funeral. The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Aniekan Umanah, said the late Ochigbo was a member of the State Security Council and made significant contributions, which ensured security in the state. He said Ochigbo would be greatly missed and urged the widow, Bridget, and the family to take heart. Akpabio said: “Though words may be inadequate to provide you with the fortitude to bear your loss, we urge you to remember that death to a good Christian, as your beloved husband was, is simply a march into eternal life. “We share in your pain, as his excellent qualities of integrity, forthrightness and gallantness endeared him to us.”

Mass burial for unclaimed bodies From Osagie Otabor, Benin

THE Management of the Stella Obasanjo Women and Children Hospital in Benin, the Edo State capital, has threatened to bury unclaimed bodies at the hospital’s mortuary in a mass grave, if their owners fail to claim them within 10 days. In a statement by its spokesman Ms Sandra Omoregbe, the hospital said the over 40 bodies had been deposited in the mortuary since 2009. It said most of the bodies were deposited by security agents, who never returned for them.




Dana Air silent on payment of claims to victims’ families T HREE months after the DANA Air McDonnel Douglas 83 aircraft crashed in Iju-Ishaga, Lagos State, killing all 153 passengers on board, the airline has remained silent on whether or not the bereaved families have been paid the statutory $30,000 compensation to each victim’s beneficiary. This is the mandatory requirement per victim prescribed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation ( ICAO). Investigations showed that after the nine families that were announced by DANA Air 30 days after the crash, which received $30,000, the airline has not been forthcoming with an update on the number on families that have either completed the documentatiuon that would enable them to get the compensation. The airline has also not given an update on the number of families that have been paid the insurance. Several telephone calls made to officials of the airline were not answered. The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA), which regulates the aviation industry, is yet to give details on the air transport licence of the airline. Its Director-General, Dr Harold Demuren, did not

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

respond to a short message service (SMS) sent to his mobile phone on the matter. Three months down the line, the carrier has been appealing to the government to consider lifting the ban it placed on the airline folowing the June 3 crash. Last month, DANA Air workers wrote a passionate letter to President Goodluck Jonathan to consider lifting the ban on the airline. They said the continued closure of the carrier could have dire economic consequences on their families. In the letter by their

spokesman, Mr Tony Usidamen, the workers urged the President to consider their plight and preveail on the Minister of Aviation to lift the ban on the operations of the airline. They premised their appeal on the continued threat to private investment in the sector,adding that the company has coughed out over N110 million monthly as salaries and other obligations. The airline workers said DANA, having committed over N110 million monthly for the payment of salaries since the crash, their future may hang in the balance, if the carrier is considered un-

fit to resume operations. They spoke through the Head of Corporate Communications of the airline, Mr Tony Usidamen. The workers urged the President to lift the ban in line with global best practices as well as other regulations guiding air accidents. They added: “We, the over 558 directly-employed Nigerian workers of Dana Air, hereby appeal to His Excellency, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, through the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, to urgently lift the suspension on Dana Air operations in line with global best practices and international regulations guiding air accidents.”

Ex-PRO of AAAN dies


PUBLIC Relations consultant, industrialist and business administrator, Elder Oloye Olanrewaju Oladotun Okunowo Okubanjo, is dead. He was 84. The late Okubanjo was born on February 27, 1928. A co-founder of and an Elder in the Church of Evangelism, Lagos, the late PR consultant was active in business and philanthropy. He was President of the Nigerian/American Chamber of Commerce and the Nigerian/British Chamber of Commerce. The late Okubanjo served under Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa as a Public Relations Officer. He was also a cofounder and pioneer President of AAAN (formerly AAPN). The late Okubanjo was a Director of Ecobank Nigeria Plc and was the pioneer Chairman of old Gulf Bank. Likewise, he was a former Chairman, and till his death a Director, of Intercontinental Distillers Limited (IDL) and the chairman of Edidot Schools, Lagos. He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Edith Adefunke Okubanjo, children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and friends.

•The late Okubanjo

•The Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Ahmad Muhammad Maccido (left) greeting the Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Mike Omeri, during the senator’s visit to NOA Headquarters in Abuja...yesterday

Aluko brothers differ on 2014 governorship ambition


EMI Aluko, a lawyer and brother to Senator Gbenga Aluko, yesterday dissociated himself from the lawmaker’s declaration to contest the 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State. Senator Aluko, according to reports, yesterday declared his intention at a reception organised for him by Gbonyin Local Government arm of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Femi is the Senior Special Assistant (Legal) on Special Projects to Governor Kayode Fayemi. He is the older brother to the Senator. Both are sons of the late Prof. Sam Aluko, the renowned economist. Describing his brother’s plans as “a veritable political suicide mission”, Femi noted that “it was a flagrant error on anyone’s part to imagine it is possible to confront such a high achiever as Governor Kayode Fayemi in an electoral race”. The lawyer recalled his recent tour of Gbonyin Local Government Area, saying it revealed “the immense popularity of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)”. Femi noted that “in just two years of ruling the state, Fayemi has set a pace in performance, which will be difficult to match”. The senior special assistant said he needed to clarify his brother’s ambition, adding that Gbenga did not speak on behalf of the Aluko family. He said: “I learned of Gbenga’s declaration while on tour of Gbonyin Local Government in company of the Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly Dr. Adewale Ominrin and Chief Ibidapo Awojolu. “I feel I owe a duty to clear the air regarding my brother’s declaration. It was simply a gross misadventure, as the PDP has lost relevance, not just in Ekiti but also in the entire Southwest. “Gbenga is mature and we have been taught the virtue of independent thinking. He is free to pursue his political ambition. But theirs is a popular adage which says: ‘If it is not broken, why fix it?’ “Governor Fayemi has been

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

ordained by God to superintend a critical change in the fortunes of the state at a time the people had almost lost hope through PDP’s runaway maladministration in our dear states, including Ekiti. “Although Fayemi has not declared his intention to run for a second term, the progress of ongoing projects and entire delivery of the redemption programmes of the governor have forced people to mount a campaign for his second term as governor of the state. “The Southwest integration programme, as championed by the ACN National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is neatly on course; no wile or artifice of the PDP can truncate a process which the Almighty Himself has set in motion. “Really, we live in interesting times and the democratic experiment being well on course allows for all sorts of absurdities. Family or no family, we shall meet on the field.”

CLO urged Fed Govt to prosecute indicted fuel subsidy ‘thieves’ By Precious Igbonwelundu


HE Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) has urged the Federal Government to show more seriousness in its anti-corruption crusade. It urged the government to ensure that all those involved in the fuel subsidy scam, including ministers and institutions of government, are prosecuted. The group said it was very unfortunate that the government has not shown any sign of genuine willingness to prosecute its officials, including the Petroleum Minister, Finance Minister and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, among others, who participated in the alleged mismanagement of the fuel subsidy funds but have focused on sacrificing only the marketers.

