Nigerians ‘Flood SSS With Petitions’ Against Judges, Demand Wider Probe.

Nigerians who in the past questioned the conduct of many judges, but had no way of prompting investigations despite having evidence of wrongdoing, are inundating the State Security Service with petitions after last weekend’s arrest of seven judges, security sources said Wednesday.

The petitioners accuse the judges of fraud and want the SSS to widen its investigation beyond judges already penciled down for probe and possible prosecution.

“It’s like everyone who has had cause to go to court for one reason or the other has been a victim,” one SSS source told PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday.

The revelation came as the SSS worked to consolidate evidence ahead of the arraignment of the judges arrested in a nationwide anti-corruption sweep between Friday and Saturday, officials said.

Seven judges were taken into custody after the raid conducted simultaneously in six-states, including Abuja.

Supreme Court judges, Inyang Okoro and Sylvester Ngwuta were arrested in Abuja. Federal High Court judges, Adeniyi Ademola and Mohammed Tsamiya were also arrested in Abuja.

Others arrested included, Kabir Auta, Kano; Muazu Pindiga, Gombe; and Innocent Umezulike in Enugu.

The judges were released on Monday after initial plans to arraigned them stalled for reasons not disclosed by the secret police.

But PREMIUM TIMES gathered from sources at the agency’s headquarters on Wednesday afternoon that the jurists will start facing trial from next week.

The sources said the SSS had dispatched proofs of its allegations against the judges to the National Judicial Council for action.

“We have written the NJC about what has happened and we expect the NJC to take some decisions about the affected judges this week,” one source said. “Once that is done, hopefully by next week or thereabout, we should arraign them in court.”

The NJC is constitutionally charged with the task of investigating and sanctioning erring judges.

The agency hopes that the NJC members, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mahmud Mohammed, will recommend sanctions against the judges based on the evidence of graft tendered against them.

The SSS said it found large sums of money, denominated in naira and other foreign currencies, from the judges’ homes during the raid.

If the NJC finds the evidence by the SSS sufficient, the judges could be dismissed, opening the way for security agencies to arrest and prosecute them.

“The ongoing investigation is not supposed to go beyond this week,” the sources said.

The sources said many Nigerians were supportive of the crackdown by flooding the SSS with damning petitions, with some who had been a victim of abuse of court processes expressing their willingness to testify against the judges.

The sources said the allegations contained fascinating facts that could go a long way in nailing the judges in the court of law.

“More facts are trickling in and we cannot ignore them. It is our statutory responsibility to investigate painstakingly every complaint.

“Some victims have even indicated their readiness to testify in court,” the sources said.

The sources said operatives also uncovered how some of the judges engaged in assets declaration fraud in the course of their investigation.

“The kind of things we observe as regards the forms they submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau is another kettle of fish.

“We discovered a judge filled three different forms with different information either in terms of assets declared or even personal information like age.

“Imagine one judge filling three different forms with different information just to deceive,” the source said.

The clampdown has continued to generate intense debate amongst Nigerians.

While some see the action of the SSS as a welcome development needed to address corruption in the country’s judiciary, others express concerns that the tactics employed by the agency amounts to intimidation and violates the principle of separation of powers.

Nigerians may reject APC in 2019 – Waku

Former senator representing Benue North-West in the National Assembly, Chief Joseph Waku, has said Nigerians might reject All Progressives Congress, APC, in 2019 if the party failed to deliver on its promises.

Waku, who recently turned 70, spoke yesterday while warning the ruling party not to take Nigerians for granted after making several promises and leaving the people with so much expectations.

He said: “The ruling APC should not to take Nigerians for granted over the promises they made. Because failure to meet their expectations may lead to rejection of the party in 2019.

“My sincere worry is that President Muhammadu Buhari has good intentions, but there are many saboteurs around who do not want him to succeed.”

On the proposed sale of national assets, Waku described it as primitive, saying “you cannot sell off the sovereignty of the country. How much are the national assets worth? Can their sale solve the present problems?”

“There is no country in the world that can run without foreign loans to be repaid within agreed terms. Some Nigerians who have tried brining foreign partners have been blocked.

“There are lots of opportunities we can exploit to get out of this recession within the shortest possible period. But it all depends on the willingness of the federal government to exploit such.”

He commended the federal government for dropping the case of forgery against the Senate president and his deputy.

EnzyHub: 6 Nigerians allegedly stabbed a CID officer to death in Dubai

All blacks in Deira, Dubai are in hideout. There is a warrant of arrest for all Nigerians after some groups of suspected Nigerians stabbed CID, So the Dubai police arrests all blacks without minding the nationality

A Group of 6 Nigerian boys yesterday stabbed a CID many times to death in Deira which is the heart of business in Dubai. This has resulted to the massive arrest of blacks despite their nationalities.


Equally, a ban has been placed on Nigeria. The United Arab Emirates will no longer issue visas to Nigerians anymore.


Source: Enzyhub

154 Nigerians return from Libya

A Libyan Airline aircraft with registration number 5A-LAT on Monday arrived the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos with 154 Nigerians who had been stranded in Libya.

The spokesperson of the Lagos Airport Police Command, DSP Joseph Alabi, confirmed the return of the Nigerians to newsmen in Lagos.

Alabi said the returnees, comprising 58 male and 96 female, returned voluntarily to the country at about 4.00pm.

Alabi said: “One of them was seriously sick on arrival.

“His name is Tony Isaac.

“The officials of the National Emergency Management Agency quickly rushed him to their hospital for treatment.

“Their return was voluntary and I don’t think any of them has committed any crime over there to warrant prosecution.”

The returnees were brought back by the International Organisation for Migration in collaboration with the Nigerian Embassy in Libya.

Their details were taken by officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and Other Related Matters and the Police.

They were also received by officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria.

No fewer than 550 Nigerians have returned in batches from Libya since March when the IOM started the voluntary return programme.

Nigerians Condemn NBA’s Threat Over Judges’ Arrest

Some Nigerians have condemned the threat by the leadership of Nigeria Bar Association to Nigerians over the arrest of some judges for alleged corruption and professional misconduct.

Those who made the call in interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Makurdi on Sunday urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to succumb to pressure but to ensure that the judges faced the law.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the State Security Services, DSS, on Friday night arrested some judges for alleged corruption.

The agency stated that it recovered huge sums in local and foreign currencies from the judges.
Following their arrest, the leadership of NBA headed by Abubakar Mahmoud at a news conference, demanded the judges’ immediate release on the ground that due process was not followed in their arrest.

The association said, “It is not the responsibility of DSS to arrest judges.”
It described the action of the agency as unconstitutional and a way of intimidating the judiciary and undermining its independence.
“President Muhammadu Buhari should order immediate release of the affected judges or there would be consequences,” NBA said.

Some of those who responded to the threat accused NBA of encouraging corruption, adding that it was an indication that “corruption is fighting back” against the anti-corruption campaign of the government .

They said the action of NBA had vindicated the president, who had said that the judiciary was a major hindrance to the fight against corruption.

A resident of Makurdi, James Audu, wondered why NBA would ask the Federal Government to immediately release the judges.
“I am not sure I understand why the NBA is asking the Federal Government to order the immediate release of some judges that have been arrested over allegations of corruption.
“Were they arrested without warrants? Is it unlawful to investigate a judge on allegations of corruption? Or are our laws meant to be obeyed by some people while others breach them and go free?
“Do judges also enjoy immunity under our laws? Are judges not subject to our laws?
‘’Is there no rule of law here or are judges above the law?” he asked.

Another resident, Shidoon Agbe, said the judges should be prosecuted according to the law.
Ms. Agbe said that it was a shame that a respected legal body, such as NBA, would allow itself to be used by corrupt politicians to achieve their goals.

“The Nigerian Constitution does not make provision for judges’ immunity neither does it exclude them from investigations.
“In fact, even the Mr President can be investigated while still in office,” she said.
Ms. Agbe said that in other parts of the world judges were arrested and tried like other citizens.
“Few months ago, South African President was investigated and tried even with his immunity and nobody complained about it.
‘’Examples of cases of this nature are too many to mention.

“This is a legal issue, all we expected of NBA during their press conference was for them to clearly quote the various sections of the constitution that prohibit security agencies from investigating and arresting judges,” she said.

Buhari Calls for Stronger Global Alliance to Combat Terrorism

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in Abuja called for the stronger global alliance in intelligence and information sharing to halt the scourge of terrorism that currently haunts both developing and developed countries.

The President made the call at the State House while receiving Letters of Credence from the Ambassadors of the Republic of Tunisia, Jalel Trabelsi; Federal Republic of Germany, Dr. Bernhard Stephen Schlagheck; Kingdom of Sweden, Inger Ultvedt; and the High Commissioner of Canada, Christopher Thornley, at separate meetings.

President Buhari told the Canadian High Commissioner that countries must always be on alert, and be willing to share information on activities of terrorists.

The President said Nigeria received support from several countries to fight Boko Haram insurgents in the North East, after the invitation to the G-7 meeting in Germany in 2015, recording remarkable progress in degrading the group and saving many lives.

Buhari said: ‘‘The terrorists are all over the place, and we must be more watchful. If a developed country like France can be attacked by terrorists to the point of killing about 130 people, then what more of developing countries.

‘‘We need to build and keep increasing our capacities to network and stay ahead. We need to build these capacities across borders because terrorists operate across borders,’’ he said.

President Buhari said the rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons in the North East also received attention from some countries, who were quick to render services and material support to alleviate the humanitarian crisis that followed the overpowering of Boko Haram.

The President said his government had instituted reforms in various sectors of the Nigerian economy to ensure stability and integrity in operations, promising to create a more enabling environment for new partnerships and attractions for Foreign Direct Investments.

In his remark, Thornley said the reforms in the Nigerian economy were necessary to build global confidence and deeper relationships that will benefit the country.

“We want you to know that Canada stands by you as a friend to Nigeria, and your government,” he said.

Two Men From Niger Caught in Bangkok Using Stolen ATM Cards From Nigeria

Police in Bangkok on Tuesday, September 27th, arrested two men reportedly from Niger, Laouari Hassane Babale and Awaisou Ibrahim, who were in possession of 215 ATM cards issued by Nigerian banks and Bt34,200 cash, Police Economic Crime Suppression Division Deputy Commanded Pol Colonel Papatdech Ketpan, said on Thursday in a press conference.

They were nabbed using the stolen cards from Nigeria to get cash out of ATMs in the Nana area of Sukhumvit, following a tip-off from Kasikorn Bank that “Nigerians were using Nigerian cards” in the Nana area of Sukhmvit.

Police initially caught Babale, 38, at a Kasikorn ATM in Soi 3. He had 18 ATM cards in his
possession. The police raided a hotel room in the area where his accomplice Ibrahim, also 38, was caught with 199 ATM cards and 34, 200 baht in cash. The pair admitted the charges and said they had stolen the ATM cards belonging to others in Nigeria to get cash in Thailand.They were detained and will face prosecution.

Source: The Nation Thailand
Photo: Includes fake credit cards found in the possession of two Chinese men, arrested along with the Niger suspects.

Ogun State Signs Agreement To Build Africa’s Second Largest Refinery

The Ogun State Government, on Wednesday, signed an agreement with a consortium of four private companies to build the second largest refinery in sub-Saharan Africa and the largest petroleum product depot in Nigeria.

The Chairman, Petrolex Group, Mr. Segun Adebutu who led other partners in the consortium to the office of the Ogun State Governor for the agreement signing ceremony, said the two projects, when completed would generate not less than 2000 employment opportunities for the citizens and greatly increase the socio-economic condition of the state.

He said the refinery is situated in the Odogbolu Local Government Area of the state.
Speaking during the ceremony, Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, assured the consortium of his administration’s commitment to fully support the project.

“We have the political will and we would support the project fully. You can be rest assured that I will get involved, when necessary, in order to ensure that the project is a success,” the governor said.

Governor Amosun added that, “any government that will get it right indeed must be private sector driven.”

In this respect, Governor Amosun said Ogun State does not just want any investment but that which will truly support the dreams, goals and economic drive of the present administration in the state.

The Governor disclosed that his administration will always support people of like minds who will in turn bring positive economic development to the state.

The firms involved in the consortium include Petrolex Oil and Gas, Hyundai, Ajayi Legal Partner and Wema Bank PLC.

Adejuwon Soyinka
Senior Special Assistant (Media)
Ogun State Governor



Sale Of Assets, Mere Speculations, FG Yet To Decide – Lai Mohammed

Shortly after a meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja today, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed described the many reports in the media about the sale of national assets as mere speculations saying he Federal Government is yet to make any decision on it. He said;

“What the government will do is to reflate the economy, everything you have heard so far is a just suggestion, until the government makes its position known. All these reports of the asset sale, asset leasing and whatever is being bandied about, are nothing but speculations.

“The government is yet to come out with its position on how to bail out the economy and it will take
that position,” he said.

When informed that a meeting of the National Economic Council, NEC, that held last week has recommended asset sale, the Minister said: “NEC will recommend but it is the Federal Executive Council that will decide and what we decide will be the position of the government.”

Nigerians Believe Corruption is Not a Crime – EFCC chairman Magu

Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu made the statement during a press conference on Tuesday September 26 2016.

His words:

“You can’t make everybody to key in because some people don’t believe corruption is wrong; you should not expect 100 percent acceptance but I’m sure a greater number of Nigerians are with us.

“The fact that I’m acting gives me more determination. You never know, when I’m there. I’ll crush it.

“That’s why sometimes I put EFCC on 24 hours basis so that we can do what we can within the available time. I think I have more determination to clear the ground as much as we can.

“The evil of corruption affects everybody so it is our duty to put our house in order. It is not only for us as we cannot claim monopoly of knowledge of fighting corruption; everybody is a stakeholder. If we work together, we are going to record tremendous success.

“When I’m wrong, tell me. It is easier for you to correct my wrong doings so I want to hear the wrongs so that we can correct them, there’s nothing like perfection.”

Senate Rejects Sale Of National Assets To Revive Economy

The Nigerian Senate has rejected the proposed sale of national asset by the federal government.

The Senate took the decision on Tuesday at the resumed plenary after extensive deliberation.
The Buhari administration has proposed the sell some asset to revive the economy. But many Nigerians are opposed to the plan, arguing that previous sales barely helped the nation’s economy.
The government has suggested that if it eventually adopts the policy, it would insist on a re-purchase

Man Sentenced To 30 Months In Jail Over Stolen Slippers

A Kano Senior Magistrates’ Court sitting in Rijiyar Zaki on Monday sentenced, Rabiu Sani, 22, to 30 months imprisonment for theft of slippers.

The Senior Magistrate, Aminu Fagge, sentenced Sani to two years and six months after he pleaded guilty to a one-count charge. Fagge did not give the convict of Aisami Quarters in Kano an option of fine.

Prosecutor Yusuf Sale had told the court that Surajo Umar of Kurna Quarters, Kano, reported the case to Nasarawa Police Division, Kano, on Sept. 16.
Sale said on the same date at about 8 p.m the convict went to the complainant’s business place at Gidan Gashash Singer Market Kano.

He said Sani “used razor blade and tore the sack where the complainant Umar kept his goods and stole one roll of bath room slippers containing 35 pairs valued N6, 000.

Sale also told the court that the convict was charged for theft at Chief Magistrate Court and sentenced to three months imprisonment or a fine of N10, 000 on Feb. 5, 2016.

He added that Sani was also sentenced to six months imprisonment or a fine of N20, 000 at the same court on April 7, for theft.
The prosecutor said this was the fourth time the accused was arraigned for theft this year, stressing that the offence contravened Section 285 of the Penal Code.

Buhari Inherited N1.5trn Debt on Road Contracts – Fashola

The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari inherited road contractual liabilities worth N1.5tn, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has said.

Fashola said this in a statement in Abuja on Sunday by his Special Adviser, Communications, Mr. Hakeem Bello.

The minister said the ministry inherited 206 roads that were not budgeted for or poorly funded, but added that it had now developed a road map consisting of identifying and prioritising heavy traffic bearing roads for conveying essential goods and services across the country.

He said, “We have to build roads that evacuate our sea and airports; roads that drive our energy for now; roads that go to the tank farms to evacuate fuel from the South to the North; and roads that sustain us, that is roads that bring in our feed stock, cattle and vegetables and livestock from the North down to the South.

“And that is why you see us building from Lagos to Ibadan, to Ilorin, to Jebba to link all the way to Kaduna and Kano, and go on up North. And we are doing the same thing trying to connect River Benue through the Loko-Oweto Bridge and the Second Niger Bridge; Kano-Kaduna, and Kano-Maiduguri. Those are the choices we have made because this is a period of hard choices, trying to do more with less.”

Fashola added, “Those are the choices that we have made; they are not esoteric choices, they are simple and rational choices. All the roads we are working on had been awarded before I got into office by the previous administration – over 206 roads. You don’t have resources to build 206 roads; so, where you put your limited resources is in those areas.

“The total outstanding contractual liabilities are in the region of N1.5tn and this administration is taking them in batches, starting from the critical heavy traffic highways that evacuate goods from ports, fuel from tank farms and move foodstuffs and agro-produce across the country.”

The minister also said Nigeria lost more than 3,000 megawatts of electricity to the activities of vandals in the last six months.

Fashola said this in a presentation titled, ‘Leadership and the Politics of Reforms in Africa: Lessons from Nigeria’ at the Wilson Centre, Washington DC, United States.

The minister added that electricity supply increased by 4,00MW in the last two weeks due to increase in the generating capacity of the hydropower plants occasioned by the repair and maintenance carried out on them in the last one year.

He attributed the loss of over 3,000MW of power to consistent vandalism and sabotage of oil and gas pipelines and assets.

I Can’t Predict When Recession’ll End – Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has said that she cannot predict when the nation will get out of the current economic recession.

She, however, said that some of the efforts of the government to reflate the economy had started yielding results.

The minister, who spoke in an interview in Abuja, stated, “I don’t want to predict when we will get out of recession. Let me tell you that we will get into growth and that’s how you get out of recession, because of the stimulus that we are providing.

“And it may take longer than we would like, but we will definitely get out of it. We are already seeing some positive signs in agriculture and solid minerals;and with what we are trying to do with other sectors, I am very sure we will get out of it soon.”

Police Uncover Fraudsters’ Den In Ogun

The Ogun State Police Command has uncovered a “fraudsters’ den” at Pokuku Village in the Abeokuta North Local Government Area of the state. The den, which was nicknamed “Pokuku Shrine” was until Wednesday allegedly used by suspected fraudsters to carry out different forms of criminal activities such as fraud, according to the police.
The state Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Ilyasu, on Wednesday said the police raided the shrine after an intelligence report on criminal activities being perpetrated there. The shrine, which is a two-bedroomed mud house, is located in the remote part of the village. It contained effigies, fake foreign and local currencies and other fetish objects
Ilyasu said the shrine was raided by the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, and one of the suspected fraudsters who was said to be the ring leader, Haruna Moshood, was arrested, while three other accomplices escaped. The police boss said many victims had been duped by the fraudsters, who were also said to be kidnappers. He said, “This is a house of horror where different kinds of criminal activities had taken place.
“Following diligent and intelligent information of our special operatives, FSARS stormed this horror house and we discovered that it is a receiving end of kidnapped victims. “It is also a place where suspected kidnappers dispose property of their victims. We have been able to recover different denominations of fake dollars and nairas. “By the time we arrived here, we did not see any victim, and some of the suspected kidnappers escaped. However, we were able to arrest one of the leaders, identified as Haruna Moshood. “I appeal to the state residents to be cautious so that they will not become preys in the hands of criminally-minded people.”
The suspect told Punch Metro that he and other members of his gang were into fraudulent activities, adding that their victims were people looking for quick money.

Moshood said one of them usually hid in one of the rooms and would be talking as an “oracle” to deceive their victims.

He said the effigies were also there to deceive their victims.

“We always play on the greed of the victims because they were looking for quick money.

“Again, we also study how wealthy they were by telling them to bring a certain amount of money. For instance, if we ask a victim to bring N100,000 and he brought it, that shows he or she could bring a higher amount.”

The 34-year-old Moshood said he just joined the gang in 2015.

2016 Hajj: Saudi Authority commends Nigerian pilgrims

A Saudi minister in charge of Hajj on Thursday commended Nigerian pilgrims to this year’s pilgrimage for their discipline and comportment at the airport in Jeddah.

Abdullah Marghalani, who is the Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Hajj and Umrah Affairs, made the commendation when he received the Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Alhaji Abdullahi Mohammed, in his office at King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah.

He said since the start of the operation, he had not received any information of any misbehaviour by any Nigerian pilgrim.

The minister also commended the dedication and hardwork of officials of the commission at the airport, adding that their action had contributed to the smooth flight operation being experienced in the homebound journey.

“Both your pilgrims and staff have been cooperating with us in the task of delivering seemless service at the airport,’’ Marghalani said.

The official pledged to continue to work closely with the officials to ensure smooth operation.

He suggested for more enlightenment programmes for the pilgrims to enable them understand activities involved in the pilgrimage to ensure smooth operation at all levels.

Earlier, the chairman of the commission had commended the minister and his staff for their cooperation, which he said had greatly eased the operation at the airport.

He assured the official that Nigerian pilgrims and officials would continue to cooperate with the Saudi authorities to ensure improvement in the activities of the pilgrimage.

Mohammed congratulated the Saudi government and citizens on the occasion of the Saudi National Day, which was observed on Thursday.

Nigeria has Second Largest Number of Paediatric Surgeons In Africa – PAPSA

The president of Pan African Paediatric, Surgical Association (PAPSA), Prof. Essam Elhalaby, said Nigeria has over a 100 fully trained paediatric surgeons, making her the second largest in the continent after Egypt.

Elhalaby, at the pre conference workshop of the association, said trained paediatric surgeons in the country have a long experience in the field, which would be useful at the conference to proffer solutions to the numerous challenges.

Elhalaby, a professor of paediatric surgery at the Tanta University in Egypt noted that in spite of the high number of these children surgeons in the country, most of them are not practicing in Nigeria, rather in countries like United Kingdom (U.K), or in the Middle East.

According to him between 10 to 20 per cent of this number of surgeons are practitioners outside the country and in Egypt 40 per cent of the total 150 trained paediatric surgeons are in various countries at the moment.
He regretted that this has left a gap in the country’s paediatric surgery field because the few remaining ones are not enough to meet the country’s population.

The PAPSA president identified the continent’s economic problems as a causal factor for the fleeing of so many of African surgeons, because they are well paid for their expertise and also recognized outside the continent.

The conference, which is holding in Nigeria for the first time, he said would pinpoint the needs of the available trainees in all African countries as well as proffer non conventional solutions in the field of paediatric surgery.

Elhalaby highlighted some of the major challenges of the specialty peculiar to Africa as lack of manpower and facilities, Non availability of paediatric nurses and anaestisiologists, delayed diagnoses and late reporting and transport challenge in some remote areas.

He lamented that more than 12 countries in Africa do not have even a single paediatric surgeons; hence surgeon in other field handles paediatric surgeries, which is not the best.

Addressing the conference’s theme, “ Total Surgical Health For The African Child,” he noted, “ African children should not be deprived of safe and quality healthcare like their counterparts in the western world.”

Similarly, the Chief Medical Director, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Prof. Chris Bode, remarked that the trial with child healthcare in the continent is multiple as most of them are denied access to interventional surgeries by their ignorant parents.

Bode, a consultant paediatric surgeon, rhetorically asked if children should pay for surgery and healthcare in the country whereas childcare is free from zero to 14 years in some counties. “No child should die or suffer because they cannot access healthcare or surgery care,” he added.

As a professor of paediatric surgery, Bode pointed out that the problem of financing child and aged healthcare in the country could be tackled and sustained with innovative policies.

He advanced, “if the national health insurance scheme which presently does not cover up to 10 per cent of Nigeria’s total population is extended innovatively, it would take care of children and surgery.”

The LUTH CMD maintained if the primary and secondary healthcare systems are strengthen, lots of preventable diseases including surgical conditions would cost less and the tertiary would focus on the complex conditions which they truly known for.

“Healthcare is something people seek when they need, so it should be affordable, available and accessible to children especially because they are the future. This country should be able to finance free childcare if we reorganize and reorder our priorities,” he appealed.

FG Plans New initiative, Targets 300,000 New Homes

The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has announced plans by the Buhari administration to launch a new housing finance initiative.

Under the proposed scheme, the Federal Government is planning a mortgage system that will catalyse the development of the mortgage market in Nigeria with the provision of single digit interest rate mortgages and longer repayment periods such as 20 years.

The proposed scheme also aims to provide 300,000 affordable homes supported by mortgages and creates 700,000 new jobs across a range of disciplines and professions.

The minister who made this known at the Annual Conference and General Meeting of the African Union for Housing Finance (AUHF) noted that with housing deficit at over 17 million, Nigeria was ripe for radical intervention in the provision of housing.

She said: “We are committed to fundamentally addressing historical challenges to housing. This requires innovative financial solutions that will stimulate housing development, related industries, create jobs across the nation and satisfy yearning for security through home ownership.”

The minister, represented by Mr. Seye Senfuye said: “Nigeria deserve to acquire affordable homes, built to a standard of good quality, located in well serviced estates that will create ideal environments in which they can raise their families, instead of being saddled with the challenges and risks of trying to build their homes organically.

“Due to the current high rates of interest, we believe that government intervention to bring down rates and enhance affordability is needed and we are committed to doing this.”

The Central Bank’s Director of Other Financial Institutions, Ahmed Abdullahi, noted that the housing market in Africa and in Nigeria is underdeveloped, and that the contribution of the market to the GDP in the country is less than one per cent, compared to the United States, which is about 80 per cent.

Abdullahi stressed the need to address absence of long-term capital that could be used to create mortgages, high cost of building materials, and problems of registering and enforcing property rights.

His words: “Mortgages are not short-term but the deposits we have in the banks are short-term liabilities, and you cannot easily use them to create mortgage. So, we need to address these challenges before we can improve the contribution of the market to the GDP.”

Nigeria Will Start Getting Out Of Recession In Q4 – CBN Governor, Emefiele

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has predicted that the nation’s economy will likely come out of recession by the fourth quarter of this year when the result of the various measures put in place by the Federal Government and the monetary authorities becomes manifest.

One of such measures, according to him, is the decision of the CBN to establish a bridge fund for the government to utilise to stimulate the economy whenever there is a need for it.

Emefiele, who spoke to media executives in Lagos on Saturday, said, “We are already in the valley, the only direction is to go up the hill and the government is doing everything possible to ensure that
we move up the hill. I am optimistic that based on the actions being taken by the monetary and fiscal authorities, the fourth quarter results will show evidence that we have started to move out of the recession.

“The worst is over. The Nigerian economy is on the path of recovery and growth. So, please if you are a bystander or sideliner, you are losing; join the train now before it leaves the station.”

While explaining the reasoning behind the bridge fund, the apex bank boss said, “Both the monetary and fiscal authorities are working together and that is why you can see a situation where today even when we have revenue shortage or deficit, the monetary authority is trying to bridge the gap.

“We said to the fiscal authority that we can give you a bridge to go ahead and spend, and when you obtain the foreign loan that you are negotiating, or when your revenue improve, you can repay the bridge that we have created for you in order to stimulate spending. That is a practical case of collaboration between the monetary and fiscal authorities.”

He alluded to the release of another batch of N350bn by the Ministry of Finance to stimulate the economy as another measure taken by the government to get the nation out of recession.

Following the introduction of a flexible exchange rate regime, Emefiele said foreign investors’ interest in the Nigerian economy was gradually increasing, adding that in the last three months, almost $1bn in Foreign Direct Investment had come into the country.

He stated, “I wasn’t optimistic that the FDI would come initially, but with what we have seen in three months, almost $1bn, I feel very confident that there will be more inflow into the system and more and more people will have foreign exchange available for them to do their business.

“That will improve industrial capacity. The rate may be high now, but there’s high possibility that with more availability of foreign exchange, the rate will come down. I am very optimistic that a lot of positive things will happen.

“I have talked about how the fiscal authority is trying to push in liquidity to stimulate consumption, demand consumption expenditure; and of course, when consumer consumption is stimulated, demand for goods will go up and if the demand goes up, the industrial capacity will improve. If we maintain a steady course in the way we are going, and if all those who have foreign exchange repatriate them, more and more people will have foreign exchange to do their business, that will improve industrial capacity.”


Read More: Kevin Djakpor

No Plan To Strike, ASUU Assures Nigerians

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has no plans to commence an interim strike on October 2, an official has said.

The Chairman of the University of Abuja chapter of ASUU, Ben Ugheoke, said on Wednesday that he was wrongly quoted on a planned strike.

The News Agency of Nigeria had quoted Mr. Ugheoke on Tuesday as saying the lecturers’ strike would commence next month.

In an interview on Wednesday, Mr. Ugheoke told said he never gave such statement to the NAN reporter.

“A certain reporter in NAN is responsible for this damage,” he said. “As a result of this falsified report, I am facing a panel later tonight from ASUU National body.”

The university don said he had asked for a rebuttal of the story since it was published.

“I have reached out to the NAN reporter and he told me it was a mix-up. He also begged me to save his job,” he said.

In the report widely circulated by Nigerian media, the government news agency quoted the don as saying ASUU was to embark on a one-week warning strike from October 2.

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Over 60m Nigerians have mental disorder – Health Commissioner

The Commissioner for Health in Ogun State, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye, has stated that over 60 million Nigerians are suffering from various degrees of mental disorder.


He made this known in an interview with journalists in Abeokuta, the state capital, explaining that about 80 per cent of people move about with one mental disorder without knowing or seeking help, while 20-25 per cent live with a full blown mental disorder in the country.


