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PDP plots to cripple Southwest, says ACN
CBN to print N5000 banknote locally
BUSINES S USINESS
•Govt security printer to take charge
•Party alleges economic sabotage
TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH
VOL. 7, NO. 2245 TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
Fashola, IG order police to arrest ‘bloody Sunday’ robbers –PAGE 7
•Lagos State Governor. Babatunde Fashola cutting the ribbon during the presentation of 114 security vehicles bought by the 20 LGAs/37 LCDAs on behalf of the State Security Trust Fund at the Lagos House, Ikeja...yesterday. With him are: Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar (seventh right), Commander 9th Brigade, Ikeja, Brig.-Gen. Pat Akem (fifth left), Acting Chairman, Lagos State Security Trust Fund, DIG Olusegun Kassim (sixth left), Deputy Governor, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire (seventh left), Chairman, Conference 57, Hon Suleiman Akeem (eight left), Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Ademorin Kuye (fifth right), Secretary to the State Government Mrs Oluranti Adebule (fourth right) and others. Story on Page 7
Buhari scorns Southsouth leaders’ endorsement of Jonathan for 2015
Floods likely in Kwara, Kogi, Delta, three other states From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi
ESIDENTS of communities on the River Niger’s bank were told yesterday to prepare for floods. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), which has been grappling with unprecedented flooding across the nation that killed no fewer than 137 people, according to the Red Cross, advised residents of such communities to relocate. In a statement , NEMA called for “an immediate evacuation of citizens living along the River Niger plains,” “This Continued on page 4
ORMER Head of State Gen. Muhammadu Buhari has described the adoption of President Goodluck Jonathan by some Southsouth leaders as “a ruse”. To the presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and national leader of the party, Dr. Jonathan’s adoption is a joke.
From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
Gen. Buhari was speaking yesterday in his Kaduna home when he received the CPC governorship candidate for the October 20 election in Ondo State, Prince Soji Ehinlanwo, in company of the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Rotimi Fashakin, and other offi-
cials. “I don’t take the decision of South-South seriously. South-south people said it is Jonathan or nothing: I know they are members of the PDP; let them vote for him in a free and fair election; let us see if they can give him the ticket against other geoContinued on page 4
Lawan-Otedola $620,000 bribe: More riddles surface Prosecution team raises 114 posers vital to trial of suspects
AROUK Lawan, the suspended Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy, and three others may not have their day in court so soon, it emerged yesterday. They are to be tried for the alleged $620,000 bribery allegation made by businessman Femi Otedola.
From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
But the trial is being put on hold because the police need to do more investigation in the matter. The others are the bribe giver, Otedola, the clerk of the committee, Mr. Boniface Emenalo, and the Chairman of the House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, Mr. Adam Jagaba.
The police have been advised to quiz all members of the House Committee on Ad Hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Regime, when Lawan was the chairman, for more insight into the matter. To be quizzed are Ali Babatunde Ahmad, James Faleke, Alphonsus Irona, Umar Abubakar Sade, Eucha-
ria Azodo, Abbas Tajudeen and John Eno. It was learnt that the prosecution is of the opinion that police investigation has not resolved how the $620,000 was sourced; the manner in which the “sting operation” was conducted; why the money was offered Continued on page 4
•PROPERTY P13 •AVIATION P17•SPORT P23 •POLITICS P43 •ENERGY P47
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
NEWS Buhari scorns Southsouth leaders’ endorsement of Jonathan for 2015 Continued from page 1
•President Goodluck Jonathan launching the National Cassava Project in Lilongwe, Malawi...yesterday. With him arefrom right: Malawi President Mrs. Joyce Banda; Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga; Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole; and Agriculture Minister Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina PHOTO: NAN
political zones. Let them give him the primary ticket first. Let them vote for him when 2015 comes and let us see if he would win,” Gen. Buhari said. He urged the elite to shun apathy in the interest of sustaining and stabilising the nation’s multi-party democracy, saying: “It is also up to the elite to participate and ensure that elections are free and fair. It is not necessary for them to be card-carrying members of political parties. They know how to participate; they should not sit and look; they can go to their constituencies to identify and enlighten their people on the need to entrench free and fair elections to stabilise the country.” While lamenting the nonprosecution of those indicted in pension, subsidy and other frauds, Gen. Buhari said it is only in Nigeria that “people who worked for 10 to 35 years
Lawan-Otedola $620,000 bribe: More riddles surface Continued from page 1
piecemeal and the whereabouts of the cash. Another area of focus is all the local and international call logs of Otedola and Lawan. According to sources, the prosecution team, led by Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), has concluded that all the actors have more questions to answer. A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “There is already a request for additional investigation of all the key actors in the bribery saga before trial can commence. “The whole essence of more investigation is to bring all suspects to book and present a water-tight case before the court that will try the case. “Already, the two suspects recommended for trial (Lawan and Emenalo) by the police have been slated for arraignment under the ICPC Act. “It is also established that they will be tried in the High Court of Justice of the Federal Capital Territory. “The preparation for the trial made the AGF to exercise his powers under Section 26 of the ICPC Act to delegate
Awomolo to prosecute suspects with prima facie case against them. The section reads: “Prosecution for an offence under this Act shall be initiated by the Attorney-General of the Federation or any person or authority to whom he shall delegate his authority, in any superior court of record so designated by the Chief Judge of a State or the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja under Section 61(3) of this Act; and every prosecution for an offence under this Act or any other law prohibiting bribery, corruption, fraud or any other related offence shall be deemed to be initiated by the Attorney-General of the Federation.” But preparatory to the trial, about 114 questions or areas have been isolated for additional investigation by the Police. Some of the new areas of additional investigation are as follows: •A Certified True Copy of the letter of complaint by Otedola •Was there a register for the Serial Nos of the $620,000 given to Otedola or was there a
photocopy of the USD100 bills given to Mr. Femi Otedola? •Did Otedola sign for the monies he received from the SSS? Where are the CTC of the register, records and photocopies of the bills?. •If the demand for $100,000 or $120,000 by Emenalo was reported to the SSS, Where are the records of the report? Case file opened by the SSS in relation to the investigation of demand for bribe by Farouk Lawan from Otedola, if any, a copy. •Call logs of telephone calls and text messages between Otedola and Farouk. Call logs between Otedola/Farouk/ Emenalo before, during and after demand and receipt of bribe i.e. (January – June 2012).Call logs between Emenalo and Farouk Lawan between January – June 2012. Call logs between Emenalo and Otedola between January – June 2012. •Otedola and the Secretary (Emenalo Boniface). April/ May. •The documents given by Otedola to the Committee. •Zenon/AP memo to the committee. •Call logs of Otaru and
Emenalo as well as Emenalo and Otedola. April/May. •Lawan’s Protea Hotel bills for April, 2012 (not just one day). •Resolutions of the House which directed investigation into the bribery allegation; •Written statements to the police of the persons named in a letter from the Office of the Speaker dated 20th June, 2012. A document obtained last night showed the specific gaps to be filled by all the key actors. On Lawan, the document states: “Additional statement should be obtained from Mr. Farouk Lawan so that he can explain the following: The procedure followed by the Ad Hoc Committee for taking decisions with respect to indictment of the oil marketers before 24th April 2012. “Whether such decisions were reflected in minutes of the meeting and if there is CTC of such minutes. “To confirm whether the decision of April 24, 2012 to remove the names of ‘Zenon Oil’ and ‘Synopsis’ was by the committee and whether the Committee followed the usu-
al decision making procedure of the committee pre-18th April 2012. “To confirm the telephone numbers he used in calling Otedola at all times between April and May 2012. “What were Otedola’s telephone numbers with which he called Lawan from London ? When Otedola submitted a copy of the PPPRA subsidy scam report to him, what did he do with the report?” The document also explained that Lawan would have to “make comments on the statement of the Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, with respect to: the failure to mention the names of persons who attempted to bribe him; on the suggestion of Lamorde for a sting operation by EFCC, why he declined; the non-disclosure to Lamorde of the earlier $500,000 he collected; the non-disclosure of the money his secretary collected from Femi Otedola on April 24, 2012; Where is the $100,000 and whether he saw the whole $600,000 with the House Committee set up to investigate the allegation of
are retired and many of them die on queues while trying to collect their entitlements that have been stolen by some serving and retired government officials. “Why are those officials not prosecuted to retrieve the stolen money? It is only in Nigeria that fraud of these magnitudes takes place and this incompetent government is doing nothing about it.” Gen. Buhari praised Ehinlanwo for his sacrifice of leaving his plum job at the European Commission (EC) to contest the election and contribute to the growth and stability of Nigeria’s democracy. Ehinlanwo, who praised Gen. Buhari for his steadfastness on justice and rule of law, said his interest was for the upliftment of the Ondo State people, who he said are yet to get the maximum benefits of democracy. He said: “I will take your golden messages home to the good people of Ondo State. We all know you and identify with what you represent. It is not only for the coming Ondo governorship election, but also for the coming 2015 elections.” The Southsouth Peoples Assembly last Thursday endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan for an eight-year tenure ending in 2019. About 33 prominent leaders of the group made the declaration in Effurun, Delta State, under the chairmanship of Chief Edwin Clark, a former information minister. The group called for a national conference of all ethnic nationalities in the country as a panacea for the socio-political challenges the country is facing. The group also accused some Northern leaders, whose comments, they claim, are fuelling Boko Haram insurgency. Clark singled out Alhaji Lawal Kaita, who he said has been threatening that there will be no Nigeria again should President Jonathan win a second term in office. The group also described calls for the abrogation of the Offshore/Onshore dichotomy as attempts to shut down the Southsouth, promising to resist such move.
Continued on page 62
Floods likely in Kwara, Kogi, Delta, three other states, NEMA warns Continued from page 1
alert comes because the dams have attained their highest water levels in 29 years which is unprecedented in the history of Jebba and Kainji hydroelectric power dams. The threat has created a high risk of imminent flooding in the downstream of the river. “The residents of the communities are urged to move to higher grounds for safety. The states at risk of the flood are Niger, Kogi, Kwara, Kebbi, Anambra and Delta. “Already the agency has notified the affected states to take the necessary precautionary measures by relocating people from the floodprone areas and activated the National Contingency Plan as well as alerted all stakeholders to take necessary actions in line with their various mandates. “The states are to ensure compliance with the threat in order to avert imminent loss of lives and properties that
would certainly arise in the event of flooding. “Furthermore, information available indicates that the gauge for monitoring the flow of water in the river has already exceeded the maximum height by over one meter. “A rapid assessment team comprising officers of NEMA and the stakeholders has left for Jebba and Kainji to further inspect the situation.” More than 3,000 residents of Kucha Utebe ,a suburb of Makurdi, the Benue State capital have been rendered homeless following heavy flooding of the settlement as a result of the opening of Logda Dam from Cameroun. Governor Gabriel Suswam yesterday visited the affected areas and pledged government’s assistance to victims who were seen moving out of the area, as the result of volume of water spill from the bank of River Benue over their houses. Residents hurriedly moved out their personal effects like
mattresses, chairs, cooking utensils, and foodstuff. Areas mostly affected are Gyado Villa, Kucha Utebe, Brewery, and Coca Cola on Makurdi-Gboko road. Most of the houses are completely submerged in water up to window level and have been abandoned by occupants who fled to safety . Commissioner for Water and Environment , Chief John Ngbede, said government had warned people living close to River Benue of impending flooding and advised the people to relocate. Governor Suswam said it would cost millions of naira to construct a big drainage that would contain further release of water from Cameroun dam. He appealed for patience. The governor directed the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to compile the list of the affected persons so that relief materials would be distributed. More floods have hit
Northern and Central Taraba, ravaging communities on the banks of River Benue. Chairman of Ardo-Kola Local Government,Dr Jalo Buba, told the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) in Sunkani yesterday. He said more than 3,000 hectares of crops, mainly rice, had been destroyed by the floods in 13 villages in the area. Buba, who spoke shortly after visiting the areas affected by the floods, also said over 8,000 people had been displaced and were taking refuge in Churches, Mosques and Primary School buildings in Mayo-Ranewo and Tau villages. He listed the 13 villages located on the bank of River Benue, which were completely destroyed by the flood to include Shomo-Gale, ShomoNdajule, Karim lazei, Gadaguru and Shomotawa. Others, he said, were Garinseini, Jiru-Dauda, Jirus-Sabon-Gari, Jiru-Tsohon Gari, Jiru-kasa, Doi and Mun-
ci as well as part of Mayo-Renewo. He said farm produce mainly rice and maize, covering over 3,000 hectares had been affected, a development he explained, could cause food shortage in the state. Buba said the area contributed over 70 per cent of the total rice produce in the state annually, and that almost 80 per cent of such rice farms had been consumed by the floods. He also said residential buildings, fishing materials and boats were swept away by the disaster. Buba said materials had been provided by the council and the State Government, but that more was needed to assist the victims, whom he said, lost all their belongings to the floods. He urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), other relevant agencies and wellmeaning individuals and organizations to come to the aid of the victims.
CORRECTION DIRECTOR-GENERAL of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Dr. Harold Demuren, a distinguished Nigerian, is not one of the national honours awardees for 2012. His photo was inadvertently published along with other recipients on the front page of yesterday’s edition. This error is regretted
ADVERT HOTLINES: 08023006969, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
ACN alleges plot by PDP to strangulate its states financially
•ACN National chair Bisi Akande
HE ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may be risking the peoples’ revolt unless it drops the idea of mobilising financial institutions against states under the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), all in an attempt to arrest development in those states, the ACN has warned. According to the ACN, the PDP is plotting to stifle development in states under its control. Its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, alleged that the PDP planned to manipulate the banks, includ-
ing the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other financial institutions, against making funds available to the states upon request. Mohammed said the PDP planned to achieve its aim by using a sustained campaign of blackmail and arm-twisting to make the institutions withdraw financial support to governments of the ACN-controlled states. In a statement yesterday, the party accused the PDP of feeding Ministers of Finance and National Planning as well as the Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), with wrong information on the financial status of the states. The statement reads: “The party (ACN) can authoritatively reveal that the first phase of this plot is for the PDP to make available to the Ministers of Finance and National Planning and Director General of the Debt Management
office false representation of the debt profiles of ACN states accompanied by wild and unsubstantiated allegations of financial recklessness and improprieties against ACN states for deliberation at the next meeting of the Federal Executive Council. “The Federal Government will then enlist the support of the Central Bank Governor who will table the contrived damning indictment before the Bankers Committee who in turn will unsuspectingly withdraw their financial support from all ACN states. “But the Peoples Democratic Party-led Federal Government will not stop at this. It will thereafter manipulate its appointees at the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other relevant regulatory authorities to block the ACN states access to the capital market even as the same Federal Government itself had resort-
ed to the same Capital Market to fund its own deficit budget, the party said. “The party recalled that the Peoples Democratic Party when it had no answer to Lagos State’s unprecedented developmental successes under the administration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu employed this same devious plot and would have succeeded in arresting the phenomenal success of that administration but for the financial ingenuity and resourcefulness of the former governor. “The recent unrelenting and sustained smear campaign against the ACN governors by the do nothing Peoples Democratic Party is nothing but a prelude to this grand conspiracy to financially cripple all ACN states. “Rather than emulate the giant strides of the ACN states especially in the areas of security, youth employment, infrastructural development etc,
and make life more meaningful and bearable for the millions of citizens under its watch, the Peoples Democratic Party has true to character resorted to this evil plan to stunt the growth of the ACN states and condemn the people of these states to a life of misery, poverty, chaos and hardship as is the norm in almost all PDP led states, the party noted. “The Peoples Democratic Party-led Federal Government is advised however to immediately retrace its steps otherwise it will face a people’s revolt and anger the like of which it has never witnessed as the citizens of all ACN -ed states will rise with one voice to resist with all means at their disposal any attempt by the clueless PDP -led Federal Government to truncate the unprecedented era of peace, progress and development currently being enjoyed in these states after the locust years of the PDP.”
Call for boycott of DANA planes
HE Nigerian Airline Passengers Association (NAPA) yesterday advised air travellers to shun DANA Air planes when they resume operations until the issues surrounding the June 3 crash are resolved. The Association said that since the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) is still probing the cause of the crash, where all the 153 passengers on board died, it is too hasty and insensitive to allow the airline resume operations. In a statement by Oba Donald Nwandu and Alhaji Umar Lukman, President and Executive Director respectively, the Association wondered how an airline whose aircraft was involved in a fatal crash that claimed 153 lives three months ago can now be said to have resolved all issues and certified fit to fly, even when the AIB is yet to release its report on the crash.
From Augustine Ehikioya and Faith Yahaya, Abuja
TO eradicate malaria, the Federal Government is now insisting on proper diagnosis before drugs are administered in its intervention programmes across the country. It is common practice at such intervention programmes for malaria drugs to be distributed to communities and individuals without proper test. Speaking at the Bi-Annual Review Meeting of State Malaria Programme Managers in Abuja yesterday, the National Co-ordinator, National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP), Chioma Amajoh said the government took the decision to eliminate the disease. She said: “This is now the strategy, the policy is now to diagnose before treatment. We don’t want to treat blindly anymore, so we are building capacity in that area so that we can move forward.” “What we are doing now is the strategic plan from 2009 to 2010. We want to scale up our intervention. We are going to improve on environmental management; we are going to use insect growth regulator and other things.” “Prevention they say it is better than cure, Nigeria is the only country that has distributed 50.4 million LLNs in 33 states . We started this move with our partners in 2009. For indoor residual spraying, we are moving forward but we have not achieved what we want to. We have only done 1per cent of the 80per cent. If people will use these nets effectively, it will provide a barrier between the humans and the mosquito vector,” She added.
Centre challenges Jonathan on State Police •Lamorde (middle) with Aina...yesterday. With them is Mrs Debola Osibogun
By Innocent Duru
Why investigation in banking is impeded, by EFCC chair CONOMIC and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chair Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde yesterday said some unethical practices in banking are undermining the economy and the commission’s investigations. He said it was time to flush out those who do not have business being in the banking sector. Lamorde spoke when officials of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), who were led by the Institute’s President and chairman of council, Mr. Segun Aina, visited him at work. Lamorde listed such unethical practices, which he said have negatively impacted on Nigeria ’s record in the fight against economic and financial crimes, as “secrecy surrounding private banking, doctoring or non disclosure of true position of statement of accounts of suspicious account holders and non-compli-
Fed Govt moves against ‘blind’treatment of malaria
From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
ance with the Know-YourCustomer, (KYC) principle. He described as unfortunate, a situation where banks fail to disclose the identities of some people under investigation by the Commission. A statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, quoted Lamorde as saying: “If you send letter to the bank to avail you the details of such account, the reply you will get is that such account does not exist. “If you insist, then you will be told that such records are not on the front desk, that it is only the managing director or the deputy managing director that manages the account, this is not a healthy banking development”, he declared. “It is in our own interest that the banking system continues to get better. Those who
don’t have business being in the banking industry should go”, he said. “We want our society to be better. Nobody would want to be treated in an unfair manner outside the shores of this country just because he/she is carrying a green passport”, he said. Lamorde said the commission appreciates the need for the banks to protect their customers, but he warned that such should not be at the detriment of the society. The anti-graft boss however praised the leadership of the CIBN Institute of Bankers of Nigeria for their role in helping to sanitise the banking sector culminating in appreciable increase in professionalism among its members. He, however urged them not to rest on their oars. The CIBN boss, Aina, hailed the EFCC chairman for the professional manner with which the EFCC under his lead-
ership handles matters. He however said the institute believes that the Commission can do better. He said although the visit was aimed at discussing areas of collaboration with the EFCC, he said the Commission’s training Institute, the EFCC Academy, will provide a veritable platform for the exchange of knowledge between the CIBN and the EFCC. “We can train staff of the EFCC to be acquainted with new trends of banking and to better understand the workings of the banks which will help in the course of investigation of bank fraud”. The CIBN president also urged the EFCC to take a second look at the enforcement of the Dishonour Cheque Offences Act. He added: “The law is there, but people issue cheques and the cheques get bounced and nothing happens. We
want to collaborate with the EFCC to ensure that the law is enforced.” On the secrecy associated with private banking, Mr. Aina said private banking is an arrangement where the banks gives special services to some customers who are not expected to join the queue in the banking hall, but pointed out that such accounts should not be shrouded in secrecy. “There is no reason why the account of such customers should be made secretive and not be made available to the EFCC upon request,” he said. Other executives that accompanied Mr. Aina on the visit were Mrs. Debola Osibogun, 1st Vice President; Deacon Segun Ajibola, second Vice President; Mr. Uche Olowu, National Treasurer; Dr. Uju Ogubunka, Registrar; Mr. Ben Igbokwe, Head, Corporate Affairs and Mrs. Rukayat Yusuf, Assistant Director.
THE Raymond Dokpesi Centre for Media Development at the weekend called for the creation of State Police to check insecurity in the land. It was during the centre’s yearly endurance trek christened: “Security is Everyone’s Business in Lagos. It was a prelude to lectures and award ceremonies that would take place later in the month. The centre urged President Goodluck Jonathan to heed their call. The Centre’s Director, Christopher Ebuetse said: “The Federal Government must carry the citizens along in security matters. The population of policemen in Nigeria is not up to one million in a country of over 160 million people. Individuals must be police and SSS themselves. Individuals must be ready to expose those who commit crime. If we compare the number of policemen we have in Nigeria with that of America and other developed countries of the world, we would see that we don’t have enough policemen.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
NEWS BLOODY SUNDAY IN LAGOS... THE DAY AFTER
‘I tried to run before they shot me in my thigh’ •One victim feared dead
From left: Executive Secretary, Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), Mr John Kennedy Opara; Chairman, Most Revd, Nicholas Okoh, and representatives of ATLASJET Airline, Mr Serkan Yazicioglu, and Mr Godwin Acheme, at the signing of Air Carriers Agreement in Abuja...yesterday
Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima (left) receiving Commissioner of Police Alhaji Yuguda Abdullahi in his office in Maiduguri... yesterday PHOTO: NAN
•Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi (right) addressing the students of Ladoke Akintola University (LAUTECH) led by their President, Comrade Sulaimon Kazeem (left) during a visit to governor's office. With them are the Commissioner for Education, Mrs.Tokunbo Fayokun (second right) and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Pastor Taiwo Otegbeye (third right).
•Brand Manager, Unilever Nigeria Plc Mr. Dapo Apolola (left), Managing Director, Mr. Ihabo Mabe (second left)and Building Director, Mr. David Ikeme (second right) at the "Close Up Loves Naija Concert" organised by Unilever Nig. Plc held at Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos... at the weekend.
ICTIMS of Sunday’s armed robbery attack at Oke-Koto, Agege, a Lagos suburb, yesterday narrated their ordeal. Two of the victims are on admission at the Motolani Medical Hospital, Agege. Two other victims were treated and discharged on Sunday. Discharged on Sunday night were six-year-old Oreoluwa Olubiyi and her 70-year-old grandmother, Mrs. Morenike Andrew. They were hit by stray bullets inside their sitting room watching television. One of the patients at Molotani is a 75-year-old woman, Mrs. Jenet Ike, a resident of 19, Railway Street, Agege. Mrs. Ike is from Imo State. She was shot at Guinness Bus stop, Agege. She was returning from a burial she attended in the Southeast. Her daughter, Nkiru Ike, told The Nation that she had gone for the burial of their General Overseer’s father with other members of her church. She said her mother alighted at Guinness Bus Stop, Agege and was walking home with a load on her head when, suddenly, she heard a gunshot from behind and later felt a sharp pain on her back. “She fell down immediately and some people came to call us and we quickly rushed her to the hospital at about 4pm,” she said. Another victim, Mohammed Abdulazeez from Niger State, was shot in his thigh at 17, Alfa Nla Street, Agege. The bullet, which passed through a burglary proof, pierced his thigh and passed through to the wall. Abdulazeez, who is a barbeque seller, said he was at his friend’s place that morning when he realised that the whole street was noisy. He said:“People were just running up and down and the next thing I heard was, ‘they are coming’. So, I also tried to run before they shot me in my thigh and I fell. “I was crying and calling people to come and help me, when the gunmen have left. People came to carry me; by that time I was bleeding seriously. They took me to Motolani Hospital but the doctor refused to attend to me because those who brought me were making trouble with him that they want to see what he is doing. “They now took me to Mayfair Hospital and they refused to treat me before I was taken to Ikeja General Hospital. At the General Hospital, there was no space; so, the doctor there gave those who brought me a note and also got police report that they should quickly take me to any other hospital and I shall be admitted. So, they brought me back to Motolani and I was quickly attended to.” Abdulazeez urged the government to provide adequate security. He said: “Only God knows what would have happened to me yesterday, if people did not come to rescue me. If government does not want to provide security in the
By Precious Igbonwelundu
country, they should please provide it for us in Agege so that we can go about our businesses without fear of being harmed.” The son of Mrs. Andrew, who was discharged after being treated at Motolani Hospital, Tunde said his mother was resting when The Nation visited their Alfa Nla, Agege residence. He said that the six-year-old girl affected by the attack had been taken to Abule-Egba, on the outskirts of Lagos, by her parents. Tunde said the injuries were minor as the bullet only scratched Oreoluwa’s eye and touched his mother slightly on the forehead. The Vice-Chairman of the Bureau De Change Association, Alhaji Abubakar Hameed, said two of the association’s members were shot but did not die and are receiving treatment at Monike Hospital, Dopemu, a Lagos suburb. They are Alhaji Muktab Zubila and Abdulahi Gadon, adding that the robbers shot both men on their legs after dispossessing them of an undisclosed amount of money. A bureau de change operator, Alhaji Mohammadu Muktab, who were shot in their legs after being dispossessed of undisclosed amount of money. He said: “I was the first person they met when they came. They came in five jeeps and one of the jeeps is silver colour. “It was about 3pm when they came here. One of the cars blocked the OkeKoto Junction, another one was stationed at the filling station; the third Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) was parked on the road beside the bureau de change while the remaining two were parked at the bureau de change. “They were many in number and they were carrying guns. Immediately, they met me, they told me to bring out all the money I had and they took my N200 million. They also met my son and collected his N300 million cash before they went to the others.” Muktab said one of the victims that was shot is his relation. It was also gathered that a 19-yearold girl, simply identified as Taibat, a resident of 5, Ogunnowo Street, Agege, who was shot in the neck by the hoodlums and taken to a hospital at Dopemo, may have died yesterday. Her friends, Aliu Sani and Sani Mohammed, said she had tried to cross the road to the other side when the bullet hit her. Aliu said Taibat, who had lost her father, was leaving with a relative. He said she was an apprentice at a tailoring shop and that they had gone to her house earlier yesterday to ask about her but met people crying and they were told she died. The consultant at the hospital, Dr. Richard Omotoso, told The Nation that the hospital’s ambulance took the bullet that was targeted at the clinic’s laboratory technician. He said the technician, simply identified as Wasiu, was receiving a call, not knowing that the gunmen were approaching from behind. He said: “On sighting him, they probably thought he was calling the police or something and that was how they started shooting directly at his direction. Luckily for him, he bent down and escaped. The bullet scattered our windscreen.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
NEWS BLOODY SUNDAY IN LAGOS... THE DAY AFTER
•Madam Janet Ike on the hospital bed... yesterday
‘ •Bullet holes on House 17, Alfa Nla Street, Agege where one of the victims, AbdulAzeez, was shot
•Motolani Hospital's ambulance hit by the robbers’ bullets
PHOTOS: PRECIOUS IGBONWELUNDU
Fashola, IGP order police to fish out robbers
AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola and the Inspector General of Police(IGP), Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, yesterday directed the police in Lagos to fish out the robbers who terrorised some parts of the metropolis on Sunday, killing six people, including three policemen. The duo spoke yesterday in Alausa during the official presentation of 114 security vehicles procured by the 20 Local Government and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) to the Lagos State Security Trust Fund. The IGP frowned at the persistent cases of robbery attack in recent time. He expressed displeasure on the development, declaring to his men that the tea party is over. “There is no doubt, some of you are sleeping on duty,” the police chief said. He said: “The story of Sunday’s robbery should not repeat itself. I could not sleep throughout because some of you are sleeping. I`ve directed the Assistant Inspector General for Zone II and the Commissioner of Police in the state to sit down, restrategise and improve on the security of Lagos. “They must put more strategy on ground and methodology of fighting
‘We are not losing the battle’
OTWITHSTANDING the killing of three of his men by bandits in Lagos on Sunday, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, said the police are on top of the game. The IGP spoke in Lagos yesterday at the Military Hospital, Yaba, where he visited five police officers, who are being treated for injuries sustained on peacekeeping mission in Darfur, Sudan. He said the raid by robbers was not enough to conclude his men are losing the anti-crime war. According to him, what happened on Sunday were parts of the hazards of the job that would not deter the police. The IGP said: “When policemen are chasing criminals, criminals will also be chasing them. So, the tendency of policemen been attacked is there.”
By Miriam Ndikanwu
crimes. We cannot fold our hands anymore and allow few criminals to terrorise residents. The governor has given us everything that we need in terms of mobility, in terms of technology, in terms of support and we shouldn’t allow the people of Lagos to be terrorised by
By Jude Isiguzo
“We are not losing the battle. What happened yesterday (Sunday) is one of the hazards of the job. We will remain focused.” Noting that violent crimes and other crimes were on the rise when he took the saddle, Abubakar said the has changed. He said: “We assure Nigerians to do our best in terms of protection of life and property, security management and control, law and order. The patrol vehicle you see on the road is the beginning. I am promising that more are on the way. “What we need is the support of Nigerians, the government of the day and the provision of the muchneeded equipment and the rest will be done by the police.”
common charlatans and criminals. It cannot be tolerated anymore. “We can’t fold our arms and policemen must be seen and felt on every road and street in Lagos. The robbery incident is an embarrassment to the Force. It can never be accepted anymore.” Abubakar praised the government for equipping the
police. He told his men that the vehicles must not be used for any other purpose other than patrolling the state.”You cannot use this vehicle for domestic use or any other purposes other than patrol and surveillance of the state,” the IGP said. Fashola urged the police to rise up to the occasion, saying “we
need to be bold, audacious and be innovative to chart a new course”. He added: “Our achievements on security have been challenged; our responsibilities have been heightened. We are worried that those who are threatening security of our state are running faster and challenging our capability. I assure you that we will win.” The governor assured the families of the three policemen who died of assistance. He said: “Let me assure the families and dependants of those fallen men that we will not forget them. They would be taken care of under our insurance package compensation. We will also support them outside the insurance package.” He urged the police to find all the robbers. Fashola said: “This is your task. The Area Commanders, the DCO`s and the Commissioner. You need to fish out the gang and bring them to justice so that your colleagues will not die in vain.” The governor appealed to residents to remain calm.
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
NEWS Ibadan, Osogbo commuters groan as fuel sells for N100, N110 per litre From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan and Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo
COMMUTERS in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, and Osogbo, the Osun State capital, and their environs were yesterday paying more on fares, following the hike in the pump price of petrol form N97 to N100 and N120 per litre. The fare hike came on the heels of Saturday’s fuel scarcity in most of the filling stations in Ibadan. The cause of the scarcity was unknown, which caused panic buying and queues,which unknown. At many filling stations selling fuel, touts collected about N200 for what they called “toll fee” from motorists. In Osogbo and other major towns, most filling stations were under lock and key. Many commercial drivers parked their vehicles as they could not get petrol. The filling stations our correspondent visited in Osogbo, including Oando, Mobil, Total and others owned by independent petroleum marketers, were not selling. The few that were open in Osogbo sold a litre of petrol for between N100 and N120. There were long queues at such filling stations. Many drivers condemned the price hike. They called for the intervention of the Petroleum Products Prices Regulatory Agency (PPPRA). There was a heavy presence of security personnel at filling stations to prevent a breakdown of law and order. Petrol attendants at the stations complained of non-availability of the product at the Ibadan depot, where they get their supplies. It was learnt that the situation was the same in Ilesa, Ikirun, Ile-Ife, Ede and other major towns. Traders have increased the prices of their goods, especially those of foodstuffs by 80 per cent in most markets in the city. Most filling stations in Ibadan, which earlier said they had no fuel and shut their gates to customers, opened after increasing the pump price.
Aregbesola: stronger trade links can unify Nigeria O SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola yesterday said the great-
est source of hope for the viability of Nigeria lies in its internal trade links. The governor spoke in Osogbo, the state capital, during the turning of the sod of Aje International Market, organised by the Ministry of Commerce, Cooperatives and Empowerment at the Trade Fair Complex. He noted that despite Nigeria’s challenges, trading remains the strong bond for people from diverse backgrounds. Aregbesola said the major fault lines of politics and culture were being bridged by trade ties. The governor said the foundation for modern Nigeria could be traced to trading, adding that with other factors, they established the crude and broad outlines that make up today’s Nigeria. He said: “Imagine, on a
•Lays foundation for another international market
daily basis, the volume of trade involving grains and beef products from the North to the South; the goods from the South, such as palm oil and timber, to the North. These do not include manufactured and imported products from the South-to-North route. “In Nigeria, trade remains a tie that binds us together. In fact, the real basis for modern-day Nigeria could be traced in some significant sense to trading, which, along with other factors, had already established the crude and broad outlines of what today is known as Nigeria, thanks to the colonial enterprise.” Aregbesola said trading has been widely acknowledged as a good spur for eco-
nomic growth, adding that the prospect for more profit leads to increased trade and expanded prosperity. The governor noted that this in turn drives more production, increased competition, higher quality products at lower prices. He said: “In our present world, investment decisions are predicated on market considerations, because the ultimate aim of production is commercial success, which makes the market a catalyst for economic growth. For us in government, therefore, we see the creation of modern markets as part of our duty to make the infrastructure for investment available.” Aregbesola said Aje Market, like many others, is a
Public Private Partnership (PPP) project between the government, the O’dua Investment Company and the Concave Developers Limited. He said: “I want to make it very clear that Aje Market is not intended to displace the State Trade Fair Complex, which occupies part of the site for this market. Instead, the new market is a multi-purpose commercial centre that will incorporate a more standardised and modernised trade fair complex, as well as other related facilities. “It is also part of our policy to relocate our traders, from their presently scattered and non-conducive trading posts all over the state capital, to the new market.” The government had laid the foundation for the construction of the Ayegbaju Market. Work is ongoing at the site on OsogboGbongan Road.
100 Ekiti eye patients get free surgery From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
OVER 100 patients with critical eye problems, who were referred for surgeries during the fifth phase of Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi’s Free Health Mission have undergone free surgery at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Ado-Ekiti. The Commissioner for Health, Prof Olusola Fasubaa, who spoke in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, at the end of the programme at the Ophthalmology Centre of EKSUTH, hailed the success of the exercise. The commissioner said the Free Health Mission was part of efforts by the Fayemi administration to improve healthcare delivery as enshrined in its Eight-Point Agenda. Fasubaa urged the beneficiaries to take drugs according to prescriptions and undergo regular medical check-ups, as directed by the doctors. The State Director of Hospital Services, Dr. Kola Adu, described the Free Health Mission as a continuous exercise. He said its sixth edition would hold before the end of the year. Dr. Adu hailed the workers of the EKSUTH Ophthalmology Department, led by Dr. Olufunmilayo Fadamiro, for the success of the operations. Mrs. Fasola Funke from Moba Local Government Area; Chief Ogundana Bamisaye, from Ilejemeje and Mrs. Falade Grace from Ikole Local Government Area, praised the Fayemi administration for solving the health challenges the residents had been facing for years.
Jonathan, Mark, others for national confab prayer From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan; Senate President David Mark; the General Overseer of The Redeem Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye; presiding Bishop of Living Faith Church (aka Winners Chapel), Bishop David Oyedipo, and other eminent Nigerians, will on September 22 attend a national prayer against Nigeria’s disintegration at the Liberty Stadium in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. The Coordinator, Nigeria National Fasting and Prayer Day, Prophet Okoduwa Atorkpa, yesterday told reporters in Benin, the Edo State capital, that this year’s event would address the challenges threatening the nation’s unity. He said the theme for the conference is: God save Nigeria. According to him, he chose the theme following a divine revelation he received. Atorkpa added: “The only way to resolve all problems bedeviling the nation is to call on God to save Nigeria. For Nigeria to experience greater peace, unity and prosperity, there must be a forsaking of all that are displeasing to God and a corresponding obedience to God’s will.”
Seminar for Ogun Muslim pilgrims THE Ogun State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board will on Thursday hold a seminar/induction for intending pilgrims to this year’s Hajj in Saudi Arabia. Its Executive Secretary, Alhaji Sefiu Rasheed, addressed reporters in Abeokuta, the state capital, on the preparation for the religious exercise. He said the seminar would hold at the state secretariat’s mosque in Oke-Ilewo, Abeokuta, at 10am. Rasheed said the event would include presentations by eminent scholars and experts to guide the intending pilgrims on the rules and regulations before and during the exercise. He said: “This will be the final seminar/induction to be organised for the 1,550 intending pilgrims from the state. The programme will also serve as an avenue for the pilgrims to collect essential travel documents and information on their movement to Saudi Arabia.”
•Aregbesola laying the foundation of the market...yesterday With him are Deputy Governor Mrs Titilayo Laoye-Tomori and other government officials.
Ondo CPC condemns police invasion of ACN vitation to anarchy. HE Congress for Pro“They should endeavour Secretary’s home gressive Change to ask themselves why our
(CPC) in Ondo State yesterday criticised the invasion of the home of the Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Mr. Adegboyega Adedipe, in Akure, the state capital, by policemen. The policemen were said to be acting on an instruction from “above” to search for “incriminating documents” in Adedipe’s home. In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr Olu Falarugbon, the CPC decried what it called acts of brigandage and intolerance by the ruling Labour Party (LP). It noted that the LP had been depriving the opposition the freedom to use the public arena to hold rallies and harassing the residents with hoodlums.
From Damisi Ojo, Akure
CPC said: “We see this as an affront to civilisation, threat to individual fundamental human rights and an act to cow and intimidate the opposition in the state. “It lays credence to the insinuation that the police have been bought over by a particular party. Injustice to one, is injustice to all. “We recall the invasion of the home of the state Chairman of CPC sometime in April by political thugs loyal to the LP at Ala Quarters in Akure.” During the raid, the party recalled that Obolo’s money and other valuables were stolen when he was in Abuja. The matter is still pending with the police. CPC said: “We vehe-
mently condemn this invasion by the police on the pretext of incriminating information. It is a signal of bad omen to our political development and electioneering process in Ondo State. It is like taking us backward to the primordial era of our nation, in which the police brutality and barbarism were the order of the day. “We should tell our police that they promised to be neutral and professional in their conduct. So, which information (were they asking for) and who gave the information? “The police should know by now that the people are more knowledgeable and committed to democratic tenets than they envisaged. Any act that compromises this would amount to an in-
society is in this state of insecurity and arrested development? If our police are really looking for criminals and political thugs, they should know where to find them. “Everybody knows who is promoting and protecting the thugs that have been disturbing the peace of the state all this while. Our police should stop playing on our intelligence through frivolous and spurious claims.” The party urged the police to abide by their constitutional responsibility of securing peoples’ live and property. It urged policemen to create a level-playing field for all political parties as major stakeholders in the Transformation Agenda of Nigeria.
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
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Pupils to learn Chinese language LAGOS State will introduce Mandarin or Chinese Language in public schools' curriculum from next session, Commissioner for Education Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye has said. In a statement by the Ministry's Public Relations Officer, Mr. Lanre Bajulaiye, the commissioner said learning the language would be an opportunity for pupils to speak it and adapt to Chinese culture. The commissioner spoke after a meeting with a delegation from the Chinese Confucius Institute, University of Lagos. Prof. Caleb Orimoogunje, Director of the Institute, said the institution was ready to assist the state with logistics to make the teaching and learning of the language easier. Orimoogunje added that Prof. Lirong Jiang, a codirector of the institute, would help in the take-off of the programme. Jiang said the institute, as a representative of the Chinese culture in Nigeria, was set up to satisfy people's need about the country's culture. She said the language became necessary because China had become the new destination for economic growth and technological development.
Police arrest robbery suspects By Precious Igbonwelundu
THE Police in Idimu, a Lagos suburb, have arrested a suspected robber, Tajudeen Sarafadin, and recovered a locally made pistol from him. Sarafadin is alleged to be a member of a four-man gang that stormed Gowon Estate roundabout in a Toyota Siena car around 10:30am on Sunday. A Senior Police Officer told The Nation that a distress call was received at the station about 10:30am on Sunday, that robbers were terrorising people around the Gowon Estate roundabout. He said a patrol team was immediately dispatched by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Mike Imeke, a Superintendent, to stop the hoodlums. The effort, according to sources, paid-off as the suspect was intercepted at Ilepo Alhaji Bus Stop on the Ikotun-Idimu Road, with a locally made pistol while others fled. The DPO said those still at large would soon be arrested following Sarafadin's confessions. He said Sarafadin had been handed over to the Gowon Estate Police Station because the crime was committed in that area. Imeke said: "We could not get them all because it was not a vantage position. If we had attempted shooting while they escaped, we might have shot innocent people and that would compound the situation. But since we got one of them alive, I am sure our interrogation will pay off and lead us to the others."
Magistrate frees graduate beggar By Fisayo Ige
30-YEAR old man, Peter Osawe, was arraigned yesterday before an Igbosere Magistrate's Court for allegedly begging a Police Area Commander for alms in Lekki, Ajah, Lagos. Prosecuting Sergeant Cousin Adams said the accused, a graduate of Theatre Arts from the University of Calabar, was arrested on Saturday at the Shoprite Mall in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of the state and detained at Maroko Police Station. Osawe was charged with conducting himself in a manner likely to cause a breach of peace by begging from a senior police officer, thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 166(f) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos. Osawe, who lives at 5 Ajegunle Street, Lakowe, Ibeju-Lekki, alleged that he was at Shoprite for a modelling interview at the MTN office and ran out of cash. He said he approached an elderly man, who turned out to be an Area Commander, for financial help and the elderly man asked him to follow him. The Commander took him to the security post and ordered the policemen at Shoprite to search if he has any incriminating or harmful object on him. The Commander, it was alleged, ordered Osawe's arrest because he did not have anything to identify himself. The Commander was said to have alleged that his wife's phone was stolen at the same place penultimate week, when she came shopping. The offence, according to Adams contravened Section 166(f) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2012. The accused pleaded not guilty to the one-count charge. Magistrate Oshodi Makanju discharged the accused because it is not a crime to beg. He advised the accused to get a meaningful job to improve his condition.
• Coalition of Civil Society Groups protesting the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) new monetary policy in Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: DAYO ADEWUNMI
Lagos to rehabilitate monuments, tourism sites T O boost tourism, the Lagos State Government is to rehabilitate monuments and landmarks in the state, the Ministry of Tourism and Intergovernmental Relations has said. Speaking during a tour of some sites over the weekend, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Tourism and Intergovernmental Relations, Mrs. MorounRanti Alebiosu, said the inspection would enable the ministry make appropriate recommendations on ways of restoring their lost glory. The sites visited included: the Tinubu Square, Glover Hall, Daily Times of Nige-
•Fela’s house may benefit
By Yinka Aderibigbe
ria (DTN) office at Kakawa Street, the first Mosque in the state, the site where pipe borne water was first inaugurated in Nigeria at Enu-Owa, the first public toilet in Nigeria, situated at Isale Eko, and the Freedom Park among others. Mrs. Alebiosu promised that the originality and content of the monuments and sites would be retained despite their planned rehabilitation. A comprehensive report
and data on all abandoned and uncompleted buildings would be made to the government with a view of making them useful, she added. The rehabilitation, she said, would boost tourism, adding that the Babatunde Fashola’s administration is determined to preserve the rich cultural heritage of the state. The Commissioner for Tourism and Intergovernmental Relations, Mr. Oladisun Holloway and
some officials of the Ministry also visited the Gbemisola Street, Ikeja, residence of the late Afrobeat icon. Holloway said government’s plan to rehabilitate Fela's shrine and turn it into a museum, was part of the way government intends to immortalise the late Afrobeat legend. He expressed satisfaction with the work so far done on the house. Pledging government's readiness to immortalise other deserving Nigerians, Holloway said the Fashola administration would continue to partner stakeholders in tourism to move the sector forward.
