Monday, November 12, 2018

Simon Kolawole

    What can be done in four years

What can be done in four years

One thing I pride myself in, if I have to say so myself, is the ability to be realistic. I always have big dreams, some of them Utopian, but I also always proceed with realistic expectations. For instance — and I have said this so often that I myself am getting bored — no president can transform or change Nigeria [...]

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    Rebooting the telecom revolution

Rebooting the telecom revolution

With Globacom extending the superfast 4G LTE service to all the 36 states of the federation and Federal Capital Territory — thereby becoming the first Nigerian network to do so — I sighed in relief for the telecom industry. I will explain why shortly. In summary, the 4G LTE technology allows broadband internet access at speeds several times faster than [...]

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    The dangers of negative narratives

The dangers of negative narratives

As a professional journalist and a regular columnist, one of the things I fear the most on the job is boxing myself into a corner. My philosophy of life is that no one is completely good or completely bad. I find it hard to look at something and say there is nothing good in it or that it is absolutely [...]

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    An officer and a gentleman

An officer and a gentleman

With gratitude to God for a life well spent — and I mean every word of it — I mourn the passing of Air Vice Marshall George Ayo Osho (rtd), one of Nigeria’s first two presidential pilots, the first Nigerian Air Force (NAF) pilot to clock 6,000 flying hours, former acting governor of Lagos state — and definitely one of [...]

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    The good thing about Buhari vs Atiku

The good thing about Buhari vs Atiku

In October 1987, the late Sheikh Abubakar Mohammad Gumi, a well-respected Islamic cleric, granted an explosive interview to the now-rested Quality magazine. It was on Gen. Ibrahim Babangida’s transition to civil rule programme.  Gumi said: "The two-party system of government will not be South against North but Islam against Christianity. Once you are a Moslem, you cannot accept to choose [...]

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    The scariest thing about Nigeria

The scariest thing about Nigeria

We see different things even when we are looking at the same picture. When CBN asked MTN to return the $8.1 billion dividends it “illegally” repatriated between 2007 and 2015, I was not thinking about MTN or CBN. Rather, my mind was on Econet, the ancestor of Airtel. Econet and MTN launched operations in Nigeria in 2001. Three Nigerian states [...]

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    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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Exchange Rates

November 9, 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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