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...towards a better life for the people VOL. 25: NO. 61782

Wishing our numerous readers a merry Christmas

NOTE: Vanguard, your widely read newspaper, will be off the stands tomorrow.

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ONLINE | www.vanguardngr.com

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TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012

7 soldiers, 3 others killed in auto crashes —P.6 ...AT C H R I S T M A S :

Power, roads, education 'll improve next year —Jonathan •Says I remain focussed on transforming Nigeria •Mark, CAN, Govs, Sultan, others seek peace

BY EMEKA MAMAH, SAM EYOBOKA, CLIFFORD NDUJIHE, TAYE OBATERU, ANAYO OKOLI, DEMOLA AKINYEMI, CALEB AYANSINA, JOSEPH ERUNKE & OLAYINKA LATONA

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AGOS— AS the country joins the rest of the world to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ today, President Goodluck Jonathan has urged the

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Mr & Mrs

Last minute Christmas shopping in Lagos, yesterday. Photos: Biodun Ogunleye.

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POCKET CARTOON

Nigerian Christian pilgrims at the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, on Sunday.

Power, roads, education 'll improve next year —Jonathan Continues from page 1 citizenry to expect massive improvements in power supply, public infrastructure, healthcare, education and job creation among others next year. In a Christmas message to the nation, President Jonathan said in spite of distractions occasioned by insecurity in some parts of the country, his administration remained focussed on recording appreciable mileage in the priority areas. The president spoke as growing security concerns, which necessitated US

diplomatic authorities to caution their citizens in Nigeria about travelling to certain areas of the country, dominated religious and political leaders’ goodwill messages to the nation as Christians mark the birth of the progenitor of the Christian faith, Jesus Christ. Since 2010,yuletide celebrations in Nigeria have been trailed by series of violence and bomb attacks, which have claimed hundreds of lives. Among those who urged Nigerians to embrace peaceful celebrations were Senate President, David Mark;

LIFEWORDS

BY PASTOR ITUAH

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OUR children are your seeds, the way you prepare the bed determines how the seeds will grow. The seed you don’t water will not grow well. Weeds must be separated for your seeds to grow well, and be pruned periodically for it to grow to specification.

TAKE HEART BY ELLA RANDLE

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CCORDING to Mack and Angel Hack, profound writers, happiness is never constant, and it’s not supposed to be. You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life. To believe that you can reach a state of happiness and stay there forever, is like the tide believing she can reach for the shoreline and remain there forever; or like a fruit tree believing that if she only holds on tighter, she can keep her fruit from dropping to the ground. Happiness is simply a series of moments that come and go and add sweetness to our lives. Learn to accept this, and the more happy moments you will have. Failures are temporary situations that teach us necessary lessons. Life’s best lessons are usually learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes. So yes, you will fail sometimes. The faster you accept this, the faster you can get on with being brilliant. You’ll never be 100 per cent sure it will work, but you can always be 100 per cent sure doing nothing won’t work. Doing something and getting it wrong is at least 10 times more productive than doing nothing. So get out there and try! Either you succeed or you learn a vital lesson. Win- Win.

President of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor; Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins; Prelate of Methodist Church of Nigeria, Most Rev. Sunday Ola Makinde; Dean of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Ephraim Ademowo; and Presiding Bishop of TREM, Dr. Mike Okonkwo. The rest include National Publicity Secretary of the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, Anthony Sani; President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA)and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar; Governors Theodore Orji (Abia), Jonah Jang (Plateau), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Senator Bukola Saraki and All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) Chairman, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu.

I remain focussed on transforming Nigeria – Jonathan President Jonathan said: ''I greet and felicitate with you all as we join the rest of the world in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ the Messiah many years ago in Bethlehem. Christmas and the lessons of Jesus Christ’s mission on earth have great significance for us as a people and there can be no doubt that we all, irrespective of our religious beliefs, can draw immense strength and inspiration from the Messiah's enduring personification of selflessness, dedication to

duty, and commitment to the well-being of others. The virtues and ideals of peace, tolerance, faithfulness, honesty, justice, fairness, true wisdom, knowledge and understanding which He taught and exemplified also remain very relevant to us in Nigeria as we continue to grapple with the challenges of development and nationbuilding. ''My administration continues to do its best to give our beloved country effective leadership towards rapidly overcoming present challenges. As we celebrate Christmas, the ultimate significance of which is the fulfillment of God’s promise of a Saviour for mankind, I urge you all to continue to trust in our unwavering commitment towards fully achieving objectives of our Agenda for National Transformation for the benefit of all Nigerians. No one should doubt that we have the political will and determination to deliver on our promise of positive changes in the living conditions of our people in the shortest possible time. ''While we continue to deal with the regrettable distractions posed by threats to peace and security in parts of the country, the Federal Government remains very focussed on the primary objective of achieving significant improvements in priority areas such as public infrastructure, power supply, transportation, roads, health, education, job creation, agriculture and industrialization as quickly as possible. "It is my hope and expectation that more of the efforts, actions and

measures we are already undertaking in these areas will successfully come to fruition next year and make the results of the diligent project planning and execution being done under this administration more apparent to all Nigerians. "I seize the opportunity of the Christmas celebrations to express my sincere appreciation, once again, to the vast majority of patriotic Nigerians who have kept faith with this administration since its inception. We will continue to count on your support and cooperation, as well as your prayers for peace, stability and progress of our beloved nation. I wish you all a very merry Christmas."

Oritsejafor harps on peaceful co-existence In separate goodwill messages, religious leaders harped on the need for peaceful coexistence among all Nigerians to foster unity, which the nation’s founding fathers fought for. CAN President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, enjoined all Nigerians to exemplify Jesus' virtues, admonishing Nigerians, irrespective of religious differences, to see the celebration as a period for peace, reconciliation and justice. In his Christmas message, through his Special Assistant on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Kenny Ashaka, Pastor Oritsejafor tasked Christians to seek to preserve the fundamentals and true spirit of reverence which, he noted, many displayed towards Christ in His days. He noted: "Christmas is a season to construe our religions as Christ-like by shunning all forms of subterfuge, divisive tendencies and

sensationalism while pondering on the gifts that come with the birth of Jesus Christ."

Pray for lasting peace —Martins Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins in his message, called on Nigerians to pray for lasting peace and unity of the country, even as he urged the political class to be more responsive to the yearnings of the masses. In a message signed by the Director of Social Communications, Very Rev. Msgr. Gabriel Osu, the prelate also challenged all, irrespective of religious and tribal divide, to embrace the spirit of the yuletide by spreading joy, love, peace and sharing with the less privileged in the society. While noting that no meaningful development can be achieved in an atmosphere of chaos and acrimony, Archbishop Martins pleaded with all dissenting voices in the affairs of the nation to embrace peace and meaningful dialogue, respect the sanctity of human life and avoid all forms of violence. He said: “In this period of Christmas, there is need for us all, Christians, Muslims and adherents of traditional religion, to embrace peace and shun all forms of violence. Christmas stands for joy and hope for all humanity.”

Citizenry are living below poverty line —Makinde On his part, the Prelate of Methodist Church Nigeria, Most Rev. Sunday Ola Makinde said as we celebrate Christmas, “we need to hold in focus what the season represents.

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6—Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012

Nigerian Navy hunts pirates who seized four sailors

tails of the remote and immediate cause of the accident had not reached him. Meanwhile, another road crash on Abaji-Lokoja road also, yesterday, claimed the lives of three passengers and injured three others. Road safety officials at the scene of the crash said they recovered N50,460 and a live goat from the scene.

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IGERIAN Navy said, yesterday, that it was hunting for pirates, who kidnapped four crew members from a ship in Bayelsa State, weekend. The ship, named by the Navy as the MV Asso Ventuno, was boarded on Sunday about 40 miles (65 km) off the coast of Bayelsa State, according to International Maritime Bureau, IMB. There were no injuries to other crew members and the pirates released the ship, which continued to a safe port, IMB said. A spokesman for the Navy confirmed the incident, saying "Five vessels had been deployed for patrol duties off Brass Area. The Nigerian Navy in collaboration with other agencies has intensified search and rescue efforts of the four kidnapped crew members of MV Asso Ventuno and apprehension of the pirates.”

Money politics not rampant in Ige's era —Adegbola By OLA AJAYI

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BADAN—AS memory of the late Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige, came to life yesterday, his daughter, Mrs. Funsho Adegbola said money politics was not rampant during the time of her father as it is today. Adegbola, who spoke at the 2012 Bola Ige Memorial Lecture held at the Nigeria Union of Journalists Press Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan, said: “Things were better during his own time because politicians didn’t need a lot of money to prosecute political ambition.” Recalling good times she spent with her father, she said: "I really want to bless God for the kind of man my father was. My father was very passionate about younger people. My father wasn’t rich but was well known and loved”. Speaking at the event, a geographer, Prof. Akin Mabogunje said, “the challenge we are having as a people is how the citizens can reclaim their citizenship”. The nation, according to him, was characterised by various ills because of lack of patriotic zeal.

5 drown in Omambala River, in Anambra

Five teenagers also reportedly drowned in Omambala River at Umuezeanam, Anambra West, Local Government Area, yesterday. From left: Otunba Adebayo Christopher Alao-Akala, former Oyo State Governor; his wife, The children, four boys Oluwakemi and Chief Sunday Adewusi, former Inspector General of Police, singing at the Former and a girl went swimming Gov Akala 2012 inter-denominational Xmas carol, at Opadoyin Akala Lodge Ogbomoso. for fun in the river where they were later allegedly found to have drowned. Four of the victims, who are from the same family, including the girl among them, and their friend, had travelled with their parents from Lagos to the village for the yuletide celebraBY KINGSLEY OMONOBI lations, Colonel Agim, said the firmed by the Garrison Com- tions when they met their undeath of the soldiers was con- mand but added that full de- timely end on Christmas Eve. BUJA—SEVEN soldiers who recently graduated from the School of Artillery in Kotangora, Niger State, met their untimely death, Sunday, rights but a case of non-compliance By IFEANYI OKOLIE Court. as they were crushed by a Justice Ibrahim Buba, howev- to enjoy that right. The suit is inHE embattled Chairman er, dismissed his application say- tended to gag the EFCC so that truck along Abaji-Abuja road. of Bi-Courtney Highway ing “it was wrong for the appli- they will not take him to court.” This came as another accident involving an 18-seater Services, Mr. Wale Babalakin, cant to approach the court to enJustice Buba had on Monday, Toyota Hiace bus on Abaji- who is being prosecuted by the force his fundamental human December 17, 2012 refused to grant Lokoja road killed three pas- Economic and Financial Crimes right when there was a pending an ex-parte order restraining the sengers, while three others Commission, EFCC, for alleged criminal charge against him at the EFCC from arresting or detaining money laundering was arrested state high court”, noting that the Babalakin without hearing from the sustained injuries. Military sources told Van- yesterday, by operatives of the personal liberty of an individual respondents. Rather, the judge orguard that the newly trained commission, shortly after he was was not absolute? The judge also dered Babalakin to serve the reartillery soldiers had just discharged from the Lagos Uni- said it will not augur well for the spondents to enable them respond graduated from a course at the versity Teaching Hospital, LUTH. peace and progress of the soci- to the motion on notice. Babalakin, who spent 23 days ety if any person with a criminal Nigerian Army School of ArAnother judge, Justice Idris had at the hospital, was scheduled to charge in a court approaches an- on December 15, 2012 dismissed a tillery in Niger State and boarded an Edo-bound vehi- be arraigned before Justice Ad- other to enforce his fundamental similar application by Babalakin cle, all clad in their military eniyi Onigbanjo of Ikeja High human right; adding that "no- for an order of prohibition against attires obviously elated that Court, Thursday, November 30, body is above the law, no matter the EFCC and the Attorney Genthey had finished the tough 2012 but his arraignment was the person’s position or status.” eral of Federation from arraigning course and were going home scuttled by his admission in the him before the Lagos High Court to join their loved ones before hospital. After his arrest, yester- Dismissal of on the grounds that the applicaday, he was swiftly taken to the the accident happened. tion was defective as it failed to comapplication commission’s Ikoyi office in Laply with Order 35 Rule 4 of the gos, where he was detained. Engine He said Babalakin as a Federal High Court Civil ProceSpokesman for the Commisproblem Senior Advocate of Nigeria dure Rules, which require the apsion, Wilson Uwujaren, who conshould not be afraid to face the plicant to depose to an affidavit afThe engine of their chartered firmed the arrest to Vanguard, court and, therefore, dismissed ter serving the court papers on the Edo-bound bus was said to said Babalakin has been granted his application as lacking in merit. parties in the suit. have developed a fault short- bail, adding that he was, howevThe judge held that failure to EFCC’s counsel, Mr Rotimi ly before Abaji town when all er, yet to perfect the process. He Jacobs, SAN, had told the court depose to such affidavit and file the passengers, made up of said: “Yes he was arrested and that the commission is vested with same before the court had robbed the seven soldiers and some he is currently in our office in the power to investigate, arrest the court of its jurisdiction to entercivilians, disembarked and Ikoyi, Lagos. In fact he has been and prosecute persons for finan- tain the matter. The court vacated stood close to it while the driv- granted bail but he is yet to per- cial crimes. He also told the court the order it earlier granted the aper was working on the prob- fect it. He will appear in court on that Babalakin did not abide by plicant permitting him to institute January 17, 2013” lem. the prohibition suit against the Babalakin had made several the terms of the administrative EFCC and subsequently awarded It was learnt that suddenly bail granted him by the Commisand unknown to them, a ce- efforts to stop his trial by the sion. On the issue of Babalakin’s N5, 000 cost against the applicant. ment truck, lost control and in EFCC. He had approached a ill-health which his counsel, Wale Babalakin, alongside Alex Okoh, an attempt to bring it to a halt, Federal High Court, seeking an Akoni, SAN, made copious ref- Stabilini Visioni Limited, Bi-Courtran into the bus and crushed order to enforce his fundamental erence to, Rotimi said that there ney Limited and Renix Nigeria the soldiers. The civilian pas- human right by way of prevent- was nothing before the court on Limited are scheduled to appear sengers of the bus sustained ing the EFCC, agents or security the current state of the suspect’s before an Ikeja High Court on Janagencies of government from several degrees of injuries. uary 17, 2013 to take their plea on health. Contacted on the develop- harassing, arresting or detaining a 27-count charge of offences borRotimi said: “It is not a case of ment, the Chief of Staff, De- him, further to the charge filed denial of fundamental human dering on money laundering. partment of Army Public Re- by the EFCC at the Lagos High

Christmas tragedy: 7 soldiers, 3 others die in road crashes A

EFCC arrests Bi-Courtney boss, Babalakin

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Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012—7

Jonathan, PDP at war over Adamawa PDP zStop Congress and all actions on Adamawa, Jonathan tells Tukur BY HENRY UMORU BUJA—THE political quagmire between the embattled governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako and the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has taken another dimension with a looming war of supremacy between President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. It will be recalled that Nyako has been having running battle with the PDP national leadership over the conduct of PDP primaries in Adamawa state which led to the sack of the state PDP executive committee and the suspension of the National Vice Chairman, North East, Alhaji Girigiri Lawal by the National Working Committee, NWC.

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the ad-hoc committee to conclude its work without any influence whatsoever. ‘’We do hope Mr. chairman will formally direct the North East acting Zonal Chairman and the caretaker Chairman accordingly.”

Time table for congress

Also same day, the NWC replied the Jigawa State governor that time table for the state congress was already out and aspirants had also purchased the forms. The letter dated December 21, 2012 and signed by the PDP Deputy National Secretary, Mr Onwe Onwe read, ‘I am directed to acknowledge

the receipt of your letter addressed to the National Chairman dated December 21, 2012. Whilst noting the contents of your letter and the resolution of your committee to suspend further acts and/ or actions by any organ of the party with respect to Adamawa PDP, I am directed to draw your attention to the following. ‘’The national Secretariat had via a letter signed by the National Chairman and National Secretary dated December 5, 2012 written to Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC notifying them of the dates and time table of the congresses.

‘’The National Secretariat of our great party, the PDP had via a letter signed by the National Organising Secretary dated December 6, 2012 written to the Caretaker Committee approved time table of the congresses in the state starting from December 27, 2012 to January 10, 2013. ‘’The Caretaker Committee had obtained PDP nomination forms from the National Secretariat of the party and has been selling them to the aspirants from Ward level to the Local Government level. ‘’In view of the above, the Caretaker Committee may wish to note the implication of the above three points

have potential political damage to the reputation and esteem of our great party and members in Adamawa State who have all prepared to participate in the congresses.” But when contacted, a former governorship aspirant in Adamawa State, Dr. Umar Ardo noted that there may be no fair hearing against the backdrop that Lamido remained one of Nyako’s loyalists, just as he said that the fight by the PDP Adamawa Stakeholders has been between the people and the governor. He added that the only condition on which the PDP members would accept a fresh congress in Adamawa was if a panel was sent from the national Secretariat of the party to oversee the congress.

Adamawa PDP exco dissolution

The NWC also dissolved the State PDP Executive led by Alhaji Umaru Mijinyawa Kugama that was loyal to the governor and replaced with Ambassador Umar Damagun led nine-member caretaker Committee to oversee the affairs of Adamawa PDP. In spite of the Caretaker Committee put in place by the Tukur led NWC, President Jonathan was said to have an Ad-hoc Committee on Resolution of Adamawa State with Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa as Chairman. Other members, Vanguard gathered are Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State, two unnamed members of the National Assembly; three unnamed members of the NWC and the Special Adviser, Political Adviser to Vice President Namadi Sambo, Abba Dabo as the Secretary.

Lamido Committee

After the inauguration, the Chairman of the Committee, Sule Lamido swung into action and in a letter dated December 21, 2012 to Bamanga Tukur, urged the NWC to as a matter of urgency stop all actions on the Adamawa State PDP. The letter read, ‘’Your Excellency is aware that an adhoc Committee has been created for the resolution of Adamawa crisis. ‘’The inaugural Committee meeting was held today and members resolved that further acts and/or actions by any organ of the party with respect to Adamawa PDP be suspended. This is to enable

BUDGET: From left: Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, Speaker, state House Of Assembly, Mr. Adamu Usman, and Chief Judge, Justice Jibrin Ndajiwo, at the signing the 2013 Appropriation Bill by the Governor in Minna, yesterday.

JTF discovers, detonates bombs in Kano BY ABDULSALAM MUHAMMAD

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ANO——OPERATIVES of Joint Military Taskforce, JTF yesterday in Kano conducted house-to-house search where they discovered and detonated explosives planted in strategic locations within Kano metropolis. Commandant of 3rd Motorize Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General

Iliyasu Abba told reporters in Kano that “ there are desperate attempts by terrorists to instil fear on urban dwellers as most of the latest discoveries were planted in residential areas. The situation compelled us to embark on house to house search on suspected dark spots in the metropolis.” Brigadier Illiyasu Abba stated

Minister cancels recruitment in immigration

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HE MINISTER of Interior Com rade Abba Moro has directed the immediate cancellation of the ongoing recruitment exercise in the Nigerian Immigration In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media, George Udoh the Minister stated that “following apparent controversy trailing the ongoing recruitment exercise in Nigeria Immigration Service the responsible thing to do is to cancel the exercise until a more transparent, acceptable and efficable

platform is established to enlist qualified Nigerians into the service Comrade Moro directed further that all appointment letters issued and documentation carried out stand cancelled until the Civil Defence immigration and Prisons Service board, meet to consider the waiver granted the Nigeria Immigration Service to recruit men and women into the service

that “ we have made some arrest and investigation is on and I believe that there will certainly be more discoveries”. The commandant stated that the “terrorists plan major attack to disrupt Christmas celebration in the city, noting that “we have initiated a number of measures to frustrate their plan” The Infantry officer appealed to residents to cooperate with JTF personnel in the line of duty, maintaining that “it is through collective effort that we can triumph against the evil forces” “Our cordon and search exercise is going to be a continuous exercise, we know it is inconvenient but it is necessary under the present circumstances and we urge residents to cooperate with our men in the collective interest of all. We are on top of the situation and the residents have nothing to fear and they should therefore go about their legitimate duties without fear or molestation”


8—Vanguard , TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012

Pro-gun groups seek CNN host's deportation

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OR taking a hardline against a pro-gun advocate, Piers Morgan, the British host of CNN’s talks show, Piers Morgan Tonight, has incurred the wrath of over 25,000 Americans who want to see him deported. Morgan had taken an aggressive stand for tighter US gun laws in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting. Last week, he called a gun advocate appearing on his show an “unbelievably stupid man.” Gun rights activists are fighting back. A petition created December 21 on the White House e-petition website by a user in Texas accuses Morgan of engaging in a “hostile attack against the US Constitution” by targeting the Second Amendment. It demands he be deported immediately for “exploiting his position as a national network television host to stage attacks against the rights of American citizens.” The petition has already hit the 25,000 signature threshold to get a White House response. By Monday, it had 31,813 signatures. However, Morgan seemed unfazed, and even amused, by the movement. In a series of Twitter messages, he alternately urged his followers to sign the petition and in response to one article about the petition said “bring it on” as he appeared to track the petition’s progress. “If I do get deported from America for wanting fewer gun murders, are there any other countries that will have me?” he wrote.

Road crashes kill 215 in Sokoto

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OKOTO—FEDERAL Roads Safety Commission, FRSC, has said that 215 persons lost their lives in road accidents in Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states between January and November this year. Corps’ Head of Department, Vehicles’ Administration, Alhaji Danjuma Aliyu made this known yesterday in Sokoto.

BOLA IGE: From left— Dr. Wale Okediran, Guest Lecturer; Mr. Gbenga Opadokun, Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Oyo State Council; Mrs Funso Adegbola, late Bola Ige's daughter, and Prof Akin Mabogunje, Chairman of occasion, at the 2nd Bola Ige memorial lecture in Ibadan, yesterday.

2 journalists abducted in Kaduna zI suspect JTF— Editor-in-Chief zNot possible—Army Spokesman BY LUKA BINNIYAT

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ADUNA—EDITOR of a Kaduna-based Hausa newspaper, Al. Mizan, Mallam Mohammed Awwal, and his reporter, Mallam Aliyu Saleh, were in the early hours of Sunday forcefully abducted by armed men said to be in US Army uniform. Wife of the Editor, Mrs Hannatu Awwal, told journalists, who paid her a solidarity visit at their home in Rigassa quarters, Kaduna, that her husband’s abductors numbering about 20, stormed their home around 4am, Sunday, wearing military fatigue with the insignia of US Army.

They wore US Army uniform— Wife

She said: “The men came in jeeps with tinted glasses; forced their way into our home, ordered everyone to lie on the floor and then severely beat up my husband.” She also said that their house was also thoroughly searched by the men before they took away her husband.

Editor's reaction

A statement by the Editor-inchief of Al-Mizan, Mallam Ibrahim Musa, corroborated her story, adding that the same treatment was meted out to the reporter, Aliyu. He said: “They whisked away Aliyu and his wife. They later dropped her along Makarfi Road while they took away the two journalists. “Although it is not clear why they have been arrested, however it might not be uncon-

nected with the lead story in the current edition of Al-Mizan Newspaper which revealed the alleged atrocities of the Military Joint Task Force, JTF, in Potiskum in which 84 persons had been abducted. “We call for the immediate and unconditional release of our staff whose arrest has violated due process and their in-

dividual human rights.”

Army's story

Meanwhile, Public Relations Officer of the First Infantry Division, Nigerian Army, Colonel Sani Kukasheka has denied any knowledge of such an incident in Kaduna, adding that if there was such an incident, then officers from his di-

vision were not involved. He said: “I can assure you that no one has authorised such an operation, and it could not have come from our men. All my checks reliably showed that there was no movement of such troops from any of our formation in the North. That is all I can tell you for now. If I get anything, I will let you know.”

... as Gov Yero preaches peace, love BY EMEKA MAMAH

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OVERNOR Mukhtar Yero has asked the people of Kaduna State to allow true love for their fellow human beings, Kaduna State and Nigeria to prevail over all forms of hatred, bitterness and malice, just as he urged them to be security-conscious as they celebrate Christmas. Yero made this known in his Christmas message to the people of the state, yesterday. In a statement by his Press Secretary, Malam Kabir Kaura, the governor said: “Christmas was not only a time for celebration, but a period for sober reflections and stock-taking of God’s many blessings to us as a people.’’ “One of the areas we must reflect on is our relationship with God and with our fellow humans. All Christians and the entire people of Kaduna State must, therefore, be committed to religious harmony, peaceful living and understanding of one another. “Our people must shun tribal, ethnic and religious teachings not in consonance

with that of Jesus Christ, who came as an embodiment of peace and love.’’ He then reiterated his administration’s commitment to ‘’ensuring and continuing

with a dedicated, robust and focused intervention in all socio-economic sectors of the state in the New Year. “I ask all to continue to be security conscious at all times.”

... gets Deputy BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE, with agency report

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UBJECT to the ap proval of the state House of Assembly, Ambassador Nuhu Bajoga, aged 63, is the new Deputy Governor of Kaduna State. Governor Muktar Yero of Kaduna State has nominated Bajoga, ending days of high-wire consultations over who should occupy the top spot. State Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Saidu Adamu, told newsmen that the governor took the decision after meeting with principal officers of the state House of Assembly. Bajoga’s name had been forwarded to the House of Assembly for screening.

Yero became governor two weeks ago following the death of his principal, Ibrahim Yakowa, penultimate Saturday in a helicopter crash in Bayelsa State, which killed all six persons on board, including former National Security Adviser, Gen. Andrew Azazi (rtd).

Reaction

Meanwhile, the nomination of Bajoga has continued to generate reactions from youths in Southern Kaduna, where Bajoga comes from. A coalition of youths, stakeholders and opinion leaders from Bajoga’s area, rejected his appointment, saying it was designed to rob the area of the position of the party chairmanship.


Vanguard , TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012—9

Stampede at Lagos banks over holiday withdrawals BY ONOZURE DANIA

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President Goodluck Jonathan (r); wife of the late former National Security Adviser, Gen. Andrew Azazi, Mrs Alero and the children during a condolence visit to the family residence in Lagos, yesterday.

Jonathan at Azazi’s Lagos home, bemoans loss BY EVELYN USMAN

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AGOS— PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday in Lagos, described the death of retired Gen. Andrew Azazi in the Dec. 15 helicopter crash in Bayelsa as a great loss to Nigeria and the international community. Jonathan made the remark during a condolence visit to the family of Azazi at his Ikoyi residence in Lagos. Azazi, Jonathan’s former National Security Adviser, NSA, was killed along with Kaduna State’s former governor, Patrick Yakowa, two pilots – Cdr. Muritala Daba and Lt. Adeyemi Sowole. Others were the orderly to Azazi, Warrant Officer Kamal Mohammed and a prominent politician from Kaduna, Mr. Dauda Psokho. Azazi, who was the Chief of Defence Staff in former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, also served as

Chief of Army Staff between 2006 and 2007. The late General was born at Peretorugbene, Bayelsa, on Feb.1, 1952. Jonathan, who spoke through his Chief of Staff, Mr. Mike Oghiadomhe, said a special Federal Executive Council meeting was held in his honour because of the respect he had for Azazi. “He was a distinguished army officer, who excelled himself as a

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AGOS— A magistrate court sitting in Alausa, Ikeja, yesterday, granted bail to detained Sylvester Iyere, a musician popularly called ‘Silver and Gold,’ and adjourned further hearing of the case between him and the Attorney-General of Lagos State, till January 8, 2013. The trial magistrate, Mrs. Y. Pinheiro, following a request made to him by the defendant's counsel, Mr. Akinyele Ajiboye, also granted the defendant, Sylvester Iyere bail in the sum of N50, 000 with one surety in like sum. Iyere who was arrested on

meeting with Azazi’s wife, signed the condolence register before he departed to the State House Annex, Ikoyi. Jonathan was accompanied by three ministers — Stella Oduah (Aviation), Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke (Petroleum Resources), Mrs. Olusola Obada (Defence) and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika.

How LASTMA officials killed a danfo driver •The officers are on their own — Management BY ONOZURE DANIA AND MICHAEL OLADEPO

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AGOS— A 54 year old commercial bus driver Isaac Popoola, was yesterday killed by a Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, official at Brown Bus stop in Oshodi, around 6.30a.m. Narrating what led to the death

Lagos arraigns musician for violating environmental law BY MONSUR OLOWOOPEJO

very committed and patriotic Nigerian. Azazi’s good quality of character, professional competence and integrity made me to call him back to chair the Flood Disaster Committee after his retirement as NSA,” he said. The president prayed to God to grant the family the courage to bear the pains of Azazi’s demise. NAN also reports that the president, who later held a closed-door

December 19, 2012, at the Bar Beach, Victoria Island, by men of the Lagos State taskforce on environmental and special offences, pleaded not guilty to a two count charge. The charge against him was that he (Iyere) was conducting himself in a manner that can breached the cause of peace in the state and restricted a police officer from performing his national duty. While speaking with Vanguard after the trial, Iyere said he did not know his offence. “I am not a criminal, I have no criminal record anywhere. I am a musician at the popular Bar Beach where I organises shows and carnivals and the likes for more than eight years.

of Popoola, his conductor, Aremu Salau, who’s is 56 years old, said that they loaded the bus with 17 passengers from Isheri heading towards Oshodi, when about seven LASTMA, officials double crossed their bus. According to him,Popoola asked the LASTMA officials, why they wanted him to come down since he didn’t contravene any traffic law. But the LASTMA officials kept insisting that he should get down from the bus. The conductor, added that the passengers in the vehicle also intervened by asking what the driver did. But when the LASTMA officials ignored them and the passengers got down from the bus and entered anothe bus. He said the LASTMA officials continued to struggle with Popoola, and in the process, they started hitting him on the head with the iron of the vehicle's seat belt. They also hit his head against the bus frame and in the process, the driver fainted. When they saw that he had fainted the LASTMA officials ran away one after the other, but the people in the area were able to catch one of them, who said that it was his commandant that asked them to go after the driver.

The conductor said that while he was looking for people to help him convey the driver to the hospital he found out that people had already held one of the LASTMA officials and they had taken him to Isheri Police Station. Reacting to the allegation, the public relations officer of LASTMA, Bola Ajao said that the Management of LASTMA, has dissociated itself from incident that led to the death of a commercial bus driver at OshodiIsale, Lagos. In a statement released by the GM of the agency, Engr. Babatunde Edu at LASTMA Headquarters, Oshodi, the alleged officers -Adesanya Olatunde and Ogunride Oludele- acted on their own contrary to the operational guidelines of the agency. Edu further said that Adesanya was identified by the Provost Marshall of the agency and handed over to the police while Oludele who was reported to be off-duty as at the time of the incident was still at large. He reaffirmed that the duo, were operating illegally at Oshodi this morning when the deceased driver slumped on steering.

AGOS— In less than 24 hours to Christmas, major banks in Lagos State yesterday witnessed large turn out of customers as people made last minute withdrawals for the yuletide celebration. When Vanguard visited some of the banks, it was informed that they had told their customers they would close at 2 p.m. yesterday. Due to the large crowds within the banking premises, security officials shut their gates barring many customers from getting access into the banking halls. Even those that wanted to withdraw electronically through ATM machines, were denied access. At FCMB, Ogba, security officials appealed to the customers outside the premises of the bank to visit another branch of the bank as the workers there could not even attend to the numerous customers who were already inside. “Please, go to another branch or look for another ATM point. They have stopped charging the N100 on transaction,” one of the security officials told the customers. In a related development, the markets too were jampacked with people trying to pick up items to make the celebration a memorable one. A visit to various markets in Lagos has been quite interesting. People kept trooping in to buy and at the same time could not but expressed their groans over the hike in prices on what they had on their budget lists. The cost of a bag of rice that was sold between N7, 500 and N8, 000 before now sells for between N9, 000 to N10, 500, depending on the brand while a carton of chicken, which sold for N6, 000 now sells for N8, 500. Prices of other items, such as tin tomatoes, seasoning cubes, salad, fried rice and baking ingredients and drinks of all sorts have equally gone up.


10—Vanguard , TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012

Fayose, Oni harp on love, unity, forgiveness

Mimiko pledges better performance BY DAYO JOHNSON

BY GBENGA ARIYIBI

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DO EKITI— Two former governors of Ekiti State, Messrs. Ayo Fayose and Segun Oni had in their goodwill messages to Nigerians called for love, unity and forgiveness as the virtues to be emulated by all Christians In a Christmas and new year message released by the Ayo Fayose Campaign Organisation (AFCO) in Ado Ekiti yesterday and signed by the Director of Publicity and Research of AFCO, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, Fayose said the Christmas celebrations should call for sober reflection among Christians and Nigerians in general. In the same token, the National Vice Chairman (South-West) of the PDP, Chief Segun Oni has urged Nigerians, especially members and supporters of the PDP in the South-West to use the Christmas period to rededicate themselves to the Almighty God. Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Lere Olayinka, the PDP National ViceChairman, in his goodwill message on the occasion, Oni said; “More than merrymaking, Nigerians should reflect deeper on the humility that characterised the birth of Jesus Christ and the fulfilment of God’s promises concerning His birth,” he said.

...Ogun Speaker also!

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BEOKUTA—THE Speaker, Ogun House of Assembly, Mr. Suraj Adekunbi, has enjoined Christians to use the festive period as a time for spiritual renewal by showing love to the needy. Adekunbi said this in Abeokuta on Monday in a statement signed by the Information Officer, Mr. Taoheed Lawal, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria. While noting that Jesus Christ was an apostle of love, compassion and forgiveness, the Speaker urged all Christians to imbibe and exhibit these virtues in their daily lives.

From left: Chief Ayo Opadokun, the host; Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori, Osun State Deputy Governor, the hostess, Mrs. Nike Opadokun and Dr. Olawuyi James, Chairman, Kwara Baptist Conference, at the 10th Anniversary celebrations of Ayo Opadokun Christmas Carol in Offa, Kwara State, weekend.

Customs arrests passenger with $456,000 at Lagos airport BY DANIEL ETEGHE

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AGOS— The Murtala M u h a m m e d International Airport, MMIA, Command of the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, yesterday arrested a passenger, Mr. Ikebude Akoma, with $456,000 during the outward clearance of passengers of Qatar Airways flight to China en route Doha. Speaking on the arrest, the

Public Relations Officer of the Airport Command of Nigeria Customs Service, Mrs. Thelma Williams said that the passenger was apprehended for not being able to explain to the Customs authorities the source of the foreign currency with either bureau de change or bank slip which was a prerequisite for a proper documentation of the currency. Mrs. Williams noted

Xmas: Osogbo residents in last-minute shopping .Aregbesola felicitates with Christians BY GBENGA OLARINOYE with Agency Reports

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SOGBO— Few hours to the Christmas celebration, Christian faithful in Osogbo made last minute rush to get essential needs for the celebration. At the popular Igbonan Market, people were seen yesterday bargaining for different types of items ranging from chicken to pepper and other food items. Meantime, the Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola had felicitated with Christians across the federation, charging them to reflect the essence of Christmas as they celebrate the season. Aregbesola in a statement signed by the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy,, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon in commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ, appealed to all Christians to reflect deeply on the essence of Christmas in their celebration, urging them to remember the

humility associated with the birth of Jesus Christ. The Governor also said that Christians must love all, including nonChristians for a better society. The News Agency of Nigeria spoke with some of the Xmas shoppers. One of the customers, who identified herself as Temitope Asaolu said: ” This year is peculiar, the high price coupled with the economic hardship will make it impossible for many to celebrate Xmas properly." ‘’I have been here since over three hours, I have not been able to see the chicken that is affordable for me to buy, they are just too expensive.

further that the passenger with the passport number A04073478, was arrested at the ‘E’ wing section of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport screening hall from where he was interrogated by officials on duty before being handed over the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). According to her, the passenger was guilty of the law for his inability to convince relevant authorities over the source of the money as well as his defiance of rules concerning the movement of huge sum of foreign currency outside the country. She said: ”During the outward clearance of Qatar Airways flight to China via Doha, our officials reported that one passenger identified as Ikebude Akome with passport number A04073478 declared f$456,000 at E Wing screening hall of the Lagos Airport. “On further investigation, it was discovered that the passenger had no proper document like the bureau de change or bank slip.” she added. Williams, however, pointed out that the passenger had been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for further investigations and necessary actions.

