We will quit begging if empowered, beggars tell government.

The Arewa Freedom of Blind Association of Nigeria (AFBN) at the weekend said their members are ready to quit begging on Kaduna streets only if the state government would empower them to be gainfully employed, since many of them are educated.

The plea by the beggars to be absorbed into the government’s workforce was made at Ungwan Rimi, Darika Mosque. They also said some members of the association have learnt one or two crafts and would only require grants for business startup.

One of the physically challenged persons, Mallam Muhammad Usman, who spoke to The Guardian, said: “We came to this place in order to pray to God to help Kaduna State government to have the interest of vulnerable people in mind. I don’t know why the state government holds us in high disdain. Anytime we go on the street either to beg or for something else, the next thing you will see are three to four buses, whisking us away.

“This is why I am calling on the state government to remember the time we stood in the rain and sun to elect them into office. If they don’t want street begging, they should help our people, because among us here, we have degree holders, secondary school leavers and diploma holder.”

In his remarks, the Public Relations Officer of the association, Mallam Muktar Salleh, lamented the constant harassment of beggars and destitute citizens in the state, which he condemned as inhumane.

“Recently in Kano, a man came and agreed to pay the fine for any one charged to court for begging on the street. Upon realizing this, the Kano State government quickly changed the penalty; saying that whoever is found begging on the street will henceforth receive 30 lashes of cane. That is not the solution, governments at all level must have human face to their policies,” he said.

He added that the body decided to embark on the prayer session as an alternative to confronting the state government, by praying for God to make the government change its hostile attitude to their members.

“We are calling on the government to fear God, because no condition is permanent. Even those who call for our evacuation today can fall into the same position we find ourselves tomorrow,” he said.


Source: The Guardian

The Nigerian government plans to sell N130 billion bond in March

The Debt Management Office, DMO, on Tuesday, said Nigeria plans to raise N130 billion ($427 million) from its third debt sale this year on March 15.

According to the debt office, it would issue N45 billion in bonds due in 2021, N50 billion maturing in 2027, and N35 billion due 2036, using the Dutch auction system.

The DMO added that it would begin with a high asking price that is lowered until the bond is sold, adding that settlement is expected on the day following the issue.

The bonds are re-openings of previous issues, except the 2027 which is a new issue.

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, auctions sovereign bonds monthly to help fund its budget deficit, support the local debt market and to maintain a benchmark for companies to follow.

Earlier, the government had said that Nigeria expects a N2.36 trillion budget deficit for 2017, with about half of it funded through domestic borrowing.


Source: Premium Times

South Africa introduces $260 monthly minimum wage

South Africa will introduce a national minimum wage of 3,500 rand (261 dollars) per month in 2018, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday, following protracted negotiations between the government and labour unions.

Supporters of a minimum wage say it can stimulate growth as workers can spend more, as well as reducing inequality.

Critics say it could lead to increased unemployment as employers will be unable to afford higher wage bills.

Credit ratings agencies have said agreeing a minimum wage would help Africa’s most industrialised economy hold onto its investment-grade rating by stabilising the labour market and reducing the number of strikes.

“The balance we have sought to strike is that it must not be too low, so that it doesn’t affect the lowest paid workers, but not too high that it leads to massive job losses,” Ramaphosa told a news conference.

Ramaphosa said the national minimum wage, which equates to 20 rand (1.50 dollars) per hour, would come into effect in May 2018.

Businesses that are unable to afford the minimum wage would be permitted to apply for an exemption of up to 12 months, Ramaphosa said. The Treasury had also thrown its political weight behind the policy initiative.

Chief economist at Nedbank Dennis Dykes said the agreement was a sign of an improving relationship between labour, business and government, but warned that its implementation needed to be monitored.

“It is by no means certain this will lead to job creation. “It needs to be watched carefully for any negative effects,” Dykes said.

Monthly earnings for employees averaged 18,045 rand (1,200 dollars) per month in May 2016, according to Statistics. Mmany workers earn far less than that, with domestic workers and farm labourers among the lowest paid.

Some unions had asked for a minimum wage of as much as 4,500 rand.

South Africa’s mining sector was brought to its knees by a crippling five-month stoppage over pay in 2014,pushing the economy to the brink of a recession.

South Africa’s unemployment rate hit its highest level on record, 27.1 per cent of the workforce, in the third quarter of 2016, and it remains amongst the world’s most unequal societies.

#IStandWithNigeria: Let us not make this protests about Tuface – By Yemisi Adegoke

With back to back protests all over the world, it was probably inevitable that one would spring up in Nigeria, but rather than being a straightforward affair it’s threatening to derail before the first placard hits the street.

When 2Face first announced plans for nationwide protests calling for good governance, almost immediately it started trending. On social media, Nigerians are split; the pro-2Face camp are lauding his past efforts to promote civic engagement and speak out against poor leadership, “no one is perfect” they argue and “at least he is speaking out.”

The critics however, are citing a series of reasons why he isn’t fit to lead the march, ranging from the bizarre accusation of his supposed ‘lack of personal governance’ to claims of his ‘illiteracy.’ While the sceptics are asking if he or any celebrity should lead the march due to the cosy nature of relations between some entertainers and politicians.

Conversation about the protest has been dominated by talk of who is sponsoring it, or pulling strings from behind the curtain, what APC politicians think, what PDP politicians think, what the presidency thinks, what celebrities will show up and 2Face. At the center of it all is 2Face. Questions keep rolling in about what his motives are, if he’s being paid, what artistes are supporting him, what artistes are not, if this march is a launch pad for a political bid and so on.

While I agree that it’s right to have questions and to ask them, the intense concentration on the man shifts the focus away from the message. Ideally such a movement would spring organically from the everyday Nigerian, like the Black Lives Matter movement or even closer to home in Zimbabwe. Last summer, Zimbabweans took part in an organised stay-away day, where schools and businesses across the country completely shut down in protest over a government policy.

But we don’t live in an ideal world and the power and draw of celebrity is undeniable. Let’s be honest, if an unknown Akin or Ijeoma from Mushin tried to galvanise a protest, how many people would listen, and more importantly, come out to take part in the protest?

While it might be honourable to lend a powerful voice to a cause, it’s important that focus on that voice doesn’t shift and become bigger than the cause itself.

Worse still is the danger that this voice will become the long-desired hero, idolized and relied upon to magically solve everything with the wave of a hand. There’s a tendency in Nigeria to pin hope on a hero; a politician, an activist, someone that will not only lead us, but save us. This mythical figure will do the hardwork of thinking, fighting and preserving our freedoms so we don’t have to.

In one of the videos he released on Instagram 2Face clearly defined what the march isn’t about: politicians trying to hijack the movement to score cheap points and highlighting of political leanings and tribal differences. And he’s right, it’s not about any of that, so let’s not make it about him either.

Recession: TuFace Idibia plans to lead nationwide protest.

Foremost Nigerian singer, 2Baba, also known as 2Face, has called on Nigerians to join him in a nationwide protest against the Federal Government.


According to the artiste, the protest, which will hold on February 5, is a call for good governance and an urgent explanation for the economic downturn nationwide.


He shared the news with his 1.8 million followers on Instagram with the caption, “First Massive Nationwide Protests.”


No further details of the planned protest was announced by the singer.


Read his post below:


“A call for good governance.?A call for urgent explanation into the reckless economic downturn nationwide.?A call for nationwide protests as we say No to the Executive, No to legislatures, No to judiciary… You have all failed us.?We the people are tired. We can no longer continue with all of you. All your excuses and mistakes are not funny. We do not wish to continue with a system and government that is not working but afflicting the people. We the people of this country not living under the privileges of government allowances and remuneration have now accepted to take the bull by the horn to come out and protest this obnoxious and baseless policies and excuses of the government of the day.

Where are the recovered looted funds?

Why do we still have the executive arms and legislatures still enjoying their salaries and allowances while we hear there’s no money to pay workers??Why do we still see ceaseless power failures with no explanation and hope of getting out of it unlike before??Why do we keep seeing peace talks in Niger Delta, Fulani herdsmen and ipob without any solutions being reached, while the strategies keep aggravating the people involved as political leaders stage forums to extort funds in the name of addressing their subjects??Why did we have petrol price rise to 145 for the sake of global oil price crash and removal of subsidy but such price is still being maintained despite significant reawakening of the oil price from $30/barrel to $56/barrel??Who is to be held accountable for the sudden and continuous hike in price of commodities in the market, where for the first time in history, Nigeria is suddenly selling kerosene at 400 naira per litre as against 50 naira per litre, diesel at 300 naira per litre as against 100 naira per litre and petrol from 87 naira to 145 naira? Yet maintaining the same systems, environment and maybe a lesser money spending government.

There’s need for Nigerians to rise against what is happening in this country having waited patiently for the legislatures that were elected to represent the people all to no avail.


Source: Premium Times

Government gives traders two weeks for Ladipo Market demolition

Barely a week after the Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, paid an unscheduled visit to the Ladipo auto spare parts market in Mushin, the state government has given traders two weeks notice to quit some sections of the market already marked for demolition.

The notice was announced to the leadership of the market under the umbrella of Ladipo Auto Central Executive Committee (LACEC) on Tuesday by the state government at the stakeholders meeting held to fine-tune arrangements for the proposed multi-layer car park promised by the governor during his visit last week.

“To start with, we will commence the process for the construction with a stakeholders’ meeting next week. At the meeting, we will agree on the process and how the project will be done. We will rearrange the market so that we can commence the construction work next month,” Ambode had said.

This latest development is an anticlimax to last week’s visit, which had already doused tension of a possible relocation of the market owing to the numerous complaints of environmental and sanitary nuisance it constitutes to the public, especially road users in the area.

Apart from the pledge to build a multi-layer car park within the market, so that cars will no longer be allowed to park on the roads, obstructing free flow of traffic, the governor also promised to reconstruct the two major roads within the market, which are in deplorable state to enhance easy movement and create for an environmental-friendly activity in the area.

It was at the stakeholders meeting that market leaders were confronted with government’s decision to demolish some parts of the market. The Guardian gathered that those that would be affected are shops built under the high tension cable along the Five Star axis leading to Ladipo Street and adjoining streets such as Osoro and Olateju, among others, which have been taken over by street traders and auto technicians.

This latest development has thrown many of the traders into panic. They had earlier heaved a sigh of relief when the governor visited to inspect the road, that at last their appeal over the bad roads would be attended to.

When contacted, president of the LACEC, Comrade Kingsley Ogunor, was not available for comment but the LACEC Public Relations Officer, Uba Ezeigbo, who confirmed the development, explained what led to the decision.

According to him, some mechanics, who were allocated the affected areas to be used as workshops, rather built shops on the portion of the land and rented it out to traders. They in turn now moved out to the main road to do their mechanical work.

He said it was based on that the government summoned the leadership and informed them of their decision, which unfortunately, would affect the traders.“The government is trying to avoid rehabilitating the roads and then allow the activities of those mechanics to destroy it again. And we can’t stop them because it will affect the construction of the car park that will bring rapid development to the market.”

