Nigeria News | Laila’s BlogThere is no hunger in Nigeria – Agric Minister Nanono The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Muhammad Sabo Nanono on Monday said Nigeria is there is no hunger in Nigeria as the country is producing enough to feed itself. Nanono said this at a news conference in Abuja as part…
Former minister of aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has slammed former prime minister of Britain, David Cameron, for describing Nigeria as a corrupt country. Femi Fani KayodeThe former British leader drew the irk of the former minister when he accused former President Goodluck Jonathan of being negligent in his duty which resulted in the kidnap of Chibok…
Sometimes ago,I made a post concerning the above topic but the post buttress on a national interest demanding that a nation like Nigeria needs a kind of leadership that can identify the basics and ensure that they build on it gradually.
Now,there is a need to look deeply into another channel at which we can leverage on the basics but it rallies around maximising the basics in our personal life.
Recently,I have been using the services of UBER to move from one point to another.
One thing I noticed is the 99 percent perfection of such a wonderful idea that is really transforming the face of transportation in Nigeria.
This made me to think deep and get mad at the numbers of car owners around me that complain about not having enough money to take care of their personal obligations and needs.
It is a pity that many people are in abject poverty due to nothing but the state of their mind that has been programmed to be a reflection of penury.
How can you have a good car at your disposal and you will see no reason why you should use it for UBER Service at this point in time?
Having a car that is not been used to make extra money might be draining you financially since the maintenance of automobile is another source of financial wastage that anyone struggling to have streams of finances might be unable to cope with.
The face of transportation is changing in Nigeria and I am still wondering why many Nigerians are not seen the prospect in such a laudable turn around that one need to adopt as a source of making extra bucks of money.
Your car is one of the basics that you think will make you to be more convenient and comfortable,and if you change your mind and maximised it appropriately,you can end up being more convenient and comfortable by leveraging on it to launch yourself into financial gains that is in accordance to your status quo.
Never think that such an idea will be a minus to you,any idea that adds value to anything,no matter how it is carried should never be look down on .
Stop lamenting and complaining.
If you have assets at your disposal that you can leverage on,do not hesitate to do it.
Your good car might be a liability to you and people around you,but if you decide to leverage on it by changing your mindset,it can end up becoming an asset.
A word is always enought for those who are humble enough to be wise.
Former lawmaker, Shehu Sani has expressed sadness over the state of the nation as Nigeria celebrates 59 years tomorrow. Senator Shehu SaniThe former lawmaker expressed that the dreams of Nigeria’s founding fathers have been shattered. Also Read: Now That Tacha Is Out, We Are Settling For Mercy: Shehu Sani As Nigeria will be celebrating 59 years…
Deji AdeyanjuPopular activist, Deji Adeyanju, has issued an apology to President Muhammadu Buhari for attacking him when he said Nigerian youths are lazy before going on to add that Nigerian youths are not only lazy but they are also the hopeless youths in the World. Read Also: While Their Counterpart Are Leading Revolution, Nigerian Girls Are…
There are strong indications that many Nigerians have been shunning trips to South Africa in the last two weeks.
The PUNCH gathered on Thursday that since the latest xenophobic attacks on Nigerians by South Africans, many travellers had been boycotting trips to the former apartheid enclave.
Also on Thursday, the House of Representatives described the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama’s denial of its invitation as an insult.
The House stated this just as the Federal Government disclosed that Nigeria and South Africa would set up a bilateral-commission aimed at ending xenophobia.
In spite of the peace initiative, a number of travel agents told one of our correspondents that Nigerians were not buying tickets to South Africa, except for special reasons.
I haven’t sold tickets to Johannesburg for two weeks – Agent
“I have not booked a single ticket to Johannesburg in the last two weeks,” a travel agent, who did not want to be named, told The PUNCH.
“Nobody is going there at the moment. It is as if there is a total boycott except it is extremely important. Since the problem between Nigeria and South Africa began, the only people travelling are those that had booked their flights long before now and students that need to return to school and have no choice but to resume,” the agent said.
Another Lagos-based agent said the situation had degenerated to the point that special travel packages that were put together for tourists to the country had either been cancelled or diverted to some other destinations as people were no longer interested.
Nigerian tourists changing destinations from SA to Dubai
According to the agent, Nigerian tourists are changing their vacation destinations to Dubai, Mauritius and other places.
“There are people with pending tickets that have requested change of airline or destination. Even people scheduled to travel; some have said they no longer want to travel to South Africa,” he said.
Findings show that South African Airways, which operates daily flights between Lagos and Johannesburg, has been affected.
South African Airways enjoys a near monopoly on the route being the only airline that offers direct flights from Lagos to Johannesburg; other airlines on that route such as Kenyan Airway and Rwandair have to get to Nairobi and Kigali respectively, before taking off to Johannesburg. The airline, when contacted, declined to comment on the issue.
I left SA when attacks became frequent – Mother of two
Meanwhile, a woman who was among those evacuated on Wednesday shared her experience with The PUNCH, saying that she decided to leave South Africa when the attacks became frequent.
The single mother of two, Ololade Atere, from Oyo State, said her nail studio was destroyed in the recent xenophobic attacks.
Atere said, “My experience was bad. I was into fixing of nails and one day I got a call that my shop had been destroyed. I decided to come home because the violence became too much and I couldn’t keep running with my two kids.
“I lived in South Africa for five years, but I have no plans of going back. I am tired of the violence. I have to be safe. I am home now. I have to find a job or business.
“I left Nigeria when I was pregnant. The intention was to have my baby, have some travel experience and return. I wanted to come back after I had my first baby but people convinced me to stay. But now, I have had enough.”
S’Africa said my children were its citizens – Mother
Atere said she was supposed to be among the first batch of Nigerians to return, but was stopped at the airport.
“They said I couldn’t travel with my kids because I gave birth to them in South Africa and they are citizens,” she said.
She added that she was made to swear an affidavit before she was allowed to bring the children with her to Nigeria.
‘I left my child in S’Africa’
Another returnee, who identified himself as Uchenbi, told the News Agency of Nigeria that South Africans harboured hostility towards Nigerians.
He stated, “South Africans are angry at Nigerians for no reason and would blame them for whatever reason they deem fit.”
Uchenbi, who was in South Africa for 12 years before he returned to Nigeria on Wednesday, said he left his child in South Africa, while she was sleeping.
The man, who is married to a South African, said his wife would have suffered, if he had been killed in South Africa.
S’African police didn’t probe my husband killing – Woman
Another returnee, Blessing Chioma, accused the South African police of inaction when her husband was killed in 2012.
Chioma said, ”I’m coming from South Africa, Johannesburg; I was married to a Nigerian, but South Africans killed him during the xenophobic attacks. I reported the case to the police, they know about it; they look for the guys, but you won’t know them because they come in groups, so nothing was done; the case is closed,” she said.
”Since then I’ve been coping with the children, but I returned them to Nigeria because I was no more meeting up in training them. So they’re here now in Nigeria; I came back to take care of them, but we came with nothing because they burnt our shops.”
Only traders, others in informal sector leaving – NUSA
The President of the Nigerian Union South Africa, Adetola Olubajo, said the Nigerians who had indicated interest in being evacuated from South Africa were informal traders.
Olubajo said, “I can say that all of the people affected are in informal businesses. They are people that established their own businesses. So, it’s an informal business area. It does not affect any of those companies that are in the formal sector.
“They are those petty traders that have shops; small and medium scale traders on Jules Street (Johannesburg), Van der Walt (Pretoria) and Lilian Ngoyi Street (Johannesburg). In Nigeria, they (Nigerians) targeted mainstream companies owned by South Africans.
“But there, it was not like that, they went to informal traders (and places) where they are densely populated. There is no company at all. There were even two car marts burnt down; one was owned by a Nigerian, but I think the other one was not owned by a Nigerian. So, they were informal businesses.”
The situation would normalise soon – High commissioner
When contacted, the acting High Commissioner of South Africa to Nigeria, Bobby Moroe, expressed confidence that the relations between Nigeria and South Africa would soon normalise.
He noted that every issue would be sorted out during the forthcoming visit by President Muhammadu Buhari to Pretoria.
He said, “We are concerned by the development, but we are already working to improve relations with Nigeria and this was the reason for the visit by the special envoy. We believe the situation would improve soon, South Africa is a tourism destination and we are open.”
Onyeama’s denial of our invitations, an insult – Reps
The House of Representatives berated the Minister of Foreign Affairs for denying invitations by the lawmakers to brief them on the xenophobic attacks and the Federal Government’s evacuation of Nigerians from South Africa.
The House, which insisted that the minister ignored its invitations, said the National Assembly was considering actions against government officials who shunned its summons.
The Speaker, Femi Gbajajiamila, had in plenary on Wednesday, accused the minister of shunning the lawmakers’ invitations even when the leadership of the House invited him. Gbajabiamila had said he would raise the matter with President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had, however, denied the allegation. The ministry’s spokesman, Ferdinand Nwonye, in a statement, said Onyeama could not appear before the House on the scheduled date because he was engaged in the Federal Executive Council meeting at the Presidential Villa.
Briefing journalists after the plenary on Thursday, the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Benjamin Kalu, stated that the lawmakers were people of integrity, who would not lie against Onyeama.
Kalu said, “I represent the House of Representatives comprising men and women of integrity; men of honesty, men of high reputations.”
According to him, describing the statement of the lawmakers, especially that of the Speaker as a lie is casting serious aspersions on the integrity of the House of Representatives.
He stated, “I wish to maintain that an invitation was duly extended to the minister in question and that invitation was not honoured and the House frowns upon it. I can assure you that we are taking steps to ensure that in the future, such disobedient act, such dishonour to the House of Representatives, will not be tolerated.
“We know what to do as allowed by the provisions of the law.He was invited. He did not honour it. I am sure he would honour it. If he didn’t get it, we have made it open. We have declared it openly that there is an invitation to him. I am sure that he is a gentleman. I know him as a gentleman, he would honour that invitation.”
Meanwhile, a member of the House representing lbarapa CentraI/North Federal Constituency of Oyo State, Mr Ajibola Muraina, has urged members of the National Assembly to make donations for the evacuation of Nigerians from South Africa.
Muraina, who addressed journalists, said he was moved by the Chairman of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema, who used his airline to evacuate Nigerians for free.
The lawmaker urged all Nigerians who had financial and other capacities all over the world to be selfless and be willing to assist their countrymen and not leaving the problems for only the government to solve.