Fashola tasks new perm secs BY MONSUR OLOWOOPEJO

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KEJA — Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State yesterday called on the 16 newly appointed permanent secretaries to

discharge their duties in line with the service charter of the state. Fashola made the call at the swearing-in of the permanent secretaries at the Government House, Ikeja.

KURE — ONDO State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko has restated his commitment to further transform the state in the next four years. He said this while hosting members of some interest groups at the Government House in Akure. The groups include the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress, market men and women, National Union of Road Transport Workers, Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, National Council of Women Society, Nigerian Medical Association and the Non-Indigenes in the state, among others. The Governor appreciated the groups for their unalloyed support for him in the October 20 governorship election where he emerged the winner. Mimiko also commended the people of the state for their favourable dispositions towards his administration’s programmes, assuring that he would continue to work for them so as to move the state to an enviable position. Meantime, the Governor has charged Christians in the state to emulate the humility of Jesus Christ, whom he said, is the main reason for the celebration of Christmas in the world today because of his exemplary traits. The admonition was contained in Mimiko’s goodwill message to the people of the state as they celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, son of the Most High God, whom Mimiko said, chose to be born in a manger despite his mightiness. Governor Mimiko noted that this year ’s celebration calls for sober reflection, restraint and fervent prayers for the nation.

Victor Ogundipe is dead

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R. VICTOR Ogundipe, a former banking executive died in Abuja on December 16 after a brief illness. Late Ogundipe’s wife, Mrs. Oluwaleke Ogundipe, in a statement on behalf of the family yesterday, said: “I regret to inform you of the passing of my husband Victor A. Ogundipe, which sad event occurred on Sunday, December 16, 2012, after a brief illness." Late Ogundipe contributed weekly articles to Vanguard newspaper between 2005 and 2006. His funeral arrangements are as follows: Service of Songs on January 10, 2013 at his residence, Katampe Phase 3 Estate, Katampe, Abuja, from 4p.m. Funeral service follows the next day, 11a.m. at the same venue.


Vanguard, TUESDAY TUESDAY,, DECEMBER 25, 2012—11

Guanah Farms boosts farmers in Delta

Nigerians in Austria petition Jonathan over alleged neglect by embassy BY EGUFE YAFUGBORHI

BY FESTUS AHON

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GHELLI—AS victims of the recent flood, which wreaked havoc across the country, still grapple with its devastating effects, Raymos Guanah Farms Limited, weekend, donated 2,500 pineapple suckers, 1,000 plantain suckers and 200kg of seed rice to farmers as assistance to victims in Patani Local Government Area in Delta State. Promising to also provide 3,000 fingerlings of tilapia, Chief Executive Officer of the farm, Mr Raymos Guanah, said the donation was to assist farmers in the council, who lost their crops, fishes and farmlands to go back to their farms. Guanah said farming was the main source of livelihood of the people of the area.

Ifeneziuche crowned Igwete of Amai Kingdom

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ING makers of Amai Kingdom, in Ukwuani Local Government Area of Delta State, have notified the state government that His Royal Majesty, Paul Solomon Ifeneziuche, has been crowned the new Igwete of Amai Kingdom. The king makers’ notification was contained in a letter sent to Delta State Deputy Governor, Prof. Amos Utuama, dated December18, 2012 and signed by the heads of the five ruling houses in the kingdom, Okpala Uku of Umubu, Chief Osaobodo Uwedone; Okpala-Uku of Umuekum, Chief Afum Obanashim; Okpala-Uku of Amai-Nge, Chief Sam Ubiagba; Okpala-Uku of Umuosele, Chief Lagos Eghenwonu; and Okpala-Uku of Ishikaguma, Chief Okwuose Chukwuma respectively. According to the king makers the crowning of HRM Ifeneziuche was sequel to the demise of the former Igwete of Amai Kingdom late Chief Monday Ossai.

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ORT HARCOURT— NIGERIANS in Austria have petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan over alleged indifference by the country’s Ambassador to that country, Mrs. Maria Laose, to the plight of Nigerians, following various ill-treatment they suffer in the hands of the host government. Expressing their frustrations in a chat with Vanguard in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, one of the complainants residing in Austria, Mr. Uzoma Ahamefule, claimed that rather than protect their interests, the ambassador was busy signing the deportation of Nigerians without proper investigation. Ahamefule, who spoke for National Association of Nigerian Community in Austria, NANCA, said: “The cat and mouse relationship with the ambassador has led to a disconnect between us and the Nigerian embassy and this has encouraged infringement on our immi-

grants’ rights with impunity over there.” Ahamefule added that NANCA was also bitter that for the first time in its history in Austria, the Nigerian Embassy under Ambassador La-

ose denied them formal invitation to collectively celebrate the 52nd independence anniversary of Nigeria earlier in October, as had been established for many years. “Deportations of Nigerians in

VISIT: Traditional rulers in Delta State during their condolence/congratulatory visit to the new Ovie of Agbarha-Otor (4th right) HRM, Richard Oghenevwogaga Ebelle Okoroefe I, at the palace in Agbarha-Otor.

Uyigue flays Anenih’s appointment as NPA board chairman where he had served before?” BY SIMON EBEGBULEM

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ENIN—ONE of the founding members of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Edo State, Elder Sunny Uyigue, yesterday, said that the re-appointment of former Chairman, Board of Trustees of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, as chairman of Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, by President Goodluck Jonathan, was an affront on Nigerian youths. Attributing the appoint-

ment to what he described as the 2015 presidential ambition of President Jonathan, Uyigue, who is now a chieftain of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in the state, said the action of the President was contrary to his promise to provide employment opportunities for the youths, adding that this “is plot to finally make Anenih chairman BOT of PDP. “Presdent Jonathan promised the youths of Nigeria jobs, so why will he now make Chief Anenih, at almost 80, Chairman of NPA,

Expressing confidence that the proposed mega party, ahead the 2015 presidential election, will see to the end of PDP in the country, Uyigue, said: “The July 14 governorship election in Edo State, where Mr. Adams Oshiomhole won in the entire 18 local government areas, was supposed to tell the President that PDP is dead in many states of the federation as a result of their dictatorial style of leadership. “If Jonathan decides to give a man almost 80 such position, then what is the hope of the youths and yet he preaches youths empowerment.”

Delta commissioner calls for delineation of duties among FG, states, LGs BY EMMA AMAIZE

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A R R I — D E LTA State Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Mr. Newworld Safugha, has stressed the need for proper division of responsibilities and resources among the federal, state and local governments, to ensure good governance and success of the federal system. Mr. Safugha, in Warri, Delta State, at a two-day

Austria continues without contact or proper identification of their nationalities by the embassy. Some of the people they claim they could identify went through charade interviews, with the conduct of the interview outside the premises of the Nigerian embassy with a predetermined result,” he alleged.

orientation workshop for newly inaugurated local government transition and caretaker committees in the state, said the system “should be supported by a sufficient institutional capacity at each level to carry out its assigned functions for the benefit of the citizens.” Noting that the local government forms the bedrock of the nation’s democracy and “as third tier of government, occupies an important position in the overall devel-

opment of the country and in the delivery of democratic dividends,” he added that his ministry was committed to fulfilling its mandate of training and retraining elected/appointed local government functionaries for optimum performance. “In order to bring the desired development to the grassroots, the building of capacity of key players in the councils becomes paramount so as to ensure effective, measurable and efficient service delivery to the people at the grassroots.”

Senior citizens in Bayelsa to receive monthly stipend BY SAMUEL OYADONGHA

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ENAGOA—AGED per sons in Bayelsa State are to benefit from a monthly stipend from the state government for their upkeep and wellbeing, the state governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson, has disclosed. The governor also approved the construction of a befitting old peoples home in the state to ease the pressure on those who do not have the means or people to stay at home to look after their aged parents. Dickson, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said: “The move is in line with government’s resolve and commitment to cater for the welfare and wellbeing of all in the state, particularly the aged and vulnerable amongst us. The governor has extended special yuletide greetings to all aged persons in the state and in that regard has directed that special Christmas presents and cash gifts be extended to all aged persons in the state from the age of 75 years and above.”


12—Vanguard, TUESDAY TUESDAY,, DECEMBER 25, 2012

Naval Engineering College graduates 2012 2nd batch

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APELE—Nigerian Naval Engineering College, Naval Base, Ogorode, Sapele, Sapele Local Government Area of Delta State, has graduated 179 trainees from its two departments, made up of seven schools, in the last batch of its 2012 academic year Of the figure, A23B of the Marine Engineering school passed out 16 trainees, the Weapon Engineering School has 13, the Automobile Mechanic Course has 13, the A25A Marine Engineering school has 16, the A25A Weapon Engineering school has 18, the POME/POWE qualifying course has 14, the Leading Mechanic course has 29 and the Fire Man class has 27.

Rivers projects N490.32bn for 2013 BY JIMITOTA ONOYUME & EGUFE YAFUGBORHI

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ORT HAR COURT—GOVERNOR Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, has sent to the state House of Assembly, a budget proposal of N490.32 billion for the 2013 fiscal year for the state. The proposed budget presented to the lawmakers at the Assembly chambers, yesterday, was padded by N52.32 billion, translating to 11.95 per cent increase from the N438 billion appropriated for the year ending December 2012. The budget is tagged “Budget of Work in Progress.” The governor said: “We are committed to ensuring that no project is left uncompleted in the life of this administration. In 2013, our commitment to the critical sectors that drive and sustain economic growth (power, roads and

transport, education and health) will continue to remain topmost priority.” The N490.32 billion proposed for 2013, is to be funded by Statutory Allocation of N245 billion; Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, including social levy of N80 billion;

Prior year balance of N48.32 billion; Bond proceeds of N100 billion and World Bank/African Development Bank, ADB, credit of N17 billion. From its breakdown, capital expenditure for 2013 is put at N314.30 billion (64.10 percent) as against N323.70 billion in

2012. Recurrent projected is put at N176.02 billion (35.90 percent) against N114.25 billion in 2012 representing a sharp increase of 54.06 percent in recurrent expenditure and 2.92 percent dive in capital expenditure compared to the 2012 votes respectively.

From left: Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Lady Valerie Ebe; Governor Godswill Akpabio; Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Elder Samuel Ikon; and his Deputy, Sir Kierian Akpan, during the funeral service of the mother of the member representing Mkpat Enin State Constituency in the House of Assembly, Late Deaconess Alice Sampson, at Ikot Unya, Mkpat Enin.

....As Dickson presents N285.93bn 2013 budget to Bayelsa House BY SAMUEL OYADONGHA

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E N AG OA — G OV ERNOR Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, yesterday, presented his 2013 Appropriation Bill of N285.930 billion to the state House of Assembly for approval. The N285.93 billion budget is an increase of N48 billion from the 2012 revised budget of N217.58 billion presented to the Assembly by the governor, which was

later jerked up to N238.157 billion. Tagged Budget of Consolidation, the governor said out of the appropriated sum, N98.71 billion was earmarked for recurrent expenditure while N156.305 billion was voted for capital expenditure. The proposed bill, according to the governor, will be financed from a total revenue projection ofN247.902 billion and capital receipts of N38.028 billion.

In his sectoral analysis, the Works and Infrastruture sub-sector took the lead with N38.8 billion followed by Education with N28.4 billion. Justifying the vote for the Works and Infrastructure sub sector, the governor said it will assist in the completion of ongoing projects and commencement of new ones that will be of benefit to the people of the state. On the execution of some of these projects,

Ndoma-Egba assures on passage of PIB BY JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU

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ALABAR—SENATE Leader, Chief Victor Ndoma-Egba, SAN, has said that the National Assembly will embark on lobby and negotiations to ensure that the Petroleum Industry Bill does not suffer a stillbirth. Ndoma-Egba, who reacted to the alleged gang up against the bill by Northern legislators, in Calabar, Cross River State, explained that everything will be done

to make it see the light of the day, since the bill held the key to the envisaged reforms in the petroleum sector. He noted that the two chambers of the National Assembly, with membership strength of 469, were an amalgamation of different interest groups with each fighting to protect its interest, adding that a bill like PIB seeking to unbundle Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, lobby will be exploited to see it through for the good of all. He said: “For me, I am not surprised that the

North is agitated but the zone has not said it is against reforms in the petroleum industry. This bill is very relevant to the oil sector. At the appropriate time, we shall go into negotiations and horse trading and arrive at a compromise for the bill to be passed into law.” Ndoma-Egba maintained that the advantages of the bill far outweighed its disadvantages hence Nigerians should see the need to have a bill that would make investors come in to set up refineries and encourage competition in the sector.


Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012 —13

Enugu community moves against obnoxious practices BY TONY EDIKE

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NUGU—AKPUGO community an Nkanu clan of Enugu State came together at the weekend to seek practical solution to the issue of segregation among members of the community. The segregation had slowed down the progress of the community and the indigenes have vowed to effect a change that would lead to the development of the area. The meeting, tagged “Akpugo in the 21st Century and the way Forward” and packaged by Akpugo General Assembly, Lagos in collaboration with Akpugo Christ Ambassadors, Lagos, dealt with the issue of Obia (settlers) and Amadu (aborigines). The coordinator of the meeting, Pastor John Nwatu, told the gathering at the Nike lake Resort, Enugu, that the issue of the Obia and Amadu among the community members was one evil seed “our ancestors sowed which grew into a mighty tree that metamorphosed into segregation and separation among us.”

Abia to get N1.2bn MDGs fund BY ANAYO OKOLI

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MUAHIA—ABIA State will get about N1.2 billion this year under the conditional grants scheme of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG). Meanwhile, about N607 million was spent on MGD projects in the state in 2011. Senior special Assistant to the President on MDG, Dr. Precious Gbeneol, disclosed this while inaugurating projects executed under 2011 Millennium Development Goals Conditional Grant Scheme in Abia state. Also 17 well equipped Ambulances were distributed to the health centres in the 17 Local Government Councils. Gbeneol said her office last year funded projects in three local government areas of Obingwa, Ohafia and Ikwuano with each receiving N200 million each. C M Y K

Civil defence nabs 5 over petroleum products’ adulteration in Enugu E

NUGU—ENUGU State Command of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, has arrested five men for alleged adulteration of petroleum products in Enugu. Parading the suspects in Enugu yesterday, the Commandant, Mr Nathaniel Ubong, said the arrest was made in line with the mandate of the corps to provide protection to critical government infrastructure and property of individuals. Ubong said a team of the Anti-vandal and Arms Squad of the command arrested the five suspects while adulterating petroleum on December 20, at Emene on the Enugu-Abakaliki Expressway. He said that men of the command on patrol suspected illegal activities relating to petroleum adulteration at a site owned by Don Ventures at Emene and made the arrest. “ We swooped on the location because the place is not a refinery, filling station or depot. “Part of our duty is to ensure that the industry is sanitised and that petroleum products are

safe for consumption.” He said the command would continue to investigate the suspects, adding that the corps could not fold its arms and watch unpatriotic Nigeri-

ans take laws into their hands. He assured that the command would do its best to sanitise the industry by ensuring that products purchased were genuine, adding that this

AGM: Mr. Kayode Gafar, Director, Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (right) presenting an award to Mr. Sunday Adeneye (middle) and Mr. Omobolaji Onibudo, State Chairman, at the Nigerian Red Cross, Lagos State branch 2012 Annual General Meeting in Lagos.

....As Okada riders threaten showdown with Enugu govt BY VINCENT UJUMADU

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WKA—HUNDREDS of Okada riders of Ebonyi State extraction operating in Anambra State have threatened a showdown with authorities in Enugu State over the rumour making rounds that motorcycle operators would not be allowed to pass through the Coal city to their state during this Christmas. Enugu State banned the use

of commercial motorcycle known as Okada in Enugu sometime ago, which made most of them operating there who hailed from the neighbouring Ebonyi to shift their trade to Anambra State where Okada business is still making waves. At this time of the year, the Okada riders are usually seen in convoys from Onitsha and other parts of Anambra State, through Awka to Enugu and heading to Ebonyi State with

their loads, including bags of rice and household items tied on their motorcycles. However, the worry of the Okada riders at present is how to pass through Enugu to their state for the Christmas and New Year celebrations as they usually do every year, following reports that Enugu State Government had planned to impound any Okada found on Enugu roads in line with the law banning the use of commercial motorcycle in the state.

Why we suspended work at project sites —Gov Obi jobs that we are presently BY VINCENT UJUMADU

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WKA—GOVERNOR Pe ter Obi of Anambra State said weekend that stoppage of work at various project sites in the state was due to Christmas holidays, assuring that project execution would begin in earnest as soon as the festive period was over. Obi, who spoke while inspecting the on-going palliative work on Onitsha-Enugu dual carriageway, noted that it was customary for construction companies to vacate sites during the Christmas period. Insisting that his adminis-

would help individuals and companies. NAN reports that the suspects were arrested with three trucks loaded with petroleum products.

tration had funds to pay for projects being executed in the state, Obi said: “Anambra State government under my watch is financially liquid to go on with her various projects. “If you have been following development in the state, you would notice that we have also continued with the money we give to missionaries. “Rather than the threeweek holidays contractors usually take during Christmas period, we have talked to them not to stay more than two weeks before resuming work on the many

executing and the need for them to make maximum use of the dry season. “I am happy to note that all of them agreed and, in fact, told us that they will grant whatever request we make because we do not owe them. “We have enough resources, saved through prudence management, for project execution for the benefit of the state.” Obi also spoke on his continued flagging off of projects even as his tenure would soon end, adding that he was satisfied that the state had the financial muscle to carry out the projects.

Christmas: MASSOB volunteers to assist security agencies in S-East

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BY ANAYO OKOLI

M UA H I A — M O V E MENT for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, has volunteered to assist security agencies in the South East to protect lives and properties during and after the Christmas and New Year Celebrations. Consequently, the group has warned criminals planning to attack travelers to have rethink and steer clear of the South East zone or face its wrath. MASSOB Onitsha Region One Administrator, Chief Omenka Emmanuel, and his Director of Information, Mazi Okoro Sunday, said in a statement: “Apart from the activities of Boko Haram Islamic set who have been killing and terrorizing Nigerians in the North, MASSOB is also concerned about armed robbery and kidnapping that are associated with the yuletide.


14—Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012

APGA calls for LG elections in Abia BY ANAYO OKOLI

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MUAHIA—ABIA State chapter of All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, has called on the state government to set in motion the process of conducting local government elections, saying it was unconstitutional to run the councils through caretaker committees. Governor Theodore Orji had three months ago announced that the council elections would be conducted next month and urged both the ruling and opposition parties to prepare. However, a few weeks later, the state House of Assembly over ruled the governor’s position, saying the election would not hold next month because the state electoral body, ABSIEC, was not prepared due to lack of budget for the election. But rising from an emergency meeting in Umuahia weekend, APGA reminded the state of the need to have elected leaders at the local government level, and urged the government to hasten up and conduct elections at that level.

ACN chieftain urges Nigerians to pray for unity BY ONOZURE DANIA

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AGOS—FORMER National ViceChairman South-West, of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Mr. Tajudeen Olusi, has urged Christians in the country to rededicate their lives to the virtues of Christ and pray for peace, unity and prosperity of Nigeria. Olusi said in an interview that if Nigerians, both Christians and Muslims alike, could imbibe the virtues of Christ, who remained calm and forgiving in the face of persecution, Nigeria will be a very good place to live. Olusi, while expressing optimism that the New Year will usher in peace and abundance for Nigerians, also appealed to Nigerians to rededicate their lives to the service of their fatherland by shunning corruption and wanton destruction of lives and property in the new year.

2015: We’re not against Jonathan —Yar’Adua associates BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE

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BUJA—ASSOCIATES of late President Umaru Musa Yar ’Adua, have distanced themselves from reports that they had regrouped and mapped out strategies to stop President Goodluck Jonathan from securing a second term ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and winning the 2015 presidential polls. A leading member of the group and former Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Minister, Senator Adamu Aliero, said in a statement yesterday that there was no iota of truth in the story, insisting that the group had not met in the last three years. “We did not meet in Abuja, Katsina or Kaduna as insinuated in the report. We have no reason to conspire or plot against President Goodluck Jonathan, who was Vice-President to the late President Yar ’Adua. Since Yar’Adua’s death, we have done our best to support the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan and our party, the Peoples Democratic Party, which went ahead to win a re-run poll in Kebbi State. “None of us has lived in trenches. We have no basis to go

back to political trenches. We are not guerilla or subterranean politicians. We are not involved in political conspiracy or insurgency. To confer this derogatory status on us is to assume that we are at war with the state or President Goodluck Jonathan. We have no cause to engage in any political conspiracy,” he said. According to the former Kebbi State governor, the group was

not under pressure from any quarters to stop President Jonathan, who was a loyal deputy to late President Yar’Adua. The statement read in part: “Our attention has been drawn to a report alleging that some cabinet members and associates of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua have regrouped to

LAUNCHING: From left: Director, Department of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Osten Olorunsola; Director General, Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON, Dr Joseph Odumodu, and Head, Consumer Protection, Lagos, Mrs. Ngozi Obidike, at the launch of Mobile Fuel Laboratory by SON.

SURE-P: FG to employ 3,000 youths, women, vulnerable persons in Enugu BY TONY EDIKE

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NUGU—THE Federal Government has ordered the immediate employment of 3000 youths, women and vulnerable persons in Enugu State under the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P. Under the programme, the participants will be engaged

under a scheme called Community Services, Women and Youth Employment, CSWYE, and paid a monthly stipend of N10,000 each. The CSWYE employees or participants will work in projects such as rehabilitation of hospitals and primary health centres, rehabilitation of schools and repairs of educational infrastructure, con-

struction of water supply projects, sanitation, brick moulding and other repairs of critical community projects. State Coordinator of the National Directorate of Employment, NDE, Mr. Nnamdi Asomugha, disclosed this while speaking with newsmen in Enugu.

Jumia partners JP Morgan to boost e-commerce In a statement, weekend, the desired results first for our cusin Nigeria

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AGOS—JUMIA, an online retail company, has entered into partnership with globally renowned financial institution, JP Morgan, to boost Electronic e-commerce in Nigeria. The company has also concluded plans to create an additional 100 jobs next year from its current 150 staff.

company said its decision to partner with JP Morgan, was to help it function at innovative peak, and overcome the challenges of infrastructure, communication including supply and logistics and expand into other markets beyond Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. “Through a consolidation with JP Morgan, we have begun to grow our business and yield

tomers and then, our organisation. “With products and brands from electronic, computing, mobile, fashion, games and consoles, etc, we have consolidated our business with various foreign partners, grown our staff strength from 15-150 in six months, with plans for an additional 100 jobs next year,” the statement said.

Yuletide: Ohazulike warns motorists against reckless driving mas celebrations. BY NNAMDI OJIEGO &

IKENNAASOMBA AGOS—WORRIED by the incessant road carnage, especially during festive periods, Eze Hyacinth Ohazulike, the Eze Ndigbo of Lagos State, has admonished travellers particularly Ndigbo, to drive with caution while travelling for Christ-

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stop President Goodluck Jonathan from securing a second term ticket or winning the presidency in 2015. There was no any iota of truth in the story. It must have been a mere imagination of the reporter in question. All those mentioned in the report were shocked by the extent to which their integrity was impugned.”

In his goodwill message to Ndigbo, during the end-of-year celebration, Ohazulike stressed the need for travellers to always adhere to traffic rules to avoid unnecessary accidents leading to loss of lives and valuables. He said: “For all Ndigbo travelling home this yuletide, I urge them to avoid over-speeding

and reckless driving. This is the only way they can avoid unnecessary accidents and be alive for their families. “Ndigbo should also continue to maintain peace and order in Lagos State and the country in general, because we have been known to always be at the forefront of peace in the country.”

Elechi urges improved public procurement modalities

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BAKALIKI—GOVER NOR Martin Elechi of Ebonyi State has called for improved public procurement modalities to ensure the durability of equipment and other facilities. Elechi made the call in Abakaliki, yesterday, while inspecting damage on some parts of the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, Abakaliki, complex, gutted by fire on Saturday night. The fire completely burnt the NTA studio, the Master Control Room and some equipment worth millions of naira. The governor expressed sympathy with the management and staff of the organisation over the incident and described it as tragic. He noted that although the real cause of the incident had not been ascertained, the presumed cause of faulty electrical wiring could have been avoided through proper procurement processes. The governor said: “We hope that relevant NTA authorities will carry out thorough investigation on the incident to avert a recurrence. “However, the state government is ready to assist the organisation.”


Vanguard , TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012—15

Bishop Kukah preaches peaceful co-existence S

OKOTO—BISHOP Hassan Kukah, Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, yesterday, tasked Nigerians to work towards building a united nation devoid of religious, ethnic and political sentiments. In a Christmas and New Year message made available to newsmen in Sokoto, Kukah said Nigeria would continue to remain as one entity, and stressed the need for all and sundry to work towards the promotion of peace and unity. Bishop Kukah commended the Federal Government for resuscitating the rail haulage

from Lagos to Kano, adding that the gesture would fasttrack the socio-economic and political growth of the country. He commended the National Assembly for early passage of the 2013 budget, adding “it is a good omen for the nation’s nascent democracy.” The bishop, however, called on President Goodluck Jonathan, governors and local government chairmen to “rethink the issues of the massive and unacceptable hemorrhage of the state funds to service lifestyles. “This has become clearly unacceptable and untenable

with the principles of good concrete measures at addressing governance in the country.” the insecurity situation in the He also called on the Fed- country. eral Government to evolve Kukah called on the govern-

ment to adequately equip the security agencies to enable them deal with the current security challenges.

Fire razes Abuja fruits market A

BUJA—TRADERS in Zuba Fruits Market, Abuja, are lamenting their losses in a fire which broke out in the market in the early hours of yesterday. Some of the traders told the Chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council, Alhaji Zakari Angulu, that the fire started at 2am.

Alhaji Abdullahi Saadu, Chairman, Zuba Fruits Market Association, said the cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained. He commended the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, in Zuba, Mr. Femi Adelegan, for ensuring that the neighbouring residential houses were not affected.

He said: “We were helpless when the fire started at about 2am. We called the DPO and he called the Fire Service in Kubwa. All the shops in the market were razed by the fire although no life was lost. “We appeal to the relevant authorities, particularly the FCT Minister, to come to our aid since our means of livelihood have been destroyed by fire.” Responding, Angulu said the visit was in line with his administration’s commitment to ensuring that lives and property were protected. He said: “We are here to see the extent of the damage to enable us to report to the appropriate authorities, particularly the FCT Minister.”

FG appoints 2 new Perm Secs BY FAVOUR NNABUGWU

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BUJA—PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has approved the appointment of Dr. Jamila Shuara and Dr. Clement Illoh as permanent secretaries in the Federal Civil Service. Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Alhaji Isa Sali, made this known in a statement in Abuja, yesterday. He said the new appointments were made following the retirement from service, on November 23, of the permanent secretary representing the South-South zone and that of Delta State, whose retirement takes effect from January 15, 2013.

Vigil

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HRIST World Healing Place will hold a five-day vigil entitled Night of Unlimited Breakthrough, with the theme By This Time Next Year, from December 27 to 31 at the Church auditorium at Egbeda, Lagos. Presiding Pastor, Prophet Bankole Olarenwaju, and other men of God, will be ministering.


16—Vanguard , TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012

CHRISTMAS ON THEIR MIND

Trading at Cele Bus Stop in Lagos, yesterday.

Cele Bus Stop, Lagos, yesterday. PHOTOS: Joe Akintola, Photo Editor; Biodun Ogunleye, Nath Onojake, Wumi Akinola and Diran Oshe. A farmer from Debore village, Abeokuta, Ogun State, displaying his produce.

Traffic on the Onitsha Bridge.

Shopping at Oshodi Market, Lagos. C M Y K

Commuters make use of their legs on the Onitsha Bridge.

Kuto Market.

Commuters travelling out of Lagos for Christmas at Ojota park, yesterday.


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Give thanks

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S the year 2012 gradually winds down and goes the way of 2011, one of the prominent news items to be seen around the world is the fact that the year has been one of the deadliest for journalists. There can be no doubt that this year has taken a terrible toll on journalists. Many of them were killed in the line of duty, often targets of brutal regimes and dictators out to settle score with those they consider their enemies simply on account of the type of job they do. But not only for journalists, 2012 has been truly a gruelling year for many, professionals and nonprofessionals alike. It’s been a year of cataclysmic occurrences which underscore the increasingly evident change in the direction of global weather patterns. It’s been a year of terrible earthquakes, freak storms, hurricanes and floods that wreaked entire towns and communities. Wars that have raged in different parts of the world have not abated while the human heart appears to grow darker. Nations have risen against nations and families have turned on one another. Murders have increased as have suicides- the latest being the gory harvest in Newtown,

Connecticut in the United States, where a twenty-year old man finally gave in to the demons in his head and put his mother’s personal ‘armoury’, her little ‘chest of war ’ into operation and promptly sent 26 innocents made up mainly of 6 and 7 years old children and six of their instructors to very brutal and untimely death. He started his grim operation with the woman that brought him into the world- his own mother. In Nigeria, the year has been no less terrible. It started on a grand note of larceny, a bare-faced lie not to raise fuel prices at a time Abuja had completed plans to remove socalled oil subsidy it gives super rich kids masquerading as oil marketers. It was a rude slap in the face of Nigerians by an administration that was walking down the thoroughfare of deception constructed by previous regimes. It precipitated an energy crisis the country is still reeling in. As recently as a fortnight ago when I was in Abuja, fuel was still being sold in jerry cans by the road side while all across the country fuel stations have started the seasonal hoarding of their products in anticipation of yet another increase in fuel prices. Although

Simple and trite as it sounds, the best things in life are still to be had free- from the air we breathe to the world we live in. When we know this we would learn to be grateful

Abuja has denied any planned increment but nobody takes such denial seriously. Not in the light of what transpired about this time last year. In a period when employed Nigerians are apparently fewer in number than at any other time, available statistics say the greatest part of the national revenue, as high as 70percent, goes into recurrent spending, mostly on elected and unelected so-called public servants. Many in the private sectors have lost their jobs where those who still have theirs can’t be sure of what lies ahead for them. But the profligacy continues all around with more state officials buying private jets at public expense while others crash theirsalso at public expense.

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n many communities across Nigeria, floods wreaked havoc that echoed biblical records. Hundreds of thousands, probably millions, were sent into refugee camps where they will be spending Christmas and New Year celebrations in circumstances that are aggravating to the mental and physical health of human beings. Many of these flood-ravaged

communities are responsible for the huge wealth being squandered in government circles around the 36 states and Abuja. But this season, they will spend time huddled together in environments that expose them to avoidable health risks. While we heard less of hired assassins this year, there was exponential rise in kidnappings, especially in the South-east, where this practice that threatens national security is now a major money-spinning industry despite legislations criminalising it. Millions of Naira are made monthly by kidnappers operating in the region, we now hear. Nobody is safe, from commissioners to legislators, ministers to business persons and their families- all are now targets of kidnappers. While the outcry and the huge deployment of security personnel that greeted the kidnapping of the mother of the Finance Minister might have called attention to the peculiar state of chaos that kidnapping is fast turning the affected region into, such responses are not likely to reduce abduction-related crimes. Not when the high-flying victims of kidnappers such as the minister’s mother are alleged to have paid huge ransom to secure their release. Or the craze for quick and easy wealth remains the target of young Nigerians. How about the terrorists in our midst- what has been their score card in 2012? They have been as brutal but no less cowardly as ever. As usual, no space is immune to their attacks- from worship centres to military fortes, markets to educational centres and private homes. In one breath they call for negotiation and in another promise more fire and molten magma- all the while hiding behind the veil of anonymity.

Many Nigerians are still dying from the atrocities of these beasts while businesses have been badly destroyed in parts of the north where the group(s) have continued to operate. Government itself is not in any way wiser in its dealings with the terrorists or their accomplices that have been exposed among the ruling echelon. It continues to vacillate between negotiating with these faceless anarchists in retreat or taking them out when and where it encounters them. Aside kidnappers and terrorists, armed robbers have not been silent. They have been more brazen and demonic in their operations. Banks are still been raided while homes are not allowed the peace that should be the natural preserve of such places. In all this, however, there are still things to bring warm smiles, even loud laughters, into the faces of many. Our collective state of well being may be less than it should be, to say nothing of it measuring up to the ideal but there are and, hopefully, must still be grounds for us to feel it’s not all been a wasted year individually. It is the memories of these seemingly little but many joys that make life liveable that we need hold on to. We need not own private jets or live on stolen wealth in exotic locations in and outside the country or turn the commonwealth into our private vaults to know the pleasures of God’s beneficence- huge and many, if we would learn to recognise them. Simple and trite as it sounds, the best things in life are still to be had free- from the air we breathe to the world we live in. When we know this we would learn to be grateful. And with such grateful heart, I wish you all happy holidays- Merry Christmas and great 2013!

A mansion to match ‘the Personality' of our homeless Vice President

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OU wish to Allah the Merciful that what you heard about the request for an additional N9 billion for the construction of a brand new mansion for the Vice President is not true, that you had just woken up from a nightmare when you heard lying voices in the dark seeking to “heat up” your head and “the polity ” (apologies to President Jonathan’s spokesmen). Alas, it is true. When N7.5 billion was originally approved, in 2009, for the construction of the same house, you had dismissed, with a holy oath, the father of lies who had been whispering such damnable falsehood in your ear. You were as incredulous as Adeyemi Smart, a senator, would be three years later when Adamu Ismail, executive secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority defended the act of naked plunder before the FCT senate committee, and you screamed at the fleeing Satan: “Is this house to be built on earth or in heaven? Will the sand, cement, iron rods, tiles, doors and every other material needed for it be made of gold? Will the builders and labourers be paid in gold weights? Tuffia! Get thee behind me, Satan,” you railed and went about your business. Yet, it was true then as it is now. Ismail did not once mention “gold” as he explained the scope of Project VP’s Mansion. The additional N9 billion, a 120 percent increase to the original approved sum, is needed to “build a banquet hall, protocol guest house, two other guest houses and civil infrastructure, as well as to purchase furniture and install security gadgets.” Apparently, there had been an unforgivable, even criminal, neglect in the original plan and design of the mansion. But it goes without saying that without these additional

amenities, the resultant edifice would be unfit for purpose and an insult to the office and person of the vice president. Which is why Ismail was quick to inform the senate that the “additional scope to be done on the project” (sic) was “because of the personality of Mr. Vice President.” Got it? A mansion befitting of the Vice President’s personality. Got the bit about civil infrastructure too? According to Ismail, the Bureau of Public Procurement “approved over N6 billion” after vetting the request but that “would not be enough,” given that “there are some other adjustments needed to be done,” the details of which he would disclose at a later date and time. But why trouble him to justify what every fool knows? Take only one befitting amenity, the banquet hall, which is to gulp N2.2 billion. As General Obasanjo, who should know, told us, high public service is an invitation to “come and chop.” Where is the best place to chop? A banquet hall, of course! And what should the tables, chairs, chinaware, cutlery and the very walls of the hall itself be made of if the chopping is to be worth its salt (pun intended)? Why, gold! As for the food, let’s just say that it is not what every Mukoro, Musa or Moriamo, with no personality, eats in a Mama-Put or buka far from banquet halls.