Femi Adesina: If this government tells you something, you can take it to the bank.

Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, has urged Nigerians to disregard Ayodele Fayose’s claim that the payment of N5,000 stipend to vulnerable citizens has not begun.

Adesina said the Buhari administration is built on “integrity and accountability” and “does not lie to Nigerians.”

On Monday, Laolu Akande, the spokesman of vice president Yemi Osinbajo, said the federal government had commenced payment of the N5,000 stipend to poor and vulnerable Nigerians.

“Though the sequence for the payment of the money would be operationally managed by NIBSS, beneficiaries in Borno, Kwara and Bauchi States have started receiving the money. The other states in the first batch to commence the CCT payments are Cross Rivers, Niger, Kogi, Oyo, Ogun and Ekiti states,” the statement by Akande had read.

But on Tuesday, Fayose, governor of Ekiti, said there was no evidence of payment in his state which is among the first batch of beneficiaries listed by the federal government.

“A blind man will say it is when it gets into my mouth that I will say you are feeding me, not promises. Apparently the states they claimed have started receiving payments are APC-controlled states knowing fully that the governors cannot come out to disprove the payments,” the statement by Idowu Adelusi, Fayose media aide read.

Reacting to Fayose’s claims, Adesina said the federal government is so honest in its dealings that anything it says could be taken to the bank.

“On N5,000 stipend, it was announced specifically from the office of the vice president that the scheme has started in nine states,” he said.

“Then a certain governor came and said it is not true. It is just a matter of who do you believe? This is a government that is built on integrity and accountability. This government will not lie to Nigerians, does not lie to Nigerians. In fact, anything you hear from this government you can take it to the bank, believe it.

“So, if anybody comes and say it is politics and that it is not true, choose who to believe. I can tell you that you should believe this government because this government will not lie to you.”

Government Moves To End Niger Delta Crisis, Merge Agencies

The Federal Government yesterday moved to end militancy in the Niger Delta region.

Addressing State House Correspondents on the outcome of the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai joined by the Deputy Governor of Anambra State Mkem Okeke, said governors under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) have agreed to form a committee that would collaborate with the Federal Government to combat the menace of vandalism and destruction of oil and power installation among others.

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, who also spoke after the NEC meeting, with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo presiding, said the current administration was only on a rescue mission of an economy that was already battered.

El-Rufai also disclosed that the NEC agreed to step up cost saving measures including a reduction of aides, vehicles in the convoy of government officials and merger of agencies as recommended by the Steve Oronsaye Committee on Public Service Reforms and in view of the recession.

“At the federal level, we are suggesting looking at the Orosanye report. We have discussed very important steps to be taken. We have suggested looking at Orosanye report that suggested merger and reduce publications of agencies,” El Rufai said.

According to him: “FG has 580 agencies. They are too many and they cost too much. There is a need to look at those that are duplicated and merge them. That is a report published since 2012. Even within MDAs, we need to consider merging departments. We may not need as many departments as we have. We have discussed implementing a public service renewal programme to get younger people, more IT-saving people into the public service.”



Epe Ko, Won O Le La – By Pius Adesanmi

Genuine democracies are incompatible with building personal wealth. That is why the White House does not know what to do with about Donald Trump’s billions. It’s a unique situation.

The Americans have been treating Donald Trump’s billions like a curse, a headache. Where will he put his wealth? How will he avoid this and that conflict? How will he do this? How will he do that? It’s almost like his wealth is a liability for their democracy, their presidency.


They have evolved a democracy in which government is not an advisable destination if you seek wealth. That is why the White House has such a high turnover of staff. Once they enter, they discover that they are bound to their salaries by all kinds of rules and ethical imperatives. They cannot make money. They cannot build personal wealth.


They hold a rapid dialogue with their feet and go back to the corporate world to make big money – time spent in the White House then increases their earning power.


Ari Fleischer, Dave Axelrod, etc, etc. The list is long. They get to the White House and discover that the place is not compatible with serious money, they pick race.


About ten thousand kilometres away, in Abuja, it is the opposite. You go to the Villa to build great wealth. You invite pastors, marabouts, and babalawos to help secure your wealth while you build it from scratch in full public glare in the Villa. You send witches to weaken the balls of your competitors so that their wives and concubines will become dildo-dependent. If their wives are grumbling about having to use dildos, how will they enjoy the peace of mind to disturb your wealth?


And if you enter the Villa a pauper and do not exit a billionaire, we advise your family and your kinsmen to go and wash your head. Some will say that you did not carry the head of wealth into the world and that is why you could have gone to the Villa and exited the way you entered. Some will say that the possibility of anybody in your lineage and family ever “making it” again is a function of “boya”. (Boya ni molebi ati irandiran won le la mo).


Then they will conclude: Epe ko, won o le la mo. No be curse, dem family no fit make am.


Obasanjo entered the Villa in 1999 with about N5000 in his account and exited eight years later as one of Africa’s most formidable billionaires. Had he exited without stealing everything in sight and building great wealth – part of which included looting our electricity funds to ensure that we have remained in darkness till today; had he exited without becoming a billionaire, his hometown, his ethnic nationality, would have become the subject of national snide remarks and stereotypes.


These Owu people sef. See as their son comot for Villa naked.

Na so we see am o. I hear say dem wicked well well for Ogun state o. How can their son have been president for eight years and left without money?


From Ibadan to Ilesha via Ogbomoso, you will hear that only Ogun State is like that o. They are different. Won ti buru ju. They “did their son” so that he could not make money.


This national psychology is partly responsible for why government house is a do-or-die destination for building personal wealth and fortune in Nigeria. This is why access to government house involves witches, guns, machetes, and dildos.


You need to work on your attitude. You need to stop expecting government house to be a factory for manufacturing overnight billionaires. This is the attitude which predisposes you to justifying and rationalising corruption.


And this is why you, ordinary Nigerian, are a valid alibi for the thief in government: if he comes out of government a pauper, you will blame him, you will say that he is cursed. He knows this. You shape and condition his psychology. He is already a thief. He already has corrupt genes. But you activate it because there is no way he can come out of government house to face your contempt and stereotyping.


Since Nigeria was created, you will say to him, people have been going to government to make money, why is your own different? Are you cursed? Who did you offend in your village? Then you will hiss, spit, and say shior to him for not having stolen from you. So he steals to prevent your contempt.


Genuine democracies are incompatible with building personal wealth. That is why the White House does not know what to do with about Donald Trump’s billions. It’s a unique situation.


Pius Adesanmi, a professor of English, is Director of the Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, Canada.

We Can’t Pay N284b Allowances, Government Tells ASUU

The Federal Government yesterday said it could not afford the N284 billion earned allowances being demanded by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). Earned allowances are the emoluments the lecturers are entitled to enhance academic productivity and increase research output.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige told reporters after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja that of the eight demands made by ASUU, the earned allowances could not be trashed out “because everybody knows and agrees that we are in recession. If we are in a recession, and you are asking us to pay you N284 billion, nobody will pay it because the money is not there.

“So, they agreed and the National Assembly also agreed. But the government offered them some amounts pending when we finish auditing of the first tranche of money that has been given to them in that same area of earned allowances.”

Ngige, who was joined by his Budget and National Planning as well as Information and Culture counterparts, Udoma Udo Udoma and Lai Mohammed, said government conceded to the union the right to exclude endowment funds that accrued to universities from the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

He added: “TSA makes for accountability. You pay in whatever you derive from government funds, ask for it back and you get it. The only thing is that you must do the paper work for the accountability aspect of it to be there and for any institution, they should be able to look at first glance, see the monies they have in account A, B or C at the CBN and know what they have.

“Government agrees to ASUU’s demand but limited it to only endowment funds. But that doesn’t also mean that at the end of the day, the university councils will not have the right to audit such an account. That is really the only area that is still contentious.”

Ngige also disclosed that council approved purchase of 67 vehicles worth N464 million to strengthen the capacity of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).

He specifically said 40 pick-up vehicles and 27 Peugeot 301 cars were approved to boost the commission’s fleet.

According to him, all vehicles are to be sourced locally from Innoson Motors and Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) in line with the country’s Local Content and Procurement Act.



We’ll not allow government to destroy public universities – ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Friday, said it would not allow federal and state governments destroy public universities in the country.

The union added that aggrieved parents, students and other stakeholders should hold the Federal Government responsible for the ongoing one-week warning strike.

While addressing a press conference in the Niger Delta University, NDU, Bayelsa, ASUU insisted that the industrial action was for the best interest of development of tertiary education in the country.

The NDU chapter Chairman of ASUU, Dr. Stanley Ogoun, disclosed that the union was out to stand against any move by politicians, who had started the business of running private universities, to kill public institutions.

According to him, “We call on students, parents and the ordinary people of Nigeria to understand that our actions are geared towards resisting and frustrating the attempt by the ruling class to commercialize and privatize university education in Nigeria.

“We will resist every attempt to kill the university system the way they killed primary and secondary schools. If we fail to stand on the side of truth, posterity will not forgive us.

“Before now, we were receiving subventions to run the universities, but now they are withdrawing the subventions. Most state universities are almost grounded why political actors are floating private universities”, he said.

“The current state of the economy is manmade and the government of the day must live up to its responsibilities by initiating policy options that would move us out of our current economic state, except the government is bereft of ideas.”

He lamented the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, it signed with the government during the 2009 and 2013 industrial action had not been implemented.

He added, “For the avoidance of doubt, this current action is compelled by failure of negotiations and several entreaties from our union since 2004 till date and the current trend in some states where staff salaries are sacrificed on the altar of other exigencies.”

He said the lecturers were on strike because of federal government refusal to pay Earned Academic Allowances, EAA; shortfall in salaries leading to payment of fractions of staff salaries; non-payment of salaries of staff in the staff primary schools and exemption of universities from the Treasury Single Account, TSA.

He said other reasons were non-release of funds for the revitalization of public universities; non-release of subventions to state universities by the visitors and non-payment of staff salaries and refusal to issue license for the registration of the Nigerian University Pension Management Company, NUPEMCO.

Government Should Scale-Up Primary Health Care Service Delivery Nationwide – CODE

A leading NGO Connected development [CODE] has called on government at all level to take up one of its responsibilities by ensuring proper facilities are put in place in various primary health care centers in Nigeria.

Following the release of $1.5million dollars from World Bank to the 36 states respectively including the Federal Capital Territory as part of the World Bank supported “Save One million Lives” the Follow the Money team of CODE visited 6 states respectively to assess the state of the PHCs to track the implementation of these funds. These states are AkwaIbom, Enugu, Kano, Kogi and Yobe.

Findings from the field visit to each of the states are rather appalling as most of the Primary Health Centres are facing several reprehensible and elementary challenges. Generically, most of them have no improved water supply, electricity, security, quarters for hospital staffers; there is no stationed doctor; and the toilet facilities are in a mess. Furthermore, because of these challenges, the PHCs do not operate 24/7, cannot admit or treat sick people and lack sufficient tables & chairs.


