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[VIDEO] Igbos are heroes of Lagos, they met much of the city as swamp, developed it to what it is today - Emmanual Iwuanyanwu, President of Ohana’eze Ndi’IgbosWritten by Admin
Emmanual Iwuanyanwu who is the President of Ohana’eze Ndi’Igbo, has stated that Igbos developed Lagos into what it is today and are the heroes of Lagos.
In a video that has gone viral, Iwuanyawu said Igbo people came to Lagos when it was made the capital of Nigeria and invested heavily in the state. He said the Igbos met Lagos as a swamp and developed it into what it is today.
Describing Igbos as the heroes of Lagos, Iwuanyanwu said
‘’Lagos was accepted as the capital of Nigeria. Igbos, most of them are dead today, our forebearers rose to the challenge. The challenge at that time was an investment, massive investments to make the capital Lagos a proper, befitting headquarters for Nigeria. That is how Igbos scattered all over, moved into Lagos by a sense of patriotism. Igbos came into Lagos, found some swampy land, and bought the Land. Igbos when they came into Lagos, they never came there to take anybody's property. They came there, bought the land, and converted swampy land into habitable places. They built businesses, they built homes, schools, they developed Lagos. In effect, without the enterprise, of the patriotism of Nigerians like the Igbos, many other Nigerians did the same but it will appear that because of population, Igbos were in Large numbers. These pioneers, our forebearers are the heroes of the time, the heroes of what we call today a very strong Lagos. When they came there, Lagos was basically swampy but they converted it into a very wonderful, beautiful headquarters we see today in Nigeria''
Lagos was the Federal capital of Nigeria until it was moved to Abuja on December 12, 1991.
Watch the video of Iwuanyawu speaking below…
The inmate who stabbed former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin in prison did so 22 times, it has emerged.
Former Mexican Mafia member John Turscak, 52, stabbed Chauvin inside a Tucson federal prison and said he would’ve killed him if corrections officers had not responded so quickly, prosecutors said.
He purposefully attacked on Black Friday, Nov. 24, as a symbolic connection to the Black Lives Matter movement, according to investigators.
He is now charged with attempted murder, assault with the intent to commit murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, and assault resulting in bodily injury.
Turscak — who is serving a 30-year sentence for crimes committed while working as an FBI informant – said he thought about stabbing the ex-cop convicted of killing black man George Floyd by kneeling on his neck during his arrest for months before the act.
Turscak attacked Chauvin with an “improvised knife” with the “intent to do bodily harm” and to “commit murder,” according to the criminal complaint.
He told investigators he chose Black Friday for his attack because it was “symbolic with the Black Lives Matter movement and the ‘Black Hand’ symbol associated with the Mexican Mafia criminal organization,” according to FBI agents who interviewed him on Nov. 26.
The attack on the disgraced police officer took place around 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 24 inside the facility’s law library. Officers used pepper spray to subdue Turscak.
Chauvin, who is serving a 22-year sentence for Floyd’s death, was taken to a hospital for “emergency medical treatment,” after employees had to perform “life-saving measures” on him.
Turscak waived his Miranda Rights for his interview with the FBI, where he denied he had intended to kill Chauvin.
A lawyer for the criminal was not listed, although he has represented himself on previous occasions.
He has since been moved into an adjacent federal facility, where he remains.
A tricycle operator engaged to convey four children to school has reportedly absconded with the pupils in Umuahia, Abia State on Monday, November 27, 2023.
In a viral video, the father of the children, Mr Chimaobi Agah, said he was away to Enugu State when his wife prepared the children for school and engaged the tricycle driver to convey them to school.
“My wife prepared my four children for school. She paid a keke (tricycle) driver to take them to school,” he narrated.
The couple who lives at Umuagu Ibeku near the State Criminal Investigative Department CID station, Umuahia, Abia State, engaged the leke rider to take the children to their school located at Nkwoegwu community.
Agah, a native of Amasiri in Ebonyi State, narrated that when the school dismissed in the afternoon, the children didn’t return, which prompted his wife to go and look for them in the school.
“She was told by the school authorities that they did not come to school at all. My wife called me and I returned to Umuahia on Tuesday morning. I went to the school and was told the same story.
“So, I went to the police and reported it. They gave me four policemen and we searched for them but without success. They asked me to come back the next day and make a statement. They also asked me to go to the radio station and make an announcement. I have done all these and till now I have not seen them.
“The public should please help me. God should please forgive my sins. I know I’m a sinner, but I believe Jesus died for sinners like me. Please, I need my four children rescued,” he cried out.
Agah, who stated that the children were only aged eight, one, four, and a year and half, called for anyone with useful information that will help in the rescue of his children to inform the necessary authorities.
He also gave out his phone number as 07057279866, adding that anyone with useful information can also reach out to him.
He said he had reported the matter to the police and the State Broadcasting Corporation but without any result.
THE WHISTLER tried Agah’s contact several times, but his number has been busy.
The Abia State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Maureen Chioma Chinaka, is yet to comment on the incident.
Renowned as one of the NBA’s all-time greats, Kobe Bryant’s legacy extends far beyond the confines of the basketball court. His shocking demise on January 26, 2020, halted what seemed an inevitable march towards a billion-dollar fortune, propelled by strategic investments and a cascade of lucrative endorsements.
At the time of his untimely passing, Kobe Bryant’s net worth was estimated at $600 million, placing him among the world’s wealthiest Black individuals and positioning him just behind Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods among athletes.
Bryant’s reinvention: From NBA star to entrepreneurial powerhouse
Retiring from the NBA in 2016 after a two-decade-long career with the Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant had amassed over $320 million in career earnings, securing his place as one of the highest-paid players in league history.
During the twilight of his playing career, he secured endorsements amounting to $25-30 million annually. Beyond the basketball court, Bryant’s financial success continued. In 2016, he joined the ranks of America’s Richest Entrepreneurs Under 40 with a net worth of $350 million.
As part of the move to strengthen his broad investment portfolio, he teamed up with Jeff Stibel to establish the Bryant Stibel—a $100 million venture capital fund in 2016 focusing on technology, media, and data companies. The fund proved lucrative, contributing substantially to his posthumous financial legacy, of which his family is now the primary beneficiary.
Kobe Bryant’s billion-dollar dream cut short
Kobe Bryant’s posthumous fortune hints at what could have been a billion-dollar empire—a significant contributor to this potential milestone was the $400 million his family received from Coca-Cola’s acquisition of Body Armor.
Bryant’s savvy $6 million investment in the sports drink brand in 2013, which has now increased to a $400 million return thanks to Coca-Cola’s $5.6 billion purchase in 2021, underscores the enduring financial impact of his strategic investments.
