...towards a better life for the people
VOL. 25: NO. 62107
ONLINE | www.vanguardngr.com
TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
IBADAN HOUSE OF HORROR:
Riot, as victims narrate experience
How to honour dead Immigration applicants, by Okonjo-Iweala P.8
Jonathan's 75% voting rule splits confab
BY SONI DANIEL, HENRY UMORU, ERUNKE JOSEPH & LEVINUS NWABUGHIOGU
•We can't change voting rule —Kutigi •Delegates insist on amendment •To select chairmen, deputies for committees Benue communal clashes:
IG summons AIGs, orders recovery of firearms P.9
BUJA — THE first major deadlock set in at the National Conference, yesterday, when delegates were split over the clause stipulating that all decisions to be reached must be done through consensus or a vote of 75 per cent majority. Tension began to rise when the chairman, Justice Idris Kutigi, attempted to overrule a delegate, Chief Mike Ozekhome, who had called for the amendment of the provision to
Continues on page 5
Mr & Mrs A Jerry Rawlings solution for Nigeria •P.17 •P.17 •P.57
C M Y K
AWARD: From left, Engr. Ahmed Mansur, Engr. Joseph Makoju, Aremo Olusegun Osoba; Hajia
Fatima Aliko Dangote, and Hajia Halima Aliko Dangote, both representatives of their father, receiving African Personality of the Year 2013 award on behalf of Alhaji Aliko Dangote at Vanguard's Personality of the Year Award, in Lagos, weekend.
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AGREEMENT: From left: The European Union, EU, Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Michel Arrion; Supervising Minister of National Planning, Mallam Bashir Yuguda and Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Zainab Maina during the signing of a financing agreement for a programme aimed at promoting women's engagement in peace and security in Northern Nigeria at the National Planning Ministry, Abuja, yesterday. Photo: Abayomi Adeshida.
Jonathan's 75% voting rule splits confab Continues from page 1 make it possible for any decision to be arrived at through two thirds majority, which he said was the same position with the constitution and global best practices. Ozekhome had argued that it would be against the interest of natural justice and the nation for major decisions to be decided by only a few persons at the confab, since the meaning of 75 per cent was such that even if the delegates had up to 74.99 per cent, they
could not change anything while a minority of 25 per cent of the members could easily win over anything they decide on under the rule of consensus. The activist lawyer pointed out that if the rule was allowed to stand, it would be impossible for delegates representing local interests to influence the outcome of any issue at the end of the confab, thereby defeating the purpose for which they were nominated by their sponsors. The Edo-born lawyer
BY PASTOR ITUAH
Most times what you want from life is what you get out of life. It is how you see yourself that you find yourself.
TAKE HEART BY ELLA RANDLE
Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it — Maya Angelou. Start spending time with the right people. These are the people who love and appreciate you, and who encourage you to improve in healthy and exciting ways. They are the ones who make you feel more alive, and not only embrace who you are now, but also embrace and embody who you want to be, unconditionally. Start facing your problems head on. It isn’t your problems that define you, but how you react to them and recover from them. Problems will not disappear unless you take action. Do what you can, when you can, and acknowledge what you’ve done. It’s all about taking baby steps in the right direction, inch by inch. These inches count, they add up to yards and miles in the long run. Start being honest with yourself about everything. Be honest with every aspect of your life, always. Because you are the one person you can forever count on. Search your soul, for the truth, so that you truly know who you are. Once you do, you’ll have a better understanding of where you are now and how you got here, and you’ll be better equipped to identify where you want to go and how to get there.
argued: "My Lord, I want to point out for your attention and that of the delegates that a lot of very controversial and emotive issues will come up at the conference since many of the delegates here represent local and community interests. "Under the provision for 75 per cent for any dissenting voice to get anything done here, it would be very difficult for anything to be achieved. We should, therefore, go back to the normal practice of two-thirds majority when it comes to voting on any matter. "What this means is that for any decision to be taken no fewer than 369 of the 492 delegates must concur before such can be done. This is behemoth and extremely difficult given our situation in this country."
We can't change voting rule —Kutigi
Ozekhome had hardly landed when Kutigi reminded him that the issue of consensus or 75 per cent voting by the dissenting party had already been decided by Presidency and that the matter had been closed. He said: "We cannot change the rule of voting which had already been decided by the President, who set the tone for this conference; the issue has been closed."
Delegates rise against Kutigi
But many delegates, among them, Oodua Peoples Congress' Chief Ganiyu Adams, Professor Auwalu Yadudu, Dr. Ahmadu Alli and elder statesman, Chief Ayo Adebanjo rose against Kutigi, saying the rule should be amended to comply with the Nigerian Constitution, which stipulates two-thirds majority for voting on any serious matter before it becomes law. Adebanjo said: "Where in the world have you heard of 75 per cent voting majority in any matter? "We should not isolate Nigeria when it comes to issues of very serious international and national importance like this. We should go with the world and not play into the hands of those who do not want Nigeria to work. "Mr. Chairman, I plead with you to go back to Mr. President and plead with him that the 75 per cent or three quarters majority should be changed to two thirds majority as is the case all over the world. We should not be given any condition that is unattainable."
75% strange, at variance with constitution —Yadudu
Adding his voice to the debate, Auwalu Yadudu, a professor of law, noted that the insertion of the clause for 75 percent voting majority was quite strange and at variance with the Nigerian consti-
tution, which stipulates two thirds majority. Yadudu said: "This is the first time we are hearing of 75 per cent voting majority. If the provision of the constitution is ignored, we can as well ignore the directive by the President that the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria should not be discussed at the conference.
Jimeta, Adamu back 75% voting rule
However, former Ambassador of Nigeria to the United States, Hassan Adamu and the former Inspector General of Police, Muhammadu Gambo Jimeta, both from Adamawa State, countered the protagonists of two thirds voting majority, saying Jonathan was right in insisting on consensus or 75 per cent voting majority. Despite the attempt by Kutigi to rule that the matter had been closed, more dissenting voices rented the air and he had to defer discussion on the issue as members went on break at 2pm. The confab tactically deferred further discussion on the matter when it resumed at 4pm and rather deliberated on other items listed on the order papers for adoption.
Delegates to select chairmen, deputies for c'ttees
The delegates also disagreed with the position that chairman and deputies of the committees should be appointed by the principal officers and instead made it the duty of members of the different committees to elect their leaders.
Split over hours of sessions
The delegates also had a tough time reaching a
consensus on hours of the sessions. While some delegates agreed with the status quo in the rules book of the conference which provide for the sessions to run from 10 a.m to 6 p.m with two hours in between for lunch, many others argued that the time was too much. The idea followed a motion by former governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, who suggested that the closing time should be fixed for 4 p.m and the lunch time also reduced to one hour. According to him, the adjustment in time would enable the media ensure a better coverage of the conference by filing their stories on time. Besides, he said the idea will also enable delegates to have fruitful deliberations. Former governor of Anambra State, Chukwuemeka Ezeife, supported Osoba. In his contribution, he said flexibility should be allowed to dominate the proceedings of the conference. “After lunch it is bye, bye. We shouldn’t be rigid,” he said. Chinedu Obasi, representing students association from South East, also insisted on reducing the break time. But former senate president in the aborted Third Republic, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, from Benue State, disagreed with Osoba and Ezeife, saying the time provided in the Rules Book should be left as it is. Senator Adolphus Wabara, another former Senate president and delegate from Abia State, also argued that the time provided was enough, urging a clear demarcation between the presiding officers and other principal officers. “If quorum is formed, we should demarcate between the presiding and the principal offers. The time provided is enough,” he said.
6—Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
IBADAN HOUSE OF HORROR: Riot, as victims experience zWe were fed once in 3 weeks— SURVIVOR zThey said I was under arrest— MRS. ADENIYI
BY OLA AJAYI, with Agencey Reports
BADAN—SCORES of i o t e r s went on rampage, yesterday, outside an abandoned building in Soka area of Ibadan dubbed the “House of Horror ” after decomposing human remains, skeletons and about 23 survivors were found there. Meanwhile, some victims narrated how they were captured and their experience in the hands of their captors. At least 20 people were injured and 12 vehicles damaged when about 50 people, brandishing sticks and machetes, were prevented from accessing the property. Meantime, more decomposing bodies of victims were recovered yesterday. A pregnant woman was said to have been killed by a stray bullet, while used tear gas canisters were seen on the ground. Earlier, the body of another woman was seen at Ring Road area of the city, but the cause of death was not known. She was naked with the body bloated. At the median close to Soka, a mob set a man on fire when he was seen with a gun. The body was left unattended to. A man, who was digging one of the rooms in the large hall to ascertain whether some people were still trapped in a pit, was shot and taken to an undisclosed hospital. r
Governor Ajimobi visits
These happened before Governor Abiola Ajimobi, who was returning from the kidnappers’ den, got to the area. Before his arrival, some irate mob, according to a police source, wanted to set a police station ablaze to protest alleged lackadaisical attitude towards the incident. Armed policemen were seen arresting some suspects at Sanyo Police station to protect the station. As Governor Ajimobi was returning from the scene, angry people stood on the road calling his attention to a woman allegedly hit by police bullet. The governor stopped to address the people, especially women who were weeping uncontrollably. He said: “From today, we have to be vigilant to prevent this kind of evil. We are here
THE DEN: Personal effects of victims at the building inside Soka forest. PHOTO: Dare Fasube. to sympathise with the families of those dead victims, to know the root of this incident and to bring all culprits to book.” “We would expose this place; dig the ground to see if anybody is hidden underground. Try to give information if you have any to get all the culprits. “If you are afraid of the police, the doors of my office are open. All prayers and curses you know, cast them on the culprits so that we can get them. God will use us to punish them.” He called on the commissioner of police to investigate the death of the woman allegedly killed by policemen in an Armoured Personnel Carrier.
A security source told Vanguard it would be an understatement to say hundreds of people fell as victims to the kidnappers. He said a close look at some dry bones and skulls revealed that the place had been there for many years. Other items found in the area included school uniforms, thousands of shoes and pieces of clothes, head gear, travel bags, about 50 bags of solidified cement, abandoned vehicles of people believed to be victims, mats, cooking pots, knives, sponges, calculator, keys, ropes, bank cards, cooking utensils, among others. Grafitti were on the walls where the builing. The date written on the well sunk close to the hall read 31-505. Many spots on the floor appeared to have been dug.
Two journalists were roughhandled at the scene. Mr. Felix Ademola, a photo-journalist was maltreated by policemen despite showing his identity card on demand. It was the intervention of the newsmen attached to the governor’s office that resisted his arrest as they identified him as a journalist. A government ambulance was vandalised by angry relatives of missing people, who were prevented from going to the area. More suspects were also arrested by the policemen.
One handcuffed suspect led security men into the hall telling them what each of the rooms was used for.
Titi Adeniyi Dokpesi, Wale Atoyebi, Nafiu Shittu and Michael Ola are some survivors receiving treatment at Adeoyo Hospital. Ola, who said he had been kidnapped since last year, explained that he was coming from Oke-Ogun where he went to see to the welfare of his parent before he was abducted by some people at Challenge area. He became unconscious and when he opened his eyes, he found himself among other victims. He said the kidnappers always visited the den to see them and bring other newly-kidnapped victims. “At times, for three weeks they would not give us food,” he said. Shittu said he was hawking
mixed concoctions at Gate Area when some men bundled him into a waiting car and sped off. A woman, who claimed she was related to late Chief Obafemi Awolowo family, Mrs. Titi Adeniyi nee Dokpesi, said she was picked up and forced into a vehicle only to find herself in the evil forest. She said she was abducted two months ago by some people who claimed she was under arrest, and driven away to an unknown place. According to her, she was in front of her residence at Oke Bola, Ibadan when some people swooped on her and forced her into a vehicle. She said: “I am from the compound of late Baba Awolowo of Oke Bola in Ibadan. Some people came and rushed at me while I was sitting in front of our house. “Nobody was around then. My people were in Lagos.
They said I was wanted somewhere and that they came to arrest me. They then took me away in their vehicle. Later, I found myself in that forest. “I don’t know whether people were being killed or women giving birth. Where they kept us was where I used to be. Once I covered my head with my cloth, I would just sleep off.” Another victim, Mr. Wale Atoyebi, from Ada in Osun State, also confirmed he was kidnapped.
Relatives besiege hospital
Meanwhile, several people from different states thronged the hospital to check if their missing relations were among those receiving treatment in the hospital. A nurse who preferred anonymity said the victims were responding to treatment.
THE DEN: The abandoned building inside Soka forest. INSET: State addressing residents and relatives of kidnap victims. PHOTOS:
Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014 —7
narrate She said: “They have improved tremendously since they were brought here. They came with a bad smell. Some of us had to bathe and wash them while some Samaritans donated clothes to them. Asked about the survivors’ grown hair, she said: “You know their case is peculiar. If we should cut their hair, anybody can come around to claim anyone of them and then ask where the hair is. What do you want us to tell them?” When the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mohammed Indabawa was called to react to the woman hit by bullet, he said he too was at the scene.
GUO boss wants kidnappers' weapons displayed in court BY NWABUEZE OKONKWO
NITSHA— THE Chairman of GUO Motors Limited, Chief Godwin Okeke, yesterday, told newsmen at the High Court premises in Onitsha, Anambra State, that he had requested the prosecution to apply to the court to order the police to bring and display all the weapons used by his kidnappers during his abduction in Onitsha on Sunday, August 23, 2009 and which were later recovered by the police from a hideout. Okeke, who made this confirmation yesterday shortly after the court adjourned further hearing till today, March 25, in reaction to a statement made in court by the third prosecution
witness, PW3, Victor Edet, one of the police officers who investigated the kidnap saga, said that as soon as the application is approved by the Presiding Judge, Justice Chudi Nwankwo, the weapons would be brought and displayed as exhibit. Edet, who said he served under the Anambra State Police Command between 2007 and 2011 and is currently serving under Kano State Police Command, commenced his testimony yesterday before the court at the resumed hearing of Okeke’s kidnap preferred against Kelechi Okafor, Anthony Ifeanyi Okafor and Alexander Onyinanya, first, second and third defendants. Testifying under crossexamination by the
prosecution counsel, Chris Ajugwe on whether he knew all the defendants, Edet who maintained that he was in the police team that investigated the matter, noted that he recognised the first and second defendants and then heard of the third defendant. Edet, who mentioned some of the policemen that made up the investigating team then, including the then Officer-in-Charge, Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, at Awkuzu, CSP Felix Kigigha, said the police team commenced investigation into the matter when the complainant, Okeke, came and reported that gunmen attacked and kidnapped him inside the premises of All Saints’ Anglican Church Cathedral, Onitsha, on August 23, 2009.
The den was found when a group of motorcycle operators and taxi drivers reported that some of their members had gone missing and were believed to have been abducted. Inside the building, there was an overpowering stench and swarms of flies, forcing onlookers to cover their noses and mouths with face masks. Locals said they believed the building, located about one kilometre from the main Lagos-Ibadan highway, was being used as the offices of a construction firm. “For a long time, we have been noticing some movements in this area and we alerted some security people. But they did not react,” said a local community leader Isiaka Bello.
SUBMERGED: Cars being retrieved from a canal near the National Theatre in Lagos, yesterday. NAN PHOTOS.
How I escaped death in Maiduguri — EX-BORNO COMMISSIONER BY NDAHI MARAMA
Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo
AIDUGURI— HAJIYA Yagana Muazu, a former commissioner of Poverty Alleviation under former Governor Ali Modu Sheriff, has said that she narrowly escaped death in the hands of a mob of youths during the Giwa Barracks attack in Maiduguri. Muazu said: “When I was hearing persistent gunshots, I decided to flee from the area to Federal Low-cost. “As I was moving out with my children, I saw my night watchmen stranded and I asked them to take my other Sports Utility Van, SUV, and
follow me. “On getting to the railway crossing around Bullumkutu, I saw thousands of youths on the highway conducting stop and search operations. “The youths, without investigations, on sighting the two watchmen with dane guns, moved to lynch them. “The youths in their thousands mobbed them and used machete on one of the watchmen who was trying to show his identity card and then set the other one ablaze before burning the SUV. Muazu, who was giving the account in tears, said: “One of the guards had two wives
and 13 children, while the other one had one wife and five children. “It took the intervention of the Ibrahim Taiwo Area Commander of Police, Mr. Affan, to rescue me and my children as the mob vowed to kill me since I was with the two watchmen.” She called on the Borno State government to regulate activities of the Civilian JTF, as the youths that attacked her were not in uniform and nobody could identify who they were. The Legal Adviser of the Civilian JTF, Jubrin Gunda, said those that attacked her were not their members.
Bizman accused of biting of f woman's lip BY ONOZURE DANIA
AGOS— A 42 yearold businessman, Innocent Inyama, has been arraigned before a Lagos Magistrate’s Court, sitting at Ikeja, for allegedly chopping off the lower lip of one Pauline Olisamah. The defendant, who resides at 2, Tunde Buncknor Close, Valley View Estate Cement Bus Stop area of the state, is facing a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy, grievous harm and deformity, preferred against him by the police. The police prosecutor, Sergeant Chinalu Uwadione, told the court that the defendant and others still at large, conspired to commit the alleged offence. He said that the incident happened on December 1, 2013, at the defendant’s residence. Uwadione said Inyama unlawfully inflicted wound on the victim, which caused grievous and bodily harm. He said that the defendant chopped off the lower lip of Pauline Olisamah with his teeth, which had inflicted a serious wound and deformity on her. According to the prosecutor, the offence committed is contrary to Section 409 and punishable under Section 243 and 244 (a) of the criminal laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2011. The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and Magistrate O. A. Akinde, granted him bail in the sum of N500,000, with one surety in like sum. She also ordered that the defendant deposit N150,000 into the court registrar's account. She adjourned the matter to April 28 for mention.
8—Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
Nigeria, Namibia to build joint oil refinery
INDHOEK—THE Federal Government and the Republic of Namibia have proposed to construct a joint oil refinery to maximise cooperation in the area of energy. The decision was reached during the two-day official visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to Namibia at the invitation of his counterpart, President Hifikepunye Pohamba. This is contained in a joint communiqué issued on the visit and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Windhoek, Namibia. It stated that the refinery, which would be located in Walvis Bay, would be wholly private financed. The two leaders urged the private sector of both countries to work toward a speedy realisation of the joint oil refinery. They commended the hosting of a business forum between the private sector stakeholders of both countries on the margin of the state visit. The leaders urged their respective private sector stakeholders to take the full advantage of the abundant business opportunities, to optimise trade and commerce between the two countries.
Boko Haram claims Maiduguri barracks attack
OKO Haram has claimed responsibility for an attack on the Giwa barracks in Maiduguri, in a new video obtained yesterday by AFP, that warns of further bloodshed, including against civilians. “We carried out the attacks in Maiduguri (on March 14),” said a man dressed in white, wearing black headgear and carrying an assault rifle, claiming to be the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau. The man appeared younger, thinner and with different mannerisms from older videos, which could prompt fresh questions about whether the militant leader, who had previously been reported killed, is still alive. Shekau has been declared a global terrorist by the United States, which put a $7 million bounty on his head. Nigeria has separately offered N50m ($300,000) for information leading to his capture or death.
How to honour dead Immigration applicants, by Okonjo-Iweala ...Moro, Parradang face senate probe Thursday, Friday BY EMMA UJAH, CALEB AYANSINA & JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU
BUJA—THE Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister iof Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has said that the best way to remember Nigerian youths who lost their lives at the recent recruitment exercise into the Nigeria Immigration Service was to create more jobs for the unemployed. She spoke at the Housing Stakeholders Summit in Abuja, yesterday, where she reiterated the determination of the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration to create more jobs for youths in several sectors, including the housing, agriculture and ICT sectors, among others. Her words, “the best way to honour the memory of the youths who died during the immigration exercise is for us to work harder to create more jobs. “We created 1.6m jobs as confirmed by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, but these are not enough. Every year 1.8m new entrants come into the job market. This is in addition to 5.3million that have accumulated over time. So we need to work harder and faster to create more jobs for our youths. “We are focusing on housing because this sector can significantly increase the number of jobs in addition to growing the economy. This sector will create jobs for builders, carpenters, plumbers, managers, interior decorators and so many jobs. “This event is not for long grammar. It is about action; it is about numbers, it is about meeting targets and deadlines so that the jobs will be created and the houses built.” In her address, the Minister Lands, housing and Urban
Development, Mrs Akon Eyakenyi, said the Federal Government would reverse the current situation of foreigner artisans’ domination of the housing sector in the country. She noted that foreigners constituted the critical mass of skilled artisans and craftsmen in the country’s housing industry, adding that the Federal Government would soon commence the training of artisans to take over the industry. To this end, she revealed that the government would flag off a train-the-trainers programme involving over 1000 artisans and craftsmen in partnership with the National Home Builders Association and Home Builders Institute of the United States of America. USA. Meanwhile, the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, and the Comptroller General of
Immigration, CGI, David Parradang, will appear before the Senate on Thursday and Friday to explain the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of about 19 Nigerian youths during the recent recruitment by the Nigeria Immigration Services. The Senate had last Tuesday, roundly condemned the immigration job recruitment tragedy, which resulted in the death of about 19 applicants, including four pregnant women, as a result of stampede and exhaustion in different centres across the country. Chairman, Senate Committee on Interior, Senator Abubakar Bagudu, had while relying on Order 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Order in a motion on matter of urgent public importance, drew the attention of the senate to the catastrophe that hit the nation during the exercise.
Senator Bagudu had noted with grief the nationwide tragedy in the recruitment where it was reported that some of the applicants that attended the exercise lost their lives in different parts of the country. Consequently, the Senate in its resolution, mandated its Committee on Interior to conduct a public hearing on the tragedy and submit a report within a week. In compliance with the directives, the committee has summoned Moro, Parradang, and relevant stakeholders to appear before it for public hearing. Vanguard recalled that, at the emotion-laden debate on the motion by Senator Bagudu, many senators had called for the immediate sack of the minister who, it was alleged, had hijacked the functions of the Comptroller General of Immigration.
SUMMIT: From left—Kogi State Deputy Governor, Arch Yomi Awoniyi, Minister for Land Housing and Urban Development, Mrs Akon Eyakeni and Coordinating Minister for the Economy/Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala during the Housing Stakeholders Implementation Summit on Enabling Broader Access to Housing Finance for All Nigerians held in Abuja. Photo by Sunny Agaheze.
EU, Nigeria sign 10m Euro deal to fight Boko Haram BYEMMANUELELEBEKE
HE European Union and the Federal Government yesterday signed an agreement for a programme aimed at promoting women’s engagement in peace and security in Northern Nigeria. The European Union is funding the 1Om Euros (N2.1bn) worth of project, which will be implemented by the United Nations Women (UN Women) in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The agreement was signed by Supervising Minister of
National Planning Commission, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, while the European Union Ambassador to Nigeria, Michel Arrion, signed on behalf of the EU. EU said, the programme is in line with the 2011 Annual Action Plan approved by the European Commission, covering a number of projects in priority sectors jointly agreed in the context of the Country Strategy Paper signed between Nigeria and the EU in November 2009. According to the EU ambassador, ‘The Programme
aligns with the EU’s Country Strategy paper for Nigeria and Comprehensive Approach to the EU Implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1885, the new local regular dialogue on peace, security and stability as agreed in the Third Nigeria-EU Ministerial meeting (8th February 2012) and the EU Action Plan on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in development (2010-2015). The Programme will also contribute to meeting the national aspirations as encapsulated in the Nigeria’s vision 20:2020".
The project also seeks to create mechanisms to enhance women’s participation in peace building. It follows the multi-level model for implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, and contributes to it through three specific and inter-related objectives: Support women’s participation in conflict prevention and peace building; develop tools and mechanisms to mitigate conflict’s impact on women and girls; and establish a conducive environment for strengthening the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325.
Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014—9
Fulani herdsmen/Benue communal clashes: IG summons AIGs, orders recovery of firearms BY KINGSLEY OMONOBI
BUJA—FOLLOWING weekend clashes between Fulani herdsmen and villagers in Benue State, which left about 60 persons dead and continuous attacks and killings over cattle rustlings in several states, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar yesterday summoned the Assistant Inspectors General of Police of the twelve zones in the country to an emergency security meeting in Abuja. The summon is coming just as the IG has deployed four units of Mobile Police officers from the Force headquarters in Abuja to the middle belt region to combat the menace of Fulani headsmen and villages over issues of grazing and cattle rustling. The Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge Operations is to coordinate the units. At the meeting which had the Deputy Inspectors General as well as the AIG in charge of ‘Intelligence’ Solomon Arase in attendance, the IG disclosed that several quantity of arms and ammunition have been recovered both from some Fulani headsmen and villagers in several states where these clashes have occurred. While warning that the Police needed information of where and how these headsmen as well as the farmers got their arms from, the IG said “Those who know where these people get their arms from, should report to the police. if they don’t report, it will be difficult to handle”. “Moreover, let it be known that it is an offence for a Fulani headsman or farmer to carry a dane gun without Police permit
talk less of an AK 47 rifle. We have to know where they get these guns so that we can arrest the suppliers”. Speaking more on police efforts to tackle the clashes, the IG said “Take note that most times the attacks take place right inside the bush. Before the information get to us and respond, it is late. Most times also the terrain of the villages where these clashes take place is difficult”. “A major challenge also is that in these villages, there are no Police stations or Police posts and these Fulani headsmen are not domesticated in one place. They move about. they can move from here to Cameroon, Niger in search of grazing for their cattle. But the police is not sitting down.
we are doing everything to get on top of the situation”. “About ten days ago, I sent four units of Mobile Police officers led by the DIG, Operations, Michael Zuokumor and the Commissioner of Police, MOPOL to Benue State to checkmate these clashes. As I am talking to you now, the policemen are deployed to villages, they are there in the rain and sunshine because there are no police stations and police posts”. Regarding other security issues in the country, Abubakar said the military was currently in the lead in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency in the North East since the President has declared the battle there, noting that the Police were involved in
the joint operation. “With regards to armed robbery and kidnapping, I am happy to say that the these crimes have dropped significantly owing to the proactive measures we are putting in place.” “And as we prepare for elections in Ekiti and Osun states, I want to say we are not unmindful of the political activities going out there and all over the country. There was local government elections in Nassarawa state at the weekend and we ensured that it was peaceful. The PDP primaries in Ekiti state also ended peacefully and we are doing everything to ensure that the 2015 elections are conducted peacefully”, he said.
BUJA—THE Supreme Court, yesterday, gave the Federal Government 21 days to file its defence to allegation by Governors of the 36 states of the federation that it has continued to deplete funds accruing from the proceeds of crude oil sales, petroleum profit tax and oil royalties, otherwise classified as excess crude proceeds. A seven-man panel of Justice of the apex court, which yesterday fixed September 23 to commence hearing on the matter, equally gave the governors seven days to furnish it with all the particulars of their allegation on the federal government. Specifically, the governors had approached the apex court,
BY HUGO ODIOGOR
EVENTEEN days af ter it went missing, mystery still trailed the missing Malaysian Boeing 777 aircraft as Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that a new analysis of satellite data received yesterday indicated that flight MH370 crashed in the southern Indian Ocean The global search for the Malaysian plane with 230 persons on board still remains nerve wrecking as the location of the plane has not been found. No fewer than 26 nations have pored over radar data and scoured a wide swath of Asia for weeks with advanced aircraft and ships in a deeply frustrating attempt to find the plane. The search for the missing plane was the biggest since the 2009 massive hunt for Air France 447, which crashed into the sea with 228 persons.
‘NASS'll go ahead with Constitution review despite national confab’ BY SONI DANIEL
NATIONAL CONFAB: Comrade Isa Aremu (left) and Prof. Anya O Anya at the ongoing National Conference in Abuja yesterday. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan.
