...towards a better life for the people
VOL. 25: NO. 62113
ONLINE | www.vanguardngr.com
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014
Fashola blames FG for Apapa traffic gridlock
CONFAB: Restructuring, 56 federalism, education, structure dominate discourse
We won't vacate our seats — Defected Reps
BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE, DAPO •Say judge didn't order them to vacate AKINREFON, EMMAN •Describe judgment as miscarriage of justice, appeal ruling OVUAKPORIE & IKECHUKWU •Want Justice Ademola sanctioned NNOCHIRI BUJA — THE 37 Peo •Judge not competent to issue such ruling — APC A ples Democratic Party (PDP) members of the
House of Representatives, Continues on page 5
The landscape of the law at Nigeria’s •P.24 centenary
Mr & Mrs
•P.17 END OF ORIENTATION: National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, members on parade during the closing of NYSC 2014 Batch A Orientation at the New NYSC permanent camp, Gbakuta, Iseyin, in Oyo State (INSET): Bauchi State Head of Service, Mr Abdon Gin (middle) inspecting a parade during closing ceremony for Bauchi and Yobe States NYSC Batch ‘A’ members, in Bauchi, yesterday. PHOTOS: NAN.
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LECTURE: From left (front row): Governor Theodore Orji of Abia; former Minister of Finance,
Alhaji Abubakar Alhaji; Chairman, 60th anniversary of Nigerian Public Service and Presidential Lecture, Chief Emeka Anyaoku; Vice President Namadi Sambo; Chairman, Federal Civil Service Commission, Deaconess Joan Ayo and other officials, at the celebration of the Nigerian public service and presidential lecture, in Abuja, yesterday. Photo: NAN.
We won't vacate our seats —Defected Reps Continues from page 1 who defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday, appealed Justice Adeniyi Ademola's ruling that they illegally left the PDP for the APC and, therefore, should resign. Describing the ruling as a miscarriage of justice, the lawmakers vowed not to vacate their seats because there is no court judgment in the House of Representatives directing them to do so. In the appeal papers filed on their behalf by M. A. Mahmud, SAN & Co, which have been sent to Speaker Aminu Tambuwal,
the applicants said the trial judge erred in law when he dismissed the appellants’ preliminary objection on grounds that the suit was not competent. They listed particulars of error to include: •The judge did not advert his mind to provisions of Section 4 of the Nigerian Constitution; failed to reckon his mind with the provisions of Section 60 and failed to follow the decisions in the cases of Attorney General of the Federation and 22 others. They also contended that the judge erred when he refused to hold that the first respondent does not have
BY PASTOR ITUAH
the locus standi to institute the suit, when he granted the reliefs of the first respondent and went further to hold that the 1st -39th respondents ought to have resigned their seats. •That the first respondent’s suit was predicated upon speculations and that the reliefs sought were not justifiable, unknown to law and do not disclose any cause of action against the appellants. In all, the defected members mentioned seven particulars of error and sought an order setting aside the decision of the Federal High Court as well as an order allowing the appeal.
APC urges CJN to sanction Justice Ademola
This came as the APC
If you’re not living your dreams it is because called on the Chief Justice you are most likely living your limitations of Nigeria (CJN) to sanc-
TAKE HEART BY ELLA RANDLE
We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures —Thornton Wilder. According to Adrian Adler, “There are four levels of living. People in the lowest level constantly complain. These folks are always griping and complaining. Rather than being humbly grateful, they’re grumbly hateful. The second level is just a tad higher. These are not people who are constantly complaining; they just never give thanks for anything. They take things for granted. The third level is those who thank God for the obvious blessings, when things are going good and everything is fine. But the fourth level, the highest level, is those who give thanks always for all things. Experiencing and expressing gratitude is an important part of life. It opens the heart and activates positive emotion centers in the brain. Regular practice of gratitude allows your brain neurons fire into positive automatic patterns. The positive emotions we evoke soothe distress and broaden our thinking patterns so we develop a larger, more expansive view of our lives. Gratitude is an emotion of connectedness, which reminds us we are part of a larger universe with all living things.
tion Justice Ademola for engaging in mischief that could bring the bench into disrepute. Minority Whip of the House, Rep. Samson Osagie, APC, Edo State, while briefing journalists on the judgment in a statement entitled: "At last, our fears have been confirmed" said: “Our fears were further confirmed when the judge, after granting the reliefs sought in the suit, went ahead to render an opinion on issues that were not before him nor solicited by the plaintiffs. “Yesterday, Monday, a Federal High Court presided over by Justice Adeniyi Ademola handed down a ruling in which he restrained 37 APC members, who joined our great party on December 18, 2013, from effecting the change of leadership in the
House of Representatives, thereby granting the prayers of the plaintiffs — the PDP — in the suit. “For us in the APC, we were not surprised because in the course of the proceedings the same judge had earlier issued a preservative order as soon as the arguments against his jurisdiction in the case were taken. This was our first apprehension at the commencement of the case." Osagie explained that “consequently, a section of the media and indeed the public have been misled by the court ruling into believing that the said judgment has effectively terminated the tenure of office of the affected members. This is not only untrue but also a mere obiter dicta expressed by a judge, who veered off the course of the case before him in order to do the bidding of the ruling party.
We won’t vacate our seats
“At best, the judgment has turned law on its head and cannot stand. Our colleagues have taken steps to appeal the judgment and we are confident that justice will prevail. In the meantime, we want to assure members of the public that there is no court judgment before the House directing any member of the APC to vacate his or her seat. “In any event, Section 68 (2) of the 1999 Constitution makes it clear that satisfactory evidence must be presented to the House before any of the provisions of S.68 (1) can become applicable. “At the moment, the APC in the House remains strong and focused on the need to provide necessary
checks and balances to the rudderlessness of the ship of state as being piloted by the ruling party in this country today. “Nigerians, we know, cannot succumb to the shenanigans of the ruling party that has plundered this nation for 15 years. The House of Representatives remains the bastion of hope of the traumatized and pauperized Nigerians and we shall not give in to the attempt by some of our PDP colleagues in collusion with a certain judge to turn facts and law on its head to achieve some sinister ends. “Finally for the avoidance of doubt, let me state unequivocally on behalf of our members that the import of yesterday (Monday) ruling was that our 37 members cannot participate in the removal of Principal Officers of the House. Nothing more, nothing less. “Every other pronouncements by the judge as to the status of our 37 members of the House were mere opinion. In any event, this judgment was given in vain and in ignorance of the House rules which governs the appointment of party leaders in the parliament. It is also an attempt by the court to meddle into the internal affairs of the parliament. “This certainly is not the import of the doctrine of judicial review. As we speak, our colleagues have appealed the vexatious ruling and we hope to get justice soon. We believe the House of Representatives will take due notice of the appeal in this case.”
Judge not competent to issue such ruling —APC
Calling for sanctions against Justice Ademola, the APC, in a statement by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said Justice Ademola cannot order the 37 members of the House of Representatives, who defected to the APC, to vacate their seats because he is not competent to issue such a ruling, as the issue of whether or not they can
defect was not before him. He stated that the party would appeal the ruling because Justice Ademola’s perpetual injunction restraining the concerned lawmakers from participating in motions and debates in the House is unconstitutional and defeats the very purpose for which the members were elected into the House. APC said Justice Ademola’s unsolicited comments were clearly gregarious, unnecessary, superfluous and have no foundation in law or fact, hence should be ignored. It asked the Chief Justice of Nigeria to act urgently to sanction Justice Ademola for engaging in mischief that could bring the bench into disrepute. He said: "If this case had been issued a day later than Monday, we would have said the judge was caught in the web of April Fool! Alas, he indeed made the ruling on Monday, hence the need for us to take it very seriously for several reasons. "Firstly, the question whether the House of Representatives members should vacate their seats was not a question before Justice Ademola for determination. The only question for him to determine was whether the APC members, with their numerical strength at that time, had the right to change the House leadership such as the Majority Leader, Chief Whip and their deputies. So Justice Ademola had no business commenting on seats being vacated. "Secondly, it is highly unprofessional and unethical for one judge to delve into a matter that is subjudice in another court. A judge should not make comments on matters being litigated in another court. The question of seats being vacated or otherwise is being heard by Justice Ahmed Mohammed in the Federal High Court in Abuja who, on March 29, 2014, said the issue was still live before him and is not ripe for judgment.’’
6—Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014
Surety docked over defendant's escape BY ONOZURE DANIA
AGOS—A 35 yearold man, Shogo Sanyaolu, was yesterday arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrate’s Court. He stood surety for one Kingsley Abogun, accused of stealing N100 million, but had jumped bail. The defendant, who was docked before Magistrate Fabamwo is facing a two-count charge bordering on conspiracy and breach of understanding, preferred against him by the police. The police prosecutor, Inspector Benson Emuerhi, told the court that the defendant took the bail of one Kingsley Abogun, who was involved in a case of forgery, obtaining by trick and stealing, on January 13, at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Ikeja. He said that Sanyaolu took an undertaken that he was going to produce Abogun to the police on January 17 and any other day his presence is required by the police until the case against him is finally disposed off or forfeit N100 million to the Lagos State Government. An undertaken he did not comply with. Emuerhi also said that the defendant conspired to perverse the cause of justice by aiding the accused to escape. He said Sanyaolu supplied fake addresses when he came to take the bail of Agbogun.
OKEKE'S KIDNAP: The arms and ammunition recovered from suspected kidnappers of Chief Godwin Okeke, C. E. O. of GUO Motors, which were tendered as evidence before Justice Chudi Nwankwo of Onitsha High Court, Anambra State, yesterday. INSET: Chief Okeke fielding questions from newsmen. NAN PHOTOS.
Court orders firm to pay man N5m for lost arm BY BARTHOLOMEW MADUKWE
USTICE Ebenezer Adebajo of a Lagos High Court in Igbosere yesterday ordered a company, West Coast Investment Limited, to pay N5 million for causing one Joshua Ejiro Ejiyere to lose his right arm while feeding waste into a machine. Ejiyere had informed the court that the accident occurred when an employee of the firm suddenly switched on the machine. Insisting that the defendants (West Coast and its employee) were negligent in the manner the machine was operated, the
Sympathisers putting out fire at a house on Baptise Water Front, Old Port Harcourt Township, yesteray. NAN PHOTO.
claimant urged Justice Adebajo to order the company to pay him N10 million for losing his arm and also pick the bills of his medical treatment. The company, however, urged the court to dismiss the suit, arguing that the claimant was a trespasser and not its employee and that the second defendant was no longer in its employ.
In his judgment, Justice Adebajo agreed with the first defendant that the claimant could not be regarded as its employee and discountenanced the company ’s claim that the claimant was a trespasser, holding that evidence adduced at the trial proved that he was a person invited to West Coast’s premises. The judge held that the claimant, being a person legally in the premises of the first defendant, the company
owed the claimant a duty of care, which was breached when the first defendant’s employee (second defendant) switched on the machine without any warning. Holding that the defendants’ conducted their affairs negligently, Justice Adebajo ordered them to pay the claimant N5 million as general damages as well as pay the cost of his treatment, about N500,000, as special damages.
OKEKE: Court admits weapons, as judge hands off case BY NWABUEZE OKONKWO
NITSHA—AN Onitsha High Court in Anambra State, presided over by Justice Chudi Nwankwo, yesterday, transferred the kidnap case preferred against three accused persons, Kelechi Okafor, Anthony Ifeanyi Okafor and Alexander Onyinanya, to the Administrative Judge of Onitsha High court for reassignment. The transfer of the case came shortly after the third Prosecution Witness, PW3, Victor Edet displayed all the weapons allegedly used by the accused persons in the kidnap of Chairman of GUO Motors Limited, Chief Godwin Okeke.
Justice Nwankwo blamed all the defence counsel for raising unnecessary objections at intervals, thereby applying delay tactics and frustrating the case. Earlier, the PW3, Edet, a police officer who was part of the investigation team after the kidnap incident, had displayed the weapons which he said were recovered from the kidnappers’ armoury in a bush at Nando community in Anambra East Local Government Area of the state. The weapons he displayed before the court included five AK-47 rifles, two General Purpose Machine Guns, one rocket launcher, five rocket propellers, three rockets, 5,830 AK-47 ammunition, 1,135 rounds
of GPMG ammunition, 124 empty AK-47 magazines, one K2 rifle, two K2 empty magazines and one K2 riffle loaded with magazines. After the display of the weapons, the prosecution counsel, Chris Ajugwe pleaded to tender the weapons to be admitted as evidence. However, the defence counsel raised another objection; that the weapons ought not to have been displayed in court in the first instance, not to talk of admitting them as evidence. Okeke told newsmen that since the defendants, their gang members and the Ofe Akwu-led gang were arrested and their weapons recovered, kidnappings and bank robberies had reduced.
Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014 —7
Police confirm Ibadan ‘lunatics' as human parts dealers BY OLA AJAYI
BADAN— THE Oyo State Police Command said, yesterday, that two of the arrested suspects, who disguised as lunatics, have confessed to be human body parts dealers. This confirmation was made by the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mohammed Indabawa, at the end of a security meeting with Governor Abiola Ajimobi. About three “lunatics” on whom human parts were found were killed by angry youths. Vanguard learnt that a
woman who reportedly had 42 SIM cards on her and another man with a price list of human parts died in the hospital. After the meeting, the CP also said that 42 lunatics had been withdrawn from major streets by the government. He said the move was to prevent them from further attacks. This came as the police hinted that the forensic pathologists had started work on the den. While confirming that the den had been in existence for the past 10 years, Ndabawa said the forensic experts were sent from Force Criminal
Investigation Department, Abuja. He said: “Police have rescued 42 lunatics or presumed lunatics from the streets so far. Two people have been killed. Investigation, like I said, is ongoing and out of the so called lunatics, two of them have confessed to be looking for human body parts, but they are not yet related to the Soka incident. “That place has been there for a very long time, perhaps about 10 years. It was initially used by a construction company during the channelisation of
Ogunpa River and after then the site was abandoned.” On when the demolition and clearing of Soka would re commence, Ndabawa said: “The demolition of that place will continue and be completed so that other miscreants will not use that place for another purpose.” The Special Adviser on Public Affairs, Mr. Toye Arulogun, said that the state government had also decided to create a temporary shelter with medical personnel and other facilities to take care of the lunatics before they are re united with their families.
Police nab illegal arms dealers, robbery suspects BY IFEANYI OKOLIE, ESTHER ONYEGBULA & IFUNAYA OKAFOR
AGOS— THE Lagos State Police Command, yesterday, paraded two suspects said to be specialists
in armed robbery and illegal arms dealing. Parading the suspects, the Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko, said Olatunbosun Olatunji was arrested at Subaru area of Ikorodu, Lagos, with one AK-
47 rifle. When quizzed, he confessed to have bought the rifle from one Abdulazeez Amao, a notorious arms dealer in Ibadan, Oyo State. Manko said based on a tipoff, arrests were made. He said: “Sequel to
Olatunbosun Olatunji’s confessions, two SARS decoy team were briefed and deployed to Ibadan, Oyo State, and after eight days of intensive and diligent follow up, the notorious arms dealer, Abdulazeez Amao, was arrested in his house at Ayegun Adasun area of Ibadan.
Recovered, arms movement
ARRESTED: The suspected arms and ammunition dealers, Olatunbosun Olatunji (right) and Abdulazeez Amao. PHOTO: ESTHER ONYEGBULA.
Falana petitions IG over Police abuse in Anambra
UMAN rights crusader, Femi Falana (SAN), has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, over what he called the scandalous use of the Special Armed Robbery Squad, SARS, by a controversial prominent government contractor against the people of Oraifite in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State. In a petition signed on his behalf by Sam Ogala, a lawyer in his firm, Falana, who is attending the ongoing national
dialogue in Abuja as a delegate, accused the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, chieftain from Oraifite of “using the police hierarchy to commit monumental and scandalous human rights abuses against his own kinsmen.” The statement read in part: “This reckless and unconscionable use of the police to commit gross human rights abuses and other heinous crimes, tends to give both Nigerian citizens and the international community the
impression that Nigeria is a weak state, if not a failed one.” He said, weekend, men of the Anambra State SARS headquarters at Awkuzu in Oyi Local Government Area arrested Chief Eugene Nworah, an Onitsha-based businessman from Oraifite, following a public complaint to the Oraifite people that the said PDP chieftain had caused the Customs Service to seize his nine 40-foot containers with goods worth N970 million.
“Ten AK-47 rifles with serial number UY472072, 8403662, 1625, 1978MG-16939, 026909, 1953CEH6248, 1954B101647, 00569, 19750N442 and 63618149 were recovered from his house. “He confessed to have sold several other AK-47s and other rifles and English pistols to several buyers in Oyo, Lagos and Anambra states. “Although, most of his buyers got information of his arrest and went underground, efforts are ongoing to bring them to book. “Abdulazeez Amao confessed to buying the AK47 rifles for six hundred thousand CFA (600,000CFA) equivalent of N200,000 each from one Zakari Watara of Wayalga area in Ouagadougu, capital of Burkina Faso. “Zakari Watara used to get his supply from Mali, take them to Wayalga market in Burkina Faso. Amao buys from him and transports them in milk cartons before moving them to Paraku town in Benin Republic, where he repackages the rifles into sacks containing sliced yam (Elubo) for onward transportation to Ibadan, Oyo State, through Kabo border.”
STF dismisses officer over rape BY MARIE THERESE NANLONG
OS— THE Plateau State Police Command has confirmed that its personnel attached to Special Task Force, STF, who allegedly raped a four-year-old girl last week at Kassa village in Barkin Ladi local government area of the state has been dismissed from service and will be charged to court. The State Police Commissioner, Chris Olakpe, yesterday, paraded the suspect along with others who committed various crimes in the State. Another suspect, Benjamin Toma was also paraded for allegedly killing his 25 years old wife, Victoria. Toma was said to have stabbed his wife and later hanged her, giving the picture that she committed suicide.
70-yr-old commits suicide in Abeokuta BY DAU D OLATUNJI
B E O K U TA — TRAGEDY struck in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, Monday, when a 70-year-old man identified as Baba Ijemo allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself inside his bedroom in his Olorombo residence. The septuagenarian father of seven, who lived in a room and parlour, was found dangling from the ceiling, following a stench from his apartment. Vanguard gathered that the old man had in recent time reportedly been hostile to the neighbours and cotenants for unknown reasons. It was further gathered that the deceased was not living with any of his relatives and that his children had not visited him for a long time before the tragic incident.
8 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014
15 civilians killed in Borno ‘suicide attack’ ...Boko Haram insurgents lunatics, not Muslims — Shettima BY KINGSLEY OMONOBI & NDAHI MARAMA
AIDUGURI—BOKO Haram terrorists yesterday launched a suicide attack in Mole area of Maiduguri, Borno State capital, killing 15 civilians and destroying eight vehicles in the process. Defence spokesman, Major General Chris Olukolade, who confirmed the attack said 17 other were injured and that one of the victims was a member of a civilian vigilante group. According to him, “Six of the terrorists died while one has been arrested,” he added in a statement. Meanwhile, Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima yesterday described the Boko Haram insurgents as lunatics who were crusading for the spread of Islam. “We are presently in a day where some lunatics claiming to be crusaders of Islam are killing innocent people, burning mosques and Churches. It is bad interpretation of the holy Quoran by the insurgents that caused all these,” Shettima said in Maiduguri while receiving winners and officials of the board for Qur’anic Education who represented the state during the national Qur’anic Recitation Competition held in Dutse, Jigawa State. The Defence Headquarters said that four suicide bombers in IED laden cars heading for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, facility along MaiduguriDamboa road died while five soldiers were injured from explosion following a shoot-out between security operatives and members of the Boko Haram. A statement signed by the Director of Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade also said that “over 288 rifles and 35 Rocket Propelled Guns as well as 35 locally made IEDs were recovered after a fierce encounter at Abugasse, Cameroon, close to the Chadian border.” However, Shettima who donated N10 million to the participants congratulated them for the successes recorded in the competition, asking them not to relent in their efforts. He strongly condemned the activities of the Boko Haram, saying their violent campaigns which had led to the death of innocent persons and the destruction of properties, lacked explanation in Islam. The governor further noted that the insurgents interpreted Islam and the Holy Qur ’an negatively, pointing out that they also used such wrong
interpretations as reasons to unleash terror on the citizens. He explained that Islam was a religion of peace which did not condone killings and destructions under whatever guise. “Distorted translation of the Holy Book by the insurgents landed us in this mess. If we have had good understanding of Islam, we would have been in a better place. There is no room for extremism in Islam. We need to go back to Islam as practised by Prophet Muhammed, when Islam encouraged Muslims, Jews and Christians to live in peace with one another,” he added.
About a week ago, two suicide bombers rammed their Volkswagen Golf car into a police patrol vehicle, killing five policemen, three civilians and themselves around the Dalori Housing Estate at Mole. Mole is a suburb, along the Maiduguri - Biu road and about 10 kilometres drive to Maiduguri, the epicentre of Boko Haram sect activities. Vanguard sources said that the suicide bombers who arrived in two Gulf cars at about 1pm rammed into the military patrol vehicles at their checkpoints in Mole village which exploded leaving many villagers in the area
scampering for safety. The Police Commissioner, Mr. Lawal Tanko in a telephone chat with newsmen said, he heard of the explosions around Maiduguri metropolis, in which he had already sent men of the anti - bomb squad to the area to ascertain the reason behind the blasts, even as he said, he is yet to get details on the number of casualties. Meanwhile, Olukolade said in the statemant that following collaborative efforts between the Nigerian military and Cameroonian authorities in the fight against Boko Haram terrorism in the sub-region a large cache of arms and
ammunition including 288 AK 47 rifles, 35 Rocket Propelled Guns and 35 locally made IEDs had been captured from the group. Olukolade stressed that the huge seizure of arms apparently meant for use by terrorists operating in the country was made weekend even as four terrorists died in their IED laden vehicles. According to him, other weapons recovered included pistols, mortar bombs; submachine guns and various calibres of ammunitions following the arrest of two suspects believed to be major arms suppliers to the terrorists.
NGE fundraising dinner holds April 10
MEETING: President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote flanked by Chairman of Forte Oil, Mr. Femi Otedola (left) and the Petroleum Resources Minister, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke during the meeting of the Economic Management Team, chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan at Aso Rock, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida.
FG denies ebola outbreak in Nigeria ...Confirms case of dengue fever BY CHIOMA OBINNA & GABRIELOLAWALE
HE Federal Government yesterday confirmed outbreak of dengue heamorrhagic fever in Nasarawa State, denying media reports about the outbreak of Ebola diseases in the country. In a press statement issued by the Federal Ministry of Health, FMoH, and signed by the Special Assistant on Media and Communication to the Minister of Health, Mr. Dan Nwomeh, explained that laboratory investigation into the alleged ebola case in Nasarawa showed a case of Dengue heamorrhagic fever and not Ebola. Dengue fever is caused by a virus named Dengue fever virus (DFV). This virus is transmitted
by mosquitoes, mostly in urban and semi urban areas. Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation, WHO, has confirmed ebola fever in Liberia, and has started to spread from Guinea across West Africa. Nwomeh disclosed that the government explained that the activities of the mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus) that transmit this virus are being closely monitored nationwide by the Arbovirus Research Centre of the Federal Ministry of Health based in Enugu. According to the statement; Dengue Heamorrhagic Fever, DHF, is an acute illness of sudden onset that usually follows a benign course with symptoms such as headache, fever, exhaustion, severe muscle and joint pain, swollen
lymph nodes and rashes. At the onset of the disease, it mimicks Malaria and, often so, it is mistakenly diagnosed as Malaria. However, other signs of Dengue fever which include bleeding gums, bloody diarrhea, bleeding from the nose and severe pain behind the eyes, red palms and soles differentiate it from Malaria. Laboratory tests are usually necessary for its confirmation. Nwomeh in the statement explained that the prevention of the transmission of Dengue Heamorrhagic Fever is similar to the prevention of Malaria. “It is therefore very important to give environmental sanitation and mosquito bites control a high priority to reduce mosquitohuman contact and also to eliminate multiplication of mosquitoes that are the vectors of the Dengue fever virus,” he said
HE Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) will on the 10th of this month hold a dinner to raise N850million for its secretariat complex. The event, billed for the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, has President Goodluck Jonathan as the Distinguished Guest of Honour, and all the state Governors as Special Guests. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is Special Guest of Honour at the event, which will be chaired by former Petroleum minister, Senator Prof. Jibril Aminu. Former Ogun State governor, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, will deliver the Keynote Address, while Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku is Chief Host. Already, many governors and captains of industry have indicated their willingness to be physically present at the epochal fund raising ceremony. Restating the need for eminent Nigerians and corporate organizations to support the project, President of the Guild, Femi Adesina, said the proposed Editors Plaza will greatly improve the practice of journalism in the country as up-to-date facilities will be at the disposal of top professionals in the field to make them compete globally. “With the planned ICT centre and training and retraining packages planned, we can only compete with the best,” Adesina stressed. The eight floor plaza will house offices and training facilities that will be open to all journalists.
Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014—9
Nda Isaiah steps down as chairman of Leadership Group
Oando/ ConocoPhilips: FG withholds consent for $1.55bn deal BY CHRIS OCHAYI
BY JONAH NWOKPOKU
HAIRMAN of the Leadership Group, publisher of Leadership newspaper, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah will today resign as the chairman of the company to enable him pursue a presidential ambition under the All Progressive Congress, APC. The Group Managing Director of the Leadership Group, Mr Azubuike Ishiekwene, on behalf of the company’s board of directors, disclosed this in a statement made available to Vanguard. He said Nda-Isaiah decided to step down after months of conversations with his family, friends and associates to answer the national call. The statement said a new chairman for the company will be announced shortly. It further noted that NdaIsaiah said he felt the need to answer the national call to work with millions of women, men, young and old of all faith and creed who have in an earnest search for something really new, invested their hopes and dreams for a better country in ‘SAMFORNIGERIA,’ having secured the company on a solid path of growth. The statement read in part, “He has set the company on solid growth path and we are proud of his legacy since he stepped down as the Editor-in-Chief of the Leadership Group, a startup which he founded ten years ago, he has gravitated more and more towards active politics. “In that time, he has been humbled by the tremendous show of goodwill and support across faith, ethnic, professional and generational lines.” The statement further noted that, “It would be inconsistent with Mr. Nda-Isaiah’s personal values, respect for the public’s goodwill and the principles of good corporate governance for him to continue as chairman of Leadership Group and to wear, or be seen to wear, the hat of an active politician.
PRESENTATION: Mrs Patience Jonathan being presented with a gift by Ghanash Yam, the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria at the opening ceremony of the Indian film festival in Abuja, yesterday.
Fashola blames FG for Apapa traffic gridlock ...Why we relocated —Aigbogun BY CHARLES KUMOLU
AGOS—LAGOS State governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has said that the failure of the Federal Government at complementing the efforts of the state, towards finding a lasting solution to the indiscriminate parking of trailers and tankers on Apapa/ Oshodi Expressway was responsible for the perennial gridlock on the road. He also noted that so long as Nigeria continues to import fuel, tankers would be seen on the road, even as he added that the nation could still have fuel without tankers parking on the road. Fashola said this yesterday in Lagos at the formal opening of ‘The Brook’, BusinessDay’s Corporate office. Those at the event include; Mr. Sam Amuka, Publisher of Vanguard Newspapers, Mr. Frank Aigbogun, Publisher of BusinessDay Newspapers, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, General Manager/Editor-in-Chief of Vanguard Newspapers, Mr. Eniola Bello, Managing Director of ThisDay Newspapers, Mr. Mideno Bayagbon Editor of Vanguard Newspapers and Mr. Emeka Izeze Managing Director of the Guardian Newspapers . Others are: Mr. Imo Itsueli, Chairman and Managing Director, Dubril Oil, Nigeria, Mr Stanley Egbochukwu, Publisher of Manufacturing Today, Mr. Foluso Phillips, Director General, Nigerian Economic Summit Group,NESG, Mr. Funmi Onajide, General Manager Corporate Affairs, MTN among others According to Fashola, ‘’What Brook represents is strong confidence. And I can assure
that this confidence will not be misplaced. It confirms to me about the love of the publisher for entrepreneurship. With this, youths can find employment. This would not have been possible without the Apapa model city plan which the Lagos State government initiated. Despite trillions of naira accruing to the Federal Government from Apapa, the government has neglected the area. I wonder the kind of business managers that make money from an area, yet they have refused to pay attention to where the money comes from. ‘’As a sub-regional government with little access to the port, there is little we can do. We started the renewal plan, but no sooner had we started, the Federal Government promised to partner with us so that trailers and tankers will no longer park on the roads. We have not seen anything from them apart from the last time they worked with us. Trailers still park in front of people’s houses. It seems to me that as a nation, we are bearing burdens for the wrong choice that we have made; moving petrol by road . ‘’The situation was compounded by the fact that we need fuel. If we stop tankers from parking, that means there will be no fuel. So we are in a fix, but it is possible for us to have fuel without tankers parking on the road.’’ ‘’The private sector is succeeding because we have the right people. Therefore, rather than lamenting those doing well in the private sector should join the public sector to make the needed difference.’’.
Why we relocated —Aigbogun Earlier, Aigbogun said the decision to relocate was informed by the need to diversify and respond to the demand of a growing business. He said: ‘’our decision to diversify the business and relocate to this site, a place we can call home, was prompted mainly by the need to respond to the demand of a growing business. Lagos State, the hub of business and financial activities in Nigeria, is naturally our biggest market and we are mindful of our market’s expectation. From inception, we deliberately chose to tread the path of excellent journalism defined by honesty, accuracy and integrity. Aside from being fair and balanced in our reporting of business and finance in Nigeria, we are not shirking our broader mandate of being also an agenda setter for society and canvassing vigorously, the views we believe in. ‘’Our editors have projected that if Lagos was to get power supply, right, and there is no good reason why it should not, this place can in less than a decade of more momentum and traction, assume the face of a nation state without the legal affirmation. For with power on the back of continued good governance, people in Lagos will have very little need of the central government.’’ He further said, ‘’ I am able to report that we are recording steady success in preparing the newspaper and the business itself for some of the head winds and the inevitable transformation that is occurring in the manner news is sourced and distributed in maturing markets abroad.
B U J A — T H E Federal Government, Monday, vowed that no amount of arm-twisting or coercion will make it succumb to jettisoning compliance with due diligence in signing off the $1.55 billion oil deal between the Oando Plc and U.S. oil firm, ConocoPhilips. The Director, Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, , Mr. George Osahon, who spoke to newsmen while reacting to a publication where the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, was being allegedly accused of delaying consent to the deal, said the oil transaction does not merit any consent for now. This is the first time government will speak openly on recent asset acquisitions by indigenous firms from multinational oil firms, a development that has remained a source of concern for industry watchers. This is because the assets are being acquired far above their actual value, more of a status symbol than of market indices. Osahon, who insisted that until due diligence is carried out and every requirement met, no consent will be given the deal, said, “Oil transaction is not what you do in hurry and that is why enough time is needed to thrash out all green areas in the deal.” He also noted, for the fact that the sponsors of the publication also agreed that “ConocoPhililps, two months ago submitted an application to the Petroleum Minister seeking official consent to divest its Nigerian assets to the indigenous oil company; Oando PlC on the other hand, has not completed all financial commitments regarding the acquisition.” Osahon faulted claims by Oando that its planned acquisition of the business interests of US firm, ConocoPhillips was being threatened by delay of consent by the Minister since the application was just submitted just two months ago as they claimed. The DPR boss said such claims amounted to deliberate armtwisting tactics adopted by both parties, Oando Plc and ConocoPhillips, to force the federal government into signing off the $1.55 billion assets acquisition deal without due diligence on the transaction. He said reports alleging that Alison-Madueke had deliberately refused to consent to the deal were untrue, especially in the light of the processes and timeframe involved in the transaction.