Commercial motorcyclists, outdoor workers day to the cause of the defect, risk eye problem OMMERCIAL which are dust, smoke, motorcycle riders
and roadside traders risk having an eye problem called Pterygium, a threemonth data obtained by a Lagos Eye Hospital, Pietros, has said. The hospital has been conducting free eye screening for those interested since May and the data collected after three
By Segun Balogun
months, showed that cases of Pterygium, mostly found in Okada riders and roadside traders, formed one-third of diagnosed cases. "When we first started, average of 100 people came in for the free screening. Now, we do have about 40
people and cases of Pterygium have been quite common, about one in every three people," said Shola Oyelakin, the hospital's General Manager. Those diagnosed with the eye defect, he said were found to be Okada riders, food sellers, and roadside traders, who are exposed all
•Participants at a free web design training organised by Webhpro Ltd, an Information Technology firm in Lagos...yesterday PHOTO: JOSEPH JIBUEZE
wind, and sunlight. Pterygium, he said, is a patch of tissue that obstructs vision by developing sideways from the lens, and ends up obstructing vision. Once it develops, surgery is the only solution. There is probability of relapse after surgery if exposure to the causal agents continues. "The best is prevention and that is through limiting exposure by using sunshades," he said. The data also shows that more people below 50 are developing cataract, which Oyelakin attributed to drug abuse and trauma, high blood pressure and diabetes. Oyelakin said: "Cataract is usually the most common eye problem, but it is age related. However, we have seen that people below 50 years are increasingly having cataract," advising people to stop selfmedication. He added: “You may have similar symptoms, but the causes may be different. However, because an eye drop bought over the counter works for an eye problem, people will use it for any eye problem with similar symptoms, not knowing some eye drops should not be used for more than certain days."
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
NEWS ONDO 2012 Group begins SMS voting on candidates
Mimiko promises to industrialise Ore
From Leke Akeredolu, Akure
NDO State Governor Olusegun Mimiko yesterday promised to turn the popular Ore town on the Lagos-Benin Expressway into an industrialised city. The governor spoke in the town during his re-election campaign tour of Odigbo Local Government Area. He addressed the ruling Labour Party (LP) supporters in the town, his first port of call during the campaign tour of the council. Mimiko flagged off the rehabilitation of the 6.1kilometre Ore township roads, where he listed the developmental projects his administration has done in the last three and a half years. These, the governor said, include the multi-million Naira Industrial Park, the ongoing Ore Sunshine City, Ore Agriculture Farm Settlements, an international market, among others. He assured that Ore would soon be one of the best cities in Nigeria because of its unique location as the gateway to eastern and northern Nigeria.
‘Akintelure’s nomination good omen’ From Damisi Ojo, Akure
SOME groups in Ondo State have said the endorsement of Dr. Paul Akintelure as the deputy governorship candidate of the Ondo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) is a sign of better things for the party. The groups include Idogun Leaders of Thought, Eyo Collective, Ose Progressive Vanguard, All Ward Chairmen of Ilaje, and Ijaw Youth Congress (IYC). The Convener of Idogun Leaders of Thought, Pastor Wale Adelakun, described Akintelure as a team player with humility and high spirit. The politician noted that the medical doctor would work with the governorship candidate, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), to alleviate the suffering of the people. He said: “Akintelure will help to rejuvenate the disorganised health sector with comprehensive package that would make medical services affordable to the residents. “He will cater for the welfare of caregivers without discrimination…”
•Akeredolu (holding a microphone)addressing party supporters at Ofosu Oniere, Idanre, Ondo State, during his visit to the community. PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN
I won’t increase tuition fees, says Akeredolu T HE Ondo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), has said he will not increase tuition fees at the Adekunle Ajasin University (AAU) in AkungbaAkoko and Rufus Giwa Polytechnic (RUGIPOLY) in Owo, if elected in the October 20 governorship election. The frontline lawyer assured workers of both institutions and teachers in the state that their allowances, which have not been paid by Governor Olusegun Mimiko, would be fully paid, if he becomes governor. A statement by the Director of Media, Publicity and Strategy of Akeredolu Campaign Organisation (ACO), Mr Idowu Ajanaku, said the governorship hopeful spoke in Ayegunle-Akoko, where he was hosted by members of the Omoluabi Forum.
From Damisi Ojo, Akure
Responding to a question by a students’ leader, Akeredolu said: “I know the importance of education. Although some states increased fees because they have no money, God has blessed us with oil wealth in Ondo State. Therefore, I say today that my government will not increase tuition fees. That is final. You can quote me on that.” The ACN candidate promised to pay the allowances of AAU workers, which have not been paid in the last 32 months. He added that teachers too would be paid their outstanding allowances in full. Akeredolu said the bursary for Ondo State indigenes in the higher institu-
tions would be paid, if he becomes governor. The former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President said an ACN administration would pay special attention to indigent students, so that they can be well educated. He said his administration would not waste money on mega schools but renovate existing schools and build new ones in rural areas. Akeredolu promised to focus on health and job creation. He restated his commitment to the creation of 30,000 jobs within his 100 days in office and step up infrastructural development, among others. The Coordinator of Omoluabi Forum, Chief Gabriel Tolu Obaleye, said the group is supporting
Akeredolu because of his vision for the state. He said the people of Ondo State are tired of the Mimiko administration, which he accused of building cosmetic projects, such as town halls, boreholes, markets and fountains. Obaleye said the residents’ essential needs are potable water, motorable roads, among other vital infrastructure. He said the ruling Labour Party (LP) administration has not inaugurated a road in the last three and a half years. Akerdolu explained that the development in Lagos, Ekiti, Oyo, Osun and Edo states indicate that Ondo State would witness massive development. The ACN candidate inaugurated the Independent Campaign Group of the forum and donated N1 million.
ALLOP Polls Nigeria Limited yesterday began an empirical opinion poll to sample the popularity of the 12 governorship candidates participating in the October 20 election in Ondo State. The opinion poll is based on Short Messaging Service (SMS). Three most popular political parties in the state; the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP), will be represented by Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), Chief Olusola Oke and Governor Olusegun Mimiko. The opinion poll allows registered voters to participate. Addressing reporters in Akure, the state capital, the Principal Consultant of Gallop Polls, Chief Anthony Chigbo, said the voting began yesterday and ends on Friday. He said the organiser would announce the result on September 28. Chigbo said the goal of the poll is to use eligible registered voters to generate data and develop the content that enables empirical prediction of voter leaning and behaviour on Election Day. He said voters on MTN network would be allowed to vote, adding that they would be charged N10 per SMS. The consultant explained that the organiser pitched its tent with MTN because it accounted for 60 per cent of registered phone users in the state. Chigbo said: “We have created different alphabetical codes for the four most popular parties in the state. The other eight parties will share one code. Anyone who wants to vote for ACN will text “ONDO AK” and send it to 31077; PDP, “ONDO OK” to 31077; CPC, “ONDO HE” to 31077; LP “ONDO OM” to 31077" and others political parties “ONDO AA” to 31077.
Ondo CPC in crisis over governorship candidate
HE crisis in the Ondo State chapter of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has worsened. Its executive in 18 local government areas reportedly disowned a consultant with the European Commission (EC), Mr Soji Ehinlanwo, as its standard bearer for the October 20 governorship election. Ehinlanwo’s name has been submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with the party’s Women’s Leader, Mrs Oluyemi Damilola, as his running mate. In a statement by its Public-
From Damisi Ojo, Akure
ity Secretary, Mr Jayeoba Francis, the CPC said: “We want to state categorically that members in the 18 local governments did not take part in the kangaroo congress organised in the state where Mr Soji Ehinlawo was purportedly appointed the party’s candidate to contest in the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo State.” The party said it was alerting the public to its position on the “congress” which, according to it, CPC members did not attend. It said: “To set the record
straight, CPC was not aware of the time Mr Ehinlawo joined the party. Just as it was informed of his membership through the newspapers, Mr Lekan Obolo and his cohorts also succeeded in giving the CPC governorship ticket to Ehinlanwo on the pages of newspapers. “This is not known to the party and, therefore, invalid, unconstitutional and a flagrant rape on democracy. “We intend to inform the public that the so-called governorship candidate was handpicked by some disgruntled elements in the party, headed by the past Interim Chairman,
Mr Obolo, and his cohorts for their selfish interest “We are stating categorically that Ehinlanwo does not possess the party membership card and he is not a registered member of the party in Ward II, Ilaje Local Government Area, his acclaimed ward. “It will be noted that the entire 18 local government chairmen, as a result of this act of disloyalty to the rules and constitution of our great party, did pass a vote of no confidence in the Obolo-led Interim Committee and unanimously appointed Mr Jimoh Amodu as the new Acting Chairman of our great
party. “The appointment of the new Acting Chairman took effect on August 8, pending the time the party will hold its congress to elect new leaders in the state. “We want to make it clear that our decision is to let the people of Ondo State know that CPC in Ondo State chapter does not have any standard bearer in the forthcoming election. But very soon, we shall let the public know the candidate the party will support as we await a directive from Mr Jimoh Amodu, the new Caretaker Chairman of our great party.”
ACN candidate ‘didn’t incite varsity, poly workers against LP’
HE Akeredolu Campaign Organisation (ACO) of the Ondo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday debunked the allegation by the ruling Labour Party (LP) that opposition parties were instigating the workers of Adekunle Ajasin University (AAU) in Akungba Akoko and the Rufus Giwa Poly-
From Damisi Ojo, Akure
technic in Owo (RUGIPOLY) against the government. In a statement by its spokesman, Mr Idowu Ajanaku, ACO said: “To us, this is a panic measure on the part of the unpopular government in the state. If an opposition party has such a capacity to influence government workers
against the so-called grassroots administration of Governor Olusegun Mimiko, then they are on their way out.” The organisation said Ondo State residents should ask the ruling Labour Party (LP) if it was the opposition that has refused to pay the allowances of workers of Adekunle Ajasin University
(AAU) in the last 28 months. It also asked if it was the opposition that has refused to pay the 27 per cent allowances to teachers in the state. The statement added: “In fact, it should interest the people why it took Mimiko over two years to show interest in the widows and children of the Labour unions’ representatives
who died in a motor accident on their way from Akure after a meeting with Mimiko to negotiate for the welfare of workers. “Till now, the agreement reached has not been implemented. The entire campus wears a mourning look as claims that subvention has not be released is all over the air. “Is this also the work of
the opposition? Is it an opposition party that has neglected the welfare of the workers in both institutions? Is it the opposition party that has been victimising the workers of these institutions? Is it the opposition that has been forcing civil servants to Mimiko’s rallies across the state against their wish?”
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
BUSINESS THE NATION
Our product declined from 167,000 metric tonnes in 1961 to 25,000 MT by 2008. in the same period global production of palm oil expanded from 629,000 MT in 1961 to 33.3 million MT by 2008. - Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
CBN to print N5, 000 banknote locally mid- 2013 T HE Nigerian Security Printing & Minting (NSPM) Plc will begin printing of the planned N5,000 banknote by mid2013, its Managing Director, Ehi’ E Okoyomon has said. Also, the family of late Margaret Ekpo, one of the three women whose photographs are to appear on the N5, 000 banknote, has endorsed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) currency overhaul plan. Speaking yesterday at a conference and exhibition organised by the Association of African Banknotes & Security Documents Printers in Lagos, the NSPM boss explained that the apex bank has already given the firm a
Naira eases on strong dollar demand
IGERIA's naira eased against the U.S. dollar on the interbank market on Monday after a surge in demand by one lender buying the greenback for its customers, dealers said. The local currency closed at 157.80 naira to the dollar, weaker than Friday's close of 157.55 naira. The naira according to Reuter’s news, had firmed to 157 naira level last week from 158 to the dollar after the stateowned energy company NNPC sold around $480 million to some banks. "The dollar inflow from the NNPC is gradually thinning out because of a surge in demand, driven by importers who were taking advantage of cheaper dollars to bring forward their obligations," one dealer said. Dealers said the naira should be back at 158 naira level this week as dollar demand continues to reduce market liquidity, unless a major inflow from oil companies come in. At the bi-weekly auction, the central bank sold $180 million at 155.78 naira to the dollar, compared with the $200 million it sold at 155.80 naira at last Wednesday's auction.
• Ekpo’s family backs apex bank
By Collins Nweze
specimen of the proposed note. However, it was discovered that NSPM does not have the type of machine to print the new banknote because of a specialised feature included in it. “The CBN has shown us the N5,000 design but there is a particular feature in the note that we do not have the machine to print at the moment. But I want to tell you that by mid- 2013, we will have the machine to print the note,” he said. The N5,000 banknote billed to be introduced early next year, will be printed by a foreign company. There had been public outcry against the introduction of the banknote, but this will not stop the CBN from introducing the currency as approval has been secured from President Goodluck Jonathan. It is the primary responsibility of the apex bank to effect changes in the nation’s currency with the
approval of the President. The higher denomination will be introduced alongside the new coins of N5, N10, and N20. Okoyomon, explained that NSPM currently prints all Nigerian currencies at home, and would commence same for the proposed N5,000 note next year. He refuted claims that the N5,000 note is ready and awaiting distribution, explaining that it is difficult to stop counterfeiting of currencies. He said the best option remains to move ahead of counterfeiters by adopting sophisticated technology in printing Nigerian currencies. He said his firm receives several counterfeit bank notes seized and sent to it by the Police, State Security Service, Central Bank and other security agencies. The NSPM boss said high resolution machines are making digital counterfeiting easier hence, it was necessary for regulators to continually improve on the sophistications and technol-
ogy used in note printing. He said high security features have been added to the proposed N5,000 note to make to ensure that it is not counterfeited. Meanwhile, the family of late Margaret Ekpo has endorsed the CBN currency overhaul plan. Speaking to journalists at the weekend, Head of Ekpo’s Family, Bassey Ekpo, said the family feels very honoured and delighted that their grandmother is being honored. Bassey, Ekpo’s first grandson and Deputy Manager, Well Operations Monitoring, Joint Venture Oil Operations, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), said her grandmother would have been very pleased for the honour if she had been alive. He said the Ekpo family never expected that government will give her this kind of honour, saying she made sacrifices for the development and unity of the coun-
try. He said her contributions to the nation’s development and unity are still visible. Bassey said Federal Government has now recognised her sacrifices, especially on women emancipation and the efforts are being rewarded. “The family feels very honored. We are really very delighted that our grandmother is so honored. I want to use this opportunity to thank the President, Goodluck Jonathan, the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and all his team that made it possible,” he said. He refused to be drawn on the technical details of whether the introduction of N5,000 was necessary at this time, arguing that he is an engineer, nor an Economist, arguing that such questions are better handled by experts in monetary, or economic policies. He said his family approved of the three womenMargaret Ekpo, Olufunmilayo RansomeKuti and Gambo Sawaba, having their pictures on the proposed N5,000 banknote.
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
• MD of Samsung Electronics West Africa, Mr Bravo Kim, cutting the tape to declare open Ikeja office. With him are Head of Sales, Mr Olumide Ojo and Business Manager, Hand Held Products HHP at the opening of Samsung’s Experience store in Ikeja, Lagos... at the weekend. PHOTO: JOHN EBHOTA
SEC, staff row over promotion, postings
HE relative calm at the Abuja headquarters of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was yesterday ruffled following the deployment of armed policemen around its premises. The Nation learnt that the deployment of the securitymen was aimed at forestalling “any untoward action by the union to register its displeasures against the decision of the management of SEC on promotion and internal redeployments.” As early as 7.30 am, a detachment of policemen took strategic positions within the SEC, even though there was no roudiness when The Nation visited.
By Mercy Madu, Abuja
It was gathered that SEC’s Director-General, Ms. Arunma Oteh, in an apparent attempt to deepen the oversight and regulatory functions of the SEC on the capital market, last week approved internal re-deployment of staff who have stayed in a position for five years or more. The redeployment exercise, it was learnt, was to afford the affected staff the opportunity to have broad knowledge of the workings of the capital SEC ways and means to effectively regulate the market, but the exercise was viewed in a different light by some union members who regarded it as
an attempt to witch-hunt perceived ‘anti- Oteh staff.’ Another grouse against Ms. Oteh, was her stance on staff promotion, as it was learnt that a list of all outstanding promotions had been approved by the immediate past SEC board chaired by Senator Udo- Udoma. Instead of endorsing the promotion as approved by the immediate SEC board, Ms. Oteh, it is alleged, insisted that any such promotion would be earned through a promotion examination. That decision, it is said, has pitched her against the union. A staff who spoke on condition that her identity would
be veiled, said examination has never been the basis for staff promotion at SEC, adding that the last management concluded everything in respect to promotions and approved that all outstanding promotions should be effected. She alleged that Ms. Oteh on her reinstatement, vowed that promotions would be tied to examination, a situation, she stated, is responsible for the current tension at SEC. SEC under Ms. Oteh, has been having a running battle with the staff, who resisted her reinstatement following her temporary suspension over an alleged fraud on SEC’s ”Project 50.’
Bank recovery fails to reach real economy • Lenders worried about loan defaults after 2009 crisis
HE recovery of Niger ia’s banking sector has failed to get credit flowing to the real economy, as high interest rates and a liquidity squeeze funnel money away from businesses or consumers into high yielding government debt, market players have said. According to Reuter’s news, years after a credit crisis led to the near collapse of nine lenders, banking capital ratios have recovered, but lenders are piling all their cash into treasury bills at yields that are unlikely to be sustainable, banking analysts, stated. Yields have already fallen in the past month, as JP Morgan prepares to include Nigeria’s debt in one of its indices. “Eventually banks are going to have to take real economy risks to drive up returns. I can’t imagine that regulators will continue to licence the operation of banks without there being evidence of some lending to the real sector,” said Razia Khan, Head of Africa Research at Standard Chartered Bank. Nigeria’s economy grew 6.17 per cent in the first quarter of this year, according to the latest available figures, but credit to the private sector grew just 4.3 per cent by July 2012, while lending to the government shot up 56.5 per cent in that time. Interest income now accounts for 50-70 per cent of gross earnings for Nigerian banks, Francis Ikenga, Head of Strategy at Fidelity Bank told Reuters, but it is mostly in government debt. “Interest rates and lending criteria are too difficult to meet,” Lagos Household Product saleswoman Titi Adeojo, has said. “We do a lot of deposits,but it’s not easy to get a loan”. In 2008, credit to the private sector outstripped government borrowing for the first time, a move which many analysts had thought heralded a consumer driven boom. But 6.3 per cent of total loans of N7.4 trillion ($47 bln) granted in 2008 turned bad, Renaissance Capital said, leaving nine overleveraged banks in need of a bailout. Banks are reluctant to risk burning their fingers again. “Our lending pattern has changed as it is more skewed towards major corporate bodies. Our approval processes, is now more stringent,” said Kayode Fadahunsi, Investor Relations Director at United Bank for Africa. Banks worry consumers and firms may not be able to pay back loans at high interest rates, whereas tax free government bond returns are a safe bet at such attractive rates of 15-16 per cent — a huge spread over average bank deposit rates of 1-2 per-
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
PHCN to retrieve £2.24m from Barclays Bank
IGERIA may ap proach the United Kingdom government to retrieve about £2.24 miliion (N593.25million) belonging to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). The money is said to be with the Barclays Bank of London. Chairman of the Panel on the Status of PHCN Pension, Joseph Ajiboye, made this disclosure in Abuja, while presenting his report to the Minister of State for Power, Darius Ishaku, yesterday. He said the status of the fund is not in dispute, explaining that it is what the expatriates of the Electricity Company of Nigeria and the Niger Dam Authority were supposed to pay to the work-
From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
ers over the years. He said: “We picked this information from the Superannuation audit we have. The fund is not in dispute. There were bottlenecks . The Nigeria High Commission in London can be of assistance to retrieve that money from Barclays Bank.” The panel also recommended that the PHCN refund the money it collected from market operators to the E l e c t r i c i t y Generation companies s (GENCOs), as well as the Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs). Besides, it also called for the audit of all the money paid to the DISCOs. He said : “Money from
DISCOs and GENCOs be refunded to the market operators. We call for the full audit of all the money paid to the DISCOs.” On PHCN pension, he stated that pensions and gratuities from 1990 to 1999 in the NEPA Superannuation fund was N 1.788billion . The report added that the pensions and gratuities paid
under the fund between 2000 to 2010 was N51.279billion, stating that for 21 years, the total pensions and gratuities paid to the workers was N53. 067billion. Ajiboye, said there is N107.2billion actuarial valuation for the workers that none of them has been paid. He explained that it is fund meant for contingency in
case the workers decide to sign off. He said: “ For 21 years running, the total gratuity and pension paid under the Supernnuation fund to all pensioners was N53.067billion. These accounts have been audited from 2000 to 2006, so the figure we have are the figures that were being paid.
“If all the workers signed off from work and they were to be paid, the acturial valuation was N107.2billion. But that is contingent and nobody has been paid that money . “We had an issue of N107.2billion which was an actuarial valuation. That is for contingency, it is not as if anybody has been paid.”
Korea to partner Fed Govt on rail transport
OVERNMENT of the Republic of Korea has commenced talks with the Federal Government to partner in transforming the nation’s rail transportation sector. The Minister of Transportation, Sen. Idris Umar, said government has initiated a feasibility study for the es-
From Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja
tablishment of new railway corridor. Umar spoke yesterday while receiving delegates from Korea, led by the Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Amb. Jong-hyan Choi in Abuja.
Describing Public Private Partnership (PPP) as imperative to achieving the set goals, he said the ministry has launched a-25 year action plan to transform the sector. Umar said: “The Ministry has commenced feasibility study for new railway corridors where we believe either with private sector or several countries of the world will be coming to partner with Nigeria. “One of these new corridors is the Lagos to Abuja high speed rail line. We are looking at where train can leave Lagos for Abuja between three hours and can compete with airlines. Also a line from Lagos through Sagamu to Benin , Awka, Asaba, Nnewi, Aba then to Obudu ranch.” The Minister who was
represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Engr. Nebollisa Emordi identified inadequate funding as major challenge affecting the projects. He informed that the ministry is presently rehabilitating 3, 500 kilometers narrow gauge line. “The ministry has developed a 25 year plan which its first stage entails rehabilitation and building of standard gauge railway system. The final stage will be system consolidation after the rehabilitation and modernization,” he added. In his opinion, the Ambassador stated that the Nigeria is blessed with abundant potentials such that both countries can explore for national development.
Samsung to float academy LECTRONICS Giants, in Ekiti Samsung is set to estab
lishing an Engineering Academy in Ado Ekiti, the state capital as part of its partnership arrangement with the state government. This according to a statement, was part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the state government and the management of Samsung in Seoul, South Korea yesterday. Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi signed for the state government, while Mr. Seongwoo Nam, Executive Vice President (IT Solutions Business), signed on behalf of Samsung at a brief ceremony at the company’s head office in Seoul. Other areas of collaboration between Ekiti State and Samsung as agreed in the
MoU, include e-governance, healthcare, technology park, smart city and safe city initiatives of the Ekiti State Government. Governor Fayemi said the partnership with Samsung will boost the state government’s ICT plans, especially its e-school, e-payment and e-government projects. Samsung is one of the major partners in the state government’s Computer-per – child initiatives (e-School project), which is designed to put a laptop computer on the desk of every student in the state’s public secondary school by 2014. Already, 33,000 laptop computers of the planned 100,000 are being distributed across the state in the first phase of the project.
Kwara’s N70b rice project starts in December
WARA State’s N70 bil lion rice cultivation and processing project is to be unveiled in December, its foreign partner has said. The partner, Valsolar S.L. 2006 of Spain, said it has secured funds for the project that has an initial life span of 4 years. Reacting to the news, Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed welcomed the development as the project is key to his administration’s efforts to provide food for the people, jobs for the youths and inputs for agro-allied industries, while at the same time growing the state’s economy through agriculture. “ I am particularly pleased that this project will be generating 12,000 jobs across the value chain as well as substantially growing the state’s economy. Our farmers will also benefit from the technology transfer component of
the project. No doubt, this huge project is one of several envisaged under the Kwara State Agricultural Modernization Plan (KAMP) the implementation of which is soon to commence”, he said. The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Investment, Policy and Strategy, Abayomi Ogunsola, said under the terms of the joint venture Memorandum of Agreement the company is to invest N70billion in the project over the next four years, while the state will provide 20,000 hectares of land as well as infrastructural support for the project which will operate under a registered joint venture company, ValsolarKwara Limited. According to Ogunsola, each annual module of the project will see the company cultivate 5000 hectares of land and produce 40000 tons of rice for local and international consumption.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 Website:- http://www.thenationonlineng.com
* The Environment * Mortgage * Apartments * Security * Homes * Real Estate
In most countries, waterfront homes depict luxury, which only the super rich can afford. In Nigeria, the waterfront is synonymous with poverty and filth. It is an eyesore unbefitting of human habitation. The Lagos State Government is cleaning up the waterfronts to make them habitable and environment-friendly. OKWY IROEGBU-CHIKEZIE reports
•A waterfront home
A tale of waterfront home-owners •CONTINUED ON PAGE 14
•LAWMA warns against indiscriminate refuse disposal - PAGE 14
•Lagos builds three new housing estates - PAGE 51
•Land allocation abuse - PAGE 52
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
PROPERTY/ENVIRONMENT LAWMA warns against indiscriminate refuse disposal By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst Editor
ESIDENTS of Ajah communities and environs have been warned against indiscriminate dumping of refuse on road medians. In a statement, the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) decried the fact that residents of the area were not supporting efforts to ensure that every community in the state is clean. The statement read:“Ajah residents, especially those of Thomas, Ilasan and Abraham Adesanya Estates are not paying for services rendered by PSP operators.” Noting that waste management is not free anywhere in the world, it warned those who are drop their refuse under the cover of night to desist. It also urged them to patronise PSP operators, warning that stiff penalties awaited them if caught. Stressing that government would remain committed to effective waste management, the statement stressed that anyone caught violating the environmental sanitation laws and dumping refuse indiscriminately in unauthorised places, will face appropriate sanctions. The authority reiterated the earlier call on property owners, especially those on the highways, to cover their containers or waste bags, to complement the effort of the government.
•Hakeem Ogunniran, Managing Director, UACN Property Development Company (UPDC) Plc (2nd left), presenting the most outstanding student prize to Danessien Eno (2 nd right) at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Goodness League Programme at Gbagada Senior Secondary School in Lagos. With him are Lizzy Ometan, Director, Guidance and Counselling, Lagos State Ministry of Education District II (left) and Oluwatoyin Williams, Chief Education Officer, District II Headquarters, Lagos State Ministry of Education
A tale of waterfront home-owners •CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13
OR some, living on the waterfront is a show of class and affluence. The environment is serene; beautiful and convenient. There’s ample space to connect with nature, and surf, especially for those who love water sports. For others, it translates to squalor, fifith and deprivation. Most waterfront homes in the United States (US), Britain, Spain, Amsterdam, Paris, Italy, Venice and others have every feature one could possibly “ever want including a clean beach, clean air and nice place to work out.” It also provides a source of inspiration for artists and writers, especially articles dealing with nature. Proximity to the waterfront also means easy access to water sports, some have linked it to wellness of the body and soul. But the above is certainly not the case in Nigeria. Here people are exposed to foul odour from debris washed out from the sea. It is often the abode of criminals and layabouts who use the waterfront as launch pads to attack residents and visitors alike. For those who desire to live by the sea side, realtors have advised them on some facts they should consider. Mr. Ugo Emechere, and Mrs. Evelyn Osita all realtors in Lagos spoke on the possibility of damage to homes from hurricanes and tropical storms and wash-outs by erosion. This they say may result in loss of lives as was witnessed at the Lagos Bar Beach some weeks back. In Nigeria, majority of those live on waterfronts not because of their love for nature per se but because they are ply their business on the water. The nation’s waterfront is inhabited by the urban poor who are united in poverty, sharing a kindred spirit of ‘hope
for a better future’ that never materialises. Others live there because they cannot afford accommodation elsewhere in a decent environment; some take up abodes for economic activities like what obtained at the Kuramo Beach in Lagos before the residents were sent packing by the state government. The state government cited insecurity of lives and the fact that people simply formed colonies illegally without recourse to the laws governing the state waterfronts. Luck ran out on some of them when an early morning ocean surge sacked them, leaving several persons dead and others missing. The Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure, Mr Segun Oniru, while urging the residents to leave Kuramo Beach for their safety to avoid future disaster, argued that it was in their best interest and that of the government to tarnsform the beach fronts to what it should be as it is in advanced world. He said the government’s ongoing infrastructure plan for the waterfront has no place for shanties and riotous living that is seen on most of the beaches. Oniru said the residents didn’t secure government’s permission before settling down with their families to transact their businesses, which has lasted for years. He also ordered the relocation of residents of Badagry and Ojo waterfronts, Goshen Estate, Maiyegun and Alpha Beach to safer places. But an artiste, Nse Ekpenyong, said rather than criminalising those who live on the waterfronts, the government should be blamed for turning its eyes the other way while the communities grew not only on Lagos coastlines but on
other coastlines of Port Harcourt and others, noting that nature abhors vacuum. She wondered why resorts could not be built along the sea coasts with deliberate plans put in place to develop waterfronts to aid what she called great works of arts against the poor story lines in most movies in Nollywood and novels. She regretted the poor infrastructure provision in Makoko/Iwaya, a waterfront community of about 30,000 urban poor families, who were mainly fishermen recently sacked by the governor after an eviction notice. She agreed the place was an eyesore that did not befit human habitation. Nse, however, asked
the state government to transform the waterfront as: “There are fishermen in developed countries who live decently and not in filth and high grade limitattions, she added.” An environmentalist, Mr Silas Peters, accused the government of not preserving the waterfronts from natural and human destruction. He noted that aside the vagaries of nature on the coastlines, the inaction of successive government’s had made the waterfronts an eye sore. He stressed that while the waterfront is the exclusive preserve of the rich and powerful in developed countries, here, it represents the depraved and the very low in the in-
‘Our waterfronts have no reason not to be as economically rewarding as the city of Florida in the United States and others in major cities of the world because the economic potential of our waterfronts is still untapped’
come bracket who live by the day. He urged the government to muster the necessary political will and improve the façade to encourage tourism, which is a great income earner. On those who traditionally live around water and have been dislocated by the government, he asked that they be reoriented and encouraged to pursue other economic rewarding ventures and move on. He decried the negative activities associated with the waterfronts, noting that they are not only economically harmful but environmentally dangerous. The environmetalist insisted that except there was a positive change from the public and the government, the waterfront would remain in limbo. He said: “Our waterfronts have no reason not to be as economically rewarding as the city of Florida in the United States and others in major cities of the world because the economic potential of our waterfronts is still untapped.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
Crash victims’ families plan suit to stop Dana’s operation
ILL it be business as usual for dana Air following the restoration of its operating licence? The signs are that the airline still has a lot to contend with before returning to business. The airline’s operation was suspended following the crash of its flight D-992 in Iju-Ishaga, a Lagos suburb in which 153 persons died. Some of the victims families, it was learnt, are planning a suit to stop the airline from resuming operations. The airline has to grapple with how to rebuild passengers’ confidence on the use of the McDonnel Douglass 83 type aircraft for its operations. The plane had lost two engines few minutes to landing at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos. Some passengers, who spoke to The Nation, expressed reservations over their patronage of the airline, if its management sticks to the use of the aircraft. They urged the airline management to consider choosing another aircraft type , which they said would boost passengers’ confidence . Another challenge the airline may face is the delay in the payment of compensation to families of victims that died in the crash.
According to the Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr Harold Demuren, the airline has only paid 62 of the 153 families that died in the crash. He gave reasons why the delay. Demuren cited the slow pace of identification of victims bodies; the need to ensure that documentation is tidy by appropriate identification of the right person to pay and prevention of multiple claims. He said the payment of 91 other families may take some time because of litigation, as some families in the United Kingdom, United States and other parts of the world have gone to court over the crash. Demuren also confirmed that Dana because of its aircraft type may have to go through recertification before it resumes operations so as to allow the authorities ascertain that everything is technically fit with the aircraft. He said : “ We cannot say how soon Dana will resume operations . We cannot say, the airline has been working hard, but, we have to ensure that everything is in order, especially ensuring that most of the dead are buried. We have to ensure that there is no default in the payment of claims to
family members, who have lost their bread winners to the crash. “You know Dana has a peculiar challenge, they have a homogenous fleet. We have to recertify their aircraft and ensure that everything is okay with the aircraft type before they can resume operations.” Other hurdles include the readiness of the carrier and its insurers to pay the outstanding $70,000 to families that lost their relatives to the crash. Dana had sent most of its workers home a month after the crash because of increasing overhead costs and may now require more time to put its house in order to regain their loyalty ahead of the resumption of flights. Some loyal passengers of the airline, it was learnt, have however been inundating the carrier with proposals of how to ensure successful operations. Part of the suggestions is for the airline to consider buying new aircraft other than McDonnel Douglass 83, which they consider too controversial after the crash. A source close to the airline however, hinted that Dana is working behind the scene to relaunch its flight in a manner that may spark a revolution in the aviation industry.
•Deputy Commissioner (Technical), National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan (left) and Demuren at a briefing on Dana Air.
NAMA completes TRACON
HE total radio coverage of Nigeria (TRACON)on VHF has been completed, Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mazi Nnamdi Udoh has said. He said the Kano phase of the VHF coverage, which has been delayed for sometime, has just been completed to complement the Lagos phase, which had earlier been completed and put into operation. ‘’We now have seamless airspace and in addition to this, we are operating area radar control as from next week (this week).”If you are taking off from Lagos, you don’t have to change your squak (code used by a pilot to communicate with the air traffic controller) to Port Harcourt, Abuja or Kano. The controller will transfer you seamlessly to the
next radar and maintain the same squak to land. Prior to this, we were having procedural aerial control but now, we are going to use surveillance aerial control,” he said. He said with the completion of TRACON, the country is strategically positioned to conquer the African airspace. “If you are looking at Cameroun, Togo, Niger, Chad, you will see that we are strategically positioned to embrace that section of the airspace. And all we need is to have some kind of wide aerial multi-lateration system to link up the other countries. All we need is one system and a switch and all the systems in Africa will talk to one another. “You don’t really have to physically see the infrastructure. It’s like roaming a phone; something is there that is making you connect any-
where you go. It is doable; it can be achieved overtime. The major thing, like the Director General of NCAA, Dr Demuren said was the political will and the support of AU and ICAO and other relevant bodies,” he said. He noted that the European airspace could not be compared with that of Africa because, ‘’we cannot compare Africa with Europe, which has a smaller airspace. Seamless Africa airspace is something that is doable. It is something we can achieve over time’’. On the manpower need of NAMA to keep the system working, Engineer Udoh said: ‘’ Nobody keeps manpower in store. We are training and re-training retired people. We are using them to create succession plans because nobody ever thought technology will go the way it is today. So, we are going to continuously recruit and retrain’’.
Aviation road show: A postscript TO cynics, the aviation road show was unnecessary. But they forget one thing; a drastic problem requires a drastic solution. The roadshow was necessary at that point in time because of the June 3 Dana plane crash in which 153 persons died. The road show was meant to address the negative impact of the crash and not a jamboree as insinuated by critics. With the Senate holding a public hearing on the crash, the ripple effect of that action on the industry could best be imagined. The insurance premium paid on haul by local operators went up astronomically and lease fees also went up by over 100 per cent as many aircraft leasing organisations began to shun the Nigerian market because of the perceived unhealthy climate. Funding from international agencies equally became threatened and the resultant impact was over 60 per cent drop in local and regional capacity. The development also led to over 25 per cent increase in fares. An hour flight which hitherto cost between N22,000 and N28,000 now oscillates between N30,000 and N32,000 on economy class. First Nation, Chanchangi, and Air Nigeria went on voluntary grounding; Aero and IRS are running skeletal services. Dana’s operating has just been restored, but its fate remains unknown with the flying public. Only Arik Air is operating at full capacity and even with increased flight schedules, the situation at our airports remains chaotic. As a minister desirous to make an impact, Princess Stella Odua thought of and came up with the investment road show so as to re-brand the industry to attract local and foreign investors. The local leg of the road show was held in June, in Abuja. The investment basket tagged: ‘Aerotropolis’, is designed to attract investments into the industry, airport infrastructure, aircraft maintenance and other ancillary sectors like hotels and catering. After the Abuja meeting, it was time to move to the international market. This informed the visit of the minister and her heads of parastatals to China, Canada and the United States (US). Though the trip was widely criticised, investigations showed that the initiative may just be the needed tonic to transform the ailing industry. According to reports, The Boeing Corporation which products account for over 80 per cent of the available passenger fleet in the country and Bombardier signified interest in helping to overhaul the existing domestic fleet through a renewal plan that would also seek to set up solid aircraft repair and maintenance organisations (AMOs) in the country. Boeing, an American based manufacturer of long range jumbo airplanes, indicated eight key areas it would participate in the ministry’s novel project, ‘Aerotopolis’ . Some of the areas are: maintenance centre, fleet renewal for local airline operators, and training. Its Director of Sales, Lawrence Pollivier, who led the Boeing team, promised that his organisation would also help to carry out technical assessment of all Boeing air planes operating in the country and equally assist in developing aviation data base for the country . Bombardier, a medium range Canada-based aircraft builder, will also embark on AMO and aircraft acquisition programme to help Nigerian airlines acquire brand new bombardier aeroplanes. Its Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Helene V. Gagonon , said the company was ready to invest in the country as soon as all the necessary arrangements were put in place for the project’s take off . The minister’s delegation also secured the commitment of a leading international Bank, Citibank, to provide fund for companies that would participate in the Aerotropolis, in addition to providing financial advice for the project. Its head of global investments, Mr Ray McGuire, said the bank would be involved in various phases of the aerotropolis project, adding: ,”aerotropolis offers huge opportunities for major infrastructural development second to none in the sub-continent around the airport community”. In China, the team had fruitful meetings with investors. Prominent among organisations willing to invest in the project are the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) and Huawei Technologies . The CSCEC ‘s Vice President, Yu Zhende said Nigeria must develop its aviation to position it as a major hub on the continent. He spoke of his company’s readiness to partner with the country in the aerotopolis project, adding that as soon as all necessary agreements that would guarantee the investments were formalised, his company would move in because funding would not be a problem. On its part, Huawei presented a proposal for information technology (IT) infrastructure for airport terminals across the country. It was a joint proposal with its partners, SITA, a leading IT solutions provider in the industry.In time, and the results of the road show will manifest and end all talks about its significance. •Fabian Omale writes from Abuja
Medview opts for scheduled flights THE number of indigenous carriers will soon increase with the coming of Medview Airline. Medview is famous for the yearly flight operations to Saudi Arabia for Muslim pilgrims. Sources close to the airline said, over at the weekend that one of the aircraft to be used for the flight operations, a Boeing 737-400 is, expected to arrive in the country from Buckarest, Romania. The second aircraft will come on later. The source said the inspection unit of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had gone to Romania to inspect the aircraft, which was approved for operations by the regulatory . It was learnt that the airline hopes to fly to at least four routes - LagosAbuja, Abuja-Port Harcourt, Maiduguri-Yola and Lagos -Port Harcourt. Last week, the Managing Director of Medview Alhaji Munir Bankole and other management team were at the Murtala Mohammed Airport Two (MMA2) inspecting the vacant offices within the complex, ahead of commencement of operations. Bankole in an interview said the team was at the complex to inspect offices that would be used for its daily operations. He said: “As you can see, we are here to inspect the offices for the commencement of our daily flight operations to some airports in the next couple of weeks. We have undergone the necessary inspections as stipulated by NCAA, but I can’t tell you categorically when we will start, but we are starting very soon.” Bankole explained that one of the Unique Selling Proportions of the airline would be on time departure and adherence to the safety rules of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and NCAA.
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
Suspected stolen tokunbo vehicles flood market H UNDREDS of used vehicles, popularly known as tokunbo, believed to have been stolen abroad, have found their way into the country, according to security reports. A syndicate, which specialised in the importation of such vehicles from the United States (US), has been smashed by the American police, it was learnt. A top security official said most members of the syndicate were from the Middle East and Lebanon, adding that they have collaborators among importers and auto traders in West Africa. Our investigation, showed that there are ships which freight stolen cargoes to West Africa. Majority of the cargoes berth at the ports of some neighbouring countries. On arrival at those ports, they are cleared and sold to Nigerian traders, who offload them on buyers in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt. A used car trader in Lagos, Mr
Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent
Frances Okuwdili, said some traders buy from those in Cotonou and sell to buyers in the country. Okuwdili denied the allegation by American security and judges that stolen vehicles are shipped to Tin Can Port, Lagos. He alleged that dealers in stolen vehicles operate from other ports in the sub-region. A senior Customs officer at TinCan Port, said people whose cars were stolen abroad know their vehicles are in Nigeria. He said the cars enter through the porous borders. He said: “I can tell you that majority of those stolen vehicles are not shipped directly to Lagos ports as some people are claiming. They first ship the vehicles to ports in neighbouring countries. From there, the vehicles are taken by road through bush paths to the Nigerian market. “One of the ports in our
• Imported tokunbo vehicles
neighbouring countries handles between 80 and 90 per cent of stolen imported vehicles, while
Lome Port of Togo and the Tin Can port in Lagos receive about five per cent each. But, the Americans
Congestion looms over arbitrary port charges
ONGESTION is looming at the ports over arbitrary charges by shipping companies and terminal operators. Importers are worried that if the trend is not checked, it may kill business at the ports. The importers alleged that the charges do not conform with international standard. They blamed the concessioning of the port to private owners for the development. Investigation showed that some of the terminal operators collect between N4,000 and N5,000 on a container per day, while shipping companies charge as much as N8, 800 per day. The implication of the charges, importers said, is that if a container stays for 10 days at the port, they may be forced to pay as much as N200,000 to clear their goods. President of the National Association of Government
Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGGAF) Mr Eugene Nweke, said the arbitrary charges had become a recurrent decimal at the ports. Nweke said the seven per cent port levy being imposed on the shippers was meant for the concessionaires to put the port in shape. “Since the concession of the port about six years ago, shippers still pay the seven per cent port levy, which is an arbitrary charge,” he said. He said Terminal Handling Charges (THC) were supposed to be paid by the shipping companies to the terminal operators. “Terminal handling charges had been charged and paid by the carriers to the terminal operators, but the terminal operators still come back to collect the charges from the shippers,” he alleged. He said the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) had the
mandate to publish charges and urged them to do so from time to time. Chairman, Shipping and Logistics Services Limited, Mr Johnson Adebayo alleged that there are formal and informal charges at the ports, adding that the informal charges are more than the formal charges. He said the single window system introduced by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) may solve the arbitrary charges in the industry if other stakeholders at the ports key into the programme. Adebayo urged the Federal Government and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to find a lasting solution to the problem of arbitrary charges. National Co-ordinator of Save Nigerian Freight Forwarders Mr Chiazo Peter told The Nation that there was need for the NSC to operate
independently, based on the law that established it. “NSC should be the voice of the sector, because they are the shippers. They have the right to regulate charges levied on import and export,” he said. A clearing agent, Mr Kayode Ogunsanu blamed the council for not carrying out its mandatory function on regulation of charges by the shipping companies. Ogunsanu said the terminal and shipping charges paid by importers did not conform with international standard. Executive Secretary, NSC, Capt. Adamu Biu, said the charges had become a problem in the sector, and that the council was studying it to come out with a recommendation to solve the problem. He said issues of shipping charges, terminal and container charges would be looked into.