SWF: Supreme Court gives FG 21 days to enter defence against 36 govs' suit suit on its merit. apex court that the last meeting BY IKECHUKWU NNOCHIRI
Mystery trails missing Malaysian plane
asking it to halt plans by the Federal Government to transfer the sum of $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account to a new account to be known as the Sovereign Wealth Fund, SWF. Though the governors filed the matter since October 23, 2008, the FG, on several occasions, persuaded the Supreme Court to suspend hearing on the suit, saying it was ready to pursue an out-ofcourt settlement deal with the plaintiffs. However, following the inability of both parties to reach a consensus on the matter, the governors, decided to dump the out-of-court settlement deal which was hitherto brokered by the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, even as they yesterday urged the apex court to go ahead and determine their
The Governors who were represented by a team of Senior Advocates of Nigeria led by Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, sought leave of the apex court to further adduce more evidence with a view to proving how FG had mismanaged funds that accrued from the proceeds of crude oil sales. At the resumed hearing yesterday, counsel to the FG, Mr. Austin Alegeh, SAN, informed the court that the settlement deal had collapsed entirely, saying it was what informed his decision to seek for leave to amend his statement of defence. Though the governors did not oppose his application, they however accused the FG of employing delay tactics with a view to stalling hearing on their suit. The governors, informed the
they held with the Federal Government was in 2011 which they said yielded no result, decrying that the defendant only deemed it fit to amend its defence in 2014. They therefore accused FG of deliberately abusing the judicial process. Responding, Alegeh, SAN, stated that it was the office of the Vice President that co-ordinated the settlement meeting, saying he was just briefed that the process ended in futility. “I have not been part of that meeting, when the settlement process was going on, we did not amend our statement of defence. The need to amend it has arisen due to the collapse of settlement talk”, he stated. In a short ruling, leader of the apex court panel, Justice Walter Onnoghen, adjourned the case for hearing.
HE National Assem bly has no intention to suspend the process of amending the Nigerian constitution, despite the inauguration of the National Conference, Deputy Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mr. Leo Ogor, has said. Ogor, who spoke to Vanguard in an exclusive interview, pointed out that the amendment of the 1999 constitution would not be suspended for the national conference since the process had already gone far before the confab came up. The deputy House Leader made it clear that the legislature would, however, welcome the outcome of the national conference and dutifully subject it to what he called ‘’legislative fireworks” in order to bring out the salient elements for the benefit of the nation. Ogor said: “We cannot suspend the process of amending the constitution at this stage for the conference because we had already reached a crucial stage of harmonising the difference set of views between the two chambers of the NASS.
Vanguard , TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014 —10
Poisonous fumes: Parents demand reopening of Grammar School L
BY MONSURU OLOWOOPEJO
AGOS—WORRIED by the continued closure of Ogba Grammar School, Ogba, Ojodu Local Council Development Area, LCDA, parents and wards of the students, yesterday, stormed Governor Babatunde Fashiola ‘s office, demanding for the reopening of the school as well as lasting solution to increasing cases of poisonous fumes affecting school students in the state. . It will be recalled that 13 students of the school were hospitalised after inhaling a yetto-be-identified poisonous fume in the school. Few days later, Vanguard reported that one of the students who were discharged last week from Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Ikeja, slumped again after inhaling another poisonous fume. Led by two women, who identified themselves as Mrs. Omotosho and Ann, in a peaceful protest to the Governor’s Office, Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja, expressed concerns over the fate of the students. They argued that while their colleagues in other schools were attending classes, students of the
Ogba Grammar School were idling away at home. The protesters reminded the government that second term examination would start next Monday, lamenting that there was no indication that their children would be part of the statewide examination. They however urged the state government to expedite action on the ongoing investigation into the cause of the poisonous fume
that had led to the closure of the school. One of the parents identified as Ibikunle, said, “We are very sure that the governor is aware of the issue at Ogba Junior School and it is how to resolve it that prompted the emergency meeting with him.” Sources said that the principal of the school had last week directed the Junior Secondary School, JSS 3 students to
SUMMIT: From left: Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Right Rev. Mathew Kukah, Partner, Sahel Capital and Advisory Services, Mr. Abdu Mukhtar and Executive Vice-President, Lafarge Group, Mr. Guillaume Roux, during the 10th Nigerian Economic Summit 2014 in Lagos, yesterday.
Labour threatens industrial action over unpaid ex-PHCN workers' benefits BY VICTOR AHIUMA-
YOUNG A G O S — ORGANISED labour in the nation’s Electricity sector, has given the Federal Government March 26, (Tomorrow) to pay workers of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, their terminal benefits and other benefits to avoid industrial unrest. Indication of mounting restiveness now pervades the sector as la-
bour laments alleged increasing breach of the agreement reached between it and the Federal Government over the unpaid benefits among other issues. Vanguard gathered that the Technical Committee jointly set up by the government and labour to monitor the level of payment of the benefits had long concluded its tour of the country and allegedly discovered that the claim of payment by officials of government especially the Bureau for Public Enterprises, BPE,
was only done on papers, met with the Accountant General of the Federation last week. It was gathered that the Accountant General promised that payment would begin this Wednesday. Speaking on this development, Secretary General of the National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, Joe Ajaero, said the union would give the government up till Wednesday (tomorrow) before deciding what to do.
NNPC denies chartering jet for Petroleum Minister BY CHRIS OCHAY
BUJA — THE Management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has denied reports that it chartered aircraft for the personal use of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke. The corporation in a statement by its Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim, said it has not chartered any aircraft for the exclusive use of the Minister of Petroleum Resources or any particular official of the Corporation.
resume. She said since the government had not certified the place okay, the principal’s directive might be hasty and could spell doom. The protesters were met by the commissioners for the Environment, Tunji Bello; Information and Strategy, Mr. Aderemi Ibirogba; Special Duties, Dr. Wale Ahmed; and Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye.
It also noted that contrary to the information being peddled in some quarters; Mrs. Alison-Madueke has not chartered any aircraft for her personal use or the use of her family. NNPC, however, noted that in consonance with the legal instrument which establishes the corporation as a commercial entity to engage in the oil and gas sector, the NNPC in course of discharging its statutory and commercial functions engages third parties for the provision of services outside of its core business. The corporation noted
that this practice is common and acceptable in the local and international business environment in which it operates. According to Dr. Ibrahim, “more specifically, we would like to state as follows, that there is nothing prohibiting NNPC from owning or chartering an aircraft. On the contrary, by the enabling legislation, NNPC is empowered to "hold, manage and alienate moveable and immovable property and enter into contracts or partnerships with any company, form or persons."
Lagos tax boss, Fowler resigns BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI
AGOS—THERE were strong indications, yesterday, that the Chairman of Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, LIRS, Mr.’Tunde Fowler, may have resigned his appointment. According to a source, Fowler has already sent his resignation letter to Governor Babatunde Fashola for his approval, amidst reports that he planned to join the Lagos state governorship race ahead of 2015 general polls under All Progressive Congress, APC. It was gathered that Fowler handedd over to the Executive Secretary of the board, Mr. Bucci Ali. However, it could not be confirmed at press time as repeated calls to Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba and Special Adviser to Governor on Media, Hakeem Bello, were unanswered.
11—Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
Police warns parties over Ondo by-election BY DAYO JOHNSON
KURE—AHEAD of the April 5 Ilaje/EseOdo Federal constituency bye election, Police in Ondo State yesterday read a riot act to the seven political parties participating in the poll. State Commissioner of Police, Isaac Eke, at a meeting with political party leaders in Akure, said security details attached to politicians/ VIPs would not be allowed to accompany their principals to the polling units on election days. Eke said: “There would not be any sacred cow that day as no security detail will be allowed to follow any politician,” warning that violence and intimidation would not be tolerated. The use of thugs and masquerade for campaigns by any political party according to him would not be allowed. Eke asked political parties to submit to the police details of their public rallies or meetings in any particular area to enable the police provide adequate security.
Osun varsity graduates 1,184
BY GBENGA OLARINOYE
SOGBO—A student of Economics Department of Osun State University, Osogbo Mr Oladipupo Rasheed Oluwaseun has been named this year best graduating student of the university, with 19 other first class students accumulating CGPA 4.73. Vice-Chancellor of Osun State University, Osogbo, Professor Adekunle Bashir Okesina said a total of 1,184 students would graduate from the university at its 3rd convocation. At a briefing heralding the 3rd convocation of the university, Okesina said out of the 1,184 graduating students, besides the 20 First Class students, were, 328 Second Class Upper, 658 Second Class Lower and 178 Third Class.
Osun pensioners protest non-payment of entitlements, arrears zWe pay N500 million monthly as pension—Government BY GBENGA OLARINOYE
SOGBO—PENSIONERS in Osun State yesterday in Osogbo paralysed commercial and other activities, protesting the non-payment of their outstanding monthly pension and other entitlements amounting to N25 billion. As early as 8 am, they took to the streets of Osogbo and barricaded major roads leading to the town chanting anti-government songs. Armed with placards with different inscriptions which read; “Aregbesola has killed us in the state,” “We are tired of this government which has brought hardship into many homes in the state” among others. The protesters frowned at the way their demands were being handled by the government and vowed not to relent until their demands were met. Speaking during the protest, chairman of the union, Mr. Adenekan Odunlade said: “We are not pleased with the way the present administration in the state has abandoned us and our demands and we will not take it lightly with them. What is happening now has never happened in the history of the state. Previous governments have never tampered with our monthly entitlements and pension as this government has done. Tampering with it is callous and wicked. "More so, Aregbesola's administration owes us N25
billion now without any attention being paid to it. Many of my members have given up the ghost because they found it difficult to buy drugs to heal their ailments because of government's I don’t care attitude to offset their accumulated arrears.” He said that they had met the Commissioner for Finance, Wale Bolorunduro on the matter severally but all to no avail. The state government in its reaction said: “It should be noted that prior to this administration,
about N142 million went into the payment of retirees from local government and primary schools. It was this administration that raised the bar and ensured that what is committed to their pension monthly is almost N500 million and this is outside the sums paid to secondary school retirees and state civil service workers.” Speaking through the Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, the government explained that
“Prior to the end of 2013, the State of Osun ensured payment of workers’ salaries on 25th of every month. This was part of the resolutions of the current government to ensure that workers are well motivated to ensure robust productivity. “We need to remind our retirees that in the face of reduction of revenues by about 40 per cent of what are due to the states, all hands must be on deck to ensure that we navigate the storming waters for a stable state.”
BRIEFING: From left: Toyin Ojudun, Director ,Membership Development, President of Chartered Institute of Personnel Management, CIPM, Mr. Aderemi Adegboyega, Chairman, Public Policy Advocacy Committee, CIPM, Mr. Victor Famuyibo, President/Chairman of Council, CIPM, and Mr. Sunday Adeyemi, Registrar/CEO, CIPM, Nigeria, during the briefing by the CIPM on the recent nationwide Nigeria Immigration Services recruitment exercise traged in Lagos. Photo By Diran oshe
OOU students protest non-compliance with Assembly directive BY DAUD OLATUNJI BEOKUTA—MEDICAL students of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, OOU, AgoIwoye, Ogun State, yesterday, accused the management of the institution of calling the bluff of the State House of Assembly, OGHA, over its directive to OOU to stay action on the collection of the alleged extra fee from the students. President of the Medical Students Association in the school, Yemi Adegbesan spoke through a statement issued in Abeokuta. The students had on February 25 stormed the OGHA to protest what they described as illegal fee extortion from the management of the university. The Committee on Education and Petition of the Assembly at its sitting asked the school management to meet with the parents of the students, reach a conclusion and submit the report. But the management of the
university is yet to submit its report despite the ultimatum given to it. “As a result of this, a 24hour ultimatum was given to the chairman of the Parents Teachers Forum, PTF, and the university
management. We are aware that the PTF chairman has since submitted his own report while the university management is yet to submit theirs,” Adegbesan said. The students however insisted that “the extra fee being asked by the school management is
illegal and no student is expected to pay any extra tuition fee aside the six-year mandatory fee as spelt out in the books. Why is the college of medicine the only college where this illegality is being perpetrated and why is OOU the only university where this is being practised in the whole country?”
Fayemi alleges violence plot by PDP BY GBENGAARIYIBI DO EKITI—THE Fayemi Campaign Organisation, FCO, has accused the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state, of violence plot by the emergence of Mr. Ayodele Fayose as its gubernatorial candidate in the forthcoming governorship election. According to the statement by the organisation's spokesman, Mr. Dimeji Daniels, in Ado Ekiti yesterday, FCO claimed the emergence of Fayose had shown that the PDP had no strategy other than violence in
winning the governorship election in the state Accoring to the group; that “What this means is that the presidency and the PDP have no sense of history regarding Ekiti people. Ekiti people have been known to resist shady characters. This same man was sent packing with his tails between his legs by Ekiti people when it became apparent that he had no respect for human dignity.” He claimed that Fayose was indicted by a four-man security panel instituted by the then President Olusegun
Obasanjo when the panel wrote in its report that Fayose “has zero tolerance for opposition. He constantly sets in motion activities that will lead to violent acts and always travels out of town for his cohorts to perpetrate their violent acts without restraint and also create alibis." But responding, PDP Gubernatorial Director of Publicity, Mr. Gboyega Aribisogan, castigated Governor Fayemi for reopening the case that had allegedly been decided at the competent court
12—Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
Ugborodo crisis: Warring factions hold unity meeting BY EGUFE YAFUGBORHI
ARRI—FOR the first time since hostilities broke out in January, warring factions in the crisis-torn Ugborodo community, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, have met without third party observers at a unity gathering, indicating that peace may soon return to the volatile community. The unity meeting, held Sunday, in Warri, was between the community’s factional elders and 11 key actors critical to resolve the crisis as determined at the last Nigerian Navy/ Police moderated peace meeting with resolutions signed by the security authorities and factional leaders at the Naval Headquarters in Abuja, on March 20. Parties at the last Abuja peace meeting resolved to “maintain peace in the community, while anybody seen with arms will face the wrath of the law. They also resolved that displaced persons must freely return to their communities and not disrupt ongoing work at the NNPC/EPZ Gas City project sited in Ogidigben, one of the five Ugborodo communities." The Warri unity meeting was shut to newsmen, but a participant at the meeting told Vanguard that those in at-
tendance, including EghareAja (Elders Council Chairman) of Ugborodo, Eghare Wellington Ojogor, Registered Trustee, Pa Edwin Tsebi and Olaja-Orori (Spiritual Leader) of Ugborodo, Benson Omadeli, had the opportunity of meeting with Thomas Ereyitomi, their arch rival in the past three months. A source said: “Resolving the crisis is almost a done deal. I
am not disposed to give details, but I can assure you that before the end of March or latest first week of April, a new, united Ugborodo would be born. Parties have committed to constituting the new EPZ committee, which has been the nagging issue. “Three months ago, the leaders and elders who
AWARD: From left: Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State; Ambassador Lulu Mnguni, South African High Commissioner to Nigeria and Mr. Ladi Balogun, MD, FCMB, during the Africa Movie Academy Award 2014, in Lagos. Photo by Joe Akintola, Photo Editor.
Court sacks Burutu PDP Chair …orders Sagbegha's reinstatement
FEDERAL High Court sitting in Warri, Delta State, has sacked Mr. Ogeibiri Kenneth, Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Burutu Local Government Area of the state, declaring Mr. Korokorosei Sagbegha as the duly elected chairman at the last council congress of the party conducted in the area. The court also ordered the reinstatement of Sagbegha as the elected party chairman of PDP in Burutu council. The trial judge, Justice Shittu Abubakar, observed that the plaintiff claimed that the first defendant, Ogeibiri Kenneth, did not participate in the council congress of PDP on March 3, 2012 and that he was never elected chairman or member of the said council executive committee. The court noted that having not participated in the PDP Burutu congress, his purported swearing in as chairman of the party for council
wined and dined together yesterday could not see eye to eye, but this is just the beginning of a united Ugborodo. These unity meetings will become a regular affair. In a matter days, the elders and key actors in continuation of the fence mending will meet with the foot soldiers and prevail on the youths to also sheathe their swords and live in peace.”
on October 1, 2012 is unconstitutional, unlawful, illegal, null, void and of no effect whatsoever. Sagbegha, who reacted to the
judgment, thanked God for the court, adding that it was not time for hatred and accusations, as the PDP family in Burutu council was
prepared to forget the past and make sacrifices towards the attainment of peace and unity. He said: “There is no victor, no vanquished,” and urged all to remain calm and see the challenges they had previously as a mere democratic exercise.
Insecurity: PDP chieftain calls for postponement meaningful general elections of 2015 general elections can hold in 2015. These are BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
ENIN—A CHIEFTAIN of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Edo State, Elder Agbonkonkon Ogbeide, yesterday, called for the postponement of the 2015 general elections, saying that the persistent violence in parts of the North due to the activities of the Boko Haram sect had made the country unsafe for elections. He suggested that the National Assembly should extend the tenure of President Goodluck Jonathan and allow the national conference to conclude its sitting before any election could hold, adding that the resolution of the
conference will help chart a new direction for the country. Speaking to newsmen, Ogbeide said: “We may not conduct meaningful elections in 2015 with such confusion hanging in the air unresolved. These issues continue to bring about the need to restructure the country. Postponing the election is a price all Nigerians should pay in order to usher in an era of lasting peace and national integration. “Besides, the Boko Haram insurgents and other flashpoints of restiveness in the country should be fought by all Nigerians before any
issues that must be discussed at the confab because some groups may not want to remain in Nigeria and that will stop the insurgency. So, it is better to find solution to all the problems we are having bef o r e a n y elect i o n will be s u c cessful in Nigeria."
Forum to combat cancer in Nigeria holds Thursday
HE Big War Against Cancer in Nigeria, an interactive session between corporate leaders and media practitioners, will hold on Thursday in Lagos Convener, Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy in Nigeria, CECP, in a statement by Dr. Abia Nzelu, CECP Executive Secretary, said: “Cancer is the number one killer disease of all mankind and a major cause of untimely death in Nigeria. “Over 100,000 Nigerians are diagnosed with cancer every year while 80,000 die every year and 10 every hour. The death ratio of 4: 5 compares unfavourably with that in other countries. Cancer has cut short the lives and careers of many gifted and talented Nigerians. “Most of these preventable cancer deaths in Nigeria result from poor facilities for diagnosis and treatment. “The forum will provide a platform by which the private sector can jointly invest in combating cancer among other community development issues.”
Royal father lauds Uduaghan over water project
HIEF Isaac Osemoike, the Onotu Uku of Igbuku, in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, has lauded Governor Emmnanuel Uduaghan over the commissioning, of their water project by Dr. Chris Oghenechovwen, state Commissioner for Water Resources. He said the water project was abandoned in 2005 by a contractor.
Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014 — 13
14 â€” Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
VANGUARD PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR AWARD IN LAGOS
Hajia Fatima Aliko Dangote (left), and Hajia Halima Aliko Dangote (2nd right), representatives of their father, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, winner of Vanguardâ€™s African Man of the Year, during the Personality of the Year 2013 Award, in Lagos. Waje, one of the guest artistes
From left, Miss Hafsat Galadima; Amb. Patrick Dele Cole ,and Miss Hadiza Ibrahim. From left, Bimbo Akintola and Ali Baba, both comperes
Chief Ben Osaragbaje Apollo (left), and Professor Sam Oyovbaire, former Minister of Information
Timaya on stage
C M Y K
From left, Mr. Alfred Nwosu; Chief Innocent Chukwuma OFR; Mr. Andy Azike, and Mr. Emeka Ugwu-Uju, President, South East South South Professionals of Nigeria.
Some guest artistes on stage
Mr. Eniola Bello, MD, Thisday Newspapers (left) and another guest.
Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
VANGUARD PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR AWARD IN LAGOS
Christopher Chike Ogeah, Commissioner for Information Delta State (left), and Mr. Kayode Akintemi, GM, Channels TV,
From left: Otunba Segun Fowora, Chief Felix Orogun, and Sir. Lulu Enabifo
Bevy of beauties
Grace Ewurum, Akachi Ikonne and Chioma Egundo Nwolisa of Fidelity Bank
Elvis Ahior and Esther Isibor of FBN
Mary Kemi Jawo (left), and Ikenna Ukpabia of Mr. Jackson Amatotsero Zenith Bank Plc
A cross-section of the audience
From Left, Mrs. Soke Igbudu, Mrs. Apena Philo, and Mrs. Roseline Uwubiti
Some of the usherettes
C M Y K
16 —Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014 — 17
S the crème de la crème of the Nigerian intelligentsia are currently gathered in Abuja to craft a new roadmap for the country ’s political future, there is a very popular option for solving the country’s problem that you can be sure they will not be discussing because many of them are politicians. That option regularly comes up in discussions about how to address the malaise of corruption in Nigeria. Many Nigerians are convinced that the fail-safe solution to Nigeria’s endemic corruption is “the Jerry Rawlings solution.” As Headof-State of Ghana, Rawlings gathered together six of Ghana’s (mis)leaders and had them shot publicly by firingsquad. Thus, Farida Waziri, former Chairman of the EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) said: “If some 20 high-profile offenders are tried and sentenced to death, this will send shock waves to Nigerians and curb both the impunity and intolerable prevalence of corruption in Nigeria.” That might not do the trick. 20 misleaders of Nigeria would be much too few. Since there are 36 states in the country, many corrupt misleaders would end up going scot-free. It is a wellworn cliché that what is worth doing is worth doing well. Therefore, there might be need to Nigerianise the Rawlings solution, fully cognizant of the fact that Ghanaians have never won the World Cup in corruption, but Nigeria owns the cup. There are also far more misleading “lootocrats” in Nigeria than the entire population of Ghana, so the
A Jerry Rawlings solution for Nigeria procedurally-neglected national footballers. Better still, it could be done over a six-month period for maximum and long-lasting impact on the Nigerian psyche. Every day, 21 members of the Nigerian “lootocracy” would be trotted out and given a fond farewell at Bar Beach on primetime television. This approach is attractive for a number of reasons. It would generate a lot of money through the selling of local and foreign television rights and adverts. Tickets would also be sold at commercial rates to those interested in watching the exercise live. Federal character: The names of those affected should not be listed beforehand. That way, a great deal of excitement would be generated daily in anticipation of those whose turn it would be. Of course, this “clean-up” exercise would be done strictly according to the lofty principles of federal character. As a matter of fact, every ethnic nationality in the country would be duly represented, so that there
A fictitious prescription for Nigeria’s class of political 'lootocrats'
Ghanaian example is not a good fit for Nigeria. Surgical operation: This is a fictitious prescription for Nigeria’s class of political “lootocrats” from a cross-section of Nigerians. It is hereby forwarded to the Chairman of the National Conference for due consideration. The position here is that a large chunk of past and present members of the misleading Nigerian political class, running into several thousands, should be tied up at the stake in Bar Beach, Lagos, and shot one-byone on public television! This could be done as a surgical operation within one week. That way, everything would be done and dusted before the distraction of the World Cup. Indeed, it would ensure that we would have a World Cup that would not merely provide another avenue for Nigerian officialdom to go on their usual jamboree whereby billions of naira is pocketed at the expense of
would be no grounds for complaints or even court-cases by any group on grounds of being excluded. The affected politicians would be allowed to make five-minute statements for the benefit of the nation just before their departure to the above and beyond. An interviewer might ask a question like this: “Your Excellency, Chief, Doctor, Major-General… (it is absolutely important not to forget any of the person’s accolades at this particular juncture) MMD, PSQR, WXYZ, is there anything you would like to tell Nigerians? Any word of wisdom you want to share as to why you are included in this National Merit Award?” Should the man or woman start cursing and swearing instead, he should not be deterred. He should be granted his fundamental human right to freedom of speech. The only thing is that his outburst must not exceed the statutory five minutes. However, if the
misleader is remorseful, and decides to use the opportunity to confess his sins to Nigerians and reveal some of his shenanigans in office, he could be allowed to speak for ten more minutes. If he weeps and pleads for mercy, Jerry Rawlings that would make for great television. He should teeming misleaders. In the first also be granted ten more place, it would go a long way minutes of wallowing. to decimate the number of prospective politicians. Quite National a number of people would come catharsis to realise that they would be caught dead if they were to run Seeing our erstwhile timber- for public office. When you ask and-caliber politicians frothing a man if he would like to be the at the mouth would have a great Governor of Kano State and he therapeutic effect on rank-and- replies, “Not on your life,” you file Nigerians. Many suffering would immediately know the from different illnesses and reason why. sicknesses would be cured In the second place, it would instantaneously. The eyes of ensure that Nigerian politicians many blind Nigerians would be reach the conclusion that opened, out of the corruption is a short-cut to the determination not to miss this mortuary. Corruption would national spectacle. Those become more deadly than AIDS misleaders who agree to give and cancer. It would be a the nation chapter-and-verse disincentive for rigging information as to where their elections. What would be the loot is stashed can be given as point if public office only gives much as thirty more minutes to you a visa to go to see your make their confessions, in the ancestors prematurely? Our interest of national economic politicians would prefer to be recovery. university lecturers once again. All the bank accounts of the The president of the Senate distinguished members of this would be forced to be a barber “send-off ” party should be in his spare time, to make ends sequestered and the monies meet. therein put in a special fund. That fund could then be used Misleaders’ to build a “National Institute of cemetery Political Corruption and the Looting of Public Funds,” All the affected politicians which can be affiliated to one would be buried in a specially of our Ivy League universities; prepared national cemetery, say ABU or OAU. This Institute which would quickly become a should be headed by a tourist attraction. The list of Ghanaian in the meantime, those buried there would be a until we are sure we have kind of who-is-who in Nigeria completely cleaned Nigeria of of the recent past. Applications these marauding misleaders. should not be entertained from Anybody who dares to make a all and sundry for burial at this case for clemency for any of special cemetery. We don’t them should be automatically want people dying of natural included in the list. causes to seek the glory and In the same manner that we honour belonging only to have elections every four years, misguided politicians. we can have these Bar Beach At the gate, we could have a “send-off parties” every five or caption which reads something six years. This process would like this: “Here lies some of the ensure that the fear of Bar greatest political misleaders Beach would quickly become Nigeria has ever seen. They the beginning of wisdom for our were all given a send-off at a
party organised by the Nigerian people at Bar Beach in 2014. It is a testament to the great impact these men and women had on Nigeria when they were alive that the country has never been the same again since their departure. Good riddance to bad rubbish.” It should be clear from the fore-going that one of the main tasks in this exercise would be in compiling the list of those to be sent-off at Bar Beach. The other assignment is that of ensuring that some of the politicians on the list do not escape from the country, only to come back at a later date. One way of avoiding this is by ensuring that this plan is kept absolutely secret. No politician must know that it is in the offing. Indeed, no politician or aspiring politician must be allowed to read this proposal. It must only be accessible to “we, the suffering masses of Nigeria.” We can borrow the mischievous blueprint of the Nigerian Immigration Service. Invite all politicians, past and present, to a grand award ceremony in carefully-selected stadia in the six geo-political zones of the country. If they were to trample themselves to death in their excitement at being included on the list; all the better. It would reduce the possibility for future congestion at Bar Beach. Once inside the stadia, we would then lock all the doors and install guards specially imported from Ghana to ensure no one escapes. CCTV cameras would also be installed to monitor them. They would be kept there for the entire duration of the exercise. If they like, they can form new political parties while they are there. Or the PDP members can crosscarpet to the APC and viceversa. That is their business. They can continue their political shenanigans in the after-life.
Postscript: After carefullystudying this proposal, my conclusion is that it would entail too much blood-letting. As a matter of fact, it might create more problems than it solves. Therefore, I have a better suggestion. Let us deport just 20,000 of the most misleading politicians of our recent past and present from Nigeria, with the caveat that they cannot return under any circumstances. Let us send them to Siberia; or to better still to Kutuwenji. The question here is which people in their right minds will grant these riff-raffs from Nigeria political asylum? Which country will welcome this scum of the earth? I honestly don’t know. Nevertheless, I refuse to allow such imponderables to scuttle my prescription. Rather than the Rawlings option, just gather together 20,000 prominent members of Nigeria’s political “lootocracy” and put them oneby-one in “Ghana must go!”
