NORTH KOREA PUT ON NOTICE: DON'T PUSH ME.

NORTH KOREA  PUT ON NOTICE: DON'T PUSH ME.
"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. As I said, they will be met with the fire and fury and, frankly, power." - President Donald John Trump. ICHEOKU says the Michelin Tire midget at Pyongyang is definitely courting trouble and messing with the wrong man. He probably thinks Barack Obama the redline president is still in office; but unbeknownst to him there is a new sheriff in town and his name is Donald John Trump and he does not mess around. Hopefully China can rein in the little man before he commits mass suicide with his North Korean people.

HILLARY CLINTON LOST THE ELECTION - CHARLES SCHUMER

HILLARY CLINTON LOST THE ELECTION - CHARLES SCHUMER
"When you lose to somebody who has a 40 percent popularity, you don’t blame other things — Comey, Russia — you blame yourself. So what did we do wrong? People didn’t know what we stood for, just that we were against Trump. And still believe that." - Senator Charles Schumer, Senior Senator from the State of New York and Democratic Minority Leader in the Senate. ICHEOKU says the statement spoke volume and it spoke for itself. Finally it seems the Democrats have finally turned the corner and are now ready to face up to their abysmal performance in the last presidential election by acknowledging that the American people indeed choose Trump over their Hillary Clinton. Thankfully, they will also now rest their "Russians Did It" cockamamie and find a message they can present to the people and for the good of the country.. Time to move the process forward is now as American people did not buy into the crap of a Russian collusion which they tried unsuccessfully to sell to them.

IT IS GAME ON: MAYWEATHER FIGHTS MCGREGOR

IT IS GAME ON: MAYWEATHER FIGHTS McGREGOR

ICHEOKU says August 26 is the day history will be made as two of the world's most interesting athletes square off in the ring. Boxing champion Floyd MayWeather and mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor, will fight on August 26 in Las Vegas, Nevada. ICHEOKU says not in a position yet to place bet on who will win the fight. Salute


BIAFRA EXIT FROM NIGERIA: A CALL TO DUTY

BIAFRA EXIT FROM NIGERIA: A CALL TO DUTY
ICHEOKU says the time has come and the time is now for the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra to be allowed to choose their self governance and exit from Nigeria going forward.. A referendum on the future of Biafra is a legitimate demand of the people and it is their right to so do. The people of the Nation of Biafra want to of their own way because of the hostilities from other member nations of Nigeria. Let the United Nations order a referendum and let the people decide in their own Biafraexit.

PDJT ISSUES VERDICT ON ISLAMIST TERRORISTS


"There can be no coexistence with this violence. There can be no tolerating it, no accepting it, no excusing it, and no ignoring it. Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith. Terrorists do not worship God; they worship death. If we do not act against this organized terror, then we know what will happen and what will be the end result. Terrorism's devastation of life will continue to spread, peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence, and the futures of many generations will be sadly squandered. If we do not stand in uniform condemnation of this killing, then not only will we be judged by our people, not only will we be judged by history, but we will be judged by God." - President Donald John Trump.


BBOB: BRING BACK OUR BIAFRA

ICHEOKU says it is worth fighting for, self determination and it is not a crime for a people to aspire for self governance. Indigenous Peoples of Biafra are marching forward and hopefully they will soon get to the promised land. Viva Biafra.
#BringBackOurBiafra.




"When two raging fires meet together, they do consume the thing that feeds their fury. Though little fire grows great with little wind, yet extreme gusts do blow out fire." - William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew


WHAT REALLY MATTERS IN LIFE - STEVE JOBS

“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success. However, aside from work, I have little joy. Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me. God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth. Memories precipitated by love is the only true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on. The most expensive bed in the world is the sick bed. You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear sickness for you. Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – Life. Treasure Love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends. Treat yourself well. Cherish others.” - SJ

EVIL CANNOT BE TRULY DESTROYED.

"The threat of evil is ever present. We can contain it as long as we stay vigilant, but it can never truly be destroyed. - Lorraine Warren (Annabelle, the movie)


ONLY THE POOR WISH THEY HAD STUFF?

“I’m not that interested in material things. As long as I find a good bed that I can sleep in, that’s enough.” - Nicolas Berggruem, the homeless billionaire.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

NIGERIA, SAY NO TO FURTHER STATES CREATION!

