National Assembly Fails To Account For Over N9 Billion Says Audit Report

The National Assembly management failed to account for a total expenditure of over N9.4 billion in 2014, the latest audit report has revealed.

The money included N9.39 billion for which no “documentary evidence” was provided and N47 million to be returned to government coffers out of which only N360,000 was returned.

The money included N9.39 billion for which no “documentary evidence” was provided and a N47 million to be returned to government coffers out of which only N360,000 was returned; giving a total of N9,440,844,572 (nine billion, four hundred and forty million, eight hundred and four thousand, five hundred and seventy two Naira).

The audit report of government bodies (2009-2014) was submitted to the Clerk to the National Assembly in March 2016 as statutorily provided. The full contents were recently publicly disclosed by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation on its website.

The report indicted several government bodies of illegal and profligate spending, and failing to remit over N3 trillion into government’s treasury.

Apart from the National Assembly, other key bodies indicted include the state oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Ministry of Interior, the Presidency, Central Bank of Nigeria and some foreign missions.

According to the report, between January and December, 2014 under the leadership of David Mark as Senate President and Salisu Maikasuwa as the Clerk, the Management Department of the National Assembly Commission transferred N9,392,995,515.00 (Nine billion, three hundred and ninety-two million, nine hundred and ninety-five thousand, five hundred and fifteen naira) from the general services account to other accounts in different banks.

The purposes stated for the transfer include Senate General Services, Appropriation, Constitutional Review, House of Representatives Services, UNDP Projects and Research Office Services.

However, “no expenditure returns or documentary evidence were rendered to account for how these sums were expended,” the report said, raising question of accountability and legality.

In another case, the report disclosed that the National Assembly management remitted only N360,000, out of a N47 million balance of total personnel vote release and actual expenditure for 2014.

“It was further observed that the total Personnel Vote release for the year 2014 was N1,856,510,517.00 (One billion, eight hundred and fifty-six million, five hundred and ten thousand, five hundred and seventeen naira), and the Actual Expenditure for the same period was N1,808,661,460.18 (One billion, eight hundred and eight million, six hundred and sixty-one thousand, four hundred and sixty naira, eighteen kobo), resulting in a balance of N47,849,057.00 (Forty-seven million, eight hundred and forty-nine thousand, fifty-seven naira).

“However, only an amount of N360,115.08 (Three hundred and sixty thousand, one hundred and fifteen naira, eight kobo) was paid back to treasury at the end of the year.”

No Denial

In May – after the audit report had been submitted to the National Assembly, the Senate Committee on Public Accounts led by Andy Uba (PDP-Anambra) held a public hearing during which a number of government bodies refuted certain findings of the audit report, particularly the disclosure that they didn’t submit their internal audit reports between 2009 and 2014.

Some of the bodies that challenged aspects of the report were CBN, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) and Nigeria Pension Commission.

However, the National Assembly has not denied the findings of the audit report as they related to the lawmaking body – though its committee castigated the then Auditor-General of the Federation, Samuel Ukara, for an “unsatisfactory report”, cashing in on complaints by other government bodies.

The law says the National Assembly should refer the audit report to its committee on Public Accounts for consideration.

After considering the report, the committee is empowered to pass a resolution to either publish the report in the National Assembly journal or government’s official gazette.

Since the committee considered the report, it has not passed the resolution for its publication in either channel.

Efforts to reach Mr. Uba for comments were not fruitful. He did not pick calls to his phone or reply to text message. –

 

 

Credits : Sahara Reporters

DEMOCRACY IN NIGERIA; ORGANIZED CRIME AND CHOREOGRAPHED RAPE

Bank robbers, state looters,blood sucking parasites is all democracy has gifted us it seems. They build nothing, maintain nothing well except their pockets. All they inherited from so called dictators who were selling oil at 10k/barrel they degrade then sell off.
It started with OBJ, they sold off all the government owned quarters from 1004 flats, Bar beach quarters, Legico flats, Eric-Moore towers, games village etc. To whom did they sell it, how did the common man benefit? Of course they now own these assets bought for a pittance. Under OBJ electricity did not improve, neither did healthcare, our roads or education; we should be grateful for GSM. Michelin, Dunlop and other industries packed up and left.
They said they monetized things like official cars etc, their salaries became bloated and we still pay for their official cars. Even now they sacrifice nothing, NASS with a village of aides whose remuneration we bear, our cross.
They steadily increased the cost of PMS at the pump, diesel deregulated would come down (I am sure it now costs 5k/l), the palliatives they said would come soon after. Right from OBJ till now, we still await the palliatives, our protestations swatted away impatiently like the fly that irritates the anus of the cow.
The few rich who were gifted oil wells, whose source of wealth can be traced to our collective rape are ever present to dish out their ideas. How one does not require university education to succeed, just spend ample time washing your husbands underwear. The politicians steal, steal and steal us blind and shove the proceeds in our faces. Private jets, jewelry, hotels, parties, exotic wines, over priced homes…………..consumption, more consumption!
Now Dangote floated the kite, predictably Saraki who is on trial joins the refrain.
What happened to NITEL, NEPA?
Please, please leave NLNG alone, you have not earned that level of trust………not yet.
PMB you say?
Let him explain Buratai, Kyari, budget padding. Let the NASS reduce their salaries and allowances, convoys etc. Let’s know who the ghost workers are, their sponsors, the sponsors of boko haram.
Biko until then leave NLNG alone!

Credits: Okolo Oteri Eme

Federal Government’s Wrong Policy Choices Caused This Recession, Pat Utomi Lashes Out

A FORMER presidential candidate, Prof Pat Utomi, has said the current economic crisis would have been avoided by the Federal Government, if proper policy choices were made, noting that the crash in oil prices was not enough to have resulted in recession. He noted that if government had borrowed money against its assets, devalued early and applied intelligent leadership, Nigeria would not have been at a crossroad now. Utomi, who said this, yesterday, in Lagos at the 2016 Men Summit convened by the Catholic Men Organisation of the Holy Family Catholic Church, FESTAC Town, said the collapse in oil prices ought not to have plunged the country into crisis, if the authorities had acted rightly. He also took a retrospective look at most factors that led to recession in Nigeria and submitted that the attitude of the present government, in the face of the dwindling oil prices, scared investors away from the country.

His words: ‘’There is what we call the big man hamburger quotient which economists use to evaluate exchange rate. Macdonald hamburger in London is exactly the way it is in New York. How many naira will it take to produce this hamburger in Lagos and how many pounds will it exactly cost to produce it in London? This is what is called the big man hamburger quotient. “At that time, the difference in Nigeria’s nominal exchange rate was there and because the major revenue was oil, whose prices had gone down, all that an intelligent leadership needed to do was to borrow against some assets, ensure they continue to fund things, use strong determination to make sure people don’t buy more than what they don’t need because that is part of what happened and ensure that there is confidence in the system so that people will know that the people in charge know what they are doing.

“That would have made people to start transacting normally. But they said how can we devalue? We will not devalue, people who have money and who wanted to bring in money felt that these people are about to make decision that might jeopardise our money tomorrow. So they didn’t bring it. Even oil companies were not bringing back their receipts and Nigerians who were exporting were not bringing back, so there was a major crisis. Instead of the thing devaluing by 6 percent, it went down to what we are seeing. So it is self-inflicted and quality of leadership.’’