This in return made Follow the Money team comes up with advocacy hashtags representing various local governments in each state’s.

Some key Findings:

In Kano

Follow The money team visited Kantudu in Makoda LGA of Kano State. They found out that the PHC serves 2,500 people, all coming from 13 surrounding villages. The PHC was built 5-6 years ago as a senatorial project in Makoda LGA. The PHC has one male and female ward, which are not presently functioning. There are only three staffers with one community health worker who are not certified health professionals.

During the interactive section with the head of community Alhaji Muhammad Musa, and the community association said that they have reached out to the government of Kano twice on the state of the health center in Kantudu, but there was no response. “We hope this campaign with ONE and CODE will make the government of Kano to look at the plight of our health center, so that our people can start using it” says Malam Ali, the medical head at the PHC.


In Yobe State

We were in Lantenwa, Yobe where a Primary Health Care is in a messy situation. The PHC in Lantenwa is in Lantewa village, Lantewa ward, Tarmuwa LGA. It serves a population of 13,400 under 5 yrs; 10-15 patients daily, 70-105 weekly. Speaking to the head commnity ,AuduLantewa, mentioned that the dispensary has been dilapidated for more than 7 yrs, he added that dispensary situation is critical and he personally reported the issue to local authorities several times. He further lamented that “Lantewa is the gathering center of four neighboring with approximately 7,000 registered voters, as such we should get better things from the government” he said.


In Kogi State

We went to the PHC to find out if the implementation of the fund is ongoing as well as to track the implementation of the N10.5 million earmarked by the National Primary Health care Development Agency for the rehabilitation of the PHC. On reaching there, there was no such intervention taking place. The Officer in Charge (OIC) said it was the first time she was hearing of such. The village head whom we paid a courtesy visit to also said he has never heard of such. We then went to the Operational Base of the NsitIbom LGA’s Health Centres and the Director of the base told us that she has never heard of such fund for the PHC’s rehabilitation


In Osun State

Our team went on ground to track the $1.5m earmarked by the World Bank and the Federal Government of Nigeria for the Saving One Million Lives Initiative and all we could see while on the field is nothing to write home about. From our findings, the facility is meant to serve 11 villages which are: Gboore, Alajue-Logun, Asunmo, Ayegbami, Agbopa, Jagun-Odomu, Olodan, Aladie, Amosun, Seesa, Akiribiti amongst others. In total, the target population which the facility is meant to serve is 12,498. 498 of the population are children less than one year, the Primary Health Care Centre has a monthly target of 42 patients, but it end up serving more than 400 on an average.

Consequently, a Freedom of Information letters was sent to the concerned government institutions and offices for a breakdown of the funds usage, implementation window and respective contractors, especially the governmental institutions concerned, to instantaneously start the implementation of these funds, ensure transparency & accountability in the funds’ implementation, and make government data open in line with the Open Government Partnership.

Follow The Money is a growing movement currently in 32 states of the country, held community outreaches to 10 primary health facilities in Kano, Yobe, osun, and found out that all were in a state of dysfunction, even with the funds that have been released to the states to upgrade the primary health care “Most of the head of clinic at the PHC in the 5 that I visited were in an abandoned state, lacks basic healthcare amenities and needs urgent attention to serve people at local communities.” affirmed HamzatLawal, CODE’s Chief Executive & Co-Founder, Follow The Money.   

He stressed that annually; Nigeria loses over 99% children below the age of 5 due to dilapidated healthcare services and urges government actions to serve the people by improving better service delivery while ensuring transparency and accountability.

Guinea-Bissau President Dissolves Government In Crisis

Guinea-Bissau’s President Jose Mario Vaz dissolved the government on Monday in an attempt to solve a political succession crisis that has paralysed the tiny west African state.

Guinea-Bissau has been in the throes of a power struggle since August 2015, when Vaz sacked then prime minister Domingos Simoes Pereira, leader of the ruling African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC).

Two factions of the ruling PAIGC have failed to resolve their differences over Pereira’s successor, Baciro Dja, since he was given the job in June, with some lawmakers refusing to work with him.

The president said he was dismissing Dja’s administration to follow through on an agreement reached between both sides in neighbouring Guinea last month, with a view to ending the crisis.

“Putting into action the Conakry accord means the government resigning,” Vaz told gathered journalists in the capital, Bissau.

“This agreement did not provide for a unanimous choice of prime minister but one by consensus, and consensus has not been reached, forcing me as head of state and guardian of the constitution to take my responsibilities,” the president said.

This would involve “dismissing the government and naming a new prime minister who will be charged with forming an inclusive government to pull the country out of this crisis”, he added.

The timeframe for naming the new prime minister was not fixed during Vaz’s declaration, but, when contacted by AFP, a source at the presidency said this was likely “in the next few hours”.

President Vaz said that negotiations with 15 dissenting lawmakers last week had not succeeded, adding that without them the Conakry accord could not be fully implemented.

Talks mediated by Guinean President Alpha Conde had envisaged naming a new prime minister, putting together an “inclusive” government and reintegrating the lawmakers into the PAIGC.

A delegation from west Africa’s ECOWAS regional bloc demanded on November 6 that Vaz name a new prime minister and deal with the dissenting deputies with the aim of resuming parliament’s normal functions.



Education must top governments’ priority list – Oshiomhole

Governor Adams Oshiomhole says education must top the priority list of governments at all levels, if the country must make any headway. Speaking at the 20th convocation of the school, where seven finished in First Class Division for the 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 sessions, Oshiomhole urged management of universities to, on their parts, ensure that schools are not shut saying shutting down schools affect Nigerian students’ abilities to compete with their foreign counterparts that enjoy uninterrupted academic calendars.

“There are many universities that are on strike, and ASUU has cleverly reversed the conventional adage, or even law, which says, ‘no work, no pay’. Now, ASUU members find themselves saying to now say, ‘no pay, no work’.

“As we speak, I am sure there are a number of universities that are not working because the states have not paid them, and also I am aware of reported cases of some state governments saying straight away to the universities that they are not going to be able to pay more than a fraction of the subvention that they have been paying on account of the current economic challenges. For me, I am clear that if the Nigerian state defaults in every aspect of its obligation to the people, the Nigerian state, federal and state governments, must never default in its obligation to ensuring that teaching and learning never stop.

“The truth is, Nigeria must reorder its priorities. We must never allow our educational institutions to close down. Closing down by one minute will cost us more than one year of our GDP because every time we stop learning, as Obama would say, ‘when we go so low, they continue to go so high’. And yet, we are expected to compete on the level playing field.

“So, the next government must consolidate on what I am already doing and continue to do even more, including keeping promises that I made in good faith, but which I may not have been able to deliver timely, but those promises must be delivered, and these will be in my hand-over note.

“The future that I see, the growth and development of universities will not be based on the generosity of a state governor, because nobody knows when we are going to get out of where we are in.

“The challenges are mounting. The government needs to provide a variety of public services at a time of declining revenue. In the short run, there will be no quick fixes. So, the university must be creative.”

He said the university would grow not courtesy of miracles, but on the basis of determined efforts by management, staff and students to do things differently.

Earlier, Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Ignatius Onimawo, paid glowing tribute to Governor Adams Oshiomhole, for his invaluable contributions to the development of the university.

He said, “The massive interventions of the state government under the leadership of the Governor Oshiomhole, are eloquently manifested in the number of projects that were built from government’s intervention funds/grants. Undeniably, the governor has boldly etched his name in gold in Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma.”

He appealed to the governor-elect, Godwin Obaseki, to continue in that light so that the heights attained would be surpassed.

According to Oninawo, 8,692 diploma, and first-degree students graduated for the 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 academic sessions, while 492 postgraduates were conferred with their awards for the two academic sessions.

Lagos government to shut 10, 427 unregistered private schools.

The Lagos State Government Wednesday disclosed that no fewer than 10,427 private schools were operating in different parts of the state without approval, warning that it would shut them if they failed to comply.

The state government also revealed that of the 15,000 private schools currently operating in the state, only 4,573 complied with the state’s school standard practice and other stipulated regulations.

The Deputy Governor, Dr. Oluranti Adebule, disclosed this at a meeting with the Deputy Head of Regional Operations, Department for International Development (DFID), Mr. Ben Nicholson, in her office at Alausa Wednesday.

She said the state government was committed to the ongoing enumeration and registration of all private schools operating in the state, saying the exercise became imperative to standardise the operation of private schools.

Adebule explained that the purpose of enumerating and registering all private schools was “to ensure that they have government approvals and comply with the stipulated regulations and standards.”

She added that the exercise “is aimed at ensuring that all pupils have equal access to quality education irrespective of whether they attend private or public schools. Already, we are making efforts to get all private schools registered.

“That is the essence of the enumeration and registration exercise. For now, out of 15,000 private schools operating in the state, only 4,573 are duly registered and have received government approval.

“Others are operating without licenses because they do not want to conform to standard practice. Any school that does not meet government requirements after the exercise will be forced to close down.”

By implication, the deputy governor noted that about 10,427 private schools were operating without government approval, thereby representing 69.52 per cent of all private schools in the state.

At the meeting, Adebule expressed its readiness to strengthen its collaboration with the DFID in its quest to improve on the quality of education in the state, acknowledging that previous collaborations with the body has brought significant improvement to the growth of quality education in the state.

He added that the DFID’s Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN) implemented in Lagos “has helped to build teachers’ capacity and helped in the upgrade of public schools infrastructure.

“Though the ESSPIN contract will expire January 2017, the state government is considering the review of the programme with a view to extending the pact because of the great value it has added to the education sector.”

She urged them to design programmes that/further expose teachers in the public service “to modern teaching techniques and build their capacity in the overall interest of raising the standard of education in the state.

“The collaboration of the DFID with the state government in the area of education has been of tremendous benefit to the state government and we hope to strengthen this working relationship so as to further promote the quality of education in our dear state.”

Yahoo at Logger Heads with ‘US Government Agency, for Secretly Scanning workers’ Emails

Yahoo has been accused of secretly scanning hundreds of millions of incoming emails of US intelligence or law enforcement, reports say. The internet company conducted a surveillance last year after receiving a classified demand from the National Security Agency or the FBI, according to Reuters.

Three former Yahoo employees and another unidentified person told the news agency that the US government pushed Yahoo to search for a string of letters, numbers or other characters.

That meant the fishing expedition could have involved finding a specific phrase or code in the text of
an email or an attachment. Yahoo built a special software programme to comply with the government’s request.

Yahoo did not deny the report in a statement that described itself as a company “that complies with the laws of the United States”.

The Department of Justice and the FBI did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who revealed the NSA’s program for spying on US citizens, tweeted that Yahoo users should close their accounts in the wake of the revelations. Meanwhile, Google said it had not received a similar spying request from the request from the US government. If it had, Google said, its response would be “No way”.

