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ideas have consequences

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The floated Nigeria’s naira that has been pegged at 197-199 to a dollar lost over 40 percent of its value on the first day of trading.  Unofficial reordered statistics on first day of naira outing  revealed that naira was traded as low as 265 to a dollar and at one point nosedived to 288 to a dollar as naira continued to devalue and losing its purchasing power.  The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has not released the official statistics of the currency trading.




So far, CBN has auctioned S4 billion on the first day of floating naira, proceeding with $100 million sold in the interbank liquidity market. The real value of naira has not been determined as naira continues to plummet. The devaluation of naira will make Nigerians poorer especially wealthy individuals and companies because their wealth was determined by the discarded pegged naira.




Bloomberg stated that “the central bank started auctioning dollars in the spot and forwards markets around midday to try and clear a backlog of orders for hard currency, according to a person with knowledge of the transactions who asked not to be identified as the information isn’t public. While the size of the auction wasn’t disclosed, the backlog is around $3 billion to $4 billion, according to analysts at Lagos-based investment bank Chapel Hill Securities Ltd.”




The mechanics of naira floating as stipulated by CBN was not wholly based on the forces of the market as otherwise conveyed to the public by CBN. 




There are certain exceptions and regulations that undermined the integrity of the determinant forces of market as oppose to the law of demand and supply.




The CBN has the power to intervene in the trading when it deem necessary. The CBN may choose to shut the trading or delayed the process when it anticipates abnormalities of over pricing, imposing clutches as it began to run out of dollars.



CBN has selective dealers mostly banks who can participate in the bidding, thereby shutting out the general public from direct participation.




The CBN has restricted or out rightly banned 41 products from not getting allocation for their importation. These restricted materials including toothpicks, milk, tomatoes, airplane, rice and other essential materials that are expected to be made in Nigeria. In some cases, the restricting of allocation for purchase of airplane is logical but some essential food products like rice and tomato paste should be reconsidered.




Many Nigerian businesses and industries will not gain any advantage from the naira devaluation because they hardly export their products abroad. Moreover, they purchase finish and raw materials from outside the country. One thing for sure, devaluation will discourage importation, even though that the indigenous industries are incapable of producing those materials that the local consumers needed. The price of energy, undeveloped infrastructures and poor industrial policy hammered modern day industrialization in Nigeria.



“The devaluation is a boon for MTN, Africa's largest telecommunications company, which this month negotiated a deal to pay a fine of 330 billion naira, now effectively discounted by about 30 percent. Among losers are companies with billions of naira trapped in Nigeria that they were not allowed to repatriate. Analysts said the devaluation could exacerbate bad debts already standing at 10 percent of bank loans. Bankers will adjust loans made in dollars to the new value of the naira, including more than $10 billion loaned to Nigerian companies to buy assets from oil multinationals in recent years,” as noted by Associated Press.




Wall Street Journal analysts forecasted the long time fate of naira: “Based on the naira’s exchange rate in black-market trading, it might continue falling until it loses as much as 70% of its value against the dollar, traders say.”




CBN  have been quoted that the back orders for  dollar demand has been cleared. But the starved market for hard currency in Nigeria maybe insatiable. The auction of dollar on market demand may not be sustainable due to low price of oil and lower quantity of crude oil export. 



Image result for emeka chiakweluEmeka  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

Tuesday, 21 June 2016 23:32

Nigeria: The Path to Inclusive Growth

I am a sucker for clarity of thought, and especially conceptual clarity, which has important implications for public policy. Clarity in the way we understand things matters for public policy because the policy space determines our wealth or poverty as a nation. If we understand concepts, issues and challenges clearly and accurately, we are more likely to act in ways that actually address these challenges effectively. Provided, of course, that we have the political will. And provided, in addition, that ideology does not impose blinkers on our ability to think and act on a rational and pragmatic basis. Muddled thinking and hazy understandings, when inflicted on economic policy, can keep a nation poor when it has no business in the poverty leagues.



