My first day in the biology laboratory was a dreadful one. During a briefing session a day before we were to have practical during my 100level, We had been told that it is a customary to always put on the ‘laboratory coat’ each and every time we have practicals, hence whosoever without the laboratory coat will be punished.
I’d no money as at that time to buy laboratory coat, and the first practical came just too soon. I couldn’t borrow as my only friend in the school then was Asiwaju Olalekan Godson Ayodeji. Anyway, I knew breaking the rule of not putting a ‘laboratory coat’ was a bad idea but I was young and wrong to take that risk.
I had no choice than to enter into the laboratory room to get engaged with my fellow departmental mates.
Not quite long after I entered the lab, one of the biology lecturer who handled biology practical came around. He spotted few of us without the ‘laboratory coat’ and decided to play a fast track on us, he wanted to get hold of us. I was fortunate to be sitting near the entrance door, so I got away.
He was able to lay hands on few guys unaware but everyone of us that escaped went into his black book. He called our class rep then, and collected our matric numbers. Printed them and pasted them in his office. It was printed boldly.
That was how myself and other guys that ran away failed Both the practical and the actual Biology course that year.
Personally, I sat for the same courses for good 6years; making it 6 different times entirely.
On my third year of rewriting, I summoned courage to visit him in his office. I went to see him to plead with him, he didn’t know me, he only knew of my matric number. So I’d to take the bull by the horn to explain what had happened. He laughed wickedly and angrily sent me away, I returned the next day. He told me, if I return again then it would be very bad and I won’t like it. I left him for a week. I consulted my advisor, Dr. Mrs Adigun. I explained everything to her… She told me, I should give him time, and to return to him after sometime. That he may consider my ‘show of repentance’. So I didn’t return for like a month.
Then one day, I was returning from a friend’s place Osisami Babalola Enitan on Friday after I had gone to play chess, I saw him also returning from the mosque. We both met along the school former fine-art department, just by the way that leads to Alata eatery, Under G.
I quickly used the opportunity of meeting him just coming from the mosque to plead yet again. He treated me like ‘poo’
He still went on to fail me even in my 400level. On my final year, I went to him, then I was married. I took my pregnant wife to plead with him. He walked us out and told us never to come again. He promised to report to the school security. So we left.
He failed me for 5 years consecutively. It was hard for me.
I wept for days.
I told my parents, and few friends.. It prevented me from going for NYSC with my class 13′ set.
Then I turned to God. Yes, I was guilty and I deserved punishment but that was too much. I prayed ‘no be small’. So many different phases of life, most times it is always our fault that we find ourselves in difficult situations but immediately we get to seek God for help, he surely always provide us a solution to all of our problems. I seek God’s face and he never fails.
That biology course was taken away from him and was given to someone else, it was given to another Dr. I can never forget him.
I registered as a spill-over student, and sat for it, I borrowed 4 other courses to boost my CGPA, I collected my result and my biology 101, 102,104 and 106 were all A(s).
That was how I got cleared.
Moving forward, During my service year, after I redeployed from Abia state to Oyo, I was posted to the West Africa examination council. (Waec) Ijokodo, Ibadan. Great place with wonderful people. On my great work ethics, being dutiful and so diligent during my service year, I was given the green card and permitted at all time to work during their examination and marking exercise each and every time I so wish. Oluwafemi Martins my great boss, one of the great people I had worked with.
Coincidentally, I was officially sent to Ogbomoso marking venue as an assistant subject examination officer to partner my Waec daddy
I was handling Biology and chemistry subjects.
For the ones who don’t understand the whole drama during the Waec marking exercise.
We give out the examination scripts to qualified teachers or graduates with the certification in their specified subjects for marking and recording during a stipulated period of 21/23
So that day in April, there was a long queue of Examiners waiting to submit their CV. Then this Dr. lecturer that failed me for 5years was on the queue too, I’d spotted him.
My wonderful Waec daddy was beside me, he asked while I was smiling, I simply told him that something funny will soon happen, and when it was this Dr’s turn, He greeted and called me “sir” (bending his head). I quickly stood up to greet him too. But I was so surprised, he didn’t recognize my face. Apparently, he would never have thought and believe and to be possible for the young man in front of him to be me.
So I pretended as if I had nothing in mind too, I was going through his CV when he started pleading that he really needed my help concerning this marking stuff, he told me he came along with his daughter who is a gate crasher ( these are people who are new to the marking system) and his wife who also had marked for a long time but needed to mark too.
He told me Ladoke Akintola university of technology had been on strike for over a year and nothing seemed fine, no salary. No money and nothing at all. I should help him. At that point I told him to call his wife and daughter. He did. I then asked him; “Sir, Is it truly that you do not recognize my face?”
He said, “ehn! It’s like this face is familiar o but you know there are many people like that I can’t remember. I can’t really remember where and when I had seen your face”. I told him to try, that I will only help him if he can remember where we had met and when..