‘Oyinlola didn’t follow due process in N4.1b school project contract’


HE Osun State Commission of Inquiry, which is investigating the circumstances surrounding the controversial N18.3 billion loan and other major financial transactions of the Osun State Government between May 2003 and November 2010, yesterday held its inaugural public hearing. Five persons gave evidence before the six-man commission, led by Femi Odekunle, a Professor of Criminology, at the State High Court, Osogbo, the state capital. The Executive Secretary of the state’s Board of Technical Education, Mr Olakunle Oyebamiji, was the first to testify. He was followed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mrs Olubukola Opakunle; the Principal of the Technical College, Iwo, Mr Tajudeen Taliatu; the Director-General, Bureau of Public Procurement, Mr Gbenga Abiola; and the management of Skill G, the company that handled the N4.1billion contrat, represented by its General Manager, Mear Dagar. He said the Olagunsoye

•Osun Commission of Inquiry holds inaugural sitting From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

Oyinlola administration did not follow due process in awarding a N4.1billion school project contract. Oyebamiji said as the accounting officer of the board, which was directly linked to the project, he did not have an input into the award and implementation of the contract agreement. He, however, explained that he only received a directive from the board chairman, Prof. Olu Aina, and the Director-General, Procurement Bureau, Mr. Gbenga Abiola. The Education Board Secretary affirmed that due process was not followed in awarding the contract to Skill G, saying a “selective method” was adopted by the Oyinlola administration in picking only the Israeli company and leaving other two participating companies. Oyebamiji did not say anything when the commission asked him to mention the other companies.

When asked to say what he knew about the project, Oyebamiji said: “I did not know much.” He said he received some documents from Skill G on the project after the pre-treasury board and procurement meetings. According to him, from then, he recommended 60 per cent mobilisation fee to be paid to Skill G. But he added that the company was later paid 70 per cent. Oyebamiji told the commission that his board was not satisfied with the level of work done by the company, saying: “The company was imposed on my board and, since the project was not our idea but the initiative of Skill G, there was nothing I could do.” The evidence was on the upgrade of nine technical colleges and the procurement of some kits without labels for public secondary school pupils under the Olagunsoye Oyinlola administration. Mrs. Opakunle said Skill G was awarded a N2.4 bil-

lion contract to supply a kit without label to the public primary and secondary schools by the Osun State Government in 2009 and 2010. She said 4,728 teachers were to benefit from the programme, adding that 1,906 kits were to be supplied by the company. The Permanent Secretary said each kit without label for secondary school cost N2.9 million while that of the primary school cost N920. Abiola did not agree that the award of the contract was selective. He said it was done through a direct or single source method, which was allowed during an emergency. When asked what he meant by an emergency, Abiola quoted Section 45 of the Osun State Public Procurement Act, which stipulates that the government could use a direct or single source method if it was convinced that it was only a particular contractor that could

handle the project at that particular time. He said Prof. Aina was always with Oyinlola on the project and that he (Abiola) was not aware that Oyebamiji was not carried along. According to him, he assumed that the chairman was representing the interest of the board. Dagar said the company received 70 per cent mobilisation fee but could not complete the project because of logistics problem. He explained that the company concentrated on Osogbo and Ilesa Technical Colleges. Dagar said only the Osogbo and Ilesa Technical Colleges, of the nine colleges, were at the 42 per cent completion. He added that the others were at zero level, as the commission had discovered. Taliatu said the project was not completed. He explained that as teachers, they were not happy but could not query the company because they did not award the contract. The public hearing continues tomorrow.




Five dead in Berom, Fulani feud


HE discovery of the body of a Berom man near his farm has triggered off tension in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State. The victim, Danjuma Adamu, was declared missing last week and a search was launched by members of the Ruku community. His body was found near his farm on Saturday, riddled with bullet wounds and machete cuts. Four people were also allegedly ambushed and killed a few days ago by unknown gunmen. There have been accusations and counter-accusations between the Berom and the Fulani on who carried out the attacks. Last Saturday’s attack has been confirmed by the Spe-

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

cial Task Force (STF) on Jos crises, code-named, “Operation Safe Haven.” A former councillor at Ruku in Gashish district of Barkin Ladi Local Government where the incident occurred, Bulus Mallo, said: “The victim left home for his farm about 4pm and did not return. Members of the community confirmed that they heard gunshots from the direction of his farm. “They sent a rescue team to his farm to search for him. The team discovered the body of the victim very close to his farm.” An eyewitness said: “We suspect the man was attacked by the Fulani because after the

attack, they fled their homes. “When the incident was reported to security agencies, the police went to the village to investigate but discovered that the Fulani resident in the village had fled.” There has been tension in the communities and neighbouring villages as the Berom and Fulani are reportedly regrouping for a showdown. This has caused women and children to flee the villages for safety. The Media Officer of the STF, Captain Salisu Mustapha, who confirmed the attack, said: “It’s true, a man called Danjuma Adamu was found dead on his farm on Saturday about 8pm. The farm is located at Ruku village, near Barkin Ladi.

“The attack must have been carried out by yet-to-be- identified gunmen. Investigation is ongoing and our station in the local government has sent troops to the village to prevent a reprisal.” The body of the victim has been deposited at the Plateau Specialists Hospital. The National Secretary of the Miyeti Allah Catle Breeders Association, Alhaji Saleh Bayeri, expressed shock at the attack. He said it is a setback for the ongoing peace efforts. Saleh said: “I got the report of the attack. It is unfortunate and disappointing that this is happening despite the peace efforts. I appeal to the Fulani and the Berom in the locality to give peace a chance.”

Ladgo dam: NEMA relocates Adamawa indigenes


HE National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has urged Adamawa State indigenes living in flood-prone areas to move to designated camps to avoid the surge which may increase if more water is released from the Ladgo Dam in Cameroun. The Director-General of NEMA, Muhammed Sani Sidi, who is leading the rescue and relief agencies to the affected areas, gave the advice. He said: “I hail the Adamawa State Government and other stakeholders involved in evacuating people from the affected areas to the camps. “As soon as we received a report from the Camerounian Embassy on the imminent release of water, we alerted the relevant authorities. “Adamawa State Government was proactive in the mobilisation and sensitisation of the people to move away from the flood-prone areas. We have also warned

From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

Borno, Taraba and Benue states and their emergency management agencies. “If the trend of rainfall continues in the next few weeks, more water will be released from the Cameroun reservoir. NEMA is looking up to the Federal Government to find a solution to the flood by constructing a dam in the state that will reduce and manage the volume of water released annually from the Lagdo Dam in the Republic of Cameroun. Also, there is need for the dredging of water channels that link Nigeria with Lagdo Dam.” Five women have been delivered of babies in the camps. 57 expectant mothers have been registered in the camps, especially in Gwadabawa, Damare, Limawa, Bwaraji, Sanda and Numan. Some of the women will be transferred to hospitals for medical attention.

