Just while we were drowned in the ocean of melancholy and buried in the sands of uncertainty as a result of the nine month old ASUU strike; there comes glad tidings: “The strike is suspended”.
This news is one that has made it to the headlines of various news medium, perhaps due to its significance to students. The news could be said to be one good news in this month of December after the terrible and horrible news which overwhelmed the mainstream and online media since the beginning of the month.
The suspension of the strike did not only bring vivacious smile to the faces of students, but the story is so to everyone who has direct or indirect connection with the university.
As heart soothing as the news may sound, however, the ASUU Boss, Prof. Ogunyemi was quoted to have said “the union would return to strike without notice if the government fails in meeting its part of the agreement reached with the university lecturers”.
The above statement of the ASUU chairman, I think is worthy of note. It simply means the suspension of the strike is conditional and it may resume if by any chance the government reneges on its promises.
Should this give us hope or hopelessness?
If that is the case, I must without reservations plead with the Federal Government to redeem its promises made to ASUU so as to enable the child of the common man have a future.
It was evident, the strike only added fuel to the fire of youth restiveness, increased rate of vices among others.
One must commend both parties (FG & ASUU) for resolving to settle the matter once and for all. Perhaps the struggles of ASUU for the improvement of public universities have not been in vain.
We hope this will mark the end of incessant strike which the ASUU is notorious for and usher in a new dawn where students will have undisrupted prescribed period of study.
I often wonder why, when China devalue her currency, the almighty USA cries “BLUE MURDER.” And even threaten “TRADE WARS.” Or perhaps why the Japanese currency is twice as worse compared to the US Dollar vs. the Nigerian Naira. Yet the Japanese are smiling and the almighty USA doesn’t seem to like that smile.
But when Nigerian currency devalues, only Nigerians cry.
The answer, Nigeria has a different economic pattern and economic activities compared to China and Japan.
You cannot have a “Mono Economy” that’s totally dependent on crude export for external revenues and imports almost everything else for her citizen use.
Any economy in this category will definitely be hurt by Exchange Rate differentials – Yes! Foreign Exchange Rate fluctuates like wild FIRE!
But what do you make of a society that’ll travel from Lagos to Paris just to get Ice Cream. Make it trend on Social Media and sing a hit song about such useless expedition. You think you’ll not have to pay for such madness?
The exchange rate differentials will definitely come for your head and your economy too!
I don’t even want to argue about how you can have a complete meal in Nigeria for 500 Naira or $1 while a coffee at Starbucks cost $6.
To me, this comparison/argument is not worth the conversation because it only makes clever comparison without profering solutions.
THIS IS WHAT I THINK!
Nigeria is not a rich country. You can argue about this all you want! But before you write your response to my assertions, I’ll like you to pounder on the following;
Assuming Nigeria extracts 2,400,000 barrels of crude oil per day at $60pb. Now multiply the dollar figure and share it amongst 200 million people to see what that amounts to per person per day – then you’ll understand how poor we are as a country.
The above analysis doesn’t consider the cost of exploration and other biz/logistics expenses or what accountants call OPEX.
Yet you’ll see that we don’t even earn $1.5 per person per day. How poor can a country be?
Remind me again. What’s the yardstick that measures the extremely poor? $1 I think, is that correct?
Nigeria must move from being a 100% oil exporting country and begin to create value in other sectors.
We get it wrong when we keep calling for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
Nobody will bring FDI into a country where civil servants are openly asking for pasentage share of the FDI, blatantly asking for kickbacks and even asking for stake in prospective businesses.
We need more than a call for FDI, We need a people that are engaged in economic activities that creates value – I’m talking about Economic Values that’ll directly benefit Nigerians and also attract foreign customers.
Discussing the solutions I’m considering will require a bigger space. Maybe I’ll talk about the other options Nigeria can utilize in subsequent epistles!
It is evidently clear that some persons are hell bent to destroy this country and we shall resist it by all means.
We were misinformed and misled to believe that soldiers killed peaceful protesters at the Lekki toll gate, whose bodies are yet to be seen, family members yet to be seen crying and the hospitals they were taken to yet to be seen or shown to us. We have not heard parents or relatives of the deceased coming out to cry. The governor confirmed only one death which was not as a result bullet, and it is yet to be confirmed if the incident happend at the scene of the protest at Lekki.
The burning and destruction of Public infrastructure, media houses and attacks on the Oba of Lagos and other personalities has shown the evil intent of some anarchist. We shall not allow this, and the best way to resist this madness is by resisting to be tempted to respond to their evil act, but to allow the constituted authority to do the needful.
Our young people up here in the North must keep calm and refuse to be tempted to see the violence from a regional, tribal or religious angle because that is their intention. Those in Plateau that have subconsciously allowed themselves to be used must wake up and note that they are only playing to the gallary of some evil persons.
We shall soon mobilize young people of influence from this part of the country to have a talk and see how to prevail on other young people with tendencies not to contemplate taking laws into their hands. Violence has never defeated violence.
