[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Onitsha Nigeria, 14th of September 2016)-The leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) is saddened and dismayed by the return of CSP James Nwafor of the Nigeria Police Force as the Officer-in-Charge of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (OC/SARS) of the Anambra State Police Command. According to official records of the Nigeria Police Force, CSP James Nwafor with Force Entry Number AP31343, hails from Ezza North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Southeast Nigeria and was born on 1st January 1961 (55yrs +). He joined the Nigeria Police Force on 1st April 1983 and was promoted to Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) on 30th January 2013 and will be due for statutory retirement on 1st April 2018. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree (B.Sc.) in Public Administration.
CSP James Nwafor disastrously held sway as Officer-in-Charge of Nnewi SARS Annex until 2012 when he took over from CSP Felix Kigigha as OC/SARS Anambra State. Following routine posting exercise by the NPF, coupled with a barrage of petitions against his atrocious policing activities; CSP James Nwafor was transferred to Bauchi State in early January 2016. He later worked his way to Enugu, from where he was brought back to Anambra State by Governor Willie Obiano and some rich persons with questionable characters. CSP James Nwafor fully resumed duty for the second time as Anambra OC/SARS yesterday being 12th of September 2016. He reportedly worked his way out of Bauchi State barely one month after he was transferred to the State and while in Enugu, two attempts were reportedly made to make him the OC/SARS of Enugu and Delta State Police Commands, respectively, but were strongly resisted by “internal protests”. A signal from the Force Headquarters making him the second time OC/SARS Anambra State was reportedly given more than two weeks ago but got delayed following similar internal protests and open-source protests by various rights groups. As the protests were on, a number of kidnap activities took place. They are strongly believed to have been politically motivated to pave way for CSP James Nwafor’s resumption as Anambra OC/SARS.
From overwhelming pieces of testimonial accounts of those who are victims of incessant arrests, long detentions without trial, indiscriminate pre-trial and custodial killings, torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatments including extortions, disappearances and trumped up charges, of the SARS murderous activities under CSP James Nwafor; the OC/SARS has been labelled by the mainstream human rights community within the State and beyond as Chief Killer & Torturer in the Anambra Killing Fields. His return to the State for the second time as OC/SARS is a disaster and a grave threat to the fundamental human rights of the citizens of Anambra State particularly the artisan and trading public. Documented accounts of CSP James Nwafor’s policing atrocities are not only torrential but also mountainous.
We have always maintained and insisted that in combating violent crimes, law enforcement authorities and personnel must ensure at all times that right approaches and laid down procedures are strictly applied; failure of which expressly amount to jungle justice or trial-by-ordeal; a stock-in-trade of policing atrocities. Combating violent crimes also strictly require using right instruments including ICT-powered intelligence gathering and networking as well as well trained and ICT-compliant personnel and well equipped crime laboratories for the purpose of scientific investigation of crime scenes, crime objects and parties to crime. Where these are unavailable; crude crime control becomes indiscriminate and riotously applied. That is to say that the latter has become the stock-in-trade of CSP James Nwafor and his murderous SARS. It is totally wrong to arrest a citizen unarmed and killed him or her with arm. Also competent and efficient criminal investigations are a warehouse of criminal and convictable evidence and a passport to speedy trial and conviction.
It is therefore saddening and shocking that out of over 450 serving CSPs in the Nigeria Police Force including those with field and academic expertise in law enforcement, crime prevention and intelligence policing, it is only CSP James Nwafor that is found “competent” to be permanently attached to the Anambra State Police Command as its OC/SARS. This is after he has served disastrously for over six years as Unit and State OC/SARS in Anambra State with a basketful of atrocities and after over eight years as a police officer in one posting.
As a key partner in the Anambra Project and leading public security and safety advocacy rights group in Nigeria, we are aware that whatever impact made or success recorded in controlling violent crimes in Anambra State did not result from incessancy of torture, long detention without trial, disappearances and pre-trial and custodial killings; rather, such an impact or success came as a result of effective intelligence supplied by the Anambra State Directorate of DSS and some hard-working non-combatant under-cover agents or disguised intelligence suppliers or “informants”. Through ICT-powered Sniffer Programs and Keystroke Loggers, the Anambra DSS has been able to deploy effective and ICT-powered intelligence gathering to unmask the activities of violent criminals. In addition to these is the use by the DSS of ICT-powered Tracking Machines to interrogate and track electronically suspected kidnappers and other violent criminals’ movements and mobile phone uses, leading to their arrest and hand over to SARS, which routinely tortures and “travels them”.
Sadly and disappointingly, none of these is at the disposal of CSP James Nwafor and his murderous SARS. It is therefore not by extra-judicial killing or torture or extortion or disappearances that some suspected kidnappers or armed robbers were arrested inside an aircraft or in their hidden hotel rooms and other hideouts including where their victims are held. These were achieved through coordinated and effective intelligence gathering and exchanges. Through CSP James Nwafor’s atrocious policing methods, dozens, if not hundreds of innocent citizens have been murdered in custody.
These atrocious practices are routinely carried out through grievous torture and other animalistic treatments of the arrested suspects. Most victims are gravely tortured to admit being armed robbers or kidnappers after they failed to pay huge extortionist sums asked of them at the points of their arrests. Late evening and early morning indiscriminate arrest of citizens retiring to their homes from their trading or job places or those going to or returning from their church activities, are a routine under CSP James Nwafor’s atrocious SARS. Those at eating and drinking joints are not left out too. The sole intent behind these arrests is extortion and it is those who cannot afford the huge extortion sums at the points of their arrest that are transferred to the Awkuzu SARS headquarters as “armed robbers” or “kidnappers”.
There, they are routinely tortured gravely to admit committing violent crimes such as “armed robbery” or “kidnapping”; which they never committed. In most cases, those citizens are tricked by CSP James Nwafor into confessing crimes they did not commit with a promise to “release them free of charge if they confess or admit”; only for them to be shot dead instantly after they have confessed under threats or duress. Those killed are described as “those who have been travelled”. The outlook of the SARS headquarters at Awkuzu express depicts “torture chambers” and its cells are marked with torture signs; from “grave”, “graver” to “gravest”, with “cell 5” as the gravest or “cell of death”. Death inscriptions such as “welcome to hell” and “sign your death warrant” are also a routine.
Torture methods commonly in use at the Awkuzu SARS headquarters as well as at its various units or annexes at Nnewi, Onitsha, Okpoko, Nneni, Ihiala, Ekwulobia, Awka, etc include suffocation, strangulation, cutting of fingers, insertion of hot needles into citizens’ private parts, fingers and ears; hanging using ceiling fan hooks; beating using fists, booths, planks, clubs and metals; and shooting of citizens’ legs, waist and arms using live bullets. Where such tortured citizens died on the process, they are taken out late night and shallowly buried or dumped inside the river with most of them tied with heavy objects so as to make their bodies sink without floating. Those injured in the course of their torture are dumped in the cell without treatments and left to bleed to death.
Totality of these characterized CSP James Nwafor’s atrocious era as OC/SARS in Anambra State. SARS under CSP James Nwafor also served and is still serving as a lucrative source of blood money and major “returns channel” for Anambra State Police Command and above. Rich persons with dubious characters and rotten integrity routinely use CSP James Nwafor’s SARS to advance their business interests and suppress their opponents and the downtrodden. The management of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), substantially owned by Emeka Offor is noted as one of such entities that routinely use the atrocious services of CSP James Nwafor’s SARS to clamp some of its senior and subordinate staff as well as dozens of power consumers into long detention without trial over mere accusation of “diverting or tempering of prepaid meters”; a responsibility statutory given to the authorities of the Nigerian Security& Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) by the law. While in SARS detention for weeks, those citizens were routinely tortured, degraded and denied bail or trial.
The atrocious records of CSP James Nwafor are too numerous to be exhausted. One of his numerous atrocious records was his roles in the Ezu River saga of 19th of January 2013 during which up to 40 or more lifeless bodies of young citizens were seen floating on Ezu River in Amansea area of Awka, the Capital City of Anambra State. While some of the lifeless citizens were obviously tortured and killed in custody before they were dumped inside Ezu River, others were taken alive to the River, shot and killed on top of the River’s Bridge before they were pushed into the River. Several portions of the Bridge were stained with blood of the shot victims.
Investigations carried out by this Organization, which solely and deeply investigated the Ezu River saga strongly linked the massacre to Awkuzu SARS under CSP James Nwafor. Later findings showed that about 20 of the lifeless bodies were killed at the Nnewi Annex of SARS under the instructions of CSP James Nwafor. Nine members of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) were also among the lifeless bodies found floating on Ezu River. The names of nine MASSOB members are: Basil Ogbu, Michael Ogwa, Monday Omeogo, Philip Nwankpa, Ezeh Obumneme, Ebuka Ezeh, Obinna Oguejioffor, Joseph Udoh, and Sunday Offor. They were arrested on 7th December 2012 by Anambra State Joint Taskforce Force through the Onitsha Main Market Vigilante Service led by Chinenye Ihemko(Okpomkpi) following a protest near Onitsha Main Market over killing of their members by the Police and handed over to SARS Unit attached to the Onitsha Central Police Station (CPS) which transferred them to Awkuzu SARS Headquarters at the request of CSP James Nwafor.
We investigated further the identities of the nine MASSOB members and found that: (a) Basil Ogbu was real. He hailed from Nsukka in Enugu State and lived at 100 Bida Road, Onitsha. He was about 25 years and his wife is Mrs. Uchenna Ogbu, then nursing mother with phone number-08064018819; (b) Monday Omeogo was real, formerly of No.10, Minaj Street, Obosi, Anambra State. He hailed from Ohakwu LGA in Ebonyi State and was about 30 years of age. His wife is Mrs. Eucharia Omeogo with phone number 08109957940; (c) Michael Ogba was real. He lived at Johnbosco Lane, Ugwuagba Layout, Obosi and hailed from Ebonyi State and he was about 35 years. His wife is Mrs. Susan Ogba with phone number-08135564871; (d) Obinna Oguejiofor was real. He hailed from Umuoli-Umoji in Anambra State and was 20years. His mother is Mrs. Augustina Oguejiofor with phone number 08068262471; (e) Obumneme Ezeh was real and 25 years of age. He lived at No.2, Maifulani Street, Fegge, Onitsha and hailed from Amandugba in Imo State. His mother is Mrs. Phebi Ezeh with phone number-07031949088; (f) Ebuka Ezeh was real and 27 years old. He lived at No. 5, Anaekwe Street, Fegge, Onitsha and hailed from Amandugba in Imo State. His mother is Mrs. Philomena Ezeh with phone number-08022945380; (g) Philip Nwankpa was real. He lived at Uruowulu Village, Obosi and hailed from Ezza West LGA, Ebonyi State. He was about 30 years. His wife is Mrs. Ekene Nwankpa with phone number-08133021378. We were unable to trace relatives of the two remaining MASSOB members as at then.