The commissioner stated that cases of mental challenges range from simple minor mood disorder to extreme cases of mental accreditation and added that one, out of every five Nigerian, has an extreme mental disorder.


He disclosed that events that could trigger minor mood disorder that finally leads to extreme mental illness are marital pressure, educational and economic pressure.


Ipaye said other pressures are expectation and disappointment and advocated that community mental homes should be created across the country to socially manage mental disorder at the grassroots level.


While urging the Federal Government to prioritise primary healthcare intervention for minor mood disorder, he advised that people should always go for regular psychotherapy check-up with no cost implication to manage cases of mental challenges before it gets out of hands.

Nine Nigerian men accused of dealing drugs from Mountain of Fire church in Cambodia sentenced to 5 to 8 years in prison

Nine Nigerian nationals, including their ringleader still at large, and a Cambodian woman were sentenced to five to eight years in prison and fined a total of 126 million riel ($30,663) for drug trafficking at Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday, September 12th. 
Nine out of the 10 accused were arrested on January 8, after being found in possession of nearly a kilogram of methamphetamine powder that was intended for sale around Phnom Penh. Their ringleader, Obieze Kennth Uche, also known as John remains at large. The convicts include, Tony Chukwuonye, two brothers, Okorom Favour and Okorom Kizito Chinedu, Francis Nnamdi, Simon Maduka Ukandu, Sunday Nwabuisi, Nna Mezie Victor, Izuchukwu Chukwuma.

“The court is ordering the arrest of Obieze Kenneth Uche,” Judge Khy Chai said. “After the verdict comes into effect, all nine foreigners, after serving their jail terms, have to be deported out of Cambodia and prevented from entering Cambodia for the next five years.”

On the last day of the trial, it was revealed that only two out of the 15 samples collected tested positive for meth, with 4 and 5 percent purity, respectively.
In the same hearing, Cambodian national Morm Vonyong, 25, admitted to delivering drugs to customers several times in exchange for $100. Her attorney, Lay Longdy, said he will be appealing the verdict.


President To Sell Off Some Aircrafts In Presidential Fleet

This was disclosed by President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

President Muhammadu Buhari is set to sell of some aircraft which make up the presidential fleet.t

This was disclosed by Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

Shehu said via Twitter on September 8

“There is a govt committee already in place, working to reduce the number of aircraft in the presidential fleet,”

The presidential aide made the comment after being challenged by Chief strategist Japheth Omojuwa following the launch of Buhari’s “Change Begins With Me” campaign.

During the launch, Buhari urged Nigerians to start changing their bad habits before expecting change of the government.

Omojuwa however urged the president to reduce the presidential fleet before expecting Nigerians to change.

“Change begins with selling the presidential jets.

ONLY a genuinely rich country should think of having up to 3. We have about 10 jets,” he tweeted.t1

Meanwhile, civic organization, BudgIT has also called on Buhari to lead change in the country by setting a good example for citizens to follow.

Militants Threaten to Burn 500 Tankers Over Bad Road

Members of the Black Mambas militant group have threatened to set ablaze over 500 tankers if nothing was done by the Federal Government, by today, to alleviate the suffering of commuters on the Calabar-Ikom Road.

Leader of the group and coordinator of the Niger Delta People Volunteer Front (NDPVF), Asu Simeon Mbi (also known as General Simba) said his men were determined to execute the operation, if nothing urgent was done to alleviate the suffering of transporters and other road users.

Mbi, in a statement, yesterday, vowed that, if nothing was done at the expiration of the ultimatum, Federal Government would count losses.

“I will set fire on those tankers queuing along Calabar-Ikom Highway because of one bad spot the government cannot fill. No matter the security in place, we will execute it. Just watch and see. Then, the federal government should get ready to count losses again,” Mbi declared.

The group also warned Biafrans and other communities around the vicinity to relocate by October 16 “for their own good.”

Meanwhile, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has, once again, intervened on the failed portions of the Calabar-Ikom highway, after a successful emergency repairs of the Calabar-Itu-Ikot-Ekpene-Aba federal highway.

The acting Managing Director, Ibim Semenitari said an urgent intervention was necessary to alleviate the problems facing commuters and transporters on the road.

She said despite funding constraints, the commission was ready to take up the challenge of providing relief for those using the road and stated that NDDC’s engineers would commence rehabilitation work immediately.

Buhari Lambasts Nigerians, Says Change Isn’t About Economic Progress

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that before Nigerians demand to see the changes he promised them during the 2015 election, they must first change their own attitude by shunning corruption and other social vices.

He adds that change is not about economic or social progress, but it is in terms of citizens’ personal behaviour.

Buhari said this while delivering a speech at the inauguration of the national re-orientation campaign tagged, ‘Change Begins With Me’ in Abuja on Thursday.

The President acknowledged that Nigeria is currently passing through a challenging period where hardly anything works normally.

He lamented that honesty, hard work and godliness had given way to all kinds of manifestations of lawlessness and degeneration in our national life.

Buhari said, “Our citizens must realise that the change they want to see begins with them, and that personal and social reforms are not a theoretic exercise. If you have not seen the change in you, you cannot see it in others or even the larger society.

“In other words, before you ask ‘Where is the change they promised us?’, you must first ask, ‘How far have I changed my ways? What have I done to be part of the change for the greater good of society?’


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Nigerians Consume N62.8b French Fries Yearly

Dollar scarcity, occasioned by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), flexible exchange (forex) rate policy, may have saved the country about $45 million or N14.1 billion at N314 to $1 yearly capital flight used for importing French fries. However, operators put the figure at $200million or N62.8billion.

The forex policy has made it difficult for fast foods operators and super markets to continue with the importation of French fries, which Nigerians consume with relish.

French fries are finger chips made from potatoes, a crop that is widely grown in many parts of the country.To underscore the importance of this amount saved from capital flight, of the N6.1 trillion National Budget, the allocation to agriculture, which the Federal Government is pushing to spearhead its economic diversification programme, is only a little above N29.75billion. This means that Nigeria’s importation of French fries is about 67 per cent higher than the total spent on agriculture for the whole year.

The development comes as industry experts said Nigeria and the rest of Africa may continue to falter in employment generation, empowerment, economic growth and other opportunities in agribusiness, if sustainable development is not attained in the sector.

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How Godwin Emefiele Caused Millions Of Nigerians To Lose Their Jobs

The direct policies of the central bank of Nigeria, CBN have been and continue to be at the helm of the current economic crisis and recession that is permanently and irreversibly destroying life and hope for the Nigerian masses. We have repeatedly pointed out these cabal-favorable, masses-exterminating policy decisions that have gotten Nigeria to this point. As support is lost, our teachers are resorting to stealing and the weak are taking their own lives. 4.6 million jobs have been lost according to the National Bureau of Statistics. This is catastrophic!


In January this year, in my article, “FOREX: Nigeria’s Economic Catastrophe From Godwin Emefiele’s Prison Economics,” I warned that due to unreasonable policies suddenly limiting Nigerians’ access to dollars, tens of thousands of businesses will fold up. I highlighted that business mogul, Leo-Stan Ekeh predicted the collapse of 99% of Nigerian businesses due to CBN forex policies. In April this year in an interview with the Tribune, I again raised the same concerns.


Cabal Favorable, Masses Exterminating Policies


The cabal are the smallest employers of labour in Nigeria. The government employs about 10% of labour. Big business employs a paltry 9% of labour while small businesses (Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs) are the largest employers, employing over 75% of labour. You kill small businesses, you kill the country. It’s as simple as that not just in Nigeria but across the world. Godwin Emefiele with the apparent blessing of President Muhammadu Buhari protected and promoted the cabal who continued to declare juicy quarterly profits while they killed SMEs.


Small businesses employ over 100 million Nigerians while the cabal industries collectively hire less than a million. Atiku Abubakar recently touted that he is Nigeria’s largest employer. “I employ 50,000 Nigerians” he bragged. This is how minuscule the numbers employed by the chronically government-favoured big corp. are. Those Buhari in his AlJazeera interview promised will get exclusive access to CBN subsidized dollars employ less than 9% of labour. The cabal-protective policies as enforced by the CBN had one predictable outcome as Leo Stan had warned: death of small businesses and mass unemployment. Millions of us small-scale employers who were suffocated, packed up, and threw our employees onto the streets. 4.6 million without jobs and a means of survival in times of hiked fuel prices and inflation were the result.


Godwin Was Busy Dashing Dangote $100 Million According to Reuters


Reuters in a recent article by Ulf Laessing and Himanshu Ojha, revealed how Godwin dashed Dangote $100 million dollars within a year under Buhari’s new government. Dangote got one in nine dollars the central bank sold, at sometimes one in eight, the report stated. Similarly a handful more fellow cabal got the bulk of the rest of the half-price government-subsidized dollars that the masses were deprived of even for importing their petrol (thereby leading to an unbearable price hike). We are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars given to a few dozen Nigerians.


At this time small businesses/businessmen were not only limited in amount of dollar they could purchase with prison-like restrictions suddenly imposed by banks on order of the CBN and against the constitution, but they were never allowed the advantage the Dangotes were accorded to even occasionally purchase 197-rate dollars. SMEs were thrown to the blackmarket and even then, tightly limited in what they could transfer for purchasing their goods and raw materials. As former CBN governor Soludo criticized, sudden unreasonable import ban lists by the apex bank before local availability was established put more nails in the coffin. Whereas, promoting small scale local manufacture should have been done by subsidies and other encouragement methods to preserve businesses during a needed foreign-dependence transition.


In November last year, Soludo is quoted to have summarized,“For the better part of this year, the external shocks to the economy have been complicated or accentuated by a gamut of the “tried and failed” command and control policy regime: de facto fixed exchange rate, largely fixed CBN monetary policy rate, crude capital controls, veiled form of import bans through a long list of ‘ineligible for foreign exchange’, de facto scrapping of domiciliary account established by law, etc. At first, I thought this was the usual kneejerk response of policymakers to a ‘sudden’ shock. We tried a milder variant of this for a few months during the 2008/2009 unexpected/unprecedented global crisis (with global liquidity squeeze and massive capital flight) but even then, it was communicated as a ‘short-term crisis response’ and it was quickly dismantled. We now know what works and what doesn’t even at a time of crisis.”


As has been chronic of Nigeria where big businesses get billions of dollars in waivers, they continued to get billions in subsidized dollars, while the largest employers of labour, SMEs continued to be further crippled by the Buhari government. They died.


In return, of course the masses got Dangote and co’s charities. Donations of trucks of food. This chronic government SME crippling, cabal favoritism is what US inteligencia calls the Dangote “beggar-thy-countrymen” model. The cabal then sponsor politicians and the deadly cycle continues cycle after cycle. It was he same in the US during the robber baron era before the labour union riots.


We could have suggested other alternatives that would have protected Nigeria. Rather than subsidize Dangote and co alone, if Buhari had kept his promise to encourage mushroom refineries in the Niger Delta for instance, these could have been built on a franchise template with each community given shares in a small-scale refinery. These community projects should have gotten the $100s of millions gifted to Dangote and the other cabal for their personal projects. This would have not only provided a stimulus for a wide-spread growth of real jobs across localities but it would also discourage terror in the Niger Delta while addressing the local manufacturing problem. Several similar citizen-friendly policy choices could have salvaged the largest employers of labour and the larger nation instead of saving only the cabal.


Again, for too long, Godwin Emefiele rejected our better advise to devalue the already devalued Naira. Keeping a duplicity in prices to enable the amassing of billions by his private sector billionaire friends at the expense of the masses. The rich got richer.


Today the CBN under Godwin Emefiele continues to manipulate the dollar (availability) figures to satisfy his cronies, akin to “inside trading.” Nigeria is in the hands of Jim’s boy, described by many as one of the worst crooks at the center of the Jonathan era of gravid corruption. Indeed the CBN governor is as implicated as Dasuki in the open astronomical looting of Nigeria’s treasury. It is immoral to continue with such at the helm. Nigeria’s fall into recession is the direct consequence of this violation of the trust given to the new administration.


Ultimately the buck rightly stops at the president’s table. While we cannot deny the president’s role in the job killing policies of central bank under governor Godwin Emefiele, it is more useful to directly underline the failure of this highly autonomous department. Hence the article heading. President Buhari unlike his predecessor has disappointed Nigerians by not even portraying the slightest posture of a wish to sack the CBN governor or get him investigated and prosecuted. I would not encourage the accusations that the media exposed nepotism by the apex bank has something to do with Buhari’s acceptance of the man who opened Nigeria’s vaults for Jonathan and company to steal the nation dry.


Senator Ben Murray Bruce tweeted, “It is called the Central Bank of Nigeria not the Central Bank of Rich and Powerful Nigerians. This nepotism must be investigated & punished!” It wasn’t, but rather the central bank since continued favoring the rich and connected and overseeing the loses of millions of jobs for Nigeria’s dying masses.


Dr. Peregrino Brimah; @EveryNigerian

This piece was written by Dr. Peregrino Brimah. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Source: 360NOBS

Lack of Sound Policy Responsible For Nigeria’s Economic Woes – Balarabe Musa

Former Kaduna State Governor, Balarabe Musa, says the Nigerian government’s lack of sound economic policy and the leading role of the private sector in controlling the economy are largely responsible for the nation’s economy sliding into recession.

Musa stated this in an interview with ChannelsTV on Monday.

He argued that the policies of the federal government, instead of ameliorating the sufferings of the people, have further impoverished and inflicted more pains on the masses.

He expressed fear that the recession could lead to a mass uprising across the country if not quickly addressed by government.

Musa, who is also the National Chairman of Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), stressed that for Nigeria to come out of the current situation, the federal government must allow the public sector to play the leading role in the economy.

He equally advised the federal government to place a stiff restriction on importation of goods that ordinarily could be manufactured locally and to also put the enabling environment for the local industries to grow.

While stating that the fight against corruption under the present administration has not made any significant impact, Balarabe Musa challenged the government to make the amount of stolen funds recovered so far from corrupt officials public, and to state what it intends to do with such funds.

Reuben Abati : The Mark Zuckerberg Visit

Read his piece below…
Mark Zuckerberg’s two-day visit to Nigeria has done a lot for the country; it is a pity no government official or agency has tried to tap into the gains of that visit. He arrived at a time there was much talk about economic recession, concerns about companies folding up or retrenching staff, or international investors leaving the country in droves, out of frustration with the uncertainties in the system.
Zuckerberg’s arrival raised our hopes: co-founder of Facebook and the 5th richest man in the world, sneaked into Nigeria to meet with developers and entrepreneurs and to discuss investments in Nigeria’s growing start-up ecosystem. And for two days, he went round the city of Lagos, visiting start-ups and interacting with young entrepreneurs.

The way Nigeria is often painted abroad, and in those travel advisories that foreign ministries issue, you would think Nigeria is such an unsafe place where kidnappers are permanently on the prowl. Zuckerberg helped to show the rest of the world that Nigeria is not so bad at all, and that something really exciting is happening here among the country’s young population. He had no bodyguards. He did not have to hire a lorry load of Nigerian policemen to keep watch over him. He trekked on the streets of Lagos, surrounded by a few of his hosts. On Wednesday morning, he jogged across the Ikoyi-Lekki bridge. He ate pounded yam, shrimps, snails (I thought they said he is a vegan!) and jollof rice (Nigerian jollof (!) not that one from Ghana). His visit went smoothly. More investors may well be encouraged to visit Nigeria too, seeing how confidently a whole $53.7 billion walked freely about in Nigeria, and he was not stolen or kidnapped.

Zuckerberg’s visit also provided great publicity for Nigeria’s emerging Silicon Valley, and the young entrepreneurs to whom Zuckerberg paid compliments. He has already invested in a Nigerian start-up, Andela, and he has made friends with other young Nigerians, the guys behind Jobberman and C-Creation Hub (CcHUB) and so many others. Zuckerberg cut the picture throughout his visit of a true inspirational figure. His simplicity and humility was impressive. He kept going about in a T-shirt, and interacted freely with everyone he met.

Many young Nigerians can learn from his example: the way some people whose biggest possession is a laptop sometimes carry their shoulders in the sky, if they were to be half of what Zuckerberg is, they won’t just claim that they are voltrons or overlords, they will look for more intimidating labels. But Mark Zuckerberg, who is just 32, shows that it is not all about money, or influence, character matters. There is no doubt that his hosts were also impressed with him.  And that probably explains the protest that greeted the attempt by CNN International and American artiste, Tyrese Gibson, to refer to the visit as Zuckerberg’s visit to sub-Saharan Africa. Young Nigerians kept shouting back that Zuckerberg is in Nigeria, not sub-Saharan Africa! They wanted the publicity for their country.

Inspired by Zuckerberg’s visit as the tech entrepreneurs in Nigeria’s Silicon Valley may have been, the Nigerian government should see in the visit, and the excitement that it has generated, the need to provide greater support for technological innovation in the country. There are many young Nigerians out there who are gifted, hardworking and innovative. They belong to the 21st Century. They are aggressive. They want to operate at the international level and become superstars. They have ideas. They are ready and willing. The basic thing that government owes them is to provide an enabling environment for their talents to flower. It has taken a few young men and ladies to bring Mark Zuckerberg to Nigeria. There are other young Nigerians doing wonderful things in other sectors of the economy who can save this country if they are given the chance. There is also a large army of untapped and yet-to-be-discovered talents, whose future we cannot afford to waste. Investment in education will help. Uncommon sense will make things happen.

Zuckerberg’s visit also did a lot for Nollywood. He described Nollywood as “a national treasure”. That statement should be framed and sent to every major agency in the private and public sectors in Nigeria. He may not yet have invested in Nollywood, but there was no doubt that the members of Nollywood and other celebrities who met with him appreciated their being recognized by one of the most successful young men of the 21st century. I watch Nollywood movies, but I don’t think I have ever seen those Nollywood stars who met with Zuckerberg smile that heartily and broadly – not even in the movies. The ones who did not bare their 32, were staring at the Facebook ambassador in that typical Nigerian fashion: “ah, see money, Mark, abi make I send you script make you sponsor?” 

The way the visit went, if Mark Zuckerberg had wanted a Nigerian wife, or girlfriend, he would have been met at every turn with echoes of “Yes, Yes, Yes…come and hold something.” But he is already married. So, don’t worry, Priscilla Chan (Mark’s wife), your husband is safe, Nigerian ladies will only admire him, they don’t mean any harm, and they won’t initiate him into coded runs.  But of course you trust him – you know he is not Justin Bieber. But money is good oh. After money, it is money. Ha, Ori lonise, eda ko la’ropin o, Edumare funmi ni money… 

Altogether, it was a great business outing for Zuckerberg and Facebook. Over 16 million Nigerians are on Facebook, it is the largest and most influential social media platform in the country; on a daily basis, over 7 million Nigerians log onto the website. Many more are on whatsapp, another Facebook acquired platform. With Zuckerberg’s visit, that number is bound to grow.  The strategic friendships and partnerships that he has been able to build is a demonstration of power and influence: Facebook is on the ground in Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, and he has taken that further by visiting Kenya – look beyond the T-shirt, this young American billionaire is building constituencies and spheres of influence across Africa; he is exploring new markets and staying ahead of the competition in a continent that many other investors may overlook, or desert for reasons of inconvenience.

As a business strategy, Mark Zuckerberg’s exploration of the African market is brilliant. It may be the subject someday of a Management, Leadership and Marketing Class. Businesses must innovate, innovate and innovate and the best way to do that is through people.  Nigerian entrepreneurs have a lot to learn in this regard: the mindset of the business leader is the soul of strategy. There are too many thermostatic leaders in the Nigerian business environment, and that is why at the slightest confrontation with hard choices, they close shop and run. Here is Mark Zuckerberg, in the face of proven recession, he wants to support start-ups and SMEs in Nigeria; at a time others are fleeing, he is coming into Nigeria and Africa. He is smart. Wicked problems in a business environment should inspire genius, change and innovation. That is what leadership is all about.

Beyond business and culture, there was a small political side to the Zuckerberg visit. The Facebook CEO had said Facebook will promote the use of Hausa Language, some reports indicated he had said he loves Hausa language, and then a storm followed, resulting in a hot, healthy spat between two friends, colleagues and brothers of mine, Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) and Reno Omokri (@renoomokri), with one claiming that Americans are promoting Northern hegemony (John Kerry, now Zuckerberg and Facebook), and the other saying it is not a big deal, and in the exchange, we got some lectures about Nigeria’s ethnic and hegemonic politics.

On Wednesday at a town hall meeting, Zuckerberg more or less edited himself by saying “I am glad we support Hausa, and we are planning on supporting more languages soon.” He didn’t specify what those other languages are. I hope he knows Nigeria has over 400 languages and ethnic groups, and they all form part of the Nigerian Facebook community. He should tread carefully here, because I am not too sure Facebook can adopt Yoruba language before Igbo, or vice versa, without a social media war on its hands, and if Facebook chooses to accommodate the three major languages in Nigeria, it could be confronted with a major battle over minority rights on its platform. We are like that in this country, Mark.

But the difference is that Mark Zuckerberg is not a politician, he has voted only once (in 2008) and he doesn’t make political statements, except when business interests are at stake. Eyin boys, FFK and Reno, Zuckerberg doesn’t really care about the local fights we fight: he wants to create new markets and if promoting Hausa on Facebook will create more customers in that part of Nigeria, so be it. And in case religion is part of that politics, it doesn’t concern him either, he was born Jewish, but he is a self-declared atheist. If he worships any religion, it is the religion of Facebook. In Nigeria, he has Igbos, Yorubas and other Nigerians working for him. (

He is interested in their intellect not where they come from.  One more thing: The Nigerian government snubbed him or did he snub our government? When he got to Kenya, he was received at the airport by the Cabinet Secretary of Information and Communications and later given a delicious lunch of fish, semo and soup (, no Nigerian government official offered him common sachet water and yet he was here to create jobs and markets! We shouldn’t frighten him away with our politics! The good news, though, is that he is a humanist even if a secular humanist: End of story.

Thank you Marky, for the visit and for giving us a good story to tell.

FG Expects Better Economic Outlook For Second Half Of 2016

According to a press statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant-Media & Publicity to the Vice President, Laolu Akande
*2nd quarter figures indicate further growth in Agric, solid mineral sectors: *Better than IMF estimates *Reveals highest increase in share of investment in GDP since 2010.
The just released GDP figures for the 2016 second quarter by the National Bureau of Statistics while confirming a temporary decline, has also indicated an hopeful expectation in the country’s economic trajectory.
Besides the growth recorded in the agriculture and solid mineral sectors, the Nigerian economy in response to the policies of the Buhari presidency is also doing better than what the IMF had estimated with clear indications that the second half of the year would be even much better.

The Buhari presidency will continue to work diligently on the economy and engage with all stakeholders  to ensure that beneficial policy initiatives are actively pursued and the dividends delivered to the Nigerian people.

The following statement was made by the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu on the latest NBS report:

“The just recently released data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that Gross Domestic Product declined by -2.06% in the second quarter of 2016 on a year-on-year basis.

A close look at the data shows that this outcome was mostly due to a sharp contraction in the oil sector due to huge losses of crude oil production as a result of vandalisation and sabotage.

However, the rest of the Q2 data is beginning to tell a different story.  There was growth in the agricultural and solid minerals sectors which are the areas in which the Federal Government has placed particular priority.

Agriculture grew by 4.53% in the second quarter of 2016 as compared with 3.09% in the first quarter.  The metal ores sector showed similar performance with coal mining, quarrying and other minerals also showing positive growth of over 2.5%.  Notably also, the share of investments in GDP increased to its highest levels since 2010, growing to about 17% of Gross Domestic Product.

The manufacturing sector though not yet truly out of the woods is beginning to show signs of recovery while the service sector similarly bears watching.

Nevertheless, the data already shows a reduction in imports and an increase in local produced goods and services and this process will be maintained although it will start off slowly in these initial stages before picking up later.

The inflation rate remains high but the good news is that the month-on-month rate of increase has fallen continuously over the past three months.

Unemployment remains stubbornly high which is usually the case during growth slowdowns and for reasons of a structural nature.

The picture that emerges, barring unforeseen shocks, is that the areas given priority by the Federal Government are beginning to respond with understandable time lags to policy initiatives.  Indeed, as the emphasis on capital expenditure begins to yield results and the investment/GDP numbers increase, the growth rate of the Nigerian economy is likely to improve further.

As these trends continue, the outlook for the rest of the year is that the Nigerian economy will beat the IMF prediction of -1.8% for the full year 2016.

The IMF had forecasted a growth of -1.8% for 2016, however the economy is performing better than the IMF estimates so far. For the half year it stands at -1.23% compared to an average of -1.80% expected on average by the IMF.

What is more, it is likely the second half will be better than the first half of 2016. This is because many of the challenges faced in the first half either no longer exist or have eased.”

Nigerians Are Suffering, Fayose Tells Buhari

Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to listen to the cries of Nigerians and stop seeing those with different opinion from his as threats to his government.

The governor said that, “there is hunger in the land, Nigerians are hungry, they are suffering and the president should rather listen to those who are more knowledgeable than him in terms of management of the country’s economy instead of seeing them as threats.”

He added that the reactions of the president and his men to divergent opinions had become predictable.

“This style of sending the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, Department of State Services and other agencies of the federal government against anyone that offers suggestions on how to rescue the country from total collapse is not in the best interest of Nigeria and its suffering masses.

Credit: Punch

Osinbajo Urges Youths To Key Into Multi-tasking Age To Remain Relevant

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday advised Nigerian youths to see the present age as one that offers them an opportunity to embrace “multi-tasking”.

He gave the advice while opening a two-day Google Digital Training programme for Youth Employment with the theme: “Diversifying the Nigerian Economy: Enabling Youth through Digital Skills Training’’.

Osinbajo said that the opportunities abound for professionals with multi skills to excel in the period of economic hardship and joblessness, adding that innovation was the best way to go.

“For any student today, I think that we must appreciate that this is the age of multi-tasking.

“You cannot just be an economist, an accountant, or a lawyer or a graduate of international relations, or mass communication or performing arts and just remain that way.

“Multi skilling is crucial today, multi-tasking is the order of the day; You can’t just be one thing.’’
Cue out audio

“The vice president emphasised that every young man must to be “a man of affairs, a versatile operator and not a mono skill graduate.’’

According to him, there are many opportunities and practically anything can be learned online today.

“Whatever you choose to do, be technology savvy and understand its best uses in your chosen discipline,’’ he said.

The vice president applauded the Google programme targeting 400,000 Nigerians as beneficiaries out of one million Africans.

He said that with the programme a new future had certainly arrived for the youth “and it is a future that has come bearing great hope’’.

He said that technology had opened mind-bugling opportunities in commerce, science and medicine and practically all aspects of human endeavour.

“Today technology has created space for millions of business opportunities.

“Just by being able to virtually connect millions of people, the internet has changed the business landscape and empowered anyone with great ideas and any smart handheld device.’’

Osinbajo said it was in recognition of the central role of innovation and technology in the national economic growth plan that the Federal Government in the current budget provided extensively for technology and innovation.

According to him, the administration is establishing technology hubs across the country with two super hubs in Lagos and Abuja and six regional hubs in the six geo-political zones.

He said that in partnership with several major technology companies, the hubs would be fully resourced with infrastructure and capacity building tools.

He said that each hub would be designed to produce relevant innovative technology, solutions to a wide range of business, commercial and government problems.

Osinbajo also noted that starting this year, the administration had budgeted for the training of 65,000 young Nigerians in hardware and software services and more sophisticated software such as animation.

“This would mean that we would be building more local capacity to build, assemble hardware and to write innovative programmes.

“We will also be focusing on technology for media and entertainment.

“We intend to create a reservoir of human capacity in technology that can be exported internationally.

“Nigeria can lead India as a market for technology and innovation talent,’’ he added.

Osinbajo gave the assurance that all agencies of government were together and determined to give every opportunity possible to the youth in technology and innovation.

“I can assure you that the next few years are going to be great indeed.’’

The Vice President thanked Google for the initiative and offer to open the minds of the young Nigerians to the limitless opportunities that thousands of web tools available could offer.

He announced that President Muhammadu Buhari had launched a special initiative on innovative technology and start-ups while presentation of prospective participants had already been done in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.

He said that 30 of the best start-up ideas would be exhibiting their innovations at the Presidential Villa at the first Annual Aso Villa Demo Day on Friday.

He described the Google’s training of 400,000 young people as a monumental contribution to the national plan and in particular to economic development.

“The exciting prospect of this training is that it unleashes the creativity and innovation and the boundless imaginative of the most productive segment of our society,’’ he said.

Nigerians React To CNN’s ‘Zuckerberg Visits Sub-Sahara Africa’ Headline

International broadcaster, the Cable News Network (CNN), has angered Nigerians for omitting the country’s name in the headline of a report announcing the visit of Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, to Africa’s most populous country.

The headline mentioned Sub-Sahara Africa as Mr. Zuckerberg’s destination.

That headline promptly sparked anger in one of the world’s largest oil producers, with citizens taking to Facebook and Twitter to attack the broadcaster for omitting ‘Nigeria’ and creating the impression that Africa was a country.

Nigerians who commented on the matter expressed strong views, and sought to salvage their national pride.

“CNN it’s NIGERIA!!!” Facebook user, Iloh Andrew, said. “I know you are shy to say it is Nigeria…safe, sound and happy to be here…not the Nigeria you propagate as a drop bomb zone.”

Another Facebook user, Bola Aduwo, said, “CNN please what is Sub-Sahara Africa? An area of over 20 countries. Why can’t you be specific? What will it cost to say Nigeria?”

Mr. Aduwo said Nigeria had the largest Facebook community in Africa with over 16 million users, and, therefore, deserved respect.

