Sunday, December 21, 2014

APC, PDP what difference?

... what manner of change?

The APC has been consistent in saying that the PDP has ruled Nigeria for 16 disastrous years in which corruption, impunity, insurgency, armed robbery and several ills of society held sway.

But a very close look at the APC, I am seeing Amaechi - 8yrs speaker; 7yrs governor under PDP,

Atiku - 8yrs Vice president under PDP,

Akume -8yrs governor under PDP,

Bukola Saraki - 8yrs governor; 2yrs Senator under PDP,

Timipre Sylver -4yrs governor under PDP,

Audu Ogbe - 2yrs chairman of PDP,

Aminu Masari - 4yrs Reps speaker under PDP,

Chris Ngige - 3yrs governor under PDP,

Kwankwaso - 7yrs governor, 3yrs Defense minister under PDP,

El-Rufai - 4yrs FCT minister, 2yrs BPE chairman under PDP,

Oyinlola, 7 and half years governor under PDP,

Segun Oni, 3 and half years governor under PDP, and to cap it all they went to OBJ begging, a man who they claimed spent 8 of the disastrous 16 yrs as the maximum ruler of Nigeria to come and lead them on a rescue mission.

It is now clearer that APC is a waste basket of the PDP, where the people who created and perpetuated the "16 Disastrous years" are now dumped.

Please Nigerians what is the change in this APC?
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Friday, December 19, 2014

Saheed Osupa Switches Style, Features M.I, Tiwa Savage, PHYNO, Reminisce on Hiphop Album

Popular Fuji singer King Saheed Osupa has been busy in the studio with K-Solo, the popular producer of Timaya's first hit album, for a Hiphop album. This Saturday, December 20, 2014, they are dropping one of the songs already produced, titled "Vanakula". The album which features collaborations with M.I, Tiwa Savage, Phyno and Reminisce will follow suit. This is the first Hiphop album of King Saheed Osupa in his over 36 years career.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Gov. Rochas Okorocha pledges N100m for Imo Film Academy

The much-talked-about Imo Film Academy(IFACA), an idea of Gov. Rochas Okorocha overseen by talented actress, Nkeiru Silvanus as the Director General was officially unveiled this past weekend in Imo state. The event held inside the multipurpose, newly built IFACA rehearsal hall was heavily attended by many top veteran Nollywood stars such as Okey Bakassi, Clem Ohamese, Andy Ike, Emeka Rollas, to name just a few including some international guests.

Governor Okorocha who was personally present at the event alongside his deputy, Prince Eze Madumere, apart from setting apart a vast area of land for the academy on which the magnificent IFACA rehearsal hall and other state-of-the-art facilities already exist, a staggering sum of N100million fund was also announced to promote and support Igbo speaking film through the Academy.

While decrying the marginalisation of the Igbo tribe in some key areas of the nation's affair and clamour for urgent redress, the governor was however optimistic that the movie industry is a veritable tool for proper cultural representation of the Igbos and also a catalyst for self-reliance among the youths.

On her part, the Director General, Nkeiru Silvanus reassured everyone of her commitment to use her vast wealth of knowledge in the art to bring about a great development in the state's movie industry.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Who kill Dimgba Igwe?

Another angle. All angles should be examined.

Ex Abia Governor Fingered Over Dimgba Igwe's Mysterious Death

Dimgba Igwe a renowned Journalist and one of the pioneer Editors of the Sun Newspaper is dead.

Dimgba Igwe we learnt was killed by a hit and run car in what appears to be an assassination while jogging this morning around his residence in Okota area of lagos where he lives.

The Newspaper columnist who worked with defunct Concord and later became the pioneer Editor of the Sun Newspapers with Mike Awoyinfa was sacked by Orji Uzor kalu few years ago over his stand against Kalu's interference in the paper.

Mr Igwe and Awoyinfa floated a paper that didn't survive as kalu pleaded with him to come back. Igwe who is from Igbere accepted partially to maintain his column, he was later made the Vice chairman editorial board of the Sun but that did not change his principle as he continued to challenge Kalu's unprofessional style of running the Sun Newspapers

We gathered that Mr. Dimgba Igwe who is popular with the entire work force has become a thorn In Ouks flesh as he confronted the publisher over the 8 months salary he is owing them. A staff of the SUN told us that Dimgba had a shouting match with kalu few days ago on the salary issue. Igwe told kalu to bury his face in shame as he can't pay them. It was learnt that kalu who was visibly shaken swore to deal with Igwe.

