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01/29/11

Permalink 12:40:29 am, by ifeatu agbu, 1475 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News
*Unemployment: Averting A Revolt In Niger Delta

By Ifeatu Agbu

The time-bomb primed by pervasive youth unemployment is beginning to detonate in some African countries. First, it was Algeria that started the year on a sad note as youths, mostly university graduates, burned government buildings and commercial houses, paralyzing the capital, Algiers. The rampaging youths said they are tired of remaining unemployed, years after graduation.

Then, Tunisia followed quickly in a revolt against joblessness that has sent their President Zine-el-Abi-Dine Ben Ali scampering for safety in Saudi Arabia. As in Algeria, the protesters were calling attention to the biting unemployment and under-employment that led one university graduate to sell fruits and vegetables on the streets for a living. The police aggravated the situation by confiscating his wares for allegedly not having a vending permit. The hapless graduate couldn’t take it anymore. So, he set himself ablaze and died later from his wounds.

Now Egypt is virtually at a boiling point with unemployed youths setting themselves ablaze in curious acts of self-immolation. The question is where next? The excruciating socio-economic conditions that have put these countries on the boil are also prevalent in many African countries, including Nigeria. In fact the Nigerian condition may even be worse than what has sparked the revolt in Algeria and Tunisia. Nigeria is indeed fortunate to have people who are imbued with an enormous capacity for soaking-up the pains and pangs of want. Here is a country where jobless university graduates are eking out a living by riding commercial motorcycles (Okada), while those representing them in parliament are going home with mouth-watering salaries and allowances ranging from N10 million to N15 million monthly. Of course, this unfair distribution of wealth is a disgusting invitation to the kind of crisis that has hit the Arab countries. ( Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria's Niger Delta Region showing Port Harcourt

Photo Above: Map of Nigeria's Niger Delta Region showing Port Harcourt

So far, Nigeria has been spared widespread violent dissent. What could be likened to a revolt has been limited to the Niger Delta region where the agitations for resource control have thrown up all kinds of militant activities, including sabotage of oil installations and kidnapping of oil workers.

The militants in the Niger Delta have relied on the tactic of guerrilla warfare to register their grievances against the Nigerian state. The strategy may change as the army of unemployed youths continues to swell by the day. The country cannot afford to wait to be overrun by these increasingly restive and angry youths.

“Job-creation is the need of the hour”. That is the view of experts like Dr. Ismail Radwan, a senior economist with the World Bank. According to him, 50 million youths were underemployed and three million new job seekers join the unemployment queue each year. The World Bank official wondered if there would not be social unrest eventually if the situation was not urgently addressed and canvassed a vibrant industrial sector as a way forward.

To buttress this point, the President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said: “The rate of unemployment in the Nigerian economy is currently one of the highest in the world at 19.7 per cent. Over 50 per cent of the youths in the urban areas are unemployed. It is a very disheartening situation for parents who had laboured and strained to educate these youths. The state of affairs has assumed the dimension of an economic and social crisis. There is a relationship between rising criminality and unemployment. We should do something urgently to create jobs.”

The way forward for the different levels of government is the provision of basic infrastructure such as power and roads. Along this line, there seems to be a glimmer of hope as a key interventionist agency of the Federal Government, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has taken some bold initiatives in infrastructure development. Here, the East-West Coastal Road project, which is a product of the Niger Delta Development Master Plan, stands out.

This mega project will no doubt open up the region that is unarguably the engine of the nation’s economy but sadly neglected over the years. The proposed 700 kilometres highway would gulp a staggering N1.8 trillion and begins from Akamkpa in Cross River State while terminating at Ibeju Lekki in Lagos State. ( Continues below….. )

Map of Nigeria

Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing its 36 states and capital (Abuja or FCT)

The road holds enormous prospects for agriculture and economic development and must, therefore, be fully funded. This is one project that must not be neglected or abandoned as the people are already looking forward to its many benefits. For instance, Mr. William Dacoax, a surveyor, envisions a boom in fish production from the region. He said: “Based on our historical experiences on similar roads - the initiation of the project is bound to be fraught with all kinds of structural and political hindrances. The most visible impact is that there would be easy flow of fish products from the Niger delta to key commercial centres such as Lagos, Kano and Onitsha, with attendant promise of more income to its inhabitants”.

Although building infrastructure is critical to growth, human capital development is an equally important component in achieving a holistic advancement. In this wise, the NDDC deserves commendation for trying to strike a balance between building roads and bridges and enhancing the capacity of the human person. The commission has been organising various skill acquisition programmes as well as offering scholarships to deserving students to study in both Nigerian and foreign universities.

As part of this effort, the NDDC, also embarked on a Technical Aid Corps [NTAC] programme, as a means of alleviating the unemployment situation in Nigeria’s oil-producing region. The commission said that it designed the programme to meaningfully engage graduates from the region and reduce the level of unemployed youths. Since the programme took off last year, thousands of unemployed graduates have been enlisted by the commission and sent to various companies, including the Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, to work for two years. During the period the commission will pay each of the beneficiaries N30,000 a month which will be augmented by the employer with N15,000. Like the National Youth Service Corps [NYSC], the scheme is expected to help the young graduates gain the necessary experience, which would enhance their chances of securing gainful employment or to become self-employed at the end of their tutelage in the industries.

The NDDC scheme has the potential of reinvigorating the SMEs which are among the most potent forces responsible for the fast-tracking of the economic transformation of any country. Most of them lack the resources to hire graduates to boost their productivity. They can therefore take advantage of the availability of this relatively cheap labour to optimise their productivity and profitability. It is thus a win-win situation—the Federal Government mops up unemployed graduates from the labour market and the employers smile more often to their banks. ( Continues below..... )

Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) militants

Photo Above: Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) militants

In order to get a good mileage from the scheme, the young graduates should be given an opportunity to hone their skills in their areas of specialisation. The graduates are expected to acquire specialised trainings that would at the end of the day empower them to set up their own businesses and stand on their own. The Technical Aids Corps is a programme that the three levels of government and the private sector should be encouraged to buy into so that they can collectively mop up the teeming youths roaming the streets in search of employment.

The task of creating jobs can only be tackled successfully when the right socio-economic conditions are created. Achieving this, of course, requires an investment-friendly climate, which presupposes that security of lives and property must be given top priority. According to an investment expert, Dr. (Mrs) Ngozi Awa, the quest to develop the Nigerian economy may remain a mirage unless efforts are made to boost the emergence of vibrant small and medium businesses in the country.