JTF intercepts arms in Borno


•Mushin traders protesting over the three days ultimatum given them by the local government to quit the market....yesterday PHOTO: ISAAC AYODELE

Kwara ACN, PDP trade words over rerun


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State are trading words ahead of the rerun poll in Offa Local Government. The Local Government Elections Petition Tribunal about three weeks ago nullified the election of Prince Saheed Popoola of the ACN as the Chairman of the Offa Council. The party has vowed to appeal the tribunal’s verdict. A former Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) chieftain, Lola Ashiru, has urged the people of Offa to continue to support the PDP. The ACN chair in the state, Kayode Olawepo, said: “The people of Offa cannot be spoon-fed by anybody. Mr.

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

Ashiru knows and can testify to this.” He added: “Ashiru was just playing to the gallery to satisfy his masters. Being an unstable politician, he is definitely not in a position to sway the ever-conscious voters of Offa whose interest begins and ends at ensuring good governance and protection of their collective dignity and liberty as a people. “What carrot would Ashiru, now a chieftain of a failed political association called the PDP be dangling to the Offa people? “Is it that the councils ruled by the PDP are having exceptional development or what? Even pupils can testify to the

fact that PDP has been a thorn in the flesh of Nigerians especially in Kwara where lies and deceptions have been elevated as the official policies of the government. We urge the people to ignore Ashiru who comes across as one of Kwara’s most inconsistent politicians of all time.” Ashiru, who hails from Offa, was the Kwara South senatorial candidate of the ACPN in the 2011 election. The politician, in a widely- circulated statement yesterday in Ilorin, said his call for support for PDP was necessary in order to attract more state and federal presence to Offa. Ashiru, who said it was only through peaceful co-existence that any community could achieve growth, en-

joined the people of Offa and Kwarans in general to give peace a chance and avoid lawlessness. He said the local government elections petition tribunal has ordered for a rerun at Offa and pleaded with the people to respect the rule of law. He hailed the appointment of an Offa indigene, Alhaji Tajudeen Alabi, as the Special Assistant on Security Matters by the state government, describing it as well deserved. He lauded Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed for ensuring rapid development of the state and pledged to continue to partner the government and Offa community in carrying the state to greater heights.

Bakassi: Govt assures UN of commitment to Green Treaty Agreement F OLLOWING fresh agitation for the review of the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Bakassi, the Federal Government has assured the United Nations of its commitment to implement the judgment. It was also learnt that the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), has exchanged notes with Minister of Foreign Affairs Amb. Olugbenga Ashiru on the demand for the review of the judgment. It was gathered that on le-

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

gal ground and at diplomatic level, the two Ministers have agreed that the nation should stick to the agreement. The ICJ judgment was delivered in October 2002 but there is a window for the revision of the decision within 10 years. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, who spoke exclusively with our correspondent said Nigeria will not renege on the agreement on the ceding of Bakassi Peninsula to Cam-

eroun. Ashiru said: “The Federal Government has assured the UN that it will respect every clause in the Green Treaty Agreement. We have given our words to the UN. We want to prove that we are a responsible nation that respects agreement. “We have also gone far on the implementation of the ICJ judgment to renege on Bakassi Peninsula . In diplomacy, a nation must respect its commitment. We have a

robust foreign policy which borders on honouring all international obligations. “What most Nigerians do not know is that the 400-page judgment was even in favour of Nigeria , especially the concession of a few part of the peninsula to our country. “So, I stand by the advice of the AGF that we should not seek a review of the judgment. I have exchanged notes with the AGF on this latest demand.

HE Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno State code-named, “Operation Restore Order”, yesterday said it has intercepted arms and ammunition in the home of a fleeing commander of the Boko Haram sect. The JTF said the arms and ammunition were intercepted after a follow-up operation was conducted in the home of the wanted commander of the Boko Haram sect in BulunkutuLawanti area of Maiduguri. JTF spokesman Lt. Col. Sagir Musa said the operation was carried out about 5:30 am yesterday and the following items were recov-

From Joseph Abiodun, Maiduguri

ered: Three AK 47 rifles, 306 x 7.62 mm special ammunition, 39 primed Improvised Electronic Device (IED) cans and six empty magazines. Also recovered were one HP laptop containing précis on the preparation of IED and chemical weapons, a notebook register containing names of Boko Haram members indicating those already dead, 54 Sim cards, 40 IED remote control, 20 assorted electrical switches, 50 Qlink motorcycle battery chargers, 20 torchlight batteries and a RPG bomb fuse.

MASSOB seeks freedom for jailed members


HE Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) yesterday raised the alarm over the deteriorating health of some of its members serving terms in various prisons across the country. It said unless President Goodluck Jonathan intervenes, some of its members might die in jail. MASSOB Director of Information who spoke to our reporter yesterday, is optimistic that its petition to the President will receive his attention and ensure the release of its members jailed four months ago by an Asaba Chief Magistrate’s Court presided over by Mr. S.C Ehikwe. Magistrate Ehikwe on May 8 last year, found Ifeanyi Igbozuruike, Francis Onuigbo, Chidi Okafor, Sebastine

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

Nwoye, Emmanuel Nwafor and Sunday Okoro guilty of treason and waging a war against the state. He sentenced them to six months imprisonment each. MASSOB said it sent a strongly-worded petition to the Presidency, asking it to intervene and free its convicted members because, according to the organisation, they were unjustly convicted. In the petition dated August 2, and jointly signed by Madu and the MASSOB Regional Administrator for Idemili South, (Anambra State) Chief Innocent Odonwankwo, MASSOB said all its efforts to appeal against the conviction had been frustrated by officials of the Delta State Judiciary.

Pastor convicted for stealing sheep


N Ilorin Magistrate’s Court yesterday sentenced a pastor to nine months’ imprisonment for stealing a sheep. The accused, Pastor Oloruntoba Ibitayo, was arraigned on a one-count charge of theft of sheep contrary to Section 287 of the Penal Code. The complainant, Florence Adebiyi, had earlier reported to the police station at Ganmo, near Ilorin, that the accused stole her sheep val-

From Samson Ademola, Ilorin

ued at N3,000 in front of her home at Amoyo, Ilorin. The sheep has been recovered from him. He pleaded guilty to the charges. Police prosecutor Inspector Mojisola Olamokun applied for the summary trial of the accused. Magistrate Mariam QudusSalahu sentenced him to nine months’ imprisonment without option of fine.



