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Showing posts from 2015

DEMYSTIFYING & REFORMING THE SECURITY VOTE CESSPOOL

In many  of my commentaries and books, I had criticized the Security vote provisions for the executive arm of government at all levels in our Country. I had done so for a number of reasons. The first is that I felt that the amounts that are drawn monthly by the chief executives for 'security' purposes was too much and dis proportionate to the other needs of the governments. In some States, the security vote appropriation was higher than allocation to Health care for the entire State. And we know that in addition to this vote, specific budgetary provisions for most of the security agencies like the Military, Police, Civil Defence, etc are usually made. Worse is that these so called security votes were also given priority place in cash disbursement. Thus even when we do not have cash to pay workers salaries in many States of the Federation, we conjured cash to draw down security votes.   The second reason I have been uncomfortable with the Security vote issue is that it lacked …

2015: GOOD POLITICS, BAD ECONOMICS

In many  of my commentaries and books, I had criticized the Security vote provisions for the executive arm of government at all levels in our Country. I had done so for a number of reasons. The first is that I felt that the amounts that are drawn monthly by the chief executives for 'security' purposes was too much and dis proportionate to the other needs of the governments. In some States, the security vote appropriation was higher than allocation to Health care for the entire State. And we know that in addition to this vote, specific budgetary provisions for most of the security agencies like the Military, Police, Civil Defence, etc are usually made. Worse is that these so called security votes were also given priority place in cash disbursement. Thus even when we do not have cash to pay workers salaries in many States of the Federation, we conjured cash to draw down security votes.   The second reason I have been uncomfortable with the Security vote issue is that it lacked …

THE JUDICIAL DECIMATION OF PDP AND ITS IMPLICATIONS

In the history of elections in Nigeria I had never seen the type of reversals of electoral results by the courts as we have seen in recent times. Last week was particularly spectacular as the appeal courts in Abuja, Lafia, Owerri and Enugu went on a kind of stampede and by the time the week ran out, a significant number of seats won by the PDP in the legislature, especially the senate had been annulled. In Rivers state, it was more like a tsunami that completely wiped out all the electoral victories of the PDP in the last General elections. And except for one case in Nassarawa that affected the APC, almost all the judgements were against the PDP. Very Puzzling!    By the last count PDP had lost Taraba and Rivers State, through judicial declarations and I have heard comments about the puzzle of the Taraba case. The tribunal that was seating in Abuja because of security conditions annulled the Taraba gubernatorial elections and handed victory to APC because the party primary that elec…

PRO- BIAFRA PROTESTS, NORTHERN TRADITIONAL RULERS & PEACE MAKING

In late October this year, I wrote an article titled " The implications of the resurgence of the Biafra Movement". In that article I advised the Federal Government to learn a few lessons from our recent poor handling of dissents and conflicts in our Nation and to try to engage the agitators for Biafra and to find out their grouse. I had opined that the unity of our Country is work in progress and as a Nation, we have advertently or inadvertently injured certain individuals or groups to the extent that they feel so unhappy with the Nation and would wish to opt out or failing may wish to pull down the roof on all of us. I also indicated that from all I had seen and heard, the pro-Biafran agitation did not start after May this year when President Muhammadu Buhari came to power. Those who read news or watch Television would have read about or seen one Chief Ralph Uwazurike and his movement for the Actualization of the sovereign State of Biafra( MASSOB) in the last couple of ye…

NEED FOR AN ENTREPRENEURIAL REVOLUTION IN NIGERIA!

Global development is entering a phase where Entrepreneurship will increasingly play a more important role. An analysis of sources of economic growth by the World Bank( 2013), finds that the biggest differences between developed and developing economies are in innovation performances. It emphasizes that while Entrepreneurship and Innovation are very critical for economic growth,they have also become increasingly important for addressing major development Challenges, such as the ones related to poverty, inclusion and sustainability.
   According to the World Institute for Development Economics Research( United Nations University), it is expected that Entrepreneurship will continue to make significant contribution to growth and employment generation in advanced, emerging and least developed economies alike. This is a reasonable expectation- one that is supported by recent findings of historians, economists and management scientists.   In the highly industrialized West, economy of the 1970…