10 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014
Lagos appeals court judgment on Lekki-Ikoyi bridge tolling BY INNOCENT ANABA & ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH
AGOS—LAGOS State Government has filed an appeal asking the appellate court to vacate the judgment of the Federal High Court which barred it from further collecting of tolls from users of the Lekki-Ikoyi Suspension Bridge. This came as activist and lawyer, Mr. Ebun Adegboruwa, yesterday, said it was unfortunate that the Lagos State Government was carrying on with impunity, by refusing to obey the Federal High Court, Lagos’ order, which declared as unconstitutional, the tolling of the Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge. Justice Saliu Saidu, in a judgment last week declared that since the bridge was built with public funds, imposition of tolls on motorists using it was illegal. The court held that the power of control of all navigable waterways in Nigeria, resides with the federal government. The suit was instituted by Adegboruwa, against the Attorney-General of the Federation, the National Inland Waterways Authority, the Lagos State Government and the state Attorney-General. In the notice of appeal dated Friday, March 28, 2014, the State Government is challenging the decision of the Federal High Court to the effect that payment by its contractors to National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, a Federal Government agency was an admission by the state that the Federal
Government had constitutional or legislative authority to regulate inland waterways throughout the country. The State Government is also asking the Court of Appeal to reverse the decision to the effect that there was no law enacted by the Lagos State House of Assembly authorizing the State to impose tolls on public infrastructure in the State. According to the State Government, the Lagos State Public Private Partnership Law
No. 2 of 2011 clearly empowers the Government to specify the service charges, user fees or tolls which are payable in respect of designated public infrastructure or public assets. The government in addition to the Notice of Appeal, is praying for an order to stay the execution of the judgment delivered in the suit. Also, it prayed the court to restrain the Respondents from giving effect to the judgment delivered pending the
determination of the appeal filed against the said judgment. In a statement by the State Solicitor General, Mr. Lawal Pedro, SAN, it said the processes had been served on all the parties to the suit, including the applicant. It added that April 3, 2014 had been fixed by the Appeal Section of the Federal High Court for settlement of record of proceedings. No date has been fixed for the hearing of the application for stay of execution.
BY CHIOMA OBINNA
AGOS—NATIONAL Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC, is strengthening i n t e r n a t i o n a l collaboration with National Regulatory Authorities, particularly to improve vaccine regulation. The Agency is partnering with Health Canada on vaccine regulatory safety. Director General, NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii, who spoke in Lagos, said with the advent of globalisation, it was important that the benefits of international collaboration and cooperation were harnessed.
Fashola urges corps members to shun truancy, others PRESENTATION: From left: Mr. Ayo Ayodeji, representing the Executive Director, Lagos and South West, First City Monument Bank, FCMB, handing over the key and particulars of a new SUV to Mrs. Saidat Ajitena, winner of the 30th anniverssary promo of the FCMB, Mrs. Leticia Igna-Igboko, Head, Retail, South West, and Alhaji Abiola Alli, branch Manager, Challenge, during the presentation, at the Challenge branch of the bank in Ibadan, yesterday. Photo: Dare Fasube.
Labour hints of plans to cripple power sector BY VICTOR AHIUMAYOUNG AGOS—NATIONAL Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, yesterday in Lagos put Nigerians on notice of its plans to picket and cripple operations of power companies in the country over alleged unfair workers practices and extortion of customers among others. The union in a statement listed
NAFDAC strengthens int'l collaboration
some of the alleged sins of the new owners of power companies and the Federal Government to include “de-unionisation and casualisation of workers, underpayment of workers remunerations, sacking of union leaders after legitimate struggle for workers’ right, continued manipulation associated with increase in fixed tariff, continued non-metering of electricity
customers and non-payment of entitlement of disengaged staff.” “Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, has been fielding Nigerians with lies that they have finished paying workers in the Power sector, whereas, the BPE, Ministry of Power and the Accountant General of the Federation are unable to explain the whereabouts of over N100
billion meant for the payment of the workers entitlements. 10% Equity shareholding for workers as collectively agreed has been jettisoned. The issue of biometric of workers has been a broad day racket as the consultant engaged for this purpose has continued to use endless biometric exercise to siphon the finances of the Sector.”
A G O S — GOVERNOR Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, yesterday urged members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, to shun truancy and other forms of anti-social behaviour that would jeopardise their future. Fashola stated this at the closing ceremony of the three-week orientation programme for the Batch A members at the NYSC camp at Iyana-Ipaja, Lagos. He urged the corps members to be good ambassadors of the NYSC by engaging in productive activities.
Subsidy fraud: Witness alleges forgery of Anosike’s signature BY ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH AGOS—AN Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC witness, Mrs. Oghara Eburu, yesterday, told Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo of an Ikeja High Court that the signature of an oil marketer, Ifeanyi Anosike, was forged by one of his codefendants to allegedly perpetrate N1.5 billion subsidy fraud. Anosike was charged
before the court alongside his firm—Anosyke Group of Companies, Emeka Chukwu, Ngozi Ekeoma and Dell Energy Ltd. The EFCC alleged that the defendants had fraudulently obtained the money from the Federal Government for the purported importation of 15, 000 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, from Europe. The witness, an investigative officer with
the EFCC led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, said Anosyke Group of Companies was issued permit by the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, to import fuel under the Petroleum Support Fund, PSF. According to Eburu, the fourth defendant (Chukwu) received the allocation but under the authority of Anosike and his company who could not execute it.
Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014— 11
Politics upbeat in Ekiti as PDP, APC square up BY GBENGAARIYIBI &
HENRY UMORU DO EKITI—THE political climate in Ekiti State is becoming busy by the day with the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, finding a way out of its crisis that eventually produced a National Executive Council’s recognised candidate, former governor Ayodele Fayose, and a consensus candidate produced by aggrieved aspirants- Senator Gbenga Aluko. Already, candidate of the ruling All Progressives Party, APC, has embarked on an aggressive campagn for reelection.
to forward his name to President Goodluck Jonathan as a replacement for Mr. Ayo Fayose ahead of the June 21 election in Ekiti State.
The list of aspirants who endorsed Aluko as contained in a communique signed by Chairman of PDP in Ekiti State Mr. Makanjuola Ogundipe, include: Adeyanju Bodunde, Adeyeye Adebayo, Adubiaro Abibat, Ajayi Deji, Aluko Abiodun. Others were Aribisala Adewale, Bejide Oluwadare, Obafemi Peter, Ogunbolude Ropo, Ogundipe Modupe, Olubolade Caleb and Omoyeni Adebisi who
sent a representative.
Meantime, all is set for the return of Mr. Fayose to the state after about one and half weeks sojourn in Abuja, where he has gone to collect the certificate of returns and consulted with the top hierarchy of the party on how to move the party forward It will be recalled that the Abuja trip was the first the former governor has made outside the state after the controversial party’s primaries. Fayose emerged victorious after defeating other 14 gubernatorial aspirants of the party on March 22, including
former Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt Caleb Olubolade , Dayo Adeyeye and eleven other aspirants, who are now expressing resentment over the conduct of the Congress.
On his part, The Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation has cautioned the people of the state to be wary of the antics of opposition in the state,saying the opposition are out to deceive the general public He spoke on a live political programme on an Akure-based private radio station, ADABA 88.9 FM monitored in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday.
Aluko on Fayose
Also in Abuja, Aluko spoke to newsmen expressing the view that insisting on Fayose as the party’s candidate would jeopadise the party’s chances in future elections. Aluko who urged President Jonathan to as a matter of urgency intervene on the choice of the Party’s candidate in Ekiti State before it was too late, insisted that Fayose was not the best material for the party in the state based on his antecedents. According to Sen. Gbenga Aluko, he emerged as the consensus candidate of the other aspirants last friday after the 13 other aspirants endorsed him through what he termed, a peer rating arrangement which he likened to the process that produces Catholic Popes, noting that the 13 aspirants had agreed
TOUR: Osun State Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties, Hon. Ajibola Basiru (middle), Permanent Secretary, Mr. Adelowo Adewumi (2nd right) and others, during the media tour of completed and ongoing projects in the State.
IBADAN HOUSE OF HORROR: OPC vows to rescue 8 new victims in dungeon BY OLAAJAYI
BADAN—THE Yoruba militia group, Oodua Peoples’ Congress has assured relatives of eight victims of Soka kidnappers’ den believed to have
been trapped in a yet-to-be discovered dungeon in the den that it would rescue them. The group said this through one of its chieftains, Mr. Rotimi Olumo while speaking with newsmen yesterday in Ibadan.
Osun seeks Special Offences Court a bill for the establishment of State
SOGBO—GOVERNOR Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, yesterday sent a bill to the state House of Assembly seeking the establishment of a Special Offences Court. In a letter dated December 1, 2013 which accompanied the bill to the Assembly, the governor explained that the court would handle various environmental offences in the state. The Speaker of the Assembly, Mr. Najeem Salaam, read the letter at plenary in Osogbo. “The State’s Executive Council at its meeting on December 1, 2013, considered and approved
of Osun Special Offences Court,” the letter stated. A bill on business partnership in the state sent by the governor was also read by the speaker. The bill, according to the letter, was aimed at promoting relationship between persons carrying out businesses with a view to making profit. It also stated that the bill would “improve purposes of the law of the state in relation to limited partnership and limited liability partnership.” Meanwhile, the 2014 Appropriation Bill of the state scaled through second reading at yesterday’s plenary.
According to him: “The okada man claimed there are eight others with him there who are yet to be discovered up till now.” As a result of their captured relatives, he said the families are in real anguish and that of every other victim of the Soka den. Olumo who is the Chairman of Ibadan South/West of Gani
Adams faction of OPC in Oyo State, said: “There are strong indications that some people might still be trapped there because the missing Okada man who phoned his wife and friends said he heard the voices of his friends that were looking for him where he was kept under the ground.”
NYSC boss counsels corps members BY GBENGAARIYIBI DO EKITI—DIRECTOR General, DG, of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Brig-Gen. Bamidele Olawumi, has advised corps members to refrain from anything that can make them subject of attack by anyone while assisting the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, during elections. The DG who spoke during an official visit to Ise-OrunEmure Orientation camp of the NYSC yesterday, equally
urged the people particularly politicians to talk to their supporters to stop harassing or molesting the corp members deployed to INEC on official national assignments. Apparently referring to the June 21 Ekiti gubernatorial election, he noted that corps members were neither politician nor INEC staff, declaring that the organisation would not tolerate a situation where corps members were punished for the offence they did not commit
CONFAB: S-West delegates canvass parliamentary system BY LAJU ARENYEKA
AGOS—SOUTH West delegates at the ongoing National Conference have advocated for the adoption of a parliamentary system of government to replace the country’s presidential system. Speaking to news men in Lagos, Senator Anthony Adefuye and Hon. Moshood Salvador who made this call at the Launch of the latter ’s memoir, Beyond the Dream, also argued that the establishment of State police in various states of the Federation would boost security in the country. Adefuye said: "We are proposing parliamentary system of government. We hope that it would be unanimously carried. It is less expensive, and the cost of running the presidential system is enormous. But BiCameral is more cost effective. And you actually vote for people who are going to represent you."
Youths benefit from skill acquisition scheme BY ONOZURE DANIA GUN—NO fewer than 22 youths have been trained in various skill acquisitions in what is known as EazyBiz entrepreneurial scheme, by Senator Akin Odunsi, representing the Ogun West Senatorial District and the National Directorate of Employment, NDE. Odunsi, who said he trained more than 120 youths last year, stated that he still aimed at training another 120 youths, by taking some of them off the labour market. He said: "If only the local, state and federal governments can take vocational, technical and skills acquisition trainings very serious, then the issue of unemployment will be greatly reduced. “On our part, we hope to still train another set of 120 youths from the Senatorial district in different entrepreneurial skills starting from May 2014.”
12—Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014
Gunmen ambush police team escorting kidnap suspects to court BY AUSTIN OGWUDA
SABA—GUNMEN, yesterday, ambushed a team of policemen escorting two kidnap suspects, earlier arrested, to court for arraignment, leading to fierce gun battle, during which the suspects were killed. Delta State Police Command’s spokesperson, Mrs. Celestina Kalu, who made the disclosure, yesterday, said following the bloody encounter, the two kidnap suspects being conveyed to the court lost their lives in the process while the police vehicle was badly damaged. According to her, “a team of operatives from Special AntiKidnapping Squad Asaba, conveying two male suspects, one Ogaga Enueme ‘m’ and Efe Edheki ‘m’, to a Magistrate Court in Oleh for arraignment in connection with the offences of conspiracy and kidnapping, ran into an ambush by gunmen at Oloh Ogwashi on Kwale Road, and at
the end of the ensuing gun battle, the police vehicle was shattered while the two suspects were hit by bullets from the hoodlums.
“They were quickly rushed to the hospital for treatment, but they later gave up the ghost. The deceased suspects had on January 5, at
1240hrs kidnapped one Mrs. Vivian Obonyano ‘f ’, aged 55, on her way from church on Asaba-Ase Road, Uzere town.”
NYSC ORIENTATION: Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State (left), presenting certificate of merit to Kingsley Dogo, a 2014 Batch 'A' Corps member during the closing of orientation programme in Akwa Ibom State.
Edo 2016: Youths beg Ogbemudia to lead search for Oshiomhole’s successor BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
ENIN—YOUTHS from the 18 local government areas of Edo State, yesterday, besieged the Benin City, residence of the former governor of old Bendel State, Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia, calling on him to lead the search for Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s successor in 2016. The youths, under the aegis of Edo Movement for Good Governance, complained that the elder statesman had been calm over the politics of 2016 in the state, fearing that if he failed to lead the search for Oshiomhole's successor, politicians who may want to destroy the infrastructural development already on ground in the state may hijack the process. Mr. Michael Igbinedion, who led the group, informed Dr Ogbemudia that “you are our father and we know that you believe in good governance. That is why we decided to come to your house today (yesterday) to beg you to lead the search for Oshiomhole’s successor because some hawks might come and destroy all that is already on ground and that we will not accept. We want youth employment and infrastructural development in our state to continue. You have been a fa-
ther to all and we believe that you will help us so that our state will not go back to wrong hands.” Responding, Ogbemudia, ex-
pressed surprise over the visit by the youths, but said “I also believe in good governance and that is why I have always commended
Governor Oshiomhole for what he has done in our state. We will ensure that this development does not stop after 2016.”
Confab: All issues must be discussed —Group BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE
ENIN—A socio-cultural organisation, in Edo State, Orhionmwon Progressive League, has urged delegates to the on-going national conference to ensure that all issues arising from the country’s history and experience were opened for discussion, insisting that there should be no 'no go' areas for the delegates. The group, in a statement, yesterday, in Benin, Edo State, after its meeting on the confab, canvassed a return to the parliamentary system of government in which members of the cabinet are chosen from the legislature, saying that same will reduce the cost of governance, which has become a huge burden on the country. The statement by Chief Emma Igiebor, Chairman, said all those elected in the legislature should serve on part-time basis, while all ethnic nationalities in the country should be run by provincial government while district councils should
form the grassroots governments. To promote peace and progress in the country, the group said that all the federating units should have financial autonomy with each unit retaining 60 percent of revenues accruing to it, while federally collected revenue should be shared with
the Federal Government. The group canvasses eight regions for the country as recommended by the Dr. Sam Ogbemudia-led Mid-West Consultative Forum namely, North-East, North-West, North Central, South-East, South-West, South-South, Middle Belt and Mid-West.
PDP chieftain makes case for suitable successor to Uduaghan
CHIEF TAIN of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Delta State, Mr Simon Mudi, has called on the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, faithful in the state to choose a candidate that can wear the big shoes which Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan will leave behind. Mudi, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Youth Matters, at his country home, Ekakpamre, Ughelli South Local Government Area of the state, while playing host to hundreds of youths across the state, said: “It is no longer news that the governor will finish stronger than his predecessors in the state. No wonder he has been receiving awards from different organisations and media houses. I know that even after his tenure, he will still be receiving awards because his developmental strides are marvelous.” Mudi explained that with the three-point agenda of peace and security, human capital and infrastructural development, Uduaghan has built bridges across the state, which can now be compared to Lagos, Abuja and other beautiful cities in Nigeria. “If there is any government that has employed the youths more in Nigeria, it is the Delta State Government. When he came in as the governor, Uduaghan employed over 5000 teachers. I can attest to that in my council, where several persons were employed."
NEPC, ZAFAA to create export path for Nollywood BY DANIEL GUMM
HE Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC and Zulu African Film Academy and Awards, ZAFAA, are working to promote Nigerian films in the international market. Executive Director/CEO of NEPC, Mr. Olusgeun Awolowo, in Abuja, when he received representatives of ZAFAA, Mr. Chinedu Onyekuru along with few actors, in his office, noted that for Nigerian movies to meet the requisite standards in the multi-billion dollar global movie industry, with
a view to charting an export path, there was need to improve on the quality of the products. To achieve this, he said, the council will hold a stakeholders’ forum in Lagos on April 14, to discuss the challenges and potentials of the Nollywood industry, including issues such as distribution channels, content, access to funding, piracy among others. Responding, Onyekuru said that ZAFAA desired to collaborate with NEPC in promoting Nigerian movies through road shows and town hall meetings, particu-
larly in London, which boasts of a huge market given the huge population of Nigerians in Diaspora. For over five years ZAFFA, has showcased Nigerian movies in London as well as recognised deserving Nigerian actors and actresses, who have excelled in the industry, through awards. Onyekuru appealed to the council to sponsor the forthcoming ZAFAA Film Festival and Awards, adding that the British Board of Film Classification, Ben TV among others, were already partners of ZAFAA in ensuring a successful outing during the festival.
Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014—13
Cross River professionals fault Imoke on successor BY JACOB AJOM
VISIT: Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu (2ndnd left), receiving Mr. Aenas Chapinga Chuma, Assistant Director-General and ILO Regional Director for Africa, during a courtesy visit to his office.
Alleged assassinations: Delta AG warns against unguarded utterances D
ELTA State Government has assured citizens of the state that full and thorough investigation will be carried out on the alleged assassination of two lawyers in Warri on Thursday, last week. The state’s AttorneyGeneral and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Charles Ajuyah, SAN, in a statement, yesterday, condoled with the Warri Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, and families of two lawyers, Eguno Dafiaghor and Samuel Ekuwangi, who were killed on their way to court. He said: “The Delta State Government, while condemning their assassinations, has ordered full and painstaking investigation by the security agencies with a view to bringing the perpetrators of the dastardly and heinous crime to book. “Government wishes to assure members of the deceased's families and the Bar Association that no stone will be left unturned to apprehend the perpetrators. Members of the deceased’s families and the public are urged to refrain from making statements that are capable of prejudicing investigations.”
Ajuyah appealed to members of the public with any useful information that will help in the
investigation to come forward with same, assuring that the state government will guarantee the
Imoke tasks NLC on revenue generation
OVERNOR Liyel Imoke of Cross River State, has identified the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, as one of the component channels, if properly deployed, capable of boosting the economy of the state, especially in revenue generation. Speaking when he received members of the organised labour, led by the state Chairman of NLC, Mr. John Ushie, Governor Imoke explained that there were many loopholes in the country’s economic system which needed to be appraised for correction, noting that members of the union should make the necessary contributions. Imoke said that issues of revenue allocation formula, subsidy, location of tank farms, export processing zones, exploration of quarries, the establishment of cement industries and the status of federal roads, were areas the congress could make its impact felt with a view to generating more reve-
protection and safety of informants and the confidentiality of all information.
HE Conference of Cross River Professionals has faulted a statement credited to the governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke, that he knew those that cannot succeed him, but did not know who will. Imoke was said to have made the comment while addressing a group of politicians in Calabar, recently. Reacting in Lagos, Convener of Cross River Professionals, Mr. Effiong Nyong, described the statement as “unfortunate, self-serving and a clear betrayal of the people of Cross River State by the governor. “We thought Imoke, a beneficiary of all the good things the state has to offer should know better and deal with issues concerning his succession with caution as we know
that in our recent history, a former head of state, who made such a statement supervised the longest transition programme that ended in a disaster for Nigeria.”
Madam Okome passes on
HE families of late Mr. Elijah Okome and late Jimmy Sideso, have announced the death of their wife, daughter, sister, mother, and grandmother. Mrs Susannah Okome (nee Sideso), who passed on,March 16, 2014 in Maryland USA, aged 83. Burial arrangement will be announced later. She is survived by sisters, children and grandchildren, including Roli Okome and Titi Adenuga.
nue to the state. He said: “Revenue generation formula has to be reviewed because it creates imbalance. The location of tank farms within the Export Free Zone is not economical because despite the environmental hazard created, operators do not pay revenue. “Subsidy should be based on consumption with the state having the highest consumption of petroleum products paying the highest subsidy, while federal highways should be dual carriage ways. But here, our state roads are better than federal roads, the benefit of this is that it will allow the state to raise more revenue for its interests.” On the relationship between the state government and NLC, Imoke observed that there was need for government and labour to understand each other, adding that even if there was a misunderstanding between them, it should be on principle and in the interest of the citizenry. C M Y K
14—Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014
Confab best platform for resolving Nigeria’s problems — Udonsak By SONI DANIEL, Regional Editor, North
ESPITE minor differ ences exhibited by delegates to the National Conference, a Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, chieftain, Dr. Samuel Udonsak, has said that the confab remains the best possible platform to resolve contentious issues affecting the development of Nigeria. Udonsak noted that the convocation of the confab by President Goodluck Jonathan was timely and a bold step by the administration towards finding an answer to lingering national challenges. The politician noted that the ability by Nigerians to sit down and talk was an indication that the conference would achieve the purpose for which it was convoked. Udonsak, who is the chief medical director of Onne Medical Centre in Rivers State, said: “The ability of Nigerians in their large numbers to converge on a particular place and talk about the future of their country is an indication that success is on the way. I am saying so because in any relationship, sitting down to talk signifies the first step of resolving challenges that can threaten any union.” He suggested that the delegates should explore the possibility of devolving more powers to the states and local governments so as to reduce the burden of the centre and quicken the development of the other tiers of government.
SEMINAR: From left, Permanent Secretary, Imo Ministry of Health, Dr. John Ihebereme; former national deputy president, Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, Mr. Solomon Osuji, and chairman, Imo Medical and Health Workers Union, Mr. Francis Nzenwata, presenting an award of merit to health workers at Obowo, Ngor-Opkala and Ideato South LGA, during the council's 3rd Annual Health Week seminar, in Owerri, yesterday.
Senate moves to strip Jega of power to appoint INEC Secretary .Divided over electronic voting system BY JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU
BUJA — THE Senate, yes terday, in a three consolidated bills moved to strip chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Alhaji Attahiru Jega, of the powers to appoint the Executive Secretary of the commission.
Instead, the senate unanimously canvassed that the appointment of secretary of the commission be done by the President who appoints Chairman and Commissioners of INEC and also overwhelmingly rejected the conduct of election in one day. The decision to remove the powers to appoint INEC executive secretary from chairman of the commission was contained in the
Nigeria assumes presidency of UN Security Council BY VICTORIA OJEME
BUJA — NIGERIA’S Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Professor Joy Ogwu, yesterday, assumed the Presidency of the UN Security Council. Ogwu took over from the Permanent Representative of Luxembourg, Ambassador Sylvie Lucas, who held the position for the month of March 2014. Nigeria was elected a non-permanent member of the Security Council on October 17, 2013, and will serve on the council for the
period of 2014 and 2015. This is the fifth time since independence that Nigeria had been elected to serve on the most powerful decision-making organ of the UN, charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. According to a statement made available by the Media Relations Officer of the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN, Dr. Tope Elias-Fatile, the country has previously served on the council from 1966 - 1967, 1978 - 1979, 1994 - 1995 and 2011 - 2012. The statement read: “With the
Alleged missing NNPC N59.6bn: Reps c’ttee summons AGF, Ag. CBN Gov, others BY EMMAN OVUAKPORIE
BUJA — THE House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee, PAC, yesterday, gave the Accountant General to the Federation, AGF, Mr. Jonah Otunla, Acting Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Sarah Alade, and the Executive Director of Finance, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to appear today to explain their roles in the alleged missing N59.6billion Service Wide Vote in 2006. Chairman of PAC, Olamilekan Adeola, who summoned the MDAs, ordered that the AGF C M Y K
Bill for an Act to amend the Electoral Act, 2010, to provide for tenure of office of secretary, power to issue duplicate voters card, determine voting procedure and for other related matters 2014, which passed for second reading in the senate. One of the sponsors of the Bill, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, in his lead debate, stated that the amendment was seeking to pro-
should bring all the documents for disbursement of the fund. According to him, such documents must include all bank transactions between July and December 2006, a copy of the federation account, copies of statements of accounts through CBN for the period under review. He said: “If there was any mandate on the said missing N59.6 billion, it will show at a glance. We are tired of the excuses of all the agencies involved, claiming ignorance at one stage or the other. “ During the interactive session, yesterday, the NNPC General Manager, Accounts, Mr. Sambo
Aliyu, had tendered a letter written by the Budget Office in response to NNPC’s request to know the whereabouts of the missing fund. According to Mr. Aliyu, the Budget Office responded that the money was released to NNPC. But when queried by the committee chairman, Aliyu said the cash was not released, adding that the NNPC did not see any money. His response further infuriated members of PAC who unanimously agreed that all the relevant agencies should be summoned once again.
support of all other members of the Council, Nigeria will use its month-long presidency to actively promote the cause of international peace and security, in line with the principles of the UN Charter and the mandate of the Council. ”Nigeria’s return to the Council in January 2014, after having left only in December 2012, represents one of the shortest periods in the annals of the United Nations that a member state has spent between two terms on the Council. “This is even more remarkable as it is occurring under the institutional memory of the same Permanent Representative, Ambassador Joy Ogwu. ”Nigeria currently holds the chair of two Security Council Committees: the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 2048 (2012) concerning Guinea-Bissau, and the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa. ”In addition, Nigeria is one of the three vice-chairs of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), concerning the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; and one of the two vice-chairs the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) concerning Sudan.”
vide a renewable tenure of four years on the position of secretary of the commission, adding that the extant Act only empowered the commission to appoint a secretary without stating how long such person could remain in that position. Senate Ekweremadu, who is the Deputy Senate President and Chairman, Constitution Review Committee, further stated that the position of a secretary could not be underestimated in any organization and that for an election management body, it was proper to put a tenure to the office of the secretary in the Act establishing the office. He also stated that Section 52 of the Electoral Act 2010 prohibited the use of electronic voting by the election management body. “While we appreciate the challenges of the use of electronic voting system in our infrastructure-deficit environment, the Bill seeks to grant the commission the latitude to use electronic voting system when it is ready with the appropriate capacity and technology to do so,” he noted. Senator Ekweremadu said lack of time had remained a very strong excuse for not doing certain things right, which its cumulative effect undermined the credibility of elections and electoral process and that the Bill intended to increase the number of days provided for INEC. The areas the Bill seeks to increase the number of days included the conduct of re-run election from seven to 21 days, but Ekweremadu pointed out that this had constitutional implication which, according to him, had been recommended in the constitutional amendment additional report. The Bill also recommended that INEC should receive and treat application for transfer of voters’ card from thirty to sixty days as well as receive and treat application for duplicate voters’ card from thirty to sixty days.
Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014 — 15
16â€”Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014
FASHOLA COMMISSIONS BUSINESSDAY'S NEW CORPORATE OFFICE
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State (right), from left, Dr. Imo Itsueli, Chairman, Dubri Oil Producing Company; Mrs. Juliet Aigbogun, and her husband, Mr. Frank Aigbogun, Publisher/CEO BusinessDay Media Ltd, during the official opening of The Brook -BusinessDay Newspapers Corporate Head Office - in Apapa, Lagos, yesterday. Photo: Bunmi Azeez.
From left, Mr. Hakeem Bello, Special Adviser to Governor Fashola on Media; Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, Editor-in-Chief/GM, Publications, Vanguard Newspapers; Mr. Remi Ibirogba, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, and Mr. Gbemiga Ogunleye, Director of News, TV Continental.
The Brook -Business-day Newspaper Corporate Head Office - in Apapa, Lagos.
From left, Mr. Sam Amuka, Publisher, Vanguard Newspapers; Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, Mr. Frank Aigbogun, Publisher/CEO, BusinessDay Media Ltd; Foluso Phillips, Executive Chairman of the Phillips Consulting Group, and Dr. Imo Itsueli, Chairman, Dubri Oil Producing Company.
Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014 — 17
18 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014 A MAJOR lesson the political class refuses to learn is that politics that excludes interests of the people would never work. The seasonal need for national conferences like the one that commenced last March 17 confirmed that past efforts failed to address issues that hurt Nigerians, yes majority of Nigerians. The issues are basic – justice, equity, reflected in the rights to life, security, and access to education, employment, health services, housing and infrastructure like electricity, rails, roads and other means of transportation to support them. Nigerians do not have drinking water; it is no little surprise that there is hardly water for industrial, commercial and agricultural uses. Even where there is a fire outbreak, we evince wonderment that fire trucks arrive without water. Failure to attend to these matters in sustainable manners leaves the country under-developed. Millions of Nigerians are living through grinding poverty from childhood to adulthood. The political class in its hurry to succeed itself skips gloomy statistics that paint pictures of Nigeria’s poverty in bold, fright-
BY MATTHEW ADEJOH
HERE is doubt that the less-than-royal outbursts of the Lamido of Adamawa, Alhaji Mohammadu Barkindo Mustapha, were correct on some scores, and it is a wonder that the subjects of the royal father were not the ones that spoke some hard truths to some elders of the South, especially South-South, who have been prancing all over the place and letting everyone know that they love President Goodluck Jonathan more than the rest of us. But it must be admitted that the way some Northern elders have been carrying on, threatening fire and brimstone if a Northerner, usually in its narrower definition of a Northern Muslim, did not come to power in 2015, contributed to the attitude of Southern leaders who are rushing too fast and frenetically to defend their son. The Lamido was right when he said that there was a lot of jingoism and playing to the gallery going on at the National Conference. He said people like him were ready to walk out on the conference. “And Mr Chairman, jingoism is not a monopoly of anyone. Everyone here is a potential jingoist,” he declared. He added: “Mr Chairman, I just want to sound a note of warning; that is why I requested to be allowed to speak before the start of business today. I have been sitting here for three days watching, listening. I attempted twice to speak but I wasn’t given the chance. So, the note of warning I want to sound is that we shouldn’t take cue from the so-called civilised people of the Western countries because they are always after their own interest and they could use anything, coercive, force and other means to protect that interest.... “Mr Chairman, this leads to the debate on the behaviour of some of the delegates here. It clearly beats my imagination on how a
Here W e Go A gain We Again ening hues. They speak about leadership, changes in the structure of governance, constitutional amendments, and most importantly, allocation of resources. Rights of the individual to life and the prosperity that our country holds are merely thrown in to complete the works, since modern constitution parade human rights credentials. None of these suggested the unimportance of the gathering that commenced that day in Abuja with 496 men and women looking at making Nigeria work. If anything, the urgency of this undertaking is one that should be stated. Nigeria is hardly working; pretences to the contrary worsen the situation. What is important is ensuring that the current attempt is made with more attention on
the welfare of Nigerians. Past efforts concentrated on state and local government creation, system of government, revenue allocation: all of them centre on sharing power, not the welfare of the people. Issues before the National Dialogue are broadly expected to be on the structure of government—presidential or parliamentary system, fiscal federalism, devolution of power, resource control, derivation and revenue sharing formula. They are not different from the blighted past. Others are citizenship right, security of lives and property, state/local government creation, the federating units – two or three tiers and whether it should be states or geo-political zones, regional autonomy, immunity for elected officials, state and regional police. Would creation of more States make Nigerians more productive? Would a new revenue formula result in better management of our resources? Would the National Dialogue improve the circumstances of our children? Nigeria is in dire need of practical ideas for its future. Expectations are that the National Dialogue should find those ideas in a setting where interests of Nigerians prevail.