Nigerians must cease this moment to take back their country and say no to further balkanization. States creation is not the development they need and clamour for. It is not viable, it is very divisive and continuously put more distance between families, friends and colleagues. Some of the existing states does not even have any meaningful geographical entity with sustainable source of water supply, agricultural land, and areas for future developments; yet these corrupt politicians who do not even have any mandate nor were elected in the first place, are hoofing and puffing about gerrymandering and balkanizing Nigeria, looking to create private fiefdoms where they can become the Lord of the manor. Icheoku asks, aside of Lagos State, Rivers State and may be Kano State, which other state in Nigeria can, truly speaking, exist or thrive on its own, independent of the cap-in hand monthly allocations from Abuja?

Imagine, from Lagos through Benin to Calabar there are over twelve state capitals within a land mass distance of less than one thousand (1000) miles. When juxtaposed with a state like California in the United States of America, which is about nine (900)hundred miles in length, from north to south, then the frivolity of this states creation exercise in Nigeria becomes manifests. What are they creating? What land-mass is being divided up here? A state like Enugu State with its less than four million population can easily fit into the city of Houston, Texas! A State like Gombe has more cattle and goats than human-beings which makes one to wonder aloud, the reasonableness of this effort. Between Asaba, Awka, Enugu and Abakiliki are four state capitals within less than three hundred miles radius? What is wrong with these Nigerian supposed political and military elites that they do not prioritize their activities? Or is this state creation a mere wedge-issue to distract Nigerians from holding their supposed "leaders" accountable for their democratic dividends? Maybe another avenue to loot the treasury - a nation of pirates and bandits in power?

Imagine the duplicity of bureaucracy and the cost of developing respective state infrastructures and needed manpower to run every new state. In 1979 Jim Nwobodo, governor of then Anambra State ran a wonderful government administering the area now balkanized into Enugu State, Anambra State and Ebonyi State which now, will require three Jim Nwobodos with three of his bureaucracies and manpower to still run the same area? Whether much changes in development has been recorded as a result of this new delineation is yet to be determined. Is this sub-divisions really necessary after-all?

What manner of development does Nigerians really want, spending scarce resources to pay for unnecessary bureaucracy when they could have been dispensed with? This blogger remembers fist-hand, the dislocation of families occasioned by useless state creations whereby a wife is forced out of the civil service of her state of birth because she was married to a man previously of the same state but who has been forced into another state. What is the use, one may ask? Icheoku would rather these non-viable states are merged and instead, additional local government areas created for administrative convenience only. Nigeria is a small country to have as many states as thirty-five talk-less of additional states. When one travels up to the desert northern part of the country, it becomes easily manifest that empty expanse of wretched earth and few donkeys are constituted into states with a few human-beings running them. It is apparent that no state in Nigeria is truly self-sustaining and this defeats whatever rationality bandied around for creating more. Why then create more of these pan-handling states to scramble for the withering Federal 'oil' purse? Icheoku says that it is merely for selfish reasons wherein anyone who feels marginalized from an existing state starts clamouring for his own area of influence; and like a big fish in a small pond continues this noisy agitation until some private acres of land are carved out for him as his own state where he plays the emperor who can do no wrong.

What Nigerians need is a consolidation of regional states into mega-cities just like Lagos State wherein majority of Nigerians live and call home. So if the Lagos experiment is working, Icheoku asks, why not replicate same in the east and in the north? Maybe an additional mega city Kano and a mega-city Enugu will suffice and then who needs a state? Japan, Canada and France are some of the advanced economies that do not have states but mere administrative prefectures. If only Nigeria can bring together all these independent resources being piece-mealed to each mushroom state into one huge purse and invest same in these mega-cities. With about twenty (20) million people each in these cities (Mexico-city has about 25million people) Nigeria will become a more viable place to invest as these consolidated populations can sustain industries, markets, companies and other related investments and truly become dependent on Internally Generated Revenue. Also the logistics of building an industry in Nnewi and trucking the finished product to Sokoto on non-existent roads will be a thing of the past as the product market and its manufacture will be within the same proximity. When 25million people pay their taxes including sales-taxes, the government revenue will be sufficient. Also it will make for easier management and accountability.