Shippers, trawler owners cry out over piracy
HE Shippers Association of Lagos (SAL) has cried out over the rising insecurity on the waterways. The waterways, it said, had become a haven for robbery, urging the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to secure the terrain. SAL General Secretary Mr Jonathan Nicol said NIMASA must collaborate with the law enforcement agencies to tackle the problem. Nicol urged NIMASA to do more to secure goods and ships on waterways. “NIMASA should use helicopter regularly to checkmate these pirates and also seek the protection of the Navy, Customs and the police on the issue. “If the Federal Government fails to do this, it means we are going to lose so much revenue from that sector,” Nicol said. He said the loss of lives and rising attacks by armed rob-
bers and pirates on Nigerian waters compared to other West African countries, was regrettable. “We have had quite a lot of complaints from fishermen that they were being raided by pirates, some have lost their lives and one of the two fishing companies has left Nigerian shores to Ghana. “Ghana is doing very fine; it has quite close to 100 fishing trawlers, operating within her territorial waters,” Nicol said. The Trawler Owners Association (NITOA) has suggested radar and satellite technology as part of the measures NIMASA should look into in finding a solution to the problem. The President of NITOA, Mr Joseph Overo, and the former president, Mrs Margaret Orakwusi, called on the National Assembly to urgently look at the Anti-Piracy Bill before it as many indigenous companies have been crippled and many children orphaned
because sea pirates activities. A representative of the Directorate of Fisheries, Mrs Bola Kupolati, identified radar technology and effective information sharing as the solution to the incessant highjacking and robbery of shipping trawlers and oil vessels. She lamented that trawler owners have been discouraged from reporting cases of attacks on their vessels because nothing has been done by NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy about the cases so far. The number of reported cases is not correct as many fishing companies have stopped reporting because of the attacks while many have been run out of business with the frequent attacks. “Nigeria’s food security is being affected; our foreign exchange is being affected because these activities lead to capital flight as more foreign vessels now do most of the jobs,” she said But NIMASA’s Deputy Director, Public Affairs, Hajia
Lami Tumaka, said the agency was addressing the security challenges on the waterways. She said NIMASA was discussing with Nigcomsat Nigeria Limited for the integration of NIMASA into its satellite information to secure the waters. Hajia Tumaka added that the agency had initiated some interim measures to enhance security within and outside the nation’s territorial waters. She said the agency was working with security agencies such as the Air Force, Navy, Army and Police to ensure that the waterways are safe for freighting and fishing. Mrs Tumaka advised trawler owners to ensure that they pay adequate attention to the remuneration of their crew because many are badly paid, noting that poor pay usually leads them into criminal activities, such as selling their first catch at sea and subsequently drawing the attention of pirates.
believe such vehicles come in through Tin Can Island Port; that is not true.”
ANLCA opposes CRFFN fee collection Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent
THE Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agent (ANLCA) has condemned the approval given to the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) by the Minister of Transport to collect practising fees at the ports. It threatened to shut down the ports. Its president, Alhaji Olayiwola Shittu, has resigned his membership of CRFFN to back his association’s demand. Speaking with The Nation in his office, Shittu said ANCLA opposed the collection of practising fees by the CRFFN because “it is inimical to the growth of the association and will render the association penniless.” The ANLCA chief said to show faith with his constituency, he has resigned his membership from the council. “I can not carry out this fight and remain in the council, it doesn’t make sense,” he said He said ANLCA had sent a letter to the CRFFN rejecting the offer by the council to give the association some amount yearly instead of giving it a percentage of the collected money. “We are not giving them any option. We will also write to the minister telling him of our own interpretation of transaction fees and why we object to it. “The fourth is that we shall go to court; we will take CRFFN to court and if the government goes ahead to enforce the dues collection we will shut down the ports,” Shittu said.
NEMA seeks wrecks removal THE National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has reiterated the need to remove wrecked ships from the Nigerian coastlines as a precautionary measure against maritime disaster. Its Director of Planning and Research and Forecasting, Dr Charles Agbo, gave the advice while inspecting the Kuramo Beach after the ocean surge in Lagos that claimed many lives. Agbo said the Federal Government was committed to preventing maritime disaster at all cost. According to him, the first step towards that is to ensure the removal of all wrecked ships from the coastal areas. The director said, “The Federal Government has ordered the removal of all wrecked ships in the Nigeria coastal area. “That order will be enforced to reduce ocean surge and we urge everyone to comply.” Agbo also said there were many wrecked ships on the coastline, especially at the Oniru Beach. “We are at the peak period of rainfall and anything that can cause disaster should be avoided. “There will be more assessment of the coastal areas from time to time, to stem the incidence of rising ocean tide,’’ he said. He advised all those involved in maritime activities to be very observant and careful to prevent further disaster.
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
COMMENTARY EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND
The Better Economic Question
Curbing fake drugs • Action should be expedited on proposed law
F things go as planned, people involved in drug counterfeiting or importation of fake drugs into the country will soon begin to get life imprisonment, without an option of fine. Dr. Paul Orhii, director-general of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), who dropped the hint said the government was also considering confiscation of the property of people involved in the illicit and killer business to compensate the victims. Orhii, who spoke during a meeting of the West African Health Organisation to harmonise the process of medicine registration in West Africa said that experts working on the country’s anti-counterfeiting law have made significant progress on the document and that they would send it to the National Assembly after concluding work on it. This is good news. In India and China, the wages of the crime is death. And, one may be tempted to want to recommend that Nigeria toes this path in view of the fatal consequences of the actions of the criminals involved in the illegal business. Perhaps the realisation by those putting the proposed legislation together, that headache cannot be cured simply by beheading those suffering from it should also be welcome. Fake drugs are often manufactured in dirty, unhygienic warehouses and sometimes can contain little or none of the genuine active ingredient, or remarkably harmful industrial compounds. The least harm one could suffer from buying of such drugs is for them to be ineffective,
i.e. when the active ingredients are below what is claimed on their containers. In many cases, people have died after taking such drugs; many others suffered permanent deformities. We understand the basis of the proposal to deny bail to suspects held for the crime; that is to prevent them from continuing their trade, thereby stopping them from further jeopardising the lives of innocent members of the public. But we wonder if that can stand in our legal milieu where an accused is deemed innocent until proven otherwise by a competent court of law. However, we urge those putting the law together to expedite action and forward it to the National Assembly. While we urge the law makers to scrutinise the document, with a view to making it water-tight; they should also expedite action on it when it gets to them so as to save their compatriots from untimely deaths or deformities arising from consumption of counterfeited drugs. But we also want to quickly remind the authorities that the problem is not about legislation per se. Right now, there are laws prescribed for people involved in drug counterfeiting; but enforcement is the problem. Even if death penalty is prescribed for the offence and the law is not enforced, there won’t be appreciable result. Again, it does not seem NAFDAC is well funded and equipped to do the job thoroughly. For the proposed law to be meaningful when it becomes operational, the agency must be provided the wherewithal to adequately cover the whole country.
Fake drug business is big business and those involved in it have become too sophisticated to be trailed or monitored by an under-funded and illequipped agency. For the law to be effective, NAFDAC officials must always be a step ahead of the criminals. This implies that the whistle blowers should start to benefit from the incentives that Dr Orhii said were in the offing for them to further encourage them to put in their best. It is also important that the Federal Government expedite action on the Memorandum of Understanding between it and China to check the influx of fake and substandard drugs from that country. China is not just a major exporter of drugs to Nigeria; it is also one of the world’s biggest exporters of counterfeit drugs.
‘However, we urge those putting the law together to expedite action and forward it to the National Assembly. While we urge the law makers to scrutinise the document, with a view to making it watertight; they should also expedite action on it when it gets to them so as to save their compatriots from untimely deaths or deformities arising from consumption of counterfeited drugs’
Forgotten monuments •Collapse of Bauchi wall reminds us of the need to regularly maintain such structures
HE preservation and maintenance of historic buildings and monuments is rigorously undertaken by most serious nations. Apart from their great antiquity and tourist value, they are often regarded as encapsulating the norms and beliefs that countries hold dear. As in so many other aspects of national development, however, Nigeria seems to be an exception to this general rule. The recent collapse of the historic Bauchi wall is a case in point. Built around 1804, the wall is an outstanding example of indigenous architectural and engineering skill, and served primarily to protect the equally-historic Galadiman Bauchi House in the Bauchi State capital. It collapsed at about noon, falling on to nearby houses, resulting in the deaths of two persons and injuries to
‘The Bauchi tragedy clearly indicates the pressing need for an overhaul of Nigeria’s approach towards its historic buildings and monuments. NCMM must be strengthened to enable it carry out its regulatory responsibilities with greater efficiency ... There are walled cities and ancient buildings all across the country; their condition should be thoroughly assessed and remedial action undertaken where necessary’
about four. Witnesses at the scene attribute the tragedy to a heavy downpour on the previous day. This was a tragedy waiting to happen. A wall of such size and age should have been subjected to regular checks of its structural integrity, especially given its historic importance. It is also clear that little or nothing was done to prevent houses being built too close to it. The blame for this oversight must be placed at the door of the National Commission of Museums and Monuments (NCMM), the Bauchi State Government and the local government council within which the wall is domiciled. The NCMM is a Federal Government parastatal tasked with the duty of ensuring that the country’s monuments and historical buildings are kept in good condition and raising public awareness about them. The collapse of the Bauchi wall is a clear demonstration of the lack of efficiency which it brought to its job. A serious organisation would have established a regimen of periodic checks and inspections aimed at ensuring that the wall and other monuments are kept in good condition and open to visits by interested members of the public. Indeed, given the general dilapidation of city walls and similar structures all over the country, it is actually surprising that they have not been collapsing with greater regularity. The state and relevant local governments also have a lot to answer for. Even if the commission was not living up to its
statutory duties, they had a direct interest in making sure that such an important edifice is not only safe but marketable as a tourist attraction. As the state in which the famous Yankari Game Reserve is located, they should have been aware of its importance to Bauchi’s status as a major tourism destination. In other countries, regional and local authorities devote substantial resources to ensuring that monuments are properly maintained. The Bauchi tragedy clearly indicates the pressing need for an overhaul of Nigeria’s approach towards its historic buildings and monuments. NCMM must be strengthened to enable it carry out its regulatory responsibilities with greater efficiency. In particular, it must be given the wherewithal to properly maintain such edifices. There are walled cities and ancient buildings all across the country; their condition should be thoroughly assessed and remedial action undertaken where necessary. A comprehensive plan of action to market them as tourist attractions would help to defray the costs of their maintenance. The Bauchi State Government should conduct a census of all historic buildings and monuments in the state with a view to identifying those which are in need of maintenance or repair. The proper utilisation of such edifices will strengthen local pride in the state’s rich history and culture, and could become an important source of much-needed revenue.
EMOCRATS have been nervous about the inevitable election-year question,“Are you better off than you were four years ago?” Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland even stumbled over it a few days ago, saying “no,” before quickly blaming President George W. Bush. There is really no reason for any hesitancy. The country is unquestionably better off than it was in 2008. The economy has added 4.5 million privatesector jobs since January 2010; even if you subtract the vast job losses in the early months of President Obama’s term, before his policies went into effect, the country is still ahead by 332,000 private-sector jobs. That level of job growth is close to the recovery following the 1990s recession, and it is actually stronger than after the early-2000s recession. But it doesn’t feel strong because the original hole was so deep and so many people are still suffering: 12.8 million remain unemployed. The contradiction between the plain facts of the data and the tepid feel of the recovery suggests that the recession created a more important question than the simplistic “are you better off?” Voters should ask themselves — and their leaders — how to keep this and future generations better off. How to prevent future recessions. How to design a tax code that promotes fairness and reduces inequality. How to make sure a safety net is in place for those who inevitably need more help. And when the question is phrased like that — looking forward rather than backward — it becomes obvious that the Republicans’ answer is inadequate. “When we vote in this election, we’ll be deciding what kind of country we want to live in,” former President Bill Clinton told the convention Wednesday night. “If you want a winner-take-all, you’re-on-yourown society, you should support the Republican ticket.” The damage Mr. Obama faced when he took office was far greater than any president, current or past, could repair in four years, Mr. Clinton said, yet Mitt Romney wants to return to the policies that caused it. “They want to cut taxes for high-income Americans, even more than President Bush did,” he said.“They want to get rid of those pesky financial regulations designed to prevent another crash and prohibit future bailouts.” At every step, when Mr. Obama and Democrats have proposed measures to reduce the risk of the kind of recession still haunting the economy, Republicans have opposed them. Mitt Romney regularly sneers at the most fundamental protections against Wall Street excesses and promises to repeal them. House Republicans, including Representative Paul Ryan, have passed budgets that gutted the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, hoping to prevent it from regulating toxic derivatives that undermined the economy in 2008. They have voted to withhold money needed by the Securities and Exchange Commission to enforce the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. They have sent a clear signal to the corporate executives spending hundreds of millions to elect Mr. Romney that they need not worry about restrictions on their behavior, no matter how destructive to the economy or the lives of millions still struggling to get back on their feet. As Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic candidate for the United States Senate in Massachusetts, told the convention: “Mitt Romney wants to give billions in breaks to big corporations, but he and Paul Ryan would pulverize financial reform, voucherize Medicare and vaporize Obamacare.” Mr. Obama could have demanded even stronger regulation of the banks, but he at least clearly supports the need for government to step in when the financial industry threatens the rest of the economy. Voters should remember the days when the country was hemorrhaging jobs by the millions, but it is far more important to make certain they never have to remember another financial crisis. New York Times
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THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
CARTOON & LETTERS
IR: In Nigeria, the rivalry between health professionals has become a big issue in public health. It has reached a stage where by one professional group determines what goes in and out, leaving other health professionals as onlookers. World Health Organisation  defines public health as “the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health and efficiency through organized community efforts for the sanitation of the environment, the control of communicable infections, the education of the individual in personal hygiene, the organization of medical and nursing services for early diagnosis and preventive treatment of disease, and the development of social machinery to en-
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Public health not doctors’ preserve sure for every individual a standard of living adequate for the maintenance of health, so organizing these benefits as to enable every citizen to release his birthright of health and longevity”. Considering the all-encompassing scope of public health, no profession, be it medical, nursing, chemist, etc., can lay claim to be its only promoter, as obtains in Nige-
ria where at the mere mention of ‘public health’, people look in the direction of doctors only. Doctors have now appropriated public health practice as exclusively theirs.They determine how it should be run, from federal level down to local government level. Nowadays, it has become a norm that every minister of health must be a doctor. In majority of states,
the position are also reserved for doctors. This gives rise to a situation in which health policies tend to be one-sided, from the prism of medical practice, with the exception of other sides which are equally important. Now doctors are penetrating in to many professions and forcing their thoughts on how to do or not do this and that; they are into radi-
Nigeria’s gloomy food security future
IR: Barring unforeseen intervention from the government, Nigeria shall be facing food shortages in the next few years. The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has said that 925 million people don’t have enough food to eat and 98% of this people live in emerging economies. Nigeria’s outlook for food security despite the laudable attempt by farmers to produce food is crushingly gloomy. This ominous situation is not eased by the fact that Nigeria is surrounded by countries that have encountered dreadful and severe droughts in the past. These nations are Niger, Chad, and Mali amongst others. The heart wrenching story of the recent famine in Somalia is still being told with so much resignation by international aid partners. While the situation in Somalia is not comparable to Nigeria’s, it doesn’t negate the fact that Nigeria is at the precipice of a serious food crises. Significantly, non governmental agencies have presented non-impeachable facts to the Nigerian government on the imminent food crisis. Oxfam, an international civil society group engaged in the fight against global poverty and hunger had warned the government to boost the nation’s food security sys-
tem and prevent imminent food crisis Tackling the issue of food insecurity can’t be resolved if the Nigerian government continues to pay lip service to agriculture. Smallscale farmers should begin to be supported, encouraged, informed and educated. They can be the fan to ignite the ember of food security. This can be achieved by offering interest free loans to them. Also, modern farming techniques should be taught to the farmers. In addition, tax havens should be
granted to importers of farm machineries. Furthermore, the youths must understand that agriculture is everybody’s business. The truth is except the youths are compelled to take up agriculture, they would keep running away. Perhaps, the National Youth Service Corp should be extended by one more year. The first year should be the usual service while the second year should be dedicated to farming. Without satisfying these criteria they should not be allowed to pass
out. Parents should also engage their kids in farming by engaging themselves in farming too. Kids easily learn from their parents. Corporate organizations as part of their social responsibility must “adopt a farm” and support the farmers financially for better output. Nigeria must shelve the idea of playing the big brother by feeding other countries while her citizens go hungry. • Ogunfowoke, Adeniyi Ayuba Badagry, Lagos.
ography, laboratory science, pharmacy etc., but still want to usurp the role of those who started from the degree level. The other area where other health professionals are being discriminated is their non-admission by many universities for Masters in Public Health, which it seems is exclusive reserve of medical doctors. With the exception of few universities in the South - like Federal University of Technology, Owerri, University of Calabar, University of Port Hacourt, University of Uyo-all northern universities reject any non-doctor health practitioner for the programme, even if s/he has first class in his degree. I am not bringing this to castigate or blackmail my fellow practitioners, as I have many doctors as mentors, but to highlight the issue which directly or indirectly affect delivery to the target beneficiaries. No profession is an island unto itself as doctors needs pharmacists, radiographers, laboratory scientists, and other health practitioners vice versa. As an environmental health officer, I need the police, lawyers, engineers, laboratory scientists, etc., to discharge my work accordingly, as such, public health services needs all of us to join hands to deliver. Public health belongs to us not one of us. • Sani Garba Mohammed, Dept of Public Health Technology, FUTO, Owerri.
Plight of Nigerians living abroad IR: Each time I get to read about the plight of Nigerians in foreign lands, I feel saddened, depressed and angry. Why? I am perturbed that my fellow country men and women suffer endlessly, and in most cases, they are simply marked-down for offences they really knew nothing about. It is regrettable that many Nigerians are routinely thrown into jail for offences they may not have committed. Regrettably, the government has not done much to protect its citizens from such vagaries in foreign lands. This posturing is both unacceptable and indefensible. These citizens after all left the
country with great hopes, frustrated by lack of jobs at home. Not a few of them took loans, sold houses, cars, left lucrative jobs and even threw a lavish send-forth party before embarking on the search for opportunities they could not get at home. Reports of racist attacks against foreigners, inclusive of Nigerians mostly, in the United States of America, Europe and lately, South Africa have continued unabated. The ordeal of some of these Nigerians sometimes stems from persecutions, stereotyping, false accusations, harassments and other forms of racial abuses. In many cases, these unfortunate citizens receive little assistance or protection at all from
the embassies. The way Nigerians are treated abroad does no credit to the image of the Federal Government. We can borrow an example of the State of Israel of how to treat citizens. The Middle-east nation is renowned for its unapologetic protection of her citizens wherever they live in the world. The dictum is that every Israeli life is precious to the Jewish State. Even the remains of her dead in war and peace are sacred and treasured. What the country needs is proactive diplomacy that will enable our envoys anticipate problems before they develop, not the present reactionary and lame mode.
As a first measure, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should undertake to publication of travel advisories. The information would provide the necessary enlightenment. There is need for all to ponder on the state of our nation and tame the monster that drives people away. The rate of unemployment is daily skyrocketing, insecurity is at its peak, the cost of living is intolerably expensive and corruption is the order of the day while basic social infrastructure continues to be out of the reach of the common man. •Adewale Kupoluyi Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
GRAND family meeting, like years of false steps, since the theAugust 30 Yoruba Assembly Lugard amalgamation of 1914. held in Ibadan, Oyo State, would A nasty Civil War (1967-1970), ruinous military rule, the 12 as of necessity come with many viewJune 1993 presidential election points. It is not unlike the fall of the annulment crisis and 13 years proverbial mighty elephant, at which of shambling along under civil knives of all shapes make a proud showrule (with the Boko Haram insuring. rection as the latest nationA lobby at the one-day confab comOlakunle threatening crisis) only underplained of Yoruba “marginalisation” in score the feeling that something email@example.com, 08054504169 (Sms only, please) federal appointments. That is true; and Abimbola fundamental is wrong with the the complaint is valid. If the Yoruba are country. integral part of the Nigerian federation So, the call for a restructured – which they are – it is their moral and Nigeria is sound. The present legal right to share from the federation’s Nigerian structure, with a rich benefits. If their share declines, vis-a-vis other partners’ in the federation, they naturally must combut idle centre, is not only a recipe for mindless corruption, Kwara and Kogi states, clamouring for realignment with their plain for the imbalance to be righted. kith and kin in the South West, are rightly victims of the irredenta but also a charter for underdevelopment, borne out of perStill, let it not be forgotten that “marginalisation” – as of the current Nigerian structure, which groups them as part of petual crises. With each subsequent occupier trying to coral valid as it is – started as a survivalist cry from the Yoruba the “North”, when really they ought to be part of the South the common wealth for its own ethnic champions (the latest mainstreamers, who lost out in the electoral sweepstakes of West. That much was said by the area’s representatives at the being Goodluck Jonathan’s Ijaw presidency, handing former April 2011. The mainstreamers’ political view is that develmilitants suspect marine and oil pipeline contracts), it is as if Ibadan summit. opment in the old Western Region must start with as many every section is grabbing what it could from a sinking NigeBut in the context of Nigeria, what does Yoruba or Ibadan federal appointments as the region could possibly coral. That rian ship. Now, if the idea is not for the ship to sink without irredentism mean? A Yoruba poised to grab more than its due? is the plain sharing mentality, which has put everyone in the trace, then restructuring towards a new beginning makes emiOr within the South West, in a restructured Nigeria, an Ibadan ditch; and which the Ibadan assembly was trying to correct. nent sense: having a federal government; with much stronger primed to resume its old imperialism; that climaxed in the diThe futility of such appointment-led development thesis six regional governments, as development centres. sastrous Yoruba civil war, the Kiriji War (1877-1893)? is shown in the Obasanjo example. Olusegun Obasanjo, a With a skewed structure settled, there is the imperative of Akintola, a bosom friend of decades but unfazed Ibadan naYoruba, was two-term elected president, the ultimate posiwhittling down the cost of governance, especially at the centionalist nevertheless, could not have meant what he said in tion which decides who gets what. Still, his tenure was a these two imperial senses. Neither could the Yoruba conferees. tre, which under the proposed new dispensation, would supdisaster for Yorubaland, so much so that at the height of his But there is always a chance of misrepresentation – and wilfully port regional economic activities, after taking charge of cenpresidency, he blithely boasted that Lagos – the crown jewel so – by anti-restructuring elements, eager to muddy the waters tral agencies like defence, external affairs, currency and cusof the region, former federal capital and still the commercial toms. and scuttle the campaign. capital of the country – was a jungle. And he probably was To cut down cost of governance, the Yoruba conference sugBut Gen. Alani Akinrinade, convener of the Assembly, was proud to leave it so! gested adopting Westminster system of choosing ministers very clear at his pre-summit media luncheon comment: that the The mainstreamers’ federal-pork-is-paramount-to-develYoruba had always been federalists in their political evolution; from elected parliamentarians in the House of Representaopment theory is contrary to the progressives’ view that the and would want such productive federalism replicated on the tives. If this happens, what role will the Senate, a key instituSouth West must be stand on its own, independent of any Nigerian front, so that different sections of the country could tion of electoral balancing in a federation, play? These are federal pork. Indeed, since the Awolowo-Akintola tango of develop at their own paces and, by so doing, strengthen the areas of serious debate en route to arriving at a mutually acthe First Republic, these two starkly contrasting political Nigerian union, and save it from perennial but life-threatening ceptable new constitution. viewpoints have driven the dynamics of politics in the rePerhaps the most disturbing of the Ibadan Yoruba Assembly’s crises. On “marginalisation”, he said it would not have matgion. communiqué is the suggestion that vigilantes should hold a tered who held what, if the country was well run. In any case, there is need for conceptual clarity. Without Which leads to the next logical question: what do the Yoruba pride of place in the region’s security system. This suggests prejudice to the legal and social rights of the Yoruba in Niwant? From the Ibadan summit’s communiqué, it would ap- impatience with the present debate over the Nigeria Police. geria as presently constituted, why would they complain Still, the South West must be careful on this sole suggestion. pear what any right-thinking Nigerian would want, after 98 that a system is doomed (that is the sum total of the Ibadan Vigilantes are no substitute to a decentralised police. The time meeting: that the present Nigerian system is unsustainable) state police has come. The South West political elite and “What do the Yoruba want? From for and yet insist they are marginalised under the same crumcivil rights groups should press on full throttle for its bling system? Is that not a contradiction in terms? On the other hand, those who stone-wall state the Ibadan summit’s communiqué, it actualisation. Away from the mainstreamers now, even Adeniyi police, even with the glaring challenges of insecurity, must would appear what any right-think- know that they risk the putative reign of ultra-nationalist miAkintola, SAN, a legal luminary of no mean calibre and a That is the road to Yugoslavia. It is unnecessary. man with genuine generosity of spirit, proudly announced ing Nigerian would want, after 98 litias. The Yoruba have taken a stand on Nigeria’s future. Let the himself as a Yoruba and Ibadan “irredentist”. “Irredenta”, years of false steps, since the Lugard other zones join in the debate. To be sure, it promises a furious the word from which “irredentist” emerges, means victims jaw-jaw. But it is certainly better than a bloody war-war. of ethnic imperialism. amalgamation of 1914" This serious talk is imperative, if Nigeria must be saved. In the context of restructuring therefore, the Yoruba of
What do the Yoruba want?
OR watchers of the developments in the troubled power sector, something akin to a disaster befell the nation with the ouster of Professor Barth Nnaji as power minister Wednesday August 28. For a sector that has just begun to witness some modest improvements in service delivery across the board, it was a perhaps a case of the Nigerian gnome knowing when to strike for maximum effect. That it consumed the individual who in the last months – by the estimation of the generality of citizens – gave so much and added so much value to the hitherto moribund sector is perhaps best explained by the Nigerian jinx. I describe Nnaji exit as unfortunate essentially because the affair is foreseeable. For a sector being primed for the most comprehensive overhaul in its history, it was perhaps expected that the entrenched forces of the ancien regime would not let go without a fight. In this, the government seems to have supplied the catalyst when it failed to anticipate the problem. Although it seems now convenient for the same government to play the Pontius Pilate, its feigning of innocence is to put it mildly, hypocritical. That the issue of conflict of interest which provided the ammo for Nnaji’s ouster did not come up earlier is only because there was no basis for conflict at the earlier stages. The matter only became hot button when the reform ship began to coast to the final, home stretch – the sale of the entities. This is where the stakes are at utmost and the government ought to have known better by ensuring that the chief midwife, like Caesar’s wife, stays above board! Blind Trust or not, the ex-minister’s interest in Geometric Power is certainly not hidden. This was after all where he was yanked off to become Special Adviser to the President and later Minister of Power. I personally thought that the ex-minister’s job was just about done at the point of the production of the milestone Power Sector Roadmap in August 2010. Solely on account of his interests in the sector, and given the potential landmines
‘The nation didn’t get to this point because those in charge suddenly became more committed. It did because Nigerians have gone beyond asking hard questions to demanding explanations on why in spite of the trillions of naira sunk, the government cannot deliver.
Policy Sanya Oni firstname.lastname@example.org 08051101841
Nnaji and the power sector jinx in the path of the privatisation process and the powerful interests at play, I believe that he ought to have been excused before the privatisation process kicked off at least to confer credibility on the exercise. That the minister and his boss, President Jonathan waited for things to get out of hand is no doubt revealing of the administration’s sloppiness. I must say however that Nnaji’s exit merely confirms that the gnome behind the power sector’s woes is alive and well. Today, the fear that the modest success would be imperilled by the changes is back. As one would imagine, the wild celebration by the electrical sector unions in the aftermath of the minister’s exit would merely represent the more comical dimension of the forces ranged against the reforms. But theirs is nothing compared to the dark forces that are far more powerful and sinister. These forces have the money, the muscle and the connection at the highest levels of government to guarantee that no initiatives work! That is to say that the fear of the sector’s relapse is not entirely unfounded. After all, the mere existence of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005 – a legislation whose coming marked the turning point for the industry – could not guarantee that the reforms would move from the pages of the papers on which the law was written. Indeed, the late President Umaru Yar’Adua not only dithered in implementation – a clear violation of the Act – for nearly two years, he acted as if the law did not exist. Even his pledge to declare emergency in the power sector remained until his death – a wish. The lesson here is that it is one thing to have a fanciful piece of legislation; it is another to commit to its implementation.
President Jonathan is no doubt entitled to his achievement which is modest by all standards given the resources that his administration has thrown into the sector. Of course, cash was never a problem. The administration after all began by warehousing $5 billion for the National Integrated Power Projects. That was after it secured the agreement of governors and their state assemblies to draw from the excess crude account. In spite of this, performance could hardly be said to have matched expectations. Note for instance the rather curious and confounding arithmetic of the power generation in which a country that did not start from Ground Zero currently celebrates 4000 MW as achievement. How about this for the record – that we blew nearly $20 million on the sector in the last decade alone to achieve an incremental 1,500 MW additional output! How does one explain the power sector’s arithmetic of reducing balances? The question is apt, considered in the background of the administration’s projections in the celebrated roadmap. By the projection, the sector ought to have delivered 7033MW by April 2011. By December this year, the generation capacity is supposed to hit 11,879 MW. Now, we are told by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission that the best the nation could hope for in 2012 – barely three months away – is 5,000MW! Meanwhile, the administration is in frenzy over achievements! Having said that, I personally believe that current fears about the reforms slipping into relapse mode are somewhat exaggerated. Clearly, much work has gone into grounding the institutional framework. There are also undeniable signs that progress is finally being made in the completion of the NIPP plants. Much also has been done to harmonise gas policies to ensure delivery of gas to the plants. However, it seems to me that the sustained interest of the ordinary Nigerian in the sector is what will make the possibility of a slip into the dark days very difficult. To be sure, the nation didn’t get to this point because those in charge suddenly became more committed. It did because Nigerians have gone beyond asking hard questions to demanding explanations on why in spite of the trillions of naira sunk, the government cannot deliver. One can only hope that President Jonathan and his Peoples Democratic Party read the signs of the times correctly. It is of course a long way ahead. The word however is vigilance – eternal vigilance. The next battle is the sale of the unbundled entities of the Power Holdings Company of Nigeria – perhaps the most critical in the entire process. Just as Nigerians cannot wait to see this phase happen, it must be seen as the beginning of the long, difficult road to improved service delivery – a step towards the socalled Eldorado of liberalised power sector.
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
HAT Nigeria stands on a tripod politically is beyond contention, though the other ethnic nationalities outside the Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo triangle have the right to want to disagree. They may have a point after all, considering the fact that the sitting president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces is a certain gentleman from a tiny riverside community of Otuoke in the mainly Ijaw state of Bayelsa in Nigeria’s south-south geopolitical zone. The south-south zone itself is part of the political re-engineering or political correctness as the case may be that has been going on in Nigeria for some time now to take care of the so called minority tribes/nationalities. I have no grudge against that if a people want to be grouped according to their ethnicity or even religion, provided those who wish not to belong in are given their say and their rights protected. Nigeria, because of her multi-ethnic composition and diversity and glaring lack of unity has not been able to forge a nation after nearly a centenary of her creation by the British in 1914. So two years to the 100th anniversary of the amalgamation of the southern and northern protectorates of Nigeria by the British colonial government of Lord Frederick Luggard, to create a country
‘But my concern is this, having manipulated, if one may use that word, the previous presidential elections to go the way of Yoruba, Hausa/Fulani and Ijaw/minority tribes, why not Ndigbo at the next opportunity? But then one should not cry more than the bereaved as the saying goes. If Ndigbo don’t seriously want it why contrive to give it to them?’
SHIKO is a popular marine crustacean. When you put a thousand crabs in a pot, not one of them will come out because they will continue to pull down one another. It is another way of saying all motion; no movement. Having explained this, you will understand why I associate Nshiko mentality with Chudi Offodile. Anambra and the Limits of Propaganda; the Celebration of Mediocrity; and Peter Obi: Integrity Issues are three articles written by Offodile in quick succession attacking the governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi. He reduced what was going on in Anambra State to a reign of mediocrity. Not relenting, he published another article entitled: Anambra: Oil Projects, Brewery Scandal in The Sun of August 28. I first learnt about the publication from a former Senator, a good friend of Chudi Offodile. He spoke in confidence on what he called the scheming by Offodile and his friends to stop the President from visiting Anambra State. At first, according to him, they wanted to condemn everything the President will come to do. On Orient, they initially planned to say that Anambra’s shares were bought using another company’s name. Let it be on record that Obi has never claimed to have found Orient Petroleum; Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju did. However, the story of Orient will be incomplete without Obi. It was under him that the Government of Anambra State injected money into the company. In Anambra: Oil Prospects, Brewery Scandal, Offodile wrote a bit confusedly about SABMiller, not understanding that a mother company can use other names for businesses. SABMiller, for example, uses the name Pabod in Rivers, Ilesha Brewery in Osun, and Accra Brewery in Ghana. He tried to reduce the shareholding to Intafact, Anambra State and Next. He went on to write unadulterated falsehoods on how Anambra State revoked the Certificate of Occupancy of an International Steel Industry Ltd, Onitsha and allocated it to Intafact Beverages Ltd, a private company in “overriding public interest”.
Who will fight for Ndigbo? for people living around the River Niger area (Nigeria) ethnicity still plays a major role in our political life. Our leaders from then till now, save for a few committed nationalists have been ethnic champions or at best pseudo nationalists. Such has been the problem with us that we could not even agree on when to ask the colonialists to go. The first real attempt at gaining independence in the early 1950s by the leaders of that period was thwarted by the north which claimed it wasn’t ready and the British concurred and delayed it till 1960. Since then the north has been having not just its say in Nigeria but also its way. That decision then was may be a missed opportunity to forge a nation and see Nigeria as one. Subsequent political events following independence in 1960 combined to foist on Nigeria a one ethnic domination of the political space to the consternation of the other groups, especially the other legs of the tripod. The rivalry between these groups, without minding the feelings of others (minorities) so to speak, combined to cause the political crisis of the first republic that led to the termination of that experiment in self/ civilian rule. Regardless of what brought the first republic to its knees, the seed of ethnicity in Nigeria’s politics and political life has been sown and has remained potent ever since. The coming of the military first in 1966 and their subsequent interruptions later only cemented this trend. Granted the fact that military culture and tradition abhor democracy, the military high command still made appointments based not on competence but
on ethnic consideration. So it was not strange then to find the soldiers trying to balance ethnic interests in their appointments. When the military were to leave finally in 1999, they still played the ethnic card by ensuring that the south west geo political zone or the Yoruba speaking nation had the exclusive chance to contest the presidency of Nigeria for obvious reasons. So at the end of the day a Yoruba man considered a friend by the north was elected president in 1999. By that master stroke the north ensured that it continued to have a say in who governs Nigeria. And with ethnicity firmly entrenched in our politics, it was not difficult for the minorities, especially those in the south-south region, to also come out boldly to demand for Nigeria’s presidency in 2007. Their hands were strengthened by an accident of geography that placed them where Nigeria’s main economic resource was located. They have oil and Nigeria needs their oil to survive. So, they played the oil card and it worked for them. First they got a seat in President Umar Musa Yar’adua’s presidency as their son, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was elected Vice President in 2007 and on the death of the 3rd executive president in May 2010 they finally clinched the hot seat, first as acting president and later in 2011as elected president. As the race for the next presidential election draws nearer observers are beginning to plot what the scenario could look like in 2015. While the Jonathan camp is still looking to retain the presidency come May 2015, the north is seriously preparing to take
power back to the north of the Niger while the Yoruba in the south west seem content with playing the kingmaker role as was the case in 2011. As the third leg of the tripod, what role if one may ask is Ndigbo going to play in the looming dispensation? Or better put, what do our brothers in east of the Niger want in 2015? I ask this question in the light of a statement credited to a one time governor of Anambra state, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife that Ndigbo “will play a game of co-operation with Jonathan forces” in 2015. This seem patronising and a clearest indication yet that the people of south east geo political zone might eventually for go their quest for Nigeria’s presidency in 2015 for yet another lesser role in the country’s political environment in the next dispensation. This could be disastrous to their perceived aspiration but won’t be a surprise. While it might not be right to treat Dr Ezeife’s views as representing Ndigbo’s position, he is not a politician of small stature in that region and indeed Nigeria, so whatever he says should not be taken lightly. His comment, at a meeting of Ndigbo leaders in the 19 northern states held in Abuja at the weekend, taken together with President Jonathan’s patronising words to Ndigbo during his recent state visit to Anambra state could all the same be interpreted to mean that the next presidential contest would again be a battle between the north and southsouth. Not that I really bother whether the next president is of Hausa, Ibo, Yoruba or ethnic minority stock, as long as he’s a Nigerian and competent and voted for by the majority so be it. But my concern is this, having manipulated, if one may use that word, the previous presidential elections to go the way of Yoruba, Hausa/Fulani and Ijaw/minority tribes, why not Ndigbo at the next opportunity. But then one should not cry more than the bereaved as the saying goes. If Ndigbo don’t seriously want it why contrive to give it to them? But I know this is not the feeling of the majority in that region and if they fail to get Nigeria’s presidency in 2015 or make serious effort to get it then blame not the people but their leaders. But who are the leaders of Ndigbo? Who speaks for them?
Offodile: The limits of mischief By Valentine Obienyem The claim that a company’s land was revoked and given to SABMiller is a blatant lie. For the record, the land where SABMiller built their facility was purchased by SABMiller from General Cotton Mills, the owners, at the cost of 550 million naira after relevant resolutions by the board – this is verifiable. The transaction was handled by a known estate agent, Okolo and Okolo, based in Onitsha. SABMiller paid for all the facilities of General Cotton Mill they are using. The International Steel’s land was truly revoked for overriding public interest, for they abandoned the land for years and it dilapidated a lot – but not for SABMiller In his Anambra and the Limits of Propaganda, Offodile wrote: “Talking about investment in the state, the governor is known to be a successful trader before he became governor. If the state is so attractive for business, what informed the decision of his own company NEXT International to invest over N12 billion building the two largest shopping malls in Abuja, one in Mabushi and the other in Central Area, opposite federal ministry of transport? The governor announced proudly that this year, he will pay N32 million as tax in Anambra State. Why invest and create employment outside the state and then pay tax in Anambra State? It is a very strange way of doing things. Anambra State needs the investment and jobs that the governor outsourced to Abuja and other places.’’ My interest in the quote is not to state that the mall at central area he referred to was long completed before Obi became governor. It is not to start telling him all over again that Obi resigned in all the companies he has interest in before being sworn-in as the Governor or debunk other lies of his, but to show how he criticized the governor that a company he has interest in is not investing in Anambra State.
What actually does Offodile want? To destroy Anambra State and Anambra people in his senseless vendetta against Peter Obi, whom he described as an agent of light sent to Anambra by God, when he got the ticket to contest the senatorial election under APGA? This is more than double standard. He even failed to mention the names of five other companies, including the one owned by a Deltan and a Lagosian that invested in the company. He should also tell us if the investment is by Next or by Peter Obi as a governor. Next, for the avoidance of doubt, is a reputable company that has engaged in business for over 20 years with SABMiller and they needed it as part of the Anambra experience to boost their confidence. If they had invested in other states, who says that Next would not have been part of it? The important thing is that the transaction was transparent and above board. Reading Offodile, he is merely saying that Next, Fidelity, Nestle, Diamond Bank, Enterprise Bank and almost all the companies in Nigeria, for Obi has interests in many of them, should stop business in Nigeria because he is a governor. He could have as well asked the president not to commission Orient Petroleum because Obi has shares in it as well as most of his commissioners and aides, including this writer that answered to the call for all of us to invest in it and achieve the Anambra dream. On the allegation of Governor Obi personally handling all negotiations between Anambra State and SABMiller group and visited South Africa several times on the subject, as an insider, I accompanied the governor to South Africa and London. Since having made up their mind to invest in Nigeria, the question was where among competing locations. Each state governor pulled all strings for his state to be favoured. Now that Obi got it, see what this Offodile is writing! SABMiller has invested in other states in
Nigeria, without their people trying in any way to jeopardize their business. Does it mean those states do not have an Offodile or could it be that their Offodiles are more patriotic and understanding to respect what will be of benefit to their people? We are talking of a Fortune 500 company that has investment in 75 countries, with market capitalization around 100 billion dollars. For Offodile’s information, the President commissioned Orange Drugs facility as well as Krisoral, the first company that is into manufacturing of Roll over Pilferproof caps and HDP caps. Added to SABMiller, the three companies have the capacity to employ over 1500 direct labour and over 10,000 indirect labour. Rather than celebrate this development, the likes of Offodile are agitated. The likes of Offodile belong to the old order being driven out of Anambra State; if they cannot attract anything to Anambra State, they have the honourable duty to commend those doing so or remain quiet. • Obienyem writes from Akwa, Anambra State
‘SABMiller has invested in other states in Nigeria, without their people trying in any way to jeopardize their business. Does it mean those states do not have an Offodile or could it be that their Offodiles are more patriotic and understanding to respect what will be of benefit to their people?’
AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS QUALIFIERS
JAPAN 2012 FALLOUT
Only Keshi can decide Enyeama’s fate —NFF
Falconets abandoned at Lagos Airport
Sport Tuesday, September 11, 2012
HIGHEST PAID NIGERIAN FOOTBALLERS •Mikel
Mikel come tops
•Emenike gets 42 million Euros buy-out clause J
OSEPH Yobo, Mikel Obi and Yakubu Aiyegbeni are Nigeria’s biggest earners as they each pocket in excess of two million Euros a year. MTNFootball.com has again scooped that another top Nigerian earner in football is Spartak Moscow striker Emmanuel Emenike. Yobo is smiling all the way to the bank because his earnings are free of tax in Turkey, unlike when he was in England with Everton. “He’s on crazy money at Fenerbache and he is also playing week in, week out, which was not the case at Everton at a point,” a top source informed MTNFootball.com That could well explain why several more players from Nigeria have now moved to seek their fortune there – Kalu
Uche (Kasimpasa), Raheem Lawal (Adana Demirspor) and Uche Kalu (Caysur Rizespor). “It is a good place for Nigerians to go to because the football is not bad and the money is good because it is free of any tax,” a top agent informed MTNFootball.com Yakubu has proved himself in the English Premier League by scoring double digit number of goals, season after season and so his decision to cash in on a final pay day in China, where he is reportedly on 100,000 pounds-tax free a week. His super agent Pini Zahavi has even before the striker’s move to China secured his financial future for him. Mikel is on 80,000 pounds a week at Stamford Bridge, but when he has to pay
about 42% of that as tax, it leaves him with a little more than 40,000 pounds a week. He also received a hefty bonus when Chelsea made history by winning their first UEFA Champions League. But again it was heavily taxed. Emenike is also on a fabulous contract of about 2.5 million Euros a year, but in Russia he has to pay tax and that way he earns less than his national team skipper. Spartak have reportedly inserted a buy-out clause of 42 million Euros in Emenike’s contract after he extended his deal till 2016. Defender Taye Taiwo also bagged a super deal when he signed up with Italian giants AC Milan. He was on something like 335,000 Euros a month but tax and limited playing time would have eaten deep into this little fortune.