OPINION BH: Lamido, Nyako, Shekau and Nigerians gathering of people like us will behave the way we are behaving....Mr President delivered his address here and laid down what we are supposed to discuss and what not to discuss but many people here, sorry to say that, some elder statesmen who claim to be staunch loyalists of the President, but unfortunately these people are in the forefront to contradict what the President said in his address...at the rate we are going, in the long run, if we are not careful, this conference will flop, God forbid and if it flops, the resultant effect cannot be imagined by any of us here.” Quite unlike a Lamido, Alhaji Mustapha declared that if anything happened to disintegrate Nigeria, he would head to Cameroun or Chad to join his kith and kin. His words: "If something happens and the country disintegrates, God forbids, many of those who are shouting their heads off will have nowhere to go.... But I and the people of Adamawa and many others have got somewhere to go. I am the Lamido of Adamawa and my kingdom transcends Nigeria and Cameroon. The larger part of my kingdom is in the Republic of Cameroun and a part of that kingdom is in Chad Republic. Mr Chairman, a part of that kingdom, in Cameroun there is a state called Adamawa presently in Cameroon. So, if I run to that place, I will easily assimilate.” Interesting! And going by the sheer amount of endorsement his comments got on the internet, his reasoning is applauded by a large number of Northern Muslims. What happens to other Northerners with no kith and kin in any neighbouring African country is not their business. What happens to others elsewhere if Nigeria disintegrates? And if Nigeria disintegrates, why does he think it will be burnt down so that the others will look for where to
run to? Is that the game-plan? Is there any relationship between what he said and what is happening in Benue and Plateau states, for example? And the Fulani herdsmen who have been shedding blood all over the place, are they relatives from Cameroun, Chad and Niger as has been speculated? What is the relationship between this reckless statement and one that the Lamido's subject and Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako, has been making lately, tending towards such suggestions of disintegration? Curiously, the statements do not differ in substance from that of the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Shekau, who is telling anyone who cares to listen that he is after "treacherous" Muslim leaders and traditional leaders, in addition to infidels, a common phrase among those who think they know God but derive pleasure from killing and maiming innocent creations of God. Nyako had hinted in a speech he delivered in the United States that government agents were responsible for these easy pickings by Boko Haram, but Shekau has come out to say it is him and his group. Where Shekau says to Islamic clerics and fellow Muslims in the Civilian JTF to "either flee, take up arms, get conscripted into the army or police, because what I’m telling you is that I have started a war against you. It is now that I have started war against you. It has just begun… You don’t know my madness, right? It is now that you will see the true face of my madness. I swear by Allah’s holy name that I will slaughter you. I cannot be happy if I don’t personally put my knife on your necks and slit your throats. Yes! I’ll slaughter you! I’ll slaughter you! And I’ll slaughter you again and again… “Now our religion and our way of worship is nothing but killings, killings and killings! Kill
and slaughter but don’t eat them… I promise that we will kill all your (Muslim) clerics. Just like I killed Albani and it was splashed all over the newspapers. I’ll kill them all. Who was Albani? He was nothing. I’ll kill all of them. I’ll spare none but who follow Allah and the Prophet. Whoever follows Jews and the West is my enemy". The Adamawa State Governor says: "Clearly these strategic commanders are waging a war of terror (‘making’ a statement to influence an outcome) as well as adopting insurgency tactics of using terror to achieve a political end against Northern Nigeria. Boko Haram is therefore being viewed as a tool by some evil-minded conspirators to kill key traditional and political leaders of Northern Nigeria and to cause the disintegration of Nigeria. The people in the North have also begun to suspect that the objective of all this is to create enough mayhem for an excuse to deny them their democratic right of vote by cancelling the forthcoming general elections in the region and also reduce the voting power of the people there now and in the future through mass killings of its populace, especially its youths." Pointing fingers of guilt in the direction of Abuja when the chief perpetrator is taking responsibility smacks of clear ignorance or mischief, and to think that such a man rose to the rank of a vice admiral is nauseating, to say the least. Moreover, loyalty is one of the watchwords of men in uniform, and even when they are out of uniform; but this farmer has shown what stuff he is made of when he treacherously abandoned his own party. Who is to say he would not abandon or sabotage the Nigerian project for Cameroun as we have been so educated by his traditional ruler? Time will tell. *Mr. Adejoh, a public affairs analyst, wrote from Abuja.
Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014— —19
ECENTLY, two commissioners in Abia State government were suspended indefinitely for allegedly flouting the state government’s directive against double taxation and extortion of money from people of the state. The affected commissioners were Mr. Chisom Nwamuo, Commerce and Industry, and Mr. Ikechukwu Emesiombum, Transport. Their suspension by Governor Theodore Orji was made public via a statement issued in the state capital, Umuahia recently, by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Eze Chikamnayo. It could be recall that before now, the state government had been worried by the negative image created for it by multiple revenue agents, blocking traffic and harassing innocent citizens all in the name of collection of taxes and levies. To arrest that ugly development, government decided to streamline taxes and levies in the state. As part of the implementation process, government set up a State Internally Generated Revenue Committee, which will, among other things, organise annually a State Revenue Economic Summit, SRES, to interface with the tax-
paying community and chart a roadmap towards acceptable tax procedure. The committee will also organise advocacy programmes to sensitise the people and corporate organisations to draw their support as well as review the existing state laws and compare same with the recommendations of Joint Tax Board/Ministerial Implementation Committee, JTB/ MIC. It is obvious that with the operation of the committee, there would be enhanced revenue and less acrimony between the state and its citizens on the one hand and private investors and their associations on the other hand on collection of levies and taxes. Besides all revenue generating Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, were compulsorily integrated into the IGR committee to ensure uniformity in the execution of the new policy. As the government moves in that direction, it also evolved the policy of conducting all its businesses through the electronic payment system. Taxes and levies are now paid into the bank to check fraud. But instead of operating in line with the state government directives for the final harmonization processes by the state government, those who have been benefitting from the illicit act and hell-bent on continuing with
Those appointed into positions in government should always see it as a call to service, and not use such as avenues for personal enrichment
it without minding the consequences on the people and image of the government went ahead collecting the illegal levies with impunity. But unfortunately for them, their cup filled recently following reports by concerned stakeholders that the affected commissioners were imposing authorised taxes and charges on traders and other people in the commercial city of Aba and environs, coupled with the protest by some aggrieved Aba market women who took to the streets in protest of what they described as heavy imposition of taxes by government officials.
he development is not peculiar to Abia State. It is and has been a common problem and practice in the states across the country which has been partly responsible for dwindling Internally Generated Revenue, IGR. The case of Abia is somehow unique because the people are not fond and disposed to paying taxes and levies. They had always wanted
BY NWADINMA UKONU
Suspended Abia Commissioners and the issue of illegal taxation
Any patriotic Nigerian appreciates the fact that breaking away is not the solution; the National Conference should address the agitations of these groups
The conference and secession debate option BY BEN ETAGHENE
OCIETIES are dynamic and often gyrate towards self-determination for an envisaged growth or change tendencies of the humans in those entities. This was aptly demonstrated through the period of colonialism to even these days of neocolonialism. The quest for self/new determination was supreme in all these developments. It began in India – the home of self-determination philosophy. At independence in 1948, both India and Pakistan were one nation but parted ways some years after. Less than a quarter of a century later Bangladesh again broke from Pakistan. This inclination and the urge for one’s own nation, led to the break-up of the once mighty and prosperous Soviet Union, an event which led to the lamentation of former Soviet Leader, Gibarcher over the “loss of citizenship of a Super Power,” of his people. Yugoslavia came breaking up, though predicted, that is, on the demise of their influential, patriotic and charismatic leader, Tito. Czechoslovakia was no exception as it broke into Czech and Slovia. The fall of the Berlin wall saw the coming together of the East and West Germany in response to the search for self-determination – the right to belong to where people want to belong to. The Soviet Union had a background of forced republics for its union, perhaps a development similar to the Nigerian amalgamation of 1914. I used the word “similar” because many ethnic nationalities in the northern and southern protectorates, plus Lagos, signed or at least agreed to become one country. One hundred years after we still have elements of disaffection
to what our forbears did. This will come up later. But elsewhere in Africa, there is the unending war of independence (seccession) by the people of Saharawi Republic against Morocco. The Southern Sudan fought for almost three decades to free themselves from the domination of the Arab Sudan. They only became the world’s youngest nation just two years ago only to be embroiled in another war for the same territorial ambition. Eritrea fought Ethiopia for over three decades to be free. The freedom granted Eritrea became a springboard for the Ogadem-speaking region to start their own agitation to be let go. The Ethiopian Prime Minister then, Mr. Zenawi, who had had an overdose of war, chose the democratic option and it worked. He made it a constitutional requirement thus: Any group or region seeking autonomy – break away-- should go to their parliament to make a case and with a single majority passage of such a bill into law, such a group or region could be on its own. In spite of the perceived allure of freedom, no region has ever vied for it since that enactment. This Ethiopian example is a likely option for Nigeria’s various political landmines for a country which fought a 30-month civil war (1967 – 1970) with the ripples still triggering bitter/sweet memories. There is no better time to put paid to these than now. We are a nation of over 350 ethnic nationalities often hinged on a tripod of Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. What about the remaining 347 which, in fact, are the majority. No Nigerian leader has seen this as a misnomer or an aberration! That after 100 years, Nigerians are still
government to do everything for them free. They had argued that they did not see the outcome of the ones they have paid to past governments in the state. It took the developmental strides of the present government in all spheres in the state to convince the people to start paying levies and taxes again. But instead of the agents to be collecting the little being paid, some of them, in a desperate quest for personal enrichment, started engaging in illegal collection of taxes from the people. It is obvious that people and agencies saddled with the responsibility of collecting revenues for governments have devised all sorts of illegal means of extorting money from citizens, and divert them into private pockets without government’s knowledge. The practice has become part and parcel of the problems bedeviling governance in the country and has proved hard nut to crack for successive governments at all levels. The most annoying aspect of the ugly trend is that those who are not in the know-how of how government revenue is being derived or collected would always heap blames on the doorstep of the man at the helm of affairs of government. This is even when such man may or may not be aware of what his commissioners and other tax collectors are doing in the field. While it is true that the buck stops on the table of the governor in the state, the governors cannot be everywhere at any point in time or do everything by himself. He must assign responsibility to people and that is why he appoints commissioners, special assistants and other aides. Those appointed into positions in government at various levels should always see it
questioning the agreement their forebears entered into raises the legitimacy of those kids. Whether bad, good or oppressive, it can be overlooked and the authenticity of it accepted. It was obvious what Lord Lugard and his wife, Flora, did was for the interest of the British then but today paradoxically to the advantage of the Black race. That is if we play our card well, eschew corruption and deliver on good governance. Was Nigeria not mentioned by an American economist three months ago as one of four countries to watch. Others being India, Brazil, Indonesia. By 2050, Nigeria will become the third most populous nation in the world. We cannot harness these potentials by dwelling on what was done 100 years ago. In the case of the break-up of the Soviet Republic, there were bitter memories, loss of lives which the offspring from those republics could not live with. These stories were told from generation to generation.
n the case of Nigeria, our challenges are self inflicted and diversionary. Curb corruption. Take the recent revelation of the Abacha loot. Why are the children going to court? In a normal society, such a disclosure should elucidate shame. Nigeria’s numerous challenges included the Niger/Delta militants. They did not pray for secession instead they wanted more shares of the wealth realised from
as a call to service, and not use such as avenues for personal enrichment at the detriment of the people they are serving, and the government that appointed them. Although the suspended commissioners in Abia have not been found guilty of complicity in the alleged harassment and extortion of citizens over tax payment, Governor Orji’s decision to suspend them will not only pave way for proper investigation into the matter, it will serve as a deterrent to other appointees that may be nursing such ambitions. It has also shown that the state government was not directly or indirectly involved in the whole mess as many had been made to believe in the past. If after the probe the affected commissioners are found wanting, they should be made to refund the money they had collected illegally to government coffers. Such should not be seen by anybody as government’s witch hunt of the affected commissioners, but should be seen as a move to sanitise the system by weeding it of wrong persons. Governor Orji’s action is commendable and exemplary and should be emulated. Thumbs up for the stakeholders and market women who summoned courage to resist extortion and brought same to the attention of the government. Some people in governments who believe that the Governor or President is not easily accessible by the ordinary citizens take such advantage to engage in all sorts of impunities. Such an attitude by some public servants is bad, because even Governor Orji, a renowned public servant, has been operating an open door policy since he came into office.
*Mrs. Ukonu, a business woman, wrote from Aba, Abia State.
their land and the development of their home places. This issue will still rear its head at the National Conference. Then there is the question of Boko Haram. My concern here is not Boko Haram and breaking away. Their problem is how they can islamise the whole of Nigeria. Any right thinking Nigerian can arrive at their motif. Any patriotic Nigerian appreciates the fact that breaking away is not the solution. According to Ebenezer Babatope, Gideon Orkar’s coup would have succeeded but the moment he mentioned the excision of those five Northern states he lost the good will and even his constituency turned against him. Nigerians want to live together. In spite of this intellectually assessed observation, there are some groups playing delicate games on the emotions and ethnic sensibility of their people. These groups include MASSOB working tenaciously for the revival of Biafra. This group is so powerful in the East. There are times they would hoist the Biafran flag around Onitsha market and would force people to accept Biafran money. At other times they would force the market to close. They make speeches, organising march past along major roads with law enforcement agents looking the other side. In stricter societies these are treasonable felonies but Nigerian democracy is over flexible. Then there is the OPC fighting for Oduduwa Republic to comprise the six South Western states. Their agenda or mission is public notice. There is the Arewa with a wider ambition for the North to be more dominant in the national scheme of things. There is the Ogoni Movement agitating for a coastline state nation. When all these agitations are considered, it becomes imperative that the National Conference should address the agitations of these groups. They should be heard and a permanent decision taken.
*Mr. Etaghene, Editorial Director, The Bulletin, wrote from Warri, Delta State.
20 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2 , 2014
Too good to be true
Tragic end of panel beater
BY EBELE ORAKPO
•Beaten to death by NSCDC, Customs officials BY BOSE ADELAJA
Unravelling the mystery However, the Akejus are crying out to well-meaning Nigerians, the Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola, as well as the Commissioner of Police, CP Umaru Manko, to help them unravel the mystery as the Police are yet to reveal the identity of the suspects who carried out the dastardly act. Although both ‘jolly friends’ have been arrested in connection with the matter but their full identity has not been released by the Police. Hence, the Akejus who hail from Abeokuta, Ogun State, are still in the dark as regards the alleged killers of their son. Abiodun’s elder brother Olawale, who narrated their ordeal to Vanguard Metro feared the matter could be treated with kids glove as the Police are yet to come out with details of the suspects in spite of the fact that both have been in their custody for a week. According to the family, Abiodun, a panel beater at Opebi, left his Agbado-Ijaye residence in company of his widow Comfort in his commercial bus for Sango, Ogun State and on their way back, Comfort alighted at the C M Y K
•The late Abiodun Akeju nearest bus-stop while he proceeded to his Opebi workshop. After the close of work, Abiodun was said to have called his widow to prepare his dinner, unknown to him he will never live to eat the meal. He later ran into a gridlock at Dopemu Under-bridge and in the process, his commercial car scratched a Honda car with the unidentified men as the occupants of the car. An argument was said to have ensued and the duo took the law into their hands. Pleas by sympathisers not withstanding, the duo descend-
HAT would have prompted two friends, one of them an official of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC and the other, an official of Nigeria Customs Service to throw caution to the wind to beat an innocent civilian to death? The offence of the unfortunate fellow was that he dared to scratch a Honda car with plate number KTU 246 AQ belonging to the paramilitary officials who were at the time negotiating through the perennial gridlock on the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway. The tragic incident which occurred on Thursday March 20, 2014 at Dopemu Underbridge has since thtrown the family of the deceased 38-year-old Abiodun Akeju into deep mourning. As at the time of the incident, both friends were said to be in mufti, but were later identified as law enforcement agents, although the Police is yet to come up with further details about them. To worsen the plight of the Akejus, the Police at Panti was said to have allegedly demanded for N50,000 from this distraught family ‘to carry out tests to ascertain the cause of his sudden death’ while their son lies in the mortuary.
beat him severally; they also hit him with sticks and other dangerous weapons. However, he was able to escape the scene, but the men ran after him, beating him until he eventually collapsed !’’ VM could authoritatively reveal that the matter was last Monday transferred from Alabo Division to Panti for further investigation. In an emotion-laden voice, Comfort told VM the father of four was a good father to his children Akeem, Mariam, Aishat and Aliya. ‘’My husband does not usually take the family’s upkeep with levity, now that he is no more, we shall all miss him greatly. I pray that the mystery behind his untimely death is unravelled soon,’’ she said. In a chat with VM, the Akejus who said they have incidented the matter with Office of The Public Defender OPD, praised Mrs Tola Rotimi for a job well done. They also called on the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Umaru Manko and Governor Babatunde Fashola, to ensure justice is done. ‘’We reported the matter at OPD last Tuesday and Mrs Tola Rotimi
Both men reached for their belts and beat him severally; they also hit him with sticks; he was able to escape the scene, but they ran after him, beating him until he eventually collapsed!
ed on Abiodun and dragged him out of the commercial bus, beating him with various weapons. Sensing danger, Abiodun was said to have ran for his dear life, crying at the top of his voice but the duo ran after him with dangerous weapons and beat him into unconsciousness, accusing him of trying to escape without paying compensation for the damage inflicted on their vehicle. Realising what was at stake, the men were said to have tried to escape but were prevented from doing so through the prompt intervention of the Divisional Police Officer DPO of Alabo Divison, who dispatched his men to the scene after a distress call. The suspects were arrested while Abiodun was taken to a nearby hospital where he later gave up the ghost. An eye witness who pleaded anonymity lamented the way and manner the victim was beaten by the suspects. ‘’The incident happened very close to a new generation bank. Both men reached for their belts and
immediately stepped into the matter by dispatching a lawyer to handle it. Our prayer is that the suspects are brought to book while full compensation is paid for the sake of his children,’’ they said. Olawale also told VM that a search party was oraganised when the family did not hear from him. ‘’Few minutes after he called his wife, his lines were switched off and his whereabouts was unknown. A search party was later organised which combed everywhere but to no avail until the midnight of Friday March 21 when the Divisional Police Officer DPO, of Alabo put a call across the family informing us that the panel beater was lying in the mortuary! On getting to the Police station, we were informed that he died the previous day during an encounter with the suspects,’’ he informed.
HE Mile-Two bound commuter bus was moving smoothly this Monday afternoon, so smooth in fact, that commuters were a bit apprehensive at what awaits them ahead. ”I can’t believe this is Monday,” declared Ife. “You can’t believe what? That the road is a bit free at this time? Why do we find it difficult to believe good things? We are so used to the negative that when something positive happens, we tend to disbelieve it. That’s not the way to go at all. Why should the exception be the rule? It’s just like what we do with electricity. When we have light for 10 hours uninterrupted, we begin to say that something must be wrong as if we are meant to live in darkness!” said Ugo. “Some things are too good to be true jare,” replied Ife. Suddenly, an elderly woman asked the conductor to change the torn N100 he had given her as her balance and like a man stung by a wasp, the conductor shouted: “Madam, abeg, no disturb me. After all I asked you to enter with your change. Give me N100 and take back your N200.” “Did I give you tattered naira note?” asked the woman. “Na me manufacture that one? No be another passenger give me?” asked the conductor. “If you don’t want it, throw it away. I don’t have another one.” Thereupon, the woman launched into a long diatribe, calling the conductor unprintable names. “You are a useless man. You will die a pauper. Good for nothing fool. You will never end well. In fact, this vehicle will kill you,” on and on she went like a tap without control.
Disarming the woman “Madam, it’s enough. Haba! All these curses on one person?” commented Joe. Surprisingly, the conductor was just saying ‘AMEN’ to all the curses. “That is a good one,” noted Mercy. “How do you mean? That is foolishness. Someone is heaping curses on you and you are agreeing with the person by saying amen. Amen means “let it be so.” Doesn’t he know it will affect him?” asked George. Replied Mercy: “It is just a way of disarming the woman. When she sees that her words do not hurt him as intended, she will lose steam and stop. Her intention is to hurt him and if she is not succeeding, she will stop but if he shows that he is being hurt by the verbal attack, it will ginger her to continue. The Bible says in Proverbs 26:2, “Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse will not land on its intended victim.” So if he has done nothing to deserve the curse, it will not affect him. I like his spirit though.” Continuing, Mercy said: “I remember the story of an African President who was being blackmailed by an Oyinbo man. He had sent a photo to the president in which he was shown sleeping with a White lady. He asked the president to pay a huge amount of money into his account or risk having the photo in the public domain. Trust our people, the president simply laughed and asked him to go ahead because his people will be proud of him. “Of course, you can guess the end of the story. That was a very bad market for the blackmailer.”
Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014 — 21
FG earmarks $2.9tr for infrastructure BY EMMANUEL ELEBEKE
he Federal Government has developed a 30 year Infrastructure Master Plan with a projected investment outlay of $2.9 trillion. The Supervising Minister of National Planning Ambassador Bashir Yuguda disclosed this at the ongoing 7th Joint Annual Meetings of the Economic Commission for Africa, ECA’s conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development currently holding in Abuja. The Minister said the 30 years infrastructure Master plan is a homegrown strategy of federal government to actualize its Vision 20:2020 objectives. He added that it was in line with this goal that the Government’s Transformation Agenda was also developed. “The government has also developed a 30 year Infrastructure Master Plan with a projected investment outlay of $2.9 trillion. “At the national level in Nigeria, we have articulated a long term strategic development blueprint, tagged Nigeria Vision 20:2020. This is our homegrown, strategic development agenda for stimulating economic growth and launching the country onto a path of sustainable and rapid economic development. “It is also aimed at moving Nigeria to the league of the top 20 economies by the year 2020, with a GDP of not less than US$900 billion and per
From left: Head, Brand Management, Keystone Bank Plc, Mrs. Omobolanle Osotule; Divisional Head, Lagos Island 2, Mrs. Helen Eriyo; Executive Director, Lagos and West, Mrs. Yvonne Isichei and Acting Head, Products and Market Support, Mrs. Obiageli Ibennah, during the bank’s 2014 Annual Small and Medium Enterprise, SME, Forum in Lagos. capita income of US$4,000 per annum. “As part of the efforts towards deepening economic management, the Government’s Transformation Agenda was also developed. This is a blueprint of key policies, programmes and projects to be implemented between 2011 and 2015,” said the Minister. On development planning, Yuguda said, “Credible economic agenda and indeed
strategic planning is a ‘sine qua non’ for good governance, economic development and the well being of our citizens. Experience has also shown that countries, such as India and Malaysia, Brazil, which have committed themselves to the sustained implementation of medium and long term strategic plans have registered significant improvement in their economic performance.”
The Minister further urged African leaders to pursue policies that would ensure that the current growth momentum on the continent is more resilient to external shocks and translates into desirable social outcomes as a means of deepening development on the continent. He noted that, “Africa’s economic emergence and transition from a continent of lowincome into middle -income economies, requires chang-
Environmentalists fault government’s mining deal with Jindal BY FRANKLIN ALLI
NVIRONMENTAL pressure groups in the country have called on the Federal Government not to go ahead and sign agreement with Jindal Power and Steel, India to revitalise coal mining in the country. The groups allege that, “Jindal operations in other parts of Africa continue to impact negatively on host communities.” In a statement, the pressure groups under the umbrella of the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/ FoEN), said, “Not only is this planned engagement with Jindal disturbing, it clearly indicates that the Nigerian government is yet to get a grasp of the magnitude of environmental challenges that dirty energy ignites. Our position is that government must stop hobnobbing with so-called investors only interested in promoting dangerous and
outdated extractive operations.” “Will the Nigerian government feign ignorance of Jindal’s tango with communities in Tete province of Mozambique where the company is extracting coal from an open pit mine without an environmental impact study or ensuring the safety of the local communities? Did our government carry out background checks on this company before engaging in this clear misadventure,” said ERA/FoEN Executive Director, Godwin Ojo. “In Mozambique the company is said to have promised it would not extract coal before resettlement of the communities, or occupy lands without first negotiating with their legitimate owners. It however breached these agreements, sparking protests in the communities where local folks also complain of environmental impacts.
ing the economic structure from predominantly agrarian to industrial and making the most of its large reservoir of natural and agricultural resources. “This will significantly boost the economic performance of the countries, as well as lift many Africans out of poverty through employment and wealth creation. This however requires conscious planning,” he said.
“The way to go in Nigeria is clean and safe renewable energy that is 17.97 +0.10 cheap and community based which do not erode livelihoods or negatively affect the environment. This is not the time for risky misadventures. We do 107.20 +0.75 not support any deal with Jindal or any other company that does not re107.97 +0.14 spect people and the environment,” said Ojo. CURRENCY BUYING CENTRAL SELLING He noted that Jindal usurped com155.24 155.74 munity farms with standing crops DOLLAR 154.74 257.2707 258.102 258.9333 without any warning, thereby seri- STERLING EURO 212.5354 213.2221 213.9089 ously undermining their food sover- FRANC 174.3746 174.938 175.5015 eignty. YEN 1.5114 1.5163 1.5212 0.3056 0.3156 0.3256 He said: “The company’s operations CFA 238.3273 239.0974 239.8675 are said to have inflicted communi- WAUA 25.068 ties with respiratory and other seri- RENMINBI 24.9061 24.9871 41.2585 41.3918 41.5251 ous problems due to their proximity RIYAL KRONA 28.4611 28.553 28..645 to open pit mines. The company also SDR 239.0888 239.8613 240.6339 has internal issues such as discrepancies in salaries pay and subsidies.” CBN Exchange rate as at 01/04/2014
22 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014
Videofied optical smoke detector will reduce fire claims — OKEKE By CHINYERE ABIAZIEM
ontinental Alarm Limited said its Videofied Optical Smoke Detector will make insurance companies in Nigeria stop groaning under the high claims paid out to fire and allied claims. Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Okwy Okeke, who stated this in Lagos, noted that his firm is the sole authorized Videofied agent in Nigeria. According to Okeke, using a simple smoke detector with an embedded SIM Card, many losses due to fire can be curbed just as the auto-tracker has vehicle theft. He said, “Our smoke detector will wirelessly transmit a text message and initiate a phone call to you besides just sounding an alarm in the event that it detects smoke. Conventional smoke detectors will sound an alarm on site, but what are the chances that the alarm will be heard and by the right person?” According to him, “This
Videofied Optical Smoke Detector is a simple device that will help insurance companies save on fire and allied claims, and here is the simple reason – fire outbreaks are particularly catastrophic in Nigeria because we do not detect them early enough.” Okeke said that the device may as well be the silver bullet for fire and allied insurance same way the auto-tracker has been to auto insurance. He said that the device comes with optical design which includes LightEmitting-Diode (LED) and when smoke enters the optical chamber across the path of the light beam, some light is scattered by the smoke particles, directing it at the sensor thereby triggering the alarm. “This is a significant improvement over traditional smoke detectors that rely on elevated temperature to sound an alarm. This means that even at a smouldering stage, this smoke detector will detect and trigger a fire alarm,” Okeke said. According to him, the device is completely wireless and requiring no cables and
is battery-powered that could last for up to 4 years. “This is about the only
monitored smoke detector in the market. Our control station monitors all our
installed devices 24/7 and calls for help when threat is suspected,” Okeke said.
Chairman, Great Nigeria Insurance Plc, Mr. Tokunbo Talabi (left) and Managing Director of the company, Mrs. Cecilia Osipitan, at the company’s annual general meeting in Lagos.
FUG Pensions commences operational restructuring
he management of Future Unity Glanvills Pensions Limited, FUG, has commenced the restructuring of its operation to align with global best practices. The company which currently holds sway in key states’ accounts says the ongoing restructuring of operation is geared towards improved market share, effective and efficient service delivery unparalleled within the industry. Set to capture a proportional market share and deepen its business reach through a strategic market development initiative, FUG said that the exercise is targeted at growing its assets under management three folds. The initiative which is designed to capture more state accounts, multinationals and even local governments’ employees’ retirement savings accounts (RSA) as well as legacy funds, is aimed at growing its market share and reposition the company for higher profitability. The company’s Managing Director and Chief Executive, Mr. Usman Suleiman said the restructuring, when completed would catapult the C M Y K
company to be among the top players in the industry. In line with its quality assurance policy, FUG Pensions has also pledged prompt and better service delivery for its existing and potential customers in 2014 and beyond, given its robust
Information Communication Technology (ICT) platform recently upgraded and deployed to drive processes. The company has staff strength of over 85 members with thorough bred professionals manning each unit. Embedding the right
culture and values in the organisation is similarly important. As part of this process, senior management is formally assessed to ensure that they demonstrate the company’s desired values. FUG Pensions’ leadership development programs and
GNI unveils new board By ROSEMARY ONUOHA
reat Nigeria Insurance Plc has unveiled the new board members of the company following the conclusion of the divestment process. At the company ’s 48th Annual General Meeting held in Lagos, the new Chairman, Mr. Tokunbo Talabi, in his maiden address assured shareholders of the ‘board’s commitment to bringing to bear, their various wealth of experience to ensure optimum performance by the organisation’. While thanking the previous board for the ‘good job done’, he emphasized that the corporate governance policy will be strictly pursued. Talabi who is a business
mogul formally introduced the other board members at the occasion. They are; Mr. James Naiyeju, Mr. Bade Aluko, Arch Bishop Felix Alaba Job, Mrs. Foluso Onabowale, Mr. Dapo Otunla, and Mrs. Cecilia Osipitan the Managing Director/CEO. Also introduced are Mr. Rotimi Olukorede and Mrs. Roselyne Ulaeto both as Executive Directors. Commenting further on the Company at the occasion, Mrs. Osipitan who has been at the helms of the Company since December, 2009 assured that ‘ with the conclusion of the divestment process, GNI is now fully focused on the matter of growing its bottomline, implementing the re-
retreats help to develop the mindset and skills needed for employees at all levels as the company has training and recognition schemes focused on instilling workplace behaviors desirous of the organisation.
...Posts moderate results
engineering initiatives and customer service improvement programme’. It will be recalled that following the Central Bank of Nigeria’s directive for banks with subsidiaries to either sell off their subsidiaries or adopt a holding structure, Wema Bank Plc, the majority shareholder of the 54 year old Insurance firm decided to sell her stake in the company. The company in its recently released financial result witnessed a rise in profit after tax with a 119 per cent increase of N903 million in its 2012 financial results when compared to the N399 million of 2011. Gross premium as at 31st 2012 stood at N2,881,139 billion as against the turnover of N2,403,889 billion of 2011, this shows a 16.5 per cent
comparative increase. Similarly, the total assets experienced a marginal growth of 13.8 per cent at N8.432billion as against the 2011 figure of N7.265billion. While, N833,122 million was paid out as claims to its various customers. In the same vein, the retail products of the company which are sold under its eBusiness platform has also started growing; one of which is Fireproof to cover against possible loss of properties through fire, another is Great Savers Delight; which is a savings investment scheme, Motorflex is an improved version of third party motor insurance policy and GNI Personal Accident Insurance product is for injuries sustained in accidents.
Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014 — 23
Operators must adopt innovative service delivery for growth— Olateru-Olagbegi By ROSEMARY ONUOHA
o be able to unlock the nation’s insurance industry growth, operators must adopt innovative service delivery platforms driven by well researched tailored services and seamless processes, Prince Lafor Olateru-Olagbegi, former Group Managing Director, Oceanic Insurance Group (OIG), now Old Mutual Nigeria has said. Speaking during an interview with insurance correspondents, OlateruOlagbegi who resigned from OIG in January 2014 following its acquisition said this has become necessary in view of the need to increase insurance
penetration and density for more market expansion. Old Mutual acquired two of the three entities that made up OIG, namely Oceanic Insurance and Oceanic Life. The third company, Oceanic HMO remains a standalone company. “One big challenge facing the insurance industry is that of penetration, so efforts must be geared towards ensuring increased consumer confidence and trust through excellent service delivery” “The question will be, which operators will have the right vision and capability to proactively anticipate and adapt to new market realities. Those that move to redefine the sector ’s service delivery platform are more likely not just
to survive, but prosper as they reposition themselves against traditional, emerging and foreign competitors,” he said Olateru-Olagbegi who has had over three decades of working experience said companies wishing to take advantage of the new growth opportunities in the industry whether it’s in micro-insurance, Takaful or in the retail space generally, must ensure sustainable investment in human capital development, product/marketing research and robust technology for seamless operations.
From left: M. Mohammad, Commission Secretary/Legal Adviser, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Mr. Wilson Ideva, Managing Director, Premium Pension Limited and Mr. Elendu Ojukwu Awa of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department, PenCom during the Pension Fund Administration Summit for Education Ministries, Agencies and Institutions in Lagos.