18 Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014 UNLESS we do a lot more than we are doing now, the 2015 elections would produce the same unsatisfying outcomes as we have had since 1999 and for which we have loudly complained without addressing our concerns. The results, and the lengthening complaints about politicians and their ways, have little to do with political parties. Almost everything boils down to quality of candidates – the quality, in high numbers, is regrettably poor. Across the parties, candidates who offer themselves for elections, those who are mostly pressed to run for office and those who support them within the system, have created methods that leave voters with minimal knowledge about candidates. While we are supposed to vote for candidates with character and credentials, INEC’s time-table for elections have minimal provision for adequate scrutiny of those who want to lead us. We have paid direly for the oversight since 1999. We would pay the same price again if there are no strong voices, representing the voiceless, who are asking candidates what they would do with Nigeria when elected. It is important to know why anyone would want to lead Nigeria when the predictions are
Want ed: 20 15 anted: 2015 Candidates that we are heading the wrong way. We would want to know how the candidates intend to govern us, with clear milestones for assessing how far leaders are re-directing us from drifting. Should we not also know what experiences, qualifications, and records of participation in projects for public good that candidates have? Nigerians’ dissatisfaction with the current political system stems from two points, the near total neglect of the welfare of the people and the aversion of public office holders to accountability. Their joint impact results in the frustrations that governments are serving almost throughout the country.
We can get out of this jam by early engagement of political aspirants. Our numerous non-governmental organisations, and other civil society organisations, should commence programmes that would screen candidates on behalf of the public by asking that candidates go public with their programmes. They should use town hall meetings and voters’ education to pull the public more into processes that would elect candidates. The political parties and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, ignore voters’ education. It should be different this time. Public involvement should be expanded. For candidates, it is time they made themselves available. They should sell themselves to the voting public. We are keen on knowing where they stand on issues major, minor. Most importantly, the public wants to know what their leaders would do to ensure a future for present and up-coming generations of Nigerians. These are matters candidates should discuss and devise programmes to make the future fruitful. Elections are just 10 months away.
OPINION BY ALEX EYENGHO
HESE are certainly not the best of times for the Itsekiri and Urhobo ethnic nationalities in Nigeria. Things are even unimaginably critical for Itsekiris in comparison to other ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Yet, the oil-rich but unarguably impoverished homeland of the Itsekiri people (Warri South, Warri North and Warri South-West Local Government Areas of Delta State) accounts for nothing less than 60 per cent and 30 per cent of Delta State and Nigeria oil wealth respectively. The Urhobo ethnic nationality on the other hand is arguably the 5th largest ethnic group in Nigeria. It is against this backdrop that I find it rather weird and preposterous that of the 496 men and women delegates to the President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan-initiated National Conference, which opened on Monday March 17, 2014 in Abuja, only one slot each, were given to the Itsekiri and Urhobo ethnic Nationality. Even at that, Itsekiris led by the Igba of Warri Kingdom, Chief (Mrs) Rita Lori-Ogbebor and other patriots, had to collectively and in unison, fight and scream to the high heavens before the Presidency corrected what was described as an anomaly by the Delta State Government, with the eventual inclusion of Chief (Barr.) Isaac Jemide who is the Otsodi of Warri Kingdom. This is why I condemn in very strong terms a belated advertorial published
The Confab, Itsekiri, Urhobo and Bugaje’s grandstanding by the ‘Warri Study Group’ ostensibly to attack Chief Rita Lori’s threat that the Itsekiri will secede if not included in the confab. Signatories of the said advertorial who are both members of the Itsekiri Leaders of Thought (Edward Ekpoko, Esq. and Mr. Tony Ede) like Chief Isaac Jemide, should have just gone ahead to make their own point and not to make futile attempt to discredit well-intentioned points made earlier on by other Itsekiri individuals and groups, least of all, the selfless Chief (Mrs) Rita LoriOgbebor. For whatever reason, I think signatories to the advertorial targeted Chief Rita Lori with a view to discrediting her lead role in the protest against the initial exclusion of Itsekiri from the confab. This sort of Stone Age attitude and crabs-in-abasket-like cohabitation by Itsekiris must be jettisoned forthwith. For now, let me make it manifestly clear here that the leprous slots given to the Itsekiri and Urhobo ethnic nationalities are nothing but a Greek gift mixed with injustice of the highest order. This is even more damming considering the nauseating fact that some ethnic nationalities in Nigeria have over 30 delegates representing them at the confab. In fact, some ethnic groups have delegates in all the
categories of selection. It beats my imagination that President Jonathan’s ethnic nationality (Ijaw) has not less than 20 delegates to the confab! Is this a case of all animals are equal but some are more equal than the others? The Urhobo and Itsekiri deserve nothing less than four slots each, spread across the various categories of selection. It is not too late for the convener of this conference (Mr. President) to take action in this regard and correct this persisting ‘anomaly’. For instance, I see no reason why these two important ethnic groups in Nigeria were not given a slot each in the South-South category, Elder Statesmen category, women category, and Federal Government nominees. What happened to Prof Itse Sagay, Gamaliel Onosode, Prof. Grace AleleWilliams, Chief David Dafinone, Chief (Mrs) Rita Lori-Ogbebor, Dr. (Mrs) Dere Awosika (nee Okotie-Eboh) among many other qualified Urhobo and Itsekiri sons and daughters that can easily be pigeon-holed into any of these categories? More shocking to me is the inexplicable exclusion of the Olu of Warri from the Traditional Rulers category. The Olu of Warri is a first class traditional ruler in Nigeria and indeed anywhere in the world. For me, this is yet another
manifestation of the deliberate, calculated and conscious marginalization of the Itsekiri at the Local, State and Federal Government levels in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is my belief that like the name Itsekiri denotes, prayers will continue to shield this endangered but richly blessed ethnic nationality in Nigeria and all over the world, no matter the antics from known and unknown forces. Let me end this piece by reacting, albeit in passing to a statement made by Alhaji Usman Bugaje at the Northern Leaders’ Conference in Kano recently. He stated that Nigeria’s oil belongs to the North and not the Niger Delta! This awkward statement has gone viral. In my view, Bugaje’s speech at the event was a mere political grandstanding and should not be given a second thought by serious-minded Niger Deltans who are the custodians of Nigeria oil wealth and indeed the oil producing States in Nigeria. In his quiet moment and perhaps after a playback, I am sure that Bugaje himself will find it ludicrous and extremely impossible to believe his own careless statement at the event. *Mr. Eyengho, a social critic, is Spokesman of the Itsekiri Consultative Forum.
Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014—19
“The National Security Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, retired Col. Sambo Dasuki, is a prince of the Sokoto Caliphate… you hardly hear him or see him throw his weight around…” Ochereome Nnanna, Vanguard Columnist.
ITHIN a week, last week to be precise, the name of the National Security Adviser to President Jonathan suddenly became an item in opinions and features. Most of them actually wanted him to be visible and outspoken on security activities in the country, especially the barbaric atrocities being committed in a section of the country. Some respected columnists also questioned the silence of NSA over recent security challenges. Writing under his weekly column in Thisday, Olusegun Adeniyi asked if Sambo Dasuki has a phone number of any editor in Nigeria, while Steve Osuji in his column in The Nation simply asks: “Boko Haram: Where on earth is the NSA.” I believe some of the assumptions on the person of the NSA were on wrong premises. Since they are not faceless writers, their articles were wellintentioned and wakeup calls on security situation in the country. This writer has memorable encounter with Sambo Dasuki by virtue of being a syndicate writer.
Sometimes last year this writer honoured an invitation to speak at a Media Seminar organised by Belgium Embassy for top security spokespersons and media practitioners. In fact, Gen. Chris Olukolade of Defence Headquarters, Frank Mba of the Nigeria Police, Dapo Olorunyomi of Premium Times, Manir Dan Ali of Trust and Online bloggers including Tolu Ogunlesi and Japheth Omojuwa, were also in attendance. After the session, I penned my experience in an article on Debating Government Media Relations which was widely published. A week later, I received an invitation from a top security officer to meet the NSA. Having being careful of avoiding any ‘ wahala’, I have been very conscious of my writings on security. While I asked for the prayers of my family for safety, I did online search on Sambo Dasuki. What I found out were revealing: Former Military Governor of Kaduna, Col. Udangiwa Umar in an interview with Punch narrated how he and Dasuki attempted to install Chief MKO Abiola, the winner of June 12 election before the action was aborted. He also disclosed how they jointly confronted General Sani Abacha from playing hankypanky with Nigeria’s destiny. Along the line, Dasuki escaped from Nigeria and lived in exile when he was hunted for his audacity and refusal to take an offer in the administration of
Professional security strategists do not need to be garrulous to prove that they are working but must work behind the scene to facilitate accomplishment of tasks
General Sani Abacha. His millionaire father, Ibrahim Dasuki who was the Sultan of Sokoto, the most powerful traditional ruler in Northern Nigeria, was deposed by Abacha and banished to Kaduna for the ‘sin’ of his forthright son. The father, who clocked 90 year last year, is still alive. All his life, as a royal prince, Dasuki has never been ambitious and would rather take a bow than play dirty. He voluntarily resigned his appointment as Managing Director of Nigeria Security, Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC) when he was not comfortable with President Olusegun Obasanjo’s attempt to privatise the firm against security implications.
he American trained security strategist, was also Aide-decamp (ADC) to Military President Ibrahim Babangida. At the time of his appointment in June 2012 by President Goodluck Jonathan, the Boko Haram insurgency was very active in Kano, Kaduna, Abuja, Niger, Kogi and most states in the North-East with
$20 billion, Sanusi and the opposition cabal BY HAMISU ABUBAKAR
USPENDED Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, made an earth-shaking disclosure about the $20 billion he accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) of not remitting to the federation account. In his ongoing campaign to tarnish the Jonathan administration using the international media, Sanusi told the New York Times that the money was actually shared by a powerful cabal ahead of next year ’s all-important general elections. Regardless of his somersaults on the ‘missing’ money – from the initial $49.8b, to $10.8b and finally $20b – he created the impression that the Peoples Democratic Party's (PDP) administration had its hands soiled in the nation’s cookie jar. A section of the international media seems to believe him, hence the publications. In addition to the New York Times, The Independent of London has run a similar story along the same lines of argument, while a few of the local print media have already culled and published the reports. No doubt, the Sanusi image laundering machinery has cranked into life, but what results has it achieved? Rather than achieve the result he desires, the disclosure now raises questions about the other cabal, the political party, whose members have benefitted most from his gratuitous donations. Top on this list are members of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) and their legacy components, especially the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), led by Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd). As far as the diversions of large sums of money from the CBN coffers went in the name of donations, is the cabal C M Y K
that benefitted not in the APC? Early this year, the Presidency had issued a query to the CBN governor demanding an explanation for the money he was doling out in the name of “donations.” It was clear the Presidency was unsettled over reports that the bulk of the billions Sanusi was alleged to have ‘donated’ –about N150 billion by conservative estimates – purportedly ended up with some top members of the opposition APC or some interest groups in states controlled by the party. It was one of the aspects of his long list of official misdemeanors, although the serial infractions of regulations governing the operations of the CBN ultimately led to his suspension from the post he so much coveted. The CBN governor was accused of making a direct donation of about N1 billion to the APC, an accusation he has failed to clear. When added to the list of curious and questionable donations of N4 billion to Bayero University in his native Kano state, the N10 billion donation to Uthman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto and the N100 million donation to the Kano State Government, a clearer picture of the man’s indiscretion, partisanship and inclination towards ethnic and sectional interests would appear. There is ample proof that Sanusi was funding the opposition cabal through curious donations or by award of “heavy contracts.” He is believed to be one of the biggest financiers of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), and its presidential candidate, Major- General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd). It was through him that the love was transferred to the APC, Buhari’s present party which has so far received elaborate funds from the suspended Emperor of the Nigeria’s financial institutions. Though he was once
attempted incursion towards Southern parts of the country. Presently, the activities of insurgents have been restricted to few states in the North-East. An active advocate of constructive dialogue and engagement with different groups towards peaceful resolution of crises, he nevertheless, believes decisive and aggressive confrontation are inevitable against rampaging and brutal undesirable elements. After online search, I sought the advice of members of Media and Information Committee on Emergency Management (MICEM) where I was once the Secretary. The verdict was similar: Sambo Dasuki doesn’t believe in cheap publicity; he will rather expand resources in facilitating positive public perception on other security arms. He does have occasional interactions with publishers as well as hold sessions with critical media stakeholders. In such encounters, he openly and sincerely expressed his positions and the reality on the ground, while charging his audience to be responsible and responsive in their information against undermining national security and national interest. A stickler to time, he can never be late to any event. In fact, most time, I learnt, he arrived long before the commencement of events. With these information, I had the courage to honour the invitation. To my comfort I wasn’t the only person invited to the meeting. There were some activists and members of NGOs too. When he looked at me, he asked: “Why are you very critical in your write-ups?” I responded that writing is my hobby and PR is my profession. I am therefore conscious of
BY YUSHAU SHUAIB
Sambo Dasuki and security media relations
It was obvious that Sanusi’s actions were largely dictated by his desire to gratify the APC, his adopted political party, and to discredit the PDP which administration he is supposed to be working for
invited to the Villa to explain the donation of N20 million to Buhari’s presidential campaign which he reportedly admitted, the actual sum according to reports, is suspected to be more than N100 million. Sanusi is also reported to have awarded a diminutive former minister and leading opposition figure in the APC, contracts in the region of N5 billion for architectural and project design of the apex bank’s event centre in Abuja. The thinking in circles in Abuja is that it was made to assist the newly formed party gain a stronger foothold, especially in the North. Another set of contracts worth over N15 billion is said to have been awarded to a former governor who is said to have recommended Sanusi for appointment as CBN governor.
he question is, why should a sitting CBN governor make financial donations to an opposition political party, and providing sensitive documents to them, in order to discredit the ruling party? Security reports indicated that Sanusi was in the habit of hobnobbing with opposition politicians and making statements capable of undermining the integrity of the nation’s financial institutions. A presidency official was quoted by reports, as saying “the CBN governor has become more of a politician than a banker…. He delights in political circus shows in the company of opposition political figures.”
whatever I write. At the end, he appealed to us to be fair and kind in our comments and writings and that we should always consider the nation first. He urged us to always channel our grievances and recommendations on national issues to appropriate authorities including his office whenever necessary. Dasuki is polished and eloquent as he talks passionately about the Office of the President which he believes “deserves the respect of every Nigerian as the symbol of our nation and integrity.” He holds the view that there is nothing wrong with opposition politics if it is geared towards the sustenance of democracy and devoid of destructive antics that may create confusion and security breaches in the land. Since then I have interfaced with some of the NGOs and Media towards a better understanding of security operation in the country. The recent inauguration of Forum of Spokespersons in Security and Response Agencies (FOSSRA) under his office has so far reduced to the barest minimum the inter-agency rivalry in information management and encouraged designated security spokespersons to be proactive and timely in providing updates on security situations. Professional security strategists do not need to be garrulous to prove that they are working but must work behind the scene to facilitate accomplishment of tasks. In fact, respected Intelligence chiefs all over the world do not make much noise in the public because of the sensitive nature of their assignments. *Mr. Shuaib, a public affairs commentaor, wrote from Abuja.
It was obvious that Sanusi’s actions were largely dictated by his desire to gratify the APC, his adopted political party, and to discredit the PDP which administration he is supposed to be working for. It was this consideration that led him to allegedly leak the letter he wrote to the President on ‘the unremitted $49.8 billion” to former President Olusegun Obasanjo. It was also the same disloyalty that led to his insistence that President Jonathan could not remove him, saying only the Senate could remove him from office by a two-thirds (majority) vote. The allegation over missing funds was simply his contribution to the larger plan by the opposition to discredit the government ahead of the 2015 general election. It was designed to cripple the government morally, and make it difficult for the PDP to challenge strongly at the next election. No such high-ranking official has so brazenly defied his employers and attacked its integrity while openly romancing the opposition. Sanusi’s statement that government moved against him for threatening to open the books of the banks to trace the movement of the missing money, is a clever way to draw the wool over the public’s eye. For a man who is supposed to be the chief economic adviser of the federal government, the suspended CBN Governor recounts his actions as if he were a total outsider. It is deceptive for a man who is easily the most powerful government official in Nigeria; a man who spent billions without appropriation and who refused to account to any known authority in the land, projected himself as a whistleblower who was and is being victimized for, as it were, seeking rectitude in the nation’s accounting procedures. Nothing can be more deceptive. Now that his alibi has been busted through the government’s suspension, Sanusi should boldly own up to the accusation that he used his office to prepare grounds for his future political interests.
*Mr. Abubakar, a public affairs analyst, wrote from Abuja.
20 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
C M Y K
Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014 — 21
Slow Asian crude oil output growth opens way for Nigeria, others BY CHRIS OCHAYI
il producers from Africa to the Americas have a growing opportunity to supply crude to the Asia-Pacific, as the region’s output stagnates and massive refining capacity comes online in China and India. Asian refiners import - mostly from the Middle East - more than twice the volume of crude produced regionally, and have been taking more shipments from West Africa since 2009. The last two years they have also been buying more from Europe, Canada and South America whenever prices and shipping costs allow. Now, with regional producers struggling to hold supply steady as mature fields decline, Kazakhstan, Nigeria and Mexico are looking to ship more crude to Asia as the U.S. shale oil boom slashes the need for imports there. “U.S. imports are down and what they are not importing are mostly light sweets from Africa because crude produced in the U.S. is also light sweet,” said Thailand-based independent oil analyst John Vautrain. Asia will require an additional 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) of low-sulphur or sweet crudes in 2014 compared with last year, to meet demand from new refineries and for blending with cheaper, low quality oil, according
From Left: Mr Ita Bassey, Senior Brand Manager Star , Nigerian Ber Nigerian Breweries Plc, Naeto C , Mr Obabiyi Fagade, Brand Manager Star, Nigerian Breweries Plc, and Mr .Edem Vindah, Corporate and Brand Manager, Nigerian Breweries Plc During the Signing Agreement Between Music Star and Nigerian Breweries Plc, On 2014 Star Music Trek,Held At Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island Lagos PHOTO; Kehinde Gbadamosi
to an oil company analyst. The Asia-Pacific, which produces mainly sweet crudes, had been expecting a boost this year from higher output in Indonesia and Malaysia. But project delays in the Southeast Asian nations highlight challenges in meeting the broader region’s growing demand, especially given a
lack of big oil discoveries. “It’s an increasingly mature region particularly for oil,” said Andrew Harwood, Southeast Asia upstream analyst at Wood Mackenzie. “Going forward there’s probably going to be fewer discoveries ... with a greater emphasis required on increasing recovery from existing projects.”
Still, the volume of the additional imports depend not only on how fast regional oil demand grows versus flattening output growth, but also on how desperate suppliers from other regions become as export opportunities slump in other markets.Asia-Pacific oil demand overall is forecast to grow 500,000 bpd, or 1.5
percent, to 30.6 million bpd this year, with China’s oil use rising 3.4 percent and India’s 2.4 percent, according to the International Energy Agency. That is measured against Asian oil output that is expected to rise just 110,000 bpd, or 1 percent, to reach 8.35 million bpd in 2014, according to consultancy Wood Mackenzie.
Trustfund pensions steps up information network with customers BY VICTOR AHIUMA-YOUNG
RUSTFUND Pensions has established a mobile office as part of its efforts to make information available to its customers on time and solve challenges associated with pension scheme. Board Chairman of its Board of Directors, Mrs. Ngozi Olejeme, who unveiled the buses in Abuja, said the desire to ensure Trustfund customers go through minimum difficulties in assessing their accounts influenced the decision to establish the mobile offices. According to her,: “We are going into mobile operations because we appreciate the desirability of our customers to have their enquiries attended to promptly. So, instead of our customers to start looking for where our offices are, they can just stroll to any of our mobile office buses where they can access their Retirement Saving Account (RSA) real-time. The pension administration landscape is growing hence the increased competition
that we have witnessed over the last few years and towards that end, Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) have to be innovative on how to satisfy their customers. This also shows that we care about our customers and want them to reap full benefits of the scheme upon retirement. If contributors are able to sort out every grey area while they are still working, it is most unlikely they will have any serious issues with their account when they retire.” On his part, a Director, Mr. Richard Uche, paid glowing tributes to Mrs. Olejeme and the Managing Director of Trustfund, Mrs. Helen Da-Souza for their cutting-edge ideas that have propelled the company as a leading PFA in the country. “Since establishment about seven years ago, Trustfund has grown from strength to strength due to the untiring efforts of the chairman and Managing director. These buses are mobile offices
that will offer various products that Trustfund has and to ensure our customers reach us easily. We don’t want to sit in the office and expect our customers to come to us, but rather we have chosen to go to our customers because they are the reason we are in business,” he stated. The Independent Director of the PFA, Mrs. Osaretin Demuren, who lauded the scheme, opined that the initiative would help retain Trustfund as the leading PFA in the country. The Executive Director, Corporate Services, Musa Nasir, said the focus of Trustfund since 2010 had been to reach out to customers with a view to satisfying them and resolving any issues they may have. He said “We then discovered that the best way of doing this efficiently is to reach them wherever they are. We also found that it is not ideal for our customers to go to our office any time they have issues they want resolved
CURRENCY BUYING CENTRAL SELLING DOLLAR 154.74 STERLING 255.3829 EURO 213.4793 FRANC 175.2236 YEN 1.5128 CFA 0.3057 WAUA 238.1654 RENMINB 24.8557 RIYAL 41.2507 KRONA 28.8689 SDR 238.934
155.24 155.74 256.2081 257.0333 214.1691 214.8589 175.7888 176.356 1.5176 1.5225 0.3157 0.3257 238.9349 239.7045 24.9356 25.0173 1.394 41.5273 28.9621 28.0554 239.7061 240.4781
CBN Exchange rate as at 24/03/2014
22— — Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
Dead banks & living deposits (3) By BABAJIDE KOMOLAFE
ETWEEN 1994 and 2006, about 48 banks ceased to exist for sundry reasons. Some of the people that had money in these banks, assumed that their money died with the banks. It is not so. Part of their deposits were insured by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC). In the last two editions, we explained how deposit insurance works, the maximum insured deposit, liquidation dividend. Most importantly, we pointed out that N1.9 billion yet to be collected by depositors of these banks, a lot of efforts had been made to make the owners of this money to come and collect them. The last edition provided information on steps to take to recover your deposits in these banks.The most important requirement is documentation to show that you are the owner of the account. These include unused cheque books, old
cheque stubs, passbooks, fixed deposit certificates. But you have misplaced or lost the documents for the account, you would be required to present a police report alongside a sworn affidavit duly certified by the court. In addition to this, you would have to identify yourself with a National Identity card,
Drivers Licence or International Passport. It is also important to note that, whatever ownership claim is being made would be confirmed through the documents kept by the failed bank. In other words, NDIC relies on documents kept by the failed bank as well as the
proof of account ownership presented by the deposit. The above explanation is occasioned by the enquiries received by Investors Forum in response to the previous editions on this subject. The responses confirmed that lots of people or depositors of failed banks did not know that their money is still alive
Top 10 performing stocks A
IICO Insurance Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, FBN Holdings Plc, Nigerian Breweries Plc and 7up Bottling Company Plc were some of the stocks that benefited from investors patronage last week to make it to the top 10 performers list. Others were Union Dicon Salt Plc, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc, FCMB Group Plc and UTC Nigeria Plc.
billion from N7.411 billion in the same period of 2012. The company ’s response to claims payment improved within the period as it settled claims worth N4.864 billion compared to N3.472 billion paid in 2012. Also, the underwriting profit increased to N3.209 billion from N2.968 billion in corresponding period of 2012. Aiico Insurance Plc’s principal activities are in underwriting life, general and special risk insurance businesses.
Aiico Insurance emerged top on the list with 10.53 percent or N0.08 price appreciation to close at N0.84 from N0.76 per share. It is one of the underwriters that have scaled the International Financial Reporting Standard hurdle and has been given approval by the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM. Aiico has been known with policy of rewarding investors with dividend payment and hence the present rally on the shares as shareholders await the release of the company’s 2013 financials and accompanying dividend payment. In 2011, the company paid 6kobo and increased it by yet another 2kobo in 2012, bringing total dividend paid in 2013 to 8kobo. Already, the half year financial statement for the period ended 30th June, 2013 showed gross premium income of N12.430 billion as against N9.952 billion in 2012, while the underwriting income rose to N10.057
GTB was the next with 8.23 percent or N1.95 price appreciation. It started the week at N23.70 and closed at N25.65 per share. Having set …as deadline for close of register of member for payment of dividend for December 31 year end, investors are scurrying to take position to benefit from the p r o m i s e d return-oninvestment. The bank is proposing d i v i d e n d payment of N1.70 per share, which is an increase of 10 percent over the N1.55 paid in 2012. Earlier in the year, it completed acquisition of 70 percent interest in Fina Bank, a move that was to enable it spread its presence in three east African countries – Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. The bank believes that combined strengths from the merger will help it build an attractive portfolio of leading products, services and
marketing capabilities. The bank closed 2013 financial year with pretax Return of Equity (ROE) of 34.9 percent and pre-tax Return-on-Asset (ROA) of 5.6 percent. It also recorded 28.6 percent growth in loan book from N783.91 billion in 2012 to N1.01trillion in 2013, while customer ’s deposits grew by a remarkable 24.3 percent from N1.15 trillion in 2012 to N1.43 trillion in 2013 and a balance sheet size in excess of N2 trillion. Investors and shareholders of the bank had last year reaped 17 percent price appreciation on their investment and is presently the best priced banking stock on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE. Stanbic IBTC Holdings, which is the third best priced stock in other financial institutions’ sub-sector of the NSE, advanced by 7.69 percent or N1.50 to close at N21.00 from N19.50 at the beginning of the week. Only recently, the bank entered into
because they don’t know the deposit was insured. The responses revealed that many of them are desirous of recovering their money no matter how small. Now, it is also obvious that these depositors need enlightenment and clarification on many issues. It is, however, pertinent to address one of them here. And that is the issue of interest payment. There is no interest payment on the deposit. What the NDIC pays depositors is the money deposited in the bank. Why is it so? Many reasons, but chiefly because once the bank is closed, the deposit is not used to do business. And because it is not used for business, it can’t generate any interest or profit for the depositor. Finally, for those who seek information on how to reach the NDIC, the next page contains information about the Help Desk of the Corporation and the various means of reaching it.
By NKIRUKA NNOROM partnership with Mobile Media Info Tech Limited (MMIT), a mobile software development company, to empower its mobile money customers, especially the youths and small business owners who do not have credit cards, to pay for goods through their mobile money wallets when they shop on foreign online sites. On September last year, the Sovereign Wealth Fund appointed the bank as its local custodian. Nine months unaudited financial statement for the period ended September 2013 showed gross earning of 82.921 billion as against n64.030 billion in 2012, while profit for the period rose to N16.057 billion in comparison to N6.997 billion recorded in corresponding period of 2012. Similarly, basic earnings per share rose to 146kobo from 83kobo in 2012. FBN Holdings plc advanced by 6.68 percent or N0.78 to close at N12.45 from N11.67 per share; Nigerian Breweries followed with 5.08 percent or N7.39 price appreciation to close at N152.89 from N145.50; 7up Bottling Co went up by 4.87 percent or N4.23 to close at N91.00 from N86.77 per share; Union Dicon Salt appreciated by 4.66 percent or N0.63 to close at N14.14 from N13.51; CCNN rose by 4.45 or N0.39 to close at N9.15 from N8.76; FCMB advanced by 3.96 percent r N0.13 to close at N3.41 from N3.28 per share, while UTC went up by 3.70 percent or N0.02 to close at N0.56 from N0.54 per share.
Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014 — 23
NSE urged to intensify drive for oil & gas, telcos listing By NKIRUKA NNOROM
S the set time for the actualisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, $1 trillion market capitalisation approaches, capital market operators have advised the management of the Exchange to intensify efforts of wooing companies in the upstream and downstream oil and gas and telecommunication sectors to list. They also empahsised the need to encourage mid-sized companies to access the capital market for funding as this remains one of the key drivers of volume in the market. Speaking, Johnson Chukwu, Managing Director/CEO, Cowry Asset Management Limited, said that a clear example of the possible impact of listing by companies in the oil & gas, telcom sectors is the
planned initial public offer, IPO, of $500million by Seplat, a Nigerian upstream oil company and dual listing in both the Nigerian Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange. “The listing of Seplat, which currently produces about 60,000 barrels per day, on the NSE will increase the market capitalszaion by more than $2 billion. It can only be been imagined the capitalisation of the likes of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Mobil Nigeria, Chevron, whose daily production is more than 200,000 barrels each. This is not to mention the capitalisation of the telco majors like MTN, Glo, Etisalat and Airtel,” Chukwu said. Also speaking, Mr. Diekola Onaolapo, Managing Director/ CEO, Eczellon Capital Limited,
said it is important to tweak either of the two variables that constitute the market capitalisation of the Exchange outstanding shares (volumes) and the market value – if the dream of achieving a $1 trillion capitalisation should be realised.
Market capitalisation He said, “The market capitalisation of an exchange is the sum total of all quoted companies and other instruments on the exchange. The equities market capitalisation is made up of two variables- the outstanding shares (volumes) and the market value. In order to push towards $1 trillion, either or both of the variables, have to be tweaked directly or indirectly.”
“To further drive volume, a key driver will be the encouragement of mid-sized companies to access the capital market for funding. The establishment of Alternative Securities Market (ASem) by the NSE is a welcome initiative in this regard. “Overall, the investor education project by NSE and the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, will also play a large role in enlightening the public on the bountiful opportunities in capital market investments,” Onaolapo added. He observed that the drive by the NSE to get more companies especially the telecoms, power companies and energy companies to list on the Exchange will lead to a quantum leap in the capitalisation currently valued at $76 billion, even as he added that the
introduction of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), futures, options and other instruments will deepen the market, thereby bringing the target within reach. Furthermore, the Eczellon chief executive commended the initiative by both the SEC and NSE in areas of corporate governance, effective dispute resolution and the use of technology for monitor and control. Highlighting the importance of increasing local investors’ participation in the market, he noted that there is need to build trust in investors, saying that bulk of the responsibility lies with the market regulators as they are saddled with the principal task of protecting investors and developing the market. It will be recalled that the NSE had set a target of $1 trillion market capitalisation in 2016, hinging its optimism on a number of variables, which include increasing the depth of the stock market through listing of spin-off companies from Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, on privatisation of the later, listing by upstream and downstream oil and gas companies that have minimal representation at the moment and introduction of more products by NSE among others.
24—Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
NLNG to remit N220bn into Federation Account
Downstream reform will stabilise products distribution—IPMAN CLARA NWACHUKWU
BY CHRIS OCHAYI
HE management of the Nigeria LNG Limited, NLNG, said it will soon remit over N220billion from the 2013 company income tax to the Federation Account. The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Babs Omotowa, who disclosed this in Abuja, said the remittance would place the NLNG as the largest tax payer in Nigeria and in Sub-Sahara Africa. He said, “It (NLNG) accounts for seven per cent of the global LNG supplies; though this used to be 10 per cent! In addition, later this year, NLNG will be paying about N220billion as 2013 Company Income Tax to the Federation Account, making it by far the largest tax payer in Nigeria and in Sub-Sahara Africa. “The take of the Federal Government in NLNG’s revenues is now about 70%, comprising the 49% dividend, 30% CIT, and other taxes,” he said. Omotowa said the company was the fastest growing Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG project in the world between 1999 and 2008, when it went from a construction site to a 6-train facility. He said the NLNG’s contribution to reduction of gas flaring and revenue generation for Nigeria is a testimonial of Nigeria’s important role in the world, and an evidence of NLNG’s evolution into a world class company. The company, he said, successfully pioneered gas monetisation and the biggest single contributor to
•NLNG plant Bonny Island government’s efforts to diversify the Nigerian income portfolio. He added that NLNG in revenue terms contributes over $9 billion yearly to the national income. In the area of Corporate Social Responsibility, he pointed out that “NLNG’s CSR portfolio spans education, healthcare, enterprise and capacity development. “Nigeria LNG Limited promotes science and literature through the Nigeria Prize for Literature and the Nigeria Prize for Science. Since 2004, we have brought Nigerian scientists and authors to public attention and celebrating excellence in scientific breakthroughs and literary craftsmanship in the nation.” Another CSR initiative is NLNG’s scholarship programmes spanning post primary, undergraduate,
maritime academy cadets, and overseas postgraduate scholarship scheme managed by the British Council. Omotowa said, “NLNG has been training manpower for the maritime industry through its support for Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron. To date, NLNG has trained over 500 Officers and ratings and has employed over 200 graduates of the Maritime Academy, Oron. “Bonny Vocational Centre, BVC, is an NLNG/Bonny Kingdom partnership project designed to promote acquisition of vocational and entrepreneurial skills, the development of technical competencies and self-reliance in youths in Bonny community in particular and Rivers State in general.
Why international financiers shunned Nigeria’s power privatisation By SEBASTINE OBASI
IVE months after the privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN’s assets, uncertainty and transparency issues have been identified as reasons why international financial institutions shunned the exercise. The Country Manager, AF Mercados, a specialist consulting and transaction advisory firm based in Madrid, Ms. Rahila Thomas, told Vanguard that these factors contributed to the non-commitment of international financiers. According to her, “For you to bring in international financing, a lot has to be done about the bankability of the projects, because international financing is not like local financing. They are much more thorough. They have limited room for risks. “Some of the Nigerian banks have gone into this because they
understand how the Nigerian society works. A lot of the banks here do corporate financing and not project financing. “When you bring in international financial institutions, they want to do project financing. They will not get into corporate financing. You need to ensure that the tariffs are right. You need to ensure that all the documents – power purchase agreements, gas supply agreements, and transmission agreements are structured in a way that they pass risks around everybody that can bear the risk. And obligations are placed on the people that can meet those obligations. “If that is clear and they can see a tariff path that they bank on, why not. That is why you saw that there was limited international finance during the PHCN transactions, because there were too many grey
areas. You have the transmission issue, gas issue; generators are not able to produce. They are not getting their money in full. Thomas, whose company consults for six distribution companies on regulatory matters, also said that the issue of tariff is a very sensitive one. This is because over the years people have suffered poor service delivery, customers are tired and people complain about estimated bills. “What has happened over the years is that PHCN needed to increase their billing efficiency. Instead of trying to locate where energy is being stolen, they take out metered customers from energy and whatever energy is left, they spread across customers that are not metered. That is why the monthly bills are very high. People are paying more for the losses in the system, because they don’t have meters,” she said.
HE Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, has said that current Federal Government reforms in the nation’s downstream petroleum sector will not only ensure products sustainability but also distribution stability. The newly recognisedNational President of IPMAN, Chief Obasi Lawson, who said this in an interactive session with journalists in Lagos, said the reforms if pushed to its logical end, will also put an end to the attendant socio-economic disruptions occasioned by products scarcity. Accordingly, he promised that IPMAN will support efforts by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and its agencies to sanitise the downstream operations with a view to ensuring that Nigerians derived maximum benefits from the oil and gas resources. Lawson said,“IPMAN whole-heartedly identifies with the administration of President Gooluck Jonathan, and we promise to join hands with the government in order to realise the gains of the transformation agenda especially as it concerns the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.” He therefore commended President Jonathan for his transformation agenda and efforts at delivering the dividends of democracy to the citizenry in spite of the enormous challenges facing his administration.
Enormous challenges Recall that Lawson was declared as the substantive National president of IPMAN, after a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Thursday, set aside the appointment of AlhajiAminuAbubakar as the national president of the association. The Court presided over by Justice LamboAkanbi, held that the appointment of Abubakar did not follow the laid down rules of the IPMAN and subsequently declared Obasi as the association’s substantive National president. The Judge also nullified minutes of the meeting that brought the last members of the IPMAN trustee to power and restricted agencies including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC; its agents, privies and concerns, as well as the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, from recognising the Abubakar-led trustee or deal with it. Counsel to the applicants in the suit (concerned IPMAN members), Mr. Reuben Wanoghor, described the judgment as victory for democracy, adding that the development has brought to an end the leadership crisis that had engulfed IPMAN for years.
Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014—25
‘Weak governance hindering access to funding’
He explained that despite the several problems and challenges on the part of the oil companies, Nigerian banks have built capacity over the last 15 years, and are working together with international institutions to support the sector. According to Wigwe, local banks working together with international institutions have been able to support much larger projects, so the capacity is building. Wigwe noted that Access Bank will support the gas sector the same way it supported the oil sector, saying, “It is often said that Nigeria has oil, when in actual fact, we have much more gas than oil.” According to him, whatever is required for the oil sector needs to be put in place for the gas sector, adding that it needs to be supported even more strongly by more appropriate fiscal regimes to encourage people. ”Apart from fiscal regimes, there is a need for other things to make it, not punitive, but to discourage gas flaring, because we have more gas than oil,” he noted. On factors limiting the capacity of financial institutions to lend to the oil sector, the Access Bank boss said, “They are limits to how much you can lend as a financial institution, and it is not just tied to Nigeria alone, it is worldwide. Those limits are tied to how much capital you have. ”We also have issues around the
EAK governance structure of majority of the indigenous oil and gas companies has over the years made it impossible for the companies to access funds from banks in the Nigeria, says Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe. Wigwe, who disclosed this in an interview with Vanguard, said, “They are several problems that have to do with the companies themselves. The first and most important one is governance. Most of them lack the corporate governance structure to support that kind of debt and even when they do have the structure, there are issues around capacity and how much equity they have built in. There are also issues of those that are growing a bit too rapidly and the capacity to manage their growth. ”If a company is growing very fast and does not have the appropriate framework; it does not have the right Board structure, it does not have people with the right skills on the Board. You will find out that over time, it will either not be competitive or it will diminish and die over time.” He noted that the issue about governance is about the appropriate systems, processes, procedures, and controls to ensure that the business remain sustainably and can benefit or optimise value to all its stakeholders. Wigwe further It is often said that Nigeria has oil, disclosed that Access Bank is when in actual fact, we have much working with more gas than oil indigenous independent and small (marginal) depth of our financial markets. It producers in the Nigeria oil sector does not all have to be done with to improve on their governance bank borrowing, you can raise equity, structure, to enable them attract the you can go to the stock exchange, much needed financing to drive their even at that, it is still very far from operations and develop the sector. being as deep as it should be. Your He maintained that the bank, apart capacity to raise equity will from helping in building the determine how much debt you can indigenous companies’ governance get from the banks. structure, is also helping to address ”If you are not able to generate the issue of infrastructure in the enough equity from the capital sector. market, then you are also going to ”There are also issues that have to have issues to get bank borrowings. do with infrastructure around the ”However, it is getting better by the sector. If you want to support day. It is totally different from what it somebody, what is the nature of the was five years ago. In terms of infrastructure for the evacuation of deepening the market and the the products? This is a topical issue. capacity of the local banks, I think it Even of you chose to support them is getting better by the day. The local and everything is in place, there are banks have also set up very strong also other risks you will look out for alliances with friendly institutions and how to mitigate it,” he noted. that they work with offshore. He expressed confidence on the ”What you tend to see is each time viability and bankability of there is a specific asset to be financed indigenous oil companies, stating or a specific deal that is significant, that some of the companies have put they will be basically put their money in place the right structures from the where their mouth is and get their governance standpoint, while a colleagues internationally to also number of them have also built up support. The deals are growing in enough equity which they are sizes and in number. However, what deploying into the business. we need is to create stronger He maintained that the bankable oil governance structures to make sure companies will stand the test of time, we are not creating companies that while the weaker ones will fizzle out will exist for five years or 10 years.” overtime.
Crude refining in Africa:
The way forward M
OST refineries in Africa tend to be medium to large-scale refineries, perhaps because of the state of technology at the time they were built. This article is about presenting a cost- effective and timely option, be funded with the cash flows from phase 1 as represented by the modular refining and additional phases, and so the refinery will format. not incur additional debt for the expansion after Review refining in Africa the first unit is installed. Unlike big capacity There are a total of 42 refineries in Africa, refineries, the expansion of the modular plant with a total name-plate capacity of 3,217,600 capacity can be done without shutting down barrels per day (bpd). The major refining production from existing equipment and plant. countries are Egypt with 9 refineries (774,900 Revenue streams and pay-back periods are bpd); Algeria with 5 refineries (303,700 bpd); faster with the modular refining format, than Libya with 5 refineries (380,000 bpd); South with the larger capacity refineries. The major Africa with 4 refineries (545,000); and Nigeria short-coming with the modular format is that with 3 refineries (445,000 bpd). More than the plants are semi-automated and less laborhalf (i.e. 51.7%) of Africa’s refining capacity intensive, i.e. not many jobs can be created is in North Africa. According to McKinsey’s directly. For instance, 20 to 30 personnel can database, most of these are State-Owned operate a 24,000 bpd modular refinery. Most (59%). 29% are based on joint ownership with of the spin-off jobs created are of a secondary government and 12% are joint-venture nature, and based on the location of the site. arrangements between International Oil In summary, modular refineries are simple, Companies (IOC’s). efficient and fast to start up. Such refineries These national refineries operate at different usually operate at optimal capacity at all times. levels of efficiency. Considering data of The relatively small investment cost allows for average national capacity utilizations from private investors to enter the refining business 2006-2009 (Oil & Gas Journal refineries much easier. It also enables government to survey), the efficiency levels for these build the bigger capacity refineries using the countries are: Egypt (81%), Algeria (94%), modular format, but in incremental stages. Libya (87%), South Africa (85%), and Nigeria However, government- built modular refineries (18%).s should have full conversion facilities (i.e. In the past 20 years, only 3 Greenfield catalytic reformers and naphtha hydro-treaters) refineries have been constructed in Africa. to enable the refineries produce sufficient PMS. These were built in Adrar (Algeria) and African refining model Khartoum (Sudan) with China National There is a current over-reliance on Petroleum Company (CNPC) partnering with government- owned refineries. Africa can also the governments, with capacities of 13,000 adopt a refining model that relies on modular bpd and 100,000 bpd respectively. The third one was built in The major short-coming with the modular Alexandria (Egypt) format is that the plants are semi-automated by Egypt General Petroleum and less labor-intensive, i.e. not many jobs can Corporation, be created directly Egypt’s national oil company (NOC) with a capacity of 100,000 bpd. Planned new refineries (built and operated by private builds were constructed by Petrochina at investors) that will produce all refined products Ndjamena (Chad) and Zinder (Niger) with with the exception of petrol (PMS). The same 20,000 bpd capacity. The third is being implication is that the modular refinery constructed by Sonangol, Angola’s NOC at operators will not have to invest in catalytic Lobito (Angola) with a capacity of 200,000 converters and naphtha hydrotreaters that are bpd. From the foregoing, refining in Africa is required to convert naphtha to petrol. led by NOC’s, and new investments are These equipments are capital intensive and dominated by the Chinese National Petroleum complex. Therefore, the exclusion of such Companies. facilities in a modular refinery plant will further Big vs. modular refining format reduce the cost of set-up. This will enable the The capital outlay for any 100,000 barrel per modular refiners to focus on producing diesel, day (bpd) refinery is about $1.5 billion, while marine diesel, dual purpose kerosene (DPK), a 24,000 bpd modular refinery is roughly aviation turbine kerosene (ATK), and low-pour $250m. Therefore, it is easier to access funds fuel oil (LPFO). for the modular refining modules (through US On the other hand, the NOC refineries can Ex-IM Bank). The manufacturing timescale focus on PMS production and become for plant, equipment and machinery for a plant essentially transformed into PMS complexes of 100,000 bpd capacity is within the range of instead of full conversion refineries. In this case, 3-4 years. Start-up for modular refineries of NOC refineries will buy all the naphtha 24,000 bpd capacities is within a timeframe of feedstock from the modular refinery operators 18-20 months. The modular system allows the and convert these to PMS. plant to be expanded to 100,000 bpd capacity in structured increments. The increments can To be continued
BY MICHAEL EBOH
Oil & People
26—Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
FG to sanction manufacturer of burnt Oshogbo transformer BY CHRIS OCHAY I
HE Federal Government has threatened to sanction a Chinese Company, CBEA of China, the manufacturer of the 150MVA transformer that caught fire at Oshogbo Transmission Region, in Osun State, if investigations showed that the product was substandard. The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, who disclosed this in Abuja, said last week that the move will serve as a deterrent to other manufacturers of fake and substandard products and equipment. Recall that the minister visited the project site in Oshogbo over the weekend to assess the level of damage on the transmission network. He said that although the actual cause of the fire was yet to be determined by experts as investigation was still ongoing, but has been reliably informed it may have been caused by installation failure, possibly from the substandard coils used in the transformer. A visibly angry Nebo said that his sadness is informed by the fact that a new 150MVA, which will now be used to replace the damaged transformer was originally meant for network expansion to enhance power supply in the Osogbo region. The Minister appealed to the communities that are affected by the fire incident for understanding, just as he assured them that full electricity supply would soon be restored to their area. Nebo used the occasion to commend the gallant efforts of the fire fighters, as they were able to stop the fire from consuming other transformers located in the premises.
IKEDC to inject N600m to improve electricity supply BY KUNLE KALEJAYE
T Addax Petroleum stand at the Nigerian Oil and Gas conference
Responding, the General Manager, Transmission, Oshogbo Region, Mr. Vincent Aligwara, who took the Minister and his entourage round the Transmission, said investigation was still ongoing and promised that very soon the new 150MVA transformer would be energised to replace the burnt one. Aligwara informed the Minister that through the effort of his staff, about 50MW of power was lost instead of 150MW. He thanked the Minister for visiting the station and urged him to assist the region in the provision of funds for its activities. In a related development, Nebo visited Ughelli in Delta State, to inspect the transmission tower which collapsed as a result of a burning of a tanker on the highway, during which two Transmission Towers were totally
burnt, while 10 others were also damaged. From what he saw at Ughelli, the Minister was disturbed to the extent that he described the incident as “a catastrophe”, estimating the cost of repairs at about N1 billion. The Minister assured the people living in the area of Government’s readiness to rectify the situation without delay. On the way forward, the Minister directed the GM and his team-mates to provide more insulators that will serve each tower, so as to prevent future occurrence. It would be recalled that the Minister undertook a similar assessment tour of the 300MVA Transformer in Ayedi, Ikeja, Lagos State which caught fire last year.
O enhance customers satisfaction, the Management of Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, IKEDC, said it will inject about N600 million into the system to improve electricity supply through ongoing projects within its network. The Managing Director/CEO, IKEDC, Mr. Abiodun Ajifowobaje, gave the assurance at the weekend during its zonal customer’s forum in Lagos. Ajifowobaje said that the essence of the forum is to create a mutual platform for interaction between the customers and IKEDC management. He said, “We are doing what we call customer’s forum; we conducted customer’s forum in our eight business units so that we can use the opportunity to meet with them and tell them what we are doing and our plans for the future. He assured customers of IKEDC of continuous forums to update them on company’s new products and future plans. “We also want to create more mutual interaction on way to improve and serve our customers better. According to Ajifowobaje, “the board has approved about N600 million for quick intervention on transformers installations and pre-paid meter installation, which we have started the pilot metering schemes.”
IPMAN criticizes court ruling on leadership crisis BY CHRIS OCHAYI
Human capacity development remains our priority — FG BY KUNLE KALEJAYE & EDIRI EJOH
HE federal government has pledged its effort to improve human capacity development to enhance technical competence in the power sector. The Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo, made the declaration at the recent Power Investors Summit Nigeria, tagged: “Maintaining Momentum in Nigeria’s Power Sector.” According to him, Nigeria is on the threshold of a huge revolution in power sector. Nebo said, “There is a mechanism in place that is geared toward maximising the availability of power in the country that would enable manufacturing companies, and large and small scale businesses to be able to produce and provide for the people. “There is a massive investment in transmissions and we are in an investors market that would enhance power generation and distribution in the country. But this would be achieved not so sudden.” The Minister, however maintained that Government has not given up on its plan to provide a steady power
supply in the country, and neither has the private owners. “The government has in joint effort with the new electricity assets’ owners to develop strategies in meeting the electricity needs in the country and assisting to tackle the present challenges lingering in the sector. “There isn’t anybody who can tell the exact date when the country is going to enjoy a regular power supply. Power is not something you get your return in a day; it takes a sustainable infusion of capital to make sure that it continues to grow in a rate where it is able to meet the demands that are been clamoured for,” he noted. Continuing, he disclosed that the government has targeted between 16 and 24 hours power supply for some cities in the country. “We are ready to meet the needs of Nigerians. We have earmarked several city centres and places in Nigeria with large population and great need for electricity. We have begun to solve their problems from generation, distribution and transmission perspective to remove all the pitfalls and road blocks of getting regular
power supply. “But our huge population is quite a barrier, and it is going to be quite difficult in meeting the needs of everyone to experience this at the same time. For some environs, we are targeting 16 and 24 hours of power supply by the end of the year,” he added. Nebo therefore pleaded with Nigerians to be patient, knowing that there is a revolution, adding that like all new things, there will undoubtedly be rough edges, but government will not abandon the sector irrespective of the change in ownership.? ?Nebo also reiterated government’s effort at revolutionising the nation’s industrial sector through advancing the power sector, stating that before the coming of the present administration the industrial sector was almost dead even though there are still challenges In his word; “the industrial cluster in Nnewi, Anambra State in 1996, there were about 47 industries, but by 2013, they have come down to only six industries, the others have died because of power problems.
BUJA: The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association, IPMAN, has warned that the verdict of Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on the leadership crisis in the organisation would further spur disruption in petroleum products distribution. President of IPMAN, Alhaji Aminu Abubakar, who gave the warning in Abuja, while speaking to newsmen on the ruling, said the development has passed a wrong signal to the product distribution channel, which will aggravate the fuel scarcity facing the country. Recall that a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, presided over by Justice Lambo Akanbi, last week, set aside the appointment of Abubakar as the National President of IPMAN. The Court ordered that the appointment of Abubakar did not follow the laid down rules of the association, and subsequently declared Chief Lawson Obasi, as the substantive National President of IPMAN. But Abubakar in his reaction wondered why the court would grant prayers of an expelled member of the body.
Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014—27
Non-availability of cylinders hinders LPG growth •PPMC targets 500,000MT in 2014 BY KUNLE KALEJAYE & GRACE UDOFIA
FFORTS to increase the consumption of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, also known as cooking gas in the country are being undermined by lack of access to cylinders in the market. Currently, it is believed that less than one million cylinders are in circulation in the country because of the percentage of LPG consumers. Furthermore, about half of these cylinders are expired. However, consumers are unaware that most of these cylinders have expired, as their life span is 15 years, a development the Chairman/CEO, Ultimate Gas Limited, Alhaji Auwalu Ilu, attributed to lack of knowledge. In his words, “Nigeria has less than one million cylinders in circulation because of the percentage using LPG. More than half of these cylinders have expired, and lack of knowledge is a factor. ” Speaking at the inaugural conference of the Nigeria Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers, NALPGAM, Ilu noted that the development has prompted operators in the sector to invest heavily in branded cylinders. According to him, these branded cylinders are directly supplied from the operators to the consumers, adding that
Federal, State and private investors have commenced various initiatives to distribute branded and safe cylinders to consumers. “There are branded cylinders in the market now and these cylinders ?are directly from the operator to the consumer,” he said. Ilu, who gave the keynote address, urged LPG dealers to adopt an innovative approach on price to boost cylinder circulation in the market, adding that LPG consumption is what drives cylinder circulation. He said “if LPG consumption is Low, there will be low circulation of cylinders in the market. There is a need for NALPGAM to innovate new ways to play down the price of LPG to boost cylinders circulation.” Also speaking, the Managing Director, Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, Mr. Haruna Momoh, said the company aimed to increase LPG consumption to 500,000 metric tonnes by the end of 2014. He stated that LPG consumption has steadily increased from the 1980s till date. “In 80s the country flared 75 per cent of gas produced but today, it has reduced to 24 per cent. At the end of 2013, Nigerians consumed 250,000MT of LPG.” He added that about “3.2 million MT of LPG is produced annually but 840,000MT is provided for consumption. In 2011 we consumed 26,000 tonnes of LPG; in 2012, it increased to 180,000 tonnes, and in 2013 it also increased to 250,000 tonnes.
FG approves new entrants into power BY MICHAEL EBOH
HE Federal Government has stated that it will allow investors who shunned the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN’s assets privatisation, to acquire stakes in the company at any point in time. Investors’ decision not to participate in the exercise, according to Mr. Benjamin Dikki, Director General, Bureau for Public Enterprises, BPE, may be as a result of a number of factors. This ranges from perceived distrust on the commitment of the Federal Government to the privatisation of the sector and financial challenges, among other issues. Dikki, who was speaking at the just concluded Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition in Abuja, said the investors will be allowed to acquire stakes in the assets
through refinancing, equity or debt financing. According to him, the condition given to the successful bidders in the area of reduction of technical losses will create an opportunity for the investors who failed to participate in the exercise, to partner with the winners in ensuring that they meet up with the stipulated agreement. He noted that the investors who earlier shunned the process can provide funding to the winners who needed to upgrade their facilities. He added that the investors can also invest in the production of transformers, meters and other equipment needed by the power sector. “Vast opportunities abound in the Nigeria power sector for anyone who have an eye and smell for investment,” Dikki said. Dikki further reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to re-possess the assets from investors who are not performing
according to laid down rules and terms of agreement. He also disclosed that the current state of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, will make it impossible for any investor to reap the benefit of their investment in the facility in the near future. He noted that the Federal Government’s resolve to retain control of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, is due to the huge investment requirement needed to bring it to full capacity. According to him, it will take about 50 years to recoup the investment that is needed to turn around the fortunes of the TCN, a factor that has scared away a number of investors. Other issues hindering the concession of the TCN, he said, are the issues of right of way and the fact that electricity tariffs will be unreasonably high if the TCN is privatised at the moment.
28 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
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Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014 — 29
30— Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
By Theodore Opara
GM boss Lauds CFAO facilities for Chevy, Isuzu T
HE President and Managing Director of General Motors, SubSahara Africa, Mr. Mario Spangenberg has described the CFAO Inter Motors facilities for Chevrolet and Isuzu in Lagos as outstanding, and world class. The visiting GM president who was amazed at the beauty of the CFAO General Motors showroom along Adeola Odeku Street, in Victoria Island, Lagos, said that he was impressed with the partership with CFAO. “This is an outstanding facility. It is important to have a good representation and this shows the commitment of CFAO Group to the Chevrolet and Isuzu brands in Nigeria. The Managing Director further explained that Nigeria is a very important destination for investors with its economic growth, the biggest in sub-Sahara Africa.
Dangers of importation But he cautioned on the dangers of importation of used cars which he said will continue to affect the nation’s auto sector negatively. “As long as used cars continues to come in, the market will be more complicated,” he said. He however, disclosed that GM will be launching quite a number of exciting models in Nigeria very soon including the new Isuzu pick-ups, Blazer SUV, etc. According to him, General Motors has good range of products that are suitable for the Nigerian environment. “We decided to build left and right hand drive vehicles to accommodate markets
Chevrolet Trailblazer...set to stormNigerian showrooms like Nigeria which is very important to us, he said. On the new federal government’s auto policy, the President of GM Africa explained that he will meet with the government representatives to know the details of the policy.
vested over $30 million in spare parts depot in subSahara Africa to ensure quicker delivery of spare parts to their customers. In addition, he said that training for their mechanics will be constant. On how to recover their
position in the Nigerian market, given the fact that the Isuzu pick-up was one of the number in its segment, Mario said, “ we want to grow the business step by step. I am confident of the sales team and the products we are offering too.”
