*President Jonathan or the Peoples: Restructure Nigeria Now.
By Oguchi Nkwocha, MD.
Today, there is governance and leadership in Nigeria which is demonstrating what Nigeria is known for: long on dreaming and potential, short on performance and delivery. Long on sweet talk, short on effective action. Long on denial, long on pretense; short on reality and short on practicality. Nigeria loves to lie to itself and loves even more to believe those lies. Nothing exemplifies this more today than Nigeria’s President Jonathan’s recent invitation of global investors to invest in Nigeria because according to him, the recent worsening security situation in Nigeria is more like a passing fad which should be ignored and not taken seriously. Imagine that—in this the month of November in the year 2011!
It is perhaps owing to this phenomenon that luminaries like Chinua Achebe once argued (in futility, truth be known) that Nigeria’s fundamental problem is that of (lack of) leadership rather than structure. Who knows if he has since changed his argument with the unfailing understanding that for Nigeria, the fundamental problem is in fact structure: a poor foundation right from the start, clearly recognized and understood as such, even then, on which was erected a construction that was purposely designed not to serve the peoples but strictly to protect the interests and pleasures of Nigeria’s masters. It was all wrong from the standpoint of the peoples; it is still all wrong, this structure thusly designed, christened “Nigeria.” Nigeria is really a structure-problem. Leadership has nil to do with the faulty foundation.
It is not leadership that produced nor sustains Boko Haram: it is the structure of Nigeria which continually breeds and nurtures and justifies suchlike. President Jonathan, in the same speech, glibs over what he calls Nigeria’s thirty-month “Civil War” like a pupil reciting by senseless rote a colonially-scripted History lesson. That Nigeria’s war he speaks of, which is veritably a war of Genocide by Nigeria against Biafra (against the Igbo and other Biafrans), will ultimately be traced to the same fundamentally flawed structure and design which deliberately forces incompatible peoples together into a false union. Unfortunately, President Jonathan on that occasion chooses to profess ignorance of this, but there is neither reason nor excuse for him to imply that Nigeria ever got through that war successfully. Nigeria has not and will never recover from that war. If Nigeria had any hope of ever taking off as a nation, the Nigeria-Biafra War destroyed such a hope; the result is that Nigeria languishes today, a wandering body without Spirit, an irredeemable basket-case. No, Mr. President: Nigeria did not get through that war successfully; Nigeria was actually buried by that war. It is a war whose clouds were pre-seeded by the faulty structure of Nigeria, and whose execution was clearly dictated by that awful unbalanced structure. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria (2010 - present)
It is really up to the peoples suffering in Nigeria to get up now and do what their leaders are completely incapable of doing: face reality, admit the clear and present danger, and restructure Nigeria so to save themselves from having their already devastated life completely crushed out of them. President Jonathan and his ilk want to tell the peoples that Boko Haram is being defeated; and even if not, that the people should live with and endure the violence and terrorism since terrorism is known all over the world. Well, the cowering and suffering peoples in Nigeria should be reminded of history, thus…
In the early 1930’s in Germany, the Nazi party, a tiny minority of the population, terrorized the German people. The Nazis told the people what terrible things they would do and then proceeded to do such; it was quite violent, criminal and inhumane. But the German people who considered themselves “peace-loving,” civilized, cultured and Christian chose not to believe that the minority Nazis were serious and a real threat. In the end, all German people became Nazi in one way or another. We all know today what happened then. Yes, Today, when President Jonathan is busy telling the peoples of Nigeria that Boko Haram is not a serious threat. But the reality is that with Nigeria as currently configured, there is in fact nothing to stop Boko Haram from eventually taking over Nigeria and then “owning” all the peoples. History is the witness. Especially, when it is now reported that Boko Haram is linking up with the global network of known terrorist organizations.
Even if it is not Boko Haram, still, it is something else, something just as terrible or worse, which comes along and ravages the peoples, of which contrary to what they prefer to believe, such Evil stays and soon becomes the people and the peoples become it. Whether it is what they want or not, President Jonathan and his league, just like previous Nigeria’s so-called leaders, have condemned the peoples to such a fate when they pretend or actually believe that the situation in Nigeria is somehow normal—enough to invite security-sensitive investors— and should be endured as such by the hapless peoples.
The peoples need to rise and restructure Nigeria. A mere two or three years ago, how to restructure Nigeria would have presented a daunting conceptual proposition. Today, global winds of change have introduced a tested and effective People’s Power Tool which is here to stay, in the name of “Self Determination.” Self Determination gives the right of the people back to the people: it is the people who decide how they want to be, what they want to be, and how they want to relate one people to another. Restructuring based on the people’s self-deterministic choices presents a simple, concrete workable agenda. And, luckily for those residing in the Nigeria geopolitical space, the peoples and their respective nations are essentially distinct and have their own distinct ancestral land. The restructuring template and lines are already naturally in place. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing some major cities, including the Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)
Self Determination will result in a new structure of indigenous nations reclaiming each its own original God-given (man-stolen) sovereignty. Each sovereign nation will protect its citizens from hurtful activities such as Boko Haram’s, and at least will not have its national character tarnished by such activities originating from other nations. Each will determine which other nation(s) it can enter into mutual relationships with and what types of relationship. The people of each nation will determine what kind of citizenry they want for their own nation as well as what type of nation; and what kind of world-citizens they want to be.
Restructuring Nigeria as such has many other benefits for the peoples. It is the equivalence of building firewalls in a threatened and threatening arena in order to provide an independent and relatively secure internal environment for stability, accountability, growth and development while managing and controlling inbound access and preventing dangerous breaches that intend harm on the people. Every successful biological and sociological family relies on these tenets to raise and sustain the family. The best cure for Corruption now is self-determined nations wherein citizens will be held truly accountable to their kith and kin by their own kith and kin in a structure which would not provide, would not permit, and could not tolerate, the kind of free-for-only-the-connected “national cake” and excesses and parasitic opportunities that is the badge and bane of Nigeria. The best chance for “free and fair elections” (hithertofore a mere distractive election sloganeering), is within self-determined nations: same for effective corrective, remedial and redemptive action when called for. The best answer for a non-working Civil Service which nevertheless extracts pay “at the source” while leaving nothing and providing nothing for the masses which it is supposed to serve, is a self-determined nation.
