Friday, 19 April 2013

The management of Rural Africa Water Development Project (RAWDP) regrets to announce the shut down of its home page: On-going redesign of the template is currently on. Please ignore con sites already in circulation. For the interim we shall be using a facebook link. Cheers, CY Ajuruchi IT

Blair: Nigeria Not Achieving Full Potential Due to Corruption, Lax Corporate Governance

17 Apr 2013 * Survey shows insecurity as greater risk to business than corruption House advocates bill on private equity By James Emejo and Muhammad Bello The Chairman and Founder of Omnia Strategy LLP, Mrs. Cherie Blair, Tuesday said the menace of corruption and lax corporate governance were currently hurting Nigerian companies and limiting the country's ability to achieve its full economic potential. She said a lot still needed to be done in terms of contract enforcement and strict adherence to the rules of business. Speaking in Abuja at the 10th Henshaw Private Equity Seminar on Private Equity and Policy tagged: 'Enabling Policies and Corporate Governance: Twin Levers for International Investment', Blair said the present culture of impunity even where rules are applied, was not only unacceptable but a disincentive for global private-equity investors hoping to explore emerging opportunities in the country. She said the best way to go was for government and companies to enact enabling policies to sincerely implement good corporate governance and punish infringements. Blair said it was not enough to merely investigate a wrongdoing without meting out appropriate sanctions to those who broke the rules regardless of who they are. She said although every country including the United Kingdom had had to fight corruption at various point in time, the approach in handling the menace was more critical. Omnia Strategy boss said the UK had to severally apply the full wrath of the law including outright confiscation of properties and imprisonment whenever there were infractions. While describing corruption as insidious, she said Nigeria had a commendable template for fighting the menace but implementation had often been a major concern. She said although widely regarded as Africa's powerhouse, where investors are looking forward to invest, the complication of cross-border business had necessitated the need for strict adherence to contracts with significant level of transparency. Blair also highlighted the imperativeness of creating incentives and reward system for good behaviour as well as transparency in handling issues. Her comments came on a day it was revealed that business executives now see the present insecurity as greatest challenge to doing business in the country more than the issue of corruption which had been in the front burner for decades. The survey, which was conducted by the NOI Polls also indicated that almost all business executives had affirmed that they had paid bribes at one time or the other to public officials in the course of business transactions. Chief Executive Officer of NOI Polls, Oge Modie, said during an Enabling Policies Panel session which was chaired by THISDAY Newspapers’ Editor, Ijeoma Nwogwugwu, that apart from insecurity, businesses were more concerned about smuggling, power, finance, corruption - situations which tend to suggest that Nigerians might have become accustomed to corruption. Modie said a comprehensive report on the study was expected to be made public soon. Also speaking at the occasion Tuesday, Minister of State for Power, Mrs. Zainab Kuchi, said the federal government had done all that needed to be done to encourage local and foreign investment in the power sector, particularly the renewal energy which she said would offer much cheaper electricity to Nigerians. She added that government had put in place good corporate governance structure as well as the political will required to boost investor-confidence in the sector. She described 2013 as the year of renewable energy and improve power supply in the country. Meanwhile, the Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Mr. Abdulmumini Jibril, has called for a bill to guide and regulate private equity practice in the country. According to him, when passed into law, the bill should make private equity investors to compete alongside conventional banks in providing funds to businesses. "We need to bring together existing laws and aggregate them to guide private equity and guide a private equity bill. We need to repackage these laws," he said, adding that “such laws should have its own regulator." He said currently, the banks' lending to government represented about 60 per cent of their loan portfolio - a situation which often resulted into higher lending rates to customers. He said though not presently a viable source of financing in the country, "We need to match words with actions. It's necessary to start promoting private equity." Managing Director of FSDH Merchant Bank Limited, Mr. Rilwan Belo-Osagie said organisation must have to believe in the ideals of corporate governance, align it with company strategy to be able to implement it. He said corporate governance had become extremely important for long-term survival of banks and to attract funds to an organisation. Also, the First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan, has commended Blair for her commitment to improving the lots of women, by strengthening the capacity of women entrepreneurs through her NGO, “Cherie Blair Foundation for Women.” Mrs Jonathan noted with satisfaction Mrs. Blair’s pursuit of a level playing ground for women to establish and grow successful businesses. The First Lady, according to statement by her spokesperson, Ayo Osinlu, hosted Mrs. Blair to a luncheon at the State House in Abuja. She encouraged her guest not to relent in her personal goal to extend her impact to 3,500 women entrepreneurs over the next three years. The first lady informed Mrs. Blair of a similar vision of her own NGO, “A. Aruera Reachout Foundation,” which has trained about 4,000 men and women in various skills and vocations to make them self-reliant and help contribute to national development. She also explained that the A. Aruera Reachout Foundation is a twin organisation to the “Women for Change and Development Initiative”, her other NGO, which seeks to empower women economically, socially and politically. She noted that through the advocacy of the NGO, Nigeria for the first time has more women in elective and appointive positions, emphasising her conviction that when women and youths are educated, economically empowered and their voices are heard, they can contribute much more to the development of their societies. The wife of former British Prime Minister, Mrs. Blair thanked Mrs Jonathan for her king gesture, restating her determination to facilitate a world where women have equal access to the tools and the support needed to grow their businesses.