Nike resurrects “Mamba” line as Kobe Bryant’s estate continues to thrive
Before his passing, Kobe Bryant had plans to part ways with Nike in 2021 and launch an independent line of “Mamba” shoes, inspired by his iconic “Black Mamba” nickname.
While the deal fell through posthumously, recent news from Nike signals a revival of Bryant’s signature shoes, with the brand expressing intentions to grow this iconic line. The specifics of the deal remain undisclosed—shrouded in secrecy by Bryant’s estate, diligently managed by his wife, Vanessa Bryant.
Despite the confidentiality surrounding the Nike deal, it is evident that Kobe Bryant’s shoes maintain their popularity among NBA and WNBA players, college athletes, and sneaker enthusiasts alike, suggesting a substantial value that likely surpasses the reported $10 million per year Nike paid during Bryant’s playing career.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has condemned an outbreak of fighting in Guinea-Bissau.
Naija News, however, understands that calm has returned in the country after the situation.
Clashes between members of the National Guard and special forces of the Presidential Guard broke out Thursday night in the capital Bissau, leaving two dead.
ECOWAS in a statement released in reaction to the clash said it, “strongly condemns the violence and all attempts to disrupt the constitutional order and rule of law in Guinea-Bissau.
“ECOWAS further calls for the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of the incident in accordance with the law.”
Calm returned to the small nation with a history of instability by mid-morning Friday following the announcement that the army had captured Colonel Victor Tchongo, commander of the National Guard.
Members of the National Guard Thursday evening stormed a police station to extract Finance Minister Souleiman Seidi and Secretary of the Treasury Antonio Monteiro, according to army and intelligence officers.
The two government members were being questioned about the withdrawal of $10 million from state accounts. They had been detained under orders of state prosecutors, who were named by the president.
The National Guard, on the other hand, is under the control of the Interior Ministry, which like most ministries in the country, is dominated by the PAIGC party, whose coalition won the June 2023 elections.
The two government members were detained again after the army removed them from National Guard control.
President Umaro Sissoco Embalo, who was elected to a five-year term in December 2019, is in Dubai to attend the COP28 climate conference.
The Executive Governor of Ogun state, Prince Dapo Abiodun has said that the state will soon become an oil-producing state.
Punch reports that the state would soon be given frontier status and would join the league of oil-producing states in the country.
Prince Abiodun said this while presenting the 2024 Appropriation Bill called the Budget of Sustained Growth and Development at the Ogun State House of Assembly.
He mentioned that because Ogun State was going to start producing oil, his government had set up the Ministry of Mineral Resources. This ministry’s job is to manage and control all the natural resources in the state.
Additionally, he explained that they also created the Ministry of Energy. This move was to make the most of a change in the constitution that lets state governments get involved in the energy sector.
- “Discussions are ongoing regarding the exploration of oil in Tongeji Island, Ipokia Local Government Area, and Olokola, in Ogun Water-Side Local Government Area, respectively. We are confident that very soon, we will be given frontier status and will soon join the league of oil-producing states.”
Nigeria’s current oil-producing states are Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo, and Rivers. Although revenues from the oil sector increased by 44.2% in the first half of 2023, the debt profile of these states has increased significantly.
Research by Nairalytics, the research arm of Nairametrics, revealed that in the first half of 2023, these nine oil-producing states in Nigeria received a whopping sum of N544.9 billion as part of the 13% oil derivatives share from the federal government in the first half of 2023, a 44.2% increase compared to N377.9 billion received in the corresponding period of 2022.
But even with this extra money, these states ended up with much more debt. Their collective debt went up by N465.4 billion in just six months.
Nairalytics stated further that data from the Debt Management Office (DMO) showed that the nine states saw their total debt stock increase from N1.86 trillion recorded as of December 2022 to N2.33 trillion as of the end of June 2023, largely due to the revaluation of their external debt as well as the acquisition of new loans.
According to the breakdown of the data, the total external debt for the nine states as of June 2023 stood at $861.8 million, indicating a local value of N662.9 billion, using an exchange rate of N769.25/$1.
Nollywood actor, Daniel Etim Effiong has explained why female thespians don’t beg the public for financial assistance like their male counterparts.
He said the society is designed in a way that “men are quick to rise to women’s needs” but when a man has problems, he solves them singlehandedly until he reaches his limits and then resolves to seek public assistance.
Effiong added that a woman’s money is largely for herself, but a man’s money is for his entire family.
The actor was recently featured on the Bahd And Boujee Podcast co-hosted by actress Moet Abebe and reality star Tolanibaj.
The co-host, Moet asked: “Why is it mostly male actors that come online to ask for crowdfunding?”
Effiong replied: “Traditionally, in the society that we all exist in, women have been largely men’s responsibility. So whenever there is a problem with the woman, men are quick to rise up to the occasion and meet that need or solve that problem.
“Whatever culture you come from in Nigeria, it would be a taboo to the men when the women in that culture have a problem and the men are not solving it. So, if you flip that, the converse of that is when the men have issues, the men need to solve the issues. Women are not going to rise up to solve the issues for men largely. Men have to sort themselves out. And when a man reaches a point where he can not solve his problems, he is not going to go to a woman, he is going to go to the world and be like, ‘Guys, I’ve reached my limit. I cannot help myself, come help me.'”
2024 Budget: Reps Deputy Spokesman Blames Election Tribunal Fatigue For Colleague’s ‘Careless’ StatementWritten by Admin
Deputy Spokesperson of House of Representatives, Philip Agbese, has knocked the Member representing Gwaram Federal Constituency of Jigawa State, Yusuf Galambi, for making a “careless” and “unpatriotic” comment about the 2024 budget proposal presented by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
President Tinubu had on Wednesday, presented the 2024 Appropriation Bill of N27.5tr, representing the 2024 budget estimates, to the joint session of the National Assembly.
Galambi, a Member of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), had, during an interview with BBC Hausa Service, on Friday, accused Tinubu of presenting “empty boxes”, suggesting that, the President was not ready for budget defence but only came out to deceive the populace.
The Lawmaker, in the interview reproduced in English language, said President Tinubu read out his budget speech, including proposals for sectors, but did not give the Lawmakers the documents as was the tradition by previous presidents.
But while answering questions from journalists in National Assembly on Saturday, the House Deputy Spokesperson ascribed such a comment from his colleague to post election petition tribunal’s fatigue and lack of diligent attention during plenary.
Agbese said, “The House of Representatives has passed that stage long ago”, stressing that, “the 10th National Assembly of the House of Representatives doesn’t entertain frivolities from the executive or members of the public”.
Agbese, who represents Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo Federal Constituency of Benue State, hinted that, “the Committee on Appropriation has long ago distributed the details of the budget proposal to the respective Committees”.