Sadly, the Ezu River saga was politically and pathologically manipulated on account of undue interferences and extensive State-actor manipulations. For instance, there was a makeshift autopsy carried out by the then Government of Anambra State headed by Mr. Peter Obi. The autopsy was acutely selective and unpopular. The worst of it all was legislative interferences by various Senate Committees at the instance of Senator Chris Nwabueze Ngige, which claimed to be “investigating” the saga; whereas they harboured an intention to exonerate CSP James Nwafor and his SARS of obvious and circumstantial culpability. As expected, the Senate Committees later released a watery and highly cover-up report claiming that the 40 or more lifeless bodies were not traced to SARS; yet the Report failed woefully till date to mention the origin and killers of the lifeless bodies despite the availability of overwhelming pieces of circumstantial and obvious evidence linking the atrocious act to CSP James Nwafor and his SARS. Our investigation then found and still finds: (a) CSP James Nwafor and his SARS of: first degree culpability; (2) then CP Bala Nassarawa: aiding and abetting; (c) then Government of Anambra State headed by Peter Obi: abetting; and the Senate Committees: abetting, suppression of facts and perjury.
It is on account of the foregoing that we (Intersociety) join other rights groups in rising in strong opposition to CSP James Nwafor’s midwifery of Anambra SARS for the second time after years of his inglorious epoch as Anambra SARS Officer-in-Charge. We particularly salute the courage of the International Human Rights and Equity Defense Foundation (iH-REF), led by Mr. Uche, Justus-Ijeoma, which recently took a bold step concerning the matter through its letter to the IGP, dated 31st of August 2016. We understand that CSP James Nwafor’s inglorious return was at the insistence of the Government of Anambra State headed by Governor Willie Obiano and some rich persons with questionable characters. We see this as a gubernatorial blunder and cementation of gross rights abuses that have become the stock-in-trade of SARS activities under CSP James Nwafor. CSP James Nwafor ought and should be thoroughly investigated and put on trial having been gravely implicated in sundry rights abuses, captured in several rights groups’ reports and publications including those of Amnesty International, UK. The IGP is hereby called upon to withdraw CSP James Nwafor immediately from Anambra State as OC/SARS and put him under thorough investigation for sundry policing atrocities above highlighted.
Governor Willie Obiano on his part is totally condemned for taking laws into his hands by engaging in “pre-trial and pre-judgment” demolition of properties belonging to suspected kidnappers and their accomplices. This is a bad legacy inherited from the former administration of Governor Peter Obi. We condemned then and still condemn the Obi’s administration for bequeathing to the State such infamous practice. The 1999 Constitution and other laws of the land never grant governors or the president powers to demolish before judgment any property associated with violent crime in Nigeria or any part thereof. Even if a State Law sanctions it, it stands expressly null and void on account of its inherent inconsistency with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and other Laws of the Federation. A property linked with alleged commission of violent crime can only be sealed for purposes of criminal investigation and possible prosecution through a valid order of a high court. Crime suspects and properties so associated, no matter the gravity of criminal accusation are still innocent until the trial courts say otherwise.
For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
Mobile Line: +2348174090052
Obianuju Igboeli, Esq., (LLB, BL), Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
Mobile Line: +2348034186332
*Photo Caption - As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - Nigeria needs to rapidly apply solid solutions to rescue the nation from its current recession. Millions have lost their jobs – 4.6 million according to the national statistics bureau – and millions more are suffering severe hardship and dying and at risk of death. The further down Nigeria sinks, the steeper will be the climb out of the hole.
Sadly, most of what we read from so-called economic experts is advice for the Nigerian government to consult them or others to address the economic recession. None of them has opened up in the public space, if they have the ideas, and proffered the solutions to the current economic quagmire. They keep talking like it's some sort of riddle and as though Nigeria is not their country and they are not part of those who got the nation where it is today. Indeed we are all responsible, but most especially those who have been in governments in the past; however blaming is disingenuous and counterproductive. What Nigeria needs now is solutions.
The solutions for an economic recession, if it can be solved, are not private or secrets of any kind. This is why anyone who keeps it a mystery does not have anything good to offer. The U.S. recession was solved with simple open processes including for a big part, the "2009 Stimulus" [the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)].
A few "solution" comments I have read which include, flooding the economy and diversifying, are palliative and long-term and not to address the fundamental, acute and chronic issues that are not peculiar to Nigeria. While I am not an economist by training, as an educated Nigerian with preservation of my nation at heart, it is my duty to contribute my researched analysis on the solutions for the current problem(s).
How Did Nigeria Get Here?
While the Obasanjo and Jonathan governments definitely played a major role in getting us here by selling (Obasanjo privatization frenzy) all of Nigeria to cabal and looting all its earnings, it is counterintuitive to keep blaming them. The truth is that there is more to this recession than the tens of billions of dollars they and their private cabal partners looted and the infrastructure they failed to build. We must recognize that the recession is not limited to Nigeria. Venezuela is feeling it too; even Saudi Arabia is laying off workers in the thousands.
Two global factors played the biggest role in bringing on this economic famine.
The first was the Saudi oil war-games. By pumping oil at above quota, Saudi Arabia single-handedly determined to crash oil prices and punish all oil producers. Saudi pumps oil at under $10 a barrel which makes low prices still profitable for them, unlike Nigeria where the Obasanjos, Babangidas and other semi-intelligent, money worshipping lowly organisms exploited the country permanently with deals that produce our oil at as much as $33/barrel. Low oil prices, with oil being Nigeria's mono-economic singular export, naturally crashed the Naira. Unfortunately when teased during an Al-Jazeera interview, President Buhari said he will never challenge Saudi Arabia on the kingdom's crippling decisions and will not even dare threaten to pull out of Saudi-run OPEC in order to push for Nigeria's survival. So we are stuck here as far as oil prices go.
The second factor that really triggered this recession, most specifically, the tissued Naira was a U.S. decision made public – and thus, operative– as early as March 2014, to increase interest rates. Floating this decision alone caused investors to buy-up the dollar and through 2014 before the rate was even increased, the Benjamin appreciated the most it ever had in a decade, rising as much as 12% in value that year alone. Naira crashed as did Cedis and other currencies. By December of 2015, the U.S. Fed finally increased interest rates to between 0.25 and 0.5% and the fortunes were sealed. The Dollar continued to appreciate, investors in the U.S. would get more money on their bank deposits and mortgages would rise. The rates are on course to further increases to about 0.875% in 2016. It's summer for the dollar and winter for the Naira.
It is important to always compare what is happening in Nigeria to peer nations. Our analysts compared the changes to the Naira to the Cedis. Like the 2012 fuel subsidy removal which was not a puppet Jonathan thing per se but a mandate from the IMF as we noticed that the same subsidy was removed across West African nations at the same time on the instance of Lagarde, so also the Forex crash has been virtually identical in Nigeria and Ghana. While the Cedis dropped over the past three years under highlight, gradually, reaching a 1:4 value from the initial 1:1.7 it was in early 2014 post revaluation, the Naira was artificially retained at an inflated value and crashed in one swoop, also downgrading from about 1:160 to 1:425. Both have crashed the same proportion.
Bearing this in mind, next are frank solutions to Nigeria's recession:
1. Actual Devaluation of the Naira
Why is there a black market, BDC in Nigeria? Why does the country have two dollar rates? This is supervised corruption and main reason why the Naira remains in free and turbulent fall.
Central Bank, CBN's Godwin Emefiele continues to play games with Nigeria, refusing to fully devalue the Naria. A rate duplicity is maintained with the current interbank dollar rate at N305 while the parallel market sells this at N425. This dual rate is corruption and set up to favor the cabal who have been dashed billions of dollars via CBN subsidized dollar sales. Godwin and his friends are able to make N115 on every dollar. The dual rate also maintains a competition for dollars which hikes the price at the parallel market with rebound effects on the interbank rate. A recent Reuters article highlighted how corrupt governments-made billionaire Aliko Dangote was literally dashed $100 million in just over two months of Buhari's tenure in review. Extrapolate that to a year and you get a total gift of as much as $500 million dollars.
Nigeria can only come out of the recession if the Naira is truly devalued, and there is no longer pressure on the BDC (Bureau de Change). While the federal government of Nigeria is seeking a $1 billion Eurobond, it has within the same period dashed Dangote half a billion dollars in the span of a year and the cabal as a whole some several billion dollars in subsidized forex for their personal ventures while small businesses wee shut out to die. This cannot continue. As Senator Ben Murray-Bruce said, the central bank is for all Nigerians and not only the cabal.
2. Recover Nigeria's USD Billions And Do Not Borrow
The Federal government of Nigeria should not borrow money. It has no need to do so as this has no long term benefit. Rather the Buhari government should employ the services of Nigeria's best lawyers including Attorney Femi Falana to exigently go after the more than 100 billion recoverable dollars Nigeria has abroad and with bailed-out local banks.
Falana explained in February of this year, “From the information at our disposal, the federal government is owed not less than $66.5 billion (about N13.3 trillion) which ought to be recovered without any further delay...In addition, following the crisis of global capitalism... in 2008, the Central Bank of Nigeria gave a bailout of $4 billion (N600 billion) to the commercial banks in the country... The CBN has not deemed it fit to ask for the refund of the total sum of $11 billion injected into the banking system...”
With the right legal maneuvers, Nigeria can immediately secure several billions of dollars in hard cash air lifts, just like Iran recently is reported to have. Nigeria must face its challenges from a position of power and not one of defeat. He who goes out with a begging bowl lives to tell a sorry tale. There are ways to twist arms and repatriate moneys rapidly. Every tool must be used.
Delete security vote: It must be mentioned that waste must be cut in the government. The security vote must be cut both at the federal level and at state levels. This runs into trillions of Naira mostly wasted or used to finance political, hate and terror campaigns including to pay for media attacks of individuals and groups which continue to promote deadly strife in Nigeria.
3. Take Advantage of the Devalued Naira
If it can't be a win, win, it doesn't have to be a lose, lose. Foreign investors are leaving Nigeria not solely because of the devalued Naira, but because of the government posture. Whereas, the crash of the Naira as all economic predicaments, should be exploited to Nigeria's advantage with aggressive marketing of the opportunities for investors but most importantly with a strong government posture; the shaky and uncertain body-language of Buhari and his cabinet are making a double loss where there should be gain. This is the time for foreigners to invest dollars in Nigeria, most especially in its vast natural resource opportunities. A dollar goes 250% further than it used to.
