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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

‘Third Mainland Bridge safe’ NEWS

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•Senate panel probes claim

Three Korean doctors killed in Yobe NEWS Page 5

•Assailants cut victims’ throats

VOL. 8, NO. 2397 MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2013




Nigeria’s magical hour Super Eagles beat Burkina Faso 1-0 to end 19-year pain

SI NAX P T A BE IONGES G PA IN S CUON GE ON P 2 •Team captain Joseph Yobo (middle) holds the trophy as he celebrates with his teammates winning the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations final against Burkina Faso at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg...yesterday PHOTO: AFP

We have emerged as the beacon of hope on the African continent by proving to Africa and the world that a strong Nigerian team put together and trained by a Nigerian coach can stand the test of time and successfully rise to the challenge of the most formidable opponent. The Nigerian spirit stands strong and steady as we march to the destination of greatness •SEE ALSO PAGES 2, 3 & 4 — Pr esident J ona than writing to cong te the Ea gles last night President Jona onathan congrratula tulate Eag





Eagles are AFCON Champions


INETEEN years after the Super Eagles won theAfrica Cup of Nations, the Stephen Keshiled team made Nigeria proud in South Africa yesterday. Rangers International Football Club, Enugu and newly recruited striker, Sunday Mba scored the winning in the explosive final of the 2013 tournament of the unity cup in the 40th minute to seal victory for the Nigerian side hard-fighting Stallions of Burkina Faso. The goal won Nigeria the 2013 AFCON Trophy in the match decided at the National Stadium, in Johannesburg yesterday The trophy is Nigeria’s third for the country in its participation in the Africa’s biggest football tournament and the Super Eagles did not disappoint despite the absence of the tournament’s highest goal scorer, Emmanuel Emenike due to the injury he sustained in the semi-finals against the Eagles of Mali. Eagles’ Emmanuel Emenike also emerged the highest goal scorer of the competition having scored four goals in the entire 2013 AFCON. It was jubilation galore as stand-in captain, Enyeama had to carry the captain of the team Yobo on his shoulder while Assistant Coach, Daniel Amokachi also carried Keshi on his shoulder as jubilations continued in the Eagles team. Super Eagles had weathered the storm in the first half of the explosive Africa Cup of Nations final with Mba breaking the resilience Stallions of Burkina Faso in the 40th minute scoring from a rebound after nice build up between Mikel Obi, Victor Moses and Mba. The Stallions, enjoying a massive support from the South Africa fans tried to absolve the attacking forays of the Nigerians with occasional onslaughts from the middle through Bance Aristide with support from Pitroipa Jonathan. But the watertight defence of the Super Eagles stood up to the challenge and curtailed their forays. Kudos must also be given to Celtic defender, Efe Ambrose, who has been a thorn in the flesh of the Burkina Faso team, halting attempts from the Stallions’ danger men and also initiating attacks from the right back position. But Ikechukwu Uch e was a shadow of himself in the first 45 minutes putting every foot wrong. Algerian referee Djamel Haimoudi was firmly in control of the game. He stamped his authority in the game dishing two yellow cards. Stallions’ Florent Rouamba got the caution in the 33rd minute and Nigeria’s Mba was booked by the referee five minutes later. The second half started on a fast tempo with the Eagles missing narrowly in the 48th minute. Mikel who has been impressive in the first half

From Segun, Ogunjimi, Johannesburg continued to dazzle trying to outwit the more physical Burkina Faso. Keshi had no option than to substitute off-form Ikechukwu Uche in the 53rd minute for Ahmed Musa. Kenneth Omeruo was also cautioned by the referee in the 56th minute for rough tackle. Burkina Faso Coach Paul Put introduced Bakary Sanou to replace Rouamba in the 65th minute while Keshi was forced to replace injured Elderson Echiejile with Juwon Oshaniwa in the 66th minute. The Eagles really felt the absence of Echiejile while match-rusty Oshaniwa struggled for form. He got a yellow card in the 70th minute and also caused a freekick for this card offence. In the 72nd minute, the Stallions got two corner-kicks but the Nigerian defence line took care of the situation. In the 77th minute the Nigerian fans had to start singing their favourite “All we are saying... give us more goal” to ginger the Eagles to seal the match with a second goal. Musa tried to waltz into the the 40m yard box in the 81st and was brought down but the resultant free-kick taken by Brown Ideye went wide. Looking for the equaliser the Stallions Coach brought in Moumoumi Dagano to replace Paul Koulibaly in the 85th minute. In the 85th minute both Moses and Ideye missed glaring chances at goal which could have wrapped the game for the Nigerian side. To bring more sanity into the defence line, Keshi brought in Joseph Yobo in the 88th minute to replace Nigeria’s savior of the day Sunday Mba. This was to allow Yobo to increase his caps and also lift the Trophy as Champions of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations which he did at the end of the match. The referee added four minutes and Ideye got cautioned for ball handling. The referee after adding four minutes ended the match in 1-0 in favour of the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

•THE CHAMPS: Celebration time by the ‘warriors’...yesterday.

•House Speaker Aminu Tambuwal and some members celebrating the victory...yesterday.

Eagles' victory


•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (middle); his deputy Mrs. Grace Laoye-Tomori and others celebrating...yesterday.

GUN State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has hailed the victory of the Super Eagles of Nigeria over the Stallions of Burkina Faso, describing it as instructive. In a press release by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mrs Funmi Wakama, Senator Amosun described the success of the Nigerian team as "great", especially coming against all odds. "It shows that, as a country, we can always achieve our dreams if we are dedicated,




•One of the players

Celebrations in cities Nigerians trooped to the street in major cities to celebrate Super Eagles 1-0 victory over Burkinababes in 2013 AFrican Cup of Nations final in Soccer City, Johannesburg, South Africa. Many had been optimistic before the final match as the Super Eagles had played superlative football in their previous matches. Though they had not been given the Nigerian side a chance at the commencement of the tournament but the Eagles improved with each game. Bangs of fire crackers rent the air in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Lagos and other city centres after the final whistle was blown yesterday. The streets, that were empty for the almost tow hours the match lasted, were filled by Nigerians, who trooped out of the viewing centres in excitment. In Lagos, the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere where tousands of Lagosians watched the matcth from a giant screen became a celebration centre immediately after the game. Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola and a handful of his lieutenats celebrated the victory in Osogbo, the state capital. Owners of drinking joints had a hectic time attending to unprecedented turnouts of customers.


Governors, minister, others queue to enter Stadium

ry instructive, says Amosun committed and unwavering in the face of daunting challenges," the governor said. Amosun recalled that the Eagles left the shores of Nigeria to the 29th edition of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in South Africa without being one of the favourites to win the championship but the "can do" spirit of the average Nigerian ensured that the team surmounted all obstacles to win the much-coveted trophy. "Our dream of a great and united nation is always within

our reach and attainment if we are committed and regard our challenges as mere stepping stones to the much-desired destination," Amosun said. While congratulating the Eagles and entire country for the 2013 AFCON success, Amosun restated the determination of his administration to continue to invest massively in the mental and physical development of its youths so that they could continue to win laurels for the state and Nigeria in general.


OVERNORS Rotimi Ameachi of River

States and Peter Obi of Anambra State were among the Nigerian dignitaries that were on queue for several minutes at the VIP gate before getting entrance to the VIP seat of the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg to watch the Africa Cup of Nations finals between Nigeria and Burkina Faso yesterday. The Nigerian officials, who were in cheerful mood, arrived

From Taofeek Babalola, Johannesburg at the stadium around 5:20pm South African time (4:20pm Nigerian time) and they were received by a team led by CAF member Bolaji Ojo-Oba. Unlike in Nigeria where top executives enjoy special treatment, the governors and other officials waiting by the side of the gate with the hope of getting access without follow normal protocol, were told to join the queue. On the entourage were

Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdulahi, the President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Engr. Sani Ndanusa and host of others. Interestingly, no security officials from Nigeria were present to assist the officials. Amaechi and Obi exchanged pleasantries with Nigerians at the stadium. Amaechi wore a cream dress with Nigeria’s green and white national colours . Obi put on a white shirt with the inscription ‘Nigeria’.

Thousands of Nigerians were at the Stadium yesterday to cheer the Super Eagles. The Nigerian supporters were the early birds as they came in groups, dancing and singing. Majority of South African fans at the Stadium supported Burkina Faso, dancing, singing and cheering Burkinabes with Vuvuzela trumpets. Bafana Bafana of South Africa crashed out at the quarter final of the tournament, losing on penalty to Eagles of Mali.



NEWS AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS Amaechi, Obi, Ahmed, Mimiko hail Eagles

Nigeria are African champions



IGERIA won the African Cup of Nations title for the first time since 1994 last night in South Africa. The Super Eagles defeated Burkina Faso 1-0 in the match played on Sunday from a Sunday Mba’s left-footed volley off a rebound in the 40th minute. Nigeria’s coach Stephen Keshi made history. He was captain of the Super Eagles when they last won in 1994 in Tunisia. Nigeria won her first title in 1980 as host of the competition. Following its victory before a crowd of about 87,000 at the Soccer City, 52nd-ranked Nigeria advanced to a firstround group with Spain, Uruguay and Tahiti at June’s FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil. Burkina Faso, ranked 92nd, was seeking its first title. Mba’s goal was one worthy of a title. In the 40th minute, Mba took control of a deflected ball just outside the box, flipped the ball over a defender’s head and scored with a volley just before another defender could get to it. Nigeria held on to the lead in the difficult match in which they lost many scoring chances. With this result, the field for this summer’s Confederations Cup is now complete. It will be: Brazil, Spain, Uruguay, Mexico, Italy, Japan, Nigeria and Tahiti Wilfried Sanou came close to levelling for the Stallions midway through the second half but his brief flash of brilliance was extinguished by a top-drawer save by Vincent Enyeama. It was Nigeria’s first final since 2000, but they were considered favourites ahead of the match against the minnows due to their 12game unbeaten record. Their win means coach Keshi becomes only the second man to win the cup as coach and player, following in the footsteps of the late Egyptian Mahmoud Al Gohari. The Super Eagles set their stall out early with wave af-

•Lagosians celebrating the victory...last night


Adenuga gives Super Eagles $1m


LOBACOM boss Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr. last night gave the victorious Super Eagles $1milof his salary from next month. lion for winning the Cup of Nations. Adenuga announced the package Coach Stephen Keshi got $200,000 shortly after the team’s 1-0 victory over cash from the billionaire industrialist Burkina Faso’s Stallions. who said he will take over the payment Africa’s richest man Alhaji Aliko

ter wave of attack, which pegged Burkina Faso back into their own half for the majority of the first 45 minutes. Efe Ambrose had the first chance of the match when he headed over the bar from Victor Moses’ free-kick in the seventh minute before Burkina Faso goalkeeper Daouda Diakite almost made a disastrous mistake moments later. Diakite came off his line to take a ball above his own defender’s head, only to fluff his take, with Brown Ideye’s resulting weak shot looping over the bar. It was a huge let off for Burkina Faso in their first taste of the competition’s final, after they had previously only reached the last four of the tournament in 1998 where they lost to eventual champions Egypt. However, there was a glimmer of creativity from midfielder Jonathan Pitroipa, who had his red card from the last match against Ghana

•Keshi gets $200,000

rescinded, when he made a good run up the right and drew in four Nigeria defenders, only for the resulting corner to be easily neutralised. Nigeria kept up the pressure, Aristide Bance wasting a good chance when his low, drilled 25-yard free kick flashed just wide of Enyeama’s right post, before Ikechukwu Uche’s turn on the edge of box was miscued by the onrushing Ideye. Mba strikes before the break Burkina Faso were struggling to get out of their own half and Nigeria’s dominance paid off five minutes before the break, when Mba volleyed past Diakite from the middle of the box. After some good build-up play, Moses’ shot was blocked and looped up to Mba, who plucked the ball from the air to fire the Super Eagles to a deserved lead. The goal gave the match a much-needed boost, with

Dangote had earlier given the team N130million, promising to do more after they might have won the cup. The government’s package for the team will be announced when President Jonathan hosts them at the Presidential Villa on Tueday.

Burkina Faso increasing their urgency and making a couple of surging runs into the Nigeria box before the half-time whistle. Nigeria almost doubled their lead two minutes after the break when Moses played in Ideye, who was unable to get enough angle on his strike and flashed it across the face of goal. Moses then wasted a golden chance to score on the counter-attack when he failed to pull the trigger when oneon-one with defender Madi Panandetiguiri. The Nigeria defence were called upon to keep out two testing corners before Super Eagles goalkeeper Enyeama denied Sanou’s powerful strike with a fantastic diving save to tip it around the post. However, Burkina Faso remained unable to find that elusive cutting edge, with substitute Moumouni Dagano firing over the bar with his stoppage time free-kick in their last meaningful attack.

•Dr. Adenuga Jnr.

Apart from the trophy, Emmanuel Emenike, who missed the final through injury, won the Golden Boot Award with four goals. Five Nigerians were named in the tournament’s best 11. They are Emenike, Vincent Enyeama, Mikel Obi, Victor Moses and Efe Ambrose

Jonathan praises Super Eagles for winning Nations Cup


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated the Super Eagles for their “stunning victory.“ In a message posted on Facebook, Jonathan said: “ I am overjoyed at the stunning victory of the Super Eagles which has seen Nigeria emerge as the champions of the Africa Cup of Nations 2013. “Well done patriots, you have done Nigeria proud. 2013 is obviously the year of Nigeria. “We have emerged as the beacon of hope on the African continent by proving to Africa and the world that a strong Nigerian team put together and trained by a Nigerian coach can stand the test of time and successfully rise to the challenge of the most formidable opponent. “The Nigerian spirit stands strong and steady as we

•Dr. Jonathan

march to the destination of greatness. “I doff my Fedora hat to this great squad that has brought laughter and happiness to our homes. ‘‘Nigerians are great. We

thank God, we thank you,’’ Jonathan said. A statement by Presidential spokesman Reuben Abati, Dr. Jonathan said: “President Goodluck Jonathan congratulates the Super Eagles and all Nigerians on the country’s inspiring victory in the AFCON 2013 finals this evening in Johannesburg. “President Jonathan thanks Coach Stephen Keshi and all members of the team who have worked very hard and played with great focus, dedication, artistry and patriotism to make Nigeria the proud champions of Africa once again after 19 years of setbacks in the competition. “The President also commends the Minister of Sports, Mr. Bolaji Abdullahi, the Chairman and members of the Nigerian Football Federation and all others who have contributed to the astonish-

ing transformation of the Super Eagles from underdogs to gallant winners and glorious soccer champions of the African continent. “President Jonathan believes that the team’s amazing transformation from rank outsiders to champions is a clear manifestation of the even greater successes the country can achieve in all other fields of human endeavour if all Nigerians come together and devote their immense collective energies and resources to supporting the implementation of his Administration’s Agenda for National Transformation. “Therefore, as the entire nation celebrates Nigeria’s remarkable triumph in South Africa, President Jonathan urges all Nigerians to imbibe the positive lessons of the Super Eagles’ success because the fulfilment of the country’s

immense potentials for greatness will be more speedily attained if more Nigerians resolve to emulate the team’s exemplary unity of purpose, dedication, commitment and devotion to service of the nation. “The President also believes that having conquered Africa, the new Super Eagles can go on to achieve even greater glory at the World Cup in Brazil next year. He assures the team that it will receive every necessary support and encouragement from the Federal Government for that next national assignment. President Jonathan thanks the Government of South Africa and the Confederation of African Football for a well-organised tournament and looks forward to receiving the victorious Super Eagles in Abuja on Tuesday.”

IVERS State Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has congratulated the Super Eagles and Nigerians for winning the African Cup of Nations. Amaechi who is the leader of the NFF delegation to the competition and was in South Africa to support the Eagles at the finals. “This is a victory for all Nigerians. I must commend the Super Eagles for their Sterling performance. The team and the technical crew did very well. They have made us proud. Again, Nigeria has proved to the world that she is indeed the giant of Africa, the real champions of Africa. This sweet and well-deserved victory is a testimony that with the right attitude and spirit, determination, doggedness, and the will to fight for victory, we will always win and rise above whatever the difficulties or challenges that may want to hold us down. “ Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko in a statement said: “I join millions of Nigerians in congratulating the Super Eagles, the technical crew, the President and indeed Nigerians on this well-deserved victory and see it as one reason for Nigerians to be hopeful about the fortunes of the country.” He added that “the trajectory of Super Eagles’ to victory in a way shows the possibilities for us a nation if we work together and lift our country up. “From outright cynicism, indifference and then to believe, Nigerians changed emotions about the team and lifted it up to its eventual victory.” Mimiko said he was particularly delighted that Sunshine Star’s Oboabona did excellently in the tournament and did not let the Nigerian league down. Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed has described the emergence of the Super Eagles as a profound testimony of the virtues of determination, perseverance and result-oriented disposition imbued in the average Nigerian. Ahmed , in his reaction to the victory, said the good blending of the home-based players with their foreign-based counterparts underscored the salient fact that Nigerians can build a virile nation if we work together as a people. Ahmed, who described the Eagles as patriots and worthy ambassadors of Nigeria, said Nigerians should see the victory as a veritable platform and unique opportunity to resolve to work assiduously for the success of the Nigerian Project, which he described as the institutionalization of an egalitarian society that would be a pride to all the black peoples of the world. Anambra State Governor Peter Obi ascribed the victory to hard work and determination. He commended the president for his support for the team. He urged Nigerians to face the task of nation building with the type of unity they showed in their support for the Eagles.

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Three North Korean doctors killed in Yobe

HREE North Korean doctors were killed yesterday in Potiskum, the commercial city of Yobe State. One of them was beheaded. The others had their throats slit. The night attack came after Friday’s killing of nine women health workers who were administering polio vaccination on children in Kano. No group has claimed responsibility for the killing of the foreign doctors, but Yobe State, along with neighbouring Borno State, is the epicentre of the activities of Boko Haram. The fundamentalist sect recently declared a ceasefire, saying that some criminal groups had been using its name to perpetrate violence. The attackers apparently struck at the North Korean doctors inside their home, said Dr. Mohammed Mamman, chairman of the Hospital Management Board of Yobe State. The North Korean doctors had no security guards at their residence and typically travelled around the city via three-wheel taxis without a police escort, officials said. By the time soldiers arrived at the house, they found the doctors’ wives cowering in a flower bed outside their home. At the property, they found the bodies of the men, all bearing what appeared to be machete wounds. An Associated Press (AP)

From Duku Joel, Damaturu

journalist later saw the North Korean doctors’ bodies before they were moved to nearby Bauchi state for safe keeping. Two of the men had their throats slit. Attackers beheaded the other doctor. The doctors lived in a quiet neighborhood filled with other modest homes in the town. Initially, doctors at the hospital who worked with the physicians identified them as being from South Korea. The police identified the dead as being from China. But Mamman told reporters those killed were from North Korea who had lived in the state since 2005 as part of a medical programme between the state and the North Korean government. Yobe State Police Commissioner Sanusi Rufai confirmed that the attack took place. He said officers had begun an investigation. Rufai said some arrests had been made. The Yobe State Government in a statement by the Abdullahi Bego the Special Adviser on Media and Press Affairs to Governor Gaidam condenmed the killings. The statement said: “Yobe State Government received with shock news of the murder of three doctors from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in Potiskum today. The doctors, working for the State Government,

were killed in the early hours of Sunday at their residence by unknown gunmen. “The Yobe State Government strongly condemns the murder of these doctors, who have contributed immensely to improving healthcare service delivery in the state. Arrangements are being made with the Korean coordinator to transfer the remains of the deceased to their home country as soon as possible. “The State Government, on behalf of the entire people of Yobe State, also expresses its heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased, the Korean Ambassador to Nigeria and the people and government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) over this sad and unfortunate incident. “The Yobe State Government will offer every possible support to the security agencies to track and prosecute the perpetrators of this criminal and condemnable act. The state government will also continue to partner the security agencies to ensure the safety of people’s life and property.” Boko Haram (Western education is sacrilege) has been attacking government buildings and security forces over the last year and a half. In 2012 alone, the group was blamed for killing at least 792 people, according to a count by AP. “Unknown attackers scaled

over the fence of an apartment in Potiskum housing the three doctors around 1:00 am and slit their throats,” Yobe State Police Commissioner Sanusi Rufa’i told AFP. “Unfortunately, when they were posted and assumed duties as expatriates, the police were not notified to give them adequate security coverage. “As I am talking to you now, I am in Potiskum. The three male health workers have been confirmed dead while we are still working to uncover the details,’’ he said. “It is still premature to point any accusing fingers but we have commenced investigation to unravel the killings,” he said. A local resident said the bodies of the Koreans were found in their room Sunday morning by neighbours who alerted the security agents who in turn forced the door open. They were found slain after “people became worried when the doctors did not open their door in the morning,” a resident who did not want to be named told AFP. He said the victims had their throats slit, but it was not immediately clear if the assailants also came with guns. A resident Adamu(not real name) said six walked straight to the compound tied up the doctors and slited their throats one after the other with other two taking position at the gate while the gruesome act was

going on. He said: “I was peeping through the window when six armed men walked to the house of the doctors in this area. Two of them took positions at the gate, while four entered the house. Ten minutes later, I started hearing the cries; and yelling probably from the gunmen giving orders to their colleagues. But I cannot tell you whether all the three doctors were killed or not, because I did not hear the sounds of any gunshot fired by the suspects that night.” Another resident said he woke up and saw the head of one of the doctors placed in front of the gate. The Emir of Fika, and Chairman of Yobe State Traditional Council of Chief, Alhaji Muhammadu Ibn Mohammed Idrissa Abali, also condemned the killing. He urged the JTF and the police to deploy more troops in Potiskum, as the

town have continued to be targets of the insurgent. The chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in the state condemned the killings. In a statement, Dr Adamu Umar, said: “The NMA in Yobe State is saddened by the news of the gruesome murder of the three Korean health workers in Potiskum. ’’ Yesterday’s attack also followed a spate of killings of Chinese nationals in the northeast in recent months. In November last year, gunmen shot dead two Chinese construction workers in Borno State. On October 19, a Chinese construction worker was killed in Maiduguri. Another Chinese national was shot dead on October 7 in Gubio, outside Maiduguri. The killings of the Chinese nationals at the time prompted Beijing to lodge a diplomatic protest to the Federal Government.

NMA seeks passage of bill


HE Nigerian Medical A s s o c i a t i o n (NMA)yesterday urged the National Assembly to pass the 2012 National Health Bill (NHB). Its president Dr Osaghon Enabulele, made the call at a briefing in Lagos. Enabulele said the bill, which is being considered by the National Assembly would reform the country’s health sector. According to him, the health system has failed to meet the expectations of the people. He said: “The Senate Committee on Health shall hold a public hearing on the National Health Bill tomorrow (today). “This is essential because Nigeria’s health system has witnessed the good and bad times, with more of the bad

By Wale Adepoju

times predominating and characterised by poor health outcomes. “High maternal mortality, infant mortality and low life expectancy, worse than Ghana, “ he said. He said the financing of health care was largely done from the pockets of the people, which was not proper. He said the passage of the bill would address the medical tourism crisis which contributed to the loss of over $500 million yearly. “The NHB 2012 is needed to reverse the trend of frequent and sometimes unnecessary foreign medical trips and make Nigeria a destination for medical tourism. “It will also help to address

Agbakoba in court over judges’ pay


•.L-R:Group Managing Director/CEO, UACN Plc, Mr. Larry Ettah, Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede and Managing Director, UACN Property Development Company Plc,(UPDC), Mr. Hakeem Ogunniran, at the UACN’s business retreat at the Golden Tulip Hotel Festac, Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos.

FORMER Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Mr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) has sued the National Assembly and the National Judicial Council (NJC) at the Federal High Court, Abuja, over remuneration of judicial officers. In an originating summons, which has the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke (SAN) as the first defendant, Agbakoba sought an interpretation of Sections 81 (1) (2) and 84 (1) (2) (3) (4) and (7) of the 1999 Constitution. He said going by the pro-

Third Mainland Bridge is safe, says govt


HE Federal Government has allayed fears of imminent collapse of the Third Mainland Bridge. Describing the bridge as “safe”, it said an assessment would soon be conducted to determine the “extent of maintenance work the road requires”. The Senate has given its Committee on Works two weeks to investigate how safe the bridge is. Senator Gbenga Ashafa, representing Lagos East, who raised the alarm over the bridge at plenary last week, told reporters in Lagos yesterday that the probe would ascertain the veracity of his claim.

•Senate panel probes collapse claim By Miriam Ekene-Okoro and Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie

He dismissed insinuations he raised a false alarm. Ashafa said: “How can someone say the issue is political? Nigerians across all ethnic groups ply that bridge on a daily basis. About 70, 000 vehicles use the bridge daily; a disaster on it will affect all of us. “Just like the Dana Crash where some people came after the crash to say that they had complained about the plane and nothing was done, we don’t want medicine after death. This is about the safety

of Nigerians”. Ashafa said Prof JHT Kim, Head of Concrete Structural Engineering Laboratory, Yousei University, Seoul, Korea, came in December 2012 to conduct an underwater examination of the structures holding the bridge and reported that the damages to the structure were worse than what he was briefed about. He said the repairs embarked upon during the last quarter of last year by the Ministry of Works were mere window dressing on the expansion joints. Dismissing fear, that the bridge may collapse soon, the

Director of Highways Design (Bridges), Federal Ministry of Works, Aniete Effiong said: “The Ministry has taken proactive steps in line with its mandate to ensure that the Third Mainland Bridge is protected and kept in an acceptable service state. “Following reports of oscillation and excessive vibrations of the bridge under traffic load, the Federal Ministry of Works in 2008 engaged the services of Messrs JBN Plc. to conduct preliminary investigations of the structure and later Dynamic tests were carried out by Messrs 4EMME, an internationally acclaimed

Bridge Engineering Consulting firm. He stressed that the reports of the investigations and tests at the time indicated that the bridge was structurally adequate but required the replacement of bad expansion joints and bearings which Messrs Borini Prono & Co. Nigeria Ltd., has just done.” “To safeguard the integrity of the bridge, the ministry has commenced the process of engaging a consultant to urgently carry out investigation/assessment on the entire bridge substructure so as to determine the extent of maintenance work required”, he said, adding that the bridge is safe.

By Joseph Jibueze

visions of the sections, the remuneration, salaries and allowances of judicial officers and the judiciary’s recurrent expenditures should be charged on the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation and paid directly to the NJC. The leading rights activist added that Section 81 (1) (2) excludes the remuneration and recurrent expenditure of the judiciary from the President’s Appropriation Bill being charged upon the Consolidated Revenue Fund. Section 81 (3) (C), he said, guarantees direct payment to the NJC any amount standing to the judiciary’s credit in the Consolidated Revenue Fund. According to him, Section 84 (2) and (7) place judiciary charges on the Revenue Fund on the “First Line”, above executive appropriation control. He said rather than implement these Constitutional provisions that guarantee judicial independence, the defendants have continue to breach them. The result, he said, is that the judiciary is dependent on the first defendant for its budgeting and funds as the NJC is made to submit its annual budget estimates to the Attorney-General’s Budget Office for inclusion in the Executive Appropriation Bill sent to the National Assembly.



NEWS Immigration introduces biometric equipment

Tinubu eulogises Beko, advocates true democracy



ORMER Lagos State Governor and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) national leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu yesterday described the late activist, Dr. Beko RansomeKuti, as a decent, honourable and patriotic Nigerian, who relentlessly struggled for the adherence of democracy and social justice. Tinubu, who spoke at the Seventh Beko Memorial Anniversary at the Ikeja Airport Hotel, Lagos, urged Nigerians to not only celebrate Beko, but to adhere to those principles he stood for. The former governor, who was represented by a frontline scholar and essayist Prof. Adebayo Williams, noted that the theme of the symposium: ‘Constitutional gridlock: the way forward”, was apt as it called for a reflection on the fundamentals of the Nigerian nation. Those who attended the event organised by the Centre for Constitution Governance (CCG), included Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi and his wife, Bisi, former military governor of Lagos, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kalu, former ViceChancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof. Wale Omole, former Ekiti State University Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Akin Oyebode, Itse Sagay (SAN), Prof. Bayo Okunade, rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), among others. Tinubu said: “The 1999 Constitution is the law that gives validity to all other laws and specifies the basis of our co-existence as a nation. The Constitution should be a law that we subscribe to, having fully agreed to its contents. “It should be a law that every Nigerian can identify with, that every Nigerian can defend with his life. Sadly, this is not the case. “One very obvious reason for this is the oft-noted but fundamentally important observation that the 1999 Constitution is a document that does not meet the needs of the people and does not reflect their will. “That the constitution states that: ‘We the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria do hereby make, enact and give to ourselves the following Constitution’, is not reflected in its content and application. In fact, we all know that it was a few persons selected by the military junta that collected some views, collated them and wrote a report. “Today, the 1999 Constitution, as contradictory as it is, is still being applied in a unitary fashion that is inimical to running the country like a proper democracy. This is why we are still having problems about its operationalisation with an inefficient, greedy and over bloated Federal Government engaged in constant power grab with the states and local governments. “Responsibilities meant for the states and local governments are being contested for by an already cumbersome Federal Government. The 1999 Constitution is unworkable and it is not of the people, by the people and for the people. “No wonder, due to the cumbersome nature of the constitution and the abuse it constantly suffers, it has become

•From left: Prof. Williams, (representing Asiwaju Tinubu); Ekiti State Governor Fayemi; Yemisi Ransome-Kuti and Prof. Oyebode at the Seventh Annual Symposium of the late Ransome-Kuti at the Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: ADEJO DAVID

Beko always looked for ways to challenge the ruling class. He had no business fighting for the masses but he did it. Time like this calls for another Beko. This country is in dire need of a leader to take us there and those who belong to the other side do not really care whether Nigeria survives or not

By Precious Igbonwelundu and Musa Odoshimokhe

difficult to fight corruption at the centre. The overbearing nature and excessive powers it offers make effective supervision impossible. “The rationale behind the creation of the 36 states of the federation was with a view to bringing development closer to the people. However, most of these states have ‘Unfunded Mandates’ because of a central government that gobbles up almost all the resources and in a constant grab for power and more resources. “This negates the very essence of democracy and what should be the spirit of the constitution. Matters better left to states to administer are being contested for by a fat belly central government. “The central government runs a multiplicity of bodies that are duplicative and a waste of resources that can be channelled to other tiers of government. For instance, why do we need a Ministry of Police Affairs when we have the Police Service Commission? Why would the central government dictate to states or warehouse the funds meant for developments in the states under the Sovereign Wealth Fund? “Nigeria runs a defective federalism. Beko would have fought against these issues. And that was why until he passed on, he was an undying advocate for the convocation of a national conference. “For this reason alone, the call for the convocation of a national conference to give to Nigeria and Nigerians a people’s

•From left: President, Voter’s Assembly, Comrade. Mashood Erubami; President, Campaign for Democracy, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin; National Coordinator, Oodua People’s Congress, Otunba Gani Adams; Chairman, National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu and Secretary-General, Trade Union Congress, Barr Musa Lawal, during the laying of wreath and a commemorative rally on the seventh year of Dr. Ransome Kuti’s demise in Lagos... yesterday. PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA

constitution is justified. Sometimes people say why can’t we just live with what we have? Alas, that is what we are doing and see where it has left us! Nigeria is an artificial creation and this artificial creation will only work if and when the federating units are given the opportunity to sit down to talk and agree on the rules for their coexistence. Dr. Fayemi described the late Ransome-Kuti as a bold and courageous activist who was never intimidated by his friends or power. He said: “He gave us a sense of hope about the future. We cannot but continue to wonder what our situation would have been if Beko was alive today. He was so pragmatic and believed absolutely in the ability of the people to overcome the worst kind of dictatorship. “Beko always looked for ways to challenge the ruling class. He had no business fighting for the masses but he did it. Time like this calls for another Beko. This country is in dire need of a leader to take us there and those who belong to the other side do not really care whether Nigeria survives or not. “So, this is a call on the civil society to rebuild and restrategise on how to reclaim power.” The governor described the constitution as a false document, just as he urged those who believe in the Nigeria project to organise a society that will be good for the generality of the people. “If we do not do anything about the direction this country is going, we will all be vic-

tims. We do not need to go to the United States or far away for examples on how to get a peoples’ constitution. We can take a cue from Kenya who just had one about a year ago. We must stop agonising and start organising properly,” Fayemi said. Oyebode, who was the guest speaker, said the National Assembly was not in a position to produce a constitution for the country. He maintained that it was not the business of the lawmakers to make a constitution and urged them to stop pretending. He noted that the rule of constitution making was that of the people through a Constituent Assembly or a Sovereign National Conference (SNC), just as he pointed out the 1999 Constitution is bereft of legitimacy. “The way out of the illegitimacy confronting us is for Nigerians to resolve to do away with the present constitution. The purported amendment will end up an exercise in futility because there are no accredited representatives of the over 400 ethnic groups that make up this nation.” He decried the situation where the Federal Government is too powerful and said that the country’s federalism was suffiocating. “The Federal Government is too powerful. We need to reorder, reconfigure and re-establish the way we want Nigeria to be. Nigerian people have the right to go to heaven the way they want to.” On the late Ransome-Kuti, Oyebode said he paid his dues . The fact that seven years after his demise, you have this crowd

here on a Sunday afternoon, is a testimony that he carved a niche for himself. I was overwhelmed when I came in and saw the crowd of people that came here to celebrate the life and times of Beko. No greater compliment can be paid a hero than what I saw here today. “I was mortified when I heard they want to celebrate 100 years of colonisation. Have you heard when slaves celebrate the times of their slave master? I think it is actually out of scene with the reality of today.” Falana noted that the solution to the country’s problem was the introduction of a new constitution agreed upon by the people. He said: “The so-called 1999 Constitution is actually Decree 24 of 1999, which was signed into law on May 5, 1999 by former Military Head of State, Abdusalami Abubakar. Upon accepting the document by the National Assembly, it was understood in legal circles that it would remain a legal document but not a legitimate. “There is a difference between a legal document and a legitimate one. A legal document is one that has backing of the law, but a legitimate document is the one that enjoys the support of the people, has the input of the people and that is not what the 1999 Constitution is about. “So, if we want to have a new country, a new society to address the fundamental problems confronting us, we need a new constitution so that we can define our relationships because the present constitution is fraudulent.”

HE Acting Comptroller- General, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Rilwan Bala Musa, has said biometric equipment would be installed at airports and borders to check porosity. Speaking yesterday in Ikeja, Lagos, with aviation reporters, after visiting the management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Musa said the country’s borders were porous and needed to be fortified by the introduction of biometric equipment. The Acting ComptrollerGeneral, who hinted that some security machines would be installed at the airports, said they would provide accurate data of individuals in the next 40 years. He said: “The borders are porous. They are not like airports where people come with passports. So, we are putting biometrics equipment in place.” Musa noted that the Immigration counters at the airports would be increased to accelerate passengers clearance, adding that passengers were expected to be given a speedy clearance on arrival after over eight-hour flight. According to him, NIS officers would be sent on observation trips outside the country to observe passengers’ clearance at airports.

Demuren raises alarm over threat to safety, security


HE Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr. Harold Demuren, yesterday raised the alarm on the consequences of insider’s threat to aviation safety and security. He insisted that screening at the airports must be intensified to stave off compromise by aviation personnel. Demuren spoke in an interview in Ikeja, Lagos, affirming that the threat to security and safety around the nation’s airports has become disturbing because terrorists are seeking ways to penetrate the aviation sector with heavily funded religious extremists and volunteers ready to die for causes that are unwarranted. He said because people targeting the aviation sector have enough time to plan their dastardly act, professionals and regulators in the sector must raise the bar in security and counter, terrorism measures. Demuren said one of the ways of checkmating such dangerous threat is the increased security surveillance around the airports, adding that the authorities would utilise full imaging body scanners to screen passengers at the primary and secondary points at the airports. He said the challenges of plane hijacking was no more fashionable, as terrorists had perfected the act of causing unlawful interference to embarrass the global community.



NEWS Cocoa merchant murdered in Ilawe-Ekiti

Osogbo-Kwara road: Aregbesola slams Omisore T HE Osun State Government has condemned claims by Senator Iyiola Omisore that he awarded and paid for the construction of the OsogboIla-Odo-Kwara State boundary road. The road is being rebuilt by the Governor Rauf Aregbesola administration. The government described the former representative of Osun East Senatorial District as an “incorrigible liar”. In a statement, the governor’s media aide, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, expressed dismay at Omisore’s comments in an interview he granted the Nigerian Tribune, where he said the Aregbesola administration has not executed a single project in two years. The statement also quoted the Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Oladepo Amuda, who said: “In the interview, Omisore used ‘I’. Is he referring to the Federal Government? We do not know him to be the Minister of Works and he never worked with the Ministry of Works. He did not even serve

as a member of Works Committee when he was in the Senate. So, who is the ‘I’ he is referring to? “If he is speaking on behalf of the Federal Government, let him produce evidence that the contract was awarded and the name of the contractor it was awarded to. “The fact about that road is this: The Federal Government directed the Federal Road Management Agency (FERMA) to rehabilitate the single carriage way from Osogbo to Ila-Odo. FERMA was told to rehabilitate and not reconstruction; we need to get that right. “FERMA gave the rehabilitation work to a contractor, who did not do anything. What the Aregbesola administration is doing is complete reconstruction and dualisation of the road. “Besides, we informed the Federal Government before the intervention, stating the scope and the colossal amount involved. When we complete the road, the Fed-

eral Government can refund the money after inspecting it. “Omisore cannot be talking on behalf of the Federal Government or FERMA, whose contractor abandoned the road.” On Omisore’s claim that some other roads in the state were rehabilitated by the Federal Government, Amuda said: “The former lawmaker demonstrated his poor knowledge of the achievement in the state. On the Ibadan-Iwo-Osogbo Road, he goofed. He ought to know that the road is a state road and not a federal road. So, the Federal Government could not have awarded it and did not award it. “What is currently on that road was the construction done by the old Oyo State, before the creation of Osun. Oyo did the road in two phases: First, construction from Ibadan to Iwo and phase 2 from Iwo to Osogbo. “The Ilesha–Osogbo Road rehabilitation is another issue. The rehabilitation con-

Fayemi celebrates birthday with challenged kids


KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi on Saturday celebrated his 48th birthday with pupils of the State School for the Blind and Deaf in Ikere-Ekiti and children at the State Children Correctional Centre, AdoEkiti. He said no child would be deprived of free and quality education because of disabilities. The governor donated a bus to the Children Correctional Centre. He donated foodstuff, mattresses, refrigerators,

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

television sets and other items to both institutions. Fayemi said physicallychallenged people should be cared for, adding that the government would provide facilities to make life easier for them. Urging the public to inform the government of any abuse or deprivation of physicallychallenged persons, Fayemi advised children at the correctional home to imbibe the values they are being

taught and make the best out of their stay there. He said many Nigerian leaders today have passed through correctional homes. Fayemi said according to the Child Rights’ Law, the government must protect and provide for less-privileged children. He said this motivated his administration to establish the centre. Before the establishment of the centre, children convicted in Ekiti were taken to correctional homes in neighbouring states.

