Monday, September 24, 2018

Simon Kolawole

    National service and matters arising

National service and matters arising

If not that we politicise everything in Nigeria, the Kemi Adeosun saga should provoke a genuine public debate on reforming the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). The constitution and other laws are supposed to be living, not embalmed, documents. No constitution is perfect. Through practice, we encounter the flaws. This dynamism allows us to modernise our laws in tandem with [...]

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    Solving the Buhari puzzle

Solving the Buhari puzzle

On Thursday evening, I was fiddling with my phone when an alert popped up, announcing the appointment of Mr. Yusuf Bichi as the new director-general of the Department of State Services (DSS). That means President Muhammadu Buhari did not confirm Mr. Matthew Seiyefa — who had acted as DG since the removal of Mr. Lawal Daura last month — as [...]

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    The Nigerian Federation vs MTN

The Nigerian Federation vs MTN

Does the federal government want to chase foreign investors away from Nigeria? This is one of most frequently asked questions since the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) asked MTN to refund the $8.1 billion it repatriated as profits out of Nigeria from 2007 to 2015 based on “irregular certificates of capital importation”. CBN also fined four banks N5.8 billion over [...]

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    Police as your friend

Police as your friend

At home on Monday evening, I was engrossed in some heavy reading and writing task when I got a desperate call from my driver who had closed for the day. His friend, and some other hapless Nigerians, had just been randomly arrested at Ketu area by the “Lagos State Task Force” for undisclosed offences. “They have handcuffed him and taken [...]

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    Estimated billing and other related offences

Estimated billing and other related offences

The electrician told me something that shocked me to my bones. “Oga, I can help you connect all your air conditioners and water heaters to power without going through the meter,” he said. “I will bury the cables underground and connect them directly to the electric pole. Nobody will know. I have done this for a lot of people in [...]

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    Killing small businesses softly

Killing small businesses softly

Some years ago, I was at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra state, for a public lecture. An obviously popular lecturer was invited to the podium to make his contributions. Students went gaga, screaming his nickname and giving him a standing ovation. In the euphoria, he posed elegantly in front of the microphone and started making a proposal on how [...]

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    Politics in the season of Cholera

Politics in the season of Cholera

If you want to get Nigerians excited to the highest level, start a discussion on politics. Whip up sentimental discussions on our political divides and see adrenalin in action. Our collective ecstasy is best stimulated by political intrigues. We were created for rallies, defections, impeachments, permutations, all-night plotting and scheming. That is when you see Nigerians — both the leaders [...]

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    Security agencies and our democracy

Security agencies and our democracy

At times, I could be mischievous. When security agents barricaded Government House, Ado Ekiti, ahead of the July 14 governorship election — and Governor Ayo Fayose released his hit single, “I’m in Pains” — a friend, with whom I had been engaged in a fierce debate over the nature of restructuring Nigeria needs, quickly sent me a message. He said: [...]

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    Between Nigeria Airways and Nigeria Air

Between Nigeria Airways and Nigeria Air

Anytime Senator Hadi Sirika, minister of state for aviation, spoke about setting up a “national carrier”, I always switched off. Even though I like his ideas — and I still salute his single-mindedness in closing down the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, for a critical runway reconstruction last year — I just could not see eye-to-eye with him on the [...]

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    Africa is leaving Nigeria behind

Africa is leaving Nigeria behind

You should have seen me shaking my head in self-pity, as if somebody had just mercilessly slapped me. I had just landed at the “little” Kotoka International Airport, Accra, Ghana, and needed to use the rest room. What I saw startled me. There were about a dozen toilet cubicles. All the doors were standing tall — none was hanging loose. [...]

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    Before the next massacre…

Before the next massacre…

Quote me: the Plateau killings, in which over a hundred defenceless citizens lost their lives, will not be the last. I am not trying to be a prophet — much less a prophet of doom — but the reality of Nigeria is that things hardly change. Internecine killings have been going on consistently for the past 18 years, mostly in [...]

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    Budget as a tool of underdevelopment

Budget as a tool of underdevelopment

In 2011, a brilliant, fine gentleman from the south-south was elected into the Nigerian senate. He was full of hopes and dreams. At a dinner with journalist friends, he outlined his vision and spoke enthusiastically about pursuing “developmental legislative agenda”. He would make a difference, he promised. Two months after inauguration, the senator came to see his friends in Lagos [...]

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    Of June 12 ‘saints’ and ‘sinners’…

Of June 12 ‘saints’ and ‘sinners’…

I have been feeling very uneasy at the re-opened debate over the June 12, 1993 presidential election impasse after President Muhammadu Buhari decided to honour the presumed winner, Chief MKO Abiola, and his running mate, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, as well as declare June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day. I thought it was a brilliant idea. I thought it would finally [...]

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    The meaning of June 12

The meaning of June 12

For the record, I did not vote on June 12, 1993. Not that I did not want to vote, but the situation conspired with the circumstances to disenfranchise me: I was out of Lagos. If I was in town, though, I would have voted for Chief MKO Abiola, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). Ironically, I was originally [...]

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    Hurting on the Inside

Hurting on the Inside

In my teenage years, there was a song I loved very much: On the Inside, by the Mary Jane Girls, the American R&B group mentored by the mercurial Rick James. To be exact, the reggae version by Sammy Levi was part of my daily diet. I must have listened to Levi’s version a million times – or more. The song [...]

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    On Ohanaeze’s six-year term proposal…

On Ohanaeze’s six-year term proposal…

So how can we have a much better Nigeria, a country we can proudly call our own? The debate continues. The dominant line of discourse has been that of “restructuring Nigeria” and there are certainly different shades of the argument. I was fascinated by the communiqué of Ohanaeze Ndigbo at the end of the South-East Summit on the Restructuring of [...]

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Exchange Rates

September 24, 2018USDGBPEUR
INTERBANK360.45480.18420.32
LAGOS360485425
KANO361483423
PH362482423
ABUJA362481423
NOTE: The black market rates represent the most prevalent. They could be slightly higher or lower among different sellers.
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