He didn’t remember so I helped him out with my surname, I told him. “This is Akeju, the guy you failed for consecutive 5 years. The guy that brought his pregnant wife to beg you but still, you sent us away”.
At that point, he was dumbfounded. He left without saying a word. His wife and daughter were confused and everyone on the queue too. His wife asked what the matter was, I told her to go and ask her husband.
Shortly, His wife and daughter returned. He had explained everything, they knelt down and asked for forgiveness. I smiled and asked them to tell him to come back. He had gone home. In the evening he did returned.
He asked for forgiveness, and I did forgave him. More than he had asked for, I granted him all of his requests. We were not permitted to give more than a packet packed of scripts but I gave him more than one. Just for him to make more money. He wept uncontrollably.
Matthew 5:44 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you”.
I only know of the way of doing good even unto them that do me evil.
Till I left ogbomoso, he was always calling because I had put enough food on his table and not only him, but also for his family during that difficult period they were going through.
It’s left to him, if he will change or not.
Our tomorrow isn’t promised.
Some people will jump at this with sentiments and unguarded emotions. The question will be “why now?”
The answer is simple. It was a military regime which believed ans enforced unitary form of government and Gideon Orkar and his fellow coupist could not have been pardoned because they committed treason against the state.
In a bid to embolden my assertion, i am coming up with an old post of mine with some adjustment to make it relevant to the topic of discourse.
Exactly 28 years ago, thereabout this time, mortar shots were fired, shot were fired, gunfire and duel was hot.
There was a pronouncement by a soldier, Major Gideon Orkar, there had been a coup, and in his words “Fellow Nigerian Citizens, On behalf of the patriotic and well-meaning peoples of the Middle Belt and the southern parts of this country, I , Major Gideon Orkar, wish to happily inform you of the successful ousting of the dictatorial, corrupt, drug baronish, evil man, deceitful, homo-sexually-centered, prodigalistic, un-patriotic administration of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida”
The bravery or gallantry of Major Gideon Orkar and his co-traveler was never in question.
The coup was almost successful, bearing in mind the had to bring the execution of the coup back by one week. They had to seize armoury with their service pistol or assigned side arms, I believe it was a part of his coup speech that failed the coup.
Just like the earlier expedition to break up this country, the Civil war and secession led by Late Ojukwu, the failure on this coup can be hinged on the same error or misgivings.
Below is what I believe made the coup a failure:
“In the light of all the above and in recognition of the negativeness of the aforementioned aristocratic factor, the overall progress of the Nigerian state a temporary decision to excise the following states namely, Sokoto, Borno, Katsina, Kano and Bauchi states from the Federal Republic of Nigeria comes into effect immediately until the following conditions are met.
The conditions to be met to necessitate the re-absorption of the aforementioned states are as following:
(i) To install the rightful heir to the Sultanate, Alhaji Maccido, who is the people’s choice.
(ii) To send a delegation led by the real and recognised Sultan Alhaji Maccido to the federal government to vouch that the feudalistic and aristocratic quest for domination and operation will be a thing of the past and will never be practised in any part of the Nigeria state.
By the same token, all citizens of the five states already mentioned are temporarily suspended from all public and private offices in Middle Belt and southern parts of this country until the mentioned conditions above are met.
They are also required to move back to their various states within one week from today. They will, however, be allowed to return and joint the Federal Republic of Nigeria when the stipulated conditions are met.
In the same vein, all citizens of the Middle Belt and the south are required to come back to their various states pending when the so-called all-in-all Nigerians meet the conditions that will ensure a united Nigeria.
A word is enough for the wise.”
By 6pm when the insurrection and rebellion had been crushed, I look back and see that my countrymen has not learned enough…or didn’t learn a/any thing at all.
While we say to those pushing for the break-up/balkanisation of this country should come to terms that such project will fail, it must be stated that some fundamental issues must be discussed. Issues such as regional autonomy, state police, form of government, resource control, convocation of constitutional convention(to draft and adopt a new constitution) and judicial reforms. These are the cardinals of RESTRUCTURING.
I am bold to say with restructuring, all the issues raised by Gideon Orkar which still plague us as a nation till we speak will be addressed and put to rest. The perceived imbalance in our nation will be removed either instantly or gradually.
This is not an approval of Gideon Orkar’s action and never will i agree with it, but until those pushing for the balkanization of our dear country accept that there was no coincidence or error(s) in the almangamation of Nigeria, that it’s no mistake, the better for them.
In a nation that believes so much that everything that happen is “God’s will”, then Nigeria is a “God ordained” project.
The lesson here is that we should stop blaming a region for the woes of this country or trying to excise a region from the country, and work together towards and for the greatness of the country.
This is my humble submission.