Now is the time to set up quarries, to invest in mining, farming, fishing and other available opportunities in Nigeria. Now is the time to build and own estate. But why are foreign investors not coming? It is time Nigeria hones in on the opportunities of the low Naira by assuring of security of investment for foreign entities and governments. It is time Nigeria showed confident and eager leadership. We should at least turn it around into a lose, win, situation.
4. Scrap Import Ban List, Open The Market
The CBN's import ban list has been described as a sham that has always been prompted by the cabal, the likes of Obasanjo and Dangote who typically institute these bans on products Dangote and other cabal manufacture. The import ban lists have always been set up in Nigeria's history to promote the oligopolies of the cabal. Late Umaru Yar'adua opened the markets and prices fell. He dared to "disentangle" Obasanjo and Dangote till he was killed.
It is poor economics to force dependence on a monopoly. This is why the rich get richer in Nigeria and the poor get poorer till there is chaos. Former CBN governor Charles Soludo has lambasted this policy. It is highly fraudulent and reeks of corruption.
You cannot invite investors and expect trade cooperation while you lock out goods to promote a certain exploitative cabal. In spite of successive government promoting the same cabal, Nigeria buys cement at the highest global prices, at least double the world average. Nigeria's ".ng" domain name sells at $100/year by these same Obasanjo-related cabal, the highest cost in the world. Virtually every product the Nigerian cabal are assisted to have monopolies on end up exploiting the masses and put money in one pocket only – the cabal's. Markets can grow on open competition. The cabal must be encouraged to be competitive and not "it's so much it's like voodoo money" exploitative.
5. Lower Interest Rates And Promote Small Businesses
Small businesses employ as much as 80% of labor. As small businesses are being killed, there will continue to be mass unemployment, no purchase power and economic recession. The current CBN policies are tailored to corruptly give undue advantage to the cabal and to exterminate small businesses. While cabal buy forex as CBN subsidized rates, small businesses get none. Small business entrepreneurs have limited access to loans and when they do, they get them at unreasonable interest rates.
The federal government must immediately create alternative sources of capital for small businesses. The cabal utilize stashed loot and launder money for former administrators to run their businesses while small businesses are forced out of existence. It is better the Buhari government supports 1000 micro industries than it supports one cabal company. Cabal must be properly taxed and the taxes used to build small industry. Rathe the Nigerian government currently taxes the small people to give to the cabal who further exploit the small people with highest prices in the world for goods and utilities.
The cabal have been bailed out numerous times and given waivers and dashed subsidized forex while all governments including the current fail to bailout small businesses. Interest rates must be lowered and government cash must be pumped in an organized and supervised fashion at SMEs (small and medium enterprises). Local fruit juice companies, local chemical factories, metal works, parts plants, recycling plants, solar panel assemblies, mushroom refineries and the like must be encouraged by the government aggressively and immediately.
6. Promote And Standardize "Made In Nigeria"
It is past time for a #MadeinNigeria culture. But this must be more than just a slogan. There are reasons why Nigerians do not patronize made in Nigeria goods. These include reliability. The Federal government must update the standardization boards. All manufactured goods must have warranties that are enforced, with customers being 100% protected by the government. Nigerians should be able to see the warranty label and know that it is backed and protected by law. Failure of companies to fulfill the warranty must be treated seriously as a crime with the companies being immediately shut down and the customers compensated.
Furthermore the ministry of industry must certify products. Product certification in China has boosted the country's manufacturing sector as its goods are better regarded in global as well as local markets. Nigerians need this assurance as do potential foreign markets where Made in Nigeria goods can be sold. A portal with licensed manufacturer names and information must be available online through which goods and parts can be sourced and Nigerians companies' accreditation by the government can be reviewed.
Only the federal government has the capacity to develop piecemeal manufacturing where parts of products are made by various small manufacturers and then later combined by other small enterprises, i.e. "division of labor." The government must do this. The importance of the government recognizing and promoting small entrepreneurs as it currently only does the cabal can not be overstated. The government must set-up to be the link between small piecemeal manufacturers and the market.
It is time for the federal government to actively promote, support and protect a Made in Nigeria culture.
7. Naira: Think Strength Of The People, Poor Economics
Forget strength of the Naira. Think strength of the people. When the people are strong the Naira will get strong; when the people are weak, the Naira will be weak. Nigeria must forget about its Moody rating. Countries have endured tough sanctions and come put superpowers. This is not even sanctions. The Federal government of Nigeria should put the cap on people suffering and dying and not the Naira devaluing. Pull reserves if needed to strengthen the people.
The Naira will continue to drop when the government gives a single cabal $500 million dollars in 12 months then seeks to borrow $1 billion for the entire nation. This corruption makes the people weak and the Naira weak. The Naira cannot appreciate when the Presidency hugs 10 wasteful presidential jets. The people will not be convinced. The people will not have strength, sacrifice and patronize when Lai Mohammed walks in, clad in a loud diamond-sharp starched agbada, to advertise "Change" a slogan copied from Obama, and the President reads more words copied from Obama. And the Naira will not be strong. The Naira will be as weak as the weakening people when they see the circle of power sporting $40,000 watches and $100,000 bags. This government must be serious about change, or/and must immediately partition the country into pieces that will have the chance to as serious as is demanded, and to compete which each other in this.
Contrary to what capitalist economists say, the strength of the economy and currency is determined by the strength of the people and not the other way around. We must study economics for the poor and not always the predominant hegemonists' brand of economics. Economics of the wealthy has not worked anywhere. Europe is in a perpetual recession even after deriving and the continued derivation of billions from the exploitation of Africa. America today is trillions of dollars in debt in spite of the slave trade and colonisation largesse and continued military economic escapades around the world. The late Thomas Sankara believed in and built the capacity his people. The results were shocking and immediate. We have already wasted the first year and a half of this administration building only the corrupt cabal, it is time to build the people. The Naira will follow.
8. Never Again Use a Banker As CBN Governor
Remove Godwin Emefiele and never again use a banker as CBN governor. Each of the times Nigeria appointed bankers as CBN governors, they built the banks and cabal and extinguished the masses. It is a clear conflict of interest to put a banker with vested interests and friends in the banks, as head of the Apex bank. That is like putting a wolf to protect your chickens.
With the two famous recent banker governors, crippling bank charges and fees were added upon each other to fund the banks and drain the masses in a continuous and progressing ponzi scheme. Some policies were more directly exploiting than others, but all gave the banks many free passes to make earnings off of the poor masses with no value added to the Nigerian economy. And these were done while the cabal were given humongous loans on hand shakes and billions of dollars gifts in subsidized forex. As I wrote July this year, "Recession: Nigeria’s Economy Cannot Improve So Long As Godwin Emefiele Remains In Charge."
9. Strengthen And Decentralize The Police
Insecurity has cost Nigeria billions in economic loses from the northeast, now a humanitarian catastrophe and a drain to the economy, and continues to do so in the Niger Delta. The fastest and best solution to the continuous breakdown of law and order is stronger and local police. The Nigerian army has no role in domestic maintenance of law and order and as it continues to unconstitutionally police the state, it gets involved in more violations and provokes more deadly crises as it has done in the past. The army is not trained in investigating and arresting. It has no training in disbursing riots and protests and presenting cases to the court. The Nigerian constitution reserves its use as a back up to the police and ONLY when and if approved by the national assembly.
There is no economy without security and there is no security without a police command that has capacity and understanding of the region. Nigeria will not be serious about economic recovery till it returns the army to the barracks and builds police capacity.
10. Find A Vision For Nigeria
I do not know the vision of Nigeria so far and if the current government has one. What does Nigeria want to be? We know the vision of Dubai and Dubai took itself there. Does Nigeria want to become a tourist center? Does Nigeria want to become the West and Central Africa central manufacturing capital? Does Nigeria wish to become the food basket of Africa? Does Nigeria wish to become the information technology capital in the world? Or does Nigeria wish to become a combination of these or some of them and others?
It is important a central vision or visions for Nigeria is developed and Nigerians are made cognisant of this vision for the future of the nation. Let's know where we are going so every one can pick an oar and row in consonance. Today we just hear that the new administration wants to build a country, but what country will that be? It is OK to just build a country, but it is better to build a country with a particular primary vision. The world is moving away from careers as we know them. Soon all jobs will be taken over by machines, even medical jobs are at risk. Nigeria can choose a vision that places it at an advantage in the future that has already begun.
Nigeria will survive by God's grace.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports: Adekunle Olushola reports ] - Although Africa's growth has slowed, the long term fundamentals are strong, big business opportunities lie ahead and the overall outlook is positive. These facts are contained in the latest McKinseyGlobal Institute Report just released today titled, Lions On The Move II: Realizing The Potentials of Africa's Economy.
According to the MGI’S new report, four fundamentals are likely to underpin Africa's economic growth. Firstly, Africa has the fastest urbanization rate in the world. Over the next ten years, 187 million more Africans will live in cities—equivalent to half the US population today.Secondly, it has the biggest working-age population in the world of 1.1 billion in 2034—larger than in either China or India. Thirdly, it has the largest reserves in the world of many key natural resources (e.g., 60 percent of the world’s unutilized but potentially available cropland, and the largest global reserves of vanadium, manganese, and many others). Additionally, Africa has the chance to leapfrog old technologies using mobile and digital (e.g., penetration of smartphones expected to hit 50 percent in 2020 vs. 18 percent in 2015).
The new MGI report confirmed that spending by consumers and businesses in Africa today totals $4 Trillion. By 2025, the total could be $5.6 Trillion. Household consumption is expected to grow by 3.3% a year and reach $2.1 Trillion by 2025. The total could be $5.6 Trillion, reflecting an expanding African consuming class. Business spending is expected to grow from $2.6 Trillion in 2015 to $3.5 Trillion by 2025, and Africa has an opportunity to nearly double manufacturing output from $500 Billion today to $930 Billion in 2025. AFRICA’S economies are no longer a story about exporting commodities- but about tapping into vibrant domestic demand. Accelerated industrialization could lead to a steep change in productivity and and the creation of 6-14 million stable jobs over the next 10 years.
AchaLeke, a McKinsey Senior Partner and Report Co-author, said:“Our new research shows how in coming years Africa will benefit from strong fundamentals including a young and growing population, the world’s fastest urbanization rate, and accelerating technological change. These will help drive rapid growth in consumer markets and business supply chains, and will offer opportunities to build large, profitable industrial and services companies. "Tapping Africa’s consumer markets will require companies to have a detailed understanding of income, demographic, and category trends. Thriving in business markets will require businesses to offer products and develop sales forces able to target the relatively fragmented private sector. But what our research also shows is how much work needs to be done both by companies themselves and by Africa’s governments to translate opportunity into tangible economic benefits.”To make the most of the opportunities, Africa needs more large companies. MGI’S new database of Corporate Africa, shows that the continent has 700 companies with revenues of more than $500 million, of which 400 companies have revenues of more than $1 Billion. AFRICA’S companies are growing faster and are generally more profitable than their global peers. "Africa’s top 100 companies have achieved success by developing strong positions at home, staying the course to build their businesses over decades, integrating what other companies would usually outsource, and investing in building and retaining talent. Further success is possible in six high-potential sectors with high growth, high profitability, and low consolidation. These are: wholesale and retail, food and agro-processing, health care, financial services, light manufacturing, and construction."