Nigeria, SA to sign MOU on commission to end xenophobia
In the Senate, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Mustapha Suleiman, said that Nigeria and South Africa would set up a bi-national commission to ensure the safety of Nigerians and protect their property in South Africa.
Suleiman, who stated this when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, explained that both countries would also sign a memorandum of understanding that would among others, put an end to xenophobic attacks on Nigerians.
He said the establishment of the bi-national commission and the signing of the MoU, would coincide with the visit of Buhari to the South African country next month.
He said, “Now we are trying to sign a memorandum of understanding between us and South Africa to forestall such (xenophobic) attacks in the future.
“Prior to the incident, our President has been invited to South Africa. At the October meeting, the MOU will be unveiled. The essence is to determine what to look up to if such attacks happen in the future, the documentation for understanding on how such will be remedied.
“When such happens to Nigerian citizens, what kind of remedy should we expect from the South African government?”
Suleiman, who represented the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said President Buhari would be meeting with his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa, in October for bilateral trade agreement.
He commended the gesture of the Chairman/Chief Executive of Air Peace, whose airline had been giving free flights to Nigerians anxious to flee South Africa.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Mohammed Bulkachuwa, said a thriving economy would serve as a disincentive to emigration of Nigerians to other countries.
The days of heaping 50-kilo sacks of rice across the saddle of their motorbike and slipping a few notes to a customs officer are now gone.
With Nigeria having snapped its borders shut, the legions of motorbike riders who used to satisfy the nation’s hunger for imported rice are lucky at best to sneak through a few packets of Basmati.
The smugglers risk more than just jail time if they try force or sneak across the border.
“They shoot us and kill us like goats,” said Adewole, who asked for his full name not to be published, stuttering with anger.
The some 3,000 sacks of rice per day that motorbike riders estimate they previously smuggled across the border from Benin have slowed to a trickle.
As a result, the price of rice has skyrocketed, from 9,000 nairas (22 euros, $24) for a 50-kilo sack, to 22,000 nairas, a price higher than Nigeria’s minimum monthly wage of 18,000 nairas.
The border closure is part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s plan to end Nigeria’s economic dependence on oil, by developing domestic agriculture and industry.
With cheap goods — smuggled or imported — long having hampered domestic producers, Buhari ordered a partial closure of the border with Benin in August.
This month, the borders with all neighbouring countries have been shut completely.
“The Nigerian borders will remain closed until the countries sharing borders with Nigeria” accept conditions put in place for the country’s economic policies on what is imported, warned Hameed Ali, comptroller general of the Nigeria Customs Service.
Analyst Adedayo Ademuwagun, of the Lagos-based consultancy Songhai, called the border closure an “extreme level protectionist policy”.
He said that the move was built on the idea that, instead of encouraging development with incentives, one can bring it about by necessity.
“They expect that by creating a gap in the supply, the industry should grow,” said Ademuwagun.
“But it’s not what’s happening.”
Nigeria has pursued this type of development strategy before, with some success.
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo, who was in office from 1999 to 2007, banned cement imports.
That helped local producers flourish, including Obasanjo protege Aliko Dangote, who now heads a multi-billion-dollar cement empire.
Not an island
Buhari may have trouble repeating that outcome, however, as the situation with rice shows.
Nigeria has been ramping up rice production, with local output rising by 60 percent since 2013, according to official figures, although specialists say they are inflated.
But at 4.8 million tonnes last year, local rice production was still not enough for the 190 million Nigerians, who spend about a tenth of their food budget on the staple.
Beyond quantity, there is also the issue of quality.
“It’s the imported rice people love,” said one trader at the market in Badagry, a coastal town between the capital Lagos and Benin.
“Nigerian rice is not good enough and too expensive.”
If you can get it.
The border closure means Nigeria is choked off from supplies until the next harvest by local farmers.
The Badagry market, usually teeming with activity thanks to its location near the border, now lacks its usual hubbub.
Not only is there almost no rice to be had, there is almost no macaroni, cooking oil, or sugar either.
“We can’t depend only on local production,” said market director Todowede Baba Oja.
“No one is on an island. We depend on one another. This suffering is getting out of hand.”
Even the butcher who sells locally-produced beef is having trouble, as his customers have little left for meat after paying higher prices for staples.
People have “no more money”, he said.
Anger on Tuesday greeted xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa with dignitaries and organisations including President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, the Senate and the House of Representatives, expressing their displeasure over the continued killing.
President Buhari specifically sent a special envoy to President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, to express his deep concern about the “reported attacks on Nigerian citizens and property in South Africa since August 29, 2019.”
Also, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in compliance with Buhari’s directive, summoned the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, to express Nigeria’s displeasure over the continued killing of Nigerians in South Africa.
In a statement in Abuja, the Presidency said the special envoy Buhari sent to Ramaphosa was expected to land in Pretoria by Thursday.
The statement, which was signed by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, did not give the name of the envoy.
It added that Buhari was deeply concerned about the “reported attacks on Nigerian citizens and property in South Africa since August 29, 2019.”
Nigerians and other foreigners in South Africa have been the target of attacks since last week when a taxi driver was killed by an alleged drug peddler from Tanzania in Pretoria.
Foreign-owned businesses have been looted and burnt in different parts of the country.
As of Monday, three persons had been killed while one person was in hospital being treated for smoke inhalation.
On his part, Osinbajo described the attacks as “reckless,” noting that the latest happenings “run against ideals South African leaders fought for.”
Osinbajo, while chatting with reporters in Kano on Tuesday, said, “It is unfortunate because Nigeria and Nigerians invested a great deal in the destruction and pulling down of apartheid. Besides, these acts of bigotry are entirely contrary to the very ideals that all the great South African leaders, including the present President fought for, and for which many gave their lives.”
Meanwhile, Onyeama has ruled out reprisals as a solution to the problem.
Rather, he said the Federal Government would continue to pursue the option of engaging the South African authorities to promote peace.
The minister, who spoke with State House Correspondents soon after he met with Buhari, explained that Nigeria did not believe that two wrongs would make a right.
Onyeama said, “The South African Government has assured us that they are doing everything possible to address the situation; that they are equally exasperated by the whole event.
“We believe that with that goodwill we may be able to work together to put in place these mechanisms that would make a difference.”
Onyeama also stated that another option being considered was to send Nigerian security agents to South Africa “to work closely with the South African Police Force.”
High Commission compiles victims’ list
However, the High Commission of Nigeria in Pretoria has begun compiling a list of the victims of the xenophobic attacks.
The mission directed Nigerians who were affected by the violence to come forward.
The Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa, Kabiru Bala, in a statement in Pretoria on Tuesday, said, “The High Commission and the Consulate in Pretoria and Johannesburg are compiling the list of all the Nigerian victims of the current anarchy for engagement with the South African government and other stakeholders for succour.
“In this regard, all Nigerian victims of the current attacks are requested to come forward to report their situation to the High Commission and the Consulate.”
The envoy said the two missions would continue to be home to all Nigerians “in this trying times and in the future,” noting that the mission had remained open since the outbreak of violence.
FG summons SA High Commissioner
Onyeama has summoned the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Bobby Moroe, over the attacks.
A senior MFA official, Kimiebi Ebenfa, confirmed this in a WhatsApp message.
It read, “I am directed to inform you that the Minister of Foreign Affairs has summoned the High Commissioner of South Africa for a meeting.”
Rep asks FG to recall envoy, House to suspend recess over attacks
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives is planning to suspend members’ ongoing two-month annual recess to reconvene to address the xenophobic attacks.
The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, announced on his verified Twitter handle, @femigbaja, on Tuesday, saying the lower chamber of the National Assembly might reconvene for a one-day session to address the attacks.
The House was to resume plenary on September 14.
The Speaker tweeted, “(I) Will be cutting short my trip to Tanzania for the 50th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference @CPA Secretariat and will be leaving today, for the leadership of the @HouseNGR to consider cutting short the recess and reconvening for one day to address the killing of Nigerians in SA.”
It was learnt that several members of the House mounted pressure on the leadership to take a decisive action on the attacks.
However, the Vice Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology, Musiliudeen Akinremi, on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to recall Nigeria’s envoy to South Africa and close down the SA’s embassy in the country.
Akinremi said, “Enough is enough and an injustice to one is an injustice to all. These actions taken against Nigerians by South Africans are so unjustified and are an international crime against humanity.”
South Africa, AU need to act fast —Atiku
However, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the last presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, on Tuesday called on the South African government and the African Union to urgently address the ongoing xenophobic attacks on foreigners in the country.
He made this call via his verified Twitter handle in a tweet, he personally signed.
“Reported attacks against Nigerians in South Africa are unacceptable and stand condemned. Urgent steps need to be taken with the SA authorities and the African Union to bring an end to this ill wind that can only end up destroying the fabric of our African brotherhood. -AA”
Senate condemns attacks
Also, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on Tuesday condemned the attacks on Nigerians.
Lawan in a statement said, “Nigeria has had enough of its citizens being targets of these attacks and will no longer tolerate hate crimes in any form against its citizens who are doing legitimate business in that country.
“Xenophobic violence is most condemnable anywhere; more so in South Africa, a country whose citizens benefited from the support and solidarity of Africans and freedom lovers across the world in their historic struggle against apartheid.”
Suspend diplomatic ties with S’Africa, Ekweremadu tells FG
But the immediate past deputy president of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, called on the Federal Government to consider suspension of diplomatic ties with South Africa until things were put right.
In a statement on Tuesday, he called on the AU to summon an emergency meeting with a view to sanctioning South Africa.
“I find the incessant xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other African nationals in South Africa very un-African, barbaric, and unparalleled acts of ingratitude.
“It is quite disturbing that the Government of South Africa has not taken decisive steps to end these attacks, which have led to wanton loss of lives and property of fellow Africans, especially Nigerians.
“The attacks defy and desecrate everything African broterhood stands for, especially for a country that gained freedom with the support, sweat, and sacrifice of fellow African nations among which Nigeria clearly stands out.
“The attacks have reached scary and desperate degrees and call for desperate actions on the part of Nigeria, other African nations, and the African Union.
“It will therefore not be out of place for the Federal Government to suspend diplomatic relations with SA until full assurance of safety of Nigerians and their properties in South African is secured, adequate compensation paid for the damages, and the perpetrators also brought to book.
“…The AU should therefore summon an emergency session to sanction South Africa; and a suspend from the Union for unprovoked acts of hostilities against fellow Africans whose countries fought for the freedom they enjoy today will not be out of place.”
