Posts

IS INEC REALLY PREPARING FOR SUCCESS OR FAILURE?

Image
Usually, there are many parties to every contest. In a football contest you have the teams, the referee and his linesman, the spectators - supporters and opposers and then the managers of the stadium and finally those who control the crowd and provide safety for all. This is largely the same for all other sports. In Educational pursuits which can some times turn into a contest when we want to determine winners and losers for prizes, honors or for access to limited space, you have the Students, the teachers, the examiners and those who set standards. But in these situations there are always the most critical parties, those who really can make or unmake. Similarly, in political contests, there are many parties- the political parties, the electorates (voters), the electoral umpire, the security agencies and the government in power. The question is which party determines the election? It depends. In normal circumstances, every party has significant impact. The political parties and their c…

HOW NIGERIA CAN ACHIEVE HAPPINESS IN 2019

It is traditional to make wishes for a new year. And it is also normal for everyone to wish for better in a new year. Many Nigerians have wished each other many things for the new year. One common or universal wish is “happiness “. That is why almost every Nigerian must have wished many other Nigerians “happy new year” since the mid nite bell rang on 31st December 2018 ushering the new year- 2019. Indeed the same thing has happened globally, just as it has happened every year since I was a child. I cannot say when the greeting was first used but it must have been since the 1st century or so. But my earliest vivid recall of hearing and exchanging this greeting was at age 5. And that’s over six decades ago and yet these greeting remains current and indeed the major goodwill exchange every new year. Thus it becomes very clear that the attainment of happiness is one the greatest needs of man on Earth. But what is happiness? Many dictionaries and psychologists have different takes on the co…

2019 AND THE PROSPECTS OF A BETTER NIGERIA

Welcome to 2019. Let us thank God for granting us the grace of entering into the new year. Thank God we are not in the statistics of those killed by Boko Haram insurgents, militant cattle herdsmen, kidnappers, armed robbers, police/ military stray bullets and sundry marauders who combined to turn Nigeria into a killing field in 2018 particularly. We thank God that we did not die on the road, on the sea, or in the air. We really must thank God that there was no fatal air crash, despite several reported near misses, including air craft doors opening in mid flight or cabins being decompressed in flight. I am starting this way, because it is normally necessary to thank God for crossing from one year to another but every Nigerian, including the military must give more thanks for surviving 2018. It was a bloody year from the first week of January starting in Benue State and concluding in the last week of December in Zamfara State. 
Importantly also, we must continue to pray, first for the co…

2019 AND THE PROSPECTS OF A BETTER NIGERIA

Welcome to 2019. Let us thank God for granting us the grace of entering into the new year. Thank God we are not in the statistics of those killed by Boko Haram insurgents, militant cattle herdsmen, kidnappers, armed robbers, police/military stray bullets and sundry marauders who combined to turn Nigeria into a killing field in 2018 particularly. We thank God that we did not die on the road, on the sea, or in the air. We really must thank God that there was no fatal air crash, despite several reported near misses, including aircraft doors opening in mid flight or cabins being decompressed in flight. I am starting this way, because it is normally necessary to thank God for crossing from one year to another but every Nigerian, including the military must give more thanks for surviving 2018. It was a bloody year from the first week of January starting in Benue State and concluding in the last week of December in Zamfara State.

Importantly also, we must continue to pray, first for the comf…

HOW TO ENJOY CHRISTMAS IN A DIFFICULT ECONOMY

Image
The timing is very wrong. Just last week, few days to Christmas, the National Bureau for statistics (NBS), released its latest Labour force statistics. Total number of the unemployed increased from 17.6 million in Q3 2017 to 20.9million in Q3 2018. Official unemployment rate moved from 18.8% in Q3 2017 to 21. 3% in Q3 2018. Unemployment plus underemployment reached 40%. Before this unpleasant news from NBS, the UNDP had announced Nigeria as the new World Poverty capital with 53.7% of its 180 million Nigerians living in EXTREME Poverty. That is to say that nearly 97 million Nigerians( those working and those not working) live on less than  two dollars a day( 700 Naira). India with about four times times Nigeria’s population now has about 71 million people in that category. With Nigeria’s GDP growing at 1.8% and population growing at 2.5%, this is bound to happen.
Perhaps this helps to explain why,in the last two weeks, I have constantly been on my Diamond Mobile bank App transferring mo…

SEEKING PEACE WITHOUT ENTHRONING JUSTICE, EQUITY & FAIR PLAY

Image
Of recent, General  Abdulsalami Abubakar former military Head of State who ushered in the current civilian democratic governance, which is in its 20th year, has been in the news. His National Peace Committee got the 2019 Presidential candidates to sign a peace accord or rather an accord for peace. Wonderful gesture! This is actually not the first time, this committee that seems to have no tenure limit has gone on its missionary assignment of preaching peace in the Nation. They did so in the lead up to the 2015 elections and got Jonathan and Buhari to sign an accord for peace. I also noticed that at the heat of the Cattle - Fulani/Herders conflict that threatened to consume Nigeria, they were active in preaching Peace and arranging some meetings. 