Governments need to play a stronger role in unleashing renewed dynamism. Six priorities emerge from this research. Firstly, mobilize more domestic resources, taking bold steps to mobilize more of its own funding to finance development. Secondly, aggressively diversify economies, encouraging growth in high-potential sectors in close cooperation with business, based on a clear understanding of their countries’ comparative advantages. Then accelerate infrastructure development and deepen regional integration.
Additionally, create tomorrow's talent, ensuring that educational and training systems build work-relevant skills, and that students are aware of, and encouraged to enter, these vocations and that the private sector builds on best practice. Finally, ensure “healthy” urbanization, so that cities grow with the infrastructure required to make the biggest positive economic and social impact possible. Delivering on these six priorities will require the vision and determination to drive far-reaching reforms in many areas of public life—and capable public administration with the skill and commitment to implement such reforms.
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[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - I seek indulgement to type this piece in defense of late President Umaru Yar'Adua who has been inadvertently included in a list of PDP Presidents who "left Nigeria no legacy," according to a public statement attributed to the current President Muhammadu Buhari.
While President Yar'Adua is obviously not here to defend himself, providence demands some of us stand in his stead. I do not believe that President Muhammadu Buhari intended to include Yar'Adua in the list of PDP Presidents who failed Nigeria over the 16 years, however being that Yar'Adua's name was included in headlines across the dailies, it is important to attempt to properly present his legacy.
Yar'Adua ranks among Nigeria's top two Presidents of all time. By most metrics, two Presidents who had truncated terms were the best by far: late Yar'Adua and late Murtala Muhammad are these two. While President Muhammadu Buhari's first term also ranked high, perhaps the third best, his current term is filled with mixed results and cannot yet be judged to be in the top category according to my humble opinion. The bottom of the list is occupied by the likes of Obasanjo, Jonathan, Abacha and Babangida, noted for looting the nation's treasury silly and enjoying immunity and even being defended of "having never stolen" by eminent persons.
I will attempt to do summarily justice to this topic in several sections. I will utilize swaths from my February 2014 article on the great legacy of late President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua as I compare to what we have currently:
Yar'Adua: the Only President To Openly Fully Declare His Assets
Late Yar'Adua was the first democratic President to fully and publicly declare his assets and remains the only Nigerian President to do so till date. While President Muhammadu Buhari published a summary three sentence brief of his assets, a full public declaration of these is yet to be made. The effect of Yar'Adua's public asset declaration on trust, transparency and good governance to Nigeria is a legacy he left of untold value that is yet to be rivaled.
Late Yar'Adua's Legacy on Terror: Boko Haram And MEND
President Yar’Adua had been handed two catastrophic problems by the predecessor Obasanjo government. Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND was wrecking havoc in the Southern creeks and Boko Haram had similarly evolved in the north east. Under the Obasanjo regime, Nigeria’s national security boss, NSA Aliyu Gusau, a Babangida autocratic-regime henchman and the man behind most of Nigeria’s sad history of military coups and continuous insecurity as recurrent security chief, had failed to abate the problems in the north and south. According to reports, Gusau had actually told president Obasanjo when he asked about Boko Haram, then called, ‘Nigerian Taliban,’ that ‘no such group existed,’ despite attacks by the group.
Faced with these unique, entrenched challenges, Yar’Adua selected a National Security Adviser, Major Gen. Sarki Mukhtar – remembered for opposing Abacha on coup plotter treatment in the 90s– who had the commitment and wherewithal to intelligently and appropriately combat the two terror problems.
The Yar’Adua administration with NSA Mukhtar immediately approached the MEND crises with an understanding of the pressing situation.
Through a combination of force and payoffs, President Yar'Adua persuaded all major militant leaders in October of 2010 to renounce violence and surrender their arms in exchange for amnesty, government subsidies, training opportunities, and promises of more money and development of the region. [Ref: Cables]
The Amnesty placated the agitating youth who had reduced Nigeria’s oil output by almost half, more than the current loses by the Niger Delta Avengers and related groups today, and Nigeria invested billions in training and rehabilitating these youth. Peace that eluded Obasanjo was fully restored to the creeks.
Faced with a different terror uprising in the north, Yar’Adua with his apt NSA Mukhtar swung into action, again properly considering the dynamics of the northern question. Poverty is predominant in Nigeria’s north, however poverty and/or misguided fanaticism is no excuse for terrorism and murder of innocent civilians and security officers. The nation’s security men were sent to sack the Boko Haram camps in a swift and efficient operation. In one of the few times in recent global history, the terror mastermind, Mohammed Yusuf himself was caught and killed as ‘he attempted to escape.’ Over 700 mostly Boko Haram terrorists were massacred in the operation of July 2009. But Yar'Adua did not stop there. He drew-up a comprehensive deradicalization plan that promised to monitor and prevent radical groups from resurging across Nigeria's north and also to address the complex societal dynamics that breed terror.
Having established calm and restored security to Nigeria, late Yar’Adua continued with managing other pressing crises he had inherited from the previous administration.
What Obasanjo Left
Yar'Adua's predecessor, President Olusegun Obasanjo, OBJ rode the oil price waves. OBJ’s regime was not particularly economically unique. It more accurately put, was lucky to be in favorable times and the economic growth was concordant with catapulting global oil prices. Oil prices were $16 in 1999 at the start of his tenure and rose rapidly to double that, $35 in September 2000. By August 2005, oil sold at $65 and by October 2007, oil prices were $90/barrel. Obasanjo rode these prices in an ‘oil cruise.’
See figure: Oil Price and Nigerian Growth
An important hallmark of the predecessor administration was tits corrupt privatization agenda. Obasanjo built Nigeria's corruption infrastructure. Obasanjo raised his friends and sponsors of his party (PDP) to gods, handing them chunks of the country across all economic sectors, including things as little as the ".ng" domain which at $100/year is the most costly in the world today. The likes of Dangote and Otedola were handed chunks of Nigeria in a privatization frenzy. Transcorp was formed to further facilitate the complete hand-over of Nigeria’s assets to private cronies of the PDP. As Obasanjo failed to secure his third term bid, he quickly auctioned off Nigeria’s oil refineries to the same cabal.
Other not so favorable aspects of the OBJ years, including the ‘skewed’ use of the EFCC, the billions allocated for repairing power plants, the ‘missing’ recovered Abacha loot and the like have been thrashed suitably in the media.
While terror got embedded in the country, the rich got stupendously richer during Obasanjo and the poor got poorer. The gap between the rich and poor have since in the fourth republic widened to levels never before seen. This is the Nigeria Yar'Adua would inherit.
Tackling the Recession
President Musa Yar’Adua had an uphill task. He was coming in when oil prices were dropping during the global recession and Nigeria’s economy faced testing. The Yar’Adua government had to stabilize the economy against dropping oil prices and decreased production as a result of Niger-Delta terror which had reduced oil exports by more than half. This was the heyday of MEND.
Oil prices dropped to a low value of $35 a barrel during his tenure. This was definitely a tough time as repeats today. But a steady hand and refusal to adopt wrong policies protected the economy.
Late Yar'Adua inherited an external reserve of $45 billion, which grew to $63 billion in September, 2008. Due to the twin blows of reduced income from MEND terror and tanked global oil costs, Yar"Adua left $47. 7 billion in the reserves as at Dec 31st 2009 when Jonathan took over. He left Nigeria's external debts relatively unchanged.
Faced with an impending recession rocking the world, the Yar'Adua government dug into the nation's Excess Crude Account to fund the National Integrated Power Project and distribute additional funds national, state, and local governments.
To tackle and prevent Nigeria joining the global recession and shore the economy, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under President Yar'Adua and led by Sanusi lamido Sanusi (now Emir) ordered the immediate audit of all 24 of Nigeria's banks. The audits were followed by the replacement of eight troubled bank leaders and a $3.9 billion bailout of the banks which stabilized the economy.
The Yar'Adua government published a "name and shame" list of hundreds of bad debtors which included many closely tied to the PDP and Yar'Adua personally recovered billions in bad debts. In contrast today, the Buhari government refuses to publish the names of looters even after they have returned moneys.
Legacy On Corruption And How Late Yar'Adua Fought Obasanjo, Dangote And Other Cabal
Apart from the "name and shame list, in October of 2010, the former chairman of the Nigerian Port Authority and Vice-Chairman of President Yar'Adua's 2007 presidential campaign, Bode George of the PDP party was convicted on various corruption charges and sentenced to jail. This was a man who was first indicted in 2005 by the EFCC but was allegedly shielded by Obasanjo.
A major battle Yar’Adua had to face was the recovery of Nigeria from the cabal. Obasanjo had literally sold Nigeria to private friends of his and his party. Tycoon Dangote had been selected and favored by president Obasanjo not only during his second appearance in civilian regalia but from his first show as military dictator when he gave Dangote exclusive importation rights. With the sale of Nigeria’s refineries to Dangote and Otedola, Dangote owned as much as half of Nigeria’s assets, which included Nigeria’s cement plants, a telecoms licence and mining concessions. Bashani Aminu, a Yar'Adua confidant revealed as relayed in Wikileaks,“Disentangling Obasanjo” cables that Dangote once gave Obasanjo a 35 million dollar private jet as thanks for his fruitful partnership.
“Aminu expects more of the same soon — particularly an overturn of the Transcorp purchase of the Abuja Nicon Hilton. Aminu also noted Yar’adua’s commitment to fighting corruption and told Post he gave the greenlight to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate anyone.
He predicted Yar’adua will overturn the Transcorp purchase of the Abuja Nicon Hilton soon. These deals will be aimed at removing the ill-earned gains of Obasanjo and his close allies such as Aliko Dangote. (NOTE: Dangote and Obasanjo’s Transcorp were both part of the consortium that purchased the Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries.) Aminu claimed Dangote gave Obasanjo a 35 million USD jet plane as a recent “gift.”
