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Showing posts from March, 2016

MAKING BUDGET 2016 A TURNING POINT FOR NIGERIA'S ECONOMIC REVIVAL

Most Nigerians are aware that our economy is in dire straits. The economic indices bear witness. Low oil prices,foreign exchange scarcity resulting in rationing, low Naira value against foreign currencies, growing inflation, chronic fuel scarcity, electric power scarcity, worsening unemployment and overal low GDP growth. Many other comparative indices are also on the decline; Foreign Direct investment(FDI), Global competitiveness index( GCI),and Ease of Doing Business while the misery index has worsened. Those Nigerians who do not understand the economic jargons experience the misery index. 
This current economic crisis has been caused by the wrong choices we have made. Most in the past and others in the present. President Muhammadu Buhari( PMB ) blamed it on two issues; squandering of our National Patrimony and the fall in oil prices. Squandering of our National patrimony arose from the choices our leaders have made over time. And even the impact of the low oil prices has been aggrava…

TO BE FAIR, SOME OF OUR INSTITUTIONS ARE WORKING HARD

In our Country, it is popular to criticize our public institutions as being ineffective and inefficient. Infact, some have been fully written off. For example, most Nigerians have nothing good to say about our Police or Customs . They are accused of all sorts of dismeanour but mostly corruption. Recently, our Judiciary has come under severe attack following their decisions on electoral matters. Those who won the cases in court hailed the courts as the last hope for the common man, while those who lost, castigated the courts as being influenced by political and pecuniary considerations. Though the Chief Justice of Nigeria criticized the Appeal Court Judges for giving contradictory judgements which was kind of unusual self criticism or self censorship. I have never seen any police chief criticize another or accept any criticism, they are always on the defensive.
But we must be fair that while it true that many of our Agencies are performing poorly, some of our institutions are working re…

EXCRUCIATING FUEL & POWER SHORTAGES: WHEN WILL THE CHANGE HAPPEN?

Since this year, we have been facing worsening energy crisis. But in the last two weeks or so, the problem assumed excruciating dimensions. In the many years of Nigeria's unmitigated Nigeria's energy crisis, many people who could not get electricity power, depended on hydrocarbon fuels to fire their generators. But in the current escalation, we do not have electric power and we can not find petroleum products to operate our generators, especially the small and micro operators and most households who use petrol fired generators. It has never been this terrible, except in brief periods of National strikes.

What is most disconcerting is that the present government in Abuja came to power promising change and the suffering Nigerians are asking : when will this change happen?. All we hear is that NNPC is being restructured or reorganized. Sometimes we hear that it will be broken into 30 companies and latter we hear it will broken into 7 companies. Then the House of Representatives ch…

ELECTORAL ABRACADABRA & THE TALE OF TWO LGAS

Desperation to win elections in Nigeria is not in decline one bit. After the gracefulness of accepting defeat without a whimper by GEJ last year, one thought that politicians would take a cue and begin to take it easy with trying to win elections by all means, the do or die syndrome. My hope was buoyed by the ANTICORRUPTION credentials of PMB, his personal experience of the malady and the belief  that electoral malpractice would decline in a regime that preaches discipline and anticorruption. But as can be seen, old habits die hard.
Last December at the Gubernatorial elections held in Bayelsa, South-South Nigeria, the desperation to win was evident. Governor Seriake Dickson of PDP had won in Six out of the seven local government Areas of the State. He won in Yenagoa, Sagbama, Ekremor,Brass, Ogbia and Nembe. Then Timipre Sylva and his APC party went extremely desperate and was prepared to cause maximum mayhem in the only outstanding LGA- Southern Ijaw. Elections were held in the middle…

TSA, BUDGET DEFICIT , BUDGET PADDING & THE FALLACIES

My friend Lai Mohammed is running the risk of losing some of his followers and becoming difficult to believe.Following his translation from the Spokesperson of a Fiery party( APC) to the Spokesman of all Parties( Nigerians) as Minister of Information and Culture, I had given advice to him in this column to try and shed his extreme partisan toga. He was a great party spokesperson but he needs to be a great spokesperson for Nigeria. The two require different skills and slant. I just hope he found time to read the piece. I knew that the transition was not going to be easy, but I just hope and pray that he will continue to try. I also know that some level of propaganda and spin are inescapable in the job of National information management, but it is critical that he knows where to draw the line. I wish that he will leave partisan matters to the party spokesperson. Or is he combining both jobs? If so, It will be nice for APC to appoint its partisan spokesperson, so that Lai can focus on se…