Nigerian Affairs

Justus Gbenga Daniel, a successful Businessman, an irresistible Political Strategist, not a real politician per se, a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, universally known as OGD, turning 60, in the country where an average male life-span is 55 years; should be full of commendations to God for sparing his life, twirling in good health, and able to accomplish some feats in his chosen careers in the service to civilization. The man who in 1990, founded Krestal Laurel, a total Engineering Company with Distinctive Competence and Knowledge in the field of Electro-mechanical Systems such Mobile Shelving Systems Elevators (popularly…
Like many Nigerians who massively supported and voted for Buhari and the APC to gain power in Nigeria, I am beginning to ask myself what the hell happened to me and what did I do wrong? How for Heaven's sake could I be so wrong about a man I thought was best equipped to fight Corruption in Nigeria? Nigerians voted in their millions for Buhari because we were all just tired of the 16 years of a Demolition Derby made worse by 6 years of a President who holds a Ph.D, but has the mind and the intellectual curiosity of…
Some of our internet comrades have recently penned that Mr. Nnamdi Kanu is (choose your pick): abandoned, alone, forgotten, ignored, and rotting. When writing any of these words what the authors are saying is “I wish any or all of these things on THE BRAVE ONE (TBO).” But we know that if wishes were horses that beggars might ride them. Alas wishes are not horses. Nnamdi is not alone, not abandoned, not ignored, not forgotten and not rotting. He is doing quite fine. There is not a day that he is not mentioned in the press. Not a day a…
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 07:07

Bandits in uniform, or a country of anything goes

Written by
I had a few sleepless nights last week. It had nothing to do with the searing heat in the country or the epileptic power supply by Nigeria's eternally dysfunctional electricity company. My discomfiture had to do with the report about the heist at the Nigerian Air Force. The dizzying allegations of sustained robbery by the officers in charge, though not completely surprising, left me breathless. I ruminated on the trial of Alex Badeh. I reflected on the figures, did the math, and was driven to despair. I then asked myself the same question I asked a few years ago while…
The recent visit of President Jacob Zuma of South Africa to Nigeria presented an opportunity to rehash the view that Nigeria has not been given its due recognition in Africa. Of course, as expected, Mr. Zuma in his speech to the joint session of Nigeria's National Assembly did touch on Nigeria's role in the fight against Apartheid and its historical role in Africa. According to Mr. Zuma, "The people of Nigeria provided unwavering support and solidarity to the people of South Africa to unseat the last bastion of colonialism in Africa and enable us to attain our freedom." In what…
Wednesday, 23 March 2016 13:53

Matters arising on Osun LCDAs

Written by
It's no longer news that some 31 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), 3 Area Councils and two Administrative Offices were recently created in Osun State by the Rauf Aregbesola-led administration. As Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure in the Bola Tinubu-led administration when Lagos State had its LCDA experience, one can safely state that Aregbesola has garnered experience sufficient enough to help him drive the newly-created lower-tier administrative units in Osun State. At a period of global financial failure like this, fears on the part of the people cannot be said to be misplaced. It is therefore comforting to know that…
Nigeria’s oil minister, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu in his press address made these 9 points that at the moment, importing Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol, is cheaper than producing the product in the country’s refineries. that until the upgrade and total refurbishment of the refineries are concluded, as well as ensuring that the pipelines are fixed, it would be uneconomic and very expensive to refine PMS locally. that local refining of PMS would make much more economic sense if all the refineries undergo full set of repairs and Turn-Around Maintenance, TAM, and when new refineries are set up…
Monday, 21 March 2016 16:05