Responding to a question on the fete that befell defunct Bank PHB, Utomi said:’’ A country where justice is abused. The Yardaus wanted to steal the bank, they got CBN to devalue the bank so they can get their foreign partners and take over the bank. That was what happened. Regulatory functions are well abused in Nigeria and it is still going on.’’
http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/09/recession-govt-made-wrong-policy-choices-utomi/

Credits : Vanguard

Nobody is praising us for all we’ve done –Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in this interview with ADEOLA BALOGUN and GBENRO ADEOYE, says the Federal Government will tell Nigerians the truth and not how they take it

A lot of Nigerians are wondering if the Change Begins With Me Campaign is about stealing because just after it was launched, two men- Mr. Akin Fadeyi and Omo Bazuaye- said the concept was stolen from them. What do you say to that?

It is unfortunate that some Nigerians don’t believe in industry, honesty, integrity and hard work. But they should realise that there is no shortcut to success except by being honest and straightforward. This is the case with these two young men because I will show you evidence that proves that by October 14, 2015, the entire thematic production of Change Begins With Me had been completed. And by October 31, the theme songs had been completed. Fadeyi was sent to me by Simon Kolawole (a former Editor of THISDAY Newspaper) in December or January and when he came, we compared (our works). However, this is a campaign that will last the entire administration. So, I said to him, ‘if and when we need contents and your contents match our own, we will contact you’. And that was why I told him, we can’t even take your material because we are not changing our theme -Change Begins With Me- because everything we have done is on that and yours is Not In My Country; and he went away. The next time we heard from him was in June 2016, when he wrote a letter to request for partnership. We did not make a secret of this campaign. As soon as I became minister; I told the whole world what I was going to do. I will read this out to you. The correspondence was dated October 14, 2015 and was sent at 3.04pm on that day.

Some Nigerians are incredible people. Fadeyi came in January. We thank God for technology. As soon as I became minister, I called a meeting of all the directors to say that I was going to launch this campaign and after that, I received proposals from more than 20 people, including Jimi Johnson. And to all of them, I had just one message- wait for me to launch my campaign, if your material matches our own, we will call you.

In December, I came to Lagos to seek the support of Don Jazzy, Sunny Ade, Kwam 1, Tiwa Savage, P Square, all of them. I met them at the Southern Sun and told them that they could produce a theme song for me. So how can anybody now wake up and say this was his idea? Honestly, it is just inspiration from God and I worked with a team of more than five people. We invited Brian from CENTERSPREAD. All the time I was telling the world that I was going to launch the campaign, why didn’t anybody say it was their idea?

But some Nigerians have questioned the timing of the campaign, describing it as diversionary and that it appears as if the government is pushing its change agenda on the people after it failed to keep its promise. What do you say to that?

Isn’t what I have sent to you now an answer to that? If by October 2015, I had completed this project, can it now be seen as an afterthought? By October 2015, even before I was confirmed as minister, it had been my idea to launch the campaign and I had completed work on it. Why would anyone say it was an afterthought? Two, why had it not been launched before now? When you take an idea to the government, you must also make budget provision for it. We (ministers) came in November last year and the budget was not passed until April, so I had to wait. And also, there is no better time than now to launch this campaign. Let’s face it, what is this programme about? What are we demanding of any of you? Are we asking you to pay more tax? We are asking you to be diligent at your work; we are asking you to be more patriotic; we are asking you to buy made-in-Nigeria products; we are asking you as a Danfo driver not to take ‘paraga’ (local liquor) before driving: we are asking the patent medicine store owner not to sell substandard drugs; we are asking the customs officer not to undervalue on the job. So what are we asking of you that is a burden?  It is actually in time of adversity like this that you launch this kind of programme. It is quite possible for the price of oil per barrel to rise to $100 tomorrow, then everybody will forget about recession and we will become wasteful in our spending again. Then we will start to import champagne and refuse to invest in infrastructure. And corruption will be rife again and we will return to this situation. So is there any better time than at a time of adversity to run this campaign?

But don’t you think the campaign will be difficult to sell to people who are hungry or have not been paid salaries for six months? Where should they get food to eat and survive?

Okay, we are asking somebody who has not been paid for six months to be diligent, but we are also asking his boss not to embezzle his workers’ entitlements. We are also asking the customs officer to ensure that revenues are collected adequately; that is the best way the man who has not been paid salary can get his money. Are we now saying because he has not been paid his salary, then stealing and corruption should go on? Or that people should continue to vandalise our pipelines? Listen, why is it that the man has not been paid his salary? Corruption! Vandalism! We are losing one million barrels of crude oil daily, you know how much that translates to in naira? And we are campaigning that people should be patriotic and not destroy infrastructure. We are appealing to you to please buy made-in-Nigeria goods so that there can be more jobs and you think that because the man has not been paid, he should go on the rampage. It is a very comprehensive campaign that is not aimed at the unpaid worker alone; the aim is to address the issue from the top to the bottom.

Nigerians are saying the government has not fulfilled its part of the change that was promised them, yet, it is asking them to do their own part.

Even if we did not launch this campaign, is it not right for people to be honest? Is it not right for people to be upright? Okay, because the government has not been able to deliver on its campaign promises, is it right for people to be selling substandard drugs and be killing citizens? Is it right to be breaking pipelines and putting everybody in darkness? I don’t see the logic in it. And why is it that the government has been unable to deliver on its promises? It begs repetition. It is simply because of these same ills we are trying to correct. We inherited an economy that was defective, that was 60 per cent dependent on oil and oil related products. We inherited an economy that was driven by consumption. Even when they kept saying that there was growth, what kind of growth was it? Yes, there would be growth as long as petrol dollars come in and people buy things. But did that translate into employment? Did it translate into more factories?

But Nigerians are saying that the blame game should have ended by now and that this government should get down to serious work and justify why it got majority of people’s votes.

Who is involved in blame game?

Is it not embarrassing how this government keeps blaming the Peoples Democratic Party for the country’s woes when it was voted in to fix the problems?

Blame game! Listen, is it blame game to say that we are losing one million barrels of crude a day, is that blame game? Is it blame game to say that we over relied on oil and failed to diversify the economy? I am not even talking about stealing. We are talking about the facts on ground, that our economy had been defective for a long time, not during (former President Goodluck) Jonathan’s time alone. We have always made that very clear, that this problem was waiting to happen because past administrations refused to invest in infrastructure. They did not leave cushion for us. That is not blame game. And what have we done since we came in? We stopped the bleeding by introducing the Treasury Single Account; that is one. Two, we have ensured that money is spent on essential things alone. In the whole of 2015, only N18bn was spent on roads, but N65bn on estacode and travels. We have reversed that. This year alone, we have spent N70bn on roads but unfortunately, we met over N400bn debt. That is not blame game. Look, why are the Jews reminding you of the holocaust after 70 years? It is not blame game and we should understand this. You can’t tell us to wish away the past. Do you have a magic wand to say that the economy should be running smoothly? We are not even blaming Jonathan or whoever; we are saying this is what we met and this is what we are doing. And now, you are saying why have you not delivered on your promises? Is it our fault that the price of crude oil crashed from $100 to $28? Did we blame Jonathan for that?

All over the world, people hold parties responsible for promises made during electioneering, so this government should even commend Nigerians for their fortitude thus far.