NATIONSPORT TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
NATION SPORT EXPULSION ORDER
Ocean Boys, NPL in face-off
Ismaily to appeal FIFA's verdict on Owoeri
Amoebi: I can’t wait to shine
JAPAN 2012 FALLOUT
at Lagos Airport
AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS QUALIFIERS
Only Keshi can decide Enyeama’s fate —NFF
•Assures Nigerians Eagles will sail through •Blasts Liberia over hostility
Eagles have lost class— Amiesimaka
By Innocent Amomoh
Azuka agrees three-andhalf-year Esperance deal
Gov. Akpabio boosts Eaglets with N10m
AFTERMATH OF COPA COLA, SOUTH AFRICA
Iduhua, Bakare count blessings •Eye national team call-ups By Stella Bamawo
Skye Bank, Standard-Chartered Bank lead groups
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
Foundation trains 25 in entrepreneurship - Page 26
•General Manager, Hawthorn Suites, Paul Murry (left); Managing Director, Faruk Aliyu presenting drugs to President, Sickle Cell Club, Abuja, Dr. Tamunomieibi Wakama and Vice President ,Victoria Joshua during the presentation of drugs and partnership with Sicle Cell Club in Abuja PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE
Hospitality, philanthropy philanthropy as as Hospitality, hotelier lifts lifts sickle sickle cell cell patients patients hotelier Gwagwalada residents get free health services - Page 27
OMBINING hospitality and philanthropy, the management of Hawthorn Suites, Abuja, primarily concerned with pleasing their guests, have demonstrated care beyond cosy hotel rooms. They presented drugs worth N500,000 to the Sickle Cell Club in the nation’s capital. Managing Director of Hawthorn Suites, Farouk Aliyu, said the gesture was part of the organisation’s corporate social responsibilities to the society. Aliyu bemoaned the plight of affected persons and called on wellmeaning Nigerians to assist in giving them quality life. Noting that most sufferers come from poor backgrounds, they find it difficult to access the needed daily medications that could prolong their lives. He said the hotel would continue o partner with humanitarian organisations to be able to reach out to more of those with the illness. Aliyu said: “We are looking at it from several aspects. The first step is to see how we can get medications to those that cannot afford it and how we can work behind the scenes to help the Sickle Cell Club
“S Politics of First Lady’s sickness - Page 40
From Sanni Onogu, Abuja
in Abuja. “What we are looking at now is getting a new website up and running that will be tied into social media like Facebook and Twitter for the club. “We have also given them one of our halls for their monthly meetings to solve their accommodation problems. We are also trying to see how we can help in getting them an office accommodation for their convenience,” he said. In his remarks, the General Manager of the hotel, Paul Murry noted that very few people know much about sickle cell disease. He added that there is no cure for the anemia but with awareness, it can be put under better control. Murry said: “My wife has a sickle cell trait and I did lose a son as a result of sickle cell. So, I fully understand exactly what it is and it is the awareness that we need to be able to put to the world about sickle cell. When I first saw my wife with the crisis, it was quite horrific for me to see something that people can go through with sickle cell.” President of the Sickle Cell Club, Abuja, Dr Tamunomieibi Makama expressed his gratitude to the man-
agement of the hospitality outfit for the donation. Makama noted that with better care and treatment, sickle cell patients can still live a quality life. Noting that the disease is hereditary, affected persons need medications daily to stay alive. He said that most of the drugs are costly and out of the reach of average Nigerians. Makama said: “I am delighted, and indeed short of words. We thank God that such a day has arrived and has come to be in our lifetime. “We thank the management of Hawthorn Suites for taking this initiative and for giving back to society. “As human beings and mostly as it happens in Nigeria, all we are interested in is how much can I get from the society and even after you have gotten so much, you are careless about how much you can put into the society to support the lives of other people. “Sickle Cell has been with us. We all read about Abiku, Ogbanje and all the rest. All these are insinuations of what sickle cell is. Professors Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe mentioned them in their text books. But scientifically, we
know that it is inherited. “It is not something that you acquire because you took some water that is contaminated. The point is that, except you have actually experienced or seen or managed a patient with sickle cell, you will probably not appreciate what it entails for a child to have sickle cell and to go through a crisis. “Because it is inherited, it is something that you have to live with for as long as you are alive. You don’t cure it but you can manage it. “Thank God for science today. There are giant strides as to how to overcome it through new techniques and therapy. But these are not cheap. “So, all we can do really now is to manage these people and give them quality life. “I remember as a child growing up. It was assumed that a sickler can never live beyond 16 or 21 years. But I tell you there are grandfathers and grandmothers who have sickle cell today, who have children, who are living well and are in all spheres of government and in society. •Continued on Page 27
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
Residents groan under high rent
LMOST everything is expensive in Abuja, from foodstuff to accommodation. Despite this, people still flock to the city in search of greener pastures and the easy life, not deterred by the problems of a c c o m m o d a t i o n , transportation and security risks. In 2006, the population of Abuja was about 800,000, but the 2012 consensus shows that the number of people living in Abuja is about 3 million. The huge influx of people into the city has led to the emergence of satellite towns such as Karu Urban Area, Suleja Urban Area, Gwagwalada, Kuje and others. These suburban areas which are mostly on the outskirts of town with their high population. But be it in the satellite towns or what the residents refer to as ‘Town,’ they are daily confronted with rising cost of accommodation . The costs of houses in these suburban areas, though cheaper than what you can get in the town, are still very high. For example, a selfcontained apartment, which is just a room with an adjoining toilet and bathroom and maybe a kitchen, goes for N 200,000 in Lungu in Gwarimpa. The same type of accommodation
By Frances Ajewole
at 69 Road, also in Gwarimpa, costs N500,000 with five occupants sharing one kitchen. In Maraba, such apartment goes for N200,000. Abuja residents have complained severally about how expensive these houses are especially those in the suburban region which are some distance from their offices or work places. A resident, Isaiah Bantu said: “When I think about the two hours journey I have to make from Kubwa everyday to Utako because of these narrow roads and hold-up, I almost give up. I really wish I could afford to stay in town, but I don’t have the millions needed. Even in Kubwa, I pay too much just for one-room apartment.” Another challenge faced by Abuja residents is the two years’ rent that landlords collect at a time. Ncheta Ilechukwu, an Abuja resident had this to say: “I pay N650,000 for a room and parlour apartment in Karu. Water doesn’t run in the taps; I have to buy that separately. Imagine that! And to make matters worse, the landlord insists on collecting two years’ rent up front!” Clement Orji, a taxi driver who says he pays N250,000 yearly for a onebedroom apartment in Nyanya suburb, complained bitterly about the area. According to him, the roads are bad and basic facilities such as light and water are hard to come by. One would wonder why, when the practice of collecting two years’s rent up front has been abolished in some cities, such still thrive in the area. Another challenge faced by the residents is that, after struggling to pay
I pay N650,000 for a room and parlour apartment in Karu. Water doesn’t run in the taps; I have to buy that separately. Imagine that! And to make matters worse, the landlord insists on collecting two years’ rent up front
•Nyanya, an Abuja suburb the rent what becomes the fate of a typical resident if the building is pulled down by the authorities of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) like the mass demolitions going on in Mpape, Abuja Apartments in places like Garki,
Wuse, Maitama and Asokoro are far more expensive. A room and parlor in Garki for example goes for about N1.5million and the landlords usually insist on collecting two years’ rent. That automatically means you would need N3million naira to rent a room and parlour in Garki.
Kwali central market for upgrade
HE Federal Capital Territory Administration has said that plans to upgrade the Kwali Central Market have reached advanced stage. The Manager of Kwali Central Market, Joshua Madaki, who revealed this in Abuja assured traders and residents of Kwali Area Council that the market will soon be upgraded to attract more investors to the area. Speaking with reporters, Madaki lamented the lingering sewage problem which he said is affecting the market. He further expressed the determination of the area council to carry out necessary repairs on the market. According to him, some security
From Bukola Amusan
measures have been put in place to ensure safety of the traders and their property. “We discovered recently that the market has become over-stretched due to the influx of people on daily basis. You know that residents in the city centre do come to the market to buy their foodstuff and other commodities. As a result of this, the available infrastructure become over-stretched,” he said. Madaki also identified lack of parking space as one of the problems confronting the market. “Most of the cars that should have come in to discharge one commodity or the order are
Foundation trains 25 in entrepreneurship
BOUT 25 people have graduated from an entrepreneurship and internship mentoring scheme in Abuja. The mentoring programme, which aims at enhancing self-sufficiency among youths was organised
From Bukola Amusan, Abuja
by the Afrigrowth Foundation. The foundation also plans to use the programme to develop a learning centre which will be committed to conducting trainings that would strengthen the internal coordination
Some would say that living in “Town” is not for everybody. It seems that we can comfortably conclude that ‘Town’ in this case is not just the urban areas of Abuja, but Abuja itself. The overall cost of living in Abuja is approximately three times the cost of living in most cities in Nigeria.
of civil society groups. The graduating students were full of excitement as they file out to receive their certificates of participation. President of Afrigrowth Foundation, Mrs Dayo Keshi who spoke at the graduation ceremony
of the third batch of the mentorship training said the graduating set really made the foundation proud through their commitment and resilience. She added that another batch of 25 will also receive training to bring to 100 the number of those that have been trained by the foundation. “They have been trained in entrepreneurial skills, leadership abilities, and the social media so that they will become future employers of labour. This will make them not to depend on nonexistent white collar jobs,” she said. The Guest of Honour at the ceremony, Innocent Enejo enjoined the graduates to be committed in what they do in order to succeed as entrepreneurs.
usually parked outside due to lack of space in the market,” he said. According to him, apart from the crowded environment, poor drainage system is another challenge confronting the market, even as he added that the council’s chairman, Joseph Shazin has visited the market and took note of the problems confronting the market. He further disclosed that a borehole will soon be sunk in the market. He therefore urged traders to continue to transact their businesses and avoid acts that would engender violence in the market. “You must be resilient, desperate and passionate to succeed. You should have a prepared mind as it is not the function of what you have learnt in school but the zeal and commitment in you to make it in life. “Don’t outspend your money before they come. Dream big and don’t give up as there are many opportunities for you outside there that you can tap from,” he said The Executive Director of the TY Danjuma Foundation, Lady Amedormey, who commended the training ability of Afrigrowth Foundation said TY Foundation will be sponsoring the 100 mentees with the sum of N6m. Highlight of the ceremony were presentation of prizes and certificates to participants as well as the presentation of business plans by the graduating students.
They have been trained in entrepreneurial skills, leadership abilities, and the social media so that they will become future employers of labour. This will make them not to depend on non-existent white collar jobs •The participants at the event
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
Communities benefit from empowerment scheme
HE Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has provided about N250m as community empowerment agricultural revolving loans for 385 communities across the six area councils of the FCT. Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, who disclosed this while on an inspection tour of farms at Kuchibuyi and Guita communities of Bwari Area Council, said the community empowerment agriculture initiative is meant to empower women and youths in 385 communities identified by the FCT Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
From Bukola Amusan
Baseline Survey conducted in 2008. She said N60m was provided in 2010 for the community empowerment agriculture loan scheme, while N120m and N60m were provided in 2011 and 2012 respectively. According to her, out of the N250m made available for farmers, including women and youths, the sum of N120m has been accessed by the benefiting communities through four Micro-finance Banks (MFBs), namely EWT Micro-finance Bank, Fims Micro-finance Bank, Hasan Micro-finance Bank and Credit Link Micro-finance Bank. “We are supporting the poor and
rural communities through capacity building in modern farming techniques and agric-businesses to address poverty issues, unemployment and gender equality among the rural populace, thereby improving their income and quality of life. “This initiative started in 2010 with 60 communities across the six area councils and by 2011, the initiative was scaled up to 180 communities with FCT UNDAF II supporting 60 communities. Currently, the scheme is in 236 communities across the six area councils and the remaining communities will be covered before the end of 2013,” the minister said.
Hotelier lifts sickle cell Foundation •Continued from Page 25 “It was because at a time where we come from, there were no good medical facilities and people were not properly informed as to how people should take care of themselves and how to take care of these ones. So, they were dying because of environmental factors and poor facilities. “But today, things are better off and most importantly, since it is inherited, it is something that can be ameliorated and abated through proper education and enlightenment.”
The doctor who works at the National Hospital Abuja also noted that the Sickle Cell Club is made up of people who are affected by the illness, caregivers and those who have a heart to reach out to people who have the ailment. “You may ask, there are hospitals alright, how many people can access these facilities. Because it is a lifelong ailment, you need to be on drugs every day of your life and for somebody who cannot even afford to take three square meals, how can he afford to get analgesics, antibiotics and anti-malaria? “It is financially burdensome and
so some people just give up. But we have people who can encourage them and show them how best to take care of themselves so that they can live life that is of good quality. “We are delighted about this gesture and we want to call on other well-meaning Nigerians who have the wherewithal to come on board and key into this partnership and see how they can give back to society so that we can make this country a better place for everyone. If you don’t have somebody who is directly affected, you may have a relation who is also affected,” he said.
Earlier, EPRS Director, Ari Mohammed said the scheme was designed to boost agricultural production, create employment and reduce poverty in the FCT. He further said that under the scheme, agricultural inputs such as tractors, improved seed, pesticides and fertilisers are provided for the communities, while extension workers are also deployed to the communities to supervise the various stages of production. “The scheme will help promote value-addition, technology in agroprocessing, packaging and quality control and also revitalise the rural economy in these communities,” Mohammed said. Meanwhile, farmers and members of communities in the FCT have urged the FCTA to extend the timeline of the empowerment agricultural scheme to three years instead of one year.
We are supporting the poor and rural communitiesthrough capacity building in modern farming techniques and agric-businesses to address poverty issues, unemployment and gender equality among the rural populace, thereby improving their income and quality of life
FCTA moves to protect environment
N order to protect and preserve Abuja green areas; the Federal Capital Territory Administration has set up the Abuja Green Corps to be supervised by the FCT Parks and Recreation Department. The FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed disclosed this after meeting with some officials of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) in Abuja. He disclosed that the Abuja Green Corps would be used to serve abatement notices on persons and organisations that fell or destroy trees, shrubs and
From Bukola Amusan
lawns in the city. According to him, the Corps will also sanction motorists moving, crisscrossing or parking on central verge and green areas. They, in addition, will ensure the replacement of any felled tree. Senator Mohammed further revealed that the FCT Department of Parks and Recreation has so far identified, captured and is organising 93 Private Plant Nurseries in the Federal Capital City for better outputs, even as he reiterated
•The FCT wants to protect its greenery
that the exercise is a continuous process. The minister also revealed that a special unit has been set up in the FCT Parks and Recreation Department to regulate the operations of private plant nurseries throughout the Federal Capital Territory with standardised identification and organisation, which will not disturb pedestrian movement on walkways. He said that the Administration has also set up three intervention squad/teams which will work round the clock to respond to critical situations
traffic by trees felled by wind and/or storm. Senator Mohammed stated that members of staff of the FCT especially during this rainy Department of Parks and Recseason. Such critical situations, reation are being restructured to he said, include obstruction of achieve better service delivery.
Church provides free treatment for residents
ETERMINED to improve the health of residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Rhema Chapel International Church, Abuja has carried out a free medical outreach at Kado-Kuchi Village. The outreach, which was held in conjunction with Society for Family Health (SFH) and Aenon Foundation, carried out various health tests and gave out drugs and mosquito nets to many residents of the village who turned out for the programme. Among the free tests conducted on the residents included malaria, blood pressure, blood sugar level, HIV/AIDS and body mass index checks. Drugs were also given out to those who tested positive to malaria, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. While insecticide-treated mosquito nets were distributed to pregnant women who attended the programme, children were dewormed in the presence of their parents. Residents were also educated on how to treat water before drinking. Speaking at the occasion, Pastor Olusoji Malomo of Rhema Chapel pointed out that they were
From Augustine Ehikioya
overwhelmed by the huge turnout of residents, which was more than the resources planned for the event. He said: “There are so many sick people in the society that don’t have money to go to hospitals to receive treatments. We were only prepared for few people but many turned up. We have to go back to the drawing board in order to cater for more in the future. “We thank God we have been able to touch some lives. Some of them told us that their situations were beyond medical care. So, we have pastors on ground who continuously prayed for such people whose cases are spiritual.” While commending the church for the gesture, the Chief of KadoKuchi, Alhaji Suleiman Dodo pointed out that there is no single healthcare facility in the village. He said: “We have, several times, made some representations to government to provide us with a healthcare centre, schools, water and good road. But they have always promised and done nothing. “We don’t have any healthcare facility here and I am very happy with what the church has done.”
There are so many sick people in the society that don’t have money to go to hospital to receive treatment. We were only prepared for few people but many turned up. We have to go back to the drawing board in order to cater for more in the future
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
JAYES Charity Organisation, a non-governmental organisation, has said that more than 1,000 people indigenous to Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have benefited from free medical treatment it organised in the area. The Coordinator of the group, Dr Ijeoma Nduka disclosed this in a chat with Abuja Review during a week-long free medical treatment at Gwagwalada Township Clinic. According to her, the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), in collaboration with the organisation, was carrying out the exercise in different rural communities. She said patients who suffer stroke, hypertension, diabetes, asthma, arthritis and other common illnesses were examined and treated. Nduka said majority of the patients diagnosed were not aware of the kind of diseases they were suffering from. “Health is not a privilege; it’s a right hence being poor does not stop one from having quality healthcare,” Nduka said. She noted that the American Medical Volunteers, a group of health workers, were in Abuja with some medical equipment to look into stroke prevention and treatment and to encourage stroke patients. “Being a stroke patient is not the end of one’s life; it could be managed. The team has among them experts from different medical fields to assist these patients,” she said. Nduka also said that children with neurological problems were taught through their relations, how to exercise themselves at home on daily living.
• Volunteer doctors at Gwagwalada
Gwagwalada residents get free health services From Bukola Amusan
She advised mothers, especially the old ones, who engage in too much hard labour, to always engage in physical exercises that are not strenuous. She also advised patients who had been examined and treated,
to frequently see their doctors for necessary check-ups to ensure complete recovery. Also speaking, Hajiya Aishatu Garba, a Chief Nursing Officer of NAPEP said that “the health volunteers were invited from the United States of America by
NAPEP to help alleviate health problems among rural dwellers. “We discovered that some people will have diseases like diabetes and hypertension without knowing that they have such. It is through this means that they discovered the ailments.”
Minister promises more jobs for residents
HE Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide has said that the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) of the Federal Government would create more jobs for youths in the territory.. Akinjide, who made this known while receiving members of the Women Wing of Christian Association of Nigeria (WOWICAN), FCT Chapter in her office, said the programme was targeted at creating more employers of labour. She said: “The SURE-P programme is aimed at creating employment for our women and youths. The women and youths will be trained and economically empowered to enable them to be
• Ms Akinjide
From Bukola Amusan
employers of labour. More jobs are expected to be created in the system through the SURE-P programme.” She disclosed that the FCT Administration would soon launch the empowerment programme in the Territory, even as she solicited the support of the group in making the programme a huge success. The minister further explained to the delegation that the FCTA had directed the chairmen of area councils in the Territory to open a dedicated account for the SURE-P funds, which would be utilised solely for wealth creation and critical infrastructure development in the areas. She enjoined the association to continue to pray for the peace and unity of the country. She also urged them to pray for the leaders. “As mothers, wives, sisters and daughters, it is our duty to pray for our leaders and country as the Lord has directed. We need to have unity of faith–both Christians and our brothers and sisters who are Moslems need to be united in faith,” she said. Earlier, the chairperson of WOWICAN, Evangelist (Mrs.) Philomena Uche, praised the minister for her developmental drive in the area councils, even as she encouraged her to sustain the ongoing infrastructural development in the satellite towns. She extended the association’s gratitude to President Jonathan for fulfilling his promise to reserve 35 per cent of the administration’s appointment for women. The association requested for a land in the FCT to build a befitting
secretariat and dormitories to provide accommodation for its members during conventions and retreats. “We also require a bus to convey
our members to all area councils in the FCT and also attend national conventions when the need arises,” Uche said. The FCT chapter of WOWICAN
She said that an 11-year-old girl was diagnosed with growth in her bladder during the free medical exercise. Nduka, therefore, appealed to authorities of the council to assist the girl’s family in the surgery, since the family could not foot the bill. was established in 2006 by the Christian Association of Nigeria and comprises Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Council of Churches in Nigeria, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Organisation of African Instituted Churches, and all evangelical churches.
Anti-corruption committee inaugurated
HE Acting Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Ekpo Nta has cautioned the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed against unnecessary transfer of anti- corruption agents. Nta spoke after inducting a five-man anti-corruption committee for the FCTA. The committee was set up to monitor and prevent any act of corruption in the FCTA and its parastatals. The committee, which was inaugurated by the FCT Permanent Secretary, Anthony Ozodinobi, was saddled with the mandate of anchoring FCT Administration’s anti-corruption initiatives. The Permanent Secretary, who was represented at the occasion by the FCT General Counsel/Secretary of Legal Services Secretariat, Mrs. Ima Douglas Ekpongette remarked that the inauguration is a manifestation of the zero tolerance to corruption of the President Goodluck Jonathan Transformation Agenda. Ozodinobi noted that the ongoing trial of those involved in the oil subsidy scam clearly demonstrates the commitment of this administration to transparency and good governance. The Permanent Secretary warned that the anti-corruption train is gathering momentum, even as he said that the era of business-as-usual is fast fading away. According to him, the terms of reference for the team include carrying out activities and initiate measures aimed
From Bukola Amusan
at checking corruption in the FCT Administration; liaising with anticorruption agencies with a view to evolving sustainable ways of eliminating corruption within the FCT Administration. Other terms of reference are to enlighten and educate FCTA staff on the dimensions, evils and consequences of corrupt practices as well as preparing and forwarding to the office of the Permanent Secretary periodic reports on the activities of the team. The five-man team has Mr. Yakubu Ozigis and Mr. Olumuji Peter as chairman and Secretary respectively. Other members are Abubakar Yakubu, MallamYajiwa and Alhaji Yakubu. Responding on behalf of members of the committee, Mr. Yakubu Ozigis promised that the team would live above board as no stone will be left unturned in carrying out the responsibility. Meanwhile, Mr. Kuatsea Justin, who represented the chairman of the ICPC at the occasion, praised the FCT Ad-
ministration for the keen interest it has shown in fighting corruption which he said has become endemic. He disclosed that the ICPC would soon start the rating of agencies and organisations across the country.
• Ekpo Nta
The inauguration is a manifestation of the zero tolerance to corruption of the President Goodluck Jonathan Transformation Agenda…The ongoing trial of those involved in the oil subsidy scam clearly demonstrates the commitment of this administration to transparency and good governance
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
For Nigeria to turn the corner, win public trust and consolidate its gains in our fledging or emerging democracy, there is need to unbundle not only power supply but take the hands of too many bandits who have held the economy captive, those who are growing while the country is diminishing • SEE PAGE 36
• Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Maryam Mukhtar
• Attorney-General of the Federation Muhammed Adoke
Tomorrow, 25 lawyers will be conferred with the coveted Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) by the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC). The process of selection has in recent times been questioned, with some lawyers calling for the abolition of the rank. Their argument is that it has been politicised, as, according to them, those believed to be qualified do not get the title. A group, the “Abolitionists”, has been at the forefront of the call for the scrapping of the rank, saying it will create a level-playing field for all lawyers. The “Retentionists” say there should be a height all lawyers must aspire to reach, which the SAN represents. JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU and JOSEPH JIBUEZE revisit the arguments.
Enter the new SANs • 25 get award tomorrow amid clamour for transparent process
TOMORROW, the number of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) will swell. Twentyfive lawyers will be conferred with SAN by the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC). Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court Mr Sunday Olorundahunsi, who is LPPC’s Secretary, said the selection was done in accordance with the provisions of the Legal Practitioners’ Act 2004. The new silk are: Prof. Yemi AkinseyeGeorge, Prof. Clement James-Dakas, Mr Femi Falana, Mrs joy Adesina, Mrs ConnieJean Aremu, Mahmud Magaji, Ogwu Onoja, Garuba Tetengi, Selekeowei Larry, Abenny
Inside: Daudu thanks God as wife turns 50 - P.31
Mohammed, Charles Obishai, Luke Illogu, Francis Agbu, Paul Ananaba, Akinlaja Moses, Ahmed Raji and Adekunle Oyesanya. Others are: Rotimi Oguneso, Oluseye Opasanya, Aduroja Olumuyiwa, Aliyu Umar, Ilo Sanusi, Rotimi Jacobs, Ndukwe Nnnawuchi and Henry Ogbodu. Olorundahunsi said the stringent selection criteria accounted for the low number of applications received. A total of 125 applied; 71 were shortlisted. SAN is a title conferred on lawyers of not less than 10 years’ standing who have distinguished themselves in the legal profes-
sion. It is the equivalent of the Queen’s Counsel (QC) in the United Kingdom (UK) from which Nigeria became independent in 1960 (Republic 1963), as well as in South Australia, the Northern Territory, and Canada (except Ontario and Quebec). Several countries use similar designations such as Senior Counsel, State Counsel, Senior Advocate, and President’s Advocate. A SAN enjoys the privilege of sitting in the “Inner Bar”, as distinguished from the
•CONTINUED ON PAGE 30
Has activism nosedived since Gani died? - P.38
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
LAW Cover CONT.
Lawyers demand transparency in SAN award • Continued from page 29 “Outer Bar” consisting of junior advocates. SANs also have their cases called first in court. The conferment is made by the LPPC headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria. It comprises the Attorney-General, one Justice of the Supreme Court, (chosen by the Chief Justice and the Attorney-General for a term of two years, renewable on one occasion only), the President of the Court of Appeal, five of the Chief Judges of the States (chosen by the Chief Justice and the Attorney-General for a term of two years, renewable on one occasion only), the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, and five legal practitioners who are Senior Advocates of Nigeria (chosen by the Chief Justice and the Attorney-General for a term of two years, renewable once). The first recipients of the award were Chief F.R.A. Williams and Dr Nabo Graham-Douglas on April 3, 1975. Since then, 349 persons have been awarded SAN. The award of the title has been dogged by controversies in recent times. There have been allegations that the process is fraught with corruption, with only those highly connected given the rank while more qualified persons are ignored. Two divergent groups have emerged among lawyers, one calling for the rank’s abolition, the other insisting on its retention. The abolitionists cite alleged favouritism, nepotism, lack of transparency and corruption of the award process for their demand. The retentionists argue that, as in every profession, upcoming lawyers should have something to aim at, and so it should be retained while the process is strengthened. In the current exercise, 71 candidates were invited for interview based on the numbers of cases they had successfully argued at the Supreme Court/Court of Appeal/ High Court. Some of the shortlisted candidates were said to have scored 12, 11, 9, 8, 7, 6, 3 marks (i.e. no of cases argued in the Supreme Court). However, some who scored three, five and six were allegedly given the award, leaving out those with 11, 8 and 7 marks. Analysts are of the view that no other profession in the country sets apart a select few and effectively hands them a meal ticket for life. If the legal profession is willing to condone this type of honours peddling, why not extend it to other professions? they asked. Why not, for instance, have “Senior Doctors of Nigeria” so they get to work in the best hospitals? How about “Senior Civil Engineers of Nigeria” so, they can attract the best construction work on our roads? How about “Senior Musicians of Nigeria” so, they get to charge astronomical fees for their gigs? Opponents say there is no ‘equality before the law’ when a few are set apart from others irrespective of intellectual capacity. To them, the legal profession is one that insists on a level-playing field for everyone, irrespective of background or status, which principle the rank vitiates. Some observers said there are many ways of acknowledging a person of distinction within a profession; but conferring them with a privileged access to justice is not
• NBA President Okey Wali (SAN)
THE NEW SENIOR ADVOCATES OF NIGERIA •Prof. Yemi Akinseye-George •Selekeowei Larry •Adekunle Oyesanya •Prof. Clement James-Dakas •Abenny Mohammed •Rotimi Oguneso •Mr Femi Falana •Charles Obishai •Oluseye Opasanya •Mrs joy Adesina •Luke Illogu •Aduroja Olumuyiwa •Mrs Connie-Jean Aremu •Francis Agbu •Aliyu Umar •Ilo Sanusi •Mahmud Magaji •Paul Ananaba •Rotimi Jacobs •Ogwu Onoja •Akinlaja Moses •Ndukwe Nnnawuchi •Garuba Tetengi •Ahmed Raji •Henry Ogbodu and should not be one of them. According to them, if indeed the SANs are good, and excellent in judicial matters, it is for their clients and the community they serve to so proclaim them. Exceptional lawyers, they said, are known by dint of their work for their clients and the public at large. People know a competent, formidable advocate when they see one. Such lawyers do not need the extra mystification of the title “SAN” to stand out. They point to American lawyers, for example, who achieve notoriety, fame and fortune not by being accorded privileged access to justice, but by being hired and achieving results for their clients. To those opposed to it, the title does absolutely nothing to promote the rule of law. On the contrary, they argue, it tends to promote only the cult of personality, and with allegations of money changing hands during the screening process, it runs the risk of becoming a legally sanctioned racket. Leading the abolition call is octogenarian lawyer Pa Tunji Gomez, who believes that the rank has outlived its usefulness. The chairman of the Movement for the Abolition of the rank of SAN argued that the rank is oppressive and promotes exploitation. He said: “The most important thing is that the award of SAN rank is oppressive to all other lawyers; it is oppressive, against fair trade and violates the provision of the Constitution and that of the African Charter. It does not give the lawyers a common level-playing ground. “It is in that respect it ought to be jettisoned. When it was first introduced, I was one of the lawyers who were agitating that it should be abolished on the grounds that it was discriminatory. The award was
Police erred in declaring me wanted
LAGOS-BASED lawyer, Mr Emeka Ozoani, has said it was wrong for the police to have declared him wanted. Ozoani described the declaration as a disregard for the rule of law as a court had, set aside a warrant of arrest for him four days before he was declared wanted. In a statement issued by his firm, the lawyer argued that based on the court’s ruling, nobody can declare him wanted with the said warrant. According to a court ruling attached to the statement, an Imo State Magistrate Court, sitting in Owerri presided by Chief Magistrate M.U. Onyewotu, had set aside the warrant of arrest dated June 23, 2011 on August 30, 2012.
• Pa Gomez
By Adebisi Onanuga
“The motion seeking an order of court to set aside, rescind and nullify the warrant of arrest dated 23/6/11 issued against Emeka Ozoani is hereby granted,” the ruling stated. Chief Magistrate Onyewotu set aside the warrant of arrest after reading the Motion on Notice brought pursuaant to Section 6(6)(a) and (b) of the 1999 constitution as amended and the 20 paragraphs affidavit deposed by Ozoani and filed on July 18, 2012. Chief Magistrate Onyewotu had granted the prayers of the applicant, Ozoani after being satisfied that the Commissioner of
based on merit initially but now it has become like a chieftaincy title. It is no longer on merit. Even some of the SANs are now crying out that the procedure for conferment of the award is flawed.” According to him, being a SAN does not make one a better lawyer. “That is a misconception. Anybody that knows the history of the legal profession would easily know that it is a misconception. “There was a time we never had the rank of Queen’s Counsel or SAN. This was a time when nobody was looking forward to any rank, yet we had very good lawyers. We had the likes of J. Alex Taylor, the father of Idowu Taylor who became the Chief Judge in Lagos State. “We had Sir Adeyemo Alakija, we had Adegunle Soetan. These were prominent lawyers. Before the award of the rank, even lawyers like Magnus Williams and Rotimi Williams had already made their marks. “They had nothing to look forward to; they were simply good. To buttress the point, America has got nothing like Queen’s Counsel or SAN rank, don’t they have good lawyers? “Ghana has abolished it, don’t they have
‘What SAN means to us’
HREE recipients of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) have spoken on what the award means to them. Prof Yemi Akinseye-George said: “I am very happy. It will encourage me to commit myself more to excellence and to service. “It will also help me to come to contribute my best to the improvement of the legal profession.” Dr Garuba Tetengi said: “I feel elated because this is a great achievement in the legal profession.
Police, who is the respondent in the suit, was served but did not enter appearance nor file any counter affidavit. The lawyer described the said manhunt by the police which listed him as a “Series A” wanted person as a gimmick to stop him from doing his duty as a legal practitioner, especially when the said matter is related to a case that is before a law court. Ozoani claimed he had always gone to court for his cases, but stressed that the rule of law should be followed by all concerned. Pointing out that a counsel cannot be held liable for a witness’ statement on oath, Ozoani asked the police to follow the due process of the law by obeying the ruling of the Imo State Chief Magistrate Court, Owerri.
good lawyers? So what are they talking about? One thing about Nigeria is that people like titles too much. If we had good lawyers without the rank why can’t we continue to have good lawyers?” However, some lawyers feel the rank should be retained. They said rather than abolish it, the process of its award should be made more transparent and merit-based. Constitutional lawyer Mr Jonathan Iyieke said: “The fact that some lawyers are to be conferred with SANship does not negate or relegate to the background the objective moves by the abolitionists nor does it make the process of SANship non-political. “I opine that the proponents for the continuation of SANship, particularly the LPPC, should revisit the guidelines, rules and regulations for becoming a SAN, otherwise the call to abolish it is to receive new blood. “The rank of SAN is not a political honour, family hereditament, veinal chattel nor is it a class crown with or without the prerequisite and fundamental requirements of the law. The title is for the distinguished lawyers, not otherwise.” For Mr Mr Chinedu Dike, the rank needs an overhaul. “The truth remains that the abolitionists have not lost out completely. It is a struggle. They have made a positive point. SANship conferment in Nigeria needs total overhauling. The conferment must be meritbased.” Lagos lawyer Mr Mr Clement Onwuenwunor, said: “There’s certainly nothing wrong with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, but the process of conferring it needs to be further reformed to become more transparent and awarded solely on merit.” Rights activist Mr Theophilus Akanwa said although the appointment is statutory, reform of the process is still needed. He said: “May I congratulate those to be conferred wt d rank of SAN particularly Barr Paul Ananaba my fellow Ngwaman and indeed the first Ngwaman to attain that height. “No one has lost d battle of reshaping the legal profession as it affects the scrapping of the title of SAN. Change is one thing that is inevitable and good. It can happen in d nearby future and d abolitionists’ target can be achieved indirectly. “If there were some unhealthy issues for the profession emanating from the award of SAN same has been cured, then progress has been made to enable the profession move forward. “The smooth running of the award process devoid of oppression and intimidation must be hallmark as the body that has the mandate to appoint SANs cannot afford not to do so when d time is ripe.”
“It is a mark of excellence and I should now be able to contribute more to the development of the country. “I am a consummate Bar man and I will use the position to contribute to the Bar and interact with the people in high positions for the development of the profession.” Chuk Agbu said: “It is a vantage position to improve and serve as a model to young and enterprising lawyers. “It is an honour to be recognised and honoured after practising law for some time.”
New Lagos legal year starts Monday
HE new legal year of the La gos State Judiciary will be gin next Monday, September 17, 2012. Highlights of the one week of activities include a visit to Lagos Prisons by the Chief Judge of Lagos State, JusticeAyotunde Phillips. Justice Phillips is expected to visit the Kirikiri Medium and Maximum Prisons, Apapa next week to free some inmates who are qualified to be released under the prerogative of mercy laws of the state. In a statement signed by the Chief Registrar, Ganiyu Safari, the programme will kick off with a church and mosque service on Monday, at the Cathedral Church, Marina and the Central Mosque, Lagos. The Chief Judge will thereafter
By Adebisi Onanuga
proceed to the High Court to inspect a parade of guards by the Nigeria Police. On Tuesday, September 18, the Chief Judge and her management team and members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) will visit the Kirikiri Prisons to liberate inmates qualified for freedom under the laws. A stakeholders’ summit on the High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure) and the Family Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2012 will hold on Wednesdsay at the City Hall, Lagos at 10 a.m. The activities will be rounded off with a dinner at the City Hall, Lagos on Friday.
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
LAW & SOCIETY
Daudu thanks God as wife turns 50
OR the family of the former President of Nigerian Bar As sociation (NBA), Joseph Bodunrin Daudu (SAN), penultimate weekend was a happy and memorable one. That weekend, Daudu (SAN), handed over to Okey Wali (SAN),
the 26th President of the NBA. That same weekend, Daudu’s wife Ranti Bosede, popularly called the Gimbiyya by admirers, turned 50. The two events were marked by the family in a grand style. Immediately after handing over to
Wali on August 31, the Daudu family, friends and well wishers went for a thanksgiving mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, Galadinma Gwarinpa II, Abuja. The mass was to thank God for the successful completion of his tenure as the 25th
President of the NBA. Friends, well wishers and Bar leaders who attended the mass followed the Daudus home where they were entertained. The programme continued on Sunday, September 2, with thanksgiving mass and reception.
The event was attended by prominent Nigerians, including Wali, Governor of Kaduna State Patrick Yakowa, wife of Katsina State Governor Dr Fatima Ibrahim Shema, and Corps Marshal of the Federal Roads Safety Corps(FRSC) Osita Chidoka etc.
• Daudu (left) and Yakuwa
• Mrs Daudu (left) and Dr Fatima Shema
• From left: Augustine Alegeh (SAN), his wife Ferry and General Secretary (NBA) Emeka Obegolu
• From left: Former General Secretary (NBA) Ibrahim Eddy Mark and Paul Agbo
• From left: Lady Debby Oboduku; former EFCC Chairman, Farida Waziri and Helen Bendega
• From left: Agada Elachi, his wife Rosemary, Chairman (NBA) Abuja, Afam Osigwe and his wife Amaka
• Commissioner for Finance, Kaduna State, Dr John M. Aguba and his wife Deborah
• Chairman, Lawyers in the Media Forum, Charles Odenigbo, his wife Roseline and their son Joshua-Charles. PHOTOS: JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
LAW & SOCIETY
Police / SSS quarrel over probe of Oyerinde’s murder T
HE recent controversy be tween the Nigeria Police and the SSS in the investigation of the murder of Mr Oyerinde, the former principal private secretary of the Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomole, is unfortunate and uncalled for and has given rise to this write up. The two sister organisations are creation of statutes whose duties and/or functions are clearly stated in the enabling laws establishing them. By way of historical recapitulation, before 1976 internal security in Nigeria was the sole responsibility of the “E” Department of the Nigeria Police Force. The “E” Department was also known as the Special Branch of the Nigeria Police Force. But on the 24th day of March, 1976 the then Federal Military Government under General Olusegun Obasanjo promulgated Decree No.16 of 1976 establishing the Nigerian Security Organisation – the N.S.O - with responsibility for all aspects of security in Nigeria - within and without. With the advent of that decree the Nigeria Police Force was divested of all responsibility concerning internal security. Then in 1986, the military government of General Ibrahim Babangida promulgated the National Security Agencies Decree No.19 of 1986. That decree scrapped or disbanded the former Nigerian Security Organisation- the NSO - and in its place created three separate security agencies each charged with responsibility for specific aspect of security. That decree is now known as the National Security Agencies Act Chapter N74 Laws of the Federation 2004. Under this Act, there are three bodies or agencies charged with responsibility for various aspects of national security. They are as follows:• The Defence Intelligence Agency • The National Intelligence Agency and • The State Security Service (SSS)
See Section 1 of the Act. Their functions are as follows:The Defence Intelligence Agency a. The prevention and detection of crime of a military nature against the security of Nigeria. b. The protection and preservation of all military classified matters concerning the security of Nigeria both within and outside Nigeria. c. Such other responsibilities affecting defence intelligence of a military nature both within and outside Nigeria, as the President or the Chief of Defence Staff, as the case may be, may deem necessary. See Section 2 (1) of the Act. The National Intelligence Agency a. The general maintenance of security of Nigeria outside Nigeria, concerning matters that are not related to military issues, and b. Such other responsibilities affecting national intelligence outside Nigeria as the National Defence Council or the President, as the case may be, may deem necessary. See Section 2(2) of the Act. The State Security Service a. The prevention and detection within Nigeria of any crime against the internal security of Nigeria. b. The protection and preservation of all non-military classified matters concerning the internal security of Nigeria and c. Such other responsibilities affecting internal security within Nigeria as the National Assembly or the President, as the case may be, may deem necessary. See Section 2(3) of the Act. Of particular significance also is the provision of Sub-section (4) of Section 2 of the Act which states as follows:“(4)-The provisions of sub-section (1), (2) and (3) of this section shall have effect notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the
contrary, or any matter therein mentioned” From the above Section 2(3) of the Act it is crystal clear that the main function of the SSS is the Internal Security of the country by intelligence gathering. Although the National Security Agencies Act Cap N74 Laws of the Federation 2004 did not define the phrase “Internal Security”; the Blacks Law Dictionary 5th Edition at page 732 defined “Internal Security” as follows: “Internal Security. That branch of law and government (e.g. CIA, FBI) dealing with measures to protect the country from subversive activities.” The question that arises from the above definition of the phrase “Internal Security” is whether the offence of “murder” being investigated by both the SSS and the Police qualifies as “Subversive Activity.” It is submitted with respect that going by the definition of the phrase “Subversive Activities” the common crime of the offence of “murder” does not qualify as one. See the definition of the term by the Blacks Law Dictionary 5th edition at page 1282 as follows:“Subversive Activities- acts directed toward the overthrow of the government including treason, sedition and sabotage”. From the foregoing provisions of the National Security Agencies Act Cap N74 Laws of the Federation 2004 and from the Black Laws Dictionary definition of “Internal Security”, it is very clear that the functions of the SSS is solely targeted at internal security of Nigeria and not the investigation of common crime like murder, no matter how heinous the common crime may be. Under the Nigerian laws that function belongs to another statutory body – the Nigeria Police Force - as will be seenanon.
Section 214 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution as amended provides as follows:“214(2) (b) - the members of the Nigeria Police Force shall have such powers and duties as may be conferred upon them by law” Alsoby virtue of Section 4 of the Police Act Cap P19 Laws of the Federation 2004 the general duties of the Police can be stated as follows:“Section (4) - The Police shall be employed for the prevention and detection of crime, the apprehension of offenders, the preservation of law and order, the protection of life and property and the due enforcement of all laws and regulations with which they are directly charged, and shall perform such military duties within or outside Nigeria as may be required of them by, or under the authority of, this or any other Act.” It is submitted, with respect, that reading and construing Section 2(3) of the National Securities Agencies Act Cap N74 Laws of the Federation 2004 which stipulates the functions of the SSS and Section 214(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Section 4 of the Police Act Cap P19 Laws of the Federation 2004 which stated in eloquent terms the duties of the Nigeria Police Force, it is hugely doubtful whether such ordinary crime as “murder” or even “assassination” can be said to fall within the purview of the functions of the SSS. It is submitted with respect and without fear of contradiction that the murder of Mr. OlaitanOyerinde the former principal private secretary (PPS) to the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomole cannot by any stretch of the imagination be said to amount to an act bordering on internal security. It is purely a simple case of “murder” which should be handled by the Nigeria Police Force on the authority of Section 4 of the Police Act which as-
• Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Abubakar
signs to the police the duty of prevention and detection of crime. The SSS could be described in this matter as a meddlesome interloper!! In the days of yore the SSS never struggled for recognition nor sought public attention neither were the officers seen parading suspects before klieg lights. Secret agents worldwide, like officers and men of the SSS, are known to operate covertly and discretely shunning publicity, but operating incognito. Under Section 2(3) of the National Security Agencies Act Cap N74 it is the responsibility of the SSS to feed the police and other sister services with the result of their covet operation for necessary action. The SSS should allow the IGP and the Police to do their job andconcentrate on issues like the Boko Haram and other internal security challenges and not engage in murder investigation. What Nigeriansexpect from the SSS and the Nigeria Police Force is absolute co-operation in the discharge of their duties, not unnecessary and unhealthy rivalry. Each agency should confine itself to the duties assigned to it by the constitution andthe enabling laws. God bless Nigeria!! Dated the 7th day of September, 2012 • Sir Sebastian Barth Ozoana (JP), is a retired police officer, Legal Practitioner & Notary Public.
Re: We advocate substantial justice
HUMBLY refer to an article authored by J.S Okutekpa (SAN) and Captioned as above. The said article was published on page 30 of The Nation newspaper of Tuesday, January 3, 2012. In the said article, the learned Senior Advocate condemned a situation where election petitions linger in various tribunals beyond the 180 days stipulated by section 285 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). He specifically made reference to appeals that were allowed and ordered to be heard de novo on their merits before another panel. The learned Senior Advocate of Nigeria decried this situation and described it as Judicial Legislation and a violation of the principle of separation of powers… “He further submitted that “Those courts or tribunals still hearing petitions outside the 180 days set out in section 285 of the constitution are … committing constitutional sacrilege and insubordination in the extreme”.
