Wednesday, 29 June 2016
Monday, 27 June 2016
Recently, the President of Ijaw Youths Congress, Eric Eradiri revealed that President Buhari has indicated interest in personally leading negotiations with Niger Delta stakeholders that will include, governors, traditional rulers, activists and some key militants and ex militant leaders.
President Buhari is only taking the same steps that Presidents, Obasanjo, Yardua and Jonathan all took. But these are the same temporary measures that allows the federal government to continue drilling oil while empowering a few in the Niger Delta.
In the next few weeks after the negotiations , bribes will be released to some strong men of the creeks in the form of ransoms fees and the pipeline vandalism will reduce while critical issues like true federalism and even the host community funds will not even be considered .
In the next few years, the future Presidents of this country will also face similar crises and take same steps by empowering the 'strong men' in the Niger Delta while the majority of the people will wallow in abject poverty. New strong men will emerge by their ability to create maximum chaos in the oil industry.
Remember it was the Presidential Jet reception to Dokubo Asari and Tom Ateke that inspired new strong men like Boyloaf, Boma George, Osama Bin Laden , General Africa etc.
Nigeria will fruitlessly, keep trying to develop critical infrastructure for 200 million people, with 2.2 million bpd as our project funding system of building a 3km road in three years will continue.
The next two presidents after PMB will still come and offer to provide electricity and build roads. Nothing much would have changed. Insecurity will continue as we'd still have a lower security budget than even groups like Hezbollah.
There is something deceptive about Nigeria's so called oil wealth. We just know we produce oil , but what is our comparative advantage with oil when you take into consideration the number of people the oil money is meant to cater for?
For example, with a a population of less than 2 million people, Qatar produces 1,240 barrels of oil per day for 1000 people. Saudi Arabia produces about 371 bpd for each 1000 people. Kuwait produces about 1,100 bpd for each 1000 people. United Arab Emirates is about 663, even Angola that we produce more oil than produces 139 bpd for each 1000 people while Gabon produces 167 bpd for 1000 people.
Nigeria on its part produces 17 barrels per day for each 1000 persons, making her the poorest OPEC country in terms of Oil Per Head, far below the OPEC countries average of 371 bpd.
So we can see that the difference between a country like Nigeria and a country like Gabon is the difference between having three cubes of sugar placed in a 1000 litre tank and having one cube of sugar placed in a tea cup.
Who has more sugar? Of course the person with three cubes. But who enjoys the effect of sugar more? Definitely man with one cube in a tea cup.
The easiest way to move forward and diversify from this mono economy is to entrench true federalism as this will freeze the feeding bottle in Abuja and states like Jigawa, Ebonyi and Ekiti will realise that they have much more resources than the black gold.
This deceptive assumption of having so much wealth led us into numerous wasteful policies like subsidizing petroleum products until situations forced President Buhari to solve that problem .
Universities can't function autonomously by fending for itself with the fees that students pay, but will depend on hand outs from the education ministry which is never enough and we now have glorified secondary schools as universities. All because we think we are an oil rich nation.
In some states in Nigeria, the government even funds little things like refuse disposal. People are not even allowed to posses the individual responsibility of paying for their own refuse to be disposed. At the end , it's never effective and the state is gradually becoming a garbage city rather than a garden city .
The government will continue to be slow in generating income tax as FIRS remains a less serious income generating institution than NNPC .
Is it not ironical that we have oil wealth and have a per capita income of $2,600 while little countries like Belgium with little or no mineral resources have a pet capita income of over $40,000.
In a country like the United Arab Emirates, States like Dubai manage their oil resources and pay about 2% only to the emirate in Abu Dhabi.
Today, with an Oil production of 60,000 bpd , Dubai have built their city, diversified her economy and developed her human resources to a level where oil now accounts to about 5% of their foreign earnings while Nigeria foreign earnings remains above 90% oil based.
The reason is simple .The wealth of a nation lies more on her human resources rather than on her mineral resources.
This is why mineral based economies like UAE, QATAR etc are rapidly transforming into knowledge based economies like Israel by rapidly diversifying.
This is why Nigeria with crude oil will continue to import refined products from countries without crude oil like Singapore and South Korea.
