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You are here:Home>>Items filtered by date: April 2016
 
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  • Ethiopia:Several Killed in Communal Violence in Western Ethiopia
    [Addis Standard] Several people were killed, many of them hacked to death, in yet another communal violence, this time in Illu Aba Bora (Illubabor) zone of the Oromia regional state in western Ethiopia, according to two sources who spoke to Addis Standard by phone. The news has been confirmed this morning by Addisu Arega Kitessa, head of the Oromia regional state communication affairs bureau.
  • Africa:Africa Rising to Meet Future Population Challenges
    [Deutsche Welle] Meetings like the Rebranding Africa Forum bring together some of Africa's most vibrant and innovative young minds to discuss future challenges facing the continent. But when does the talking stop and the action begin?
  • Nigeria:Police Inspector Detained for Shooting Three Farmers Over N50 Bribe
    [Vanguard] A Police Inspector in Ondo state is in trouble for allegedly shooting three farmers on commercial motorcycle, popularly called Okada over N50 bribe (Egunje).


In this article , MP Chuka Umunna writes on Mayor Johnson racist attack on Obama's heritage and Britain's European Union membership



The last fortnight feels like a turning point in the EU referendum campaign. In the last two weeks alone, respected financial institutions like the Treasury, the IMF, the World Bank and the Institute for Fiscal studies have all crunched the numbers and declared unequivocally that



Britons are far better off 'in' the European Union. In desperation, having promised to not run a campaign anchored by immigration, that is exactly what Vote Leave are now doing.




The unofficial leader of the Leave campaigns - Boris Johnson - in particular, urges people to vote to leave in order to take back 'control'.





This is among the most fatuous arguments peddled by the Leave campaigns. You do not increase your control by giving up power and influence. Britain has always pooled sovereignty in order to increase our power.




We have long signed treaties and joined international institutions. Does being a member of the UN or Nato undermine our ability to control our own destiny? Of course not.






Boris got his response to the US President in first, before Air Force One had even touched British soil. Outrageously, he suggested Mr Obama's support for Britain remaining in the EU was perhaps motivated by his 'part-Kenyan ancestral dislike of the British Empire'.




Putting aside the disgraceful slur that those of us with heritage from Commonwealth countries are somehow less patriotic towards our great country, this was straight out of the playbook of that other blonde bombshell seemingly keen on Brexit – Donald Trump.





The British people are interested in what the leader of our closest ally has to say, regardless of where his parents are from.





This referendum is the biggest choice we will take as a country for a generation and, as Obama says, it is for the British people to decide. What is wrong in hearing from our friends and independent experts?





The only major leader I can think of who will delight in Brexit is Russia's increasingly aggressive President Vladimir Putin. This is the company Boris is keeping these days.


Chuka Umunna is a member of British Parliament. He is a British of  Igbo-Nigerian heritage.

 

 

 


We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
-    Thomas Jefferson




The United States of America has been called an exceptional country not necessarily because of its wealth or democratic capitalism but for her propensity to change and adapt.  It is beginning to denote that America has copyrighted the word CHANGE, for we can factually suggest that change has been coded in America’s DNA.




The genius of the framers of the US constitution and the founding fathers was to create the means and modus operandi to put America on a pathway to a perfect union. The framers being human beings may not be perfect but their desire to construct a united, prosperous and perfect union cannot be overemphasized. From the afore-mentioned words of Thomas Jefferson’s Preamble to the U.S. Declaration of Independence to the Bill of Rights were tools that great men and women of emancipation struggle successfully employed and utilized to give us abolition of slavery, civil right bill and woman’s suffrage.




Harriet Tubman, a great American and abolitionist has been honored together with countless of unnamed heroes that made and continue to make America a better place for everybody.  Tubman like America represents a willpower, vision, courage and fearlessness that have come to become the hallmarks of American greatness and audacity. Tubman’s face on the $20 dollar bill will sagaciously buttressed America’s commitment to her heritage of liberty, freedom and justice.




Despite the original sin of slavery and host of others mistakes at the inception of America. The majority of the forbearers of this great representative democracy knew that slavery, woman’s suffrage and civil rights will gradually and finally come to fruition but their greatest challenges were on how to get to their destinations without wrecking the turbulent boat.