We always do that. But let me give you an illustration. You promised your son that you would buy him a bicycle. All of a sudden, you lose your job. What do you do? You explain to him, ‘Son, I promised you a bicycle but this is what happened. I am working hard to get another job and I will still buy you a bicycle.’ There is no difference between running a government and running a family. I will tell you what recession is. It is very simple: a driver with one wife, earning N60,000 was living in a bedroom flat. Then his salary was increased to N100,000 a month. And his wife said, let us be saving money and buy land. He said no. He married another wife and they moved from their one bedroomed flat to a two-bedroomed flat and also moved their children to a private school from public schools and started living the life. All of a sudden, his employer said he was closing down the factory and could only pay him N40,000 a month now. What will he do? He will have to return to a one bedroomed flat, move his children back to a public school, and the second wife he married will have to go. It is a recession.

But beyond the fall in oil prices, it appears that this government was ill prepared for governance as your party-the All Progressives Congress- has said openly it had no idea of how bad the situation was. Isn’t that where due diligence and the need for shadow cabinets come in? Who should we blame for that?

I was a member of the transition committee of this government and it is shocking to see how soon you all forget what happened. Where were you when we were crying that five days to the handover date, we had not received any handover notes? You published it then. You are asking me this question now. How prepared were we? How can you be prepared when nobody gives you a handover note? You are going to buy a house and you are not allowed to enter until the day you pay, then you get there and see the leakages and all of that. We did not even know that the government owed N67bn in fertiliser alone; we didn’t know because we had no access to the figures. We did not know that Nigerian government was not paying up its Joint Venture to the oil companies. We didn’t know that government owed over N400bn to contractors; it was when we came in that we realised that contractors had not been paid for 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. When oil was selling at $100 a barrel, government did not pay contractors. We have to pay them now. We owe Julius Berger over N70bn, so when we gave the company N13bn to start work, their official just laughed and said it was just to service the interest. You see, we will not shy away from telling Nigerians the truth; it is not important how you want to take it. But that is the honest truth. And we always say, take us as if it is your small family unit and tell us how you are going to react.

But Nigerians are saying that there appears to be no direction or concrete plan by this government to get us out of recession, which is really the problem.

Do you understand what recession is? It simply means that for two consecutive quarters, you record negative figures. Japan has been in recession for 60 years. Why our recession is biting more is because there is no reserve to fall on. When the money was there, there was no investment in infrastructure. You can imagine if there had been rail lines, the cost of transportation would have been cheaper. The cost of transporting produce would be cheaper. Crude oil transportation would be cheaper. When we had the money to do this, we did not do so. That is why the situation is biting hard. Eleven oil producing countries that suffered the same shock as Nigeria did have gone into recession; six more are preparing to do so. Saudi Arabia entered the crisis with over $600bn in reserve; we entered the crash with over 170 million people and less than $30bn in reserve. Nigerians must know these figures. But what are we doing? We were not surprised that there was going to be recession, in fact, the Minister of Finance said it, and so we know what it is. What are we producing? Where are the factories? Where is the power? How can you make your factories work when people are sabotaging pipelines and cutting off electricity supply? When you are losing one million barrels of crude a day, 1,000MW of electricity per day, and the source of gas is being cut every day, how do you want to survive? But what we are doing is very clear as I explained to you. One, we have not only introduced the TSA, we have introduced fiscal discipline. We have been able to weed out over 33,000 ghost workers; we have reduced monthly payments from N165bn a month to about N159bn. We have been able to achieve significant reduction in tours and travels;  and these are some of the things you can do while also concentrating on diversifying to areas like agriculture, culture and industry. If you read the result of the second quarter, there were improvements in agriculture, solid minerals and growth in investments. We are very confident we are going to get out of this recession because we are taking fiscal measures.

Immediately this government came into power, there was significant improvement in power supply and then the Niger Delta Avengers came in.

Even the TSA this government has implemented, a lot of people feel that it has been causing more damage than good on the economy and that it should have been a gradual process because of its adverse effects on banks, which are now struggling to survive.

Do banks in other parts of the world depend on government deposits? When I was younger, I knew what banks did. That is what we have to correct. If all a bank can survive on is for the government to give it N10bn, keeps it and gives the government five per cent, 10 per cent, and then loan the same money out to people at 23, 24 per cent, do you think that is what banking is all about? I don’t think so. Again, why did the government have to implement the TSA? It realised that there was no way it could know where its money really was. Generating agencies like Nigerian Customs Service, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, and others, were keeping money elsewhere and when government needed money, it had to go and borrow when its money was lying idle somewhere. You are now saying that we should take the money back there; that doesn’t make sense.

Do you think this government has the luxury of delaying some of the things it promised the citizens because it is almost two years now that it came to power?

Do you think the government is delaying anything? I’ve given you facts and figures. I’ve told you that the economy was dependent on a single product and that product suffered a serious crash. And I have asked you as a person if you made a promise to your wife and kids, based on your income, to take them on vacation to Dubai and your salary drops from N100,000 to N20,000 can you still keep that promise immediately? Would your wife divorce you on account of that? Can she accuse you of delaying it? And that is why we have to be open. What we need to do now is to look at what is essential, which is why we are diversifying and looking for other sources of income. And we are not the type of government that would pass the buck to the next generation; we could do so. But no, we came with a rescue mission and we are going to rescue this country by the grace of God.

Senator Shehu Sani recently said that he hoped that by the time that would happen, all of us would not have died.

Comments are very free. I have been on the outside and now I’m inside and I understand the situation. Any of them who comments, we just laugh at them because they have little understanding of the enormity of the problems government is confronted with. How many of them understand what sacrifices our soldiers are making, not just in the North-East? Do they know how much it costs to maintain the military? I don’t join issues with people; they comment from their own perspectives. But clearly, this government is people-oriented and the only reason why we are here is because of the people.

How can majority of Nigerians, especially in the South-East and South-South, be patriotic when appointments are skewed in favour of the Northern region?

It is balanced and I will prove it to you.

Will you say it is balanced if out of 17 security agencies, 14 are headed by northerners?

Do you know your problem, you do not take a holistic view of a situation; you take a small view of it. We have made about 260 appointments and I will tell you that even for the South-East that seems to have the least, it is because people forget that it has five states while the North-West has seven states.

So when you break it down, it is equal number of appointees for each state and I will give you the figures. People only try to whip up religious and ethnic sentiments but the facts are there.

In North-West, there have been 51 appointments; North-Central, 46; North-East, 45; South-East, 41; South-West, 45; and South-South, 45. Meanwhile, North-West has seven states, South-East, five states. If 41 appointments are made from the South-East and you divide by five, it is roughly eight per state. If you divide 45 in the South-West by the six states there, you get less than eight. If you divide North-West that has 51 by seven, you get just about seven. So what are we saying?

Which of the agitations were not there before, militancy, cattle rustling, Boko Haram insurgency?

Some Nigerians have accused the APC of using the PDP script after the Edo governorship election was postponed. Is it true that the election was postponed to save the APC from an imminent defeat in Edo?

It is not the same thing (with the postponement of the 2015 general elections). If the election was held at the time or two years ago, the APC would still have won. I have no reason to doubt that there were security challenges and I think we can have elections when a nation exists.

What about nepotism in this government, which Dr. Junaid Mohammed even described as the worst in Nigeria’s history?

