“Adopt Jonathan’s method to save the Naira”, Doyin Okupe tells Osinbajo.

Doyin Okupe, former aide of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, has advised Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to wholly adopt a crude-oil-swap arrangement to conserve foreign exchange.

Crude-oil-swap was an arrangement in which the government exchange crude oil for refined petroleum products through third party traders.

The arrangement, which was adopted by the Jonathan government, was allegedly replete with corruption.

The Buhari government then replaced it with a direct-sale-direct-purchase of crude oil initiative which removed the cost elements of middlemen.

In an open letter to the acting president on Thursday, Okupe urged the government to fully adopt the crude-swap arrangement even though the previous leadership of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) abused it.

“Nigeria is nearly totally an import dependent economy, we earned about N4.6 trillion from export of crude oil in 2015, while our total import bill was in the region of about N6 trillion; 30 percent of which was dedicated to the import of petroleum products. Actual figure was about N1.8 trillion or $5bn,” he wrote.

“It is obvious that if we can remove or substantially decrease this demand of $5bn from our forex pull, the value of naira will significantly appreciate further.

“Your Excellency, I want to submit that this is achievable through a responsibly and transparently organised crude swap scheme.

“I am not unaware that this administration has undertaken a limited crude oil swap arrangement, but this will not suffice. We need to carry it to the level at which we will not commit any significant amount of forex to import of petroleum products anymore.

“No doubt this option was also tried and to a large extent poorly executed and abused by the previous NNPC leadership. The errors in its manner of implementation can be corrected to give a major relief to the demand for dollar in our economy.

“The statutory allocation of 450,000 barrels of crude oil daily for domestic consumption which has been on for several decades needs to be readdressed for better productivity.

“In this dispensation, the government can start by committing the seven oil majors to the new scheme and after a period of about one year of successful implementation, qualified indigenous companies can be brought in, to join and participate.”

Okupe said the crude-oil-swap arrangement was a sustainable alternative to the current intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the forex market because it would conserve foreign exchange.

“The current intervention of the CBN, though highly successful, which is based on injecting hard earned forex (to the tune of over $1bn a month) into the forex market through the banks, also grossly reduces the amount of forex inflow from sales of crude oil to the federation account; for sharing by the state and federal govt. The crude oil swap is a better sustainable alternative as it does not affect in any way our revenues from crude oil sales,” he said.

“Your Excellency, with all humility, I submit that while the above may not exactly represent the actual details in the suggested transactions, I strongly believe that this proposition of mine, if fine tuned by experts, will give results with much commendation to your administration and more importantly, improve the strength of our national currency further and relieve some of the current hardship in the nation.”

 

Source: The Cable

PDP Suffering From Past Mistakes – Doyin Okupe

Former Special Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, has stated that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is going through crisis because the party failed to prepare for life after power. He also said the PDP is suffering from mistakes of the past.

Okupe who was a guest on Channels Television breakfast programme yesterday said failure on the part of the leaders of the PDP has further deepened the crisis rocking the party.

He said, “The crisis you are seeing today came into play because there was lack of cohesiveness on the part of the leadership and follower-ship and that is why the centre cannot hold and the party is paying seriously for that”. “What you are seeing now are flurry signs and symptoms of failure of leadership. Before we left government or shortly after we left government, people ought to have come together knowing that we were likely going to suffer what is called electoral defeat syndrome, which has become exaggerated in our present circumstances is responsible for this” he stated.

 

He went further, “We love our party and we do not want PDP to scatter, even though we lost an election to All Progressives Congress, APC, it was evident that APC will not get its act together and if they do not get their acts together, a third force will emerge and that is the dream of many Nigerians.”

According to him, APC remains a party of strange bed fellows with various interests and cannot be compared to the PDP with a solid background.

“The APC, is not an association as such, it’s a conglomeration of various interests. They still do not have a party. They are not strong on ground, there are many places where they do not exist. PDP is the only party in Nigeria that has a culture, a strong background and a record of performance, yes we have some issues. There are evidence against our people involved in embarrassing forms of corruption, but that’s what happens in any human organisation” he maintained. He however said; “The truth of the matter is that what PDP is suffering today is from the collective actions that we have taken in the past. From our failure to obey our own rules. For entrenching impunity as a standard practice in our party; for allowing people to use money to buy offices, to buy candidacy. These are consequences of those actions.”