However, according to an insider report, accusing fingers are being pointed at kalu for Igwe's mysterious death. As at the time of writing this report, some SUN NEWSPAPERS Staff have deserted the Kirikiri area office of the Sun Newspapers.

The Publisher of the SUN, Kalu yet to visit the family, he is said to have been in Lagos. Every phone contact made to get him to comment on the death of Mr. Dimgba were unsuccessful.

RIP Oga Dimgba but your killers will not hide forever.

Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Why Everyone Is Talking About Sitcom "Living Together"

Most audience will agree that there has been a dearth of family-friendly, entertaining and educating sitcoms on the airwaves lately; but they need not worry anymore as Living Together is debuting on Nigerian TV stations soon all over the county.

LIVING TOGETHER is a production of actress/producer Betty Njoku Oluwome of Blunt Pencil Films and is directed by prolific Nollywood Director Afe Olumowe. The sitcom stars new but highly talented actors like Chika Okeke, Ekemini Nankere, Nev Harrison, Lord Frank, Bola Ogunmola. The producer Betty Njoku has in the past produced films like the Phobia, My Baby Boy, and Midnight Murder.


Living Together is a modern day urban sitcom comprising of five characters namely MIMI, TEMI, YOYO, CHUKS, and NAME POTASSIUM. All three ladies (Mimi, Temi and Yoyo) are individuals who came into each other's world as adults and took a decision to rent an apartment together which had them splitting the rent among themselves. With family members residing in other parts of the country, the ladies currently live in the big city and each is armed with a desire to move to a greater level in life and in love in no distant future.
Mimi and Temi are university graduates with certificates to show for it while Yoyo unfortunately had a slightly unstable upbringing as a result of losing her dad at a very tender age; this left her as a secondary school dropout. Yoyo is however a very competent fashion designer.

Chuks is Temi's cousin and a graduate from an institution in the eastern part of Nigeria. He is one with a questionable certificate (this he denies all the time).

Name Potassium is a young man who lives in the neighbourhood and comes visiting anytime and almost every time. He has a crush on Temi and believes he will someday end up marrying her.

Name Potassium although never mentions what higher institution he attended, he is suspected at some point to be a graduate from one of the nearby mental institutions, a claim which however, doesn't have a single proof.
LIVING TOGETHER is basically cut out to entertain a global audience through the comedy medium.

The witty characters oftentimes fight and argue over irrelevant issues but always come back at the end of the day to settle their differences.

This sitcom mirrors the modern day youth, their goals, desires, challenges and shortcomings.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Meet Nigerian young fashion designer who designed for President Jonathan, Governors, many others

It is amazing how young Nigerians are breaking new grounds despite many challenges facing the country.
This 25 year old Nigerian, Ola-Abraham Emmanuel, the CEO of Owambe clothings is one of the few designers who has change the face of fashion in Nigeria.
A trained journalist but found love in fashion designing from NYSC orientation camp.
After his NYSC, he established his company Owambe Clothings with 18 employees.
In less than a year, his company has sewn over 3,000 Nigerian attires.
He also designed clothes for president Goodluck Jonathan, Gov Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, top celebrities, civil servants and government officials.
Last year, this dude organised Africa's Largest fashion show, a show where he featured 112 models from Nigeria, Togo, Benin Republic, Ghana to exhibit his designs in one show and one event. That show had more than 800 guests in attendance, and the Gov of Ogun state was there represented.
Information reaching us it that, this guy is planning something big again which he called freedom fashion week, where he will bring all fashion businesses in africa to a point. This dude is the next big thing coming out of Nigeria.
In case you want him to sew for you. Contact owambe clothings on 08165314466 or 29292f74.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

Friday, June 20, 2014

Actress Nkeiru Sylvanus Ready For Talk-of-town Movie Premiere

Mark this date July 13th on your calendar. It is the day all the creme de la creme of the entertainment industry will gather to celebrate Nollywood darling Nkeiruka Sylvanus for a Job well done.

We have waited and waited for that highly talked about high definition movie by the pretty actress titled "The Voice", now our wait is over has Nkeiru is now fully ready to bring the movie to your viewing pleasure.

The premiere of Nkiru Sylvanus' new
film 'The Voice' which also stars Kenneth Okolie, Betty Njoku-Olumowe and many others is taken place on the above date at the prestigious Oriental Hotel, Lekki Lagos.

The Voice which was written and directed by Afe Olumowe is about a lady, Sandy Onaivi played by Nkiru, who has been told by a stranger that she had just 90 days left to live on earth. Three unusual signs are given to confirm this and they happen as for told.