‘Fix Nigeria, make migration unattractive’
However, a Lagos-based lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, has said the Federal Government should make emigration unattractive by fixing the country as a means of tackling the xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
Ogunye, in an interview with one of our correspondents, said, “My belief is that if we fix our country, it will make our country a veritable sanctuary for our people so that if they are being harassed elsewhere, they can come home and then earn a decent living.”
Celebrities condemn attacks
Meanwhile, Nigerian celebrities including Toke Makinwa, Funke Akindele, Mo Abudu, among others, have condemned the attacks on Nigerians and other Africans.
The celebrities took to their social media platforms to implore the government to seek for a peaceful resolution to the issue.
Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele, wrote, “Must violence be the solution to every problem? I woke up to horrific pictures and videos of our country men being attacked and killed. This has to stop o!”
Similarly, Mo Abudu, of EbonyLife TV wrote,
“The xenophobic attacks happening in South Africa right now are complete and misplaced anger. We owe it to ourselves as Africans to unite. It’s the only way forward.”
Also, On-air-personality, Toke Makinwa, described the attacks as a huge blow on Africa as a continent.
Also, a monarch, Olowu of Kuta, Oba Adekunle Makama, Tegbosin II, said Nigerians in South Africa should return home to pick up the pieces of their lives.
The monarch in a statement said, “Despite the show of brotherliness and for being a pillar of support during the apartheid regime, the South Africans have not reciprocated the same gesture towards Nigerians living on their soil.”
Save Nigerians, Shehu Sani tells FG
Also, a former vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Shehu Sani, has asked President Buhari to make instant arrangements to stop the attacks on Nigerians.
Sani in a statement challenged the government of South Africa to protect the lives of Nigerians while the Nigerian government should stop barking and take action to save its people.
“Nigerian Government should not continue to bark like a coward dog and the South African Government should not continue to sleep like a tortoise while innocent people are being killed. Africans unleashing violence on fellow Africans on the African soil is a shame to Africans and the black race.”
Orji Kalu calls for retaliation
But the Chief Whip of the Ninth Senate, Dr Orji Kalu, has called on Nigerians to retaliate rather than wait on the South Africans to fish out the perpetrators.
Kalu in a statement issued by his media team on Tuesday said, “The gruesome killing, looting, arson of property belonging to Nigerians and attack of the Nigerian High Commission in South Africa are ill-conceived, disheartening and wicked.
“Those mindless criminals who attacked and prevented law-abiding Nigerians to freely conduct their business must be made to pay for their crimes. Arresting them is not enough.
“If the South African Government does not do more to protect the lives of Nigerians, there should be no reason to allow them to operate freely in Nigeria. All their enterprises deserve to be closed down including MTN, DSTV and Shoprite.”
APC demands ANC’s intervention
But the All Progressives Congress has condemned the attacks and urged the biggest political party in South Africa, the African National Congress, to intervene with a view to stopping the attacks.
The APC, according to a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said Nigeria deserved a better deal from South Africa.
The statement said, “As a party, we are deeply saddened by these unwarranted attacks. Nigeria deserves a better deal from South Africa. It is too early for South Africans to forget their country’s history.
“Many of the key players in the struggle against apartheid are still alive and active in the country’s national affairs. We therefore cannot understand why there seems to be a conspiracy of silence on their part.”
The APC said the violence being meted out to Nigerians under an ANC-led administration called to question the very essence of the struggle against apartheid in which Nigeria was a frontline ally of South Africa.
‘Attacks may cause diplomatic row’
Also, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Diaspora, Senator Ajibola Basiru, has said the unending attacks may cause diplomatic row between South Africa and Nigeria.
In a statement on Tuesday, the senator said Nigerians were ready to vent their anger on South Africans and their business interests in Nigeria.
The statement read,
“If we are not careful, this issue may escalate into a row between the two countries with very dire consequences. To avoid this situation, the Senate Committee on Diaspora and Non-Governmental Organisations will be meeting with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs this week to arrest the situation.”
MTN condemns xenophobic attacks
Meanwhile, MTN Nigeria has condemned attacks on foreigners in South Africa.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, Ferdi Moolman, said the company was against all forms of violence and xenophobia against people.
“MTN Nigeria strongly condemns hate, prejudice and xenophobia and reiterates its unequivocal condemnation of all violence. We seek to connect people, bring people together and provide a platform for everyone’s voice to be heard. We are against all forms of bigotry and discrimination; they should have no place in society,” he added.
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Walter Martinez, 37, has died of heart attack – nine years after representing Honduras at the 2010 World Cup.
The UK Sun report claims Martinez, who also represented American side San Jose Earthquakes his active days, suffered a heart attack after a night out with a mate.
The Honduran FA confirmed his passing on courtesy of a tweet on its official Twitter account.
“With sadness that overwhelms the family of Honduran football, we regret the death of Walter Julian Martinez.
“Solidarity and a balm of divine peace for your family and friends. RIP.”
At the last count, Martinez played a key-role in helping Honduras to qualify for their second World Cup appearance at South Africa 2010 , ended his football career after representing El Salvador side FAS.
Martinez netted six times in 20 appearances before bowing out of the game in 2015.
Martinez, who reportedly joined Chinese Super League side Beijing Gouan last year, saw supporters lay flowers in his honour in front of the club’s stadium after hearing of his demise.
Martinez is reported to have suffered the heart attack while at the home of a teammate Jose Chepo Fernandez in New York.
Fernandez was quoted as saying to a Honduran newspaper that they took time out at an El Copaneco club in the Bronx area of the city where they stayed until the wee hours.
But surprisingly after a few hours he found Martinez on the floor of his bedroom.
“I was inside my room and when I left I found him on the floor. I tried to revive him but I couldn’t.
“Immediately I called the ambulance and minutes later they were there but nothing could be done,” Fernandez said.
Martinez scored 12 goals in 49 caps for Honduras.
His club career saw his ply his trade with nine different clubs that includes three stints with Beijing Guoan.
Martinez also starred for Spanish club Alaves and San Jose.
Legit.ng reported earlier that on Monday, August 12, 2019, 30 years ago, the entire Nigerian football fraternity mourned the untimely death of Samuel Okwaraji, former Super Eagles star.
On that faithful day Samuel Okwaraji died, he was playing for the Nigerian national senior team after 10 minutes from the end of a 1990 World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Angola in Lagos.
ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has told the central bank to stop providing funding for food imports, his spokesman said in a statement on Tuesday, a move that has raised questions about the bank’s independence.
Nigeria, which has Africa’s biggest economy, is the continent’s top oil producer and relies on crude sales for around 90% of it foreign exchange. Low oil prices led to a recession in 2016 from which the country emerged two years ago.
Since Buhari first took office in 2015, Nigeria’s central bank has presided over policies aimed at stimulating growth in the agricultural sector to reduce dependence on oil. Those policies included a 2015 ban on access to foreign exchange for 41 items that the bank felt could be produced in Nigeria.
“President Muhammadu Buhari … disclosed that he has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop providing foreign exchange for importation of food into the country,” Tuesday’s statement said.
“Don’t give a cent to anybody to import food into the country,” Buhari said, according to the statement, which said that the call was in line with efforts to bring about a “steady improvement in agricultural production, and attainment of full food security”.
“The foreign reserve will be conserved and utilised strictly for diversification of the economy, and not for encouraging more dependence on foreign food import bills.”
The latest move comes only weeks after Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele in July said the bank would ban access to foreign exchange to import milk.
Tuesday’s statement prompted many observers to point to the central bank’s status as an independent body.
“The central bank act of 2007 makes it clear that the bank is independent. It is not supposed to be taking direct instructions from politicians,” said Kingsley Moghalu, who served as deputy central bank governor from 2009 to 2014.
“The trajectory in this administration is that we have seen a very clear tendency for the president to direct people. Increasingly Nigeria’s institutions have lost independence,” said Moghalu, who was a contender in February’s presidential election.
Bismarck Rewane, an economist and the head of Lagos-based consultancy Financial Derivatives, also said the bank was supposed to be independent.
A central bank spokesman did not immediately respond to phone calls and text messages seeking comment.
Buhari has been a vocal supporter of such restrictions and one of his first moves after his re-election in February was to reappoint the central bank governor.
Rewane said a curb on foreign exchange for food imports could backfire after Buhari last month signed up to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). That deal seeks to create a continent-wide free trade zone where tariffs on most goods would be eliminated.
I don’t think I can remember the last time I took cognizance of any product or services rendered to me at a reduced price.
It was surprising a day before yesterday when a young lad from the cooking gas dispenser came around to return my cylinder after it has been refilled.
I asked him about the price of the service rendered by him but I was surprised when he told me that it was #3000.
Even at the point of giving me the price,I struggled believing him but I slowly took the amount out of my purse looking sensitively at his face expecting him to tell me that he made a mistake.
This was due to the fact that the last time I paid for such a service,I paid #3500 for it.
A difference of #500 wowed me and I was shocked to realise if such a thing is still happening in Nigeria whereby inflation has remained at a double-digit of around 11-12percent recently.
This made me to think that if Nigeria as a nation would prosper,the citizens and all stakeholders must see Nigeria as a project that must be judiciously executed by all and sundry.
The question is:
Are we all ready to pay the supreme price?
Every success in life has a price tag and it only those who are ready to pay the price that will be declared winner at the end of the day.
If Nigeria becomes better today,her betterment starts with you and I.
ABUJA, July 28 (Reuters) – Nigeria is backing its commitment to join Africa’s recently agreed free trade zone by setting up a committee to implement the agreement, and promising new laws where necessary to enact membership of the pact, the presidency said on Sunday.
The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), launched by African leaders on July 7, will if successful create a $3.4 trillion economic bloc and usher in a new era of development.
Nigeria joined AfCFTA despite initial reluctance due to a desire to ensure it would not open local industries to dumping from countries outside the region, and its decision is an important endorsement as the largest economy on the continent.
The presidency said it would set up a committee made up of government agencies and private sector groups to implement the trade agreement.
In preparing Nigeria for the pact, President Muhammadu Buhari needs to approve a number of measures which would facilitate trade and boost local capacity to produce and export goods and services, among other policies, it said.
“Overall, the implementation of the AfCFTA is going to be a long journey,” it said. “Nigeria is committed to ensuring that Africa achieves a free and fair trade environment … through increased intra-African trade.”
