This Day News  June 23, 2002

Nigeria's Space Project Gulps $11m
From Chukwudi Nwabuko and Chikas Ohadoma in Abuja

The Federal Government has said that it is committing $11 million for the take off of Nigeria's own satellite, (Nigeriasat), which is expected to be launched into space in May 2003.

Minister of Science and Technology, Professor Turner Isoun, who disclosed this yesterday at the ministerial media summit in Abuja, said the Nigerian satellite combined efficiency and latest technology with cheap cost.

He said that the $11million include the cost of launching, insurance, engineering modeling and training of 15 engineers for the project.

Elaborating on the satellite and its benefit to the country, the Director, National Space Development Agency, Mr. Ajayi Boroface, explained that comparatively, the Nigerian satellite was cheaper than the traditional satellite, which he said could cost more than $300million.

On the advantages, he said that it was a remote sensing satellite with a ground resolution of 30 metres, adding that it could cover a radius of 600 kilometres, covering the entire nation.

On how the satellite would be beneficial to the average tax payer, Boroface said, "the benefit will not go directly to the tax payer, but indirectly because it will contribute to the national economy. It will be important in mineral exploitation, pipeline monitoring, monitoring of environment, monitoring of our boundary and identifying underground water resources, which would provide water to the rural populace".

Isoun noted that the satellite will positively affect the lives of ordinary Nigerians, adding that the country would earn revenue from it.

He said that Nigeria could sell data generated by the satellite to other organisations outside the country, adding that unlike other satellite, access to the internet would be on a daily basis.

According to him, Nigeria could reap close to $3.5 billion in revenue by producing imageries to the outside world, stressing that when fully operational, the tariff on GSM would come down remarkably.

On the activities of the ministry, Isoun said his ministry placed emphasis on research and development, adding that he had made it clear to all research institutes that the implementation of their mandates and functions would not be complete until the results of their research are translated into viable enterprises.

On the elusive Nigerian car, Isoun explained that the major handicap was the dearth of private investors, adding that so far no one had come up to mass produce the prototype already developed.

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This Day News     -   June 23, 2002

Nigeria Donates $100,000 to Cuba

Nigeria has donated 100,000 dollars to the Government of Cuba in support of the country's reconstruction efforts in the wake of last year's destruction caused by hurricane.

A statement by the Nigerian embassy in Havana made available to the North America correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) weekend explained that the donation was presented by a special envoy of the government, Ambassador T. D. Hart.

The envoy was accompanied by Nigeria's ambassador to Cuba, Mr. Ngam Nwachukwu.

In his remarks after receiving the donation, Cuba's Foreign Minister, Mr. Felipe Perez Roque commended the spirit of love behind the donation.

Cuba is a strong supporter of Africa, having helped in the liberation struggle of some of the countries in southern Africa and deployed many of its doctors to help improve health delivery in the continent.

Cuba was hit by Hurricane Michelle last November, with some parts of the country devastated.

The Nigerian Embassy explained that Cuba had embarked on massive reconstruction efforts in areas affected by the hurricane.

Dollar Sells at N126 as Dutch Auction Debuts
Bids as high as N135.99
By Ayodele Aminu

Indications that the naira may continue its depreciation course emerged yesterday at the newly introduced Dutch Auction System (DAS) as banks on behalf of their customers offered to pay as much as N135.99 to exchange for a United States dollar.

According to the result of yesterday's DAS transactions obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Zenith Bank quoted the highest successful bid rate of N135.99 to a dollar while seven other banks quoted the lowest successful bid of N126 to a dollar.

The DAS, a bi-weekly trading system, was introduced by the CBN at the weekend to replace the daily Inter-bank Foreign Exchange Market (IFEM) and which is to be moderated by the apex bank.

As at last Friday, the naira had exchanged for N125.65 to close the week at IFEM.