The great news about having the face of Harriett Tubman on the new $20 dollar is not necessarily about a picture of a Black woman of African descent appearing on the most important currency in the world. But for the fact that America has fully recognized that the struggle for equality is not an exclusive minority issue but a global exercise in which America is pioneering and leading.




United States of America has not yet become a perfect union but if the truth must be said, America deserves a pat on the back on how far she has come and most importantly, on how far she is willing to travel.




There is no place like America and no other place, be it in Africa, Europe or Asia has the willpower to make a change as in United States of America. Only in America that after chattel slavery and Jim Crow’s segregation that a Black man was elected the president of United States of America and now an anti-slavery icon Harriet Tubman has been bestowed with such an honor.




The lesson to be learned about this gesture is that the struggle for human right is a universal endeavor without boundary.   Just like US dollar is the acceptable and global currency of reserve and transaction, human rights must also be accorded same perspective and reality.



Image result for emeka chiakwelu
Emeka  Chiakwelu, Principal Policy Strategist at AFRIPOL. His works have appeared in Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Forbes and many other important journals around the world. His writings have also been cited in many economic books, publications and many institutions of higher learning including tagteam Harvard Education. Africa Political & Economic Strategic Center (AFRIPOL) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa.   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it       www.afripol.org

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson calls Obama “part-Kenyan president" and Chuka Umunna condemns his remarks as “beyond the pale.” 




The red face mayor of London, Boris Johnson has taken insensitivity to an extreme level by demeaning President Obama with racial and unpleasant statement by labeling him a “part Kenyan president" of United States.




President Obama was on official visit in Britain with the first lady Mitchell Obama.  Johnson was supporting the campaign against British membership in European Union (EU) and the disconnection from EU found Obama support of British membership in EU as interference from a “part Kenyan  president."  



British Labour Party MP Chuka Umunna, whose father was from Anambra State, Nigeria  defended  President Obama and  tweeted  “These Tory Mayoral types are beyond the pale… Boris plays on @BarackObama's Kenyan ancestry.”





Writing on The Sun newspaper, Boris Johnson accused Obama of being anti-British and for removing the bust of Winston Churchill from White House when he was elected president in 2008:

President Obama with  bust of Winston Churchill (below) for MLK in the Oval Office (top).




“Something mysterious happened when Barack Obama entered the Oval Office in 2009. Something vanished from that room, and no one could quite explain why. It was a bust of Winston Churchill – the great British war time leader. It was a fine goggle-eyed object, done by the brilliant sculptor Jacob Epstein, and it had sat there for almost ten years.


But on day one of the Obama administration it was returned, without ceremony, to the British embassy in Washington. No one was sure whether the President had himself been involved in the decision.



Some said it was a snub to Britain. Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan President’s ancestral dislike of the British empire – of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender.




Some said that perhaps Churchill was seen as less important than he once was. Perhaps his ideas were old-fashioned and out of date. Well, if that’s why Churchill was banished from the Oval Office, they could not have been more wrong.”

 

 




Guess what Chinese government officials probably did once they concluded the deal with Nigeria; they may have joyfully popped their champagnes and toast to the victorious renminbi (Yuan), the Chinese rising currency.





Just for a second, try to put on the back of your mind the so-called $6 billion loan given to Nigeria by the clever Chinese and contemplate on what China is gaining. 





China scored a big one by engineering the currency swap with Nigeria, whereby the Chinese currency Yuan could now become more freely acceptable in business transaction in Nigeria without cumbersome of convertibility . With the concluded deal the renminbi (Yuan) will be included in foreign reserve of Nigeria and will trade in Nigerian banks. In fact, Nigeria will be a clearinghouse for Yuan denominated transactions in Africa.





China being the largest manufacturing center in the world with accumulated $3 trillion foreign currency reserves by the People’s Bank of China cannot convince the world to respect and honor her currency in business transactions. The developed and industrial nations especially United States have shunned yuan because of its instability and artificial manipulations by the Bank of China.





China’s renminbi (Yuan) is not a match to the dominant US dollar for the whole wide world does business in dollar. It is not by accident that US dollar is the world reserve currency.  





Dollar came to its dominance as a result of its stability, endurance against cyclical economic fluctuations and consistent value as US monetary policy is prudently managed with efficient and sound financial methodological tools by Federal Reserve Bank.





