In response to : Ogun plans to insure transport unions

 

Ibikunle Amosun
Governor Ibikunle Amosun, Ogun State


The Ogun State Government has urged transport unions operating in the state to embrace its ‘Welfare Insurance Policy,’ saying the scheme avails them the opportunity to save for the rainy day.”

What in the preceding statement suggest that Ogun State plan to insure transport union or contribute in any way to the insurance policy? The state is recommending that the union and its members get welfare insurance which is laudable but at not time did the state suggest it will support such a policy financially. 

Many people see insurance premiums as a free gift to insurance companies particularly when they go for years without any payout. While insurance coverage is intended to cover one in the event of the unexpected, most people don’t believe they are vulnerable.  

The proposed N60/day works out to N21,915.00 annually is quite substantial for people with meager income and if Ogun State really want to help, the state must get involved by setting rules that make people feel they are not just being taken. 

Simple to implement incentive structure like, no claim bonus if not standard must be required.  Insurance companies have a tendency to raise premiums whenever the have to make a payout so the government must come down on the side of the citizens and require insurance companies to pay up 50% premium refund in any year a payout is not made. This allows them to make 50% on premiums and incentivize the insured to be more careful to avoid running afoul of the coverage. Everybody wins.  Careful participants get rewarded for their care and attention and don’t have to be penalized for the shortcomings of the insured pool. 

 

So while I applaud the interest of the State government, I submit that the state cannot claim to be helpful if all it does is advise Union member to get the insurance but also to see to it that insurance do right by union members. 

This rejoinder is not a knock on the Ogun state government but on a reporter and his editor who reports a completely different story than their title suggest. Let’s keep it professional. 
 
God bless Nigeria. 
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In response to “I won’t kill Naira – Buhari rejects devaluation”

  

Prez M. Buhari – ” … while export-driven economies could benefit from devaluation of their currencies, devaluation will only result in further inflation and hardship for the poor and middle classes in Nigeria’s import-dependent economy.”  

I love that the president recognized that devaluing the Naira put unnecessary burden on the average Nigerian. I would have liked it better if he had added that he will get there when he transformed the hitherto import economy to export economy. To say that his administration is committed to achieving that objective or at least laying the foundation for a export economy. Nigeria has a fast growing middle class and 20% of Africa south of the Sahara population which means we have leverage. Durable goods manufacturers who want to d business in Nigeria should invest in manufacturing their products in Nigeria. Nigeria has a large pool of educated cheap labour, there is no reason for the slight by multinationals.

That was the good, now to the ugly, the statement that totally soured everything positive feeling I had for the previous statement and that is: 

Prez M. Buhari – “The President reaffirmed his conviction that about a third of petroleum subsidy payments under the previous administration was bogus” 

These are not the words one would expect to hear from a president. You don’t speculate, you state facts as you know them. If you think they are bogus, keep that to yourself and quietly investigate to get at the facts then tell the people. Will you come back at a future date to apologize to the Nigerian people and the previous administration if indeed your speculation cannot be proven? Do you think that those you slandered in this statement should sue you for slander or defamation of character if you can’t prove the assertion?

You, Mr Buhari are a president and conventional wisdom dictate that you don’t start off maligning your predecessor especially without facts to back up the claim. You as they say, those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

God bless Nigeria.

In response to: Bayelsa elders urge FG to apply caution in pipeline burning. 