In July of 2007, barely two months into office, Yar’Adua summoned the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), to query the sale of Nigeria’s refineries to Dangote and co. And to the praise of Nigeria’s Labour Congress (NLC) Yar’Adua overturned these privatizations for being corrupt. Yar’Adua was next going after the Transcorp purchase of Abuja NICON Hilton. Though Obasanjo had put Yar’Adua into office against Yar’Adua’s wishes, he having objected to contesting on health grounds, Yar’Adua was determined to rescue Nigeria from the paws of the cabal, even his sponsors, Dangote, who financially sponsored his campaigns and Obasanjo who orchestrated his selection.
But this was not even the half of Yar’Adua’s war against corruption. There was the kerosene subsidy scam, through which the fourth republic stole and still steals 10 million dollars every day from the Nigerian masses. Yar’Adua who was battling with a chronic allergic disorder and had intermittent kidney failure, took this matter as no joke and not a matter to delay on. Within his short tenure, he went hard and firm against the subsidy fraud, sending four directive communications to immediately seize the fake subsidy that ‘was not reaching the beneficiaries – the Nigerian masses. Yar’Adua’s Principal Secretary, Mr. David Edevbie conveyed the directives.
The government spent/spends millions of dollars everyday subsidizing kerosene that was/is sold to the masses at unsubsidized prices in an elaborate, cheap scam. President Yar’Adua on June 15, 2009 gave a clear directive that NNPC should cease subsidy claims on kerosene. Kerosene fraudulent subsidy claims run up to the tune of N300 trillions per year. This was going to hurt Obsanjo and his cabal cronies.
Ambassador Maitama Sule revealed that Obasanjo was scared Yar’Adua would soon come after him and AC’s Garba Shehu said Atiku warned Yar’Adua that Obasanjo was plotting to remove him for his “treachery.”
Today the Buhari government is in bed with Obasanjo and Dangote who are dictating government policies and receiving billions in government subsidies and gifts. A recent Reuters report that covered just 3 months of released Central Bank Forex authorisations found that Dangote alone got $100 million in subsidized forex "gift" in that period [Reuters: Africa’s richest man got a fistful of dollars in Nigerian currency squeeze]. For a year of the dual CBN and blackmarket forex rates, Dangote is estimated to have benefitted a whopping half a billion dollars in forex gift from the Buhari administration. This free money from Nigeria's coffers strengthened the Dangote brand over Nigeria while small businesses were given no concessions and folded up leading to at least 4.6 million Nigerians losing their jobs according to numbers from the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS.
Further, unlike the Obasanjo policy to ban import of goods which Dangote and other cabal have monopolies in, to promote the stocks of these cabal party sponsors, Yar'Adua is applauded to have allowed free importation, limiting local costs and increasing foreign investments in Nigeria. The current regime policies pushed by Obasanjo and Dangote have led to increased hardship while patronizing ad promoting Dangote who is alleged to invest money of many of Nigeria's looters and other cabal.
According to US cables: "...elimination of import bans and lower tariffs on key products, bringing down the cost of doing business and reducing incentives for smuggling. The Mission has helped the Government of Nigeria solve regulatory and policy problems to allow increased electricity supplies, boost agricultural production, and assist in establishing reliable regional and international markets, including use of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)."
WeeklyTrust in their one year tribute, remember Yar'Adua thus:
Yar’adua deconstructed power. He was not intoxicated by it, a fact that even his critics had attested to. He operated within the realm of the law. He didn’t pay lip service to the rule of law and due process he preached. The courts regained the freedom they lost during his predecessor’s tenure. They handed down verdicts that cancelled political victories even though his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was the victim.
Despite his ill-health, he pioneered laudable projects across the country. He initiated the dredging of River Niger, a project that was abandoned for decades. He started the reinvigoration of the abandoned rail system. He brought Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to head the Central Bank, thereby saving the country from a looming financial crisis.
He was bold enough to reverse President Olusegun Obasanjo’s decisions considered to be against the national interest. He saved the country’s three refineries from being auctioned to businessmen, who could not establish theirs. The nation’s comatose telecom giant, NITEL was not auctioned at least during his time.
He fought corruption in his own ways. He pioneered the policy of returning unspent funds to the national treasury at the end of the fiscal year even though the policy regrettably died with him. He prosecuted and jailed those believed to be above the law. His party chieftain, Chief Olabode George was convicted during Yar’adua’s adminitration. He did not create political enemies who he needed the anti-graft agencies, notably the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to humiliate as Obasanjo did.
After his assumption, he saved the jobs of over 160, 000 federal workers pencilled for sack under various pretences. Not only that, he released the N10 billion Lagos State local government councils’ funds which Obasanjo sat fat on despite court orders. Yar’adua went ahead and reversed the increment of Value Added Tax (VAT) from 10 percent to five as well as the hike in fuel price from N75 to N65. Read full
A very important aspect of the legacy of late Yar'Adua was his respect of the law. When he summoned then EFCC boss, Nuhu Ribadu to complete all cases against corrupt persons and spare no one, he is noted to have directed that Ribadu must respect and abide by the law in all cases and at all times. Compared to today, the current Buhari administration has disobeyed the courts in several cases and continues to do so, holding people in detention without charge and in denial of bail.
The Yar'Adua administration is noted to have strengthened the judicial system beyond compare, an essentiality for national growth and progress.
His Death And The Conclusion
There are many more instances of Yar’Adua’s stunning and committed actions towards strengthening the judiciary, developing the economy, securing the nation and total war against corruption. But Yar'Adua suddenly took seriously ill and suspected he had been poisoned. As relayed in Wikileaks cables, Professor Ukandi G. Damachi, an insider and confidant to Babangida and other Nigerian top elite, claimed that late Yar’Adua suspected he had been poisoned by his kitchen staff who he inherited from the former president, Obasanjo. This belief was grave enough according to Professor Ukandi G. Damachi, that Yar’Adua fired all the kitchen staff and replaced them.
Suspicion of poisoning has been rather common in Nigeria’s story, and Shehu Musa, Yar’Adua’s elder brother, was believed to have been killed by poisoning in jail as also it is believed late president elect MKO Abiola was.
Yar’Adua’s wife, Turai is also reported to have believed her husband was poisoned, and this was done to speed up his death. [Fresh Facts, May 2010: “They Killed Yar’Adua”].
When the Goodluck Jonathan administration took over, during a valedictory session in Yar’Adua’s honour, a motion to investigate the conditions of Yar’Adua’s death was raised by senators who alleged that the circumstances leading to the death of Yar’Adua were suspicious, but this motion to probe did not pass the floor and so this possibility was never investigated.
While the predecessor governments, especially the immediate past Jonathan government, certainly messed up Nigeria, we believe it is time the current administration gets over regurgitating the past to explain the predicament of these times. A several month delay in choosing his cabinet (which ended up consisting of nothing special and EFCC and ICPC implicated members with records of corruption in their states) and the delays in signing the budget cost Nigeria a year. This was essential time that should have been used to block and possibly prevent the recession currently bedeviling the nation. Ongoing gifts of billions of dollars in forex subsidies to the corrupt cabal are not helping either. Late Yar'Adua believed in the power of the people over the cabal. This is a legacy that needs to be emulated.
We wish the government success in its efforts to rescue Nigeria.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
Photo Caption - Oil Price and Nigerian Growth Table. *Click link below for Enlarged Image -
[ Masterweb Reports: Ben Ezeamalu reports ] - Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to reject the conditionality attached by the Swiss government before the return of $321 million Abacha loot to Nigeria.
In a letter to the president, Mr. Falana said though corruption is a problem in Nigeria, the conditions provided by the Swiss government were a violation of international laws.
“In the event that the government of Switzerland refuses to return the said sum of $321 million without any conditionality, the Federal Government should not hesitate to initiate legal proceedings for the recovery of the asset,” Mr. Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, stated in the letter dated September 9.
“In the proposed suit Nigeria should claim punitive and exemplary damages and interests from Switzerland for keeping the loot for over 20 years.”
In July, the Swiss government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigerian government towards the return of the money looted by Nigeria’s late dictator, Sani Abacha.
A first tranche of the Abacha loot – $722 million – had been repatriated to Nigeria in 2005.
Eric Mayoraz, the Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, said the MoU signed in July would help remove bottlenecks usually associated with the return of the loot.
But according to Mr. Falana, the Swiss government had included in the MoU a condition that requires the World Bank to supervise the spending of the returned loot.
“We note that grand corruption, money laundering and return of stolen assets have long become major issues of concern to the international community,” said Mr. Falana.
“We further note that Switzerland has acceded to all the relevant international treaties such as the United Nations Convention against Corruption for the return of assets.
“We believe that the conditionality imposed on Nigeria, which allows the World Bank to supervise the spending of returned assets by the Nigerian government breaches international law principles and standards.
“In particular, Article 57 of the UN Convention against Corruption requires states parties to return assets ‘on the basis of a final judgment in the requesting State Party.’
But in circumstances where there is no ‘final judgment’ Article 57 allows for assets to be returned on the basis of ‘agreements or mutually acceptable arrangements, on a case-by-case basis, for the final disposal of confiscated property.'”
Mr. Falana said Article 57’s provision suggests Switzerland has no legal authority to impose conditions on Nigeria regarding the spending of recovered assets.
“While the UN Convention against Corruption contains provisions for ‘special considerations’ when states parties are concluding agreements, this does not give the government of Switzerland the right to unilaterally impose conditions on Nigeria,” Mr. Falana said.
“In addition to breaching the clear provisions of Article 57, the imposition of any conditions on the Nigerian government is a flagrant violation of the principles of sovereignty and non-intervention founded in Article 2 of the United Nations Charter.
“Imposing conditions on Nigeria regarding the spending of returned assets is disproportionate and amounts to an unlawful intervention because Switzerland has no legal or moral right to the assets.”
Mr. Falana also said the World Bank had failed to demonstrate sufficient level of transparency and accountability in its supervision of previously repatriated Abacha loot.
Last month, the Bank had requested for more time from a nongovernmental organization, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) to disclose details of how the Nigerian government spent previously recovered Abacha loot.
SERAP had requested for the information last year.
“The Bank has been unable or unwilling to consistently apply its own Access to Information Policy to disclose key information to civil society groups and other stakeholders,” said Mr. Falana.
“In the SERAP case, the World Bank failed and/or neglected to provide several portions of the information requested on the spending of recovered Abacha loot managed by the Bank.
“Although the Bank’s Access to Information Policy recognizes the right to an appeals process when a request for information in the World Bank’s possession is improperly or unreasonably denied, the appeal lodged by SERAP has been unreasonably and unduly delayed.
“Having regard to the empty promises made so far by Switzerland and the United States to return forfeited assets worth over $800 million it is clear that the Western countries will continue to frustrate the repatriation of the looted wealth of the nation being warehoused by them, albeit illegally.
“We are therefore compelled to request the Federal Government to reject any conditionality including the supervision by the World Bank attached to the return of $231m of Abacha loot to Nigeria.”