United States of America has been justifiably complained about the inconsistent of Yuan currency as being engineered and manipulated by Bank of China to aid in reinforcing China as the largest exporting nation. China is an export-orientated economy that substantially anchored its economy on exportation and accumulation of intimidating foreign reserves. By consciously lowering the value of Yuan, China makes her products attractive and less expensive to foreign buyers and consumers.







Since China is not making headways with United States and other industrial economies in the acceptance of its currency for business deals. China has become smarter, even more creative in going to Africa and developing economies to market her Yuan. China is incrementally succeeding, countries like Kazakhstan, Argentina are following put and now the agreement with Nigeria is positioned for the currency swap and Nigeria as a clearinghouse will attract many African countries.




The Chinese saying of “a journey of thousand miles begins with a single step,”  is yielding fruits; steadily and gradually China is making inroads with its currency especially on the countries that lean on China for loans and financial support.






As for Nigeria with its $6 billion loan from China: Is it good enough? For the opening door for China to dump her products in Nigeria and fabricate few infrastructures in the country possibly with Chinese labor and inflated materials.  Can we say that it is a sweet deal? 





The agreement with China - specifically the currency swap will not put to a halt on the slumping naira neither will it re-position naira against the potent dollar. It may mildly put some pressure on dollar but it will not retard the accelerating dollar exchange rate to naira. Nigeria’s problem is not just the declining oil price but herculean mismanagement of her resources that left country unprepared to take-off as an industrial entity. How can it be an industrial nation and be producing goods for export without electricity and safety?





Can Nigeria proudly and truly beat her chest and proclaim her victory in this China deal?  Nigerian officials should convey to their Chinese counterparts that the deal must be reciprocal and they can even ask them to later forgive the loan or make the loan interest free.




Additionally, let the Chinese know that Nigerian labor should be the lion share in the execution of the contracts and that the inflated price of materials coming from China is unacceptable. The Bank of China will continue to manipulate Yuan to support China’s economy. Even with Yuan as part of the mix in the country’s foreign reserve, Nigeria lacks the clout to redirect China’s monetary policy.




Emeka  Chiakwelu, Principal Policy Strategist at AFRIPOL. His works have appeared in Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Forbes and many other important journals around the world. His writings have also been cited in many economic books, publications and many institutions of higher learning including tagteam Harvard Education. Africa Political & Economic Strategic Center (AFRIPOL) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa.   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it       www.afripol.org

 

 


April 10, 2016

A Report from NAL Council, Washington, DC (web: www.nalcouncil.org)
Nigerian-American Leadership Council, Washington, DC



Per revelations from Nigeria’s Premium Times amid other global media reports, per the Mosseck Fonseca papers, we are appalled by this rising saga, involving top-ranking Nigerian officials, among other persons in the evolving Panama papers. 



It is noteworthy that this Council was just adjusting to the humongous task of assisting in restoring Nigeria’s long-lost glory, as long as the work is complemented with a vibrant anti-corruption agenda.  However, what we now see are more damaging goods from some of Nigeria’s current leaders, specifically Nigeria’s 3rd ranking politician, and a man a few heartbeats away to the Nigerian presidency, Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki.




As The World Watches
We and the rest of the world are aware that Dr. Saraki is embroiled in a messy corruption matter in court already, amid the attendant political scandal and other ripples.  Based on the evidence tendered and admitted in court so far, we believe the public prosecutor in Nigeria has a very compelling case on behalf of the Nigerian people in this matter.  However, that Dr. Saraki wants to hang in there by the threads, and hope for a political solution, is already an exercise in futility, because this is a “justiciable” matter.



We are also in full support of the African Union (AU) panel on illicit financial flows, and the call for firm and comprehensive action against the world’s tax havens, in their 2015 resolution on illicit financial flows from the continent.  We intend to work closely with former South African president Thabo Mbeki, per his assertion that: “The staggering amount of illicit practices and the large number of global actors exposed by the Panama Papers demonstrate that Governments of Africa and the rest of the world cannot avoid firm action against the Tax Havens/Financial Secrecy Jurisdictions,”




Other “Politically Exposed Persons (PEP’s)” in Nigeria, including former Senate President David Mark also have damning evidence about them at Mosseck Fonseca.  As a Council with legal as well as public policy experts, we see Dr. Saraki’s feeble efforts to exonerate himself, by asserting that the noted assets belong to his wife, in-spite of mounting evidence to the contrary, as mere holding onto straws in a fast moving wave. 