God Bless Nigeria…
*100 SOLID ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE BUHARI-LED ADMINISTRATION*
POWER, WORKS AND HOUSING
1. “Despite 60% less revenue, we have, by stopping grand corruption, made the highest capital spend in the history of the country in the sum of about N1.3 trillion. We are, for the first time, taking on the game-changing infrastructure projects.” – VP YEMI OSINBAJO
2. The capacity of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to transport energy has grown to 7,125 MW as at December 2017, up from about 5,000MW in 2015.
3. The road projects being funded by the 100 billion Naira Sukuk Bond raised in 2017 are ongoing. Each geopolitical zone got 16.67 billion Naira.
4. (QUOTE) Minister of Power, Works and Housing: “More power is coming to Nigeria in 2018, from Azura (450 MW); Katsina Wind (10 MW); Gbarain (115MW); Kashimbilla (40MW); Afam III (240MW); Gurara (30MW); Dadin Kowa (29MW); Kaduna (215MW) to mention a few… not [including] mini-grids and solar systems in various stages of development.”
5. Impact of the 1st Phase of the Federal Government’s Energizing Education Programme (EEP), planned for 2018. The EEP, being implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) aims to provide dedicated and reliable electricity to a total of 37 Federal Universities and 7 University Teaching Hospitals across Nigeria. The University of Lagos has been enjoying this.
6. From the Niger Delta Power Holding Limited (NDPHC): The Niger Delta Power Holding Company, (NDPHC), jointly owned by the Federal, State and Local Governments, has commenced the construction of an US$18m power transmission and transformation substation, in Lafia, Nasarawa State, to improve power supply across the country, particularly in Abuja, Nasarawa and neigbouring states. The substation is scheduled for completion and inauguration before the end of 2018.
7. From the Rural Electrification Agency: The #EnergizingEconomies Initiative of the REA aims to provide 24/7 electricity to economic clusters across the country which have a high impact on the economy. Its first phase, the deployment of solar home systems to 500 shops in Sabon-Gari Market in Kano State, has just been completed. Future deployments planned for Ariaria Market in Abia State, Somolu Printing Community in Lagos State, and Sura Shopping Complex also in Lagos.
8. “We are also building, after 40 years, the Mambilla hydro project, while work on the Second Niger Bridge is going on daily.” – VP YEMI OSINBAJO
SECURITY & RELATED MATTERS
9.Release of N2 billion take off grant for the Maritime University as part of measures to address agitations in the Niger Delta region.
10. Release of 106 Chibok girls, as well as over 16,000 persons in Boko Haram captivity.
11. Tackling insurgency, decimation of Boko Haram in the North East.
12. Recovering 14 local governments and territories previously under Boko Haram control in the North East, rebuilding lives of citizens there; about one million displaced persons in the NE have returned to their communities in two years of this administration.
13. Curbing the incidence of kidnap across the country. (Arrest of kidnap kingpins and dismantling of kidnap cells across the country)
14. Restoring morale of the Nigerian military; re-organizing and better equipping the Nigerian Armed Forces with prompt payment and various incentives.
15. Purchase of 12 Super-Tucano aircrafts worth $600 million to aid the Nigerian military’s current operations in the North East.
16. Ensuring continued peace in the Niger Delta through consistent funding of the FG amnesty programme for ex-militants.
17. Introduction of an improved mechanism for distribution of aid to IDPs in the North East through the establishment of the Special Intervention Programme of the Federal Government. (Door-to-door strategy)
18. Securing Benue And Ending Farmers Herders Clashes:
. January 31: President Muhammadu Buhari wrote a letter to the Senate titled “Re: Report on the Review of the Security Infrastructure on Nigeria on the Emergency Visit to Benue,” enumerating several courses of action that had been taken by the Federal Government since the farmers- herdsmen crisis began.
February 1: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo presided over the meeting of the National Economic Council Working Group on the Herdsmen/Farmers conflicts in parts of the country at the Presidential Villa. A number of State Governors are members of the NEC Working Group. Governors of Adamawa, Ebonyi, Plateau, Kaduna, and Zamfara States, and Deputy Governors of Benue and Oyo States were present. Also in attendance were the Ministers of Agriculture and Interior. At the end of the meeting, the Working Group constituted a Sub-Committee to visit frontline States, and hold consultations with stakeholders on how to end the conflicts. The Sub-Committee will visit Benue, Taraba, Zamfara & Adamawa States, to understand the different conflict dynamics and develop long-term solutions.
Sustainable Public-Private Solutions:
One of these long-term solutions is the implementation of the recommendations and outcome of the National Conference on the Transformation of the Nigerian Livestock Industry held in Abuja from September 11 to 15, 2017. The conference, organized by the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, had in attendance stakeholders across the academia, agriculture/development institutions, security agencies, representatives of farmers and herdsmen associations, community and religious leaders. One of the Conference recommendations is the modernization of Nigeria’s livestock industry through the establishment of Ranches:
These Ranches will be Public-Private Partnerships, involving the Federal and State Governments, local communities, and private investors.