Icheoku calls on Nigerians to resist this proliferation of unnecessary states because they are not viable, they are wasteful and does not in any way speed up development. They are duplicitous and creates a chasm between families, friends and colleagues. Majority of these mushroom states do not have any stable, predictable and sustainable source of revenue. To this effect therefore Icheoku commends the remarks made by Umaru Yar'Adua that states and local governments should intensify their drives for Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and de-emphasize their current over dependence on allocations from the monthly Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC).

This clarion call by Abuja, that States and Local Governments should hence forth depend less on the monthly FAAC allocations and intensify their IGR drives, will only be meaningful where the states are viable or endowed with resources they can harness or tap into? Where can a state like Yobe or Jigawa derive their viability from where they constitute mere parched desert wastelands?

In summation therefore, Icheoku calls on the people of Nigeria to please stop this madness of states creation. It is not the answer to the myriad of problems facing Nigerians, majority of whom already have been living together in Lagos since Independence in 1960. What Nigeria needs now are few additional mega-states with enough population and well developed infrastructures that will be self-sustaining. Therefore, SAY NO TO FURTHER STATES CREATION IN NIGERIA!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Clamour For More States Ridiculous, Says Okunnu
By Daniel Kanu Senior Correspondent, Lagos

Elder statesman and former Minister of Works and Housing, Femi Okunnu, has criticised individuals and groups clamoring for creation of new states, saying that it is ridiculous.

Also, he stressed the need for the country to have a national leader as a president that would transform it.

Okunnu said the 36 states that we presently have are too many and have not transformed to any genuine development, adding that they have rather created more division among the people.

"We do not need more states, it is not necessary we were better with the 12 states structure, which to me could have been adequate, but certainly not more than the former 21 that we had in this country.

"Now, we have 36 states and people are still clamoring for more states. "Ibadan is asking for a state out of Oyo, very soon you will find people in Lagos Island in Isale Eko asking for a state, it is ridiculous and we got to stop all that. I am not in favour of this 36," he said.

Okunnu also said the country Nigeria needs a national leader with great vision and capacity to provide exemplary leadership.

"It is unfortunate that we now have a crop of people, some are sincere and honest, but majority are those whose business is to make as much money as possible from the coffers of the state treasuries and who have learnt nothing from the past mistakes.

"We still lack someone who can wield the people together as one and who has great vision of a great economy, of a united country, who can give leadership to Africa, who will see to development, physical, social, economic etc. development of this country.

"We still lack that leadership and the followership is not helping. Of course, if the leadership is not strong, able and loyal to the goals we are taking about the leadership will be wanting in these qualities as well," he added.

The former minister, however, said our system can throw up such a national dedicated man or woman, who can lead.

According to him, any system can throw up any national leader, who will be dedicated to Nigeria and not part of Nigeria, not to Arewa, Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo or ethnic groups like that.

Anonymous said...

Prospective states should have N1billion IGR — Folarin
Written by Ola Ajayi
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
AS the clamour for creation of new states gathers momentum, the Senate Leader, Senator Teslim Folarin has suggested that any state that cannot generate N1billion as internally generated revenue should be denied.
Senator Folarin, while speaking with newsmen in Ibadan said new guidelines must be set for the creation of the states.


Admitting that the creation of Ibadan State would be a difficult task, he said it was not impossible to accomplish.

The senator said, “We should set up parameters for creating new states apart from the existing guidelines. For instance, any of the new proposed state that could not generate N1bn should be denied.”

As for the creation of Ibadan State , he noted, “It is difficult to create Ibadan State but it is not a mission that is impossible to accomplish. The hurdles on our way could be taken care of through a constitution review."

Explaining why he said it would be a difficult task creating new states, he added that the existing process of creating states in the country where the constitution mandates sponsors of such project to “obtain two-third majority support in all the existing states of the federation” might be a hindrance.

Notwithstanding, getting the nod for the creation of Ibadan was possible and realizable.


“Ibadan State will be viable because at least 75 percent of the Internally Generated Revenue in the entire Oyo State at the moment is coming from Ibadan metropolis alone. We can do more to improve on this because we have enough infrastructures and the manpower is also there. Carving out Ibadan from Oyo State will further strengthen the remaining parts”, he stated.