*Photo Caption - Late Sani Abacha
[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Onitsha Nigeria, 6th of September 2016)-The International Society for Civil Liberties& the Rule of Law (Intersociety) is deeply pleased and highly appreciative of the widely published letter by the Republican Party’s Congressman, Tom Marino of Pennsylvania, to the US Department of State through the Secretary of State, Senator John Kerry, asking the US Government to withhold its planned security assistance to Nigeria until ‘President Muhammadu Buhari demonstrates a commitment to inclusive government and the most basic tenets of democracy: freedom to assembly and freedom of speech’. Congressman Tom Marino assumed office on 3rd January 2011 as Republican Party’s Congressman representing the State of Pennsylvania and presently, he is a member of the US House of Reps Committees on Judiciary, Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs as well as Chairman, House Sub-committee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial & Antitrust Law.
The grand summary of Congressman Tom Marino’s saintly letter to US Department of State is that the Buhari’s civilian Presidency is disastrously marked by dictatorship, gross human rights abuses, political exclusion and segregation, violence and militancy, sectionalism, deep ethno-religious divisions and policy of militarism and militarization.
Totality of these gravely breaches the Constitution and Laws of the United States particularly in matters of its foreign policy relations and laws (i.e. the Leahy Law). The Leahy Law or Leahy amendment is a U.S. human rights law that prohibits the U.S. Department of State and Department of Defense from providing military assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights with impunity. It is named after its principal sponsor, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont. To implement this law, U.S. embassies, the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor and the appropriate regional bureau of the U.S. Department of State vet potential recipients of security assistance. If a unit is found to have been credibly implicated in a serious abuse of human rights, assistance is denied until the host nation government takes effective steps to bring the responsible persons within the unit to justice.
It is on account of the above that the referenced US Congressman’s two-page letter to Senator John Kerry in his capacity as the US Secretary of State is predicated. Rep Tom Marino had in his letter copiously and credibly quoted various Amnesty International reports on Nigeria and Gen Buhari’s Presidency; outlining gross rights abuses by the Presidency and its unwillingness and inability to fish out the perpetrators and put them on trial.
Under the International Laws’ Principle of Complimentarity, no foreign or international justice actions are required in or against any member-State of UN as they concern gross human rights abuses if such member-State clearly and credibly demonstrates ‘its ability and willingness to fish out the perpetrators of such gross rights abuses and bring them to justice; rested on international best practices’ and indeed, goes ahead and does same. The reverse is the case where a member-State brazenly and blatantly demonstrates unwillingness and inability to make the perpetrators to account or is found to have aided and abetted such heinous crimes in the context of ‘crimes against humanity or war crimes’.
Further, under existing UN or International Customary and Humanitarian Laws, the UN or any member-State of UN under UN authorization can initiate international peace operations against any member-State found enmeshed in brazen regime atrocities, culminating into complex humanitarian emergencies or disasters. This is under the new international or UN’s doctrine of sovereignty as a responsibility, adopted in 1993 as well as the universal human rights doctrine of indissolubility, uniformity, indivisibility and universality. That is to say that human rights violation anywhere is a threat to human rights protection everywhere! The Tom Marino’s letter is contained here: http://www.thetrentonline.com/us-congressman-slams-buhari/
We have also read and studied the reply to the US Congressman’s letter by the Buhari Administration through its Minister for Information & Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed. The response under reference is contained in the following link: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/09/tune-reality-fg-replies-us-congressman/. As expected, the Federal Government’s response was factored on emptiness, misinformation and irrelevancies. Its claims that ‘Congressman Tom Marino was shabbily informed about current realities in Nigeria’ are also empty and untrue. As a matter of fact, Congressman Tom Marino’s letter is factually grounded, spotless, timely and commendable. The regime atrocities of the Buhari Administration highlighted in his letter are even grossly under-reported going by the current realities.
For instance, the number of members of the Muslim Movement of Nigeria (Shiite) massacred in December 2015 by the Nigerian Army on orders of the Chief of Army Staff (Lt Gen Turkur Buratai), which Amnesty International then gave as ‘at least, 300’; has since increased to over 800. The number of Pro Biafra activists particularly the IPOB members massacred in at least eight different locations in Southeast and South-south parts of Nigeria between August 2015 and May 2016, which the Tom Marino’s letter gave as ‘over 36’ (quoting AI reports), is grossly under-reported. The real number is as high as 250 with over 300 others terminally shot and wounded. In the two tribal and religious massacres under reference, the victims were unarmed and nonviolent. Till date, the chief perpetrators of the genocidal massacres who are elements in the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force are still on the prowl and none of them has been arrested and put on trial. As a matter of fact, those implicated are presidentially rewarded with promotions and juicy posts and protected till date.
It is therefore totally correct to say that it is the Buhari Administration that is out of tune with global realities including the current trends in international relations and laws as well as the codified and constitutionalized foreign policies of the United States, which Congressman Tom Marino is battling to ensure that they are not rubbished by the Obama Administration via his letter. What Congressman Tom Marino did in his letter was to fundamentally state the obvious and remind the US Department of State of its duties under the existing laws and procedures of the USA.
The Buhari Administration’s defence in its glaring sectionalized appointments using the so called ‘board appointments’ as an indication of geopolitical and geographical spread and balancing; is totally mischievous and an argument grounded in crookedness. Using ministerial appointment criteria mandatorily provided in the 1999 Constitution as an escape route is a further attestation of an administration founded on falsehood, misdirection and deceit.
Till date, one of the greatest minuses of the Buhari Administration is its corrupted sainthood. To the prompters and promoters of the current riotous Presidency of Gen Muhammadu Buhari, the Buhari Administration does no wrong, sees no wrong and says no wrong. That is to say that the Administration has never admitted any fault or wrong doing since its inception in late May 2015.
It is our additional information that one of the things that Congressman Tom Marino failed to observe and highlight in his epochal letter to the US Department of State is that ‘this is a civilian regime that has hung over 150 constitutional breaches and regime atrocities around its neck in the past 15 months or since late May 2015’. The Congressman Tom Marino’s letter also omitted the fact that ‘rule of law and due process have been grossly bastardized and corrupted under Buhari’s Presidency’; that the likes of Sheik Ibrahim El-Zaky Zaky (leader of the Muslim Movement of Nigeria (Shiite) who was taken into DSS custody in the middle of December 2015, after his body was bloodily designed with bucketful of shot live bullets and lacerated, has not been produced in public or tried in any court in Nigeria till date; a period of over eight months. The letter also omitted the fact that citizens are arrested and detained with reckless abandon amidst grave torture, by the Police, the Army and the DSS on orders of Gen Buhari. Some of them have been held without trial or release for over eighty days contrary to Section 35 (4) of the 1999 Constitution while others being detained have been marked to be held in like manners.
The Congressman Tom Marino’s letter further omitted the fact that Citizen Nnamdi Kanu (POC), who is the leader of nonviolent and unarmed Pro Biafra self determination agitation has been in detention for over ten months or 300 days without standing trial in any court in Nigeria. In other words, he is presently being held under ‘Holden Charge’ or pre-trial detention, which is gravely contrary to international justice administration best practices. It is our update information to the likes of ‘Saint’ Tom Marino and ‘Demon’ John Kerry that nonviolent and lawful assemblies in Nigeria are now not only made felonious offences via a presidential secret code or coded directive, but it has also become ‘a capital offence’ resulting in ‘shoot-at-sight’, indiscriminate crackdown and mass arrest and long detention without trial of their proponents. Just last night, the names of 45 citizens of Southeast and South-south Nigeria marked for abduction and possible extra judicial execution by DSS was leaked. All the names are members and promoters of the nonviolent and unarmed Indigenous People of Biafra or IPOB. Their names were typed on the official letter-headed paper of the DSS, dated and pasted on the wall of one of its administrative offices in Abuja, Nigeria. It is possible that the notice was snapped and posted online by a disillusioned DSS operative.
Thirty-eight (38) of the 45 names are Sunday Onyekachi, Ogechukwu Obiorah, Ann Okafor, Amaechi Sunday Kanu (Sheffield, UK), Dickson Ekene, Ndidi Ojukwu, Emma Powerful, Emma Nmezu, Uchechi Kanu (London, UK: Nnamdi Kanu’s wife and nursing mother), Sidney Okoli (Mollorca, Spaiin), Andy Obeche, Ifriam Ezeiwu, Chukwuemeka Mfon, Ikenna Sunday Egono, Chijioke Ekwueme, Godwin Osinachi, Udoka Amarachi (Dortmund, Germany), Uche Martin Doludo, Nduka Enuma, Ambrose Ero, Clifford Mbamere, Andy Obina Okafor, Stephen Oko (Uk), Onyeka Joseph, Eric, Dike Benson, Uche Emmanuel Uche, Udoka Okechukwu David, Martins (Austria), Michael Chidi Okafor, Daniel Ifeanyi (USA), Roland Abumere, Kenneth Uche Opara, Emenike Anyanwu, Obinwanne Markson Chukwujekwu, Chukwu I Ojiugo, Ezinwanne Mba, Jeff Amechi. The link to IPOB members’ wanted list of the DSS is contained here: http://www.news24.com.ng/National/News/dss-declares-kanus-wife-wanted-20160906
Already, eight key members and promoters of IPOB in Nigeria have been arrested by DSS between 22nd June 2016 and 26th of August 2016 and till date; none of them has been put on trial or told offenses under which they are being detained without trial. The eight IPOB members are Citizens Chidiebere Onwudiwe (arrested on 22nd June 2016), Justice O. Udeh (arrested on 13th of July 2016) and Chukwuka Sunday Obasi (shot on his two legs and arrested on 16th of August 2016). Others are Citizens Ikechukwu Ugwuoha, Ugochukwu Asochukwu, Sunday J. Okafor, Ekene Onuoha and Joseph Okorie. They were arrested on 26th of August 2016 at Ugba Junction, near Aba in Abia State, Southeast Nigeria and held as at 5th of September 2016 at the DSS dudgeon in Umuahia, Abia State.
We hereby commend the courage and sagacity of Congressman Tom Marino for not only speaking out against the raging regime atrocities in Nigeria but for also calling the Obama administration to order, and thwarting and exposing the current US Administration’s attempts to return the country to its inglorious foreign policy past during which it riotously aided and abetted tortuous and atrocious regimes in Africa, South America and Asia. Republican Tom Marino’s letter is a huge consolation to tens of millions of Nigerians particularly the victims and potential victims of the Buhari’s regime atrocities.
