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How Nigeria lost $2b to gas flaring, by Gowon

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•Ex-Head of State: market lost to Qatar

•Expenses to go down by N36b

www.thenationonlineng.net

VOL. 7, NO. 2254 THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH

ONDO 2012

N150.00

•Akeredolu to Mimiko: allow ACN transform Ondo •Accord sues INEC •Police warn against violence •NBA petitions IG over DPO’s transfer •AND MORE ON PAGE 8

•Widows of the deceased…yesterday

PHOTO: NAN

Slain ex-Prisons chief’s home torched as terrorists’ victims are buried

I

T was a job they never prepared for. But, for the families of the 10 people killed in Bauchi, there was no running away from the funeral. The ceremony evoked so much emotion and tension

From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi

in Bauchi on Tuesday and yesterday. Nine of the deceased were Sayawa. They were buried in Bauchi, the state capital and in Bogoro Local Govern-

ment Area. Security was tight as Sayawa youths protested the killings. The Sayawa are a minority ethnic group, who are mostly Christians in a predominantly Muslim environment.

The body of the retired Comptroller General of Prisons, Ibrahim Jarma, was buried in Azare, headquarters of Katagum local government. But, it was a double tragedy. As the funeral got under-

way, the late Jarma’s home was set ablaze. Two minors were arrested in connection with the arson. One of them allegedly confessed to the police that he was asked by an unnamed mallam (Islamic teacher) to

burn down the house, a four-bedroom bungalow on the Azare-Jama’are Road, for a fee. Governor Isa Yuguda pledged to keep the peace after visiting the families Continued on page 2

House uncovers plot to remove Tambuwal Jonathan meets Mark, Speaker over N5000 note row Anxiety as lawmakers get set for projects inspection

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•Tambuwal

OUSE of Representatives leaders summoned an executive session yesterday. The unusual meeting came 24 hours after their resumption from recess. It was all to stop a plot to remove Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal

From Yusuf Alli and Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

from office. The plot, being co-ordinated by a lawmaker from Niger State, Mohammed Sani Idris Kutigi, the House leadership believes, is being sponsored

by some forces in government, who allegedly felt embarrassed by the recent budget implementation row with the Executive. According to sources, most members of the House got yesterday a text message inviting them to “Operation

Clean” in the chamber. The text reads in part: “This is inviting all first term members of the House of Representatives to an urgent meeting and launching of the project, “OPERATION CLEAN. Date, 20 SepContinued on page 2

•HEALTH WORKERS ON STRIKE P61 •ACN SLAMS PDP OVER OYO BRIDGE P10


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THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

NEWS House uncovers plot against Tambuwal Continued from page 1

•From left: Ministers of Labour, Emeka Wogu; Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi; Interior, Abba Moro; Minister of State for Works; Amb Bashiru Yuguda; Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke and Minister of State for Power Darius Ishaku at the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja…yesterday PHOTO: NAN

Slain Prisons chief’s house torched Continued from page 1

of the victims. Jarma, 65, was the 14 th Comptroller-General of Prisons. He served between March 1996 and July 2002. He was shot on Monday as he came out of a mosque in his home town. He died on Tuesday. Over 2000 Muslims and Christians prayed at the Azare Central Mosque. The funeral prayer was led by Azare Chief Imam Alhaji Ayuba. The late Jarma is survived by two wives Hajia Saratu and Hajiya Adama, and nine children. Many shed tears in Bauchi and Bogoro as the bodies of the nine Sayawa were buried amid tight security. Angry youths chased away journalists at the Christian cemetery at Yelwa, during the burial. The reporters who were waiting to interview Rev.Lawi Pokti, the Bauchi CAN Chairman, suddenly took to their heels when the angry youth numbering over 200 advanced menacingly to-

wards them. The quick intervention of security agents saved them from being lynched by the angry youths. “They killed our people, now you are here to take our pictures, the pictures of the dead, so that you will go and show them to mock us”, they shouted. The journalists were taken into the Bauchi Police training School opposite the cemetery where they waited for over an hour before peace returned after the burial. The Bauchi State Government donated food stuff and an undisclosed amount of money to the families of the victims who were killed on Sunday evening at Zango in the Bauchi metropolis, by unknown gunmen. The undisclosed cash and food items, according to Yuguda’s Chief Press Secretary Ishola Michael Adeyemi, were donated on behalf of the state government by Pastor Kennedy Masau, a DirectorGeneral in the office of the Chief of Staff to the Governor. Kennedy led a government

delegation on a condolence visit to the families of the bereaved at the COCIN Church, Zango. Presenting the government’s aid to the families through the Bauchi Local Government Council Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kennedy said it was to fill a temporary gap and not a compensation. The CAN chief hailed the government for the quick concern shown to the bereaved families, and urged Christians not to avenge the death of their loved ones. Six of the dead were buried at the Christian Cemetery in Bauchi. The others were buried in Bogoro Local Government Council. Yuguda described the killings as “painful” and promised to do everything possible to apprehend the culprits. Responding on behalf of the relations of those killed, Mr Iliya Ayuba said they were shocked by the incident. He said Christians and Muslims had been living in peace and never expected such a thing to happen.

•Yuguda

Ayuba called on the people of Zango to maintain the peace and urged the state government to station a team of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in the area. The governor also visited Azare to commiserate with the people over Jarma’s death. Yuguda described the former prison chief as an asset to the state, adding that he would be missed. Replying on behalf of the people, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, thanked the governor for finding time pfor the condolence visit.

tember, 2012. VenueTranscorp Hilton, Abuja. Time: 11am prompt. Hon. Mohammed Sani Idris Kutigi, Coordinator.” Some first term members alerted the leadership of the House. They planned to boycott the said meeting. It was learnt that most of the first term members had queried the rationale behind the Kutigi meeting. It was also gathered that there was tension in the House when old members got wind of the proposed meeting. The leadership then called for an Executive Session. The uncovering of the plot by the House rattled the coordinator of the “Operation Clean” and his team. Some sources, who spoke in confidence, confirmed that at the Executive Session, most members condemned attempts to divide them by the new group. One of the sources said: “We challenged Kutigi and those in the so-called new group to tell us their mission because we got wind of the fact that those forces trying to use them have been calculating on the numerical strength of first term Representatives to cause a crisis in the House. “Some of us observed that the slogan of the group, ‘Operation Clean’, is mischievous and pointed to a move to ‘deal’ with the leadership of the House.” Another source said: “We learnt that some of these forces were not happy about how we raised issues on budget implementation and the new Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). “Virtually everyone stood up to denounce the mission of this group. We thought we were building a new chapter with the Executive arm but some forces are not going along with the reconciliatory agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan.” A high ranking member said: “When we confronted Kutigi at the Executive Ses-

sion, he said: ‘My intention is not malicious, I am not plotting against the House. I have no plan to destabilise the House.’ “At the end of the day, Kutigi backpedaled on the plan. He said it openly that ‘the meeting has been canceled’.” The source added: “What we did on Wednesday has overshadowed what they had initially planned. So far, we have told them that the unity of the House is not negotiable. “But we have chosen to watch our back because these forces might regroup soon against the House.” According to a source, the leader of the a group of about five lawmakers, mainly from the North took the floor accusing the Speaker of starving the lawmakers of funds with which to run their constituencies. The source said the leader of the group, who chairs a committee and also a major beneficiary of the House leadership’s goodwill, informed the session that they were made to believe that the funding challenge members were facing was the handiwork of the Speaker. The source said: “He did not mince words that it was the Executive that informed them that the financial crisis was caused by the Speaker. The group leader told the House that some of them (the lawmakers) have been hugely indebted as a result of lack of the fund. “He added that some of them have to tactically run away from their constituencies just because they didn’t have enough money to service their hangers-on and others that might need financial assistance. “So, they felt that if not for the Speaker, the situation could not have been that bad. They agitated for an increment of their quarterly allowances from N25m to N35m. “The Speaker explained that it was a delicate issue, citing previous attempts to cause disharmony in the House and Continued on page 61

Jonathan meets Mark, Tambuwal over N5,000 banknote

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RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has met with Senate President David Mark and House Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal on the decision of the National Assembly to reject the introduction of the N5,000 note by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). It was learnt that at the Tuesday night meeting at the Villa, the President expressed worry on plans by the National Assembly, especially the House, to begin Status Enquiry on Capital Projects in the 2012 budget. But Mark and Tambuwal assured him that the physical tour of projects was not meant to attack the Executive or initiate impeachment proceedings against him. The President met Mark and Tambuwal after the two chambers of the National Assembly opposed the introduction of the N5,000 note by the CBN. A source, who pleaded not to be named because he is not allowed to talk to the media, said the Senate President and Speaker insisted that the timing of the N5,000 note was not good. They also conveyed the feelings of Nigerians that they do not want the denomination, asking President Jonathan not to run against the wish of the majority of Nigerians. The source said: “The Presi-

‘Assembly resolution on N5000 note not binding on Fed Govt’

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HE government is not bound by Tuesday’s resolution of the Senate and the House of Representatives asking Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi not to print the proposed N5000 banknote. Minister of Information Labaran Maku has said. The Minister spoke on Tuesday night at the national secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ). He was a guest at a an interactive programme, the People’s Forum. Maku dismissed the debate and controversy over the proposed bank note as unnecessary, saying that the powers vested in the CBN by law on monetary policies remained sacrosanct. “I believe we should allow the CBN to take leadership initiative on this issue. This is not From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

dent and the National Assembly leaders had mutual discussion on the arguments for and against the N5,000 note. “At the end of the day, the President told the leaders: ‘If that is the popular decision of Nigerians, we will advise the CBN to have a rethink of the policy. We will not enforce it because we cannot run against the wish of our people.’ “The President was not too categorical but his body language at the meeting indicated that he might consult with the

From Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja

an opinion poll debate but a technical matter and the heated debate will not help in the management of our economy,” the minister maintained. He added that while the Federal Government had not foreclosed dialogue with the federal lawmakers on the policy, the erroneous impression should not be created that the resolution by the parliament is in any way binding on the Federal Government. He said: “The National Assembly has oversight functions and the Executive takes resolutions of the National Assembly seriously. But resolutions are not Acts of Parliament. “We can discuss, debate resolutions, take them seriously and factor them but they

CBN and the Economic Management Team to drop the introduction of the new note.” It was gathered that the President was concerned also about the decision of the National Assembly to embark on Status Enquiry on Capital Projects in 2012 budget. According to another source, the President felt physical verification of capital projects by members of the National Assembly might still be a carryover of the row between the Executive and the Legislature over budget implementation.

are not Acts of the National Assembly.” The minister also restated the position of the Federal Government on the issue of Bakassi Peninsula, which was ceded to Cameroun by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), saying that that the case is closed. According to him, the Federal Government does not have any fresh facts or a new position on the ICJ ruling on Bakassi and called on the public to be more diplomatic in making demands on the Bakassi. He urged agitators to be mindful of the need for good neighbourliness between Nigeria and Cameroun. “Nigeria does not have a new position. Nigeria’s position is in conformity with the judgment of the International Court of Justice,” Maku said.

But the Speaker explained that the inspection is designed to assist the Jonathan administration to know the true position of implementation of capital projects. “We are not out to undermine your administration or move against you,” the Speaker was quoted as assuring the President. The House also agreed to go ahead with its planned Status Enquiry on Capital Projects in 2012 budget from next week. This decision was reached at an Executive Session yesterday. A source said: “As part of our

discovery that budget implementation is low, we will begin inspection of project sites as from next week. “This inspection will be solely financed by the House; we won’t take a penny from the Executive. We want to know whether these MDAs are working on not. “After the tour, we will be able to determine the true position on the implementation of the 2012 Budget and give Nigerians the accurate percentage of execution. “We want to ascertain the list

of contracts awarded, status of projects and the extent of cash backing. “This Status Enquiry will also assist us in considering the 2013 Budget due for presentation by the end of this month. The era of abandonment of projects is gone. We will not appropriate funds for abandoned projects.”

RETRACTION Our attention has been drawn to an advert published on page 61 of The Nation on Thursday , May 31, 2012 captioned Tragedy of ministerial appointment. We have since discovered that the advertorial was politically motivated. Therefore, we hereby retract the publication. We regret the inconveniencies the publication has caused Comrade Patrick Abba Moro. –Editor

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


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

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THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

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NEWS

Concerns $200m •Senate President David Mark (right), Senator Tunde Ogbeha (middle) and Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, Archbishop John Onaiyekan at a reception after the Requiem Mass held in honour of Rev. Fr. Jerome Bello, At Apo, Abuja on Tuesday

The nation’s film industry is believed to have the potential to aid the diversification of the economy. This explains why President Goodluck Jonathan provided a $200 million (about N300 million) intervention fund for the creative and entertainment sector. But, almost two years after the fund was announced, only one film, Doctor Bello, has benefitted from it, writes VICTOR AKANDE

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•(From left) Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs Fatima Bamidele, Chairman, Ministerial Committeee for Unlocking thePrivate Sector Investment in Health delivery, Tony Elumelu, Dr Richard Egulu and Deputy Speaker, House of Representives, Emeka Ihedioha, at a public hearing on a bill to repeal the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in Abuja...yesterday PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

•Nasarrawa State Governor Umaru al-Makura (right), presenting keys to vehicles donated by his government to the InspectorGeneral of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar in Lafia...yesterday

•(From left) Abiodun Odejayi, Head of Marketing, Samsung Electronics; Jumoke Okikiolu Hany, Head Productive Samsung Electronics West African and Tonye Briggs, Regional Operations Director, Samsung Electronics, West African, during the launch of New Samsung (Chief Hero E-1500) Mobile phone at Samsung Exeperience Store, Ikeja, Lagos. PHOTO: JOHN EBHOTA

HE figures are encouraging. Nigeria's economy grew by 6.28 per cent in the second quarter of this year and inflation fell for the second straight month in August. The GDP growth in Africa's second largest economy climbed in the second quarter, up from 6.17 per cent in the first quarter. According to statistics released last week by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the growth is driven by the non-oil sector. "The non-oil sector was driven by growth in activities recorded in the building and construction sector, while oil sector output decreased (compared with Q2, 2011)," the NBS said in a report. This is despite the fact that the oil sectr accounts for more than 80 per cent of Nigeria’s revenue and about 95 per cent of its foreign exchange earnings. The search for alternative sources of growth and foreign earnings made the Federal Government to consider the country's film industry, poularly known as Nollywood. The reasons for this are not farfetched: In the last four years, it has consistently churned out over 2,000 films. In 2008, 2,408 films were produced; In 2009 recorded 2,514 films; and 2,621 films were produced last year. Nollywood, as the industry is known, is ranked first in the world in quantum and third in revenue generation, with receipts over the years estimated at between $300 million to $800 million. Little wonder researches have taunted it as a viable non-oil sector money spinner for the government. But, it is generally agreed that for the industry to realise its potentials, the government must offer some stimulus. So, it was good news when in November, 2010, President Goodluck Jonathan announced his administration’s decision to float a $200 million revolving loan scheme for the industry. Two months away from now, the announcement will be two years. Stakeholders in the industry are agitated over access to the fund. Only one producer, Tony Abulu, has been able to access the fund through the Nigerian Export and Import Bank (NEXIM) for the production of of his Doctor Bello. NEXIM is one of the approved banks for the management of the fund. The film is billed for a world premiere at the John F. Kennedy Centre for Performing Arts, Washington, United States on September 27. Some practitioners in the sector have questioned why Abulu, who lives in the United States, should be the first to access the Nigerian Creative and Entertainment Industry Stimulation Loan Scheme. Many have described the process of accessing the facility as too technical. Others believe the collaterals are cumbersome to meet. Veteran filmmaker Dr. Ola

Balogun believes the bank has a ‘hidden’ agenda. Balogun, in a piece entitled: ‘NEXIM: What agenda?’ doubts the bank’s understanding of the industry to channel the fund properly. Balogun said the government’s interest in the art and entertainment sector can better be advanced through grants or film funds rather than a loan. He said there is no nation that conducts cultural policies by requiring artists and cultural workers to queue up in banks for loans. He said that in the US, support for the arts is conducted through foundations and through state-supported entities such as the National Endowment for the Arts. Balogun faulted the process that subjects artistes to the rigours of filling forms access loans. He said artistes are not businessmen, experienced n such financial technicalities. A former consultant to the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), Mr. Yinka Ogundaisi, expressed shock when NEXIM unveiled Abulu as the first beneficiary of the scheme. He said: “I myself had issue with the same NEXIM when, to the consternation of all of us, it announced the support to fund the film, Doctor Bello by Tony Abulu.” Ogundaisi said he later discovered that NEXIM had its valid reasons for picking the Abulu project, adding: “Despite the misgivings, we should at least praise Dr. Roberts Orya for doing something rather than sitting on the fence”. He added: “NEXIM’s core mandate is to promote indigenous products for export. The epidemic level of piracy now tormenting Nigerian movies has made it suicidal for any fund provider, especially a bank, to commit their funds into either its production or distribution. “Yet, NEXIM must find a way to achieve its core mandate, which was why the bank decided that if there is no indigenous Nigerian movie that can be safely promoted for export, they might as well create one as a model, hence their funding support for Tony Abulu’s film meant for distribution offshore. But all the same, a Nigerian product that NEXIM can associate with and tout as the evidence of achieving their mandate.” Why it is difficult to access the fund NEXIM Bank’s Managing Director Roberts Orya said most Nollywood filmmakers could not access the fund because they lack auditable business structures. He said although the mandate of the bank is to generate inclusive growth, the project remains a loan scheme, which must yield returns. According to him, the total interest to be charged on any loan facility granted under the scheme is within the single digit. These are charged on the basis of tenor and assessed risks which include 7.0 per cent - 7.5 per cent (under two years); 7.5 per cent - 8.5 per cent (between two years and five years); and 8.5 per cent - 9.0 per cent (between five years and 10 years).


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

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NEWS

over access to NEXIM Bank’s package for Nollywood, others

• Nollywood star Genevieve Nnaji (left), Hollywood star Isaiah Washington and Nollywood star Olumide Bakare on the set of Dr. Bello

•Abulu (left) and Hollywood actor Jimmy Jean-Louis at an event announcing Doctor Bello in Lagos

• Orya

How best to run the bailout fund, by Amaka Igwe Mrs. Amaka Igwe is one of Nollywood’s most respected directors. She spoke with VICTOR AKANDE on how the Federal Government should administer the intervention fund for the entertainment industry. Excerpts: What is your opinion on the $200m Federal Government intervention fund? It’s a brilliant initiative. Film making is a business, and I am glad the government recognises this fact. So, the intervention fund is a welcome development in the same way that they did for the agricultural sector, the textile industry and others. Film-making is not just a trade; it’s an industry. But people like Ola Balogun are of the opinion that grant or film fund is more realistic than a loan… Ola Balogun comes from a culture where funding for film is a way of life for the industry. But here in Nigeria, filmmaking is more commercial oriented. Funding of film projects is more for students or other film makers who make specialised films that address social and environment issues like ecology and what have you. But that is not to say grants are not good. Both are good. At least, such is also supposed to generate and increase activities in the film industry. But what we are doing right now in

Nigeria is majorly commercial. The way the Nigerian film industry is structured is commercial. With time, grant issues will happen. How realistic is return on investment under the present circumstances? That’s where I have problem with intervention fund. Making a film that will guarantee return right now is difficult, because distribution is largely unorganised in a country where we have 82 per cent piracy. We are not distributing formally. Somebody makes a film in a country of about 168 million people and manages to sell just 20, 000; that’s not distribution. In American, for example, films are sold online for about 19 dollars. Even Ghanaian films sell better than our own films. I think the intervention fund should be geared more towards distribution of films. Censors Board has told us that onle 25, 000 of the video clubs in the country are registered. If truly they regulated these outlets and a film maker is able

to make just N2, 000 from each outlet., multiply what he gets and see what we mean… If this happens, then a film maker does not even have to wait for intervention fund. All he needs is to go to the bank, show them the sales record, and get s a loan to do his next movie. How can 40 filmmakers make money from the few cinemas that we have in this country? Nothing can be done until we look at distribution. I am of the opinion that every state should identify the video clubs and regulate them. The issue of video clubs is on concurrent list. What is your reaction to criticism trailing Tony Abulu as the first beneficiary of the NEXIM Bank loan, in view of the fact that he lives abroad? I have a different opinion to that. He is a Nigerian. The only reservation I have with that arrangement is that it may not put money back into our economy as envisaged. This is because 70 per cent of that film is

Orya said the question of why Abulu should be the first beneficiary is a mere sentiment that does not go well with business. He said: “Any company in Nigeria can benefit from the facility, provided it is legally registered and incorporated in the country; operates in the entertainment and creative industry; not

owned by government (federal, state or local); and it is not an oligarchy business interest that may interfere with content policy for its own interests.” He noted that there is a gross violation of intellectual property rights, resulting from ineffective Intellectual Property laws. He highlighted

other challenges, which include low production for theatrical releases and cross-border co-production arrangements; lack of adequate digital production and distribution infrastructure to exploit the new media and digital distribution platform; inefficient andunstructured distribution marketing outlets both

•Mrs. Igwe

shot in New York. But come to think of it again, the money Tony Abulu got was not a grant; it’s a loan, and he is going to pay it back. Gab Okoye is also pursuing the intervention fund loan to set up distribution outlets… Fantastic! Those are the people thinking positively for this industry. This is not the question of whether the people who didn’t go to the university can’t make a film. domestically and internationally; poor corporate structure and bookkeeping culture; and inadequate exhibition and theatrical infrastructure, which, he said, is 0.36 screens per million populations. Nigeria has less than 60 modern screens in multiplexes, located in five cities, compared to India’s over

13,000 screens translating to 12 screens per million people. “This is partly to address the historical reluctance of commercial banks to engage the segment by showing that FGN credits, properly channelled to the segment, can be serviced and repaid thus hopefully setting a precedent that banks will directly adopt as their liquidity positions improve,” he said. Ogundaisi described as worrisome thatmany players in the industry cannot develop viable proposals, a development blames for their inability to access the fund. Unlike Balogun, he sees nothing wrong in artistes writing proposals. He said: “All they (NEXIM) require is a viable business proposal. Now, this is a challenge that I believe we should focus our attention on for now. I am aware that proposals on infrastructural development which require their funding support is already with them to study and react to. “I would suggest we allow the next few weeks to indicate whether Dr. Orya’s public pronouncements to support all viable business proposals in our creative and entertainment industry are for real or just another way of politicking.” Significantly, NEXIM, a co-manager of the fund which also has the Bank of Industry (BoI) holding the domestic investment edge, said it is committed to helping the growth of the industry. It said more movie makers would benefit from the revolving loan. Orya said the fund represents a significant commitment by the government to the creative segment of the economy. Besides, partnering with the beneficiaries would not only attract a broader international market, but also put to rest, insinuations that the fund is open to box office heavy weights.


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

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NEWS Nigeria seeks stronger ties with Czechs

PPA backs Tinubu’s call on scrapping of Senate

From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

THE Nigerian Ambassador to Czech Republic, Mrs Catherine Okon, has stressed the need for a stronger relationship between Nigeria and the Czech Republic. Mrs Okon spoke with The Nation on phone after presenting her letter of credence to the Czech President, Vaclav Klaus, at the Presidential Castle in Prague. She said the two countries should seek closer ties in technology, security and economic development. “ With a population of over 140 million people, Nigeria has the largest market in the West African sub-region,” she said. Mrs Okon told Klaus that Nigerian is making progress in the electricity sector and is revamping its decaying infrastructure.

NIREC to hold inter-faith confab From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

THE Nigeria Interreligious Council (NIREC) is planning to hold a youth summit on mutual coexistence, religious harmony and inter-faith dialogue. The summit is aimed at charting a way forward and seeking prayers for the country’s progress ahead of its 52nd independence anniversary. NIREC’s National Coordinator/Executive Secretary Professor Is-haq Oloyede urged Christians and Muslims to set aside September 28 and 30 to pray for Nigeria. He said: “We... call on Muslims and Christians to organise special prayers on September 28 and 30. “Let our Muslim and Christian brothers and sisters dedicate the two days for supplications and earnest prayers for God to liberate Nigeria from the evil pervading the land.”

Cleric urges religious leaders on peace By Adeola Ogunlade

THE Presiding Pastor of Mantle Prayer Ministry, Pastor Isaac Olaomo, has called on religious leaders to promote peace and love in their community. Olaomo spoke in an interview with The Nation yesterday as the ministry holds its Special Monthly Prayer Programme on September 19-21 at Ewuoliwo, Oke-Isimi, Sagamu, Ogun State. Olaomo spoke against the recent violent attacks in parts of Africa on the film which some Muslims have claimed insulted Prophet Mohammed. Olaomo said: "We may have our differences as a people, but we can live together in an atmosphere of peace and shun all forms of violence that may hinder the much anticipated growth and development within the continent".

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

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•Minister of State for Education Ezenwo Nyesom Wike (left); Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education Alhaji Musa Hassan (middle); and Director, Basic and Secondary Education, Mr. Chika Umuzuoke,during the minister's meeting with contractors handling Universal Basic Education Commission and Girl Child Education projects in Abuja... yesterday .

Fed Govt to scrap agencies next year

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OME federal agencies will go next year, it was learnt yesterday. The Federal Government has also initiated steps to streamline the management of the subsidy scheme in the next fiscal year. This is contained in the 20132015 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy paper submitted to the Senate by President Goodluck Jonathan. The government’s fiscal policy was read by Senate President David Mark, on the floor of the Senate yesterday. It said pursuant to sections 13, 12 and 11 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007, the preparation towards submission of the 2013 Budget to the National Assembly has begun with activities leading to the preparation of the 20132015 MTEF and Fiscal Strategy paper. On the scraping of agencies, it said reduction in the size of government would be achieved through stricter rationalisation of available resources, including sustaining the reduction of overhead votes.

•Fuel subsidy scheme to be restructured From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

The MTEF said in furtherance of the reform agenda, the Federal Government would also “rationalise the large number of agencies based on the recommendations of the Oronsaye Committee.” The MTEF said the figure for overhead decreased from N536 billion in 2010 to N266 billion in 2012. It said overhead expenditure is expected to reduce in 2013 to N230 billion or 4.67 per cent of total expenditure. The paper said: “In addition, other measures that are being implemented including deferring the procurement of administrative capital: the establishment of a Treasury Single Account (TSA) to manage cash balances better, reduce corruption as well as inefficiency in allocation of resources.

“Government has also introduced the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) to make the process of budget preparation and execution more efficient and transparent.” It said that the focus of government will continue to be on completing ongoing projects, particularly those with high rate of return. On fuel subsidy, it said that in the light of the huge amount paid on petroleum subsidy last year, the Federal Government has initiated steps to streamline the management of the subsidy scheme. The restructuring, it said, will include strengthening the audit and verification process to improve its governance, transparency and accountability. It said these are expected to yield full results next year, while the Subsidy Reinvestment Empowerment Programme (SURE-P.) instrument will continue to be

used as an intervention window to mitigate the impact of the partial subsidy removal. The document said as “government continues consultations regarding future policy on subsidy, some amount is being provided for petroleum product subsidy in the 2013 budget.” It said in recent times, the recurrent expenditure profile has tended to crowd out capital expenditure. The increase, it said, can be attributed largely to the rising personnel cost resulting from the increases awarded to civil servants, medical personnel and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) staff since the 2009, as well as the implementation of the Minimum Wage Act 2011. It described the personnel cost increase as a sensitive issue saying only a holistic approach can generate a viable and sustainable solution. It said that the

Cyber fraud endangers CBN’s ‘cashless policy’, says CDS

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HE Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshall Uluseyi Petinrin, has s said the rise in cyber fraud endangers Nigeria’s ‘cashless policy.’ Speaking at the ‘World Cyber Security Conference’ yesterday in Abuja, the CDS also said unknown persons have accessed the computer systems of the Defence Headquarters and Nigerian Navy. Air Chief Marshall Petinrin wasrepresented at the conference by the Chief of Research and Development,

•‘Defence Headquarters’ website hacked’ Major-General M. K. Amao. He noted that there is an upsurge in high profile hacking against top corporations and institutions around the world. According to the CDS, most systems are being infiltrated and confidential information stolen. He said: “Here in Nigeria, our defence and security institutions have not been left out. My defence headquarters’ website, for example, was hacked not too long ago. One

of the services, the Navy, also had its website hacked. ‘’We are also aware of similar experiences with other security agencies in the country. “Furthermore, the threat posed by the Boko Haram sect through online reports of their activities needs to be effectively checked.’’ The CDS said the Defence Headquarters has sucessfully deployed Information Communication Technology

(ICT), surveillance and tracking equipment to locate criminals and Boko Haram insurgents. But he said more would be achieved ‘’if we apply cyber technology and space researches to tackle the country’s contemporary security challenges.” Air Chief Marshall Petinrin said criminals have attacked cloud-based servers in a global fraud campaign affecting about 60 banks worldwide, stealing billions of dollars.

Seme Command decorates newly promoted officers HE Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Seme Border Command, has decorated 23 of the 29 officers, who were promoted nationwide. At Seme, an officer was promoted to Comptroller. Five others were promoted to Assistant Comptroller. Also, others were elevated to Chief Superintendent, Superintendent, Dep. Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent 1 and Assistant Superintendent 11. Many more were promoted

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to Deputy Chief Inspector, Assistant Chief Inspector, Principal Inspector and Senior Inspector. Speaking during the ceremony at the Officers’ Mess at Seme, Area Comptroller Julius Ogbu, urged the officers to see themselves as lucky. He said: “The officers being decorated for the recent promotion in the command should see it as a rare privilege because not everybody who wrote the examination were promoted”. Ogbu said those promoted

to Comptroller and Assistant Comptroller were not decorated at Seme, as they have to wait for a similar ceremony at Immigration Office in Ikeja. The Area Comptroller said an officer could pass the promotion examination, and yet may not be elevated because of lack of vacancy. Among the elevated officers are Etim Emah, Comptroller, Border Patrol; Adekunle Adewale (CSI); Kashim Ahmed (CSI); Sowumi Olaniyi

(Superintendent) Ochapa Anatu (PII); Adekeye Joseph (DSI); and Osunkunle Olumide (DCII). Others include Ishola Fatai (PII); Hussein Salamatu (Superintendent); Solomon John (ACII); Dashe Albert (AC II); and Babana Shaba (ACII). Speaking on behalf of others, newly promoted superintendent Sowumi Olaniyi said the “honour would propel us to better performance. I thank the management for doing us good.”

HE National Chairman of the

Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), Chief Sam Nkire, yesterday threw his weight behind the call by the former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, that the Senate should be scrapped . Asiwaju Tinubu, speaking at the Leadership Group of Newspapers’ award ceremony in Abuja on Tuesday, had advocated a unicameral legislature to reduce the cost of governance and improve the lives of the people. The PPA chair, speaking in Abuja, said the PDPcontrolled Federal Government would be deceiving Nigerians if it says it has no knowledge of how to reduce the cost of governance. Nkiru said government must be willing to reduce costs, not only in the Legislature, but also in the Executive and Judiciary, to provide the people with basic security, food and shelter. He said the government must not wait for more Nigerians to die of hunger or be killed or displaced before realising the need to cut down on its excesses. The PPA chair said the government must also take a look at the size and structure of government at the state and local government levels to reduce wastages, which prevent the people from being protected and taken care of.

‘Good Governance Tour begins today’ From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

O showcase projects executed in the country, the Federal Government has begun what it describes as ‘Good Governance Tour’ today with visits to projects in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Minister of Information Mr. Labaran Maku said at a Media Interactive Forum organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Abuja, that the tour would cut across projects executed by the three tiers of government. Noting that two years are not enough to assess a government that has a fouryear mandate, he said the tour would expose Nigerians to the achievements recorded within the period. While stressing that the tour would be on nonpartisan, he called on the media to be fair in their reports. After the tour of projects in each state, he said that a Town Hall meeting would be held to meet minds with the people and offer them the opportunity to comment on the projects in their areas.

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THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

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NEWS

Adamawa: ACN worried over ‘ploy to frustrate’ it right to appeal

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HE Action Congress of Nigeria has (ACN) yesterday expressed concern over what it sees as a deliberate ploy to deny it right to justice and frustrate its right of appeal in the Adamawa Governorship Election Tribunal by the Court of Appeal. In a statement in Abuja by its National Publicity Secretary Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party described as curious and worrisome, the fact that as of today the 19th of September (yesterday) a mere three days before the appeal becomes statute barred, the Court of Appeal has neither constituted a panel nor fixed a date for the hearing of the appeal. Mindful of Section 285(7) of the Constitution as amended, which says that an appeal from a decision of an Election tribunal or court shall be heard and disposed of within 60 days from the date of the delivery of the judgement of the Tribunal, the party filed and served all processes within the time stipulated by law and by the 5th of September 2012, that is 14 days ago, the Appeal was ripe for hearing. Concerned by the silence from the Court of Appeal despite this, two separate letters of reminder were addressed to the Acting President of the Court of Appeal , all to no avail, the party explained.

How we can stop exodus of members, by PDP From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

•Party urges NJC to intervene ‘Rule of law about to be subverted’ THE Adamawa State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has raised the alarm that hearing in its governorship election petition appeal at the Court of Appeal, Yola, was being delayed. The party said the statutory time allowed for the appeal may elapse, if the case is not slated for hearing in time. It alleged in a statement that the rule of law was about to be subverted, adding that certain forces are blocking the resumption of the case in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The statement reads: “We consider it imperative to quickly alert the whole world about the tactical delay being imposed on us in our election petition appeal pending at the Court of Appeal, Yola. “It is on record that the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal delivered its judgment on the 25th day of July, 2012 wherein the Tribunal dismissed the Petition of the Petitioners (Markus Natina Gundiri, Alhaji Abdulrazak Sa’ad Namdas and Action Congress of Nigeria) against the election of Rear Admiral Murtala H. Nyako and Bala James Ngilari, who contested on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party. “Dissatisfied with the Tribunal’s judgment, our candidates and the party, Action Congress of Nigeria, filed our respective Notices of Appeal on the 13th day of August, 2012 which In the opinion of the party, the only logical conclusion for this bizarre conduct of the

By Emmanuel Oladesu

initiated the process of compilation of the Record of Appeal and same was entered within the required time in the Registry of the Court of Appeal, Yola Division. “In line with the requirement of the law, we filed our respective Briefs of Argument on the 24th day of August, 2012 which were served on all the Respondents. The Respondents, who had five days from the date of service of the Appellants’ briefs, filed their respective reply briefs as follows on the 30th and the 31st days of August, 2012 while we filed our Joint Reply on the 5th day of September, 2012 by which date the appeal was due for hearing. It is worthy of note that by virtue of the Provision of Section 285(7) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended): “An appeal from a decision of an election tribunal or court shall be heard and disposed of within 60 days from the date of the delivery of the judgment of the Tribunal. “We hereby call on all conscionable Nigerians to kindly act now to avoid any form of technicalities aimed at depriving the freely given mandate to the duo of Markus Natina Gundiri and Alhaji Abdulrazak Sa’ad Namdas on the platform of our great party by the good people of Adamawa state on the 4th day of February, 2012, a mandate which was brazenly stolen in the full glare of the whole world”.

Court of Appeal in this matter is that it deliberately wants to deny the party and its candi-

date the right to be heard, as it is the law now that once an election petition appeal even with-

•Alhaji Mohammed

out any fault of the Petitioner/ Appellant cannot be heard and determined within 60 days from the date of the delivery of the Tribunal’s judgement in this case by the 22nd of September 2012- such a petition has ceased to exist and by implication becomes statute barred. Nerves are already severely frayed in the country today and the Court of Appeal is advised not to use the excuse of the expiration of 60 days to deny the party and its candidate the right to justice as this will be an invitation to chaos and further erosion of the confidence of the people in Judiciary, which at the moment is not enjoying any rave review, the party warned. The party, therefore, calls on the National Judicial Council to prevail on the Court of Appeal not to lend itself to an act of electoral injustice by the forcible imposition of a contrived time lapse on its appeal and proceed immediately to constitute a panel and fix a date for the hearing of the appeal before the expiration of the 60 days allowed by law.

Party seeks support for Jonathan From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

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HE national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is seeking the support of youths for President Goodluck Jonathan. It said the President is doing well despite the security challenges confronting the nation. National Youth Leader Alhaji Umar Chiza, made the plea yesterday when he received members of the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the Youth Vanguard at the party’s secretariat in Abuja. Chiza said Nigerians are beginning to feel the impact of some of the programmes of the administration, citing what he described as improvement in power supply as one of the major achievements of the administration.

Snails seized from Nigerian at UK airport

•Gen Gowon (left), Mr. Babs Omotowa; NLNG’s Deputy Managing Director Mr. Basheer Koko and Chairman, Board of Directors, Chief Osobonye LongJohn...yesterday.

How Nigeria lost $2 b to gas flaring last year, by Gowon

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IGERIA flared over $2 billion worth of gas last year, former Head of

State Gen. Yakubu Gowon has said. Gowon spoke yesterday in Finima, Bonny Island, Rivers State. The former Head of State, who visited the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Plant on the island, said the country would have more money for development projects by ending gas flaring. Gowon said the country has to ensure that steps were fast-tracked to complete the NLNG Train Seven and other LNG projects to end gas flaring. He said countries such as

APPARENTLY worried by the exodus of its members to opposition parties, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) has resolved to reconcile factions thrown up by conflict of interests among its members nationwide. National Chairman Alhaji Bamanga Tukur made this known yesterday while receiving the report of the peace committee that reconciled factions in the Benue State chapter. Tukur said the party cannot win elections when members are split into factions, adding that the party would ensure that all factions are reconciled before the next cycle of elections. He acknowledged the fact that there will always be problems arising from disagreements and conflict of interests, but stressed that the leadership at all levels must be prepared to listen to the grievances of aggrieved members with the view to settling them. He said: “We will continue to reconcile warring factions within the party nationwide because we need to be united before we can win elections and deliver the goods to the electorate. “There will be problems but we need to listen to the grievances of aggrieved members for us to build a strong party. We need to be united to build a strong government and to build a strong nation”, Tukur added.

•Ex-Head of State laments loss of LNG market to Qatar, others By Olukorede Yishau

Qatar have taken over the leadership of the LNG market from NLNG, which used to be the fastest growing in the world. He said: “Think of how much gas we burnt between when we found oil in 1957 and when Nigeria LNG was able to start monetising our gas resources in 1999. Last year, this country flared over 460 billion standard cubic feet of gas that, if processed and exported, would have fetched the country over $2 billion and minimised the health and environmental impact of gas flares. “Think of how oil palm industry left Nigeria for Malay-

sia. Think of how athletics - we won Gold at the Sydney Olympics 12 years ago - left Nigeria to Jamaica. And the worst of all, countries we started out with in the LNG business have all left us behind.” Gowon lamented the country’s loss of the leadership of the LNG market. According to him, Nigeria LNG Limited used to be the fastest growing LNG plant in the world. But for the past five years, a country like Qatar has moved from 20 to 80 million tonnes range, whilst a country like Australia has made final investment decision to build LNG projects up to 80 million tonnes. I now

understand that Mozambique and Tanzania will soon be joining the gas producers with the export of LNG.” He urged the Federal Government to ensure all the LNG projects were completed. The former Head of State said: “All the LNG projects on the drawing board in Nigeria (NLNG Train Seven, Brass LNG, OKLNG) will add about 30million tonnes of LNG to our national output, which is not that much when we compare with Australia, which has only 60 per cent of our reserves but effectively generates much higher domestic electricity and will soon be exporting much more LNG

than all the LNG companies in Nigeria combined.” He warned of the consequence of not acting on time. “So, I am still not completely fulfilled that we haven’t reached our destination in that journey we started so long ago. I am worried that history is about to repeat itself as other players (including the USA, a previous importer now a net exporter) will get to the global market ahead of us and it may be another 30 to 50 years lost. I will not like to see another great opportunity lost due to our lethargy. “We can’t afford to sit on the fence any longer.”

UNITED Kingdom (UK) Border Force officers have seized 36 live giant African land snails from a Nigerian man at Glasgow Airport. The snails, which the man claimed would be used for food, were found in his luggage following a flight from Amsterdam earlier this month. The molluscs - which averaged about 15cm in length, with shells the size of a small human fist - were confiscated and passed to a rescue organisation. The snails could have passed on disease to UK snails if released. Border Force officials confiscated the gastropods, as live animals require an import licence, which the man did not have. He was also in breach of controls on the importation of products of animal origin. Murdo MacMillan, from Border Force in Scotland, said: “The vigilance of our officers at Glasgow airport has stopped these snails from entering Scotland, and possibly posing a risk to our native plants and wildlife. “I would warn travellers not to attempt to bring live animals into the UK without a permit, or to bring in any products of animal origin which may contain pests or diseases.”


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

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NEWS ONDO 2012 Police warn against violence From Damisi Ojo, Akure

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HE Ondo State Police Command has decried an alleged plan by some politicians to cause violence before, during and after the October 20 election. A statement yesterday by its spokesman, Mr. Adeniran Aremu, said the command had uncovered the plot by some politicians to create fear in the minds of the electorate by hiring thugs to unleash terror on them. It said: “The command has uncovered a plot and an attempt by some disgruntled elements to cause panic and fear in the minds of residents of the state. They intend to achieve this by hiring and sponsoring thugs to unleash terror on some peace-loving members of the society, under the guise of being supporters of political parties.” The police warned politicians who intend to cause chaos during and after the election to desist. They said the command would not allow politicians to disrupt the peace in the state. The statement added: “We are sending this warning to parents, guardians and relevant unions to warn their children not to be used by politicians as tools for violence during and after the October 20 election. “The command will not fold its arms watching anyone causing a breach of the public peace. Such individuals or groups will be dealt with according to the laws of the land.”

Akeredolu urges Mimiko to allow ACN to transform Ondo O

NDO State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), yesterday said it is time for the ruling Labour Party (LP) to vacate office for the progressive party to transform the state for the benefit of its poverty-stricken residents. Akeredolu said the Sunshine State must join its counterparts in the Southwest to pursue the regional integration agenda to transform the region. Addressing reporters in Akure, the state capital, the former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President said Mimiko and the LP were indifferent to the progressives’ vision. He said: “As a progressive, I believe in regional integration. Anyone who is against

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

it is selfish. We have always set the pace for others to follow. The late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, did it for the defunct Western Region and we are re-enacting it now. “Other states in the Southwest need Ondo to provide gas, which will assist us in generating light. The Yoruba can find themselves in different political parties, but the issue of Regional Integration is non-negotiable. Any bona fide Yoruba man should support the idea. “I am a professional in politics and not a professional politician. I am not like Governor Olusegun Mimiko, who is a medical doctor but abandoned the profession for poli-

tics. His clinic is already taken over by bush. Go to Ibadan, the Oyo State capital; my chamber is alive there. I have reached the peak of my profession as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). “I have a sound pedigree; I had a stint in Ondo State as the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice. I handled many celebrated cases before I was elected the President of the prestigious NBA. Mimiko has not practised as a medical doctor for a day.” The ACN standard bearer said regionalism is an impetus for growth and development, adding that the era of western, northern, and eastern regions brought remark-

able feat to Nigeria. On mega schools, Akeredolu said: “You don’t need N650million to establish a single school, when the same amount could build hundreds across the state, like it was done during the Olusegun Agagu administration.” He decried Mimiko’s neglect of the rural communities. The ACN candidate promised to improve infrastructure, particularly access roads in the rural areas, if he becomes governor, “while all abandoned road projects will be completed”. Akeredolu listed ACN programmes, which he called AKETI, the acronym for Agriculture, Knowledge, Education, Technology and Infra-

Ondo Accord sues INEC

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ACN chieftain decries alleged security threat From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

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CHIEFTAIN of Ondo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Special Adviser to Osun State Governor on Environmental Matters, Mr Bola Ilori, yesterday alleged that some politicians planned to cause security breaches in the October 20 governorship election in Ondo State. Ilori noted that there would be an election when there is peace. He urged the InspectorGeneral of Police (IGP), Muhammed Abubakar, to ensure that the police perform their duty without bias. The politician told reporters in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, that the spate of political violence in Ondo State was threatening the preparation for a peaceful election. According to him, if the political unrest continues, victims of the violence might resort to selfdefense and aggravate tension in the state. Ilori said it has become imperative for security agencies to be proactive ahead of the poll, following incessant attacks on ACN members by suspected Labour Party (LP) thugs.

structure. He said: “I will bring positive changes to the people of the state, if I’m elected, by identifying various potentials without hindrances. “It is time for service. Ondo residents are yearning for development, which should not be a lip service. “I am propelled to serve the state and its people, who are being short changed through Mimiko’s cosmetic governance.” He noted that the present administration has received over N650 billion since its inception but nothing tangible to show for it except market stalls, bus stations and water fountain. The frontline lawyer urged the electorate to vote for him and ACN in the October 20 election.

•Akeredolu (left) addressing party supporters at Idanre

We don’t need rigging to win in Ondo, says Akeredolu T

HE Akeredolu Campaign Organisation (ACO) of the Ondo State Action Congress of Nigera (ACN) yesterday described a statement by the Mimiko Campaign Organisation (MCO) of the ruling Labour Party (LP) that some ACN leaders had met with officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to compromise the October 20 election in the state, as false. ACO said the state was not only baseless and untrue but was also a product of LP’s hallucination. The MCO had petitioned the Independent National Elec-

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toral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, on the alleged plan. It urged Jega to monitor INEC workers. But in a statement in Akure, the state capital, by its spokesman, Mr Idowu Ajanaku, ACO said Mimiko was hallucinating with the allegations. It said: “Is it the same Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who joined hands with Mimiko to successfully prosecute the legal battle for retrieving his stolen mandate from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in

2007, that Mimiko is now accusing of trying to win election in Ondo State through rigging? “Tinubu, who is a democrat and a veteran in the struggle against anti-democratic forces, with international repute, would now turn around like Mimiko to work against his avowed principles. “Indeed, it is very clear that Mimiko and his amorphous LP have been rejected by the people of Ondo State. This explains why they have been spreading lies, cheap propaganda and promoting violent

attacks against the opposition in a desperate move to hold on to power. “We in the ACN do not need to meet with INEC officials to win elections in Ondo State. The question Mimiko should answer is whether we met with INEC officials before we won in Oyo, Ogun and Edo states. “We will win the October 20 election because the people of Ondo State have been able to see through the charade and cosmetic projects that Mimiko has been parading as his achievements in the last three and a half years.”