Meanwhile on the appointed day, Sandy is kidnapped by a hoodlum Solonzo who holds her and demands a ransome. Who
will get to her first?

Will he have the patience to keep her alive till he can collect on the 10 million naira ransom? Find out in this thrilling psychological thriller that will keep you at the edge of your seat from start to finish.

Redcarpet for the premiere starts by 5pm and viewing starts by 7pm at Oriental Hotels, Lagos.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

CWG, MAG Tech unveils effective approach to tackle fraudulent transactions

Caption L-R: Lab Director & Head of Cyber security, MAG Tech, Omer Shony Kenhi; Chief Technology Officer, MAG Tech & Former Commander Cyber Technology unit – Israeli Police, Nadav Arbel; CEO, MAG Tech, Rami Arad, and Chief Technology Officer, CWG PLC, James Agada during an information security session in Lagos .

In a bid to reduce the level of threat and Cyber- attack in the financial sector,
Computer Warehouse Group (CWG PLC), a leading technology Company in Africa and MAG Tech, a specialized information security outfit have said Security Operations Centre (SOC) is the ultimate information security platform required to drastically minimize Cyber-attack and threats currently being encountered by financial institutions.
The Chief Technology Officer of CWG James Agada speaking at a stakeholder's session themed, 'Security Operations Centre (SOC) - Financial Services in the Cyber Attack Era' said effective SOC implementations will curb fraud and enhance the growing use of the internet for banking and financial inclusion within a safe and secure framework.
Agada said that CWG as a Technology Company goes beyond enabling businesses with products and solutions to concepts that will ensure 100% security of all the customers' transactions. According to Agada, product and product knowledge are not adequate to achieve the end result of any business solution, hence the need for the new concept, which is centered on how to detect and react to fraudulent transactions.
 "Our aim is to ensure that these skills are internalized in Africa as information security is crucial to us and our customers" He said.
MAG Tech's Chief Technical Officer, Nadav Arbel on his part said that Cyber-attack is originated from the Darknet which is the illegal part of the internet.
According to Arbel, Cyber-attack occurs when there is data leakage which may be caused by misconfiguration of a server or other sources.
"As long as your business is connected on the internet, you will experience some form of cyber-attack and threat. Hence the solution is your ability to detect and prevent it. Security Operations Centre has been conceptualized for detection and prevention of darknet's negative impact on businesses" He added.
 A security expert at the meeting explained that the concept enables the bank to help their customers from being defrauded and the banks can jointly eliminate or maximally reduce the level of Cyber-attacks and threats in the system when all the banks are monitoring through SOC.
He added that intra-bank and inter-banks cyber-attacks and threats can be detected and prevented through SOC.
"A bank was struggling with Cyber-attacks and threats until a Security Operations Center was designed and implemented. Presently, they can monitor all the transactions on their network across the globe through the SOC concept from their office in Lagos."
 He encouraged banks to develop a strategic roadmap to tackle IT Risks & Security issues by looking at implementation of a standard and effective Security Operations Center.
"Any bank that wants to be in business and roll out innovative products powered by IT infrastructure must take into consideration the Security Operations Centre, as information security is very key in the financial industry".

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

National Conference would be volatile, says Uranta

Mr. Tony I Uranta was a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Conference. In this interview with Ayodele Samuel, he argues that the proposed national conference will be volatile but would put Nigeria on track and provide answers to many national questions. He however faults Chief Solomon Asemota over his self acclaimed minority report. Excerpts:
Presidential National Conference Advisory Committee, Mr Tony Uranta
Presidential National Conference Advisory Committee, Mr Tony Uranta