If the peoples languishing in Nigeria want to live and thrive again, they ought to restructure Nigeria—today. Self Determination is the template; it is supported and available now. Now is the time. On the other hand, if all they are only capable of doing is grumbling and groaning and complaining, waiting to be eventually assimilated by resident Evil, then, the peoples may continue to criticize President Jonathan (well-deserved), yet without forcing him to do the right thing—embrace and start the restructure process! For that matter, it is within the power of the peoples and it is also in both their immediate and long-term interests to act now to redeem themselves, in spite of President Jonathan and Nigeria’s longstanding oligarchs. Thus, in these heady days of Self Determination, any permanent failing is the peoples’, not the government’s. Every accusing finger the peoples point at President Jonathan means three fingers pointing back at the peoples: do the math.
Restructure now! Self Determination is the most fair and most natural winning formula to accomplish this, and it is available today. For those people praying for miracles to solve Nigeria, Self Determination is a Godsend: it is the right answer, the right divine gift and tool, at the right time, for the otherwise insoluble problem that is Nigeria. Use Self Determination; use it wisely and use it with confidence, to restructure Nigeria—today.
Oguchi Nkwocha, MD
*Inhalable Toxic Chemicals in Aircraft Cabin Air
-Poses no significant safety and health hazard,says report
By Lateef Lawal
A significant concentrations of organophosphate neurotoxins and other noxious substances have been found in cabin air of aircrafts, even under normal flying conditions. This was the outcome of report commissioned by the UK Department of Transport, on "Aircraft Cabin Air Sampling Study" carried out by the Institute of Environment and Health at Cranfield University. This was brought to public knowledge during a workshop on "Inhalable Toxic Chemicals in Aircraft Cabin Air" (ITCOBA), held on 11 October 2011 at Cranfield University, organized in order to respond to the disinformation that has increasingly surrounded the issue of whether aircraft cabin air is contaminated with organophosphate neurotoxins, and whether those substances caused ill-health.
Unfortunately, the final conclusion of the report is the statement: "With respect to the conditions of flight that were experienced during the study, there was no evidence for target pollutants occurring in the cabin at levels exceeding available health and safety standards and guidelines." The first phrase underlines the fact that the study failed to achieve measurement of a "fume event", even though that was one of its principal objectives. Even for "normal flying conditions" the purported conclusion is irrelevant because no standards are available for some of the most problematical substances.
Nevertheless, despite the fact that this "conclusion" is neither sound nor justified by the actual work carried out, it has been carelessly and uncritically quoted, including by the UK Minister for Transport Theresa Villiers, and widely used to infer that there is no safety and health problem. The ITCOBA workshop embraced a more comprehensive and integrated approach to the problem than has ever been attempted hitherto. All relevant academic disciplines were represented and the medical, economic and legal implications surrounding the issue were also tackled. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: An Airborne Plane
It attracted a remarkably diverse group of participants, among whom were aircrew (both pilots and cabin staff), doctors specializing in aviation medicine, molecular biologists developing biomarkers for the medical conditions resulting from exposure, engineers developing possible remedial technologies, journalists and lawyers. It is generally recognized that, while not every possible experiment and observation has been carried out, there is already a great deal of data pertaining to the problem available. What is lacking is an adequate analysis of the data and a consequential plan of action. The key starting hypothesis is "Certain substances present in aircraft cabin air cause neural degeneration". It was the aim of the Workshop to advance towards considered acceptance or rejection of this hypothesis and, along the way, to make it more precise.
The primary focus should undoubtedly be on the tricresyl phosphates present in jet engine oil as antiwear additives. Careful laboratory studies in animals have demonstrated their severe neurotoxicity. They can leak into the cabin via the oil seals in the engines and, as noted above, measurements have confirmed they do. There is, therefore, prima facie a health risk, increasing with the degree of exposure. Since practically the entire human body is innervated, functions such as thinking and motor control may be affected. Prima facie there must also be a safety risk since the pilots are breathing the same air, even before inhalation is sufficient to cause complete incapacitation. Due to the wide range of symptoms  expected from a neurotoxin, especially those that cause physical degeneration of parts of the nervous system, and the delay (of the order of days after exposure of the order of hours) in their appearance after exposure, affected people may not consult a physician and even if they do their condition may be misdiagnosed.
A particularly pernicious example is vague diagnosis as a psychiatric ailment which, if nothing else, prevents the correct treatment being applied. Highly encouragingly, successful biochemical treatments are being developed and are already available. A very important advance in biomedical science is the development of an assay for the main metabolic products of inhaled tricresyl phosphates. This will enable anyone thought to be suffering from exposure to be promptly and correctly diagnosed. It seems obvious that whenever aircrew have to be hospitalized after a flight all passengers should be medically checked. ( Continues below….. )
The existing evidence is that even the effects of low-level chronic exposure can be progressive and debilitating. Technical solutions. Given what would appear to be overwhelming evidence in favour of the hypothesis, the focus should move to possible technical remedies. One is to stop bleeding air. The Vickers VC10 from the early 1960s was, apparently, the last jet airliner to have a separate compressor until the Boeing 787, which today enters regular service for the very first time (with All Nippon Airways) and which resumes this earlier practice.
But it will take many years before the world's stock of bleed air jetliners is replaced, hence other remedies must still be sought. One is to reformulate the oil to eliminate tricresyl phosphate. Steps are being taken in this direction but it is proving hard to find substitutes with the same mechanical properties. Yet another is to decontaminate the air before it reaches the cabin, using adsorbent material. Again, work is being carried out without, as yet, a wholly satisfactory system having been developed. This remedy will, in any case, only work in conjunction with technology to continuously monitor the air composition. The development of a retrofittable monitoring system should be given a high priority. It will alert pilots to any malfunction of the air supply leading to chemical contamination and enable a sound decision on what action to take in response to the reported level of contamination.