Awa said in an undeveloped economy like Nigeria with massive unemployment and poverty, only small businesses hold the key to unlocking the potentials of the country and its citizens. According to her, there was the need to place more emphasis on boosting SMEs in the country because through this the economy and livelihood of more grassroots people would be affected for the better.

The sooner more jobs are created to gainfully engage the teeming unemployed graduates, the better for everyone. Efforts in this regard should begin in the Niger Delta which is the main artery that supplies the economic lifeblood of Nigeria.

Mr. Ifeatu Agbu ( ifeatuagbu@yahoo.com ) writes from Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

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01/26/11

*Party Primaries & Development of True Democracy in Nigeria

By Engr. Steve Ochonma

As I sat at table in one of the fast deteriorating garden parks in Abuja on Friday January 21, 2011 with friends over a bottle of soft drink and a plate of ‘Chicken Nkwobi’, we discussed politics. We analyzed the just concluded parties primaries in the country and pondered over their impact on our democratic development. As the discussions progressed, one obvious fact and pattern emerged- the manipulation of the processes by the parties’ hierarchies in favour of their anointed aspirants over others. Almost everyone at the table agreed that the wish and will of the majority in some of these parties means little or nothing in some instances. Majority seem to have their say while the minority have their way. What a pity? What an irony? What form of democracy is that? This is simply ‘democrazy’ – nothing more, nothing less.

This is the general pattern across party lines. Only a few parties conducted in some cases what have a resemblance of true democratic primaries, at some levels.Of particular interest is the way and manner the Peoples democratic party (PDP)primaries were heavily manipulated from start to finish, at all levels, to ensure total victory for the lords in the party. Delegates where coerced and tele-guided to vote for only the ‘anointed aspirants’. Many of the delegates are expressing regrets at the fashion their leaders boxed them into voting against their conscience. One of such persons is my friend Ahmed Garuba from one of the North Central States. He sat at that table with us at Wuse 3 that Friday night. To buttress his point Garuba went to his car, pulled out ‘The Nation’ issue of Wednesday January 19, 2011, turned to the back page and pointed our attention to an article by one Mohammed Haruna, entitled; ‘Jonathan’s victory: Nigeria’s new dawn?’ Haruna submitted therein that the PDP convention of January 13 2011 at eagle square was full of intrigues and manipulations. ( Continues below….. )

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

He noted that the context was neither free nor fair. He emphasized that money played huge role in swinging the votes for the president. Haruna went further to say ‘ From media reports of the events both sides spent tonnes of money in both local and foreign currencies; But everyone knows that the birds were asymmetrical between a president with access to the public treasury and innumerable means of patronage and a rival who has to count his pennies no matter how huge his private wealth is. But Haruna needed to be remindered that the monies spent by both sides were from the same source- Nigeria treasury. The only difference was that they were stolen at different times. Again Haruna insinuated that publicity played a great role in the game and that the field was not balanced. Atiku he said, was kept away from the delegates right up to the time of voting and that accreditation was shrouded in mystery. At all these my friend Garuba asked ‘Is this democracy? I responded that it has always been this way in the PDP from outset in 1999.

Nothing has been added and nothing has been removed. The trick has simply been perfected. An old trick was simply embellished to deceive the vulnerable. An Igbo idiom says; ‘e buru ozu onye ozo odika nku’. Literally meaning when you carry the corpse of a stranger, you think it’s firewood, but when that corpse is the remains of a loved one the feeling is different. In 1999 and 2003, Dr Alex Ekweme shouted that what was been orchestrated in PDP was a charade but nobody listened. Atiku was a direct beneficiary then. In 2007, the story was not different.

All the intrigues, coercion, monetary inducements and manipulations are the out- of- the- cameras manoeuvres that the public are unaware of, at all. But they are what determines the outcome of the so-called free, fair and credible primaries. The cameras would always portray an orderly, matured, free and fair context their operators want us to see, as was the case on January 13. In 1999, Obasanjo’s backers manipulated the primaries in his favour. In 2003 Obasanjo have the delegates compromised in partnership with the PDP Governors. In 2007, the same scenario played out. Now in 2011, same ‘scratch my back I scratch your back’ tactic has been used to return all incumbents. So it is the ‘usual charade’ that we have just witnessed.

This is why many believe that PDP actually mean ‘Peoples deception party’. What can be more deceiving than to preach a thing and do just the opposite. They talk about one man one vote but are champions of rigging. They preach against ballot box stuffing and how power belong to the people but do they allow the people a chance to exercise their franchise willingly? The Saturday sun issue of 22.01.11 reported that ex-president Obasanjo recruited ‘Mr. Fix‘ Anenih to orchestrate that charade that produce the candidacy of president Jonathan at eagle square by carrot and stick tactic. ( Continues below….. )

Nigeria Ex-President Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo

Photo Above: Nigeria Ex-President Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo

Anenih having delivered again at the convention has since taken over the running of the PDP to ensure Goodluck is returned at tha April general election, that Newspaper further reported. This may be the main reason Nwodo was thrown out without any tangible explanations. Does Mr. Fix it now have a fresh mandate to fix the general elections in favour of his pay masters. Anenih has proven time after time that he has the capacity to deliver against odds, as long as the job is beneficial to him. But this times are not normal. So I doubt if his mission would be accomplished as before. The opposition is becoming increasingly aware of the need to fight the ugly monster called PDP together. They are also strategising better today. Formidable alliances are being formed. Nigerians are getting wiser and appreciative of the need to play active participatory role in who leads them. The road may be rough and tough, the paths to victory may be challenging and the tasks ahead daunting, but we must persevere. I am cocksure Nigerians have woken up, so it won’t be business as usual.

Before now PDP had operated with impunity to the detriment of Nigeria. Having grown from a moderate but promising party in 1999 to a mega party in less than 12 years of it’s existence, and having her fortunes surged, PDP had taken Nigeria for a ride, for too long. This was because there was no formidable opposition or alternative party to PDP before now. The registration of multiple parties helped to weaken the opposition and strengthened PDP. Many of these new parties were virtually non existent outside the papers, their leaders were mainly interested in getting INEC funds more than in wining elections. The registration of over 60 parties obviously seemed a strategy of PDP to perpetuate itself in power. PDP utilized her vintage position to exploit Nigeria and cart away our collective wealth and deposit same into personal boxes. For almost 12 years that PDP had sway in power, there are very little positive and relevant development.