Thus it is important, especially for Nigeria as Africa’s largest economy and most populous country, to apply wisdom and understanding to its economic future and avoid the policy mistakes of the past. We can easily make the same mistakes over the subject of inclusive growth, the absence of which is understood to be at the heart of our development dilemma. One can already see how this can happen, with our thinking and rhetoric veering off decidedly into “inequality” and social protection, all of which are nevertheless valid issues in their own right.




It is easy for a discussion about inclusive growth to become one about income inequality. The latter is the phenomenon in which wealthy industrial societies have become increasingly unequal in terms of income, wages and wealth as a result of the unequal dividends of capitalist success. It is the famous “1 per cent” problem, a cause celebre of contemporary economics and public policy in the West. The combined wealth of the richest 1 per cent eclipses that of the remaining 99 per cent.




The 1 per cent problem reflects the limits of capitalist philosophy. In response, several western governments and policy thinkers have tinkered with different ideas about “redistribution” of wealth. But this is not the real challenge of inclusive growth developing countries like Nigeria face. Our economy, after a sustained GDP average growth of 5-7 per cent, reduced sharply to 2.8 per cent in 2015 following the oil price crash, and is now headed into recession with growth of 0.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2016. Like many other countries that have been poster children of the “Africa Rising” story, Nigeria ranks very low on the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Index at 152 out of 187 countries. Our GDP per capita is $3,000. The “unequal” 99 per cent in the industrialized world enjoy the basics of electricity, clean water and good transport infrastructure, but are nevertheless worried at how phenomenally wealthy the 1 per cent have become. We have a very different, and foundational problem in Nigeria.





The term “inclusive growth” has become a buzzword of development economics and political economy. As the UNDP so pithily puts it, “when you ask five economists to define the subject, you will likely end up with six answers”. But it is clear that inclusive growth is growth that is broad-based across different segments of the society and sectors of the economy. It will include a large part of the country’s labour force and create productive employment. Inclusive economic growth emphasizes equality of opportunity in terms of access to markets, employment, resources, and a regulatory environment that provides a level playing field. While it is one in which the poor are not left out or left behind, it seeks that outcome by creating productive employment and a steady increase in the productivity of labour, which is what creates wealth, in raising the income levels of excluded groups. This is different from direct income redistribution



Inclusive growth is Nigeria’s central economic challenge. Market-led economic growth is the dominant paradigm of economies in the world today, and rightly so because it has been the most effective path to reducing poverty, creating wealth, and achieving transformation. But its Achilles heel is always this nagging question of growth that excludes large numbers who do not have access to the opportunity for productive employment and entrepreneurship.




This matters for two reasons. First, non-inclusive growth, especially in countries such as ours that have not even taken off on a trajectory of production-driven growth, cannot achieve real development and transformation. Western countries can grapple with the 1 per cent problem, but their economies have long been structurally sound. These economies are based on innovation, industrial production, and the exports of competitive goods, and thus create jobs. Second, non-inclusive growth builds up a bottleneck of exclusion that, long term, destabilizes the security and sustainability of the social order. Again, this is why, despite the importance of social safety nets in every society, exhaustive transfers to the unemployed, rather than creating jobs for them, cannot solve the problem. Without creating a broad-based pattern of growth based on productive employment that grows both the GDP and the GDP per capita, exhaustive transfers may have populist appeal but will not be sustainable.





How can we create inclusive growth in Nigeria? The answer lies in a combination of approaches that includes (a) conceptual clarity as a point of departure, (b) rural-based economic growth, (c) infrastructure provision, (d) creating a social contract, (e) the role of business, (f) human capital development, (g) economic diversification, (h) financial inclusion, and (i) effective political leadership. We have already dealt with conceptual clarity. Orthodox definitions of economic transformation emphasize urban-based economic production, creating an “urban bias” in classical economic thinking. But, especially in a populous country such as ours, we need to begin to develop rural based economies. Cities such as Lagos, Kano Aba and Onitsha are choked. Economic activity is trapped in these cities, but 53 per cent of our population live in rural areas. Decentralized economic growth, especially based on value-added agriculture and industrial manufacturing, will create more jobs and boost inclusion.





