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‘Nigerians Should Brace Up For Tougher Times Ahead’

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‘Nigerians Should Brace Up For Tougher Times Ahead’

By John Akubo, Lokoja
Dr. John Alabi
That Nigeria is experiencing its all time low rating in almost all areas of economic indices is no longer news, though not yet experiencing recession but the signs are ominous going by the present unemployment rate, poverty, job losses and inflation.
A management consultant and business practitioner based in Lokoja, Dr. John Alabi, who was not trying to be an alarmist, but putting the issues in their right perspectives said the hard times are just starting, Nigerians should brace up for more difficult days ahead.
Just like the saying that ‘he who fails to plan, plans to fail’, Dr. Alabi indicated that when the going was good with the oil boom, Nigerian leaders were contented with squandering the revenue that came from oil the only source of foreign exchange.He said the country found itself in the present mess because at Independence, agriculture was the mainstay of the economy but when the crude oil was discovered, other natural resources were abandoned.

“The situation is that we are a mono-cultural economy that depends on one single source of income. You also know that the prices of this commodity is tied to the apron strings of these world powers, you find that when people de-emphasize the use of crude oil, price crashed. “Secondly is the corruption issue and bad governance witnessed over these years, if we had managed our good days we would have not been in the present mess.”
The consultant said: “Nigerian leaders used the revenue as if it would never end and along the line they did not diversify into other sources of revenue.
“We should have diversified into solid minerals and tourism potentials. Nigeria would have been earning revenues from different sources.”Alabi noted that corruption in monumental level is another issue that happened to Nigeria through leakages here and there.
“ We have been talking about Abacha loot since 1994 till now, when will it end. Look at the scandal in the last 12 to 15 years. This is what has brought us down to the level where we are today.“Another reason are the followers, we are so docile and we have collaborators. It is not our politicians alone but people in uniform, and people without uniforms, even public servants they are collaborators they help politicians to embezzle funds.”Continuing he said: “We gradually lost our conscience, we go to Church and Mosques but we are not Godly. Except we reverse the trend the problem will continue.
In spite of all the negative signs, he said: “Nigeria was not in recession, but the signs are that we are slipping into recession with the obvious indices we are seeing. Inflation is very high, unemployment index high and the various hardships we are facing by way of high cost of living, when you have that coming in, everybody will think we are in recession.
“We are not in recession because you can see foreign exchange trickling in and we pay for our import bills so we are not in a depression.”
Continuing he said: “We are slipping into it because of the high level of poverty, inflation, unemployment and job losses. These are the indications that we are slipping into recession if we don’t take adequate precautions.”
On the effect it will have on Nigeria and Nigerians, he stressed that already there are serious problems like the galloping inflation.
“For the first time we are having six to seven years inflation, going to about 15%, prices of virtually everything is going up and it is going to affect us because the purchasing power of individuals have reduced. It is now a poverty strikes state with 60 to 70% living below poverty line”Alabi said that
when sales started going down, the best thing to do is to reduce costs. “What banks are doing now is essentially just that, of course there are no deposits. The last five months the ratio at which people deposit money in the banks is so low because there is nothing to even deposit in the first place.
“If that happens by implication, manufacturers cannot produce and profits are going down so you now have the reason to cut costs. “What we are saying essentially is if we don’t address the situation we are at the moment and we go into recession. It would not augur well because there would be more hardship on the people.
“Government is trying to reflate the economy by pumping money into it through the budget. Half a trillion will be pumped into the economy as social security. So if jobs are created and people are empowered, they will not depend on government.”
He reiterated the importance of agriculture and its multiplier effects of creating income for the farmers, creating jobs for those doing it, adding that when there is money, people would buy goods and the economy will move.
On how Nigeria found itself in quagmire he used the example of Kogi State, where since 2007, when the State was about 16 years he prophesied that by 20 years Nigeria would have a challenge.“Problem with paying salaries and what happened? It has come to the fore. We saw this situation coming. When you depend on one product as source of revenue, the vagaries can affect you. When you put all your eggs in one basket, it is too risky.
“We have been singing the song of diversification of the economy but it is more of rhetoric than action, just pick three areas; Solid minerals, Agriculture, tourism and servicing.

culled from ngrguardiannews.com

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#ENDSARS protests: Senators become soft targets for hoodlums

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#ENDSARS protests: Senators become soft targets for hoodlums

Senators Teslim Folarin (APC-Oyo Central), Senator Gershom Bassey, representing Cross Rivers South Senatorial District and Former Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, got their dose of the #ENDSARS protests that has been taken over by hoodlums on Saturday.

The hoodlums in Ibadan invaded Sen. Folarin’s residence, where they carted away items worth N200million
The rampaging youths made away with empowerment materials worth N200 million.
The ugly incident was confirmed by Folarin during a radio programme, monitored on Saturday in Ibadan.
The stolen items were meant for constituency empowerment programme of the lawmaker, scheduled to take place in December.