The article by former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu of Abia on page 71 of the Saturday Sun issue of January 22, 2011 gave us ample information as to how this peoples deceiving party has plundered and destroyed the nation. Orji himself is an astute politician and a former chieftain of PDP, so he should know what he was talking about. But my concern about all that information provided by Orji is that it shows us even more the kind of people our so- called leaders in Nigeria are-persons of low values and no conscience. All Orji Kalu stated therein were correct. But the apply to him as a person more than any other politician that I know in Nigeria today. Orji in re-proposing the old dead issue of 5 years single term for presidents and governors, had stated thus; ‘I have since realised, though painfully, that some of our leaders have no shame.

They have no modicum of conscience and are so selfish that all they think about is how to perpetuate selves in power and amass as much wealth as they can. And whatsoever stands in their way is uprooted with such force and hatred that he would live all his life regretting. That is to say, if he comes out of the encounter alive. The just concluded party primaries across the country tell the whole story about the rot in our democracy. Incidentally, all the serving governors have been return by their parties even where they have nothing on ground to justify it’. ( Continues below….. )

Map of Nigeria

Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing its 36 states and capital (Abuja or FCT)

Let me not bore you with the Orji Kalu’s pedigree and legacy in Abia for 8 whole years. Let me submit herein that all those applied to the Orji Governorship as well. He too was a PDP governor and benefited from this ‘ chop I chop’ scheme of PDP. He got the PDP ticket in 1999 without a primary, he was the highest bidder and therefore got selected. He got the second term without performing. Now he is aspiring to go to the senate on the platform of PPA, after failed attempt to return to PDP last year. He imposed the failure ‘T. A. Orji’ on Abia.

Now that judgment has been called to question by the flat failure of T. A. Orji. So on what moral grounds does Orji Kalu castigate his colleagues and partners-in-crime. But all the same, I thank Orji Kalu for showing us that PDP, PPA and such other deceitful parties can not and should not be trusted with our mandate. Orji also stated further ‘according to newspaper report, these governors and their willing cronies in their respective parties hierarchies orchestrated all kinds of rigging stunts and bulldozed their way through the gullible an heavily compromised delegates. As anointed of their parties, they went on rampage, engaging in outright rigging, doctoring of results, orgy of violence against perceived oppositions, bribing of delegates and other forms of malpractice, just to meet their egocentric objective’. One thing is very clear from the foregoing-our democratic system is under siege and our electoral processes hugely manipulated.

So what is the key to remeding the situation and re-addressing these ugly trends? Firstly, I suggest that every card carrying party member be directly involved in primaries or caucuses, from local level to the presidency. This entails the abolition of selective delegation or delegates by appointment. This is were the governors power of life and death lies. That is how it is done in advanced democracies. Secondly, elective positions should be open to all interested party members whether rich or not –no consensus. Associated fees should be relatively reasonable and affordable too. Intellectual capacity and mission objectives should have precedence over financial ability. Thirdly in the immediate, opposition should re-strategise, unify and pursue common agenda-to get PDP out of power. This is necessary to loosen her unholy grip on our body polity. I do not see us making significant leap forward if PDP continues in power. For 12 years everything has remained unchanged- manipulative democracy. ( Continues below….. )

Prof. Attahiru Jega, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria

Photo Above: Prof. Attahiru Jega, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria

A lot of people have blamed Professor Maurice Iwu for the flat failure of the 2007 general elections, but Iwu just read out the script written for him by his pay masters. Prof. Jega would only succeed to the extent that his recruiters are willing to allow him. I am positive that the fight against corruption, be it in our democratic systems, electoral processes, economic activities, political appointments and public service would be better addressed under the presidency of Alhaji Mohammadu Buhari and Vice presidency of Prof. Patrick Utomi.

I have followed these two great Nigerians for some time now and believe they can put us in a better direction than we are presently going under the PDP governments. President Jonathan seem to be under siege by the lords in his party. The way and manner the recent PDP primaries and convention were conducted has greatly tarnish his image before all well meaning Nigerians. I wish he had depended on his achievement in office and goodwill messages to win than through the usual manipulative processes. For now all we can say is ‘Good luck to Jonathan’. ( Continues below….. )

Maurice Iwu, Ex-Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria

Photo Above: Maurice Iwu, Ex-Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria

Ribadu has confirmed chief Akinjide’s assertion that he Ribadu is not even ripe for a shot at governorship position talk more of the presidency. He is too naive and uncut yet for a 21st century Nigerian presidency. His unguided utterance recently has betrayed him out rightly. Ribadu has been credited with the following words at his inauguration as the presidential candidate of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, ‘ looking back a little I and the rest Nigerians appreciate how far we have come, because. . . in that cold moment of our national discord, during the civil war (Pogrom against Ndigbo), we came together. . . Any time we come together, no force, negative and retrogressive can defeat Nigeria. ( Continues below….. )

General Mohammadu Buhari

Photo Above: General Mohammadu Buhari (rtd), Ex-Nigerian head of state & presidential aspirant of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC)

We can do it again’ I really doubt if Ribadu truly said all that. But if he did, it is a pity. It is end of road for him as far as the Nigerian project is concerned. I suggest he contest for chairmanship of his local government area in Adamawa. For that’s what he rightly deserves. No more, no less.

Buhari seem to be the last man standing undaunted after the parties primaries. Though some have expressed reservations about the rumoured religious extreme views of Buhari. Many believed he is principled, disciplined and less corrupt than any other candidate today in Nigeria for the office of President. Again religious beliefs are trivial issues world over in matters like this- presidency in a democratic setting.

We should therefore de-emphasize ethnic and religious considerations now and look for the most suitable and credible candidate to lead us. That candidate is undoubtedly Mohammadu Buhari. I do not see any other candidate with better pedigree in the field today. I therefore look forward with excitement to a Buhari/Utomi presidency. Good luck Nigeria, Welcome fresh air.

Engr. Steve Ochonma

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01/21/11

Permalink 05:12:58 am, by lateef lawal, 498 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News
*EU List of Banned Airlines Expanded

-Now Includes All Carriers From Afghanistan & Mauritania

By Lateef Lawal

The European Commission has adopted the sixteenth update of the list of airlines banned in the European Union. All air carriers certified in Afghanistan and Mauritania Airways are now banned. One air carrier certified in Kyrgyzstan and one in Gabon are also added to the list whilst nine Kazakh operators were removed from the list and operating restrictions modified for one Ghanaian operator. The European Aviation Safety Agency was mandated to perform technical assistance missions.

With this update, the previous ban on the operations in the EU of one Afghan carrier (Ariana Afghan Airlines) has been extended to all air carriers certified in Afghanistan due to the safety deficiencies identified in its system to oversee civil aviation and on several carriers.

