Health Condition: Lamido To Be Flown Abroad For Treatment

As President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua is being expected back to the country any moment, the Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, may likely be flown overseas for medical treatment, after he was said to have collapsed on Wednesday evening. Investigations by our source in the state indicated that the governor collapsed shortly after he came back from Malam-madori Local Government Area of the state where he paid a visit to one of his cabinet members who lost his house in a fire accident last week. A competent source at the Government House told our source that a team of doctors was invited from Kano to treat the governor after he fainted. The source further revealed that the doctors recommended that he should relax at home for a week and boycott official activities.Though the nature of the illness was not specified, it was confirmed that the governor was taken to his personal residence in his hometown, Bamaina, where he is receiving medical attention.LEADERSHIP also gathered that most government top officials have visited the governor at Bamaina. There are speculations that he might be flown abroad for more medical treatment.When LEADERSHIP contacted the commissioner of information, he debunked the report, saying the governor is healthy and he is not suffering from any sickness.“As at yesterday evening we were together with him and if he has any health problems I would have known.” The Commissioner of Health, Dr. Nashabaru, said the governor is fine and is not suffering from any disease.Nashabaru further noted that the rumor about the governor’s health condition is not true, stressing that he will not be flown abroad for medical attention.

Cassakero Project Targets 10,000 Ethanol Refineries In 36 States

The cassakero project has targeted the installation of 10,000 small scale bio-ethanol refineries in the 36 states of Nigeria including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), over the next four years from December 2009 to December 2013 to produce the daily ethanol cooking fuel requirement for 4 million families.

The Chief Executive, Agro Industries Services Limited (CAISL), Mr Boma Anga, disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja, stating that the bio- ethanol refinery would be installed, owned and operated by private companies, individuals  in local cooperatives, and will be denatured with Bitrex, a better substance to render it undrinkable and a colorant to give it a distinguishing color.

He further said that the second component of the initiative is the circulation of the cleancook stove that will utilise the cassakero cooking fuel and this would require Nigerian households to acquire new stoves called “Clean Cook Stove” since the cassakero cannot be used on the existing kerosene stoves.

Anga stated that the stove is a non-pressurised alcohol stove that absorbs and retains its liquid fuel in a manner that prevents spilling, leaking, fires and explosions, also supply the clean cook stoves to selected families without any upfront charges.

The programme plans to distribute a total of four million single and double burner stoves to four million Nigerians nationwide.

According to him, cassakero would provide Nigeria with a new household fuel for use in cooking, lighting, heating, refrigeration and electricity generation. It would be cleaner, safer and cheaper than kerosene without the need for government subsidy.

He added that the success and sustainability of the   initiative is heavily dependent on the availability of an efficient, adequate and sustainable feedstock supply system.

The key project goal is the establishment of an out growers-based feedstock supply system that would produce 8,000,000 tonnes of cassava, at an average yield of 20 tones/hectare from 400,000 hectares to be planted nationwide.

Armed Forces And Vision 20:2020

This week, Defence Focus has decided to reproduce an unedited piece written by Ike Willie-Nwobu as it is in tandem with my views concerning the Nigerian Armed Forces as espoused before by  such notable personality like the Director Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Chris Olukolade.

The traditional and central roles of the armed forces of any nation are, first and foremost, the defence and protection of a nation’s territorial integrity. One of the key aspirations of every nation is that it should achieve peace and stability within and outside its borders to enable its military to deploy its special skills and capabilities that have been honed through years of disciplined formation and culture of excellence for external conquests. In that way, the military continues to wage wars on a daily basis, not necessarily against external enemies but rather to win the internal daily battles which every society fights to get the best deal for itself and its members.

It must be pointed out that the historical circumstances that informed the formation of the military of every nation determines the level of its social involvement as well as how it perceives its roles vis-à-vis the other members of the same society. For instance, a national military formation that emerged from the ashes of a war of independence like those of South Africa, Kenya, Algeria, Zimbabwe, Israel, the United States of America, Cuba, to mention only a few, invariably becomes very people-oriented in its behaviour and outlook, because it sees itself in close partnership with the other members of the society with whom it had toiled together for the achievement of national survival. On the other hand, in the elite military formations which emerged out of less difficult circumstances like in the case of Nigeria, Ghana, India and so on, there is often a disconnect between the military and the other members of the society which the military often views with condensation and spite. It was in that spirit that the members of the Nigerian Armed Forces had often viewed the people as ‘idle civilians’ just as the civilians had felt that ‘the mother of a soldier is childless’. This type of mutual distrust and suspicion has often led to the situation whereby the military had believed that the civilians had no exclusive right or better stake to national governance, leading to the several military interventions of the past. In fact, the civilians had largely affirmed this right to the military, given such tongue-in-cheek comments by Chief Adisa Akinloye, the then national chairman of the ruling National Party of Nigeria (NPN), that “there are two political parties in Nigeria – the NPN and the Nigerian Army”.

