The Uncomfortable Truth Of Elusive Economic Development – Read Oby Ezekwesili’s Address At The APC Summit

Published:6 Mar, 2014

THE UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTH OF ELUSIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT- NIGERIA’S CENTURY OLD FAILURES AND PROSPECTS FOR A NEW NIGERIA

Protocols:
Good afternoon, chieftains and members of the Action People’s Congress.
Thanks for inviting me as your Keynote Speaker at your Unveiling of Road Map Summit. I do not know how you decided to take this high risk of inviting me to your gathering, knowing full well that my zeal for candor can be generally unsettling for some people of your class and occupation.  Since you took the risk, I have assumed the liberty to speak boldly even to your discomfort especially considering that we live in a season of grim when our country is greatly troubled. In perilous times like this, Truth is the absolute freedom. I shall be spurred on by the counsel of George Orwell who in honor of truth stated that “in a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act”. I further assume that if you wanted someone with the skills of deceit, it would not be me that you would have invited to your gathering. I therefore speak to you today not as a politician

Context and Fact are very important for me as both a scholar and practitioner of public policy. Context is the missing link that helps us to connect the dots between the visible and the hidden, and between the general and the specific. Fact or Truth is the evidence that never takes flight nor ceases to exist even where ignored for hundred years. So my speech in content and delivery will be hinged on context and facts.For context, nothing serves a better guide than History. The philosopher and novelist George Santayana famously said that “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. Winston Churchill reinforced Santayana by counselling, “Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft.” I am compelled even further to tread the path of history by our Centenary celebration and shall therefore use – Nigeria’s political history as the context for this speech.

The Political trajectory of Nigeria much like her entire history is checkered. In the book, This House has Fallen, “Nigeria was the focus of great optimism as a powerful emerging nation that would be a showcase for democratic government”. Sadly the optimism was frittered over the years. I shall take the excerpts from my University of Nigeria lecture in January in this regard. “If you traced the political history of our country since independence in 1960 and you will better understand the horror of our faulty political foundation.  The first democratic government ushered in an independent Nigeria but was cut short  by a coup in 1966, a counter coup in 1967, civil war from 1967 to 1970, military rule from 1970 at the end of the war until another coup in 1975, another unsuccessful coup in 1976 the then Head of State was murdered, continued rule of the military until 1979 when a successful political transition ushered in the second republic but it became a democratic process that did not leave a good mark on governance until it was cut short in 1983 by yet another military coup but the discipline instilling but draconian regime was itself sent packing in 1985 through yet another coup.

The succeeding regime ruled from 1985 until 1993. The hallmark of that regime was procrastinated conduct of a transition to democracy. When it finally, reluctantly started the transition process, it regrettably went ahead to thwart the political rights of citizens who had elected a democratic president by annulling the elections. The regime then responded to the public disturbance and agitation that followed by installing an interim national government that lasted only three months following yet another military intervention. The regime that followed was more heinous than ever imagined possible by Nigerians until 1998 when by divine providence, it was cut short. Never again!  A new season came but it was yet one with the military still in the saddle. That regime however surprised skeptics when it successfully conducted a transition that ushered in democratic governance in 1999 ending the long sixteen years of militarization of governance that materially defines the psyche of government in Nigeria. Cumulatively, from the time of our independence in 1960 to 1999- the military governed for about twenty nine years while two flashes of pseudo democracy had a little more than ten years in all. The common theme in our extremely unstable and volatile political history was that each regime truncation mirrored a Russian roulette with justification for regime change being the “necessity to rescue the country from bad governance and corruption”.

Compared to the mere six years of 1960-1966 and the even shorter four and a half years of 1979-1983, the period of 1999 to date under democratic rule has been the longest ever season of such political system in Nigeria. An objective assessment of our democratic journey since the last fifteen years by May of this year, will return the verdict that we are very much still in the nascent zone of democracy as a political system which despite all its short comings trump all other alternatives. Fifteen years has given us more of civilian rule than democracy. The quality of the military/political elite and the depth of undemocratic culture, practices and nuances have worked to produce very disappointing results of governance to citizens. Yet, we must temper our disappointment with the cautious sense of accomplishment that the subordination of the military to the constitutional will of the people of Nigeria in the 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 elections is perhaps the very tiny ray of light in what had for more than five decades been a canvass of political tragedies.

“Today is Independence Day. The first of October 1960 is a date to which for two years, Nigeria has been eagerly looking forward. At last, our great day has arrived, and Nigeria is now indeed an independent Sovereign nation.  Words cannot adequately express my joy and pride at being the Nigerian citizen privileged to accept from Her Royal Highness these Constitutional Instruments which are the symbols of Nigeria’s Independence. It is a unique privilege which I shall remember forever, and it gives me strength and courage as I dedicate my life to the service of our country. This is a wonderful day, and it is all the more wonderful because we have awaited it with increasing impatience, compelled to watch one country after another overtaking us on the road when we had so nearly reached our goal. But now, we have acquired our rightful status, and I feel sure that history will show that the building of our nation proceeded at the wisest pace: it has been thorough, and Nigeria now stands well-built upon firm foundations.”
These were the very gushing and giddy words of the first Prime Minister of Nigeria Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa on October 1, 1960.

According to history books, prehistoric settlers lived in the territories that make up the area today known as Nigeria as far back as 9000 BC. According to Wikipedia, the period of the 15th century saw the emergence of several “early independent kingdoms and states” that made up the British colonialized Nigeria – Benin kingdom, Borgu kingdom, Fulani empire, Hausa kingdoms, Kanem Bornu empire, Kwararafa kingdom, Ibibio Kingdom, Nri kingdom, Nupe kingdom, Oyo Kingdom, Songhai empire and Warri Kingdom. Each Kingdom was composed of dominant ethnic nationalities with unique language, custom, culture, tradition and religion. ”
These kingdoms independently traded among themselves and with the rest of the world especially Great Britain. It was however by 1886 through expanded trade with the territories under the charter of the Royal Niger Company that the mercantilist root of that influence became established. The handover of the company’s territories to the British Government followed in 1900 leading to the areas becoming organized as protectorates that helped extend the great British Empire of that era. In 1914, Nigeria was formed by combining the Northern and Southern Protectorates and the Colony of Lagos. For administrative purposes, it was divided into four units:  the colony of Lagos, the Northern Provinces, the Eastern Provinces and the Western Provinces.”

One could say that considering the way Nigeria emerged it was no more than an artificial creation purely intended to serve the administrative convenience of the reigning colonial power. In fact, no one better conveyed this perception of Nigeria as artificiality than Chief Obafemi Awolowo who once described Nigeria as a “mere geographical expression”. It is common for Nigerians across the territory in moments of deep despair at the failings of this union of multiple diversities to loudly rue the fact that a certain Lord Lugard and his fiancée – Ms. Shaw -were the “creators” of Nigeria.

The forty six years that followed the creation of Nigeria until her independence in 1960, saw varying degrees of mutation in the relationship between Britain and the people of the territory.  The journey of governance commenced among the three dominant regions that made up the Nigerian territory- namely the North, the West and the East. There were understandably, deep mistrusts and suspicions among the ethnic groups with each one seeking to advance their own cause and interest but their leaders managed to forge a united front in the struggle to attain self-government. Their successive negotiations and constitution building processes among them and acting jointly, with colonial Britain- helped to achieve one of the most anticipated political independence of a country in Africa. It culminated in the successful agitation for self-government on a representative and ultimately federal basis.  The great Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe who was first the Governor General at independence in 1960 and later ceremonial President when in 1963 we became a Republic, succinctly captured that feat of the Nationalists in gaining independence.

He wrote in 1966 that, “We talked the Colonial Office into accepting our challenges for the demerits and merits of our case for self-government. After six constitutional conferences in 1953, 1954, 1957, 1958, 1959, and 1960, Great Britain conceded to us the right to assert our political independence as from October 1, 1960.  None of the Nigerian political parties ever adopted violent means to gain our political freedom and we are happy to claim that not a drop of British or Nigerian blood was shed in the course of our national struggle for our place in the sun. This historical fact enabled me to state publicly in Nigeria that Her Majesty’s Government has presented self-government to us on a platter of gold.”

Ladies and gentlemen, the Great Zik of Africa who had profound influence in the philosophy of life of late Chief Ben Nwazojie whose family has gathered us- had great hopes that the successful struggle for independence would bequeath to us as a people; “our place in the sun”.  And yet, even though that entity created in 1914 will become one Century years old in the next three months and had only a few days ago became a relatively old country of fifty three years, its present state is anything but sunny for majority of her citizens. For the fact is that whether of the North, South, East or West of the present day Nigerian territory we know that most Nigerians feel but a deep sense of disappointment at what has become of the dream that our founding fathers dared to imagine was possible. That deep internal threats to Nigeria’s territorial integrity remain part of core issues of our polity in 2013 menacingly brings into sharp focus the wide gulf between what it means to be a country as different from the higher order state of being a nation.

Thus, the phrase, “an independent Sovereign nation” that Sir Tafawa Balewa used in describing Nigeria in his sweet poetry of a speech at independence remains under doubtful scrutiny and is constantly under threat through various cycles of our political history. For if there is one construct that remains the sticky point in our COUNTRY today, it is whether indeed there is yet a NATION called Nigeria? Or put differently, what happened to the COUNTRY that held so much promise on that morning of October 1, 1960? After all, nothing makes the point of the failure to successfully transition from country to nation than the fact that a only week ago, the current government as a response to heightened socio-political tensions in the land announced yet another National Dialogue that is “aimed at realistically examining and genuinely resolving, longstanding impediments to our cohesion and harmonious development as a truly united Nation”.