“We can no longer be ignored,” he added. “Receive sense please.”

“If Mr. Mark had gone to a European country, will you tweet this way: ‘Mark makes first ever visit to Europe’ — CNN Africa?”Twitter user @oluwatimilehino asked.

“Ewo ni Sub-Sahara Africa (which one is Sub-Sahara Africa)?” Twitter user @fireofola queried. “Nigeria is too much to mention?”

And again on Facebook, there was one user questioning the news organisation’s understanding of maps.

“Just say he came to Nigeria. If you don’t know where that one is, check your map, don’t be shy,” said a user, Winnie Coco.”

Read More: PremiumTimes

We’ll Soon Go On Strike, That Is The Only Language FG Understands – ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has threatened to embark on a nationwide strike to secure the implementation of its 2009 agreement with the federal government.

Olusoji Sowande, coordinator of the union in Lagos, said this at a news conference on Tuesday.

He said the government had shown that the only language it understands is industrial action, as several efforts to ensure that the government address the pending demands of the union, proved abortive.

He said the 2009 FG/ASUU agreement, memorandum of understanding (MOU) on funding of state universities, breaches of the conditions of service and re-negotiation of the agreement, were still pending. ?

He said funding of state universities, earned academic allowance and renegotiation of the agreement were parts of the outstanding issues.

Sowande recalled that the union had embarked on strike in 2012 and 2013 as part of the efforts to make the government implement the agreement, but the issues remained unresolved.

“The review of the agreement should have been undertaken in 2012 and 2015 but that did not happen,” he said.

“The implication is that our union has shown enough patriotism and understanding on these matters in the last four years.

“We are perplexed and disappointed that both the federal and state governments are not responding to our consistent appeals to bring about genuine transformation in the education sector.

“It is unfortunate that the only language government appears to respect and listen to is that of industrial action.”

The don said the national officers of the union met with the Adamu Adamu, minister of education, on May 10 and tabled a 10-point demand, and the minister promised that the issues would be resolved within two weeks, but nothing had been done till now.

Know Your History – Obasanjo Tells Nigerians

Nigerian former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has lamented the poor level of awareness of the nation’s history and cultural heritage amongst Nigerians.


Speaking during the launching of educational toys designed to teach Nigerian and by extension African history by Ethan & Harriet, former President Obasanjo who was the special guest of honour at the event applauded the company for developing learning tools that will expose Nigerians across social status and background to the country’s cultural values and heritage.


Obasanjo called on Nigerians to imbibe cultural values and norms so as to promote the nation’s heritage. He regretted that present upbringing was disappointing, as many children do not know enough about their states of origin let alone the country.

I have understood that history is no longer thought in school, which is unfortunate. Not knowing the history of your country, family or locality is to lose memory and if you lose your memory, you won’t remember even what you ate last night. You can see that it is a disaster,” he said.


Obasanjo stressed that Nigerians must “go back to make our children know what matters about our country and ourselves so they can be inspired for tomorrow.”


Chief Obasanjo said, “I like the fact this product will impact the students to know more about our culture, immediate environment and Nigeria’s heritage at large. Even the parents can make use of it to know the history about the Federation.


This is a product that will impact everybody; young, old, men and women, what they need to know about their country, each State and what they produce or what they are known for.’’


It is a learning material for Children, teenagers, adults and teachers as well.

Ondo Governorship Primaries: I Have No Anointed Candidate – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated that he has no preferred candidate among the 24 governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ondo State.

Buhari said this through the Secretary to theGovernment of the Federation, SGF, Babachir David Lawal, during a meeting with all the aspirants in Abuja.

The APC will on Saturday conduct its primary election to pick its candidate ahead of the governorship election in the state.

Addressing reporters after the meeting, Lawal said: “The government of President Muhammadu Buhari wishes to reiterate that it has no preferred candidate among the 24 aspirants and that government would do all in its power to provide a level-playing field for all the aspirants.

“We expect that all the aspirants will work hard to win the votes of delegates. In the tradition of APC, we expect that there will be no inducement of delegates or coercion.”

The SGF also warned that government would deal decisively with anyone who breached the peace of the state during the primaries.

“We will like to once again reassure you that as a government, we have no preferred candidate.

“Government will come hard on anyone that does anything that in anyway jeopardises the peace and security of Ondo state”, he added.

Nigerians Are Hungry, Okogie Writes Buhari

Nigerians are hungry and they urgently need succour from President Muhammadu Buhari. They want him to fulfill his campaign promises by providing good leadership that will check hunger and poverty in the land. This was the message contained in a letter that Emeritus Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Cardinal Anthony Okogie, wrote to Buhari.

Reminding the president that his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) promised to change the country for the better but has not done so, Okogie said: “Nigerians are still waiting for the promises to be fulfilled.” According to the cleric, “change is not real when old things that we ought to discard refuse to pass away.” He urged the president to take a critical look at his cabinet, as well as the policies and programmes of his administration, including those who help him to formulate and execute the policies with a view to making necessary adjustments that will help him deliver on his promises.

Okogie’s letter went viral on the social media last night. The Guardian made efforts to reach him and the Catholic Director of Communications Archdiocese of Lagos, Very Rev. Monsignor Gabriel Osu on telephone to confirm it. A subsequent phone call from Osu later confirmed that the letter actually emanated from Cardinal Okogie.

In the letter to the President, Okogie said: “Last year, when you assumed office, the chant of ‘Change’, your campaign slogan, ushered you into the Presidential Villa. Today, cries of ‘hunger’ could be heard across the length and breadth of our vast country. Nigerians are hungry, not only for food, but for good leadership, for peace, security and justice.
This letter is to appeal to you to do something fast, and, if you are already doing something, to redouble your effort.“May it not be written on the pages of history that Nigerians died of starvation under your watch. As President, you are the chief servant of the nation. I, therefore, urge you to live up to the huge expectation of millions of Nigerians. A stitch in time saves nine.”

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Army Has No Right To Declare Civilians Wanted – Falana

Human rights lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) has said that the Nigerian Army has no right to declare civilians wanted.

According to him, such action is usurpation of the statutory powers of both the police and the State Security Services (SSS).

The Army had in the aftermath of the released video showing some of the abducted Chibok girls on Sunday, August 14, 2016 by the proscribed Boko Haram terrorist sect, declared three persons wanted over alleged links with the terrorist organisation and for concealing information from the Federal Government on the whereabouts of the girls who were kidnapped on April 14, 2014.

The three persons are Ahmed Bolori, a social worker, Aisha Wakil, a lawyer and Ahmed Salkida, a journalist based in United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Army spokesman, Col. Sani Usman, said they relied on relevant laws of the land and, in particular, the Terrorism Prevention Act (as amended), where Nigerians could be punished for failure to disclose information about terrorists or their activities.

But Falana in a statement yesterday insisted that the action is ‘ultra vires, illegal and unconstitutional since the wanted persons are not serving military personnel who can be investigated or tried under the Armed Forces Act Cap A20 LFN, 2004.

He said, among others: “Under the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 as amended, the army has not been authorised to perform any duty whatsoever. In other words, the powers of arrest, investigation and prosecution under the Act have been vested in the Nigeria Police Force and the SSS. In the circumstances, the Nigerian Army ought to have made available to either the police or the SSS any evidence or information concerning the alleged links of the three persons to the terrorist body.”

He, therefore called on the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to, as a matter of urgency, make it clear to the members of the armed forces that Nigerians are no longer under military dictatorship when the fundamental rights of the people were violated with impunity.

Lagos To Wait For Crude Export To Get 13% Derivation

In spite of the commencement of production from its newly discovered oil wells, Lagos State may have to wait until crude oil export commences before it joins the league of states benefitting from the 13 per cent derivation principle.

This clarification was made yesterday at Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting.

This emerged just as allocation available for sharing by three tiers of government for the month of July dipped by N115.369 billion to N443.663 billion as against June’s allocation of N559.032 billion.

The reduction was caused by sustained attacks on oil installations by Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) leading to disruptions both in oil production and sales.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mahmoud Dutse-Isa, who spoke with journalists after the FAAC meeting, said Lagos would begin to enjoy 13 per cent derivation when crude export commence from its oil wells.

“Lagos state is yet to start enjoying from derivation principle. When crude oil export commences from the wells, the revenue realised from such wells will be allocated to them,” he said.

For the month of August, the gross statutory revenue stood at N287.819 billion, an amount lower than N538.788 billion received in previous month by N250.970 billion.

“Crude oil export volume decreased by 2.8 million barrels in April 2016 partly because of a subsisting force manjeur declared at Forcados terminals. Also, shut-in and shut down of pipelines at other terminals due to the activities of vandals and for maintenance impacted negatively on production. There was a revenue decrease of $102.17 million in federation export revenue despite the increase in average price of crude oil from $38.64 in March to $42.21 per barrel in April, 2016”, the permanent secretary explained.

From the statutory revenue of N258.151 billion shared, federal government got highest amount N129.212billion, states got N65.538 billion, local government N50.527 billion while oil producing states got N 12.874 billion as 13 per cent derivation.

The balance in Excess Crude Account stood at $3.03 billion.

Issuance Of Passport In Canada, Best So Far – Dabiri-Erewa

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has said the issuance of Nigerian passport in Canada is stress-free.

Dabiri-Erewa dismissed an old CBC video circulating on social media creating an impression that Nigerians in Canada go through hell in securing a new Nigerian Passport.

According to her: “This is not true.”

Dabiri-Erewa explained further: “The video in circulation was broadcast on CBC in 2013 and the High Commissioner to Canada, the late Ambassador Ojo Maduekwe diligently dealt with the issue then to strengthen the structure of the Passport Section of the Nigeria High Commission, in Ottawa at the time to make it possible to obtain passports in less than a day in Ottawa,

“The lady who was at the helm of affairs in Immigration section at the time was asked to leave Ottawa.

“Not only that, the High Commissioner at that time the late Ojo Maduekwe granted interviews to put into perspective what happened and promised Nigerians then that it would never happen again. And it never did.

“It must be pointed out here that up till today applicants can obtain their passports in two hours at the Nigerian high commission in Ottawa This is verifiable from Nigerians in Canada.

“It is really uncharitable and worrisome that the video in question was posted on a day late Ambassador Madueke was being buried and honored as a worthy leader and Statesman. I appeal to all Nigerians to disregard the video.”

While noting and admitting that some embassies must step up their attitude in dealing with issues relating to Nigerians in their host counties, Dabiri-Erewa said President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration is determined to ensure that the rights and welfare of Nigerians whether at home or in the Diaspora remain major priorities of this administration.

Flood Destroys 300 Houses In Yobe

Alhaji Musa Jidawa, Executive Secretary, Yobe State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), on Wednesday, said that over 300 houses, farmlands and livestock had been destroyed by flood in Jakusko and Adaya communities.

He made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Damaturu.

Jidawa said, “We received report of over 250 houses destroyed in Jakusko and about 54 others in Adaya but no life was lost, the affected people are taking shelter with relations in the communities.”

The executive secretary added that the state government had provided food, clothes and building materials to the victims to assist them resettle.

Jidawa said that the agency had embarked on enlightenment campaign, urging communities on waterways to vacate the water routes to avoid disaster.

“There are early warning signals indicating flood in some states, including Yobe, we have therefore addressed flood prone communities to evacuate the water path.

“There are communities that have suffered flooding in many years; we are still calling on these communities to leave the waterways.”

According to the executive secretary, Ngelzarma, Jajere, Nangere, Buduwa, Nguru, Gashua, Damagum, Dapchi and some communities in Tarmuwa experience flooding almost every year.

He urged residents of towns and villages to evacuate drainage and avoid constructing buildings or dumping refuse in such a way that it would block the waterways.

“There will be fewer floods if we make room for a free flow of water in our communities.”

NAN reports that two unidentified corpses of young boys were recently recovered by fishermen from river Nguru.

EFCC Re-Opens 2011 Fuel Subsidy Scandal

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has reopened investigations into alleged N10.9 billion 2011 subsidy scam, Daily Trust reports.

Reports have it that the anti-graft body has already been grilling some top officials of the IPMAN Investment Company Limited, a company incorporated by some independent marketers to participate in the importation of refined products into the country in 2011.

This has helped in giving a direction to the probe with invaluable leads currently being gathered to prosecute the case which has questioned the anti-graft war of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Vice Chairman of IPMAN Investment Company Ltd, who is also the president of IPMAN, Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, confirmed that he received a letter from the Police Special Fraud Unit, Department of Criminal Investigations, requesting him to release some of his members including the former president, Alhaji Aminu Abdulkadir, and Obasi Lawson for scrutiny.

He a reporter that: “We at the IPMAN secretariat are happy that the authorities are re-opening this case, because as a vice chairman of this company, we are kept in the dark.

“We don’t know when and how the IPMAN Investment Company Ltd imported any product, but all we saw was the release of N10.9 billion as subsidy reimbursement, that is why we started asking questions.

“Let’s keep IPMAN politics aside, this is national issue, let them provide the information and details of how much product was imported, who lifted it, which bank account the marketers paid the money to lift such product, and which bank opened the LC for them to import such product for which they deserved N10.9 billion reimbursement.

“These are the questions we asked Aminu and co but they rather tried to shift attention to another issue,” Okoronkwo said.

UNICAL Bursar Suspended Over Alleged Fraud

The University of Calabar authority on Monday suspended the bursar, Mr. Peter Agi, over allegations of fraud, forgery and threat to life.

It would be recalled that academic and administrative activities in the university were interrupted for a few hours last week, following a protest by different groups comprising students and workers in support of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Zana Akpagu, on the one hand and the bursar, on the other.

Following the development, an inquiry was immediately set up by the management of the institution to look into issues that led to the protest.

In a letter of suspension signed by the Registrar, Mr. Moses Abang, the management of the institution alleged that the bursar had been found guilty of impersonating the vice-chancellor on the e-payment platform of the Central Bank of Nigeria, among others.

But, in a swift reaction, Agi said he was not aware of his suspension, adding that he was currently on sick leave with the knowledge of the management of the institution.

However, the letter of suspension read in part, “In an emergency meeting held today, August 22, 2016, the management considered recent developments on campus, especially your arrest by the Nigeria Police vide letter no. AB:3621/CRS/DFA/VOL.T/123 of August 17, 2016, on allegations of fraud, forgery and threat to life. It has become imperative that you step aside as Bursar and clear yourself of these allegations.

“Furthermore, management observed that you have been impersonating the vice-chancellor on the CBN e-payment platform by making final approvals and payments, a duty that is the responsibility of the vice-chancellor, who is the Chief Accounting Officer of the university.

“Again, you absented yourself from office without requesting any of your deputies to act for you, thus creating a vacuum in the administration of the Bursary.

“You deliberately refused to purchase an official car for the deputy vice-chancellor (administration) eight months after he was appointed into office. You have ignored several council and management directives on this.

“You bluntly refused to pay TETFUND contractors who have successfully executed jobs and rendered services to the university, even when such contractors have been cleared for payments. The consequence of this is that while other universities are already making progress and accessing the 2015 allocation, the University of Calabar cannot exhaust the 2013 allocation to qualify for the next tranche.”

The letter noted that the actions of the suspended bursar clearly manifested an orchestrated and a deliberate design to bring the institution to ridicule.

The letter therefore directed Agi to hand over immediately to Mrs. Atim Mensah, who is the most senior deputy bursar, while Mr. Joseph Odum should take over the previous duties covered by Mensah.

But Agi said, “I am not aware of any suspension. I have not been queried. I am aware of the guideline and rules on procedures in the appointment, suspension or otherwise of any principal officer of the university. I am currently on sick break and I wrote a letter to that effect copying all principal officers. So, for anybody to announce my suspension without the set rules amounts to nothing. I am still the bursar.”

Anglican Church Commences Construction Of Trauma Centre For Boko Haram Victims

The Maiduguri diocese of the Church of Nigeria Anglican communion on Sunday laid the foundation of an ultra modern trauma centre for displaced victims of Boko Haram insurgency.

The centre, according to the Bishop of the Maiduguri Diocese, Emmanuel Mani, who performed the stone laying ceremony, is expected to discharge post trauma services to thousands of persons around its locality.

The Bishop said though the centre belongs to the Anglican communion, its services will cut across all religions and denominations.

Mr. Mani, a retired army chaplain, said the church will spend about N15 million on the project.

“The good thing about this project is that government engineers who provided the plan and are supervising the project are doing it free of charge,” he said. “When we went to the Ministry of Health to inform them of our plans to establish a health clinic and trauma centre within the church premises, they were highly delighted and encouraged us to go ahead with the project.

” What they also told us is not to restrict the hospital to the church only but to make it open to other faith aside the IDPs, so that all communities will benefit from the gesture.”

The clinic and trauma Centre is designed to have a labour ward, mini theatre, pharmacy and a laboratory.

“This is a diocesan hospital for all of us. We are going to use our doctors, nurses, and all health workers both retired and serving to render services for the community and we hope that this services would be free of charge,” the cleric said.

Some People Exported Stones To Claim Export Grant Previously – Adeokun

According to the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, the federal government Export Grant was greatly abused in the past to the extent that some people got export grants for exporting stones which they described as high valued goods. Adeosun said this at the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) in Abuja yesterday August 18th.

“On paper, why will you cancel Export Grant? The EG is set up to encourage export business. However, in a situation, where we do not have control, we open up doors for the kind of abuse, which are only imaginable. We have people exporting stones, describing them as high valued goods, collecting an import credit and using that to import fish. We do need to look for how to support export, but we have to be very realistic in the recommendations we are coming up with”she said

Declare Niger Delta Republic And Face Treason – Police Tell Militants

The Police have warned the Niger Delta Avengers against its planned secession from Nigeria, saying it is a treasonable offence.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Donald Awunah, stated that the security agencies would not allow any action that might lead to a breakdown of law and order in any part of the country.

He advised the militant group against daring the might of the Federal Government, describing their reported plan to declare a Niger Delta republic on October 1 as provocative.

Awunah admonished the militants to channel their grievances through legal means, insisting that the
police and other security agencies would not condone any act of lawlessness in the region.

He said, “I believe they (militants) know that it is a treasonable felony to declare a republic. The police and other security agencies will not allow any treasonable action to be perpetrated in any part of the country. They have been warned.”

The Niger Delta Avengers on Thursday threatened that it will declare a Niger Delta Republic on October 1, should President Muhammadu Buhari fails to restructure the country.

It also said the group was praying for the Buhari-led Federal Government to discover oil in commercial quantity in the northern part of the country so as to free the people of the Niger Delta from her oppressive tendency.

The NDA had claimed responsibility for major attacks on oil facilities in the region in recent past, vowing not to relent until the nation’s economy was completely crippled.

The group’s spokesman, Mudoch Agbinibo, stated this on Thursday in reaction to President Buhari’s order directing the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to increase the tempo on oil exploration in the North-East.

The group said that once oil in commercial quantity is discovered in the North, its people would appreciate what the people of the Niger Delta have been experiencing in the hands of the Nigerian government.

The NDA re-emphasized that the country was in dire need of restructuring to possibly save the country from doom, accusing the present government of dividing the country through her ‘misdirected policies.’

The NDA said, “Our prayer for Buhari and the Northern hypocrites (the Northern governors) is that oil should be found in commercial quantity in the North so that they can let the Niger Delta go.

“The Buhari-led government has failed Nigerians with its misdirected policies that have divided the country. As such, nobody wants to be part of that failed state; not even the Niger Delta.”

The statement added further, “The October 1 declaration of independence is still sacrosanct, if the Nigerian government fails to retrace its step by restructuring this country.

“We want to warn the general public that those using the NDA to defraud the  people, the days of reckoning are close-by.”

Be Patient, Osinbajo Begs Nigerians Over Economic Hardship

Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, pleaded for greater understanding and patience of Nigerians in the face of biting economic headship in the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari, he said, is aware of the economic hardship facing the people, and he feels “the pains that you feel, and has asked me to reassure you that a glorious dawn awaits. Osinbajo disclosed this in his goodwill message at the South West Conference of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held at the Premier Hotel, Ibadan yesterday.
“We seek your continued trust and ask you all to join hands with the government as we tackle the challenges ahead. Change is not easy, but, we are not relenting until we achieve a better life for all Nigerians. The change that we advocate will be irrevocable when we are finally done,” he said.
Osinbajo, who was represented by Senator Babafemi Ojudu, admitted that  just a little over a year ago that the present administration came to power, majority of Nigerians are already fed up with the direction that the seemingly rudderless ship of the Nigerian state was headed.
He continued: “Nigerians who desired the needed change that we promised voted for our great party in their millions. That confidence reposed in us by millions of Nigerians is what we have come to renew.
“Since we have savoured the sweetness of that electoral victory, we cannot afford to betray the trust that paved the way to usher in change from the ineptness of the past. When we took over the reins of governance, we knew things were bad. What we did not realise, however, was just how bad they really were. Now we know better!
“We have since been working extremely hard to remedy the rot and malaise that pervaded our dear country. The current pains and suuferings that our people are feeling today are the results of yesterday’s mismanagement of the commonwealth of our great country.”
“Every day, as I travel round the country to meet our people, I see on their faces evidence of pains and trauma they are going through. I have heard the anguish and cries of our people in various town meetings that I have addressed. As you all may well know, the darkest part of the night is the period before the dawn. Nigeria’s dawn is about to break. We are determined to turn things around, so that, once more, our people will begin the real impact of government in their lives.
“Our plea to our people is for greater understanding and patience even as we forge ahead to continue the work of making the lives of all Nigerians better again. We seek your continued trust and ask you all to join hands with the government as we tackle and surmount the challenges ahead. Change is not easy, but we are not relenting until we achieve a better life for all Nigerians…”

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What I Discussed With Buhari – Ex-Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar Visits Aso Rock

Speaking in an interview with State House correspondents at the end of a closed-door meeting, former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, on Thursday, said he discussed issues of national interest and international affairs with President Muhammadu Buhari during a short chat they had at the Presidential Villa, Abuja which was held inside the President’s office.

 “I came to discuss issues of national interest and international affairs with the President. Both of them are interwoven. I have discussed with the person I came to see and I don’t think I need to discuss it in the news media,” Abubakar said.

While reacting to a claim that he had been silent on national issues lately, the former Head of State said he had been busy talking to those that needed to be talked to, adding that the National Peace Committee for the 2015 General Elections which he chairs was still working behind the scene. The former military ruler urged all Nigerians to support the present administration in its efforts aimed at resolving the crisis facing the nation. “We (the committee members) are still working, although quietly, to make sure that there is peace in the country,” he said.
“I hope all Nigerians will give the present administration the necessary support to make sure that we overcome all these crisis that are unnecessary and uncalled for,” he added.

Fed Govt Propose Bill For Nigerians To Pay 9% Tax On Calls, Sms, Mms, Data, Others

Minister of Communication, Bayo Shittu, yesterday disclosed that the Federal government is proposing to introduce a bill called the Communication Service Tax CST bill which seeks to levy 9% on telecommunication subscribers for users of various communication services such as voice call, SMS, MMS, Data usage from telecommunication service providers, internet service providers and Pay TV Stations.

Speaking at a function organized by the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry, LCCI yesterday, Shittu said the introduction of the new taxes without harmonising existing ones would put pressure on the country’s tax system thereby making it unattractive to investors.

According to him, the outcome of deliberations on the bill would form the basis of his advice to the President.

“This may also be counter-productive in the long run for our targets on broadband penetration. Our ICT Roadmap gives fresh impetus for implementing existing policies and reviewing any that is inimical to the growth of the sector. My focus on any tax regime will be to align any process that will stimulate the economy and also ensure that the tax system is efficient by widening the tax net. It is also to create an effective framework for tax compliance to protect the poor and vulnerable in the society who nonetheless have to use telecoms services for social inclusion and financial services.” According to Shittu, the bill is being considered as a way to help increase the revenue generation of the Federal government.


“I have been reliably informed that the projected earnings from this effort is over N20 billion every month, which is an attraction to the government for funding our budget deficits. I must be quick to say that this government has a human face twined around its decisions”he said The minister added that the government would provide an enabling environment for the ICT and telecommunication sector to thrive through the enactment of relevant legislation.

Nigeria’s Divine Oduduru Comes 7th In Semi-Final Heat, Misses Out On 200m Final Event

Ejowvokoghene Divine Oduduru, Nigeria’s fastest man missed out on a spot at the 200m finals after coming 7th at the semi-finals heat early this morning at Rio 2016.

In his semi-final heat, Usain Bolt, Andre Gasse and Adam Gemili finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively with a time of 19.78secs, 19.80secs and 20.08 secs respectively while Oduduru, Nigeria’s only hope at this event finished 7th with a time of 20.59 seconds.

Nigeria’s Oduduru wowed Nigerians when he qualified for the semi-final of the Men’s 200m heat of the Rio 2016 Olympics, finishing second behind Usain Bolt.


Sports Ministry Refunds Mikel’s $4,600

The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports has refunded the $4,600 paid for the team in São Paulo on their way to Salvador by the Dream Team’s captain, Mikel Obi.
The ministry also assured players and officials of the team that they will be given all that is due to them.

The Sports Minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Chinyeaka Ohaa, said this while addressing the players and officials after the 2-0 defeat of Denmark in Saturday’s quarter final match in Salvador.

He said, “I am happy to be a Nigerian, because in spite of all the challenges, you have taken the world by storm; you have by your performance given happiness to more than 160 million Nigerians.

Football is the biggest unifying factor in Nigeria today. From Mr. President to the average Nigerian you have made everyone proud today.

“I am humbled by your efforts, your commitment, your patriotism. I want to assure you that your sacrifices will not be in vain. Aside whatever the NFF have for you, we will as much as possible make you happy, if only you will be patient with us. Today, with your performance, I am convinced that you will get that gold.”

In his response, Mikel said, “We want to thank you for your fatherly support. In truth, there have been a lot of challenges, but every time we go onto the field, we forget about everything and make sure our fatherland comes first.

“We have done that so far and we will continue to do that, but we need more motivation.”

Help!!! No Clothes To Protect Us From Cold – Nigerian Athletes In Rio

As the track and field events of the Rio 2016 Olympics began yesterday, Nigerian athletes have cried out about lack of equipment and proper clothing to weather the storm. Over all Nigerian athletes have poor dressers at the Games. And as driving rains and cold winds sweep through Rio athletes who are competing outdoors need to protect themselves, but not so for the Nigerian athletes.
“It has been raining, windy and cold in Rio.
And we have no kits for the athletes and coaches,”cried one of the athletes during warm-up on Thursday. “I don’t know why things are just like this with our country,” he added. However, he was hopeful that they will still give their best just for the love of the sport. And it remain to be seen how they will cope as the rush for medals begin in earnest.
From all indication competition will be fierce. Nigeria’s medal prospects will begin with Uhunoma Naomi Osazuwa competing in the heptathlon, Chinwe Okoro will seek qualification in the women shot put, while Blessing Okagbare will later run in the women 100m heats.

Jubilation In Onitsha As FG Releases Detained IPOB Members

There was wild jubilation in the commercial town of Onitsha on Thursday after the federal government, through the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, released all members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, who have been in detention.

They were earlier arrested by various security agencies in Aba, Abia state, during their prayer rally in February.
A statement issued to newsmen Thursday in Onitsha, by IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary,
Emma Powerful confirmed that their members had been released.

He said all IPOB members worldwide under the leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the Director of Radio Biafra were commending the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF and all those who had common sense to understand that all those arrested in Aba must be released.

Powerful described the freedom of their members as a good omen for the birth of Biafra.

Lagos, FG Partner On Affordable Housing For Federal and State Civil Servants

The Lagos State Government and the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation on Thursday commenced talks on partnership for the massive provision of affordable housing for Federal and State civil servants to address housing deficit especially for workers in the State.
Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, who disclosed this while leading a technical delegation to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode at the Lagos House in Ikeja, said the decision to go into partnership with the State Government followed the need to key into the housing programme of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
She said under the scheme known as the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) programme, the Lagos State Government will be required to provide land for development of affordable housing for Federal civil servants, while 10 to 15 percentage of the scheme will be made available for civil servants in the State, who will benefit as the State’s equity contribution to the scheme.

The Federal HOS, who was received by the Lagos State Head of Service, Mrs Olabowale Ademola and top government functionaries in the housing sector on behalf of Governor Ambode, said the decision to partner with the State Government was borne out of the fact that many civil servants were willing to own properties in Lagos, being the commercial capital of Nigeria.

Oyo-Ita said: “We are here today to introduce to you Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) Programme which is a welfare programme for federal civil servants that aspire to provide affordable housing for civil servants.

“Lagos State is critical to this scheme and it is so because Lagos is the commercial capital of Nigeria and apart from the fact that quite a number of Lagos State indigene who are federal civil servants would want to own their homes here in Lagos State, there is a cross-section of Nigerians like somebody like me who grew up in Lagos who will like to have homes in Lagos State,” Oyo-Ita said.

She added that aside the fact that Lagos stands to benefit immensely from the scheme in terms of property tax and income tax, arrangement was also ongoing with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and other international agencies to grant single digit loan to estate developers to develop the scheme.

Responding, Mrs. Ademola said the deliberations at the meeting would be conveyed to the Governor and assured that appropriate communication would soon been made.

Mrs. Ademola alongside other top government functionaries in Lagos State, however raised enquiries as to the benefit for civil servants in the State, after which the Chairman of the FISH scheme and Permanent Secretary in the office of the Federal Head of Service, Mr. Yemi Adelakun assured of 10 to 15 per cent reservation for State civil servants.

It was also agreed that a joint technical committee should be set up to work out and fine tune the process in terms of benefit to State civil servants.