You were a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue, how would you describe your experience vis-a-vis the desirability or otherwise of the conference?
It was an enervative and very educative experience that every member of the committee gained during the exercise of consultations, which saw them moving round all the six geopolitical zones. During that period, we found out, among other things, that we didn't know exactly how many ethic nationalities there are in Nigeria; that many people really thought that we were already conducting the National Conference per se. We also found out that there were expectations from government that were both unrealistic and not pragmatic and that there was an overwhelming desire, all through the nation, for us to come together as one people to speak. Even in places where there seemed, initially, to be apathy on the part of state governments or local governments not to participate, we realised that the people of these states and zones, and of Nigeria, had taken on the sovereignty that belongs to them and decided that they were going to decide whether they talk or not; what they would talk about; how they would talk about it; and how it would be reflected when it all comes out at the end of the day.
But the committee almost ran into stormy waters in Edo State, with the altercation between the governor and Tony Nyiam, leading to hisresignation from the committee. Did that not create the fear that the conference itself could really be volatile?
The conference will be volatile! The Yoruba say that brothers don't go into a room to speak the truth to one another and come out smiling all the time. It will be volatile because we are going to speak the truth to one another, so we can resolve our differences, enhance our commonalities and build a truly united Nigeria premised on truth, equity and justice. But the incident in Benin was really less one of volatility, as much as one of intemperate reaction by both the governor and a member of our committee. The people of that zone had apparently taken a position that they really wanted to participate in the National Conference. The governor had already told us in private that he was opposed to the National Conference, and had been so opposed from the beginning of the concept itself in the 1980s. We did not expect him to come out and try to talk his people into accepting his position as the position of the state or the zone. And when the people started booing him and clamouring for him to leave the podium, we least expected a member of our team to join in with the people to heckle the governor, especially since our team's mandate was not to talk, but to listen, record, and later offer advice.
Do the final guidelines agree with the recommendations of the committee, especially concerning the 'no-go-area' and the fact that the final outcome of the confab will go through the National Assembly for it to be incorporated in the constitution?
I will say about 95 per cent or more of the recommendations of the committee [the initial recommendations of the committee] were published later on and have been announced as the modalities. There were very few departures from the original recommendations. For example, we had initially said that delegates should be chosen through elections/adult suffrage, so that there will be transparency and the ability for everybody to participate fully. But when government got our report, it went through it, and realised that the Electoral Act does not allow INEC, which is the only body that is empowered to carry out elections, to conduct elections outside of the political elections that have been designated to it; and that for it to now process this election, there would have to be alterations to the Electoral Act. But we were not sure that the alterations could be carried out even in the next one year or two knowing how slow our National Assembly can be on matters of certain national and critical issues. You know how long it took for the Freedom of Information Bill to get passed. A bill that was sent in 1999 only got passed in 2007.
Apart from that, government now asked INEC to budget what it will cost and INEC budgeted N25 billion.
Now, if people are complaining of N7 billion budgeted for this conference, can you imagine what they would have been saying if we were to have N32 billion?
Therefore, government knew it was not a pragmatic decision to take. We were then invited back by the president, who was very unique in the way he went about dealing with both the committee and the report of the committee. Rather than setting up a White Paper Committee, he kept returning to us and saying to us, review your recommendations. We reviewed them and concluded that there shall be delegates nominated by the people, through stakeholder groups and interest groups of the people. So it will be a wholly people-driven conference. As to whether the outcomes of the conference will now return to the National Assembly for legislation; yes, every such outcomes have to end up in the National Assembly for legislation. What the people of Nigeria do want and what they are adamant about is that there must be a referendum. After the referendum, what they don't want is for the conference's outcome to be tinkered with by the National Assembly before it is passed into law as either the New Constitution, or as part of the 1999 Constitution undergoing review. Now, you will notice that I have made a distinction as to whether the constitution will be new or reviewed. This is because we recommended to the president that rather than getting involved with all the imbroglio of the politics should there be a referendum; should the National Assembly have dominance and so; we said, simply, he should let the National Conference itself decide whether Nigerians want a referendum. Let the conference decide. When the referendum is decided, do they want the outcomes of the Conference and the referendum to become a brand new Constitution? Let the Conference decide. I am one person who wants a referendum. I am one person who wants a brand new Constitution. But, I love this idea of giving it over to the people, via the Conference, so nobody is imposing anything on the people of Nigeria. And when they decide, I want to see anybody, group of people or interest group that will stand up and say that what the people want is wrong, and that they are not going to give them what they want; and I want to see what will happen after that.
Was Chief Solomon Asemota opposed to any aspect of the report that could have led to the controversy of whether or not there was a minority report?
I think that is one of the tragedies of Nigeria's reality at the moment. I have so much respect for Chief Asemota (SAN), and prior to our interactions on this committee, I held him in very high esteem, but so far as far as I am concerned, he let himself down. He let the peoples of my zone (South-South) and the people of Nigeria down. Of course, what Chief Asemota, as an extension of Professor Ben Nwabueze, a respected constitutional lawyer and elder statesman, was intent on doing was foisting upon Nigeria, and Nigerians, and the conference, a pre-decided agenda. Professor Nwabueze had stated at the Eminent Peoples Summit which I convened in January 2012 here in Lagos (when he walked out because the majority of the people present wanted a National Conference to debate any and every issue under the sun) that he wanted a National Conference to debate certain issues in draft Constitution which The Patriots had drawn up under the late Chief Rotimi Williams (and we are talking about ages ago!). He urged that we don't discuss anything else except that document and that he would then go about turning that document into a new constitution.
You will agree with me that that proviso would be restricting and limiting Nigerians. There is nothing that stops us from discussing that document because it is a critical document; but we could not be limited by Chief Asemota, Professor Nwabueze and their co-travellers. As to whether there was a minority report, Chief Asemota was the chairman of the Committee's Sub-Committee on Legal Processes which was to decide whether there should be a referendum; whether the outcome of the conference be subjected to the National Assembly; whether there should be a bill legislating the conference into being ab initio. It was this sub-committee, headed by him as the most senior lawyer on our committee, that came to the recommendations in our submitted report. We accepted the subcommittee's recommendations hook, line and sinker! It was, therefore, disconcerting that at the point of our signing, Chief Asemota was nowhere to be found. For hours, we were calling, sending cars all around looking for him, only to find out that he was all the time in the parking lot sleeping right outside the committee's meeting hall and that he wished, at that belated point, to take a position saying that he had a memo (because that is what we saw it as being!) to submit. He erroneously called it a minority report. That memo in fact had been submitted already by The Patriots both during our consultation trips, and by Professor Nwabueze privately to the chairman of the committee and to the president. So it has been incorporated into our report. There was nothing new in the memo and the president rightly said that the memo could not be called a minority report after Chief Asemota had gone into all the papers shouting, mendaciously, about the president having refused a minority report.