PAVE and RAWDP - two leading Nigerian NGOs working on sustainable water supplies

by Anthony Akpan Rural Africa Water Development Project (also known as Rural Africa Water Development Initiative) is a Non- Governmental Organization working to promote sustainable environmental development in dispersed and dense communities in Nigeria. First organized in year 2000 RAWDP is today a legally incorporated body (registered trustee) with a 5 member trustee board. Its headquarters is located in Owerri, Imo State in Southern-eastern Nigeria. The organization currently retains a special consultative status in the United Nations (UN); see page 59 of the web page: Some of our sustainable development activities include the development and improvement of safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene programs for poor and marginalized groups especially women and children; RAWDP is committed to the global challenge of fighting climate change particularly the challenges of watershed management to mitigate hazard risks of floods, pollution and land erosion etc. Its well-tailored actions at tackling these hazard risks consist of the design of erosion and flood control measures. Other measures are those relating to clean water supplies, energy generation from wastes (biogas) and food security. Adaptation measures for food security includes the ecologically sound way of growing food using conservation agriculture, agro-ecology, eco-sanitation and the capacity building of small-holder farmers on dry land farming and zero-tillage. Other on-going project includes those on sanitation and consists of toilets shortlisting, design, construction and delivery; the production of organic fertilizer using human waste; and the generation of electricity using urine and other green energy sources. RAWDP also has developed an eco-friendly bio-insecticide suitable for the preservation of rice grains. The Pan African Vision for the Environment (PAVE) is a non-profit, non-political, non-governmental organization established in 1998 with the aim of promoting sustainable development through research, documentation, policy dialogues, workshops, advocacy and consultancy services. PAVE deals with development issues in their environmental and socio-economic aspects with emphasis on the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets regarding water and sanitation and other related human settlement issues including Climate change and Clean Energy promotion. PAVE is registered (RC 26029) with the Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria. The chosen mission of PAVE is to act as a catalyst, mobilize, mediate and act directly in several of society’s processes dealing with the improvement of quality of life and respect for cultural and biological diversity. As its basis, PAVE believes in promoting good governance at all level, across all sectors, be it public or private. PAVE also believes in a democratic system for managing human interests. The fundamental objective of PAVE is to act, support and collaborate in the elaboration and dissemination of new approaches, policies and activities related to human development questions. We have over 10 years’ experience in the development sector and work at the local, national, regional and international level. We have presented papers conducted researches and organized capacity building workshops on various sustainable development thematic areas in Africa, Asia , Europe and North America .