Finally, according to the report,there are wider issues beyond the technical and medical ones on the aircraft. It appears that a significant (i.e., more than 10%) proportion of the population has a genetic susceptibility to organophosphate-induced pathology. Can they be identified and asked to take special precautions? Estimates of the numbers of sufferers -- bearing in mind that frequent flyers, who obviously have a greater chance of exposure, tend to be above-average contributors to gross domestic product -- suggest that, at national level, there is a strong economic case for prompt and effective remedial action. Retrofitting chemical metering on jet aircraft is probably the most immediately realizable solution. The mandatory inclusion of a health warning on air tickets, as on cigarette packets, would seem to be the alternative in the face of technical inaction.
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
*Nigeria: NAMA To Give Equal Opportunity To Women Engineers
By Lateef Lawal
Women engineers in the employ of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency [NAMA], will henceforth be given equal opportunities like their male counterparts in driving the technical needs of air navigation service. This assurance was given by the Managing Director of NAMA, Mazi Nnamdi Udoh while receiving top officials of the Association of Professional Women Engineers in Nigeria [APWEN] at the Ikeja, Lagos head office of the agency on Wednesday, November 9, 2011. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: An Airborne Plane
He remarked that most of the naughty engineering problems were better solved by women engineers for their calmness in the midst of tension. The Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria [APWEN], is a non profit, non –governmental, educational service organization and a division of the Nigeria Society of Engineers [NSE]. He told the Association led by its President, Engineer Olayinka Abdul, that NAMA would begin to do things differently by making use of women engineers, saying that they would now be exposed to constant trainings and challenges in order to make them more relevant and give them sense of belonging in the scheme of things. Engineer Udoh announced that NAMA would be willing to sponsor some of the APWEN notable annual Awards to encourage and celebrate excellence among the women engineers. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Nigeria Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah
Engineer Felicia Aguabata,the Lagos State Chairperson, in her address, appreciated the effort of the managing director in ensuring the completion of the multi-billion naira Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria [TRACON] project as the immediate director of safety electronics and engineering services of the agency. The President-elect of APWEN, Engineer Abdul lauded the Agency for changing the face of the nation’s aviation industry through the implementation of its various critical safety projects at the airports across the country ,just as she asked for more support from the management in promoting the future events and programmes of the association.
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
By Obiechina Family
The Obiechina family cordially invites you to the Memorial Mass of their husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, father-in-law, brother-in-law and mentor - Professor Emmanuel Obiechina who passed away on November 8, 2010.
PLEASE POST TRIBUTES / COMMENTS BELOW
*Christians Should Live A Live Life Of Gratitude-Every Christian
By Ikechukwu Enyiagu
I’m a Christian. Am I born-again, Spirit-filled; demon-casting, harvest-occupied, heaven-bound? Someone may ask. Do you want my answer? I’m a Christian, and I know my graces and call in Christ Jesus. I know both the nature of the flesh and move of the Spirit. I bear witness of the only and true one, Jesus Christ. His hunger was my filling-up, His lowliness, my exultation; it was the stripes He sustained for my sake that gave me healing and divine health. His blood gave me access-the blood of Jesus did. Now I have God as my true father and the Holy Spirit, my guide, teacher, comforter, insight, and every solution to all of life’s puzzles. He is not just the giver of solutions; He’s become my very own solution-my answer to baiting questions from the Pharisees and the Sadducee from time and space. When Jesus died, it did not stop there: He made a show of the devil, triumphing over him in his death. Taking the keys of hell and death, He rose in glory-the only glory there ever was, is, and ever shall be; He rose in the glory of the father. He says, “I am the living one! I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever. I have authority over death and the world of the dead.” I am a Christian who knows that the world needs the manifestation of the sons of God now more than ever. The world needs me more than I need the world. But for the sakes of those already known from times unknown, even to the deep shall His people go…for this harvest.
Christianity is the bloodline of Christ on earth; it is Christ available for every willing soul. Christ in a man is the hope of glory-glory which even death cannot come close to. Those who lose their lives in Him shall find it; there is no loss-not even one-in Him. In Him lies revelations and excellence. Christians are, of all, very blessed; and we ought to be very grateful and wear gratitude as apparel. Our brothers did fight the good fight ahead of us, and are long gone to glory ahead of us. Apostles, Apostles, Teachers, Pastors, and Evangelists-they all stood their times, yet none of them attempted to disbelieve. Of course, they paid for their faith in ways most Christians today would not imagine for a course for which the all-round and eternal price had been paid. But today, we swim in grace; none faces the gravity of what they had to go through to stand and say like St Paul: “I have done my best in the race, I have run the full distance, and I have kept the faith.” Yet we have our fights of faith, and this, with great grace. But let His grace not be in vain. When I consider the apostles and the prophets who were here before us, I bow down in gratitude to God. And when I consider the stretch of their faith, I say, “Indeed, it’s more precious than gold.” Today, we live in grace unimaginable, freedom inexplicable; need we not be super-abundantly grateful? Like St. Paul, indeed “…we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the Excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death works in us, but life in you.” It’s for true harvest that Jesus became man; it’s for this true harvest that we have been made worthy to labor with God in this very kingdom business. St Paul is a man who still speaks in the youth of His recreated spirit; today, he speaks even clearer. As Christians, we cannot count the blessings; we may never be able to tell them all until we sing ‘bye and bye’. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: A Christian Church service (Photo 1)
Faith is a precious thing. It’s what ties us to the perfect work of Christ-to our union with Christ. Faith leads us to believe and to confess our deepest assurances, dying with Him in baptism, and rising with Him in glory. Christ is the embodiment of faith; believing in Him, believing in His word jumpstarts you into a realm of assurance and clarity. This is your acceptance before the father. The father requires nothing more from us except this faith-even if it’s as little as a mustard seed. His Spirit shall cause it to grow and do mighty things. Faith and love dwell in a most holy intercourse, where they are one with the Spirit of expansion, true harvest, and readiness. Its power surpasses the threats and influence of fear; the faults and falsities of hell. Fear, simply, is not in His presence. Christians should live in gratitude-Christians all over the world. There is no limit to the eyes of faith; no product of science ever travels faster. This, in union with love, is much work. It produces exactly what it talks about. There is no true Christian journey without true and genuine love for the brethren, no sacrifice surpasses except it be carried out in divine love. Jesus paid it all, and today, all we can do is to “work in love.”