‘Ekiti attracted N10b investments in two years’ •Governor opens four-star hotel


KITI State has attracted investments worth over N10 billion in the last two years. Governor Kayode Fayemi said this at the weekend while inaugurating a four-star hotel, Midas Hotel, in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital. Fayemi said although Ekiti is ranked 35th on the federal allocation table and sometimes referred to as a remote hinterland, investors believe in his administration’s efforts to make the state investment/business-friendly. He said the tourism/hospitality industry accounts for N3 billion of the N10 billion investments. The governor said his administration would continue to make Ekiti attractive to tourists and investors, adding that business can only thrive in a safe and conducive

environment. Urging tourists and investors to visit the Ikogosi Resort, he assured investors of the government’s patronage. The management of Midas Hotel donated a 300KVA transformer to its host community, Alaafia. The chairman of the hotel, Mr. Clement Olowokande, said the gesture was to complement the effort of the Fayemi administration to boost electricity supply. He said the hotel built 300 metres of road with interlocking tiles in the community. The opening of the hotel was witnessed by many dignitaries, including the governor’s wife, Erelu Bisi, Senator Babafemi Ojudu and traditional rulers, led by the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Adeyemo Adejugbe.

Southwest Muslims back call for SNC


USLIMS in the Southwest, under the aegis of the Joint Muslims’ Action Forum (JOMAF), have called for a Sovereign National Conference (SNC), where a fair constitution would emerge. At a progamme, tagged: “The Nation Prays”, in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, JOMAF said: “It is only through a true constitution that the polity can be re-

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

structured and the rights of citizens can be guaranteed.” Prof. Lakin Akintola of the Lagos State University (LASU) and The Nation columnist, Dr. Femi Abbas, who were among the guest speakers, said it is not a crime to demand one’s rights peacefully. They urged those in authority to create an enabling environment through which

rights could be demanded peacefully. Abbas urged Nigerians to work toward achieving peace, saying “it would amount to hypocrisy for people to pray for peace and behave in a manner capable of breaching the peace.” JOMAF Chairman Alhaji Kola Usaamot urged the government to look into the appointment of teachers and lamented the dearth of Islamic Studies’ teachers.

tract was given to FERMA before the inception of this administration. The work was not carried out until Aregbesola came on board. Out of fear that this administration might take up the road as part of its development project; FERMA quickly went back to site. It is still on the road. “As for the Lagere-Enuwa Road in Ife, the Federal Government is working on it. There is no controversy about that. What is controversial is whether it is Omisore and not the Federal Government that is doing it, because he kept saying ‘I paid for this road; I paid for that road’. “During the administration of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the length of roads built was 513km. In less than two years of this administration, we have constructed more than 533km length of roads. This is not part of the 281km roads currently being constructed across all local governments (an average of 5km per local government), which will be completed before the end of the year.” On Omisore’s criticism of the bond taken by the Aregbesola administration, Amuda said: “He should be educated on the fact that a state that is not credible cannot go for a bond. For a state to go to the capital market successfully, it must be credible and possess means by which the bond would be repaid, as well as the Federal Government’s certification.

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

A •Aregbesola

“The Federal Government saw what we presented, studied it and accredited our bond. Omisore did not know all these. By the way, how many states are credible to go for a bond? Omisore does not even know the niceties of the capital market and how it works. “Unknown to Omisore, he has unwittingly further exposed the PDP is the greatest undoing of this country with its culture of paid and unexecuted contracts. Need we say more on why the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway has remained a death trap until Southwest governors intervened and spurred the PDP-led Federal Government into action? “The Benin-Ore road, Abuja-Lokoja-Okene road, to mention a few, were awarded to PDP stalwarts with hefty mobilisation, but were never executed.” Aregbesola’s aides advised Omisore to investigate issues before making “hollow comments” and embarrassing himself.

MIDDLE-aged cocoa merchant, Mr. Rotimi Omolafe, was on Saturday murdered by unknown persons at a farm on Igbara-Odo road in Ilawe-Ekiti. His body was found on the farm located about five kilometres from the community. Sources said the late Omolafe may have been killed by Fulani herdsmen. It was learnt that another farmer was also attacked by the herdsmen, but he escaped. Police spokesman Victor Olu-Babayemi said two men had been arrested in connection with the murder. He said: “When the incident was reported around 9am on Saturday, detectives were despatched to the scene and the body of the man was found lying in a pool of blood with marks of violence all over his body. “The police have taken the body to the morgue of the General Hospital, Ilawe, for autopsy. The scene has been secured and is restricted to members of the public.” Babayemi urged members of the community to assist the police with information.



NEWS Monarch hails reopening of Osun college From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

THE Orangun of Ila, Oba Wahab Oyedotun, Bibire 1, has hailed the state government for reopening the Osun State College of Education, Ila, which was shut about three months ago. The institution was closed following a protest by students following the killing of two of their colleagues by a hit-and-run driver. Oba Oyedotun spoke in his palace at the weekend during his 60th birthday celebration. He urged students to always conduct themselves with decorum and present their grievances through dialogue. The monarch said: “We are happy that the students are back. They should not repeat what led to the closure of the institution. They are part of us here because we treat them as our children. It is imperative for them to be responsible and diligent as they are the future leaders of tomorrow. “The economy of Ila has improved over the years and we are committed to improving the lot of our people by creating an enabling environment for financial independence to thrive.”

IGP assures family of man killed five days after wedding of justice F IVE months after Mr. Ugochukwu Ozuah was allegedly killed by policemen attached to Anthony Police Station in Lagos, Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Abubakar, has said the suspects will be brought to book. Ozuah was killed five days after his wedding. It was gathered that the five policemen arrested over the incident were moved to the Force Headquarters in Abuja. The Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 2, Mamman Tsafe, spoke yesterday when he visited the victim’s family on behalf of the IGP. Tsafe was accompanied by

By Jude Isiguzo

the Area H. Commander; Assistant Commissioner of Police Kehinde Longe; the Divisional Police Officer of Anthony Division, Police Superintendent Uzoma Nwaoha; the Deputy Commissioner, Force Criminal and Investigation Department (FCID); the DC, Force Headquarters and several other senior officers. They said the IGP sent them to assure the family that justice would be done. Tsafe said: “Contrary to speculations that the trail of the

suspects has gone cold, the IG sent this high powered delegation to assure the family that the trail is still hot. “He directed me to form a team under my supervision and commiserate with you. I assure you that he feels your pain. The case is being effectively investigated and the culprits would be dealt with. The IG can never hide or condone evil and the result of the investigation will be out soon.” He said he would write a report to the IG on the complaints of Ozuah’s family.

Ozuah was shot dead at Gbagada on September 24, last year, around 10pm when went to drop his friend, Omene Irikefe, at the bus stop. Following the public outcry that heralded the incident, the IG instituted a team, under the leadership of DCP Chris Ezeike, to investigate the matter. Spokesperson for the family, Mrs. Nkechi Nnoyelu, expressed disappointment that the IG deemed it fit to visit the family five months after the incident.

She said: “I am a bit disappointed that the condolence visit is coming five months after the incident and it’s like opening old wounds. We thought this meeting was to bring us abreast on the investigation. “Some arrests were made by the police and we thought that by now, the result of the investigation would have been made open. Rather, we are being kept in the dark. I am aware that the investigation is over and the report has been submitted.” Mrs. Nnoyelu urged the police to always inform the family of their findings.

UNILORIN gets Registrar From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

THE Council of the Univer•The Chief Missioner of the Ansar-ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Sheikh Abdurrahman Ahmad (second left), raising the hand of Osun State Governor Rauf sity of Ilorin (UNILORIN) Aregbesola at a progamme organised by the Joint Muslims’ Action Forum (JOMAF) in the weekend. With them are Hon Muhammed Ibrahim (right); has approved the appointPHOTO: TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO JOMAF Chairman Alhaji Kola Usaamot (left) and others. ment of Mr. Emmanuel Dada Obafemi as the Registrar-designate of the institution. In a statement, From Damisi Ojo, Akure NDO State CommisHeadquarters said Oluboyo Alhaji Oluboyo and others UNILORIN’s Deputy sioner for Natural Rewas interrogated and detained have been quizzed by the poFrom Damisi Ojo, Akure Director, Corporate Affairs, sources Alhaji Lateef ter he petitioned Governor till the following morning, lice. Mr. Kunle Akogun, said: “However, I do not know Oluboyo has been quizzed by Olusegun Mimiko on the al- when he and other suspects HE Ondo State “The appointment, which whether the commissioner the police for the alleged assault leged atrocities being perpe- were granted bail. Governorship Electrated by the commissioner followed the recommendaIt was learnt that one of the was detained or not. The case of a Labour Party (LP) chieftain, tion Petition Tribuand some officials of his mintion of the Selection Board suspects, who hails from the is very sensitive and that is nal sitting in Akure, the Mr. Adetutu Ajisafe. istry. raised to assess applicants victim’s hometown (Ode- why the CID has taken over it. Ajisafe is a former chairman state capital, at the weekPolice spokesman Mr. Wole Irele), might have no case to The suspects are still being for the position of Regisof the State Forest Monitoring end extended its pre-trial Egodo said Oluboyo and four trar, was one of the highanswer, as there was no sub- interrogated and we shall get Unit. period by six days to enothers were quizzed by men lights of the decisions taken stantive evidence to prove his to the root of the matter.” Hoodlums poured acid on able parties file in their reof the Criminal Investigation at the Council’s meeting on involvement in the matter The police spokesman said him in his shop in Akure, the ports before hearing beDepartment (CID) on the inciSaturday.” Assuring the public that jus- the suspects would be arstate capital, a few weeks ago. gins. dent. Egodo said the police Obafemi, is the Deputy tice would prevail in the mat- raigned soon. Ajisafe petitioned the Police This followed an oral invited the commissioner to Registrar, Academic ter, irrespective of the personAt a press conference, Commissioner, alleging that application moved by Mr. Support Services, will take the attack was sponsored by establish if he threatened the alities involved, Egodo said: Oluboyo denied sponsoring Oluwole Aina, counsel to victim a few days before the “The matter has been trans- the attack and pledged to asover from the incumbent Oluboyo. incident. the Action Congress of NiRegistrar, Mrs. Olufolake ferred from Ala Police Station sist the police in their investiHe said the commissioner Sources at the Command to the State CID. It is true that gation. geria (ACN) and its canOyeyemi, whose tenure threatened to deal with him afdidate, Mr. Oluwarotimi will expire on April 28. Akeredolu (SAN). Obafemi joined the service of the University of The lawyer urged the nienced residents, its gains el-Maulud celebration was instiIlorin on September 28, tribunal to extend the preYO State Governor outweigh the pains. 1981, as Assistant Registrar trial period to enable parAbiola Ajimobi has tuted by his administration to He said: “Oyo used to be the educate people about Islam. (Information). ties present reports on the said the urban renewal He is a 1977 graduate of programme of his administra- dirtiest state in Nigeria, but toinspection of Independent The Guest Lecturer on the octhe University of Ibadan tion is not to inflict hardship day, things are fast changing for casion, Alhaji Muideen Salman National Electoral Com(UI). on the people but to give the the better. This, I think, should Hussein, cautioned Muslims mission (INEC) docube our collective joy. Obafemi was, at various state a facelift. against fundamentalism, saying ments. “Everything we are doing is times, Senior Assistant He spoke yesterday at the there was no need attacking adThe tribunal said the exRegistrar and Principal Government House Arcade in with good intention and not to herents of other faith under the tension, which will lapse witch-hunt anybody. We know Assistant Registrar of the Ibadan, the state capital, durguise of promoting Islam. on Wednesday, would be institution. ing the Eid-el-Maulud celebra- it may bring some pains, but I He stressed the need for tolthe last. assure you that the pains will In 2006, Obafemi was tion. erance and peaceful co-existence It urged counsel and promoted to the position of Ajimobi said although the soon turn into gains.” to promote peace in the society. parties to bring their witAjimobi said the annual EidDeputy Registrar and he •Ajimobi programme has inconvenesses tomorrow, adding served in various units, that if the tribunal finishes such as the Establishments with the reports for preOffice, College of Health trial on time, the hearing Sciences, Students Affairs By Jude Isiguzo HE police in Lagos State have arrested 74 suspects in Office, Council Office and would begin on the same connection with last Thursday’s murder of a Lagos chief, Academic Support Services. day. can Church. Chief Kayode Adeshina Onimole. Obafemi is a member of Chairman of the threeHe said: “The police have started investigating the grueOnimole was killed in his palace at Iga Iduganran in Isalethe Chartered Institute of man panel Justice A. some murder of Onimole and we made about 74 arrests. We Eko. Personnel Management of Kaka’n advised lawyers to arrested this large number because we are looking at all angles Police spokesman Chukwuma Ozoani confirmed the arrest Nigeria, among several be time-conscious during on the possible cause of his murder. “We do not want to leave yesterday. other professional bodies. any stone unturned, so we are looking at the case from a the hearing. He said 73 suspects are being detained at the State Criminal The Registrar-designate is broader perspective. In order not to jeopardise investigations, The tribunal will reInvestigation Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba. married and has six chilwe cannot disclose all we know, but be assured that we will sume sitting on WednesOzoani said one of the suspects was arrested on Saturday dren. fish out the culprits and free the innocent.” day. during the deceased’s funeral service at the Ebute Ero Angli-

Acid attack: Ondo commissioner, others quizzed



Ajimobi: urban renewal to improve Oyo


74 suspects held for Lagos chief’s ‘murder‘


Ondo tribunal extends pre-trial




NEWS IG orders special security for health workers


HE Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, yesterday ordered special security for all medical personnel involved in the ongoing routine immunisation. This is contained in a statement in Abuja by CSP Frank Mba, the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer. The measure was sequel to the recent attacks on health workers in Kano. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that unidentified gunmen Friday morning shot dead nine women health workers in two separate attacks during a routine

Plateau discovers 6000 ghost workers From Yusufu Aminu Aminu Idegu, Jos


LATEAU STATE government has discovered 6000 ghost workers on its pay role. Commissioner for information and Communication, Mr. Yiljap Abraham, who broke the news in an interview yesterday said: “The ghost workers were discovered after a biometric verification exercise carried out by the state government” The Commissioner said that after earlier committees set up by the government to determine the strength of its workforce had put the figure at between 17,000 and 18, 000 workers, the governor became alarmed that despite the fact that there had been no new employment, the figure kept rising. He added that the biometric exercise discovered that Plateau should not have more than 11,000 workers, meaning that the remaining were not legitimate workers. Yiljap said: “Between 2007 and 2011, we discovered that the figure of the civil service kept increasing despite the fact that people have been dying and have not been replaced, we have had people resigning, going on secondment and, yet we have not had any corresponding decrease.

Jonathan greets aide


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan at the weekend congratulated his Senior Special Assistant on Domestic and Social Events, Hon. Dudafa WaripamoOwei, who bagged a Doctor of Philosophy in Accounting at the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Jonathan in a letter to Waripamo-Owei said: "It is my hope that your acquisition of a doctoral degree will not only inspire you to loftier aspirations, but also further enhance your capacity to continue to render worthy service to our dear nation; especially at this point in time when the country is in sore need of the recommitment of men and women of goodwill to our national transformation efforts". Also, the First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, congratulated Waripamo-Owei, describing the PhD as an "important landmark achievement as a necessary catalyst to further excel in the discharge of your duties."

polio immunisation. The attacks reportedly took place at Filin Kashu and Shargalle Health Centre (in Hayen Hotoro) both in Kano metropolis. The gunmen, who came in a tricycle, shot dead three women at Filin Kashu and injured three others, while another set of gunmen also attacked Shargalle Health Centre and killed seven women. The statement said the special security arrangement also covered medical personnel involved in other special medical tasks. The statement directed Commissioners of Police in the states and Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, especially those in charge of the northern states, to devise security strategies to prevent further attacks.

How agric scheme saved Fed Govt N25b, by minister ‘We tackled corruption in 90 days’ By Precious Igbonwelundu, Staff Reporter

•Dr Adesina

THE Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development last year saved about N25 billion through its Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GES), its minister Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina said at the weekend. Adesina spoke at a workshop on the implementation of this year’s farmers’ registration and GES delivery scheme in Abuja. The scheme was introduced by the minis-

try. In a statement, the Minister said: “Indirect targeting of farmers made it easy to divert funds, subsidised fertilisers, seeds and tractors meant for farmers to the open market where they were illegally sold at huge profits. As a result, tens of billions of Naira were spent every year to reach farmers with agricultural inputs but the level of utilisation of improved seeds and fertilisers remained very low.” “I am pleased to let you know that in 2012, fertiliser companies sold N 15 billion

($100 million) of fertilisers directly to farmers. Seed companies sold N1.5 billion ($10 million) to farmers, directly. The GES programme also saved government a lot of funds. Instead of the former blanket subsidy system, the GES involved direct contributions by the farmers, the Federal Government and state governments. Of the N15 billion spent on the programme in 2012, farmers contributed N 7.5 billion; state governments contributed N3.8 billion, while the Federal Government paid N5 Billion. GES is therefore a cost-sharing arrangement between the beneficiaries and the government. The GES scheme saved the

Federal Government N25 billion in funds it would have needed to give fertiliser and seed contracts, as fertiliser companies and seed companies were also able to raise financing for their products from banks, through a guarantee facility for their loans issued by the Federal Ministry of Finance,” Adesina said. According to the Minister, his ministry ended the corruption of four decades in 90 days: “We took the government out of direct procurement and distribution of fertilisers. Today, seed and fertiliser companies sell their products directly to farmers, instead of to the government,” he said.



CITYBEATS T Painful bye to slain ex-naval officer 07059022999

EMPERS rose; invectives poured in torrents. Tears flowed without let, as the lifeless body of the “good man” was being lowered into his final six-foot-long abode. His bereaved family's hordes of sympathisers were not left out of the emotional infection. It was last Friday at the Victoria Court Cemetery, Lekki, Lagos State. It was the last farewell to the late Johnson Kayode Olanrewaju, an ex-naval officer, who was callously cut down ten days after his 54th birthday - on January 17 - by some yet unknown gunmen. After 13 years with the Nigerian Navy, he had worked with Exxonmobil Producing Limited for a decade as Marine Security Coordinator. He was on his way back home from Cardinal Securities, Lagos, where he last worked when agents of death seized him. Three gunmen intercepted his blue Toyota Avensis Wagon, just a stone's throw to his 27, Adeyemi Street, Alakuko, Ogun State home. His wife, Modupe and their son, Tunde watched helplessly as he was bundled into the trunk of his car. The gunmen drove him off after dispossessing the trio of their valuables. After a frantic search, the late Olanrewaju's children got the shocking news of his death the next day. It was at the Sango Police Station, where his car also parked. There, the family was told that the late Olanrewaju had been killed along Ota Road. Then, his body was already lying in the morgue at the Ifo General Hospital, where it was deposited by the police. One of his daughters, Oluwakemi who works with Intels Nigeria Ltd, Warri, Delta State, recalled how it all happened: "Our father was on his way from work that fateful night. He had gone to take our mother back home from her shop at about 9.45 pm. Eye witnesses told us that at Oluwatobi Junction along FPF Campbell Road near our house, he was intercepted by three gunmen who took all they had on them before driving our father away in the trunk of his car. Immediately, our mother rushed to Alakuko Police Station to report the case. "The next day, our mother went with us to Sango Police Station following directives from Alakuko Police Station. There, we saw our father's car. It was parked intact. It was there we were told that our father was shot dead by armed robbers the previous night." The police swore to get his killers, but it ended there. And the family accepted their fate and moved to burry their dead. The arrangement began with a service of songs at a wake-keep held at the family's Alakuko residence last Thursday. Before the interment at Lekki, a soulstirring service was held in his honour by officials of Christ Apostolic Church (Power of God Centre), led by Pastor Tola Otujinrin. The roomy church and indeed, its premises, were jam-packed with sympathisers who, amid sobs, recounted the late Olanrewaju's sterling virtues. At the service were the deceased's wife, Modupe; their children, Oluwakemi, Olalekan, Bukola, Dipo; his sister, Mrs Abosede Akinseye; his cousin, Mr. Akande Ilesanmi; Lekan Arasanyin (cousin); Niyi and Femi Olanrewaju (brothers); his friends, Soji Aremo and Raphael Ogedengbe, and Bobola Adeniyi of Intels Limited, among others. His kinsmen from Okeagbe, his Ondo State home town, were also there. Pastor Otujinrin urged all to imbibe Christ-like virtues which, he noted, were exemplified by the late Olanrewaju's life. "With people's comments and, in fact, looking at the crowd here today, there is no gain saying the fact that the late Olanrewaju lived a worthy life that must be emulated by all. He lived for God by living for his people. It is not about how long you live; it is about how well you live your life, especially in line with God's commandments," the cleric noted. It was a flood of tears when the late Olanrewaju's body was being lowered into the grave. His wife and children

You have truly been a friend and brother since the day we got married. We both promised to stay together and watch our children grow to become great, but the unexpected happened. Right in my presence, you were taken away and while I was expecting you back, we received the sad news of your death the next day. Who will be there now to encourage me and advise our children? I will miss your presence around me

•The late Olanrewaju’s widow performing the dust-to-dust with the support of her children

•The late Olanrewaju Dada Aladelokun, Assistant Editor

were inconsolable; so were their relations. Ilesanmi cried like a baby. As their relations and sympathisers fought tears, they held the widow and her children by their arms when it was time to perform the dust-to-dust rite. Heartfelt curses rained on the killers of the "caring man." "Sir Kay (as he was fondly addressed), those who did this to you have offended God. They must pay for it," Mrs Akinseye bemoaned. To Ilesanmi, Olanrewaju's killers had hurt many families. "His murder is not only a blow to his immediate family; his

•The officiating ministers after the service

killers have tampered with the fountain of joy of many who were lucky to come across Sir Kay," Ilesanmi said, adding: "He was everything to me. In fact, at every point of my life, he was there for me on all fronts. He was caring to a fault. Indeed, he epitomised the real essence of religion. He was a rare blessing to mankind." In her tribute, Olanrewaju's widow said: "You have truly been a friend and brother since the day we got married. We both promised to stay together and watch our children grow to become great, but the unexpected happened. Right in my presence, you were taken away and while I was expecting you back, we received the

sad news of your death the next day. Who will be there now to encourage me and advise our children? I will miss your presence around me." His brothers - Niyi and Femi - agreed that the late Olanrewaju was the "binding cord that held the family together as one," adding that he would leave no stone unturned to positively touch the life of whoever came across him. Femi recalled: "One of his friends was once seriously ill and deserted by all. Despite Kayode's busy schedule, he stayed with him and gave him financial and emotional supports until the man eventually passed away. He was a perfect gentleman and exemplar of Godliness."




Anger over police role in rape of 13-year-old


ESIDENTS of Alagolo area in Ipaja, a Lagos suburb, yesterday condemned the circulation of the rape footage which showed a 13-year-old girl being raped and assaulted by a five-man gang. The incident, which was said to have occurred last year, went public when the alleged rapists, who recorded video footages of incident, left a photo clip in front of the victim's house. An angry mob took to the street to protest the development, but police officers from Alagolo Police Station allegedly dispersed them and coerced them to keep mum over the matter. They alleged that the police officers have been going to "beer parlours" to arrest innocent people while the suspects, whose faces were clearly seen in the footage, were left off. It was learnt that the victim was lured to the residence of the rapists by a 16-year-old girl, identified as Titilayo. From the footage, made available to The Nation, three men, whose faces are seen, were molesting a teenage girl in her school uniform. The video showed a horrified minor, in tears, pleading to be set free by her captors but yet, doing their biddings. A source who pleaded not to be mentioned told The Nation that Titilayo lured the victim to the residence of Ope, one of the suspects, where Waheed, Kola and two others were waiting to defile her in turn. He said: "Titilayo told the victim to follow her to where she would make quick money and the minor innocently followed her.

By Precious Igbonwelundu

"By the time she was made to understand what was about to happen, she objected and was begging them to let her go. But they refused and compelled her to submission. "While they were raping her, Titilayo was laughing and enjoying the fun. From the video they made of the crime, they were all having fun except the small girl who was crying and saying "please brother Ope, let me go". "When they had finished defiling the girl and made recordings, she went home in tears and told her parents who, in order to avoid the stigma, resorted to conceal the matter. "We cannot really say what went wrong but the suspects went further to print a picture of the evil act and deposited it at the victim's doorstep. At the same time, they started circulating videos of the evil. This made the issue public and everybody in the neighbourhood was angry. "The matter became talk of the town; people in the area protested and her parents also went to the Police Station to report.

•Lagos Police Commissioner Umar Manko

The Police have a copy of the video and we expected them to arrest those beasts and prosecute them. "But unfortunately, they came here on Thursday and forced us to delete the videos. They were virtually going from house to house to make sure everybody who had the video deleted it. They also warned us to tell no-

By the time she was made to understand what was about to happen, she objected and was begging them to let her go. But they refused and compelled her to submission. While they were raping her, Titilayo was laughing and enjoying the fun. From the video they made of the crime, they were all having fun except the small girl who was crying and saying, ‘please brother Ope, let me go’


body about the issue or discuss it anywhere else we would be dealt with. "At first we thought they were doing it to protect the minor but when we saw that the police had released the suspects, we knew it was most likely they had been compromised and want to deny the little girl of justice. Another resident said: "It is not the first time those useless boys are doing such things. They rape young girls, victimise people and boast that no one can do them anything. This one was the height of it, but for God, we would have burnt them to ashes. The state's deputy Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Damasus Ozoani, denied any attempt to cover-up the matter. "It is not true that the police coerced the people to delete the videos or not mention the issue. In fact one of the suspects has been arrested," he said. "His name is Opeyemi Yinsa. He is 20 and lives at Baruwa in Ipaja. The crime was committed in his house. He was taken to the Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko, on Friday. The video was played for the CP and the incident narrated. The CP then ordered that the Divisional Police Officer, DPO should go and arrest the other suspects and bring them to book." "These boys have been in the act; they rape girls, take videos of the incident and use it to blackmail them. They threaten them to bring other girls else they will syndicate their own pictures and videos. This has been the practice until this last one.

Widow, lawmaker quarrel over property


widow, Remi Ogunjobi, has accused a Lagos lawmaker, Kabir Olajide Lawal of depriving her the use of a property bought by her husband 18 years ago. According to her, the property, an apartment in Block 6, Rabiatu Thompson Crescent, Surulere, Lagos, was bought by her husband in 1996 from the son of the current occupant, Mrs. Aisatu Raji, a centenarian. Lawal, who represents Surulere 1 constituency, was Mrs. Raji's lawyer. For nine years, her husband, she claimed, tried to possess the property until he died. Nine years after his death, Mrs. Ogunjobi is still trying to gain possession of the apartment. She said on three occasions, the court ruled in her favour, the last being the verdict delivered by Justice Lateefat Okunnu seven years ago. "When I went with my lawyer, policemen and court bailiffs to take possession of the property after the last judgment, area boys were mobilised against us. They flogged the policemen and bailiffs and we ran away from the scene," she said. When the courts could not help, she said she petitioned Governor Babatunde Fashola, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), and political leader in Surulere. She has also gone to the Lagos Television ombudsman programme, Mogbejomide, to state her case but their efforts failed. Her latest attempt was her cry on a Radio station to appeal for public help. "I am afraid to even go to the property because of my first experience with area boys. More so, the old woman said on LTV that it is Kabir Lawal that put her there and only he can remove her," she said. Mrs Ogunjobi said further: "He (Lawal) even acknowledged that fact when we were before the panel at LTV Mogbejomide and agreed that

•Lawal By Oziegbe Okoeki

he was ready to pay rent on the property for as long as Mrs. Raji lives there but up till now, many years after, he has not paid me a dime. I need money. I am a widow with eight children and three of them are in the university. I have to pay school fees and fend for all of them. How do I cope when I am being denied the means through which I can take care of my family?" she asked. Although she said she agreed earlier to rent the property to Mrs. Raji and collect rent from Lawal, now, all she wants is her property. "The lawmaker is giving me conditions of tenancy on my own property. I think this is very unusual. What I want now is for him to pay me the rent for all the years Mrs. Raji has lived in the house. I don't want to rent the house out to them again. He can't dictate to me how much I will rent out my house", she said. Ogunjobi's lawyer, G.O. Bello said he opted out of the case because of the challenge of executing the court judgment given in favour of his client and because Lawal had always ad-

vocated out-of-court settlement. "They have denied Mrs.Ogunjobi possession of her property for too long and the earlier she is allowed to take possession of the property the better", Bello said Lawal decried Ogunjobi's allegations as an attempt to tarnish his reputation and political career because he is no longer involved in the matter. He said he was the lawyer to Mrs. Raji, who in 1996 approached him with a court order that she should vacate the property she had occupied since 1968. He said Mrs. Raji did not know that her son had sold the house. "That time, 1996, I was a practising lawyer; I was not a politician and the matter was still pending in court before I became an honourable member. Even then, I and the plaintiff lawyer were still in the process of resolving the matter amicably before I became a lawmaker. "The plaintiff’s lawyer, Mr. AbdulGaniyu Bello, later came to me at the Assembly to request out-of court settlement because he knew I was handling the case for the old woman before, and we all agreed to

I don't regret my role as a lawyer to the old woman because my responsibility and duty as a lawyer is to my client ... I stood by her so that she would not be rendered homeless; I don't think I have done anything wrong. I did not collect rent from her

it. "I promised to relocate the old woman and pay rent for any apartment we are able to secure for her so that the plaintiff can posses her property", Lawal said. He said they were still in this process when the woman took the same issue to LTV where they were told to work with the earlier agreement of relocating the old woman. "Only for Mrs. Ogunjobi to go to a radio station and malign my name and without hearing my side of the story the presenter went on air," he said. "I am now a lawmaker; I cannot wear wig and go back to court. I am no longer involved in the matter and I don't have interest in the matter again but as an honourable member and being a member of my constituency, I volunteered to pay Mama Raji's rent but they should look for an accommodation for her", Lawal said, adding: "I don't regret my role as a lawyer to the old woman because my responsibility and duty as a lawyer is to my client. Mrs. Ogunjobi may have painted a pathetic story on radio, but we are talking of an old woman here, who is close to 100 years and has been occupying an apartment since1968. I stood by her so that she would not be rendered homeless; I don't think I have done anything wrong. I did not collect rent from her". Lawal said Mrs. Ogunjobi agreed to rent the apartment to the old woman at N150, 000 per annum and he agreed to pay. "However, I insisted that they should get a lawyer and draft a tenancy agreement for the old woman and Mrs. Ogunjobi to sign. This was where we were, only for the woman to go to a radio station to say I denied her possession of her property", Lawal said, asking: "Why is she going to the media now for a matter that started in 1996 when in fact we are on the verge of amicable settlement?"

Passengers caught with firearms at Airport By Kelvin Osa Okunbor

A passenger has been arrested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, with pistol in his luggage. He was arrested on Wednesday on arrival from Maryland, United States (US) by security officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). The passenger, according to FAAN's General Manager, Corporate Communications, Mr Yakubu Dati, claimed that the gun was brought in from the US for his protection in Nigeria. He claimed to have declared the gun to the airline before checking in his luggage. Another passenger on Aero Contractors flight from Lagos to Port Harcourt on Thursday was apprehended by security officers at the MM2 terminal, for possessing firearms. A pistol was discovered in his luggage. The passenger said he brought the pistol from the US for protection in Aba, Abia State.

Lagos arrests eight, seals off 43 spare parts shops By Miriam Ekene-Okoro

THE Lagos State Government has arrested eight persons and sealed off 43 spare parts shops for failing to register their business outfits. The shops were shut down at Maza Maza, Mile 2, by the enforcement unit of the Lagos State Motor Vehicle Administration Agency (MVAA) in conjunction with the Lagos State Task Force. Their owners were expected to pay yearly registration fee of N50, 000; auto dealers are to pay N100, 000. The affected people had defaulted in the payment of the annual registration fees, despite government warnings. MVAA officials stormed the area when the shop owners broke the seal placed on their shops and continued trading. The officials were attacked by some of the spare parts dealers, but Task Force officials came to their rescue. Eight were arrested for breaking government's seal and assaulting its officials. Their shops were later shut down. The arrested dealers have been arraigned at the Special Offences Court at the Task Force headquarters.

Two missing Edo WAI officials found From Osagie Otabor, Benin

TWO officials of the Edo State Committee on War Against Indiscipline (WAI) reportedly 'abducted' last Wednesday by some commercial motorcycle riders have been found. One was found naked on the Benin bye-pass where he was allegedly dumped. The other was found on First East Circular Road in the city. WAI officials and cyclists clashed last Wednesday over alleged killing of two motorcyclists. Several motorcycles were destroyed; some WAI officials and motorcyclists were injured. WAI Chairman, David Olukoga told The Nation on phone that one of the officials was locked up in an apartment where he was found. He said they were awaiting the conclusion of police investigations.




Toddler abducted in Ebonyi

Abia to partner Thailand From Sunny Nwankwo, Aba


HE Aba Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ACCIMA) is to partner the Kingdom of Thailand to promote agriculture, tourism and agro processing in Abia State. The Commercial Councillor, Royal Thai Embassy, Boon Intiratana, made this known in Aba, during an embassy lecture series of ACCIMA. Intirantana said the Thai Government would partner the chamber and Abia State in agriculture and agro-processing. He said the embassy would establish the Thai-Nigeria business forum in May.

Anyim, Okonjo-Iweala for summit


ECRETARY to the Government of Federation Anyim Pius Anyim and Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okojo-Iweala would attend a two-day summit in Owerri, Imo State. The summit is a concluding part of the evaluation of the impact of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) projects in the Southeast communities. It is also aimed at postulating on the achievements or otherwise of the MDGs as the programme ends in 2015.

From Chris Oji, Enugu

Organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Southeast Zone, in collaboration with the Department of Public Administration, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), the summit would feature the inauguration of board of trustees and launch of N50 billion MDGs support trust fund for Southeast communities. The event is scheduled to take place at Ikemba Ojukwu Centre, Owerri, Imo State, on February 20 and 21.

‘Probe dumping of bodies’


GROUP, the Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has called on the Federal Government and the Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to probe the dumping of bodies in Ezu River, the border community between Anambra and Enugu states. In a statement, the group said it was shocked that President Goodluck Jonathan has not set up a panel to probe the incident. HURIWA said it was wrong for the Anambra State Government to have engaged the services of the police to unravel the suspicious killings A statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Officer Ms Zainab Yusuf, said it is giving the Federal Government 21 days to set up a panel or it will mobilise civil society groups in the Southeast to protest. “We’ll file a petition against the President at the International Crimes Court in The Hague next month.


THREE-year old boy, Ejike Emmanuel, has been abducted by unknown gunmen in Ishiagu Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. The distraught mum, Mrs. Nnennaya Emmanuel, said the incident occurred when she left Ejike with his fouryear old sister, Nkiruka. She said: “I fry bean cakes for a living. On that day, I left my son with his sister, as I tried to close shop for

From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki

the day. “I went to return a bench, when I came back I met my daughter Nkiru crying. “She said two men came on a motorbike and seized the boy from her. “I only managed to see the back of the two men on a bike that Nkiru was pointing at. “I raised the alarm but be-

fore the villagers could gather, the men had disappeared with my son. “The villagers organised a search party that night and since then till now, my son has not been found neither has the abductors contacted us.” The father, Emmanuel Anyim, said: “I still believe my son would be found. What is most painful is that we saw the back of the men who abducted our son.”

The Divisional Police Officer, Robert Duru, said two children– a boy and a girl– out of the eight abducted in last December and early January have been found in Owerri, Imo State. Duru said the two children were seen with a woman, who bought them for N600, 000. He said the boy was sold for N450,000, the girl N150, 000, adding that the woman has been arrested.

Man ejects brother, 85, from home Bursar at the Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe in Amansea community, where floating bodies were discovered in Ezu River, Mike Ekwunife, yesterday threw his elder brother, Boniface and his family out of a home they claim to be theirs. Boniface (85) said: “I built the house with my money which I borrowed from the bank but my younger brother, Mike, who I trained, is claiming ownership of the land. “Now he has used his wealth and connection to eject me forcefully from my house, an act that is abominable in Igbo land. “I am the first son of my father and as custom and tradition demand, my father’s


•Ekwunife and his family...yesterday From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

compound belongs to me but out of sympathy, I gave him some portion of the land. “So, I am calling on the government at all levels and

Amansea community to save my soul. “For two days now, I have been sleeping with these children outside here. “Somebody I groomed and brought back from Sokoto. I got a job for him

and he has risen to the position of bursar in Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe. It is unfortunate that he is now paying me back this way” he lamented. When contacted the bursar declined comment.

Court issues bench warrant on widow


N Aba South Chief Magistrate’s Court I has issued a bench warrant of arrest on some accused persons. To appear in court are the former Managing Director of Citizens’ Bank of Nigeria, Lady Joyce Ifegwu, Urum Udensi Ifegwu, Emmanuel Okorie Udensi Ifegwu, Osogbo Udensi Ifegwu and Agwu Udensi Ifegwu for failing to appear in court . Lady Ifegwu is the second wife of the late businessman, Dike Udensi Ifegwu, who died last July and is yet to be buried. The other accused persons

From Sunny Nwankwo, Aba

are her brothers-in-law. The accused were arraigned before the Chief Magistrate Chijioke Nwogu on January 30 on a four-count charge, which includes conspiracy to commit misdemeanour. They were also accused of giving false information in writing to Corporal Desmond Abella, an officer attached to the InspectorGeneral of Police Abuja, alleging that Udensi Dike Udensi, the first son of the deceased, killed his father.