What happened? How come a country which at independence was enthusiastically described by our first leader as an independent sovereign nation is at fifty three years hosting another “national conversation” to determine whether it is a worthy union for everyone? Was it also not only a few years ago in 2006 that the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo had hosted as similar gathering? Who were the people that discussed at that time and what did they resolve? What seems to be the intractable issue that almost every administration –military and civilian alike- have not managed to settle on whether we do indeed have a common destiny or not? How come that despite the oft expressed “sincere intent” of each cycle of ruling class (mark my choice of word as distinct from leadership); that each hosted some sort of national dialogue, conference, conversation, forum etc. (choose your pick), we are nowhere closer today to our destination of nationhood. To imagine that our founding fathers mistakenly assumed that we became a nation because the various nationalities worked collaboratively to secure independence from a common external “foe” in 1960? How could it be that this journey has thus far turned out agonizing for almost every one of us?

Even following the most traumatic civil war that ended in 1970, the reemergence as one country provided a context to rally the entire citizenry to build from country to nation. Sadly, that was a missed opportunity. Is it therefore not heartrending that the present state of our country nearly questions our status as a Country?  The pain of this truism is that we are in 2014 faced with exactly the same types of ethnic issues that dotted our union in the 60s. How was it that for over fifty three years, we never went beyond the amalgamation process to becoming a Country and subsequently transforming into a Nation? The simple answer to the lamentation and question is that elite failure happened to Nigeria! A little more political history following the events of October 1, 1960 will help clarify my answer, simple as it may sound to those who thrive in confounding complexity.

The Elite of every successful society always form the nucleus of citizens with the prerequisite education, ethics and capabilities operating in the political sphere and the public service, providing the great ideas to build the nation and possessing the moral rectitude to always act in the public interest. Access to quality Education ensures that the elite group evolves constantly in every society. For as long as nations have public education systems that function, the poorest of their citizens is guaranteed to move up the ladder and someday emerge as a member of the elite class through academic hard work, strenuous effort and ultimate success at the higher levels of education.

For every society that has succeeded therefore, it has taken such progressively evolving elite class to identify the problems, forge the political systems and processes, soundly articulate a rallying vision and use sound Policies and effective and efficient prioritisation of investments (both public and private) and requisite actions to over time build those strong institutions that outlive the best of charismatic and transformative individuals. But it always does start with quality leadership in the public space investing in a sustained manner for lasting institutions to eventually emerge over time. Institutions do not just happen. In the same manner, nations do not just happen out of multi-ethnic countries.

The globally adopted definition of a country is “ An independent State or country must meet certain metrics all of which we did on that date:
• Has space or territory which has internationally recognized boundaries (boundary disputes are OK).
• Has people who live there on an ongoing basis.
• Has economic activity and an organized economy. A country regulates foreign and domestic trade and issues money.
• Has the power of social engineering, such as education.
• Has a transportation system for moving goods and people.
• Has a government which provides public services and police power.
• Has sovereignty. No other State should have power over the country’s territory.
• Has external recognition. A country has been “voted into the club” by other countries.

Sadly, Nigeria came to simply equate our statehood with nationhood when our founding fathers used those terms almost interchangeably forgetting that a State is not always necessarily a Nation. True, we had becoming a self-governing political entity that negotiated a federal structure that was cognizant of the near autonomy of each of its constituting group of people, but although an independent; we were not and have never acted like a Nation!

Nations are “culturally homogeneous groups of people, larger than a single tribe or community, who shares a common language, institutions, religion, and historical experience.” Each of our then three dominant groups though having their own internal multiple sub-groups and diversities to resolve still saw themselves as stand-alone nations.  However, once it related to the territorial construct known as Nigeria that it shares with the other two groups, no group particularly acted as though the union had forged a “Nigerian nationhood” in that broader sense. Hence, although we continued to be a Country, we however did not attain to the definition of a nation which is “a tightly-knit group of people which share a common culture”. The people of a nation generally share a common national identity, and part of nation-building is the building of that common identity. There were so many fundamental issues that our country which is unlike France of Germany or even Egypt needed to resolve among its multiple divides if it wished to make that profound jump from  country to Nation in order to attain the status of a nation-state.

The Elite in those instances are required to lead the rest of the people in a deliberative process of nation building- of forging that common identity that all will defend. It is the visionary power of the elite to move a people of diversity beyond the lowest common denominator of mere citizens of one country into a nation of people that makes the United States to stand out as a model multi-cultural society.  Hence, even “with its multicultural society, the United States is also referred to as a nation-state because of the shared American “culture.” Some people may of course dismiss this crave for evolution from country into a nation and say it does not matter. For those ones, I recall the wise words of Carolyn Stephenson, a Professor of Political Science at the Univ. of Hawaii-Manoa. Her words could have been written with our country in mind. Professor Stephenson states that “ Nation-building matters to intractable conflict because of the theory that a strong state is necessary in order to provide security, that the building of an integrated national community is important in the building of a state, and that there may be social and economic prerequisites or co-requisites to the building of an integrated national community” Simply put, if a people of diversity in a country truly wish to succeed, they must forge a shared vision and values to realize their goal.

Our failure to immediately use the early days of independence to commence the nation building process is what I consider the biggest missed opportunity in the history of Nigeria. It is the reason as Professor Stephenson asserts, we find ourselves in “cyclical intractable conflict” So, it was not surprising that shortly after the novelty of our political independence wore off the troubling underbelly of our nascent democracy was revealed in the rather prescient reading of the situation at that time by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States in one of its memorandum of 1966. It wrote “Africa’s most populous country (population estimated at 48 million) is in the throes of a highly complex internal crisis rooted in its artificial origin as a British dependency containing over 250 diverse and often antagonistic tribal groups. The present crisis started” with Nigerian independence in 1960, but the federated parliament hid “serious internal strains. It has been in an acute stage since last January when a military coup d’état destroyed the constitutional regime bequeathed by the British and upset the underlying tribal and regional power relationships. At stake now are the most fundamental questions which can be raised about a country, beginning with whether it will survive as a single viable entity. The situation is uncertain, with Nigeria,……is sliding downhill faster and faster, with less and less chance unity and stability. Unless present army leaders and contending tribal elements soon reach agreement on a new basis for association and take some effective measures to halt a seriously deteriorating security situation, there will be increasing internal turmoil, possibly including civil war”.

The failure to build a nation out of the country it was bequeathed did in fact change the course of Nigeria’s history. It meant that our foundling political elite could not speedily and “sincerely act” on the lofty ideals. The nation building process could have benefitted from their nationalist campaign for independence when they had successfully united against a common “enemy” and brought us our independence. Instead, our political elite turned backward on the supposed “independent sovereign nation” and resorted to lethal ethnicity in playing a brand of politics mostly devoid of altruism. So much so was this prevalent character of the political elite across board that they collectively failed to retrace their steps from the precipitous slide.  It was within this context of elite failure that the 1966 military coup struck unleashing a canvass of governance instability that only abated in 1999 when the fourth Republic commenced with the successful democratic transition currently running for the last fourteen years.

No wonder, empirical evidence points to poor governance –especially corruption as the biggest obstacle to the development of Nigeria. Understanding the cancerous impact of  understand how come a country with the potentials hardly available to more than other one third nations of the world has remained at the bottom of socio economic ladder as a laggard. Economic growth rate and ultimate development of nations are determined by a number of factors that range from sound policies, effective and efficient public and private investments and strong institutions. Economic evidence throughout numerous researches proves that one key variable that determines how fast nations outgrow others is the speed of accumulation of human capital especially through science and technology education.  No wonder for these same countries by 2011-  South Korea of fifty million people has a GDP of $1.12trillion, Brazil of one hundred and ninety six million has $2.48 trillion; Malaysia of twenty eight million people has $278.6Billion; Chile of seventeen million people has $248.59Billion; Singapore of five million people has $318.7 Billion.  Meanwhile with our population of 165 million people we make boasts with a GDP of $235.92 Billion- completely way off the mark that we could have produced if we made a better set of development choices.

More dramatic is that this wide gap between these nations and Nigeria was not always the case as some relevant data at the time of our independence reveal.  In 1960 the GDP per capita of all these countries were not starkly different from that of Nigeria- two were below $200, two were a little above $300 and one was slightly above $500 while that of Nigeria was just about $100. For citizens, these differentials are not mere economic data. Meanwhile by 2011, the range for all five grew exponentially with Singapore at nearly $50,000, South Korea at $22,000, Malaysia at $10,000, Brazil at $13,000 and Chile at $14,000. Our own paltry $1500 income per capita helps drive home the point that we have been left behind many times over by every one of these other countries. How did these nations steer and stir their people to achieve such outstanding economic performance over the last five decades? There is hardly a basis for comparing the larger population of our citizens clustered within the poverty bracket with the majority citizens of Singapore fortunate to have upper middle income standard of living.

Again, how did this happen? What happened to Nigeria? Why did we get left behind? How did these nations become productively wealthy over the last fifty three years while Nigeria stagnated? How did majority of the citizens of these nations join the upper middle class while more Nigerians retrogressed into poverty? There are usually as many different answers to these sets of questions as there are respondents on the reasons we fell terribly behind. Some say, it is our tropical geography, yet economic research shows it has not prevented other countries like China, Australia, Chile and Brazil for example with similar conditions from breaking through economically. Others say it is size, but China and India are bigger, and yet in the last thirty and twenty years have grown double digit and continue to out- grow the rest of the world at this time of global economic crisis. Furthermore, being small has not necessarily conferred any special advantages to so many other countries with small population yet similarly battling with the development process like we are.

Some others say it is our culture but like a political economist posited “European countries with different sorts of cultures, Protestant and Catholic alike that have grown rich. Secondly, different countries within the same broad cultures have performed very differently in economic terms, such as the two Koreas in the post-war era. Moreover, individual countries have changed their economic trajectories even though “their cultures didn’t miraculously change.” How about those who plead our multiethnic nationalities as the constraint but fail to see that the United States of America happens to be one nation with even more disparate ethnic nationalities than Nigeria and yet it leads the global economy! As for those who say it is the adverse impact of colonialism, were Singapore, Malaysia and even parts of China like Hong Kong not similarly conquered and dominated by colonialists?