He added that, the relevant Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) would be invited as from Monday, to give justification for the estimates (budget defence), as soon possible.
He also assured that, “Mr. Speaker in his usual style, will monitor the activities of all the Committees during the period of scrutiny and Nigerians can be rest assured of the best from the People’s House”.
Describing the House of Representatives under Speaker Tajudeen Abass as one of the “most responsible Parliaments in the world”, Agbese said, “the statement by Rep. Galambi was not only careless, but un-parliamentary and unfortunate”.
“In fact, I blame lack of concentration, absenteeism and post election petition trauma for such a careless comment by the Honourable Member from Jigawa State. And to say the least, such an isolated comment shouldn’t have been reported by a patriotic press anywhere in the world”, Agbese added.
Four hundred and twenty-six graduates of the Western Delta University (WDU), Oghara, Ethiope West council area of Delta state, are earmarked for a combined convocation ceremony of the varsity today.
The Emir of Zazzau, Amb. Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli; Amb. Kim Young Chae, Republic of Korea’s Ambassador to Nigeria and three others would bag honorary doctorates at the ceremony.
Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Augustine Ikelegbe, disclosed this while briefing reporters on some achievements recorded in the university, Friday.
He stated that the convocation which comprises the 11th to 13th set of graduands, including the first set of Postgraduate graduands (four in postgraduate Diplomas and 14 in Masters of Science), would hold at the varsity’s main campus in Oghara.
“426 students will receive first degrees at this convocation; with 18 earning First Class, 147 in the Second Class Upper, 218 in the second Class Lower and 43 in the Third Class categories,” the VC noted.
Speaking on their achievements, he disclosed that unlike some private schools, WDU has all its programmes fully accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC), “with one exception that is an interim accreditation.”
Positing that the institution is redefining the idea of a university in Nigeria despite being less than two decades old, Ikelegbe said: “We are a proud player in the private university system which is leading the trail in quality education, the application of audio-visual learning facilities, the application of ICT and digital technology in Nigeria today.”
He further thanked the WDU Visitor, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, for his support towards the school.
Some of the facilities as listed by Prof Ikelegbe a Center for Learning Resources comprising the Main Library and e-Library in the Main Campus, and libraries for the College of Law at Ijomi Campus, the College of Applied Health Sciences at the Take-Off Campus and the College of Computing in the Main Campus.
Others are upgrade of the network infrastructure, establishment and equipping of more laboratories, introduction of audio-visual teaching aids, international Universities collaborations, sufficient hostel accommodation, as well as other infrastructural facilities.
Ikelegbe added, “for the first time after 15 years of operations and service, WDU will confer honorary degrees on deserving personalities; the Emir of Zazzau, Amb. Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli; Amb. Kim Young Chae, Republic of Korea’s Ambassador to Nigeria; Dr. (Mrs.) Ajoritsedere Awosika, a retired Permanent Secretary; and uncommon entrepreneurs, Mr. Oritsedere Otubu, Chairman of Eko Disco and Mr. Igho Okotete; Chairman of Pioneer Global Resource and Integrated Energy Limited.”
The Vice Chancellor asserted that the award of honorary doctorate degrees is building a new layer and network of friendship, stakeholder-ship, partnership and mutual support, which would strengthen our resolve and strides for greater development and contributions.”
Last week, former President Olusegun Obasanjo lamented that western democracy was imposed on us and we have continued with it even when it is not working for us. In his keynote address at a high-level consultation on “Rethinking Western Liberal Democracy for Africa” in Abeokuta, he noted that western liberal democracy will never work as a system of government in Africa because it does not consider the views of the majority of the people.
He therefore called for alternative system of government and suggested “we look inward and outward to see what in our country, culture, tradition, practice and living over the years that we can learn from, adopt and adapt with methods everywhere for a changed system of government that will serve our purpose better and deliver”.
Nigerians have however reacted to President Obasanjo’s submissions. In their reactions, activists, lawyers and other stakeholders agreed with Obasanjo that democracy has failed in the country but blamed him and other Nigerian elites for not allowing democracy to work in Nigeria. According to them, what is being practiced in Nigeria is corrupted version of democracy as the Nigerian elites undermine democratic principles.
Centralisation of power, not liberal democracy, Nigeria’s problem — Ukairo
Abia based lawyer and former Legal Adviser, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, South East Zone, Chief Ukpai Ukairo, in his reaction disagreed with former President Olusegun Obasanjo, that Western democracy is Nigeria’s problem. He argued that the excessive concentration of power at the centre, is the bane of democracy in Nigeria.
His words: “Obasanjo who is a key member of Nigeria leadership that has shaped our democratic practice from military to civilian government is, once more, demonstrating the lack of depth in tackling the Nigerian problem. I completely disagree with him. The challenge of Nigeria democracy is that we are imposing the same system of government, the same methodology, the same thinking, across a large vast of Nigeria where the cultural, political, economic perspectives and beliefs differ. “When OBJ imposed the Land Use Act across Nigeria, he didn’t consider that there were fundamental differences in the way lands were managed, owned and controlled across Nigeria, yet he imposed it. The Igbo society or Eastern Region of Nigeria was more democratic than the Western world because colonialism was imposed on Nigeria .
We were largely democratic, that’s why we have ‘Ohanaeze’ system. When things fall apart, you see the republicanism of the Igbo man where the people contribute to the governance of the people; where decisions are taken through the people and not imposed unlike the Northern region where the words of the Emirs were taken as gospel or the West/ Yoruba land or Benin kingdom where the Obas reigned supreme. “So, the challenge of Nigeria development is the centralisation of power. Let’s go back to true federalism. Let’s throw away this yoke that the entire country must be governed in a particular way under a constitution that centralises power in Abuja. Once this is done, all the challenges of development will be easily tackled. It’s not liberal democracy or western democracy that is our problem, it’s the practice of liberal democracy through centralised authority without taking into consideration the different perspectives, the different managerial skills, cultural and religious dispositions of the people.
It’s not about the system but the operators —PANDEF
The Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, through its Publicity Secretary, Hon. Ken Robinson, said: “For us in PANDEF, our position is restructuring of the nation to correct the imbalances and the lopsidedness in the country in terms of local government areas system where you see Bayelsa with eight local government areas, Kano with 44, Rivers with 23 and Lagos 20 local governments areas. “Whether a system works or not, it is about the attitude and character of the people and not necessarily the system, because the system on its own may not be perfect because there is no perfect system.
“Whether it is Parliamentary, Liberal Democracy, Autocracy or whatever, it is the people that will make it work and not the system itself that works. The significant point to note is that it is not about the system, it is about the people of Nigeria. If our attitude toward governance, and even this constitutional democracy is right, and if people like former President Olusegun Obasanjo, will do things rightly and do the right things at the right time, the country will work and the democracy that we are practicing will be strengthened and the body overseeing the conduct of elections will also be strengthened.