We urge all voices of young progressive Nigerians both those for and against SARS to speak up against this insincerity and intent to burn down our country.
The IPOB guys have proven a point and we must resist them by refusing to be violent while we note that not all Igbos are members of IPOB.
The PRP Family in Bauchi State has today received the resignation of Alhaji Shehu Barau Ningi from the party without an iota of surprise or disgust.
This public statement wouldn’t had been made, if not because of some issues that Alhaji Shehu Barau Ningi raised in his resignation letter which we consider inimical and injurious to the image and long-lived reputation of our cherished party.
The departure of Alhaji Shehu Barau Ningi from PRP is a conspicuous gain that heralds the future growth and development of the party as has now created a space for all persons with progressive ideals and ideas to join the redemptive bandwagon – the PRP.
Alhaji Shehu Barau Ningi had joined the PRP in 2019 after being tactically trashed from the APC by its leadership which he went back to meet now. He affirmed this in his resignation letter copying the APC Chairman by stating: “I am sure you will recall that my departure from the APC was not as a result of my resignation from the party. It was a result of my total exclusion from the affairs of the party by the leadership of the party”.
The PRP, due to its accomodating nature, accorded him all privileges including giving him the opportunity to steer the activities of the party at Bauchi State level. Even though a number of voices had objected the then decision of the party citing as justifications some unprintable incidences that characterized his existence in his former parties – ANPP, CPC, and APC.
The resignation and total departure of Alhaji Shehu Barau Ningi from PRP has saved a lot of energy and time from being wasted as there were already moves by some patriotic party members to effect his removal due to the stagnant condition which the party found itself since his assumption of its leadership almost two years ago. In this regard, the Bauchi State PRP family members did commend Alhaji Shehu Barau Ningi here for making their work short, brief and accomplished.
Alhaji Shehu Barau Ningi has mentioned in his resignation letter that a conflict in PRP was what majorly moved him to resign. At this juncture, we deem it important to specifically point out that there’s no any political party on earth that exists without one problem or another. It is a natural culture of politics and a part and parcel of human existence. Like any other political party in Nigeria, the PRP cannot be totally perfect and has its own issues that cannot be called crisis if compared with the crises that rocked and continue rocking the party he was going to – the APC. Was it not a crisis that paralyzed and polarized the APC to the extent that they dissolved their National Leadership and formed a Caretaker Committee? Was it not a crisis that destabilized and decapitated the APC to the extent that they arranged to hold extraordinary emergency convention as part of desperate measures to address the lingering and ravaging crises? Was it not the crises in APC that made some of its state governors like the former of Governor of Imo, Senator Rochas Okorocha and others to declare 2023 as its expiry date?
Therefore, citing a crisis that does not exist as a basis for his resignation cannot and will never hold water. We have no problem if Alhaji Shehu Barau Ningi joined the ruling APC in anticipation of appointment, renewal of appointment or any other promises that might be made to him because doing that didn’t start with him and will not end from him in Nigerian politics. But our problem was his intentional action of citing a non-existent problem that would dent the image of our party as his basis for resignation.
In addition, we consider it pertinent to bring to the attention of the general public that there is no any form of conflict among the PRP National Executive Committee (NEC), National Working Committee (NWC), and Board of Trustees (BOT) of the party as alleged by Alhaji Shehu Barau Ningi in his resignation letter. These organs work in synergy and harmony with one another. Recent successes and achievements recorded by the party, particularly at the National Level serve as an indisputable attestation to that.
PRP remains intact and united. Therefore, we urge well-meaning Nigerians, particularly the inhabitants and indigenes of Bauchi State to join the redemptive wagon of Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) now so as to move Nigeria forward and salvage Nigerians.
We thanked Alhaji Shehu Barau Ningi profusely for all his services and contributions to the PRP during his sojourn in the party. We equally hoped he would get what he’s after in the APC sooner rather than later. We pray that they won’t ‘totally exclude him from the affairs of the party’ this time around as they did previously.
Signed: Comrade Muhammed Ishaq, For the Bauchi State PRP Family. 20/10/2020.
My attention was recently drawn by some well meaning members of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) to a letter dated 19/09/2020 and signed by Alh. (Dr) Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa, the Board of Trustees (BOT) Chairman of our great party.
I wish to therefore, for the purpose of the records, state that the name listed as number 6 in the list of the conveners of the purported meeting, was that of one Hon. (Bar.) Gambo Idris, while my name for all intent and purposes is Bar. Idrees Gambo or better still Bar. Idrees Safiyanu Gambo or for the short of it Bar. S. G Idrees, that at no time did I ever wrote or wished that my name be written as Bar. Gambo Idris.
And as a person who used to have great respect for the person of Alh. (Dr.) Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa, I believe, as one of our leaders he will not descent so low, as to include my name in a letter, group or meeting I was never part of at any time, let alone been a convener of such meetings.
But if for anything the name Bar. Gambo Idris was designed to be mine, then I wish to openly disclaim and disassociate myself with anything that has to do with the purported meeting by Concerned Members of the PRP held on the 26/09/2020.