Microsoft, whose email service is larger than Yahoo’s, said it had “never engaged in the secret scanning of email traffic”. Facebook said it would “fight” such a request should it ever receive one and civil libertarians also condemned the reported Yahoo action.

Patrick Toomey, a staff lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, called Yahoo’s alleged acquiescence to the government order “deeply disturbing”, adding that the order itself appeared to be “unprecedented and unconstitutional”.

The report is likely to test the bounds of Yahoo users’ already-stressed loyalty. Late last month Yahoo disclosed that hackers had broken into at least 500 million user accounts to steal email addresses, birthdates, phone numbers and passwords.

Source: CNN

Government To Build Ranches, Grazing Reserves As Solution To Herdsmen Violence

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Engineer Babachir David Lawal on Thursday said that the government was going ahead with decision to establish ranches and grazing reserves across the country as a solution to the incessant clashes between Fulani cattle rearers and local farmers.
He made the remark while receiving a delegation of Tabital Pulako Njode Jam Foundation, led by its Chairman Alhaji Abdul Bali, in Abuja.
Lawal, in a statement by the Director (Press) in the office of the SGF Bolaji Adebiyi, also noted that nomads from outside Nigeria have migrated into the country and have been the ones perpetuating most of the crimes on the farmlands.
He assured that government will do the needful to enlighten Fulani Herdsmen on how to make cattle rearing more profitable by utilizing the ranches and reap other social and political benefits that such settlements will offer.
The Foundation, he said, was set up to look into the problem of clashes between Fulani Cattle Rearers and Farmers.
“The foundation, in its submissions, is also convinced that the nomads from other lands are responsible for the senseless killings on the farms and urged the government to strengthen control at our land borders. The foundation is ready to partner with government to bring the situation under control.”

Recession: In Niger State, Hungry Youths Snatch Food Packs from Nursery and Primary School Children

Hunger-induced crimes in Minna, Niger State capital have taken a worrying dimension as hungry youths now go about snatching food packs from nursery and primary school children on their way to school, The Guardian reports.
The latest victim, one Fati Sanusi, a four-year-old nursery two pupil of Mega Stars Academy, located in Kpakungu, Minna, alleged that her food pack, prepared by her mother was snatched from her by a youth.
Headmistress of the school, Mrs. Cecilia Bunmi Koseemani, who confirmed the incident exclusively to The Guardian, said that it was difficult to get the little girl to stop crying.
“We had to send for her mother who prevailed on the four-year-old girl before she stopped crying. The mother later rushed back home to prepare Indomie for her instead of the rice meal that was initially snatched from her.” said Mrs Koseemani.
The Headmistress appealed to parents to try and put their little school children in the care of grown up schoolmates, so as to avoid such things in the future, describing the incident as a reflection of the prevailing hardship in the country.
Other cases of hunger-induced crimes includes reports of people stealing food still on fire, as well as women collecting food items from sellers in the market and deliberately taking to their heels instead of paying. It was also reported that a housewife stabbed her rival to death over the modalities for sharing a measure of Gaari (Cassava flour) brought home by their husband.

Source: The Guardian

Government Bans Purchase Of Transformers By Electricity Consumers

The Federal Government has outlawed the procurement of transformers by electricity consumers, maintaining that it remains the duty of distribution companies (Discos).

It also charged operators in the nation’s power sector to improve investments in order to upgrade their networks.

The government equally expressed readiness to offset the electricity bills owed by ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) put at N97 billion by the Discos.The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who made the disclosures during a meeting with officials of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (ANED), however, noted that a careful verification of the debts was being carried out to ascertain the exact amount, considering that the sum stretches to several years.

He welcomed any information that could expedite the exercise.

He said: “You must continue to make distribution asset investments. Private purchase of transformers should stop. That is the responsibility of the distribution companies. We still have cases of people buying transformers themselves. This should not be the case.”

Fashola charged the operators to improve customer relationship as well as close the metering gap and educate consumers on energy conservation.

“Since the distribution companies are now owned by private enterprises, you need to make it easy for people to reach you. Let us all understand that the problems we have are not technical. They are manmade,” he noted.

Read More:


Government Records N1.90tr Deficit Financing In Second Quarter

An estimated deficit of N1,090.96 billion was recorded in the fiscal operations of the Federal Government at the end of the second quarter of this year.

According to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in its Second Quarter (Q2) Economic Report, the deficit indicates an increase of 96.4 per cent above the provisional quarterly budget deficit of N555.49 billion.

The report just released and obtained by The Guardian yesterday said provisional data indicated that federally-collected revenue during the second quarter of 2016 was N1,159.05 billion which represents 51.3 per cent, and is 8.6 per cent lower than the quarterly budget estimate and receipts in the preceding quarter, respectively.

The CBN said: “The decline in federally-collected revenue (gross) relative to the budget estimate was attributable to the shortfall in receipts from both oil and non-oil revenue, during the reviewed quarter.”

It further reviewed that at N537.19 billion or 46.3 per cent of the total revenue, gross oil receipt was lower than the provisional quarterly budget and the receipts in the preceding quarter by 39.2 per cent and 19.4 per cent, respectively. It also said the decline in oil revenue relative to the budget estimate was caused by the persistent fall in receipts from crude oil and gas occasioned by low price of crude oil in the international market and the series of production shut- ins and shut-downs. .

The report indicated that though at N621.86 billion or 53.7 per cent of total revenue, gross non- oil receipts was above the receipts in the preceding quarter by 3.2 per cent, it was, below the provisional budget estimate by 58.4 per cent. The decline in non-oil revenue relative to the provisional budget estimate was due, largely, to the shortfall in receipts from all of its components except Customs Special Levies (Non-Federation Account) during the quarter under review.

CBN also gave insights into the distribution of the generated revenue within the quarter: “Of the gross federally-collected revenue, a net sum of N665.67 billion was transferred to the Federation Account for distribution among the three tiers of government and the 13.0% Derivation Fund. The sums of N100.92 billion, N186.83 billion and N48.09 billion were transferred to the Federal Government Independent Revenue, VAT Pool Account and others. The Federal Government received N323.16 billion, while the state and local governments received N163.91 billion and N126.37 billion. The balance of N52.23 billion was allocated to the 13.0% Derivation Fund for distribution among the oil-producing states. The Federal Government also received N28.02 billion from the VAT Pool Account, while the state and local governments received N93.41 billion and N65.39 billion.

Read More:


Nigeria Govt Blacklists Firm, Revokes Licence For Allegedly Diverting Explosives

The Federal Government on Thursday blacklisted the Nigerian Development and Construction Company (NDCC), an importer and seller of explosives in Koko, Delta State, for allegedly diverting explosives.

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Kayode Fayemi, who gave the blacklisting order said the company’s business premises should immediately be sealed off, in addition to the withdrawal of its explosive distribution licences.

The action by the government followed the outcome of investigations by the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), which revealed that the company was involved in illegal diversion of about 9,000 kilogramme of Nitro-glycerine explosives and 16,420 pieces of electrical detonators from its magazines between 2015 and 2016.

A statement from the minister’s office warned manufacturers, importers, sellers and end users of explosives in the country to desist from unprofessional activities, including the sale, procurement, storage and use of explosives in line with the provisions of the Explosives Act of 1964 , the Explosives Regulations of 1967 and other extant policy directives.

The Nigerian government has in recent years tightened its control on the distribution of explosives, as it fights a brutal insurgency by Boko Haram.

The group has killed thousands of people using suicide and car bombs since 2009.

Experts also believe that explosives, used legally by construction firms, are easily sourced by militants in the Niger Delta who attack oil and gas installations.

It is however unclear whether the decision to blacklist NDCC had to do with such security threat.


Source – Premium times

Federal Government Warns of Fraudsters In The Ogoni Cleanup

The Federal Ministry of Environment has issued a warning to the people of Ogoni and the entire Niger Delta region on the emergence of dubious individuals who will pose as Government officials, in order to extort money from communities in the Niger Delta, in the name of Ogoni cleanup.

The Ministry of Environment issued this warning through a statement signed by the Ministry’s press director, Alhaji Isiaka Yusuf. The statement reiterated that the Federal Government is undertaking the clean-up project in Ogoniland alongside other stakeholders in the oil industry, and it will not authorize any individual or group to collect money from people in the Niger Delta.

Read the full statement below.

Ogoniland Clean-up, FG Cautions against Fraudsters

“Following the Flag off of the clean-up of Ogoniland, and other oil impacted communities of the Niger Delta by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Federal Ministry of Environment has been consulting with the stakeholders in the Niger Delta with a view to ensure proper commencement of the clean-up project

However, It has come to the knowledge of the Federal Ministry of Environment that some dubious individuals may use the opportunity of the project to extort money from the unsuspecting people of the Niger Delta communities. This includes the forgery of Federal Government Agencies letters.

Without doubt, we wish to state that the Federal Government in collaboration with other stakeholders in the oil industry is funding the project. It has not and will not authorize or contract individuals, groups and or organizations to collect money from the good people of the Niger Delta on behalf of the government for the purpose of cleanup of Ogoniland and other oil impacted communities in the Niger Delta region.

In view of the foregoing, the ministry hereby warns that anybody, groups or organisations found extorting money from the people for the purpose of the Ogoniland cleanup project will be made to face the full wrath of the law

The General public is therefore requested to report anybody, group and or organization, collecting money from people for the cleanup exercise to the police or any other law enforcement agency.

The ministry, therefore, takes this opportunity to reiterate the Federal Government’s commitment in ensuring the transparent and successful cleanup of Ogoniland,’’

In a related development, Guardian Newspapers reports that the lack of funds may stall the actual start of the clean-up.

A source who is said to be from one of the oil companies was quoted by Guardian in the report, saying that there is no money currently set aside by the Federal Government, or any oil company for the clean-up.

“It is the joint venture partners that are supposed to come up with 90 per cent of the funding. It is not factual that any oil company has kept money aside to fund the cleanup. For the government there is implication for funding, NNPC has to come up with its share of the funding. There is no $1 billion anywhere that Shell has kept,” the source said.

Guardian also reports that the Ministry of Environment’s 2016 budget does not make any provision to cover the clean-up.

At the weekend, the Federal Government approved 23 members of Governing Council and Board of Trustees for the Cleanup. The members are expected to be inaugurated on Thursday.

Our Citizens Aren’t Having Enough Sex – Swedish Government.

Swedish people might not be getting laid enough – and the government is worried.


In an attempt to tackle the issue, the country’s government will ask its people about their bedroom habits in Sweden’s first major sex study in 20 years.


Reports in Swedish media have suggested a decline in sexual activity, sparking the major survey on all things sex.

The nation’s loss of libido could be a ‘political problem’ if it is linked to stress and other health issues, according to Public Health Minister Gabriel Wikstrom.


In an opinion piece for newspaper Dagens Nyheter, the politician wrote: ‘It is important to find out how much less sex Swedes are having, and what the reason is.’


And in a separate article on the government’s website, Mr Wikstrom said the government must carry out a new survey to help guide its policies related to sexual and reproductive health.