The role of infrastructure in creating inclusive growth is obvious. This is what creates equality of access to markets and productive opportunities, and it will also create a “pull” factor for decentralized economic activity. Developing human capital through educational policy that is geared to innovation and technical skills is necessary to increase the productivity of labour, which is the critical component of inclusive growth. This requires a very conscious policy that prioritizes science and technology for the next 20 years in Nigeria. The benefits of a liberal arts education notwithstanding, it is clear that education policy in Nigeria must make certain conscious choices if we are to achieve a “quantum leap” of inclusive growth. That choice must be one in favour of technical and vocational skills at this time.







We have talked ourselves hoarse about the need to diversity Nigeria’s economy. But inclusive growth will not be achieved by merely diversifying into low-productivity agriculture in the 21st century or mining and exporting raw solid minerals. The latter will simply create another channel of commodity dependency, and is not the model on which the true wealth of nations is based. Real diversification means a value chain of industrialization and value addition in a number of industries, whether based initially on agricultural or mineral resources, or, additionally, beyond natural resources to create other competitive goods for export. This means, in the area of solid minerals, that we need to be far-sighted and require value-addition (beneficiation) to any solid mineral mined in Nigeria before its export prior to granting mining licenses to investors. That is what creates jobs. True diversification of economies across sectors requires a strategy to achieve economic complexity (a subject I will address in more detail another day). Achieving inclusive growth in this manner also requires political will to overcome the corruption and patronage systems that are frequently linked to natural resources.







Nigeria needs to create a social contract between the state and its citizens. This involves, primarily, the obligations of citizens (such as paying taxes) in exchange for the protection of life and limb, civil liberties and its limits, as well as the sustainable provision of basic infrastructure and social safety nets by the state. This gives citizens a sense of belonging, with mutual accountabilities between the government and the governed. One way to achieve this is to bring the millions in Nigeria’s informal economy into the formal sector, including by making innovative use of the ubiquitous mobile telephones that are owned by 140 million Nigerians.






This is linked to financial inclusion. Inadequate access to finance plagues Nigeria’s small and medium enterprises, resulting in the oxymoron of capitalism without capital. It is not enough to strengthen the role of development banks, though that is essential. Beyond this, more private sector regional banks in geopolitical zones should be encouraged as a matter of policy, so that finance is located closer to rural and semi-rural populations as well as the urban small businesses. It is shocking that, as a recent report of the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics revealed, 77 per cent of bank credit in Nigeria in 2015 went to Lagos alone. That’s just one of the 36 states, and only 10 per cent of Nigeria’s population. This is extreme financial exclusion, a model that cannot build or sustain an inclusive growth economy. The role of the private sector more broadly is similarly critical. Business will play a driving role in inclusive growth if the power of competition, privatization and deregulation is unleashed in a manner that avoids abusive crony capitalism.






Finally, Nigeria will not achieve real inclusive growth without inclusive governance. We will continue to suffer instability and be distracted from strategic economic transformation if the foundational elements of political inclusion for Nigeria’s diverse citizenry are not addressed sincerely and effectively. The federal government today came to office in an election in which the opposition defeated an incumbent president. This gives it a unique opportunity to begin to truly heal Nigeria’s wounds. A political re-engineering of our nationhood and our economy by revisiting a constitutional structure that traps us in a vicious circle of underdevelopment, will provide the foundation for real economic transformation.





• Professor Moghalu, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), is a Senior Fellow in the Council on Emerging Market Enterprises at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, USA




The idea of “cultural appropriation” has recently entered mainstream debates about the ways in which African cultural creations are used, borrowed and imitated by others. In fashion, art, music and beyond, some people now argue that certain African cultural symbols and products are off-limits to non-Africans.



In March 2016, an African-American woman at San Francisco State University confronted a white student. She said he should cut his hair because dreadlocks belong to black culture. The incident went viral. Within a month, a YouTube video of the encounter had been watched more than 3.7 million times.



An online debate also erupted about whether it was appropriate for Canadian singer Justin Bieber to wear dreadlocks.




Debates about appropriation aren’t always limited to cross-racial borrowing. An online discussion about African-American appropriation of African cultural symbols also went viral. It began with journalist Zipporah Gene asking black Americans to stop appropriating African clothing and tribal marks. She argued this indicated “ignorance and cultural insensitivity”.



