• Buhari & his college of saints

    19/Nov/2015 // 212 Viewers

    Have you ever loved and trusted somebody, and then find out the person does not have fidelity in his or her dictionary? Ask me and I will gladly tell you, Baba don fuckup. The moment the list of PMB crept to the social media domain, my first reaction was to ignore it. After over three months of waiting, the names I saw were our victimizers – actor in the political and economic arena who through their actions and inactions had submerged Nigerian in poverty and underdevelopment. You cannot smack a child and then deny him the right to cry. I am crying because Baba don shit for altar.

    I am one supporter of PMB who believed he was ‘San tache’ but now, I know better. Who imagined that for all the three months Nigerians were praying, fasting and crying for ministers, Mr. President was not busy searching for philosopher kings in Oxford Yale, Cambridge Havard, UI, UNN and ABU? Tunde Faglenle provided the correct answer.

    “Ours is a rotten society, rotten through and through, and leaders that we produce, no matter how personally elevated, are pulled into the vortex of rottenness that pervades” One would not need a prophet nor a soothsayer to say that there is an obvious compromise on the part of PMB. And, bearing in mind the immoral words of late Professor Chinua Achebe that “one of the truest test of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised”. One will not be wrong to say that the Buhari of yesterday may not be the Buhari of today. Like the parrot, he seems to have realized that in the murky and shark infested backwaters of Nigerian politics if you can’t beat them you join them.

    Does it make sense to put new wine in old wine skin or old wine in new wine skin? How can we succeed in killing corruption even as she tries to kill us through a corrupt process and persons? Just like I bemoaned earlier, Olusegun Adeniyi a celebral and versatile journalist and columnist observed that “these men were around yesterday, they dominate today even as they plot strategies for tomorrow”. Why will a president of a “lonely island of poverty in the midst of vast ocean of material prosperity” bring in woods infected with maggot as cabinet members? Has he forgotten the counsel of Achebe that “He who brings woods infested with maggot must be ready to welcome lizards?

    I am optimistic that “Naija go better” somehow, someday, but that does not stop us from looking at the other side of the coin. “Look at the ministerial list and tell me why Nigeria is not doomed. He took six months since his brothers declared him winner to return to Nigeria almost the same set of people that Nigerians asked PDP to sack”. Judging from the names in the ministerial list, Nnaji Obed Isiegbu’s outburst is justified.

    From the creeks of Warri to the high land of Yola, and from the thick forest of Emekuku to the sandy terrain of Kano, corruption is like an ogbanje child, who keeps her family in mournful mood. With a population of over 140million citizens, Nigeria, no doubt is blessed with citizens who can tame our widest beast – Corruption yet he settle for experienced looters and re-cycled old-men. I am beginning to think that PMB is either not interested in changing or does not know the type of change Nigerians are expecting.

    Imagine a cabinet in this lunar and planetary age without any youth. I am crying not only because of the profile of his cabinet members but the fact that Nigerians will soon realize that Baba had commissioned rats to safeguard the fish Nigerians bought on May 28 2015.

    It is going to be a mortal sin if Buhari’s college of saints fails to redeem our chequered political history. Professor Chinua Achebe once observed that “stopping an average Nigerian from corruption is like stopping goats from eating yam”. PMB must realize that his biggest assignment and that of his college of saints is proving Achebe wrong.

    I don’t predict that Buhari pitcher will break before he gets to the stream but I am not expecting to see a Nigerian Lee in 2019 or a college of saints who will prove that Julius Nyerere was a Nigeria.

     

     By Eze Martins-Hassan Esomchi

     

    The views expressed in this articles are entirely the author's and do not in any way reflect the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch


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  • Has anything really changed?

    19/Nov/2015 // 240 Viewers

    Yesterday, I was challenged by a friend who insists on seeing today’s Nigeria through goggles fabricated by the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria, on what Muhammadu Buhari has done right as President. Even though I understand the challenges with seeing clearly with such outdated spectacles, yet I took a chance in drawing his attention to the mess left behind by his hero and the work being done to clean up the mess. Nigeria was on a dilapidated, abandoned couch, bleeding to death when this government took over. In a case of this nature, what you first do is stop the bleeding, and begin the process of healing. A process, I believe, has just begun.

    To understand that the change of guards has brought about a change of style in governance, with political will now being gradually exercised to safeguard national interest, take a look at what is happening in the agencies charged with regulatory responsibilities. Before now, a lot of private sector operators were carrying on, in utter disrespect for the customers and the law. Regulators were comfortable to be in bed with operators, flouting rules and regulations at will. The wind of change is already blowing across the regulatory space – the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and others are beginning to grow new teeth, while biting hard with the old ones.

    That might be a minor achievement for some. However, when you consider that what has been lacking in government – particularly so under President Jonathan, is the willingness to exercise authority for the right reasons. The policy on the Treasury Single Account (TSA) is a case in point. President Jonathan has rightfully claimed credit for issuing a policy directive to that effect but what might not be willingly admitted is that it remained a mere policy. The December 2014 directive had given February 28, 2015 as deadline for compliance, but pressure from the beneficiaries of the previous regime – mostly bankers, made the government pull back from enforcing it.

    The Jonathan administration could not see to the enforcement of that policy, even with the abundance of evidence that the Ministries Departments and Agencies were indeed short-changing government. So bad was the situation that NNPC and its subsidiaries, which generated N6.132 trillion between 2009 and 2011 remitted nothing to the Federation Account. Revenue generating Ministries Departments and Agencies were reported to have generated N3.06 trillion in 2009, but only remitted N46.80 billion to government coffers; generated N3.07 trillion in 2010, remitting a mere N54.10 billion; and generated N3.17 trillion in 2011 and only remitted a meagre N73.80 billion.