Christianity offers so much; the life of Christ in man is the miracle which has overshadowed all darkness. First, it takes away fear and gives faith, removes death and gives life in all its newness. True peace shows itself when a soul is born anew. For a Christian, victory is the path to tread all the way to glory. There is no failing, no falling, and no going back except in the kingdom of fear and unbelief. To every Christian is the Spirit of excellence. The desires for sin and the things which entice may battle, yet victory lies with faith, obedience, and love. We may die, but are truly alive. Hunger may come but we are constantly fed. The world may fold in, yet the greater the devil’s lies, the brighter heaven’s truth. There is absolutely no loss for a Christian-that one who has believed and is obeying…to the later. A Christian may stumble, yet the Spirit never lets go because He has promised that nothing in His creation is ever strong enough to break our eternal bond with Him. There is no question posed by the world which does not have its answer in God’s word. We- all who live in this light- we know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose. It does not matter what the world comes up with, there is answer to every question the world has not even thought of pushing forward. Therefore, I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, neither the world above nor the world below---there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord. Christ paid with Himself, the father’s love brought us in; not even sin has a chance. There is a place in God, a place far from sin and death which it brings; this place is in the blood of Jesus Christ. We are not called to live in sin-no Christian is. Yet we have been given grace for help in every hour of need. What more and what better can be given than Jesus and His anointing? Nothing else in all of creation! ( Continues below….. )
The Antichrist, that man of sin was never a secret Christ kept from His people in Zion; He warned of his coming and presence. But God’s word has taught us the path of victory: constant faith in God, steady gaze on the man Jesus, and the walking in love. Today, we all seem to have relented so much in the law of “watch and pray” that many no longer operate in the spirit of discernment. No building is God’s presence; the church is. And the church goes everywhere a man in Christ goes. When we gather together as admonished, let there be the perfect Spirit of love connecting one to all and all to one, for therein the Spirit truly dwells and takes pleasure. When we come together as one, let genuine love for one another open our hearts and eyes to the truth of the times because Christ always speaks to His church. Today, the love of God is being substituted for the love of self; this is seen in its worse form when shepherds of God’s people accept the very sin which brought Abraham in close encounter with God. But we should not forget that, while those who refused to listen but insulted every sound advice were destroyed, Abraham, the servant of God, was busy pleading and interceding for the world of sin, and he was not disappointed because his intercession won the willing ones; let his passion for souls also drive us to every good work. The beauty of God is that, while His word is a consuming fire against all rebellion, His love saves-even to the uttermost. Let us, then, carry the lamp of His love and go to the uttermost, interceding and bringing in the sheaves. The readiness every Christian is called to must not be begun by the sound of any gong nor with the time of worship in services; ought every Christian to stand on guard, especially now that everything compels one to go against the truth of Christ’s teachings. Behind all wickedness, cheating, immoralities, and everything that saddens God’s heart lie the nudging and the intrigue of the man Antichrist. Christ’s commandment and call to the church to love one another is the only way to understand the move of the Antichrist. His main mission is to disprove God’s faith in man-to disprove the entire work of the man Jesus who carried His work of redemption through all shame, pain and deaths until He rose in victory. He did all these to get us right with and back to God. So, satan’s failure lies in our constant gaze on the man Christ Jesus-remembering what He saw which made Him come forth from the father for us and for the world-not minding the dangers- and damning all his baits which dangle before all at every corner. Love overcomes the devil, and the man of sin knows this. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: A Christian Church service (Photo 2)
Considering what life, what grace, and what mighty power we share in the anointing of His presence, nothing pretends further; everything takes its true form in His presence and we are blessed to shine. The whole creation, even every creature moans as the manifestation of the sons of God is awaited-all over the world. We have the higher calling-to our God and for this world. The provisions and the challenges in our calling are more precious than gold; the harvest is our father’s heartbeat. A laborer shares in the harvest and our light shines ever brighter as we labor together with the father. Let our messages change from prosperity (true prosperity is ours) to reasons for gratitude for the place we have been given in his presence, from fears to faith. The word says: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” Gratitude should drive our walk and works in Christ. Let the words we speak carry the power to superimpose desired results. And let these reasons propel us to turn away from the world and all its baits, in this crucial time and ever, and turn to Him. Let faith be sown into the fertile ground of love and produce souls for the king who is head over all-our Lord Jesus Christ.
There are yet those who are still to be brought into His fold, those who are caged and trapped by satan’s wickedness all over the world. They are forced to live outside the voice of their spirit; it’s our duty to speak and bring them in. Some are taken out of this word forcefully before they know to accept and speak. Let the fire of heaven’s urgent call be rekindled in our hearts over and over again until nothing else dominates. Our blessings in God call for a life of gratitude from every Christian; this gratitude should cause us to constantly stand in the gap for those who have being shackled against the truths their spirits are growing to accept. They are everywhere and their voices are heard louder now than ever. Some have not heard the truth, yet their spirit yearns for their true savior. We shall bring them out by the power of God’s Spirit. We, indeed, owe God every moment of gratitude, so then let the world see how much God’s love has caused us to metamorphous into completely different new beings-into His eternal mountain of love and safety. Let every creature share in the love we have received of the father. Our works must reveal the dept of our joy, gratitude and love. Let gratitude and work, therefore, be propelled by faith-working in love. So, my brother, my sister-you who have been chosen to share in this life-: look at what beauty your life has become, and give everything in gratitude. Hold nothing back any longer; show grace, show gratitude. In humble gaze, I have become, of all, the most grateful.
Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at
By Masterweb News Desk
The new Anambra Government Secretariat was the third project visited by Masterweb Team during her tour on August 25, 2011 of projects by Governor Peter Obi’s administration. The huge twin structures, additions by Obi to an existing secretariat built by the federal government and handed over to the newly created Anambra State in 1991, visually symbolize ambition and excellence. The project is one of the mirrors of Governor Obi’s dream of what he wants Anambra to be in the comity of states. If one's guess is "making Anambra the best it can be", it is not far from the truth. The identical twin buildings were befitting to a state that cares about its image, workforce and attraction of foreign investments. Masterweb Team took a tour of randomly selected sections of the buildings and found them adequately furnished and equipped to standard. According to our team's investigations, Peter Obi is the only known governor who added a more modern annex to an original state secretariat. The pictures below of the new Anambra Government Secretariat twin buildings speak for themselves. It is befitting of a state that has produced the likes of Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chinua Achebe, Odumegwu Ojukwu and many others.
Masterweb Team during the course of the day visited many road projects by Governor Obi’s administration; these included and not limited to - dualized Awka-Enugu Road (Zik’s Ave); Ora-eri-Obeledu-Akwaeze-Igbo Ukwu Road and Anambra State University, Uli Campus Road. Our team covered approximately 215 kilometers of the total 500-kilometer road network completed by Obi’s government. The roads inspected by our team were well paved (tarred) and maintained as can be see in the pictures. 500-kilometer road network within five years in office, with meager federal government allocation is a feat statistically significant in comparison with all Nigerian governors. Governor Obi's impressive roadwork rate will certainly complete work on ongoing projects such as Nnewi and Lilu road projects, and also deliver service to all bad roads in the state. Several bridges under construction in the state were also inspected by our team who came back with photos as evidence of the level of work at the sites. Completed Odor bridge, linking Awgbu and Amaokpala is an example of what these bridges would look upon completion.
Masterweb received several emails and phone calls congratulating her team on their competent analysis of governance in Anambra. They made it known to us that our team's inspection statistical analysis, was one of the best reports ever conducted in Nigeria. One respondent wrote: "Masterweb team's analytical high score of Governor Peter Obi was non partisan nor arranged, but a professional competent measure rarely used in Nigeria where pay-offs and corruption is the order of the day." Others wrote that every Nigerian was convinced that Governor Obi was one of the best governors in the country from two sources that echoed , namely Nigeria ex-Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd.) and the Senate Committee. It would be recalled that Gowon in a speech delivered in May this year, said Governor Peter Obi was one of the best governors in the country. The Compass Newspaper article of May 22, 2011, titled "Gov. Obi is Worthy to be Emulated - Gowon" reporting the news is republished below.
In a major buttress of Masterweb team's positive assessment of Obi's performance, Nigeria Senate Committee declared Anambra and just three other states financially healthy, amidst warning that 27 states were on the verge of bankruptcy and five given ‘tolerable’ tag. Excerpts from Sun Newspaper article of October 28, 2011, titled "27 states face bankruptcy - Abia, A’Ibom, Anambra, Jigawa healthy: Senators urge merger of states" one of the several articles carrying the news, is published below.
Governor Obi has been able to keep things in equilibrium in Anambra, piloting her on top in the comity of Nigerian states, without external borrowing, mass sack of the workforce nor the sack of non-indigene civil servants. His admirable success is financed by internally generated revenue and meager federal allocation to the state. One should not be surprised that with light, security and infrastructure at the average or best in the country, the Anambra story under Obi would be a tale of a super state and not of local comparison.
Below are the pictures our team took at the new Anambra Government Secretariat, road and bridge project sites:-
Photo Above: Lilu Road Project. A road project by Obi's government that broke through rocky hills to give Anambrarians direct access to Lilu. Previously Lilu could only be accessed through Eke Ututu in Imo State. Work on Lilu Road Project is still progressively ongoing.
In a few days, we will publish our report on Alex Ekwueme Square, Prof. Kenneth Dike Library & Anambra State Housing Development Corporation projects..
*Nigeria: Concession Review A Must
.. I "inherited horrible Concession Agreements" -aviation minister
By Nosa Osula-Aituamen
Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah says concession agreements not yielding the expected dividends will be reviewed or totally cancelled.
The Minister, who stated this during an Interactive Session with the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, disclosed that she "inherited horrible Concession Agreements" which no development oriented administration can sustain.
She said "more that 70 per cent of Concessions and Leases in the sector are not performing and have not given the sector a premium on the terms of the contracts".
She stressed that Concession Agreements are entered into by agencies of government as a result of lack of capacity to deliver on their mandates, adding that such agreements were aimed at not only addressing this deficit but more so to enable government make returns on her investments. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Nigeria Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah
In the case of concessions in the Aviation sector, Oduah said the agreements have failed to yield the expected dividends by way of enhancing the capacity of the sector hence government is left with no other option than to review them.
She however assured that the exercise would be carried out painstakingly, fairly and transparently to ensure equity and justice to all parties. The Minister however left no one in doubt that all concessions and leases that are unfavourable to the government and people of Nigeria would be cancelled.
On the security concerns at the nation's airports, Oduah said her Ministry was in concert with the National Security Adviser (NSA), and all the other security agencies in order to make the airports safe for all users, stressing that the security and safety of all persons passing through the airports remain a great priority. She further dispelled insinuations that all efforts at improving security were concentrated at the International Airports, saying security is currently being beefed up at all the nation's airports.
On the concerns expressed by members of the committee as well as other Nigerians on the need to have a National Carrier, the Minister said she shares the aspirations of all those who desire a National Carrier but said that dream can only be actualised when a proper framework has been put in place. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Nigeria Former Minister of Aviation, Mrs Fidelia Njeze
"We must have a National Carrier, but we need to have the appropraite framework to drive and actualise this dream, we cannot actualise this dream without the necessary framework", she said. She added that the issues of legal framework, ownership structure and funding are very critical and needs to be sorted out before embarking on the project to revive the National Carrier.