“The new Isuzu pick-up is very competitive product designed to match the African demand and it has done very well since its launch eight months ago in South Africa and other international markets.
XGMA equipment brings succour to construction companies T
HE General Manag er, Richbon Nigeria Limited, representatives of XGMA brand of equipment, Mr. Edmund Okwu has disclosed that the XGMA range of construction equipment has brought succour to contractors who are looking for quality and affordable construction equipment to execute their jobs.
XGMA range of construction equipment C M Y K
He noted that no manufacturer will make overnight decision to build an assembly plant, adding that one of their biggest challenges is stability and direction. On the area of aftersales, the managing director said GM has in-
The General Manager stated that since its introduction in 2013, commendations and testimonies have been pouring in from contractors who tested the machines. “Before the introduction, contractors hitherto, grappled with the astronomical cost of purchasing both new and used construction
equipment as well as the uncertainty of the equipment performance.” “Today, with the introduction of the XGMA brand, contractors can now heave a sign of relief as all the associated problems with acquisition of construction machines are now things of the past,” he said. Continuing he said, XGMA equipment has high reliability, safety, bearing capacity, functionality and above all, budget friendly with good after-sales services by Richbon. XGMA machines available at the Richbon XGMA Centers include bulldozers, excavators, graders, wheel loaders, pavers, backhoe loaders etc backed with one year warran-
ty, competitive price and excellent after sales services. The XGMA brand he further explained is globally accepted and has a proven record of high performance; it is being used in over 100 countries of the world. The XGMA Wheel loader is the first machine among its contemporaries to achieve an annual sales volume of 10,000 units. Globally the XGMA brand ranks among the top 40 in the construction industry and is ranked among the leading most valuable brands in China. In Nigeria, the machine is used all over the country, the spare parts are readily available in all markets and at various Richbon XGMA Service Centers all over the country. There are
also Richbon XGMA engineers attached to every customer upon the purchase of the product. The product comes with world recognized Cummings and Perkins engine, making it very easy to maintain. XGMA representative in Nigeria, Richbon Nigeria Ltd is an indigenous automobile company with Head office at along Oshodi-Apapa Express Way, Lagos. The company has several branches in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. The company popularized the SINOTRUK brand of trucks in Nigeria and from 2011 till date SINOTRUK is one of the fastest selling truck brand in Nigeria in addition to the XGMA brand of construction equipment.
Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014 — 31 By Theodore Opara
Osoba, Uduaghan commend Innoson's vehicle brand T
HE Delta State first private vehicle Gover nor, Dr. Em- manufacturer in manuel Uduaghan and Nigeria. It former governor of Ogun assembles buses, State, Aremo Segun Osoba trucks and sports have commended the utility vehicles, Innoson vehicle brand as- (SUV), using Chisembled in the country. nese made enThe governors gave the gines. The vehicles commendation at the Van- which come in difguard Personality of the Year ferent engines caaward, 2013 weekend, at the pacities compete Brand new SUVs assembled by Innosons Motors Oriental Hotels, Lagos. favourably with Governor Uduaghan, who Japanese and European Innoson Motors, Chief Inno- Innovative Industrialist of the chairman of the occasion, emerged winner of the award made vehicles with price cent Ifediaso Chukwuma was the Year award” by Vanguard Aremo Segun Osoba, said (Vanguard Personality of the advantage. The chairman of also honoured with the “Most Media Limited, an award, was well deserved. Year), stated that his state was sourcing commercial vehicles from outside the country until they discovered that what they the Isuzu brand in Niger- based on the new auto pol- ing to work to ensure the “We went searching for the HE President and were looking for outside ia.” success of the policy. icy, but noted that they partnership, we are going to Managing Director of was available in the Continuing, he said: “We would like to know what the Reassuring the visiting market Isuzu and we are country with even bet- General Motors Africa, Mr. are happy that Koncept is legislative condition will be. GM President on the new discussing the possibility of Mario Spangenberg has ter quality. opening auto centres across auto policy, Mr. Victor assembling it in Nigeria very The President disclosed lauded his new partnership He also thumbed up the country and in few weeks Eburajolo, Group Deputy soon,” he added. that he had a fruitful diswith Koncept Autocentre for the management of time, my team will be return- cussion with the Director Managing Director, KewalExpressing optimism that Innoson Vehicle Manu- Limited in Nigeria, saying, ing to Nigeria for ground- General of National Au- ram Chanrai Group, own- General Motors will soon facturers for creating it would help to grow the breaking ceremony of Kon- tomative Council, Engr. ers of Koncept Autocentre return to its place of pride in jobs for teeming Nige- Isuzu brand in the country. cept showrooms and unveilsaid that his company had Nigeria, the President pointAminu Jalal earlier in the The visiting GM boss rian youths and charged ing of new Isuzu range of day and had the assurance made adequate prepara- ed out that the Nigerian Nigerian investors to while speaking at Koncept products. tions to take the Isuzu brand market is very key to Genthat the policy will work. strive and create more Autocentres conference The GM President noted to its rightful place in Niger- eral Motors. “It was a fruitful discusroom in Lagos said: “We are jobs as a way of reducthat his company’s goal is ia. He described the Isuzu sion. The government as“Nigeria is the powerhappy to announce that ing crimes. to set up a plant in Nigeria sured us that they are go- brand as strong and rugged. house of Africa. “With its According to the gov- with Koncept, we can grow He promised that GM population, natural resourcernor, the number of the brands under Koncept Au- es and other factors put toyouths that died recenttocentre will have its own gether, Nigeria will continly while trying to gain facilities. “We are building ue to be a very important employment into the our own showrooms and market to General Motors in Nigerian Immigration workshops for the Isuzu Africa.” Service (NIS) would brand in Nigeria,” he statBut he, however, cauhave been avoided if ed. But our goal is to assem- tioned that imported used enough jobs had been ble the brand in Nigeria,” he cars must be checked if the created in the country. noted. Nigerian auto market must He noted that on his In his remark, the Generdevelop. part, the initiative, ‘Delal Manager, Koncept AutoHe pointed out the imta Beyond Oil’, was crecentre, Mr. Gaurav Kaul, portance of auto industry, ated to create more jobs stated that their target is to saying that apart from job for the youths. return Isuzu to its former creation, it provides opporDr. Uduaghan, howevposition as the number one tunities and brings technoer, praised the Federal truck in their various seg- logical development. Government’s initiaments. Commending the Nigeritives in trying to tackle “Isuzu is rugged and an government for the new the problem of unemgood for our Nigerian ter- auto policy, he said, “a situployment in the country rain and easy to maintain too ation you have a policy in with its various proand Koncept will ensure place, people will own brand L-R GM President and Managing Director Africa Mr. Mario Spangenberg, Kewalram grammes. Deputy MD Mr. Victor Eburajolo and Koncept Autocentre General Manager, Mr availability of spare parts in new cars and used car marInnoson Group is the Gaurav Kaul after the press conference at Koncept Autocentre. Nigeria,” he stated. ket will disappear”.
Koncept Autocentre’s new partnership excites GM president
Skoda waxes stronger with new models S
KODA is continuing to perform well in 2014,” says Werner Eichhorn, ŠKODA Board Member for Sales and Marketing. “After the best January ever, we have also recorded significant growth in February. Our growth is proving to be stable: our sales have increased every month over the last six months. The response we have had from our customers proves that our new models have been very well received.”
After a record year in 2013, with eight new or completely revised models, the ŠKODA design and model campaign is moving into the next stage. The car maker is presenting the current model range at the Geneva Motor Show. Highlight is the spectacular ‘ŠKODA Vision C’ – the brand’s five-door coupé design concept. The emotional concept embodies the next stage in the development of ŠKODA’s design language. ŠKODA is also highlighting the
brand’s dynamics in Geneva, with a whole range of new models and model versions. The new ŠKODA Octavia Scout and the new ŠKODA Octavia G TEC, which runs on CNG, take the limelight in Geneva as they celebrate their world premieres. The new top-of-the-range Laurin & Klement ŠKODA Octavia can also be seen there for the first time. The Motor Show is also host to ŠKODA’s three new sportyMonte
Carlo special editions of the ŠKODA Yeti, ŠKODA Rapid Space back and ŠKODA Citigo. In Western Europe, ŠKODA once again recorded significant growth in February. Deliveries to customers increased by 13.2% to 28,900 vehicles (February 2013: 25,500). With an increase of 9.0% to 10,800 vehicles delivered, ŠKODA is fast building its position as the strongest import brand in Germany. The brand also recorded strong
growth in the UK, with sales increasing by 40.6% to 2,600 units. Sales in the Netherlands more than doubled (1,400 vehicles; up 101.0%). Double-digit growth was recorded in Austria (1,700 vehicles; up 42.4%), Spain (1,600 vehicles; up 19.0%), Italy (1,200 vehicles; up 14.8%), Sweden (1,100 vehicles; up 25.1%). , Ireland (1,000 vehicles; up 22.4%), Finland (800 vehicles; up 35.8%), Norway (500 vehicles; up 14.1%) and in Portugal (200 vehicles. C M Y K
32 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014 — 33
34 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25-, 2014—35
Nigeria’s centenary: To make parts truly whole (2) BY LOUIS ODION
ESPITE relatively high oil receipts in the past decades, for instance, Nigeria’s human development index has shown only a negligible drop in its poverty index. Official figures reveal that those living on less than $1.25 daily moved only marginally from 64.6 percent in 2004 to
62.6 percent in 2010. Taken together, what then confronts us is a big puzzle indeed. Apart from the white-collar audience at the IOD, the Edo Governor also engaged in informal chats with members of Nigerians in Diaspora, preaching national unity. As always, he never tires to liken the Nigerian union to a Catholic wedding where divorce is not an option.
Hear him: “When pessimists talk in a manner that suggests we never had a nation, people like us truly feel offended indeed. I was born in a small village in Edo State, but spent my teenage years in Yoruba land and later in the North. I became leader of the textile workers union in Kaduna by the votes of northerners. “Thereafter, I became the secretary general of the national textile workers union not on
Map of Nigeria account of where I was born, but by the shared value of the workers. I later had the privilege of being a twoterm president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, not on the basis of Edo votes, but again by the value Nigerian workers shared and I believe still share. So, I won’t accept any suggestion today that Nigeria does not exist. “At best, I believe the boogie of tribalism and ethnicity is only a creation of the elite of the political and economic species to divide and rule our coun-
This is the concluding part of this piece which was first published last Friday
tion and selfpity to action." Let us hope Oshiomhole’s sentiment is shared by many more leaders. Indeed, how quickly Nigeria transits from a potential to a truly great nation will be determined by two mutually inclusive variables: democracy and accountability. While democracy offers a durable vehicle, accountability ensures high integrity.
Sanctity of the ballot Democracy means the sanctity of the ballot. An elected leader will be accountable to the people. An elected leader will find the political courage to take tough decisions needed to advance national interest. Riggers won’t care. In the decades ahead, the challenge before the nation is leveraging on our demographics. According to the United Nations Population Division, whereas most rich countries will shrink and age, poorer countries on continents like Africa will witness a population
At best, I believe the boogie of tribalism and ethnicity is only a creation of the elite of the political and economic species to divide and rule our country
try. My experience in the labour movement has taught me that Nigerians, irrespective of tribe or religion, are united by poverty. What I think we have lacked as a nation is visionary leadership to make poverty history by turning our potentials to actualities. “While it is true that the architecture we inherited from the colonialists was not designed to create prosperity, power and equality for us as a people, It is my humble view that with a new focus and commitment, we can change the story from deficit to surplus. So, If we desire to make a difference in the next century, I believe the first step is to move away from the culture of lamenta-
explosion nearly unprecedented in human history. With its present 170 million size, it is projected that by 2100, Nigeria would have almost a billion people. That prospect imposes huge responsibility on the present national leadership to be more proactive. To an extent, big population is a blessing, just as it could mean a curse. Big population would be an asset only if it consists of educated or skilled manpower. Which is why a wise nation not only aspires to build durable social infrastructures, but strives even harder to develop its human capital. Today, Oshiomhole’s Edo is already leading the way. There, huge resources are not only devoted to rebuilding public schools, there is also a stubborn insistence that only competent teachers are allowed in the classrooms to tutor our children. That is arguably the shortest cut to making the next hundred years truly become Nigeria’s own century. •Odion is the Edo State information commissioner
36 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
C M Y K
Vanguard anguard,, YOUR LUCK TODAY
THOUGHT FOR TODAY
By Joshua Adeyemo Phone 08056180139 SAGITTARIUS: Your creativity quotient within your working arena will today be enhanced. You’ll be blamed if you keep official issues secrets from your challenges at work. CAPRICORN: After a few tension soaked days, you’ll have the needed opportunity to look through windows of the world and have your way as well. Magnetic and/or magic days is predicted for lovers today. AQUARIUS: Even if you continue to work under pressure via increased workload, you will have good results to show for your efforts today. Be steadfast. PISCES: Better than yesterday. And the more co-operative you are today the better for you. Those of you travelling for love are in for an exciting day. ARIES: Those of you willing to let go hard feelings at work are for a progressive day to the betterment of your finances. Let go yesterday, move ahead.
TUESD AY, MARCH 25, 2014—— 37 TUESDA
By Richard Eromosele
F I may ask you which is the best way to advertise yourself today, I guess many people will be mentioning the different media through
The Best Advertisement which you do this. Some will even go beyond naming them to talking about their exorbitant prices. However, I want
to let you know that you do not need to pay money in order to get the kind of advert that can promote you. How? Fine! Let
in “Never say goodbye”
me ask you a question: Who does Tiger Wood pay to get publicity? What of Ali Baba? Want to be advertised? Just do s o m e t h i n g newsworthy no matter how little. By Lanre Kehinde
TAURUS: Once again, you’ll have the needed opportunity to assert yourself to the administration of others. Both love and financial success can be yours with efforts. Reason with your tried and trusted friends. GEMINI: You can make it a successful day with positive approach on your part. You will be in a better position to defuse tension within your working arena. Try to be more ambitious. CANCER Yes! You’re not scared a bit even, when opposition and/or competition come your way but, if you give in to diplomatic approach, you’ll fare better today. LEO: Pressure that came your way suddenly will give way unexpectedly, today, to the betterment of your course. The more financially ambitious you are today, the better for you. Be steadfast. VIRGO: You sincerely believe in intelligent argument or discussion. And if you allow your ability to be diplomatic come to play today, you’ll be better for it. Enjoy your love life. LIBRA: You’ll tend to become both creative and persuasive to the administration of others. Then those who’ve been resisting secret love may slip suddenly and become excited.
By Andy Akman
SCORPIO: Even if opposition persists, supports you are getting from the influential people will be enough to see you through. Yet, the more cooperative you are the better.
ASTROLOGICAL COUNSELLING Send yyour our dat th ttoo the As tr ological datee and place of bir birth Astr trological Counselling, PP.M.B .M.B 1100 00 7, Apapa, Lagos 007,
What’s my horoscope? Dear Joshua, According to the date I was born I should be a Libran by my star but most of the time when I read horoscopes written by both yourself and foreign Astrologers Scorpio always applicable to me, why? Kindly tell me how tha planets lined up when I was born and tha day of the week I was born but don’t publish my date of birth. Agbabiaka Abuja.
Dear Agbabiaka, You were born on a Sunday. You were wrong to have taken Libra as your Sun sign because the Sun was placed in early degree of Scorpio together with many other heavenly bodies. Then with the Moon in Libra when you were born will equally be influential in your characteristics build up but, you are mainly a Scorpio born person YOUR HOROSCOPE DATA Day of Birth = Sunday Sun Sign = Scorpio. Sun in Zero Degree of Scorpio Moon Sign = Libra: Moon in 5th Degree of Libra Mercury in 12th Degree of Scorpio Venus in Zero Degree of Sagittarius Mars in 1st Degree of Aquarius Jupiter in 29th Degree of Cancer Saturn in 10th Degree of Scorpio Uranus in 27th Degree of Cancer Neptune in 25th Degree of Libra Pluto in 26th Degree of Leo North Node in 8th Degree of Capricorn South Node in 8th Degree of Cancer No planet in earth spar sign, one in available, two in fire, three in air, four in cardinal, fixed and water star signs hosted five planets each. PHYSICAL INFLUENCE = 50% NON-PHYSICAL INFLUENCE =50% PLANET AT HOME = NONE ANALYSIS OF THE HOROSCOPE DATA You are both an intelligent and emotional person. And as there was planet at home when you were born, too many ideas will always struggle for prominent place in your mind, thus decision making is difficult but most times, your intelligence comes to the rescue. Certainly, you appear to other as a gentle person who can be mistaken for soft fellow but your inner-self is the personality with a steel like will power. You are the consistent type who may find it difficult to change once you have made up your mind as indicated by distribution of the planets as written out in paragraph two of this exercise.
HOME & ABROAD
By Lawrence Akapa
38 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
We need exp repairs — Re
•A Lagos secondary school
Poisonous fumes: Lagos reads riot act to firms By MONSURU OLOWOOPEJO
a lot of safety policies and standards that exist in various organizations especially in companies that handle chemicals regularly, adding that the commission will constantly review the policies and how they are operated in the state. She stated that the LSSC has intensified its activities with relevant Ministries and Agencies in the state, adding that it has had quite a number of meetings with the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, on issues affecting the state. “We have had quite a number of interactions to address the grey areas because these grey areas are seriously affecting the lives of our people and property in the state. The commission is quite close to finetuning the operations and requirements. And it is now necessary for every of such operations to
AGOS State Government has warned fuel, gas and chemical companies in the state to put safety measures in place within and outside their companies, or face the wrath of the law. The government condemned unsafe handling of fuel, gas and chemical wastes, saying; “We have received several complaints from residents over the negative impact of the activities of gas, fuel and tanker depots in their communities.” Director-General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, LSSC, Mrs. Dominga Odebunmi said this while reacting to the recent discharge of yet-to-be-identified poisonous fumes into Ogba Junior Grammar We have had quite a number of interacSchool, Ojodu Local Council Develtions to address the grey areas because opment Area, these grey areas are seriously affecting the LCDA, which led to lives of our people and property in the state 13 students of the school being hospitalized. Though the school is yet to be reopened, obtain their safety certificate from the state govOdebunmi said the commission will carry out ernment. In addition to the DPR approval, this is a thorough investigation to prevent a recurto ensure compliance and corporation in the state rence. as it is done anywhere else in the world” The Director-General stated that the comOdebunmi urged all the operators to carry out mission is working in conjunction with the thorough risk assessment and safety impact asMinistry of the Environment to ensure that sessment of their operation within their commusuch menace stops. nity. ‘’From the investigation so far, there are so “It is extremely important that for any reason, many unsafe handling of chemicals and illebe it in mechanic, paint, a pharmaceutical indusgal operation within the state such as fuel, try, textile industry, petroleum, drink and food ingas depots or tankers, and we are saying that dustry and the stakeholders in the use of high these have to stop in the state because we risk and toxic substances, we are saying that safety will link gas tankers to the companies and plan must be in place, you must have your safety they will have to face the wrath of the law manual that will look into your mode of operaseverely because these are impacting negation, who is responsible to prevent hazardous tively on the lives of the citizens and its givoccurrences within your establishment. You would ing the state a bad name.” also have to make sure that your risk assessment She said that the commission is looking into is functional and not just a shelf document”
•Dopemu-Iyana-Ipaja road By OLASUNKANMI AKONI
HOUGH repairs on Dopemu and IyanaIpaja bridges were completed at least three days ahead of schedule, residents of the areas are not impressed. According to them what the bridges need is expansion rather than the purported repairs. Vanguard investigations, showed that most of the users of the bridges are not impressed by government’s ‘half measure’ which they believe will not cure the perennial traffic gridlock on the bridges. Consequently, motorists as well as residents in Egbeda / Akowonjo axis have appealed to the state government to consider expanding the bridge, saying population explosion and increasing vehicular traffic in the area have made the expansion a necessity. Motorists and other road users were however, surprised at the turn of event as there was no serious traffic gridlock during the maintenance work
against earlier expectation by stakeholders of a total traffic breakdown. Apart from the first day and second day of the commencement, there were no serious traffic gridlock, apparently due to efforts of the over 20 traffic officials, led by Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA who operated almost 15 hours daily to ward off any traffic jam.
Median barrier According to motorists, one of the reasons there was no serious traffic during the maintenance work around Dopemu was the opening of the median barrier along Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, which made a turn around movement quicker rather than going through the narrow Swipha road which is a bottleneck to easy flow of traffic. One of the residents, Mr. Bamidele Idowu, who claimed he had been living in the area for about 35 years, said at the time the bridge was constructed, the area had not experi-
Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
Trouble awaits abandoned vessels in Lagos waters
pansion not esidents
By DOTUN IBIWOYE
EING a littoral state and the commer cial hub of the country, Lagos has attracted more ships and vessels than any other city in Sub Saharan Africa since the Portuguese explorer Ruy de Sequeira named the area around the city Lago de Curamo, meaning lakes in Portuguese. The influx of the vessels over the years has led to abandonment of several wrecked ships on Lagos waters. The hazard of the abandoned ships has made the state government to threaten to prosecute owners of the abandoned vessels on its shoreline, which it said causes ecological damage. This warning was given by Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN) last week at the 6th Climate Change Summit, with the theme: ‘Exploring Business Opportunities in Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation: Lagos State in Focus’. Fashola stated that the government will engage professionals that will assist in identifying owners of such abandoned vessels to enable government pursue claims against them for ecological damage.
enced what he called “astro“Also, if the opened median nomical increase in popula- barrier can be developed, it tion. What we need in this area will serve as a relief to mountis pure expansion and not re- ing motorists along this axis, ally maintenance alone. as it will take away the rush Therefore, the state govern- and bottleneck at Swipha ment needs to come up with a Road. The link roads opened holistic maintenance structure as alternatives, have proven for all its bridges considering that the perennial traffic gridits status as one of the fastest locks along the axis can be growing megacities.” reduced if the present strucAcccording to Mr Stephen ture is allowed to subsist. Chucks, a trader in Ikeja, who “In the event of any collapse lives in Ali m o s h o , The time the bridge was con“The heavy traffic ex- structed, the area had not expeperienced rienced what he called “astrodaily on the nomical increase in population AbeokutaOshodi Expressway can be minimised if the Dope- of the bridge, the entire Akomu Bridge that has a single wonjo and environs will be tolane is expanded to two lanes tally cut off. The only alternaon both sides. All the vehicles tive way, which is Iyana Ipagoing to Egbeda, Shasha, Iko- ja-Agege Link Bridge, will tun and Badagry (just to men- take the backlash of high voltion a few) all ply this narrow ume of traffic.” bridge, thereby causing heavy The link roads are: Irepodun hold-up even on Sundays. Street, Alaguntan, Vincent The authorities concerned Street, Akiwowo Road and should do something so that Cash Street, all off Alimoso Nigerians using this bridge Road. can experience a free flow of traffic.
Also, Governor Fashola stated that the state government was doing all within its ambit to tap into the emerging opportunities across the world for insurance business to secure the risk of damage to public assets against events of nature that were once thought to be excluded risks. He added that the government had developed many initiatives geared towards converting the adversity of nature into prosperity. He listed such initiatives to include the Eko Atlantic City project which he claimed had employed over 2000 people; the Groin Construction project, Alausa, Lagos and Akute Power Projects that employed 259
, •An abandoned vessel in Tarkwa Bay, Lagos
people collectively. President of the International Council for Local Environmental initiatives, Mr. David Cadman, at the summit emphasized the need for leaders at various levels in the country to explore the economic potentials of the impact of climate change. He observed that two-third of the world stands at a risk of devastating consequences of environmental changes such as global warming and possible rise in water level. He said the current population of the world, which stands at seven billion will soon rise to 10 billion explaining that Europe and America will have a billion popu-
The hazard of the abandoned ships has made the state government to threaten that it will prosecute owners of the abandoned vessels on its shoreline, which it said causes ecological damage
lation each while Asia and Africa will share the remaining eight billion in the ratio of five to three, adding that this indicate that Africa and Asia will determine the sustainability of the plan of action. Cadman suggested a paradigm shift in energy generation from generating sets to bio-gas, wind, solar and geo-thermal while efforts should also be stepped-up in massive tree planting. The State Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello said: “We have implicit belief that by the end of it all better adaptive and mitigating measures arrived at will present friendly environment for business and economic opportunities in tackling climate change issues.”
40—Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
Politicians who left PDP are coming back — Gov Shema GOVERNOR Ibrahim Shehu Shema of Katsina State is a lawyer, former deputy national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and a member of the party's National Executive Committee, NEC. In this interview, he bares his mind on his developmental agenda in Katsina, completion of projects started by his predecessor, late President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, 2015 Presidential bid of President Goodluck Jonathan, the crisis in PDP and the way forward. Excerpts: BY HENRY UMORU
N the crisis in PDP, which led to the defection of five governors to the APC We have our own challenges, that is not to say other parties don’t have challenges. Ours is obvious because of our size. And in politics, size matters. It is always easy to talk about differences in political parties or even in any organisation, but what people fail to realise is that PDP has succeeded in ruling Nigeria since 1999. There are so many forces. First of all, in capturing power and retaining power, it has succeeded in the first transition from one civil rule to another and yet another and to another. Since independence, PDP is the first party to do this. PDP belongs to Nigerians. That is what people don’t understand. That is why everybody talks about PDP, even non-party members who belong to another party talk about PDP because it is a fully Nigerian party, unlike other parties where you can say that Mr. A owns this party or Mr
minds. Hope is not lost on the question of reconciliation. We can still reconcile, we can reach out and reconcile. Politics is a voluntary business, I am sure most of the governors who left have reasons don’t want to belong to PDP but as they are leaving,others will be moving in, that is politics. In fact, there are those who left PDP that are rushing back. But we will make efforts, we are not closing our doors to our members who have left. I am sure our new chairman, Adamu Mu’azu is equal to the task. He governed Bauchi State for eight years on the platform of PDP and I have no doubt in my mind that he will reach out and make deliberate efforts to see that our party grows from strength to strength. On opposition to President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election bid especially from the North The issue of running for office in 2015, we have spoken about it severally. Whenever it is time for election, the temperature goes up. The President has not declared whether he will run or not but there have been
Politics is a voluntary business, I am sure most of the governors who left have reasons they don’t want to belong to PDP, but as they are leaving, let me assure you that others will be moving in
B owns that party. That is why even the opposition talks about PDP. As for the challenges we have with some members of our party, I am sure you are aware of the spirited efforts made by the President to lift the party, to turn the tide of those who wanted to leave the party. In any family, there is bound to be a quarrel, but to solve it and to resolve it maturely is the way of PDP. Look at the complaints that were lodged against our immediate past chairman, Dr. Bamanga Tukur. At the end of the day, PDP may be the only party in Nigeria that a chairman can simply resign and another one will step in without a fight. I don’t know any other party in Nigeria that does this except PDP because we truly have the interest of this nation in our
speculations on whether or not he will run. It is only in Nigeria that people start running around for election right after swearing in. So what worries me is, are we really thinking of rendering service to our people or rendering service to ourselves as politicians? If we are thinking of service, you should allow yourself to serve. I think the time is right for issues of politics, but I can tell you that 70 per cent of the time, people are rushing in to talk about who contests, who replaces who, who will do this, unfortunately that is Nigeria for you. Maybe, it is because our democracy is just coming up. We cannot be in so much of a hurry that we will say we have caught up with 250 years old democracy. The President will come out and make a statement
at the right time. If somebody is interested in running for office, he can go to any length, that is the truth. On how he manages to execute numerous projects with meagre resources When I came into office, my revenue was about N2.3 billion to N3 billion per month but now, it hovers between N4.7 billion to N5 billion per month and of course with the increased cost of labour due to the minimum wage and cost of running the government, we have very little left but we manage it. I think you can say if corruption is curtailed to the minimum level, there is possibility that resources can be used more effectively. We are not just talking about the level of available resources alone, we are talking about resource utilization, effective utilization of meager resources.