    The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) that has suddenly woken up from years of hibernation reportedly had two different audited accounts — one with lower figures sent to the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) and another with higher figures sent to the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAGF). Fraud was also reportedly discovered during a close examination of the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) presentation showing how in its 2009 audited accounts, N5.6 million was found in the audited account forwarded to FRC while N323 million was found in the same audited account it sent to the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation.

    Yet, the beneficiaries and Banks did not allow enforcement of the policy on TSA. Nigerian banks are used to not abiding by rules and regulations, content to paying token CBN fines and getting away with it, with minority shareholders already emasculated. Our banks have grown fat on all manner of infractions, riding roughshod over customers, taking maximum advantage of the ever-slow judicial process to get away with murder. They were not going to let the enforcement of the directive again, employing subterfuge and blackmail to stop it. The change, this time around, is that the CBN has stood up to them. Three banks that reportedly tried to play smart by either under-reporting MDAs’ balances or concealing them have been rightfully hammered with almost N9 billion fine. One would think that the Boards of those banks should, have fired the Managing Directors.

    The days of impunity, with banks operating in their own rarefied world, where rules are observed more in breach, are numbered. Weaning the banks off the breast milk of public funds to get them back onto the path of real banking that will, with time, grow the real sector of the economy is a change much needed. What has really changed? It is the willingness on the part of the government, to enforce the rule of law in public interest.

     

    By Simbo Olorunfemi


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  • Ekweremadu's Assassination Bid: APC Killer Squad On The Prowl?

    19/Nov/2015 // 496 Viewers

          Dr Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President, Federal Republic of Nigeria

    The world is democratising and Nigeria finally joined the league of other democratic nations 16 years ago after our previous attempts collapsed like a pack of cards. Under a despot  who died with his boots on, we saw the ghosts of late dictators  hovering over Nigeria like  Ismail Enver Pasha, leader of the Ottoman Empire during the Balkan Wars and World War I,  North Korea’s Kim II-Sung's dictatorial leader who led the country in a dreadful direction.
     
    Others are Mao Zedong of China, communist leader and revolutionary who led the People’s Republic of China, and back in Africa, Mengistu Haile Mariam of  Ethiopia who  led the country from 1974 to 1991 and initiated The Red Terror campaign that recorded the worst mass murder ever in Africa and, of course, the self-acclaimed Field Marshall, Idi Amin Dada whose rule like we have today in Nigeria was marked with brutality, human rights abuse and ethnic persecution calling to mind  the ongoing suppression of the Igbo nation. 
     
    At the period under sad review, many of us who objected to the absolute power wielded by the late dark-goggled Aso Rock dictator had no option but to flee the country. This was in the heat of pro-democracy struggle in Nigeria amid state-linked killings and brutal repressions worse than nazi-Germany.
     
    Voices of reason like the late National Democratic Coalition chieftain and elder statesman  Chief Anthony Enahoro had to flee the country when he  was marked out for death, the Nigerian literary guru - the Nobel Laureate - Nigeria's pride,  Prof. Wole Soyinka and many others who were at the forefront of the pro-democracy struggle had to follow suit resulting from an ill-conceived plan to send them to their untimely graves. These were indeed dark days in our nation's history.
     
    The late despot Sani Abacha 'may God rest his soul' has probably not left the four walls of a secondary grammar school somewhere in the desert city of Kano when the late elder statesman he had planned to cut down moved the historic motion of Nigeria's independence back in 1953 from British rule, a country which he later bestrode like a colossus. Many other NADECO chieftains among whom were Pa Alfred Rewane, Kudirat Abiola were hit and  the uncrowned winner of 1993 presidential election in Nigeria, Chief Abiola was unduly incarcerated and died while in detention. In fact, so many things went wrong so much so that one loathes the distinctive Nigerian identity. 
     
    That period, however, remains the darkest part of our nation's night but  like a bolt from the blue we were freed from that yoke that heralded a return to civil democratic rule through the agency of the self-styled evil genius. I know many would contest this, but it is undeniably true. Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar would probably have held on to power like other sit-tight African leaders but contrary to all expectations  he heeded the advice of his boss Gen. Ibrahim Babangida as matters were somewhat getting out of hand probably from some esprit de corps developed through comradeship  resolved to end the military rule  that ultimately ushered in civilian government in 1999 with his handpicked former boss President Olusegun Obasanjo to lead Nigeria again. 
     
    Thus, the military forces were  sent back and had them confined to the barracks to concentrate on their statutory duty of defending the country instead of playing the  neophyte  actors in the governance chess game  He earns my respect for this rare display of  magnanimity.
     
    This marked the dawn of a new era in Nigeria which was none other than a welcome relief  today it is becoming a less savoury experiment. Having watched  behind the scenes, I do not, frankly, think  the dividends of democracy were  enjoyed beyond former President Olusegun's tenure. When President Yar 'Adua took ill and  inevitably went the way of all flesh, President Jonathan completed his tenure in accordance with the provisions of the constitution and contested which he won in 2011. That victory cost Nigeria so many things resulting from one man's intransigence which ultimately transformed into aggression and violence.
     
    The riot and consequent  killings that trailed the 2011 presidential election in Nigeria soon after former President Jonathan was declared the winner by beating the then  closest opponent, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd.) ominously threatened our nascent democracy in the face. In the years that followed while Jonathan ruled, we saw Nigeria gyrating between panic attacks and undefined hopes until he fell prey to a grand conspiracy that booted him out of Aso Rock to his Otueke ancestral home on May 29, 2015.
     
    A new Sheriff and an ethics policeman took charge. It is six calendar months today that power like the 'marshal's  baton'  was given to President Muhammadu Buhari after his party, the All Progressive Congress, won by a landslide. Driven by his party's change slogan he delved into work and began cleansing the Augean stables. The first shocker we got when he assumed office was to order bombing raids on Cross-Rivers creek communities that left many defenceless civilians, including children and women dead.
     