Adokiye wants NFF impeached

On April 19, 2013 · In Sports 1:33 am Sports buff, ex-international and a 1980 Nations Cup winner, Chief Adokiye Amiesimaka, who once held the position of the Attorney-General of Rivers State, granted Sports Vanguard an interview. JOHN EGBOKHAN presents his view in this two-part conversation, revolving round Nigerian sports. Is it proper to sack an assistant coach of the Super Eagles in the middle of an important World Cup qualification campaign? Ordinarily, the NFF can hire and fire. It’s normal, if you have the authority to appoint, you ordinarily will have the authority to dismiss. But it’s the circumstances here that make the situation rather unfortunate. How do you sack an assistant coach without reference to the chief coach, especially in a situation where he was recommended by the chief coach. The chief coach must have seen something in him that he considered to be very useful. So it bothers me that Keshi was reportedly not consulted. Adokiye Adokiye It is true that when you are running an organisation and you fall short of funds, you may take steps to be able to continue to run such organisation. One of such steps could be to prune down your staff but the critical question here as I said earlier on is why was Keshi not consulted? That is very suspicious, that is very unfortunate. But I cam not surprised I have said it before that the problem with us in this part of the world is that we do not confront challenges head on, we rather pretend that they don’t exist. I have said it before and I am saying it again that this so-called NFF are not happy that Keshi won the Nations Cup. They are not happy. And they want him out so that they will go ahead and appoint their foreign coach, no matter his calibre. And I wished Keshi had struck to his guns and resigned after the Nations Cup victory. How come the minister of sports came into the scene, even the President came into the scene to persuade Keshi not to resign? Did they find out why he tendered the resignation letter in the first place? They said there was no letter from Keshi, it was only a radio station in South Africa he told of his resignation… So if that is the case, why did the sports minister come into the picture to find out why he said he was going to resign. I said it then that they should address the problem, instead of saying there were no problems. This so-called NFF want to see Keshi’s back. They don’t want him to even be there, since the Nations Cup was done and all the worries that came with it. Are you saying that the reformation process is an attempt to get Keshi out? Of course. You have a chief coach who you say its a work in progress and you are pruning down the staff, its a ruse, its a ruse. I am not surprised too that they have sacked some backroom staff. These backroom staff got millions too from state governors. They were given money and other gifts and do you think the guys in NFF are happy? They are not happy. These people are now millionaires. Don’t you know that, you don’t understand the people you are dealing with? When we won the Nations Cup in 1980, the first thing that those people in the NFA did was to say that we were too rich, that we didn’t want to play football again, that we were millionaires, and that they wanted new blood. I was only 23. You can see how envious they were of us then even with the little money that we got then, there was envy. I am telling you that they are envious. They are not just jealous, they are envious. They are not happy that Keshi has made so much money, that his backroom staff have made so much money, that is why they are doing all these things. Read between the lines. These are people who had gone to the NFF to make money, don’t you know? They are there to make money for themselves, they are not there to run football in the first place. When they are there and Keshi’s backroom staff are making millions, do you think they are happy? They are not. That is why they are doing all this. They want Keshi to fail. I said it before and I told Keshi, and appealed to the sports minister, because for now, he is the one running football, courtesy of the NFA Act, 2004. I said, make sure that Keshi’s terms of contract are such that NFA, these so-called NFF, who just changed the name, cannot tamper with it. That is what is playing out now. They want to discourage Keshi. They want him to fail. How can you sack someone like Sylvanus Okpalla, that we know is a very competent technician, without reference to his boss. They don’t want Keshi to be happy. Give us your observations on the Kenya match and the way forward when we play them in June… In the circumstances, well that’s the thing. They set stage for the Super Eagles to fall. Can’t you see it? Immediately after the Nations Cup triumph, I said look, going through the record; usually when teams who win championships, it takes them sometime to pick up. I called it post-championship Dip in Performance Phenomenon. Usually, immediately after winning a championship, because of all the tensions and all the hypes and all that, and you suddenly exhale, it takes time to build up mentally and physically to that level of competition to win again,. So I was not surprised that we did not do so well when we played Kenya in Calabar. I expected that but the point is with what is happening now, that is going to be very difficult for the Super Eagles to do well in the next games. That notwithstanding, we will still find our way through. But the unfortunate thing is that this NFF, these co-called NFF, are not helping the Eagles and that’s why Nigerians should come and say we cannot accept this from you. Nigerians should come up and tell these people that we cannot accept this from them. They are too docile. Do we require the Presidency to intervene? The sports minister, under section 19 of the NFA Act, it is the sports minister that runs the NFA. The sports minister is in charge of the board of the NFA. So he is the one who is actually running football. But you are aware that FIFA frowns at government interference. If the minister attempts to exercise these rights, NFF will cry interference and FIFA will wade in… Don’t you know how things work? Was it not the sport minister that ousted Lulu’s board? They know how to do these things. They don’t have to show it in the open. The question of interference will not come up at all. FIFA won’t even know what is happening at all. Is it not the sports minister that gives them money to run the federation. All the sports minister needs to do is to call the board and tell them what he wants. It’s a political thing. They can get the congress of the NFA to oust the board. You can get the congress to oust the current NFF board quietly. It will be just like the way they did with Lulu board. After all, they used Maigairi and co to remove Lulu. They can in the same way remove this board. So if the sports minister wants he knows what do do. It’s unfortunate they are doing this. They are just toying with our football. They don’t know their left from right and how they got there is the problem of this country. You have round pegs in square holes. Ordinarily, Nigerians should stand up and say they are not going to take this anymore. It has got to a point where Nigerians should say no to these people. How big a threat is this to our national football? The threat is real. How can you be sacking backroom staff, pruning down allowances, have they pruned down their own allowances? They are so many of them there, who are doing nothing. What are they doing? You have a board of so many people, what are their roles? You say some are members of the Technical Committee. Who are the members of the Technical Committee? Who is the chairman of the Technical Committee? They have all sorts of characters with no real functions. You have people in the technical committee who don’t know about the game. They say they don’t have money and are appointing a Technical Director with two assistants. What we need now is a Director for Football Development, not a technical director. We need a Director of Football Development, who will oversee the age-grade category, that is what we need. Technical Director is going to clash with the chief coach of the Super Eagles. Let them look at the antecedents of other countries and learn from them but they are not ready to learn. In other countries where they have technical directors, the people know their limits. But you can be sure that these people are not going to spell out their limits and this will lead to confusion. Away from football, sir, you were the chairman of a panel, that looked at the modalities of setting up a Court of Arbitration for sports in Nigeria by the NOC. We’ve not heard anything on the CAS. Well, you should ask the NOC. I was the chairman of the panel set up to put together the framework for the actualisation of that body and we’ve done our job and submitted our report, as you are aware, during the AGM of the NOC at Uyo last year March. It was well received. They praised it to high heavens. Why not call amiable Alhaji Sani Ndanusa and ask him on what is happening. My committee has done its job, at very little expense, little or nothing. We’ve played our part and it is now left for the NOC to actualise it. I have had personal discussions with some key persons in the ministry on how to go about it. We’ve done our bit and even more. It is now left for the NOC to actualise it. Are you worried with the delay and the way we run sports? Worry is not really the appropriate word for it. I am disappointed. There is so much that we can do for ourselves in this part of the world but we just cannot do them. I don’t know what our problem is. It was the NOC on it own that came up with this brilliant idea of setting up the Court of Arbitration for Sports, CAS. So why are they not seeing it through. It is the dilemma of Nigeria. I wonder what is wrong with us. The NOC came up with this brilliant idea, which everybody commended, so why are they not seeing it through? We should stand up and say no to these people. We should ask what are you doing gentlemen? Why are they not actualising it? Why are they not seeing it through. We’ve done everything. We even went to Lausanne, Switzerland. We went to the IOC President, met with members and staff of their CAS there, we went to that extent, so why are they not seeing it through.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Nigeria to delay GDP rebasing till 2013 – NBS

