In Response to “Ministry of Transport – Amaechi, Still Discussing with President Buhari on National Carrier”

 

Rotini Amaechi - Minister for transport
Mr Rotimi Amaechi – Minister for transport


“The Ministry of Transport says it has commenced discussion with President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the nation has a national carrier.”

Amaechi said that a lot of investors are interested, so the government will not be fully involved but will provide policies to guide..

I hope Amaechi is not having this discussion with Buhari assuming all that is required is Buhari’s ok for work to state. The decision to have a national carrier belong to the people by way of their representatives. The plan should be vigorously debated and proper rules of engagement set. The taxpayer shall not be required to subsidize the airline in any way. It should be an independent self sustaining and tax paying entity. 

The same goes for the expansion plans for the airports  Airports and Airlines are businesses that can be and are profitable in many countries. Nigerians cannot afford to be investing annually into the same businesses with the same failed management and expect a different outcome.  Any discussion about the fate of thes two entities in Nigeria must include a total replacement and restructuring of the management  The transport ministry shall only serve in oversight capacity.  it should not be running or be involved in running any of these organizations  

Yes, Nigeria’s airports need modernization. The dark dingy passageways must be replaced by open naturally lit passageways. Nigeria is blessed with plenty of sunshine all year round and our structures are built to exclude this source of free energy to light the halls and passageways. Choosing instead to use electricity that is subsequently allowed to fall into disrepair. Yes a national carrier may be necessary but none of these can be allowed to be a sink for the Nigerian taxpayer monies. 

Nigerians cannot be expected to subsidize flying for those  who can already afford it. Nigerians cannot get back into the situation of the previous Nigerian Airways that needed new funds every year, even as they fly regularly and other local private airlines seem to thrive without that government injection of liquidity. A national carrier must be an independent entity that Nigerians will be proud to fly in and not the butt of dinner table jokes.

All that should be expected of the Nigerian people, if it is decided to in with this idea, is to give a time limited tax incentives to investors who know their business and can stand for t up. For the risk they take, they the tax breaks not direct taxpayer investment or any free stuff. Nigeria must have learned from the past madness of running charitable organizations disguised as corporations where all the charity go to a few people tasked with running the organizations. The old NEPA, NITEL, Nigeria Airways all black holes sucking up public funds without care or remorse. 

Nigeria cannot afford to let the same twig to poke it in the eye multiple times. It has to stop.

God bless Nigeria. 

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. 

In Response to Fr Mbaka’s : Those who plotted my transfer want me to suffer

Fr Mbaka laments transfer.
” … while describing his transfer as the will of God, said he was convinced the leadership of the church approved it to make him suffer”. 

The implication of the above observation by the good Reverend, Fr. Mbaka is that God is colluding with men to punish him, to make him suffer. 

 For a supposedly, man of God to bemoan his circumstances and blame it on the machinations of man in collusion with God to punish him is pretty ludicrous. I bet Fr. Mbaka must have preached that God has plans for everybody and whatever circumstances one finds themselves, God is in charge.

Here we are, Fr. Mbaka crying and bemoaning his lot in life, blaming people for plotting his downfall. That he is being transferred to a place “without enough provision” to run his ministry and in the same breadth he claimed to have built his current ministry from nothing. 

Why are Fr Mbaka’s first thoughts not God must have a purpose and a plan for him.  Why not that God  was happy with the job he did and want him to do it again in his glory? But then it could just be God showing he is pissed off by Fr Mbaka’s abusing his position of trust and ingratiating himself to politicians by going public with a vision of harm to president M Buhari. 

Fr. Mbaka has the gall to accuse people he claimed plotted his downfall of playing politics, when it was he who set the ball rolling by getting involved in the political conspiracy theory by describing a vision harm to president Buhari.  He should have confined his public utterances to praying for Nigeria, it’s people and its leadership. A priest should never be seen taking sides in politics. God does not take sides, if he did there will be no wars, no crimes and no evil doers. 

Since the world is constantly embroiled in acts of war and religious and politically motivate terrorism. For all of these to continue unabated proves that either God doesn’t take sides or that or there is no God.

God bless Nigeria and save her from charlatans in long robes. 

 

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.