In these debates, the label of cultural appropriation is broadly applied to borrowing that is in some way inappropriate, unauthorised or undesirable. My argument is that borrowing may become appropriation when it reinforces historically exploitative relationships or deprives African countries of opportunities to control or benefit from their cultural material.



A history of extraction


During colonialism, colonial powers not only extracted natural resources but also cultural booty. 
The contemporary cultural appropriation debate reflects a justified sensitivity about this historical legacy of extraction, evidence of which can be found in various museums outside of Africa.



The theft of the renowned Benin Bronzes is just one example of this cultural looting. These artefacts were seized by the British in 1897 during a punitive military expedition against the Kingdom of Benin. British soldiers invaded, looted, and ransacked Benin, setting buildings on fire and killing many people. They then deposed, shackled and exiled the Oba (king). This ultimately spelled the end of the independent Kingdom of Benin.



The punitive force looted an estimated 3,000 bronzes, ivory-works, carved tusks and oak chests. Benin’s cultural heritage was then sold in the private European art market to offset the cost of the expedition. Today the Benin Bronzes can be found in museums and collections worldwide. And, in 1990, one single Benin head was sold for US$2.3 million by a London-based auction house.




In 2010, a looted Benin mask with an estimated value of £4.5 million was withdrawn from sale by Sotheby’s auction house following protests concerning the sale. The mask was due to be sold by descendants of a participant in the punitive expedition.



In contrast, the descendant of one participant in the looting of Benin has returned looted artwork.




This colonial booty was taken without permission or compensation. Some people argue a similar dynamic exists in contemporary use of African cultural symbols, creations and products.




Olufunmilayo Arewa, is Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine. Professor Arewa's research centers around intellectual property and business, with a primary focus on copyright and music. Her work also focuses on copyright and the entertainment industries, law and technology, law and society, and various business issues, including accounting, corporate and securities law, private equity, and entrepreneurship




Reuters) - Facebook Inc <FB.O> founder Mark Zuckerberg’s philanthropy venture has made its first major investment, leading a funding round in a startup that trains and recruits software developers in Africa.



The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative LLC, created by Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, led a $24 million Series B funding in Andela, the startup said on Thursday.



Alphabet Inc’s <GOOGL.O> GV, previously known as Google Ventures, was also part of the funding round. Andela selects the top 1 percent of tech talent from Africa, trains them and places them in engineering organizations.



The startup, which has nearly 200 engineers currently employed by its Nigeria and Kenya offices, will use the funds to expand to a third African country by the end of 2016.




“We live in a world where talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not. Andela’s mission is to close that gap,” Zuckerberg said in a statement. When the philanthropy initiative was launched in late 2015, Zuckerberg said he would put in 99 percent of his Facebook shares.




The initiative is structured as a limited liability company. This means, unlike a traditional charitable or philanthropic foundation, the venture can make political donations, lobby lawmakers, invest in businesses and recoup any profits from those investments.




Zuckerberg has also signed the Giving Pledge, which invites the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to commit to giving more than half of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes over their lifetime or in their will.

 

(Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)


Here comes the big trouble, for with floating of naira comes massive devaluation, Hyperinflation and higher interest rate.





Nigerian government has finally bowed to recommendation by masterly International Monetary Fund (IMF) to devalue naira by allowing the embittered currency to float.  Nigerian government cannot be accused of dithering; the government held his own but oddities and authoritative IMF finally have their way.




The governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has stipulated that naira value will be determined by the forces of the market grounded on the law of demand and supply. Therefore from June 20, naira will be allowed to float, subsequently bringing with it massive devaluation and further weakening of naira. CBN has earlier pegged naira at about 197 to a dollar, but the apparent value of naira determined at the parallel market stood at about 340-350 to a dollar.




When the pegged on naira is finally removed and floating commences, the outing prevailing naira rate at forex may climb up to 400 to dollar higher than the rate at parallel (black) market. The possibility and probability are imminent because there is not enough dollars to sell to ‘hungry’ buyers. The demand for dollars by the “selective dealers” will surge with inadequate supply, simultaneously deteriorating the intrinsic purchasing power of naira at the monetary base.