That Nigeria is a paradox of the kind of wealth that breeds penury is as widely known as the fact that the world considers us a poster nation for poor governance wealth from natural resources. The trend of Nigeria’s population in poverty since 1980 to 2010 for example suggests that the more we earned from oil, the larger the population of poor citizens : 17.1 million 1980, 34.5million in 1985, 39.2million in 1992, 67.1million in 1996, 68.7million in 2004 and 112.47 million in 2010! This sadly means that you are children of a nation blessed with abundance of ironies.
Resource wealth has tragically reduced your nation- my nation- to a mere parable of prodigality. Nothing undignifies nations and their citizens like self-inflicted failure.

Our abundance of oil, people and geography should have worked favorably and placed us on the top echelons of the global economic ladder by now. After all, basic economic evidence shows that abundance of natural resources can by itself increase the income levels of citizens even if it does not increase their productivity. For example, as Professor Collier a renowned economist who has focused on the sector stated in a recent academic work countries that have enormously valuable natural resources are likely to have high living standards on a sustainable basis by simply replacing some of the extracted resources with financial assets held abroad. Disappointedly, even that choice eluded our governing class who through the decades has spent more time quarreling over their share of the oil “national cake” than they have spent thinking of how to make it benefit the entire populace.

The coup of 1966 anchored its justification on the failure of the political class to provide good governance. In the exact word of the leader of the coup;  “Our enemies are the political profiteers, the swindlers, the men in high and low places that seek bribes and demand 10 percent; those that seek to keep the country divided permanently so that they can remain in office as ministers or VIPs at least, the tribalists, the nepotists, those that make the country look big for nothing before international circles, those that have corrupted our society and put the Nigerian political calendar back by their words and deeds.”

In effect, what we today confront as systemic corruption only metamorphosed to gigantic proportion through the over nearly fifty decades of the speech given to justify the first truncation of the will of the people for democratic governance. As a matter of fact, anyone who will find and read all the justification statements for coups and the inauguration statements for democratically elected governments in our fifty three years of being a country will assume that each group merely modified the speech of their predecessors.  Perhaps the only differences were the locations of the punctuation marks, the commas, the semi colons and the full stops in each statement that followed this excerpt from the statement of 1966.

The substance is the same – indignation at the grand corruption that has persistently undermined the effectiveness of governance since our political independence.   The instructive feature of the dramatis personae that made up the military and political elite class at various times is their uncanny national spread and the unity of purpose they managed and have continued to manage to forge among them in the ignoble business of committing grand larceny against the country. Ethnicity was hardly and still is not a constraining factor once the political elite of Nigeria- whether from the North, South, East and West gather at the altar of corruption to execute their unifying purpose of “transactions”. They are united in “extracting” from Nigeria because it does appear in the minds that the country can never move beyond  a mere artificial political construct.

Of all the obstacles to our greatness, there were two on which citizens irrespective of their affiliations seemed to have forged a consensus as the priority agenda issues for their governments to mobilize every sector, level and individual; to unite, fight and defeat. The two issues are systemic corruption and pernicious poverty. However, in the last one year with escalations in insecurity wherein we are now faced with more immediate life threatening scourge of terrorism within our land those two priorities are overtaken in ranking. That we now experience regular terrorist killing of the innocent in our land has pushed the twin issues of poverty and corruption to second and third priorities of citizens. These recent killings have joined with the civil war of the 60s to pollute Nigeria with fresh blood of our children- our daughters and sons, the blood of our women, the blood of our men, the blood of our young and the blood of our old.

Citizens who had assumed that the worst possible was the many decades of being trapped in intergenerational poverty in an ironically “oil wealthy” are now exposed to deadlier acts of terrorism.  Terrorists became emboldened by the absence of our political class across the entire spectrum of political leadership who decided to “play their normal politics” with the blood of the poor. The blood soaked land is convulsing. Do we not hear the cries especially of the young children and women killed for a cause they know nothing about? I read the fear laden articles and tweets of many young Nigerians asking “when this carnage will end?” I hear them lash out angrily that it is the cumulative failure of older generations of us all in this gathering that is bequeathing to them- a country so broken and mortally bruised that again we need divine intervention to heal the land and people.

Is it therefore not unconscionable that in the over nearly three years of rising trend of terrorist attacks against whole communities in the central and north eastern states of Nigeria where our kith and kin have regularly been slaughtered in cold blood; the milk of empathy has not yet flowed from our Elders in the Land in the entire political spectrum to suspend “transactional politicking” and build a united front against this newest common enemy? Is it not unconscionable that despite the massive public resources committed to security spending, the government has failed to inspire confidence in communities and the large public that feel excluded from the more secured lives of the political elite?

In shock, Nigerians have wondered whether our political class which carries on with politicking to “capture or retain power” is comfortable to govern dead communities. Is it not time for all of our political leaders to pay that utmost sacrifice of leadership- lay down their personal gain for the good of the people they wish to lead. Leadership is not the office, the title, the authority, the mansion one occupies. Leadership is the sacrifice offered that others may thrive. There are three grades of leadership- Transactional, Transformational and Transcendental leadership. What our nation asks all of you irrespective of the acronyms that thread together to make you a political party in this land today, is that you must immediately “transcend” and mobilize all of Nigerians  against the immediate common enemies killing our own within our territory.

Your act of transcendental leadership across your various divides in Nigerian politics of today, will not only end this fatal insecurity in our country, but will actually start the process of healing of land and the people. The healing of our land and people will in turn begin the process of rebuilding the eroded social capital that we must have for nation building process. John Jacob Gardener a professor of Leadership defines Transcendental Leadership as follows: “A new metaphor, transcendent leadership, answers a planetary call for a governance process which is more inclusive, more trusting, more sharing of information, more meaningfully involving associates or constituents, more collective decision making through dialogue and group consent processes, more nurturance and celebration of creative and divergent thinking and a willingness to serve the will of the collective consciousness as determined by the group – in essence, a leadership of service above self” Nothing in any political party manifesto in our present Nigeria realizes how fundamental it is to first accomplish this at this time in country.

Economic research has proven that there can be no development without peace. The underperformance of our country as a result of the volatility of regime changes and truncation of democracy direly cost us the opportunity to build vibrant institutions, to pursue on a sustained basis  sound macroeconomic, microeconomic and structural policies  and finally to implement quality, effective and efficient public and private investment like other nations.   Every country is fundamentally composed of three sectors- the public sector or government, the private sector or business and civil society. Worse than political instability however is the growing sense of our current reality that we are “at war”. In a season of war, ladies and gentlemen, no road map for economic development is viable- no matter how sound its articulation. I advise that 2014 offers all political actors in Nigeria, the opportunity to immediately unite and decisively take our country back from terrorists. This is my most important economic message for your gathering. As the leading opposition party in the country, your leadership must be visible in demonstrating a commitment to reaching out to the Government to commence a united fight to preserve the lives of all citizens.

Of all the obstacles to our greatness, there were two on which citizens irrespective of their affiliations seemed to have forged a consensus as the priority agenda issues for their governments to mobilize every sector, level and individual; to unite, fight and defeat. The two issues are systemic corruption and pernicious poverty. However, in the last one year with escalations in insecurity wherein we are now faced with more immediate life threatening scourge of terrorism within our land those two priorities are overtaken in ranking. That we now experience regular terrorist killing of the innocent in our land has pushed the twin issues of poverty and corruption to second and third priorities of citizens. These recent killings have joined with the civil war of the 60s to pollute Nigeria with fresh blood of our children- our daughters and sons, the blood of our women, the blood of our men, the blood of our young and the blood of our old.

Citizens who had assumed that the worst possible was the many decades of being trapped in intergenerational poverty in an ironically “oil wealthy” are now exposed to deadlier acts of terrorism.  Terrorists became emboldened by the absence of our political class across the entire spectrum of political leadership who decided to “play their normal politics” with the blood of the poor. The blood soaked land is convulsing. Do we not hear the cries especially of the young children and women killed for a cause they know nothing about? I read the fear laden articles and tweets of many young Nigerians asking “when this carnage will end?” I hear them lash out angrily that it is the cumulative failure of older generations of us all in this gathering that is bequeathing to them- a country so broken and mortally bruised that again we need divine intervention to heal the land and people.

Is it therefore not unconscionable that in the over nearly three years of rising trend of terrorist attacks against whole communities in the central and north eastern states of Nigeria where our kith and kin have regularly been slaughtered in cold blood; the milk of empathy has not yet flowed from our Elders in the Land in the entire political spectrum to suspend “transactional politicking” and build a united front against this newest common enemy? Is it not unconscionable that despite the massive public resources committed to security spending, the government has failed to inspire confidence in communities and the large public that feel excluded from the more secured lives of the political elite?  In shock, Nigerians have wondered whether our political class which carries on with politicking to “capture or retain power” is comfortable to govern dead communities. Is it not time for all of our political leaders to pay that utmost sacrifice of leadership- lay down their personal gain for the good of the people they wish to lead. Leadership is not the office, the title, the authority, the mansion one occupies. Leadership is the sacrifice offered that others may thrive. There are three grades of leadership- Transactional, Transformational and Transcendental leadership. What our nation asks all of you irrespective of the acronyms that thread together to make you a political party in this land today, is that you must immediately “transcend” and mobilize all of Nigerians  against the immediate common enemies killing our own within our territory.

Your act of transcendental leadership across your various divides in Nigerian politics of today, will not only end this fatal insecurity in our country, but will actually start the process of healing of land and the people. The healing of our land and people will in turn begin the process of rebuilding the eroded social capital that we must have for nation building process. John Jacob Gardener a professor of Leadership defines Transcendental Leadership as follows: “A new metaphor, transcendent leadership, answers a planetary call for a governance process which is more inclusive, more trusting, more sharing of information, more meaningfully involving associates or constituents, more collective decision making through dialogue and group consent processes, more nurturance and celebration of creative and divergent thinking and a willingness to serve the will of the collective consciousness as determined by the group – in essence, a leadership of service above self” Nothing in any political party manifesto in our present Nigeria realizes how fundamental it is to first accomplish this at this time in country.