FOREIGN NEWS Cameron plans first major cabinet reshuffle

‘To win, Obama must make history again’


T is a very different year and very different mood — as Democrats gather for their convention. But there is one carryover from 2008: To win the White House, Barack Obama will once again have to make history. Four years ago, it was a groundbreaking victory for the first African-American to win the presidency. Now, to win four more years, it is a less glamorous but still significant barrier in his way; no incumbent has ever been re-elected with unemployment this high. But while the historic statistical models would suggest defeat looms in November, the president arrives in Charlotte with several key advantages in the race, and with an easier path to 270 Electoral College votes and victory than his Republican rival. Among the advantages: Unconventional: Postcards from Charlotte Obama: I try to be a handson dad Obama’s coronation: The rerun Cummings: U.S. is and will be better off •Incumbency: Yes there are downsides to this, but the stage and powers of the presidency are on the whole an advantage, especially in a close,

competitive race. •More room for error: Mitt Romney needs to win Florida and Ohio, and at least two of these three — Virginia, North Carolina and Wisconsin — to have a realistic shot at 270. Obama, on the other hand, enters his convention with several paths to cobble 270 together. Zelizer: What Democrats need to do in Charlotte •Demographics: As long as the GOP has a crisis with Latino voters, there is a built-in Democratic edge in several key states. New Mexico, not long ago a presidential swing state, is barely mentioned as a potential GOP target. And Nevada is a competitive tossup despite the highest unemployment rate among the states and a punishing housing crisis. Yet the challenges are obvious. While his path to 270 has more room for error, it is very different from the lopsided Democratic advantage in 2008. Then-Sen. Obama won three states that hadn’t voted Democratic for president in more than a generation — Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia.

His campaign already concedes Indiana is an almost-certain red state this year, and North Carolina and Virginia are tossups. So are Wisconsin, Iowa, Nevada and Colorado — all states where the president’s margin was fairly comfortable four years ago. Poll: Romney 47%, Obama 43% in North Carolina The economy is of course the driving force behind the very different 2012 map and mood. The unemployment rate in February 2009 — Obama’s first full month in office — was 8.3%. Last month, it was 8.3%. To the Romney campaign, that is proof the president’s economic policies have failed. The Obama team, in turn, notes that unemployment hit 10% in October 2009, and argues that the president’s policies are, albeit slowly, helping pull the economy out of a deep recession he inherited. DNC rep: U.S. better than four years ago Obama feels the RNC love Previewing Obama’s DNC speech Gibbs: Heard old, tired ideas in Tampa Obama says fatherhood trumps schmoozing In any event, the jobless



numbers and other economic data make it all but impossible for the president to make the case Americans are better off today than they were four years ago. So his convention priority is to make the case that his approach is the better, fairer path to sustained recovery. The primary target: independents and conservative Democrats in battleground states. “The thing I most love about them is how they discovered the middle class at their convention,” Vice President Joe Biden mockingly told a crowd Sunday in Green Bay, Wisconsin — pushing the fairness argument. “Wasn’t that amazing? All of a sudden their heart was bleeding for the middle class.”

HERE is a growing speculation that Prime Minister David Cameron is putting the finishing touches to his first major cabinet reshuffle as MPs return to Westminster. He is expected to start making changes to his top team today. The Prime Minister has already attempted to reclaim the political initiative with fighting talk at the weekend. He has promised action to boost the UK’s flagging economy and pull the country out of recession after a bruising summer marked by an outbreak of internal dissent over his leadership. In recent weeks his own MPs have accused him of “pussyfooting around”, being a “mouse” and even a “chambermaid”. He will seek to reassert his authority over his restive Conservative Party with his first cabinet reshuffle since the Tory-Lib Dem coalition took office in 2010. None of the main offices of state are likely to change. Transport Secretary Justine Greening may move jobs. Foreign Secretary William Hague, Home Secretary Theresa May and Chancellor George Osborne are all ex-

Syria crisis: UN envoy starts job


PPOSITION activists in Syria say more than 25 people have been killed by an air strike in al-Bab, Aleppo province. More than 100 people have also died elsewhere, they said, including five killed by a bomb in Damascus. In an interview with the BBC, the new international envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, has said his mission to stop the fighting is “nearly impossible”. Brahimi, who takes over from Kofi Annan, is expected to hold talks in Syria with President Bashar al-Assad.

Separately, the head of the Red Cross began a three-day visit to Syria yesterday in an attempt to improve aid access to civilians. Peter Maurer said in a statement that “an adequate humanitarian response is required to keep pace” with the worsening violence. Lakhdar Brahimi has embarked on one of the world’s toughest jobs. But as one of the UN’s most experienced troubleshooters, he may offer the skills needed in a conflict where both sides seem to believe they have no choice but to fight to the end.

Brahimi often deployed a “no victor, no vanquished” power-sharing approach in previous mediations, including the 1989 agreement that ended Lebanon’s 15-year civil war. UN sources who have worked closely with Brahimi over many years say he will be more involved in the minutiae of the process, engaging personally with all the key players, and drawing on his own extensive experience and contacts in the region and beyond, not to mention his understanding of Arab politics and language. He plans to base his office

in Damascus if possible, or in Cairo, and to spend as much time as possible in the region. But for the time being, there is little optimism anywhere that much can be done. Even Brahimi sees his job as keeping expectations low. Brahimi has ‘no illusions’ Human rights groups said several women and children were among the more than 25 people killed when a building in al-Bab was attacked by a government jet. The town, north-east of Aleppo city, appears to be largely in rebel hands and has been heavily pounded by government forces in recent

weeks, says the BBC’s Jim Muir in Lebanon. In Damascus, one building was badly damaged by a car bombing in the suburb of Jaramana. Five people were reported killed. Syrian state news agency Sana said women and children were also among the victims there. No group has said it carried out the attack, but Sana blamed “an armed terrorist group”. The explosion is the second deadly bombing within a week targeting the predominantly Druze and Christian area of Jaramana.

pected to stay in their current jobs. Other senior figures including Education Secretary Michael Gove, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith and Defence Secretary Philip Hammond are also expected to remain in their present posts - leaving limited room for manoeuvre. However, Tory party cochairman Baroness Warsi is believed to be among those - including chief whip Patrick McLoughlin and Commons leader Sir George Young - on the ‘vulnerable list’. Warsi has been criticised for her performance in the key party role and has publicly appealed to Cameron to allow her carry on in the post, but some Tories want to see her replaced with a big hitter who can galvanise support for the party. Much attention has been focused on Ken Clarke, who has made it clear he is reluctant to move, but has been accused of being soft on law and order. Moving the Justice Secretary would allow the PM to appease the Tory right, who have been angered by some of Mr. Clarke’s policies and want a tougher approach. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, who has come under fire for his NHS reforms, and Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan could also free up a few cabinet places for fresh blood. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley could lose his portfolio. Employment Minister Chris Grayling and Housing Minister Grant Shapps have been touted as possible alternatives from outside the cabinet. Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who has come under fire over his handling of the News Corporation bid for BSkyB, could be moved. Transport Secretary Justine Greening could lose her portfolio to make way for Hunt.



