Thursday, August 1, 2019

Simon Kolawole

    Just take a bow, guys

Just take a bow, guys

Anybody who is interested in studying the quality of leadership in Nigeria and why our country is perpetually stuck in underdevelopment would have learnt a great deal from the screening of ministerial nominees by the senate. I don’t know where to start from. After the reign of speculation and anxiety, President Muhammadu Buhari finally sent a list of 43 nominees [...]

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    When we go low, we go really low

When we go low, we go really low

On a visit to my mum years ago — this should be in 2009 — I saw an improvised battery-powered lamp on her table. It was mounted on a wood, probably six-inch long, with space for two AA batteries. There were several energy-saving bulbs mounted on the low-tech device. “What is this?” I asked her, bemused. She told me it [...]

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    The Nduka Obaigbena phenomenon

The Nduka Obaigbena phenomenon

I recollect vividly as if it happened yesterday — the day I first had a one-on-one with Mr Nduka Obaigbena, editor-in-chief and chairman of THISDAY Newspapers. I had heard so much about him, the good and the bad, and I had always been fascinated by the good. By instinct, I focus more on the positive side of people, partly because [...]

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    On Ruga and Fulanisation

On Ruga and Fulanisation

I want this on record: I am opposed to the ruga racket. And my misgivings have nothing to do with the conspiracy theories on Islamisation and Fulanisation. I call it a “racket” because that is exactly what it is. I don’t understand the indecent haste by civil servants in the ministry of agriculture and rural development to award multi-billion contracts [...]

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    A nation perpetually in crisis

A nation perpetually in crisis

If you were born in the early 1980s, it is safe to conclude that since the day you started brushing your teeth by yourself, you have only known a conflict-prone Nigeria. You are almost 40 years old now and the headlines you’ve been reading all your life are killings, kidnappings and bombings. You’ve never known an era of peace and [...]

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    Getting Nigerian passport with tears

Getting Nigerian passport with tears

By their PRO you shall know them. Sometime in February this year, I got a distress call from a friend’s wife in the UK. She said there was a spelling error in her new Nigerian passport which she needed to correct urgently because of some critical deadline she had to meet. She had gone to the Nigerian high commission in [...]

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    Six things June 12 taught me

Six things June 12 taught me

Where were you on June 12, 1993? I was in Ilorin, Kwara state, enjoying the weekend with my cousins. I could not vote because I registered in Lagos. If I had voted, I would have thumb-printed the space for the Social Democratic Party (SDP) whose presidential flag bearer was Chief MKO Abiola. I had been rooting for Alhaji Bashir Tofa, [...]

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    NBC vs AIT: Matters arising

NBC vs AIT: Matters arising

It started like a little rumour weeks ago that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) was planning to descend on the African Independent Television (AIT) and Raypower FM, owned by Daar Communications Plc, for allegedly violating the broadcasting code. Its founder, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, is a prominent member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the major opposition party, and is currently [...]

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    Mr President, may we discuss your cabinet?

Mr President, may we discuss your cabinet?

Your Excellency, I want to seize this opportunity to wish you the best of the Ramadan season as you prepare to be inaugurated for your second term in office. May the lessons of Ramadan — especially the aspects of sacrifice and service to God and humankind — guide your next steps as the leader of this potentially great country called [...]

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    Talkin’ about a revolution

Talkin’ about a revolution

I always hesitate to use the “R” word because I don’t understand how it really works, but a lot of Nigerians have been talking about “revolution” for a while. They say Nigeria will experience a revolution at a point in time, given the way the society has been going: the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer; the fat getting [...]

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    Whatsoever a man soweth

Whatsoever a man soweth

Eleven years ago — to be specific, on July 7, 2008 — the title of my column was: “One Day, the People Will Rebel”. I warned that the extravagant lifestyles of our elite in the face of crippling poverty in the country would come back to bite all of us one day. At the time, kidnappings were a Niger Delta [...]

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    Of detentions without trial

Of detentions without trial

A week ago, Mr Femi Falana, the human rights lawyer, raised the alarm that the Nigerian Navy had been holding 15 Nigerian citizens captive without trial since September 2018. Worse still, one of them got a court order to be released from illegal detention but the naval authorities have ignored it — which, to be fair, has been a consistent [...]

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    How to sell Brand Nigeria to the world

How to sell Brand Nigeria to the world

Last night, the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc held its 2019 CEO Awards Ceremony, to which I was invited. This year, the bank is celebrating its 70th anniversary — having been established as the French & British Bank Limited (B&FB) in 1949. It took the name “United Bank for Africa” in 1961 following its metamorphosis and incorporation under Nigerian [...]

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    The search for the Nigerian Dream

The search for the Nigerian Dream

In July 2005, aboard an Egypt Air flight from Cairo to Lagos, a number of Nigerians spent hours discussing the state of the nation. We were from different parts of the country and different religions. We discussed virtually every topic — from the horrible roads to the unending importation of petroleum products, from the inhospitable hospitals to the abysmal education [...]

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    Nigeria and the hegemony of ideology

Nigeria and the hegemony of ideology

We marked the World Water Day on March 22 with a damning statistic: over 60 million Nigerians do not have access to safe drinking water. In simpler English, they get their water from unhealthy sources, such as streams and ponds. I will deliberately leave out the stinking statistics on the 47 million still practising open defecation and the 120 million [...]

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    Political wars and collateral damage

Political wars and collateral damage

An interesting and recurring debate in our democratic experience of the last 20 years has been: how can we wage the anti-corruption war without the suspicion of selective justice and political vendetta? Justice Walter Onnoghen, the embattled chief justice of Nigeria, has just fallen on his sword after three months of intense controversy over alleged infractions. Ordinarily, we should not [...]

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Exchange Rates

August 01, 2019USDGBPEUR
INTERBANK306397354
LAGOS362475413
KANO361474413
PH361475412
ABUJA362476413
NOTE: The black market rates represent the most prevalent. They could be slightly higher or lower among different sellers.
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