The CBN had Monday offered for sale $40 million which was overshot by over $1 million and purchased by 17 banks out of 22 that sent their bids and had demanded $62.64 million. The CBN sold $41,052,898.49 to the 17 banks.

The CBN said it rejected the bids of five banks whose documentations were not presented based on the stipulated requirements.

While some of the banks' customers had no corporate registration number, others used one number for several companies. Some also gave insufficient company address while other bids were below the marginal bid rate.

In the transaction analysis released by the CBN last night, rates quoted by the banks as against the dollar were as follows: Zenith Bank N135.99, Investment Banking and Trust Company (IBTC) N131.10, Guaranty Trust N130.50, Access Bank Limited N129.95, Marina International Bank N127.50, United Bank for Africa (UBA) quoted between N127 to N128 and Wema Bank Plc quoted between N126.50 to N127.25.

Others are Capital Bank International N126.65-N127.25, Societe Bancaire N126-N126.50, Trust Bank N126.65, MBC International Bank N126-N126.50, NAMBL N126, Afribank N128.50, Regent Bank N126,15, Gateway Bank N126 and Chartered Bank N126,

The transaction analysis showed that Access Bank and IBTC were successful in all their request while Chartered, UBA and Societe Bancaire could not get all they had asked for.

Those whose bids were outrightly rejected by the apex bank are Union Bank, Standard Chartered, First Bank, Indo-Nigerian Bank and ACB International Bank. In all, the apex bank rejected bids totalling $21.6 million.

It would be recalled the naira lost a total of N4.50 last week. Last month alone, it lost a total of N3.30. Since the beginning of this year, the naira which opened the year at the exchange rate of N113.45 has lost a total of N18.53.

The CBN, in a circular announcing the introduction of DAS, had explained that it would be announcing at 8.30 am on Mondays and Wednesdays the amount on offer for each auction at both its Abuja and Lagos offices.

The circular reads: "Under this system, authorised dealers shall submit their customers' on Mondays and Wednesdays. The CBN reserves the right to reject bids deemed to be unrealistic and/or any application that contravenes foreign exchange regulations."

The dealers are also expected to submit their customers' bids duly signed by two authorized signatories for any particular auction session between 9.00 am and 12.00 noon of the day of auction, it added.

The minimum bid amount by authorised dealers, CBN stated, is N100, 000 and the currencies of transaction shall be naira and United States dollar.

DAS was the system in place in the country from 1987 to 1989. Incidentally, it was discarded because of volatility of naira exchange rate during its regime.

A dwindling oil revenue and worsening balance of payment led to the partial liberalisation of forex regime in 1986. In that year, CBN introduced the Second Tier Foreign Exchange Market (SFEM). While the first tier market was officially designated for all official transactions of government, the second tier market was used for other commercial transactions.

This was probably the first time Nigerians were granted the right to hold foreign exchange accounts and to carry out commercial transactions with it.

From 71 kobo $1.00 in 1970, the official exchange rate appreciated to a peak of 55kobo/$1.00 in 1980 before losing value to 89kobo/$1.00 in 1985.

The official exchange rate crossed one naira to a dollar mark for the first time in March 1986, when it exchanged N1.0016/$1.00.

CBN, however, sharply devalued the naira by over 250 per cent from N1.32/$1.00 to N4.64/$1.00 in September 1986.

Government explained then that it was meant to encourage rapid expansion in the revenue derivable from non-oil exports and to achieve the other objectives of Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP).

Government, however, discarded the policy of fixed exchange rate and adopted a policy of guided deregulation of the forex market in 1995.

The Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (AFEM) was then born in 1995. Towards the end of September 1999, AFEM gave way to IFEM, which held sway till last week.

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GUARDIAN – July 21, 2002

Kukah Appointed To International Commission

THE former Security General of Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Rev. Fr. Matthew Hassan Kukah, has been appointed a commissioner of the commission on Globalisation, an international network of world leaders from civil society, business and government.

Mr. James Garrison, the president of State of the World Forum through which the commission was created, announced his appointment.