Oduah listed the other challenges in the sector to include obsolete and decaying facilities and infrastructure, but expressed optimism that her Roadmap to revamp the sector will surely yield positive results. She enjoined the House Committee to give her Ministry all needed support and cooperation in order to be able to deliver facilities, infrastructure and services that are not only top rate but also meets international standards and best practice.
Earlier in her Opening Remarks, Chairperson of the, Hon. Nkeiruka C Onyejeocha said the purpose of the parley was to rub minds with those who run the Ministry on the best way to move the sector forward in line with Mr. President's Transformation Agenda.
She listed areas of concern to the Committee to include air safety, courtesy at the airports, reports of cargo loses and power outages at the airports, proper equipments and the Total Radar Coverage. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: An Airborne Plane
Others are on Concessions and Waivers, arbitrary increases in airfares, improvement in the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) by the parastatals, the huge debt profile of airlines to FAAN and NAMA, the standard of airport facilities as well as bureaucratic bottlenecks affecting operations.
She however pledged the readiness of the Committee to work in concert with the ministry in order to deliver to Nigerians, facilities, infrastructure and services at the airports that will assure their maximum comfort and safety.
Nosa Osula-Aituamen (Aviationreport)
*Nigeria: Fuel Subsidy Impasse - Why The President Must Sack Okonjo-Iweala Now
By Kali Gwegwe
It has been very clear right from the onset that the federal government’s fiscal plan of withdrawing fuel subsidy next year is not the idea of President Goodluck Jonathan. Nevertheless, he will have to bear whatever consequences that may arise from it. This is the major reason why the president must ignore the minority clan of well-heeled elites and stand with the Nigerian masses like he promised during the campaign season. To do this, President Jonathan would have to quickly separate reality from cheer logic as being postulated by some of his lieutenants. Like the president himself observed shortly before the nomination of his cabinet, different people are in government for diverse reasons. While some are for service, others for personal gains. There are still some who seek power just to protect the interests or agendas of third party organizations. Of greater worry are those who stay in government to deliberately give counsels that will pitch the people against government. Quite frankly, the suggestion that government removes fuel subsidy as contained in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework for 2012 is one of them.
This writer does not dismiss the fact that there are gains to be made from the removal of fuel subsidy. Nevertheless, it is quite cheerless to note that the nation’s fiscal policy formulators and team of economic advisers have declined to accept the naked fact that a coin does not have only one side. This has caused them not to acknowledge that Nigeria’s socio-economic framework is still too fragile to bear the additional burdens that will come with the removal of fuel subsidy. The burden will come in the form of a weakened purchasing power of the middle and low income class workers because the prices of transportation, house rent, foodstuff, education, and health care services among others will respond to the jump in the price of fuel. Sadly, some persons either in government or heeled enough to buy fuel even at N200 a liter have been shouting on roof tops that the federal government removed subsidy on diesel and Nigeria did not collapse. On the strength of this, they argue that nothing damaging would happen even if the same thing is done to petrol. Apart from displaying crass misunderstanding of the fundamentals of political governance, the problem with this opinion is that its promoters have deliberately refused to appreciate the major causes of poverty, disease, and crime in Nigeria over the last decade. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Nigeria Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
It is a fact that the increase in the pump price of diesel in 2009 jumped the cost of transportation. It jolted economic permutations because most manufacturers and entrepreneurs rely mainly on diesel-powered trucks to move their goods from factories to their distribution outlets. As expected, the additional cost brought about by the sharp increase in the cost of transportation was effortlessly tied on the neck of consumers. The prices of goods and services climbed up the ladder. Almost immediately, most Nigerians were unable to meet the basic needs of their families owing to the weakening of their purchasing power. For instance, families that survived on N10,000 monthly now needed between N15,000 and N20,000 because the price of almost every product or services that had something to do with diesel had jumped in response to prevailing market forces. The above picture is also an appropriate response to the argument by government that the money saved from the withdrawal of fuel subsidy would be invested in infrastructural development.
It is important to point out here that no responsible government will afford to consciously weaken the purchasing power of the citizens in order to develop her infrastructure. Poverty is growing in many developing countries, including Nigeria because attention is not given to the purchasing power of the citizens. Poverty is judged by the level of weakness of the purchasing power of citizens. Unfortunately, our fiscal policy formulators and economic advisers believe job creation is the only way to reduce poverty. There would still be poverty even now that national minimum wage is N18,000 per month. This is because, even N50,000 would not be enough to meet the basic needs of an average Nigerian family of five: father, mother, and three children. These basic needs include feeding, shelter, transportation, education, health care, and socials. It would therefore be suicidal for any government to ignore reality and continue to blindly pursue western crafted fiscal policies. It would be shocking for many to learn that in 2010, the European Union spent a whooping €57 billion on agricultural development programme. Of this amount, €39 billion was spent on direct subsidies. A total of 40% of EU’s budget goes to Agricultural and fisheries subsidies. Who is fooling who? The World Bank and IMF are fooling Africans. If advanced democracies do not subsidize fuel, they would subsidize agriculture, housing, transport, or health care. It is left for every government to identify the critical sector to intervene. Frankly, it would be wide of the mark for Nigeria to remove fuel subsidy because Britain or the United did so. Unfortunately, our fiscal policy formulators and economic experts are mere copy-cats. Perhaps, this was the reason why the late afro-beat icon, Fela Anikulapo Kuti asked Africans to follow western polices with caution.