Elites including Obasanjo never allowed democracy to work —Arewa Consultative Forum
Spokesperson of ACF, Professor Tukur Mohammad-Baba, said: “I agree with him in general but I think Obasanjo is one of those who made Western democracy not to work for our country. Therefore, he should be the last person to complain about it. We all remember the 2007election and how it was manipulated in favour of Yar’Adua. Democracy has not been working, but the elites, especially military and civilian elites, like Obasanjo, were the ones who never allowed it to work. We know how Obasanjo kept interfering in the Senate over the choice of its leadership. He never allowed senators to freely choose their leaders. He forced a party chairman to resign. People like Obasanjo and Buhari should please keep quiet and let us be, they have done their worst.”
Blame corrupt politicians, not democracy—CHRICED
In his own reaction, the executive director of the Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED), Dr. Ibrahim Zikirullahi, argued that; “there’s nothing wrong with the system we are practicing but what is lacking is commitment and political will. Irrespective of the model that we adopt, if there’s no political will to religiously implement policies with the goal of having a united Nigeria, where all citizens will be treated equal and where no tribe is superior to others, then we will not have a peaceful and viable society to call our nation. So, whether we call it Arab or Afro democracy or western democracy, it is the same characters that will practice it. Even now, can we say we are truly practicing Western democracy? In the Western countries, there is a clear separation of powers. So, for me, it is not about a model. Yes, we could say that this model is not working. Can we see how we can reform it? In Saudi Arabia and most countries in the Middle East, they don’t practice democracy but their citizens are doing well. Governance is all about citizens, if the government is detached from the people, it doesn’t matter what you call that system, it will definitely fail and it’s just a matter of time for it to collapse.”
Joseph Ambakederimo, Convener South South Reawakening Group, asserted: “Western Democracy is not the problem, the operators are the problem. Other countries that operate the same western democracy are prosperous and some others have remained stagnated in growth and some others have retrogressed. The excessive greed exhibited by our politicians is the cause of our problems and until we stop this avarice we will make progress very slowly. Again, the former President was only shying away from the truth because he is involved and the reason we are where we are as a country.
“Another issue is corruption that has become so pervasive that the public and private sectors are now in competition over where corruption is more entrenched. We do not punish wrong doing anymore, we reward failure, no respect for the rule of law. So, these are some of the things that have blighted our democracy and until we change the present way we do things in this country we will continue to blame the system of government. The operators are the problem and we must all accept it this way.”
Zik Gbemre, Coordinator, Niger Delta Peace Coalition said: “Obasanjo is a part of the reason democracy doesn’t work in Africa. Obasanjo had the rare privilege of becoming military head of state and elected president for two tenures, like Buhari. “The election that brought him as elected president in 1999 was fairer than the election of 2003 that elected him for his second tenure. Under him, his party, PDP, forcefully took over all the states of the federation except Lagos State. What we see today in Nigeria started under Obasanjo in 1999. Then, he didn’t see all of this failure. Obasanjo has not said something that is new that some of us had not said in the past. The problem is known. Elections in Nigeria are not free and fair and it is caused by the politicians who want to cling to power to feed on government.
“Looting of resources started in 1999 and is getting worse. Corruption is killing democracy because it is deliberately encouraged. What does Obasanjo mean by ‘Liberal Democracy’? Democracy has no shades or variation, it is always liberal, supports a political and social philosophy that promotes individual rights, civil liberties and free enterprise. And that we copied it from the West and have continued with it is not the reason it is not working for us. It is not working because we have deliberately created a culture of practicing a corrupted version of it.
“The reason democracy is not working is because power brokers including Obasanjo have refused to let the people’s genuine vote count. They won’t allow BVAS work, won’t let IREV apply. They want to continue to win by hook and crook. “There is no alternative suggestion than to advocate for stakeholders to change their hearts and minds to embrace democracy with respect for what it truly is, government by popular mandate. “Public institutions, INEC, security agencies, the judiciary and civil society must partake in Nigeria’s democracy with a sense of purpose, honesty and integrity”.
Miakpo Emiaso, Retired President of the Delta State Area Customary Court, said: “Democracy as a system of government is near perfect, it is the best available to mankind right now. But I have always said that what we have is not a democracy the way democracy is understood generally. This military democracy was imposed on us by Obasanjo himself. “People have said in the past that we are different people with different orientation, with different aspirations. For you to say you want to run this country on a single chain of command under a presidential system like what you have in America is to make a fundamental error. You can’t run this country as complex as it is from one person in Abuja. “I call for a proper federal system that is run as a federal system where each federating unit enjoys autonomy. We did it before in the 1963 constitution for the federal which was different from the constitution of each of the four regions and that means that each of the four regions ran their governments the way that they felt fit. It is time to go back to what is similar to what we used to have before 1966 when the military came in. That was a system which highlighted the various constituents of the country and the various constituents of the regions when a person who becomes minister must have won an election. “Now, what we are running is something that encourages impunity where somebody gets to government house and thinks he has all the powers to do whatever he likes. The system encourages corruption because the office will corrupt the person and that corruption will be absolute. And if the person is corrupt, there will be no progress, no development and the people will be poor.”
Nothing is wrong with our democracy but our constitution —Okorodas, lawyer
A Yenagoa based legal practitioner, Barrister Ken Okorodas, said: “What I think is the greatest problem of democracy in Nigeria is the concentration of constitutional powers on the president. For instance, the appointment of the Chief Justice of the Federation can only be done by the President. If the president is appointing the Chief Justice, will he not dictate the affairs of the judiciary? The president is also empowered by Section 256 of the 1999 Constitution to appoint the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and other officials of INEC subject to the confirmation of the National Assembly. The powers of the president under our democracy are enormous and that is why our democracy is at the mercy of who becomes the president of Nigeria.”