Kukah presently at Oxford University in United Kingdom will join other eminent world leaders including former president of the defunct Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Queen Noor of Jordan, Shridath Ramphal among others who are serving as co-chairs of the commission.

The goal of the commission is to strengthen the global system through reform by building a good consensus and making specific recommendations for governance and policy making at a global level that promote greater social equity, environmental protection, enhanced security and sustainable growth. The guiding principle of the commission is to support the network of leaders serving as co-chairs and commissioners to engage in integrated action in the area of globalisation and global governance. The commission will work in close partnership with the G 8 and NEPAD.

The commission grew out of a conference convened in 2000 in New York where over 100 organisations from all over the world participated including Heads of States, Ministers, Non-governmental Organisations, organised protest groups, corporations, trade unions, international institutions, the science and technology sector, religious communities, academia and the media.

The intended outcome of the commission is a intensely interactive and inclusive process of dialogue, deliberations and decision making that will result in a deeper understanding of globalisation, a new respect for the diversity of the human community and a shed commitment to new cross-sectoral co-operation. It was formally established at the inaugural meeting convened at the London Business School last December. Its second annual conference will hold between December 4 and 7, 2002 at Mexico City.

guardian server 1a:7Sunday:Text:Kakah p.4 21/7/002 Goddy

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LAGOS. NIGERIA.     Monday, July 22, 2002

Brazilian head of Nigerian fraud ring faces extradition in U.S.
By Gbolahan Gbadamosi, Judicial Correspondent

SOME unscrupulous citizens who may hope to find a haven in the United States, after committing financial crimes in Nigeria, should take a lesson from a Brazilian at the centre of a N28 billion ($242 million), five-nation money laundering ring: Nelson Jetsu Sakaguchi.

Sakaguchi, who is accused of stealing the sum belonging to his former employers, a Brazilian bank named Banco Norveste, has finally been ordered extradited to Switzerland where he is standing trial. Five Nigerians have been named in the mega-billion-dollar scam.

The Brazilian fugitive, had in a Lagos-based weekly magazine, claimed that he was duped by the Nigerians. He also gave their names, along with 17 others at a Hong Kong court of first instance, in the five-nation bid to retrieve the money.

The Nigerian suspects, named in the suit, are Christian Kachi Nwudi, Chief Emmanuel Odinogwe Nwudi, Chief Ezugo Dan Nwandu, Amaka Martina Anajemba and Chief Innocent Anajemba. Sakaguchi also named the Nigerians' business concerns.

The High Court of Justice Chancery, England, has frozen the accounts of the Nigerians. The Federal High Court in Lagos has also ordered that court processes be served on them.

The civil and criminal proceedings spread across the United States, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Brazil.

Between 1995 and January 1998, the Brazilian who was on the staff of the bank, allegedly stole the amount.

The lid was blown open when the bank made a move to sell its shares to new owners, Branco Santader.

To cover his tracks, the money was allegedly laundered into accounts of some Nigerians.

The arrest and arraignment of Sakaguchi was pursuant to Title 18, United States Code on extradition treaty between the US and Switzerland. Nigeria has a similar pact with the U.S.

In a proceeding for his extradition U.S. magistrate judge of Southern district of New York, Ronald Ellis ordered: "the United States Marshal for the Southern District of New York shall deliver Nelson Tetsu Sakaguchi to the duly authorized representatives of the government of Switzerland for the purpose of transporting him from this District to Switzerland to be held for trial or other disposition."

The judge further decreed: "The transfer of physical custody of Nelson Tetsu Sakaguchi shall be at such a time and place as mutually agreed upon by the United States Marshall for the Southern District of New York and the duly authorised representatives of Switzerland."

The complaint was filed on June 18, 2002 by David L. Jaffe, Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York for on behalf of the government of Switzerland pursuant to the request of the government of Switzerland, for the provisional arrest and extradition of Nelson Tetsu Sakaguchi..."