As much as the development of critical national infrastructure is important, deliberate fiscal policies must also be developed side-by-side to strengthen the purchasing power of the citizens. In addition to the creation of new jobs, the removal of fuel subsidy will enable government build more roads, schools, and hospitals etc. We must however accept the fact that citizens will still pay for services rendered in the new hospitals and schools that will be built with money saved from the withdrawal of fuel subsidy. The transporters that will use the new roads and rail lines will not keep fares down because they were built with money saved from the removal of fuel subsidy. With the weakening of the purchasing power of citizens, poverty will not allow the masses to enjoy the benefits of the new infrastructure government intends to develop. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria
It is not healthy for a people to forget their history too quickly. The West is not happy that Africa ran away with political independence so soon. Colonization was mainly the exploitation of human and material resources of weak nations to protect the economies of world powers. Owing largely to worldwide censure of obnoxious political cultures, Western democracies have now found it convenient to hide behind the World Bank and IMF to deny developing countries economic independence. Political independence without economic independence is as bad as colonialism. It is whispered in international circles that Africa’s economic independence will spell doom for the economies of Europe and America. This is one strong reason why African political leaders must be careful with whatever that comes out of the World Bank and IMF. It must however be noted that most Africans do not even know that they are being used to destroy the economies of their own countries. One of such person is Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Coordinating minister of the Economy and minister of Finance. In one my earlier articles on fuel subsidy removal, I had described Okonjo-Iweala as “a patriot blinded by the West.” She is indeed a patriot but an involuntary victim of Western manipulations. I came to this conclusion after a very careful consideration of a wide range of issues bothering on the fundamental essence of political governance.
Good governance is the road that leads to economic growth and political stability. A prominent feature of good governance is mass participation. Because of exigencies, it will not be convenient for citizens to vote on every government policy. The masses are therefore left with no better option than to invest their confidence in elected and appointed officials. Ordinarily, these officials are supposed to protect the wider interests of the society. This has never been the case. Most elected and appointed officials simply ignore the feelings of the people and follow their shallow and narrow minds. This is responsible for why several government policies are anti-people. The planned removal of fuel subsidy is one of such policies. It would do the Nigerian masses more harm than good.
One thing has become clear following the debate that has trailed the decision of the federal government to remove fuel subsidy next year. There is no enough money to sustain the nation’s socio-economic framework. Unfortunately, the well-motivated fiscal policy formulators and hoard of economic experts have run dry of ideas to help raise the needed funds to keep the nation afloat. This problem is caused by their refusal to accept the open fact that a coin does not have only one side. They always see and reason based on the side of the coin they are facing. Little wonder why only a few wealthy Nigerians who can afford to buy a liter of fuel even at N200 are supporting calls for the removal of fuel subsidy. I am very convinced that they would all sing a different song if they earn N100,000 a month. By their mien, those calling for the removal of fuel subsidy have joined spirit with Cain who queried God for expecting him to be responsible for his brother’s safety or good.
It is the fundamental responsibility of government to see that the welfare of the citizens is protected through deliberate policies with human face. The planned removal of fuel subsidy would not have human face as far as the masses are concerned. Government should rather look for other means of raising money to fund the nation’s socio-economic framework. In the last five decades, it has been the low and middle class that have carried the burden of national transformation, leaving the wealthy few to swim in their typically questionable affluence. Government can raise up to N1 trillion by imposing 2% annual tax (for 5 years from date of purchase) on every private car above N3 million, 2% tax on every private residential house costing more than N7 million, 1% on local flight tickets/2% for international flight tickets, 2% tax on accommodation in luxury hotels, and 50% reduction in the salaries and allowances of elected and appointed government officials. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Workers at work in a Nigerian oil rig
Because of the hot political wind that is blowing across Africa, Nigerian masses have been weaned and would not be ready to tolerate further abuse of their corporate rights by government. Going by the colour of anger being expressed by many, it is very likely that the masses would raise their voices against the Goodluck Jonathan administration if it goes ahead with the planned removal of fuel subsidy next year. This is the ultimate desire of the West. They want Nigeria and the rest of Africa to be continuously enmeshed in political turmoil in order to sabotage her economic recovery efforts. Already, the United States believes that Nigeria will disintegrate by 2015. Seen and unseen hands have been positioned to turn the masses against President Jonathan. In return, the Niger Delta people will be instigated to cry fowl and forced to rock the foundation that carries the destiny of Nigeria. This is the wish of the developed West. It is fore this reason that President Goodluck Jonathan should sack the Coordinating minister of the Economy and minister of Finance for not reading the hand writing on the wall. She clearly has no answers to the economic problems of the country. Nigeria needs indigenous solutions to our national problems.
The fuel subsidy culture is a shame. As the world’s sixth largest producer of crude oil, Nigeria does not have any excuse to import fuel to service local demands. The federal government can end fuel subsidy by making our four refineries work at optimum capacities. Of all the OPEC countries, the pump price of petrol is costliest in Nigeria. Why is this so? Is there anything other OPEC countries are doing that we are not? This is the question our nation’s fiscal policy formulators and economic experts should have asked themselves. Instead, they are pouncing on poor and hungry masses to cover up their incompetence. President Jonathan must sack Okonjo-Iweala now before she puts him and Nigeria in serious trouble. This country is bigger than any one single individual.
Nigeria belongs to Nigerians. The oil and gas wealth belongs to Nigerians as well. We therefore have every corporate right to enjoy the benefits of oil and gas just like citizens of other OPEC countries are doing. Let us find out how is it that a liter of petrol sells for about N18 in Saudi Arabia and just N9 in Venezuela.
The fact that our oil industry is fowled by corruption is no longer in doubt. What is in doubt is the desire or ability of government to tackle the cabal that has for so long been milking the Nigeria people dry through fuel subsidy. This writer does not however support the idea of punishing the masses through the withdrawal of fuel subsidy as an option to fight the cabal that is hiding behind subsidy to milk the nation of trillions of Naira. Making our refineries work at optimum capacity is the best way to end fuel subsidy. The pump price of fuel will climb down below N65 if petrol is refined locally. Let us study the Venezuela model and do same in Nigeria. Sack Okonjo-Iweala now! She has no answers to the problems of our national economy.
Kali Gwegwe, CEO, Nigeria Democracy Watchtower writes from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and can be reached at email@example.com ( 0806 407 4810 )
*BASA Agreement: Nigeria Warns Britain
.....Arik Air cries for justice, as minister warns BA and Virgin Atlantic over airfares.
By Nosa Osula-Aituamen
One of the Nigerian airlines, Arik Air has petitioned the National Assembly over the Bi-lateral Air Services Agreement with Britain.