He dismissed the allegations that some politicians longing for the creation of Ibadan State to satisfy their selfish egocentric interests.

Anonymous said...

Tinubu Chides Agitators of State Creation
By Chinedu Eze, 02.08.2009

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Former Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Bola Tinubu, has warned that the agitations for creation of more states in Nigeria would lead to further division and disunity of the country.
Tinubu told newsmen at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos yesterday that creation of more states would reinforce tribal politics in the country and erode gains of unity in diversity.
According to the former Governor, state creation does not guarantee economic prosperity, political stability and it promotes division among people who hitherto lived together but would now refer to themselves as belonging to different states.
He explained that creation of states was like balkanisation of Nigeria, as gulfs are created among people with the creation of more states.
“When you talk about state creation, you balkanise Nigeria. The more states we create, the more divided we may be. I don’t think state creation is the answer to economic prosperity, stability, free and fair election and development. It is the desire of the people to want to create states, but when we start to divide ourselves along ethnic lines, you are more or less turning the states to become local governments.”
Tinubu also observed, “To agitate for state creation, you are further dividing and highlighting the differences that are our diversity for strength, which polarises the country.”
He suggested that those agitating for more states should divert their energies on how the nation could use her diversity to enthrone prosperity rather than division of Nigeria.
He therefore urged Nigerians to commit themselves to the unity of the country instead of clinging to tribal cleavages that tend to endanger the country’s unity.
On the proposed review of the 1999 Constitution, Tinubu said that instead of comprehensive review of the entire document, the legislature should only tinker the aspect that has to deal with the electoral process.

Anonymous said...

States should be abolished — Akhigbe
By EMERSON GOBERT, JR
Saturday, March 14, 2009


Admiral Mike Akhigbe
Photo: Sun News Publishing
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Former Chief of General Staff in the Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar regime and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Admiral Mike Akhigbe (retd), says instead of the agitation for more states the country should rather restructure into six geopolitical zones.
According to him, each geopolitical zone should subsume the states under it, while the states should become local government areas in the zones.

He looked at the politics of Edo State and warned that unless the PDP embraces due process and the rule of law, party politics in the state would be contentious and could lead to crisis.

“We are not saying this out of terrorizing. We have practical example of what happened before when raw physical power politics was employed. You remember when they burnt the house of Admiral Aikhomu. You remember when they burnt the house of Ogbemudia. You remember when they burnt Anenih’s house. We don’t want such things to happen in the state,” he told Saturday Sun in an exclusive interview.

Continuing, Akhigbe said: “Apart from the fact that it is a loss and it creates division in the state, it humiliates our state in the eyes of the rest of the public. We would rather want to celebrate Anenih now. We don’t want him to be disgraced, so we are saying, let us sit down and do reconciliation but not outside the rule of law; they are resisting it. That is the problem and again, they are intimidating people who went to court …”
Admiral Akhigbe was reacting to a purported attempt by the national chairman of the PDP, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor, to support a parallel congress orchestrated by PDP strongman, Chief Tony Anenih, which has snowballed into the sharing of posts in the state among factions.

Though he agrees that Chief Anenih is an important person in the state, having occupied several influential positions, Akhigbe thinks that Anenih “should be behaving like a father,” adding: “Why should somebody of Anenih’s stature decide to conduct a parallel congress? If he is doing a thing like that, it means that he has lost control of the party. Instead, he (Ogbulafor) should discipline him (Anenih) for doing something contrary to the party but not to award him …”

Akhigbe also shed light on the controversy that he opposes the prominence given to traditional rulers; the supremacy war between the two chambers of the National Assembly over constitution review and why “area boys” exist in our society.

He discussed other national issues, such as the sliding economy and the revocation of Abuja plots of land. He opposes the creation of more states, but would rather want the states to be regrouped into the present six geo-political zones, while the states become local government areas and the local government areas become development councils.

The Babatunde Fashola government in Lagos State received lavish kudos, as Akhigbe said it is a model that should be replicated at the federal, state and local government levels.