Utilisation of meagre resources That is why we have constructed over 48 new roads in the state. We completed every project started by late President Umaru Musa Yar ’Adua and these projects are no mean projects. It included a university, the foundation of which was laid on 27 March, 2007 and we finished that university within 18 months of my becoming the governor. In addition, there was a 165bed child-maternal care hospital. It was started by late Umaru Yar’Adua. We finished that in about 12 months. Our women and children are getting medicare for free in that hospital. Late President Yar ’Adua started the expansion of Katsina airport and I came in and completed it in a matter of six months. There are other projects like roads, water, street lights, and school buildings. There is no single project started by late President Yar’Adua that was not completed by this administration in 18 months. While we were completing his projects, we were planning our own. The moment we completed the circle of projects left for us, we launched ourselves into our programmes. We built over 200 secondary
•Shema: We had our own challenges schools, 2000 housing units, and 34 girl-child secondary schools have been built in collaboration with local governments. We have been paying our salaries on the 22nd to 23 rd of each month since I became governor without fail. We have only two incidences we couldn’t pay on the 22nd or 23 rd of the month. That was January and December last year because we were doing biometric date capture for our staff to implement the minimum wage. But we still paid before the 30th of the month. For the past six years, no child going to public school in Katsina state pays school fees. Primary and secondary education is free.
Foreign scholarship We introduced special foreign scholarship fund scheme for students. I have sent over 700 students to foreign nations to study in critical areas of need of the state- pharmacy, medicine, computer engineering, environmental engineering, marine engineering, physiotherapy, dentistry and geology. These are areas we chose specifically because of the needs of the state. Every student we send to read, maybe a five year course we pay up front to the university the entire course fee for the five years; we pay stipends, we pay accommodation, we pay book allowances so that the student
does not have to bother himself about school fees or feeding. The process of picking the students is transparent. There is no local government in Katsina State today that does not have a medical doctor, a pharmacist, marine engineer, environmental engineer, physiotherapist, and radiologist. At least five have been trained from every local government area. Also, we have embarked on massive construction projects, I’m sure you must have seen them- about eight local government headquarters have been dualized with street lights; the capital (Katsina) has ring road around it; some internal roads have been constructed and are still being constructed. We are putting an ICT Institute in place because information technology is the way of the world today. We are partnering with an institute in Singapore, we have signed an MOU with them, and they are going to help us run the school. We have actually finished 250bed orthopedic hospital and hostel, we have signed an MOU with a centre in Egypt to run the hospital for us and they are installing equipment in the hospital right now. We have built about 80 primary health centres in collaboration with the MDG in most of the local governments. We have 361 clinics in 361 Wards; we have built 30 major primary centres in some local governments. Medicare is free for malaria Continues from page 41
Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014—41
Now the poor have hope in Delta — Ashiedu THE Delta State Micro-Credit Programme MCP, is one of the alluring programmes that have won commendations to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan. The state’s leading edge in micro-credit financing is underpinned by back to back awards from the Central Bank of Nigeria between 2009 and 2011 in the area of micro-credit financing. The state’s MCP is managed by the state commissioner for poverty alleviation, Dr. Anthonia Ashiedu, former journalist, development finance consultant and political scientist. Ashiedu, who holds a doctorate in political science, was before her appointment as a commissioner, a special adviser to the governor. In this interview she speaks on the impact of the micro-credit programme on the populace. Excerpts: BY EMMANUEL AZIKEN, POLITICAL EDITOR
Capital to start business When this programme started, it met with a lot of cynicism from the same ordinary man who the programme was meant for and justifiably so. Why were they cynical? They were cynical because programmes like this had been talked about in the past, but they never came to reality. So, when we came on board, they didn’t really believe, hence we had to go into the field with missionary zeal to sensitize them. Mind you, we didn’t invent micro-credit, it was a model that had worked elsewhere that we incorporated to suit our own purposes and so, we decided to cluster them, and when we have them in clusters, if you are a plantain farmer, a fish farmer, a trader, seamstress, hair dresser, or whatever, be it any we deal with you in groups.
accessed the loans? So far over 113,000 persons with the majority of (67,000) being women. Is it the same amount that is provided to all? What the barber needs is not the same thing as what the garri frying person needs or what the farmer needs or what the periwinkle seller needs. So, it is tailored to the group’s needs. So, usually we have what we will call a business proposal and you will be surprised that even for micro credit that there is a business proposal, but not the MBA person will do. Just one page, ‘ we are so, so and so, we require Nx to buy this,” so it is tailored towards the trade. But no group so far in the programme has received less
ELTA State Micro-Credit Programme (DMCP) was actually launched in December 14, 2007 but took off effectively in 2008. You would wonder why micro-credit? This was one of the cardinal programmes in the governor’s manifesto when he was campaigning to be the governor of Delta State. He was always emphasising on the need to touch the ordinary person, on the need to stimulate the economies of our communities. You cannot talk about stimulating the economies of our communities if you do not look in carefully and in detail to the financial inclusion of these communities. That was how this programme came about. Hitherto, while strategising, he being the candidate of the party, there were these issues of poverty which is prevalent all over Nigeria, it is not just in Delta State. I am not saying that microcredit will at once address the many components of poverty, but it is one way in which ordinary citizens can get soft loans, small capital to start business.
of being entrepreneurs and they are doing fantastically well. In doing that, they have also helped us in being resource persons for the programme, because I hardly sensitize people anymore now, rather, it is the cluster groups in those communities that we now give the responsibility to sensitize the community for us. It is a programme that has given the ordinary man hope, it is a programme that has made the ordinary man walk with springs in their footsteps, it is a programme that has provided soft loans for our citizenry. It is a programme that has created a platform for the eventual industrialisation of Delta State because we are even amazed by the number of products that
What the Delta State Micro-Credit Programme has done is actually stimulating the economies of our rural communities, addressing the issues of the rural and urban poor, and also the issue of unemployment
•Ashiedu We don’t create the groups, we allow them to create the groups of not lesser than 10 and not more than 25. In doing that, our aim was to make them to share their successes and their failures. In no time, we saw moribund communities and there were quite a number when we started, they started picking up life. So, what the Delta State Micro-Credit Programme has done is actually stimulating the economies of our rural communities, addressing the
issues of the rural and urban poor, and also the issue of unemployment. The unemployed are critical to us because those who fall into that bracket are youths and we keep on churning them out from our universities, polytechnics and even from secondary schools. There are a lot of them in this programme who have seen that what is happening in terms of unemployment is global and that the future belongs to the entrepreneur. Many of them have caught up with this zeal
are being churned out from this programme. How has this programme impacted on the populace? Hitherto, it was very difficult for a lot of people in Delta State to get little loans. Those magic doors of those big financial institutions were closed to them. They get there, but there are never attended to and even when attended to, they are dismissed with the wave of the hand. But here is a programme that is their own and it is my great joy to tell you that they have actually taken ownership of the programme. Do you give loans to individuals? No, we have never given loan to individuals. Never. We give only to cluster groups. How many persons have
than N100,000 and I can also tell you that we have given loans up to N10 million, though not in one fell swoop. You get this N100,000, you repay, you get a higher amount, you repay and it keeps on going like that. Is there any major outcome from this programme you can point us to? One of the biggest leather works factory in this country is about to begin operation in Delta State in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, UNIDO. The reason UNIDO is into it is that it also wanted somewhere that has proximity to a large market because we have fantastic shoe makers in our programme and when UNIDO heard about this they sought out us out.
Politicians who left PDP are coming back — Gov Shema Continues from page 40 patients, for people with dialysis, for children from date of birth to age five mediacare is free and we introduced the rural-urban ambulance scheme because there are some hard-to-reach rural areas some medical personnel would be willing to go so we made it easy for them. We provided ambulance and we equip it with medicines and medical staff and they go from village to village providing free medicare to people. They even handle delivery of babies. Whatever is beyond their capacity to handle the ambulance will be used to convey the patient to the
nearest hospital. Agriculture is our number two priority. We expanded and developed 27 irrigation schemes. We provide seeds, fertilizers, mechanized inputs, 340 tractors were purchased and sold to the farmers, with each local government getting 10 tractors. We slashed the cost of the tractors by half. Livestock development we have not left behind. The list is endless. What advise do you have for the major gladiators in Rivers State crisis? Crisis in Rivers is something the leadership in Rivers should be able to address. I am not from
Rivers, so I am not in a position to effectively comment truly and deeply on Rivers because Rivers state has it’s peculiarities and these peculiarities are best resolved by our leaders there in the best interest of Rivers’ people and in the best interest of Nigerians. After you leave office as governor, what next? Planning ahead, you forget the saying that man proposes, God disposes. You can plan whatever you want and I can plan whatever I want to plan, but my fate is in the hands of God almighty. I have said severally at every forum, international and local that my
plan is to continue to serve this nation in whatever capacity I found myself. I am grateful to my God. When you enter into politics and if you don’t have a second address, that is when you run into trouble but I have a profession, I have a second address. If God chooses me to participate in politics in Nigeria in any other level, I will be grateful. If God chooses me to go back to my practice, honestly I will go back to serve my people and serve my nation and contribute to the development of my profession, that is my position.
42—Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
Quantity surveyors renew call for African infrastructure development bank BY JUDE NJOKU
GAINST the backdrop of the epileptic state of public infrastructure in Africa due to the dearth of funds to finance their provision or replacement, Nigerian Quantity Surveyors last week, renewed the call for the establishment of an African Infrastructure Development Bank, AIDB or African Construction Development Bank, ACDB. The construction cost experts who rose from a two-day international workshop on sustained growth of emerging economies in Africa – the infrastructural imperatives, in Oshogbo, the Osun state capital, said the proposed bank will provide the funds for infrastructure development similar to existing models in China, India and Malaysia. The proposed bank will provide the much-needed long-term finance at low interest rate to contractors, subcontractors and suppliers. The bank, the cost experts recommended, should be private-sector driven to minimise bureaucracy while Government provides “seed money.” The quantity surveyors posited that “ for any African nation striving to belong to the top 20 nations by the year 2020, efficient cost management culture must be imbibed as a national policy”.
Financial burden Noting that governments cannot bear the financial burden of providing adequate infrastructure alone considering the huge capital out-lay required, the quantity surveyors called for the integration of private sector investors into the conception, planning, design, construction and maintenance of infrastructure through the public-privatepartnership, PPP procurement model. A 14-point communique signed by the President of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, NIQS, Alhaji Murtala Aliyu, the Secretary Marketing & Publicity, Mr Olujide Oke and the Secretary, Professional Development & Library, Dr Ejike Anunike, recommended that effective and efficient management of infrastructure projects in Africa should be given prominence and high priority by governments, organizations and individuals. “There should be massive investment to address the challenges and short-falls.
•Road under construction
Because cost is essential, the services of quantity surveyors are inevitable and imperative in all aspects of infrastructure projects including budgeting, financing and management in order to get value for money invested,” they posited. The cost experts also called for a systematic review of professional fees charged by quantity
surveyors and other professionals in the built environment to serve as motivation to them to play the muchdesired roles in efficient and effective delivery of infrastructure projects ”Collaboration among professional bodies, the professionals and even client organizations involved in infrastructure
development is imperative for eradicating fraudulent practices and eliminating areas of disagreement in the documentation and cost management of infrastructural projects. The collaboration between the professional bodies provides professional synergy that will create added value for money and aggregate cost-savings for
improved infrastructural development,” they said. They recommended the appointment of quantity surveyors in the departments of finance, budget and/or planning of all ministries at all levels of government to ensure probity and accountability of public funds invested in infrastructure.
FCTA requires N200bn to resettle original occupiers BY HENRY UMORU
STAGGERING sum of N200 billion would be required by the Federal Capital Territory Administration to fully address the backlog of resettlement and compensation within the Federal Capital City, FCC alone. The FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed who disclosed this weekend in Abuja, described the problem of resettlement and compensation of the original inhabitants as a major challenge to the Federal Government and successive FCT administrations. He also disclosed that the existing infrastructure of the capital city could only take care of one million persons and not the present
population of five million the nation’s capital boasts of. Senator Mohammed added that the cost of resettlement and compensation has continued to increase year after year since the creation of FCT 38 years ago due to a steady increase in population and economic activities on the part of the original dwellers. He noted that the challenge has snowballed into a huge impediment to infrastructural and housing development in the FCT. The Minister who spoke when he received a delegation from the National Defence College, Zimbabwe explained that available infrastructure in the territory was being overstretched by a whopping 500 percent, said that the urbanisation growth rate of FCT has continued to rise steadily and currently stands at 9.1 percent. “Whereas the
current population of FCT stands at about five million, the available infrastructure can accommodate only one million persons,” he said. According to him, a combination of factors make Abuja very attractive to many people. They include the centrality of its location, easy accessibility for all Nigerians, clement weather, relative security and ethnic neutrality. Senator Bala Mohammed said the land swap programme was introduced by his administration as a measure to accelerate infrastructural development and at the same time address the resettlement and compensation needs of the affected original inhabitants. He gave the total land area for the land swap programme as 4,253 hectares covering 10 districts which were to be
developed by 15 reputable companies. According to the Minister, the total expected private capital investment inflow through the land swap stands at $3.8billion or N646billion. He disclosed that the FCT Administration has attracted other investments like the $2.7billion (N459billion) Abuja City Centre project which would be developed by Messrs by the Chicason Group and the $1.2billion (N204billion) World Trade Centre. The leader of the delegation, Air-Vice Marshal Michael Moyo said that they were in Nigeria to learn new things that would help them improve their professional duties as well as other matters relating to infrastructure, agriculture, transportation and municipal management work in Africa.
Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014—43
Lagos gives LASU facelift, provides infrastructure By KINGSLEY ADEGBOYE
On-going construction of the Senate Building at LASU. INSET: Lagos State Commissioner for Works and infrastructure Dr. Obafemi Hamzat (right) with his Information & Strategy counterpart, Mr. Aderemi Ibirogba (middle), LASU Vice Chancellor, Professor John Oladapo Obafunwa (left) and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Jimi Hotonu during the inspection.
Estate surveyors get BPE’s nod on valuation of assets BY JUDE NJOKU
ENCEFORTH only members of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, NIESV will be patronised by the government on matters relating to the estate surveying and valuation sector of the economy. This development was contained in a letter by the Bureau for Public Procurement, BPP to the NIESV outgoing president, Mr
Emeka Eleh. The BPE letter which was signed by its DirectorGeneral , Mr Emeka Eze, an engineer and past president of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE affirmed and endorsed the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria, ESVRBON as the accredited regulatory body for the industry and enjoined all ministries, departments and agencies of government to only
Stakeholders urge Lagos to partner AfDB to improve climate readiness BY KINGSLEY ADEGBOYE
ARTICIPANTS at the just concluded 6th Lagos state climate change summit have called on the three tiers of government to reframe climate change issues and seek new kinds of solutions to help affected communities and people deal with negative effects of climate change that exceed their capacities. The Summit which was attended by about 750 stakeholders, advised Lagos state to set up a Green Development Centre, a PPP Initiative which will run under the auspices of the State Ministry of Environment. The participants enjoined the government to put up mechanism that will simplify climate change issues for easier understanding and comprehension by nonexperts. They further urged the government to consider imposing carbon emission taxes on corporations in the energy sector including generating set manufacturers
and merchants to promote investment in climate-friendly business initiatives. The Summit advised Lagos state to partner with African Development bank, AfDB to improve its climate finance readiness and build up its internal financial infrastructure in order to act as a full participant in emerging international climate financing arrangements, including the Green Climate Fund and Clim-Dev Africa Special Fund. They further urged the state government to incorporate strong urban containment policy to discourage urban sprawl and promote vertical growth such as sky scrapers and the greening on urban buildings such as green belt policies. They called on the government to introduce controlled parking zones to deter the use of private vehicles, and consider the introduction of tax incentives for owners of non polluting vehicles to reduce GHG emissions in the transport sector.
pre-qualify firms of estate surveyors and valuers for facility management valuation, property management and estate agency services. The letter with reference number BPP/S.1/CCM/14/Vol.1/40 of March 7, 2014 read in parts: “The Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria, ESVRBON regulates the practice of estate surveying and valuation in Nigeria and as such only professionals duly registered with the body are eligible to practice the profession in the country and can be patronised by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government for valuation, property management and estate agency services”. The BPP in the letter also advised the ESVRBON to encourage its members to ensure that their practice data is lodged with the National Database of the Categorization and Classification of Contractors and Service Providers to enable them access invitation for bids for government businesses in their sector. “To this effect, the Board of ESVRBON is enjoined to encourage its members to submit their firms’ data in the National Database of the Categorization and Classification of Contractors and Service Providers so as to avail themselves of the opportunity to be categorized and classified as Estate Surveyors and Valuers in the database developed by the Bureau for all contractors and service providers intending or already doing business with the Federal Government,” the letter said. An elated Emeka Eleh described the latest development as a major breakthrough for members of NIESV in their age- long campaign to regulate and rid the industry of quacks and nonregistered professionals.
HE Lagos State University, LASU, Ojo will soon wear a new look, courtesy of ongoing development of its infrastructure by the State Government. Determined to uplift the university ’s infrastructure, the government embarked upon massive development and upgrade of facilities in the university. Last week, the State Commissioner for Works & Infrastructure, Kadir Hamzat, an engineer and his counterpart in the Ministry of Information & Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba, conducted newsmen round the various projects sites to assess the level of development there.
Senate building The journalists inspected the six—storey Senate Building, Central Library Complex, LASU Radio Station and Faculty of Management Sciences which were at various stages of completion. The School of Transport Building, three-inone Lecture Theatre in the Faculty of Education and a twin Lecture Theatre at the Faculty of Law, had already been completed. At the Central Library site, Hamzat explained that the four-storey building which would be completed in two phases, has the capacity to accommodate 800 students. He explained that due to the topography of the area, massive piling works, substructure, frame structure on ground and first floor levels were carried out before the actual construction work. The Commissioner said the
project which was flagged off in February 2012, would be completed in February 2015. He pointed out that there was a change in the floor height specification in order to accommodate the mechanical and air conditioner pipes installations within the soffit of the slab. At the Senate Building site, Hamzat said the project which has attained 65 per cent completion, would be ready in July 2015. The Senate Building comprises the office of the Vice Chancellor and other principal officers of the institution. The Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. John Obafunwa said the School of Transport Building comprises six lecture halls, administrative offices and lecturers’ offices on three floors. He explained that the project which commenced in July 2010, was completed in September 2013. The VC who disclosed that LASU Radio Station building will be completed next month, explained that it will be used by students of Mass Communication. Other ongoing projects in the university are the ultra modern Students’ Union Arcade building; new Faculty of Sciences Complex; Teslim Elias Law Library and a deep drainage system. Expressing optimism over the commitment of the present administration to ensure that all ongoing projects and others to be embarked upon later are not abandoned, Hamzat said the projects are meant to serve as legacies to children that will attend the institution in the next 300 years. He added that the projects are being funded from the government’s purse.
Haven Homes opens Show Home in Lekki
AVEN Homes, developers of the luxurious Richmond Gate in Lekki will on Saturday, March 29, open its ultra modern Show Home in the highbrow Lekki peninsula. A statement by the company explained that the event will be graced by government officials, members of the public and celebrities including 2 Face and Annie Idibia, who themselves are proud homeowners in the prestigious Haven Home
estate. Haven Homes is said to be one of the foremost luxury home builders in Nigeria. The developers of life styles homes have spent many years following their passion to seek out unrivalled property designs and space functionality for all their units. Haven Homes’ expert eye for perfect finishing has established it to be the first choice in home acquisition in Nigeria, the company claimed.
44 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
Address negative environmental practices in Niger Delta, confab delegates urged
Group urges Jonathan, IG to probe Gbaramatu leaders’ detention
BY SAMUEL OYADONGHA
E N A G O A — ENVIRONMENTALIST and activist, Mr Alagoa Morris, has called on the delegates at the national conference to address the incessant oil spills, gas flaring and other negative environmental practices which the people of the Niger Delta had complained about over the years, but still raging on. Morris who is the Bayelsa State Field Coordinator, Environment Rights Action/Friends of the Earth and former secretary, Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO in the state in an interview with Vanguard in Yenagoa, warned that failure to address these contentious issues could plunged the region into another round of violence. “One area of concern to most Niger Deltans is the area of environmental sustainability and human rights,” he said and urged the representatives of the Niger Delta and all lovers of sustainable environment at the conference to right the wrong of over four decades. “To avoid a repeat of another round of violence in the Niger Delta region, I call on our comrades and representatives in
IGERIANS Project for Goodluck Jonathan, NPGJ, a pro-Jonathan group, has appealed to the President through the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, to urgently probe the arrest and detention of Chief Michael Johnny, over alleged threat to the life of Chief Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo. Mr. Musa Yakubu, spokesman of the group, in Abuja, yesterday, said that the probe was necessary to examine the unproven allegations leveled against its founder and national coordinator, Chief Johnny for which he is being detained with seven others. “We are appealing to President Jonathan and the IG to properly investigate the allegations leveled against Johnny by the Police in Delta State, and if there is no evidence to substantiate the allegations, Johnny should be released immediately.
Ikimi to NBA: Return to from confab BY EMMA AMAIZE
ARRI—NATIONAL Coordinator of the Forum for Justice and Human Rights Defence, FJHD, Delta State, Mr. Oghenejabor Ikimi, has called on the national executive of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, to reconsider its decision to pull out of the on-going national conference. Ikimi, a lawyer, told Vanguard on phone, “I disagree with the decision of the national executive of NBA, led by Chief Okey Wali, SAN, recently in Akure, Ondo State, as the said decision was a
tactical blunder. I, therefore, call for an immediate withdrawal of the above decision as same is not in the interest of the body and its members. “Though, I appreciate the fact that allotting a slot to a body like NBA was unfair. However, pulling out of the national conference was a comedy of error, as the only representative to the conference would have been able to canvass the position of the body at the conference, bearing in mind that almost one/third, if not more of the delegates are lawyers and members of NBA,” he said.
the on-going confab not to forget that the oil spills, gas flaring and other negative environmental practices that our people complained about in the 90s are still raging on.” He noted with regret that the people of the region were dying before their time due to pollution from the oil exploration and exploitation activities of the multinationals. “There has not been much significant changes on how the Federal Government and her business partners, the oil
companies treat the Niger Delta environment as they go about their exploration and exploitation of the black gold since Ken SaroWiwa raised the red flag and his eventual murder for same. “Although environmental/rights groups have never relented since then, the above was one of the main reasons youths of the region gave for carrying arms against the Federal Government and oilmultinationals. “It will be inappropriate not to remind Nigerians of property and
Investor to employ 15,000 through farming in Edo was willing to provide a BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
ENIN CITY—A private investor, Festrut Conglomerate is set to establish a farm covering 100 hectares of land in Uzebba, Edo State that will provide about 15,000 employment opportunities for the people of the state. Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the company, Dr. Festus Asikhia, disclosed this when he led a delegation on a courtesy visit to Governor Adams Oshiomhole at the Government House in Benin City, weekend. Asikhia said “I have to go to my community, where I can easily have access to land and I have acquired about 100 hectares of land for the take-off of the company. Apart from the farm land, we have come to Edo State to discuss with the governor to build a new Edo City, a city with all the infrastructure, with recreational centre, a city where people can come in to rest.” He maintained that when completed, the new city will attract investors, thereby, increasing state government's revenue through taxes. Responding, Governor Oshiomhole welcomed Asikhia and his delegation to the state, saying the state government
conducive environment and partner serious investors, who wish to invest in the state.
Court dismisses ALGON BoT members' suit challenging removal BY INNOCENT ANABA
Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed the suit by Engr. Umar Ibrahim challenging his removal, and that of others, as members of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, ALGON, Board of Trustees during the association’s General Assembly. Ibrahim also sought the removal of Nwabueze Okafor as the National President of ALGON on the grounds that he has ceased to be a local government chairman, contrary to the provisions of ALGON constitution, which provided for a three-year tenure for its elected officials. The association’s General Assembly took place on November 29, 2012 in Enugu. Trial judge, Justice Abdul Kafarati in his ruling, agreed with the argument of the counsel to Okafor, Mr Emeka Obegolu that the suit was incompetent and that the court therefore, lacked the jurisdiction to entertain same.
lives lost while militancy sailed in the Niger Delta creeks. Many youths of the region, soldiers and other community folks lost their lives. Apart from drastically reducing crude oil production, hostage taking/kidnapping and bringing the name of Nigeria to ridicule in the comity of nations, the act of kidnapping which emanated from the creeks is now common place in the country. “No one is safe anymore, as even relations of the President are not spared, even journalists. It was agreed that what led to militancy was the criminal neglect of the environmental damage caused by oil exploration/exploitation and gross underdevelopment of the Niger Delta region.''
Meanwhile, Okafor, described the court’s decision as a landmark victory for ALGON, adding that the leadership of ALGON was prepared to ensure the smooth and successful hosting of the association’s forthcoming General Assembly and the conduct of national election scheduled to take place in Makurdi, Benue State. He said that the National Executive Council of ALGON was committed to bringing an end to the succession problem that had bedeviled ALGON in the past, which, until the election of the present NEC, had created room for the management of the association by caretaker committees. He called on all state chairmen of ALGON to continue to sensitise their members on the forthcoming General Assembly and election. “All hands must now be on deck to ensure that we witness a smooth and democratic transition from the present NEC to a new NEC when we meet in Makurdi.''
By Bartholomew Madukwe (firstname.lastname@example.org)
On NIS recruitment tragedy
Abba Moro should have adopted a better criteria for the registration of immigration recruitment. Once over 10,000 people applied for the recruitment, he should have shut down the website, knowing fully well that only 5,000 jobs are available. Mr. Ufele Sampson- Businessman
Lawyers should help the families of the deceased and injured to file class action lawsuit, seeking hefty punitive and compensatory damage against NIS, and everyone involved in the disastrous exercise. Ms. Ebereke Kelechi- Student
How could Abba Moro blame the dead for being impatient? The Comptroller General and all members of the NIS should take responsibility for the poor and unorganised show of shame that happened on that day. Mr. Tony Ihemtuge - Worker
The number of people that turned out at the NIS recruitment rubbished the Minister of Finance's job creation profile. Who is deceiving who? It is high time that our leaders faced reality. Unemployment is massive in the country. Mr. Oni Oluwadamilare-Student
The minister needs not to be reminded that that he should resign. His refusal to do this means that there is no honour in Nigeria. The government spends money to market its image and deliberately subvert the same image. Ms. Cynthia Osuchukwu- Student
The exercise was very disastrous at all the centres, though one may not have felt it, except you were there to see thousands Nigerian youths scrabbling for public service job, where only few people will be taken. Mr. Ugbodaga GentleComputer Instructor
Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014—45
Group backs Uduaghan, Imilar for 2015
PDP chieftain laments poor representation of youths at confab
BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE
ENIN—A HOUSE of Representatives aspirant on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Edo State, Mr. Sergius Ogun, has decried what he termed the abysmal slots accorded youths by the Federal Government at the ongoing national conference. Speaking in Uromi, Esan North-East Local Government Area of the state at an interactive session with youths from Esan North- East and Esan South-East councils under the aegis of Ebakota, he also kicked against the choice of those, he said mismanaged the country’s economy in the past as delegates to the confab. He said: “I have discovered that in this country, we don’t carry the youths along. Now they are discussing as a nation at the confab. How many young men did you see there? The people there are the same that got scholarships to go to school in Nigeria and overseas, and they were the people that mismanaged the economy of this country. They are the same people there right now.” Ogun, who recently awarded scholarships to over 12,000 students in the federal constituency, promised to redirect his representation when elected to youth education and empowerment. “We need to educate the younger generation, they need to have the right education so that they can have the right employment for them to be properly focused to guard this country,” he added. Spokesperson for the group, which comprises the 21 wards in the defunct Aigbazilo Local Government Area of the state, Godwin Ebosele, said they decided to call on Mr. Ogun to contest for the House of Representatives ticket owing to his philanthropic gesture and disposition towards assisting the poor.