He said: ‘Sex is an area that strongly influences people’s health, so we can’t just talk about things like, for example, venereal disease, but also things that are positive and lust-filled about sex.’


The people of Sweden have a bit of time to get down to business – as the Public Health Agency of Sweden has been tasked with preparing a report by 2019.

Government May Borrow N165b To Pay Civil Servants

With fast declining revenue, the Federal Government said yesterday it is now faced with the prospect of borrowing to meet the monthly civil service wage bill of N165 billion.

Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who had met with protesting workers of her ministry on Wednesday, said in a statement in Abuja yesterday that she does not have any power to pay N1.2 billion, which was not in the budget of the Ministry.

The minister said she had put all government departments to real squeeze in finances as the country grapples with the financial crisis inherited from previous administrations.Pointing out that many people across the country are now struggling to find work, with some losing theirs, while civil servants in many states are not getting their salaries, the minister urged her ministry workers to be grateful for getting their salaries on consistent basis and work together to get the whole economy back on its feet.

At the meeting to reconcile all parties involved in the workers’ protest, it was agreed that the ministry’s management would meet with unions to consider the issues raised and map out ways to reach resolutions on of before today.

The minister had met with staff unions at the ministry on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing dispute over additional payments, where she urged them to present their grievances in a structured and articulated manner so that each issue would be formally presented and addressed on its merit.

While she expressed understanding for their demand for additional bonuses, based on their past dealings with the previous administration, she explained that she does not have any power to pay N1.2 billion, especially the one that is not in the budget.

The minister added that while government is determined to end the ongoing impasse over bonus and allowance with the workers, the labour unions should propose modalities that would increase revenue generation and structure to pay the bonuses.

Credit: Guardian

‘Return Government Cars Or Get Arrested’ – Gov Bello Warns Ex Govt Officials

Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello, has warned former political office holders in the state to return official vehicles they made away with while leaving office or risk being arrested. A statement issued by the state government released today reads;

“The refusal of the former political office holders ?involved in this act to return the vehicles despite several appeals made to them has led to the constitution of the Vehicles Recovery Committee by the State Governor, Yahaya Adoza Bello,”

The Committee, which was inaugurated yesterday, April 11th, was mandated to go after the vehicles and recover same in order to accelerate the smooth running of the current government and its programmes. The committee which is chaired by the ?Adaidu Akoh, who is also the Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Duties, says it has so far recovered 7 cars.

Orukotan, Ayomikun Samuel: Begging And Beggars: At A Time Like This!

In any social order, the veracity of pluralism holds in diverse calling. Pluralism is a school of thought that clenches the universal belief of things existing in pair. In the world of algebra, Boolean is akin to pluralism. In any society therefore, this two of a kind trend exist, segregating the rich from the poor, beggars from lenders, villains from heroes, losers from winners etc. such is life in a pluralistic society.

Poverty is the bane of many African countries, including Nigeria. A report presented by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) at the AU summit in Egypt, 2008 has said that poverty fuels separatism wave in Africa. In retrospect, the report informed the need for African policy makers to prioritise anti-poverty initiatives.
According to Professor Yemi Osinbajo, 65 per cent (approximated value) of Nigerians still live below the poverty line despite governments’ intervention programmes to improve the welfare of its citizens. Today, the percentage has increased if only we would be honest with ourselves. Nigerian workers are no longer paid their monthly entitlements and other benefits as and when due in many states of the federal republic of Nigeria. Economic realities have pushed many Nigerians who were once above the poverty line, below it.

In many Nigerian states, the situations of workers are just too pathetic to behold. On top of this, many state governors have become wicked to the plights of these workers who continue to work tirelessly in spite of red bank accounts and empty money bag. Arguably, effectiveness of employees in the public service is now next to zero. Yesterday lenders have become beggars today and yesterday beggars now beg the more either wittingly or unwittingly.

In Nigeria today, the gap between beggars and lenders, the rich and the poor is just too wide. Closing this huge gap should be the headache of any responsive government. In a nation of beggars and lenders, you are either a beggar or a lender. A Lender is the privileged few who has never stolen public funds to enrich themselves but still financially capable at times like this.
It is worthy to note that those people who have enriched themselves with our money are beggars. They may be temporarily rich today but tomorrow time lag for them or their generation in indignity of pain, poverty and sicknesses. The law of karma must surely hold. For the sake of readers who are ardent positivists and optimists, I need to further explain the term begging and beggars.
Begging is an objective subject matter. In an unequivocal term, begging is the process of pleading with someone for help or favour. Begging is not exclusively limited to those who beseech on the street corner, highways and market places from passers-by. Begging is not limited to the physically-challenged-turned-beggar or less-privileged-turned-beggar. In fact, begging is a common ritual among Christians (devoted or not) and Moslems. Christians and Moslems are ‘beggars’. We all ‘beg’ God for one help or the other through supplications, petitions and worship. On that front, there is nothing wrong with begging.
A while ago, the Lagos State Government (LASG) sent packing beggars from streets, major roads and highways in Lagos just because begging has become an eyesore in a place like Lagos. I ask myself after the whole show. What are the plans of LASG for those beggars dislodged from their ancestral homes?
In Nigeria today, many public servants (Health workers, teachers, academics etc.) have become diurnal beggars. Even, in the private sector, beggars are there in leaps and in bounds. In the civil service today, there is little or no longer room for management fraud and its attendant forms of stealing. The salaries are no longer forth-coming like it used to, workers are being retrenched on daily basis due to economic realities and unforeseen contingencies keeps getting out of bed. The only sacred option is to beg instead of stealing from the common patrimony.
Though, many public servants are in this predicament of ‘begging stylishly’ because of poor saving culture, misplaced priorities and poor planning. Of course, beggars are slaves to their lenders.

More, many Nigerians have become temporary or permanent slave due to government’s inadequacies and economic realities. The 2016 national budget padding is a reflection of how desperate some beggars could be. Per Diem, many have resorted to the business of begging just to eke out a paltry living. On the other hand, it is a blessing in disguise because it has taught the “begging” public and private workers not to use the whole of the ten fingers to eat anymore. Notwithstanding, Government at all levels should take workers’ welfare more seriously. After all, it is one benchmark of measuring good governance.

Spiritual leaders should begin to manifest the light in a very dark world. At a time of universal deceit, they should be agents that proclaim only the truth. At a time when Armageddon cites everywhere, they should do the work of God without any form of deceit. Spiritual leaders have holistic assignments to perform at times like this.

Most unfortunately, some of our so called ‘religious leaders’ are now real time beggars. In the name of religion, many atrocities have been committed by ‘servants of God’. Many religious rituals have been commercialized by our so called Pastors, Prophets, Evangelists, Imams and Alfas. One of the best ways of gaining access into a man is through his belly. Because of the belly, lies have been told against God, the Holy Spirit has been grieved severally. Because of the belly, the spirit of hunger is now the driving force, no longer the Holy Spirit. At times like this, these are the fruits.
In the annals of Nigeria history, there was a time when higher education certificates such as B.Sc., M.Sc., HND or even NCE were regarded as “meal-ticket”. Then, holders of such valued certificates were believed to have passed the poverty line. In our day, the reality of time immemorial is no longer plausible. Many graduates with such valued credentials in sundry profession have become first class beggars.

In a survey recently conducted by the Nigerian Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM), it has discovered that the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria is not due to paucity of Jobs as popularly thought but that: a lot of our graduates are just not employable. This critical unearthing which holds a little truth, boils down to the poor quality of Public education in Nigeria. Our educational system is also begging.

Alas, graduates don’t want to beg. It is overt, many of them hate to beg but who will save them from situations that act against their popular wish? The 2014 immigration Job screening turned National scam is a proof of their tenacity to cross the threshold of poverty as specified by the United Nations. Again, when will they become responsible citizens?

The people should be the concern of any humane government. The government should always ask themselves some basic questions in the course of governing the governed.  How many people are eating from the National cake? Are youth empowerment programmes sufficiently transparent enough, accountable to a fault and reaching the right beneficiaries? What are the yardsticks used by government at all levels to share the dividends of democracy if any?
A report in 2014, as carried out by the Nigeria Security and Reconciliation Programme, NSRP has reported that 79 per cent of Nigerian youths feel that only those close to politicians benefit mostly from seldom youth employment and empowerment interventions. The government of the day needs to prove this otherwise with more proactive measures.

Many factors have enlarged the number of beggars in the country. There is time for everything. This is time to get more serious with the herculean task of governance, not the time to pass the buck when the ticking clock does not trudge. This is the time to pay more attention to; worker’s welfare, continued increase in unemployment, high rate of poverty on mother land, the fight against corruption and everything that speaks badly of us as a nation-state. This Buhari led presidency surely has a lot to do in a country of fewer lenders and plenty beggars. May God help him.
Orukotan, Ayomikun Samuel, a graduate of Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, writes from Ondo

Mail: orukotanayomikun@yahoo.com   phone No: +2347061926514

Orukotan, Ayomikun Samuel

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

Olawale Rotimi: Education in Rural Nigeria; An Assessment

In the Nigeria’s National Policy on Education (FRN 1998), it is stated that the Federal Government has adopted education as an instrument for effecting National Development in all areas of the nation. However, this does not reflect the situation in rural Nigeria where there is overwhelming widespread of illiteracy. Education in rural Nigeria is characterized with very poor infrastructure, insufficient academic staff, insecurity, and non-payment of academic staff among others. It is common knowledge that majority of the population in developing countries like Nigeria live in rural areas. Nigeria is predominantly a rural society as the vast majority of her population live in rural area. Generally, rural areas in Nigeria are incessantly neglected by the government when it comes to development of any form, educational development inclusive.

Despite the fact that rural dwellers in Nigeria are usually not recognized on government development activities, the nation’s wealth is derived from rural areas across the country. Crude oil, limestone, coal among other resources possessed by the country are hugely deposited in rural areas. The under-development in Nigeria as a country has been linked to lack of development in the rural areas. A view states that no serious, active, conscious, sensitive, and organized government would want to neglect rural communities. Lack of development has a positive correlation with the neglect of rural areas. Rural neglects brings negative consequences such as exodus of rural dwellers to urban areas, with resulting problems of unemployment, crimes, prostitution, child labour, insecurity, money laundering, bribery, poverty, proliferation of shanty living areas, spread of diseases, and overstretching of the facilities and infrastructures in the urban areas.

Having travelled to and through rural areas in various geo-political zones of the country, the sight of education facilities in rural areas of Nigeria is disheartening, particularly in the 21st century. From broken classroom walls, to opened roofs, damaged chalk board, over population and lack of sufficient chairs and tables in classes, bushy environment that houses reptiles to mention a few, the educational plight in rural Nigeria calls for immediate “unpolitical” attention. Having visited some rural schools in South West, North Central and North West Nigeria, the current situation tends to endanger the nation’s future if not revived. In one of the North Central states (picture below), pupils have been learning under a shade for many years before the local government authority managed to erect a single building for all classes. This is one of others been faced by critical challenges.