Economic research has proven that there can be no development without peace. The underperformance of our country as a result of the volatility of regime changes and truncation of democracy direly cost us the opportunity to build vibrant institutions, to pursue on a sustained basis  sound macroeconomic, microeconomic and structural policies  and finally to implement quality, effective and efficient public and private investment like other nations. Worse than political instability however is the growing sense of our current reality that we are “at war”. In a season of war, ladies and gentlemen, no road map for economic development is viable- no matter how sound its articulation. I advise that 2014 offers all political actors in Nigeria, the opportunity to immediately unite and decisively take our country back from terrorists. This is my most important economic message for your gathering. As the leading opposition party in the country, your leadership must be visible in demonstrating a commitment to reaching out to the Government to commence a united fight to preserve the lives of all citizens.

On the twin enemies of corruption and poverty, those among us who still need proof to believe that indeed the two severest maladies from which Nigeria must heal are poverty and poor governance must not have seen the 2013 Global Corruption Barometer 2013. Poverty and corruption are two things that rob Nigerians of their dignity; Poverty deprives one of the basic services they need in order to preserve their self-dignity. Poor governance on the other hand is what poverty helps breed.

Thus, academic research shows that countries which have tended to poor governance end delivering not delivering the basic social services that citizens need in order to lift themselves out of poverty and where they do at all, it is too little and too poor a quality to make a difference.  It is the capacity to constantly deliver equality of opportunities for better quality of life to all citizens that distinguishes one government from another. Throughout our fifty three years of history following our independence in 1960, we sadly have not recorded one stellar record of performance in this regard by any government. Today, our 69% poor in the land which in real number is over 100 million of citizens trapped in poverty is the key scorecard of our five decades of failure.

When asked by citizens why they think they have been constantly failed by their governments, they mostly respond that the failure of the state to effectively function is corruption. This much they said to Transparency International which invests heavily in surveys around the world. The result of the most recent survey, tagged ‘Global Corruption Barometer 2013?, (the biggest-ever public opinion survey on corruption) was recently released all over the world. It showed that 75 per cent of Nigerians say the government’s effort at fighting corruption is ineffective. Only 14 per cent of those surveyed say the government’s effort is achieving results. Also, 94 per cent of Nigerians think corruption is a problem with 78 per cent saying it is a serious problem.

Over the past 12 months, the report says, 81 per cent of Nigerians say they have given a bribe to the police, 30 per cent of those surveyed say they have paid a bribe for education services, 29 per cent have given a bribe to the registry and permit services, same for utilities, and 24 per cent have given a bribe to the judiciary. The survey shows that 22 per cent of Nigerians have paid a bribe to tax revenue, 17 per cent to land services and 9 per cent has paid a bribe for medical and health services. Transparency International had last year rated Nigeria as the 35th most corrupt country in the world. Whether we choose to accept it or not, we are a country engulfed in systemic and endemic corruption with its attendant cancerous – wasting away, corrosive effect- on what is legendarily called our “huge potentials”.

Take the natural resources sector to which we have willingly and disastrously mortgaged our lives to as a result of failure of leadership to embrace hard work, effort and productivity as national values.  Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil exporter, and the world’s 10th largest oil producer, accounting for more than 2.2 million barrels a day in 2011. Oil revenues totaled $50.3 billion in 2011 and generated more than 70 percent of government revenues. However, for a sector that sadly determines our rise and fall in the last fifty three years,  Nigeria’s Performance on the Resource Governance Index  (carried out by the global NGO- Revenue Watch Institute of the Open Society Foundations) – Nigeria received a “weak” score of 42, ranking 40th out of 58 countries.

We stood out among the 80% of countries which fail to achieve good governance in their extractive sectors. The insalubrious performance of this dominant revenue source seems to be one we have decided to wear elegantly with a mindset that refuses to embrace the kind of fundamental change that will set the nation free. A read of the now famous in the breach, PIB shows that we have refused to surrender and subordinate the huge power of discretion exercised by the President in all matters concerning oil since the last many decades. Surely, for what we know of the huge benefits of transparency and competition it does indeed stir the minds of those that have no interest in oil blocks but who care for the maximization of value for the aggregate social good of Nigeria that we walk the provisions of our NEITI law.

The pervasive hold over our economy by oil shows up in everything. In our Sovereign credit rating recently, poor governance, low per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and reserve cover were identified as Nigeria’s biggest challenge to joining other Emerging Markets (EMs) according to Richard Fox of Fitch Ratings. According to him, these areas represent Nigeria’s biggest challenge to improving its rating, as highlighted in Fitch’s previous research. Of the three, reserve cover is the most susceptible to rapid improvement, particularly at current high oil prices. This is because although at that time of his comment, Nigeria’s reserves had risen by around $2 billion they are not rising as fast as in the majority of big oil exporters”. Comparisons always help convey these kinds of information better.

During the period, 2009 to 2011 Algeria expanded her savings from current oil boom by at least 30% to build up its reserve and invest in critical infrastructure. The new comer Angola nearly doubled its reserve while simultaneously implementing a huge public investment program to build diversity of critical infrastructure. Sadly, whether it is building up reserves/saving or in building critical infrastructure and human capital our own trend is in the reverse. For even though crude price rose or has held steady at different time, the quality of governance continues to hobble our capacity to strike out onto the path of success.

WHAT PROSPECTS FOR THE FUTURE THEN?
In what and whom do I place my confidence that a New Nigeria will emerge? What is it that engenders my confidence that our five decades of failure is not sustainable: First is the rising crescendo of dissatisfaction with the concept of Failure by the over 50% percent of our population that are young. That daily the young people of Nigeria- educated or not are anxious to path ways with Failure is a source of optimism.

Today, more than 40% of our young people may be unemployed and requiring a major intervention that matches skills with economic structural change but they represent strength for any leadership that “transcends” in the way it allocates public resources to priorities. They insist by the words and action that they know we can do better than we have done since our independence. The Women who constituting about 50% of our population are by the records of present accomplishment, the most visible secret weapons of our economic, social and political development.   The entrepreneurial and “can do” spirit of just these two groups-  the spirit that seeks to compete even with the rest in the world by first conquering the uncertain and disabling context in which it operates is emerging as the counter cultural shock to an elite class that entrenched contemptible wealth based on ignoble ease as a national creed.

The return of the values of hard work and the reward of creativity and innovation are the New Normal that Citizens want to engage their governments on. Citizens question the things and values we reward. They question the perverse incentive that rewards abhorrent behaviour while punishing what is right. They are perplexed when they watch the elite class destroy the potency of sanctions regime in every just society by acts that fail to demand the cost of bad behaviour from big offenders . Citizens wish to unleash their talents and be facilitated by a capable and service oriented public service to identify new sources of growth forcing the diversification rhetoric into reality finally. We must think through how to expand the revenue base of the country and manage it efficiently. Nigeria’s revenue cannot cater for the size of the population that we have and we seek to exploit other creative and natural endowments of nature which primarily is our huge population of people with diverse capabilities.

The generation of human capital through education- access to quality basic, tertiary education expanded and well costed with access for the poor and entrepreneurship education relevant to the needs of the economy is priority agenda for a country that has grown over more then a decade now without significant structural change. The structural transformation that focuses on growing indigenous enterprise and deliberatively removing obstacles on the path to economic growth for the women and the young with ideas is what a results oriented government owes Citizens. According to data from the World Bank, it is clear that 74% of our revenue comes from non-oil (mainly agricultural exports) as at 1970. We have sadly reversed that suffering the pernicious effect of oil, as currently oil account for 74% of gross national revenue reversing the trend. While Nigeria exported 502 Metric tons of groundnut in 1961 which was 42% of global production as at that time, we currently export almost nothing with the pyramids now invented in stories told to our children.

Citizens are redefining what true attributes of leadership are by demanding that those who shall lead must be all possessing of – competency, character, competency and capacity. Neither of the three can substitute for the other, The political and technocratic class have no choice but to commit to redeeming our public institutions and the human resources that run them. The redemption starts with a true commitment to addressing today’s egregious cost of s the mantra of today’s citizens.

Citizens want to see real commitment to addressing the egregious cost of governance that constitutes massive opportunity cost for equitable economic development that benefits the larger number of citizens currently excluded from the benefits of the growth of the last fourteen years of return to democracy. Citizens associate our meagre revenue which pales when compared  to our prospective peers known as MINT, with wastes, gross inefficiency and corruption. Currently, we have N1.7tn paid out of salaries, N721bn for debt servicing and other recurrent items which puts our capital expenditure around N1.1tn. How then do we expand the economy, build the modern infrastructure if for every N100 that we spend in actual terms, over N80 goes to recurrent items. Those are the issues which to engage leadership on resolving.

Citizens can now better link public  resources and results in their outcry for value-for-money and in the exercise of their right to demand for accountability. They know that our power problems all these years are not merely technical- it is governance failure. Our transportation problem are not technical, it was governance failure. Our poor production and productivity in agriculture is not merely technical, it is governance failure. They know that our health and education and over all underperformance in humans development score are not merely technical, it is due to governance failure.

It cost $148bn dollars in todays value to rebuild Europe after the World War II. This is less than half of the funds that was attributed to have been stolen from Nigeria since independence. The expense of such funds transformed the manufacturing, service industry and competitive factors of Europe. It cost $2bn ($349bn in todays value) to rebuild Japan after the nuclear attack. By conservative estimate, our country has earned more than $600billion in the last five  decades and yet can only boast of a United Nations Human Development Index score of .4 out of 1 proximate to that of Chad and maternal mortality rate similar to that of Afghanistan! Nothing reveals the depth of our failures than such performance indicators considering the vastly greater possibilities that we have been bestowed.

Above all, and finally, Citizens now seek to fully participation and make demands for democratic accountability- they are not afraid to scrutinise all public institutions and to demand better results of governance. The unwillingness of any group of political elite to understand this emerging power of the Office of the Citizen can only be a loss to the former and yet another missed opportunity added to our canvass of political tragedies……. But God forbid!

Obiageli (Oby) Ezekwesili
Keynote Speaker
APC SUMMIT, Abuja- March 6th 2014

  • @iam_mrpossible

    This is the TRUTH,the whole TRUTH and nothing but the TRUTH!
    Wonderful speech ma!
    You spoke the minds/hearts of Nigerians, this is more than any service you could have put in for the public!
    May the Good Lord bless You!