 

Ben Murray-Bruce Senator Bayelsa East
 
The BEC has a responsibility of maintaining peace and order within their jurisdiction. The whole purpose of establishing and supporting traditional rulers by the government is to bring the government closer to the people particularly those outside the urban cities. The prominence and the financial support given to the leaders on taxpayer dime means they have an obligation to the people to be the government barometer in their area of influence. Their job is to feel the pulse of their people and make that know to the civil authorities and to be the advocates of the people. It is also their job to explain government policies to the people. In other words, they are part of the fabric of Nigeria’s government. Their role is not to sit in a palace collect tax from their people and stipend from the state and federal government, ride around in motorcades and sing “life is good”. They need to know their people, feel their pulse, be their pulse. Warning the federal government to thread softly in the face of terrorism is an abdication of their responsibilities. They need to sit-up and do their job or get out of the way. Nigerians need to be pulling together. There is little room for outliers in this economic environment. 
Yes, it is true that to many, the Buhari administration has been heavy handed and often times seem outright tyrannical, we should acknowledge this but, push on for a more just and constitution guided society. At the same time, we have to maintain a zero tolerance posture on economic terrorism. Pursue the perpetrators vigorously and bring them to justice guided by the constitution. The elders have a big role to play in this effort. They cannot pretend not to be aware of what is happening. They are the closest thing we have to every dinner table in every home. The communication ministry has a role and duty to make these elders and Chiefs aware of their roles and powers under the constitution. We cannot have a Nigeria where governance is by decree. 

Turning to the Buhari administration, to date I get the impression nobody in his administration has read the constitution of Nigeria. I sincerely hope that one of the first things we give to all representatives at all levels of government, before the brand new car we pay for, before the house and food we pay for, cook and serve, before the compensation package that is 8 times their United States of America counterparts, is a copy of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. At the start of each congressional session and as part of the orientation of freshmen, is a reading of the constitution. If necessary, members will be quizzed on their understanding and familiarity with the constitution. If we have to shame them to learn their jobs, so be it. Nigeria cannot abide lawmakers that don’t know the law let alone work within its constraints.

Everyday in both houses, it must be mandatory for all members to remind themselves why they are there by reciting the pledge of allegiance:

  • “I pledge to Nigeria my country, to be faithful, loyal and honest. To serve Nigeria will all my strength, to defend her unity, uphold her honour and glory, so help me God”

God bless Nigeria. 

In Reply to :Biafra: Kanu and two others in court for alleged treason. 

  
Why exactly is IPOB unlawful? Agitating for self determination should not be a crime. It is the duty of the government to make everyone feel welcome in a place they call home. Agitation is not a problem but a symptom of disaffection with the status quo. It is the duty and responsibility of the government to find root causes of the dissatisfaction and solve it.

Accusing the agitators of treason and throwing them in jail without addressing the root cause of their disaffection will only breed resentment among the disaffected group. You will only be proving their point that you are insensitive to their plight and viewpoint.

I don’t know who is advising President Buhari on this course of action but it is the wrong course. Instead of strong arming Nnamdi Kanu and his cohorts, you should be engaged in a conversation, a dialog if you choose, to determine the underlying cause of the grievances. Nnamdi should stop bloviating and threatening mayhem if he doesn’t get what he wants. It is true, history informs that independence given is independence unappreciated. The Nigerian independence is a good example. Look around the world, those countries that have won their independence in sweat and blood have a tendency to appreciate it more, protect and cherish it.

Yes, Oct 1, 1960 was a gifting day. Nigerians accepted the gift but like siblings whose parents served a dish to be eaten from one bowl, but never taught to share, did not share every well as siblings are wont to. Nigerians fought, scrapped and almost scratched each other’s eye out. Nigeria barely survived as a family unit. Now, here we are. Let’s not continue like in the past trying to gouge each other’s eye out. It hurts everybody and in the end everybody will certainly end up blind if there is no course correction.

God bless Nigeria. 

In response to : How weakening currency wanes manufacturers competitiveness 

This statement in itself “How weakening currency wanes manufacturers competitiveness” is an oxymoron. 

Assembling CKD’s is not manufacturing and entities engaged in this should not have access to any benefit allocated for manufacturers. The Buhari administration and indeed any future administration must hold the line on who can be called a manufacturer and get the support they need to thrive. Nigeria cannot afford the to subsidize foreign manufacturers with it’s hard earned forex.