The African Development Bank president told Reuters on Saturday that African nations will need to boost output of goods and services and integrate payment systems if they are to take advantage of the initiative.
The AfCFTA agreement, which creates a single market for goods and services and movement of persons to increase intra-African trade and deepen African economic integration, would be implemented in phases.
The first phase will be to establish a protocol for trade in goods and services and dispute settlement rules. The second will cover competition, investment and intellectual property rights, with negotiations due to start next year.
Nigeria have moved up to 33rd place in the Fifa World Rankings released on Thursday for the month of July.
On the back of their bronze-winning feat in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, the Super Eagles climbed 12 places from their 45th position in June, accruing 1481 points.
After finishing second in the group stage, Gernot Rohr’s men edged out five-time African champions Cameroon in the Round of 16 and went on to defeat 1996 champions South Africa in the quarter-final.
The three-time African champions, after losing to Algeria in the semi-final, clinch a narrow 1-0 victory over Tunisia in the third/fourth-place playoff to claim their eighth bronze medal in the tournament.
The Super Eagles, however, remain third in Africa behind Senegal (20th), who won the silver medal in the continental tournament in Egypt and Tunisia (29th), who finished fourth in the competition.
Reigning African Champions Algeria moved up 28 places to 40th position and fourth in Africa while Morocco (41st) are placed fifth.
Belgium remain the top-ranked team in the world while reigning South American champions, Brazil are second and France third.
Super Eagles defender, William Troost-Ekong, has blamed himself for the first goal Nigeria conceived against South Africa at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nation, AFCON, quarter-final encounter on Wednesday night.
He also identified Gernot Rohr’s side as the favourite team to win this year’s AFCON after dumping South Africa out from the competition with a 2-1 victory.
The 25-year-old, who scored the winning goal against South Africa, noted that before the quarter-final, it was the host nation, Egypt that were favourite to win the AFCON but the Bafana Bafana defeated them last weekend.
“Before the game we showed South Africa a lot of respect because they are a good team,” Troost-Ekong told SuperSport.
“We played them last year in the qualification and they won us at home and we drew at their home.
“We are very happy we won this game against them. And I am happy to have scored the winning goal after the mistake I made in the goal we conceived against them during the second half.
“We have a very good team to win the AFCON and before the quarter final everybody were talking about Egypt as the favourite to win this year’s AFCON and South Africa beat them and after that they became favourite and now we have beaten South Africa.”
I got inspired to pen my line of thought on this topic in the course of my observation when I travelled home from Lagos during Easter period.
I have been itching to write but I kept delaying and struggling with my thoughts asking myself whether it is needful or not until I decided doing something about it this night.
In the course of my sojourn to Ilesa in April,as I stepped into my street,I realised the silence and decadence that were physically on display in the entire street.
From one house to the other,decay in the appearances of the buildings across the length and breadth of the street is breathtaking.
Meanwhile, while the owners and landlords of these houses were around,these houses were lively, colourful and attractive then but now,rodents like rats,lizards,spiders and wall-gecko have taken over every available space with grasses and weeds having a free day.
When I started gisting and asking my mum about some of these houses with the owners of the houses,the response I got was that they have all gone beyond.
Not that some of these houses were not occupied presently by tenants but no one can compare the quality of cares and maintenance given to these structures when the owners were alive.
Then,I kept musing on the statement to my answers from my mum:
“They have all gone”
Some of them are gone with their pride,ego and wealth of foolishness while some were gone with their humility,tolerance and wealth of knowledge.
And I kept imagining their lifestyle while they are living.
Some of these people went to the extreme to get the wherewithals to build those buildings that were becoming dilapidated.Many among them, embezzled the Commonwealth of the people they put them in charge while working.Some were ritualistic and diabolical in getting wealthy to build those buildings.
No one can deny it that they made many people to shed tears in order to put those structures in place.
And at the end,I kept asking myself what exactly is the essence of our existence.
I realised that as many people in the past have been foolish in their desire to become better in life,many are still gullible in achieving feats of greatness till now.
In the recent days,greed,insensitiveness and being inconsiderate in achieving our goals have been the major evil eating up the fabrics of the society.
This is the reason why we have youth that give no damn at all to the voice of reason.They go to the extreme in making a living by theft and all sorts of vices.
It was in the course of this,that I remember at a point in 2010 that I found myself in the house of a PDP stalwart in Ilesa with my mum looking for help to get a job that he embarrassed us and sent us away from his house but only God knows where he is now because time and season have reduced him and his influence in politics,no one knows anything about him again.He fades out while in existence by becoming a persona non-grata.
Back to the story of gold,jewelries and personal effects belonging to former minister of petroleum confiscated through EFCC,I really berate the foolishness of this woman in amassing such a physical effect.
She is stupid to the extreme.
What is she doing with it knowing fully well that time and seasons make such things to fade out.
The fact is that the haves will fade out with time and the have not will also fade out with time.
It is expected of people to learn from others but it is quite amazing that we always repeat what others have done in the past that are detrimental to them and others.
How can someone be so stupid to the extreme that she embezzled National treasury to such level?
It is nothing but a display of foolishness because non of these effect is useful to her now.
It is until when everyone realised that the essence of humanity is not resident in material accumulation that the plight of each and everyone of us will be taken care of through selfless ability to serve others.
Nevertheless,I am just pushing my thoughts across to everyone.Whether we like it or not,there are still many Abachas and Diezani Madueke all around us who are bent to deep their hands and extract our National treasury without blinking an eyelids.
It is a pity that Nigeria is in a sorry state of corruption.
Vanity upon vanity.
The wise will ensure that good names are better than gold and silver but the foolish thinks about his belly alone.
Don’t be a slave to your belly.
President Muhammadu Buhari has begun consultations for an inclusive stakeholders’ committee that will thoroughly interrogate issues that fuel communal conflicts across the country.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Saturday, the News Agency of Nigeria reported.
He said the committee when constituted would be saddled with the responsibility of proffering lasting solutions to “age-long disagreements that had claimed lives and property, with particular focus on the Tiv/Jukun relationship in Benue and Taraba states.”
According to the presidential aide, the President is disturbed by communal clashes that have destroyed many lives and property, altered the destinies of families and raised the profile of insecurity in the country by promoting generational tensions.
“President Buhari believes Nigeria’s cultural diversity remains her greatest strength when properly harnessed and harmonised with a collective vision for unity, peace and shared prosperity, urging more patience as the government identifies and works towards creating more understanding,” he added.
Rivers Angels goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie and FC Robo defender Chidinma Okeke made Nigeria’s 25-player provisional squad for 2019 All African Games in Morocco.
Nnadozie and Okeke helped Nigeria to the Last 16 at the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France and were recalled to the U20 team by coach Christopher Danjuma for the showpiece.
The squad is dominated by home-based professional players who represented the nation at the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in France last year, and won the 2019 Wafu Women’s Cup.
Also invited are usual suspects like Ijamilusi Folashade, Akarekor Rita, Adebisi Saheed, Efih Peace, Amoo Bashirat and Monday Gift and Obia Christiana.
The team is expected to commence camping preparations for the tournament in the first week of July in Abuja ahead of the trip to Morocco in the second week of August.
Nigeria are drawn against South Africa, Cameroon and Zambia in Group B and will begin their campaign against Basetsana at Stade Academie Mohamed VI on August 18.
The women’s football championship, which will be the fifth edition for women is featuring U20 sides for the first time and is scheduled to be held from August 17 – 29 in Rabat, Morocco.
FULL SQUAD LIST:
Duru Joy ( Nasarawa Amazons), Efih Peace ( Rivers Angels), Amoo Bashirat ( Confluence Queens), Peter Monday Uduakobong ( Ibom Angels), Monday Gift ( FC Robo), Saheed Adebisi ( Bayelsa Queens), Chiamaka Nnadozie ( Rivers Angels), Igboamalu Grace Chinyere ( Nasarawa Amazons), Saiki Mary ( Nasarawa Amazons), Okeke Chidinma ( FC Robo), Tarnum Dooshima (Nasarawa Amazons), Olapade Zainab (Sunshine Queens), Ogbona Akudo (Sunshine Queens), Momoh Esther ( Confluence Queens), Innocent Patricia (Sunshine Queens), Kenneth Katherine Ijeoma (Rivers Angels), Obia Christiana Chinaza (Osun Babes), Akarekor Rita (Sunshine Queens), Mathias Josephine (Rivers Angels), Aku Cynthia (Rivers Angels) Sule Rufiat (Bayelsa Queens), Adeboye Esther (FC Robo), Anjor Mary (Bayelsa Queens), Oshobukola Omowumi (Sunshine Queens), Folashade Ijamilusi (FC Robo).
The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency has said that a three storey-building at Iju area of the state collapsed.
Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, the newly appointed General Manager of LASEMA confirmed the news to journalists.
“This is just to inform you that a three-story building collapsed at K Farm, Fagba, Off Iju Road.
“It was a building under construction, and people occupying the building have been evacuated and the injured are responding to treatment.
“No moralities recorded. All the key stakeholders that are important in managing disaster in Lagos are on the ground.
“However the building will be pulled to the ground for the safety of the people living in the area.
“All the buildings adjacent or beside the collapsed building will be subjected to solid material testing, for your information.”
Super Eagles on Wednesday defeated defeated Guinea in Egypt, to become the first team to qualify for the second round knockout stage at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON 2019. The only goal of the march was scored by kenneth omeruo in the second half.
The only goal of the march was scored by kenneth omeruo in the second half.
Striker Ighalo has also replaced Paul Onachu in the game that is ongoing in Alexandria.
Underdogs had a big day at the African Cup of Nations in Egypt as Uganda won on its return to the tournament after 41 years and Madagascar held Guinea to a draw on its debut on Saturday.
Burundi, another African Cup first-timer, pushed mighty Nigeria all the way.
Uganda beat two-time champion Congo 2-0 in Cairo to start the second day of action. Both goals came through headers from set-pieces, with Patrick Kaddu scoring from a corner in the 14th minute and Emmanuel Okwi heading in a free kick early in the second half.
That put Uganda top of Group A on goals scored ahead of Mohamed Salah and Egypt, who won the opening game against Zimbabwe on Friday.
Uganda last played at the African Cup in the late 1970s. After winning on Saturday the players probably didn’t mind that their long-awaited return came at a near empty Cairo International Stadium, an illustration of the African Cup’s perennial problem with fan attendance when the home team isn’t playing.
In Alexandria, Nigeria needed Odion Ighalo’s late winner four minutes after he came on as a substitute to deny Burundi on its debut.