Credit: ChannelsTV

The Opposition Won’t Leave ‘President Jesus’ Alone By Irabor Justin Ikhide

I was three years old when he was born, so, yes, I have practically watched this man grow up. It is quite unfortunate that the rest of the world does not think for itself, so it becomes my designated responsibility to assume introspection for the passengers onboard this toxic planet.

I would give it to him: his expensive foreign PR has done some forward thinking. The very first publication about him was that he is some uncorrupt, unblemished and untainted redeemer sent to pry this country from the degrading quicksand which clutches ever so desperately and steadfastly to it. Quickly, he formed his own party, a band of pretentious people (and I submitted a document to SaharaReporters which exposes the sordid pasts of these ‘disciples’) who have often veered towards violence and zealotry – and that’s on their good days.

One doesn’t even need to dig too deeply into the archives nowadays – thankfully, the internet never forgets – to remember the highly publicized event from his childhood when his mother took him for Bishop Oyedepo’s Shiloh event (inside sources say it was to cast out the hideous spirit of a god complex which has plagued him, even in adulthood). As you will recall, he snuck out on his mother and joined a group of unscrupulous men, where he attempted – at that astonishingly young age – to misdirect them about the political status quo. I hope that you, dear reader, can see how dangerous such a kid was, that he could sway adult interest his way. Imagine how much danger the polity would be in the hands of such a smooth-talking serpentine personality?

There are those who would swear by his stellar character, but we recall that the first formal wedding he attended as a local government personnel, Linda Ikeji caught him drinking alcohol and telling everyone who cared to listen that it was actually water.

And, oh, how the world has provided an alibi to his lie. Several times, he has cancelled public appearances and I have published that it was because your ‘leader’ was too ‘wasted’ to attend. Twice I have been threatened by John Thunderman, that crazed special assistant on media. I do not have pictorial evidence yet to support my claim, but some of your ‘leader’s’ erratic behaviour would suggest that he may be doing marijuana as well.

Anyway. Back to the Linda Ikeji blog post. When he was asked by the blogger about the obvious glass of alcoholic wine in his hands, he lied. Of course, he would give such a lie – he was obviously totally inebriated at the time, and I heard that he even proclaimed to his own mother that ‘his time had not yet come.’

Personally, that statement was most interesting. What did he, a lowly carpenter from Otuoke (who was no more than a member of a local government council), mean by ‘my time has not yet come’? Ah, but the answer is more obvious than anyone cares to admit.

His Godfathers have been prepping him for a seat at the presidency even before he knew what a ‘constitution’ meant. I have had word with Baba sometimes, and while Baba says he is ‘my son with whom I am well pleased,’ baba endeavors to be properly vague so that his ‘son’s’ steps are well-covered from my fiercely truth-seeking pen.

Arguably, baba is the greatest political mind in this country, so I spared not much time trying to get him to slip, but dug further into his godson’s files. Do not forget that this Otuoke man stormed the house of representatives with policemen and whipped the speaker of the house, barring the house from sitting. What was his reason? He said they had turned the nation into a den of thieves. Hah! What hypocrisy. It will be recalled that when Femi Fani-Kayode wrote in 2007 that this man accommodated tax collectors with undeclared assets and that none of his party members had done time for their embezzlement, he had simply brushed it aside during a May 1st speech, saying cryptically, ‘there is no need to fast while the groom is still around.’ I guess he picked up that proverb from the crafty old tortoise, baba.

The elections are round the corner, and the Otuoke man will need to tell us: in 3 and a half years of service, what have you been able to achieve? His party is already clogging up as many media agencies as they can. I was immensely impressed with CNN when they refused to allow his propaganda air on their networks – although it begs the question: why is his party campaigning abroad, spending taxpayers’ money on people that are not even eligible voters?