Ondo NBA petitions IGP on DPO’s transfer

HE Owo branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) yesterday petitioned the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, on the transfer of the Police Divisional Officer (DPO) in Ose Local Government Area, Bashiru Sunmola, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), to Osun State. The association alleged that the DPO was transferred because he refused to align with the ruling Labour Party (LP) to unleash terror on opposition members, particularly those of ACN, in the community.

From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

The petition by its Chairman, Kola Olawoye, and Secretary, Taju Ahmed, also alleged that on several occasions, the council’s Caretaker Chairman, Mr. Adedayo Mabogunje, attempted to lure the police officer to back LP hoodlums in attacking opposition members. The NBA accused Police Deputy Commissioner Henry Faidaro of acting the script of Governor Olusegun Mimiko. It urged the Abubakar to investigate the reasons for the transfer and ensure that justice is done. The association said it had

petitioned the IGP that some LP chieftains, led by the council chairman, allegedly harassed opposition members. The NBA accused Mabogunje of bringing a gun in the public during an ACN event in the council to scare party members. The petition reads: “Sequel to our correspondence, dated September 5 with you regarding the activities of Mr. Mabogunje and his thugs, a development that we posited could be deleterious to the hitch-free conduct of the forthcoming poll in the state. “Granted, the police reserve the right to transfer any of their

men from one part of the country to the other, it is, however, our belief that the hurried and sudden nature by which Mr. Bashiru was transferred, gives room for concern. This is more so as he is the direct victim of the …local government caretaker chairman and his ‘gang’. “The NBA, Owo branch, views the sudden and hurried transfer of the DPO as carefully designed to consign the criminal acts of Mr. Mabogunje and the complicity acts of the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations), Mr. Henry Fadairo, into oblivion. We strongly frown at this unholy and ignoble design.”

XACTLY a month to the Ondo State governorship election, the state branch of Accord Party (A) yesterday file a case at a Federal High Court to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from conducting the poll. The party complained that the electoral body refused to accredit its party for the election. It said the names of its governorship candidate, Olawale Ojo James, and his running mate, Olajenyo Ataunoko, are missing among other 13 governorship candidates that will participate in the election. The party is praying the court to make the INEC pay N3million onto its coffers for delaying its candidate’s campaign tour. In the suit, filed by its counsel, I. A. Aluko, the party said its candidate was duly nominated. Accord said it was registered with the INEC, adding that its candidate and his running mate are card-carrying members of the party. The party said: “The party’s congress was conducted by its national leadership and witnessed by INEC representatives, including S. A. Junaid (OPS), C.O Beckley (PRO) and O. Fasusi (PPI). “A copy of the memo for the holding of the primaries for the governorship election nominating the second plaintiff as a governorship candidate aspirant in the October 20 election is hereby pleaded and marked as exhibit “A”; same was received by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) at the INEC office at Alagbaka, Akure. “The Accord has printed posters, handbills bearing the names of the candidate and his running mate, Olawale James Ojo and Olufunmilayo Jenyo Ataunoko, but cannot go ahead with their campaign, despite the fact that their nomination forms had been sent to the INEC Chairman in Abuja. “The action of the electoral body has deprived us our constitutional right by not publishing our candidate’s and his running mate’s names.” No date has been fixed for hearing.


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

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CITYBEATS Task force arrests soldier, driver on Third Mainland Bridge L

08033054340, 08034699757 E-mail:- ynotcitybeats@gmail.com

AGOS State Taskforce on Environment and Special Offences Enforcement Unit has arrested a soldier and driver for driving against traffic on the Third Mainland Bridge. Lance Corporal Umaru Usman and Sagir Abubakar were arrested by a team of the Taskforce Enforcement Unit (TEU). TEU Chairman Superintendent of Police (SUPOL) Bayo Sulaiman told reporters that the offence contravened the new traffic law, adding that the offenders’ truck with registration number, YOBE XB 323 FKA, was also impounded. Sulaiman said: "The truck was carrying bags of rice, cement and boxes of sugar when it was impounded. "The truck has been forfeited to the state while the Lance Corporal, who acted as a pilot to the truck, has been handed over to the military authorities because we found out that he had no pass and was piloting the vehicle for monetary gains. "Of course, the driver will be charged to court for violation of the state traffic law." The chairman said the enforcement of the traffic law began after it was signed by Governor Babatunde Fashola. Law enforcement agencies were enforcing the law gradually to allow the

By Miriam Ndikanwu

people adjust,” he said. He said: "For instance, we are concentrating more on ridding the state of touts, popularly called Agbero. We have arrested and prosecuted more than 60 touts in the last two weeks."

"We are also concentrating on the bridges to arrest commercial motorcyclists that would want to flout the restriction order on their operations." The task force, Sulaiman said, would soon move from bridges to Ikeja and

Alausa to enforce the okada ban on roads. He said: "On Agbero we have started to clamp down on them. 34 touts were arrested last week. We have moved to Orile, Mile 2, Abule-Egba, Ogudu towards Oshodi, Cele bus

stop and by tomorrow we are going to other locations. "The menace has eaten deep into our system so, before the society will begin to see the impact of the enforcement, it will take little time." Sulaiman said okada men still operating in the prohibited areas in Ikeja would soon be dealt with.

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By Precious Igbonwelundu

• From left: Justice Phillips, Chairman Lagos State House Committee on Judiciary, Mr. Sanai Agunbiade and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, at the Summit…yesterday

•Chief Judge frees 233 By Adebisi Onanuga

Kirikiri Medium is hosting 2402 inmates, of whom 2239 are awaiting trials. It was built to accommodate 824. Also, Kirikiri Female Prison (Minimum), which was built to accommodate 105 now has 213 inmates, 167 of whom are awaiting trials. NAN learnt that over 90 per cent or 1610 of the 1761 inmates in Ikoyi Prison are awaiting trials. Ikoyi Prison was built to accommodate 800 inmates. NAN also reports that the Badagry Prison, which was built to house 160, has 275 inmates, 214 of whom are awaiting trials.

NAN investigation revealed that the Lagos State Prisons Command also lacked vehicles for conveying detainees to courts, thus hampering the administration of justice. NAN gathered that the vehicles donated to each of the five prisons by the Lagos State Government about eight years ago were in bad shape. When contacted, spokesman of the Lagos State Command of the Nigeria Prisons Service Chuks Njoku said the service was doing everything possible to ensure that the inmates were healthy. According to him, the inmates were being well fed and receiving prompt

medical attention, while the appropriate authorities were looking into prison congestion. Releasing the 233 Kirikiri inmates, Justice Phillips said their freedom followed a recommendation. About 130 were released from Kirikiri Maximum and 103 from Kirikiri Medium. Justice Phillips who ordered their release during a visit to Kirikiri said the exercise was "in pursuant of the powers conferred on her under Section 1 (1) of the Criminal Justice Release from Custody Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2007." Their freedom, she added, was part of activities marking the 2012/2013 Legal Year. She said: " There is a saying in the legal circle that it

Ikoyi Club marks 74th anniversary LAGOS State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola is expected as guest speaker at a lecture to mark the 74th anniversary of Ikoyi Club, Lagos. The weeklong event, which starts on Monday, will feature exciting programmes. Fashola will speak on Thursday on the topic: “Ikoyi Club at 74, a place to be.” He is also expected to integrate in his lecture what makes Lagos tick. The Club’s Vice-Chairman, Tunde Akinleye, said with eight sporting sections , the club stands as the largest in Africa. "It is our tradition to celebrate and this year's will not be an exception. It promises to be the most

By Joseph Jibueze

LAGOS State Chief Judge, Justice Ayotunde Phillips yesterday launched two civil procedure rules to regulate legal practice. They are: High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure) Rules 2012 and the Family Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure) Rules 2012. At a stakeholders' summit which was part of programmes to mark the new legal year, Justice Phillips said the rules would facilitate justice dispensation and restore public confidence in the judiciary. "Our commitment to justice is unwavering," Justice Phillips said, urging judges and lawyers to get acquainted with the rules.

Two jailed for motorbike theft

‘4,746 of 5,707 Lagos prisons’ inmates awaiting trial’ O fewer than 4,746 or about 80 per cent of the 5,707 inmates in prisons in Lagos State are awaiting trials, an investigation has shown. Figures obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), showed that the inmates are in Kirikiri Maximum, Kirikiri (Female) Medium, Kirikiri Minimum, Ikoyi and Badagry Prisons. The facilities exceeded their total installed capacity of 2, 692 by 52 percent. About 233 of them, who had been held for 12 years in Kirikiri were freed on Tuesday by the Chief Judge, Justice Ayotunde Phillips. A breakdown showed that Kirikiri Maximum with a capacity for 803, presently houses 1,056 inmates, 516 of whom are awaiting trials.

New court rules out

By Innocent Amomoh

entertaining and informative week,” he said. Akinleye said Fashola, who is a member of the Club, will start the anniversary with a visit to Modupe Cole Charity home on Monday. Tuesday will be for Jazz music featuring Femi Sax. Wednesday and Thursday are for the elders and the lecture, with Victor Olaiya and Fatai Rolling Dollars billed to entertain members. Thursday's event will end with a cocktail. Friday, according to Akinyele, is tagged: “International Night;” Saturday is for entertaining children and youth.

Sunday is the grand finale and all members, Akinyele said, would party together with Yemi Alade entertaining. The Club’s chairman, Giwa Osagie, said the club would build a new car park for members. "We felt it is not proper for our members to come for recreation after the day's job only to face parking issues, with most of them parking outside the club, hence the plans to build a befitting car park," Osagie said. The park is expected to cost N840 million and will accommodate about 310 cars from the initial 80 cars. The project will began early next year.

is better for 10 guilty persons to be free than for one innocent person to be incarcerated. "We have gone through the list of those recommended for release. So for those of you qualified to be released, you are very lucky that your name has come up. So, go and sin no more." She counselled those released to turn a new leaf. The Deputy Comptroller of Prisons of the Kirikiri Maximum Prison, Mr. Olu Tinuoye, said it was unusual for chief judges to visit the prisons. "By this visit, a lot of them expect freedom. It is a matter of regret that Judges in the state have not been visiting the prison regularly. This is why their expectation is very high," he said.

Man defiles girl inside church toilet

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30-YEAR-OLD man, Taoreed Oseni, was yesterday arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrate's Court in Lagos for allegedly sexually assaulting an 18-year old girl, Azeez Titilayo. Oseni was alleged to have raped Titilayo in a church toilet at Oshodi, a Lagos suburb. The accused, whose residential address is unknown, is facing a onecount charge of rape. Prosecuting Police Inspector Rachael Williams told the court that Oseni committed the offence on July 20. She said the accused sexu-

By Tumininu Owolabi

ally assaulted the young girl in a toilet at the Methodist Church, Ogunlende Street, Mafoluku, Oshodi. The accused, she said, forced his way into the toilet without the girl’s consent. The offence, Williams said, is punishable under Section 260 of the Criminal Law No. 11 Vol.44 Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria 2011. When the charges were read, Oseni pleaded not guilty. Magistrate A.B. Olagbegi-Adelabu ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody till September 20.

TWO men were yesterday sentenced to one year imprisonment each after pleading guilty to stealing a Bajaj motorcycle. Tunde Fashola, 37, and Martins Ibrahim, 38, were convicted for stealing the motorcycle valued at N207, 000 by Magistrate T.O. Shomade Prosecuting Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Friday Eze told the court that the convicts stole the motorcycle on August 31, at Ibereko Town, Ojo, about 4.30am. Eze said the convicts were asked to identify themselves and explain where they were coming from, but they could neither give a cogent answer nor explain the motorcycle in their possession. The men were taken to Ojo Police Station and detained. He said one of them made a confessional statement after spending some days in custody. He said the offence contravened Sections 285 and 409 of the Criminal Code Laws of Lagos State. Magistrate Shomade sentenced them to one year imprisonment each with hard labour, with an option of N100, 000 fine.

65 passengers escape death By Adebisi Onanuga

NO fewer than 65 passengers on Tuesday evening escaped death when the bus in which they were travelling caught fire. The Ashok Leyland LAGBUS vehicle with registration number XZ 564 AKD and code number W0 17, is managed by Nationwide. The bus, which left Oshodi and was heading towards Ikorodu, caught fire about 7. 47 pm as it came out of the Independent tunnel, on Ikorodu Road, Maryland, Ikeja. The fire, which started from the bus’ engine, was first noticed by occupants of other vehicles on the other side of the road. Their alarm caught the attention of the bus’ occupants. When the bus came to a halt, passengers struggled to alight. The driver, who was shaken, ran up and down the road before he was advised to switch off the engine. He had no fire extinguisher inside the bus.


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

10

NEWS Alleged witchcraft: Ekiti opposes case transfer

Oyo ACN accuses PDP, Accord of frustrating bridge project

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

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EADERS of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ido Local Government Area of Oyo State have accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Accord Party (A) members of frustrating the construction of the collapsed Apete Bridge in Ibadan, the state capital. The bridge was washed away during last year’s August 26 flood. The party leaders urged well-meaning residents to prevail on PDP and Accord members to allow the construction of the bridge. They addressed reporters in Ibadan, at the anniversary of the chairman of Ido Local Government Area, Prof Joseph Olowofela, in office. Before last year’s flood, the Apete Bridge served residents of about five communities, including The Polytechnic, Ibadan. Prof Olowofela and a member of the House of Assembly, Wahab Oladejo, representing Ido State Constituency, blamed the failure of the contractor to complete the bridge on PDP and Accord members in the area. The ACN leaders said the opposition members had incited the public against the contractor, adding that this forced the government to revoke the contract.

Old students urged to join social network

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•Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun (middle) with World Bank representative, Mrs. Ayo Akala and Commissioner for Health, Dr Olaokun Soyinka, during a visit of the World Bank-NACA-ENR Coordinating Mission to the Governor’s Office in Abeokuta... yesterday

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ORMER Senate Leader Teslim Folarin yesterday incurred the wrath of the Oyo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), his Ibadan compatriots and others for criticising the Abiola Ajimobi administration. Folarin was the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senate Leader from 2003 till last year. He was quoted as saying the Ajimobi administration lacked a human face for pulling down some structures that were causing flooding in Ibadan, the state capital, and sacking workers with bad records. The Oyo State ACN described the former lawmaker as a good example of what a public official should not be. The party said its administration in the state was trying to erase the sad memories the former PDP administration left behind, adding that Folarin was reminding the people of that sad era. In a statement in Ibadan by its Publicity Secretary, Dauda Kolawole, ACN noted

HE new president of the Old Students’ Association of Baptist High School (BHS), Iwo, Osun State, Mr King Aremu, has urged his colleagues to join the social network, facebook. Aremu gave the charge in his acceptance speech as the new president of the association. He said the school would celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2015, adding: “We will be talking about the Diamond Jubilee. The celebration is a vision the new executives shall conceive immediately. The task is about reaching out to thousands of old students among who I have been seen on facebook. “Henceforth, I will post the new development to them. I’m, therefore, calling on all of you to come on facebook in the task of giving back to the school.”

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Funeral for community leader

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COMMUNITY leader in Rivers State, Mrs Maria Lidia Hart Amanya, is dead. She was 83. The late Mrs Amanya will be buried on September 28 at her home Umuokoronkwor, Okwizi community in Egbema, Ogba Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area.

Oyo ACN, group, others blast Folarin for criticising Ajimobi •‘You represent our ugly past’ From Bisi Oladele and Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

that the likes of Folarin and the politics of compromise that his party, the PDP, foisted on Oyo State for eight years, could not be continued by any rational administration that wishes to transform the state. The statement reads: “There is no way Folarin would not see anything wrong in the ongoing reform in the state civil service and the aesthetics that the state is beginning to have. Until he parted ways with former Governor Adebayo AlaoAkala, they were both co-travellers in the rotten boat of Oyo State, in consonance with the late self-styled strongman of Ibadan politics, Chief Lamidi Adedibu. Literally and metaphorically, they dirtied our state; they can never be happy with anyone who is fumigating their smelly past.” On the sack of workers, ACN said: “We demand that

Senator Folarin show the world his academic credentials. Only …those who profit from a system of forgery and those who live a life of misdemeanour would advocate that persons who defrauded the system should be kept a minute longer in the service. We are ashamed that a former Senator could be a campaigner for the retention of the horrible system of the past.” An Ibadan-based sociopolitical group, the Oyo Patriots League (OPL), faulted Folarin’s criticisms of the Ajimobi administration. It described the comment as a campaign of calumny against the government. In a statement by Adewale Ajani and Mutiu Oyekola, Coordinator and Organising Secretary, the group noted that the former lawmaker exposed himself as an opponent of a new Oyo State, which Ajimobi is leading. The statement reads: “It is most irresponsible for a person who was expected to be

remorseful for not only failing the electorate in his fruitless eight years in the Senate but also playing inglorious roles in the ego-driven political turmoil which the entire state was subjected to by his party in the build-up to the 2011 general elections.” The Chief Whip of Oyo State House of Assembly, Hammed Abiodun Adigun, described Folarin’s comments as unfounded and reckless. The lawmaker said they showed that the former Senate Leader was not happy with giant strides of the ACN-led administration in the state. Through his Media Assistant, Sikiru Akinola, the lawmaker said: “Why would a man who cannot point to a tangible project as achievement, when he was at the National Assembly, come out openly to criticise a performing government? “He occupied the same position Governor Ajimobi occupied and transformed the lives of his constituents. At least, if the people were not important to him, what did he do for Ibadan where he is a high chief?”

Lawyer urges Supreme Court to stop Mimiko from increasing court fees

N Akure lawyer, Titiloye Charles, has filed an application before the Supreme Court to stop Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko and the Chief Judge (CJ) of the state, Justice Sehinde Kumuyi, from further increasing court fees, pending the determination of the appeal before the apex court. Titiloye averred that on February 9, last year, the governor increased the court fees through a circular letter written by the Chief Registrar of Ondo State. He said despite the fact that the case was still pending before the Supreme Court, the governor and the CJ were attempting to again increase the fees under the guise of revenue generation. Titiloye noted that the commercial affidavit, which the governor imposed on the Judiciary, is unknown to any law in Nigeria or legal practice in any state in the country.

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

The lawyer prayed the Supreme Court to order an accelerated hearing of the matter and intervene to prevent the litigation from becoming unaffordable to the indigent clients who daily approach his law office for help. The appeal in the substantive suit bothers on the constitutionality of increment of court fees in Ondo State Judiciary by Mimiko, the head of the executive arm of government in the state. As at press time, Mimiko and CJ had been served with the application. But no date has been fixed for hearing in the matter.

Ashafa: no disunity among ACN senators HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) senator representing Lagos East, Gbenga Ashafa, yesterday debunked the rumour that there is a cold war among the party’s senators. In a statement in Lagos, the lawmaker said ACN senators remained united and committed to effective representation of the party. He said the party’s lawmakers would also ensure

By Miriam Ndikanwu

that government policies impact positively on the people they represent at the National Assembly. Ashafa explained that the rumour was part of some publications that some ACN senators were behind the alleged removal of George Akume as Senate Minority Leader. The lawmaker explained that as the Secretary of the ACN Senators’ Caucus Forum, he attended regular

meetings where national issues were discussed for the unity of the senators. He said: “This is a forum that brings together a group of extremely patriotic individuals that have the unique privilege to be elected by the good people of Nigeria to serve. “As we meet regularly, issues affecting the lives of common Nigerians have been our focal point. I can’t recall anytime personal issues became an agenda or item for discussion.”

•Ashafa

JUSTICE A. Adesodun, sitting at the Ekiti Vacation Court of the State High Court, yesterday ordered Mr Adedeji Oladele, the defence counsel in the case of alleged murder of Mrs. Rebecca Adewumi, to open a fresh application in Ado Judicial Division. The state counsel, Mr Femi Onipede, had averred that it is a basic condition that the prosecution decide the court where to institute and/ or retain its case. Justice Adesodun, who was a vacation judge, said the vacation would end tomorrow and that he would be unable to entertain any new application on any case except such case is transferred to Omuo Judicial Division, where he serves. Oladele, who had planned to move an application for bail for the three accused, who are in prison custody, said he would prefer to open an application to transfer the case to Omuo. The defence counsel told the court that the alleged act was committed in Omuo and that it would be convenient for the parties to hear the case in the town. But Onipede averred that the case was instituted in the Ado Judicial Division by the prosecution and that it could be changed only if that is the preference of the prosecution. The government lawyer added that the defence lacked such legal preference. Abey Feranmi, Orojo Olatunbosun and Adesola Adewumi were charged with murder, conspiracy and trial by ordeal. They were arrested on the orders of Police Commissioner Sotonye Wakama and remanded in prison custody since 4 September.

Two victims of Ogun community’s road crash identified

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He identities of two of the victims of the accidents that occurred at Mobalufon junction, Ijebu-Ode, on SagamuBenin Expressway, were yesterday unveiled. The accident, involving a truck and two passenger buses, occurred on Tuesday. Report put the casualty figure at 30. Sixty-six other people were said to have sustained injuries. The victims were: a 21year-old daughter of a prominent Islamic cleric in Ijebu-Ode and a young man, whose marriage had been fixed for this month. The cleric’s daughter was said to have alighted from a bus coming from the Tai Solarin University of Education, (TASUED) before she was crushed. Tunji, who would have consummated his marriage before the end of the month, was the other victim identified yesterday. It was learnt that seven bodies were deposited at a mortuary in Ijebu-Ode.


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

11

BUSINESS THE NATION

E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

Naira firms after CBN’s rate decision

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HE naira firmed slightly against the U.S. dollar yesterday, a day after the Central Bank of Nigeria left interest rates on hold and said it would keep monetary conditions tight, dealers said. The CBN kept rates on hold for the sixth time in a row at 12 per cent on Tuesday, welcoming improved growth and a slight fall in headline inflation. But it said monetary measures will remain hawkish for the foreseeable future. Financial markets in Africa's second biggest economy were closed when the rate decision was made on Tuesday. The naira according to Reuters opened for trade at N157.50 to the U.S. dollar on yesterday, higher than Tuesday's close of N157.75. Dealers said the naira was partly driven by inflows from foreign investors buying bonds at an auction on Wednesday and oil companies selling the greenback to lenders. “Chevron sold around $113 million to some lenders, while the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas sold an undisclosed amount. There were also inflows from investors buying bonds,” one dealer told Reuters. Nigeria plans to sell 60 billion naira in bonds on Wednesday with maturities of five and seven years. The central bank said $1.4 billion of foreign investment flowed into debt in August. Olayemi Agbe-Davies, a bond dealer at Standard Chartered Bank, told Reuters debt markets had anticipated the hold decision on rates and already factored it into bond pricing, so yields were largely steady yesterday.

Brazil is an influential member of the BRIC nations with a big apetite for investing in Africa, especially Nigeria. So there is the need for us to strengthen our partnership with them to attract big investments into our country. - Minister of Trade & Investment, Olusegun Aganga

NLC, experts to Reps: don’t tamper with CBN’s autonomy E XPERTS including the organised labour yes terday warned that attempts to tamper with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) autonomy by either compelling it to submit its budget to the National Assembly for scrutiny and approval or use of the ongoing controversy over the currency overhaul to whittle down its power, will have a disastrous consequence for the economy. As a result of the public outcry against the planned introduction of N5,000 banknote, which is part of the currency overhaul proposal approved by President Goodluck Jonathan last December, the house of representatives on Tuesday muted the idea of scrutinizing the CBN budget, which would be an infringement of its autonomy. The Senate, also asked President Jonathan to stop the N5,000 banknote. But experts including Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismark Rewane; the Direc-

By Ayodele Aminu, Group Business Editor

tor General of the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI), Dr. Joseph Nnanna; a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Koyinsola Ajayi, and Vice President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Isa Aremu, urged the lawmakers not use the controversy surrounding the N5,000 banknote to cut the powers of the CBN. They warned that the economy will suffer if the legislators succeed. Rewane, who noted that there are empirical evidence globally that the economy suffers when the autonomy of the CBN is removed, said once the lawmakers have powers to approve the budget of the CBN, it means that they have finally succeeded in taking away its autonomy. “There are empirical evidences that the more independent the Central Bank is, the

better the economy of the country performs. Take a look at countries such as Switzerland and Canada, which are some of the countries where the Central Banks are completely independent. The economies of these countries are very strong and that is why they are not affected by the Eurozone crises. “I want to assure you that once the CBN autonomy is infringed on, the economy will suffer. What the legislators are trying to do will be judged by history,” Rewane said. Dr Nnanna also said that once the autonomy of the CBN is compromised, it will not be able to respond effectively and promptly to macro-economic and monetary policies. He said once this happens, the mandate of the CBN, which is to grow the economy and maintain price stability will also be compromised.

“Consequently, both the economy and Nigeria will suffer. If inflation rises, those with fixed salaries will suffer and if monetary policy suffers, growth will also suffer and employment will be affected. “Go and check, you will find out that the Nigerian economy performed better when the CBN was independent. When it was reporting to the Ministry of Finance, the economy did not do well at all,” he said. Similarly, Comrade Aremu advised that the controversy over the N5,000 banknote should not be used to tamper with the CBN’s autonomy. “We have crossed bridge with last two public hearings of the ad-hoc committees, where it was agreed that the principle of the CBN autonomy must be defended as it is done in other countries. We have a right to debate and engage the CBN but

Customers besiege Air Nigeria Abuja office for refunds

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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 -N6.503 trillion JSE -Z5.112trillion NYSE -$10.84 trillion LSE -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation Treasury Bills Maximum lending Prime lending Savings rate 91-day NTB Time Deposit MPR Foreign Reserve FOREX CFA EUR £ $ ¥ SDR RIYAL -

-10.5% -7.08% -22.42% 15.87% -2% -15% 5.49% 12% $35.8b 0.2958 206.9 242.1 156 1.9179 238 40.472

the autonomy of the CBN is what we must defend. Let us play the ball and not go for the leg. Going for the leg will not be a fair game,” he said. Ajayi also said the threat to amend the CBN Act if executed, will be a very bad precedence. “Although Senate said it was not consulted on the currency overhaul, and now it wants to amend the CBN Act to get involved in key policy issues of the regulator. This means that the powers it claims it has over the CBN is not true. “The actions of the legislators portend disaster for the economy. The currency overhaul role of the CBN is not for the legislators to decide. Their insistence on getting involved in the policy is an assault on the constitution. It is a dangerous trend,” he said. Going by the CBN Act, it is the apex bank’s primary responsibility to effect changes in the nation’s currency with the approval of the President.

• From left: Executive Director, Information Technology and Operations, Ahmed Yusuf; CEO, Pural Oil Ltd, customer of the Bank, Tunde Oyefolu; Regional Manager, Ikeja Region, Yemi Adeyinka; Executive Director, Lagos and West Unity Bank, Lanre Fagbohun and Divisional Head, Product &Channels, Felix Ezeh, during the Unity Bank Savings Promo at Etal Hotels, Oregun, Lagos…on Saturday. PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA

Agric ministry eyes $6b ethanol production investment

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LANS are on-going to secure a $6billion for eign investment for the production ethanol in the country, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has said. The Minister, who spoke at the signing of a cooperation agreement with Tony Elumelu Foundation in Abuja, said the initiative was part of efforts to use Public Private Partnership (PPP) to drive the agricultural sector in realising the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) of the Federal Government. He said that the ethanols are to be produced through large scale plantation of sug-

From Olugbenga Adanikin and Helen Iyoko, Abuja

arcane. Sugarcane ethanol is a type of ethanol fuel used for vehicles and produced from sugarcane. Brazil is the world’s leading producer of sugarcane ethanol. Adesina said: “We are presently having talks with an investor who is ready to setup an ethanol producing plant value at $6 billion from sugarcane plantation. There will be two plants in the north that will be used for about 100, 000 hectares each for sugar cane. This is to show you that we are getting a lot of foreign direct investments and local investments.”

The Minister explained that the production will be different from what is expected from other farmers, which according to him, will create employment and further increase the production of ethanol in the nation. Speaking on the partnership with the Elumelu foundation, Adesina stated the ministry is to partner with the foundation to establish seed venture capital fund. The fund according to him, will be used to setup seed venture for the farmers, which will enable them run their farm businesses professionally. In his remark, Elumelu stated that the foundation believes in the agricultural

agenda of the federal government. He said government can only be successful in its project implementation when inputs from private sectors are considered. Elumelu noted that the agricultural sector is capable of creating jobs, increasing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as boosting the nation’s economy. Present at the event was the Group Managing Director of UBA, Mr. Stephen Oduoza, who revealed that banks have also disbursed N200 billion to support farmers in the country. According to him, UBA has decided to reduce its total lending rate to 7 per cent.

OME customers yes terday besieged the of fice of Air Nigeria in Abuja to demand the refund of the money they spent in buying flight tickets they did not utilise. The development is as a result of the suspension of its operation by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) since June due to lack of maintenance. Consequently, the Chairman of the airline, Mr Jimoh Ibrahim, shut down the company for one year with effect from September 10, and sacked 550 members of staff, while retaining 50. According to News Agency of Nigeria, some of the customers said the management of the airline is yet to refund their money and that they were asked to contact the head office of the airline in Lagos. One of the affected customers, Olumuyiwa Okunade said he has been to the Abuja office on several occasions for the refund of his money. He said the few workers he met at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, refused to pay attention to his complaints. Another customer, Chief Chinyere Anyamele, said a notice on the door directed complainants to Air Nigeria’s head office, adding that it would cost more money to get to Lagos. “Is the airline indirectly telling us to forfeit our money? It is not easy for someone who bought an air ticket in Abuja to travel down to Lagos for a refund.


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

12

NEWS Subscribers decry poor telecoms service

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

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

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

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

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

LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10

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

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

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

08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55

09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55

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

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

08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55

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

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

LAGOS – UYO 10.35

11.35

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

08.00 18.00

LAGOS – ABUJA SAT/SUN Arik 7.15; 10.20; 2.20; 5.20pm – 7.30; 9.15; 10.20; 2.20; 4.50; 6.45 Aero 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 – 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 Air Nigeria 08.15; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30 – 08.15; 13.30; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30

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• Governor Akpabio and Ms Oputu exchanging documents.

BoI, Akwa Ibom pool N5b loan for entrepreneurs T HE Bank of Industry (BoI) the Akwa Ibom state govern ment have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide N5 billion soft loan for lending to entrepreneurs and training of small-scale business people in the state. Akwa Ibom Governor, Godswill O. Akpabio signed the MoU for the State Government while the Managing Director of Bank of Industry, Ms. Evelyn Oputu signed for the bank, according to a statement from Akwa Ibom. Addressing journalists yesterday, the Special Adviser on Industrialisation and Akwa Ibom Industrial and Investment Promotion Council (AKIIPOC), Mr. Senas Ukpanah said the effort was in line with Governor Akpabio’s election-

eering promise to promote industrialisation policy in the state. Ukpanah hinted that the Federal Government would support the loan scheme with N2.5 billion while the state Government would put N2.5 billion for lending to investors. Meanwhile, Governor Akpabio has pledged to partner the bank in order to create entrepreneurship and capacity development in the agro-allied sector. Akpabio, who stated when Ms. Oputu paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Uyo, pledged to enter into a MoU with the bank. He stated that his administration would provide land for interested

investors, adding that the state budgeted N20 billion soft loan this year to partner the private sector in establishing industries in the state. Earlier, the Managing Director of BoI had congratulated the Governor on the provision of quality infrastructure in the state. She lamented that the entrepreneurship programme was at the lowest level, attributing low patronage of industries in the country to lack of infrastructure. The BoI boss stated the bank would do a lot of training of small-scale business people and provision of facilities to them, calling for proper utilization of funds by the prospective beneficiaries

Fed Govt approves 10-year sugar master Plan

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HE Federal Government has approved a new sugar mas ter plan for the country. The government noted that the 10-year master plan is expected to save the country $350 million annually from foreign exchange. Besides, the implementation of the plan government argued, will create 37,378 permanent jobs. Nigeria produces three per cent of local consumption while the rest is imported at the cost of over N100 billion. The Nigerian Sugar Master Plan (NSMP) was approved at the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC), presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan. The Council also deliberated on the comprehensive report on Universities in Nigeria. Final decisions will however, be made after

• To save $415.8m forex, generate 37, 378 jobs From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

input from the governors. Briefing newsmen at the end of the meeting, Minister of Information, Labaran Maku and Minister of Trade and Investment, said the master plan was necessary in order to reverse the decline in sugar production in the country. Explaining the gains of the new plan, the ministers said it will create 107,000 direct jobs at the initial stage, derive annual production of 1.79 million tonnes of sugar; 161.2 million litres of ethanol; 400 mega watts of electricity; 1.6 million tonnes of animal feeds; 37,378 permanent jobs; $65.8 million savings in forex on fuel imports annually; and $350 million sav-

ings in forex on sugar imports annually. They also said that the new master plan spells out the sugar and ethanol projections required to achieve selfsufficiency and indicates the number of factories and sugarcane hectares, as well as number of skilled and unskilled staff required in order to reverse the decline in the sub-sector. Maku said, “The implementation of the NSMP as conceived would entail many projects, which would cover all geo-political zones of the country since suitable sites for cane production do exist across the ecological zones”. He said the implementation of the NSMP as conceived would entail many project which would cover all geo-political zones of the country since suitable sites for cane proxy tio exists across the ecological zones.

Marketers threaten strike over closure of Ihenacho and members of his IL marketers under the um Integrated Oil lock staff up, when the same NIMASA brella of Jetties and Petro

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leum Tank Farm Owners of Nigeria (JEPTFON) has issued 24 hours ultimatum to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to reopen the sealed depots and head office of Integrated Oil and Gas Limited. They said association would close down its depots and retail outlets nationwide if the oil firm is not reopened. The NIMASA had on September 13 sealed off the depots and facilities of Integrated Oil and Gas Limited, picked and locked up some members of staff of the company and on September 14. It also sealed off the head office of the company picked up the Chairman, Captain Emmanuel Ihenacho over alleged stolen petroleum products to his depots. The busi-

• Meet over subsidy By Emeka Ugwuanyi

ness premises as at the time of filing this report were still under lock and key. The Executive Secretary of JEPTFON, Barr Enoch Kanawa during an interaction with reporters in Lagos said that the association after due investigation found that the action of NIMASA was done in bad taste. He said they wouldn’t watch the agency rubbish the hard earned enterprise of their member. The association questioned the authority of NIMASA to seal off all the business premises of the company,

alongside other regulatory agencies including the Department of Petroleum Resources, Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Navy and Customs cleared the alleged stolen fuel. He said there is more to the action of the agency that meets the eyes. He said that the Director-General of NIMASA should resign for lack of competence. He also noted that the various oil marketing groups including the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA), Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), and Jetties and Petroleum Tank Farms Owners of Nigeria (JEPTFON), will meet next week over non-payment of their outstanding subsidy debt.

OBILE telephone sub scribers in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, yesterday decried what they described as poor quality of service, saying it has affected their businesses in terms of passing urgent information either through calls or short message service (SMS) They said the decline in service delivery has been on the increase in recent times without any improvement from the service providers. Yakubu Thompson, a businessman, said most times his calls did not get connected and his messages always stayed pending for a long time before they could be delivered, adding that when the call eventually got through, it kept braking, making it difficult to communicate. “Sometime in the process of sending urgent information, the line will remain disconnected or will say, switched off, even when the persons’ phone is on. “Last week, I tried to call my staff to go and give our client a document that will fetch us a huge contract as the phone kept showing call disconnected. You could imagine how frustrating the service problem could be and I lost the contract, ‘‘ Thompson said. Another subscriber, Hajia Nma Muhammad, a civil servant, said for four days there was no network in her house at Prince and Princess’ Estate. She said it took her to use a friend’s phone to lodge a complaint before the service was restored. “Now the service comes off and on, what can I say, bad system,’’ Muhammad said. Mr Garba Ibrahim, a cloth seller at Wuse market, said that he tried calling his wife with two different networks to pick his children from school because he was busy with consumers at the shop. Ibrahim said for more than an hour the phone kept telling him switch off, he got angry and rushed to the school and picked his children only to get home to find that his wifes’ phone was on. “You can imagine that, these service providers will not break my home. NCC must do something to ensure that service improved in this country,’’ Ibrahim said. A journalist also told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that some time he experienced loss of service in his house at Abacha road Mararaba. “Some of us are tied to the network not because we love it but because most of us receive our salary alert from these networks.”

Fed Govt inaugurates committee on sea ports From Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja

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HE Federal Government has inaugurated a sevenman committee on Ibaka and Badagry sea ports. The Committee, chaired by a Director in the Department of Transport Planning and Coordination, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Iorwuese Viashima, is to ensure the successful construction and completion of the new sea ports, before 2015. Speaking at the inauguration in Abuja, the Minister of Transport, Sen. Idris Umar said construction of the Ibaka Deep Sea Port in Akwa Ibom and Badagary port became necessary to decongest the Lagos sea ports.


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INDUSTRY

MAN disputes NACCIMA’s claim on 800 shut firms ‘Real sector’s contribution to GDP about 4%’ D

ID 800 companies close shop in the country between 2009 and last year? This puzzle remains unravelled as the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce , Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) are expressing divergent views on the issue. At a zonal workshop on economic diversification organised by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission(RMAFC) in Asaba, Delta State,on September 11, NACCIMA President, Dr Ademola Ajayi said the companies closed shop because of the harsh operating business environment . Ajayi said more than half of the surviving firms had been classified as ailing , thereby posing danger to the survival of the manufacturing industry. He blamed the continued decline in the manufacturing sector on political and economic factors, citing poor infrastructure and epileptic power supply as impediment to the industry.

Stories by Toba Agboola

“The manufacturing industry as a whole operates on more than 70 per cent of energy it generates; using generators and operating these generators greatly increases the cost of manufacturing goods,” he said. Other problems in the sector , he said, include incessant increase in the price of petroleum products , multiple taxation , smuggling and inadequate access to finance, both local and abroad. But MAN President Mr Kola Jamodu said the association was not aware of the closure of the firms. Explaining at the presentation of the blueprint for “The accelerated development of manufacturing in Nigeria”, in Lagos, Jamodu said while the business environment could be said to be harsh, the government is supporting the manufacturing sector through reforms including intervention funds. According to him, government is

committed to good governance and sustainability of the current reforms, which have improved the sector. Jamodu said manufacturing contributes a paltry four per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), adding that in other developed countries the sector’s contribution to the GDP averages 46 per cent. Transforming the sector to a dynamic and virile , he said, is part of the strategy of Vision 20:2020, which envisages long-term intensification of the industrialisation process and movement towards a knowledgedriven economy. According to MAN’s projection, the sector’s contribution to GDP can leap-frog to between 15 and18 per cent in three years if the recommendations in its blueprint are considered and implemented. The blueprint is based on an integrated approach that addresses sector-specific issues and recognises the important role of manufacturing, particularly Small and Medium Enterprises

(SMEs) in employment generation. He said: “The articulation of this blueprint is to provide government with proposals on policies that, if implemented, could help to position the manufacturing sector for greater performance and fast-track the realisation of the national vision of becoming one of the top 20 economies by 2020.” Jamodu said the sector still faced a number of challenges which had whittled down its productive capacity and hampered its job creation potential. Jamodu said although some critical aspects of the agenda had been adopted, the public presentation of the report was aimed at ensuring that the trend of positive activism is sustained in the implementation of all measures needed to restore manufacturing to its rightful position. He said actions that would enhance the productive capacity and capacity utilisation of the various sub-sectors of manufacturing needed to be taken to ensure that the sector played

its role of job creation, poverty reduction and economic development. He said: “The current administration in the country is working on some of the addressed problems. We are all concerned about the fortune of manufacturing because it is the only sector, whose prospect can determine the fortunes of the people and the economy. A healthy manufacturing sector means more jobs for the people, and less poverty in the land.” A research economist with MAN, Mr Toyin Durowaye, in a presentation, said the imperative of a research-based analysis of the problems of the sector could not be overemphasised in view of the sector’s importance. He said manufacturing, as a critical sector, needed deserved attention because of its central role in economic repositioning. “The only way to solve problems in a sustainable way is to encourage manufacturing to thrive. Manufacturing is the only sector that has the capacity to generate the most jobs and ensure economic turnaround,” he said.

‘Non-oil exports stand at N213b’ T HE value of non-oil products stood at N213 billion ($1.35 billion) in the first half of the

year. Executive Director, the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) David Adulugba , has said the figure represented about 10 per cent decline from the N238 billion ($1.50 billion) recorded in the same period of 2011. Adulugba, who attributed the decline to unrecorded exports, fuel crisis and workers’ strike in January, expressed optimism that the agency would achieve its 40 per cent target for non-oil exports before the end of the year. He noted that the high incidence of unrecorded exports had been a major challenge in accurate reporting of the performance of the non-oil sector. To address the challenge, Adulugba said the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment was to establish border markets at some strategic locations, pointing out that the country’s nonoil exports were dominated by raw commodities and a few products with value addition. He said: “There is the need to step up the value chain, diversify from commodities and empower the small and medium scale enterprises through entrepreneurship development.” Adulugba said Nigeria exported non-oil products worth $660. 1million and $686.2 million in the first and second quarters of the year as against $818.8 million and $676.2 million recorded in the same period in 2011. According to him, the country exported goods worth $161.6 million

dollars in January compared to $307.2 million dollars in 2011. He also said non-oil products worth $242.9 million were exported in February 2012 compared to $273.6 million in the same period in 2011 while $255.7 million and $220.6 million were recorded in March and April this year as against $237.9 million and $250.6 million in in the corresponding period of 2011. The NEPC boss said the country’s non-oil exports in May and June 2012 were $242.6 million and $223.1 million, respectively compared to $703.5 million and $222 million recorded in the same period in 2011. According to Adulugba, the bulk of the exported products are cocoa and cocoa preparations, oil seeds, sesame seeds, edible fruits, nuts, citrus, tobacco, fish, shrimps and gum Arabic. Others include recharge cards, cosmetics, footwear, textiles, confectioneries, insecticides, plastics, empty bottles, electric cables, food, beverages and noodles. He expressed optimism that the agency would achieve its 40 percent target for non- oil export products before the end of the year in line with the key performance indicators (KPI). “At the moment, we are working assiduously to translate where we were at $2.8 billion per annum to 40 per cent ($3.92 billion). All sorts of strategies will be adopted to achieve the target within the regional market.”

Chamber to attract FDI at trade fair

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HE Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry is to complement government’s efforts at attracting foreign investment. The chamber has concluded arrangements for Business-to-Business (B2B) meetings between indigenous and foreign exhibitors, seeking trade opportunities and partnerships at this year’s Lagos International Trade Fair. According to a statement by the Director-General, Mr Muda Yusuf, this is in line with the theme of the 2012 Fair: Promoting trade for sustainable economic transformation, and renewed drive by government and interest groups to showcase and promote the economy’s potential. He said the chamber shifted the venue of the fair from the Lagos Trade Fair Complex this year because of ongoing construction on the Lagos-

Badagry Expressway. The expansion of the road posed huge challenges to commuters and participants at the fair last year. “Already, feedback from registered and potential exhibitors, especially from abroad, indicates satisfaction with the shift of the fair to the Tafawa Balewa Square, which is easily accessible from most parts of Lagos. It is envisaged that this year will witness an increase in participation of exhibitors and visitors.” Last year witnessed participation by exhibitors from eleven countries, including Canada, Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia, China, Taiwan, Singapore and India. Others were Ghana, Republic of Benin and Cameroun. Enquiries have also been received from the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia this year.

From left: Jamodu, Vice President, SME Group of MAN, Mrs Stella Okoli, and the Director General, MAN, Mr Yinka Akande, at the presentation.

India to spend $46b on trade to Nigeria, others

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BOUT 20 Indian information technology (IT) firms are due in the country to deliberate on further areas of investment at the Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN) summit. The development is expected to push bilateral trade between the nations and other African countries to over $46 billion. According to the President , ITAN, Mrs Florence Seriki, the objective of the yearly event, which also serves as a statement of need, is to sustain the creation of a platform for local ICT organisations to synergise and collaborate with key international ICT players to bridge the gaps in competi-

tive capacity development of local enterprises. It would also create education opportunities, influence policy formulation and promote the Nigerian industry, she added. She said the meeting identifies with Federal Government’s transformational agenda for the ICT sector and the association’s stance of building international partnership to grow the industry. Mrs Seriki said this year’s theme is Empowering and resuscitating local IT entrepreneurs via local content development and funding. She said local IT entrepreneurs deserved private and public sector sup-

Mexico invests over N8b in Nigeria’s agro-allied industry

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EXICO has so far invested about N8 billion in the agro –industrial sector in the economy, with prospects of creating 7,500 direct jobs in the country. The Mexican Ambassador to Nigeria, Marco Antonio García Blanco, made this known on the anniversary of the 202 Independence Day celebration of the Central American country, held in Abuja. Recalling a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Mexico and Nigeria, the envoy disclosed that his Embassy in Nigeria has reduced requirements to issue visas

to prospective travelers to his home country to just one day of the application. He said: “We already have the opportunity to exchange trade mission and Mexico started to invest in Nigeria $54 million (N8 billion) in the first two projects at the agro-industrial sector that will create 7,500 directs jobs in this country. “The Mexican Embassy is fully committed to continue to work together with the Government of Nigeria in the process of building a more active, strong and successful bilateral relationship with benefits to both nations.”

port in terms of increasing their demand for goods and services, and engendering adequate partnerships to promote local content.” Mrs Seriki said India and Nigeria enjoyed healthy diplomatic relations, noting the enhanced economic and trade relationship between the two countries. She said Indian software and several ICT companies have a very strong presence in Nigeria. The Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, will be the special guest of honour, while key speakers at the forum include President, National Association of Computer and Software Companies of India (NASSCOM), India, Som Mittal and the Managing Director of the Bank of Industry (BoI), Ms Evelyn Oputu. Also to attend the event as special guests are the Indian High Commission in Nigeria, and the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr Ernest Nwapa. “The ITAN, NASCOM CEOs forum offers a strong plank for industry leaders of the two countries to explore ways of mutually growing businesses particularly as it concerns the ICT sector,” Mrs Seriki stated. NASSCOM is the premier trade body and the “Chamber of Commerce” for the IT – BPO industry in India and ITAN is the premier trade industry group for ICT companies in Nigeria.


