Thursday, January 17, 2019

Simon Kolawole

    Justice Onnoghen in the dock

Justice Onnoghen in the dock

Justice Walter Onnoghen, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), is in the dock. Not in the dock yet, but you know what I mean. He is to be charged before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) on Monday over allegations of false declaration of assets. It is actually a six-count charge, but it [...]

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    The Amina Zakari storm

The Amina Zakari storm

In 2010, when Dr. Goodluck Jonathan assumed office following the death of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, he promised us electoral reform. He launched a campaign on “one man, one vote; one woman, one vote; one youth, one vote”. He started to speak about “credible elections”, steering our vocabulary away from “free and fair elections”. This was partly in response to [...]

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    Let there be jobs!

Let there be jobs!

Five weeks ago in Lagos, I attended an event that officially announced the entry of world’s number one outdoor advertising company, JCDecaux, into the Nigerian market in partnership with Grace Lake Partners, a Nigerian investment and advisory firm led by the young entrepreneur, Mr. Ladi Delano. JCDecaux will operate in the advertising sector through Horizon Outdoor Advertising Limited, a fully [...]

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    A vote for parliamentary system

A vote for parliamentary system

In case you missed it, 71 reps have tabled a bill before the house proposing the adoption of a parliamentary system of government in Nigeria. For some reason, this major development is not trending. But I find the proposal very interesting, in fact exciting. As a staunch advocate of restructuring (not to be confused with the disguised campaign to “punish” [...]

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    Ingredients for a credible election

Ingredients for a credible election

On Friday, a little-known civil society group, Zamfara Unity Forum, issued a press statement raising the alarm that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was trying to interfere in the 2019 governorship election in Zamfara state. The allegation is that the anti-graft agency has arrested Mallam Dauda Lawal, the consensus governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and [...]

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    To oil the wheel of progress…

To oil the wheel of progress…

I have a story to tell. In the 1970s, three governments set up national oil companies to engage in exploration, production and refining. Nigeria created the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Norway set up Statoil, and Malaysia established Petronas. Today, Statoil — now renamed Equinor ASA — and Petronas are among the biggest state-owned oil and gas companies in the [...]

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    The demons tormenting Nigeria

The demons tormenting Nigeria

Dr. Yemi Kale, the Statistician General of the National Bureau of Statistics of Nigeria (NBS), recently tweeted that the bureau’s unemployment report was being delayed by funding issues. He was reacting to insinuations that the delay was because the Buhari administration wanted to hide the current unemployment figures, given the implications for the 2019 elections. However, those familiar with the [...]

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    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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Exchange Rates

January 15, 2019USDGBPEUR
INTERBANK306397354
LAGOS361463411
KANO360465413
PH361462412
ABUJA362462413
NOTE: The black market rates represent the most prevalent. They could be slightly higher or lower among different sellers.
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