Ah, he had an answer for that one as well. Recently, in a Channels TV interview, he said: “People ask me why I have campaign posters abroad. It is quite simple: my leadership of hope isn’t only for people in my country – it is for the world.”

I say, ‘rubbish’. This is a man who, I heard from Peter Obaseki, his special adviser on public affairs, wouldn’t even pay his tax from actual money from his own pocket. I hear he goes to the sea to pry money from citizens there to pay his tax. Nobody would publish these sort of things, of course, because Otuoke man is wise: he knows that once the media is gagged, you can get away with murder.

The other day, he mixed mud and his saliva and splattered it in the eyes of an ordinary citizen. Yet this same man has the guts to accuse Adams Oshiomhole – who apologized a few million nairas afterwards – of not being ‘public-spirited.’

Credit: www.naij.com

VIEWS EXPRESSED ARE SOLELY AUTHOR’S

You Either Vote Goodluck Or Bad Luck- Doyin Okupe

The Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe, has said that the choice for the 2015 presidential election is crystal clear, noting that, it is either Nigerians vote good luck or back luck.

Okupe while speaking at an event organised to unveil the candidate of President Goodluck Jonathan held at Sheraton Hotels, Ikeja, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, said,” There are two candidates for next year’s election, it is between Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari. The choice in this election is crystal clear, it is either good luck or bad luck.” We are not there yet but we will get there very soon.”

“People say I am a Goodluck Jonathan fanatic and it is true. I stand for and work for what I believe. I have worked for two presidents and I speak because I believe in what I say. I do not wish to denigrate anybody. This Goodluck Jonathan is the very best that we have seen.

“There is no offense to compare ourselves with Goodluck Jonathan. The man Goodluck Jonathan bears a lot of burden, he keeps quiet, he is focused and does not talk anyhow so that Nigeria will remain one. There are members of the opposition that are deaf. It is not by coincidence that every good thing is happening in Nigeria,” he said.

Credit: pmnewsnigeria.com

Comparing Jonathan to Jesus By Lanre Shadiya

I thought it was another taunting of Dr. Doyin Okupe by his numerous (rightly?) detractors when I heard he compared Mr. President to Jesus Christ until I saw it on Channels TV. I froze as the words came out of his mouth that “People don’t understand the burden that this President is bearing, he is like JESUS CHRIST – he is bearing the burden of everyone”

Politics, in Nigeria, we all know is a dirty game. While it involves cooperation, collaborations, lobbying and alliances, it is also full of antics, maneuvers, blackmails, intimidations, coercions and sometimes violence and even death. Personally, I have nothing against politicians and their money-bought modern day slaves mudslinging themselves – it has proven to be one of the things that has kept societal humor going in Nigeria. However, I believe things are taken too far when the comparison suddenly leaves the realms of human and is targeted at the SON OF GOD.

Dr. Okupe by age, is supposed to be called and regarded as an elder. With that title comes some expectations and responsibilities. His current function in the Presidency notwithstanding, he should understand that Politics and religion are two things that should not go together, especially in Nigeria. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has been equaled to the likes of Mandela, Martin Luther King (Jr.) and Barack Obama and we are fine with that. It is the responsibility of a trumpet owner to blow it however he or she likes but, we all know that blowing a trumpet loud does not necessarily translate to producing good music. To move this comparison to JESUS CHRIST is religiously suicidal, utterly blasphemous and absolutely unacceptable. Not even the Adeboyes, Oyedepos or Kumuyis of this world can or should lay such a claim. Even the minimally sane will tell you that the Catholic Pope is only a human representation of God on earth.

I thought about juxtaposing the differences between Mr. President and Jesus Christ and then realized that doing such will be putting Dr. Jonathan, a man and mere mortal beside the LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH. ABOMINATION! Let Dr. Okupe know that this is not about his boss. Not at all. This is about EVERY MAN and WOMAN that has ever lived, is living or will ever live. Only a leprosy infected mind will ever reason along the line of comparing a WALKING SAND to the EVERLASTING KING. Despite the accomplishments, belief, passion and recognition of John the Baptist in God’s work, this is what he said of Jesus “HE is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” (John 1:27, NIV).