  • Temitope Aiyedun

    The uncomfortable truth has been gracefully presented. But the truth set free. Powerful words,let those with ears hear!

  • Hon. Emma Kegunani

    Oby remember that you were once a minister under one of these military regime. Why did you not bring this your wealth of political historian to bear so as to salvage this country as you claimed rather than sit in one conner of your luxurious office,go through Nigeria political history and come up with this write up that even if you are the president today cannot impliment. Comments like this are easy to come by but Oby practicalise it mot hypothesis.

  • chibuzor

    She actually Did, if your memory serves you well, pushing the due process systems -truncated in the brief Yar ‘Adua regime, pushing monetization policies -Also trucated by Yar’ Adua, pushing for agressive reforms in the educational system. Also unlike some other government officials she insisted on using her private vehicles and keeping costs to the absolute minimum in areas under her control. if you have contrary ‘fact’ please help us with them

  • praise fowowe

    @Hon
    Did you ever hear od due process in this country or where did you think the name Madam due process came from?
    If you really know Oby you’d know she stood out wherever she served. She laid a solid foundation for our educational system that was discarded please check your records

  • http://www.jerryosagie.com Jerry Osagie

    @Hon. Emma Kegunani, It is clear that you are one of those that want the country to stay as it is and not progress into a nation that we desire. Your sense of judgement is lean and myopic in nature and you lack history and context. Dr Oby has seen it, been there and done it for this country without fear and she is still in the business of ensuring a better country. What we ask of all of us and U especially is to take part in ensuring that we have a Nation that we can be proud of and call Nigeria.

    Remember, there is no office of the president in what we desire but the office of the citizens. So stand up and be counted. Selah

  • Tobi Ajose

    She spoke very well…We need more courageous persons like this to tell the absolute truth amongst any persons.

  • gabriel Sole-Adeoye

    This is a wonderful speech. So funny how so many people who benefit from the atrocities of this corrupt government, will always think everyone is like them and hence do everything they can to frustrate every attempt to bring about meaningful change.

  • kayode

    Dear Hon or sorry Kegunani people like you do not worth calling a Nigerian talkless of being an Honourable. You should know that, at this point in time, the country need many of our dear Dr Oby. She has record which few can boast in this country. she has always being a pioneer of so many reforms which our stupid politician truncated.
    God will continue to bless those that want good for this country.

  • Tayo-LawaL

    Wonderful speech! great lecture! am so happy that among her audience were those that brought us into this mess. This is d kind of speech that could have been delivered at the ‘Centenary celebration’ not d d kind of Jamboree organized by our insensitive government. Kudos Madame Due Process!

  • William Norris

    This speech is the usual superficial emission by the Nigerian politician. Heavy on generalities and devoid of any prescription on the basic problems that be devil Nigeria.

    The BASIC problem of Nigeria is lack of property rights and resource control. EVERYTHING OTHER PROBLEM flows from that. There’s an African proverb that when taboos are tolerated for too long they become the norm. NOBODY IN NIGERIA OWNS ANY LAND. That is SHOCKING but has become the LEGAL norm in Nigeria.

    People who don’t own anything are POOR.

  • Ayo Kellany

    This is definitely a platform people can comment intelligently without bias or ethic bigotry unlike vangaurd. If Nigerians listens to speeches like this daily it will in the long run stern the tide of the disastrous situation of the country. Kudos to an inspirational speaker Nigeria need to dream big as only the dream can save us now.

    The almighty as given us all that he could give and i doubt if Israel have crude oil or as blessed as we are with natural resources. It is about time we take the bull by the horn each and every one of us.

  • http://Www.jerrijheto.comn Jerri jheto

    The country needs people like her . Tell the truth and shame the devil. Are we ripe enough to have a woman President?

  • Adeolu Aremu

    The deep calleth to the deep

    This is a speech that should strengthen the resolve of The APC drivers and conductors to work for the improvement of quality of life of Nigerians. Coming from a person with such an impressive credentials like hers, they should realise that power should not be sought for the reasons of selfish interests, which are of course myopic. Rather, it should provoke a general but inner awakening for the need to set the country free from the prisons of her cruel task masters; corruption and poverty.

  • Babatunde Success

    Thank u all for not allowing d so called honourable to go away with his distortion of history. That’s how they comment on every issues with nothing in their head other than sentiment n blind bigotry; it wont get us anywhere.

  • Marvins Abhulimen

    Indeed are we ready for a female president?………..this speech reminds me of Obana givin his speech at d start of Kerry’s campaign who went on to lose and 4yrs later he became d 1st black president………..Madam Oby start preparing so that when opportunity comes calling you will be ready and able to answer its call while we prepare to judge u based on ur speeches…..

  • emmy

    @Hon. Can you any of the military regime she was a Minister? Get fact before joining any argument. She was right, 100%.

  • @niranorojinmi

    In as much as I give kudos to Dr Oby (madam due process) for this TRUTH, it would have been better if we start putting them into practice. Though she practise what she preaches, I want more of her personality in Nigeria because a tree cannot make a forest.

  • chuks

    Hon. Is a title for fools in nigeria, touts are honorable, those who does not even know their history are honorable, God forbid that i will be called Hon in nigeria, because non is any thing but honourable, looters and theives …

  • http://WWW.feelrivers.com feel rivers

    This is the truth

  • Gbokes

    She did not have to stress it too much the link below is quite revealing and since we Naija people always take what ‘they’ say seriously hope this will do
    http://omojuwa.com/2014/02/fgwhereisour20bdollars-the-missing-billion-dollars-in-graph/

  • ANIFOWOSE IDOWU

    I applaud your speech because its also revealed some historical background of the nation to the whole world as well as the root of the problem facing our dear country ‘NIGERIA.i so much believe that you have said the truth, to this note ma, i pray God will replenish your wisdom amen.

  • samuel id

    I thank God for people like her! Seriously we need to pray for our dear country!

  • Shyne

    @Samuel ID we don’t need to pray for our country. That has never helped since 1960. Besides, doing that is maintaining status quo and shifting d problem for “God” to solve. we need to realise d power of our collective voice, influence, vote, and demand for our rights and the rights of the next person.
    Come 2015, be as practical as possible. Vote for the person with the workable, informed, physical plan nor the person that prays over the problem, or wears a friendly mask after years of ignorance to the general public. Yes I’m talking to u, Atiku. U will never rule.
    Beautiful speech my lady.

  • joe

    let her go n chill, bunch of hypocrites….

  • Chris AC-Ogbonna

    Oby Ezekwesili has spoken the gospel truth.Most Nigerians say the truth when no more favoured by certain government or out from the corridors of power.Sinceshe knew all these why didn’t she say all these truth when enjoying under Obasanjo’s government.Or was there no such problem in the economy under Obasanjo government?

  • Michael Law

    What a disparity in Women, 1)Madam Due Process (2) Madam do the needful (3) Madam i can’t be probed.. Who we decide to live is a function of our choice.

  • Idris M. Talle

    Been long when last i read an inspiring speech of this nature. You have said it all and i hope those of us that listen or read it will put it into practice.

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Boko Haram carried out a fresh wave of massacres in northeastern Nigeria on Friday, locals said, killing nearly 200 people in 48 hours of violence President Muhammadu Buhari blasted as "inhuman and barbaric". The militants have staged multiple attacks across restive Borno state since Wednesday, gunning down worshippers at evening Ramadan prayers, shooting women in their homes, and dragging men from their beds in the dead of night. A young female suicide bomber also...

Chad Seizes Suspected Boko Haram Weapons Cache

Chadian security forces, announced that they have seized a large weapon cache including guns, rockets and ammunition in a house in N’Djamena occupied by suspected members of the Boko Haram. The officials said the weapons, buried under the courtyard of the house in the eastern neighbourhood of Guinebor, were destined for northern Nigeria. One of the investigators, said on condition of anonymity, that they were part of the weapons that Baana Fanaye, Boko Haram’s logistics...

PMB Urges Muslims To Rise Against Boko Haram

Against the backdrop of the incessant terrorism attacks in Nigeria and the world over, President Mohammadu Buhari yesterday urged the Muslim community to make a strong statement that would condemn the activities of insurgents. According to the president, speaking with one voice was a sure way of rejecting the attackers claim of acting in the name of Islam, stressing that it would also stop the abasement of their religion. This is even as Buahri called...

Find Out What Kiss Daniel Thinks About Gay Marriage

Rising singer Kiss Daniel has subtly supports same sex marriage which was legalized in the United States of America  last week.  The ruling of the Supreme Court of America to legalize homosexual marriage has been criticized by many Nigerians. "Ok, so, g@y marriage is legalized in the U.S? Some are mad, some are indifferent, some are glad.  Straight or G@y, what matter is we’ve got a heart that can love. Love is love and love always...

Let APC Work & Let This System Work- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that all APC faithful must collectively come together to rise above the current crisis threatening to engulf the party. Buhari made the call in Abuja on Friday at the first National Executive Council (NEC) emergency meeting of All Progressives Congress (APC) after its victory at the polls. He said ?party members should strive to win the war (National Assembly crisis) as they won the battle (general elections). He said:...

Obama’s Grandmother To Cook For President On Kenya Trip

President Barack Obama's Kenyan grandmother, known as Mama Sarah, vowed Friday to cook a traditional meal for her grandson when he visits the East African nation, the birthplace of his father, later this month. "With regards to what food I will prepare for Barack on his visit, I will prepare all the traditional food available," she said, speaking her Luo language through a translator on a visit to Nairobi. She tempted him with...

Bank of Industry Presents Cheques To Two Off-Grid Solar Home System Providers | Statement from the CEO

Speech Delivered By     By RASHEED OLAOLUWA Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, BANK OF INDUSTRY At the PRESENTATION OF CHEQUES TO TWO OFF-GRID SOLAR HOME SYSTEM PROVIDERS Under the BOI/UNDP SOLAR ENERGY PROGRAMME: July 3, 2015 Gentlemen of the Press,   Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, It is a well-known fact that Nigeria’s current electricity situation is unsatisfactory. Let’s rewind a few decades...