They will offer Land, Water, Pasture and Security, and include facilities for production of livestock, fodder and pasture, grain for livestock feed, as well as processing and service facilities.
Funding will come from a variety of sources including a proposed ‘Anchor Growers Scheme’ to be developed by the CBN and modeled after the existing Anchor Borrowers Scheme launched for smallholder farmers in November 2015.
19. We used to spend almost $3 billion on rice importation, now rice importation has been cut by 80%. Reduction in rice imports has a result of government’s policies that has encouraged massive rice production across Nigeria.
20. More support to State Governments than any other government since 1999.
“As at September 2017, total support (excess crude account koan and budget support facility), excluding Paris Club Refunds, is in the order of #876.3billion, and if we add Paris Club Refund Refund, we have disbursed #1.91trillion.” – VP Yemi Osinbajo
21. Central Bank of Nigeria: Nigeria’s foreign reserves have risen to $41 billion as at February 8, 2018, from $40.4 billion as at early January 2018.
22. The Ministry of Finance has so far released N1.2 trillion under the capital expenditure component of the 2017 Budget — which took effect from June 2017. In terms of capital spending, the 2017 Budget is on course to eclipse the 1.3 Trillion Naira released in the 2016 Budget — the highest ever in Nigeria’s history.
23. From the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS): Tax revenue collected totalled N4.03 trillion in 2017, 82.38% of the N4.89 trillion target set for the Service by the Federal Government during the period, and N720 billion (22 percent) more than the N3.31trillion generated in 2016.
24. From the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN): Nigeria’s manufacturing sector is outperforming some of its African peers with capacity utilisation moving up from 44.3% in 2016 to 55% in 2017 while the Nigeria’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), as measured by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) expanded for the tenth consecutive month in January 2018, at 57.3 points.
25.From the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC): Nigeria secured US$66.36 billion worth of investment commitments for 112 projects across 27 states and the FCT in 2017. The oil and gas sector currently account for the highest announced investments with deals worth $25.26bn, 38% of the total.
26. The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), conceived by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) in collaboration with global development partners as a wholesale bank to support MSMEs in Nigeria, and licensed by the Central Bank in 2017, has so far disbursed 5 billion Naira to three National Microfinance Banks — Fortis Microfinance Bank Plc, LAPO Microfinance Bank Ltd and NPF Microfinance Bank — for on-lending to more than 20,000 MSMEs across Nigeria.
27. Ministry of Finance: Nigeria is set to issue a US$2.5 billion Eurobond; a follow-up to the US$3bn Issuance in late 2017. Transaction Advisers have been appointed for the Issuance.
28. From Bloomberg: “Net foreign inflows to Nigerian equities totaled 337 billion naira ($940 million) last year, the first time flows have been positive since at least 2013. December was the best month since Bloomberg started compiling data at the beginning of 2014, with net inflows of 140 billion naira, signaling a switch in sentiment toward equities in Africa’s biggest oil producer.”
29. As part of efforts by the Federal Government to block revenue leakages (about N100 billion was discovered as tax revenue shortfall by contractors between 2012 and 2017), on January 9, the Ministry of Finance ordered vendors of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to display their Tax Identification Numbers (TINs) on their invoices before payments are effected by the MDAs.
30. The Nigerian Ports Authority: The Nigerian Ports Authority has declared total revenue of N299.56bn for the 2017 fiscal year. The 2017 revenue exceeded the previous year’s N162.20bn by 84.65 percent and is the highest ever generated by the agency.
31. From the Debt Management Office (DMO): N196.3 million was raised through the first auction of the Federal Government Savings Bond issued in the second week of January 2018.
32. Buhari administration’s Social Investment Programmes reach over 7 million Nigerians
33. The correct figures of the total Federal Government support to states so far stands at N1.91 trillion and not N1.19 trillion as reported in some media reports. A breakdown of the disbursement comprises N876.3 billion for excess crude account loan and budget support facility while the balance of N1.034 trillion is for the Paris Club refund.
34. From the Social Investment Programme (SIP): Over 246 million meals have been served to date to primary pupils across 20 states in the country, since the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) kicked off in December 2016. The total figure is expected to reach 313 million meals by the last week of February 2018. Also, the school Feeding Programme now feeds 6,044,625 pupils in 33,981 public primary schools across 20 states.
35. The Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) has so far recorded over 280,000 beneficiaries in 21 states, while about 300,000 Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP) interest-free micro-credit loans have been disbursed nationwide.
36. N-power scheme, which is targeted at providing jobs for unemployed young graduates, has recruited 200,000 youths, and will increase that number in 2018.
37. Recall that as a direct outcome of the work of PEBEC and its operational arm, the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES), Nigeria in 2017 moved up 24 places to 145th in the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ report, and for the first time the country was recognized as one of the top 10 most improved economies in the world.