By Iheanyi Maraizu
Although the learned SAN did not mention any particular case, it is apparent that he was referring to the recent Supreme Court decisions in Akpanudodehe Vs Akpabio and others as well as Professor Stephen Ugbah and others VS Suswam and others (unreported).In the cases cited above, the election petition tribunals sitting in Uyo and Makurdi dismissed petitions filed by the appellants on purely technical grounds. The court of Appeal upheld the patently obnoxious decisions of the various tribunals. On further appeal to the Supreme Court, it was held (and quite rightly in my humble opinion) that the cases should be tried de novo on their merits. In taking this laudable decision the Supreme Court (Per Musdapher CJN) emphasized that every court has a sacred duty to do substantial justice in all cases brought before it and that no court should allow technicality to defeat the cause
of justice. Consequent upon the foregoing decision of the Supreme Court, the cases were sent back for trial de novo before new panels. It is apparently against the back ground of the foregoing that the learned SAN complained that the cases have lingered beyond the mandatory 180 days stipulated by section 285 of the 1999 constitution. In arriving at this conclusion however, the learned SAN failed to consider the legal implications of a trial de novo. I submit with the greatest humility that the legal implication of a trial de novo is that no trial ever took place. No reference or mention will therefore be made of any thing that happened in the previous trial. There is a plethora of authorities to support this proposition. In Bakule Vs Tanerewa (NIG) Ltd (1995) 2 NWLR Part 380 page 728 at 732 Ratio 6, the Court of Appeal held inter alia “The effect of starting a case afresh (de novo) before another
• Some of the participants at the 2012 Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja.
judge is to sweep clean all previous proceedings in the case”. See to the same effect Fabunmi Vs Oyewusi (1990) 6 NWLR Part 159 page 728 at 731 Ratio 5. Thus the legal implication of the trial de novo ordered by the Supreme Court in the case of Professor Stephen Ugbah Vs Gabriel Suswam and others (Supra) as well as Akpan Udoedehe Vs Akpabio and others (Supra) is that the 180 days stipulated by section 285 of the constitution will start counting from the day the trials were started afresh. This is because proceedings in the previous trials had been swept clean and in law, the cases are presumed to have been freshly filed. May I conclude this piece by applauding the decision of the Supreme Court to descend ruthlessly on technicalities. Technicalities are evil as they constitute a clog in the wheel of justice. If justice must not only be done but be seen to have been done then substantial justice must be eternally upheld. Maraizu is a lawyer and Managing Partner of Abujabased Iheanyi Maraizu & Co
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
LAW & SOCIETY LAW AND PUBLIC POWER
with gabriel AMALU email:email@example.com
• Nwokedi (middle) receiving an award from chairman of the event, Rotn. Kehinde Amao while President, Rotary Club of Maryland, Rotn Rosemary Ifeonye and other guests watch
How Nigeria can achieve greatness through service, by lawyer T
HE founder of the Coalition of Lawyers for Good Governance (CLGG), Mr Joe Nwokedi, has identified religious bigotry and fanaticism as one of the major impediments to peace and stability. Speaking on the topic: Service as an effective tool for achieving greatness, he said no nation can make progress where its citizens lack patriotism and are unwilling to serve. According to him, any nation that cannot draw a distinct line between religion and nationhood is bound to fail. “That is the problem we are facing in Nigeria today,” he said. He said statistics shows that countries faced with challenges of terrorism and similar crises are those which were unable to separate religion from state, adding that such countries allowed religion to take the place of nationhood. “Religion is an instrument of the state and not the state an instrument of religion. Any society that places religion or love of religious practices above the love of the nation is bound to fail as a nation,” the lawyer said. In a lecture he delivered at an Award/Investtiture of the fourth President of Rotaract Club of Maryland, Ikeja, Lagos, Nwokedi said ethnicity, tribalism, citizenship problems, corruption and lack of patriotism are other impediments to national growth, unity and service.
By Joseph Jibueze
He said: “No one, I mean no Nigerian genuinely loves Nigeria. Our alliances go to tribes, ethnic groups, states, local governments and even families but not to Nigeria as a country. “There is much economic sabotage today because we don’t love Nigeria as a country. How many can do something because they want it to be for the good of Nigeria? “Look at our democracy and elections. In every election we hold, we deploy soldiers and other armed security personnel. Why? Because there is no love of the country in our hearts. In the United States and even Ghana, do they do that?” To him, despite the failure of leadership and other challenges, it would take patriotism on the part of citizens to better the country. “Nigeria is looking for men and women with zeal and passion to serve her dutifully; men and women who will live above corruption, above ethnicity and tribalism. “It needs men and women who will truthfully say, ‘Nigeria, here I am, send me;’ men and women who can be trusted with power, money, position, authority; men who can dream Nigeria, speak Nigeria, talk Nigeria, sleep Nigeria
and wake up Nigeria. “The country needs men and women who will be fully and truthfully occupied with how to regain our lost glory, explore and maximise our potentials and make Nigeria great again,” he said. According to Nwokedi, impediments to service include greed, lack of focus, negativity, pride, partiality, money-first syndrome, materialism, impatience, lack of sacrificial attitude, fear and poor personal evaluation. On the contrary, a life of service, he said, results in empowerment, immortalisation, dominion, access to the top, speedy uplift, standing out from the crowd, acquisition of power and authority, wealth, fulfilment, and happiness. “Don’t wait any longer. Discover a place now and start rendering service there. It could be in your street, hometown, state, school, mosque or office. Don’t consider any service too small. “Don’t consider your service too insignificant. Make use of what you have. Humble yourself. Humility is one of the most basic tools of service. You can’t be arrogant and be a servant.” Nwokedi was presented with two awards at the event – one in appreciation of the lecture, and the other in recognition of his service to the society and support for democracy.
• From left: Sarkin Shanun Zazzau, Alh. Muhammad Salisu Muh’d, Bencher Tajudeen Oladoja and Justice Hansine Donli of the ECOWAS Court Abuja, Nigeria at the thanksgiving and birthday ceremony organised by JB Daudu’s family in Abuja.
• From left: Paul Babatunde Daudu, Richard Daudu and Ben Daudu at the thanksgiving and birthday ceremony organised by JB Daudu’s family in Abuja.
Why Youwin beneficiaries may not win
ET me enter a caveat. I admire Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, coordinating Economic Minister and also Minster of Finance, particularly for her tremendous achievements as a Minister under former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Unfortunately, her second coming as a Minister has rather been saggy. I am particularly worried about the recent job creating program she has designed under President Jonathan’s administration, called Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria – YouWin. Mr. President had while launching the program recently said: ‘unemployment among our youths is one of our biggest challenges. The time has come to create jobs (and) lay a new foundation for Nigeria’s economic growth’. So clearly the YouWin program is designed to stem youth unemployment in Nigeria, and so far about 2,400 out of the 3,600 slots, have been taken, with a lot of fanfare. Indeed the second batch of 1,200 beneficiaries was exclusively reserved for young women entrepreneurs, who are under 45 years of age. According the program’s web site, about 80,000 to 110,000 jobs are expected to be created by the end of the three year cycle, since the budding entrepreneurs that will be trained under YouWin, are expected to start off businesses that will create employment for other youths to hit that mark. Mercifully the funds to be disbursed to the young inexperienced ‘job creators’ will be grants in form of equity participation, not loans with its attendant challenges. Indeed when the program was initiated, I had sarcastically told a friend that the beneficiaries will merely treat the grants as their share of the proverbial national cake, and will not worry to pay back, and even if they wish, they will not be able, as most of their businesses will fail under the present excruciating business environment. My skepticism is not unfounded. As a young law school student in 1993, I was enthused with the Nigeria Economic Recovery Fund program (NERFUND) of the Babangida’s administration. From law school in Victoria Island, I use to trek to Oceanic Bank’s head office, also in Victoria Island, to make enquiries about the potentials and the criteria for accessing the fund, with the mindset of turning a future entrepreneur. Somehow, I never ventured into entrepreneurship; but I maintained my interest in national economic development. Later in life, as a law practitioner, my firm became a recovery agent for a first generation bank, and for years, I crisscrossed cities, meeting entrepreneur debtors, looking through their books, listening to them and the officials of the bank; and I was privileged to appreciate how several optimistic business relationships turned into a nightmare. One recurring decimal in the tales of woe was the abysmal infrastructure. One debtor in Newi, Anambra state, told me how he was doing well importing nails from Asia, and because of his success, was encouraged by my clients to go into the manufacturing of nails. Agreeing to their proposal, he borrowed to import machineries to set up a factory and pay for a dedicated transformer. Struggling with overhead costs, he took more loans to buy new generators; but in the face of competition from the importers of cheaper but substandard nails, he could not service the loans, until it spiraled. Before he new what was happening, he was neck deep in debt. With the banks charging him compound interest for not repaying, and his factory moribund, he ran away to Ghana. He only came back to the stupor, when he heard that Lawyers were angling to sell off the carcass. Heart broken, poor, and hugely in debt, the man was no different from his empty factory. Some years later, my firm was retained to do due diligence on some companies, when the Obasanjo’s administration encouraged Banks to create special funding subsidiaries; to fund start up enterprises or revive ailing ones under a federal government guaranteed equity program. I did one on a farm in Ibadan. I was taken round what used to be fish ponds; a huge idle chicken pen; empty piggery and of course the tales of how this once booming business plummeted. With the funders taking up 60% of the equity, I was retained as company secretary. Unfortunately one year after, the new partners could not agree, and the funding was stopped. I became aware when they failed to pay my firm’s retainer fees. Unfortunately over the years, most of the companies funded by NERFUND and the special programs are mostly in debt. Many of their prime movers have died from heart ache, while the survivors have given up any efforts to pay the debts; and their factories abandoned. That is why there is so much unemployment. And unless the coordinating Minister and her colleagues concentrate their efforts to change the fundamentals, this new venture capitalists would end up in the same stupor as their fore bearers. Now if the conglomerates are moving over to Ghana to manufacture for Nigeria, how on earth can these kids, be expected to be the new job creators. Let me end this piece by entering another caveat. All hope is not lost. Nigeria can change for the better, once the necessary things add up. Education, infrastructure, unfair competitors, corruption, unrestrained importation, insecurity and many others must all be addressed. How to do that with the comparatively paltry funds, that is substantially stolen by our government officials is a huge challenge. Worse, President Jonathan has flagged off his reelection campaign; and I won’t be surprised if like Professor Nnaji, every technocrat in government is shoved aside for politricksians. Ordinarily, while such programs are good when the economic environment is stable and modern factors of production are in place or accessible, they never blossom in Nigeria, where the odds are heavily skewed against any genuine entrepreneur.
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
NATIONAL BAR NBA 52nd ANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE ABUJA 2012
• From left: Former President (NBA) Joseph Bodunrin Daudu (SAN); NBA President Okey Wali (SAN) and former Secretary (NBA) Lagos branch, Sunday Bassey Onu
• From left: Former General Secretary (NBA) Ibrahim Mark; Minister for Youths Development, Inuwa Abdul-Kadir and General Secretary (NBA) Emeka Obegolu
• From left: Former President (NBA) Olisa Agbakoba (SAN); former national Financial Secretary (NBA) Chinwe Nwadike and Jude Udo Iloh
• From left: 1st Vice-President, NBA, Justus O. Erhabor; Chief J-K Gadzama (SAN) and former 1st Vice- President (NBA) Blessing Ukiri
• From left: Chief Amechi Nwaiwu (SAN) and former General Secretary (NBA) Lawal Rafiu Rabana (SAN)
• Former NBA General Secretary Dele Adesina (SAN) and Justice Kate Abiri
• From left: GMD/ Daar Communications Plc, Tony Akiotu and Director of Research, NIALS, Prof Bolaji Owasanoye
• Former Treasurer (NBA) Tess-Morris Okeke (left) and fomer 3rd Vice-President (NBA) Dr. Ikpeze Ogugua
• 2nd Vice President (NBA) Steve Abba (left) and Mustapha Imam
• From left: Olumide Akpata Omubo, Victor Frank-Briggs and Theophilus Emuwa
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
NATIONAL BAR NBA 52nd ANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE ABUJA 2012
• From left: Protocol to the President and Commander- in-Chief, Nura A. Rimi; former General Secretaries (NBA) Olumuyiwa Akinboro, Ibrahim Eddy Mark and Chairman, Technical Committee on Conference Planning, Augustine Alegeh (SAN)
• Commissioner for Information, Oyo State, Bosun Oladele (left) and Welfare Secretary (NBA) Ikeja branch, Sunday Omodara
• Chairman NBA Abeokuta, Chief Adebayo Ayodele (left) and Gregory Okem • Attorney-General, Katsina State, Bashir Yusuf (left) and Director-General, Nigerian Law School, Dr Mamman Tahir
• Ahmed Gobir, his wife Maryam and Theophilus Aniko
• Chinelo Agbala, Chinwe Iheukwumere and Mirabel Mosugo-Gabriel
• Mazi Unegbu (left) and Chief Ziggy Azike
• Ijeoma Okonkwo and Adaeze Ibeke
• From left: Nneka Anionwu, Olagunju Abiola and Sunday Aborishade
• Anthony Pregafe ( left) and Ugochukwu Aga Obasi.
PHOTOS: JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
Nigeria as an emerging democracy: Dilemma and promise Text of the keynote address presented by Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah at the NBA Annual General Conference in Abuja • Continued from last week
E set out on a road with no clear maps, with a controversial Constitution given to a motley crowd of greedy businessmen and political contractors and a coterie of individuals who had honed their skills in manipulating the levers of power and could survive either under the military or civilian administration. To this extent, what we had was a transition from the military but not necessarily a transition to democracy. The military left behind a country severely fractured by a bitterness engendered by coups, a rash of human rights violations, a wounded, compromised and weakened Judiciary, and a prostrate intellectual and academic community. Significant portions of the Constitution were suspended. Tribunals and Decrees replaced the rule of law. Other security agencies were subordinated to military culture with the Police force losing most of its respect. Some of the consequences of military rule and its impact have been discussed in my new book, Witness to Justice. Without a constitution, the threads of nationhood, the institutional mechanisms of restraint begin to give way to individual caprice as rule of man replaces rule of law. Today, post military Nigeria is paying a high price for overcentralisation of the threads of power in the hands of the military dictator. Today, most of the frustration of the political class with this baggage finds expression in the debate about various shades of federalism. Corruption was rife not because the military was made up of a band of thieves. No, there were quite a lot of good men and women in the services and there are still many. The growth of corruption under the military was the direct result of the destruction of such institutions of restraint as the national assembly, the muzzling of civil society and the media among others. The Sovereign governed with abandon and was accountable only to a tiny circle of like minded cohorts. For Nigeria to turn the corner, win public trust and consolidate its gains in our fledging or emerging democracy, there is need to unbundle not only power supply but take the hands of too many bandits who have held the economy captive, those who are growing while the country is diminishing. Strict laws relating to the attainment of a people oriented budgetary system, removal of the veil of secrecy on such areas as public procurement, contract awards and so on will help us deal with corruption and open us up for international business and investment, a key guarantee for growth. We should work hard to open up the political space and free our political processes from the throttle of carpetbaggers who continue to compromise the system by using slush funds to dilute the political process. 3: Institutionalising a Democratic Culture: We need to appreciate the fact that Nigeria did not have a transition to democracy. Our transition route was simply connected by nocturnal trips between the Villa, Yola prisons and Ota farm. When the deal was struck, General Obasanjo was released from prison with the sole purpose of being the President of Nigeria. Everything else that was done in the name of a transition, from forming political parties, funding the elections and so on was all
tailored to fit that outcome. Even the birth of the largest political party in Africa was choreographed to meet this end. The result is that today, even the PDP knows that it is a unity of takers but not a party founded on any conceivable or perceived ideological commitment. At the best of times, transitions are always a contested concept. From Afghanistan to Exodus, the possibility of backsliding is the greatest threat to democracy. It is clear from what I have stated that Nigeria was not really ready for a transition. Thus, our inability to create the necessary environment for the emergence of a democratic ethos accounts for why we are still unable to emerge from dictatorship to democracy. Many of us will recall the tragic situation between 1999 to 2003 when right across the entire country, we witnessed so much convulsions which climaxed with series of impeachments. The President was threatened with impeachment, the National Assembly leadership suffered severe leadership hemorrhage. The result is that rather than growing, our democracy was sliding into a glorified dictatorship. Things have piped down now but not because the politicians have imbibed the principle of democracy. Rather, we are enjoying some respite now because the politicians have gradually learnt the philosophy that in Abuja; You do not talk when you are eating and secondly, that there is an agreement that it is our turn to chop and if you are patient, your turn will also come. Finally, a measure of the fact that the military did not surrender is to be seen in the fact that up till date, the military is still contesting every available political space in the land. Our Senate President is a retired General, the National Secretary of the Party is a retired military officer, and, a general is still contesting the office of President. On paper, I have nothing against any of these persons and indeed, at the level of the Senate for example, Senator David Mark has been doing a great job of holding that house together and he has also conferred some measure of discipline. But I am making the point to illustrate the fact that the levers of power and democracy are still in military hands, evidence of the fact that we are indeed still in an emerging democracy! Political Parties are the foundation pillars on which the architecture of democracy is built. However, the story of political parties in Nigeria is a manifestation of the corruption in our system. Political parties are run by and funded as private fiefdoms. In the course of our work with the Electoral Reform Committee, we discovered that most of the 60 political Parties which had been registered ahead of the 2007 elections literally vanished after the elections. Individuals and groups had registered these parties simply to gain access to state resources. Those parties in power are also largely funded by state funds. A leaked letter from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, some two or so years ago, in-
structed all Ministers to make payments into the coffers of the party! Is there any wonder that elections still generate so much anxiety in Nigeria? 4: The Kalashnikov vs. the Ballot Box: How did it happen that the return of democracy in Nigeria has been marked with so much violence? There are many reasons but I imagine that they must be connected to the legacy of our past. In Nigeria, military rule glorified violence and lawlessness. The philosophy behind a coup is not different from armed robbery. For, by the power of a gun, a man has the ability to make what is yours his without negotiation. Gradually, the military therefore sanctified violence and since they did not do much to deliver on goods and services, ordinary citizens were compelled to take to the gun either to defend themselves or to enforce their will. In Cyprian Ekwensi’s novella, Survive the Peace, he tells the story of the dramatic exchange of roles between the Biafran soldiers at the end of the war. As they threw away their guns and struggled into their civilian clothing’s, the youth in the village appeared, took the guns and took to the streets. Thus armed, they took to the streets and recycled as armed robbers! Vigilante groups emerged with sophistication to settle community squabbles and gradually, these same young men and women realised what they could do with a loaded gun. From the Abacha years, small arms became a big business in Nigeria. Sadly, the government did not do much to set up a programme for the retrieval of these small arms. Local blacksmiths began to enjoy massive patronage and with time, every community began to raise its army to defend itself and its territory from foreign incursions. These vigilante youths would later become the enforcers for the political class, recycling as thugs and ballot box snatchers. Thus armed, when news of the return to power began to filter in, the South West responded by calling for Power shift. The prospects of the return to civilian rule was greeted with an upsurge of militant groups who, armed with small weapons embarked on a reign of terror. The Odua Peoples’ Congress, OPC, emerged in Lagos. On the South eastern and South South flank were the Bakassi Boys, the Egbesu Boys and The Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB completed the pack. Years of military violence on the polity were now bearing fruit. Would we have democracy through the ballot box of the Kalashnikov, this was the question. After almost ten years of intermittent violence, the Niger Delta would later boil over. The rest is history, but there is now the temptation, can the Kalashnikov or the ballot box fast track access to power? Now, with Boko Haram on our doorsteps, we have now come full circle. Sadly, although they are also a reaction to the inefficiency and violence of the Nigerian state,
‘For Nigeria to turn the corner, win public trust and consolidate its gains in our fledging or emerging democracy, there is need to unbundle not only power supply but take the hands of too many bandits who have held the economy captive, those who are growing while the country is diminishing’
• Carol Wali; Iduama Wali; Rufus Okocha; Ahuele Wali; NBA President Okey Wali (SAN) and Tokunbo Azeez at the Annual General Conference of the NBA in Abuja
• Bishop Kukah
more than any other situation, this group has posed the worst threat to national unity. This is not the place to take on the issues of Boko Haram, but in whatever way and manner we see the case, what we have on our doorsteps are the fruits of years and years of degradation by the Nigerian state, years and years of unconscious sanctification of the gun. From the point of view of the theme of this Conference and it objectives, Boko Haram poses the worst threat to everything we stand for as a country and as a people. The challenge could not have come at a worse time. However, the rather sad thing has been the seeming lack of clarity as regards roles. There has been a lot of buck passing by the political class and security agencies. What was clearly a political problem and evidence of the failure to build consensus has come back to haunt us. When scholars raised this dark specter even before the elections, they were accused of being enemies of Nigeria. Clearly, Boko Haram is the failure of governance and it s a symptom of what happens when the architecture of state are weighed down and destroyed by corruption and inefficiency. A weak state leaves itself open to these dangers. The essence of politics is the building of elite consensus which provides the framework for peace and stability. The political class believed that Boko Haram was a religious problem and when the violence broke out, the federal government resorted to a military solution. For a country coming out of a legacy of military rule and violence, this was not the right option. Gradually, the military has dug its heel in and there is now little room for political negotiation and maneuver. Whatever happens, the problems will only be resolved by political trade offs. Perhaps we can make a proposition. Now that the big three, the Igbos, Yorubas and Hausa-Fulani have all contributed to our pool of blood and violence, and no one can claim any level of innocence, can we now settle down to discuss the prospect of a non violent future for Nigeria? This is a great possibility because, first, the minorities of the SouthSouth have been adequately compensated especially as we daily hear stories of erstwhile militants turning into billionaires now. • To be continued next week
• Staff of Law Pavillion at the Annual General Conference of the NBA held in Abuja
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
Has activism nosedived since Fawehinmi died?
HREE years after Chief Gani Fawehinmi passed on, his son, Mohammed, has decried the collapse of activism in Nigeria even as he maintained that the anomalies in the country were as a result of the lack of genuine civil struggle. He said this at the book launch organised by family and friends of the late legal luminary in Lagos, to mark the third anniversary of his demise. Mohammed, who lamented how a lot of things have gone wrong in the country since 2011, from security, education to the rule of law, said if those who claimed to believe in the ideals of his father had stood up to fight the government, things would perhaps be better.
According to the lawyer, “most of the present day activists are only interested in making money for themselves and their families. Their business now is how to amass wealth for themselves. If it were in the days of my father, I am sure this current Education Minister, who has produced mass failure in national examinations for two consecutive years, would have resigned or be fired. “A lot of things have gone wrong. There is no security in the northern part of Nigeria, they are introducing N5,000 irrespective of the fact Nigerians have said they don’t want it because it will increase inflation the eastern part has come up with the declaration of BIAFRA, the First Lady has been made a Permanent Secretary in Bayelsa State Government, among others.
“If the civil society has been consistent like when Chief was alive, a lot of things would have improved because the government would have been checkmated. Corruption has eaten into the civil movement; a lot of them are on the government’s side. Others feel they should retire and go and make money for them-
By Precious Igbonwelundu
selves and be like their mates since chief is late,” Mohammed said. Mohammed, who presented a book Problems with the Federal Government of Nigeria-a Lawyer’s Subjective Perspective, said it is a review of the many wrongs the Jonathan’s administration has done since 2011 to date. He said the book is to ensure that things done in the interest of the Nigerian people were done with the masses within the purview of proper policy focus designed for the Nigerian masses. ’’The book is more or less a red card for President Goodluck Jonathan because the book is in red. It is meant to serve as a corrective measure for those in government. ‘’President Jonathan was voted in by about 20 million people, but he does not have the spine to govern this country and that is why he keeps allowing Ibrahim Babangida to take decisions for him. “Look at the current National Security Adviser, he is an IBB boy and many others in government even Senate President David Mark. I seriously think Jonathan does not have the spine to govern this country.” Other speakers at the event held at the Nigerian Law Publications House, Ikeja, included Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole; Senator Olorunimbe Mamora; Tayo Oyetibo (SAN); rights activist Femi Aborisade; Tell magazine’s Nosa Igiebor, lawyer Tunde Akingbade; former Deputy Head, Gani Fawehinmi Chambers, Ugwuzor Adindu; and Chairman, Amuwo Odofin Local Government, Lagos, Ayo Adewale.
pion of the oppressed and the conscience of the nation. Speakers ascribed the underdevelopment of the country to the scarcity of true and selfless leaders which were the ideals and trademark of Gani. Oshiomhole, who was represented by his Information Commissioner, Louis Odion, said Gani believed in the unity of Nigeria, adding the best anybody could do to his memory was to sustain his ideals. He said it was in appreciation of Fawehinmi’s immense contribution to the human rights movement in the country that a neighbourhood, Gani Fawehinmi Layout, was named after him in Benin, Edo State, urging Nigerians to ensure that the ideals for which the deceased lived were preserved. “He believed all the ethnic boarders were just manipulations of the elite to gain political relevance. Poverty knows know border, the man in the north suffers the same as the man in the south and this was the cause Fawehinmi took so passionately.
‘’It is very unfortunate that individuals with integrity, conscience and those driven with patriotism, like Fawehinmi are in short supply,’’ Oshiomhole said. For Mamora, Fawehinmi would have entered the Guinness Book of Record as the man who saw the inner walls of all the prisons in Nigeria for a just cause. He said Fawehinmi was a friend to the just and a foe to the wicked, adding that IBB himself described Gani as the only man
who was consistently consistent all his life and meant everything he said. Mamora noted that he was known for his “doggedness, integrity, courage, consistency, justice and fairness.” Fawehinmi was a man who walked his talk and not a man, who would say one thing and do something else, he added. Akingbade, who reviewed the other book, Gani in his words, written by Richard Akinnola, said it was impossible to separate Fawehinmi from the press statements and letters he wrote all through his life. To Igiebor, the late Chief was passionate about law and believed strongly that law should serve as an instrument for ensuring social justice. He argued that, but for Fawehinmi, the extant legal position, despite the immunity clause in the Constitution, those covered by the provision could be investigated even when they cannot be prosecuted, would not have been attained. Aborishade called on the government to commit itself to the provision of socio-economic welfare to the Nigerian people. He said Fawehinmi over the years provided scholarships to Nigerian students and even made provision for the continuation of the project before he passed on but the government has not been able to give the masses good and quality free education. “Government should commit itself to transferring the provision of the socio-economic rights includ-
• The late Fawehinmi
ing rights to education from chapter two to chapter four of the Nigerian Constitution were it will be enforceable by the court, or the clause on Section 6(6)(c) which says those rights are not enforceable by the court should be deleted so that the government can be held accountable for not providing education to its citizenry”.
Ayodele, who said he was attracted into activism by the deceased, stressed the need for a change in the people’s value system if their agitation for a better society must be realised. “The best way to grow future leaders is from the university campuses and student movements. We need to go back there and inculcate in those young ones the values and culture that will make them better leaders tomorrow,” he said.
They described Gani as a diehard who was never violent in his entire struggle, even as they maintained that he was the cham-
Court orders man to refund N6m to customer
MAGISTRATE’s Court in Yaba, Lagos, has convicted a businessman, Mike Agunobi, of defrauding his customer, Ifeanyi Luke Okeke, of N6 million. Chief Magistrate C.T. AdesolaIkpatt, in a judgment last week, ordered Agunobi to refund the money to Okeke within six months or serve four years in prison. The magistrate also ordered Agunobi to pay N100,000 as fine or serve two years in prison for issuing several dud cheques to his victim. Agunobi was arraigned in 2008 on a 10-count charge. He was charged with obtaining under false pretence and issuing several dud cheques knowing fully well that he had no money in those accounts. According to the charge, the convict, who claimed to be the managing director of MIM Pharmacy Industry Limited, was said to have between January 2006 and June 2007, with the intent to defraud, obtained N6 million from Koil Pharmacy Industry Limited (owned by Okeke). He was said to have falsely claimed that his company would deliver to Koil Pharmacy, Penicillin Ointments worth N6m, “a representation he knew to be false, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 419 of the Criminal Code, Cap C17, Volume II laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2003.” Agunobi was also said to have
By Eric Ikhilae
issued several dud cheques to Koil Pharmacy “knowing fully well that there was no sufficient fund in the accounts, thereby committed an offence under Section 419(A) (1) Cap C17 vol. 11 laws of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.” Magistrate Adesola-Ikpatt condemned the convict’s conduct and held further that she believed it will be more beneficial to the complainant if the fund is recovered. “I am of the opinion that what the complainant would desire most in the circumstance of this case is the return of his money the defendant defrauded him of. “It will also afford the defendant (Agunobi) the opportunity to retrace his steps and see to the development and growth of his company and that of the nation,” the magistrate held. She further held that it was important that entrepreneurs and owners of young businesses and ventures should be accorded safe environment to transact their businesses. According to the magistrate, there was need to restore credibility and trust in the way businesses are conducted in the country. She noted that N6m was a large sum of money for a struggling business to loose, in view of the harsh economic condition and unfavourable environment in which businesses operate in the country.
• From left: Lagos Attorney-General, Ade Ipaye, Justice Raliatu Adebiyi and Mrs Ogunsanya
Lagos opens mediation centre in Badagry
HE Lagos State Government has established a Citizen Me diation Centre in Badagry to ensure prompt resolution of disputes in the area. The Director, Citizens’ Mediation Centre, Mrs. Sedoten Ogunsanya, while inaugurating the new facility, described the development as a beacon of hope and respite for the less-privileged, adding that it will also make justice accessible at every level of governance. She said the mediation centre would reduce to the barest minimum, the number of cases in courts thereby reducing the pressure and cost of litigation on the citizenry. Mrs Ogunsanya said the services of the centre would be free, stressing that it has to be adopted in other areas where the centre is to provide amicable dispute resolution.
By Miriam Ndikanwu
She noted that the atmosphere for settling disputes is friendly, conducive with well-trained professionals, enjoining residents to make adequate use of the opportunity provided. She expressed gratitude to the Chairman of Badagry Local Government, Hon. Husitode Moses Dosu, for supporting the centre through the provision of a conducive office accommodation in the heart of the ancient city. Mrs Ogunsanya assured that the newlyinaugurated office will achieve more success and impact positively on the lives of people in Badagry. During a courtesy visit to the Akran of Badagry Kingdom, His Royal Highness, De WhenuAholu Menu Toyi I, the Akran praised the
Lagos State Government for the laudable effort in fostering peace among its citizenry. He described the development as the first of its kind in Nigeria as it is transparent and devoid of nepotism or favoritism. The Oba likened the services of the centre to the traditional method of resolving issues between persons involved in communal clashes, land matters, marital misunderstanding and others which cases are brought to the palace for settlement. He stressed that peace in a the home front is instrumental to engendering brotherliness and mutual co-operation which will bring about rapid socio-economic development in any society. The Akran pledged support to the centre with a promise to transfer some cases from to the centre.
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 2012
ABUJA REVIEW NEWS
• From left: Representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Femi Fabanwo; MD/CEO, Bank of Industry, Evelyn Oputu; Chairman, Mohammed Dikwa, and the bank's Secretary, •President Goodluck Jonathan with President, Supreme Council of Ogoni Traditional Alhaji Waheed Olagunju at the 52nd Annual General Meeting of Bank of Industry at Transcorp Rulers, Godwin Kiniwa, during the Ogoni delegates’ courtesy call at the Presidential Hilton Hotel, Abuja PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN Villa in Abuja PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN
• From left: Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Muhammed; Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Alhaji •From left: Chairman, IBTC, Atedo Peterside; Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako Muhammad Nadada; Director, Strategic Planning Policy and Coordination, SMEDAN, Olawale and Chairman Forte Oil, Mr. Femi Otedola, during the Economic Management Team Fasanya and Minister of State for Power, Arc. Darius D. Ishaku during the launch of enterprises meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN scheme in Abuja PHOTO ABAYOMI FAYESE
• Senator Tunde Ogbeha(second right) his wife Esther(right) Bishop of Kaduna Anglican • From left: Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen; Minister of Interior, Comrade Communion, Bishop Idowu Fearon, Galadima of Lokoja, Dr GTN Ajakpo and Lola Ologbondiyan Abba Moro and Minister of State, Trade and Investment, Samuel Otom during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the State House, Abuja during the 65th birthday service of Ogbeha in Abuja PHOTO ABAYOMI FAYESE PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN
•Vice President, Namadi Sambo (left) presenting the Golf Classic Special Trophy •From left: Mr. Femi Falana; Comrade Isa Aremu and Permanent Secretary (Political) Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Alhaji Aliyu Ismaila, during the Presidential Retreat for to former President, Ibrahim Babangida during his 71st birthday in Abuja Civil Society groups at the Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
HE Presidency relapsed to the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua era last week when the news of the sickness and treatment of the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan in a Germany hospital broke. She had left the country unannounced and her media managers never felt it was necessary to tell the people about her whereabout after all, she was not the elected president of the country, hence the need to keep it top secret. It was the same situation the country found itself in the Yar’Adua era when those around him felt the issue of his sickness be treated as top secret and that explained why he was smuggled back into the country in the dead of the night. Just like the issue of Yar’Adua’s illness, the media was awash with the First Lady’s secret trip with different ailments named for her sudden disappearance from the Presidential Villa. Though her media aide has denied all the speculation, saying she went for a well deserved rest after so much work in the last one month or so. At the time of compiling the activities that shaped the Presidency last week, the return date of the First Lady was yet to be ascertained. However, while the constroversy lasted, the Presidency was a beehive of activities. Right from the first working day of the week with President Goodluck Jonathan launching the second phase of YouWin which focused on women. The focus on women, Jonathan noted, was because of their ability to create a multiplier effect of funds besides the fact that it was in line with the United Nations charter. He also revealed that since the commencement of the programme last July, about 933 of the 1200 beneficiaries of the first batch of YouWin award winners have received the first tranche of about N1.03 billion from the funds, with an assurance that the few yet to receive will do so by the end of next week. Ogoni leaders meet Jonathan, say no to secession The Ogoni people, in the course of the week, were at the presidency. They distanced themselves from recent cession declaration by members of a faction of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People pledging to the unity of the country. The people also used the opportunity to make their position known to the presidency on the issue of the $1 million recommended by United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) as start-up point for the Ogoni clean-up. They insisted that it must be wholly spent on Ogoni alone. The insistence, according to Ogoni people, followed Federal Government decision to expand
Politics of First Lady’s sickness From the Villa By Vincent Ikuomola the scope of work of the Ogoni Environment Restoration Agency specifically recommended by UNEP for the Ogoni to include other areas experiencing hydro-carbon pollution. They were able to extract some assurances from the President who told the Ogoni people that the report will not be diluted when its time to implement it. The President also assured that government was yet to authorise any firm to take over from Shell the oil wells in Ogoniland, adding that it is not done in consultation of the story. Military capability and Boko
Haram At a time when many thought that the country’s military would have been overstreched by the activities of the terrorist group, Boko Haram and other sectorial crisis, the Presidency said it was not so. It assured that the involvement of the military in checking social unrest including the Boko Haram insurgency has not in anyway reduced the effectiveness of the Armed Forces in defending the territorial integrity of the nation. Minister of State, Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada, who took her turn to brief the President on the
performance of the ministry viz-a-viz the 2012 budget implementation, disclosed the readiness of the Armed Forces in meeting up with it’s primary responsibility. The minister who was responding to concerns raised about the high level of involvement of military personnel in handling the scourge of terrorism in the country, said that all arms of the military still had enough troops to be deployed in the case of any eventuality. N5000 note and the people The Federal Government may have decided to go ahead with the introduction of the N5000 denomination despite the huge criticism that greeted the idea. The proposal got the endorsement of the National Economic Management Team (NEMT)- a conclave of some senior government officials and prominent businessmen after the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’ Sanusi Lamido Sanusi cleared all grey areas sorounding proposal which already has the blessing of the President. The new higher denomination will be introduced along with the
new coins of N5, N10 and N20. The policy is expected to take effect in 2013. Meanwhile, the National Asembly has asked the CBN to apply brakes on the proposal for now. But NEMT argued that it was the primary responsibility of the CBN to effect changes in the nation’s currency with the approval of the President. The economic team also allayed the fear that the introduction of the note will lead to high rate of inflation, saying that there is no link between inflation and currency denomination. Besides, the group argued that the introduction of the higher currency will help shore up the value of naira as most people who store money in hard currency would now embrace the high denomination. Presidency also voted the sum of N65.223billion for the BeninSagamu road at the Wednesday weekly Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Jonathan. Nigerians have been calling for the repair of the road whichn has becme dead traps for motorist plying the route.
Health insurance scheme for rural communities
•A medical personnel attending to patients
HE Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has flagged off a Community-based Health Insurance Scheme (CBHIS) in some selected rural communities in the territory. The scheme, which is a replica of FCT Health Insurance Scheme at area councils, is aimed at ensuring easy access of rural dwellers to health services at affordable cost. It is also aimed at achieving universal healthcare of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Speaking at the flag-off of the scheme, Dr Grace Aganaba, a Programme Director at the FCT Health Insurance Scheme, said the scheme was a life-saving programme that was engineered towards alleviating the suffering of the poor and
From Bukola Amusan
those who need health services most across the communities in the area councils. She said: “This communitybased health insurance scheme is an emerging and promising concept packaged by FCT Health Insurance Scheme of Health Secretariat to address healthcare challenges being experienced by the rural poor in particular. Besides, this is a potential instrument designed to protect grassroots dwellers from the impoverishing effects of health expenditures for low-income populations.” She urged the people to make use of the opportunity and cooperate with the people that would be coming to the villages to take care of their health.
Neymar: I'm not a machine
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
“....But my wife said, ‘Richard I love you not because of your money, so don’t get tempted by this offer to lose your dignity and credibility'’’.
Former Black Stars first choice goalie, Richard‘Olele’ Kingson testifying about how his wife encouraged him to turn down a bribe of $300,000 which he would have received by letting in two goals in Ghana's match against the Czech Republic at the Germany 2006 World Cup.
Drogba vows to remain in China
Giggs: Van Persie is 'world-class'
2006 WORLD CUP
How I rejected $300,000 bribe — Kingson
OTHER SPORT...OTHER SPORT...
Serena hails 'awesome' recovery
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
POLITICS THE NATION
Senator Abdullahi Adamu, a former governor of Nasarawa State, spoke with journalists at his farm in Keffi. He addressed topical issues, including return of power to the North in 2015, agitation on state police and the power tussle in Nasarawa chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Correspondent JOHNNY DANJUMA reports.
‘PDP must give presidential ticket to the North in 2015’
OW would you explain the general perception that the legislature in Nigeria tends to tow the line of government to the detriment of the collective interest of the people? Well, it is an unfortunate phenomenon; part of it induced by public opinion in their understanding of what is happening; some induced by the act of the parliamentarians themselves. You may have an issue which is on the front burner of public opinion, but maybe, the reality and the crux of debate is such that does not seem to be in tune with what the public wants. Sometimes it may happen and I say it is for the legislators to try and get an understanding of the public in that kind of situation. But every Parliament worth its name is supposed to be the voice of the people. You cannot claim to represent people and then your opinion is different from that of the people you represent. But the executive arm holds the official instrument of state, and there are moments when there are disagreements over issues where the Parliament says they were not consulted; may be their views were not sought by the executive, and maybe it is an executive bill and they decide to go their separate ways on the debate, and the executive might not be happy. The only thing is where there is a misfortune that the executive is not working in tandem with the interest of the public. Take the oil subsidy as an example, the President got the voice very clearly and had to review the position that they said he took. So it is sometimes a counterpart kind of thing, it must be driven by goodwill, sincerity and good faith; nobody is seeking to undo the other. We are supposed to complement one another along the line. What has been your experience as a Senator since you were elected last year? One has been through some level of apprenticeship because no matter your background, no matter past experiences, once you get into new callings, you must learn the ropes to understand how things are done. But the most fundamental thing is the parliamentary tradition and practice; if you don’t get to be in tune with them, you will be surprised that you may not be able to make the kind of mark you ordinarily will desire to make. So, for us, those of us who are first timers, it’s been a period of learning and we are learning, but notwithstanding that, we have been able to make contributions where the situation permitted and I feel that one could have done more but in a house with about 108 equals, under the supervision of one person, each time there is a debate, you count your stars if you want to make a contribution and the eyes of the president are able to see your desire and your hand before you are given the permission to make contributions. Sometimes, you get identified, sometimes you may not, because not every person will get to talk on one issue. It’s been a very worthy experience for me. I have made new friends and I have seen that this 7th Senate is the richest that the country has had in this dispensation, in terms of experience and party background. There are (former) military
‘I don’t cross bridges until I reach them. I believe that everybody is saying the same thing (North president for 2015); I believe that the north should have a crack at it again. I believe that, it is no sin. We have a right to it like everybody has. Of course, the real thing is, we deserve to have it again’ •Adamu
and civilian governors; Senior Advocates, captains of industry. So there is quite a good mix of persons, and for me today, I thank God that I am there; we are learning. Would you say that your inability to contribute at one time or another may have hampered your effective performance? It is a normal thing in every Parliament. There is a person in the House of Representatives they call the Speaker; I am a Senator, the Senate President is the chair, he presides over every session. Once there is an issue or a motion that is being debated or an issue of public interest comes before the hallowed chamber that you want to talk about, there are others who also want to talk about them. But there are situations when you do want to make a contribution on a particular issue and you are not lucky to be identified by the presiding officer and what happened to you today may as well happen to another Senator tomorrow. Well, it is the culture of parliamentary practice but it is very exciting. What is your view on the creation of states? To be honest with you, I was part of the agitation for the creation of Nasarawa state. I thank God we got it and I thank God that we were able to realise an ambition which we believe held the promise for actualising our dream as a people in the context of the Nigerian family. But governors in some states are unable to pay salaries. So the question now is, will we do the right thing? I am a Senator, I don’t want to pre-empt the National Assembly because we have an ad-hoc Committee on Constitution Review, they are coming out and I don’t want to pre-empt what we should do or should not do. But, I believe very strongly that we need to take a more serious look into the growing agitation. I headed Nasarawa State when we were at the rock bottom of the ladder of revenue allocation in this country. When I became governor, Nasarawa was
mobilising under half a million naira internally generated revenue, the records are there. Under one million naira and I had a work force of over 10, 000 civil servants. We inherited foreign loan of between N20 to N22 billion Naira; from our days in Benue/Plateau State to the days in Plateau State to Nasarawa. We were able to do what we did to stay afloat. But with what is going on today, with the threat (of total dependence on oil); we have some level of peace in the Niger Delta but everybody now is virtually being held hostage because they have oil and Nigeria is limping on that one foot called oil and gas; everybody is being held hostage and if tomorrow the militants strike and production goes down, we are in trouble. I don’t see the country being held hostage more than that and that again is reason for me supporting any serious look at agriculture. So it is not for me to say yes there should be or there should be no states, but I can only give an analogy of the situation at hand. On state police, some people have argued for and others against. On which side of the divide do you stand and why? Well, I don’t know, but I think the issue is now becoming an issue for blackmail, so I don’t want to discuss it. We have now tilted off reason, it is now blackmail. If you say you want state police, you are labelled whatever; if you say you don’t want state police, you are labelled. It has been reduced to that and I don’t belong to that school of thought. Internal party wrangling within the PDP has the potential of dimming the fortunes of the party in the nearest future and some upcoming parties are seen to be cashing on the situation. How do you react to this? I will work for PDP to the tail end. I will not forget, at the formative stage of the National Party of Nigeria, I had the opportunity of serving at the Constituent Assembly that produced the 1979 constitution and when the parties were being formed
we were the young set and, to the elder statesmen then, we were the errand boys, but we were involved, effectively. And I remember writing a letter to Mallam Aminu Kano because I was more inclined; it was my first calling and I was more inclined to going for PRP (Peoples Redemption Party). That was my natural inclination. My parents were NPN to the root, my parents, grandparents were traditional rulers and I had difficulty shaking off what’s in me, but at the same time as a politician in the making, my attraction was towards Aminu Kano, his brand of politics. I was at the meeting and I personally felt he was insulted when he was asked to become the Publicity Secretary of NPN. I later went to Kano to see him; he was campaigning in some villages; you know Belgore, when you pass through Saminaka from Jos, near the tributary of Kogin Kano, a large fishing community, he said my prayer for you is that you should go and continue to be with them (NPN) and stay there like the rock of Gibraltar. I will never forget that. So, I will tell you that with PDP I am there until either death do us part or Nigerian political development do us part. But as long as I am in PDP, I am PDP inside out, I will continue to work for PDP irrespective of the problems that we encounter. Even if the party veers off the course you were committed to... The problems yes, the noise you hear yes, it is part of it; I call it the sound of democracy. But my only appeal is that the leadership of the party should not self-destruct, we must not destroy the party from our own doings or misdeeds; we must not contribute to its failure. Before we talk of discipline, we must see discipline from the highest level of the party, down because there is no point you talk of discipline, and you are not disciplined yourself, it does not make sense. The leadership of the party must help in the inculcation of the spirit of leadership, they must be people of their words, they must
set examples. I believe that the present set of national officers (of PDP) intends good and we will make it possible for them to do good for the party. We will wait there is a lot of noise in Nasarawa State, a lot of noise in Akwa-Ibom, Maiduguri, Borno, in Sokoto, Kebbi, Kaduna, Kogi, Kwara states everywhere you go. So, but for me it is a natural phenomenon for political parties but sometimes we take all these things too far. When we see parties doing wrong, we tolerate them to do wrong but when some other party does wrong somewhere else you punish, it doesn’t make for good followership. So my hope and prayer is that the leadership will help by doing good to ensure that there is discipline in the party and that we do not self-destruct. But me, you can count on me, I have just done a programme today I am doing so to promote PDP and because before we stood election; those of us who did stand elections we had manifesto and did what we said during the campaigns. We “work our talk” that’s the key. Recently, the state executive of the PDP held a reconciliation meeting… As far as I am concerned, there is no state executive in PDP. I went to the national headquarters and told them. I stand with the concerned group because they saw me as an elder; they came to share their thoughts about the party with me and I did share their thoughts, and I do understand where they are coming from and where they want to take the party to. I share in their emotion and sentiments; I share in the sacrifices they make for promoting PDP and I share with them about their concern for the failure of PDP in the state. I will work with them until somebody tells me or shows me why I shouldn’t. If I hear a superior argument, I will bow, but until then, I am working with them and we will hoist the PDP flag. Some former governors are agitating for Governor Kwankwaso to be the next President. If PDP gives the ticket to the North in 2015, will you support him? That is not a fair question; has Kwankwaso said he wants to be President? But PDP has no choice than to give the North (in 2015); I want to believe in that. Kwankwaso is more than a friend to me, Kwankwaso is my brother, we started with PDP together, we were governors together, he had some misfortune midway in his governorship, he didn’t win his second election he became a minister of defense, he has been elected again in Kano after eight years he is back in the saddle, and he is doing a good job. But if he comes out to say he want to be president, let’s wait and see, if he say so; I don’t cross bridges until I reach them. I believe that everybody is saying the same thing (North president for 2015); I believe that the north should have a crack at it again. I believe that, it is no sin. We have a right to it like everybody has. Of course, the real thing is, we deserve to have it again. You take it or leave it; for political fortunes or misfortunes; the country is divided; it is North and South, because these are the bare facts; it’s either North or South.