Buhari Will Not Fail, APC Replies Mbaka

The Enugu State chapter of the All Progressives Congress has assured that President Muhammadu Buhari will not disappoint Nigerians in the task of fixing the country.

It stated this in a statement by its spokesperson, Kate Offor.

The party was reacting to recent remarks about the president by a clergyman, Ejike Mbaka.

Mr. Mbaka, the Head of the Adoration Ministry, Catholic Church Enugu State, who predicted Mr. Buhari’s victory in the March 2015 presidential election, had said life was no longer easy for Nigerians as there was hunger everywhere.

“It is not easy everywhere. Hunger is everywhere. Hunger is in the atmosphere…………. There is sword moving about in the country. People are dying like flies. The sword of hunger is eating the land,” the clergyman said.

But the APC said though it agreed with Mr. Mbaka, the president was committed to fixing the country.

“We wish to reassure Fr. Mbaka that President Buhari will not in the fullness of time disappoint Nigerians or fail to fix our dilapidated social and physical infrastructure. Never! Buhari is devotedly committed to pull Nigerians out of poverty, hunger and squalor,” it said.

The party however agreed with Mr. Mbaka that the past Peoples Democratic Party administrations should be blamed for Nigeria’s woes and that if they had done what was expected of them, the nation would not have been in its current situation.
It said, “For us yesterday and for true reality is the architecture of today, and nobody can wash yesterday away.

“Therefore, Fr Mbaka is correct in stating that the past regimes sowed the whirlwind we are regrettably reaping today.

“If the $16 billion expended on power supply was prudently expended, if the 3 Greenfield Refineries awarded on 13 May, 2010 was not dead and fund decayed in the sand, if the $8.3 billion spent on the old gauge Lagos-Kano Railway were for standard gauge, if the Enugu-Onitsha, Enugu-Port Harcourt, 2nd Niger Bridge the and other federal roads monies budgeted were not eaten by locust, if the monies meant for Enugu Coal were nor embezzled and if the billions budgeted for our schools and hospitals did not grow wings; hunger couldn’t have been in the land, unemployment could have been drastically reduced and our prosperity could have been guaranteed.”

The APC said for the avoidance of doubt, its members and by extension Nigeria, feel the pains, pangs of hunger, gruesome hardship and abject poverty ravaging the land.

It said its members were not immune to hunger nor the gross unemployment dislocating of the country’s teeming youth.

The party said Mr. Buhari had repeatedly disclosed that he was not unaware or unconcerned about the sordid economic situation and that was the reason he was waging strident war against corruption.

“His solution is to effectively and prudently implement 2016 and subsequent budgets, so as to fix the decayed infrastructure,” it said.

“On the issue of being slow, Mr President pointed out that the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Procurement Act and other extant laws make it impossible for any official to expend monies not appropriated by the National Assembly. Otherwise, he could have dipped his hand into the trillions budgeted and hit the ground running.
“It is pertinent to inform as well that Mr President is embarking on economic diplomacy, travelling the length and breadth of the globe, utilizing his huge goodwill to attract foreign investors to fulfill the solemn pledge he made to the good people of Nigeria.
“It is common knowledge that destruction is very easy and reconstruction very difficult. This is the ordeal that Mr President is facing in fixing Nigeria.”

The APC assured Mr. Mbaka and other Nigerians that in the fullness of time, nobody would ever regret voting for Mr. Buhari, adding “ All he needs is prayers patience and support.”

Nigerians Protest Food Shortage At Town Hall Meeting

The atmosphere was charged, yesterday, as participants at the special Town Hall meeting organized by Ministry of Information and Culture, in collaboration with the Alumni Association of National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, AANI, in Abuja, confronted nine ministers, demanding for quick remedy to the current economic hardship in the country.

Some of the aggrieved participants told the ministers that Nigerians were tired of the talkshops and that government should do more to put food on their tables. Speaking at the meeting, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, said 2017 Budget would be submitted to the National Assembly by October this year.

According to the minister, necessary consultations on preparing the 2017 budget are ongoing. He revealed that government had already released N331.5 billion to date, as part of capital allocation of the 2016 budget, to key ministries covering sectors that will turn around the economy. He said the ministries that received the capital released were power, works and housing, defence and security, water resources, transportation, agriculture and Niger Delta.

Read More:

PS: An eye witness at the session reached out to us to state that this was indeed never the case as in her own words, this proved to be the most peaceful town hall meeting to date.

Millions Of Illegal Weapons Smuggled Into Nigeria – UN

The UN says it estimates there are more than 350 million illegal light weapons in Nigeria.

The UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa said this accounted for 70% of illicit small arms in West Africa.

Some of the weapons are said to have originated in Mali and Libya, where there are ongoing conflicts.  The UN said the presence of so many illegal arms in the country threatened its existence.

At the moment the country is affected by three separate conflicts – an Islamist insurgency in the north-east, militancy in the oil-rich Niger Delta, and clashes between nomads and farmers.

“There Is Nothing Wrong With Restructuring Nigeria, I Did It In 1967” – Yakubu Gowon

Former Head of State, General Yakubu  Gowon (retd), has said there was nothing wrong with restructuring the country, provided it was done within the context of one Nigeria.
Gen. Gowon
Gowon said this, yesterday, when Shehu Sani, Vice-Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.
He recalled that Nigeria was restructured under his leadership as the head of state with the creation of states in 1967.
He said: “We can restructure within one Nigeria context. I did it in 1967; we created states to stop eastern Nigeria from seceding. We had to do something to ensure the fear of their seceding did not exist; a serious issue of a part of the country wanting to breakaway when we already lost a part to
“If we had allowed the eastern region to go away, the map of Nigeria would have looked funny; it would have been tilted one way. So, we decided overnight to break the fear through the creation of states. If we had to save the country, that was the only way to do it. We also ensured that no state was too big or too small to threaten the unity of the country.”

On his time as the number one citizen in the country, Gowon said: “Accident of history made it possible for him to become head of state. What happened was the accident of history. When you have lost your leadership and there was crisis and you don’t know what to do and it happened that those within your constituency chose you, what would you do?
“I was lucky enough within the military at that time and all the officers knew me by reputation. I had no intention to become head of state but it is the opportunity, if opportunity presents itself and people ask you to do it then do it.
“What I have achieved is (because of) God. I had never thought of becoming head of state but there was a coup and all my senior colleagues were killed and I was the only one that survived.
“My plan was to rise in my profession and hopefully become a head in my profession but that did not happen. I didn’t know what happened but I had the duty and responsibility to ensure the coup in Lagos did not succeed.”
He advised younger Nigerians to prepare themselves academically and morally to take advantage of opportunities when they presented themselves.

Source: Vanguard

‘Virtually Every Nigerian Is Corrupt’ – Governor Ajimobi

Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi reacting to President Buhari’s war against corruption, told newsmen at the National Secretariat of the All Pro­gressives Congress (APC), Abuja that virtually every Nigerian is corrupt. He said:

“We are looking at corruption in a global per­spective as against just tak­ing money. If you look at it generally, you will see that virtually every Nigeria is corrupt, virtually everybody is corrupt in one way or the other either attitudinally, fi­nancially or socially, and this, we believe should be looked into.

“We believe corruption is more than just taking money, I think it is attitudinal. Any­time you do what you are not supposed to do, is corruption. Sometime you can even en­large it to mean indiscipline, inability to control yourself, to discipline yourself against selfish tendencies of wanting to take what does not belong to you. Even not doing your job is corruption, for taking salaries monthly and not coming to work and being idle is


Notorious Gang Specializing In Defrauding Highly Placed Personalities Through Threats Nabbed

The police today paraded a three-man gang of notorious fraudsters specializing in defrauding highly placed personalities in Abuja through threat to their lives and intimidation.

The suspects identified as AbdulRahman Shuaibu, 21, Isiaku Maheed Zambuk, 47 and Hassan Haruna, 35, were arrested by the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team, (IRT) following several complaints from individuals and highly placed personalities in Abuja of serious threat to their lives, intimidation and attempts to defraud them of huge sums of money.

Nigeria police spokesman, DCP Don Awunah, in a statement stated: ”The syndicate specialises in
sending text messages and calling highly placed individuals such as Honourable Ministers, Senators, Governors, Captains of industry etc on phone demanding for huge sums of money or else the victims should await a grievous consequences if they failed to comply.

”Abdulrahman Shaibu, 21, who is the leader of the gang was arrested during a rigorous and painstaking investigation into the crime. His arrest led to the arrest of Isiaku Maheed Zanbuk 47 and Hassan Haruna, 35 who are also key members of the syndicate.

”The three suspects confessed to the crime and explained to the investigators various roles played by each of them in the perpetration of this criminal act and other related crimes they have committed in the past. They will be arraigned in Court on completion of investigation.”

Items recovered from the syndicate include a phone (handset) containing the SIM card/number used to threaten the complainant, copies of letters of threat to life addressed to highly placed Nigerians and copies of letters of fraud addressed to well meaning individuals and corporate bodies soliciting for monetary assistance for non existing tragedies and projects.

Also recovered from the suspects were list of names and phone numbers /contact of hundreds of important personalities in public and private sectors in Nigeria.

PM News

Nigerians Reject Immunity For Lawmakers

No fewer than 1,236 respondents, representing 59.6 per cent, in the six geopolitical zones have rejected extending immunity for leaders of the National and State Assemblies.

A total of 2,073 adults both male and female, cutting across various professions, rejected the idea in a nationwide survey by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The result of the random sampling, showed that only 293 people or 14 per cent approximately supported the proposal to extend immunity to the lawmakers while 76 people were undecided. Of the 18 respondents in Abuja, 15 opposed the suggestion to extend immunity to leaders of the legislative houses in the country.

NAN reports that only three persons reasoned that immunity should be extended to legislators to protect them from distraction.

Similarly, 12 people also opposed maintaining the status quo on immunity for governors, while six respondents said it should be maintained.

The survey, however, showed that 12 respondents advocated that immunity clause should be expunged from the constitution, while six people wanted it retained.

In the South-West, comprising Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ondo, and Ekiti, 600 respondents were recorded.

Three hundred and sixty-six of that number, representing 61 per cent, opposed the inclusion of the leaders of Nation Assembly and their state counterparts in the immunity clause.

However, 36 per cent wanted them to be included in the immunity clause as provided by the Nigerian Constitution.

On immunity for governors, 419 people representing 69.8 per cent of the 600 respondents, opposed it while 165 people or 27.5 per cent supported the idea and the remaining were undecided.

In the North-East comprising Bauchi, Gombe, Borno, Adamawa, Taraba and Yobe, the respondents overwhelmingly rejected extending immunity to leaders of the legislature.

NAN reports that of the 600 people sampled, 506 respondents or 84.3 per cent, said ‘No’, 32 people or 5.3 per cent voted ‘Yes’, while 62 others or 10.3 per cent were undecided.

On immunity for governors, 354 people or 59 per cent, voted ‘No’, 209 people or 34.8 per cent, supported it, while 37 people or 6.2 per cent declined comments.

Also, 339 people or 56.5 per cent, said immunity should be expunged from the constitution, 219 people or 36.5 per cent voted against, while 42 people or seven per cent were undecided.

In the South-East made up of Abia, Imo, Ebonyi, Anambra, and Enugu, the respondents also rejected any form of immunity for leaders of National Assembly and Houses of Assembly in a poll conducted among 100 respondents.

Twenty respondents in each of the states approved the current immunity being enjoyed by state governors.

However, 77 respondents voted against immunity for legislators, while 15 respondents voted in its favour and eight respondents undecided.

Fifty three respondents supported immunity for governors while 42 people said no and five were undecided.

Similarly, 47 respondents voted that Section 308 of the constitution which provides for immunity for governors should not be expunged while 41 want it expunged with eight undecided.

In North-West, 155 people or 56.7 per cent voted that governors should continue to enjoy immunity, while 65 others voted against it in Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto, kebbi, Jigawa, Zamfara and Katsina states.

NAN reports that of the 273 questionnaires administered in Kano, Kebbi and Sokoto, 165 respondents or 60.4 per cent, said that immunity clause should not be expunged.

Ninety-four people from the three states in the zone voted against the inclusion of leaders of the legislative houses in the clause.

In North-Central, comprising Plateau, Benue, Kwara, Kogi, Nasarawa and Niger, all respondents unanimously rejected the extension of immunity to leaders of the legislative houses.

Also, 98 respondents supported immunity for governors to protect them from distractions while in office, while only two persons were undecided on the issue.

In the South-South states of Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Bayelsa, Rivers, Edo and Delta, majority of the respondents opposed any form of immunity for legislators.

Credit: Guardian

The Change We Promised Nigerians Is Already Manifesting – Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said the change promised Nigerians by is now manifesting itself. Speaking in Enugu at a town hall meeting for the South East organised by the ministry on Monday, the minister said

“Many have said they are yet to see the change we promised. Many more have called the promise a ruse,”“In fact, they are now mocking us. But we remain undaunted because we know that the change we promised is real. “In fact, the change we promised is already here, and it is manifesting all around us,’’ he said.“ Before now, public officials simply opened the public till, took as much money as they wanted and walked away without consequences.

 “That explains why funds allocated to the military to fight Boko Haram ended up in the piggy banks of many unscrupulous Nigerians. “Today, all those who looted the public treasury are being made to answer for their actions, as impunity gives way to accountability. “Many have offered to return their loots, and many more are facing charges,”

Militants Threaten To Declare Niger Delta Republic Today, Military On High Alert

Ijaw Militant group, the Adaka Boro Avengers (ABA), have threatened to declare the independent Republic of Niger Delta today August 1st. The group in a statement released last week, said after holding consultation with other militant groups in the region, they have concluded arrangements to declare the Niger Delta region as an independent republic from today August 1.

The group in the statement signed by its spokesperson, Edmos Ayayeibo, ordered people from other regions who are residing in Niger Delta to vacate their homes before today

“If they refuse to heed to our warning, we will use so many as example in the Niger Delta region on the due date.”

Reacting to the threat, the Nigerian military through the Joint Task Force Commander in the Niger Delta, codenamed Operation Delta Safe, Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie, dismissed the threat of the group, saying the military would not fail to fulfill their responsibility to protect lives, property and the territorial integrity of the country. He asked the people of the region to go about their normal duties.

“This is to reassure the good people of the Niger Delta that Operation Delta Safe is firmly on the ground to protect them” he said.

Looters Will Return Their Loots, The Nation Needs The Money – President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he was very much home with the suffering of ordinary Nigerians.


The president assured that government was taking deliberate steps to improve the lives of citizens.


Buhari stated this yesterday when he received the Council of Abuja Imams at the presidential villa, Abuja.


According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the president told the Imams that his government is acutely aware of challenges of life facing the average citizen.


He appealed to Muslim religious leaders to carry the message of hope to the people that things will improve.


Buhari also requested religious leaders throughout the country to keep calming the people.


“The leadership, at various levels, is trying to solve problems of poverty, unemployment and insecurity bedevilling the country,” the president said. He said the government chose to give priority to agriculture so as to create jobs for unemployed citizens and give the country food security.


Buhari noted that although efforts had begun, there was a bigger plan for the provision of fertilizers, insecticides and land preparations starting next year.

He further requested state governments and community leaders across the country to organise the population into cooperative societies, stressing that “extension services, not money will be provided.”


The president also addressed the religious leaders on the efforts to improve power supply in the country with on-going efforts to bring foreign investment from China and some friendly countries that indicated willingness in developing the proposed Mambila and other hydroelectric power projects in the country.


He assured that the steps the government was carefully taking on the crisis situation in the Niger Delta would lead to long-term peace and stabilise the oil-rich region.


On the war against corruption and the Boko Haram terrorism, the president said his government would remain resolute and relentless.


“We have no plan to humiliate or embarrass anyone through these actions. We are merely interested in instituting justice and fairness for all,” the president assured.


He reiterated that whoever was caught, as having stolen from the public, will be forced to return the loot to the treasury. “The nation needs the money,” he stated.


Earlier, the Chairman of Abuja Council of Imams, Dr. Tajudeen Mohammed Bello Adigun, on behalf of the delegation, commended the efforts of the Buhari administration in the war against corruption and terrorism.

Sokoto Uncovers 13,000 Ghost Workers In LGAs

Sokoto State Government said it has discovered no fewer than 12,915 ghost workers whose names were added into the payroll of the 23 Local Governments Areas of the state.

The State Commissioner for Local Governments and Community Development, Alhaji Mannir Dan-Iya, disclosed this at a media briefing in Sokoto.

“The Ministry, through the Monitoring Department and other stakeholders has concluded a local government junior staff verification of about 58,143 workers, comprising of scheduled and
unscheduled staff.

“The verification exercise has yielded a fruitful result, whereby about 12, 915 staff,comprising of
seat-at-home and ghost workers were fished out of the local governments staff payrolls.

“The state government has also saved over N319 million from the exercise, hence, it was a huge success.”

Dan-Iya further stated that the Ministry is planning to conduct a similar verification exercise of senior staff whose salaries are paid by the Ministry through their respective bank accounts.

The Commissioner also vowed that, the Ministry and the Local Governments Service Commission were collaborating to sanitize the payrolls of the local governments.

“Any official of the local governments or the ministry found to be wanting in this direction would be duly sanctioned. The ministry and the commission have beamed their searchlights on the various Departments of the 23 local governments, as well as the ministry, and anyone indicted would be sanctioned,” he added.

The Commissioner also said that issues that arose from the exercise mostly
associated with ”human error” were being addressed in collaboration
with the stakeholders.

Dan-Iya further explained that the ministry had successfully boosted
the internally generated revenues of the local governments by engaging

Hollywood Star Launches Scholarship for Terrorized Nigerian Girls

Oprah Winfrey is also the scholarship’s major seed funder, which Oyelowo hopes is a step towards combatting cultural and gender inequality.

David Oyelowo (Selma, Queen of Katwe) is paving a way for three Nigerian girls to continue their education with the announcement of a scholarship in his name starting this year. The David Oyelowo Leadership Scholarship stems from the actor’s close partnership with the GEANCO Foundation, a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization committed to transforming health and education in Africa

The three scholarships will cover full tuition for one year (including room and board and summer tutoring) for three females who have been exposed to terrorism and gender inequality to attend Nigeria’s Anglican Girls Grammar School beginning in September. It’s the same school Oprah Winfrey generously donated $100,000 to in Oyelowo’s honor in 2015 through GEANCO to provide the school with educational supplies, a brand-new computer lab and a water filtration system, among other additional support.

“The new scholarship will directly impact young girls lives who have been devastatingly impacted by acts of terror and gender inequality, and so hopefully it’s a place to put that frustration instead of just becoming more and more numb to the terrible things we’re seeing in the world at the moment,” Oyelowo told The Hollywood Reporter.

Winfrey is the scholarship’s major seed funder. Oyelowo and his wife, Jessica, have personally donated to the scholarship along with Participant Media, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon, Janus Funds and several other donors.

For GEANCO co-founder and chief operating officer Afam Onyema, the scholarship is just the beginning of providing support to women who have been rescued from being kidnapped and terrorized by the acts of Boko Haram as well as those marginalized throughout Nigeria. The organization, which Onyema founded with his father in 2005, also has received support from Forest Whitaker, Kimora Lee Simmons and Chiwetel Ejiofor, who supports a separate school in Nigeria with the organization.

“We’ve done medical work for over a decade,” said Onyema. “Medical missions, knee replacements, anemia screenings, donations to hospitals — but we just had the sense that as these precious girls were being brutalized, kidnapped and terrorized that we need to do something. It’s such a complex, dangerous problem.”

Oyelowo expressed that being of Nigerian descent, along with raising a 4-year-old daughter of his own (as well as three sons), has shaped his perspective in wanting to help provide opportunities for her and all girls. His daughter also inspired him to join Lupita Nyongo in Queen of Katwe, a film which spotlights the game of chess and boasts a significant message for young women.

Said the actor: “Queen of Katwe, I did that as a love letter to my daughter, because in that I play a coach to an 11-year-old girl who sells corn on the streets of Kampala [Uganda] who would never otherwise go on to be a chess champion if she didn’t have mentoring and if she didn’t have someone somewhere who believed in her and took the time to mentor her towards her dream. That’s such a beautiful true story to me. We all need those.”

Oyelowo and Onyema’s launch of the scholarship goes far beyond simply adding Oyelowo’s star-powered name to the donation, but is a step towards fulfilling big dreams, including world-class medical facilities, more scholarships and one day the end of cultural and gender equality in Nigeria. Oyelowo says it starts with staying focused — words of wisdom he learned from his mentor and friend Winfrey, who he says helped him to realize his potential in being part of director Ava Duvernay’s Oscar-nominated Selma.

Selma simply would not have happened if, when we had done The Butler together, she [Winfrey] didn’t pull me aside and just spoke to me in very generous terms about what she felt I had by way of a gift and how she wanted to help me realize its full potential,” said Oyelowo. “I called her up to be a producer on Selma — she immediately said yes, and that’s partly how that film got made.”

“Advocacy is such a powerful thing,” he added. “I’ve been a beneficiary of it. In that story, Queen of Katwe, you see it demonstrated beautifully and that’s what I try to do with my daughter and my sons in encouraging them to be their best selves every day, and that is exactly why this scholarship is something so dear to my heart and why we’re doing that as well.”

Source: THR

Bear With Us, Saraki Pleads With Nigerians Over Recession

The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki has lamented the current economic hardship being experienced by Nigerians, assuring that the Senate will collaborate with the presidency to find a quick and lasting solution to the economic crisis even as he pleaded with Nigerians to bear with the government.

Saraki also identified dialogue as a solution to the vandalization of oil and gas installations by Niger Delta militants. He emphasised the need for government to engage the militia in a dialogue to halt the incessant attack on oil facilities .

The Senate President spoke with newsmen in Ilorin, Kwara state Monday during his visit to the site of the proposed Sheik Muhammad Kamal deen University, Ogidi, Ilorin.

According to him,”I am confident that almost all local governments should be able to pay full salaries to their workers in the country. The message is to ensure through oversight that we ensure the executive gets all revenue due to it.”

Credit: Vanguard

Nigerians Task NCAA To Wade Into Price War Among Airlines

Concerned Nigerians have tasked the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to fix the minimum fare chargeable by airlines in the country, following recent unnecessary rivalry that could endanger the passengers’ lives.
On the recent reduction of fares on Lagos-Owerri, Lagos-Calabar and Lagos-Enugu routes by some airlines to between N11, 000 and N12, 000, a frequent air traveler, Mr. Samuel Babatunde, warned that the development could compromise the safety of passengers. According to him, there is no doubt that airlines in the country were operating under very difficult circumstances, a situation, which was worsened by the foreign exchange and aviation fuel crises that further push up operational costs of airlines.
He expressed shock that some of the airline operators could resort to charging ridiculous low fares just to outdo one another and he called on appropriate authorities to ensure sanity in the system.
In his words: “Although, this should normally be something the flying public should be happy about, the danger this practice poses to the safety of passengers cannot be wished away. How can an airline charge N11, 000 for a trip from Lagos to Owerri without compromising passengers’ safety?
“I think NCAA should urgently look at the issue and set the minimum fares on the different routes to avoid a return to the era of plane crashes in the country. While the cut in fares may be good, passengers’ safety should not be compromised under any guise.”
Alsocontributing, Aliyu Saleh, a businessman, said it was difficult to explain why some airlines decided to cut their fares at a time flyers were expecting an increment because of the nation’s economic challenges and the rising operational costs of airlines.
“There is no way an airline would charge fares as low as N11, 000 and N12, 000 for routes such as Lagos-Owerri without compromising passengers’ safety. Airlines should not in the name of competition risk the lives of flyers. I don’t see how the airlines can maintain their planes with these unbelievably low fares,” he insisted.
Mr. Chike Ogbonna, however, dismissed the low fares charged by the airlines, saying the practice was fraudulent. He said some of the airlines had made it impossible for passengers to take advantage of the low fares they claimed they were charging.
His words: “The claim of low fares by some airlines in the country is only a gimmick to attract customers. Most of the time, it is difficult for majority of passengers to book at these ridiculous low fares. For me, NCAA should immediately step in to check the trend.
“I also agree that there is no way an airline will charge between N11, 000 and N12, 000 for a flight from Lagos to Owerri and still be able to mobilise enough resources to maintain its planes. The regulatory authorities must ensure that this fraudulent practice does not endanger the lives of the people.”
Lending his voice, a pilot, Capt Rwang Pam of Xejet Limited said: “There is a chance that if you are cutting down costs and you don’t have enough money, it will affect first safety and not so much of security because security.
“It is quite possible that safety will be compromised when fares are reduced so low unless the airline responsible for lowering the ticket prices have prepared a war-chest for a price conflict. In this case, they will make sure that they have enough cash to be run the routes for the next three months. They may even charge N9000 per person even on the day of flight, and because they will get customers from other airlines who will be flying with a smaller number of passengers.
If you are ready for a price war, you lower your prices and be ready to make losses because you have borrowed money from the bank.”

Credit: Sun

Nigerians Suffering From Past Governments’ Incompetence- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigeria is paying dearly for incompetence in managing high revenue that accrued from oil, particularly over the past decade, and for allowing the decay of critical infrastructure.

A statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said the president spoke at the State House, Abuja, on Monday while receiving the Chief Global CEO of Unilever, Mr Paul Polman.

The president said his administration was working very hard to change the structure of the Nigerian economy battered by several years of mismanagement.

”We refused to save for the rainy day. Now the rain is beating us. No money, no savings, nothing. And we are thoroughly wet from the rains,” he said.

Buhari said Nigeria was paying the price for turning herself into a mono economy, but assured that the country would soon be able to feed herself, and even export, with the current emphasis placed on agriculture.

He gave an assurance that the Federal Government would fast-track the implementation of strategies to ease doing business and attract more investors into Nigeria.

“We want to create jobs, and supporting manufacturing is one way to do it. As soon as we have stabilized our budget, I would personally be interested in the manufacturing sector, particularly in the generation of essential raw materials,” the president said.

Credit: Thisday

Nigerians In UK, Europe Express Disappointment With Referendum Result

A cross section of Nigerians in Europe on Friday expressed disappointment over the decision of the UK in a referendum to leave the European Union.

Results released early on Friday by UK authorities indicated that 17, 410,742 Britons voted to leave EU, while 16,141,241 others voted to remain.

The Leave campaigners won by 52 per cent to 48 per cent with England and Wales voting strongly for Brexit, while London, Scotland and Northern Ireland backed staying in the EU.

In telephone interviews with the Europe Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria some Nigerians described the outcome of the referendum as a catastrophe for ethnic minorities in Europe.

Mr Raymond Aste, a lawyer and political analyst in London, said those who voted in favour of Brexit (Britain Exit) did so emotionally in line with their individual opinion on what a Leave EU vote meant.

Aste said, “I can understand concerns by the white supremacist to stem the flow of immigrants into their country.

“But for the immigrant communities, it beats me as to how they considered voting to leave the EU.

“This has a long implication economically, legally and many others.”

Similarly, Dr John Duniya, who resides in Scotland, said the Leave EU outcome meant ethnic minorities would not have protection of EU laws, especially on human rights issues.

“Being under the EU meant we had some kind of protection under certain laws but with this development the UK will be in full control of its system without interference from the EU.

“Secondly, the argument put forward by the Leave campaigners on immigration control and better welfare for commonwealth citizens is just a deceit.

“I bet you, their idea of commonwealth means Australia and Canada, not Nigeria, Ghana , India and Pakistan.

In the same vein, Mrs Yetunde Olivier, a member of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation, France, said “this is bad for Europe.

“Britain should have pushed for renegotiation in areas it is not comfortable with rather than seek for exit.

“This is not only about immigration, it is about trade, currency, law and, above all, supremacy.

“I hope at the long run Nigerians and others would not be kicked out of the UK,” she stressed.

Some Nigerians, who spoke to NAN from Switzerland, stressed the need for Nigerians in diaspora to start considering going back home.

Mr Uche Obiano, a systems analyst, said “all this fear about uncertainty in the UK can be addressed if we start considering going back to our fatherland.

Obiano said, “If Europeans developed Europe themselves we can also go back home and contribute to nation building.

“The so-called opportunities ethnic minorities in the UK think they will benefit from after Brexit are not jobs their people want.

“Britons do not do cleaning, care-giving or security jobs, these can be very tasking and degrading but at the same time immigrants are seeking these jobs for survival.

“My opinion is that if you find life tough abroad then go back home and hustle.”

Similarly, politicians from France, Germany, Belgium, among others have expressed concern over the EU’s economy and future without Britain.

Some anti- immigration politicians in Europe have lauded the move and recommended the same step for their countries.

Credit: Punch

162 ‘Stranded’ Nigerians Return From Libya

162 Nigerians who were said to have been stranded in Libya have returned to Nigeria, it was learnt.
The returnees made up of 132 men, 27 women and three children arrived the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) in Ikeja Lagos yesterday aboard a Chadames Air aircraft marked 5A WAT.

Sources said they arrived the country through the help of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the Nigerian Embassy in Libya.
Officials say this would be the second time IOM would aid Nigerians’ return home from the North American country while another set of returnees is expected any moment from now.
Forty-one Nigerians were recently deported from the same country for immigration related offences.
The returnees were received at the airport by officials from the Port Health Services, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP).
Three of the returnees were ill, with two brought in a stretcher and ferried into a waiting ambulance provided by NEMA.
IOM’s Operations Assistant, Mr. Juma Ben Hassan disclosed that one of the male returnees had a motor accident while the one was a victim of fire disaster.
NEMA officials took the returnees for profiling before sending them to their respective states to reunite with their families.

Credit: DailyTimes

Nigerian Lawmakers Accused Of Sex Scandal. Who Should We Believe?

