Thursday, March 19, 2020

Azu Ishiekwene

    Speed limiter on Thursday of Long Knives

Speed limiter on Thursday of Long Knives

The House of Representatives is spoiling for a fight with the Federal Road Safety Commission and I'm trying hard to believe that, whatever former President Olusegun Obasanjo may have said about legislators, the fight this time is not about the bread basket. Last Thursday, member after honourable member led by Philip Shaibu from Edo State (APC, Etsako Federal Constituency), took [...]

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    Fayose, Ubah and the naira

Fayose, Ubah and the naira

Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose who has made an impressive career from finding fault with Preisdent Muhammadu Buhari, however genuine or foolish, has been unusually quiet about something for which I thought he would have been justified to claim credit - the value of the naira. In December, when the naira was still trading at N262 = $, Fayose predicted a [...]

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    The new sheriff in PDP

The new sheriff in PDP

The new acting Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ali Modu Sheriff, had barely settled down to his new job when he promised President Muhammadu Buhari that he would not get a second term. Sheriff swore, by his long cap, that he would lead the PDP back to Aso Rock in 2019 and served notice in Aba that the journey [...]

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    The many troubles of Budget 2016

The many troubles of Budget 2016

Weeks before the 2016 budget woes became public, a source confided to me a story that sounded like fiction. The source said that shortly before President Muhammadu Buhari formally presented the budget, some politicians in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party approached the Minister of Budget and Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma. Buhari was racing against time and the group told Udoma that [...]

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    A man for all seasons

A man for all seasons

I cannot now remember how or when we first met. But he’s the kind of man you will encounter many times before you meet him. I had done a story for Evening PUNCH on the death of a German expatriate staff in 1986, when one of my colleagues asked me if I had checked the story with Pat Utomi. I didn’t [...]

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    The other foot of Dambazau’s shoes

The other foot of Dambazau’s shoes

I don’t understand what the National Security and Civil Defence Corps is trying to say about the public shining of the shoes of Minister of Interior Abdulraham Dambazau. It should have covered its head in shame. Or just kept quiet, if it really wanted to help the boss. Unfortunately, the corps issued a statement, which, quite frankly, is the equivalent [...]

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    What business needs to learn from the church

What business needs to learn from the church

According to an article in the Christmas edition of The Economist, 105 years ago when Africa had a population of about 100 million, roughly nine percent was Christian. With a population of nearly one billion today, the continent’s Christian population has grown to 55 percent or 550 million, the fastest in any region in the world.  In Nigeria, one of the [...]

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    Love Dickson or leave him?

Love Dickson or leave him?

It’s tempting to deny Governor Seriake Dickson credit for winning a second term as Bayelsa State governor in Saturday’s governorship election, which had earlier been declared inconclusive. The story is not that Dickson won the election, but that Sylva lost. To be honest, until very recently, a Dickson victory seemed unlikely. History was not exactly on his side. Since 1999, no [...]

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    What we’re going to miss this year

What we’re going to miss this year

I have a feeling that we might be so obsessed with predictions we could lose sight of what we are going to miss this new year. Why fuss over what will be in the New Year when you can cherish fond memories of years gone by? Imagine the anxiety that Revd. Father Ejike Mbaka’s prediction of a likely attempt on President [...]

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    A letter to 2016

A letter to 2016

Here I am on Christmas Day morning, with 358 days in my rearview mirror and seven days ahead to the New Year. The need to look back is compelling but just as compelling is the urge to press forward. In this contest between past and future, the latter seems to get the better of me, yet there’s this nagging feeling of [...]

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    Kachikwu, ‘petrolese’ and the road to a blue Christmas

Kachikwu, ‘petrolese’ and the road to a blue Christmas

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has the gift of the gab. He sure can ask a man to go hell and make them look forward to the trip. But honestly, I won’t mind taking that trip in his company, if only there’s enough petrol to get [...]

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    Mou leaves Chelsea but his mouth stays behind

Mou leaves Chelsea but his mouth stays behind

The enemies have done their worst. And they are everywhere – from the Emirates to the FA and from the newsrooms and commentary stands to the Bridge. Yes, even Stamford Bridge. Jose Mourinho said at the beginning of the season that they were after him. Now, they’ve got him. The British press led the pack. They baited, taunted and teased him about [...]

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    The war on pot belly

The war on pot belly

She put it rather plainly: “Most men I saw at the airport today seem to have bulging stomachs. Have you noticed that seems to be a growing trend among Nigerian men?” That was my wife. I didn’t know how to respond. I think it was the way she put the question that caught me unawares. Can you imagine me saying to [...]

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    Yakubu and the business of inconclusive elections

Yakubu and the business of inconclusive elections

Since the Independent National Electoral Commission declared the Bayelsa governorship election inconclusive on Monday, I’ve been wondering what would have happened if the chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, had been the one who conducted the last general election. And who knows, since former President Goodluck Jonathan almost bowed to pressure to remove Attahiru Jega, this same Yakubu or a Yakubulette, perhaps someone [...]

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    The coming war

The coming war

The Nigerian Labour Congress has promised to go to war with governors if they attempt to review the current minimum wage from the present N18,000 monthly. With two-thirds of the 36 governors unable to pay salaries and the prospects of improved finances still bleak, the governors appear to be in their most vulnerable moment to pick a fight. States have their [...]

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    How will Ogbeh answer Buhari’s N1tr question?

How will Ogbeh answer Buhari’s N1tr question?

President Muhammadu Buhari said for the nineteenth time on Tuesday that we could not pay N1trillion every year to import food. I understand his frustration. But that cannot pay for the price of fish. We can and will continue to pay through our nose to feed our stomach until we stop talking and start doing something. We talk a lot about [...]

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Exchange Rates

March 25, 2019USDGBPEUR
INTERBANK306397354
LAGOS380478402
KANO375477498
PH380478498
ABUJA375476400
NOTE: The black market rates represent the most prevalent. They could be slightly higher or lower among different sellers.
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