Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Simon Kolawole

    One more thing to restructure

One more thing to restructure

Matthew Syed, the British journalist and author, is one of my favourite sports columnists. His article, ‘Why Chelsea fans are doctoring reality over the latest controversy’ (The Times of London, August 17, 2015), readily comes to mind as I ponder over the nature and quality of public debate in Nigeria. Jose Mourinho, the Chelsea coach at the time, had been [...]

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    Playing politics with purpose

Playing politics with purpose

In those days when I believed I was ready to marry and needed to, at least, start a relationship, I met a lady I very much liked. But I wanted something more than chemistry. I was thinking of how we would complement each over a lifetime. Confused, I asked a friend, Kunle Kasumu, for insight. Though he himself was single, [...]

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    The more things change…

The more things change…

Confirmed: nothing ever changes in Nigeria. The more things change, the more they stay the same. This immortal epigram of Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, the 19th century French critic, journalist and novelist, captures the fortune of the Federal Republic of Drama aka Nigeria. That is why when anything happens these days, I’m like: haven’t I seen this before? I’m seeing repetition [...]

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    Governance as a relay race

Governance as a relay race

I first met Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode early May 2014 somewhere in Victoria Island, Lagos. We had just launched TheCable online newspaper. We ran a story — “The man who would be next Lagos governor” — which surprised him, for it was not yet public knowledge that he was going to throw his hat in the ring. I saw him briefly. [...]

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    Rome was not destroyed in a day

Rome was not destroyed in a day

Sadiq Daba, the actor, ran into some serious health issues recently. He cried out for financial help to undergo foreign treatment. Pronto, Nigerians reacted overwhelmingly. But wait. I did not hear anybody talk about Daba’s religion or ethnic group. The people who tweeted and retweeted his appeal for help, and those who contributed money, were certainly not from his village. [...]

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    The Spirit of Lagos that Nigeria needs

The Spirit of Lagos that Nigeria needs

You know elections are close when politicians begin to confess their love for Nigeria. Suddenly strange bedfellows are walking side-by-side, arms locked, lovey-dovey. Arch rivals and sworn enemies are dining and planning and plotting and plotting and planning. Politicians who have contributed immensely to the underdevelopment of Nigeria begin to tell us exactly what we want to hear: that the [...]

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    Before Nigeria becomes Somalia…

Before Nigeria becomes Somalia…

I got a call from a senior northern politician recently. He’s generally a man of peace and often calls to commend me anytime I write on “peace and unity”. But this was a different call. His tone was remarkably different and harsh as he spoke about the Benue killings. He spared little time for the obligatory I-like-your-article ice-breaker and rushed [...]

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    The president Nigeria badly needs

The president Nigeria badly needs

Nigerians were created for elections. We live for elections. We breathe elections. As one election is rounding off, we are already discussing the next one. In fact, before one election holds, we start doing permutations on the one after it. We are preparing for the 2019 presidential election, but already discussing 2023. Elections offer us the biggest excitement, like a [...]

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    The year Nigeria almost disappeared

The year Nigeria almost disappeared

It is time to confess my sins. All my adult life, I have never feared for the continued existence of Nigeria as much as I did in 2017. Anybody who knows me very well knows where I stand: I believe in one, united Nigeria. It is not that I am an incurable optimist or that I am the most patriotic [...]

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    Changing the sad story of solid minerals

Changing the sad story of solid minerals

Bad news. Every state in Nigeria is blessed with solid minerals. Every single state. North, south, east, west. And in commercial quantity too. Zamfara, Kebbi, Niger and Osun are very rich in gold. Ebonyi, Plateau and Nasarawa are blessed with tin and tantalum. The bitumen in Ondo state is of the highest quality anywhere in the world. Anambra has iron [...]

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    Thou shall not underrate Atiku

Thou shall not underrate Atiku

For years, he was rejected at the polls and given a tag that demarketed him among the electorate. His opponents said they knew how to get people to vote against him — just dress him up in the uncomplimentary toga and voters would avoid him like a raging plague. He tried as much as he could to explain that what [...]

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    Severance pay and severe pain

Severance pay and severe pain

For Mr. Mounir Gwarzo, director-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), these are not the nicest of times. He must be in a severe pain. He has just been suspended by Mrs Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, over allegations of impropriety. Gwarzo was accused, among other things, of paying himself a “severance package” of N104,854,154 as a former executive [...]

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    There is oil in the skies

There is oil in the skies

I don’t know if these statistics would interest you: the aviation industry alone directly contributes $664.4 billion to global GDP yearly — and that is far more than Nigeria’s entire gross domestic product. Every year, over three billion passengers fly the world’s airlines. Over 50 million tonnes of freight are airlifted across the world. The direct jobs from these are [...]

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    So many things to reform

So many things to reform

In my primary four, the Yoruba text book we read was ‘Kola ati Kemi’ — a series of short stories depicting the “adventures” of two siblings: Kola and Kemi. Kola was the crafty one while his sister, Kemi, was the clever one. One day, Kola and Kemi followed their father to the farm. As they played around the farm, Kemi [...]

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    What exactly do Nigerians want?

What exactly do Nigerians want?

“To what can I compare this generation? It is like children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends, ‘We played wedding songs, and you didn’t dance, so we played funeral songs, and you didn’t mourn.’ For John didn’t spend his time eating and drinking, and you say, ‘He’s possessed by a demon.’ The Son of [...]

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    Ekwueme in the eyes of history

Ekwueme in the eyes of history

They have shut down the factory that produced the political breed of Dr. Alexandra Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme. They don’t make them like Ekwueme anymore. Upright, cerebral, courageous and loyal — it is often a contradiction in terms to attach any of those adjectives to a Nigerian politician. Yet, in the last four decades, Ekwueme, who is currently hospitalised, has demonstrated those [...]

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Exchange Rates

November 16, 2018USDGBPEUR
INTERBANK306397354
LAGOS359475418
KANO359476420
PH360476420
ABUJA359478419
NOTE: The black market rates represent the most prevalent. They could be slightly higher or lower among different sellers.
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