NEWS Ex-CBN Governor Ola Vincent dies at 87 Continued from page 1

Lagos (1936-39), University of Manchester, England (195356) and the Administrative Staff College, Henley, England (1961). He made significant contributions to national economic growth and will be remembered for his patriotism, commitment, professionalism and discipline. As the governor of the CBN, he performed meritoriously, setting exemplary standards in accountability, probity and efficiency, the IGI statement added. Pa Vincent worked as a parttime lecturer in Economics at the University of Ibadan between 1956 and 1959. He was a Senior Assistant Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Finance (1959–1961). After a spell with the CBN, he worked as a Director at the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (1964–1966), and was appointed Vice President at the African Development Bank, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (1966–1973). He returned to the CBN in 1973 as an adviser, becoming deputy governor in 1975 and later Governor. Pa Vincent was conferred with the national honour of Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR) in 1982. Following his retirement from the CBN, the late Vincent recommended the establishment of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) in 1983. However, it was not until 1988 when the Corporation began operations. He chaired a seminar on Ethics and Professionalism in banking in August 1992. He was a life member of the Nigerian Economic Society and the Society for International Development. In September 2009, Pa Vincent criticised CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi for dismissing the chief executives of five bailed-out banks. He said

the executives should have been given a fair hearing, and felt that the “hasty” action, which involved the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) might have undermined trust in the banking system. His daughter Mrs. Taiwo Bali, said he died at 12.10pm while on admission for a “backrelated” illness. He is survived by his wife, four children, and 11 grandchildren. We talked today (yesterday) in the hospital till about 3am,” said Mrs. Bali when asked of the late Pa Vincent’s last moments. “He was so conversant with everything and still got his mental alertness. I could not have asked for a better father.” She described him as a “uniting factor” for the entire family because of his “large heart.” “He read his Bible morning and night and up till his death, he still bought daily Bible reading guide for us, something he has been doing since I was in primary school.” in the condolence register, Remi and Bunmi Olowude described the late Vincent as a “pillar of life and an epitome of integrity.” “The representative of the Victoria Island Residents Association, Alhaji Abdul Lateef Muse, wrote: “What a loss. A really glowing example of simplicity.” Apostle Hayford Alile said, “What a celebration of life at many fronts we will miss.” At 7pm, a short prayer was said by the Provost of African Church Bethel, Rev. Thomas Ade Fagbayi, where the late Vincent worshipped. Rev. Fagbayi said: “He was somebody who never took this world important. He was always heavenly focused and conscious. His favourite comment is ‘what is left for us in this world than to think about heaven’. He left his door open to everybody because he was a great

philanthropist.” The late Vincent’s sitting room is dotted with the evidence of his philanthropy as a member of the Lions Club and the Deputy Grand Patron of Weep Not Empowerment Initiative, an NGO whose mission is to “put smiles on the faces of widows orphans, and the elderly. “The late Mr. Vincent was an avid art collector, a passion that Mrs. Bali said she grew up to meet. His sitting room has enough stock for a gallery. Adorning his walls are two frames, one containing the congratulatory letter signed by President Shehu Shagari on February 13, 1983 when he was conferred with the national honour of Commander of the Order of Federal Republic of Nigeria. The second frame contained the address read at an official ceremony held by the CBN community to celebrate his retirement on June 27, 1982. “Many important developments were seen in the Bank through your ability and interest in the affairs of the Bank. Staff Housing projects were planned and executed, many building projects for branches and currency centres were started, completed, and opened to the extent that Central Bank now operates in the 19 states of the country,” the address, signed by his successor, Alh. Abdulkadir Ahmed, said. Speaking with The Nation on telephone, Opeyemi Agbaje, a renowned economist said: “those were Central Bank Governors in the days when the Central Bank was a revered institution, when it was not known for frivolities. He clearly was a very distinguished man who lent his voice and ability to the country’s economy.” Mrs. Bali said the funeral will hold this week because “he does not want to be put in the mortuary for so long.”

‘We didn’t participate in any oil transaction’ Continued from page 4

Zambia. We were even shown a letter to NNPC signed by Major Kachingwe as a Special envoy of the President of Zambia . “Whilst we are not disputing the prerogative of His Excellency President Banda to elect a company of his choice to handle the affairs of the Zambia, one would have thought that since we brought the opportunity to the attention of his Excellency through your goodself and additionally had the good fortune to discuss the Bilateral Agreement for the supply of Crude and other investments opportunities direct with his Excellecny and some of his key cabinet members at the time, the least we expect is that we would be informed when the decision was made not to go with our group; if nothing as a matter of professional courtesy, especially when it was not brought to our attention that we had acted in a manner that caused us to fall out of favour with the Government of Zambia or indeed his Excellency. Our interactions with his Excellency President Banda have been in our opinion very positive and cordial. We believe his Excellency welcomed our interest in doing business with the Government of Zambia. We on our part looked forward to supporting his Excellency’s development initiatives with our contacts both within and outside the country. Austin Sichinga the Chief of Staff to His Excellency

President Banda will attest to the above. “This was the basis on which we met and informed the Economic Secretary and the Zambian High Commissioner in Nigeria about the approval for the Supply of Crude. We also informed them that our group, since our meeting with his Excellency President Banda, has partnered with a fortune 100 company Honeywell International, a USD38 billion with 125,000 employees in 100 countries (please refer to www. We have offered to bring them to help you revamp your Indeni refinery and optimise her operations, including the possibility of getting the refinery to use lighter Crudes, such as those from Nigeria in addition to the Heavy (Venezuelan) crude it currently uses . The Honeywell team was in Nigeria on a visit to NNPC and we used the opportunity to arrange for them to meet with the Economic Secretary at the Zambian High Commission. We are also in a position to arrange for the immediate refining of Zambia’s crude allocation from Nigeria under an arrangement with one of our partner-refineries. This entails that we would deliver the crude to the said refinery in return for products based on the corresponding yield of the crude. “The above is just by way of back ground about our commitment to the Government of Zambia under the leadership of President Banda but the current developments in terms of the

Government to Government (G-G) Bilateral for Crude begs the question whether our Group’s investment initiatives is welcome. “For the record, we are not querying His Excellency’s prerogative on how he wants things handled but it would help us if we could understand his reasons for doing so if he did give the directives to Major Kachingwe as we are not aware that we had acted knowingly or unknowingly in a manner that might not have met with his acceptance and as such been responsible for the recent developments. Even Our initial meeting with Major Kachingwe were very cordial when at your instance we met with him prior to our initial meeting with His Excellency in Nigeria. He received us well at the time and assured us that as friends of His Excellency the President and Friends of Zambia we would be most welcome. “We have impressed upon Honeywell International to visit Zambia and they plan to visit the Zambia upon an invitation from the government. We trust the above is in order and have simply made this representation through your goodself to His Excellency President Banda for sake of good order. Whilst thanking you for your kind assistance in bringing this matter to the attention of His Excellency we also ask that you kindly convey to him the assurances of our highest esteem.”