As it is against my principles and beliefs to be part of anything that will bring disrepute to the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), as that is equally capable of destroying the good legacies of Malam Aminu Kano of blessed memory. And it will never be.
Long Live The Peoples Redemption Party (PRP)
By: Bar. S. G Idrees (Idrees Gambo), PRP State Legal Adviser, Bauchi State Chapter.
Mr President is in the eye of the storm recently for bravely realizing the inevitable expungement of the fuel subsidy in Nigeria, brave due to the extreme furore and knee jerk reaction by some gullible and credulous Nigerians, who are convinced that, this decision is most inhumane and anti masses. Yet, conflictingly, deep within their minds, they are secretly relieved in knowing that the removal is an absolute necessity. Also, they are not unaware of the fact that, Nigerian masses are neither directly nor indirectly benefiting from the obsolete policy. Thirdly, put them in the same position and the same condition, they would not be any different.
The term subsidy means a sum of money granted by the state or a public body to help an industry or business keep the price of a commodity or services low. For decades, Nigeria had a policy to subsidise petroleum product, especially on PMS, which is one of the most consumed petroleum products in the country. This, over the years, has become a thorn in the flesh of our National Economy, due to blatant abuse and corruption by many beneficiaries as would be outlined later. Experts in the field consequently argued that Nigeria can actually do better by removing the subsidy regime in petroleum, and instead, putting the money to use by developing other sectors with emphasis on health-care, infrastructure and agriculture.
For the past two decades, after democratic governments took over from the military in 1999; this topic has been a major bone of contention. The three past Nigerian leaders had a long and onerous battle with Nigerians, in an attempt to convince the Nigerian masses that subsidy is merely an exploitative and self-serving mechanism some unpatriotic elites use, to deprive the nation of its hard earned resources. This battle proved to be a hopeless one….almost!
Why does any attempt by the government to right the wrongs of subsidy hit a brick wall? Did the subsidy regime truly help in providing enough gasoline to our vehicles and industries? Who are the major beneficiaries of the subsidy idea and Why are they averse to the policy being abolished? Most importantly, what are the benefits Nigerians stand to gain in the eventuality of its removal? These are some of the questions, that are begging to be explored on this topic.
Going back to memory lane, in 1999 the price of petrol in Nigeria was N11 per litre, by 2015, despite the subsidy, the price had skyrocketed to N145 per litre, an increase of over 15 times the initial 1999 rate! Coupled with that, the incessant scarcity of petroleum in a country that parades itself as the sixth largest petroleum exporter all these years, is awfully disturbing and beyond shameful.
In reaction to this quagmire, experts like Malam Sunusi Lamido Sunusi: Former Nigerian Central Bank Governor, and former Emir of Kano argued, that the subsidies on petroleum products succeeded in making Nigeria the only oil exporting country that does not enjoy the benefits of increase in the price of crude oil in the international market. According to him; firstly, he reasoned we needed to fix the price of petroleum products ourselves, but then, we do not refine these products! How can you fix the price of a product that you do not produce? We produce crude oil but regrettably the price we fix is for refined products. Thus, suffice it to say….we are fixing the price of what we never produced, as a result, we end up paying enormously for NOTHING. The money meant to improve other more deserving sectors, now is monopolised by a few individuals, consequently deepening the fissures of poverty in the country. This plunged us in a bleak situation whereby while the rich are getting richer; the poor actually keep getting poorer.
Malam Sanusi Lamido is not alone in this argument, Former Minister of Finance; Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala also in a nine paged document, presented to the Federal Executive Council in 2011, similarly leaned toward the same direction of thought, as carried by Vanguard Newspaper of 25th December 2011:
“During that briefing to ministers, Okonjo-Iweala, in a document, titled, BRIEF ON FUEL SUBSIDY, (by) Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the coordinating Minister for the Economy / Honourable Minister of Finance explained the key facts about subsidy, what fuel subsidy is all about, deregulation of the downstream sector benefits for deregulation), why the subsidy was going to be removed, pointing out that it was a major fiscal and financial “BURDEN” on the nation, those who benefit from the subsidy as well as the relationship between subsidy and the Federal Government of Nigeria’s budget, among other things”.
From her point of argument, the former minister laboriously, and convincingly, pointed to the fact that, the benefit of subsidy’s removal far outweighs its stay. The policy is nothing but waste of resources and a huge needless economic scam in the name of making the products cheaper for the masses. On the final analysis, if government budgeted N10 for subsidy the masses only get a meagre fraction of Kobo out of it, while some subsidy elites are smiling to the bank with the rest. This systematic siphonage of our common wealth by a few subsidy elites can be clearly seen, if we are to consider the 2018 NEITI report alone, which stated that Nigeria spent about N722.3 billion on fuel subsidy! In healthcare, this amount can build 6 world class standard hospitals each in one of the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria. The money also if carefully invested on energy sector, can provide our country with over 2000megawatts! This can give a tremendous boost to power generation and lead to massive industrialization, which would in turn provide employment opportunity for millions of “qualified” yet jobless youths in the country. In the area of Agriculture, the money can guaranty food security in Nigeria, and improve farming and other agro allied products in the country.