CPS will eradicate corruption in Nigeria— IDEVA T
he Contributor y Pension Scheme, CPS, would eventually make corruption in Nigeria a thing of the past if generally embraced in strict compliance with its establishing legal provisions, Managing Director of Premium Pension Limited, Mr. Wilson Ideva, has said. Ideva made this assertion during the recently held Pension Fund Administration Summit for Education Ministries, Agencies and Institutions in Lagos. The summit was organized by Exam Ethics Marshals International. His position was corroborated by Ike Onyechere, the founding chairman of Exam Ethics Marshals International who opined that corruption has permeated every sphere of the society including some educational institutions where teachers now take bribes from students. “People steal what they do not need for fear of the unknown” said Ideva. “The new contributory pension scheme has provided an umbrella that guarantees decent life for workers upon retirement and secures a large pool of funds that could be deployed to national development.” He noted that the tremendous successes
recorded by the pension industry within a short period of time would encourage workers to do their jobs honestly in the expectation that their future is guaranteed. He also averred that the funds under management in the pension scheme could be profited from to hold down inflation and develop the country ’s infrastructure. Ideva described the CPS as a revolution unsung noting that more than four trillion Naira is under management in the scheme even when only six million out of the estimated 70 million Nigerian workforce are enrolled in the scheme. “What would happen if only a quarter of Nigerian workers enlist in the scheme?” he asked. “There should be a signpost on every project executed with pension funds indicating the source of the funds so as to make Nigerians aware that the new pension scheme has already begun to contribute to national development.” He voted the National Pension Commission, PenCom, as the best regulatory institution not only in Nigeria but on the African continent. He described it as an institution that has demonstrated that policies can work and people can play by the rules in Nigeria. According to Mr. Farouk Aminu of PenCom who was represented by the Commission Secretary and Legal Adviser, M.S. Mohammad, “The contributory pension industry can no longer be ignored as it has proved to be a veritable platform for attaining the Federal Government’s Transformation Agenda.”
“There is a lot of opportunity in the retail market space and we must not assume that it is still the old way of doing things, and I can tell you forward looking companies will make huge statements with their earnings in the near future,” he noted. The insurance expert further asserted companies must simplify their product offerings and expand their distribution options through innovations and collaborations that will create inroads into the underinsured and un-insured populace across the nation. “The interest of foreign companies in Nigeria’s insurance sector shows that the experts across the globe consider the market as the next growth frontier for insurance. I am currently consulting for a number of companies and spearheading think-tank initiatives with other experts to ensure the insurance sector in Nigeria takes this huge step towards a brighter future,” he added.
Growth and Expansion It will be recalled that Olateru-Olagbegi oversaw a period of growth and expansion at the Oceanic Insurance Group during his tenure as GMD from 2006 to 2013 after injecting a wide breadth of experience and professionalism that made the Group attract interest from reputable investors. Between 1995 and 2005, Olateru-Olagbegi joined the team from AIG Insurance Company USA, where he worked for over 10 years, the last five years as General Manager increasing sales by over $500,000 annualized premium within two years. Alongside his accolades in the insurance profession, OlateruOlagbegi made the distinguished Presidential Council trip and Award to Las Vegas, Nevada in 2000, and another Presidential Council trip and Award to Puerto Rico Island in 1998.
BRIEFS CIIN institutes staff of the year award
r. Idowu Owa has been selected as the staff of the year 2013 by virtue of his outstanding performance as staff of the CIIN Secretariat. In a statement, the CIIN said that the verdict which was reached through a stringent selection process involving nominations by the staff came as a result of CIIN’s Director General, Mr. Kola Ahmed’s resolve to reward excellence and to encourage greater diligence amongst the secretariat staff. CIIN staff eligible for the annual award are those in the cadres of Assistant Manager and below. Owa, who hails from Kogi State holds an Ordinary National Diploma in Tourism from the Federal Polytechnic, Idah, Kogi State. A dependable staff who combines efficiency with effectiveness in his duties, Owa’s emergence is well deserved as members of the Institute’s Staff paid glowing tributes to him. Owa joined the Institute in 2007 and has continued to serve diligently. Director General of the CIIN, Mr. Kola Ahmed, while presenting a commemorative plaque to Mr. Idowu Owa, enjoined him not to rest on his oars but endeavour to achieve more success at any given task.
Easter: StarTimes rewards customers
TARTIMES is offering its customers an early Easter gift through its Open Week, April 7 to 13, when dormant, active and new subscribers would have free viewing access to 13 select channels on its paytv. “Easter is a season when families spend time together at home and watch television. We decided to give our customers (Dormant and Active) an opportunity to enjoy specific channels for a period of one week for free,” said Irete Anetor, Public Relations Manager at NTA-Star TV Network. He added that the selected channels were derived from a survey carried out on the StarTimes Nigeria official Facebook page to find out what the five favourite channels of its customers were, from a given list of channels that they could watch for free during the Open Week. “At the end of the survey we arrived at 13 of our fans’ favourite channels and we decided to constitute an Open Week where all of our customers, irrespective of their current bouquet plan or whether or not their subscription is active, can enjoy free viewing of these channels for a week.
24 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014
The landscape of the law at Nigeria’s centenary
New acquisitions delay FBN’s 2013 account submission BY NKIRUKA NNOROM
ew acquisitions made by FBN Holdings Plc during the 2013 financial year is presently frustrating timely submission of its year end reports and accounts for December 31, 2013 to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE. Usually, quoted companies are required to submit their year end financial statement to the NSE latest three months after the end of the financial year. FBN had late last year concluded transaction for the acquisition of West African banking assets of International Commercial Bank (ICB) Financial Group Holdings in Ghana, Guinea, Gambia and Sierra Leone. It had also said at that time that it hoped that Senegal’s transaction will also be completed by February 2014 on the receipt of regulatory approval
from Banque Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Quest (BCEAO). In a notice to the NSE, the bank said that difficulty in finalising the accounts of the newly acquired West African subsidiaries is the cause of the delay being experienced in submission of its 2013 result. According to the bank, the non-finalisation of the subsidiaries accounts is delaying conclusion of the Group audit. It, however, said that the result would be ready for submission by April 15, 2014 when it might have finished harmonisation of the various accounts. “This is to enable the completion of the statutory review of the accounts of First Bank of Nigeria Limited and FBN Holdings Plc by the Central Bank of Nigeria,” it said. It will be recalled that the bank had experienced similar challenges in submission of its third quarter result for September, 2013, which was later released on
December 31, 2013. Explaining the delay then, the chairman, Mallam Bello Maccido, had attributed it to the changing structures of the Group. He added that the nine months result could not be released until it was approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. “The holding company and the subsidiaries have a common year end that ends by December 2013. So as a holding company, our primary source of revenue is the dividend that comes from the individual subsidiaries, which we receive and in turn declare to our shareholders. The reason for the nine months audit is to ensure that all the subsidiaries get their accounts audited, get the necessary approvals and pass our dividend to us before December 3Ist. Dividends to shareholders will be distributed after the approval and publication of the full year 2013 results of FBN Holdings.
Transcorp targets N30bn profit, declares N5bn dividend BY PETER EGWUATU ransnational Corpo ration of Nigeria (Transcorp) Plc has disclosed that it is targeting a Profit Before Tax (PBT) of N30 billion for the next financial year. The Chief Executive officer of Transcorp, Mr. Obinna Ufudo stated this while responding to questions by the shareholders at the just concluded 8th Annual General Meeting of the company held in Lagos. Transcorp recorded a profit before tax of N9 billion for 2013 and recommended dividend of about N5 billion for the first time since its existence.
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The CEO said though the N30 billion profit target which was set by the board is ambitious, he assured shareholders that the management would deliver, saying the company is now in the phase two of its turnaround. “The first phase was essentially to grow our business lines. As you know, in our first two years, what we tried to do is stabilise the enterprise. We made investment in power plant and others. Our vision is for Transcorp to be the leading Nigerian conglomerate in key sectors that can contribute to growth of the economy. We have chosen those sectors
to be hospitality, energy and agriculture,” he said. Ufudo said in the power business, the company will focus on concluding the rehabilitation of a number of identified turbines to improve generating output at Ughelli plant to 700 megawatts. “Our oil and gas business will witness a speedy take-off as we expect to finalise negotiations of the production sharing contract of OPL281 with the Department of Petroleum Resources. We will embark on aggressive drilling campaign for commercial production before the end of 2014,” he said.
ersons not versed in legal mat ters often wonder as to why there is great difficulty in the prosecution of criminal complaints against persons alleged to be responsible for the mismanagement of some banks in which the Central Bank of Nigeria intervened as well as against persons alleged to have made away with huge sums of money belonging to the government. The public perception is that persons who are alleged to have committed relatively minor offences are readily brought to trial and that the ideals of moral justice, fairness and equal treatment before the law for all are being abandoned. However, the true position is that criminal procedure in the courts allow the defendant in a criminal prosecution to apply for the charges against him or her to be quashed before commencement of a trial. The Supreme Court has set standards for the quashing of charges against a defendant without a trial of the defendant in Ikomi vs. State (1986) 3 NWLR 340 and Abacha vs. State 11 NWLR 437. When the defendant applies for the charges against him or her to be quashed, the request would be first determined by the High Court and which ever way the decision goes, the application would be further brought before the Court of Ap-
From left: Mr Herve Chomel, Vice President, Africa, MoneyGram; Mr Peter Ohser, Executive Vice President, US and Canada; Mr Uzoma Dozie, Executive Director, Retail Banking, Diamond Bank Plc and Mr Daniel Akumabor, Divisional Head, Transaction and Electronic Banking at the partnership signing ceremony for the provision of money transfer services between MoneyGram and Diamond Bank, in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: Lamidi Bamidele.
In some instances, the killings are being used to secure property rights but the killings are being described as arising from communal clashes
peal and subsequently before the Supreme Court. The effect is that the defendant’s trial would not start for a number of years and only after a Supreme Court decision to the effect that the charges against the defendant should be tried. The laws of Lagos State do not allow for any appeal from a criminal matter to hold up proceedings and a criminal prosecution in Lagos State should proceed until the judgement is given and after which judgement there could be an appeal. It appears that a constitutional amendment
should be used to adopt the position of Lagos State law for the Federal High Court and the High Courts in the states. It is not good public policy to allow persons who are alleged to have mismanaged the resources in the banking sector or in government to walk away from the allegations brought against them before the courts without a trial. With respect to the banking sector, the Banks and other Financial Institutions Act, BOFIA, provides under Duties of Banks, Sections 16 to 20, for the procedures to be adhered to in the grant of advances and loans by banks. In the situation in which these procedures have not been followed and the loans and advances have to be recovered, recovery is usually by criminal prosecution of charges against the bank officials as indicated by BOFIA. BOFIA should be amended to provide for civil recovery processes as primary means of recovery. Criminal prosecution should be retained for situations where it is obvious that a bank’s business is not being conducted in an appropriate moral climate. There are far too many killings currently being reported which killings should ordinarily be the subject of criminal investigations. In some instances, the killings are being used to secure property rights but the killings are being described as arising from communal clashes. Our social contract requires that we should account for each person at any point in time and if someone is killed unlawfully, we should bring to justice the person or persons responsible for the death. Before our independence in 1960, there were one or two spectacular murder trials that caught the attention of the public given the manner in which the cases were investigated. We would get the population behind law enforcement if we are committed to securing the life and property of each person and if when the laws are broken, the state is committed to providing credible protection for any witnesses that would assist in securing a conviction of the offenders. We must take steps to stem the tide of killings. The persons responsible for the killings must be confronted if we are to maintain cohesion in our communities. Recently, a Rwandan lady gave an account of her family’s experience during the 1994 killings in her country while advising us to ensure that Nigeria does not go the same way as Rwanda did.
Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014 — 25
DIARY Select ICT events zTelecom CEM World Congress 2014 April 2014, Venue TBC, London zHong Kong ICT Expo 13 – 16 April 2014 Hong Kong. z Cards & payment Asia holds in Singapore 23-24 April 2014. zTransport Networks for Mobile Operators 2014 13 – 14 May 2014 London. zCritical Communications World 27-29 May 2014 BITEC, Bangkok, Thailand
New inventions shaping life and living
Nigeria'll have five-fold broadband growth by 2018 — JOHNSON •Says our targets are still achievable By EMMA ELEBEKE
The Infra-Red Grill The world would never stop thinking. It's not even possible with the way technology spurs innovation in this 21st century. Check this out! The propane cooking devices, with 23,500 total BTUs and 452 square inch of cooking surface. It’s the only portable grill with infra-red heat and a deep fryer. You can grill, griddle, fry... even keep things warm, because it’s the only grill with a warming area. Cook fries with your burger, whip up hot wings or sear a nice steak, all while cooking eggs on the griddle.
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pprehension over the possibility of the Federal government achieving its target of a fivefold increase in broadband penetration by 2018 was cleared last week in Lagos by the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson while answering questions bothering on realizing broadband penetration in the country. Johnson who reassured the international audience during Ministerial Platform last week in Lagos at the international forum on accelerating nationwide broadband access in Nigeria, said government was committed in achieving broadband penetration within the target time. She said that Information and Communications Technol-
How to search for jobs using Google
ogy (ICT) industry has the potentials of raising its contributions to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from the present 8 per cent to 11 per cent, if the industry achieves its targets of a five-fold increase in broadband penetration by 2017. The forum was organized by the Broadband Rights Advocacy Network Africa in partnership with Openmedia Group and Atlantic Telecoms and media with the theme, Towards widespread accessibility and affordability of Broadband in Nigeria. She said that the Federal government was committed to making sure that every Nigeria has access to the internet in 2018. “The broadband plans have not changed. We are monitoring everything. The broadband council has been working. We just have to move faster. Coun-
FG vows to enforce ban on Aramex Int’l
tries that have broadband plans are more likely to meet up with their target. It is work in progress” she assured. According to Johnson, the ministry was working with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the broadband Council to deepen broadband penetration in the country, especially in rural communities, through infrastructure roll out. “2018 target is achievable. We are realistic about the target. We are aware of the challenges. We are dealing with policy challenges. We are discussing with the State governments on right of way issue” Johnson added. With the faithful execution of the broadband plan, the 2018 broadband penetration targets can be achieved but noted that all hands must be on desk.
MasterCard provides tech know-how to 1500 Nigerian women
To accelerate infrastructure roll out, she informed that the Ministry was getting all the States to reduce cost of right of way , adding that major reductions have been secured in Lagos State, and Oyo respectively. With optimism, she told the gathering that with increased broadband penetration and access, the country wil do more to contribute to Gross Domestic Product. Accordingly, she explained that the National Broadband Strategy and Road map would articulate how we will deliver these broadband targets, local government by local, and state by state. While calling on state governors to encourage telecoms operators in their respective states, to help facilitate broadband penetration across the state. She said the ability of federal government to achieve fast broadband roll out, lies in the hands of state governments. According to Johnson, if state governors allow telecoms infrastructure to be built quickly at reduced cost in their states, it would help deliver all the benefits of broadband in the country before 2017.
26 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014
Verve joins EMVCo
rominent African payment card scheme, Verve International, has joined EMVCo as a Business and Technical Associate. As part of the EMVCo Associates Programme, Verve will provide input into the enhancement of existing, and creation of future EMV Specifications for payment technologies. Verve will also advise on strategic business and implementation issues relating to the use of the EMV specifications globally. EMVCo exists to facilitate worldwide interoperability and acceptance of secure payment transactions. It accomplishes this by managing and evolving the EMV Specifications and related testing processes. This includes, but is not limited to, card and terminal evaluation, security evaluation, and management of interoperability issues. EMV, which includes both contact and contactless chip cards, is the latest in payment technology, and also increase security by reducing the risk of counterfeiting. For example, if a card’s data is stolen a counterfeit card cannot be used without its unique EMV elements. Mr. Charles Ifedi, Chief Executive Officer, Verve International, said: “The adoption of new EMV technology will make electronic payments more convenient and more secure. Verve International is proud to be doing its bit to develop new EMV technologies as part of our commitment to ever improving levels of security and convenience for our customers. “We are ideally placed, and very much looking forward to, adding an African voice to technical discussions on the development of new EMV technologies and adoption of these technologies across Africa and around the world.”
How to search for jobs using Google By TAIWO KOLA-OGUNLADE
inding a job can be diffi cult. While looking through newspapers and asking’ highly placed family members for referrals did the ‘magic’ easily in the past, it is has become harder today with more people competing to land the jobs available. Unlike the past when classified sections of newspapers were the primary means of finding job openings, online search today plays a more crucial role in helping to connect people to jobs. The Internet stretches your connections across local, state, and even national borders and gives you access to sites, resources, and possibilities you may not have considered. It isn’t necessarily easy, but it is an enhancement you cannot afford to skip. So how does Google Search make it easier for you to find jobs?Search is at the heart of our business. It’s what we do. Google helps people find things –
whether it’s a rare African book, a blog for breast cancer survivors, an image of Tafawa Balewa, a Spoon video, or a map and driving directions to Obudu in Calabar. We believe that more information means more choice, more freedom and ultimately more power for people. Google Search crawls through trillions of web pages and sorts them by content (what is on different websites), and other factors such as how many people go to those sites. Although the process is easy, the trick to getting a great answer lies in the right search title entry in Google Search. For instance, typing “Job” in the search box will most likely provide a list of results that will be too broad. You will therefore need to include other keywords and operators that
will streamline and help you focus your search a little more. Your keywords could include Manager, Accountant, Doctor, Lawyer, Lagos, Abuja, etc, pretty much anything that aligns with what you are looking for. Operators are words or symbols that perform special actions. These operators allow you to find what you are looking for quickly and accurately. One operator that has been really useful for job searchers is [site:].This helps to restrict your result within a particular site.
LOCAL CONTENT: ISPON calls for fairness in software pricing By EMEKA AGINAM
hile the country loses billions of naira annually to heavy patronage of foreign software by Nigerians and multinational companies operating in Nigeria, the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), has called for firmness in software pricing in both local and foreign software. With zero legislation hindering growth of the indigenous software industry, the new President of ISPON, Pius Okigbo Jr. who stated this in Lagos on Monday while receiving handover note from the out gone President, Chris Uwaje as the new President of the group told IT Journalists that local software may not contribute massively to the economy in terms of value creation and capacity building unless priority attention was given to local products. Between local and foreign software: “Tell me why the same software developed by a Nigerian living outside the country should not attract the same price with the same product developed by a Nigerian living in Nigeria? Why should Nigerians see foreign software as superior to locally developed one. Just tell me. “What is worrisome is where there is no fairness in pricing for both local and foreign products. If a product developed abroad attracts ten million dollars, the same software product developed
locally should also attract the same amount. Address fairness in pricing: “Fairness in pricing should be addressed if software in Nigeria can contribute to economic growth. We cannot continue to see Nigerian products as bad compared to the ones produced outside the country. That perception must change. If there is an fairness in pricing of both local and foreign software, the economy will be protected and jobs created. “We need to protect the young-
er generation that will be exposed to the global market. We must encourage the young generation otherwise we will singing the same song” he explained. Intellectual property rights: While commending the Ministry of Communication Technology for promoting local content, he said that intellectual property rights in local software must be protected."There has to be instrument for protecting local software developed by Nigerians We can do this through training. My drive is local con-
From right: Former President of Institute of Software Parctitioners of Nigeria, ISPON, Chris Uwaje, during handing over note to the new President of ISPON, Pius Ojigbo, Jr. on Monday in Lagos. Photo by Emeka Aginam.
tent and protection of intellectual property. We believe that local content help our young talents grow. There must be local content drive either in education, agriculture, oil and and gas" he said. To further grow the local industry, Okigbo who is passionate about software Nigeria called for review of curriculum in the Nigerian universities especially in what he described as technical writing. To reeducate the the youths, he said that technical writing should be taught in the Nigerian universities as an intervention strategies to help them face the challenges ahead. To build on Uwaje achievements: Pledging to build on the incredible achievements of the ISPON leadership under Uwaje, he said: “ I have to teach some youths who have already finished university technical writing. Why cannot we narrow teaching to technical writing. 90 percent of the participants at the ISPON software competition learn t their skills and software language outside university walls. We must begin to retool these young people with technical writing so that they can have competitive advantage after graduation. That is what we are saying here. Our time is spent. The future belongs to the youths. This is the time to begin as time is already running out” he explained. In his acceptance remarks, the new President called attention to the dyna
Continues on page 27
Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014 — 27
FG vows to enforce ban on Aramex Int’l By PRINCE OSUAGWU
he Federal Govern ment has stated that it will enforce the ban Aramex International Limited, following alleged indictment on unethical practices and manoeuvring of Nigerian courier companies. Following the ban, the Jordan based courier Company and integral part of Global Distribution Alliance (GDA) has been restricted from undertaking courier business either directly or indirectly through any courier Company registered with the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST). Announcing the ban to newsmen in Lagos, Dr. Simon Emeje, assistant postmaster general of the Federation and head of Courier Regulatory Department of NIPOST, said that NIPOST will enforce the ban in accordance to the Postal Act Cap. 127 Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, to sanitise and ensure a level playing field in the courier industry in Nigeria. He said: “We are empowered by the Act to regulate the activities of courier companies, amongst other responsibilities. So, we thereby notify all courier operators in Nigeria and the public that Aramex International LLC Ltd has been banned from undertaking courier business either directly or indirectly through any courier company registered with NIPOST” Dr. Emeje noted that prelude to the ban, Aramex had entered franchise agreement with different registered courier companies in Nigeria at different times. For him, the ban became imperative as a result of incessant reports of unethical practices including breaches of agreement, non-payment of cost of clearance and delivery of shipments, transacting courier business with other courier companies without recourse to contractual agreement despite the fact that the franchise agreement is exclusive and non-transferable, among other issues.
•Courier parcels “Aramex has been placed under surveillance and courier companies are required to report to the Courier Regulatory Department if they notice any courier business undertaken by Aramex,”. Meanwhile, managing director, ABX World courier company and country representatives of Aramex International Limited, Captain John
Okpaku, when contacted, admitted that Aramex was actually doing underground businesses without its knowledge as the authorised representatives.
e also revealed that his own company, ABX world, lost close to $6,000 million as a result of the under
h a n d practices Aramex involved in while still having a running exclusive agreement with him. He said ABX World had entered into franchise with Aramex International as a member of Global Distribution Alliance (GDA) but over time, realised that, Aramex did not keep to its part of the agree-
ment. The breaches according to him, led his ABX World to severe its relationship with Aramex before the ban hammer fell. Capt. Okpaku however added that, ABX World’s exit from Aramex group does not affect its membership of GDA. According to him, “we must protect our people. We must protect Nigeria’s sovereignty. Nobody should come here to tell us how to operate. Aramex at a time was bragging that nobody can restrict them from bringing parcels to Nigeria. “ABX, though as the representatives of Aramex International in Nigeria, we are not going to remain a party to people that do not recognize or respect laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “On the course of doing business with Aramex we lost nothing less than $6,000 million and pay $8,000 annual dues to GDA. So, as representatives of Aramex International in Nigeria we are reaffirming CRD, NIPOST and Federal Government’s position on the matter,” he said. Dr. Emeje, the CRD Boss, consequently warned courier companies licensed by NIPOST to desist henceforth from entering into business agreement or courier transactions with Aramex, or risk losing their operating licenses.
Stakeholders identify bottlenecks to affordable internet By EMMANUEL ELEBEKE
takeholders at the 25 th anniversary of the World Wide Web forum on affordable internet have identified lack of fibre infrastructure, desired investment model to address the present challenges, public private partnership and multiple taxations, are major factors militating against the provision of affordable internet to Nigerian masses. The forum, organised by Alliance for Affordable Internet, A4AI was used as a platform to introduce innovations to empower affordable internet access in Nigeria. A4AI is made up a diverse group of private, public and civil society sector players advocating for open, competitive and innovative broadband markets. The forum brought together public and private sector representatives, technology leaders from across the country and the rest of the world who deliberated on key policies and regulatory challenges to greater internet affordability in Nigeria. The discussions followed a moderated debate; interactive discussions; and the formation of a new national coalition. It also opened up widespread
dialogue that engendered policy change across Africa to see the formation of a new national multistakeholder coalition and action plan in Nigeria. Executive Director, Alliance for Affordable Internet, Sonia Jorge, in her presentation at the occasion said, there was a great need for a strong fibre infrastructure, backbone beyond the backbone so that the services can be available to all and also said there was an incredible need for Nigeria to move towards the needed investment model to make internet access available to people. “We identified few bottlenecks, not only by ourselves but by stakeholders in this forum for example the lack of fibre infrastructure; there is a great need for a strong fibre infrastructure, backbone beyond the backbone so that the services can be available; there is an incredible need for us to move towards the needed investment model, we suggest that Public Private Partnerships are a very good model to address the present challenges, because they not only bringing government resources together but also private sector resources. “We also see challenges in terms of being able to reach the rural areas
population that live in poverty. One of our key concerns in A4AI is how the under-served population can be reached. Right now in Nigeria, that population under-served is massive” she said. She however challenged Nigeria to “support the process that is necessary for the development of the country, by making ICT and the internet key platforms to bring development in many other sectors of the economy, like health, education, agriculture and industry”. Also speaking, the representative of Data ZA limited, Elijah Omilaye, said the forum was important and useful. He charged the ministry of Communications Technology and related regulators to constantly interface with government and other relevant stakeholders in achieving affordable internet for all Nigerians. “To overcome challenges, the regulators must relate with relevant stakeholders and ensure respect on both sides. At the forum, the new national multi-stakeholder taskforce was launched with the primary objective of contributing towards government policy to empower affordable internet access.
28—Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014
MasterCard provides tech know-how to 1500 Nigerian women
By EMMANUEL ELEBEKE
By PRINCE OSUAGWU
he teeming Nigerian women entrepreneurs, recently attracted the interest of international payment card solution providers, MasterCard, as it went into collaboration with Youth for Technology Foundation,YTF, in Nigeria,to boost entrepreneurial capabilities of over 1500 Nigerian women with technology hands-on trainings. Through the Nigerian Women Entrepreneurs program, the partnership is targeted at female business owners from the Niger Delta region, providing them with business management and capacity building skills, while deepening their access to financial services. Youth for Technology Foundation will recruit and train women entrepreneurs from across nine states in the Niger Delta region including: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta, Imo, Ondo, Rivers and Edo. Participants will undergo 10 hours of classroom and online training as well as networking events designed to allow for exchange of experiences among fellow entrepreneurs. Participants will receive SMSbased messages twice a week with information ranging from business basics, tools, leadership, money management, sales and marketing as well as banking and credit. Executive Director of Youth for Technology Foundation, Mrs. Njideka Harry, said: “We are keen on harnessing the power of technology to transform the lives of disadvantaged people and communities in developing countries. We are very happy to partner with MasterCard in Nigeria to provide female entrepreneurs in the Niger Delta region with practical tools that will bring transformation to their businesses and by extension enhance their lives as well.” She noted that Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are essential to the development of Nigeria’ economy, adding that the Financial System Strategy 2020 initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria, highlights that SMEs represent about 96% of Nigerian businesses and face numerous challenges such as infrastructure and knowledge gaps in addition to a poor financial support and credit environment.
‘We must make deliberate investments in Science&Tech to achieve Vision 20:2020’
•Women in tech MasterCard works with a number of non-profit organizations around the world to support financial literacy, entrepreneurial empowerment and much more. Vice-President and Area
Business Head, MasterCard West Africa, Omokehinde Ojomuyide added that “MasterCard has always been passionate about empowering women entrepreneurs across the globe.
s Nigeria plans to be come one of the top 20 economies in the world by 2020, government must be committed to a deliberate and focused investment in knowledge; science, technology and innovation, according to the Secretary-General, Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU) Prof. Faborode. The Don stated this in his keynote speech at a Science&tech workshop in Abuja, titled 'Building Nigeria's Innovation Ecosystem.' He said such investments was crucial since it has been the common denominator for all countries with strong economy. The Professor, who is the immediate past Vice Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, pointed out that effective research policy could accelerate growth, though not-
Thuraya rides on Airtel’s back to bring mobile satellite connectivity to 17 African countries
harti Airtel Internation al has announced strategic partnership with Thuraya Telecommunications Company, a leading Mobile Satellite Services operator to provide Airtel customers across 17 countries in Africa, with mobile satellite products and services. The partnership will provide Airtel Africa customers voice and broadband connectivity via Thuraya’s satellite network across the continent’s most remote areas. The partnership, said to take effect from May would see, Airtel Africa sell Thuraya’s products and airtime packages at their retail outlets and through their Enterprise account team. Extending mobile networks into remote or rural are a s presents both geographical obstacles and business challenges for connecting people in Africa. Thuraya’s satellite network helps bridge the digital divide by providing an immediate and cost-effective way for Airtel Africato extend its
coverage, while generating new revenue streams and providing vital connectivity. Thuraya’s mobile satellite service is said to have the capability of addressing the diverse voice and data communication needs of Airtel Africaenterprise users across the mining, energy, media, government and humanitarian NGO sectors. Announcing the partnership, Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Africa said, “Providing reliable connectivity in many remote parts of Africa can be challenging. This partnership enables us to further extend our coverage and services for businesses and general consumers who live or work in very remote areas. Thuraya’s satellite services will be combined with the reliable, high-quality voice calls and broadband access that our customers are ac- c u s tomed to experiencing in our urban centers.” Chief Executive Officer of Thuraya Samer Halawi, said, “Thuraya’s partnership with Airtel Africa a
very positive development in bridging the digital divide in Africa. We recognize the massive impact that access to reliable communications can have on the lives of ordinary people.
ing that it is presently constrained by inadequate funding and lack of continuity and consistency. He explained that government has not paid serious attention to research and development in its STI activities, despite several good intentions expressed by different stakeholders and researchers. “The government has not paid serious attention to research and development in its STI activities, despite expressing good intensions. The government plans to become one of the top 20 economies in the world by 2020, but just 0.2 per cent of gross domestic product, GDP in 2007 was spent on R&D. In fact South Africa spends 8.5 times more on R&D than Nigeria,” He insisted that Nigeria as a nation needs new fundamental strategic thinking, if it is to realize her vision. Quoting a UN Millennium Project’s Task Force on Science, Technology and Innovation report entitled Innovation: Applying Knowledge in Development, the Don averred that “unless STI starts to show results and alleviates hunger, poverty, illiteracy and ill-health, political and social upheavals will continue to plague the country.
CWG, MAG Tech harp on new measure to curb cyber attacks By EMEKA AGINAM
ddressing the lev el of threat and cyber attack in the financial market, Computer Warehouse Group (CWG), in partnership with MAG Tech, a specialized information security and intelligence company, recently organized an information security session in Lagos for financial and technology experts to address issues around cyber attacks and fraud in the sector. At the forum that attracted decision makers charged with security in the financial sector and technology, experts deliberated on the new measures that will curb cyber attacks and fraud in the industry. The Chief Technology Officer of CWG, Mr. James Agada who spoke at the forum told the gathering that CWG as a technology company, goes beyond enabling businesses with products and solutions to concepts
that will ensure 100 per cent security of all the customers’ transactions. Product and product knowledge, he said were not adequate to achieve the end result of any business solution, and hence the need for the new concept, which is centred on how to detect and react to fraudulent transactions. According to Agada, 50 per cent of the transactions in the industry were running on the servers that were being managed by CWG engineers. He assured that CWG was committed in ensuring that these skills were internalised in Africa. “Information security is crucial to us and our customers,” he said. For the Chief Technical Officer of MAG Tech, Mr. Nadav Arbel, he said in his presentation that cyber-attack originated from the Darknet which is the illegal part of the internet.
Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014—29
How Nigerian citizens are maltreated in China
The orator’s last bow (for Columbus Chukwujindu Ihekaibeya, 1942—2004)
O two acts could have been more dramatic in their tragic coincidence. I was halfway through Biodun Jeyifo’s powerful elegy for Tunde Sawyer, his former classmate at the University of Ibadan (The Nation, Jan. 12), when the obituary notice of yet another highly remarkable UI alumnus popped up in my email box. This notice came from Professor Chukwuma Azuonye, the noted scholar and teacher, and it is about no other person than Chuks Ihekaibeya, our mutual friend, and my classmate and valuable colleague at the Universities of Ibadan and Leeds in the late sixties and early seventies respectively. These two mortuary notes sent me into a reflective spin. Jeyifo’s “departure lounge” metaphor and its memento mori; his eloquent, nostalgia-inducing recall of intellectual life at the University of Ibadan in the 1960s; his exposure of Nigeria (for the umpteenth time) as that Hobbesian jungle where life is short and nasty and brutish; his characteristically cerebral but tender and humane representation of our human condition – all this in remembrance of a dear friend and the indictment of a country which never fails its citizens in its infliction of untimely ‘departures’. Azuonye’s own obituary notice is a celebration of Ihekaibeya and an impressively meticulous documentation of his achievements as student, scholar, and officer of the Commonwealth. Azuonye’s mail hurtled me down the proverbial memory lane, and my mind wound back the reel on the deck of time. The
NIYI OSUNDARE year was 1970. The Nigerian (un)civil war had just ended. The air was rent with shouts of: “One Nigeria. No Victor, No Vanquished”. But one brief, conscientious look at our war-weary, battle-bruised returnee-colleagues was enough to punch a hole in that slogan wide enough to swallow a mortar tank. The moods of many of these returnees ranged from despondent to defiant, bitter to buoyant, but overall, what I noticed was a burning hunger to catch up on everything, C M Y K
our after-lecture ‘quarrels’ over dangling participles and their unpardonable damage to the health of English syntax; the semantic perils in al- Map of China most like-sounding but differentmeaning pairs such as ‘official and officious’, ‘effect and affect’; ‘considerable and considerate’; ‘simple and simplistic,’ etc. We even split hairs over the grammatical difference between ‘enquiry’ and ‘inquiry’; the differential syntactic positioning/implications of ‘due to’ and ‘owing to’; and ridiculed the intolerable redundancy in such expressions as ‘can be able to do it’ and ‘should in case’. In our second undergraduate year, some kind of occasional sparring sessions developed between Chuks, myself, Akanji Nasiru, a close friend of mine, and a versatile, unobtrusively in-
It was impossible to encounter Chuks without being touched by his boundless vivacity and intensely reflective proclivity
memorable colleagues in Tedder Hall, Frank and Aloysius Nwosu, one now a doctor, the other a renowned agriculturist, embodied these two ideals. Frank was brilliant, funny, and fabulous; Aloysius was intensely affable and witty. I reveled in their company as I teased them with literary terms and they responded with all kinds of scientific arcana. In my private moments I couldn’t help wondering where these bright men would then have been had the war not intruded.
