By Mr. N.U Noble
Nigerians, why can’t we leave in peace? Why can’t we preach peace, instead of violence? Is it that we cannot leave as one? Is it a crime to aspire, hold or conduct an election free of threat and hostility? Elections free of discrimination and sectionalism? Elections free of religious interferences? And Elections free of influences? Nigerians now is the time to answer these questions conscientiously and allow for patriotic actions and elections. Make and enforce election laws that would put power back to the citizens regardless of political parties, election laws that would get the political parties into the streets to canvass for votes, election laws that would reduce desperation and let the delegates of political parties vote in honesty and not by influence. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing its 36 states and capital (Abuja or FCT)
This is what we need for election to be free and fair, make election laws that would allow working class people stand for an election without resigning as elective offices are made less attractive. Make election laws that would manage the spending of political parties to allow the political parties seek for the honest votes of citizens. Nigerians let us dispose our values, values that would reflect in our actions, actions filled with love for one another regardless of personal practices, emotions and believe, actions that would aim our dear nation good reputations and portray unity.
Nigerians let us practice these actions, actions that detest despotism, favoritism and allow for fair job creation for all Nigerian citizens as Adam Smith holds that citizens are the wealth of the nation. Nigerians now is not the time to seek for violence, no, not now as Violence does not put food on the table instead causes more deprivation, as violence does not grow a nation instead pulls a nation backward, Nigerians let us focus on unity and love for our dear nation, unity that would yen in our heart and make us discredit sabotage in every sector of our economy, unity that would make us begin to think selflessly on how every citizen will benefit from our economy both home and abroad, a unity that would make government increase the comfort of the security operatives with adequate protective gadget and devices for decent protection of the citizens. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria
A unity that would help turn our population into an advantage instead of disadvantage, make the economy not only dependent upon oil but upon manufacturing and creation, a unity that would erase doubt and allow us freedom of expanding and circulating our businesses to any part of the nation without sentiment as more jobs are created.
Nigerians now is the time to preach and practice unity, the unity that would make us pay more attention to our locally made product instead of foreign product as quality is made a priority, the unity that cares for all Nigerians including the physically challenged as opportunities are made available to every Nigerian, this is the unity we seek, the unity that reflects in our characters to discharge passionate services in every area of our work and allows us equal medical attention without discrimination.
This is the unity that has brought us this far still ready to take us to our required position globally if put into practice, let us stick together in this unity to prosper the nation for the good of all Nigerians. Thank you and God bless Nigeria.
*Tags: Nigerians, Delta, Youths, Peaceful, Election, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb
*Continuation On 50 Cheers To Nigeria
By Dr. Genesis Dawuda
Today, the political terrain is so stable that each cabinet minister receives annually N29 million including allowances. Each senator is paid N28 million per annum. Each House of Reps member receives N22 million. N1.4 billion as estimated total payments to presidential aides in emoluments per annum. N539 billion as total payments to council chairmen/women and councilors in Nigeria’s 774 LGAs. N36 billion as total salaries of House of Assembly members across the 36 states. N1.3 trillion estimated annual salaries, allowances and fringe benefits of Nigeria’s political office holders at all tiers of government. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria
Not to worry you with the very lengthy history of political entries and exits of past leaders and coupists making wonderful speeches in this Country let’s browse through few of the many, like Major Chukwuma Kaduna’s “In the name of the Supreme Council of the Nigerian Armed Forces, I declare martial law over the Northern provinces of Nigeria.” To President Nnamdi Azikiwe’s reaction with the statement “ Violence has never been an instrument used by us, as founding fathers of the Nigerian Republic, to solve problems.” To General Yakubu Gowon’s “ Countrymen, as you are all aware Nigeria has been immersed in an extremely grave crisis for almost eighteen months…let us therefore march manfully together to alter the course of this nation once again for all and to place it on the path of progress, unity, and equality.” ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Nigeria Ex-Military Head of State, Yakubu Gowon leaving after attending Late Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua's funeral in Katsina, Katsina State May 6, 2010.
