Posts

Showing posts from 2017

POVERTY ERADICATION, NEW EDUCATIONAL ORIENTATION & SCHOOL FOR LIFE

On the 9th of December this year, I was at the Gregory University Uturu( GUU)Abia State at the 2nd Convocation Ceremony of the young tertiary institution. I listened to several academic speeches but was thoroughly impressed by the Convocation lecture delivered by His Excellency Edward D. Singhatey, Vice-President of the ECOWAS Commission. His speech on ' Poverty eradication through capacity building and socio-economic empowerment' resonated so much with me, perhaps because this has become my life's work. In our foundation- SOFEE, and much of the other work we do, our primary focus is on economic empowerment based on capability and capacity enhancement.
  But whereas our interventions have been focused mainly at post-formal education points- young graduates, young businessmen & entrepreneurs or those transiting from paid employment to self-employment, HE Edward Singhatey seems to propose a more radical approach to dealing with this issue. Hear him-" We fervently bel…

WHY WE MUST BE MERRY THIS CHRISTMAS

Image
Today is Christmas Day 2017. All over the World, Christians and non-Christians, believers and unbelievers, Men and Women, mono-sexuals and bi-sexuals, young and old are observing the Christmas holidays; many in joyful moods, most celebrating, even if some do not quite know what the celebrations are about. Particularly in Nigeria, the whole Country is bursting with activities following a month long build up. In many cities in Nigeria but more so in Lagos, it has been very difficult to move around in the last couple of weeks as Christmas approached. Nobody has been able to provide me with convincing reasons why this happens every year. I am told that every body wakes up around this time to ensure they do business (good & bad) before the year expires. For some, they must get money to complete their new houses or buy new cars. Why would people wait till a few weeks to year end to wake up and start running around and clogging the streets? Difficult to answer. Then I am told that people…

$1BILLION TO FIGHT DEGRADED & TECHNICALLY DEFEATED INSURGENTS?

Nigeria is an interesting case, the more you look,the less you see, the more things seem to change, the more they remain the same. Otherwise how can Nigerians be told in bright day light that one billion dollars which is equivalent to at least 360 Billion Naira has been withdrawn from the excess crude account to fight a" degraded and technically defeated Boko Haram"? This development raises a few questions.   The first question is, do we need this size of money for this kind of exercise at this point? If we do, what happened to all the money that have been thrown into this war since it started, especially since this government took over the battle and succeeded in "degrading and technically defeating "the insurgents in North East? The second question is, that if the situation is so bad that this quantum  of money is needed at this point, then does it mean, that what we have been fed with all this while is propaganda? More so, we have been constantly told that the B…

CENTAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN) INTERVENTION FUNDS AND THE RESURRECTION OF THE BANKERS EQUITY FUND

Image
A couple of days ago I was pleasantly surprised by the announcement that the Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN ), has released the modalities for the operation of the 26.87 billion Naira Agri-Business Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) which was approved by the Bankers Committee at their meeting held in February this year (2017). They agreed under the persuasion of the CBN to set aside 5% of their Profit after Tax (PAT) annually to create an equity fund with which they will invest in Agri-Businesses and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), including start-ups. So soon 26.87 billion Naira has already been raised and an SPV named Bankers Fund Managers Ltd is up and running, geared to begin investing.   I was excited that the CBN is pushing on all sides to provide investible capital to complement the various intervention development loans it has been pushing to help heal a major disease afflicting Nigeria's small businesses - poor access to funding. However my …

IMO PEOPLE TRULY DESERVE TO BE HAPPY

Image
"Since the days of John the Baptist, the Kingdom of God suffereth violence and the violent taketh it by force" This biblical quotation amply describes what has been happening in IMO State of Nigeria for a while now. Men with deep pockets and flirting democratic credentials but with heavy appetite for Vanity and theatrics have taken the reigns of power in Imo State, and the State has been groaning.
   It is very disheartening that politicians who rode to power on popular vote of resentment against the orchestrated high handedness of the previous regime against some Roman Catholic Priest and other sundry misdeamenours have now turned full cycle to rule the people who brought them to power with iron fists. For a long time in IMO, many people have been in pain- Civil servants, Contractors, Reverend fathers, Traditional rulers, Mechanics, traders, Politicians and indigenes. 
  Civil servants and Pensioners were owed many months, and attempts were made to cajole many to accept disc…