Also, other PEP’s, including David Mark’s gullible attempts to exonerate himself from ownership of the identified assets, in-spite of rising “real evidence” of his culpability, suggests that these men have been taking Nigerians for developing toddlers, who do not have sufficient common sense. Available records from our researchers also show a vast Golf Course owned by David Mark in the Republic of Ireland, even while Mark held various public offices in Nigeria, including as President of the Senate, among other off-shore assets. 



Our researchers have also informed us that there are more damning evidences coming from the Panama files, pertaining to other Public and not so public personalities in Nigeria.




NAL Council’s Recent Official Trip to Nigeria
Senior officials of this Council, were in Nigeria recently, and are yet to conclude filing their reports on Nigeria.  However, the reports already portray some serious challenges, pursuant to the government’s anti-corruption efforts.  As an example, our officials observed serious wastage by public officials in Nigeria, including army officials whose official cars include S550 Mercedes Benz cars that cost in excess of $100,000 USD, among other wastage.  The above observations are happening right under the nose of the current government.  For the records, comparable officials in the richest country in the world, the United States, operate official vehicles that cost the treasury about $25,000-$35,000 USD.






The wastage would not be so obvious, if there was not such a dearth of 21st century infrastructure in Nigeria, including unreliable internet connectivity and electricity.  Suffice it to say that Nigeria is operating at less than its optimal level, because of the dearth of modern infrastructure. 




Specifically, it is extremely difficult to live in Nigeria and file timely reports online, to public or private organizations outside Nigeria.  The reason is because the internet and its backbone of reliable electricity, is in short supply in Nigeria, and extremely expensive where available.  We bring this up because the monies that have been misappropriated by these officials are sufficient to provide first grade infrastructure, including reliable electricity, internet services, and operational refineries in Nigeria.





How Better Infrastructure Would Have Helped Nigeria’s Economy
Corruption and misappropriation of public resources have hurt Nigeria’s economy badly.  If there is reliable connectivity in Nigeria, businesses in Nigeria could deliver certain services to English-speaking countries around the world in real-time, including services to US, European, and Asian companies, as is the case with India.  Several US companies have stationed their call-centers in India because of reliable connectivity infrastructure. 

Nigeria, as an English speaking country, of highly intelligent young people, with lighter English-speaking accents, would have been such a great hub for US and other English speaking service companies, which require English language skills; only if there was sufficient connectivity infrastructure.  We also have observed that young Nigerians are sharper and more rounded than young Indians.






A Time to Resign
Again, we hereby call on the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, to spare the Republic of Nigeria of further embarrassment and resign.  It is wise for Dr. Saraki to resign and utilize his energy, time, and considerable intelligence to resolve his legal matters in court at this time. 
Nigeria has so many challenges on its hands right now, and Saraki’s self-imposed problems should not be one of them; attempting to hold onto power, and delay Nigeria’s efforts to rebound, should stoke the wrath of the 180 million people Nigeria has to contend with right now. 





Saraki’s resignation should signal that other public officials should also retrace their steps or get out of the public arena completely.  Only persons demonstrating sufficient patriotism and not self-interest should hold such high offices in the land.  Dr. Saraki may very well redeem himself in the future, and he may or may not return to high public office, but this is not the time.  The right thing right now is to resign.





C. Goldie, Media Relations                                                                                                                                                  
NAL Council Washington, DC (Nigerian-American Leadership Council) Web: www.nalcouncil.org                                   
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Tel: 202 379-2848, Ext. 101

 

If I can make it there
I'll make it anywhere
It's up to you
New York, New York
-
Frank Sinatra





Igbo Nigerian-Americans have finally arrived and now they are making it in New York. They are living the American dream in the Big Apple. Yes, another Igbo American teen is repeating a history made previously by another Igbo teenager in New York.  She is Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna, who was recently accepted by all 8 Ivy leagues Colleges in America including other four major universities - Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.



Harold Ekek was the one that came earlier before her. Both teens are New Yorkers from same Elmont Memorial High school.