I have just given you the breakdown of the appointees. Are you saying the President has relations also in the South-East and the South-West? Or in the North-Central? If he has relations, it would be in the North-West. He might have friends across Nigeria. I am from Kwara State and I am not his relation. Audu Ogbeh (Minister of Agriculture) is not his relation. He has 36 ministers; he could only pick one from Katsina State. It is not as if there are five appointments and all five are from Katsina. There are some appointments that might be from the President’s state and they are not even his appointees.

Why did this government use and dump the Bring Back Our Girls campaign group? The APC supported the group before it came to government but now prevents it from protesting peacefully.

This government has the same objective with the Bring Back Our Girls Campaign group and we will work with it. If there is any communication gap, we are going to ensure that it is restored, but clearly, we have not abandoned them and we are not dumping them. This is not a case of use and dump.

President Buhari may have integrity and other virtues but former President Olusegun Obasanjo said he could not vouch for him in the area of managing the economy. Is that not reflective of our economic situation now?

That is Obasanjo’s opinion and he is entitled to it. Like I said, I have worked with President Buhari and he does not micromanage any ministry. Yes, the President will have an influence on the economic direction of a country, but I think he has largely left this matter in the hands on those who know best and he has never imposed his own economic world view on us.

When will this government cut down on the size of the Presidential Air Fleet?

If I remember, your paper carried the story and also said that a committee has been set up. Aircraft is not like buying a car or selling a car and there are lots of implications attached to the sale of aircraft, how many hours has it flown? What is its maintenance record? And so on.

And these things have not been concluded after one year in office?

The point is that this government is doing something along that line. And it is important to note that this government has not bought a single new aircraft; it is the ones it met that it is maintaining.

Why does this government like to demarket Nigeria?

On the contrary, I think when investors know that you have a President, who wants to stamp out corruption; it encourages them to trust more. I heard a lot of funny things being said that the President has been demarketing Nigeria. Who does not know the situation in Nigeria? How many people have lost contracts because we are Nigerians before now? The truth must be said; this is the time that Nigerians are better respected; this is when our green passport is starting to have value. Before now, we were all just crooks, 419 people (fraudsters) and drug smugglers. But today, you can see that because the President has integrity and is respected all over the world, you can see the reference given to him whenever he travels and that is what is percolating down. I have been to China and other places and I can see that it is not what it used to be before.

Even though this government said it has not started probing former President Goodluck Jonathan, but it seems to have been chasing his wife, relations and associates around. Is this government sincere?

I don’t know your definition of sincerity but if I, as the President, say I want to know what happened to the money that was allocated to fight Boko Haram and you say you gave this man out of it, I would investigate him. I have still not deviated. If he now says out of that money, he gave to the aide of the former President, I would also question him. But in this particular case, it was the aide of the former President that the money was traced to and he was being investigated, until the former President’s wife (Patience) said the money belonged to her. So because she said the money belonged to her, we must hands off? I don’t see the logic. And the accounts were said to have been opened in the names of house helps and stewards and so on. The government did not set out to investigate the woman, but she is saying that the money belonged to her. In law, the fellow who bought a stolen good is as guilty as the one who stole it. So you want the government not to investigate it. So how can you accuse us of insincerity? So if money is found on another person, all you have to say is that it belongs to Jonathan, therefore, we cannot probe him. I don’t see the logic.

In less than three years time, there will be another presidential election and the APC could be voted out, considering the situation in the country. How does that make you feel?

If our intention was to secure eight years without working for the people and laying a foundation for a better tomorrow, then we would be the most unfortunate government to come to power. We have come to government to bring that change. That change will come and people will judge us by our commitment and honesty and by the time they start seeing the results of our efforts, I have no doubt that all the pessimists would be proven wrong. Then again, a government cannot achieve everything in 15 months but you are already judging us as if we have been there for three years. Nobody is even giving us credit for being able to keep the ship of the state afloat. In Venezuela, which has a similar story like ours and has one of the world’s largest deposits of oil reserve, their leaders squandered all the money. Today, people are queuing up to buy soaps there. We are not saying people should start singing our praise for no reason, no, we are aware of the enormity of the challenges but we are up to the task.

 

 

Credits : Punch

LESSONS FROM RECESSION : CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDS WISELY

The Microsoft Legend Bill Gates is often in the company of the sage of Omaha, Warren Buffet. These two men happen to be the richest men on earth. It is not by mistake but rather its by design that these two minds share a common platform hence their elevation to wealth and prestige.

Nigeria is in a recession today solely because the President was unwise in his choice of friends which has led Nigeria into this quagmire. Instead of surrounding himself with technocrats, experts and democrats he went down the road to perdition whose path is laid by nepotism and ethnoreligious jingoism by building his regime on the unstable foundation of a friendship hinged upon a Daura Mafia.

These loyalists failed to deliver the Presidency to him over 3 prior attempts thus it was not until he obtained the help of Professional Image Makers and embraced a Nationalist approach did he ascend the throne.

Hence is it not a slap in the faces of Nigerians that he abandoned the platform upon which he rode to power by returning to his band of failed Daura friends?
What advice that can move the Nation forward can a band of failed friends offer?

Once again Nigerians are held captive by another evil cabal. Last time around it was Ijaw Mafia. Now it is the Daura Mafia. Men who lack sound economic or managerial expertise are steering the nation hence once must ask what are the chances of a ship berthing at a port when the ship’s cook is at the wheel with the Captain Indisposed? This is the tale of Nigeria where Men with no track record are thrust upon us as leaders like a untested rider atop an untamed horse.

Why won’t there be a recession when the only qualification for one to be in the kitchen cabinet is to be an indigene of Daura?
When the inner circles greatest achievement is being blood relatives or kinsmen one wonders on what premise the CBN Governor can announce today that Nigerians have seen the worst the recession has to offer?

When the economy is still shedding jobs faster than a snake shedding its skin and the National budget remains stalled like a car in first gear with negligible implementation I marvel at those who still keep the body language flag flying when the indices of note remain horrific and the naira has even dipped below the proverbial 419 nadir.

An economy of a nation should not be triffled with for its the life blood of a people thus when novices and neophytes commence experimentation upon it at the level of Doctor Victor Frankenstein thus the birth of a monster that will consume its creators is the only predictable outcome.

Until the President sheds the excess baggage of friends he conveyed to Aso Rock from Daura he will continue to wallow in his current predicament where he dished out the lamentations of Job today over his dislike of the current wave of criticisms and knocks he is receiving from “professionals” over his handling of the economy for he would rather bask in the glow of their support and goodwill.

Well at least this proves the likes of commentary by many pundits including my humble recession diary is eventually hitting home for finally the President has been forced to read the sordid tale of Nigerians sufferings in the dailies and abandon his favourite sections; the funnies and the cartoons as the wave of goodwill upon which he rode to power disipates faster than a speeding bullet.

Nigerians are suffering immense hardship like never before. And as schools resume it is only by the mercies of God that schools fees has not consumed many households. Thus the receipe of future disaster is being written as many children are withdrawn from school as their parents can’t afford to give them an education. Even the public school sector is in a state of disrepair as most states are owing teachers a backlog of salaries thus the teachers are compelled to use their pupils as forced labour akin to unpaid slaves in their farms as manual labour is now elevated to the status of the favourite subject across board. Thus a nation breeds the next generation of militants, Boko Harams, armed robbers, kidnappers and rapists as social deliquency becomes a by product of the recession induced rise in out of school children.