BOI MD, Oputu, in sit-tight drama

Bank of Industry Evelyn N OputuFrom Ayodele Samuel, Lagos
There are indications that Managing Director of the Bank of Industry (BOI), Evelyn N. Oputu is currently sitting tight as she has completed her second term since November 30, 2013, making her tenure illegally overshot, our investigation has shown.
But a senior official of the bank who declined to speak on record claimed that Oputu's second term only expired in December.
Oputu hails from Edo state in the South-south geo-political zone, also called the Niger Delta area, where President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan equally hails from.
She was appointed in 2005 and served for four years before her tenure was renewed in 2009.
The federal government's policy on appointments into such public offices allows for maximum of eight years for each appointee, with federal character principle of rotation mostly applied to pave way for representation of the six geo-political zones in the country.
But Oputu took over from Dr. Larry Osa Afiana, also from Edo state, who was the first Managing Director of the bank. Afiana was appointed in 2001, soon after the bank was established. He served for only one term and his tenure was not renewed after it was trailed by some controversies.
According to a source within the federal ministry of trade and investment, saddled with the task of supervising the bank, her elongated stay may not be unconnected with the support of some top shots in the Presidency as well as the ministry.
The source said, "Her continuous stay is all these women's things". He stressed her tenure appeared to have been extended by one year even though it is not certain if it was officially done.
He asked one of our reporters to contact spokesman of the bank, Mr. Waheed Olagunju for further explanations on the tenure matter. But we could not get Olagunju, who was said to the out of the country on official assignment, to respond to our inquiries.
Established in October 2001 following the re-organisation of the defunct Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (NIDB), the bank is a financial institution with N250 billion share capital, designed to develop Nigeria's industrial sector with a mandate of providing support financing to large, medium and small-scale enterprises, expansion of existing industries and revitalisation of ailing industries to make Nigeria compete favourably in the global economy.
The Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) holds 58.86% of the N250 billion share capital; the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) controls 41.12%, while 42 private shareholders hold 0.02% of the share capital. The bank's leadership structure comprises an MD, three executive directors, two general managers and four assistant general managers.
It also has nine principal managers and fourteen senior managers. Meanwhile, worried by the alleged misleading financial statement prepared by the BoI and the unsatisfactory responses from its management, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has queried the bank over alleged missing assets.
The FRC, in the query, accused BoI of attempting to mislead the public through its report. The council therefore requested that all documents relating to the bank's transactions and operations be provided for verifications.
In a letter titled: 'Re: Non-compliance with Statement of Accounting Standards (SAS)', dated February 6, 2014, addressed to the BOI MD, Ms Oputu, the council referred the bank to the several meetings with it and the minister, trade and investments, Olusegun Aganga, as unsatisfactory.
The letter was signed by FRC Executive Secretary, Jim Obazee, copied Aganga, and the partner, Akintola Williams Deloitte, as well as the bank's auditor.
"Our council has reviewed your submissions and we regret to inform you that we are unsatisfied because the report is still capable of misleading a relevant stakeholder.
"You are hereby required to furnish our council, not later than seven days from the date of this letter, with the under-listed documents/reports as they may provide a pathway for an amicable resolution that will give our council comfort on this matter", the council said.
The documents being requested for by the council include sources of the reclassifications of its investment properties which were not in BOI's 2010 and 2011 accounts but in the restated accounts for the two years.
Others are management discussion and analysis for classifying the investment properties into previous categories in the first place and, the valuation report, from an FRC registered valuer, on all the investment properties that are now recognized in the restated financial statements and also accounted for in the 2012 accounts.
Also requested by the FRC are applicable values of the individual investment properties, auditor's physical verification attestation letter on all the investment properties and also, a schedule of rental income earned on each of the properties over the last three years (2010, 2011, and 2012).
Others are the evidence that the rental income was recognized in the BOI's income statement, the rental income receivable and the identity of the debtors, the scheduled of occupants of the investment properties analysed into related parties, third parties, corporate, individuals etc, and the evidence of BOI's ownership of all the restated investment properties including, but not limited to, certified title documents.
In addition, the bank was also asked to submit to the FRC, the three years audited financials of the managed funds covering 2010, 2011 and 2012 for each of the funds.
The bank was also requested to submit the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the BOI and the National Automotive Council (NAC), on the management expenses on the NAC managed intervention funds as well as the attestation of the external auditors of the NAC funds.
BOI had created an exceptional item of N1. 255 billion for NAC from the intervention fund that is principally for onward lending to qualified beneficiaries in the automotive industry. FRC, it was learnt, is interested in the conditions for this.