As if Col. Odumegwu Ojukwu was waiting for Gowon’s speech, he declared, “ Fellow countrymen and women, you, the people of Eastern Nigeria: conscious of the supreme authority of Almighty God over all mankind, of your duty to yourselves and posterity…I, Lieutenant Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Military Governor of Eastern Nigeria…do solemnly proclaim that the territory and region known as eastern Nigeria together with her continental shelf and territorial waters shall henceforth be an independent sovereign state of the name and title of The Republic of Biafra.” ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Charles O. Okereke( left ) interviewing Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu( right )
Then Gowon later declared “citizens of Nigeria, It is with a heart full of gratitude to God that I announce to you that today marks the formal end of the civil war.” Enters, General Murtala Ramat Mohammed; “Fellow Nigerians, events of the past few years have indicated that despite our great human and material resources, the government has not been able to fulfill the legitimate expectations of our people. Nigeria has been left to drift.” On his exiting in cold blood, enters General Olusegun Obasanjo, “ The Supreme Military Council has been meeting to consider, among other things the conclusions of the military Tribunal appointed by the Federal Military Government to try those involved in the abortive coup of February 13.” Enters President Shehu Shagari, “ Fellow Nigerians, we have witnessed today the birth of the Second Republic of Nigeria. With the swearing-in-ceremony this morning, I have formally assumed office as your first executive president.” Enters the return to military rule, Brigadier Abacha’s speech, “Fellow countrymen and women, I, Brigadier Sani Abacha, of the Nigerian Army address you this morning on behalf of the Nigerian Armed forces. You are all living witnesses to the great economic predicament and uncertainty which an inept and corrupt leadership has imposed on our beloved nation for the past four years. I am referring to the harsh, intolerable conditions under which we are now living. Our economy has been hopelessly managed. We have become a debtor and beggar nation…yet our leaders revel in squander mania, corruption and indiscipline, and continue to proliferate public appointments in complete disregard of our stark economic realities.” ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing its 36 states and capital (Abuja or FCT)
Then Enters Buhari-Idiagbon after an excellent introduction by Abacha. Next, the Maradona himself, the authoritative chess master player; enters General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, “ Fellow Nigerians, when in December 1983, the former military leadership, headed by Major General Muhammadu Buhari, assumed the reins of government, its accession was heralded in the history of this country. With the nation at the mercy of political misdirection and on the brink of economic collapse, a new sense of hope was created in the minds of every Nigerian.” He further stated, “Since 1984, however, we have witnessed a systematic denigration of that hope. It was stated then that mismanagement of political leadership and a general deterioration in the standard of living, which had subjected the common man to intolerable suffering, were the reasons for the intervention….let me reiterate what we said in 1984: This generation of Nigerians and indeed future generations have no other country but Nigeria. We must all stay and salvage it together. This time it shall be pursued with deeper commitment and genuine sincerity.” Later he declared annulment of June 12, “ Fellow Nigerians, I address you today with a deep sense of world history and particularly of the history of our great country. In the aftermath of the recently annulled Presidential Election, I feel, as I believe you yourself feel, a profound sense of disappointment at the outcome of our last efforts at laying the foundation of a viable democratic system of government in Nigeria.” ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd.)
After General Babangida ‘stepped-aside,’ Then came in Chief Ernest Shonekan, “ Fellow colleagues of the Interim National Government, I have summoned you this evening on an unusual occasion. Earlier today, I met with the Secretary of Defence in company of Chief of Defence Staff and chief of Army Staff, and we discussed the state of the nation…It is common knowledge that the ING is a child of circumstance. It was conceived in crisis and born in crisis.” Enters General Abacha as Head of State, “ Fellow Nigerians, sequel to the resignation of the former Head of the Interim National Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Chief Ernest Shonekan and my subsequent appointment as Head of State and Commander-in-Chief, I have had extensive consultations within the Armed Forces hierarchy and other well meaning Nigerians in a bid to find solutions to the various political, economic and social problems which have engulfed our beloved country, and which have made life most difficult to the ordinary citizen of this nation…This regime will be firm, humane, and decisive. We will not condone nor tolerate any act of indiscipline. Any attempt to test our will, will be decisively dealt with.” ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Nigeria Ex-Military Head of State, Sani Abacha inspecting guard of honour.
On the demise of General Abacha enters General Abdulsalam Abubakar commenting on the death of Chief M.K.O. Abiola. “ Fellow Nigerians, it is with a very heavy heart that I address you for the second time since destiny bestowed upon me the mantle of leadership of our beloved nation. Exactly one month ago, we were shocked by the sudden passing-away of our late Head of State, General Sani Abacha. As we concluded the official 30 days mourning of this great loss, we are now challenged by another national strategy.
The passing-away yesterday of Chief Moshood Abiola was as sudden as it was tragic, particularly as he died on the brink of his release from detention. For me personally, and for the nation at large, this must be one of the saddest moments of our lives. I never envisaged that I will be faced with such momentous tragedies within the space of one month.” Enters General Olusegun Obasanjo, and then Alhaji Umaru Yaradua. Upon his demise, enters the ‘lucky’ president , His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as the current performing man of the moment.
What Nigeria failed to measure-up in, according to Professor Leacock’s essay is in the fact that Nigeria never took and I don’t think will ever take the game of crickets seriously. Considering the fact that Sports has never been taken seriously most especially by the male folks. Recently, the women made us proud by bringing home the Silver in the recently concluded World women’s football tournament. In conclusion, after about 50 years of melodramatic political overtures, it’s not just the Queen of England that needs all the saving by God, And so with the words ‘God Save Our Queen’ I also say ‘God Save and Bless Nigeria!’
*Tags: Nigerians, Delta, Cheers, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb
By Chukwuemeka Nudum
It was a rude shock to me reading (from Sahara Reporters) about the sack of 84 Nigerians by ExxonMobil. And this is coming at a time when nations of the world are enacting tough immigration laws and policies to force out immigrants so as to create jobs for their hard-pressed citizens. And here is Nigeria cowardly and ignorantly allowing foreigners take over their land. A colleague recently told me that most Nigerian laws favour foreigners to the detriment of our citizens and I think he was absolutely correct.