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INDUSTRY Creating the Northern edge

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•From left: General Manager, Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone Authority, Elder John Abbey; Regional General Manager, Orlean Invest West Africa Limited, Mr Narayanan Prakash; Chairman, National Organising Committee on Oil and Gas Trade and Investment Forum 2012, Mr David Adejuwon, during the visit of the committee to Onne Free Trade Zone, Port Harcourt

•From left: Commercial Consular, Turkey Embassy, Mr Bulent Ferick; Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Nigeria in Turkey, Adeshide Foluso; Presiden, Remo branch of NACCIMA, Mrs Adesola Adebutu; Member, Minerals Exporters Association Board of Republic of Turkey, Ibrahmim Alimoglu and President, Meridien International Fair Organisaion, Oguz Yalcin, during the opening of the Lagos Expo-Build 2012 at Eko Hotel Exhibition Centre, VI. PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS

SON embarks on e-registration of products

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O simplify the process of products registration, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria has introduced e-registration on its website. This innovation is aimed at ensuring that genuine manufacturers and dealers experience less difficulty in getting their products registered. According to the agency, the move is also to ensure the success of its campaign of zero tolerance for substandard products, which the agency has carried to the various sectoral groups and parts of the country since July 2011, when it was launched On the e-registration, the Director-General, Dr Joseph Odumodu, in a statement, said the strategy is targeted at arresting the sale and production of unwholesome and substandard products. Besides, he

Stories by Toba Agboola

said, it would make registration of consumer products compulsory for manufacturers before such could be displayed on shelves. Explaining the import of the initiative, he said the process would involve the launch of product identification marks on products within the category under review, stressing that any product without proper identification marks would not be allowed to be sold in the country. He said: “This is something we believe would help the manufacturers, the dealers and SON. It is all in the bid to ensure safer products, safer Nigerians and a healthier economy.” Odumodu said the agency was leveraging opportunities and platforms to make its work easier for the regulator and the larger soci-

ety. He reaffirmed the determination of the agency to reduce the prevalence of substandard products from 60 per cent to about 30 per cent in three months. He added that the new scheme would involve products already in the market, including electric bulbs, stabilisers, tyres, electric fittings, generators, building materials and toys. Listing the advantages of e-registration, Odumodu said: “It would assist us in developing a data base of consumer products in the country. The scheme will enhance traceability in our compliance monitoring activities that is making it easy for us to trace any product and its manufacturer anytime the need arises.” He said in addition, the new scheme, apart from protecting consumers would also create employment and wealth.

Manufacturing growth rate in Nigeria, others drop

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REPORT by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) on manufacturing production in the second quarter of 2012 shows the growth rate of output in Nigeria and other developing countries has dropped to the lowest level since the beginning of 2011. According to UNIDO, while the manufacturing industry in developing economies largely resisted the effects of financial volatility during the recession of 2008–2009, the ongoing second recession of the world economy since 2010 has affected industrialised and developing countries. UNIDO predicts that the growth

of manufacturing value added (MVA) in developing countries will slow to 4.5 per cent in 2012, down from 5.4 per cent in 2011. The report stated that among the industrialised countries, there were positive developments in North America and East Asia. “The MVA of North America is expected to grow by 1.7 per cent in 2012, while East Asia’s industrial production could grow by 4.1 per cent. However there are concerns that the impact of declining MVA in Europe may spill over to these regions. It added that the prolonged crisis in Europe and uncertainty about growth prospects in the U.S. have

negatively affected industrial production in developing countries. It said the decline in demand in external markets has slowed the growth of export-oriented manufacturing industries in many developing countries, and, in some of them, domestic demand, too, has dropped due to the perceived growth uncertainty at the global level. The UNIDO report also presents growth estimates by manufacturing sector. Due to the decline in demand in industrialised countries, production growth of consumer goods, especially wearing apparel and consumer electronics, has slowed or declined in developing countries.

ANY public officials find themselves walking a tight rope where Nigeria’s geo-politics is concerned. Geopolitical zones different from the ones they hail from usually accuse them of one wrong or the other in the discharge of their duties. The reason for this is not farfetched Nigeria is a country of diverse cultures, idiosyncracies, religions, political inclinations and ethnic groups. Of recent, Minister of Aviation Stella Oduah has come under the attack of such political jingoists. These faceless individuals like destructive locusts in season have set out to obliterate the efforts of the Minister in the North, but unknown to them the transformation is in full motion and cannot be truncated. Oduah is not oblivious of the place of the North, especially since it forms the core of the historical perspective of the aviation industry in the country, with the landing in 1925 of a Royal Air Force (RAF) aircraft and the subsequent construction of the Kano aerodrome. It is this profound understanding that inspired her to refurbish Hajj terminals in Kaduna and Kano states. Anyone who understands Islam knows that hajj is one of the fundamental tenets of Islam -it is Allah’s injunction for every adult Muslim, if they can afford it, to perform hajj, at least once in a lifetime. The hajj terminals are an integral part of hajj activities as this is where pilgrims stay at times before being airlifted to Mecca. These structures have been transformed to comfortable, standard terminals to serve much more than a waiting edifice for pilgrims. Certainly this wouldn’t have been the case if the Minister was a bigot as some people are painting her. However, the misinformation and outright selective perception pales in comparison to the recent allegations against her of preventing international airlines from landing at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in Abuja. Her traducers added she diverted such planes to Enugu. Haba! If these individuals were not blinded to the fact, they would have known that profit from ventures guide the airplanes and not the service they provide to geopolitical zones. These are guided by comprehensive commercial agreements; the Minister’s duty is to regulate their business conduct in Nigeria but not to dictate to them where or where not to fly to…this can and should only be decided by the strength of traffic that plies the location. On the Emirates and Etihad issue, the minister made a strong case for the decentralisation of the operations of these airlines from Lagos and in line with international practice, presented commercially convincing data showing the possible commercial benefits that the airlines can get if they start operating from Lagos, Kano and Enugu. The airlines were convinced to look at these suggestions and even went a step further to sign some agreements. One should not also forget the recent project embarked upon by the Nassarawa State government led by Governor Umaru AlMakura , which is constructing an aerodrome in Lafia and a cargo airport in Karshi. These projects being located in the North central part of the country, will no doubt boost the economic potentials of the region and ensure that a cargo hub is established thereby decentralising the movement of goods and services. The Cargo airport will serve as a second runway for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. This project enjoys the backing of Oduah, who is encouraging Nigerians irrespective of tribe or creed to invest in the aviation sector. This is why it is rather disheartening that a stakeholder in the aviation industry like Hon. Rufai Chanchangi, the Vice Chairman of the Aviation Committee in the House of Representatives is overlooking all these to call for the Minister’s resignation. It is glaring that the lawmaker did not do proper investigation before reaching his conclusion; for if he has done so, he will be praising the minister not condemning her. What is expected from people like him are words of encouragement for the minister, especially at a time like this when the bulk of airport terminals undergoing reconstruction are located in the North. As the minister struggles daily to make Nigerian skies one of the most viable and safest in sub-sahara Africa she should be supported to achieve her objective so that the North and indeed Nigeria can be better off. Yakubu Dati writes from Abuja

‘Fed Govt responsible for hike in bread price’

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HE Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria has said the Federal Government should be held responsible for the increase in price of bread and confectionaries. The association said the increase was because the government did not make enough preparations before embarking on the implementation of cassava bread policy. National Caretaker Committee Secretary of the association, Mr Joseph Adejare, said part of the challenges master bakers are facing is the inconsistency traceable to government policies, adding that government increase on wheat importation duty to 15 per cent levy, and later introduced five per cent levy on importation of wheat, making it 20 per cent in total made the price of bread very high.

Adejare disclosed that the association has been holding meetings with the Federal Government on how to find solutions on the issue around and about the use of cassava generally, particularly on how to use it as a substitute for wheat in the baking of bread. According to him, flour millers, including the majors, such as Flour Mills of Nigeria, Honeywell, Dangote Flour and many others in order to remain in business have increased the price of flour by more than 30 per cent making it difficult for bakers to cope with bakery business. He said before now a small medium sized bag of flour that sold for N6, 500 now sells for between N7, 500 and N8, 000, with the bakers responding by increasing the prices of their products, especially bread, biscuits and cakes by between 20 and 25 per cent.

Unilever unveils Close Up

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NILEVER Nigeria Plc has unveiled the reinforced Close Up toothpaste. Speaking with journalists at the Close Up Loves Naija concert, at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, last Friday, the Managing Director, Unilever Nigeria Plc, Mr Thabo Mabe, said Unilever had always been responding to consumers’ needs by innovating and renovating existing brands to suit consumers’ demands. He said the company had continually sought to understand the changing needs of consumers and make changes in the mix to make relevance. The Brand Building Manager,

Unilever Nigeria Plc, Mr David Okeme, said “Close Up Loves Naija” concert and campaign were to say a big thank you to Nigerians for using the brand. The new Close Up with three functional benefits will enhance clean mouth and fresh breath, he added. His words: “The new Close Up has tiny capsules which freshens the breath three times more than the former one. “The capsules start working after brushing. The capsules continue to break and as they break, they release a burst of freshness to the mouth.”


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COMMENTARY EDITORIALS

EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND

Mahmoud Abbas’s U.N. gambit

Disgruntled presidency? • Wilful denial cannot vitiate the correctness of the Lagos fuel subsidy removal protests of January

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RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan is beginning to exhibit a serious dissociation of sensibility syndrome. That ought to bother lovers of democracy; and alarm those who want to deepen democratic culture. That is the only logical way to interpret the president’s revisit of the January antifuel subsidy removal strikes, which for a week grounded the country, before the administration was forced to partially backtrack by somewhat reducing the pump price of petrol. At the 52nd independence anniversary lecture on September 18 at which John Kuffour, Ghana’s former president was guest lecturer, Dr. Jonathan came out with a presidential old wives’ tale that the Lagos protests were sponsored by some imaginary presidential opponents, using the explosive attempt at complete subsidy re-

‘Besides, in a fit of presidential deviousness, the president would carpet Lagos and its protesters in Abuja, only to hop into a plane to praise into high heavens, celebrating Dr. Tunji Braithwaite at a book launch – Braithwaite incidentally, one of the high-calibre protesters tear-gassed by Jonathan’s security operatives, with legal icon, Prof. Ben Nwabueze? Is His Excellency then playing highwire politics with his high presidential office?’

moval to unhorse him. His proof? The demonstrators were served bottled water unavailable to people in his own presidential village of Otuoke; and expensive food that ordinary Lagosians could not afford. Also, Jonathan’s alleged anti-presidential forces hired the cream of musicians and comedians (which by the way, his own presidential campaign organisation had hired to sell his Goodluck Nigeria message) to throw virtual missiles at his office and authority. The sweeping, presidential verdict? “Even to eat free alone attracts people. I believe that that protest in Lagos was manipulated by a class in Lagos and was not from the ordinary people.” The president is entitled to his own belief, no matter how misguided. That is the legal right of a citizen in a democratic republic. But unlike the ordinary citizen, the Number 1 citizen must be wary of his utterances, which often assume the garb of presidential authority. With the chain of verbal faux-pas to which the president has treated Nigerians, it just might be too much to ask that his utterances must always be rigorous and logical. But at least, they must not be the stuff of which child-like rumours are made. To start with, the strikes took place nationwide, leading to some heart-warming sights in Kano and Kaduna, where protesting Christians formed rings round praying Muslims, when it was prayer time. Even in Abuja, the president’s base, Labour mobilised the people and it was a grand carnival, as the people peacefully let off their anger at the hare-brained and unconscionable subsidy removal policy – and in January of all months. Now, if demonstrations took place nationwide, why did the Lagos demonstration alone merit presidential growling,

some eight months, and fuel probes, later – probes fast proving that the so-called bloated subsidy payment, which led to the attempted complete removal, could well be illicit payments to fund the electioneering expenses of the federal ruling party? Besides, if the Lagos strikes were organised by presidential enemies playing high-stake politics, were the same enemies responsible for the protests at Abuja, Kano, Kaduna, Ilorin and other major cities nationwide? If not, why the attention on Lagos? Does this president harbour any personal grudge against Lagos and its fiercely republican and irreverent citizens, beyond the perfectly legitimate and legal action of protesting when the pocket hurts? Besides, in a fit of presidential deviousness, the president would carpet Lagos and its protesters in Abuja, only to hop into a plane to praise into high heavens, celebrating Dr. Tunji Braithwaite at a book launch – Braithwaite incidentally, one of the high-calibre protesters teargassed by Jonathan’s security operatives, with legal icon, Prof. Ben Nwabueze? Is His Excellency then playing high-wire politics with his high presidential office? President Jonathan perhaps deserves sympathy for still being haunted by the epic rebuff of January, which, in any case, he wilfully brought on himself; and has not been able to live down. But no amount of presidential whining can stop freedom-loving citizens of Lagos from legitimate protest. The choice is simple: the president must get out of the kitchen, if he cannot stand the presidential heat. No amount of ethnic scape-goating can vitiate the legitimacy and legality of the Lagos protests of January.

Remembering Halliburton, etc. •When will Nigeria follow the lead of the Western countries and bring convicts culprits?

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T is well known that the United States and Germany are the parent nations of the companies involved in the Halliburton and Siemens bribery scandals that rocked the nation for some time. What is instructive, however, is the attitude of the two countries to the scandals, compared to Nigeria’s. The infamous Halliburton/KBR scandal was a classic example. About $180m was exchanged for a contract to build the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Plant, while Siemens was involved in £17.6m scandal. The interesting point is that while Nigeria failed to prosecute people involved in the scandals, foreigners involved in the Halliburton scam were convicted and fined heavily in both the US and UK. Perhaps, it was in order to please the agitated public on this incidence of “justice at a distance and not at home” that the late President Umaru Yar’Adua government set up an inter-agency panel to investigate the scandals and bring the culprits to book. But the panel, as usual, produced no result as conspiracy and antics among government officials, led by the then Minister of Justice, Mr. Michael Aondoakaa (SAN) infuriated the Justice Abubakar Umar of Abuja High court who struck out the case being brought up, following the failure of the prosecution to arraign the three suspects for the one year that the trial lasted. High level political influence has been identified as a factor for the poor handling of court trials in Nigeria. For instance, the EFCC had also filed charges against former Vice - President of the US and

Halliburton CEO, Mr Dick Cheney while, in December, 2010, the commission agreed to drop the charges because the government reported that Halliburton had agreed to pay $250m in fines. While Nigeria was still unable to do something about any of these scandals, the United States Department of Justice on January 18 announced that a Japanese construction firm, Marubeni Corporation, agreed to pay a $54.6 million criminal penalty for allegedly bringing officials of the Nigerian government to facilitate the award of the $6 billion Liquefied Natural Gas contract in Bonny, Nigeria, to a multinational consortium, TSKJ. Note that the scheme had involved payment of bribes to Nigerian government officials between 1995 and 2004, in violation of the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Similarly, two Britons and an American were sentenced in Texas for conspiring to channel the $180m bribes to Nigerian politicians and officials. Yet, there are still others: a Briton, Jeffrey Tesler, a London lawyer, was sentenced after pleading guilty about his role in the bribery. Tesler, 63, bagged 21 months in federal prison, followed by two years of supervised release for delivering $132m in bribes for KBR and partners. He also forfeited $149m as part of his plea deal. Also, an American executive, Jack Stanley, 69, said to be the mastermind behind KBR’s Nigeria bribery scheme, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and three years on probation, following his release on bail for $100,000. Now the point: while the United States,

Germany and UK came hard on the trials of their nationals involved in the scandals after investigation, their Nigerian partners have enjoyed immunity from prosecution by their government, just like in many other crimes. This has prompted suggestions that the National Assembly should amend the laws that established the anti-graft agencies to make them absolutely independent of manipulation by the executive. We support this call. But the bottom line for now is: we have seen the punishments given to people involved in Halliburton and Siemens’ scandals in their countries; when shall we see the Nigerian counterparts of the foreigners involved in these scandals punished in their own country, Nigeria?

‘But the bottom line for now is: we have seen the punishments given to people involved in Halliburton and Siemens’ scandals in their countries; when shall we see the Nigerian counterparts of the foreigners involved in these scandals punished in their own country, Nigeria?’

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NE OF THE winners in last week’s protests outside U.S. embassies in the Middle East was Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Before the eruption of outrage over an anti-Muslim film, Mr. Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad had faced a week of demonstrations and strikes in the West Bank that some were starting to compare to the revolts against other autocratic Arab rulers. Thanks to the eruption of anti-Americanism and Mr. Fayyad’s timely repeal of several recent price and tax increases, the opposition movement appears to have subsided for now. But one way or another, Mr. Abbas’s Palestinian Authority appears headed for trouble. The 76-year-old president has been digging himself into a political hole since early last year, when he announced a new strategy of seeking recognition of Palestinian statehood by the United Nations and a reconciliation deal with the rival Hamas movement. The recognition bid flopped last fall in the U.N. Security Council, where the Palestinians failed to obtain even the eight votes needed for a simple majority. Meanwhile, talks with Hamas stalled, and long-overdue elections, promised for last May, were once again put off. During this time Mr. Abbas has mostly refused negotiations with Israel, citing as a pretext the continued construction in Israel’s West Bank settlements. Israel has offered the Palestinian Authority a number of concessions in exchange for renewing the peace process, including prisoner releases and a potentially lucrative natural gas concession. But Mr. Abbas has not agreed. Instead, as the West Bank demonstrations were reaching a crescendo, Mr. Abbas held a news conference in Ramallah on Sept. 8 and confirmed that he will renew the U.N. initiative, this time by seeking a vote in the General Assembly upgrading the Palestinians’ status to that of a nonmember observer state. Palestinian officials say the new status might allow them to join more U.N. bodies and to bring actions against Israel in the International Criminal Court. However, the vote would not create a state — and it might put an end to Mr. Abbas’s Palestinian Authority. Israel would probably stop providing the tax funds that pay for two-thirds of the authority’s budget; Congress, which has already held up $200 million in funding because of last year’s U.N. initiative, could block all American aid. That would worsen the economic crunch, caused by a loss of foreign funding, that has prompted the strikes and demonstrations Mr. Abbas is seeking to defuse. Not just the Obama administration but also friendly Arab governments, such as that of Jordan, have counseled Mr. Abbas that the push for recognition would be self-defeating. The Palestinian leader seems to have left himself some wiggle room: He says the push for recognition will begin with “consultations” with other U.N. members after his Sept. 27 speech to the assembly. Other Palestinian officials have hinted that the “consultations” may be prolonged; Mr. Abbas might hope that he can extract concessions from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and, after the Nov. 6 election, from President Obama, were he to win, in exchange for dropping the initiative. But to what end? As Jordan’s foreign minister recently pointed out, negotiations with Israel are the only realistic path to Palestinian statehood. Mr. Abbas’s refusal to accept that fact might prove to be his undoing. – Washington Post

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THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

20

CARTOON & LETTERS

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IR: The picture of a man on a pole belonging to Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) attempting to fix a cable in Samaru, Zaria featured on page 4 of Daily Trust edition of Monday, September 17, could best be described as one on a suicide mission. He was probably reconnecting or attempting to reconnect a disconnected customer for a token or fixing an unauthorised fault to the detriment of his own precious life. Pictures are said to speak more than a million words. The apparent danger in ignorantly or consciously accepting to commit suicide, become a device employed in sabotaging public utilities, treating same with scornful indifference and as inconsequential facilities of no value was the essence of the pictorial message. In fact, this picture was as worrisome as it calls for caution and adequate enlightenment. Enlightenment will go a long way in bringing to the knowledge of PHCN’s

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Dangers of tampering with PHCN installations esteemed customers the dangers inherent in tampering with installations without authorisation. The safety of life of those indulging in this illicit act can only be guaranteed by the Almighty as they may not live to tell the stories. Some unlucky ones who threw caution to the wind like this fellow were electrocuted while others live with the unforgettable scar resulting from burns as a reminder of an unfortunate adventure. This action could lead to short-circuiting of transformer (s) or trigger a monumental technical fault along PHCN network which thus throw the entire area into darkness. The

effort of government in ensuring that the nagging problem of power is resolved should not be scuttled by a few involved in this act. This action deprives PHCN of the needed revenue generation expected to be ploughed back into serving the public better. Electric poles are normally climbed with recommended PHCN ladders only. Therefore, it is abnormal and foolhardy climbing an electric pole with mere bare hands because chances of losing balance are high. Apart from the aforementioned dangers, the public should be duly informed that the extant laws of the nation frown at this act and a cor-

State College of Technology(OSCOTECH) according to available records is bigger than many present local government headquarters in the state in terms of population,infrastructure, land mass, adjoining villages and hamlets of more than 40 with their separate community heads. The ancient town of Esa Oke which produced the first Executive Governor of Old Oyo state and leader of the progressives, late Bola Ige and many other illustrious sons and daughters has the wherewithal including economic power, high political profile and available structures to become an independent local government or as the headquarters of one of the proposed councils in the present Obokun Local Government. A critical assessment of the present population of Esa Oke shows that it overwhelm all others particularly in

Obokun Local Government comprising Ibokun, Imesi Ile, Ilare, Otan Ile, Ikinyinwa, Idominasi, Ilowa, Iponda, Ilase, Idoka, Esa odo, Eesun, Ido Oko, Ipetu Ile etc while its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) is higher than all other towns put together. Esa Oke has a vibrant historic records particularly with his immediate past monarch, Oba Isaiah Ajayi Adeniran, Owa Omiran(JP) serving as the only traditional ruler who was a member of. House of Chiefs in the Old Western region that represented the entire Obas in that axis during an international conference in England, where he met Queen Elizabeth(II). This was about six decades ago. He was also the first chairman of Ijesa North Traditional council. Talking in terms of land mass, Esa Oke extends from River Ooni near

responding penalty of 21 years imprisonment await defaulters. In short, we have in our hands a time bomb waiting to explode. An ugly situation which practically threw up the quantum of attention and concern an individual Nigerian pay to the sanctity of his own life and that of his neighbours. It is our responsibility as individuals and community to safeguard public utilities in our domains especially that of PHCN for the important services they render. We should report any suspicious movement around PHCN installations to the police or the nearest PHCN Service Centres. Fur-

Esa Oke deserves local council headquarter status IR: History and posterity will continue to judge the governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for his administration's transformation agenda within the almost two years he has been in the saddle. Aregbesola is bringing his progressive traits into bear with unprecedented achievements within few months of his administration, particularly on his resolve to create new local government councils. Although as it is customary when opportunity like this comes, every community is bound to agitate, but there are many factors those in charge should consider. The present Ijesa North federal constituency comprising, Obokun and Oriade Local governments has a complex structure with many big towns,villages and land mass. Esa Oke, the host community of the Osun

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Ijebu Jesa in the southern part and share borders with Efon Alaye Ekiti in the east and Okemesi- Ekiti and Imesi Ile in the north. It is endowed with a large fertile land that will ginger the laudable agricultural instinct of the incumbent Aregbesola administration. The community has about seven public and private secondary schools and many elementary schools. In fact, Government needs little or nothing to add to the existing infrastructure in Esa Oke community for the effective take-off of the proposal. Our distinguished son, Bola Ige whom Ogbeni Aregbesola and other progressive leaders like Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande hold in high esteem will rejoice in his grave if Esa Oke is granted a status of Local Government headquarters. • Damisi Ojo, Ondo Bye Pass, Akure.

thermore, our various communities should be willing allies of PHCN to be able to win this war by discouraging their people from partaking in this illegal act. The media is passionately called upon to assist PHCN in opinion moulding, audience penetration, information dissemination, education and enlightenment on this inherent danger constantly lurking in our neighbourhoods and brazenly ignored to our own peril. By so doing, the consciousness of the PHCN customers will be awakened to the realities and the consequences of this unwarranted trend. • Sunday Onyemaechi Eze Power Holding Company of Nigeria, Zaria, Kaduna

Questions for CBN Governor Sanusi

IR: Please help us ask the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to give sincere answers to these questions.... Will the introduction of the new N5000 note make the naira exchange rate higher than dollar, pounds, rand, euros and so on? If yes, please tell him Nigerians can’t wait to have the new currency. With the intended introduction of the so-called coin tellers or ATM machines, will the CBN governor and his "pro-=N=5000" note group accept and spend the coins and also will they move around with these coins in their pockets of expensive and imported suits? Will the new note change the life of the poor masses or will only make the rich richer? Please the CBN should have a rethink. May God bless Nigeria. • Lukman Adamu Mararaba, Nasarawa State

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THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

21

COMMENTS

ACN’s quest for Internally Generated Revenue (IGR)

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NE of the basic responsibilities of a citizen is payment of taxes. Classical Athenian democracy divided responsibilities within the state. Citizens enjoyed participation-direct democracy while slaves and non-citizens did most of the work. But by the time of Pericles, citizens not only participated in decision making but also paid taxes and defended the state under the pressure and example of Sparta. Military service became one of the hallmarks of citizenship. When representative democracy became the norm, taxation became the rite of passage of citizenship. The United States arguably the oldest democracy in the world was founded on representation and taxation. The 13 American colonies rebelled against King George of England III because he imposed onerous taxes on the people without their being represented in government. Since then taxation has become a necessary condition of citizenship. In Nigeria, the history of taxation dates back to as far back as the 14thCentury in the Hausa states. By the time Usman Dan Fodio took over and established the Caliphate of Sokoto, he was able to systemize a form of taxation which still exist till today. This was the Jangali(Cattletax) and also poll tax on farmers. These taxes became the nucleus of the so called “Native treasuries” or Beit-el-mal during the heydays of the indirect rule system of Sir Fredrick Lugard and Sir Richmond Palmer. This system was extended to Yoruba land with the fulcrum around which a native treasury was built. Attempt to extend the system into the acephalous societies of Igbo and Ibibio met with resistance and rebellion. Even in Yoruba land revolts in Okeho and Iseyin in 1916 and a much bigger revolt in Egbaland in 1918 followed the imposition of taxes. The levying of taxes succeeded without problem in the Islamic North, but in the non-

‘Now that we are talking about constitutional review, this is the time the VAT collected in states should belong to where it is collected rather than first sending in it to Abuja and later distributing it to all the states’

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OR weeks, many outlets were running skeletal services, using only one or two pumps to dispense fuel. They knew what they were doing. It was a dress rehearsal for a full blown scarcity of petrol. Whenever filling stations start to behave like that, an alarm goes off in my mind. The alarm went off a few weeks ago when I started noticing some funny behaviours in some outlets and I consciously made it a duty to always have a full tank. But I was afraid for my wife because I knew that she would not pay attention to such ‘’little things’’. So, last weekend, I did a small test for her after checking the fuel gauge of her car, which as expected was a bit below half tank. After my check, I asked why she did not fill her tank when there are signs of an impending fuel shortage. She disagreed, saying that the filling stations are selling,‘’ how can there be scarcity?’’. I looked at her and laughed. I told her that all the telltale signs are there of an upcoming scarcity. I reminded her that for sometime the filling station on the road leading into our estate has not been selling fuel regularly. ‘’What does that tell you?’’ I asked her. She could not answer. When she went out on Sunday, she saw things for herself. Queues had built up all over Lagos, heralding the coming of another fuel scarcity. Many motorists, at least those who are not vigilant, were caught napping by this sudden development because it did not follow the usual pattern of tanker drivers threatening fire and brimstone or labour calling workers out on strike to protest

Muslim areas of the North, it was rebellion all the way. This long introduction is necessary to prove that people in Nigeria except in the Muslim North do not like paying taxes. The Tiv area throughout colonial times and after, was up in arms against the regional government partly because of the people’s opposition to taxes. The Action Group government in Western Nigeria lost the federal election in 1954 because it was portrayed as a tax and spend party. The Agbekoya revolt of the late 1960s was a tax revolt by farmers who felt they were not getting anything in form of development for the taxes they were paying. The revolt did not end until those taxes were abolished. I examined a PhD thesis in the University of Ibadan some years ago and the conclusion of the student was that we have not witnessed a people’s revolt in recent times because people in the villages and on the farms are more or less excluded from paying taxes. The import of this conclusion is that government must move gingerly in imposing taxes on the poor people particularly, in the villages and yet before people can become stakeholders and take interest in their government, they must at least pay taxes. One of the reasons why the elite has gotten away with rampant corruption and thievery is because the money being stolen is not tax money but commissions and corporate tax skimmed off the petroleum industry. If taxes have to be imposed, they would have to be restricted to the cities and municipalities but not the villages. This is why IGR involving direct taxation would have to be restricted to the cities only. In most countries of the world it is easier to collect revenues through consumer tax-value added tax (VAT) because most people do not even realize that they are being taxed when they pay VAT. It is a pity that VAT in Nigeria is collected by the federal government. In a federation, VAT should be state tax. Imagine if Lagos can get all the VAT collected in the state, it would not have to levy the present onerous land use charge it imposes on all and sundry. It is this land use charge that the ACN states having seen how it has boosted the IGR of Lagos to N20 billion a month now want to extend to all of them. Whether they would succeed is a moot question. Edo State saw this being used by the PDP against Adams Oshiomhole in the last election which he handily won. But there may be problems introducing land use tax outside Lagos. I am

in support of it. But it must be done in such a way that old people and people living in their homes would not pay much and that the bulk of the taxes would be paid by corporate bodies, industries, institutions and houses rented out. But everybody should pay s o m e t h i n g perhaps graduated from as low as one Jide thousand to one Osuntokun h u n d r e d thousand. Now that we are talking about constitutional review, this is the time the VAT collected in states should belong to where it is collected rather than first sending in it to Abuja and later distributing it to all the states. This should be a case for constitutional review. The ACN leaders outside Lagos where the land use charge has succeeded must educate the people before levying them. Success in Lagos of the levy does not automatically guarantee its success in all the states under the ACN administrations. It is safer to impose a state VAT in addition to the federal tax than a land use levy which may elicit some opposition.

‘If taxes have to be imposed, they would have to be restricted to the cities and municipalities but not the villages. This is why IGR involving direct taxation would have to be restricted to the cities only’

The oil marketers’ revenge one government policy or the other. The scarcity crept in like a thief in the night last Sunday, causing anguish and pains for many people. There is nothing that disrupts people’s lives more than fuel scarcity. Once, there is fuel shortage, everything virtually grinds to a halt. In a commercial city like Lagos, things are even worse. Moving around becomes a problem as the roads are choked up with vehicles queuing for petrol. There is chaos on the road; at homes and offices things are not better because we need fuel to power our generating sets. Nigerians run a mini-government of sorts in their homes, providing their own light, water and security. We have a government, yet we don’t see the effect of government in our lives. There were abundant signs that this scarcity was on the way, but the government did nothing to nip it in the bud. It preferred to wait for the problem to come before adopting its usual fire brigade measures to address the challenge. This scarcity wouldn’t have hit Lagos, if the government had moved swiftly to tackle the problem when it reared its ugly head in Abuja and other parts of the country. Although the government may have been lax in addressing this fuel scarcity, we should not blame it too much for the problem. Marketers are the brains behind this scarcity, as they have always been, and it all boils down to their

‘Marketers are a curse to the oil industry and until the nation is able to call their bluff, they will continue to ride roughshod over us’

greed for money and more money. With little investment, they want to reap maximum profit. Where is that done in the entire business world? You know the answer already, it is Nigeria. The present scarcity has its taproot in the January 1 ill-advised hike in the price of petrol from N65 to N141 per litre before President Goodluck Jonathan graciously (don’t chuckle please) brought it down to N97. Since then, marketers, who bought products based on the then prevailing rate of N65 per litre, but sold at the new price of N97, have been looking for ways to disrupt the process again for them to make another killing. They are not satisfied with the huge profit they made in the heat of the January fuel crisis. HIS is why today, they have resorted to the old argument of subsidy payment to cause another untold hardship in the land. Must we continue to be at the mercy of these oil sharks? Can’t the government do something about checking the excesses of these marketers? For long, we have been held to ransom by these marketers, who use all sorts of gimmick to perpetrate fraud under the guise of fuel importation? Should fuel importation be the sole business of these marketers? Is there no other area of the economy that they can play in to aid the growth of the oil industry? From all indications, they are, for now, only interested in importation where there is easy money to make rather than be burdened with the serious business of drilling and refining. Marketers are a curse to the oil industry and until the nation is able to call their bluff, they will continue to ride roughshod over us. In our bid to do so, they will want to fight back, which should be expected, but we should not allow them to gain the

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upper hand. No matter how powerful they may think they are, they cannot take on the nation and expect to win and they know this too well. But to be able to fight them and go the distance, the government must be on the people’s side. Once the government decides to join forces with the people and not their oppressors the battle is won. Will the government ever be on the people’s side? I doubt if it will, but we must never give up until we force these marketers to treat us as human beings and not as mere numbers that should be added to their balance sheets. Shouldn’t they first balance human beings before balancing their books? To marketers, people count for nothing, they are tools to be used to achieve the businesman’s selfish goals. This is why they pay peanuts, but cart away huge profit at the end of every business year. But then they seem to forget that human beings count in the business equation. Without the people that they so despise, they cannot be making the huge profit that has got to their heads and made them believe that they are now tin gods. Nobody knows when the scarcity will end, with the Federal Government’s silence so far. There were signs yesterday that the scarcity had started easing. On its part, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) seems confused. It is blaming the vandalism of its pipelines at Arepo in Ogun State for the scarcity. If NNPC wishes to be sincere, it must know that, that is not true. I do not believe that the vandalism of those pipelines is the major cause of this scarcity. The major cause, I say with all emhasis at my disposal are the marketers, who have refused to import fuel despite an agreement reached with the government last

Lawal Ogienagbon lawal.ogienagbon@thenationonlineng.net SMS ONLY: 08099400204

month. The pact followed their threat not to import fuel until they are paid their outstanding N200 billion subsidy. The government has since paid N42 billion out of the money, but the marketers are insisting on full payment to save their businesses. Since a labourer is worthy of its hire, the government should pay them, but such payment must come after an audit. This means that the marketers must have done genuine business. Woe betide them if their hands are not clean, that means they will not be entitled to a kobo. Let them refuse to import fuel from now till thy kingdom, the government should not be moved to pay them except there is ample evidence to back up their claims. Any one of them found involved in any shady business should be made to face the music. By the way, what happened to the trial of those indicted in the fuel subsidy probe? Their trial should go on to its logical conclusion. The marketers will fight back, as they are doing now, but we should be ready for them. We should all remember that nothing good comes easy and cheap. It is at a price, which we should be prepared to pay or else remain in perpetual bondage.


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

22

COMMENTS

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READER of your column in The Nation of Thursday August 23, excited by your generous comments about me directed my attention to your piece entitled“Sons and Fathers” of that date. I thank you for the said comments and salute your courage for expressing them even as a regular columnist in The Nation. However, permit me to react to some of the facts, opinions, and conclusions expressed in the said piece. In an attempt to justify Tinubu’s imposition of Fashola as governorship candidate for Lagos and the imposition of candidates that is the order of the day in ACN today, you said Tinubu was only following in the footsteps of AD elders who “handpicked” him as AD governorship candidate for Lagos in 1999 when “it was general knowledge that Tinubu was already campaigning for the senate.” As the National Chairman of the party at the time, I state categorically that nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, you are being unfair to Tinubu when you said he was handpicked to be the governorship candidate of the AD in Lagos in 1999 when the truth is that he contested and won a threecornered fight at the primary with Senator Kofo Bucknor-Akerele and the late Funsho Williams. It is true that the late Funsho Williams (backed by the late Alhaji Ganiyu Dawodu the Lagos State chairman of the party and also one of the AD elders) disputed Tinubu’s victory claiming Funsho Williams’ votes had been short-changed by not adding the results of polls at Ebute-Metta Mainland and Ikorodu constituencies. The electoral body from Oyo State set up by the party to supervise the Lagos State primaries rebutted this explaining that their representative was not present when the polls in the two constituencies were counted. The leader of Afenifere at the time, the late Pa Abraham Adesanya ruled that the results submitted by the party supervisors should be upheld. I was therefore directed as the National Chairman of the party to forward Tinubu’s name as the party’s candidate to replace Funsho Williams’ name which had earlier been forwarded to INEC by Alhaji Ganiyu Dawodu in his capacity as state chairman of the party. Please check to confirm the above facts from Asiwaju Tinubu, Senator Afikuyomi and Mr. Dele Alake. From the above facts, therefore, Afenifere elders could only be accused of following “Due Process”. It would be certainly mischievous and uncharitable to accuse them

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S we all bask in the fascination of Mr. Femi Falana’s elevation to the prestigious rank of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), we cannot afford to gloss over the consensus that his “elevation”, like that of late Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAM), (SAN) was long overdue and an embarrassing commentary on the credibility of both the rank and the process of its conferment. As you may know, this concern has long culminated in the vigorous campaign by the “Abolitionist Group” led by the respectable Pa Gomez seeking the total abolition of the rank for failing to deliver on the core purpose of the award as well as exposing the entire profession to abuse, ridicule and corruption. No doubt, such tendencies have, in the past years dragged our collective reputation to disdain; threatened the cohesion in the association and polarized the association along the lines of those in supports and against. In interrogating this resentment, we speak to the necessities of reforms and improvements in the affairs of our profession. Surely, for a conservative organization such as the NBA, operating in a perverse society like Nigeria, there must be direct victims of any serious reforms. Falana like his professional progenitor, Fawehinmi clearly falls within this category of direct victims. As we worry over this factual reality, we must intensify our collective determination to re-examine the integrity of a process that mortgaged the respect, confidence and support of its members and thoroughly scandalized the general public who, albeit, knew very little about the preconditions for the elevation, yet could not help wondering what manner of association it is, that deliberately subjects some of its shining bests’ to ridicule and deprivation. A week before the announcement of his elevation, I wrote Falana expressing my confidence that the battle was won and over this time around in the following words: “I can see that your long tortuous journey to ‘SANship’ is almost over. You have over these long years bore the burden of history as defined by tough principles, integrity, courage and conviction with grace and candour. As we get set to mark this watershed, remember that we are not scandalized to travel this path of honour with you as that alone has crystallized the contents of our collective history and

Re: Sons and fathers By Chief Ayo Adebanjo of handpicking Tinubu as AD governorship candidate in 1999. With respect to your statement that the recent attendance of Afenifere leaders including myself at Governor Mimiko’s second term declaration rally at Akure “was informed more not by love for the acclaimed hardworking Mimiko but by disdain for equally successful Tinubu and ACN”. You state as reason in support for this charge that although I acknowledged the good work being done by Fashola yet I have not led a solidarity visit to him even after his successful performance in his second term. But Jide, Governor Mimiko specifically invited me and other Afenifere leaders to attend his rally. In fact, he pleaded that I should arrive the night before with comfortable accommodation provided for me. On no occasion has Fashola invited me to any of the government functions since he has been in office. On the contrary, I have challenged him on more than two occasions why I was not being invited to his government functions. One such occasion was when I met him at Senator Biyi Durojaiye’s house when both of us were on a condolence visit to Senator Durojaiye when he lost his wife. I remember on one occasion I told Fashola “Bi ko ba si eni ana ko ni si eni oni” (meaning literally “Without yesterday’s men there will be no today’s men”). On more than two occasions, I also have sent him text messages to congratulate him on his performance during television interviews such as when he painstakingly explained his role as head of government and that of Tinubu as leader of his party and that

there was no clash of authority. Fashola acknowledged none of the text messages. May I ask, when I am not invited to any of Fashola’s functions, how can I then demonstrate my support for him? At my age Jide, you will not expect me to attend any functions I am not duly invited. The Yorubas say “Omo ti o ba na owo e ni iya re ma gbe” (meaning “a child who stretches forth his hands is the one the mother will lift). Mimiko appreciates and acknowledges the political leadership of Afenifere leaders but this cannot be said of Fashola and ACN leaders. In fact the body language of ACN leaders is to keep Afenifere leaders at a distance when they cannot spite us. They forget that a river that forgets its source will certainly run dry. Afenifere leaders’ attitude to ACN leaders can aptly be illustrated by the Yoruba adage which says “Ewure o ni oun ko ba aguntan tan, Aguntan lo ni Iya oun ko bi dudu”, literally meaning, “the she-goat does not deny her relationship with the he-goat, it is the he-goat that says his mother has no black child”. I don’t know your source of information that I ever supported Oyinlola against Aregbesola. This would certainly be inconsistent with what you quoted me as saying in your article that “I feel proud that the ACN have done well…For instance I feel proud that the ACN has succeeded in taking power from the PDP in the South-west. If I have to make a choice between the evil of the PDP and ACN, I will choose the ACN. PDP is an evil in this country.” As a matter of fact I sent congratulatory text messages to Aregbesola after his victory in the court. Ditto to Dr. Fayemi who acknowledged his own text but Aregbesola did not, but confirmed to me that he received

Enters Falana, the Comrade Learned Silk By Malachy Ugwummadu Esq. identity. We are proud of you sir”. In 1996 and 2008, Falana was the proud recipient of two international awards which were resounding testimonies of his professional competencies amongst several other awards for his human rights crusade and credentials. They were the International Human Rights Award by the American Bar Association (1996) and the prestigious Bernard Simons Award for Human Rights which was conferred on him by the International Bar Association at Buenos Argentina in 2008. He was the third African to receive the award after the inimitable Gani Fawehinmi and the former counsel to Nelson Mandela George Bizos. Both awards were global acknowledgements of his modest endeavours towards the growth of the Nigerian legal profession as well as his rigorous campaigns for the human rights status of Nigerians. About the same time under review, he was consistently denied the title of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria by the Nigerian legal community. I have focused on the Comrade Learned Silk amongst other eminent recipients of the present award for obvious personal reasons. It is only natural that I should seize an occasion such as this to testify that Falana has been my benefactor in so many respects and at very critical times. First, in 1999 when I eventually graduated from the Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria, the university authorities seized my degree certificate while the Faculty of Law refused to recommend me and my associate Comrade Princewill Hillary Akpakpan to the Nigerian law school for the compulsory one year programme. My era at the UNN coincided with the repressive military juntas of the duo of Babangida and Abacha. I recall with pride, that in 1996, I mobilized nine other students and dragged the UNN to the Federal High Court Enugu where we successfully chal-

lenged the over 3,000% increase in our school/ service charges . That obnoxious policy was by Prof. U.D Gomwalk who was imposed on the institution by late Abacha as a sole administrator about the sometime he made Major Genaral Kontangora the Sole Administrator of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. Understandably, such radical affronts against a constituted authority in a conservative institution like UNN earned me series of arrests leading to the seizure of our degree results and refusal to recommend us to the Nigerian Law School. Yet, we were not completely demobilized as they intended because I was immediately absorbed into the National Secretariat of the Committee For the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) led by Falana as the then National President and ably assisted by an administrative guru –Jiti Ogunye – a highly cerebral and dynamic, lawyer, National General Secretary and Head Legal Aid Services of the organization. With this leadership setting, it was only a question of time before Falana constituted a team of eight tough” legal practitioners” scattered all over the country led by himself but effectively coordinated by Ogunye. We had “fighters” like the former Vice President of the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO), Barr. Uche Duru Eke at Owerri, Imo State, Barr. Chuka Obele Chuka, the intrepid former Branch Chairman of NBA Onitsha, Anambra State. In all it was a team that successfully wrestled the university authority to its knees until our degree certificates were retrieved and released to us. Although, the court matter was effectively over in 2000, but we were not admitted into the Nigeria Law School until the end of the first semester of the law school programme for the year 2001/2002 session. By May, 2002 when I was called to the Bar, Falana instantly offered me an opportunity to join his firm as a junior counsel in his chambers just as Mr. Obele Chuka bought me a wig and gown be-

the message when I met him sometime later. As for Afenifere”s solidarity visit to ex-governor Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State, our visit as we stated then was to dissociate ourselves from the newspaper trial and conviction of Daniel on the allegations leveled against him. We went to hear his own side of the story and as we stated then, we were satisfied with his explanations and would not join in condemning him until the court makes its pronouncement. On our part we so far feel vindicated as the EFCC after over a year’s trial has failed to get Otunba Daniel convicted on the charges originally leveled against him, but rather has reduced the charges of fraud from a whopping sum of over N58 billion to N200 million. Finally, you inferred that our visit to Daniel was informed more by an attempt to further fuel the secret rivalry between Tinubu and Daniel who were once political allies in AD. This is rather unkind to put it mildly. As elder statesmen, Jide, what do you think Afenifere stands to gain by fuelling the rivalry between two eminent sons of Oduduwa? If you know our pedigree, you would recognize it is not in our character to fuel rivalry among our children but to reconcile them for the progress of Yoruba land. I believe your criticisms and observations in the piece “Sons and Fathers” were written in good faith. Some of the issues raised are indeed of public interest. I will therefore appreciate it if you don’t deny me the right of reply by giving this rejoinder adequate space and publicity in your paper in order to keep the records straight. NOTES: The son knows the father and the father the son. I am not one of the privileged few that know intimately the highly revered fathers or their illustrious sons. Mine was therefore an opinion of an outsider, a labour undertaken in good faith, as part of the freedom guaranteed by our highly developed culture, to look at our leaders in the face and ask questions without prejudice to the fact that they earned their positions. I hope Pa Adebanjo’s clarification reassures those who are nervous about the present schism between fathers and sons. • Jide Oluwajuyitan

“I feel proud that the ACN have done well…For instance I feel proud that the ACN has succeeded in taking power from the PDP in the South-west. If I have to make a choice between the evil of the PDP and ACN, I will choose the ACN. PDP is an evil in this country.” fore our Call to Bar. I concluded my Youth Service programme there and spent two additional years with him before I ventured out to establish my own firm in 2005. Till this day, I am considered a part of that chambers by both Falana himself and his wife in terms of access with an appreciable increase in collaborations. Within the time under review, I fully encountered Falana in his elements. A man of great courage, industry, conviction, deep intellect and knowledge, he was already an accomplished lawyer, a leader both within his professional circle where he was generally called “authority” because of his mastery of law and decided authorities and amongst his comrades where we simply call him FF. It was no joke for those of us who were closely associated with him because of his pace and speed of operation as well as the expectation of the public. On an occasion like this, we know that your joy will be deeper if you realise that, it is the ordinary Nigerian people whose lives you have touched by your tireless crusade for social justice that are rejoicing. They probably do not understand the full purport of this development, but the mere fact that the recognition is extended to “one of them” ignites the genuine joy that presently resonates in every down trodden Nigerian. I write not as one of your beneficiaries but as one who is in touch with the people whom you have rescued from the grip of their oppressors. They request that you continue to wear those harmless smiles even when you deal deadly blows on their oppressors. They are assured that with this elevation, the potency of your weapons will become more effective, while your professional colleagues are optimistic that the prospects of realizing the much deserved reforms in the legal profession are brighter knowing that you are likely to carry the battle to them and remain a resounding voice for the oppressed. Such will be the greater benefit of this investiture for a professional body like the NBA whose role in a developing economy like ours is pivotal. In exiting the moribund and unproductive past, we must clearly locate this fresh role that must be strategically discharged. • Ugwummadu is a Lagos-based lawyer.