But alas there is hope. Hope lies within the resilience of Nigerians whose roots run deep like an Iroko tree. A nation of people who can bend over backwards like a contortionist with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, no matter the hardship the insensitive Government throws their way.

Even in the midst of the storm good friends arise to walk on water to lend a helping hand to another. Even when the Government is bulldozing away the last remaining small businesses in this recession, good friends are building even stronger partnerships and industry.

While Government minders worry more about criticism than providing solutions to problems they created, good friends are solving each others problems in the midst of a recession for that is what good friends do. They uphold one another in these desperate times for the good book says there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.

As the Daura Mafia wallow in the incredulity of their stupidity one can only hope and pray for Nigerians who have exchanged through no fault of theirs, a regime of cluelessness and corruption for a regime of nepotism and incompetence as the recession makes minced meat of a nation at the cusp of an unfortunate implosion. For due to the failure of a President to leave Niger Delta Militants alone despite the advice of more seasoned pundits, he chose the unwise counsel of his Daura friends thus the nation’s oil infrastructure lies in tatters while the military has to divert resources from the volatile North East to smile with the crocodiles in the creeks of the Delta.

Meanwhile Boko Harm is basking in the glow of their renewed breathing space as they have massacred worshippers at a church only last Sunday in Borno State and attacked an aid convoy only yesterday killing scores of civilians and injurying their armed escort. This is what happens when bad advice pushes a man to fight a war on two fronts as the technically defeated Boko Haram has become “untechnically” unhinged in new lethal attacks.

The lessons of the recession are as right as rain. Chose your friends wisely. Obtain wise council from the veterans of economic stewardship. For it is written that a certain king was approached by his people that the hardship inflicted on them by his predecessor was heavy thus they asked for better Governance and prosperity from his regime. This king was advised to lighten the burden on his people and uplift them from a counsel of experts however this king ignored the counsel of these wise men and instead listened to the counsel of his friends who he grew up with who lacked the prerequisite knowledge and understanding; not at all dissimilar to the current scenario of Nigeria where our President heeds only to his childhood cliche called the Daura mafia: lo their advise was to make the hardship on the people even heavier for if corruption was a whip thus the change to incompetence will be akin to the lashing with a scorpions tail.

And in the end what happened? The people revolted and the King lost the support of all except his kinsmen who sing his praise to this very day.
This is the story of King Rehoboam of Israel. And thus history is set to repeat itself in Nigeria if the President does not disban his inner circle of friends and build a new one hinged on wisdom and a good track record.
That is the painful and horrible truth.

Friends can make or mar a man, especially in a recession. Thus one must chose one’s friends wisely. Another day in the recession another lesson from the wellspring of uncommon wisdom. Please choose your friends wisely lest surviving the recession cannot be assured.

 

 

Credits : Attah Essien

S&P Downgrades Nigeria Further Into Junk Status as Oil Woes Worsen

S&P Global Ratings downgraded Nigeria further into junk territory just as Africa’s most populous nation prepares to issue its first Eurobond since 2013, amid low oil prices and severe shortages of foreign exchange.

S&P lowered Nigeria’s rating one level to B, five levels below investment grade and in line with Kyrgyzstan and Angola. The outlook was changed from negative to stable.

“Nigeria’s economy has weakened more than we expected owing to a marked contraction in oil production, a restrictive foreign exchange policy and delayed fiscal stimulus,” S&P said Friday in an e-mailed statement after markets closed. While government debt remains low, “servicing costs as a percentage of general government revenues are high and rising,” the company said.

 

The rating cut comes as Nigeria prepares to issue a dollar bond before the end of the year. The Debt Management Office asked banks wanting to manage a $1 billion deal to place bids by Sept. 19. Yields on the nation’s $500 million of securities due in July 2023 have fallen almost 280 basis points to 6.63 percent since peaking at 9.4 percent on Jan. 18. The bonds have returned 14 percent this year, compared with the average of 16 percent for Sub-Saharan African sovereign dollar debt, according to Bloomberg indexes.

“The deterioration of the Nigerian credit has been going on for years,” Jan Dehn, head of research at Ashmore Group Plc., which manages about $53 billion of emerging market assets, said by phone from London. The country needs to show progress opening its markets and letting its currency, the naira, trade freely, he said.

The downgrade is the latest blow to the economy, which shrank in the last two quarters and is headed for its first full-year recession since 1991, according to the International Monetary Fund. While President Muhammadu Buhari’s government announced a record budget for 2016 to stimulate the economy, it is struggling to finance infrastructure projects, as well as pay civil servants’ salaries.

‘Justified Downgrade’

“An economy in recession and with a devaluation means something is wrong,” Babajide Solanke, an analyst at Lagos-based FSDH Merchant Bank Ltd., said by phone from the commercial hub. “The downgrade is justified” and will make Nigeria’s foreign and domestic bonds less attractive, he said.

Investors will be concerned about the risk posed by falling oil prices on the government’s ability to pay back the debt, Solanke said.

Nigeria, Sub-Saharan Africa’s second largest crude producer, has seen government revenue squeezed by the fall in global oil prices to roughly half their levels from 2014. In addition, attacks claimed by militants in the oil-producing Niger River delta region have pushed monthly crude exports to the lowest in 27 years in May.

S&P expects Nigeria’s economy to contract 1 percent this year before returning to growth. Real gross domestic product is likely to expand 2 percent in 2017 and 4 percent the following year, it said in the statement.

“We believe that since passing the fiscal budget, government spending together with liberalization of the interbank foreign-exchange market, may boost the economy and spur positive GDP growth next year,” S&P said. Oil output may improve in the fourth quarter as government negotiates with militants and vandalized pipelines are repaired, it said.

Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings Ltd. each downgraded Nigeria to four levels below investment grade in the first half of the year.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-16/s-p-downgrades-nigeria-further-into-junk-as-oil-crisis-worsens

 

Credits: Naijarchives

THANK YOU FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY GREETINGS

WHO AM I ; THANK YOU ALL. E SE GAN-AN , MERCI BEAUCOUP , GRACIAS

Birthday is definitely a watershed in the sojourn of humanity and it usually comes with its fresh inspirations that compel stocktaking . Mine was not expected to be different as I woke up on the 14th of September to be congratulated by a few friends and family members to marking the occasion. I was also surprised by the congratulations and songs i got from colleagues and co-workers as I stepped into my office.

In my sublimest thought I never contemplated the floodgate of goodwill messages coming my way on this occasion while accessing my Blackberry and Android phones. Apart from the plethora of BBMessages, WhatsApp messages and many phone calls and text messages,i decided to postpone checking my 2 facebook pages. When I later checked both,I was almost overwhelmed when I saw 1000+ friends posted on my wall for my birthday. I saw many inbox messages.Many also commented on my Instagram photo also shared on facebook and twitter informing friends of my birthday.I have responded to all the inbox messages and those of WhatsApp and facebook/WhatsApp groups. That’s why it took me time to give this official response.

That I am humbled by the unprecedented outpour of encomiums, prayers and adoration on the occasion of the anniversary of my birth is to say the least. Words alone cannot manifest the height of my appreciation to family, friends and well-wishers who through their messages and support via the social media and other available means demonstrated the sacrosanct position of my being in their consciousness. Such messages are definitely profound pointers that the paths I have taken in my odyssey on planet earth are definitely not a forsaken one. I remain committed in the pursuit of my long held belief in a society of the greatest goods for the greatest numbers of people! May the coming years usher in abundant blessings for each and every one.