Here in the UK, I have always asked my colleagues if Nigerian leaders ever read about immigration laws of other countries. I have always wondered if Nigerian ambassadors in these countries ever file in reports to the federal government about tough immigration changes going on in their host nations. If they do, then a company like ExxonMobil can never have up to 700 expatriates in its payroll. It is never done anywhere in the World! That amounts to an economic sabotage against the Nigerian state. And Goodluck Jonathan is sitting comfortably in Aso Rock calling himself President and offering bribe to Pastor Tunde Bakare. He must be the weakest President Nigeria ever had.
Let me start with the UK where I am very conversant with. In the last two years, the British government has been implementing the biggest immigration shake up in 45 years. That exercise was enhanced with the conservative-Lib Dem coalition coming into power a few months ago. The current slogan in the UK is: British Jobs for British People. And it is being enforced to the letter. In the period under review, the British government has closed down over 20 different immigration routes through which foreigners hitherto come into their country. And this closure is primarily targeted at immigrants from outside the European Union. Just last week, the British government announced that henceforth it will only approve 1000 (per year) highly skilled visas (HSMP or tier 1) for exceptionally talented non EU immigrants.
This is a programme that before last week allowed hundreds of thousands of non EU immigrants to work in the UK; of which tens of thousands of Nigerians were beneficiaries. With this new limit, it means Nigerians would count themselves lucky if they can get up to 80 (per year) HSMP visas approved for them henceforth. And we are having a case in hand where ExxonMobil ALONE is having 700 foreigners in its staff list in Nigeria. Who made them Lord over us in our own country? Who approved those visas? How many expatriates of African descent are working in ExxonMobil USA and UK? There is no reason why the total expatriate strength in ExxonMobil Nigeria should exceed 100. Infact, in the light of the current global economic reality, the expatriate quota of ALL companies operating in Nigeria should be reduced by at least 50 percent so as to protect Nigerian jobs for Nigerian people. ( Continues below..... )
All the low income (menial) jobs that Africans hitherto do in the UK are now being handed over to Eastern Europeans because of the Lisbon treaty. Before an African gets any type of work in the UK right now, that employer must prove beyond doubts that there are no British or EU citizens who can do that job. Also that employer must show evidence that that job has been well advertised in many local and foreign media for up to three weeks. And Jonathan is thinking of 2011 presidency, he must be joking! We are all aware of the tough immigration policies being proposed in Arizona, USA which has dragged President Obama and the Arizona State government to court. The state of Virginia and many other states and cities in USA are now clamouring to enact similar tough immigration laws that would make life difficult for foreigners.
We are all know how British Petroleum, BP attempted to sell off some of its pipeline assets in Russia in other to pay for the huge oil spillage damages in the Gulf of Mexico. And in Nigeria, we have oil spills everyday, with no meaningful compensation to the communities and the Nigerian government. And yet, our dear President Jonathan is from the Niger Delta where these damages are being done. All Jonathan can offer his people is to be bribing Pastor Tunde Bakare with 50,000 dollars when thousands of his people in the creeks have no clean water to drink.
Our plight in Nigeria is worsened by the compromising nature of the people that populate the National Assembly. For over a decade now, we have been talking about local content development. I appreciate some marginal progress has been made but I am saddened by the lack of drive and genuine commitment on the part of the legislators. The Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB which is expected to increase the momentum on the local content strategy is being politicised by these ‘’honourable’’ gentlemen. Sometime ago, there were media reports that the international oil companies, IOCs took a select committee of the National Assembly to Ghana all in a bid to influence the contents of a legislative bill.
The Senate President, David Mark recently admitted the House is under pressure from the IOCs to water- down the provisions of the PIB bill. We have heard of different versions of the bill being circulated all over the place. That is exactly what is delaying the passage of the bill and activities in the oil and gas sector are stagnant because of the bill. And the remuneration package of this same ‘’honourable’’ gentlemen is almost bringing the Nigerian economy to its knees. So what else do they want before this bill can be passed? In the UK, authorities change the laws in just days and it takes immediate effect. But in Nigeria, unless and until enough ‘’Ghana must go’’bags are exchanged, nothing will move. I challenge the Nigerian senators to take a look at the local content policies of Angola, Libya, and Equatorial Guinea. Even Ghana of yesterday is currently blowing hot, threatening to enforce visa restriction on Nigerians. We all know what Nigerians living in Ghana are passing through.
Angolan President once told the oil companies: ‘If you are looking for senior engineers, recruit our people, train them and make them senior engineers’. You dare not bring in foreigners unnecessarily into Angola. Recently in London, at Careers in Africa, Chevron and BP Angola came recruiting Angolans without experience and without any serious interview, giving out employment letters on the spot and hundreds of highly educated and experienced Nigerians present were just watching helplessly. They were all asking: where is Chevron Nigeria? ( Continues below..... )
This ExxonMobil saga reminds me of my days as a process engineer with an engineering design company in Victoria Island, Lagos. After my recruitment test and interview, I was asked to go for medical examination. On the medical reference form I was given by the company, what I saw there were just basic tests like malaria, typhoid fever and urine test. Behold, there was a secret standing instruction to the hospital to conduct HIV test on all applicants. I came to know about it when I eventually became friendly with the lab scientist who casually told me one day that my HIV test was negative. He did not even know it was supposed to be a secret.