NIGERIA/LIBERIA TIE:

Mikel finally

Pg. 24

returns to Eagles

Cooreman off

Pg. 41

TO BELGIUM

Sport Thursday, September 20, 2012

PAGE 23

• Late Rasheed Yekini

NBA to take over

Yekini's case Keshi, other coaches to get pay

Pg. 24


Mikel finally

returns to Eagles


25

THE NATION

EDUCATION

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

INSIDE Nigerian, first First Class in Malaysian Varsity

Website:- http://www.thenationonlineng.com

email:- education@thenationonlineng.com

Despite its reputation, the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria (NPMCN) is facing some challenges threatening its growth. But it is not losing hope for a better tomorrow report ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA and KOFOWOROLA BELO-OSAGIE.

A NIGERIAN and indigene of Sokoto State, Muftahu Jibrin Salihu Goronyo from Goronyo Local Government Area has emerged the first African to graduate with a first class in... -Page 27

'Education sector cannot support development' EDUCATION in Nigeria is so poor that it cannot inspire development, says Dr Wale Babalakin (SAN), Chairman, Committee of ... -Page 37

CAMPUS LIFE •An eight-page section on campus news, people etc

Murder in a bachelor’s pad IT was supposed to be a short visit, but it turned out to be a journey of no return. That day, the late Wunmi Adebayo of Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Ijagun, Ijebu-Ode in Ogun State, left her Mobalufon Hostel to visit an acquaintance in the nearby Golden Estate... -Page 29

• Entrance to the school

PHOTO: ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA

A medical college’s push for recognition I

TS founders did not foresee the problems it is now facing. When the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria (NPMCN) was formed 33 years ago, it was with high hopes of giving qualified medical doctors further training. It has been discharging this obligation diligently despite its challenges. These challenges now seem to be getting to the institution, especially that of getting the National Universities Commission (NUC) to recognise its graduates, who are conferred with fellowships of the institution. The fellowship is supposed to be the equivalent of Ph.D No matter, the institution is forging ahead. It is graduating 264 medical doctors who have spent a five years earning qualifications that will make them into specialists in different medical fields. It will be a happy ceremony for the fellows and their families having passed the required three-stage examinations (Primary, Part I and Part II) to become specialists in the 15 faculties of the college including Anaesthesia, Dental Surgery, Family Medicine, Pathology, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, General Dental Practice, Opthalmology, Radiology, Orthopaedics, Surgery, Oto-Rhino-

• Wakwe (middle), flanked by his vice, Dr Rasheed Arogundade (right) and the College Registrar, Prof Obot Anita-Obong at a briefing PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA

want the Federal Ministry of Education to recognise us ‘ asWea tertiary education institution and request the TETFUND to give us a grant to build an examination/multipurpose hall that will take 1,500 candidates. Also, the ministry should request NUC to give us grants to improve our research capabilities Laryngology, Public Health, Psychiatry and Internal Medicine. Their qualifications and experience will earn them career progressions in the medical profession as they can aspire to become consultants. The college’s leadership will also be celebrating its production of more than 4,000 fellows – 3,132 of them by examination. It has 3,801 candidates still seeking to attain this position after passing the examinations, which is evidence that its training is sought after by medical doctors But, poor funding, inadequate infrastructure and recognition by some agencies like the NUC remain its headache and may make it difficult for the institution to effectively

achieve its mission to “plan, implement, monitor and evaluate postgraduate programmes required to produce medical and dental specialists of the highest quality, competence and dedication, who will provide teaching and optimal healthcare for the people.” Explaining how these factors are slowing down the college, its President, Prof Victor Wakwe said said despite its role of training and regulating highly-specialised medical personnel, it only depends on subventions from the Federal Ministry of Health, which are grossly inadequate to meet its needs for equipment, infrastructure and manpower. It receives N2.5 million as overhead monthly, and the ministry foots

the salary bill of its 116-strong workforce. To be better positioned to carry out its statutory duties under Cap N59 Laws of the Federation, Wakwe is seeking that the college be recognised by the Federal Ministry of Education as a tertiary institution. That way, it will benefit from intervention grants from agencies like the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), and NUC which it can dedicate to building infrastructure, conducting training and carrying out researches. Lamenting the dearth of infrastructure and manpower, Wakwe said: “As at now we have a staff strength of about 116 carrying the • Continued on page 26


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

26

EDUCATION A medical college’s push for recognition • Continued from page 25

• Acting Public Affairs Officer, United State Ms Rhoda Watson (right) receiving souvenirs from the President Fulbright Alumni Association of Nigeria (FAAN) Dr Raymond Bako (left), and the Vice-Chancellor Covenant University Ota (CU), Ogun State Prof Aize Obayan at the 11th annual conference of FAAN hosted by CU at the university's ALDC Hall PHOTO: ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA

Lagos NUT equips teachers for e-learning •Says no going back on strike

W

ITH the new customised laptops the Lagos State wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has provided for its members, teaching and learning is expected to improve in public primary and secondary schools across the state in the 2012/2013 academic session. The customised laptops were launched at a colourful ceremony chaired by the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye at the Memorable Events centre, CBD, Alausa, Lagos. However, it may take a while before the teachers begin using the curriculum and customised lesson notes installed on the computers if the Lagos NUT joins 23 other states in a strike over non-payment of the 27.5 per cent Teachers Special Allowances (TSA) on Monday, despite pleas from the Lagos state government. Chairman of the union, Comrade Kayode Idowu said at the event that the government has had enough time to implement the TSA and faulted claims that the MoU did not force the government to pay the allowance. He said that the government started paying 9.2 per cent out of the 27.5 last year and promised to pay the remaining before April 2011.

T

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie and Adegunle Olugbamila

He said the union has rejected claims that the government may commence full implementation January next year. "The government set up a committee to look into the issues and they are now claiming that the MoU the national leadership of the NUT signed on the TSA did not force any state government to pay. But the Lagos State government has been paying 9.2 per cent of the allowance since last year. They are now saying they may pay the rest from January next year and we said no," he said. Speaking about the customised laptop initiative, Idowu said the union has thrown a challenge to the government to complement its efforts with provision of projectors in the classrooms. "This is a new beginning in Lagos State and the government is also buying into it. What we are doing as teachers is taking our future in our hands. The idea is brought about to meet challenges all over the world," Idowu continued 'and teachers in Lagos should not be left behind. Today, we are talking of e-learning, eexamination so on. How do our teachers meet up with these challenges? We want to challenge the

Lagos State government that they have to improve the standard of education in the state. We are challenging them to provide projectors where our teachers can fix in their laptops and beam the topic on the board for teaching to take place," he said. About 500 teachers from all the 17 NUT branches across the state, including state executives, are benefiting in the first phase of the initiative. The cost of the laptop, which is about N140,000 will be deducted in installments from their salaries. The laptops boast of lesson plans are uploaded, questions and answers for pupils for revision, and textbooks on various subjects. One of the recipients Mrs Fayemi Yetunde from Ikeja Senior Grammar School, Ikeja, commended the innovation which she said was in accordance with Lagos teachers' readiness to embrace new technology. "The Lagos State government has been assisting us teachers by sponsoring lots of training including computer training. Many of us have gone for computer training ourselves, so we are ready for the e-learning. This customised laptop will go a long way in assisting us the teachers, especially reducing the stress for us in terms of imparting knowledge to our students. We will no longer be searching for textbooks elsewhere. Everything is in the computer."

Ogun to address college welfare issues

HE Ogun State Government has assured Trade Unions of the Tai Solarin College of Education (TASCE), Ogun State, that all their demands for improved welfare packages would be met. Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr Olusegun Odubela said this after meeting with leaders of major trade unions of the college who were agitating for increased welfare package. He said most of the demands by the unions were the ones left unattended to by the immediate past administration, adding that the present government has been paying subvention to the college and other public higher institutions since inception May last year. He therefore called on the workers to maintain the peace while the government finds lasting solution to the problem. "No solution can be provided in a rancorous environment, we must be patience and allow both the management and the state government to find lasting solution to the problem at hand," Odubela said. The Non Academic Staff Union and

Allied Institution (NASU), Tai Solarin College of Education, in a four-point demand signed by Comrades Osoba Olatunji and Osho Debowale Chairman and General Secretary, is among others demanding the immediate implementation of the new minimum wage; immediate payment of 10 months salary arrears and the constitution of the Governing Council of the college. Similar demands were also made by the Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education in Nigeria (SSUCOEN) and Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), TASCE chapter. Meanwhile, the Ogun State Government has re-iterated its call on wealthy individuals and groups to partner with it to improve the standard of education. Odubela made the plea at the handing over of an ultra-modern library donated by Pastor John Baiyewu to Anglican High School, Abeokuta, his alma mater. Odubela said the provision of qualitative education requires huge financial commitment which can not be shouldered by the Government alone,

• Odubela

hence the need for the support of public-spirited individuals and groups. "If we must ensure standard and quality in our education system, there is need for individuals who are rich to join hands with us in our bid to improve the quality of education we give our children" he said. However, the Commissioner said that despite the lean resources at the state’s disposal, its free education programme, construction of Model Schools, rehabilitation of dilapidated blocks of classrooms and the newly introduced unified examination for secondary school students would be pursued with vigour.

load of work in the college. The number of candidates that puts in for our fellowship examinations are increasing tremendously. For the September to November 2012 examinations, we have 2,395 candidates for the Primary Examination; 1,118, Part I; and 288 for Part II. “This is a big load for the college to carry judging that our infrastructure is very poor. We do not have an examination hall that can take up to 500 candidates presently. The second wing of the Learning Resources Building we were authorized to construct since 2010 is about 50 per cent completed. “The money for the building comes in trickles. There are supposed to be four wings of this building. We moved to our present sight in 1997 which means this wing was completed by then. If it took 15 years to build half a wing of a building, how many years will it take to build the remaining two and a half wings? Something must be done and urgently too. We need help both from government and outsiders.” Apart from the building, the college is in need of a Clinical skill and simulation laboratory valued at N500 million, used to examine patients and make diagnosis; e-library, equipment for all 15 faculties, among others. Recognising that the funding it requires will not come with the present structure of operation, Wakwe said the college wrote to President Goodluck Jonathan through the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim seeking audience with the Ministry of Education; Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Science and Technology; on collaborative funding of the college. However, he said they got no response to date. “We need a lot of help to improve our infrastructure and purchase equipment for our college activities. We want the Federal Ministry of Education to recognise us as a tertiary education institution and request the TETFUND to give us a grant to build an examination/multipurpose hall that will take 1,500 candidates. Also, the ministry should request NUC to give us grants to improve our research capabilities. There are monies they are they are begging the universities to come and collect,” he said. Another touchy issue Wakwe said the College has to deal with is the non-recognition of its fellows that do not have PhDs. Wakwe lamented that the rise of such fellows to professorship is being stunted because their universities insist on Ph.Ds based on the directive of the NUC that it should be the minimum qualification for lecturers in the system since 2008. But Wakwe said the following the NUC’s instruction, the college advised the agency against such measure on the basis that its fellowship is deeper and richer in content than a PhD. “NUC called a meeting with us in

Our advise is that they should allow academic clinical lecturers who are voracious for knowledge to take up these degrees voluntarily as some of us have done. There are clinical lecturers in this country who have the fellowship plus masters or PhD certificates. They did it on their own without coercion 2006 in which we reached a compromise; but it was not until this year NUC sent out a letter on July 24 that they agreed to our position, but the letter was badly worded because it stated inter alia that ‘in the interim’ our Fellowship is acceptable until NUC introduces a Ph.D programme.” Prof Wakwe added: “We don’t object their introducing the programme. “Our advise is that they should allow academic clinical lecturers who are voracious for knowledge to take up these degrees voluntarily as some of us have done. There are clinical lecturers in this country who have the fellowship plus masters or PhD certificates. They did it on their own without coercion. The information for the NUC is that any postgraduate medical programme it has drawn without the approval of the Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria will be disaccredited.” One of such is Prof Tolu Odugbemi, Vice-Chancellor of the Ondo State University of Science and Technology (OSUSTECH), Okitipupa. In an interview with The Nation, he said the professional training provided by the various fellowships earn medical doctors requisite recognition in the workplace. He said academics need only to add publications to these fellowships to earn promotions, even professorship. “In medical circles, you can go into professional training by doing the various fellowships and you will be recognized by the hospitals and ministries. If you are an academic, once you have the fellowship, you just need to produce publications and you can become anything. I have always supported the idea that once you have a fellowship and publications, you can become a professor. That is why people who are not in medicine should not dabble into how much people can write. But there are some of us that just like acquiring degrees to keep us busy. I am a fellow of the postgraduate Medical College and I also have a PhD,” he said.

Parents raise N180m for hostel

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HE King’s College, Lagos Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) is seeking N180 million to construct an ultra-modern students hostel for the school. Chairman of the PTA Building Fund Raising Committee, Mr Segun Owolabi said at a briefing last Friday that when completed the building will boast of comfortable accommodation for 300 pupils, durable toilet facilities, porter’s lodge, dining room and common room – a departure from hostel accommodation in many unity schools. “If you look at most hostels in unity schools, they barely have enough fa-

cilities to take care of students, which is why many cluster in a room. But we are going to provide all the basic facilities that can make students comfortable. The hostel will be furnished so that students only to come in with their bags. There will be wardrobes, and the toilets will be state-of-the art, he said. Owolabi said before the formal fundraising event for the hostel takes place next month, the PTA would use the 103 anniversary programme of the college this week to seek support from corporate organisations, parents, philanthropists, and captains of industry.


27

THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

EDUCATION

Nigerian is first African to earn first class in Malaysian Varsity

A

NIGERIAN and indigene of Sokoto State, Muftahu Jibrin Salihu Goronyo from Goronyo Local Government Area has emerged the first African to graduate with a first class in Master of Educational Leadership and Management of the University of Southern Queensland, Australia, but based in Malaysia. Accordingly, Goronyo’s academic excellence fetched him two separate offers from different universities, including an automatic admission and scholarship by his university to undergo a three-year Ph.D

From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto

programme between 2012 and 2015. A congratulatory letter signed by Jim Campbell, Senior Media Coordinator of the university stated: “Firstly I can say a big congratulations on your upcoming – You should be very proud of this achievement. Besides bagging a first class degree, you are the only African student in the upcoming graduation, above all, the only Nigerian student who graduated from the university since its inception in 1971.” The 26-year old must, however, serve the university for 10 years

upon graduation until 2025. The Nation gathered that, Goronyo had turned down the offer for the love of Nigeria and patriotism. The second offer of automatic admission by Ahia e-University, based in Malaysia, came open to Salihu but without scholarship. However, his elder brother Alhaji Mohammed Umar who is also the General Manager of the Sokoto State newspaper company, appealed to well-spirited individuals in the state and government to sponsor his postgraduate studies. “He should be sponsored to complete the Ph.D degree for three years

EKSU FILE Don speaks on plant resources

• Goronyo

as he wants to come back to Nigeria and serve the state and the nation after his graduation in 2015,’’ he said.

• Senate President of the Nigeria Association of Nigeria Students (NANS), Comrade Kolade Olaoluwa presenting an award of credence to the ViceChancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Isaac Adewole. With him is Adewole’s Deputy (Administration), Prof Arinola Sanya.

Nigeria's don becomes first black VC of University of Illinois

A

NIGERIAN Professor, Ilesanmi Adesida, has made history. Last mo nth he became the first black Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in the United States. Born in Ondo State, Prof Adesida,is a Nigerian engineer whose outstanding work in the field of Nanotechnology has received much acclaim in the scientific community. He obtained his Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral degrees in Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and subsequently went on to develop a body of work in the processing of semiconductors and other materials at the nanometer-scale level. After his studies, he worked in various capacities at what is now known as the Cornell Nanofabrication Facility and the School of Electrical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. He was also the head of the Electrical Engineering Department at Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Nigeria. "I'm honoured and humbled to be selected as provost of this great campus. This is something I take very seriously. I know how to work very hard and I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and get the job done," Adesida said Prof Adesida is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Vacuum Society, and the Optical Society of America. He is also the pastpresident of IEEE Electron Devices Society. Culled from http://thecitizenng.com

Provost pledges support of campus excellence AS a professor, researcher and dean of the College of Engineering for the past seven years, Ilesanmi Adesida, the new provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, knows more than a little about what makes physical systems work. "Engineers look at the big system and then break it down to bite-size," he said. "We're optimistic in one sense, but also skeptical. We understand that the process can't paralyze you." It's that "systems view" he believes will serve him well in his new position, considering the crux of it involves making operational processes easier for professors in all disciplines to navigate, as well as fostering bold new interdisciplinary connections that lead to real-world application. Adesida credits the strength and excellence across disciplines in the humanities, arts and social sciences coupled with excellence in physical and life sciences - as making Illinois among the world's very best. "The provost has to work with everybody and play to the strengths of this campus," he said. "I believe everyone who walks through that door is very important. When the professors are successful, the students are successful, then, we are successful in our mission. I'm very excited about how we address the critical issues of undergraduate education as we move into the future." Adesida, a UI faculty member since 1987, said he's been listening more than anything in the early days of his

administration, and will continue to seek the counsel of academic leaders moving forward. "I know a lot about engineering, but in this position I'm the student," he said. "There's a lot of people with deep knowledge on this campus and I'm seeking their advice." He said he already has held roundtable discussions with the leaders of several colleges and is scheduling more. He said the broad spectrum of voices has already changed his perspective. "I've been meeting a lot of people on campus," he said. "As provost, you see a lot more (broadly) than you see as a dean. We have challenges in funding, but there also are tremendous opportunities in terms of excellence. Whatever we do, we want to be excellent at it. That's the aspiration I'm hearing from people on campus. "The questions we have to be asking are, 'What are the opportunities? What are the challenges?' It will be a difficult time for those (institutions) that can't navigate it. We have to be very strategic and deliberative about what we're doing." He said he believes the campus can lead the way in developing a highereducation model built to address 21stcentury issues. "As an institution, we have the option to choose our comprehensiveness. We must examine the range of activities taking place across campus and the resources in place to support those activities." He said the newness of campus leadership, as well as

•Adesida

changes across the campus, can be turned into a powerful positive for the university's future. He is hopeful the changes will usher in an era of stability that will lead to solid planning and the development of successful strategies. Thankfully, he said, the university already has developed strong training and orientation programs designed to "nourish and develop" new hires. During the transition, Adesida also worked closely with Richard Wheeler, who had been the interim provost since 2010. Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise said she expects Adesida to flourish in the new spot and that the campus will greatly benefit from his leadership. The new provost will be the "point person" in implementing strategies stemming from the chancellor's Visioning Future Excellence academic planning initiative. "He has an outstanding record of scholarship, a proven commitment to excellence and an ability to successfully collaborate with colleagues at Illinois," she said. "He will be a critical asset for our campus as we seek to more aggressively advance our mission."

WITH its wealth of plant resources, a Professor of Industrial Chemistry, Emmanuel Temitope Akintayo, say, Nigeria can meet the global demand for vegetable oils. Delivering the inaugural lecture of the Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti titled: Renewable Plant Resources as Platform Chemicals for Sustainable Industrial Development, Akintayo said the target is possible by 2030 if the resources are carefully managed. "If Malaysia could excel as world leader in production of palm oil within 20 years, then Nigeria with the same plant and many others have better potentials that can make it a leading country in Oleo chemical production by 2030, a period when oleo chemicals may take over from petrochemicals," he said. He, therefore, suggested careful development and appropriate management of the country's plant resources to help Nigeria put its industrial economy on a firm footing. Observing that plant resources are replenishable and that Nigeria has enormous potentials for their development he said emphasis on resource management should shift from mineral (non-renewable) to agricultural resources which could lead to even income distribution among greater number of Nigerians. In his 54-page of inaugural lecture, Prof. Akintayo also said the third world was slowly waking up to the realization that science and technology was what distinguished the South from the North, and that Science and Technology determined the living of a nation.

VC laments dropout rate THE EKSU Vice-Chancellor, Prof Aina, has admonished the new postgraduate students of the university to take their to avoid dropping out of the programme. Speaking at the matriculation for fresh students of the School of Postgraduate Studies, Aina lamented that the trend that has become a cause for concern to universities running Post graduate studies. "It is sad to observe the high rate of withdrawal from programmes by students and the slow pace of completion of courses at the Master's and Doctoral levels in Universities in Nigeria," he said. He announced that a befitting School of Postgraduate Studies complex will be completed by the end of the year. "The building will contain the offices of the Principal Officers of the school as well as modern and state of the art facilities like conference/board rooms, thesis rooms, library and offices for different categories of staff," he said.

Don praised for honesty THE EKSU Vice-Chancellor, Prof Patrick Aina has urged teaching and non-teaching staff of the institution to be honest and uphold the culture of uprightness. He made the comment while praising Prof Kunle Ajayi, a former Director of General Studies Unit who transferred the fund meant for GST House Project to the university account. The transfer of the Fund was made because the GST House Project was discontinued. The Vice-Chancellor noted that Ajayi by his behaviour has shown that he could be trusted while holding any position.


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THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

EDUCATION FUNAAB FILE Oyewole visits pioneer VC THE Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Prof Olusola Bandele Oyewole, has visited the pioneer Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof Nurudeen Olorunnimbe Adedipe, at his Ikorodu home in Lagos State. Welcoming the Vice-Chancellor and the management team, Adedipe urged Oyewole to be focused as a leader to embrace the responsibilities and challenges of leadership. Adedipe stressed the need for all to collaborate with the management in sustaining the successes recorded by the university over the years. Oyewole, who was an Assistant Lecturer when Adedipe was in charge, thanked him for his contributions to the university. “Whatever we are in FUNAAB today is because of the strong foundation you built then,” he said.

Centre educates farmers THE Agricultural Media Resources and Extension Centre (AMREC) of FUNAAB has educated farmers on the value of modern bee-keeping. During a workshop organised by the centre at Iwoye-Ketu, Ogun State, the farmers were taught how to keep bees and their medicinal values and potential for employment and income. Speaking at the workshop, Director of the centre, Prof Carolyn Afolami, noted that beekeeping was the only enterprise that does not need large expanse of land, water, feed and fertilizer to thrive. She added that bee-keeping could be taken as a hobby and practiced along other farm activities, because it is relatively easy to manage. Resource persons at the workshop included Dr. Adebola Osipitan, who spoke on apiary selection, establishment and management and Professor Samuel Oluwalana, who delivered a note on the medicinal applications of honey.

Rochas, Orji for ABU anniversary THE Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha and his former Abia State counterpart, Chief Orji Uzo Kalu, have accepted to participate in the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, slated for November 23-24. Both have acknowledged receipt of invitations to be part of the historic event and have expressed commitment to be in attendance. Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof Abdullahi Mustapha, who confirmed this in a statement signed by his Media Adviser, Malam Waziri Isa Gwantu, said the two politicians' acceptance is an indication of their commitment to education and expression of their appreciation of the role the Ahmadu Bello University has been playing in training students from different parts of the Country and of the world. The Vice-Chancellor also expressed hope that other governors will attend. "We are expecting all governors in the country to attend the event as a show of solidarity and support for the true and all-Nigerians university," he said. The governors have both expressed willingness to speak with both staff and students of the university on the state of the nation, should there be any such forum, during the occasion.

• Participants at a three-day reading camp programme organised by the Lightworld Network, an Advocacy and Development Organisation, held at the Oluyole Private School, Oluyole Estate, Ibadan, Oyo State.

Varsity bosses seek power revolution •NUC e-accreditation portal goes live

V

ERY soon, at the click of the mouse button, university administrators, students, parents and others will be able to access a vast amount of information about students, programmes, accreditation status, researches, professors, and facilities in public and private universities in Nigeria thanks to the online accreditation portal of the National Universities Commission (NUC). However, vice-chancellors, directors of academic planning, and ICT directors of some of the universities are calling on the Federal Government to improve electrical power supply which has the potential to undermine the uploading process. Education Minister, Prof Ruqayyat Ahmed Rufa'i and the NUC Executive Secretary, Prof Julius Okojie both said at the launch of the portal at the University of Calabar (UNICAL) penultimate Friday that the project has the potential of improving the world ranking of Nigerian universities because of greater visibility, check multiple employment of lecturers by different universities, check over enrolment of students and provide platform for comparison. The portal will also generate accreditation reports for the teams; can be used for certificate verification, and provide details of accreditation requirements. Already, over 38 universities have entered their staff and students' records into the portal, which is a project of the National Universities Commission Database (NUCDB) created in conjunction with GUCCI CHIS Nigeria Ltd as technical partners. With the portal, Okojie said NUC

• Prof Rufa’i By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

will be able to regulate the university system more effectively as the agency will be alerted when programmes are due for accreditation. He is also confident that it will check if accreditation teams work according to the rules. He added that the database will improve the quality of research output from the Nigerian University System as it will encourage crossdisciplinary research. "We want the Minister of Education to sit in her office and know the number of professors, the number of students. If we have such database you will be amazed the number of professors you can collaborate with on research," he said. In her speech, Prof Rufa'i said the project would put Nigerian ivory towers on the world map and urged university administrations to cooperate to make it work. She said: We must stop lamenting that Nigerian universities are poorly rated on the African continent in particular and the world in general and start doing something about it. We know that the poor rating is not due to a lack of the required intellectual capacity, but basically due to poor management of the resources in our institutions. One of the results of this is low visibility of the institutions. This Portal is therefore a bold step towards building world class universities in Nigeria. "I understand that the NUC-Online Programme Accreditation Portal of-

•Prof Okojie

•Prof Adingwupu

fers a unified system in the management of Nigerian universities for enhanced academic structure and visibility. With deliverables such as the automation of database of all universities in Nigeria with link to the National Universities Commission (NUC), the management of our University System is certainly not to be the same again. "I appeal to all our universities and stakeholders to embrace this laudable initiative, which has opened up new frontiers of engagement for the benefit of all stakeholders in the university education sub-sector and the general public. They should also upgrade their system in order to enjoy the full benefits of the Portal and co-operate, fully, with NUC so as to make its oversight function less onerous to make it a success." To cooperate with the NUC, university administrators urged the Federal government to improve power supply, while they want the technical partners to improve the ease at which universities can upload the required information onto the portal. Speaking at a one-day workshop on online universities programme accreditation that held after the inauguration, many of the administrators also raised their concerns about format of arranging the information, uploading files and other issues with the NUC Deputy Director of Undergraduate and Institutional Accreditation, Dr Noel Saliu, and the CEO of GUCCI CHIS, Hon Paul Adingwupu.

Osayi Ogboro, Planning Officer at the University of Benin (UNIBEN) said power supply must be addressed since it can affect the data uploading process. He also said universities will need help in upgrading their ICT infrastructure. "It is a good idea but they sill have a lot of work in fine tuning it to meet university needs. The challenges that we will face include the power supply. Right now it is very erratic. If light goes and you are in the middle of uploading a file, there will be problem. Also universities need to develop their ICT infrastructure," he said. Similarly, Director of Quality Assurance and Productivity at the Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUTMINNA), Prof Adai Ibrahim said NUC needs to provide technical support for the universities to improve their ICT facilities and be able to check false data inputs "There should be technical support people from the NUC side so that when wrong data is sent to them they should be able to identify it online. Universities need to improve their information infrastructure to send and access information. If I am trying to send data and the internet is not reliable, it will cause delays," he said. On his part, Adingwupu assured the university representatives that their concerns about the functioning of the portal will be addressed. He added that there are plans to helpassist universities acquire the requisite ICT infrastructure.

Bauchi Poly signs pact on entrepreneurship

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HE Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi has signed a pact with Flying Dove Consultants on entrepreneurship training. In line with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed recently at the polytechnic, Flying Dove Consultants will deliver counseling, technical and vocational skills training and youth development programmes to students of the polytechnic. Speaking during the signing, the

Rector of the Polytechnic, Dr Shuaibu Musa said the firm has come to the institution at a time of need, especially now that the Federal Government has introduced entrepreneurship courses in all tertiary institutions as a policy for technological development. The Rector assured the firm of the polytechnic's readiness to implement the programmes with a view to assisting the students become self-employed after

graduation. Earlier in her address, the Director, Flying Dove Consultants, Alhaja Oriyomi Shekirat, said the firm has four units including the Community College, Cooperate College, Collegial College and the Consultancy Unit that focus on the training of youths for skill acquisition. Director, Academic Planning of the polytechnic, Dr Samuel Sule, said the pact has added to the number of partnerships the institution

has entered with other training centres at home and abroad. The Co-ordinator of the Entrepreneurship Development Centre of the polytechnic, Dr Habila Zuya, said Entrepreneurship should not be viewed from the academic perspective alone but from the benefits derivable after graduation. "One can be unemployed if he lacks skills but with the skills already in place, one can be employed or become employable."


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Students hail Tinubu’s appointment as Chancellor

*CAMPUSES

For ease of accreditation

Page 31

*NEWS *PEOPLE *KUDOS& KNOCKS *GRANTS

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THE NATION

CAMPUS LIFE 0802-4550-354 email: ladycampus@yahoo.com THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

Website:- http://www.thenationonlineng.net

email:- campuslife@thenationonlineng.net

When the late Wunmi Adebayo of Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED) Ijagun, IjebuOde, Ogun State left her Mobalufon Hostel to visit an acquaintance in the nearby Golden Estate, she did not know what providence had in store for her. WALE AJETUNMOBI writes.

Rawlings Omorede, HND II Petroleum Marketing, is the outgoing president of the Association of Petroleum Marketing and Business Studies Students (APEMBUS) at the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun, Delta State. He told AKINDOTUN AKINTOMIDE (HND II Welding and Fabrication Engineering Technology) the challenges he faced during his tenure.

‘Entrepreneurship vital to growth’

•TASUED gate...the institution the late Wunmi attended

Murder in a bachelor’s pad I

T was supposed to be a short visit, but it turned out to be a journey of no return. That day, the late Wunmi Adebayo of Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Ijagun, Ijebu-Ode in Ogun State, left her Mobalufon Hostel to visit an acquaintance in the nearby Golden Estate. She had visited the estate several times and had become a well-known face there. But something unusual happened during her last visit. She did not return home alive. Her friends did not know anything until her body was found.

Where was she killed? Was it in her acquaintance’s home? Who killed her? Her acquaintance or robbers? These are the puzzles the police are expected to unravel in their investigation. When the news of her death broke, there was confusion because of the stories of how it happened. A version had it that she was on her way back when she was attacked by robbers, who wanted to rape her but her refusal prompted them to shoot her in the face. Another had it that she

was attacked by ritualists. Last Saturday, there was a twist to the story. It was gathered that she was allegedly killed by her acquaintance. According to a source, who is close to the bereaved family, the police have discovered that Wunmi was killed when she found her acquaintance and his gang with a gun. The source said the police have arrested the suspect, who is being remanded at the Ogun State Police Command, Eleweran, Abeokuta. “But it didn’t end there. The

family decided to investigate the death of their daughter; they invoked Wunmi’s spirit to kill whoever was responsible for her death. This is Ijebu, and I believe this is not new to you because the traditional procedure is a common practice in many parts of Nigeria, particularly when the circumstance surrounding the death of a person is suspicious,” the source told our correspondent on phone. The source added: “Perhaps, af•Continued on page 30

•Rawlings

•Corps member tackles unemployment through freelance writing-P32• VC donates buses to students -P33


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

30

CAMPUS LIFE

When will Nigerian youths start inventing?

I

READ the astonishing story of a 19year-old British boy who built a “spacecraft”, installed it with a camera and took pictures of space. According to the story, British teen Adam Cudworth decided to make his own spacecraft, one just big enough to house his camera, a GPS tracking device – a radio transmitter and a microprocessor in an insulated weather-protected box. His home-made spacecraft, attached to a large helium balloon, launched more than 20 miles into the sky and captured some incredible images and video for two and half hours. Cudworth’s pictures and video footage captured the curvature of Earth (he tweeted some of the images as they appear). The teen did it all on a budget of about $320 (about N52,000), using only the knowledge he had acquired from his Physics A-level courses. Cudworth bought his camera, a Canon A570, for just under $50 (N8,250) at eBay over a year and a half ago. The project took him about 40 hours to complete in his spare time after school. His pictures are comparable to the images that NASA’s team produces after having spent hundreds of millions of dollars on technologicallyadvanced satellites. What intrigued me further about the story was that Cudworth seems modest about the feat, calling the project just a hobby, saying: “I just wanted to set myself a challenge, but I’m amazed at the results. I have no background in astrophysics or anything like that; I’m just an

Pushing Out with

Agbo Agbo 08052959489 (SMS only)

•aagboa@gmail.com engineering student.” My mind started whirling when I read the story and the question I kept asking myself formed the title of my piece today. Why are our youths “intelligent” in the wrong things? Why would an individual spend quality time to learn techniques of hacking into people’s emails to gather personal information for fraud? I can go on asking all negative questions without answers throughout this piece. Some years back at a forum organised by the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), I remembered bringing this up when the agitation for local content in engineering was at its height. I asked a couple of engineers, young graduates and undergraduates this same question. The answer I got, which you may still get when you ask the same question today, is: There are no incentives to encourage inventions in the country. I’ve written in the past of how difficult and suffocating our environment can be, but I also pointed out that, in some countries, great innovations came out of difficult and impossible situations and we should not use that as an excuse for indolence. So, why are our youths not innovating? Part of the answer to the question, I believe, lies in our educational system which lays undue emphasis on passing exams, acquiring a certificate to search for jobs that are more elusive now than ever. Between 1960 and now, Nigeria has introduced and implemented not less than three

serve as a “watering ground” for innovation, entrepreneurship and economic growth and development. This means that Nigeria needs a new paradigm for effective transformation of its economy and educational institutions, particularly vocational and technical ones. My main concern is the university system which I strongly believe completes the transformation of man from a statistic to human capital. In this state of knowhow and know-why, he can power creativity to propel human advancement. Leaders shape culture and values, and along with institutions determine human progress in the main. So, why does Nigeria not experience the promise of progress and innovation even with the establishment of more universities? The simple answer is that universities in Nigeria have not been producing leaders that have the knowledge and sense of service to guide social change, or the spirit and courage to contain those blocking progress. I urge our youths to dig deep into their consciousness and look beyond government toward the needs of society and start inventing, no matter how crude the inventions may be.

Celebrating our reporters One of the cardinal goals of the CAMPUSLIFE project is to equip our reporters with the requisite tools to not only become world-class reporters and writers, but to be leaders of change in their generation as well. I want to salute and celebrate three of our reporters, David Osu of FUT Minna, Ayodeji Adesina of UNILAG and Olajide Adelana of Ekiti State University for making us proud. David was nominated for the Youth Advocacy Group for Education First, a United Nations (UN) Secretary-General’s Global Initiative on education. Ayodeji and Olajide were, on the other hand, among three finalists in an essay competition organised by the Bible Society of Nigeria. Keep the flag flying guys!

‘Entrepreneurship vital to growth’

Murder in a bachelor’s pad

•Continued from page 29

G

•Continued from page 29

ter being continuously tormented by the (Wunmi’s) spirit, the suspect confessed to the murder this morning (last Saturday). He said Wunmi came to his house unannounced. When she entered, she met him and his friends drinking and making merry with guns on the table. On seeing this, Wunmi was shocked, scared and tried to run but was prevented. “She was then forced at gun point not to try to go away from the building. She was beaten by the assailants who attempted to gang-rape her. When she resisted, she was then shot in order not to reveal what she saw in the boyfriend’s apartment. The suspect then shot himself to fake the story that Wunmi was killed by ‘robbers’ as he ‘saw her off.’ Since Wunmi is no more to tell her story, the suspect thought he would get away with the murder and that no one would discover what actually transpired.” But, the Commands Public Relations Officer (PRO) Muyiwa Adejobi, denied that the suspect had confessed to the killing. Responding to our correspondent’s text, Adejobi said: “The suspect has been interrogated but it is not true that he has confessed to the crime. It is just a rumour being spread on Blackberry; so disregard it. Investigation is still in progress.” TASUED’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) Mr Gbenga Omilola told our correspondent on phone, that the late Wunmi was a student of the institution, adding that the incident had not been reported to the school management officially. “We cannot comment further on the crime because the incident did not happen on our campus. More so, the family members of the murdered student have not come to

educational policies: the 7:5:2:3, 6:3:3:4 and now the 9:3:3:4 (elementary, secondary and university). There is now a clamour for a reintroduction of Higher School Certifictate (HSC) which was a two-year postsecondary programme that prepared students for university education. It was jettisoned some years back. The clamour followed the yearly poor performance of secondary school leavers in the West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE) and the National Examination Council (NECO). Another related structural problem which most of them harped on is the low budgetary allocation to the education sector, particularly the vocational and technical sub-sector. Additionally, the Nigerian educational curricula appear to be designed as a “factory” for producing graduates who are made to believe that the only employer of labour is government – federal, state and local. Consequently, many of the graduates of Nigerian tertiary institutions come out of the ivory towers with this mentality. Inventions do not happen in a vacuum because they have to be tailored toward addressing the needs within the society; and we have needs in this country. But, it is unfortunate to note that we have cultivated a new value system for making fast money as well as generally living on the fast lane which diverts our youths from concentrating on what really matters. Innovations are not expected to be perfect at the first instance; they are, oftentimes, perfected along the way. But one sad fact about Nigerians is their penchant for a perfect innovation. A Nigerian would want a 2012 edition of a foreign product oblivious of the fact that the said product had passed through series of processes before becoming “perfect.” Almost all products, from cars, electronics to even toiletries, fall into this category. No society, I must emphasise, has become an industrialised nation without technological capabilities. An effective technological culture must take its roots from a functional vocational/technical curriculum which will

•Wunmi...few days before her death

lodge any complaint. Even if they come, we can not do much because this is a criminal case that should be handled by the police.” He said the suspected killers are not students of the university. A close friend of Wunmi, who also spoke to CAMPUSLIFE on the condition of anonymity, said: “Wunmi believed the guy was a Yahoo-yahoo guy, but he is actually an...If she’d known this, I am sure she would not have dated the guy.” Esther Ajayi, a fellow student, described the incident as unfortunate. She advised female students to be wary of boys, who spend money heavily. She said: “I will tell my fellow students not to be madly in love with money. We must all learn from this incident. It is better we wait for God’s time than to follow boys who spend...money about. May the soul of Wunmi rest in peace.” Olayemi Ayeni, another student, said: “All that glitters is not gold, after all. This is another lesson for Nigerian undergraduates.

RADUATES of Petroleum Marketing have complained about the discrimination they face in the labour market, what did you do to stop this? We have tabled the issue before the institute’s management and they promised to sensitise the managements of oil and gas and allied industries to see why they need to stop the discrimination and give equal employment opportunity to graduates of the department alongside others. They promised to achieve this by organising seminars and conferences for students and human resources managers of companies. Did you face any challenge during your tenure? The major challenge I had was changing the views of my members of the executive about leadership. We also had to deal with the overbearing attitude of our departmental heads who always influenced the association’s decisions. Though we did not allow that to deter us but it wasn’t that easy coping with such challenge. What were your achievements? We organised some professional short-

courses and excursions to relevant companies for members and non-members. We also launched the first APEMBUS website and reviewed the association’s constitution. All these were aimed at developing our members to meet the industry’s demand and to also stabilise the activities of the association. With your experience, what would you describe as function of campus leadership? To lead students on campus presents one with opportunity to create a positive change as well as developing one’s leadership ability in order to impact on the larger society. Our country needs many messiahs that will lead her out of wilderness. But first, one must think of what he has got to contribute to the improvement in the lives of followers before thinking about the benefits that may come afterwards. How do you think students can contribute to nation building? For this country to be transformed positively, students need to acquire entrepreneurial skills. For us to have a new Nigeria where everything works, the youth must understand and practise entrepreneurship. I think this would bring out the best in us to contribute to the nation’s development.

Fourth CAMPUS LIFE Annual Awards ENTRIES are now being received, from our correspondents, for the fourth Coca-Cola/ NBC CAMPUSLIFE Annual Awards. Award categories: There are eight prizes up for grabs. The first seven are: Culture Report prize, Investigative Report prize, Entertainment Report prize, Campus Politics prize, Campus Personality Profile prize, Opinion Writing prize and Campus Sport report prize. The last and overall CAMPUSLIFE reporters of the year will be awarded by the judges on the correspondent whose entries make the most impression on them. Eligibility: Entries must be sent in by the particular writer who authored the article. Articles must have been published between September 2011 and August 2012.

Deadline: Nominations will be received between September 6 and 30, 2012. Guidelines: For each category, only ONE entry will be allowed from each one. A nominee can apply for all categories. Two writers can nominate an article they coauthored. No nomination sent after September 30 will be accepted. Each entry, with title and date of publication as well as category on it, should be sent to ladycampus@yahoo.com. The email must have as titled: 4th CAMPUSLIFE Awards. A panel of judges, made up of senior Editors and journalism teachers, will decide the winners. The award ceremony will hold in November; the date will be announced. Good luck to all our correspondents.


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

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CAMPUS LIFE

•LAUTECH gate

•Asiwaju Tinubu

•Daniel

Students hail Tinubu’s appointment as Chancellor Students of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Oyo State, are happy with the appointment of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Leader and former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu as their Chancellor. MUSLIUDEEN ADEBAYO and OLADIPO TUNMISE write.

F

OR students of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Oyo State, the appointment of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Leader and former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as their Chancellor is well-deserved. They are full of expectations because, according to them, “something good will come out of the appointment”. Describing Tinubu’s appointment as historic,” they said it was one of the best things to have happened to the institution in its 25-year history. LAUTECH, which was founded in 1987 during the administration of then Colonel Adetunji Olurin, is owned by Oyo and Osun states. It has campuses in both states. In 2009, there was a row between the owner states. Then former Oyo State Governor Adebayo AlaoAkala claimed that the institution belonged to the state alone. Former Osun State Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola disagreed, insisting that it is jointly owned by both states. The disagreement affected the smooth running of academic

programmes and staffing. Workers took sides with their state of origin, resulting in bad blood and distrust. In April 2010, the Vice Chancellor, Prof Babatunde Adeleke, was sent on terminal leave by Oyo State government. He was replaced with Prof Olanrewaju Nassir, who was unilaterally appointed by Alao-Akala. Following Alao-Akala’s ouster in last year’s election, the crisis was resolved. Nassir was removed and replaced with Prof Adeniyi Gbadegesin in acting capacity. With Tinubu’s appointment, the students believe that the gains made by Governors Rauf Aregbesola and Abiola Ajimobi in repositioning the institution will be consolidated. They said they expected Tinubu to bring his experience to bear on the university’s administration. The Federation of Oyo State Students’ Union (FOSSU) described Tinubu’s appointment as timely and “putting a round peg in a round hole.” Its national Vice President, Abdullahi Adeyemi, said Tinubu would use his expe-

rience as a leader to stabilise academic programmes and restore lasting peace to the university. He said: “We cannot but thank Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and Senator Abiola Ajimobi for the wisdom in the choice of Tinubu as the Chancellor of our great university. Asiwaju’s disposition to development of education in Nigeria cannot be underrated as everybody can see his achievements in Lagos.” Ibrahim Oladele, LAUTECH chapter president of the union and 500-Level Computer Science and Engineering student, said there would now be unprecedented development in the institution. A students’ group, Asiwaju Leadership Forum, praised Oyo and Osun states’ governors for “taking the bold decision to rescue LAUTECH from going down.” The group’s national coordinator, Sikiru Akinola, 300Level Political Science, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), said: “We remember how Asiwaju Tinubu waded into the ownership tussle created as a result of disagreement between two former Peoples Democratic Party gover-

nors. The two Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governors, on assumption of office, amicably resolved the matter and the school began to retrace its steps.” He congratulated LAUTECH students on the appointment and enjoined them to support the Prof Gbadegesin administration. Tosin Aderonmu, 400-Level Mechanical Engineering, LAUTECH, said: “I pray and hope that Tinubu would help change some of the abnormalities in the school. If this is done, the university would be one of the best in the world. Also, he must look into the high school fees we pay here. I am sure my fellow students would be happy if he achieves this feat.” Daniel Edjeba, 300-Level Animal Nutrition and Biotechnology, said: “My expectations from Asiwaju Tinubu’s tenure as Chancellor are high. I hope he would use his experience to bring more equipment into the school to aid learning. We need good laboratories and more lecture halls.” To Elizabeth Edjeba, 400-Level Computer Engineering, if Tinubu could use his clout to reduce tuition fees, he would be her hero.

•Elizabeth

“I want the new Chancellor to use his influence to reduce tuition fees because many students struggle to pay the fees. In fact, some even missed exams because they could not raise the money.” Elizabeth said.

A nightmarish road The road that leads to the main campus of the Federal University of Oye (FUOYE) is bad, causing untold suffering for students living off-campus. OLATUNJI AWE (200Level Political Science, Ekiti State University) and FRANCIS OLOWOLAFE (100-Level Theatre Arts, FUOYE) write.