Accept Party Supremacy, Buhari Tells Senators, Reps

President Muhammadu Buhari has told the All Progressives Congress lawmakers in the National Assembly to accept the party’s supremacy in the interest of democracy. In his opening remarks at the ongoing meeting of the National Executive Committee of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Abuja, Buhari charged members to put whatever interest they have in their “pockets” and accept the supremacy of the party in the overall interest of democracy. He said: “What ever your personal...

NEWS ALERT: 11 Killed As Suicide Bombers Target Borno Highways

At least 11 people have been killed after two separate suicide bombings were carried out in Borno State by suspected female terrorists. More than 20 people have been injured. The State Police Commissioner, Aderemi Opadokun, confirmed the blasts on Friday. “There was an explosion at Malari village along Bama/Konduga Highway on 2/7/15 (Thursday) at about 1400 hours," said Opadokun. "A female suicide bomber detonated IED (Improvised Explosive Devices) strapped to her body, killing herself and...

Lagos On High Alert To Thwart New Ebola Outbreak

The Lagos State Government has reiterated the need for members of the general public to ensure and maintain adequate personal and environmental hygiene to prevent the Ebola virus disease recurring. This follows reported cases of resurgence of Ebola in some neigbouring West African countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone. The Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Health, Dr Modele Osunkiyesi, gave the advice from her office at Ikeja. She said the need to...

Science Explains Why Hot Women Don’t Always Go for Hot Guys (Vice Versa)

We’ve all seen couples pass us by on the street where the woman is hot and the guy is, well, not — and vice versa. If we’re truly being honest, we’ve secretly wondered how they got together in the first place. These types of couples may stand out in our minds is because, in general, research shows we’re more likely to be romantically interested in...

Furious Oyegun Denies Taking Bribes To Support Saraki

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, John Odigie-Oyegun, has denied taking bribe to support the agenda of the lawmakers who became principal officers of the 8th Assembly against the wishes of his own party. Mr. Odigie-Oyegun made the denial when the leadership of the South-East, South-South Professionals paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja on Thursday. He said the allegation in some media reports that he was induced to support Bukola Saraki’s bid...

Chinese Company To Fine Workers Who Get Pregnant Without Permission

A Chinese company plans to demand its employees seek approval to get pregnant and fine those who conceive a child without permission, reports said, provoking a media firestorm Friday. “Only married female workers who have worked for the company for more than one year can apply for a place on the birth planning schedule,” read a policy distributed by a credit cooperative in Jiaozuo, in the central province of Henan. “The employee must strictly stick...

FIRS Generates N1.8tn Tax In Six Months

The acting Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Sunday Ogungbesan, yesterday disclosed that the service had generated a whopping N1.842 trillion from taxes into the federation account in the first half of the year. Ogungbesan made this disclosure yesterday while briefing the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on the performance of the agency in the last six months.He was accompanied to the meeting by members of the senior management team of the agency.

Police Arraign 3 Farmers For Defiling 10 Year Old Girl

The police yesterday arraigned three farmers in a senior magistrates’ court in Katsina for raping a 10-year-old girl. The accused are Yahuza Musa, 20; Tasiu Abubakar, 20; and Sadiq Isyaku, 20. The trio, who reside at Dakiya village in Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State, appeared before Senior Magistrate Nafisa Bagiwa on one-count charge of rape. The prosecutor, Insp. Hashimu Musa, told the court that the accused committed the offence on June 11...

18+: Rihanna’s ‘#BBHMM’ Video Is Brilliant, Terrifying, Complicated; Judge For Yourselves

The new, highly anticipated video for Rihanna’s “#BBHMM” is an epic, 7-minute visual kaleidoscope of style and excess and, as was clearly intended, it’s generated a lot of buzz since debuting online at midnight today. In the video, we watch Rih, accompanied by two silent minions, kidnap the modelesque wife of an accountant (surprise! Mads Mikkelsen) who owes her some serious coin. The sexualized violence in the video is graphic and disturbing (we'll get to...

JAMB To Determine Admissions Cut-Off Marks July 14

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says it will hold its 2015 Policy meeting on July 14 to determine cut-off marks for admission of candidates into tertiary institutions. The board said it has concluded all arrangements to commence the process of the 2015 admissions. Speaking to journalists Thursday, JAMB’s spokesperson, Benjamin Fabian, said the 2015 Policy Meeting, where the cut-off points for admissions are usually decided at, has been fixed for 14th July, 2015.

I Was Not Invited To Buhari’s Meeting– Dogara

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has denied reports that he was invited for a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari. There had been media reports that Buhari would hold a meeting with Dogara and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila who was the choice of the All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership for the speakership position. Dogara in a statement signed his Special Adviser Media and Public Affairs; Mr. Turaki Adamu Hassan said “Attention of the...

President Buhari To Accomodate Investors From Japan, Others To Revitalize Economy

President Buhari said his government will welcome greater investment in-flows from Japan and other developed countries to revitalize the Nigeria’s economy and create more jobs. Buhari said this yesterday while receiving the new Japanese ambassador to Nigeria, Sadanobu Kusaoke who was at the State House to present his letters of credence. He said his government would take all necessary steps to significantly improve the operating environment for domestic and international companies in Nigeria. The...

APC Crisis: Buhari, Saraki, Dogara, Others To Assemble Today For NEC Meeting

The All Progressives Congress (APC) vowed yesterday to emerge strong from its first National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting after its post-election crisis. The crisis, which has split the party’s leaders, erupted after the June 9 election of principal officers at the National Assembly. Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara emerged against the party’s wish. The party endorsed Senator Ahmed Lawan for Senate and Femi Gbajabiamila for Speaker. “We...

Arase Deploys New Commissioners Of Police In Lagos, Rivers, Ogun

Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Solomon Arase has deployed new Commissioners of Police in Lagos, Rivers and Ogun states. According to him, the move is to inject fresh ideas in the security architecture of the states, and some other Force Headquarters Formations. A statement signed by the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Abayomi Shogunle said the postings are with immediate effect. In the deployment chat, Ajani Fatai Owoseni was posted...

NASS: Tension In PDP Over Principal Officers

Indications emerged yesterday that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may be heading for a deep crisis over the choice of its principal officers at the National Assembly. The choice of who gets what in the Assembly among PDP lawmakers, it was gathered has pitched many party stalwarts against one another as they differ on who should get what in the National Assembly. It was gathered that while former President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife,...

President Buhari Set To Release Ministerial List Soon- APC

All Progressives Congress(APC) has commended Nigerians for their patience and perseverance over the delay in the appointments of ministers,saying that the list would be released soon. National publicity secretary of the party, Alh Lai Mohammed speaking with journalists at Oro, in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, Thursday at the 9th annual Ramadan lecture also admitted that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari would have fared better had the ministerial appointments been made before now.

Tragic Secrets Whitney Houston’s Daughter Has Been Hiding

Three weeks before she was found unconscious in the bath, Bobbi Kristina Brown phoned one of her best friends, Alex Reid. She was distraught and scared, and was hiding from her live-in boyfriend, Nick Gordon. Her refuge of choice—inside her deceased mother's closet. "She was sobbing. Nick had hit her and she was scared," explains Alex, recalling the conversation with Krissi in an exclusive interview with E! News. "She was very upset. She didn't know what...

Some Governors Yet To Declare Assets- CCB

The Code of Conduct Bureau has expressed worry over the delay by some state governors to declare their assets, one month after assuming office. “The people we are having problem with now are some governors, but I cannot be categorical in terms of statistics except I confirm.” Chairman of CCB, Mr. Sam Saba, said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria. He said, “The governors are not even supposed to start work as...

President Buhari Set To Sack Service Chiefs

President Buhari is set to relieve all the service chiefs of their appointments before the end of the month, according to sources from the Presidency.   The service chiefs involved are the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh; Chief of Army Staff, Major General Kenneth Minimah; Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshall Adesola Amosu.   According to Punch, the President is considering leaving out the Inspector General of...

13 Political Parties Blast PDP, Support Buhari On New INEC Boss’ Appointment

The Coalition of Progressive Political Parties, an umbrella organisation for 13 registered political parties in Nigeria, has condemned the statement issued by the Peoples Democratic Party on the appointment of the acting chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, President Muhammadu Buhari had appointed Amina Zakari, acting chairman of INEC, hours after the outgoing chairman, Attahiru Jega, had handed over to Ahmad Wali. The PDP condemned Mr. Buhari’s action and demanded its reversal. In...

Huge Foreign Currencies Smuggled Out Through Borders- CBN

Following the restrictions placed on importers of rice and other non-essential items from accessing foreign exchange at the nation’s foreign exchange market, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has revealed an on-going massive smuggling of foreign currencies out of the country through her borders. The apex bank which made the revelation of the unwholesome practice to frustrate the latest policy to conserve foreign exchange in the country, said it has taken steps, working with other agencies...

Buhari Sacks DG Department Of State Service

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday sacked the Director General of the Department of State Service, Mr. Ita Ekpenyong.   According to an announcement made by Alhaji Haruna Imrana, the Director of Communications, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation,  Mr. Lawal Musa Daura has been appointed as the Acting DG of the DSS.   The new Acting DG of DSS, Daura was born in Daura on August 5,1953, he attended Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, from 1977 to 1980, started his...

Nearly 150 Killed In Suspected Boko Haram Attacks In Borno Village

Suspected Boko Haram militants have killed nearly 150 people in northeastern Nigerian villages, mowing down men and children while they prayed in mosques and shooting women preparing food at home, witnesses said Thursday. Dozens of militants stormed three remote villages in the flashpoint Borno state on Wednesday evening, setting houses ablaze in the bloodiest day of attacks by the extremist group since President Muhammadu Buhari came to power in May. Gunmen killed...