When the charges were read, the accused pleaded not guilty. Their counsel, Upkai Ukairo, pleaded that his clients be granted bail since their offences were bail able. Chief Magistrate Nwogu reserved his ruling on the bail application to February 4 and asked the accused to come back to court on the adjourned date. On the adjourned date, none of the accused was in court. Their counsel turned up late and the magistrate asked after his clients.

The counsel said he has not seen or heard from them after the last sitting. He said only Lady Joyce had a reason for her absence. The counsel tendered a letter of exhaustion as reason for her absence in court. The court, after examining the letter, refused to admit it as evidence, as the letter was not properly addressed to the court. The magistrate, however, issued a bench warrant and directed the police to arrest and bring the accused, including the widow, to court on February 13.

FAAN records 14.9m passengers


HE Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has said it recorded 14.3 million passengers last year as against 14.9 million in 2011, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. This was contained in a statement from FAAN’s General Manager, Corporate Communications Yakubu Dati in Lagos yesterday. It said the two years recorded a growth difference of four per cent. The statement said the passenger record was taken in all the nation’s airports, including the Katsina Domestic and International Airport and Makurdi airport. It added that the highest figure was taken from both the domestic and international terminal of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, which has 7.4 million last year as against 7 million in 2011. It added that the Abuja and Port Harcourt airports re-

corded 3.6 million and 1.3 million passengers last year against 4.2 million and 1.3 million in 2011. The statement noted that Kano, Enugu, Kaduna and Calabar airports were among

the top on the list of the passengers. It said the airports with the lowest passengers were Ibadan, Minna, Akure, Katsina and Makurdi. It said Katsina airport re-

corded 5,657 last year against 19,898 for 2011 passenger traffic. The statement added that Makurdi had the lowest record of 1,255 last year against 1,924 in 2011.

ABU to hold special convocation


HE Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, is to hold a special convocation to confer a honorary doctorate degree on former Minister of Defence, Lt-Gen Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma and launch a N50 billion Phase II Development Fund. The Special Convocation, which is part of the institution’s Golden Jubilee Celebration, is scheduled to take place on March 2 at the University’s Convocation Square at the Main Campus, Samaru, Zaria. The University’s Head of Information and Protocol,

Bitrus Galmaka, said in a statement that development of physical infrastructure in the institution had been restricted to phase I of its physical development plan in the last 50 years. The university plans to develop its 8,000 hectares of land in the phase two of its development plan. Galmaka said the management would launch the university into the next 50 years by starting development of Phase II. The university has received and reviewed the architectural designs of the

•Gen Danjuma

planned Phase II from architectural firms, led by alumni of the University.

Keita hailed for bronze win Pg. 24

Sport Monday, February 11, 2013


Celtic won’t gamble on Ambrose—Lennon

Pg. 14





AFCON 2013...AFCON 2013...AFCON 2013...AFCON 2013...AFCON 2013...AFCON 2013...AFCON 2013...AFCON 2013...AFCON 2013...AFCON 2013...AFCON 2013...AFCON 2013

Keita hailed for bronze win


Ghana’s performance pleases coach

Obudu LOC commiserates with late Ighile's family

Enrique warns Osaze •Keita

Celtic won’t gamble on Ambrose—Lennon



Man Utd opens up 12-point lead

Eto’o raises alarm over death threat

Ronaldo: I had a good time at Man United



Aguero won't concede title race

Barca thumps Getafe 6-1

Dolphins hold Enyimba in Aba From Tunde Liadi, Owerri











The general public is hereby notified that the Overcomers Christian Mission Inc. has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for the increase in the member of registered trustees of the mission under part ‘C’ of companies and Allied Matters Acts No. 1 of 1990 by adding the following persons as Trustees of the mission. The Present Trustees are 1. Evang. Alexander Ezeugo Ekewuba 2. Mrs. Fransisca I. Ekewuba 3. Rev. Benjamin Ejim Nwaneri 4. Pastor Emmanuel Egwuogwu 5. Evang. Benedict Emeka K. Obiako The Trustee to be added are 1. Prof. Bethram E. B. Nwoke 2. Dr. Justin Onyegbosi 3. Bro. Gospel Chukwuemeka Ezeugo 4. Bro. Mathias Onwuegbu And the Removal of the following persons as trustees of the mission 1. Pastor Emmanuel Egwuonwu 2. Evang. Benedict Emeka K. Obiako 3. Rev. Benjamin Ejim Nwaneri Any objection to the above should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420 Tigris Crescent, Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, P.M.B. 198 Garki – Abuja Nigeria with 28 days of this Publication. Signed: Bro Damian Oparah (Public Relations Officer)









Litmus Tests

Oil in Lake Chad • It is doubtful if govt’s investment in this regard is worth the while


O the Jonathan administration, making the crisis-torn Borno State an oil producing state has become a task that must be accomplished. Speaking at the palace of the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Garbai, on February 2, the visiting Vice President Namadi Sambo announced Federal Government’s allocation of $100 million for oil exploration in the Lake Chad basin in the 2013 budget. This, he said, is in addition to the $75 million spent last year on modern seismic data gathering and processing to identify three oil blocks in the basin. The administration, he stated, considered this as not only necessary to raise the country’s oil and gas reserves, but to create more jobs and economic opportunities in the North-east sub-region. He summed up the administration’s commitment this way: “I want to inform you that government is committed to the oil and gas search in the Lake Chad basin”. Stripped of the good intentions, we find the idea of putting oil exploration among the wish-lists of the people at this time not only uncanny, but inexplicable. And considering that the visit to the state would be the first by any ranking official of the Jonathan administration since coming into office, the announcement was cynical as it was opportunistic. More pertinent however is whether the annual ritual of pouring money into the quest can be described as money well spent. This has become debatable. The

statement credited to the Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke is instructive in this particular regard: “there is a possibility that we may find oil in commercial quantity in the Chad Basin because of the discoveries of commercial hydrocarbon deposits in neighbouring countries of Chad, Niger and Sudan which have similar structural settings with the Chad Basin. Therefore, it is prudent to aggressively explore the Chad Basin for possible hydrocarbon deposits”. To be clear, what is at stake here is not the possibility of an oil find; the geology of the region would seem to have confirmed that beyond any shadow of doubt. The issue is that the confirmation still falls far short of answering the question of whether the money sunk in is worth the trouble at all. Just as the answer is critical to the eventual commercial decisions that would be taken, we cannot at this time gloss over the obsession fuelling the open-ended quest, which, although offers no guarantees, yet continues to come at great costs to the national treasury. Although, we recognise the obsession as part of the craze to be named among the club of oilproducing states – and the advantages of wealth without work that it confers – we cannot but ask why major oil prospecting companies are not leading in the search at this time? Does it say something of the prospects – borne of their superior knowledge of its futility?

What will an oil find do to the region? Beyond the politics, pretty little as far as we can see. More money to the treasury? Possibly. Wealth creation? For a few, notably the prospecting companies and their overpaid staff, yes; for the majority, it seems extremely doubtful in the current situation of zero value addition. Employment? Even more doubtful –at best a few score jobs will be created. And development? No guarantees whatsoever. What the North-east needs at this time is peace and development. It needs to rebuild the entire fabric of commerce to create opportunities for employment; it requires massive investments in skills to equip youths and to upgrade its infrastructure. As for the obsession with oil exploration – we see this as utterly misplaced.

‘To be clear, what is at stake here is not the possibility of an oil find; the geology of the region would seem to have confirmed that beyond any shadow of doubt. The issue is that the confirmation still falls far short of answering the question of whether the money sunk in is worth the trouble at all’

Again, power politics •FG must resolve the issues delaying Manitoba’s Delegated Authority HE report that Manitoba, the Canadian firm contracted by the Federal Government to manage the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) is yet to get the Delegated Authority to take over the company is disturbing. This is injurious to the country in many respects. First is its potential to damage the relationship between the Nigerian government and its Canadian counterpart. The second is the possibility of breach of contract for which the country has since become notorious. Most important is the effect of the delay. As a matter of fact, this constitutes our greatest source of worry because of its repercussion on the power reform and more especially, power supply in the country. It is incredible that seven months after the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE)


‘We have not even started to sell other aspects of the PHCN and we are having this kind of delay in allowing the contractor take charge. The point is that no matter how beautiful a plan is, it may be marred by implementation. Nothing in the power sector road map can be said to be unworkable at this time; what the government needs is the will. The issues relating to the Manitoba contract must be resolved without further delay’

signed the management contract with Manitoba, the company could still be groping in the dark as to when exactly it would get the necessary papers to take over. It would appear that some interests opposed to the company taking over the TCN want the Federal Government to cancel the contract. This, as the government is aware, will attract a loss of about $23.72million in line with the terms of the contract. For sure, the country cannot afford such waste of funds. It is even the more interesting that there have been interventions from very high quarters, including the Presidency, to no avail. In frustration, Mr Don Priestman, the chief executive officer-designate of Manitoba said: “We signed the contract a long time ago. After a transition period of one month, we were supposed to receive the Delegated Authority. That has not yet happened. Without the Delegated Authority, we cannot take over. The contract was questioned at a point but the President finally said that it was in order”. Even the concerned Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) said it had written to the government to resolve the contract imbroglio. “The earlier it is done, the better”, NERC chairman, Dr Sam Amadi said. We cannot agree more. The power supply situation in the country has become embarrassingly intractable for decades, with successive governments merely playing lip service to the sector. However, things appear set for improvement with the power sector reform initiated by the Olusegun

Obasanjo administration. Unfortunately, there are too many vested interests that benefited from the old order in the defunct National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) as well as its successor, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) that is now being unbundled, who would not want any form of change for purely selfish interests. The high wire politics in the power ministry was partly responsible for the exit of the immediate past power minister, Prof Barth Nnaji. We cannot afford to continue to play politics with this all-important sector. Even in the best of times, we have managed to generate about 4,700MW of electricity, a far cry from the national demand. This is far too low for our size and population. South Africa, with a population of about 50 million generates about 34,000 MW. What this means is that we still have a long way to go if we must industrialise because power supply is key to industrialisation. In the light of all these, we implore the Federal Government to get the matter resolved as soon as possible. We have not even started to sell other aspects of the PHCN and we are having this kind of delay in allowing the contractor take charge. The point is that no matter how beautiful a plan is, it may be marred by implementation. Nothing in the power sector road map can be said to be unworkable at this time; what the government needs is the will. The issues relating to the Manitoba contract must be resolved without further delay.


NE dispiriting lesson from Chuck Hagel’s nomination for defense secretary is the extent to which the political space for discussing Israel forthrightly is shrinking. Republicans focused on Israel more than anything during his confirmation hearing, but they weren’t seeking to understand his views. All they cared about was bullying him into a rigid position on Israel policy. Enforcing that kind of orthodoxy is not in either America’s or Israel’s interest. Brooklyn College is facing a similar trial for scheduling an event on Thursday night with two speakers who support an international boycott to force Israel to end its occupation of the Palestinian territories. While this page has criticized Israeli settlements, we do not advocate a boycott. We do, however, strongly defend the decision by the college’s president, Karen Gould, to proceed with the event, despite withering criticism by opponents and threats by at least 10 City Council members to cut financing for the college. Such intimidation chills debate and makes a mockery of the ideals of academic freedom. Mr. Hagel, a former Republican senator, has repeatedly declared support for Israel and cited 12 years of pro-Israel votes in the Senate. But that didn’t matter to his opponents, who attacked him as insufficiently pro-Israel and refused to accept any deviation on any vote. Mr. Hagel was even forced to defend past expressions of concern for Palestinian victims of the IsraeliPalestinian conflict. In the Brooklyn College case, critics have used heated language to denigrate the speakers, Omar Barghouti, a leader of a movement called B.D.S., for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, that espouses “nonviolent punitive measures” to pressure Israel, and Judith Butler, a philosopher at the University of California, Berkeley, who is a member of the advisory board of Jewish Voice for Peace, a group that supports divestment and boycotts. Alan Dershowitz, a Brooklyn College graduate and Harvard law professor, has complained that the event is unbalanced and should not be co-sponsored by the college’s political science department. On Monday, Ms. Gould said other events offering alternative views are planned. The sad truth is that there is more honest discussion about American-Israeli policy in Israel than in this country. Too often in the United States, supporting Israel has come to mean meeting narrow ideological litmus tests. J Street, a liberal pro-Israel group that was formed as a counterpoint to conservative groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, has argued for vibrant debate and said “criticism of Israeli policy does not threaten the health of the state of Israel.” In fact, it is essential. - New York Times

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IR: State police is an important component of true federalism and emblem of authority of governance, since sovereignty is divided between the central and federating states. State police is not a new concept in Nigeria, but there is a clamour for modification to the colonial legacy of Native Authority Police which successfully worked alongside the Nigeria Police force till the 1970s before it was abolished and integrated into a single Nigeria Police force by the military oligarchy to achieve their unitary command system. The native authority police was very effective as a tool for combating crime and maintaining law and order then, though with some excesses and abuses typical of the way party politics was played at that time. The 1999 constitution provides for a single federal police which precludes states from taking charge of the protection of lives and properties of their states. If Nigeria is really a federation, this is a constitutional lacuna that must be addressed through constitution amendment. One of the arguments being canvassed by the antagonists of state police is the likelihood of abuses by governors. Should allocation of resources to government or its agencies for development purposes be stopped based on the assumption that some few corrupt officials would mismanage them? If governors could manage other institutions of governance, there is no reason why they cannot manage state police. After all, the combined team of LASTMA, Federal Road Safety Commission Officials along with the Police are all collaborating and complementing each other on Lagos roads to maintain traffic and discipline among motorists. Imagine Lagos roads with just only



Who is afraid of state police? traffic police in control! It has also been argued that many states cannot afford the cost of establishing and maintaining state police. It is worthy to note that the primary and most fundamental responsibility of any government at whatever level is the protection of lives and property of its citizenry. This is the cross they swore to carry and they must carry it at whatever cost. Indeed, many states have been doing this indirectly by spending huge amount of resources on the

Nigeria police in their respective states. In Lagos, Governor Babatunde Fashola has donated dozens of armoured personnel carriers, hundreds of 4X4 trucks, hundreds of power bikes, two helicopters, thousands of bullet proof jackets and helmets, AK-47 rifles, ammunition, welfare and allowance packages running into billions of naira with other logistics to the state police command to enhance their operational efficiency. How does one expect the federal

police to effectively enforce laws that are promulgated by the states? Fortunately, everyone seems to agree to the fact that Nigeria is currently under- policed. The current 370,000 policemen are grossly inadequate to effectively police a population of 170 million. This makes nonsense of the United Nations recommendation of a minimum police-population ratio. The Federal government already has too much on its neck to contend with. The recent revelation through a spe-

• Ojo Tope Stephen Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Alausa, Ikeja.

These are interesting times


IR: We live in interesting times. The political class is having a hell of a jolly time. The judiciary is courting public scrutiny because judges are now living in interesting times. Public servants are also having a swell of a time. The senators are leading the dance in this interesting milieu. The representatives are not immune to the bug of interesting times. In a nation that brags about as the giant of mother Africa, it should be expected that Nigeria must be a land of interesting people. Take our love for life and fun. We are loud. Our men are loud. Our women are loud. Our youths are loud. The rich are loud. The well connected are loud. Our politicians are loud in their habits. They are loud in their manner. They are loud

in their tastes. They are loud in their sartorial elegance - whether in suit or agbada. President Jonathan controls 11 aeroplanes. They call it presidential fleet. He goes about with a fleet of darkened SUVs and battalion of minders. His publicfunded kitchen budget still stands at N1billion. That kitchen must be loud with expensive utensils that befit the ruler of the giant of Africa. Nigeria is now a country without Pentecostal modesty. Our pastors are modern day arrogant Pharaohs. In carriage, in cassock, in speech they all look like medieval emperors. Churches are no longer a place of celestial calm and repose but consulting malls for business deals. The glory of Christ has been replaced by the glory of material-

ism. They now indulge openly in the things that will make Satan proud. The story of one big time crook called John Yakubu Yusufu and his other loud crooks did not surprise me at all. He is the feral meanness of the triumph of corruption in Nigeria. He is a true apostle of loud greed and a good discerner of our interesting times. History of big, loud stealing is not new. What we have are new actors from unlikely places. Abacha stole loudly. James Ibori stole loudly. Actors in the Halliburton scandal stole loudly. Worse, these looters are still living loud and large. Why would anyone agonise over a man who defrauded pensioners of a mere N27billion? To be shocked or surprised is to dimin-

Re: Okorocha and the limits of ambition

IR: After reading the article with the above caption in The Nation of Friday February 8, it was crystal clear to me that it is either the writer, Ogbonna Eze is totally ignorant of happenings in Imo State, or he is a member of the liability political party that was beaten mercilessly by Governor Rochas Okorocha and his APGA in 2011. It is shocking because for the first time in Imo State, we are seeing free education; we are also seeing

cial broadcast by Channels Television on the sorry state of the Nigeria Police College, Ikeja, is a strong indication that the Federal Government needs to share some of its responsibilities with the state governments to achieve optimal results. The Nigerian Police, as it is presently constituted, is inadequately funded and lack the required capacity to effectively train its officers. Nigeria can successfully and efficiently operate state police alongside the Nigerian Police, given the required political will and genuine concern for the security of lives and property. We can start by giving state police some limited operational responsibilities and create the institutional watch dog to monitor their excesses and abuses.

infrastructural leap after a long time. Salaries and pensions are paid promptly, students are even paid for going to school, yet an individual is asking where Okorocha is spending his allocation. Eze also committed another blunder when he inferred that Okorocha rode on the back of Ojukwu to become governor. This is another wrong but deliberate assumption. While not trying to undermine the influence of late

Dim Ojukwu, it will be in order to point out here that Ojukwu was seriously hospitalised abroad during the time of Okorocha’s electioneering campaign. As a result, Ojukwu did not show up in Imo during that period, even though he sent his goodwill through his wife Bianca. As at 1999, Rochas won governorship primaries in Imo State; so he is not a green horn in Imo politics. Their political party candidate who was beaten mercilessly in the last

election, also jumped from party to party. He started off in PDP, then he moved to AD in furtherance of his guber ambition; he later came back to PDP only to run off again to PPA from where he was “announced governor”. Then he came back to PDP even as a sitting governor and then failed woefully at the 2011 elections. It is good to set the records straight. •Uzo Iwuala, Owerri.

ish the stature of Nigeria as giant of corruption in Africa. Anyone who is angry over the maltreatment of police pensioners is yet to understand the depth of our soulless embrace of love of money. Look at the president. Despite his utopian pledges to transform Nigeria and exorcise the ghost of corruption, the guy is nothing but a latter day Nero who fiddles away while Nigeria burns. John Yakubu Yusufu is hugely heartless. However, we have to thank Justice Mohamed Talba for bringing forward the inevitability of Nigeria’s Spring or grassroots revolution. His judgement on the N2732billion pension scam is nothing but a calamitous retreat from judicial fairness. His inaction to take proper action on the scam is affirming the accusation that in Nigeria justice is now privatised to the highest bidder. Abroad, the actions of both John Yakubu Yusuf and Justice Talba will again begin to prompt the racist conviction that Africans are naturally prone to evil, lying, stealing, wickedness, corruption, venality and mismanagement. Revelation of scam like this is guaranteed to contribute to the centuries-old racist slur that Africans – blacks – are inherently amoral, lazy and corrupt. •Taju Tijani, Lagos.




El-Rufai: In defence of public discourse To learn to see – to accustom the eye to calmness, to patience and to allow things to come up to it; to defer judgment, and to acquire the habit of approaching and grasping an individual case from all sides. This is the first preparatory schooling of intellectuality. One must not respond immediately to a stimulus, one must acquire a command of the obstructing and isolating instincts. Fredrick Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols


T the beginning, a caveat: this is not a defence of Malam Nasir El-Rufai. I believe he is not intellectually deformed to defend himself. I am no supporter of his many elitist policies while in the helms at the Federal Capital Territory. This, rather, is a defence of commonsense and a defence of the culture of public discourse which, unfortunately, has dived below the mark of decent coition of ideas and cocktail of facts. I find myself agree-

We will do this country and indeed future generation a whole lot of good if we begin to water the culture of a more fertile public debate. This unhealthy reductionism of bringing down serious issues that require intense intellectual reflection and honest introspection is a great disservice for the country


By Abdulaziz Abdulaziz ing with the Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka who wrote in a 2007 essay; “We have gone below the Ground Zero of public debate”. Just as 2012 was folding off, Nigerians got engrossed in a heated debate following the release of There Was a Country, Chinua Achebe’s Civil War memoirs. The hell, to use the cliché, was literally let loose as Nigerians took each other by the throat. You could say this was a healthy engagement in ironing out some key national questions and revisiting our haunting history. It was not. This was because most of the loudest voices, especially in the early days of the quasi-debate, were of the people that had not actually read the book. Opinions were developed based on second-hand information that in most cases were subjugated to subjective interpretations or selective revisionism. The only knowledge to the book held by most commentators then was in form of some early reviews published in foreign titles and, in some cases, snippets of the book published as excerpts by the media. I had wanted to do a meta-review of There Was a Country especially after reading the reviews of the book penned by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Chika Uniagwe and Noo SaroWiwa. In particular, I was angered by some careless lines of fiction in Adichie’s review that I had intended to take up. However, I restrained myself to wait and read the primary text first; which I had ordered by then. Alas, I never got around to writing the piece. Recently, former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili delivered a pre-convocation lecture at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where she alleged that our foreign reserve has been deflated by $67 billion since the 2007 election. A cheer group

HE militarization of the nation’s politics has once again found expression in the statement credited to the latest chairman of the Lagos state PDP, retired Captain Tunji Shelle that the party will capture Lagos State come 2015 elections. He was reported to have said this during the visit of the leadership of his party to their godfather, retired General Olusegun Obasanjo. We had truly thought that this unfortunate statement may have been the product of the typical journalistic zeal in which the man may have been quoted out of context or a case of misrepresenting what the man said. We have waited for a recant and nothing was forthcoming hence our conclusion that he actually made that statement. We do not have any grouse with the well-known hunger and salivation for Lagos State by the PDP which has remained a hunger that will never be fulfilled given the very deep political consciousness of the residents. What we do have issues with is the use of language which we consider unethical and careless, capable of creating tension not only within the state but also within the nation. This shows that the PDP may not be prepared to appeal to the people’s conscience for their votes not only in Lagos State but perhaps throughout the federation since they know that they lack the requisite credentials for such exercise but are preparing to capture the ballot in a military style in which they have shown that they have great expertise in deploying its worst forms. The implications and power of speech in any society is immense especially when wielded by men and women that call themselves leaders. The holy books have urged us all to be careful how we deploy our tongues which is capable of setting fire on nations, dethroning rulers and wreaking havoc in an otherwise peaceful environment. We are concerned that Shelle would find it convenient to use the military word capture in a democratic milieu where politics is about the free will of all the citizens who are willing participants in the political space. This concern stems from the fact that the last time this particular word was used in our polity by the host of that meeting – General Olusegun Obasanjo. The contest for political power through elections during that period was more violent with pervasive impunity holding sway. Responsible leaders we believe ought to carefully choose their words especially when they are in public space. Their conduct is expected to be exemplary and worthy of emulation and that is why we are at a loss why the PDP chairman was comfortable with words attributed to him. Perhaps, he may be sending a message to other parties about the intentions of the PDP in the forthcoming elections

of semi-intellectuals, who, thanks to Dr Reuben Abati, we now come to know as “today’s men” viciously launched a character-assassination attack on her, and anything she was thought to be representing. That also served as launch pad to take all her co-travellers, the “yesterday’s men”, to the cleaners. Enter Nasir El-Rufai’s The Accidental Public Servant. Since the commencement of some media reviews of this book, some people began hauling stones, even if aimless. Typical of the age-old orientation, the media went for the more explosive parts; some areas in which some leading dramatis personae of our politics space are ‘negatively’portrayed. And there come the most banal, even grotesque campaign to rubbish the author and, ultimately, throw the bath water with the baby. The book has now become a spring post from which the personality of the author is attacked. Of course his adversaries have been waiting for it thus the spontaneous firing of verbal missiles and the hysteria. However, as with the case with Ezekwesili’s UNN lecture, those who disagreed with El-Rufai’s assertions have not shown readiness to present us with superior arguments. What we have been dished all these days is a confetti of hatewords with an unruly tincture of halftruths. This is the level to which public debate has been reduced. Sad. I am writing this not with the mind that El-Rufai wrote the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. In any case, as a student of deconstruction, I know truth itself is contestable and often subjective. However, we must give it to the former minister for not only writing the book but also putting names to faces even when he knows that these people are largely alive and can go any length to defend themselves or fight back. The Atiku Me-

dia Office has gone public with invectives while sponsoring adverts in print and broadcast media to point “inconsistencies” between what El-Rufai claimed in the book and what he told the Senate during his clearance for ministerial post. Their undoing is that none of them, it seems, cared to verify what is actually in the book vis-à-vis what was said by ElRufai at the Senate. Some of the more civil critics of the book thought that El-Rufai, in writing the memoir, had thrown ethics of “statecraft” (whatever that means!) and confidentiality to the dogs, thereby baring it all. This is another sad story of our country’s descent into paucity of public discourse. Memoirs should be explosive, political memoirs especially. The advance democracies that we are wont to copy use memoirs to deepen democratic culture and foster transparency. Government business is not a cultic venture. People have the right to know and memoirs are written to reveal what was not in the public knowledge. If all that is written in a memoir is a mishmash of jejune facts that are already known, what is the essence? We will do this country and indeed future generation a whole lot of good if we begin to water the culture of a more fertile public debate. This unhealthy reductionism of bringing down serious issues that require intense intellectual reflection and honest introspection is a great disservice for the country. Many a problem bedeviling the very existence of Nigeria as a country is attributed to our lack of sincerity to look at the problems objectively and call a spade by its name, no matter whose ox is gored. Let there be more memoirs, let there be more sincere engagement of the memoirs. •Abdulaziz is a journalist in Abuja.

PDP’s mission to ‘capture’ Lagos By Olumuyiwa Jimoh in 2015. This may be a signal for others to prepare for war as the PDP is already preparing for war or it may be just bravado which a child depicts in the presence of his father to show that he is truly a chip off the old block. That may explain the choice of time and place for the making of such speech. We see that speech as a sign for Lagosians to guard their loins to defend their votes come 2015 as the PDP may be planning to annex the state either by hook or by crook. It is also a sign of how desperate the party has become and how frustrating they must be feeling seeing all their efforts to steal the state rebuffed by the people of Lagos State. They are frustrated because Lagosians will not settle for less. ACN’s good work in the state beginning with former Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu and current Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola has become so monumental that the challenge to surpass it will be too difficult as PDP itself has failed to perform at the federal level and in many states where they hold sway as the party in power. It is only through service which makes discernible impact in the lives of the people that we can hope to make any impression on the minds of Lagos people. It is only by investing in them that we can hope to build their trust and earn their confidence. This is what the ACN governments have done and will continue to do and we urge the PDP to do the same with the opportunities given to them to serve at the federal level. Until they do so which has unfortunately proven to be too difficult for them, they cannot win but will continue hoping to “capture” We are not surprised however at this turn of events as the PDP is peopled heavily by ex – military men who participated actively in the ruination of our fatherland via the former military regimes. Their psyche has therefore been influenced by crass military language and behaviour since they are yet to learn the language of the civil populace whom they hope to lead. We wonder how they hope to lead a people who they cannot even speak their language and understand, a people who they are complete strangers to and are far removed from both in essence and in traditions. In Lagos PDP, Olabode George, a retired military officer and an ex-convict leads the party in the state. The chairman, Shelle is also a retired military officer. No wonder military

language which is the opposite of democratic language is prevalent. Some rather unguarded statements credited to certain individuals just before and immediately after the 2011 general elections are still very fresh in our minds. The resultant crisis that trailed the announcement of the results in many parts of the Northern region was largely attributed to the unfortunate statements. The wounds of that crisis are still very fresh in the minds of many Nigerians and such occurrences must be avoided by all means. That is why we urge the PDP and in fact every other politician to be cautious of the kind of statements they make, avoiding by all means words that will send negative signal to the polity. Free speech, being one of the basic pillars of democracy demands responsibility on the part of the persons exercising this right. It also demands self-restraint and constant observance of democratic rules of engagements which the word capture negates. Lagos deserves greater service and commitment from all and sundry so that we can make it one of the best cities in the world to live in. A city that is capable of providing basic infrastructure for its residents and with increased capability for self - renewal that will ensure its place in the future. That is what we think governance is all about and that is what Lagos people demand so that we can continue having their trust and confidence thus winning their votes and not capturing it. •Hon Jimoh is a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly

Free speech, being one of the basic pillars of democracy demands responsibility on the part of the persons exercising this right. It also demands restraint and constant observance of democratic rules of engagements which the word ‘capture’ negates.





HE Nigerian Army was in the news last week for some curious reasons. Unidentified persons circulated documents accusing the Chief of Army Staff, General Azubuike Ihejirika of favoritism in the recent promotions and recruitment into the army. They claimed that recent promotions and recruitment were done in utter disregard of such pristine principles as balance, merit and seniority. Bandying statistics of the population of some states, they argued that the South-east zone where Ihejirika comes from benefited disproportionately from the recruitment exercise. According to them, in the recruitment at the Nigerian Army Depot, Zaria, Abia State with a population of 2.8 million had 450 recruits while Ebonyi with a population of 2.2 million had 377 recruits. Kano, Kaduna and Lagos states with populations of 9.3 million, 9 million and 9 million respectively had only 258, 382 and 255 recruits. For them, these represent part of the plan to ‘Igbonise’ the Nigerian Army. Perhaps, either because the army would not want to dignify these allegations or due to their sensitivity to the overall unity and cohesion in the army, they did not react to the issues raised. But a group of concerned Nigerians under the banner of Information for Democracy and Development IDD reacted sharply, accusing the petitioners of nursing a hidden agenda of blackmailing and distracting the army from the fight against terrorism. Its coordinator, Joshua Yahaya described those behind the attack as “fifth columnists of Boko Haram who are feeling the heat of the war on them by the army and so feel the only way out is to create disaffection within

‘With the current security challenges, it is only proper that the commanding heights of the military and key security organizations are diluted so that no section of the country will have absolute control over them. It is in our national interest to do that now’

Emeka OMEIHE 08121971199 email:

Ihejirika’s burden the army”. Given the silence of the army, there is the temptation not to attach much value to the allegations. But the issues raised are weighty and have become a matter of public interest especially given the allegations and counter allegations that have been bandied. Having been brought to the court of public opinion in a society still battling destabilizing centrifugal tendencies, it will be a risky endeavor to dismiss the matter with a wave of the hand. This is more so, with the attempt to smuggle ethnic agenda into this singular recruitment and promotion exercise. Since the ethnic dimension has been dangerously canvassed, it is only proper that it either faces the test of empirical examination or be dismissed as an exercise in hasty generalization. On the face value, a comparison of the recruitment figures of Abia, Ebonyi, Kano, Kaduna and Lagos states vis-à-vis their population, would raise the question of criteria for the exercise. That point has to be admitted. If that was the issue the petitioners are raising, one could understand their point. But it is an entirely different ball-game to proceed from there to arrive at the very sweeping conclusion that it is all that is required to enter a case of ‘Igbonisation’ of the army. It is a very ridiculous and uncharitable conclusion that cannot fly without a total picture of the entire staff disposition of the army. If the petitioners were motivated by altruistic or nationalistic goals, they should have provided the entire standing of the Igbo or the South-east in the Nigerian Army. Even then, that would not suffice for the real picture until the total staff disposition of all the zones in the Nigerian Armed Forces has been analyzed. This point is unassailable given events of

our recent past. It is trite that the South-east has been very vocal on their disadvantaged position within the federation. Such words as alienation and marginalization have come to symbolize the perception of their lot since after the civil war and these issues are not strange to any well-meaning Nigerian. Just last week, former President Olusegun Obasanjo had while reacting to accusations of marginalization by Chinua Achebe in his recent book, told the New African magazine that when he was president, “an Igbo lady was Minister of Finance; an Igbo man was the Governor of the Central Bank, an Igbo man was one of the Service Chiefs”. We may add that Jonathan has improved on that by appointing an Igbo man the Chief of Army staff. These are no doubt very positive developments. But one salient point they have exposed is that they are only very recent steps to correct deliberate scheming out of the South-east from the commanding heights of key national offices and security institutions. To have transformed overnight from alienation and marginalization to dominating the rest in the army, is the most uncharitable and wicked accusation anybody can levy against the South-east at this point in time. It will only take a miracle for that to happen even as Ihejirika is not known to be a miracle worker. It is true he is the first south-easterner to become the Chief of Army Staff since the end of the civil war. It is therefore to be expected that some vested interests may not be favorably disposed to his appointment. Even without hindsight of the entire staff disposition of the army and the armed forces, one can say without fear of contradiction that the South-east is still the most disad-

vantaged. The very fact that they were not part of the armed forces the three years the civil war lasted says it all. What has played out in the recent recruitment and promotions might be an attempt to redress perceived imbalances in the organization. After all, the transformation agenda of the Jonathan administration ought to permeate such critical sectors so that we can build national institutions rather than ones that serve sectional, ethnic or religious tendencies. There are also problems in using population to the exclusion of quota, equality of states and merit to assess the promotions and recruitment. If it is discovered that the Southeast has been largely disadvantaged by previous recruitment exercises, Ihejirika has a moral burden to redress that. It will amount to inverted tribalism or reversed discrimination if he allows the injustice to persist because he is an Igbo man and for fear of what those who profit from it may say. Events during Lt. Gen. Abdulraman Bello Dambazzau’s tenure as the Chief of Army Staff come in handy at this point. Insider Weekly magazine had in its June, 2009 edition reported that soldiers were grumbling over “parochial unbalanced deployment” in the army wondering whether “he is building a Nigerian Army, a Kano army or a northern army”. The magazine alleged that out of the 32 key appointments, Dambazzau gave the north 27, the South-east three, two to the South-west and none to the South-south. It is not unlikely that what is playing out is an attempt to redress years of imbalance as reflected by the skewed leadership of the army since after the civil war. The use of population is also not fool-proof given that populations of states do not give the entire picture of the various groups that make it up. We have not been told the ratio of the Igbo or other ethnic groups that were counted as indigenes of states with high population even when they are discriminated against because of the unresolved issue of residency. It does seem therefore that there is more to these accusations than ordinarily meets the eyes. It is hard to ignore the point by the IDD that it is likely the handiwork of sympathizers of Boko Haram intent at creating disaffection and anarchy within the army that is at play. With the current security challenges, it is only proper that the commanding heights of the military and key security organizations are diluted so that no section of the country will have absolute control over them. It is in our national interest to do that now.

Osun: Recovering from the darkest moment


ECOVERY,” former Prime Minister of Britain, John Major once said, “begins from the darkest moment.” The circumstances of the State of Osun would readily fit this looking at the dramatic turnaround with the dawn of a new governance era in the state. Raising a state that had gone down totally deflated must provide keen economists some good case studies. The lessons to be learnt derives from how the Rauf Aregbesola administration led a recovery job from the state’s “darkest moment”, to use the exBritish Prime Minister’s words, to a stage where all the indices are pointing to sharp departure from the recent depressing past on all the globally acknowledged human development indices. The recent assessment of the impact of the local content policy initiative on employment generation in Osun through a survey pointedly explains how ingenious best practices in public finance, accountability, transparency, and a determined objective to turn around a state have moved Osun from an unenviable rating as the state with the highest unemployment rate in the South-west geo-political zone in 2011 to the state with the best rating in the region and the second best employment rating in the country. Indeed, there is a less than one per cent margin between the state with the best rating in the country and Osun which has emerged second best throughout the country. Needless to state here, the 2011 survey is a reflection of the scenario that existed in Osun in 2010 before the current administration took over on November 27, 2010. And what was the stage like before the new actors emerged? Poor implementation of policies and programmes, heavy reliance on allocations from the Federation Account, preference for recurrent expenditure rather than capital expenditure and poor attention to local content policy in the implementation and execution of projects in the state.