Sobering circumstances It was in these sobering circumstances that Chuks and I discovered each other. In the first few weeks of class, I had noticed this bearded, fair-faced man who carried himself with the deliberate aplomb of a book-bound guru. For, everywhere Chuks went, there was always a book in his hand. Initially, he smiled but little, talked even less, but as time went on and the pains of the war began to wear, Chuks began to smile - that broad, generous, and utterly disarming smile that lit up his face and offered access to the light that perennially shone in his soul. It was impossible to encounter Chuks without being touched by his boundless vivacity and intensely reflective proclivity. Virtually every time we met, it was book talk, lecture talk, discourse over the new literary theory or concept or expression - or heady disputation over the vocabulary of the English language. Hardnosed grammarian and doctor of diction, Chuks waxed vigorous in
telligent fellow, and Terimi Adekunle Jimoh (also now late, alas!), a deep, immensely literate bookworm. ‘University Wits’ of a fledgling but ambitious breed, we raided world literature from Sophocles to Soyinka; from Hardy to Achebe; from Chaucer to JP Clark. The book was our brief, the pursuit of knowledge our ardent desire, the attainment of academic excellence our quenchless passion. Chuks was some kind of literary omnibus, at home in all the genres. But he and I had an uncommon fascination with the metaphysical poets. (Forgive my pathetic confession: up till now, I haven’t succeeded in ridding myself of my own Donne Disease). I remember one evening in 1971 at the famous Faculty of Arts courtyard, when Chuks and I decided to wage a battle of minds over the metaphysical poets. We spent about two hours ranging over Donne’s Euclidian tropes, his astonishingly captivating conceits, and the brave theatricality of his love poems. Then, in the tail end of the battle, Chuks mentioned a particularly fetching phrase. ‘From Theodore Redpath’, I said. ‘Ah, you’ve read him?’, Chuks asked, his face a shining book of surprise and inquisitive delight. Chuks stretched out his hand for me to shake, as if we were meeting for the first time. That handshake went beyond the elbow, in a manner of speaking, as the two fledgling scholars locked in collegial embrace. For the next 40 years Chuks and I never met without some mention of that Eureka moment. To be concluded
BY ONAOLAPO DELON
KNOW these are no easy times for the President so I will skip the details and present the facts unedited. About 1508 Nigerian citizens are dying needlessly in China detention camps and prison facilities for travel offences. This figure is from Guangzhou alone and it is kept off the books. Guangzhou is a district in Guangdong province in the People’s Republic of China. This province is notorious for so many reasons because it is the centre for African traders and business travellers with Nigerians noticeably influential in the control of African related transactions. These resourceful Nigerians have (in no small way) contributed to the increase in sales volume of China wares at cheaper price to Nigeria. According to the China Bureau of Economics and International Trade, Nigeria was the biggest exporter of Chinese products to Africa in 2013. About US$ 205,600,000 (N34,940,000,000) was their official figure. I Our president should be am sure it is more than that because informed that other AfriNigerians use very unofficial can national are not treatmeans in transfer- ed this way ring funds. South Africa came a distant second. eo I recorded on my mobile I am not convinced that Nige- phone of the brutalization rians are targeted for mass ar- and hostilities Nigerians rest and gross abuse. I witness suffer in the hands of their a police “raid” of the city and men. Peeved by my action, saw the way Nigerian busi- they asked if I am a lawyer ness men and women were ar- or from the embassy, I rerested en-mass and thrown sponded No, they took the into waiting vehicles, those memory card from my with valid papers were not phone and promise to do even spared. “something” about it. A woman who came to buy Overstaying is a minor clothes was accosted and she travel offence, it is statistiwas screaming “I have my pa- cally known world-wide pers, its in my bag” the police that 21 per cent of travellcollected her document and ers overstayed the stipulatthrew them into the canal. She ed visa period. In Europe was cuffed and pushed into if an offender is to be sent the bus with other Nigerians back, the government buys onboard, she gave her name his ticket and still gives as Mrs. Mbamalu. US$2500 as stipend but the The plight of these people Chinese police in Guangcannot be put into words. They zhou prefer criminalizing are kept in underground dun- Nigerians, arresting degeons in freezing weather, tor- taining, torturing and asktured and made to feed on ing them to pay 500RMB rotten vegetables, caked blood (US$83.33) per day for of pork and mashed rice not overstay. What this transfit for animals. Some of them lates to is that an offender have to be stretchered around that overstays for two years because of deteriorating cannot get out by paying health condition like impov- fine. erished refugees trapped in To be concluded
to recover some of the lost time, to learn, to love, to live again. No time, no money for fancy wardrobes and expensive perfumes. Some of the shoes pounding the campus pavements were worn right to the heels. Occasional chants of ‘Happy Survival!’ interrupted the somber silence whenever long-separated former friends ran into each other again, and the ensuing hours were clamorous with narrations and enactments of all kinds of war sagas. It was a sober, even belittling experience for many returnees who were now nothing more than classmates with those who were still in high school at a time before the war when the ‘new’ arrivals were already undergraduates. Many of the returnees needed a more than usual lightness of spirit to bear this unfortunate demotion; others reached out with stubborn courage. Two of my most
BY NIYI OSUNDARE
war zone and they die without official records because the Guangzhou district police has no time limit for detaining Nigerians. They keep them as long as they want and when any Nigerian dies in their custody, they simply cremate (burn the corpse) and wipe off the names. It is even more disturbing given the fact that the Nigerian embassy is not aware of most of these cases. Chinese police authority in this district keep it off the official radar of their ministry of foreign affairs. I have witnesses both here at home and in China. Our president should be informed that other African national are not treated this way. Three African medical students (a Rwandese, a Kenyan and a Nigerian) were stopped on the way and the first two flashed their passports, without checking, the police moved to the Nigerian boy whose passport was checked and taken while his two years student visa was cancelled. He was given 10 days to leave China. Infuriated the young Nigerian slapped the police officer and he was detained for 58 days till his parents were alerted by his friends and they bought a one-way ticket after paying 5000RMB (US$833.33) as fine. All the police could say was “China give and China take”. I contacted some of the senior police officers and showed them the vid-
30—Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014
ND who is trend ing as the people’s choice for Nigerian president? Former Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Obiageli Ezekwesili, who is impressing cyberspace with her speech last month at the APC Summit in Abuja. Too bad she’s been known for a lot of things, but not politics.
T’s twenty-first century, and more and more, news from social media is quicker, hotter and better served than elsewhere. Watch this spot for what’s up with women we love, or the ones we love to hate.
ONFAB delegate and former NAFDAC boss professor Dora Akunyili caused quite a stir on her appearance at the much talked ongoing National Confab in Abuja. Looking uncharacteristically unsupple, Dora has been referred to as ‘emanciated’ and ‘dry’. A statement released by some handlers on her behalf, true to her transparent reputation, admits she had been ill but is now in perfect health. We certainly hope so.
Chinamanda and Lupita N
iIGERIA-born Orange prize fiction winner and writer of fiction Chinamanda Adichie and red hot Hollywood sensation Lupita have something in common. Actually, someone. Chiwetel Ejiofor who starred opposite the Hollywood starlet also starred in the film adaptation of Chinamanda’s controversial book Half of a Yellow Sun. Now there are whispers of a collabo in the coming year, with Lupita doing Americanah in a film adaptation while, though still under wraps, has been squealed about by the author herself. Online.
Taiwo Ajai Lycett and Bimbo Akintola
HIS tot is only two months old, but she has already got a photo opportunity, courtesy her celeb parents- superstar crooner 2Face Idibia and his actress wife, Annie. She looks as though she came prepared, as the tiny beauty looks as though she had a full make up job done for this photo. Annie decided to treat fans to a photo of Olivia on social media. The couple have not shown Olivia’s face since her birth in January, but surprised everyone with this adorable photo. C M Y K
GELESS diva and living stage legend Taiwo Ajai Lycett has shown no signs whatsoever of quitting anytime soon the trade for which she is so famous. Her latest gig? A costar with Bimbo Akintola, directed by Ifeoma Obianwu Fafunwa and coming up in M a y 2014,HEAR WORD! has already been given a sneak peek by the international herself via twitter. Also featured are Nigeria’s Stage Sweethearts; Kate H e n s h a w, Joke Silva, Iretiola Doyle, Kemi Lala Akindoju, Rita Edwards & Odenike Odetola. Ac-
cording to the squeal, Ifeoma Fafunwa’s upcoming HEAR WORD! is a celebration of women as well as a Performance Feast.
ODEL Adeola Ariyo has been unveiled as a new brand ambassador for Elizabeth Arden in Africa. The 28-year-old will represent Visible Difference, Skin Illuminating and foundation brands across the continent. What stands out for me about Adeola is that she truly represents the Elizabeth Arden brand. She is the best choice for the beauty house, because she embodies incredible beauty and substance. Adeola is well travelled and truly committed to young women on the African continent. She is sincere and authentic, and what shines through is that she is here to represent African women and educate us about beauty and what beauty means today,’ says ELLE editor, Jackie Burger. A Lagosian, she was first discovered after participating in the continental model search Face of Africa in 2005, where she was a top five finalist.
Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014— —31
BY JOSEPHINE IGBINOVIA WITH a woman as eclectic, adventurous and at same time shrewd as Bukky George at its helm of affairs, HealthPlus Pharmacy couldn’t have been anything short of success. The CE0 of one of Nigeria’s most successful retail pharmaceutical businesses, Bukky’s background of deprivation culminated in her unreserved disgust for failure. Four years after graduating as best student from the School of Pharmacy, University of Lagos, she incorporated HealthPlus, an integrative retail pharmacy. The company which eventually started operation in a modest 8square meter space in Ikeja area of Lagos in 1999 now has over 300 staff and 28 retail outlets across Nigeria. HealthPlus diversified into retail beauty products about four years ago with the launch of CasaBella. Bukky, a registered Pharmacist with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain and the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria, now in her early 40s, unravels the secrets behind her success in a structured, conservative but highly competitive industry like pharmacy.
OU’VE succeeded beyond expectations though it seemed like you ran before crawling when you incorporated HealthPlus four years after school. What was the driving force? My family background was the force. I’m the ninth child in a polygamous family of 36 children and we were very poor. My mother was working as a matron at College of Medicine, Idi-Araba, and she had to raise her three children by herself. That gave me drive to want to be the best at what I do and also change our fortune. I think poverty is good though, because it has made me strive. Almost everything I wanted, including the things my friends had, we just couldn’t afford. My mother said at the age of eight I stood akimbo one day and said “I’m going to make a lot of money”; to tell you how bad things were. I gave my life to Christ on campus and learnt to be more trusting and less angry. I so much loved pharmacy that by the time I was graduating from school, I realised there was a lot of fixing to be done in the industry. So, each time I paid my offering in church, I told C M Y K
Human capital, my biggest challenge — Bukky George, CEO, HealthPlus Pharmacy God to show me the way forward. At that time, I was working in SmithKline Beecham. Before then, I had worked in May & Baker for ten months. The name HealthPlus eventually came in a vision. I’ve since then educated and empowered myself with mentors and organisations like Awesome Treasures and Women in Business Management & Public Life, WIMBIZ. How did you set the ball rolling after the vision came? I don’t want to sound too spiritual but at the same time, my story is not complete without the God factor. Immediately I heard the word from God, the next thing was to get a good location because for retail, location is very important.
Pharmaceutical business Finance was also critical but I already had a culture of saving, so, what I went in search of was support. I also had to learn the A-Z of pharmaceutical business. How were you able to stand out in an industry where the survival of professionals is persistently threatened by quacks, particularly in this part of the world? Fortunately for me, during the first few years of HealthPlus, I travelled to the UK and got the privilege of working in London’s landmark pharmacy, John Bell and Croyden. The experience was quite enlightening. So, that made me desirous of being different from the average community pharmacy we had in Nigeria at that time. A particular customer once
I’ve never seen my gender as an advantage or disadvantage. Maybe because I started my career as a medical representative asked me how come one of my drugs was N250 when a nearby chemist was selling at N200. I tried to explain to him that I’m a professional who gives counsel during sales, without charging for consultation. One day, I took a trip to the said chemist and by the time I got back to my pharmacy, my shoulders squared and when people questioned my prices afterwards, I simply told them to compare apples with apples because I just could not
compromise my passion for excellence. One other way we differentiated ourselves was in customer service and in training, making sure our facts were up to date. I also have an addiction which is ‘reading’ consistently. All these account for our growth and expansion. As a matter of fact, by the first quarter of 2014, we would have had 35 outlets. Our target is to have 100 stores by 2020, and we’re seriously working on that. What are the challenges of running your kind of business in this part of the world? Human resources. I believe that if you have a fantastic idea, money will follow you. So, while others say finance, I say it is human capital because if you’re very prudent and run your business properly, people would buy into your ideas and invest in your business. Unfortunately, our education has gone to the dusts; the educational system is at an utter low. I’m an employer of labour and I must say it’s so difficult getting good staff. We have a problem with values; people don’t have integrity but want to make money quickly without paying their dues. I therefore have to deal always with shrinkage, pilfering, laxity, bad attitudes, to mention a few, which make one wants to give up on one’s vision sometimes. What gender barriers abound in your business? You’re throwing that question at the wrong person. I’ve never seen my gender as an advantage or disadvantage. Maybe because I started my career as a medical representative in the pharmaceutical industry, marketing drugs to medical doctors. I was actually very targetdriven, so, every month, my name was on record for being the best medical representative. I was actually in corporate engagements for about four years before launching out. Beside your thirst for excellence, don’t you think a principal skill also added to your growth? I know I could be very methodical and careful. I particularly have attention for small details, and that’s actually the hallmark of a retailer because retail is detail. So, I’m not surprised I’m in retail. Some other people know how to network while some are born leaders; and don’t be surprised that they become politicians.
32 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014
Mourinho hopeful of Chelsea come back against PSG J
ose Mourinho has ruled his Chelsea side out of the Premier League title race, but he believes they will bounce back from domestic disappointment against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League today. The Chelsea manager questioned his players’ mentality after a surprise 1-0 loss at Crystal Palace led to them being knocked off top spot in the Premier League by
Liverpool. Mourinho loves to play mind games, but with Manchester City poised to leapfrog the Blues by winning their games in hand, it may be true that Chelsea’s best chance of silverware now lies with the Champions League. The Portuguese insists that his team will rise to the occasion as they face the Ligue 1 champions-elect at the Parc des Princes in the first leg
of their quarter-final tie.”Paris is the kind of match they feel comfortable to play,” said Mourinho ahead of the trip to the French capital. “A big match, great stadium, opponents with top quality.” Despite that, he says the tie is finely poised, with PSG having emerged as a leading continental force in the last two years, spending astronomical sums to attract the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Brazil captain Thiago Silva to France. “They have some of the best players in the world playing together in the same team, so they are a very powerful team,” Mourinho said of a side who lost on away goals to Barcelona at the same stage last season. “They are big, big, big candidates.” While Mourinho is driven by the desire to become the first coach to win the European Cup with three different clubs following previous triumphs with Porto in 2004 and Inter in 2010, Ibrahimovic is still aiming to win the greatest prize in club football for the first time.
PSG must go up tto o ano ther le another levvel — Blanc
aris St Germain must be ruthless in front of goal when they take on 2012 winners Chelsea in a Champions League quarterfinal first leg today, according to coach Laurent Blanc. The Ligue 1 championselect are on an eight-game winning streak in all competitions but the former France centre back knows Chelsea, under Jose Mourinho, have the experience and defensive know-how to strangle any opposition. “We will have to be more efficient,” said Blanc. “We will have fewer chances and those we create we will have to convert. “We know we need to be at another level,” he added of the Parc des Princes clash.
Blanc’s expensivelyassembled squad have no equals in the domestic league, leading secondplaced Monaco by 13 points with seven games left this season. PSG also sailed through to the knockout stages of the Champions League from a group featuring Anderlecht, Porto and Olympiacos Piraeus before dismissing Bayer Leverkusen in the last 16. The key to both games against Chelsea could be Blanc’s red-hot striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swedish international is the runaway leading scorer in Ligue 1 this term with 25 goals, 11 ahead of teammate Edinson Cavani and Alexandre Lacazette of Olympique Lyon who share second place.
We’re ready f
latan Ibrahimovic has warned Chelsea that Paris SaintGermain have improved significantly ahead of their UEFA Champions League clash. The Sweden international helped PSG get to the quarter-finals of the competition last term in what was his debut campaign with the club, before they were eliminated on away goals by Barcelona. PSG are now preparing for another last-eight tie, with Chelsea providing the opposition on this occasion, and Ibrahimovic claims there is a “big difference” between Laurent Blanc’s side and the team that failed to make the semi-finals last year under Carlo Ancelotti. Only Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more goals than Ibrahimovic in this season’s Champions League and the 32-year-old feels this year represents his best chance to win Europe’s premier club prize. Speaking ahead of today’s first leg against Chelsea in Paris, Ibrahimovic said: “There is a big difference between the PSG of last season that played Barcelona and the one that will play Chelsea. “We are much better than we used to be. (The Chelsea tie) will be a great test for us to see where we are. “Paris Saint-Germain have experienced players. Some have already won the Champions League.” Ibrahimovic has also been in fine form domestically, scoring 25 times in 30 Ligue 1 appearances to put
PSG on the brink of back-to-back titles. However, the former Inter, Barcelona and Milan striker maintains Chelsea are favourites to progress.
Benzema PSG in fin R
eal Madrid forward Karim Benzema has revealed that he wants to face Paris SaintGermain in the final of the Champions League this season. In an interview with Madrid’s official website, the Frenchman responded that his ‘dream final’ would be against Laurent Blanc’s side, who were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Barcelona last season. “Against PSG, because they’re a French side,” said Benzema. PSG tackle Chelsea in this season’s last-eight stage, while Los Blancos face German outfit Borussia Dortmund, with the first leg to take place at the Bernabeu today. Benzema started his professional career in France with Lyon.
Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2 2014 — 33
TODAY'S MATCHES Paris St Germain v Chelsea 8:45pm R/Madrid v B/Dortmund 8:45pm
eal Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has insisted that Cristiano Ronaldo is fully fit ahead of today’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against Borussia Dortmund. The Portuguese has been carrying a knee injury in recent weeks, but Ancelotti has confirmed that the forward is “physically fine” for the European clash at the Bernabeu. “He’s physically fine, both his knee and his injury,” he told reporters at a press conference. “I see him relaxed and eager to play. Last Saturday’s booing is forgotten. He’s raring to go, as always”. Ronaldo has scored 44 times in 40 games for Madrid this season.
Dortmund looking for repeat M
for Chelsea “My greatest chance of winning the Champions League is with PSG, (but) Chelsea are still hot favourites,” he added. “Honestly, this is the best season of my career. Mentally and physically I continue to improve. “I am very happy to be part of the Paris SaintGermain project. The club has big goals.”
a already eying nal
Ronaldo hale and hearty!
uch has changed since Robert Lewandowski became the first player to score four goals in a Champions League semi-final last season as his Borussia Dortmund side prepare once again to face Real Madrid tonight. Even the then Real coach Jose Mourinho had Dortmund down as favourites for a tie they won 43 on aggregate to set up a Wembley final with Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich. Lewandowski’s goals in a 4-1 win at the Westfalenstadion put one Dortmund foot in the door of the final, but with the Poland striker suspended for today’s quarter-final first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu, the boot
seems to be on the other foot this time around. “Given our budget and the injuries we’ve got, there’s no doubt we’re the underdogs,” said Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp to Spanish sports daily Marca. “Real have added some class players in (Gareth) Bale and Isco.” In addition to being without the suspended Lewandowski, who returns for the second leg at the Westfalenstadion next week, Dortmund are also deprived of Ilkay Gundogan, Neven Subotic, Jakub Blaszczykowski, Sven Bender and Marcel Schmelzer, but they are not grumbling.
We are be tt er than e bett tter evver er,, PSG’s Motta warns Chelsea
panish side hit PSG hard in the quarters but midfielder insists club can see off Chelsea this time Of all the venues Chelsea might choose to heal wounds from their latest setback in the title race, a trip to a determined Paris St-Germain side in the Champions League would not be one of them. Chelsea travelled to France this morning ahead of their quarter-final first leg, still nursing a hangover from the 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace and will have arrived well aware of the hunger for European success among their hosts. A decade ago, Jose Mourinho experienced his first Champions League game as Chelsea manager against the same opposition in the group stage and coasted to a 3-0 victory. Back then, the Blues’ attempts to gatecrash the
continent’s premier club competition was in its infancy. It took another eight years and many more millions of owner Roman Abramovich’s money to secure the grand prize. PSG are in a similar position. This is only their second year back in the European Cup under new owners Qatar Investment Authority, who have spent huge sums since their 2011 takeover. However, unlike Chelsea, the only true measure of their progress comes in the Champions League as their competition domestically is limited. Another Ligue 1 title has been all but secured as they boast a 13-point lead, yet this will not quench a thirst for success. Bitter memories of a quarterfinal exit on away goals against Barcelona 12 months ago, where Pedro struck the telling blow 19 minutes from the end, is motivating the squad to go much further this time.
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Why Nigerian deportees are eager to re-migrate BY VERA SAMUEL ANYAGAFU
LARGE numberofNigerians who were deported from several countries of abode are still indicating the need to remigrate, despite signs of progress in the country. One of the returnees who identified herself as Ebiere, 25, said she left the shores of Nigeria about two years ago in search of greener pastures, when hopes of her gaining admission into a higher school of learning was dashed. Although she regretted the deportation, she has continued to announce to those who care to listen that she must remigrate to another country and damn the consequence, rather than remain in the Nigeria. Ebiere, who wore a mournful look throughout the period she spent with Vanguard Consular Advisory said, “I have very high hopes and do not believe that my dreams are achievable in this country. I have tried
several times and it did not work out for me, so why would anyone suggest I sit back to either go back to school or learn a trade at this age. My utmost desire is to get rich and become famous no matter the source and Nigeria is not a country that can give me this, except I turn a politician and steal from the poor masses, and I would not.” Although she refused to state the nature of the business she was involved in Spain, she said that her repatriation was facilitated by the International Organisation for Migration, (IOM), with the support of the Spanish government. She added, “I know it would take divine intervention for me to get back to Spain based on my deportation status, but I am determined to move out of Nigeria at all cost.” Another visibly frustrated deportee, Oge, 31, a citizen of Onitsha in Anambra State, told VCA that she would rather commit suicide than not remigrate. She narrated how
frustrating it was for her throughout the period she was in Italy, stressing that even as difficult as she tried to put the sad experiences behind her, she still cherished relocating from Nigeria. Oge said “I am passionate about hitting the jackpot and I tell you, staying back in Nigeria is a bad dream. I also debunk bags of untrue stories to discourage our youth from migrating to choice countries abroad in pursuit of the desired dreams which bad government and poor living condition of the country have denied them.”
Screening by officials Another deportee, Ms. Uche, who did not share in the view of her fellow deportees, said she took the decision never to leave Nigeria again, no matter the condition she found herself in, the moment they arrived the Murtala Muhammed Airport and was screened by officials of
•Nigerians deported from abroad...many are eager to remigrate
Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, the National Agency for Protection and Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, and other stakeholders. Her words, “I felt totally ashamed as we were being moved to a corner like some refugees and were screened by several government agencies, who spoke sarcastically to us, throughout the period we were under their custody. They told us we would be re-orientated and later rehabilitated. These words really touched my heart and I wept, and vowed never to migrate out of the shores of the country. No matter the condition I find myself here in Nigeria, it remains my sweet home.” The present condition of each
of these deportees stands as an alert for all responsible Nigerian authorities, including the Presidency, to adopt a new revolution and or guide against issues that are diverting the attention of the Nigerian youth to foreign countries. A youth leader who asked that his named not be published for fear of police surveillance but was keen in expressing his bitterness.said, “despite new development in the country, there are still tarnished justices from leaders, who have remained sticks in the mud. We would continue to voice support for youth empowerment in the country and never abandon the movement or change the youth of Nigeria seek.”
36 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014
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38— VANGU ARD,WEDNESD A Y, ANGUARD,WEDNESD ARD,WEDNESDA
APRIL 2, 2014
She can’t marry this violent man! Dear Bunmi, Y YOUNGER sister, who lived with me for quite a while is planning to get married to the man she moved in with after she left my house. I think it’s the worst decision of her life. She’s lived with this man for over five years and they have two sons. Most of the time, he always beats her up whenever they argue - this becomes more dangerous whenever he’s drunk. The marriage is slated for early next year and I just can’t fold my arms and allow her to become this man’s permanent punching bag. I’m the only one my sister always confides in, begging me not to tell our mum It is her man that desperately wants this marriage and my sister says she’s frightened of being a single mother. She also says she loves him, but do you think she should go ahead with this dodgy wedding. You’ve always warned that violent men never change. I’ve thought of telling my sister the family would boycott the wedding, yet I don’t want to be seen as the one compounding her problems. 1 love my sister and her boys are lovely. What do you think I should do? Favour by e-mail
Dear Bunmi, ’VE been with the father of my three children for 13 year, but we only got married three years ago. I love my husband and I thought that after so long together, he would be happy to settle down for good. He has cheated on me several times in the past and I thought he would have sown all his wild oats by getting married. I was therefore shocked to dis-
cover recently that he has been receiving and sending text messages, and making calls on his mobile to my best friend who was also my chief bridesmaid. When I confronted my husband, he admitted that there was an attraction between him and her, but that they never took things further. I’m so angry and upset that I feel physically sick. I’m at a loss as to what to do. Jemimah by e-mail
Will he ever get back his libido? Dear Bunmi, ’VE BEEN married for over six years with a lovely daughter. The problem now is that in the last three years, my husband, who is 38, has not had an erection! He’s a very fit man in spite of this failure and has refused to see a doctor because he says there’s nothing the doctor can do. He’s a wonderful husband, my soul mate, but 1 miss lovemaking so much. We would also want to have more children. Can a man as young as he is simply lose his libido? Hilda, by e-mail
Dear Hilda, Most men experience im-
potence at some time. The tragedy is that they see this as a failing on their part and not the medical or psychological condition it is. If your husband continues to refuse to seek medical help, you should get someone with similar problems to have a word with him. A lot of cases of early impotence turn out to be temporary and treatable. The sooner your husband realises that neither of you could go on like this, the quicker he would agree to finding a solution. Thank goodness he is your lover as well as friend. If anyone could make him seek professional help, that person is you.
Dear Jemimah, You’re right to be outraged. An affair between your husband and supposed best friend is a double betrayal by two of the people you need to trust the most. You must put a stop to this painful uncertainty. Philandering men have always betrayed their partners almost as a matter of habit. This has nothing to do witt the fact that another woman is specially attractive to them, but simply because she is a flirt, and they believe that such affairs are right. Now that you’re married to this man, you must fight to protect the bond you have formed. Confront your husband and best friend so as to know how far they’ve gone and if love-making was involved. Then let them know you cannot tolerate or accept their betrayal. Let your so called friend know she’s no longer welcome in your matrimonial home and let your spouse know how much of this mindless philandering you can take. There are the children to consider apart from his selfish needs. Hang back for now, and help her sort out her feelings. Give her encouragement rather than pressure, you’ll be more likely to get her to drop this man with time if he doesn’t drop her first.
Why is love-making so frustrating? Dear Bunmi. ’M JUST over 20 and my boyfriend of six months wants us to make love. I’m all for the idea, but every
time we’d tried to make love, he couldn’t get his manhood inside me. Is it because I’m still a virgin? I feel so embarrassed that we’ve
I’m appalled I fell for this brute! Dear Bunmi, HEN I met my husband shortly after leaving the university, I thought I had struck gold. He had his own house, ran a thriving business and showed me a lot of love and affection. When I got pregnant, he insisted we got married and we had a lavish one. He’s been a good father to the two children of the marriage. In the last few years, I’ve been regaled with stories of his forcefully making love to women and even having anal one with some! He came home with funny smells on his person and the last straw was when a niece who came to stay during an exam complained he forced her to make love to him. In the end I quietly left and I’m now living in a flat with my chil-
dren. He’s still a generous father, but I kick myself for getting married to such a maniac. Why hadn’t I seen the signs before I married him? Betty, by e-mail. Dear Betty, What signs were you expecting to see? Love-making offenders don’t look different from the next guy and you did well to leave him. People like him are possessed and there is little you could have done to change him. Of course, he could be nice, romantic and responsible - your exhas what is called the Jekyll and Hyde personality - the man who wooed and married you is also the man with the twisted mind. You had no way of knowing what a monster he would turn out to be.
never actually managed to have proper love-making. My man is not a virgin and has had a couple of relationships before we got together.. He said love-making could be fun, but why do I find it so uncomfortable? lyabode, By e-mail Dear lyabode. Putting a manhood into the vagina can be awkward especially for first timers. So when you’re trying to make love for the first time, stress can make it even more difficult. So forget about full love-making for now. Instead, play together, caress each other, touch, have fun exploring each other’s bodies. This way, you’ll feel more in control, more able to relax. Eventually, when you feel comfortable with your man physically, you could try a small vibrator if you have one. Over the course of a few weeks, you should be more confident with your man, then you can try intercourse again. If you feel a bit dry, lubricating could help.
Whv did he betray me with my best friend?
Dear Favour, Marriage is supposed to be a declaration of trust, loyalty and commitment. Your sister’s relationship with her man is instead fearful and violent. To go ahead with a wedding under these circumstances, because she’d been afraid the relationship may end and she will be alone if she doesn’t, is a bit risky. A woman who lies awake on her wedding night and wonders, “What have I done?” recognizes the futility of her dreams. The snag here is that your sister says she’s in love with her violent man in spite of his alcohol abuse. And it is obvious he loves her too and wishes to create a stable union for her and their children. Unfortunately, it is dangerous as well as unfair for him to expect your sister and their children to accept drunken violence in a union. You need to let your sister’s fiance know you’re aware of what is going on and his need to change though it’s unlikely he’ll be able to control his relationship with violence and alcohol. It’s a sad fact that the final decision rests with your sister. All you have to do is support her, the best you could and if the marriage finally hits the rock, you should be there to offer your support as you’ve always done.
It is dangerous as well as unfair for him to expect your sister and their children to accept drunken violence in a union. You need to let your sister’s fiance know you’re aware of what is going on and his need to change though it’s unlikely. It’s a sad fact that the final decision rests with your sister. All you have to do is support her
I’m eager to have his children Dear Bunmi, y fiance and I hope to get married soon, but haven’t set the date. We’ve done the traditional engagement ceremony, but he wants us to get enough stuff for the flat before we get married. I am on the pill but I would rather have kids when I’m young enough to cope. I am 25 and he is 30 and we both have fairly well-paid jobs. Do you think getting pregnant would hasten his marriage proposal? I could go off the pill without telling him. Fatima, by e-mail
Dear Fatima, You are better off discussing how you feel with your partner instead of tricking him into putting your marriage date forward. Both of you might want to make some sacrifices like settling for a modest marriage ceremony instead of a big wedding! Whatever stuffs you’ll need for the flat could be bought as the means arise, but believe me, taking care of a baby doesn’t come cheap! Whatever you do, pin a date to your proposed wedding that would take your mind off the anxiety of the possibility of him not committing to you.