Interestingly, this same amount of money could also build Ten Dams with modern irrigation facilities, which would also improve agro business in Nigeria, and launch Nigeria in the league of major exporters of Agricultural products for the inexhaustible foreign consumption.
It is both curiously perplexing then, how some politicians who maximally exploited subsidy removal as the cardinal principle of their campaign, now turn back to be its major adversaries! The former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the PDP Presidential candidate in the
2019 elections happens to be one of these. He was quoted recently, attacking President Buhari’s decision on the removal and argued thus on his Twitter handle:
” Federal Government finally withdraws the fuel subsidy and price fixing bazaar that had been rife with corruption and stalling investment. This is something patriots have been calling for and for which I was demonised”
Even the Chief political adversary of PMB, from the above statement, believes the policy is corruption permeated, which every patriotic Nigerian must fight to a standstill. Subsidy removal will at least have two major advantages, killing one major form of corruption and also encouraging investors to put their money in the sector. These at the end of the day, will witness more refineries built in Nigeria, provide job opportunities for our teeming unemployed youths, and would translate to a source of income for more projects development, in transportation , healthcare , housing, and many more sectors.
Dr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, a two time governor in Kano State and former Minister of Defence also kicked against the President’s unpopular decision on subsidy. However, if we are good students of history we could remember vividly how in 2011, during fuel subsidy removal’s nationwide protest, the same governor ordered for the shooting of the protesters in Kano. According to him, the idea is ill-timed and inhumane, but like the Chairman of Nigerians in diaspora acknowledged, much as the idea is painful, coupled with Corona Virus pandemic and a slump in the global economy, still agreed the decision is unavoidably necessary. As far as the oppositions are concerned the only right time for the removal is when they are in power, as long as as they are out of it, no time will ever be right!
As far as “WE” are concerned, it is a welcome idea, Nigerians need more focus on developing projects, they have no or limited luxury of enjoying as a result of subsidy regime, the wise and far-sightedly man, took the painful decision, not to further the harsh economic conditions Nigerians are in, but to alleviate their suffering, fight corruption, improve, lay out and solidly set the stage for more infrastructures, and a solid foundation for National Economic growth. There is no way we can stop fuel smuggling across our boarders with the current pricing system. The subsidy removal will bring more investment in the sector, government will get more income for projects implementation, and in the long run, prosperity and progress will reign!
By: Maryam Shetty
Maryam I Shettima is an Abuja based social media activist, and the CEO of webelieve movement.
Political party, defection otherwise known as “cross-carpeting”, “party crossover”, “party switching” or “political prostitution” is a serious source of concern to the development of democracy, popular participation and good governance in Nigeria.
The way and manner in which Nigerian politicians defect from one party to the other, has not only constituted democratic nuisance, but has continued to raise serious concern among stakeholders, on the sustainability of democracy in the country.
This irritant democratic behavior lends credence, to lack of clear ideology among most political parties, lack of internal democracy, corruption, greed and dogged pursuance of selfish interest as against the common interests of the society.
Unfortunately, party defection has become a political norm in Nigeria’s democracy and it has created confusion, uncertainty and total lack of direction in political parties and governance.
Though politics of defection is synonymous with liberal democracy worldwide, but Nigeria’s case is exceptionally outrageous.
It is true that, party defection is a phenomenon that occurs even in the so-called advanced democracies.
For example, Winston Churchill of Britain remained one of the foremost political defectors in the history of Britain. He first joined the British parliament as a Conservative in 1901, defected to the Liberal in 1904, and defected back to the Conservative in 1925.
In India, the problem of political party defection became so alarming, that the country had to enact laws against defection in 1973, 1985 and 2003.
These laws provided that a person could be disqualified from serving in parliament for withdrawing membership of his original political party. So defection is not new to liberal democracy the world over.
This is because, democracy promotes the principles of fundamental human rights, the freedom of individuals’ political life and the people’s rights to unrestrained access to participation in the policy processes.
The beginning of politics of defection in Nigeria is traceable to 1951, when several members of the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroon (NCNC), defected to the Action Group (AG) just to deny Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and his party (NCNC), the majority in the Western Regional House of Assembly, which the party required to form government in the Western Region, although, there were some isolated cases, here and there, when individuals and groups were coerced into defecting to other political parties.
Some members of NEPU were forced to defect to either NPC or withdraw from partisan politics as a result of their attachment to the establishment.
The cases of Maitama Sule (Dammasanin Kano) and Alhaji Musa Magami were typical examples. Thus, threat or subjection to political repression, was a serious factor that contributed to politics of defection.
During the Second Republic, Ahaji Ibrahim Waziri defected from Nigerian People Party (NPP), to form Great Nigerian Peoples Party (GNPP), when his bid for the Presidential nomination seemed to be threatened.
The Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar Rimi had to defect from his People Redemption Party (PRP) to the Nigerian People’s Party (NPP), to be able to contest election for the second term. Thus, politics of defection is synonymous to liberal democracy anywhere in the World.