Defence got N12.5b for projects, says minister


INISTER of State for Defence Erelu Olusola Obada has explained how her ministry spent the N12.5 billion it got from this year’s budget. She said the N12.5 billion was the amount so far released out of the N45 billion appropriated for the ministry as capital votes. Erelu Obada, who also assured Nigerians of the readiness of the military to defend the nation’s integrity, told President Goodluck Jonathan that the funds had been utilised 95 per cent. The minister was briefing her boss on the performance of her ministry–in line with its appropriation in the 2012 Budget. She noted: “We say that

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

the percentage of funds utilised from the amount released was 95.4 per cent while the percentage of the funds released from the annual bubudgets 27.6 per cent.” Projecting into next year, the minister said focus would be on the completion of ongoing projects and initiation of some new critical projects. She identified jetties as important projects that are not only imperative but necessary platforms for military operations. Other projects listed for implementation, according to her, include: the construc-

tion of Garrison Command accommodation for officers and soldiers by the Defence Headquarters; provision of life support, ambulance boats; upgrade of our aircraft; the charley; the C130 and the establishment of a quick response force by the Nigerian Air Force; construction of command headquarters and barracks accommodation for the new Mobility Command in Yenegoa by the Air Force and the construction and furnishing of additional cadet hostel at the permanent site of the Nigerian Defence Academy in Kaduna. She said the delpoyment of soldiers to join other security agencies in taming the Boko Haram insurgence has not in any way whittled

Nutritionist recommends Potassium for heart diseases cure


NUTRITIONIST with the Wuse General Hospital, Abuja, Hajiya Jummai Hassan, has advised Nigerians to eat food that are high in potassium to prevent the risk of heart diseases. She told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday that potassiumis necessary for a healthy living. Her words: “Potassium is a mineral that is crucial to life and it is necessary because it helps the heart and kidney to work normally. “A person that is potassium deficient is at a risk of high blood pressure, cancer, diabe-

tes and other heart diseases.” According to the nutritionist, research has shown that potassium as one of the five most commonly prescribed supplements for people with congestive heart failure, high blood pressure and diabetes. Hajiya Hassan said that potassium helps to build strong bones and muscles, adding that it could also boost the energy level. She explained that potassium of one of the easiest nutrients to find in food, listing nuts, avocado pea, potato, banana and water melon, as foods rich in potassium.

down their strength. Erelu Obada said the armed forces remain effective in the defence of the country’s territoral integrity, despite their involvement in checkmating social unrests. Soldiers were deployed from the barracks to strengthen regular police to checkmate Boko Haram attacks in the North. She disclosed the readiness of the armed forces to rise up to any challenge and meet their primary responsibility. The minister, who was responding to the concerns raised about the high level of involvement of the military in handling terrorism, said that all arms of the mili-

tary still have enough troops to deploy in the case of any eventuality. She said: “The Nigerian Armed Forces as you are aware, are taking part in some operations within the country. Fortunately for us in Nigeria, we do not have any threats from the outside. We are at peace with all our neighbours. “The problems we have are those of the internal security in the country and because of that we have various joint task forces. They are to assist us in ensuring that bunkering, oil theft and all kinds of illegalities and piracy are brought to the barest minimum. “Those in the Niger Delta and also in the Gulf of

Guinea, even in the Gulf of Guinea, apart from the oil theft in our exclusive economic zone, we have people who invade this water for illegal fishing. “The Nigerian armed forces is one of the best trained in the world; always combat ready and I can assure you that we have the officers and men to address any external threats at any point in time. “Yes, we are ready at any point in time if anybody wants to provoke us. We must give kudos to our men in uniform in the armed forces of Nigeria for taking part in all these internal security arrangement, because it got to a point that they just had to be brought in.”

Soyinka Centre urges media to hold govt more accountable with reports By Joseph Jibueze

•Prof. Soyinka


HE Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) has urged the media to hold the government and its officials more accountable. Besides, the Centre is pushing for more people-centred

reports. Participants, including the media and civil society organizations, at the Centre’s Civil Society-Media, Voice and Accountability platform, canvassed for a change in orientation on news concept. They used the platform to discuss the modalities for engaging accountability issues through the media, resolving that the media should promote enlightenment on the role of citizens in increasing government responsibility· The centre added: “The me-

dia should report peoplecentred issues rather than just being a mere courier of information for the government. “The media seem to have a defeatist attitude towards issues. There is the need for well-researched topics/issues to be brought to the front burner. Community involvement /community feed-in is necessary for media content”, the centre said. According to the centre, the media is faced with ownership challenges, capacity gaps and editorial concerns,

even as there are no effective community-based media. It identified areas needing indepth reports on how they impact on people as the environment, state of feeder roads and floods, among others. On possible strategies, the centre recommended: “Engage with one critical issue at a time. Employ consistency and follow-up in news reporting. “Focus on community feedback and reporting using constituencies and local government delineation”, the centre said.




Ukraine to deport club-less Nigerians

No easy game again –Keshi S

UPER EAGLES coach Stephen Keshi has said he and his players will work hard to get victory in

By Taofeek Babalola this weekend's African Cup of Nations qualifiers against the Lone Stars of Liberia in Monrovia.

Officials are predicting a difficult game for Nigeria, going by the poor state of the Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium pitch, but Keshi has assured that Liberians are very

friendly and he expects a good but bruising encounter. “No game is easy again, either in Africa and the world but we would do our best to get the result that Nigerians want”, he declared.

Eagles defy Abuja rains ... says, ‘I may coach Liberia some day’

•All players to partake in today's training


UPER EAGLES players defied the heavy downpour in the nation’s capital for their first training session with stars from Europe on Monday evening. The torrential rainfall started about two hours to training time but subsided around 4pm, when players and officials started strolling into the team’s bus for the day’s business which held at the training pitch of the Abuja National Stadium. Head Coach Stephen Keshi, says all the players will take part in today’s evening training.


UPER EAGLES handler, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi won’t mind coaching the Lone Stars of Liberia in future if the situation permits. Keshi indicated interest in the Liberia job while denying a story credited to him in the official website of the Liberia Football Association claiming that the Big Boss feared his players could be attacked by Liberian fans, which was why the Eagles chose to fly to Monrovia on Friday, play the match on Saturday and fly back to Abuja same day. “I have never said anything

From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja like that. I don’t know where they got that story from. I am not in that position to criticise one nation because tomorrow


Tennis tourney gets underway


AMES for this year’s Ikoyi Club 1938 Grand Slam tourney which is being sponsored by UPDC, a property development company has begun. The one-week-long championship will feature the winners of the 2011 grand slam,

Yaya Toure signs Olayinka, Oladimeji •Set to establish foundation in Nigeria


EIGNING African Footballer of the Year, Yaya Toure has signed on two Nigerian sports consultants, Anthony Zulu Olayinka and Jelili Oladimeji to help in laundering his image in the country. Toure hopes that the partnership with the duo will afford many corporate organisations the opportunity to promote their brands through him while also using his status as the best footballer in Africa to encourage those at the grassroots that they can indeed reach the pinnacle of their careers in the roundleather-game.