Ighalo pounced on his first chance. The forward slipped in behind the Burundi defense after a backheeled pass by Ola Aina and stroked a right foot shot across the goalkeeper and into the far corner.
Three-time champion Nigeria deserved the win on the second half evidence, but not on the first 45 minutes.
Then, Burundi was the more adventurous team on the biggest day in its soccer history.
Cedric Amissi controlled a long pass superbly but had his shot blocked by Nigeria keeper Daniel Akpeyi. Akpeyi struggled to keep out a powerful long-range free kick by Gael Bigirimana and Frederic Nsabiyumva hit the crossbar with a header.
Nigeria, one of the favorites for the title alongside Egypt and Senegal, ultimately prevailed over the tenacious newcomers after some second-half substitutions injected life into the team.
“It was a very difficult game,” Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel said. “It was tough. We knew that they are a tough team. They can run and run and run.”
Nigeria tops Group B ahead of Guinea, Madagascar and Burundi.
Madagascar also made its African Cup debut straight after in a double-header at Alexandria Stadium on the Mediterranean coast.
Sory Kaba gave Guinea the lead after running onto a long pass, pushing the ball past goalkeeper Melvin Adrien, and swerving past him to score in an empty net.
Madagascar responded twice in six minutes in the second half. Anicet Andrianantenaina headed in unmarked from a corner. Guinea’s defense stood waiting for the offside flag when Carolus Andriamahitsinoro scored from nothing for 2-1.
Guinea won a penalty, converted by Francois Kamano, to get a draw. Midfielder Naby Keita came on in the second half to make his return from injury and couldn’t connect with a cross in injury time that would have won it for Guinea.
Guinea coach Paul Put said his team gave away two “stupid goals.”
“I hope it’s a lesson for the players,” he said.
Nigeria clicked in the second half against Burundi after Ahmed Musa and later Oghalo came off the bench to lift a team that had struggled in the buildup with a number of players struck down with illness.
Coach Gernot Rohr said “half the team” had a fever this week and couldn’t train properly. Nigeria also said winger Samuel Kalu was recovering and had been released from the hospital after he collapsed at training on Friday with dehydration.
This African Cup has been switched from its regular January-February slot to June and July so it doesn’t clash with any European leagues. But that’s landed it in the middle of Egypt’s sweltering summer. Organizers warned teams that temperatures will rise to 34-38 degrees Celsius (93-100 F) and games will allow for two water breaks during play, in the 30th and 75th minutes.
At least eight people died in an oil pipeline explosion in south-eastern Nigeria, police and a local official reported on Sunday, which does not rule out a heavier toll.
“I went to the scene as soon as I was informed of the accident,” said Gerald Oforji, a local politician.
“And we’ve counted at least eight charred bodies, but I think there may be more.” According to initial investigations, the pipeline “belongs to the Pipeline Product Marketing Company (PPMC) and was undergoing maintenance when the explosion occurred”, according to the same source.
“The accident took place on Saturday in the Kom Kom area of Oyigbo, while a team of engineers were carrying out maintenance work on the pipeline,” Nnamdi Omono, spokesman for the Rivers State Police, told AFP.
“The number of victims is still unknown.” On Sunday morning, the fire was contained, he added.
Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, depends for more than two-thirds of its public revenues on oil.
Africa has two teams in the knockout stage as final day of group fixtures produces high-tempo games and outcomes.
Cameroon qualified by playing and winning against New Zealand but Nigeria only had to look on as Thailand, the whipping girls of the tournament, thwarted Chile in a 2 – 0 loss.
Nigeria’s hopes of qualification were in the balance at the start of two games in Group E and F. The first being Cameroon vs. New Zealand, which saw Cameroon go through.
In the case of the second of Thailand vs. Chile, the Chileans had it all to do but it took a resolute Thai side to hold off the onslaught and help Nigeria through by so doing.
How Cameroon made the knockout stage
Three Cameroon goals in a 2 – 1 victory. Three points in a tense match that went down to the wire. The winner of Cameroon vs. New Zealand was scored 11 seconds to the end of the game.
The lioness that led the indomitable feat being two-goal heroine Nchout Ajara, who also bagged the player of the match award for her performance.
An African representative makes it to the knockout stage of the tournament. Ajara’s 57th minute lead was cancelled by an own goal on the 80th minute by a Cameroonian defender.
Ajara will cap the day’s performance with a stoppage time strike that sends Cameroon through by virtue of superior goals over another African side, Nigeria.
Breakdown of Cameroon’s stats at 2019 Women’s World Cup
Games played: Three
Goals scored: Three (against Netherlands, New Zealand)
Goals conceded: Five
Points gained: Three
Match Scores: 0 – 1 vs. Canada, 1 – 3 vs. Netherlands, 2 – 1 vs. New Zealand
Goal scorers: Aboudi Onguene Gabri vs. Netherlands, Nchout Ajara (two) vs. New Zealand
France completed World Cup group play with a 3-0 record for the first time, beating Nigeria 1-0 Monday night at Rennes when Wendie Renard converted a penalty kick in the 79th minute after missing her first attempt but getting a second chance.
France will play a third-place team on Sunday at Le Havre in the round of 16, and the winner will advance to a quarterfinal against the United States, Sweden or Spain.
Referee Melissa Borjas of Honduras awarded the penalty kick when Viviane Asseyi was knocked over by Ngozi Ebere, a call upheld in a video review and one that drew vehement protests from the Super Falcons. Eberle was given her second yellow card of the match for the foul, causing Nigeria to finish a player short.
Renard’s initial attempt was wide to the right of goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, but Borjas ordered the kick retaken because Nnadozie came off the line before the ball was kicked. Renard’s second try went in to Nnadozie’s right for her third goal of the tournament.
A crowd of 28,267 watched host nation Les Bleues outshoot Nigeria 22-2 and hold 69 percent possession. France advance to the knockout stage for the third straight World Cup.
Nigeria finished third in Group A with three points and a minus-two goal difference, and the Super Falcons will have to wait to find out whether they can advance as one of the four top third-place teams. Nigeria has played in every Women’s World Cup but advanced past the group stage just once, reaching the quarterfinals in 1999.
Aisha Buhari, wife of the Nigerian president has officially announced that she will be addressed as First Lady, five years after going with the official title, ‘Wife of The President.’
She explained that the reasoning behind the current decision was to clear a discrepancy between her title and that of wives of the respective state governors.
Speaking to wives of governors from across the 36 states in Abuja on Thursday, she said her new designation was to take immediate effect, multiple media outlets reported.
“When my husband was elected newly I personally chose to be called the wife of the President. But, I realised that it causes confusion from the state as to whether the wives of state governors are to be addressed as the first ladies or wives of the governors.
“So, forgive me for confusing you from the beginning, but now I chose to be called the first lady,” she said. Then candidate Buhari in December 2014 had said his administration will scrap the office of First Lady because it had no basis in the constitution.
The now First Lady’s official seal during functions had been inscribed with “The Wife of The President, Federal Republic of Nigeria.” It remains to be seen whether that will be changed to reflect her new decision.
As at June 14, 2019, her verified social media accounts – Facebook and Twitter – have yet to make amends to her official designation.
Nigeria’s Aisha Buhari
Full name / age: Aisha Muhammadu Buhari / 48 years old
Profession: Beautician, entrepreneur and publisher
Politics: Vocal critic of the former government, of Buhari and some of his appointees
Advocacy: Women and Children’s Rights activist, head of “Future Assured Foundation.”
Family: Wife to president Muhammadu Buhari since 1989, has five children with Buhari.
The office of First Lady
While the position of first lady is not legally or constitutionally provided for in many countries, many presidencies cater for the Office of the First Lady, through which the holder is facilitated to implement projects towards social causes, and often influence policy.
The Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD), created in 2002, brings together First Ladies of Africa ‘to advocate for policies that make health services accessible and laws that boost women and youth empowerment’.
‘‘First Ladies of Africa reinforce favorable policies and programs through advocacy, resource mobilization and development of partnerships with all stakeholders at all levels,’‘ reads part of the statement on the OAFLADwebsite.
OAFLAD is currently led by First Lady of Burkina Faso, Adjoavi Sika Kabore, who is deputised by her Kenyan counterpart Margaret Kenyatta.
Nigeria dropped three places to 45th spot in the latest global rankings released by the International Federation of Association Football (Fifa).
Friday’s announcement came as a blow to the Super Eagles who moved up four places in the previous standings back in April.
During the period in review, Gernot Rohr’s men were involved in a friendly match against Zimbabwe as part of their preparations for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) but it ended in a goalless draw in Asaba.
Nigeria join Guinea, DR Congo, Lesotho and Seychelles as the African teams with the biggest drop in ranks in the standings.
Despite the global difference, they remain the third best team in Africa behind first-placed Senegal  and Tunisia  in second.
Morocco , DR Congo , Ghana , Cameroon , Egypt , Burkina Faso  and Mali  make up the other top 10 teams in the continent.
Nigeria will be aiming for greater heights in the next Fifa ranking scheduled for July 25 with their performances at the Africa Cup of Nations will be included.
The three-time African champions have been placed in Group B of the tournament with Guinea, Burundi and Madagascar.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, June 11, night hosted World leaders to dinner and gala night ahead of Wednesday’s maiden edition of the country’s Democracy Day celebration.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other dignitaries at the event including State Governors, members and leadership of the newly inaugurated National Assembly, Diplomats, captains of industries were treated to best of Nigerian cuisines and hospitality.
Speaking at the event, the President said his administration was ready to move the nation to the next level of prosperity, peace and stability.
”We will restore peace, justice and bring prosperity for all Nigerians,” he said.
President Buhari, who narrated the history of June 12 general elections in1993 and the subsequent signing into law June 12 as public holiday every year, said the celebration was a recognition of the resilient of the Nigerian people.
He thanked the visiting Heads of State and Presidents for honouring the nation’s invitation.
Earlier in his remarks, the Secretary of the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, said the maiden celebration of Democracy Day on June 12 was unique and only coincided with the election of new leadership of the National Assembly.
Those at the event included President of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz; President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame; President of Liberia, George Weah; President of Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso and President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo.
Others were President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa; President of Senegal,Macky Sall; Prime Minister of Uganda,Ruhakana Rugunda, President of the Gambia Adama Barrow and President of Niger Republic, Mahamadou Issoufou.