    That was a danger signal and the atmosphere reeked of blood and foreboded repression - a sad  pointer that the leopard could never change its spots. We had earlier recorded deaths in 2011 when it became clear that he had lost the presidential election and the deaths again  recorded by the bombings he ordered in Cross-Rivers was a sad reminder which only swelled the number. These are harrowing incidents that keep this writer astounded in no small measure.
     
    In a bid to cleanse the  proverbial Augean stables what we visibly see is nothing short of a harrowing departure  from  all accepted norms  and procedures. You are labelled an undesirable  and consequently marked out for a tragic fate once you are not on the same page with the regime in Abuja while the party partisans and apologists have become the rightful heirs of our common patrimony. 
     
    This brings the assassination bid of Nigeria's Deputy Senate President Ekweremadu into focus. It has made news headlines across the globe and the international community has been watching what is happening in  Nigeria which is fundamentally opposed to all accepted  democratic norms and this leaves the country risk-averse. There is no denying the fact that there are traces of brutality, human right abuse and ethnic abuse in Nigeria under the present Buhari regime like the world witnessed when Amin ruled over Uganda that qualified him for a despot.
     
    Be that as it may, reports making the rounds say soon after the attempt on Ekweremadu's life, his seat was methodically and dramatically taken by Senator Remi Tinubu in the Red Chambers and our Honourable men and women   watched helplessly  in consternation. This story, frankly, is better imagined than real.
     
    In civilized world as the manhunt for the killer squad begins, if the drama that reportedly  took place in the senate chamber  is anything to go by  Sen. Remi Tinubu runs the risk of being   thoroughly  investigated and   implicated in that heinous  crime commencing with wiretapping, surveillance and e-mail monitoring but, who is there to bell the proverbial cat when the ruling  APC, according to the  PDP, may have recruited the killer squad on the prowl?
     
    Iyoha John Darlington, a scholar, an opinion leader and public commentator  on national and global issues writes from Turin, Italy.


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  • THE FATHER (Clerk), THE SON (Jonathan) & THE GHOST (Obasanjo)

    19/Oct/2015 // 443 Viewers

    By Sikiru Salawudeen

    Fathers pass blessings to their sons in old age, or curse. We know the story of Jacob and Esau in the Holy Bible. Clerk is turning Jonathan into Esau after eating his meal. The meal here refers to the privileges as an insider in his government, his trust. We can’t compare him with the story of Elijah and the 42 children who laughed at an elder man with bald head. Jonathan did not curse Clerk. He respected the old man, so why has he unleashed the bears at the Otuoke son?


    When Jonathan’s name was advanced by Obasanjo as second in command to Late Yar’adua, Clerk was front and centre with his voice of dissent. Ango Abdullahi of ACF referred to it in an advertorial. He wondered why Jonathan rallied behind the Otuoke mouse. Is it not Clerk who roared that Jonathan could not make the second eleven (11) of the Niger Delta? And he was right then. Why did Clerk not stick to his convictions then? Maybe he was not convinced!


    It is a lesson in politics. You cannot trust the young or the old. Politics is about betrayal. Not even the hoary can be saints. He knowns no one will give any influence in APC, so he says he has retired. If Buhari were young like Jonathan, he would call him his son again. A father with fertility for sons. Maybe very soon, he will call him my younger brother up North (Daura).


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  • Looking back on Gov. Oshiomhole's stewardship in Edo State

    20/Dec/2015 // 761 Viewers

                                                         Adams Oshiomhole, Governor of Edo State


    Back in 2008 when the government of Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor was sacked via a high court judgement in Benin City  the capital city of Nigeria's oldest state, our joy knew no bounds. We celebrated the unceremonious  exit of the Peoples' Democratic Party from power considering its abysmal failure in Edo State. Under Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Edo State, we opined,  would do better by bringing the dividends of democracy to the people calling to mind his days as a labour leader. 

    Party then did not matter to me because I remained non-partisan. All that mattered to me was a credible  candidate with credible promises irrespective of the political party under whose platform he/she contested. Comrade Adams Oshiomhole became my preferred candidate to lead Edo State at the period under sad review.

    Little was known to me about the defunct ACN party programmes but since he championed the cause of workers in his labour days gave him that magnetic pull. His supporters had no iota of  doubt that he understood the plight of the common man whose cause like I said before he had championed by fighting and standing toe-to-toe with government during the dark days of military rule in Nigeria.

    Comrade Oshiomhole's ascension to power was greeted with pomp and pageantry and I could recall from dim memory his maiden speech that he would not only be a field governor but  will run a government driven by accountability. Like a Bible verse  in the New Testament  Adams did expressly say that he had not come to bring peace but division by setting the people against their leaders who while working with him in the day-to-day administration of Edo State will be made to give a regular  account of their stewardship to their people. This was heartwarming, a Messiah, we said, had come in the long run to reposition the state in the path of socio-politico development and economic prosperity.

    Governor Adams Oshiomhole was lauded in these while the indigenes of Edo State all looked forward to the future with pride in the hope that he would fight doggedly to restore the state's lost glory but little did I know we were wallowing in the pool of ignorance.

    The first deafening salvo he fired was the increase in tuition fees at my Alma Mater, the then Edo State University, Ekpoma  by making the cost of education there prohibitive. Amidst protests he engaged the reverse gear. Today, reports reaching us from home say plans are again in top gear to increase the tuition fees by as much as 200 percent. This, I dare say, is outrageous!

                                                    Lington Donovan

                                                    Iyoha John Darlington

    Edo State during my growing up days enjoyed the prestige of being the most educationally advantaged state in Nigeria followed by Ogun State but because of certain outrageous educational policies of the state government we have been ruefully displaced. Our state has been reduced to a shadow of its former self with its indigenes thrown out of schools. Of course, we all know and feel the negative impact  on the people which this writer shall not touch on.