Over many years, General Yakubu Gowon, the man who led the Nigerian Civil War, who is also a member of this National Peace Committee, has been going round ‘praying’ for Nigeria. If the measure of the efficacy of his prayers is that Nigeria is …

THE NEW THREATS TO A CHALLENGED ECONOMY

Image
After fIve quarters of economic contraction (Q1 2016 - Q1 2017), Nigeria exited recession. With a positive 0.72% GDP growth in Q2 2017, economic recovery has been slow and grinding, reaching 1.9 % in Q1 2018 and declining to 1.5 % in Q2  2018. Consequent on this, the economic well-being of many Nigerians has been unsatisfactory. Indeed for many, there is actually no evidence that the recession was over. And this is understandable because unemployment and underemployment continued to grow reaching 40% in Q2 this year (Unemployment =18.8%: Underemployment = 21.2%). Because inflation, though moderated remains at double digit, combined with the high unemployment rate resulting to an improved misery index of 30% (the eight highest in the World, behind Argentina, Kosovo, South Africa, Mozambique, DRC, Yemen and Venezuela).  Indeed, the difficulties in the economy are logical, giving that a GDP growth of 1.5% against a population growth of 2.5% can only result in decline in GDP per capita, an…

HAS RELIGION IMPROVED THE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA?

Image
There has been this argument as to whether Nigeria is a secular or non-secular state, religious or non- religious Nation. A secular state is a state which purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion A secular state also claims to treat all its citizens equally regardless of religion and claims to avoid preferential treatment for a citizen from a particular religion/non religion over other religions/ non religion. Secular states do not have a state religion. Some states become secular upon creation of the state, for example the USA or upon secularization of the state (e.g. France & Nepal). Historically, the process of secularizing states, typically involves granting religious freedoms, disestablishing state religion, stopping public funds being used for religion, freeing the legal system from religious control, freeing up educational system, tolerating citizens who change religion or abstain from religion and allowing politica…

EMPOWERING PHARMACISTS TO CHECK DRUG MISUSE & ABUSE IN NIGERIA

Image
In the year 2001 or thereabout, I was a member of a delegation of the Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) that visited President Olusegun Obasanjo at Aso Rock. The delegation was led by the President of the chamber at that time, Chief (Mrs) Priscillia Kuye SAN. When Mrs Kuye finished addressing the President, she graciously requested if I had something to add. I rose up to grab the opportunity. But before I would speak, she introduced me to the President as a Pharmacist and Chairman/CEO of Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc, a successor company of Pfizer Products Plc. As I tried to open my mouth, the President charged at me, “You Pharmacists, you are the ones that import Fake Drugs into the Country!”. I was stunned, but quickly remonstrated that his statement was untrue. When he insisted, I told him emphatically that no trained and licensed Pharmacist will deal in fake, adulterated or counterfeit drugs, except if he was insane (mentally deranged) or did so unknowingly.…

IT MUST BE MINIMUM PAY FOR MINIMUM WORK

Image
The National Labour movement represented by NLC and TUC is threatening to shut down the Nigerian economy soon if their demand for a minimum wage of thirty thousand Naira is not accepted by the Governments of Nigeria in the next few days. The Nigerian economy is still struggling despite the efforts of government and it will be disastrous to allow the labour to proceed on the planned indefinite strike. I must say that it is within the ambit of the labour movement to demand a review of the national minimum wage. I also  must state that I absolutely agree with labour that there is absolute need to review the minimum wage As at 2011 when the present minimum wage of eighteen thousand Naira came to effect,the exchange rate of the Naira against the US dollar was 156 Naira. Today it is about 363 Naira to the US dollar, and this represents 132 % depreciation. Since the last raise, inflation had climbed from 10.8 % to nearly 18% though it is now about 11.8% Therefore from every objective analys…

CREATING LEVEL PLAYING GROUND FOR NIGERA’S HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS

I was in the United States of Nigeria recently and I felt that I needed to go to the clinic. My sister inlaw booked an appointment. When I arrived, I was warmly  received by a receptionist who gave me a form to fill. He was neatly dressed and after collecting my data, ushered me into a room. Soon afterwards a lady walked into the room to take my vital signs- blood pressure, pulse rate and temperature.Thishealthcare professional who I got to know was a nurse was decently dressed in a white over coat. But at first he could have passed as a medical doctor. He asked me a few questions and got me ready to see the physician. A few minutes after, the medical doctor also walked in wearing a white overall. He took his time to examine me, asking questions . At some point, he asked me to undress for a thorough physical examination.  Then he left. Thereafter some one I suspected must be a health technologist walked in with an ECG machine and  strapped some wires on my chest. When he finished, he l…