The dinner was also attended by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, the wife of the president, Aisha Buhari and wife of the Vice President, Dolapo Osinbajo, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, deputy Senate president,Ovie Omo-Agege and deputy Speaker, Ahmed Idris Wase.
Some APC state governors, APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, APC national leader, Bola Tinubu, diplomats, former ministers also attended the event.
High-point of the event was a toast to the Federal Republic of Nigeria by Vice-President Osinbajo and unveiling of a photo book tagged, “ Being Buhari” by the president.
The ceremony which was held at the State House Conference Center Abuja, also featured music and cultural display showcasing the country’s diversity.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that President Buhari on Monday, June 10, met with caucus members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja.
The president met with the party members behind closed door at the Ladi Kwali Conference Centre, Abuja around 9.30 pm after their meeting with the APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
It was gathered that those present at the meeting were the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, Oshiomhole, the governor of Kebbi state, Atiku Bagudu, his Ekiti counterpart, Kayode Fayemi, and Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state.
PARIS — France’s women took a first step to follow in the World Cup footsteps of the French men.
Wendie Renard, at 6-foot-2 the tallest player in the tournament, scored twice on headers off corner kicks, and Les Bleues overwhelmed South Korea 4-0 Friday night in a gala World Cup opener.
Eugénie Le Sommer and Amandine Henry also got goals on a cool, windy night at Parc des Princes, the home of Paris Saint-Germain. French pop star Jain provided the pregame entertainment for the sellout crowd of 45,261, and French President Emmanuel Macron was among the spectators singing “La Marseillaise” and looking on.
“We knew that it was going to be a really emotional evening. But I think we managed it well,” Renard said. “When you have more than 45,000 people singing the French national anthem, obviously it drives you forward.”
France is hosting the tournament at a time when women’s teams are increasing their push for equal treatment from FIFA and other soccer governing bodies. It is vying to become the first nation to hold both the men’s and women’s World Cup titles at the same time.
“I’m sure people expect or hope, and the same goes for us, we’d like to follow in the footsteps of the senior men’s national team,” French coach Corinne Diacre said. “But everything takes time. We won tonight, but we haven’t still won anything. We have six more steps on the road that need to be taken. We need to be serious and focused for six games, and then we’ll see what comes of it.”
Norway and Nigeria meet in the other Group A opener on Saturday. France faces Norway on Wednesday and Nigeria on June 17.
France’s margin of victory was the largest in a Women’s World Cup opener since China beat Norway by the same score at the first tournament in 1991. Four years ago, all nine teams that won their opener advanced from the 24-nation group stage to the round of 16.
The world’s fourth-ranked team wasn’t tested by No. 14 South Korea. France had a 17-0 advantage in shots during the first half and 21-4 overall.
Les Bleues, eliminated by Germany on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals four years ago in Canada, applied pressure from the start on goalkeeper Kim Minjung.
Le Sommer scored in the ninth minute off a cross from Henry and held up her hands in the shape of a heart in celebration after her 75th international goal, the earliest in a Women’s World Cup opener. South Korea has conceded the first goal in all eight World Cup games it has played.
Griedge Mbock Bathy appeared to score in the 30th minute but the goal was disallowed in a video review, technology also used by FIFA at last year’s men’s tournament in Russia.
“On the spur of the moment you’re happy and when the goal’s disallowed it’s frustrating, but you have to switch quickly,” she said. “We had a lot of time left and we had a lot of opportunities to score.”
Renard doubled the lead in the 35th from Gaëtane Thiney’s corner kick as the crowd chanted “Wendie! Wendie!”
She made it 3-0 from Amel Majri’s corner kick in stoppage time with her 22nd international goal. Ten of her last 11 goals have come on headers.
“It really feels good on a personal level,” Renard said. “But I think above all as a team, because these were very important goals. It allowed us to go into the break with a 3-goal lead.”
Henry added her 12th international goal off a pass from Le Sommer in the 85th.
South Korea substitute Lee Mina had the best chance for her team on a breakaway in the 76th minute, but the shot went just wide.
Renard, selected player of the match, is among seven players on France’s roster that play for Lyon, which routed Barcelona 4-1 to win the women’s Champions League for the fourth straight year and sixth time overall.
Diacre had surprised many when her roster did not include PSG’s Marie-Antoinette Katoto, a 20-year-old who led the French league in scoring. Diacre also made the somewhat unexpected decision not to start Valérie Gauvin, who entered in the 70th. The coach said the decision was tactical.
France eliminated South Korea 3-0 in the round of 16 four years ago. Yoon Deok-yeo, South Korea’s coach since 2012, said his team was simply outmatched by Les Bleues.
“The first match, the result is not that good,” he said through a translator. “So for the upcoming two matches, we have to do our best. It is a must.”
Senegal booked a U20 World Cup quarter-final ticket as Nigeria’s hopes of winning their first title ended in a 2-1 defeat in Lodz, Poland.
First-half goals from Amadou Sagna and Ibrahima Niane powered the Young Lions of Teranga past the Flying Eagles with Aniekeme Okon’s effort standing as a mere consolation.
Sagna struck in the 36th minute of Monday’s Last-16 tie to put Senegal in control and they doubled the lead as Niane tucked home Alpha Diounkou’s cross.
Diounkou found space on the left-hand side of Nigeria’s defence, crossed into the Flying Eagles’ area as Ikouwem Utin failed to stop the striker from slotting past Oremade Olawale
Early in the second half, Paul Aigbogun’s boys halved the scoreline after the impressive Okon deflected Isacc Makanjuola’s free-kick past Dialy Ndiaye.
Nigeria pressed in search of a second equaliser but Yira Sor missed their best opportunity to level, hitting the ball off-target when faced with an open goal after Muhamed Tijani dropped a cross into his path.
Coach Youssouph Dabo’s side can now look forward to facing either South Korea or Japan in Bielsko-Biała, with Sagna increasing his goal tally to four.
Police officers were “harassed and attacked” while trying to retrieve a body from the Regensburg asylum center on Saturday, German authorities said.
Emergency services were called after a 31-year-old Nigerian woman died in the building. The cause of death was unknown and a “topic of police investigation,” but there was no immediate indication of foul play.
When the police tried to take the body out of the building, some 40 to 50 residents engaged in a standoff with the officers, threatening them and then pelting them with glass bottles and stones.
“A part of the residents of the facility responded with increasing emotions to the presence to of the investigators,” police spokesman Dietmar Winterberg said. It was not immediately clear why the situation escalated, but police said one explanation was linked with the fact that the officers barred them entry to the area where the woman had died.
The standoff ended after some three hours, with strong police forces deploying to the Regensburg home. The authorities eventually managed to take the body out of the home. No injuries were reported.
The 31-year-old Nigerian left behind three children between the age of nine and three. The children would now enter the state child care system.
The Regensburg facility is one of several so-called Anker shelters across Germany which serve to house the asylum seekers until their status is resolved, and they are either relocated to local communities or deported.
It was on my way out on Friday last week that I observed within the vicinity of where I was that within such a space that there are many women around been blessed with a protuded belly.
Initially,I thought I was being unrealistic and unreasonable about my observation but I was wrong as I kept on seen many pregnant women on my way out.
At that point,it dawn on me that we are blessed in this part of the world with our men and women been fruitful as far as procreation wants it.
I was a little bit frugal and economical with my statistics at the point because I opined that in ten years’time Nigeria population will be around 250 million but my statistics was defeated when I read that we are already 201million.
So,it is expediently necessary that I have to correct myself by being realistic.
If this astronomical increase is unchecked,I think the Nigeria population might hit 500 million in ten years’ time.
Anyway,this form of increase is not a crime but a blessing in disguise only if we understand how we can turn it around for the progress of our dear country.
It means if we optimised and maximised this population boom,we will have no hassle in our human capital resources that has been a source of blessing to many nations of the world.
In another vein, while I was meditating on my observation,I noticed that the population boom we are experiencing might end up being a burden to our national existence when we put into consideration how backward we are as a nation when we are having lesser population.
Apart from Providence and share luck with faith and superstition that makes a content of our creed,anthem and mantra,there is nothing on ground that we have as a plan for the new born babies we are expecting.
Our government have been unable to meet up with the demand of all of us that are around now,how can we expect those that are in the womb to be taken care of?
It is a pity that we are trapped in a geographical location and entity that has no value and premium for life’s and we can see how her citizens are being treated in the country and some that are in diaspora are even having a feel of the despicable level of inhumanity Nigerians are exposed to without any form of solutions to it in the nearest future.
No form of excuse will be acceptable because countries with high population census are trying to do better.
At least,China and India have been able to upgrade themselves as a relevant force in the comity of Nations.
In conclusion,we are blessed until we know the value of our blessings.This is the only way by which we make our blessings count for the overall development of our nation which should start when every individual in the country are given a preference and treated the way others are being treated in other nations of the world.
Pictures downloaded from PEXEL
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed has said the federal government will not remove subsidy at this moment because there are no buffers to cushion the effects.
The minister made the commitment yesterday at the closing press briefing at the annual IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington DC, United United States of America.
The minister who was flanked at the briefing by the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, and the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma said plausible as the argument to remove subsidy sounds, Nigeria isn’t ready for it at this time.
“There is no eminent plan to remove fuel subsidy, ” she declared.
She explained further that the FG has “no plan to remove fuel subsidy. If we have to remove subsidy, we will be working with various groups to look at the alternatives. We discuss this very frequently at the economic management team but we haven’t found the viable alternatives so we are not yet at the point of removing subsidy,” she said.
“We are here to discuss with the global community on various policy issues. One of the issues that always come up in the report especially, the IFM Article Four Report, is how we handle fuel subsidies. The IMF will say fuel subsidies are better removed so you could use the resources for other important sectors. In principle that is a fact to do so.
But in Nigeria we don’t have any plans to remove fuel subsidy at this time because we have not yet designed buffers that will enable us to remove the subsidy and provide cushions for our people” she noted.
Speaking on other matters, the minister said the process of issuing a second green bond N15 billion later this year to finance various sectors in agriculture, power, health and water resources.
The first green bond of over N10bn she said was a success. “The projects that were scheduled to be financed by the green bonds have been so financed so it’s fully drawn and performed. The projects are at various levels of completion” she assured.
On a broader scale of climate finance she said ‘in view of our efforts as Finance ministers who play a key role in steering the economy and managing risks, including from climate change, climate finance, we were invited to join the coalition of climate Finance Ministers a coalition of Finance Ministers with long experience with climate actions and are well aligned with the Principles of the Coalition. Nigeria endorsed the Coalition Principles as one of the founding members” she said.
