Monday, 18 March 2013

Photonews: Sacked Airline Workers Protest At Lagos Airport

The Protesting Sacked Workers

News Report: Nigeria President Says Foreign Hostages Might Be Alive

Nigeria's President Jonathan

Credit: Reuters

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan said on Monday that some of the seven hostages believed to have been killed by Islamist group Ansaru this month might actually still be alive and the government has been working to rescue them.

Ansaru said earlier this month it had killed the seven foreign construction workers it had been holding since February, posting a video of what it said was their bodies on the Internet, in what would be the deadliest single attack on foreigners in Nigeria since the 1960s Biafra war.

Italy and Greece confirmed that a Briton, an Italian, a Greek and four Lebanese abducted in northern Nigeria's Bauchi state had been killed by their captors.
Britain said only that it was likely they had been killed, whereas Nigerian authorities had so far not commented.

"Analysis of the information we have does not give us the conclusive position that they have all been killed but we suspect that some probably might have died of health related causes or direct killing," Jonathan said during a visit by Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman.

The kidnappings highlighted the growing risk posed by violent Islamist groups in Nigeria to Western interests.

Western governments fear ties with groups elsewhere in the region are drawing Nigerian Islamists towards a more explicitly anti-Western agenda, like that of al Qaeda's north African wing, especially since France launched an operation to flush them out of northern Mali in January.

"We have been working hard with friendly nations, especially the United Kingdom, to see that they are rescued. We suspect that they are in a rocky area, a very difficult area that can not be easily accessed but we are working hard to get to them," Jonathan said.

Ansaru killed a British and Italian hostage in northwest Nigeria during a failed rescue mission by British and Nigerian forces a year ago. They said that the latest killings were because of a rescue attempt, although Italy and Greece denied there was any such attempt.

The group claimed responsibility for the kidnapping in December of a French national, still missing.

Nigerian authorities are still looking for a French family of seven kidnapped in northern Cameroon and moved over the border by militants who said they were from the main Islamist insurgency Boko Haram.

Videonews: Cyprus Delays Key Vote, As Protests Ensue

News Release: Afenifere Cautions Ahmadu Ali On Rude Remarks About Yoruba

Dr. Ahmadu Ali

The attention of Afenifere has been drawn to an interview granted by the former chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Col. Ahmadu Ali (Rtd) to a newspaper where he made uncharitable comments about the Yoruba people.
The grouse of Ali against the Yoruba is that they would not worship his god (Obasanjo) and as such demonized them as “…The Yoruba people who are totally ungrateful kind of people in this country… the Yoruba are another character”

This type of remark against a whole people is totally unbecoming of Ali whom we thought should be a cultured man having come from Igala kingdom that has centuries of civilization behind it.

We ordinarily would have ignored his vituperations but for two reasons:

(i) Given his profile as a former chairman of the ruling party and a failed aspirant to the chairmanship of its Board of Trustees, the unwary may be tempted to assume that the words he spoke came from a wise man who is highly informed.

(ii) Ali has touched on a deep cultural value of the Yoruba people appreciation. The Yoruba people value an appreciative spirit to the point of criminalizing an ungrateful person in the saying “eni ti a se lore ti ko dupe, bi olosa ko ni leru lo ni” (an ingrate person is not different from a thief). They also link continuous blessings to appreciation of past ones “bi omode ba dupe ore ana, a ri mi gba” (someone who appreciates past blessings would attract new ones).

From the above, it is crystal clear that Ahmadu Ali has no lesson to teach the Yoruba in the art of gratitude and his uncouth remark only portrays him as ill-mannered and foul-mouthed.

For Ali and those who think like him, Yoruba don’t venerate mere positions but rather leadership through service to the community. This explains why the Yoruba adore Awolowo who contested the highest office in the land three times and lost and resent Ali’s hero who occupied the same office three times!

The difference is that as Premier of Western Region, Awo used the resources of the region to banish ignorance through free education, eliminated diseases through free health, introduced television culture to the Yoruba even before France, made Yoruba to aim for the sky by building the 25-storey Cocoa House in Ibadan, among other imperishable.

In contrast, the years Ali’s hero spent as leader of Nigeria institutionalized corruption which deepened poverty for all Nigerians including the Yoruba. The poverty index in Nigeria was 45% in 1999 and jumped to 67% in 2007 in spite of unprecedented oil earnings in the same period. The culture of begging that was alien in Yorubaland became pronounced under the leadership of the man Ali wants Yoruba to worship.

In all the 11 years Ali’s god spent as Nigerian’s President, Yoruba can point to nothing in their region that rivals the least of Awo’s achievements. That is why they have no gratitude for such a man positioned to give quality leadership to his country but left it worse that he met it because of personal failings.