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here was one almost plausible justification for Project VP’s Mansion. Since 1999 when the great new epoch of democracy dawned on us, the vice president has been, to our shame, homeless. Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar squatted in the official residence of the Chief Justice throughout his tenure. Jonathan endured the added indignity of being relocated to Akinola Aguda House, the Presidential guest

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—17 Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012—

Only that after this, we must never again hear of government officials going to Germany, anywhere outside the borders of this rich country, for medical treatment

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house, before blind luck elevated him to Aso Rock. This unflattering image of a wandering, homeless vice president of the oil-crazed Giant of Africa is what the government seeks to erase quickly before we become the laughing-stock of the world. Thankfully, we have petro-dollars to burn. What was it former military dictator General Yakubu Gowon is reputed to have said at the beginning of our oil-induced madness — that money is not our problem but how to spend it? We have long solved that problem,

with the cement armada that followed that utterance, appropriately enough, as a proof. So, let us build a N16 billion mansion to match the personality of our vice president. And let us remember to furnish it with furniture “bought from heaven,” as the bewildered Senator Adeyemi wondered aloud. Only that after this, we must never again hear of government officials going to Germany, anywhere outside the borders of this rich country, for medical treatment. The president and all political office holders must be prohibited from sending their children to school abroad while they remain in office. A country that can lavish so many billions on its vice president’s house is clearly not a beggar nation. Therefore, Jonathan must not attempt the inhuman act of levying another expropriation tax on citizens reeling from the monstrous blows of endemic joblessness and poverty by way of a further withdrawal of the bogus, so-called subsidy on refined oil products. For just think what N16 billion could do to transform one of our teaching hospitals, making it unnecessary for Mrs. Jonathan to enrich Germany with the loads of hard currency she frittered away during her recent “vacation?” Or what that sum could do to rehabilitate primary schools across the country even if at a mere N500 million per state? Just think!


18 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012 TODAY is Christmas. It may just happen on millions of Nigerians who have survived one of the worst years of their lives – fuel scarcity and more scarcities. While Christmas used to be awaited with anticipations of the joys of the season, 2010 has been a year of unequalled challenges in the race for survival. Those who survived still bear the marks of a year of excruciating moments of doubts about the existence of governments or their purpose. Christmas is special. Even non-Christians celebrate it. They are forced into the encumbrances of the season by the encompassing engagements of Christmas. At Christmas, the world halts, momentarily, to acknowledge the birth of Jesus Christ who died to redeem and reconcile people to God. Acceptance of the lordship of Jesus is central to the promised redemption. The disorder of Christmas casts slurs on Jesus Christ. Can one associate Christ with the greed, crime and the impulsive acquisition that mark the season? These characters cannot be associated with the central figure in Christmas. Motor accidents are more, caused mostly by reckless driving and excessive

Jus tmas F or Justt Chris Christmas For Millions consumption of alcoholic drinks is a hallmark of this season. Excesses are glorified. Christmas enhances the most devastating moments of impassioned selfishness. Prices of goods and services have jumped. Everyone exploits a season that papers over poverty, creates a picture of affluence and creates more poverty. With our high doses of religiosity, Christmas has provided the perfect platform for commercialisation of faith, hope and expectations. Poverty is raging the authorities post statistics that poverty is bearable. Our people pin their expectations on promises of the

extraordinary sold at church services. How would Jesus Christ have lived today? What would he have said about a changing world that diminishes value of humanity and with its cell phones, internet, new marriages and atrocities committed in God’s name? What would Jesus have said about the poor and oppressive governments? The reason for this season is that God cares. God has concern about people. He cared enough to send His son to die for them. The authorities claim God put them in office. Why are they, so unfeeling towards the people? Why do they remember the people only at elections? Christmas is a time of celebration. Those who can afford it go into elaborate celebrations. It is easy to forget that there are millions of Nigerians, who cannot afford a meal, whether it is Christmas or not. Christmas at the expense of others becomes just Christmas and contradicts the spirit of the season and the reason for the season which is giving sacrificially to all without thinking of their beliefs or origins. We wish our readers Merry Christmas.

OPINION BY EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO Continued from Mondayviewpoint

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ONFLICTING reports followed her nearly three months absence from public media radar because while the media team in the presidency told the public that she went abroad on holiday, the President was later in a national media chat confirmed that his wife indeed had medical reason for her absence. The Senate President David Mark also joined the growing list of political elite who embark on exotic medical tourism because he travelled to Israel ostensibly on public expenses to take care of his medical condition. The Senate President was absent at the signing of this year’s budget because he had to travel to Israel to treat his teeth and eye which were earlier treated may be unsuccessfully at the National hospital in Abuja. Professor Babatunde Osotimehin the then Health minister but now with the United Nations was once quoted in the media to have estimated the losses Nigeria incured on medical tourism at $200 million USD per annum. The Vice President Mr. Namadi Sambo added his voice to growing criticism of how political elite waste scarce foreign currency on medical

Nigeria's health woes:Any panacea?(2) tourism abroad. Mr. Sambo who was cited in a report of a national newspaper of December 14 2012 was credited with affirming that Nigerians spends several billions of hard currencies abroad to address medical challenges. The Vice President spoke at the commissioning of the newly built Kwara State Advanced medical Diagnostic Center in Ilorin. He claimed that the current Federal government was addressing the issue of lack of functional health care infrastructure in Nigeria. As a fact, there are few evidence to prove that the current government is committed to addressing the unprecedented health woes faced by millions of Nigerians. These health woes have only brought international disgrace to Nigerians travelling abroad thereby encouraging some countries to impose stiff conditionalities for Nigerians travelling abroad for lawful business. Because of the near collapse state of public health care, Nigeria was unable to eradicate wild polio, which health experts say, place Nigeria alongside Pakistan at the very centre of countries frustrating global eradication of the

disease. The United States of America was quoted recently to have demanded that from June 2013, Nigerians travelling to the United States must be vacinated against wild polio.

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adly, global health experts believe that health-related millennium Development Goals (MDG’s), especially those concerning infant and maternal health, have already been declared unattainable by 2015 in Nigeria. The disturbing cases of health tourism is also linked to huge capital flight out of Nigeria because political elite use such opportunities to ferry out public fund into their private off shore bank accounts. Few days back, the 2010 Mass Communiation graduate son of the governor of Jigawa State Sule Lamido was arrested at the Kano International Airport over alleged money laundery. His father said his son was on medical tourism to Egypt. This is a governor that has spent over six years yet he could not erect one functional health care facility to cater for the health challenges of his people. His children and grand children are flown abroad for medical services even as the ordinary citizens without access to public fund are left to their own design. What a country!

Taraba State governor Mr. Danfulai Suntai, a Pharmacist, who had accident while flying his private Jet was flown abroad to Germany for treatment since three or four weeks now probably at public expenses. His wife who was heavily pregnant even delivered twins in the same German hospital. Danfulani Suntai who has been governor of Taraba State for about six years never built any specialist health care centre even though he is a professional pharmacists. He was reported recently to have built and donated standard pharmacy facility to his former university- Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria but yet he culd not build one formidable medical institution in Taraba State. This is a case of a physician not being able to heal himself. Such is the irony of political leadership in Contemporary Nigeria. In a climate of unprecedented corruption, it is almost impossible to tackle Nigeria’s health woes without building strong anti-corruption agencies to retrieve looted public fund to channel some of them into reviving the collapsed public health care infrastructure.

Concluded

*Mr. Onwubiko, a social critic, wrote from Lagos.


Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012— 19

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E explains why this is the case. “What in fact we seem to have done in Nigeria is adopt the German model of federalism without being explicit about it. Article 29 of the German Constitution laid it down that no single state will be more than 30% of the population or territory of the nation and thus “the division of the federal territory into (state) must be of a size and capacity to perform functions effectively. In breaking the Fulani/Hausa/ Igbo and Yoruba nationalities into fragmented states, Nigeria sought to address the mischief of the instability of the First Republic and the civil war where it was felt that it was the size of the regions that contributed to the instability and the ensuring war. However by giving the impression that creation of state is driven by the agitation for recognition of nationality identity, long after it had been repudiated, various Nigerian governments, whether civilian or

military, for cheap popularity had embarked on state creation exercises and thereby fuel the agitation for the creation of more states” CAN it indeed be said that nationality has been repudiated as the basis of federalist statecraft in Nigeria by governments of Nigeria? Has government in Nigeria wittingly or unwittingly adopted the German model? From Prof. Akinyemi’s summary of Article 29 of the German Constitution, it does appear that German statecraft design is different from Nigeria’s and that the similarity between the federalist practices of the German and Nigerian are superficial. It will appear that Germans proceed from the idea of sovereignty as divisible and homogeneous in substance and in essence and therefore numerically and territorially divisible- hence German sovereignty can be organised as in the case of Article 29 in terms of fixed territorial

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expanse and fixed percentage of the German population in functional units of government.

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igerian colonial and post colonial authorities conceive of sovereignty as heterogeneous in its membership, consisting of sectarianised ethnic nationalities. Thus, Nigerian sovereignty is thought of as indivisible being the congregation of discrete nationalities each complete in its essence and expression. Given nationality as the unit of sovereignty, a multinationality sovereignty cannot be represented by a nationality and the stable relations of power amongst constituent nationalities can only be confederal. This theory of sovereignty informs the ideology of federal character representation in government. Its relevance goes as far back as the agitations that resulted in the

How Nigeria undermined patriotism BY DELE AKINOLA

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N the late 80s, the Nigerian football authorities mounted pressure on a Nigerianborn English Premier League player, John Fashanu, to play for the country. The lanky striker was then plying his professional trade with Wimbledon FC, a London suburb club with which he won the English FA Cup in 1988. As with other footballers in similar circumstances, he also reserved the eligibility and opportunity to play for England. Media reports at a time when the pressure was intense, quoted Fashanu as saying that he would rather play for the Three Lions because that would serve his “business interests” better. Curiously, this did not stop the authorities from organising a red-carpet reception for him right from the airport when he came to the country on a private visit. As apparent to discerning minds, the Nigerian, who was later to betroth himself to the country after his soccer career, ultimately played for England. Meanwhile, fatherland-conscious players, risking their limbs voluntarily for the country, like current and immediate past Super Eagles chief coaches, Stephen Keshi and Samson Siasia, were being subjected to some treatment that was less than flattering. Many wondered then why the one who had his heart elsewhere and had yet to kick a ball for his fatherland deserved such honour and glory of royalty while Earnest Okonkwo’s “elastic” Henry Nwosu and “gangling” Rashidi Yekini, the epitome of humility and patriotism, were taken for granted and treated as such. Issues such as these more often than not got “Big Boss” Keshi fuming. One Nigerian professional who, during his brief spell with the national team, genuinely deserved royal treatment was Samuel Sochukwuma Okwaraji. He imported into the country the gracious spirit of steaming

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patriotism which he, like Yekini, unambiguously caused his foreign clubs to appreciate and accommodate. A qualified lawyer and holder of a masters degree in International Law from the University of Rome, Okwaraji would arrive for national assignments well ahead of schedule. Sochukwuma, unfortunately taken for granted and in an instance, actually subjected to an inordinate infliction of official scorn, would make his own travel arrangements and pay his bills without formally asking for refunds. On the pitch, despite being deployed most often, in roles at conflict with anything close to his best, Sam would discharge his duties, without complaints, with the spirit of the German Machine that he was accustomed to. The Stuttgart and Ulm FC power-house died on active service at the National Stadium, Lagos on August 12, 1989, perhaps to register the cruel fact that his country was not ready for men of his level of zealotry in patriotism.

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nly a few months ago, the country’s 1994 Africa Nations Cup-winning goalkeeper, Peter Rufai, at a sports/media forum, lamented the non-fulfillment, up till date, of the official promise of goodies, including housing units, made by government to that great team which also did the country proud at USA ’94. A patriotic member of the team who ultimately did not make it to that year’s continental and global shows, Rueben Agboola, paid a heavy price for donning what, in our clime, would pass for an over-sized garment of patriotic zeal. The fair-skinned intelligent cool operator lost his limbs, flair and place in his club, Swansea City, and by implication his means of livelihood, on account of his unalloyed commitment to Nigeria. Keshi, over a long time, shouted himself hoarse on Agboola’s predicament to no avail. Sunday Oliseh, another former captain

Willinks Commission in colonial Nigeria. Nationality thus ideologised as the proprietary identity of a state must inevitably produce the “minority problem,” consisting of groups in the state who are non-majority nationalities. The following comments from Ethic Politics in Nigeria by Okwudiba Nnoli provides the historical and practical framework for appreciating Nigeria’s ongoing federalist praxes. “The subjective nature of the suggestions for the creation of new states was observed by the Willink Commission appointed in 1958 to look into the matter. It found that “except to a limited degree in the case of the Ijaws, the representatives of the minorities who came before us saw in a separate state the remedy for the dangers they feared; most, when questioned, replied emphatically that nothing else but a separate state would serve their purpose … In 1976, the Federal Government White Paper on the Report of the Panel on the Creation of States accepted that part of the agitation for the creation of states resulted from bad government. Even if the Government established ‘one family, one state’, there would continue to be agitation for more states whenever there was a vacillating and purposeless government. But with the right leadership and good government committed to balanced development, it will be possible to contain states agitation arising from neglect, discrimination and minority fears. Therefore, it is necessary to explain why advocates of the creation of states have been unwilling to entertain

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Akinyemi's analysis of the inadequacy of Nigerian govt federalist Statecraft

Creating state for the satisfaction of “new minorities” who then demand for their own states is the process of Nigeria’s post colonial federalist praxis; it is Nigeria’s present contribution to federalist statecraft praxis

One would naturally expect that such a revered national institution would busy itself with feats of excellence that bring direct honour and glory to the Nigerian flag; the green-whitegreen symbol of Nigeria was not hoisted when Mikel got his medal for his “excellence” with his foreign club

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of the Super Eagles, under twice-humiliated world record holder of sort, Shuaibu Amodu, led the team to qualify for the 2002 World Cup in dramatic fashion. What a raw deal he got for his unrepentant insistence on coming clean on patriotism! Osaze Peter Odemwingie (I wrote a tribute of that title to him in January 2010), over the past one decade, laboured to give commitment and dedication refreshing definition and reassuring meaning, asking not what his country could do for him but what he could do for his country. Unfortunately for him, his country has, in her character, a legendary penchant for stage-managing the rubbishing of her most committed patriots! As a diversionary tactic however, as exemplified in the Fashanu drama, patriotisminspiring official obligations, too often, are shoved aside for comic jamborees, hip-hop theatricals and owambe showmanship in high places. Some members of the House of Reps, before their last recess, were reported to have amused themselves with the “dance, dance, dance and forget your sorrow” idea of hosting Mikel Obi to a reception for his “excellence”

other solutions to the minority problems; why they remained adamant to the recommendations of the Willink Commission and have continued to press for more states after the creation of the present nineteen state structure and the federal governments plea for emphasis to be shifted to the search for good government and leadership. The forgone analysis of ethnic politics suggests that the relevant explanation lies in the class character of Nigerian ethnicity, particularly the desire of the various regional factions of the privileged classes to carve out their own sphere of economic domination. Such interest cannot be satisfied by the recommendations of the Willink Commission or the call by the Irikefe Commission for good government. It can only be achieved by the creation of states in which these factions reign supreme. Hence, the creation of states is advocated even within the same linguistic ethnic groups. This class interest is rationalised and mystified by claims of ethnic domination of minorities” (Okwudiba Nnoli-Ethnic Politics in Nigeria Fourth Dimension Publishers 1978 P. 258-259). Thus, the growth of the Nigerian state-federal structure from Gowon’s 12 states to the 19 states and to the present 36 states plus the Federal Territory Abuja is the result of Minorities created by each new state created. Creating state for the satisfaction of “new minorities” who then demand for their own states is the process of Nigeria’s post colonial federalist praxis. It is Nigeria’s present contribution to federalist statecraft praxis.

in winning the European Champions League with Chelsea FC of England. One would naturally expect that such a revered national institution would busy itself with feats of excellence that bring direct honour and glory to the Nigerian flag. The green-white-green symbol of Nigeria was not hoisted when Mikel got his medal for his “excellence” with his foreign club. The consequence has been the progressive growth, in the psyche of the people, of an imagery depicting theirs as a country not worth dying for. The fearsome monster generates massive psychological disillusionment in virtually all national institutions and sectors, including sports and football in particular. But hear the verdict of the “Chief Justice” of Nigerian football, Adokiye Amiesimaka: “Don’t be fooled! Patriotism isn’t synonymous with stupidity. Knowing that your country truly cares is what facilitates patriotism.” Little wonder the Super Eagles, nation’s pride that should have been, are still fumbling and wobbling, especially when it matters most, even after decades of treating an ailment with the wrong medication. As I submitted in my Super Eagles and spirit of a failed state of June, 2010 and Super Eagles: The fallacy of ‘New Team’ of March, 2011, the core problem is dearth of commitment. Fortunately, coach Keshi as well realised this and has made much fuss about it in recent times. But who and who are inspiringly enthusiastic about boarding the ‘total commitment and loyalty’ train? The German Machine describes an assembly of suicide players who would rather blow themselves up than watch the German flag humbled. Let’s activate our search engine for that citizen who would beat his chest and claim, with the minutest iota of sincerity, that he encourages his footballer son, nephew, brother or friend to go forth and burn himself out for Nigeria. I will trek from Lagos to Maiduguri with Zuma Rock on my head if the search returns as many as one such Nigerian in a million. I am waiting.

*Mr. Akinola, a commentator on national issues, wrote from Lagos.


20—Vanguard TUESDAY TUESDAY,, DECEMBER 25, 2012

Sunset for Lagos vulcaniser •Allegedly shot by NSCDC officials BY BOSE ADELAJA N August 2011, the Federal Government gave approval to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps NSCDC to carry fire arms. It was a measure meant to enhance the capacity of NSCDC staff to efficiently and effectively discharge the Corps mandate in view of the security challenges in many parts of the country. This measure has however become a nightmare for many Lagosians especially those living in the suburbs. A classic example is the innocent killing of a 31 -year old vulcanizer who was identified as Lamidi Adamo. Lamidi was allegedly shot in the presence of his a year and half old daughter, Zainab, when two officers of the Corps carried out a raid in Maba, in the Isawo area of Ikorodu. Maba is a pipeline community in Ikorodu hence NSCDC officials and military personnel usually patrol the area to protect it from oil pipelines vandalism. Residents of the area told Vanguard Metro that some

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Suberu said the deceased was taking his breakfast with his daughter when the unexpected happened. He was under a shade eating rice when he noticed that another resident of the community who was washing clothes by the riverside has been arrested by the two officials of the NSCDC. In an apparent solidarity with the man, the deceased was said to have left the food to broker peace. In the ensuing melee, the victim escaped leaving his clothes by the riverside. This action did not go down well with the officials and they descended on innocent Lamidi. They were alleged to have given him the beating of his life with little Zainab still clinging unto him. ‘’After several blows, Lamidi also tried to escape but one of the NSCDC officials shot him on the head leaving him in the pool of his own blood. The officials who came in a patrol vehicle allegedly took to their heels shooting sporadically into the air, ‘’ Dauda said. When the residents could not

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The officials who came in a patrol vehicle allegedly took to their heels shooting sporadically into the air

law enforcement agents especially members of the NSCDC have taken the law into their hands by arresting innocent residents. They alleged that officials of the Corps usually take their captives to a nearby forest where they extort money from them before granting them freedom. Things took a tragic turn on Wednesday December 12, 2012, when two officials of NSCDC allegedly raided the community. The raid left the vulcanizer dead while two other residents were arrested. Those arrested claimed that they were not taken to the NSCDC office, rather money was extorted from them. When Vanguard Metro visited the community, the residents were in a sorrowful mood. The pain-stricken residents described the late Lamidi, a native of Iwo in Osun State, as a law abiding citizen. An eye witness, Dauda C M Y K

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lay hands on the officials, they reported the case at Owutu Division of the Nigeria Police Force. The Divisional Crime Officer ASP Fatai Adigun, who was recently deployed to the area, led his team to investigate the matter while the remains of Lamidi was deposited at Ikorodu General Hospital. During Vanguard Metro’s visits, the community head, Baale Ismaila Abdulahi, refused to comment on the issue but referred this reporter to the victim’s family, ‘’I don’t reside in this community, I only visit once in a while. Also, I did not witness the incident, so I cannot tell you what transpired. But the case has been reported at the Owutu Police Station. I was shocked when I came to the community and heard what happened but since the deceased’s family is scared of the law enforcement agents and does not want to talk to the press, who am I to grant

you an interview when those concerned are not ready to comment on the issue?,’’ he retorted. Lamidi’s aunt Mrs. Ganiyat Adeniyi lamented the dastardly act. In an emotion laden voice, she told Vanguard Metro that the deceased’s parents and grandparents were hospitalised at Iwo since the news of Lamidi’s death was broken to them. ‘’ This is injustice; please assist us to beg them to release his corpse for burial,’’ Mrs Adeniyi said. According to her, the deceased had just finished a business transaction with one of his clients and was about

The late Lamidi

Zainab, (standing) with some sympathisers going to the market to purchase a tyre for the said client. But he decided to first take his breakfast without knowing that it would be his

last meal on earth. Contacted, the NSCDC Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Command. Kehinde Bada, denied the

allegation. According to her, men of the Corps did not carry out a raid on the said day. ‘’Our men did not operate in the area on that day, so, the possibility of killing somebody is zero. There was no attack, no arrest and they did not fire a bullet. Also, there were no complaints from the community to the Division or Command. When I called the Head of Operations, he said there was nothing like that,’’ she said. Asked if she contacted the Police on the matter, she retorted: “It is not my responsibility to find out from the police, it is the community that should make a report. I can categorically say our men did not fire a shot.”

Yoruba cultural group backs Fashola on Okada restriction BY ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH

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S the ban placed on the operation of commercial motorcycle riders, popularly called Okada bites harder in Lagos, a Yoruba group, O’odua Nationalist Coalition, ONAC, has called for a five-year long term plan to completely phase out Okada as means of transportation in the South-west states. The group which is made up of 26 social and cultural formation in Lagos, argued that the disadvantages associated with the usage of Okada as a means of transportation and economic survival outweighs its advantages. Mr. Olalekan Agbana, who spoke on behalf of the group, noted that the menace of Okada in Nigeria, especially in South West was as a result of years of military incursion which brought about suffering to the people. :”We have been reliably informed that some

fundamentalists raise their funds from Okada riders. You will recollect that Boko Haram recently said it has 2000 fighters in Lagos. Where are the fighters, where do they live and which job do they do? With over 500,000 migrants armed with knives and daggers, what is the future of the people of Lagos, if suddenly there is a major ethnic strife in an increasingly fragile state like ours?” he queried. ONAC said the increasing number of Okada on the streets has reduced the number of artisans and increased the number of school drop-outs. It therefore appealed to Okada riders in their interest and that of the people to support government initiatives and diversify their business. The group called on the south west states to consult with Federal government to deal with the “reckless chains of illegal migration into Nigeria from troubled zones in the Horn of Africa to the Southern Nigerian states considering the serious implications on security.”


Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012 — 21

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ITEL’s telephone exchanges across the country are rotting away because of neglect, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) has found. Investigations by NAN correspondents reveal that many of the exchanges have been out of use since 2002 when the Federal Government began the processes of privatising the company. The first attempt to sell the company to Investors International London Limited (IILL) at the sum of 1.14 billion dollars in 2002 failed following the company’s inability to honour the terms of the contract. In 2003, Pentascope, a Dutch firm, took over NITEL and the company generated N51.43 billion as revenue in one year from 555,055 connected lines. However, after 23 months, the connected lines dropped to 440,000 and the firm incurred a debt of over N40 billion, which eventually led to the revocation of deal with Pentascope. In 2005, Orascom, an Egyptian telecoms giant, also failed to buy the company because its 257 million dollars bid was below the reserved price. In 2006, the takeover of NITEL by Transcorp was celebrated with fanfare but the excitement was shortlived after the 500 million-dollar deal failed to turn around the fortunes of the company. Also, the last attempt to sell the company to New Generation Telecommunication Consortium of China at the price of 2.5 billion dollars for 75 per cent stake in NITEL/MTEL was terminated due to failure of the Chinese consortium to pay the bid price. A visit to some of the NITEL facilities nationwide showed that while some of the exchanges have been vandalised, others have been taken over by weeds. Mr. Awoala Atuboinoma, NITEL Territorial Manager in Port Harcourt, told NAN that more than N1 billion would be needed to rehabilitate the 10 moribund exchanges in the territory due to years of disuse. Atuboinoma said the exchanges, with installed capacity of 24,000 telephone lines, could still be viable if adequately reactivated. He said the reactivation would entail the replacement of some damaged cables; purchase of 500KVA generator as well as replacement of the air conditioning system. Atuboinoma accused some road construction companies operating in the state of destroying the NITEL armoured cables worth over N1 billion. He listed the NITEL exchanges on Aba Road and the one in Rumuibekwe community as among the vandalised exchanges. He said the vandalised exchanges had installed capacity of 10,000 and 4,000 lines, respectively. The manager said the multi-billion naira government-

NITEL telephone exchanges rot away —Survey owned facilities had not been properly secured. He said that he had requested the Rivers commissioner of police to post 12 policemen to protect the Port Harcourt exchange from vandals. The situation is not significantly different In Delta, where the 18 exchanges with installed capacity of 32, 500 telephone lines had remained comatose since 2006. They include those in Asaba, Agbor, Ogwashi-Ukwu, Warri, Sapele and Ughelli. A visit to some of the exchanges in the state showed that few security personnel guarded the facilities. A former manager in one of NITEL’s exchanges in the state, who spoke on condition of anonymity, recalled that the facilities broke down shortly after the company was acquired by TRANSCORP. According to him, the NITEL facilities in the state are still being managed by TRANSCORP since the Federal Government has yet to appoint a competent investor. In Bayelsa,

Mr Sokari Wameso, NITEL Territorial Manager in the state, said the exchange in Yanagoa, with an installed capacity of 1,000 lines, was shut in 2009. “We are still managing to secure the exchange, the NITEL premises in the state capital with the little sum of N10,000 management is providing to us for the up-keep of the premises.,” he said. In Benin, the exchange has been taken over by weeds and reptiles while the one in Akpakpava is being occupied by the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST). In Nsukka, Enugu State, Mr Patrick Ugwuoke, the Chief Security Officer of NITEL, told NAN that the exchange was abandoned since 2006 when government retrenched many of the workers. Ugwuoke claimed that the security guards had not been paid in the last two years. “The facilities here would be completely vandalised if we leave,” he said. In Onitsha, Anambra, a secu-

rity man on duty in one of the abandoned exchanges, prevented a NAN correspondent from taking photographs of the complex already overgrown by weeds. In Awka, unserviceable NITEL vehicles littered the premises of the hitherto business busy complex. Mr Sunday Eyo, Area Head, NITEL Exchange in Uyo, said the company had engaged the services of a private firm to protect NITEL facilities in the state. ‘’NITEL has about nine exchanges with installed capacity of 5,000 lines in Uyo,” he said. In Calabar, both the Digital Telephone Exchange in Calabar, the Aba-Calabar Optical Fibre Transmission Link inaugurated by a former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, have been abandoned. Some residents of the city, who spoke with NAN, appealed to the Federal Government to suspend the ongoing privatisation process and retake full control of NITEL.

From left: Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Lawal Ngama and Minister of State for Trade, Dr. Samuel Ortom during a press briefing on non oil export produce in Abuja. Photo: Gbemiga Olamikan.

FG needs N500bn to settle PHCN workers THE National Union of Electricity Employees said that N500 billion was required to pay the entitlement of workers in the power sector. The union’s General Secretary, Mr Joe Ajaero, made this known during an interactive session with newsmen in Lagos. Ajaero said that of the amount N400 billion would be required for workers’ gratuity, while N100 billion would be use to pay pension arrears. He said that it was not the Ministry of Power that should

announce what the Federal Government would disburse as severance package to PHCN workers. The general secretary said that the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) was in a better position to announce the cost of settlement. He said it was regrettable that in industrial relation practise, implementing an agreement was always a major problem, after all issues had been resolved. He expressed the hope that in 2013, the entitlement of the workers would be paid to en-

Stockbrokers urge FG to resolve SEC, Reps face-off

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HE Association of Stock broking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON) has urged the Federal Government to resolve the conflict between the House of Representatives and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This is contained in a statement issued by ASHON President, Mr. Emeka Madubuike, made available to newsmen in Lagos. Madubuike said that the passage of the 2013 budget without allocation of funds to SEC was a threat to the capital market’s recovery and Nigeria’s economic development. The House of Representatives directed the withholding of SEC’s funding in the N4.987 trillion Appropriation bill it passed on Dec. 20. This followed the lower legislative chamber’s earlier decision not to have anything to do with the capital market’s apex regulator until the removal of its DirectorGeneral, Ms Arunma Oteh. Madubuike said that the conflict should be urgently resolved to avoid jeopardising the entire economy. “Starving SEC of funds means incapacitating the apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market. If this issue is not resolved as soon as possible, we will have a situation where the capital market does not have a regulator. The National Assembly and the executive arm need to sit down and the interest of the economy must be uppermost in their minds so that this market can continue on the recovery path. Anything that will jeopardise that recovery will not augur well for us,” he said.

146.3

3.35

2,316.00

-12.00

19.25 3

-0.02

108.91 +1.29 able Nigerians to enjoy the expected 5000 mega 88.57 +1.56 watts of electricity. “We are expecting about 5000 mega watts of CURRENCY BUYING CENTRAL SELLING 154.77 155.27 155.77 electricity from the Nige- DOLLAR 252.9082 ria Integrated Power POUNDS 251.2846 252.0964 204.2809 204.9409 205.6008 Project (NIPP) by next EURO FRANC 169.203 169.7496 170.2963 year. We believe this will YEN 1.8322 1.8382 1.8441 boost electricity supply to CFA 0.2935 0.3035 0.3135 238.3891 239.1593 239.9294 consumers,” he said. The WAUA 25.008 union’s scribe noted that RENMINBI 24.8466 24.9273 RIYA 41.2676 41.4009 41.5342 the NIPP project, which KRONA 27.3726 27.461 27.5494 had gulped about N37 SDR 239.1506 239.9232 240.6958 billion, should have been inaugurated before the CBN Exchange rate as at 21/12/2012 end of 2012.


22 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012

A rebuilt Lagos-Ibadan expressway that would best serve us

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From left: Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede; winner in the secondary schools category of The Nigerian Stock Exchange 11th Annual National Essay Competition, Miss Chiamaka Onuh, and Chief Executive Officer of the Exchange, Mr Oscar Onyema, at the awards presentation, in Lagos.

First Aluminium, India’s Hindalco sign N7.85bn coil supply agreement BYNKIRUKA NNOROM

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irst Aluminium Nigeria (FAN) Plc has signed a N7.85 billion ($50million) Aluminium Coil Supply Agreement with Hindalco, one of the world’s biggest aluminium companies, based in India. The exclusivity contract, according to the Managing Director/CEO of the First Aluminum, Mr. Ben Elfrink would last for a period of two years and is subject to review. In a notice to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, Elfrink said the decision to partner with Hindalco for supply of the coils was arrived at with the need to find a supplier who could deliver the FAN’s quality, adding that there has been consistent pressure from both its customers and shareholders to compete more effectively with the flood of cheap and

often substandard imported coils. “The challenge for FAN has been to achieve this without lowering its on-going commitment to quality. FAN is today happy to announce that it has signed an exclusive supply agreement with a world-class producer of aluminium coil for the supply of unpainted coil to FAN. FAN will now focus on the painting and coating of these coils, using its current facility in Port Harcourt. The painting process that has been used by FAN has always ensured that the roofing sheet stays colour-fast for many years, without fading,” Elfrink stated. He added, “This agreement ensures that all materials supplied to FAN will be produced to the same strict tolerances and quality specifications of existing FAN supplied coils. People purchasing roofing sheets with the FAN logo also in the future can do so with the full confidence that they own a product of the highest quality, with the correct gauge and with the best paint quality available in the market.”

Ashaka Cement to raise production capacity to 3m tons By CHINEDU IBEABUCHI

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shaka Cement Plc, a subsidiary of Lafarge Group, is set to increase its production capacity to three million tones from the present level of 900,000 tones A statement issued by the company said that the blueprint for the increase in capacity was approved during a Board meeting held last week. According to the statement, “the Board of Directors announced that technical feasibility studies on raw material reserves, power and infrastructure undertaken by the Company were progressing well, particularly with regards to additional limestone and coal reserves that were at an advanced stage.

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The Board also mentioned the importance of conducting financing and operational reviews of the project so that the Company will be able to benefit from Lafarge technical, operational and financial resources in the country, in order to ensure the success of this unprecedented development. The Board recognised the contributions of Lafarge towards enhancing AshakaCem’s performance and current production capacity, in particular the company’s initiatives in the usage of coal from Gombe State to substitute expensive imported fuel oil and the increase of clinker and cement production. AshakaCem’s vision is to remain the most preferred supplier to its Customers and its willingness to make additional efforts to create more local business opportunities, in partnership with its surrounding communities.

he Federal Government of Nigeria, FGN, has announced its intentions of making new arrangements for rebuilding the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. This expressway has been in use for over 30 years and motorists and transporters currently face unpredictable journey times once an incident occurs that leads to the partial or complete blockage of either the northbound or southbound carriageway. The incident could be the collision of two or more vehicles, or the malfunction of an articulated goods vehicle or fuel tanker that results in goods or fuel spilling onto the road surface. Sometimes, the fuel tanker catches fire. When the expressway was being planned in the 1970s, its engineering designs had a road pavement with an asphalt layer as road surface, below which was a crushed granite layer above laterite soil. However, the FGN decided to reduce project costs to meet available resources and the expressway was built without the crushed granite layer. Within a few years of use, the road pavement failed resulting in uneven, corrugated or broken road surface in places. Attempts to restore the road surface with additional layers of asphalt were not successful as degradation of the road pavement continued. It was only in the mid 2000s that, starting from Warewa, the asphalt layers were removed and the road pavement rebuilt with a crushed granite base course and fresh asphalt layer on top. Currently, the northbound carriageway has a good road surface from Warewa to a short distance beyond the Redemption Camp. The incidents causing partial or complete carriageway blockage are due in part to poor driving habits, poor vehicle maintenance and poor road surface. There are substantial social costs in lives lost and economic losses include additional fuel costs for vehicles that are delayed, wasted man-hours for persons delayed and increased charges for transportation of goods. For example, in the late 1990s, an articulated tipper could make two return journeys each day between Lagos and Ibadan for delivery of granite to Victoria Island, Lagos. A prudent estimate would allow for only one such delivery today. In making policy decisions on how to rebuild the expressway, the FGN should consider not only the initial project costs but also what would be the costs of not building to optimum designs. There is a population of about 200,000 persons within a land corridor 2km wide on either side of the expressway between the old Toll Gate in Lagos and the Sagamu interchange and the expressway is

a road that they must use once they leave their neighbourhood. This population will grow to about 1.2 million persons within the next 30 years and the expressway must be able to meet the needs of the population in addition to all the other traffic from outside the area. The expressway should be rebuilt with six lanes on each of the northbound and southbound carriageways between the interchange at Ojota, Lagos and the Sagamu interchange from where it should continue to Ojoo in Ibadan with four lanes on each of the northbound and southbound carriageways. U-turns at roadsurface level should be eliminated and replaced with interchanges or ramp and bridge structures across the expressway as appropriate. The Ogun State Government, OGSG, should be encouraged to identify and acquire the land corridor for as well as build an east-west road from Ogijo on the Ikorodu-Sagamu Road to an interchange on the expressway somewhere between Arepo, Punchplace and Magboro. Interchanges should be provided to serve the population at Ibafo and Mowe, the interchange at Mowe should be at the southern gate of Redeemer’s University where the road from Simawa meets the expressway. The interchanges near Arepo and the southern gate of Redeemer’s University would be significant in that they lead to routes for moving traffic from the expressway to the Ikorodu-Sagamu Road in the event of an incident on the expressway. Interchanges should also be provided north of the Redemption Camp to serve the OGSG industrial estate and at Akinlapa near Ibadan where the Ibadan Circular Road would meet the expressway. Two-lane roads should be provided outside of the expressway right-ofway for local traffic between interchanges in urban and semiurban areas. Bus stops, bus shelters and pedestrian bridges should be provided at population centres as well as parking areas at 10km intervals for articulated vehicles. These parking areas should be considered as an extension of the expressway and there should be no charges for their use. It is essential that articulated vehicles are not parked on the carriageway shoulder. Recovery and emergency services vehicles should be provided at these parking areas. Given what has been achieved in other places on the reconstruction of Badagry Expressway in Lagos and the Airport link road in Abuja, the FGN should be able to rebuild the Lagos-Ibadan expressway as described above in five budget years.


Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012—23

S & P rates First Bank BB- with stable outlook By CHINEDU IBEABUCHI with agency report

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TANDARD & Poor ’s a t i n g s Services has rated First Bank of Nigeria Plc BB-/B with outlook stable. S & P said it could lower the ratings if the inherent risks in the loan book, such as foreign currency lending and high risk concentrations, materialise and loan losses or asset quality indicators deteriorate significantly. “We expect FBN’s group to retain its strong market position at the top of the Nigerian banking sector, with relatively stable revenues and limited geographic diversification. “Capitalisation should remain relatively stable in the next 1218 months, with a Standard & Poor ’s risk-adjusted capital (RAC) ratio before adjustments of about 5 per cent to 6 per cent, but there could be downward pressure if loan growth is faster than we anticipate. “In our view, the positive economic prospects should keep FBN asset quality and loss experience at good levels, although a focus on lending to midsize corporates may cause some pressure over time. “However, we could lower the ratings if the group’s capitalisation deteriorates such that its RAC ratio before adjustments falls below 5 per cent in the next 12-18 months. “We could also lower the ratings if the inherent risks in the loan book, such as foreign currency lending and high risk concentrations, materialize and loan losses or asset quality indicators deteriorate significantly. “We are unlikely to raise the ratings in the short term. This would require both an upgrade of the sovereign ratings and an improvement in the bank’s business or financial profile,” S & P said. S & P said FBN’s strengths lie in strong domestic business position; above-average funding profile and marketleading cost of funds; as well as improved cost of risk. While the bank’s weaknesses include: capital at just moderate levels; limited geographic diversification outside of Nigeria; and foreign currency loan exposure and single-name exposure. R

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From left: Mr. John Ekpikhe,Senior Consultant, Mark-George Consultants; Mr. Tokunbo Talabi, President/CEO, Superflux International Ltd, Keynote speaker and Mr. Jude Anele, Head, Retail Banking, Diamond Bank Plc at the Diamond Bank’s26th BusinessXpress Seminar. in Lagos.

Echo Microfinance Bank hits N66m capital base E

CHO Microfinance Bank Ltd has hit N66million in capital base; making the institution one of the strongest Unit Microfinance Banks (MFBs) in the country. The Managing Director, Mr. Idowu Oshokoya, who made this disclosure during the bank’s customers’ forum in Lagos, stated that the bank is working towards achieving a capital base of over N100 million by the first quarter of next year in order to seek for a license to convert into a state microfinance bank from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). According to him, the Forum was to appreciate their esteemed customers who have been faithful to the bank for the past years, through their continued patronage, especially the outgoing year, adding that it was also an opportunity to showcase some of the exciting products which are being introduced by the bank for the benefit of their customers. As part of the milestones achieved by the bank in recent times, the Managing Director, an alumnus of Harvard Kennedy School, said the bank recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU0 with the Rural Finance Institution Building Programme (RUFIN) for the benefit of veering into agricultural lending to reach the teeming farmers in Ikorodu and its environs, adding that the bank is now an agent to Pagatech Mobile Money as a way of promoting electronic based payment/money transfer in the economy and the CBN cashless policy. “Other value added services to the bouquet of products for our customers is access to affordable health care. The bank is in the advance stage of signing an MOU with an HMO for the purpose of providing affordable health insurance services to their

customers. We are also in partnership with Oando in the distribution of their O -gas Stove and Cylinder. By promoting the use of cooking gas, the bank is bringing exclusive cooking tool preserves of the middle class and the rich to the lower end of the society,” he said. During the Forum, gifts were distributed to the leaders and secretaries of the over 60 women groups currently patronising the bank’s group lending products. There were draws to determine prizes for the Echo Winners’ Promo. Various prizes were won and given out, including the star prize of a Motor bike. Other prizes won included: a deep freezer, a generating set, a sewing machine, O-gas Cooking Gas

and cylinder, irons and telephone handsets. There was also free medical screening for customers who were present. He further decried the lack of confidence in MFBs by the general public which is attributable to the operating licenses withdrawn from 124 MFBs in 2010 by the CBN, stressing that the customers’ forum was one way by which the bank is contributing to the restoring of confidence in the microfinance banking industry in Nigeria. “The operations of wonder banks are not helping matters too, as they are erroneously seen as MFBs. There are also the activities of nonregistered entities parading as microfinance banks in the market place, who are giving bad names to the industry. Besides, many investors are unwilling to invest in the existing MFBs, because of the same lack of confidence in the subsector,” he stated

UBA lowers fees for festive season U NITED Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has removed access fees for all electronic channels and lowered transaction fees for its range of electronic products (e-products) and services during the festive season. Customers of the bank are now empowered to access banking transactions at significantly lower rates, across the Bank’s electronic platforms. The Bank’s e-Banking products and services include UBA Debit and Prepaid Cards, U-Mobile (Your Bank on your Mobile) and U-Direct (Your Bank on the Web). In addition, the bank has significantly simplified the enrollment process and removed the monthly access charge on Mobile banking (U-Mobile) and internet banking (U-Direct) channels and lowered the transaction fees on transactions done on U-Mobile, UDirect and ATM channels.

Head e-Banking, UBA Plc, Dr. Adeyinka Adedeji said “the removal of channel access fee and significant reduction of our fees is well-timed. We want our Customers to be able to send money to loved ones during this season at minimal cost and with from the convenience of their mobile and internet. Our Debit and Prepaid Cards would also address the safety concerns prevalent during this period as our Customers don’t have to carry cash around.” A major highlight of the UBA gesture, according to Adedeji, is the cancellation of N100 monthly access charge to U-Mobile and UDirect for retail customers and removal of N150,000.00 enrollment fee for web payment gateway installation on Merchant’s website.


24—Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012

Lash minute shopping for Christmas at Oshodi in Lalgos...Nigerians want good things

Nigerian Economy: How Sovereign Wealth Fund will make a difference BY EMMA UJAH, Abuja Bureau Chief

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ITH the recent appointment of the Board and management of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA, to manage the Sovereign Wealth Fund, SWF, the nation has joined the economies of the world that have used their foreign reserves to set up sovereign wealth funds to create more assets in the interests of their nationals. After much efforts spanning three years of negotiations and buy-in campaign, especially among state governors and members of the federal legislature, the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on November 28 announced global investment banker, Mr. Uche Orji, Managing Director of the much-awaited body to manage the SWF. She also named Alhaji Mahey Rasheed, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, as chairman of the board. The journey towards the establishment of the NSIA began in October 2009 when the then Minister of Finance, Dr. Mansur Murhtar, told journalists in far-away Istanbul, Turkey during that year’s World Bank/IMF annual meetings, that Nigeria was considering setting up of the fund with its reserve in order to create more value for the nation. According to the International Working Group of Sovereign Wealth Funds, a SWF is “a special purpose investment

funds or arrangements, owned by the general government. Created by the general government for macroeconomic purposes, SWFs hold, manage, or administer assets to achieve financial objectives, and employ a set of investment strategies which include investing in foreign financial assets. The SWFs are commonly established out of balance of payments surpluses, official foreign currency operations, the proceeds of privatizations, fiscal surpluses, and/or receipts resulting from commodity exports”. Nigeria belongs to the last category as the SWF is created from the resources in the Excess Crude Account, ECA.

Investment purposes SWFs are, therefore, simply put, pools of money derived from a country’s reserves, which are set aside for investment purposes that will benefit the country’s economy and citizens. The funding for a sovereign wealth fund comes from central bank reserves that accumulate as a result of budget and trade surpluses, and even from revenue generated from the exports of natural resources. The Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA, has been established with US$1 billion set aside as seed capital. The establishment of the NSIA which will manage the Sovereign Wealth Fund is expected to help reduce the vulnerability of the economy to external shocks, ensure inter-

generational equity and serve as a catalyst for attracting investment for Nigeria’s critical infrastructure. It has three components, (i) intergenerational savings; (ii) a stabilisation fund; and (iii) an infrastructure fund The types of acceptable investments included in each sovereign wealth fund vary from country to country; countries with liquidity concerns limit investments to only very liquid public debt instruments. Some countries have created SWFs to diversify their revenue streams. The first SWF was created in Kuwait in 1953, where the Kuwait Investment Authority, KIA, was established with the mandate to invest the nation’s excess oil revenue. It was followed, two years later, with the Kiribati Fund to hold its revenue reserves. The Abu Dhabi’s Investment Authority, ADIA was established in 1976, followed by the Singapore’s Government Investment Corporation, in 1981, and Norway ’s Government Pension Fund, 1990. Currently, there are more than 50 sovereign wealth funds, and according to the SWF Institute, they have assets worth more than $5 trillion. Much of this money is invested in bonds, securities and Foreign Direct Investments, worldwide. SWFs in other countries: SWFs have become very popular as veritable avenue for growing national resources across the globe, especially among wise oil-rich nations who see it as a means of securing the

future of their economies against volatile crude oil price which could crash anytime. The Funds have also come to play the key role of providing such nations with an alternative revenue sources outside the traditional foreign exchange earners, as some of such funds are invested in other economies to accelerate their national wealth. Most countries of the world with economies that depend on hydrocarbon as their main stay have established SWFs for many years. Even on the continent of Africa, countries like Algeria established theirs as far back as 2000. By far Algeria’s most significant exports, financially, are petroleum and natural gas. Hydrocarbons provide Algeria with almost two-thirds of

the global finance market to attract foreign counterpart funding for all projects in which the authority’s resources are to be invested. Good enough, with the high rate of return on investment in Nigeria, it is expected that Mr. Orji will not need to preach to foreign investors for too long before convincing them that Nigeria is the place to invest their funds. With the current troubles in the Euro zone and America, and a tall profile the MD should be able to easily turn the NSIA into a well of resources for the needed rapid infrastructure development. Although it has been announced that the authority would commence operations in March, next year, it remains critical for the MD to realise, early on his job, the need to work with Dr. Okonjo-Iweala and President Goodluck Jonathan to convince the State Governors and the National Assembly to increase the funding of the NSIA from the initial $1 billion to a much more substantial amount that can really impact positively on the lives of ordinary Nigerians.

Critical infrastructure Nigerians have waited for the provision of critical infrastructure facilities necessary to make their lives more meaningful for too long. For several decades, Nigerians have waited in vain for significant improvement in two of the most critical sectorspower and rail transportation. This is the time to make a difference. Nigerians certainly want to see the realization of the dream of the

There is no gainsaying the fact that a functional network of rails between Lagos-Kano; Maiduguri-Port-Harcourt ; Calabar -Sokoto would be a delight as it would reduce prices of goods and services across the country and boost tourism within the country government income and over a third of GDP. The stabilization fund was set up in 2000 to insulate the Algerian economy from price volatility in gas & oil commodity prices. Algeria’s SWF officially known as Fond de Regulation des Recettes or the Fund for the Regulation of Receipts (FRR) currently holds about $54.8 billion dollars. With the acknowledged infrastructure gap in the country, Mr. Orji and his team at the NSIA must realize that the $1 billion is like “a drop in the ocean” and, therefore, aggressively pursue two strategies for enlarging the resources at the disposal of the authority. The first is to take advantage of his many years in

Abuja-Lagos Speed Rail, for instance, just like Abuja residents now eagerly await the completion of the Abuja Light Project. Rather than wasting four man-hours everyday in traffic gridlock on every-busy Massaka-Ado- Maraba-NyanyAsokoro Road, for instance, one is sure that most motorists would gladly abandon their cars at home for a ride in the proposed trains. There is no gainsaying the fact that a functional network of rails between Lagos-Kano; Maiduguri-Port-Harcourt ; Calabar -Sokoto would be a delight as it would reduce prices of goods and services across the country and boost tourism within the country.


Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012—25

Nigeria can generate 10,000MW from coal — PTFP BY KUNLE KALEJAYE

BY FESTUS AHON

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he Presidential Task Force on Power, PTFP, has expressed optimism that Nigeria can generate between 7,000 and 10,000 mega watts, MW, power from coal-fired plants in addition to the existing capacities from thermal and hydro power plants. Alternative energy sources especially from coal, are part of the Federal Government’s efforts to diversify the nation’s electricity resources to ensure sustainable power supply in the country. The Chairman of PTFP, Mr. Simeon Atakulu, speaking recently at a power summit in Lagos, argued that decisions on coal-fired plants should be taken quickly to ensure power stability in the country as projected for the future. He insisted that various power generating methodologies like solar, biomass and wind should kick off in Nigeria without further delays. It would be recalled that Federal Government under the power sector roadmap, planned to generate up to 30 per cent of electricity from coal-fired plants by 2015. The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Musa Sada, noted that the plan to diversify the nation’s sources of electricity is imperative because of the disappointment that could

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•Power Generation Projection Chart. Courtsey Federal ministry of power

come from relying on particular sources. The minister noted that apart from the generation of electricity, the new coal mine signalled a new dawn for the nation’s solid minerals sector in terms of poverty alleviation and creation of employment opportunities. Earlier, Atakulu admitted that there has been some improvements in capacity delivery in the last few months, which credited to the delivery of some NIPP projects, and improved water harvest and gas supply. He however regretted that power delivery in the country still faced unpredictable

system collapses due to evacuation issues, adding that this called for concerted efforts in order to achieve delivery targets that the nation craved for. He also identified some key issues militating against the power sector, noting that there has been a shift in focus regarding funding which has negatively impacted capacity addition or recovery in generation. Other key issues include: * Omotosho – Delay in funding release to complete rehabilitation work on outstanding five GTs (190MW). * Ughelli – Lack of adequate

funding impeding delivery of GTs 16, 17 & 18 - 300MW, altogether. * Afam – Policy shift about funding for recovery of GT 20 (138MW). * Sapele – Commenced recovery of ST01 and ST03 amidst paucity of funds (180MW) The PTFP boss admitted that gas supply to thermal generation plants notably Geregu, Ughelli and Olorunsogo, have improved but still needed to be improved on, while the NIPP power generation projects at Omotosho, Sapele, Geregu and Ihovbor are progressing as scheduled.

DPR, SON launch mobile fuel lab to check fuel adulteration By GODWIN ORITSE

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HE Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), and the Standard Organisation (SON), have expressed worry over the quality of petroleum products being sold to Nigerians. just as the two agencies have launched a mobile fuel laboratory with view to checking the adulteration of petroleum products across the country. Speaking last week at a meeting between the agencies in Lagos, the Director of DPR, Mr Ostein Olorunsola said that the move is geared towards reducing the influx of substandard petroleum products into the country,

Seplat commissions Corpers Lodge in Delta

and urged all stakeholders in the oil and gas industry to support the initiative for a better industry and a better economy. Olorunsola disclosed that the products that will be scrutinized include Premuim Motor Spirit (PMS) or petrol, Automated Gas Oil (AGO) popularly called diesel, Kerosene and lubricants. He noted that adulteration of petroleum products was the worst of all the sharp practices in Nigeria, adding that the trend has caused a lot of damage to engines and machines. He consequently warned that any outlet caught dispensing adulterated product(s) will be penalised by making monetary payment which will be measured and

calculated by the level of adulteration. He stated that the development has had a debilitating effect on the nation’s economy, adding that there was the need to control the situation. Also speaking, the DirectorGeneral of SON, Mr. Joseph Odumodu, said that adulteration of petroleum products has impacted negatively on the socioeconomic life of the nation. Odumodu noted that cases of explosion are rife resulting in the loss of lives and destruction of property such as cars and equipment “There is constant breakdown of engines and this constitutes additional drain on personal and corporate resources. Our

concern today is to put in place a quality assurance system that will put a stop to these embarrassing and unnecessary incidents. “All petroleum depots, lubricating and blending plants, liquefied petroleum gas, LPG plants, LPG sale outlets, petrol service stations and surface kerosene sale outlets will be constantly monitored to ensure that products emanating there from conform to safe and acceptable industry standards. He explained that it is the intention of the agency to create and maintain a database of all such outlets in the country with a view to compiling all test results to a referable database, for ease of tracing of receipts and sale of products for the benefit of government and the people.

GHELLISEPL AT Petroleum Development Company, weekend, commissioned a Corpers lodge at Abbi, Ukwani Local Government Area, Delta State. Commissioning the project, which was executed in collaboration in collaboration with the National Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, base Manager of the company, Dr Chukwumah Igelenyah, said the project was to solve the accommodation problem of corpers sent to the area for the youth service. Urging youth corpers to take advantage of the lodge to put in their best in the service of their father land, he noted that the project was part of the company ’s corporate social responsibility to its host communities.

Shell spends N10.5b on Bayelsa communities in 7 years By SAMUEL OYADONGHA

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HELL Petroleum Development Company, said it had spent N10.5 billion between 2006 till date on projects in the 12 clusters covered under Global Memorandum of Understanding, GMOU, agreements in Bayelsa State. Shell’s General Manager, Sustainable Development and Company Relations, Mr Philip Mshebila, spoke weekend, at the commissioning of infrastructure, economic empowerment and water projects by the OkordiaZarama Community Development Board. He said of the sum, N1.418 billion was spent to deliver community development projects through the GMoUs. Meshebila, represented by Manager, Government and Community Relations, Mr Evans Krukubo, said the GMOUs had proved effective in the company ’s commitment to sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.


26—Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012

Energy Watch

PIB: Implications of the UK Bribery Act

Senate president ,David Mark

BY FELIX AYANRUOH

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he Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is viewed by some as the stork in petroleum industry reform. Holistic examination of the industry provided indisputable evidence that corruption was, and is responsible for the cycle of failures, inefficiencies and capacity shortages plaguing the industry. For the PIB to attain its said objectives of promoting a viable and sustainable petroleum industry in Nigeria and hence national development, policymakers must take into consideration the UK Bribery Act. The UK Bribery Act (2010) has been viewed by many as the beginning of an aggressive pursuit by the UK on business misconduct. The act applies to business activities worldwide, and it is considered more exacting than the United States Foreign Corruption Practices Act (FCPA), which has resulted in many high profile prosecutions in recent years. The Act will have potentially alarming consequences for corporations with a presence in the UK and those carrying on business in the UK. Failure by corporations to prevent bribery committed by persons performing services for or on their behalf anywhere in the world will be a violation of the law. This offence may in some circumstances apply to joint venture relationships which are of course commonplace in the oil and gas industry. Unlike the FCPA, which affects criminal acts the Bribery Act criminalizes bribery in both the commercial and public sectors. It is not limited to bribery that could be committed by a company’s own staff, but also covers individual or companies working on a company ’s behalf. Successful prosecutions under the act can lead to unlimited fines for companies and individuals and jail sentences of up to 10 years. The nature of the petroleum

Speaker House of Rep Aminu Tambuwal

industry makes it a natural focus for enforcement authorities from developed economies. Holistic analysis from energy experts and antigraft agencies concluded that oil and gas resources are often located in countries with high propensity of corruption. For example, Nigeria scored 27 out of a maximum 100 marks and is listed 139 of 176 countries on Transparency International’s corruption perceptions index of 2012. Heuristic examination of the PIB indicates that it severely lacks true transparency and accountability. Powerful vested interests continue to excogitate over licensing and related matters, leaving oil and gas stakeholders to corruption and interferences. For example, the discretionary powers prescribed for the president to grant licenses and leases without competitive process and the extensive ministerial powers could lead to self serving interests and favouritism. Also, the PIB allows the regulatory agencies, the Upstream Petroleum Inspectorate and the Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency, including the National Petroleum Assets Management Corporation to receive gifts or money, or other property from 3rd parties sections 33(1), 63(1) and 139(1). However, it prohibits staff and agencies from receiving gifts for personal use. Also, it recognizes gifts as a source of funding for the inspectorate and Agency. Gifts continue to rank high in transnational corporations concern in corporate governance, and regulatory agencies globally maintain a strict stance when it comes to reporting corporate gifts. The bill is oblivious of the arduousness of discerning gifts to the agency per se and that of its officials, allowing for contrived or deceptive tactics associated with obligations and reciprocity innate in gift giving.

Brent prices continue to slide B RENT crude fell for a third day, staying below $109 a barrel, as uncertainty over the ability of the US to resolve a budget crisis before a yearend deadline stoked investor concerns about demand growth in the world’s top oil user. The doubts over the socalled US “fiscal cliff ” that will trigger harsh spending cuts and tax hikes and risk tipping the country back into recession further dented investor appetite for assets such as oil. Markets have been under pressure after US House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner failed to get lawmakers support a deal with the White House. Brent crude dropped 33 cents to $108.64 a barrel early on Monday, while US oil declined 14 cents to $88.52. “It’s all about the US fiscal cliff issue,” said Victor Shum, managing director at IHS Purvin & Gertz. “The chances are that we will get a deal between the White House and the Republicans, but the fact that Boehner failed to get members to support his plan is worrying.” With just nine days left, some US lawmakers are voicing concerns the country would go over “the fiscal cliff.” President Barack Obama and Boehner, the key negotiators, are out of town for the Christmas holidays. Congress is in recess, and will have only a few days

next week to act before the 1 January deadline. Given this scenario, investors are now looking at a stop-gap that puts everything off for a while as the most promising alternative. Such a fix may help delay the spending cuts and tax hikes further into 2013 as well as work to address in a long-term way a government budget that has generated deficits exceeding $1 trillion in each of the last four years. The uncertainty and rising oil supplies will continue to put more downward pressure on prices in coming weeks, Shum said. Iraq’s oil production has exceeded 3.2 million barrels a day so far this month and may hit capacity of 4 million bpd in 2014, its Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi said. Shum expects US crude to trade between $85 and $89 a barrel, with Brent around $20 more expensive than the US benchmark. US oil is expected to drop more to $87.30, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao, and Brent may keep declining to $107.58, the 17 December low, as a rebound from the 6 December low of $106.63 seems to have completed. Losses were capped due to geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. Dozens of people were killed in an air strike while queuing for bread in Syria’s central Hama province on Sunday, activists said, with some residents giving an initial count of 90 dead.

Chevron to move 10% of California workforce to Houston

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hevron Corp. (CVX) will move up to 800 of its California positions to Houston to strengthen its upstream business, the U.S. oil major told employees in an email made public Friday. The move would over two years shift more than 10% of the employees from Chevron’s San Ramon, Calif., headquarters to Houston, considered the capital of the U.S. Gulf Coast energy industry. Chevron, the thirdlargest oil and gas producer in the U.S., is moving to increase its oil production operations in the ultradeep area of the Gulf of Mexico, where rigs must drill holes in a seafloor thousands of feet below water. “The positions are to support a variety of global upstream

projects that are based in Houston,” said Chevron spokesman Morgan Crinklaw. As of 2011, Chevron was one of the largest leaseholders in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, producing a daily average of 106,000 barrels of crude oil and 62 million cubic feet of natural gas. Chevron in 2010 said it would invest about $7.5 billion to develop the St. Malo and Jack fields in the ultradeep water Gulf of Mexico, about 280 miles south of Louisiana in waters 7,000 feet deep. The production facility, still being built, is expected to produce up to 170,000 barrels of oil and 42.5 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. Chevron has about 27,000 employees in all of the U.S.

BRIEF

Seplat pearls quiz winner gets N1.3m, school bus BY KUNLE KALEJAYE

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eplat Petroleum Development Company, operators of the NPDC/ SEPLAT JV assets, OML 4, 38, and 41 has rewarded the winner of its maiden edition of the Seplat Pearls Quiz Competition, Ufua Memorial Schools, Uromi with the sum of N1.3 million and a brand new school bus. The school was represented by three female students; Chinyere Abbattam, Khafayat Ogundeko, and Rahmat Usidehofo. Runners up in the competition were the University Preparatory School, Benin; Gbenoba Grammar School, Agbor; Bethel International Secondary School, Agbor; Lumen Christ, Uromi, and St. Anastasia Heights Secondary School, Effurun. The Chief Executive Officer, CEO of Seplat, Mr. Austin Avuru, who was represented by the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Dr. Chioma Nwachuku, congratulated the winning school and the runners up for their consistency and gamesmanship during the competition. He noted that Seplat inaugurated the quiz competition as a means of promoting academic excellence in secondary schools in Edo and Delta states, adding that “because young people represent the future of any community, and indeed the nation and they need to be encouraged to embrace the spirit of scholarship and supported to understand and appreciate the fact that there is good reward for scholastic excellence.” Mr. Akinmodun Matthew, a physics teacher of the winning school, Ufua Memorial Schools, thanked Seplat for the initiative while praising his students for a hard fight. According to him, “I knew we would win because we came prepared, and the first thing that I did this morning was to take a picture of the bus.”


TUESDAY Vanguard, DECEMBER 25, 2012—27

Total, French Embassy to invest N56m on scholarship yearly

ConocoPhillips to sell Algerian unit for $1.75b

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Stories by KUNLE KALEJAYE

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rench Oil giant, Total and the Embassy of France in Nigeria have agreed to invest up to 270,000 Euros or about N56million annually in a joint scholarship scheme titled, TEPNG/ Quai d’Orsay, TQJ, to promote educational development in the country. Under the new programme, five Nigerians are to benefit from an annual scholarship sponsored by Total and the French Embassy effective from the 2012/2013 academic year, at the cost of 54000 euro each. A statement from Total revealed that the agreement to formalize the programme was signed at the French Embassy, Abuja last week, between Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (TEPNG) and the Embassy. The Managing Director/Chief Executive of TEPNG, Mr Guy Maurice signed for Total, while the Ambassador of France, Mr. Jacques Champagne de Labriolle, signed for the Embassy. The partners said that the programme started with a pilot scheme this year when a candidate was jointly selected and sponsored to study International Law in France. The agreement also makes provision for a four-man steering committee to manage the scheme on behalf of the parties. Benefits to be enjoyed by the selected beneficiaries amongst others include a sum to cover travel expenses; academic fees if in a private university or institution in France as well as living expenses for a period of ten (10) months (including food, housing costs and academic text or materials) Others are logistics support in obtaining necessary permits or visas for the selected student; health insurance for each Beneficiary (bourse de couverture sociale) such as will give the beneficiaries the “status” of French government scholarship’s beneficiaries and the health care benefits associated with this status; and 60 hours minimum language training in Nigeria for the selected students. Speaking, Ambassador Champagne de Labriolle explained that the programme was from the need to contribute to the training of Nigerians in different fields.

BRIEF

From left: Mr Laolu Akanni, Senior Special Adviser to Goernor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State on SUBEB; Chief Sylvestre Opara, Permanent Board member; Engineer Tony Onyeama, MD, Tecnooil;HRM Oba Taofik Akedu Aojo, the Alahun of Imore and Apapa and Mrs Nkechi Obi, Vice Chairman, Technooil at the formal commissioning of Dr Lucas Memorial High School ICT Centre, Kirikiri, Lagos sponsored by Technooil. Photo: Lamidi Bamidele.

“Understanding changes in your environment is not a matter of specialization but a matter of personal balance and culture,” he said and thanked Total for its contributions to the development of the Nigerian society. Also speaking, Guy Maurice noted that such initiatives on the part of Total is a reflection of its confidence in the country and continuation of what it did in the past The Quai d‘ Orsay educational cooperation between Total and the French Embassy started in 2011 and already operates in other subsidiaries Total’s delegation to the event included the Executive General Manager, Corporate Services, Mr. Vincent Nnadi; Executive General Manager Public Affairs and Communication, Mr. Chidi Momah; Training & Development Manager, Mr. Sam Nkwo and Senior Legal Counsel Mr. Adesina Salawu. The Ambassador ’s team included the Counsellor for Co-operation and Culture, Mr. Patrick Perez. Total has been collaborating with top rated institutions around the world as part of its contributions to human capacity development in its host communities. It is also the main sponsor of the

Institute of Petroleum Studies (IPS), a post graduate institution at the University of Port Harcourt run in

collaboration with the prestigious Institute France du Petrole (IFP) France.

onocoPhillips agreed to sell its Algerian business unit to Indonesian state energy company PT Pertamina for $1.75 billion, plus customary adjustments, as part of its ongoing assetdisposition program. ConocoPhillips Algeria Ltd. holds interests in three major onshore oil fields that averaged 11,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day through October. The company said the net carrying value of its Algerian assets was roughly $850 million as of Oct. 31. ConocoPhillips expects to close the transaction by mid2013. The Houston-based energy company is in the midst of a three-year repositioning aimed at improving its balance sheet and focusing on more profitable, less risky unconventional fields in North America. ConocoPhillips has sold or plans to sell more than $7 billion in assets in 2012, including a $5 billion sale of its stake in Kazakhstan’s Kashagan field in the Caspian Sea announced last month. The company also spun off its refining arm earlier this year to Phillips 66.

Fashola lauds Techno Oil CRS initiative T

he Lagos State Governor, Baba Tunde Fashola has commended Techno Oil for supporting educational development in the state through its Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR. The governor who was represented by the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunioye, made this known during the recent commissioning of the Modern ICT centre built by Techno Oil at Dr. Lucas Memorial Grammar School, Kirikiri Apapa, Lagos. He said one of the 10-point agenda of his administration is to provide quality education to students in the state, adding that the state is committed to achieving this objective. Fashola noted that Techno Oil has demonstrated in practical terms what corporate governance and social responsibility should be, through the construction of the ICT centre for the school within its area of oerations. The Managing Director, Techno Oil, Mr. Tony Oneayma, in his address said the initiative was a clarion call for corporate bodies in Lagos State to adopt a school as part of measures to turn around the dwindling fortunes of

education in the state. He explained that the company built the ICT centre at Dr. Lucas Memorial High School, Kirirkiri because “Our facility is in this community. Techno Oil was born and nurtured in Lagos. We thank you for giving us a congenial environment to operate and we thank Nigerians for accepting us a brand.” He also said the ICT centre has 41 fullyequipped workstations to cater for the over 1,200 students in the school, adding that a generating set has been provided to power the facility and funding of the staff. “We will fund the staffing of the centre with full-time ICT tutor to ensure that students are provided the opportunity to acquire the ICT skills they need to compete in today’s technology-driven world. “Our aim in building the project in Ajegunle is to reach some of the most underserved areas of our community. We recognise that young people of “AJ City” deserve empowerment and access to opportunities to acquire skills they need for academic and career success in the future,” he said. Oyeama said Techno Oil has spent over N200 million on CSR projects since it commenced operations 15 years ago.


28—Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012

NNPC laments activities of pipeline vandals By CLARA NWACHUKWU

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he Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has decried the unending incidence of pipeline hacking and product theft which is currently posing great danger to the efficient distribution and supply of petroleum products in some parts of the country. Speaking against the backdrop of the recent line break in Ije-ododo community in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State, the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, warned that if left on checked, the nefarious activities of pipeline marauders could cripple the smooth operation of the downstream sector of the industry. Yakubu, who declared open the 3rd Triennial Delegates Conference of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association, PENGASSAN, in Abuja, last week, noted that less than one week after the vital System 2B was restored after extensive repair work on the ruptured Arepo point, the Corporation has been compelled to shut the line again owing to last Monday’s attack on the Ije-ododo point. “We have had over 774 break points since August 2012, from Atlas Cove to Ilorin depot. Between Atlas Cove and Mosimi depot, we recorded 181 break points, from Mosimi to Ibadan, we had 421 ruptured points, and from Mosimi to Ore, we recorded 50 vandalized points. Also between Ibadan and Ilorin we had a total of 122 break points,” the GMD stated. He said that although the NNPC is working hard to ensure effective distribution of petroleum products across the country through increased trucking, but noted that the trucking option comes with enormous cost which is totally unsustainable. “PIB or no PIB, privatization or no privatization, no industry can survive under this kind of arrangement,” he said. Records indicate that with the incessant attacks on the nation’s vast artery of pipelines about 70 percent products distribution is through trucking or what is known in the industry parlance as bridging into the hinterlands. This requires massive fleets of petroleum product trucks of up to 1,212 trucks load out from the depots every day to meet the daily estimated national consumption. At an average vehicle turnaround of about 8-10 days from the South to the North

BRIEF

Oando gets 120-day loan to acquire ConocoPhillips BY MICHAEL EBOH

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and re-turn, a minimum of 10,000 trucks are required to ply the roads daily. Despite the challenge posed by the shut- down of the System 2B line as a result of the attack, the NNPC boss expressed optimism that Nigerians would not suffer undue hardship during the Yuletide season. “We have a fallback strategy

which we have already activated to ensure uninterrupted supply of products. Don’t forget that we had the worst time when the line was shut completely in August after the Arepo incident but we have restored the lines and it started working and Nigerians felt the impact, only for the vandals to strike again. But

we will do our best to sustain supply,” he said. Yakubu called on Nigerians across board from the community to local government and up to state government levels to embrace the protection of pipelines. “These are critical national assets and we must begin to see them in that light,” he added.

Brazil’s Rio State seeks new oil tax to offset royalties losses R IO DE JANEIRO - Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro state legislature approved a new tax on oil and natural gas that could generate up to $3.3 billion in new revenue, offsetting possible losses from a controversial, new oil-royalties law. Rio de Janeiro Gov. Sergio Cabral has 15 days to sign the bill. Mr. Cabral’s office declined to comment on the measure, saying the bill was a “legislative initiative.” The measure turns up the heat on the debate over how to distribute Brazil’s newfound oil wealth, with the country’s Congress set to debate whether to overturn President Dilma Rousseff’s veto of part of the new oil-royalties law that grants nonproducing states a share of revenue from existing production. Congress was expected to vote on the veto before the end of the year, but the decision has been postponed until February. With the veto, Ms. Rousseff determined that the broader distribution of revenue would apply only to future production and not to existing oil fields. Should the veto be overturned, the oil-producing states of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Espirito Santo said they would sue to block implementation of the new royalties regime. The royalties debate pits those three oil-producing states against the 24 other

Brazilian states. The dispute also cuts across party lines, with the government unable to bring together members of its congressional alliance, which holds clear majorities in both houses, to broker a deal. Rather than watch the debate from afar, Rio de Janeiro state congressman Andre Ceciliano proposed a bill that would counter any potential royalties losses should the veto be overturned. “My bill seeks to avoid any irreparable losses to our state’s public coffers,” Mr. Ceciliano said on his blog. The measure would impose a tax on the sale or transfer of each barrel of oil produced in Rio de Janeiro state, generating about 6.9 billion reais ($3.3 billion) in 2013, according to estimates. The figure was in line with the BRL6.95 billion in royalties and specialparticipation taxes on large-producing oil fields the state received in 2011. Rio de Janeiro state officials have said the new royalties regime would cost the state nearly BRL80 billion in royalties through 2020. The new tax is based on similar taxes on mining in Minas Gerais and Para states, Mr. Ceciliano told the Agencia Brasil news agency. Rio de Janeiro is home to state-run energy giant Petroleo Brasileiro, or Petrobras, and a majority of Brazil’s crudeoil production, including the Campos Basin, where Petrobras produces more than 85% of the country’s oil. Petrobras declined to comment on the new tax.