I have taken recourse to providing this background in order to indicate how the Nigerian Armed Forces has transformed and metamorphosed itself into a very different outfit that has become unparalleled in the way it is now in total conformity with the ways and operations of a modern military formation under a democratic dispensation. The evolutionary socialisation of the Nigerian military, which started nine years ago with the return to Fourth Republic democracy, peaked with the arrival of the Yar’Adua administration. Every clear thinker knows that it is not always true that ‘a tree does not make a forest’, as a single or a few good trees can – and indeed do – make huge forests. That is what is happening in the Nigerian Armed Forces today.

From the Commander-in-Chief, Alhaji Umar Yar’Adua, who has adopted the application of the rule of law in every aspect of national endeavour, through the Defence Minister, Gen. Godwin Abbe, who is a dyed-in-the-wool respecter of due process, to the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Paul Dike, who has publicly vowed to die in the defence of democracy, Nigeria’s defence complex has no other way to go than in the direction of being close drivers of the clear and pointed visions of the Yar’Adua administration for making Nigeria one of the 20 greatest nations in a matter of 11 years. The Armed Forces has now found itself at a vantage position to catalyse the success of this attainable vision.

In spite of the distractions which the Nigerian Armed Forces experienced on account of its deep involvement in politics, it has been able to hold its own in the comity of nations. Now that it has been relieved of the burden of that distraction for good, the sky can only be its limit in the deployment of its great potential in the achievement of the more demanding and loftier national ideals that are imperative for the national attainment of the respectability which the Armed Forces has achieved for itself.

The Armed Forces incarnates the best in all aspects of social endeavour. In every developed nation of the world, whatever invention or innovation that gets to the society must have been in use by the Armed Forces, which only makes them available for public function after they had existed for decades as the preserve of the Armed Forces. The epoch-making events and developments in the society like the Internet, key developments in aviation, electronic and medicine had first served the Armed Forces establishment before they were commercialised and introduced for general use.

It has been identified that one of the greatest clogs in the wheels of our national development is the degeneration which our educational system has undergone and which has led to a woeful deficit in the development of human capital that is capable of moving Nigeria to the next developmental level. As should be expected, Armed Forces-run educational institutions have so far been spared the rot of their civilian counterparts and, expectedly, the products of the Armed Forces education system are obviously better. So, there must be a way of injecting this experience into the larger society. Today, parents fall on top of one another as they struggle to find spaces for their wards in Armed Forces-run schools. What has remained a privilege of enjoying Armed Forces type of education by a few should be extended to all and sundry.

Away from these isolated measures, the Yar’Adua administration should tap into the different Armed Forces initiatives in the area of education and extension programmes. For instance, there is no reason why the armed forces methods of human capacity development should not be made the norm across the board in the government’s formal and informal educational objectives. It is unfortunate that the huge gains from the NYSC para-military experience is not being built upon both in the area of building human capacity as well as in its potential for enhancing national unity. Rather than scrap the scheme, deeper aspects of paramilitary experience should be introduced. After all, it is nearest to the compulsory Armed Forces training which young people of other more serious nations have made a way of their national life.

It would be next to impossible to ‘secure’ a society where ‘need’ occupies a pride of place. That is why the several poverty and skill acquisition initiatives of the Armed Forces should be incorporated into the scheme of things in the larger society. It is instructive that apart for the many welfare schemes which the Armed Forces has for its serving and retired members, it is embarking on more initiatives to broaden the scope of ensuring that there are ample opportunities for its members. Most of these schemes can be extended to the willing and appropriate members of the public or, more appropriately, the government could easily get the armed forces to extend these services to the general public.

Of course, the commitment of the Yar’Adua government to the solution of the problems in the Niger Delta should not be limited to the use of the Armed Forces to quell the menace of militancy in the area. The Armed Forces should be made to extend the frontiers of its internal defence capacities through the deployment of its proven special skills in the area. For instance, the Armed Forces which has shown huge potential in providing welfare and rehabilitation to its people could be used for the development initiatives of the administration in those areas. One of the factors which the government says has been militating against development in the area is the disruptive activities of criminal elements on the projects in the area. If the Armed Forces were used in the construction of roads, bridges, building of utilities and housing projects, it is doubtful if any agents of destruction or disruption would show its face. More importantly, the disciplined organisational structures of the armed forces would ensure that deadlines are met just as optimal resources management would be guaranteed.