In due course, the said company will have to explain to me, through my solicitors, why they ran HIV test on me without my consent. And we had hundred of expatriates in this same company who never went for such test, thus working with an unknown HIV status. The moment they are flown into the country, they start work and start sleeping with our girls in and outside the office, trust Nigerian girls with money and promise of visa. In this same company, internet access was given to the expatriates 24 hours a day, both at home and in the office. But we the locals, it took God before we were given access for just one hour a day (break time, 12 noon to 1pm).
The company’s understanding was that locals would abuse it and would not concentrate on their work. But we saw these expatriates on many occasions watching pornographic materials in the office during work hours. As a Nigerian, if you go to the human resources department or accounts office to request or complain about something, you will be treated with levity, but any request or complain coming from a white skin is treated with dispatch. Infact a Nigerian manager can sack a Nigerian just because a white skin complained about him/her even without proper investigation. What an inferior mentality! I am glad I never took any rubbish from my Irish direct boss in that company.
I then felt like a hero when I eventually travelled to the UK and saw the way the whites treat our people like s**t. That gave me that joy that I never allowed myself to be rubbished in my father’s land. Can you imagine a situation where a so-called expatriate without any university degree is earning two million naira every month, lives in Ikoyi or Victoria Island, has a brand new car with a driver, security, gardener, cook, travels to his/her country every three months all at the company expense. And the degree-qualified Nigerian working directly with him/her earns less that 70,000 naira per month, lives in Ajegunle, enters ‘molue’ every morning to get to work.
An Italian expatriate in that company once told me that Nigerians were slaves in their own country, and that Nigerians were too afraid to lose their jobs, that was why they could not protest against anything in that company. He felt so bad but he said there was nothing he could do. He told me in confidence that they (expatriates) were out- rightly stealing in Nigeria considering the fat wages they earn. If I ever return to Nigeria, any expatriate that tries nonsense with me will eternally regret it.
The most painful aspect of all is that many of these white skins are doing jobs that even un-educated Nigerians can do. Can you imagine an American in that company working as an accommodation manager? His job description was to scout for flats in Victoria Island and Ikoyi for the expatriates in that company, then discuss with the property owners. That was what brought him into Nigeria with a work permit. Another one called himself a security manager. All he was doing then was to send out emails to Nigerian born personnel telling them to avoid going through Oshodi or Agege because of reports of violence he probably heard over the radio or television. The expatriate sending out those ‘’security reports’’ had never been to Oshodi or Agege. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria's Niger Delta Region showing Port Harcourt
Many of these white skins also work as chef on the rigs and canteens of multinational companies. Can’t our people be trained on how to prepare continental foods? Some of them call themselves project managers. All they do is sitting down and be updating excel spreadsheet containing list of deliverables and updating project progress report. Can’t our people use excel spreadsheet? Can’t our people write reports? A friend told me how he saw an expatriate changing a dead light bulb on a rig. Apparently, that expatriate came into the country as an electrician. What a country! The immigration officials who connive with these foreign companies must be investigated and sanctioned. Every year, there are tens of thousands of technically and professionally experienced Nigerians who graduate from American and British top universities.
Can’t they be recruited in thousands and be used to replace many of those white skins milking us dry. There are many skilled Nigerians working abroad who are ready to return home if they are guaranteed of job offers. What is the government doing about this? Everyday, hundreds of our people are deported from these countries, most of them well educated. The jobs they can do have been taken over by foreigners. I have always asked my colleagues in the UK whether, we as people of Nigeria, have any common sense. The white people think Africans have got no common sense and sometimes I am tempted to believe they are right from what I see happening in Nigeria. The expatriates in Nigeria are paid in dollars and worse of all; the money is not even domiciled in Nigerian banks. Their salaries are wired out of Nigeria into their home banks and they just check online to confirm the money is there.
This is because they have no confidence in our banks but they have confidence in our crude oil. What they receive in Nigeria is just an allowance for their feeding and womanising affairs and this capital flight is putting our banks and economy into much stress. Can any Nigerian working abroad tell me if his/her wages has ever been paid directly into his/her Nigerian bank account by the foreign employers? We need to enact a law that would force expatriates to be receiving their salaries through Nigerian banks. I am not sure this is captured in the Petroleum Industry Bill. That would greatly strengthen our banks and help us reduce liquidity crisis.
The British government utilizes this method to strengthen their banks. Anybody who wants to extend or apply for visa inside the UK must maintain an account balance of at least 800 pounds everyday for three months otherwise the visa would be refused. In foreign policy, it is a case of use what you have to get what you want! But in Nigeria, it is a case of use what you have to ignorantly and brainlessly bless foreigners. I still remember reading a media report where a frustrated Venezuelan ambassador to Nigeria openly harassed Prof. Dora Akunyili and told her that Venezuela wanted to see the resources of Nigeria being used to better the lives of Nigerians. The ambassador angrily told her that Nigeria cannot leave foreigners to be running their oil and gas sector.