It’s time we jettison western/liberal democracy — King Dakolo
Chairman, Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Council, HRM King Bubaraye Dakolo Agada IV, FANA, Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama Kingdom, said: “President OBJ’s crystal clear position on the woeful failure of western democracy in Africa is one which I strongly hold too. I have extensively canvased for a radical change from this suffering and smiling system of governance called western democracy which serves the west so well while we suffer all the ills of a society in distress. Is it not evident that the more we practice it the more the west prospers to our own peril? “If we must advance from the pitiful depth in which we have allowed ourselves to be plunged into by unwittingly retaining and sustaining a western economic algorithm which is designed to keep Africa and Africans carrying the heavy brunt of the entire world for the last five hundred years we must change this borrowed poison. And quickly too. “Pitiably, can’t we all see that the more we wriggle within the prescriptions of the so-called western experts the deeper we sink in all the indices of better life? So, after 70, 60, or 50 years of post-colonial self-rule we suffer under the weight of heavy debt burdens, lack of basic infrastructure, lack of adequate power, violent conflicts of all types across the continent. We suffer difficulties or near absence of proper intra-African trade, intra-African travel, intra-African communication. We are still almost fully dependent on so called hand outs from western donor agencies. A grand western deception which we unfortunately hardly see through. Is it surprising that we receive an average of about $50 billion annually from the west as intervention funds as opposed to sums which range from $200 to $400billion annually, which the west takes from the continent? So, in a period of five decades for instance, we have lost well over $15trillion at an average annual loss of $300. We have also lost millions of trained experts to the west by clever poaching if you will. “We have also been losing multiples of billions of USD as stolen funds stashed in Europe and America annually. Were the system of governance organic or tailored specifically to serve our purposes most of these wouldn’t have happened”.
A Public Analyst, Hon Ayo Fadaka said, “It is so sad that many people in privileged positions don’t know that they are in office to provide service. They are either in office with a sense of entitlement or because some godfathers hijacked positions for them. This is responsible for the parlous quality of governance available. Also, our socialization process is wrapped and abysmal, etiquette, honor and integrity no longer matter in our society and it is absolutely impossible for a good leadership to emerge. These days, people vote for known felons. Many people bereft of honor and integrity superintend over our lives, how can we then progress? We must therefore begin to build solid blocks that will guarantee a responsible citizenry that will produce patriotic leaders that will not be propelled by selfish determinism, but committed to the well-being of the nation and the citizenry. We must think hard to create a way out of our current malaise that is a direct affliction from the years of crass corruption and unpatriotic acts of past and current leaders who are absolutely responsible for our current sad state, Obasanjo inclusive.
Our leaders are not making democracy work — Mom, Consulting Director of Lawyers Alert
The Consulting Director of Lawyers Alert, and Chairman of Benue NGO Network, BENGONET, Mr. Lazarus Mom argued that democracy is not working in Africa because African leaders are not open to making it work. According to him, “Other countries where democracy is working, did they go anywhere to learn how to practice it? It’s working for them because they are open to making it work and they are making it work. “It is not working in Africa because African leaders are not open to making it work. An African leader doesn’t want to be questioned, an African leader doesn’t want to be asked about issues, an African leader doesn’t want to be held accountable, and these are the tenets of democracy. “African leaders believe in autocracy, they believe in chiefdom, they want to rule over everybody, they want to always have that mega authoritative aura and these are things that are not democracy friendly. Democracy is not working because we don’t want it to work, simple. Again, there is nothing like homegrown democracy. Democracy is democracy, it is a government of the people, by people and for the people. There are two main different kinds of democratic practises, it’s either parliamentary as practiced in the UK, presidential as in the US or a mix of the two. Some people try to mix both and it’s working. “So it depends on what you want. Democracy is all about letting the people decide. People will vote in their leaders, people will hold their leaders to account, and the leadership will be open to the people. “These are the basic tenets of democracy; people participating, government being transparent and government being held accountable. Once these three things are there democracy is achieved. Nothing more or less than that.”
Sit-tight politicians hinder growth of democracy —Dotun Hassan, president, Yoruba Council Worldwide
“It is not the system of governance that has failed but rather the sit-tight politicians who continue to impede progress and hinder the growth of democracy in the country. The historical background and mentality of Africans are based on hereditary and oligarchy system where there is no tenure, everyone is bound to honor each other by mutual respect. I insist that there is no better governance structure than democracy but we can improve on democracy that will represent the yearnings and aspirations of every ethnic tribe, every citizen and every view of everyone across the country. Once an average African leader knows that his tenure is coming to an end, he will begin to think of what will make him to still be relevant in power. They believe that power is a means to an end and that was the same mentality Obasanjo used in running the affairs of the country and was one of the reasons he sought tenure elongation”.
Human factor is the bane of our democracy – Uwoghiren
Edo based lawyer, Jefferson Uwoghiren said, “The constitutional democratic process that we are having is failing because they are all built on weak institutions. When you ask the man who is contesting to choose who will be the umpire of his electoral contest, it is the beginning of errors. There is no neutrality in the process of electoral contestations in Nigeria and Africa and it starts from the umpire; how are the umpires chosen, are they voted for freely and elected by the people as their representatives? A lot of them are card carrying members of the same political parties that are in power and you cannot build something on nothing.
“Obasanjo knows where the problems are but he is addressing them differently. Let’s assume that the electoral bodies are deficient in conducting proper elections, the courts are supposed to act as corrective institutions but what have been their roles? It is very difficult for a sitting president to lose in any of our courts because the separation of power process is not very clear. These judges are appointed by the executives, they owe their career advancements to the executive arm of government. Our judicial reforms are not working, our electoral reforms are not working, it is not because there are no sufficient laws to change them but because there is no will power, the political class are determined to subordinate the judicial arms to their whims and caprices, so it is not about democracy not working in Africa. Why will what is working in Europe not work in Africa? The human factor is basically responsible”.
Alagoa Morris, an environmentalist said: “Social institutions are the pillars of society and when they are weak; society suffers. Politicians, money bags and other influential people have seriously weakened the social institutions in Nigeria. There, it is important to give the resuscitation of our social institutions priority. We need strong institutions, not strong men and women. That would be the only solution and what responsible government should strive to achieve in the common interest. Nobody should be above the love of the land.”
Dr. Emma Okah, a former Commissioner for Information and Communications in Rivers State posited: “There has never been a genuine determination to build a nation, but a determination to build ethnic regions. Actions of politicians do not help in building our democracy. That is because no politician is punished for committing electoral crimes. Politicians do things and get away with it without any commensurate penalties.”
Character of operators problem, not system — Akwa Ibom Ex-Rep member
A former lawmaker who represented Oron Federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Peter Umoh, said: “the problem does not lie in the system, the problem lies in the character of Nigerians who operate the system from the presidency down to the local government Council administration. So, the problem is not in the system of government, but the character of the principal operators. This is really where the problem lies. Even if you bring any other system in Nigeria, if the character of the principal actors does not change it will result in the same thing”.
A legal practitioner, Chinaza Christopher, said: “African dictators have stifled democracy, both the western conceptualized democracy and African conceptualized democracy. Democracy has not yet failed; it has not even taken off.”
A social crusader, Ayowole Sanyalu, said: “Nigeria practices what can best be described as “elite democracy”: government of the elites, by the elites, and for the elites. Obasanjo and his likes were profiteers from this kind of primitive form of democracy that has brought nothing but misery to the people of Nigeria. “Elite democracy is far from being democratic, it is the “dictatorship of the elites”.