Events, they say; throw up social saints and social demons! Today, a social sainthood is created and social saint born in the person of Congressman Tom Marino and a name ‘Senator John Kerry’, perceived in some quarters as ‘a potential social demon’, has been made ‘a social demon’ for real, on account of Congressman Tom Marino’s epochal letter and exposition! Other internationally respected personalities are called upon to speak out against raging regime atrocities in Nigeria and stop the Buhari Administration from its disastrous and steady match to plunge Nigeria into complex humanitarian emergencies or disasters of unmanageable and uncontrollable proportions!!
For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety)
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
Mobile Line: +2348174090052
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Obianuju Igboeli, Esq., (LLB, BL)
Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
Mobile Line: +2348034186332
Chinwe Umeche, Esq., (LLB, BL)
Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program
Mobile Line: +2347013238673
*Photo Caption - U.S. Congressman Tom Marino
[ Masterweb Reports: Obinna Akukwe reports ] - Israeli businessmen and investors for the first time in history is about to storm the South East of Nigeria in a business investor’s forum meant to seek opportunities for investment in the zone. The investment summit powered by Diamond Youth Initiative is being facilitated by powerful investment minded senior citizens of the South East as means of ending the spate of unemployment, joblessness and restiveness in the region, through partnership with Israeli businessmen.
The Summit tagged ‘South East Youth Empowerment Summit’ , SEYES, is scheduled for the 6th and 7th of October at the Dome Event Centre, New Haven , Enugu by 10am. Briefing the Director General of Igbo Mandate Congress, IMC, Rev Obinna Akukwe, in Enugu during a courtesy call , the President of Diamond Youth Initiative, Uchechukwu Ekpere Paul (Ambassador) said that the summit will create over 20,000 jobs. According to Amb Uchechukwu “This summit is an attempt to give the youth of South East a means of livelihood, reduce unemployment, and accelerate the industrialization of the South East”.
Amb Uchechukwu stated further that “ prominent Israeli businessmen will be seeking opportunities for investments in areas like Agriculture, Information and Communication Technology ,Global Skills Accounting, Education ,Solar Technology and Automobile Technology “
He listed some prominent businessmen among whom are Ambassador Itshak Oren,former Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria and Benin Reublic, Colonel Yigal Barzilay, Mr Drio Ator, Mr Ilan Shekel, Mr Assaf Mr Diamant Dolev, Dr Kaspi Yoram, Dr David Day who will be interfacing with South East businesses.
The summit is also expected to showcase change and modernization by bringing the best in Agriculture, Information Communication Technology, Education, and Skills Acquisition for young people and entrepreneurs. It will also act as a catalyst for economic emancipation in the South East.
Amb Uchechukwu believes that linking the Israelis with successful entrepreneurs will also help the South East youth develop a world class training and investment programs that will enhance skills and development needed for the development of the South East .
The Director General of Igbo Mandate Congress, Rev Obinna Akukwe , in his response, described Amb Uchechukwu Ekpere Paul as a man of vision whose initiative can make South East the Japan of Africa. He also commended the efforts of Professor Chinedu Nebo, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife and other key Igbo leaders who are linking up the Israelis with the South East on a purely economic purpose.
Professor Chinedu Nebo, former Minister of Power and Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former Governor of Anambra State is among the key facilitators of the event. Governors of the South East are said to be warming up to receive the Israel Investors. Enugu Chamber of Commerce and Industry are on red alert. Hon Charles Ndukwe, Commissioner for Youth, Enugu State has pledged the support of Enugu State Government to the summit holding in the state.
Igbo Mandate Congress advises all Igbo Youth who are interested in entrepreneurial opportunities to take advantage of this summit and develop their skill and economic potentials. Igbo Mandate Congress also calls on all business men interested in the aforementioned key areas of agriculture, automobile technology, solar power technology, global skills accounting, education and other technical skills accounting , to partner with the organizers of SEYES and Israeli experts and accelerate the industrialization of the South East.
Obinna Akukwe ( Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports: Vincent Ujumadu reports ] - A report just released by the United Nations, UN, on Nigeria’s Common Country Analysis, CCA, has revealed a deeply divided society on the basis of the plurality of ethnic, religious and regional identities that had tended to define the country’s political existence.
The report also painted a gloomy picture, with most of the development and social indices in the country registering at levels unacceptable.
The report, which was read during a consultative meeting on the formulation of the UN Development Assistance Framework IV (UNDAF IV) for the South East geo-political zone in Awka observed that for decades, different segments of Nigeria’s population had, at different times, expressed feelings of marginalization, of being short –changed, dominated, oppressed, threatened, or even targeted for elimination.
The report read in part: “Nigeria, with a population of over 75 million, is the most populous nation in Africa and the seventh most populous in the world. Her population will be approximately 200 million by 2019 and over 400 million by 2050, becoming one of the top five populous countries in the world.
“Nigeria is one of the poorest and most unequal countries in the world, with over 80 million or 64% of her population living below poverty line. The situation has not changed over the decades, but is increasing. Poverty and hunger have remained high in rural areas, remote communities and among female –headed households and these cut across the six geo-political zones, with prevalence ranging from approximately 46.9 percent in the South West to 74.3 percent in North West and North East.
“In Nigeria, 37% of children under five years old were stunted, 18 percent wasted, 29% underweight and overall, only 10% of children aged 6-23 months are fed appropriately based on recommended infant and young children feeding practices.
“Youth unemployment which is 42% in 2016 is very high, creating poverty, helplessness, despair and easy target for crime and terrorism. Over 10 million children of school age are out of schools with no knowledge and skills.
“Nigeria’s economy is currently in a recession and it is estimated that government revenues have fallen by as much as 33 percent, which has further resulted in the contraction of the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, by 0.36 percent in the first three months of 2016.
“The vulnerable macroeconomic environment in Nigeria is affecting investors’ confidence in the domestic economy.” When contacted last night to react to the report, federal government officials said they where not aware of it and couldn’t, therefore, react.
“Despite the fact that Nigeria is a signatory to a number of protocols on sustainable and renewable environment, the country had, over the decades, failed to protect the environment, ecosystem and natural resources. Over-exploitation of natural resources and pollution of the environment, desertification are exposing the population to vulnerability and risks caused by climate change, among others.
“Nigeria is well-endowed with forest resources, accounting for 2.5% of GDP. But Nigeria has one of the highest rates of forest loss in the world. Between 1990 and 2000, Nigeria lost an average of 409,700 hectares of forest per year on average deforestation rate of 3.5% per annum.
“Increase in population, human activities like farming, construction and cutting of trees, use of wood and effect of climate change lead to environmental destruction across Nigeria.” This in turn leads to unpredictable weather, drought and floods. The implication of destruction of the environment includes reduced agricultural productivity, destruction of property and loss of lives.
“Nigeria faces humanitarian and emergency crises of considerable proportions fueled by a combination of factors including climate change, inter-communal conflicts and violence, insurgency, recurring floods, heavy handed tactics of security forces in combating crime and insurgency. The overall consequence is the situation of systematic and chronic internal displacement that has given rise to different humanitarian crises that include the most egregious and dehumanizing human rights abuses.
“Over 80 million Nigerians live in poverty and are affected in one way or the other by the current humanitarian crisis. Available reports indicate that there are over 3.3 million Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, which is Africa’s largest, ranking behind Syria and Columbia on a global scale.
“The major challenges Nigeria is currently facing that constrain her economic growth and social development are lack of good governance, general increased insecurity across geo-political zones in North East, Niger Delta and Lake Chad region in particular. The situation is exacerbated by the existence of systematic accountability challenges, limited capacities of independent institutions/ commissions and limited accountability at the federal, states and local government levels.
“Nigeria is a deeply divided society considering the plurality of ethnic, religious and regional identities that define her political existence. Since independence in 1960, Nigeria has struggled to build and sustain national integration. For decades, different segments of Nigeria’s population had, at different times, expressed feelings of marginalization, of being short-changed, dominated, oppressed, threatened, or even targeted for elimination.”
The report recommended that transforming and diversifying Nigeria’s development paths needed a radical and new approach, especially by investing in people and in a strong more dynamic and inclusive productive informal sector.
It also called for a design and support of joint programmes to address good governance, peace and security.
*Photo Caption - As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - The direct policies of the central bank of Nigeria, CBN have been and continue to be at the helm of the current economic crisis and recession that is permanently and irreversibly destroying life and hope for the Nigerian masses. We have repeatedly pointed out these cabal-favorable, masses-exterminating policy decisions that have gotten Nigeria to this point. As support is lost, our teachers are resorting to stealing and the weak are taking their own lives. 4.6 million jobs have been lost according to the National Bureau of Statistics. This is catastrophic!
In January this year, in my article, "FOREX: Nigeria’s Economic Catastrophe From Godwin Emefiele’s Prison Economics," I warned that due to unreasonable policies suddenly limiting Nigerians' access to dollars, tens of thousands of businesses will fold up. I highlighted that business mogul, Leo-Stan Ekeh predicted the collapse of 99% of Nigerian businesses due to CBN forex policies. In April this year in an interview with the Tribune, I again raised the same concerns.
Cabal Favorable, Masses Exterminating Policies
The cabal are the smallest employers of labour in Nigeria. The government employs about 10% of labour. Big business employs a paltry 9% of labour while small businesses (Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs) are the largest employers, employing over 75% of labour. You kill small businesses, you kill the country. It's as simple as that not just in Nigeria but across the world. Godwin Emefiele with the apparent blessing of President Muhammadu Buhari protected and promoted the cabal who continued to declare juicy quarterly profits while they killed SMEs.
Small businesses employ over 100 million Nigerians while the cabal industries collectively hire less than a million. Atiku Abubakar recently touted that he is Nigeria's largest employer. "I employ 50,000 Nigerians" he bragged. This is how minuscule the numbers employed by the chronically government-favoured big corp. are. Those Buhari in his AlJazeera interview promised will get exclusive access to CBN subsidized dollars employ less than 9% of labour. The cabal-protective policies as enforced by the CBN had one predictable outcome as Leo Stan had warned: death of small businesses and mass unemployment. Millions of us small-scale employers who were suffocated, packed up, and threw our employees onto the streets. 4.6 million without jobs and a means of survival in times of hiked fuel prices and inflation were the result.
Godwin Was Busy Dashing Dangote $100 Million According to Reuters
Reuters in a recent article by Ulf Laessing and Himanshu Ojha, revealed how Godwin dashed Dangote $100 million dollars within a year under Buhari's new government. Dangote got one in nine dollars the central bank sold, at sometimes one in eight, the report stated. Similarly a handful more fellow cabal got the bulk of the rest of the half-price government-subsidized dollars that the masses were deprived of even for importing their petrol (thereby leading to an unbearable price hike). We are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars given to a few dozen Nigerians.