ANDO Energy Resources, OER, an affiliate of Oando Plc, said last week it has entered into an agreement to acquire the entire business interests of ConocoPhillips in Nigeria valued at about N282.82 billion ($1.79 billion). According to a statement by Oando, the deal would be financed by both debt and equity that will see it acquiring both the onshore and offshore businesses of ConocoPhillips in Nigeria – Phillips Oil Company Nigeria Limited; Phillips Brass Limited; Conoco Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited; and Phillips Deepwater Exploration Nigeria Limited. OER said the proposed acquisition will see it indirectly purchasing all of the issued share capital of ConocoPhillips’ offshore and onshore businesses, adding that It added that the acquisition is expected to be concluded before the end of June 2013, subject to appropriate consultations with stakeholders. Commenting on the deal, Mr. Wale Tinubu, Group Chief Executive, Oando Plc. Said, “Upon closing, we expect that this will be a transformational transaction for OER, as the company has only been listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX, for about five months and now has an opportunity to execute its strategy and materially increase its production and reserves base. In our view, the combination of the right timing, right assets and the right company can lead to significant value creation in the Gulf of Guinea. “We expect that the closing of this transaction will position OER as a leading, indigenous independent E&P player in Nigeria.” Also speaking, Mr. Pade Durotoye, Chief Executive Officer, Oando Energy Resources, said, “This potential transaction represents a transformational step forward for our company and is in keeping with our overall strategy to grow our portfolio of Nigerian-based assets by focusing on those opportunities that deliver high quality growth in reserves and production".


Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012 —29

FORBEARANCE FOR STOCKBROKERS:

A tool for recklessness? WITH the announcement by the Ministry of Finance two weeks ago of N22.6 billion bailout package for 84 stockbrokers that got involved in margin trading, some stakeholders who clamoured for the injection of funds into the capital market are already rolling out their drums to celebrate. However, some believe that the bailout may have been misapplied, and may not actually provide the reprieve as anticipated in some quarters, NKIRUKA NNOROM writes

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Dealing member firms Stockbrokers had argued that having extended such gesture to the deposit money banks, the same should be done for them. Shareholders’ activists, who shared the same thought with stockbrokers, believed that granting Dealing Member firms of the NSE bailout will eliminate the glut in the market. The clamour came to an end with the announcement of N22.6 billion debt relief for 84 stockbrokers believed to have been heavily involved in the margin loan debacle. While some people are already rejoicing over what they see as reprieve for the capital market, another set of analysts insist that the action has some moral hazards, saying that it would encourage recklessness among stockbrokers in future. Those in this category said that the move is counter-productive with the capacity of inducing another crash by the time the bailout fund is released to the C M Y K

•Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Finance Minister

•Oscar Onyema, CEO, Nigerian Stock Exchange

market. Reasons for the relief package, conditions attached While making the announcement, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Finance Minister, said her ministry decided to relieve stockbrokers of the debt overhang following a research by the International Monetary Fund, IMF, and the World Bank, which confirmed that solid economic growth in any country is tied to joint development of the banking sector and the capital market. She explained that while the banking sector has already been cleaned-up, after the meltdown, the capital market was yet to get an intervention. “Many of you are aware that activity on the Nigerian Capital Market, particularly the stock exchange, has been very slow in the aftermath of the global financial meltdown and the Nigerian banking crisis. We saw the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All Share Index (ASI) plummet from a peak of about 66,000 points in March 2008 to less than 22,000 points by January 2009, wiping out over N8 trillion or 70 percent of the total capitalisation of the stock exchange within this period. Since then, activity on the stock market has remained sluggish even though there are some signs of recovery, with the index now at about 26,494 points,” she said. She informed that AMCON had purchased the margin loans of the 84 stockbrokers involved

from banks for about N42.6 billion, adding, ‘but the underlying assets or collateral is worth only N19.96 billion today.’ As part of conditions to benefit from the package, Okonjo-Iweala said the affected brokers would not be allowed to provide any professional services to AMCON for a period not less than three years, adding that they would be required to reveal to SEC any dealings in any security valued at a minimum of N25 million

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N the last four years since the Nigerian capital market witnessed a terrible crash in its history following involvement of ambitious stockbrokers in margin trading and risk taking, the singular demand by those enmeshed in the imbroglio has been for the government to find a way of ameliorating the huge losses they suffered. The recklessness that ensued in the market within that period was believed to be fueled by lax regulatory function of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, and the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, The debt, which at the last count was put at over N1.3 trillion, left the equity market starved of liquidity, while so many stockbrokers remained insolvent. At the height of it was the closure of some stockbroking houses and downsizing of workforce by those that managed to remain in business. The call for bailout heightened when the incumbent Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, created a bad bank, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, to take off the toxic assets in the books of commercial lenders also involved in margin trading alongside stockbrokers.

Analysts’ reservation: Though the desire of stockbrokers seems to have been met by the announcement by Finance Minister, it has as well thrown up mixed reactions from different quarters with some commending it as tonic for market revival, while others are of the opinion that the move has negative implications for the market. Countering the Finance Minister’s stance on the role of the capital market in the economy, the Managing Director/CEO, Financial Derivatives Company, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, said market gain of over 26 percent this year shows that with debt overhang on the 84 stockbrokers the capital market can recover provided steps are taken to boost investors’ confidence. Arguing that failure to bailout the capital market does not have any systemic risk, Rewane remarked that in the United States, for instance, the government bailed out various companies, both financial and non-financial, that posed systemic risks to the economy, citing AIG, General Motors and Citi Bank as examples. “The bailout at the time saved jobs and prevented a total collapse of the

I don’t believe in bailout when it involves intervention in the equity market because when you have bailout in the securities market, you create an artificial price level and when you create an artificial price level, you create instability in that asset class

executed in a single deal or multiple deals on the same day on behalf of their clients. “As part of their net capital requirement, no broker that has received forbearance shall permit his aggregate indebtedness to exceed 100 percent of his net capital, details of the firms will be forwarded to the Credit Bureau Agency. A strict requirement that imposes separation of assets and control for brokerage services and/or future margin facilities through the use of custodians; and finally, the brokers will be prohibited from taking proprietary positions or trade on their own account for one year,” she stated.

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economy. Similar actions were taken in Europe with the bailout of Northern Rock and RBS in the UK, and the Swiss government bailing out UBS while Credit Suisse raised emergency capital from outside investors including the Qatar Investment Authority. Those institutions were seen as the bedrock of those economies hence the reason for their bailout,” he maintained. “The Nigeria banking sector is also perceived as the bedrock of the economy and the regulators were commended for the bailout of the sector that commenced in 2009. The Nigerian banking sector has now fully recovered with no depositors’ funds lost.

The capital market on the other hand cannot be viewed in the same light as the banking sector. Many companies still rely on the banking sector rather than the capital market for financing. In addition, the 84 stockbrokers handed forbearance are not inherent to the economy or the capital market itself,’ he added. Besides, he said that the move has set precedence that excessive risk-taking would not be punished or in otherwords, issued the stockbrokers with subsidised risk-taking.

Subsidized risk taking On his part, the Managing Director/CEO Cowry Asset Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, told Vanguard shortly before the bailout package was announced that the action is capable of inducing another burble in the capital market by the time the money is released to the market. He noted that whenever this kind of burble builds up, it exposes the market to danger of massive fall, adding that failure to realise such build up prior to 2008 crash was the reason for the huge losses recorded by investors within the period. According to him, once there is a bailout fund to intervene in the equity market and government is holding large chunk of equity to prop up the price, discerning investors will shy away from the market, “simple reason is that because they know that if they buy the stock and government decides to exit, there won’t be any price again. The market will be flooded then you find out that you are carrying a worthless certificate or share. “I don’t believe in bailout when it involves intervention in the equity market because when you have bailout in the securities market, you create an artificial price level and when you create an artificial price level, you create instability in that asset class such that when that bailout fund is fulfilled, the market will crash back. So it is better that the market is encouraged to find its level than an intervention fund to come in and prop up prices to an artificial level.”


30—Vanguard , TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012

BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, the solar eclipse emerges

•BMW 6 series Gran Coupe

•BMW 6 series Gran Coupe BY THEODORE OPARA

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ETERMINED to provide the local automobile arena with the best and reputable cars in the world, Coscharis Motors, authorised representative of BMW AG in Nigeria has unveiled the new BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe. The BMW Gran Coupe is not just an ordinary coupe. It is a coupe with a whole lot of difference. The first four door coupe from BMW, the BMW 6 Gran Coupe is a show stopper any day, having the attributes of a twodoor coupe but with four door luxury sedan convenience. Speaking at the unveiling of the new car in Lagos recently, the General Manager, BMW, Mr. Sola Adigun who represented the President of Coscharis Group, Dr. Cosmos Maduka referred to the car as a rare breed. Describing it as a solar eclipse that has always held a powerful attraction, one of the most elegant phenomena, the Coscharis boss said, “It is one of the most rare – a compelling spectacle few people will ever experience.” According to him, the new BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe exhibits outstanding qualities, turning heads with breaktaking fusion of C M Y K

groundbreaking design, luxurious elegance and sheer sports car performance. The Gran Coupe is available in two petrol engine variants: a six-cylinder and eight cylinder engines 640i and 650i). The 640i is powered by BMW Twin-power Turbo six-cylinder inline petrol engine which combines a two scroll turbocharger with valvetronic, DoubleVanos and high precision injection. These leads to low fuel consumption of 7.8-7.9 litres per 100 kilometres. This engine generates 235 kw (320 horsepower) and maximum torque of 450Nm available as early as 1300 rpm. It accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.4 seconds. The top of the range model, BMW 650i is equipped with twin power turbo eight-cylinder petrol engine. This engine generates 330kw (450 horsepower) and it takes it only 4.6 seconds to accelerate from 0 to100 km/h. Despite the power, the BMW 650i Gran Coupe consumes just 8.6 – 8.9 litres of petrol per 100 kilometres. This model can come with the xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive system. The 6 series Gran Coupe comes standard with 8-speeds sport automatic transmission and a wide range of luxury equipment. Maduka however noted

•BMW 6 series Gran Coupe that the four-door Coupe is not all about performance," it is a blend of elegance, exclusivity and athleticism." According to him, they are targeting an exclusive class with this new

machine whose price starts from N21 million. “The target group of the all-new BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe is primarily male, middle aged and highly successful professionals” as it is a

status symbol which will set them apart from the mainstream. Such individuals he said demonstrate style in their entire appearance just like the all-new BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe.

Being the first four-door coupe from BMW, the 6 Series Gran Coupe sets new benchmark in the luxury class combining agile dynamics in a way that has never been seen before.

Ford Ranger grabs pickup of the year title T

HE new Ford Ranger has won the “International Pick-Up Award 2013” as judged by a pan-European judging committee. Every member of the judging panel ranked the new Ranger as their number one choice; praising its performance on- and off-

road, strong engine lineup, payload and towing capability, and safety. The new Ranger won the “International PickUp Award 2013” award following extensive testing at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, England, after which it was awarded 47 points ?

more than the combined number of points garnered by the second- and third-placed Isuzu DMax and Volkswagen Amarok. The award was presented to Ford by jury chairman Pieter Wieman at the Fleet Transport EXPO 12 event, in Dublin.

“The Ford Ranger is a great all-rounder, combining the perfect blend of on-road comfort and stability with off-road capability,” said Jarlath Sweeney, the Irish judge on the panel of CV journalists that also serves on the “International Van of the Year” jury.


Vanguard , TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012—31

Toyota Nigeria to round up with 18,500 units sales T

OYOTA Nigeria Limited has projected to sale 18,500 vehicles before the end of the year. The company is however, not far from achieving the record, having sold about 18,123 vehicles from January to November 2012. Managing Director, Toyota Nigeria Limited, Mr. C. K. Thampy gave this hint recently, during the quarterly press chat with Motoring Journalists at their Lekki Lagos office. He disclosed that, Toyota is still maintaining the lead as the number one brand in Nigeria in 2012 having already surpass its previous year's record by 27 per cent. According to him, Toytota Nigeria Limited import volume from January to November 2012 stood at 18,123 as against 14,237 during the same period last year. This, according to him, is a 27 per cent improvement from the previous year with a difference of 3,886 units. He added that at a projected sales of 18,500 units for 2012, TNL market share should grow by two per cent. The Toyota boss further stated that there was seven per cent drop in volume in the local auto industry from 47,267 in January — November 2011 to 44,027 in Janaury — November 2012. Thampy, however, blamed the drop on some factors, ranging from the fuel subsidy removal strike to reduced spending by government in 2012. The factors that affected the Nigerian auto industry according to him include the fact that: The year 2012 started on a “turbulent” note with the fuel subsidy removal strike which slowed down business activities in the country. Also market activities slowed down particularly after the first half of the year with no significant signs of improvement thereafter. This was partly due to reduced spend by government as a result of the 2012 budget which was not fully implemented," he said. Government and Corporate purchases were dull during the period while businesses continued to witness difficulty in accessing credit facilities from banks. Also currency fluctuation during the early parts of the year adversely affected the

industry, he concluded. Globally, the Managing Director explained that Toyota did credibly well, despite many challenges

from 2011. The performance of Toyota, he said earned it outstanding global recognitions. Some of

which include awards as the only auto brand among the first best ten globally recognized brands in 2012 by

well as the number one among best fifty global GREEN brands in 2012 by www.interbrand.com

Porsche surpasses previous year’s record figures G ERMAN re nowned Sports car manufacturer, Porsche has surpassed its previous year’s record figure by delivering 128,978 new vehicles to customers around the world. This mean that the previous year’s figure (of 118,868 vehicles in total) has already been surpassed one month before the end of the year. In November 2012, the Stuttgart-based sports car manufacturer sold a total of 12,928 vehicles, achieving an increase of 38.7 per cent over the same month last year.

“Our current product initiative has continuously improved the attractiveness of the Porsche brand in 2012,” says Bernhard Maier, Member of the Executive Board Sales and Marketing of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG. “The fact that we have already surpassed the previous year’s result in November is no reason for us to rest on our laurels. On the contrary, it is an incentive to deliver maximum performance in the next year – in spite of continued uncertainty in the marketplace.”

In November, Porsche reported increased turnover in all regions. The range was in particularly high demand in the US where 3,865 vehicles were delivered, representing an increase of 71.4 per cent compared to the same month last year. In the second largest Porsche market, China, the

sports car manufacturer also achieved an increase of 63.4 per cent compared to November 2011, having delivered 2,919 vehicles to customers. The third generation of the Porsche Boxster is in high demand internationally. Deliveries of around 1,200 roadster models equates to a near

three-fold increase compared to the same month last year. Also the classic sports car Porsche 911 Carrera enjoys great popularity around the world. In November 2012, 2,019 vehicles were delivered to customers – an increase of 91.6 per cent over the same month last year.

Mandilas opens Ikeja service centre

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ANDILAS Motors, a subsidiary of Mandilas Enterprises Limited and one of Nigeria’s foremost auto dealers has recently

•Porsche Cayanne

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www.interbrand.com. Toyota was also named 2012 Most Valuable Auto Brand by www.interbrand.com as

launched a quick fix service centre in the heart of Ikeja, Lagos- Nigeria. The centre, located at No 39, Oba Akran road (inside Forte oil Filling Station) which brings the total number of Mandilas Motors outlets to three in Lagos and eleven in Nigeria is established to the renowned Kodawari standard, the highest standard an auto workshop can attain for customer satisfaction. Mr. Akin Adiatu, Head, After-Sales Service of the company, explained to our Correspondent in his office that the management of the company decided to open the service centre to cater for our numerous customers in Lagos Mainland. “As part of our commitment to meet the demands of our customers, so, we decided to open the Ikeja service centre”.

Mandilas Motors, one of the Nigeria’s biggest Toyota Dealers in sales, service and genuine spare parts for Toyota vehicles has won several accolades in recognition of its commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction. Some of the most recent awards include; Best Service Advisor of the Year, 2012, 1st Runner-up, Best Technician of the Year 2012 and Best Service Manager of the Year 2011. Mr. Akin explained further that customers buying new Toyota vehicle from the company will enjoy three (3) years warranty or 100000km (whichever comes first). Mandilas, noted for personalized service, is out to satisfy all our desirous customers nationwide not only in our Motors division, but also in all the subsidiaries of the Mandilas Group, he said.


32—Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012

WEDDING: From left :Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State; Sen. Nuhu Aliyu, Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar and Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, during the wedding Fatiha of Gen. Abubakar's daughter, in Minna.

ANNIVERSARY: Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State (left); HRH Eze Albert Uwanamodo, ‘’Obizi II of Ekenobizi,’’ during the monarch's eleven years anniversary and 90th birthday ceremony in Umuahia.

EMBER MONTH CAMPAIGN: From left: Secretary, ECOWAS Chapel, Road Transport Employers' Association of Nigeria, RTEAN, Prince Henry Oyinlola; Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, Lagos State, Mr. Nsebong Akpabio; Corporate Social Responsibility/Sustainability Manager, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Vivian Ikem and Unit Commander, FRSC, Apapa Unit, Mr. Sehinde A. Oladepo, during the 2012 ember month campaign rally on "DONT DRINK AND DRIVE" organised by FRSC and Nigeria Breweries Plc, at Mile 2 International Motor park, Lagos. Photo: Kehinde Gbadamosi.

LEWU DAY: Elder statesman, Senator Anthony Adefuye (left) and Deputy Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Mr. Tola Banjo, who represented Governor Amosun, at the 2012 annual Lewu Day celebration, at Odolewu, Ogun State.

Mr. Krishna Kulkarni, General Manager, BriscoeFord; Ms. Laura Oloyede, General Manager, Cutler Ogilvy PR; Mrs. Adebola Afun, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of the Environment; and Mr. Justin Ngini, National Sales Manager, Coscharis Motors, during the presentation of RRR Waste bins, sponsored by Ford to the Ministry of the Environment. From left: Mr. Wale Tinubu, GMD/ Chief Executive; Mr. Chuka Eseka, MD/CEO, Vetiva Capital and Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, Alake of Egbaland, Chairman of Company, during Oando Plc's Completion Board meeting to raise, N52.9 billion through rights issue, in Lagos. Photo: Joe Akintola, Photo Editor.

MoU SIGNING: From left: Minister of State for Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike; Chairman, DAAR Communications Plc, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, and member, ManagePRESENTATION: From left: Oyeronke Oyetunde, GM, Regulato- ment Board DAAR Communications, Mr. Dokpesi Jnr, during the signing of Memory, MTN; Kunle Bakare, Publisher Encomium; Adetola Adebowale, randum of Understanding between Ministry of Education and DAAR Communications winner; Kola Oyeyemi, GM, Consumer Marketing, presenting the Plc, on the Broadcast of Basic and Secondary Education Programmes in Nigeria, in winning prize, at the N20 million MTN business grant in Lagos. Abuja.


Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012 — 33

By JUDE NJOKU

HIGH POINTS

If we as a country are serious about eradicating poverty and its side effects, we must consider redistribution of wealth through such medium as property taxation as has been done successfully in most advanced countries”. This submission which was made by a frontline estate surveyor and valuer, Mr. Mondiu Adebayo Belo at a workshop put together by the Lagos State Branch of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers NIESV, a few years ago, still holds today. Against this backdrop, many state government who are desirous of shoring up their internally generated revenue, IGR, have introduced various forms of property taxation. Lagos, the acclaimed centre of excellence and trail blazer, enacted the contentious Land Use Act in 2001. The Land Use Charge came into being as a result of the government’s desire to harmonise four different previously existing land charges into one charge. The old charges included tenement rate, developmental charges, ground rent and neighborhood improvement charges. Buoyed by the success recorded by Lagos in the implementation of this property-based tax, Edo State on December 7 this year, signed a carbon copy of the Lagos land Use Charge into law. Governor Comrade Adams Oshiomhole said the legislation will not apply to rural people across the state and people who occupy family houses. “Even though the rural people are exempted but those who are rich occupying in excess of one hundred by one hundred land will pay the tax,” he noted. According to him, the idea is to encourage those who use much land to pay something to the government to assist in the provision of amenities, such as schools, health facilities and to find resources to support tertiary institutions, water as well as carry development to the villages and hamlet. While assuring that this is a pro -development law, Comrade Oshiomhole maintained that the government is determined to tax the rich and the very rich to enable government provide for the poorest of the poor. “Every rich man should know that it is in their interest that the poor are catered for.

*If well implemented, property taxation is a veritable source of internally generated revenue IGR and helps in wealth redistribution. *Assessment should however not be based on assumptions but sound valuations by the relevant professionals *There are more than enough property-related taxes in Lagos and this does not augur well for housing development in the state.

Taxes on such high-end properties help to generate IGR for government

Property tax, a tool for wealth redistribution Assessment should base on sound valuations —Experts The task at hand is not only to consolidate on the gains recorded in our first tenure but to take Edo State to the next level. We cannot rely entirely on the revenue from Abuja, we have to look inward,” he said, adding that “property tax is a reality and the law is not targeted at everybody. Though everybody needs to use the land but some people use more land than others. We are not apologetic about taxing the rich” The Edo State Land Use Charge Act is coming on the heels of a plea by Lagos-based estate surveyors and valuers on the Babatunde Fashola-led administration to review and harmonise contentious areas in the State’s land use legislation to make it more acceptable to the citizens.

The surveyors alleged that council officers still issue tenement rate notices to areas already billed for land use charges, while other irregularities which are inimical to the growth of the housing industry still exist. According to them the high taxes for well maintained properties is a punishment to the owner. They also sought to know who is responsible for ground charges between landlords and tenants. Some estate surveyors are of the opinion that Lagos has more than enough taxes on property. The tax on properties in Lagos include capital gains tax, land use charge, withholding tax, probate tax, consent tax, stamp duty, registration fee, ratification fees, regularization fees and development charges.

“These are not just too many but the methods of their assessment are questionable. For example, the land use charge is an annual tax but it is levied on capital value. An annual tax should be based on annual value. Capital gains tax is based on the sale price instead of gains as the name implies. What is consent fee? This is a tax known in Nigeria, Taxes are payable on income. On what income is one paying consent fees? The seller would have paid capital gains tax, which is the appropriate tax on income or profit of the property seller,” he said at a recent workshop organised by FIACI Nigeria.. According to him, the various taxes has made the acquisition of property very expensive thereby reducing supply of housing and raising sale prices and rents. Property taxes should not be based on assumptions, mere conclusion of property value by individuals, old records and non-professional opinions among other means but it should be based on property values obtained from registered estate surveyors and valuers certificate of valuation.

Create an eye-catching display to make your Christmas dramatic

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oday is Christmas, a day Christians all over the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. You can spread joy and good cheer around your neighborhood by decorating the outside of your home with a display of lights. No matter what your design taste, you can create an eye-catching display that will make a dramatic statement to celebrate the holiday season. *Create an understated yet attractive look outside your home with lighted pine garland. You can either use real garland or use artificial garland. Simply wrap the garland with white or coloured lights, whichever you would prefer. If you have a porch, drape the decoration along the railings. You can also wrap it

around a lamp post or swag it along the top of your front door. * Lighted topiaries can also be used to create a traditional look at Christmas time. You can either purchase pre-made topiaries or make your own from floral oasis, wooden dowels, a flower pot and faux Christmas flora. Wrap the topiaries with any type of lights that you like. Flank your doorway with two of these decorations or use several to line your walkway. * Luminaries bring a colonial look to your home during the Christmas season. Create your own luminaries from either brown or coloured paper bags and Christmas patterned hole punches. Fill the completed decorations with some sand-which will prevent them from blowing over in the wind -and place tea lights

inside. Line your walkway, driveway or both with the luminaries. They will create a soft, welcoming glow for visitors during the Christmas season. * Wrapping pine trees with lights has long been a Christmas tradition, but you can also illuminate the deciduous trees in your yard to make them a part of your Christmas light display. Select strings of multi-coloured lights, white lights or strands of solid coloured lights and wrap them around the trunks of your ornamental trees.


34 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012

A recent demolition in Abuja

Senator charges FG to halt further demolitions in Abuja By CHRIS OCHAYI Abuja

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he chairman, Senate Committee on Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim has condemned recent demolitions of estates and other structures in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT and its environs by the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA. He has therefore called on the Government to stop further demolitions. Senator Ibrahim who spoke at the 2012 induction ceremony for 274 newly registered quantity surveyors and 19 newly practicing firms and QS professional clinic on ethics and

By KINGSLEYADEGBOYE

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he Lagos State Government has concluded plans to commence its Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme, HOMS, in the first quarter of next year. HOMS is an initiative of the State Government aimed at ameliorating housing challenge in Lagos metropolis Lagos State Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Bosun Jeje told newsmen at a media parley last week that everything required to kick-start the scheme had been concluded. “HOMS is already on ground; we are about to start. HOMS is a mortgage scheme conceived by the state to address the question of affordable housing in the state. The essence of the scheme is to ensure that the houses being built by the government are sold to Lagos residents. With the HOMS system, subscribers are expected to pay for their houses between 15 and 20 years,” Mr. Jeje explained. C o n t i n u i n g , h e s a i d : “ We h a v e realized that it is the duty of the

values, described the demolition exercise as unacceptable especially now that the country is grappling with a housing deficit of about 17 million units. ”To me this issue of demolition is crazy. In a country where people are grappling, fighting and crying for more houses, for somebody to demolish houses that are already built, is crazy. Those who are charged with the responsibilities to look after buildings in the FCT should not allow people to complete erecting their houses only for them to wake up and pull such structures down. Senator Ibrahim described the justification always given by the Development Control department of

F C TA w h i c h i s t h a t m a n y developers usually ignore the “stop work order” given to them, as weak argument. He maintained that the relevant authorities should not allow people to engage and continue with structures in the first instance before using law enforcement officers to halt the developments later. “If defaulters don’t stop work, why not bring in law enforcement team to stop them? I don’t think Nigerians are that lawless. If you ask them to stop work and the developers still continue, you should bring in the law enforcement agents to

stop them,” he said. Speaking from another perspective, Senator Ibrahim decried the unbridled pursuit of materialism and the attendant primitive accumulation of wealth by some Nigerians The former Governor of Yobe State w h o i s a l s o a q u a n t i t y s u r v e y o r, tasked his colleagues to endeavour to “earn the trust and confidence of your clients by the way you carry out our professional activities.” His words: “In a country where real and perceptive corruptions are high, quantity surveyors should play a leading role in the promotion of ethics, values, honesty and professional integrity as bulwark against corruption. Professionals are never part of the moneyed class even in developed countries. They belong to the middle class which is the most important segment in any nation economic stratification. Leaders of countries emerge from among professionals who are often seen to chart the political and economic dissection from most countries”. President, Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria, QSRBN, Mallam Husaini Dikko insisted that the quantity surveyors’s cost advice must be sought and obtained on any building and construction project in which government fund is involved at the three tiers of government. ”This is because government fund i s t a x p a y e r ’s m o n e y a n d p u b l i c accountability demands so”, he said, adding “we should as a country be able to capture our capital formation at real cost and Gross Domestic Product as actual factor costs not inflated costs. ”The involvement of quantity surveyors will lead to huge savings which will be deployed to social services and infrastructure for welfare maximization for the citizenry.” He regretted that construction projects have become instruments for money laundering by highly placed officials who play all kinds of tricks to evade the eagle eyes of the EFCC and ICPC.

Money bags 'll not hijack new Lagos mortgage scheme —Jeje government to provide accommodation for Lagos residents, hence the government is not thinking about making profit from the houses it is building, but to make them affordable as much as possible for the generality of the residents”. “Our target is to provide houses for all Lagos residents. The exercise will be a continuous one that is why I cannot say this is our exact target. We have not commenced the scheme yet, so, people have not yet subscribed. We are still in the process of starting. “We will try to make sure that ‘money bags’ will not hijack the houses to be sold under HOMS. We will make sure that one subscriber cannot subscribe for more than one housing type, and no individual can get more than one allocation”, he stated. The Commissioner disclosed that his

ministry spent N20 billion on housing provision this year. He pointed some completed and ongoing estates development by the housing ministry. They include the estates at Sangotedo, Shitta in Surulere, Shogunroye in Ogba, Omole 1, Omole 2, Magodo 1, Igbogbo in Ikorodu, Iloro and Oba Adegorowa among many others. “We have many more estates coming up in the state. One of them is at Badia. They are aimed at solving housing challenge in the state. Lagos, being a m e g a c i t y, h o u s i n g i s a l w a y s a challenge, that is why the state government has taken the bull by the horn to address the housing problems as we are currently doing. Some of these estates have been completed while others are at their various stages of completion. There are still more to be constructed in the 2013. It is a

problem that has to be constantly addressed, and we have started,” he said. The commissioner said the government has also created the enabling environment for private investors to invest housing production. “There is a PPP department in our Ministry as well as the Governor ’s office because the government cannot do it alone. We have to involve the private sector, and we have to create the enabling environment and conducive atmosphere for them to invest in real estate in the state. What the government is doing now is a stop gap measure. The private sector will eventually take over the provision of housing in the state, but as it is now, government cannot leave it for the p r i v a t e s e c t o r. T h a t i s w h y t h e government is doing it now, and at the same time creating the enabling environment for the private sector to take over”, he said.


Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012 — 35

Nigeria needs N500bn to fix ailing roads —Onolememen By JUDE NJOKU

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whopping N500 billion would be required annually for the next four years to fix Nigerian ailing roads and bring them to sync with road infrastructure development in other thriving nations in the world. This was disclosed recently by the Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen. Onolememen who is an Architect, told the House of Representatives’ Committee on Works that the average annual budget of about N100 billion for road development is grossly inadequate for the nation’s 35,000 kilometre of Federal roads. He regretted that budget provisions for the road sector are not fully released, adding that in 2012, only N110 billion was released out of a total budgetary provision of N143 billion. The Minister who spoke on the “Need to Address the Near Total Collapse of Federal Roads Across the Country” at the public hearing, recommended alternative ways of funding highway infrastructure by the Federal Government. These include: adoption of annuity contracts for key arterial routes; borrowing from multilateral agencies and Pension Fund for the key highway infrastructure; floating of Road Bonds for highway projects and viability gap funding. The minister also canvassed the implementation of the five percent fuel surcharges; user-related charges and conventional Public Private Partnership finance for road infrastructure. Onolememen gave details of efforts to reinvigorate and make the management of the nation’s federal roads and on-going projects more effective. They include restructuring of the two highways departments into twelve departments, the decentralization of the management of the nation’s existing road networks and the development of the recovery of new and deteriorated routes. The Minister further expatiated on efforts to improve critical routes on federal roads network which are the Shagamu-Ore-Benin dual carriageway, Onitsha-Enugu dual carriageway, Enugu-Port Harcourt dual carriageway, Lagos-Ibadan dual Carriageway, dualisation of AbujaLokoja-Benin Road, Dualisation of Kano-Maiduguri Road and the construction of Loko-Oweto Bridge. He stated that a Transaction Advisor has been commissioned for the 2nd Niger Bridge under the Public Private Partnership model which is expected to culminate in the award of the concession for the bridge by early 2013.

Lagos-Ibadan expressway … Nigeria requires about N500 million annually to fix such roads.

El-Rufai charges estate surveyors to embrace integrity in service delivery By JUDE NJOKU

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ormer Minister of the Federal Capital Territory FCT, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, has called on built environment professionals in the country to uphold the tenet of professionalism and service to the nation. The former Bureau of Public Enterprises Director-General who spoke through Mr. Martins Akumazi at the induction of new Associates of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, NIESV in Abuja charged the inductees to always give clients value for their money. El-Rufai who is a frontline quantity surveyor posited that the problem with

Nigerian professionals is their disposition towards money rather than carving a niche for themselves by building a brand around integrity and professionalism. The Congress for Progressive Change CPC stalwart enjoined estate surveyors, particularly the upcoming ones to eschew any form of professional misconduct and dishonesty while carrying out their professional services and enjoined the inductees to build their career on integrity which he said, is more sustainable than money. Also speaking at the event,

the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Ms. Ama Pepple, who was represented by an estate surveyor and valuer and deputy director in the Ministry, Mr. G. T. Tanbasi, challenged professionals in the country to always upgrade themselves and ensure they are on top of issues around their respective professions. She told the land experts that the nation was looking up to them to provide veritable solutions to the issue of housing shortage in the country. NIESV President, Mr. Emeka Eleh said Nigerian professionals have what it takes in terms of skill and competencies to meet up with global standards when called upon to render their professional service.

Real estate can drive Nigeria’s economy but ... BY PROVIDENCE OBUH

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he real estate sector has great potentials that can make it stand as a substitute to oil and gas as a major source of income generation to the Nigerian economy. This view was canvassed by the Chief Executive Officer, Broll Property Services Nigeria, Mrs. Erejuwa Gbadebo Speaking during a Breakfast meeting of the Nigerian-South African Chamber of Commerce, Mrs Gbadebo said Nigeria has one of the fastest growing economies in the world with great prospects for investors. In her address titled “Maximising

Investment Potential in an Emerging Market,” Gbadebo said, “growing urbanisation, demography, technological development, natural resources and financial deepening are five trends powering Nigeria’s appeal to foreign investors and it is therefore imperative that these are harnessed positively in the interest of the country ’s economic development. “Access to land, the high cost of finance alongside the high cost of construction, a dearth of qualified/skilled

professionals, the lack of use of innovative and appropriate building techniques, up-to-date market data and the unclear legal frame work in the country are some of the challenges facing the real estate sector in the country.” She added that these challenges have limited the real estate sector’s contribution to the nation’s GDP to just 1.79 per cent as opposed to the 10 to 15 per cent contribution in other emerging markets. She called for more incentives to attract more investors into the sector.


36 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012

TODAY IS CHRISTMAS

Shoppers, travellers shut down Lagos roads for days * BRT, LAGBUS rides free for today, new year day BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI

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pparently, undeterred by the astronomic prices of food stuff and gift items as well as exorbitant cost of interstates transport, travelers and shoppers have in the past few days practically shut down the city of Lagos. Their unhindered rush to various motor-parks and popular markets in the last minutes attempt to travel or purchase household items, all for the Christmas celebration resulted in chronic gridlock. These activities at the weekend, practically shut down normal activities as roads were locked up due to high influx of vehicular movements. Markets like, Mile 12, along Ikorodu Road, Oyingbo, Yaba, Mainland LGA, Alaba, Ojo LGA, Idumata, Lagos Island, among others, witnessed high patronage of buyers, resulting in terrible traffic situation as motorists were held up in traffic for several hours. At Mile 12 markets, consumers were seen buying pepper, yams, chickens and other foodstuff according to their purchasing power could take them. According to Mrs. Shade Alaba, the cost of goods and services have skyrocketed, forcing her to shelved some of the items she proposed to earlier purchase. “ I have to cut muy cloth according to my clothes this time around. All I will only ensure is to make my family comfortable as much as possible within the limit of our resources.” At Maza-Maza, Iyana Ipaja and Ojota motorparks, travelers were seen struggling to board the available buses even with the exorbitant fares being charged by various transport operators. It was however, expected that by today, Christmas day the tide would have subsided as most Lagos residents, especially the east bound passengers would have gone home. Meantime, as part of measures to ease movement on Christmas and New Year

days, Lagos State Government has declared free bus rides for residents on December 25, 2012 and January 1, 2013. The free bus rides, according to the Managing Director of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, LAMATA, Dr. Dayo Mobereola, would enable Lagosians move around the city with ease. The free bus service scheme which began in 2008 had helped in reducing congestion and accident on the roads during festive periods, Moberela stated. He added that, over 120, 000 passengers are expected to be commuted free of charge for the yuletide period. The free bus services to be provided by the First BRT Cooperative on the Mile 12 to CMS Bus Rapid Transit system corridor and the IkotunIgando-Iyana-IpajaMaryland Bus Franchise Scheme corridor would run between 7.00am and 10.00pm.

The First BRT Cooperative, operator of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) will offer free services on Mile 12 – CMS, Mile 12 – Obalende, Ajah to National Stadium, Ajah – Obalende, Mile 12 – National Stadium, Mile 2 – National Stadium, Oshodi – Obalende and Oshodi – National Stadium routes. On the Bus Franchise Scheme (BFS) corridor, free services will be offered on the Ikotun – Ikeja – Maryland, Iyana Ipaja – Maryland, Ikotun – Iyana Ipaja, Igando – Iyana Ipaja, Igando – Ikeja, and Igando – Maryland routes. Mobereola appealed to those who would put their vehicles on the road to drive with care and observe all traffic rules. He also reminded road users of the existence of the Lagos Traffic Law and warning them against flouting the law under the guise of public holidays.