The weakening and devalued naira will depressed the currency purchasing power due to the emerging hyperinflation.  Take note of the word ‘hyperinflation’ this is not your ordinary inflationary trend. Hyperinflation can be describe as super inflation attributed to declining naira value, economic recession and paucity of food products/essential materials in the market. With consecutive negative contractions of two quarters, recession will be apparent.  Already the GDP has a negative growth of 0.4 percent in the first quarter of the year.


Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun, MD IMF Christine Lagarde, CBN Govenor Godwin EmeliefeMinister of Finance Kemi Adeosun, MD IMF Christine Lagarde, CBN Govenor Godwin Emefiele




Inflation rate is 71.59% not 15.6%


According to National Bureau of Statistics, the country’s inflation rate is at six year high of 15.6 percent but many economists are not seeing eye-to-eye on the accuracy of the given number.


Prof. Stevie Hanke , the  applied economist at Johns Hopkins University and director of the Troubled Currencies Project at Cato Institute disagreed with the given inflation rate. He professed that the discrepancy on the modus of the tabulation of Nigeria's inflation rate does not reflect the true reality of the higher inflationary trends.




Therefore using the formula by Prof. Hanke to calculate Nigeria’s inflation rate:
(official data) × (lie coefficient) = real estimate: Then the real inflation rate will be 71.59 percent





With prices of rice, garri and yam going beyond the reach of average Nigerian family. How do Obi, Dele and Bello feed their families?   The floating of naira and its ramifications are not making things better at the foreseeable future.





The astringent tightening tool of CBN’s monetary policy cannot tame hyperinflationary trend by the raising of interest rate.  The reality is that the macroeconomics oddities and dislocations are beyond the application of the waned CBN’s monetary policy. The Nigeria’s interest rate at 13 percent is bound to be raised higher notch up by CBN to 14-15 percent to rein in the rising inflation. The move will spell more misery to Nigerian business community, for the subsequent mopping of liquidity will dry up credits and invariably makes borrowing more expensive in the illiquidity market.



Image result for emeka chiakweluEmeka  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

Monday, 13 June 2016 20:12

The Three Changes Nigeria Needs

We are fighting corruption and rebalancing away from oil dependence to create durable economic growth.




Nigeria is at a crossroads. Just over a year ago, people voted in a historic democratic election to end corruption and business as usual, opting instead to build an economy that delivers for all Nigerians.


The old order was based on an unsustainable commodities supercycle. While the boom had many positives and contributed to Nigeria becoming Africa’s largest economy, it fostered an epidemic of corruption and inefficiency. Foreign businesses and financial institutions also benefited as some people spent and sometimes hid huge sums abroad, lifted by the rising tide of oil exports and dollar revenues.


Now we are living in a new world of low energy prices. The economy has slowed while unemployment and inflation have jumped. Longstanding structural imbalances and overdependence on imports have been cruelly exposed. We are an oil-rich nation that imports most of our gasoline. We are a farming nation that imports most of our basic food staples. This is simply not acceptable or sustainable.



Nigeria Needs U.S. Help Against Boko Haram
Our solutions must be in proportion to the challenges. Fundamental change takes time and we are driving not one but three changes to reposition Nigeria for inclusive growth.


• Restore trust We have begun to tackle the endemic corruption and mismanagement that is crippling our economy and corroding trust in our institutions. The anticorruption fight is at the heart of combating poverty and improving security. We have stepped up enforcement and new prosecutions to get our house in order, and I have called for foreign governments to work with us to identify where funds stolen during previous administrations are lodged and for multistate cooperation to combat oil theft.



Fighting corruption is not enough. We need accountable government and a public sector that can do more with less. We have already taken initial steps by bringing all government finances into a single treasury account where we can monitor spending and impose discipline, implementing zero-based budgets and benchmarks targeted at waste and fraud, and establishing electronic platforms for government agency interface.