Share your problems and release your burden. Write now to Dear Bunmi, Vanguard Newspapers, P.M.B 1007, Apapa, Lagos. or email@example.com
Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014 — 39
40 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014
assembly. Suspected breaches are taken up in the assembly at once, not months or years after. It is against our African culture for heads of government to be dictatorial as we now have and believe that they can defect from one party to the other even while in office, and believing that they have the right to commit the whole populace in their state without an election and without resignation from office. Need for strong political parties The new Nigeria needs strong political parties which have manifestoes based on issues and not personalities. The parliamentary system ensures discipline and strong political parties manifesting the will of the people and electorate.
Confab'll move Nigeria forward — IKOKWU •Says delegates must discuss burning issues urgently SECOND Republic politician and one of the founders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Guy Ike Ikokwu does not believe that the ongoing National Conference is a waste of time. In a chat with Vanguard, he says if the delegates urgently discuss critical issues such as system of government (parliamentary or presidential), devolution of powers to the federating units, strengthening of the judiciary to fight graft and measures to boost the economy among others, Nigerians will reap dividends from the dialogue. Specifically, he says the adoption of 70 per cent voting benchmark on issues in the absence of consensus is a welcome development. BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE
N resolution of voting benchmark controversy The National Conference has approved the percentage required for the passage of matters not determined on a consensual basis to be 70 per cent instead of the 75 per cent presidential directive or the 66.67 per cent (two-third) proposed by some delegates which resulted in an impasse. We thank the Chairman of the conference Hon. Justice Idris Kutigi, his Vice Bolaji Akinyemi and the conference delegates committee of 50 for their compromise formula. This is surely a sign of good things to come that the conference will surely move Nigeria forward in a way that will satisfy the majority of Nigerians who will surely approve their decision at a future referendum.
Urgent issues for deliberation It is necessary at this point to remind the delegates to move away from frivolities and get on with some very salient issues required to move the nation forward. One of such issues is the system of governance. Should it be the present presidential system or the parliamentary system of our former leaders or a mixture of both as proposed before the new civilian constitution came into force? It has become very clear that the presidential system is very expensive and encourages a lot of corruption. Our present practice of the presidential system shows that a majority of the past executive have been very corrupt and looted our economy bracingly. About 20 of them are still under prosecution by the EFCC for years and are still going
about their political and economic functions without any remorse. It is even disheartening to note that some of them are even members of the present National Assembly regardless of what they have done when they were in office as heads of state governments.
Parliamentary system In the parliamentary system, the heads of government and their commissioners are members of the assembly and cannot behave in a dictatorial manner as our present governments behave. They cannot monetise the passage of budgets by the assembly and thereafter turn around to implement the budget from their bedrooms the way they like and without necessary oversight enquires of the
•Ikokwu: The conference will surely move Nigeria forward
matters as we have had in the past in Nigeria. On the other hand, the presidential system does not encourage discipline and strong political parties. It rather encourages the proliferation of political parties which are personally based. 60 per cent minimum capital expenditure The conference should discuss the issue of capital and recurrent expenditure in order to increase our development and growth rate indices. Our constitution should provide for a minimum of 60 per cent capital expenditure in our budget and not more than 40 per cent for recurrent expenditure. This provision should apply to federal, zonal, state and local governments. It will therefore be criminal for any of the authorities by whatever design to manipulate the budget in order Disciplined to decrease the capital parties expenditure. Six zones as federating units, With disciplined parties based devolution of powers on ideologies, the elected Another issue is the representatives under a parliamentary system are not implantation of a truly federal permitted to cross carpet that is system of government. The federating units should be moving from one party to the other without losing their seats the six zones and the exclusive and going back to the electorate list jurisdiction of the government for another election since they in Abuja should be reduced to were elected based on their about 30 per cent of the present parties and not their individual list. Therefore it is the zones that personalities. Also the issue of have the majority of the candidates being elected on the developmental and economic list basis of minority votes should not and have only devolved to the be permitted on a real central government some democracy and on elected concurrent matters and other list candidate should at least get 51 which are mainly for the overall regulation of matters which affect the whole It is necessary at this point to country such as security, remind the delegates to move defence, immigration, away from frivolities and get foreign affairs, overall economic on with some very salient planning and issues required to move the census, etc. L o c a l nation forward Government per cent of the vote. Where it did matters have nothing to do with not happen the two electorates the central government in a should go back to the electorate federal constitution. Less powerful centre for adjudication. Therefore under the new To have good elections, there must be an efficient electoral system, the zones will have commission. Nigeria should more power than the present learn from leading countries like states as the federating units. Turkey, India and Canada or There are other issues such as even nearby Ghana to name a exemption from criminal and civil few, where in spite of the matters for those in authority polarization of the political (immunity clause), which need parties, the electoral commission to be addressed and redefined is truly independent and so as not to make some efficient. The election results are individuals to be above the law respected by the parties and the of the land. There are other number of election tribunals are matters like the police for which greatly reduced or even in a federal system there should nonexistent. In such a case, the be a federal police and zonal judiciary is no longer monetized police (not state) with defined and compromised as has been powers and jurisdictions. We know presently that the alleged in many instances in Nigeria. In an efficient situation, regulation of vigilantes have those elected can take up their been of some assistance to the new assignments without any police and security organizations subsisting election tribunal in various localities.
Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014 — 41
How Kwarans're celebrating political freedom — Edojah, PDP caretaker committee chairman BY DEMOLA AKINYEMI
N what way has the visit of the President affected the party in the state? I came to Ilorin on the order of President Goodluck Jonathan to thank the people of Kwara State for the warm reception they gave him. It was like a directive .So we gathered at the secretariat and I delivered the message to them. The crowd was tumultuous. There were groups from all the 16 local governments and not less than 30 persons per group. There was no radio announcement just text messages to the leaders. It was a clear indication that people want change in Kwara and the time is now. So after the rally, what next? We are building on the success of that rally. The rally has succeeded in turning Kwara to a PDP State, it was a genuine rally and enthusiasm for PDP is now very high. On a daily basis, people now troop to PDP in Kwara because they yearn for freedom. Are you saying there are no challenges? Sure, we have and that was part of what we came to resolve. All the stakeholders
Solomon Edojah, former commissioner for Special Duties in Delta State is on a special assignment in Kwara State where he has been tasked with the chairmanship of the Caretaker Committee of the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. In this interview, Edojah assesses the work he has done so far in rebuilding the PDP in the state. Excerpts:
•Edojah: Kwara PDP now united were around. Elders of the party, leaders from the three senatorial districts and local
governments were all around. We have thrashed out all the knotty issues and we have
resolved to work together on how to improve PDP in such a way that it will serve as role model to other states. We resolved to put the party on proper footing. We don’t want the party to be run like they were doing it when they were in bondage. They desire freedom and you know freedom goes with responsibility. They needed to make more sacrifice, the fruit is not yet ripe. This is more or less a gestation period, and in a gestation period like this you continue to water it, you continue to nurture it until the fruit is ripe for plucking which is when the election has come and gone. What new approaches are you introducing into the leadership of the party here? Henceforth, everything will be done based on commitment, loyalty and transparency. There is no room for imposition in our party, that era is gone forever. It is now one man, one vote. No man will impose or
hijack the party anymore. What is the latest on the controversy over who to nominate for the ministerial slot of Kwara? There was no controversy like you said. It was just a rumour being peddled by the opposition. I can tell you that names have already been forwarded to Mr. President to choose from and it would be announced any moment from now. When is the registration of members commencing? It will commence this weekend and it’s going to be a continuous exercise. Registration of our members is very necessary because of the new people who have joined us. I’m talking of Muhammed Dele Belgore and his group, Senator Gbemisola Saraki and many others. Don’t also forget that some people have left the party. So the registration will enable us to update our data. What is your target? Our target is to register One million members in Kwara. With the way and manner people troop into PDP in Kwara State on daily basis, it’s achievable so when we reach that figure we will stop. Let me also state that any APC member who wants to register with our party is welcome And after the congress? I will hand over to the state chairman and my assignment is completed.
‘Delta without oil’ has put smiles on the faces of Deltans — IDABOH PRINCE Uzoma Idaboh, Chairman/Managing Director, Nelrose Hotel Limited and former Special Adviser on Special Duties to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, in this interview, speaks on the politics of Delta and why he wants to go to the Delta State House of Assembly. Excerpts: BY IKENNA ASOMBA
N the personality of the year award given to Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, by Vanguard Newspapers, recently. He deserved it. The award is legendary because there are some awards in Nigeria that are politically-motivated or economically induced. But the awards given to Dr. Uduaghan by Vanguard Newspapers, as well as Aliko Dangote and Innocent Chukwuma (Innoson) are different. These are people with their own strong pedigree in the fields that they have chosen. Also, the Vanguard Newspapers is rich in history and we all know the publisher, Uncle Sam Amuka, as a very honest and transparent person. When he says ‘white, it is white.’ So, Dr. Uduaghan obviously has been recognized internationally for his efforts in governance. So, I can say that that award is not just for Dr. Uduaghan but for every
Deltan, who has had the privilege of working with him. I am very proud about the award for three reasons, one as a person who has had the privilege of working with him, who is still working with him and as a Deltan. His take on Uduaghan’s performance in office Owing to the giant strides achieved by the governor in Delta State, I will say he has written his name in the political history of the state. It’s easier when you have served your people and have experience in government. Dr. Uduaghan was prepared for the job because he had served at various capacities under the administration of Chief James Ibori. So, when he came in as the state governor, it was not difficult for him to acclimatize. As part of his three-point agenda, he has been able to work very hard to launder the image of Delta State, which most expatriates thought as a crisisridden state because of the name
is akin to the Niger-Delta. So, these people believed that Delta is the same as Niger-Delta, that it was just hyphenated. To a large extent today, Delta State is very much at peace. The security in our state has improved as a lot of investment has been attracted, especially in Asaba. Even people who are not Deltans are now rushing to the state to invest. So, to a very large extent, Dr. Uduaghan has done very well.
Political ambition I have made up my mind clearly to run for an elective office in the Delta State House of Assembly, DSHA, to represent my people there. I have made consideration for the Senate and the Federal House of Representatives, but as you know, most of these positions are zoned. In order not to shoot in the dark and considering the fact that the politics of Nigeria is completely different, you can’t isolate zoning. So, I want to go to the State Houses of Assembly to represent Aniocha North Local Government Area. Why the DSHA? Having been into politics for 14 years now, I should know what I
want and how best I will serve my people. At the Federal House, we have four local governments that make up my federal constituency. I believe in the past 15 years of democratic rule, the Aniocha North, where I come from has occupied that seat for 11 years with a year to make it 12 years, while another local government, Aniocha South has occupied it for four years, that was during the tenure of Hon. Paschal Adigwe. So now, the Oshimili South, being Asaba and Oshimili North or Akwukwu-Igbo and Ibuzo, have been agitating that it should rotate, because you can’t do 16 years and only a section has been there. So, based on equality, their argument will be very strong. Do you think his idea of Delta without oil has paid off for Deltans? I have been a member of Dr. Uduaghan’s government. I was a pioneermemberofhisgovernment, as the Special Adviser on Special Dutiesbetween1999and2007.One ofmyprimaryassignmentsthenwas topropagatehisthree-pointagenda, which I did across the 25 local government areas of our state, throughwhatiscalledtheAdvocacy Tour. As one of the three-point agenda, I did this within the first
•Idaboh three months of the administration. So I can tell you categorically that the idea has been there. That is why the airport project was put in place. Dr. Uduaghan was of the firm belief that with the airport project, we can make Delta State a hub that can attract investors, improve and increase the value of life in the state, create new wealth where people who have land will be able to create fresh capital and start doing businesses and that is happening now.Beforetheadventoftheairport, aplotoflandinAsabagoesforabout N300,000,butIcansaycategorically nowthataplotoflandgoesforabout N3 million and N30 million and the airport has a hand in that.
Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014
Rescuing Federal highways from the brink A peep into President Jonathan’s progress report BY CHARLES KUMOLU
A collapsed portion of Apapa-Oshodi Expressway before it was fixed in the ongoing reconstruction of the road. The Federal Roads Safety Corps,FRSC, had disclosed in its 2010 statistics, that 472 persons died in 500 road accidents in different parts of the country in December 2010. It also noted that the figure was lower compared to what was recorded in December
ESPITE being regard ed as an important tool for economic growth, Nigerian highways are dreaded by both the low and mighty. Their death-trap conditions are enough to make people avoid using them, yet they are rarely avoided particularly by the commoners, who ply them daily to various parts of the country. These highways which are highly needed for movement of goods and services, became deplorable due mainly to the long neglect of Federal roads linking the different states of the federation The situation became so pathetic that an appalled former Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyoku was forced to raise an alarm. ‘’Do our government ministers and leaders who we know often travel and see the condition of roads in other countries never feel embarrassed by the condition of roads in our resource-rich country? Do they not notice the large potholes that litter the roads and even bridges?’’ he asked. Anyaoku maintained that Nigerian roads are worse than the ones found in war- torn countries like Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. He added that they smear the country ’s image in the comity of nations and in the perception of investors. “Such unfavourable image inevitably leads to stymieing the Federal Government’s current effort to develop Nigeria’s tourism. The ripple effect of an unfavourable image for any country in this context can also extend to adverse effects on foreign investment; for investors are inclined to be reluctant to go wherever it is judged that life and property are not safe,” he added. The retired diplomat was not alone in the anguish about the state of the roads. The present Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, as Minister of Transportation, literally wept while inspecting the Benin-Ore road. These however,underscored the state of the roads, which had claimed many lives and resulted to stunted economic growth.
currently being executed by the Nigerian Works Ministry at this time would appear to be one of the largest cache of infrastructural projects ever executed by any Nigerian administration.’’ This improvement did not come from the blues. Investi-
We have seen ongoing repairs across Federal roads in Nigeria and that must be appreciated and supported
2009. Findings by Va n g u a r d F e a t u r e s , V F, however showed that the figure had in subsequent years reduced. ‘’Though we are in a country where improvements are hardly noticeable because of the depth of anomalies around us, but with all sense of purpose, we have seen ongoing repairs across Federal roads in Nigeria and that must be appreciated and supported. Its been long we experienced a government being serious on road repairs, ‘’Funsho Adebowale, a civil engineer, told VF. Supporting Adebowale, Mr. Anthony Okosun in an piece titled: Audacity of Excellence: Success Of Nigeria’s Works Ministry, said: ‘’The total package of construction projects
gations showed that the improvement is as a result of ongoing repairs and construction of failed roads across the country. As a response to ranking of Nigeria as the country with the second highest road traffic accident fatalities among the 193 countries in the world, the Federal Government launched ‘’Operation Safe Passage’’ OSP in 2012. The OPS, VF gathered was embarked upon by the Ministry in the 4th quarter of 2012. Although ongoing projects could be seen across most Federal roads across the country, there are still questions as to what OSP has so far achieved. The initiative has led to the recovering of failed portions of Federal roads across the country. From Ilorin to Jebba, Lafia to Makurdi, Aliade
*Douglas to Oturkpo, Oturkpo to 9th Mile, Enugu to Port Harcourt, Kano to Katsina, Lokoja to Okene, Okene to Benin, Lagos to Ibadan, and Odukpani to Itu, work is progressing on Federal roads. Highlighting these recently at an interactive session in Lagos, an insider in the Presidency, and Special Adviser to the President on Research, Documentation and Strategy, Mr. Oronto Douglass, said in 2013, no fewer than 2, 000 kilometres of roads were constructed or rehabilitated by government. This he said with all sense of fulfilment, remains the highest in a single year by any government. “Benin-Ore-Shagamu Highway and the Enugu-Port Harcourt dual carriageway are
being reconstructed; KanoMaiduguri and Abuja-AbajiLokoja are undergoing dualisation; Oweto Bridge across River Benue is being constructed; Onitsha-Owerri and Vom Manchok roads have been completed; Onitsha-Enugu Road and Lokoja-Benin road are being reconstructed and expanded; construction works have also commenced on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway; the Second Niger Bridge project has been concessioned to Julius Berger/AIM Consortium, and work is progressing on the reconstruction of Mokwa-Bida Road, Akure-Ilesha Road, Sokoto-Tambuwal-Jega Road, Enugu-Abakaliki Road, Ogoja-Ikom Road and VandekiyaObudu Road, among others,”
Continues on Page 43
Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014
Rescuing Federal highways Continues from Page 42
From left: Rev Dachi Maduako, Mr. Philips Odelana, Pastor Michael Ayodele and Mrs Goodness Ayodele at the book presentation.
When SU joined the war against rape and child abuse BY JUDE NJOKU
he rate of sexual abuse among young people in schools and churches in Nigeria is increasing at an alarming rate. Lagos which is believed to have the highest prevalence of cases of rape and child abuse, has already embarked upon stern measures to stem this ungodly development. To complement the efforts of the State, the foremost Christian organisation in the country, the Scripture Union, SU, has called on churches and religious bodies in the country to “rise up and join this holy fight against evil and injustice against our children whom we have a mandate from God to bring up in his fear and nurture”. To give fillip to this call, SU recently launched a book Sexual Abuse of Young People in Schools and Churches in Lagos State in which it highlighted the rising occurrence of the scourge and its linkage with the increase in cases of HIV/AIDS among children and teenagers. Director-General of SU in Nigeria, Mr. Odelana Adewale Philips regretted that Nigeria has not been able to deal with several issues hindering the protection of rights of children. “This has led to increasing
number of children living on the streets, sexual or immoral abuse of children, children affected by communal conflict, drug abuse and human trafficking,” he said. Odelana noted that although Nigeria agreed to domesticate the Child Rights Protection Act in 2003, only 16 of the country’s 36 states
he noted. Still presenting what he described as the President’s scorecard, Douglas talked about: ‘’commencement of full scale production of cold asphaltic concrete mix for al year round intervention on road failures all over the country. Others include; introduction of the FERMA/SURE Public works Programme, engaging and training over 6,000 Nigerian youths on road maintenance works thereby creating social safety net and road ownership attitude.’’ Other completed projects are the construction/rehabilitation of Gbogan-Iwo Road in Oyo State; rehabilitation of Owerri-Aba Road in Imo/Abia State; rehabilitation of KatsinaDaura Road in Katsina State; rehabilitation/construction of Ijebu IgboAjegunle-Araromi-IfeSekona Road (Section II) in Ogun State; reinstatement of collapsed section of Gombe-Potiskum Road in Gombe State; rehabilitation with Spur from Onitsha-Owerri Road to OkijaIhembosi-Afor-UkporEbenator-Ezenifite in Anambra State and construction of Jalingo-Kuna Lau Road (Section 11) in Taraba State. The list of completed roads also include the 15km Interstate road from Aiyegunle-Akoko-Edo (Ondo/Edo states); rehabilitation of the access roads to Warri Refinery in Delta State; dualisation of access road to Onne Port in Rivers State; construction of Gombe-Bypass in Gombe State; rehabilitation of Odo Oba-Takie-Gambari-Otte in Oyo/Kwara states and reinstatement of the collapsed section of Wukari-Mutum Biyu Road in Taraba State. Also rehabilitated are the old Oyo-Ogbomoso Road in Oyo State; Omuo-Ifaki Road in Ekiti State, rehabilitation/reconstruction of Lafenwa Bridge in Abeokuta; rehabilitation of Gombe-Numan-Yola Road (section II: Numan-Gombe) in Adamawa/Gombe states and rehabilitation of Otta–Owode Road in Ogun State. Having given these highlights, a delighted Douglass said the Jonathan administration is not just achieving results in many sectors, he was optimistic that the President will leave Nigeria a much transformed country.
abuser is rarely a stranger,” he noted. Reeling out the negative effects on the abused, Odelana said; “Sexual abuse can cause a range of serious mental, health and emotional problems which can have lifelong or in some cases, fatal consequences like suicide attempts”. He said the 112-page ad-
That it occurs among pastors and church leaders is a worse pain inflicted on our holy God; the church should be in the forefront of this fight to save our children and uphold our testimony
have passed the Act, leaving the other 20 on the brink of indecision. The SU DG explained that a recent study shows one in six adults said they were sexually abused before the reached the age of 16. According to him, this figure is low because only a quarter of children who have been abused tell any one about it. “The abuser is usually a family friend, a neighbour, a member of the child’s family or someone working with the child such as school teachers or home lesson teachers; the
vocacy book is SU’s efforts to bring the evil of rape and other forms of sexual abuse into the front burner with a view to attracting the attention of those who should make laws to stamp out the ungodly development. Also speaking at the launch, SU’s National Coordinator, Aid for AIDS and Design for the Family, Pastor Michael Ayodele explained why the group is beaming its searchlight on schools and churches. According to him, incidents of rape and child abuse are most prevalent in
schools and churches. “That such evil is occurring in the church is a slap on our face. That it occurs among pastors and church leaders is a worse pain inflicted on our holy God. The church should be in the forefront of this fight to save our children and uphold our testimony,” he said. Ayodele decried what he saw as the silence or inaction of the church to punish such randy pastors, alleging that it smacks of connivance with evil. “We are saying that the voice of the church should be louder and discipline of culprits should be sterner to deter others from it. The church should enact laws and be seen to enforce them on culprits within its fold,” he said. He explained that the upsurge in HIV infections among young people of secondary school age, led SU to get involved in its awareness and prevention. “Our HIV/ AIDS prevention programme in Lagos has increased in dimension and depth with the support of the Tearfund Nigeria based in Jos. “Since 2007, Tearfund has consistently backed our effort in equipping people especially young people and families with skills that enhance positive living,” he said.
44—Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014
Demolition: Molojo residents ask court to restrain Lagos govt
Group urges Delta Ijaws to shelve grudges against Orubebe
BY ONOZURE DANIA
BY EGUFE YAFUGBORHI
AGOS—RESIDENTS and owners of property in Molojo Quarters, Odoragunshin, Eredo Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, have asked a Lagos High Court to restrain the Lagos State governor and the state’s Attorney General from further trespass on their property. The residents in suit are praying the court to declare as illegal and unconstitutional, the alleged demolition exercise carried out by the agents of the state government in the area. The claimants in the suit are, Mr. Akinsanya Abraham, Mr. Adebowale Omoseeke, Pastor Oladipo, Rev. Sam Ajetunmobi, Mrs. Dolapo Abosede, Deacon Ademola Orelaja, Alhaji Balogun Saula, Mr. Taiwo Mustapha, Alhaji Ambali Rasaki and Alhaji Adetola Lasisi (for themselves and on behalf of the residents and property owners at Odoragunshin). They are asking the court to direct the Lagos State Government to rebuild the houses demolished and reinstate them back to their property. They also demanding for N500,
ARRI—IJAWS in Delta State, home and abroad have been urged to forgive and forget all personal grudges against former Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Elder Godsday Orubebe, as he eyes the governorship of the state in the 2015 general elections. A pro-Orubebe group, Concerned Body For Orubebe made the appeal in a statement in Warri, yesterday, by its leader, Opukeme Ebiarede The group said “Our leader, Orubebe may have had his challenges as minister, but his good works during his term are outstanding and makes him a wise choice to lead Delta in 2015. “This is therefore, not the time to bear personal grudges. We urge all Ijaws and the rest of the state to support our son in fulfilling this ambition for the common good of all Deltans.”
40th undergraduate car winner emerges at Etisalat’s Cliqfest The draws, which was the cli-
OBILE service provider, Etisalat has made 40 undergraduates of various institutions of higher learning in Nigeria proud owners of brand new cars through its student empowerment initiative, ‘Cliqfest’. During the draw held at the weekend, 24 year-old Arthur Obi, a final year political science student of the Anambra State University emerged the 40th winner of a brand new car at the raffle draws held at the Institution on March 28, 2014.
max of a two-day festival of sports, entertainment and education was led by the Vice Chancellor, Anambra State University, Prof Fidelis Okafor who, while thanking Etisalat for bringing the fiesta to the institution, said ''its quality services that has endeared it to all. Etisalat is my favourite network because one cannot ignore the innovativeness, flexibility and user friendliness of Etisalat.'' Winner of the brand new car, Obi said, ‘I feel on top of the world for winning this car. Etisalat has changed my life.
000 against the Lagos State as special damages for the said trespass. When the matter came up before Justice Mufutau Olokoba, claimants’ counsel, Ajala informed the court that the two defendants had been served with the court processes and that he was surprised that they were not represented in court. However, Justice Olokoba directed that a fresh notices be served on the defendants to enable them attend to the suit. The claimants averred in the suit that the demolished property belongs to the Odoragunshin community, which they said was named after a farmer, Odoragunshin, who migrated from Agunshebi quarters in Ijebu-Ode and settled at Molojo quarters. The claimants stated that they
have been having peaceful enjoyment of the property until July 4, 2012 when officers of the Land Bureau as well as Epe Regional Development Agency came with letter of contravention of Building Laws of Lagos State and marked several house for demolition. The claimants alleged that they were invited to a meeting where the validity of their claim of ownership was validated, adding that on February 22, 2013, while they were at a meeting with officers of the Land Bureau, information filtered in that some members of staff of the land bureau were marking several buildings for demolition. They added that despite several meeting held with the Land Bureau, they were shocked when men of the
2015: Delta North may lose if ... – Besidone BY SIMON ADEWALE
stalwart of Peoples Democratic Party in Sapele, Delta State, Mr. Esimaje Besidone, has called on the people of Delta North senatorial district to avoid politics of acrimony and speak with one voice otherwise, they will lose the opportunity to produce the next governor of the state in 2015. Besidone, who briefed newsmen, yesterday on the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state, express fears over what he described as “unpatriotic manner and lack of brotherly love among the people of Delta North senatorial district,” which he said was the major reason too many contenders from area are now jostling for the state number one seat.
The PDP stalwart said he does not see the chance of someone from Delta North clinching the governorship position as the people of the area have not agreed on a consensus candidate, who will lead them to the governorship poll in 2015. He confirmed that the people of Delta South have made up their minds to support one candidate of Delta North origin. He called on the people of Delta North to be united, love themselves and agree on a consensus candidate, if they want the support of the people of Delta South, to enable them actualise their hope of clinching the governorship seat in 2015, which, according to him, that led to the formation of a G3 political pressure group in the state.
Nigerian Police, Lagos Task Force alleged demolished over 200 houses.
Omo-Otu Iwere holds 20th cultural carnival THE Otu-Oma Iwere Cultural Society of Nigeria, will on April 18 -Sunday, April 20 (Easter)) present its 20th Annual Cultural Carnival, under the chairmanship of Daniel Gumm to the Lagos audience. The event, which will feature various Itsekiri cultural revival, will also display Itsekiri graceful dance steps and fashion parade, as well as spectacular masquerade. The three-day event will hold at Amodu Tijani Street, Off Tolu Bus Stop, Olodo Apapa, Lagos.
Passage OLOROGUN Gordon Umukoro, pioneer Registrar of Petroleum Training Institute, Warri and the Orovwiroro of Agbon Kingdom is dead, aged 78. Umukoro, a renown educationist was the first graduate produced by the Okpara inland community of Ethiope East, Delta State. Late Umukoro, a foundation member and first Vice- president, Urhobo Social Club, is survived by his wife, Mrs V. Umukoro, eight children and 13 grandchildren. Burial arrangements will be announced later.
Late Olorogun Umukoro
By Bartholomew Madukwe (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Should delegates be paid N4m each at Confab?
Nigerian's constitution is broad enough to solve all of our problems. If the elected officials of the country will live by its provisions, Nigeria will be heaven on earth. Let’s live by our constitution. It may not be perfect but we can keep amending it. Mr. Uchenna Azuka- Student
That amount is unreasonably high in the present circumstance. The people nominated to the conference should think what they can do for the country and not what they can gain from the country in this confab project. Ms. Cynthia Ofomata- Student
I've always said that the organisers of the confab failed to make use of the experience of those involved in a similar thing before. In Nigeria, people don't care about pedigree. That’s why we’ll continue to wobble as a nation. Mr. Babatunde Ereola- Publisher
N4m per month for accommodation in a country where over 90 percent of her citizens are living below the poverty line? I've always known that the delegates are going to Abuja to enrich their pockets. I have no faith in this national confab. Mr. Ndubuisi Igwe- Engineer
I'm not saying people should use their own personal money but I think they should understand it as service to the nation. I do not even want to bother whether any or all the delegates have their own cars and houses in Abuja. Ms. Sophia Osuji- Student
N4m per delegate for the three-month duration of the confab? The Federal Government might end up paying as much as N5.976bn to the 492 delegates and the secretariat officials. What a waste of our resources on a blind venture. Mr. Bawo Egele- Worker
Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014 — 45
Judge guber aspirants on basis of competence —Okowa
DESOPADEC commissions N40m ICT centre BY FESTUS AHON
ENATOR Ifeanyi Okowa, governorship hopeful and senator representing Delta North in the National Assembly, has urged the electorate to judge governorship aspirants in the state on the basis of competence, character, compassion, electability and exposure to governance, rather than zoning or power-shift. Senator Okowa, Chairman of the Senate Committee for Health, spoke during a visit to the Urhobo Peoples Integrity Organisation, UPIO, in Warri, Delta State, saying that he was in the race to offer quality service to the people of the state. National Chairman of UPIO, Dr. Ebenezer Okorodudu, described the senator as a grassroots man and assured him of the support of the group, provided he was prepared to accommodate the interest of the Urhobo people.
2015: Group urges support for Adanse
OLLECTIVE Agenda for Warri North, a socio-political pressure group, has called on the people of Warri North Local Government Area, Delta State, to work for the actualisation of Adanse Felix's dream of representing the council in Delta State House of Assembly in 2015. The group a statement by its President, Chief Egbelefen Amos, pleaded with the “people to support the rescuing mission of Adanse Felix, who means well for us as a people. Felix, who in 2011 presented himself for the House, but was aborted, is sensitive to the yearnings and aspirations of our people. He is qualified and will effectively represent our constituency well. “He will bring love and peace to the volatile council. We call on Felix to run for the Delta State House of Assembly to represent our constituency, Warri North come 2015.”
U NIESV ANNUAL CONFERENCE: From left: Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Works, Mr. Don Etim; Second Vice-President of Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, NIESV, Dr. Bolarinde Patunola-Ajayi; former Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Nsima Ekere; Special Adviser to the Governor on Technical Matters, Mr. Etido Inyang and Chairman of Visafone, Mr. Jim Ovia, during the 44th Annual Conference of the NIESV, in Uyo.
FG to deploy troops in war against pipeline vandals —Okupe BY SAMUEL OYADONGHA
ENAGOA—THE Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, yesterday, said that the Federal Government will deploy more troops in a renewed war against vandals of gas supply pipelines to the 10 completed National Integrated Power Projects valued at over $16 billion. Okupe, in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, at the end of the one- day summit for all states publicity secretaries of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said that the decision for troop deployment will also be backed by the establishment of a special court to facilitate quick prosecution of vandals and saboteurs. The presidential aide said that though the repairs of vandalised
and blown up gas pipelines had commenced to restore regular supply to the existing power plants and raise the power generated up to targeted 7,000 mega watts, the war against vandals and saboteurs will be executed in line with the ongoing security action against insurgency in some parts of the North. He noted that preliminary investigation conducted by the Federal Government had shown that the saboteurs were ready to lay down their lives to frustrate the transformation agenda of President Jonathan in the power sector. He said: “These people have resolved to continue to play the dangerous game. They know that all things being equal, President Jonathan will deliver on the promise of regular power supply. Once he does that, the
people will vote for him for a second term in office. Those who are unrelenting at querying the capability of the President to deliver have resolved to sabotage the effort and destroy the Nigerian dream. “When I spoke with the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, Mr. James Olotu, I was told that commissioning or not, the power plants are not operational due to lack of gas supply. The $16 billion project lies in waste due to lack of gas supply. “They want to kill the Nigerian dream and this is why the President has not been able to deliver on his promise. If the saboteurs had allowed the transformation plan to be operational, we would have hit the target of generating over 300 per cent of what was generated in the past."