On Nigeria’s human capacity development she noted that last year “when the human capital project was released, many of us were concerned that Nigeria was placed 157 out of 189 and I did promise that we would go back home and address this issue, I am happy to report that we used this Spring Meetings to show case what the government is doing in this important area. We have set up an inter-ministerial working group with representatives of the State Governors and are currently piloting some initiatives in health, education and of course you are all aware of the social safety nets programs of the Federal Government where we have 15 million people already on the register,” she said.
Meanwhile, despite assurances of availability of Premium Motor Spirit by Federal Government, many petrol stations in Lagos, Oyo, Ogun and Osun states were not selling the product yesterday, the Daily Trust can reports.
A NAN correspondent who went round the Osun State capital and its environs on Sunday reports that many of the petrol stations were under lock and key.
Meanwhile, the few petrol stations selling the product in the aforementioned states had long queues of vehicles.
Tayo Arowolo, a fuel attendant in one of the filling stations visited in Osun said the scarcity of the product was as a result of inability of many of the Independent marketers to lift the product at the Lagos depot.
Arowolo said most petrol stations in the state were hoarding the products and selling to motorists at a particular time while others stopped selling earlier than expected.
He said that if the situation was not urgently addressed, it would bring untold hardship on the people.
Mr Yusuf Ayinla, a motorist who was on the queue at Cornoil filling station at Old Garage, Osogbo, said it was sad that petrol stations were hoarding the product thereby creating artificial scarcity.
Ayinla, however, implored the appropriate authorities to do the needful before things become more difficult for the common man.
Another motorist, Mr Ayo Adeyanju, said many commercial drivers were taking advantage of the scarcity to increase transport fares.
Adeyanju appealed to government to intervene in the situation before it gets out of hand.
But the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) yesterday said based average daily supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) which it noticed has increased this year, there was no need for Nigerians to panic over
The Executive Secretary of the PPPRA Abdulkadir Saidu in a statement said the Agency has observed the sudden re-appearance of queues at some filling stations over speculation of short fall in the supply of PMS otherwise called petrol.
“PPPRA in line with its mandate to regulate petroleum products supply and distribution as well as establish an industry data bank has continued to monitor products supply in the sector in line with best practices. Thus, PMS average daily supply for the year 2017, 2018 and 2019 are about 46 million, 54 million and 56 million litres respectively. These indicate an improved level of supply in 2019,” Saidu said.
“Based on the available data, there is adequate supply of PMS with over 21 days sufficiency. PPPRA therefore urges fuel consumers across the country to desist from panic buying as the Agency would continue to monitor the supply situation and take every step required to ensure that there is no disruption in the supply chain.”
Nollywood star, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, has described the quality of life of Nigerians under President Muhammadu Buhari’s leadership as “Hellish”.
The 41-year-old actress who is also an activist made the statement on Twitter and Instagram on Sunday evening.
“The Country Under your watch is Hellish! @ProfOsinbajo @MBuhari @NGRPresident, her tweet read.
She also charged Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Mr Buhari to act fast.
The 41-year-old actress was speaking against the backdrop of the recent spike in extrajudicial killings across the country.
“The lack of Money in circulation, now coupled with the continuous Assault and killings by uniformed men. Will make this Country implode!!! It’s Unbearable!, Omotola said.
“Do something! Insecurity! Fear and Desperation everywhere”, said Omotola.
Omotola, who is also an Amnesty International campaigner, recently called for a state of emergency in troubled zones.
She also said she believes Nigeria needs some kind of ‘revolution’ to get better.
The Country Under your watch is Hellish! @ProfOsinbajo @MBuhari @NGRPresident The lack of Money in circulation,Now coupled with the Continuous Assault n Killings by Uniformed men’ll make this Country implode!!!It’s Unbearable! Do something!Insecurity!Fear n Desperation everywhere
- Omotola .j. Ekeinde (@Realomosexy) April 14, 2019
The Country Under your watch is Hellish! @YOsibanjo @MBuhari @NGRPresident The lack of Money in circulation,Now coupled with the Continuous Assault n Killings by Uniformed men will make this Country implode!!!It is Unbearable! Do something!Insecurity!Fear n Desperation everywhere
- Omotola .j. Ekeinde (@Realomosexy) April 14, 2019
The rate at which hatred is eaten up the existence of humanity is mind-boggling and mind-blowing.
How can someone explain reference the gory incidence of maiming, murdering and shedding of innocent blood that has become a continuous reality of our daily lifes.
Across the length and breadth of the entire world, human lifes are becoming cheap that it cost nothing but a wave and a rage of fury to take it.
Human existence is gradually becoming endangered and going into extinction by human beings itself and it is becoming stylishly acceptable as a way of life globally.
Every nation of the world has been seen and observed to have its portion of these waves of wickedness and madness that has defied any form of reasonable solution.
Domestic violence, insurgency, cult clash, gangsterism, xenophobism, armed banditry, police brutality, armed robbery and all sorts of vices have been a threat to human existence in recent years.
No single day passes bye without news and record of blood shedding and letting across the entire global community.
It is becoming appalling ,disheartening and overwhelming to every sane mind that this level of sheer wickedness should be the present reality of human race.
Sheer wickedness by human to human makes it more worrisome and frustrating.
How can hatred be so deep to the extent that it led to shedding of blood. This really shows that the premium placed on human life and the values placed on human existence is becoming compromised to the extent that human life is being seen as a material that should be sacrificed cheaply on the slaughters’ slab.
The repeated and the recurrent xenophobic attack witnessed in South Africa is gradually becoming a cultural heritage for the South African society. It is becoming a show of might, cruelty and a ritual whereby whenever South African locals who are vampires and thirsty of blood will just scavenge for any available foreigner as prey and sacrificed to their gods.
South African Society seems to be a society that is densely populated with blood sucking psychopaths who are desperate about nothing but the flesh, blood and souls of foreigners who are seen as a burden to their commonwealth.
Though, frantic efforts have been made by the Nigerian Government engaging the South African Government about the recurrent decimal of innocent Nigerians been maimed and killed, it is quite worrisome as the numbers of Nigerians being sacrificed becomes high annually.
Despite the contribution of Nigeria Government and its citizens in nipping in the bud the apartheid era in South Africa. It is appalling that Nigerians are being paid back with their lifes being sacrificed to xenophobic attack.
It is high time Nigeria Government take a decisive action that will nip in the bud the xenophobic attack being directed to Nigerians by South African locals.
Though, a government that cannot protect and preserve that lifes of her citizenry at home front should not be expected to be reasonable in protecting and preserving the lifes of her citizen in diaspora.
Nigerians cannot continue to be subjected to insensitivity, barbarism and inhumanity in the hands of South Africans blood sucking psychopathic demons.
Let’s preserve human lifes.
Let’s protect human sanctity.
Let’s uphold the dignity of every human beings.
The trend of present realities in the Nigerian society always forced someone to have a deep breathe considering series of societal values that have gone down the drain.
Nowadays,it takes a lot of boldness and thinking for anyone to really convince the Millenia about the necessity of education in their journey to greatness.
In a situation whereby the society we live in abhors and praised to high heaven characters who are uneducated accompanied with the fact that it is some of these uneducated personalities that determines what is happening in the society makes it more frustrating.
It happened sometimes ago that one of the popular Road Transport Workers Chairman throw a jab at the Nigeria Education system claiming that the work of an ‘agbero’ is also a professional job like every other professional job being studied in every other Nigerian schools is a confirmation of the evil that has bedevilled the entirety of the Nigerian educational system.
No doubt about it,a monetized society can never appreciate any good thing that quality education can offer.
A society that believed in extreme accumulation of wealth without any traceable source of income will end up like the Nigerian society whereby no one gives a damn about the beauty of working hard to achieve a feat.
The evil of a negative society has eaten deep into every fabrics of the Nigerian existence to the point that promotion and appraisal in many corporate entity is no longer by merit but it has been subjected to dirty approaches that might be beyond what a sane human mind can comprehend.
This makes someone to keep asking series of questions that boils down to the fate of those who are educated when the economy of the entire nation has been sold of to Asian Tigers that has little or no respect to academic achievements.
Not that some of the educated can be shielded from blame due to the fact that many educated ones can not stand their feet to defend what they studied in school because it has gotten to the point that Masters degree holders in this part of the world have become a show of disgrace.
It is appalling and mind-blowing that this is happening in our time but it will be more disheartening for the coming generation because someone could easily observed that the crop of young minds around gives no damn about being serious with their academic achievements.
Can we blame them?
It will be a sin to blame them when some of their uncles and aunties that finished from one higher institution or the other are busy wandering around looking for what to do.The lucky ones among them are busy teaching in the classroom whereby they are being given paenuts as take home pay.
A situation whereby the shout of skills acquisition is on a top gear is quite insulting whereby a MSc holders are being seen frying chin-chin and puff puff makes it more discouraging due to the fact that the contributions of this form of endeavour is too low to add value to the person involved and the GDP of the Nigerian economy.
If at all skills acquisition is the alternative for unemployment,many of the skills being portrayed as a source of employment is too low for what a nation that is bothered about the development of its economy and citizenry should be dashing out as a source of livelihood in Nigeria.
Hence,with all these,it is impossible for any sane mind to rely on whatever is being thrown out as a benefit of education considering the rigours that young Nigerian pass through while in school.
The uncertainty of dreams and visions being fulfilled through the accumulation of academic certification is a mirage in Nigeria now. It is another means of becoming perpetually miserable for the rest of someone’s life.
The reality of the Nigerian society is discouraging.
In conclusion, what defines aberration is when the society of the educated is being governed by the uneducated. It will trigger confusion and a dampened spirit will be the order of the day.
What a pity.
Featured Image sent by Olalekan–Adedeji– Stylomedia
The World Bank has said that the Nigerian economy has been slipping since 1995 and this continued till 2018.
The bank, in its latest report on the regional economy titled, ‘Africa’s Pulse’, released the taxonomy of growth performance in sub-Saharan Africa, which focused on the macroeconomic and financial features that led to growth resilience on the continent.
According to the bank, the taxonomy is used to help identify the factors that are correlated with success or failure in economic growth performance in sub-Saharan Africa, with emphasis on macroeconomic and financial variables.
The analysis, it said, involved a series of macroeconomic variables for 44 sub-Saharan African countries from 1995 to 2018.