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HE university took off amid controversy last year. Two communities in Ekiti State Oye and Ikole - were locked in battle over where the Federal University of Oye (FUOYE) should be sited. The rift was settled with the establishment of campuses in both towns. A few weeks after the institution took off, there seems to be no hope of repairing the road leading to the Oye Campus, which has been bad for about 10 years. Students and staff go through pains everyday plying the road.When CAMPUSLIFE visited the school last week, our reporters experienced what students go through on the road. Many commercial cab and motorcycle operators have deserted the route, leaving students

living off-campus to trek to school. The few motorcyclists plying the road have doubled the fare from N60 to N120, which the students said the cannot afford. Some of them told our correspondents that they spend about N300 daily on transport from their hostels, which are not far from the campus. Students also complained that accidents are frequent because of the bad road. Two students were said to have been injured about three weeks ago on a motorcycle as they were passing the road to the campus. As they walk down the road to school, the male students discuss football and their female colleagues engage chatter. They im-

•Students walking on the patchy road to the campus last week

plored government to come to their aid, saying the situation has made them to attend lectures late. CAMPUSLIFE observed that the road is being rehabilitated. Though, the contractor has stopped work because of rain, the

road has been graded with gravel and clay sand. A senior official in the university management, who spoke to CAMPUSLIFE on the condition of anonymity, described the road as a nightmare for users. “The road has

been abandoned for about 10 years now. Successive administration in the state played politics with it. Before FUOYE was sited here, the road used to be bad compared to its present state. •Continued on page 36


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CAMPUS LIFE Varsity inducts doctors, dentists

T •Cross-section of corp members at the seminar

Corps member tackles unemployment through freelance writing

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CORPS member serving in Lagos State, Abiodun Awosusi, has held a a seminar for his colleagues on freelance writing to tackle unemployment. The training, which was tagged “Corpers Writing Opportunities”, was in line with the new policy of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to boost skill acquisition and entrepreneurship among the serving youths. Biodun, a graduate of Medicine and Surgery from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), is serving at Mother and Child Health Centre at Odi-Olowo/Ojuwoye Local Council Development Area. The workshop was organised in conjunction with Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneuship Development unit of NYSC, Jobberman, Ribena and Etisalat. Speaking, Biodun said unemployment remained a threat to the youth population in Nigeria. “President Goodluck Jonathan, during the presentation of 2012 budget, acknowledged that unemployment is a threat. National Bureau of Statistics says in 2011 that there were 16 million unemployed

From Faith Olaniran LAGOS

youths in Nigeria. This value is about 16 times the entire population of the Gambia. The current estimate is 23.9 per cent. This statistics is deeply disturbing. There should be concern from the policy maker that many unemployed young people walk on the streets when they can explore freelance writing opportunities to make money,” the Corps member said. He said he did not believe government could solve the problem of joblessness in the country. Biodun said: “I have read the plans of various ministries to create jobs particularly the ministries of Agriculture, Trade and Commerce, Youth Development and Finance. YOUWiN initiative said it will provide about 110,000 jobs in four years. Some forward-thinking governors are also recruiting massively and promoting entrepreneurship. Osun State recruited 10,000 young people. Can all these efforts effectively tackle the huge unemployment in Nigeria? I believe the answer is no. Private sec-

•Biodun

tor and individuals must step in before the unemployment rate exploded in proportion no one can control. That is why I created Penpreneurs to contribute my quota to tackle this challenge.” Participants were taught how to make money through writing, resume writing, and business plan and proposal designing. They would practise what they learn after the training in various online firms that specialise in blogging and writing services.

•Members of the group during the event

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GROUP of students in the Federal Polytechnic Offa (OFFA POLY) under the banner of Success Team marked their annual Success Day on campus. The programme featured a lecture on academic excellence, cultural display, music performance and quiz competition among others. The team is a social and academic group founded five years ago. According to a founding member, Ibrahim Sanni, who graced the occasion, “the group, with the motto ‘Nurtured by Perfection’ was formed with the aim of promoting

Group celebrates Success Day From Akinola Oluyi OFFA POLY

seriousness among the students. Since inception, we have been able to produce people who are now contributing to the governance of this nation.” The co-ordinator, Abayomi Ogunlowo, HND II Science and Laboratory Technology, described the event as gathering of intellectuals. He urged the students not to

relent in their quest to get knowledge. The General Secretary of the group, Amos Adeniyi, said: “Our motto focuses on youth as we believe we are the economic and social asset of this country. We are preparing ourselves to contribute meaningfully to the development of Nigeria.” The past and current president of the Students’ Union, Jasper Ogunkuade and Hammed Omuiyadun, graced the event.

HE vision of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) is to become a formidable professional body committed to fostering effective and efficient health care delivery with high ethical standards and protecting the interest of its members. This was a dream come true for the 201 newly inducted medical students at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. Despite the heavy downpour, Academicians, parents, wellwishers and students thronged the Amphi Theatre, venue of the induction. A release by the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the University, Abiodun Olarewaju, stated that the college, since inception, had graduated over 3400 doctors and dentists. This year’s ceremony which was the 31st professional induction, was not without the torturous and discouraging sides; one of the graduating students, Mr. Oyelami Ifedayo died three months ago while some of them repeated severally. One of the lecturers, Prof. Otas Ukponmwan also died three months ago. The provost, College of Health Sciences, Prof. Solomon Ogunniyi, while congratulating the new doctors and dentists who ‘are graduating at a time the university and the college are celebrating 50th and 40th anniversaries respectively, charged them to maintain links with their alma mater and strive to keep the flags of the college and the university flying wherever they are. He expressed gratitude to the new doctors and dentists for the ongoing construction work on the 500 seater lecture theatre and four seminar rooms within the teaching hospital premises.

From Sikiru Akinola OAU

He did not fail to acknowledge the 40 microscopes which the university supplied to the college while praising the teaching hospital management for providing the building which is being used as a medical library. ‘’Lastly, to my young colleagues, you should be aware that you have responsibility to our country; to use the knowledge and skills that you have acquired for the advancement of our country and to set good examples of moral behaviour’’, said the provost. Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Bamitale Omole in his address advised the inductees to use their acquired skills for the advancement of the country’s health system. He said their patients, relations and loved ones must be treated with consideration and in humane way. He added that appropriate explanation and kind words of encouragement can make a big difference. In his submission, the Chairman of the state NMA, Dr. Onipede, said he was delighted with them as they have passed through the ‘crucible of fire’ which the medical programme epitomizes with the many challenges, obstacles, hills and valleys that you had to contend with right from the time the dream of becoming a physician awoke in you to the point of your University Matriculation Examination (UME), screening, multiple examinations as an undergraduate and to this very moment of your induction (UME). “In striving to become the best physician you can be protect and promote the good name of your parents. In return, your parents and families can take great delight in your accomplishments and progress which will bring them joy, happiness and pride. You also will benefit when you exert yourself to be the best physician you can in that you envelope yourself with the prayers, gratitude and love for those human beings who are permitted to cross your path in this earth as your patients’’, he charged.

Fellowship sends forth final year students From Victor Nwokedi FUTO

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HE Scripture Union Campus Fellowship (SUCF), Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) sent forth its final year students last Sunday. The programme, which kicked off by 1pm at the FUTO Hall of Mercy was attended by many students. Seventeen final year students, known as the ‘Triumphant Generation’ were sent-forth. The finalists were so full of joy. In his welcome address, the coordinator of the Triumphant Generation, Chigozie Ndukwe, a final year student of the Department of Project Management, thanked God for His mercies and grace upon their lives from their first year till now. He stressed that life in FUTO was not a bed of roses that they faced challenges, but God saw them through. He said: ‘There were storms of various magnitudes but we are grateful to God for keeping us and helping us to triumph after five years in this citadel of learning.” Highlights of the send forth programme included a message entitled ‘Grace and Unity’ which

was presented by Elder (Dr) Emma Ndukwe, the National Council Secretary of the Scripture Union Nigeria. Others were a choral presentation by the fellowship choir, thanksgiving and special performance by the final years, presentation of gifts and awards and refreshments. A final year student Ogochukwu Ofoma, of the Department of Biotechnology, expressed gratitude to God. She said:”It had not been easy, there have been many stumbling blocks, but we thank God for His mercies.’ Another final year student, Kelechukwu Chioke, of the department of Civil Engineering said, ‘My heart is full of mixed feelings now. I’m a little bit sad that I will be missing some persons very close to me after now, but I thank God for everything.” Also during the programme, the newly elected executives were inducted. The induction was conducted by Elder Solomon Esukpa, the SUCF National Director. They were prayed for and inaugurated.


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

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CAMPUS LIFE

•Prof Omole with students after delivery of the buses

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AST Thursday, students of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) welcomed their Vice-Chancellor, Prof Bamitale Omole, amidst applause to the Sport Complex of the university, the venue of the official commissioning of six blue Renault Logan MCV shuttle buses. The vehicles were donated by the management to ease the transportation problem of the students. About 500 students attended the event which was also graced by the Dean of Students’ Affairs, Dr Lateefat Durosinmi, Registrar, Mr Ayodele Ogunruku and the Public

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HE Senator Andy Uba Fans Club (SANUFC) was, last week, inaugurated at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka. Students across the tertiary institutions in Anambra State converged in Awka for the inauguration. The Deputy Senate President, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Nwachukwu Okpalaoka, who convened the students urged them to emulate only the good parts of leaders in the

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HE National Association of Mass Communication Students (NAMACOS), Osun State Polytechnic (OSPOLY), Iree chapter, has elected leaders that will oversee the affairs of the association in 2012/2013 session. The exercise took place last week at the New Lecture Hall (NLH) 5 of the institution. The voting started at 2:45pm immediately after the manifesto held for the contestants. The post of the president was keenly contested between Ibraheem Alli and Babafemi Areo, both in HND 1. Ibraheem, during the manifesto, promised to bring back the lost glo-

•The fleet of buses donated by the management

VC donates buses to students From Wilberforce Arevore and Oluwafemi Ogunjobi OAU

Relations Officer (PRO), Mr Abiodun Olanrewaju. Speaking, Prof Omole stressed that the donation of the shuttle buses was part of his programmes to relieve students from stress. He said it saddened his heart to see students, especially from the faculties of Health Sciences and Agriculture flagging down vehicles when go-

ing to the teaching hospital complex and farm settlements. “Back in my days, there was no provision of shuttle buses such as these let alone air-conditioned mini buses. I could remember we would trek miles just because we needed to be in the system. The provision of these buses is solely to make the system easier and more convenient for you such that we want you all to shuttle in luxury,” the VC said. He, however, urged the stu-

Students for Andy Uba From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu NNEWI

state and drop their wrong sides. Nwachukwu said hard work, resilience and living exemplary life should be the watchword of students, who belonged to the senator’s fan club. He added that the aim of the club was to establish a close relationship between the

senator and students of the state. He said: “The fan club is aimed at promoting the able leadership of Senator Uba to help sensitise and mobilise Anambra students all over the country to educate the students on the need to support Sen. Uba’s gubernatorial ambition.” He said the activities of the club would include quiz competitions, carnivals, cultural exhibition and arts.

Dept elects leaders From Olumuyiwa Ogunleye OSPOLY

ries of the department. He promised to organise tutorial classes for all students and provide public address systems to enhance effective learning. At the end of the voting exercise, the Electoral Committee led by Stephen Ojo, a HND II student, declared Ibraheem as winner having polled 79 of 98 valid votes. His opponent, Babafemi, had five votes. Other officials elected included Emmanuel Olaoye, Vice President, Abiodun Adesina, General Secre-

tary, Ayomikun Adesogbon, Financial Secretary, Christiana Alonge, Public Relations Officer (PRO), Azeez Taiwo, Auditor General, Ayojide Olajide, Social Director. Others are Ayodele Agboola, Sport Director, Oluwadamilare Olabiyi, Welfare Director, Adewumi Akinsowon, Treasurer and Elizabeth Obisesan, Assistant General Secretary. Speaking after he was declared winner, Ibraheem promised to deliver all his promises to the students.

•Chief Executive Officer, Bible Society of Nigeria (BSN), Reverend Fred Odutola (middle) and the finalists of BSN essay competion at the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos.

dents to manage the mini buses as their own, adding that measures had been taken to curb the excesses that might arise the use of the buses. He promised to provide more vehicles if students maintain the ones they were given. Thanking the VC on behalf of the students, the president of the Association of Campus Journalists, Samuel Adegbola, praised the management for donating “air-conditioned mini buses for

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HERE was mounting tension at the Ambrose Alli University (AAU) Ekpoma over the suspension of Students’ Union Government (SUG) election by the management. The election, which was initially scheduled to hold today 13, has been postponed indefinitely. The decision of the management was contained in a bulletin issued last week and signed by the institution’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr Chris Adamaigbo. The statement said the earlier timetable had been withdrawn to allow for more consultations with the relevant stakeholders of the university. It reads: “The election will still hold on a date to be communicated later and all inconveniences are regretted.” But the decision of the authorities did not go down well with students, who alleged that the management was out to disqualify aspirants that were not ready to do its biddings. However, the Secretary General of the National Association of Nigerian

our use.” He said: “Students of OAU wish to make our gratitude known to the management for the provision of these buses. They are like a dream come true because we have been expecting the gesture and we are promising the management that we will protect these buses and guard them jealously. They are additions to our collection and we will definitely protect them at all cost.” After the commissioning, the VC drove one of the vehicles amidst applause from students.

Tension in AAU over suspension of union poll From Nosakhare Uwadiae AAU

Students (NANS), Zone B, Richard Ekutu, last Monday called on the management to organise free, fair and credible election. Before the suspension five students had picked the nomination forms to contest for president. They included Famous Osawaru, 400-Level Law, Alexander Oleije, 400-Level Law, Joel Asuenimeb, 200-Level Accounting Education, Andrew Okosun, 300Level Engineering, Isaac Ariajegbe, 400-Level Engineering and Chucks Ojie, Computer Science.

Varsity begins new session

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HE University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) has commenced the 2012/2013 academic session after a long break. The newly-admitted students have commenced registration. Despite the security challenges in the state, CAMPUSLIFE observed that students trooped into the school during the first week of resumption. The new students were seen moving from one office to the other to receive and process documents. James Agwu, a fresher in Biochemistry department, said he was happy that the school finally

From Taiwo Isola UNIMAID

resumed after months of waiting. “I have been at home waiting for the day I would resume as an undergraduate of this institution. I am happy that the period of boredom is over and I can now engage my life productively,” he said. When asked if he was disturbed by the insecurity in Maiduguri, he simply replied: “I have absolute faith in God to keep and protect me from evil. I am looking forward to a hitch-free stay on campus.”


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

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CAMPUS LIFE The National Universities Commission (NUC) has launched its online accreditation portal at the University of Calabar (UNICAL). ISAAC MENSAH (500-Level Medical Laboratory Science) and EMMANUEL AHANONU (400-Level Political Science) were there. the university system that all Nige-

For ease of accreditation

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HE Conference Centre of the University of Calabar (UNICAL), was filled to the brim. Guests took their seats quietly as they came in. The programme toook off immediately the Minister of Education, Prof Ruqayyatu Rufa’i, and her entourage arrived. It was the launch of the online accreditation portal of the National Universities Commission (NUC) penultimate Friday at UNICAL. With this, the era of manual accreditation of universities’ programmes is gone. Among dignitaries at the event were Executive Secretary, Prof Julius Okojie; UNICAL Pro Chancellor, Dr Roland Ehigeamosoe; Vice Chancellor Prof James Epoke; vice chancellors from some other universities; directors of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Librarians from some tertiary NUC’s institutions. In his address, Epoke thanked the minister and NUC team for considering the university worthy to launch the portal. He said his administration would continue to support initiatives that would enhance academic process. Okojie lamented the low positions of Nigerian universities in world

•Okojie (third left); Rufa’i; Prof Epoke and other NUC officials after the event

ranking. He blamed the Development on corruption and decay in the system, adding that poor documentation of data for reference was the bane of universities. The online portal, he said would make information about Nigerian universities accessible and also aid the commission in carrying out its oversight functions of setting the Minimum Academic Standards (MAS) for programmes and accreditation of the courses. Inaugurating the NUC Database (NUCDB) Wifi Hub at the UNICAL

main library, Prof Rufa’i the project was in line with President Goodluck Jonathan administration’s Transformation Agenda. The minister said the online portal kick-started an ICT-driven revolution in the administration of universities, saying the portal was a step towards making world-class universities in Nigeria. She said: “Nigerian universities are poorly rated in the world not due to lack of the required intellectual capacity but due to poor management of resources in our institu-

tions and our inability to use the internet. This has resulted in the low visibility of our institutions. Hence, the online portal is a bold step towards building world- class universities in Nigeria.” She charged universities managements to embrace the new initiative, which she said, had opened new frontiers of engagement for the benefit of all stakeholders in the university education subsector and the general public. She commended the Executive Secretary of the NUC for his “tireless effort towards building

rians will be proud of.” The inauguration of the online portal was followed by a workshop on the usage – the login procedures and features of the domain. Paul Adingwupu, the Chief Executive Officer of Gucci Chis Nigeria Ltd, NUC technical partner, noted that the portal boasted of well secured features intended to modernise and improve the inspection and accreditation process. Dr Noel Saliyu, the NUC Deputy Director on Quality Assurance, in a lecture entitled Impact of accreditation on NUC, universities performance and the public noted that 67 out of 123 universities had been given password to register their institution. He, however, noted that 38 universities had begun the documentation process. Participants at the event were lectured on the processes involved in accessing files, forms, sending and having it documented on the online portal. A compact disc that explained the procedure of registration was shared to the participant at the end of the programme. The event came to an end after closing remarks by Prof Austin Obiekezie, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of (Academic) of the UNICAL. A participant, Prof Leonard Agwunobi, of the department of Animal Science, UNICAL, praised the organisers of the event. Henry Eka, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Zone B Director of Sports, told CAMPUSLIFE the initiative was a step in the right direction.

A Corps member’s initiative A Corps member in Awka South of Anambra State has trained unemployed youths in the community. AYODEJI ADESINA (a colleague) reports.

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HEN Gibson Osemeke was posted to Umunya Orientation Camp in Anambra State last November for the mandatory one-year National Youth Service, he was only armed with a Bachelor of Science certificate. However, during orientation, the University of Benin (UNIBEN) graduate of Mass Communication paid attention to the entrepreneurial lectures that could earn him additional income aside his certificate. Within three months of service, Gibson, from Edo State, had acquired vocational skills. With the acquisition, he found a new pastime -equipping rural unemployed youths with various skills that will make them productive. The urge spurred him to organise a threeday vocational training workshop tagged “The Masters’ Skill” for the youth in his host community. The programme was held at the Sport Centre, Nkwoji, Awka South Local Government. He trained some unemployed youths from Abatete, Nnewi, Umumya, Amarbia, Ameyi in soap making, hair treatment, designing and production of hand band, sewing and making of disinfectants, among others. Gibson said the training was key if people wished to be productive, despite the challenges facing them. According to him, “people must have entrepreneurial spirit in addition to academic certificates to be selfdependent.” The programme attracted many people. Top officials of the NYSC and Ministry of Youth and Sports joined the relatives of the trainees to witness the first graduation of the scheme. About 40 unemployed youth were trained. Gibson thanked officials of the Ministry Youth and Sports that gave him the opportunity to carry out the initiative through partnership with the ministry. “I commend the support of the ex-Anambra State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mrs Chinwe Anowai, who helped me in great proportions in this project as it has always

being my desire to affect the lives of youths and women,” Gibson said in his address at the graduation. He added: “I organised this programme because of the alarming rate of unemployment in the country. I want to ensure that I help a few youths out of the army of unemployed out of the shackles of unemployment. I believe the trend can change if we all start empowering people within our sphere of influence.” Gibson, however, advised the trainees to deploy the acquired skills to improve their standard of living. The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr Cyprian Amuize, commended the Corps member for resourcefulness in acquiring the skills, describing Gibson as a motivator per excellence. He urged the beneficiaries to regard themselves as “trainers of trainees” and advised them to also impact the knowledge on other members of the community. The Director of Youth Development in the ministry, Mr Greg Onugbolu, also praised Gibson for “impacting skills on his peer in the community”. He added that the programme was in line with the economic policy of the state government to reduce unemployment. The NYSC Zonal Inspector in the local government, represented by Mr Emmanuel Alayo and Barr. Anetekhai Omobingbe, lauded the initiative and charged the trainees to convert the skills to prosperity. A trainee, Ekene Nwaja, said the Corps member had empowered him to be relevant in life. Ebele Okeke and Kanne Izu, who were trained in production of soap and hand band, described the programme as interventionist. “The training is worth the time and materials invested. With the four skills I learned in the course of the programme, I cannot classify myself as jobless anymore,” Kanne said. Antonia Okafor and Maureen Odigbo, who were trained in hair treatment, also appreciated the efforts of the Corps member, who trained them free of charge.

•Gibson pointing out a material to the trainees

•Gibson (in NYSC uniform)with members of the host community at the function


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

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CAMPUS LIFE

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HIS writer walked into a supermarket on NTA TV College campus to get biscuits one afternoon. Hunger came calling, so I moved into the store hurriedly without noticing other customers inside. As I went to pick the biscuits, something else attracted my attention. In fact, it stole the hunger away. It was a statement from a beautiful girl in the supermarket. In a sharp but lovely voice, she quipped: “Nigerian men are so wicked.” I wanted to ignore the statement. But I changed my mind. “Why did you say so?” I asked with smile on my face. As she was looking at me whether to answer the stranger standing before her or not, a friend of hers was faster: “Nigerian men are unfaithful,” she said, continued: “They do everything possible to win your heart; they will promise you heaven and earth but after messing up with you, they dump you for another lady.” She explained the “cruel manner boys treat girls in Nigeria”. Any one in my shoe will feel for her. I could not give her a coherent judgment, considering the testimonies of some boys who also have the notion that a typical Nigerian girl would not date a guy with no wherewithal to maintain her. This, they claim, is the reason why guys tell lies to girls just to have their way. Thus, in curiosity, I wanted to know the motivation behind these attitudes

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HE importance of natural resources to the growth of a country’s economy cannot be underestimated. A country endowed with natural resources can be considered to be blessed. When these resources are effectively utilised, they can uplift the quality of life of the people of that nation. Over the years, crude oil exploration in Nigeria has caused many problems for the people with many saying oil is becoming a curse to Nigeria people. Since 1958 when the nation discovered the black gold in Oloibiri in Bayelsa State, it would be incorrect for anyone to deny its adverse impact on environment, politics and security in Nigeria. The revenue we garner from oil approximately accounts for 92 per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). But 70 per cent of Nigerians still live below the poverty line despite the nearly $1 trillion the nation has made from oil exports alone since 1970s. Nigeria’s crude oil has divided opinion leaders, who expressed that the black gold is blessing and curse, depending on which side of the divide one belongs. The people who believed oil is a blessing to the country are obviously the people benefiting

A generation in disguise

as the case may be. I found out that faithfulness and trust are virtues that are lacking in the society. Unfaithfulness is fast becoming a virtue among Nigerian youths who are presumed to be the leaders of tomorrow. Of course, this also exists among our leaders. Chinua Achebe in his seminal work, The Trouble with Nigeria, noted that “the trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a problem of leadership” and the failure or reluctance of leaders to take up “the challenge of personal example.” Furthermore, the Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, described his generation as wasted to expose the level of rot in the society. It is painful that our generation, in dire need of positive change, has a high record of youth engaging in vices such as cultism, drug peddling, armed robbery, prostitution and a host of other vices that have turned our country to a jungle . Unfortunately, this ill is approaching a worse dimension. These vices are predominant in our universities, which should have been citadels of excellence but are now being seen “amusement parks” as CAMPUSLIFE’s Gilbert Alasa noted. This way, I find it hard what to re-

spect our traditional and religious institutions in the face of immorality they have sunk. Obviously, African values have been neglected. Our generation worships wealth. A man of virtue has become a laughing stock. Didn’t a writer once say that people do not admire a virtue they do not possess? This is the true state of our society, which contradicts description of it as one with morality. Sycophancy, today, exits in its highest order. Most youth are involved in the act and the sad story is that they get peanuts from the elite they flatter. They use the little money they get from sycophancy to oppress their peers. It is seen as a lucrative venture since most vibrant and intelligent school leavers admire useless portfolio such Personal Assistants to to politicians. There could be an arguments that such move is not driven by greed, but it is surely informed by poverty. But how depressed are we to forget that he who pays the piper dictates the tune. The character of Nigerians abusing freedom is confirmed following the bad light in which most youth represent themselves on social networks. The fact that the changing trends in technology permits one to be profi-

cient in the new media does not expunge the assertions that an average Nigerian youth is a slave to Twitter, Facebook or Blackberry. A report by Chisom Ojukwu on CAMPSLIFE pages few months ago shows that “cell phones prove to be major distractions for students and teachers alike in the classrooms.” According to the report, many students are addicted to their phones that they have become the “used” rather than the users.” Instead of channeling their energy towards positive avenues, our youth will not have second thought to be enlisted in the company of election riggers. The voilent gangs of robbers and cultists are made up of young people. The people that carry out suicide bombings are no doubt young persons. Girls between the ages of 15 to 35 engage in prostitution. For them, cheap solution lies in abortion if they are impreganted in the process. Does this not suggest a generation killing itself by itself? I wonder how could we have met a sane society if generations before us had had young people with low virtue, wanting to cut corners, lost dignity in labour, irresponsible in the name of freedom or people who lacked value for human life?

By Johnpaul Nnamdi Corrupt and ineffective political leadership led to the fall of the Roman and Byzantine empires. In the same way, none of these ‘might’ be able to sink the hope of a better Nigeria. But the readiness of this generation to continue sailing in the ship of ignorance, immorality, illiteracy, corruption, dissolution, and seek for shortcuts, even when it knows what is just and right is the greatest disaster. Johnpaul, 400-Level TV Journalism, NTA TV College, Jos

Crude oil and progress of Nigeria By Akindotun Akintomide

from its exploration. They cart away the proceeds from oil to acquire material assets for themselves at the expense of our collective development. This is a pain inflicted by the minority group of people referred to as “political class” on the masses. The second category of people who believed oil revenue only enriches the elite and not the crumb of it goes to ordinary people. Perhaps, this was the reason why the people trooped to the streets in their thousands to protest the government decision to remove oil subsidy last January. It was trailed by several activities that made Nigerians to become wild and resentful against the government they believed has not done enough to better their lots. Nigeria may not recover from various environmental problems that have been caused by oil production. About 1.5 million metric tonnes of oil have been spilled for over 50 years of exploration, making the Niger Delta to be one of the most polluted places on earth. Though land degradation, pol-

lution and gas flaring is usually a major phenomenon in many oil producing areas around the world, but the one experienced in the Niger Delta region is pathetic because government has not been forthcoming on when the factors that contributed to environmental calamities will stop. Many people have lost their lives in agitation to librate the region from environmental problems. Instead of the multinational companies to parley the communities where they get the oil, they are always at loggerhead with them. Many Nigerians will still remeber the circumstances that led to the execution of Ken SaroWiwa with eight other Ogoni activists by the government of General Sanni Abacha. More so, oil exploration in Nigeria has largely contributed to civil conflicts, crime and political instability. This can be traced to misappropriation of the proceeds from oil sale. If there is a sole reason for calling for a Sovereign National Conference (SNC), resource control would be it. It is posing a serious threat to the nation’s unity and if not properly managed, it might open another

Pandora’s Box for the nation that is still struggling to fight Boko Haram insurgency. It is a paradox that oil wealth that should have been a blessing to us is the source of disunity in the country. Economy wise, it is saddening that the overbearing nature of the oil and gas sector has brought redundancy to other sectors of the economy where we used to earn our revenue during the colonial era. Agricultural sector which gave the country fortunes in colonial Nigeria is presently at it lowest ebb. A country that was once a large exporter of food crops and various agricultural produces now imports a large quantity of foods. I still remembered how I read it in books and what my father told me about the pyramids of groundnut in the North, cocoa in the West, palm oil in the East and timber and other resources in Sapele. All of these have disappeared in post-colonial Nigeria in the wake of oil exploration. Also, mineral resource like tin, columbite and coal among others that used to generate income for the nation have been forgotten because of the oil boom.

The future looks dicey for Nigeria, especially for the youth if our leaders fail to positively utilise the proceeds from oil sale. Perhaps, two foremost Nigerian literary icons could have foreseen a strife coming when Prof Chinua Achebe in Things fall apart, foretold Nigeria’s post-independence problems. Similarly, Prof Wole Soyinka authored Climate of fear in 2004, a book that chronicled sundry circumstances that resulted into a quest for dignity in a dehumanised world. It is evident that a climate of fear has enveloped Nigeria as earlier foretold by Soyinka. Hopefully, the development of a new generation of leaders will proffer solutions to our problems and change the future of Nigeria. This will happen only if the present generation of youths can uproot the seeds of greed, corruption, tribalism and religious fanatism that are being instilled in them by the actions and inactions of certain leaders in the present. Akindotun, HND II Welding and Fabrication Engineering Technology, PTI Effurun

Who is the next victim of social media?

By Olatunji Awe

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OMETIME in July, I received a broadcast message on my Blackberry Messenger (BBM) from a friend that reads: “The lady I use as my display picture is Cynthia. She left her home for Lagos to get market for her business but at the mo-

ment, nobody knows her whereabouts. Anybody with useful information about Cynthia should contact the police. Please rebroadcast and use her picture as your display picture for five minutes.” I did use Cynthia’s picture but for less than five minutes and hoped she would be found alive. However, when the news of her death was broken, tears dropped down my cheeks. When I read her profile, I had no doubt in my mind that she was such a promising young lady who, at 24, could control a business of her own without depending on his well-to-do family. The gruesome murder or accidental murder (as the perpetrators put it) of Miss Cynthia was unearthed by the Nigerian Police that, for the first time, got my respect for the feat. This is not time to tackle our government that has made the security system ineffective.

The deceased, Miss Cynthia Osokogu, met Okwoma Nwabufor, 33, last November on a Blackberry group chat. For close to six months, she must have been in touch constantly with her killers on the messenger. They must have exchanged pictures and calls to their satisfaction and Cynthia would have thought Okwoma is an innocent young man who would not hurt an insect. She visited Lagos to get market for her boutique and decided to see her “friend” with whom she had been exchanging conversation in the last six months of her life but that decision took her life. Two of the culprits Okwoma Nwabufor and Odera Ezekiel looked too innocent to hurt a fly when I saw their pictures. Cynthia’s case in one in many of the sad events that have been perpetrated through social networks such as Facebook, Blackberry Messenger, Mocospace, Eskimi and so on. There have been series of

sex videos being spread through these media. These videos always show how young ladies engage guys in sex. There are videos that show how a group of youths gang rape girls in their rooms. There was one I saw and it appeared the crime was perpetrated in the eastern part of the country because of the accent of the characters involved the tragic video. It was a sad game of four hefty guys between the age of 26 to 32 having their turn on a young lady who could not be more than 23. In the video, the girl continued to plead with this guys who found delight in their act and took turns without being disturbed by their conscience. The title of the video was “2go package”. The second video I saw had three guys taking turn on young lady who was calling the rapists names: “ Brother Seun”. This act was perhaps committed in the Southwest. The victim could not

be more than 20 years. Cynthia’s case have only gone public because of the personality of her father. Many of such cases have gone without being reported. Most of these social media were created with good intention but they are fast becoming slaughter slab for youth in Nigeria. We saw the good side of social media during the subsidy protest last January. It is also being used to conduct lawful business by numerous online firms. Bloggers like Ayodele Obajeun, Dayo Ibitoye are dishing out good stuffs with through their blogs. It is high time to put inplace measures to checkmate this menace. Youth and those who use the social networks should be extra careful because nobody can tell who is the next victim in the online slaughterhouse. Olatunji, 200-Level Political Science, EKSU


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

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CAMPUS LIFE The ongoing Maltina Dance All is not just a contest among families, but the family reality show has equally ‘pitted’ some Nigerian universities against one another. WALE AJETUNMOBI writes

Students fight for Maltina’s star prize

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HE Maltina Dance All (MDA), organised by Nigerian Breweries, has been on for sometimes but the grand finale comes up on Saturday. Two of the five Nigerian universities which started the show will be slugging it out for the star prize of N6 million and a brand new car. The institutions are University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), University of Benin (UNIBEN), Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, Ebonyi State University (EBSU) and Niger Delta University (NDU), Wilberforce. There is no doubt that students are playing a key role in the excitement brought by the ongoing family reality television show. Five undergraduates are among the finalists who will showcase their talent at the grand finale. After five failed attempts to make it to the MDA academy, Jacob Zibe, a Fine Arts student of Niger Delta University finally qualified from the Port-Harcourt region of the auditions. Jacob, whose area of dance is Hiphop and was quoted to have said “Hip-Hop is my comfort zone”, was initially put up for eviction with his family after they could not perform wonder to convince the judges with their hip-hop dance. Zibe family, however, won the judges confidence after a spectacular performance that saw them being readmitted into the academy. Jacob said he would focus on art and craft in the nearest future even if he didn’t

•Ofiokwu family performing a dance

take to dance in future. Ifeoma Efiokwu, a final year student of Political Science at UNIBEN qualified from Benin region after three failed attempts to make it to the academy. After her qualification, she has not failed to impress the judges and the audience with her excellent dance steps. On her secret, Ifeoma said: “I will survive because I will always watch and learn fast.” She described the academy as a school. “In here, you are cut off from the outside world to concentrate on key family values that matter. We are taught the importance of co-operation and solving problems within the family unit. Apart from dancing, what we have learnt will take us far as we face the challenges of life beyond the academy,” she told our correspondent. Matilda Ozurumba, also a final year Management student of UNN, qualified for the academy from the Enugu region. Matilda, whose area of strength is contemporary dance style, said: “I thought dancing is just what you do when you shake your body or make certain wriggle, but I have come to understand that it is deeper than that. Here at the MDA, we are taught the art of choreography, pantomime and other complex types of body movement. This has taught me the intellectual side of dancing.” Unfortunately, Ozurumba family was evicted from the

show. Another undergraduate who is giving his all to make a good presence at the academy is Braine Nwogwugwu, 400-Level Law, UNIZIK. He qualified from Benin region too. Brainie, who said his expectations in the academy was to win with his family, added that the entire exercise had given him the opportunity to learn new dance styles. But they could not make it pass the Wazobia and Salsa dance style stages as his family was evicted from the academy for not giving an impressive performance. Michael Amilo, 400-Level Medical Laboratory Science, EBSU, qualified for the academy from Enugu region. A passionate dancer, he came into the academy with his family. Though, he fought hard to keep his family’s slot in the academy but all his efforts were fruitless. While leaving the academy he thanked Maltina for the wonderful opportunity the firm gave his family to learn the intellectual side of dancing and the opportunity of making new friends. The students that participated in the family show described Maltina Academy as a school that taught intelligence and good values. The show was identified as a training ground for undergraduates, who want to have a successful career in dancing. In 2008, Ukalina Opuwari won the contest

•Ifeoma perfoming Salsa with her brother

with her family and with the support of Maltina, she was enlisted into the Society for the Performing Arts in Nigeria (SPAN) and became the first female Nigerian to be certified in Latin Ballroom by the a Lebanese body in Beirut. Mrs. Ngozi Nkwoji, Senior Brand Manager, Maltina said her company undertook the project because “we are very passionate about the family institution and we will do the little we can as a responsible corporate entity to ensure that the institution continue to remain relevant.” “Our motive is to equip them effectively to confront and proffer solutions to some of the everyday challenges we are facing in life and for them to use what they learn at the academy to help other families in the society,” she added. As the grand finale approaches, many have been waiting with interest to see the family that will cart away the star prizes of N6 million and a brand new car.

Muslim students celebrate week

On and Off Campus By Solomon Izekor 08061522600

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HE Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, Yaba College of Technology branch expressed concern over what it calls rising immoralities among youth. At the celebration of the Maiden Edition of the Annual Islamic Propagation Week (IPW) branch’s the Amir (president), Abdul Azeez Arisekola said: “The society today is filled of atrocities, immoralities, enmitys; illegalities have become the order of the day. We live in a world where in the name of liberty, nudity is put above dignity. Every attempt to correct these abnormalities is in a shambles. Whosoever tries to convince others is being regarded as a nonentity, but we say these things be put to an end.” Ali also condemned the injustice perpetrated by leaders, saying:“Our world leaders today have failed; they have perpetrated the highest level of injustice considering the issue of the Palestinians. The Israelites have been made to occupy a land that does not belong to them and as well have occupy the space of the Palestinians on the world map and the whole world kept quiet! Our silence is Haram,”. Ali deplored the tagging of Muslims in the South West by some people as Boko Haram. “Once you are dressed like a Muslim, you are an automatic Boko Haram. People today cannot differentiate between Islam which means peace and Boko Haram which is the name of a

From Abike Adegbulehin YABATECH

small group of people who are antagonistic to Western and Islam does not preach violence; it is not against Western education,” he said. He said the theme of the week The Empyreal Crescent (A Refreshing Renaissance) was chosen in order to address the current happenings in the country and the world over. He said Islam preaches love and unity. “The theme of the week is centred on the pure teachings of Al-Islam that has come to stay in this campus of ours. The teachings that is, established on truth and entrusted with peace; the religion of Islam preaches love and unity. Enough is enough; this ideology is against terrorism and vandalism,” he said. “In addition, my sincere advice also goes to my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters to hold on to the rope of Allah and not to go in division. We must have trust and sincerity in our leaders in as much as they govern us with the Quran and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W). It is only with this that we can achieve success in totality. We must hold firm to the bond of brotherhood and shun any form of differences among us as Allah has said that the most honourable servant in His sight is the most pious,” he urged.

A nightmarish road •Continued on page 36

It was when Governor Kayode Fayemi came that he started the construction of the road. Work has stopped because of the rain but the state government has assured us that the work would begin immediately the rainy season is ended,” the official said. A student, who did not want his name in print, said: “Can you imagine what we go through on this road every day? I was dressed neatly as I left my hostel last Monday only to be splashed with mud by a reck-

less truck driver. It is annoying.” A student, who had accident on motorcycle, Majeed Edward, of Demography and Social Statistics Department, told CAMPUSLIFE: “I was coming back from school on the fateful day and I rode on Okada. Suddenly, it began to rain and before we reached half way, the road became slippery and the Okada, while trying to avoid a ditch, stumbled. I was bruised all over my body.” Other respondents, appealed to the management, the federal and state governments to fix the road.


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

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EDUCATION

'Education sector cannot support development'

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DUCATION in Nigeria is so poor that it cannot inspire development, says Dr Wale Babalakin (SAN), Chairman, Committee of Pro-Chancellors of Federal Universities. Babalakin made this known during a briefing at the Bicourtney head office in Victoria Island. He said only an ingenuous education system can lift the country. He also said the autonomy of Nigerian universities is the only way ivory towers can recapture their lost glory. He said: "I believe the university system is at the crossroad. I believe very strongly that the education system is incapable of supporting Nigeria's development generally. I believe there is a direct correlation between the quality of education in the system and the welfare of its people; and that today, Nigeria's welfare is very poor because the quality of education is also poor. "Nigeria is a country in need of

FUTA FILE ICT committee inaugurated

By Adegunle Olugbamila

ingenuity; original thinkers, and those who can say: 'I will do it even though it has not been done before; and the educational system that will support this sort of nation must be very rigorous intellectually, skewed towards original thinking, and must be merit-driven. Today, we have fallen short in every area." Babalakin, who is the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council of the University of Maiduguri (Unimaid), said Nigeria failed to consolidate on the high standard of education it attained at independence in 1960, producing many intellectuals that made it the envy of many countries,. He said the decline also affected the psyche of budding scholars who prior to the mid-70s, were enthusiastic to be university teachers. Attributing the stagnation in university education to autonomy issues, Babalakin argued that quality education will only be realised if governments at all levels with-

•Dr Babalakin

draw its hold on the universities. "Ideal education system Nigerians want will only be in place when the university becomes autonomous. As the Pro-Chancellor of UNIMAID, I know I must find money to run the university, pay salari`1es, encourage research, ensure scholars are productive to realise a good image for the university which in the long run transform into good returns. But here, university education system is such that we are all waiting for subvention from government and TetFUND (Tertiary Education Fund formerly ETF) to spend without any dues or responsibility.

THE Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) has inaugurated a five-man committee to boost the university's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) facilities. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Adebiyi Daramola explained that the committee would serve as the Institution's eyes on changes in the rapidly expanding ICT world. He tasked the committee to deliver its best in order to achieve its terms of reference and urged members to employ team work to ensure the total computerization of the University. The committee's terms of reference include assessing the status of the university's ICT facilities with respect to internet access and internetbased documentation, undertake an appraisal of the intranet connectivity in the university, study and make appropriate recommendations on the management of the computer resource centre with a view to making it up-to-date in terms of facilities, staffing, effectiveness and efficiency with regards to e-learning and e-registration, and to enhance the University's ICT status and Institutional ranking. The Chairman of the committee and Director, Computer Centre, University of Lagos, Prof. Charles Uwadia, appealed to Management to make available materials for the success of the committee's assignment. Other members of the committee are Prof. G. A. Aderounmu, Director, Computer Centre, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; Prof. A. E. Oluleye, Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Ibadan; Mr. Ademola Idowu, Head, First Bank ICT team and Mr. T. N. Dahunsi of the Vice-Chancellor's office, FUTA to serve as Secretary.

Students get scholarship TWO FUTA students have been awarded scholarship by the Cameroon-American Company (CAMAC). While presenting the cheques to the beneficiaries, the representative of CAMAC, Mr Laide Olufemi said that the scholarship was instituted by Dr Kase Lawal, CAMAC's Chairman, to encourage outstanding students across Nigerian tertiary Institutions of learning as well promote Research Development. Olufemi lauded the university for its excellent performance in education and challenged other students to invest more in their academics. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Adebiyi Daramola appreciated the CAMAC board for the award. Daramola, who was represented by the Ag. Dean, Students Affairs, Dr. Kayode Alese appealed to the students to continue studying hard as the CAMAC scholarship programme is a continuous one. Also, the Chairman, Committee of Deans and the Dean, School of Engineering and Engineering Technology, Prof. J. O. Afolayan added that the presentation of the scholarship would go a long way in motivating other students. The beneficiaries of the scholarship are Ogedengbe I. I., a 300 level student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Ajewole P. O., a 400 level student in the Department of Geophysics.

Use of identity card stressed MANAGEMENT has reiterated the need for members of the University, Staff and Students alike to ALWAYS wear their identity cards while on Campus to aid identification. This is expected to help the recently engaged security outfit (Sheriff Deputies) to function properly. • Students at the entrepreneurship training

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LAGOS industrialist, Mr Adebayo Abayomi Adeyemo, has offered to guide students of the University of Jos (UNIJOS) on ways of becoming self-employed on graduation. Adeyemo who is the Vice President, Puzzle Group of Companies, Lagos, gave the commitment while delivering a lecture on 'Role of Private Entrepreneur in the Infrastructural Development of an Emerging Market' at ASUU secretariat UNIJOS Chapter. The alumnus of the university

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Lagos industrialist mentors UNIJOS students From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

promised to help nurture productive ideas by the students to fruition. "As an entrepreneur trained by University of Jos, I am prepared to facilitate and assist any intelligence students who have good ideas to market. All I expect such students to do is to develop an idea, post it on my company's website and I will help to market the ideas," he said as he charged them to aim for self em-

ployment. "The labor market is already overfilled with university graduates as there is no job anywhere. The surviving strategy for graduates in the modern world is to be creative, self employed and eventually become employer of labor." Adeyemo, a graduate of History and International Studies said he became an entrepreneur building on ideas he got as a student.

"With the ideas I acquire from this institution helped me to become and employer of labor rather remain an employee. Graduates with ideas don't go to the labor market, they don't remain applicants for long, and they ended up as employers of labor like me. So all you need to do is to face your studies with all seriousness, excel in your academic work, and then you will excel in life endeavor long after your graduation."

Similarly, the students were advised to use the period of their studies to lay solid foundation for their profession and career. Delivering the UNIJOS distinguished alumni lecture on "Career and Professional Development of Young People in Nigeria", Prof. Ifeoma Enweani of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, advised the students against the negative effect of modern communication technology to their educational career.

Council to prosecute HE Registrar of the Librarian fake librarians Registration Council of Nige-

ria (LRCN), Dr Victoria Okojie has vowed to prosecute non-librarians that attempt to practice librarianship in Nigeria. She added that only certified librarians would be allowed to handle contracts and consultancies in the library and information sector when the Librarian Registration Council of Nigeria (LRCN) starts the registration of libraries in corporate organisations. Speaking at the 3rd induction ceremony of registered librarians in Nigeria in Abuja, Dr Okojie said the council is drafting a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) to ensure that only certified librarians are involved in their accreditation exercises. "Let me caution that non-librarians who attempt to practice librarianship in Nigeria would be prosecuted

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

within the mandate of the council to ensure quality assurance in the profession," she said. She said the council would also publish guidelines and minimum standards for the establishment of electronic libraries. "The guidelines will give library and information professionals a stepby-step approach to establishing and managing e-libraries efficiently and effectively," she said. Minister of Education Prof Ruqayyat Ahmed Rufa'i urged the inductees to keep abreast of current trends in the profession so they can learn to package information that would serve all segments of the society. In light of the said security challenges in the country, Prof Rufa'i also urged the librarians to disseminate information of peace to literates, illiterates and poor in rural communities.

• From left: Dr Okojie, Prof Rufa'I, Senator Chukwumerije, Chairman, House Committee on Education, Hon. Tijjani Ibrahim Kiyawa and Registrar/CEO of Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, Prof Adison Wokocha with an inductee, the Education Advisor of the US Mission, Nigeria, Mr Dalhatu Hamza at the induction.


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

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EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIPS

LASU FILE Schedule for lectures THE following professors in the Lagos State University (LASU), have indicated dates for the presentation of their inaugural lectures. The lectures are scheduled to hold as follows: Prof. S.O. Fajonyomi will speak on the topic: When the state goes to sleep: Of citizen and state (Thursday, September 27); Prof. Lai Oso: Press and politics in Nigeria: On whose side? (Tuesday October 9); Prof. A. O. Vidal From Classics to Pops: The Africanization of western institution Wednesday, October 24); and Prof. O. O. Odusanya: Health in the Interest of the Public Wednesday, November 14). Others are: Prof Tunde Samuel: "Proper funding of public tertiary education in Nigeria: Total deregulation the Inevitable bitter pill or partial deregulation a policy heresy, which option?"(Friday, December 14); Prof. C. O. Fasan "Sport: A tree of life and tree of death. The difference is in the management" (Wednesday February 6, 2013.)