In all you have taught me new human values and social ethics that will continue to regiment my subsequent social engagements. It is my sincere prayer that God in His infinite Mercy will meet all your needs and grant you continuous reasons to celebrate in life. This is original me who cannot bend backward to impress anybody.

Eniyan laso mi, ese mo dupe.
Ohun ayo oni tan ni ile gbogbo wa!
A dupe l’owo owo; a dupe l’owo ofa
A tun dupe l’owo oju to sin ofa d’ebi t’ofa ti p’eran
Aa ni gbagbe ati dupe l’owo eran naa to gbara duro lati gb’ofa s’ara
Opelope igba omo-onile tan f’owo t’ile ti won ko je k’ile o wo;
Ka dupe l’owo igba alangaba tan f’owo ti egbe ogiri ti won o je k’ogiri o ye;
Bi kii baa n se ola abata, odo i ba san bi?!
Bi kii baa n se ola baba omo, nbo l’omo i ba ti yan?!
A dupe, a s’eba l’owo Elejua ti n je as’eda, am’eda, aw’eda
Ogo ni fun Olu-Orun to da ni s’ile aye; Iyin ni fun Oba Mimo to n gbe ni ga
Nje o ye ka dupe l’owo awon obi rere t’Oluwa fi jiiki eni
‘Dadi’ ati ‘Momi’, e seun f’ohun ribiribi t’Oluwa je kee gbe se nigbesi aye eni
Fun aya rere l’oode eni, o ye ka dupe;
Fun awon omo rere, alarubarika t’Oluwa fi jinki eni, o ye a yin baba l’ogo
Fun awon ebi, ara, ore ohun ojulumo to r’ogba yi ni ka; ope n la lo ye
Bi awon kan ti n te w’aya, bee lawon kan n pe aago;
Bi awon kan ti n “teesti”, bee lawon mii n “pihingi”;
Se ti ikini ori ero isoro k’aye-o-lu-jara ti ero ayara bi asa komputa la fe so ni?
Tabi awon oro isiti ati adura gboogi to n goke lo s’ori ite Baba l’Orun la fe royin?
Gbogbo awon inkan wonyi s’ele nitori ayajo ojo ibi eni ni
Eduma mo s’eba oh; eyin eeyan ti n se aso mi,
Mo dupe o, mo du pepe okun nitori ope oloore, a da-i-da-tan!!!
Thanks to all who sent greetings to commemorate my day on Sept 14th.

The world, according to Mama Peace

A tear for Mama Peace. No, not a jeer. She owes us that much. Let our faces break up and tears course down in winding, tortured rivulets of sorrow. Or that’s what I feel. The former first lady does not see it that way, though. That is the power of the irony. She thinks herself in a sort of messianic light, not for society, but for Mama Peace. She feels wronged, she feels purloined, she feels betrayed. However, nothing will sway her or dilute her resolve.
How come her $31 million was taken away from her, and no one understands her right to fight back. Others will call her naïve, and say let others take the fall on her behalf. But she says, no, it’s her money and the Magu-led EFCC must return it to her nest.
Patience Jonathan is a naïve woman, and she flops about with a sort of dangerous innocence. She thinks it was right for her to open a dollar account, or dollar accounts and ply them with humongous sums of money. Never mind she was only a permanent secretary and a first lady in those years, and no one could make a fraction of $31 million without raising a highbrow. She was high brow, she must have thought as first lady. So she was entitled to money that could raise highbrows. That is innocence, Mama Peace style.
When she pleaded on the hustings in 2015 that she did not want to visit her husband in jail, she was as sincere as when she mocked Wole Soyinka’s regal beard. No one could be more sincere when she said, “there is God O! or when she insisted that she was husbandless in “my fellow widows.” Or when she asked a photographer “are you taking us alive?”
Mama Peace had never bothered about her illiteracy. She has not tried to restrain herself, or attempted a lesson in civility or public etiquette. She had no need for it. She was perfect in her native ‘beauty.’ Some may have seen her as a hippo or anthropoid, or the unrelieved maritime shrew. But she saw herself as okay. We might say Patience was brash, bolshie, bashing, but she was never bashful or dashing.
That is why we must feel sorry for her. She might have gone away with her money, if she was subtle, cunning and carted away the money in guises as others did, so that the EFCC would not discover or let them discover it at her boon companion’s peril. She would not.
Her innocence is rare to see in history or literature, a fellow who is naïve enough to give herself away, unless we look at characters like Okonkwo or Oedipus, who saw disaster and pranced towards it. Critic Killam called it “insistent fatality.” But those are majestic figures, otherwise not naïve. But merely fated by their higher gifts to ignore their special follies, or what dramatists call “fatal flaws.”
Was it not the same thing that propelled former Kano State Governor Barkin Zuwo to roar that he kept government money in government house? Was it not the same temperament that made Marie Antionette to wonder why the protestors on French streets would not take cake if they did not have bread? Or the shoe fetish of Imelda Marcos who made a potential museum and industry out her foot comfort.
She was the opposite of what anthropologists and philosophers call the holy or saintly fools. They dedicate themselves to causes higher than themselves and play dumb in execution, and austere in their sartorial devotions, in their spare words, in the economy of their smiles and disdain for material splendour, in their sacrifices for the joy of others, in their recoil from personal happiness. Simeon in the Bible has been cited as one, as some Roman Catholic Popes, this present one looking like a modern-day version, or Mother Theresa. We also have them in the Buddhist tradition like Buddha himself as fictionalized by Nobel laureate Herman Hesse in his novel Siddhartha. Russian and French writers from Dostoyevsky to Victor Hugo have fed on it. In one of them, Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Quasimodo – the hunchback – organises a festival of fools and he is called the Pope of fools. He exposes an age of sanctimony and moral desuetude.
But Mama Peace’s story only exposes herself. Her revelations tell us two things, among others. One, she unveiled how people in high places take away money in stealth, except that she is not prepared to hide because she believes it is her money.
Two, that her husband was not able to tame the wife. She is the shrew that got away. An English newspaper once wrote that President Jonathan lacked the ability to control his wife. Jonathan could not play the tamer in Shakespeare’s the Taming of the Shrew where Catherina is made from a wild woman into a model of obedience, a play that modern stage directors and feminist rage have turned into a rebuke of the author’s misogyny.
Humans like Patience Jonathan never have the skills of high office. She never acted, and never knew it was important to play roles when in such exalted positions. She was herself, and she was a happy woman. She spoke her mind, hurt people, humoured a nation, created traffic bedlam in Lagos and never saw a reason to apologise. She said she took the money to heal herself. May no one wish to spend such money in a hospital.
The other lesson is the “Baboon dey chop, monkey dey work” syndrome. Just like we saw in the confessions of Dasukigate, people had easy access to public funds without labour. That is the primitive splendour of capitalism. They wanted to turn lazy hours into wealth. We have many of them. They are finding it hard these days because Buhari’s era does not reward the grandiose indolence of the Jonathan era. They are like the characters in Ben Jonson’s classic The Alchemist, where the landlord leaves the home to his servant to avoid a plague. But before he returns the servant has made a huge fortune from trickery, including by lying he could turn metal into gold, and had a pretty wench to boot. The master returns and inherits everything without a sweat. The play, ironically, was written before capitalism. So were the words of Christ, “For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.”
Mama Peace lived that world, and has not yet relieved herself.
Credits : Sam Omatseye

I don’t regret my action — Student rusticated by UNILAG over Facebook post

A 400-level student of the University of Lagos, Olorunfemi Adeyeye, talks about the Facebook post that led to his rustication with GBENGA ADENIJI

Were you part of the University of Lagos Students’ Union executives recently suspended by the school management for their roles in a protest in the university?

vi2

No, I am neither a member of the University of Lagos Students’ Union nor a member of the Students’ Representatives Council. I am only a concerned student. I also made it known to members of a panel inaugurated by the university management when I was invited that I was not a member of ULSU or SRC but only a concerned student.