You are known to be opposed to the prominence given traditional rulers because you said their role in our society is unconstitutional. Can you expatiate your position?
So many people have canvassed these views, in some quarters. I was surprised. I happen to come from that background, but what actually happened was that the issue came up at the PRC (Provisional Ruling Council) that any position that is recognised under the constitution should be a position that has clear criteria for appointment or elective and such position must be of national significance. The attitude was that the traditional rulers belong to local authorities and, therefore, should be kept at the local level, for the sake of being the custodians of our traditional authority and anything, as long as it is created by the constitution, must have a national significance and must have a political significance.

So the majority of members of the PRC agreed on it. But of course, I take responsibility that I was No. 2 person in the administration. But there was also a Head of State. I happened to be his deputy. So if that is the reason people say so…, there was also a debate. Why that thing became very contentious was that before we came in, people suspected that, perhaps, there was an attempt by political leadership to recruit traditional rulers if some of us were going to translate to political office from military, that some five percent of local resources were being given to traditional rulers. So many members of the council were opposed to that kind of thing. One of the arms of government that even has a fair chance of consolidated revenue fund was the judiciary. Why on earth should we now reserve five percent? So if it is five per cent of one billion that is the revenue that goes to a local government for example, what does it translate to?

That it was an irrational figure; that anybody who is going to earn any pay; even traditional rulers at the local government level should follow the salary structure rather than making one lump sum of money available to service them. And I know some states that had many local governments with one prominent traditional ruler or two were very unhappy it. I know that they brought the issue.

After much discussion of their proposal, it was agreed upon by the Provisional Ruling Council that such thing would even itself be unconstitutional. It will be inequitable and it will be irrational and therefore, they will never put it in the constitution. It was better that each state makes rules and regulations on it, like any other appointments, to recognise their existence. It has always been like that. Why should it be different now? So that was the position and I don’t know how it has become Akhigbe’s problem.

The attempt to have a joint session of the National Assembly to review the 1999 constitution has pitted the two chambers at loggerheads over equality and supremacy. How do you see the drama?
Well, right from the word, go, the National Assembly should have known the order of precedence. When we do not look at patterns and principles, then we run into this kind of difficulties. I always say that anything we do, we must have a framework for analysis. Let’s take it this way; when you elect a governor, his constituency is the whole state. When you elect a president, his constituency is the whole country. When you elect a senator, his constituency is his senatorial district – one third of a state. When you elect a member of House of Representatives, his constituency is a sub-sect of the senatorial district. Therefore, what does that one suggest? When you have a National Assembly, one would expect that if you put the two chambers of National Assembly together, there must be one that should be senior to the other one. Is a member of House of Representatives superior to the Senate?

When it comes to our external relations, the Senate has more predominance. When it comes to national appointments, the Senate has a role to play; so I would have thought that this should not be a room for quarrel, but since it has become a source of quarrel, then let them test it in court; let them sit down and draw up a proper order of precedence.

I have seen it. I am an ex-vice president. I even found that sometimes, these people find it difficult to determine even the order of precedence. You come for a function, they don’t even seem to know how they would put a former vice president, a former chief justice of the federation, a former Senate president and you feel sorry for Nigeria that sometimes, we appear as if we don’t know what we are doing; it goes down the same way. Sometimes, you go to a function, you find that a chief from one local community wants to go and sit on the seat that is reserved for the head of state. So that is the kind of thing you are seeing now; so we can always streamline this thing.

There is order of precedence; so it is good this is happening. Let them test it so that by the time they finish designing it, they will even be able to come down and look at the totality of our order of precedence in this country.

There is clamour for state creation. Do you think it is needful?
Well, you can never say anything is not needful, but my opinion, I think it is irrelevant to our present circumstances. We have seen the consequences of creating too many administrative units in this country. We spend so much money on administration and it saps resources for economic development. As a matter of fact, if we want to be irrational, all we can do now is to reorganise what we have already. As a matter of fact, the present state structure does not give a good strength to our federation; so I believe that what we should have been looking at now or in the distant future is to regroup the states into the present geo-political zones, into regions and re-adjust the power of the states. In fact, the states should actually become the local governments and then the local governments become development areas.

What is causing this problem is the effort made in 1980/81 to say that local government can go and take money from the centre and splitting states; people now found out that it is another way of getting revenue and getting positions. On the other hand, instead of addressing social inequalities and social issues of administrative convenience, it has now led to a process of a search for revenue and other things.