Until we move away from this feeding bottle federalism of drilling oil in Abua and sharing the proceeds in abuja, Nigeria will continue to produce leaders that are destined to fail no matter what they do.
Sunday, 26 June 2016
Wednesday, 22 June 2016
Truth, is men will always be men. I have tasted and seen. Counsellor Lutterodt says you don’t date for more than fourteen days. So in your fourteen-day quest, it is important to understand your man.
So in case you get involved with a Nigerian guy or intend approving one for your sister, I present to you my personal guide below:
YORUBA MEN (aka Lagos). Have you met a Yoruba Man before? They will make you laugh, very funny people, it is never boring around a Yoruba Man. He can get you Heaven on Earth. God bless his hustle. But will always cheat on you. This is not a matter of you did something wrong, No!!! You didn’t!!! They enjoy cheating. It’s like their Normal Fun. There’s the adage “A dog never rejects Bone.”
This describes a Yoruba Man. They know too much. (Bother their ladies and Guys) if anyone tells you something along the line you later found out it was a Lie; and it leaves you wondering if you were charmed into believing it. Do a research on that person; he is a Yoruba Guy.
IGBO MEN: An Igbo man is ready to take good care of you and buy you the latest of whatever you want. He can buy you a car if you so desire. You just have to let the world know. I mean the Whole Wide world. You don’t refer to Him as your Boyfriend. Hell No.
He Is Your Husband, married or not. And Igbo man will never do all these for you if he has not seen your parents, or if he doesn’t know every single detail about you.
He cannot spend for anything. “Baby on Sunday, we are wearing ‘to match’ to church.” When they see him, they see you. You can’t even cheat on an Igbo man if he wants to be serious with you. All his friends, overseas MUST KNOW ABOUT YOU. Everyone he knows has a picture of you. Igbo men believe in “You give me I give.” No time to waste.!
RIVERS MEN (aka Port Harcourt). They are the people you will say “Know what’s up.” They are Guys who have mastered the art of flirting. Yes they are that Good; they don’t give up. A typical Port Harcourt man will promise to marry you.
They will Love you, but will also accommodate as many as their heart can accommodate. He is not saying he doesn’t love you; he will make you think the ladies are the one after him. So he is trying to explain to the ladies one after the other that you are his girlfriend. They are also called the “ladies men.”
DELTA MEN (aka Warri). Delta Guys don’t Love. If you like cook, wash, clean. On Friday, he will go clubbing and will pick a random girl up. They like it like that. You can’t tell them otherwise. So long you are not a virgin, you are not the village girl that has been kept for them, they won’t attempt to fall in love with you. But they will spend on you: he can buy you anything you want so long as you stay loyal as they want you to. Everything you are doing for them, washing and all that, is out of your own kind gesture. “Nobody send you message” as they normally say. But will be the first to say “Girls are not loyal.” I wonder what they think loyalty means.
HAUSA MEN are shy; they only talk to you when they know the environment is right. I don’t know about 30% of them, but I believe 70% of them are shy and very caring. So long he likes you, sometimes they show you care even before they really fall in love with you. They always want you to be around them; they want you to be happy, so will do anything to make you happy. But one bad side: they are OBSESSIVE. Because their motive is so genuine, they easily get obsessed and that’s where the problem starts. He will call you and your total discussion would be about the imaginary person you are cheating on him with. He can accuse you of cheating 200 times out of 100. They have insecurity problems.
CALABAR MEN (Good in bed Men): They are one of the blunt and really brave Guys. They know quite alright they don’t have a chance with you, but they believe there is no harm in trying. A Calabar Guy will approach a beautiful lady and tells her how much he likes her, how much he wants to see her happy, how happy he would make her feel. They know they got no chance with you, but will try anyway. For example, they will tell you they want you to be their girlfriend (BLUNT), but they don’t have money to take care of you (BRAVE). The Calabar man gets carried away and sometimes forgets to cut their coat according to their size.