The argument is that, the system guarantees fundamental human rights of individuals, including the right to choose what is best for them. However, the rate of party defection in the Fourth Republic is so unprecedented such that most stakeholders in the polity become very much concerned. And indeed, the level of party defection exposes the total ideological bankruptcy of most members of Nigeria’s political parties, and the centrality of the pursuit of political power as against any other reason why people join politics.
Since the commencement of the Fourth Republic in 1999, all the major political parties in Nigeria have one internal crisis or the other. These crises often, degenerate into serious and irreconcilable conflicts, divisions, and factionalization, especially between 2006 and 2018 which marked the peak of both intra-party conflicts and inter party defections. At the initial stage, the scene was dominated by intra-party fraction, mostly associated with inability to observe internal democratic principles in most of the political parties, but later the situation grew to inter-party defections and mostly from the opposition to the ruling party. During the prelude to the 2015 general election, the unhealthy power contest within ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) prompted incessant defections of prominent members of the party to the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC).
As mentioned earlier, lack of respect for party ideology is seen as the leading source of politics of defection.
Party ideology, which is supposed to be a practical belief system that justifies chosen political order for the society, explaining in practical terms, the best way the party intends to tackle social challenges and moving the country forward, seems to be not upheld or respected in most of our political parties.
And the simple reason is that, Parties in Nigeria are portrayed as lacking in clear vision and focus on transformation or rather the will to live up to such party characteristics. As such they are virtually the same in terms of attributes and characteristics except the PRP.
This is as against what obtains in the so-called advanced democracies, such as U.S.A. and Britain, where most Nigerian politicians draw inspiration from.
Political parties in those countries have been known to exist on sustained ideological bases.
Parties were not just platforms for ascending to political power, but constitute ways of socio-political identification as well as means of mobilization and a unifying factor.
Therefore, clear ideological stand of a political party, plays a major role in unifying people of different cultures, ethnicity, religion, gender and orientation to a common destiny. This is one of the good examples Nigerian political parties ought to have emulated from those countries, especially taking into consideration our multicultural setting.
But unfortunately, ideological bankruptcy in our political parties has reduced them to mere tools of ascending to public office.
Political parties have become organizations that survive on monetization as the basis for loyalty and support. This has also accounted for the incessant internal crises in the parties, which not only lead to defections, but also explained why in some cases, politicians defect to where they call “greener posture“ (baza su yi Azumi ba) that is even when there is no crisis bedevilling their own political parties.
Corruption is another major cause of politics of defection in Nigeria. Contemporary politicians emphasized primacy of political power over and above everything in politics. As against the views of the nationalist politicians such as Malam Aminu Kano, for instance, occupation of public office though desirable, but it is not an end in itself. That is why his ideas and contributions to socio-political development of the country are ever-lasting. To the present day politicians, the possession of public office is the ultimate and the most lucrative business in the country. Political office gives direct access to economic power. And presiding over the allocation of public resources allows one to plunder these public resources for personal ends. As such, desperation to hold public office as means of accumulating wealth or “empowering” group members or supporters, remains the primary objective of engaging in partisan politics. Thus defection by Nigerian politicians without justifications becomes an accepted norm.
Also associated with corrupt behavior of our politicians, is politicians that occupy public offices and looted public funds, defect to the new ruling party for cover-up. That is, their membership of the ruling party usually saves them from the anti-corruption agencies like EFCC and ICPC whom are to a greater extent reduced to political hounding dogs and tools or weapons used against the uncooperative members of the opposition parties.
The alarming rate of defection in Nigerian politics is also attributed to instability within political parties occasioned by lack of internal democracy. A popular trend in Nigeria is, politicians easily defect to other political parties, the moment they fail to secure party nominations during own party’s primaries. Winning party primary election and recognition of candidates for nomination or selection as flag bearer of a political party depends on the economic potency of the candidate, the strength of his political “godfather” or his support base from especially those in control of the government. Integrity and capacity of an aspirant does not matter. Some aspirants, who feel disillusioned, cheated or denied free and fair primaries, as well as those who simply lose out, defect to other parties so as to participate in the general elections, in fact, some of them with the intention of returning to their original parties after general elections.
A typical example, is the recent defection of the former gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) Kano State, in the 2019 general election, and some others, to the ruling APC without shame. Same Politicians defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to PRP when they did not emerge as the PDP gubernatorial candidates. PRP accepted them to contest the elections even as there were contestants on its platform, following rigorous screening conducted by its Committee on Research and Planning. When they lost in the general elections, they decided to dump the PRP, to defect to the ruling APC.
Indeed, this is a clear indication that, most Nigerian politicians are “political prostitutes” who lack integrity, vision and patriotism. There is no other way one could reasonably explain the defection of the Party’s gubernatorial candidate who was presumed to be honest, firm and patriotic, the like of Malam Aminu Kano, could defect easily from the only Nigerian political party with clear ideological stand, that is categorically out to emancipate the masses (Talakawa) and install equity and social justice; to the ruling APC, which obviously, from top to bottom demonstrated an unprecedented corruptive tendencies, incapacity and total disregard to the plight of the average Nigerians. A party which has clearly demonstrated its inability to deliver on any of its campaign promises regarding the security challenges of the country, fighting corruption and improving the economic wellbeing of Nigerians, a party, which has produced the most corrupt, clueless and fraudulent administration ever in the history of Kano State.