Apparently admitting that the game is up, Sakaguchi also swore to an affidavit in which he waived his rights under the U.S. extradition treaty to expedite his movement to Switzerland.

The waiver read in part: " I am familiar with the extradition treaty in force between the United States and Switzerland, the applicable sections of Title 18, United States Code, and the complaint filed by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York on behalf of the government of Switzerland."

It added: "I concede that I am the individual against whom charges are pending in Switzerland and for whom process is outstanding there. I fully understand that I cannot be compelled to be returned to Switzerland unless this court certifies its finding of extraditability and the Secretary of State of the United States orders my extradition by issuing a warrant of surrender."

Sakaguchi's deposition went further: "Nevertheless, I waive my rights to a hearing and agree to return to Switzerland without any promise or threats being made or any other form of inducement or intimidation being exercised on the part of any representatives, officials, or officers of the United States of Switzerland or of any person whatsoever, I execute this waiver of rights, therefore, entirely of my own free will and accord."

The Nigerians are named as co-defendants in the suits instituted across the globe for the recovery of the money.

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Tunde Oyedoyin [ ] Columnist in Nigeriaworld
London, UK

Obasanjo's daughter marries Baptist pastor in London

The newly wedded couple

President Olusegun Obasanjo cast aside his presidential role today to fulfil that of a father as his daughter, Mojisola Kofoworola was given away in marriage to an ordained baptist minister, Peter Kenneth Blackshire, in a simple, but colourful wedding ceremony at the Willesden Green Baptist church, Willesden Green, North West London.

Having arrived at 12.10hrs in the company of his wife, Stella, and the Ogun State governor , Chief Olusegun Osoba, with whom he wore the same colour of the Aso Oke used as Aso Ebi, the president held his daughter's hands as they made their way to the church auditorium on the first floor of the building amidst tight security and flashes of the parapazzi. The couple was thereafter welcomed by the inspirational Alabaster singing group, a quartet from Ghana.This was followed by another special number:"he's all the difference" by the choir of the mixed congregation church.

26 year old Kofo- as her friends call her-a 1994 graduate of biochemistry from the Federal University of Technology, Akure , finally signed the dotted lines at about 13.20hrs to become Mrs Blackshire, and thus made a public commitment to live the rest of her life with the ordained minister , who also doubles as the Associate pastor of the church.

Stella Obasanjo and her son-in-law, Peter

Although both the officiating minister, Rev Philip Robinson and Peter had problems pronouncing the bride's name properly during the exchange of marital vows, Rev Yusuf Obaje, who delivered the sermon told the groom that he had come by choosing to marry the slim built and ebony black beauty as wife.Obaje told the couple:"There're obstacles on this pilgrimage, but you will overcome".Pointing out that some of them include sin, overconfidence in one's abilities, friends and marriage experts, Obaje also admonished them not to forsake God and never to lose their identities as believers in Jesus Christ.

"You cannot afford to fail, and let nobody hear that you are living apart" , he told the newly wedded couple.He also stated that it was important that those things which they cherished during their courtship should not be forgotten.Both were also warned not to form the habit of jumping to hasty conclusions or listen to the devil's lies. Peter should also ensure that the sun does not go down on his anger, while Kofo should conplement this with a heart of forgiveness.

Although the groom is a baptist minister, Rev Obaje urged them to have a family altar and that they should remain commited to God."You can never put the Bible aside and succeed in Christian marriage", he told the couple before the jam packed congregation of friends, family, well wishers and government functionaries.A life of prayer was another prerequiste mentioned by the clergy as an ingredient of a successful matrimony.Rounding off with the patriachal blessing of Aaron"the Lord bless and keep you, lift up his countenance upon you and be gracious to you...", a combined choir of Zaireans and the Congolese later treated the congregation to delightful and danceable songs before the couple led the processioal train.