APPROACHING DEADLINES University of Sheffield and UKEAS Taiwan Joint Scholarship 2012, UK The University of Sheffield and UKEAS Taiwan offers a joint scholarship for masters degree programme for students from Taiwan at University of Sheffield, 2012 UK Study Subject(s):Courses offered by University of Sheffield Course Level:Masters Scholarship Provider: University of Sheffield and UKEAS Scholarship can be taken at: UK Eligibility:-You must have applied to the University of Sheffield through UKEAS Taiwan. -You must have an offer of a place to study on a one year taught Masters degree programme at the University of Sheffield, starting in September 2012. -You must be a Taiwanese national or permanently domiciled in Taiwan. -You must be classified as overseas for fee purposes. -You must complete and submit an online Scholarship Application Form by the closing deadline of 31 July 2012. Scholarship Open for International Students: Yes

2012 Research Fellow Partnership Programme for PhD and Postdoctoral Applicants at ETH Zurich, Switzerland PhD and Postdoctoral Research Fellow Partnership Programme in the field of Agriculture, Forestry , Natural Resource Management for Developing countries students at ETH Zurich, Switzerland Study Subject(s):Agriculture, Forestry , Natural Resource Management Course Level:Doctoral , Postdoctoral Scholarship Provider: ETH Zurich Scholarship can be taken at: Switzerland

Eligibility: The RFPP is a grant scheme providing doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships. Doctoral fellowships are funded for three years, post-doctoral fellowships for two years. The following criteria must be fulfilled to apply for a fellowship: Scholarship Open for International Students: Yes Scholarship Open for Students of Following Countries: Developing countries Scholarship Description: The RFPP is a grant scheme providing doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships. Doctoral fellowships are funded for three years, post-doctoral fellowships for two years. The following criteria must be fulfilled to apply for a fellowship: The research: -deals with agriculture, forestry or natural resource management for development; -is embedded in an international research partnership (see below); -is in accordance with the thematic and geographic priorities of SDC; -is professionally supervised and backstopped by the involved institutions. How to Apply: By post Scholarship Application Deadline: 30 June 2012.

Nigerian company elsewhere can deliver quality service, says don

Don bags award HEAD, Department of Accounting and Finance, Faculty of Management Sciences, Lagos State University, Dr Babatunde Rahman Yusuff, had bagged an International Award at a conference organised by Toulouse Business School in Toulouse, France, and held in July this year. Yusuff's paper - Value of culture and profit: Assessing their conflicting interest in the creative industries of Nigeria, was adjudged the overall best at the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) conference. The Vice- Chancellor, Prof John Oladapo Obafunwa, on behalf of the Governing Council, Senate, staff and students have congratulated Dr. Yusuff on this deserved honour.

Scholarship Open for Students of Following Countries: Taiwan Scholarship Description: The University of Sheffield and UKEAS Taiwan have been offering this scholarship for the last 3 years.The eligibility for the postgraduate scholarships is limited to applicants intending to study full-time for a oneyear Masters degree at University of Sheffield (MA, MSc, MEd, MBA, LLM, MLitt, MArch, MIM) who are natinals of Taiwan.This scholarship is worth £2000 towards the cost of tuition fees, for one year of study. How to Apply: Online Scholarship Application Deadline: July 31,2012

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HE Principal of Peacock College United Kingdom, Professor Zenon Adamek, says offering the right mix of education is a panacea to leadership crisis plaguing countries of the world. He also notes that a Nigerian-owned company can deliver high standard of service. He bares his thoughts: Peacock College is a Nigerianowned, new tertiary institution in the UK, are you particularly targeting the Nigerian market as you begin operations? For the very beginning, Nigeria will be our first target and that is what we keep in mind. It is a Nige-

rian business so the priorities are for Nigerians. For the benefit of the Nigerian market, we have reduced our prices just to cover the cost of operation. Can you give us a comprehensive list of your educational services and products? It is difficult for me as many courses we offer are tailor made to suit our customers' need. As I have mentioned already we specialise in business management in all sectors of economy, including the oil and gas industries, communication, aviation, travel and tourism. You name the program you need to de-

velop and we will do it. List of our standard courses and services are listed on our website. What efforts are you making to pitch your products and services to the vast Nigerian market? We are in constant contact with the group head office in Nigeria, the Peacock Group of Companies. We employ Nigerians as well; we read Nigerian newspapers, listen to economic and political news and we are always on top of what is happening in Nigeria. With all this, we prepare our offer according to what we think will suit Nigerian market and Nigerian businesses. What role would Peacock College play in moulding future leaders in the various professions? Organisations today are increasingly discussing the framework of professional values, ethics and attitudes for exercising professional judgment and acting in an ethical manner, which is in the best interests of society and the profession. One of our courses - Corporate Ethics and Governance is suitable for every manager, leader or professional. This training program enables managers gain an understanding on corporate ethics, social and professional responsibility to reflect a transparent organisational culture. There is no future for leadership without understanding the social and professional responsibilities. And that is what we would like to bring to professionals. What is the college's role in an increasingly globalised, knowledge-based and sophisticated world? One of the distinguishing features of global organisations is to effec-

•Prof Adamek

tively manage global operations in a consistent manner but at the same time allow flexibility at the country level to effectively compete.. As the Peacock College is located in one of the biggest and most developed city in the world, our role is to bring the up to date information and training sufficient to operate in business changing environment. It is nearly four weeks since news broke of the Peacock College UK scholarship. Can you give a detailed description of the scholarship package? There will be an iPad for each of the participants, stationery and all training materials printed or stored on USB drive. We have made an effort to arrange a light Nigerian lunch and refreshments during the course days. We will also arrange a visit to various companies or the London Stock Exchange. There will be a group photograph taken and certificate issued to each of the participants. We will also arrange transport from airport to hotel.

• Kyari (right) receiving his certificate from Mr Peters

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HE 37 participants that graduated from a two-week programme of ASCON have described their experiences as 'unforgettable’; adding that should they have their way, they would like to come back again. The participants also praised the curriculum contents for the two courses which they agreed were 'creatively drawn up' and ‘planned to meet the '21st Century demands'. Speaking on behalf of the participants during that passing out at the college auditorium in Topo Badagry on Thursday last week, the graduands class governor Elder Udoh Brownson Ekpeyong thanked the management of ASCON particularly the college resources persons. "They (resource persons) are sim-

We are proud to be ASCONIANS, say participants By Adegunle Olugbamila

ply wonderful" said Elder Brownson, "this is not a college where teachers look down on learners. They took us as friends. Their class sessions were interactive because everybody was meant to participate. The training was also rigorous despite the differences in our ages. They made us believe we were not here for frivolities but serious business. The field trip outside the college was also awesome. "We are proud to identify ourselves. Our leaving here today provides a sort of mixed feelings. We are first sad that we will be departing this serene environment and bid farewell to our various destinations; the joyful

thing however is that some of us we are homesick and are now happy to rejoin our family. The field trip to the Public Sector Auditing Unit of the Lagos State government as part of the training would forever linger in the memory of another participant, Ekweoporo Linda. Miss Linda who works in the auditing unit of the National Ear Care Centre, Kaduna shared her experience. "The training met our set objectives particularly mine," Linda stressed. "During the field trip to the AuditorGeneral's Office in Alausa, we were lectured on various laws governing auditing and how auditing is carried out in different organisations since

many of us also came from different organisations. The involvement, for me, was simply an insight to public sector auditing." Another participant, Mr Kaka Adam Kyari a project Accountant with the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme, Yobe State said the facilities are awesome. "This is my first time here; but I keep wondering if I'm still in Nigeria. The environment is friendly and conducive for learning. There is uninterrupted electricity supply 24 hours. There accommodation is quite ok. If given another chance, I would love to come back again and I now have a lot to share with my friends when I return. This is sim-

ply a home away from home,” Kyari said. Earlier the college Director-General Mr Ajibade Peters, said the introduction of the Use of Computer for Financial Management course was informed by the reality that the world is fast drifting away from analogue to digital technology. According to Peters, the computer course aims among other things to "help participants in the design and implementation of financial information system'; 'prepare, monitor and evaluate budgets using computer'; 'make financial projections and analysis using computer'; and 'use the computer for the purpose of managing inventories."


39

THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

EDUCATION

Lagos sacks teacher for exam fraud •19 'miracle exam centres' axed

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HE Lagos State government has sacked one of its teachers for complicity in examination malpractice during the last school year. This is coming at a time the state also recorded improved performance in the May/June 2012 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). Education Commissioner Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye said at a meeting with principals last Wednesday that Lagos State recorded 59.4 per cent pass in the examination - compared to the national average of 38.83. Warning teachers to desist from colluding with candidates and parents to perpetrate examination fraud, Mrs Oladunjoye said the state will not hesitate to punish those of its workers found guilty. She added that 19 private secondary schools that have served as miracle centres have been barred from conducting the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for some years, and assured principals that once the state starts conducting the pre-screening tests, public school pupils will be unable to register with private secondary schools as candidates for the same

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

examination. "We have sanctioned 19 schools that served as miracle centres. They are not writing the WAEC examination for a long time to come. Interestingly, some of our colleagues collude with them and I think we lost a teacher because of that. I sent a teacher out of the system. If parents and teachers don't collude with them, miracle centres will not thrive. The earlier we start telling the children to do the right thing the better. If they must repeat, let them repeat. It will be a big lesson to them," she said. Oladunjoye and the Tutor-Generals/Permanent Secretaries (TG/ PS) of the Education Districts in the state addressed an array of issues during the meeting which was held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa - including consolidating on the improved performance, infrastructure, discipline, furniture, recruitment of teachers and security. Speaking on the 2012 WASSCE, the commissioner said Governor Babatunde Fashola was impressed with the improved performance though the 59.4 per cent represents

•Mrs Oladunjoye (middle) flanked by the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mrs Omolara Erogbogbo (right) and Mrs Peregrino

the performance of both public and private schools in the state. However, she charged the principals to do all in their power to further improve the results, warning them that she would pay unscheduled visits to schools. "With 59.4 per cent, we were seventh in the federation in the WASSCE and we can become better. States like Anambra and Abia had better results but Lagos deserves to be the first because we are doing much more," she said. To deliver better results in the

2013 WASSCE, TG/PS District V, Mrs Mary Iji told the principals to pay attention to the conduct of the MOCK SSCE examinations usually conducted in the second term for SS3 pupils ahead of the real examination. She said if well conducted, the performance would be a true reflection of the real examination. "If the invigilation is not done right, you will not get the real result. As principals, you have to make sure you monitor the examination. In a situation where 10 pu-

pils are sharing one question paper, you already know they will spy," she said. Speaking on Saturday extra lessons organised to prepare finalists for the WASSCE, TG/PS Education District I, Mrs Victoria Peregrino urged the teachers to pay the price for good performance. "It is better we deny ourselves of certain things now so our children will have a better future…so we will be sure we have produced sound doctors that will take care of us when we are old," she said.

NTI seeks N1.34b to offset teachers' training allowances

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BOUT N1.34 billion is required to settle the outstanding training allowances for teachers which accrued in 2011, the Director General (DG), National Teachers Institute (NTI), Dr. Animu Sharehu has said. Sharehu disclosed this in Kaduna during a stakeholders meeting on capacity building workshop for teachers under the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) project. He said the institute had written to the Federal Ministry of Education requesting for advice to enable it use the fund for the 2012 MDGs workshop to pay the balance of the allowances. "This initiative is to avert any le-

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

gal implications of using 2012 appropriation to settle 2011 outstanding participants' allowances,'' he said. The director-general said the partial payment of the participants' training allowances was among the problems encountered last year. He, however, said the ministry and the NTI had made efforts to ensure the inclusion of the unpaid allowances in the 2013 budget. The meeting was attended by key partners from the Federal Ministry of Education, state ministries of education and the universal ba-

sic education boards as well as the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), quality assurance assessors, independent monitors and zonal consultants. Sharehu expressed hope that the session would offer the NTI the opportunity to examine the lapses in the previous editions of the exercise and map out new strategies for a successful outing. The institute also organised a two-day workshop for newly deployed desk officers assigned to the NTI study centres nationwide to enhance their service delivery. He said: "This workshop on service delivery and effective management of study centres is the first

of its kind in the history of the institute which is part of the strategy of the management of the institute to strengthen the study centre desk officers (CDOs) as part of its five-point agenda. Study centres are integral part of the institute and their roles cannot be over emphasised hence the need to monitor the activities of the centres to ensure the success of the institute’s activities. "Part of their responsibilities is to ensure that course materials get to the centres and to the students on schedule at the point of registration; secondly they are to shuttle between the state offices and the centres and warned them against

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•From left: Dr Adeniyi, Chairman Management Board; Alhaji Dawud Arogundade and Chairman, PTA Mutiu Adeboye at the briefing

I

T was a harvest of academic excellence for the pioneer students of SOFUNIX International College, Oko-Oba as they recorded 98 per cent pass rate in the 2012 West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE). Proprietor, Mr Sola Oni said each pupil passed a minimum of seven subjects including English language and Mathematics - thanks to the rigorous academic work the college put

Scholar laments dearth HE Federal Government has of funding been urged to stop lavishing billions of naira on sports and

music at the expense of education. A scholar, Dr Zafaran Adeniyi said unfilled vacancies in the academic sector are due to 'I-don't-care' attitude of government to academic excellence and intellectual development. Dr Adeniyi, the Director (Admin) Vanguards Academy located at Odosengolu, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, made this assertion during a press briefing to commemorate the school's 10th anniversary. He claimed that budgetary allocation to entertain guests atAso Rock is far more than allocation for infrastructural development in most federal universities. "The same thing goes for state higher institutions. The sum total of the security votes of Nigerian governors is enough to expand existing universities to cater for the increasing number of university applicants.

School celebrates WASSCE result them through. Oni also attributed the successful performance to availability of qualified and committed teachers who understand the peculiar needs of each learner, as well as the conducive learning environment provided by the school, including availability of teaching aids, adoption of mentoring and counselling strategy

to complement teaching activities. "The West African Examinations Council has announced38.81 per cent pass rate in five credits and above including English Language and Mathematics in 2012 WASSCE. It is heartwarming that our college is one of the successful institutions. We thank God Almighty for allowing us to

delay in issuing the course materials to the students. Everything that is needed for examinations must be provided and the institute will not accept lapses." He also said they are to keep records of facilitators and students, and warned them against extortion or attempts to take over the jobs of the centre managers. "Let me make it clear to you that you are not to take over the affairs of the centre from the centre mangers rather you are to work together to ensure that the goals of the institute are attained." He tasked the officers to work with other officers of the institute and report those found wanting.

realise our dream of coming out with strong academic performance right from the pioneer students. We shall continue to work round the clock to sustain and even surpass the current performance. Our ultimate goal is to develop youths that would take up leadership position in the medium and long term," he said.

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

Expenditure on foreign trips of the President and the governors is more than enough to provide textbooks for Nigerian students in secondary schools. The leakage in government is just too much," he lamented. This, he noted, is why the country is breeding militancy in the Delta, kidnappers in the east, and robbers in the west and bombers in the north. Adeniyi lamented that the objective of the secondary education to prepare the youths for useful living within the society and at the higher levels is going down the drain. He said: "Secondary education is expected to inculcate the value system of the new social order, both intellectual and social; and develop human skill. An appraisal of this aim painfully returns a nation in wilderness without a clue of its bearing. Nigeria compass (education) remains largely faulty and ominously unreliable. This is not out of quality manpower but essentially for unstable policies that are as divergent and numerous as their initiators. It is also a product of endemic corruption that this country notoriously glorifies."


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

40

EDUCATION EDUTALK

with

You and your teenager

S

• From Left: Mr Akpata, Otunba Olapeju and Dr Oshunniyi at the event

Fed Govt urged to increase Unity Schools’ boarding fees •King’s College marks 103rd anniversary

A

N increase in the N4,000 boarding fees charged pupils of Federal Unity Colleges could help the schools to divert fund to other fruitful uses. King’s College Principal, Otunba Dele Olapeju said at a briefing last Friday ahead of the college’s 103rd anniversary that the management and the old boys’ deserve praises for keeping the facilities of the school, especially the 105 year-old threestorey administration/classroom/ hostel building functional despite limited funds. Olapeju said sister colleges as old as King’s College owned by the missions have access to more funds because they charge up to N100,000 as boarding fees; while elite private schools can get a lot of funds from the high fees they charge. However, despite the challenges, Otunba said the college has ensured judicious utilisation of funds, and made efforts to seek funding from other avenues. “I am an advocate that the Federal Government be bold enough to increase boarding fees so there will be room for other development. We

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

charge boarding fees of N4,000 and we have 4,000 students. Some of the mission schools charged N100,000 as boarding fees. Our capital allocation from the Federal Government is N42 million. That would be contributed by 40 students in Grange or Dowen College. But I believe in the maximization of the little we receive. We have a building housing 16 staff without a penny of government money. On our own, we rehabilitated the sports field and other facilities,” he said. Vice President of the King’s College Old Boys’ Association (KCOBA), Dr Leke Oshinniyi also lent credence to the principal’s claims, saying that a lot of funds has been infused into keeping the oldest building in the school habitable. “Nigeria will be 100 years in 1914. We should be praised for keeping this building habitable,” he said. He added that alumni of the college has contributed immensely to the development of Nigeria, including the late Biafran hero,

Odumegwu Ojukwu; first Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Adetokunbo Ademola; Federal Commissioner for Information, Chief Anthony Enahoro; Federal Commissioner for Works, Chief Femi Okunnu; Sir Akanu Ibiam, and the like. In contemporary times, Secretary General of the association, Olu Akpata added that the college also boasts of chief executives that are making their mark, including Mr Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti, Managing Director of Skye Bank; Mr Yemi Adeola, MD, Sterling Bank; Mr Atedo Peterside, Chairman of Stanbic IBTC; talented producer, Colbams Asuquo among others. Activities lined up for the anniversary include the Founders Day Lecture entitled: Promoting Value Education in Nigeria to be delivered by Prof Ayotunde Fetuga, an old boy today; novelty match between workers of King’s and Queen’s Colleges, Jumat and thanksgiving services. Highlight of the event will be the KCOBA dinner which comes up on Saturday, and the KCOBA Annual General Meeting on Sunday.

• Edem Duke (middle) listening as the Senior Vice Chancellor/Provost, College of Medical Sciences, Prof Iheanyichukwu Okoro and Prof Makinde takes him through the medical facilities at the university's teaching hospital.

Tourism Minister visits Babcock

M

INISTER of Tourism, Culture & National Orientation, High Chief Edem Duke has promised to help Babcock University, Ilishan Remo, Ogun State, facilitate international exchange programmes with other institutions. Speaking when he visited the university last Thursday, Duke also promised to ensure the university is well represented in the next cabinet meeting at the federal level.

During the visit, Duke toured the university's facilities, including its teaching hospital which he described as a world-class centre of attraction. "I have seen the pictures of this institution before but today, I realise that except you are here, you won't be able to decipher the volume and quality of work being done in the university. I see a great tomorrow for this institution and the vision it carries. I see this school

as an icon in terms of educational and professional excellence," he said. Earlier in his welcome speech, the President/Vice-Chancellor, Prof Kayode Makinde, said the university is determined to train medical researchers who will turn around the face of medical practices in Africa. He, therefore, requested that the government grant Babcock the necessary approval to achieve its lofty

TORIES abound of parents shocked by the double lives their children live, especially when trouble strikes. They find it difficult to Kofoworola believe that their children can commit hideous crimes like robBelo-Osagie bery, murder or rape, or in case Kofosagie@yahoo.com of suicide, cannot understand 08054503077 (SMS only) why their very happy children would take their own lives. Almost always, the children at the centre of such stories are adolescents. Adolescence is that mysterious stage during which things are not necessarily as they seem. This means that parents have to be extra vigilant or their lovely children would metamorphose into beasts under their roofs. At the age of 10, when the average child should be in the final year of primary school, he or she is already aware about feelings that develop between the opposite sexes and may be discussing it with classmates and friends. This sexuality awareness grows in secondary school. This is so for girls, especially when their breasts and figures begin to develop. They become conscious about their bodies - what they have that others don't, and vice versa. They share stories with friends, who may have heard the stories from others or adults living around them, and are susceptible to temptations to jump on the bandwagon if they feel insecure. They usually want to belong, be fashionable, use the latest slangs, know what is happening on television or the internet, and generally be in tune with what is trendy in the world around them. During this period of their lives, they prefer the company of their peers to boring parents. When they hang out with friends, they learn so much about life and try to make a meaning out of the myriads of information they get by experimenting. The internet is increasingly becoming popular among youths locally because cost of owning personal laptops and internet access is reducing so they get to satisfy their hunger for information and entertainment. Unfortunately, they do not always get the right information from the right sources and if parents or trusted adults are not there to guide them, and they do not keep good friends, then things are almost certain to go awry for them. They either clash with their parents over values, or live almost unnoticed if adults are too busy to attend to them. Somebody shared a story about a woman's discovery of porn websites on her husband's laptop lately. The man could not convince his wife he knew nothing about it, no matter what he said. When told, the person who shared this story with me and some colleagues said he immediately discerned that his friend's teenage son was responsible. With his friend's permission, he took the son for a ride during which the lad confessed he visited the sites. The best way to know what is happening in your child's life is to leave lines of communication open between you such that they can raise any issue bothering them with you. Encouraging them to share stories about how they spent their time in school and with friends will provide opportunities for you to point them towards the right direction as you review their decision making process. It is also important that parents help develop their ward's self esteem and teach them the right values so that they do not bow to pressure because of inferiority complex. This does not mean that parents should bar their children from making friends. On the contrary, friends should be allowed to visit so that parents can monitor who their children relate with. Doing so would provide them with insight on what their wards could do behind theim. Considering that a large percentage of the total population of people living in sub-Saharan Africa is adolescents, it is important that they are not neglected. Unfortunately, the 2011 UNICEF report on the State of the World's Children which focuses on adolescents, says that this segment of the population do not receive as much care and attention as the children. If well catered for, I am sure we will benefit from the energies of these young ones. Their optimistic outlook to life and penchant for adventure means we can look forward to a developed world that is as interesting as it is varied.

The best way to know what is happening in your child's life is to leave lines of communication open between you such that they can raise any issue bothering them with you. Encouraging them to share stories about how they spent their time in school and with friends will provide opportunities for you to point them towards the right direction as you review their decision making process


42

THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012


43

THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

THE NATION

NATURAL HEALTH E-mail:- health@thenationonlineng.net

Man claims to find cure for sickle cell S

ICKLERS go through a lot of pains. When they are in a crisis, they cut a pitiable picture. Even their handlers share in their pains because they evoke emotions. Now, there is hope of a local remedy for their ailment, following a 20-year research conducted by a septua-generian Raymond ‘Latunde Alade, a former Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos worker and a lecturer at Regina Mundi Catholic Church, Mushin on health programmes. He is driven by his passion for ameliorating sicklers’ suffering. ‘Pa Alade went into the research for herbal treatment for sickle cell after he lost his sister and her eight children to sickle cell. “After that harrowing incident, I made up my mind that I will go into natural ways to help people with sickle cell disease stay alive and prevent any form of crises and pain’. “I have made researches into the solutions to sickle cell crises and pains and am still making further research into it’. There are different local materials and ingredients as pain relievers which can be used during the crises and pains being experienced by sickle cell patients. If the remedies are administered properly, they would prevent patients from experiencing any form of crises or pain.” Pa Alade said: “I have developed cream, tea, powder, and soap to treat sickle cell. I have Joko sickler remedial tea, this I named after my mother’s first daughter. The tea prevents the red cells from ‘sickling’. It helps the red blood cells to carry the oxygen through the body system so that sicklers will not have crises. The chance of having crisis is limited when oxygen flows freely through the body. “Ojuolari ointment is another remedy I have for sickle cell. I named this after my grandmother. The remedy is basically used to relieve pains; it is in the form of cream which is rubbed on the skin to relieve the pain. I have the muscular pain reliever powder which I called iwora. This can be mixed with food and taken together while eating. Another is the muscular pain reliever Soap, ose imarale, it is a natural soap which helps to relieve pain as well in sicklers. Muscular pain decoction, called agbo is a natural drink which also helps to relieve pain in sickle cell.” Pa Alade said anyone who had witnessed the sufferings sicklers go through would be motivated to help find solution to the crises and would stop at nothing to bring succour to them, “Sickle cell patients go through crises and pains at any point in time. There are remedies to this and there are supportive treatment for the crises and pains. And one would stop at nothing to research into them.

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“I have treated over 50 sickle cell patients both in the country and beyond, giving them natural remedies to relieve pains and crises. For instance, during labour, females with sickle cell disorder go through more pain than their counterparts with normal cell; the pain could be so serious that it can lead to death. However, I have discovered that there is a natural remedy which can help reduce these pains to a minimum level. I named it, ‘easy labour powder’ ebu ibimo nirorun. This will help expectant sickler mothers to give birth to their babies with much reduced pain. “For men, when they go through priapism, all they need to do is to use the natural remedy which I called ero ibalo. This should be applied as a (special) paste when the erection is not able to return to normal position. For sicklers with high blood pressure, there is a natural soap, powder and concoction which I use in treating them. It is called alo fun eje ruru. Some sicklers also experience ulcer. These are wounds that refuse to heal which may sometimes lead to limping. There is con-

coction, which is used to heal up the internal wound, burnt carbon material will be applied after which the face of the wound will be covered with other natural materials like ‘zinc supplements’ and ‘wine’ which will be mixed with their food. There are also natural antibiotics used in treating sickle cell patients when they have ostimo lytes- a type of wound sickle cell patient’s experience. Pa Alade said sickle cell patients should also go through regular de-worming. “This will help in the free flow of oxygen through the body. I concocted warm expeller, ogun aron , that contains mixture of different indigenous materials. Sickle cell patient he said are to constantly empty their stomach for easy circulation of oxygen through the body system. They should not experience any constipation. He said sickle cell patients should avoid going on junk foods because it takes a longer time to digest, “And Junk foods induces constipation because such do not digest easily, and once they get constipated their crises is worsened. “I also realised that when they have the

crises, they become lean and ill. To treat this, I have a developmental powder which helps them to gain some weight. The powder can be mixed with food like pap (ogi, akamu). There is also the blood replenishing powder. This preparation helps to replenish the blood in the body, thus the patient looks fresh again. ‘Re- invigorating granules’, is another remedy. This makes the red blood cells come alive. It is a powder to be mixed with water and drink.” With these supportive treatments, Alade said sickle cell patients would be prevented from having crises and pain, and stand a chance to remain alive for many years, if they take the remedies accordingly. Sicklers should avoid strenuous activities and other stress inducing activities, especially during the wet season, “Rather, they should be involved more in easy curricular activities, most especially indoor games. This will go a long way to prevent them from having pains or crises. They should eat healthily by taking a lot of vegetables and fruits. Vegetables such as ugwu, spinach (tete), green vegetable and most especially dried water leaf. Seasonal fruits like oranges, banana, garbage, cucumber and carrot. They can also take different kinds of yam”, he added.

Natural remedy for typhoid

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YPHOID fever is characterised by typical course of temperature and ulceration of the bowels. The fever is of uncertain duration and is infectious. Symptoms of typhoid fever The patient feels weak, cold and tired. Headache, backache, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite are other symptoms. Temperature rises and remains high for about 10-14 days. Body temperature typically rises in the evening and drops in the morning. Skin eruptions appear, tongue becomes dry and gets white patches in the center, which causes oily taste in mouth and inflamed bones. Fever comes down gradually by the end of fourth week.

Ma

Causes of typhoid fever Poor sanitation, contaminated water and infected milk are some of the main factors responsible for typhoid. Flies contaminate the food with germs. People carrying the germs can also spread the disease if they prepare or serve food. Wrong dietary habits and faulty lifestyle lead to accumulation of toxic waste in the body and promotes typhoid fever. Typhoid is common in people who eat more meat and meat products. Natural remedies for typhoid fever Complete bed rest is essential. Patient should be kept on a liquid diet of orange, barley juice and milk. Orange juice, especially, hastens recovery as it increases energy, promotes body immunity and

increases urinary output. Administer warm water enema regularly. Apply cold compress to the forehead if temperature rises above 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Alternatively, wrap the body and legs twice with a sheet wrung in cold water and then cover it with a warm material. The pack should be kept for an hour and renewed after every three hours. Hot water bottles may be applied to the sides of the body and feet. Fresh fruits and easily digestible foods can be given after once the fever subsides and body temperature comes down to normal. Plain water or unsweetened lemon water can be used for drinking. Gradually start a well-balanced diet.

Prevention Implementation of anti-fly measures,

proper disposal of sewage, boiling or thorough purification of drinking water and pasteurization of milk are some of the preventive measures. Home remedies but use them only after you have consulted your doctor: • Take a lot of rest • Cold compress if your fever goes over 103 • Drink more water; even orange juice will be good as that will give you more energy • Stick to easily digestible foods – liquid diet is good if you can tolerate it. •Warm eater enema may also be administered for some people during typhoid fever. •Culled from www.tandurust.com


THE NATION TTHURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

44

NATURAL HEALTH

Practitioners urged to unite T

RADITIONAL medicine practitioners have been urged to work together for the advancement of natural medicine. The Chairman, Lagos State Traditional Medicine Board, Dr Bunmi Omoseyindemi, gave the advice during the African Traditional Medicine Day, organised by his board. It is the Second Decade of African Traditional Medicine (2011 to 2020). It was themed Decade of African Medicine, what impact? In 2000, the African Union declared 2001 to 2010 as decade for the development of traditional medicine. According to Omoseyindemi, traditional medicine is still experiencing teething problems because there are various dichotomies among practitioners, yet the reality is that prac-

By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha

titioners cannot be relegated to the background anymore, “For there is a growing evidence of the effectiveness of traditional remedies for the treatment of common ailments, including some priority diseases. Traditional health practitioners (THPs) enjoy considerable social status within their local communities and can play an important role in curative, preventive and rehabilitative measures of many diseases, as well as in health education and promotion. “It is high time practitioners and all stakeholders critically examine the issue of traditional medicine intellectually and make informed decisions on the way forward towards the development of the healthcare system that has

Cocoa can cure high blood pressure, diabetes, others

C

OCOA has been touted as a natural remedy for the treatment of high blood pressure (HBP), diabetes and malaria. It is cheap and readily available throughout the country. In addition, it contains natural anti-depressants. According to the chairman, Multi-Trex Integrated Foods Plc, Mr Bayo Akinola, and Managing Director, Mr Dimeji Owofemi, whose company is into the packaging of cocoa into sachets for easy accessibility, said it is also an anti-oxidant. Owofemi said the regular consumption of his product, Frangada,

By Wale Adepoju

a cocoa powder, already listed by NAFDAC as No. B1-5908, and its quality certified by Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), can also fight bouts of malaria attacks. “The product has no additives; it is more than a beverage drink because of the enormous health benefits that it possessed. Cocoa enhances brain power. People are able to recall things easily. It helps people to relax and sleep well. “It is able to fight diseases by mopping up all free radicals. The product helps to increase insulin

•Dr Adeshina

been relegated to the background, despite various resolutions and advice given to all members nations of World Health organisation (WHO), since 1976. And can only be done in unity of purpose. The

1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 1234567890123456789 •Cocoa

production, thereby reducing diabetes. It also helps to improve sex life of people,” he added.

•Dr Omoseyindemi

work is uphill but it could appear that the challenge is now more than half won.” Dr Omoseyindemi said: “The four new elements of focus in the Point of Action (PoA) are Integration of Traditional Medicine into Public Health system; Community mobilisation (previously Sensitisation and popularisation of Tradi-

tional Medicine); Research and Development and Capacity Strengthening (previously Research and Training).” To ensure there is more capacity for practitioners in the state, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Health, Dr Yewande Adeshina, said the state is committed to development of a botanical garden for medicinal plants cultivation with quality control laboratory in our universities to facilitate scientific investigations of herbal medicine and validate the use for herbal medicine. She challenged the practitioners that for their practice to gain an esteemed place in contemporary healthcare world, and towards integration of traditional medicine into the health systems, particularly the public Health System, the quality of scientific data and the quality of the herbal preparation must improve. Present at the event are, Chairman, House Committee on Health, House of Assembly, Suru Avoseh; Head of Department (HOD), Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, University of Lagos; Registrar, Lagos State Traditional Medicine Board, Dr Bodunrin Oluwa among other dignitaries.

2,000 get wellness tips, others

N

O fewer than 2,000 will get wellness tips and free screening, among others, at a programme tagged Feel good festival. The event; will hold on October 20 at Jhalobia Gardens, Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road, Ikeja, Lagos. It is organised by an advocacy company, Indulge Nigeria. It is supported by the Lagos State Ministry of Health among other partners, to promote holistic health among people. Managing Director, Indulge Nigeria, Dr Bisi Abiola said

By Wale Adepoju

participants will be sensitised on skin and hair treatment. As many that have stiff neck or pains in the shoulders will also be relieved by massage therapy. Tips will be offered on exercise and injury prevention. "Also, information will be disseminated on healthy eating and weight loss, stress management techniques. There will be free cooking demonstration and sale of healthy foods. Free medical screening would be conducted on eyes, teeth and blood among others by the experts."

Your Sexual Health & You: Novelty Tips, Questions & Answers

G

ood day sir. Please is it advisable for one to have sex during her menstruation period? Also, what types of solutions are available for dealing with menstrual pain? Thank you – Amanda Dear Amanda, the medical opinion of doctors is that a couple can have sex during their period if they are comfortable with the idea. Doctors also site that sex during menstruation may help provide pain relief for menstrual cramps and also help shorten a woman’s period. Now that is the medical opinion of doctors. My personal opinion is that a woman’s period is that time of the month where she should get some rest and be taken care of by her partner. Women should not be pressured into having sex at such times. A woman’s body should be respected during this period by her man through patience, understanding and assistance. A lot of women experience pain during their periods and their partners can help them by giving them massages especially on the lower back. Yes I know that men can be under pressure sometimes but they can and should be patient. It is just for a few days. Towards the ending of the period, women can give their men oral sex or a hand job if they want to. Otherwise, the men should remain patient. As for dealing with menstrual pain, doctors recommend lots of sleep, eating foods that are low in fat and high in fibre and also taking the drug Ibuprofen. You can get that in pharmacy stores everywhere – Uche Dear sir, I notice a lot of men listen to your advice. Can you please tell them that women really like oral sex? A lot of men that I know are terrible in bed and just keep doing all the wrong things – Ije Dear Ije, like I have said in the past, a lot of men like the idea of oral sex too but are unable to give it due to vaginal odour. No matter how beautiful a woman is, she can never expect to get oral sex without having a bath. In addition, she must use the Anal Duche regularly to clean both the vaginal and anal passages. The proximity between the

vaginal and anal cervices can be logistically problematic for men. So it is all about hygiene - Uche Hello. I am Mustapha. I am married with two kids and was opportune to read your column. Please I am suffering from weak erection and low sperm count. I cannot last more than one round and I have premature ejaculation too. I am also a bit hypertensive. Thank you – Mustapha Dear Mustapha, the supplement that will be best for your weak erection, considering that you are hypertensive, is Sex Volts. Sex Volts will also help you have intercourse for several rounds. To help with your low sperm count, you need another supplement called Repro Aid. It does wonders for fertility. Finally, to stop your premature ejaculation, apply Rock hard Delay Cream minutes before intercourse. It will delay your ejaculation and enable you last longer – Uche My wife and I are trying to spice up our relationship but we don’t know what to do. Sometimes we are in bed just looking at each other and all I can think of is jumping right into sex– Clement Dear Clement, you can play games together. Romantic adult games like Love Rewards Game or Afternoon Delight Game can give you lots of ideas on what to do – Uche How can a woman who has had children be tighter down there? Grace Dear Grace, a combination of a vagina tightening cream and orgasm balls will help tighten and rejuvenate the pelvic muscles. Use Tight Stuff Oriental Oil and Nen Wa Balls for this – 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 custserv@zeevirtualmedia.com - Uche Edochie, MD, Zee Virtual Media.


THE NATION TTHURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

45

NATURAL HEALTH

Your health miracle in your hands (1) M

EDICINE used to be a labyrinth in which even the initiated may be unable to find the way out of a cesspool. Intellectualism caused the complications and incomprehensiveness. But, today, as man returns to Mother Nature and the Creation Health Plan, many simple pathways to health long neglected and forgotten are beginning to reveal themselves to him once again. One of them is ACCUPRESSURE. In some ways, Accupressure is based on the same principles as ACCUPUNCTURE. This common foundation is predicated on some interesting ideas validated by the successes of these healing arts. Some of these ideas are • All the 100 trillion or so cells which form the adult human body are interconnected. • The body on its our is lifeless and is animated by an in-dweller, the human spirit. • The human spirit is a foreigner on earth. It came from the spiritual world. On its way to the earth, it covered itself with the material of every world it passed through. Or earth, it covered itself with the earth body. Without these covering bodies, it is unable to experience life in the particular world medium. Without the earth body, are we able to experience life here? When the soul is returning home, it will discard every covering wherever it picked it. When it discards the earth body, the owner is said to "die" or, better still, to "pass on, as the spirit continues to live after earth-life. The human spirit with all its coverings minus the earth covering is known as the human soul. • While on earth, the soul, nay the spirit, draws power from higher regions and passes it to the earth body, its residence on earth, to keep the body warm and "alive". This energy is passed to the body through several traffic lines or channels, from head to toe. The energy is concentrated in certain areas called CHAKRAS. Sites of The Chakras have been found to correspond to those of the seven endocrine glands. This would imply that the chakras power or "breathe" inte or animate the endocrine glands and the endocrine glands run the body through the hormones they produce and inject directly into the blood. The chakras are like electricity transformers which step down high voltage power to lower voltages for use by home electrical appliances. When a transformer malfunctions, there is a power outage. The same happens when a chakra misbehaves. Power flow from the soul to the body through the supply lines called the meridians, may be disturbed by congestions or blockages in the meridian channels, just as cholesterol or homocysteine deposits in blood vessels may block blood flow to the heart or to the brain. Sometimes, these physical blockages may, in fact, be caused by blockages of ethereal power supply in the meridians to the blood circulation system which causes blood solidification. Accupressure is the system of medicine which applies gentle hand pressure to sensitive parts of the body which control certain organs or functions of the body. It is unlike ACCUPUNCTURE which uses pins and needles to achieve the same objectives. These sensitive spots are like the switches of the body. Today, I present two books which teach everyone how to massage these points on his or her body in health or illness, to get healthier or to regain ebbing health. The first is written by DR. DEVENDRN VORA. A commerce graduate, he is one of the most popular. Physicians in India, and has seen more than two million patients in 23 years. These include about 2,500 orthodox medical doctors. For his services to India, the Open International University awarded him the

Diagram 1 shows the wrists in relation to the palms of both hands. Dr. Vora says burning pain in Points No 11 to 15 on pressure diagnoses indicates hormonal imbalances. Pain in Point 37 (which correlates to the spleen) indicates anemia. For women who find it difficult to become pregnant because of disturbances in the reproductive organs, Dr. Vora prescribes pressure massage on Points who find it difficult to get 28-22-23. Dr Vora suggests that scanty menstrual

• Diagramme 3 Vora

• Points to massage for Sinus problem

flow causes "excess heat in the body, which in turn leads to pimples, constipation, chronic cold due to heat, and even skin problems". Conversely, excess bleeding lowers blood heat, sexual desire, anemia, loss of appetite, and is one of the root causes of obesity and could lead to leucorrhoea i.e abnormal whitish discharge." To correct these ailments and thereby avoid infection of the lower reproductive organs, Dr Vora suggests pressure treatment on points 11 to 10.

DR VORA

following degrees… D.Sc; M.D; and F.R.C.P. His work covers acupressure therapies for cancer and HIV/ADS. His book, HEALTH IN YOUR HANDS, is in two volumes. The second book, entitled ACCUPRESSURE CURE FOR COMMON DISEASES, is written by DR. KETTH KEN YON, M.D., who studied medicine at the University of Southern California School of Medicine. As news of acupuncture and acupressure filtered into America from the Eastern world, Dr. Kenyon enrolled to study acupuncture at the Accupuncture Research Institute of the College of Accupuncture in Los Angeles. Today, he practices general medicine and acupressure in the United States. Dr. Kenyon's book addresses acupressure treatment for such troubles as insomnia and anxiety, sore throat, toothaches, headaches, including migraines, obesity, neck and shoulder complaints, back pain and so on. Dr. Devendoras Vora's second book addresses men's problems, women's problems, children's problems, common diseases, and teaches, for example, how to test a point on the back of the palm to see if a breast pain is cancer pain or not. It has hints also for testing for HIV without the laboratory. These are great books any good home health library should have…

Dr. VORA

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Nigeria is hit by breast cancer epidemic. So, women are asked to check their breasts regularly for early signs of any lump, benign or malignant. Mammograms are also advised. Dr Vora's simple self home test, one of the many which made him popular in India, can be performed, using Diagram 2. For the right breast, he says "just press on the circle of the right palm". The same goes for the left breast. "If there is NO PAIN" when pressed, he says, "it means there is NO CANCER in the breasts". Should pain be felt on this point but none felt "on the Point No 16 of the lympth glad at that time, it denotes that there is NO CANCER." He says that, "by giving treatment on these points on the back of palm, minor problems like accumulation of milk in the breast etc will be cured …only pain on the circle of the back of the right palm and also on the point No 16 of the lymph gland denotes degeneration in the right breast." If there is cancer in the breast and it has spread, "severe pain would be felt on the marked spots on the back of the palm and on point 16. Dr Vora says he can cite hundreds of "impeccable" diagnoses he has made using this diagnostic method. In Dr. Vora's HEALTH IN YOUR HANDS, there are simple, self administered recipes for all kinds of health issues, including disturbances in the heart which may be caused by a shift in the solar plexus and defy all solutions unless the solar plexus is re-aligned to obey the Law of Balance. For balancing the solar plexus Dr. Vora speaks on FIGURE 3 "Join the two palms as shown" and match the lines 1 and 4. These lines will match with either if the solar plexus in order. If the solar plexus has shifted, Line No 4 will not match." Many physicians who are not familiar with non-physical medicine do not appreciate the fact that the soul and the physical body are connected, by the silver cord at the solar plexus as a baby in the womb and the mother are connected by the umbilical cord at the placenta. We know what a shift in the placenta may cause, but hardly appreciate problems posed by shifts upwards or downwards of the solar plexus. Need we be reminded that anything physical is a mere coarse reflection of anything finer, or that… As it is Above, so it is Below, or that the Law of Balance establishes equilibrium and harmony and that breaches of it cause disharmony, pain collapse and ruin? The lines of the palms are no decorations. The designer is speaking to us through them as through everything else in Nature. Happily, Dr Vora explains how the solar plexus may be rebalanced. I recommend this book in the libraries of all health lovers. in the belief that, by practicing the acupressure techniques it teaches, many health problems can be nipped in the bud, and, where ill health has been established for which treatment is being received through whichever therapy mode, acupressure may be a support or potentate effort to awaken or strengthen the healing process. Dr. Keny 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012 12345678901234567890123456789012

• Massage pocket for dizziness, ringing in the ears and deafness

Tel: 08034004247, 07025077303


46

THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012


THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

47

POLITICS THE NATION

E-mail:- politics@thenationonlineng.net

The colourful calisthenics display of a thousand youths, applauded by thousands of citizens, brought to climax the celebration marking the 21st anniversary of the State of Osun recently, writes Kehinde Bamigbetan.