‘Through the same strategy, the government has ensured that funds from the Excess Crude Oil Account are saved for the purpose of development. It is through this that the on-going 10 kilometres roads per local government scheme was made possible, having successfully saved over N10 billion’

By Kunle Alabi The combined effect of all these had resulted in what was no less an insolvent state where not only had capital projects become a tall order, recurrent expenditures such as overheads were taken care of through monthly loans. Two years after, the Aregbesola administration has been able to halt the trend through policies aimed at injecting life back into the economy. In what has directly affected the employment generation rating, the engagement of 20,000 youth for the purpose of community and social works, under the scheme, Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) has made massive social impact. Through the huge number of hitherto unemployed and frustrated youths, the government injects a whooping sum of N200 million into the economy monthly. The ripple effect of this is mostly felt in the informal sector of the state’s economy where those without any purchasing power now have the muscle to enrich the markets with their purchase of daily needs. The scheme has, in no small measure, also created avenues for the beneficiaries to, within the two years of their service to home state, look for other more profitable means of engagement which helps them quit the rank of the jobless for good. For instance, various lucrative self-employment schemes and channels have been opened up such that an OYES cadet has the option of choosing his area of interest based on his academic trainings and qualifications. Some of these include beef production through modern cattle ranch established in Oloba Cattle Ranch in Iwo; bee farming project, red brick scheme, and many other vocations which have the capacity to further create employment opportunities across the state. Of course, many of the services rendered by the cadets have enhanced the quality of life of the citizenry as issues such environmental upgrade through the activities of the cadets, control of traffic, rescue duties in cases of emergencies, and other community and social works have assisted the people to move from the deplorable standard of living to more rewarding and proud lifestyles. Another high social impact scheme of the state which has halted the poverty rating is the scheme, Agba Osun, a programme based on care for the elderly who are vulnerable throughout the state. After an enumeration, a total 1,602 senior citizens were identified as very vulnerable and in constant need of financial support. Every month, each of these elderly persons collect a sum of N10,000 as upkeep allowances. Of course, closely related to the above is the attention paid to the issue of pension by the current administration. For indigenes of the state, who had spent the better parts of their productive years working, unpaid pensions remained another

source of poverty with the concomitant socio-economic complications. It was this ugly trend that the Rauf Aregbesola-led government halted by ensuring prompt payment of backlogs. By August 2012, a total of N7.7bn had been paid in pension and gratuities. Directly or indirectly, many of the policies have chain effects on the dramatic and unprecedented reduction in poverty rating of the state, giving the result of the best managed economy in the country in the face of worsening economic scenarios across Nigeria. For instance, not many minds have reasoned that the decision of the state government to instil a culture of saving, no matter how meagre the resources of the state are, have brought some fortunes to the people. Under the Omoluabi Conservation Funds, which is accurately backed by law, the Aregbesola administration has ensured that the state is not left vulnerable in the face of dwindling revenues from the Federation Account. This accounts for why Osun, despite the now well-known delay in the release of federal allocations, pays its workers on or before 26th day of every month. Apart from being a radical departure from the painful past of delayed salaries, pensions and gratuities, Osun has set the pace on how, even from the most meagre of resources, a culture of saving can be instituted to foster development. Through the same strategy, the government has ensured that funds from the Excess Crude Oil Account are saved for the purpose of development. It is through this that the on-going 10 kilometres roads per local government scheme was made possible, having successfully saved over N10 billion which has served as an attraction to the financial institutions to partner with the state on behalf of the council areas to embark on the ambitious project of constructing the roads. With those projects on going, analysts are of the conviction that the state is on the path to unprecedented growth with motorable network of roads. In formulating policies to halt the ugly tide, Governor Aregbesola has demonstrated a parallel with Muhammad Yunus, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Bangladesh pro-poor thinker and author of Creating a World Without Poverty. Yunus, who also authored the book, Banker to the Poor, had written in his book, “If the poor are to get the chance to lift themselves out of poverty, it’s up to us to remove the institutional barriers we have created around them. We must remove the absurd rules and laws we have made that treat the poor as nonenties. And we must come up with new ways to recognize a person by his or her worth, not by artificial measuring sticks imposed by a biased system”. The above aptly illustrates the rationale behind the policies of the administration which aim to remove poverty totally and set the people on a path to prosperity. • Alabi, a Media Assistant to the governor, wrote from Osogbo, State of Osun











Exploring aluminum sector for 80,000 jobs - P. 37

A land deal gone awry - P. 27 News Briefing

At the moment there is an average of about 18 hours per day of constant power supply to different parts of the country. This feat was brought about by the implementation of the integrated power sector reform programme anchored on the power roadmap. - Minister of Information, Labaran Maku

2013 Budget: ‘National Assembly ignores template’

Passengers decry SAA flight delays

From Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor), Abuja

SOME passengers are worried over the delay in flights of South African Airways (SAA) from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.

- Page 26

NAICOM, PenCom collaborate on annuity THE National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and the National Pension Commission (PenCom) are working with other relevant stakeholders in the industry to implement the provision of the annuity and group life insurance policy in the contributory pension scheme.

- Page 39

Workers give govt 21-day strike notice THE Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) has given a 21-day strike notice to the Federal Government over the nonimplementation of the Consolidated Salary Structure for Judiciary Workers (CONJUSS).

- Page 40

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

-N7.560 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion

RATES Inflation 11.9% Treasury Bills 7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending - 15.87% Savings rate 2% 91-day NTB 15% Time Deposit 5.49% MPR 12% Foreign Reserve $35.8b FOREX CFA 0.2958 EUR 206.9 £ 242.1 $ 156 ¥ 1.9179 SDR 238 RIYAL 40.472

• Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala


HE bickering sur rounding this year’s budget has intensified, with the Federal Ministry of Finance accusing the National Assembly of ignoring the template used in formulating the budget. A senior official of the ministry told The Nation that there was no way the Executive could implement the budget passed by the National Assembly. The source said the Executive expected the lawmakers to ensure that some minor adjustments were made to the budget, but was shocked to discover that the Legislators went outside the brief to pass a budget that cannot be implemented. The ministry, the source added, had demanded that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) should submit their 2013 budget templates, to see if it tallied

with what the National Assembly passed. The reconciliation of the MDAs’ templates, the source said, was what delayed the President’s assent of the budget. However, “when the ministry found out that the deviation from the template was huge, the ministry, through the Budget Office, reported the discrepancy to the President, who, in turn, returned the budget to the National Assembly last week.” It was gathered that the budget is caught between the hard line positions of both the Economic Team, led by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and members of the National Assembly who hold a political view of the budget. The source said the ministry was ready to implement the budget after its passage by the National Assembly on December 20, last year if not for the discrepancies. A hint that the budget may have run into trouble was given by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, in Abuja last week. Addressingreporters, Sanusi warned “that the 2013 budget oil price bench mark,

AfDB plans $1.5b projects for Niger Delta, others


HE African Develop ment Bank (AfDB) is to spend $1.5 billion on projects in the Niger Delta region, Abuja and some states, the bank’s representative in Nigeria, Dr. Ousmane Dore, has said. He told The Nation that the projects include the construction of East-West highway in the Niger Delta region, financing of Abuja urban transportation programmes and agriculture. He said: “We are developing new operations for Nigeria to enable us to finance road projects in the Niger Delta region, Abuja urban transportation programmes, and agricultural initiatives. “These projects are contained in the new developmental strategy being mapped out for Nigeria. They are projects the bank is preparing for the country. “We will go to the board of the bank for approval soon. Immediately the board approves it, implementation of the projects would start as part of our ongoing concern to improve infrastructure in the country.” He said the projects would

By Akinola Ajibade

have a gestation period of four years (2013-2016), adding that they are short term. He said the decision to evolve a new financing strategy for the country was borne out of the need to encourage growth of some sensitive areas. He said the projects are new and different from the ones earlier approved and executed by the bank. The projects, he said, are not only developmental, but underscore the bank’s plans and programmes for member states. Dore said the bank had earlier approved $2.2 billion for infrastructural projects in Nigeria, adding that the money was meant to finance privately and publicly-driven projects in the country. He said $1.3 billion was earmarked for private projects, while the public projects got $900 million. “Altogether, we are spending $2.2 billion on projects in Nigeria. We have started implementing some projects, while others have not been executed.”

which was increased from $75 to $79, would pose side risks to inflation and, therefore, constitute pressure points for inflation.” He said the apex bank “will act appropriately if government actions put pressure on inflation.” Members of the National Assembly had on Thursday, December 20, last year, okayed a N4.987 trillion for the country’s budget. This was an increase of N63 million from the initial budget proposal of N4.924 trillion submitted by President Goodluck Jonathan a month earlier. A breakdown of the budget showed that N387.976billion was appropriated for statutory transfers; N591.764billion went for debt service; N2.386trillion

was earmarked for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure and N1.621trillion was approved for capital expenditure. The source at the Ministry of Finance said the Budget Office was worried over the delay of the budget, since the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) had closed government’s spending on December, 31, last year. This delay in executing the budget, he said, would affect the rate of implementation of the budget, which might trigger another face off between the Executive, particularly the Ministry of Finance and the National Assembly. A circular to Administrative and Accounting Heads of MDAs and the Presidency, by the AGF, Jonas Otunla, last year advised that “all the

cash books should be balanced latest by the close of work on Friday, December 28, 2012.” This was the first time in many years that the AGF would rule-off cash books and extract the cash book balances from MDAs on December 31 of the year. In the past, this action was carried out between December 20 and 25, a development that had seen many civil servants spending money after the books had been closed. In the circular, the AGF directed the MDAs that all entries into the Departmental Vote Expenditure Allocation (DVEA) Books, Ledgers, Mandate Summary Registers and Imprest Accounts, shall be concluded on Friday, December 28, 2012, while all MDAs on GIFMIS/ TSA will have their accounts closed automatically on – line real time basis by the Treasury.



BUSINESS NEWS Flight Schedule

PENGASSAN warns against ‘crude’ oil refining

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 7. Arik 07.15 08.15 7. Chanchangi 07.15 9. Air Nigeria 08.15 09.35 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. Aero 12.20 13.30 15. Air Nigeria 13.25 14.45 16. Chanchangi 13.30 14.30 17. Arik 13.45 14.45 18. IRS 14.00 15.20 19. Aero 14.10 15.30 20. Air Nigeria 14.50 16.10 21. Chanchangi 15.30 16.30 22. Arik 15.50 16.50 23. Aero 16.00 17.20 24. IRS 16.30 17.50 25. Arik 16.50 17.50 26. Chanchangi 17.30 18.30 27. Air Nigeria 17.35 18.55 29. Air Nigeria (T/TH) 18.30 19.50 20. Arik 18.45 19.45 31. 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 2. Arik 07.15 08.35 3. Arik 09.00 10.20 4. Aero 10.50 12.30 5. Arik 11.40 13.00 6. Air Nigeria 12.00 13.10 7. IRS 13.30 15.00 8. Arik 14.00 15.20 9. Air Nigeria 16.00 17.10 10 Arik 16.10 17.30 11. Aero 16.15 17.30 12. 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.

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

08.50 09.45 14.00 15.45 19.55

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik

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

By Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu


•Policemen assisting in sealing of one of the properties named in the court order.

AMCON takes possession of Babalakin's property •Over alleged N13.5b debt


detachment of armed policemen and bailiffs of the Federal High Court, Lagos on Friday evening, took possession of and sealed off a high rise building on 43A, Afribank Street, Victoria Island, Lagos owned by businessman-lawyer, Wale Babalakin. Their action according to a statement from the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), was in execution of interim orders granted by Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke against Roygate Properties Limited, believed to be owned by Babalakin. The orders were sequel to an ex-parte application filed by the AMCON in a suit marked: FHC/L/CS/1501/2012. Copies of the orders made on February 5 were conspicuously pasted on the gates of the VI house. Justice Aneke granted AMCON "interim possession of the property at 43A" Afribank Street, pursuant to a tripartite

By By Eric Ikhilae

legal mortgage registered on October 14, 2010 between Roygate (the borrower) , Stabilini Visioni Limited (surety/ mortgagor) and Guaranty Trust Bank (the lender.) The court also granted AMCON similar possession over properties at Plots 270 and 273 Trans Amadi Layout, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The court restrained Roygate, its directors, subsidiaries and sister companies from transferring or dealing with any of its funds in 20 banks listed in the application, or anywhere else up to the N13.5billion allegedly owed by the company. Justice Aneke restrained the banks from allowing Roygate "operate any bank accounts" held by it in the banks. The court ordered the banks to serve on AMCON lawyers, within seven days of the service of the order on them, "an affidavit disclosing the

respondent's (Roygate's) balance on accounts held with the said banks jointly and severally as at the date of the order." Justice Aneke also ordered the Nigeria Police Force to assist in the enforcement of the orders, which he held, should subsist pending the determination of the substantive suit. The Hon. Justices Aneke set Feb 19 2013 as the return date' Just few months ago, similar order was given to AMCON to take possession of some property and assets owned by one of its debtors, Tonique Oil Services Limited. The Corporation executed the said orders on Tonique Oil's premises in Ikoyi and Gbagada, Lagos state with the assistance of law enforcement agents, lawyers and court bailiffs. AMCON had previously reiterated its commitment to ensure the resolution of all NonPerforming Loans purchased in accordance with the AMCON Act.

HE Petroleum and Natu ral Gas Senior Staff As sociation of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has warned that encouraging or legalising unlicensed local refining of crude oil through ‘unconventional’ methods would not be beneficial to the country. PENGASSANPresident, Babatunde Ogun, said the application of crude methods to refine petroleum will not only lead to economic loss but also lead to the degradation of the environment, creating risk to communal health, safety and environment. “Unconventional refining of crude oil can only produce fuel (petrol). It cannot produce kerosene, diesel or black oil, for the production of other ointments. It also leads to environmental degradation, which could cause health disasters, explosions and vehicle break down,’’Ogun warned. He said encouraging the operations of illegal refineries by attempting to regulate their activities is an ill-wind that blows no one any good. Ogun said the Federal Government gave approval in principle to indigenous firms to set up refineries in the country, lamenting that so many of them failed to use the licence, which the Department for Petroleum Resources (DPR) gave them. He, however, urged the Federal Government to support the establishment of small refineries, as it is done in other oil producing countries. While commending the courage of the government in clamping down on the operators of illegal refineries in the country, he called on the government to provide adequate powr supply to run the engine of the national economy.

Passengers decry South AfricanAirways flight delays


OME passengers are worried over the delay in flights of South African Airways (SAA) from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos. Two passengers, Frank Adeluyi and Williams Oladeji, said the delays were having negative impact on their business, warning that further delays might force them to seek redress. Adeluyi said the problem is becoming worrisome. Oladeji said poor service delivery was no longer acceptable in the global aviation community. He called on the airline and the affected service providers to raise the bar of service to avoid any unnecessary infraction on passengers. These worries are coming on the

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

heels of recent delays in the takeoff time of the carrier, which now ranges from 40 to 50 minutes. According to investigations, the delay in flights is not connected with the ongoing renovation of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, which led to the switching into new processes and procedures for check-in. This,observers say, might have made SAA to change its ground handler at the airport. Passengers, it was learnt, are disturbed over the trend, which they said, was taking a huge toll on their travels. In the last one week, attempts to reduce the delays in flight

have not abated raising concerns whether the change in service provider for ground and passenger handling may be responsible for the problem. Investigations reveal that the switch from the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCOAVIANCE), PLC to the Skyways Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL), may have caused some integration challenges that are affecting the operations of SAA. SAHCOL, it was learnt, since it took over ground handling of SAA at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, is poised to render quality services, though some passengers allege that the delays in flights of the carrier might have arisen

because of alleged poor services by the firm. Some passengers also alleged that equipment incapacity and service delivery might linger until the ground handling firms in Nigeria prepare for the takeover of airlines with adequate operations. However, a source close to SAA said the airline should not be blamed for the hitch. He ad ded that because the ground handing equipment at the airport broke down, officials of the firm have been loading baggage into the aircraft manually. An official of the ground handling firm, who refused to be named, said it was working hard to rectify the problem.

Why some MFBs could not recapitalise


ANY microfinance banks (MfBs) could not recapitalise be cause of the non-implementation of the 2005 MfBs’ framework of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) by the government, the Managing Director, Support Microfinance Bank, Sunny Akahmiorkhor, has said. He said most of the microfinance banks that closed shop would have survived while those existing as unit MfBs could have grown to

By Collins Nweze

state and national MfBs, if the Federal Government and Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) had rescued them. He said some of the MfBs, which failed to meet the December 31, 2012 deadline set by the apex bank, have relapsed into unit status, which requires only N20 million as against state MfBs and national MfBs, which require N100 million and N2 billion.

He regretted that the MfB framework set by the CBN that required state and local governments to contribute one per cent and five per cent of their annual budget respectively to MfBs operations is not being implemented. The contributions are supposed to be part of their equity holdings in such MfBs. He said the governments’ noncommitment to the operations of MfBs has made it difficult for leading DFIs, such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Inter-

national Development Bank (IDB), and Department for International Development (DFID) to commit funds to MfBs. He said DFIs are expected to give grants to MfBs to fund their operations. Akahmiorkhor, said the bank should also extend other cost-cutting measures, including reducing commission on turnover (CoT) and other banking costs that burden the subsector’s operations.




A land deal gone awry •FAAN, concessionaire bicker over plot

• Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria ( FAAN) and the Chief Harry Akande-owned AIC Hotels Limited are squabbling over a land at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos. The land was said to have been given to AIC to build an international hotel, but FAAN is contending that recent developments bordering on safety and security have altered the equation. KELVIN OSA-OKUNBOR reports.


OME years ago, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) ceded a land around the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMIA), Ikeja to AIC Hotels Limited to build an international hotel under a concession arrangement. The firm is owned by Chief Harry Akande. The deal has gone awry as the parties are squabbling over the land. FAAN is claiming to have repossessed the land, but AIC is insisting that it has an agreement with the landlord which has not been vacated. Neither side is ready to shift ground. FAAN says it is reviewing its concession agreements with many organisations in tandem with public interest. Recent developments, it said, made it imperative for the status quo to be altered. Citing security reasons, FAAN said it is leaving nothing to chance in ensuring that all concessions, including lease agreement on the use of land around MMIA guarantee public interest. FAAN’s resolve to work out a new template for concessions is a fallout of its lingering tussle with AIC over the land near the diplomatic car park of the MMIA . While the firm insists that the land belongs to it, by virtue of the approval it got from government in 1998, FAAN claims that the issue has been overtaken by events. The concessionaire’s attempts to resume construction at the site, which it

abandoned some years ago, have been frustrated by FAAN. Since the crisis broke, FAAN and the firm have been throwing brickbats. Other issues have also reared their head. Resolving the dispute remains a major challenge. AIC is asking for $78 million compensation, which FAAN considers outrageous. The question being asked is why should FAAN pay the concessionaire that much, when the firm has nothing on ground to show that it means business, after many years of inability to deliver the project? The General Manager, Corporate Communication, FAAN, Mr Yakubu Dati, accused the firm of taking the law into its hands by attempting to forcefully gain access to the land belonging to the Federal Government. Said Dati: “On January 13, AIC Limited,

in an unprecedented act of brigandage by a private investor, forcefully took possession of part of Murtala Muhammed International Airport land with the help of armed policemen and hired thugs thereby causing a security breach at the airport. “Again on January 24, thugs hired by the company physically assaulted top officials of FAAN who went to inspect the site of the incident of January 14, causing bodily harm to some of them.” Dati said FAAN has alerted relevant security agencies to the security risk posed by the continued presence of armed thugs at a site separated only from the tarmac of the Murtala Muhammed Airport by a mesh fence, adding that the authority has increased security surveillance to ensure the hoodlums do not take undue advantage of their unauthorised presence close to the airport to perpetrate any unlawful act.

‘Since the crisis broke, FAAN and the firm have been throwing brickbats. Other issues have also reared their head. Resolving the dispute remains a major challenge. AIC is asking for $78 million compensation, which FAAN considers outrageous’

He said: ”It is imperative we state that contrary to claims by AIC, the company has no court order authorising it to take possession of any portion of land at MMIA because there was no dispute over land between FAAN and AIC Limited. “The case between the parties went into arbitration, which concluded that FAAN should pay a compensation of $74 million to AIC for depriving it of 35 years revenue as implied in the concession agreement. FAAN has, however, appealed against the judgment of that arbitration and the case is yet to be determined. “We feel that the reasonable thing for AIC to do is to pursue the payment of this compensation, rather than resort to self-help by forcefully taking possession of the land belonging to the Federal Government, and by so doing, exposed the country’s foremost gateway to serious security threat, especially considering the present security situation in the country. “The portion of land allocated for the project was meant for the expansion of the international terminal and apron, under the airport’s master plan. Again, siting the hotel so close to the restricted area of the airport clearly jeopardised security and safety at the airport.” Dati said the intrigue by the concessionaire is one of the steps taken by some private sector players to derail the implementation of the transformaContinued on page 28



ISSUES Continued from page 27

tion agenda of the government. FAAN, he said, would not be deterred because by March, construction of a new international terminal for MMIA as envisaged in the airport master plan will begin on the land. He said the government has already entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China for this project, which will effectively turn MMIA into a major hub in the West African air transport region. He said : “ Without prejudice to the fact that the Federal Government did not find the parcel of land in question fit for a hotel project from the beginning, this land is being acquired now by the government in the public interest for the reasons stated earlier. “It is curious that AIC chose this time to forcefully enter into the said piece of land, having kept quiet for over 15 years. We hate to believe that this act of brigandage is a calculated attempt to blackmail the Federal Government, which is on a mission to rescue the aviation industry from the rot that resulted from many years of neglect. “We are informing all aviation stakeholders that FAAN has the mandate of government to transform all our airports to meet acceptable international standards and no act of blackmail, or intimidation can deter the government from accomplishing this mandate,” Dati said. Speaking on the issue, the Personal Assistant to Chief Harry Akande, Mr Gbenga Akinyemi, said the company was on the land by virtue of the lease agreement it entered into with FAAN since February 1998. He alleged that personnel of FAAN numbering about 20, led by a retired Colonel in conjunction with security agencies, chased workers out of the site last week. He insisted that the land belonged to the company. He said there was a subsisting court order, which stopped FAAN from coming into the land to harass its workers. He said: “I don’t know why they are here because they are not supposed to come here and disturb the on-going construction work. This is a development that has been approved since 1998 when we had the lease agreement signed. He said: “What FAAN is saying is not right. In a society that is normal, that kind of a statement is outrageous and uncalled for. In addition, there is a 50-year lease, which is still subsisting till now. Even if FAAN insists that the land is too close to the airport, there are some security measures in place to ensure total security of the environment. There are airport hotels around the world attached to terminals like in Amsterdam airport and others. “I would say FAAN is talking from both sides of its mouth. First, they claimed the land belongs to them and secondly, they said they are so concerned about the security of the airport.” Dati has, however, urged the firm to strive to be on the side of the law, rather than holding on to double claims. He said: “The land was given to them for 50 years, but there was a problem because part of this land was supposed to be for expansion of the airport. So an arbitrator was appointed, and after the whole arguments, the arbitrator said they cannot have this land, but they will be compensated to the tune of $78million, but FAAN is saying it does not have such amount for compensation. “So, the issue has already been settled. The land belongs to

A land deal gone awry

•FAAN’S Director of Security, Sir Wendel Ogunedo ordering AIC representatives out of the land.

•FAAN and AIC officials battling for control of the land.

‘The land was given to them for 50 years, but there was a problem because part of this land was supposed to be for the expansion of the airport. So an arbitrator was appointed, and after the whole argument, the arbitrator said they cannot have this land, but they will be compensated to the tune of $78million, but FAAN is saying it does not have such amount for compensation’ FAAN. He can’t collect compensation and still want to collect the land.” As the tussle over the land gathers momentum, stakeholders in the aviation sector have urged FAAN to overhaul its concession agreement template in order to attract investors. Speaking in an interview, the General Manager , Administration and Business Development, AIC Hotel Limited, Chief Niyi Akande, said the land was leased to AIC Hotel Limited in 1998 and the agreement was registered as NUmber 55 on page 55 in Volume 2010 of the Land Registry of Lagos State. Akande said: “There is a court

injunction which is still subsisting. We did not go through the back door. They leased the land to us for 50 years. We signed an agreement and we did not just come here to take the land. FAAN should obey court decisions.” On February, 18, 2002, Justice R.O Nwodo, granted AIC Limited an injunction restraining FAAN from disturbing AIC Limited from conducting its legal business on the land.” With men of the police keeping watch over the disputed land to avoid any break down of law and order, the controversy still rages. Will overriding public interest, national security and other safety considerations stop AIC Hotel

Limited from building its proposed hotel at the Lagos International Airport? Only time will tell. But,the Commissioner of Police, Murtala Muhammed Airport Command, Mr Olatunde Caulkrick, said the Police will maintain security at the site until peace returns. Director of Legal Services, FAAN, Mr Jacob Mark, said: “All the land around the airport anywhere in Nigeria belongs to the Federal Government. Not to any individual. When the land is given to any individual or organisation, it is given as lease, under some terms and conditions for a specified number of years

that the agreement covers. In the case of AIC Hotel Limited, which claims to own land at the airport, it is unthinkable for anybody to reason that way and hold on to such argument. “The land is vested to FAAN by the government. For anybody to hold on to a parcel of land, it is unthinkable for anybody to think he or she owns the land. Such claim is a misnormer, unacceptable and a twist of the truth and law. Nobody can own any land around the airport permanently. Though FAAN granted a concession to AIC Hotel Limited in 1998, but, in 2001, FAAN realised that because of several implications, it can no longer validate the approval given to AIC Hotel Limited, part of which is the closeness of the land to the taxi way of the MMIA. No responsible government will allow anybody build a hotel adjacent to the taxi way, FAAN argued. “Imagine, how close the land is to aircraft landing and taking off. And what was AIC Hotel Limited supposed to build on that land, a hotel. For God sake, it is only an irresponsible operator that will come and build a hotel near the airport taxi way, where people, visitors who have different intentions can lodge and do anything sinister to any aircraft taking off or landing from their hotel rooms. This is one of the reasons why we revoked the agreement. “Apart from that, the Federal Government through FAAN can say, agreed, we gave the go ahead to build a hotel, but based on emerging security trends and challenges, as well as overidding public interest, we can no longer. allow you to go ahead. “We are now saying no, because government is not irresponsible and will not expose Nigerians and foreigners to unwarranted dangers by allowing anybody build a hotel near the airport runway or terminal building. It is not as if FAAN, or the Federal Government is out to shortchange any concessionaire. That is far from the truth. The Federal Government has right any time to revoke any agreement that does not protect public interest. We will not allow terrorists have access to vulnerable areas in the. country, including the airports. “That is where we are. We went for arbitration to let AIC Hotel Limited know that the amount of money awarded to them is too much. The firm went for arbitration and six years after, they are claiming, third party relationships as damages. They did not even put a single block on the ground. Why should FAAN pay them huge millions as compensation? That is where we stand as an organisation. Though, we agree with the terms of the arbitration that the firm be paid, the amount put at $57 million is far beyond what FAAN can handle. “We are handling it at different levels. The firm does not have a right to the land and cannot use force to take the land. It is unacceptable. Not in Nigeria of today. We are pursuing it at different levels, not land that belongs to the Fed eral Government. Even, if mistakes were made in the agreement in the past by FAAN, but the present leadership will not allow such infraction. Personal interest must die when national and overidding public interest comes to the front burner,” FAAN said.







Insurance stocks are gradually picking up the momentum of the bullish recovery at the stock market. Five insurance stocks were among the top 25 advancers last month and insurance sectoral index indicates highest return so far. But most insurance stocks still trade below 100 kobo mark, mostly around their nominal values. TAOFIK SALAKO reports that low price and improving earnings put insurers on the watch list


NSURANCE advancers were on the average in January. With highest gains ranging between Wapic's 69 per cent and Aiico Insurance's 32.3 per cent, the upswing was relatively modest in a period that saw several stocks with gains ranging between 75 per cent and 145 per cent. But for a sector that has lagged behind over the years, the January performance was a good signal for the insurance sector. For once, several insurance stocks surpassed the monthly average return of 13.44 per cent indicated by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE)'s main index, the All Share Index (ASI). Now, insurance stocks appeared to have gathered more momentum in recent days. Insurers are leading the key sectoral indices on all counts. Last week, insurance sector index recorded the highest weekly gain of 14.21 per cent, the only double-digit gain. Insurance sector's weekly return significantly exceeded the ASI's return of 2.78 per cent. The NSE 30 Index, which tracks the 30 most capitalised stocks, recorded 2.63 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index posted 2.47 per cent. The NSE Banking Index gained 3.40 per cent while the NSE Oil and Gas Index recorded 1.70 per cent. The NSELotus Index, which tracks Shari'ah-compliant stocks, recorded 4.11 per cent. The market opens today with insurance stocks as the highest-growth sector so far this year. While the ASI indicates a year-todate return of 18.64 per cent, insurance sector index leads with 35.38 per cent, nearly twice the average return. The NSE 30 Index opens with year-to-date gain of 19.56 per cent, NSE Consumer Goods, 16.46 per cent; NSE Banking Index, 21.73 per cent and NSE Oil and Gas Index, which starts trades today with 19.36 per cent. But in spite of the positive sectoral outlook, most insurance stocks are still at their lowest prices. More than 53 per cent of insurance stocks are trading at nominal value of 50 kobo, 20 per cent are hovering around nominal value and only about 17 per cent are trading above 100 kobo mark. The seeming widespread downtrend in the sector is the hangover of the previous negative perception of the sector. But it's obvious that insurance stocks are on the rebound.

Win-win recovery The uptrend in the insurance sector and the recovery in the stock market create a win-win situation for the market and the risk-bearers' sector. With 30 companies,

Will insurance stocks be the next growth frontiers? insurance sector is the most populous sector at the NSE, accounting for 15.1 per cent of total number of listed companies, far ahead of banking sector which now accounts for 7.5 per cent. With several stocks and sectors that had driven the market recovery in 2011 and 2012 now almost at their fair values, insurance stocks that had largely dragged along could step forward to add new momentum to market recovery. For the insurance sector, cheery market recovery would not only impact on insurers' share prices but also on their profit and loss accounts and balance sheets. The losses and depressed balance sheets in the insurance sector were largely tied to the recession at the capital market. With huge funds raised during the capital market boom, and following the trails of squandering banks, insurance companies had turned mainly to the capital market to invest their bubbleinduced assets. Small and medium insurance companies, which had metamorphosed into big companies with outstanding shares and equity funds larger than size of business, left the conservative nature of risk assessment and provision-the core expertise of insurers, and turned into speculators. Unmindful of the unscrupulous linkage between banks' deposits and the bubble share prices in the market, insurance companies were caught napping when the financial services regulators pulled the plugs. Heavily exposed to the equities market, unyielding depression in shares prices had directly built up losses and provisions in the profit and loss accounts and balance sheets of insurance companies. On the other end, share prices of insurance companies have generally been the worst hit by the recession as a hangover of negative industry perception, streak of impaired portfolioinduced losses and reticent management combined to single out insurance sector as the highpoint of the bear market. The appreciation in valuations of hithertoclassified and provisioned equity portfolios would create write-backs into the profit and loss accounts, and could add major impetus for several insurance companies that have gotten over the write-offs and provisions and are stable with quite good profitability.

Previewing the potential Relatively low turnover-to-net assets ratios of most insurance companies and low share prices present attractive combinations for discerning investors. On one hand, there is significant headroom for underwriting capacity and growth. On the other hand, there is still much growth potential in the Nigerian insurance industry. From government to the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and to operators, insurance stakeholders have recently taken major steps to enliven the performance of the industry. The passage of the Nigeria Content Development Act and other laws on compulsory insurance by government has opened up tremendous business opportunities for insurance companies. The Local Content Act requires that all insurance risks associated with oil and gas sector including prospecting, exploration, drilling, constructions, shipping, distribution, marketing and transportation must be insured in Nigeria with registered Nigerian insurance company. This law alone represents immense opportunity for wellcapitalised and stable insurance companies. Besides, NAICOM has also in recent period taken many far-reaching and proactive steps to standardize insurance operations and enforce conformity with best practices. NAICOM has introduced new accounting standards with more stringent provisions to ensure that insurance profit and loss accounts and balance sheet showed the true state of affairs. Insurers are also expected to make timely rendition of accounts, making their returns more predictable. With the broad provisions of the Insurance Act and related NAICOM guidelines, the tough stand of the insurance regulator has greatly improved the operating environment. The industry regulator is also leading the charge for compliance with existing compulsory insurance laws. Although insurance industry is still highly fragmented with some 51 insurance companies, well-managed quoted insurance companies stand to benefit both in the event of industry consolidation or market-driven competitiveness that places premium on

security of insurance rather than lower rates. With estimated penetration of some seven per cent, Nigeria's large population and expansive economy also put insurers on good footings. These medium to long term outlooks, the bandwagon instincts that tend to drive all stocks during recovery and the surprise swing usually associated with low-priced stocks could provide further technical supports for insurers' market considerations going forward.

Positive fundamentals Besides, insurance companies are increasingly showing improvements in their profit and loss reports. For instance, ninemonth report for the period ended September 30, 2012 showed that Aiico posted a pre-tax profit of N1.86 billion as against N1.02 billion recorded in comparable period of 2011. Profit after tax increased from N836.69 million to N1.18 billion. Also, Oasis Insurance's profitability improved considerably with a pre-tax profit of N183.21 million by September 2012 as against N56.44 million by September 2011. Net profit after tax jumped from N45.98 million in 2011 to N171.55 million in 2012. Mansard Insurance, formerly Guaranty Trust Assurance, within the same period recorded profit before tax of N1.36 billion as against N811.21 million in previous year. Profit after tax rose from N619.21 million to N1.22 billion. In the same vein, NEM Insurance, which made provisions of N1.62 billion for bad and doubtful debts, still increased profit before tax to N1.74 billion by September 2012 as against N988.51 million in 2011. Net profit after tax stood at N1.49 billion compared with N860.50 million in comparable period of 2011. While the net profit of companies such as Custodian and Allied Insurance and Lasaco Assurance contracted, they still represented substantial earnings yields, and possibly dividend yields, against their market valuations. Many other insurance companies have substantial net earnings while net assets are considerably higher than market values. These are expected to provide fundamental supports for insurance stocks, in a market where market values of several stocks appear to be at fair or overvalue levels as prices run ahead of earnings. But immediate liquidity may still be a challenge for insurance stocks, and this could be worse if the recovery slows down. However, relatively good and stable returns and possible long-term capital appreciation will compensate for the waiting period.




Rising foreign reserves boost naira


HE foreign reserve which closed last week at $46.2 billion has kept the naira upbeat. On Friday, the naira gained for the first time in three days after data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) saw reserves accretion rising. The reserves soared to $45.91 billion on January 30, adding $900 million in two weeks. The reserves had, on January 18, stood at $45.004 billion, data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) website had shown. The reserves had maintained a steady rise from $45.263 on January 21; $45.35 on January 22; $45.425 on January 23 and $45.78 on January 28. The increase to external reserves will provide a buffer against occasional demand pressures on the naira which is likely to retain its present strength, analysts at the Lagos- based Financial Markets Dealers Association wrote in a report on its website. The naira traded less than 0.1 per cent stronger at 157.25 per dollar, giving a gain of less than 0.1 per cent last week.

Treasury bills One-year Treasury bill yields fell to the lowest in 16 months at an auction on February 6 as investor inflows pushed the subscription rate. The regulator sold N117 billion ($744 million) of 364-day bills at a yield of 10.6 per cent, the lowest since a September 29, 2011 sale. Bids peaked at N342 billion, the highest on record. The yield on the country's 16.39 per cent domestic bonds due January 2022 declined seven basis points to 10.86 per cent in the secondary market, according to data compiled on the Financial Markets Dealers Association website by Bloomberg.

Agent banking guidelines The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday, unveiled a guideline for Agent Banking in the country. The guideline is in line with the powers conferred on the banking watchdog by Section 2 (d) of the CBN Act, 2007 and Section 57 (2) of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA), Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 which empowers the CBN to issue guidelines for the maintenance of adequate and reasonable financial services to the public. The objective of agent banking, it said, is to provide minimum standards and requirements for agent banking operations, enhance financial inclusion and provide for agent banking as a delivery channel for offering banking services in a cost-effective manner. Agent banking is the provision of financial services to customers by a third party (agent) on behalf of a licensed deposit-taking financial institution and/or mobile money operator (principal). The agent banks are expected to receive cash deposit and withdrawal, carry out bills payment (utilities, taxes, tenement rates, subscription etc.), payment of salaries, funds transfer services (local money value transfer), balance enquiry, generation and issuance of mini statement, collection and submission of account opening and other related documentation among others. They are also to carry out cash disbursement and cash repayment of loans, cash payment of retirement benefits, cheque book request and collection, collection of bank mail/ correspondence for customers, any other activity as the CBN may from time to time prescribe. The applications for licence will be accompanied with board approval, document that will outline the strategy of the financial institution including current and potential engagements, geographical spread and benefits to be derived among other factors.

Rate Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) are unlikely to cut lending rates from the current 12 per cent within the year, report from Renaissance Capital (RenCap) has shown. The report also showed that the increase in the levy paid to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), from 0.3 per cent to 0.5 per cent, represents about three to four per cent increase in total operating costs to banks. RenCap also disclosed that the year has started off on a strong note, in terms of share-

Foreign reserves ($)

By Collins Nweze

price performance, for the banks with the picture looking more positive. It projected a stronger Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 7.1 per cent in 2013, from an estimated 6.6 per cent in 2012. It said inflation will moderate to between 10 and 11 per cent this year, which could result in a 100 basis point cut in the monetary policy rate (MPR) to 11 per cent. The firm also forecast a relatively stable naira, with an average exchange rate of N158 to a dollar, owing to a stronger external sector. However, it expected the cash reserve requirement (CRR) for the banks to be maintained at 12 per cent, which could continue to hold back loan growth. On loan growth, it said that in the absence of developments in the power sector or upstream oil & gas projects, Tier-one banks are likely to see similar levels of loan growth to those they achieved last year. However, it said power projects could propel growth into between 15 and 20 per cent range, and with expectation that the Tier-two banks could grow faster. RenCap said analysis on Net interest margins (NIM) showed that, as yields doubled between 2011 and 2012 and have retreated about halfway, banks are unlikely to give up all their NIM gains.

FGN Expenditure (N’b)

E-clearing at branches Electronic clearing (e-clearing), which is currently being implemented only at banks' headquarters, will be extended to all banks' branches across the country once the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) gives its approval, The Nation has leant. The policy, which became effective last August, could not be fully decentralised to all the banks' networks because of poor technical know-how and infrastructure needed for seamless takeoff in those units. According to the CBN, e-clearing involves stopping the physical movement of the cheque and replacing the physical instrument with the image of the instrument and the corresponding data contained in Magnetic Character Ink Character Reader (MICR) line. The cheque details are captured, typically by the bank presenting the cheque or its clearing agent and electronically presented in an agreed format to the clearing house for onward delivery to the paying bank for payment. Unlike the more common form of presentment where a cheque is physically presented to the paying bank, a truncated cheque is typically stored by the presenting bank electronically.

Mobile money Survey conducted by Visa International has indicated that lack of accessibility to mobile money agents is a key barrier to the adoption of mobile money in many African countries. The report said that in order to drive adoption, cash and customer service will need to be readily accessible to meet expectations even as 54 per cent of consumers cited quick and easy access to cash as a key benefit of mobile money. The study also found that security concerns associated with carrying cash and the need to quickly send money to family members living far away are among the key drivers for mobile money adoption. The study suggested that the success of mobile financial services is determined by how deeply a mobile money provider understands its customers and tailors the service to the needs of consumers and mobile money agents - from service menus, to marketing and education.

Power, Airline Fund The CBN said it disbursed a total of N181.42 billion under its Power and Airline Intervention Fund (PAIF) as at December 31, 2012. The

•Sources: CBN, FBN Capital

banking sector regulator disclosed this in a chart titled: "Power and Airline Intervention Fund (PAIF) Cumulative Disbursement of Funds as at December 31, 2012" posted on its website. According to the data, the apex bank disbursed N90.92 billion for 15 projects carried out in aviation and N90.50 billion for 21 projects executed in the power sector, making a cumulative N181.42 billion for 36 projects. The CBN data showed that as at December 31, 2011, it has disbursed a total of N144.6 billion under the scheme. On September 2011, the apex bank had approved a total of N187.17 billion for 21 projects processed by the African Finance Corporation (AFC)- the technical advisers, and disbursed N114 billion. Also under the PAIF initiative, a total of 30 applications valued at N222.50 billion were received and processed by the AFC.