Mr. James Entwistle, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, has accused some members of the House of Representatives of improper conduct. In a petition he wrote to Hon. Yakubu Dogara, the Speaker, House of Representatives, he alleged that three members of the house – Hon. Mohammed Garba Gololo (Bauchi, APC), Hon. Mark Gbillah (Benue, APC) and Hon. Samuel Ikon (Akwa Ibom, PDP) requested for prostitutes and attempted to rape a hotel housekeeper.

Between April 7 and 13, 2016, ten Nigerian lawmakers were invited by the US government for the International Visitor Leadership Program, which took place in Ohio. The US claimed that they received misconduct reports from the employees of the Cleveland hotel, where the lawmakers were lodged. “Mohammed Garba allegedly grabbed a housekeeper in his hotel room and solicited sex from her. Two others [Mark Gbillah and Samuel Ikon], allegedly requested hotel parking attendants assist them to solicit prostitutes,” Entwistle said.

The Ambassador claimed that “the U.S. Mission took pains to confirm these allegations and the identities of the individuals with the employees of the hotel in Cleveland,” and this incidence may hamper the acceptance of Nigerians for such programmes in the future. While Entwistle has expressed his displeasure with the negative reaction of the lawmakers, the accused reps have denied the allegations.

Mark Gbillah has responded to the Ambassador’s letter claiming that the allegation is a calculated attempt to tarnish their images. “This is an affront on the National Assembly and Nigeria, it appears they have ulterior motives. We are not going to take this lightly; we will take legal actions against the US government. It is a dent on our image,” Gbillah said. Gbillah noted that the incidence was brought to their notice about a month after their trip, when he met Entwistle at a dinner.

He further explained that there was a basketball match going on around the hotel area, and as such, many of the spectators were lodged at the same hotel; some of whom were Black. He also questioned the basis of the accusation. “It was after this encounter that they called us to their premises and said they were identified by their accusers in a group picture. This is curious. No video footage. They didn’t accost us while we were in the US. We suspect this is a calculated attempt to rubbish the National Assembly. Is this how they would have investigated their congressmen? Do they know that there were other black people who came to watch the match? How could they have identified us in a picture without our knowledge?”

Gololo also corroborated Gbillah’s claim by stating that the hotel house keeper may have pointed to the wrong person, since they were all Black. Who then should be believed? Is this another example of racism in America or could it be that the Nigerian lawmakers are guilty and only hiding behind their racial identity?


Nigerian lawmakers accused of sex scandal. Who should we believe?

Sunday Osanyintuyi: Buhari’s Presidency; One Year After and Wailing Wailers Achievements


Setting out to address a subject of this nature appears a huge task for me with reasons.  I am neither in government nor any party’s card carrying member. But as one of those who campaigned seriously for the current president just before March 28th, 2015 elections, the onus lies on me to access its successes, criticized its failures while setting clearer agenda for its progress. Needleless to mention that inability of sycophants of disposed GEJ administration to throng this path of honour was his undoing.  Some of them are lamenting today for not having enough courage to cane the government they served when it missed the road. Posterity judges those who embrace silence in the face of absurdity.

 Almost four decades as a Nigerian, I am a concerned citizen about governance in Africa and policies. In Nigeria particularly, when such policies have direct or indirect impacts on living.  Right from when I knew A from B, power supply in Nigeria has always been in comatose. It is so up till today.  However, the focus of this opinion today is neither lamenting the failures of the past nor predicting blink future but objective assessment of president Buhari’s one year presidency and wailing wailers (Opposition party members & pessimistic Nigerians) achievements.

To the wailing wailers, there is no perfection in humanity.  Human imperfections should not be excuses for failures. To Buhari and his team, you should always take cue from the wailers wail and not throw the baby away with the bath water. Some questions for the wailers.  Should you just wail because you need to? Shouldn’t your wailing have foundation and genuine reasons?  Should criticism just become a job while throwing away common sense? Can a house destroyed for 16 years suddenly be fixed in one year? Shouldn’t a proper foundation be laid to avoid sudden collapse?  Truly, opposition is a core bone of vibrant democracy. But when criticisms become tools for feeding, as the case with some of you, then there is an urgent need to retool and rethink. Clearly, the only feat your wailing has achieved in the last one year is NOTHING.  It has revealed the emptiness of your brain and its valueless.

Buhari’s Stand Against Corruption.

As we mark democracy day today as well as one year administration of Buhari’s presidency, one cannot but remind Nigerians that what President Buhari and his team promised us before last elections is CHANGE!  Change means clear departure from the normal. It is a definite step from away from the usual.  The usual before March 28th, 2015 election was impunity, poor leadership and directionless nation.

Change is an act or process through which something becomes different. We all agreed our nation has been on a wrong direction for long. From military era to the immediate past government, Nigeria was enmeshed in corruption. Everyone, including the deaf, heard clearly Buhari’s promise of change. In my view, president Buhari has kept faith with this promise in the last one year. Pains and some hardship tag along this change, but we as a people must learn to defer pleasure with little pains today.

His stands on corruption fight, which we all taunt as our major enemy leaves no one in doubt. What I feel the concerns of Nigeria enemies are the tenacity and brutality on how the corruption war is being fought.  Before you conclude Buhari is fighting opposition party members alone, please take an objective question on who were those in the helms of Nigeria affairs in the last 16 years of retrogression? The revelations on how money meant to fight Boko Haram war was shared among heartless people in power should be a thing of concern to you. The callousness, unpatriotic and perfidy of minds these people have are beyond imaginations.

President Buhari’s corruption fight in the last one year has been steadily focus with results.  Just few weeks ago, we had the first corruption victim, Ex – NIMASA boss, Raymond Omatseye jailed for 5 years over 1.5bn contract scam. National Publicity Secretary, PDP, Olisha Metuh is having his days in court over corruption as well as Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who incidentally is a top member of APC.  We have never heard such heart leaping news in the last 7 years, particularly under our immediate past president, Goodluck Jonathan. It never happened.  Such is one change Nigerians voted for last elections.

2016 Budget Issues & Subsidy Removal.

In the history of Nigeria, its citizens had never been aware of budget process like it is this year. Citizens’ consciousness was geared up to the process of budget passage because of the openness of Buhari’s administration and his determination for change.  Though some deadly politicians tried to scuttle the process through national assembly, but thank goodness the president has since signed the budget and citizens would begin to reap the fruits.

Petroleum subsidy in itself is not bad, but the Nigeria case leaves the subsidized citizens at the mercy of the powerful and rich. Just last week, an international blogger, JJ Omojuwa outlined clearly the difference between the 2012 and 2016 fuel hikes. What made Nigerians refuted it 2012 was corruption. Today, Nigerians are not on the street because the global oil realities do not exempt us. Also with the current disposition of Buhari’s administration, Nigerians, though painful, accepted the increase knowing fully well integrity is the hallmark of the government being led by Buhari.  Integrity, focus and transparency were not found in the dictionary of Goodluck Jonathan’s team.


If All Progressive Congress (APC) has any agenda for overall development of Nigeria and Nigerians, there is no best time to roll out than now.  We have tolerated the excuses enough and our patience for blaming the immediate past government has dropped to zero level. Now there is a budget to run with, take the fast lane and deliver.

APC led federal government must get to work immediately as its time enters the second year today. It does not appear to all that APC has proper coordination of its information machinery.  A situation where the presidency issues a statement contradicting ministry of Information on same issue lacks tact. Mr President, you cannot move into second year of your administration with this incoherent approach.  It takes so much away from you.

Recently, the opinion of Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Dr. Caleb Aborisade captures the views of those in the education sector. “I have not seen any meaningful thing done by this administration in the education sector. The only thing I know Buhari government is doing is fighting corruption and he is doing that well.” As much as it good to fight corruption, leaving education out of a national development is the worst type of corruption ever exists.

Buhari needs to, at this point, take an objective assessment of his ministers with a view of changing the change agents where necessary.  Nigerians and international community expectations are high. He cannot continue test run of ministers going forward. While commending performing ones, he should press reset button on less performing ministers.

Happy Democracy Day, Nigerians!

Sunday Osanyintuyi, media consultant & PR strategist writes from Lagos.

Sunday Osanyintuyi | @SundayOs

UK, Australia Deport 40 Nigerians For Various Offences

The United Kingdom and Australia on Wednesday jointly deported 40 Nigerians alleged to have committed various offences in both countries.

The deportees comprising 33 males and 7 females arrived at the Hajj Camp area of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport at 7:25 a.m. with two chartered aircraft.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 36 of the deportees were flown into the country in a chartered aircraft with registration number ZTA -4741.

The other four were repatriated through an Air Seychelles aircraft with registration number SND-1.

A reliable source at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) told NAN that apart from the Nigerians, some unspecified Africans from Ghana, Liberia and Egypt, were also deported.

The source said they were deported from their host countries for overstaying their visas and other immigration offences.

According to the source, they were received by various agencies such as the Police, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the National Agency for Protection and Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

NAN, however, gathered that some of the deportees refused to allow the immigration officers to capture their biometrics for record purposes and forced their way out of the airport.

The Public Relations Officer, NIS, Mr Ekpedeme King, confirmed the development to aviation correspondents on phone, but could not provide further details.

It would be recalled that 50 Nigerians were deported from the United Kingdom on Nov. 25, 2015 for similar reasons.

The deportees, made of 44 males and six females, were flown into the country at about 6.30 a.m. in a chattered B767 belonging to PITAN Airways, with registration number ETA.



How Subsidy Removal Will Benefit Nigerians- Kachikwu

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said that the federal government would have had to cough up N16.4 billion every month to offset the subsidy claims of oil marketers had it not taken the decision to remove the subsidy on petrol.

Kachikwu, in a series of tweets Sunday, explained that at the time the government made the decision, it was incurring about N13.7 kobo as subsidy on each litre of petrol bought by Nigerians.

But his tweet failed to resonate with the major labour union in the country – Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) – which said yesterday that it had commenced the full mobilization of workers and civil servants for the nationwide strike and complete shutdown of the economy.

This is just as the House of Representatives will today hold a special session to deliberate on the recent removal of subsidy on petrol.

Kachikwu said at the rate of N13.7 kobo per litre as subsidy claims, the government would have paid out N16.4 billion to marketers monthly, adding that the government does not have such funds in its 2016 budget, more so now that the country’s earnings from crude oil have dropped.

He also listed the benefits of the new policy: “There is no provision for subsidy in 2016 appropriation. As of today, the PMS (petrol) price of N86.50 gives an estimated subsidy claim of N13.7 per litre, which translates to N16.4 billion monthly. There is no funding or appropriation to cover this.”

He added: “NNPC has continued to utilize crude oil volumes outside the 445,000 barrels per day, thereby creating major funding and remittance gaps into the Federation Account.”

Credit: Thisday

Presidency To Pay N5000 Monthly To 1m Nigerians

To cushion the harsh effect of the new pump price of Premium Motor Spirt, PMS also called petrol on the people, the presidency is set to implement the N500 billion earmarked in the 2016 budget for social welfare.

A statement by the media spokesperson for Vice President Yemi Osinabjo, Mr. Laolu Akande in Abuja on Sunday stated “All together the federal government would be directly impacting the lives of more than 8 million Nigerians in different social investment 2016 budget spending that would provide succor and be a ready-made palliative to ordinary Nigerians.”

Giving a breakdown of the interventions and palliatives, Akande said that said that there would “the direct payment of N5000 monthly to one million extremely poor Nigerians for 12 months as provided for in the 2016 budget for which N$68.7B has been appropriated.”

Similarly, the government has also made available a “direct provision of very soft loan -cash for market women, men and traders, including artisans and Agric workers. This would be for a total of 1.76m Nigerians, without the requirement for conventional collateral. Some of the traders will likely get about N60,000. A total sum of N140.3B has already been appropriated for this in the budget”.

The details also showed their there would be “payment of between N23,000 to N30,000 per month to 500,000 unemployed graduates who would be trained, paid and deployed to work as volunteer teachers, public health officers and extension service workers among other responsibilities. They would also be given electronic devices to empower them technologically both for their assignments and beyond”.

According to the media aide, “100,000 artisans would also be trained and paid N191.5B has been set aside for this in the passed budget.” He also said that “At least 5.5 million Nigerian primary school children -ie starting first in 18 states-three per geopolitical zones-would be fed for 200 school days under the free Homegrown School Feeding Programme”, as “N93.1B has been appropriated for this in the 2016 budget.”

Credit: vanguardngr

Rahaman Onike: Saraki And His Running Battle

The latest disclosure by the embattled senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki that his current travail was a price he has to pay for opposing muslim-muslim ticket when APC as the ruling party was to decide its presidential/vice-presidential candidates sounds  like a belated excuse. Assuming he has raised the allegation ab initio probably it might have received greater public sympathy. The media boost given to the assertion notwithstanding, many Nigerian still find it difficult to believe his untoward accusations.It appears Saraki is employing every form of subterfuge to evade justice.From all indications, there is  a clear disjunction between the cause of his problem and the reality of ludicrous defence he is putting forward .As a renegade,he shouldn’t expect less from the party hierarchies anytime he reflects on the circumstances behind his emergence as Senate President.Hence,his counter accusations seem tendetious or could be regarded as an afterthought.

He ought to have raised the accusation before the legal battle against him got to the current stage.

As much one intends to give Senator Saraki the benefit of doubts, the multiplicity nature of the charges against him seems to be a constraint.

There was never a time in the annals of Nigeria when misdemeanours of a senate president would subject the whole senate to ridicule as the situation currently portrays.

It has got to such a messy stage that people are now calling for abolisation of senate.Those people that are advocating the option of unicameral legislative system for the country hung their proposition on ineffectiveness and wastefulness of the senators. In short, some of the antagonists of the current bicameral legislative system are of the opinion that the idea of reducing cost of governance as a matter of imperative demands such an urgent action.

Whatever the intention of the embattled senate president for the accusation, he is still going to be the loser at the end of the whole crises.

In the current circumstance, Senator Saraki seems not to have realised that he is no longer enjoying the public support and confidence by holding tenaciously to the Senate presidency despite bunch of allegations against him. If care is not taken, the 8th National Assembly as currently constituted and presided over by Bukola Saraki will be adjudged as the worst in the annals of this country.

Since the inauguration of the 8th National Assembly, the Senate has not been able to settle down properly to discharge it’s legislative roles owing to discontent which the emergence of Bukola Saraki as senate president last year has caused among members of the Senate.

Essentially, what Saraki requires for now is to be courageous and ready to bear the consequences of his past unethical deals. If he had known that he would need to seek for equity, one day, he ought not to have soiled his hands with dirty deals. Clearly, the embattled Senate president needs more than raising a counter accusation to be exonerated of corrupt charges which is currently threatening his position as senate president.

The unfolding drama during the proceedings of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) is not only a proof that the Senate president is desperate to obstruct the cause of justice but it also exposes his idiosyncratic tendencies as far beyond what his counter accusations could leverage. He should have seen the handwriting on the wall that with Panama leaks and the damning revelations at the CCT, it will take only divine intervention  for him to escape conviction.

With the unfolding scenario at the sittings of the CCT, Saraki does not need a soothsayer to know that the voices calling for his resignation outweighed the population of his  sympathisers.

Given the number of legal  hurdles he needs to contend with under his  current travail, there is a reasonable ground  for anyone to conclude that Saraki’s  chance of survival is lean. It is against this background that I support the call for resignation of Senator Bukola Saraki as senate president to restore public confidence in the integrity of the Senate.If the Senate President remained adamant,the public expectation is that the distinguished senators would not shirk in its fiduciary responsibility to commence his impeachment process.

In a saner societies, the public outcry should not have reached the present magnitude before he would resign.With Saraki tenacity, we are being portrayed as a country peopled and governed by greedy, selfish and desperate characters.



Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Amir Abdulazeez: Why Nigeria’s Future Looks Bleaker?

If we are banking on the majority of present day Nigerian youths as the custodians of a better and more prosperous country tomorrow, then we need to seriously reconsider. Many (not all) of the youths and potential leaders of tomorrow that we currently have are most likely to be worse than today’s leaders. Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States once said: “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future”. The Nigerian leaders of today have so far failed woefully to build the future for our youths and more unfortunately, are grossly failing towards building our youths for the future.

Several factors have contributed towards our youths finding themselves in this sorry and unfortunate situation. First and foremost, many people aged between 15 and 35 in Nigeria have evolved through and under a time and circumstance when Nigeria is arguably at its most corrupt and adverse era ever. This era has helped in negatively shaping not only the thinking of our youths but their action as well. Unlike many of today’s leaders who relatively evolved through an era of decency and prosperity but later decided to be corrupt on their own volition, our youths have been romancing with all that is wrong with Nigeria right from their school days.

Secondly, we are at a time when the present crop of Nigerian leaders, most notably from 1999 to date is the most negligent when it comes to youth development and mentorship. If they had brought up our youths the way they were brought up by those before them, it would’ve been a different story. If they are willing to give the current youths the same opportunities they were given, we wouldn’t have had the same old brigades still jostling for political positions and relevance. A typical politician views a Nigerian youth not as someone who will take over from him, but as someone he can exploit for his endless political advantage. Those that ruled at all levels of government from 1999 to date are those who had the best opportunity to navigate away from the past and blaze the trail. Instead, most of them chose to set a bad precedent and made governance appear in the eyes of the youth as a lucrative venture thereby corrupting the minds of the young people. Thirdly, Nigerian youths themselves have generally and grossly indicated their inability to stand up to their responsibilities and their potentials due to many internal and external reasons which are both within and beyond their control. The few of them that were given rare opportunities to serve failed woefully and ended up giving the impression that they make no difference. The Nigerian youths of yesteryears are obviously different from those of today.

The real tragedy of many Nigerians is not the poverty of their pockets but the poverty of their mindsets. It has been our poor mindsets, probably more than any other thing that has prevented us from utilizing our huge potential. Present day Nigerians, especially the youths whom the country are looking forward to for future leadership are the worst afflicted in this regard. They have being brought up and made to develop a very poor and myopic mindset right from the word ‘go’. The fact that national development is far more behavioral and attitudinal than it is infrastructural and technological is more perfectly captured by the popular proposition that; if you migrate all Nigerians to America and all Americans to Nigeria, Americans will waste no time in transforming Nigeria into America just like Nigerians will degrade America back to Nigeria.

Unfortunately, the mindsets of our youths either by default or by design is not made to proffer solutions to the numerous problems bedeviling Nigeria; rather, it is made to add to them. The ground is being consciously or subconsciously made adequate for most of them to become divided, corrupt, irresponsible and unproductive. Out of the frustration that those on top have taken up all their opportunities, they don’t give a damn about what happens to the country. Some of them have resulted to armed robbery, fraud, kidnapping, insurgency and all other vices because they feel they have no future or the future of their country has no plan for them. The leaders are mainly after themselves and their immediate families; they reserve virtually all the goodies of the nation for their children and cronies.

Whether rightly or wrongly, one of the major arguments of the January 1966 coupists was that, politicians and leaders of that generation were corrupt and politically irresponsible. Several generations later, we still respect and refer to the first republic leaders as the most saintly and patriotic. Our condition keeps deteriorating with every generation that took over up till today and with the type of generation we are currently grooming, it seems our worst days are ahead of us. Those that ruled from 1999 to date had the best opportunity to mentor our youths and serve as role models but instead have ended up using them for their political advantage and leading them astray. They have taught the youths that leadership is all about amassing wealth and perpetrating impunity in the land. They have largely failed to provide good orientation, education and opportunities for them.

If you want to know the type of tomorrow’s leaders that we have, all you need to do is to spend some time on social media and monitor their activities. A large chunk of them are engaged in nothing but the spread of hatred, political hero-worshipping, sycophancy, fraud, ethnic jingoism and religious bigotry. While those at the top are mostly united by corruption, power greediness and self-interest, they at the bottom are being chained by mental slavery and political blindness.

The global modern day practice is that of mentoring and giving responsibilities to youths so as to make them prepared for future state challenges. In the United Arab Emirates, Shama Almazrui was appointed minister at the age of 22 at a time when Nigerian politicians employ people within that age group and higher to praise them on social media. The average age in President Buhari’s cabinet is 50, with many of the ministers well above that average. The minister of youths himself is a typical example. Even the Nigerian constitution will not allow a person with age less than 30 to contest any significant election, but doesn’t stop an old man of 100 years to contest. Most of our past heroes actually began doing what they did at their youth ages because they were trained by the colonial masters for such, but today even a 40 year old is considered only as a mere personal assistant to an office holder, except if he has the financial war chest to contest for elections himself.

In the course of the Rivers State re-run elections held recently, a youth corper, Samuel Okonta by name was killed. Four days later, Governor Nyesom Wike paid a condolence visit to the NYSC secretariat in Porthacourt and used the occasion to score some cheap political goals. He announced a N5,000 increment of the corp members state monthly allowance in what looks like an attempt to use that to calm their nerves. Whatever that increment was meant to achieve, the timing was simply wrong and it demonstrates that our leaders always view the youths as those in constant demand for money. Such are the type of vulnerable youths that we have who were made not to value their self-worth and responsibilities.

The youth agendas of most Nigerian governors stops mainly at some politically motivated and executed empowerment programmes which hardly change their lives. Even with that, when they recruit 100 youths for the so-called empowerment, they recruit 200 others or more as political thugs or neglect the education of 1000 others. One step forward, two steps backwards. Jonathan’s YouWin programme is however a significant empowerment programme, a sort of which if sustained, has the capacity to change the lives of its beneficiaries. However, it has since stopped.

Our carelessness towards how we place people in the name of political reward is also disturbing. I remember discussing with a friend some six or seven years ago who was narrating to me why he thinks the Nigeria of our dream may never come true. He told the story of a drug addict who was about to be recruited into the Nigerian Police Force (a regular practice of how politicians reward political thugs) and whom whether we like it or not may rise to become the Inspector General someday. This is a typical example of how we continue to pollute our system and its institutions.

As bad as some of our current political leaders may be, those waiting to take over from them may be worse. Many of our youths are not willing to hold their leaders to account; they are mainly interested in what they will get from them. The youths are not thinking of what they will do for Nigeria, all they are after is what Nigeria will do for them. That was how they were trained. Besides, many people in the position of authority are doing everything possible to make sure the people below them, most of whom are the youths, remain impotent, vulnerable, ignorant and poor.

From the look of things, I don’t foresee those at the helm of affairs currently doing anything significant and sincere to prepare our youths for the future. What I would advise is our youths to realize this, quit wasting their time in advancing the selfish political interest of their predators, unite and prepare themselves for future responsibilities so as to save themselves and their country.

Twitter: @AmirAbdulazeez

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Return Luxury Cars Or Face The Wrath Of Nigerians, NLC To Senators

The Nigeria Labour Congress has called on senators who benefited from a recent purchase of 108 brand new Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles by the Senate to immediately return same or face the wrath of the Nigerian people.

The union described the purchase, coming at a time the country is enduring excruciating financial crisis, as a crime against the people.

Reports said senators have started taking delivery of the new Sports Utility Vehicles, SUVs, since last week at the rate of N35.1 million per unit.

In a statement by the NLC president, Ayuba Wabba, on Monday, Labour said it was “morally despicable and shameful” that the lawmakers embarked on such acquisition when they were supposed to occupy themselves with issues that would benefit the people.

“We consider appalling, insensitive and greedy the decision of the Senate to acquire 108 Toyota Land Cruiser jeeps (one for each member less the Senate President) after collecting car “loans” in August last year for the same purpose,” Mr. Wabba said.

“It is equally morally despicable and shameful that they are doing this after publicly admitting that the standing committees of the Senate are unable to perform their statutory functions due to paucity of funds.”

Mr. Wabba said the prices of the vehicles were grossly inflated and demanded that the lawmakers explain where they sourced the funds since the 2016 Appropriation Bill had not been signed into law.

Credit: PremiumTimes

FRSC Refutes Claims Of Federal High Court Nullifying Its Power

The Federal Road Safety Commission on Monday has  refuted social media reports  that a Federal High Court in Lagos has nullified its  power to issue fines, tickets and impound offender vehicles.
The commission’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Bisi Kazeem, said in Abuja that the FRSC was aware of the post on social media questioning it’s powers  to punish traffic offenders.
Kazeem said, “The truth is that there is no recent judgment of the FHC Lagos on the Tope Alabi case as is being circulated.
“What happened was that one Barrister Tope Alabi challenged the powers of the FRSC to arrest him, impound his vehicle and make him pay fines for the offences alleged.
“The FHC presided over by Justice Tsoho held that FRSC had no such powers. This was in Sept, 2014.
“A similar judgment was delivered in the case of Emmanuel Ofoegbu v FRSC by same Justice Tsoho on the same day,” he added.
He said  Justice Tsoho held that FRSC had no powers to set deadlines for motorists to change over to new number plates.
Kazeem said the  decision was appealed and the Court of Appeal held, inter alia, in Oct, 2014 that;
“The FRSC had statutory powers conferred by its enabling laws made pursuant to the Nigerian Constitution to regulate the use of number plates, design and set deadlines for change to new ones.”
The September 2014 judgment of Justice Tsosho which has also been challenged on appeal is the one currently being circulated in the social media by mischief makers, he added.
The commission’s Public Relations Officer said in another case by the same Tope Alabi before same Justice Tsoho , the Federal High Court, taking a cue from the Court of Appeal’s decision in Emmanuel Ofoegbu’s case, held judgment in favour of the FRSC in June, 2015.
“For the avoidance of doubt, there are reported Court of Appeal decisions to the effect that the FRSC has powers to arrest, issue notice of offence to suspected violators, impound vehicles used to commit traffic offences and electing to pay the prescribed fines instead of challenging the notice of offence in court does not amount to usurpation of court powers.?
“It is the voluntary decision of whoever decides to pay fines instead of challenging the notice of offence in court.”
He listed the cases as Ediru vs FRSC (2016) 4 NWLR. Pt 1502, pp209-247 and Esekhaigbe v FRSC, (2015) 12NWLR, Pt 1474 @ 520-537.
He said the Court of Appeal’s decisions no doubt override whatever was decided in the Tope Alabi case, which is also being challenged in the Appeal Court

Babatunde Fashola Lists His Take Away From President Buhari’s Foreign Trips

In making this public intervention, I seek to highlight the benefit of global relationships and cooperation in a world that is changing daily as a result of globalisation and transborder economics, social and even criminal activities where no one is safe, except all are safe, and to leave the dispassionate observer his opinion after deep reflection on the value, or lack of it, of President Muhammadu Buhari’s foreign trips.
This way I hope every Nigerian who cares about our country will have some information about what their president is doing about the things that concern them.

First I will start with context.

Barely two decades ago (between 1994 and 1998), we would not have quarrelled with the description that we were a pariah nation. We were ostracised from global events because of bad governance. We
had lost the respect accorded nations like ours were they well-led and well-run. I recall that not a few Nigerians complained that the green passport was becoming, if it had not already become, a burden. That was at the height of the dictatorial government that broke the rules of international relations.
It was from there that we started to heal. Investors entered our country. Many brands that we sought after abroad started coming to set up shop in our country. The tourist footfalls in our country increased slowly but surely, but again we began to slide. That was when Buhari declared at a meeting in Lagos during his campaign in 2015, that if elected, he would make us proud about our country again. Proud to be Nigerian again.
That is the context in which I view his foreign trips and the manifesto of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Foreign Relations which promised to:
:: Make the Nigerian national interest the overriding factor in its foreign policy and international relations.
::Work to reform global governance in multilateral institutions and agencies.
::Work to strengthen the African Union (AU) to become a more effective organisation on global affairs.
::Engage the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) on the basis of equality.
::Play a leadership role to develop a MINT (Mexico, India, Nigeria, and Turkey) as a counterforce to BRICS.
I will limit my takeaways to four trips that I attended with the president namely: the G7 Summit in Germany, the Oil and Gas Summit in Iran, the Renewable Energy Conference in Abu Dhabi and the state visit and Business Forum in China; and two trips that I did not attend, but whose deliberations I followed, namely: Paris for the COP 21 and USA for the Nuclear Energy Summit.
G7 in Germany

This is a club of eight of the most industrialised, economic and technologically advanced nations. For the benefit of those who do not follow international politics, it was originally the G8 comprising the USA, Britain, Germany, France, Canada, Japan, Italy, and Russia, who were later suspended and had sanctions imposed on them to make it G7 as a result. It was formed in 1975 as a club of six before Canada and Russia were admitted. They look after each other, and the rest of the world to put it simply. They have gone to war together if you remember Iraq and Libya in recent memory and they are all largely collaborating to fight terror. (Most recently the FBI was rendering assistance to Belgium in the aftermath of the terror attacks in that country).

Why G7 one might then ask?
Answer: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as host, invited President Buhari on his inauguration to be their guest along with some three or four other African countries. Their agenda was global security, global economy and global health in the aftermath of Ebola, which was still raging in some African countries. Apart from the personal aides of the president, Governor Shettima of Borno, General Abdulrahman Dambazau and myself were the only ones who accompanied the president.

I recall that upon our arrival in Germany, they expressed surprise that our delegation was small and asked if others were still coming. In the pre-departure briefing, in addition to highlighting how the security and economic agenda of the G7 coincided with two of his campaign promises, security, (corruption) economy, President Buhari stated the reasons three of us were invited.
Governor Shettima was in the front line of terrorists and criminal activities in the North-east; General Dambazau was a former Chief of Army Staff, and also a faculty associate of Harvard University Weatherhead Centre for International Affairs; I had run the single biggest economy of a state within Nigeria for eight years and was in the frontline of Ebola. Without ministers, one week after taking office, he felt we were the ones best suited to assist, if he needed it, on the issues of security, economy and health on the G7 agenda. In the event, he did not need us. He held his ground admirably. He was the first person called upon to speak at a Summit in which Nigeria was not a member. I was proud to be a Nigerian.