    In the area of roads rehabilitation, Oshiomhole is often erroneously said to have outdone Napoleon Bonaparte. This sickens me to the stomach a great deal. Is he leaving Edo State better than where he met it? If you ask me, frankly, my response will doubtless not be in the affirmative. How accessible are our rural areas from the capital city, Benin City? On this score, you will agree with me he has failed woefully. 

    Many rural communities in Edo State today still depend on water sourced from ponds and streams as the state Water Board has become moribund thereby making potable water an elusive dream. What we have in Edo State today, reports say, are nothing short of dry taps and this again is very disheartening! What would it have cost the state government to revitalise and resuscitate the state Water Board to provide potable water for the indigenes of the state? The outgoing governor has a serious case to answer here if he needs reminding as water remains one of the basic necessities of life.

    There is no denying the fact that the bulk of  Edo State indigenes remains hungry, homeless, frightened and pauperized but this is a state that is blessed with vast agricultural potentials. To what extent has the Oshiomhole-led administration  positively mobilised labour to solve the state food crisis? Again, the governor has failed woefully to bring about the desired agricultural revolution in the state. We all know full well what the state would have stood to gain in that regard. Unemployment, hunger would have been drastically reduced, twin evils that promote crime particularly violent ones.

    Has there been any time that the state government is denied of allocation from the Federal Government? Frankly, I do not think so. Hence, what reason has the outgoing administration to tender for denying the indigenes of the state the basic necessities of life? Our children have been thrown out of schools and left with no option but  to embark on dangerous journeys to the unknown. Quite a good number of them have died while trying to cross the fiery Sahara desert to the coast of north Africa for onward sea voyage across the Mediterranean to Europe. Many of our people have perished at sea while trying to cross on substandard and rickety boats which are incapable of  withstanding the strong ocean currents. What has the Oshiomhole-led administration in the state done to stem this ignoble  trend?

    It is very unfortunate that he is leaving behind a state without any meaningful improvement via capital projects and service infrastructures to better the lives of the indigenes. Party partisans often pat him on the back by making Benin City township roads a reference point. Many of the roads supposedly rehabilitated by his administration often become waterlogged and, therefore, rendered  impassable whenever there is a downpour. Pictures, they say, do not lie. Be that as it may, these must not be made any credit of seeing that it is the duty of the state government to provide good roads but the half-baked rehabilitation had only succeeded in making  the city residents caught in a vicious circle.

    Reports reaching this writer have it that he is leaving behind a state that is saddled with a massive debt burden. In fact, Edo State is one of the seven states in Nigeria with the worst debt profile up to the tune of $127 million dollars. Where  and what was this whooping amount of  money spent on? Mathematicians and party partisans, answer me! This is a state that is still bereft of service infrastructures, a state whose Water Board has suffered terminal decline and, therefore, incapable of providing potable water for its indigenes! Party partisans would doubtless turn a blind eye to these anomalies and label me as none other than a paid agent writing in favour of the former ruling Peoples' Democratic Party. 


    In the area of sports, Edo State has fallen to its lowest web as the once glorious Bendel Insurance only battles to secure a promotion ticket to Nigeria's Premier League. How are the mighty fallen; tell this not anywhere in the old Bendel State!


    These are indeed teething problems which ought to have been addressed by the outgoing administration. Fortunately or unfortunately, Governor Oshiomhole that was once very dear to my heart has assumed the role of Nigeria's ethics policeman enmeshed in sophistries and terminological inexactitudes blaming his abysmal failure and  inability to deliver on his political promises on Jonathan's government. 


    The US government, we read, did say never at any point in time was the governor told that a former minister under Jonathan's government stole up to the tune of $6 billion. Are these the reasons for his catalogue of dismal failures in Edo State? Is he leaving Edo State better than he met it? Are our children in schools? What about the upsurge in violent  crimes  in the state occasioned by the massive unemployment? What has he to say about our children which have been driven away from home in search of the proverbial greener pastures abroad that have either died in the fiery Sahara desert while trying to make it to the coast of north Africa  or drowned in the Mediterranean? What about our young women who have become women of easy virtue in many parts of the Old World and the Middle East, the Emirates to be precise?

      Did the outgoing governor ever come with a solution or still a part of our problems?

     

    Iyoha John Darlington, a political analyst, scholar and public commentator on national and global issues writes from Turin, Italy.

     

    Disclaimer: Views expressed in any article we publish remain entirely the author's and do not represent the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch


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  •  Is the World on the Brink of Another Great Recession?

    20/Feb/2016 // 983 Viewers

    By Sherle R. Schwenniger


    One of the greatest challenges, President Obama faces in his last months in office is how to deal with a global economy teetering on the edge of a yet another crisis. For weeks now, the financial markets have been signaling major trouble ahead. Turbulent equity markets throughout the world have plummeted. Yields on long-term bonds in the United States have fallen to near historic lows, auguring extended economic weakness ahead. And interest rates have turned negative in Japan and some European economies, underscoring that these economies may be losing the fight against deflation. Meanwhile, the large flow of money into China and emerging economies that drove global growth after the great financial crisis has reversed, exposing those economies to years of debt buildup.
     
     Indeed, one cannot rule out that the markets may be signaling something more serious than just a global economic slowdown. They could be foreshadowing the beginning of what might be called the third leg of the world economic crisis, one that would echo the US-centered housing bubble in 2008 (the first leg) and the eurozone crisis in 2010–11 (the second leg). This third leg would center on China and emerging markets. In the aftermath of the global crisis of 2008, with demand in the United States and Europe no longer available to power its export economy, China embarked on the largest expansion of credit in modern economic history. In the process, it built too many factories, too much housing, and too much infrastructure. The huge increase in debt worked to keep China’s economy growing and boosted emerging markets and commodity producers, but it created huge excesses and lots of bad debt in China and other economies dependent on China that now must be worked off.
     