The key elements that determined the positions of each of the 44 sub-Saharan economies in the taxonomy, the World Bank said, included the level of income per capita of the countries; structural transformation, as captured by sectoral value-added share and sectoral employment share; and capital flows.
Others are level and composition of public sector indebtedness, as captured by the general government gross debt and its currency composition, and the outstanding external public debt.
The last of the indicators has to do with governance vis-a-vis government effectiveness, regulatory quality, control of corruption, voice and accountability, political stability, and absence of violence and rule of law.
According to the World Bank, the taxonomy compares the average annual GDP growth rates during 1995–2008 and 2015–2018 against predetermined thresholds.
It also categorised growth performance into five groups: falling behind, slipping, stuck in the middle, improved, and established. The five groups were further reclassified into three groups: Top tercile, middle tercile and bottom tercile.
The Bretton Wood institution said, “If a country’s economic performance declined from 1995–2008 to 2015–18, the country is categorised in the bottom tercile, which includes ‘falling behind’ and ‘slipping.’ If a country’s growth rate remained invariant over time, between 3.5 and 5.4 per cent in both periods, it is categorised in the middle tercile (or stuck in the middle). If a country’s economic performance improved from 1995–2008 to 2015–18, with the growth of more than 5.4 per cent per year, the country is categorised in the top tercile, which includes the ‘improved’ and ‘established’ groups.”
Based on the above classification, the Nigerian economy was categorised alongside 18 other sub-Saharan African economies as slipping having recorded declined economic performance between 1995 and 2018.
The World Bank said, “The bottom tercile consists of 19 countries: Angola, Burundi, Botswana, the Republic of Congo, the Comoros , Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Lesotho, Mauritania, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Eswatini, Chad, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. These countries did not show any progress in their economic performance from 1995–2008 to 2015–18. For instance, their median economic growth rate decelerated, from 5.4 per cent per year in 1995–2008 to 1.2 per cent per year in 2015–18.”
The bottom performing economies, according to the World Bank, produce almost 60 per cent of the region’s total GDP, emphasising that the three largest countries in the region—Nigeria, South Africa, and Angola—and many commodity exporters are in this group.
Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Mali, Rwanda, Senegal, and Tanzania made the top tercile.
The middle tercile countries are Benin, the Central African Republic, Cameroon, the
Democratic Republic of Congo, Cabo Verde, The Gambia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Mauritius, Niger, Sudan, São Tomé and Príncipe, Togo, and Uganda.
The World Bank also cut its growth forecast for sub-Saharan Africa this year to 2.8 per cent from an initial 3.3 per cent.
The commodity price slump of 2015 cut short a decade of rapid growth for the region, and the bank said growth would take longer to recover as a decline in industrial production and a trade dispute between China and the United States take their toll.
The bank’s 2019 forecast means economic growth will lag population growth for the fourth year in a row and it will remain stuck below three per cent, which it slipped to in 2015.
“The slower-than-expected overall growth reflects ongoing global uncertainty, but increasingly comes from domestic macroeconomic instability including poorly managed debt, inflation and deficits,” the bank said.
The Bretton Wood institution equally cut Nigeria’s growth forecast by 0.1 per cent.
It said, “Growth in Nigeria is projected to rise from 1.9 per cent in 2018 to 2.1 per cent in 2019 (0.1 percentage point lower than last October’s forecast).
“This modest expansion reflects stagnant oil production, as regulatory uncertainty limits investment in the oil sector, while non-oil economic activity is held back by high inflation, policy distortions, and infrastructure constraints.
“Growth is projected to rise slightly to 2.2 per cent in 2020 and reach 2.4 per cent in 2021, as improving financing conditions help boost investment.
“In Nigeria, although the manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMIs remained above the neutral 50-point mark—which denotes expansion—they fell further in February, due to weaker rises in output and new sales orders across firms.
“Household consumption in Nigeria has remained subdued, while multiple exchange rates, foreign exchange restrictions, low private sector credit growth, and infrastructure constraints have continued to weigh on private investment.”
The Chief Economist for Africa at the bank, Albert Zeufack, said the region could boost annual growth by about nearly two percentage points if it harnessed Information Technology more effectively.
“This is a game-changer for Africa,” he added.
However, the spokesperson for the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Isaac Okorafor, said the CBN under the current governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, had shown so much ingenuity in managing the economy.
“You know the crisis that we have faced in the past three years. The bank has shown ingenuity in managing the situation and ensuring that everything is stable.”
Nigeria have moved up to the 42nd spot in the latest world ranking released by Fifa on Thursday.
After wins against Seychelles and Egypt in March, the Super Eagles climbed four spots from the 46th position they got in the first global ranking for 2019.
Nigeria finished their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign as Group E leaders with a 3-1 win over the Pirates on March 22 and defeated the Pharaohs 1-0 four days later in an international friendly at the Stephen Keshi Stadium.
The three-time African champions now sit behind Senegal  and Tunisia in the continental standings while Morocco , DR Congo , Ghana , Cameroon , Egypt , Burkina Faso  and Mali  completed the top 10.
Belgium remain unmoved at the summit of the world ranking followed by France, Brazil, England and Croatia in the top five.
A report by Steve Hanke, an economist from John Hopkins University in Baltimore, United States, has listed Nigeria, Venezuela, Iran, Brazil and others among the first 10 miserable countries in the world with Nigeria assuming the sixth position.
According to the report, Venezuela was listed as the most miserable country in the world, saying: “Venezuela holds the inglorious title of the most miserable country in the world in 2018, as it did in 2017, 2016, and 2015.”
Reacting to the recent report, the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday described Steve Hanke’s report as a vindication of its position all this while, adding that the country has sunk into a new low since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed power in 2015.
Iran took third in the ranking while Brazil made it to the fourth position. Turkey took fifth position as the giant of Africa, Nigeria, emerged sixth.
The Misery Index was calculated using economic indices, including unemployment, inflation and bank lending rates.
For Nigeria, unemployment rate was the major contributing factor to its miserable state.
The report added: “The first Misery Index was constructed by an economist, Art Okun, in the 1960s as a way to provide President Lyndon Johnson of US with an easily digestible snapshot of the economy. That original Misery Index was just a simple sum of a nation’s annual inflation rate and its unemployment rate.
’The index has been modified several times, first by Robert Barro of Harvard University and then by myself. My modified Misery Index is the sum of the unemployment, inflation and bank lending rates, minus the percentage change in real GDP per capita.
“Higher readings on the first three elements are bad and make people more miserable. These are offset by a good (GDP per capita growth), which is subtracted from the sum of the ‘bads’. A higher Misery Index score reflects a higher level of misery, and it’s a simple enough metric that a busy president, without time for extensive economic briefings, can understand at a glance.
“The accompanying table contains Misery Index rankings for the 95 nations that report relevant data on a timely basis. For consistency and comparability, and with few exceptions, data were retrieved from the Economist Intelligence Unit.”
Reacting to the report in a statement by PDP’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party tasked the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to perish the thought of the planned increment in Value Added Tax (VAT), saying such would only make life more difficult for the ‘already traumatised Nigerians’.
“That report is a vindication of the position of the PDP all these while. The economy has virtually collapsed under President Buhari, and the man is even mooting the idea of piling more pressure on Nigerians.
“Nigerians have never suffered like they are suffering today because those charged with the responsibility of managing the economy have failed completely. They have no idea of what it takes to manage an economy like ours.
“As an opposition party, we call on the presidency to take urgent steps to fine-tune the economy, create jobs for our teeming youths if only to justify that a government is in place.
“In the interim, we advise them to stop their plan to increase VAT as that would only fetch millions of Nigerians additional pain and discomfort,” PDP added.
While noting that democracy is essentially about the people, Ologbindiyan added that rather than improving on the living conditions of Nigerians, the APC-led administration of President Buhari appears to be deriving pleasure from inflicting pains and misery on the people.
Asaba — Debutant, Paul Onuachu scored the second fastest goal in the history of international football when he blasted the ball past Egypt’s goalkeeper, Mahmoud Gennesh, less than seven seconds after the kick off of the international friendly at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba. Onuachu’s goal is only second to Lukas Podolski’s strike after six seconds for Germany against Ecuador in 2013.
The win was Egypt’s Coach, Javier Aguirre’s first loss since he took over the reins of the Pharaohs.
Yesterday’s game was one of the matches lined up to prepare the Super Eagles for the forthcoming African Nations Cup, but the fans left the stadium disappointed with the dour game put up by the sides, who played without some of their biggest stars.
While Egypt left out Mohamed Salah, Ahmed Hegazi and Elmohamady, Nigeria’s stand-in captain, Ahmed Musa also did not feature in the game as he was said to have returned to Saudi Arabia for a club engagement.
After Onuachu’s wonder strike, Egypt tried to get back into the game, but they found the Super Eagles’ defence marshalled by the day’s skipper, William Troost-Ekong a hard nut to crack.
Nigeria had the chance to double their advantage in the 30th minute when Alex Iwobi latched on to the ball following Mahmoud Alaa’s defensive error, but the Arsenal forward’s strike was weak and easy for Gennesh to save.
Nigeria continued their dominance of the first half, but poor decision making in the final third prevented them from adding to the scoreline.
However, the Pharaohs came into the second half stronger and determined to get something out of the game, but they struggled to create good goal scoring opportunities.
Egypt’s clearest chance of getting the equaliser was thwarted in the 83rd minute by an inspired substitute goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, who pushed Islam Gaber’s shot to the crossbar and got up to save Kouka’s follow up effort.
Speaking after the match, Super Eagles’ coach, Gernot Rohr said his team would now focus on building a team for the Nations Cup.
“The match was a great game and my players were hungry to win. The early goal gave the Eagles the confidence and getting this type of result against Egypt is good for the team.
“The new players have proved a point and have now set up competition in the squad ahead of the Nations Cup,” he said.
Also speaking on the game, William Troost-Ekong said, “We are happy with the victory. Although Egypt did not come with some of their top stars, they still gave us a good fight.”
Troost-Ekong refused to predict what Nigeria would do at the Nations Cup “because it is my first experience going to the competition. But I think with more games and team coordination, the Eagles will excel in Egypt.”
Egypt’s coach, Javier Aguirre praised his lads for giving their best under difficult conditions, saying the match has given him more insight on the flaws in his team.
“I am happy with my team’s performance because the Eagles are good. This is why I accepted to play against Nigeria despite other teams calling for my team.
“I decided to try out new players so that I can get more replacement for players like Mo Salah and the new players did their best.”