NASS: Crisis In PDP Over Principal Officers’ election

Crisis is brewing in the Peoples Democratic Party over the election of principal officers' elections in the National Assembly among its senators.   One of the senators, who spoke with journalists on condition of anonymity in Abuja on Thursday, said powerful forces in the party were planning to install their cronies as principal officers of the party in the National Assembly.   It will be recalled that the party, through its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, had on Wednesday announced the zoning...

Sai Gobe! Buhari Fires DG DSS Ita Ekpeyong, Replacement Announced

President Buhari has sacked the Director General of the Department of State Security Service, Ita Ekpeyong. He has been replaced with Lawal Daura.

Wike To Use 30Bn Loan To Develop Rivers

The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Governor of Rivers, Mr Opunabo Inko-Tariah, has said that the state government’s N30 billion loan will be used to develop the state. Inko-Tariah told newsmen in Port Harcourt on Thursday that insinuations by the state chapter of All Progressives Congress that Gov. Nyesom Wike intends to borrow N100 billion were untrue. He said there were compelling needs to...

External Interferences Caused NASS Crisis – David Umaru

The Senator Representing Niger- East , David Umaru has said that the crisis rocking the National Assembly is due to undue external influence on the National Assembly. The senator who spoke to Journalists in Minna yesterday, stated that the election of Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and that of Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara is not negotiable at his party’s ( APC) National Executive Council (NEC) meeting scheduled for weekend. Umaru stated that interference from outside...

“Even Satan Wasn’t Gay” – President Mugabe Allegedly Says

Following the legalization of gay marriage across America by the Supreme Court last week, Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, who is known for his extreme anti-gay views has been making headlines. Earlier this week was a marriage proposal to president Obama and yesterday, he allegedly said what you see below during another interview; "Even satan wasn't Gay, he chose to approach naked Eve instead of naked Adam." - President, Mugabe on homo sexuality.

Man Commits Suicide in Abuja Over Failed Marriage

A father of four, who lived at Jiwa in the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), last Saturday, committed suicide. He allegedly drank a dangerous substance, suspected to be an insecticide after several attempts to bring back his wife, who left her matrimonial home along with their children. Family sources, who spoke to City News on condition of anonymity, informed that the late Sunday Ogul, who hailed from Kogi State, parted ways with his...

Episcopal Church To Allow Same-Sex Marriages

The Episcopal Church says it will permit weddings for same-sex couples after members approved the change at a meeting of its governing body. The decision by the church, which has about 1.9 million members in the United States, follows the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision last week to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. The Episcopal Church has taken steps toward greater inclusiveness for same-sex couples in the past. In 2012,...

Man Suffers Burns To His Face After His Phone Explodes

The rate at which phones and chargers are exploding in people's faces is a cause for concern... Bhavesh Thummer, a professional diamond polisher, was left with burns to his face and chest, after his mobile phone blew up in his face when he tried making a quick phone call.Mr Thummer's left eye and ear were burnt in the incident, leaving him wearing a heavy bandage across the whole of his left eye. The device exploded whilst Mr Thummer...

Anambra Indigenes Suffer Over Closure Of Filling Stations, As Petrol Sells For N500 Per Litre

Anambra people are currently not in a happy mood as fuel now sells for N500 per litre in the state. This is due to the closure of most filling stations in protest over what they described as high levies imposed on them by the state government. In order to protest the high levies, most filling Stations shut down leading into fuel scarcity in the state. Black market sellers however resulted in selling theirs at N500 per...

London’s Heathrow Airport To Be Expanded, 800 Houses To Go

Heathrow airport is said to undergo a £19b expansion plan. This is needed for a 3rd runway at one of the busiest airports in Europe, a total of about 800 homes would also be demolished . the runway is the first new runway to be built in the South-East of England since the 1940s. Notable ministers have concluded that the expansion is needed to keep London in connection to the rest of the world and keep...

Saraki Condemns Recent Boko Haram Attacks, Expresses Sadness Over Lagos Boat Mishap

The president of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, on Thursday condemned in strong terms what he described as renewed onslaught against innocent Nigerians by the Boko Haram sect especially during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Mr. Saraki also expressed pain over the death of six school children in Lagos following a boat mishap that involved 14 school children who were being conveyed across Ojo to Irewe jetty. A statement released by the senate president’s spokesperson, Yusuph...

Suspected PDP Thugs Batters APC Witnesses In Court

Thugs suspected to be loyal to the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti State on Tuesday beat up witnesses who testified for the All Progressives Congress before the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal. The tribunal is hearing a petition filed by the APC senatorial candidate for Ekiti Central, Gbenga Olofin, against the return of Senator Fatimat Rasaki of the PDP. Olofin on Tuesday closed his case at the tribunal after calling eight witnesses while his opponent,...

Buhari Has No Personal Relationship With New INEC Boss, Presidency Tells PDP

The Presidency yesterday said that due process was followed in the appointment of Mrs. Amina Zakari as the Acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. Her appointment has generated concerns and reactions from many quarters. One of such quarters is the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP which accused the President of naming an ally of his to pave way for the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC reclaim the PDP controlled States at the election...

Fuel Scarcity Returns in Nigeria, As Marketers Ration Products

After a brief respite, fuel queues have returned at the filling stations across the country just as some filling stations in Lagos and Ogun states, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, have started indiscriminate hike of pump price while a few others have locked their premises. However, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said the queues resulted from panic buying, urging consumers to ignore the baseless rumours spurring the action. It noted that some filling...

UN Urges FG To Relax Abortion Laws For Boko Haram Victims

UN Human Rights Chief, Zeid Al-Hussein, has appealed to Nigerian authorities to ease abortion restrictions for women and girls who had been sexually enslaved, raped and forced into so-called “marriages” by Boko Haram fighters. He said this on Thursday in New York while discussing with the Human Rights Council on Boko Haram’s rights violations and abuses, the findings of a 12-member team to Cameroon, southern Niger and the north-eastern regions of Nigeria on Boko Haram.

Pay Back! ISIS Militants Executed By Rival Rebel Group Called ‘The Mother State’

In a chilling case of an eye for an eye,a rebel group in Syria has responded to ISIS by beheading ISIS terrorists .. Hours after ISIS released a video where they beheaded 12 of their fighters, Jaysh al-Islam also released videos of their fighters capturing Islamic State fighters and slaughtering them. In the video, the Jaysh Al-Islam soldiers,are dressed in the orange jump suits that are normally worn by prisoners of ISIS...The Islamic State's captured soldiers, dressed in...

EFCC To Challenge Fani-Kayode’s Acquittal

As Fani Kayode celebrates his court victory today, the EFCC has said it will challenge his acquittal  by a federal high court..The former aviation minister was discharged and acquitted of laundering  almost N100 million while he was the minister of aviation in 2006.The EFCC had filed the suit against him in 2013..Discharging Kayode,Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia said ”It is apparent that the prosecution’s case is feeble and has failed to establish that the accused person paid or accepted...

Finally! Benue Govt Begins Payment of Salary Arrears

There was jubilation in all nooks and crannies of Benue State yesterday as the state government commenced payment of salary arrears of civil servants. The former Governor Gabriel Suswam administration had owed salaries of workers for several months. The former administration said it lacked adequate finances to offset the backlog of salaries due to the dwindling federal allocation. However, Governor Samuel Ortom had on assumption of office about a month ago, told the state workers...

El-Rufai Sues Over False Assets Report

After a busy few weeks as governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai is dismayed by the blatant falsehood being practised as journalism by The Union newspapers. He has consequently directed his legal team to vigorously enforce his rights to protect his reputation from the vandalism of irresponsible hacks. The Union chose to write a spurious story alleging N90b as his assets declaration without seeing the declaration made by Malam El Rufai. The circle of blackmail that did the story claimed...

Fani-Kayode’s Acquittal a Shock, Says EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has said it was shocked by Wednesday’s acquittal of former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode. A Federal High Court in Lagos acquitted Mr. Fani-Kayode of corruption charges, saying the EFCC failed to prove its “feeble case” against Mr. Fani-Kayode beyond reasonable doubt. The spokesperson for the commission, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement, said the ruling by the judge, Rita Ofili- Ajumogobia, was shocking. Mr. Uwujaren said, “The Commission...

VIDEO: American Tele- Evangelist Blasts US Supreme Court Ruling On Same Sex Marriage

Popular American preacher and Tele- Evangelist, John Hagee, responds to U.S Supreme Court Marriage Ruling. Watch video below https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PhzBsDfTMI Credit: YouTube/ John Hagee Ministries

PDP Demands Removal Of New Acting INEC Boss

Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has demanded the removal of the newly appointed acting chairperson of the Independent national Electoral Commission, INEC, Amina Zakari. Ms. Zakari was appointed as head of INEC by President Muhammadu Buhari hours after its former chairman, Attahiru Jega, handed over to Ahmed Wali, a national commissioner there. Addressing a press conference in his office Wednesday, PDP’s publicity secretary, Olisa Metuh, said the party was disturbed by the development in INEC where...

FG To Introduce Fund For Road Repair

A fund to cater for the construction and maintenance of roads in the country is in the works, the Federal Ministry of Works has said. The Director, Federal Highway Services in the ministry, Alhaji Shehu Dankano, said this at the inauguration of the headquarters of the National Association of Road Transport Owners in Abuja on Tuesday. Dankano said the National Roads Fund Bill was already in the National Assembly and expressed confidence that the 8th...

Two Suicide Bombers Attack Village During Osinbajo’s Maiduguri Visit

Two suicide bombers, male and female, today blew themselves up outside a village in Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, at the time the vice president of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbanjo, was visiting the city, witnesses and security sources said. VP Osibanjo arrived Maiduguri at about 10:45 am. He was in to assess the security situation in the state capital, to visit the Internally Displaced Persons camps, before proceeding to Yola, another northeast Nigerian city plagued by...

Six Children Drown As Boat Capsize In Lagos

A canoe conveying fourteen school children capsized. Six of them reportedly drowned, while eight of them including the driver were rescued. The incident occurred after a fibre canoe reportedly ran into the passenger boat at about 9am. As at time of writing this report, the rescued children , some of whom were said to be primary school pupils and secondary school students who were on their way to school, were responding to treatment at the...