The newly wedded couple and the president

A friend of Kofo, who had known her in her undergraduate days at Akure said:"She is a very very humble person". According to Aderemi Adegorite, a computer scientist from the same institution as the bride, Kofo never showed anyone nor gave the impression that her father was a one time Head of State during their Akure days.Another alumnus of the same institution , who didn't want to be identified, gave her backing to Aderemi's statement, saying, She is a nice and friendly person.But as for her two younger sisters:"we are happy for our sisters".

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USA TODAY  -  07/18/2002 - Updated 05:25 PM ET

Page 1A

FBI terror chief says he thinks bin Laden is dead It's first such remark by a ranking official

By Kevin Johnson

WASHINGTON -- The FBI's chief of counterterrorism sent ripples through the Bush administration Wednesday by declaring that he believes Osama bin Laden is dead.

The remark by FBI Executive Assistant Director Dale Watson represents the first time a ranking administration official has publicly expressed an opinion on the al-Qaeda leader's fate. It contrasts sharply with the White House's efforts to avoid speculation on bin Laden to try to keep him from being the focus of the war on terrorism.

Watson oversees thousands of agents, and he reviews daily reports on threats to the United States and the pursuit of terrorism suspects around the globe. He told a national conference of police officials here that his conclusion about bin Laden was not based on specific evidence, but on a personal belief.

The FBI declined to comment. Bureau officials, taken aback by Watson's statement, said he was expressing his opinion and was not speaking for the FBI. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said ''nobody knows'' whether bin Laden is alive.

U.S. intelligence officials -- like their counterparts in Great Britain, Germany and Pakistan -- said Wednesday that they still assume that the Saudi-born terrorism leader survived U.S. bombing in Afghanistan and likely is hiding near that nation's border with Pakistan. A senior U.S. intelligence official said that if bin Laden were dead, U.S. agents probably would have intercepted communication among al-Qaeda operatives indicating that. ''Washington is operating under the assumption that bin Laden (is) alive and al-Qaeda is preparing to strike again,'' the official said. ''We wish bin Laden were dead, but that's most likely not the case.''

Whether bin Laden survived the U.S. bombing of al-Qaeda hideouts last year is one of the nagging questions in the war on terrorism. Recent reports in Arab newspapers overseas have suggested that he is recovering from a wound and is plotting attacks.

Last week, President Bush urged reporters not to get caught up in guessing about bin Laden's fate. ''If he is (alive), we'll get him,'' Bush said. ''If he's not alive, we got him. But the issue is bigger than one person.''

Watson also told the audience at the National Conference of Community Oriented Policing Services that there is ''no question in my mind'' that the United States will be attacked again. He said al-Qaeda members who fled Afghanistan have become ''fleas of the world'' who still might contact al-Qaeda ''sleeper cells'' here. Asked to estimate how many al-Qaeda operatives are here, Watson said, ''I don't think anybody really knows.'' He warned the police officials that operatives ''could be in your neighborhood today.''

Watson said the challenge for U.S. authorities is to better interpret tips that could expose terrorists. His comments came on a day when a congressional report cited poor communication among U.S. law enforcement agencies as a key factor in America's inability to prevent the Sept. 11 attacks.

© Copyright 2002 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.


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USATODAY.COM  07/18/2002 - Updated 01:39 PM ET [CAREERS NETWORK]  --   The Daily Grind   -  

Five factors make for a great job   -  By Denise Kersten

Most of us have our share of bad days at work. Sometimes it's hard to get out of bed in the morning; sometimes it seems the afternoon will never end.

In the past months, I've written a number of columns offering advice on getting through these tough times. I've covered how to cope when you can't quit, how to fix your relationship with a boss, how to get your career on track and so on.

But there are workers out there who don't need these tips — they truly love their jobs.

Case in point: Joe Romello, chief information officer and VP of engineering for GSI Commerce, an e-commerce outsourcing firm in King of Prussia, Penn.

"This is one of the two jobs I've had that's launched me out of bed in the morning and would keep me here all week if I didn't have to sleep," says Romello, who's been with his company for three years.