I do not share the view that there is need for us to create states now or even to review the constitution. If there are particular areas in the constitution, the National Assembly should sit down, take a bill and follow the constitutional provision to amend that section but this whole arrangement is an unnecessary waste of resources. If at all there is any need to contemplate it, certainly it is not even now that we are going through an economic meltdown. We have serious social problems. The issue of Niger Delta is enough problem to make us see that we are in an emergency. That is a problem of the economy.

We have problem of youth unemployment. We have not been able to integrate our women into our local system. There is no adequate participation by people. Even the institutions we set up, we have not sat down to consolidate them; yet, we now want to go again and experiment on this thing. Who wants more states? What is the problem with the constitution? Why have we not seen the problem of proliferation of states? Why is it a priority now? Why are we not looking at the economy? Even when you are creating states, even the resources they have, you are not even giving them out of the resources to develop themselves and yet, we now want to create more.

So the economy and our political system are the real challenges we have now. It’s not creating more political administrative units that is the issue but making the current administrative and political institutions function in a manner that will improve the well-being of Nigerian people. People don’t seem to see it. One of the greatest security challenges to our country today is youth unemployment. It is so serious. I see it. I’ve made every effort to give my children a good education.

I see some families that the first person to even go to university in their homes, they did it as an investment on the future of the family and the children. They have no jobs yet because we are not paying attention to the economy; even our area of strength where we have comparative advantage we sit down here and allow other countries, like India and China to come and explore the situation. It is only in Nigeria that people come and buy up our businesses, liquidate them and they start importing their things to this country. It is showing in different styles and we are not paying attention to it.

You see what is happening in the US. When they have a problem, particularly, with the economy, everybody is brought on board. I was chairman of National Economic Council. I have not seen anybody who has called me and asked a question, how did you do it? Maybe, we are not intelligent enough or our contribution is not necessary. I’m going to use myself as an example. I’m going to use myself as an example. Because of that experience, I know how serious management of the economy is.

We were the ones who merged the official autonomous market of the naira because we saw the danger. I hear that the reserve has been drawn down considerably. If we start to avert ourselves to the danger of what is happening, somebody should be able to monitor and place our the priorities right. What are the areas that we need to put money into? What do we need to put money into? What do we need to call back? Has this present situation changed our budgetary process? What is even in this our budget that Nigerians have been educated enough to even appreciate how the budget is shaping up? There are many issues that require social mobilization, but instead we are mobilizing our people to think about creating states and local governments – those things that will lead to emotionalism and you create the real issue.

So for me, I don’t support even the review of the constitution right now. If it is going to be done, let it be in the future. Let us face our economy and the social circumstances of the problem we have. We have unemployment. We have problem of drug abuse. We have problem of HIV/AIDS. We have problem of underutilization. The production sector of the economy is down because of power problems. Even our business practices, we have not even gone out of the woods. People are divesting from the economy both because of the meltdown and also because of difficult operational environment. There are issues that should receive our attention but instead of facing these issues, we are wasting our energy and now talking about creating more states and of course, creating more local governments. Then of course, creating more positions, then creating more positions, then creating more kings in the provincial institutions called states. So I don’t support this idea.

What do you make of the scandalous allocations of Abuja plots of land and the Senate’s decision to revoke them?
Soldier go, solider come and barracks remain. I don’t know the details of what has happened, but if it true that he did it, people should always know that when you leave office, you should be able to look at tomorrow in the face. I saw it when I was campaigning for president, which all that is important is when you have so much money and all these things, it is only then that you have value. That is what is driving people. When I was running for presidency, it was then that I realized how much people put so much premium on how much you acquire public assets for yourself. It doesn’t matter whether you have an idea. Nobody is going to listen to you, but if we follow the rule of law, people will always have the limit to whatever they want to do. I do hope that the young man did not have too much temptations and if he did, I do hope that the law will take its rightful course.