Christmas smells as goods’ prices soar BY BOSE ADELAJA

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he beauty of Christmas is radiating around the Mega City as all areas are glittering with Yuletide decorations. Children and adults are are also in frenzy wearing new dresses, shoes, caps and dummies among others. Amusement and entertainment parks as well as cinemas are busy as people thronged the areas to satisfy their Christmas appetite, thanks to the LAGBUS and BRT buses for rendering free services to Lagosians to ease transport challenges which usually pose as a major problem at festive seasons. Churches are also not left out in the mood as they are gaily decorated for

Christmas funfair. Penultimate day to Christmas, cages filled with live birds were on display for sale in almost every part of the City. Some were displayed on top of vehicles, on road sidewalks with their prices varying depending on the sizes, breed and location. A matured broiler sells for between N3,000 and N5,000, breeders sell for a minimum of N3.500, old layers for between N1,500 and N2,500 while live Turkeys sell for between N20,000 and above. Over the weekend, some Lagosians who could not afford to buy the live ones opted for frozen foods which is being sold per Kilo although the prices have also jumped from N700 to about N800 per Kilo. The price of vegetables and onions have also gone high as N50 could not buy pepper in the market. Onions for example is almost prohibitive in many homes as the prices

are no longer affordable. The irony however is that despite the hike in prices, many Lagosians were seen trooping into various markets for the last minutes purchases. For the past few days, rice markets have been extremely busy with the cost has rosing to a minimum of N8,000 per bag while the price of groundnut oil has also increased by 25 per cent depending on the brand and size. The panic buying for Christmas led to long queues at some filling stations as some thronged these places to obtain domestic gas while some were seen with various sizes of kegs to buy Kerosene to cook for the festival. beauty salons were also busy making hairs of different styles with some working late to satisfy their clients. Also, there are banners, posters displayed in strategic

locations advertising different programmes, all to grace the season. A visit to some major markets in the City revealed that traders were busy at various. As is the usual practice among Nigerian youths, fireworks are not left out of the celebration as they are on display in several places especially at bus-stops and streets while commuters were seen traveling to other parts of the country. At Jibowu, Yaba, Oshodi, Mile Two, Masa-masa, Orile, Iyana-Ipaja, some commuters were seen with suitcases and travel bags leaving Lagos for their home places not minding the fares that have jumped by 100 per cent. Over the weekend, a distance between Lagos and Onitsha was between N4,000 and N5,000 per head as against N3,000 and N3,500 respectively.


Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012 — 37

BY OLASUNKANI AKONI

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s men of Lagos Task Force on the environment, accompanied by the officials from the Ministry for Physical Planning and Urban Development, MPPUD, last week, stormed, the premises of Pure Fire Miracles Ministries International, PFMI, complex, located at Afero Village, along the LekkiEpe Expressway, the church is crying foul accusing the government of victimisation Disputing the claims made by the government officials, a document from the legal adviser to the Church’s Pastor, Enoch Idowu Aminu, Messrs Ibrahim A. Shittu and Co, of Probono Chamber, showed that the land in question was purchased from Ikujenya Okanlawon Ikuforiji Chieftaincy Family, with the address at 3, Ikujenya Street, Bado Oke Epe, Lagos State, on May 21, 2010. According to MPPUD, the demolition became necessary as there was no approval for physical development embarked upon by the church. The development did not go down well with the church owners and officials which has indeed degenerated into faceoff between the two parties. The Church buildings, that officials of the church said had

Lagos, church bicker over land, demolition gulped hundreds of millions naira, were erected on 10 acres of land comprised of six auditoria, offices, residential houses and buildings for sundry use. When contacted for his

reaction Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Toyin Ayinde, alleged that there was no approval for the church building and that notices had been served on the church to

vacate the land. Besides, he claimed that the vast land fell within the proposed Lekki International Airport and that the land could not have been approved for such development.

Iba LCDA vs Amuwo Odofin LG

Two communities separated by pipeline vandalism BY MONSUR OLOWOOPEJO

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esidents of Ijedodo, Iba Local Council Development Area, LCDA and Festac Town, Amuwo Odofin Local Government, both in Lagos State, are currently divided over whether a road should be built to link both communities. This came barely three days after the rescue team of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, extinguished the raging fire at the point of the pipeline explosion in Ijedodo

Community It will be recalled that the pipeline exploded within the community, following the activities of suspected pipeline vandals. While the residents of Ijedodo, a predominantly Yoruba speaking community, were busy asking the Federal Government Agencies to assist the community in constructing the road, their FESTAC counterparts have asked that a wall should urgently be constructed to demarcate both communities. We want a road – Ijeododo residents

Speaking, the Baale of Ijedodo community, Alh. Tajudeen Suberu, lamented that since NNPC laid the pipeline in 1973, the residents of the community have lived in fear due to the activities of the vandals’. He said “but when the road is constructed, it would help to halt the activities of vandals’ in the community, saying “they will not have a hiding place again.” Suberu, a former Security Officer with NNPC, explained that no pipeline vandal will operate sighting passerby. “This is because any passerby that sights their presence in the community will raise the alarm for security officials,” he said. Another resident, Mrs. Julianah Tokumbo, lamented over the stress residents of Ijedodo community pass through daily before linking the ever busy Badagry Expressway. According to Tokumbo, “ we are suffering to link the road. We want the road to be constructed. We are tired of paying huge transport fare to

link our neighbours.” Seyi, a carpenter, actually begged, saying “even if the government cannot construct a concrete road, they should assist the community in sand filling the swampy area for us to have it for easy movement.” We don’t need the road – FESTAC residents Mr. Alamu Akinyele, a security guard, however, said that since vandals’ operate both in the day and night if a road is constructed, they will make use of it to escape after their nefarious activity. According to him, activities of vandals will escalate if the swampy area linking both communities is turned into properly road, adding that; “it will aid them to easily bunker the product.” Another FESTAC resident, Chuks Obare, an engineer, also disagreed with the idea of constructing a link road, rather the central and state government should construct a wall that would demarcate both communities, thereby making it impossible for the vandals to assess the pipeline.

“We have served them quit notices since 2011 and another one was served on them in November, which they didn’t comply with, said Ayinde, adding that the church officials were being economical with truth. One of the quit notice issued Titled: “Lagos State Urban and Development Law 2010”, dated November 15, 2012, alleged that there was “gross encroachment”; that No LASG approval given to any of the physical development and that there was no established proof of ownership. Similar notice from the same department issued the same day (November 15, 2012, titled “Demolition Notice, gave a 7day ultimatum that gave rise to the event of last week Tuesday, 18 December, 2012. But the purchase, according to the church, was embarked upon as a result of the information contained in the Lagos State of Nigeria Official Gazette, No.29, Volume No 27, September1, 1994. On page 274 of the gazette, it has as follows: DescriptionAfero Village: “All that parcel of land in Afero in Eti-Osa Local Government of Lagos State of Nigeria containing approximately area of 28.52 Hectares, the boundaries of which are described below. “Besides, we applied for regularization of land title through Law Title International, the appointed Consultant to the Lagos State Government on Land Regularisation, on which there was no objection. This was confirmed in the official receipt of payment, dated 23November, 2011, bearing a sum of N1,640, 000.( One million , six hundred and forty thousand naira) Besides, on the issue that the land fell within the proposed site for the Lekki International Airport, investigation revealed that the co-ordinates of the surrounding lands that were after the controversial site were not to be affected. Thus, bringing the question: “Would the other lands that are after Afero would be skipped or be incorporated into the Airport land? What is the reason for this unjust persecution’? Asked one of the senior official of the Church, who came from Ghana. However, what the worshippers found disheartening, according to some of them was the manner at which the demolition exercise was carried out and the seeming intimidation by the security agents that accompanied government officials. It was at the peak of annual convention of the church that had in attendance, worshippers that included representatives of the church from 12 foreign countries.


38— Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012 38—Vanguard,

When intimacy refuses to bind (10) I, a lot have been said about sex. Its ordained by God for procreation and recreation between a man and his wife. It has been described as the lubricating oil for a healthy,intimate relationship. Sex has also been ascribed some therapeutic and rejuvinating powers. The more sex a couple has the better for them and their relationship. However, this is not always the case in many relationships. Sex, which ought to be freely given and enjoyed between a man and his wife may sometimes turn them into enemies, eventually destroying their otherwise great marriage and relationship. In this article, our respondents share with us, their stories and how it affected their lives. Please, feel free to share your experience or that of someone you know with us too. It might be benefitial to someone out there. Our address remains: The Human Angle, Vanguard, P.M.B. 1007, Apapa, Lagos. E-mail add r e s s : humananglepage@yahoo.com. Happy reading! Deba,(37), self employed graduate has been single for the past five years. His wife left him because he was too “soft”. He shares his story: When Kiki’s outrageous scandal first became an open secret, I came to Nigeria and went to see Kiki’s mother in the company of my mother, my sister and an auntie, and we got the greatest shock of our lives.

Greatest shock Not only was she cold to us as soon as we stepped in, the only thing we were able to take away from there was that she would talk to Kiki and advice her on why she had to return to her marriage. She then spoilt everything by saying that we must realize that she is an adult and knows what she wants and no one, not even herself could force Kiki to remain with me if she does not want to. To this, my mother also told her that we were not pleading to have Kiki back but wanted to formally inform her as the mother, because it was our social responsibility to do so. If Kiki’s mother could behave like she did, one could only imagine what she was like in her younger days and therefore ought not to be surprised by Kiki’s waywardness. Like mother, like daughter, the saying goes. To show you how shameless these people were, it was Kiki’s mother who came to London afC M Y K

ter Kiki returned to America to clean up the flat. She reportedly told some people that she did not give birth to a stupid child and that if I was not experienced enough, I shouldn’t have gotten married. Today, I have the last laugh though. Kiki is currently living in London with her two children. They were never married, so only the children bear their father’s name. Perhaps, one day, she will still make up with her boyfriend, no one can tell. But I am sure that she would have learnt a lesson or two from her adventure. Tunde, (40), Banker, said he was forced to park out his home after his wife began “spiking” his foods. Why? I’d had a child from a previous relationship by the time I got mar-

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It was not the act in itself that was bad. Maybe it was no longer interesting for me. It was too frequent and too demanding. If I didn’t want to do, she would turn it into a fight. She would accuse me of jumping after the girls in the office, and even doing it in the office since I had been given an office to myself. She would nag about it till the next morning that I sometimes wonder if she slept at all. Sex for Lande was a different game. Its not the common one round got to sleep affair. With the first round, you are just beginning. She would always insist that the first round is for you. You have to go three, four, five times to please her. For me, it was acceptable during the weekend, but not always for Lande. I finally concluded that she was a nymphomaniac and would kill me if I was not careful. So, I started pretending to be ill, since being busy or tired could not do the trick. What finally forced me to go and report her to her parents and eventually parked out was when she decided by herself to start lacing my food with aphrodisiacs. One

After the euphoria of the wedding, honeymoon and all died down, I had thought we would gradually settle into a more peaceful and serious routine, especially as my work became more demanding, coupled with stress of the course I was taking

ried. Everyone had expected us to marry each other. But as you must know by now, most long term relationships do not end in marriage. However, the relationship produced a child, a very lovely daughter whom I dote on very much. I met Lande, my wife in the Bank where I worked. She had come for her Youth Service but unfortunately was not retained. Her parents preferred that she worked in the Civil Service anyway and got her a job there. I loved Lande because of her freshness. She was beautiful, young, intelligent and outgoing. She had a very impressive crowd of friends and knew how to make a guy feel cool. Everyone at the office then wanted her and I felt lucky that she picked me. It was later that I learnt that I was not the only one that she had picked. I was probably just the only one who offered her marriage. After the euphoria of the wedding, honeymoon and all died down, I had thought we would gradually settle into a more peaceful and serious routine, especially as my work became more demanding, coupled with stress of the course I was taking. Our sex life had been almost too perfect right from the beginning. She had very little inhibition about most of the things you find women pretending about. And this got me really hooked. But the sex became too good and like everything that is too good, it became bad.

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weekend, I landed in hospital after going the fourth round and I still had an erection. I realized immediately that something was wrong and my dear wife did not deny it. She claimed she was helping me so that I can fulfill my marital obligation to her. Everyone thought it funny but I did not. I was really pissed off. Even many of my friends thought me lucky, but I knew they would not, were they in my shoes. I was excited too at the beginning, but I had now gotten tired of it. Eventually, the relationship went from bad to worse and I finally moved out. I later heard that she said she married me because of my big penis but that I did not know its value. To be continued Asisted by Onozure Dania

Qualities a man will go wild for BY ONOZURE DANIA

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HERE are elements that a lady must have between her and a man if she wants a loving, lasting, and secure relationship. An intense level of attraction. You can call it chemistry, call it a spark or call it whatever you like, but if a man doesn’t feel it for you when it comes to this magic something of chemistry and attraction, then Nothing else you say or do will matter. You can try and say all the right things, you can think about him all the time and you can do amazing things for him that no other woman has ever done, for him in his life. But if that gut level attraction isn’t there that tells him deep down inside that he has to be with you and probably every other day, then he is not likely to want to commit to the relationship. You can have a man begging to share more about how he thinks and feels with you, if you know how. Men actually do enjoy connecting and sharing but only when they feel inspired to do so. So, if you are tired of the uncertainty and doubt from not knowing how he really feels about you and if you want to get a deeper level of connection and understanding, then it’s time you know the secrets of how to be the woman a man will open himself up to. A man should feel a level of attraction for you that goes deeper than the physical attraction that quickly comes and goes, but can seem so real. There mistakes that keeps him from getting attached and unfortunately, lots of women make this mistakes when it comes to attraction with men that keep them from ever being able to get past those critical early dat-

Friends Searching Males

ing stages where a man will become more emotionally attached and involved with a woman.These mistakes are trying to get a man’s interest and attention by using the fast, fun and easy approach to create physical attraction inside a man which will never last. Not knowing how that deeper level of what is called emotional attraction, that works inside a man’s mind that will make him want to emotionally open up and engage with you These mistakes are the two most common and certain ways to make sure your love life will go nowhere fast with men, even when you have the best of intentions and just want to find a great guy to love and love you back. The simple truth is as a lady, if you don’t know how attraction works for a man and how it works for most women, then you’re going to end up running in circles trying to do what you think will work. In your attempts at getting a man to like you and want to be with you, you are going to end up pushing him away since he will see you as desperate, needy, clingy, or just plain overly emotional. The worst part is, that there are a lot of really great, smart women who actually know on a conscious level about these mistakes but they just can’t help but make these same mistakes over and over again. Yet some women seem to have a more natural knack for talking to men, getting their interest, and having men see them as cool and desirable. They have a way of being able to avoid these mistakes and are never seen as desperate, too needy, or generally unattractive when it comes to how they act and feel on an emotional level around men.

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Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012 — 39


40 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012

Church building collapse: I’m alive, says LG c’ttee chair By ANAYO OKOLI

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MUAHIA—THE Committee Chairman of Nnewi South Local Government of Anambra State, Chief Egwuoyibo Okoye has debunked media reports that he was among the worshipers who died during the collapse of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, Ifite Ezinifite, his country home. There were news reports on December 10, this year, that Okoye and three others, were among the dead in the tragic church incident. However, in a statement weekend, Okoye described the reports as “false, misleading and ridiculous,” pointing out that he was not a victim of the collapsed church. He said: “Since the news reports were published, people have been calling me on the telephone from within and outside the country to find out if what they read was true. “While I thank all my well wishers who showed concern about me, I wish to make it clear that I was not a victim of the collapsed church in my community. I am still alive, hale and hearty.”

Delta CPC chieftain denies link with PDP By FESTUS AHON

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EPUTY Chairman of Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Delta State chapter, Mr. Aghogho Igini, yesterday, denied media reports linking him with Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Igini, in a statement, said he was not in attendance of the party’s state executive harmonisation meeting and reiterated that he had nothing to do with the party. Saying that he remained a faithful member of the CPC, the statement emphasized that “I am refuting whatever publication made with my name in that regard and any other of such publication shall attract legal actions.”

From left: Corporate Services Manager, Fidson Healthcare Plc, Mr. Oladimeji Oduyebo, presenting a cheque to the Principal, Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted Children, Reverend Sister Benedicta Ogike, and Mrs. Funmilola Olayinka-Sipe, Events and Protocol Unit, Fidson Healthcare Plc, during the donation in Lagos.

From left: Mr. Chris Oshiafi, MD/CEO, Pan African Capital Plc; Mr. Tony Eke, Telecom Finance Manager, Diamond Bank Plc; Mr. Bode Akinboye, Vice-Chairman, Crossover Savings & Loans and Mr. Sina Alimi, Executive Director, Pan African Capital, at the Industry networking forum, organised by Pan African Capital in Lagos.

Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara lost 215 in auto crashes in 11 months —FRSC By ABDALLAH EL-

KUREBE O KO T O — F E D E R A L Roads Safety Commission, FRSC, has said that between January and November this year, 215 persons lost their lives in road traffic crashes in Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states. The Corps’ Head of Department, Vehicles Administration, Alhaji Danjuma Aliyu, disclosed this, yesterday, in Sokoto, during a press conference to mark

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the commencement of a special end-of-year campaign, tagged, “Operation Zero Tolerance to Road Traffic Crashes.” He said: “In all, 82 fatal crashes were recorded in the zone during the period under review, 77 of which were critical.” Aliyu said that the operation was aimed at ensuring that motorists observe traffic rules and regulations. “Nigerians must take

safety as personal and collective responsibilities. It is only the living that celebrate and they are those who are careful. Accidents do not respect class or social status. “We, however, need the usual support and cooperation of all stakeholders in the country in making our roads more safer. “Nigerians must be disciplined drivers and commuters and respect the rights of others while on the wheels.” While assuring that regular

Yuletide: Enugu Dep gov tasks Nigerians on tolerance, unity By TONY EDIKE

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NUGU— ACTING Gov ernor of Enugu State, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi, has urged Nigerians to use the occasion of the yuletide celebrations to renew their commitment to the promotion of values of tolerance, brotherhood and unity among all groups in the country. The Acting Governor who

stated this in his Christmas message issued in Enugu, yesterday, said the celebrations offered Nigerians the opportunity to reflect on God’s love and compassion for man as epitomized in the gift of his begotten son for man’s salvation. He said such reflections would help Nigerians understand why they should respect each others’

rights, especially the right to life and to enjoy peaceful coexistence with their neighbours. Onyebuchi said: “As we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and the joy it brings to the world, we must urge ourselves to use this occasion to rededicate ourselves to values and virtues that promote love, tolerance, brotherliness and unity among all Nigerians.”

Oshiomhole commissions N17m market built by Edo House Majority Leader By SIMON EBEGBULEM

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ENIN CITY—GOVER NOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, yesterday, commissioned an ultra modern market estimated at over N17 million that was sponsored by the Majority Leader of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Philip Shuaibu. Oshiomhole who commissioned the market at Jattu, Etsako West Local Government Area of the state, urged politicians to change the attitude of

seeing politics as means of enriching themselves but service to humanity. While commending the lawmaker for his efforts in building the market which comprised of 42 lock up shops, Oshiomhole regretted that politicians make so much promises during campaigns but abandon the people after they must have gotten into power. He said: “While we are happy that we have done

well by keeping to the promise of transforming the state, we acknowledged that more still needed to be done and we are now more positioned to do more in our second term in office.” Earlier in his address, Shuiabu said he decided to build the market in order to bring succour to women in the community who no longer has where to market their farm produce and other items due to the decayed state of the market.

and special marshals across the nation were committed to ensuring safety on Nigerian roads, he added that the cooperation of all stakeholders was required. He also stressed the need for the provision of additional patrol vehicles.

Christmas: IPMAN assures of adequate fuel supply By EGUFE YAFUGBORHI

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ORT HARCOURT—ABA Depot chapter of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, has reckoned that the recent opening of the depot would ensure free flow of petroleum products to support a fulfilling yuletide celebration for residents. Chairman of the chapter, Mr. Gilbert Nwoke, expressed the optimism in Port Harcourt during a visit to express the body’s gratitude to the 2 Brigade/Sector 2 JTF (Operation Pulo Shield) for their valued role in putting the Aba depot back on stream after years of closure. The union leader said, “For seven years before July 2012, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, vowed not to put products on the Aba pipelines due to the overbearing sabotage by vandals. But JTF came in strong in collaboration to give PPMC the confidence to feed the depot again. We now have fuel at close distances. Everyone is happy.”


Vanguard TUESDAY TUESDAY,, DECEMBER 25, 2012 —41

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42—Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMNER 25, 2012

2015: Atiku begins presidential race in style •Promises 100% resource control, 70% resource tax BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE, DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR

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ORMER Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, at a recent event in Enugu, left no keen observer in doubt over his intention to seek the highest office in the land in 2015, an ambition he has nursed for close to 30 years. At the 13th anniversary lecture and National Conference of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) at Nike Lake Resort, Enugu, recently the 2007 presidential candidate of the Action Congress (AC) said if elected, he would pursue resource control and devolution of power to the federating units. If he runs in 2015, it would be the third time he is stepping out since 2007. He would have contested in 2003 but withdrew in the last minute to allow former President Olusegun Obasanjo run and complete his second term. Before then, he was in the thick of the Third Republic race and was among those who were initially considered as running mate to late Chief MKO Abiola, who flew the flag of the defunct Social Democratic Party, SDP and presumably won the anulled

states and regional governments. It is not political posturing; it is a critical condition for deepening our democracy and promoting national development, peace and security. “You know what, if I am president, what is it? Coal? Enugu State take your coal! Oil? Niger Delta take your oil! But I have the power of taxation. If your income from coal is N1 trillion I will say pay the Federal Government 70 per cent. That is your business. If you raise N10 trillion from oil, take your money but pay 75 per cent to the Federal Government.” Atiku made the declarations while speaking on how to strengthen the local councils and enhance their delivery of democracy dividends to the grassroots. Oil, military rule negative influence Noting that the local councils used to be very strong before the advent of oil and military rule in Nigeria’s polity, he stressed the need for improved taxation and governance. “In the days when I was growing up and when there was no oil, the Local

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I have been calling for devolution of more powers and revenues from the Federal Government to the states and regional governments. It is not political posturing; it is a critical condition for deepening our democracy and promoting national development

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June 12, 1993 presidential polls. He said: “Presently, our state and local governments look up to Abuja for monthly allocations. That kind of dependence does not make for any meaningful autonomy and surely will not bring about meaningful development. Every tier of government should be reasonably selfreliant in terms of revenue. The revenue it gets from other tiers should be supplementary otherwise it will lack reasonable degree of autonomy irrespective of what the law says. That is the reality of human condition and politics. “That is why I have been calling for devolution of more powers and revenues from the Federal Government to the C M Y K

Government system was funded by taxation. There were radio tax, bicycle tax, etc and everybody paid. With the money the local governments built roads, primary and secondary schools and provided healthcare delivery that even the current state governments don’t provide in some cases. That was what we did prior to military rule and oil significant contribution to our national revenues. That is what makes people hold their government to account,” he argued. Strengthening councils On how to strengthen the local councils, the former Vice President said a number of questions needed to be

*Atiku: Let's stop playing politics with true federalism and power devolution answered. “Should we continue with the practice of the Federal Government creating local councils across the country and allocating resources to them directly? Should it be left in the hands of federating states to decide for themselves the system of local government and number of local governments they need because of our historical and cultural differences? Remember: in the First Republic, we all had different system of local government administrations. The one in the North was different from the one in the East and the East was also different from the one in the West.” He continued: “In my view, there are three critical issues here. First is the structure of the federation. The second is our political practice. The third is our disregard for rules and regulations. In a federation, Local Government administration ought to be left in the hands of the federating states or regions. Rather, there is the awkward situation where the local governments deal directly with the Federal Government side-tracking the state governments. “The federating units should be left to determine the system and number of local governments and fund them accordingly in accordance with their historical and cultural peculiarities and development needs. Our focus should be on ensuring a more effective local

government administration, a responsible fiscal management and accountability. The proximity of state governments to the local governments makes them more suited to understand the local governments. All politics is local. The Federal Government lacks the capacity to monitor every local government development or issue in this country. In a federal system, it is in our collective interest to strengthen the local level.” He continued: “The central government did not create local governments prior to military rule. We had a more effective and responsive local government administration then. I am a product of my Native Authority. I never knew anything about the regional government for my primary and secondary education until I went to the university.

Centralisation of power “The Federal Government started creating local governments at the same time we lost our heads to oil revenue. Local governments have become more dependent on the Federal Government than on the state governments. That is an anomaly. It is our over centralization of power, excessive concentration of resources at the federal level and the abandonment of due process and regulations under

military rule that led to state governments’ abuse of local administrations. That is what led to direct federal allocations to local governments and its subsequent provision in the constitution. “If we amend our constitution to have a genuine federal system rather than the near unitary system that we currently have, there will be no need for statutory and mandatory direct federal allocation to the local government; there will be no need to enshrine the number of local governments in the constitution. “Other than direct fiscal allocation to the local government what other rationale exists for enshrining the number of local governments in the constitution and making the creation of new ones virtually impossible for state governments? What if a local government experiences rapid growth in population, for administrative convenience and effectiveness, the state government wishes to split it into two or more local governments, why should such a split be made difficult for the state until the constitution is amended? How many times are we going to amend our constitution? “I believe that the federal share of national revenue should be whittled down while the allocation of states and local governments should be Continues on page 43


Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012 — 43

Party de-registration: Cutting down unfruitful trees BY JOSEPH ERUNKE

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T was a huge surprise to many, especially some political actors, when on Thursday, August 16, 2012, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Atahiru Jega, at a press conference, in Abuja, announced the deregistration of seven political parties, cutting down the number of registered political parties in the country from 63 to 56. The development was greeted with mixed reactions. While some hailed the decision, others especially those largely affected by Jega’s action kicked against it, describing it as unconstitutional. Responding Jega said he acted pursuant to the provisions of Section 78 (7) (ii) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) which provides that political parties must fill candidates to participate in elections. The seven affected political

general elections. Only 8 parties won legislative seats : A cursory look at the 2011 general elections shows that only eight of the 63 parties won at least a seat in the elections. Only 18 political parties fielded presidential candidates just as 23 fielded governorship candidates across the federation.Records obtained from INEC showed that parties that won at least one state House of Assembly seat are the PDP, Action Congress of Nigeria,ACN; ANPP; Congress for Progressive Change, CPC; Accord Party, AP; Democratic Peoples Party ,DPP; Labour Party ,LP; All Progressives Grand Alliance ,APGA,; Peoples Party of Nigeria, PPN; and Peoples Democratic Congress, PDC. The INEC records further revealed that only 30 political parties took part in the elections that ended with the governorship and state Assembly elections. Strongholds of leading parties In the record, the PDP, as the leading political party, spread in

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A cursory look at the 2011 general elections shows that only eight of the 63 parties won at least a seat in the elections. Only 18 political parties fielded presidential candidates just as 23 fielded governorship candidates

parties were listed as Democratic Alternative, DA; National Action Council, NAC; National Democratic Liberty Party, NDLP; Masses Movement of Nigeria, MMN; Nigeria Peoples Congress, NPC; Nigeria Elements Progressive Party, NEPP; and National Unity Party, NUP. These parties, as explained by the INEC boss, did not fill any candidate anywhere across the country in the April general elections! This brings to question the essence of their founders in presenting them for registration in the first place, given that the major mandate of any political party is to present candidates for election. In the beginning: At the inception of democratic election in 1998, only three political parties were registered. They were the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the All Peoples Party, APP, that later transformed to be All Nigeria Peoples Party ,ANPP, and the Alliance for Democracy, AD. But a legal action instituted in 2002 by the late Nigerian foremost lawyer and human rights crusader, Chief Gani Fawehinmi at the Supreme Court over party registration, opened the gate for more political parties to be registered and the number rose to 63 before the 2011

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all the six geo-political zones at both the National Assembly and the Houses of Assembly including the South-west, while the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, won mainly in the SouthWest and a few places outside the zone.The Labour Party,LP, has its representations both at the National and State Assembly in Ondo State, while ANPP won in Zamfara, Borno and Yobe states. The Congress for Progressive Change won six senatorial seats in Katsina, Kano and in Nasarawa State where it also won the governorship. The APGA won a senatorial seat in Imo State and state House of Assembly seats in some states. Accord Party won a senatorial

*Jega: Non-performing parties will be shot down seat in Oyo State and also some House of Representatives seats in some states, including Delta State where it won the Ika North House of Representatives seat. The Gbenga Daniel’s led PPN redeemed its name with some seats in the state House of Assembly election in Ogun State. But the Chris Okotie’s led Fresh Democratic Party, FDP, Balarabe Musa’s led People’s Redemption Party,PRP, Orji Uzor Kalu’s Progressive Peoples Alliance, PPA, Habu Fari’s Nigerian Democratic Party, NDP, and Dr. Olusola Saraki’s Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN, among others failed to clinch even a seat in the elections. Constitutional backing for hammering parties Failure to present candidates to contest elective positions is not the only sin for delisting a party. There are various sections in the Nigerian Constitution that empower INEC to deregister erring parties. For instance, Section 223(1) and (2) of the Constituency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended) provides that a political party’s composition of National Executive Committee must be broad based, cutting across various geo-political divides. Section 222(f) and (2) of the Constitution holds that parties must provide functional and verifiable offices in 2/3 of all the geo-political zones of the federation and must win at least

a seat in the National or State House of Assembly before being allowed to continue to exist. Thus, untired with the onlaught, Jega on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 raised the sledge hammer against additional 28 political parties considered not to be working in tandem with the above sections of the constitution. This development jerked the number of de-registered political parties to 35 just as it again, trimmed the number of existing ones to 29,among which is the Chekwas Okories’s newly registered United Progressive Grand Alliance, UPGA.

Uproar greets action But Jega’s action did not go unchallenged. The affected parties dragged him to a Federal High Court in Abuja over what they considered as his breach of the constitution.The parties under the aegis of Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, a name in which all the plaintiffs were jointly registered, had asked the court to determine, among other things: “Whether INEC can deregister a party which has fulfilled and satisfied all requirements of registration simply because it fails to win a seat in the presidential, governorship, National or State House of Assembly elections without considering other

elections like the local government chairmanship and councilors elections;whether it will not amount to abuse of fundamental human right of the citizenry as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution for INEC to proscribe a political party by way of deregistration on the ground that the party does not meet the requirements of Section 78(7) (ii) of Electoral Act 2011 as amended.” In an originating summons filed through their counsel, Mr. Kan Osieke, the political parties sought “a declaration that Section 78 (7) (ii) of the Electoral Act 2011, as amended, is unconstitutional and in effect null and void In a 14-paragraphed affidavit that was deposed in support of the suit by the National Chairman of the African Liberation Party, ALP, Chief Emmanuel Osita Okereke, he averred that the parties had, ab initio, satisfied all the requisite conditions stipulated in the constitution and was accordingly registered by INEC at various dates. In response to the suit, the National Assembly filed a notice of preliminary objection stating that the plaintiffs lacked the locus standi to file the case. It stated that the court also lacked the jurisdiction to hear and determine the case. In addition, it noted that there was no existing law known as Electoral Act, 2011, upon which the suit was premised. In view of its position, it urged the court to strike out or dismiss the suit for lacking in merit. The matter is yet to be decided. Another litigant, NCP was not included in last week’s deregistration, ostensibly because a Lagos High Court had on September 12, this year, restrained INEC from deregistering it, pending the hearing and final determination of a subsisting suit. But the court had refused the NCP’s request to allow other parties to benefit from the same order. But just as it was yet to get judgment in the suit challenging the deregistration of the parties, INEC, through its chairman, Attahiru Jega, went a step further, by killing the dreams of three additional parties considered not to have fallen outside the category of the already deregistered ones.

Atiku promises 100% resource control, 70% resource tax Continued from page 42

increased. All over the world, serious governments tax their citizens and corporations to raise revenues for development purposes and service delivery. “For that reason, governments work hard to promote economic development so as to create a strong tax base. I am opposed to this indigene, indigene thing. We should feel that Nigeria is our own no matter where we come from. Where we reside should be our home. I was discussing with the US Consul General to Nigeria and he said in the United States, it is where you pay your tax that determines your citizenship.

If we want to have a joint ownership of this country, let’s abandon indigenship.” Effect of godfatherism The veteran presidential aspirant identified godfatherism as a major hindrance to council autonomy. “On the question of political practice, for as long as our party politics remain the domain of controlling godfathers at the federal and state levels devoid of internal party democracy, so long will our local government remain at the beck and call of whomever chooses contestants for local electoral offices," he said. C M Y K


44—Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012

• The exact prevalence of cancer in Nigeria is unknown because of lack of accurate statistics and under-reporting, results obtained from past and recent studies have a stealth rise in the cases of various kinds of cancers among Nigerians. Breast cancer is one of the leading cause of death in Nigeria. Statistics from area hospitals indicate that 65 percent of women, who die of health related illnesses in Nigeria, die of cancer. Inset is Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu

2012: Cancer, diabetes, HBP, others top list of major health concerns FROM malnutrition, malaria and polio, to Non Communicable Disorders, NCDs, such as heart disease, kidney failure and cancer, 2012 holds a mixed bag of the good, the bad and the ugly. Good Health Weekly presents inside information on some of the major health issues of the outgoing year. BY SOLA OGUNDIPE

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ON communicable Disorders, NCDs: Heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases are increasingly becoming public health problems of significance worldwide. In Nigeria, the global epidemic of NCDs manifested significantly in the form of cancer, diabetes, kidney failure High Blood Pressure , HPB, and stroke. The debilitating and often fatal complications such as blindness, renal failure, gangrene leading to lower limb amputations are projected to account for a quarter of all deaths by 2015. Malaria: Malaria, infamously dubbed “the world’s most important infectious disease” remained a major public health problem in Nigeria in 2012. It killed mainly children and pregnant women.

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs): The most common NTDs, such as the SoilTransmitted Helminth infections, schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis, trachoma, and onchocerciasis remained widespread among the poor in Nigeria and other parts of subSaharan Africa. A group of chronic, disabling, and disfiguring conditions among the rural poor and disadvantaged urban populations, NTDs cause adverse effects on child development, pregnancy outcome, and agricultural worker productivity. They represent a major reason why millions cannot escape poverty or achieve Africa’s Millennium Development Goals, MDGs to eradicate poverty (MDG 1), promote education (MDG 2), reduce child mortality (MDG 4), improve maternal health (MDG 5), and combat “other diseases” (MDG 6).