Questions for Igbos who claim to be Jews

Written by
Generally, I explain things from a social science perspective not history perspective. Recently, I have been reading material by Igbos saying that Igbos are Jews. They provide interesting hypotheses to back their contention. Initially, I dismissed them as folks suffering from inferiority complex who want to compensate with neurotic, that is, false, superiority complex. Igbos, as far as I know, contributed nothing to the history we know about; they did not even develop writing or invent the wheel, necessities for civilization. Igbos are generally classified as a primitive, stateless people. As a result of been perceived as primitive, Igbos feel…
University education in Nigeria presently consists of what was known as the 3R’s: reading writing and arithmetic. This is ultimately the principal role of any institution of learning from primary to secondary to higher education. But education is for a purpose. I posit that, that purpose, is the education of the whole person which consists of the body the mind and the soul in a trinity. If the whole person enters the society properly educated the person’s services to the society would be enhanced and therefore more beneficial. The 3R’s is mostly concerned with intellectual parts of a person. It…
I crave your indulgence to use Akure as my reference point in this article because that is the place of my birth and the place I know best. There are far too many variations of Akure History just like there are variations of Yoruba history that need to be further researched and put to rest if at all possible. Those variations exist because much of our history is predicated on oral tradition and folklores passed from one generation to another with a lot of distortions in between. Since it was not possible to permanently document those variations of our History,…
In the short period that I have been privileged to serve as Minister of Finance, I have observed that even the most basic systems and controls over the management of our resources are in dire need of strengthening. While we are regaled with and shocked by details of amounts stolen, diverted or wasted, we must face the cold reality that such acts are facilitated by weaknesses in our systems. Even if we successfully prosecute and jail every looter, ghost worker and other economic saboteur, there is every risk that those caught will only be replaced by persons who are just…
The 9-month span of Mr. Muhammadu Buhari’s presidency is not long enough to pass final judgements on his stewardship but long enough to predict the future of Nigeria. Nigerians should start thinking whether the president has the right temperament to govern a complex country like Nigeria; whether he understands convoluted relationships between the federal government and states, between the government and citizens, between dictatorships and democracies, etc. The country should consider if the president understands the differences in the last sentence; does he have the nuances necessary to maneuver though these intricate relationships; does he have the judgement to implement…
“With the downturn in the global prices of oil, we now have to prospect our solid minerals. We have to return to agriculture. Mining and agriculture are our hopes now. We will welcome investments in these areas. We will appreciate an in-flow of more resources and expertise to help us achieve our objective of economic diversification.”President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria speaking to Council of Saudi Arabia’s Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Indeed, Nigeria has no other choice than to “massively” invest in agriculture and solid minerals so as to address the current oil downturns facing the…
When Wole Soyinka wrote his best seller titled, "The Man Died" nobody but Soyinka himself knew for sure who he was talking about. Most people guessed, however that the fictional character had to be a political leader in Nigeria. When Tom Brokaw, the retired anchor of NBC Television in the United States wrote his book titled, The Greatest Generation" which became an instant best seller in Barnes and Nobles and most bookshops all over the United States we all knew he was thinking of many of the founding fathers of America and certainly not about the current generation of leaders…
That the Nigerian President Buhari travels abroad frequently is beyond doubt. As of the last count PMB has made 16 abroad travels in 8 months in office which is about one travel ever fortnight. He has been to 26 countries and since membership of United Nations is 193 countries it will not be long before he completes his world discovery tours. Why is the president going on these trips? It should be the question not the frequency of the trips. And the answer is the nature of Mr. Muhammadu Buhari. He is a lonely and lonesome gentleman who listens to…
Sunday, 21 February 2016 01:53

Can Igbos thrive without belief in God?

Written by
Date: February 20, 2016 To: Daniel Akusobi From: Ozodiobi Osuji Subject: The consequences of godlessness Daniel, I have been following your write ups (at Facebook) regarding the existence or lack of it of God. If I may summarize your take on the subject it is as follows: there seems no evidence that God exists; the world is unfair and some people stick it to others; rich people take wealth that ought to belong to all of us and use it at our expense; in Nigeria, the empire of thieves, a few criminals in government steal all the wealth of the…
Friday, 19 February 2016 04:14