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
POLITICS Lagos ACN slams debasement of national honours
HE Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has slammed the federal government for awarding national honours to Nigerians with questionable integrity. The party said that the latest list of awardees shows that the Dr. Goodluck Jonathan administration is not listening to Nigerians on how to redeem a process that has been allegedly abused. In a statement in Lagos, the State Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, said that the names released for national honours shows that it is a pot pouri of businessmen who have no scruples, friends and associates of those in government, discredited contractors and acolytes of those in power, especially at the federal level and mainly Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members who have done absolutely nothing than live off the state. It regrets that what was instituted as a badge of honour has been bastardized such that Nigerians see it as badge of dishonour. The statement reads: “Going through the names of the newest awardees of various categories of national honours, one notices that those that compiled the names see the honour as reward for their friends, associates, business fronts, party men and nothing more. We see the awards still as a whimsical ritual that further erodes the entire concept when Nigerians desire an enrichment of the nation’s moral codes. It is regrettable that the government did not take into consideration recent expressions of disappointment of Nigerians with the award and make necessary amends in the current list. “Rather, what we see is a mix of names of people whom Nigerians cannot place in the events that have shaped this country for good. We are shocked that the same tardy way and manner this regime has been known to handle critical issues was on display in this latest list as there is no binding code of honour that unites these latest lists of awardees, as it should be. We only see a combination of people, most of whom have played negative roles in the evolution of Nigeria till the present where we have a wrecked country in our hands. “We would have expected that the massive public outcry against the list of awardees last year would have forced this regime to ensure the adoption of strict guidelines in arriving at subsequent lists of awardees, but our hope for improvement has been dashed again by the current list. We do not feel that we should continue this way as such honours stand to be consigned to the dustbin in the very nearest future if nothing is done to sanitize them. “We feel that this nation is making itself a laughing stock in the comity of nations when we continue to reward thousands of people every year with national honours when the country is regressing badly. We feel there is nothing wrong in suspending the awards for some years while the country grapples with the enormous problems starring it in the face.”
‘Why true federalism is necessary’ From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo
HE Association of Public Policy Scientists of Nigeria (APPSON) yesterday advised the Federal Government to review the current revenue mobilisation and sharing system to grant states and local governments more powers since they are closer to the grassroots people. This, the association said, would guarantee true federalism in the country. APPSON President, Aluu Vincent, spoke in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, while interacting with newsmen shortly after the inauguration of the association. He frowned at the renewed agitations for re-introduction of the onshore/offshore dichotomy by some sections of the Northern elite, saying the call is an affront on the collective wellbeing of littoral states. Vincent urged the federal government to create one more state in the South East for equity so that it would be at par with other regions with six states each. The President observed that the call for introduction of state police is not ripe for the country’s political development at the moment. He said: “APPSON supports the review of the Constitution, especially in the area of true federalism. More political and fiscal powers should be given to states since the states are closer to the grassroots people. “One more state should be created in the South East for equity sake. Traditional rulers should be constitutional assigned roles and also Nigeria is not ripe for state police at the moment. “APPSON also frowns at the call by some elements in the North for the stoppage payment of 13 per cent oil derivation to oil producing states. This to us is an affront on the collective wellbeing of littoral states. “It will lead to more under development of the area that lays the golden egg that feeds the nation. Atleast, the 13 per cent oil derivation should be increased to 20 per cent.”
Idowu Ajanaku is the Media Director of the Akeredolu Campaign Organisation (ACO). In this interview with LEKE AKEREDOLU in Akure, he explains why Dr. Olu Agunloye, a former governorship aspirant of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), lost the ticket for the October 20 governorship poll in Ondo State.
Why Agunloye lost ACN ticket
OW would you react to the claim by Dr. Olu Agunloye that he left the ACN because he was betrayed by the party’s leadership? That statement is not a surprise because it is coming from a politician like Agunloye. You know very well that Agunloye’s stock in trade is to betray and seek political office for political gain. You will recall that Agunloye, when the late Adebayo Adefarati was about to be picked as the governorship candidate for Ondo State by the Alliance for Democracy in 1999, despite the fact that everybody agreed that Adefarati should be picked because of the role he played in the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) to free the Yoruba nation from the stranglehold of the late General Sani Abacha, Agunloye, who was not known, who did not participate in the exercise, came out to challenge Adefarati, but he was defeated. He did not stop at that, he went ahead to collude with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to make sure that they stopped the late Adefarati who is from Akoko like him. He joined hands with former Governor Olusegun Agagu to get him out in 2003. The romance between him and Agagu did not last long before he manifested his stock in trade with Mimiko. Perhaps that was because he was a longstanding friend of Dr. Agagu... He started planting all manner of stories in the newspapers to discredit Agagu’s government and, eventually, Mimiko came into power. Besides, his romance with Mimiko did not last long because Mimiko and Agunloye have certain things in common, which is betrayal. Mimiko decided to scheme him out from the senatorial ticket of the party and Prof Ajayi Boroffice was picked as the senatorial candidate of the Labour Party (LP) from the Ondo North Senatorial District for the 2011 general election. This was what angered Agunloye because he believed that he had lost out again. Following this, Agunloye crawled back to the national leadership of ACN, particularly Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, whom he met in Lagos and with sympathy because we have several aspirants for that ticket then, but they were begged to withdraw from the race and the ticket was given to Agunloye. That election was funded by the party but he performed woefully. He did not only lose his ward to Boroffice, but also lost his ward to Senator Bode Olajumoke of PDP, who is not from Akoko but from Imeri in Ose Local Government Area of the state. That
• Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan (right) and Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio (left) during the Southsouth Zonal Advocacy Workshop on Economic Diversification and Enhanced Revenue Generation held in Government House, Asaba.
shows that Agunloye is not on ground even in his home town. But he was still regarded as a progressive. Agunloye betrayed the progressive leaders by joining President Olusegun Obasanjo’s government. Agunloye was the Personal Assistant to late Bola Ige when he was shot and murdered in Ibadan; it was one of the greatest tragedies that befell this nation then. Some suspects were arrested but were later released. Incidentally, Agunloye refused to listen to the voice of the late Ige’s family and the leadership of the Yoruba; he joined the PDP government. You will recall that the late Bola Ige, before he was killed, had written to President Olusegun Obasanjo that he wanted to leave his government to come home and rebuild the Alliance for Democracy ahead of the 2007 governorship elections in the Southwest. But Agunloye joined that government and he was appointed as the Minister of State for Navy and later became the Minister of Power and Steel. The question we should ask Agunloye is that with such positions, what development has he brought to the state, particularly, his community? Did he bring a PHCN power station to the area? Did he bring a naval base to Ondo State even as minister of state for navy? Just like the way Dr. Bode Olajumoke now has brought a Navy School to his home town in Imeri. He did not do any of those things, but he crawled back, that he wanted to use the ACN as a ladder to become the governor of Ondo State. I want to ask Agunloye if he knows how ACN was formed. What was his contribution to the formation of ACN? How many people did he bring when he joined ACN? He came to ACN like a General without troops. I want to also ask Agunloye why he did not complain of lack of internal democracy in ACN in 2011 when he was given the ticket? So, why really did he lose the ticket? One main reason why Agunloye lost the ticket was because Chief Bisi Akande, the National Chairman of the party, knew from day one that he was a mole planted in ACN by Mimiko and others to destroy the party. He pretended as if he was one of us by rolling his campaign in line with that of Omoluabi of Aregbesola in Osun in order to use it to deceive us, but ACN is the master of political strategy when it comes to the politics and procedure of choosing candidates. Go and check it from all the
governors produced by the party, the quality of leadership is always in them. Starting from Governor Babatunde Fashola, who has now become an iconic governor for progressive ideas, who is transforming Lagos, building the Lagos-Badagry Expressways of 10 lanes, the first of its kind in subSahara West Africa, like the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo brought the first television station to Africa, building the first sky scrapper in the Cocoa House and many other things. We have Dr. Kayode Fayemi, an iconic political activist of international repute, transforming Ekiti State. As I am talking to you now, there are about 56 km road dualisation projects in Ekiti and this is regarded as one of the best in the Southwest. Talking about Rauf Aregbesola, who is turning Osun around, you can see Osogbo that used to be very dirty but today has been transformed to a glittering city, ditto, Oyo, Ogun and we also have Adams Oshiomhole, an iconic labour activist who is now regarded as one of the best governors in the country. Are you suggesting that the ACN has its way of handling its choice of candidates and that it has paid off? Exactly. You can see that we always give our ticket to the best ones and if you look at these things, you will know that Akeredolu is another sound person with a sound mind that will come back to Ondo to replicate what we are doing in the South West. Agunloye and Akeredolu are not in the same category. Akeredolu was the former President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), the first Nigerian to hold that position twice in the history of this country. Akeredolu was also a former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice of this state, Agunloye has never held any position in this state before. So Akeredolu is a legal icon, man of note, a man who has fought against injustice and deserves the ticket. Agunloye alleged that Justice Ayo Isa Salami influenced the candidature of Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN); is it true? It is not only untrue but pure fallacy by Agunloye. Justice Salami has always stood on the side of the people, on the side of justice. I hope he is aware that Justice Nabaruma nullified the election of Ondo State because Mike Tyson, late Ayo Babalola and others all came to vote during the election in 2007. Was it Ayo Salami who asked the PDP to rig in Osun, Ekiti and Edo? And another question for Agunloye is, was it Salami who won the election for ACN in Ogun and Oyo where the incumbent governors were still in power? ACN defeated Alao Akala, who had Federal Government might behind him. Was it Ayo Salami who influenced the results that defeated the candidates of Gbenga Daniel, Mr Gboyega Isiaka, and others? The answer is that ACN won the elections legitimately in the South West. As I am talking to you now, nobody has ever made any allegation that is tangible to knock out Justice Salami. So, Agunloye is just lying, finding faults where there is none. If he had been given the ticket of ACN, would he be shouting? In ACN, we choose our candidates based on merit, integrity and ideas. For these reasons, Akeredolu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, is fit for the position.
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
HEALTH THE NATION
NHIS: Govt to stop cheating of patients T
HE Federal Government has promised to resolve the conflict in the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme. (NHIS). Many subscribers are believed to have been short-changed by health institutions administering the scheme. Speaking at a Subscribers’ Forum in Abuja- a session aimed at creating awareness for beneficiaries, the Acting Executive Secretary of
From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
NHIS, Dr Abdulrahman Sambo, said many enrollees had been short-changed by institutions administering the programme because they lack knowledge about the scheme. He said: “Most of the enrollees are cheated, short-changed and segregated against by institutions providing health insurance as a result of enrollees’ insufficient
knowledge; many want to capitalise on the lack of knowledge to short change beneficiaries. “The scheme will continue to ensure improvement in service delivery to enrollees and foster the enabling environment for robust interactions necessary for the smooth operation of the programme.” “This, we believe, will reduce the tensions and conflicts among
stakeholders and enhance the desired satisfaction from the enrollees necessary for the sustenance of the scheme,” Sambo said. At the forum, one of the enrollees, Mrs Altine Ijogi, an official of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), said one of the greatest challenges confronting enrollees was procedural means of accessing healthcare. She said: “Apart from proce-
dural issues facing the scheme, the programme in real sense has been encouraging.” Mrs Ijogi urged NHIS officials to expedite action towards ensuring that health institutions implementing the scheme adhered strictly to the modus operandi. Enrollees at the forum were expected to be acquainted with the modalities involved in the full implementation of the programme.
Air ambulance not to promote foreign interest
IGERIA’S premier air ambulance service provider, Flying Doctors Nigeria (FDN), has said it is not promoting foreign medical tourism. Its primary aim is moving patients from a point of need to the nearest medical facility. Its 26-year-old Managing Director, Dr Ola Orekunrin, said getting a patient to the right facility in good time is its main focus. “We do this by landing directly at our partner hospital sites. We are the leading authority on pre-hospital and emergency care in the country, with more coverage. My vision is to indigenise and thereby boost the health sector,” she said. FDN said it has repatriation services for patients who wish to be taken abroad for there are limitations to the services offered in the country, despite the improvement in health care over the past years. “The company has a VIP Cover scheme. A scheme in which dignitaries can be flown to anywhere to receive state-of-the-art management treatment right from the pick-up point,” she said. FDN is the only air ambulance provider in West Africa with vast experience in medical and aviation industries. Dr Orekunrin, who specialises in Accident and Emergency, trained also as a pilot-said her organisation’s service is completely physician-led, which means that complex, life-saving procedures can be carried out in the helicopter en route to the hospital, if required. For instance, as organ transplantation procedures become more common in Nigeria, Flying Doctors provides assistance to transplant coordinators within Nigeria and across Africa. By placing air ambulances and a medical crew around Nigeria, it provides prompt response service to all requests. Dr Orekunrin said: “FDN provides services to top health institutions, corporate bodies and private individuals across the continent. “Air ambulances are extremely vital and necessary especially within Africa as they avoid high traffic areas, decreasing the waiting time for critically ill patients which in turn increase the patient’s chance of survival. The medical staffs are highly trained to international standard and the majority of the team have experience having worked abroad. This guarantees that the best treatment is received.” FDN is a more cost effective solution for corporate companies as costs are controlled by an assessment of treatment and avoiding unnecessary expenses in the process. The local service response time can
•Dr Orekunrin By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha
be as little as 30 minutes for clients in Nigeria and Ghana. It also provides other vital healthcare services for corporate companies like health and safety assessments, medical advice, malaria regimes, health checks, free first aid training, procurement of medical equipment to offshore/ remote facilities and advanced training for medics working in these locations.
• The Flying Doctors team preparing to airlift a patient
Counterfeit drugs in circulation, says NAFDAC
HE production and circulation of counterfeit drugs in the country is on decline, National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Director-General, Dr Paul Orhii has said. He spoke at a meeting with Inspectors and Registrars of Medicines from seven West African countries in Abuja. According to him, the prevalence of fake drugs, which was as high as 40 percent of medicines in circulation in 2001, has dropped to 6.4 per cent. He said: “According to studies conducted by NAFDAC from 2001 to 2012, there is a positive trend which shows a progressive decrease in counterfeit medicines in Nigeria. “The studies which were in collaboration with World Health Organisation (WHO) showed that in 2001, counterfeit stood at 40 percent as against 16.7 per cent in 2005. “National Survey on Quality of Medicines using Truscan showed that counterfeits stood at 6.4 per cent in 2012.” He said anti-malaria medicines
From Augustine Ehikioya and Faith Yahaya, Abuja
are the most affected as about 19.6 percent of the medicines in circulation in Nigeria have been found to be counterfeits. “We took 910 samples of anti malaria medicines for the National Survey on Quality of Medicines. 732 of these samples passed, while 178 of the samples failed. The
percentage of the anti malaria samples that passed was 80. 4, while the failure was 19.6 percent,” He stated. He stressed that the general low percentage recorded now is being threatened by renewed upsurge in the importation of counterfeit medicines into the country by drug barons. To really put a stop to the illicit
business in Nigeria, he said that the Agency is pushing for review of its law to give life imprisonment for anybody found guilty of importing or producing fake medicines in Nigeria. Nigeria, he said, would soon sign a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese government to outlaw the importation of fake drugs from China to Nigeria.
100 couples to get subsidised IVF treatment
O fewer than 100 couples unable to have children will benefit from a subsidised In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatment next month, courtesy of St Ives Specialist Hospital, Ikeja. It is to be sponsored by its foundation and benefactors. According to its Medical Director, Dr Tunde Okewale, infertility is a social and medical condition which has been tearing the family system apart and as such needed urgent attention. He said the foundation was
By Wale Adepoju
doing this to alleviate the trauma and suffering associated with infertility among couples. “Normally a cycle of IVF treatment costs N1 million but it has been reduced to N400,000 per couple including the cost of injection, drugs and treatment,” Okewale added. The requirement for accessing treatment, he noted, is for couples to register between Friday, 14 and Sunday, September 30, at the hospital. Okewale said not all couples
can achieve pregnancy without some forms of assistance. He said the governments of countries such as United Kingdom and the United States understand the importance of fertility by making IVF treatment free but will not allow the transfer of more than one embryo because they pay for their citizens. The Federal Government, he urged, should look into how it can assist couples who can’t afford it because it is not any different from tuberculosis or heart problems.
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTMBER 11, 2012
DISCOURSE The need and justification for state creation Conclusion of text of the paper delivered by Prof Bolaji Akinyemi, former External Affairs Minister, on the 21st anniversary of the creation of Jigawa State, in Dutse. • Continued from yesterday
HE three regional structure left behind by the British satisfied the yearnings of the majority nationalities to the detriment of the non-majority nationalities. But the satisfaction of the majority aspirations was only to the extent that the structure kept the majority nationalities intact. The agitation for more states by the minority groups did not show any fidelity to any coherent state-creation philosophy. The agitation for minority states were grouped around a) the Middle Belt State, b) the Calabar-Ogoja-River state, and c) the Mid-West state. None of these proposed states had any internal coherence. A more illustrative definition would be to call the proposed Middle-Belt state, a non-Fulani/Hausa state, the proposed Mid-West state, a non-Yoruba state, and the proposedCalabar-Ogoja-Rivers State, a non-Ibo state. In fact the foundation for the agitation for these proposed states was precisely a negation for the justification for the creation of states. This conundrum continues to plague the agitation for the creation of more states today. When the Mid-West region was created in 1964, after excision from the old Western Region, the new Western Region became the model ofa mono-nationality state thus satisfying the theoretical model of a nationality-driven federalism. This did not last. When Gowon created twelve states in 1967, it turned out to be another example of a mishmash of federalism. Only the Ibo nationality was grouped together into one state. The Hausa/Fulani was divided into three states namely, Kano, North-Central and North-Western states; the Northern minorities were grouped into two states, namely Kwara, and BenuePlateau states, the Southern minorities were grouped into three states, namely the Rivers, South-Eastern and MidWestern states; while the Yoruba nationality was divided into Lagos and Western States. In other words, and this is very important, major exercises in state creation, in the post-independence period did not follow the nationality-driven agitation for state creation. Gowon’s states suffered further mutation in 1976, when further states were created. Two issues were thrown up by this exercise. Two major nationalities, the Ibo and the Yoruba were further fragmented into several states. The Ibo was split into Anambra and Imo states while the Yoruba was split into Ogun, Ondo and Oyo states in addition to the existing Lagos state. The other issue was that an attempt was made to use the nationality factor to address the minority nationalities. The Benue-Plateau state was broken into Benue and Plateau states; the North-Eastern state was divided into Bauchi, Borno and Gongola states;and Niger state was created out of Sokoto. The point which I wish to make has been made. There was no consistent application of any coherent principle in the various state creation exercise. Every exercise in state creation created new minority groupings while satisfying the aspiration of some. Looking at the nationality configuration of Nigeria, it was an error of political judgement to have propounded a theory of federalism based on the nationality factor. But let me add here that even Chief Awolowo in his proposed 18 state structure for Nigeria ended up modifying his concept in the sense that seven (7) of the eighteen states he advocated ended up being classified by him as “mixed language states”. What in fact we seem to have done in Nigeria is adopt the German model of federalism without being explicit about it. Article 29 of the German constitution laid it down that no single state will be more than 30% of the population or territory of the nation and that “the division of the federal territory into [state] may be revised to ensure that
each [state] be of a size and capacity to perform its functions effectively.” In breaking the Fulani/Hausa, Ibo and Yoruba nationalities into fragmented states, Nigeria sought to address the mischief of the instability of the first Republic and the civil war where it was felt that it was the size of the regions that contributed to the instability and the ensuing civil war. However by giving the impression that creation of state is driven by the agitation for recognition of nationality identity, long after it had been repudiated, various Nigerian governments, whether civilian or military, for cheap popularity had embarked on state creation exercises, and thereby fuel the agitation for the creation of more states. The paradox of the whole exercise is that each new state which satisfies the aspiration of a nationality creates new minorities which breeds new agitations. The political atmosphere and intra-personal relations are further poisoned by the language of propaganda employed to justify the agitation for new states. The language of propaganda usually centresaround allegation of persecution of the nationality making the allegation. They usually allege that members of the nationality are denied employment and promotion opportunities, and that development projects are not cited in their areas. These allegations usually breed antagonism and the successful cases are usually accompanied by expulsion of nationals of the nationality from the public service of the state from which the new state is being carved out. The division of existing state assets between the old and the new state is usually acrimonious. The crux of the matter is to what extent can Nigeria continue down the path of state creation. Is there a maximum number of states that Nigeria can be divided into internally? Going down the historical path of state creation in Nigeria, the answer would have to be, NO, as a) the issue of economic viability had never been an evaluatory factor especially after 1967 when fiscal federalism was abandoned as a revenue distributable principle in Nigeria, and b) Nigerians have the capacity to split an atom beyond the capability of physics and physicists. Nigerian tendency to adapt and reduce everything to its level of absurdity has led to an unending agitation for state creation. HAT this calls for is a sophisti cated application of the doc trine of federalism, an approach which Nigeria has not shown an affinity for so far. The mantra in Nigerian public discourse of federalism is the phrase “TRUE FEDERALISM”. The pertinent question really is: Is there any such political animal as “TRUE FEDERALISM”? Earlier in this paper, I have identified three types of federalism, namely Separate (split or compact) federalism, interlocking (or cooperative) federalism and asymmetric federalism. But the types of federalism are more than these. There is also “bi-federalism” which is a variant ofthe asymmetrical federalism where in addition to federal, state and local governments, other nationalities are conferred with the powers and structure of governance. For example, in the United States, American Indians have been allowed to establish Native American governments with limited sovereign powers. Then there is a Brazilian innovation to federalism where “municipalities are treated as federal entities … invested with some of the traditional powers usually granted to states in federalism”. Then there is what is called a twosided federalism which as is obvious from the term is a federation made up of only two parts. Examples are the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czechoslovakia made up of the Czech Republic and Slovakia until the dissolution in 1993, Cyprus made up of the union of Greeks and Turks before the
invasion of the island by the Turkish army, the United Republic of Tanazania made up of the union of Tangayika and Zanzibar, and Iraq which in 2005 granted federal status to the Kurdistan region. Then there is “intra-state federalism” which is characterized by governments of component states being represented in federal political institutions. For example, this is the German experiment where the state governments appoint their members to represent them in the Senate. This should be distinguished from the pre-1966 Nigerian experiment where even though the regions appointed the Senators to represent them, they were not appointed as members of the regional governments. What then should we regard as True Federalism? In Nigeria, it has become a mantra that is preventing us from adopting an ingenious adaptation of the elements of federalism to the realities of the Nigerian political situation. This is not to deny that federalism should have some common characteristics such as propounded by the principle of subsidiarity. An analysis of the Federal Governments of the United States, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and India may raise the issue whether that includes a limited central government given the complexities of globalization. Nationality-driven federalism was the vogue in the pre-1966 period but this was highly adulterated by the nonapplication of the principle to the socalled minorities. From then on, the overriding principle has been to override the doctrine of nationality-driven federalism, in favour of the principle that no one nationality will be grouped into one state, where that state will be large enough to threaten national unity. This explains the fragmentation of the Fulani-Hausa, the Yoruba and the Ibo into several states. Even if the nationality-driven federalism had been adopted in Nigeria, it could only have been applicable to the big three or big four (if one accepts the Ijaw claim of being a big nationality), it could not have applied to the remaining 260 nationalities. Confronted with the fact that the unending state creation exercise has just fuelled the agitation for more states, and the whole exercise is becoming an exercise in absurdity, another variety of federalism has crept into Nigerian contribution to the doctrine of federalism, and that is zonal federalism. The proposal to divide Nigeria into six zones was proposed at the 1995 Constitutional Conference and adopted. However, it did not find its way into the 1999 Constitution. The proposal for the adoption of Zonal Federalism will lead to the same skewed Federalism which we inherited at Independence. It will address the concerns of the majorities as the NorthWest zone will cater for the Hausa/ Fulani, the North-East will cater presumably for the Kanuri, the South-East for the Ibo and the South-West for the Yoruba. Whose interests will the NorthCentral and South-South zones represent?Under the circumstances, the only accurate description of the NorthCentral Zone is non-Fulani, and the only accurate description of the SouthSouth is non-Ibo and non-Yoruba. In other words, we know what they are not and not what they are. Just as was the case in 1960-1966, Zonal Federalism will totally ignore the aspirations of the minorities. I will not, in this lecture, take up the issue of the legitimacy of that Constitutional Conference on the grounds that
it was boycotted by the mainstream of the proposed Western zone. The issue of legitimacy has been raised in terms of the military midwifing the 1999 constitution. The late Chief Rotimi Williams, SAN, put it pithily when he said that the 1999 Constitution told a lie about itself when it said “We the People….” Whereas it should have been “we the military….” True enough. But on the same grounds, every constitution since 1979 has told a lie about itself. But there is a more fundamental basis for raising the issue of legitimacy. The 1960 Independence Constitution was the only Constitution that was freely negotiated and represented the consensus among the leaders of the Nigerian nationalities. It was not the product of one conference but a product of several conferences lasting about ten years. As already pointed out, it was not a perfect constitution partly because it was not fair to the minority nationalities. But it was based on a consensus freely agreed to. All constitutions since then have reflected the wishes of the governments in power and to that extent, they are illegitimate. ONSTITUTION making is differ ent from the process of constitu tional amendment. A cursory look at most constitutions, especially Federal constitutions, will show that conference decisions which brought them into being often require unanimity. The struggle for state creation is driven by what I would call identity federalism: a cry by a group for its identity to be recognized. The antagonism that accompanies the agitation is because to make a compelling case, the group desiring the recognition has to employ identity-differentiation politics. The crux of the issue is this: Should the demand for identity recognition need to result in state creation? A utilitarian appraisal of federalism in fact recognizes the richness of its flexibility while not detracting from its raisond’etre: the need for a bonding of disparate communities for the common good. A good illustration is the constitution of the German Federal Republic which recognizes three different types of states. Bavaria, Saxony, and Thuringia are called “Free-state” (Freistaat); Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen are called “City-states” (Stadstaaten)”, while the remaining thirteen states are called “area states” (Flachenlander). This German example suggests a possible way forward for the Nigerian project. A cry for identity recognition will not be satisfied by the creation of a Local Government. The term “Local Government” does not have the same gravistas or panache needed to satisfy or uplift. We can toy with such terms as “canton”, “city-state”, “local-state”, “Ogoni state”, “Jugun state” or whatever other coinage we can come up with.Each will be headed by a HighCommissioner and each will have full autonomy over local issues, such as primary and secondary schools, local roads, local hospitals and such issues as will pass the test of subsidiarity. It will have its own direct allocation from the Federation account and all of these will be guaranteed by the Constitution. For this to work, however, we will need to revisit the revenue allocation formula to enshrine the principle of revenue derivation. The Constitution can create a development fund to which all states will have access so that no state will fall below a development safety net. Before ending this lecture, let me dwell on two more issues that are in the centre of the debate about Nigerian federalism. The first is the issue of State Police. Three arguments have been adduced in favourof this proposal. The first is that it is in tandem with the doctrine of federalism. The second is that this was our practice up to 1966. The third is that it is a more effective way of policing as the members of the police would be drawn from the local community. These are cogent reasons but they are controvertible. The first argument that it is in tandem with federalism has already been addressed when I dealt with the issue that there is nothing like TRUE FEDERALISM. Canada, a federation, does not have state police. Nigeria has to adopt a federalism that is in tandem with its political and cultural realities. During the first Republic, the
Native Authority Police was used to suppress and oppress opposition leaders. Their rallies were broken up, they were hauled into prison and some were murdered. Have we learnt any lesson from the past? Are our political leaders more tolerant now than the pre-1966 political leaders? The answer lies in this empirical fact. When INEC conducts an election in a state, the margin of victory is acceptably narrow. When SIEC conducts elections in the same state, the governing party usually wins with a margin of 90%-100%. Present day political leaders especially at the state level have a high intolerance and vicious level, that there are many elite refugees in Abuja and Lagos having been driven out of town by their governors. If they could do this without state police, then you can imagine what they would do with a state police under their control. For the avoidance of doubt, let me also say that I am opposed to the alternative proposal being flouted by the Northern Governors Forum that Governors should be allowed to issue instructions to the Commissioners of Police and that these instructions should be obeyed. That is like a State Police through the back door, with the Federal Government picking up the bills. A good compromise is a constitutional amendment that calls for the personnel and officers of the Nigerian Police based in a state to be drawn from the inhabitants of that state but they will still operate as members of a unified Nigerian Police Force. The last issue is that of Resource Control. From unification in 1914 to 1967, Nigeria operated a revenue derivation policy which allowed the regions to keep the proceeds of economic activities in their regions. This was the formula freely negotiated and agreed to by Nigerian leaders. The fact that the formula was changed to enable Nigeria to fight a civil war did not mean that the formula should not have reverted to the pre-civil war formula once that war was over. Anyone who has visited the Niger Delta area, who has seen the devastation in the area and who witnesses the continuing health hazards to which the people there are subjected, will not begrudge them resource control. It is immoral to continue to oppose a revenue distribution formula based on the derivation formula. I have come to the end of this lecture and yet I feel there is something still needing to be addressed. This nation is lost and drifting. And we the elite are to blame. In every nation in the world, it is the elite who work out a grand vision and develop a grand consensus around that vision to propel the nation forward. It is the elite that constitutes the engine of change. In Nigeria, gross ethnicism has destroyed each and every attempt by the Nigerian elite to produce a consensus to drive the nation forward. I am not talking about a consensus to loot. That consensus is already there. I am not talking about a consensus to oppress the poor, the widow and orphans. That consensus is already there. T has to be a consensus on building a nation where the poor, the widows, orphans and the oppressed will be protected. The consensus must be on how to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor. The consensus should be on how to grow and distribute the common wealth such that no group is favoured, none discriminated against and all develop a sense of belonging. A consensus based on equity. A nation where one zone occupies the no. 1 post, another zone occupies the nos. 2 & 4 posts, another zone occupies no 3 post, another zone occupies nos 5 & 6 and Secretary to Government posts, but two other zones have no posts is not an equitable nation. In his Sallah message, the Governor of Jigawa State, SuleLamido, said “Oppression and injustice and wickedness are responsible for the current crisis in the country. We should seek forgiveness from God and mend our ways so that things change for the better…” Here are the words of the last stanza of the 1960 national anthem which we jettisoned: O God of all creation, Grant this our one request, Help us to build a nation Where no man is oppressed, And so with peace and plenty Nigeria may be blessed.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
ENERGY THE NATION
Power generation to exceed 7,000MW D by December ATA from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) facilities and the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP), show that the Federal Government will exceed power generation capacity of 7,000 megawatts (MW) by end of the year. The Managing Director of Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), which superintends the NIPP, Mr James Olotu, said the NIPP plant would supply at least 2500MW by year end. Generation from the PHCN facilities stood at 4477MW as at last month. While the government is making effort to rehabilitate dysfunctional units Egbin and other power plants, the NDPHC is also working to bring on stream new units from its power plants. Given this scenario, generation is expected to well exceed the current targeted combined generation of 6977MW. Olotu, who spoke at the inauguration of a newly built 150MVA transmission facility at the Ikeja West Transmission Station in Lagos, said four of the 10 plants supervised by NDPHC, are currently operational and generate 1150MW into the national grid. The four plants are Olorunsogo in Ogun State, Omotosho in Ondo State, Sapele in Delta State and Alaoji in Abia State. He assured that the improvement in power supply would be sustainable, adding that the NIPP
Stories by Emeka Ugwuanyi
henceforth would be inaugurating a new power facility either from generation or transmission or distribution every month. But categorically noted that each month new facilities would be commissioned to improve supply Speaking during the inauguration of the 150MVA transmission facility at the Ikeja West Transmission Station, which brought the total capacity of the station to 750MVA, the General Manager, Transmission Company of Nigeria, Lagos Region, Oyeleke Adeoye, said the same 150MVA facility is being replicated at Akangba Transmission Station in Lagos. He said: “Ikeja West is a major station in Lagos. We have another one in Akangba and as you can see the leap achieved with this new facility, this additional capacity will affect the whole of Lagos State and part of Ogun State, up to Abeokuta. We have increased capacity now, before we had 4x150MVA, which translates to 600MVA and we now have additional 150MVA. So we have 750MVA here. With this, we will have increased power supply, which we are already experienc-
ing in Lagos. If you live around Lagos, you could have noticed that. “In terms of maintenance, just like in the older transformers, we have maintenance programme for all of them. For us in Transmission we have always had equipment maintenance programme and that is why we have been able to keep the older transformers for over 40 years. We are having another intervention of 150MVA at Akangba.” Olotu also added that by next month, the NDPHC will commission
more projects like this in Ibadan and Benin and will continue to commission new projects till end of the year. Every month, we will commission a new project in one part of the country to improve power supply that is our promise to Nigerians. However, he noted that the issue of gas supply has become a problematic one but is being addressed at the highest level. “The President, the Vice President, Ministers of Petroleum Resources and Power and all stakeholders sit on daily basis over this issue. All efforts are being put in place through this integrated mechanism to ensure that some emergency gas is delivered between now and December. “The Nigerian Gas Company has said that between 300 million standard cubic feet (mscf) and 500 mscf would
be made available under this emergency period and would be dedicated to NIPP power plants. If we get that, we will get more power into the grid. This intervention is aimed at enhancing the efficiency of power delivery,” he added. He said that Alaoji is a 1074mw plant when completed and two units out of the six are ready now and will and be wheeled into the grid subject to availability of gas. He added that actions are being taken by the government to rehabilitate dysfunctional power stations to make them effective. “We have had shortage of capacity at the generation, transmission and distribution ends and the population of Nigeria is increasing, which calls for more supply,” he said.
Schneider, ECN, UNDP to implement energy project
S part of measures by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) to promote energy efficiency in Nigeria, Schneider Electric has been selected to implement a renewable energy project at the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN’s) Headquarters building in Abuja. The project which is aimed at showcasing the Energy Commission of Nigeria’s building as a model for public lighting using renewable energy, would include the replacement of all non compliant lighting fixtures in the building with Schneider Electric’s energy efficient LED lamps ‘In-Diya.’ It will also include the installation of Schneider Electric’s off grid energy solution ‘Villasol’ as well as an upgrade of the building’s electrical distribution network to include metering so that the energy consumption of the building can be measured henceforth. Speaking at the event in Abuja, the Country President of Schneider Electric, Mr. Marcel Hochet described the project as a landmark development in the sensitization of the general public on the feasibility and benefits of energy efficient lamps. He said, as the global specialist in energy management, Schneider Electric is committed to bringing to the project, its enormous wealth of experience and knowhow to ensure timely completion and delivery. He therefore, stated that Schneider Electric is strongly committed to helping people make the most of their energy. This involves
making the energy safe, reliable, efficient, productive and most of all, green. “Our fully functional renewable energy project in Asore, Ogun state is a testimony to Schneider Electric’s involvement in renewables industry in Nigeria.” Also speaking at the event, the national coordinator of the UNDPGEF programme, Mr Etiosa Uyigue disclosed that the project’s target was to reduce the buildings’ consumption by up to 50 percent thereby creating an energy efficiency best practice for others to follow. The Director-General of the Energy commission of Nigeria, Prof. Sambo who gave a presentation during the event, highlighted that the key barriers to successful energy efficiency practice in Nigeria include a lack of relevant policy, cost versus market ratios, a lack of information as well as wrong human behaviour. He further reiterated that projects that help save energy, eventually save the environment as well as the economy. In May 2011, UNDP-Global Environment Facility (GEF) in Nigeria launched an energy efficiency project to promote appliances in the residential and public sector, which had earlier been boosted by a $3 million grant in 2009. The four-year’s project is being implemented by the UNDP, while the Federal Ministry of Environment and Energy Commission of Nigeria are among the executing partners of the project that is being funded by GEF. Similar projects have recorded success stories in countries like Ghana, Cuba and Bangladesh.
•Sukurat Isuyat from Ajegunle (left) receives a free O-Gas cylinder stove from Mr. Abayomi Awobokun, CEO Oando Marketing Plc, during the launch ceremony of the Oando O-Gas Secondary Distribution Point (SDP), in Ajegunle Lagos.
Eland Oil raises N29.5b to buy Nigeria’s OML 40
•Targets 50,000 bpd in four years
COTTISH firm, Eland Oil and Gas has successfully raised N29.5 billion (118 million pounds) to buy some shares in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 40 in Nigeria. This was after being listed in the Alternative Investment Market (AIM ) in London, three years after the company was founded. OML 40 covers some 500 square kilometres and is located onshore in the Niger Delta and contains light ‘sweet’ oil. Since 1964, 18 wells have been drilled there, with 15 finding hydrocarbons. One field, Opuama, was formerly in production for over 30 years, from 1975 to 2006. Eland plans to target production from existing wells at Opuama that will be restarted at an expected initial gross rate of at least 2,500 barrels of oil per day (bopd) in the next six months. By late 2013, the company also plans to explore two wells. Within four years, it hopes to reach gross production of 50,000 bopd. The company also seeks to acquire and develop under-exploited upstream assets in Nigeria. “OML 40 is an asset with produc-
tion and exploration potential and with independently certified gross recoverable 2P Reserves of 71.5 million barrels, 3P Reserves of 117 million barrels in the Opuama and Gbetiokun Fields and Mean Contingent Resources of a further 16.7 million barrels in the Abiala and Ugbo Fields,” an official of the company said. Expressing his gratitude to the company’s shareholders, Les Blair, CEO of Eland Oil & Gas, said: “I am extremely grateful to the shareholders of the company who have supported us to complete this milestone transaction. The fundraising of £118 million is the largest on an AIM IPO for over three years and highlights the exciting prospects for OML 40 and Nigeria as a whole.” The 45 per cent stake acquired by Eland and Starcrest Nigeria Energy Limited in OML 40 was previously held by Royal Dutch Shell, Total and Eni-Agip. Shell owned 30 per cent stake in the joint venture for OML 40 while Total Exploration and Production held 10 per cent and Agip Oil held five per cent and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corpora-
tion (NNPC) held 55 per cent. The Federal Government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC granted all relevant approvals for the sale of the 45 per cent interest to the buyers. Shell JV sold the 45 per cent interest in OML 40 to Elcrest Exploration and Production Nigeria (EEPN) for $102 million. EEPN is a consortium of Starcrest Nigeria Energy and Eland Oil and Gas. With the purchase, Eland will own an initial 20.25 percent, with 24.75 percent held by its Nigerian joint venture partner, Starcrest. The remaining 55 percent is held by the Nigerian government through NNPC subsidiary – National Petroleum Development Company. Commenting on the sale, Shell Nigeria Country Chairman Mutiu Sunmonu said the divestment is part of the company’s strategy to refocus its asset portfolio. “SPDC is positioned well for investment and growth opportunities in all areas, including domestic gas, which will be delivered with the support of our government, partners and the people of Nigeria,” he added.
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
NAPE to Ondo: Exploit other solid minerals
HE Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) has advised the Ondo State government to exploit other minerals in the state other than crude oil. President of NAPE Dr. Mayowa Afe when the association paid a courtesy call on the state Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko at the government house Alagbaka Akure, said only three out of 11 minerals in the state are categorised as strategic, while the remaining don’t get the required attention. Afe said: “The Geological Survey of Nigeria has identified eleven solid minerals in the state. Only three which are bitumen, coal and limestone are categorized as on the Federal Government’s strategic minerals for development while others - kaolin, gemstone, gypsium, feldspar, granite, clay, glass-sand, and dimension stones, are classified as non strategic. “There is need to ensure these strategic minerals are evaluated and exploited to its full benefit for the state and the federation. “Ondo is also known to have the largest deposit of tar sand in the country and if the contents of the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is anything to go by, this huge resource will soon be managed by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and who knows, the state could become a force in the area of bitumen production with the potential of making the state an investment haven. I therefore urge your Excellency to argue the transfer of this asset from solid minerals to petroleum ministry as it is done in other parts of the world.” Afe in a statement also explained what the association stands for and the need for the state to partner. “NAPE is a foremost professional organization in the oil and gas industry committed to promoting the teaching and practice of the geosciences in relation to the exploration and exploitation of petroleum resources. As explorationists, our ideas indeed find oil and gas. “The membership of the association includes students in tertiary institutions and individual practitioners, government institutions as well as operators in the oil and gas industry, mining industry and other energy sector. Established in 1975, NAPE is an affiliate of the American Association of Petroleum Association (AAPG) with membership spread across the globe. I am pleased to inform you that the current President of NAPE, Dr. Mayowa Afe is from Akure, Ondo State. “One of the goals of the association is to visit tertiary institutions as well as corporate and government institutions that employ geoscientists in different parts of the country to drum up support for our Annual International Conference and Exhibition(AICE) that comes up in November this year. Based on the involvements of the State
in exploration and production activities and its vast oil and gas resources, a substantial part of which is yet to be exploited, the association is extending its hand of fellowship to the state for mutually beneficial relationship.” “It is important to let you know that as a state with an Exploration and Production company, i.e. Owena Oil and Gas which owns 45 percent in Ororo field and substantial interest in OML 241, in deepwater Dahomey basin, the State is an ally of the association and a potential corporate member of NAPE. Ondo state also has several tertiary institutions where the geosciences are taught and therefore captures the attention of the association as a fertile ground for attracting young geoscientists to NAPE.” NAPE also advised the state government to ensure well demarcated/defined and established coastal boundaries with others because of the issue of offshore dichotomy up to/beyond 200 metres water depth and also insist Federal Government retains the current fiscal agreement on offshore dichotomy.”
‘Govt must harmonise positions on PIB’ T HE executive and legislative arms of government should come together and harmonise their varying positions on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) regardless of the number of versions in circulation. The advice was given by the former Senior Special Adviser to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan on Literacy programmes, Dr Kune Igoni, who criticised the politicisation of the matter. He said that the passage of the bill shouldn’t be a Herculean task if only the executive and legislative arms of government would come together and harmonise their varying positions on the bill. In an interview with The Nation in Lagos, Igoni said it was rather inconceivable that the country is still contemplating the passage of a bill five years after its creation at a time when other countries are churning out programmes to enhance new technology and discoveries such as the shale gas. Recalling how the bill had started generating controversies since birth, Igoni said: “It all started from the period of Dr. Rilwan Lukman’s revered oil and gas reform committee’s report of 2008, which led to the first Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). The issues raised in that bill are fundamental as well as controversial in some cases, but the issue remains that, politics took the larger part of all the controversies. What we now see is that some interest groups are working hard to make sure the bill does not succeed, thereby making new investment in the petroleum sector difficult.