At this time small businesses/businessmen were not only limited in amount of dollar they could purchase with prison-like restrictions suddenly imposed by banks on order of the CBN and against the constitution, but they were never allowed the advantage the Dangotes were accorded to even occasionally purchase 197-rate dollars. SMEs were thrown to the blackmarket and even then, tightly limited in what they could transfer for purchasing their goods and raw materials. As former CBN governor Soludo criticized, sudden unreasonable import ban lists by the apex bank before local availability was established put more nails in the coffin. Whereas, promoting small scale local manufacture should have been done by subsidies and other encouragement methods to preserve businesses during a needed foreign-dependence transition.
In November last year, Soludo is quoted to have summarized,“For the better part of this year, the external shocks to the economy have been complicated or accentuated by a gamut of the “tried and failed” command and control policy regime: de facto fixed exchange rate, largely fixed CBN monetary policy rate, crude capital controls, veiled form of import bans through a long list of ‘ineligible for foreign exchange’, de facto scrapping of domiciliary account established by law, etc. At first, I thought this was the usual kneejerk response of policymakers to a ‘sudden’ shock. We tried a milder variant of this for a few months during the 2008/2009 unexpected/unprecedented global crisis (with global liquidity squeeze and massive capital flight) but even then, it was communicated as a ‘short-term crisis response’ and it was quickly dismantled. We now know what works and what doesn’t even at a time of crisis."
As has been chronic of Nigeria where big businesses get billions of dollars in waivers, they continued to get billions in subsidized dollars, while the largest employers of labour, SMEs continued to be further crippled by the Buhari government. They died.
In return, of course the masses got Dangote and co's charities. Donations of trucks of food. This chronic government SME crippling, cabal favoritism is what US inteligencia calls the Dangote "beggar-thy-countrymen" model. The cabal then sponsor politicians and the deadly cycle continues cycle after cycle. It was he same in the US during the robber baron era before the labour union riots.
We could have suggested other alternatives that would have protected Nigeria. Rather than subsidize Dangote and co alone, if Buhari had kept his promise to encourage mushroom refineries in the Niger Delta for instance, these could have been built on a franchise template with each community given shares in a small-scale refinery. These community projects should have gotten the $100s of millions gifted to Dangote and the other cabal for their personal projects. This would have not only provided a stimulus for a wide-spread growth of real jobs across localities but it would also discourage terror in the Niger Delta while addressing the local manufacturing problem. Several similar citizen-friendly policy choices could have salvaged the largest employers of labour and the larger nation instead of saving only the cabal.
Again, for too long, Godwin Emefiele rejected our better advise to devalue the already devalued Naira. Keeping a duplicity in prices to enable the amassing of billions by his private sector billionaire friends at the expense of the masses. The rich got richer.
Today the CBN under Godwin Emefiele continues to manipulate the dollar (availability) figures to satisfy his cronies, akin to "inside trading." Nigeria is in the hands of Jim's boy, described by many as one of the worst crooks at the center of the Jonathan era of gravid corruption. Indeed the CBN governor is as implicated as Dasuki in the open astronomical looting of Nigeria's treasury. It is immoral to continue with such at the helm. Nigeria's fall into recession is the direct consequence of this violation of the trust given to the new administration.
Ultimately the buck rightly stops at the president's table. While we cannot deny the president's role in the job killing policies of central bank under governor Godwin Emefiele, it is more useful to directly underline the failure of this highly autonomous department. Hence the article heading. President Buhari unlike his predecessor has disappointed Nigerians by not even portraying the slightest posture of a wish to sack the CBN governor or get him investigated and prosecuted. I would not encourage the accusations that the media exposed nepotism by the apex bank has something to do with Buhari's acceptance of the man who opened Nigeria's vaults for Jonathan and company to steal the nation dry.
Senator Ben Murray Bruce tweeted, "It is called the Central Bank of Nigeria not the Central Bank of Rich and Powerful Nigerians. This nepotism must be investigated & punished!" It wasn't, but rather the central bank since continued favoring the rich and connected and overseeing the loses of millions of jobs for Nigeria's dying masses.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Godwin Emefiele
[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - According to current scientific thinking, within the first just 500 million years of earth's existence and in the most harsh environments, the almighty protocell magically beat the odds:
-It created and assembled genetic material.
-It arranged and maintained a membrane.
-It successfully divided and established and maintained replication ability and genetic transmission.
-It had a competitive nature.
-It ensured its offspring could oxygenate the planet.
-It defied the laws of entropy by evolving into higher complexity and producing greater and greater specialization and organization in its offspring as is the opposite of the natural trend from order to disorder.
-It established intelligence.
And most importantly, it did not die and become extinct.
Now those who propose an undirected evolution simply believe this was possible without a Supreme Supervisor. This raises the following questions:
-Why and how did the almighty protocell achieve this success so early in earth's life span?
-For the 4 billion years after it came into being and the 500 million during its origins, why has no other cell or life form, achieved the feat that it did in just that short beginning period?
-Why is there no other successful protocell or proto-life (perhaps not cell-based), with its own unique "genetic" material or perhaps eternal living?
-Why has science today with its ability to perform billions of "nature" years worth of experiments and procedures, not been able to trigger a unique, other denovo protocell or create a life line, as intelligence devoid, "nature" successfully did?
-Why do we not find other new or perhaps eternal protocells or life forms abundantly in "nature?"
As much as the odds favor us achieving or discovering other life forms in the hundreds, against the gargantuan odds, we simply fail to.
We can understand the frustration that made renowned theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking subtly attempt to mislead his readers by claiming computer viruses are man's creation of life, when it is well established that viruses in biology and technology are not life/alive. Quoting Hawking, "I think computer viruses should count as life. Maybe it says something about human nature, that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. Talk about creating life in our own image. I shall return to electronic forms of life later on."
It is important to note that "life" itself lacks a simple and universal definition in science. It currently is defined solely on the creative initiative of the almighty protocell. Is a stone alive as religions appear to suggest (Muslim Quran 2:74)? Perhaps they are alive and will eventually split, or is there a time limit to confirm reproduction, if life is defined by this criteria? It is interesting to note that if a moving, growing, responding, evolving, metabolising organism is found that does not reproduce, it will be said to not be living according to popular modern scientific reasoning. So also any eternal being if discovered...on Mars for instance...will be called inanimate. Movement, metabolism, reproduction and growth are performed by fires, yet they do not qualify as life in the all-or-not almighty protocell-based current definition of life. Perhaps science should investigate for life outside of the realm of the almighty protocell which limited life to a water-based, membrane encased, all-or-not list of criteria existence; investigating various other life forms including the un-encased and outside of the physical world. "Spirits" may be found. Perhaps we must first liberate ourselves from the almighty protocell and revise our definition of what life is.
Harvard's Jack Szostak finds it hard to explain how the environment (chemical and physical forces) drove the almighty protocell in times of its limited biochemical functions. The error in this constricted line of thought is that by limiting our reasoning and experiments to the environment during which the protocell evolved/originated, we conveniently slant the argument to promote the "luck" of the almighty protocell, but in so doing severely limit scientific research into discovering or constructing other life forms by focusing research on the particular environment the almighty protocell magically succeeded in. Our current atmosphere can be more life originating for another (alien) life, can it not? Perhaps or strongly arguably we will find other "life" in the many extreme and not extreme environments on today's earth and we will easily make many alternate/alien life forms in the lab with a variety of other experiments. To do this, we will need to know what we are searching for, or what not to limit ourselves in search of. But we appear to remain in reverence to the almighty protocell, presumed ancestor of all, yet deny Supreme determination in its origination and successful, sustained and directed evolution. It should logically be quite easier to make our own many "alien" proto-lives and fully non-conventional living beings than to invest so much on finding how the almighty protocell got it on.
Back to the protocell's challenge. The probability-based theory that we are perhaps the lucky one of several billion inhabitable planets in our milky way and infinite "bubble multiverse theory" universes where life could have originated, fails to fly on the simple basis that: the other habitable planets and universes for all we know may all contain life. Therefore our one in a billion odds success may as well be a billion-in-a-billion, all habitable being habited. You cannot create an unknown and fictitious probability case to explain your assumed luck. The answers on examining the billions of galaxies and "tons of universes" may rather be consistent life thereby eliminating the we-were-the-lucky-chance gamble and promoting Guided evolution.
Therefore disbelievers are challenged to explain why, if brainless "nature" could create life within the first 500 million years, it cannot in the next 4 billion, and modern human intelligence-run scientific labs should not be able to make their own unique other DNA or non-DNA based life form in under an hour.
The above life origination/evolution challenge adds on a first related challenge which I call the #atheistChallenge as hash-tagged on Twitter, which similarly begs a disbeliever in the Supreme Being for his explanation to the "conservation law" and "inertia" defying existence and sudden expansion of the initial Singularity (big bang, and first bang if a big bounce) as posed directly to atheists in the Muslim Quran chapter 21:30. How comes the ball and who kicked it? It is two evolutions, that of the cosmos and that of life, that disbelievers in the Supreme God (Brahman/Allah/Elah/Elohim/Yahweh/Amadioha/Olorun) are challenged to answer.
These two challenges make it rather so easy to deny the Supreme Existence. After all God has said that He makes life (Bible: Isaiah 42:5; Quran 67:2). Make yours, prove you are a god. And this does not include altering the life God made, because according to the Books, Satan promised to help man to alter/engineer the life God made (Quran verse 4:119).
It can be imagined the almighty protocell is cracking up, rolling on its belly, pointing its finger at us and 4 billion years of "nature's" failure to evolve a single competitor in spite of what may be considered a more life-initiating conducive environment.
On a final note, it must be mentioned that the belief in evolution has been held and proposed by many in the religions and in Holy scripture, hundreds of years before Darwin. The contention point is in cosmological and life evolution/origination being either random or God-sired. Dashavatara's ten avatars of Vishnu present a picture of evolution as does the broad Hindu principle of reincarnation according to adherents. Muslim scientists like 9th century Muslim African-Arab al-Jahiz and 14th century African Ibn-Khaldun described God directed evolution of plants and animals and God supervised transformations in the struggle for survival in great detail. The only difference that may prompt debate, is that many faithful believe the modern Homo Sapiens was not among the many products of evolution from the almighty protocell. Modern science is yet to find a hominid species "transitional" link to "wise man," Homo sapiens idaltu in this regard.
*Note, "nature" in this presentation, is kept in inverted commas, because "it" is a nonexistent "intelligent" character, conveniently created outside of religion; capitalized as existing (a noun) and typically addressed as a female, "mother nature," purposely so as not-to-be-confused-with-God (typically: Father/He) by the faithful, to replace the brain's innate dependence and utility of the God Supreme intelligence figure in comprehending and dealing with life.
It's a discussion. I hope to hear from you.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - As seen. *Click link below for Enlarged Image -