A Word for President Buhari

Written by
FOR those who care to know, I am a passionate supporter of the Muhammadu Buhari cause and that position is not about to change! As a matter of fact, my preference in the March 28, 2015 Presidential Election through which Buhari eventually became Nigeria's first opposition candidate ever to defeat an incumbent president, was a product of my convictions and until I have sufficient reasons to change course, my preference remains on course. Be that as it may, surprise will be the appropriate word should I fail to make the list of the 'Cult of Wailing Wailers' as a result…
A government of change must approach its policies, its budget, and its pronouncement, from a new angle. It should start from thinking outside the box. The 2016 Ministry of Works just announced is a mere new wine in old wine bottles. It is not thinking outside the box. All the roads improvements that will take up to 95% of the budget are roads existing now and those roads are zonal roads. It is why they are perceived as favoring the SW and that perception is fully justified. Take Lagos-Ibadan expressway. It links states in the SW and stops. A comparable…
President Muhammadu Buhari is the custodian of Nigeria’s democracy. He may also be the greatest threat facing that nascent democracy. The pillars of democracy are individual freedoms, rule of law, people’s involvement in the decision making process either directly such as in referendums, or petitions or indirectly through their elected representatives. Any other form of governing that is not built on these pillars is not democracy. I am afraid that this administration is moving away from these fundamental principles. Take the case of Nnamdi Kanu. All the principles have been violated. The leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) was…
On January 24, 2015, the news came that the Federal Government had hiked the pump price of kerosene, from N50 to N83 per litre. By that, the government has, in fact, removed the "subsidy" on kerosene. Curiously, this new pump price, according to the template released by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), applies only to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)'s outlets. In essence, other filling stations in the country are at liberty to sell at varying higher prices. And this they will do in an outrageous manner. Prior to this hike, the official pump price of kerosene…
Tuesday, 16 February 2016 06:06

The Money Laundering Act and its discontents

Written by
Late last month, President Muhammadu Buhari sent two executive bills to the National Assembly that border on the government's commitment to strengthen the fight against corruption. The two bills are the Money Laundering Prevention and Prohibition Bill (2016) and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill (2016). Coming this early in the life of the administration, and in the heat of the government's momentous anti-corruption campaign, the submission of the two bills was not an ordinary government business. It was symbolic; it signposted, to some extent, the future of the war against corruption and the much needed political will…
President Muhammadu Buhari is roaming the world capitals cap-in-hand begging for loans to help fight Boko Haram and to fight corruption. And every once in a while he would mention boost the economy. In these rare occasions where he accepts that the Nigerian economy is in danger, his main focus has been on the two pronged wars he is determined to fight and win. One of the reasons for this posture is that they are what the developed nations want to hear. But are they what Nigeria needs and wants? At what prices? To answer the last question first, the…
"We are products of our past, but we don't have to be prisoners of it." Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe It is appalling to know that Nigerians are now polarised into two main caucuses, which is not even anywhere near political, but rather individualism, and most times bordering on ethnic lines and religious affiliation - the Buharists and the Jonathanians - as if these are the most important situation and life-changing experience we need now. The Buharists, if I may try to define it, are those who the supporters of ex-President Jonathan derogatorily refer to, as those who insist that President…
In the first part of this article, I examined some of the criticisms and weakness of the 2016 FGN Budget presented by President Buhari to the National Assembly on Dec. 22, 2016 which is currently being debated in the National Assembly prior to approval and passage into law as the 2016 Appropriation Act. In this second part, I will make some recommendations to inform the amendment of the Budget and to improve future budgets and the budgeting process. It is my hope that the National Assembly and the Presidency will consider these recommendations as part of Citizens’ input into the…
My first posting in the Federal Civil Service from January 3rd 1968, was to the civilian section of the Federal Ministry of Defense at the Republican Building in Lagos. My title was "Assistant Secretary" in charge of Army Matters. I served briefly under Alhaji Damcida as Permanent Secretary and later on under his successor, the dapper don lawyer from Ilorin named Yusuf Gobir who died a few years later. Prior to that I was the first recipient of the British/Canadian Legion Scholarship first awarded in 1963 to children of the Nigerian veterans of the Second World War in 4 West…