Photos From Osinbajo’s Visit To Borno

VP Yemi Osinbajo visited an IDP camp today in Maiduguri. He shared these very heart touching photos of a victim and her daughter, who has been badly affected by the insurgency. See his Facebook post below: On the instructions of President Buhari, VP Yemi Osinbajo visited an IDP camp in Maiduguri today conveying the concern of the President and bringing hope to the victims of terrorism and the entire Borno State. He met a number of the victims at...

It’s Don Jazzy Again! Di’Ja, Korede Bello & Reekado Banks Become Glo Ambassadors

Don Jazzy has a knack for making stars and you'd agree great people help to nurture stars but how often does one man make three stars in one fell swoop? That's exactly what Don Jazzy has done with Korede Bello, Reekado Banks and Di'Ja. He has moved them from one of Nigeria's numerous upcoming artists to genuine super stars. Each of them has had at least one hit song in the last year and have troubled the...

New Name Alert: Fani-Kayode Changes Name After Court Victory | Read Full Statement

Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has changed his name and he wants you to know why. Read his full statement below. Press Statement by Chief Femi Fani-Kayode on the Occasion of his Victory at the Federal High Court on 1st July 2015 Ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted, humbled and relieved by this verdict. In the last seven years, I have been subjected to the most malicious, vicious, sinister, well-orchestrated, insidious and devastating form of political persecution...

I Did Not Inherit An Empty Treasury- C’River Governor

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State yesterday said that he did not inherit empty treasury from the immediate past administration in the state as is being speculated in some quarters. Ayade said this in Calabar while briefing stakeholders, including the media, on his development agenda for the state. “I did not inherit empty treasury but a great potential from my predecessor,” he said. The governor said that as part of efforts to tap the abundant resources in...

Corruption Charges: ‘Nightmare Has Finally Ended’ – Fani-Kayode

A former Minister of Aviation in Nigeria, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, says the dismissal of a case filed against him on money laundering charges was the “doing of the lord” and an end to a nightmare. A Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday morning dismissed the case against Mr Fani-Kayode, saying the prosecution’s case was “feeble” and failed to provide “copious evidence” linking...

Rings In Burgers, Getting Down On One knee In Public Toilets: The Worst Proposals Of All Time Revealed

It's a moment in your life that theoretically should only happen once - the marriage proposal. But while some men (and women) go all out when asking for their beloved's hand in marriage, others take the laissez faire approach. For every boat trip down the Seine or fireworks display, there is a ring nestled in a takeaway burger or a proposal hastily scrawled on the lid of a fast food container.

Oshiomhole Blames Ministry Of Petroleum And Finance For Owed Salaries

The Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole has blamed the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and Ministry of Finance for workers salaries owed by different states. He said both Ministries “refused to transfer into the Federation Account. Governor Oshiomhole said: “the NNLG had every year made payments of about $1.5 billion to 2 billion Naira which ought to go the Federation Account but was expended by the Federal Government”. Governor Oshiomhole also stated that the...

Bashir Akanbi: Attacks By The Nation Newspaper and Sahara Reporters On Saraki and Aisha Buhari: An Impediment To Democratic Norms

In various attempts to impede the norms of democracy in the country, for which gigantic sacrifices were made by millions of Nigerians in the last general elections, The Nation daily newspaper and Sahara Reporters online have jointly started an astonishing display of mendacity and subjectivity giving up their conventional wisdom. This recent subversive practices of the popular media have attracted widespread criticism. These unripe antics however by far, unclothed the purposes for which the media house, The...

Syrian Rebel Group Executes 18 ISIS Fighters In New Video

A Syrian rebel group operating around Damascus has executed 18 alleged members of the Islamic State group in a video mimicking the extremist organisation's own productions. The video, which emerged overnight, shows fighters from Jaysh al-Islam (Army of Islam) wearing the orange prison clothes that ISIS victims often sport. The ISIS prisoners however are wearing black clothes and chained together wearing ankle and hand shackles with metal balls attached. The nearly 20-minute production...

ISIS Beheads Two Women In Syria For Witchcraft

Islamic State beheaded two women over the weekend accused of witchcraft and working with elves in eastern Syria The 2 women have become the first to be beheaded by Isis after being accused of witchcraft, sorcery and working with elves by the Islamic extremist group, according to reports emerging from eastern Syria. The executions, for a supposed breach of sharia law, were carried out on Sunday and...

President Buhari Assures Victims Of Insurgency Govt Support

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday commended the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and other government agencies on measures taken to rehabilitate victims of terrorism and violent extremism in Nigeria. Receiving officials of the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Department of ONSA, Buhari said the Federal Government would provide necessary assistance to victims of Boko Haram insurgency. The president also reiterated the determination of his administration to rid the country of terrorism and insurgency. "One of...

CBN Adjusts Forex Peg As Naira Hits N228 Per Dollar

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday lowered the naira peg to 196.95 against the dollar from 196.90 it set last week. This made it the fourth time the CBN had adjusted the peg since it was introduced in February, Reuters reported. This happened just as the naira tumbled further to 228 against the dollar at the parallel market on Tuesday from 265 on Monday. Reuters reported that the yield on the Federal Government’s...

Kate Henshaw Loses Everything In House Fire

While Kate Henshaw was on location shooting the 'Do-Good' TV series, she was called by her neighbours to inform her that her house was on fire. Reports are saying that Kate Henshaw quickly went home after the phone call and called fire fighters, but at that point, the damage had already been done as the twin duplex was burnt.  According to witnesses at the scene, Kate Henshaw was said to have lost all the...

EFCC Arrests 2 Tourism Travel Agents Over Alleged N70 Million Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested two officials of a travel agency for allegedly swindling and defrauding several Nigerians to the tune of N70 million. This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Wilson Uwujaren, the Head, Media and Publicity of EFCC and made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja. It stated that the two officials, Mr Banabas Magi, an accountant and Mr Owoseli Samuel, General Manager of the agency were arrested...

I Have Gotten A Lot Of My Confidence From Kanye – Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian  was at the prestigious San Francisco Commonwealth Club to talk about her famous family, her new book Selfie and the objectification of women in media. Kim talked about Kanye and how most of her recent ventures which rake in big bucks were created by him. On Kanye, she said: "I love the way he creates, thinks, stands up for what he believes in whole-heartedly. He is such a good person."I have gotten a lot...

10 Tips For Choosing The Right Partner

1. Don't make choices out of fear: So many times people either choose a partner or stay with someone in an unhappy relationship predominantly out of some kind of fear. Usually that fear is being alone but fears can vary widely from person to person. It's often better to be alone and wait for the right person than to make a decision out of fear. Making decisions out of fear leads to confusion, anxiety and a general...

Gov. Ambode Set to Launch People Friendly Traffic Regime

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode is set to drastically change the face of Lagos traffic by  introducing a world class traffic information and management system. The globally tested traffic system which has worked for many cities similar to Lagos is set to have caught the eye of Governor Ambode who wants to see Lagosians spend less hours in traffic and more in their offices and at work. Our investigations reveal that in the next few weeks, the...

One Minute With Jess : Why Do You Earn a Living #Vlog

Why wake up so early to resume at work, why do you do the business you do? why do you earn a living: family, children, society, why? On this episode I seek to know why we earn a living. Please leave a comment below of why you earn a living as it will enlighten other viewers of the Vlog in getting their thought pattern right towards why they earn a living too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSytLo5N8sQ&feature=youtu.be

President Buhari To Meet With #BringBackOurGirls Group

The #BringBackOurGirls campaigners on Tuesday secured a meeting with Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, a month since his assumption of duty on May 29. The convener of the group, Obiageli Ezekwesili, via twitter, said a presidential confirmation of the meeting had been received by the group. She said, “WE @BBOG_Nigeria have received confirmation of schedule of OUR MEETING with @MBuhari & FG on our #ChibokGirls for July 8th 2015 @ 12 noon.” On assumption of...

Breaking News !!! Court Dismisses Agbaje’s Petition Against Ambode

The Lagos state governorship election tribunal sitting in Ikeja, on Wednesday dismissed the petition filed by Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate, Jimi Agbaje, against Akinwunmi Ambode of the All Progressives Congress, APC. Agbaje had petitioned the tribunal challenging the declaration of Ambode as the winner of the April 11, 2015 governorship election in the state. But the three-man tribunal led by...

Ambode Seeks Navy’s Support To Tackle Robberies

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State says the Nigerian Navy, like other stakeholders, should be part of the efforts to rid the state of crime. The governor, according to a statement on Tuesday, spoke during a courtesy visit to the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Usman Jibrin, at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja. Ambode stated that the call became imperative due to the spate of robbery attacks in Lagos State, which started a week into his...

ISIS Threatens Hamas In Video Message On Failure To Implement Rigid Laws

ISIS has threatened the Palestinian armed group Hamas, vowing to end the faction's rule in the territory. In a 16-minute long video shared by social media accounts sympathetic to ISIS on Wednesday, fighters based in Syria's Aleppo province condemned Hamas for its crackdown on Salafist groups in the Gaza Strip, and its failure to implement a rigid enough interpretation of Islamic law. "The point of jihad is not to liberate land ... but jihad as...

Breaking News!!! Court Acquits Femi Fani-Kayode Of Money Laundering Charges

Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court on Wednesday July 1, 2015, acquitted former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, of money laundering charges. Fani-Kayode, who was spokesperson for the President Goodluck Jonathan’s Campaign Committee, has been facing trial for alleged criminal acts committed during his time as minister. The judge described the case brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as “feeble” and duly discharged Fani-Kayode in the absence of “copious evidence.”

The Buhari Shocker By Tony Ademiluyi

It is now no news that twenty-two governors owe outstanding salary arrears. Ever since Buhari upset the apple cart by winning the Presidential elections on March 28, they have all hoped that he would bail them out of their respective mess when he got sworn in. In his speech on the inauguration of the National Economic Council, he categorically told the beggar governors to source for funds to offset their gargantuan debts through the growth of their internally...