Reflection on State of Osun at 21 B

EYOND the thanksgiving in churches, mosques and traditional homes, indications that the celebration would generate scholarly debate on the place of the event in the struggle for development was initially raised by the lecture delivered by Senator Femi Ojudu on the impending creation of new local governments. The tempo of the debate on new local governments was yet to abate when a new radical think-tank, Osun Development Agenda (ODA), upped the ante by turning the anniversary to a debate over the development agenda for the state. At a world press conference the ODA brought a serious dimension to the celebration by providing fresh historical evaluation of the event to demonstrate its importance to the struggle for life more abundant. According to its spokesperson and Deputy Convener, Mr. Raman Shenge, the media briefing has nothing to do with the mere ritualistic observance of the anniversary. Rather, it is informed by the moral imperative of self-examination as a launch-pad for a brighter future. “An unexamined life is not a life worth living” said Shenge as he treated journalists to a historical reconstruction of the struggle of the people in areas now known as the State of Osun today from pre-colonial times through independence and the demand to reclaim their freedom from the Nigerian Federation. Delving into the political economy of the feudal kingdoms which ran the states and societies formed by the populace before colonialism ODA demonstrated that the self-sustaining communities had developed political, commercial and industrial systems which achieved significant prosperity. “The area now known and described as Osun in those pre-colonial days boasted of a proud heritage of industry and administrative excellence. Kingdoms such as Ife, Ijesha, Osogbo, Iwo, Ila among others had by 1600 A.D established feudal systems of land tenure with monarchy as the dominant character of the political system. Production of food crops such as yam, plantain, maize and breadfruit among others competed with a large variety of vegetables.’’ Noting that the disruption of this system by Europeans through trade and conquest and the incorporation of the region into the Nigerian State following amalgamation robbed the people of their pride and freedom, ODA significantly captured the quest for the State of Osun as a strategy to retrieve the lost independence and chart a new course of auto-centric development and renaissance. For ODA, the creation of the state on August 27, 1991 by the then military administration partly out of its acquiescence to a popular yearning for an elusive development and partly arising from its own limited and self-serving understanding of the way to go in the journey to a modern and developed society, provided a great opportunity to usher in a new system in which the welfare, prosperity and security of the people will be paramount, In what could be considered very scathing in certain quarters, ODA evaluated the regimes

• The youths...during the anniversary in Osogbo last month.

which have administered Osun since creation in the light of their contribution towards the freedom of the people from poverty, sickness, ignorance and squalor and concluded that while the administration of Chief Bisi Akande from 1999 to 2003 laid the foundation, it has taken the new administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola to advance the resurgence of governance in the state through whole sale ideological re-orientation of the political economy of the State of Osun. With ODA assessment from 19991 till date, the leadership of the first military administrator, Colonel Leo Segun Ajiborisha who was sworn in on August 30th 1991 devolved the task of laying down the foundation for the take-off of state administration and its bureaucratic institutions in terms of physical infrastructures as well as personnel which was available in abundance from the pool of the returnees from the former Old Oyo state out of which the State was excised. The brief period of the civil democratic dispensation under Alhaji Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke was rated among least performing administrations as it “failed to leave any bold imprint either in terms of transparency or good governance. Profligacy, hedonistic disposition and occasional display of political gangsterism were the major features of the administration. Also subsequent military administrations between December 13, 1993 and May 29, 1999 failed to post any significant change in direction and initiatives. “Within, the State remained dull and dour without holding any attraction for investors from outside. This was the situation until the arrival of Chief Bisi Akande, the old warhorse from Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s School of Public Service on the May 29, 1999. In retrospect, the four years of Chief Akande’s administration would seem to be the real beginning of the emergence of the state on the stage of history. With a meagre annual federal allocation hovering between N6 billion and N7 billion, the administration of Chief Akande laid down a shining example in prudent management of state funds and posted a stunning record never before seen in the annals of the state. The 90 months of former Governor Olagunsoye before November 27 2010 was considered by the organization as an era of unmitigated disaster for Osun during which those who presided over the affairs of the State behaved in a manner reminiscent of buccaneers and brigands. “The seven and half years of Olagunsoye Oyinlola deserved and still deserve

to be described as both a long nightmare and the years of locusts and it is to this day, regrettable period.” Weighing down on the neck and pressing down on the back of the State of Osun was a huge and pointless debt burden of N18.38billion which the erstwhile administration incurred in June 2010. The implication of this is that for the state to be able to meet its recurrent expenditure obligations alone, it must have recourse to finance institutions for further monthly debt of N1billion. Osun, it seemed then, was irreversibly headed for the “debt peonage” which could only result in stagnation and indeed regression as the debt burden was not contracted with any meaningful development purpose in mind. This is the social, political and fiscal environment into which Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola was drafted by history on the November 27, 2010 following the historic verdict of the day which exposed Oyinlola and his gang to be usurpers and impostors who seized power by illegal means. In the event, Aregbesola administration found itself compelled to walk a tight rope, deftly and dexterously entering a compromise here, a concession there, to ward off the reactionary designs of an opposition that could not reconcile itself to the new reality of people’s power. Much had to be put on hold for the political equation of power to be altered in favour of the new administration following the election of a brand new House of Assembly by the electorate in April 2011. The path-breaking and trail-blazing effort of Aregbesola represent really the process of consummation of a revolutionary scheme which was earlier captured in the document entitled, MY PACT WITH THE PEOPLE OF OSUN, authored by him before venturing into the stormy waters of electoral contest in 2007. The document was inspired by the three principle goals of Peace, Progress And Prosperity that Yoruba leader committed themselves to at the end of “Kiriji Wars” in September 1886; the PACT is a statement and re-statement of an intention to resume the truncated journey of the Yoruba into glory under the leadersdhip of an illustrious son, Awo. But it is not just a mere statement. It is a condensation of an extended and comprehensive vision clearly outlined and articulated under six broad headings otherwise known as “Six Point Integral Action Plan” which are Banish Poverty, Banish Hunger, Banish Unemployment, Restore Healthy Living, Promote Functional Education, Enhance Communal Peace And Progress. In the course of the past one and a half years, the

‘Weighing down on the neck and pressing down on the back of the State of Osun was a huge and pointless debt burden of N18.38 billion which the erstwhile administration incurred in June 2010. The implication of this is that for the state to be able to meet its recurrent expenditure obligations alone, it must have recourse to finance institutions for further monthly debt of N1 billion’

administration has “taken the bull by the horns in the pursuit of and execution of the integrated and organically linked crusades against poverty, hunger and unemployment. Massive investment in agriculture, food production and food security is being witnessed. Despite scoring the Aregbesola’s government high, ODA believes there is need to develop a longer term development plan that would outlive the four-year terms of governors and elected officials and provide a vision of what needs to be done to take Osun out of the woods into a new political economy whose articulate sectors complement each other and maximize human capital for industrial and commercial production. Such an innovation economy will utilize the immense research capacity of the vibrant intellectual centres such as the universities and colleges to position the state as a nursery for new technologies in all areas of application, boost tourism and deliver jobs and food on a sustainable basis. And for ease of implementation and sustainability, it advised the administration to break the envisaged 20 year long-term plan into five-year rolling plans for proper regular assessments so as to place the state on path of economic transformation and infrastructural renewal. It also recommends the strengthening of the administration’s monitoring mechanism which is already institutionalised as the Bureau of Social Services (BOSS) in order to effectively evaluate progress recorded or delay in the implementation of the revolutionary plans and programmes of the administration. Announcing that it intends to partner with the administration in its efforts to serve the people, ODA disclosed at the press conference that it is already conducting surveys and researches towards the publication of its first Mid-Year Performance Report of the Osun State Government. “The report would use the SWOT model to assess the promises of the administration, its challenges and achievements in the first 24 months in office.” It said. ODA is fast becoming a body to watch in the governance of the State of Osun on account of its scholarly and academic interventions in matters of public interest. It announced its presence by organizing the best public symposium on the anniversary of June 12 in Oshogbo this year drawing most of its participants from student unions on campuses, labour unions and middle class professionals. With Kehinde Bamigbetan, Chairman, Ejigbo Local Council Development Area as its convener, ODA parades young intellectuals with radical perspectives from State of Osun such as Gbenga Adedeji, Kolawole Victor, Kunle Oladejo, Fatuyisi Abiodun, Amusan Johnson, Rasheed Ropo, Arogundade Taofeek and Ayo Fadugba among its leading lights.


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

48

POLITICS

Kaduna: Controversy trails Amosun’s unusual passion, by aide preparation for local elections W

O

NE year after the dissolution of elected local government councils in Kaduna State, the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission (KASIEC) has released a timetable for fresh elections. The dissolution was based on provisions of the state local government laws. Since then, there has been persistent agitation by stakeholders for the conduct of elections into the third tier of government in the state. However, even with the release of the time-table, there complaints associated with such exercises have continued. It took a long time for the state House of Assembly to amend the local government electoral laws which government promised would be in conformity with the 2010 Electoral Act. It was immediately assented to by Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa. Speaking on a live radio programme, the governor said the state electoral body had been given all the necessary support to conduct free and fair elections. He assured residents of the state and the political parties of his support for credible polls, pointing out that he does not have a particular candidate, but is prepared to work with any candidate so elected by the people irrespective of party affiliation. He believes that the aim of all is to ensure development of the state. But the opposition parties believe that the guidelines released by the Commission is tilted to favour the ruling party with the imposition of nomination fees on all candidates by the Commission in exercise of the powers conferred on it by the relevant laws. Candidates contesting the chairmanship position are to pay a non-refundable fee of N200, 000, while councillorship candidates are to pay N50, 000 before being allowed to contest the election. Chairman of the Commission, Hanatu Biniyat, said at a news conference to announce the date and guidelines for the election that “political parties wishing to field candidates for the elections are expected to conduct their primary elections between September 7 and October 26, 2012. The deadline for the submission of the list of candidates is November 1. On Thursday, November 8, 2012, the commission shall publish the personal particulars of candidates in their constituencies and anyone who has reasonable grounds to believe that any candidate has given wrong information in the forms regarding his or her qualification can apply for certified true copies of the forms and file a suit before the High Court for the candidate to be disqualified.” But the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) is not comfortable with nomination fees imposed by the commission, while the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) says it is considering a legal option to stop the fees. Mohammed Musa Soba, Chairman of ACN in Kaduna, said though his party has no problem with the guidelines, it is not comfortable with the nomination fees, insisting that it is too high. He believes that the State Assembly has no reason to impose the fees considering the fact that they did not pay any nomination fees when they contested elections in 2011. In his words: “We take exception to the unjust and undemocratic imposition of nomination fees by the Kaduna State House of Assembly. It is a shame that the same legislators that did not pay a kobo to INEC to contest election, would

• Yakowa From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

now sit down and enact a discriminatory law that would ensure credible people are edged out of the contest through the payment of unjustifiable and exorbitant fee.” The state chairman of CPC, Alhaji Ahmadu Cocacola, also condemned the high nomination fees and the two year tenure, saying it would not allow the council executives carry out meaningful programmes before the expiration of their tenure. He argued “we have been agitating for the tenure of the local government council to be extended to four years and now they reduced it to two years; that is unconstitutional, as it would not allow the elected chairmen and councillors execute any project for their people. The high nomination fee amounts to connivance between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and KASIEC to disenfranchise the candidates of the opposition parties. Even if they have the capacity to perform, the high nomination fees may deter them from making known their candidacy or contesting the election.” Vice Chairman of the CPC in the state, Malam Samaila Suleiman, was, quoted as threatening that his party was considering a legal interpretation to some of the clauses. “We are happy that it is better late than never. SIECOM asking aspirants to pay nomination fee is an ugly development, we shall follow due processes to make sure that what is right is done. Democracy is supposed to be for the people and by the people. “Some couple of months ago, the House committee that was charged with the responsibility of amending the local government election organised a public hearing and majority of the participants clamoured for additional one year on the three years that was pegged for local government chairmen but instead of an increase, we now have a reduced tenure. Therefore, it beats our imagination that they are now saying the tenure has been shortened by a year. I can assure you that within the confines of the law, my party (CPC) will challenge it”, he said. Despite the opposition, the Commission Chairman believes that they have put in place enough plan to ensure a free, fair, acceptable local government elections devoid of violence.. She believes that the goal of having free, fair and credible elections depends principally on the perception, appreciation and involvement of stakeholders

in the electoral process. She believes that the issue of security is the primary responsibility of all citizens and appealed to stakeholders in the electoral process in the state to play a vital role in creating and ensuring a peaceful atmosphere for the exercise. Mrs. Biniyat who spoke at an interactive session with stakeholders expressed the hope that the outcome would boost the confidence of the electorate and instill in them the tenets of sound discipline towards reducing inter/intra party friction, promote the need for communities to embrace tolerance, mutual respect and peaceful co-existence, among one another, enhance security consciousness on the part of all stakeholders, thereby leading to shunning of negative vices that might jeopardise peace before, during and after the election. The stakeholders on their part asked the electoral body to ensure a credible pool by creating a level playing field for all aspirants ensuring that the election materials get to every polling unit before the time of the election in order to avoid the tendency of rigging. While expressing support for the conduct of a free, fair and credible local government election, stakeholders have continued to insist that the elections should be a test case for credible council polls across the country. They charge the electoral body to prove that a state electoral body can conduct a credible election by ensuring a level playing ground for all. The commission chairman may not be aware that some contenders are already dropping his name ahead of the election, but he has warned those claiming to be his candidates to stop dropping his name and prove to the people their capability and acceptability to win election, pointing out that no candidate will ride on his back to electoral victory. In preparation for the elections, Governor Yakowa has directed Caretaker Committees for the local government councils to begin to wind up and give a comprehensive account of their stewardship. He has also directed all his aides interested in contesting tto honourably vacate office. However, the coming days are certain to bring out a lot of candidates, both serious and unserious. But the conduct of the party primaries will determine where the pendulum swings during the elections. Movement from one party to the other will definitely take place following such primaries as those who felt cheated may switch parties to get favour.

HAT has come to stay as a sickening feature of politick ing and indeed, governance in Nigeria, especially in recent times, is the pull-it-down stance of opposition to a sitting government. Usually, it crops up seconds after the conclusion of an electoral process. Just a few days back, Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun got his own bite of the insipid political carrot which, of course, was dangled by members of the opposition to his administration in the state.: That he used state fund to co-sponsor the recent foreign trip of the national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Swiftly, the state Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Yusuf Olaniyonu did his job. He rose to the occasion and told whoever cared to listen that the rumour remained unfoundedly so. Naturally, one would expect such an awkward development to unsettle any administration and its leadership. Hence, The Nation was at the OkeMosan office of the state governor last Friday. It was herculean getting the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Amosun on Political Affairs, Hon. Adeniyi Adesanya, to speak on the politics of mudslinging that had been going on in the state. “There is nothing you must have heard from our detractors that had not been effectively addressed by our Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Yusuf Olaniyonu. But I must say that we ought to have outgrown this kind of retrogressive politics that has never helped our system,” he cut in at last. On how the governor had been able to cope with the rumours that his administration had been enmeshed in recently, Adesanya opened up: “The governor has a mandate to satisfy the yearnings of the people of the state on all fronts through his administration’s five cardinal programmes; so, he is too busy to get distracted by such baseless rumours that hold no water. “We know those behind the whole thing. It is a pity that they are not busy; that is why they have the whole time on earth to peddle unintelligible rumours which even an infant would consider stupid. No genuinely focused administration will allow itself to be distracted by such rumours by those who seem to have just woken up to the reality that Governor Amosun is now in charge of affairs in the state where people had wallowed helplessly in utter hopelessness.” He continued: “Move around in the state today, you will marvel at the rate at which people-oriented projects are being executed, even to the dismays of our detractors who did not do anything when they were there. Interestingly, our people know who Amosun is as a transparent governor that believes in their welfare. And they know his detractors and their place in history. So, the governor does not feel bothered at all. He is con-

• Adesanya By Dada Aladelokun, Assistant Editor

cerned with how to have his footprint on the sand of time in the state.” He spoke further: “Do these detractors have the sense of honesty to ponder within them how the governor has been doing wonders with the state’s lean purse? Do they care how he has been paying staff salaries when due? The governor is not bothered. He is forward-looking and will never be distracted.” When reminded that the role of the governor in the recent local government poll in the state had reportedly caused bad blood in the state chapter of ACN, Adesanya replied: “The governor is too hard-working to install riff-raffs who would not key into his dream of a better system, especially at the grassroots. He was concerned with having chairmen who share in his ambition for genuine development in the state. “Importantly, it was the people who said these are the people we want in the saddle at the local governments and the governor could not move against their wish. So, he imposed no one; he only allowed people’s wish to prevail.” For his obvious familiarity with the governor, The Nation asked to find out from Adesanya, more about Amosun’s passion for the state. “Do you believe that even at informal forums out of office, the governor would always remind us all about what we could do to improve the lot of the people of the state. He would always charge us to remember that one day we would not be there in the saddle, and that we must sacrifice anything to contribute our quota to making our marks,” he hinted, adding: “As a governor, he does not believe in ‘African time.’ Even most times, he is at his desks attending to state duties and many a time, he would be the last to leave office.” He enjoined the people of Ogun State to keep up their confidence in the governor and indeed, “the ideals of our party, the ACN,” adding: “They cannot afford to dance to the destructive tunes of our hopeless detractors.”

• From left: National Publicity Secretary Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Secretary to the Osun State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti and Yaba Local Government Chairman Hon. Jide Jimoh at the welcome reception for new members organise by ACN Kwara State chapter held in Ilorin. PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

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THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

51

THE NATION

e-Business Worried by foreign domination, local firms have launched a campaign to take over the ICT market by learning from countries with a robust and strong industry, writes AKINOLA AJIBADE

Adopting India’s IT model to boost local content F

OR stakeholders, there is only one way to boost local participation in the information communication technology (ICT) industry and that is by learning from other countries with a strong industry. The stakeholders are seeking increase in local expertise, transfer of knowledge, software development, patronage of ICT products, among other issues that would engender growth in the industry. Some of the stakeholders, such as Ministry of Communication Technology, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN), Internet Services Providers of Nigeria (ISPN), Nigerian Computer Society (NCS), Computers Professionals Council (CPN), Association of Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ATCON) and Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTCON) argue that there are capable local firms that can run the industry better than foreigners. The bodies had at several fora called for stronger local content policies to help drive the sector, stressing the need to develop the huge potentials in the industry, and further make it one of the best globally. Leading the initiative was the Ministry of Communication Technology. Since its establishment one year ago, the ministry has introduced a number of far reaching measures to promote local content. Under the leadership of Mrs Omobola Johnson, the ministry has rolled out a local content agenda to ensure wider participation of more Nigerian companies in the industry. The agenda is anchored on five goals namely - promoting local software and services, production of devices, card manufacturing, ICT infrastructure inputs and skills development. Of note is capacity development, an issue that is gaining ground among the stakeholders. They believe the country must have a strong workforce to be able to drive the local content policy. They said an improved, efficient, and reliable workforce is necessary, if Nigeria wants to achieve its local content objectives. Proponents of these arguments said United States, Britain, Germany, China, India among other countries were able to record huge successes in the area of ICT through local initiatives, arguing that Nigeria cannot be an exemption. They said the ICT sector is growing faster in Nigeria, and that the country needs to learn from countries that have grown their ICT industry to an enviable height. Little wonder that the Nigerian ICT’s operators initiated exchange programmes with their colleagues in other countries abroad. Recently, the information Technology Association of Nigeria and the National Association of Computer and Software Companies of India (NASSCOM) organised a conference in Lagos. The theme of the conference was: “Empowering and Resuscitating Local IT Entre-

•Mrs Johnson

•Mrs Seriki

•Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) Eugene Juwah

preneurs via Local Content Development and Funding.” The forum attracted delegates from Nigeria and India. It also provided room for cross-fertilisation of ideas among the operators. A major objective of the conference was to enable Nigerian operators learn from their Indian counterparts, and seek ways of replicating the knowledge in the industry. The reason is because India has recorded tremendous growth in the area of information communication and technology. The country is not only outsourcing ICT services to United States, but also deriving huge revenues from the industry. Reports have it that the bulk of contributions to India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) comes from ICT industry. Speaking at the event, the President, Association of Telecom Operators of Nigeria, Mr Lanre Ajayi said India has been growing its ICT industry well, and therefore needs to assist the country in this regard. Ajayi said India has advanced greatly in the area of information communication and technology, arguing that the country has become a force to reckon with globally. He said India is one of the leading nations in the area of development of ICT’s infrastructure, arguing that Nigeria need to learn from the country. He said: “What we are doing today is to learn from our India counterparts and further improve capacity. The Local content policy cannot achieve its objectives, unless we develop local capacity. The only way to achieve this, is to learn from India, among other countries that have a well developed ICT’s industry. India’s achievements can be attributed to its citizens in Diaspora. Britain granted independence to India several decades ago. After independence, many Indians stayed back in Britain. These people have

helped in transferring knowledge to India to grow the country’s ICT industry. Today, India has become one of the best ICT’s countries. “Nigeria would have achieved a lot in the area of ICT if its citizens in Diaspora have taken after the Indians. Since Nigerians in Diaspora have refused to come home and impact necessary ICT knowledge on us, we have to learn from a country like India that has recorded a robust growth in ICT. What I know is that one must learn from those that are superior to him. And that is what we are doing to spur growth in the industry. We believe that the idea will help in promoting the growth of local content agenda in the future.” Also, the President, ITAN, Mrs Florence Seriki said the issue of local content development is important because it would create jobs and revenue for the economy. She said there are lots to learn from countries that have carved a niche for themselves in the global’s ICT market, arguing that the collaboration between Nigeria and India would further grow the industry. She said operators are encouraging students to use locally manufactured computers, laptops, and Personal Computers (PCs), adding that the development has paid off. She said through the partnership, the two countries would be able to transfer skills that would strengthen the growth of the sector. The President, National Association of Computers and Software Companies of India, Mr Som Mital said the two countries would learn from each other and collaborate on the issue of investing in Nigeria. Mital said efforts would be made to forge lasting partnership arrangements between the two countries in the area of ICT development. He said investments in ICT industry in India is worth $300 billion, adding that the

country has generated huge revenues from IT outsourcing services. “India boasts of a larger percentage of ICT’s market globally. The development has created a lot of value chains in India, and other countries where we have considerable influence. Through this collaboration, India and Nigeria will benefit from each other. With time, Nigeria will declare ICT as the biggest employer of labour. What the country needs to do is to open up its ICT’s industry for growth. The reason is because it can create capabilities, and further make the government to be more transparent. Mital said the two countries would benefit from each other, arguing that Nigeria would gain more in the area of capacity building. The Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs Johnson Omobola said efforts would be geared towards policies that encourage the patronage of locally developed software. Represented by her personal assistant, Mr Ola Ogunleye, Omobola said the government would continue to promote the establishment of ICT incubation centres that operate in a private sector/ entrepreneurial setting. “Included in this initiative is the promotion of a venture capital fund that would provide alternative and more appropriate means of funding for software and other ICT entrepreneurs especially in the start-up phases, as well as providing avenues for the commissioning of bespoke software by the business community. Government has directed that computers and laptops of a certain configuration purchased through appropriated funds must be locally assembled or manufactured in Nigeria. Likewise, local card production and consumption has been institutionalised to drive local content policy. For example, government insistence on local manufacturing of recharge cards has been successfully done and jobs and values have been created,” she said. The minister said appropriate guidelines and standards for IT products/ services, as well as campaign for the patronage of “Made in Nigeria” products have been launched. She said the ministry is working on providing regulatory framework that will protect intellectual property rights and privilege of the local entrepreneurs. She stressed that entrepreneurs would enjoy incentives such as tax-breaks, tariffs/levies concessions. The minister said the collaboration between ITAN and NASSCOM would encourage the growth of the ICT industry in India and Nigeria respectively.

‘India boasts of a larger percentage of ICT’s market globally. The development has created a lot of value chains in India, and other countries where we have considerable influence. Through this collaboration, India and Nigeria will benefit from each other’


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

52

e-Business

An industry in search of a present and a future

Matters e-Rising Segun Oruame segun@segunoruame.com

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OME weeks back, the Nigerian government started inking the final roadmap for the development of one of the country’s most ignored but excessively acknowledged industry to leapfrog the economy: the local software and applications industry. Through the country’s IT guardian, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), government is seeking to put in place a National Software Policy “that can stand the test of time and adequately position software made in Nigeria in the forefront of global ICT market” as emphasized by the Director General of NITDA Prof. Cleopas O. Angaye, who is also a software developer with many patents and a professor of Computer. Nigeria is looking to the Indian example to justify its need for a forward looking official thrust at encouraging explosive growth in the local software industry where more than a 100 companies jostle for existence and opportunities to grow beyond ‘verandah companies.’ Some of the biggest earners in the budding industry include Computer Warehouse Group (ExpertEdge Limited), SystemSpecs, Programos Software Group, CSA, Precise Financial Systems (PFS) Limited, Signal Alliance Group and Infosoft among several others in the top earning league in excess of $80 million (about N120 million). But that is as far as the local companies could go in an industry heavily dominated by foreign software companies particularly of Indian origin who mop up the billion dollars in terms of monetary gains and brand acceptance. Market has remained a perilous ground for the local companies in the absence of clearcut government support and a mix of factors that tend to erode sustainability and brand acceptability including unwillingness of corporate Nigeria to pay huge sum for locally made bespoke software. India offers a classic example of how a country could rework its economic fortune in the new world order. The authors of Nigeria’s new national software policy are clearly looking at the strong points. Last year, India made some $20 billion (about three trillion naira and in excess of Nigeria’s entire national budget) from software export to consolidate

on its position as one of the biggest earner in global software and applications market. In the last half a decade, the $20 billion figure has become an annual gain-point that Indian software companies and the Indian government have sought to consolidate and expand on as part of the India’s economic growth indices. From 2007, the Indian software with auxiliary industry alone employed more than two million people and contributed about 4.8 per cent of India Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In the last 10 years, India software export impact on nearly 95 countries to prove reach and acceptability. In contrast, and according to the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Nigeria losses about $1 billion (about N150 billion) annually to software importation majorly to India where Indian software applications virtually run the banking sector. With a potential market potential of $6 billion (about N900 billion), many experts think the Nigerian software industry lies in limbo because government has failed to see economic potential beyond the oil industry. Perhaps, the new drive under NITDA at providing a national software policy offers the most convincing attempt in official circle to support a most ignored sector for well over a decade, where practitioners have ceaselessly called for clearly defined support for the indigenous software industry. In the last 10 years, government has approached oiling the local industry with woozy statements and hazy actions including the establishment of a national software park, National Software Development Initiative, National Software Development Taskforce and the national IT policy, and un-patterned public-sector patronage often leaving the local practitioners confused and vulnerable to manipulation by public establishments. For instance, a leading software company which got a World

Bank aided deal to run locally made software application that would manage the country’s civil service got the deal terminated in its second phase by a government ministry in favour of a foreign company for reasons the World Bank considered objectionable. The local company would rather sulk than fight its case because there is no official policy thrust it could rely on to push its case on merit. In the hardware sub-sector, practitioners such as Zinox Computers and Omatek Computers Plc have been able to push for a clear-cut policy that encourages the patronage of local computer companies first before their foreign counterparts. But the Nigerian local software companies have never been able to muster sufficient public consciousness to pressure government to adopt policy that will affect its growth in spite of the existence of an umbrella body: the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON). While companies like Zinox, Omatek and even smaller players such as Beta Systems and Balogtek have been able to be primal gainers in government’s multibillion naira spending on computer hardware in the last eight years, the software market has gone to the Indians and other foreign companies. In their 2004 survey report titled: A Profile of Nigeria's Software Industry, Abimbola Soriyan and Richard Heeks observed that “Nigeria's software industry is an industry that has been disappointingly neglected to date in work on software in developing countries, despite Nigeria's size and both economic and political importance. The survey found there are more than 100 firms active in the industry, principally clustered around the South-West of the country and virtually all private-owned. Most firms are small enterprises (11-50 staff) and most professional staff have at least a first degree. Customers are drawn almost exclusively from

‘In the last 10 years, India software export impact on nearly 95 countries to prove reach and acceptability. In contrast, and according to the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Nigeria losses about $1 billion (about N150 billion) annually to software importation majorly to India where Indian software applications virtually run the banking sector’

Teachers get 45,000 computers

BoI to create special funds for ICT entrepreneurs

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HE Bank of Industry (BoI) will provide special funds for the information communication and technology entrepreneurs that meet its requirements, its Managing Director, Ms Evelyn Oputu, has said. Speaking in Lagos, Oputu said funding was the major problem of many operators. The bank, she said, did not have a special desk for ICT, despite the industry being one of the major contributors to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in recent times. She said: “We do not have sector specific for ICT. As situation arises, we give loans to ICT firms that have shown willingness to do business and achieve results. We take seriously every sector that has impact on the people. ICT is one of those sectors, though its yet to realise its potentials in the country. “At the Bank of Industry, we reject any aspect of the economy that do not impact on the country’s Gross Domestic Product. We lay emphasis on value added creations. We have a lot of

A

By Akinola Ajibade

schemes in the bank. That is why we are coming out with a unique way of lending to businesses. However, the funds would be given to only the serious ICT entrepreneurs who have shown a lot of commitments to his/her businesses. I wants you to be rest assured that you have a banker that would support you, may be at a single-digit rate or very close. She urged entrepreneurs to come out with transactions that are deserving and aboveboard, adding that the bank would not hesitate to finance such business owners. “Our responsibility is to support any transactions you are bringing, but would vet them and see whether they are qualified for loans. Once you are coming with your technology and capacity , we would give you funds to scale up your operations. What we are trying to do is to get those funds out there back to BoI, for onward lending to entrepreneurs in the ICT

•Ms Oputu

industry at a single-digit rate,“she added. She said the bank would see lend to the industry to create value propositions, and further attract foreign investments into the country. According to her, the decision to support ICT entrepreneurs was based on their growing contributions to the nation’s economy.

‘62% of TV viewers watch social media’

E

RICSSON International has concluded a study on television viewers to ascertain the level of exposure of people to social media programmes. According to the study, 62 per cent of consumers use social media while watching TV weekly, an increase of 18 per cent in one year. It said: “By gender, 66 per cent of women engage in this behaviour, compared to 58 per cent of men. Twenty-five per cent of consumers use social media to discuss what they are watching while they are

By Bukola Afolabi

watching it.” Ericsson Consumer Lab Senior Adviser, Niklas Ronnblom said: “Mobile devices are an important part of the TV experience, as 67 per cent of consumers use smartphones, tablets, or laptops for TV and video viewing. “Furthermore, 60 per cent of consumers say they use on-demand services weekly. Watching TV on the move is growing in popularity, and 50 per cent of the time

the private sector and from the domestic market: software exports are few and far between. “The majority of work focuses on providing services – such as installation, customisation and training – related to imported packages, and there are signs of decline in development of locally-written software. Strategic analysis of the industry according to Heeks' quadrant model shows that Nigeria needs to bolster such local development work. For this to happen, firms must target market segments with some degree of protection from imports. They must also strengthen their software development practices, something that will be partly dependent on improvements in the provision of software education by local universities.” Much of that observation has not changed almost eight years later as policymakers make to chart a new course for the industry. Angaye is convinced that with the new thrust, positive change is in the offing. His words: “I strongly believe that we shall come out with a credible National Software Policy that can stand the test of time and adequately position software Nigeria in the forefront of global ICT market.” But his optimism is depended on government’s change of attitude as one stakeholder puts it: “Government, who controls bulk of the economic activity in this country, has to be ready to spend the right amount of time, energy and money into software development.” So, where does the future lie with government support? Quality production of software, graded and tested by a body certified to do so which invariably offers market confidence to the products and ultimately encourages patronage for the local brands." Development of these strategic positions can only be properly achieved if software project processes and methods are of sufficient quality. Without that quality, there will be shortcomings in locally-produced software, which will turn customers off, and push the industry further towards foreign products to continue the vicious circle. On the other hand, if acceptable quality can be built, then locally-produced software will be more effective than imports in meeting customer requirements.

spent watching TV and video on the smartphone, is done outside the home, where mobile broadband connections are facilitating the increase.” Although viewing behaviours and demands are changing, according to a statement, only seven per cent of consumers say they will reduce their TV subscriptions in the future. In fact, instead of looking to cut costs, consumers are willing to pay more for an enhanced viewing experience: 41 per cent of consumers say they are willing to pay for TV and video content in HD.

BOUT 45,000 teachers in Lagos State will benefit from the first phase of computer ownership scheme powered by Brainfield educational software solution. The firm, in a statement, said it distributed about 500 computers during the first phase of the scheme, adding that the remaining 40,000 would be given out during the second phase. It said the development is part of the e-learning programmes of the state chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT). It said the application will contain 42 subjects, over 10,000 theorems, definitions and formular for the e-gadgets. It said a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed to make computers available to teachers in a flexible payment scheme. He said, with this development, beneficiaries will move away from traditional teaching to eteaching practice. Commissioner for Education Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye said the scheme would help improve teachers' standards. Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Education District 1 Lagos State, Mrs Victoria Mopelda Peregring during the launch of the scheme in Lagos, Oldunjoye said the capacity building project is a welcome development. "I commend Cinfores for developing the innovation software that powered the Laptops. It will help teachers adapt in the virtual learning environment which is not a global practice. With the project, Lagos teachers will now be part of the best practice in e-learning which is replacing traditional learning," she said. According to her, any teacher who fails to take IT education serious will be left behind in the knowledge-based society. For the the State Chairman, NUT, Comrade Sampson Kayode Idowu, in his speech said as implementer of education policies, it was the occupation of NUT Lagos chapter to add value to the efforts of the government to ensure significant improvement in the overall quality of education in Lagos State.


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

53


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

54

EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 19-9-12

Investors swoop on financial stocks

T

URNOVER at the Nigerian stock market reached its highest level in recent period yesterday as investors scrambled for shares in the financial services sector. Momentum at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) picked on the back of upsurge in demand for several financial services stocks, especially First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Zenith Bank, Mansard Insurance and Cornerstone Insurance. Turnover jumped to 904.16 million shares valued at N5.45 billion in 5,340 deals, representing an increase of 75 per cent and 77 per cent on total volume and total value respectively. Aggregate market capitalisation of all equities and the benchmark All Share Index (ASI) also rallied by 0.73 per cent each to push the average year-to-date return to 23.69 per cent. Total market capitalisation of all quoted equities rose from N8.104 trillion to N8.163 trillion. The ASI improved correspondingly from 25,456.01 points 25,642.39 points. The positive market situation particularly reflected in-

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

creasing investors’ appetite for FCMB, which had this week published a detailed scheme of merger with Finbank, which it acquired recently. FCMB recorded a turnover of 252.61 million shares worth N803.52 million in 403 deals, representing about 28 per cent of total turnover. In what underlined the favourable demand-supply position of the bank’s shares, FCMB’s market consideration rose by 4.28 per cent to close at N3.17 per share. Market analysts said investors were taking positions in FCMB ahead of the expected value creation from the business combination, while investors who had bought the shares of the bank at relatively lower prices were taking profits from recent capital gains. Zenith Bank was the second most active stock with a turnover of 137.95 million shares valued at N2.21 billion in 329 deals. Transactions on Zenith Bank were mostly cross deals, indicating possible inhouse transactions. Mansard Insurance recorded a turnover of 110.01

million shares worth N198.02 million in 10 deals. Cornerstone Insurance saw exchange of 109.33 million shares worth N54.67 million in 26 deals. The Nation learnt that the transactions on Cornerstone Insurance were cross deals by a foreign-affiliated brokerage firm, and they may not be unconnected with the impending merger of the company with Linkage Assurance. Other banks with substantial turnover included First Bank of Nigeria, Skye Bank, United Bank for Africa and Diamond Bank. Altogether, the banking subsector recorded a turnover of 538.48 million shares valued at N4.22 billion in 2,839 deals. Insurance subgroup accounted for a turnover of 249.73 million shares worth N274.4 million in 183 deals. Meanwhile, Nigerian Breweries led the overtly bullish market with the highest value gain of N1.50 to close at N136.50. Julius Berger Nigeria followed with a gain of N1.30 to close at N28.80. Dangote Cement gained N1.24 to close at N116.26, while UAC of Nigeria added N1 to close at N42. On the other hand, Morison Industries led the losers with a drop of 28 kobo to close at N5.46. Diamond Bank lost 16 kobo to close at N3.53 while Nigerian Aviation Handling Company dropped 10 kobo to close at N6 per share.

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 19-9-12


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

55

MONEY LINK World Bank to speak at cashless confab

Kano Govt, Jaiz Bank sign N500m pact

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HE Kano State government has signed a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with Jaiz Bank Plc and Agama Consortium to the tune of N500 million for the establishment, implementation and operation of the Kano Geographic Information system (KANGIS) under the state land act. Signing the contract agreement at Government House, Kano yesterday, Governor Kwankwaso, explained that the provision of affordable accommoda-

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

tion for its citizens is part of the policy of his administration. According to him, the government has concluded arrangements to sell Government quarters to the residents of the state. He added that those who cannot afford to buy the houses would be granted loans. The Managing Director of Jaiz Bank, Mustapha Bintube, said the agreement is based on a three-year Pub-

lic Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, comprising three indigenous companies, with Jaiz Bank serving as the funding, as well as the lead collection bank. Bintube, said that KANGIS PPP contract, will among other benefits, modernise and computerise land administration in Kano State as well as significantly boost the state government’s internally generated revenue (IGR). He said it will also facili-

tate the creation of ‘bankable’ land title documents or certificate of occupancy C-of-O’s for urban and rural land, including agricultural plots within the state. “This will go a long way in unlocking the vast economic potentials that have hitherto been tied up as a result of the inability of genuine land owners to obtain valid C-of-o’s for their land titles. “The KANGIS will also enable the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning to elimi-

T

•Bintube

nate sharp practices and other fraudulent activities with respect to land administration in the state,” he said.

FirstBank promotes financial inclusion via FirstMonie

F

IRSTBANK yesterday, launched FirstMonie, its mobile money service positioned to assist the lender’s commitment to financial inclusion. The product is targeted at meeting the financial needs of the banked and unbanked segment of the population, using mobile telephone and robust IT base. Speaking at the product launch in Lagos, Managing Director of the bank, Bisi Onasanya said FirstMonie is

By Collins Nweze

a fast, safe and convenient means of carrying out banking transactions through mobile phone. He said the bank is using the product to address the needs of the poor and vulnerable while promoting the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) financial inclusion mandate. He said the product is a game changer in Nigeria’s banking sector and will lever-

age on the bank’s transaction integrity to enhance local money transfer services. “With the launch of this service, the stage is now set for the Bank’s customers and anyone in Nigeria with a mobile phone to enjoy financial services, using their mobile phones to send money, pay bills, top up their phone airtime, do shopping, deposit and withdraw cash, without the need to visit a bank branch,” the First Bank boss said.

The slogan “FirstMonie is the new money” encapsulates both the ambition and vision of the new service,” he said. According to him, with almost 700 branches and business correspondent outlets located across the country, about 1,900 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), we offer an effective mobile money platform in Nigeria. “We are already recruiting agents across the country to meet the needs of our consumers,” he added. Also speaking at the launch,

FirstBank’s Group Head, e-Business, Mr. Chuma Ezirim, said, “FirstMonie has been innovatively created to empower Nigerians, both banked and especially, the un-banked providing them the most affordable, safe, trusted, fast and convenient access to doing everything they do with cash today. In 10 years, 100 million people have been newly ‘banked’ using mobile technology, and while the industry has grown rapidly, the segment is still far from reaching its potential.

UBA gets ISO certification

U

NITED Bank for Africa (UBA), has achieved the mark of ISO 27001 Certification for its Internet Banking application and data centre operations.

The bank in a statement, said, the feat validates UBA’s commitment to continuously strengthen the security of services provided to customers. According to the lender, it also accentu-

systems and information is essential to its safety and soundness, and to the privacy of customer financial information. As a result, UBA has put in place and maintains truly effective in-

ates its deliberate efforts towards combining best-ofbreed technology with the best of manpower to create and be the industry benchmark in risk management. “The security of the bank’s

FGN BONDS

DATA BANK

Tenor

Amount N

Rate %

M/Date

3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 350m 150m 350m 138m 350m 113m

MANAGED FUNDS

NIDF NESF

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

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

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

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012

GAINERS AS AT 19-9-12 SYMBOL

DNMEYER FIDSON INTBREW NEIMETH UBN CONTINSURE NASCON CUTIX NPFMCRFBK JBERGER

O/PRICE

0.74 1.18 15.70 0.80 7.90 0.61 5.74 1.65 1.05 27.50

C/PRICE

0.81 1.29 16.69 0.84 8.29 0.64 6.02 1.73 1.10 28.80

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

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51

149.7450

154.0000

154.3000

-3.04

152.0000

153.0000

155.5000

-2.30

153.0000

154.0000

156.0000

-1.96

O/PRICE 5.74 3.69 6.10 1.87 4.60 1.45 1.82 2.00 1.75 7.02

C/PRICE 5.46 3.53 6.00 1.80 4.53 1.40 1.79 1.98 1.73 7.00

CHANGE 0.28 0.16 0.10 0.07 0.07 0.05 0.03 0.02 0.02 0.02

DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11

July ’11

July ’12

MPR

6.50%

6.50%

12%

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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

NSE CAP Index

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

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

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

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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%

MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name

LOSERS AS AT 19-9-12

SYMBOL WAPIC PORTPAINT RTBRISCOE MAYBAKER AGLEVENT IKEJAHOTEL REDSTAREX DANGFLOUR PRESCO JBERGER

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Year Start Offer

CHANGE

0.07 0.11 0.99 0.04 0.39 0.03 0.28 0.08 0.05 1.30

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

OBB Rate Call Rate

formation security as it continuously integrates processes, people, and technology to mitigate risk in accordance with risk assessment and acceptable risk tolerance levels,” it said.

HE Head, Payment Systems Development Group, the World Bank, Massimo Cirasino, is expected to visit Nigeria, in October, to speak at a confab focused on the current cashless policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Cirasino, who would be speaking alongside the VicePresident, Global Mobile Solutions, Citibank, United Sates of America (USA), Kevin Brown, is attending a conference on issues surrounding the policy, being organised by De Novo and Legal Reach a UK law firm. The two-day programme, sponsored mainly by the CBN, will focus on the country’s transition to a cashless society. Also to be discussed are the possibilities and challenges of the policy. The conference, holding on October 8 and 9 , is expected to bring together experts in the global payments industry who will provide insight and present key developments from other jurisdictions, which can be used to benchmark the way forward. The CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is expected to open the conference, while banks, telecoms companies, epayment service providers, law firms, etc are expected to participate. Lagos is the pilot state for the cashless programme. It focuses on the following themes: ‘Infrastructure for an effective and resilient system’, ‘Security strategies to combat fraud and money laundering’, and ‘Developing appropriate legal and regulatory framework for electronic payments’.

Offer Price

Bid Price

ARM AGGRESSIVE 9.17 KAKAWA GUARANTEED 1.00 STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE 125.13 AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND 114.08 LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL 0.77 BGL SAPPHIRE FUND 1.10 BGL NUBIAN FUND 0.93 NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. 1,713.48 PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND 10.45 CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST 1.39 CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST 1.87 STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY 8,652.66 THE DISCOVERY FUND 193.00 FIDELITY NIGFUND 1.67 • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND

9.08 1.00 124.96 113.71 0.74 1.10 0.91 1,709.59 9.94 1.33 1.80 8,411.80 191.08 1.62

Movement

OPEN BUY BACK

Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833

Movement


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

56

NEWS MOSOP says visit to President fruitful

T

HE Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has said the meeting of the Ogoni people with President Goodluck Jonathan on the implementation of the United Nations Environmental Programme’s (UNEP’s) Report was successful. MOSOP Provisional Council Chairman Prof. Ben Naanen spoke in Bori, Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State, during a meeting that witnessed the adoption of the presentation to Jonathan as a working document for the Ogoni people. On September 3, the Ogoni, led by King Godwin Gininwa and Senator Magnus Abe met with the President on the implementation of the report, compensation for damages in the area, the creation of Bori State, youth empowerment and the provision of basic amenities. Naanen dismissed claims that the delegation did not act in the best interest of the people. He said: “Our meeting with Jonathan was very successful. It is our prayer that the Federal Government speeds up the implementation of the document presented in order to alleviate the suffering of the Ogoni people.” Naanen urged the people to avoid making frivolous statements that can hinder their progress. Abe, represented by the Chairman of Gokana Local Government Area, Mr. Ledee Demua, said the implementation of the Ogoni Bill of Right was important for the survival of the people. He said surface and ground water contamination at levels over 900 times above the World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) prescribed safety limit meant that every Ogoni person was a potential cancer patient. Abe said: “This is a potential public health disaster of monumental proportion, which warrants emergency action ahead of other remedial efforts. “Our environment and survival is of great importance to us and we expect the Federal Government to take our demands seriously.” Abe said despite their commitment to Nigeria’s unity, the Ogoni would continue to seek control of their resources.

Council seeks partnership

T

HE Chairman, Mushin Local Government, Mr. Olatunde Adepitan, has urged corporate organisations to partner the council on poverty reduction and literacy promotion programmes. Adepitan said such organisations could improve the reading culture among youths by equipping the council’s library. He will today meet with representatives of the business community at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry building, Alausa, Ikeja. Adepitan said: “The partnership we seek is not from companies operating in Mushin alone, but those with special interest in education. We are trying to rebrand Mushin through the library.”

From left: Umahi, Ihejirika, Oshiomhole, Atiku, Abubakar and Balogun...yesterday.

Army chief inaugurates projects in Edo

T

HE Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, has hailed Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole for strengthening the cordial relationship between the military and civilians in the state. Ihejirika spoke at the inauguration of projects built by the state government and donated to the Army. They include roads at the 4 Brigade, Nigerian Army; five blocks of 25 classrooms; a hall; 10 toilets; and a borehole at the Nigerian Army School of Supply and Transport in

Benin. The army chief said: “The President would be happy that while he is transforming the country, you are transforming the state. We have inaugurated a series of projects built by the state government and donated to the Army. The group you have targeted are the leaders of the nation. By transforming the school, you have transformed their lives. “The excitement demonstrated by the pupils and parents also demonstrates the excitement in the Army. It is impossible for the Federal

Government to rehabilitate all the schools in the barracks. It is against this background that we appreciate what the governor is doing in the barracks and in Edo State. “The inauguration is a representation of other projects in other barracks. We have seen the furniture and the governor has promised to build the primary school. I have no doubt in his ability to do it because of his antecedent.” Oshiomhole said the military is part of the society and is entitled to benefit from

Five die in Delta road crash

F

IVE members of a family yesterday died in an accident on the Onitsha-Benin Expressway. The accident occurred at Ubulu-Okiti Junction in Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State. It was gathered that the victims were travelling from Ekiti State to Awka in Anambra State.

From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

Sources said the Toyota Hilux conveying them lost one of its tyres and skidded off the road. The victims include a man, his expectant wife, two children (a male and a female) and a steward. The bodies of the victims were evacuated by men of the

Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC). They have been deposited at the mortuary of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba. An 82-year-old relative of the victims, a woman, who was also in the vehicle, miraculously survived the accident. Another passenger, also a member of the family, was rushed to the intensive care unit of the FMC.

140 Nigeria policemen in Mogadishu for peace keeping

O

NE hundred and forty officers and men of the Nigerian Police Force have arrived in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia to participate in the ongoing AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) peacekeeping operations.. A statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria

(NAN) in Addis Ababa by the Peace and Security Department of the AU Commission yesterday, said that the Formed Police Unit (FPU) from Nigeria would join other unit from Uganda who were already in Mogadishu. Mr Boubacar Diarra, the Special Representative of the AU

Chairperson for Somalia , said in a statement that the arrival of the second AMISOM Formed Police Unit was a clear demonstration of the AU’s commitment to support Somalia in its endeavour to improve the security situation in the country especially in the liberated areas.

Taraba Assembly directs CJ to set up panel against Deputy Governor

T

HE Taraba State House of Assembly yesterday continued impeachment proceedings against Deputy Governor Alhaji Abubakar Sani Danladi. The lawmakers directed the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Josephine Tuktur as a matter of urgency, to constitute an investigative panel that will probe Danladi’s alleged offences. The deputy governor was on September 4, served with an impeachment notice, for alleged “gross misconduct, sharp practices and lack of capacity to function as a deputy governor”. He was given 14 days to satisfactorily respond, failure which he would be impeached.

From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo

The deadline expired on Tuesday, a day after he (Danladi) was stopped from receiving the national honour of the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) by President Goodluck Jonathan. The directive (on the judiciary) followed Danladi’s response to the impeachment notice, which compelled the legislators who are on recess to convene an emergency sitting at about 9.30p.m last night. The dusk plenary was attended by 21 members, who formed quorum. Having deliberated on Danladi’s reply, which lasted for several hours, the Assem-

bly members unanimously decided that the Judiciary should come in as an arbiter to investigate all the allegations that led to the impeachment process and whether the House’s moves were lawfully. 19, out of the 23-member House had signed the impeachment notice. But yesterday the two members that initially refused to sign the impeachment notice appended their signatures on the document. To give Danladi fair hearing, the judiciary was given three months to carry out their investigation, which the House said they will abide by the outcome of the findings.

what the government. He said he is convinced that a soldier would perform his duties better, if he is assured of quality education for his children. The governor said: “I believe the least we can do for the future of Nigeria is to give our children quality education. “We must restore integrity to public schools, so that the children of the poor would not have inferiority complex.” The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 2 Division,

Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. M.D. Abubakar; ProvostMarshall, Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Raphael Isa; Commander, 4 Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Abel Umahi; Commander, 81 Air Maritime Group, Air Commodore Umar Atiku; Commandant, Nigerian Army School of Supply and Transport, Benin, Brig.-Gen. Nienge; Director, Miltary Intelligence, Maj.-Gen. Tijani Jubrin; and the Commissioner for Police, Edo State, Mr. Olayinka Balogun, were also at the ceremony.