    Not surprisingly, the Chinese economy is now on a bumpy descent as it tries to manage its overinvestment bubble and as it transitions to a more consumer-oriented economy. The fear of a Chinese hard landing has created tremors throughout the global economy. The price of commodities, from oil to copper and iron ore, has collapsed in the face of global oversupply and expected weaker demand from China. Brazil, Russia, and other commodity producers are in recession. Manufacturing economies worry about a new wave of deflation coming out of China, driving down the price of manufactured goods. And everyone worries that China will have no choice but to let the yuan fall further, thereby setting off a series of competitive devaluations in Asia and beyond and setting the stage for a new emerging-market debt crisis. For as currencies fall, emerging markets will not be able to service their dollar-denominated debt, triggering a new financial crisis that will extend to European banks and the shadow banking system of US asset managers and hedge funds.
     
    The US economy is in a better position than other economies to weather this third leg of the global crisis. But in today’s world, no economy is an island. It is unlikely that the United States can avoid a recession if Europe, Japan, and China are all pulled into one, and even more unlikely if there is a major credit crisis centered on emerging markets, energy, and Chinese debt, which would pull down many European banks and some US asset managers. Even as it is, US energy producers—solar and wind as well oil and gas—are being decimated by the wars of oversupply and weaker demand. And US manufacturing is contracting because of a strengthening dollar, which makes US exports more expensive. American consumers will of course benefit from lower energy costs and cheaper goods, but it will be difficult for them to hold up the global economy as they have done in the past, given their sizable debt burden and weak wage growth over the past six years.
     
    The prospect of a global economic slowdown is especially troubling because the world’s central banks, despite extraordinary measures, have not been able to reverse the drift toward deflation and depression. Now they are essentially out of ammunition and are resorting to experimenting with negative interest rates. Worse, fiscal policy in the form of government spending is, for political reasons, off the table in nearly all major economies, including in the United States.
     
    If ever there were a time for US global leadership, it is now. Even if the United States avoids being pulled into recession, one shudders to think about the geopolitical implications of a global slowdown. Even as it is now, divisions and xenophobic populist movements are growing in Europe in response to the flood of refugees and a half-decade of austerity, to take one example. It is of course possible that China will be able to stabilize its descent, that Europe and Japan will be able to eke out some economic growth in the year ahead, that emerging economies will be able to manage their debts, and that the US economy will enjoy something of a deflationary boom as a result of a strong job market and falling prices for energy and consumer goods.
     
    But this would be far from the global prosperity that is needed to lift people out of poverty and grow a bigger global middle class. There are a number of sensible ideas for avoiding a major world economic crisis and for supporting more robust global growth: a massive US infrastructure investment program; debt restructuring and relief for households and students in the United States as well as for sovereign debtors in Europe and other regions; a bigger IMF and World Bank insurance fund for emerging-market debt; a growth program in Europe led by the European Investment Bank; expanded funding for refugee resettlement; new international reconstruction programs in Ukraine, North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia; and, if necessary, direct central bank financing of these and other spending programs. The White House could also pressure Berlin and other European capitals more on reversing austerity and less on maintaining sanctions on Russia. All these policy measures would support global demand and create jobs while easing the pressures of debt deflation.
     
    But nearly all of these ideas, except some pale versions like increased spending on infrastructure, are outside the boundaries of current American political discourse. To say that the US political and media establishment is unready for a global economic slowdown, let alone a new financial crisis, would be an understatement. Nearly all the Republican candidates have committed themselves to balanced budgets and reduced spending and, unless the politics change quickly, a Republican Congress would most surely block any recovery program a Democratic president would propose as well as US participation in any international recovery effort. Most of the candidates are full of crackpot ideas on how to stand up to Putin and destroy ISIS, but none have ventured to say a word about how they would save the world economy from another crisis.
     
    As we have argued in other contexts, Senator Sanders is right: we need a political revolution. But looking out at the troubled global economy, we must also see that the revolution must do more than just fix a rigged economy and a rigged political system. It must also seek to transform our international relations to give much greater priority to widely shared global economic prosperity.
     
    *SHERLE R. SCHWENNINGER Sherle R. Schwenninger is director of the Economic Growth Program at the New America Foundation and a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute.
     


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  • NIGERIA: A nation in the woods with her president in transit

    20/Feb/2016 // 143 Viewers

     By Ifedayo Obi


    Since emergence of our President as number one citizen, he has left no one in doubt that charity should begin from abroad not home. Thus he deems it fit to tour the globe in his quest for providing solution to Nigeria’s problem. From all indications, it seems he is comfortable in communicating his policies via this platform.

    Surprisingly, this style of governance is alien to our nation and many keep wondering why the President should choose such a path. To make the matter worse his spin’s doctors are going to any length in defending this unbecoming act. Their defence have changed from during or after trip to before trip, what a government?

    To be candid, there is nothing bad in attending international affairs outside the shore of his country but the situation in our country deserve full attention and time from its leaders. According to a Norway's proverb that says necessity teaches naked woman how to knit.

    It would have been better if Mr President has strong affinity for delegation of responsibilities but he has not, considering outcome of the presented 2016 Budget to NASS. It is now clear to all and sundry that the current government is unprepared for governance. Even Buhari himself has admitted this by saying he came at the wrong time to govern. Buhari and APC are doing more of politicking than governance and this is affecting all their outings. From TSA commission fee to inconclusive elections to budget of change that turned to fraud, in fact the list is becoming endless.

    We expected the government to salvage the nation from global economy downturn with appreciable policies but what we are having now is government that is bent on passing buck to past government, political vendettas and always fail to admit when it errs.