Several bans at national level had already been effected regarding the operations of the air carrier Kam Air. The Commission recognizes the efforts of the Afghan government and its commitment to reform the present civil aviation oversight system and improve safety. It is ready to provide active support to this reform in cooperation with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). ( Continues below….. )

United Airlines Airborne Plane

Due to persisting deficiencies regarding the operations and maintenance of the air carrier Mauritania Airways, identified in the course of ramp inspections, carried out in several EU Member States, the carrier is also banned. This measure with this update, applies to any other carrier certified in Mauritania. This is so, in view of deficiencies in the civil aviation oversight system identified by ICAO in the framework of its “universal safety oversight audit” (USOA).

Given that new air carriers were established in Gabon (Afric Aviation) and Kyrgyzstan (CAAS), these carriers were added to the list as all carriers from these states are subject to operating restrictions due to insufficient ability of competent authorities in those states to discharge their safety oversight responsibilities.

Nine Kazakh operators were removed from the list following information from the competent authorities of Kazakhstan indicating that their air operator certificates were revoked and that these operators are no longer involved in commercial air transport. ( Continues below..... )

Airborne Plane

Photo Above: An Airborne Plane

In addition, existing operating restrictions imposed on an air carrier from Ghana (Airlift International) were partly lifted following progress achieved and the carrier was allowed to resume operations in the EU under strict conditions, with an additional aircraft and subject to continuous monitoring of member states through ramp inspections.

The European Commission is committed to supporting better compliance with international safety standards whenever possible and has in this perspective mandated the European Aviation Safety Agency to carry out a series of technical assistance missions to support the competent authorities of a number of states, with a view to enhancing safety and addressing the safety concerns.

Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)

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01/20/11

Permalink 07:29:45 am, by kali Email , 730 words   ng-NG
Categories: News
*Nigeria: The Meaning of Democracy in Atikutionary

By Kali Gwegwe

It did not come as a surprise that the presidential primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) attracted so much attention across the country. As the ruling party, this was normal. However, the decision by former vice president Atiku Abubakar not to accept the wishes of party delegates at the special convention that held at the Eagle Square in Abuja on the 13th of January, 2011 has only helped to turn some minds into arid fields. Democracy will for sure not geminate in such minds. This is a big minus for a nation that is in a hurry to reap the many benefits of democracy. What is perhaps even more worrisome is the fact that those who are supposed to promote the culture of democracy are the same people assembling wood to prepare its coffin.

By all standards, democracy thrives on the wishes of the majority. In the case of the 2011 presidential elections, the PDP family openly and overwhelmingly picked President Goodluck Jonathan as its flag bearer. The delegates, for sure have their various reasons for this choice. Following the announcement of the results, many Nigerians; some of whom were strongly opposed to Jonathan’s candidature did congratulate the winner. This is a true example of the fair spirit of democracy. Everybody cannot win. ( Continues below….. )

Atiku Abubakar

Photo Above: Nigeria Ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar

It would be recalled that Atiku Abubakar hurriedly left the PDP in 2007 when his presidential ambition could not see the light of the day owing to some personal problems he had with his boss- Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. He did not even come out second behind Yar’Adua. This was enough to warn him of what Nigerians think about him. Not minding all the insults he heaped on the party, Atiku Abubakar returned to his own vomit- the PDP in 2010 so as to enable him have a shot at the presidency once more. He again failed. This time around, the message was very clear: no more business as usual! The days have gone when people held onto shallow and narrow ideologies to dislodge voters. It was for this simple reason that PDP delegates drowned religion and ethnicity in the pool of national unity. The choice of northern voters have clearly shown that the idea of a consensus aspirant for the North only exist in the heart of a few political elites from the region.

There is no doubt that Atiku Abubakar was very popular during the last days of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo administration. This popularity was merely tied to his opposition of the third term ambition of Obasanjo- nothing more. Unfortunately, many did not know this. Even the few that are aware of it refused to tell him the truth just to make the cheap rain continue “falling” into their deep pockets. You can trust some politrickcians! ( Continues below..... )

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Logo

Photo Above: People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Logo

While not completely ignoring the said zoning arrangement of the PDP, one is forced to opine that it was the selfish decision by the nation’s major tribes not to give enough political space to the minorities in the past that gave rise to strong calls for sharing of political power among the six geo-political units. Ordinarily, this is not necessary. It is believed that the president must have to come from a particular geo-political zone for it to attract human and infrastructural development. The issue of zoning is undemocratic. To kill it, our present crop of political leaders must ensure that development is spread evenly among the six geo-political units.

More than that, it was wrong for the PDP to have promoted an idea or agreement that was in collision with the laws of the land. Clearly, the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria is very explicit about whom and what qualifies one to contest the Nigerian presidency. It only shows how weak our constitution is. Efforts should be made to force all political parties to amend their various constitutions to fall in line with laws of the federation. It is very cheering that Nigerians have chosen national unity far above parochial sentiments.

Kali Gwegwe writes from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and can be reached at kali.gwegwe@nigerianfootballpost.com ( 0806 407 4810 )

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01/19/11

Permalink 12:03:15 am, by lateef lawal, 514 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News
*Nigeria: Akwa Ibom Airport Begins Foreign Operations

By Lateef Lawal

Christian pilgrims were, for the time, airlifted directly from Akwa Ibom International Airport (AKIA) to Jerusalem, Israel on Saturday, 8 January, 2011.

Before now, Christians from the State and other South East and South-South States used to go through the hardship of first, traveling by road to Port Harcourt International Airport to board flights to the holy land.

According to the Managing Director and chief executive officer of Ibom Airport Development Company (IADC), Managers of AKIA, Captain Jari Williams, the first batch of 215 pilgrims have been airlifted to the holy land. ( Continues below..... )

Airborne Plane

Photo Above: An Airborne Plane

Captain Williams disclosed that a total of about one thousand pilgrims are scheduled to be airlifted in the next one to two weeks from the Airport to Jerusalem.

He further revealed that the facility had been primed to undertake a 24-hour operation, having secured all the approvals from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for the purpose. “All the safety valves have been secured,” Captain Williams said.

The Managing Director however observed that AKIA “will only be open up to 9 pm throughout the current operations because our Area control in Calabar closes by 9 pm daily.”