Among the items carted away are about 300 motorcycles, deep freezers and food items.
Folarin, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Content and former Senate Leader, said he was relieved that no life was lost.

In Calabar the hoodlums also invaded the mansion of Senator Ndoma-Egba, where they broke into his premises and that of senator Bassey and carted away properties that include set of chairs, Television sets, matrasses, toilet seats and car batteries before setting the country home of Ndoma-Egba ablaze.

It was gathered that the hoodlums easily overpowered the security personnel protecting the houses and even wanted to collect their guns before the security personnel took to their heels after which the hoodlums carted away valuables.
It was also gathered that a lounge (Bulavard) allegedly belonging to an APC stalwarts Hillard Etta were also vandalised just as a petrol filling allegedly belonging to Governor Ben Ayade was destroyed.

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‘Your voice has been heard loud and clear and we are responding’

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‘Your voice has been heard loud and clear and we are responding’

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Nigerian youths to discontinue the street protests and constructively engage the government in finding solutions.
The president in a recorded national broadcast told the youths that their voice has been heard loud and clear and his administration is responding.
He therefore called for calm amidst the arsons and clashes that have ended the peaceful street protests of young Nigerians protesting against police brutality.
“I would like to appeal to protesters to note and take advantage of the various well-thought-out initiatives of this administration designed to make their lives better and more meaningful and resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos with the aim of truncating our nascent democracy,”
The President however, downplayed the attack on protesters at Lekki toll gate in Lagos as he failed to mention the episode in his speech.
The government security forces, including the army, alledgelly fired live ammunition on protesters in Lekki toll-gate on Tuesday with fatalities.

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Group clears Bauchi Governor of Corruption allegation

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Group clears Bauchi Governor of
Corruption allegation

From Ali Sara, Bauchi

Corruption allegations against the Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir are false, blatant lies being orchestrated by his political enemies, the Bauchi State Coalition Against Financial Crimes and Injustice (BACAFCI) has said.

The National Chairman of BACAFCI Mallam Bibi Dogo stated this on Sunday while fielding questions from newsmen in Bauchi in reaction to the recent petition  filed by alleged stakeholders from Bauchi State.
The group had accused the Governor of corruptly enriching himself and mal administration in the State as reported in some media.
Dogo indicated that the coalition received a copy of the petition which it has studied but found no tangible evidence but blatant lies with the sole aim of bringing the government to disrepute out of envy of his track records and successes.

Dogo who brought dozens of documents in defense of Governor Bala said the anti graft group BACAFCI cleared Bala on all the allegations after they studied the petitions filed by the socalled stakeholders before the Economic Financial Crime Commission EFCC.
Dogo explained further that the allegations of loans for the Purchase of 3.5bn official vehicles for the Political office holders are unfounded as all due processes were followed in the award of the contract.
He said the contract for their purchase was approved by the State House of Assembly through House resolution via a letter sent by the government and duly signed by the clerk of the House Umar Yusuf Gital with reference number BASHA/POL/S/13/VOL.XIX/203 dated 17/July/2019.
He said  the contract was awarded to an indigene of the State after it followed the normal scrutiny where certificate of no objection was issued to the company before it was awarded the contract.
Dogo observed that from their findings, all cars were supplied and put to use by the beneficiaries in the best interest of the State.

He said the allegations that Governor Bala is a director in one of the companies which Bauchi Government patronized is not true as the Governor had resigned his position in the company on 1st May 2019 adding that he was not a Governor at that time because he had not taken the oath of office.
He said their findings were confirmed through Corporate Affairs Commission CAC form no 51180 on the particulars of Directors.

The Chairman also indicated that allegations of awarding road contracts, Building of Palaces, Workshops, assistance to pilgrims, supply of School Uniforms to out of School children, children meals by the government, are all genuine projects that everyone with sincere mind can see.
“Where anyone is in doubt he can go to the relevant government agencies to confirm and verify.
On the issue of School Uniforms and meals for out of school children he said the contract for the supply of uniforms was awarded to the indigenes of the State after due process and the uniforms was supplied.
Dogo indicated that the project was aimed at reducing the number of out of School children, while the Workshop was carried out in the best interest of the state at minimal cost. 

Even the issue of ghost workers, he pointed out that it was Governor Bala who held a public hearing with all stake holders on the issue he is working hard to bring sanity to the system to free some resources and employ more people in to the state Civil Service. 

He said the petitioners were either ignorant of how government operates or it was born outof malice.
“They just decided to paint the governor black due to the large number of physical projects he has execute that has developed the state.

Bibi Dogo said many of the allegations are not directly linked to the Governor but some Civil Servants whom the petitioners didn’t care to accused but the Governor that is making effort to rebuild the State through the provision of genuine infrastructures.

He advised them to always cross check their facts and offer only constructive criticisms not blatant lies.

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