Oshiomhole flays N750 electricity charge on consumers BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
OVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has kicked against the N750 monthly fixed charge collected by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC, from its customers in the state, saying it amounts to extortion and exploitation of electricity consumers in the state. The governor, who held a meeting with the management team of BEDC led by Mrs. Funke Osibodu, the Benin Forum, led by Chief David Edebiri and the civil society organisations in the state, yesterday, said fixed charges and estimated tariff by the electricity company was not only irresponsive, but crude and criminal. He said: “It is agreed that there is a fixed charge, there is
fixed tariff by the new power company. There is no argument about the fact on whether or not the tariff or estimated charges are paid.” Recalling the first meeting with the management of BEDC, Oshiomhole said: “Madam, you will recall the day I first formally received you in my office. I made some factual statements that the essence of privatisation is the increase in the entrepreneurial efficiency. “I think I mentioned it that now that the Federal Government has handed over PHCN, it is incumbent that you improve on your service delivery to consumers in order to have confidence in your organisation and failure to go below that will spark off a revolt from consumers. This is exactly what is happening today. “As someone elected to repre-
sent the interest of the entire Edo people, I cannot be silent to this type of exploitation by one company which claims that because there is somebody in Abuja or somewhere responsible for generation, transmission of electricity is not the matter because from what I have gathered from the various speakers, it is certain that what is being done in Edo does not exist in other states." Managing Director of BEDC, Mrs. Funke Osibodu said the process of power supply involved three groups; generation, transmission and distribution. She agreed that there was fixed tariff and estimated charge stressing that the issue of tariff and estimated charged were like a chain revolving from generation to distribution.
GHELLI—Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, yesterday, commissioned an Information Technology Centre, ICT, worth N40 million at Obiaruku Grammar School, Obiaruku, Ukwani Local Government Area of the state. Speaking during the commissioning, the member representing Ndokwa nation on the board of DESOPADEC, Sir Ken Okolugbo, said: “There is a computer theatre for the children with 40 brand new computers. “There is also a library with computers to teach those who need special learning. We have an office and we have a reception and a brand new 20 kva generator to power the centre, all courtesy of DESOPADEC. “The state governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, has given us the enabling environment. That enabling environment is what has enabled us to achieve this feat that you are seeing today in Ukwani council in Ndokwa nation and the entire Delta State. “We have only just begun, we have just awarded a contract for the building of a new administrative block for Obiaruku Grammar School and that will be started in two weeks from now.”
Shonibare passes on
HE Shonibare family has announced the death of Mr. Gbeyinteinshe Shonibare. Aged 54, the late Gbeyinteinshe Shonibare, a scion of the Shonibare, passed on, on March 31, 2014 in Lagos. He is survived by many children. A statement by the family said burial arrangements will be announced later.
Late Mr. Shonibare
46—Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014
Nigerian-born U.S. soldier empowers students, artisans
Nigerian-born Unit ed States soldier, Captain Sunday Adebomi, has instituted an empowerment programme worth over N6million in the South senatorial district of Ekiti State. Speaking at Ise Ekiti while distributing cheques to the beneficiaries of the programme, including student traders and artisans, Adebomi said the gesture was geared towards assisting the less privileged in the society The Ise Ekiti born military officer said the beneficiaries were selected randomly without any political or religious sentiment
Falcons Chemical Limited builds ultra-modern lab BY CHINYERE ABIAZIEM
ALCONS CHEMI CAL Limited has built an ultra-modern laboratory that would save the nation much foreign exchange. Prior to the commissioning of the laboratory last Wednesday, chemical manufacturing firms in Nigeria took their product overseas for laboratory analysis. The laboratory, located at Ijoko-Ota, Ogun State, was commissioned by the Bishop of Awori Diocese of the Anglican Church, the Rt. Rev. Akin Atere.
Francis Uzoma passes on DR FRANCIS Uzoma (Ozondu), an Owerri based medical director, is dead, aged 66. He was survived by wife, three children and a host of other relations. A statement from USbased medical practitioner, Dr. Ejike Uzoma (son), said service of songs will hold April 2, while funeral service and interment will hold at his hometown at Ishiowerre, Owerre Nwkoji, Nkwerre LGA, Imo State April 3, 2014.
Late Dr. Uzoma
Kalu urges Jonathan to call Abia police commissioner to order ...says President wrong on no-go area clauses for National Confab BY DANIEL ETEGHE
ORMER GOVERNOR of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, yesterday appealed to Pres-
ident Goodluck Jonathan to review the activities of Abia State police commissioner to stave off a rehash of another Mbu in the state.
Mbu was the controversial police commissioner in Rivers State whose activities allegedly heated up the political firmament of the state.
COCKTAIL: From left, General Manager, Clarke Energy Nig. Ltd, Mr. Patrick Nzekwe; Counsellor, Economic, South African High Commission, Mr. Calvin Phume; South African Ambassador to Nigeria, Amb. Mokgethi Monaisa; his wife, Mokgadi, and General Manager, Southern Sun Hotel, Ikoyi, Mr. Mark Loxley, at the hotel”s Quarterly VIP Cocktail, in Lagos.
APC remains the party to beat — Okonkwo BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE
ONTRARY TO insinua tions that he was on his way out of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Deputy National Chairman (South), Senator Annie Okonkwo, has said that he has no plans of ditching the party he helped to found in the South-East. And in spite of bickering in Anambra State chapter, Okonkwo said he elected to remain in the party because it is the only party that can salvage Nigeria from her
multifarious challenges. Speaking after a stakeholders meeting of the party in Awka, the Anambra Central senator said, “after a proper study of what Nigeria is currently facing today as a nation, especially the insecurity and unemployment problems, it is important that we keep sentiments and personal interest aside and save our nation.” The insinuations of his plan to leave APC from his recent suspension by the party to investigate the allegation that he was involved in anti-party activities
during the November 16, 2013 Anambra State governorship election. Considered a front runner in the governorship race, the APC hierarchy favoured Senator Chris Ngige for the party’s ticket, a move that raised dust in the party. However, Okonkwo said: “After the investigation of the party, they find out I was not involved in antiparty activities, that is to say that APC is a party that stands for truth. All the things they said about me have been investigated.”
The former governor also said it was wrong for the President to prevent delegates at National Conference from discussing the unity of the country, as one of the no-go area clauses for the conference. Kalu, who made the appeal in an interview with newsmen at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, shortly on return from the United Kingdom, spoke against the backdrop of arrest of the Associate Editor of The Sun Newspapers, Mr. Ebere Wabara, by policemen from Abia State who allegedly acted on the orders of the state governor, Theodore Orji. He said: “It is just like some policemen in Abia State breaching the rights of arresting some journalists on their fundamental human right of writing, the commissioner of police in Abia is like a savage as far as I am concerned because he does not understand what the constitution is all about. “The Inspector General of Police understands the laws of this country and understands that journalists have right of existence so I want to warn that commissioner in Abia. I am appealing to Mr. President to have a second look on that commissioner in Abia before they will have another Mbu in Abia State.” On the National Conference, Kalu said President Goodluck Jonathan was wrong in preventing delegates at the National Conference from discussing the unity of Nigeria as one of the major no-go-area clauses. He said the delegates were duty bound to discuss everything, noting that was the only way the country could become strong and one indivisible nation.
FG charged to include more women in leadership positions BY BARTHOLOMEW MADUKWE, JOSEPHINE IGBINOVIA & ANINO AGANBI
OVERNMENT AT federal and state levels, as well as corporate organizations, have been called on to work towards including women adequately in leadership positions to make Nigeria the world’s largest economy by 2050. This call was made yesterday by the President, Institute of Directors, IoD, Chief Eniola Fadayomi, at the 3rd edition of Women Directors’ Conference tagged “Women As Leaders: Discovering Authentic Leadership” yesterday in Lagos. ”It has been said that Nigeria stands to be the world’s largest economy by 2050 and for me, this could only be realized with women’s active participation in governance”, she said. Fadayomi explained that a consideration of the first 20 listed companies in the Nigerian Stock Ex-
change revealed that seven companies had no single woman on their board; adding that five of the companies had a woman each, while eight had either two or three women on their boards. While hoping government and private bodies would do the needful, Ekiti State First Lady, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; Chief(Mrs.)Cecilia
Ibru, President, Michael and Cecilia Foundation; Iyalode Alaba Lawson, Chairman, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic; Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayo Phillips and Dr.(Mrs.)Stella Okoli, CEO, Emzor Pharmaceutical, all noted that there was dire need for women to maximise their associations and spaces to create
opportunities for other women. Regretting that most women had pushed down the ladders with which they climbed to the pinnacle, Ekiti State First Lady, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, advised women in leadership to consider women and girls as their key constituency.
Group appeals to Gov Okorocha to re-award road contract fallen on deaf ears. BY JUDE NJOKU
HEAD OF the proposed visit of the Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorochas to Ikeduru Local Government Area tomorrow to assess the progress of ongoing projects in the area, a group, Klobb X, has again called on him to revoke the contract for the construction of Ekemegbu-Oha -Afor Uzoagba road and award same to a more competent contractor.
The group in a letter to the governor, dated March 1, 2014, alleged that on hearing of the governor’s visit, the contractor immediately mobilised to dump some laterite in the site to give the impression it had returned to site. In the letter signed by chancellor and scribe of the group, Mr. Nnamdi Ibe and Chief George Idimogu, respectively, the group alleged that prior to this time, all efforts and entreaties by the community to make the contractor continue work on the project had
It said: “We, therefore, wish to inform you that the best option is to re-award the contract to a competent hand to ensure that the community is not shortchanged.” The group, which also petitioned Imo State House of Assembly Committee on Abandoned Projects, lauded the governor for awarding the contract for the construction of the road. It also appealed to the governor to ensure the project was not abandoned mid-way.
Vanguard , WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014 - 47
DONATION: From left: Director, MTN Foundation, Mrs Aishatu Sadauki, Deputy Governor, Kaduna State, Ambassador Audu Bajoga, General Manager, Sales, MTN, Adekunle Adebiyi, and others, during the donation of equipment to Government Technical College, Malali, Kaduna, by MTN Foundation in Kaduna .
COMMISSIONING: From left: Bishop of the Diocese of Awori Anglican Communion, Rt Rev. Johnson Atere, cutting the tape to decleare the Laboratory open, while wife of the MD, Mrs. Funmilayo Adefarati, her husband, Chief Fransis Tunde Adefarati, MD, Falcon Chemical Ltd, and Chief Kuteyi Joseph look on, during the dedication of Falcon House and the commissioning of an ultra modern laboratory of Falcon Chemicals Ltd, at Otta, Ogun State, yesterday.
LAUNCHING: MD, Nokia West & Central Africa, Nick Imudia, Head, Marketing, Nokia West & Central Africa, Debbie Shepard and Head, Sales, Nokia West Africa (Nigeria and Ghana), Joseph Umunnakwe, during the launch of Nokia X smartphone at 10 Degrees Event Centre in Lagos.
UNVEILING: From left: Mr. Kola Abdul, MD/CEO, Brent Mortgage Bank Ltd, Major General SanSadeen Adebayo (rtd),Group President, Mr. Muri Salami, Board Chairman, Brent Mortgage Bank Ltd and Senator Jubril Martin-Kuye, chairman of the occasion, at the unveilling of Brent Mortgage Bank in Lagos. Photo: Akeem Salau.
From left: Nigerian Idol Season 4 host, Ill rymz, Nigerian Idol Season 4 judges, Dede Mabiaku, Nneka Egbuna and Darey Art-Alade, during the Nigerian Idol Season 4 recording, at Dream Studio in Lagos.
Wife of the Bishop of Kaduna Anglican Diocese, Mrs Comfort Amina Idowu-Fearon ( 2nd Right), lead the Joint Diocesan Women to mark the 2014 Mothering Sunday, at the Cathedral Church of St.Michael, Kaduna. Photo: Olu Ajayi.
BRIEFING: From left: General Secretary, Ogere Archdeaconry, Rev Yomi Olugbemi, Provost, Ogere Archdeaconry, Bishop Babatunde Gbogboade, Provost, Elegbaata Lagos, Bishop Caroline Olaoye and Provost, Ibadan Archdeaconry, Bishop Kole Fabusoro, during the Church of the Lord (Aladura) Ogere Archdeaconry briefing on the incessant attacks on innocent citizens in the northern Nigeria. Photo: Dare Fasube.
From left: Past Chairman, Community Development Advisory Council, Alhaji Moshood Dosumu, Commissioner for Rural Development, Cornelius Ojelabi, Baale of Ebute-Olofin, Chief Nugboyon Amosu, at the handing over of Iworo-Ajido Micro Water Scheme donated by the Lagos State government to the community.
TALK SHOW: From left: Mr. Bimbo Manuel, Nollywood actor, Professor Eyitayo Lambo, former Minister of Health, Mr. Akin Fadeyi, MD, Bufferzone Ltd, Prof. Akin Osibogun, Chief Medical Director, LUTH and Mr. Gbenga Adeyinka, comedian, at the NTA talk show recording with Professors Eyitayo Lambo and Akin Osibogun in Lagos. Photo: Lamidi Bamidele.
48—Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014
Lagos to sanction telecom operators over masts
NIC strikes out Gaskiya Textile's application for stay of execution
BY EMEKA AGINAM
BY VICTOR AHIUMAYOUNG
HE Lagos State Gov ernment, weekend, threatened to impose fresh sanction in form of fine on all telecoms operators, over refusal to submit the accurate list of telecoms masts of each operator to the state. General Manager, Urban Furniture Regulatory Unit, UFRU, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, who disclosed this to newsmen said: “The state government is worried by the discrepancies in the figures of masts submitted by some of the operators and the refusal of other operators to submit any list.” UFRU is the Lagos State Agency responsible for the supervision of all installed infrastructure in the state, including telecoms masts. He said UFRU would henceforth embark on the numbering of all telecoms masts in the state, and warned that any operator whose figure varies from the actual number of masts it operates in Lagos, would attract a penalty of N5 million per mast. He therefore called on operators to be honest in submitting the list of their operated telecoms masts in Lagos, without further delay. Igbokwe, who also frowned at the recent collapse of a hollow type communications mast belonging to Access Bank, located in its Idimu branch in Agege, Lagos, said UFRU would begin decommissioning of all hollow type masts and towers in the state, after after April 30, this year.
L VISIT: From left: Mohammed Sulaiman, Acting Registrar/Chief Executive, Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered); Dr. Nelson Uwaga, President and Chairman of Council, and Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State during the institute's courtesy visit to the governor in Government House, Dutse, Jigawa State.
Don’t rely on FG for North's devt, Arewa youths tell northern govs BY CALEB AYANSINA & BRIDGET ALU
BUJA — NATIONAL Presi dent of Arewa Youth Forum, AYF, Gambo Gujungu, has asked the 19 Northern governors not to depend on the Federal Government for the development of their respective region. AYF also urged the Federal Government to replicate the amnesty programme for the Niger Delta militants for Boko Haram terrorists in the north. Gujungu spoke when the forum paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in Abuja, yesterday. Gujungu also called for the creation of the Northern Youth Empowerment Programme, NYEP, to address unemployment of youth in the region, as according to him, the current insecurity problem in the north had crippled the region’s economy. He said there was urgent need for various state governments to
MTN introduces Browse Like Home When You Roam
S part of its effort to ensure internet accessibility at the most affordable rate while roaming, MTN has slashed its data roaming rate with the introduction of its new roaming package tagged: Roam like home with ‘MTN One World.’ The MTN One World rates will enable MTN prepaid and postpaid subscribers, who travel out of the country, to have access to the internet on their mobile phones and send text messages, paying a standard home rate of 5kobo per kilobyte and N4 per SMS, as if they are in Nigeria. This service is available in any of its 19 operating countries. The Chief Marketing Officer of the company, Larry Annetts, ex-
plained that the key strategic focus for the new tariff plan is to ensure data communication at the most affordable rate on the go. He said: “We are always committed to deliver a new world of digital experience to our customers and the thrust of this initiative is to ensure friendly roaming tariff rates, where our customers who travel to any of our 19 operating countries can still feel at home, browsing at a standard home rate of 5kobo per kilobyte. “Our customers travelling to Ghana, Cameroon, Republic of Benin, South Africa and other MTN operating countries can continue to update their profile messages, share pictures and great moments on social networks."
pay more attention to job creation and development as the problem at hand was more of theirs than the Federal Government. He said: “We are calling on our elders, particularly the northern governors, to address the issue of unemployment by reviving the agricultural sector, as well as other moribund industries. We urge our governors to forget about the Federal Government and concentrate on their mandate because this is the problem of the north, not the Federal Government. Gujungu said their visit to the Ministry of Finance was “part of the efforts to create awareness for the establishment of NYEP for the northern youths.
"We are Nigerians, like the Niger Delta people who have their amnesty programme and a lot of people are being empowered there. There is nothing wrong if such programme is extended to the north.” Responding, Dr OkonjoIweala noted the need for an in-depth discussion on the issue of development of the north, particularly as it pertains to youth empowerment and development. She said: “We have not been able to tackle the issue the way we want, but for the first time, we are having practical results. To be able to address a problem, you have to know the size of the problem.”
Katsina, Zamfara partner to end rampant killings by criminals BY SALISU MARADUN
USAU — GOVERNOR Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State has said that Katsina and Zamfara States would work together to end rampant killings of innocent people of both states by criminals. Shema spoke in an interview with Vanguard at Gusau, the capital of Zamfara State shortly after he was turbaned as the Lamido Fulbe of Gusau by the Emir of Gusau, Alhaji Kabiru Danbaba. He said the two state governments had no other choice than to work together towards bringing a lasting solution to the killing of innocent citizens particularly, the Fulani who were now perceived as terrorists in the country. Shema said the Fulani were not trouble-makers but were misunderstood by majority of Nigerians. He, however, noted
that a special meeting was being arranged between him and his Zamfara State counterpart, Abdulaziz Yari, aimed to find a lasting solution to the problem. According to him, Zamfara State which shares borders with Katsina has a vital role to play in the fight against criminal activities by some undesirable elements who take advantage of inadequate security situation to kill people indiscriminately and carte away their property. He said:”We are duty bound to ensure that as leaders, we protect the lives and property of our people and we should not forget that we are there on their mandate.” Shema also urged all and sundry to continue to pray for peace in the country, without which, he said, nothing would be achieved, especially now that the 2015 elections were around the corner.
AGOS—THE Lagos Division of the National Industrial Court, NIC, has struck out an application for stay of execution brought before it by the management of Gaskiya Textile Plc, Kano over payment of N128, 394,220.33 gratuities of 465 of its former workers. This ruling may have brought to an end the legal battle between the management of the company and the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, NUTGTWN, that commenced over decade ago after the company closed operations in 2005 without paying the gratuities of the workers. In the judgment delivered March 27, 2014, the court presided over by Justice Kanyip of the NIC struck out the application for stay of the execution of the earlier judgment for lack of merit. The union had dragged the management to the Industrial Arbitration Panel, IAP, after failing to secure workers’ benefits through the regular process of collective bargaining. In the legal battle, the union had secured favourable rulings of IAP and NIC. In February 2010, the IAP ruled in favour of the union, asking the management to pay workers their entitlement but the management headed to the NIC, seeking to upturn the IAP ruling. After two years of legal battle, Justice Bola Olaniyi of the NIC in March 2013 upheld the judgment of the IAP and ordered Gaskiya to pay the N128,394,220.33 entitlement of the workers. However, in an attempt to forestall the enforcement of the judgment, the management headed back to NIC, asking for a stay of execution. Reacting to the judgment, the union expressed gratitude that the long battle for the workers benefits was finally coming to an end.
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C M Y K
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‘Autism: Air pollution risk in pregnancy’ BY CHIOMA OBINNA
XPERTS have identified ex posure to air pollution during pregnancy as one of the major causes of Autism Spectrum Disorder, ASD. Autism is a neurological condition that arises from insufficient development of a child’s physical, emotional or intellectual capacity. Unfortunately, as debilitating as the condition maybe, the disorder, remained largely misunderstood by the society. This has made it difficult for affected children to cope with the everyday demands of their environment and leads to varying stages of social stigmatization. In a study by scientists at the University of Southern California, led by Heather Volk, and colleagues, children living in areas with high levels of trafficrelated air pollution were three times more likely to have autism than were children in areas with low levels of such pollutants.
Traffic air pollution The study went on to show that the children with autism were twice to have been exposed to high levels of traffic air pollution during their mother’s pregnancy and three times as likely to have been exposed to high levels of such pollution during their first year of life. The findings did not change after possibly confounding factors such as ethnicity, parental education, and maternal smoking during pregnancy were
considered. Speakin during the 4th edition of Guaranty Trust Bank Autism Awareness programme entitled; “On the Road to Future Inclusion” billed to hold 24th March through 1st of April, 2014, health experts noted that although the cause of the problem was yet unknown, studies have shown that women who live in areas with the highest levels of diesel or mercury in the air were twice as likely to have a child with Autism, compared with those living in the areas with lowest levels. A consultant Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist, Dr. Maymunah Kadiri, explained that the specific cause of autism is not known, but researchers have linked it to a complex interaction of genetic and environmental factors. Kadiri noted that in a study, women who were exposed to other types of air pollution-such as lead, manganese and methylene chloride-were about 50 percent more likely to have a child with ASD than women living with the lowest concentrations of these pollutants. Imagine replicating this study in Lagos where there is no control over air pollution, she retorted. Kadiri explained that autistic children suffer severe learning problems which impede their capacity to interpret and understand the everyday messages from the world around them; words, gestures, signs, numbers, letters and even love. Chief Executive Officer, GT Bank plc, Mr. Segun Agbaje noted that “poor awareness about the condition and stigma informed
The Guaranty Trust Bank Orange Ribbon Initiative four years ago. He said all children deserve to be loved and understood. “The platform Orange Ribbon Initiative is aimed at campaigning for establishment of comprehensive and inclusive schools for affected children and integrated centres for adults, gathering support and
lobby for legislation that protects the rights of people living with developmental disabilities, encourage government and private organisations to fund research and clear up societal myths about ASD”. A licensed clinical psychologist, State of California, USA, noted that children living with autism
and other developmental disabilities deserve love; care and protection hence should be no excluded from the society. While children affected are not being diagnosed early enough when therapy is most effective, Egbikuadje stated that an interdisciplinary approach is needed in the school system with speech therapists, school psychologists needed, as is obtainable in the US.
Reddington bags NHEA Private Healthcare award
IGERIAN health sector recently received a boost with the introduction of Nigerian Healthcare Excellence Award, NHEA. The award, which has been adjudged as a competitive development honoured Reddington Hospital, Lagos as best private healthcare provider of the year award. The NHEA which stakeholders posited has reintroduced excellence in the sector has 16 categories which included; private healthcare provider of the year; public healthcare provider of the year; Outstanding Government Healthcare programme of the year; nursing and midwifery excellence award; Pharmaceutical company of the year; Private laboratory service provider of the year; Lifetime achievements award etc. The award, according to the organizers, is to recognise the rapid growth of the healthcare sector and the capacity of health officers to influence and set new performance standards in Nigeria and beyond.
• L-R: Reddington Hospital team during the NHEA Award recently in Lagos. Mr. Emmanuel Matthews , Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Yemi Onabowale, Chief Executive Office, Mr. Andy Cunliffe, General Manager, Mrs. Grace Oforiokuma, Chief Financial Officer
Receiving the award on behalf of the management of Reddington hospital, Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer Reddington hospital, Dr. Adeyemi Onabowale who described the award as a well deserved award said: “We have intelligent staff, medical practitioners of international repute; we are focus and committed to our vision and today we can all see the result.”
The hospital was awarded the Private healthcare provider of the year. The hospital was nominated alongside Cedarcrest hospital, Lagoon hospital and Lilly hospital. Onabowale stressed that reddington hospital was focused to ensure quality healthcare of international standard for Nigerians to check the trend of medical tourism.
The Good, the Bad, the Ugly (2) T
HIS is the second part of a threepart series examining the National Health Bill 2014. Last week, we discussed the functions of the Federal Ministry of Health, FMOH, as stated on Article 21 and how they were duplicated and upstaged by numerous committees in later Articles. The discussion also presented how the constitution and mandates of these committees dilute the functions of the FMOH and create a bureaucratic process with unclear “buck stops here” responsibilities In Article 23:1(a), It is presumed that “user” means “patient”. If that is so, it is a medical standard the world over that the “patient” should disclose ALL health status information to his/her “provider”. This is in the patient’s best interests. Articles 24 and 25 are good and welcome. However, in 25, the Distinguished authors should have started pushing the health industry as a whole towards Electronic Medical. Records (EMR or EH-Health-R). At the minimum, these could be initiated and supported (with incentives) at our
tertiary care services, both public and private. In Article 26, the intention on confidentiality is rightly placed and this is a good and welcomed paragraph; but a small subsection is not enough. The growing use of social media, like Twitter, Facebook and emails to disseminate information, may also lead to compromise of confidential health information. In the USA, a separate Act (HIPPA) deals with this in great detail; same as the Health Data Protection Act in the UK. Article 29:1 is good. In 29:2, again I find many punitive areas of this Bill to be detailed and voluminous in words. The focus at times shifts from medical/health services enhancement to legal emphasis. In Article 31:2(a), how did they arrive at the figure ‘13’? If it is a Ministerial appointed membership, will there be added costs to the Health Budget? This is a large, cumbersome committee, which will also serve as a Full Time job for one of its members.
The exact duties of this full time member is not elucidated. Perhaps such committees should be established at State level only, and coordinate with their counterparts in the Institutions. Is a Federal committee that deals with Federal institutions, NOT already i within the Federal. Ministry of Health? Article 35:1 talks of Health Information Systems but , again, there is no mention of “electronic” or driving towards electronic. This is repeated in Article 38:1(a) for all private providers. Note that in 38:2, we see yet another prison term for providers. Article 39:1 is, to me, one of the TWO “UGLY” disappointments of the National Health Bill 2014. Perhaps I am biased, being a trained Pain Management Specialist, but PAIN - the most common reason people all over the world go to see a doctor - that
unpleasant feeling that brings fear and anxiety to surgical patients - that nasty sensation that many with cancer must endure as they try to die with dignity....THE AVAILABILITY OF AND ACCESS TO PAIN MEDICATION is not addressed by our Distinguished and Honourable Members! Yes, pain medicines, especially the much useful oral opiates, are controlled and regulated in many countries; but there is a safe balance between regulation and patient accessibility through licensed physicians. This is not the case in Nigeria. The NASS must mandate this a top priority for their “ Essential Drug List Review Committee”
Continues next week
Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014—55
Inter-faith healing for a sick nation T
HESE certainly are not the best of times for the Nigerian nation. One hundred years after the amalgamation of the North and Southern protectorates by Lord Luggard and 37 years after we opened our flanks for demons from all lands and seas across the globe in the name of Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) things appear to be going tipsy turvy just as the militant Islamic group, Boko Haram had taken its jihadist campaign to a grand new impetus. Faced with the grave Security situation in the North East states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe which has continued to deteriorate despite the declaration of a state of emergency in the region among other reasons have heightened agitation for a sovereign national conference to determine the future of the nation.
Widespread concerns Bowing to widespread concerns over the state of the nation, President Goodluck Jonathan, in his 53rd independence anniversary, shocked even his adversaries when he announced his intention to institute a national conference. The rest is now history, as the National Conference has began sitting under the leadership of Justice Idris Kutigi as chairman and Prof Tunji Braithewaite as vice chairman. As the 492-member National Conference debate on the way forward for Nigeria, 30 Muslims and 30 Christian leaders penultimate Wednesday gathered at the Ayalla Hotels, Abuja
for a one-day interactive conference to seek peace, unity and justice among the citizens and in all parts of the federation. The theme of the interactive session was 'Think Nigeria.' It was the second in the series of events aimed at addressing the security challenges in the North East region, erected on the pillars of truthfulness, honesty and respect for one another as individuals. The conference again emphasised the need for constant dialogue among leaders of different faith. The group said such dialogue would help to tackle the menace of violence in different parts of the country.
*Cross section of delegates to the second Think Nigeria Conference at Ayala Hotel, Abuja,Wednesday.
Menace of violence Presenting a paper titled; "The Bitter-The Better: A proposed natural healing for a sick nation," at the National Consultation at the Think-Nigeria Christian/ Muslim Movement, Prof. Mohammed Al-Amin took a voyage through Nigerian history stating how sick Nigeria is, symptoms of Nigeria's main problem; and the bitter pill to heal the nation. According to the professor, an apostle of religious tolerance, accused parents of shirking their responsibilities, saying that such parents must learn to take greater responsibility in the development of their children. He attributed the security challenges and moral decadence in the society on parental irresponsibility; noting that most parents in the north had abdicated their responsibility of raising their children to foster parents. Such foster parents, he said, manipulate the culture, religion and belief of such vulnerable children to cause mayhem in society.
L-R: Former chief security officer to late Head of State, General Mohammed Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, CAN national president and initiator of Think Nigeria Conference, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor and Professor Abubakar Al-Amin at the conference.
On how sick Nigeria is; Prof. Al-Amin said the nation has been infected in its blood vessels, its entire skin is in rashes; its bones are in end state of dilapidation; its flesh and bowels are rotten; and "all of the above diagnoses are redeemable by doctors except the brain-damage: that is represented by the social cohesion of Nigeria's citizens." He concluded that the only cure to this is the Bitter-Pills of truth; which must be the preoccupation of this meeting and the Think Nigeria Movement. Continuing on his diagnosis, Prof. Al-Amin identified religion as an agent of wickedness and division instead of unity and love; ethnicity and tribalism as a means to an end in nation-building in-
We don’t have a place to go, if Nigeria•• —Primate Okoh By CALEB AYANSINA & BRIDGET ALU
RIMATE, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh has said it was better to have a country than running to take shelter in another land, as Nigeria is too big to be accommodated by any other country in the continent. Okoh insisted that it was when the people stay together in unity as a country that they could talk about achieving their collective aspirations, appealing to perpetrators of violence to have a rethink. “Again we have always appeared to them that we are better having a country than not having a country, and it is only when we are having a country, that our collective aspirations can be achieved, our children will have a future, but if we destroy it, all of us will destroy ourselves,” he
said. Citing the era of austerity in Ghana which compelled some Ghanaians to take shelter in Nigeria, the Primate said “we don’t think Nigerians will find such a place to go”. However, the cleric expressed assurance that in spite of current challenges facing the country, with prayer Nigeria could still achieve greatness. Addressing newsmen, Okoh, at a 5-day national session for the country tagged; ‘The Way of the Cross’, in Abuja, noted that Nigeria's enemies were just trying in vain, as “God has not abandoned us.” According to him, “with what is going on the country, there is need to let people realize that God has not forsaken this country, God has not abandoned us, we can move forward, we actually achieve greatness, if we handle our situation with prayer and carefulness, so that is why we bring everybody together in prayer."
stead of patriotism, dedication and integration; while favouritism and God fatherism promoted over merits in consideration for reponsibility. He proceeded to advise Muslims to reduce their population by producing the children they can cater for and redirect the youth and children; evolve a new system of producing clergy in the
By SAM EYOBOKA
the conference and National President of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, the unifying effort is premised on a tripod of justice, unity and peace in Nigeria for Nigerians. In his opening remarks, the CAN president reffered to his earlier entry, where he said: "Nigeria can be great if the over 160 million of us resolve to be one anonther's keeper, and ready at all times to tell each other the truth in love under any circumstance," adding that this is what all the interactive sessions are set to achieve. Quoting William James, Oritsejafor said: "the greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, because of new information, can change the outer aspects of their lives." According to him, Muslims/ Christians must be determined, united, courageous and consistent in the quest for truth
We love Nigeria and so shall continue to think Nigeria
face of evolving new world order which is driven by technology, and key into the 21st century. And turning the Christian community, he said, to avoid further friction with their Muslim brothers, they must stop unnecessary competition with their Muslim counterparts and support fairness to northern development and use of natural resources. His last bitter pill that fashion a better nation include the necessity of generational change in leadership and the need to evolve a new class of political and social leadership through killing oligarchy. "Think Nigeria Always," he urged, adding "let our thoughts reflect our beliefs; let our beliefs reflect in our actions; and let our actions reflect positiverly on our nation. We have no other country than Nigeria; but there exist numerous religions in the world." According to the convener of
on the path to justice, unity and peace in the country. He expressed happiness on the on-going National Conference, noting "we are all pursuing justice, equity, love and understanding which will ultimately usher in lasting peace in Nigeria. As we have kept faith with this conference, it shows that we have resolved to stay united and patient, for it is patience and steady focus that make the final difference between those who succeed or fail in what they set out to do. We love Nigeria and so shall continue to think Nigeria." The gathering witnessed an unexpected appearance of Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, the former Chief Security Officer to the late Head of State, Gen. Sanni Abacha who voiced his willingness to identify with any effort that will unify the nation for the peace and development of every sector of the nation.