I talked to several satisfied workers to find out exactly what about their jobs makes them so happy. Their responses centered around five themes:

Some find happiness, working from home

·  Finding a 'new balance' when working from home

·  Find a viable work-from-home job

1. Quality co-workers and clients.

"People are the most important element," says Romello, who credits both his subordinates and the company's senior managers with making his company a great place to work. "They've got energy and passion and drive for what they do."

Working with intelligent people keeps Alexandra Balfour in high spirits. Balfour, a graphic designer for National Geographic magazine in Washington, D.C., says she's surrounded by talented colleagues and describes the magazine staff as "like a family."

Paula Ruelius' co-workers really are her family. She's served as office manager for her parents' company, Paulus Machine Shop in Enola, Penn., for the past three years. While it's not for everyone, working alongside her parents has been "one of the greatest experiences," Ruelius says.

Clients or customers can also bring fulfillment.

Rebecca Conradi, an estate planning attorney in Oakland, Calif., works alone but enjoys her client interaction. "Everyone who comes to me is a thoughtful person who is doing something they probably won't be there to see the benefit of," she says.

2. Smart management.

No job is great simply because of the management. That said, poor managers can take an otherwise perfect job and make it miserable.

"Without respect for the people you're working for, no job would be worth it," says Romello, who has worked for managers who "made it too difficult to do anything well or do anything of substance."

Many people leave their jobs to escape poor relationships with supervisors, often because the boss can't relinquish control. The best managers trust their employees enough to give them the tools and resources they need to excel.

Billy Axelrod, field communications project manager for Gap, Inc., appreciates this aspect of his supervisor. "I have a great deal of autonomy," he says. "I am trusted to make my own decisions and I'm always supported."

3. Helping others.

Making a difference in people's lives is the best aspect about being an occupational therapist, says Chrissie Anderson, who helps patients in Charleston, W. Va. learn basic self-care skills so they can live on their own. Someone who's had a stroke, for example, might need to learn different techniques for everyday tasks, like putting on a shirt or preparing meals.

"It's a new way to live their lives, and you're giving them the tools to do that," she says. Anderson's patients often return after they finish therapy to express appreciation with cards, candy or holiday gifts. Others stop by to show Anderson's work paid off.

Conradi also finds satisfaction in helping clients remove a level of stress from an inherently traumatic situation. "It's gratifying to have a level of trust put in you," she says.

4. High achievement.

Meeting challenges, reaching goals and earning recognition make hard work feel worthwhile.

"One of the things I love about my job is that I do feel like I'm successful and I feel my audience really appreciates my work," says Axelrod, who facilitates communication between Gap's corporate headquarters and its store managers.

Romello enjoys the challenge of working on cutting-edge Web technology and inventing new solutions. "A lot of this stuff's never been done. That's kind of exciting, especially if you get it right."

For some workers, extra pressure enhances the satisfaction of a job well done. Ruelius feels working for a family company raises the bar. "I have to hold myself up to a higher standard," she says. "They're entrusting me with something they built. They're passing on a really wonderful gift."

Others, like Conradi, appreciate an intellectual challenge without a high level of stress. Unlike many areas of law that require a response to conflict, estate planning aims to prevent future conflicts, which Conradi finds "very stimulating, yet not generally terribly high stress."

5. That certain something.

Aligning your unique mix of talents, interests and preferences with a set of job responsibilities can make going to work a joy.

For Balfour the magic ingredient is simply the chance to present information visually. "I'm a visual person," she says. "I like making things look good in a way that's understandable."

Conradi enjoys her profession's "blend of technical legal skills and personal skills."

What does Ruelius like most about her job? "The fact that it is so small. You're involved in everything."

So how did all of these people land in their ideal positions?

Their paths varied.

Balfour knew exactly what she wanted and went after it, despite the scarcity of jobs in magazine work and the fact that her major was art history, rather than design. "I promised myself I would do it," she says.