In a rural school in North Central Nigeria where pupils study under a shade

Education is to a nation what the mind is to the body, just as a diseased mind is handicapped in the coordination and direction of the bodily activities. Therefore, the single most significant complex of social – control tools for national development is found in the educational system. Since majority of the population still live in rural areas, education which is believed to be the bedrock of any serious nation’s development should be experience serious development in rural areas, hence it is expected of Nigeria’s government and relevant stakeholders to take the issues of education in rural areas seriously. Challenges confronting rural education in Nigeria include:

Lack of Infrastructure: There is a huge infrastructural deficit in rural education development in Nigeria. Majority of the rural schools are poorly built and very old with damaged roofs and walls. Other educational facilities such as chairs and tables are usually not sufficient; libraries do not exist in many rural schools e.t.c.


Poor Legislative Oversight Duty: Legislative oversight duty is a serious way the legislature can check the executive by supervising projects awarded and asking important questions on budget and expenses on such project. However, the legislators have performed poorly in their oversight function. Thus, some of the approved rural schools are not well constructed or not constructed at all.

Insufficient Academic Staff: There has been an incessant shortage of academic staff in rural schools for many years in Nigeria. This explains why a teacher can be saddled to teach two or more subjects/courses, sometimes outside his/her discipline.

Poor Learning Facilities: Learning facilities in rural Nigeria are in very poor conditions, if at all they exist. Computer laboratories, internet and other things that will expose the children to global standard in their studies are absent.

Poverty: This is an underlining factor in Nigeria as a whole. People in rural areas live below a dollar daily. The poverty level is so high for them to afford schooling opportunities for their children.

Corruption: This problem has affected Nigeria negatively in all sectors. Embezzlement of educational funds, scholarship and grants has marred the effort to develop education in rural Nigeria.

Speaking to teachers and students in a rural secondary school

Critically assessing the first post-independence National Educational Nigerian Conference on Curriculum development organized in 1969 by the Nigerian Educational Council with the following resolutions:

– Provision and expansion of educational facilities to ensure education gets to the door step of every Nigerian child.
– Overhauling and reforming the content of general education to make it more responsive to the socio-economic needs of the country.
– Development and consolidating the nation’s higher education in response to the manpower needs of the country.
– Developing technological education in order to meet the growing needs of the nation.

All these resolutions failed because of the lack of commitment from the government. Education is fundamental to growth and development, and serves as critical indices to measure progress of development agenda. Therefore, deliberate effort should be made to develop the sector particularly in rural areas. This will include provision of educational infrastructures and facilities, sustainable curriculum and policies, employment of more academic staff, strengthening oversight function on educational facilities and scholarship for students. Education is the most powerful tool of reducing poverty, ensuring peace and stability and advancing a people through inventions, a nation cannot grow beyond her level of education, for Nigeria to grow, education must grow.

Olawale Rotimi

(BA, MA Ilorin, DELF Paris)

Olawale can be reached via olawalerotty@gmail.com or 08105508224

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

Government Must Protect, Patronize Local Firms To Succeed– Saraki

The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, on Monday said the government has a responsibility to ensure indigenous manufacturers thrive to rebuild the economy and put Nigerians to work.
Mr. Saraki said this when he received a delegation from Innoson Motor Manufacturing Company, Nnewi, led by Innocent Chukwuma, the Chairman and founder of the company, in his office.

He said government should use legislative actions and policy initiatives to protect the local industries as a deliberate way of reviving the economy.

Based in Nnewi, Anambra State, Innoson Motors is the only Nigerian company manufacturing automobile of different range.

Mr. Saraki said one of the actions government should quickly introduce was to ensure that local industries were patronized by government agencies so that Nigerian manufacturers could enjoy the advantages accruing from the big market that her population offers.

“That is why this eighth Senate is determined to amend the Procurement Law to ensure that government agencies patronize Made in Nigeria products,” Mr. Saraki said.

“I am sure the House of Representatives is in support of this. It is our joint responsibility to ensure that you succeed. If you are successful, a lot more small and medium scale enterprises will draw inspiration from you and they will become successful.

“That will help to create jobs which is one of the mandate presented to us by the youths of this country during the last elections. We in the legislature will look at all laws and help to create an enabling environment for local businesses to thrive in Nigeria.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

FG To Import 26 Cargoes Of Fuel For Christmas– PPMC Boss

The Managing Director of Pipeline & Product Marketing Company (PPMC) says the government plans to import 26 cargoes of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) which equates to about a billion litres.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Mrs Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue said that “we are doing that for the yuletide period so that all Nigerians would have the assurance that fuel would be available when they drive into any filling station”.

Talking about the issue of middlemen in contributing to the major lock jam, the PPMC MD said that “we have talked to the marketers and we heard unofficially that they have to buy products at higher rate than depot prices.

“We have gone to the security agents because if you don’t have evidence, you can’t build up the case.

“We are also working in the depots to see how to gather evidence so that we can prosecute one or two people. We have a fixed depot price which is N77.66 Kobo PMS and if they sell above that, it means they are distorting the economy which is an economy crime”, she explained.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Chris Oyakhilome Facing Trouble In South Africa Over Money He Makes There

Chris Oyakhilome is facing trouble in South Africa after refusing to comply with government orders to release his financial records. According to a report in News 24, several prominent church leaders have not adhered to the demands of the South African Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities.

The Commission, led by Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva is investigating the commercialisation of religion and the abuse of people’s beliefs within South Africa, where Christ Embassy has several branches.

“These people take money from people. What are they doing with that money? We want to know. We will not back down,” she said.

All those summoned to the hearings are required to produce their ordination certificate, the church registration certificate, bank statements and the annual financial statements dating from 2012.

“Some of these religious leaders will face prison if they do not comply and we have been clear about our course of action,” she insisted.

Mkhwanazi-Xaluva singled out Oyakhilome, stating that he insisted he would fight the commission in court before releasing his records.

“If he intends on that route, we are ready. He will have to face the same fate as the others who refuse to hand over their financial records,” she said.

In contrast, a source who attended the hearing of South African Bishop Stephen Zondo, stated that Mkhwanazi-Xaluva cited an equally controversial Nigerian megachurch leader, T.B. Joshua, as an example of one who openly used his finances to assist the less-privileged, something she expected of all clergy.

Source: News 24 

Aisha Buhari Speaks Of Her Husband’s Way Of Running Govt.

Wife of Nigeria’s President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari yesterday assured women that her husband would deliver effectively in line with the mandate given to him.

The president’s wife spoke in Enugu where she flagged-off the free health screening initiative, her pet project. Mrs. Buhari, who was accompanied on the visit by wife of the Speaker of the House of Representatives as well as over 20 wives of state governors, stated that “the government of my husband is a government of unity and integrity”.

“You are in safe hands,” she further told the women, stressing that the health programme would be fully implemented with the support of governors’ wives.

She disclosed that the concept of the programme had since been designed and shared with local and international stakeholders, noting that it was intended to reach women, particularly those areas that are difficult to reach.

“I am glad that we are gathered here with governors’ wives for this programme. It is voluntary with health agencies rendering free health care services.

“If you help the less privileged ones, God will help you. This government is a government of unity,” she further stressed.

Credit: NationalMirror

Nigerian Govt To Make Hostel Accommodation In Universities Compulsory?

THE Federal Government has said that it was taking serious consideration at reintroducing compulsory hostel accommodation at universities, stressing that the system in the past contributed to a better and quality students.

The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie, who disclosed this while representing President Muhammadu Buhari at the 21st convocation ceremony of University of Uyo (UNIUYO) at the weekend, said this has become expedient, as it would address the dwindling quality of graduates being produced from these tertiary institutions.

Also, the NUC boss explained that government was also taking seriously the issue of reducing the
lecturer/student ratio and reinventing the universities to become centres of inventions.

He, therefore, challenged lecturers in the country’s institutions of higher learning to do more in the area of researches that would be of great benefit to Nigerians, adding that a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree would soon become the least qualification for all academic members of staff of the country’s universities.

He tasked managements of universities on accountability and prudence in the applications of funds, urging them to endeavour to build synergies with state governments, public and private institutions and organisations to address some of their challenges.

According to Prof. Okojie, universities in the country did not fare well in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) but assured that shortcomings of the country’s tertiary institutions would be carried over to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Addressing the Visitor and graduands of the university, the Vice Chancellor of UNIUYO, Prof. Comfort Ekpo, expressed satisfaction with the progress made by the university during her tenure, noting that the university has become the 10th most preferred university in the country with more than 40,000 applicants selecting it in the 2015 UME examinations while it was given an admission quota of 6,659 during the period.

The university, she also stated, is currently ranked as the 55th best in Africa in 2015 with 98 per cent of its programmes having full accreditation.

“All these progress was made possible because we have maintained a high academic standard. Ninety-eight per cent of our academic programmes have been accredited by the National Universities Commission, including Pharmacy, which always had problems in the past having full accreditation status while we are working on getting accreditation for Efik/Ibibio.

“The university had had full accreditation for seven years with seven programmes presented for accreditation recently found worthy to be accredited. We have also played host to international conferences and lectures attracting resource persons from across the globe.

“Eighty per cent of our academic members of staff have at least Masters degrees while we have also strengthened our student support programme with 41 indigent but brilliant students benefitting from the programme since 2013”, she said.

She commended the university Senate and the two management teams during her tenure for the complementary role they played, saying that she would be leaving the institution better than she met it.

Three eminent Nigerians, including Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang; an industrialist, Mrs. Folurunsho Alakija and a music maestro, Chief Uko Akpan Umana, bagged honorary doctorate degree in Law, Humanities and Music respectively.

The occasion also witnessed the installation of Alhaji Abubakar Maje, the Emir of Hadejia and chairman, Jigawa State Council of Chiefs, as the university’s Fourth Chancellor.

Source: The GuardianNG

Government To Introduce Zero Based Budget System

The Federal Government has announced plans to introduce a zero based budget system as a step towards fighting corruption and blocking leakages in the public service.

Addressing participants at the Nigerian Economic Summit on Wednesday, Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo said that the initiative would require ministries, departments and agencies to justify their budgetary allocations for each year.

With over 500 federal agencies in the country, a great chunk of the nation’s budget goes into payment of workers wages, but the new administration said that it has come up with a system to ensure that unnecessary items are not listed in the budgets of federal institutions except for projects with direct impact on the economy.

Prof. Osinbajo said that although, the process would be rigorous and stressful, it would ensure transparency and accountability.

Read Morechannelstv

Coup In Burkina Faso As Military Dissolves Government

The military in Burkina Faso has announced the dissolution of the country’s transitional government, a day after presidential guards arrested the interim president and prime minister.

President Michel Kafando and Prime Minister Yacouba Zida were detained by soldiers who stormed an afternoon Cabinet meeting, plunging the poor West African country into chaos and uncertainty.

The coup comes days before the country’s first election since last year’s ouster of long-serving ruler, Blaise Compaore.