On how the Airport was able to handle the international operations of this magnitude within less than two months of notification and request from the Nigerian Christian pilgrims welfare Board through the Akwa Ibom State branch of the body, Captain Williams attributed the success to the unflinching support of the state governor who according to him, had been “more than a pillar” for the company. ( Continues below..... )

1st Inaugural Flight To Akwa Ibom International Airport

Photo Above: 1st Inaugural Flight To Akwa Ibom International Airport (AKIA) - On September 23, 2009, an Arik Airlines plane carrying then Minister of Aviation, Babatunde Omotoba and top government officials, landed at AKIA amidst jubilation and celebration of huge crowd. Click Adjourning Link For Enlarged Photo:- http://www.nigeriamasterweb.com/Etc4/AkwaIbomInternAirport1stLandingLarge.jpg

He also commended the Airport Implementation Committee led by Air Cdre Idongesit Nkanga (rtd) and Engr. Etido Inyang together with the supervising Ministry of Special Duties led by Hon. Enobong Umoetuk for their unquantified commitment to the success of the operations. “The management greatly depended on these great minds to make it happen”, Captain Williams concluded.

AKIA has witnessed phenomenal growth in about the last one year. Some of the very significant milestones recorded by the airport within the period include; launching the historic inaugural flight into the facility, commencement of commercial flight operations to the airport by Arik Air followed by Dana Air and Aero contractors Airline.

Others include construction of automated gate, production and securing approval for airport operational manual, formal commissioning of the first phase of the facility by Mr. President and undergoing comprehensive calibration by Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA). All these are beside the recent upgrade of the Airport from visual flight rule(VFR) operations to instrument flight rule (IFR) operations.

Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)

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01/18/11

Permalink 07:05:23 am, by kali Email , 415 words   ng-NG
Categories: News
*The Many Enemies of U.S.

By Kali Gwegwe

Unknown to many, including American citizens; the United States is under serious attack and very close to collapsing. This development is important owing largely to the enviable position the north American country occupies in international peace, diplomacy, development, and commerce.

There is no doubt that any form of instability in the United States will affect the entire world. Unfortunately, her many enemies, mostly from within have continued to threaten the foundation of her democratic culture, which is clearly the source of her strength. For decades now, successful American administrations have failed to identify their real enemies. Americans have most times seen Islamic Fundamentalists as their major enemies. This is not true. Who then are the actual enemies of the United States? Read Kali Gwegwe’s “The Undressing of Bill Clinton's White House: Enemies of United States' Democracy Unmasked.” Visit: http://i-proclaimbookstore.com/unofbiclwhho2.html. ( Continues below..... )

New York twin towers burning from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.

Photo Above: New York twin towers burning from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.

Clearly, the book offers a fresh perspective on the actual meaning of political leadership in an ideal democracy. The author argues that democracy does not begin and end with just organizing free and fair elections. He has also made a very strong argument that sound political leadership should go beyond merely appearing in cassock like most western politicians do.

While recognizing the importance of morality in leadership, the book rejects the opinion that integrity alone can make a politician a successful leader. According to Kali Gwegwe, Bill Clinton's private life failing is better than the public life failings of most American presidents. ( Continues below..... )

U.S. President Barack Obama

Photo Above: U.S. President Barack Obama

Kali Gwegwe was born in 1969; at the peak of the Nigeria-Biafra civil war. A native of Obogoro in Yenagoa Local Government of Bayelsa State; the author is a marine safety professional. Came to limelight when he led a bunch of unknown lads to win trophies in youth football tournaments in Nigeria and Europe. He was appointed Chairman of premier league side, Bayelsa United Football Club of Yenagoa in 2006 by Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who was then the executive governor of Bayelsa State. He has written two other books: “Western Democrats in Glass Parliaments” (2000) and “A Letter To Governor Jonathan” (2006).

Kali Gwegwe writes from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and can be reached at kali.gwegwe@nigerianfootballpost.com ( 0806 407 4810 )

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Map of Nigeria

01/17/11

Permalink 12:28:53 am, by admin Email , 633 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News
*American Takes Nigerian Goat As House Pet

By Masterweb News Desk

Masterweb Breaking News Logo

Nino Scirica, an American man resident in North Carolina State, prefers the company of a goat to a dog. Scirica acquired a Nigerian dwarf goat as house pet instead of a dog known as man's best friend. He says his Nigerian goat is a great pet and friend with lots of fun. "He's a lot of fun," Scirica said. Scirica named the goat "Zeke" and gave it free reign of his auto shop. The goat eats just about anything and has its own room at Scirica's shop. Zeke knows how to turn off the light when it is time for it to go to bed. ( Continues below….. )

Nigerian dwarf goat kept by Nino Scirica as house pet

Photo Above: Nigerian dwarf goat kept by Nino Scirica as house pet

Scirica said he got the goat as a joke after his wife put pressure on him about doing landscaping around their home. According to Scirica: "It started as a joke to my wife. She was always on me to do the landscaping." "I was, I'm going to get a goat. I'm going to get a goat. Don't worry," Scirica would tell his wife. Scirica further told newsmen: "I used to bring him home on the weekends. He was free to roam around in my yard, but one of my neighbors complained to the homeowner's association. I keep him here at the shop and come visit him on the weekends." He says Zeke turned out to be a great pet. ( Continues below….. )

Nino Scirica playing with his Nigerian dwarf goat house pet

Photo Above: Nino Scirica playing with his Nigerian dwarf goat house pet

According to Scirica, his Nigerian pet goat attracts a lot of customers. Some think it is an ugly dog, while others think it is the coolest thing in the world Scirica told reporters. He said Zeke likes to eat everything, including paper, cardboard and even peels paint off the wall. ( Continues below….. )

Zeke room

Photo Above: Zeke's (Nigerian dwarf goat) room

Nigerian Dwarf Goats are miniature (small) dairy goats. They enjoy increasing world popularity due to their small size, colorful markings and excellent dairy characteristics. They come in different colours, including black, red, white, cream and spotty patterns. Their milk is sweeter and higher in butterfat than other dairy goats. They do not require as much space and feed as their larger dairy goat counterparts, due to their small stature. ( Continues below….. )

Nigerian dwarf goat

Photo Above: A Nigerian dwarf goat

They are even-tempered, friendly and easily trainable. They can walk on leash just like dogs. Americans are increasingly using them as companion pets, due to their gentle and friendly personalities.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved Nigerian Dwarf Goat as a livestock dairy goat, which makes them eligible for youth 4H and FFA projects. They are considered rare by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. Their average lifespan is between fifteen to twenty years with good animal care.