38. Total Direct Beneficiaries from all the SIP Programme is 7,812,201
· Secondary Beneficiaries – 1,500,000, mainly farmers and cooks
· Total actual spending in 2016 and 2017 = 15.58% of the budget
39. Implementing the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) to aid economic recovery, taking the country out of her worst recession in 29 years, despite fall in oil prices.
40. N1.2 trillion expended on capital/infrastructure projects nationwide, a milestone in the nation’s history.
41. Effective implementation of the Treasury Single Account, and increasing government revenue by over N3 trillion as well as entrenching transparency and accountability.
42. Implementation of the Bank Verification Number (BVN), thus tackling corruption by plugging loopholes for siphoning of public fund and tracking of illicit funds through multiple accounts
43. Ease of doing business: the Federal Government signed into law two bills from the National Assembly (Acts are the Secured Transactions in Movable Assets Act, 2017 (otherwise known as Collateral Registry Act) and the Credit Reporting Act, 2017) which has facilitated access to more affordable credit for Nigerians, fast tracked budget submissions and promotes Made-in-Nigeria products.
44. Establishment of the Presidential Quarterly Business Forum to enhance interaction and private sector participation in the development of the economy.
45. Institutionalizing E-governance setting the foundation for the creation of a truly digital economy.
46. Creation of opportunities for youths to leverage innovation in technology through the introduction of the Aso Villa Demo Day (AVDD) through which over N700 million has been disbursed to young entrepreneurs.
47. The revitalization of the Made-in-Nigeria campaign. (Emphasis on consumption of local products gain grounds)
48. Implementing reforms in the civil service which has led to the elimination of over 30,000 ghost workers, thereby saving the country billions of naira monthly.
49. Massive investments in agriculture, e.g, Anchors Borrowers Programme to improve local produce, improving fertiliser distribution and access across states through the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative.
50. Completion of over 33, 000 Hectares for Irrigation Projects that have increased water availability in key food producing states.
51. SIP: Ongoing Government Enterprise and Empowerment (GEEP) Scheme; commenced in November 2016 in collaboration with the Bank of Industry, where soft loans ranging from N10, 000 to N100, 000 have been given to over 189,000 market women and traders across different states.
52. SIP: Home Grown School Feeding Programme, where almost three million schoolchildren have been fed, while tens of thousands of cooks have been engaged in their respective states.
53. SIP: Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) scheme, under which about 25,000 less privileged Nigerians so far are now being funded with the monthly N5,000 stipend in 9 pilot States (Bauchi, Borno, Cross Rivers, Ekiti, Kwara, Kogi, Niger, Osun and Oyo). More beneficiaries are expected to be added in more states.
54. The establishment of MSMEs Clinics, a small Business support programme to support entrepreneurs and small businesses in different states.
55. Establishment of One-Stop-Shops to support policies on Ease of Doing Business.
56. Phasing out subsidy for petroleum products, elimination of fuel scarcity and queues in petrol stations.
57. Implementation of the FG Niger Delta new vision, a comprehensive road map to improve livelihood and social infrastructure.
58. Improved power generation nationwide adding $500million to Nigeria’s sovereign wealth fund and about $87million to its excess crude account.
59. The creation of the N30billion Solid Minerals Development Fund.
60. Encouraging the patronage of local contents and increasing export in agriculture.
61. Signing of Executive Order 001 which is the promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment – to ensure that public servants offer prompt service in a predictable and transparent manner, and sanction undue delays.
62. Signing of Executive Order 002 which is on prompt submission of annual budgetary estimates by all statutory and non-statutory agencies of the Federal Government including incorporated companies wholly owned by FG.
63. Bailout of cash crunch states; about N689 billion to 27 states of the federation to pay salaries in 2015 which has never happened in the history of the country.
64. Complete refund of Paris loan deductions to states (unprecedented).
65. Modification of the tax system so that it is more efficient.
66. Reforms at the nation’s seaports (Issues with cargo clearance at the ports addressed)
67. Improved duration (under 48 hours) for visa approval especially for investors.
68. Resuscitation of the nation’s refineries which are now working at 50 percent capacity for the first time in over a decade.
69. Eleven of the dead 33 fertilizer plants have been resuscitated while four others are to be revived shortly and this has profound impact on the ongoing revolution in the agricultural sector.
70. Cancellation of the Joint Venture cash calls with oil multinational companies operating in Nigeria (For the first time in the history of the industry) which has led to savings of billions of dollars lost to fictitious contract payments.
71. The new development bank of Nigeria (DBN) is finally taking off with initial funding of $1.3billion (provided by the World Bank, German Development Bank, African Development Bank, Agence Francaise De Development) to provide medium and long term loans to MSMEs.
ANTI – GRAFT WAR.
72. Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC): The Commission recovered in excess of 500 billion Naira in 2017, including 473 billion in Naira, 98 million in USD, 7 million in Euros, and 294,000 in Pounds Sterling.