2015: Your timetable is dangerous, Sagay tells Jega


From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos
Legal scholar and constitutional lawyer, Professor Itse Sagay yesterday warned Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega to immediately review the order of the impending 2015 general elections, saying the timetable released by the commission is dangerous for the country.
Sagay confronted Jega in Lagos yesterday at a public policy lecture organized by the Lagos state chapter of the Alumni Association of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru.
He said INEC must reverse the order of the elections by holding the presidential poll last.
Delivering a paper titled "Building Credible Electoral Process for Democratic Sustainability", Sagay said holding the presidential election first would spell doom for the country.
"One other action by FEDECO, which revealed that it had become an uncritical agent and ally of the NPN was the reversal of the order of election in 1983. In 1979, the presidential election came last. But suddenly, without cause or explanation, the Commission decided to make the presidential election the first in the series of elections. The intention was to engineer a landslide victory for the NPN flag bearer, President Shagari, and thereafter, create a bandwagon effect that would overwhelm the opposition. They did so and succeeded. With the exception of the governorship elections, the opposition virtually lost interest in the subsequent elections, thus creating fantastic NPN majorities in the various legislatures. In all the depredations of FEDECO, the Nigeria Police was a close and vicious collaborator. Armoured vehicles were imported into the country for the police, shortly before the elections, in order to intimidate and over-awe the opposition.
" In commenting on the 1983 elections, Richard Joseph, the political scientist, was particularly struck by the impact of the reversed order of elections, i.e., holding the presidential elections before the others, contrary to the normal and conventional order.
"An NPN victory in the first vote of 6 August – giving it the next presidency, and thus the central government – would enable it to go on and rack up landslide votes in the other elections, because of the discouragement of opposition party supporters, the willingness of electoral and police officers to serve the wishes of what was already going to be the next government, and the desire of many candidates to be part of the bandwagon rather than risk being cut off from the largesse of the central government for another four years. The complete reversal in the order of the elections gave NPN strategists the opportunity to use their control of the various instruments of government, in a concentrated way, to keep their opponents off-balance and to arrange a massive vote total for Shehu Shagari by a combination of legitimate and illegitimate means.
"It thus becomes clear why the whole electoral process and the 'government' which emerged from it were enveloped and buried in a heavy pall of illegitimacy, leading to its inevitable crash and unlamented demise three months later.
"In this regard, we must once more draw attention to the INEC Order of elections for 2015. Once again, the Presidential election has been brought forward to the 1st part of the elections, thus once again employing the "Ovie-Whisky Formula" for guaranteeing the victory of the Ruling Party through inevitable manipulation which is automatically followed by the bandwagon effect. This is an unnecessary land mine primed to explode in 2015. Fortunately, there is still time to reverse this clearly perverse and mischievous decision. I hereby call on the Jega led INEC, in the interest of peace, order, stability, justice and democracy, to reverse the announced order and make the presidential election, the last," he further said.
The luminary therefore called on the Jega led INEC to, "in the interest of peace, order, stability, justice and democracy, to reverse the announced order and make the presidential election, the last."
Sagay said genuine, free and fair elections constitute the threshold or doorway into a democratic, stable and progressive society. Without free and fair elections therefore, he stressed, there cannot be democracy.
Tracing the history of elections in the country, Sagay said the last time a presidential election came first there was crisis in the country.
However, Jega who tactically waved the call during his presentation, said plans were in top gear to make the next elections remarkable in the history of credible elections in the country.
Part of the plans, he disclosed, include the electoral body's efforts to bring in more distinguished professionals from different trade bodies and associations to participate in the collation of the 2015 general elections.
"As the 2015 election approaches, we are determined to improve on the gains of the 2011 general elections. Nobody can say credible people are only in the academia. We used only those in academia because they were the ones readily available to us at the time.
"As 2015 elections draw near, we are looking at other constituencies. We are going to be working with professional associations in identifying and working with credible people who are not partisan and who have sufficient integrity and are willing to do voluntary electoral duties", Jega said.