What department and level are you?

I am a 400 level student of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Department of Building.

Your Facebook post titled, ‘The Senate of UNILAG: A conglomeration of academic ignorami was believed to have earned you rustication for four semesters; approximately two academic sessions. Did you bargain for what happened after the post?

I was prepared for it. The whole thing started after the resolution of the Senate of the University of Lagos. Some of us saw this coming. The resolution was anti-student. You do not make a resolution without the consent of the people it will affect.

The resolution of the Senate came after the peaceful protests we had on campus on April 6, 7 and 8, 2016. On April 6, it was the union executives who went to the office of the Division of Students’ Affairs to ask that the students should be addressed. But no one came to talk to them. On the second day, it was agreed by the student leaders, the faculty and hall executives that a protest be staged. The protest was about poor welfare. At the time, there was a fuel scarcity in the country and the union executives were using the union’s bus to convey students from Yaba to Akoka. This happened for weeks. The protest was peaceful. I think the problem was ego. No member of the management came to address the students for two days.

On the third day, it was a siren of police cars and an armoured personnel carrier that woke us at 6am. We were also sent text messages to vacate the halls of residence by 10am as academic activities had been suspended. The student leaders saw the directive as draconian. We all insisted that we would not leave the campus. A student mounted the armoured personnel carrier playfully and the police officer in it drove head on until it hit the school gate and its roof opened. The student was not injured and after sometime, we decided to go home. We were at home for three weeks. Later, the management asked us to resume for examination and that there would be rationing of electricity from 7am to 7pm. All students were also told to sign an indemnity form with our parents and take an oath before we could be reabsorbed into the university. The union and its constitution were also suspended. This is a union that was just reinstated after 10 years of proscription. I saw all these as failure on the part of the Senate and an attempt to curb and crush the union. All these made me to pick my pen and write about the Senate of the University of Lagos. I later posted it on my Facebook page.

In the post, you specifically mentioned some lecturers and the vice-chancellor of the institution who you accused of certain failings in the discharge of their academic and leadership duties respectively. What was your motivation?

I was not pushed by any allure of social media. I did it because I was convinced that there was administrative failure. I am of the opinion that a citadel of learning should provide solutions. It should be a place where policy-makers should run to for ideas and a place of solution for the society. But what we have in the university today is far from that.

What happened after the post?

We were allowed to sit for examination and after it ended, those targeted were called to appear before a panel one after the other. It was done that way so that it would not appear as ‘scapegoatism.’ I was sent a letter to appear before a panel on allegation of social misconduct. The panel was called ‘Special Senate disciplinary panel on the recent students’ protest.’ I explained what I meant in the article to members of the panel. It was later that I got a letter rusticating me from the university for four semesters.

What was your first reaction when you got the letter of rustication from the university?

I did not feel any way. I read it and saw that I had been rusticated.

What are you doing to appeal the management’s decision?

On ethical grounds, I would say the reversal of the rustication should be at the discretion of the university management. But on legal grounds, I pray that the reversal comes soon. We are in court already. The case will come up on October 10. Besides, I wrote a letter of appeal to the pro-chancellor and chancellor of the university. I explained all that happened. Others executives of the union also did the same.

Do you regret your action?

I cannot regret doing what is right. Some people told me that it is proper to be anonymous when posting such an article. They also urged me to deny the post and say that my account was hacked. I see that as ‘quackery of activism.’ The decay in our society has got to a level that if one is addressing issues, it is also important to face personalities. If I had been anonymous, none of the issues I addressed in the article would be taken seriously. I want them to understand that the rot in the society starts from the education sector.

Did you receive telephone calls and text messages from friends and colleagues that you should delete it after the post generated reactions?

Nobody did that. After the post, I sent a friend request to the Acting Dean of the Students’ Affairs who accepted my request.  He saw the post and shared it. I later sent him a message saying, ‘thank you for sharing the truth.’ At the panel, the members said they got it from the DSA and I think he showed it to them.

Did you envisage how long the battle for your reinstatement would last?

I did not really. But I know that it is a struggle that I am in for as long as it lasts.

Is this post about the university the first you posted on your Facebook page?

I have not directed any post to the university. I always write on general issues. There was one titled, ‘What is great about great Nigerian students?’ It was about academic docility though I mentioned the university there. I think this post generated reactions because it was directed at the university.

How are your parents reacting to the development?

Initially, I could not tell them but when I told my sister’s husband, they got to know. They said I had ‘killed’ them. But now they are calm about the whole matter.

Are they urging you to sort things out quickly?

As good parents, they are seeking ways to apologise to the university authorities. But if they do that, I will be unhappy. At this stage, the university management will use it against me. They used the apology tendered by one of the rusticated union leaders against him. When I was leaving the panel, they said I was not remorseful and that other rusticated students had written letters of apology. But none of them was pardoned.

I know that pleading guilty in court will not make the judge to set free the accused. If anything, it will only make his or her conviction easy.

I am a writer of conscience and did not post the article because I want popularity or anything. Even in the appeal I wrote, I did stylistic and semantic analyses of what I meant in the article. It is really appalling that in this clime we see it as disrespectful when a young person tries to plead with an adult to do some things in certain ways. It has got to a situation in Nigeria where university management sees itself as demigod. The philosophy now is that every protest must be met with a punishment. It is wrong.

What are you doing now pending the resolution of the matter?

I am sensitising people on the environment. It is about humanitarian work. I am also starting a project on the environment as an environmental scientist. It is not part of what I learnt in school, it came as a result of self-education. We mistake schooling for education. We go to school in order to know how to read and write. But getting education is about the norms, ethos, ethics and values that an individual is able to imbibe through schooling to develop himself first before transferring them to the society for development.

Adeyeye’s controversial Facebook post

The Senate of the University of Lagos; a Conglomeration of Academic Ignorami

The University of Lagos prides itself as a cosmopolitan university and over the years has maintained the status quo of excellence among her peers in Nigeria and the world at large. I promise not to make this BOMB as lengthy and circuitous as my last post on this medium. I will also make it as lucid as possible.

I mentioned in my last article WHAT IS GREAT ABOUT THE GREAT NIGERIAN STUDENTS the jejunity of the mission statement of the UNILAG, hardly had I finished the article when the whole statement of mine started receiving fulfillment. One would call me a prophet!.

I now see the reason for the backwardness of my nation, we blame those at the corridor of “power” forgetting those at the corridor of “education;” the corridor of “common sense.” I am a discussant of history and it has made me realise that from time immemorial, whenever there is problem in the society, tertiary institutions are places of solace, they are citadels of solutions. Government would go to schools to consult undergraduates, lecturers; professors as they posed to be the backbone of the society. Now, Nigeria is in shambles, the economy is crumbling, where is Dr. Nduibisi Nwokoma of the Economics department? Buhari is still waiting for your economic model computation and those econometrics rubbish theories you teach your students. Prof. G.L Oyekan!.., there is infrastructural decay! Prof. Idoro Godwin, buildings are collapsing and projects are poorly handled! This is not project planning class where you come to disturb students with your unending battery of questions e.g What is Objective?..answer – Objective is ….Question 2 – What is “is”? What a comedian!