On April 9, 2013 • In News 12:30 am The rebasing of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, which is expected to increase the estimated size of Africa’s second largest economy by around 40 per cent, is likely to be delayed until next year, the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday. The recalculation will enable Nigeria to join the ranks of middle-income countries and put it much closer in size to South Africa, the continent’s most developed economy. It will also make it an even bigger attraction for foreign investors seeking a slice of Africa’s fast growth rates. But several deadlines to implement the changes have been missed, with the latest being the fourth quarter of this year. “It is unlikely that even the target of the last quarter (this year) we will make it. I underestimated how much work needs to be done. I think everyone understands that this is very crucial and has to be done properly,” Director General of the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, Yemi Kale said. Most governments overhaul gross domestic product calculations about every five years to reflect changes in output and consumption, such as mobile phones and the Internet. Nigeria has not done so since 1990. The rebasing is expected to add about 40 per cent to Nigeria’s GDP, which would boost the economy of Africa’s top oil producer from roughly $250 billion to around $350 billion. That brings it very close to South Africa’s currently $385 billion economy. And, with a growth rate of over six per cent a year, compared with three per cent in South Africa, Nigeria may eventually overtake its rival to seize the top spot. Some economists warned that a sharp increase in the size of Nigeria’s economy will mean slower growth. “You’d expect that the bigger the economy, the slower the growth but I don’t think it is as easy as that,” Kale said. “Regardless of what our GDP is, we are still going to be small enough to produce even sharper growth rates.” Sectors like telecommunications, construction, hotels and entertainment should get a greater weighting after rebasing but agriculture, which currently makes up around 40 per cent of GDP and 60 per cent of jobs, is likely to decrease in influence. “Growth in agriculture is largely subsistence, largely labour intensive, so there is a limit to how much you can grow. We know that capital intensive technology probably generates more output than labour intensive technology,” Kale said. He said the oil and gas sector, which contributes around 80 per cent of government revenues, is expected to maintain a similar weighting of around 15 per cent. A larger estimated economy would most likely boost interest in Nigerian stocks, especially goods companies looking to unlock the consumer potential of Africa’s most populous country. It will also improve Nigeria’s debt to GDP ratio, currently around 16 per cent. But Nigeria’s tax revenues, seen as woeful for a country of this size, will look even smaller. Foreign aid donors may also find it harder to justify giving support to Nigeria if it becomes a middle-income state. Despite roaring growth rates, 61 per cent of Nigerians – or 100 million people – still live in absolute poverty. “It is very clear that middle-income is growing, it is very clear that consumption is improving. The major problem to ensure that this is broad based,” Kale said.