By Stella Bamawo The Manchester City midfielder, who confirmed the news to NationSport exclusively on phone, also hinted at plans to extend his

I might coach Liberia. “So I am not there to belittle a country or make it look stupid. It is not in my nature. So it is not me that said that. I don’t know where they got it from, but it is not me”, Keshi insisted.

foundation to Nigeria in order to give back to the society. According to Toure, the foundation will reach out to the less -privileged in the society while grassroots football matches will be organised yearly for the growth of the game.

•Toure (c)

Paul Oluwakoya Glover Green team among the eight teams that will battle for supremacy at the club’s tennis section. UPDC Managing Director, Hakeem Ogunniran, who reiterated the commitment of the property company towards raising the profile of the games nationwide, said the tournament has begun to attract more corporate participants. Ogunniran, who noted that this year’s championship will give the participating teams more than a sense of involvement and interaction, said it will at the same time offer a platform for extending the games nationwide. “We are committed to showcasing the championship beyond the corporate world as we are set to hold this year’s championship on a solid foundation and nurture initiatives aimed at fostering fellowship and adding value to life nationwide. This grand slam is one big initiative and we are delighted to be sponsoring it,” Ogunniran said. The UPDC/Ikoyi Grand Slam which kicked off September 3rd will hit its final on Saturday, September 10.

•Players stranded, drinking from river


HEY came to Ukraine to play football, but will be soon kicked out of the country as irregular migrants. Thirteen Nigerian players have spent more than a month without labour permits, but haven’t given up their hopes of playing for local clubs. They were found in an abandoned tourist camp in central Ukraine near Dnepropetrovsk. The camp's personnel consisted of an old lady playing the roles of both administrator and guard, Ukrainian media report. The Africans say they arrived in the country on August 1. The team’s captain says the players, all from the top Nigerian division, came to Ukraine at the invitation of their manager, who promised to fix them up with local clubs, as such players are in great demand there. "One of us went with our manager to Donetsk and signed a contract with local Olympia. Three other players left to try their luck, but I do not know where. We have played two games – with Obolon and Arsenal Kiev. I wonder why no one is taking us and why are we still here?” says

Onome Simiyo. The players, the oldest of which is 24 years old, live in austere conditions. Their rooms are empty, and in some even the doors are missing. They take water from the nearest river. The Nigerians have some pocket money, around 25 dollars each, which their manager gave them before leaving. They occasionally buy food in a nearby village. The guys are holding on to their hopes, however. All of them are willing to stay in Ukraine and play football. In order to stay fit, they practice on a rural field every day. Meanwhile, local police and immigration control officials paid a visit to the camp and found out that their visas had expired, and that chances are the players crossed into Ukraine illegally. "They have to leave the country by September 15 or they will be deported," explains immigration officer Sergey Chicher. Meanwhile, the team’s manager, who was reached by telephone in Donetsk, claims he has already bought return tickets and will soon take them back to Nigeria.

GTBank Football Camp kicks N a bid to further make off in Ibadan good their promise to


support football at the grassroots, Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) Monday commenced this year’s edition of the Camp GTBank players development programme, an adopt-a- school initiative to discover football talents for the future. The one-week playerdevelopment programme is a residential camp designed to train and develop the next generation of Nigeria’s

football talents that have emerged from the organisations’ sponsored Principals’ and Heritage Cup competitions. Speaking at an event organised in Lagos to flag off the camp, the Executive Director of GTB, Ohis Oluwerei said the goal is to sharpen and cultivate the football skills of identified outstanding talents drawing on the experience of top football coaches.



VOL. 7


‘The dominant ruling northern elite has run the country aground. Yet, this group insists the ruinous status quo must remain! May God save Nigeria from Lugard’s children of perdition!’ OLAKUNLE ABIMBOLA



HE 2012 U.S. presidential election begins officially today, the day after Labour Day, the national equivalent of May Day, celebrated in the United States as a public holiday. It has seemed as if the race began in earnest last January with the Iowa primaries, intensified as the Republican presidential wannabes dropped out or were blitzed out by Mitt Romney’s relentless carpet bombing that left him the last man standing, and reached its apotheosis in the run-up to last week’s Republican Convention in Tampa, Florida, with the Democrats mixing it at every turn. In fact, the race began the day President Barrack Obama took office on January 20, 2009, when leaders of the GOP gathered just across from the venue of the Inauguration, took a solemn vow. Their primary task, as Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell declared, was to ensure that Obama is a one-term president. That declaration, and all the political pyrotechnics that has been ricocheting since Iowa, were but mere preamble. Now, if all the outright fibbing, the wilful distortion, the race baiting, the dark innuendo, the shading and the slicing and the dicing, the sabre-rattling: the brazen and sustained assault on the intelligence of the average voter, the blatant disregard for fact: if all that is mere preamble, it is almost scary to contemplate this final stretch some 60 days to the election. Counting from 1976, I have lived in the United States cumulatively through six presidential elections – Jimmy Carter v Gerald Ford (1976), Ronald Reagan v Jimmy Carter (1980), Bill Clinton v Bob Dole (1996), George W. Bush v Al Gore (2000), George W. Bush v John Kerry (2004), Barack Obama v John McCain (2008), and now Barack Obama v Mitt Romney. In the manner of PG Wodehouse character Bertie Wooster, I have inspected my imagination as I reflected on those contests, and it boggled. The unfolding one is the meanest and nastiest of them all, and may well be shaping up to be the meanest and nastiest of all time. It is the first U.S. presidential election in which corporate bodies can give as much money as they please to any candidate without having to disclose their identities. The U.S. Supreme Court, now regarded as the judicial arm of the GOP, says corporations are people, and that the way they spend their money is a form of free speech protected by the Constitution. No need to worry if the moneyed elite – the one per cent who control more than 40 per cent of national wealth – put out most of the money that empowers candidates to buy the television time so crucial for reaching the electorate; the more money you have to push a particular viewpoint, regardless of its veracity, the more you advance the goals of democracy, per Antonin Scalia and company. Advantage, GOP. Obama has nothing to run on but his record, and it is a patchy one. The magic of 2008 is gone; so is the soaring and inspiring oratory; the call to hope now sounds flat. Familiarity has bred a great deal of contempt and resentment. He may have slowed the recession he inherited and blunted its sharper edges, but he has