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Military has no apology for its role in governance — Akinrinade •Hold our elders, elder-statesmen responsible •Restructuring, federalism, education, structure dominate discourse •Nigeria has come to stay—Akinjide •We've no where to go if... – Alamieyeseigha
S delegates to the on- going national conference continued discussions on President Goodluck Jonathan’s inaugural speech yesterday, former Chief of Army Staff, General Alani Akinrinade (rtd) said the military has no apology for their incursions into governance, noting however, that the conference was an opportunity for Nigerians to redeem themselves. Akinrinade, who insisted that elders and stakeholders in government were responsible for military intervention, said the conference would also serve as an opportunity to do away with the constitution that has been described severally as being imposed by the military. Akinrinade, who caused a stir when he said the military had no apology to offer to Nigerians for the way they misruled the country for over three decades, said, “all the constitutions made in Nigeria were supported by all of you. You all contributed. I think it is time to do away with the current constitution. It is time for us to write a new constitution for the country. For now, we are not a nation, but we have the capacity to build one.” He spoke on a day that delegates dissected President Jonathan’s inaugural speech, which dwelt on restructuring of the country, true federalism, unity of the country, religion and corruption. The delegates who also spoke
on economy, growth and development of the country, hailed the speech, noting that the President meant well for the country. Yesterday’s discussions were kicked started with contributions from Bishop Femi Ajakaiye of the Catholic Church, Ekiti Diocese, representing the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), who stressed the need for unity of purpose among delegates. Bishop Ajakaiye said that the conference was a veritable tool that would solve Nigeria’s myriad of problems impeding its growth as a nation. The cleric also added that “unity is strength,oneness is strength. Rather than blaming our colonial masters hundred years after amalgamation, we need to solve our problems with this conference.”
Nigeria has come to stay — Akinjide On his part, a former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, Chief Richard Akinjide representing the Elderstatesmen described Nigeria as one of the greatest countries in Africa. “Let us stop being demolition contractors. We should be building contractors. Some of us here have been part of the system since independence. I do not want to continue making speeches. Let us continue to be building contractors and accept that Nigeria has come to stay as the greatest nation in Africa”, he advised. While hailing the president’s
*Delegates at the on-going national conference speech, Senator Yisa Braimoh urged delegates to see the conference as a vehicle for Nigeria and Nigerians to correct the wrongs of the past. Also, in his remarks, former governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha who described President Jonathan’s speech as revolutionary, said that the problems in Nigeria were man made. According to him, the President has given us the opportunity, through this conference, to revisit our 100 years and that as Nigerians, we have no where to go. He further enjoined delegates to discuss with open hearts as well as discuss issues that will unite Nigeria. Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Prof. Jubril Aminu, said that at the end of the conference, mutual distrust and suspicion which have long characterised Nigerians must be put behind. Aminu cautioned that the 1999
Secretariat calls for memoranda T HE Secretariat of the ongoing National Conference has called for submission of memoranda from the public, just as it said that all memoranda must be clearly typed and presented to show introduction of the subject matter and statement of facts on the subject matter. According to a statement yesterday by Secretary, Dr. Valerie-Janette Azinge, the memoranda should also reflect issues from the statement of facts for determination, arguments in support for determination and reliefs and prayers.
The statement read, “The Secretariat of the National Conference wishes to invite the general public to submit memoranda on any subject matter for possible discourse at the ongoing National Conference, except the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a nation. ”All memoranda shall be clearly typed and presented in the following format: 1. Introduction of the subject matter 2. Statement of facts on the subject matter 3. Issues from the statement
of facts for determination 4. Arguments in support of issues for determination 5. Reliefs/prayers sought “The name, address, and signature(s) of the writer(s) should also be clearly indicated and submitted in TEN (10) HARD COPIES and TWO (2) SOFT COPIES (in pdf and MS Word formats) on or before Tuesday 15th April, 2014, to the respective addresses below: The National Conference, National Judicial Institute, Mohammed Bello Center, Adjacent Jabi Junction Flyover, Airport Road, Abuja.
Constitution must not be completely altered, stressing that areas which the conference should adjust a little could be on local government reforms. He said: “the President is the first Nigerian PhD holder and the second graduate President to pilot the affairs of this nation, it is not surprising to see a well scripted and ideal speech from the President. I only hope that this conference should be our
STORIES BY HENRY UMORU, JOSEPH VERUNKE & LEVINUS NWABUGHIOGU
very unpresidnetial. I see some parts of the speech as something made by someone under pressure. We cannot draft anything here if the government has failed to implement the documents we were given to revise.” On his part, former Senate President, Senator Iyorcha Ayu, who refused to take a position on the speech of the president said that the contents of the speech
We maybe taking ourselves too seriously of we think we can right all the wrongs of Nigeria
last, we should find ways of resolving our differences today. I believe his speech has helped cleared the air on a number of issues and we ought to believe him. The President said he does not have a personal agenda and we believe him, he said that we should not insist on mistrusting and distrusting one another.”
Mistrusting and distrusting Professor Anya O. Anya said he owes this country a lot for what it has done for Him but reminded Nigerians that there is no part of the country that does not have its peculiar problems. Anya advised delegates that “we need to stop grandstanding.” Senator Ahmed Mohammed Aruwa stirred the hornet’s nest when he subtly insulted lecturers, accusing them of teaching Nigerian students garbage. He also took a swipe at the President’s speech arguing that some of the things itemised in the speech were ‘unpresidential’ adding, “in my view, I find the speech of the president
showed that of a leader who was greatly worried, just as he warned delegates to reduce their expectations. Ayu said: “It is a speech of a leader who is deeply worried on the direction of the country. It is a speech of great expeditions. The whole country expects a lot from all of us gathered here. We maybe taking ourselves too seriously of how we think we can right all the wrongs of Nigeria. I have heard some people say they want to rewrite the constitution of Nigeria. We cannot do that. We can only make recommendations.” Also contributing, Chief Mrs. Nike Akande, who noted that unemployment still remained a a disturbing social issue in the polity, said, “My concern is about rapid development and national prosperity. Unemployment is one of the greatest problems. I am a banker and I received so many applications every day. There should be acquisition centers to train people. Insurgency and terrorism is a new dimension to our national challenge. Let us do our best at the national conference so that history can consider us. So help us God.
Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014—57
We’re not in court
Kutigi: His comic side STORIES HENRY UMORU AND LEVINUS NWABUGHIOGU
XCEPT that he had excelled and eventually retired from the Bench as former Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, having reached the zenith of his legal career, the chairman of the ongoing National Conference, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi would have been mistaken by many people who perhaps are having a close contact with him for the first time by virtue of the conference for a comedian. Effortlessly, the chairman has continued to show he is a
huge entertainer at the confab. Gifted with a special pronunciation skill that has a cacophony of heavy accents and deep baritone, the learned septuagenarian’s response to most questions usually drew infectious and comic laughter from the delegates and audience. Perhaps, Kutigi, who has spent considerable years of his life dishing orders was just getting familiar with the democratic knick-knackery that characterised the gathering. And true to the posture, the laughter always helped many to release tension.
— delegates AS the chant of ‘cooooourt!’ rent the air when the Chairman entered the hall as the house reconvened after lunch, some delegates murmured: ‘ we are not in court'.
70% voting code only if... — Kutigi *Justice Idris Kutigi and Professor Bolaji Akinyemi Whispering with microphone Then enter his tête-à-tête with his deputy and secretary. Kutigi most times does not take the microphone away from his mouth when whispering to either his
deputy, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi or his secretary, Dr. Valerie Azinge. And you can trust that most of his whisper is heard by the audience. But then that may just be the nature of retired Justice Kutigi.
Rumbles over names, titles I
T is a “sin” to mention a delegate’s name without acknowledging his or her title at the conference. But that is a job the chairman, Justice Kutigi would never do. The best he can do is to, as a matter of honour, refer to someone who wants to speak as “chief.” This, however, happens only when the delegate is clad in regalia that has native features or portrays him as a holder of a chieftain title, especially, if the
person is wearing a red native cap. In most cases, Kutigi allows delegates to introduce themselves, which is the standard. And then you will be regaled with prefaces or long titles like “chief, doctor, His Excellency, etc, before mentioning the name. For those who have national honours like the OON, CON, you can trust that they will read it in full before pronouncing their names.
Delegates speak beyond stipulated time
S delegates continued discussions on President Goodluck Jonathan’s inaugural speech, most of them refused to abide by the three minutes allotted time. They simply continued speaking ignoring
the bell. Like yesterday the conference Deputy Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi had to call Dr. Adetokunbo AwolowoDosumu to stop when she refused to stop by saying, ‘thank you Tokunboh, thank you for your contribution.’
It got to a point when a As a matter of recognition, may delegate pushed for inclusion of be, she even desired that her their titles. But the Chairman name be prefaced “Her responded saying, “Hon. Excellency”, which prompted a Delegate, the list given to us string of laughter in the hall. by the Federal Government does not reflect national honours, please. We copied the names from there.” Another issue which has also dominated the conference is correction of wrongly spelt names. Those who have their names in printer’s devil have never ceased to protest for correction. They argued that their name is their identity and as such should be written correctly. For instance, the former deputy governor of Anambra State, Madam Virgy Etiaba would not stop bogging the conference to correct her name from wrongly spelt “Virgi” to “Virgy”. Alamieyeseigha
Ondo delegates dissatisfied with 70% benchmark BY JOSEPH ERUNKE
ELEGATES from Ondo State have expressed dissatisfaction with the 70 percent voting benchmark adopted for passing controversial issues at the conference, saying the benchmark was not in tandem with standard practice in other parts of the world. The conference had, Monday, adopted the 70 percent benchmark following the recommendation of the 50member elders committee it constituted on the issue. Addressing the media, yesterday, in Abuja, delegates from Ondo State: Barr. Remi Olatubora, Commissioner for Technical and Vocational Education; Professor Femi
Mimiko, Vice Chancellor of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko; and Lady Yemi Mahmud-Fasominu, Commissioner for Women Affairs, expressed fears that the benchmark could prevent delegates from passing most critical but controversial issues. However, they thanked the conference management and the 50-member committee for finding what they simply referred to as “acceptable benchmark” for reaching decisions at the conference, saying it saved the conference of further controversies. Olatubora, who is the leader of the delegation said: “I must tell you absolutely that I am not satisfied with it. The position that we feel is the correct position is simple majority and failing
simple majority on matter like this should be two-third. “But we are here as a people to decide on various issues altogether and so we must make concessions here and there. It is the position that we have all generally accepted but that does not mean that all of us are satisfied with that position. We wished that it is made two-third.” Speaking on resource control being agitated for by Ondo State, he said: “We come from the South-West. We do not live in isolation. If the 70 percent of the assembly says that we should have control over our resources, we are going to have it. We even need the money to do projects in the state. We are not here to force our agenda on others.
Alamieyeseigha loses father
OON after the house reconvened from break, former Governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Solomon Peter Alamieyeseigha was called by Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi to speak. Somebody shouted “observation” from a part of the hall, but the professor told delegates that he would only take care of ‘point of order.’ The bone of contention was why call Alamieyeseigha again when he had been called earlier. Akinyemi explained that Alamieyeseigha’s father died two days and he managed to come, that as human beings, he should be allowed to speak. Thereafter, the former governor came up and rounded off his speech.
JUSTICE Idris Kutigi yesterday reminded his colleagues that the 70 percent voting code reached on Monday at the conference was a last option when consensus fails.
Delegate’s wife gives birth to triplets A DELEGATE’s wife, Dolapo- Omodogbe- Ajani was delivered of a triplet –a girl and two boys, yesterday in the United States. The delegate is Olawale James Ajani and he represents the National Youth Council of Nigeria.
Delegates go home for lunch SOME delegates used the two hour- break to go home for lunch to avoid being denied of food. A former minister and past national chairman of a party even said yesterday that since the commencement of the conference, he has not been given any food in spite of the deduction of N10, 000 every day. Indeed, when delegates reconvened after break at 4 pm, there were shouts of ‘we did not eat, we did not eat.’ It took the intervention of Kutigi to cool frayed nerves when he promised that the Secretary, Mrs. Valerie Azinge would address the issue, adding, “that is very bad if you have not eaten, food has been provided for.”
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Britain orders probe of UK based Brotherhood activities
Abbas vows to petition UN over peace talks M
AHMUD Abbas, the Palestinian president, has signed a request to join several UN agencies in a move that could derail a US push to revive faltering peace talks with Israel. ”The Palestinian leadership has unanimously approved a decision to seek membership of 15 UN agencies and international treaties, beginning with the Fourth Geneva Convention,” Abbas said on television on Tuesday after signing the demand during a meeting at his Ramallah headquarters in the West Bank. ”The demands [for membership] will be sent immediately ” to the relevant agencies, he said. ”This is not a move against America, or any other party - it is our right, and we agreed to
suspend it for nine months,” said Abbas. Al Jazeera’s Stephanie Dekker, reporting from Jerusalem, said: “Going to the UN means the potential of going for an independent state and of turning to the
International Criminal Court.” “It ups the pressure on the US and on Israel, something they [Palestinians] have always threatened. During the nine months of talks Palestinian President Mahmoud
T Abbas said they would not do this. But they were promised nine times the release of this last batch of prisoners.” “Abbas feels he has no other choice. He is in a difficult position among the Palestinians: The settlements have doubled; home demolitions of Palestinians have doubled - and it is difficult for him to justify the talks without seeing results,” said our correspondent. The Palestinians agreed to refrain from seeking membership of international bodies and from pursuing legal action against Israel during the nine months of talks that US Secretary of State John Kerry launched in July. In return, Israel agreed to release 104 long-serving Palestinian prisoners. But Israel has refused to release the final batch of 26 prisoners, using it as a bargaining chip to try and extend talks beyond their April 29 deadline.
Museveni leads anti-gay march in Uganda U
GANDAN President Yoweri Museveni has led a rally celebrating his country’s new anti-gay laws, saying homosexuality creates grave health problems and that gays have always been regarded as abnormal by Africans.
Museveni made the comments at a “thanksgiving service’’ organised in the capital Kampala by a coalition of Ugandan religious leaders and government officials who said the president deserves credit
for defying Western pressures over the legislation. Thousands attended the event, including schoolchildren who sang and danced to anti-gay tunes that also railed against the West.
Kenya arrests hundreds after deadly church blastsabout their normal The three blasts on
ENYAN police have arrested more than 650 suspects a day after six people were killed in bomb attacks in the capital Nairobi, the interior minister said. “This act of cowardice perpetrated against innocent and peace-loving Kenyans who were going
activities is barbaric,” Joseph Ole Lenku said in a statement yesterday. “So far 657 suspects have been apprehended,” he added. Kenyan police regularly arrest scores of people after similar attacks in sweeping security operations, but later release most after questioning.
Monday evening targeted two small restaurants and a local clinic in a particularly densely populated area of Eastleigh, an area often known as “Little Mogadishu” because of its predominantly Somali population. No one has claimed responsibility for the blasts.
Museveni, who in February signed a bill strengthening criminal penalties against homosexuals, said that he is “now mobilising to fight’’ Western gays he accuses of promoting homosexuality in Africa. Since enacting the law, Uganda has attracted sharp international criticism from rights groups and high-profile international figures who have denounced the legislation as draconian. Western donors have halted or re-directed about $118m worth of aid after Museveni signed the law that toughened existing rules against gays and prescribed life in jail for what it called “aggravated homosexuality”, such as sex with a minor.
NATO suspends cooperation with Russia
Victims of Kenyan church blast
ATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Tuesday the Western alliance had suspended all military and civilian cooperation with Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, but that political dialogue remained open. “We are
suspending all practical cooperation with Russia, military and civilian,” Rasmussen said at a NATO foreign ministers meeting on the crisis in Ukraine, adding however that “diplomatic lines of communication” remained open in the NATO-Russia Council.
HE British government has announced that it will launch a review into the operations of the Muslim Brotherhood inside the UK. A spokesperson for Prime Minister David Cameron said yesterday that “given the concerns now being expressed about the group and its alleged links to violent extremism, it’s absolutely right and prudent that we get a better handle of what the Brotherhood stands for”. The statement by Downing Street added that the government had not “kept pace” with the organisation’s ideas and values since it came to prominence. Many members of the Brotherhood have moved to the UK after a crackdown in Egypt by the military-led government. The organisation’s press office is now based in north London. The group was recently banned and declared a “terrorist” organisation by Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The Egyptian government blames the movement for attacks on its security forces and for working with foreign groups to subvert Egypt. The Brotherhood’s fortunes have deteriorated dramatically after its Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s former president, was toppled by the army last July. The group’s senior leadership has since been largely imprisoned or forced in to exile. Hundreds of Brotherhood members and supporters have been killed in frequent protests against the Egyptian authorities.
Former Israeli PM, Ehud Olmert convicted in bribery scandal
N Israeli judge has convicted former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of taking bribes while mayor of Jerusalem. Judge David Rosen of the Tel Aviv District Court convicted Olmert of receiving about $161,000 in bribes related to a controversial Jerusalem housing project called Holyland. The judge acquitted Olmert on a third count of bribery. The developer of Holyland, Hillel Cherney, had been previously convicted of bribing Olmert and other high-level officials in exchange for Holyland approvals. Sentencing is scheduled for April 28. Olmert, an attorney who in 1973 became the youngest person ever elected to Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, served as prime minister from 2006 to 2009. He announced his resignation shortly after police recommended corruption charges against him. In August 2012, he was convicted of breach of trust and acquitted on two corruption-related charges after a trial that lasted nearly three years. He was given a 3-month suspended jail sentenced and fined about $19,000 in that case.
Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
Liberia confirms Ebola spread
IBERIA has confirmed two patients have tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, which is already believed to have killed at least 70 people in neighbouring Guinea. Walter Gwenigale, Liberia’s health minister, told the Associated Press news agency late on Sunday that one patient was married to a Guinean man and had returned ill from a recent trip there. She died in Lofa County. The second patient is the sister of the dead woman. Gwenigale said she is alive and has been isolated in a medical centre outside of Monrovia, declining to give further details “because we don’t want to cause panic”.
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Heineken House sets for thrilling UEFA Champions League duels
HE state-of-the-art Heineken House Lagos is the place to be tonight when action resumes with crunchy first leg quarter final matches of the UEFA Champions League in four prominent stadiums in Europe. After mixed fortunes on the domestic scene for all the remaining eight clubs in the competition, FC Chelsea, with huge followership in Nigeria looks set to be the star attraction at the Heineken House Lagos when the English Premiership title contender play away to Saint Paris Germaine at the Parc des Princes in Paris on tomorrow night.
ECSTACY : Super Eagles celebrate their Afcon victory in S/Africa last year.
Nigerians rise in suppor t of Okpala, condemn NFF BY PATRICK OMORODION
OLLOWING the denial by the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF scribe, Barrister Musa Amadu that disengaged former Assistant Coach of the Super Eagles, Sylvanus Okpala was merely blackmailing the NFF by dragging the name of President Goodluck Jonathan into the dispute he has with the federation, Nigerians have risen in support of the ex international. Reacting online to NFF’s attack on Okpala through a statement by it’s spokesman, Ademola Olajire, some Nigerians have described the NFF as an insensitive organisation which should pay off Okpala if it doesn’t need his services anymore. Reacting from Abuja, Austin Ekanem said the NFF was only trying to intimidate Okpala, asking rhetorically “can the NFF debunk his assertions?”, adding that they should pay him what is due him. Another reader, Ofem Willie advised the NFF president, Aminu Maigari to take it easy on the Okpala case because what is good for the goose is also good for the gander while C M Y K
Olajuyin Ekundayo just wrote, “Maigari, pay this man off. Period.” “I don’t care what you say Barrister Musa Amadu. I totally believe what Mr. Okpala said. You can lie until you turn blue and evaporate, we all believe him. It actually sounds like something Maigari would say to intimidate someone,” wrote Thenjiwe Obong. According to Edward Osadebay, “relieving a man of his means of livelihood is not a small matter. Can these (people) respond to the allegations
Okpala made other than showing their in-human frame of mind. We were all here when the NFF headed by Maigari threatened so many times to report Nigeria to FIFA. What are they now saying? That they did not? When you threaten a country, the President as embodiment of that country is threatened. NFF have no respect for the President or Nigerians. If not for public outcry, Keshi would have been sacked by these (people) parading (themselves) as football administrators.”
NPUGA holds bye-election
YE-ELECTION into the vacant position of president and vice president of the Nigerian Private University Games Association (NPUGA) has been scheduled to hold at Bowen University Iwo on April 11th, 2014. The vacant position surfaced due to the demise of the founding president of the Association, Dr. John Busari Okoro in 2013 while his vice,
Akintunde Akinola has been acting as president since then. The position is available for contest by next week. Similarly, agitation by members of Npuga for the election reached its climax late last year during the 5th edition of NPUGA Games held at Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU), IkejiArakeji, Osun held in December 2013. A total of twenty five universities featured at the games.
Nigerian artist, Alexander Adegbola, popularly known as 9ice, is a staunch fan of the club and as a guest in the Heineken House Lagos on the night London side cruised into the quarterfinal stage of the competition has been able to galvanize more support for the side ahead of this crucial stage. ”I love this club not just because the colour is blue, but the team plays good football and also achieves results every season... and today Chelsea is a global brand,” he remarked moments after Gary Cahill scored the second goal to put the match beyond adventurous Galatasaray in the return leg match at the Stamford Bridge. The artist, who paid glowing tributes to Heineken for the Heineken House Lagos said his experience was far above expectation. “I have read in the media about this Heineken viewing experience during UEFA Champions league matches but seeing is believing. It was a pleasant experience for me to be with my fans and many of whom share affinity with Chelsea,” he remarked.
Tiger Woods will miss the Masters
IGER Woods’s run of featuring in every Masters since 1995 is over after confirmation that the world No1 will not play at Augusta next week. Woods, who has been plagued by back trouble since the latter half of last year, underwent surgery on a pinched nerve in Utah on Monday. He has set his sights on a return to action this summer and insists his career is far from over. This withdrawal, however, still marks a highly significant point in the American’s career. “After attempting to get ready for the Masters, and failing to make the necessary progress, I decided, in consultation with my doctors, to have
this procedure done,” Woods said. “I’d like to express my disappointment to the Augusta National membership, staff, volunteers and patrons that I will not be at the Masters. It’s a week that’s very special to me. It also looks like I’ll be forced to miss several upcoming
tournaments to focus on my rehabilitation and getting healthy. “I’d also like to thank the fans for their support and concern. It’s very kind and greatly appreciated. This is frustrating but it’s something my doctors advised me to do for my immediate and long-term health.”
Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014 — 63
Sewe Sport, A welcome draw for Bayelsa, We did not fail in Costa Rica — Flamingoes coach but ...... F Y ESTERDAY’S CAF Confederation Cup 2nd 1/8th draw to determine the teams to finally qualify for the group stage of the Confederation Cup was one in which Nigerians and Bayelsa United Supporters heaved a sigh of relief, writes Paul BASSEY. In a draw that had such frightening names like Al Ahly of Egypt, Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa, A. S Real of Bamako, A.C Leopards of Congo, Djoliba of Mali and ASEC of Cote Divoire, Sewe Sports de San Pedro seemed such a good draw. The procedure for the CAF draw did not quite reveal that. According to the CAF draw format, Sewe Sports was in the seeded Champions League pot along side Al Ahly, Coton Sports, and A.C Leopards while Bayelsa was in the unseeded Confederation Cup pot with DHJ, Medeama of Ghana, and Atletico. A further study reveals that Sewe Sports, founded in 1953 broke away from the shadows of ASSEC and Africa Sports and for two consecutive years have been champions of the Ivorian league. The current league table in Cote Divoire sees Sewe Sports on top with 37 points from 16 matches played, winning eleven, drawing four and losing only one. Sewe has scored 24 goals and conceded only seven. ASSEC second on the league table is four points adrift. Sewe broke into Africa last year and after eliminating the likes of F.U.S Rabat of Morrocco, Al Hilal of Sudan etc qualified for the Group
•Action recorded in an NPL match involving Bayelsa United. Stage of the CAF Champions League starring in Group B along side Coton Sport, EST of Tunisia and Recreativo de Libolo of Angola. In their very first match played at the 6,000 capacity Stade de Robert Champroux in Abidjan they wired Libolo 3-1, but faltered along the way, not being able to come out of the group, drawing 00 at home to Coton Sport and losing home and away to Esperance. Sewe Sport returned again this year, and after an impressive run that saw them eliminating Barrack Young Controllers of Liberia, FOS Balantas de Mantsoa of Guinea Bissau, they came
face to face with the dreaded T.P.Mazembe of Congo D.R and and in a match nobody gave them any chance on paper beat them 2-1 in Abidjan. Tout Puissant Mazembe had to struggle to beat Sewe 1-0 in the return fixture in Lubumbashi to advance on the away goals rule. This match alone, bears testimony to the strength of the Ivorian champions. A club that has not lost its last five matches in the league thanks to a crop of highly skillful, young, mobile and talented players including highest goalscorer the mercurial 25 year old
Zougula who has five goals to his credit in the current campaign. The 23 number shirted Zougoula is complimented by Kakou, Mandella and Halidou, all on three goals apiece. Also serving as threat is the fine goalkeeping form of first choice goalkeeper Gbohou, who is the natural choice for the CHAN team of Cote D’ivoire. Bayelsa, this is the hurdle between you and the group Stage, one whose name does not ring a bell, but one who is potent and lethal with enough experience in Africa, to booth.
Zenith Bank Basketball: Action shifts to Ilorin for 2nd phase Abraham Ogaba of the
ITH the first phase of the Zenith Bank Women’s Basketball league in Abuja concluded last week, action for the second phase now shifts to Ilorin, Kwara state where all sixteen teams in the league will converge from May 1 to 12 for the second phase. From this second phase, the top-four teams from each group will qualify to
the last leg of the league scheduled to hold in Lagos at a date to be announced by the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF. Defending champion, First Deepwater basketball club and former champion First Bank basketball club remain the only clubs to maintain a hundred percent record in their respective groups. Meanwhile, Coach
IGP Queens basketball club has vowed that the Police team will make the final cut to the final phase playoff. He applauded the NBBF and Zenith Bank for providing a platform for Nigerian women players to continue to exhibit their talents, as called for total support for the Tijjani Umar-led NBBF in delivering the gains of the league to the Nigerian basketball community.
Man City Continues from BP to join us a day after. I received this assurance from the sports director of Manchester City,” Aliyu Auwal disclosed. “We hope to receive confirmation soon on the other foreign-based players we have called C M Y K
up.” The Flying Eagles have also invited Musa Muhammed (Besiktas, Turkey), Musa Yahaya (Tottenham Hotspur, England), Chidera Eze (FC Porto, Portugal) and Dele Alampasu, who is currently undergoing trials in Belgium.
A female basketball player in action.
LAMINGOES head coach, Bala Nkiyu has said his side achieved a milestone at the 2014 Fifa Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica despite bowing out in the quarterfinals of the competition to Spain. The Nigerians were beaten 0-3 by the European giants in the quarterfinals making it the third consecutive time the cadet side failed to go beyond the last eight. Bala said the side made bold progress winning all their group matches for the first time in the history of the championship. “We made progress in Costa Rica even though we were eliminated in the quarterfinals as it
was the case in the past two editions but for the first time in the history of the side’s participation in the championship we were able to win all our group matches.
Falcons regroup for Cameroon
HE senior women’s side will begin training for their international friendly encounter against Cameroon today. All the 34 players invited by coach Edwin Okon are reported at their Abuja camp before the close of work yesterday which was the deadline set by the
technical crew. The game holds at the Abuja National Stadium on April 15. The friendly match against the Indomitable Lionesses ranked 49th in the world and second in Africa will serve as a warm up for the African Women’s Championship qualifiers against the She-Amavubi of Rwanda.
NFF Continues from BP under undue pressure by the technical committee.. The coach was said to have accused the NFF of not passing through the right channel as he has only been reading on the pages of newspapers that he was to submit a 35-man provisional list.. “I am not in a hurry to submit the list. First, the report was that I was to submit 40 names. Now I am hearing it is 35 players. I will only submit a list of 30 players when I am ready,” he insisted yesterday The federation was hoping to announce this provisional list of 35 players for the World Cup by the end of the week.
Relations between Keshi and the federation became frosty last week when Keshi was queried for attending a sponsor’s event in Lagos on the day he had an appointment with the technical committee. He was also accused of embarking on an unapproved vacation in America. Sources at the NFF disclosed last night that Keshi had also failed to reply to the issues raised in the query by the Chris Green-led committee. After the May 28 friendly against Scotland, the Eagles will play two more friendly matches against USA and Greece in America before leaving for Brazil on June.11.
VANGUARD, WEDNESDAY, APRIL2, 2014
NFF, Keshi disagree on Eagles list
HERE are strong indications that the Nigeria Football Federation and national team coach Stephen Keshi are headed on a collision course over the release of a provisional list for the pre-World Cup camp. The camp opens in London on May 26, two days before a friendly match against Scotland at Craven Cottage. The technical Committee of the NFF which met in Abuja last week is demanding for the immediate release of a 35-man list from the coach. But Keshi is insisting he is not in a hurry to release the provisional list, adding that he was being put
Continues on Page 63
We’re ready for Chelsea —Ibrahimovic •Green
• Pages 32 & 33 •Keshi
Man City release Iheanacho, Nwakali for F/Eagles
E L E C H I Auwal Ibrahim said I h e a n a c h o he received the and Chidiebere confirmation of the Nwakali will join the players’ arrival from Flying Eagles on the City sports Wednesday, April 9, director. after playing a game “Iheanacho and for the Manchester Nwakali have a City youth team. game on April 8 and Flying Eagles team they will be released secretary Aliyu Continues on Pg 63
YESTER DAY'S YESTERDAY'S
CAF Confederation Cup Play-offs draw: First legs: 18, 19, 20 April 2014. Second legs: 25, 26, 27 April 2014 Al-Ahly v Difaa Hassani Jadida AS Real v Djoliba AC Leopards v Medeama Kaizer Chiefs v Asec Mimosas Coton Sport v Petro Atletico Horoya v Etoile du Sahel Sewe Sport v Bayelsa Nkana v Club Athletique Bizertin Man U Barcelona
Bayern Munich Athletico Madrid
Paris St Germain R/Madrid
QUICK CROSSWORD ACROSS 1 Difficult (4) 4 Burst (3) 6 Go by (4) 9 Tear (3) 10 Obstinate (8) 11 Thought (4) 14 Conifer (3) 16 Centre (5) 19 Contemplate (8) 21 Lukewarm (5) 23 Subtracted (8) 24 Nip (5) 27 Untruth (3) 31 Facts (4) 33 Outbreak (8) 34 Trap (3) 35 Departed (4) 36 Regret (3) 37 Audacious (4)
DOWN 2 Wine (4) 3 Liability (4) 4 Supplied (8) 5 Gasp (4) 6 Conceit (5) 7 Help (3) 8 Javelin (5) 12 Ladle (5) 13 Alliance (5) 14 Healthy (3) 15 Repulse (5) 17 Sharp (5) 18 Deal (5) 20 Scorn (8) 22 Owing (3) 25 Likeness (5) 26 Sing (5) 28 Dread (4) 29 Knife (4) 30 Implement (4) 32 Can (3)
YESTERDAY'S SOLUTIONS ACROSS: 1, Battle 5, Humble 8, Disaster 9, Door 10, Dub 12, Plumb 15, Set 17, Awe 18, Ode 19, Gun 20, Tutor 21, Van 22, Apt 23, Eye 24, All 26, Yield 29, Roe 33, Scan 34, Traction 35, Player 36, Endure.
DOWN: 2, Adieu 3, Team 4, Extol 5, Harem 6, Made 7, Loose 10, Dogma 11, Banal 12, Petty 13, Untie 14, Bored 15, Sever 16, Tense 25, Local 27, Inter 28, Leave 30, Odour 31, Only 32, Stud.
How to Play Sudoku
lace a number (1-9) in each blank cell. (No line can have two of the same number). Each row (nine lines from left to right), column, (also nine lines from top to bottom) and 3 X 3 block within a bold block (nine blocks) contains number from 1 through 9. This means that no number can appear twice in any block, column or row. No mathematics is involved – no adding, subtraction, division or multiplication, just plain logic and your imagination. Printed and Published by VANGUARD MEDIA LIMITED, Vanguard Avenue, Kirikiri Canal, P.M.B.1007, Apapa. Phone: Newsroom: 018773962. Deputy Editor: 01-4548355. Advert Dept Hotline: 014544821; Abuja: 09-2341102, 09-2342704. E-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. Advert:firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.vanguardngr.com (ISSN 0794-652X) Editor: MIDENO BAYAGBON. Phone: 01-7742861, All correspondence to P.M.B. 1007, Apapa Lagos.
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