54 per cent Nigerian households have pit latrines

By Everest Amaefule Sunday, 24 Jul 2011 Pit latrines account for 54 per cent of the toilets deployed by Nigerian households in 2008, the National Bureau of Statistics has said. The agency in its Annual Abstract of Statistics, 2009, which has just been released also disclosed that 66.3 per cent of Nigerian households lived in a single room as at 2008. According to the agency, while 38.3 per cent of the households have covered pit latrines, 15.7 per cent households have pit latrines that are not covered. To show that the culture of pail toilet is dying in the country, only 0.1 per cent of households used the facility in 2008, down from the 0.2 per cent that deployed the toilet facility in 2007. Households that pass their wastes in the water accounted for 3.7 per cent; down from the four per cent recorded in 2007. A total of 8.8 per cent households did not have any toilet facility as against 8.6 per cent recorded in 2007. The number of households that have VIP latrine accounted for 0.6 per cent while unidentified facilities accounted for 17.6 per cent. On state basis, Imo State accounted for the highest number of households with covered pit latrines at 78.5 per cent. A total of 8.7 per cent households in the state have toilets that flush to the septic tanks and 3.9 per cent have households that flush to sewage. Bayelsa State, on the other hand, accounted for the highest percentage of households that have toilet facilities in the water. This is followed by Rivers State with 30 per cent of households. Delta State has 20 per cent of households that use toilet facilities in the waters. Lagos State at 45 per cent has the highest percentage of households with toilets that flush to the septic tanks. This is followed by Enugu State at 29 per cent, Rivers at 28.3 per cent, Abia 23.1 per cent and Anambra 18.6 per cent. The percentage of households without any toilet facility was higher in Oyo State. A total of 53.3 per cent of households in the state do not have any toilet facility. Benue with 38.8 per cent ranks second in terms of households without any toilet facility. Plateau, Ekiti, Kwara and Niger follow simultaneously with 31.7 per cent, 31.3 per cent, 34.8 per cent and 14.7 per cent respectively. Classifying the housing units lived by Nigerians within the year, NBS disclosed that 66.3 per cent of households lived in single rooms. A total of 27.2 per cent of the households lived in whole buildings. While 5.8 per cent of the households lived in flats, 0.3 per cent lived in duplexes. A total of 0.4 per cent lived in unclassified accommodation. Categorising the housing units by states, Bauchi topped the list of states with 98.6 per cent of its households living in single room. Kebbi, Katsina, Borno, Yobe, Taraba, Ogun and Adamawa followed with 97.5 per cent, 94.7 per cent, 92.8 per cent, 92.2 per cent, 91.7 per cent, 86.8 per cent and 83.3 per cent respectively. For households living in flats, Lagos State topped the list with 26.4 per cent. The Federal Capital Territory, Bayelsa Sate, Jigawa, Oyo and Delta followed simultaneously with 17.8 per cent, 14.5 per cent, 9.3 per cent, 8.9 per cent and 8.7 per cent respectively. Imo State topped the list of households living in whole buildings with 81.8 per cent. The state was followed by Ebonyi, 73.5 per cent; Zamfara, 72.9 per cent; Anambra, 64.5 per cent, Jigawa, 59 per cent and Abia, 57 per cent. Kaduna, Lagos and Kebbi States occupy the bottom rung of the ladder for states whose households live in whole buildings with 1.3 per cent, 1.4 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively.