Vice Chancellor sir, you remain a first class Chemical engineering graduate from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife. What has happened to the Great Ife in you? Our power generation is deteriorating and you are alive. The nation’s investment of knowledge on you to make you a scholar is a WASTE. Your first class honours degree is the true definition of a FIASCO.

That’s by the way, the protest that led to Senate’s resolution to dissolve the student union and the forceful blood covenant oath-taking was a peaceful one. One that started on a calm note with the intention to end in a day only if the DSA or VC came to talk to the students during the act. The egocentricity of an African man would not just allow them to come. They are PhD holders. I call them ACADEMIC IGNORAMUSES!

The irresponsibility, insensitivity and irresponsiveness to the welfare of the students of the VC and his misMANAGEMENT have shown that they are all misfits when it comes to parenthood.

They all stood up when the former mistake we had as president tried to rename Unilag to Maulag because the brand UNILAG gives them the pride they need to sleep with any girl-student and admission-seekers effortlessly. These are the goings-on in Unilag, let the world know! The likes of Ogbinaka Karo were ready to tear down the nation if the renaming was not revoked. Now, this is our own issue; welfarism, we can’t find them. Are they telling me that the name issue is greater than welfarism. Is the aesthetics of a building more important than the structural stability? If you don’t know, go ask the MD, Lekki Gardens.

My secondary school teacher once told me that during his days at the University of Ibadan, they protested when the chicken on their breakfast meal was reduced to 1 instead of the usual 2. For Christ’s sake, was it this same Nigeria? We never asked for all these things Bello and his cohortsenjoyed, all we asked for was water/light and all we could get from a sensible Senate is the threat of expulsion. Are there no “common sense” persons in the management anymore? We mourn the late Prof. Ayodele Awojobi freshly.

I promised not to make this too lengthy but I stand in this era for change as I don’t want to be too much of a victim of circumstance because I have never gained anything from this system of education. I learn everything myself, just like most of us. My lecturers are too busy to teach but are very ready to threaten you with failure. Where is Julius Faremi? .

I am ready not as Adekunle Gold but as an active citizen for any step they might want to take against me. E e ba mi ni’be.

I remain Adeyeye Olorunfemi.

#IwontSign.

#RescueULSU.

University of Lagos

April, 2016

Credits : Punch, Naijarchives, Abiyamo

LAI MOHAMMED TOOK PDP TO THE CLEANERS IN A STATEMENT 15 09 2016. HE UTTERED ANGRILY:

”We are on a rescue mission to resuscitate Nigeria after the PDP left it in a coma, and the noise from the same PDP seems designed to sabotage the rescue efforts. But we are not deterred.
If the PDP had understood the meaning of shame, it would never have dared to even make a single comment on the same economy that it did everything to kill. ”While the PDP was emasculating Nigeria on all fronts, including social, economic and political, the rapacious party was deceiving Nigerians by giving them the illusion of growth and prosperity.
Instead of showing remorse and rebuilding itself to a strong opposition party, the PDP has continued to blame the successor Buhari Administration which is left to pack their mess. PDP undertakers have continued to engage in a blame game, when they should be hiding from the shame they brought upon themselves and the nation.
What the PDP has consistently put up as a vibrant economy under its watch was nothing but a bubble that was buoyed by massive corruption and chronic incompetence, an economy in which someone without any known means of earned livelihood would boast of $31.5 million! ”They keep saying we should stop talking of the past, yet the past will not stop rearing its head.
They keep saying we should no longer refer to the past, but how can we forget so soon that our foreign exchange reserves plummeted from $62bn in 2008 to $30bn by 2015, at a time when oil prices were at a historic high, reaching a level of $114 per barrel in 2014.
By comparison, Indonesia, another oil producing economy with a high population, increased its reserves from $60 billion in 2008 to $120 billion in 2015. The candid truth is that we failed under the successive PDP administrations to save for the rainy day, and we need to constantly remind ourselves of that so that we won’t repeat the mistake.
Take the excess crude account which fell from about $9bn in 2007 to about $2bn in 2015. The argument that it was the State Governors that depleted the account does not hold water since there were Governors in place when the account was being built up. Worse still is the fact that up to $14bn in revenues from Nigerian LNG remains unaccounted for and indeed until the Buhari Administration came to office, State Governments never got any allocations from this source of funds which properly belongs to the Federation Account. The naked fact on the revenue front is that there was just a failure of leadership.
This was compounded by the non-transparent uses of funds. We are all witnesses to the sacking of a Central Bank Governor because he raised an alarm about $20 billion that had gone missing. We are indeed still trying to recover huge sums looted from the national treasury under the PDP’s watch, with $15 billion stolen from the defence sector alone.
Perhaps most painful is that because of the way funds (about $322m) returned from Switzerland were mishandled, we now have to accept conditionalities before our stolen assets are even returned to us. One of the achievements that the PDP has been touting is that it reduced the nation’s national debt. ”However, at the time that we were earning such large revenues from oil, we only managed to double our external debt from $5.6 billion to $10.7 billion between 2011 and 2015.
The case of domestic debt was even worse, almost tripling from N888 billion to N2.1 trillion in the same period. Even these figures mask the extent of unpaid obligations to contractors and the huge plethora of uncompleted projects on which money continued to be spent without visible results. Payments to contractors stopped several years ago while not a single dollar was contributed to the Joint Venture activities.
Over N4.5 trillion was spent on fuel subsidy in just two years under the PDP! Despite a recent oil boom, Nigerians are indeed all victims of the dilapidated and decrepit infrastructure. The economy that the Buhari Administration inherited was certainly in dire straits, if the huge amount of salary arrears that were being owed at various tiers of government is anything to go by. If, after earning so much resources and increasing the total debt stock, our governments were not able to meet salary obligations, sometimes for up to seven months, then something was definitely wrong somewhere and if this is not evidence of a collapsing economy, one wonders what it is.
Indeed, it was not so long ago that the fuel subsidy regime almost bankrupted the country. Through credibility and commitment to good governance, the current administration has managed to save up to N1.4 trillion that would have been spent on subsidies for PMS. Moreover, the daily demand for PMS has halved from 1600 trucks a day to 850 trucks a day.
If we could achieve such savings, then clearly the petrol sector which was and remains a huge source of foreign exchange demand was not being well managed. It is also important to point out that the poor security situation in the North East has had ripple effects on the economy.
Apart from the dislocation of daily lives, there was extensive loss of agricultural production arising from the fact that our citizens in that zone could not go to their farms not to talk of planting and harvesting produce. Yet, in just a space of about 15 months, the Buhari Administration has liberated this region from the clutches of Boko Haram, which is now left to release meaningless videos when it could no longer carry out spectacular attacks.
The government will continue to welcome constructive criticism, it had nothing to learn from a party that was in charge of the nation’s affairs at a time of plenty, but ended up frittering away the commonwealth, looting the nation blind and setting the stage for today economic crisis, which the Buhari Administration is working tirelessly to put an end to.