The airline in its petition to the two Committees on aviation in the upper and lower chambers of the House accused Britain of depriving Nigerian airlines from benefitting from the BASA agreement.
At a news conference in Lagos, Chairman of the Arik Airline, Sir Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide said the British Authority had refused them slots into their airports from Abuja which was a violation of the agreement signed between both countries.
He noted that both countries have 21 slots each as signed in the agreement but while Britain was making use of their slots freely, Nigerian airlines were made to pay for the use of their slots.
The chairman further explained that the airline was given seven slots from Lagos to London and another seven slots for Abuja to London, adding that the airline even went further to ask for seven weekly slots but that Arik Air was told that other carriers were interested in that. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing some major cities, including the Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)
In all he explained that Nigeria was to operate 21 slots into Britain while Britain do same in Nigeria.
He lamented that when it was time for them to fly from Abuja to London; the British government told them that there are no slots and that at that point the airline has to rent slots from the British Midland International (BMI) at £1.4 million between 2009 and 2010 during winter, adding that the airline paid an initial deposit of £600,000.
He further explained that the airline pays £52,250,000 monthly to BMI and after the expiration of that, the company increased it from £52,250,000 monthly to £90,000 per month and that when the airline tried to negotiate the amount, BMI refused to shift ground.
Sir Arumemi-Ikhide emphasized when efforts to reason with the Department of Transportation in that country failed, the airline had to suspend its Abuja-London flights as the operational cost was too heavy for them to bear.
He appealed to the Federal Government to rise up and be resolute in protecting the interest of its people and businesses, adding that the BASA agreement must be reviewed to avoid discrepancies. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: A landing Arik Plane
According to, “What they are simply telling us is that we should ask our government to protect the carriers from Nigeria. We in Arik feel bad because they do not have respect for our country”
Sir Arumemi-Ikhide said that a meeting has been scheduled between the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah and the British High Commissioner to Nigeria to discuss the issue with a view to finding a lasting solution to the lopsidedness in the BASA agreement.
In a swift reaction, the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah says the Federal Government would no longer tolerate the inequitable treatment meted out to Arik Air in denying its fleet access into Heathrow Airport from Abuja.
She noted in a statement that as a result, the airline had been compelled to discontinue its flight operations from Abuja to Heathrow which had impacted negatively on the passengers on this route. ( Continues below….. )
According to the aviation minister, steps are also being taken to stop the discriminatory and unacceptable prices of air fares between the Lagos-London and Abuja-London Routes, which had created Regional fare disparity and imbalance.
She identified British Airways and Virgin Atlantic as those promoting the imbalance. According to her, the Ministry condemns this practice in its totality and would take all necessary action to protect Nigerian citizens from exploitation that arises from a price regime that was highly restrictive and discriminatory.
Princess Oduah noted that the Lagos-London Route is one of the highest and most lucrative yields and ought to attract one of the lowest fares in the region.
She assured Nigerians that appropriate action is being taken in this regard to redress the situation.
Nosa Osula-Aituamen (Aviationreport)
*Nigeria: Fuel Subsidy Removal - A Layman's Analysis
By Amiru Adamu
Though Dangote has said it all, that “fuel subsidy removal is a foregone conclusion”, we the citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are at liberty to express our feelings on this issue that is bound to bring us hardship and worsen our situation.
I am not an economist so I won’t draw some fancy scales explaining what will happen if so and so happens, I rather prefer to explain it in a layman’s language with the hope that one of the IMF agents in Nigeria looks at the issue from our (masses’) own perspective and advise I.M.F to reverse their instructions, that Nigerians should cease to enjoy fuel subsidy because I am not convinced that any Nigerian can advise that fuel subsidy should be removed in this ‘hard times’. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Nigerians queue up to buy fuel at a filling station.
Experts have forecast that when fuel subsidy is removed a litre of fuel will cost at least N140.It can be said that every home in Nigeria uses fuel, if not in their vehicles then for a power generating set which has become a necessity for all who can afford to buy one, because the power supply situation in Nigeria is nothing to even think about writing home about, in other words hopeless. An average power generating set consumes about 5 litres for it to work for about 6 hours daily; 5 litres presently cost N325 and will cost N700 when the subsidy is removed. Over 50% of Nigerians own cars and motorcycles that are fuelled by P.M.S (petrol), though a press statement attributed to the minister of petroleum argued that “the masses travel on big mass transit vehicles which run on diesel”, they also claimed that buses in places like Lagos, convey workers to and from their work places. What they failed to take into consideration is the fact that Lagos is just one state out of the 36 states that constitute Nigeria and a survey based on Lagos alone no matter how reliable cannot justify fuel subsidy removal for the whole country. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Workers at work in a Nigerian oil rig
Anyway most cars used by average Nigerians consume about 60 litres of fuel weekly, which presently costs N3,900 and about N15,000 monthly. The removal of fuel subsidy however will increase the fuel expenses of average Nigerians who fill their tanks once a week to N8,400 and about N33,000 monthly.
Had it been that fuel subsidy removal will only affect the price of fuel itself there won’t have been much problem, but its removal will trigger a rise in prices in the Nigerian markets. Food, clothes and all that human beings need for survival will triple in prices. Nigerians are already barely managing to cope with the price rise that the news of the unimplemented minimum wage increase caused. The proposed fuel subsidy removal by the Nigerian government is a political miscalculation that might end up throwing Nigeria into chaos never before witnessed in Africa. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing some major cities, including the Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)
Some political jobbers are trying to convince the government that they have carried out consultations with the people, and that fuel subsidy removal can go on as planned. But President Jonathan needs not to look far for peoples opinion on the issue, let him just read the comments posted to him by Nigerians on his Facebook page and he will know how unpopular this subsidy removal issue is with Nigerians. Stimulating economic growth and ensuring effective penetration of developmental projects is a good policy, but the economists and other specialists that came up with the idea of fuel subsidy removal should use their vast knowledge and sophistication to look for another alternative in the interest of peace and democracy.
Amiru Adamu is the publisher of Northern Wind Magazine.
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