OIL AND GAS CONFERENCE: From left: Relationship Manager, Corporate Banking Coverage, Stanbic lBTC, Mr. Segun Ashiru; Director, Arco Petrochemical Engineering Company, Mrs. Julie Okoigun; GMD/CEO, Arco Group, Mr. Alfred Okoigun and Chairman/MD, ExxonMobile Company Nigeria, Mr. Mark Ward, at a dinner held by Arco as part of the events of Oil and Gas conference in Abuja.
Dibi oil pipeline attack: Itsekiri youths caution neighbours BY DANIEL GUMM
ARRI—ITSEKIRI youths, under the aegis of Itsekiri National Youths Council, INYC, have condemned the destruction of oil pipelines by a group in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State, warning that same should not be preparatory to a possible attack and destruction of Itsekiriland and its people. The youths wondered why issues relating to election of council officials should lead to the destruction of property of
the Federal Government and oil companies in Dibi oil field, which is one of the oil fields in Itsekiriland. Speaking to Vanguard in a telephone chat, National President of INYC, Mr. David Tonwe, said: “From our experience since 1997, when such reckless acts were perpetuated under the guise of political maginalisation by some groups among our ethnic neighbours, it is always a precursor to a premeditated attack on Itsekiri towns. “We hope this is not one of such, more so when we are still reeling under the pains, destruction and killings inflicted
on us in the Benin River axis of Warri North council last year.” Tonwe warned that the Itsekiri were tired of endless burying of their own, who were slaughtered by this same group and called on governments both at the state and federal level to arrest and prosecute those involved in such acts of criminality. He noted that it was “the inaction of government that had made such acts of mindless killings of Itsekiri persons and destruction of communities so attractive to the perpetrators.”
Group demands Shell’s clean-up of spills in Bayelsa community
OMEN Arise, a nongovernmental organisation, has urged Shell Petroleum Development Company to commence the clean-up of oil spills at Ikarama community in Bayelsa State. The group said, in a statement by its President, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, yesterday in Abuja, that the community had suffered repeated oil spills and toxic fumes. According to the statement, the community recorded a spill from Shell facility about two months ago which left the area polluted. The incident, the statement noted, led to the relocation of some inhabitants because of its impact, particularly on chil-
dren. The statement accused Shell of evacuating crude using vacuum trucks and without any explanations to the community about goings on around them. “This left the inhabitants anxious about what toxic elements they may be exposed to without their knowledge and without any warning. But it must be said that farming, fishing and hunting in the community had never been hit as hard as they have been in the past weeks,” Okei-Odumakin said in the statement. The group, therefore, demanded that Shell should immediately clean up the spills at Ikarama to the highest ac-
ceptable international standards. The women group also demanded that health officers should carry out health audit of the community. It said that the “offending” company be compelled to bear the costs of treating the victims, apologise to them and undertake not to “inflict a repeat of this assault” on the community. “Relevant government agencies, including National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, should probe the immediate and remote causes of the burning of crude oil in the community. Shell should keep the community fully informed about their activities in Ikarama territory,” it said.
ARRI North Eligible Voters Assembly, WNEVA, has declared support for Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan’s intention to contest the Delta South senatorial election in the 2015 general elections. In a statement by Frank Ekpen and others, the group also endorsed Mrs. Irene Imilar for another term. The group said in the statement that the Itsekiri and Ijaw of Warri North Local Government Area were satisfied with Uduaghan’s achievements, hence the decision to support him to ensure that he continues the good works at the Senate beyond 2015. “Our decision to deliver Warri North votes en block to Uduaghan and Imilar is a testimony to the fact that Uduaghan has done satisfactorily for the state. We are not in doubt that Governor Uduaghan, if given the opportunity to represent Delta South at the Senate, will perform well. As I speak, we have engaged other political groups in the two Isoko local government areas as well as those in Burutu, and Patani to fathom ways of ensuring success for Uduaghan.”
Cleric berates FG over alleged marginalization of Urhobo BY FESTUS AHON
G H E L L I — PA R ISH Priest of St. William’s Catholic Church, Orerokpe, Delta State, Revd. Fr. Anthony Ozele, has decried the alleged marginalization of the Urhobo ethnic group in the scheme of things by the Federal Government. He also berated the Delta State Government over the slow pace of development in the state. Speaking at a thanksgiving mass in honour of Chief Tom Amioku, Commissioner Representing Delta State on board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Ozele stressed the need for the state government to step up effort in the development of the state and urged President Goodluck Jonathan to carry the Urhobos along in the scheme of things.
46—Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
Institute of Directors Nigeria inaugurates PH branch
HE INSTITUTE of Directors, IOD, Nigeria, will today launch its Port Harcourt branch, bringing to two the number of branches so far opened by the institute, having earlier set up one in Abuja. Acting Director-General of the institute, Dr. Tony Fadaka, who dislcosed this in a statement, said the inauguration of branch would hold at Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt. According to him, the decision to establish a branch in Port Harcourt is informed by the importance of the city to the development of the nation’s economy. Dr. Fadaka said the mission of the IoD in Nigeria was to support directors and business leaders in fulfilling their leadership responsibilities in the area of wealth creation for the benefit of business and society at large. The institute is an affiliate of IoD UK, which has a world-wide network with presence in over 75 countries, especially in Common Wealth.
Union endorses Nweke Jr. for Senate
AGOS STATE branch of Ozalla Development Union, ODU, has endorsed Mr. Frank Nweke Jr to represent Enugu East Senatorial district from 2015. Nweke Jr is the current Director General of Nigeria Economic Summit Group, NESG, and a former Minister for Information and Communication during President Olusegun Obasanjo administration. Moving the motion for the endorsement, one of the patrons of ODU, Chief Chidi Nwanneche said that Nweke’s track record gives him leverage over and above his contemporaries in the race. The motion was overwhelmingly supported by members of the union that charged one another to put all hands on deck to deliver Nweke through his political platform, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Gov. Okorocha asks IG to investigate attack on Senate President's convoy ...flays Gov. Orji for insinuations about attack BY CHIDI NKWOPARA
WERRI — IMO State governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, has called on the Inspector General of Police to investigate last weekend’s attack on Senate President, David Mark. He also took a swipe at Abia State governor, Theodore Orji, who,while reacting on behalf of South East Governors Forum, made so many insinuations that "suggested he knew those who carried out the attack." The Senate President’s convoy was attacked in Owerri, Imo State by yet-to-be identified persons. Okorocha, who reacted through his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, lamented that none of the newspaper reports mentioned exactly where precisely the Senate President’s convoy was attacked. He said: “Against the backdrop of all these, the Imo State government wishes to call on the Inspector General of Police to conduct an investigation into the claimed attack on the convoy of the Senate President to ascertain whether it really happened or not, or whether it was designed as a blackmail tool against the peaceful state of Imo and its government. “It is only when the truth about the incident is known that the Imo State government can act or make a clear-cut statement on that.” Okorocha noted that Senator Mark remained one Nigerian who had helped to strengthen the unity of the nation and even its democracy. The governor expressed angst at his Abia State counterpart, Theodore Orji, for making insinuating statements about the attack, which suggested he (Orji) knew
the attackers. “The reaction of the Abia State governor was surprising and shocking. He spoke as if he knew those who carried out the alleged attack,” Okorocha said. He said Governor Orji should have called on the police to investigate where the attack truly took place, to know whether those
behind it were after the Senate President, a mere coincidence or whether it was politically motivated or purely criminal operation. Okorocha, however, said he had taken cognisance of the reaction of Imo State Police Command through the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Joy Elemoko (SP), which indicated that
such incident never happened in the state. Vanguard recalls that some media organisations reported an alleged attack on the convoy of the Senate President by gunmen allegedly in Imo State last weekend when he came for the burial of Chief John Anyaehie at Nkwerre.
...more aides defect to PDP
WERRI — THE ranks of All Progressives Congress, APC, in Imo State have continued to deplete since the recent return of former governor of Imo State, Chief Achike Udenwa, to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. The Mayor of Owerri, Chief Gibson Njemanze, has joined the league of appointees of
Governor Rochas Okorocha that had resigned their appointments. Scores of Okorocha’s foot soldiers, such as Dr. Vin Udokwu, Chief Soronnadi Njoku, Chief Analyn Nwaneri, Col. Lambert Ihenacho (rtd) and a host of others, have since resigned their ap-
pointments and returned to the PDP family. Chief Njemanze, who conveyed his resignation in a letter, dated March 21, 2014, addressed to the governor, explained that he was leaving because he would not want his official duties to clash with his political aspirations.
ROYAL VISIT: The Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano (right), welcoming Igwe of Ogbunike (left), His Royal Majesty John Umenyiora; Igwe of Aguleri, Igwe Idigo (middle), and other high chiefs , during the royal visit to the governor.
IMSG beefs up security over reported threat BY CHIDI NKWOPARA
WERRI — IMO State government has beefed up security in the state, following alleged widely reported threat by the leadership of Zionist Biafra to storm Owerri and hoist the Biafran flag at Government House. Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, who made this known in a statement, also said that adequate steps had been taken to ensure adequate security in all the nooks and crannies of the state. “The leadership of the Zionist Biafra, which admitted being responsible for the attack on Enugu State Government House, had also said in the media that their next target is Owerri, the Imo State capital,” Onwuemeodo stated. According to the SSA, govern-
ment has taken exception to that threat and has also moved to nip it in the bud. Onwuemeodo added that all the security agencies in the state had been alerted of the threat. He said: “They will work in tandem with other agencies of the
state government to ensure that the long existing peace in the state is not brought under any threat or jeopardised by any group, no matter which name, such group goes with.” While urging visitors to Government House, Owerri, and the
state to cooperate with security personnel and others working to ensure that Imo State remained the most peaceful state in the country. Onwuemeodo, however, warned that “any attempt by any group to harm the peace of the state will be stoutly resisted.”
2015: NYSC warns corps members against financial inducement BY PETER OKUTU
BAKALIKI — THE National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, has warned corps members posted to avoid collecting financial and material inducements from politicians during the forthcoming general elections in the state. Director-General of the corps, Brigadier General Johnson Olawumi, handed down the
warning at the NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp, Old Macgregor College, Afikpo, Ebonyi State, last weekend. Olawumi, who gave the warning during a visit to appraise the welfare of the corps members, emphasised that the full weight of the law would be visited on any corps members who mortgaged his conscience by colluding with politicians to tarnish the image of the scheme. He warned: “The full weight
of the law will be applied against any corps member who mortgages his or her conscience by colluding with politicians who may want to lure them into tarnishing the good image of the scheme with financial and material inducements.” He said the NYSC had signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to ensure hitch-free and successful general elections.
Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014 â€” 47
WORKSHOP: From left: Senator Clever Ikisikpo, Senator Abdulkadir Jajere, Senator Odion Ugbesia, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Mr. Okechukwu Itanyi, Senator Abu Ibrahim, Deputy Minority Whip and Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Communications, Senator Abu Ibrahim and the Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Communications, Hon. Shehu Bawa, at a workshop for legislators hosted by the NCC in Abuja.
AUTISM PROGRAMME: From left: Dr.Lawrence Sutton,Psychologist, Blazing Trails International Centre, Mr.Pascal Or, Manager ,Communications & External Affairs, GTbank, Mrs. Dotun Akande, Director & Founder, Patrick Speech and Languages Centre and Dr. Anna Lamikanra, Executive Director, Blazing Trails International Centre, at the 4th Annual GTbank Autism Progamme in Lagos.
From left: Mr. Paul Wilson, MD, Brian Munro Ltd, Mr. Abayomi Ajao, Marketing Manager, presenting the overall National Distributor Award of a brand new Kia Sportage car keys to Mr. Onyenanu, at the distributors award night in Lagos.
Fromleft: Permanent Secretary/Tutor General, Education District 2, Mrs. Titilayo Solarin, Principal, Oriwu Junior Model College, Ikorodu, Mr. Bisiriyu Muideen, Lagos State Education Commissioner, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye and Education Portfolio Manager, MTN Foundation, Mr. Victor Orie-Ononogbu, during the presentation of furniture and learning materials by MTN Foundation to the school at Ikorodu, Lagos.
RECEPTION: From left: Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ogun State chapter, Mr. Adebayo Dayo; Chairman, Organisation and Mobilisation Committee, PDP, South-West, Prince Buruji Kashamu and former Ogun State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Rafiu Ogunleye, during the reception held for defectors from other parties into the PDP in Ijebu Igbo, Ogun State.
Hon. Daniel Reyenieju, Chairman, InterParliamentary Union, House of Representatives (left) and Hon. Emeka Ihediogha, Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, at the recently concluded 130th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.
PRESENTATION: From left: Winners of the second Johnnie Walker Step Up to the VIP Lifestyle promo, Mr. and Mrs. Chimezie Ekwebelem, receiving keys of the BMW car won by the couple from the Brand Manager, Johnnie Walker, Mr. Amaechi Okobi in Enugu.
From Left; Otunba Segun Ogunye, Board Chairman, Trust Cradle Home Children School, Mr. Ng Yuan Keat, Head, Business Development, CNL Product Company/ speacial guest of honour, Yeye Funke Ogunye, Principal and Prince Taiwo Owokalade, guest of honour, during the 1st bi-ennial Interhouse Sports of the school in Lagos. Photo: Kehinde Gbadamosi.
SIGNING: From left: Mr. Ita Bassey, Senior Brand Manager, Star, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Tuface Idibia, Mr. Obabiyi Fagade, Brand Manager, Star, and Mr. Edem Vindah, Corporate and Brand Manager, Nigerian Breweries Plc, during the signing of an agreement between Tuface Idibia and the company on the 2014 Star Music Trek, in Lagos.
48—Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
Kwara warns principals against illegal fees
12 health institutions in FCT attend to 413,642 patients
BUJA — THE FCT Administration, yesterday, said 12 secondary hospitals and health institutions attended to 413,642 patients from August 2013 to February across the FCT. This is contained in a statement by Mr Muhammad Sule, the Chief Press Secretary to the FCT Minister, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Abuja. The statement said the Minister, Sen. Bala Mohammed, announced the figure at a meeting with some senior officials of the FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat. It said of the figure, 248,099 patients were in the General Out Patient, OPD, comprising 152,447 adults, 85,012 children and 10,640 accident and emergency cases. The health institutions are Rubochi, Abaji, Kwali, Kuje, Karshi, Nyanya, Bwari, Kubwa General Hospitals as well as Asokoro, Maitama, Wuse and Gwarinpa district hospitals. It said pregnant women, including newly registered ones, received free antenatal services within the period. It also said 91,012 cases were attended to under specialist clinics in the FCT, including gynaecology, medical surgery, paediatrics, dental, ophthalmology and HIV/AIDS. The statement said 14,260 patients were officially admitted in the FCT health facilities during the period with 10,644 patients discharged.
Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal (left) and the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, when the Speaker paid a courtesy visit to the Oba in Lagos, yesterday.
End the carnage in Benue, religious leaders urge govts BY PETER DURU
AKURDI — CHRISTIAN and Muslim leaders in Benue State have urged the federal and Benue State governments to take decisive steps to end the persistent violent clashes between Benue farmers and suspected Fulani herdsmen in parts of the state. According to them, ”the government should take urgent steps to stop the carnage and bring the situation under control to enable displaced persons return to their ancestral homes without further delay.” This was part of the decisions reached at the end of a peace meeting held, weekend, at the instance of the state Director of the Department of State Services, DSS, Mr. Rasheed Adediran, at the state headquarters of the DSS, in Makurdi, the state capital. They lamented that apart from claiming many lives, the crisis had left so people displaced. While condemning the unending bloodbath, the religious leaders cautioned that “the crisis should
not be given religious coloration because it also affects the Muslim/Hausa community in the state.” They also vowed to take every necessary step to stop any further attack against one another
10 vehicles smashed as APC, PDP supporters clash in Lafia BY ABEL DANIEL, WITH AGENCY REPORT
AFIA — SEVERAL cars were smashed in Lafia, yesterday, when APC and PDP supporters clashed at a ceremony to inaugurate local government officials elected on Saturday. The state electoral commission had on Sunday declared that APC won six chairmanship seats against PDP’s four while results from three councils were declared inconclusive The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that the violence broke out at the gate of Nasarawa Government House,
Attack on monarch: 3 accused returned to prison as magistrate revokes bail BY LUKA BINNIYAT
ADUNA — THREE out of five Gbyagi natives charged to court last month over their alleged involvement in a violent attack on the Chief of Jere following a land dispute at Issah village, near Jere town in Kagarko Local Government Area, LGA, of Kaduna State were yesterday returned to prison. This was after their application for bail was not heard for a second time at the Magistrate Court, Kaduna. The accused were: Ayuba Barde (still in hospital), John Peter Barde, Bamayi Maude,
Danjuma Dauda and Aliyu Nuhu (at large), all farmers. The five, through their lead counsel,Sam Atung, had penultimate week applied for bail before the court presided over by the Chief Magistrate Awal Musa Aliyu which was granted, but soon after, the state government came up with an objection through the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, citing security concerns as reasons. Subsequently, the chief magistrate revoked the bail and ordered them back to prison. However, last Friday, Atung filed a motion, asking the court to vacate its order remanding the ac-
in the state. On their part, the Muslim and Hausa community leaders also disassociated themselves from the mayhem, saying: “We are not involved in the crisis and should not be seen as a party.”
cused persons in prison indefinitely. When the matter came up yesterday, the prosecutor, Dari Bayero, said he was served the notice just a week ago and had not studied its contents sufficiently. Both counsel, however, agreed that the application be tabled for debate on Friday. Speaking in an interview with newsmen later, Atung said: “The accused persons were earlier granted bail by this honourable court and the bail application was not opposed by the prosecution, so they were granted bail."
venue of the inauguration, when supporters of both parties, chanting slogans of their candidates, started pelting stones at each other. Although no serious casualty was recorded, more than 10 vehicles were smashed before police officers dispersed the youths using tear gas canisters. Reacting to the skirmishes in a brief speech to swear in the officials, Gov. Umaru Al-Makura called for peace among the people irrespective of their political differences. He said: “I wish to thank all the stakeholders who contributed in one way or the other to ensure the election was hitch free. I urge both the losers and the winners to embrace themselves, see each other as brothers and work together to ensure that people at the grassroots feel the positive impacts of democracy. “We can only grow and develop in a peaceful environment,” he declared. Meanwhile, the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, yesterday, during its emergency sitting summoned the NASIEC Chairman, Abdullahi Modibo, to appear before it to explain why some returning officers in some local governments failed to carry out their duties but NASIEC went ahead to announce election results from such places.
LORIN—THE Kwara State Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, yesterday, warned principals of public secondary schools against collecting illegal fees from intending candidates sitting for the NECO organised examination. The warning was contained in a statement issued in Ilorin by Alhaji Lamidi Alabi, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry. The statement, which said any principal caught would be sanctioned, recalled that only N11,400 was approved by the ministry for the examination per candidate. It said the approved sum included examination fee, administrative charge and on-line registration charge.
Peacock Travels acquires UK travel agency BY LAWANI MIKAIRU
AGOS— PEACOCK Travels and Tours, part of the Nigerian-owned Peacock Group, has acquired UK-based Twickenham travel agency, Edwin Doran’s Travel World. According to Peacork Travels, the agency will be called Peacock Travel and Tours Incorporating Edwin Doran’s Travel World. Twickenham travel founder, Edwin Doran ”will leave the business and focus on his vineyard in South Africa. His wife, director, Rosie Doran, will work for the business during the transition period. The agency’s two existing members of staff will remain, taking the total number of employees under the new ownership to four.” It will be the first time Peacock Travel, part of the Nigerian-owned Peacock Group, has had a presence on the UK high street, having been based in Peacock College in Hackney, London, until July last year. Keith Lloyd, General Manager UK of Peacock Travel and Tours, said he aims to increase the agency’s £1.6 million turnover by up to 7 per cent by the end of the year.
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TB: Access to treatment still elusive BY CHIOMA OBINNA
HOMPSON Cole, 33, may be counted among the missing three million people that do not have access to Tuberculosis treatment. Born and raised in a small village, poor health and poverty prevented him from accessing health care. He recalls: “I had this terrible cough for sometime now and it never went away. After sometime, I gradually began to lose weight; felt constantly fatigued from the hard work and had a prolonged fever. My cough became worse, even though I didn’t have a sore throat, and I noticed blood tinges in my sputum. But, without a penny, how could I get a consultation from a private clinic?” Although Cole’s symptoms sounded similar to that experienced by people suffering from TB, he was not bothered.
Attitude of health workers Even when he managed to go for screening which came out positive, he told himself not to worry. He had tried accessing care from health centres around but attitude of the health workers put him off. He decided to live with the condition. But today, Thompson is late. The World Health Organisation, WHO, estimates that a third of the nine million people who fall ill with TB each year miss out on diagnosis and treatment. Unfortunately, the WHO and the Stop TB Partnership have said that 75 percent of the three million cases are concentrated in 12 countries. Nigeria ranks 4th out of the 22 countries that have 75 per cent of the global burden of TB. An estimated 450,000 new TB cases occur annually. While only a few numbers are detected. The Global Fund has also set in place a regional initiatives mechanism to fight MDR-TB in the most efficient way. Poverty, social stigma and lack of health system awareness all contribute to the fact that only few
Nigerian patients are less likely to access testing services. Another major reason many TB cases end up being missed is shortage of affordable, reliable diagnosis technology. The best way to control TB is early detection. To tackle TB effectively, the World Health Organisation, WHO, recommends that countries must detect at least 75 per cent of active case and attain 85 per cent treatment. In Nigeria only 36 per cent are detected and over 60 per cent cases are not being treated. The implication of this, according to experts, is that anybody can be infected with TB. Also, investigations have shown that escalating number of Multi- Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) cases in Nigeria currently constitutes a major source of worry. There are fears there may be total collapse of the efficacy of the available firstline drugs for TB treatment. Unfortunately, many Nigerians due to poverty cannot afford the second line drugs which experts say it is out of the rich of the rural poor. Findings have shown that the spectre of resistance is fast overwhelming important anti-TB drugs such as Isoniazid and Rifampicin. The Global Fund is accelerating efforts
•The World Health Organisation estimates that a third of TB patients stiull miss out on diagnosis and treatment each year. to support countries implementing tuberculosis programs with the aim of reaching three million people that are not diagnosed, treated or documented in the fight against the disease every year. However, as the world marks this year’s World TB Day, experts are calling for
Optometrists make case for children with low vision
IGERIAN Optometrists have called for comprehensive evaluation of children with visual impairment starting from birth with a view to nip in the bud avoidable blindness among Nigerian children. To this end, the three tiers of government has been urged to build eye centres in communities across the country in order to guarantee screening and treatment access to all Nigerians and children in particular. The eye specialists under the auspices
of Nigerian Optometric Association, NOA, Lagos State Branch, also posited that government should make eye screening part of the examinations carried out on newborns before they are discharged from the hospital. The Guest Lecturer and a Consultant Optometrist, Dr Ngozi Musa who stressed the need for comprehensive evaluation of children with low vision advocate inclusion of eye screening from newborns before they are taken home from the hospitals.
No sale of blood in Lagos hospitals — LSBTC BY GABRIEL OLAWALE
HE Lagos State Government has dismissed the alleged sale of blood in its hospitals even as it has initiated better compensation for voluntary blood donors. A member of the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Committee,LSBTC, Sherifat Lawal said the N4, 500 charged for a unit of blood should not be regarded as payment, but accepted as the normal processing charges. Lawal who spoke during a blood donor drive organised by the LSBTC, in partnership with the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Centre, maintained that no amount is commensurate with the value of human blood as it is unlike any other article sold in the super markets. Presently in every Lagos State hospital, a unit of blood goes for N4, 500 and this
accelerated efforts to reach the three million people that are not diagnosed, treated or documented in the fight against the disease every year. Nigeria recieved a total of US$160.5 million from the Global Fund to fight Tuberculosis for the 2014 -2016 period.
money is not meant for blood being given to the patients. We don't sell blood; this sum is just for screening the blood before it is certified for use. "Even at that amount it is still being subsidised otherwise we would be talking about N7, 500." The State government is currently formulating a policy that would ensure voluntary blood donors are adequately compensated "The Lagos State Ministry of health is working earnestly to ensure that voluntary blood donor enjoyed more than blood donor cards, but to make blood available to them at no cost when they need of it" Lawal urged Lagosians to embrace voluntary blood donation in order to save lives. "This blood is being used to save lives of different categories of people such as accident victims, pregnant women,
sickle cell and cancer patients etc. So the only way to get blood is through donation. By the time we have enough voluntarily donated blood in our banks, we would not have a cause to lose lives due to unavailability of blood. And there will be no need to force husbands to donate when their wives need blood." Another member, Solomon Eka said people who donate blood regularly are known to live longer and healthier while their chances of a heart attack and cancer is relatively low. A voluntary donor at the event, Oladele Ibukun described the programme as a good initiative. "I am always happy anytime I give blood because my belief is that I have saved a life," she said. Olaide Olubodun, a first time donor: said she gave blood because she heard that such donated blood is used to save pregnant women.
Musa noted that low vision may be congenital advised mothers to monitor their babies immediately after birth. “I advise pregnant women to also keep away from alcohol and other unhealthy lifestyles that may expose their babies to such problems in future.” Stating that low vision could make everyday tasks difficult, she noted that 4.4 million children visually impaired have no access to any form of education. “There is need for appropriate evaluation, management and rehabilitative services for these children. Comprehensive optometric low vision care can significantly improve the quality of life for visually impaired children.”
•Preventing low vision in children
54—Vanguard, TUESD AY, MARCH 25, 2014 TUESDA
Healthy smiles all around as Project Smile kicks off By CHIOMA OBINNA
ROJECT Smile in partnership with Oral B has kicked off the 2014 edition of its smile make-over programme that seeks to positively impact on lives of persons afflicted with dental and oral health challenges by offering them acess to free comprehensive treatment. The three-phase project in partnership with Medplus - a chain of pharmacy and beauty stores - began with a Call-to-Entry on March 20. Participants are expected to be at least 18 years old to take advantage of the 5-week entry phase. Making the announcement at a media interaction last week in line with this year’s World Oral Day with the theme; “Celebrating Smiles”, the initiator, Project Smile, Dr. Amy TraoreShumbusho, said three contestants stand to benefit in this edition. “Entry is simple, contestants only need to visit the Project Smile website to fill in their details in not more than 360 words. Dental flaws range from overcrowded, protruding and discoloured teeth to far more complex cases. This scheme seeks to award individuals a chance in a life time to correct these flaws,” she explained. At the close of entries, all stories will be screened and nominees shortlisted by a panel of judges headed by a Celebrity Judge. Beneficiaries will be judged under severe, moderate, and mild categories and awarded accordingly. Brand Operations & Integrations Manager, Oral-B, Afolarin Ojo, said Project Smile offer came on the heels of the
“Oral-B Sharing Smiles” campaign, a community-based initiative designed to reach out to disadvantaged communities that cannot afford dental care products and consultation with dentists. “We spotted strategic alignment between our initiative and Project Smile at the proposal phase, hence we considered the offer to sponsor as an opportunity to further our initiative which was designed to culminate on World Oral Health Day, March 20. In essence, while Oral-B Sharing Smiles campaign wraps up on March 20, Oral-B will continue to celebrate healthy smiles with Nigerians by giving great smiles through the sponsorship of Project Smile.” he explained.