Nigerian dwarf goats

Photo Above: Nigerian dwarf goats

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Map of Nigeria

01/16/11

Permalink 12:26:24 am, by mazisuco, 2321 words   ng-NG
Categories: News
*Nigeria: We Must Get It Right This Time, No Matter What

By Engr. Steve Ochonma (Submitted 27/12/10)

On November 25, 2010 after the Emergency National Council of State meeting in Abuja, Journalists sort to know ex-president Olusegun M.A.O Obasanjo’s thought about the much talked about zoning issue in the ruling PDP and also the purported adoption of ex-vice president Atiku Abubakar by Nine Northern Leaders as the Northern Nigeria’s consensus candidate for 2011 presidential Election. But Obasanjo’s response was not only dramatic but comic as well. Those journalists same day had interviewed ex-military head of state, Mohammed Buhari, who responded with the popular view that zoning is entirely a PDP internal affairs and should be treated as such. Buhari was also to go further to state that the presidential primary in his CPC is open to all Nigerians. He thereby acknowledged the well known fact that zoning of political offices, in Nigeria is unconstitutional. So if the constitutional provision is that any Nigeria can aspire for any political office in the land, why all the noise about zoning? So what are these agents of zoning talking about? Why all those inflammatory statements about consequences of PDP not abiding by the zoning principle?

On whose behalf and interests are the so-called elder statesmen threatening fire and brimstone? It should be noted that PDP as a party and at the highest level had revisited the issue of zoning and took a firm stand on it. All every loyal PDP member could do is abide by the majority decision or quit. This is the beauty of democracy. To do otherwise is a call to anarchy. And no responsible government would allow that to happen. Those farming the embers of anarchy should desist forthwith and allow us to enjoy some “fresh air” before it is too late for them. I want “fresh air” in Nigeria too. We were choking with polluted air before now. But thank God we are beginning to enjoy some fresh air now. And I think every well meaning Nigerian should be happy for that. ( Continues below….. )

Nigeria Ex-President Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo

Photo Above: Nigeria Ex-President Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo

My suggestion to the zoning bigots is to respect the party position on zoning of the presidency and go into the PDP primaries with concrete strategies to win by the ballots, or quit the party and form a credible opposition that is capable of defeating PDP at the polls. There is no other legitimate option.

Back to the Obasanjo’s response to the journalists in Abuja on that 25th November, 2010, he simply said “I am laughing, Kia, kia, kia, kia, when my car is ready let me know, kia, kia, kia” Obasanjo’s response was not only dramatic and comic, it also showed the degree to which he holds Atiku in contempt. Even though Obasanjo’s administration from May 29, 1999 to May 29, 2007 was not particularly a success, there were some, marginal gains made in the areas of telecommunications, debt settlements and banking consolidation. That was not the best we could have got under the prevailing circumstances, but, it was obviously meaningful and better than the previous eight years.

On top of the mistakes of Obasanjo’s administration was the privatization and commercialization programmes, and the attempted power sector reform. While the former was a phony scheme calculated at converting National public assets to private pockets, the later was a monumental failure. The motives for these were personal gains from the outset. Ironically this same Atiku Abubakar was the supervisor of those programs as vice president to Obasanjo. This seems to reinforce the claim in many quarters that Atiku has a reputation for corruption.

But why exactly did Obasanjo laugh? Were the nine persons who sat and picked Atiku to represent the North truly Northern leaders of today? Was it a soft exit strategy for IBB and the likes, who had been rejected by Nigerians en-mass even before the contest began? Was it a strategy for Atiku to negotiate for a favorable deal? What exactly was the motive? And would other Northern presidential candidates truly withdraw and support Atiku in 2011? It is unlikely, but time will tell.

So on whose interest were those nine wise men from the North (I beg your pardon – I thought “the wise men” were from the east) acting? While we look for answers to those and other looming similar questions, let me state that I can perceive the reason for Obasanjo’s laughter. It was Obasanjo that truncated Atiku’s ambition in 2007, by fielding an obviously sick Alhaji Umaru Yar’adua. Today nothing has changed significantly to suggest that those forces that stopped him then cannot effectively do it again in 2011. This Atiku 2011 project seems to be destined for doom on take off. Are there no better candidates in the North to contest against a performing incumbent president like Goodluck Jonathan? It will take a candidate with a much better pedigree than Atiku, a pro-active strategy and political navigation, and not just a zoning sentiment to defeat President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011. But so far we have not seen anything near that. I predict therefore that if things continues the way they are now, then the Jonathan-Sambo ticket would not only win the presidency comfortably but also in a landslide, even if we conduct the freest election in the history of the world. ( Continues below…… )

Nigerians line-up to vote during election

Photo Above: Nigerians line-up to vote during election, while a cattle herder remains on his normadic job with his herd.

I do not hold brief for President Jonathan, but I know from some decision he has taken in the last six months that he will make a good transformation president. He is certainly not the best now but he is the most positioned to win in 2011, even in a free, fair and credible contest. He should be able to provide the much needed bridge between the previously dark and corrupt governments and the transparent, pro-active, responsible and sensitive government we all yawn for. This is essential today, for a start, in the right direction – we have been on the wrong path all along.

Apart from Atiku’s alleged corrupt reputation, it is also not clear if he is prepared for the kind of leadership required in a 21st century Nigeria. Robert Green, the Machiavellian student and the classical author of the best selling 48 laws of power warns those who would play the power game to deal subtly and decisively. He advises that for one to succeed in the power game, one must make his reputation unassailable; he further opined that an enemy needed to be crushed totally in body and spirit. Green states that a feared enemy must be crushed completely. If one ember is left alight, no matter how dainty it smolders, a fire will eventually break out-more is lost through stopping halfway than through total annihilation; the enemy will recover and will seek revenge. Atiku falls short of almost all those laws.

Legend has it that Atiku had President Obasanjo beg for mercy on his kneels prior to 2003 elections. He was to run with Obasanjo later on same ticket. He forgot that you don’t point a gun at a four star general like Obasanjo, and put it back. Today the rest is story. Like most Nigerians in position of leadership, he seems to lack the knowledge of the laws of power, leadership, business success and greatness. Running a country is like running a business venture. As Brain Tracy put it in his 100 absolutely unbreakable laws of business success, “if you practice the same principles that others have applied and succeeded, you too will succeed, but if you ignore them, you will certainly fail like those who failed.

There’s no two ways about that. Again the international leadership guru, Dr. John C. Maxwell in his best selling book: 21 irrefutable laws of leadership stated that “everything rises and falls on leadership”. In the course of writing my yet to be published classic: Greatness redefined – 100 infallible laws of greatness, (where upon I read and I am still reading) thousands of pages of books; history; biographies; autobiographies, story, classics, ecclesiastical, academic, you name it. I have come to see that Nigeria is where she is today owing to one and only a singular reason; lack of pro-active leadership. I could not agree less with Dr. Maxwell that when a talented team loses repeatedly the head coach must be fired. When a church is not doing well-fire the senior pastor, when a business organization despite all available resources and competent workforce is having problems meeting targets – the CEO must go, and when a country or state is facing a huge crises or challenge, be it economic, political or otherwise, the leadership has to be sent packing and new one elected.