The ordinary people of Nigeria must stand up to this dictatorship, and replace it with popular democracy.”
Let us allow our democracy develop — Omare
Eric Omare, a practicing lawyer in Warri, Delta State and former national president, Ijaw Youth Council, IYC (IYC) worldwide, said: “I don’t think that western type of democracy is not working because it was imposed on us. What is happening in my view is that we are still developing our democratic practice which may take some years to mature. This is more so considering the fact that we do not have any other type of democratic approach that can be adopted to suit our peculiar circumstances. What is needed is to improve on the present democratic systems practiced in different African countries.”
A Public Analyst, Hon Stephen Adewale, said, “given that Chief Obasanjo introduced Western Democracy to Nigeria as we know it today, this is the first time he has implicitly told us that it was imposed on him by the West. Chief Obasanjo benefited from this system, and whatever flaws it had, he played a significant role in it, as he had the opportunity to change the narrative while in power from 1999 to 2007, but he did not. The truth is that even the classic African traditional institutions in Africa have largely failed, so we need not get bogged down in addressing the wrong issues. During the same time span, we witnessed China, an authoritarian country, grow from the size of Nigeria to arguably the world’s second-biggest economy. We’ve also seen Singapore becoming the world’s wealthiest country at one point. The issue, in my opinion, is not the type of administration we choose in Africa but the structure of our country.
A legal practitioner, Fehintola Peter said, “I don’t see anything wrong in liberal democracy, it is our leaders that are not practising it the way it should be practiced. It is the process that is defective”.
Alake Fagbade, a septuagenarian, said the comments should not have come from the former President.
“Is he just waking up from his slumber to know that? When he had the opportunity to make things work, what did he do? Nothing is wrong in the system, it is the operators who should be blamed. Even, if the democratic process is not working, can’t we domesticate it to make it work? Most of our leaders don’t have the interest of people at heart. How did it work during the time of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr Nnamdi Azikwe and Alhaji Tafawa Balewa?”
A former lawmaker at the Osun State House of Assembly, Mr Waseeu Adebayo disagreed with former President Olusegun Obasanjo that liberal democracy has failed in Africa. He argued that democracy is still developing in some African countries, including Nigeria. According to him, “What our leaders failed to do, including Obasanjo’s Presidency is to put in place strong institution rather than individuals. The liberal democracy we practice today takes very long time to be institutionalised, we have just spent 24 years in this experiment, it is too early to declare that it has failed. “Though, it is not yet uhuru, but there is hope ahead, we need more reforms and need strong institutions to complement our democracy, especially in Nigeria. There are a lot of recommendation waiting to be implemented, like the 2014 CONFAB report, the Justice Uwais-led committee on electoral reform recommendation and many others, which, if properly implemented will make our democracy stronger”.
A public affairs analyst and former Commissioner for information and civic orientation in Ekiti State, Mr Lanre Ogunsuyi said, “If you look at the allocation of the federation, the quantum of money that goes to the federal government, that of the states and local governments but we don’t have commensurate development. That is why people are now saying that this system is not working for us and I align with those people because the people are getting tired and frustrated because they can not see what they have been promised. I think that we should tinker with the constitution again, it was imposed on us by the military It is not working and the people are disenchanted. Be that as it may, democracy still remains the best system of government but we can amend or tinker with the structure.
“I will recommend a part time legislative assembly in both national and the states, I will also recommend the pruning down of officials. We are at a time when we are confronted with economic malaise, I don’t think we need 49 ministers, this is the largest number of ministers we have ever had, this does not reflect the true situation of things in the country”.
Bank customers have said that they are unable to withdraw their deposits for transaction in yuletide season in Ondo State, as the banks have slashed their withdrawal limits across the state.
A LEADERSHIP Weekend investigation revealed that many customers could not withdraw the amount they needed over the counter due to a lack of adequate cash on the part of the banks.
When LEADERSHIP Weekend visited some banks in Akure, the state capital on Friday, customers who spoke with our correspondent disclosed that bank officials have adopted the system of reducing their withdrawals based on the amount they intended to withdraw.
According to the customers, the bank officials asked them to use alternative channels to carry out their outstanding transactions.
It was also observed that many banks were operating without adequate cash to meet their numerous customers’ needs.
In some banks in Akure, customers only have access to cash ranging from N5,000 to the maximum of N20,000 respectively.
Also, there were long queues of customers at the Automated Teller Machines points(ATMs) in some banks in the state capital.
The development, it was learnt, affected several operators of Point-of-sale businesses who could not withdraw enough cash from the banks and the ATMs to run their businesses properly.
Some of the customers observed that the problem had started since last week.
A customer, Mrs Toyin Alade, said” I came to Access Bank and First Bank branches in Alagbaka to collect N200,000 but I could not do so.”
Access Bank officials said they could only give me N100,000. The first bank officers also claimed they could give me only N100,000. The two banks claimed there wasn’t enough cash and subsequently advised me to use alternative channels to do my remaining transactions. ”
One of the banks in Akure, the state capital, who spoke with LEADERSHIP Weekend on condition of anonymity, confirmed the shortage of cash, saying it was due to the cash supply from the CBN.
“According to him, “What we have resorted to doing is to encourage our customers to use alternative channels and give them the little we have on the ground. Currently, we are at the end of the year. The demand is huge and we have to balance it. The CBN hasn’t been giving us enough cash in recent times especially since the surge in demand started some weeks ago.
An operator, who identified herself as Oliwatoyin, said the dearth of cash from the banks affected her business.
“For the past few days now, I could not attend to a customer who wanted to withdraw over N25,000 at once. This was because I couldn’t receive much cash from my banks. I was forced to be rationing the little cash I had with me. “
A constitutional crisis looms as the Nigerian Senate has passed a resolution asking President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to withhold funds to Local Government Councils that don’t have elected chairmen.
The Senate resolution is however contrary to several Supreme Court judgements, stating that the President does not have the power to withhold funds allocated to the states and local governments.
The resolution has already drawn criticism and is bound to set up the lawmakers against the Supreme Court, state governors and unelected officials who are currently holding sway at the local government level.
LEADERSHIP Weekend reached out to a number of state government and local government officials on their feelings about the Senate resolution.
They were all reluctant and speak openly about the calls to cut off funds, hoping instead that the resolution would amount to nothing.
A Lagos-based lawyer, Mrs Omobolanle Adetunji, however said that the resolution is unconstitutional and that the President should ignore it in his best interest and the country’s interest.
Adetunji stated, “I believe that President Bola Tinubu is not politically naive to allow himself to be misled to illegally withhold statutory funds meant for Local Government because that move is not only unconstitutional but has been conclusively adjudicated upon by the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
She said the courts have, in several cases, decided that the President or even the National Assembly can not stop, withhold or even warehouse in a dedicated account the statutory funds belonging to other levels of government.