Mr. Compoare was deposed in a popular uprising in 2014.

Read More: premiumtimesng

Why APC Government Cannot Tackle Corruption- PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said despite the “holier than thou” posture of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government in fighting corruption, there is incontrovertible evidence that grave corrupt practices are ongoing and allowed to fester by associates and cronies of government, including former and present APC governors and others who played major roles in financing election campaigns with ‘stolen state funds’.

The party accused the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari of  creating a system that was neck deep in corruption, while the government hoodwinks unsuspecting public with propaganda.

“We therefore challenge the President Buhari-led APC administration to show integrity and commitment in the fight against corruption by first cleaning its house and coming out clear on the numerous sleazes going on at present under its watch,” PDP said.

Read More: thisdaylive

@Lanre_Olagunju: A Tweet Might Just Save a Newborn’s Life

From all indications the Social Media has definitely come to stay. New media as it is fondly called is not just changing the way we live daily, many of its advantages and success stories live with us today. Social Media is not just changing how we buy and sell, it is redefining the concept of market. Social Media is gradually influencing election processes, and more importantly how elections will be conducted in few years’ time.

In terms of a reaching the world with a message in the shortest time possible, the word “impossible” has totally lost its essence in this regard. Gone are the days when you would have to wait till daybreak or evening to get updates on National Newspapers. We now live in a new era that mocks the jet age and most of what it stood for.

But what we make of the tool – social media-  is practically at the height of our readiness, doggedness and knowledge of what it can provide. Many who prefer to focus on the negatives of social media can remain in the dark as long as they want. There is practically no tool in the world that can’t be used for either good or bad. Is it not the same water wey no get enemy that floods houses, states and communities? Come on! The same fire that purifies gold is what destroys live and property. A rifle or pistol in the hand of a robber or terrorist serves an entirely different purpose in the hand of a police or soldier. That’s how social media is. At the end, a tool is just as good as what you make of it.

The transformative power of social media as it concerns the health sector was well exercised by Nigerians when the people of Bagega in Zamfara State were hit with lead poisoning as a result of wrong mining practices. In January 2013, Nigerians with the hash tag #SaveBagega on Twitter showed that citizens could get the government to act as fast as it should at a particular point in time.

Doctors Without Borders were ready to treat about 1500 children who were affected by lead poisoning; but before the treatment, remediation had to be done so the treatment can be effective. With an intensive and persistent campaign on Twitter and Facebook, young people with the help of social media were able to get the Nigerian government to release funds for remediation, so treatment for 1500 kids in Zamfara could commence. Bagega had been waiting for remediation since 2010 after 400 kids died and thousands were poisoned. Help never came until January 2013 when Nigerians said “enough is enough” not with guns or bullets, just an hashtag. That’s how effective social media can be when we are determined to engage it wisely.

It is surprising to realize that many knowledgeable Nigerians aren’t even aware that Nigeria presently accounts for the second highest number of annual maternal mortality in the world after India. Maternal deaths in Nigeria alone accounts for 14% of maternal mortality globally. India accounts for 17%, though India’s population is more than seven times that of Nigeria.

If we don’t collectively see this as a threat to the wellbeing of women and newborns, then what else would ever bother us as a people? The most frightening part is that we rarely see the deaths of women who die daily as an issue that demands national attention. No, we don’t! We are not concerned enough.

This is probably because we see such deaths as mere statistics. If we were any bothered, maybe we would have forced our politicians to get the right policies and result since that seems to be the language they understand best. Maybe we would have asked them some tough questions that puts a demand on accountability in this regard.

It is easy to point out that during elections, we rarely hear politicians promise to improve on the health of women and children, essentially as it concerns maternal, newborn and child health issues. They would rather promise; to improve power, provide good roads, free WIFI and we watch them say little or absolutely nothing about the shameful reality that of all the women who die globally during pregnancy or childbirth, 14% of them are Nigerian women. We must demand accountability from President Buhari and his team, most especially when he announces the new Minister of Health, regardless of which part of Nigeria he is from.

The World Bank recently approved $500 million dollars to improve maternal and child health in Nigeria, we all have to keep an eye and keep asking questions to ensure accountability. This mustn’t be another case of corruption as usual as this is not the first time funds would be made available by international agencies or donors. Media attention is also crucial to holding policymakers accountable so as to equitably maximize resources allocated for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) cum Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) projects.

In every sense, we need to take issues that concerns Nigerian women seriously; not just the ones who live in cities who aren’t actually immune to avoidable and treatable pregnancy related complications, but also those helpless ones in villages. Those deaths aren’t even recorded, probably because no one cares. Even in a state like Lagos, I get to hear of cases of deaths that are avoidable, some due to lack of resources on the part of the mother, lack of blood in some hospitals, and the most painful part which is gradually becoming rampant… errors caused by medical experts.

Something has to give. No community, country or continent looks away at the agony of women and newborns yet expect to prosper.

It might be difficult to see how each Nigerian would practically solve this huge challenge; but I challenge all advocates across Africa to demand more from government. That was what saved Bagega. We can possibly save more women and children with the same approach. Many of the maternal mortality cases are preventable, yet these deaths comes with high costs in form of income and productivity loss and a whole lot of other social-economic pains attached to such loss. When a mother dies, the child’s health, education, growth and general wellbeing suffers. In fact, the pain gets to the entire community directly or otherwise.

We can also demand more from health agencies. It is very important that they carry Sexual & Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) and Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (MNCH) advocates, journalists and social media influencers along with the policies that must be properly addressed in other to shape public awareness and opinion.
A good strategy to motivate, create and sustain interest among journalists and media influencers is to provide them with data, trainings and seminars which would intelligently aid their reportage. National issues only receive attention when they affect a large number of people or when citizens realize that inactions will lead to nationwide setback.

Across the globe, about 1,500 women die on a daily basis as a result of pregnancy and childbirth related complications. 98% of these deaths occur in developing countries. The giant of Africa is responsible for 14%. Yearly, an average of 15 million women who survive pregnancy and childbirth complications develop physical and mental disabilities thereafter. Bloggers, social media experts and all other media experts have an active role to play in ensuring that we reduce the number of women who lose their lives while giving birth across the continent of Africa. Maternal health advocate should be encouraged to extend their advocacy to radio as this media tool remains a vital source to educate and sensitize women on sexual health related issues. Unfortunately, many advocates get discouraged with the exorbitant cost of airtime. Media houses should bear in mind that sometimes we make money, other times we save and preserve lives with money and available resources.

***Lanre Olagunju is an MNCH advocate, blogs for the African Union on the Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal, Newborn and Child Mortality in Africa. He is @Lanre_Olagunju on Twitter.

Atiku Abubakar’s Daughter Nominated As Commissioner In Adamawa State

Fatima Atiku Abubakar, one of the daughter’s of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has been nominated to serve as a commissioner in the administration of Gov. Bindow Jibirilla of Adamawa state.

Fatima along with four other women, Shanti Victoria Shashi, Kaletapwa Farauta, Fatima Atiku Abubakar and Lilian Nabe Kayode, are part of the 22-man nominees list sent by the state governor to members of the state House of Assembly for screening today August 6th.

Cholera Outbreak kills 8 In Ebonyi

Eight persons have died as a result of fresh cholera outbreak in Ebonyi State.

Three of the deaths were recorded in Ndiogbu Ndieze village, Izzi local government area of Ebonyi State.

Seventeen persons in the community were also hospitalized.

Five deaths were confirmed by the Director of Public Health and Disease Control in the state, Dr. Christian Achi in Ikwo community, Ikwo local government area of the state as a result of fresh outbreak of the disease in the area.

The State Epidemiologist, Dr. Francis Onwe and other officials of the state Ministry of Health were forced to visit the affected areas following the outbreak and distributed drugs.

A stakeholder of Ndiogbu Ndieze village, Chief Austin Igwe Edeze whose younger brother was among those that died following the outbreak said people who attended burial of a resident of the area came back and started vomiting and defecating uncontrollably.

He said:‘’Nobody suspected that cholera was responsible for the frequent vomiting and defecation by the people that attended the burial ceremony.

‘’ So before we could notice it is cholera, was down; vomiting and stooling and we took him to the hospital and he died early in the morning.

‘’We raised alarm to the Ministry of Health and the officials advised that we should quickly bury him to avoid the disease spreading to other people around which we obeyed and bury him immediately.

‘’The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry sent a team who visited us for enlightenment on the prevention of the disease and donated some drugs after the lecture’’ he added.

The state Epidemiologist Dr. Francis Onwe said the state health officials were contacted by Chief Austin Igwe Edeze whose younger brother was among those that died as a result of the epidemic.

He advised the residents to ensure personal and environmental hygiene to avoid contracting the disease.

Onwe further advised them to ensure they bury any victim immediately such person dies to avoid spreading the epidemic.

He also warned them to desist from drinking stream and contaminated water which he explained are sources of contracting the disease..

Man Puts Giant Crocodile In Pothole After Officials Refused To Fix It

Lwkmd……..A visual artist from Bangalore in India named Baadal Nanjundaswamy came up with a way of getting noticed by the local authorities, and it seems to have worked.

Last Thursday, he created a fake reptile costing £60 and placed it in the 12-foot long pothole which was formed around a month ago when a water pipe burst at Bangalore’s busy Sultanpalya traffic junction.

Although Baadal and others had made complaints, nothing was done, but it’s been reported that, after his stunt with the fake reptile, the pothole was filled the next day.

Baadal did something similar last year when he painted a pothole as the mouth of the Hindu God of death Yama to alert authorities to the danger.
He explained: “Last time it attracted the attention of BBMP [Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike] officials and the man hole was closed within a day.

“Everyone has the potential to express themselves in his or her own way. This is my way of communicating a grievance.”
In England, an artist in Bury painted huge penises around potholes in May to get them dealt with.

Nigeria needs this guy.

Jonathan Has Not Given Me Any Useful Tips – Buhari

resident-elect Muhammadu Buhari says the outgoing Goodluck Jonathan government hasnt given him any advise on how to kick-start his administration on May 29.
He made this statement on Thursday when a committee from the Centre for Human Security of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, presented a five-point policy document to him at the Buhari Support Organisation office in Abuja.

Hours before the event which held behind closed doors, the All Progressives Congress,accused the Federal Government of not cooperating with the transition committee set up by the President-elect.
“Buhari regretted that the outgoing government that is supposed to give him tips on how to take off has done nothing so far,” Garba Shehu, the Director of Media and Publicity of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organisation, told journalists after the presentation by the committee.
Shehu added that the President-elect “thanked the Obasanjo initiative for the gesture, assuring the committee that his incoming administration will be needing advice as time goes on.”
Areas covered by committee in the   document    include the economy, security, power, education and infrastructure.
Earlier on Thursday , the APC described as untrue, a statement credited to the spokesman for the Peoples Democratic Party, Oliseh Metuh, that the   Jonathan administration was cooperating with the transition committee constituted by the President-elect.
It also described Metuh in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, as a man with “an incurable disdain for truth.”
The PDP spokesman had   in the said statement accused the APC of raising a false alarm over happenings within the Jonathan and the Buhari transition committees.
However, Mohammed insisted that the uncooperative attitude of the Jonathan team   had continued despite its public posturing.
The   APC statement Read, “We say with all sense of responsibility that as of today, May 14, 2015, just about two weeks to the May 29 handover date, no shred of information as to the status of governance from any ministry, department or agency of government has been given to our transition committee.”
“If that qualifies, in Metuh’s lexicon, as cooperation, then there is a problem somewhere. We dare Metuh or anyone for that matter, to controvert the fact that not a line of handover note has been handed over to our transition committee.”
Source: Vanguard

Nigeria Borrows Money To Pay Government Salaries- Aljazeera

Africa’s biggest economy faces “revenue challenges” that have affected expenditure, finance minister says.