In Nigeria these laws are violated with impunity each and everyday, yet we want to prosper. We want to succeed yet we ignore these noble principles of success. What an irony? It is on this premise that I find it difficult to understand President Jonathan’s tactical support for such rogue Governors like T. A. Orji of Abia state, Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State and so many others, mainly of the PDP family. T. A. Orji is a flat failure while Ikedi Ohakim is a deceit. These men should vacate office not later than May 29, 2011. They are not just prepared for good governance. Everything depends on preparation. But how can you prepare when you do not know what to prepare for and how to go about it. This is the Nigeria Dilemma. All they know how to do is loot, loot and loot. ( Continues below….. )

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Governor T. A. Orji of Abia State while declaring his intention to run for second term at Michael Okpara Auditorium Umuahia a few days back implied that he was a good man who joined a bad political gang. He used the world gang himself. Yes it was and still is a gang of broad daylight pen robbers. How can a criminal claim to be good but belong to a bad gang. It is a team thing. Everyone compliments the other. Every team member is as free or guilty as the other. In a team work everyone shares the shame of defeat and bask in euphoria of glory. T. A. Orji should therefore stop exhibiting his naivety in governance. Andrew Johnson, the 17th President of the United State (1865 – 1869), who succeeded Abraham Lincoln upon assassination on April 15th, 1865 was a flat failure not because of his lack of basic education – he was polished and coached by his 17 years old wife, on basic reading, writing and mathematical skills, but mainly because he lacked vision, optimism, pro-activity and knowledge of the laws of leadership. He went down in history as one of the worst president ever in American history. He was the first to be impeached for wrong decisions and policies. He was a typical example of the Nigeria leadership of the Past.

On the other hand, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president of America (1933 – 1945) was a huge success. He became the only president till date to be elected for more two terms. He was elected for four consecutive terms – 1932, 1936, 1940, 1944. he was reputed to have a combination of optimism and activism – which contributed to reviving the American Spirit. Under Roosevelt, 25% unemployment evaporated and industrial economy sour to heights no one ever expected. Roosevelt though paralyzed at age 39, refused to accept that he was permanently paralyzed. Regardless his health challenges he was elected governor of New York and later president for four terms.

His first and second new deal policies and such other policies did not only brought the U.S. out of the great depression, but consolidated games made and created the American empire in 1945 after world war II and just a few months after his death. His lend-lease policy which was the first in America and perhaps in the world history created the alliance and partnership that defeated Nazi Germany and Imperialist Japan. Also such partnership between the Prussians, the Britons and allies defeated Napoleon I. These and many other such quality leadership is the reason I believed and still believe that the Biafran experience of 1967 was a suicide mission.

Though the Biafran soldiers obeyed the law of buy-in, the leadership of Biafra had low lid and low intuitive bias. It was not pro-active despite being optimistic and ambitious. The consequence of this low lid leadership was wastage of 7m British pound personal inheritance of 1966, millions of souls, property worth billions in any currency and positions of authority in Nigeria by Ndigbo.

It is absolutely necessary therefore for a leadership to adopt these time tested principles and adapt also to them for maximum result. In my book: greatness redefined – 100 infallible laws of greatness, I have tried to ensure that a good number of Nigerians death or alive are portrayed as having obeyed these laws but it has been difficult. I have gone through so many biographies, autobiographies and story books written about popular Nigerians and leaders of Nigeria over and over, and over again, to see if I can make something that would confirm the obedience of those laws, but the result is a finding of violation of the laws of greatness instead.

Even the ecclesiastical leadership in Nigeria is not exempted from this pattern. Leadership seam to be a Nigerian problem and we must get it right this time, no matter what it takes. On this I stand with Martin Luther King (Jnr) to say “we have known infinite disappointments but we also know infinite hope”. This was what made Franklin Delano Roosevelt one of the greatest political leaders of all time – infinite hope in infinite possibilities in a dark and dying world.

Engr. Steve Ochonma ( Article Submitted 27/12/10)

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01/15/11

Permalink 08:06:42 am, by drgenesis, 1205 words   ng-NG
Categories: News
*Nigerian Naira versus Dollar Analysis in Retrospect

By Dr. Genesis Dawuda

About 37 years ago, coincidentally my birth year; Nigeria’s economic situation was not competing with American Dollar but with that of United Kingdom’s Pound sterling buying it at N2 to a £ 1. Nigeria is a country blessed and also bedeviled by myriads of hydra-headed problems. Back in the days, when 65k was exchanged for a dollar, there was no such thing as brain-drain, human trafficking and what have you.

Back in those days, do you know that the government of U.A.E. came to Nigeria seeking for loan from Nigeria? I don’t need to write about Malaysia coming to Nigeria, consulted some of our best brains and even exported our own brand of palm trees from the nursery to improve their agricultural sector. Today I don’t need to tell you how strong that economy is today. Thousands of our children troop to their embassy to either go for studies or business pursuits for greener pastures. In the cause of doing that we’ve lost some due to unnatural causes. Nigeria, a nation destined for greatness is still crawling on her fours. I’ll tell you why later.

Where was America in the early 70s on the lips of little kids? We didn’t know about America, we only knew so much of London, England and UK as registers for accomplishments and destinations for young dreamers. Why? Because our economy was stable. So stable that we needed no application for Visa to go somewhere like America to be ill-treated to the extent of being deported or questioned on the system of government we are practicing today. ( Continues below….. )

Map of Nigeria

Photo Above: Nigerian Naira Notes

In 1980, two years into the 2nd republic under President Shehu Shagari, Nigeria’s naira enjoyed the peak of her glory pegged at 55k in exchange for a dollar. Since that time, like the proverbial one-legged man who, out of the praise and applause accorded him for an excellent dance performance threw away the stick that supported him in the dance. Upon throwing away the stick, consequently he also lost the dance. Nigeria got so excited with a thriving second republic, she threw away the stick of prudence, the stick of the fear of God ( a common phrase of the late Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto, “Basu da tsoron Allah?”) Our leadership also threw away the stick of Accountability. From that moment, the naira got a dent. Which led to the Buhari-Idiagbon coup with the then Brigadier Sani Abacha, while announcing the coup emphasized the Squander-maniac state of the toppled or ousted leadership of the 2nd Republic.