Notes on the U.S. presidential race


not been able to turn the economy around. Unemployment is still at eight per cent – healthy by what obtains in Europe and most of the developed world, but damning by American standards. But instead of forging ahead with his own agenda when he had majorities in both houses of Congress to translate it into law, he wasted precious time pursuing a will-o’-thewisp called bi-partisanship. Every attempt he has made to stimulate the economy by spending federal money to hire people to rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure has been blockaded by the Republican opposition, which says it is more important to cut the deficit — which they had ratcheted up through tax cuts for the rich and waging wars – and thus save future generations from the debt burden than to attend to the plight of today’s jobless. His signature achievement, the Affordable Health Care Act, has reformed an American health care delivery system that has been a running scandal and a stinging rebuke to the

world’s richest nation. It has provided insurance cover to more than 36 million Americans who did not have it, and given primacy to the health of the citizen rather than the profit line of the insurance providers. It was modelled on the one Romney enacted when he was governor of Massachusetts, and by all accounts, it has served the people of that state very well. But Romney has vowed to repeal the federal version from day one if reelected, denouncing it as “Obamacare,” as socialised medicine, and a creeping government intrusion into the privacy zones citizens prized most. The measure has even earned Obama a comparison to Adolf Hitler, clipped moustache and all! Sensing that the economy is where Obama is most vulnerable, Romney pitched himself early as the one who knows how the economy works, who can create jobs, having been a successful venture capitalist. But as Massachusetts governor, he ranked among the three worst “job creators” in the nation. On closer inspection, it turned out that what he practised was vulture capitalism of the most predatory kind – creating wealth for investors but leaving everyone else worse off, without having to worry about such things as equity and union rights and the general well-being of the community. And, yes, Romney loves America, unlike that other fellow of dubious provenance. He loves America so much and believes so much in its promise that he hoards his wealth in tax shelters in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda and Luxembourg and goodness knows where else. He will furnish only two years of tax returns, and tradition be damned; after all, John Kerry’s wife had provided no tax returns at all when her husband ran for president in 2008.


Can it be, as the commentator George Will said in rare moment of candour un-tinged by ideological hubris, that Romney must have calculated that the damage resulting from furnishing more than two years of tax returns will far exceed any harm resulting from refusing to provide further documentation? In whatever case, the gamble seems to have paid off. Nobody is talking about Romney’s tax returns anymore. Those who insisted that Obama bore the burden of proving that he was born in America are now also insisting that critics bear the burden of proving that Romney cheated on his taxes. Still, after Obama released his long-form birth certificate, some 30 per cent of the population still holds that he is not a bonafide citizen. Suddenly, voting rights that a generation of Americans fought and died for are being eviscerated in states controlled by Republicans under the pretext of curbing voter fraud. But the evidence of voter fraud is either exceedingly slender or non-existent. It is hardly a coincidence that those most likely to be disenfranchised by the measures are mainly African Americans and Latinos and college students who tend to vote for the Democratic Party. One state official in Ohio gave the game away when he was caught on camera saying that if they could cut voting hours and generally make it difficult for certain groups to vote, Romney would carry the state, usually a battleground. They feel no discomfort sending American men and women in the armed forces to risk their lives and limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan to establish the right to vote, whereas no effort is being spared to suppress the votes of their parents and brothers and sisters back home. What forces are at work? Some two decades ago, a conservative Asian American “intellectual” called Dinesh D’Souza wrote a tome chockablock with graphs and charts and tables and equations to back up his claim that racism was dead in America. And when Obama was elected president in 2008, talk about America having grown into a “post-racial society” perfused public discourse. Anyone who has followed the presidential race closely will have to conclude that the celebration was premature. As if to remind everyone of this fact, some delegates at the just-concluded GOP Convention threw a handful of nuts at an African American woman working the cameras for CNN and said: “Take. This is how we feed animals.” America has come a long, long way. But racism is alive and well, and is being exploited in ways subtle and brazen, by the principals and their financiers and their surrogates, in the presidential election campaign, and may well shape its outcome. •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Uba’s theory of non-involvement


HORTLY after Mr Chibuike Achigbu swore to an affidavit claiming ownership of the disputed $15 million allegedly offered as bribe by former Governor James Ibori to the former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Senator Andy Uba (PDP, Anambra South) has spoken up on the matter. Achigbu had claimed in the affidavit that the Anambra senator served as the conduit for transferring the bribe money to Ribadu. The story had seemed improbable, with many commentators suspecting the new twist in the story was designed as a red herring to mislead both the court that was already hearing the case, and the Federal Government which apparently wasn’t averse to impounding the money. The old twist in the story is that sometime in July, the EFCC had applied to an Abuja Federal High Court to ask for the controversial money to be forfeited to the Federal Government. An interim forfeiture order was given. But in early August, the Delta State government filed an application claiming ownership of the money. While everyone was waiting for the court’s decision, Achigbu, who is described as an oil magnate, swore to an affidavit claiming ownership and mentioning Uba as the man who

facilitated the exchange between himself and EFCC. Up to that point, the case had looked fairly straightforward. This column, like many other observers, felt that all that was needed to confirm ownership was to invite Ribadu, put him on oath, and get the truth out of him. Sadly, we were not to know that a few more surprises lurked around the corner. With Achigbu making his own claims late last week, which he however unexpectedly disavowed almost immediately, everyone expected Senator Uba to say something, probably to disclaim every involvement in the bribe saga. He did not disappoint us; more, he shocked us. Hear him in his boastful and idiosyncratic candour: “When I was in the Presidency, my house in the Villa was a convenient place for many top people in Nigeria to come. Probably, Chief Ibori didn’t want to go to the EFCC office to hand over the money and so decided to use my house. All I know about this matter is that Chief James Ibori brought some money to the then EFCC chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu. The details of the transaction were undisclosed to me at the time. The money was meant for Mallam Nuhu Ribadu who invited his then Director of Operations, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde,

to fetch it. I was never a party to the transaction between Ibori and Ribadu. That my house was used as the venue for the transaction is not in question, as an affidavit to that effect has been sworn to by the current EFCC chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, which is probably the point of confusion.” To the eminent senator of the Federal Republic, his idea of non-involvement is that he did not inquire into the nature of business transacted in his house. He knew money changed hands, and that Ribadu’s then Director of Operations, Mr Ibrahim Lamorde, came for the money allegedly brought by Ibori, and furthermore that the transaction was done in his house. But pray, how else does one become an accessory to a crime? Well, he is lucky it is Nigeria. With all the belated confessions from interested parties, the job of the judge has been made enormously easy. He will do a fine job, notwithstanding the reputation of the Nigerian judiciary for ambushing the law. There does not seem to be any further possibility of a twist in the saga, not even if Chief Lamidi Adedibu, the late strongman of Ibadan politics, were to rise from the dead to make fresh claims and bear false witness.

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. WEBSITE: E-mail: ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

The Nation September 04, 2012  

The Nation September 04, 2012

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you