Aregbesola signs 10 bills into law From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

O

SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has signed 10 bills passed by the House of Assembly into law. The Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties, Basiru Ajibola, spoke in Osogbo, the state capital, when he addressed the Assembly on his ministry’s implementation of this year’s budget. He listed the bills as: a Law for the Establishment of the Osun State Agency for the Control of AIDS (SACA) and other Matters 2012; Local Government Administration (Amendment) Law 2012; a Law to Repeal the Public Procurement Law 2012. Others are: State of Osun Bonds, Notes and other Securities Issuance Law 2012; State of Osun Legitimacy (Repeal) Law 2012; State of Osun Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding (Amendment) Law 2012; State of Osun Security Trust fund Law 2012; State of Osun Debt Management Office (Establishment) Law 2012; State of Osun Fiscal Responsibility Law 2012; and State of Osun (Omoluabi) Conservation Fund Law 2012. The commissioner said the establishment of family courts and the Citizens Mediation Panel would serve as government’s alternative to conflict resolution among the residents.

NLC urges Uduaghan to resolve dispute with teachers From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

T

HE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Delta State chapter, has intervened in the dispute between the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Delta State Government. The NUT has been on strike for four days over the nonimplementation of the 27.5 per cent Teachers’ Peculiar Allowance (TPA). NLC urged Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan to intervene in the dispute between the NUT and the state Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education. In a letter to the governor by its Chairman, Comrade Williams Akporeha, NLC said: “The issues at stake have lingered on for so long and deserve your immediate intervention to ensure continued peaceful industrial climate in the state.” Public schools were scheduled to resume for a new academic session last Monday, but they could not owing to the NUT strike. Commissioner for Education Prof. Patrick Muoboghare said the government has not implemented the TPA because the ministry has not completed the verification of teachers.


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

57

NEWS Community protests monarch’s ‘high-handedness’

Proposed N13.6b secretariat: Opposition flays Chime

•Monarch: they just want to humiliate me

•I’m unperturbed, says governor

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

From Chris Oji, Enugu

R

ESIDENTS of Amenye Abagana in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State yesterday protested the alleged high-handedness of their traditional ruler, Igwe Patrick Mbamalu. They said the monarch has been selling the community’s land without due process. The protesters, comprising men, women, youths and the aged, alleged the unlawful detention of indigenes by the monarch in liaison with the police. They marched on the streets, carrying placards with unprintable names. The patron of the village, Mr. Paul Anunobi, and an elder, Mr. Isaiah Okeakpu, described the monarch as “greedy, selfish and moneyconscious”. They said the land sold out by the monarch were meant for community projects. A woman leader, Mrs. Patricia Okeyemekwue, said the monarch had been victimising their children and husbands. When the protesters got to the local government secretariat, the Chairman of the village, Mr. Godfrey Elochukwu, told the council officials that Mbamalu sold part of Oyeagu Market and lied to his subjects that he gave it to the State Security Service (SSS). Elochukwu said: “We asked him to explain his reason for selling the land, of which the villagers and the local government are stakeholders, but he refused to do so.” The Deputy Council Chairman, Mr. Obi Okearo, said the matter was beyond the local government and it has been reported to the Special Adviser to the Governor on Town Union Matters. Mbamalu said he gave the land to the SSS to build their quarters. He said those behind the protest just wanted to humiliate him. Mbamalu said: “I have not sold anybody’s land since I was born. My father had enough land. Some miscreants are trying to instigate crisis in the town.”

Teenager arranges his kidnap in Delta From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

A

TEENAGER, Daniel Akagbo, has been arrested by the police in Delta State for allegedly staging his kidnap. Akagbo allegedly arranged with eight others in Effurun on September 10 to kidnap him. Police spokesman Charles Muka said the police arrested a suspected member of the gang, Daniel Akagbo, who led them to the shrine where Akagbo and some victims were being held. It was learnt that the gang demanded N20 million ransom from Akagbo’s father. Muka said the police are on the trail of the fleeing members of the gang.

•Chime

O

PPOSITION parties have condemned the plan by the Enugu State Government to build a new secretariat for N13.6 billion. Nine opposition parties, under the aegis of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), in a statement, frowned at the proposal. They said it was not necessary now. The parties have formed a coalition to present a common

candidate to run against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 governorship election. The Congress for Progressives Change (CPC) is heading to court to stop the rebuilding of the secretariat. The party said: “We will not fold our arms and allow this government destroy the existing secretariat and bequeath a legacy of huge debt to the people of Enugu State.” Governor Sullivan Chime said he is unperturbed by the opposition’s attacks. In a statement, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Inter-Party Affairs, Mr. Chris Asadu, said those attacking the government have not given any substan-

tial reason for their criticisms. Asadu, who is a CNPP chieftain, said only nine of the over 37 opposition parties were behind the attacks. He said those criticising the government were “merely exercising their right to freedom of expression to seek relevance, rather than pursuing any discernible cause”. Asadu said the governor should not be worried by the opposition’s “tantrums”. The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Chukwudi Achife, said: “The credibility of the opposition’s criticism has been undermined by their claim in the media that they decided to attack Chime because he had become inaccessible after they supposedly helped him to win the 2011 election.”

He said the governor is running an all-inclusive government, with some opposition figures occupying public positions in his administration. Achife said Chime has maintained a “broad-minded and non-partisan policy” in the implementation of his transformation agenda. He said: “We understand these attacks as a mere exercise of the freedom of expression, not that there is any real substance to them. These things happen now and then. Democracy permits it and, as such, the governor is not perturbed. “He will remain focused on the job he has been elected to do, which objective minds have acknowledged he has been doing excellently well”. Achife said the governor is willing to listen to constructive criticisms and suggestions that would improve the state.

Landlords back Orji on demolition By Emmanuel Oladesu

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BIA State Governor Chief Theodore Orji has praised the Aba Landlord Association for supporting the planned demolition of illegal structures in the city. At a meeting with leaders of the association, the governor said he is determined to clean up Aba. Orji said Aba was neglected by past administrations, but he would make a difference. He said there is no going back on the demolition of structures obstructing the waterways. The governor said road repairs would begin after the rains. On the issue of double taxation raised by the association, Orji said the matter would be addressed. The association’s Chairman, Sir E.C. Mejeh, said the landlords are behind the governor on the demolition of illegal structures. The association hailed Orji on the “improved security” in the state and urged him not to be distracted. It urged Aba residents to cooperate with Orji.

MTN Project Fame winner for Red Ball event

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•Anambra State Governor Peter Obi (right) presenting the key to a new 18- seater bus to Bishop Owen Nwokolo of the Anglican Diocese of Onitsha. The governor donated the bus to St. Christopher Anglican Seminary, Onitsha...yesterday.

MASSOB urges Army to treat battered member

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HE Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) yesterday urged the authorities of the Nigerian Army to fly its Regional Administrator, Onitsha Region 4, Chief Arinze Igbani, abroad for treatment. It urged President Goodluck Jonathan and rights’ groups to come to Igbani’s aid. Soldiers from the 302 Artillery Regiment, Onitsha, the Anambra State capital, alleg-

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From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

edly stormed a hospital where Igbani was receiving treatment after an accident in which his leg was broken and beat him up, before taking him to their base. MASSOB said Igbani’s leg is decaying and he has lost his sight since the attack. In a statement by its Onitsha Region 4 Director of Information Chima Agu and Mr. Linus Madunago, MASSOB threatened to sue

the soldiers. It said the attacks on its members by the Army have become unbearable. The statement reads: “We are raising this alarm and sounding the last warning to the soldiers who stormed the hospital where Igbani was receiving treatment after an accident in which his leg was broken. “Igbani, who had been in the hospital for over five months, was beaten up and whisked away by the soldiers. His leg, which was just

healing, was broken. The attack was against God and humanity, because there was no reason for it. “The soldiers forcibly took Igbani away from the hospital and subjected him to severe torture. In the process, his eyes were injured and he cannot see again. His broken leg is fast decaying. We urge the Army to sponsor his treatment abroad, so that his sight and leg can be saved.” MASSOB criticised the stringent condition given by the magistrate for Igbani’s bail.

NURTW boss to members: shun politics

HE President of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Alhaji Nojeem Usman Yasin has warned his embers nationwide to shun partisan politics. Yasin was reacting to media report to the effect that a party was planning to use members for campaign in the forthcoming election in Ondo State. He denied insinuations that members of the union

By Eric Ikhilae

in Lagos were planing to invade Ondo State to cause trouble. Yasin said men of the NURTW could no longer be used as political thugs. He said those thinking that his members could be used to cause trouble were living in the past. He said the NURTW as a trade union organisation is not affiliated to any political party, but that members

were at liberty to vote for political party of their choice. “I have said times with-

out number that members of NURTW are not affiliated to any party.

MAPOLY students protests in Abeokuta

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TUDENTS of the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), Abeokuta, Ogun State, yesterday protested an alleged plan by the management to “rig” the Students’ Union Government (SUG) election, held on Tuesday, in favour of “its candidate”. There were sounds of gunshots during the protest. The protesters reportedly destroyed some property, including the official car of Deputy Rector, Mr Lekan Famuyiwa, as well as security vans.

HEN the Foundation for Children of Bakassi, a pet project of Senator Florence Ita-Giwa (OON), holds this Sunday at the Zinnia Hall, Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, the cynosure of all eyes will be Nigeria’s rave of the moment singer and winner of the first edition of MTN Project Fame concert, Inyanya Mbuk, the Kukere crooner. Others are award-winning Tu Face Idibia, Tiwa Savage and Timi Dakolo. Dignitaries who will grace the occasion include Culture, Tourism and National Orientation Minister, Chief Edem Duke, actresses Monalisa Chinda, Funke Akindele, Ini Edo, Shan George and others. Tagged, Red Ball and featuring the Middle East African Fusion, the event will feature Nollywood stars in a fashion show where they will don the attire and design of Vlisco, a textile manufacturing firm. Packaged to be an evening of fun and excitement, some Nigerian Nollywood stars who have contributed to the growth of the industry will be honoured.

Seminary holds 22nd graduation

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HE 22nd graduation ceremony of the West African Theological Seminary (WATS) will hold on Saturday at the seminary’s premises in Lagos. Some 79 students, according to the academic dean of the seminary, Dr. Peter Atoyebi, will be awarded Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in Theology, four B.A, Academic Religious Studies and 15 Diploma in Theology. In the postgraduate category 15 will bag Master of Art (M.A) Christian Leadership, 15 M.A General Divinity, Nine M.A Intercultural Studies, 17 M.A, Biblical Studies, three certificates Christian leadership and five post-graduate diploma in theology. The provost, Dr. William Udotong said the institution will turn out graduates who are capable of being church leaders.


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

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NEWS Kano signs pact with bank •N500m vote for facilities From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

KANO State Government has signed a N500 million Public Private Partnership (PPP) deal with Jaiz Bank Plc and Agama Consortium for the establishment, implementation and operation of the Kano Geographic Information System (KANGIS), under the state land act. Signing the agreement at the Government House yesterday, Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso said the provision of affordable accommodation for the indigenes is part of the policy of his administration. He said government has concluded arrangements to sell houses to the residents, adding that those who cannot afford to buy the houses would be given loans. The Managing Director of Jaiz Bank, Mustapha Bintube, said the agreement is based on a three-year PPP arrangement, comprising three indigenous companies. He added that Jaiz Bank would serve as the funding and lead collection bank. Bintube said the KANGIS PPP contract, would among other benefits, modernise and computerise land administration in Kano, as well as boost government’s internally-generated revenue (IGR). He said it would also facilitate the creation of ‘bankable’ land title documents or Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) for urban and rural land, including agricultural plots.

Council chiefs urged to be prudent From Khadijat Saidu, Birnin Kebbi

THE newly-elected 21 council chairmen in Kebbi State have been urged to be prudent in managing public funds. Speaking after their swearing-in at the Presidential Villa, Birnin Kebbi, the Chief Judge, Justice Umar Abubakar, enjoined them to be prudent and transparent in the management of public funds. Governor Saidu Dakingari said government would supervise the local governments in their spending, to ensure it is in accordance with the financial code of conduct. He urged them to be diligent in their duties, adding that they should give priority to education and health. Governor Dakingari said they should discharge their duties efficiently and not betray the trust reposed in them. According to him, business would no longer be as usual because probity and accountability would be the watchword in the state. He said the council chairmen should rededicate themselves and fulfil their promises by delivering the dividends of democracy to the people at the grassroots.

40 million voters’ cards ready for 2015 elections, says Jega T HE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday said it has produced 40 million permanent voters’ cards to ensure a smooth conduct of the 2015 elections. The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, spoke when he received representatives from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Police, Civil Defence and Nigeria Immigration Services in his office in Abuja. He said the balance of 30.5 million cards of 70.5 million registered for the 2011 elections would be ready by February. Jega said some people capitalised on the commission’s inability to authenticate genuine holders of voters’ cards in the last poll to perpetrate acts inimical to the success of the election.

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

INEC, he said, has introduced a card reader that would be used to identify the holders of the cards in every polling unit before allowing such a person to cast his or her vote. He said this is to curb malpractice. He assured that voters would use the permanent voters’ cards to exercise their franchise in 2015 in line with the move by the commission to improve the nation’s electoral system, assuring that the election would be better managed than the last. Jega said: “We are working towards our mandate of improving on the country’s electoral landscape. Even as

many analysts rated the 2011 elections high, we believe there is room for improvement and this is what we intend to achieve with the 2015 poll because we believe that every election should be better than the previous ones. “I know that some people out there were not satisfied with the outcome of the last election. But looking at the various parameters, when you compare the election we conducted in 2011 to the ones before it, you will know that it was better.” According to him, there would always be roles for the military to play in collaboration with the civil police, which the people are used to.

He said without the assistance of the military personnel, the conduct of elections in Nigeria might be difficult because of the peculiarities of the average Nigerian politician, who, in most cases, sees election as more than an avenue to render service to the people. Speaking earlier, the leader of the team, Wing Cmdr. Idris Hassan, said they came to the commission in connection with the security challenges it faced in the conduct of elections and to find ways to collaborate with the electoral body to achieve free and fair elections. He assured INEC that they are ready to assist in areas where their services would be needed to improve Nigeria’s electoral process.

•A cross section of participants in a course on national security at the Galilee International Management Institute, during their visit to INEC Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, in Abuja…yesterday.

25,000 teachers claim: ACN insists govt embarrassing Kwara people T

HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Kwara State chapter, has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led government of “attempting a dubious swap of words” to justify its claims that the state has 25,000 teachers in primary schools. ACN said it is also untrue that the state employed additional 1,410 teachers last year. The party was reacting to the government’s response to its earlier statement that the claims fall within the PDP government’s “habitual falsehood” in its attempts to attract public attention. ACN’s Chairman, Kayode Olawepo, said: “We stand by our statement that the state

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

should stop dragging the image of Kwarans in the mud by dishing out lies. “We urge the media and public to read The Herald story referred to in our statement to know who needs education between our party and the PDP chieftains in the Government House. The referenced paragraph in the news, headlined: ‘Kwara employs 1410 teachers’, reads: ‘Governor Ahmed who disclosed that the state already has 25,000 teachers across pri-

mary schools in the state said arrangement had been concluded on the approval of 181 projects across primary schools in the state.’ “Except misquoted by The Herald, its own media outfit, the governor had said Kwara has 25,000 teachers across ‘primary schools.’ Now the government is attempting a dubious swap of words by saying the state has 25,000 teachers across the ‘basic schools’, which it said include primary and junior secondary schools. “There was no mention of basic schools in The Herald

story. While the use of the words ‘basic school’ could accommodate primary and junior secondary schools, ‘primary school’ cannot be used interchangeably to include junior secondary school. A honourable government should either have apologised for the slip or said it had been misquoted. “Besides, we noticed that the government maintained a deafening silence on our challenge of its claim to have employed 1,410 teachers in the last one year. We leave the public to judge.”

2015 election race getting tougher, says Aliyu

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HE Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF), Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, yesterday said the race for elective offices in 2015 is getting tougher, as people are overheating the polity by creating unnecessary problems. Apparently referring to the attacks on some public officers by those seeking political offices in the next dispensation, Governor Aliyu said: “The race for 2015 is becoming tougher. People are creating problems where there are none. They

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

are looking for one problem or the other to nail their perceived opponents.” He spoke at the inauguration of the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) data capturing project and presentation of new vehicles to the Board of Internal Revenue. Aliyu, who did not elaborate on the statement, said: “It is lamentable that people are just looking for unfounded and most times unsubstantiated excuses to nail others because of the 2015

elections.” He urged public office holders to be more concerned about the delivery of the dividends of democracy to the people, while the public should reciprocate by paying their taxes and rates promptly. Earlier, the Chairman of the board, Alhaji Sulaiman Abdullahi Badeggi, said to improve the performance of the board, a bill has been sent to the House of Assembly for the review of some existing taxes and levies, which he said are no longer

•Aliyu

in tune with the present reality.

Ex-aide defeats Pam in PDP primaries From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

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HE former Chief of Staff to Governor Jonah Jang, Gyang Pwajok, has been elected as the standard-bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the by-election to fill the vacant seat in the Plateau North Senatorial District. Mrs. Keneng Gyang Fulani won the party’s ticket to be its standard bearer in the House of Assembly by-election to represent Barkin Ladi Constituency. In a primary election held at the Treasure Inn Hotel, Jos yesterday, Pwajok polled 302, while the former Deputy Senate President, Senator John Wash Pam, polled two votes. With the emergence of the PDP candidate, seven political parties will present candidates for the by-election scheduled for October 6 in Jos. The by-election is being organised because of the deaths of the former senator representing Plateau North Senatorial District in the Senate, Senator Gyang Dantong and the former Majority Leader in the House of Assembly, Gyang Fulani. Wife of the late Fulani, Mrs. Keneng Gyang Fulani, also won the party’s ticket in the congress held at Gwol Motel, Barkin Ladi on Tuesday. Announcing the result at the end of the election, the returning officer, Paul Adebisi, said: “Two aspirants contested the primary election. After voting by the 305 delegates of the party from Plateau North Senatorial District, Pwajok polled 302 votes and Senator Pam polled two votes. “By the power conferred on me as the returning officer, I hereby declare Pwajok who polled the highest votes the winner of the PDP primaries. He will be the party’s candidate in the by-election into the Plateau North Senatorial Zone.” The election was witnessed by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Pwajok said: “I dedicate this victory to the party delegates. I urge them to work hard and ensure victory in the by-election on October 6.” The PDP candidate said he would create a fund to rehabilitate victims of the crises in the zone if elected.

6,065 Katsina pilgrims for Hajj From Idris Idris, Katsina

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IX thousand and sixtyfive pilgrims have left Katsina State to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj. Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema, who gave a farewell address to the pilgrims at the Hajj Camp in Katsina yesterday, urged them to abide by the rules and regulations of Saudi Arabia while in the holy land. He said N557 million had been committed to ensure the success of the exercise. Of the amount, N230 million was spent on accommodation, while N171 million was spent on medical treatment and allowances for the Islamic preachers. N156 million is for logistics while in the holy land.


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SPORT EXTRA

Juve holds Chelsea, as Barca rallies late win

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EFENDING European champions Chelsea had to settle for a 2-2 draw at home to Juventus after losing a two-goal lead at Stamford Bridge. Oscar, on his first start for the club, broke the deadlock on 31 minutes as his strike took a deflection from Leonardo Bonucci that saw it sail past goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who was making his 400th appearance

..Man United goes past Gala for Juve. The Brazilian then grabbed his second of the night in style. Receiving a pass from Ashley Cole, the 21-year-old spun away from his two markers before curling into the top corner. However, Chelsea's twogoal lead last just five minutes as Arturo Vidal fired low past Petr Cech.

Ideye admits Dynamo Kiev played badly

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YNAMO Kiev forward Brown Ideye has shared his thoughts and impressions to the official website of UEFA on the 1 - 4 loss suffered by the Ukrainian vice champions on Tuesday night in their first match of the group stage of the Champions League. ''I don't think PSG were too strong for us. They're a good team, but we played very badly and when you play badly you lose. The penalty we conceded for the first goal was a problem. After that we lost concentration. ''I'm used to playing on my own in attack, so I'm not going to complain about that. Some-

times I have a lot of the ball and sometimes I don't. The most important thing is to make the most of the opportunities I get,'' said Ideye. Meanwhile, former Chelsea defender Alex, who now plays for PSG, has praised the performance of Ideye, admitting that the Nigerian caused problems at the back. Dynamo Kiev's official website quoted Alex as saying: ''Brown Ideye, who played in the number 11 jersey. He is constantly moving around the field, looking for the ball, aimed at the goalkeeper. Sometimes it was hard to stop him.''

With ten minutes remaining, substitute Fabio Quagliarella found an equaliser as he slipped the ball under the goalkeeper following a misplaced pass from John Obi Mikel. The visitors might have been ahead six minutes later as Quagliarella turned on the edge of the box, but his shot clipped the top of the bar. Barcelona had to come from behind to see off Spartak Moscow 3-2 at the Camp Nou. Barca looked to be on their way to a straightforward victory when Cristian Tello curled home the opener, but Dani Alves scored an own goal before Romulo gave the Russians the advantage on 58 minutes when netting from a tight angle. However, Lionel Messi then equalised from close range and then, in the 80th minute, restored his side's lead with a header.

Manchester United claimed a nervy 1-0 win over Galatasaray. The hosts took the early lead when Michael Carrick went past goalkeeper Fernando Muslera to fire home, but that lead could have been quickly squandered as Nordin Amrabat struck the bar after a charge down the left flank. United had the chance to double their advantage early in the second half as Rafael was felled in the penalty area, but Muslera saved Nani's spot kick.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE RESULTS GROUP E Chelsea 2 - 2 Juventus Shakhtar Donetsk 2 - 0 FC Nordsjaelland GROUP F Bayern Munich 2 - 1 Valencia Lille 1 - 3 BATE Borisov GROUP G Barcelona 3 - 2 Spartak Moscow Celtic 0 - 0 Benfica GROUP H Braga 0 - 2 CFR Cluj Manchester U. 1 - 0 Galatasaray

3SC rejects Gbolahan Salami

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SC have refuted media reports that they have contacted Gbolahan Salami to return to the team next season. A top official of the Ibadanbased side told MTNFootball.com that there is no truth that they have contacted Gbolahan Salami, stating categorically that they don't need the ex-Olympic team star. "We too have heard the rumours that we have agreed a deal to bring Gbolahan Salami

to 3SC,” the top official said. “It’s a lie. We don't need Gbolahan Salami in our team, he is not the kind of player we want here, there is no place for him in 3SC. Gbolahan Salami at 3SC again, no. “He was part of our problem in the past, so we don't want him." Last season, Salami featured for Enyimba after he was sacked by Shooting Stars for “gross insubordination”.

Flamingoes hold session with FIFA Anti-doping Unit

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S the anticipation for the FIFA U-17 World Cup taking place in Azerbaijan reaches and all-time high, world football governing body, FIFA yesterday held a drug enlightenment seminar for the Flamingoes and other teams taking part in this year’s competition. During the interactive session with the medical (antidoping unit) and the refereeing unit, the team was intimated on the dos and don’ts relating to the competition, as well as what drugs or drinks to take (or avoid) and players’ conduct on the field of play. After the session, both players and officials where formally accredited for the tournament and a plaque certifying the team’s participation for the tournament was handed over to the head coach and team captain. With the most formidable powers in women's football Germany, USA, Japan, Korea DPR, Brazil being among the sides the Flamingoes will contend with for the ultimate prize, the mood in camp has been full of excitement with the girls in high spirit. they know the task at hand and are ready to deliver. The team also continued training on both natural and

•Complete accreditation

artificial turfs because the group matches would be played on both turfs.

•Ramires (R) of Chelsea FC vies with Andrea Pirlo of Juventus during their UEFA Champions League group stage match

EKO 2012 ZONE 1 ELIMINATIONS:

We have a winning culture, Ogun boasts

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S Southwest zone 1 eliminations commenced formally on Tuesday in Ibadan, Ogun State has expressed high optimism of dominating the event at the expense of their host State, Oyo. The Public Relation Officer of Ogun State Ministry of Youths and Sports, Rotimi Oduniyi revealed this to sporting press at the arrival of the Ogun contingent at Lekan Salami Sports Complex for the Official opening ceremony of the event. Oduniyi said his State had provided every tool that would make an athlete want to die for his state and their athletes are more than ready to do the state proud in the sports fiesta. “We have culture of doing well and you should remember that we have been among the top States when talking of

sports development as you know that we have hosted four international matches in Ogun State this year alone. “Apart from that all our athletes have been insured for the next one year which we know would give them psychological advantages over their opponents. The insurance covers injuries, disability and event death”. “All these development was what responsible for upliftment of Ogun from bottom-liner in the year’s past to high-ranking position among sporting states in Nigeria now”, Ogun Image maker noted. He however, added that Ogun government has packaged special incentives for the athletes in a bid to motivate them to do well having known the importance of the eliminations that if you failed there, you have failed all.

“Ogun would be the State to beat when the 18th National Sports Festival tagged Eko 2012 gets underway in Lagos by November this year because Lagos is like home to Ogun and considering the level of our preparation for the tourney”.

6 Edo Hockey players beaten to stupor in Yenagoa •Commissioner threatens to pull out

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IX Edo hockey players are currently in a state of coma in an undisclosed hospital in Yenagoa, following the brutal attack by their Bayelsa counterparts on Tuesday inside the Samson siasia sports complex. The Bayelsa team with the support of the stadium thugs descended on the players ten minutes into the game and in the process collected their hockey sticks and used it on them freely. There was an argument before the commencement of the game over the officiating personnel between the two states which was resolved by the zonal coordinator, Mr. Yemi Usikaye that Bayelsa cannot produce the umpire to officiate the game that involved them and Edo, instead, the states are to produce an umpire each for that match. That situation did not go down well with the Bayelsa team. The six players including the head coach, Sunny Ohiwere who had his ribs broken with the hockey stick. He is currently running on a drip. Others are Morra Chukwuma, coach/umpire who had his head broken, still on oxygen, Oranye Henry, Ucheoma Callistus, Taiye Gift and Osayi Ericson. Five others received slight injuries and had been treated by the medical team from Edo state. Speaking with sports journalists from his hospital bed in Yenagoa, the Edo hockey head coach, comrade Sunny Ohiwere said the trouble started when the match was about to start when his team captain observed some Bayelsa players that screened out of the team. He said, the players who know the consequences pounced on them, collecting their hockey sticks and started to disperse them with it. “When they started pounding Benard juman, I though it was a play. But before I knew it, they started hitting me with sticks. I learnt that some my players are surviving now on oxygen . Meanwhile, the Bayelsa state commissioner for sports development, Chief Mitema Obordor has appealed to the Edo hockey players for the action of their boys, and promised to deal with issue. Following the harassment and threat to life by the Bayelsa contingents, Edo state yesterday threatened to pull out of the zonal elimination. The commissioner for sports, Edo state, Hon. Anita Evboumwan issued the threat when she visited the players at various hospital in Yenagoa. Meanwhile, the play off for all ball games ahead of the National Sports Festival schedule to hold in Lagos November, 2012 in the six Geo- political zone in the country finally commence

From, Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Yenagoa on Monday with the arrival of state contingents. Yenagoa, the state capital of Bayelsa is hosting Edo, Delta and Bayelsa contingents, but since Monday the whole progression had been enveloped with one complaint or the other. The over one thousand contingents to the zonal elimination are having a hectic time to been accommodated by the host state. While Athletes from Bayelsa state are well accommodated, their counterparts from Edo and Delta states are either sleeping outside the Samson Siassia Sports Complex or inside the indoor hall where there is no lavatory or water. Some of the Athletes who spoke to NationSport said that it is a tactic by Bayelsa and the south south zonal officers of National Sports Commission to favour the host state. “We came in on Monday evening, with nowhere to lay our heads. You can see our belongings outside there. “This morning [Tuesday] no where to bathe, we can’t even get water. It is terrible here. They want us to play and win in this condition. About now we where told that we have match to play. “ We have not bathed, no rest and now we are going inside field to play. Is that not terrible”, the captain of Edo soccer team, David Olu-Iyen lamented The trio of Igiebor David, Obasuyi Emmanuel, Tony Owens coaches of Edo state soccer team complain of way and manners the organising officials are handing the accommodation problem. In the opening football match [male] between Edo and Delta, it ended 1-1, while that of their female counterparts ended 3-0 in favour of Edo state. Speaking with the coach of Edo female team, Grace Cooler AKA mama said that the match was a good game but promise to deal with the Bayelsa team that they will play next. “My girls play to instructions, that was a good game for me. But, let me tell you, Bayelsa will surfer more defeat when we meet, so that they can pay for their action of not accommodating us”.

•Morra

Grassroots Sports: La Casera thrills fans in Street Soccer finals

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AGOS, Nigeria, Tuesday, September 18, 2012: There were some amazing talents on display and plenty of excitement on offer when the Finals of the 5th edition of the Street Soccer Tournament were recently held at the Campos Mini Stadium on Lagos Island. The La Casera Company Plc., Manufactures of the popular La Casera range of Soft Drinks, were co-sponsors of this exhilarating football tournament. They made their presence felt by funding a good number of

the participating teams and providing lots of refreshing La Casera for the thrilled and frequently thirsty fans on a bright and cheery Sunday afternoon. According to the General Manager Marketing, CB Total Impact, Mr. Gary Carlton, La Casera’s involvement in the tournament was another opportunity for the Company to give back to their teeming consumers and the public at large. “The Street Soccer Tournament affords the La Casera Company Plc. a platform with which to plough back into the

community, which we believe has helped make our brand the great success that it is. By contributing our resources to such worthy causes, we believe we are helping to promote the development of grassroots sports in Nigeria thereby building a greater Nation for everyone”, he explained. The coach of one of the La Casera sponsored female teams, expressed his gratitude and delight at the manner with which the Company provided the teams with every necessary support and assistance.


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THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

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NEWS Chairmen ask Jonathan to probe how Okorocha spent N57b council cash •Governor’s aide: ‘Govt used money to build roads, hospitals’

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HE 27 Council chairmen in Imo State have sent a petition to President Goodluck Jonathan, urging him to probe how the state government spent the N57 billion that accrued to the councils from the Federation Account in the last one year. They are also seeking the stoppage of further allocations to the councils from the Federation Account until proper account has been rendered on the previous allocations. Imo State Secretary of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) and Chairman of Ngor-Okpala, Hon Enyinna Onuegbu, who confirmed that the petition had been sent, said N57,275, 699,891.75 was allocated to the councils between May 2011 and June 2012. He said despite the huge allocation to the councils within the period under review, there are no projects on ground to justify the amount of money collected. “The amount of money collected in the last one year by the state government cannot be accounted for and the Federal Government should embargo the release of local government allocations until the state government gives an explanation on how the money was disbursed,” he said. Onuegbu, a lawyer, argued that it is illegal to disburse lo-

From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

cal government allocations without the Joint State and Local Government Allocation Account Committee (JAAC) meeting, adding that since the 27 Council chairmen were reinstated by the Court of Appeal three months ago, there had never been any JAAC meeting. “It is illegal and amounts to stealing when Local Government Allocation is disbursed without JAAC meeting which decides how the money is distributed according to the allocation formula. Activities have stalled in the Local Government councils since we came in because the governor refused to hold JAAC meetings”. However, Special Assistant to Governor Rochas Okorocha on Media, Mr. Ebere Uzuokwa, said the state government has embarked on various projects in the 27 council areas running into billions of naira. Uzuokwa said the state government is constructing 24 kilometres of road in all the council areas in addition to constructing brand new general hospitals. These projects are going on simultaneously, he added. “The former Council Chairmen are desperately fighting to return after the expiration of their tenure but Governor Okorocha has used the council funds for development, having

refused to share it to god fathers”, he said As a result of the row over the tenure of the council chairmen, activities have frozen at the councils. When our correspondent visited Ngor-Okpala Local Government Secretariat, the Council staff were not at their duty posts. Offices of the Treasurer’s the Secretary to the Local Government administration, and Director of Administration and General Services (DAGS) were locked. Although the state government insists that the tenure of the 27 elected Local Government Chairmen expired since August 8, most of the Chairmen still perform their statutory duties in their offices, even though vital government documents and office accessories have been evacuated. However, the ALGON Secretary said chairmen run Councils with their personal money since the state government has not invited them for JAAC meetings in the past three months. “I still perform my statutory duties although they have removed everything in my office and the senior officers in the council have all disappeared. I pay my political appointees their entitlements with my personal money”.

Gunmen kill two policemen in Port Harcourt

T

WO policemen riding a motorcycle in Port Harcourt were yesterday killed by gunmen. The incident took place near the Mile One Divisional Police headquarters, Ikwerre Road, Diobu, in the state capital. It was around 7.00am. The suspects escaped to an unknown destination with the service rifles of the slain policemen, whose bodies were deposited at the morgue of the

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

Rivers state governmentowned Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital (BMSH). The bandits, who rode in a white Mitsubishi bus, opened fire on the policemen without any provocation, killing them instantly. The operation lasted a few minutes, it was learnt. Rivers Police Spokesman Ben Ugwuegbulam who confirmed the killings, said men of

the command had begun a manhunt for the fleeing hoodlums. He expressed optimism that the criminals would soon be apprehended. Ugwuegbulam declined to speak on the seized service rifles, but described the killings as shocking and unprovoked. Rivers police Commissioner, Mohammed Indabawa, admonished residents to assist the police with useful information about criminals in their midst.

House uncovers plot against Tambuwal Continued from page 2

where it ended. “At this point, the Speaker said it was a deliberate attempt to cause crisis in the ranks of the lawmakers. He reminded them of what happened in the 6th House over a similar increment.” The source added that rather than take over his own defence, the Speaker asked the Clerk of the House to clarify the issue with the official financial standing of the House. “The Clerk brought financial documents with which he explained the state of the

House’s finances and the aggrieved members apologised for being misguided. What I can only say about this is that the Speaker was able to manage the crisis very well, otherwise this could easily have degenerated into a serious issue. Already, some member were hinting at impeachment.” Another source however told our correspondents that the crisis might not be over yet as the aggrieved group might meet again today. “The group started working on their moves during the re-

cess and with the development of today (yesterday), they have to appraise the result and deliberate on what next to do. “You know they were even sending messages to members to garner support for their move, apparently, the Speaker was able to manage it well. When our correspondent called one of the supposed actors on the telephone, he vehemently denied involvement. “There’s no project like operation clean up project. Is that what you were told? He queried our reporter and promptly cut his line.

Health workers begin nationwide strike

F

EDERAL Government hospitals in Lagos were yesterday paralysed following an indefinite nationwide strike by health workers. The striking workers, under the umbrella of the Joint Heath Sector Unions (JOHESU), are kicking against the government circular which bars senior staff from being promoted from level 9 to 11 as it was in the past when workers on Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) Level 9 were promoted to Level 11, skipping Level 10. Health workers at the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Federal Medical Cen-

By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha and Wale Adepoju

tre (FMC), Ebute Metta, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Federal Medical Centre, Ebute Metta, among others, complied with the strike directive. At LUTH, patients were attended to by locum staff. The hospital departments were deserted. The Acting National JOHESU chairman, Comrade Felix Olukayode Faniran, said there there is no going back on the strike. He berated Minister of Health Prof Onyebuchi Chuk-

wu for saying the circular subsists. Faniran, who alleged that 10 demands were made by JOHESU, said nothing had been done on them since July. “We went on strike in May and the Presidency pleaded after a meeting and promised to attend to six of the 10 demands. But nothing was done. Lagos State Chairman of the Health Workers Union, Comrade Ibe Stephen Nwokenta said the Union has formed a monitoring group that will ensure that all the hospitals are shut down until what he described as ‘the obnoxious circular’ is withdrawn.


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THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012


THE NATION THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

63


TODAY IN THE NATION

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

P

OOR Dr Goodluck Jonathan. I wonder what the President will be telling Nigerians on October 1, the National Day. Will he deliver a message of hope to a people who are weary of tightening their belts and enduring more of the pains they are feeling? Will he reel off a long list of achievements – laced with cold statistics and esoteric figures - which the average Nigerian cannot identify with? In vain have I searched the neighbourhood stores for a loaf of the cassava bread, which has become regular on the presidential breakfast table since it made its debut a few months ago. Those who have been privileged to have a bite tell me the taste is great, but the question remains: when will ordinary folks get the loaf? The You Win – what a name - programme may be a revolutionary tool for addressing poverty among women, but where are the beneficiaries? These and more may be on the list of the administration’s achievements, but one item that has regularly featured will, without doubt, be missing this time. Fuel. From Abuja to Sokoto and Kontagora; Calabar and Lagos to Umuahia, the queues are lengthening. A litre costs about N150 in Ekiti and Ondo states. In some parts of the North, it is about N200. Incredible! The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says the scarcity is artificial, caused by inscrutable people who vandalised a pipeline. An attempt to repair the pipeline that was ripped open in Arepo, Ogun State, was resisted and three engineers were killed, the NNPC said. Now, it is using trucks to move fuel. But, the popular thinking is that the corporation has not told the truth. Our refineries, old, often sick and vulnerable, cannot supply all that we require. And now, marketers who import fuel to bridge the gap are not paid. The bold attempt to expose and punish those who have turned the subsidy regime into a bazaar of fraud and robbery – every young man with a glittering briefcase and a sharp Oxford Street suit is an oil and gas executive - has somehow compounded the pains it was supposed to remove. The Petroleum Product Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has done a lot to separate the original from the counterfeit, but the Ministry of Finance is yet to pay those who have passed the PPPRA test . The banks are holding such marketers by the throat and there is no cash for them to import more fuel. This is where the problem lies. Marketers are being owed some N100 billion. The debts, according to the Ministry of Finance, are being verified. Can this go on ad infinitum? Do we really have the cash to pay? If we have exceeded the budget for subsidy because we under projected, why won’t Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala go back to the National Assembly to ask for more money? Ego? The fear of what the World Bank will say, having warned about budget deficit and balancing to bring down recurrent expenditure and shore up capital expenditure? Whatever the situation may be, we need not go back to those days when men slept at filling stations. No. Those who have been found to have defrauded the system should face the law

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA

GBENGA OMOTOSO

EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

gbenga.omotoso@thenationonlineng.net

Of fuel and other crises

•In the spirit of the times and those whose bills have been verified should be paid right away. Nigerians do not deserve another fuel crisis, considering its agonies. It is unfortunate that the government blames everything on everybody except itself. Just on Tuesday in Abuja, the President, in a remarkable flashback, blamed the Occupy Nigeria fuel subsidy protests of January on a particular class who he accused of manipulating the crisis. I disagree. When petrol price jumped from N65 a litre to between N138 and N200 on New Year’s Day without a corresponding increase in workers’ pay, the masses didn’t need any prompting to resist what they saw as an act of crass wickedness. As it was then, the subsidy removal argument remains puerile and galling. The government said it spent N1.3tr on fuel subsidy last year. The cash, it said, should have gone into reviving our dead infrastructure, but it went into some people’s pockets. To end the robbery and make fuel smuggling unattractive, fuel price must go up. Some strange logic. The public kicked, saying: why don’t you go after the fraudsters? The government, as lethargic as ever, seemed reluctant to seize the suspected criminals. As it dithered about it all, the National Assembly moved in. It set up a probe of the subsidy scam. The exercise has spawned more scandals. As I was saying, Dr Jonathan recalled the fuel price protests. He said: “There was a demonstration in Lagos…somebody was giving pure water that people in my village don’t have access to, well packaged bottled water, expensive food that ordinary people in Lagos cannot eat.

RIPPLES NORTH CAN SURVIVE WITHOUT OIL – Nasarawa Senator

Of course, HORSES and CAMELS don’t use FUEL!

VOL. 7, NO. 2254

‘If taxes have to be imposed, they would have to be restricted to the cities and municipalities but not the villages. This is why IGR involving direct taxation would have to be restricted to the cities only’ JIDE OSUNTOKUN

They hired the best musicians to come and play and the best comedians to come and entertain in that demonstration. “Are you telling me that demonstration is coming from the ordinary masses of Nigeria who want to communicate something to their government …?” What message was the President trying to pass on? That a spontaneous mob action that will result in cataclysmic losses of human and material resources is better than a peaceful rally to appeal to the government’s conscience that it should never be against the people? That even with the senseless price increase that would have resulted in higher prices of goods and services the people had not had enough? Didn’t the demonstration achieve its aim, with the roll back of the fuel price and the subsequent exposure of the subsidy cartel? Is it true Otueke – host of a huge construction site that is a federal university, among other projects - folks do not have access to sachet water ? Haba! Mr President, spare us the hyperbole.

What manner of dialogue?

W

HERE is National Security Adviser (NSA) Sambo Dasuki? The gentleman seems to be so quiet nowadays. When Col. Dasuki got onboard, he launched a bid for dialogue with the Jamaatul Ahlis Sunnah lidaawa wal Jihad, otherwise known as Boko Haram (Western education is a sin). The sect has been leading a bloody campaign against its perceived enemies. Thousands are dead; many are injured. With a brief lull in suicide bombings, we all thought that, indeed, dialogue was on. How wrong we have been! The eerie, spine-chilling sounds of flying bullets from booming guns are being heard again. Borno State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General Zanna Malam Gana was killed on Tuesday. Former Prisons boss Alhaji Ibrahim Jarma was shot on Monday. He died on Tuesday. The Acting chair of Maiha Local Government, Adamawa State, Lawan Datti, was shot dead on Monday by gunmen believed to be Boko Haram members. What kind of dialogue is going on? Dialogue of bullets, bombs and blood?

P

But Nigerians, apparently, tired of it all, have resorted to sardonic jokes about the situation. A friend sent this to my mobile: “A man was arrested in Lagos by LASTMA officials for driving on the BRT lane. He was fined N50,000. Despite his begging, the officials refused to release the car. “Okay, may I know where you are towing my car to?” the man asked. “We’re taking it to Alausa,” replied one of the officials. “Ha-ha-ha-ha,” the Fulani laughed. The officials were surprised. The man brought out his phone and began to speak: “Abu Qaqa, Ina kwana?(Good morning in Hausa). “No sir! In less than 30 minutes, it will explode. The car has been arrested... “Only 20 out of those new bombs are inside the car...They are taking the car to Alausa! I am coming back to Yobe alive now. Thank you sir. Greet other faithful for me o.” He rounded off his imaginary call. When he looked back, there was no LASTMA official in sight. He entered his car and sped off, saying: “Shege! Dan borouba…Waka!” •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061

HARDBALL RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan often complains about the professionalism of the Nigerian media. But in his extempore speech of Tuesday, given on the occasion of the 52nd Independence Anniversary lecture under the theme, Nigeria: Security, Development and National Transformation, the president was once again at his bilious and vehement worst. It was a copious speech, and it revealed the president’s inner, and shall we say, vivid and embroidered thoughts. It also unfortunately amplified his difficult relationship with the concept of security, the political part of which interested and disturbed him. He is also apparently unnerved by media comprehension of the freedom of speech and what he describes as its injurious impact on stability and good governance. Overall, Nigerians should be grateful for the president’s often frank eruptions, for, as this column once said, they are a window into his uniquely pessimistic mind and reveal how delicately wired it is. Crucially, the president addressed two interesting things in his speech: the fuel subsidy pro-

The government must look inwards for its enemies – remember the President said Boko Haram had infiltrated the government – instead of blaming every headache and catarrh on the opposition. If the opposition keeps quiet, even as the government fumbles and stumbles, where then will be the place of politics? If Dr Jonathan thinks he is going to get some peace from the opposition, that is building a castle in the air; they will keep pummeling his actions and inaction. He is the one who should convince the world that he has a strategic vision to address all that ails this beautiful country of confounding complexities. The infrastructural deficit remains as staggering as it was at the inception of this administration – safe for some jump in power supply, which some hawks in high places are trying to reverse with their greed and mercantile disposition. Apparently tired of it all, lawyers in Abia State, launched a unique protest on Tuesday. They designated the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway a “valley of death” and challenged the state and federal governments to wake up to their responsibilities. The lawyers, decked out in rain boots and their customary blackand-white court dress, marched in Aba right on some of the bad roads. Can it be more bizarre? Health workers in federal institutions are on strike, pushing for better pay and a more conducive working environment. In aviation, thousands of jobs are gone, even as the government sets its priority on building 11 more airports. What for? The Jonathan presidency may be remembered not for its creative approach to resolving the numerous problems that assail Nigeria, but for its capacity to –perhaps innocently or deliberately or ineffectually – create more trouble. Perhaps.

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Presidential pessimism tests; and his comparison of the media with Boko Haram. He seems to think that given the charming flourish with which the protests were organised in Lagos in January, they had to be sponsored. It is frightening that even the president underestimates the industriousness of his people and belittles their world-famous skill for innovation and improvisation. This column and others like it in this newspaper have repeatedly told the president that Lagos is very enterprising and quite capable of the most prodigious sort of improvisation. When will he believe us? The president also compared the Nigerian media with Boko Haram in the following dramatic putdown. Hear him: “And I believe it is not just the media. When we talk about the Boko Haram, we have political Boko Haram, religious Boko Haram and criminal Boko Haram. So also in the media, you have the professional media and the political media. That is why I talk

about the political media. Because of the interest of 2015, whatever you do is immaterial, the government must be brought down. And that mentality cuts across most African countries and even outside Africa.” Well, now, according to the president, both Boko Haram and the media seemed to be structured for destructive purposes. The president’s minders may doubtless have some influence on his written speeches; it is however doubtful whether they can restrain him a little in his high-voltage off-the-cuff remarks. That is the challenge the aides must bear, the cross they must carry. The president must be told that every time he speaks extempore, he indulges his penchant for goofing. If he doesn’t want to be as highly criticised as he fears he has been, or abused as he believes, he must learn to be taciturn and hope we won’t also abuse him for being laconic.

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. WEBSITE: www.thenationonlineng.net E-mail: info@thenationonlineng.net Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO


The Nation September 20, 2012