In 1981 61k exchanged for a dollar. 6k increment in the purchasing power of the currency to buy a dollar. In 1982 67k bought a dollar. In 1983 the naira fell again buying the dollar at 72 kobo. On the re-entry of the military, thinking the country has come to roost. In 1984 about 76kobo exchanged for the dollar. In 1986 the naira nose-dived to N2.02kobo exchanging for a dollar. For this, IBB (General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, first military president in Nigeria) gave four reasons for that I think:

1.A decrease of our domestic production continues to increase.

2.Dependence on import for both consumer goods and raw materials for our industries.

3.A grossly unequal gap between the rich and the poor.

4.The large role played by the public sector in economic activity with hardly any concrete results to justify such a role.

Me thinks to this day we are still trying to confront these four “IBB Realities.” But when he stepped-aside, he left the naira down begging to rise at N22.33kobo in 1993, no thanks to him and his economic advisers. Could it be the reason he wants to return? To still confront his Four IBB Realities. In 1994 Abacha raised it to N21.89kobo sustained it at N21.89kobo until he died; thanks to Prof. Aluko his economic adviser,(not for Abacha’s death but for contributing immensely to the economy.) For five good years the naira was stubbornly pegged at N21.89kobo with all the sanctions and bans on Nigeria left right and center; yet, the naira survived it at N21.89kobo ( Continues below….. )

US Dollar Notes

Photo Above: US Dollar Notes

Gen. Abdulsalam left it to Gen. Obasanjo at a crazy shot of N85.98kobo. At the end of OBJ’s 1st tenure the naira had reached and roamed between N127-130 Naira in exchange for a dollar. With all the wonderful travels and monies spent on Esther’s Coat, oh I mean on estacode yet the naira soared high not like an eagle but against all winning formulas that will make it strong. Upon his second entry the naira suffered another blow, exchanging for the dollar between N132-136. But in 2005 the government gave the naira a slight lift between N128.50kobo-131.80kobo. Quoting IBB in August 27th 1985 “Events today indicate that most of the reasons which justified the military takeover of government from the civilians still persist.” I too after 25 years of that speech can see that the problems still persist.

The almighty Legislative Houses (Both Upper and Lower) needs to go ask Prof. Aluko, what magic did he do to peg the naira @ N21.89kobo for five good years consecutively. You may want to ask, why ask Aluko? Because he was Abacha’s economic adviser. Don’t you think he’ll do better in a democracy given the opportunity better than he did under pressure? I can’t answer my question for the reader. You have your own say. It’s in the constitution.

Today you and I know that the naira is floating between N150-155. Nobody could stay it like Aluko. Probably I’m giving him too much praise here but then tell me what others did because I don’t know. No I mean I just don’t know. No man, they say has the monopoly of knowledge. The man who couldn’t travel out (Abacha) pegged the naira at N21.89 and those who dined and wined with kings and Queens and paid courtesy visits across the globe(Globe-Trotting everywhere) estacoded, shook hands with very successful and powerful leaders around the world, came back the same and left the office, I mean the naira worst than they met it.

Before Aluko will go to the great beyond and maybe meet his boss and tell him that “ they can’t stay the naira, not even for ‘four years’” I’m not eulogizing the late military and near-despotic style of Abacha, I’m observing the honest and humble recognition of Prof. Aluko’s capacity to deliver by his late Boss. If you let this man die, I think both of them will go throw a party and tell the world of the dead that “the living can’t stay the naira yet we did it for five good years.” A word is enough for the wise.

Apostle (Dr.) Genesis A. Dawuda is Administrator, Centre For World Rebirth ( Website: www.drgenesis.com ) Phone: 08028063695 or 07027001527, E-mail: info@drgenesis.com or centreforworldrebirth@yahoo.com

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01/14/11

Permalink 08:00:00 am, by aviationreport, 497 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, World News, African News

*Nigeria Aviation Minister Warns Foreign Airlines

-Fix Airport Infrastructure - Foreign Airlines Tell Njeze

By Nosa Osula-Aituamen

The Federal Government says it is unhappy with the several complains from Nigerians over ill-treatment from foreign airlines within and outside the country. So far the Federal Government said it had received over 46,998 complains through the Consumer Protection Unit of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA from aggrieved passengers in the last one year. At a meeting with foreign airline representatives in Lagos, Minister of Aviation, Mrs Fidelia Njeze said the Federal Government would no longer tolerate this, adding that they might be forced to sanction any foreign airline that refuses to give proper treatment to its citizens. She appealed to the operators to remind their personnel on the need for proper treatment of passengers, especially Nigerians wherever they maybe. ( Continues below..... )

Nigeria Minister of Aviation, Mrs Fidelia Njeze

Photo Above: Nigeria Minister of Aviation, Mrs Fidelia Njeze

In the past few months the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has received several complaints through its Consumer Protection Unit, aggrieved passengers who have been badly treated in one way or the other by some airlines within and outside the country. For instance this year alone, between January and September, the Consumer Protection Unit has received approximately 46,998 complaints pertaining to lost baggage, flight delays and cancellations, poor in-flight service, high tickets and discourteous airline personnel.

Mrs. Njeze noted this was a momentous time in Nigeria’s aviation History and implored them to avail themselves of the tremendous potentials and opportunities presented; adding that together the country and the airlines would forge a strong and vibrant sector comparable to any in the world. The meeting lasted several hours as foreign airline representatives enumerated the challenges and constraints faced in the course of their operations in the country especially in the area of infrastructure and security. ( Continues below..... )

Upgraded Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu shortly before commissioning by President Goodluck Jonathan

Photo Above: Upgraded Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu shortly before commissioning on 12/17/2010 by President Goodluck Jonathan. Click Adjourning Link For Enlarged Photo:- http://www.nigeriamasterweb.com/Etc4/AkanuIbiamEnuguAirportReadyLarge.jpg

Later, journalists were excused in a very rude manner by the Minister to avoid them getting details of the meeting with the foreign airline representatives who had vowed to bare their minds on very sensitive issues. Speaking on the Akanu Ibiam International airport which was re-opened to flight operations last December, the aviation Minister appealed to domestic operators to commence preparation for flight into that airport. She disclosed that, President Goodluck Jonathan would be on hand to inaugurate the rehabilitated and extended runway as well as designate the airport to an international airport.

"The Akanu Ibiam airport, Enugu as you are aware has been upgraded to international status. As I speak, the runway extension and resurfacing with new airspace infrastructure has been concluded and scheduled to open for daylight operations from the 16th of this month. It is hoped that airlines will take advantage of this and commence plans to provide service to travellers on that region" Njeze said.

Nosa Osula-Aituamen (Aviationreport)

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