PHCN Molete relocates to Oluyole Industrial Estate
HE Power Holding Company of Nigeria Plc, Molete Business Unit under Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, has relocated from its former office at Orita Challenge, Ibadan to an office complex along 7up Road, Oluyole Industrial Estate, Ibadan. The Senior Manager, Public Affairs, Molete Business Unit, Mr. Tokunbo Peters said the office complex is part of the multi million naira edifice built by the management of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company as part of its effort to provide a conducive business environment for its customers and employees. The new office complex according to the statement, has a modern cash office for the payment of electricity
•From left: Seye Fadahunsi, NAPE Vice President looks on, as Afe decorates Governor Mimiko with the NAPE lapel during the association’s courtesy call on the governor.
bills and a standard and fully equipped customer care centre where customers can lodge complaints bothering on billing, metering and power supply. While addressing the staff of the Business Unit, the Business Manager, Mr. James Osikoya, an engineer, said Molete Business Unit was being repositioned to serve its customers better. He enjoined the employees to brace up to the challenges of providing total quality service to the company’s customers. He implored the company’s customers at Oluyole, Elebu, Challenge, Odo-Ona and environs to visit the new office complex for the transaction of business and experience the customer friendly atmosphere.
By Bidemi Bakare
“And based on the so called controversies, the Federal government has had to set up a federal interagency committee, which was headed by Dr. Timothy Okon to review the bill. The outcome of the report again, caused more controversies, rather than solving it. The Senate also set up its committee to review the document in 2011 and the House of Representative followed suit and submitted its version in 2011.However, it is unfortunate that we are still foot-dragging on the bill till this day because we want a perfect document which is not obtainable anywhere in the world. “But the truth of the matter is that both the executive and legislative arms of government are elected to represent the interest of the people. It is therefore not acceptable that both arms cannot come to agreement in passing the bill, even if we have one thousand versions of it. The first bill, as it were, seeks to replace all the existing petroleum industry acts that provides for the management of fiscal policies in the oil and gas sector. “When one critically examines the objectives of the bill, it covers very fundamental areas including deregulation, funding and restructuring of
the NNPC, enhancement of exploration, production and exploitation, thereby setting out to eliminate funding bottlenecks and unnecessary bureaucracies, thereby encouraging investments in the sector.” He admitted that as varying and imperfect as the different versions of the document are, one interesting thing is that they all have clauses and provisions for protecting the immediate environments. “We must appreciate the fact that the various versions of the draft bill have clauses meant to protect the immediate environments. I mean the oil and gas producing areas. Even if the bill is in- adequate for now, clauses in the bill such as the setting up of the Petroleum Host Communities Fund (PHCF) wherein 10 percentage of the net profit of the oil and gas companies is set aside in the pool for the development of the host communities as well setting a deadline to end gas flaring are highly welcomed as they would help protect the health and safety of the environment.” He said the 223-page document is a proactive piece of legislation, which also seek to promote transparency and openness in the administration of policies in the Nigerian oil and gas industry and most importantly, deregulating and liberalising the downstream sector.
He said the country cannot afford to continue to lose investments in the hydrocarbon industry by the non-passage of the bill, which is meant to engender reforms for the country to take full advantages of its resources and potentials. Doing so according to him, would mean hampering commercial and employment opportunities in the country as investments would be driven away to other investment friendly countries such as Ghana, Angola, Libya and even South Sudan. He, therefore, called on the executive and legislative arms to articulate thoughts and make necessary amendments on the grey areas of the bill with the intention of passing the bill on time for the industry to start witnessing the free flow of investments.
Oando’s rig marks three years of uninterrupted operation
ANDO Energy Services Limited (OESL), a subsidiary of Oando Plc, said its swamp drilling rig has recorded a safety milestone of three years of continuous operations without a Lost Time Injury (LTI) on its flagship rig, OES Integrity, last month. The achievement, the Head, Corporate Communications, Meka Olowola said, reflects Oando’ s commitment to health, safety, and environment (HSE) values, and affirms the company’s determination to remain a leading service provider in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. LTI is an industry key performance indicator (KPI), which measures adherence to safety and environmental requirements by evaluating the number of injurybearing incidents capable of preventing a worker from performing or continuing with a task or resulting in downtime in operations. OES Integrity rig was contracted to a leading international oil company in December 2009 and has successfully drilled, completed and
worked over more than 14 wells, without any show-stopping incident. With a 3,000 hp modern swamp barge equipped with 15,000 psi Blowout Preventers (BOP), OES Integrity is the only rig in Nigeria capable of drilling in high pressure/ high temperature (HPHT) wells to depths of 30,000 feet. Commenting, Mr Badejo Bandele, Chief Executive Officer, OESL said: “We are pleased with this feat achieved on the strength of our zero tolerance policy for stopping incidents in all our operations. The OES Integrity team has demonstrated their competence in world-class drilling operations and sound HSE values. We are committed to delivering consistent value to our clients’ drilling operations to the highest safety standards.” Chief Environment, Health, Safety Security and Quality (EHSSQ) Officer, Oando PLC Mr Chijoke Akwukwuma, said: “The health and safety of our employees are of the utmost importance to us. We strive to always be a bastion in oil and gas
operations in terms of safety and environmental-friendliness, and we ensure our employees are always well-versed in the Oando culture of uncompromised safety and environment protection. We are committed to deploying best practice that meets global standards across our operations in conformity with world-class aspirations.” Oando has embraced vibrant policies and procedures covering product quality, safety, environment, health, security and emergency readiness to ensure that all its operations meet international safety requirements, guided by its “14 lifesaving rules.” The company according to the statement, has a robust and strong environment, health and safety framework for employees that include training, regulatory certifications and a “stop work” policy which empowers employees to halt an operation on the account of unsafe work conditions. In addition, it hosts an annual safety week to deepen awareness and strengthen an incidence-free work life culture.
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
ENERGY Since its submission in June to the National Assembly, nothing has been heard of the revised draft Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) keeping industry stakeholders in suspense. Ms Efuru Obua, a petroleum and policy lawyer takes a critical look at the new PIB.
New Petroleum Industry Bill – An analysis T
HE draft revised version of the Petroleum Industry Bill has finally been presented to the National Assembly and will hopefully be passed into Law without the necessity of any further amendments. The process was started in 2007 by the government of former President Olusegun Obasanjo on a realization that there was an urgent need to completely overhaul the oil and gas industry given the wanton ineptitude and gross inefficiency inherent in the system and especially in the operations of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which rendered it incapable of meeting the aspirations for which it was set up. It is pertinent to note that the NNPC’s broad objectives included amongst others; participating in all stages and areas of the upstream and downstream energy sector; participating on behalf of the Federal Government in petroleum activities; performing regulatory functions; engaging in activities to enhance the petroleum industry with an overall mission to drive Nigeria’s economic and technical advancement, leveraging the country’s valuable petroleum resources. The NNPC became a hydra headed monster, performing the roles of regulator, operator, buyer and seller of oil and petroleum products and also a service provider. The consequence is an oil and gas industry that is bogged down by excessive government interference, bureaucracy, nonmarket pricing regimes, gross corruption and poor management. The former President Obasanjo set up the Oil and Gas Reform Implementation Committee (OGIC) to make viable proposals on how to overhaul the system with a view to making NNPC more efficient in its operations as a commercial entity. The findings of that committee were not implemented to the letter. The administration of former President Musa Yar’Adua continued this process by setting up the Lukman panel to address the plethora of issues that plagued the industry and importantly to define the legal regulatory and institutional framework that will govern activities in the industry especially the operations of the NNPC with a directive to maximise Nigeria’s interest. The report formed the basis of the first Petroleum Industry Bill of 2008. On coming to power, President Goodluck Jonathan followed the footsteps of president Yar’Adua to drive the reforms in the sector and create an industry that will usher Nigeria as one of the most industrialized countries in the world by the year 2020. The policy objective is to create an industry whose op-
erations are transparent, highly efficient, corrupt free, competitive and in conformity with international best practice. There is also a policy goal to maximise Nigeria’s interest from the exploitation of its hydro carbon resource. The draft PIB repeals all existing laws and regulations governing the industry and is a comprehensive law governing all aspects of the oil and gas industry enshrining the principles of transparency, efficiency, competition and above all national interest. The first part of the Act deals with objectives which are stated as follows: •Create a conducive business environment for petroleum operations; Issues: This objective captures the need to create an enabling environment for investors and investments in the country. It is pertinent to point out that this will only be actualized when the current security challenge in the country is effectively contained. • Enhance exploration and exploitation of petroleum resources in Nigeria for the benefit of the Nigerian people; Issues: This objective makes the exploitation of the hydro carbon resource for the benefit of the Nigerian people a cardinal principle given the fact that the Nigerian people have not derived any significant benefit from oil operations since commercial discovery in 1950. It is hoped that the structures and institutions put in place in the new law will drive this objective. •Optimise domestic gas supplies particularly for power generation and industrial development; Issues: This is in line with government’s interventionist approach to stimulate gas supply obligation to ensure that there is supply to meet growing domestic demand projected to grow to 2 billion cubic feet per day of gas by the end of 2011. •Establish a progressive fiscal framework that encourages further investment in the petroleum industry whilst optimising revenues accruing to the Government; Issues: This seeks to strike a balance between investor and host government interest, given their diametrically opposing interests. For the investor, a fiscal regime that guarantees rewards commensurate with risks is vitally important while the host government seeks to maximize its revenues from oil and gas operations. •Establish commercially oriented and profit driven oil and gas entities; Issues: This is in line with the full commercialisation of NNPC to op-
‘The draft PIB repeals all existing laws and regulations governing the industry and is a comprehensive law governing all aspects of the oil and gas industry enshrining the principles of transparency, efficiency, competition and above all national interest’
erate as a limited liability company with a profit driven mandate which will lead to good governance and high efficiency • Deregulate and liberalise the downstream petroleum sector; Issues: This is a welcome development to rid the downstream sector of government interference, stem fraud and corruption and introduce competition. It is hoped that government will demonstrate the political will to completely remove subsidy. •Create efficient and effective regulatory agencies; Issues: The bane of the industry includes gross inefficiency, weak regulatory institutions, endemic corruption and overall poor management. A new face of the industry with high efficiency and effectiveness of its regulatory institutions is certainly welcome. It is hoped that the institutions created under the Act will deliver on this objective. •Promote transparency and openness in the administration of the petroleum resources of Nigeria; Issues: This objective if implemented will institutionalize international best practice and boost investor confidence. • Promote the development of Nigerian Content in the petroleum industry Issues: As I stated in my recent analysis of the Nigerian Content Act, the PIB is a superstructure upon which the Nigerian Content Act is based. The PIB and LC Act are therefore mutually inclusive and coterminous. The PIB in supporting the Act confers the same benefits as the NC Act and provides for those categories of contracts which now fall within the domain of Nigerian indigenous companies and also for the training and participation of Nigerians in all aspects of the oil and gas industry. • Protect health, safety and environment in the course of petroleum operations; Issues: The protection of health, safety and the environment has become a central focus of oil and gas operations globally and continues to be on the front burner. There is provision for the early remediation of health, safety and environmental problems and an obligation on all operators to develop environmental management plans as well as pay compensation for damage to the environment. A very welcome development that will check envi-
• Ms Obua
ronmental degradation especially in the Niger Delta. •Attain such other objectives to promote a viable and sustainable petroleum industry in Nigeria. Part 11 of the Act establishes key institutions. • Petroleum Technical Bureau – Section 9. This is a special unit in the office of the Minister and shall consist of professionals with expertise in the upstream and downstream sectors of the petroleum industry. It replaces the former Frontier Exploration Services of NNPC. Functions include: to provide technical and professional support to the minister on matters relating to the petroleum industry amongst others. • Upstream Petroleum Inspectorate – Section 13. This replaces the former DPR, with the objectives to promote the efficient safe effective and sustainable infrastructural development of the upstream sector of the petroleum industry amongst others. Its functions include: to administer and enforce policies, laws and regulations relating to all aspects of upstream petroleum operations which are assigned to it under any law. It is also to enforce compliance with the terms and conditions of all leases, licences, permits in respect of upstream petroleum operations amongst others. Issues: This function clearly overlaps with the functions of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board and may result in conflict in carrying out their duties. It is hoped that the two institutions will work harmoniously. • Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency – Section 43 It takes over the functions of the Petroleum Pricing and Regulatory Agency and the Directorate of Petroleum Resources. Its main func-
tion is to administer and enforce policies, laws and regulations relating to all aspects of downstream petroleum operations as may be assigned it by law. • Petroleum Technology Development Fund – Section 73. S. 76 states that the purpose of the fund shall be for training Nigerians to qualify as graduates, professionals, technicians and craftsmen in the fields of engineering, geology, science and other related fields in the petroleum industry and in particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, the funds shall be utilized inter – alia to (a) provide scholarships and bursaries, wholly or partially in universities, institutions and in petroleum undertakings in Nigeria or abroad. Issues: Note that this law is saved in the new Act. Its key function is to apply the Development Funds for development of petroleum technology, capacities and capabilities or the training and education of Nigerians in the petroleum industry. It is hoped that there will be a transparent, equitable and just system that ensures access of qualified Nigerians to the Fund. Equally, it is expected that the Funds will drive Research and Development and capacity building in the industry and Nigeria as a whole thereby serving as a catalyst for Nigeria’s technological and economic development. The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board must of necessity work closely with the Fund to ensure maximum success. •To be continued
•Ms Obua, a solicitor with over 20 years experience, is from the University of Dundee. She practices in the UK and also a partner at EN&N Legal Practitioners Victoria Island Lagos and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org/ email@example.com
Shell to construct world’s first oil sands CCS project
HELL Company has said it would go ahead with the first carbon capture and storage (CCS) project for an oil sands operation in Canada. The Quest project will be built on behalf of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project joint venture owners (Shell, Chevron and Marathon Oil) and with support from the Governments of Canada and Alberta. In a statement issued by the company, its Chief Executive Officer, Peter Voser, explained that CCS is critical to meeting the huge projected increase in global energy demand while reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. “If you want to achieve climate change goals, CCS has to be part of the solution. We are helping to advance CCS technology
on a number of fronts around the world, but Quest will be our flagship project,” he added. Alberta’s oil sands are a secure, reliable source of energy and an economic engine which drives employment, training and business development across Canada and beyond. “We will need all sources of energy to meet world demand in the coming decades,” Voser noted adding that lower CO2 energy sources will grow, but even by 2050 at least 65 per cent of our energy will still come from fossil fuels, so CCS will be important to manage climate impacts. The Athabasca Oil Sands project produces bitumen, which is piped to Shell’s Scotford Upgrader near Edmonton, Alberta. From late 2015,
Quest will capture and store deep underground more than one million tonnes a year of CO2 produced in bitumen processing. Quest will reduce direct emissions from the Scotford Upgrader by up to 35 per cent – the equivalent of taking 175,000 North American cars off the road annually. “Quest is another example of how we are using technology and innovation to improve the environmental performance of our oil sands operations,” said Shell Executive Vice President of Heavy Oil, John Abbott. “The opportunity Quest provides to reduce emissions from our upgrading activities is an important achievement in itself, but the project’s technical and strategic value reaches beyond the emissions it will capture.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
Surveyors get 17 Fellows
HE Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS) has elevated 17 members to Fellows. The new Fellows, according to a statement, were administered with the oath of office at an investiture last month, in Ibadan, Oyo State capital. NIS President Hon Bode Adeaga, in a remark, said the members admitted Fellows were worthy of the honour. Adeaga charged them to maintain the “highest moral standard and untainted integrity”, as well as “uphold a strict code of personal and professional conduct at all times.” In a message on the occasion, Governor of Oyo State Senator Abiola Ajimobi challenged the surveyors to contribute to efforts that will make a difference in the economy and also “play by the rules”. Speaking on the theme “Explaining the Security Challenges in Con-
temporary Nigeria,” the guest speaker, Prof. Isaac Olawale Albert, said surveyors had a key role in the overall security of the country. The professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, at the University of Ibadan, charged them to contribute to efforts to bring lasting peace to the polity, as professionals cannot practise in an atmosphere of crisis and violence. On the rising campaign of violence by the Boko Haram sect, Albert advised the government to dialogue with the extremist sect which is the greatest threat to the country’s corporate existence. He argued that the “use of force” would not solve the long-drawn crisis. Aside the 17 Fellows, the professional body also bestowed awards of “distinguished fellows” on 27, some of them elderly members for their “passion, commitment and contribution” to uplifting the institution.
GMS for Lagos planning agencies
AGOS State Government has appointed Messers Rotimi Toyin Abdul and Mr Kehinde Benedict Olawunmi as the General Managers of Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) and Lagos State Urban Renewal Authority (LASURA). Abdul until this appointment , according to a statement, was the Director, Transportation Policy and Co-ordination Department, Lagos Ministry of Transportation. He is a member of the American Planning Association, Ni-
geria Institute of Shipping, Nigeria Institute of Town Planners, Institute of Transportation Engineers and Town Planners Registration Council of Nigeria. He attended the Molusi College, Ijebu Igbo between 1966 and 1970 for his secondary education before proceeding to Yaba College of Technology, Lagos for his National Diploma (OND) and Higher National Diploma in Town Planning.
•From left: Alufohai, Inyang - Udoh and Olaseni at the award ceremony for professional excellence from Yaba College of Technology, School of Environmental Studies, Lagos State.
Yaba College honours NIQS boss
RESIDENT of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS ) Mr Agele Alufohai has been honoured with a special award for professional excellence. The award, according to a statement was given by the School of Environmental Studies, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos at the fourth edition of the school’s Lecture/Award ceremony.
Management changes at LCC
HE Managing Director/CEO of Lekki Concession Company Ltd (LCC), Mr Opuiyo Oforiokuma, has been appointed Managing Director of the Asset & Resource Management Company Ltd (“ARM”) Infrastructure Fund (ARM Infrastructure), with effect from October 1, 2012. In a statement, MD/CEO of ARM, Mr Deji Alli, said Oforiokuma’s move was an important step to ARM’s infrastructure strategy, “Developing and managing infrastructure in West Africa, and in Nigeria in particular, have long been an integral part of ARM’s vision and long-term strategic plan. We have steadily and purposefully pursued our infrastructure strategy from as far back as 2000, evidence of which is our successful achievement of financial close of the Lekki Toll Road transaction in 2008", he said. Alli added: “Establishing LCC, and demonstrating the possibilities in the infrastructure space, was the first stage of implementing our vision and strategic plan. We believe that we have done this over the last six years with Opuiyo Oforiokuma at the helm of LCC. “The next stages for us now are to develop a broader infrastructure plat-
form, with a focus that goes beyond Toll Roads. The vehicle for that is ARM Infrastructure. We already have a number of new infrastructure deals under development within the ARM Infrastructure pipeline, and are observing an increasing momentum in the pace of development in the infrastructure sector within our target geographical zone. We, therefore, believe that it is the right time to ask Mr Oforiokuma, who has 25 years of international experience and a proven track record in infrastructure development and management, to take on the responsibility for leading the next stage of implementation of our vision and strategy in this space.” Reacting to the announcement, Mr Oforiokuma said: “It has been my privilege to have led the multi-talented, passionate, and highly committed group of individuals that have made LCC what it is today, and to have enjoyed tremendous support from our PPP partner, Lagos State government, our bankers, shareholders, and various key stakeholder groups interested in the project, these past six years.” He noted: “ While there were challenges at times, and that there are some still to overcome, we are pleased that we have made visible progress to date.
for the grand finale of the award which will come up in Accra, Ghana on October 5, 2012. Nigerite has over the years continued to lend support to educational institutions at all levels from primary through secondary and tertiary institutions. It has been vibrant in the area of capacity building by providing outstanding platforms for Nigerian youths to develop their minds and body towards influencing a new and rewarding society. The company has been carrying the flag on youth leadership and change through ‘Youth our Future’ programme which was put together for all round development of the Nigerian youth. It has forged partnerships with individuals, organisations and all levels of governments that share the vision of a bright future for the Nigerian youths.
The event, which was hosted by the School of Environmental Studies and held at the College Hall, had as its theme: The role of good governance in national development. Speaking the Chairman and Dean, School of Technology, Mr Adigun, said that the award was given toAlufohai in recognition of
his contribution to the industry in the past three decades. He advised Alufohai and other awardees to consider the honour bestowed on them as a fresh call to contribute more to the growth and development of the Building/Construction environment and the nation at large, adding that the world is aware of their excellent performance and that posterity will never forget them.
Lagos builds three housing estates
HE effort of the Lagos State Government to provide decent housing for its teeming population is yielding fruits as three new projects will be handed over to subscribers soon. They are a block of luxury flats at Parkview Ikoyi, Maisonette duplex at Ikeja and Gbagada Housing schemes, expressed satisfaction with the rate of completion of the luxury flats at
Entries for young architects’ competition close IGERITE Limited, the manufacturers of NIT fibre cement roofing and ceiling sheets, has announced the closure of entries for 2012 Young Architects and Students Competition. The competition, which is being organised in conjunction with the Africa Union of Architects (AUA) will have jurors reviewing entries from today to Thursday at its head office in Lagos. According to a statement by Nigerite’s Communications Manager, Mr Dapo Ajayi, “winners will be announced at a media parley on Friday at the company’s premises in Lagos.” The Managing Director of Nigerite Limited, Mr Jean Luc Viatour, and other top management staff of the company are expected to attend the event. Ajayi said that winners will be invited
Stories by Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst Editor
•Gbagada Housing scheme
Parkview, Ikoyi. He praised the contractors for a job well done and for striving to deliver within the time frame. The six units of three-bedroom flats sit on 2,100 square metres in the highbrow area. Its facilities include swimming pool, lawn tennis court, adequate parking space, water treatment plant and others. Gbagada has 11 blocks of 88 units of three and four-bedroom
maisonettes on a 3.262 hectares of land. Ikeja has 76 units of four-bedroom maisonettes in the GRA. The estate has the accompaniment of paved roads with parking lots; mini-water works and independent power supply. Jeje expressed satisfaction at the pace of work done and promised that the project will be delivered as at when due.
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
PROPERTY/ENVIRONMENT Building Issues
Why honesty is important
•UPDC Estate, Lekki, Lagos
Land allocation abuse S
OMETIMES ago there was a news item about a former Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja allocating several plots of land to his wives, the President and other cronies some of which were done the day he was leaving office. Similarly, a lot of furore has been generated by several abuses of land allocation in Ogun State of recent. If other states are examined, the story is not likely to be different. We also woke up one morning only to be told that two first ladies were fighting over allocation of the same plot in Abuja. A former first lady claimed that the land in question was allocated to her while a present one was equally allocated the same piece of land! There had also been several cases of political vindictiveness in some states where allocations of land were revoked not for public overriding purposes but because the alottees belong to different political parties from those of the incumbent governors. Those who drafted the land use decree (now Act) must have thought that these kind of things would happen by not arrogating the power to allocate land absolutely to one person, the state governor. In their wisdom, they made provision for the establishment of a “Land Use and Allocation Committee (LUAC) whose purpose is to make sure that the process of land allocation to the citizens of each state is subjected to some processes of scrutiny and rational reasoning before allocations of land are made. Hence, section 2.2 of the Land Use Act (LUA) provides. “There shall be established in each state a body to be known as “the Land Use and Allocation Committee” which shall have responsibility for:(a) Advising the Military Governor on any matter connected with the management of land to which paragraph (a) of subsection (1) above relates; (b). Advising the Military Governor on any matter connected with the resettlement of persons affected by the revocation of rights of occupancy on the ground of overriding public interest under this Decree; and (c) Determining disputes as to the amount of compensation payable under this Decree for improvements on land. Now paragraph (a) of subsection (1) states - “As from the commencement of this Decree, all land in urban areas shall be under the control and management of the Military Governor of each state”. It is clear from these two sections that the control and management of land in each state is to be done by the Governor subject to or with the advice of the Land Use and Allocation
By Kola Akomolede
Committee (LUAC)! Section 5 of the decree also made similar provision in respect of land in the rural areas, i.e. “there shall be established a Land Allocation Advisory Committee in each local government to advise the local government on any matter connected with the management of land to which paragraph (b) of subsection (1) above refers”. The subsection referred to states“all other land shall subject to this Decree, be under the control and management of the local government within the area of jurisdiction of which the land is situated” It follows therefore that the management and control of land in the rural areas should also be subject to the advice of the “Land Allocation Advisory Committee” to be set up in each local government areas. The question that should come to mind now is how many state governments have constituted Land Use and Allocation Committee? In the absence of such a committee, state governors have continued to singularly excise the right to allocate land in their states to whoever pleases them and at rates and conditions determined by them! That is why it is possible for some governors to allocate land to their cronies with a waiver of statutory payments some to even to ridiculous extents! The case of Ogun State may be a child’s play if what is happening or has happened in most other states are exposed. In the same way, if the FCT has a functional Land Use and Allocation Committee, most of the abuses of land allocation that have been exposed there may not have happened. A former Minister of the FCT discovered and exposed a lot of irregularities in the allocation of land in the Federal Capital where land meant for public uses, open spaces and land over sewers were allocated to cronies of people in power but he is said to have ended up committing similar offences during his own tenure. “Absolute power corrupts” is a common saying. Perhaps this is what was in the mind of those who drafted the Land Use Decree that made them to insert the clause that provided for the Land Use and Allocation Committee (LUAC). Unfortunately, ours is a country where those in power choose which part of the laws they will obey. In more civilized countries, somebody would have gone to court to compel the Governors to obey this constitutional requirement of the Land Use Act to constitute the Land Use and Allocation Committee (LUAC) as provided for in the law. Section 2.3 made provision for the membership of the Land Use and Al-
location Committee. This is to include a legal practitioner and two estate surveyors and valuers of not less than five (5) years’ experience. The inclusion of these professionals is to bring some professional expertise to the process of control and management of land in the states. The writers of the law must have envisaged that the Governors would not necessarily be knowledgeable enough in the management of land- a very scarce resource. Hence the provision for two estate surveyors who are trained in the economics of land use and management in the committee. This is to ensure that every action to be taken by the Governor would have passed the necessary test during the deliberation of the committee. In the same vein, all the legal implications of any excise to be recommended by the committee would have been subjected to legal scrutiny to ensure that all actions of the Governors in the process of land allocation and management including revocation of rights are perfectly within the law. There is little wonder then why there had been several abuses of land uses whereby land meant for public open spaces, schools, hospitals, shops, fire and police, etc. have been converted to residential plots and allocated to satisfy the demands of friends and political associates of the governors in power! The Land Use and Allocation Committee would have prevented these happening if such decisions have passed through them. But even in the few cases where such committees have been constituted, these professionals are not included as provided by the law. There had been calls for the removal of the Land Use Act from the constitution to make it amenable to amendments as and when necessary or to amend several parts of it which have been found unworkable. Thirteen years of the National Assemblies have failed to produce a single amendment to this law! Perhaps the on-going proposal to amend parts of the 1979 constitution to which the Land Use Act was made a part of by the Obasanjo’s supreme military council by a fiat will finally direct its search light on this part of the constitution. If this happens, it will be delighted if an amendment could be made to make it compulsory for all land allocations by the Governors to be subject to the recommendation of the Land Use and Allocation Committee. If this is done, it will, to some extent, curb or reduce the flagrant abuse of the process of land allocation by the Governors. • Akomolede is president, International RealEstate Federation (FIABCI), Nigeria Chapter & Chairman, Faculty of Housing, NIESV.
HE importance of integrity in real estate transactions cannot be over emphasised. It is always good to foster a climate of honesty and morality, failure to do it can have unintended and unexpected consequences. To underscore its importance, an extensive study by a group said: “Honesty and trustworthiness is ranked the most important factor when choosing an agent to work with or in any business concern for that matter.” It is, therefore, relevant that we pay attention to some of the intriguing and occasionally disturbing issues confronting those in the sector. Once a client notices a slip from an agent or a business associate, he will be on his guard while nursing the feeling that he may probably be dealing with a rogue agent.
As a matter of fact, he will pursue that line of thinking except there is a clear departure in terms of attitude change and confidence building in future engagements. “Faking it” - exaggerating or being deliberately misleading about one’s status - and engaging in other acts of dishonesty is not in tandem with property business. The sad thing about this business is that most people are willing to be somewhat dishonest in order to better themselves. The reward does not even
By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst Editor
that took me in and l fell for his sweet talks.” The summary of the story is that l was in a kind of fix because l was under pressure to get a piece of land and start the project to move myself in. After dribbling me for a long while we finally settled on a piece of land and l lost the time l so much desired to gain . All his promises that l will get the property in two weeks extended to over six months after taking me to several properties with encumbrances. At the end of it l was left not only exhausted but completely devastated as l spent more than l planned to do in settling several landowners.” From my experience l learnt that in property business transactions, the bottom line is that
‘I meet this agent who mouthed his prowess in buying properties for clients along the axis and trusted him with all l had. He even showcased pictures and numbers of those he had worked for - all that took me in and l fell for his sweet talks’
have to be significantly large - it might be just a little higher than the agreed margin or figure. It should also be noted that most people will not be grossly dishonest or engage in blatant cheating even if the prospect of being caught is clearly zero. People who engage in fakery about themselves show a much greater than normal willingness to be dishonest and usually it will just be a matter of time before their real selves are discovered by a greater majority. Somebody related this story to me of how he saved all he had to buy a piece of land at Ibafo, along the Lagos /Ibadan expressway. He said: “I meet this agent who mouthed his prowess in buying properties for clients along the axis and trusted him with all l had. He even showcased pictures and numbers of those he had worked for - all
we should not view a single act of dishonesty as just one petty act. We should also realise that the first act of dishonesty might be particularly important in shaping the way a person looks at a property agent or business associate himself from that point on… that is why it is important to cut down on the number of seemingly innocuous singular acts of dishonesty. The truth is that immoral acts in one domain can influence our morality in other domains. That being the case, we should focus on
early signs of dishonest behaviours and do our best to cut them down in their budding stages before they reach full bloom. It is not too hard to apply these lessons to the real estate business. It is understandable, but regrettable, that agents - and companies - will frequently engage in puffery, not just about their properties but about themselves. In the never-ending quest to gain market share there is a constant temptation to fake it - to say or claim a bit more about ourselves than may actually be true. Unfortunately, a lot of people exaggerate about their job performance, education, past experience, etc. And there is a tendency to say, “What harm can there be in that? Everyone does it. No one gets hurt.” It’s always better to pay heed to those little hunches before you go all the way. Good luck!
‘The truth is that immoral acts in one domain can influence our morality in other domains. That being the case, we should focus on early signs of dishonest behaviours and do our best to cut them down in their budding stages before they reach full bloom’ •Contributions, questions? e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 10-9-12
Profit taking halts equities’ rally •Nestle attains new high of N577.50
HE Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) opened this week on a negative note as investors turned to take profit from stocks that have benefited from the consistent capital gains in the last 11 days. Notwithstanding the downturn, Nestle Nigeria Plc established a new price record at N577.50. This is the highest in the stock’s and Exchange’s history. The benchmark index at NSE, the All-Share-Index (ASI) shed 167.23 absolute points, representing 0.67 per cent depreciation, to close at 24,671.47 points. Similarly, market capitalisation dropped N53 billion to close at N7.854 trillion. The downturn was significantly impacted by losses recorded by several and large capitalised stocks including
By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire
Dangote Cement, Cadbury, First Bank, Dangote Sugar, Stanbic-IBTC, Zenith Bank, Oando and UBA. Specifically, a total of 50 equities recorded price change with 23 appreciating while the remaining 27 reduced in value. Cadbury led the losers’ table with a drop of N1.10 to close at N20.90 followed by UTC with a drop of N0.03 to close at N0.57. Also on the table were Wapic, Fort Oil, Morison, UBA, Dangote Sugar, Paint Company, Eterna Oil and ETI. On the gainers’ table, Nestle led the list with an appreciation of N27.50 to close at N577.50 followed by Bagco with a gain of N0.09 to close at N1.89. Also on the list were
Bagco, Berger paint, Roads, Julius Berger, International Breweries, NCR, Continental Insurance, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN) and NACON. In all, investors traded 266.657 million shares worth N2.157 billion in 4, 432 deals. The Financial Services sector was the most sought after with 199.379 million shares worth N1.285 billion across 2, 458 deals. This was followed by the Consumer Goods with 21.678 million shares worth N591.461 million in 1,001 deals. Others with significant volume were Conglomerates with 15.734 million shares, Industrial Goods with 7.789 million shares, Construction/Real Estate with 7.737 million shares and Services with 6.503 million shares.
CIS postpones workshop
HE maiden edition of the annual national workshop of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) originally scheduled to hold on September 13, 2012 in Abuja has been shifted to the first week in November. Chairman, CIS’s National Workshop Committee, Mr.
Albert Okumagba, said the shift would enable CIS to broaden the participation in the workshop and reach out to more groups. “We were pleasantly surprised by the level and the quality of responses that trailed the various announcements on the Septem-
ber workshop. Many other focused groups we had excluded also called to express surprise that they were not part of the plan”, Okumagba said. He noted that with the postponement, the CIS would be able to reach out to all the groups that were not in the plans before. The annual workshop as designed by CIS is meant to generate quality input which it intends to make available to the Federal Government in designing the appropriate policies for the country.
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 10-9-12
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
Banknotes, coins ‘ll always be relevant, says Lemo
LTHOUGH e-payment is becoming more popular in Africa, banknotes and coins will always be relevant and useful, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Deputy Governor, Tunde Lemo has said. Speaking yesterday at the Association of African Banknotes and Security Documents Printers (AABSDP) conference in Lagos, he said the cash-less policy of the apex bank is on course. He said banknotes and coins will always be useful in consummating transactions. Lemo said that the proposed N5, 000 note will reduce cost of banking operations, adding that Africa must embrace change and new technologies in printing of bank notes and minting of coins to keep counterfeiters on check. “Yes, electronic banking is where to go because of the increase in volume of com-
HE Chartered Institute of Bankers of (CIBN) has commended Unity Bank for collaborating with it in promoting professionalism in the industry. The President and chairman of Council of CIBN, Segun Aina disclosed this when he led his members on a courtesy call to the bank in Abuja. Aina, who said the institute regards the bank as part of the family, assured his council’s support at all times. He revealed that the institute is putting in place professional pro-
By Collins Nweze
mercial activities in the last 10 years, but then cash will not go away. While others will be growing, the volume of cash in the system will remain the same. So when they castigate us that we are speaking from both sides of the mouth by talking cashless and introducing a higher denomination, our response is that we must be more efficient with the use of cash because cash will not go away. So we are attacking efficiency from both ends and the two are not contradictory, rather they are complementary,” he said. Lemo disclosed said that the restructuring of Nigeria’s currency is based on CBN’s constitutional roles, which allow it to print new notes from time to time. He said that the apex bank has assisted in ensuring that counterfeit-proof notes are
printed and circulated within the country. 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 it to be trusted. He said the apex bank is ensuring that features it puts in the currency are so expensive that it will be difficult for counterfeiting to thrive. “We believe that the coins are very important. There is no society 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,” he said. Besides, he said that global best practice demands that countries restructure their currencies every five to
eight years to be ahead of counterfeiters. He said that the existing policy actually is that if one must carry high volume of cash, then he must pay the associated charges with the carriage of high volume of cash. Besides, he said that the charges of electronic banking will continue to go down. He said that banks are now reducing cost of electronic banking as they continue to have more transactions along that path. “Suppose you need to print maybe N1 million N100 notes, you can actually reduce cost by printing them in N5, 000 and of course the differential is very minimal. That is basically what we are saying. At the high end, the volume of N1000 that we are using today, gives a compelling reason why some of it should be denominated in N5, 000 so as to reduce cost,” he said. He said the policy will not
CIBN lauds Unity Bank grams aimed at enhancing quality in the industry. In a statement, he said that the Institute has, in the last one year, undertaken trips to some European and Asian countries to collaborate with them in financial talent enhancement, while 16 new certifications in various banking operations have been incorporated into the competency program. Aina also urged management of the bank to continue to encourage staff to write the CIBN examination and ex-
pressed appreciation with the growing number of active participants in the CIBN activities from the Bank. In his response, the Managing Director of Unity Bank Plc Ado Wanka has assured the CIBN delegation that the Bank will take advantage of the institute’s competency framework program to develop its human capital and charged the Institute to remain responsive to make the industry more professional. He explained to the delega-
tion the historical development of the bank that started through a very difficult process in culture integration, systems and process coupled with capital problem but added that “it is with pride that I can tell you today we have a Bank that is clean”. He said the bank should have any excuse for not being an active member of CIBN reassured that Unity Bank shall remain an active player in the institute’s development because of its dynamic programs.
FGN BONDS Amount N
3-Year 5-Year 5-Year
35m 35m 35m
11.039 12.23 13.19
19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016
Price Loss 2754.67 447.80
INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%
PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year
Amount 30m 46.7m 50m
Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34
Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012
GAINERS AS AT 10-9-12 SYMBOL
NESTLE BAGCO BERGER ROADS JBERGER INTBREW NCR CONTINSURE CCNN NASCON
550.00 1.80 7.63 7.64 28.55 10.68 13.12 0.61 4.75 4.98
577.50 1.89 8.01 8.02 29.97 11.21 13.77 0.64 4.97 5.21
O/PRICE 22.00 0.60 0.60 11.40 6.04 4.65 4.99 1.90 2.36 10.99
C/PRICE 20.90 0.57 0.57 10.83 5.74 4.42 4.75 1.81 2.26 10.58
Skye Bank was the first to issue a Visa co-branded card for online transactions, which it described as a commendable premise on which the card business has built further creativity. Skye Bank had received popular endorsement in this regard as over 70 per cent of the respondents recommended the bank for the award over and above the other banks nominated for the award. Skye Bank had recently won the “best card issuing efficiency award” at the ACI Payments Worldwide’s ‘African Payments Awards’ held in Lagos where banks and other providers of cards and electronic payments systems converged. ACI Worldwide , a worldwide leader in payments system solutions to banks, processors and retailers around the world, has a reputation built on the success of its products that have consistently provided stability, scalability and reliability.
CHANGE 1.10 0.03 0.03 0.57 0.30 0.23 0.24 0.09 0.10 0.41
Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7
Date 2-7-12 27-6-12 22-6-12
CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Year Start Offer
NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change (S/N) Parallel Market
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
DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11
Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%
9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 12.6%
NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days
NSE CAP Index
27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37
Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250
Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%
28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16
% Change -1.44% -1.44%
MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name
27.50 0.09 0.38 0.38 1.42 0.53 0.65 0.03 0.22 0.23
Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m
EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12
LOSERS AS AT 10-9-12
SYMBOL CADBURY UTC WAPIC FO MORISON UBA DANGSUGAR PAINTCOM ETERNA ETI
KYE BANK Plc at the weekend won the “best card innovation Bank” award in the nation’s financial services industry at the 2012 ‘Nigeria Telecomms Awards’. In a statement, the lender said the award confirmed its leading role in electronic payments business. The awards organisers, Nigeria Telecomms Awards Group, said the bank won the award because of the overwhelming industry consensus and independent research of its various assessment teams, which acknowledged the bank’s creativity in payments cards. Specifically, the awards organisers said the bank won the award because of its creative ingenuity in the creation of the first Pound Sterling denomination Mastercard and for being the first bank to issue a Mastercard Verve card. In addition, the group said
Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 350m 150m 350m 138m 350m 113m
Currency OBB Rate Call Rate
Skye Bank Wins Best card Innovation Award
WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM
Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20
cause inflation because the apex bank is not increasing volume of money supply. “We are only redistributing the percentages that will be in different denomination, so it will not increase inflation,” he said. “We want Nigerians to carry less cash. We cannot say we don’t want Nigerians to carry cash because people carry cash all over the world and they will continue to carry cash,” he said.
ARM AGGRESSIVE 9.17 KAKAWA GUARANTEED 1.00 STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE 124.79 AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND 100.11 LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL 0.77 BGL SAPPHIRE FUND 1.10 BGL NUBIAN FUND 0.93 NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. 1,740.52 PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND 10.45 CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST 1.39 CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST 1.87 STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY 8,571.21 THE DISCOVERY FUND 193.00 FIDELITY NIGFUND 1.67 • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND
9.08 1.00 124.62 108.78 0.74 1.10 0.91 1,737.02 9.94 1.33 1.80 8,335.18 191.08 1.62
OPEN BUY BACK
Previous 04 July, 2011
Current 07, Aug, 2011
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
Robbers kill Ebonyi Govt House worker
WORKER at the Ebonyi State Government House, Mr. Pascal Ugadu, was yesterday shot dead by a five-man robbery gang on Afikpo Road, Abakaliki, the state capital. An eyewitness, who pleaded for anonymity, said the robbers invaded Nnoli Filling Station about 9:15am and shot at a Toyota Hilux van, BDG 899 AG, which was refuelling. The witness said the van was conveying some government officials to Ishiagu for an election into the Ishiagu Community Development Union (ICDU). Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters Celestine Nwali, Commissioner for Border and Security Donatus Ajah and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Internal Security, Mr. Collins Agbo, were at the fill-
•Police shoot dead suspect From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki
ing station when the incident occurred. The eyewitness said the robbers, who operated with Cater motorcycles, carried sophisticated weapons. The witness said they stole an undisclosed amount of money from the station and robbed the employees of their phones. The eyewitness said: “We were heading to Ishiagu for the ICDU election in the company of some top government officials, who were expected to monitor the election. On getting to Nnoli Filling Station, we stopped to buy fuel. “We saw about five young men on motorcycles coming
towards us with speed. On getting to where the Hilux van was parked, they immediately opened fire on the van, killing Ugadu, who was sitting at the back of the vehicle. The driver escaped unhurt. “We took Ugadu’s body and the vehicle to the Government House Clinic, where sympathisers, including the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Fidelix Mbam, and other top government officials wept uncontrollably. “About 12:30pm, the body and the vehicle were taken away from the Government House Clinic by a security team led by Mr. Godwin Okeke of the Government House Criminal Investigation Bureau. “We suspect that the aim of
the hoodlums was to kill Agbo, in whose van the deceased was riding, but Agbo was not in the vehicle when they struck.” It was learnt that the body had been deposited at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki. Police spokesman Sylvester Igbo confirmed the incident. He said one of the robbers was shot dead by a team of mobile policemen and soldiers, but the others escaped. Igbo said one AK 47 rifle, one shot gun, expended magazines, two motorcycles and other items were recovered from the hoodlums. Secretary to the State Government Mr. Fidelis Mbam described Ugadu’s death as “tragic, painful and unfortunate”. He urged the police to apprehend Ugadu’s killers.
RMAFC chair: Anambra‘ll enjoy derivation if ...
From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri
HE Police in Imo State have debunked a text message circulating in Owerri, the Imo State capital, that the state has been invaded by kidnappers. The message, which was alleged to have emanated from the Office of the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Adisa Bolanta, reads: “Owerri is on red flag as regards the deplorable security situation. Present CP said citizens should totally avoid lonely places, driving exotic/flashy cars, especially Jeeps. A group of 16 kidnappers is in the state. The police are battling to track them down, but no success yet”. In a statement, Police spokesman Vitalis Onugu urged the public to disregard the text message. He said: “The text message is the handiwork of hoodlums and people, who are poised to destabilise the state and blackmail the police, but we have begun investigation into the matter. “We urge residents to go about their legitimate duties without fear, as the police are poised to ensure crime-free ember months.”
Preacher arraigned for alleged N209m fraud
N Anambra State preacher, Jide-jisos Ejie (47), has been remanded in prison custody for allegedly defrauding his flock of N209,035,000. He was arraigned before Chief Magistrate C.N Chinwuba of the Ogidi Magistrate’s Court in Idemili North Local Government Area. Ejie allegedly collected the money from both members and branches of the United Nigeria Chaplaincy (UNC), nationwide, under the pretence that they were going to have a peace summit with President Goodluck Jonathan at the Eagle Square in Abuja.