73. Improving Nigeria’s international image and regional cooperation with neighbouring countries in fighting insurgency.
74. Anti-corruption war: Prosecuting alleged corrupt public officers and recovering billions of naira of stolen public funds; the successful establishment of the whistle-blower policy.
75. Signing of Executive Order 004 – Voluntary Income Asset Declaration Scheme (VAIDS). This aims to increase tax awareness and compliance, and reduce incidence of tax evasion.
76. Signing of agreements with a number of nations to provide Automatic Exchange of Information.
77. Signing of the Extradition Treaty between Nigeria and United Arab Emirates (UAE) toward strengthening Nigeria’s anti-corruption campaign.
78. Establishment of PACAC – a think-tank that has provided leadership, direction and also built capacity of personnel in the fight against corruption.
79. Improving transport infrastructure (rail and road); construction work ongoing on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
80. Reforms in the airports (reconstruction of the Abuja airport runway and ongoing work at the Lagos airport). Completion of Abuja – Kaduna Railway among others.
81. On February 5, President Muhammadu Buhari signed Instruments of Ratification of Bilateral Air Services Agreements between Nigeria and the Governments of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, the People’s Republic of China, the State of Qatar, and the Republic of Singapore. The execution of these instruments will significantly improve Nigeria’s aviation links with the respective countries, and will open up new flight routes that the planned National Carrier can benefit from.
*Key milestones in Aviation within the last year:
82. March – April 2017: Reconstruction of the Abuja Airport runway, within budget and on schedule.
83. September 2017: The Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos earned International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) certification, for the first time ever. Shortly afterwards the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja was also certified. The certification means that the Airports’ facilities and operations meet international best-practice standards.
84. November 2017: The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) awarded the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) in Zaria, Kaduna State the status of a Regional Training Center of Excellence.
85. 21- 23 November 2017: Nigeria hosted the world at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) World Aviation Forum In Abuja. This was the first time the Forum took place outside the ICAO’s headquarters in Montreal, Canada.
86. 7 December 2017: Nigeria signed a Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
87. 15 December 2017: Emirates Airline resumed flights to Abuja, suspended in October 2016. The Airline also resumed its second daily flight to Lagos.
88. December 2017: Nigeria retained its Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Category 1 status, after a routine audit. This status, first awarded in 2010, means that Nigerian-registered airlines can fly into the United States, and US airlines are allowed to fly to Nigeria.
89. 29 January 2018: Nigeria joined other African countries to launch the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Benefits of the SAATM include more opportunities for an increase in the number of direct flights between African countries, which will increase customer comfort and convenience, reduce travel costs, shorten journey times, and create more jobs for the aviation industry.
90. January 2018: Aero Contractors launched its Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility in Lagos. With the MRO facility, aircraft C-checks — one of the most comprehensive levels of maintenance carried out on an aircraft — can now be done locally on Boeing 737s — the most popular model used by Nigerian airlines — saving Nigeria an estimated $90m annually.
91. Eradication of polio disease in the country.
92. Eradication of deadly Ebola virus disease.
93. The introduction of the One Primary Health Centre per ward programme of the Federal Government.
94. Minister of Health: “By the end of the April, eight million Nigerians stand to benefit from basic health care through the first phase of implementation of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund, BHCPF.”
95. MARITIME UNIVERSITY, DELTA STATE:
· The new Maritime University in Okerenkoko, Delta State, has now commenced operations, inviting job applications for academic staff.
· The take-off of the Maritime University was one of the major requests tabled before the Federal Government when the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, went on a series of tour to all the Niger Delta states during the year, following President Buhari’s meeting with leaders of Pan Niger Delta Elders Forum (PANDEF) last November.
96. Investment in Ibaka Deep Sea Port:
· The Federal Government has budgeted N1 billion towards the development of Ibaka seaport in Akwa Ibom.
97. Investment in Bonny-Bodo Road Project: The N120 billion Bonny-Bodo road project was flagged-off in October 2017 by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN. The 34-kilometre road project, linking Bonny Island to the mainland was first mooted about 40 years ago.
· When completed, the 34-kilometres road would connect several major communities in the Niger Delta region and boost socio-economic development and improve the lives of people in the Niger Delta region.
98. EXPORT PROCESSING ZONE (EPZ):
· The Federal Government approved the establishment of the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) comprising the Gas City Project at Ogidigben, and the Deep Seaport in Gbaramatu, Warri South-West local government area, Delta State.
· When fully operational, these projects are expected to boost socio-economic activities and improve the security landscape of the Niger Delta region.
99. Nigerians now celebrate freely during festive periods without any fear of bomb blast or any attack by Boko Haram – it was an impossible dream years ago before this government came on board.