Ahmadu Ali is free to build a shrine for his god in his Igala kingdom but he would never be the one to choose a hero for the Yoruba.

And talking of gratitude is there anything the Yoruba owe Ahmadu Ali himself? They remain “grateful” to him in memory of Akintunde Ojo and other promising students who were murdered in cold blood during “Ali Must Go” crisis of 1978, when Ali was Obasanjo’s Education Minister.

‘Yinka Odumakin
National Publicity Secretary

Videonews: Protesters, Security Forces Clash In Egypt

News Release: 2ND ESQ Oil And Gas Summit 2013

Notwithstanding the prolonged reforms of the legal and regulatory framework governing petroleum operations in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, especially due to the non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), international and local companies continue to find and take advantage of several investment opportunities. Such opportunities arise amidst substantial legal risks and regulatory challenges. How has the industry capitalized on the opportunities and dealt with the legal risks and regulatory challenges? Looking ahead, what are the options to be considered in creating a fair and effective legal/regulatory framework in the mid and long-term to enhance investments and growth in the industry? What are the implications of the extant legal and regulatory uncertainties on international petroleum industry expansion and volatile oil prices, including the shale oil and gas revolution e.t.c.  For Nigeria? How can Nigeria continue to attract investments and sustain the growth and development of its petroleum industry amidst competition from other Sub-Saharan African countries? What are the available (mid and long term) options for creating an enabling and reliable legal and regulatory environment to boost oil and gas production/investments? And how can these options be implemented in Nigeria? What are the opportunities and relevant challenges in a viable and robust Nigerian energy industry?

How can the law and governmental policies effectively sustain investments and operations in the offshore and frontier acreages? What are the challenges and solutions needed for a viable domestic refining and petrochemical sub-sector? What role will the local players play in the future prosperity of the sector? What lessons can they learn from the IOCs in designing their management, capital and equity structure? Will their emergence lead to a technology transfer or provide more high level jobs for the expatriates?

The new PIB has unbundled gas sales and transportation, opening up a number of legal questions about how to implement the law in the country. How is the proposed law built to ensure liberalization and ultimately industrialization as envisioned by the promoters of the reforms. How will the law affect producers, transporters, distributors and large-scale users. What effect will the law have on the development of projects more broadly? What developments are being proposed and being made with respect to infrastructure.

Gas supply is one of the biggest challenges to the government's power reform agenda. This session takes a look at the critical issues affecting the gas sector in Nigeria. The session will address the issue of how to maximize the potentials of the existing natural gas infrastructure to meet energy demands in Nigeria. We will also explore the core issues of gas supply linkages to meet the ever growing demand for power in Nigeria and how to effectively manage the gas price equation. We will explore the Regulatory Framework for Gas under the PIB, Updates on Gas Monetization, LNG, Onshore, Offshore and Deep Water Activities and gain insights into the new opportunities in the Nigerian Gas Market.

With the signing of the ancillary agreements between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the GENCOs/DISCOs, a solid and meaningful journey has begun to address the crucial power sector challenges in Nigeria. However, stakeholders believe that in going forward; the success of the entire privatisation programme and the benefits there from will depend largely on the integrity of the process adopted by the regulator.

With Power in the hands of private investors, is Nigeria set for industrialization? How will the industry capitalize on the opportunities and deal with the legal risks and regulatory challenges? Looking ahead, what are the options to be considered in creating a fair and effective competition regime amongst the successor companies and meet the challenges of capacity? How do we strengthen the industry regulation and the framework for commercial investments? Will the Tariffs for gas and electricity reflect market prices and set at levels to attract private sector investment? How attractive is the market to retain international finance? Are Nigerian Banks truly equipped to play a major role in the sector? How do we address the legal risks and regulatory challenges in the Nigerian Power Sector in the light of the current legal and business environment? What improvements have we made in the area of infrastructure? Where will the money come from and how can genuine investors access it?

Given the long lead times and infeasibility of storing electricity, raising capital for power projects creates a bottle neck. The financial and capital markets are a viable option open to investors to source funds for power projects in Nigeria. While the financial market offers investors the opportunities to raise short and mid - term loans, the capital market intervenes in providing a window for raising long-term funds through a wide range of financial products. How can Project Sponsors access finance for their projects? What role are the Nigerian Banks playing in developing the future prosperous Oil and Gas Sector in Nigeria? This session will provide an overview of the pros and cons, options, structures, models and prospects of the Nigerian financial and capital markets with a focus on the Nigerian circumstances in comparism with some emerging markets.