This is how Voice of America (VOA) put it:


“For the second year in a row, a teenager from Nigeria has accomplished what few U.S. high school students can — getting accepted into all eight Ivy League schools.
Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna, whose parents came to the U.S. from Nigeria, has until May 1 to decide whether she'll attend one of the prestigious U.S. universities.
Last year, Nigeria-born Harold Ekeh chose to attend Yale University after having his pick of all eight Ivy League schools.”


I am still researching to find out whether any student in America has ever accomplished such a lofty task before these two Igbo teenagers.




The families of these two teenagers came from Igbo tribe of Nigeria. The Igbo people are one of the largest ethnic groups in Nigeria and Africa. Igbo’s are predominantly found in Eastern part of Nigeria but are also dispersed around Nigeria, Africa and beyond.





“Augusta is valedictorian at Elmont Memorial High School, where she has a 101.64 weighted grade point average. The school is no stranger to academic superstars: Last year, senior Harold Ekeh scored the same number of Ivy acceptances….




Augusta, who was a finalist in the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search, will showcase her project — research on cement that will keep oil rigs intact— at the White House Science Fair next week. She wants to continue her passion for biochemistry and environmental studies. For now, she has until May 1 to decide which college wins her acceptance,” as reported by NBC News USA.


Harold Ekeh

Even in Britain about few years ago, two young sisters of Igbo heritage scored the highest points in the country’s GCSEs. In 2013  Chindi Ota the then 16 year old got 13A’s  and  two As, the highest grade points “ in English language, English literature, maths, statistics, French, history, biology, chemistry, physics, RE and an ICT qualification worth three GCSEs. The two As were in sociology and German.. In 2010, her sister Chidera, who is studying medicine at Cambridge, managed to get 15 A*s in the same exams, but both insist there is no sibling rivalry,” as reported by Kentonline.



Chanda Chisala, a Visiting fellow at Stanford University in his famous essays “killing Jensen”  argued factually against racial-IQ-hereditarianism and documented Igbo high academic achievements in Britain to demolish the so-called low IQ among Black Africans:



“The igbo were even more impressive given their much bigger numbers (and their consistently high performance over the years, gaining a 100 percent pass rate in 2009!). The superior Igbo achievement on GCSEs is not new and has been noted in studies that came before the recent media discovery of African performance. A 2007report on “case study” model schools in Lambeth also included a rare disclosure of specified Igbo performance (recorded as Ibo in the table below) and it confirms that Igbos have been performing exceptionally well for a long time (5 + A*-C GCSEs); in fact, it is difficult to find a time when they ever performed below British whites.”




As for Harold Ekeh, he has finally settled for Yale University for his undergraduate studies anchoring and concentrating on scientific research and medical studies.




Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna gave advice to relentless and ambitious New York and American students: "Try and figure out what your passion is, try to figure out what you are passionate about, what you like and enjoy and talk about what you have learned."




Emeka  Chiakwelu, Principal Policy Strategist at AFRIPOL. His works have appeared in Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Forbes and many other important journals around the world. His writings have also been cited in many economic books, publications and many institutions of higher learning including tagteam Harvard Education. Africa Political & Economic Strategic Center (AFRIPOL) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa.   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it       www.afripol.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open Letter to President Mohammadu Buhari


By: S. Okey Mbonu                                                                                                                                                
Washington, DC


April 7, 2016


President Mohammadu Buhari                                                                                                                                          
Aso Rock Villa                                                                                                                                                                               
Abuja, FCT Nigeria


Dear Mr. President,


I have just returned as leader of a small Nigerian-American delegation, from a 2 week tour of Nigeria, on behalf of the Nigerian-American Leadership Council (NAL Council web: www.nalcouncil.org).  This trip afforded the Nigerian-American community to get a no holds-barred assessment of the situation on the ground in Nigeria; and the substantial challenges your administration faces, as you gain traction in your first term as civilian president of Nigeria.



Mr. President, it will be stating the obvious to say that the state of the nation is dire. Nevertheless, all hope is not lost, especially, if you pay attention in the right areas of governance.  This letter includes a highly abridged summary of our report, as the policy details will be too unwieldy to be published as an open letter.