    How could a government that promise change steal, replace and later disown its budget? Till now, no apology has been rendered instead it keeps bringing webminster words like mafia, saboteurs to defend a national embarrassment. Our advice for this government is to withdraw this profligacy entourage called budget of change and present a reasonable. If not the sacking spree will justify our earlier claim that this government is only replacing them to reward its sponsors' list.

    At this juncture, we don't need any rocket scientist to discern the state of our economy and Mr Buhari should stop thinking that as a retired Army General he will know it all. If Financial Times and Bloomberg are enemies to our nation, we don't think our economists like Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and Pat Utomi who are ardent supporters of this government will toe same path with these foreign analysts.

    What benefit will "I will not kill Naira" do to the innocent public that 98% of their daily transactions reflect happenings from parallel market of foreign exchange? No matter how good an intention sounds without facts and figures of reality it will remain a harmful substance in economics.

    It is high time we stopped these stringent policies that keep widening the gap between official and parallel markets' rates.

    It is high time we stopped passing bucks and face reality.

    It is high time we stopped having 4 media aides to a President of prudence and leaned cabinet when no Chief Economy Adviser has been appointed.

    It is high time we stopped thinking that melodrama from EFCC, DSS and fifth columnist media outfits can replace policies for good governance.

    It is high time we stopped thinking that foreign aids will come without consequences as no country is a father xmas.

    We are saying it again, the vacuum created by the wasted first six months cannot be underscored with the charade of shame in 2016 budget and this government should desist from justifying what is alien to our style of governance.

    Good Governance Advocates is saying to Mr President to listen less to his inner caucus and praise singers but give more attention to his critics.

    Nigeria belongs to all and our patriotism should be to it than any political parties or groups

    *Ifedayo Obi,

    GGA

    (Good Governance Advocates is a partner of Shadow Cabinet of Nigeria and we are synonymous to governance par excellence with mandate to bring government to their toes in discharge of their duties for the governed to smile)

     

    Disclaimer: Views expressed in any piece we publish remain entirely the author's and do not reflect the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch


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  • Moving towards a welfare state

    20/Feb/2016 // 142 Viewers

    By Iyke Ozemena

     

    One of the obstacles which the former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had to overcome was the fact that there was no success module to replicate from independence, through the military regime to the new democratic dispensation (aka Fourth Republic). She had to devise new ways and means such as Treasury Single Account, blocked financial wastages etc. No one was left in doubt that dealing with huge unemployment was top in her mind; so youth, women, unemployment and poverty were to be tackled frontally.

    The traditional institutions for human capital development like National Directorate for Employment (NDE), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), various Federal and State employment programmes through agriculture, skills acquisition etc were hardly efficient. These structures had to be adequate as well as efficient to serve as platform for dispensing funds for palliatives and extending skills acquisition and employment programmes. It was this required level and efficiency on entrepreneurship that enabled Delta State for instance to maintain first position among 36 states for three consecutive years.

    The imperative of United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) added impetus to the national efforts to improve and stabilize traditional institutions. These efforts contributed to employment creation.

    The enactment and implementation of Nigerian Local Content Act of 2010 was reported to have produced about 300,000 direct and indirect jobs.

    The former Minister was quoted to have said that between 2012 and 2014 when the economy was rebased Nigerian economy hitherto thought to be a weakling created over 2.8million jobs that could be verified. She was advancing towards Indian example where most of the jobs come from private sector giving impetus to the creation of the Ministry for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. Her successor, Mrs Kemi Adeosun who is equally seasoned and dogged has embraced a conservative path even though she would not be coordinating the economy perhaps because of the hard time devised new ways and means to tackle the unemployment and dwindling revenue.

    Juxtapose this position with the campaign promises of paying N5000 to every unemployed individual. One wonders how feasible these proposals will be in the face of national currency falling to N380.00 to the dollar.

    Before 2015 election All Progressive Congress (APC) conducted a nation - wide survey interviewed about 21,000 persons on 95 issues. The result showed that job creation was utmost in the hierarchy of needs (Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs). Consequently, APC’s manifesto was drafted to reflect that result so as to provide at least 20,000 jobs in every state by APC government; and perhaps that equation supposed that all states will be governed by APC government, however, the reality is different today.

    Besides it was recognized that other classes of society who may not benefit from employment programme have to be addressed in some other forms. APC therefore resolved that N25,000 monthly allowance should be paid to these less-privileged persons to alleviate their sufferings.

    Perhaps due to the grim state of the economy N25,000 monthly allowance now seems unrealistic. Therefore according to PMB administration payment of a welfare grant of N5,000 will commence soon after the passage of 2016 budget by the legislature. The N5billion set aside will be the first of its kind in Nigeria suggesting welfare state practiced in advanced countries. It would also be a unique exercise where Malinda/Gate Foundation as well as the World Bank would be offering assistances in order to ensure a smooth and efficient implementation of the scheme.

    One of the challenges expected from this exercise is lack of database as well as the category of beneficiaries. Unless it is a one–off exercise the dearth of statistical data is bound to challenge or stall the process because only an estimate shows that 1.8 million youths, majority of who are graduates enter the labour market annually. It is the minister that would say how prepared she is to handle it.

    Barr. Iyke Ozemena

    Attorney

    Ikechukwu Odoemelam & Co.