Nigeria’s economy is sliding by the day. What do you think is responsible for this?
We have practised things as each man for himself and God for us all. Again, when we take two steps forward, we take three backwards. Secondly, when we take bold initiative, we go to sleep without controlling it. Opening up the economy started during Babangida’s time when we deregulated the financial sector; not that we were not expecting problems but we knew that it will open up the potentials of the Nigerian people and institutions. But we also know that some potentials will create room for greed and its not going to be that easy. Following on that, we were building institutions like NDIC to control all those excesses. But I think what has happened is that because of bad politics, a lot of illegitimacy of governments, the will to apply sanctions when people break them, particularly since 2003, elections were rigged beyond recognition, organised by those who should be example to others and when you have such situations were elections are rigged and people carry guns, even me as a former military person entitled to carry a pistol, I know the consequences of even losing a bullet, but we see it. The police cannot say they don’t know.

You heard the revelation in Edo State tribunal. Who has been called to question? So those things led to people wanting to succeed without trying. You find young men who now become thugs. They don’t think that it is necessary to work. So when you see all these 419 things, these are the fall-out of it and they have a way they are rapping the national economy. The other thing is about our institution. I saw the governor of Central Bank talking with two sides of the mouth because people are now threatening his position, instead for him to have apologised that he made very unprofessional statement.

There are a few questions I ask myself. I saw that the price of commodities were coming down and is still coming down, I say to myself, Nigerian property market was growing at a rapid stage. We don’t have steel industry in this country. It means that people were importing steel. Of course, every businessman wants to take advantage. If you borrowed money from the bank to import a ton of steel, say at N30,000 and now the price has gone to N20,000, you have to pay back to the bank and if you cannot sell the steel, it means you have a problem, then the bank has a problem. Those are the kind of things that came to my mind immediately.
You see it in the case of diesel. Since most of our things are based on import, some people must have borrowed money from banks and imported diesel.

That is why they are fighting now to say the price cannot go down. When we were fighting for prices to go, they said market forces would prevail; that prices should go up. Now, they are telling us that market forces don’t apply. So as an observer and somebody who has helped to run this economy, I saw danger immediately, but they were enjoying the privilege of talking anyhow and now, the new minister has come up to admit that it is not so and I can assure you it is not by deceiving our people by making them feel that you are managing it; no! It is to come up to say, we are in hard times but everybody must gird his loins. Then yourself, you must show example of making effort to assist.

See what Obama is doing, but here, even when the Head of State would even want to face the problem, people will advise that that is not the best way to do it. We have gone through it before but unfortunately, you know your system is such that when situations like this arise, they don’t call everybody who has experience to offer his own perspective on it. Is it not strange that in this country, while people are lowering their interest rate, here it is going up and somebody wants to tell you that interest rate has to go up and at the same time, they have reason to tell you why the value of the naira will come down because we are not earning more money. But at the same time, if on both sides, the consumer and the businessman are faced with the two problems, then what is your own solution for making the economy healthy? They don’t tell you that. The banks are making huge profits.

Where are they getting that profit from? Even in the last few years, they borrow from abroad for all lending here. When they borrow at three percent, they come here and lend it at 25 percent and they come up with huge profits. That does not help the economy.

Anonymous said...

Rep Cautions Against Agitations For State Creation
Written by Osby Isibor, Abuja
Monday, 27 April 2009 20:13
A member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Kaka Adam Mustapha, representing Mafa Konduga Dikwa Federal constituency of Borno State, has cautioned against the frequent agitation for state creation, adding that for a state to be created, it must be economically and socially viable.Mustapha said a state or local government so created, should be able to sustain itself by way of its size, economic vibrancy and human resources.He, therefore, urged people who are agitating for more states to put these vital points into consideration rather than see state creation as a mere democratic exercise.According to him, "The state must be able, based on these qualities, to take care of itself, raise its revenue to run itself and not to look on the Federal Government as sponsor or anything of such. “These things should be considered before a state or local government can be created."Speaking further, Mustapha said, "You know we are people of the grassroots. We were all elected into this office by the people and we must represent their interests. “For this reason, when the people come up with such a desire to have a state or local government, we cannot turn them down; rather we ask them to present their memorandum to portray their interests."By the memorandum which is presented to the legislature, we will now sit down and look at it very critically to know whether the state and local government which is being requested can sustain itself by way of size, economic vibrancy and human resources."Mustapha commended the leadership of the House of Representatives under Hon. Dimeji Bankole, saying that the legislature has performed excellently.