President Buhari

Introduction
Our initial observation upon arriving Nigeria, is that airport security, including the total screening of passengers has been brought up to international standards nationwide.  This is a good first impression, and provides a measure of comfort to visitors and investors alike.  However, our trips across the various states, show that extortion by law enforcement officers (the police), are alive and well across the country. 



This indicates that corruption in Nigeria is far deeper than the average casual visitor to Abuja can imagine.  Also, the security personnel need to have a stronger show of force in the many markets in Abuja.  The markets and other public spaces are in our observation highly vulnerable, especially to a lone attacker or suicide bomber. 



Your minister of the interior whose ministry is responsible for police affairs has a lot on his plate.  It is apparently going to take institutional changes to police welfare, to deter the police from extortion at the local level.  The police force is also particularly aggressive in the following states in Nigeria: Anambra, Rivers, Delta, and Lagos. 


We find no justification for aggressive policing in the above states, especially, given that states like Anambra are currently ahead of several states in security of lives and property.  These matters need to be discussed in your executive council meetings, because no investor including Nigerians in Diaspora, will lay down valuable investments where insecurity exists, or where undue harassment from law enforcement exists.


The Economy
The economy should obviously be of prime importance to your administration.  Our professional observation is that you need to focus on growing the economy of Nigeria from within, rather that hoping that crude prices will bounce back.  The oil boom is truly over, and pursuant to the frenetic search for new versions of renewable energy; oil will be even less relevant in the near future.  The good thing is that Nigeria has a robust internal economy, which from the look of things is still largely unregulated. 


The idea that your administration is going to find a way to create 10 million or more jobs for the teaming unemployed youth of Nigeria is truly unrealistic.  The truly realistic thing to do is to prepare many, among the teeming youth of Nigeria for “self-employment” or entrepreneurship.  Once the concept of “self-employment” is formalized and regulated in the economy, then you will see revenues pour into the economy via “recirculating consumption”.  Small businesses create employment and self-employment faster than large corporations or government ever could.



Insecurity and the Need for Education, Training, and Skills Acquisition
Mr. President, your government must invest in youth and unemployed adult training.  The mission to train and retrain Nigerian youth and adults, to participate in growing the economy is critical.  The success of your term as president may very well be affected by this singular focus.  The acquisition of education or training, or the lack of, is also directly tied to the security or the insecurity of the entire nation.  The necessary training does not have to be academic; rather it should be skill-focused.


A trained “self-employed” electrician, mechanic, bricklayer, mason, caterer, artisan, tailor, restaurateur, hairdresser, farmer, computer technician, or software engineer, puts revenue back into the economy; as they spend money to acquire other goods and services.  In receiving revenues based on services they provide, the self-employed thereby re-circle resources in the economy, via their consumption. 


Right now, our observations in Nigeria show that there are many unproductive people in the country.  This exposes the youth to questionable doctrines such as Boko Haram and other causes of insecurity. 



Even though productivity in Nigeria varies from region to region, however, many Nigerians are used to handouts, instead of savoring the result of a day’s labor.  This is precisely why some states or regions enjoy a higher standard of living than others.  It is no rocket science to understand that no society prospers where people sit-back and wait for handouts, as in some states in Nigeria. 


We realize that Nigerians are mostly very religiously people, whether they are Muslims or Christians; however, no religion states that God wants people to stay idle all day long, and collect handouts in the evening. 



The culture of handouts in high and low places, without commensurate productivity in Nigeria, must be strongly dissuaded in all cultures in Nigeria; anything less means that the less prosperous states will begin to envy the prosperous states and ultimately animosity and strife will result.



Reforming Regulatory Oversight
Interviews with the business community, at the macro and micro levels, indicate that there is discontent in the regulatory environment, and the ease of doing business, including corporate registrations.  If an average business person or investor cannot go online and perform a name search at the Corporate Affairs Commission website; in 10 minutes or less, in this day and age, then the business environment is still in the 20th century mode, and requires urgent reform.



On Electric Energy and Automotive Fuel
Well Mr. President, in-spite of your frequent travels outside Nigeria, I am sure you are fully aware of, and personally experience the shortage of electricity in Nigeria.  The staff at the Aso Villa certainly has to contend with generator power at least 50% of the time.  We know this, because every hotel or residence we visited over a 2 weeks tour was powered by generators at least 50% of the time.  