    Corporate Attorneys/Consultants


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  • Is it because it is Buhari? By Mustafa Yahaya

    20/Feb/2016 // 198 Viewers

     

     
    *By Mustafa Yahaya
    I marvel at the way and manner we think
    in this country, worst of it the way we
    think in the north. It is just a few months
    ago that we all continually lambasted
    president Jonathan's cluelessness, I
    referred to him as the "drunken master
    of Otuoke", and nobody harassed me, and
    now because they fear the power of the
    media that brought them to power they
    want to castrate the social media, with
    Buhari firing the first shot in an interview
    with Sahara reporters' Adeola in New
    York, why, is it because it is Buhari?
    We demonstrated against pump price
    increment for petrol, government of
    president Buhari wants us to swallow the
    same pill we rejected a few months ago,
    yet some of my northern compatriots see
    nothing wrong with that, is it because it is
    Buhari?
    When three sons of Sheik Zakzaky were
    murdered during the Jonathan
    administration, El-Rufa'i called it genocide
    by the jonathanian army, now under
    Buhari more than 200 are killed, their
    mosque and houses destroyed under
    Elrufai's nose as Governor of the same
    state, he has not called it genocide by the
    Buharian army, is it because it is Buhari?
    Under the Jonathan administration
    subsidy payments were termed as fraud,
    and there were hues and cries to crucify
    oil marketers, Buhari even called it a
    fraud himself, we also thought so, Six
    months later the same Buhari is paying
    for subsidy yet nobody is calling it a fraud,
    why, is it because it is Buhari?
    We criticized Jonathan for keeping a large
    fleet in the presidential fleet and wasting
    monies on maintenance, only recently
    President Buhari's spokesman admitted 2
    billion Naira was spent on their
    maintenance, when other presidents are
    even doing away with their jets, yet we
    sit down and watch helplessly, is it
    because it Buhari?
    Fuel scarcity is biting harder, value of the
    Naira is going rock bottom, inflation is
    now on auto pilot, while profits are
    dropping, purchasing powers are
    becoming weaker, yet we are asked not
    to query them, is it because it is Buhari?
    If we criticized Jonathan for cluelessness,
    we will also criticize Buhari for
    helplessness. While tribal and regional
    jingoist see nothing because it is Buhari,
    what I see first is Nigeria and not whether
    Jonathan is a southerner or Buhari is a
    Northerner, we. Cannot continue to be
    trapped in the closet of tribalism,
    regionalism and religious bigotry yet
    expect our country to remain one and
    grow.
    Yes! we might be of different orientation
    and background but what is good is good
    any where any time and what is bad is
    bad, I cannot be suffering and keep
    smiling because "my brother" is the
    president.
     
     
    Disclaimer: expressed in any piece we publish remain entirely the author's and do not reflect the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch


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  • The Tyrant In Abuja

    20/Jan/2016 // 1074 Viewers

     By Iyoha John Darlington

     
    The world has lived through great civilizations and civilization itself has had its worst enemies. Man driven by lust for power and personal aggrandizement plays god to others and we have encountered with so many of them through the ages. The historic tripartite pact of 1936 saw a fusion of power blocs. Benito Mussolini  ruled by caprice in fascist Italy, in Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler allied  with Emperor Hirohito of Japan in a bid to bestride the world like a colossus.
     
    Other outposts of tyranny include Jordan under King Abdullah, Libya under Ghaddafi, Cuba under Fidel Castrol, the rogue regimes of North Korea and Iran, Iraq under Saddam, Uganda under Amin the late despot  and Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe who has ruled the country for nearly four decades.These were cold-blooded brutes who hid under a cause to unleash fury on their subjects and silenced dissenting voices in their political domains. 
     
    A lot of lives were lost and the world and most regions experienced unprecedentedly abysmal demographic change calling to mind the attempted extermination of the Jewish race out of which six million Jews gassed to death where they were held in death camps and other  million of lives that were lost in World War11. Thousands of unarmed civilians mainly Kurds were killed in Halabja poison gas attack  by the regime in Baghdad under Saddam Hussein, Iron-fisted Benito Mussolini clamped down on his own people while he ruled over Italy.

     
     Back home in Africa, the State Research Bureau, Amin's secret agents killed many Ugandans some of whose flesh he fed on like a cannibal. These were all dark moments in human history. As luck would have it they all methodically  took their unceremonious exits from the earth under unfortunate circumstances.
     
    Would one be right to exempt Nigeria from one of the outposts of tyranny either in the present, distant or immediate past? Has Nigeria ever witnessed any iron-fisted  rule? Under totalitarian governments powers are assigned to the authorities to imprison and kill without circumscription and we have seen these at play in Nigeria which qualifies Africa's biggest democracy south of the Sahara  as one outpost of tyranny.  Kudirat Abiola was taken by a storm of bullets by men believed to be Abacha's secret agents. Pa Alfred Rewane was killed and so were other eminent Nigerians that forced this writer to take to flight at the time   to avoid being devoured by a raving mad lion that had probably  broken loose from its den. 
     
    Between 1984 and 1985, we had a junta which exported state-linked crime beyond our territorial borders. Those who kidnap in Nigeria today  only try to 'teach grandfather Buhari to suck eggs' because in 1984 Buhari transgressed the bounds of decency and authority in a futile bid to violently kidnap late Dr. Dikko to answer for his alleged crimes instead of retaining a diplomatic channel to file for his extradition from the United Kingdom. Objectively speaking, you do not commit a crime to solve a crime for that single act he ought to have stood trial at the international criminal court.
     
    So many things have gone wrong in rapid succession within seven and a half calendar months of his taking the reins of power. We had prayed for him to succeed but God does not answer prayers devoid of auxiliary actions or embarking on actions borne out of lies and deceit to demonize others all in a bid to save one's face or cover up one's incompetence. Soldering is not the same thing as governance after all.
     
    It is no more in dispute that Nigeria under the present administration lacks qualified and competent technocrats the reason  why everything is spiraling downward and his apologists downward into gross irrationality. Against every casual sense of  rationality and decency, his actions are commended by partisans which are opposed to the social  norms and patterns of a  civilized world. Dictators often wield unlimited powers, run a dictatorial presidency, decide cases and convict dissenting voices even before trial calling to mind the conviction of the British journalist by the legendary Amin  before his trial in a Ugandan courtroom. The Chief Judge freed this victim of ineluctable fate for which he later paid the supreme price.