She said, “Let the lawmakers concentrate on what they have the power to do and leave those things they can not lawfully do.”
During plenary on Friday, the Senate urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu not to release funds to the Local Governments that don’t have elected chairmen and councillors.
This followed a motion sponsored by the Senate minority leader, Abba Moro who lamented the inability of some state government to conduct local government elections.
But in their resolution, the Senate urged the executive to withhold statutory allocation to the local governments councils not democratically elected.
The resolution condemned the arbitrary dissolution of democratically elected local government councils in Benue and other states in Nigeria.
It urged the governor of Benue state to adhere to his oath of office to obey the rule of law and defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Senate resolution called for a “review the governor’s dissolution of the elected councils and constitution of caretaker committees and reinstate the elected council executive forthwith.”
Senator Abba Moro (Benue South) who is the Senate minority leader said he notes with dismay the dissolution of democratically elected councils in Benue State.
“Also notes that placing caretaker committees to replace elected councils is an aberration and alien to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended);
“Aware that Section (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) guarantees a system of local government by Democratically Elected Councils;
“Also aware that it is the Constitutional responsibility of every state to ensure the existence of Local Government Councils by law.
“Further aware that there are subsisting court rulings directing the Governor, the House of Assembly, their agents, privies etc not to tamper with the tenure of the elected Councils, and
“Equally aware that the Governor/Government of Benue State have not appealed these judgments and that it is against the grain of the rule of law,,” he said.
While it is also unconstitutional for a state government to dissolve local government elected executive, based on the supreme court judgement, there seems to be constitutional crisis if President Bola Ahmed Tinubu goes ahead with the Senate directive.
Contributing to the Senate debate, Adams Oshiomhole (Edo North) said about 16 states in Nigeria are currently without democratically elected council officials.
He said the Senate should direct the Finance Minister to stop funding LGs without elected council officials. The suggestion was also supported by the Senate Chief Whip, Ali Ndume.
Also, Abdulfatai Buhari (Oyo North) who raised a different issue, said the Electoral Act should be amended to empower the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct local government elections.
The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, a lawyer, just as the Senate leader, Opeyemi Bamidele and the Senate Committee Chairman on Judiciary, Mohammed Tahir Monguno; could only frown at the establishment of multiple federal agencies, but advocated for the creation of the National Electoral Commission for Local Government so that governors would no longer have overbearing influence on council polls.
The Supreme Court of Nigeria had on Friday, the 10th day of December 2004, in a judgement delivered by Justice Muhammadu Lawal Uwais, in a case S.C. 70/2004 between Attorney-General of Lagos State (Plaintiff) And Attorney-General of the Federation, (Defendant) on the issue of it’s withheld funds, said: The president has no power vested in him (by executive or administrative action) to suspend or withhold for any period whatsoever the statutory allocation due and payable to Lagos State Government pursuant to the provision of section 162 (5) of the 1999 Constitution but in respect of the 20 Local Government Areas for the time being provided by section 3 subsection (6) of the Constitution and not the new Local Government Areas created which are not yet operative.”
The current president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu was the governor of Lagos State when then President Olusegun Obasanjo withheld their funds which was later released by President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
Also, the Supreme Court in two separate judgments delivered on Friday, May 7, 2021, declared that the dissolution of elected local government administrations in Oyo and Katsina states by their respective state governments, was illegal and unconstitutional.
In suits filed by the local government administration in both states, elected local officials challenged the two governors on whether they had powers to dissolve the two local government councils.
The local council officials argued that the purported dissolution of their councils was in violation of section 7(1) of the Nigerian Constitution, which provides as follows: The system of local government by democratically elected local government councils is under this Constitution guaranteed; and accordingly, the Government of every State shall, subject to section 8 of this Constitution, ensure their existence under a Law which provides for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils.
Also, the Supreme Court adjudicated on the issue, declared Ekiti state Governor Kayode Fayemi’s dissolution of local government councils in Ekiti State, in his first term in office, as unconstitutional.
A practice has taken root across Nigeria over the control of the finances and elections of local government councils by governors and the ruling party in each state, with caretaker committees installed for the councils in some cases, as opposed to elected officials.
It has been observed that the local government structure has been characterised by gross ineffectiveness and inefficiency, defeating its purpose as government at the grassroots.
During the Constitution review process of the 9th Assembly for LG autonomy, states rejected it.
• Lamentations Trail 7.9% Vote For Education, 4.9% For Health
• Neglecting Social Sector Could Be Economically Fatal, Experts Warn
• All Challenges Cannot Be Tackled In One Budget Cycle – NECA
Stakeholders have begun to worry about the paltry 12.5 per cent allocation for both health and education in the 2024 Appropriation Bill, predicting that the social sector of the economy may suffer acute funding in the coming years, that will aggravate the poor living conditions of the people.
The bill, which was presented to the National Assembly by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Wednesday, did not toe a departure route from previous national budgets that allocated paltry figures to the social sector, which has a direct impact on the lives of the citizens. Essentially, there are concerns that regardless of the plan by the government to grant autonomy to the nation’s universities, allocating 7.9 per cent of the budget to the education sector is grossly inadequate.
President Tinubu, who had in his Renewed Hope manifesto promised 10 per cent allocation to the health sector, ended up allocating N1.07 trillion which represents 4.9 per cent of the budget.
Experts faulted the allocation of less than 25 per cent to the social sector, after government’s removal of subsidy on petrol and floating of the naira that have seen the country’s misery index move up sporadically.
While presenting the details of the N27.5 trillion budget estimates, Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, said the Federal Government would lay emphasis on tax revenue than borrowing to execute the budget.
Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, who said that the budget proposals were realistic and practicable, explained that the deficit was projected at N9.18 trillion or 3.88 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is lower than the N13.78 trillion deficit recorded in 2023. In the 2023 budget, the deficit represents 6.11 per cent of the GDP.
Edun added that the budget focuses on value for money and raises the economy. “The budget deficit is being brought down from over 6.11 per cent of GDP to 3.88 per cent of GDP. That is a huge change in direction from unlimited and limitless borrowing to re-focussing on revenue and expenditure management to give value for money,” he noted.
Edun said the target was to increase tax-to-GDP from barely less than 10 per cent now to 17 per cent in a couple of years. According to him, the budget would position the economy for foreign investors to come into the country through private partnerships.
“There is privatisation in the budget. That is the direction of travel to create a stable macro-economic environment in which investors can come in and the government is yielding grounds to them and allowing them to come in and invest and provide goods and services for Nigerians,” he said.