For others, landing in the right line of work was less premeditated. "You go a certain direction not knowing why, and it really ends up working out," Conradi says.

Axelrod was steered into his current role by a savvy manager who saw a good match with his skills, interests and experience. "She had the crystal ball," he says.        RETURN TO HOME PAGE




U.S.NEWS -  Thursday, July 18, 2002   (accesed).

                         E-learn and earn
As dot coms mostly fade, online universities are proving that there's gold in them thar screens

By James M. Pethokoukis

Director Steven Spielberg recently received his diploma from California State University-Long Beach after dropping out in 1968 to conquer Hollywood. A great example to dropouts everywhere–though, unlike Spielberg, most students probably couldn't get their natural sciences professor to visit them at work. At least not in person. Through E-learning, however, college students can have instructors visit them via the Internet. They can download video and audio of lectures and attend class discussions through chat rooms and message boards.

Whatever the quality of these E-courses, more and more people are taking advantage of their convenience. Online-learning enrollments are growing 33 percent a year and are expected to hit 2.2 million by 2004, according to International Data Corp. And a study by Bear Stearns found that 150 institutions offer undergraduate degrees online and that nearly 200 offer online graduate degrees.

But can companies and institutions make a profit from E-learning? People are still reluctant to pay for online content generally–one study found that 70 percent of adult surfers didn't see why anyone would pay. Yet the University of Phoenix Online, a division of distance-learning company Apollo Group that trades as a separate tracking stock, made $31.8 million in fiscal 2001 and $23.6 million in the first six months of fiscal 2002. Rivals like DeVry and Strayer Education don't break out online results, but "they are either already profitable or soon will be," says Greg Capelli, education analyst with Credit Suisse First Boston. And while shares of most E-stocks have tanked, E-learning stocks are up an average of 14.5 percent this year.

Apollo Group President and CEO Todd Nelson says that he agrees with "new economy" prophets who call E-learning the "next great application of the Internet." Still, it is hardly a can't-miss business. Academic institutions have found E-profits elusive. New York University, the University of Maryland, and Temple University have shuttered their for-profit ventures. Columbia University's Fathom has yet to make a profit and is shifting its strategy. So what's the key to making E-learning make money?

Keep it useful. Columbia University's Fathom was born from a vision of having millions of Internet users sign up for semester-length liberal arts courses like Greek and Roman Mythologyfor $414. But Anne Rollow, Fathom's head of strategic alliances, admits the firm overestimated the willingness of so-called lifelong learners to "experiment"–especially at several hundred bucks a pop. So now Fathom has added free, quickie intro seminars, 10-week courses for $50, and longer career-development coursessuch as Define Your Core Business. "It helps when you offer classes that students actually care about," says Lehman Brothers analyst Gary Bisbee.

Keep it real.An E-firm with an established offline presence has the marketing advantage of a brand name. Indeed, a poll of human resource managers found that 77 percent thought online degrees from offline institutions were more credible than those from pure E-learning firms. "It helps to be both bricks and clicks," says Bear Stearns analyst Jennifer Childe. She points out that pure E-learning firm Jones International University has only 6,000 students, while the University of Phoenix Online has 37,569. Helping power that growth has been the 26-year-old University of Phoenix, with 78,700 students, 38 campuses, and 78 learning centers in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

Keep it simple. Many academic efforts, says Bisbee, had "lots of whiz-bang features like video and high-end graphics, even though not everyone could use them." And while sticking a camera in the back of a lecture hall is the simplest way to do E-teaching, most college students will attest that lectures are the least important part of the educational experience. "A lot of the people who rushed into this business were refugees from cable television and thought you did this the way you do a talk or cooking show," says Andrew Rosenfeld, CEO of Cardean University, which offers business courses online, including a full M.B.A.

Creating a profitable little business may be a comedown for bold entrepreneurs looking to build the of education. Then again, Amazon would have been profitable long ago if it had stuck to selling just plain books.

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