At global summits, we usually got to speak when others had spoken and the hall has emptied. President Barack Obama was the first G7 member to speak after President Buhari and he said that Nigeria has elected a president that brings a reputation of scrupulous integrity to the table. I was proud to be a Nigerian.

The opening session was robust and welcoming, we saw some of the world’s most powerful men and women take off their jackets, call each other by their first names in a club-like setting while addressing the world’s most serious problems. Problems that affect you and I daily. I was proud that my president was in a room where decisions concerning my planet were being deliberated upon.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor Merkel and others also spoke in similar vein about our president’s reputation and our nation’s strategic position in Africa and the world. They pledged support for Nigeria on terror and the economy.
Importantly, I learned that their scientists were worried about increasing resistance of strains of infections to antibiotics; and that they were committing enormous resources into finding out why and what to do. They highlighted the difficulty of time and resources that it will take to develop new antibiotics and the risk to global health.

If we all appreciate how vulnerable we can be without effective antibiotics, especially our children, and if we remember how low life expectancy was and how poor global health was before the discovery of Penicillin after the World War, we will appreciate the seriousness of the platform to which Nigeria was invited. I was proud that our president was there. If the seven most powerful nations stand with you, who can stand against you? I need not say more except that I can attest that President Buhari has been following up on these matters, and the progress on security is visible, while results on the economic front will manifest soon enough.
Iran Oil and Gas Summit

For those who are not aware, one of the reasons why oil prices went up, and from which we benefited in the past, was that Iran, the world’s 7th largest producer of oil, was facing global sanctions from which she was due to emerge in 2016. Because Iran was soon to be selling oil, the likelihood of a further crash of oil prices that had drastically fallen was a threat to Nigeria’s economy if oil prices crashed further. (Our 2016 budget proposals had just been formulated on a $38 per barrel assumption).
I was witness to President Buhari’s persuasion to Iran to come to the market slowly instead of pushing out large volumes which will raise supply and crash prices, even though Iran also needed the cash. You can’t do that type of diplomacy by letter or by phone, in my view, not when the major players were all there in person. I witnessed the meeting with the Venezuelan prime minister, who was leading the South American producers to sell more and get cash even if the prices were lower.

President Buhari’s logic was different. Hold your volumes, steady the price, and don’t let us hurt one another. Recorders of history will recall that the Venezuelan government suffered a major political defeat in Parliament, while President Buhari’s logic has at least steadied oil prices. It might interest you to know that all European nations sent their oil ministers, except Russia, where Vladimir Putin came in person, because having been suspended from the G8 and facing sanctions, this was the meeting where his country’s interests were best served.
For the record, Russia pledged a $5 billion state support to Iran, and if the purpose of this is lost on anyone, I interpret it to mean, “Take cash, don’t pump out your oil. It will hurt me.”

This is the reality of international politics.
Finally on Iran, President Buhari told us, how when he flew to Iran in his days as Petroleum Minister, he noticed how much gas they were flaring and now he returned as president, all the flares were gone. We found out that all the gas had been harvested and piped to every home for heating, cooking etc.
His mandate: “If they can do it, we must do it.” I am proud to be led by a president who sees good things outside and seeks to bring them to his people.

Abu Dhabi Renewable Energy
This is reputed to be the richest of the Emirates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Apart from seeking cooperation to recover Nigeria’s stolen wealth stored in the UAE (his anti-corruption commitment pursued in person), President Buhari addressed a renewable energy summit where we learned about initiatives to bring solar power price down to five US cents per kilowatt hour, (approximately N10) as against the price of 17 US cents (N34) per KW/h tariff in Nigeria fixed at privatisation by the last government.
President Buhari’s mandate was for us to explore collaboration for the manufacture of solar panels in Nigeria to bring down the price and deploy it to the sunlit areas of Nigeria, especially the North that is most prolific for irradiation. We are currently working on the Energy Mix for Nigeria which is the implementation process of the energy policy that will take us there. Hopefully, we will soon be signing the first set of solar deployment agreements for Nigeria.

In this way, more solar and hydro will be used in the North, more coal and hydro in the Middle Belt, and more gas in the South; so that we take power generation closest to the most prolific source of fuel to bring down the cost and make it more affordable. On the trip to China (which I will comment on) we met a few Chinese solar manufacturers (who recognised us from Abu Dhabi) who want to set up business of manufacturing solar panels in Nigeria.

China Investment Forum and State Visit
This is the visit that provoked this write up, because I had bottled what I knew. But it was time, I believe, to share some of it. China is the second largest economy in the world with a per capita income of $8,000 which they are planning to raise to $12,000 by 2020. By her own assessment, according to President Xi Jinping, they are still a developing nation seeking to achieve what he described as “initial prosperity” by 2020.

If you look at the back of your phone, your TV, your watch, your I-Pad, your mobile charger, many other accessories that you use, you are likely to find these three words “Made in China” printed somewhere. For such a nation, (with trillions of dollars in reserves, that plans to spend $2 trillion on imports in the next five years and earn $100 billion annually) who still sees itself as a developing nation, such modesty in the face of success, assiduous hard work and productivity is a destination to seek cooperation in the pursuit of economic development.
This is where President Buhari led an array of Nigerian investors including Erisco Foods, (who now makes our tomato paste at home and employs people locally including farmers who supply the tomatoes), power operators (DisCos and GenCos), and the Dangote Group, to meet with and address their Chinese partners.

During the meeting with the Chinese President, six collaboration agreements were signed including for agriculture and food production improvement techniques, rail and power infrastructure development, for funding the Dangote Group to continue to expand and create jobs at home and keeping some of our reserves in the currency of the richest nation in the world. This last mentioned agreement was a legitimate coup by President Buhari because the intelligence was that some West African countries were going to sign before us. President Buhari seized the moment.

Of course he had to apologise for our previous failures on our agreement made to part-fund four airport projects in Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port Harcourt and Abuja-Kaduna rail project.
The Chinese had provided their agreed part of 85 per cent but the remaining 15 per cent Nigeria did not honour during the last administration.
Some of the recent revelations about financial scandals estimated at $2.1 billion in the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) alone during the last administration suggest how impactful such funds would have been in delivering these critical infrastructure; but we all know what happened.

This is why President Buhari is travelling. To repair our reputation severely damaged by the last government, and to assure our partners that Nigeria has CHANGED. And from there to re-negotiate an existing funding agreement to complete critical transport infrastructure. Because of his reputation, President Xi Jinping believed him, and to quote him, he said: “It is better late than never.”
Through him China literally opened the door to Nigeria in areas of infrastructure (power, railways and roads), agriculture, education and manufacturing especially in our Free Trade Zones. To paraphrase the Chinese President, “ask us for whatever support or partnership and we will be happy to respond.”
“We wish to see you take your rightful place and we are happy that you are the first African president visiting China, after my visit to Africa last year to pledge a $60 billion support for the development of the continent.”
If this was not initiative I doubt what is?

As for the trips to Paris, COP 21 and the USA, Nuclear Security Summit, I will only say this:

a) The threat of climate change, global warming, desertification in the north of Nigeria and coastal erosion in the Atlantic (Bar beach in Lagos) and in the south, affecting Rivers, Bayelsa and other coastal states, the clear scientific evidence lays the blame at the door of the world’s most industrialised nation for their pollution.
b) Since the Kyoto protocol they have paid lip service to remedying the situation, which unfortunately affects developing nations more adversely.
c) COP 21 was the first serious commitment that these leaders made to ensure that global temperatures do not rise above 2°C and indeed are reduced to 1.5°C. I am proud that Nigeria was not missing at this historic moment. When the planet is saved, the next and future generations of Nigerians will recall that President Buhari was present, when all of the world leaders were present to save the planet.
d) In the aftermath of COP 21, the commitment of these nations is to increase production and technology for renewable energy and to reduce the use of carbon fuels. One way they plan to achieve this is increased deployment of nuclear energy.
e) These nations are at the cusp of sharing safe nuclear technology for peaceful uses with developing nations for power generation. This for me was reason enough and a good one at that for President Buhari to be in the USA because Nigeria has been pursuing a nuclear power programme for about 17 years, not as an alternative to gas or Hydro, but as additions to them.

The world leaders must trust you for you to partake. At that summit, in the group photograph, President Buhari stood on the second row along side Britain and Turkey. In the past, we used to be on the last row. This is CHANGE. As he meets with world leaders outside Africa, he has not forgotten the home front. He is regularly visiting and receiving his sister and brother presidents on the African continent.
President Buhari has earned their trust for all of us and I am proud to carry my green passport. Yes, some results are not yet manifest, and may take a little while to do so, but a solid foundation for a sustainable, respectable and prosperous future is being laid, block by block. This is how to build a solid “home” from whence we can project respect abroad with confidence. How many of us will do business with total strangers without a reference or a good reputation in this age of due diligence?

President Buhari is building affiliations everywhere that if well-managed in future, will develop into a global network of friendships, trust and respect for Nigeria and Nigerians. I once heard that the role of a leader, like that of the head of a family, is that of an aggregator, opening doors and opportunities, breaking down barriers and forging alliances. I agree.
This is my Takeaway on these trips.

– Mr. Fashola, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, writes from Abuja

Richard Tayo: Patience, The Precursor To Our Change

If only we know what it takes to blast and scrap from underground the metal that has bewitched and harassed man for over 6000 years….. What else but gold! Jewelers and goldsmith have selected gold as their precious metal of choice because of its unique properties. If only we know the efforts and time put in from mining to smelting process to refining and assaying before it becomes that ornament we all adorn with pride, then we can safely say nothing good comes easy.
What happens next depends on how the gold will be used. Pure gold is generally too soft for most practical applications, so other metals are nearly always added to it. When gold is combined in this way, it forms an alloy. Scientists and goldsmiths often use colors to designate the various gold alloys that are possible. For example, white gold is made by combining gold with nickel, silver or palladium. Red or pink gold is an alloy of gold and copper. And blue gold is the result of mixing gold with iron.
There is a key element in the production of gold called PATIENCE. Alot of patience is needed in the production of those gems we call gold and we as citizens need to exercise such patience with the present administration if we must enjoy the raw gold the administration is excavating and hoping to process to pure gold.
It is imperative to communicate the importance of patience. We have all heard that patience is a virtue, but very few actually live by these words. Coaches and mentors regularly preach the importance of hard work, but few share such passion when stressing the importance of patience.
A friend of mine said in one of his write up titled ‘Where is our President?’ that ‘stop telling us the change will take time when technically it’s getting worse than you met it’. Fact is, the challenges this administration are poised to address did not develop overnight, and they will not go away overnight. Let me remind us that the value of Corruption that has ravaged our country is the obvious war against the change we want to see today. Progressive change takes time and one is likely to fail a few times before one succeed.
Patience is to remain steadfast despite opposition, difficulty or adversity. Patience is more than a virtue, it is a powerful weapon. No matter how hard working one is, the lack of patience will negate both hard work and intelligent program design.
Unfortunately, patience doesn’t sell well, so it’s rare that you will hear it mentioned. People want quick fixes in today’s world of instant gratification. Quick sells well. Slow and steady does not. If something takes time to accomplish you can bet that it won’t be pimped out on a late night infomercial. People want results yesterday not tomorrow.
I can understand the obsession with instant gratification. If we can do something faster why not do it? In theory, the idea has merit but in reality it simply isn’t true.
President Muhammadu Buhari isn’t perfect but I am sure he means well for Nigeria. I hold no brief for the present administration as i am also affected by the prevailing situation in the country but I know that there is light at the end of this tunnel, all that is expected of us is patience.

Richard Tayo

#PanamaPapers: EFCC Vows To Probe Named Nigerians

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has promised to investigate government officials and prominent Nigerians who are named as having secret foreign accounts or foreign firms that allow them to escape paying tax as contained in PanamaPapers.

The Director of Information at the EFCC, Mr. Osita Nwaja, gave the assurance while addressing protesters, who had stormed the Abuja head office of the anti-graft agency to demand the probe of all Nigerians accused of operating offshore accounts in notorious tax havens.

Nwaja said, “These papers (Panama Papers) did not emanate from Nigeria but they touch the lives of the people of Nigeria and corruption as well as money laundering has gone beyond national borders as we are seeing from these papers.

“The EFCC is not just a Nigerian organization. The work that we do goes beyond national borders. So, this request will be looked into along with other requests by other well-meaning Nigerians along the already charted course of Mr. President, which is zero tolerance for corruption, zero tolerance for impunity, zero tolerance for the abuse of public office and continued subjugation of the Nigerian people.”

The leak of the Panama Papers details how political leaders and the super rich conduct business behind a veil of secrecy.

Credit: Punch

Olalekan Waheed Adigun: In Event That Donald Trump Wins…

Political theorists have sometimes been seen as a group of people who predict (the result of an election) wrongly and later explain why they predicted wrongly. This perfectly describes those who initially predicted the 2016 United States elections. Every political analyst, political observer, political scientist or commentator was so sure that Donald J. Trump is not going to be the Grand Old Party (GOP) Presidential nominee in 2016. Many were equally absolutely sure that Trump is not going to be sworn in as the 45th US President in January, 2017. Does the reality that stare us in the face proves us all wrong?

If the results from the primaries in the states are anything to go by, Trump is leading comfortably in at least 14 states and also likely to pocket many of the delegates and super-delegates during the party’s convention in July. So far, every poll in the media appears to strengthen his grip on the process. No one told us of a possible Trump lead at this time few months ago. No one predicted or saw the possibility of Mr. Trump winning even a state primary, let alone in “big” ones. No one ever said he would be the leader in every single national poll and gaining strength in all the early primary and caucus states? The past few weeks has shown that his candidacy has the capacity to survive what we professional political observers all think are obviously fatal gaffes and flubs.

If there is anything the Trump campaign has done well, it is his ability to redefine electoral campaign by broking all known rules. He has also, for the first time in a long while, shaken the GOP establishment to its very root. Those who took his presidential ambition with the wave of the hands must now be having a rethink. They are now either endorsing him, as the case of Chris Christie and Ben Carson, both former Republican presidential candidates; or John McCain and Mitt Romney, both former GOP candidates. Romney had nothing but strong words for the real estate mogul in his recent speech where he said: “His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He’s playing members of the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House, and all we get is a lousy hat.” In any case, one thing is sure, seriously or otherwise, Trump is having it his way and seems to be enjoying it!

Another thing that seems to be working for Trump is his theatrics. As a host of the popular NBC reality show, The Apprentice, he surely knows how to get the audience excited or get them to weep. He seems to know how to capitalize on basic human emotions and turn it to his own advantage. He can boldly and unapologetically call for the banning of Muslims from entering the United States. Only Trump can remind Africans of their colonial masters not doing a poor job of colonizing and get away with it. It takes only Trump can do this. He can say obviously ignorant things like calling Mexicans “rapists, drug peddlers and criminals” and get away with it because there are always those who like to hear these lines like nursery rhymes. Another exciting part of this is that he wants to protect the border by “building a wall” but he wants coerce the Mexican government to pay for it!  He does everything he is quoted as doing or saying because there are ready audiences for his “movies”. He says what his colleagues would have loved to say but for political correctness- a virtue Trump detests with a passion.

Let us make an important point here that there is nothing Trump is saying or alluding to that has not been said in varying degrees by other Republican candidates. The only difference, perhaps, is that he is more direct or “raw” unlike others. He is flying high on the fears of the average American, or Republican, putting the party’s establishment in a serious dilemma. The recent outbursts of pro-Establishment kinds like Romney, recently, may just be an indication of the difficult situation the party may find itself. Trump has earlier been quoted to have said he would run as a third party or independent should the Republican establishment frustrate him out of the race. Can he do that? Only those who do not know that to succeed in real estate means you must have strong negotiation skills. For Trump to have come this far in real estate means that he has perfected his art of negotiation. Of what reality are Trump chances in the election?

There is a big possibility that Trump will win the 2016 election and he may win the November election. His supporters have argued that not many smart people thought Ronald Reagan would become the President in 1980. They also told their critics that few experts successfully predicted Jimmy Carter to win in 1976.

Trump has a reputation for making controversial remarks. His critics point out that this makes him look “unpresidential” and may cost him the election ultimately.  That is one possibility. Another possibility is that when people really hate you, they strangely are still connect with you and sharing a portion of their mental and emotional bandwidth with you. Eventually, if Trump Campaign strategists get their permutations right, they may be able to convert these haters to lovers using a well-crafted strategy. No one recalls “liking” Adolf Hitler (except for his most fanatical supporters) when his party, the National Socialist Party or Nazi, was seeking power in the 1930s. The rest, as they say, is history!

Our worst fear, perhaps, for Trump winning is that his administration may end up leading people to convergence by stirring up discussions on controversial topics by steering clear of being politically correct. Notice that Trump takes the most controversial and often eccentric approach where he throws a spanner in the works, waits for the stirred up discussion to settle down, goes quiet for few days and then plays the same cycle again.  He hasn’t changed his views on racism. Trump once attacked Megyn Kelly (a presenter with Fox News) for daring to asking him “tough questions”. She has to be observing her period since “blood coming out of her wherever”. This was after he once described women as “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.”  If the perception strengthens that Trump is against women as a segment itself, things may go bad for him in this space where candidates have a no-go zone. He has not bothered to apologize for the foul language he used late last year on fellow contestant, Clary Fiorina. His rallies have often turned violent, with Trump himself urging his supporters on promising to “pay the legal fees” for bullying others. We can continue, but will these stop him?

There is what is called Law of Gravity, but if we throw an object up in the air and it does not come down, what we you think? Maybe it landed on the roof or got stuck in a tree. We will not doubt this Law because we think it cannot be repealed. But by now, many will be doing their best trying to find out why Donald Trump has stunned the political establishment. We need not to abandon the assumption about politics. Let us ask a serious question: When and why do voters behave in ways that seem to break the rules? When are bedrock assumptions about campaigns rendered at least temporarily inoperative? In this context, poll numbers taken months before an election won’t count; while they can measure a public mood, the choice of a candidate is something like a customer in a store trying on hats.

Coming from a showbiz background, Trump handlers should know when to draw the line between popularity (or beauty) contests and electoral campaigns. A lot of people often fail to realize the differences between the two. The former is won by those who keep the media busy while the latter is won by politicians. The fact that business mogul does not see himself as a politician should can reduce his campaign to a pageant!

If the main parameters for measuring performance of his campaign are simply his name recognition and media mentions (as he once boasted in Chicago), then it only show that Trump is yet to get over the fact that it is an election, not a showbiz.

All these notwithstanding, should Donald Trump win come November, then some things are involved. First, like I posted on Twitter some days ago, we should start preparing “boys quarters” in my small village in Kwara to cater for the influx of deportees, many of whom have left us many years ago. Second, and more seriously, the boundaries in American politics would have been shifted by wide margin. And lastly, a Trump win will only strengthen the arguments that there are really no “rules” of engagement as far as politics is concerned making many political theorists to look for new jobs!

But the question is: Will Donald Trump ever win?

Olalekan Waheed Adigun is a political risk analyst and independent political strategist. Email:, Follow me on twitter @adgorwell.

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Usman Usman: #IStandWithBuhari Should Have Stood By Patriotism

Majority of Nigerians by virtue of the outcome of the 2015 election and the general goodwill enjoyed by President Muhammadu Buhari already stand with Buhari. His integrity, years of resilient struggle and preparedness, his antecedents and his austere lifestyle when compared with other former Heads of State, endeared him to many. This was why he was able to beat an incumbent president from the largest party in Africa and in the most populous African Nation. This was almost an unreachable feat few years ago when the then ruling party boasted that it will be in power for sixty (60) years. The rest is now history.

During the campaign days, the Buhari Support Organization (BSO) was the umbrella body which registered the numerous campaign groups that worked assiduously towards the success of President Muhammadu Buhari and by extension the All Progressive Congress (APC). While the campaigns were ongoing, we heard about the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria another campaign body which was pro Jonathan. Never did we hear of the group #istandwithBuhari.

The battle has now been won and lost then suddenly, we heard about the hash tag #istandwithbuhari. T. shirts, Pee caps and branded vehicles sprang up from nowhere and the social media was bombarded day and night with the hash tag. The frenzy that ensued was such that those who didn’t give it much thought scramble to join. State chapters were set up and registers were opened throughout the nation at very short notice.

There is nothing wrong with standing by any leader anywhere in the world. Leaders need followers to stand by them through thick and thin in order to consolidate their power and influence.  But when that leader is Muhammadu Buhari, who contested elections four times and lost three, the tides turn immediately. Standing with Buhari should have been more during his trying times than now that he has conquered all odds to become the president. The Buhari Support Organization which stood by him throughout his political warfare is in a better position to mobilize Nigerians to stand with Buhari.

The brains behind the #istandwithbuhari group undoubtedly thought out a good initiative. The spoiler however was the fact that some of the leaders had antecedents that hold no water when placed side by side with what they intend to achieve. I must say that it is not a crime in itself to have worked for a different political party and candidate in the past but there arises moral questions when such individuals come together to praise sing a candidate whom they earlier worked against but later emerged victorious. This moral question prompted the social media activists, majority of whom, by the way, were ardent supporters of Muhammadu Buhari to staunchly oppose the #istandwithbuhari group.

What followed was digging up of past deeds and misdeeds between the activists who saw the #istandwithbuhari group as a collection of unpatriotic individuals who initially opposed the president and the #istandwithbuhari group. The consequence of this was the resignation of one coordinator after another and the eventual suspension of the planned nine million man march, reminiscent of the Youths Earnestly Ask for Abacha (YEAA) years, earlier scheduled to hold on the 31st day of March 2016. The group was labeled and a fraud and a scam.

To be fair to the #istandwithbuhari group, it could well be that the social media activists who resorted to name calling and labeling of accusations against them which eventually led to the downfall of the group, nursed grudges only because they were either not consulted nor invited, a right they feel they had, therefore were unhappy with the fact that these “smart guys” were about to hijack the victory they collectively worked for without involving or carrying them along in the least. It could also be as a result of their patriotic disposition which made it impossible for anyone to turn them into praise singers after nursing their reputations to the present stage. Whatever it was, they formed the first unorganized army that defeated the #istandwithbuhari group which eventually led to the final blow that snuffed out breath from the group; the statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

Excerpts of the statement reads:

“The Presidency formally disassociates itself from the #istandwithbuhari advocacy group and demands that the group should immediately stop claiming any alliance with the Buhari Administration”

“Among other reasons, we have found it necessary to distance the Presidency from the #istandwithbuhari group because it’s premature and ostentatious celebration of the present administration’s achievements is totally inconsistent with President Buhari’s philosophy of service with humility”

The last straw that broke the camel’s back was:

“The President prefers to give his fullest attention to addressing those challenges without the unsolicited and unwelcome distraction of untimely praise-singing from groups with dubious and questionable motives

And the rest became history. The social media activists rejoiced and celebrated this “victory” at every opportunity they had to make a post or comment while those behind the group found a new enemy in Garba Shehu while at the same time rolled up their mats to re-strategize on their next line of action.

The lesson here is that whatever we do, we must always put Patriotism and national interest first before personal and self serving ones. Knowing the antecedents of President Muhammadu Buhari, one will expect that praise singing isn’t one of the things he cherishes. It is true that through his impeccable records, he has been able to gather an informal army of followers who stood and are still standing with Buhari. This renders any formal attempt to stand with Buhari irrelevant especially as he is not faced with an unusual challenge as President at the moment.

If the brains behind the #istandwithbuhari group had extensively consulted most of the social media activists and other stakeholders in the Nigerian project before rolling out their mats, perhaps someone would have advised them to #standbypatriotism rather than #standwithbuhari. As for the later, he is human and fallible, as such, cannot always be right. So categorically standing by him is intrinsically wrong especially whenever he happens to err, and he will. It will only amount to sycophancy, attention seeking or out rightly seeking to latch on to the new administration at all cost in order to enjoy some privileges deserved by groups and individuals who braced all odds to stand with Buhari before now.

As for standing by Patriotism, it is influenced by love for the fatherland therefore, anything that clashes with national interest can be thrown to the dogs as long as the collective interest of Nigerians are preserved, maintained and protected.

Let us all begin to stand by Patriotism, that way, we expect neither benefit nor reward from anyone but accountability, equal opportunity for all and good governance for all Nigerians.

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Buhari At Nuclear Summit And Its Takeaway – Shehu Garba

Article was written and shared by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Buhari, Shehu Garba. Read below…

Today, we live in a world that is troubled by the fear of nuclear terrorism. The Black Sea region of the world, the new republics born out of the defunct Soviet Union is awash with illicit trafficking of nuclear and associated radioactive materials. More troubling is the fact that these dangerous materials are being hawked in areas of turmoil in the Middle-East.

The Islamic State of Syria and Iraq, ISIS which took control of the University of Mosul in Iraq is believed to have formulated lethal explosives using nuclear material at the University lab.
ISIS has shown an incredible capacity and a lack of scruples in war as to deploy and use lethal weapons on civilian targets in the ongoing conflict.
The vision for the Nuclear Security Summit, NSS which President Muhammadu Buhari attended along with 56 other leaders came out of President Barack Obama’s belief that if terrorists can mount the type of attack they did on the Twin Towers in New York in 2001, they could use nuclear weapons on civil populations if they had them.
The first NSS summit Obama convened set a an ambitious agenda seeking to ” strengthen the global nuclear safety architecture, especially to ensure that non-state actors do not have access to nuclear stuff.”
Among others, it aimed at increasing security around poorly guarded nuclear facilities and reactors and radioactive stuff from hospitals, and to secure cooperation among states to prevent,detect and deter smuggling of nuclear radioactive materials. This is in order to keep nuclear weapons “out of the reach of terrorists and rogue nations.”
The well-known ambition of the Islamic State in seeking nuclear materials in a bid to to use them in inflicting maximum damage in densely populated areas and fears expressed from concerns about the chaos in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Libya, described as largely being”ungoverned,” continuing to serve as bastions for the training of terrorist all make the threat of nuclear terrorism seem possible. Although there are several terrorist organizations, armed gangs and armed merchants snooping around for these weapons, ISIS have not hidden their own Weapons of Mass Destruction, WMD ambition. They gave the world a hint of this when they launched chemical attacks on civilians in Iraq and Syria.
“If these madmen ever got their hands on nuclear material, they will certainly use it to kill as many innocent people as possible,” warned President Obama.
To us here in Nigeria, nothing brings the lesson home more than the reported allegiance paid to ISIS by Boko Haram. Our supposedly home-grown terrorist organization had from then on extended its tentacles to the world’s most ruthless terrorist society.
With the alliances formed, Nigeria is clearly at a risk of terrorists making or acquiring a nuclear bomb from a nuclear weapons country and exploding on our population; there is the danger of them attacking radioactive material storages in the civilian domain, say hospitals (X-ray machines, smoke detectors etc) to create a so-called dirty bomb that can spread nuclear contaminants.
Why was it important for President Muhammadu Buahri to attend the NSS?
Let us first talk about diplomacy and the role of Nigeria as a continental leader when it comes to nuclear technology.
This country has been active in the nuclear area for upward of 35 years, that is from the time the Murtala/Obasanjo administration initiated a nuclear program in response to fears that the then Apartheid South Africa, which had nuclear weapons could attack Nigeria given our frontline role in the quest for the liberation of that country. Two nuclear research centers were then set up, one at the Ahmadu Bello University, ABU Zaria and the other at the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU Ile-Ife.
After South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt come next in ranking in nuclear technology activity on the African Continent.
In realpolitik in the unipolar world in which we live, a meeting called by President Obama is hard to ignore unless you are Mr Putin or a Mugabe.
In the case of Nigeria, there is a special relationship between our leaders. There is so much love and respect for President Buhari on the Part of Obama that Secretary of State Kerry could pointedly tell our president to come forward with whatever he wanted of the administration if that can be done before the eight months when Obama’s tenure ends. President Obama was himself caught off guard saying to Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, “Have you met President Buhari? He is doing a good job!”
In addition to all other things, this was a meeting of Presidents and leaders of Government in the World. Very serious issues of nuclear terrorism and how to protect nuclear materials were discussed at the highest level and could not have been delegated. As described by a delegate, the threat is global, the impact of a nuclear terrorist attack will be global and therefore solution must be global.
Our President, who had attended the summit for the first time, laid his own vision for nuclear safety around the globe.
If Nigeria did not participate, the rest of the World will find it difficult to believe that the Country can successfully handle the Nuclear Power Programme (NPP) we are putting in place.
Nigeria is also affected because of current terrorism in the Country; we stand to get the goodwill of the world by attending and presenting our case and showing what we are doing to tackle the problem.
The participation of our president had hopefully brought national attention to bear, not only on the summit but helping to bring knowledge and awareness of the threats posed by nuclear terrorism.
As a matter of fact, this was the most successful NSS.
Gains from the Summit
As we prepare to start a program for peaceful nuclear technology, Nigeria needs to learn and exchange experience in developing capability and procedures for emergency preparedness. We must not repeat the mistakes others have made.
The country is already getting help on the development and promulgation of best practices for developing and implementing a nuclear program. Following talks and agreements at this summit, we are receiving deeper international cooperation.
The NSS is a demonstration of the complete transparency and confidence in the world on nuclear technology. The Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority, NNRA under a notable nuclear scientist, Prof. Lawrence A. Dim, the Director-General led our team to share the progress report of the work we have done so far.
The whole world has come together as one to deal with terrorism. In fact, a discussion behind closed doors on nuclear terrorism based on a hypothetical scenario yielded a lot in terms of International understanding and cooperation in nuclear security. Countries with advances in this area are willing to share with all the others. Of particular interest, Israel for instance said they would share their advanced detection mechanisms for radioactive materials with all their neighbors, whether they have diplomatic relations with them or not.
Nigeria took home an portent lesson, which is that planning and strategy alone cannot combat the scourge, rather it is implementation that makes it work. The NNRA is expected to come up with plans for table-top exercises and drills from time to time to implement and test these strategies. The regular conduct of exercises and drill will help to mitigate the consequences, loss of life and resources in case of an attack.
President Buhari, who has shown a remarkable degree of support and encouragement has promised to do even more to support both NNRA the national regulatory body and the IAEA to sustain nuclear security
The country also joined the others to commit themselves to the reduction of Highly Enriched Uranium,HEU stockpiles in order to make it less attractive for terrorist to use for malicious intent in their countries.
The summit created world-wide awareness on the scourge of terrorism and for better protection and securing nuclear and radiological materials. Aside the these gains, there were bilateral meetings with other world leaders which resulted in the following gains
*There is no truth to the widespread speculation that President Obama will visit Nigeria before he ends his term but the Secretary of State John Kerry will be the one to come. Obama has earlier promised our President that he will come to Nigeria after he leaves office. An Obama visit has been the desire of Nigerians and Nigerian Leaders.
*The government of United States has made a commitment to spend 600m US$ in Nigeria arising from this visit.
*The United Nations made a commitment of 800m US$ towards the rebuilding of the North-East part of Nigeria destroyed by terrorists.
*The Government of Demark has expressed interest in investing in agricultural sector in Nigeria. This is also from one of the side meetings of the President during the NSS.
*The Japanese Government is very desirous of working with, and in assisting Nigeria. This is being worked by both parties.
*The US government through the Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and his office have pledged to support Nigeria’s effort to establish nuclear Security Infrastructure in all its ramification. They also pledged assistance in the areas of research and forensics development.
The overall achievement of the summit Is that it strengthened the nuclear security architecture at national, regional and global levels. It also broadened the ratification and implementation of international legal instruments regarding nuclear security. Participating nations agreed to to place all nuclear facilities under the highest security surveillance. They also agreed to increase individual and collective capacity to protect their borders against nuclear smuggling and radiological sources.
Nigeria gained international acceptance of its nuclear programs which are designed for peaceful purposes. But there is still much to be done by our parliament in domesticating international agreements, instruments and conventions signed by our governments. Some of these draft laws have been lingering in the legislature since 1999. “We have signed all the agreements, but Nigeria needs a new, comprehensive legal and regulatory framework” says Professor Dim.
With the progress so far achieved, the minister of Power, Babatunde Raji Fashola is optimistic that the foundation for this country’s first nuclear power plant, using the safest technology to produce 1,000 MW may be laid in four years.
With a president who takes great interest in these matters, nuclear energy may be the panacea to the unreliability of oil and gas in the provision of electricity in our country.
 -Malam Garba Shehu SSA Media & Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari

Leader Of Al-Qaeda-Linked Islamist Group, Ansaru, Arrested By Nigerian Army – Report

The leader of al-Qaeda-linked Islamist group Ansaru has been arrested in Nigeria, authorities there say. A military spokesman said Khalid al-Barnawi was captured in Lokoja, capital of the central state of Kogi.