Speaking with The Guardian on the 2024 budget, the Chief Executive Officer, Dairy Hills Limited, Kelvin Emmanuel, said the fact that debt servicing and refinancing costs are taking 30 per cent of the entire budget, and debt servicing is practically 94.8 per cent of capital expenditure while education and health, the two most critical sectors and determinants of the GDP growth rate and per capita income of the people, cumulatively got 12.5 per cent allocation, was an indication that the present government was not ready for change.
In the Abuja Declaration of 2010, the government pledged to allocate 15 per cent each to education and healthcare.
To Emmanuel, a good way for the President to show that he is attuned to the plight of the people would have been to ask for structural changes through an amendment of the Public Procurement Act to reduce the incidences of procurement fraud in the public sector, and implementation of the Stephen Oronsaye Report to cut down the cost of running the government to pave the way for more money to be allocated to the education and health sectors.
“The government needs to work on changing the structure of Nigeria’s educational system from revamping curriculum to providing infrastructure, granting higher institutions financial autonomy that will facilitate the establishment of endowment funds. It is sobering and a serious threat to national security that Nigeria currently has one doctor to 10,000 people as against 2.5 per 1,000 recommended globally. And that an increasingly high turnover of medical personnel from Nigeria does not seem to bother this government,” Emmanuel said.
An expert, who chose to remain anonymous, said: “Progressive governance means incremental progress. There are many competing sectors, all critical in their rights, that need to be funded. Let the states do their part because education and health are not on the Exclusive List. If we are placing the burden of N7 trillion on the neck of the masses, how much are the political class willing to bear?”
The Director General of the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Adewale Smart-Oyerinde, is of the view that while education and health sectors are critical, no one budget cycle can tackle all the challenges in the critical sectors of the economy.
“We must appreciate the fact that all the challenges in the critical sectors of the economy cannot be tackled in one budget cycle. We see that the security sector got a large chunk mainly because of the time we are in. Many sectors of the economy deserve the immediate attention of the government. However, we appreciate that all the critical areas cannot be tackled in one budget year. Other years will come, which will give the government another opportunity to look into other sectors and begin to address their problems one after the other.”
An Investment banker, Tolulope Alayande, said while he could understand the need to focus on revenue generation and increase the GDP, neglecting the social sector could be economically fatal soon.
In his words: “The social sector plays a crucial role in an economy by addressing social issues, promoting welfare and fostering inclusive development. It encompasses education, healthcare, social services and community development, contributing to a more equitable and resilient society. Additionally, a strong social sector can enhance human capital, improve productivity, and create a supportive environment for economic growth.”
He gave reasons funding the social sector is crucial. “It helps improve education, healthcare and social services, contributing to human capital development. This, in turn, enhances productivity and economic growth. Adequate funding also addresses social inequalities, promotes inclusivity and fosters a healthier, more skilled workforce. Ultimately, investing in the social sector strengthens the foundation for sustainable economic development and improves overall societal wellbeing. The social sector can be effective in an economy through strategic planning, efficient implementation and continuous evaluation.”
On his part, a retired banker, Ande Mohammed, urged the Tinubu administration to prioritise education and healthcare to enhance the skills and health of the population, contributing to a more productive workforce.
“The government must implement well-designed social programmes that address specific needs, such as poverty alleviation, housing and unemployment, to ensure efficient resource allocation. Involve communities in the decision-making process and implementation of social initiatives to ensure they meet local needs and are culturally relevant. It must build robust infrastructure for healthcare, education and social services to ensure accessibility and quality delivery,” he stated.
On how to ensure that the existing social interventions deliver creditably to the people, he urged the government to regularly assess the impact of social interventions to identify strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement, allowing for evidence-based decision- making.
Given that the plethora of social interventions by the immediate past administration of Muhammadu Buhari lacked coordination, which made accountability a near-impossible task, Mohammed charged the current administration to prioritise coordination between various sectors and levels of government to create synergies and avoid duplication of efforts.
“By adopting these strategies, the social sector can effectively contribute to social development, foster inclusivity and create a supportive environment for sustained economic growth,” he added.
The ex-banker warned that inadequate funding of the social sector could lead to several adverse effects on individuals and the economy. He further explained that insufficient funds could result in inadequate infrastructure, outdated materials and low teacher salaries, compromising the quality of education and limiting opportunities for skill development.
“Inadequate funding for healthcare may lead to a lack of medical facilities, essential medications and well-trained healthcare professionals, exacerbating health issues and reducing overall well-being. Insufficient support for social programmes addressing poverty, unemployment and housing can perpetuate or worsen existing economic disparities, hindering social mobility. A poorly educated and unhealthy population may contribute to lower workforce productivity, limiting economic growth potential. Inequality and lack of opportunities resulting from underfunding can contribute to social unrest, as communities may feel marginalised and excluded,” he said.
In the long run, inadequate funding in the social sector may lead to higher social costs, as issues such as poor health and limited educational opportunities may require more substantial interventions later,” he said.
Mohammed warned that with a poorly funded social sector, Nigeria might become more dependent on external aid and assistance, limiting its self-sufficiency and economic sovereignty.
“Addressing these challenges requires a commitment to sufficient and sustained funding for the social sector, recognising its integral role in promoting a healthy, educated and skilled population crucial for economic development. Human capacity building in the social sector plays a vital role in fostering sustainable development and improving overall societal well-being,” he noted.
The chairman of BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu, has rejected an appointment by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Naija News understands that the ruling appointed Rabiu as a member of the party’s finance standing committee.
The APC, on Friday, released lists and names of its standing committees with Ajibola Basiru, the party’s national secretary, chairing the establishment committee.
Bisi Akande, a former interim national chairman of the party, heads the conflict and reconciliation committee, Felix Morka leads publicity while Uguru Ofoke and Emma Eneukwu are to oversee finance and intergovernmental committees, respectively.
Rabiu appeared in the finance committee alongside A. A Rano, Zach Adedeji, the chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Wale Edun, minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy, and Senate President Godswill Akpabio, among other lawmakers and prominent party members.
However, in a counter statement shortly after the list was released, the BUA group said Rabiu was not consulted by the ruling party before his name was added to the list, maintaining that the businessman has “consistently adopted an apolitical stance over the years”.
“We extend our sincere appreciation to the APC for considering our chairman for such a distinguished role. This acknowledgment reflects the recognition of his commitment, and that of BUA Group, to economic prosperity and the development of our dear nation, Nigeria.
“With respect to this, we wish to inform the publishers, our partners, stakeholders, and the general public that Mr. Rabiu has decided to graciously decline the nomination/appointment.
“This decision is made in light of the fact that he was not previously consulted regarding his inclusion in the list and his inability to commit time due to his demanding schedule.”
The inauguration of the committees is scheduled to be held on December 6 at its national secretariat in Abuja.