Local currency bond The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has issued a Nigerian local currency bond totaling N12 billion, about $75 million, to support domestic capital markets and increase access to local-currency finance. The issue, called the "Naija" bond, is IFC's first naira-denominated bond. It is also the first placement by a non-resident issuer in Nigeria's domestic capital markets. "Vibrant domestic capital markets create access to long-term, local-currency finance for the private sector-the key engine of job creation in emerging markets," said Jingdong Hua, IFC Vice President and Treasurer. "The IFC Naija bond supports our efforts to deepen domestic capital markets in Africa, so they can sustain a thriving private sector in the region," he added.

Bank to bank report United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has introduced MasterCard for domiciliary accounts to its customers. The bank in a statement,

‘Reserves soared to $45.91 billion on January 30, adding $900 million in two weeks. The reserves had on January 18 stood at $45.004 billion, according to data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) website’

said the product is needed to promote its role in the Nigerian financial system and it’s a demonstration of its support for the Central Bank of Nigeria's (CBN) cashless banking initiative. It said the product would ease the transaction needs of its teeming customers who can now upgrade their debit MasterCard for use on accounts denominated in currencies apart from naira such as dollars, Pounds Sterling and Euro. The bank said the product is tied to domiciliary accounts instead of naira current or savings account. "It offers the same flexibility of usage anywhere in the world, including Nigeria . When a transaction is carried out with the dollar, pounds or Euro MasterCard, the customer's account is debited according to the currency of the domiciliary account," it said.

Nexim recovers N1.3b loans The Nigeria Export Import Bank (NEXIM) has said it recovered N1.3 billion as at the end of last year. The amount, the bank said, reduced its non-performing loans to the barest minimum. The bank's Managing Director, Roberts Orya, said that loan recovery remains a major challenge in the banking sector. He disclosed that the success achieved by the management of NEXIM during the 2012 operational year "was due to sustained aggressive measures put in place to recover the delinquent loans." He said that "the alarming decline in the quality of risk assets as the bank's total loan portfolio as at 20th August 2009 was N14.6 billion out of which 72 per cent was nonperforming and within that category N10.03 Billion or 69.05 was classified as completely lost."

Old Mutual acquires Oceanic Life

Old Mutual and the Ecobank Group have announced that Old Mutual has completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Oceanic Life, the life assurance operations of the former Oceanic Bank in Nigeria. Oceanic Bank was acquired by Ecobank. The firms said the transaction will result in a name change from Oceanic Life Limited to Old Mutual Nigeria. "We are delighted to have completed the acquisition of this majority stake and we continue to work with Ecobank to expand our product offerings to the market.




‘ Govt loses billions of naira to grey importation’ With the liberalisation of the telecoms sector more than a decade ago came the influx of different devices into the country. Many of these products were brought in through unapproved routes, thus depriving the Federal Government of its revenue. In this interview with LUCAS AJANAKU, the Director, Hand Held Products, Samsung West Africa, Emmanouil Revmatas, speaks on the problems of the mobile phone industry, how to solve them and other issues. Excerpts.


OW will you assess the mobile phone market in Nigeria? It’s been great. I was here nearly 10 years ago, in the early phase of the evolution of the mobile industry and returned to Nigeria last year. I found that the market is as dynamic as it was 10 years ago. If you look at some of the developments, of course you know the operators have improved their network capabilities and you find that data is becoming more available to many people particularly in the rural areas and of course, you know the space Samsung dominates across the world is the smartphone arena, has grown enormously. This year, we are estimating that 40 per cent of all smartphones in Africa will be sold in Nigeria. This means that Nigeria is booming in terms of the mobile phone industry. Although I think users have become smarter and more selective, there is a lot more because the devices are becoming multi-media devices, not necessarily being able to do voice and short message service (SMS) but they are now expected to be able to access the World Wide Web as well as - connecting to various social network activities that have become part of everyday life. You said about 40 per cent smart devices that will be sold in Africa will be sold in Nigeria, underscoring the hugeness of the market. Why is Samsung not considering establishing a factory in Nigeria, not only to serve her huge market but also that of the entire sub-region? This is a question that is raised on a regular basis. Let’s take one step back. I think first of all, as an OEM (original equipment manufacturer), Smasung, particularly has made huge investment in Nigeria. If you look at the numerous projects we are involved in, from the corporate social responsibility investment perspective. I will use the investment rather than responsibility because we have done some very big projects in Ekiti and we have also established the first Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy in Ikeja, Lagos where we have been busy training large group of students in various technical skills and I think for many people, they don’t realise that for our consumer electronics business, a vast majority of our products are assembled in local assembly plant. If you take a look at our air conditioners and other consumer electronics products, we have a very big commitment in terms of assembly plants right here in Lagos. In terms of the mobile industry, it is a little bit more complex because of course, you deal with a lot more components that come from distant sources. At the moment, quite honestly, the

challenge of trying to consolidate all of those components in Nigeria and having to do with either manufacturing or assembly is really pretty difficult. Is it a possibility for the future, I mean, of course anything is a possibility. The fact is that we are really assembling many of our products in Nigeria and that shows that Samsung is totally committed to the economy. But at the moment, we need to take small steps and for us, the real priority is to ensure that we can provide a high quality affordable products with two year service, which is what Samsung offers to the people of Nigeria. In the future, may be things will change, you know we innovate and we are very dynamic. Samsung is prolific in the rollout of products. What is the organisation doing in managing the e-waste that arises from the use of your products considering the dangers such wastes pose to health, safety and environment? Let me make it clear that Samsung as a large global multinational company take our responsibility in terms of environmental issues extremely important. We are signatory to various international protocols. Unfortunately, I am probably not the right person to give you the details of our management of waste. What I can assure you is that even here in Nigeria, when it comes to the simple disposal of things such as old phones or batteries, we still engage third party agencies to do that for us and do it under a certification process. We comply with the regulatory requirements not only on international level but also on local levels and I know from personal experience in the past, during the disposal of our old demo mobile phones as well as batteries, we engaged third party agencies to ensure that they are disposed off in the right environment-correct manner. Let us talk about Samsung Research and Development (R&D) Centres. You have 22 of such across the globe but none in Africa. What is your organisation doing in the area of establishing an R&D centre in the country so that products are manufactured to withstand the peculiar climate of the continent? Let me begin by saying that we are already producing unique and numerous products tailor-


designed and tailored-made for Africa. These are well known and known as our bond for Africa products and these extends to our mobile range as well as our consumer electronics range. In terms of R&D, It takes place on an annual basis, in the next few months, we will have our team from Korea, visiting us and spending considerable amount of time on ground, traveling across Nigeria, gaining first time knowledge, experience and feedback in terms of what consumers want. We have virtual R&D team that

are not necessarily permanently based in Nigeria although of course, we have our own product managers and our own product specialists, they gather and collate information and feed it back. So, very soon, you will see the launch of Galaxy Grand, which is an exciting 5inch smartphone, (Jiimson smartphone) in fact, the firsT smartphone that will be available in Nigeria. It is a typical example of market research, understanding the needs of the consumers and creating products that meet it. Chief Hero is

‘In terms of the mobile (phone)industry, it is a little bit more complex because, of course, you deal with a lot more components that come from distant sources. At the moment, quite honestly, the challenge of trying to consolidate all of those components in Nigeria and having to do with either manufacturing or assembly is really pretty difficult. Is it a possibility for the future? I mean, of course, anything is a possibility’

the chief hero 1500, which is another product that was specifically designed for Nigeria and other parts of Africa based on inputs from consumers. It was created based on the requirements of consumers and affordable entry level. Consumers want robust, durable phones with good battery life and fast charging capability. They want the touch. When you gather all these information through your R&D team, you will be able build one you said is built for Africa. Theft of mobile phones has become a recurring decimal in Nigeria. Is there anyway Samsung can assist the customers such that, through the application of technology, stolen phones become useless? We and our competitors are working very closely with the operators in Nigeria. There are various initiatives to try to reduce, if not entirely eliminate the abuse, either it is theft or other forms of abuse of mobile phone. •Continued on page 28





‘Govt loses billions of naira to grey importation’ •Continued from page 27

Of course, all mobile phones carry IMEI, so there is a means of identifying products and taking the necessary action. Honestly, there is probably limited action that takes place within Nigeria; this is an area that could be improved upon. We will continue to work with the operators and other third parties to find out a way of managing this. In fact, at the moment, you talk about theft, the challenges in Nigeria continues to be grey. I want to emphasise this point because for your readers, I would like them to understand that the challenge with consumers buying grey. They are basically perpetuating illegitimate sales channel. Of course, people are very sensitive to pricing. Grey continues to be a big challenge in Nigeria; it continues to be a huge challenge for OEMs such as Samsung as well as our key partners, who are making efforts to try as much as possible to abide by the rules of the country in terms of importation rules or duty rules. I will urge Nigerians to reconsider buying grey because of N100 savings. In fact, in many cases, they don’t realise that at the later stage, the decision to buy grey has created a long term problem because there are warranty issues related to products that are illegitimately brought into the country. The grey imports you talked about, are they not Samsung’s products? There are two different grey products. On the one hand, there is the legitimate Samsung products made in a Samsung factory somewhere in the world, and they’ve been brought into Nigeria illegally. In other words, they are brought in by individuals who are avoiding paying the necessary duties and other charges that should be paid to the government of Nigeria. In the case of that grey products, individuals in many cases do not realise that they are buying grey, but there is a very simple way to check. At the time of buying your mobile phone, there is a call that can be made that can immediately tell the consumers whether they are buying a phone that is legitimately brought into the country or not. It is simple, there is a code that is made from the phone that will confirm whether the phone has been brought into the country legitimately. The second is a greater problem. Of course when you become successful globally as we have become, many people want to try and ride on the waves of your success, so, if you go to any of the markets, may be it is Computer Village, Saka Tinubu or anywhere for that matter, you unfortunately will find many products that look like Samsung but that are not Samsung. Those are completely pirated products. They are not our products; they are not made by Samsung. Again, we ask people to do some checks. Generally, consumers must realise that they are buying an illegal pirated product. You will find that the grey pirate is significantly cheaper than the real products. What amount of local content goes into your mobile devices by way of apps? It is probably one of the fastest growing areas of our business at the moment. In our team, we have Bolade whose is fully dedicated to building relationship with local content developers and providers to ensure that we are able to provide both the app and content to the consumers. At the moment we have various initiatives - one of them being with Spinlet, which is a company where Nigerian music is pre-loaded onto the phone or alternatively, if you go to the Samsung store, you will find that they are increasing number of app both global, African and recently Nigerian applications available to consumers. It is a big growth area. I mean between social networking and the need for local


‘The challenge in Nigeria continues to be grey (importation). Grey continues to be a big challenge in Nigeria; it continues to be a huge challenge for OEMs, such as Samsung as well as our key partners, who are making efforts to try as much as possible to abide by the rules of the country in terms of importation rules or duty rules’ content being available, it is the largest growth area we find driving the smartphone area because you essentially need the smartphone for your multi-me-


dia device. Spinlet is about music. Are you not thinking of developing apps that will focus on education, health, agriculture

and others? This may give you an edge on your competitors? I will not disclose our business plan but we are working with a group of young mobile app developers in Nigeria and we are busy on some initiatives, which in the next few weeks, one of them will be announced. We are working, not only on app and content to high-end smartphone, but also with the introduction of our Book for Africa chief hero product, which is internet enabled, we are also looking at providing content and app for affordable phone users too. The Federal Government, late last year, made available to develop the software industry N500million, leaving the balance of about $12million to sourced from individual and private organisations. Will Samsung support this fund? Honestly, I don’t know. I will not be able to comment on that at the moment because I don’t have details. What is your market share? Well, no one wants to disclose market share but let us take a look at the developments taking place in Nigeria particularly in the past few years. First of all, I think without sounding arrogant, if you have to look at the premium smartphone space, everyone will agree that Samsung dominates the smartphone space. If you have to look at the success of many of our flagship products whether it’s the S3, which is world’s best selling phone, or the Note 2, which continues to gain huge popularity, especially in Nigeria where in December last year, we recorded fantastic sales or 10.1 tablet, it an area we dominate and it is an area you will continue to see innovation. If you have to look at other smart phone areas, the Pocket, which is well known in Nigeria as well as across Africa has also become a major player. I think Nokia is finding it difficult to compete particularly in the smartphone arena. Blackberry has had some success in the past. It is about where the market is going and what the consumers want. It is not about Samsung. The market is going towards touch. So, the first thing is more and more people are becoming increasingly comfortable with the concept of basically using a touch phone. That is the first trend and if you look at who is the major player, of course you know it is Samsung. The issue is that consumers are moving more towards Android. Android age has become powerful engine that is really driving the smartphone space. And again, our alliance with Android and the fact that we use Android as our base for all our smartphones, positions us very well. If you look at the way the market is going right now, there is a two-camp forming; the first camp that continues to focus on low end entry level phone. Secondly, there is another camp that is focusing on entry level affordable premium smartphones. This is where Samsung chips in. We will continue to build some innovative smartphone, some affordable smartphones and we will also start introducing some exciting feature phones. Our strength to be honest is not in the ULC arena, there are other players that perform better there but if you start moving towards the messaging or feature phone arena. We are confident that we will continue to grow our business as it is at the moment because we have got consumers acceptance and in terms of market share, we are the dominant player within the smartphone arena. Under your B2B years ago, you developed solutions for the South African Intelligence Agency. With the security challenge facing Nigeria, what level of partnership do you have with the Federal Government to address the spate of bombings across the country? Again, I cannot comment on those particular solutions because I don’t have the details. What I can tell you is that in Samasung West Africa, we have dedicated B2B and D2D team; so because we have different units, we have the mobile unit, the IT, the consumer electronics and in many places B2B and B2G, opportunities extend across the business. We have now created one business unit; B2G business unit, which really drives many of our initiative into the government and the corporate sector.




Investors stake N25b on N289b gains I NVESTORS staked about N25 billion on equities last week and earned N289 billion in capital gains as positive sentiments continued to send most stocks to new price level. Turnover at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) stood at 3.57 billion shares worth N24.69 billion in 39,321 deals, a marked increase on a total of 2.81 billion shares valued at N22.19 billion traded in 33,123 deals two weeks ago. The overall market situation remained exceedingly positive with average weekly gain of 2.78 per cent. Aggregate market capitalisation of all equities rose from N10.37 trillion to N10.66 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI), the market-wide valued-based benchmark index at the NSE, also trended upward to 33,313.49 points as against its index-on-board of 32,411.86 points.

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

The financial services sector remained the most active with 70.75 per cent, 66.16 per cent and 58.71 per cent of the total equity volume, value and number of deals. It recorded a sectoral turnover of 2.53 billion shares valued at N16.34 billion in 23,085 deals. Banking stocks were the main drivers of turnover. Banking subsector recorded turnover of 1.78 billion shares worth N13.05 billion in 16,104 deals. Volume in the banking subsector was largely driven by activities in the shares of Unity Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc and United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, which altogether accounted for about 45 per cent of the subsector’s turnover. The conglomerates sector followed with a

total turnover volume of 473.15 million shares worth N1.05 billion in 2,341 deals. Volume in the sector was largely driven by the shares of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc with a turnover volume of 465.210 million shares valued at N803.042 million in 1,826 deals. The pricing trend indicated an overtly bullish market with 73 advancers against 18 decliners. Lafarge Wapco Cement led the advancers with a gain of N6.20 to close at N74.20. Guinness Nigeria followed with a gain of N5.38 to close at N297.41 while Ashaka Cement added N5.33 to close at N26.03. On the downside, Nestle Nigeria topped the losers’ list with a drop of N5.03 to close at N814.96. Nigerian Breweries slipped by N1.50 to close at N163.50 while Flour Mills of Nigeria lost 91 kobo to close at N80. Meanwhile, about 30.96 million shares resulting from recent bonus issue was at the weekend added to the outstanding shares of Guinness Nigeria Plc, bringing the total outstanding shares to 1.505 billion shares.





Exposure draft on e-payment arbitration out


HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released the exposure draft on e-payment arbitration, The Nation has learnt. In a circular to banks, mobile money operators and payment service providers, the apex bank called on stakeholders to submit their input on the draft to enable it arrive at the final framework. According to the circular, issues relating to number of agents, type and nature of agents including considerations for super agents, are critical areas being considered in the draft exposure, adding

Stories by Collins Nweze

that processes for this line of banking to become functional in the country would be finalised by this year-end. The CBN said there had been improvements in the payment system, including the drive for financial inclusion. “The cashless economy initiative has tremendous benefits for the people and the economy. It would reduce the cost of cash handling and cost of funds, with available statistics showing that the apex bank and the deposit money

Firms partner on N30m simulation project


banks (DMBs) would have spent over N200 billion on cash management by 2012. This cost can be ploughed into infrastructure development. It would also mean that majority of Nigerians would stop subsidising the cash handling cost of heavy cash users,” it said. It said electronic banking was introduced to give a new face to financial transactions adding that there are various aspects of electronic transactions, adding that telecommunication firms play important roles in this regard. The apex bank also ordered banks

•CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

to change from strip-based to chip-based cards to encourage the growth of electronic transactions.

‘African banks lead sector’s innovation’

Enterprise Bank goes live on Google maps


NTERPRISE Bank Limited has been listed on Google Maps. Google Maps is a Google service offering powerful, user-friendly mapping technology and local business information – including business locations, contact information and driving directions. In a statement, the bank said the map offers street maps, a route planner and an urban business locator in numerous countries around the world. It also provides such special features as scale control, street view, and configurable location icons amongst other facilities. “By getting listed on to this mapping platform

which now features its branches, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and Point of Sale Terminals (PoS) locations, it is now easier for stakeholders to access us and our services from anywhere in the world. This unique relationship between Enterprise Bank and Google has enabled the financial institution boost visibility and excellent service delivery to its numerous customers,” it said. The statement added that this is yet another milestone in the bank’s move to reposition the brand, products and services by providing excellent customer service to its existing and prospective customers in the years


HE Group Managing Director, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Plc, Ladi Balogun, has said innovation in mobile payments, financial inclusion, and regulatory intervention is making sub-Saharan African banks the future of sustainable banking in the continent. In a presentation made in London, Balogun said: “In a region that is often a slow follower, African banks are increasingly becoming first movers.” He cited M-PESA, the Kenyan banking system and the role its regulator has played in promoting mobile payments and financial inclusion which has resulted in the highest mobile payment penetration numbers in the world. Balogun also cited a leading

ahead. Also commenting on the development, Juliet Ehimuan Chiazor, Google Nigeria Country Manager, said: “The goal of Google Maps is to make it easier for people across the world to locate places and businesses of interest. We are excited to see Enterprise Bank Limited and more Nigerian businesses using Google Places to get listed on maps. “This makes it easier for Nigerians to find and engage with these businesses. Customers can also search for their banks and get directions on the go, using Google Maps on their mobile phones.”


Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

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



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



O/PRICE 5.00 1.11 1.34 0.85 25.20 0.86 37.02 32.14 1.81 1.82

C/PRICE 5.50 1.22 1.47 0.93 26.96 0.91 38.87 33.74 1.90 1.91

CHANGE 0.50 0.11 0.13 0.08 1.76 0.05 1.85 1.60 0.09 0.09


O/PRICE 10.00 17.54 1.90 1.71 0.67 51.94 3.44 6.48 4.12 8.30

C/PRICE 9.50 16.67 1.81 1.63 0.64 50.00 3.34 6.30 4.02 8.13

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

Current Before

2-7-12 27-6-12




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














July ’11





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%

July ’12


7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

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

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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%



Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 136.93 143.99 0.80 1.13 1.02 100.00 1,000.00 1,786.50 14.17 1.39 1.87 10,686.77

9.08 1.00 136.52 143.77 0.78 1.13 1.00 100.00 1,000.00 1,785.11 13.48 1.33 1.80 10,376.82





CHANGE 0.50 0.87 0.09 0.08 0.03 1.94 0.10 0.18 0.10 0.17

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8





Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

OBB Rate Call Rate

South African bank recently conferred with a global award for innovation, with solutions such as social (network) banking, cardless Automated Teller Machine (ATM) withdrawals, unique branch formats, aimed at increasing accessibility and convenience. In the case of Nigeria, Balogun said regulatory innovations, led to one of the boldest and most efficient crisis resolution efforts to be recorded by any bank regulator in recent times. He noted: “Within three years the Nigerian banking industry has gone from nonperforming loan ratio’s of over 25 per cent to less than five per cent, and aggregate industry operating profit likely to cross $3 billion in 2013."

theory with practice using business simulations. He explained that the laboratory is equipped with flat screem work stations, an electronic board integrated with work stations, wired and wireless internet system among other facilities. Obire said there is need to help students connect theories taught in their various institutions with practical. “We are also saying that learning should be tilted to entrepreneurship, so that on graduation, students can connect the different theories to practical. And for students, who are not into business studies, it is an opportunity for them to lean about entrepreneurship,” he said. He said the programme combines innovative tools and creative thinking for leaning adding that simulation provides opportunity to a way of leaning that is practical. “Graduates need to be ready for industries. It is crucial that the private sector is initiating this, but is the primary responsibility of government, the federal ministry of education, to turn this initiative around. The Educational Trust Fund has a lot of money in its coffers, which can be deployed into the project,” he said. Obire said the ETF can be channeled into providing funding for universities to build local simulations that can be conceptualised using the social environment of Nigeria as a concept. This, he said, can create a new industry for the country.



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

FRICAN Institute of Business Simulations (AIBS) and Eloxxi Industries Limited are partnering to inaugurate a N30 million simulation laboratory at the University of Lagos (UNILAG). Speaking at the unveiling in Lagos, AIBS founder, Richard Obire, said the project is aimed at providing students and lecturers of the UNILAG’s Faculty of Business Administration with a conducive environment to integrate business

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



Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833





DN Tyre & Rubber: Still reeling in losses T

HE precarious position of DN Tyre & Rubber Plc worsened in 2012 with mounting liabilities and negative assets and profitability signposting the growing urgency of a comprehensive review of the company. Audited report and accounts of the tyre and rubber company for the year ended September 30, 2012 pinned the survival of the company on its creditors, whose outstanding credits surpassed the entire assets of the company. With 27 per cent decline in incomes and significant increase in operating and sales cost, DN Tyre & Rubber's huge interest expense-nearly half of total income, further worsened the company's negative bottom-line. Pre and post tax loss increased by 52 per cent and 40 per cent respectively, leaving shareholders with a net loss per share of 17 kobo in 2012 as against 13 kobo in 2011. Net asset per share stood at -79 kobo in 2012 compared with -62 kobo in 2011, underlining the worsening negative equity funds from N2.95 billion to N3.77 billion. The negative profit and loss position and the precarious balance sheet showed a generally edgy outlook. The debt-skewed financing structure, negative working capital and poor liquidity showed an underlying balance sheet unsuitable to the company's rebound.

Financing structure DN Tyre & Rubber's total assets inched up by 3.9 per cent from N5.78 billion in 2011 to N6.01 billion. Current assets had increased by 12.5 per cent from N938 million to N1.06 billion. However, total liabilities rose by 12 per cent to N9.78 billion as against N8.73 billion in 2011. Current liabilities had risen by 11 per cent from N8.11 billion to N9.03 billion. While the paid up share capital remained unchanged at N2.39 billion, the negative equity funds increased from N2.95 billion to N3.77 billion. With these, the negative net assets, otherwise known as shareholders' funds, represented about 63 per cent of total assets in 2012 as against 51 per cent in 2011. Current liabilities overwhelmed total assets at a ratio of 150 per cent compared with 140 per cent in 2011. Long-term liabilities/total assets ratio stood at 12.5 per cent in 2012 compared with 10.6 per cent in 2011.

Fiscal Year Ended September 30 Nmillion Profit and Loss Statement Turnover: Main Business Segment Total turnover Cost of sales Gross profit Operating expenses Interest and other incomes Finance expenses Pre-tax profit(loss) Post-tax profit (loss) Basic earnings per share(kobo) Gross Dividend Cash dividend per share (kobo) Net assets per share (kobo) Balance Sheet Assets: Fixed assets Total long term assets Trade debtors Current assets Total assets Liabilities: Trade creditors Bank loans Current liabilities Long-term liabilities Total liabilities Equity Funds Share capital Total Equity Funds

MD, DN Tyre & Rubber, Mohammed Yinusa







Managing Director. The company complied broadly with extant listing rules and codes of best practices.

Analyst's opinion By Taofik Salako

Efficiency The company witnessed considerable reduction in its productivity and cost efficiency. Although there were no details to pinpoint actual average reduction per unit, the overall outlook indicated significant declines in both productivity and cost efficiency. Total cost of business- excluding financing charges, significantly surpassed total income at 121.3 per cent compared with 102.6 per cent in previous year. The negative variance between incomes and costs underlined the worsening bottom-line of the company.

Profitability Both actual outward profit and loss figures and underlying performance indices showed a worsening topdown profit performance in 2012. While the top-line dropped by more than a quarter, significant increases in costs exacerbated the adverse impact on the bottom-line, pushing the company's losses to higher levels. This further eroded the intrinsic value of the company, technically putting shareholders as debtors rather than as investors with claims of returns. In 2012, the company on the aver-

age made twice a loss on every unit of sale than the previous year. While gross profit margin dropped from 19.7 per cent in 2011 to 16.2 per cent, pre-tax profit margin worsened from -20 per cent in 2011 to -41.8 per cent. Average return on total assets worsened from -8.1 per cent to -11.8 per cent. On negative net assets, average return also was poorer at 21.4 per cent compared with 19.5 per cent in previous year. Total income had dropped from N2.33 billion in 2011 to N1.70 billion in 2012. Cost of sales dropped by 24 per cent to N1.42 billion as against N1.87 billion. Gross profit thus shrank by 40 per cent from N459 million to N275 million. Total operating expenses stood at N636 million in 2012, representing an increase of 22 per cent on N520 million in 2011. Distribution expenses had increased from N77.15 million to N100.1 million while administrative and marketing expenses had risen from N443.04 million to N536.35 million. Non-core business income however increased by about 60 per cent from N238 million to N380 million. Interest expenses shot up to N729 million in 2012 as against N643 million in 2011. Pre-tax loss jumped from N466 million in 2011 to N711 million while net loss after tax increased by 40 per cent from N576 mil-

2012 12 months

% change

2011 12 months

1,698 1,698 1,423 275 636 380 729 -711 -805 -17.0 0 0 -79

-27.2 -27.2 -24.0 -40.1 22.3 59.8 13.5 52.4 39.8 30.8 0.0 0.0 27.4

2,332 2,332 1,873 459 520 238 643 -466 -576 -13.0 0 0 -62

4,937 4,953 780 1,055 6,008

2.4 2.2 13.5 12.5 3.9

4,820 4,845 688 938 5,783

8,944 0 9,025 750 9,775

11.0 0.0 11.2 21.9 12.0

8,058 0 8,114 615 8,729

2,386 -3,767

0.0 27.9

2,386 -2,946

lion to N805 million. C o n s e quently, net loss on every share stood worsened from 13 kobo in 2011 to 17 kobo in 2012. Net assets

per share was poorer at -62 kobo in 2011 to -79 kobo. DN Tyre & Rubber has not paid any dividend in nearly a decade.

Liquidity The company continued to struggle with poor liquidity denoted by increasing negative working capital and high exposure to possible immediate financial challenges. Current ratio, which measures easily convertible assets against likely emergent liabilities, remained at 0.1 time just as working capital/turnover ratio worsened from -307.7 per cent to 469.4 per cent. Debtors and prepayments stood at 8.7 per cent of creditors and accruals in 2012 compared with 8.5 per cent in 2011.

Governance and structures Formerly Dunlop Nigeria Plc, DN Tyre & Rubber is one of the longestsurviving companies in Nigeria. Incorporated in October 1961, it was one of the earliest listed companies. It adopted the current brand name following the divestiture of the foreign partner. The divestiture came on the heels of the company's failed attempt at expansion of its local manufacturing of automotive tyres allegedly due to unfavourable government policies. DN Tyre & Rubber is now a wholly owned Nigerian company mainly engaged in marketing of automotive tyres. The DN Tyre & Rubber Group consists of the parent company and a subsidiary- Pamol (Nigeria) Limited, a natural-rubber firm. The board and management of the company remain stable. Mr Dayo Lawuyi still chairs the board while Mr Mohammed Yinusa leads the executive management team as Group

Fiscal Year Ended September 30

DN Tyre & Rubber needs to further realign its corporate status and structure to its new business scope. Tyre import and marketing business is largely dominated by small businesses, often without the corporate responsibilities and requirements vested in entity such as DN Tyre & Rubber, once a large company. This much is evident in the relation between the company's sales and costs. Administrative and marketing expense was twice the size of gross profit and nearly a third of total revenue. The company would need to promptly and frankly address legacy issues-including corporate management, staffing and business continuity plan, to stem the continuing deterioration. Already, first quarter report for the current year ending September 30, 2013 showed loss before tax of N239.39 million as against N236.98 million in comparable period of last year. Net loss after tax in the threemonth period stood at N226.63 million compared with N236.98 million in corresponding period of previous year. While turnover had inched up from N48.95 million to N49.43 million, administrative and marketing expense was more than sales at N67.21 million, though lower than N70.36 million recorded in comparable quarter. The company's Achilles' heel remained the interest expense which rose from N182.74 million to N183.9 million. Overall, DN Tyre & Rubber's continuing corporate existence depends on the supports of its creditors. Its business success however lies in a more realistic assessment and review of its business scope, strategies and future plans.

2012 %

2011 %

Financing structure Equity funds/Total assets Long-term liabilities/Total assets Current liabilities/Total assets Debt/Equity ratio

-62.7 12.5 150.2 0.0

-50.9 10.6 140.3 0.0

Profitability Gross profit margin Pre-tax profit margin Return on total assets Return on equity Dividend cover (times)

16.2 -41.8 -11.8 21.4 0.00

19.7 -20.0 -8.1 19.5 0.0

Efficiency Pre-tax profit per employee (Nm) Staff cost per employee (Nm) Cost of sales, operating exp/Sales

NA NA 121.3

NA NA 102.6

Liquidity Current ratio Working capital/Sales Debtors/Creditors

0.1 -469.4 8.7

0.1 -307.7 8.5





• Aluminum plant

Exploring aluminum sector for 80,000 jobs The aluminum industry is in dire straits. It has lost a huge market share to Chinese products. It is also faced with dwindling resources. But market watchers believe that all hope is not lost for the sector, which they say, can create 80,000 jobs, if the macro-economic environment is right, writes AKINOLA AJIBADE.


ITH a high unemployment rate, the government has a major challenge in its hand. How can it tame this unemployment monster in order to grow the economy? Statistician-General of the Federation Dr Temi Kale said about 20.3 million Nigerians are unemployed. The figure, he said, represents 30 per cent of the working population, adding that the figure is likely to increase in the next few years. He said unemployment has untold effects on the economy, calling for more proactive measures on the issue. The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) is also concerned about the huge number of unemployed graduates in the country. It said the country would experience job crisis, if steps were not

taken to reverse the trend. The United Nations, in its 2012 Economic Index for developing countries, said Nigeria has one of the fastest growing unemployment rates in Africa. The body said the country, in spite of its huge mineral resources, has refused to grow its economy to an enviable height. It said Nigeria has a lower per capita income because its people live on less than $2 per day. To tackle the problem, experts advise the government to revive the ailing sectors of the economy. They said the aluminum industry is under threat of extinction, and must be revamped. They said Nigeria has huge iron ore reserves, arguing that it stands a better chance of producing aluminum products optimally. According to them, the industry can easily generate between 70,000

to 80,000 jobs, once there is an enabling environment. Speaking on the issue, the General Manager, Human Resources, Tower Aluminum Rolling Mills, Mr Olawale Fatolu, said the industry would easily create 50,000 jobs or more in the first two years of stable power supply in Nigeria. Fatolu said aluminum companies would create jobs, irrespective of their product lines. He said the industry is losing jobs, instead of employing more hands to meet its needs. He said there is a huge job prospects in the sector, advising the government to make the environment conducive for the operators. Government’s reduction of tariffs on importation of semi-finished and finished aluminum products from 20 per cent to five

per cent has affected local manufacturers. He noted that local firms were forced to cut down operations and workforce. Fatolu said the industry boasts of untapped job opportunities. He said: “I conducted a research on the aluminum sector recently. The research shows that the industry boasts of 4,000 jobs. Fifty per cent of these jobs have been lost in the past few years. The reason is because many companies have downsized, while others have closed down and instead resort to importation of finished products. From the research, it was discovered that the industry needs at least 50,000 jobs now to survive. More jobs are expected to be created because different lines of products can be pro•Continued on page 38




Exploring aluminum sector for 80,000 jobs •Continued from page 37 duced by the aluminum companies. It is either the government wakes up to its responsibility by providing adequate infrastructure or the industry is forced into extinction.” He said the industry provides jobs for skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers because of its nature. Semi-skilled workers are drawn from technical colleges, adding that they still need to be trained. These workers, he said, are technicians employed to work in aluminum rolling mills, extrusions among other areas. Aluminum extrusion is where domestic items, such as cooking pots, and plates are produced. “The unskilled workers are gardeners, cleaners and office attendants. The skilled personnel are mechanical and electrical engineers. Others are quality control officers, and accountants. Those employed in electrical department produce coils and circles used in producing pots,” he added. The Chairman, Steel and Engineering Workers’Union of Nigeria,Comrade Uthman Momoh, said the major problem facing the industry is government’s policies. Momoh said each aluminum company can produce thousands of jobs, if adequate facilities are provided. He said many engineering graduates would get jobs, provided the government provide facilities to make the

industry work. Said he: “Every year, aluminum companies employ fresh engineering graduates, and train them for between six months to one year to fit into the system. With the industry facing critical problems, it is hard for such graduates to get jobs. If government can provide necessary incentives for the industry, it would be easier for graduates to get jobs.” He said technicians are badly needed in aluminum companies, urging the government to provide infrastructure to reduce unemployment in the sector. A member of Business Club, Ikeja (BCI), Lagos, Mr Thompson Adebowale, attributed inability of companies to produce optimally and further create jobs to poor power supply. Adebowale said companies, such as Cadbury Nigeria Plc use alternative power throughout the year, due to the nature of its products. He said chocolate material coagulates once there is a power failure. He said the development has prevented the companies from using national grid. Adebowale, who is a former Managing Director, Berger Paints Plc, said manufacturing companies not only using chemicals a lot, but also record losses when there is interrupted power supply. He said steel and allied companies consume

• Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga

• Chairman, Tower Aluminum, Chief Ernest Shonekan

more power, and require stable energy supply to function. “The only way by which government can galvanise the potentials of the economy is to generate employment opportunities. There is a wide infrastructural gap in the country. Of note is power. Many companies cannot produce optimally due to power problem. Steel industry has collapsed because of inability of companies to generate enough power for operations. I think there are huge employment prospects in companies that use steel by-products,” he added. According to him, the potential in the

aluminum industry are huge and must be harnessed for economic growth. He advised the government to provide a flexible tax regime, improve power supply, curb the excesses of manufacturers of sub-standards products to help grow the economy. “Once good regulatory framework is in place, it would not be hard seeing aluminum companies competing favourably with their counterparts aboard. When this happens, thousands of jobs would be created and the economy would be better. We can create millions of jobs for Nigerians, if we can get it right in the country,” he added.



RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has appointed Prof. Eli Jidere Bala as Acting Director-General of the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN). The appointment, according to a statement by the commission’s management, is with immediate effect pending the appointment of a substantive director-general. The statement reads: “Prof. E.J. Bala was born in Gelengu, Balanga Local Government Area of Gombe State on September 19, 1954. After his secondary and higher school education, he pro-

Commission gets acting DG ceeded to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Second Class Upper Division) in Mechanical Engineering in 1977 and, subsequently, Masters in Engineering in 1980. “He obtained a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Applied Energy from Cranfield Institute of Technology, United Kingdom in 1984. “Bala rose through the ranks from Graduate Assistant in 1978

to become Senior Lecturer in Ahmadu Bello University in 1987 and, subsequently, Professor of Energy Studies in 2004. “Since graduation, Bala has held a number of administrative appointments, which include: Head of Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; Rector, Tatari Ali Polytechnic, Bauchi, Bauchi Sate, (1993-1997); Deputy Director, Energy Planning and Analysis Department, Energy Commission of Nigeria (1999-

2003) and Director, Renewable Energy Department, Energy Commission of Nigeria (20062012). “ B a l a a l s o “ s u p e r v ised and graduated many undergraduates, Masters and Ph.D students; attended many international and local conferences and workshops on energy; and also served as External Examiner and member, Accreditation Panel to many universities and polytechnics.” Bala is a member of the follow-

ing professional bodies and associations: Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN); Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE); Solar Energy Society of Nigeria (SESN). International Association of Energy Economics (IAEE). He has written many papers and articles published in reputable international and local academic journals, Conference Proceedings and Technical Reports in Applied Energy. He is a Fellow of Solar Energy Society of Nigeria as well as the ‘Masun Waja’. He is married and children.


10 things that can go wrong with your job search (II)


HEN a child falls, he looks ahead in pain and agony. However, when a full adult falls down, he looks backwards in introspection, to find out the cause of his fall. That was an African saying. The application is that if an individual has been on the unemployment cue for some time, and he does not see an end in sight, he is expected to ask himself what went wrong. As I said last week, the central issue is that most lack job search skills. There are few things in life more important than finding a job that not only meet your financial needs and expectations but also gives you psychological satisfaction. Unfortunately, there are few people who understand how you go about finding such a job. As you will discover, sooner or later, it is not necessarily the most “qualified” person who gets a particular job. More often than not, it is person with the skill for convincing the recruiter/employer that he/she is, in fact, the most qualified person for that particular job. So we will continue this week on those things that could be responsible for your inability to secure a good job in spite of many attempts

By Olu Oyeniran

and good effort. Last week, we discussed three issues. Let us examine the other issues:

• Ineffective Resume/CV The basics of a resume/CV are that it should be letter perfect, neat, easy to read and organised. It is expected to give your education history, work experience, skills, accomplishments, hobbies/interest and some other relevant information. It is not expected to be more than three pages long. These are the easy part. The hard part is putting that resume to work, making it do as mush as a resume can do i.e. making it a successful sales document. Your Resume is your self-marketing tool. But no matter how well – organised, if it does not have any “sell” in it, it cannot not do its job. And what is the “selling” resume? It is a resume that gives the employer who gets to read it good reason(s) to invite you for a face – to face interview. If my experience is anything to go by not many can achieve that: most Resume/CV I see, are bland, poorly written, lack order/aesthetics and (wait for it) tend to demarket the candidate! Is

your Resume drawn up in the appropriate format? Does it contain the key information about you, you experience, skills and accomplishments? . What was your communication strategy? Do you use your resume/CV effectively?