Society canvasses indigenous waste management strategy Monday, 18 March 2013 00:00 By Tosin Fodeke Property - Property AS Nigeria grapples with its myriads of environmental challenges, professionals under the aegis of Waste Management Society of Nigeria (WAMASON) have called for the formulation of an indigenous strategy for the collection, treatment, recycling and disposal of all streams of wastes. The society members while speaking at the swearing-in of new executives in the Lagos Council, stressed that Africans need to adopt a locally formulated technique for managing waste, which would be more effective in dealing with the many pollution challenges, brought upon it by the crude oil boom. Managing Director, Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA), Mr. Ola Oresanya, while speaking at the event, stated that Nigeria needs to develop an internally generated policy for managing waste, as this would help tackle its numerous sanitation challenges. Oresanya an ex -official of WAMASON welcomed constructive criticism and support from the society and tasked the executive council to come up with more programmes that would develop the individual capacity of members. He said: “We need a strategy that is modified or adapted from what has been passed down from the western world. What we have come to know is that they do not usually give us all their technology secrets however we have been managing” “LAWMA over the years has been developing a database of solution to problem encountered in waste management and this is why we have been able to expand our operational space to other countries.” The LAWMA boss stated. Earlier, Chairman Lagos State House Committee on Environment, Abiodun Tobun urged LAWMA and WAMASO not to relent in their efforts at ridding the state of waste. He implored them to work together with legislatures but making their requests known in written proposals. “What we do is make laws for the smooth operation of business and services in the state. And if you don’t make your case known to us how can we help?” Stated Tobun. Guest Speaker at the event, Professor Tunde Ogunsanwo called on waste manager to seize the opportunities inherent in automobile waste recycling. He said: “WAMASON and LAWMA need to look into the endless set of opportunities in managing automobile waste. However this area has been left for the Chinese and Indians” Second National Vice president of the Society, Alhaji Rabiu Suleiman, who performed the swearing-in called on the legislative member to use his influence to assist the Society in acquiring the status of a chartered body governed by law. Members of the new executive committee include, Councillor- Alhaji Jeleel Olubori, Vice Councillor- Success Ikpe, Secretary -Babawale Aduroshakin, Assistant Secretary- Ernest Abu, Technical Secretary-Mrs. Iniobong Abiola Awe, Assistant Technical Secretary-Dr. Gbolabo Ogunwande, and Public Affairs Officer- Mrs. Margret Dara Oshodi, among others.