While acknowledging that PRESIDENTS ALL OVER THE WORLD carry the responsibilities of their countries, this is in no way a burden like that carried by Jesus Christ. To liken both shows a shallow thought process that falls way below the minimum entry level into any children’s church in the Christian world. How can we compare the burden of creating jobs, Power and Security with that of granting ETERNAL LIFE? If we go by Dr Doyin Okupe’s theory then we should call the likes of Xi Jinping and Narendra Mudi of China and India respectively GODS since they both have the burdens of over 1.2 BILLION people to bear? I want to think within me that the President, if he has heard this, will call Dr. Okupe to order on this. According to Isaiah 42:8 (NIV) God said “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols” If Dr. Okupe is putting the President in the same league with Jesus, the repercussion on Okupe, and indeed, the President himself cannot even be imagined. I pray none happens.

It has reached a point in Dr. Okupe’s life where he has to sit himself down and ask himself serious questions about his believes, values and the next chapter or chapters in his life. Obviously no one has decided to do that for him or he chose to ignore those who tried. I wish him long life but he should know that he is closer to his grave than to his crib. If he is a Christian as he claims, he will know that PDP government or the Nigerian Presidency cannot appeal any judgment-day decision. It should be common sense to him that there should have been no comparison between Jonathan of Nigeria and Jesus of Nazareth. To do this, or continue to justify this, is to bring the wrath of the Nazarene upon the Nigerian.

@lanreshadiya

VIEW EXPRESSED ARE SOLELY AUTHOR’S.

#KakandaTemple ~ The Dangerous Shows for 2015

image

As the period running up to the 2011 presidential election portended omens of tragedy for intuitive citizens, the current period, four years later, should rattle even those who were then indifferent. This must be a phase for overcoming whatever instigated their moral dilemma.

My concern about Nigeria became disturbed this week on sighting a Borno Express cross-country bus with a poster of Governor Kashim Shettima, seeking re-election, seemingly seeking another term of terrorised living in office. How is it that our politicians, crying that their Office threatens their existence and sanity, are desperate to remain in that same Office? It must be a sort of greed for the trappings of State Power.

The main culprit of this dangerous greed is the President, under whom the country has lost its bearing, so much so that even his most indecorous media aides, confused in the social media, are now calling on “God”, advising citizens to “pray” for an end to what such aides’ principals were elected, and granted enormous State resources, to curb. And for lack of explanations for their principals’ legendary cluelessness, they’ve been tweeting verses from the Bible, to appeal to the sentiments of the gullible.

But a show of greed and shame, even more indicative and damning than the President and the Governor’s desperate bid to remain in power is clearly that of the citizens “procured”, as Dr. Oby Ezekwesili once said of hired protesters, to champion the re-election campaign of the same President Goodluck Jonathan whose administration, for seeming incapability, has not heeded the plea to rescue the hundreds of his subjects who have been in captivity for the past 150 days! And to highlight their inhumanity, these procured protesters launched #BringBackGoodluck2015 billboards, signs and hashtags to ridicule the demands of unrelenting #BringBackOurGirls.

That unpardonable blasphemy drew the outrage of the civil society, the main opposition party and even the fence-sitting observers. But it was Washington Post’s globalisation of the undermined citizens’ outrage in its coverage of that PR blunder, referring to it as “the most inappropriate political hashtag of the year”, that finally jostled the presidency, forcing the President to react – to lie, that is – that he was ignorant of that well-publicised campaign for his re-election, even though the campaign was officially recognised by the Presidency, having been fanatically promoted by the President’s politically rash Senior Special Assistant Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe.

What further frustrates the possibility of ousting the cunning government or having citizens forming alliances against it, are the divisive publications on the complicity of some friends and allies of the government revealed by an Australian named Stephen Davis, and uncritically popularised by some prominent elements of the main opposition party, the APC.

Instead of having Davis’ so-called revelations adopted for careful analysis, Nigerians, including a prominent and prominently diminutive member of the opposition, contributed to the confusion by not only endorsing the Australian’s claims that certain people, both Muslim and Christian, were responsible for funding of the Boko Haram insurgents, but that the sect also has political and Christian variants, backing the claims up with lame inferences that can only appeal to the senses of a unintelligent conspiracy theorist, an unthinking escapist.