The Nigerian Armed Forces is obviously the largest in Africa and should deploy its enormous capabilities in those areas as food production as is the case of some nations which also run the enormous risks that are inherent in food scarcity. If large-scale farms by organisations like the NYSC have become huge successes, empowering the Armed Forces to acquire larger farms would be the answer to the government’s development agenda, not only make the nation self-sufficient in food but also to export for foreign exchange.

The several competencies and organisational capacities of the armed forces could be made to bear on the different levels of Nigeria’s national life. It is only left for the governments at the different levels to tap into these overflowing capacities of the armed forces in every area of human endeavour to ensure the success of both its short-term 7-point agenda as well as for its longer-term vision of making Nigeria one of the 20 most economically developed countries of the world by 2020.

Every wise nation always puts its best step forward. The Armed Forces of Nigeria has continued to prove to all and sundry that it is one of the best faces of the country in the purview of the world. No one lights a candle and puts it away under a bushel. Let Nigeria do itself a great favour by making its armed forces work for everybody; let the Armed Forces become a potent agent in the success of both the Seven-Point Agenda and Vision 2020.

Ike Willie-Nwobu is a research fellow of the International Business and Innovation Institute (IBII), Israel

 

UN Extends Nigeria’s Continental Shelf

The United Nations has approved Nigeria’s request to extend her continental shelf from 200 to 350 nautical miles.

Accordingly, a sub- commission is to be constituted by the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) for detailed and technical consideration of the proposal.

Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Michael Aondoakaa (SAN), who had made this prayer on behalf of Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, had tendered his submission in accordance with Article 3, paragraph 1 (b) of Annex II to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The submission contained data information on the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles in accordance with UNCLOS, and scientific and technical guidelines of the CLCS.

LEADERSHIP recalls that the approval is the highpoint of concerted efforts by Nigeria to extend her continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles.

The initial submission was made on May 7, 2009 by Nigeria’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Joy Ogwu, to the United Nations Division of Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS) in order to meet the deadline for making such submissions to the United Nations.

Aondoakaa’s submission was made with the inputs of experts, including Dr. Lawrence Awosika, Dr. Galo Carrera Hurtado and Dr. Karl Hinz, two current and a past members of the CLCS .

Before it was made, Nigeria held extensive consultations with neighbouring states in the Gulf of Guinea, in line  with the rules of procedure of the CLCS that has the competence to effect maritime boundary delimitation, which rests with states.

The said submission was also fuelled by a collaboration of several national institutions such as the National Boundary Commission, Nigeria Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence,  Ministry of Justice, and the Federal Survey, among others.

UN Extends Nigeria’s Continental Shelf

The United Nations has approved Nigeria’s request to extend her continental shelf from 200 to 350 nautical miles.

Accordingly, a sub- commission is to be constituted by the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) for detailed and technical consideration of the proposal.

Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Michael Aondoakaa (SAN), who had made this prayer on behalf of Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, had tendered his submission in accordance with Article 3, paragraph 1 (b) of Annex II to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The submission contained data information on the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles in accordance with UNCLOS, and scientific and technical guidelines of the CLCS.

LEADERSHIP recalls that the approval is the highpoint of concerted efforts by Nigeria to extend her continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles.

The initial submission was made on May 7, 2009 by Nigeria’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Joy Ogwu, to the United Nations Division of Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS) in order to meet the deadline for making such submissions to the United Nations.

Aondoakaa’s submission was made with the inputs of experts, including Dr. Lawrence Awosika, Dr. Galo Carrera Hurtado and Dr. Karl Hinz, two current and a past members of the CLCS .

Before it was made, Nigeria held extensive consultations with neighbouring states in the Gulf of Guinea, in line  with the rules of procedure of the CLCS that has the competence to effect maritime boundary delimitation, which rests with states.

The said submission was also fuelled by a collaboration of several national institutions such as the National Boundary Commission, Nigeria Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence,  Ministry of Justice, and the Federal Survey, among others.

UN Extends Nigeria’s Continental Shelf

The United Nations has approved Nigeria’s request to extend her continental shelf from 200 to 350 nautical miles.

Accordingly, a sub- commission is to be constituted by the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) for detailed and technical consideration of the proposal.

Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Michael Aondoakaa (SAN), who had made this prayer on behalf of Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, had tendered his submission in accordance with Article 3, paragraph 1 (b) of Annex II to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The submission contained data information on the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles in accordance with UNCLOS, and scientific and technical guidelines of the CLCS.

LEADERSHIP recalls that the approval is the highpoint of concerted efforts by Nigeria to extend her continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles.

The initial submission was made on May 7, 2009 by Nigeria’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Joy Ogwu, to the United Nations Division of Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS) in order to meet the deadline for making such submissions to the United Nations.

Aondoakaa’s submission was made with the inputs of experts, including Dr. Lawrence Awosika, Dr. Galo Carrera Hurtado and Dr. Karl Hinz, two current and a past members of the CLCS .

Before it was made, Nigeria held extensive consultations with neighbouring states in the Gulf of Guinea, in line  with the rules of procedure of the CLCS that has the competence to effect maritime boundary delimitation, which rests with states.

The said submission was also fuelled by a collaboration of several national institutions such as the National Boundary Commission, Nigeria Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence,  Ministry of Justice, and the Federal Survey, among others.

 

Costain Plans Big For Telecoms Sector With Public Offer

Costain (W.A.) Plc, one of the leading construction companies in Nigeria is planning big for the telecoms sector with a public offer to begin any moment from now.

At an interactive session with media representatives at the weekend in Lagos, the chief executive officer, CEO of Costain (W.A.) Plc, Mr. Phil Wharton who was in company of the establishment’s executive director, Finance, Mr. Harm Ploeger, said that the company planned to go for public offer to increase its capital base in the execution of capital projects which include assisting the telecoms sector in the building of masts and base stations which Costain is already doing in countries like Congo, Uganda and other neighbouring countries.

“Costain (W.A.) Plc will be willing to render services and assistance in this direction,” he said.

Mr. Wharton recalled that the company has been in operation since 1948 and re-iterated that it is their desire to remain a major player in the construction industry just as he catalogued a long list of Costain’s achievements in the sector including NITEL highrise building in Lagos; Guinness building, Apapa Port and several edifices across the country.

The CEO eulogized the present performance of the company’s share price at the capital market which he said has appreciated from N1.48 in January 2007 to N18.89 same year. While recalling the successful hosting of its 59th Annual General Meeting, AGM in Abuja in September this year where it announced that its turn over had tripled increasing significantly to N3 billion from N1.1 billion in 2006, it was further gathered that the company’s half year result posted has similarly witnessed a remarkable growth from N344.4 million made last year to N772.6 million in 2007.

The company’s helmsman specifically announced that Costain is looking for substantial growth over the next five years even as he posited that the company’s corporate vision is to be leader in the delivery of sustainable services.

While bemoaning the problems which may have stunted the growth of the company over the years, the CEO attributed it to their failure to change with time by bringing into the company in good time enough professionals, adding that they have since overcome the teething problems. He said the company will capitalise on the brand name it has made over the years in the industry to relaunch it into reckoning even as he called on all Nigerians to take advantage of the public offer to be shareholders of a company that has earned for itself a global identity.

Goat With Human Face Delivered In Kano

An unusual occurrence that will remain indelible in the minds of residents in Dakata area of Kano happened recently. It is the birth of a mystery goat with unusual human features.

The she-goat, after a prolonged labour, gave birth to three kids, one of which had a bizarre look, with a human feature, especially the face, the nose, the eye cavity and of course, the genital organs, which indicated that of a female.

The incident attracted an unprecedented crowd at the Dakata Police Station where the strange creature was first taken to, an incident which happened on August 6, 2009.

It was learnt that the she-goat, which had the mystery delivery is 12 years old and belongs to one Malama Amina of Sauna Village in Dakata who revealed that she-goat to date has delivered six times,

She explained that each delivery in the past produced three kids, but the latest came with a difference, as one of the three has some human features, especially the face, the nose, the eye cavity and of course, the genital organs, which indicated it is a female.

As at the time of this report, it was gathered the strange animal died moments after delivery, while the other two survived and the owner, Malama Amina stated that for the first time, the she-goat experienced prolonged labour which was an unusual situation in the history of her labour.

Vet .doctor, Salisu Atiku and the senior livestock superintendent, Abbas Ibrahim who both commented on the development said it will be wrong to link it with a human sexual contact.

The reaction is in response to widespread insinuations that there might have been a sexual relationship between the she-goat and a normal human being.