The use of money in liberal democracy permeates the system. Critics of the system always argue that, the contribution of money to political parties and candidates is an important way in which large corporations and wealthy capitalists influence politics and governance. While this argument is quite weighty, money politics is also an important factor in promoting defection in Nigeria. The use of money in politics is seen as necessary evils, but its negative effect as means of funding political competition has been a serious source of concern and so calls for serious re-consideration, if at all, the principles of popular participation is to be realized. The amount of money required by a candidate to be able to contest and win election, especially in presidential democracy, is so huge that, a candidate who has no access to such resources should simply forget about it, or if he is desperate, should defect to the ruling Party, where all his expenses would be funded from the public purse, or to move to a political party that has large concentration of wealthy personalities i.e. Ex-this, Ex-that, and Retired this, Retired that, where such huge resources could be accessed easily.
This political brouhaha could only be surmounted when the Nigerian electorate realizes the importance of owning a political party. PRP must conduct serious political reorientation and political education, as well as recruitment of select members of the public to actively participate in politics. They should be made to pay their membership fees, mobilize activists to make donations to election campaigns and insist that the leadership of their political parties must be honest, transparent and accountable for their actions or inactions.
They should be mobilized to retract their apathy toward partisan politics and be made to actively participate in the political process. This way would probably allow them to own the political parties, influence their programmes and ensure that political office holders respect their covenant with them.
By: Kano State Directorate of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP).
With the recent slump in global crude, oil price shock and the pandemic outbreak of COVID-19, induce economic lockdown impact on the masses. The Nigerian Government has gifted her citizenry increase in PMS (Petrol Motor Spirit) Price from N145 to N151.56/litre, but in reality fuel is been sold majorly between N161 to N170/litre in filling stations across the nation.
This news didn’t come as a surprise to many analyst and economist going by the prevailing circumstance around crude and primary commodities price falls and depression triggered by world economy uncertainties. Even with the trajectory eyes on the storm of recession hovering over us. The news also came on the heels of the fraudulent and cosmetics monthly PMS Price fixing regime and deregulation of the oil sector by Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) in the last three months.
Let rewind back to March, 2020 when the Federal Government, through the PPPRA, announced a new fuel price regime. First, was the reduction price regime from N145 to N125/litre that came into effect on March 19, 2020. Followed is government’s approval of adjustment of N121.50 to N123.50 per litre PMS. Then, followed again, was the N141.80 to N143.80 per litre of petrol, adjustment in June, 2020.
Secondly, then came the Executive Secretary of Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Abdulkadir Saidu, who said “Going forward, pricing of the PMS will reflect market fundamentals in a circular dated Wednesday, July 1, 2020, to oil marketers, with PMS pump price increase from N143.80 to N145 /litre, Saidu noted that the essence of “the price band was to ensure price efficiency that would be beneficial to both consumers and oil marketers. PPPRA will continue to monitor price trends and advise monthly guiding price for all petroleum products, based on prevailing market realities and other pricing fundamentals,” he stated.
Saidu further explained that the recent plunge in oil price occasioned by the outbreak of COVID-19 and slowing global oil demand had a direct bearing on the EOMP of petrol, pushing it to a level below the pump price cap of N145/litre. He however concludes that “Nigerians should be ready to pay high or low prices for petrol following the price liberalization scheme currently in place and what we have in place is a market reflective pricing system” Earlier in the year also on May 15, 2020, a statement credited to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, who said deregulation was approved on March 19 this year. Adding that “But as you all know, PMS (Premium Motor Spirit) and other petroleum products are very strategic commodities, so you cannot allow the prices of these commodities to be determined wholly by the marketers,” he stated.
Sylva further said that “deregulation meant that the government would no longer continue to be the main supplier of petroleum products, but would encourage the private sector to take over the role of supplier of the products”. Officially, as we all know since 2017, the NNPC is the monopoly sole importer of petrol into the country after private oil marketers stopped importing due to crude price fluctuations globally, while the PPPRA retains the unjust price template.
Thirdly, then came, the bombshell, provocative and dooms day statement by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva which rightly observed by saying, fuel subsidy “benefiting in large part are the rich, rather than the poor and ordinary Nigerians.” The government decided to rid itself of the burden by the removal of the subsidy on petrol pump price was abundantly and categorically clear in affirmatively this month of September, 2020 with PMS Price from N145 to N151/litre.
He, however, noted that efforts were being made to develop alternative fuels to the PMS by deepening the utilization of Liquefied Petroleum Gas/Compressed Natural Gas as auto gas in Nigeria. From, aforementioned, it stands to reason that here is the glaringly contradiction, that would be creating controversy and confusion, soon the “market fundamentals”.