The ambassador educated her on how university education had become free in his country since Venezuela took charge of their oil and gas resources and put foreigners at the back sit. The current hand writing on the global wall is: To your tent oh Israel. No nation is currently ready to shoulder any unprofitable responsibilities. And that’s why the British and American public are pressurizing their governments to bring back their soldiers from Afghanistan. Similarly, Nigeria should reduce the resources it is committing in peace-keeping operations across Africa. Any African nation that plunges herself into any war or crisis should take full responsibility. We can save some tens of billions of naira from such reduction which can be channelled into railway projects in Nigeria. After all, what has Nigeria gained from the big brother role we played for Ghana, South Africa, Angola and many other African countries? ( Continues below..... )
I have a problem with the NLC, TUC, NUPENG, PENGASSAN, and above all, the Nigerian journalists. While I appreciate and commend the efforts of PENGASSAN and other petroleum trade unions in the perennial labour ill practices in Nigeria, I must observe that the agitations are hardly sustained for tangible results to be achieved. I have always observed that after two or three days, the protests fizzle out with half-hearted promises by the operating companies which are hardly kept. Sometime last year, about 400 workers from Italy and Portugal came into the UK for a contract work in a refinery. Despite the EU treaty which allows those workers to work in the UK without visas, the British trade unions staged and sustained protests until those workers left the UK because they felt very unsafe working in that site.
I watched them on the television leaving the UK. I have not seen such persistence in the Nigerian trade union. Though the minimum wage of 18,000 naira has been approved by the Federal Executive Council, FEC, I am still watching to see how the NLC would follow up the effective implementation. Nigerian workers are still being carried to work in trailers by construction companies. The NLC needs to move from the level of barking to biting. I have the biggest problem with Nigerian journalists and the media in general.
They have been so complacent in exposing the foul plays in our immigration system. Perhaps they think immigration is not a major issue worrying Nigeria. May I remind them that it is. Here in the UK, the British media plays a key role in exposing immigration lapses and constantly puts heat on the government to tighten up any loose end on immigration. At least once in two weeks, the British media must report about illegal immigrants from non EU countries, the statistics of non-EU citizens in the UK, net immigration figures, number of foreign criminal in UK prisons, number of work permits issued last year, the type of work non EU immigrants do, the number of non EU immigrants doing jobs that British people can do. And as a foreigner, when you read these things, there is this psychological trauma and sense of shame you feel. And those media reports indirectly incite the British Citizens with the resultant effect being an increase in hostility and discrimination.
I have never read such statistics from the Nigeria media. I want to see the Nigeria media report regularly on the number of foreigners in Nigeria by industry sector and by nationality. I want to see the reports of foreigners who overstay their visas in Nigeria, I want to see Nigerian media report the official expatriate quota of every organization employing foreigners, the companies that violate it, by how many people, what punishment are they supposed to be meted with, which company has been punished, which company has not been punished, a list of jobs by companies that Nigerians can do which foreigners are doing. All these will help government extract more value for its oil and gas resources.
In the UK, there is a policy of naming and shaming immigrants who run foul of immigration laws. The immigration officers who arrest illegal immigrants go with hidden cameras and videos. Everything during that operation is secretly filmed with the full face of the immigrant. These videos are played without restriction in British stations and are also posted to websites like YouTube. If President Jonathan is not a weakling, then there must be heat on foreigners in our own country. I am challenging Sahara Reporters and Nigerian Masterweb to spearhead this investigative assignment for the betterment of our father land. Nigerian jobs for Nigerian people! God bless Nigeria. I rest my case.
Chukwuemeka Nudum is an Engineering Consultant in the UK. He can be reached at email@example.com
*Tags: Nigerians, Delta, Youths, ExxonMobil, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb
By Lateef Lawal
The Managing Director of Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (nahcoaviance), Mr. Bates Sarki Sule has resigned.
His resignation, it was learnt has been accepted by the Board of Drectors of the company at its meeting held on 26th November, 2010 and has consequently appointed Mr. Kayode Ojo, Executive Director, Finance and Strategic Planning to act as Managing Director/CEO of the company.
This development was, according to the Head of Human Resources/Corporate Communication, Ms Becky Igyuse confirmed by the Company Secretary, Mrs Folashade Ode in a press statement on 28th November. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Bates Sarki Sule, outgoing Nahcoaviance Managing Director
Mr. Sule was the pioneer Managing Director/CEO under whose tenure the company became publicly quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the company turnover and profitability grew from N3 billion to over N6 billion and N317.7 million to N1.2 billion respectively.
Equally, nahcoaviance has recently embarked on a transformation and repositioning exercise which is aimed at increasing efficiency and service quality, significant growth through expansion, acquisition and diversification, improved profitability, shareholder value and sustained market leadership. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: An Airborne Plane
According to the statement: "The Board, Management and staff of nahcoaviance expressed appreciation to Mr. Bates Sule for his contribution to the Company and wished him well in his future endeavors."