‘Why cooking gas consumption is low in Nigeria’

Stakeholders in the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) sector have blamed shortage of gas cylinders for the poor consumption of cooking gas in Nigeria.
They stress that cooking gas is seen as the only viable alternative to kerosene as cooking fuel, but its consumption rate is very low relative to the country's population.
Speaking in Lagos ahead of a conference on gas cylinder, titled "Cylinder and the Future of LPG in Nigeria Economy'' National President, Nigerian Association of LPG Marketers (NALPGAM), Mr. Basil Ogbuanu, said that except the Federal Government intervenes and ensure that gas cylinders are
available and affordable to Nigerians, the consumption level may continue to drop while kerosene also remains unavailable to the masses.
"we all know that you can use gallons to buy kerosene, but you need cylinders to buy cooking gas. These cylinders are not enough in the country.
"The companies producing cylinders locally have all folded up due to unfavourable government policy and inadequate power supply. Now, we import all cylinders that are being used in the country. A standard cylinder of 12.5kg will cost about N8500 in the market which an average Nigerians cannot afford.
"Instead of the Federal Government reducing the import duties payable on imported cylinders, it rather increased it from five per cent to 20 per cent."
On the issue of pricing, Ogbuanu also appealed to the Federal Government to intervene and ensure that the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) supplies cooking gas at domestic rate rather than thecurrent international price at which the company is selling to domestic consumers.
"The issue of domestic pricing is another factor militating against increasing consumption pattern of cooking gas in Nigeria. Although, we recorded an increase in consumption rate last year. This is because Nigerians consumed 170000 metric tonnes of cooking gas as at December, 2013.
"This is an improvement from the previous less than 150000 metric tonnes consumption figure. This has prompted the NLNG to increase supplies from 150000 to 250000 metric tonnes per annum. Before, theproduct was inadequately supplied but now the product is available and not affordable," he noted.
Ogbuanu said: "it is becoming clear that subsidy payment on kerosene is not sustainable. If the Federal Government can use only 20 per cent of what it is using on kerosene to support cooking gas consumption, it will deepen the market."
Also speaking chairman, Conference Organising Committee, Gbenga Falusi, said the conference is organised to sensitize stakeholders that government's sincere commitment to LPG consumption is highly required and not debatable.
"LPG will boost GDP, provide employment and create friendly environment without emissions. We commend NLNG for its timely intervention in LPG supplies, but we want the company to fastrack its
West African gas price index it is developing," he said.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Liaison offices: Of abandoned, decaying property of northern states

Seated on the famous Ahmadu Bello way in the highbrow city of Victoria Island in Lagos are many northern states Liaison offices, which  have been either abandoned or neglected by their various  State governments. The Liaison offices are under the purview of the various secretaries to the State Governments who, our correspondent gathered, have been starved of funds despite money allocated every year in the states budget for the maintenance of the liaison offices.

Our correspondent reported that little or no activities are taking place in those offices with workers abandoning their duties. The liaison offices visited include that of Adamawa, Kaduna, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe, Nasarawa and Taraba states. Peoples Daily Weekend gathered that they have been underfunded or not at all in the last three years.

An official who spoke on condition of anonymity at the Adamawa Liaison office said the office had not received imprest to run its activities in the last two years.