HE Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has said Anambra will benefit from the oil derivation fund, if the mineral resource from the state contributes to the Federation Account. RMAFC Chairman Mr. Elias Mbam spoke yesterday in Asaba, the Delta State capital, at a workshop on Economic Diversification, organised by the commission and the Delta State Government. Mbam said though crude oil production had begun in the state, becoming a beneficiary of the monthly allocation, based on the 13 per cent oil derivation, was not “automatic”. He said: “The derivation fund is clearly defined in the constitution. The law does not say you must start benefiting when we discover mineral in your place. “You only benefit when that mineral resource contributes to the Federation Account and what you benefit is the value of its contribution to the Federation Account. So the existence of a mineral resource does not make Anambra an automatic beneficiary of the 13 per cent derivation fund.” On August 30, President Goodluck Jonathan announced the listing of Anambra as an oil producing state. The President made the announcement at the inauguration of the first oil refinery in the state, built by Orient Petroleum Resources Plc in Aguleri, Anambra East Local Government Area. Following the president’s pronouncement, the Kogi State Government announced that it would also be a stakeholder in the refinery because oil wells that would service the refinery were located in Odeke, Ibaji Local Government Area of the state. Mbam said the commission was yet to receive any complaint over the ownership of the oil wells. He said: “We have agencies of government charged with the responsibility of ensuring that boundary issues are settled. We have the National Boundary Commission and the SurveyorGeneral of the Federation, who are charged with the responsibility of delineating boundaries. “There is no need to dissipate energy now, because once they start contributing to the Federation Account, the commission will request the boundary commission and the Surveyor-General to go and establish where that oil wells belong.”
Imo police disown text message
From Nwanosike Onu, Awka
Chief Magistrate Chinwuba remanded him in prison custody and adjourned the hearing till December 18.
PUBLIC NOTICE CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, OBINNA SILAS and ONYEMATA SILAS are one and the same person, now wish to be known and addressed as OBINNA SILAS. All former documents remain valid. Nigeria Embassy, Germany Embassy and general public should please take note.
•Executive Vice President, IT Solutions Business, Samsung, Mr. Seongwoo Nam and Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Ekiti State Government and Samsung, at the corporate headquarters of the company in Seoul, South Korea …yesterday.
How Oyinlola’s administration abandoned N2.5b road, by witness
EMBERS of the Osun State Commission of Inquiry yesterday heard how a contractor handling the Honey Comb road project was paid N1.5 billion by the administration of former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola for a job not done. The N2.5 billion project, now abandoned, was given to Messrs Habok Nigeria Ltd. It was to be financed on a 50-50 ratio by the state government and the 30 local government areas. Mr. David Oni, an engineer and former Permanent Secretary in the Works Ministry, who made the revelation, said his advice that the contract be terminated, earned him a transfer to the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP). In his testimonies before the panel, Mr. Oni said he declined a directive to raise payment for the contract because there was no justification for it. Incumbent and retired officials of the Ministries of Works and Transport, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, the BPP and the construction firm, took turns to testify yesterday. According to Mr. Adetuberu,
From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo
who acted as spokesman to all the directors of works in the local government, the council areas began to complain about the project in 2006 when the contractor failed to continue with the implementation. He further testified that he and his colleagues were made to counter sign for payment to Messrs Habok Nigeria Ltd at a breakfast they held with the former governor. Adetuberu told his audience that they were threatened with transfer to teach at technical colleges if they proved stubborn In his own testimony, the Director of Highways, Mr Bamiduro, narrated how the project was taken away from his ministry and that of the local government of bottleneck. According to him, the construction had attained 38 per cent completion by the time it was taken away. Recounting his ordeal, Oni said he wrote a memo that there was no justification to pay the contractor when he was directed to raise payment. He claimed the former
deputy governor Erelu Olusola Obada hosted the meeting where the termination of the project was first discussed. Erelu Obada is now the Minister of State for Defence. According to him, after the initial payment of N400 million to the contractor, another N500 million was paid before the final N250 million was paid even when works were not in progress. He said the issue to raise the payment for the contract was mentioned at another meeting allegedly held at the palace of the Oni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade. Also testifying, the DirectorGeneral of the BPP, Mr. Gbenga Abiola, said the government continued to pay the contractor to ensure completion. He said the option opened to the government as of then, was not to terminate but to continue with the project because so much funds had been sunk into it. Besides, the government felt the contractor might seek judicial redress for breach of contract. The hearing was adjourned till today.
PUBLIC NOTICE Ojo Local Government OTTO Awori Local Government Council Dev Area Km 28 Badagry Express-way Ijanikin Invites all concerned owners of Abandoned motor-cycles (OKADA) to come forward for clearing within 14 working days in their premises with effect from 11th – 28th September 2012.Faliure to comply will amount to public Auction by Authorized Auctioneer. Signed: OTTO AWORI L.C.D.A 08033466559
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
NEWS Accident claims 11 lives in Edo From Osagie Otabor, Benin
WO accidents that occurred on the Benin-Ore-Lagos Expressway last weekend claimed 11 lives. The accidents occurred barely three days after the car conveying four lecturers of the Igbinedion University, Okada, fell into the Ovia River, killing the occupants. On Saturday, eight persons died in an accident involving a Delta Line bus. Three persons died on Sunday in an accident involving a Benin transport company. The bodies were deposited at an undisclosed hospital, while the survivors were taken to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH). National Coordinator of the Save Accident Victims of Nigeria (SAVAN) Dr. Eddy Ehikhamenor urged drivers to be careful.
‘Implement Mitee’s committee report now’
HE Federal Governemnt has been urged to implement the report of the Ledum Mitee Technical Committee on Niger Delta. National Association of Niger Delta Students (NANDS) said the implementation of the recommendations in the report would ensure justice and equity for the aggrieved people of the region. Speaking in Abuja at the presentation of award of excellence to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Aviation, Capt. Usman Iyal, at the weekend, the group’s National President, Lucky Emonefe, said the implementation would enhance the Amnesty programme for exmilitants. He said Capt. Iyal was recognised for his diligent, patriotic, transparent service to the country’s aviation industry. Emonefe also hailed his dogged commitment to nation building as well as his support for the transformation agenda of Mr. President. On the implemenation of the Mitee’s report, Emonefe said: “Capitalism has given birth to deprivation, which has crushed the people of the Niger Delta. “Whereas sky scrapers and fly-overs are built with oil money in distant parts of the country, the Niger Delta could only boast of a dejected milieu. “For example, Nigeria is a conglomerate of different regions that are numerically un-
From: Dele Anofi, Abuja
equal. The Niger-Delta is in the minority, though it is the economic base of the nation. “It is sad that the Niger Delta struggle is replete with tales of woe and misery; right from Isaac Boro’s 12-day revolution to Ken SaroWiwa’s MOSOP...” As part of efforts towards reawakening the people, Emonefe said the organisation is set to launch several initiatives that include seminars on sensitisation and awareness campaign. The students urged the Presidential aide to see the award as a catalyst to do more for the country. Iyal praised them for being constructively critical of the challenges facing the region. He said: “What makes me more proud is what you said about the views and ideas of the people from your place. It will be a total disappointment for someone like me not to give you my total support.”
Cynthia’s body still at LASUTH
•Abia State Governor Theodore Orji (right), Amb. Empire Kanu (middle) and Dr. Okezie Ogbuehi on an inspection tour of the new doctors' residence at Amachara, Umuokpara in Umuahia...yesterday.
Akpabio has urged all zones in the federation tap the natural resources available across the country. He urged the Federal Government to increase the 13 per cent derivation to 50 per cent in order to develop the Southsouth. Akpabio spoke yesterday in Asaba, the Delta State capital, at the advocacy workshop on Economic Diversification and Enhanced Revenue Generation organised by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC). He urged RMAFC to come with a blueprint that would increase the derivation to 50 per cent, as well as policies that would allow the regions develop at their own pace by exploring other sources of revenue outside oil. Akpabio said: “We have resources that are untapped, but because of our monolithic economy and over-reliance on oil wealth, we have failed to explore other areas. “When there is a reduction
By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha
HE body of slain Cynthia, daughter of Maj. Gen. Frank Osukogu, is still lying unclaimed at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja. Cynthia was killed by her facebook friends on July 22 in Lagos. The autopsy was said to have been concluded, but there was no member of her family to collect the body. A source, who spoke in confidence, said it could be that the hospital or police have not invited her family to come and claim the body. It was learnt that the Commissioner of Police, Umaru Manko, said the pathologist did not complete the autopsy, hence Cynthia’s body could not be released for burial last weekend. The source said the police needed to conclude the autopsy since the report was vital to the trial of the suspects who had confessed to killing the girl. Cynthia’s burial, which was scheduled for last weekend in Boji Boji-Owa, Delta State, had to be postponed because her body was still lying at the LASUTH morgue.
Edo warns on posters From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin
HE Edo State Government has said residents must take permission from the Ministry of Environment before pasting posters and erecting billboards across the state. At a stakeholders’ meeting at the weekend in Benin, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Alhaji A. H. Ikhelowa said the indiscriminate pasting of posters across the state. The consultant on outdoor media adverts to the state government, Mr. Roland Oriakhi stated that for the good of the state government in creating a better environment to be realized, there was need for the people to key into the vision of government.
Akpabio, Uduaghan, Oshiomhole advocate “I think we should start KWA-IBOM State 50 per cent derivation looking at the things each Governor Godswill From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba
in the benchmark for oil, our resources dwindle because we do not have any other source of income. This clearly reflects the urgent need for us to diversify our economy and broaden our revenue base. The decline in the manufacturing sector and others must be addressed urgently.” The host, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, and Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole, represented by his deputy, Mr. Pius Odubu, also emphasised the need to diversify the nation’s economy from oil revenue. They hinged their call for an increase of the derivation revenue on the need to urgently address the degradation caused by oil exploration in the Niger Delta. Uduaghan, who opened the workshop, said: “We still believe that 50 per cent derivation should come to the region, because of the environmental degradation and poverty in the area.
“We need to mitigate the effect of oil exploration on our people; we need to clean up the seas and ensure that there are no more environmental damages. “This involves a lot of fund and what is coming now is insignificant. Fifty per cent will be considerate. We appeal to our brothers advocating the removal of the on shore/off shore dichotomy that it is a no go area. The matter has been laid to rest for good.” Stressing that some states rely so much on the Federal Allocation that they fail to exploit the natural resources in their domain, the governor said: “We only noticed recently that there are oil deposits in Sokoto State because neighbouring countries, such as Chad and Niger, were exploring the resources in Nigeria’s territory. In the 1960s when agriculture used to be the mainstay of the nation’s economy, we hear of the Groundnut Pyramid in the North and the Cocoa House in the West.
Petrol price hits N140 in Calabar
HE price of petrol has hit N140 per litre in Calabar, the Cross River State capital. Black market operators sell the product for N200 per litre, while the few filling stations that have the product sell for, at least, N140 per litre. Consequently, the cost of living has risen. A resident, Mr. David Effiong, said he paid N200 for a haircut instead of N100. The few commercial vehicles on the streets have
From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar
hiked their fares from N50 to between N80 and N100. Many residents have resorted walking long distances. Chairman, Cross River State Petrol Tankers’ Association, Mr. Abdullahi Akomaye alleged that the petroleum products meant for the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) depot in Calabar were diverted to private depots, which sell at exorbitant rates.
Akomaye said the NNPC depot sells at N88.1 per litre, while the private depots sell for over N100 per litre. He said 5,000 metric tons of petrol meant for the depot, which arrived last Wednesday, had not been released for reasons unknown. Efforts to reach the depot manager proved futile, as he did not pick his phone calls or return text messages. When The Nation got to his office at 3:55pm, he was said to have closed for the day.
Illegal bunkering: JTF burns diesel tanker
PERATIVES of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Rivers State yesterday burnt a tanker loaded with 33,000 litres of illegally-refined diesel. They also arrested two suspected illegal bunkerers. The JTF operatives seized the tanker and the suspects on Sunday night on the Eleme-Akpajo Road, near Port Harcourt, the state capital. They burnt the tanker yesterday about 3pm, near Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals Company and Nemco Filling Station, causing heavy
From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
traffic on the ever-busy road. It was learnt that the suspects were conveying the diesel to an undisclosed location. Spokesman of 2 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Bori Camp, Port Harcourt, Maj. Michael Etete confirmed the incident. He said the tanker and its content were burnt to serve as a deterrent to others in the business. Etete said there would be no respite for criminals in the state.
state can do to avoid going to Abuja every month for allocation. We are supposed to develop our infrastructure and make the state economically viable, such that we generate revenue and pay tax to the federal government. “We should focus on things that would unite this country and not things that will divide us. I support the 50 per cent derivation.” RMAFC Chairman Elias Mbam said the workshop was the third in the series organised by his commission in the six geo-political zones. He said the aim was to sensitise the federal, state and local governments and other stakeholders on the urgent need to diversify their respective sources of revenue. Mbam said: “It was also envisaged that by organising these workshops on zonal basis, states in each geopolitical zone would explore their peculiar potentials and share experiences on how to develop their resources to generate more revenue.”
Baby abandoned in church From Osagie Otabor, Benin
DAY-OLD baby boy has been abandoned at Victory Church in Afunwa, Benin, Edo State. The baby’s cries were heard by a passerby, a woman, who found him in the church covered with birth fluid. It appears the baby was delivered by a young girl, who left him behind. The passerby said she met the girl at the church entrance and asked her whose baby was crying, but the girl said the baby’s mother was inside the church. The police confirmed the incident. They said the Good Samaritan reported the case at Ugbekun Police Station and the child had been taken to an orphanage home.
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
NEWS NMA urges emergency in Kano HE Nigerian Medihealth sector cal Association
(NMA) has urged the Kano State Government to declare a state of emergency in the health sector, to stop brain drain in government hospitals. It said it was lamentable that 100 doctors disengaged from the service in the last six months. Addressing reporters in Kano yesterday, the Chairman of the local chapter of the NMA, Dr. Shehi Ali Abubakar, said the exodus of doctors to federal Institutions and neighbouring states was due to the “systemic decay in the available facilities.” He said following the collapse of infrastructure and lack of manpower, the Pediatrics ward at the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Kano has been closed down. Abubakar added that only 65 doctors attend to patients in a facility adjudged as one of the busiest government hospitals in the state. According to him, “Dr. Shehu Ali Abubakar ward, the largest and busiest in a government hospital in the state, has fewer than 65 doctors and it is estimated that with the current exodus rate, fewer than 40 doctors will be working in this facility by the end of the year.” The Chairman of the NMA said there is a low morale among the doctors working for the state government, adding that Kano remains the only state in the Northwest yet to implement the CONMESS despite several agreements with the medical practitioners. Dr. Abubakar noted that the situation in the government health facilities had put pressure on the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, designat-
From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
ed as a tertiary institution and intended to be a research-based facility, which now treats patients from primary facilities. He assured the public of their readiness to carry on with the service to humanity and enjoined the Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso-led administration to fix the infrastructural decay and begin the full implementation of CONMESS to health workers. Asked his reaction to the issues raised by the NMA, Kano State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Abubakar Labaran Yusuf, said: “I am attending a meeting and will not comment on the issue for now.”
ACN chair challenges tribunal’s verdict at Appeal Court T
HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Chairman in Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State, Prince Saheed Popoola, has challenged the nullification of his verdict by the local government election petition tribunal at the Appeal Court. The tribunal last month nullified the result of the local government by-election conducted in January last year in Offa. It ordered a fresh poll in the council within 120 days. Dissatisfied, the chairmanship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election, Abdulwaheed S. Olanipekun, approached the tribunal for rectification. In his appeal, Prince Popoola, through his counsel, H.O. Buhari, prayed the appellate
From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
court to set aside the decision of the lower tribunal. He also urged the court to “dismiss the petition of the petitioners or in the alternative order a retrial of the petition before another local government election tribunal.” The appellants argued that “the tribunal erred in law when it held that; ‘in view of the fact that Section 20 of the Electoral Law is inconsistent with Section 30 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), Section 20 of the electoral law is null and void and we so declare.’” His words: “The petitioner
never made conflict between the Kwara State Electoral Law and the Electoral Act on issue before the tribunal; the parties never joined issues on what constitutes a valid length of notice. The tribunal raised the issue of conflict between the state local government electoral law and the Electoral Act in its judgment. “The tribunal did not invite counsel to address on it. The tribunal erred in law when it held ‘inconsequence, that the rerun election into Offa Local Government held on January 12 last year is invalid, unconstitutional, null and void and the election is accordingly nullified.’
“The tribunal based its judgment on an already repealed law. Section 20 of the Kwara State Local Government Electoral Act, 2004 has since been repealed and amended by the state local government electoral (amendment) law 2010. “The tribunal erred in law, when it held that; ‘the 14 days notice provided by Section 20 of the Electoral law by virtue of which the rerun election of January 12 was conducted is grossly inadequate as against the 90 days provided by the Electoral Act, 2010. The election of January 12 was a by-election and not a fresh election. “The phrase ‘rerun’ is unknown to the local government electoral law of Kwara State.”
Supreme Court dismisses Audu’s petition against Wada
HE Supreme Court yesterday dismissed an appeal by Prince Abubakar Audu challenging the victory of Governor Idris Wada of Kogi State in last year’s governorship election. It also struck out a separate appeal by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The court arrived at the decision after dismissing the application for the extension of time within which to file the notice of appeal. The appellants claimed they received a copy of the Court of Appeal’s judgment two days to the expiration of the time, thereby causing delay in filing the appeal. In a lead ruling by Justice Mahmud Mohammed, the apex court held that it lacked the jurisdiction to grant the application because the appellants failed to file the notice of appeal within 14 days.
From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
The judge held that the notice of appeal filed outside the time is incompetent, adding that granting the extension would contravene the practice direction. “I therefore hold that this court has no jurisdiction to grant the application sought.” The Supreme Court held that the failure to obtain the judgment of the Court of Appeal in time was not a reasonable ground to grant extension.It dismissed the application by Audu and struck out that of the ACN after it was withdrawn by its counsel, Muiz Banire. The Court of Appeal, Abuja, had held that it had no reason to interfere in the decision of the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal that affirmed the elec-
tion of Wada as the Governor of Kogi State. In the three-hour judgment, the court held that 74 of the 88 witnesses called by the appellants gave hearsay evidence, which no court would rely on. The Kogi State Election Petition Tribunal Chairman, Justice Suleiman Anbursa, had declared that the petitioners failed to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. He said the onus is on the petitioners to prove their case
beyond a reasonable doubt, adding that the allegations cannot be substantiated. Justice Anbursa said the allegations of multiple voting, electoral violence, rigging and inducement of voters by the petitioners were neither here nor there, as the testimonies of the witnesses were contradictory. He added that whether by oral or documentary, the petitioners have failed to prove their allegations. He gave
judgment in favour of the respondents.According to him, the petitioners could not also tender another result to show that they won the poll, by bringing forward another result to reverse the one declared by the electoral umpire. The tribunal chairman said based on the facts before them, they had no choice but to agree that the last governorship election complied with the electoral guidelines.
FCTA appoints Mamman as 2012 Amir Hajj
HE Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, has approved the appointment of General Abdullahi Bagudu Mamman (rtd) as the Amir Hajj for the FCT Muslim pilgrims to the 2012 Hajj. The minister, who gave the approval yesterday, said General Mamman, who was the FCT Amir Hajj last year, got reappointed following the success recorded by the FCT Muslim Pilgrims Wel-
From Bukola Amusan, Abuja
fare Board. In a letter signed by the minister and made available to reporters, Oloye Akinjide said: “Your appointment was based on your performances as evidenced in the Amirul-Hajj 2011 report.” She noted that the report had given her an insight into hajj operations generally and made her to take some initiatives.
Your Sexual Health & You: Novelty Tips, Questions & Answers
am thinking of proposing to my girlfriend and settling down. But this girl and I have had some wild times. She is a real party girl. Do you think she is wife material? Ejike Dear Ejike, there is a common misconception that girls who party once in a while do not make good wives and it is not true. You will also be surprised that the same men who married the ‘homely girl’ who was a virgin, are the ones who complain today that their wives are boring in bed. Partying is part of a young adult’s development. Human’s party to blow off steam, make new friends and fill the void of loneliness. It doesn’t make them bad people. The moment girls get married and start having children, their priorities change. They become different and start thinking inwards while prioritising their families and domestic responsibilities over individual fantasies and desires. If you love this girl and you both get along, then you have a good thing going. Give her a chance. If she gives you a wild time, that is good news too. That means you will not be one of the men writing me a few years from now to complain about the boring wife. Take care and good luck – Uche I have some issues bothering me and I need your professional advice. I don’t have erections when I wake up in the morning. Am I still vibrant as a man? I am also a quick ejaculator and after one round of sex, it takes me a long time to get back another erection. My libido is also not what it used to be. I want to be charged each time I am with a woman. Thanks – Engineer Olamide Dear Olamide, the absence of morning erections does not necessarily indicate a problem, provided you get erections when you want to have sex. There are some people who don’t experience morning erections but still have a healthy sex life. You also did not mention your age. If you are middle aged or older, it can explain why your libido is no longer what it used to be. But you can maintain a high libido and
boost your sexual performance by taking testosterone boosting supplements like Max Intense Testosterone. To curb your quick ejaculation, use a penis sleeve like the Stud Extender, a delay condom such as the Pasante Delay condom or a delay cream like Prolong Plus Delay Cream. These are all good options that will enable you last longer – Uche My boyfriend has a really small penis and I just don’t like it. How can you help him? Jennifer Dear Jennifer, I hope you have not told him that he has a small penis because if you do, things will never be the same between the two of you. If he willingly wants to enlarge his penis, then he can do so with a variety of novelties such as Penis Pumps, enlargement Creams like Maximus Enlargement Cream and supplements such as Big Bam Boo. But he must make this choice himself – Uche I experience sexual dryness and pain during intercourse and my husband has a soft penis – Naomi You need a lubricant Naomi. Get the Smooth & Slick Lubricant. It will solve this problem. For your husband, tell him to look for Virillis supplement or Xzen 1200. Any of these two will give him rock hard erections whenever he needs it – Uche Sir please what does a man of 22 years need to know and do to satisfy his girl? Edwin Edwin, for your sex education, get the film More of What Women Want and the book Sex Secrets – Uche That’s it for today. The names of the people featured here have been changed for their privacy. Adults in need of these treatments/novelties can call 08027901621 or 08051924159 or any other number here to order or they can order online at www.zeevirtualmedia.com. Zee Virtual Media delivers to you wherever you are in Nigeria. For enquiries, send your emails to email@example.com - Uche Edochie, MD, Zee Virtual Media.
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
NEWS Akingbola’s trial: No query raised on money paid to Tropics Securities LAGOS High Court, Ikeja was told yesterday that no query was raised on the payment of N18.6 billion made by the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc (now Access Bank) to Tropics Securities Limited. This, according to a former Chief Financial Controller of the defunct bank, Mr Akin Fabunmi, was because the transaction followed due process. Fabunmi was giving evidence before Justice Habeeb Abiru. He said the payment made by the Bank to Tropics was for the buying of shares. Akingbola and an associate, Bayo Dada, are standing trial for allegedly stealing N47.1 billion belonging to the bank. Fabunmi defended some of the transactions carried out by the bank under its former Managing Director Dr. Erastus Akingbola. Led in evidence by Akingbola’s counsel, Chief Felix Fagbohungbe (SAN), the witness debunked the claims of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that the N18.6 billion paid by the bank to Tropics allegedly owned by Akingbola and his wife, Anthonia (now at large), was without due process. He said: “The transfer of a total amount of N18.6 billion to Tropics between May and June 2009 for the purpose of shares purchase followed the normal payment process. “For each payment, a payment request was received from Tropics Securities and I raised memos for the commencement of the payments.
Obama campaign gets a lift in Florida
S this the lift President Obama was looking for on his campaign bus tour through Florida? In this key swing state, Obama stopped at Big Apple Pizza & Pasta Italian Restaurant, where he was greeted by owner Scott Van Duzer, a muscular man dressed in a gray T-shirt and matching athletic shorts. Van Duzer was so smitten by the president that he embraced him in a bear hug, leaned backward and lifted the 6-foot-2 president a foot off the ground. Photos of the moment show Obama with his arms spread wide and palms turned upward, as if to say he’s at the mercy of the pizzaman. Van Duzer has a broad smile on his face, and a woman in the background has a look of sheer surprise. Reporters lined up on the other side also had a clear view of
. Van Duzer holding Obama firmly
the lift. Afterward, a reporter at the scene reported that Van Duzer, 46, from Port St. Lucie, stands 6-foot-3 and weights 260 pounds, and he can bench-press 350. “Everybody look at these guns,” Obama said, pointing to Van Duzer’s chest. “If I eat your pizza, will I look like that?”
“Look at that!” Obama exclaimed after Van Duzer put him down. “Man, are you a powerlifter or what?” Obama told reporters that he stopped at the restaurant because the owner has set state records for donating blood. “Here’s an example of somebody
who is doing well, but he’s also giving back. So we just want to say how proud we are of him,” Obama said. “I still wonder how he got these biceps, but what we know is that the guy’s just got a big heart along with big pecs. So we’re very proud of him, and we just want to say thank you for all the great work.”
9/11 anniversary marked under cloud of health problems, funding fights
LEVEN years after the September 11, 2001, attacks, New Yorkers will mark the anniversary on Tuesday against a backdrop of health concerns for emergency workers and a feud over financing that has stopped construction of the $1 billion Ground Zero museum. While notable progress on redevelopment of the World Trade Center has been made since early disputes over financial, design and security issues, the project remains hobbled by political battles and billions of dollars in cost overruns. A major sticking point is the museum at the heart of the World Trade Center (WTC) site redevelopment. Construction has been suspended because of a feud over finances between the National September 11 Memorial and Muse-
um foundation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. When the foundation announced recently that for the first time, politicians would be excluded from having speaking roles in the September 11 anniversary ceremonies, it was seen by many victims’ families and others in the 9/11 community as a public reflection of these behind-the-scenes disputes. Overall site redevelopment costs have grown to nearly $15 billion, up from $11 billion in 2008, according to a recent project audit. But for many of the families of 9/11 victims and ailing Ground Zero workers, the redevelopment disputes are a disheartening sideshow to the rising loss of human lives.
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
NEWS Lawan-Otedola $620,000 bribe: More riddles surface
EFCC probes $15m Ibori bribe sum suit
HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has raised a team to probe a strange suit initiated by a businessman, Mr. Chibuike Achigbu, demanding a return of the $15million bribe sum allegedly offered by ex-Governor James Ibori to a former chairman of the commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu. Achigbu on August 29 approached a Federal High Court in Abuja , through a consortium of lawyers, to ask for the return of the money. He claimed that he gave the $15m to a former presidential aide, Dr. Andy Uba, for the purpose of financing the Peoples Democratic Party during the 2007 general elections. But barely 72 hours after filing an application for the return of $15million bribe sum to him, he withdrew the suit. Investigation by our correspondent revealed that EFCC has decided to probe the plaintiff’s ‘sudden claim’ and those who might have sponsored the action. It was also learnt that the person who deposed to an affidavit in support of the action
FromYusuf Alli, Abuja
might be investigated too. A top source in the EFCC said: “The commission wants to look into those behind the suit. We are suspecting that there was more to the filing of the matter and its withdrawal. “If somebody could swear to an affidavit on oath, we are suspecting that some people might have sponsored him. We are suspecting that a syndicate is up to something. “We will also consider fresh clues to the $15million bribe sum. We may also interact with anyone connected with the suit in any manner whatsoever, including counsel who could assist us as officers in the temple of justice. “It is obvious that the person who instituted the matter must have a lot up his sleeve. We won’t gloss over this. “Go and read the affidavit of the plaintiff, it contained a lot of allegations, issues and revelations that an anti-graft agency cannot ignore. “Do not forget that Senator Uba denied any link with the said bribe sum. The Delta State Government had gone to a
Federal High Court to apply for the return of the bribe sum which is being kept with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). But suddenly a businessman came up to claim the money.” The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) had insisted on a fresh probe of the $15million donation. In a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the party. Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, the CPC asked the EFCC to probe alleged donation of the $15million to the PDP. It said: “The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) is appalled by the controversy generated by the alleged $15Million bribe money (currently in the custody of the Central Bank of Nigeria), offered to the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu in 2007 by the former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori. “With the conviction and subsequent incarceration of Chief James Ibori (for Money laundering offences) by a British Court , the need for the proper disposal of
the money became a frontburner issue. “Understandably, the Delta State Government showed up as the rightful owner since the money was purloined from it by Chief James Ibori, in his capacity as the then substantive governor. “Whilst the matter was pending in the Court, a Nigerian business man, Mr. Chibuike Achigbu, stepped forward as the authentic owner. In a deposition, filed by a team of ten lawyers (including three Senior Advocates of Nigeria), Achigbu averred, inter-alia, that he raised the money for the purpose of donating to the electioneering campaigns of the PDP in the 2007 general elections. “ Furthermore, the money was allegedly given to Dr Andy Uba, the then Senior Special Assistant on domestic Affairs in a PDP Presidency and now a Senator, for the purpose of authenticating (with the EFCC) its suitability for donation. “Uba was alleged to have passed the money to Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, the then Director of Operations of EFCC and current Executive Chairman.
•Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima signing into law the bill establishing the state university in Maiduguri …yesterday. With him are (from left) Deputy Governor Zanna Mustapha; Secretary to the State Government Baba Jidda and Chairman, Technical Committee on the Borno State University Prof. Nur Alkali
NLC, CPC, Gbajabiamila, others fault national honours’ list
HE national honours list for 2012 released by government yesterday received knocks from a cross section of Nigerians. Labour and political parties faulted the list of 149 recipients made available on Sunday. Business mogul Dr. Mike Adenuga is awarded the second highest national award of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON). Governors, politicians, top government officials and private sector personalties, are on the list. “It is only a recognition and honour of the ‘money bags and bureaucrats,’ the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said yesterday. Acting NLC Secretary General Chris Uyot urged the government to beam its searchlight on other areas of human endeavours to honour Nigerians. He said: “It is unfortunate that other honest and hardworking Nigerians such as the artistes and actresses are not honoured. They should extend their searchlight to other segments of the society.”
From Victor Oluwasegun Dele Anofi, John Ofikhenua and Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
Uyot, however noted that it is a good idea for citizens to be honoured for honesty, hardwork and other virtues. The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) said because the awards have been bastardised, some deserving Nigerians have been shunning it when given. National publicity secretary of the party, Rotimi Fashakin, said: “It is very unfortunate that the nation is being driven so precipitously. There is virtually no method to the madness. The National honours scheme has become bastardised. Little wonder, great Nigerians that have impacted positively on the nation’s image internationally are shunning these awards. “A situation where an indicted oil chief is being honoured is a firm attestation to the decadent show of shame of the Jonathan regime. Indeed, the soul of the Nigerian state is being pulverised,” Fashakin said. Minority Leader of the
House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, gave a thumbs down to the list of awardees. The lawmaker, who rejected a similar award last year on the premise that it has become “ a national joke,” said having seen this year’s list, he is more convinced that he did the right thing in rejecting the award last year. He said: “The list speaks for itself. I am even more convinced now than I was before, that rejecting it (the award) was the right thing to do.” Gbajabiamila, while rejecting the nomination for the award of the Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR) by President Goodluck Jonathan for 2011, said the honours’ list usually contains names of people with questionable character. According to him, the process has been abused and has thus “reduced what otherwise was a well-intended and noble idea to a national joke.” But another member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Idris Sani Mohammed said the list is okay. He however said it should be grass-
roots- oriented “When you look at the list, they are people that have made impact in different areas of the Nigerian economy, politics and other areas and some of them have done well for Nigeria, including civil servants and members of the National Assembly. “But I want to stress that the selection should be broad-based and people-inclusive. Let them go to the rural areas, the grassroots, where we have unsung people that are really contributing to the growth of this country and are promoting peacefulcoexistence. “I believe that if some of the people are recognised, it will not only promote selfless service to the country but by extension and more importantly, promote a better society and encourage more people to serve the country selflessly. “The recipients do not have to come from Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Ibadan or Port Harcourt before they are recognised for such honours. “The list is good but it should be more of people who have contributed to national development”.
•Otedola Continued from page 1
bribery. “Lawan should confirm whether on 23rd of April, he reported the $250,000 to any person (first installment, $250,000 at Apo ; second Installment by 2am at Otedola’s house and 10am at Otedola’s house by the Secretary: “Farouk to confirm whether and when he added the sum brought by Emenalo to the rest of the money.” On Otedola, the document said: “He should be contacted so that he can provide the following: Copies of documents he submitted to Farouk Lawan after the public hearing investigation to clear his companies AP and Zenon Oil (with a view to comparing them with what the House supplied). “All the telephone numbers he used in communicating with Farouk Lawan or any other person related to this matter. Cautionary words to his statement or compliance with the rules. “To confirm whether SSS gave him the money in bulk or in bits of $20, $250, $120. Whether Otedola signed for the money at SSS, with particular serial numbers or whether the SSS has a photocopy of the US dollar bills. “A copy of memo/documents by AP, ZENON and FORTE Oil submitted to the ad-hoc committee (presentation) by the MD, Mr. Otaru. He is to confirm whether the $120,000.00 requested for by the secretary was for Lawan or for himself as the secretary of the Committee. “To confirm whether it was the secretary who called him or he (Otedola) who called the secretary (who initiated the call?). “To confirm how many video cameras were used for the coverage of the said sting operation. Where are copies of the recordings? How many bundles were the $120,000.00; whether only two bundles of $50,000 bills were given to Emenalo and account for the $20,000. The number of times he was visited by Mr. Emenalo. “He should throw more light on why he went to the SSS and not the other antigraft agencies? (To prepare for cross examination). Why did he take the first $250,000 to Farouk’s hotel? (To prepare for cross examination). “Was there any lunch on 20th April in his house involving himself, Farouk and a former EFCC chairman and to comment on Lawn’s statement of 14/06/2012. He is also to comment on the allegation of plane load of 2.5million USD he is alleged to have made to Lawan. To confirm audio recording of Otedola with Farouk, where it is, and the copies.
Emenalo is “requested to make additional statement so that he can explain the following: Rules of the Procedure of the Committee, the function of the secretariat. Documents submitted by Otedola to Farouk Lawan on 24/04/ 2012. Whether he was the “secretariat” consulted by Lawan on 24th April, 2012 which led to the removal of “Zenon Oil” from the list of companies formerly indicted by the Committee. Whether the alteration of the report was a decision of the whole Committee or by Lawan alone. Whether the secretariat has the minutes of the meetings of the Committee where decisions were taken. And the address of Otedola in Maitama that he visited. On the $120,000, Emenalo is expected to explain “the purpose of the money – was it a gift for him as secretary of the committee? Or if the $120,000 or $100,000 was for him or for Lawan and why he did not report to Police, SSS or clerk of the House of Representatives, who is his boss. The location of the $620,000? On the Chairman of the House Committee on Financial Crimes, Narcotics and Drugs, Mr. Adam Jagaba, the document said: : “There is need to obtain additional statement from this witness so that he can explain the following: The history of his health, with records. His functions as Chairman of House Committee on Financial Crimes, Drugs etc. The procedure his committee adopted previously when it received a report of bribe and how same was repeated, if any. Procedure his Committee adopted in treating the report by Farouk Lawan (if any). “Whether his Committee received and kept the exhibit money. Did he see the money on the 6th June, 2012 and whose custody was the money after the meeting?” As for the other members of the House Ad Hoc Committee, they might be grilled on what they knew about the bribery deal if any. The document added: “Take cautionary statement from each and every member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Subsidy Regime to show: (a) The procedure followed in arriving at decisions concerning the indicted companies, the procedure for removing the indicted companies from the list, especially the removal of ‘Zenon Oil’ and a “Synopsis” on the 24th of April 2012. (b) Whether the procedures established in (a) above were followed in respect of both.(c) Whether the committee members were aware of the demand and receipt of over $600,000 by Farouk Lawan and the Secretary on or before the 24th of April 2012. (d) If they were aware, when and how? (e) Whether any of the committee members, who was aware, reported to the police, ICPC and EFCC. (f) CTC of all documents submitted by AP, Zenon Oil and Forte Oil. (g) The proceedings of 6th of June 2012 when the over $600,000 was suggested to be displayed on the floor of the House.” It was also gathered that there might be need to invite the PPPRA for other bends of the additional investigation.
THE NATION TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
TODAY IN THE NATION
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
‘The nation didn’t get to this point because those in charge suddenly became more committed. It did because Nigerians have gone beyond asking hard questions to demanding explanations on why in spite of the trillions of naira sunk, the government cannot deliver. SANYA ONI
COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA
THE article that follows was my column for the January 30, 1990. edition of The Guardian, titled Prisoner Number J60/4990. I am re-publishing it to honour the memory of Gani Fawehinmi, Senior Advocate for Nigerians, iconoclast, distinguished forensic clinician, and unrelenting crusader for justice and human freedom, who died three years ago last week.
T is the stuff of courtroom drama of the most diverting kind. The famous prisoner, jailed for expressing a perfectly legitimate request that his case be assigned to a judge other than the one before whom his prayers had been denied in as many as 10 previous appearances, insists on turning up before yet another tribunal in his prison uniform. The prison authorities will have none of it. They acknowledge that he is a prisoner all right. All the same, they are persuaded that it would be unseemly for him to appear before a tribunal in his prison clothes. This may be a concession to the fiery attorney, one of the most dapper in the business. But he is not flattered. He is not ashamed to be a prisoner. He is not embarrassed to be seen in public in prison uniform. Whose body is it anyway? The tribunal is just as troubled as the prison authorities. Why should the accused insist on appearing before so grave and dignified a body in prison clothes? After all, he is not your run-of-the-mill prisoner but an honourable member of the Bar who, in another circumstance, could be standing before the tribunal in wig and gown as counsel rather than culprit. Perhaps the prisoner’s attorney could persuade him to come to court in his everyday clothes and not in his prison uniform? No, thanks. All that the law requires, says the prisoner’s sedate and urbane leading attorney, (first-generation Senior Advocate Chief GOK Ajayi), is that he appear before the tribunal. The prisoner is ready to answer the court’s summons, without preconditions. This, as I was saying, is the stuff of courtroom drama of the most hilarious kind. With the celebrated New York attorney William Kunstler, he of the Chicago Eight trial , or the celebrated Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz cast in their accustomed roles, the audience would have been treated to a burlesque such as we have never witnessed in these parts. But that is another place, another tradition. There, a robust republicanism thrives, undergirded by a separation of powers and by checks and balances. There is no kabiyesi factor. Those who make the law are an-
AT HOME ABROAD firstname.lastname@example.org
Remembering Gani, our Gani
•The late Fawehinmi
swerable to it. Judicial review is not foreclosed. Rambunctious criticism of court procedure and pronouncement is the rule. That is how it should be, when the life or liberty of a citizen hangs in the balance. But even if the tradition here could accommodate a Kunstler or Dershowitz, the leading counsel for the prisoner would still not have availed himself of their entertain-
I bet, this is just another POLITICAL STATEMENT!
Amplification Several readers of last week’s column on the U.S. presidential race have asked what the term GOP means. It stands for Grand Old Party, shorthand for the Republican Party. •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061
RIPPLES N5000 note: WE’LL STOP SANUSI - Senators
ing style to score telling forensic points. That is simply not his style. And so, to the tribunal’s request that he persuade the prisoner to come to court in the genteel outfit that becomes him so well, his attorney would only say, with grave dignity, that what counts is his client’s appearance before the court, not the clothes he chooses to wear. The police officer despatched by the tribunal to fetch the prisoner returns emptyhanded. The prisoner says he will not step out of the precincts except in his uniform. Proceedings are adjourned. Two weeks later, the prisoner is brought to court in that contentious prison uniform, ebullient as ever, without the faintest sign of embarrassment or self-pity, and without asking to be pitied. If anyone ever looked spiffy in a prison uniform, it is Prisoner No J60/4990. The photographers click away. They know a good picture when they see one. A robust sense of humour is not likely to be listed even as one of the prisoner’s minor assets. But he has an almost infinite capacity to surprise. And so, he urges the photographers to make a good job of taking his snapshots, and to be sure to send the prints to Kabiyesi, with his compliments. The tribunal commences its assignment at last, under an intriguing division of judicial labour whereby a person arrested by the federal authorities (unlawfully, says a judge), and detained by the federal authorities (lawfully, says the same judge), is pros-
ecuted by the Lagos State Government, before a tribunal empanelled by the federal authorities. But its discomfiture at having to try the accused in prison uniform is almost palpable. Not for long, however. Before the first session at which the prisoner did not show up and the second one in which he turned up in that embarrassing prison uniform, some enterprising prison official had combed the rule books and found, to the immense relief of everyone in that corner, a law that apparently prohibits appearance in court or before a tribunal in prison uniform,. This deus ex machina is read out solemnly to the prisoner. His attorney is unimpressed. Persons learned in the law say that the rule prohibiting appearance before the courts in prison uniform is not an interpolation, and that it has nothing in common with the Lagos State enactment that led the Supreme Court to rule that the prisoner had absolutely no right to undertake a private prosecution in respect of the Dele Giwa murder after it had held unanimously that he was fully entitled to prosecute. From this diverting courtroom incident, the fundraising campaign that friends, associates and admirers of Prisoner No J60/ 4990 are staging to raise N5 million to forestall the auctioning of his property in settlement of the libel award arising from the Dele Giwa murder, stands to emerge an unintended beneficiary. Now that he may not be appearing in court in prison uniform any longer, the pictures taken last Tuesday have acquired a historic value that the fundraisers can parlay into hard cash. How? By simply printing thousands upon thousands of copies autographed by Prisoner J40/4990 and selling them nationwide, with or without a launching. I can hardly wait to purchase my own copy.
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above
State police and inferior governors
HE controversy over whether to decentralise the police or retain its unitary structure is unlikely to end soon, irrespective of how the Presidency and the National Assembly vote on the matter. This is because the forces for and against police decentralisation are still oiling their guns and keeping their gunpowder dry, and neither seems interested in taking no for an answer. At a recent meeting of former Inspectors-General of Police (IGPs) to deliberate on insecurity, it was concluded, among other things, that state police would compound the problem of crime and predispose the country to disintegration. It was extreme alarmism, but the anti-state police forces continue to vehemently oppose decentralisation. Federal police, such as is operated currently, should be sustained, they argue. Individually, too, the former IGPs have reiterated their commitment to sustaining federal policing, arguing that the problem of insecurity should be located elsewhere. It was, therefore, not surprising that a former IGP, Mr Mike Okiro, made the same anti-decentralisation argument during a meeting of the Southsouth Peoples Assembly held in Delta State last week. According to him: “State police cannot help the country. We have tried it before in this country
under the regional governments and it did not work…It is clear that state governors will misuse it if we go back to state police. They will use it against their political opponents, and I think in a democracy, people should be given the freedom to exercise their rights.” Okiro’s argument has for a long time been a leitmotif of the anti-state police perspective. The summary of it is that the Federal Government has the maturity and common sense to run the centralised Police Force, but state governors lack the maturity and common sense to run state police. The suggestion that governors are immature or have not abandoned the policing mentality of pre-colonial Native Authority is so curious that when President Goodluck Jonathan joined the controversy, he sounded implausible even to himself. He had referred to the time he governed Bayelsa State and his present position as President and tried to draw a parallel between the two, as if by a process of fractional distillation the former Bayelsa Jonathan could be separated from the current President Jonathan. He did not say in what ways the two Jonathans were different – whether the former did evil with the federal police in his state, and has only now become a saint as President, or whether the former Jonathan behaved foolishly and
immaturely, and the new Jonathan is now wise and mature. This is not to say that the arguments against state police do not contain some sound elements. They do, and the IGPs who have run the police for some decades know a thing or two about the psychology of the average policeman and those who issue them orders. But by meekly submitting to the impression they lack the maturity to run state police, governors must also acknowledge they are encouraging the African stereotype that only the national or federal authorities have the acumen to run things, and that devolution invariably encourages schismatic tendencies. No logic could be more appalling. The argument over state police must be conducted dispassionately, both with a sense of history of where we are coming from, and with a sense of future of where we need to go. By heedlessly sticking to the past, a past that has proved nearly overwhelmingly obsolete, retrogressive and counter-productive, we stand the risk of opening up the country to graver crisis on a near tomorrow. If care is not taken, that future grave crisis may be death of us. Our national ambition, if indeed we have one, should tell us whether state police is the direction to go.
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