POVERTY ERADICATION: RETHINKING OUR EDUCATIONAL ORIENTATION

Image
Last week end I was at the Gregory University, Uturu (GUU) Abia State at the 2nd Convocation Ceremony of the young tertiary institution. I listened to several academic speeches but was thoroughly impressed by the Convocation lecture delivered by His Excellency Edward D. Singhatey, Vice-President of the ECOWAS Commission. His speech on Poverty Eradication through capacity building and socio-economic empowerment resonated so much with me, perhaps because this has become my life's work. In our foundation- SOFEE, and much of the other work we do, our primary focus is on economic empowerment based on capability and capacity enhancement.
  But whereas our interventions have been focused mainly at post-formal education points- young graduates, young businessmen & entrepreneurs or those transiting from paid employment to self-employment, Edward Singhatey seems to propose a more radical approach to dealing with this issue. Hear him- 
" We fervently believe that what students in impo…

THE EARLY ARRIVAL OF 2019

As 2017 run's to a close, Nigeria's political  environment has begun to rumble and bubble, perhaps too early for my liking. Activities are picking up with frenzy. Political parties are re-strategizing and politicians are re-aligning. Abubakar Atiku just resigned from APC, classifying it as a one-man party which is an opinion shared by many within and outside the party. Some say it is a two-man party broken into two- Buhari for the North and Tinubu for the South. People have criticized Atiku for moving too often from party to party and Atiku has defended himself that as a democrat, he gravitates to the party with the best democratic credentials at any given time and secondly that he has a mission to accomplish for Nigeria and he will use the best political platform he can find to attain it. He seems to have rediscovered this platform in the PDP.
 There have been speculations as to whether PMB will seek a re-election. Two weeks ago in Abidjan, he seemed to have indicated his in…

LEADERSHIP & GOVERNANCE FAILURES DRIVE AFRICA BACK INTO SLAVERY

Image
I do not know what needs to happen to bring tears from the eyes of African leaders. For over a decade now, Africans have been perishing daily on the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara Desert in what looks like desperate and often suicidal bids to escape from poverty,hunger and persecution in their home countries. In the last 5 years or so the matter seems to have assumed an epidemic proportion. It looks like there is war in many parts of Africa and people are running to Europe for safety and end up being caught between the Devil and the Deep blue Sea. Either way death.
  According to a recent report by the International Organization for Migration( IOM), over 22,500  migrants have died since 2014, with more than half of them perishing while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Malta & Spain. Furthermore the report states" that while overall number of migrants attempting the Mediterranean by the Eastern route were reduced significantly in 201…

IS OUR NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHITECTURE BROKEN?

Image
I am beginning to wonder how our current security architecture is framed. It is looking to me that there are some gaps. Recent happenings within the National Security agencies have bewildered me and because these matters are recurring, my bewilderment has turned into a distress. And I am now beginning to ask questions: what is happening?,who is in charge?, are we safe in this apparent lacuna?. Four recent events bear me out.

Ibrahim Magu who has been a recurring decimal in the EFCC was nominated as acting Chairman of EFCC by PMB who is the commander-in-chief( C-in-C)of the armed forces of Nigeria, which means he is in total control of all security agencies and issues in Nigeria. When Magu appeared in the Senate, his confirmation was denied, because the Department of Security Services( DSS), had written an adverse report to the Senate, disavowing the integrity and suitability of Magu to hold the office of Chairman of EFCC. I was stunned. Could the DSS not have made this report in conf…

NIGERIA'S POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT BEGINS EARLY RUMBLE

As 2017 runs to a close, Nigeria's political  environment has begun to rumble and bubble, perhaps too early for my liking. Activities are picking up,  political parties are re strategizing and politicians are re-aligning. Abubakar Atiku just resigned from APC, classifying it as one-man party; which is an opinion shared by many within and without the party. Some say it is a two-man party broken into two- Buhari for the North and Tinubu for the South. People have criticized Atiku for moving too often from party to party and Atiku has defended himself as a democrat, he gravitates to the party with the best democratic credentials at any given time and that he has a mission to accomplish for Nigeria and he will use the best political platform he can find to attain it.
There have been speculations as to whether PMB will seek a re-election. Last week in Abidjan, he seemed to have indicated his intention to run. This is in character, as PMB has tended to announce much of his policy options…