Inadequate skills for passing job aptitude tests A significant number of employers conduct job aptitude tests as part of their selection process. The main reason is to test the abilities of the applicants in the basic skills required to do the job effectively – comprehension, verbal and quantitative skills, quantitative ability, logical reasoning, speed and accuracy, specific job skills, etc. It forms the basis for invitation for further interview in most organisations using them. So, except you master these tests and perform well in them, your dream of getting a top flight job might suffer sudden – death at this stage.

Ineffective application/ cover letter Dear Sir/Madam, I humbly apply for the post of ... as you adver-

tised in The Guardian of July seventeen, two thousand and four. Enclosed is my CV for your perusal. Yours faithfully, Above was a recent application letter from a job candidate. It is not worth paper on which it was written in respect of aiding the job search. The application letter (also referred to as cover letter) is supposed to customise your Resume/ CV for particular job. That is, it should stress the most relevant positive aspects of your CV in respect of the job at hand. It should state how your experience and qualification meet the requirements of the job.

Inadequate preparation for job interview For any interview, thorough preparation is the cornerstone for making positive impressions at job interviews. There are some things you can do a day or so before the interview, but most preparations start weeks before the I-day. Many people make the mistake of waiting until the last minutes to prepare, hoping to coast to success. It does not work that way most of the time. Part of the planning is for you

to anticipate interview questions, and then formulate your answers to clime. Key questions are (a) why do you want to work for this company (b) what can you do for us? (c) What kind of a person are you? (d) What distinguishes you from the other 19 with similar qualifications? (e) Can we afford you? Formulate your strategies to shine. And the small Davids that can lead to the fall of Goliath: Do you know the venue of the interview not to get lost, and get to the place late? Are you properly dressed? Do you have manners? So, you have all the things written materials, credentials, resume, recommendations/references, photocopies, etc that you may need? A personal note: The job market in Nigeria is crowded. Give yourself a big advantage. Visit jobhuntingmanual for more information. •Oyeniran is the Lead Consultant, EkiniConsult & Assoiciates & Author. Author Jobsearchguru’s Job-Hunting Manual. Website:,ng Tel 08083843230 (SMS Only).




PenCom, PenOp set to tackle unclaimed retirement benefits T HE National Pension Commission (PenCom) and the Pension Fund Operators (PenOp) are to address the problems of unclaimed retirement benefits of retirees. PenOp’s President, Dave Udeanu, said some retirees have refused to collect their benefits from their Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs), adding that the development has made operators to intensify efforts at locating them and their families without success. He said operators would continue to educate the public, adding that the challenge cannot be tackled overnight. Worried by this development, PenCom has directed PFAs to advertise the names of the affected retireees in the national dailies. Dauda Ahmed of Corporate Strategy Unit, PenCom, who make this known, said the PFAs have also been directed to visit the last place of employment or address of the retirees to obtain any available contact information or those of their next-of kin in an effort to trace them and ensure that outstanding benefits are processed for payment. He said: “In effect, we wish to confirm that there are no “unclaimed pensions” with PFAs in the real sense of it, but possible issues of temporary delay in processing the withdrawal of pensions/terminal benefits due mainly to loss of contact. “The balance in the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) of a retiree comprises the proceeds of his retirement bond, his contributions from July, 2004 to the month of retirement and the investment income. At the point of retirement, the retiree is expected to submit necessary documents to, and discuss with the PFA on his preferred mode of withdrawal of his pensions. The retiree has the option of either Programmed Withdrawal (PW) which provides pension over the expected lifespan through the PFA or purchase of annuity from an Insurance Company which ensures payment of pension for life.

• From left: Managing Director, First Pension Custodian, Akin Fanimokun; Managing Director, Legacy PFA, PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAM Misbahu Yola and Udeanu at a press conference by the Pencop. Stories by Uyoatta Eshiet

According to him, these payments can only be made after the Commission had granted approval of the agreement entered into by the retiree with his Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) regarding the mode of withdrawal of his benefit. “Nevertheless, there could be delays by retirees or next of kin in the case of death benefits in accessing retirement or terminal benefits, but not “unclaimed pensions,” he said, adding that such delays can be attributed mainly to the inability of the PFA to contact the retiree who may have retired to his village without leaving an active contact address with the PFA. He urged the public to always liaise with pension operators to sort

out issues, adding that the new pension scheme is poised to provide comfortable life style for retirees. Meanwhile, operators in the pension industry have said they would leverage on the integration of businesses in the informal sector to increase the number of contributors from 5.2 million currently to about 20 million by 2017. Udeanu, who disclosed this at a media parley in Lagos, said several additional incentives are being proposed to make the pension scheme more beneficial to persons working in the informal sector, who accounts for over 60 per cent of the working population in the country. He noted that the PenCom has

‘Why transfer window has not started’


HE transfer window that wouldenable holders of two pension accounts to transfer funds has not started because of identification management problem, the Managing Director, Leadway Pensure PFA Limited, Mrs Ronke Adedeji, has said. She told The Nation that though a lot of work has been done on it, the scheme is yet to take off because there are still quite a lot that need to be done to make sure it is error free. She said: “The transfer window is a very complex exercise, though from the surface it looks a very simple thing. It is complex because when you move an account from one Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) to another, identification process becomes a problem. What we want to ensure is that when you are transferring someone’s account from one PFA to another, you are transferring the correct account and not another person’s account simply because they have similar names. “Biometric is very key here, proper identification process is very important. In the country we have identification problem, this is essentially what is hindering the take-off of the scheme,” she said. The Leadway boss said in most developed countries, proper identification is simple. She , however, lamented that it is still a problem and that it is affecting

the take-off of the transfer owindow. She said until the biometric is right, the issue may still drag on, adding that the pension commission and the operators are doing a lot to see how soon it could start. Adedeji said the pension fund operators were looking at options that would guarantee that at the end of the day, a flawless system was in place. The other problems militating against the smooth take-off of the scheme was lack of proper software and data bank, adding that a lot of work still needed to be done. She said the pension fund operators, the government and other relevant stakeholders might end up collaborating on the biometric to ensure that a workable system was put in place. The Managing Director, Legacy Pension Managers Limited, Mr Misbahu Umar Yola, said it is a misnomer to talk about one person having two retirement savings accounts. This, he said, was possible in Nigeria because of unreliable data base. He said: “It is an aberration that we should be talking about one person having two PFAs. If the system had worked well right from the outset, the moment your finger print is imputed in the process of creating a second PFA, the system would have alerted that you have an existing one, and

the second one would have been rejected but that had not been the case because the system failed to work well.’’ On pensioners who want to collect another 25 per cent from the retirements savings after the first 25 per cent lump sum had been paid, he said it is not possible because the position of the pension law is very clear about that. She said the 25 per cent is paid once to the account holder after retirement while the balance is managed on terms agreed to by the parties.

released an exposure draft of the framework for the participation of persons operating in the informal sector, stressing that the draft is currently being finalised. He said the framework once released would ensure the participa-

tion of persons working in the informal sector and effectively increase the coverage of the scheme. Udeanu said PenCom will also before the end of the first quarter of this year, incorporate a multifund structure for Retirement Saving Accounts (RSA) funds, into the amended investment guidelines. He said: “The decision to introduce the multi-fund structure in the first quarter 2013, is to allow enough time for public education and sensitisation by the commission and also allow operators enough time to be ready to implement the structure. “The multi-fund would be primarily differentiated by their overall exposure to variable income instruments and a contributor’s choice of funds may be limited based on the age of the contributor. Also the multi-fund structure would likely also allow for the introduction of a non - interest or ethical fund.” Managing Director ARM Pension Managers Limited, Sadiq Mohammed, on pension contributory recovery agents, said the agents have visited about 8,584 firms out of 15,760 identified as non-compliant by not remitting their workers’ contributory retirement funds to the appropriate quarters, adding that over N2.5 billion is expected to be recovered from the identified defaulters. He said demand notices and accounts details of pension custodians for remitting deducted pensions have been sent to the firms visited.

‘Weak infrastructure, ICT application, others retard growth’


PERATORS in the insurance industry have identified weak infrastructure and low application of information communication technology (ICT) as some of the challenges that are impeding the growth in the industry. They argue that unless these challenges are tackled, efforts to deepen insurance penetration and increase its contributions to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will never make the desired impact. The Group Managing Director, Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, Mr Akin Ogunbiyi, also another problem is the dearth of affordable insurance products for clients. “If we really want to increase insurance penetration in this country, we have to look at the products and services that the common man can benefit from, to meet his needs, creating

value for them and making it affordable,” he said. Assistant General Manager, Corporate Communication and Brand, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, Segun Bankole, said the untapped potentials in the Life segment of the insurance industry is very large and a lot of Nigerians are beginning to see the positive benefits of taking up the policy. He said Sovereign Trust is achieving a record 25 per cent increase in their market penetration every year. He said the SWIS – F POLICY, which his company offers Nigerians, has a lot of benefits. If during the period of insurance, the insured sustains bodily injury solely and independently of any other cause by accidental, violent, external and visible means resulting in death or disablement, the Company pays compensation or in the case of death, to his legal representatives.

NAICOM, PenCom collaborate on annuity, group life policy


HE National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and the National Pension Commission (PenCom) are working with other relevant stakeholders in the industry to implement the provision of the annuity and group life insurance policy in the contributory pension scheme. The regulators, last week held a workshop in Lagos, tagged: “Towards effective annuity and group life insurance regulation in Nigeria.” PenCom’s Acting DirectorGeneral, Mrs Chinelo AnohuAmazu, said the strategy is meant to carry relevant parties along in resolving pertinent issues and to address any regulatory challenges militating against the successful

implementation of the scheme. She said the Pension Reform Act allows a retiree to utilise the balance standing to the credit of his Retirement Savings Account (RSA) for either programmed withdrawal through the Pension Fund Administrator (PFA), or annuity for life purchased from a life insurance company. “Section 9 sub-section 3 of the PRA 2004 requires employers to maintain a life insurance policy for its employers for at least three times their annual total emoluments. “It is the mandate of NAICOM to regulate the annuity and life insurance markets. It is the responsibility of PenCom to ensure that the modalities for the administra-

tion of retirement benefits through life annuity as well as terminal benefits involving group life insurance policy are strictly followed to guarantee payments as and when due,” she said. The helmsman said since the take-off of the payment of retirement benefits to retirees who opted for annuity, no enlightenment aimed at creating awareness of annuity was carried out. Speaking on different procedures guarding the operations of the annuity, which he described as a programmed payment for life, the Assistant Director, Inspectorate, NAICOM, Sam C. Onyeka, said there are many provisions, which operators must obey for the benefits to be realised.




Job crisis far from over, says ILO Stories by Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu

• Ryder


HE Director-General, International Labour Organisation (ILO), Guy Ryder, has said the dire job situation is an indication that the global crisis is far from over. Stressing the need to tackle employment crisis, the ILO boss, who

spoke at the just-concluded World Economic Forum in Davos, warned that there cannot be growth without jobs. In a statement by the organisation, posted on ILO website, Ryder who, was asked about the jobs and growth conundrum during a panel discussion, said: “That simple logic … was not apparent to policy makers who started applying austerity in Europe to tackle the financial crisis. “If you had said that and had been listened to, three or four years ago, perhaps you might have been able to avoid some of the excesses of the jobs crisis right now. “It’s not the only element of the economic malaise we face but it is the quintessential centre of it all.” Talking about Spain’s unemployment rate, which has hit a recordhigh of 26 per cent, Ryder said:

“The figures that came out this week are absolutely appalling … You can’t see the upturn. “But I do think that while we’re all, understandably, focused on Spain right now, we’re faced with a continuing global jobs crisis.” He warned that while the intensity of the financial crisis may appear to be receding, jobs’ markets are giving completely different signals. ”We lost over four million jobs – four million more unemployed in 2012. For 2013 it is another five million and it carries on. The horizon is not in sight,” he said. He had also emphasised that point in an interview earlier with Sky News television. “I think we shouldn’t go too quickly into the notion that the crisis is over. “For the people in the jobs’ queue, the crisis is very much with us and the queue is getting longer,” he said.

Participants at the panel discussion, who included Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Jim Hagemann Snabe of the German software corporation, agreed on the need for the private sector to invest in education to help address skills mismatches. Technological changes “are going to require new skills sets,” Ryder said, adding that enterprises should play their part in training people. “Policies that work are policies that actually mix together formal education and work experience that old idea of apprenticeship.” Ryder also said international agreements are needed to facilitate the migration of jobseekers. He pointed out that the crisis had brought about significant changes in terms of workforce mobility, citing the example of Spaniards seeking work elsewhere in Europe or in Latin America, and Portuguese workers getting jobs in Angola.

Judiciary workers give govt 21 days strike notice


HE Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) has given a 21-day strike notice to the Federal Government over nonimplementation of the Consolidated Salary Structure for Judiciary Workers (CONJUSS). The notice is contained in a communiqué by Mr Marwan Mustapha, the union’s National President and Mr Issah Adetola, the General Secretary in Abuja. They said the decision was reached at the end of the union’s National Executive Committee (NEC) in Minna. They said unless steps were taken to implement the CONJUSS, the union had no choice but to shut the courts. They said failure to comply with the notice could lead to an indus-

trial crisis in the federal courts. It condemned the actions government agencies and stakeholders, saying that they frustrate the implementation of the scheme. “National officers will be overseeing the full compliance of JUSUN members during the strike, until the government fully complies with the salary structure,“ the communique said. NEC urged states that are yet to comply with the payment of CONJUSS to do so to avoid disruption of judicial services in their states. “This is because JUSUN will pursue the implementation of the salary structure in all the states of the federation,“ it said. The NEC commended Justice

Suleiman Dikko, the new Chief of Nasarawa State, for resolving the lingering face-off between the branch executive and the management. NEC reaffirmed the position of the union’s amended constitution on the tenure of the national and state executive committee of JUSUN for four years, adding that it instructed its branches to comply. Mustapha, in an earlier statement, warned that the union should not be held responsible for any breach of industrial harmony in the sector in 2013. He had lamented the fact that government was taking the union’s peaceful and sensitive nature for weakness. He said that several agreements

signed with the union had been jettisoned by government. He said: “We want to congratulate Nigerians for seeing us through 2012 in spite of several challenges faced. It said it believed that the year would be better. It appealed to the government to step up on its promises to Nigerians by ensuring the protection of their lives and properties. “Another burning issue is the non-implementation of the CONJUSS to federal courts which has been foot-dragging for a while. ‘’We are afraid that we cannot guarantee industrial peace in all the courts across the country in 2013, if nothing is done to solve this issue,”he added.

Over 2,000 applicants jostle for judicial jobs


O fewer than 2,000 job seekers have besieged the Federal Judicial Service Commission in Abuja to get its application forms. The deadline for collection and submission is February 28. The applicants were seen in long queues last Thursday waiting to get the forms. According to some of them, this has been the situation in the last

two weeks and it might continue till the closing date. Some of the applicants decried the poor process of collection of forms, saying there was only one point for it. A Computer Science graduate of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Olaoye Ademola, lamented the stress of queuing for a job one might not even get because of ethnicity.

‘’The selection for employment is supposed to be stress-free because some of the people one sees on the queue can’t even raise enough money to feed. God forbid bad thing, should any one collapse and die here, that will just be the end of the story, he said. Another applicant, Sekinat Kehinde, a graduate of Mathematics /Accounting, said she had been seeking employment in

the past five years wwithout successs. She hoped teh government would bail out the unemployed through the creation of more jobs. Kehinde, who could not get a form, said she could not struggle for it as others were doing. An official of the Commission, who did not want his name in print, said it would create more outlets for the forms.

Pensioners’ nationwide protest begins Feb 25


HE Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has announced plans for nationwide protests scheduled to begin on February 25. The National President of NUP, Alhaji Ali Abatcha, told reports that a meeting by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu, ended in a deadlock. He said the meeting was attended by representatives of the Head of Service of the Federation, the Ministry of Justice and others. Abatcha said the union is seeking the release of the one per cent check-off dues which members voluntarily contributed but seized by the Pension Reform Task Team. He said: “The meeting ended in a deadlock because none of our demands was met.We are also demanding the 53 per cent increment, which civil servants have been enjoying for the past three years, among others. “The Minister told us to come back by February 13 so that the Salaries, Income and Wages Commission can explain why the

circular is yet to be released. For the check-off dues, the Ministry of Justice said we don’t have the right to levy our members but we

• Pensioners at a seminar in Lagos.

told them it is not levy but voluntary contribution. “We will not accept a situation where genuine pensioners suffer

for their entitlements, which aren’t paid, while the chairman of the task team claims to be saving money for government.”

• Kebbi State Governor, Saidu Dakingari

Kebbi promotes 4,560 teachers


HE Kebbi Universal Basic Education Board has promoted 4,560 primary school teachers. The Secretary of the board, Alhaji Sodangi Bello, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Birnin Kebbi that the promotions were meant for deserving teachers to boost their performance. He said the promotion was delayed because the board was waiting for the final report of the recent verification of school teachers. Bello said majority of the teachers had started enjoying the payment following their promotions. He said the board would enhance teachers’ welfare to make the teaching more attractive. Bello said the board had, in the last two years, sponsored 1,200 teachers for further training to enable them to acquire the National Certificate of Education (NCE) and degree in higher institutions. He said the board and stakeholders in education, also organised capacity building training aimed at enhancing performance and productivity of teachers and students. He warned teachers against absenteeism, lateness, truancy and unlawful practices. He said: “We (Board) will not spare erring teachers as effective methods of supervision and inspection have been put in place to check such offences.” He commended the state and local governments for prompt release of counterpart funding for salaries and other entitlements of teachers.

College seeks govt’s approval to fill 120 positions


ARABA College of Agriculture is seeking government’s approval to fill about 120 existing vacancies in the school. The Provost, Mrs Elizabeth Wachap, told reporters in Jalingo that the school has lost no fewer than 120 workers to death, resignation and transfer between 1998 and 2013. “The school has written several memoranda seeking for approval from government to fill the vacancies. “Despite budgetary provisions for replacements of the lost staff, the government has still not given the approval. “We are appealing to the government to grant the approval for replacement of even security guards,” she said. Wachap explained that the category of personnel needed were technical staff in agricultural engineering and animal production, among others. She expressed fears that the college might not fulfil accreditation and re-accreditation of its programmes if the dearth of staff persisted.





84TH KANO STATE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING On Wednesday 6th February, 2013 (25th Rabi’ul Awwal, 1434 AH) Council sitting was presided over by Gov. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso FNSE during which 22 memoranda were submitted by 5 MDAs for deliberation by the Council. An expenditure of N567,758,124.20 was approved for the execution of 15 projects. Thus; 1. OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT The Office of the Secretary to the State Government submitted 17 Memoranda on behalf of some MDAs for deliberation by the Council as follows; A. Request for funds as assistance to finance the final take-off of the “Case Tracking System” program:Council was reminded, by the contents of this memorandum, of the active partnership between the State Government and the United Kingdom (UK) through its Department for International Development (DFID) on numerous programs, one of which is the “ Justice for All” (J4A) program. This partnership brings about necessary requisite reforms for improved and enhanced Justice Service delivery and confidence in the judiciary and agencies participating in the Justice Sector Reform Team. An important project undertaken by the State Justice Sector Reform Team is the Criminal Cases Tracking System, which reduces unnecessary delays in criminal cases/trials as their progress can be respectively traced through the Ministry of Justice, Judiciary, the Police and Prison Service. Council was notified that; Government made substantial investment on the Case Tracking program by installing the necessary Hardware and Software required for the take-off of the program in the participating Sector Institutions. What are now needed for the final take-off of the case Tracking System are the training of personnel to handle the installed software, procurement of inverters, networking and payment of outstanding allowances amounting to N2,767,000.00. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N2,767,000.00 to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for onward payment to the Ministry of Justice to enable the facilitation of the final take-off of the case Tracking System program according to the details presented. B. Request for funds to settle the payment for 422,274.00 litres of diesel (AGO) supplied and consumed by the Task-force Committee on Street and Traffic Lights (1st August31st October, 2012):Provision of illumination on our Streets is among the laudable achievements of the present administration from its inception to-date in view of its significance in providing security especially at night and day light vehicular control. In fact, most of the major roads within the metropolis such as Katsina Road have been provided with streetlights and traffic control system. However, because PHCN electricity supply is yet to be steady most of the streetlights depend on Electricity Generators. These generators naturally require daily fuelling and maintenance. A reliable Oil and Gas Company, Alhaji Yahaya Mai Kifi was after due process appointed to supply fuel to the generators. Relevant documents attached to this memorandum substantiated the claim for the payment of N92,900,280.00 as the sum owed Alhaji Yahaya Mai Kifi for having supplied 422,274 litres of AGO to the Kano State Task-force Committee on Street and Traffic Lights for three (3) months (1st August to 31st October, 2012) for the use of the electric generators supplying electricity to the street and traffic lights. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N92,900,000.00 to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for onward payment to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable the Task-force Committee pay the supplier of the stated quantity of AGO for the quoted duration. Request for funds to facilitate the replacement/restoration of electric power supply at the Raw Water Intake Station of Guzu-Guzu Regional Water Scheme:The Raw Water Intake Station of Guzu-Guzu Regional Water Scheme is no longer functioning. The problem is attributed to the frequent bursting of the electric power supply cable as reported by the Kano State Water Board. Assessment of the situation and recommendation for the repairs of the faulty cable were made in order to utilize the Water Intake at Guzu Guzu. As such, the sum of N8,891,097.20 was requested for release by the Council to undertake the following; Replacement of the electric power cable with overhead power line; Overhauling the existing electric power generator; Council approved the release of the requested sum of N8,891,097.20 to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for onward payment to the Ministry of Water Resources to enable the Water Board execute the stated project. Supply potable water for human and industrial concern is in line with the policies of the incumbent administration. More than N10 billion was expended on the supply of pipes, equipment and aluminium since the inception of this administration to improve water supply in the State. C. Request for funds to sponsor 93 Kano State Indigenous Students for training in International Advanced Diploma in Networking and Computer Security at the Jigawa State Informatics Institute Kazaure:The sum of N26,767,000.00 was approved for release, as requested by contents of this memorandum, to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for onward payment to authorities at the Jigawa State Informatics Institute for the training of 93 Kano State Indigenous Students of Kano Informatics Institute in Advanced Diploma in Networking and Computer Technology. This request was submitted on behalf of the Ministry of Science and Technology as the main custodian of computer education in the State. The gesture was to improve Government’s effort at enhancing computer-networking technology for E-Government Data storage/record keeping and better service delivery. E. Request for funds to cater for the monthly payment of non-regular (casual) staff at the Ministry of Environment:Office of the Secretary to the State Government notified the Council of having received a communication from the Ministry of Environment that there is need to engage the services of 250 additional casual (non-regular) staff as Street Sweepers to be catered under the monthly remittance for non-regular Staff. The nominal roll will therefore rise from 2,360 to 2,610 Staff with a total financial commitment of N26,270,000.00 as against the current monthly figure of N23,770,000.00. This indicates that an additional sum of N2.5million is needed monthly to cover remuneration for the additional 250 Street Sweepers. Council approved the engagement of 50 additional Street Sweepers and the release of the sum of N500,000.00 monthly to cover their remuneration. F. Request for funds to procure and allocate five (5) Toyota Hilux Double Cabin Pick up to the High Court of Justice:The Office of the Secretary to the State Government submitted a request, on behalf of the Ministry of Justice (Judiciary), for the provision of five (5) Official Vehicles for smooth operation by five (5) departments of the High Court of Justice; thus; i. Appeal Department ii. Inspection Department iii. Works Department iv. Office of the Hon. Chief Judge v. Office of the Chief Registrar (Admin and General Duties) Council noted, considered and approved the procurement and allocation of two (2) Toyota Hilux Double Cabin Pick up vehicles by the Office of the Secretary to the State Government

to the Kano State Judiciary for the smooth operations of their activities. The sum of N13,900,000.00 (i.e. N6,950,000.00 x 2) was approved for release by the Council to enable the Office of the Secretary to the State Government execute the purpose. G. Notification on the need to compensate commercial operators of the Katsina Road Park and Garden adjacent to Federal Secretariat:Contents of this memorandum reminded the Council of issues involving the public facility existing at Katsina Road Garden and Park. The most important developments are: i. United Bank for Africa (UBA) accepted to finance the rehabilitation/upgrading of the Katsina Road Garden and Park and has already taken over the responsibility while the Ministry of Environment had assigned its staff to Rabi’u Musa Kwankawaso be inspecting and reporting the development. ii. Private/Commercial operators at the facility have already constructed two (2) halls with four (4) Offices roofed with decking and decorated with marble tiles which were executed at the sum of N27,523,000.00 by the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning. Council deliberated on the issue, especially the construction of a permanent structure on Government property by private individuals, which contradicted the purpose for which the site was planned for. Council noted, considered and directed the private property to be demolished and the site to be transformed into a befitting garden for the relaxation of the community within its vicinity. H. Request for funds to settle eight (8) additional Kano State indigenous students who gained admission into the Nigerian Law School for the year 2012/2013:The Kano State Scholarship Board requested for approval, through the Office of the Secretary to the State Government, for the release of funds by the Council to enable the payment of allowances to eight (8) additional Kano State indigenous students who gained admission into the Nigerian Law School. Notably, the Board acknowledged the receipt of N38million for 119 students sponsored by the State to attend Nigerian Law School for the current session. The amount was disbursed to the beneficiaries. The Board conducted another screening and cleared eight (8) additional students at Abuja, Enugu, Kano and Yenagoa campuses of the Nigerian Law School. The additional eight (8) beneficiaries are entitled to a grant of N320,000 x 8=N2,560,000.00. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N2,560,000.00 to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for onward payment to the State Scholarship Board to facilitate payment to the affected Law Students, which is typical of the present administration whenever issues that relate to education are concerned. I. Presentation on Kwanar Dawaki International Cattle Market:The Kwanar Dawaki International Cattle Market Association paid a courtesy call on the Hon. Commissioner for Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Tourism during which the current condition/situation of the market was intimated to the Government. Essentially, the market requires Government direct support to function. Meanwhile, the challenges/issues facing the market are: A large portion of the market was converted into Pfizer Hospital and Small Scale Industrial Estate. The market was planned for relocation and Government had commenced payment of compensation to the affected landowners during the tenure of the previous administration. The market is presently squatting in a small portion of the Industrial Cluster, which is not conducive for its operations. As such, the Office of the Secretary to the State Government prayed, through contents of this memorandum that Council should consider: That the situation of Kwanar Dawaki International Cattle Market requires Government’s intervention towards reinvigorating its functions to facilitate achieving the desired objectives; That there is need to set up a committee that would handle the final relocation and commissioning of the market by the end of the first (1st) quarter of 2013; and That there is the need to formalize the conversion of the three (3) blocks of abattoir complex for utilization as Vitamin A fortification plant, National Directorate of Employment (NDE) training/workshop and Solid Minerals Development Agency. Council noted, considered and approved the adoption of the entire suggestions presented. J. Presentation of a letter of Appreciation from the Pensioners’ Forum Thrift and Loan Cooperative Society Limited:Office of the Secretary to the State Government presented a letter of appreciation and gratification submitted to Gov. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso FNSE by the Pensioners’ Forum Thrift and Loan Cooperative Society Limited. Notably, contents of the letter emphatically expressed pensioners’ joy and pleasure on the pronouncement by the Governor that from March 2013 the minimum pension is reviewed upwards to N5,000.00 from less than N300. This action is a confirmation of the Governor’s commitment to improve pensioners’ welfare for their contribution while serving the State. Contents of the letter went ahead to conclude by praying for long life to Kano State and Federal Republic of Nigeria. Council noted and appreciated the presentation. K. Request for funds as assistance to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons:The Office of the Secretary to the State Government presented the request for the release of the sum of N4,650,000.00 as assistance, by the Council, to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons to enable; The establishment of Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Labor Vanguards; Continuation with Grassroots Sensitization Campaign; and Establishment of capacity building facilities in the 44 Local Government Council Areas in the State. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the trimmed down sum of N2,000,000.00 to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for onward payment to the referred Agency to enable the execution of the stated purposes. l. Presentation of letter of appreciation on the completion of Mandawari to Kwanar Goda Road Project:Office of the Secretary to the State Government presented the Letter of appreciation submitted by the Masalaha Development Association (Kungiyar Masalaha) of No. 55 Dandago S/Titi Mandawari, P. O Box 194, Kano State, Nigeria. Contents of the Letter expressed the profound gratitude and unreserved appreciation of the entire community of Mandawari area to the State Government under the leadership of

THE NATION MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2013 Gov. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso FNSE for responding to their request by granting approval to continue with the Mandawari Kwanar Goda Road Project. Council noted and appreciated the presentation and welcomed the prayers of the Association for guidance and protection. M. Presentation on performances of Kano State Athletes in some National Championships in the months of November and December, 2012:The Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youths, Sports and Culture reported, to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government, on the performance of the State athletes in some National Championships in the months of November and December, 2012. Appraisal of the report informed the Office of the Secretary to the State Government to summarize and present to the Council for consideration the following: That the State Para-Soccer team became the overall winners and secured 1st position trophy in the first Nassarawa State Para-Soccer National Championship in Lafia (10th November, 2012). That the State Basketball Team became winners by defeating Plateau State Team in the division II final tournament played in Abuja (15th -21st December, 2012). This feat afforded the Kano State team the chance to play in the Division 1 of the National Basketball League later this year. That the Korean Embassy awarded a Trophy to the State Taekwondo Team for emerging as the best in 2012 during a ceremony organized by the Mission (1st December, 2012). Council noted and appreciated the presentation. Council reiterated the commitment of the Government to sporting activities through granting of moral and financial support. N. Request for funds to enable the State Handball Under-15 and Under-12 Teams Participate at a National Championship in Kogi State:The Office of the Secretary to the State Government presented the request submitted on behalf of the Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youths, Sports and Culture for the release of the sum of N1,755,000.00 to enable the State Handball Under-15 and Under-12 Teams participate at a National Championship in Kogi State. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N1,755,000.00 to enable the State Handball Under-15 and Under-12 Teams participate at the stated Championships. Such outings usually expose our young talents and improve their performance to achieve excellence thereby ensuring recognition of the State at National and International levels. O. Request for funds to facilitate the procurement of equipment for the training/ empowerment of 10,000 Butchers selected from the 44 Local Government Areas of State:Contents of this memorandum referred to the approval granted by the Council at its sitting of 16 th January, 2013 for the release of the sum of N201,110,000.00 as State Government’s contribution for the procurement of equipment for the training/ empowerment of 10,000 Butchers selected from the 44 LGCAs. Office of Secretary to the State Government reported an inadvertent error in the second memorandum submitted on the issue whereby an essential component of the training dealing with the provision of materials to the beneficiaries in the sum of N35,002,500.00 was erroneously not captured. However, the first memorandum, which was considered by the Council captured the cost of the materials. The Office of the Secretary to the State Government requested for approval by the Council for the release of the sum of N35,002,500.00 for the procurement of the training materials as presented in details by the Special Adviser Metropolitan Matters. Council noted the inadvertent mistake and approved the release of the sum of N27,782,500.00 after reviewing the submission to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government to correct the mistake and facilitate the procurement of the working materials required for the training/empowerment of 10,000 Butchers from the 44 LGCAs. P. Request for funds to procure and allocate five (5) Units of Operational Vehicles in support of the NDLEA Kano State Command:The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Kano State Command submitted a request for support to the State Government for the allocation of five (5) Operational Vehicles to the Command. Council is aware of the effort of the Agency in curtailing drugs abuse and the dispensing of fake drugs in the State. After due deliberation, Council consider and approve the procurement of one (1) Toyota Hilux Double Cabin Pick Up Operational Vehicle to the NDLEA Kano State Command by the Office of the Secretary to the Government. 2. MINISTRY OF EDUCATION Presentation on the donation of a School comprising two (2) Blocks of Classroom, two (2) Blocks of Staff Room and a Block of toilets to Kumbotso LGCA, Kano State:Government since inception has been encouraging community and private citizens to support the State on development projects. This led to the establishment of the Office of the Special Assistant on Voluntary Schools by the Administration. The outcome of this policy is yielding positive results as individuals have started answering the calls of the Government. Council appreciated this donation by Umar Ibrahim, which is timely and in tune with the expectations of the present administration. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Education in conjunction with the Special Adviser Voluntary Schools made the following suggestions to the Council: That the donated infrastructure be designated as a voluntary School for Kumbotso LGCA as the first voluntary institution to be established under Government policy immediately it is handed over. That Government should write to the donor (Umar Ibrahim) thanking him and inviting him for discussions on the modalities and conditions of his offer in accordance with the provisions of Government policy on Voluntary Schools. Council noted, considered and appreciated the donation and called on other individuals to follow suit. 3. MINISTRY OF WORKS, HOUSING AND TRANSPORT Request for funds to facilitate the re-designing and production of Road Traffic Security Documents:Contents of this memorandum reminded the Council of its directive to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport at its sitting of Wednesday 9th January, 2012 to re-negotiate with the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company for the printing of some security documents and certificates to be used by the Road Traffic Department in its activities to enhance revenue generation. After re-negotiation, the Company brought down its initial quotation from N24,450,000.00 to N24,349,500.00. Council considered the significance of printing the security documents and approved the release of the sum of N24,349,500.00 for the project. MINISTRY OF INFORMATION, INTERNAL AFFAIRS, YOUTHS SPORTS AND CULTURE Presentation of a request for approval for Kano Pillars Football Club Management to sign Shirt/Jersey Sponsorship deal with United Foots Nigeria Ltd and BUA Group Ltd. The exalted position of Kano Pillars Football Club, courtesy of the support provided by the present administration under the leadership of Gove. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso FNSE, attracts companies willing to advertise their products using the name of the Kano Pillars Football Club. The 2012/2013 football league season is about to commence, which makes the management of the club to seek for more sponsorship for the club. Reportedly the management of the club already concluded negotiations with the authorities of the United Foots Nigeria Ltd. and BUA Group Limited with the former agreeing to pay N10,000,000.00 to the club for fixing its logo on the front of Pillars Jersey while the latter agrees to pay N5,000,000.00 for a position on the Jersey. Council noted, considered and approved the granting of permission to the Kano Pillars Football Club management to sign the agreement with the two companies for the Jersey sponsorship deal under the following stipulations; That the Kano Pillars football club management pays 20% of each deal to both Nigeria Premier League and marketing consultants as stipulated by the Governing Law; and That the Kano Pillars Football Club management should remit the balance from each deal to the Government Treasury. 5. OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY GOVERNOR/ HON. COMMISSIONER FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS Two memoranda were submitted for deliberation by the Council from the Office of the Deputy Governor/Hon. Commissioner for Local Governments as follows:-

43 rd


Presentation of a proposal and request for funds for the execution of the third (3 ) phase of marriage of 1000 Zawarawa/Spinsters:The first and second phases of this laudable policy/program were successfully executed under the aegis of the Kano State Hisbah Board. Still, the Hisbah Board submitted another proposal, through the Office of the Secretary to State Government, to approve and release funds to enable the execution of the 3rd phase of the program. Now, the Office of the Deputy Governor/Hon. Commissioner for Local Governments analyzed the proposal and recommended that the exercise should be a Local Governments’ responsibility. The State Government should sponsor few couples under the coordination of the State Hisbah Board. Details of the financial commitment were presented by the contents of this memorandum as presented from the Office of the Deputy Governor/ Hon. Commissioner for Local Governments. The salient aspects of the presentation are: That each Local Government will sponsor 21 couples Across the 44 Local Government = 924 couples The State shall sponsor = 76 couples while on the other hand, the total financial commitments are: 44 LGCAs * N4,965.000.00 = N218,460,000.00 State Government = N15,090,000.00 TOTAL = N 233,550,000.00 Council noted, considered and approved the release of the sum of N233,550,000.00 (N218,460,000.00 Local Governments share and N15,090,000.00 State share) to the relevant authorities to enable the execution of the 3rd Phase of 1000 Zawarawa/Spinsters marriage project in view of its popularity and relevance to reducing social ills in the society. b. Presentation on the conduct of Hajj 2012/1433 A.H operation:Contents of this memorandum clearly rated the performance of Kano State in the operation conducted for the 2012/1433 A.H Hajj very high. Essentially; 7,059 Pilgrims and 35 Officials performed the pilgrimage from Kano State at the total cost of N3,495,731,675.96 N2billion was saved by Government for sponsoring nobody for the 2012 pilgrimage Kano State came first in environmental sanitation and organization of pilgrims transportation There was no abscondment of pilgrims or birth due to stringent measures taken by the Pilgrims’ Board. The only snag was that 221 female pilgrims were repatriated due to absence of Muharramas. Again, Council was presented with the following problems for consideration The Kano State Government should solicit for additional Hajj seat from the National Hajj Commission. The purchase of additional vehicles at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and resumption of work on the Office block of the Board Headquarters. Release of some funds for the purchase and preparation of supplementary food at Mina and Arafat during subsequent Hajj operations, which could be arranged through the Mutawwaf. Council noted, considered and appreciated the presentation.



Council extended its profound gratitude and appreciation to the electorates from Gaya and Garko constituencies over the recent State House of Assembly bye-election, which was held on Saturday 2nd February, 2013. Accordingly, Council congratulated the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) for winning the election and urged those elected to work hard in the conduct of their legislative functions. 2.


Council acknowledged the recent award presented by the National Defence College Abuja to the Governor, Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso on his efforts towards ensuring the safety and security of lives and properties across the State. 3.


Council acknowledged the signing of agreement between the State Government and Shanxi Auto Transport, in order to ease the problem of transportation within the metropolitan city. Similarly, Council noted the first route of these buses will be from Kwanar Dawaki Zaria Road - ‘Yankura Market while the second route will start from Hotoro Dorawar Na’abba to ‘Yankura Market all within the metropolitan city. 4.


Council witnessed the swearing-in of the two remaining Executive Members of the Kano State Independent Electoral Commission. The members were implored to discharge their responsibility fairly to all. 5.