Lassa Fever: Like the proverbial bad coin, Lassa Fever turned up in Nigeria for the second time in four years. An outbreak of the disease within the first quarter of 2012 put the country at the edge. At least 15 States were affected with roughly 400 cases and 45 deaths recorded. Insufficient information and ignorance coupled with poor disease surveillance at the grassroots and slow response to the epidemic resulted in the high infection and fatalities. The Lassa virus is carried by the softfurred rat, Mastomys natalensis, which is widespread in Africa. Transmission of the virus from

rats to humans is suspected through contamination of foodstuffs and water with rodent urine and faeces. Yellow Fever: For several weeks in March and April 2012, there was concern about yellow fever in Nigeria. One of only two diseases (the other is polio) still subject to international rules concerning vaccination requirement for international travel, yellow fever is a deadly adversary. All travellers to countries with yellow fever must be vaccinated according to a World Health organization, WHO, recommendation. Although there

was no outbreak of the viral infection, there was a face-off between Nigeria and South Africa over yellow fever vaccination. In the eye of the storm was the yellow fever certificate. Nigeria still requests a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate upon entry. In countries where there is no yellow fever, but where there is a risk of introducing the disease, a valid vaccination certificate is demanded from travelers arriving from Nigeria and other countries with yellow fever. Pneumococcal disorders: Widely described as the forgotten killer of children, pneumococcal diseases, which include pneumonia, meningitis, and sepsis – are is currently the leading cause of vaccine-preventable deaths among children under age five Continues on Page 45

Oculus Pharmacare bags best Arthritis drug award

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W I S S - B A S E D pharmaceutical company Mepha LLC which recently merged with another Swisscompany, Acino Pharma Ltd,and Oculus Pharmacare Ltd., a representative of Mepha in Nigeria, has been awarded as the Nigerian firm with the best drug for Arthritis. The award given last week by the Institute for

Government Research and Leadership Technology, said the arthritis drug, Olfen, was proven beyond any doubts as the most effective drug for Arthritis in the country. At a ceremony in Port Harcourt, Chairman of the Board of Institute for government Research and Leadership Technology, Dr John Akanya

said Occulus Pharmacare was a firm“very committed to the health needs of Nigerians” The product passed all quality tests, is hygienically processed, and is made from finest molecules of Diclofenac Soduim. It also conforms with global acceptable quality for an effective arthritis drug. Receiving the

Continues on Page 45


Vanguard, TUESD AY, DECEMBER 25, 2012 —45 TUESDA

A finely tuned balancing act: The truth about pH

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HILE traditional medicine essentially ignores the importance of pH and disease, alternative medical professionals have known for years that an acidic body may be the root cause of ALL disease. If you remember from high school chemistry class, the pH (potential hydrogen or the measurement of hydrogen-ion concentration of any solution) scale ranges from zero to

fourteen, with seven being neutral. More specifi cally, water (H2O) ionizes into hydrogen (H+) and hydroxyl (OH-) ions. When these ions are in equal proportions, the pH is a neutral seven. When there are more H+ ions than OHions then the water is said to be acid. If there are more OH- ions than H+ ions, then the water is alkaline. So, an alkaline solution is one in which pH is over 7.0. These types of solutions tend to absorb

Julia Oyefunke Fortune

The Cancer

FIGHTER

juliafortune@hotmail.com

oxygen, while more acidic solutions, those under 7.0, expel oxygen. With this in mind, it is easy to understand how this intricate balance can impact the human body. Every compound that enters the body, any vitamin, amino acid, fatty acid, mineral, sugar or trace element, is

Cancer, diabetes, others top list of major health concerns Continues from Page 44 worldwide.Pneumonia still kills 1.4 million people daily in the world and it is the second commonest cause of death of children aged 5 and below in Nigeria. Currently, Nigeria has the highest burden of infant and child deaths from pneumococcal disorders in Africa and is second only to India in the entire world.Most cases of pneumococcal diseases are vaccine preventable but the challenge has been to ensure the most vulnerable children have easy, affordable access to the life-saving interventions. In 2012 this remained a daunting task, particularly in Nigeria, where only half of children with pneumonia have access to an appropriate healthcare provider, and fewer than one in five of them ultimately receive the correct antibiotics. Malnutrition A silent and hidden emergency, more than half of all childhood deaths in

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Nigeria are associated with malnutrition – one of the biggest obstacles to attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS), related to health, hunger, and poverty. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies including folate (vitamin B9), iodine, iron, vitamin A, zinc, and other B vitamins important for healthy and productive populations remain significant as each year, more than one million children under five die

from vitamin A and zinc defects, blindness and low IQ are long-term disabilities, in the face of sub-optimal breastfeeding and increasing complementary feeding. HIV & AIDS Still one of the biggest health challenges, the HIV and AIDS epidemic in Nigeria remains a public health problem of enormous magnitude.

Continued on Page 47

Oculus Pharmacare bags Arthritis drug award Continues from Page 44 award on behalf of the company, the firm’s Senior Medical Representative, Mr. Clifford Nzimako said Olfen, sold under the generic name of Diclofenac, is used to treat arthritis and gout and to manage pain such as acute migraine and postoperative and

menstrual pain. He disclosed that the newly formed/ merged Acino company will now operate as Acino Pharma Ltd. “The merger will benefit patients, doctors, and other stakeholders of the industry because of their vision to develop high quality healthcare products” he emphasised.

COMMON SEXUAL PROBLEMS AND THEIR NOVELTY BASED SOLUTIONS

REMATURE Ejaculation, also known as rapid ejaculation or quick ejaculation is a common sexual predicament that affects seventy percent of men at some stage in their lives. It prevents men and women from having meaningful and satisfying intercourse, and has the potential to destroy relationships and drive women to infidelity. Today, we want to discuss detailed causes of premature ejaculation and the many ways in which it can be stopped. Premature ejaculation can be defined as male sexual ejaculation that occurs right before or shortly after penetration, lasting for two minutes or less. There are two main causes of premature ejaculation. One is psychological and the other is biological. Penile sensitivity is a leading biological cause of quick ejaculation. When the foreskin around the head of the penis responds to stimulation so easily, rapid ejaculation occurs. Premature ejaculation can also be caused by weak pelvic muscles. That is why the PC muscle exercise is very important. Also, abnormal hormone levels, certain thyroid levels, abnormal levels of brain neurotransmitters, inflammation and infection of the male prostrate or urethra are all capable of causing premature ejaculation. Nervous system damage due to surgical trauma can also cause premature ejaculation. Withdrawal from certain medications that your body has grown used to can also cause it and some experts say that early ejaculation can also be inherited from one’s blood line. So the biological causes are many and varied. As for the psychological causes of premature ejaculation, performance anxiety, fear, stress, guilt and nervousness are some of the most common. Masturbation is also another common cause of quick ejaculation. Studies have shown that as boys grow up and begin to masturbate, they do so very quickly, for fear of getting caught or just so that the joy of an orgasm can be reached quickly. This habit gradually becomes a part of them and conditions the male body

to ejaculate rapidly. By the time males eventually start a relationship as adults, that habit of rapid ejaculation has already been formed. But there is good news. Premature ejaculation can be controlled in various ways. Some of the most reliable solutions are the use of ejaculation Delay Condoms, Creams, Wipes, Penis Sleeves and Cock Rings. Delay Creams, Condoms and Wipes are all made with a topical numbing agent called Benzocaine. This benzocaine slightly numbs any area of the skin that it comes in contact with for some minutes and fades after a while. In this case, it is the head of the penis that needs to be numbed and desensitized for prolonged action. An effective delay cream such as the Shane Diesel’s Rock Solid Erection Cream will enable the user last for fifteen minutes or more during intercourse. Sex on the Go Delay Wipes and Pasante Delay Condoms also offer effective solutions to quick ejaculation. The use of certain penile sleeves, an example of which is the Stud Extender, also help in prolonging sexual activity because they are layered with materials that reduce penile sensitivity. Some of these penis sleeves also make your penis appear bigger during use so men like them a lot. Also, the use of a device called a Cock Ring enable men last longer in bed as well by maintaining their erections long after ejaculation. A Cock Ring will not stop you from ejaculating early. But it will ensure that when you ejaculate, you do not lose your erection. Cock rings such as the Screaming O Cock ring or Ring O Cock Ring will enable the user have sex for as long as twenty minutes. So these are reliable options for stopping premature ejaculation. I hope this information has been helpful. Zee Virtual Media is currently closed for the Christmas holiday but you can call us on the numbers here from the 7th of January 2013. In the meantime, you can order any of our products online at www.zeevirtualmedia.com and we will process your orders for delivery when we resume work. For enquiries email us at custserv@zeevirtualmedia.com - Uche Edochie, MD, Zee Virtual Media.

categorized as either an acid, neutral or an alkaline. All bodily fluids in a healthy person are slightly alkaline (7.35 - 7.45), except stomach fluids and urine, which must remain acidic in order to digest food and remove wastes from the body. When there is an excess of acid within the body, it naturally seeks to neutralize these acids by replacing them with alkaline elements. Typically, the blood contains alkaline substances however, because the blood must remain alkaline in order to function effectively, it is very sensitive to any variation in its pH level. In healthy, blood cells essentially have a negative charge on the outside and a positive charge on the inside. In the simplest of terms, this is what keeps them healthy and separated from each other. In an acidic body however, the excess acid strips the blood cells of the negative charge, removing their natural repelling force, causing them to clump together. When this occurs these acids can no longer properly dispose of toxins and wastes. To fix this, the body then looks for oxygen in the organs and tissues, which are designed to better tolerate pH fluctuation. But even so, while your organs and tissues can exist short-term with more acidic levels, these borrowed alkaline substances must ultimately be replaced. In a healthy body, this is not a problem as simply eating more alkaline foods can usually supply the needed alkaline sources to balance the body.

Continues next week Tuesday

Surulere residents benefit from free medical screening BY GABRIEL OLAWALE

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HOUSANDS of residents of Eric Moore in Surulere area of Lagos, weekend benefited from a free health screening organised by Here2heal. The screening covered tests such as sugar level, hypertension, body mass index estimation, free drugs, medical consultation and counseling. Biodun Awosusi, a Corps member, and National Coordinator of the programme, described Here2heal as a community development project aimed to reach less privileged Nigerians who do not have access to health care due to financial challenges as well as complement the effort s of government and health workers in Lagos state. “Many persons need to have medical checkups. There are sicknesses such as hypertension and diabetes that do not manifest in early stages but show up only in their advanced stages. People can be going around without knowing they have these diseases until they become very bad and difficult to control. But to avert such occurrences, we organised this programme for people to know early and take necessary step on time.” He identified obesity, excessive intake of alcohol, lack of exercise, excessive intake of sugar as well as malnutrition as risk factors to non-communicable diseases. A beneficiary, Mrs Aishat Mohammed said was treated for hypertension while another, Wasiu Kareem said his friend who was involved in a road accident and was diagnosed with hypertension, was privileged to be attended to free of charge.


46—Vanguard, TUESD AY, DECEMBER 25, 2012 TUESDA

PSN calls for uniform drug prescription policy BY SOLA OGUNDIPE

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ORRIED about the epileptic nature of the dispensing, sale, custody and supply of drugs in the country, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, has issued a clarion call for enactment of the drug prescription policy in Nigeria. President of the PSN, Pharm. Olumide Akintayo, who made the call during the official commissioning of the Society’s new e-library at the Pharmacy House in Lagos, said existing laws implicitly imply that only registered pharmacists and registered pharmaceutical premises have legal responsibilities to dabble into the dispensing, sale custody and supply of drugs in the country.“It is an irony that despite provisions of the various Acts of Parliament and drug policies, over 99 percent of hospitals in the private sector actively stock, sell and dispense drugs in unregistered pharmacy facilities while the professional; function of dispensing is jeorpadised completely as drigs are routinely handed over to clients by untrained hands,”

Akintayo remarked. Lamenting the absence of a standard procedure for issuance

of prescriptions, the PSN President said it had become imperative to sound a clarion call

• Right is; Chief Executive Officer, BrandHealth, Mr Emman Udowoima, presenting the award for the Most Trusted Brand won by Fidson's Astymin brand to Product Manager, Fidson Healthcare Plc, Mr Friday Enaholo at the BrandHealth 2012 Most Trusted Brand Awards in Lagos recently.

Pink Pearl laments poor cancer awareness in Nigeria BY CHIOMA OBINNA & BUSOLA LIKOLO

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OSPITAL statistics in Nigeria show that many cancer patients present late to the hospitals due to lack of adequate information on the disease. According to the World Health Organisation, WHO, projection, about 84 million people may die by 2015 if urgent strategies are not implemented to arrest the cancer scourge. The lack of adequate information in the public domain about cancer in Nigeria contributes to late detection. Cancer is a non communicable disease, NCD. Statistics from area hospitals indicate that 65 percent of women, who die of health related illnesses in Nigeria, die of cancer. More studies show that more than 1,100 women between the ages of 17 and 85 have been diagnosed with breast cancer in Nigeria since 1995. The peak age group is 40-49, accounting for nearly 40 percent of all cases. But breast cancer can be cured if detected early. Sadly, accounts show that many people still tend to see it as spiritual while some wish it away. The hospital becomes the last port of call often when it is too late. Today, it has been established that about 75 per cent of Nigerian women with breast cancer present late at stage four and with no chance of survival. But experts are of the view that massive awareness which results to early detection would improve

to relevant stakeholders to push an agenda for uniform prescription pads to be

breast cancer outcome as well as help in controlling the rising incidence among Nigerian women. Founder of Pink Pearl Foundation, Orode Ryan Okpu regretted that many Nigerians are still not cancer aware and that many Nigerian women are still reluctant to have their breast checked. Orode said Pink Pearl has resolved to focus more on awareness campaign on breast cancer said the past five years has witnessed the Foundation’s commitment to saving Nigerian women through various awareness campaigns and provision of high – quality breast and cervical cancer screening and

diagnostic services for women who are underserved. “We have increased awareness through education about symptoms, prevention, disease process and the importance of regular examination for early detection. In the new year, the Foundation plans to unveil its first diagnostic centre in Delta State, provide a mobile screening centre in each state of the Federation in Nigeria and build diagnostic centres in three geo-political zones of the country. The Foundation also plans to produce a cancer based movie in pidgin and English language, to give deeper understanding about the essence of early detection and other facts about cancer.

Children with Down Syndrome make merry at Xmas BY CHARLYNE IKPE

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HE premises of the Down Syndrome Foundation of Nigeria, DSFN, in Lagos came alive last week when corporate organisations joined the Foundation to celebrate Christmas for children living with Down Syndrome at the Centre. The event sponsored by Access Bank Plc, Nutricima which marked the end of the year activities for the Foundation was laced with merry-making and feasting even as the children thoroughly had a good time. National President, DSFN, Mrs. Rose Mordi who

Experts canvass for burns centre at Igbobi BY CHIOMA OBINNA

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XPERTS have advocated for establishment of an effective burns centre at the National Orthopaedic Hospital Igbobi, Lagos arguing that such had become necessary following the spate of violence in the country. Erstwhile President of the institution’s Association of Resident Doctors, NOHIL –ARD branch, Dr. Bright Igbinoba said expanding facilities and increasing personnel at the existing burns centre would position the tertiary health facility better to manage cases of burns

referred there. Igbinoba who spoke at the Association’s 2012 Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference maintained that among complications of blast injuries are severe burns that would require expert care. Theme of the conference was: Insecurity in Nigeria: A Challenge for the Health Sector” with sub theme Severe Burns Following Blast Injuries: The Role of the Plastic Surgeons.” If a blast injury occurs with associated burns in Lagos, most of the victims would be referred to NOHIL. “The best thing to do is to designate the hospital as a centre

personalized with the registration number and other details of the prescriber. “Even when some health institutions generate internal prescription pads for use of their healthcare staff, it cannot be classified as ideal because it bears no professional relevance outside the walls of such institutions because identities of the prescribers cannot be verified.” He observed that pharmacists who dispense based on such prescriptions must also authenticate with their professional seals. “Once this type of template is formalized, challenges of drug dispensing and prescription would be gradually redressed. This would put an end to the blame game between pharmacists and doctors,” he stated. On the e-library facility, financed by the CEO, Embassy Pharmaceutical Ltd., Lagos, Pharm. Nnamdi Obi, Akintayo said it was necessary to raise the bar in drug information services to pharmacists, care providers and other consumers of health by providing a platform that guarantees easier access to relevant information.

for the management of blast injuries,” he noted, pointing out that designating NOHIL as a centre for the management of blast patients is not out of place. As a residency training centre with at least three consultant plastic surgeons and a lot of senior residents, he stated that the manpower is there, but the facilities and infrastructure do not take more than 10- 20 patients. He suggested that NOHIL should serve the interest of the southwest zone,while other centres for blast injuries should be established in other geo-political zones.

acknowledged the day was special in the lives of the children said it had been a wonderful and awesome journey of bringing hope to these helpless Nigerians. “We have recorded remarkable improvement because the social aspect of programmes has been able to give the children what they have not been able to get all these years by their families and the society. What we are doing today is what most people take for granted but our children have not been part of the scheme of things rather, they have been neglected and locked away but now we have made them to experience and enjoy what other children have been taken for granted.” Mordi said expectations in 2013 will be for the older children to be more empowered. The Foundation is developing a site at Ikorodu area of Lagos where the children will live and put into practice most of the things they had been thought at the centre. The Foundation offers free medical interventions, vocational intervention and the early social integration. Through the free medical intervention, each year, 10 children are taken up for various medical treatments especially, for corrective heart surgeries. Mordi said two children have been selected also to represent Nigeria in South Korea for another special floor . hopping.


Vanguard, TUESD AY, DECEMBER 25, 2012 — 47 TUESDA

Dana Drugs donates to flood victims

Squeezing reverts breast cancer cells to normal — STUDY

BY SOLA OGUNDIPE

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BY SOLA OGUNDIPE

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SCIENTIST at the UC Berkeley Lab, has conducted pioneering experiments that showed that a malignant cell is not doomed to become a tumour, but that its fate is dependent on its interaction with the surrounding microenvironment. Her experiments showed that manipulation of this environment, through the introduction of biochemical inhibitors, could tame mutated mammary cells into behaving normally. Bissell and her team, in collaboration with • Dr. Zanna Muhammad, Director – Administration & Supplies, NEMA, receiving Daniel Fletcher’s laboratory in Berkeley, also Dana Drugs’donation of pharmaceutical products to flood disaster victims from Tony Usidamen, Head-Corporate Communications, Dana Group and Pharm. Godwin discovered that when a bit of mechanical Ediagbonya, DANA Superintendent Pharmacist. pressure is applied to breast cancer tumuor cells, the cells revert to healthy breast tissue. The findings were presented last Monday at the annual meeting of the American ops from genetic mutations breast epithelial cells in a gela- pressed. The researchers used timeSociety for Cell Biology in San within the cell. Breast cancer tin-like substance that had been injected into flexible silicone lapse microscopy over several is one of the commonest canFrancisco. chambers. days to show that early comWhile not suggesting they cers in women worldwide. The latest work from The flexible chambers allowed pression also induced coherent are creating a cancer fighting Fletcher’s lab, in collaboration the researchers to apply a rotation in the malignant cells, compression bra, the researchwith Bissell’s laboratory, takes compressive force in the first a characteristic feature of norers argue that compression, in mal development. and of itself, is not likely to be a major step forward by intro- stages of cell development. ducing the concept of mechaniOver time, the compressed Notably, those cells stopped a therapy, but does give new cal rather than chemical influmalignant cells grew into more growing once the breast tissue clues to track down the molorganised, healthy-looking structure was formed, even ences on cancer cell growth. ecules and structures that Gautham Venugopalan, a acini that resembled normal though the compressive force could eventually be targeted member of Fletcher’s lab, and structures, compared with ma- had been removed. for therapies. Traditionally, cancer devel- collaborators grew malignant lignant cells that were not com-

ANA Drugs Limited has donated items comprising pharmaceutical products as aid to victims of the recent flood disaster in Nigeria, in support of the relief efforts of the Federal Government in the affected states. At the presentation of the items in the Abuja Headquarters of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Superintendent Pharmacist, Dana Drugs Limited, Pharm. Godwin Ediagbonya, said Dana Drug’s gesture of donating pharmaceutical products to the victims of the recent flood disaster across some states of the Federation is in fulfillment of its responsibility. “We hope it will complement the efforts of the NEMA towards the rehabilitation and wellbeing of those affected.” Receiving the items on behalf of the Agency, NEMA’s Director of Administration & Supplies, Dr. Zanna Muhammad, said the drugs provided will contribute in no small way in catering to the health needs of the displaced persons. “While the response from public-spirited individuals and corporate bodies like Dana has been commendable, a lot still needs to be done to ensure proper rehabilitation of the affected states

Olikoye Ransome-Kuti remembered as Pakoto PHC marks 25 BY GABRIEL OLAWALE

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• From L- R: Dr. Oyenuga Oyenuga, Dr. Austine Aipoh, National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Adenike Olaniba, National President, Dr. Adeyeye Arigbabuwo, deputy national president and Dr. Okafor at HCPAN’s conference in Lagos

HE virtues of the late Professor Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, a.k.a. Nigeria’s “Father of Primary Healthcare” could not but be extolled as Pakoto Primary Healthcare annex of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, marked its 25th anniversary recently. Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka who eulogized Ransome- Kuti said he championed the cause of primary health care to bring healthcare closer to the people. Soyinka said the Pakoto

PHC has become a house hold name in the communities through its health outreaches and provision of a wide range of essential services to the communities in a conducive facility. He noted that the State government was providing quality in the teaching and training of students as the best example of primary healthcare. “Olikoye started immunisation which was taken up by UNICEF. Pakoto PHC is acting as a bridge to the conscience of the Ogun state government and that the Centre benefits the people’s health needs, and provides them employment,” he noted. The Chairman of the occasion,

Cancer, diabetes, others top list of major health concerns Continues from Page 45 Only a fraction of those that require ARV drugs have access. Also voluntary testing to determine HIV status remains challenging, complicated by persistent stigma and discrimination. With the current National prevalence of 4.1 percent, the number of people infected is

estimated at about 3.1 million. This means that Nigeria still has the second largest number of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa and the highest in the West African subregion. Currently, about 1.5 million people including 250,000 children are in need of AIDS treatment.

Polio The map of polio cases improved tremendously in 2012. Cases really exist only in the Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan, which have not yet interrupted transmission. In Nigeria in particular, there has been benefit from the strong political leadership and commitment of a number of governors in the Northern part of the

country. New polio cases are in about 50 handful of local government areas that are the weak links in the chain, where immunization coverage rates are low and children are vulnerable. Tracking to get vaccinators to immunize every child has increased the progress. But there is need to keep that up.

Dr. Ade. Shorungbe in a glowing tribute to Ransome Kuti for creating the enabling environment for the take off of the Centre and nurturing it to life, gave kudos to former head of state, General Ibrahim Babangida whom he recalled, appointed Kuti as Health Minister and accorded the needed support, without which he said, PHC would not have been in existence in Nigeria. Shorungbe canvassed for support from all tiers of government to enable the centre function optimally and harped on the need to managers of the center to be focused. Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate recalled that some of the background work carried out at the Centre eventually was used for the development of primary healthcare in Nigeria. “It was some of the work done here that subsequently led to establishment of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency in 1992.” Chief Medical Director, Prof. Akin Oshibogun explained that apart from taking care of the health needs of the communities, the Centre has continued to create employment opportunities for members of the communities. To further immortalise RansomeKuti, Oshibogun said a Centre is named the Olikoye Ransome Kuti Children Emergency Centre.


48—Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012

Christmas...time to reflect on things eternal

•For to us a child is born, to us a son is given—Isaiah 9: 6 By GABRIEL OSU

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E are in that special sea son once again, a season of joy, of peace, of great tidings. A season when we celebrate the birth of Christ the King, the redeemer of mankind! Jesus is the reason for the season. What does Christmas mean to

you and me? I will like to draw reference from the views of two writers. The first is J. C Penney who wrote, ‘Christmas is not just a time for festivity and merry making. It is more than that. It is a time for the contemplation of eternal things. The Christmas spirit is a spirit of giving and forgiving.’ Next is the thought provoking

words of George F. McDougall ‘Christmas means a spirit of love, a time when the love of God and the love of our fellow men should prevail over all hatred and bitterness, a time when our thoughts and deeds and the spirit of our lives manifest the presence of God. The above comments say it all. Christmas is not all about merry

Put your trust in God, Kumuyi urges Nigerians By SAM EYOBOKA

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ENERAL Superintendent of Deeper Chris tian Life Ministry, Pastor William Kumuyi has advised Christians and Nigerians in general to repose absolute trust in God in per-plexing situation. This, according to him, is the recipe for over-coming security-related challenges, which have the capacity to boggle the mind of the feeble mind-ed. Drawing inspiration from Psalm 91, Pastor Kumuyi said the possession of an unflagging and abiding relationship in God, is a sure way to overcome every dire and intriguing problems. “Don’t run away from where God has placed you. Focus on God and God will also focus on you. When you are abiding continuously in Christ, neither satan nor his angels can ever touch you for the promises of God affirm wholesome deliver-ances for all abiding believers", Pastor Kumuyi further remarked. The GS further admonished Christians to strive to appropriate the fullness that God has made avail-able through Jesus Christ, stressing this as the fitting antidote to the multi-farious challenges con-fronting mankind. Addressing thousands of partricipants at the church's December retreat at the church, DLCC

on Lagos-Ibadan Express-way, Kumuyi pointedly declared that failure to tap into the full redemption and covenant benefits through Christ, has cast a needless limitation on believers in particular and mankind in general. Speaking on a topic: "Identification with Christ," the man of God declared that all Christians, crucified, buried and risen with Christ should possess the unflagging capacity to realise, reckon and receive the abundant blessings God has de-posited in Christ. According to Pastor Kumuyi, faith is the key ingredient to walking successfully with God and living a life pleasing unto Him. He also stressed the need for believers to pattern their lives after Christ, noting that “as Christ is a conqueror and an overcomer, so must we be in the world. As Children of God, everything that Christ possess-es is ours - His victory, His wealth, His prosper-ity, His health, His power and authority, all belong to us." The national retreat with the theme; "All round security in Christ", held in all the 744 local govern-ment areas of the country. It also held simult-aneously in Europe, America, Asia and other parts of the world and was attended by members from Lagos area includiung Epe, Ikorodu and Bada-gry.

making. We must also spare time to reflect on the essence of the period which is the love of God for humanity. This unquantifiable love is summed up in the popular bible verse John 3: 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave us his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him will not perish but have eternal life.”When we ponder on God’s love for us, we

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The true essence of Christmas

should equally be an opportunity for us to mend our ways with God so that we will not be found wanting. The spirit behind Christmas is that of giving and sharing. The three wise men, on learning about the born child, came calling with gifts of gold, incense and myrr Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world of the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years... Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart. - George Matthew Adams t is december, the month of christmas. Carols coming from every store, television set & radio, from church choir & ordinary people caught-up in the spirit of the season. Some of the carols are secular, some sacred with their various deep meanings. This month, I heard three different people talk about december, they all said the same thing:, oh my "its December, an expensive month". This caught my attention, why is it that people are talking about an expensive month instead of being happy that it is almost christmas. We give each other presents but do we really know the essence of christmas?. Jesus himself said, "love thy neighbour as thyself". Christmas is the celebration of the birth of christ. A time for us to understand the lessons from Jesus & reflect on them. Jesus brougt a new religion based on love & the vision of a God who is

At Christmas, we are expected to spare time to contemplate on things eternal. That is, we must remind ourselves that we are strangers her on earth; that our real home is in heaven

too are encouraged to share love with others, to embrace peace and be our brother’s keeper. When we are imbued with this love of God, we will be always willing to give a helping hand to those in need, to give succour and comfort to the vulnerable ones amongst others. At Christmas, we are expected to spare time to contemplate on things eternal. That is, we must remind ourselves that we are strangers her on earth; that our real home is in heaven. And that no matter how long we live, we shall sure die one day. So many people who started the year 2012 with us are not around to finish it. Like us, they commenced the New Year with high hopes and aspirations. Some may have planned to marry this year, to buy a new car or to move into their new apartment. But alas, all those are now but a pipe dream. Thus, we should count ourselves lucky to be alive to see this Christmas. This should therefore be a period of gratitude to God for sparing our lives and counting us among the living. It

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full of compassion & forgiveness; a vision of doing everything with a positive mindset & from a place of love. In today's day and time, it is easy to lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas. Amidst the delicious meals, sweet drinks, lovely songs & dances, beautiful friends & family members we would come across this season, let's try not to forget about the child, born on a winter night so cold, whose bed was made only of hay & animal food; our lord Jesus christ, who taught us all what real, genuine & unconditional love is. As we celebrate the birth of our saviour, let's be human & kind enough to remember & show some love to those motherless babies, helpless orphans, hospital patients, prisoners, beggars & all those who are not fortunate enough to be actively involved in the celebration of the birth of our lord and saviour Jesus christ. Happy Christmas. *Monsignor Osu is the Director of Social Com-munications at the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos.


Vanguard , TUESDAY TUESDAY,, DECEMBER 25, 2012 —49

India’s rape riot exposes culture of impunity against women BY HUGO ODIOGOR WITH AGENCY REPORT

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NDIA is on fire and the anger on the streets is boiling over as protesters defy ban on demonstrations,watercannonsand tear gas attacks from the Police, to register their disapproval of the gang-rape of a medical student last week in New Delhi, on a moving With a record of more than 24,000 rape cases in India last year, 570 were reported in the capital, New Delhi, the country has a nasty reputation of low regard for women who report at least one rape case 20 minutes. The mass protests on the streets of India, are coming from those who are calling for change and justice for a young woman. The 23-year-old actress Mass protests over sexual assaults against women have engulfed India in recent days as thousands of people took to the streets of New Delhi to show their anger over the assault on an actress named Momoko who has waived her right to anonymity. Momoko and her friend, were raped by six men who took turns in sexually assaulting her. The suspects allegedly used a metal rod to assault the victims. She was raped for about an hour

During her ordeal, the victim suffered serious intestinal injuries from being beaten with an iron rod. She remains in critical condition on respiratory support, but is responding to Thousands of Indians protesting against maltreatment of women in their country treatment, doctors said on sentence. Sunday. Dijamani,whoworkedforthestate’s group which demands a sovereign National epidemic: Embattled Prime News channel, was killed Five of the suspects in the case state for the mostly Christian Naga were arrested soon after the crime prime minister, Manmohan Singh, on Sunday after officers opened fire tribe of northeast India and and a sixth was caught on Friday, has appealed for calm in the capital, during the protest in Manipur’s neighbouring Myanmar. Delhi, and vowed to protect women capital, Imphal.Five police the Press Trust of India reported. The NSCN is the strongest of the Meabnwhile, reports said the in the wake of violent personnel have reportedly been many separatist groups in the protesters set up roadblocks with demonstrations against the suspended for their actions during region, but it has been engaged in logs of wood and making burn fire “national epidemic” of sex crimes. the rally. Officials said the journalist negotiations with the Indian federal Hespokeafterpoliceclashedwith was shot by accident while with car tyres,” “The police were government since declaring chasing them away but once the hundreds of protesters a day police attempted to disperse ceasefire in 1997. police were gone they would come earlier in the Indian capital New protesters. The strike, called by the Indian officials have reportedly back.” The anger on the streets Delhi over the gang rape of a Manipur Film Forum and been prepared to concede many of reflects the deep seated resentment medical student in the capital last supported by a host of regional the NSCN demands - but not to that the people harbour against the weekend. groups, started on Saturday and grant full independence. Most widespread, a problem is sexual has paralysed life in the state for Manipuris fiercely resist the Anger and abuse against women in India. the past few days. NSCN’s plans for a “greater Naga According to the legal news anguish On Sunday, rocks were pelted at state”, which would leave their own service Trust Law, “India is the worst police as tensions rose before the state greatly diminished. “There is genuine and justified shooting ”We want justice for this country in the G20 where women The complicity of Law are treated shabbily. First,India has anger and anguish at this ghastly brazen act of crime against enforcement: Undercover a culture especially among the incident,” Singh said in a televised women,” said gender dynamic reporters in India gathered Hindus, having a girl child is statement on Monday, appealing expert Dr Vijaylakshmi Brara. “In evidence of how the police in the for“peaceandcalm”asofficialsshut our part of India, crime against Delhi region view rape survivors. down roads in the centre of New women is much less than in the The investigation published by the Delhi - a city home to nearly 14 mainland, so this incident upsets Indian weekly Tehelka exposed million people - in a bid to prevent us so much.” how the system often blames the further protests. “I assure you that Nationalist anger: Further survivors. we will make all possible efforts to provoking the ire of Senior police officers were caught ensure security and safety to all many Manipuris, the man accused on hidden camera talking about women in this country,” said Singh of assaulting Momoko at a concert survivors, saying: “She asked for The death of Journalist: Police neartheborderwithMyanmar was it”; “It’s all about money”; “They had shot tear gas and reported to be a guerrilla fighter have made it a business”; “It’s considered to be a burden. Most water cannon, and used batons to belonging to the National Socialist consensual most of the time”. families grieve at the birth of girls, disperse demonstrators, as the Council of Nagaland (NSCN), a especially, as women pay the crowd at Delhi’s landmark India dowries during their marriage. Gate monument defied orders Women and girls are sold, married banning the protests and off at a young age, exploited and swelled into the thousands. EW Delhi has the highestnumberofsexcrimesamong abused as domestic slaves. Scuffles occurred between India’s major cities, with a rape reported on average Consequently, ‘the number of protesters and police near every 18 hours, according to police figures. crimes recorded against women, government buildings, with •South Africa – it has one of the highest rates, with 277,000 including kidnapping, abduction, demonstrators shouting slogans reported cases. The same year a survey by the Medical and human trafficking exceeds 2.5 againsttheauthoritiesandthrowing Research Council found that one in four men admitted to million”. stonesandbottlesattheirbarricades. raping someone It is against this background that Angry protesters later overturned a •UnitedStates–morethan84,000rapecaseswerereported. many activists in India are vehicle and seized police vans. Criminals face life behind bars, and in some states, castration protesting against what they see as At least 30 people, including is an option a culture of impunity against several policemen, have been •India – reported a little more than 22,000 cases women. There are 40,000 pending treated for injuries at a nearby •United Kingdom – 16,000 cases were reported. A suspect rape cases in the country and hospital, officials said. found guilty, faces a maximum conviction of life in prison survivors have to wait years for their “Security has been tightened in •Mexico – nearly 15,000 cases were reported. In some cases to be heard – even then the the heart of New Delhi, with police parts of the country, penalties may consist of a few hours in conviction rate is just 34.6 percent in riot gear in every area of possible jail, or minor fines – according to the National Crimes demonstration. Section 144, a •Germany – counts the highest number of reported rape Record Bureau. The Indian Penal criminalcodethatprohibitsassembly cases in Europe, just under 8,000 Code lists punishments of up to life of more than five people, has been •Russia – almost 5,000 cases were reported, and the crime behind bars, but those convicted imposed. holds a punishment of 4 -10 years in jail are often let off after serving a short A video journalist, Thangjam

,

I assure you that we will make all possible efforts to ensure security and safety to all women in this country

and thrown out of the bus. She is recovering in the intensive care unit after undergoing multiple surgeries. Her injuries were so bad that she was only recently able to give a statement to the Indian authorities. Suspects arrested: A delegation of protesters met Sonia Gandhi, the leader of the ruling Congress party, to convey their demands. The gang rape of the 23-year-old on a bus has sparked public outrage across India, bringing thousands of people onto city streets. Marches, demonstrations and candlelight vigils have spread during the past week. Six drunk men were joyriding in a bus when they picked up the physiotherapy student and her 28year-old male companion last Sunday. They took turns raping her before throwing the pair off the speeding vehicle.

,

Rape capitals of the world

N


50 — Vanguard, TUESDAY,

DECEMBER 25, 2012

Police crack down on Indian rape protesters P

OLICE locked down New Delhi’s key government district ahead of Monday ’s visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin, after two days of pitched street battles following the gang rape of a woman on a bus. Putin is scheduled to meet with Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh Monday afternoon and later with the Indian president. Authorities erected security barriers throughout the city ’s Raisina Hills area — home to the presidential mansion, the parliament building and federal ministerial blocks. Only those authorized to work in the district were allowed to pass. Furious weekend demonstrations rocked Raisina Hills as public outrage surged after a 23year-old woman was sexually assaulted and

demonstrators carried Indian flags as they scuffled with police. Authorities also fired tear gas to try to break up crowds. Police spokesman Rajan

UN envoy in fresh Syria peace bid

I

Defiant Indians protest against serial rape incidents against women beaten to near death on a bus on December 16 by a group of six suspects, now under arrest, police say. Singh again expressed solidarity with the rape victim in a televised address on Monday. He also reiterated an earlier

appeal for calm and a pledge of safety for women and children. On Sunday, incensed protesters defied a police ban on demonstrations, clashing repeatedly with police. As officers sprayed water cannons, some dispersed,

while others huddled tightly in a circle to brave high-pressure streams in the cold December weather. “We want justice!” the protesters shouted in chorus. In addition to banners and cardboard placards, many

Egyptian judges probe referendum fraud E GYPTIAN judges were investigating opposition accusations of voting fraud yesterday before declaring the result of a referendum set to show that a contentious new constitution has been approved. President Mohamed Mursi sees the basic law, drawn up mostly by his Islamist allies, as a vital step in Egypt’s transition to democracy almost two years after the fall of military-backed strongman Hosni Mubarak. Unofficial tallies from the Muslim Brotherhood which catapulted Mursi into the presidency this year - indicated that 64 percent had approved the charter, although an official result was not expected until at least

•Mursi Tuesday. An opposition tally had a similar result. Mursi’s critics said the vote, conducted in two stages in a process that ended on Saturday, had been marred by a litany of irregularities, and have demanded a full inquiry. “The committee is currently compiling results from the first and second phase and votes from Egyptians abroad, and is investigating complaints,” Judge Mahmoud Abu Shousha,

a member of the committee, told Reuters. Two sources in the committee said the results were likely to be announced on Tuesday. “It will not be very different from the unofficial result, at 60something percent,” one said. The opposition, a loose

alliance of socialists, liberal-minded Muslims and Christians, say the text is too Islamist, ignores the rights of minorities and represents a recipe for more trouble in the most populous Arab nation. They have noted that less than a third of those eligible turned out to vote.