Risk-pulling, key to healthcare financing — THOMAS By SOLA OGUNDIPE
TOTAL of N1.92 trillion is required annually to meet the health needs of all Nigerians. Executive Secretary/CEO of the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, Dr. Femi Thomas, who disclosed this in Lagos, said an estimated 70.8 million Nigerians are expected to be enrolled on the programme by 2015. Thomas, who described the 40 percent coverage target earmarked for next year as realistic, called for adoption of the riskpulling strategy to help finance the Scheme. “When we talk about risk pulling it is possible to pull funds to a level of
•L-R: Tomiwa Ajewole, Brand Communications Manager, Oral-B, Dr. Amy Traore-Shumbusho, Project Smile Initiator, and Afolarin Ojo, Brand Operations & Integration Manager, Oral-B during the media launch of Project Smile 2nd edition on World Oral Health Day 2014.
significance. Take the pension fund for instance. It has gone into trillions. The benefit is that the nation now has a large chunk of funds to finance the real sector. These are like idle funds that have innate capability to resist depletion. “You contribute, I contribute and in 10 years I might not need it, while others may need it. The important thing is that what I have contributed is available for otherts to use. This is risk-pulling. There are collateral advantages that go with this. As demand grows, supply also grows. Noting that the entire Scheme is to be restructured into a Commission, All we need is just to create the demand. “I was in the US last week and I have obtained many CVs of Nigerians ready to come back home. The single most important thing I want Nigerians to look at is the issue of clinical governance. With clinical governance, all professionals will come together with the patient as the centre of activity. Everything should be patientcentred. What I expect is that the moment you have a patient at the centre, every person that should attend to that patient will hover aroud that patient. Clinical governance is about the patient and the moment capitation is paid for that patient, it is expected that everyone that has a role to play should be ready. What is causing problem is about riskpulling. If there is a programme for 170 million Nigerians, and as at today only a tenth of that population is covered, it is not enough, by the time 50 percent is covered there will be more for everyone.” Already, the Scheme is developing programmes to take care of the formal sector first and then programmes for the informal sector will follow in due course.
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Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014 — 55
56 —Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25-, 2014—57
Surprise celebration of Nigeria in U.S. press
T is not often that Nigeria or indeed the United States on student visas, which any developing nation gets applauded means they’re far more likely to have in the Western media. The issue has to be college degrees.” undeniably and incredibly worthy of Truth told, you really don’t need to read celebration for it to be given space or airtime any book to tell you about the good work in the press. Such is the case of Kenya’s people of Nigerian origin are doing in the Lupita Amondi Nyong’o whose sterling U.S. and other countries around the world. performance in 12 Years a Slave earned You can hardly visit any metropolitan area her an Oscar. Same with Nigeria’s Okey in the U.S. without getting to know about Ndibe whose latest novel, Foreign Gods the phenomenal works of Nigerians Inc., has been receiving some acclaim in dwelling there. And, you cannot but the U.S. press. wonder: why this phenomenon? I can’t You can imagine my refreshing claim to have the answers. But, one thing experience when I tuned to CNN a few is clear: the Nigerians who are performing weeks ago and saw a news anchor and at their optimum here in the U.S. simply his guests mentioning Nigeria in a positive have the opportunity to do so. The system manner and saluting the achievements of provides them with the wherewithal to her citizens in the U.S. At about the same excel, and taps their productive capacities time, several newspapers and other media to make the U.S. a great country. For outlets in the country did the same thing. instance, while our government is using And for once, the heinous activities of the its sledgehammer to whip university sadistic Boko Haram faceless militants took lecturers into line and diminishing their the back seat in news reports about potential in the process, the U.S. Nigeria. environment does the opposite and reaps Here is the issue that made my day. Amy huge rewards on their investment. Chua and Jed Rubenfeld are husband and I was once at a swearing-in ceremony wife. Both are Americans and professors for immigrants who had just acquired U.S. at the prestigious One thing is clear: the Nigerians who are H a r v a r d U n i v e r s i t y. performing at their optimum here in the Recently, they U.S. simply have the opportunity to do so conducted a study and came out with a book titled The citizenship, and was astonished at the arTriple Package: What really determines ray of professional integrity of the people success. The couple was on CNN to explain being sworn-in. In other words, the U.S. their work and book. And their main government actively welcomes citizens of argument is that some ethnic and religious other nations with impeccable credentials groups in America are remarkably more to come in and contribute towards making enterprising and disproportionately more the U.S. greater than it is. Yet, successive achievement-oriented than the rest of the governments in Nigeria have done the populace. opposite! Don’t we call it the brain-drain? How does a country make significant Sense of progress when its corporate brain is being drained? achievement Just a few weeks ago, the New YorkThe ethnic groups are members of the based Carnegie Institute came up with a immigrant communities in the U.S. which brilliant plan to reverse the brain-drain that they boldly asserted, include Nigerians. is adversely afflicting Africa. The plan is In short, the authors claim that the groups to send African intellectuals and are imbued with some internal academicians in the U.S. and Canada for psychological zest and sense of fairly short-term professional work in achievement which propels them to universities in their mother continent. That achieve, achieve and over-achieve way, the brain-drain is turned into braincirculation. success. African governments, Nigeria leading Of course, the book has been generating a great deal of controversy. But, here are the way, should adopt this type of measure. some of the claims they put forward to But first, they should empower the “brains” substantiate their claims, in reference to at home so that they can maximize their Nigeria. This is how a New York Times productivity for the benefit of the countries. article reported the story: “Nigerians make If some researchers at Harvard University up less than one percent of the black have proof that Nigerians in the U.S. rank population in the United States, yet in 2013 among the most success-driven groups in nearly one-quarter of the black students at the country, is it not a shame that those Harvard Business School were of Nigerian Nigerians had to leave in the first place ancestry; over a fourth of Nigerian- due to an inclement environment that Americans have a graduate or professional chokes human productivity? I even wonder if anyone near (not to talk degree, as compared with only about 11 percent of whites...” Another article in the of inside) Aso Rock has heard of this study Miami Herald put it this way: “Nigerian- that demonstrates and celebrates the American students attend elite U.S. potentials in Nigerians in the U.S. They universities at a rate about 10 times their are probably busy dividing the spoils of percentage of the population. About 25 office and sharpening how to edge their percent of Nigerian-American households opponents out of power, to notice that make more than $100,000 a year, compared Nigerians in the U.S. are being praised to less than 11 percent of black households for their sense of hard work and sterling as a whole…… Many Nigerians come to performance in their various walks of life.
58 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
Our agenda is to restructure, reengineer Nigeria—Ohanaeze CHIEF Gary Enwo-Igariwey Nnachi is the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization. He is equally a delegate from the Southeast geo- political zone of the country. Nnachi in this interview offers insight into what may form the position of Ndigbo at the on-going national confab.
True federalism, not resource control is our position— Clark CHIEF Edwin Clark, elder-statesman and former Federal Commissioner of Information is a delegate to the on- going National Conference in Abuja. He projects the agenda of the South-South in this interveiw. STORIES BY LEVINUS NWABUGHIOGU
HAT should Nigerians expect from South-South delegates at the conference? South South is part of the whole country and the members who are delegates will discuss the President’s address. That is what everybody is going to discuss. The debate of the President’s address may take up to ten days because it was a very, very good address. He wished us so many things and that is one of Mr. President’s best speeches. So, there will be a lot of things for us to discuss. In discussing the address, will all what he projected in the address be adopted? No, no. Everybody will be on his own. That’s the debate. We are not going to pass a general resolution on it. Everybody will debate it and then after, anybody can talk about any other thing. Additional agenda may come out Mr. President’s address. Do you foresee a situation where the conference might run into problems as a result of disagreements on some issues by some members? Well, well, that’s why we are here. We are here to discuss, disagree and agree. That’s it. If we are not going to disagree on issues, then, there will be no need for the conference. It is for people to disagree and agree, not satisfied with so many things happening in the country. That’s why people called for the national dialogue. The 492 delegates are there. Everybody has his own view. So, we are bound to disagree. But we are also bound to agree. At the end of it all, it will be very successful. What issues will the South-South delegation place on the table of discussion at the conference? The South-South believes in a true
federation. When we talk about true federation, it is not a new thing. Late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the Saduana of Sokoto practiced true federalism. The situation then was that the three federating units of the federation at that time each kept 50 percent of whatever that was available in his own region and the remaining 50 percent was shared between the federal government and the regions. So, within true federalism, you have fiscal federalism and each region was bound to move at its own pace.
True federalism That was the federation our founding fathers practiced. And this was the situation until 1956. The 1960 constitution which is the Independence Constitution and the constitution of 1963 said it all. So, what we Nigerians are saying is, let’s have true federalism. When we have that every other thing will fall in place. You remember it was the Army that came into power in 1966 that changed the equation when they brought in the command administration where the man at the top controls the man at the bottom and that was why true federalism gave way to unitary form of government or semi federalism which is not good now. Every Nigerian believes that they want to feel the government they belong to. And it will reduce corruption because if the regions or states are competing among themselves, there will be no basis for corruption. What happens to the clamour for resources control? We are not gonna talk about resources control. We are talking about true federalism. So, that is the position.
direction. We think that will make for a better federation. They will be large enough to run their economic programmes as against states that are relatively small to carry out independent e c o n o m i c programmes. Are the delegates optimistic that the conference will successfully achieve the desired goals? Yes, if we didn’t think it wouldn’t a c h i e v e anything, nobody will bother to come •Nnachi here. We have to go to the confab HAT should Nigerians expect because we are optimistic that from the South-east delegation something good will come out of it. at the conference? Because if something good doesn’t We are basically talking about come, it is not in any person’s restructuring the country. We are interest. looking at the zones of the federating But we have had similar units and devolution of powers to the conferences in the past with skewed zones, looking at derivation and outcomes. citizenship. We want to take a good I think that the situation in the look at that aspect. People should be country now and especially 100 years able to live in a place without after, that’s a good milestone to reengineer Nigeria. It is The important thing is that we are a b o u t determined to make changes, to bring reworking something that will make Nigeria Nigeria. The way it is now, stronger it is not working. We discrimination. People born or living know it is not working and you can’t in a place for some time should be continue to live like that and except accorded the same rights as the you restructure, reengineer Nigeria, indigenes of the place. you can’t prepare it for growth. It is What happens when these positions about growth now. The country like do not get the endorsement of we have it now is not growing. delegates from other zones? Of course, we have come here with Should Nigerians expect to hear positions that have to be negotiated. talks about regional secessions at the The important thing is that we are confab judging from the fact that the interested in getting at positives steps federal government put a caveat of that will help in defining the bonds no- go areas? binding us. We may not solve all of Well, I don’t think anybody will the problems at ones but we are going come here to discuss secession. That to take any step in the right direction. is not part of it. We are here to make It is about negotiations. It is about Nigeria grow. But if it exists as a compromises. It is a give and take provision, the idea is that it makes thing. The important thing is that we the federal unit aware that it has to are determined to make changes, to act properly to avoid such incident. bring something that will make But to be candid to you, nobody Nigeria stronger. would be coming here to discuss how Are you advocating regional to break up Nigeria. We’ve come with governments? one sole aim: how to grow Nigeria. Yes, yes, we are looking in that How to make it stronger.
V anguard anguard,, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014 — 59
NEWS ON BRIEFS
Syrian forces battle rebels near Turkey border
Egypt sentences 529 Brotherhood members to death A
N Egyptian court has sentenced 529 members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to death on charges including murder, in a sharp escalation of a crackdown on the movement. Family members stood outside the courthouse screaming after the verdict - the biggest mass death sentence handed out in Egypt’s modern history, defence lawyers said. Turmoil has deepened since the army overthrew Egypt’s first freely elected president, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Human rights groups said Monday’s verdict suggested the authorities intended to tighten their squeeze on the opposition, according to the Reuters news agency. State television reported the sentences without comment. A government spokesman and other government officials did not immediately respond to calls. Most of the defendants at Monday ’s hearing were detained and charged with carrying out attacks during clashes which erupted in the southern province of Minya after the forced dispersal of two Muslim Brotherhood protest camps in Cairo on August 14. “The court has decided to sentence to death 529 defendants, and 16 were acquitted,” defence lawyer Ahmed al-Sharif told Reuters. The Muslim Brotherhood, now largely driven underground, responded by calling for the “downfall of military rule” on its official website. Mohamed Mahsoub, who served as minister of legal affairs under Morsi, described the court’s decision “a ruling calling for the execution of justice” on his Facebook page. Supporters set fire to a nearby school in protest, state television reported, though security officials said they had received no reports of unrest. The charges against the group, on trial in Minya since Saturday, include violence, inciting murder, storming a police station,
The charges against the Muslim Brotherhood members include violence and inciting murder attacking persons and damaging public and private property. “This is the quickest case and the number sentenced to death is the largest in the history of the judiciary,” said lawyer Nabil Abdel Salam, who defends some Broth-
erhood leaders, including Morsi. “A second year student in the faculty of law would never issue this verdict,” said Mohamed Zaree, program manager, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies. “There are a lot of flaws
in this verdict. I think maybe an appeal could be successful but nothing is predictable.” HA Hellyer, an Egypt expert and fellow at US think-tank the Brookings Institution, said he doubted the sentences would be carried out.
US, six other vote to kick Russia out of G8 Ukrainian troops and their
HE U.S. and six oth er Western nations vote to kick Russia out of G8 in response to annexation of Crimea, White House says. U.S. President Barack Obama conferred with major industrialized allies in the Group of Seven yesterday on how to pressure Russia over its seizure of Crimea after Ukraine told its remaining troops to leave the region for their own safety. Obama, who has imposed tougher sanctions on Moscow than European leaders over its takeover of the Black Sea peninsula, sought backing for his firm line at a meeting deliberately called to exclude Russia, which joined in 1998 to form the G8. “As long as the political environment for the G8 is not at hand, as is the case at the moment, there is no G8 - neither as a concrete summit meeting or even as a format for meetings,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said before the talks. She said she did not expect the hour-long session of leaders of the United
•Obama States, Japan, Canada, Germany, France, Britain and Italy, plus the European Union, to decide on new sanctions, although the leaders would discuss possible further measures to be taken if the situation escalates. Since the emergency meeting held on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit in The Hague was announced last week, President Vladimir Putin has signed laws completing Russia’s annexation of the region. Russian troops forced their way into a Ukrainian marine base in the port of Feodosia early on Monday, overrunning one of the last remaining symbols of resistance. In Kiev, acting president Oleksander Turchinov told parliament the remaining
families would be pulled out of the region in the face of “threats to the lives and health of our service personnel”. That effectively ends any Ukrainian resistance, less than a month since Putin claimed Russia’s right to intervene militarily on its neighbor’s territory. White House officials accompanying Obama expressed concern on Monday at what they said was a Russian troop buildup near Ukraine and warned that any further military intervention would trigger wider sanctions than the measures taken so far. In what has become the biggest East-West confrontation since the Cold War, the United States and the European Union have imposed visa bans and asset freezes on some of Putin’s closest political and business allies. But they have held back so far from measures designed to hit Russia’s wider economy. “Europe and America are united in our support of the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian people,��� Obama said after a meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
YRIAN troops backed by war planes battled yesterday to dislodge Islamist rebels from a border crossing and northern town in the coastal province of Latakia, heartland of President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite minority. Fighters from the Islamic Front and al Qaedalinked Nusra Front seized the Armenian Christian town of Kasab on Sunday after taking the nearby border crossing in an offensive which follows a string of recent rebel defeats further south. Video footage released by activists showed fighters driving through the largely deserted Kasab, passing a municipal building and a shattered statue of Bashar’s father Hafez, who ruled Syria for 30 years until 2000. While the rebel advance has gained only a small pocket of territory, it has put Assad on the defensive and deprived him - at least for now - of the last border crossing from Turkey into governmentheld territory. It follows months of advances by Assad’s troops and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters near the capital Damascus and the Lebanese border, choking rebel supply lines and reasserting control of central Syria as the civil war enters a fourth year. More than 140,000 people have been killed in the conflict and nearly half the population has been displaced but the coastal provinces of Latakia and Tartous have so far remained largely loyal to Assad and relatively unscathed.
Nine killed in fresh CAR fighting
T least nine people died in new clashes over the weekend and yesterday in Central African Republic’s capital, Red Cross officials said, as the country marked a year since a rebellion and coup plunged it into chaos. Thousands have been killed since the Seleka, a coalition of mostly Muslim northern rebels, seized power a year ago and launched a campaign of looting, torture and killing that has triggered a wave of reprisals by the ‘anti-Balaka’ militia. “Yesterday, we collected six bodies. Today, we have recorded three killed and the violence is ongoing,” said Pastor Antoine Mbao Bogo, president of the local Red Cross. Mbao Bogo added that 28 people were killed and 27 were wounded during clashes the previous week. France has deployed 2,000 troops to its former colony to support a 6,000-strong African Union peacekeeping mission (MISCA) but they have been unable to stamp out the violence in the large, sparsely populated nation of 4.5 million people.
Soldier,pregnant woman killed in Venezuela unrest
PREGNANT woman was shot dead near Ca racas and a soldier was killed in the western state of Merida, officials said, as the death toll from weeks of anti-government protests in Venezuela rose to 36 yesterday. Supporters of both sides and members of the security forces are among those killed in the nation’s worst unrest in a decade, due to demonstrations against socialist President Nicolas Maduro that kicked off last month. Francisco Garces, mayor of Guaicaipuro municipality near the capital and a member of the ruling Socialist Party, said the 28-year-old pregnant woman was shot dead on Sunday during a protest. “We categorically reject the demonstrations that caused this death,” Garces told reporters. The state prosecutor’s office said the woman, Adriana Urquiola, was shot after getting off a public bus halted by a barricade set up by protesters.In the western state of Merida, a senior military source and hospital officials said a National Guard sergeant died on Monday after being shot in the neck during clashes there.
60 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
Toure wary of wounded Man U
Messi: We know how to beat Real L
EO Messi was over the moon with Barça’s performance after his hat-trick sunk Real Madrid at the Bernabéu: “Things are going well for me on an individual level, but we ought to focus on the team effort”. “This team always delivers on the big occasion. We love playing in these sorts of matches, but now we have to keep it going. ‘La Liga’ is a very tough competition and there aren’t many games to go. We can’t afford to slip up again”, he added. As for his latest recordbreaking feats, Messi said
AYA Toure has ad mitted that Manchester City must be careful in today’s derby at Old Trafford as they look to take a step closer to the Premier League title. “United are not doing so well but you have to be careful against them. “Arsenal, after losing to Chelsea, will be hungrier and want their fans to believe in them again. “It is important we go into those games fully focused and with a lot of confidence. “We have to do the job, play together and be strong - and any chance we get we will have to take. Then we will see what can happen.”
ANCHESTER City boss Manuel Pellegrini says form will go out of the window in today ’s derby with Manchester United. Pellegrini’s side hold a 12-point advantage over their city rivals and know a victory at Old Trafford will aid their quest for a second Premier League title in three years. Pellegrini said: “I don’t think we are favourites in any game. We
Moyes eyes improvement against City David Moyes expects Manchester United to perform better in the “bigger” games, starting with the Manchester derby on Tuesday. “We’re not as far away as many people would have us and I’ve no doubt it’ll improve,” said the manager. “We want to
show we’re still in there fighting. “We want to perform better in the bigger games than we have done, I have no doubt about that. It’ll be important to show the level of what we’ve got and I think we have got the level.''
are in a good moment but we are playing against a big team in their own stadium, so I don’t think we are the favourites. “Of course we always expect to go and win every game but, I repeat, just because Manchester United have had a difficult season it does not mean we are going to win. “We have to go there and play a very good game.”
Wenger warns Arsenal of Swansea
a great team effort against a tricky opponent and at a tricky ground”.
Ronaldo hints at conspiracy after defeat
Pellegrini : City ready for Man U
that “What’s most important is that we won, but I’m also going away happy on an individual level. It was
RSENAL manager Arsene Wenger has warned his side that they cannot afford to drop their standards again when they look to respond to the 6-0 humiliation at title rivals Chelsea with victory over relegation fighters Swansea tonight. Speaking to the inhouse Arsenal Media channel, Wenger said:
“The Premier League is difficult and as soon as you drop your standards a little bit you are of course in danger. “It happens to many clubs because the fight for the relegation is very hard. “The fight at the top is very, very hard and that’s why every game has its own difficulties that you have to deal with.”
RISTIANO Ronaldo was furious with the referee, Alberto Undiano Mallenco, and suggested he should not be allowed to officiate another clásico after Sunday night’s 4-3 victory for Barcelona at the Bernabéu. “The referee made some incredible decisions but we have to carry on. In a Real Madrid-Barcelona game you have to have a referee who is up to the task. I don’t want to use the referee as an excuse but if you analyse the 90 minutes there were a lot of mistakes. “Real Madrid is the greatest club and there is a lot of envy around it. It’s tough because a lot of people did not want us to win and Barcelona to be out of the title race. They probably do not want Real to win this league. It makes me think that you don’t only win matches on the pitch but also with a little bit of help from outside.”
Zenith Bank Basketball League Customs IGP Queens First Bank Oluyole Babes Benue Queens Immigration Plateau Rocks GT 2000
v Coal City v Taraba Hurricane v FCT Angels v Sunshine Angels v Dolphins v First Deep Water v AHIP Queens v Delta Force
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62 — Vanguard, TUESDAY MARCH 25, 2014
Costa Rica 2014: Flamingoes go spiritual for Spain
LAMINGOES winger Aminat Yakubu has stated that she and her teammates will be banking on God to record huge success at the on-going FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica. Nigeria wrapped up their impressive start in the group stage at the 4th U17 Women’s World Cup with an emphatic 30 win over Mexico on Monday morning to complete three wins out of three matches in La Sabana stadium, San Jose.
Yakubu commended her teammates for their performance against Mexico and dedicated her award and goal to God. Bearing in mind Nigeria is yet to progress past the quarter-final and will be hoping to make a difference, she said, “We know God is behind us and going to do more grat things for us at this tournament. With God everything is going to be possible against
the women’s draw and both players are in the pool again for the second edition of the novel programme, being coordinated by renowned tennis coach, henry Ubochi. According to Ubochi, other players angling to dethrone Enosoregbe include Albert Bokim, John out, Jinadu Owolabi, Emmanuel Ikakah, Abdulkarim Badmus, Joseph Iyorubi, Niyi Michael, and Andy Spencer.
Keshi Continues from BP rican opposition in a competitive game in three years, yet his methods have been questioned. But Keshi insists that he can cope with criticism from sections of the country’s support. “This is life and not everybody is going to like you,” Keshi told BBC Sport. “So who am I to worry about everybody loving or not liking Stephen Keshi? I don’t care as long as my family loves me, as long as I am doing my job and I have good health - the rest is nothing. “As long as I can put smile on somebody ’s face every day, make them happy, that is all because I can say thank God.” The former captain of the Super Eagles, who took over a faltering side in 2011, restored the
Spain.” “It’s a good performance from my colleagues. I am happy with my teammates’ assistance and grateful to God for my award and goal,” Yakubu admitted.
Enosoregbe, Spencer set for Delta Tennis Classics defence AVIS Cup tennis player, Clifford Enosoregbe will be hoping to retain his men’s singles title in the Delta State Tennis Classics holding this weekend in Asaba. Enosoregbe won the maiden edition of the monthly classics, meant to put Delta State tennis players in top shape for the forthcoming National Sports Festival in Calabar, Cross River State. Comfort Spencer emerged the champion in
country’s pride by winning the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and also led them through a successful World Cup qualifying campaign. Despite all his success speculation about Keshi’s future has been rife in Nigeria since February, with local media reporting that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) are shopping for a foreign coach. “Worried about my job? You see this job we have is that they hire you today and they fire you tomorrow,” he said philosophically. “I have done my best in my job for Nigeria and if they decide to fire me and bring someone else, so be it.” The NFF has insisted his job is not under threat ahead of the World Cup, Keshi admits speculation over his position is under-
Continues from BP the heart of things: Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets and Pepe of Real Madrid, the two leading practitioners of the dark arts on both sides. With Pepe lying on the turf after a clash with Cesc Fabregas, Busquets treads on his opponent’s face in a fairly shocking moment. There isn’t any conclusive evidence to suggest Busquets’ act was deliberate, but you wouldn’t blame the Spanish authorities for taking a closer look.
standable. “I believe I’m strong enough and I’ve got the experience to handle it,” said the former Togo and Mali boss. “It happened in 2012 when Amodu Shaibu and I qualified the country for the World Cup. It also happened in Togo. So if that’s it, so be it. “If people want to talk, I can’t stop it. I don’t worry about speculation about my job, I don’t worry about anything,” he added. The 52-year-old is also the only African coach to have qualified two nations for the World Cup finals. At the upcoming World Cup in Brazil the Super Eagles face Iran in Group F before taking on BosniaHerzegovina and will finish against Argentina.
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I’m not worried by criticism — Keshi •I don’t fear sack
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Clasico nasty: Did Sergio Busquets stamp on Pepe’s face?
OACH Stephen Keshi says he is not letting criticism of his playing methods, selections and decisions affect him. He has not lost to Af Continues on Page 62
OR all the wonderful football on show, Clasi cos always have a dark side to them – indeed, the deep antagonism between the two clubs makes the fixture what it is. From outrageous diving to eye-pokes and pig’s heads being used as missiles, meetings between Real Madrid and Barcelona frequently court controversy. The irreparable cultural and historical differences between the two cities of Madrid and Barcelona mean this is a rivalry like no other, and the matches played out are often more like battles. So it was no surprise on Sunday to see another shock moment grab the attention of the millions of football fans watching the match across the globe. And it was also no surprise to see the two men at
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YESTER DAY'S YESTERDAY'S
ACROSS 1 Emphasise (6) 5 Suppose (6) 9 Coins (5) 10 Nut (6) 11 Examiner (6) 12 Dissuade (5) 14 Frank (4) 17 Free (3) 18 Choke (4) 20 Jockey (5) 22 Deposit (5) 23 Quit (7) 24 Twist (5) 26 Postpone (5) 29 Scorch (4) 30 Joint (3) 32 Dandy (4) 33 Regional (5) 35 Battle (6) 36 Eraser (6) 37 Fresher (5) 38 Deserved (6) 39 Proper (6)
DOWN 1 Division (6) 2 Dared (6) 3 Rushed (4) 4 Drain (5) 5 Performed (5) 6 Prophet (4) 7 Innumerable (6) 8 Infuriate (6) 13 Gigantic (7) 15 Throw (5) 16 Not ever (5) 18 Enciphered (5) 19 Leered (5) 21 Uncooked (3) 22 Guided (3) 24 Abrade (6) 25 Roof-beam (6) 27 Grope (6) 28 Rue (6) 30 Sharpened (5) 31 Peeled (5) 33 Solitary (4) 34 Entice (4)
YESTERDAY'S SOLUTIONS ACROSS: 1, Crest 5, Rotted 8, Table 10, Undone 11, Amid 14, Relate 15, General 18, Net 19, Tap 21, Dead 23, Deter 24, Born 27, Den 29, Oaf 31, Radiant 32, Seated 34, Mine 35, Chilly 38, Freed 39, Twenty 40, Needy.
DOWN: 2, Run 3, Stoned 4, Tan 5, Rear 6, Toiled 7, Defend 9, Belated 12, Men 13, Date 16, Ergo 17, Later 20, Penance 22, Akin 24, Basket 25, Roam 26, Nation 28, Divide 30, Fen 33, Defy 36, Hen 37, Lad.
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: 01-8944295. Advert Dept: 01-7924470; Hotline: 01-4544821; Abuja: 09-2341102, 09-2342704. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Advert:email@example.com Website: www.vanguardngr.com (ISSN 0794-652X) Editor: MIDENO BAYAGBON. Phone: 01-7742861, All correspondence to P.M.B. 1007, Apapa Lagos.