The purview and crux of this piece is to x-ray the genuity and ingenuity of market fundamentals that the government as so much put it hopes on to drive the pump price of PMS in Nigeria. “Accordingly, price will naturally be adjusted to reflect a true picture of market fundamentals at any particular period, high or low” The question is how true the above statement, we knowing fully well that the so called market fundamentals is hinge on supply and demand, hancour on the invisible hand of market forces, embellish in profit maximization drive of global capitalism. In as much as government decide to bite the bullet so as to put in place a more transparent pricing model, stimulate investment growth in the sector and encourage resumption of product imports by oil marketing companies. Regrettably, with the shambles and rots in the downstream sector of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, government throwing the sector up into the risky and uncertainty space and manipulative tendency of market fundamentals live us with concern. One great pitfall of market fundamentals is it poor scientific outlook and dangers it will pose to our economy.
The petroleum products marketers in this realm would be market fundamentalist. To this end we are confronted with the following questions: Will the market fundamentalist not exploit consumers with arbitrary pricing and round tripling of PMS? Would the market fundamentalist not create artificial scarcity of PMS? Will the market fundamentalist not put pressure on the naira? Will the market fundamentalist not join forces with forex speculator to sabotage, distort and deflect our foreign reserve? How would the uncertainty challenges of accessing foreign exchange be address?
The way forward, if the government is serious about the deregulation of the sector, is not surrendering PMS Price to market fundamentals that are predicated on free market capitalist economy principles not devoid of rooted sharp practices and market manipulation. Secondly, repositioning the sector is to attract the much-needed investments in functioning refineries and pipelines transport construction in the country with incentives for investors in that sectors. Thirdly, the government should also avoid creating a situation where the market fundamentalist in the PMS importation become a nightmare to CBN tired less and painstainking efforts to keep the naira stability jeopardized by the market fundamentalist cowboys. Lastly, we expect healthy competition among marketers that would enhance value for consumers without monopolistic structure that market fundamentals normally bring on, to kill vibrant and competitive market, a cyclical feature of free market economy. In conclusion, we must say here that market fundamentalist are primitive accumulator and maximum profit minded.
By: Adefolarin A. Olamilekan Political Economist & Development Researcher Email: Adefolari77@Gmail.Com Tel: 08073814436.
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The central proposition of this article is that the Nigeria’s state neo-liberal political economy will be shaped in decisive manner in no small way by factors such as: the coming 2023 general election, current secession agitation, fiscal federalism and resources control, insurgency and militancy, corruption, ethno-religious and herdsmen farmers clash, deteriorating human conditions in the land, bad governance, renew workers struggle for new minimum wage and primitive capitalist accumulation.
The objective of this article, is to help chart the way forward.While, this way forward, however will entails a radical resolution of the afore mention contradictory factors defining or constituting the hamburger to sacrifice to restructure Nigeria.
The continuing call for the restructure of Nigeria show the existence in a system that has failed in and urgently in need of a cure by all means-reform or revolution. The debate and outright agitation from all tongue and tribes both from the Southern and Northern part of the country, either for restructure or against restructure is a function of the disillusion with the current status quo and scheme of things.
Naturally, the virtue of the restructuring call today in Nigeria is anchored through ethnic nationalities. This is in a way suggest a North –South divide, drawing plausible attention most especially on the social media and mainstream media as well.Also,there are mischievous and opportunistic co-travellers in the restructure call and campaign, just as we have witnessed other social struggle, campaigns and advocacies in Nigeria.
We may also have to admit that there are mischief makers in the anti- restructure movement. Indeed, what must play out here is that we need a better society. However, what is most tasking, of which this writer is more interested in is what ideological strand, the pro and anti restructure movement deals with. The bottom –line is that restructure or restructuring Nigeria goes beyond ethnic nationalities and religious crux demand. For Nigeria, like this writer strongly hold is not equal to the ‘’arithmetical sum’’ of the ethnic nationalities in it. Here, without diminishing the collective will of the various ethnic nationalities questions, we can’t afford to ignore the ‘’conscious class interest’’ in which ethnicity and religion becomes a weapon.
Furthermore, we live in a country where we have to deal with primitive capitalist accumulation. And in that, one may want to believe that, the whole essence for restructure is for an exclusive geopolitical spares to control and exploit, unsuspected citizens, whose only hope for supporting the cause of restructuring Nigeria is for better country, only to be subjected to deeper inhuman and poverty life, by a fraction of coalition of elites with support from representatives of global capitalism.
It is apparent to us all that the restructure campaign movement is here to stay, and nobody can shut it down .However, what is more apparent is that corruption and human deficits are transferred unto the political struggle to create integrity problem in Nigerians. In this wise, the realization of this restructure campaign becoming successful is ultimate.
The overriding objective of restructure movement is a desire to build a strong nation, so that in way the cries of marginalization along hegemonic politicking is reduce. I would like to end this piece with the obvious; the reality is that it has, inevitably developed questions if there is alternative to restructuring Nigeria?