Sunday, 19 June 2016
Saturday, 18 June 2016
"I am not against the University. I hope you people appreciate that. My argument about Okerenkoko is that the land alone is N13 billion. If you give me N13 billion I will buy half of Lagos. That N13 billion has built the university already so there is no need to spend more money. Let EFCC retrieve the money from them and then release them and we would build the University. I believe the Federal government has no money to continue. When we have money we would continue. The Minister of state for Petroleum has whispered to me that he would look for the money to continue...Minister, bring it to me and I will continue"
In response to this, Mr. Kachikwu said:
"First let me say on Maritime University, I disagree with the minister of transport. Any facility that is placed in the south south, we should work towards developing it. I don’t care the circumstances under which we are placed… It is not my position to determine whether land was valued at N19 million or N10 million or N3 million. The appropriate institutions which are the court systems will determine that. That has nothing to do with the development of the infrastructure. As far as I know, so much has gone into that property. So much fiscal assets are being developed. We are not going to throw the baby with the bath water. We will deal with the issues but the University will be developed. If he doesn't want it in maritime, I will take it to petroleum"
Seated with the duo was the minister for budget and planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma. The cameras actually caught his smile as he listened to Kachikwu and I tell you, that smile was worth ₦13 billion.
It was the type of smile you get when you watch an Uncle Tom being given a lecture he so badly needed.
An Uncle Tom is defined as an individual who is excessively apathetic to the group interests of his community while at the same time rabidly crying more than the bereaved in support of the group interest of another community with competing interests to his own community within a state or a nation.
I will leave it to my readers to determine whether this definition defines Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi or not.
But since the minister of state aptly chided Amaechi for attempting to throw away the baby with the bath water, it might be expedient of me to bring my readers up to speed about the origin of the term 'throw away the baby with the bath water'.
In medieval Europe up until the Industrial Revolution, water was scarce. You could hardly get enough to drink, let alone bath with, so people did not have their bath regularly as they do today.
What would happen is that a family would obtain a bath tub's worth of water at great expense and then the man of the house would have his bath right in the bath tub. When he was done, the next ranking male member of the family would have his bath. This would continue until all the men in that household had had their baths according to their pecking order.
Next in line would be the females who, believe it or not, would all have their baths in that very same water, according to their standing in the family.
Finally, the minor children of the household would then have their baths in that same water and bath tub.
As you can imagine, by this time, the water would have become dirty and almost muddy and by the time the matron of the family came to throw away the water, she may not notice that a young child or baby was in the water and in many cases they threw the water into the sewers along with any unfortunate child that was hidden in the water by the dirt.
This historical occurrence is a metaphor for Nigeria.
The precious water in the bath tub represents the wealth of Nigeria, which in this case is largely centered around the oil industry which is domiciled in the Niger Delta.
The bath tub itself is Nigeria.
The men, women and children who bath with the water in the bath tub are the various ethnic nationalities that make up Nigeria.
The man who first enters the bath tub is the Northern gentleman. He is followed in quick session by the Westerner and then the Easterner and the women are the larger minorities.
Finally, the children and babies are the smaller minorities that largely make up the Niger Delta.
The matron who attempts to throw the baby away with the bath water are those people close to power and who rather than serve the people from whence they came, prefer to serve the powers that be.
By that standard, Rotimi Amaechi is a matron who must realize that he was not sent to the Niger Delta by President Muhammadu Buhari. Rather, he was sent by the Niger Delta to President Buhari.
Ibe Kachikwu gets this and I wish more people around President Muhammadu Buhari would get this.
In recent years, there has been an attempt by many pseudo intellectuals to try and revise Nigerian history by peddling the false narrative that prior to the discovery of oil in commercial quantities in the Niger Delta, other regions shared their wealth equally within the Nigeria project.
This is simply a lie.
The fact is that until the infamous Decree 34 (Unification of Assets) was passed by the Major General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi administration after the aborted Nzeogwu/Ifeajuna (or Ifeajuna/Nzeogwu depending on who you believe) coup of January 15th, 1966, Nigeria practiced a brand of True Federalism known as regionalism.
The 1960 Independence Constitution arising from the 1957 Lancaster House Conference provided that each of the three regions (a fourth region, Midwest Region, was created in 1963) kept 50% of its income and paid 25% to the central government and 25% to a central pool that was then shared amongst the regions.
So in essence, what Nigerians freely agreed was that each region should keep at least 50% of its income (it could go as high as 75% when the central pool was shared amongst the regions).