• Rebalance our economy In a world of lower oil prices and dollar revenues, the only sustainable path is to reduce Nigerians’ overreliance on imports. We must rebalance our economy by empowering entrepreneurs and producers, big and small, to create more of what their fellow Nigerians demand. The supply of foreign exchange to the economy must be increased. This requires radically increasing exports and productivity and improving the investment climate and ease of doing business.



Nigeria’s growth and job creation will be led by the private sector. We are a young, entrepreneurial society with vibrant success stories in new industries such as telecommunications, technology and entertainment. Government is doing its part to lower taxes on small businesses, eliminate bureaucracy to bring the informal economy out of the shadows and provide development funding for priority sectors such as agriculture. The central bank has moved to introduce greater flexibility in our exchange-rate policy. These actions are a downpayment on our people’s ability to succeed.


• Regenerate growth We must reposition our economy by attracting investment in domestic industries and infrastructure. Nigeria has huge untapped gas reserves and also a critical shortage of electricity. Our private sector loses too much of its revenue due to brownouts and power outages. Half of my fellow Nigerians have no access to the power grid. Investment in our power infrastructure, restructuring of the state-run oil-and-gas sector and development of other industries such as solid minerals, metals and petrochemicals will help to create a virtuous circle of growth and exports while creating jobs and reducing poverty.



I am optimistic that our actions are providing the breathing room Nigeria needs during this period of fundamental change. But we cannot improve living conditions and restore fiscal health without making people feel safe and secure—just as we cannot defeat militancy without reducing poverty and dislocation.



One of our main achievements this past year has been to unite regional and global allies to push back Boko Haram. What we do in the next three years to build an economic bridge to Nigeria’s future will be just as important for bringing lasting peace and prosperity.


Mr. Buhari is the president of Nigeria.



"President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a list of 47 new ambassadors to the Nigerian Senate for confirmation.  This was announced by the president of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, during the sitting of the upper legislative chamber on Tuesday. Mr. Saraki read a letter from Mr. Buhari containing the list. Names of the nominees are yet to be made public.  Nigeria has had no ambassadors to UK, Germany, USA, China, U.N., Spain, Russia and France after previous envoys were removed by Mr. Buhari after taking office in May 2015."  -  Premiun Times 


Below are full list:



1.Usman Bakori Aliyu
2. Umar Zainab Salisu 
3. Momoh Seyidou Umieza 
4. Kadri Ayinla 
5. Balogun Hakeem
6. Nosa Ahmed 
7. Ibrahim Isa 
8. Bankole Adegboyega Adeoye
9.  Ibidapo Obe Oluwasegun
10. Ogundayo Sakirat
11. Eric A. Belgam 
12. Ateru Aliru
13.Ramata Bulima
14. Musa Rahman
15. Kabiru Bala
16. Damu Shuaibu
17. D. A Agiv 
18. TK Gonglong
19. Ibrahim Hamza
20. KC Nwachukwu
21. Q.R Lolu
22. E.K Oguntuwase
23. A.I Paragauda
24. L.A Gasharga
25. Olufemi Abikoye 
26. Abubakar Ibrahim
27. Rabiu Kauru
28. Odeka Janet Biong 
29. Adekunbi Abibat
30. Obinna Chukwuemeka
31. Salisu Umoru
32. Iyang Udoh Iyang 
33. okeke Vivian Nwanaku 
34. Niman Munir
35. Edem Jane Ada 
36. Muhammed Hassan Hassan 
37. Martin Young Cobham 
38. Janet Molegbo Olisah
39. Itegbuoye Sunday
40. Olatunde Adesesan
41. Lilian Ijekwu Onu
42. Manaja Tulahi Isa 
43. Ngozi Ukeje
44. Bello Kazaure Huseini 
45. Inoc Pierre Ducci 
46. Garba Baba

 

 

 

Tuesday, 07 June 2016 21:07

President Obama Honors Black Music

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate ReleaseMay 31, 2016



Presidential Proclamation -- African-American Music Appreciation Month, 2016


A vital part of our Nation's proud heritage, African-American music exemplifies the creative spirit at the heart of American identity and is among the most innovative and powerful art the world has ever known. It accompanies us in our daily lives, and it has rung out at turning points in our history and demonstrated how our achievements as a culture go hand-in-hand with our progress as a Nation. During African-American Music Appreciation Month, we honor the artists who, through this music, bring us together, show us a true reflection of ourselves, and inspire us to reach for the harmony that lies beyond our toughest struggles. 