Council acknowledged the recent inauguration of 44 Technical Schools and presentation of letters of appointment to the Principals and Teachers on Tuesday 5th February, 2013. Accordingly, necessary equipment and tools for their take-off were presented to the beneficiaries of the technical schools. Useful telephone numbers: I. KANO ROAD TRANSPORT AUTHORITY (KAROTA) USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS Contact KAROTA for: Breakdown Vehicles blocking roads Traffic Congestion Accident Illegal/Wrong Parking


Call Karota on – 08091626747 i.

For security call the Police on the following numbers; 08032419754 08123821575 08099831808 064-977004 064-97705

11- For Fire Service call the following numbers 064-895435 07051246833 08191778888 08190548888 08190548888 08107888878 For further information on Government activities visit us at Signed: Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youth, Sports and Culture







The crisis-ridden Ekiti State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is parading 20 governorship aspirants, ahead of the 2014 polls, reports SULAIMAN SALAWUDEEN.

Ekiti PDP: 20 in race for governor


HE party is factionalised. At least, there are three factions within the fold. Efforts to resolve the leadership crises have failed. But Ekiti State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) still has 20 governorship aspirants running on the crisis-ridden platform. To observers, it is confounding that the aspirants are pursuing their ambitions without pursuing peace and unity in the party. Many believe that the chapter may go for the elections in ruins, unless concerted efforts are made to promote collective interest, instead of the antagonistic agenda of the factional leaders. The governorship aspirants and other chieftains are carrying on as agents of the three leading chieftains locked in a battle of superiority; former Governor Ayodele Fayose and Police Affairs Minister Caleb Olubolade, who are also eyeing the slot and the deposed governor, Segun Oni. Crisis has engulfed the troubled chapter, following its controversial congress, which produced Chief Akin Omole as the chairman. Party members rejected the congress, saying that it was a kangaroo congress. Moves by the leaders of the party in the Southwest to resolve the logjam have proved abortive. Party members have given their loyalty, not to the party, but the warlords; Fayose - Akinbolade and Oni. The former governor is also in another sort of battle with himself. His camp is still revisiting his judicial deposition, with a view to discrediting the ACN administration in the state. Thus, which the other two factions are looking at 2014, Oni’s supporters are still going back to 2010. According to credible sources, views within the party heirarchy had opposed his (Oni’s) escapades in and out of courts in respect of the 2007 polls. Aggrieved party chieftains have urged him to show leadership, mend fences, forge alliances and work towards a united Ekiti PDP, but without success.They have reasoned that the fight to reclaim the disputed mandate is counterproductive because events have taken over the critical electoral contest and the controversy it unleashed in the state. But Oni has been adamant. He has been moving in and out of the courts, receiving injunctions and adjournments. In Ekiti PDP, there is no trusted leadership. Thus, the party is in disarray. The result is that over 20 aspirants are struggling to become the governorship candidate. They are projecting themselves, but they are not projecting the party. Miffed by this disorderly conduct, a concerned PDP member said: “The wisdom in laying beautiful beds under a dillapidated roof will soon come clear to all of them. What we should all be doing now is to settle internal scores, after which a genuine congress would be summoned. “But, despite efforts in this regard, they think pursuing a governorship agenda under a divided house is the next thing. Let them go ahead and we will all see how it will go with all of us”. Before the controversial congress, the party has been divided down the line. The return of Fayose into the fold created more disaffection. The former governor resumed his hostilities with Oni, who he did not support during the rerun. Today, Ekiti PDP lacks a party secretariat that genuinely serves as the rallying point for all members. The claim of other members is that only the loyalists of Fayose operate at the secretariat. Therefore, they be-





‘The aspirants are pursuing their ambitions without pursuing peace and unity in the party. Many believe that the chapter may go for the elections in ruins, unless concerted efforts are made to promote collective interest, instead of the antagonistic agenda of the factional leaders’ lieve that it is a factional party office. The recent sack and recall of the party secretary, Dr. Tope Aluko, for alleged antiparty activities also deepened the crisis in the party. It was alleged that Aluko was “indulging in acts capable of denting the image of the party and putting it into disrepute in the eyes of right thinking members of the public.” But the secretary defended himself, saying that certain elements were trying to frame him up. Although he has since been recalled, the general mistrust within party heirarchy, which led to his sack, has not fizzled out. The aspirants have continued to unfold their ambitions at press conferences, parties and dinners. Observers contend that they are not offering a new deal to the people; neither are they able to really articulate their views and positions on various issues. Apart from Fayose and Olubolade, other aspirants include Prince Dayo Adeyeye,

(Ekiti South); Senator Gbenga Aluko (Ekiti South); Abiodun Aluko (Ekiti South); and Chief Adeyanju Bodunde, former aide of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (Ekiti Central). Others are former federal legislator Wale Aribisala (Ekiti North); Senator Ayo Arise (North); former Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Bode Olowoporoku, former Deputy Governors Abiodun Olujimi, (South) and Chief Bisi Omoyeni (South); and former chairman of Emure council, Chief Ropo Ogunbolude.

Aspirants and the zoning formula Historically, zoning is a non-issue in Ekiti. The state is perceived as one zone. But for political expediency, it has been divided into three districts, from which the three senators emerged. Now, aspirants from the South Senatorial District are agitating for power shift, in a bid to edge out their colleagues from other zones.

It is evident that majority of the aspirants are loyal to Oni, although the party machinery appears to be in the hand of Fayose. They were members of his campaign team in the past. But party sources said that Oni is backing Adeyeye, a defector from ACN, for the job. This is threatening the cohesion within his camp. However, the aspirants from the South are united by one cause. They have called for the harmonisation and expansion of the state executive council to reflect its composition in the pre-congress period. While the advocates of harmonisation and expansion point out that it would pacify the aggrieved chieftains, Fayose’s men have kicked against the move because it would reduce the influence of the faction. At a party recently, Fayose spoke on the agitation.“I don’t believe either in harmonisation or extension. Look at those crying for harmonisation. They are those who have lost out in a contest. This is just politics. “Neither will an expansion of the state exco be possible as well. If they are saying that, then the central body should equally be expanded to accommodate the aggrieved parties. This again is impossible and unthinkable. The strongest candidate will always emerge”, he said. However, some experienced politicians are moderating the exercise in the South. They have advised the aspirants from the zone to present one candidate. If this is done, Adeyeye may emerge as the consensus candidate. Sources said nine aspirants are actually meeting for the purpose of anointing a candidate. Party sources said that if they close ranks, Oni may use his influence to canvass support for his favourite aspirant, Adeyeye. The sources added that this is the only way to edge out Olubolade, who appears to be the wealthiest aspirant, and Fayose. At the centre of the alliance are the three former deputy governors; Olujimi, Abiodun Aluko and Omoyeni. Others , according to the source, are Mr Bimbo Owolabi , Senator Gbenga Aluko, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, Dr Kunle Folayan, Captain Tunde Ajayi (rtd), and Chief Ropo Ogunbolude. A PDP chieftain, Mr. Bunmi Olugbade, said the South will definitely produce a consensus candidate that will be acceptable to the three factions.

The Olubolade factor To observers, things are falling apart in Ekiti PDP and the centre cannot hold. The national leaders often complain to Olubolade that a party in crisis can hardly win election. This has made the minister to begin a fence-mending process, in a bid to restore peace and harmony to the troubled chapter. Every weekend, his Ipoti-Ekiti country home is a meeting venue, where party issues are discussed and reconciliation plans are discussed. A source once said: “If we have just about five Olubolades in Ekiti PDP today, we would not be in this mess. He (Olubolade) seems naturally positioned as the party leader for his equanimity, accommodation and kindness, despite being abused by detractors”.

Can Ekiti PDP resolve crisis? The absence of a crisis-resolution mechanism is a setback. Ekiti PDP chieftains are deserting the chapter because they cannot endure being left in the cold. It is not likely that Fayose and Oni would be friends for a long time to come. To reconcile them have proved difficult. Although Oni was made the Southwest leader, he is not accceptable at home to the two factions. The two factions can only underate Fayose at their peril. Fayose’s conditions for a truce cannot be met by the to factions. What, therefore, is the way out of the crisis?



POLITICS House of Representatives member from Ikole/Oye Constituency Hon. Bimbo Daramola is the Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In this interview with VICTOR OLUWASEGUN and DELE ANOFI, he speaks on the state of the nation and what can be done to remedy the national drift.

‘People play chess with Nigeria’s fate’


HE general consensus is that Nigeria has not been blessed with good leadership. What is your reaction to this assertion? To be honest with you, Nigeria’s leadership problem is a source of pain to me. It is fashionable for us to blame the military for all our woes and to describe the military years as the years of locust. But let us ask ourselves: are we better off today? We are not. Indeed, one is tempted to even give some credit to the military. Up till today, we still don’t have another Third Mainland Bridge. Investigation has shown that about one million Nigerians use the bridge everyday. It was given to us by the military. We have not make any resonable progress with our national leadership. Those who say our problem is good leadership are absolutely right. It looks as if Nigeria is irredeemable. We keep taking one step forward and 50 steps backward. In this country, we are standing precariously on a cliff hanger and I hope we don’t fall. What should Nigeria do to prevent the country from falling off the cliff? The first and the last or the first, second and third is getting leadership that does not think of itself alone but is also thinking of the majority. Our problem in Nigeria is the fact that we don’t have a leadership that is people-centric. We have leadership that thinks about how to defend, protect, enshrine and deepen the frontier of their peculiar interests. There seems to be a grand design to keep Nigeria prostrate. People are sitting down and playing chess with the fate and fortune of Nigeria. Ask yourself why they take their children abroad for education and shut their mind to the fact that more people are here to acquire the same education. Only good, caring and people centric leadership can change the course of the ship of state from where it is presently heading. And the early our leaders think about this, the better it will be for the country to experience the desried change for good. What is your take on the current state of infrastructure in the country? I went to a private hospital recently just to see what is happening. Hospitals, sometimes when


you wheel people there, you have signed their rite of passage. The next call you should be making is the next available funeral home. That may be a grim picture, but that is the true state of our infrastrure today. You should see the way people die these days in our national hospitals. If they take you to John Hopkins Memorial Centre in America, except it is divinely appointed by God for you to die, you wont die. There was a time in this country when a prominent Nigerians was ill and they called air ambulance from France. I was privy to it and those people were asking the man here to just ensure that the sick man is kept alive for the next six hours by the doctors here. The import is that once they are able to get him on the ambulance, he wont die. The man is still alive today. Are you going to talk about road? The PDP government led by Olusegun Obasanjo spent well over N4 trillion, yet there is nothing to write home about our roads. The total stretch of road in Nigeria is 36, 000 kilometers, less than a quarter of that is bituminous and that is why Nigerians die from road accidents than sicknesses. As I speak with you right now, people are dying by accident. The truth of the matter is that we have to get back to the basics. If the leadership fails, the followership should say enough is enough. It is about time that they come for us. Real power belongs to the people. It is not easy to effect a change but it is not difficult also. The thing is that if you see challenges and you do not see light at the end of the tunnel, you

will most likely be overwhelmed by the darkness of the moment. Can we say power belongs to the people when governors dictate who goes to the Senate, House of Representatives, State Assemblies, and local governments? Will the governor vote for himself? The governor can insist, ‘I want this man, take police there, make sure that he wins primaries, write his name and send to Abuja’. If the people say no, this is the candidate of the governor but he is not our candidate, the people will win. it has happened before in this country. The point is that you need to stretch your endurance limit a little bit. When we got into the dog fight to ensure that Dr. Fayemi got back his mandate, I cast away all my comfort and conveniences, I went right into the thick of the matter. I used to tell people, I am not a thug, I am a man in pursuit of my conviction. Nigeria has to come to that point. When you go to Ekiti and they call me Mr. Shoot Me, Mr. Shoot Me, it was not because I wanted to die. I was tired and I said listen it is better to die and die a gallant fighter in the midst of tons and tons of mobile policemen at that counting centre in Ado Ekiti. Yes, they rigged us out again, they declared fake results but they never recovered until we got our mandate back and that is an example. You are a member of the opposition. How has the opposition fared in the House? I believe that the opposition has remained the barometer and the consciousness of the parliament. With every sense of responsibility and modesty, I can say that its a good thing that we have this critical mass of members of the opposition in the parliament, particularly, in the House of Representatives. And I don’t want to even give all the credits to the opposition alone, there are people from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who are also being driven by the sense of purpose of responsibility. We do not have the Nigeria that belong to the opposition, we do not have Nigeria that belong to the majority party, we have just one Nigeria where our fate and fortune is joined together.

Lagos sets pace with Assembly Commission The Lagos State House of Assembly Service Commission (LAHASCOM) has been inaugurated. It is another trail blazing effort by the state, reports OZIEGBE OKOEKI.


AGOS State House of Assembly has taken another step in its quest to operate above stereotypes. It has broken new grounds in legislative business. Recently, it inaugurated theLagos State House of Assembly Service Commission (LAHASCOM). The objective is to ensure efficiency in the performance of its legislative, administrative and other relevant duties. In advanced democracies, the Legislative Service Commission is one of the legislative agencies serving as veritable sources of legal expertise, particularly, in career management and staffing. In Nigeria, being a developing democracy, the commission is, however, saddled with the responsibility of developing legislative practice and catering for the appointment, welfare and discipline of staff. In other words, the commission is to involve itself in the development and expansion of legislative activities and potential of staff, particularly, in Lagos State. The commission was established through a bill passed into law in year 2010 by the House of Assembly; it is to serve as an unbiased arbiter of career management and progression of staff of the commission and the Lagos State House of Assembly. It is also to ensure administrative convenience and excellent service delivery as enunciated above. The commission has five directorates. They include (a) Finance and Administration (b) Career Management (c) Discipline and Severance (d) Recruitment and Appeal (e) Secretariat and (f) Account. A major landmark was achieved when the commission took off in July, 2010 on the order of Lagos State Governor Raji Fashola (SAN). However, operational activities of the commission did not commence until the twilight of December, 2012 when the chairman and other members of the commission, including the Executive Secretary, Mr. Ibisola Olawoyin Ogayemi, the immediate Deputy Clerk of Lagos Assem-

•Chief Mogaji

bly, resumed duties. And one of its first duty was the confirmation of the Acting Clerk of the Lagos Assembly, Mr. Ganiyu Abiru as the substantive Clerk. LAHASCOM is made up of five commission members, each member represents each of the five administrative divisions of the state, namely: Ikeja, Badagry, Ikorodu, Lagos and Epe. Members of the commission whose appointment was ratified by Lagos Assembly in December 2012 and sworn-in recently include the Chairman, Chief Olawale Mogaji; Ismail Olanrewaju Odesanya (Commissioner I); Mrs Risikat Adeniyi-Adegeye (Commissioner II); Prince Adebayo Balogun (Commissioner III); and Dr Bode Tawak (Commissioner IV). They are to hold office for four years which is subject to renewal for another four years and further confirmation by the House. According to Section 4, of the Law establishing the House of Assembly Service Commission, which deals with the tenure of office, “a member of the commission shall hold office for a period of four (4) years from the date of his appointment and may be re-appointed for another term, subject to further confirmation by the House”.

‘APC ‘ll dislodge PDP’


CTION Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftain Hon. Kayode Tinubu has lauded merger leaders, saying that they have made a sacrifice for democracy. He said the new party, All Progressive Congress (APC) will wrest power successfully from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015. The politician spoke on phone with our correspondent with on the birth of the new party and its chances of winning power at the centre. Tinubu, a lawyer, noted that, for the first time, progressive leaders put their slight differences away to forge a common bond of unity in the national interest. He described the new party as a party of ideas, stressing that the 10 governors backing the initiative are also role models in the country. Tinubu said: “Many of our members in Lagos received the news with joy. Our leaders have made sacri-

fices. I mean our progressive leaders across the four parties. “The party will adopt welfarist programmes. All the masses will belong to it. It will be superior to the PDP, in terms of programmes. Now, we have a broad-based party that can successfully confront PDP in the country. “This is a period of sober reflection in our country. The drift to backwardness should not continue. For 13 years, PDP has ruined Nigeria. I agree that it is time to salvage the country”. The politician urged the people to support the new party, adding that political salvation is at hand. He added: “The success of the merger is a pointer that the country can still be redeemed. I urge our leaders to sustain the tempo to the end’.litician spoke on phone with our correspondent with on the birth of the new party and its chances of winning power at the centre”.

•From left: The Alayandolu of Odo- Ayandelu, Oba Asunmo Aderibigbe, Chief Lanre Rasak, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, and the Alaketu of Ketu Kingdom, Oba Adegboyega Adefowora, at the Education Enhancement Programme held in Agbowa, Lagos State. PHOTO: MUYIWA HASSAN





With the inclusion of the new Veloster, Santa Fe, Azera and Genesis, Stallion Motors has raised the Hyundai profile in Nigeria, writes TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO.

Hyundai Motors unveils quartet H

YUNDAI Motors Nigeria Limited, foremost distributors of Hyundai range of the vehicles has unveiled four variants of 2013 Hyundai models at a brief ceremony in Lagos. The quartet acquaints local automobile media with Hyundai’s emerging vitality. The vehicles, which include Hyundai Veloster, Santa Fe, Azera and Genesis are already on display at Hyundai showrooms nationwide. The Veloster, for instance, is an entirely fashionable funky hatchback three-door sport-like sedan (one on the driver side and two on the passenger side) designed for drivers who want something uniquely different and stimulating. A quick assessment of the Veloster also shows that the car is not just jazzy but intelligently equipped with a 1.6-litre four cylinder engine that produces 138 hp and 132 Ib-ft of torque mated to a sixspeed traditional automatic transmission. Director, Sales and Marketing Hyundai Motors Nigeria, Mr Jatin Nadkarni, described the vehicle as Hyundai’s “icing on the cake.” Nadkarni said: “From the driver’s side, the Veloster looks like a regular twodoor but when turned 180 degrees through, it looks like a four-door - thanks to the perfectly normal-looking rear door,” the director remarked. On the other hand, the redesigned Santa Fe SUV adopts the automaker’s ‘fluidic sculpture’ design incorporating a third row of seats that increases the passenger count to seven thus effectively replacing the outgoing Hyundai Veracruz. Although the new Santa Fe comes in three variants of 2.4-litre four cylinders, a turbocharged 2.4-litre and 3.3-litre V6, only the 2.4-litre and 3.3-litre variants will be available in the local market, Nadkarni assured. The 2013 Santa Fe will be targeted at the family because of its ample leg room and passengers’ space, especially in the first two rows t h a t conveniently accommodate taller adults. •Santa Fe Drivers with predilection for details are also expected to like Santa Fe’s admirable i n t e r i o r materials as well as intuitive controls and extensive number of standard and optional features that distinguishes the new SUV. Hyundai Veloster and Santa Fe were stylishly designed and attractively priced to edge out key competitors. Nadkarni said the company is stopping at nothing to make these models the desired choice of Hyundai admirers. The 250 hp 3.0-litre Azera mid-to-upscale sedan is stylishly designed to emit all the trappings of a luxury that is unprecedented in its class.



The Azera, according to him, is the result of Hyundai’s relentless R&D testing and visionary thinking which seeks to always reflect the will of Hyundai Motor Company to create new possibilities to benefit the world and its people by encouraging and developing new thinking. Also unveiled at the exhibition was the Genesis, Hyundai’s class leading 3.8-litre V6 engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission which is yet


unsurpassed in the rival luxury category. Nadkarni, however, said Genesis is distinguished by its richly endowed cockpit with leather-wrapped steering

wheel, electroluminescent gauges, generous seat bolsters and leatherwrapped ergonomic shift knob that nicely fits in the hand.




Lagos warns ‘adamant’ motorcyclists L

AGOS State government has called on commercial motorcyclists, popularly known as Okada, to obey the Road Traffic Law 2012 on all restricted routes. Commissioner for Transportation, Comrade Kayode Opeifa said it is highly important for motorcycle operators to obey the Road Traffic Law in order for government to ensure the safety and security of the people. Opeifa, who lamented the flagrant disobedience of the Road Traffic Law by motorcycle operators, said in spite of the stakeholders engagements, public enlightenment and advocacy embarked upon by the government to educate motor-

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

cycle associations both legal and otherwise, on the provisions of the Law and the need for voluntary compliance, some motorcycle operators still ply restricted and unrestricted routes with impunity. Opeifa reminded motorcycle operators that Section 3 sub sections 3 and 4 stipulate that no person shall operate a motorcycle either as a rider or a passenger without wearing a standard protective crash helmet and that no motorcycle operator shall carry more than one passenger at a time or a pregnant woman, a child below the age of 12

Lawmaker appeals for patience over delay of road repair By Oziegbe Okoeki

ESIDENTS of Alimosho, especially users of Ayobo/Ipaja road have been enjoined to exercise patience over what they regard as delay in the completion of the road which started about a year ago. Member of the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Alimosho 1 constituency, Hon. Bisi Yusuf made the appeal while reacting to questions on the slow pace of work on the road at the Vision Initiative of Prince Bisi Yusuf Foundation for the screening and donation of eye glasses at Ebenezer African Church, Okunola. Yusuf said he is in constant touch with the contractor and there is every assurance that in three months if the road is not fully completed, appreciable work would have been done on it. He attributed the little delay to the length of the road and the need to ensure that proper work that would ensure durability of the road is done. this he said has been further compounded by the sudden and unexpected rains that came in January. “When you see the length of the road you will appreciate the work being done, there is also the issue of durability befitting a mega city like Lagos, so what they are doing now justifies the little delay we are experiencing. But I can assure you that in three months time if not completed, appreciable work would have been done on the road”, Yusuf said. He stressed that by the time the rains being experienced subsides work would be speeded up on the project; adding that, “I assure you that we would not leave the road to remain as it is now by the time the rains start properly; I am on top of the whole thing. “Lagos has never been known for abandonment of projects and I can assure you that this will not be one, it would be completed and so many other roads like that in the state will be completed”, he assured. Yusuf, who is the chairman of House Committee on Transportation also justified the restriction of commercial motorcycles, aka okada from some major highways in the state and called on the people to exercise patience to see how the traffic law works out. “We should appeal to the organised okada riders to abide by the law, even if we are going to review the law, it is not going to be done under chaos like they are perpetrating by destroying properties”, Yusuff said.


Car, bike in amazing ‘undertake’ stunt


N outrageous world-first stunt has seen a superbike ridden underneath a car while the car was being driven on two wheels around one of Silverstone’s famous corners. Pro bike racer Chris ‘The Stalker’ Walker rode a Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja British Superbike underneath a special edition Alfa Romeo MiTo SBK being driven on two wheels by stunt driving ace Paul Swift. The move, dubbed ‘the undertaker’ by the organisers, saw Paul flip the MiTo onto two wheels before driving around Brooklands bend and being undertaken by Chris on the ZX-10R. Staged to coincide with the MiTo SBK’s arrival in the United Kingdom, the move is thought to be the first of its kind ever attempted. Alfa is the ongoing sponsor of the FIM World Superbike Championship and the collaboration has lead to the rapid special edition MiTo’s birth. Powered by a 170bhp turbocharged 1.4-litre engine, the SBK has unique decals, a racing body kit including side skirts and rear lower spoiler and 18-inch alloy wheels shrouding red Brembo brake calipers. It can be bought only in solid black with Alfa Red roof and mirror caps.

•The undertaker

or an adult with a baby on her back. He warned motorcycle operators who ply unrestricted routes without the proper registration of motorcycles, to desist from such unlawful act as both rider and passenger would be made to face the law. Opeifa appealed to Nigeria Police, the military and other law enforcement Agents to carry out their duties diligently while enforcing the Road Traffic Law adding that Lagosians rely on them for their safety, security and enforcement of the Law. The Commissioner implored anyone who feels aggrieved to contact the Ministry of Transportation


OYOTA Motor Corporation has released its tally for global vehicle sales for last year at a record of 9.748 million vehicles — a bigger number than the estimate it gave last month of about 9.7 million vehicles. It was already clear Toyota had dethroned General Motors Co. as the Detroit-based automaker fell short, selling 9.29 million vehicles. GM had been the top-selling automaker for more than seven decades before losing the title to Toyota in 2008. GM retook the sales crown in 2011, when Toyota’s production was hurt by the quake and tsunami in northeastern Japan. The latest results show Toyota’s powerful comeback. Global vehicle sales for the maker of the Camry sedan, Prius hybrid and Lexus luxury model surged nearly 23 percent from the previous year. Overseas sales jumped 19 percent, while sales in Japan, where the economy has been troubled, recovered a whopping 35 percent. Volkswagen AG of Germany, the world’s number three automaker, sold a record 9.1 million vehicles around the world. All three automakers play down the significance of the sales ranking and say they are focused on making attractive products. “Rather than going after numbers, we hope to make fine products, one by one, to keep out customers satisfied. The numbers are just a result of our policy. And our policy will con-

through text message on the following GSM Numbers08174616936, 08075005411 or Lagos State Ministry of Justice (Office of the Public Defender) on 07080601080 toll free, 018975571. He said that such complainant may also send an e-mail to or It will be recalled that Governor Babatunde Raji Fasola signed the Lagos Road Traffic Law 2012 on August 2 last year. The law restricted motorcycle operations on 475 roads including bridges and highways out of 9,100 roads in the state.


Toyota sells 9.75m vehicles tinue unchanged,” said Toyota spokeswoman Shino Yamada. Still, the recovery for Toyota is impressive. Like other Japanese automakers, Toyota’s production was devastated by the March 2011 disasters, which disrupted supplies of crucial components. Flooding in Thailand, where Toyota has factories, also hurt car production. Before that, it struggled against a crisis of massive recalls in the U.S. over defective floor mats, gas pedals and brakes, involving millions of vehicles, some recalled over and over, that hurt its reputation for quality. Toyota officials have vowed to scrutinize quality, and have held back product development to minimize recalls. From the middle of last year, it was hit by another kind of problem — a widespread boycott of Japanese products, including Toyota cars, in China over a territorial dispute. But sales growth in other parts of the world, including the U.S. and Asian nations such as Indonesia and India, was more than enough to offset such losses. Toyota is planning to sell 9.91 million vehicles globally this year, putting it back on track toward its earlier goal of 10 million vehicles — a target that it had made a special effort to play down after its recall crisis. Meanwhile, the company will re-

call nearly 1.3 million cars globally for two separate defects, including 752,000 Corolla and Corolla Matrix vehicles in the United States to fix airbags that could be deployed inadvertently, the automaker said last week. It is the third Toyota recall since October to involve more than a million cars, and it comes as the company tries to recover from a damaged reputation following a series of recalls between 2009 and 2011 that were related to unintended acceleration problems. An IC chip in the airbag control unit can malfunction when it receives electrical interference from other parts in the car, causing the airbags to deploy when it is not necessary, Toyota spokesman Naoto Fuse said. Toyota is also recalling certain Corolla and Corolla Matrix vehicles in Japan, Canada, and Mexico. “The problem has caused minor injuries such as abrasions in 18 cases that have been reported. Two accidents have been reported by customers outside Japan, although Toyota has not been able to confirm them,” he said. Fuse said Toyota will add an electrical signal filter to the airbag control module to the recalled vehicles repairs expected to take an hour to hour-and-a-half. The spokesman declined to disclose the costs involved.

NRC recruits rail level crossing keepers


IGERIAN Railways Corpo ration (NRC) is planning to recruit more level crossing keepers to minimise rail accident. NRC Director of Administration and Human Resources, Mr Aminu Gusua, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). Gusua restated the need for public enlightenment on how to cross the rail line to minimize accident and death. He said when the gate keepers are hired; they would be trained to meet the expectations of the reforms going on in the rail transport sector. He also said rail tracks would not be left unused after undergoing repairs, to forestall further damage. “That is why the corporation will soon start the recruitment of new workers to enhance rail service. The more people with new knowledge and approach are employed, the better the service they will render,’’ he said. The director said that with efficient service, the NRC would make more profit, especially in freight services. He appealed to private business operators to patronise the corporation in transporting their goods across the country. Gusua said that law enforcement agents would ensure adequate security of the goods and other luggage.





SLIDING TACKLE "Their target is the European Cup this year. They got a bad start in the league and they're chasing their tails because Barcelona's form is incredible. So I think Jose has set his sights on the European Cup this year, there's no doubt about that. He'd be the only person to win the European Cup with three different teams, so it's a fantastic challenge for him. I think the European Cup has always been important to him. He's Monday, February 11, 2013 done a great job there. He's got a terrific squad of players, but there's no secret to his desire to win the European Cup."

Igesund proud of Bafana


Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, insisting pressure is on Real Madrid's counterpart, Jose Mourinho, ahead of their first leg Champions League clash in Madrid on Wednesday.



FERGUSON •Ferguson


Pressure is on Mourinho

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Tuesday 12 Feb 2013 Celtic v Juventus Valencia v PSG Mestalla Wednesday 13 Feb 2013 Real Madrid v Man Utd Shakhtar Donetsk v B/Dortmund

Nedved: Juve ready for Celtic

•Nedved •Thiago Silva



Bolt off to a solid start



NEWS ‘Bayero returns this week’ From: Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan


•From left: Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Sanusi, Oba Adeyemi III and Deputy CBN Governor, Mr. Tunde Lemo, during the visit...yesterday. PHOTO: FEMI ILESANMI.

ENTRAL Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi yesterday assured that the Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero, currently in overseas on health grounds caused by the attack on his convoy by the Boko Haram some weeks ago, would return to the country this week. The first class monarch narrowly escaped death when the fundamentalists attacked his convoy on his way from the Jumat in Kano. He was later flown abroad. Sanusi said at the palace of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111, during his visit over the inferno, which occurred on December 8 that the Kano monarch is now hale and hearty and would return to the country this week. The CBN governor, who told Alaafin that he did not call earlier to sympathise with him because of official engagements, which most of the time had taken him out of the country, expressed joy that the incident did not claim any life. He thanked the monarch for his presence during his turbaning in Kano last year and said Alaafin would always earn his support and respect as a foremost monarch. He prayed that God should give him long life and the grace to withstand challenges. Oba Adeyemi said he was sad over the loss he suffered in the incident. He added that he, however, thanked God that it did not happen in the night when more than half of the residents of the palace could not have escaped unhurt. The monarch also thanked Nigerians for the love shown to him and his family through visits, moral and financial support.

‘Kano by-elections: Why INEC cannot Kwara sanctions 162 teachers K cancel results’ D ESPITE alleged irregularities, which marred the by-elections into two constituencies in the Kano State House of Assembly, the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) said it is handicapped by the Electoral Act from cancelling the poll results. Only a tribunal or court can nullify election results, according to the Electoral Act. But there were indications last night that INEC would not defend the results of the byelections before any court or tribunal. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had swept the poll in Gaya and Garko constituencies. In Gaya, the PDP candidate polled 42,696, while candidates of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) scored 2,379 and 970. Also, in Garko, the PDP candidate scored 53,895, ANPP polled scored 2,168 and CPC, 1331. Although the elections were marred by irregularities

•INEC may not defend results in tribunal From: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

and the conduct of the poll condemned by INEC, the commission said the aggrieved parties could only go to court or any tribunal. A National Commissioner in INEC said: “We would have loved to cancel the results, but we cannot do that because the Electoral Act does not empower us to do so. “If there are obvious lapses and outright rigging, the aggrieved parties will only depend on an Election Petitions Tribunal or a court to nullify such results. “This is why INEC is asking for more powers to make it independent to take a decisive decision on glaring electoral malpractice. “With the present law, over-charged electorate could resort to self-help.”

Responding to a question, the National Commissioner said: “From field reports, the management of INEC will not defend the results of the byelections before any tribunal or court. “We have decided to be as truthful and sincere as possible. We have no time to defend falsehood, irregularities or electoral malpractice. We cannot be seeing spending taxpayers’ money to defend electoral misconduct.” The Chief Press Secretary to INEC chairman, Mr. Kayode Idowu, said: “It is only a tribunal or a court that can make a pronouncement on the validity of any election. “ Section 68 1 ( c ) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) says declaration of a result shall be final, subject to a review by a tribunal or court in an election petition proceeding.” INEC had in a statement

through Idowu decried the byelections. The statement said: “The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has received reports of assault, intimidation and harassment of voters and election officials during the by-elections into Gaya and Garko constituencies in Kano State held on Saturday, February 2, 2013. “Field reports available to the commission showed that mobs of armed youths disrupted the electoral process in some areas, harassing and intimidating innocent voters. Electoral officials were also intimidated, harassed and threatened, while some INEC supervisory officials were assaulted. “The commission is highly disappointed that the culture of thuggery, intolerance and unruly conduct by partisans yet bedevil the electoral process in our country. “Regrettably, reports also showed that despite the overwhelming show of force by armed youths during the Kano State by-election, security agents failed to intervene.”

Supreme Court didn’t rule against ‘Unilorin 49’, says ASUU


HE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ilorin Zone, has described as false, media reports suggesting that the Supreme Court has ruled against the 49 lecturers of the University of Ilorin (Unilorin), who were reinstated to the university by the same court three years ago. The union accused the university’s management of being behind what it described as an attempt to falsify a lucid decision of the nation’s apex court. “The alleged news came as a shock to the union. This is because we were all present in the court room three years ago when the Supreme Court gave

By Eric Ikhilae

its historic verdict reinstating the 49 lecturers. “The verdict restored the judgment of the Federal High Court, which not only ordered the payment of missed salaries and allowances, but also granted them other missed ‘rights and entitlements.’ We therefore wondered if the court was retracting its own judgment,” the union said in a statement dated January 30. The Supreme Court, in the ruling delivered on January 7 by a five-judge panel, led by Justice Mahmud Mohammed, in suit number: SC.76/2007Prof B. J. Olufeagba and 43 others v Prof Shuaib Oba

Abdul-Raheem (Vice Chancellor of University of Ilorin and three others) held that there was nothing to clarify in its earlier judgment, which affirmed the decision of the trial court. “The motion filed on May 25, 2012, having been withdrawn, is hereby struck out to allow learned counsel on both sides to bring sanity into the execution of the judgment of the trial court affirmed by the court, which to me, does not require any interpretation at all,” Justice Mohammed held. The union’s statement was signed by Dr Ayan Adeleke (ASUU Chairman, Ekiti State University); Prof. A. P. Akino-

la (Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife); Dr O.O. Oyegoke (Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomoso); Dr Alex Odiyi (Federal University of Technology, Ado Ekiti); Dr. Wende Olaosebikan (Osun State University, Osogbo) and Dr Busuyi Mekusi (Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko). “It has now been revealed through the certified copy of the ruling in our possession, and which we hereby attach, that what the Supreme Court actually did two weeks ago was to strike out the motion dated May 25, 2012 brought by the university to seek ‘interpretation’ of the judgment in favour of the 49 lecturers.”

Killing of health workers sacrilegious, says Mark


ENATE President David Mark yesterday described the killing of nine health workers in Kano as sacrilegious and barbaric. He decried the killing of the workers who were on a routine polio immunisation by yet to be identified gunmen, saying: “Enough of these mindless killings.” Mark lamented: “This is

From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

barbaric. This is a sacrilege. It is unimaginable that those who were offering services to save lives were murdered in cold blood. Something has gone wrong. This is inhuman.” He said the unprovoked attacks and unwarranted killings of the polio vaccinators cannot be swept under the car-

pet, adding that right thinking persons in the society must rise up to the challenge. Senator Mark urged security operatives to redouble their efforts by not only fishing out the perpetrators of the heinous crime, but by securing life and property. He said no matter the amount of anger in a man’s mind, killing or taking the life

of another cannot be a solution. The lawmaker, in a statement in Abuja by his Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, noted that there are enough channels or avenues in the country for seeking redress rather than through violence. Security operatives, he stressed, must collaborate to guard the society and save people from destruction.

WARA State Government has said it has sanctioned 162 primary and secondary school teachers for miscellaneous offences. The Director, Quality Assurance Bureau (QAB), Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed, said this in Ilorin yesterday. He said the teachers were sanctioned for absenteeism, lateness to school and insubordination. Said he: “These teachers were also sanctioned for neglecting their duty posts during school hours, absent from work without permission, laziness and incompetence.

“The teachers, numbering about 162, were put on probation, issued with warnings and asked not to repeat such acts or engage in any act of indiscipline any longer.” He said stricter punishment awaits any teacher caught fighting, aiding and abetting examination malpractice, involved in impersonation and wanton destruction of school property. Mohammed said most of the teachers affected were from Government Secondary School, Kulende, Muyideen Arabic Junior Secondary School, Kulende and Alimayaki Primary School, Akerebiata, among others.

CPC slams Ahmed for comment From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin


HE Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in Kwara State has attacked Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed over his comments on the merger of opposition parties. Ahmed had said the emergence of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the fusion of four major opposition parties is not a threat to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He added that some members of the new party were not driven by ideology but by positions and selfish interests. The Kwara State Chairman of the CPC, Suleiman Buhari, said: “We felt the need to disabuse the minds of Kwarans that might have been misinformed by Governor Ahmed’s unguarded statements against the opposition parties.



NEWS Bayelsa invests N247m in houses


HE Bayelsa State Government has invested N247million in a low-cost houses, as part of its measures to ease accommodation and meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of housing-for-all by next year. The amount was the project cost for the building of 75units of one-bedroom flat at N6.5million. Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development Ball Oyarede said the project was earmarked for the three senatorial districts. The government has approved the building of 50units of onebedroom flat in each senatorial district. The project, which the commissioner described as one of the cardinal objectives of the present administration, is aimed at boosting commerce in the affected areas. Oyarede said: “This administration is poised to provide affordable accommodation to residents, civil servants and investors in the state

UNIBEN don hails Oshiomhole over infrastructure A University of Benin (UNIBEN) don, Dr. Benson Osadolor, yesterday hailed Governor Adams Oshiomhole over the ongoing expansion of the Ugbowo/New Lagos Road/Uselu/Iyaro roads embarked upon by his administration, saying, “this governor is hard working.” Osadolor, who spoke at a lecture with final year students of International Studies and Diplomacy, University of Benin, entitled: ‘The root of insurgency’, identified the cause of insurgency as the failure of government because, according to him “the primary reason of the state is the provision of security, rights and welfare of the citizens.” On welfare, Osadolor said: “You all can see what Governor Oshiomhole is doing in providing infrastructure for the welfare of the people. The governor’s intervention in critical infrastructure should be encouraged. Nigeria would be a good place to stay with governors like Oshiomhole. He is simply a hardworking governor. “Look at five-junction for example; when the governor made up his mind to reconstruct this portion of the road and made budgetary provision for it in his first term, he met with a formidable opposition who resisted it but today, with his commitment to the service of humanity, he has succeeded in expanding the road and creating a world class five-junction. “For so many years, an attempt was made to solve erosion problem in Benin and the question is; was there an overall plan for this? What is government understanding of the problem? “However, up till two or three years ago, an idea came. Somebody said, I have a solution and came up with an overall plan for the entire Benin City which is called the Benin Water storm project. With this, the government was able to evolve a policy that became a driving force and it is working today in Adolor junction, College road, Upper Lawani, among others.