For those who genuinely believe in resolving the problems or change the status of the country through restructure rather than war or ballot papers, they must not give up on their dream. On the other hand, nothing guarantees the’’ victory of a revolution before it is launched’’.
The quest for a better Nigeria will be a difficult task because power, especially as the conservative and reactionary will not concede anything easily. While, the agitator or campaigners of restructure must be aware that ‘’ideological basis’’ is what some of its deem necessary to set them on popular approval across.
By: Adefolarin A. Olamilekan Political Economist and Development Researcher, Email:firstname.lastname@example.org-Abuja.
Corruption: A Parasite That Retards Collective National Development – Mukhtar Garba Kobi
It is unarguable true that the problem of corruption has being in existence since time immemorial. Corruption is frequent in each and every society and it happens almost everyday. It has several shapes as well as various effects but that varies from one society to another, it deals with subverting public fund, etiolating morals, defalcating staff’s benefits, absurdifying tax & fines, political misconduct and decadences in spheres of human endeavours.
The wound of corruption has eaten deep down the flesh and melted in veins of fellow countrymen. It usually starts from home between husband and wife, mother and children, down to entire society. It generates a lack of transparency and a lack of control by supervisory institutions, corruption paves way for a non transparent functioning of social, political and economic sectors.
Corruption is the dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in position of power or followers which typically involves bribery. According to Morris (1991), corruption can be seen as the illegitimate use of power to benefit a private interest. It also entails offering of bribe to an official so that the truth of a situation will be hidden. It covers the embezzlement of public funds for personal use, giving a token to scale a course by students, offering some amount to skip paying actual fine to security agents and any act that is considered to be criminal in nature which is contrary to the laws enshrined by code or constitution. In 2001, Nigeria was ranked the second most corrupt nation in the world out of 91 countries, second only to Bangladesh.
Recently in 2019, Transparency International ranked Nigeria as 146th out of 180 countries surveyed on corruption with 26% corruption index. This reveals that level of corruption has mercilessly stabbed Nigeria deep to a state of unending stupor.
Furthermore, corruption retards economic growth of a country, slows down business operation, blocks employment opportunities and halts investors from foreign countries in investing. The wider society is persuaded when the gravity of corruption is high, the executive arm of government tends to not bring policies and programmes for development, judiciary will then be chocked with angry and money egocentric judges which makes citizens lose confidence in them.
The legislative arm can then be taciturn and passive by not passing bills that could reduce burdens and dilapidated infrastructures. The level of corruption in Nigeria hurts a lot of people as money which supposed to be used in purveying developmental projects to better lives is channeled into the pockets of selected few.
The sad part of it is that the current Nigerian government and the ruling party turned to redemption camp; where corrupt labeled politicians absquatulate to it, then those charges on them are being dropped unquestionably.
The stain of corruption did not spare anti-graft agencies that are saddled with the responsibilities of antagonizing corruption, as the former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, Ibrahim Lamurde was accused of fraudulently diverting one trillion naira recovered from corrupt convicts by the commission (Adeyemi, 2016). Recently, the embattled Acting Chairman of the commission, Ibrahim Magu was also accused of corruption, diversion of recovered loots, insubordination and abuse of office which led to his unexpected suspension as the Acting Chairman of the commission. This is unimaginable as those appointed to fight corruption in the country are also found to be guilty of the same problem they are suppose to be fighting for.
Laconically, corrupt related malfeasance varies from one country to another, in most developing countries; the cases of corruption are usually common. Some causes of corruption includes GREED which has led to major crisis in almost all developing countries and in Nigeria in particular; Leaders that garnered too much wealth still quest to remain on power because their money ego is insatiable.
Secondly, UNEMPLOYMENT; Youth that are the strength of the nation are unemployed, the hike of idleness triggers many into internet fraud (cybercrime), sexual harassment by male managers in companies in order to reinstate female staff.
Thirdly, POVERTY; According to international standard, which states that a person is said to be poor when he or she lives under $1.25 (which is equivalent to N475) per day, poverty has pushed many into thuggery, cybercrime, and other heinous acts in order to better their lives.
In fact, corruption is a multidimensional process, it benefits the giver of the bribe, the receiver and both are aware of the consequences while others are doing it unknowingly.
Some countries have recorded great success in dealing with corruption, such that anyone caught the repercussion is to be liquidated or life imprisonment.
There are several ways to curb corruption and they includes; Reinforcement of moral compass in which government should help parents in by rewarding honest citizens whether adults or teenagers, also by declaring free education, free healthcare, taking under age persons that are found guilty to rehabilitation homes, etc.
Similarly, leaders can help in fighting corruption by serving as good example to citizens; this can be achieved by judiciously applying stipulated punishment to anyone irrespective of whoever he or she is. Thirdly, making anti-graft agencies or commissions independent from government control, by giving them the wherewithal to charge all whether in ruling or opposition parties.
Lastly, citizens should be allowed to have access to information concerning country’s finance, this will help in enhancing accountability.
In conclusion, if these steps are sternly taken and applied the preponderant cases of corruption would be eradicated and lastly become history.