Songs by African-American musicians span the breadth of the human experience and resonate in every corner of our Nation -- animating our bodies, stimulating our imaginations, and nourishing our souls. In the ways they transform real stories about real people into art, these artists speak to universal human emotion and the restlessness that stirs within us all. African-American music helps us imagine a better world, and it offers hope that we will get there together. 



This month, we celebrate the music that reminds us that our growth as a Nation and as people is reflected in our capacity to create great works of art. Let us recognize the performers behind this incredible music, which has compelled us to stand up -- to dance, to express our faith through song, to march against injustice, and to defend our country's enduring promise of freedom and opportunity for all. 



NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2016 as African-American Music Appreciation Month. I call upon public officials, educators, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate activities and programs that raise awareness and foster appreciation of music that is composed, arranged, or performed by African Americans. 



IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth. 



BARACK OBAMA

Muhammad Ali was a modern day hero of our time. Inasmuch the word hero has been bastardized; its true meaning resided with those that achieved uncommon things and Ali was of an exceptional personality. He was courageous, charismatic and compassionate. His life history has become an assignment to those that want to emulate and examine a life worth living.




Ali was the greatest boxer ever lived but he was also a man that made his greatest impact on humanity.  If left for me, I will say that boxing is not Ali’s greatest passion, his love for his fellow human being and  enduring cherish for friendship were his most powerful symbols of his greatness.




Ali emerged  on the scene during the era of African American civil right movement and Vietnam War’s quagmire. At this point in time there was turbulent in American polity as Black Americans were agitating to assert their full citizenship as enumerated in the US constitution and Bill of Rights.




Muhammad Ali became The peoples champion, a symbol of love and heroic endeavor:

Ali loved being Black and he strongly identified with blackism and everything black. There was James Brown (godfather of soul) hit song – ‘Say it loud -  I'm Black and I'm Proud’ that touched and anchored at the center of black liberation movement. It does make sense for one to love and respect oneself before expecting others to do so. Mohammed Ali imbibed the meaning of the song and he never apologized for being black.





Ali understood quite well and put into practice that loving yourself as a black person does not implies hating people of other creeds and races in order to actualize self dignity. He refused to hate other people instead he extended and made friends beyond the circle of his black acquaintances.





Who can forget his bond and friendship with Howard Cosell, the great sport television broadcaster?  Both of these gentlemen respect and adored each other especially when they played around.  With the amity, respect and gregariousness between them he showed the whole world that black and white can live in peace and harmony.



Ali’s Islamic faith was not used as tool to divide and hate, rather it became a means to build bridges and make new friends. He had friends from around the world irrespective of their background or religion. Ali loved everyone thereby upholding his views on the equality and brotherhood of man. But he hated injustice and inequality in anywhere he found it.





In the 1970s when image of Africa was in the mud, when Africa was heaped with images of dark, primitive and wild descriptions, Ali did not turn his back from the land of his fathers. He brought one of his greatest acts to Congo Zaire in the festive boxing match with George Foreman in the so-called ‘Rumble in the Jungle’.





Despite the name given to boxing bout, when the world came to Kinshasa the capital of Zaire, they saw modern infrastructures, roads and cars in the happy Africa. He aided in changing the perception of Africa despite western media persistent propaganda.






He did not only display his love for his heritage in Congo-Zaire but he was also in Nigeria. When many Black Americans were afraid to go to Africa, Muhammad Ali and James Brown were visiting Nigeria and they loved it. Ali brought lots of smiles and laughter to Africans especially to downtrodden that were lacking hope with his magical sense of humor.





One of the greatest qualities of Ali was his boldness. He never shrinks from limelight and never afraid or intimidated to call situation the way he saw it. He hated injustice and always gave his best to restore the dignity of man. Without doubt, our world was better-off with Ali’s presence and participation.






Emeka ChiakweluEmeka  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

 

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