The US had placed a $5m (£3.5m) bounty on his head after branding him one of three Nigerian “specially designated global terrorists” in 2012.

Ansaru is a splinter group of Nigeria’s largest jihadist group, Boko Haram, known for kidnapping foreigners. Ideologically aligned to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, it is also accused of killing a number of Westerners.

Ansaru said it carried out an attack on a maximum security prison in the Nigerian capital Abuja in 2012, freeing dozens of inmates.

“Security agents made a breakthrough on Friday in the fight against terrorism by arresting Khalid al-Barnawi, the leader of Ansaru terrorist group in Lokoja,” military spokesman Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar said.

“He is among those on top of the list of our wanted terrorists.”

Source: BBC

We’re Determined To Succeed —Osinbajo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday said President Muhammadu Buhari and himself were determined to give good account of themselves in their respective offices.

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, the Vice-President spoke while receiving a delegation of his Law Faculty class mates with whom he attended the University of Lagos between 1975 and 1978.

He also promised that all efforts would be put in place to ensure that Nigeria makes good progress under the current administration.

“The President and I are determined to give a good account of ourselves and more importantly ensure that the country makes a good progress,” the Vice-President reportedly told his guests.

He said Nigeria had a unique opportunity  to become a great country with the kind of leader that currently at the helm of affairs.

He called on Nigerians to support Buhari who he described as “a man who is honest and whose only desire is to make Nigeria go forward and become a great nation.”

Osinbajo said despite the twists and turns in governance, the country had a unique opportunity to make good progress now.

Earlier, retired Justice Chinyelu Anigbodu, who spoke on behalf of the delegation which included  Odein Ajumogobia (SAN), congratulated the Vice-President, noting that his election “is a precious gift to us.”

The members of the Vice President’s class at the meeting included legal practitioners from across the country and beyond, including from Cameroon.

They are made up of justices serving and retired, notable law teachers and lawyers.

Source –

Nigerians Should Keep Faith In Buhari– Osinbajo

Nigeria has a unique opportunity now to become a great country with the kind of leader that is currently at the helm of affairs.

This view was expressed on Thursday by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, while receiving at the Presidential Villa, a delegation of his Law Faculty class mates with whom he attended the University of Lagos between 1975-1978.

He called on Nigerians to support President Muhammadu Buhari, “a man who is honest and whose only desire is to make Nigeria go forward and become a great nation.”

Calling on Nigerians to keep supporting the President, the Vice President said “we should support such a leader,” adding that despite the twists and turns in governance, the country has a unique opportunity to make good progress now.

According to him, “the president and I are determined to give a good account of ourselves and more importantly ensure that the country makes a good progress.”

Expressing a deep-felt appreciation for the visit by his class mates, Prof. Osinbajo told them “it is very rare that after so many years, we can still reunite. I am really honored and humbled.”

Earlier, retired Justice Chinyelu Emeka K. Anigbodu who spoke on behalf of the delegation that included former federal minister, Odein Ajumogobia, SAN, congratulated the Vice President, noting that his election “is a precious gift to us.”

The members of the Vice President’s class at the meeting included legal practitioners from across the country and beyond, including from Cameroon. They are made up of Justices serving and retired, notable law teachers and lawyers.

Credit: Leadeship

Nigerians Should Please Bear With Us On Fuel Scarcity– Kachikwu

At a time Nigerians are expecting respite from the pangs of the lingering fuel scarcity in the country, Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, has dashed their hopes, stating that the current queues at gas stations would persist till late May. The minister, who doubles as Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, added that he was not a magician to make the queues disappear overnight.

According to him, it is even a “magic” that the stations are still getting volume of products they dispense to the public, judging from the prevailing circumstances at NNPC. The minister also revealed that NNPC’s import rates had moved form 50 per cent to all-time rate of 100 percent, saying the 445,000 barrels allocated to crude swap now service 50 to 55 per cent importation of refined product. But giving a glimmer of hope on how to achieve lasting solution to the product scarcity, Kachikwu said government was working to beef up the reserves.

He stated that when the refineries come on full stream, locally refined products would be left unsold in the reservoir to boost supply and availability of the products. The minister was fielded questions from State House correspondents after leading officials of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas, NUPENG, and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, to a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja,yesterday.

 Kachikwu He said: “One of the trainings I did not receive is that of a magician but I am working very hard to ensure some of these issues go away. And let’s be honest, for the five, six months, we have been here, NNPC has moved from a 50 percent importer of products to basically a 100 percent importer. And the 445,000 barrels that were allocated was to cover between 50 and 55 percent importation.

“So, it is quite frankly sheer magic that we even have some amount of products at the stations. We are looking to see how to get foreign exchange input. The President and I discussed extensively on how to get more crude directed at importation.

“His excellency will rather have less crude but have individuals in the society suffer less with inconveniences than have more crude and have them continue to suffer.

“So, we are going to put a new model to enable us increase the pace and actually get majors as part of the crew of those to bring in more products, so that the NNPC will sort of go back on the capacity of what it used to do and the majors will take over the balance of importation.

“I think if we do that, although I don’t want to put a time frame, but I will expect that over the next two months. Of course, you are aware the SAP programme begins in April. So, over the next two months, we should see quite frankly a complete elimination of this.

“Our strategy is that whatever is produced in the refineries will not go for sale. We are going to keep them in strategic reserve because the key problem here is that there is no reserve. Any time there is gap in supply, it goes off.

“So we are going to dedicate the next couple of months to moving all the products that we produce to strategic reserve so that we can pile up reserves in the nation and that will push up the reserves in the nation.

‘’Believe me, this is giving me and my team sleepless nights and we are working on it and we are committed to making this go away. Nigerians should please bear with us.”

Credit: Vanguard

Performance: Oyegun, APC Beg Nigerians For More Time

National chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Oyegun has said he was unaware of any threat against his continued stay as chairman of the party. Oyegun spoke at the end of a caucus meeting involving president Mohammadu Buhari, the president of the senate, Bukola Saraki, Party’s former and serving governors, senators amongst others held at the presidential Villa Abuja late Tuesday night.

The chairman who admitted reading about the speculation of his imminent removal from office however said it was one of such challenges inherent in the status. He said: “I am not aware that my office is under threat. I led the party to the State House. It amazes me, occasionally it annoys me. That is one of the things you have to endure when you are in a position like mine. “We discussed all the challenges that have occurred since the elections. And we decided on the way forward.” Conscious of the crisis in his party, Oyegun also revealed that a committee has been set up to resolve the crisis. “It was a very serious meeting that discussed serious issues that have to do with the progress of the party.

“Skirmishes among party members are normal. We have set up a committee that is looking into all those issues and will resolve those issues”, he said. Speaking on the performance of his party’s government almost one year after taking over power, the national chairman pleaded for time on the part of Nigerians. He said that the government would come on full stream when the 2016 budget is passed.

“Basically, we are expecting the budget to be out, and once that is done, implementation of our policies will start. “That is what we will use to deliver on our promises to the people. So we are waiting. “Don’t say one year into the present administration, count this year because this is the year we are presenting our budget and implementation will start.” Asked why the recovered loot was yet to be ploughed back into the economy by the government, the chairman said “We don’t just recover money and spend it. We recover money and it will go into revenue. It will be deployed appropriately with the normal legislative approach”.

Footballer Alex Iwobi rushed to hospital in Abuja after suffering from food poisoning

Rising Arsenal star Alex Iwobi is currently recuperating in an Abuja hospital after suffering a bout of food poisoning upon linking up with the Super Eagles training camp in Abuja. Iwobi felt ill after eating salad with the rest of the Nigeria team. His father has since visited him in hospital according to MTNfootball.

The news was confirmed by Nigeria head coach Samson Siasia. ‘He suffered from food poisoning and so was not part of training. His condition is stable.’ he said

Iwobi was in line to start Nigeria’s African Cup of Nations qualifier against Egypt on Friday night but
that now looks unlikely. Wish him safe recovery!

Jamilu Mabai?: Gov. Masari Annual Levy; The Right Policy Or The Good Policy

The news broke out a week ago, after the weekly council meeting when Hon Commissioner Ministry of water resources disclosed to news men the decision by the government of RT. Hon Aminu Bello Masari to introduce the annual tax levy for private/commercial motorcycles and tricycle users as a means revenue generating scheme.


The charges include N6, 200 for private motorcycles, N6, 650 for users of commercial motorcycles and 7, 500 for users of tricycles. Mathematically, users are expected to pay an overall sum of N19.00 (Naira Goma sha Tara) daily which is more than fair enough going by the economic stability of these users despite income differences.


Government policies differs, there are the right policy and the good policy. The right policy might not necessarily be in line with what the people want, secondly, it takes time before its begins to yield back dividends to the society, implementing right policy is the best that could ever happen to a society. Example when El-Rufai began to restore the Abuja master plan, even when majority of the people were against it, but years later people began to appreciate El-Rufai for implementing the right policies against all odds.


Although, users of these motorcycles & tricycles might perceived the new imposed levy on them by the government of Masari as unFAIR, it is with all sincerity, one of the only ways we can begin to generate revenue internally which ought to have been in existing right before now. At the long run, these same users whom pay their annual levy will benefit in many ways which include provision of drugs in hospitals, construction and maintenance of roads for easy commuting, economic empowerment to aid self reliance and many more.


Whereas, good policies provide short term benefits that provide instant gratification for a short period of time. The outcome result is discouraging, it lacks vision but mission only. With the dwindling economy, good policies are in NO way good for us, at this moment of existence.


For governor Masari to  come up with a vision like this, we hope & pray it gets the necessary backing, sincere minds to steer the wheel, great eyes to oversee where loopholes lies and good hands to patch it up.


Lastly, our attitude is our greatest impediment to attaining our full potential as a society, the day we begin to change our mindset positively towards making our society a better place, is the day when we shall begin to succeed as a society.


Written by

Jamilu Mabai

Online Publisher

Columnist at

Follow me on Twitter:@jaymb000


Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Kingsley Ohajunwa: Before The Naira Is Destroyed (Part 2)

Of course as expected a number of excuses are continuously being advanced for the declining state of the naira. While some have attributed it to Christine Legarde’s recent visit, alleging external pressures on Buhari from the World Bank, others have associated it with the recent fall in world oil prices. Yet a few others are insisting that out heavy importation has nothing to do with it stating that “does the US not import too or are you saying Japan and China manufacture every single thing they need?” Of course they do. Virtually every country of the world imports one thing or the other as nature evenly distributes resources among nations and ensures that “no nation dominates the other if their respective resources are properly utilized”.

How many Nigerians, especially of the elite class spend their vacation in Obudu Ranch resort or take time-out at the Yankaree games reserve? The options will be to go to the Caribbean Islands, Bahamas or some exotic places where they consider to e “serene”. Some Nigerians even go on sightseeing to neighbouring countries. Interesting! A lot of parents will be eager, proud and happy to have their children in tertiary institutions in the US, Canada, the UK and even certain Asian and African countries. What happened to the great Ile-Ife where these parents had their university education? What fate now faces Nigeria’s university of first choice and the nation’s pride- UNILAG? Are we now saying UNN Nsukka and ABU Zaria are of low standard? Anyway the effect of these actions is in the capital flight which runs into several billions of dollars. Come to think of it the rate at which our professionally trained teachers, doctors, engineers, pharmacists, sports men and women go abroad to seek greener pastures is disturbing. We trivialize this economic and social menace with the term “brain drain”, making it look like child’s play. It will be safe for us to recognize that one of the problems of Nigeria is the continued “outsourcing” of our “brains” to other countries to use. This is yet again why meaningful Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) isn’t obvious in Nigeria.

Nigerians are known to e very social people who enjoy organizing and attending flamboyant events. In fact we’re all involved in this. Take a look at every bottle of wine at parties, they’re either made in France, Italy, Scotland, USA or any of several countries but not Nigeria. As ordinary as we may consider this to be it accounts for several millions of dollars exchanged in purchase of these drinks. So, is it that we can’t produce these drinks due to the absence of factories or are they just too sophisticated for us to produce? Which exactly? I have steadily observed as the cost of kidney transplants and other terminal illnesses increase. Early in this century when I started observing this trend, Nigerians were going abroad to have kidney transplants done at about N2m (two million naira), now it costs between a whooping N6 – N10m. Of course as with many other services sought abroad, the demand by Nigerians is high since the country is yet to put its medical system in shape to handle it. Container load of frozen chicken and turkey are usually destroyed by officials of the Nigerian Customs Service when imported. It’s really disturbing that something as basic and necessary as domestic birds for local human consumption can’t be effectively catered for but has to also be imported. If we consider the kind of chemicals used in preserving them while being shipped for several weeks, one can only but create an abstract picture of the magnitude of health hazards that await Nigerians.

While it is generally agreed that falling crude oil prices has negatively affected Nigeria’s economy in a significant manner, one wonders why the economies of some other oil exporting countries aren’t as affected as ours (by the way our “oil exporting” status is laughable since we still import finished products). The answer isn’t far-fetched. Other countries have long understood the way the world economy works. While some are specialists in agricultural produce such as Thailand; others have supported their technological and industrial arm seeing to the manufacture of automobiles, mobile phones and household appliances; yet others have invested significantly in tourism thereby attracting visitors from all corners of the earth.

It must be understood that no nation attains the height it aspires by simply wishing for it, there have to be very vibrant and robust economic, political, social, cultural and technological synchronization of factors that can be used in motivating the human resources within the country to advance a new cause towards its success. It is worthy to note also and understand that in an atmosphere where corruption reigns the above factors cannot find a common bearing for anything meaningful. Therefore, we as a people, must collectively and honestly seek means to add value to every sector of our economy to such an extent that we can attract international patronage, thereby giving the naira a more prestigious reputation before its contemporaries in the international community.

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Kingsley Ohajunwa: Before The Naira Is Destroyed (Part 1)

During the week I had the opportunity of meeting a top player in one of Nigeria’s foremost financial institutions. Of course before now I had always met several people with whom I’ll discuss several things some bothering on politics, others on religion, business, international affairs, security and so on. However I considered my meeting with this fellow a remarkable one; although it didn’t appear so while we were chatting until much later in the day when laid down to reflect on all that had happened throughout that day, including this meeting. As expected we started on a casual note of exchanging pleasantries and asking after the well-being of each other’s family, then to the everyday issues which make the rounds and touch on the areas I had earlier mentioned above. We talked about all these before getting on the issue which concerns him most, our currency. Yes! The naira. At this point his countenance changed to a mixture of mild aggression and sympathy. I could create an excuse for his mild aggression as with some Nigerians who talk about the current state of the naira, but was left somewhat bewildered wondering the place of sympathy in what he was saying. It was much later when I flashed back on all that had happened while with him that it dawned on me that indeed “there’s fire on the mountain”.

While we were having the chat during the day he said to me “Kingsley hold it a minute, what do you really think is the cause of this emaciating state of the naira?” Of course I tried to give a possible reason, while still adding other factors as supporting points when he held my hand as though demanding of me to pause and hear him out and then said to me ”my brother the demand for these foreign currencies is just too much and naturally when demand of a thing is higher than supply the cost of such commodity goes up, that’s exactly what I’m saying”. In line with my knowledge of the economics of demand and supply I immediately understood what he was talking about. It is in line with this statement and what I gave to him as a response that this whole essay will be based. It is to say the least phenomenal that in about a year the value over the naira of a major currency for Nigeria’s foreign exchange which is the dollar has risen about twice what it used to be. Within the last three months however the spate at which the same currency has risen may best be described as outrageous. While some have resorted to calling the governor of the Central bank, Minister of Finance, Minister of budget and national planning and even the President all sorts of names, it is ideal that before these aspersions are made or while people continue with them it will be logical to examine the underlying and general cause of the continued decline of the naira.

The average Nigerian is a lover of imported “stuff”. So it is usually not perceived as being out of place when people prefer things from the US, Japan, Dubai, UK, China and even South Africa to those from Nigeria. Come to think of it from the services rendered by multinationals to the most infinitesimal things we buy for ourselves, they must all be imported, “sent” or shipped in. I was on my way home a couple of weeks ago when I saw a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) whole manufactured by a Nigerian company, I told my friend about the vehicle and as you’d expect he rebuked the vehicle saying in pidgin English “you sure say person fit drive dat moto sef”!  I stood in utter consternation because I expected at least the smallest word of encouragement to the indigenous company that manufactured the vehicle but then I understood his position as being a microcosmic part of that which can be gotten from the Nigerian society. Very often companies and individuals request replacements for their fleet but not for once have I seen a vehicle from this Nigerian Vehicle company in their fleet because we either want to drive a Toyota, Honda, Nissan or ………

Till this day we are yet to develop an indigenous electronics manufacturing company for home appliances and other heavy duty machines. So that means owning a LED television made by Sony, Samsung or LG makes you a “big boy” and buying a Yamaha, Suzuki, Mikano or Tiger generator set makes you a “Chairman”. In fact these days we know how rich you are from the size of generator in your house. That means owning a generator set is a way of life; what is different is the type you own. Can you imagine that! Some even justify this menace of generator ownership by going for “Super Silent Cabins” or a sound proof one from either of these companies. How funny! You’ll be virtually ridiculed by your friend if your shirt, face cap, t-shirt or shoe is not T.M Lewin, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren or Clarks. Infact our effort at making our own clothing here in Nigeria has been degradingly categorized as “Aba made”. So don’t even bother putting on a shirt or shoe made in Nigeria especially when going for a glamorous social function.

Malaysia is said to currently have one of the highest export capacities of palm oil in the world. Reports have it that the boom currently being experienced in this area of the country’s agricultural growth has its root in Nigeria and all began when agriculturists, researchers and scientists explored the rich palm fruits from Nigeria. How interesting! Whether this account in the area of Malaysia’s rise in palm oil production is true or not, the bottom point is that several years ago the position was vice versa with Nigeria even exporting rubber and other cash crops in very large quantities. Today our local palm oil circulation is grossly inadequate. I have heard of people forming “swag” because they drank American coffee before coming to work. Nawa o! American coffee! Is it not the same cocoa that was a major export commodity before its replacement by oil that this American coffee is made from? So what has happened to our cocoa? Infact where did the Nigerian coffee go to? I remember seeing some Michelin and Dunlop stores round town some years back. Do you also recall? But now they’re no more. Infact I hear one of these tyre companies have moved to a neighbouring country due to lack of power supply needed for production. Imagine the number of people now jobless because of that!

The most basic things that matter in our academic institutions are even imported. Can you imagine that pencils used by toddlers and children to put down their first letters of the alphabet are imported from ….. Do you doubt it? Just pick up a pencil beside you and you’ll see the country. I guess this was why our Minister of Science and Technology said Nigeria will soon start producing pencils. What an invention by an aspiring great nation in a 21st century world! The man is “really thinking”. But why haven’t we had “made in Nigeria” pencils all along? Most of our pens are imported leaving our indigenous manufacturers such as Eleganza to beg for a share of the market. The trend has moved to books and other paper materials. Imagine attending a meeting with a notepad or diary made by the Onward Paper Mill when you can patronize one of the big stores in town and get an imported and “very sophisticated” diary or notepad to take for that very special board meeting ……………………………………………………..

to be continued

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Ademuyiwa Adebola Taofeek: ‘Change’ Is A Process And Not A Magical Manifestation

Allow me to reintroduce the subject “Change”; it is a process of becoming different, those with different opinions are those who see it as a ‘fire brigade’ approach. In the real sense, Change is a function of “Process” (series of events to produce a result) which explains why it is not a “Sudden” event.

16 years of this republic is not a sudden event, if those who destroyed this country did it gradually, how then would change come suddenly? With all sincerity, it is a fact worldwide that building is harder and time consuming than destruction. I need not to be a mason to ascertain the above statement. I usually ask myself if Nigerians are sincere with what they want as a people. Do we truly want water on our lands or Mirage, do we seek change or Magic, have we voted PMB or Late Prof. Peller.

For those who don’t know the latter, he was a man that could (according to legends) butcher a man and rearrange in the same vane with the power of magic. The former is a man with the exclusive rights to be called the first citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

To be concise, I, unlike few did a thorough research about his rule few years back which means I was born after his tenure as a Military head of State and I got to know him as a man who knows nothing about magic. My love for him is not far-fetched, it is simply for the love of the state and my only affiliation is to the most populous black nation in the world not of any political party.

I know a few people who wanted our President who contested severally before he was given the mandate to say “abracadabra” after swearing in for them to see a new Nigeria in close resemblance to United States of America.

My enthusiasm to see the Change we voted for is just like yours but on a basis of objectivity and reality. If I were you, I’d look at change from the Yoruba adage which translates thus ; “In pains, the tribal mark is made, but it becomes beautiful to the owner afterwards “

I know preaching patience and endurance as regards this government may make a few question my patriotism but we must say the truth even if things become worse but God forbid.

The budget is an important document to every organisation and society.  It is the biggest working document in an organisation which predicts the success of the organisation or otherwise. The ‘Change’ budget is yet to be passed; the dream of the present administration is (arguably) in the budget.

This is not me throwing stones but the last administration had 5 budgets to work with, we axed them on the fifth. Should we axe the current administration before the passage of its first budget? Doing that would definitely define our confusion.

Obviously, the hardship is bigger than the Change we expect but we must see ourselves as the 160 million Nigerians that are ready to take the sacrifice. If this turns out positive, history will remember us.

I voted for President Muhammadu Buhari not Professor Peller (with all due respect), I voted for Change, not for Magic.

Ademuyiwa Adebola Taofeek


Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Minister Of Environment Visits Ogoniland Ahead Of Environmental Cleanup

Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, yesterday March 14th, visited Ogoniland in Rivers state for the second time this month, ahead of the proposed environmental cleanup of the area. Ogoniland has suffered many years of environmental degradation due to oil spillage and pollution. See more photos from her visit to the area below…

Emeka Anyaoku Rejects Pro-Biafran Group, IPOB’s Appointment

A former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, has rejected his nomination as one of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra’s representatives to negotiate or discuss on behalf of the group.

IPOB had on Wednesday listed Anyaoku as one of the “credible Igbo elders” that would represent it in “negotiations” and “discussions”.

Also on the list are former Vice-President Alex Ekwueme; Prof. Ben Nwabueze; the Archbishop of Owerri Catholic Diocese, Archbishop Anthony Obinna; a Biafran civil war army commander, Alex
Madiebo; and an activist, Dr. Arthur Nwankwo.

But in an email exchange with one of our correspondents, Anyaoku, who said he had yet to be contacted by the Pro-Biafra group, stated that he would not accept the appointment.

He said, “I have not been approached nor would I be willing to undertake such an assignment in the present circumstances.’’

In a statement signed by its spokesmen, Emma Mmezu and Clifford Iroanya, IPOB said the selection of Ekwueme, Anyaoku and the others came on the heels of its rejection of the alleged meeting between the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and a United States of America delegation in Enugu.

In the statement entitled, ‘Beware of impostors’, the group dissociated itself from any discussions or negotiations entered into on its behalf by Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

IPOB alleged that the Ohanaeze leaders claimed they were speaking on its behalf at the alleged meeting with the US officials, who were said to be on a fact-finding mission.

The statement read in part, “We do not deal with nor condone the idea of washed- out political contractors and compromised merchants of misery speaking for Biafrans.

“We value our reputation as IPOB and would like to warn that anybody dealing with any group that is not IPOB under the supreme command of Nnamdi Kanu (our detained leader) is engaging in an exercise in futility.

“Our focus now is to ensure the release of our leader first before we negotiate with anyone.

“We would view anyone discussing or attempting to cut a deal without the knowledge of the leadership of IPOB as an enemy of the people.

“IPOB has chosen Dr Arthur Nwankwo, Dr Alex Ekwueme, Archbishop Anthony Obinna, Gen. Alex Maduebo, Prof. Ben Nwabueze and Chief Emeka Anyaoku as credible elders, who will speak the truth without being easily compromised.”

Source: Punch

3 Die In Lassa Fever Fresh Outbreak, 10 Others In A Single Family Infected

Three persons have died from a fresh outbreak of Lassa Fever, while 10 members of a family are currently infected with the virus in Bauchi State.

The Executive Chairman Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Ibrahim Gamawa, who said this yesterday in Bauchi, added that the 10 new cases were recorded in a single family at Jaye village in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of the state.

He said the outbreak started after a 78-year-old man died of the disease without seeking professional medical treatment.

Olawale Rotimi: Strategies For Rehabilitating IDPs In Nigeria

Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria suffer disproportionately from different problems such as malnutrition, sickness, insecurity in the camps, lack of access to education, idles among others. The vulnerability of displaced persons is a major reason why sustainable strategies for rehabilitation must be considered and implemented at the shortest delay possible. These strategies will provide broad methods to integrate the displaced persons into the society, empower them economically, enrol the children in schools and expose them to proper healthcare facilities. Across the globe today, efforts of governments, United Nations, African Union and other international organizations, experts from various NGOs and the academia on refugees and internally displaced persons are focusing on their rehabilitation. Among others, the Kampala convention which seeks for the protection and assistance of internally displaced persons agrees with this.

The numbers of displaced persons in Nigeria increased speedily in 2014 and 2015 following increased severe attacks from the dreaded terror group, Boko Haram. From the Displacement Tracking Matrix in a report published in February 2015, over a million displaced persons consisting of 149, 357 households were identified in six states of North East and North Central (Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe states). Another 5910 households were identified in Plateau, Nasarawa, Abuja, Kano and Kaduna states. National Emergency Management Agency’s statistics (NEMA) and International Organization for Migration also identified closely related number of internally displaced persons. It is clear that the figures may not be accurate considering the fact that some IDPs camps are not recognized by the government agency. Despite this uncertainty in figure, it’s not obscure that displaced persons in Nigeria today are numbered in millions. 53% of them are said to be women while 47% are men. 56% of the total IDPs population are children which more than half are up to five years old, 2.26% are breastfeeding mothers, 1.2% are pregnant women, 1.61% are identified as unaccompanied and separated children. 92% were displaced by the insurgency in north east.

Assessing the damages done to the Nigerian economy and social composition in northern Nigeria by Boko Haram over the years, the issue of Internally Displaced Persons is a great challenge to Nigeria. Efforts are made from various ends to recover and rehabilitate them but due to lack of a comprehensive roadmap/master plan of rehabilitation, there is no formidable combined effort. At this point, it is important to note that rehabilitating internally Displaced Persons go far beyond donating items to them randomly, it requires a deliberate research based plan which address the experiential challenges of the displaced persons and sustainable solutions, this will offer a strong platform for government and international actors to play. Lack of a research based master plan has weakened humanitarian interventions for displaced persons in Nigeria. The shocks, growing intensity and frequency of poverty, malnutrition, insecurity, lack of education, lack of skills and empowerment agree with this. In recent weeks, 450 displaced persons were reported dead due to malnutrition, at various instances, insurgents have attacked displaced persons in their various camps. The gap between humanitarian needs and the system’s capacity to respond is likely to widen before the end of 2016 if a research based mater rehabilitation plan for IDPs is not arrived at. Without putting this in place, vulnerable internally displaced persons risk getting engaged in a vicious sequence of violence.