The acting Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Ojo, who joined nahco aviance in February 2010 is a seasoned financial expert of 22 years experience in corporate and investment management and has been a key driver of the transformation and repositioning program of the Company launched in July, 2010.
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
*Tags: Nigerians, Ndlea, Drug, Trafficking, Abuja, Lagos, Airport, Africa, Masterweb
*Nigeria: Abia Amnesty - Facts of The Matter
The first Amnesty Programme granted to Kidnappers in Abia State was a joint effort of Abia State Government in partnership with Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
It was observed that those repentant Kidnappers insisted to surrender their arms to NSCDC only, otherwise they won’t embrace the Amnesty. The Police kicked against this insisting that they must be involved. This distrust led to Police scuttling the Abala Ibeme Amnesty Camp, killing one of those repentant kidnappers and leaving others injured as widely covered by press. At this time, few Arms and Ammunitions recovered and were handed over to SSS. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: NSCDC Officers
However, following the reactivated Amnesty Programme for repentant Kidnappers and Armed hoodlums in the State fully supported by the Federal Government from September - October, 2010 involving; Army, Civil Defence, and Police made remarkable progress through the aid of NSCDC grass root intelligence network and the NSCDC Anti Vandal Team who took the risk of gathering those arms and ammunitions directly from those kidnappers camps and handing such over to the Nigerian Police who were scared of coming with them to those Kidnappers’ camps. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Weapons recovered from repentant Abia kidnappers under the amnesty (Photo 1).
At this second face, these were the Arms and Ammunitions recovered by NSCDC and handed over to the Nigerian Police:
1. Assault Rifles
2. Several AK 47 Rifles both foreign and Local
3. Pump Action Rifles (foreign and Local)
4. Local made Single/Double Barrel Rifles
6. Rocket Launchers
7. Rocket Bombs
8. Local Made Revolver Guns. Long/Short Range
9. Several Loaded and empty magazines for AK 47 and Assault Riffles. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Weapons recovered from repentant Abia kidnappers under the amnesty (Photo 2).
Why then should our Nigerian Police lie to the Nigerian President and public claiming that they were the ones that recovered those arms and in the process, most of their men lost their lives? This fallacious and unrealistic statement is like the old biblical story of “Esau and Jacob”.
The right people that should have been compensated are men and officers of NSCDC who took the risk of going into those Kidnappers Camps for dialogue and collection of those arms and ammunitions, and in the process most men of NSCDC sustained injury and some loosing their valuables.
*Tags: Nigerians, Ndlea, Drug, Trafficking, Abuja, Lagos, Airport, Africa, Masterweb
By Lateef Lawal
National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) uncovered a suspected drug ring at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport(MMIA) Lagos. This followed the arrest of a South Africa Airline manager, Adebulehin Michael, 46, and a NahcoAviance baggage officer, Olude Hakeem, 39, over attempt to smuggle a bag containing 500 grammes of cocaine unlawfully imported from Brazil out of the airport. The suspects are believed to have links with major drug traffickers in Brazil.
NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive, Alhaji Ahmadu Giade described the suspects’ action as an act of national sabotage, adding that they would be prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others. The NDLEA boss who decried the action of the suspects also warned that the agency was prepared to counter any move by drug barons and drug traffickers to thwart NDLEA's efforts at the nation’s airports. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Nigeria "National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)" Logo
According to NDLEA Airport Commander, Alhaji Hamza Umar, operatives of the agency on October 31, 2010 arrested one Jinadu Babatunde Ganiyu, 37, with 1.500kg of cocaine. The drug was concealed in the metal handles of his luggage on his way back from Brazil aboard a South Africa Airways flight. “Each metal handle of his bag contained 500 grammes of cocaine. He told us he checked-in 4 bags but on arrival in Lagos only 3 bags were found. He then reported that one of his luggages was missing. We monitored it closely until we arrested the two suspects attempting to smuggle the bag out” Hamza stated.
Adebulehin Michael, one of those arrested by NDLEA at MMIA, has been working with South Africa Airways for 8 years. He is currently the Passenger Service Baggage Manager. According to Michael, “the passenger reported a missing luggage on October 31. The bag arrived on November 9 and Mrs. Jinadu called me on Thursday November 18 that the husband reported a missing luggage from Brazil. She begged me to assist by sending the bag to her at Abuja that she had sent somebody to collect the bag but he was not given. I was only assisting her as the baggage manager because I have sent several bags like that in the past”. He is married with three children and hails from Ekiti State.
Olude Hakeem also arrest by NDLEA at MMIA, works with NahcoAviance as a Baggage Officer. He was first intercepted at the arrival hall with the bag. He however told NDLEA operatives that he was sent to carry the bag by one Adebulehin Michael who is the South Africa Airways baggage manager. “I am only acting on the instructions of the baggage manager. He told me to carry the bag from the store. When NDLEA indicated interest in the bag, I immediately told them that it was Adebulehin that sent me” Olude stated. He hails from Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Both suspects in their confessional statements had admitted their roles in the failed attempt to smuggle the luggage out of the airport. The case is being investigated. Meanwhile, NDLEA boss said that if the airline is found wanting, the agency will not hesitate to take necessary legal action. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, Nigeria.