100. Work is at various stages of completion on these strategic roads with immense socio-economic benefits:
a. Rehabilitation of Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa-Birnin-Gwari-Kaduna Road;
b. Dualization of Oyo-Ogbomosho-Ilorin Road;
c. Rehabilitation of Gombe-Numan-Yola Road;
d. Dualization of Kano-Maiduguri Road
e. Rehabilitation of Sokoto-Tambuwal-Jega Road and Kotangora-Makera Road that transverse Sokoto, Kebbi and Niger States;
f. Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Enugu-Port-Harcourt Road;
g. Rehabilitation of Enugu-Onitsha Dual Carriageway Road;
h. Rehabilitation of Aleshi-Ugep Road and the Iyamoyun-Ugep Section in Cross River State;
i. Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Expansion of Lagos-Ibadan Dual Carriageway Road;
j. Construction of Loko-Oweto Bridge over River Benue in Nasarawa and Benue States; and
k. Construction Gokanni Bridge along Tegina-Mokwa-Jebba Road in Niger State.
• The Bonny-Bodo Road is being jointly funded by the Federal Government and Nigeria LNG Limited. This project was conceived decades ago but it was abandoned.
This Administration restarted the project and when completed, it will enable road transportation access for key communities in the Niger- Delta region; and
The Apapa Wharf-Toll Gate Road in Lagos State is also being constructed by private sector investors in exchange for tax credits.
The Buhari Osinbajo led administration is very much committed to achieving 95% of what it has promised. Nigerians all around can testify to all of these achievements in a pace of less than 3years.
GOD BLESS NIGERIA
…. “It’s Friday…
Jesus is praying.
Peter is sleeping.
Judas is betraying.
But Sunday is coming’.
Pilate is struggling.
The council is conspiring. The crowd is vilifying.
They don’t even know that Sunday is comin’.
The disciples are running like sheep without a shepherd.
Mary is crying.
Peter is denying.
But they don’t know that Sunday is comin’.
The Romans beat my Jesus.
They robe Him in scarlet. They crown Him with thorns.
But they don’t know that Sunday is comin’.
See Jesus walking to Calvary.
His blood dripping.
His body stumbling.
And his spirit burdened.
But you see, it’s only Friday.
Sunday is comin’.
The world is winning.
People are sinning.
And evil is grinning.
The soldiers nail my Saviour’s hands to the cross.
They nail my Saviour’s feet to the cross.
And then they raise him up next to criminals.
But let me tell u something:
Sunday is comin’.
The disciples are questioning.
What has happened to their King.
And the Pharisees are celebrating their scheming has been achieved.
But they don’t know: It is only Friday,
Sunday is comin’.
He’s hanging on the cross feeling forsaken by His Father.
Left alone and dying.
Can nobody save Him?
Oooh, it’s Friday,
But Sunday is comin’.
The earth trembles.
The sky goes dark.
My King yields His spirit.
Hope was lost.
Death had won.
Sin had conquered.
And Satan celebrate – laughing.
But it was only Friday
Jesus was buried.
A soldier stand’s guard.
And a rock rolled into place.
But it’s Friday, It is only Friday.
Little did they know Sunday was coming’.”
But Sunday came… Oooh that fateful Sunday
The gate of hell broke loose,
The glory of God came down,
The mighty stone rolled away. The King of glory arose,
Ohhh death! where is your sting?
Jesus has conquered!
Jesus is alive for ever! Glory
And Now he lives
He is alive in me
He is alive in you
He is alive in us
And he reigns forever more
Gold Coast 2018: Team Nigeria Finishes In 9th Position, Hosts Australia Are Champions
Team Nigeria finished in the ninth position in the final medal standing at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games which ended on Sunday, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
It was a step down for Team Nigeria who finished eighth at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
At the end of 2018 Games, Team Nigeria got nine gold, nine silver and six bronze medals, with a total of 24 medals won. Team Nigeria won 11 gold, 11 silver and 14 bronze medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Aruna Quadri won Team Nigeria’s last medal at the 2018 Games after clinching silver in the men’s table tennis singles event, losing to Ning Gao from Singapore on Sunday morning.
South Africa was the highest placed African team as they finished in the sixth position with 13 gold, 11 silver, 13 bronze medals. Kenya were 14th with four gold, seven silver, six bronze, Uganda 15th with three gold, one silver, two bronze, Botswana occupied the 16th position on three gold, one silver, one bronze and Namibia with two gold ended in the 19th position.
Cameroon who had one silver and two bronze finished in the 32nd position, Mauritius were in joint-34th position with one silver while Ghana and Seychelles who only won one bronze, were joint-39th in the medal table.
Hosts Australia, were the overall winners at this year’s games after amassing 80 gold, 59 silver, 59 bronze to bring their medals total to 198.
England who were champions at the 2014 edition, came second with 45 gold, 45 silver, 46 bronze, India clinched third spot with 26 gold, 20 silver, 20 bronze.
Canada came fourth with 15 gold, 40 silver, 27 bronze and New Zealand finished fifth after securing 15 gold, 16 silver and 15 bronze medals.