N Afghan woman wearing a police uniform, yesterday, shot a civilian contractor working for Western forces in the police chief ’s compound in Kabul, NATO said. The incident is likely to raise troubling questions about the

direction of an unpopular war. It appeared to be the first time that a woman member of Afghanistan’s security forces carried out such an attack. Meanwhile, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance

NTERNATIONAL peace envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi has held talks with President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, in a fresh bid to end the conflict. Mr Brahimi said they discussed “many steps to be taken in the future”, but he did not elaborate. Just last sunday, opposition activists said dozens of people had been killed in a government air strike in the rebel-held town of Halfaya in Hama province. Meanwhile, Mr Brahimi drove into Syria from Beirut on Sunday, after fighting closed Damascus airport. “I had the honour to meet the president and as usual we exchanged views on the many steps to be taken in the future,” he said after meeting President Bashar al-Assad yesterday.. President Assad expressed support for “any effort in the interest

of the Syrian people which preserves the homeland’s sovereignty and independence”, the staterun Sana news agency reports. It is the third visit to Damascus by Mr Brahimi since he was appointed joint UN-Arab League envoy to Syria in August. However, he has made little progress on a peace process so far and it is unclear what new ideas he may be bringing. Rebels have been fighting Mr Assad’s government for 21 months. Opposition groups say more than 44,000 people have been killed. In the latest violence, activists said a government air strike had struck a bakery in Halfaya on Sunday. They put the number of dead at more than 90, but the BBC’s Jim Muir in neighbouring Lebanon says they named or otherwise identified only 23 of them - all men.

Mandela spends Christmas in hospital

S

OUTH Africa’s first black President Nelson Mandela will spend Christmas in hospital, a government statement has said. Mr Mandela, 94, was admitted to hospital two weeks ago and has been treated for a lung infection and gallstones. There is growing

concern in South Africa about his health. Mr Mandela was jailed for 27 years for leading the struggle against whiteminority rule. He is regarded by most South Africans as the father of the nation, having inspired them to fight for democracy. “Former President Nelson

Afghan policewoman kills coalition contractor in Kabul, NATO

A

Bhagat said “hooligans who had joined the protesters” hurled stones, injuring 78 officers on Sunday. At least 65 protesters were also injured, he said.

Force (ISAF) said a U.S. police adviser was killed by an Afghan policewoman. Then ISAF said in a statement only that it was a “contracted civilian employee” who was killed. Mohammad Zahir, head of the police

criminal investigation department, described the incident as an “insider attack” in which Afghan forces turn their weapons on Western troops they are supposed to be working with. He initially said the victim was a U.S. soldier.

•Mandela Mandela will spend Christmas Day in hospital, his doctors have confirmed,” a government statement said. The BBC’s Karen Allen in Johannesburg reports that with every passing day there is growing public anxiety about Mr Mandela’s health. There was hope that he would be allowed to spend Christmas at home, but his doctors are still not

comfortable about discharging him, she says. Although President Jacob Zuma has described Mr Mandela’s condition as “serious”, he has tempered this by saying that he has been “ responding” to treatment, our correspondent adds. The government says he is being treated for a recurring lung infection at a hospital in the capital, Pretoria. He has also had an operation to remove gallstones. Mr Mandela first contracted tuberculosis in the 1980s while detained on windswept Robben Island prison. He has been admitted to hospital on three occasions in the past two years.


Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012—51

From left: Ogundahunsi Raphael, Head, Prison and Hospital Chapel, The Salvation Army; Mrs Morenike Samuel, Apex Chief Matron, Somolu General Hospital; Dr Oluwatoyin Adelaja, Medical Director, Somolu General Hospital; Mr Ntiense Williams, Territorial Public Relations Coordinator, of the church; Miss Oluyemisi Nosiru, Social Welfare Officer of the hospital and Olugbadebo Ganiyu, Head, Health and Environmental Services of thel hospital when church celebrated Christmas with patients at the hospital, in Lagos, yesterday.

I remain focussed on transforming Nigeria —Jonathan Continues from page 5 Christmas should be a time for us to remember that we as Christians have an obligation to leave the comforts of our everyday life to help those less fortunate just as Jesus did for all of us.” According to Makinde, “while God has so blessed us as a country, well over 90 per cent of the citizenry are living below the poverty line. Despite the enormous resources deposited in various states in our country, over concentration and over dependence on oil and gas have made us a one-sector economy, thereby making other sectors redundant or nonexistent in some cases. "Those saddled with the responsibility of bringing smiles to the faces of God’s people and happiness to their minds by maximising the abundance of the resources He has bestowed on this nation are doing exactly the opposite. What should ordinarily be a blessing to us is seemingly becoming a curse which is further accentuated by the inability of Nigerians to enjoy quality education in a country that once gave scholarships to students to study abroad. Businesses are paralyzed owing to a power sector that is near comatose.”

Ademowo bemoans myriad of challenges Dean of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Ephraim Ademowo, bemoaned the myriad of challenges currently facing the nation ranging from

neglect, suffering, poverty, diseases, robbery, kidnapping, communal clashes, religious wars, political fracas, insurgency, militancy, violence, plane crashes and natural disasters, saying that such problems were fast becoming part of our daily lives. He expressed worry that at 52, Nigeria was yet to stand on her feet in spite of the enormous resources the nation is blessed with, noting that the lessons of Christmas must, therefore, be geared towards overcoming the challenges that confront us.

Okonkwo urges Nigerians not to lose hope Presiding Bishop of TREM, Dr. Mike Okonkwo urged Nigerians not to lose hope in our collective project called Nigeria, noting: “The key motivating factor that has kept my hope alive is God’s finger upon our nation. Nigeria is heavily endowed with all the resources to make us a great nation and indeed become an envy among the comity of nations. “Our value system must change more especially the insatiable lust for money that has driven us to all kinds of evil that was once anathema to our society. We can rise again. As a citizen of this nation, you must determine that you will do your part to help the nation rise again.”

Let’s live in peace – Mark Senate President David

Mark, on his part, urged Nigerians to continue to live in peace, love and harmony. In his Christmas message, signed by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Kola Ologbondiyan, Mark urged Christians to always imbibe the teachings of Christ, which preaches peace, cheerful-giving and above all love for one another. He urged all Nigerians to continue to live in peace and harmony and to emulate the virtues and exemplary life bequeathed to us by Jesus Christ for the good of all. Noting that "our democracy is waxing stronger as we stride in years, Mark further assured that the National Assembly would continue to work in the best interest of every Nigerian in making laws for the good governance of our country.

Govs Jang, Orji, Ahmed speak Felicitating with Christians, Governor Theodore Orji in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ugochukwu Emezue, urged them to use the period to pray for peace and unity in the country. Orji also used the occasion to call on Nigerians to support the Federal Government's fight against insecurity and its development programme, assuring that Nigeria would soon become a great nation. In like manner, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State urged Christians in the country to use the festive period to preach national rebirth and

transformation and also pray for peace and unity in the country. Ahmed, in his Christmas and New Year message to the people of Kwara State and Nigerians at large said the period should also be seen as a season of showing love, especially to the needy in the country. The statement was signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Abdulwahab Oba. Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State preached forgiveness among Christians as they celebrate Christmas and urged them to repay evil with love. In a message signed by Director of Press Affairs in his office, Mr. James Mannok, the governor said the occasion should also be used for sober reflection "on the essence of Christmas which is sacrifice through the birth of Christ to bring joy and salvation to mankind."

Sultan of Sokoto, ACF urge peace In a message by its National Publicity Secretary, Anthony Sani , the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, asked Nigerians to use the birth of Jesus Christ which Christmas was all about to reconcile and love themselves by making no distinctions among each other. He said: ''ACF is happy to felicitate with Christians over the celebrations of Christmas which marks the arrival of Jesus Christ for the express purpose of reconciling humanity with God. Just as Jesus Christ came to save humanity from their sins and made no

distinction between the Jews and the Gentiles, ACF prays the spirit of the celebrations would bring about improvement in tolerance and accommodation among individuals and among groups that often go with genuine reconciliation and true forgiveness.” On its part, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) urged Nigerians to support government in tackling the problems of corruption and insecurity in the country. The President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar made the call in a Christmas message signed by the council's Director of Administration, Alhaji Amin Igwegbe. He said: "Development cannot be achieved in a state of insecurity; therefore we should cooperate with the authorities to secure the nation. We should mobilise all our faithful to be security conscious, by reporting every suspicious movement to the nearest security outfit. A secured and corrupt-free Nigeria will earn the country greatness.''

Onu, Saraki urge Christians to be good ambassadors Also Abubakar Bukola Saraki (PDP, Kwara Central) said "as our Christian brothers and sisters celebrate Christmas which commemorates the fulfillment of God's promise of the birth of a Messiah, we must imbibe the teachings and the central message of Christ not only in our thoughts but also in our deeds." Saraki assured Nigerians that the National Assembly would continue to consolidate on the various developments witnessed in the last couple of months to ensure that more visible and significant needs are prioritized. ANPP National Chairman, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, urged Christians to be good ambassadors where ever they found themselves. "We join the rest of the global Christian family to urge that in the joyful spirit of the season, we rededicate ourselves to the enduring attributes of love of neighbour and country. With peaceful co-existence and harmony as well as clutching firmly to those bonds that bind and releasing the lever of those gaps that divide us as one people with a common destiny,” Onu said in a

statement. He said the joy of Christmas would not be complete without Christians being their brothers’ keepers and embracing people belonging to other faiths in the search for a better world. “ In a related development, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called on Nigerians, irrespective of religious persuasions, to use the Yuletide for sober reflection on the affairs of the nation. A statement in Abuja by its Director General, Mr. Mike Omeri, also called on Nigerians to use the period to show love to fellow citizens.

Tambuwal urges faith Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Tambuwal, in his message signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, enjoined Nigerians to renew their faith in their country and work towards building a nation of their dreams. Tambuwal urged leaders at all levels of governance to make the interest of the people their priority at all times, adding that despite the challenges of development confronting the country, progress was being made in some critical sectors.

Oshiomhole, Obi task Christians Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State urged Christian faithful to follow in the footsteps of Christ by doing good to all men, saying “the faithful should use the Christmas season to show love and do good to all men, even as the progenitor of the faith did over 2000 years ago. In his message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Peter Okhiria, Oshiomhole said: “As a state, this is the unique opportunity for us to soberreflect on our journey thus far." Also Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State in his message said: “As we march towards the end of 2012, I appeal to all those in leadership positions to resolve to go into the New Year with a new commitment to make sacrifices for our country. I enjoin the followership to believe in our country and exhibit the spirit of patriotism that will be in tune with the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan.”


52—Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012

Checking activities of unscrupulous lecturers

T

HE relationship between lecturers and their students could be likened to that which exists between a nursing mother and her baby. A mother is always eager and enthusiastic to nurture her baby with the fervent hope that with time the baby would grow to adulthood and certainly posses all the attendant good qualities. In the same manner, lecturers, with the students under their tutelage are obligatorily expected to groom their students academically with a view to making them succeed in our present intellectual world, Under normal circumstances, a father would wish that his son will be greater than him in every field of endeavour. This scenario is applicable to lecturers and their students. Against this background, lecturers are expected to take their lectures in their strides in order to attain the desired level in the academic world. In other words, any act that is not in line with this objective should not be in their dictionary. But alas, what is happening in our higher institutions these days is a far cry and aberration from the stipulated standard. Most

Corrupt cases against former governors IMAGINE that some former governors and politicians with pending corruption cases in court are today senators and representative, when they should be in jail. It is unfortunate that in Nigeria, people get elected into public office while in detention or having criminal cases pending against them. It goes to show Nigerians are good at celebrating corruption. Nigeria’s constitution should be amended to bar people with questionable characters from vying for elective posts until they are cleared. Charles 080381070933

Still on corrupt cases and former governors

It’s sad that former governors who were alleged to have stolen billions of naira while in office are still walking the streets as free persons and even privileged citizens. It is only in a country like Nigeria that cases of corruption are treated with levity. Segun 08103142615

lecturers in our higher institutions unlike their fore runners are no longer eager to carve a name for themselves but only to carve a niche in the commercial milieu. The attitude of this category of lectures towards their students, especially the female folks leaves much to be desired, It is a known fact that gaining admission into higher institution is not easy. And the successful and fortunate ones do not want to lose the opportunity and are ready to succumb to any demand in order to remain in the school. The aforementioned lecturers in this regard capitalize on this scenario and make themselves demi -gods over their students. They subject them to fulfilling a labyrinth of unnecessary rules and demands. Students cannot buy any textbook written by another author except theirs . Any student who defies this order is bound to fail no matter how intelligent he is. A student, especially female ones who is not in good terms with his her lecturer is likely to fail. I am not conjecturing, this write up is built on facts and figures. It does not matter what you call it, libel or calumny. All I want

Presentation of Ribadu’s report

Nigerians were confident going by his antecedents, that Ribadu would do a marvellous job when he was called upon to head the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force

is a stop to this aberration. Students are not ready to report this incident to a higher authority for fear of being chastised and possibly victimized. That is why I want to let the cat out of the bag. Against this backdrop, Universites, Polytechnics

Dear Sir,

E

LEVEN years ago, when the Delta State Government awarded the contract for the reconstruction of the Sapele main Market, to say the least, the joy of Sapele inhabitants knew no bounds, particularly as the structures at the market had become old and were in dire need of a holistic rehabilitation. Sadly, 12 years after the market was awarded for reconstruction, it is yet to be re-opened for business activities even while it appears that the rehabilitation works at the market have been completed. Jonathan to implement the recommendations. Those indicted must be made to pay the price. Nobody is bigger than the country. If President Jonathan does not implement the recommendations, it means he does not have the interest of Nigeria at heart. Mercy writes in from Lagos State

Presentation of Ribadu’s report

The drama that ensued during the presentation of the report of the Special Task Force on Petroleum headed by Mallam

Judging by the macabre dance that took place during the presentation of the report, there is no doubt that the no- nonsense ex- cop must have done a marvellous job; it is now left for President Jonathan to implement the recommendations; those indicted must be made to pay the price

,

that was set up to unravel the shady deals ravaging the oil sector . And judging from the macabre dance that took place during the presentation of the report, there is no doubt that the no- nonsense ex- cop must have done a marvellous job. It is now left for President

Colleges of Education and the like authorities should wade into this matter otherwise our effort and hope to attain the 202020 target would not be achieved. •Nkemakolam Gabriel Port-Harcourt 08072257360.

Re-open Sapele main market now

,

Dear Sir,

Ribadu, was choreographed to rubbish the report and thereby create a flimsy excuse for it not to be implemented. How far the players have succeeded now depends on President Jonathan, if he is part of the ploy, then, the report will end up under the carpet. Fred 08166446615

Sapele citizens are however at a loss as to why the market is yet to be re-opened as the government has not come forward to state any reason. All we hear are mere speculations which cannot be substantiated or taken as fact. One can only imagine the suffering traders in Sapele main Market have gone through these past 11 years. Traders who were once bonafide owners of shops at the market now sell their wares along the major roads and under the direct heat of the scorching sun and at the risk of been run over by moving vehicles. The economic

Still on presentation of Ribadu’s report

Mrs. Diezani AlisonMadueke, who constituted the committee, cannot claim to be ignorant of all the dirty deals that have been going on in the petroleum sector. A committee like that should have been formed by a body that has no link with the Petroleum Resources Ministry. Francis 08028821474

Ribadu’s report

No doubt, the Goodluck Jonathan government is not committed to fighting corruption. This explains why his administration would spend so much money to set up a committees to probe alleged fraudulent acts only for such reports to be rubbished or swept under the carpet. If government feels it cannot implement the committee's findings, why subject patriots

cost and impact the reconstruction of the market have had on traders and Sapele citizens cannot be quantified. Up till today, most traders are yet to get over the effect occasioned by the reconstruction of the market. Some went out of business as a result of failure to raise funds to set up make-shift shops or better still hire new shops. Some others as a result of the displacement found it difficult to get locations suitable for the nature of their businesses, a situation that has resulted in the economic down- turn of so many businesses. It is indeed most unfortunate that in spite of what traders at the market have gone through all these years, and are still going through each passing day, the state government has not deemed it fit to come to their rescue. The situation obviously lives one with an impression of extreme insensitivity on the part of the state government. And if the truth must be told, this is certainly not the dividend of democracy Sapele inhabitants bargained for when the market was earmarked for reconstruction some eleven years ago. It is against this background that I want to use this medium to appeal to the State government to put machinery in motion toe re-open the Sapele Main Market for business activities.

•Ohwevwo ufuoma Eugene 08127029122 to rigorous mind- tasking assignment? Why the monumental waste? Mrs. Wale 08056178892

Delta State Commissioner of Education and SOS

The commissioner of education in Delta State should come to the aid of students in Agbarho Model Unity Secondary School, Agbarho in Ughelli North LGA of Delta State. Over 100 of the students are receiving lecture on the floor without chairs and desks to sit and write which is against standard of learning, due to the inconveniences involved. Unity school students are the best in the society due to their standard. The State and Federal Governments should come to their aid by addressing the ugly situation. Duncan 0818963820

SAYINGS OF OUR ELDERS 1.If you do not want lizards to visit you, do not bring home firewood that contain ants. Francis Uzoaru(07025716475), Nitel Headquarter, Abuja, FCT Send us your Sayings of Our Elders. They must be African sayings or proverbs. Biblical or English proverbs are unacceptable. You will be paid N100.00 for every saying published. Address your sayings to: The Co-ordinator, Sayings of Our Elders,Vanguard Media Ltd., PMB 1007, Apapa,


Vanguard, YOUR LUCK TODAY

LEO; This is not the right time to take happenings along your career line for granted. Prepare for important domestic challenge. Keep your family secrets. VIRGO; You may over inflate your ego to the resentment of people that matter. Watch what you do with money before 12.31pm. Try to be more diplomatic. LIBRA; If care is not taken you would mislead others before 12.31pm while you are close to minor but costly mistakes from 12.31pm. Be wise with money. SCORPIO; After initial confusion before 1pm you find your bearing and assert yourself but you will need to prepare to take care of oppositions that may come up suddenly.

— 53

LEISURE

By Joshua Adeyemo Phone 08056180139

CANCER; Many of you may be tempted and give in to the urge to gamble either with love or other important issue to the detriment of your cause. Be practical.

TUESD AY, DECEMBER 25, 2012 TUESDA

THOUGHT FOR TODAY By Richard Eromosele

I

F I ask you what you understand by the word seasons; I am sure many of you will just chorus – the dry and the rainy seasons. This is not necessarily so. The word ‘season’ here is mataphorical, which could mean time of opportunity, time of

Identifying the season of our life – 1 blessings, time of prosperity etc. Everything in life has its due season, plants have their seasons. Humans have their seasons. For example, tailors have their

TERROR MUDA

seasons, farmers have their seasons, petrol attendants also have their seasons (at least in Nigeria), umbrella sellers have their seasons, and traders of differents shades have

in “Never say goodbye”

their seasons. One thing is common to all seasons and that is, they produce result when identified. The question is: How do you identify your season? You need a trained mind and trained senses in order to do this. Let me illustrate...

By Lanre Kehinde

SAGITTARIUS; It is important you don’t allow friends mislead you before 12.31pm no matter how genuine their intention. Watch what you do with your health. Tomorrow is your best day. CAPRICORN; Take it easy along your career/business line during the morning period so that costly mistakes will not make things difficult for. Take your social life seriously. AQUARIUS; What may look like a very good advice from younger members within your base of operation may eventually lead to avoidable trouble. PISCES; Miscalculation is possible before 12.31pm that is why you will need to be as practical as possible and refuse to take people for granted throughout. ARIES; Yes it is good to take partnership related issue seriously but priority attention must be given to money. Watch what you tell others before 12.31pm.

KAPTAIN AFRIKA

in

“Princess Shii’

By Andy Akman

TAURUS; If you take your new ideas too seriously they would mislead you. But taken good advice from your influential friends can prove helpful. As the Moon fluctuates during AM period it is important you practical till after 12.31pm. GEMINI; Provided you don’t allow mid-morning blues to get better off you will eventually live up to expectation at work. Take good care of your health, please.

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 sensitive part? Dear Joshua, I ma interested in your daily analysis in Vanguard Newspapers. The truth is your daily horoscope column always work for me and now I just cant do without reading my Star in your papers. My believe is since you can be as accurate as possible writing daily horoscope you are in a better position to analyse my health which is very important to me. I want to know which area(s) of my body should be taken more seriously. Victor. Kano. Dear Victor, According to your natal horoscope you have gone above danger zones of your life health-wise. But then what you will find here-under will be of benefit. Thanks for your commendation. Opposition between the Sun (an indicator of basic self-hood) and difficult Saturn during your birth hour pointed to a very tough beginning in life but luckily for you both Spiritual Neptune in powerful Scorpio and steady Pluto in healthy Virgo were at positive angles to your natal Sun thus, your chances of surviving are more than the delicate ones. More so as your natal Sun and Moon are members of strongest Star signshealth wise. Certainly Saturn must have brought you a few number of health related challenges raging from skin, bone, sometimes the stomach and importantly headache . Since you were able to survive infancy and middle age you have very good chances of living to a very old age. While the ailments stated here can easily be managed by yourself one important organ of your body that must be managed by medical expert is your HEART because of many placement in heart related Star sign. This is not to say you must have heart problem but here is an organ you in particular must take very seriously. Yes fever is common in Africa and today fear of STDs is the beginning of good health. STDs are mentioned here because of your natal planets is sexual Scorpio. Mind you nothing fatalistic here, but mere warnings.

VIRGINIA

Commen3

dadadekola@yahoo.com

by Lawrence Akapa

C M Y K


54 — Vanguard, TUESDAY,

DECEMBER 25, 2012

Katongo honoured by Klitsc hk o fights P ovetkin Klitschk hko Po Feb. 2 4 24 Zambia Army T

A

FRICAN champion skipper Chris Katongo has been honoured by the Zambia Army. Katongo, a Warrant Officer Class I in the army, was presented with an army trophy of honour by Zambia Army deputy commander Major Gen. Toply Lubaya at a ceremony at Arakan barracks on Monday. The Zambia Army award is in recognition of his being voted and awarded the BBC African Footballer of the Year award. The army also presented trophies and flowers to other Chipolopolo stars who are army officers - Felix Katongo and Nathan Sinkala. The ceremony was attended by senior army officers, National Sports Council of Zamia vice chairman Mwamba Kalenga, Faz spokesperson Erick Mwanza, sports media personnel and the Green Buffaloes FC team.

•Katongo

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•Lukaku C M Y K

KISS THE FLOOR . . . IBF and WBO champion, Wladimir Klitschko sends his opponent kissing the canvass

Mik el relishes Bo xing Da Mikel Boxing Dayy return M

IKEL Obi has said he cannot wait to return for Chelsea against Norwich City on

Lukaku hoping for Baggies stay HELSEA striker Romelu Lukaku wants to return on loan to West Brom for a second season to help him develop into “a great player”. Lukaku is in his first

HE World Boxing Association (WBA) has ordered super heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko of Ukraine and regular champion Alexander Povetkin of Russia to hold a fight by Feb. 24, reads a statement posted on WBA’s Web site. This order follows the agreement reached before the fight between Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye, which was held on July 2, 2011. It was established that the winner should fight the winner of the Ruslan Chagaev vs Alexander Povetkin fight, in a period not exceeding 18 months after the fight made on August 27, 2011. As reported, on Nov. 11, 2012, Wladimir Klitschko made another defense of his WBA, WBO, IBO and IBF belts in a fight against Pole Mariusz Wach.

campaign at The Hawthorns and scored his sixth goal for the Baggies when heading the winner in the 2-1 home success over Norwich. Chelsea have the option to recall the 19year-old during the January transfer window. But Lukaku is keen to remain at West Brom and extend his stay for the 2013-2014 campaign to ensure he gains the experience and know-how for when he returns to the Blues. Lukaku said: “I want to stay here. I’ve had so many questions in the last few weeks asking ‘are you staying?’

Boxing Day on Wednesday after a three-match ban. The Nigeria midfielder was handed a three-match ban and a fine of £60,000 after a race row involving him and referee Mark Clattenburg in October. Mikel has missed two league games including Sunday’s 8-0 mauling of Aston villa as well as the Capital One quarterfinal at Leeds United. “I am happy that the ban is over. It is my past now, so I have to look ahead. I am ready for the game against Norwich City on December 26,” Mikel told MTNFootball.com “I missed football while I was banned because I always want to be part of the action. “We are on the high now and I can’t wait to return and be part of the action as it was before my ban.” Mikel is also expected to be involved in the EPL fixture on Sunday at Everton and the London derby against QPR on January 2

Arsenal to Make £15m ‘Januar y Gamble’

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•Mikel before he joins up with the Nigeria training

camp in Portugal for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations.

RSENE Wenger doesn’t have a massive track record for forking out fees over £10m and it was something of a pleasant surprise to Arsenal fans when the Gunners boss brought in three established talents over the summer, spending in excess of £35m to bring in Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla, though clearly the happiness that the Emirates Stadium supporters gained from these purchases was somewhat tempered by the loss of Robin Van Persie and Alex Song.

Akudigwe football championship flags off today

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LL roads lead to Uke Town, Idemili North local Government, Anambra state as.the annual Akudigwe football championship kicks off today. Six teams within the Village would participate in the competition which ends tomorrow. Sponsor of the grassroot football fiesta,

Ikechukwu Okosa has stated that the purpose of the competition is to discover talents that would represent Nigeria at age grade levels. Okosa further charged coaches and scouts to grace the competition in order to pick players that can enrich the Nigeria. Premier League and National League clubs. Okosa, who doubles as

the proprietor of Destiny Stars Football Academy, Lagos, revealed that former Governor of Anambra State, Chris Ngige, Honourable Charles Odedo who is a member of Anambra State House of Assembly, Sports C o m m i s s i o n e r, Nnadozie Okey Arok,would be among the special guests to grace the event.


Vanguard, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012 — 55

Anichebe's return thrills Chukwu, Nwosu, Akanni speak on Ev er Ever ertton boss Keshi’s AFCON preparation E VERTON manager David Moyes believes the return of Victor Anichebe has come at an ideal time in the absence of Kevin Mirallas. Anichebe made his comeback after two months on the sidelines with a goal in last weekend’s come-frombehind win at West Ham. With Mirallas struggling with a

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OME notable football stakeholders in the country on Monday stressed the need for Super Eagles handlers to present a formidable team at the forthcoming 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in South Africa. They spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in telephone interviews in Lagos. Christian Chukwu, a former Super Eagles Head Coach, stressed that Stephen Keshi should be given a free hand to pick a team of his choice to represent the country at the tournament. He added that the country abounds with talented players and as such, could not be held to ransom by anyone for not being selected to represent the country at the continental championship. The former coach also commended the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) for its proactive stance in the arrangements of logistics for the team. “Keshi knows these players better than anyone else and he knows their abilities, so it will be wrong for anybody to impose any player on him, irrespective of the name. “The only thing I know is that Nigeria can do with or without any player. He believes in the ones he has called up because he believes they can give him results.'' In the same vein, Wahid Akanni, a former Green Eagles midfielder, hailed the NFA for the pivotal role it had played in getting the team qualified for the football tournament. “The NFA is acting in the way that it should act and the result is there for all to see. Meanwhile, Henry Nwosu, a member of the victorious Green Eagles squad that won the AFCON in Lagos in 1980, harped on a painstaking preparation for the tournament. “With early preparation, I believe Keshi will have more time on his hands to properly assess the performance of his players.'' C M Y K

hamstring injury Anichebe’s return could not have been timed better. “Victor has played very well. He is an important player for us and a lot people underestimate what he can do for us,” said Moyes. “Not having him available means we have not been able to change many things in the attacking areas.''

Chelsea Continues from B/P and John Ruddy (thigh) remain out of action. Chelsea picked up no fresh injury or suspension concerns against Villa, so Benitez may decide to stick with a winning formula - with David Luiz continuing in a holding midfield role. Brazilian duo Ramires and Oscar are the most

likely to come into contention after netting over the weekend, while Ryan Bertrand will be hoping to shake off a groin complaint in time to make the matchday squad. Club captain John Terry is still nursing a knee complaint and Oriol Romeu will sit out the remainder of the season after damaging knee ligaments

NFF Continues from B/P

SECOND CHANCE: Chibuzor Okonkwo to have another look-in by Super Eagles technical crew.

Ok onkw o tto o join Eagles in P or tugal Okonkw onkwo Por ortugal

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EARTLAND fullback Chibuzor Okonkwo will join the Eagles in Portugal next month as coach Stephen Keshi wants to

look at him again. Okonkwo was a surprise late invitee to the Eagles training camp in Abuja but was not picked on the 32-

Give Keshi benefit of the doubt — Erico BY JACOB AJOM

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ORMER Super Eagles goalkeeper trainer, Coach Joe Erico has called for fairness and understanding for national team coach, Stephen Keshi whose list of 32 for the pre-2013 Afcon camp has been attracting various reactions from football circles, home and abroad. Erico said, “as far as I am concerned, Keshi’s list is commendable. He is in charge and I can’t fault his judgment

because he knows what is good for him. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt” The former Nigeria international said it was too early to criticise the coach’s choice because the final squad had not been selected yet. “They are just going for camping and most importantly, they will be playing a friendly match against Catalonia to test the team. The players and the coaches know it will be a big test for them,” Erico reasoned.

man provisional list for Faro. H o w e v e r , MTNFootball.com has now learnt that the right back will join the squad in the New Year for Keshi to again run the rule on him. “Chibuzor will join the team in Portugal next month as Keshi wants to see more of him as he has impressed so far in training for the team,” an official revealed. The Eagles right back position has proved to be a problematic one since Godfrey Oboabona failed to cope there in September. Nigeria U20 Kenneth Omeruo, rookie Solomon Kwambe as well as versatile Fegor Ogude and Efe Ambrose are now being considered for that position.

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Ademola Olajire, told MTNFootball.com “We will do all within us to see that Shola or any player picked by the coach for the Nations Cup is released to us.” Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew said Shola Ameobi will not be going to the Nations Cup with Nigeria, according to BBC sports.

The Kogi State indigene is on the 32man provisional squad released by Eagles coach Stephen Keshi last week. Pardew said: “Shola won’t be going. The national team manager knows the reasons, which I am keeping to myself.” Ameobi made an encouraging debut in a 3-1 friendly win over Venezuela last month, setting up the third goal in Miami.

Newcastle Continues from B/P keeping to myself.” Ameobi was born in Zaria, northern Nigeria, before moving to England with his parents at the age of five. Under Fifa rules, players who have represented one country at junior level can play for another at senior level if they meet the qualifying criteria. Ameobi was first called-up by the Super Eagles 10 years ago but turned down the

invitation on the grounds that his heart was set on playing for England. He was cleared by Fifa to play for the country of his birth last month together with Chelsea winger Victor Moses. He made his debut in a 3-1 friendly win over Venezuela last month, setting up the third goal in Miami, Florida. Nigeria will take on African champions Zambia, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso in Group C.


VANGUARD, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2012

Rampaging Chelsea on the march again •Take on Norwich weekend defeat to West

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ORWICH will be hoping to welcome Grant Holt back into their starting XI when

they play host to Chelsea on Boxing Day. The Canaries skipper was forced to sit out the

Brom with a hamstring complaint, but he is itching to be involved in the festive programme. Steven Whittaker is nursing a slight knock, but could be okay to start at full-back, while Andrew Surman (knee), Ryan Bennett (knee) Continues on Page 55

Newcastle stop Ameobi Osaze’s exclusion, from Nations Cup blessing to West Brom — coach

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EWCASTLE United striker Shola Ameobi will not be going to the Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria, according to his manager Alan Pardew. The former England under-21 international had been named by coach Stephen Keshi in his provisional squad. But Pardew has ruled out the 31-year-old’s appearance at the tournament, which kicks off on 19 January. He said: “Shola won’t be going. The national team manager knows the reasons, which I am

Continues on Page 55

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HOW TO DO IT: Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi chats up Shola Ameobi on his debut against Venezuela.

...NFF dismisses ‘em

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IGERIA have debunked a claim by Newcastle that Shola Ameobi will skip next month’s AFCON and TODAY'S

that coach Stephen Keshi is aware of this. “We are not aware of such a thing about Shola (Ameobi), he is a

PUZZLE

FIFA-listed player for us. The federation is not aware, the head coach is not aware of this and that was why Shola was YESTERDAY'S

ANSWERS

called up for the competition,” spokesman for the

Continues on Page 55

ACROSS 4 Incline (5) 7 Non-ethical (6) 9 Pair (3) 10 Coach (3) 12 Maxim (5) 13 Peddle (4) 15 Dejection (5) 17 Dress (6) 19 Pitcher (4) 20 Prohibited (5) 22 Clique (3) 24 Darken (7) 27 Stray (3) 28 Attain (5) 31 Savage (4) 33 Pilot (6) 35 Jewish priest (5) 37 Uproar (4) 38 Stick (5) 39 Finish (3) 41 Entrap (3) 42 Infer (6) 43 Renovate (5)

EST Bromwich Albion manager Steve Clarke has revealed that Peter Osaze Odemwingie is looking forward to helping out the side after being snubbed by Nigeria. The striker was overlooked by his country for the Africa Cup of Nations next month, despite making himself available to be picked. However, Clarke says that while the 31-yearold is sad to be missing out on the tournament, he is happy to be staying with the Baggies. “Peter made himself available for Nigeria and they chose not to pick him,” said Clarke. “He is obviously slightly disappointed that they have made that

How to Play Sudoku

choice but he is delighted that he can stay and help us. “I spoke to him and it is the choice of the Nigerian coach and he respects that choice. But he looks forward to helping us get a few more points instead of going away.” Odemwingie has scored four goals for Albion so far this season.

DOWN 1 Bag (6) 2 Spider trap (6) 3 Label (3) 4 Bog (4) 5 Lax (5) 6 Wretched (8) 8 Board game (4) 11 Sign (9) 14 Handle (4) 16 Mild (4) 18 Part (4) 21 Renounce (8) 23 Period (4) 25 Bedouin (4) 26 Close (4) 29 Spite (6) 30 Enmity (6) 32 Idler (5) 34 Peel (4) 36 Afresh (4) 40 Lair (3)

YESTERDAY'S SOLUTIONS

ACROSS: 1, Acme 4, Lap 6, Cube 8, Mellow 9, Stormy 10, Dry 12, Crypt 14, Broke 15, Satyr 18, Sphere 20, Absent 24, Angel 26, Harsh 28, Torso 30,. Pew 32, Efface 33, Auburn 34, Slay 35, Kit 36, Rite.

THE VIGILANTE

•Osaze

DOWN: 2, Cheer 3, Eclipse 4, Lewd 5, Posy 6, Choir 7, Bumpkin 11, Ray 12, Cos 13, Tar 16, Tea 17, Rag 19, Playful 21, Bet 22, Slobber 23, Too 25, Nee 27, Shady 29, Strut 30, Peek 31, Waft.

e-mail: rowolove@yahoo.co.uk

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At christmas: Power, roads, education 'llimprove next year —Jonathan