Holding in Lagos, the commercial heart of Nigeria's oil and gas industry, this two-day conference will feature in-depth discussions and essential updates and debates on all these topics and more. The summit will consist of keynote addresses and special paper presentations with a heavy weight panel deliberating on the paper before opening up the floor for further discussions. The high profile speakers and panellists will share their well researched thoughts

Date:  9th -10th April, 2013 
Time:  9am -5pm Daily
Venue: Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos
Event Website:
Registration Fee: N57,000

Dr Ibe Kachikwu, Vice Chairman, Mobil (Confirmed)
Dr David Ige, Group Executive Director Gas and Power, NNPC (Confirmed)
Sola Adepetun, Managing Partner, ACA&S)  (Confirmed)
Gbenga Oyebode, Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law and Managing Partner Aluko & Oyebode (Confirmed)
Dr Sam Amadi, Chairman, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (Confirmed)
Tunji Mayaki, Deputy Managing Director, ADDAX (Confirmed)
Oscar Onyema - CEO, Nigerian Stock Exchange (Confirmed)
Arun Velusami - Partner, Norton Rose, UK (Member) (Confirmed)
Obinna Ufudo - MD Transcorp (Confirmed)
Dr. Eloka Umeh - MD, Nestoil Power Group (Confirmed)
Akin Ogunranti - DGM, Power & Infrastructure, Zenith Bank(Confirmed)
Gbite Adeniji, Partner, Advisory Legal (Confirmed)
Kevin McGrory, General Counsel, Seven Energy, UK (Confirmed)
Chidi Momah, Executive General Manager, Public Affairs and Communications, Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria. (Confirmed)
Mr. Dayo Okusanmi, General Counsel, Atlantic Energy (Confirmed)
Ola Alokolaro, Managing Partner, Advocaat (Confirmed) 
Mr Soji Awogbade, Managing Partner, AELEX (Confirmed)
 Uche Obi - Managing Partner, Alliance Law Firm (Confirmed)
Chikelue Okonkwo - CDM, International Operations ,General Electric. (Confirmed)
Mrs. Kemi Segun (Partner, ACA&S) (Confirmed)
Chidi Momah, Executive General Manager, Public Affairs and Communications, Total Unpstream Companies in NIgeria(Confirmed)
Seye Kosoko, Head Legal Services, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria (Confirmed)
Tonye Cole, Group CEO, Sahara Energy(Confirmed)
Mr Austin Avuru, CEO SEPLAT (Invited)
Dr. Ladi Bada, CEO Shoreline Natural Resoures (Confirmed)
Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, Professor of Law (Invited)
Mr. Batchi Baldeh Senior Vice President, Power, AFrica Finance Corporation (Invited)
Mr. Kunle Allen, CEO Gas Aggregation Company of NIgeria (Invited)
Mr. Rumundaka Wonodi, CEO Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company Plc. (Invited)
Mr. Eyo Ekpo, Head of Market Competition and Rates Division, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (Invited)
Engr. Ernest Nwapa, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board(Invited)
Mr. Osten Olorunsola (Director, Department of Petroleum Resources) (Invited)
Senator Udo Udoma (Chairman, PIB Ministerial Task-Force)- Session (Invited)
Dr. Koyin Ajayi SAN, Managing Partner, Olaniwun Ajayi LP (Invited)
Dr Gbolahan Elias SAN, Principal Partner, G.Elias & Co (Invited)
Mr. Pade Durotoye (CEO, Oando Exploration & Production) (Invited)
Natalie Dickson, Group General Counsel, First Hydroncarbon Nigeria (Invited)
Mr Ibiye Memebere, GED, E & P, NNPC
Dr. Tim Okon, Group Cordinator, Corporate Planning and Strategy, NNPC

Registration Details:
Participants resident in Nigeria: N57,000 per person.
Participants from the rest of the world: US $400
Full payment must be received in order to process your registration.

Fees Include:
• Attendance at all working sessions
• Conference materials, including any available speakers’ papers submitted
• Lunch and tea breaks
• A free copy of ESQ Legal practice magazine
How to register and make payments
Participants resident in Nigeria: Registration fee is N57,000
Participants wishing to pay in Naira should complete the attached form and send with
proof of payment to: Email:

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that registration before Wednesday, 25th April, 2012, attracts a 5% discount. Group
discounts are also available for five (5) or more delegate places.
Participants From The Rest Of The World:
Participants must pay in US Dollars by cheque, bank draft or transfer and should
complete the attached registration form in English and send to the e-mail below with
proof of

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You Should Receive A Confirmation Of Your Registration Within 7 Days, If You Do Not,
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Promotional Literature
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(  by 15th April, fees will be refunded less a 25%
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