Suffice it to say that no nation survives on every household providing its own power.  It is utterly expensive for every house to have its own generator.  The emissions the generators release on the atmosphere in Nigeria, poisons the breathable air in Nigeria.  The emissions probably reduces everyone’s lifespan in Nigeria by about 5 years, regardless of how wealthy or poor they are.


We note that your petroleum minister Dr. Ibe Kachikwu is working frenetically to ensure the supply of automotive fuel for Nigerians.  Dr. Kachikwu’s job is a tough one, and under the circumstances, we do not envy Dr. Kachikwu.  We hope he and his team get it right very soon, before you have a riot on your hands.  Ordinarily, a petroleum producing country should not be facing an automotive fuel crisis, but the causes of this debacle will be too complex for us to discuss here at this time.  However, we wish you luck.


On Anti-Corruption Issues
I would say that most of the world outside Nigeria, believe that you are doing a decent job on the anti-corruption front.  I can only say that you should remain steadfast in your stance on corruption; and with the courts under greater global scrutiny, we hope the current anti-corruption stance will produce some convictions.



On Biafra and Related Militancy in the Niger Delta
Mr. President, on these matters of ethnic agitations for self-governance, let us not make a molehill into a mountain, or call a stream an Ocean, before they are acknowledged as such.  If the grievances of the agitators are of abiding validity, then a political dialogue should resolve many of the issues.



We expect you not to interfere in the facts and logic that the courts have applied, in partially resolving the matters so far.  You must be seen as a president who tolerates dissent without rancor.  A leader cannot afford to hate, because hate clouds the mind, and rancor interferes with strategic thinking, which is always needed for the true “big issues” facing the country, such as I have outlined above.



Mr. President, I will not overwhelm you by elucidating on more issues, however, if you address the important issues above, you may be on your way to a decent score at the end of your term.


Good luck!


About The Author

S. Okey Mbonu is the Executive Director of Washington DC-based Nigerian-American Leadership Council (NAL Council) Web: www.nalcouncil.org.  Mbonu obtained his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the School of Law at the University of Washington DC; he also previously served as Commissioner for Housing & Community Development in Maryland, USA (the first African to be appointed to such a policy-making position in Maryland). 


Mbonu frequently testifies at the US Congress, as an expert on Nigeria and US-Nigeria matters.  He also frequently appears as Expert Analyst on US Media and was acknowledged; “A Powerful Voice on US-Nigerian Affairs” by US Media Giant, MSNBC (February 14, 2015).  The NAL Council is the pre-eminent think-tank in Washington that is focused on US-Nigeria relations, and Nigerian matters.  Mbonu can be reached at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Tel: 202 379-2848, Ext. 101 or Ext. 301

Miss  Augusta Nna accepted to all 8 Ivy League schools, just like Harold Ekeh last year.


Elmont Memorial High School senior Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna was accepted to all eight Ivy League schools.


“My family is so excited. Sometimes I feel like they get so much more excited than me. They literally scream. When I called my mom and told her she was screaming on the phone,” the 17-year-old said.

With her Parents- Mr & Mrs Nna

 

The valedictorian was accepted to four other schools: New York University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Johns Hopkins University. Uwamanzu-Nna has until May 1 to decide.


“I’m still quite unsure what school I’m going to attend but I know attending any of them will be such a great honor,” Uwamanzu-Nna said.

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Strategic Research and Analysis

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    Adapted from Adichie’s 2012 TedX talk of the same name, We Should All Be Feminists is a book-length essay. Through personal anecdotes and societal analyses, Adichie explores what the word “feminism” means, and asserts that the word “feminist” is not a negative term and...
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    The students including  Akwue Frances Chidinma and three others, are now in Bali, Indonesia, where the World School Debate is  in progress.


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    A female student from Enugu state Ali Cynthia Chineche has passed her May/June 2017 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) with flying colours. The student set the record high after she made all A's in her nine subjects. Chineche’s teacher, Austin Chibulu , who was proud of his student’s achievement, took to Facebook to share her result to the world. In his post, Austin noted that he is very proud and happy to have taught...
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HOUSTON °F
ABUJA °F
LAGOS °F
JOHANNESBURG °F
    Ferienhaus Ostsee

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