In his words, “we have commenced investigation into the case. If the airline is found wanting, we will not hesitate to sanction it and take necessary legal action” Giade stated.
The first suspect, Ganiyu who was arrested with 1.500kg of cocaine in the handles of his travel bag said he had lived in Brazil for three years. He explained drug trafficking was the only means for him to make money for any meaningful livelihood. “I work in a poultry farm in Brazil. I was home sick and needed to come to Nigeria. My wife and child live at Ikene, Ogun State. They told me there was drug in the bags and offered to pay for my return ticket and also give me half a million naira. That was how I was convinced because I need to settle my family for the end of year festive period;” Ganiyu who hails from Ayepe in Ogun State added.
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
*Tags: Nigerians, Ndlea, Drug, Trafficking, Abuja, Lagos, Airport, Africa, Masterweb
By Charles Akpan
Dear readers, fellow Nigerians, INEC authorities, may I introduce myself simply as a concerned Nigerian living in the Diaspora (precisely, in Berlin, Germany). I wish to start my contribution to the above “hot” topic by first pointing out, that this is just complimentary to what one Mr. Ikechukwu Enyiagu’s earlier much detailed suggestions/advice to INEC on the way forward to a successful election in Nigerian terrain, which is often a very difficult one. For successfully carrying out this duty, first of all, I still strongly believe that, both the Federal government and NASS (Nigeria National Assembly) should help or greatly enhance INEC’s success in the elections by passing law that will make it compulsory for every Nigerian to register and a possess National ID card. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Prof. Attahiru Jega, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria
National ID card eliminates fraud and promotes security, in that by the very nature of it’s complete biometric data capture of every true Nigerian citizen in it’s database, every and any cheat, fraudster or criminal would immediately be traced in a matter of seconds; no non-Nigerian would be able to partake fraudulently in our elections (porous border or not)!
Secondly, election results would always be transmitted to the headquarters without delay in a few seconds. Thirdly, compulsory possession of National ID would enchance the Nation’s security via the current compulsory SIM-card registration exercise nationwide. Fortunately, to save money (or funds) for thr elections proper, there is already an agency on the ground; a Federal Govt. agency called the National IDentity Card Management Commission (hope the name is correct?); estabilshed by law, just like INEC, which the Federal Govt. has spent so much money already to make functional. ( Continues below…… )
Photo Above: Nigerians line-up to vote during election, while a cattle herder remains on his normadic job with his herd.
Why then have the authorities not created a sinergy between these two national agencies for the common good of Nigeria? Why are they working poles apart? The forthcoming “Voters’ Registration” would be most successful, if these two are seen to be working together. To the actual modalities for conducting the elections electronically and successfully, of which Mr. Enyiagu had earlier written much about, wish to add here that, the new INEC should built permanent structures, both electronically (with computers) and electrically (with solar energy) equiped in every village of the 774 LGAs of Nigeria; even in hitherto inaccessible villages. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Maurice Iwu, Ex-Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria
These permanent structures and buildings would save money for future elections. These infrastructures would also serve as Federal Govt. Call-Centres for National Directorate for Employment (NDE) and NYSC deployment, after the elections - to enhance job-creation, adult education exercises in the remotest villages and serve as “computer-leteracy” and skills aquisation-centres of the Federal Govt.
At these “electronically wired election centres", voters who must have National ID cards, would simply be made to line-up outside the building behind their parties’ symbols /nay candidates of their choice; then a pre-voting count of the eligible voters could be made by independent observers and accredited party agents. Verified voters, one at a time, would be called into the voting-building, to the electronic voting-booth or machine to cast their votes. The rest would be history!
That’s my take on this subject. Wish INEC and our dear country Nigeria all the best, and hope the authorities would read and apply these suggestions in due course.
Charles Akpan ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) writes from Berlin, Germany.
*Tags: Nigerians, Inec, Free, Fair, Elections, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb
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*Tags: Domain, Registration, Web, Email, Hosting, Africa, Masterweb
By Ifeatu Agbu
At last, the big ticket projects that would change the fortunes of the long suffering people of the Niger Delta region are beginning to leave the drawing board. Just last year, 45 mega projects worth about N180 billion rolled out of the pipelines to spread development across the region. Significantly, this has prepared the grounds for even bolder initiatives. A few years back, the talk about a coastal road appeared utopian and farfetched. That is no longer the case as it has since left the realms of idealism. In fact, the design for the road, which is about 650 kilometres, is almost ready and the Federal Government is willing to pick up the bills.
According to Mr. Chibuzor Ugwoha, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the coastal road, which will traverse the deltaic region, will soon be a reality. “NDDC has done the design of the coastal road running from Calabar to Lagos. Before the end of the year, the final design will be ready,” he said. Without doubt, the NDDC would have loved to execute this lofty project if it had the necessary financial muscle. Unfortunately, it couldn’t shoulder the enormous burden on account of the limited funds available to it. In this year’s budget, for instance, it has only N240.5 billion to spend on both projects and overhead costs.