GLOBAL TERRORISM: LIVING THROUGH THE THIRD WORLD WAR

Last year , I wrote an article titled "Alqueda, ISIS, Alshabab  & Boko Haram: Different manifestations of the devil set loose" in which I opined that the extreme Islamic Fundamentalism that we were witnessing in many parts of the World was nothing but the end time manifestations of the devil as predicted in the Holy Bible . But last week after the Paris multiple terrorist attacks that took more than 129 lives ( now risen to over 180), the Pope brought home to me the reality when he declared that was happening was akin to a Third World War . This categorization resonated with me so much and I presume with many other people. The French President called it a war against France but in reality  it is much more than that. It is a global war.    Looking back now, we can see that the war started on the 11th of September, 2001 in the United States of America with Alqueda leading the war. In that first shot, over 2000 citizens of many Nations were killed. Before now, the group was…

QUICK WINS FOR THE NEW MINISTERS

After nearly six months of being sworn in as President, Muhammadu Buhari in turn swore in 36 ministers last week. Thus ending his reign as a kind of sole administrator and setting a record as the President that took the longest time to swear in his ministers in the history of our 55year old Nation and perhaps competing for the top position globally. From all indications, it was clear that the President took all this time because he did not seem to fully appreciate the value these ministers will bring into his governance, or as was speculated, he was searching for " human Angels" to populate his cabinet. When he released a partial list at the last minute of the end of September in order not to fail his own chosen time limit, and then the second list early in October, Nigerians did not see any 'Angel'on the list. Except for a few exceptions, all the ministerial nominees were regular human beings, some previously recycled- past governors, past ministers, past senators…

PRESIDENT BUHARI AND THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH

Where I grew up in Portharcourt, there was a woman fondly called "Madam Ho-Ha". She was not one to hold back on any information and she expressed her mind freely. She would call a spade by its name, not an instrument for digging because as we all know, several instruments can be used to dig a hole, including one aptly called digger, which of course is completely different from a spade. "Madam Ho-Ha" suffered no fools and did not understand the concept of diplomatic speaking or double speak. Many people liked her for her forthrightness, because she would say what many knew but were afraid to say. She was fearless and those who really did not like her, were those she freely commented on their follies or escapades in the community, some of which were done in the cover of the night, when they thought no one was watching. Of course some of those who did not like her, included those who liked her before, when she commented on or castigated other people, but started to …

CBN INTERVENTION FUND: DISMANTLING ROAD BLOCKS FOR SMES

As at February this year, only 40.3 Billion naira out of the 220Billion Naira intervention funds of the Micro,Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund( MSMED) launched by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014 has been disbursed. What is worse is that only 814 million had been released to the commercial banks to fund only 21 Projects, while 2 billion Naira had been released to Microfinance Banks( MFBs) and 100 million to Finance institutions. According to CBN, they were hoping that by the end of this year, they would have released up to half of the fund. But evidence on the ground shows that not much has improved since February when the above information was released. And before the MSMED there was the Real Sector Fund of about 500 billion Naira, more than half of which is still not disbursed and from which very few SMEs have benefitted.
STATUS OF THE ECONOMY
  The year started rather slowly because of the pending elections which eventually were concluded in April. Then we entered in…

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE RESURGENCE OF THE BIAFRA MOVEMENT

In the year 2001 or 2003, I can not quite remember exactly, I was on the road traveling between Umuahia and Aba in Abia State when we were forced to make way for a convoy of vehicles, mainly buses carrying young men, many literarily standing on the doors and roofs of the vehicles. I was wondering who these 'crazy' people were who pushed us out of the road as they blazed their siren and horns. I was startled when I saw in each of the vehicles, fluffing in the wind, flags bearing the Biafran coat of arms- the rising sun. I shook my head and told myself that these men were crazy. What the hell did they mean by flying the flags of the defunct Biafra brazenly in the face of all of us. When I enquired who these people were, my driver told me that they were the MASSOB-the Biafra boys. I shook my head again, and told my self that these guys did not know what they were doing. If they knew what we suffered in trying to actualize Biafra between 1996-1970, they would not be searching fo…

SHOCKING THE ECONOMY BACK TO LIFE

That the Nigerian Economy is in dire straits is pretty obvious to all. What may be in dispute is who or what caused the malaise. A section of the Nigerian People blames the last government. For them, the last government did nothing but ruin the economy. Another section blames the incumbent government. They accuse the President of having no idea on how to run the economy and that his inexcusable delay in constituting his cabinet has dragged our economy down.But irrespective of which side of this largely uninformed debate any one may belong, the signs of a struggling economy are evident. Blaming anybody or passing buck will not help.We have a national economic challenge which we must confront speedily.
 National income has dropped by half or so, Gross domestic product(GDP) has declined to 2.34%, the lowest in nearly 10 years, and analysts( including the CBN Governor) predict a recession in 2016, inflation is almost at 10%, the Naira continues to decline against the dollar at the parall…