Strategies for rehabilitation must come to play, tantamount to such which is been embarked upon by the Women and Child Watch Initiative in order to completely integrate the displaced persons into the society. These strategies for rehabilitation will give clarity to the roles available to the Federal and state governments, public and private donors, national and local leaders, and international actors to address and respond to the growing number of challenges confronting displaced persons in Nigeria. If not explored, the vulnerability of the IDPs may instigate intolerant attitudes, radicalism, and theft among other social vices that could bring unrest. A highlight of innovations that could broaden and strengthen government and international actor in the face of expanding challenges will be assessed briefly for the purpose of this article.

Engaging local NGOs/Researchers: It is imperative for government and international actors to engage local NGOs and researchers who are committed to rehabilitation of displaced persons in Nigeria. The aim of engaging them is to gather thematic challenges confronting the displaced persons and the solutions to such challenges. In relation to Women and Child Watch Initiative is doing as an NGO, questionnaires that address different areas such as gender based violence in the camps, emotional trauma, health challenges, child right in the camps among others should be developed in order to produce a research based result on IDPs rehabilitation.

Awareness and Advocacy: More awareness should be incessantly raised to draw attention of private and international donors to the plight of displaced persons in Nigeria. Such awareness must be researched based. This will motivate donors to contribute immensely to the rehabilitation process of IDPs in Nigeria. This will strengthen humanitarian response to internally displaced persons.

The pressing areas that interventions should cover include:

Security: In September 2015, the deadly terrorist group, Boko Haram, in a suicide mission, attacked members of IDPs Camps in Madagali and Yola, killing 12 persons. In one of the attacks, bombs were reported to have been detonated inside a tent at the IDP camp. This among others are security threats faced by members of IDP camps in Nigeria. Yet to recover from psychological trauma from the loss of families, friends and properties, displaced persons are faced with security challenges coupled with a responsibility to protect themselves in their various camps. The inadequacy of security at the IDP camps opens them to attacks from terrorists and armed robbers.

Nutrition and Welfare:  In February 2016, news reported that 450 internally displaced persons died of malnutrition ( Feeding is key to sustenance of life, thus, fair distribution of food items should be provided particularly for breast feeding mothers and children at the IDPs camps.

Shelter: In February 2016, IDPs in Gwoza were evacuated, and many of them protested since they have no home to lay their heads. Provision for shelter should be made adequate and durable for the IDPs; this is a fundamental step towards their recovery.

Olawale Rotimi

BA, MA Ilorin, DELF Paris?

Olawale can be reached via or +2348105508224

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Saheed Animashaun: The Wailing Wailers And The Die Hard Buharists; A Tale Of Two Extremes

Power, especially one conferred as a result of high public office position, creates a dangerous phenomenon. An imaginary protective shield is automatically erected around you. People around you want to please you always. They only say what they believe wouldn’t hurt you. They tell you whatever you want to hear and not what you need to hear! They tell you you are the best ever! They probably only give you positive feedback from people as regards your administration.

This is why I don’t envy President Muhammadu Buhari. Being President of Nigeria at a period as historic as this is no mean feat! It is a taxing job; one that requires a lot of wisdom and understanding.

Constructive criticism is needed to ensure that public office holders are constantly reminded that governance is no ‘tea party’. It is required to keep public office holders on their toes! It is essential so as to push public office holders to always act in the interest of the people.

To be more specific, let us examine the current administration. The Buhari-led government lacks the kind of credible opposition that PDP got while in power for 16 years. The PDP while not yet dead and buried, has failed woefully in serving as a focal point of constructive criticism! Their vituperations championed by circus clowns like Fayose, Metuh, and Fani-Kayode, have been mostly pointless!

The onus is therefore on conscionable Nigerians, youths especially, to serve as a focal point for constructive criticism. It is more important for the warriors that championed the Change campaign that brought in PMB,  to be as loud as they can be, with their criticisms. They gave too much, physically, emotionally, psychologically, and even spiritually to the vision!  They have invested too much that it will be foolhardy to decide to rest their oars now!

It is however saddening that many young Nigerians that should ensure that the Buhari-led government gets credible opposition are in two conundrums ; they are either ‘wailing wailers’ or Die-hard ‘Buharists’. The former category needs no introduction! The latter category belongs to the Buhari-can-never-be-wrong party! They mindlessly defend every action or inaction of Buhari! Buhari is a demigod to them! This portends a grave danger for the current administration if not reversed! Not having a credible opposition is bad enough. Having praise singers, the kind that ‘kobalized‘ Uncle Hero (GEJ) is super scary!
Yes, we should lend our praise-singing voices sometimes so as not to further worsen the level of hopelessness many Nigerians have in a better Nigeria. However, our loudest voices should be reserved for the quest to make the Buhari-led government more responsive, accountable and transparent!

We cannot afford to get it wrong at this moment because we’re at a crossroad. Buhari either sets Nigeria on a path of recovery, or sets it back several miles! There’s nothing in between! This is why we can never afford to be docile or praise-singers!
The Buhari honeymoon is over! Unless, we all pretend to be blind, deaf and dumb, we all realize that many aspects of the Buhari administration have been uninspiring, chief being his PR!

We need to always remind Buhari that the wind of change that swept him into power can also sweep him and his Party out come 2019!

We cannot get it wrong! It took efforts/convictions of huge proportions to kick out PDP! Buhari and APC cannot afford to throw away this golden chance to save Nigeria from the throes of under-development.

Saheed Animashaun (@ani_gene)  is a Corps Member and Social Commentator.

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Fuel Crisis Looms As NNPC Shuts Down Nationwide Over ‘Unbundling’

Oil workers have shut down the operations of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) nationwide following Tuesday’s unbundling of the corporation. Members of staff and management of the corporation arrived their various offices on Wednesday morning to discover that they could not gain entrance following the total strike.

The immediate impact of the strike will be nationwide fuel scarcity as products will not be lifted by NUPENG. It is not expected to affect the crude oil export yet except the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) joins in solidarity. Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources who
doubles as the NNPC group managing director, had announced the creation of seven independent units on Tuesday, namely downstream, gas and power, refineries, ventures, corporate planning and services, and finance and accounts.

The group executive committee (GEC) of the the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) convened an emergency meeting at 10pm on Tuesday to discuss the development.

At the end of the meeting, GEC sent this message to all members: “The GEC of NUPENG & PENGASSAN at its meeting of 8th March 2016, which started at 10:00pm has extensively discussed the pronouncement of the GMD on NNPC UNBUNDLING. We observed that the GMD/HMSP totally disregarded due process and failed to engage STAKEHOLDERS. Hence, from midnight today, ALL NNPC LOCATIONS will be SHUT DOWN COMPLETELY until further notice.

Further directives will be communicated accordingly.” When TheCable visited the NNPC headquarters on Wednesday, hundreds of the corporation’s staff littered the road causing gridlock on Herbert Macaulay way. Unionists in red were at the scene barricading the entrance to the NNPC building. Also, security agents were on hand to forestall break down of order.

A staff member of the NNPC, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told this newspaper that he was at the corporation’s building as of 7:30am on Wednesday but met “it barricaded by members of PENGASSAN.”

The Cable tried to speak with one of the leaders of the union, but he said: “We are not here for journalists. This is not for the press.” Kachikwu had said the distribution of subsidiary companies of the corporation would further be restructured into direct management of the divisions. Last week, Kachikwu announced that the government was planning to unbundle the corporation into 30 profitable companies.

Source – The Cable

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:   phone No: +2347061926514

Orukotan, Ayomikun Samuel

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent 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 or 08105508224

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

$20bn Lying Idle In Nigerians’ Domiciliary Accounts- CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday raised the alarm that about $20bn (N3.94tn) was lying idle in different domiciliary accounts of the citizens.

The Deputy Governor, Financial System Surveillance, CBN, Dr. Joseph Nnana, stated this during a meeting of the Joint Appropriation Committees of the National Assembly with government officials on the 2016 budget.

Nnana said, “Distinguished chairman sir, we have $20bn lying idle in various domiciliary accounts of many customers at the various banks across the country.“This is part of the reasons why the naira has continued to slide against the US dollar.”

He alleged that some privileged Nigerians were behind the consistent slide in the value of the naira by embarking on dollar speculation to the detriment of the local currency.

The CBN deputy governor, however, expressed the hope that the passage of the 2016 budget would put a stop to the unrestrained drop in the value of the naira.

Credit: Punch

I Am Grateful To Media, Nigerians– Ese’s Mother

Ese Oruru’s mother has expressed gratitude to the media and Nigerians for assisting in the rescue of her daughter.

Beaming with smiles during a brief chat with journalists on Wednesday at the force headquarters, Mrs. Oruru said she had been reunited with her daughter and they would be leaving for Yenagoa, Bayelsa today.

The trader was reunited with her daughter last night at a hotel where they lodged.

She had met with the IG earlier today before she met with the press.

Credit: Punch

Kenny Damola: A Desperate Memo To Nigeria’s Minister Of Science And Technology

Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, I find it very pertinent at this point in time to send this memo to you sir. I have been itching to bring to your notice a number of issues as the minister of science and technology, chief among which is the neglect of the highly innovative young Nigerians who have been making laudable inventions.

I have never been in doubt of your ability to bring Change to the ministry of science and technology. Not long after your swearing-in ceremony, you vowed to Nigerians that you will indeed “be the best minister Nigeria ever had.” Many Nigerians are eagerly looking forward to seeing that happen.

Sir, it’s important to re-echo the role of science and technology; it’s the lifeline of any nation that desire to grow. Few weeks ago, I watched with awe the documentary of how one 30-storey building was completed within a record 360 hours—an astonishing 15 days—in China.

Nigeria is endowed with great inventors

Sometime in 2014, I interviewed Oyeyiola Segun, a final year student in the Department of Electrical Electronics, Obafemi Awolowo University, who built a solar-powered car. I was very amazed at his brilliance. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get any form of support from the government, despite all his efforts. The last time I heard from him—a few months ago—nothing has changed.

I was held spellbound as I watched a number of “made in Nigeria” mini airplanes, which were built by Aghogho Ajiyen, a young Nigerian who resides in Edo State, take off and fly several metres in the air. Channels Tv Eyewitness Crew had visited the inventor of these camera-fitted airplanes, which were made from locally sourced materials. Isn’t that amazing?

Sir, I’m pleased to inform you that two young Nigerians, 13-year-old Anesi and 15-year-old Osine Ikhianosime recently developed an Android-based web browser known as “Crocodile Browser Lite”. Not only that, I also read the story of one 27-year-old Hillary Promise who invented a remote controlled ship, aeroplane as well as bio-fuel.

And only recently, a young junior secondary school student, Chinecherem, from Anambra State, single-handedly constructed a very beautiful mini-duplex house for himself. It’s a long list and these are only a few of the numerous innovative young people that Nigeria is blessed with. There are still many more whose potentials, when unleashed, can make Africa’s largest economy the true Giant of Africa.

The world is moving fast; we should take a step

The World Economic Forum was held in Davos, Switzerland, between January 20-23 and the fourth industrial revolution was the subject of discussion. The use of Artificial Intelligence, evolving robotics, and emergence of self-driving cars was widely debated. The United States, China and other developed nations are already taking the lead. Sadly, we are still very far behind. Nevertheless, we have to start somewhere. And a good place to start is grooming and investing in the budding talents that are scattered across the country so as to turn our dream of becoming a technology giant into reality.

Mr Minister, I believe the ministry of science and technology should have a think tank mostly comprised of young and energetic Nigerians who are tech-savvy. This will enable you have access to first-rate ideas that can help revolutionize the sector. Also, I think there is the need to engage the tens of millions of Nigerian youths who are active users of both social and digital media. Prove to them that there is still hope despite the age-long neglect of this indispensable driver of change—science and technology.

In my opinion, I think your ministry needs to organise, as a matter of urgency, an effective exhibition during which the finest inventions in the country are showcased. Working closely with the media, I believe this will show the world that our country boasts some of the greatest inventors. Once the best of the best are selected in a most transparent way, they will have to be supported and established to do more, thereby solving many of our local problems.

These inventions can be improved upon through further trainings and partnerships with several international organisations. I believe this will go a long way, at least, in laying the foundation for the future you desire, the one every patriotic Nigerian desires.

Science and technology, once developed, can help transform many sectors—from education, health to agriculture, and trade and investment. In fact, it will help tremendously in fighting terrorism, corruption, oil bunkering and all forms of crime when given attention. That’s not to talk of the jobs it would create for the teeming unemployed and resourceful youths.

Sir, you can’t afford to let the many enthusiastic Nigerians down. We have your copious promises at our fingertips; it’s time for action.



‘Buhari Has Done Very Well’ – Fr Mbaka…Says Past Governments Raped Nigeria

Founder and spiritual director of Adoration Ministry Enugu, Nigeria (AMEN), Rev Fr Ejike Mbaka, says President Buhari has done well since he came into office. In an interview with Daily Trust, Fr Mbaka says Buhari’s stance on Homosexuality and Corruption is a welcome development. He also said the past government raped Nigeria ..

 “It’s too early to judge Buhari, going by what we’ve seen in the past governments. But so far, Buhari has done very well. Look at the case of moral probity, how he, without mincing words, said no to same sex marriage. It’s immoral, it’s unnatural, and it’s un-African. Buhari said it’s not debatable in Nigeria, he said man should marry a woman and a woman should go and be married to a man. This is because, if sodomy and lesbianism and homosexuality are approved in Nigeria, the country will be in trouble. They are worse than economic collapse; because the bedrock of every successful country is her morality. So if Buhari is touching the heart of the country, which is moral probity and enhancing spiritual value, he has succeeded. Number two, look at the issue of Boko Haram; here’s somebody who came to fight terrorism even though there’re skeletal attacks here and there, but the issue of “Boko Haramic” forces operating with flags and taking over some parts of the country, is dead. So, Buhari has succeeded, Kudos to him, no matter how other people are seeing in him, they must learn to see the good part of him. He’s doing his best but Nigerians must do their best, too. Buhari cannot be in Abuja and be in Enugu or be in Ebonyi and be in Nasarawa or Kogi. All of us should be presidents in our own little way. We should clap for him, even if he has not gotten it 100 percent, 98 percent is not a small mark. Now, come to the area of corruption, for the first time, the untouchables in Nigeria are being touched. Courageously, he’s moving like a lion, not to gain anything from it but to save Nigeria from sinking. Take for instance, if it’s not someone like Buhari that’s at the helm of affairs, by now Nigeria would have been a country going for sale, going, going, going…gone. By now, Ghana must be pricing us, Ivory Coast will be pricing us, Cameroon and even Togo would have come to say “how can we buy you people?” But the faith, assurance and guaranty Buhari is giving to the international community is worth more than a lot of things. They see him as a man that’s trustworthy, a man that’s not corrupt, a man that they can invest in his government or country, and they’ll go and sleep. And that’s why foreigners are coming to invest. People are now waiting for the budget so the country can kick off. It’s the budget that’s slowing down things. And you cannot blame Buhari on the budget, neither can you blame the House of Reps or the Senate on the budget delay because there is fluctuation in the core source of the budget – oil. Today, oil is $29 per barrel; tomorrow it is $27 and before you know it, it comes to $31. But remember, the bench mark is $38. So, how can the budget be approved? Which means the budget, under this present predicament is unrealistic. Buhari was realistic when he made it but the economic decay and collapse has put everybody off balance. But, as I said, he’s fighting, saying corruption must die; his agenda is crusade against corruption. And can you imagine that it’s the same people who wanted to continue to rule us that embezzled 99 percent of the country’s resources, sending the money abroad. Is that not wickedness? For me, it’s a rape of the economy. The past governments raped Nigeria. All of them should be kneeling down with their hands up, apologizing from morning till night that they should be pardoned. They raped our morality, they raped our economy, and they raped our security, they raped our spirituality because they gathered even the men of God to be singing for them, and they were giving them money. It is a holistic rape of a country. The way you often fall out with politicians make people to wonder why you’re against them…Politicians want to make themselves god and I’m serving God. I’m a servant of God. I’m worried when somebody becomes an idol to be worshipped and makes himself a sacred cow that cannot be touched. I’m not against politicians. Politics is not evil, and not all politicians are evil. There’re some good people in politics. I encourage Christians to join politics with good heart; it’s only good people that can change the country. Even if you’re not a Christian, and you’re a good man, join the government.”he said.

Nigerians Must Stop Shielding Looters Facing Trial– Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Nigerians to stop protecting and supporting those facing trial for looting the public treasury.

Buhari, represented by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), spoke on Thursday night at the end of a four-day plenary session organized by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria held at Holy Cross Catholic Church, Gwarinpa, Abuja.

He explained that the magnitude of corruption perpetuated by those facing trial remains a serious challenge to managing the nation’s natural resources.

He said, “Our nation has a large number of extremely vulnerable and poor people. At the last count, it was over 100 million extremely poor people that is why we cannot afford governments that  are corrupt, because the resources that are meant to satisfy many are consumed by only a few.

“We must hold those who are corrupt accountable; corruption is a crime against humanity, we must not make excuses for those who are corrupt. We as a government hold ourselves accountable for anything that we do.

“We want to put a system where anyone who holds public office is held to account for whatever he does in public office so that resources of this great nation will satisfy all of us and will be used for the common good.”

He added that the current administration was keen to ensure fairness among people of all religions, people of different faiths and people of different ethnicity.

Credit: Punch

Troops Kill More Boko Haram Members, Rescue Hostages

Press statement from the Nigerian Army:

Troops of Nigerian Army in various sectors in Operation Lafiya Dole have been carrying out raids, patrols, cordon and search operations in a bid to clear remnants of Boko Haram terrorists in their respective areas of operations.

Yesterday, one of the patrol teams of 254 Task Force Battalion carried out clearance operation at Kubwa village, Borno State in which they arrested 2 suspected Boko Haram terrorists hiding among the community.

Another patrol team of the same unit, carried out clearance operation at Yakshari village, off
Wajiroko along Ajigin-Talala road and proceeded to Korode. It was here also that some suspected Boko Haram elements on sighting the troops, ran and abandoned 6 motorcycles and beans looted from the inhabitants of the area.

The same team also recovered 21 motorcycles and Boko Haram terrorists flag at Korode abandoned by the fleeing terrorists. Similarly, a civilian vehicle encountered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at the area which badly affected it. The troops also discovered another IED at Mauvi village which was safely detonated.

In their efforts, troops of 7 Division Garrison, 112 Battalion, Army Headquarters Support Group and elements of Armed Forces Special Forces conducted a joint fighting patrol to suspected Boko Haram terrorists enclave in Gajibo, Maula, Gamai, Gamare, Maiwa, Warsale, Tangli, Tushi, Sowa, Hasanari, Changuwa, Malamaja and Marya towns in Mafa and Dikwa Local Governments Areas.
In the encounter, 5 Boko Haram terrorists were killed, an AK-47 rifle, 10 motorcycles and 1 logistic truck belonging to the terrorists were recovered. The troops also rescued 350 people held hostages by the terrorists. Among those rescued were 5 girls abducted from Cameroon.

In order to boost troops morale and to see things for himself, the General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Brigadier General VO Ezugwu visited 26 Task force Brigade and commended troops of 121 Task Force Battalion for the successful joint clearance operations at Kirawa and Ngoshe with Cameroonian forces.

Thank you for your kind and usual cooperation.
Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman Acting Director Army Public Relations

More photos…

Consumer Protection Council Orders MTN To Pay 1.85m Naira To Promo Winner

CPC has directed MTN Communications Limited to pay 1.85 million Naira to one of the winners of its Ultimate Wonder Promo for lack of due diligence.

The order of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) came on the heels of a complaint brought by Mr Omeje Fidelis against the mobile telecommunications giant that he had been underpaid after he was declared winner of two million Naira in the said sales promotion held in 2012

According to Omeje, he participated in the promo and was called through MTN line 180 on October 10, 2012, that he had won two million Naira in the Ultimate Wonder Promo and that on October 12 of the same year, he got a text message informing him of the presentation ceremony fixed for October
19 at the Nicon Luxury Hotel in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The complainant asserted that during the said ceremony, he was presented with a dummy cheque of two million Naira with his name on it while he was interviewed as well as paraded before the media and the world as a winner of the said amount.

He recounted further that he was stunned to receive another call from MTN line 180 on November 2, 2012 that his winning was 150,000 Naira and was thereafter, given a Verve ATM card for that amount.

In its response to the Council’s intervention, MTN denied the claim of Omeje, saying that he was from the on-set informed that his winning was 150,000 Naira and that the complainant deceitfully presented himself when winners in the two million Naira category were called forward on the day of the prize presentation.

The company stated further that Omeje’s antics were discovered at the verification of winners, which was done after the ceremony and he was thereafter, contacted through its 180 line on his misrepresentation pursuant to which he apologised.

But the CPC demanded for the call data of the communications of October 10, 2012, when Omeje was informed of his winnings of 150,000 Naira but MTN failed, refused and neglected to comply with the request made both in 2012 and 2016.

In its orders, the Council frowned at the consistent refusal of MTN to provide “the call data records evidencing details of communication with the complainant”, declaring that “in the absence of this material evidence, which is solely in the possession of the respondent, the CPC must resolve the issue in favour of the complainant”.

It further declared that “the process of the MTN Ultimate Wonder Promotion whereby the verification exercise was conducted after winners were identified, declared and winnings presented publicly is grossly flawed, lacking in transparency, inequitable and apparently calculated to deceive consumers”.

The CPC, on the strength of these observations, directed the MTN to pay within 14 days of receipt of its order, the sum of 1,850,000 Naira “Being the unpaid part of the two million Naira prize won by the complainant in the 2012 MTN Ultimate Wonder Promotion”.

Commenting on the issue, the Council’s Director General, Mrs Dupe Atoki, reaffirmed the obligation of businesses to desist from promos that are not honest, transparent, equitable and faithful or designed to deceive consumers.

Source: FinancialWatchngr

Colonel Adegbe, ADC To Ex-President Jonathan Arrested – Report

Nigerian authorities have arrested Colonel Ojogbane Adegbe, a former Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to former President Goodluck Jonathan over an issue we are yet to ascertain as at press time.

Colonel Ojogbane Adegbe

A usually credible source familiar with the development informed THEWILL of the arrest Wednesday.

The President Muhammadu Buhari administration has opened a wide investigation into how billions of dollars in state funds were allegedly siphoned by officials of the last administration.

Calls to Colonel S.K. Usman, Acting Director, Army Public Relations, on Wednesday night were unanswered. But the spokesman later responded to THEWILL SMS, texting, “I have no idea” to our question on the arrest of the senior officer.

Also, calls to EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwajaren were neither acknowledged nor returned before this update.

Source: The Will

NFF Fines Sunday Oliseh $30,000 Over ‘Insane’ Video Rant

The Nigerian Football Federation has reportedly fined Sunday Oliseh $30,000 for his ‘insane’ outburst last week in which he claimed that his former colleagues and critics were insane to ask for his sack just because he had lost two games in 11 matches the Super Eagles have played since his reign.
The 41-year-old posted an 8-minute video on his website to hit back at what he called the ‘insanity’ of his critics. The coach has since apologized to the NFF for his outburst aimed at the Nigerian media as well as his critical former international teammates.

It is also believed that Sunday Oliseh will consult his lawyers to contest the fine imposed on him by the football body.

On Tuesday, top chiefs of the football body led by Amaju Pinnick held a meeting with the sports minister Barr. Solomon Dalung on the future of the embattled chief coach.

After Nigerians and football lovers criticized the Delta born coach for not appreciating his job by calling his critics insane, the embattled Super Eagles took to twitter to address the situation..

He Tweeted;

“When I spoke of critics I did not mean the general public of Nigeria! I would never dare refer to my beloved country men as insane!”

“How dare I insult 170 Million people who I love and have shown me so much love. Please forgive the error of editing! God bless you all.”

Since Sunday Oliseh assumed leadership of the Super Eagles following the sack of Stephen Keshi, he has not been short of controversies.

Goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama and Emmanuel Emenike have resigned from the Super Eagles following squabbles with the coach while following the team’s exit from the just concluded CHAN, Oliseh blasted the NFF for not properly motivating the players by not paying them their salaries .

FG Moves To Secure List Of Properties Owned By Nigerians In Dubai

Few weeks after President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the federal government has revealed that efforts were in top gear to secure a list of Nigerians who owned choice properties in the country from proceeds of fraud. 

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, while briefing the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs during the budget defence of the ministry, said the Nigerian government was in talks with the UAE government  in getting a list of all properties owned by Nigerians. 

According to him, with the presence of the new All Progressives Congress (APC) government and the change mantra, Nigeria’s diplomatic missions will be repositioned to effectively carryout their functions. 

On the issue of money laundering and the role of Nigeria’s foreign missions abroad, ?he disclosed that the Ministry is presently engaged  in the recovery of over $300 million laundered money in the State of New Jersey in the United States of America.

Meanwhile, a Senate panel has urged foreign missions abroad to be watchdogs of the federal government in its fight against money laundering which has made countries abroad their safe havens. 

Credit: Sun

Buhari Never Called Nigerians ‘Criminals’, Presidency Clarifies

The State House has described as misconstrued, the various interpretations of President Muhammadu Buhari’s comments in an interview granted to the UK’s Daily Telegraph newspaper on February 5.

In a statement yesterday by his media aide, Mr. Garba Shehu, the presidency stated that the wave of negative reactions to the president’s remarks about the reputation of Nigerians abroad was as a result of an incomplete understanding of the president’s point.

Shehu said: “President Buhari was asked about the flood of migrants from Nigeria and the fraudulent applications for asylum put in by people desperate to leave their motherland at any cost, and it was this question that elicited his response.”

Shehu urged Nigerians to avail themselves of a full text of the interview, which he said was available on the Telegraph’s website.
He said it was preposterous for anyone to imagine that the President of Nigeria would describe all the citizens of the country he leads as “criminals”, when he himself is a Nigerian — obviously not a criminal — and when there are many Nigerians of honest living making their country proud all over the world.

“Unfortunately, there are also Nigerians giving their country a bad image abroad, and it is to those Nigerians that the president referred in his comments,” he said, adding that people might play politics and online games with the president’s comments, but the fact of the matter remained that Nigeria’s reputation abroad had been severely damaged by her own citizens.

“These Nigerians who leave their country to go and make mischief on foreign shores have given the rest of us a bad reputation that we daily struggle to overcome,” Shehu said.

He also drew attention to the many efforts of Buhari to clean up the image of Nigeria, such as the war against corruption, stating that acknowledging a problem was the first step to preferring a solution.

He said: “Buhari is very aware of the problems the people of Nigeria face both at home and abroad, and he is not shying away from admitting them, even as he focuses on solutions to bring them to a permanent end.”

Credit: ThisDay

Buhari Is Not Sick, He Only Went To Rest – Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, says contrary to opinion held by some people, Buhari’s five day vacation is for him to rest and that he is not sick . Adesina who was a guest on Channels TV yesterday night, said Buhari had worked for eight straight months since he assumed office and needs rest

“Any man can fall sick, old or young, but the president is not sick, the president is well. The president has worked for more than eight months non-stop, and he felt it was time to take a respite and he asked for six days leave and he did it the proper way. He communicated it to the national assembly, handed over power to his deputy and nothing is wrong with that.”he said

He denied claims that Buhari’s vacation appeared sudden.

 “Do you go on vacation because you are sick? You need respite from time to time and when you think it is time for respite, you take it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with his state of health. “Nigerians have been lied to for so long that they are now finding it difficult to believe the truth and that is the problem. You have told the truth yet they did not believe it because they have a carry-over of those who have lied to them for many decades but this government will not lie; it will tell the truth.”?he said

Buhari Laments Delay In Extraditing Indicted Nigerians In UK

Buhari, in an interview with Britain’s The Telegraph also expressed regrets that the Jonathan administration had to mobilise South African mercenaries to fight the Boko Haram insurgents instead of properly equipping the armed forces. Full details of the interview first revealed last week also saw Buhari confirm that Nigerians Islamic radicals were increasingly taking sides in the conflicts in Libya and Syria. Buhari in the interview nevertheless welcomed the assistance of Britain and some other western countries in restoring normalcy to the country’s troubled Northeast which he said had been almost eradicated of insurgency.

Noting his frustration in bringing those indicted of corruption to justice, he said: “One of the biggest suspects is in Britain now, although I am not going to name that person. But Britain has earned our respect in the way it deals with these matters. “Our only problem is that it seems to be too thorough and it takes too much time. If there are obvious cases, like bank accounts, infrastructure houses and hotels, I would hope they could do it quicker, so that we can claim these things back promptly.”

As military head of state 31 years ago, Buhari brought himself to international reckoning when his government allegedly employed Israeli agents to help smuggle the wanted official of the preceding regime, Umaru Dikko out of Britain. Also expressing his disapproval of the use of mercenaries against Boko Haram by the Jonathan administration, Buhari said: “I personally was very disappointed that the previous government resorted to mercenaries. I was also disappointed by the recent revelations of how military allocations were also misappropriated. How is it that Nigeria’s military, which has a good record across West Africa, cannot claim back to 14 out of 774 local governorates from Boko Haram? They have to ask for mercenaries from South Africa? How the mighty has fallen!”