Now without consulting the minorities, Nigeria's majority ethnic nationalities, through force of military might, stripped the regions off control over their own resources and vested it in the newly created Federal Government and the minorities have been overruled at every constitutional conference since that time as they tried to reclaim their God given heritage.
On my first ever visit to Bayelsa state in 2012, I saw tens of human bodies that had been burned as if in a nuclear incineration. They had been scooping petrol from a fallen petrol tanker which eventually burst into flames and took them with it to other world.
Why did they do this? Because of poverty.
These people are so poor, yet Lt. General (rtd) T.Y Danjuma publicly declared that after he sold an oil block given to him by General Abacha, he made $1.5 billion (yes, you heard me right, $1.5 billion not Naira!) and had so much money that 'I did not know what to do with it'!
Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija is the richest woman in Africa with a net worth of over $2 billion. She can afford to dole out millions of dollars through her charitable foundations because, like Mr. Danjuma, she also got an oil block from a military regime.
Not only has the Nigerian state stripped the Niger Delta of its own resources, the state has also used those resources to enrich a selected few individuals to the exclusion of the region that lays the golden egg.
So if Niger Delta oil has made well connected Nigerians over $13 billion in personal wealth, then Mr. Amaechi, what is the big deal if ₦13 billion is spent on the maritime university at Okerenkoko?
Right in Maitama and Asokoro, there are lands and properties that you can buy for ₦13 billion, yet there is not a single drop of oil in the Federal Capital Territory. As a matter of fact, the infrastructure that has made Abuja one of the most developed cities in Africa was funded by petrodollars from the Niger Delta.
So as my Yoruba brothers would say, kini big deal?
Ibe Kachikwu gets this. One wonders why Amaechi doesn't? The two of them are very unique in that both Amaechi and Kachikwu straddle the world of both the Niger Delta and the Southeast where the Biafra agitation is currently very strong.
They should be telling President Buhari how to resolve both the Biafra agitation and the Niger Delta militancy.
I am not in support of violence and I urge both the Biafran agitators and the Niger Delta militants to advocate for their cause through non violent means.
I do not think secession is the answer. If I had the ear of the President, I would tell him that the federal government's approach to Biafra agitators and Niger Delta militants is wrong. We should do what the United Kingdom did to Scotland. Pet them. Develop their region. Persuade them they are better off in Nigeria.
But I do not have the President's ears so I count on Amaechi and Kachikwu to tell him for me.
Someone like Amaechi should know that abandoning a project like the Maritime University Okerenkoko will only serve to deepen the unrest in an already restive region.
The state that contributes the highest resources to the federal government is Akwa Ibom where Kachikwu confronted Amaechi. That state did not even have an airport until the state government built one with their own money!
Delta state had to build its own airport. The airport in Amaechi's home state of Rivers was named by CNN as the worst airport in Africa in a broadcast on February 1, 2016.
Is this then the region that Amaechi wants to strip of whatever little infrastructure that she has?
Amaechi has this all wrong. He will serve Buhari better by explaining the Niger Delta to him than by explaining Buhari to the Niger Delta.
Amaechi should not get too carried away. Let him ask himself two questions. Where was President Buhari living before he became President? Was it not Daura and Katsina both in the Northwest? Where has former President Jonathan lived since he left power? Is it not Otuoke in the Niger Delta? Where has former President Obasanjo lived since 2007? Is it not at Ota and Abeokuta in the Southwest?
Abuja is sweet to call home when you are in power but when power leaves you (as it does to even the best of us) you will have no choice but to return to your mother's house.
But one thing is clear going forward. Ibe Kachikwu has turned out to be the star in an otherwise lackluster cabinet. He had taught us the difference between a MINISTER and a ME-nister. A minister ministers to Nigerians while a me-nister ministers to his ego!
Wednesday, 15 June 2016
Tuesday, 14 June 2016
In a conversation with my mother today, she dished out, in her usual manner, another dose of wisdom and truth.
She said: "Nnaa, oo sonso nwoke n'akpatagho ego si na nwanyi richara ego ya".
Translation: "It is only a man who did not make (enough) money who said that a woman finished all his money".
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