                                                           Lington Donovan
                                                              Iyoha John Darlington
     
    I had before  now stood  mouth agape with incredulity how our memories could be so short. About thirty years ago in his first stint as a military ruler,  we saw all these traits at play that caused Nigerians so much misery until that regime was terminated sometimes in 1985 and Nigerians who groaned under his military jackboots heaved a sigh of relief. The papers were awash with criticisms and widespread jubilations  with each victim of Buhari's reign of terror recounting ordeals. Many of us who fled the country then had to return with the self-styled evil genius in charge, Nigeria's legendary IBB, an effective ruler who relatively embarked and carried out sweeping reforms - that administration would be remembered for its open-door policy it adopted. Bigoted critics were not thrown off the radar but were extended the Olive Branch  to come on board and pilot the Ship of State.
     
    Today we are again caught in another agonizing web under a despot who is intolerant of opposing political views. This is what  we had escaped by a twist of fate some thirty 30 years ago a period of time which brought Nigeria to the edge of chaos.  Some of his present apologists from which came  the bulk of the votes that shot him to power  had not been born. Barely eight months into his four years  tenure we have  a similar scenario  unfolding marvelously. 
     
    Our once vibrant  economy has become stagnant and comatose and blatant  lies are being  told to save faces, the Naira, Nigeria's monetary unit has fallen drastically in value and now exchange for over N300  to the US dollar. Never have we experienced this unprecedented decline in the value of our domestic currency coupled  with International Monetary Fund outright refusal to accede to his loan demand  but instead  mounts a pressure on the Abuja regime  for further devaluation of the Naira. This inability to manage the economy resulting from sheer incompetence is tantamount to giving the already sapped and pauperized Nigerians the hangman's noose.
     
    It would be recalled that Stalin in the defunct Soviet Union in 1934  began a series of 'purges' in which millions of people died. The purges  known as the Great Terror began when Sergei Kirov was assassinated. He was probably murdered on Stalin's orders. Nevertheless, Stalin used it as an excuse to eliminate his enemies or anyone he thought might be a threat. This was a period in Soviet history that saw  many prominent communists  put on show trials and thereafter thrown in stir or executed which Nigeria could be taking her cue from before long. Millions of ordinary people were sent to labour camps and forced to work in appalling conditions.
     
    In 1937-38 Stalin 'purged' the officers in the red army. About 80% of the generals and 50% of the colonels were executed. Buhari has ordered a similar purge of serving  officers in the armed forces whose fate only hang in the balance.  So the red army was weakened just when Russia was facing a threat from Nazi Germany.
     
    Furthermore in the 1930s, under Stalin the churches were persecuted. Still recall his stance on Sharia?  Many Nigerians are being framed up again and left to rot in dungeons under the guise of prosecuting the anti-graft war. This was exactly what happened about 30 years ago. Professor Alli, the then first Executive Governor of the defunct Bendel State and many others were unduly incarcerated after a kangaroo court trial though released much later, thanks to the magnanimity and benevolence  of the Iyayi and Igbinedion families,  went blind and died shortly afterward from complications he suffered during a custodial sentence. Alas, Prof Alli died with only a bungalow of two flats to his name at his  Emaudo village home, Ekpoma, Edo State!
     
    The writer shall now focus his binoculars on the purported $2.1 billion arms deal which the Daura-born overlord clings to for his inability to run the country rocked by economic depression and instability calling to mind the separatist aspirations mounting in the southeast and jihadist insurgency in the north-east. The  staggering $2.1 billion arms procurement funds like the Chibok girls  story is a scam manufactured or cooked up  to extenuate  incompetence and abysmal failure which we all spot  on the horizon. 
     
    $2.1 billion is over N600 billion by the current exchange rate.  How many people have been indicted and how much has each of them been asked to refund?   If Buhari decides to arrest everyone that has served  between 1999 and 2015 in connection with the non-existent $2.1 billion, can he recover  as much as N200 billion? The answer is NO in block letters if we all need reminding. Hence, I wonder from where and how the $2.1  billion came. Can Nigeria afford to part with $2.1 billion at one blow for a transaction of any form without screeching to a halt? I wonder why some of us are so gullible to fall  hook, line, and sinker for his personal inadequacies and blatant lies.
     
    An accused is presumed innocent until proven otherwise but Amin's version of crying  injustice is being re-enacted in Africa's biggest democracy with flagrant abuse of power, disregard for court orders considering the continued detention of Nnamdi Kanu and Ibrahim Dasuki on Buhari's order who have both  been granted bail by  courts of competent jurisdiction. This, I dare say, is tantamount to tyranny!
     
     
    It is high-time the teething problems besetting Nigeria like a series of devastating plagues were addressed instead of employing tricky maneuvers that will not yield any fruitful dividend  in the  end. Killings under Buhari's administration have systematically begun and now on the ascending order of magnitude considering the mass murder of 300 Shi'ite Muslims in Zaria, Kaduna State.  Killing of defenseless MASSOB & IPOB members on a peaceful demonstration, and the aerial bombardment  sometimes in June last year of Cross Rivers creek communities which killed many civilians including women and children which are typical examples of  totalitarian regimes. Amin's despotic rule recorded 500,000 deaths before he was kicked out of power by a coalition of Tanzanian troops and forces of the Uganda National Liberation Front in 1979.  
     
    Sad to say, the democracy we all labored and doggedly fought for has been hijacked by the Daura-born overlord and his trusted  lieutenants  while dissenting voices are being hunted and  crushed by brute force. Under the existing circumstances, it is either one aligns oneself with the tyrant in Abuja or there will be the devil to pay.
     
     
    Iyoha John Darlington, a social activist, Turin-based scholar,  a public commentator on national and global issues writes from Turin, Italy.
     
     
     
    Disclaimer: Views expressed in any article we publish remain entirely the author's and do not reflect the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch


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