Ex-NDDC chief warns Dickson


FORMER Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Pastor Power Aginighan, has warned Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson against interfering with the forthcoming election of the Ijaw National Congress (INC). Aginighan, the founding secretary of the INC, urged the governor to resist pressure to manipulate the outcome of the election. He said: “I reiterate my earlier commendation of the nationalist stride of Governor Seriake Dickson in creat-

From Shola O’Neil, Warri

ing a Ministry of Culture and Ijaw National Affairs and providing an INC Secretariat. “It is my strong counsel that the Government of Bayelsa State should resist pressures from any quarter to influence the outcome of the forthcoming INC election.” He said the Ijaw nation is “in dire need of a strong, virile, vibrant and courageous INC, whose leadership cannot be dwarfed by the leadership of other ethnic nationality organisations.”

•The protesters in Ekiugbo-Iyede


Protesters stone senator, PDP leaders in Delta S ENATOR James Manager, representing Delta South, and other members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were pelted with stones at the weekend in Ekiugbo-Iyede community, Isoko North Local Government. The delegation, which includes Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Ovourzorie Macaulay; member representing Isoko in the House of Representatives Leo Ogor; Isoko representative on the State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) board Joe Ogeh and Tim Owhefere, visited the town “to thank the people for voting the PDP in past elections”. The visit kicked off from Ozoro to Ellu, Ofagbe, OkpeIsoko, Otor-Iyede, where the dignitaries were received by

From Shola O’Neil, Warri

thousands of dancing youths, women and party faithful. But in Ekuigbo-Iyede, the PDP leaders were heckled and came under a hail of stones, pebbles and chants of ijii, ijii, ijii (thieves, thieves, thieves) by the protesters. The protesters also carried placards, with inscriptions such as “PDP Leaders, You are disappointment; “Failious (sic)” and “Stop deceiving us”. One of the aggrieved protesters, who identified himself as Ejiro, said: “We are angry because these same politicians have spent many years in government, yet our lot has failed to improve.

“Every year they come to dole pittance to us when they know election is near. “Ogor, for instance, has been in Abuja for nearly 16 years and yet no development. “Tim Owhefere (representing Isoko North) is also in his second term, yet no state or federal presence here. “Today, they came and gave us N500,000 to say thank you; how long is that going to last us?” he asked. The police were called in when the protesters started throwing pure water sachets and sticks at the politicians. The security operatives opened fire in the market square to disperse the protest-

ers. But, Macaulay attributed the incident to money, saying: “Is there any society that if I throw N100, 000 up there wouldn’t be crisis?” Ogor, who is believed to be the object of the anger, said: “There is bound to be some disagreement in all situations of this nature; you can’t run away from the reality of that. “When you have 100 percent acceptability, you know there’s something wrong. “But as good leaders saddled with the responsibility of moving Isoko forward, we would hear some of those voices and be able to meet them at their points of need. “Because politics is all about resource sharing, probably they are not satisfied with the level of distribution of resources.”

Ministry plans consolidation as NYSC turns 40


HE Ministry of Youth Development plans to consolidate on the successes of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) as the scheme turns 40 this year. Established in 1973, the scheme entails a one-year compulsory service to the nation by graduates of universities and later those of polytechnics. Extolling the scheme yesterday in Abuja, Minister of Youth Development, Inuwa Abdul-Kadir, said: “The NYSC has helped in national

integration as batches of corps members have contributed to national development.” He also praised the NYSC for its contributions to the success of the conduct of the 2011 general elections. Abdul-Kadir said: “Up to 80 per cent of the success recorded in the 2011 general elections could be credited to the NYSC as corps members were largely those who performed as ad hoc election officers. “The NYSC has contribut-

ed a lot to the development of this nation in various sectors because during their national service, most corps members are teachers; they work in rural areas, in so many sectors. “This has contributed a lot and nobody is taking these statistics. State governments are relying on a percentage of its workforce in the teaching sector, which should be appreciated.” He noted that it was unfortunate, however, that some Nigerians did not appreciate

the positive contributions the NYSC scheme had made to national integration and development. According to him, the ministry would consolidate on the achievements so far recorded by the scheme and make it stronger. The minister said the ministry had plans to restructure the Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre to further train Nigerian youths in civic and leadership responsibilities.

Kinsmen slam lawmaker over Bakassi lawmaker, Essien Ayi, representing Calabar South, Akpabuyo and Bakassi Federal Constituency, has been criticised by the Bakassi Peoples General Assembly over a statement on the resettlement of the displaced people of Bakassi. Ayi had alleged that the Federal Government was not serious about resettling the people, adding that some funds released for resettling Bakassi people ended in the pockets of individuals. According to him, the desire of the majority of the Bakassi people to be resettled in


Day Spring 1 & 2 and Kwa Islands is a deceit and the exercise is a ruse because there is no budgetary provision for resettling the displaced people of Bakassi in the 2013 budget. Reacting to this allegation, the Bakassi Peoples Assembly in a statement signed by former Deputy Speaker, Patrick Antigha Ene, described Ayi’s claims as absurd and mischievous. The statement reads: “Were it not for the exalted office he occupies and the fact that less discerning people might be fooled into believing that his warped opinion might actual-

ly represent the accepted position of the long suffering people of Bakassi, we at the Bakassi People’s General Assembly might have ignored him on the basis of the absurdity of his assertions. “Bravo for his keen sense of observation. Here is a character whose responsibility it is to look out for the interest of Bakassi vicariously admitting to participating in passing a budget that made no allocation to cater for an integral part of his constituency, yet he has the gall to complain after the fact. “He also chose to castigate

the Federal Government on the eve of the inauguration of the Presidential Committee on the Plight of the Bakassi People. We who know are aware that Essien Ayi was probably the only politician of note in Calabar who did not support the candidature of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan during the last general elections. “It is on record that he was the campaign manager for a Northern presidential aspirant. We are therefore not surprised that he sees nothing good in President Jonathan’s noble initiative to once and for all settle the Bakassi issue.”







NEWS National Assembly, NNPC to clash over $1.5b foreign loan T

HE National Assembly and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) are on the war path over the insistence of the NNPC to take $1.5 billion loan to service its debts. The National Assembly warned the oil giant not to go ahead with the transaction without its approval. But the NNPC responded that it does not require the National Assembly’s permission to consummate the loan. Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources, (Downstream), Senator Magnus Abe, said NNPC risks severe consequences if it ignores National Assembly’s warning on the loan. Abe, who spoke on the contentious issue at a news conference in Abuja said all the relevant committees of the National Assembly met and took a position that the parliament must be properly briefed on the loan plan before it can proceed. He said the committees also resolved to write a letter to NNPC directing it not to proceed with the transaction without the National Assembly’s approval. Reminded that top officials of NNPC are insisting that the corporation does not require any approval from the National Assembly to take any loan, Abe said the corporation must not test the will of the National Assembly. He said NNPC must appreciate its business is the business of Nigerians. The lawmaker added that the corporation should also realise that its debt is the debt of the

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Abuja

country. For Abe, no corporation has the right to commit the country to any debt without the express approval of the parliament. He said: “We are hearing that the NNPC is trying to take another loan of $1.5 billion to pay for existing debt and we have told them in clear terms that that transaction should not proceed without approval from the National Assembly. “We don’t mind what kind of business entity that NNPC think they are, the debt of NNPC are invariably the debt of Nigeria. “So, nobody has the right to commit the country to that kind of indebtedness without the approval of parliament. “This issue between the NNPC and the National Assembly, we have debated it publicly and privately, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is clear as to what the NNPC is. “So to think that anybody can create a corporation that can drain the resources of the country without parliamentary oversight or approval, is an illusion. “I dare NNPC to go ahead and commit this country to $1.5 billion without the approval of the parliament. “It is not possible and we will not allow it. That argument has been overtaken by the Constitution of Nigeria. “It is clear in the constitution

PDP crisis: Tukur, Amaechi hold peace talk From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

and the National Assembly will not allow it. “If it means going to court, we will go to court. “If they are going to commit this country to a debt of $1.5 billion by whatever means, they need to come and explain as elected representatives of Nigerian people how this debt was incurred, how it is going to be paid, and how it will not •Tukur affect us. EOPLES Democratic “We must understand that Party (PDP) chairman before they can proceed. When Bamanga Tukur has people are doing something held a fence-mending session that is transparent, why should with Governor Rotimi Amaeyou be afraid of the National chi on the way forward for the Assembly? party, sources said yesterday. “I am part of anything that The two leaders locked up makes Nigeria a better and or- themselves in a room for “frank ganised society, that makes Ni- talks” for about 30 minutes on geria a more accountable soci- Friday, it was learnt. ety. Also, the outcome of the ses“Nobody will say that what sion may assist in smoothening happens to oil can be a private the relationship between the business of anybody in this governor and the Presidency. country. There is celebration in Amae“The economic life of Nige- chi’s camp because Tukur’s visria depends on what happens it foreclosed moves by some in NNPC so I don’t know how stalwarts of PDP in the state to NNPC can think that Nigeria set up a different faction to conwill allow them on their own front the governor in 2015. to decide to do whatever they The state Chairman of PDP, want to do and nobody can ask G. U. Ake, was with Tukur questions. throughout the visit. “It will not happen. What Tukur and Amaechi met for happens in NNPC to that mag- about 30 minutes behind closed nitude is the business of Nige- doors to discuss the crisis rockria and that is set up by the ing the party, reconciliation Constitution of the Federal Re- and how to put the PDP on a public of Nigeria to protect the strong footing towards 2015. interest of Nigeria when it Also, Tukur sought the supcomes to financial and mone- port of PDP governors to exetary matters is the National As- cute his agenda for the party. sembly.” Tukur and PDP governors


have disagreed over what is seen as the chairman’s plans to whittle down the governors’ control of party structure. The cold war was fuelled by the crisis in Adamawa over ward, local government and state congresses. The issues with the governors accounted for the delay in holding the National Executive Committee. The last session of NEC was held in July 2012. Tukur has been cautious in convening a NEC meeting because of alleged plot by PDP governors to pass a vote of no confidence in him. There were insinuations that Amaechi was central to the crisis and Tukur decided to meet with him. Amaechi is the chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum. Tukur opened up to Amaechion why the party must move forward, a source said. The source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The PDP National chairman’s trip to Rivers State was actually beyond the institute named after him. A covert side of the visit was a fence-mending session with Amaechi. The governor’s nominee, Dr. Sam Jaja, who is also the Deputy National Chairman of PDP, led the revolt of the National Working Committee against Tukur in January. “So, the two leaders locked up themselves for about 30 minutes without any official aide. They met to resolve issues causing tension in the par-

ty and how the governors could reduce the tension and buy into the Tukur’s agenda. “The National Chairman of PDP took time off to explain why he is embarking on a reconciliation programme, which is meant to put the party on a sound footing for 2015 poll. He sought the governors’s cooperation with President Goodluck Jonathan. “Amaechi is expected to meet with his colleagues and relay Tukur’s plea to them. “Although Jaja was not part of Tukur’s delegation, there were signs that Amaechi will reconcile the two leaders later.” Responding to a question, the source added: “I think Tukur will facilitate a fresh understanding between the President and Amaechi. That was one assignment or task he has brought forward.” The source however spoke on the gains derived from the visit by Amaechi, the source said: “Tukur identified with the state PDP Executive Committee, contrary to attempts by some stakeholders to set up a factional State Executive Committee(SEC). “Throughout the trip, the state Chairman of PDP, G. U. Ake was with Tukur contrary to the expectations of some stakeholders in Abuja. It shows that Tukur is a fair-minded leader. “With this development, Amaechi can embrace Tukur’s olive branch and work towards a genuine reconciliation in PDP.”







NEWS MERGER OF PARTIES •Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson flanked by the Chairman, Forte Oil Plc, Mr Femi Otedola (left), and President, Dangote Group Alhaji Aliko Dangote, at the launching of Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation in London... at the weekend.

Left to right: House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Waziru Tambuwal, Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu, his Adamawa counterpart, Governor Murtala Nyako, former Head of State Gen Abdulsami Abubakar (rtd) and his wife Justice Fati Lami Abubakar at the grand reception in honor of distinguished indigenes of Niger State at the Idris Kutigi Conference Centre, the weekend.

APC manifesto’ll T

HE manifesto of the All Progressive Congress (APC) will reflect the welfarist and developmental aspirations of the opposition parties, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Chairman Chief Bisi Akande has assured. He expressed happiness over the public perception of the proposed party, saying that it was the right answer to the people’s prayer for power shift in 2015. Akande, who spoke in Lagos on the significance of the merger, assured that APC will defeat the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the next general elections. He disclosed that the manifesto committee set up by the APC has swung into action, saying the document, will accommodate the welfarist programmes of the four parties involved in the deal. Akande said: “The manifesto committee has been set up. The manifesto will reflect our yearnings for development; development of Nigeria, development of the people, development of the atmosphere. It is going to reflect what we believe; general development of human beings in Nigeria, general empowerment of the

By Emmanuel Oladesu

youths. All these are what you can see in Lagos State. “The welfare of the people will be much more better because the purpose of any government is to take care of the people. It is unlike what the PDP is doing. The purpose of government of the PDP is sharing. They must share the money because all of them want to be rich in their party. So, they have changed government to market sharing. But in our own case, we are far different from them and that is why we call it All progressives Congress. Progressive in our context means don’t govern for yourself, but govern for the advantage of the generality of the people. That is the manifesto of our party for now”. Akande said the APC will prevent one-party system in the country by motivating Nigerians to explore a credible alternative to power at the centre. The ACN chair doubted the popularity of the PDP in the country, stressing that it has always won elections through the back door. Akande stressed: “I don’t know where in the country that PDP is strong. I only know that PDP is very strong in the INEC; they are very strong in the police, and they use the combination of the police and other security agents at elections. Apart from that, I don’t

ACN clears air on APGA’s stance on APC


•From left: Representative of the Director-General, Nigeria Institute of Polixcy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Director of Studies, Prof. T. A. Imobighe, Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang’s representative, Secretatry to the State Government (SSG) Prof. Shedrach Best and the Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Mike Omeri observing the National Anthem at a capacity building workshop for Social Justice Officers from Northcentral, Southeast and Southsouth geo-political zones at the NIPSS, Kuru,, near Jos, Plateau State

IGERIANS were yesterday told that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has no plan to railroad the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) into merger arrangement. Making the clarification yesterday in statement through its National Publicity Secretary Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party explained why APGA was listed as one of the four parties in the merger deal. Mohammed said APGA was included in the membership of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as an act of good faith based on available information and prevailing circumstances. The clarification came on the heels of published disclaimer of the APC by some APGA members. Mohammed said in the statement issued in Abuja that the new party has absolute respect for the rights of individuals or groups on whether or not to associate within a democracy. The statement reads: “We recognise the person and status of Governor Rochas Okorocha, who, as

Imo governor, has been a great player and figure in the Nigerian political landscape, as well as Senator Annie Okonkwo, a seasoned politician and respectable lawmaker. “We believe in their representation that APGA is interested in the merger, hence we worked with them in good faith. They participated effectively and positively in the meeting of all governors of the parties concerned and in the meetings of the merger committees of the parties, leading to the communique released by all the governors endorsing the merger and the one by the merger committees announcing the formation of the APC.” However, the ACN said going by the statement signed on behalf of some APGA members by Dr. Tim Menakaya, the APC had come to the full realisation that there is dissent in the rank and file of the party (APGA). It said: “In spite of this, and since democracy is about choice, alignments and re-alignments, hinged on the fundamentals of individual freedom of association, we respect their position, and will like to describe as unfortunate whatever mis-

C21 committee


, •Left to righ: Catholic Bishop of Oyo Diocese, Bishop Emmanuel Badejo, the Senator representing Osun East District, Babajide Omoworare, Catholic Bishop of Osogbo Diocese, Bishop Gabriel Abegunrin and Bishop of Oyo Diocese, Bishop Julius Adelakun at the Annual Catholic pilgrimage to Oke-Maria, Otan Ayegbaju in Osun,...yesterday.

HE Central Executive Committee of the C21 group, the socio-politcal umbrella of Southeast progressive democrats and mainstreem All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) party faithful have endorsed what they called “the eventual triumph of alliance politics that culminated in the formation of All Progresive Congress (APC). Rising from two sepearte meetings in Abuja and Owerri, the group said: “We are more than satisfied with the dynamic roles played by our august

members, Governor Rochas Okorocha and Senator Annie Okonkwo, in the thorough and exhaustive engagements by major political parties that saw the emergence of All Progressive Congress (APC), and hereby place on record our total commitment to this redemption movement for our dear country”. The group noted that having endured the festering national decadence that has become increasingly degenerative, a radical rescue mission for our country has become not only imperative, but must be pursued by unfettered clear thinkers, immune to the savage cake-




reflect welfarist aspirations, says Akande ’ T

CNPP to LP, APGA faction: join APC now, By Augustine Avwode

But in our own case, we are far different from them and that is why we call it All progressives Congress. Progressive in our context means don’t govern for yourself, but govern for the advantage of the generality of the people. That is the manifesto of our party for now

know where the PDP is strong and I don’t see where somebody will

HE Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) has urged all its members to come under the shade of the new party- the All Progressives Congress (APC). It specifically urged the Labour Party (LP) and the faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) not favourably disposed to the merger arrangement that has produced APC. In a statement signed yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary Osita Okechukwu, the CNPP said it decided to appeal to all progressives throughout the country to join the new mega party after a “strategic meeting” in Enugu on Saturday. He said the call was borne out of patriotic necessity to halt the dangerous slide of the country to a failed state. The statement reads: “We are making this wake-up call based on the urgent patriotic need for all progressives to join hand in halting the dangerous slide of Nigeria to a failed state. “The interest of our dear country, safety of our fledgling democracy and public good is the hallmark of statesmanship. “We urge the National Executive Committees or relevant organs of the political parties; especially, the LP, a faction of the APGA and indeed all progressive parties whether deregistered or not to join the progressive train.”

‘New party is right cure for Nigeria’s headache’



come out in the public and say he is proud of PDP, apart from

On this basis, therefore, individuals such as the Imo State Governor and others of like minds are still considered members of the APC • Mohammed

conception the purported full involvement of APGA in the merger may have generated. “We also assure APGA that we are

willing to work with the party whenever it normalises its internal process and is ready to join the platform. We all remain brethren within the Nige-

the people stealing our oil money”.

rian family and our doors remain open, in the spirit of the new party.” The ACN, however, explained that APGA is not only parties that can join APC, saying that progressive individuals and groups are frre to come on board. It said: “On this basis, therefore, individuals such as the Imo State Governor and others of like minds are still considered members of the APC,” the party said, and reiterated its resolve and commitment to the merger of the ACN, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in a final push to rescue Nigeria. “We proudly inform Nigerians that APC is large enough to accommodate all those who are tired of the sorry state of our nation today and are ready to join in the quest for a positive change that will benefit all Nigerians. “We do not intend to shut our doors to anyone who wants to be part of the APC, a platform for all progressives, irrespective of party affiliation, to help steer our nation’s ship of state, which is currently being battered by turbulent waves, to safety since the captain and the rest of the crew have either escaped below the deck or are busy fighting themselves, having lost all initiatives to safe the ship.”

endorses merger of parties sharing and imposed Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration that has remained the same for 14 years. The C21 remarked: “It is this naked gluttony without the slightest pretence of good conscience for change, that has left the Southeast a conquered territory of political greed, grief and deceit in misgovernance.”. “Having been aware of the lamentable conspiracy of a section of the PDP and APGA reactionaries to bleed our chosen political plaform -APGA to death through judicial contrivance and trade its casket as fair game to their PDP mas-

ters, they have taken the well-considered step to protect the effeverscent spirit of APGA in an assembly of non-toxic democrats where our unyielding quest for a Nigerian president of Igbo extaction will receive accelerated attention on merit and not deception.” The group called on every progressive APGA member, sympathisers and admirer, to be patient and faithful because this programmed intrigue from PDP tradesmen in APGA will soon unravel, because the beginning of their end has started with

the formation of APC. Members of the C21 confirmed that consultations amongst the ranks of their teeming members have not been exhaustive, a fact not driven by the mischief of reactionaries, but by the honest expediency to secure the ground before laying the mat. “We’ll soon embark on nationwide consultation, mobilisation and mediation to cure this defect, inflicted anyway, by the confessed and confused APGA apostates who never wanted our party to stand tall and be accorded its total respects,” it said.

OUSE of Representatives member representing the Owan Federal Constituency Pally Iriase has described the merger of four opposition progressive parties into the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the solution to the country’s political problems. Speaking in Benin, Edo State, shortly after Saturday’s primaries of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) where candidates emerged ahead of the April 20 local council polls, Iriase dismissed the fear that individual ambitions of the newly formed party might derail its objective. According to the lawmaker, the entrenchment of internal party democracy remained the next phase of political development, noting that ex-

From, Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

ploratory talks between former Head of State and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) presidential candidate in the 2011 election, Muhammadu Buhari and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, have addressed the issues of self-interest. He said: “The formation of APC is the right prescription for Nigeria’s headache. I will liken its emergence to that very efficacious medicine we used when we were growing up; it was so good for headache, “Nigeria is now at the threshold of witnessing the best democratic venture, with the advent of APC. You will now have two very strong parties; you will now have credible alternative.”

Don’t let merger fail, Osun, Ondo ACN urge leaders From Damisi Ojo, Akure


HE Osun State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday urged the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to do ensure its success. Its Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy Kunle Oyatomi said: “Progressives in Nigeria are anxious to stop the rot and degeneration in the polity and this merger could well be the last hope for the teeming masses of our country men and women who long earnestly for change. “The leadership of APC should have history on their minds, so they don’t fall victim of the same mistakes that led to failures in similar mergers of the past.” Oyatomi spoke in statement issued yesterday in Osogbo, the state capital. The statement reads: “Total commitment is needed from the leadership to bring about change without which things could go worse. “This merger is what the Nigerian public is hoping for, to alter the government of graft and corruption that has completely stall progress and impose poverty on the people and a country that has no business being poor. “Nigerians look up to the APC to make the difference between the insanity we have in the country now and progressive development of our people as well as economic infrastructure. It is a grave responsibility for which failure is not an option.” The party therefore expressesed its total commitment to, and confidence in the leadership of APC and also congratulates all the leaders who are participating in the merger and are prepared to make the necessary sacrifices for the ultimate good of the country. In Ondo, the party's Publicity Secretary, Mr Rotimi Agbede , said the ACN will place the party in good stead for future endeavours. Agbede spoke of a plan by the ACN to do a tour of all local government areas in the state to assess the situation and drum up support for the party.

Senator rallies support for APC


By Wale Ajetunmobi

HE Senator representing Lagos East District, Gbenga Ashafa, at the weekend described the merger of major opposition political parties as a rescue mission to save the country from collapse and the maladministration of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Ashafa said the PDP has noting to show for its 14 years in the saddle than a destroyed economy for the citizenry. The senator spoke in Epe after presenting scholarships to 75 indigent pupils in Ikosi-Ejirin Local Council Development Area (LCDA). The Senator said the formation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was a move to alleviate the pains of Nigerians, who, he said, have been yearning for change of the inefficient leadership at the centre. He said: “The merger is indeed a rescue mission to assist Nigerians to rescue the country from the stranglehold of the PDP, which has continued to effect bad leadership at the centre. The ruling party is not doing anything to alleviate poverty and other developmental challenges facing Nigeria.” “I want all Nigerians to come together and see this All Progressives Congress as a party that will redeem Nigeria. This is the only way to wrest power from the ruling party. The PDP has ruined Nigeria.”




Keshi: we still need to do more N

IGERIA’S national football team manager Stephen Keshi believes that his side can not yet be considered great, despite winning the Africa Cup of Nations this evening. The Super Eagles beat Burkina

Faso 1-0 and although not the finished article, Keshi does admit that they are on the right path. Keshi was captain of Nigeria when they last won the tournament in 1994 and insists that they must keep improving.

“We’re not there yet,” he told reporters. “My plan was to build a good team for Nigeria when I came on board almost a year-and-ahalf ago.

“Now we are on the path to building a great side.” Having won the tournament, Nigeria will represent Africa at the Confederations Cup in the summer.

Startimes beams UEFA Champions League, unveils new channels


OREMOST digital pay television, Startimes will be beaming the live matches of the UEFA Champions League, just as the company also unveiled six new channels to its platform. Speaking at a press briefing held in Lagos at the weekend, Director General, NTA Star TV Network, Maxwell Loco said the unveiling of the new channels was part of the company’s efforts to satisfy its customers. Loco added that the company would continue to work hard to meet its customers’ need. “Startimes mission to ensure that every home in Nigeria enjoys affordable digital entertainment backed by the collaboration with NTA, a strategic partnership that will help Nigeria in actualising its 2015 transition deadline. The new stations include, V Channel, NTA Yoruba, NTA Ibo, NTA Hausa and NTA Parliamentary Channel,” he said. For Loco, the launch of the new channels is the company’s devotion to satisfying and bringing affordable digital entertainment to every household in Nigeria. He said that the channels are purely dedicated entertainment channel with variety of fresh premium contents. According to him, “the V Channel is positioned as a family entertainment, which is premised on fresh, bespoke, never-seen-before contents with interactive and interesting formats. NTA in its bid to foster unity and diversification creates new channels that cut across three major ethnic lines in Nigeria with its new NTA Yoruba, Ibo and Hausa channels. NTA Parliamentary Channel’s main focus is updating Nigerians with vital news and information

about the National Assembly activities. In his remarks, Public Relations Manager, NTA-Star TV Network LTD, Anetor Iretethe said sports lovers would have the opportunity to watch live matches of UEFA Champions League on NTA Sports 24, which is available on StarTimes from February to May 2013. His words, “Startimes will be showing live the UEFA Champions League match involving Manchester United and Real Madrid on February13, AC Milan versus Barcelona FC on the February 20, PSG versus Valencia on March 6, and Bayern Munich versus Arsenal on March 13. “Nigerians can now confidently migrate into digital space with Startimes as it provides them with the latest technology in DTT operation, which can give over 75 channels and quality digital entertainment. All we can say is, enjoy the best of unlimited entertainment, education, information, music and sports from StarTimes,” Iretethe said.

• Keshi


Principal calls for more government participation


HE need for government to invest more in schools sporting activities, to guarantee a place of pride for the country in international school competitions, was once again brought to the fore by stakeholders in the educational sectors. Speaking to Nationsport yesterday at the 7th Annual Inter-house Sports Competition and Prize-Giving Ceremony of Ijeshatedo senior Grammar school, Okota Lagos state, the Principal, Mr O. Fayanjuola said apart from organising the annual competition, the school also engaged in other extracurricular activities but attributed the short coming in carrying out sport activities to its expectation to lack of funds. “There is much exposure for our students through sports. There are regular international competitions which students can be exposed to if we can support government to develop sports in secondary schools and discover talents of these students.” She said The chairman of the event,

By Paul Oluwakoya ZOPA, Eko Project Oshodi/ Isolo, Mrs Obayomi-Davies Adeola commended students who participated in the competition and called on the losers to have courage and work hard by preparing themselves ahead of the next edition of the competition and pledged to assist the students where necessary. With the overall result of five gold, two silver and five bronze blue house beat other three houses in all the events competed for to emerge the winner of this year’s edition of the competition. Red house came second with five gold, one silver and three bronze. Mrs Omoladun Abimbola, Red house Mistress, was urged the red house athletes to accept the result inthe spirit of good sportsmanship saying “Red house topped the table comfortably from the heat competition and the students expected that with the their impressive run in the relay, they are the favourites to win the competition,” she said.

Burkina Faso should be proud—Put


Oyo Comm. shocked over Ighile’s death YO State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr. Adedapo Lam-Adesina has expressed shock on the news of the sudden death of The Head of Sports on Channels TV, Late Joe Ighile. The Commissioner who said he received the news of the death with shock and sorrow, described the late sports journalist as hard-working and talented man whose life came to an abrupt end with so much life. Mr. Lam-Adesina described


Late Joe Ighile as a positive minded man who will be missed for his support and contribution to the development of Sports in Nigeria through his objective and fearless reporting. He recalled Joe Ighile’s deep love for Shooting Stars much that he even reported on Channels Tv from South Africa wearing Shooting Stars replica jersey. He sympathizes with the Management of Channels Television, his immediate colleagues on the Channels Tv Sports desk, Sports journalist in

Nigeria and the Ighile family over the death. “I would like to on behalf of entire Sports Family, Good People and Government of Oyo State extend my condolences for you and let you know that we here to support you during these difficult times. Please don’t hesitate to call me if you need someone to talk to”. Mr. Adesina also called on Nigerians not to abandon Ighile’s family at this time that they need more support. Late Joe Ighile he said will be greatly missed.

URKINA FASO coach Paul Put saluted his squad for their performance in the competition after being beaten 1-0 by Nigeria in Sunday’s African Nations Cup final at Soccer City. “Perhaps we were tired in the final but I don’t want to make excuses,” Put told reporters. “I saw my team fighting to the last minute - I’m very proud and all Burkinabe can be proud of these players. “We played a great tournament. No one was expecting us to achieve these results,” he added of a fairytale run to a first Nations Cup final that included eliminating holders Zambia and beating Ghana on penalties in Wednesday’s semifinal. Sunday’s match was the sixth for both teams in the space of three weeks and was decided

by a 40th-minute goal from Sunday Mba. The Belgian-born Put said he would now talk to the Burkinabe soccer federation and the government about getting more financial support for his team as they bid to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Burkina Faso are back in action in six weeks’ time with a World Cup qualifier against Niger at home in Ouagadougou. “We’ve had a great tournament and a massive experience to play in a final in a stadium like this,” said captain Charles Kabore of the 80 000-capacity Soccer City venue. “Nigeria proved a great team with strong mental ability. We have no regrets,” added the Olympique Marseille midfielder who was one of the best players in the tournament.




VOL 8 NO 2,397

WHO SAID WHAT ‘Today, the 1999 Constitution, as contradictory as it is, is still being applied in a unitary fashion that is inimical to running the country like a proper democracy. This is why we are still having problems about its operationalisation with an inefficient, greedy and overbloated Federal Government...’ BOLA AHMED TINUBU



HEY crouched down to their bended knees and treated the subject with papal awe. It was not a place for pious worship, and neither was any god involved. But it was a case of white worshipping black, an irony for history. It was at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of the prestigious Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC. It is good once in a while when one is on vacation to leaven the languor with some intellectual spice. So that was how I got invited to the place in the world’s most powerful capital, more especially when the issue at stake epitomised the Nigerian story: oil and the Niger Delta. The person at the centre of the gathering was the Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, and the audience, which filled the venue to overflowing, spanned the wide gamut of academics, diplomats, representatives of the United States State Department, students interested in Nigeria, human rights votaries and a sprinkling of potential investors. But what struck me was their subject of worship: Oil. You did not sense this veneration while the Governor unveiled his doings in Delta State from his security agenda, his Delta Beyond Oil programme, his work on building and rebuilding schools and infrastructure, the revenue allocation controversy, due process, environment and transportation. The question-and-answer session provided the excitement, and the audience had more questions than the time allotted. The moderator, Professor Peter Lewis, who heads the African programme, had to consolidate questions for Governor Uduaghan. Most of their questions revolved around militancy, revenue allocation, job creation in the Niger Delta, the law suits against oil firms, the issue of oil tax and how to redeem the environment after decades of devastation. I was amazed by how much these people knew about my country and the level of curiosity and concern over the fragility of the Nigerian state. For instance, on the issue of militancy, they knew that the programme has a sunset date, and when it expired the evil day may not redound to joy for Nigeria. What will happen when the token trainings stop, when the Federal Government’s funding retreats to other urgencies of development? It went back, as Governor Uduaghan noted, to addressing the fundamental questions of poverty and alienation, which meant that the government had to provide the ena-


IN TOUCH 08054501081(sms only) •NMMA Columnist of the Year

A god and our folly ‘Will the evil camps revive with the growls of resource control and the hooded goons with ominous guns? Is the region ready for another era of militant yelps, a phase of youth rage? It will precede a crash of our crude oil exports with the consequences for plummeting levels of revenue streams’

•Uduaghan bling environment for work and selffulfilment. Will the evil camps revive with the growls of resource control and the hooded goons with ominous guns? Is the region ready for another era of militant yelps, a phase of youth rage? It will precede a crash of our crude oil exports with the consequences for plummeting levels of revenue streams. This matter segued into revenue allocation, and that was where Governor Uduaghan, in spite of his tranquil mien, showed anger, however suppressed. Some listeners could not grasp how, in a federal state, justice did not accompany the allocation of resources,



IT’S NOTMY FAULT, says man who slept with his daughter

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Bamanga Tukur eats his words, and crow


Whose fault... is it the DEVIL as usual?

especially when oil took from the local communities more than it gave. Professor Lewis injected humour by saying that, “let it be noted that Governor Uduaghan is angry,” and a gale of laughter rippled through the venue. He also argued that the Niger Delta states did not get more revenue than some of the states at war over the lopsidedness of revenue. He explained that the local government revenues gave some states, especially in the North, an aggregate edge over the cumulative takings of their Niger Delta states. Concerns about the environment peaked when the governor gave an anecdote about

his childhood days when the rivers and streams revealed like mirror its habitués: fish, prawns, crayfish, etc. Those were the days of nature’s innocence when oil, tenanted peacefully in the earthly bowels, did not violate territories. The wealth of trees, palm produce, cassava, and sundry cash and other products cohabited with black gold. That predated the coming of the big firms and things fell apart. “In those days,” recalled Governor Uduaghan, “you could dip your hands in the water and pick your fish.” Dinner was assured. Not today when marine life chokes under a smothering sea of oil. Oil has disenfranchised the owners and immiserated their generation. This led to a question on the recent judgment from a European court against Shell. The irony that concerned the woman was about the absence of local justice. This was not only a sort of vaudevillian lament over the absence of justice on that matter. For me, it was an indictment of our judiciary. Why was it that we had to travel several miles to ask a judge from a foreign land to give the justice we all know should be given to us at home? The courts and their judges in Europe understood the importance of sacred environment. Environment is destiny, and beauty is not only the colour of the sky in its orange glory but also the purity of running streams, the chirp of birds, the statuesque pride of the iroko tree unthreatened by oil. It is this truth that reinforces beauty, and that was what the poet John Keats meant. It goes deep into the fragile hope of the region, and the lingering sense of inequity. But that was what all the Americans in the audience meant. They came to worship oil, but it was not a god of equality, but a sleek potentate with hints of Armageddon - a god bearing mammon in its wings. So they were critical of the domicile of the god, and whether man had not woken the god from its resting place to torment us for seeking the bounty in its loins. The West has harnessed that bounty for their good, with evidence of prosperity in the United States and Europe today. But we have done worse who host the god. Shall we blame the exploiter or us who allowed the god to punish our follies? We could not make the god in our image. Governor Uduaghan says the answer begins when we address the issue as to whether those who host the oil should decide who own it. It is where fiscal federalism meets justice – at home.

URING his two-day fence-mending trip to Port Harcourt last week, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national chairman, effusively praised Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, for unparalleled performance. He even described the governor as the best. He said much more, enough to unnerve the judicious. “Without mincing words, since Friday, when I arrived Port Harcourt, I have been inspecting one project or the other till this morning (Saturday),” began the party chairman. “…It is very difficult to praise your son (talking to the people of Rivers) because he’s the best for me…Believe you me, PDP will never lose to any party if people like Governor Amaechi stands boldly behind us; we will win and continue to win in any election. Support your governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, support our party, and be sure to win your elections.” For a chairman who just weeks ago was at war with the Amaechi-led (PDP caucus of the) Governors’ Forum, a war many erroneously thought was a fight to the bitter end, and one that would be irreconcilable and could lead to the fragmentation or even disintegration of the ruling party, the

unexpected rapprochement obviously came as a surprise. Unwilling to leave anything to chance, Tukur piled up the praise until Amaechi became saturated. Hear Tukur again: “What I have seen today, gives me hope. I saw first of all, the development of the educational sector and I want to say that education is key, the laboratory facilities in the new model schools and the ICT facilities will indeed spur the students to major in science subjects, thank you Amaechi for doing this.” Such effusions were enough to loosen the tongue of Amaechi, who gushed on behalf of the Governor’s Forum. “We assure you that governors will support and remain loyal to the party,” he said, “…we need each other at such a challenging moment. Lead us to victory and it is Important that we don’t take ourselves for granted, so that we will continue to lead ourselves and the party to victory. The PDP Governors will do everything necessary to ensure that they deliver to the people.” It became clear that one of the reasons behind the misunderstanding between the PDP chairman and President Goodluck Jonathan on one hand, and the party’s National Working Committee

(NWC) and PDP governors on the other hand was that the former took the latter for granted. It was always clear the PDP would make up after every fight, no matter how acrimonious the quarrel, yet the party is not as cohesive as its opponents think, and can in fact be taken apart scientifically. Indeed, it will take more than a simple disagreement over the dissolution of the Adamawa State PDP caretaker committee to fatally injure the party. Given the intensity of the misunderstanding between the two camps in the past few weeks, few expected Tukur’s dramatic volte-face. Well, he will enthusiastically eat more crow whenever PDP unity is threatened. More, though he is advanced in age, it is only now that he is maturing in the art of stooping to conquer. Last week, it was Amaechi, for whom he composed a dithyramb; next month it could be any other troublesome party man. The elastic principles of the ruling party and the formlessness of their war fronts are such that whoever is their party chairman or even president of the country would be willing to eat any species of crow or write doxologies to their worst enemies to sustain the facade of unity.

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. Port Harcourt Office: 12/14, Njemanze Street, Mile 1, Diobu, PH. 08023595790 WEBSITE: E-mail: ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

The Nation February 11, 2013  

The Nation February 11, 2013

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