Sadly, some of these people practice, or have backgrounds in, Law. This makes me wonder, why would a lawyer, trained in challenging facts, also embark on adopting uncorroborated claims, conspiracy theories, as proofs or confirmations of certain suspicions? Even in the court of law, circumstantial evidences are not adopted as unchallenged proofs, so sharing inferences as proofs is a clear mischief. You don’t spend these five years in the department of Law, and then memorably torturous months at the law school, only to end up going against the ethics of your training in such an outrageous way. I thought lawyers should be our models in obsessing about evidences and the absence of them, even in our public discourse?

If a lawyer’s mindset had been employed in assessing these confusing claims, even Davis wouldn’t have made a newspaper headline. And this instinct would’ve challenged us to ask whether Boko Haram that operates in secret, would reveal the sources of its funds to a negotiating stranger – especially to a white man who, as Christian or atheist, western, and believer in liberal democracy, is a portrait of all they aspire to crush? The Boko Haram didn’t remain elusive this long by being tactically stupid, as portrayed by Davis. And if its leaders were as careless with details of their operations as also portrayed by Davis, they would’ve been crushed long ago!

There’s a need for us, and especially the opposition party, to employ reason, instead of sentiments, in promoting some of these embarrassingly petty conspiracy theories. The opposition must understand that if you fight this government with flawed statistics and hearsays and polarisation, you’re just making the return to Aso Rock easier for GEJ. If they want to replace GEJ, whose Ph.D I now suspect is in divisive politics, on the back of polarising sentiments, then they must be very prepared for an embarrassing defeat in 2015. What keeps APC going are sympathies, sympathies of a people in need of change, sympathies of a people willing to give them a chance despite obvious flaws. But it needs men of model conduct representing its interests in the media.

My only fear, which has become a looming apparition now, is the memory of the gory revolts that followed the announcements of the results of 2011 presidential election in the north. We must not prepare these impressionable members of the lower-class for another horror history, which is what some of these politicians do by promoting unverified claims to gain relevance and be seen as “rights ambassadors”, whereas they’re everything but selfless in their pursuits of political power.

But the underclass is not the only trouble with electing ideal candidates in Nigeria. While poverty dispossesses the underclass of ability to be rational, sycophancy ravages the middle-class. This way, with these syndromes, the sycophantic members of the middle-class contracted by the government to form about 8000 pro-Jonathan campaign groups, also procured the cheaper under-class as foot-soldiers of Transformation Actors of Nigeria, which they prefer to call “Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria”, and other 7999 groups.

Today, in its nearly 64 years in existence, the main thriving industry in Nigeria, with productivity higher than the Oil industry, is Sycophancy. It represses existing and proposed political resistance. The poverty of the underclass and the sycophancy of the middle-class are the reason idealism is DOA in Nigeria. Sometimes, in pursuits of idealism, you go out campaigning for core visionary leaders, and return home only to realise that your lunch was made with “gifts” by, or bought with money given, by a fraudulently prebendal politician.

This is how the two social classes betray promising leaders.

The last time Gani Fawehinmi aspired to lead this country, our rejection of his bid was almost unanimous. And I doubt if there has ever been a politically awakened individual who had stood up for the masses, in the race to the Office of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, comparable to the model civil rights advocate.

In fact, if our politics is sincerely all about “personality”, Buhari himself cannot beat Gani, who resisted even the military extremisms of the Buharis. We’re in a country where idealism is a myth, but this shouldn’t be an excuse to allow hired paupers and contracted sycophants forestall our struggle for change.

So, we need to task our presidential candidates to offer us something other than romanticisations of their personalities, something concrete, an implementable development plan for redeeming this changing Nigeria. This “I did not steal a kobo” campaign is beginning to sound like GEJ’s “I had no shoes” scam of that unfortunate 2011. May God save us from us!

By Gimba Kakanda

@gimbakakanda on Twitter