That said, it is highly disruptive to put these policies in place without preplanning and adequate notice given to these assembly plants to source locally. A weak currency is typically good for the export manufacturers as the products become comparatively cheaper abroad but if the business is strictly an assembly of CKD’s, the benefits of local manufacture is lost.

Buhari administration can provide an out for these group of businesses 

1. Require a specific minimum percentage of their product must the exported to pay for their forex requirements. Nigeria cannot afford to keep cuddling foreign manufacturers masquerading as local manufacturers. 

2. A product cannot be labeled Made in Nigeria without at least 50% local content to start with and can gradually be raised to 85% over 25yrs, excluding labor. 

3. The administration must do everything within its ability to help open up foreign markets for Nigeria value added good and products. The Buhari administration must take advantage of the business opportunities afforded by ECOWAS and must active encourage expansion and greater integration of the zone business activities. That is a task the Buhari admin must must demand from all foreign missions. Their job as liaisons for Nigerians and their businesses must be taken seriously. They are not just cultural attaches, they are salespersons for Nigerians and Nigerian businesses, time the act like it. Maintaining these missions take a considerable investment in foreign exchange and we should therefore make sure the investments are worth it.

God Bless Nigeria.

In response to Buratai’s – Why we killed Shiite members in Kaduna

  
The Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Tuesday justified why his men killed some members of Shiite Islamic group in Kaduna recently.

Let me state that I categorically oppose any form of religious activism and armed demonstration of any sort. That said, what the good army Chief has failed to say is whether these were peaceful demonstration or violent demonstration. A rowdy demonstration is not violent. Demonstrators are in most cases rowdy. The rowdiness draws attention, brings in the press to highlight their cause. Typically demonstrators interrupt a prominent event or person that will highlight and draw attention to their cause. Interrupting this convoy is a textbook example of a high profile event and person whose interruption would achieve their objectives. Alas, the army did not see it that way. The demonstration is a civil disobedience that should be handled by civilian security, the police. 

If President Buhari is really interested in curbing government excesses, the motorcades is a very low hanging fruit.


By the way, why is the army chief traveling in with a motorcade? The USA army chief does not travel with a motorcade. Why does every tom dick and Harry in the Nigerian administration waste taxpayer funds with such reckless abandon, riding around with motorcades? If President Buhari is really interested in curbing government excesses, the motorcades is a very lo hanging fruit. Leaders must live with the consequences of the environment they create. 

To my mind, the army has not accounted for what happened. That they blocked the motorcade is no reason to gun them down. The army has to prove they feared for their lives enough to warrant opening fire on civilians.

It is a dark day when the only excuse a military commander needs to mow down civilians is “they blocked me”

God Bless Nigeria.

In response to PDP Attempt to Divert Attention from Corruption cases. 

The National Assembly can only be distracted to the extent they choose to be distracted. While I wholeheartedly support the current attempt to recover stolen monies and bringing the thieves to justice, that should also not distract from the actual business of governance. 
Buhari laid out a a second of objectives he aimed to take on. So far, the big band is corruption. Even that has been limited to the last administration and people are being arrested and held indefinitely without due process. 

      Buhari promised to go hard against corruption
      Buhari promised to unite the country
      Buhari promised to wipe out Boko Haram by Dec 31, 2015
      Buhari promised to uphold the constitution 

So far, I have not been impressed. Yes he is investigating corruption but he is being strong armed about it. He can’t say people suspected of corruption are guilty until proven innocent. The negates his promise to uphold the constitution. He cannot hold people indefinitely without charging them with a crime. He cannot order people charged with a crime released without letting justice run its course. He has the power to pardon but you cannot pardon anybody of a crime they have not been convicted. That is to say, until a crime is proven, the president is constitutionally bound not to interfere with the judicial process. Remeber, the judiciary is an independent body and the president has no constitutional authority to override them or interfere with their process. 

God bless nigeria.