Certainly, that will not scratch the surface for a project estimated to cost about N1.8 trillion. However, NDDC’s loss is the gain of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. Not that it matters though, since the common objective is the rapid development of the oil rich region, using the Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan as a compass. It is no surprise, therefore, that the Federal Government has transferred the responsibility for executing the project to the Niger Delta Ministry. The Vice President, Mohammed Namadi Sambo offered a justification for this when he said: “The Federal Government, in its quest to complete all major projects in the Niger Delta, has directed that the coastal road construction be transferred to the Ministry of Niger Delta since the money needed for its construction is over N1 trillion and is beyond the capability of the NDDC.” ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria's Niger Delta Region showing Port Harcourt
In any case, the ministry was established to play such pivotal roles in the quest to actualize the government’s objective to fast-track the development of the Niger Delta. It is expected to lead and co-ordinate the infrastructural and environmental development, as well as the youth empowerment programmes in the region.
The perennial violence in the region has made it imperative for the government to accord the Niger Delta a special treatment that goes beyond mere tokenism. It is no longer sufficient to hide under the cover of an interventionist agency that is underfunded. Obviously, the country needs to do what the United States of America did for Europe at the end of the Second World War using the Marshall Plan.
The regional development Master Plan, accepted by all stakeholders as the way forward, provides the platform for the massive injection of funds to quickly transform the long-neglected region that produces the oil that sustains the nation. This widely acclaimed roadmap for the region would require trillions of naira to actualize. The Master Plan, which all agree is a worthy compass for the development of the region, needs to be adequately funded in order to translate the lofty plans into tangible projects and programmes.
There can’t be a better time than now to take concrete steps to accelerate the development of the Niger Delta region, to at least convince the indigenes about the commitment of the Federal Government to the socio-economic transformation of the region. Visible development projects must now be embarked upon before the peace won through the amnesty programme is lost. The Ledum Mittee-led Technical Committee did a thorough job, synthesizing the reports and recommendations of previous committees. Sadly, the report is yet to be fully utilized. Moreover, the Master Plan facilitated by the NDDC is another document that should be seen more like a bible by the ministry. ( Continues below..... )
Spear-heading the implementation of the Technical Committee’s report and the master plan will be the best strategy to make an enduring impact within the short time available to this administration. The ministry should give financial bite to the Master Plan, which is a product of elaborate and intensive collaborative efforts of various stakeholders in the Niger Delta. Although the NDDC facilitated its production, it was, indeed, a product of all the stakeholders who spent over four years jointly in putting it together.
Given the volatile nature of the oil-bearing communities, it is only wise that the government takes urgent measures to address their age-old grievances. Unlike in the past when communities were contented with freebies, the ministry should aggressively provide basic infrastructure and human capital development that can guarantee long term benefits for the majority of the people of the region.
Good enough, the NDDC has set the ground rules, many of which have worked very well in bringing succour to the people. The ministry should do well to take a cue from the commission. In all, quick execution of tangible projects in the Niger Delta is the enduring solution to the lingering crises in the region. The ministry should, indeed, call the meeting of all the major stakeholders – the state and local governments, the oil companies, the NDDC and the international donor agencies - to agree on the specific roles each of them should play in the faithful implementation of the master plan with definite timeframe. It is obvious that no meaningful economic progress can be made unless the crisis in the Niger-Delta is comprehensively addressed. The Jonathan administration has a chance to make history by fast-tracking the development of the region. With an established blueprint in its hands, the government has all it takes to succeed.
Undoing the damage wrought by decades of neglect and injustice requires partnership and synergy. The ministry and other relevant agencies should serve as rallying points for harnessing the energies and ideas needed for the comprehensive development of the region. Virtually all the stakeholders agree that there is high level of poverty and underdevelopment in the Niger Delta. To give effect to the urgent task of transforming the region, several strategies and options should be adopted. In all, however, funding remains the most critical factor. Even now, the Federal government is yet to release a balance of N500million owed the NDDC. One can only hope that the funding situation will improve henceforth.
Apart from the critical issue of funding, it is also important that all stakeholders collaborate to lift the region from the abyss of underdevelopment. It is, ostensibly, in response to this need that the NDDC set up a clearing house called the Partners for Sustainable Development [PSD] Forum. This important organ brings together representatives of federal and state governments of oil-bearing states, youth and women leaders, traditional rulers as well as the organized private sector, civil society, the mass media and international development agencies such as the UNDP and the World Bank.
Their main function is to ensure that the developmental activities in the Niger Delta by all stakeholders are synchronized. This important organ should be more alive to its responsibility and the ministry will do itself a lot of good by making use of the forum. Now that the development efforts in the region are largely driven by the Master Plan, there is bound to be better coordination and faster delivery on projects that would make profound impact on the lives of the people.
Mr. Ifeatu Agbu ( email@example.com ) writes from Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
*Tags: Nigerians, Delta, Youths, Projects, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb
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