Africa’s richest economy is borrowing money to pay salaries as it struggles through a “difficult cash crunch” brought on by halved oil prices, Nigeria’s finance minister revealed.

The news comes as Nigeria prepares to welcome a new government at the end of this month and the country’s naira currency remains in a slump, hovering between 180 and 220 to the US dollar. It was trading at 160 a few months ago.

Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala tried to be upbeat in a speech on Tuesday after lawmakers approved the 2015 budget – revised three times because of slashed oil prices that provide 80 percent of revenue for the government of Africa’s biggest petroleum producer.

She said “revenue challenges” had prohibited the release of any funds for capital expenditure this year but that food prices and single-digit inflation remained quite stable. And she said the economy still was on course to grow 4.8 percent this year.

“We have front-loaded the borrowing program to manage the cash crunch,” Okonjo-Iweala told lawmakers.

“Out of the 882 billon naira budgetary provision for borrowing, the government has borrowed 473 billion naira to meet up with recurrent expenditure, including salaries and overheads.”

That is bad news for the incoming government of President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, who takes over on May 29 from incumbent Goodluck Jonathan.

Buhari acknowledges that constricted revenue and endemic corruption threaten his will to deliver on development and reconstruction of areas devastated by a nearly 6-year-old rebel uprising in the northeast.

He says his fight against corruption should produce the money needed to bring change to a country where oil proceeds benefit a small clique while the majority of the 170 million people in Africa’s most populous nation live hand to mouth.

Critics blame the financial crisis in part on the most expensive election ever held in Nigeria, though no one knows how much politicians from both sides spent during their campaigns.

Too Much Boom Time Oil Savings Spent on State Governors- Okonjo-Iweala

Nigeria’s finance minister said on Thursday that a significant portion of the billions of dollars drained from the oil savings account over the past two years was distributed to powerful governors instead of being saved for a rainy day.The central bank devalued the naira by 8 percent on Tuesday because it was running out of forex reserves with which to defend the currency.

The Excess Crude Account (ECA) had around $9 billion in December 2012, but it has since fallen to around $4 billion, Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala noted in a speech to capital market authorities. Most of the falls occurred during a period of record high oil prices, when oil savings are supposed to accrue.

Okonjo-Iweala said some of the money had been needed to cover revenue lost due to outages caused by oil theft and pipeline vandalism, thought to drain hundreds of thousands of barrels a day.

“Some of it (the ECA) was then legitimately used to offset revenue shortfalls arising from quantity shocks and to narrow the fiscal deficit,” she said. “But against our advice, significant portions were also used to augment monthly allocations,” to local and state authorities.

“States argued that rainy days were already at hand and in fact (the rain) was already pouring, so the money needed to be used right away,” Okonjo-Iweala said.

Money from oil sold over and above the finance ministry’s benchmark price is in theory deposited into the ECA, which can later be used to protect against oil price shocks or to plug the deficit.

However, there are disputes about who should control this money, and state governors often argue the central government is hoarding the money and should distribute more to them.

 Credit: Yahoo News

Sokoto State Government Bans Building Of New Houses

The Sokoto State  government yesterday announced temporal  ban on the allocation of new plots and construction of new houses in Sokoto city and its environs.

It however said the ban would be lifted by the end of December, “when all the distortions and discrepancies are expected to have been rectified.”
Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Alhaji Nasiru Dantsoho,  at a press briefing  to mark this year’s World Habitat Day, expressed the state government’s resolve  to ensure that  residents receive approvals from government before embarking on construction.

#INSIGHTWITHLARIGOLD: How Governmental Failures Add Up To Disasters By @Lanre_Olagunju

When government decides to remain hopelessly insensitive to its duties, it results into unpopular but severe implications like citizens trying to find individual solutions to public problems. Nigerians do not expect much from the political class anymore and it shows in the unending quest to personally provide basic things that should have been provided by the government. In several ways, this has telling adverse effect not just on the economy but the environment as well.


One of the most basic psychological needs of man is the need to quench thirst, without the availability of a basic need like water, striving to live becomes difficult. When you consider that in the 21st century, people still struggle for a necessity such as water, and that people actually still drink from the same river they defecate, wash and bath, it becomes absolutely impossible to consider if such people can ever strive for self-actualization.

Sadly, in a country of over 150 million people like Nigeria, only a meager 30% have access to portable water. Is it that government is not aware of the absence of portable water which remains a major pre-requisite for improved health care and sanitation? Moreover easy access to portable water practically helps in combating water borne diseases like cholera.

In the fashion of looking out for alternative means to provide basic amenities, a large percentage of property owners in Nigeria depend on underground water i.e. borehole, which they dig privately, as any attempt to ignore it is to deny occupants access to portable water.

As an hydrologist, I know that uncontrolled drilling of boreholes poses long term environmental threat like man-made earthquake and other environmental damages. It’s quite vital to consider that in places like Lagos and Abuja, people build on less than half a plot. And each individual wants to have a borehole in his residence. This results into excessive pumping of groundwater. And when large quantity of water is pumped out of the ground at a rate higher than it’s recharged, the ground, over time becomes hollow. After a while, the ground will compress and this might lead to collapse of building on such land, leading to loss of lives and property.

Going by the occurrence in countries with similar issues, it has been proven that when groundwater in any community is extensively and excessively withdrawn, after a long period of time, it results into lowering of the land surface, which is called subsidence. It was discovered that the earth lowered by 4.7 meters in Japan which badly affected many structures. As a result of this, Water Law was established to reduce the withdrawal of groundwater. Uncontrolled groundwater extraction via boreholes was responsible for recording similar occurrence in Su-Xi-Chang in China and also in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1994. In terms of contamination, a couple of people in northern Nigeria have lost their lives to drinking borehole water contaminated with Zinc poisoning.

Fortunately, this is a sector that can be revived if government surrenders it over to knowledgeable private investors.


To avert being in the dark due to the constant lack of electricity, individuals purchase generators, as there is hardly a household without at least one I beta pass my neighbour generator– a small sized generator commonly used to power low power-demanding gadgets . To remain relevant in business, big industries and corporations use mega generators to run business activities. And when many couldn’t break even, they had to move production to neighbouring countries with better power supply. But that aside, we can’t neglect the fact that the fumes from this alternative now turned regular source of power is actually toxic. The toxic waste from generators are contaminating the environment and in the wider sense, it’s reducing life expectancy by increasing chances for diseases like cancer amongst other deadly ailments.


When the judiciary fails or slows down justice, as a nation we’ve mastered to take the laws into our hands by lynching alleged criminals, just like the incident of #Aluu4 that shook Nigeria in October 2012. A case where four innocent undergraduates where gruesomely lynched and burnt alive for a crime they actually never committed.


Rather than ask for better roads with nice road networks or even demand that alternative means of transport like the modern train system be put in place, tired and frustrated citizens would rather buy Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) that can whether the bad roads with deep potholes wide enough to cook for an entire community. And you begin to wonder if increasing the number of SUVs on our bad roads would temper the economic gawkiness that lack of good transport system constitutes.

Without talking about security, one can actually go on and on.  And sometimes you can’t but be tempted to ask that won’t the country be better off without the government which is only famously known for corruption, mismanagement and failing successfully at disbursing its basic responsibilities.

Nations only thrive when the government and citizens do that which is required for economic progress and development.

I am @Lanre_Olagunju

#INSIGHTWITHLARIGOLD runs on www.omojuwa.com every Saturday.




Forget 2015 #opesays

2015 seems to be the ultimate target and goal for politicians and Nigerians alike. The race began a long time ago. 2015 is on everyone’s lips. 2015 is the Holy Grail, it’s what’s trending. Before one or two sentences are made about the government, 2015 always comes into the picture. If one could create a year by just saying it often, 2015 would be done and dusted by now. Even GEJ, from all indications, wants to run for presidency in 2015. Opposition parties are gearing up, the countdown has begun. For 2015, it’s all or nothing. Many have even predicted riots during that period. Judging from our history with election violence, who won’t?

Now, even young Nigerians look forward to 2015. For many, it’s one of two things: when it gets worse or when it gets better. It’s a cycle shey? We vote our candidate in for 4 years (assuming the election isn’t rigged) and then he fumbles. We then begin to rant and curse, clamouring for change. We feel powerless to do anything else. Occupy Nigeria was our only exception, our ‘almost-revolution’. This pattern is bound to repeat itself starting 2015, even if we vote in the so-called better opposition. It seems Nigeria is condemned to a cycle of failed leadership. What then is the solution?

We need a mental revolution. The way some Nigerians think, you would want to believe that we deserve this crop of leaders we have. We need new stories, people to inspire us. Poverty has eaten up the conscience of most and those who are still sane, are too scared to act. To change anybody, it starts with their thinking. To change Nigeria, we have to start from our thoughts. We need the ability to let go of old thought patterns and traditional ways that have kept us back for long. Tribalism is one of these evil thought patterns. All Nigerians need a massive mental shift.

Governance starts with you and I. Government simply is what we do together, that we can’t do alone. You and I are the government. Active citizen participation is what a nation needs to move forward. We cannot always wait for these greedy, grabbing and corrupt leaders. They are obviously not the people we can rely on for a better Nigeria. Let’s not wait for 2015. What can we do, right here, right now? Our change may come in trickles, but it shall surely come. Do not underestimate your little actions, for an accumulation of these will create our tipping point. When we go over that tipping point, a new Nigeria will emerge. So what can you do today in your area, a sector or in your local government? Get to work and accomplish it. Remember, you are the government.

Emerging leaders.  Many young Nigerians still say that they will never go into politics. My question is, who then? Do want these greedy old men to rule us forever? They will if given a chance. Nigeria is left to you and I. Now is the time to start planning and strategizing. Form groups and create coalitions. Learn what true governance entails and equip yourself with leadership skills.

Knowledge. The power of knowledge should never be underestimated. Do you want to change something about Nigeria? Then get knowledge. You will need to rightly equip yourself with it’s history, it’s leadership and the right ways to go about it.

Forget 2015. The clock has started ticking. We have a huge task ahead. Let’s start now.

Opemipo Adebanjo

@opesays on Twitter

#opesays is a column published every Friday on this website.