The next edition of the Commonwealth Games in 2022, will be hosted in Birmingham, England, from July 27 to August 7.
GOLD COAST 2018 FINAL MEDAL TABLE
Rank Country Gold Medal Silver Medal Bronze Medal Total
1 Australia 80 59 59 198
2 England 45 45 46 136
3 India 26 20 20 66
4 Canada 15 40 27 82
5 New Zealand 15 16 15 46
6 South Africa 13 11 13 37
7 Wales 10 12 14 36
8 Scotland 9 13 22 44
9 Nigeria 9 9 6 24
10 Cyprus 8 1 5 14
11 Jamaica 7 9 11 27
12 Malaysia 7 5 12 24
13 Singapore 5 2 2 9
14 Kenya 4 7 6 17
15 Uganda 3 1 2 6
16 Botswana 3 1 1 5
17 Samoa 2 3 0 5
18 Trinidad and Tobago 2 1 0 3
19 Namibia 2 0 0 2
20 Northern Ireland 1 7 4 12
21 The Bahamas 1 3 0 4
22 Papua New Guinea 1 2 3
23 Fiji 1 1 2 4
24 Pakistan 1 0 4 5
25 Grenada 1 0 1 2
26 Bermuda 1 0 0 1
26 Guyana 1 0 0 1
26 British Virgin Is. 1 0 0 1
26 Saint Lucia 1 0 0 1
30 Bangladesh 0 2 0 2
31 Sri Lanka 0 1 5 6
32 Cameroon 0 1 2 3
33 Dominica 0 1 1 2
34 Isle of Man 0 1 0 1
34 Mauritius 0 1 0 1
34 Nauru 0 1 0 1
37 Malta 0 0 2 2
37 Vanuatu 0 0 2 2
39 Cook Islands 0 0 1 1
39 Ghana 0 0 1 1
39 Norfolk Island 0 0 1 1
39 Seychelles 0 0 1 1
39 Solomon Islands 0 0 1 1
MARRIAGE IS HARD WORK
Many years ago, I used to interpret the saying “Marriage is not for small boys” to mean small boys in terms of age, until I visited a female mentor that has been in marriage for 47 years.
I asked, so what is the secret of your over 47 years in marriage?
Beaming, she retorted; My son, the expectations you bring into marriage will either spell its doom or success. I married my husband without expectations of enjoying his money or buying cars for me, but with time, my patience, hard work and God-fearing attitude yielded results of getting cars, houses, taking care of our children and all that.
You see, if a married lady keeps on nagging in the house, she pushes the spirit of her husband from the home. If you make the man unhappy, you make the house uncomfortable.
So, I married without high expectations from my husband but simply to make him happy always.
Yes, for the past 47 years, I would be the first to get up from bed and the last to go back to bed. I bath the kids, do devotions with them, prepare breakfast for my husband and boil hot water for him to bath. I iron his clothes he would take to work, kiss him and wish him the best in his daily endeavours.
I asked my old woman, so then what does the man do in return? She laughed all heart and hearty and replied; You see, this is the mistake you young ones make in marriage.
YOU DO SOMETHING FOR YOUR HUSBAND OR WIFE AND EXPECT SAME REWARD FROM HIM OR HER, THIS IS WRONG!
When it becomes your attitude to only please your husband or wife always, the other person responds naturally. Indeed, if nothing touches the palm tree, it doesn’t rattle.
She continued, my son, never carry “how rich or poor your family is” into marriage. After all, you knew very well the status of your family and decided to marry that man or woman.
Love only compels/leads would-be couples into marriage but it doesn’t sustain marriage. Rather, understanding, patience, communication and most importantly, forgiveness sustain every marriage. High expectations are the symptoms of divorce in marriages.
Sometimes you hear, I want to marry a mother, a business partner, God fearing person etc. You cannot get all your expectations in one person. With time and depending on your relationship, you may get some. So minimise your expectations in marriage.
To cut the long story short, as too many cooks spoil the broth, she concluded on the mistakes a couple should resist at all cost in marriage:
1) Never say you have made your wife or husband somebody from a nobody. It hurts. God only used you as an agent for transformation, give the glory to God.
2) Let the man be head of the home no matter the financial, economic,
physical and emotional health situation prevailing in the couple’s life whilst the woman exercises diligence in the use of the tongue.
3) Having children should not be the ultimate objective in marriage. They are given to enhance your marriage. When God delays in giving you a child, have every reason to live a happy marital life.
4) Sex is a major morale booster after a hard day’s stressful life. Try to be sexual beings and not “Angels” in that marriage
5) Resort to God often and less to men to solve your marital disputes.
6) Let the women ” Make up” their characters much more than they make up their body.
Indeed, marriage is not for small boys because small boys struggle to forgive, demand everything speedily, lack the patience to wait, have so many friends etc.
Make every effort to let that marriage work and may God help us.
Kindly Share to Bless Others and bless marriages around the world.