The official who our correspondent met  while they were playing games with other workers, said the state government is aware of the bad state of its Liaison office and had promised to renovate it since the last five years.

"When our governor came into office, he visited this place and he promised to renovate it but we have not seen anything.

"You know every state has its own priorities and I am sure when they remember us they would come and repair the place."

The official claimed that the office has never received the total amount budgeted and approved by their state House of Assembly.

Another official said just like most other states, the governors have abandoned the liaison offices and have allegedly diverted money meant for maintenancefor their personal use.

"We know what is provided for us in the state budget every year, but we don't see the money? Does this place look like where money has been spent on in the last five years. We only get to read about the money in the papers but we don't know where they are spent.

"Our living condition in Lagos is very terrible, most of the offices you see here do not have water. We are owing PHCN bills, and you can come here during rainy season and see how our rooms are flooded due to leaking roof but the suffering becomes more painful when you know the money for renovating the place is being stolen by one big man in government."

Kaduna state Liaison office is converted to a single room apartment of a two story building shared with residential occupants, a local yam seller and a dry-cleaning service.

The building, a source said, had been leased out by the state government to a private developer.

A middle aged lady told our reporter that the State Liaison Officer has travelled to Kaduna and would return in three months.

"Please if you have any message, drop it but if you want to see our oga (sic), come back in three months time because he has travelled to Kaduna."

The lady however refused to answer to any enquiry.

Our correspondent however observed that apart from the sign post which indicates the presence of an office, the environment however looked dirty, while local trading activities took centre stage.

At Taraba Liaison office, the story is not too different. Officials refused to speak to our correspondent, but a source said the building has been neglected by the state government.

He said though political office holders from the state have abandoned the office which also houses the state governor's lodge , only a few activities take place at the building.

"Our  major problem is vehicles, because political officials do not use this place, government has abandoned it forgetting that civil servants do come here but we don't have operational cars to move around Lagos."

He said the building has not been properly maintained because the state government  " just abandoned us here."

The official said the state lodge which also doubles as the state liaison office has been receiving funding but not regularly. "We do have funding every month to take care of this place but it has not been regular. Last time we received funding  was in November last year."

Asked when last a serving governor lodged at the state house annex in Lagos, the source said  " No governor has ever slept here in recent time. The last governor that slept here was Jolly Nayme during his first tenure. Tthe governors do cite security reasons but you know most of them prefer to stay  in hotels but senior civil servants like directors, permanent   still use this place  even in its dilapidated condition"

The official was quick to note that the major work they do is to receive government officials from airport. " like recently the First Lady, Mrs Suntai who was returning from Dubia, we were on hand to receive her at the international airport and drive her to the local airport where she joined another flight going to Yola. Also, we received letters on behalf of our state government and we deliver them promptly, we also offer in formation about our state to the public."

The official denied knowledge that miscreants have taken over the building. "We have never seen any non official of our state government using this facility. It might be applicable in other states lodge but not that of Taraba."  However, Borno and Kogi states offices are currently undergoing renovation.

Residents of the area who spoke to Peoples Daily Weekend correspondent expressed concern on the influx of northerners living in most of the laision offices.

Akinwale Olarenwaju said " we always see people from the north here, most of them are homeless so they live here, if you come here in the night you will see many of them sleeping outside, Lagos State officials often come to raid them because they are  are seen as security treats."
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Shocking!5 APC governors eyeing Labour Party

Shocking! APC governors eyeing Labour Party

Five Governors are secretly making subterranean moves to dump the All progressive Congress (APC) for the Labour Party on May 1, Workers Day, 2014, as a result heavy handedness of party leadership.

Our sources, who craved anonymity, disclosed that Governors Okorocha, Amosun, Amaechi, Kwankwanso and Oshiomhole are among the first batch of decampers which would swell up the rank of Labour Party and make the party a major opposition party in Nigeria, reducing the iron-clad influence of Tinubu. El-Rufai, Tambuwal, Ribadu, Fashola, even Shekarau are said to prefer the Labour Party option.

"This will surely burst the bubble off Tinubu who now dictates to all the governors, legislators and aspirants in APC without regard for the principles of democracy or consensus", a source who would not be named said. "Tinubu is now like a god of APC and it is unacceptable. He almost always unilaterally dictates all policy and decisions of the APC from his Bourdillion Palace. This must be resisted, whether you call it betrayal, instability,or what have you. It is politics and in politics interests govern!", a political aide to one of the southern governors who craved anonymity said.

It is perceived that the aggrieved governors believe that their individual ambitions are fatally threatened within the APC, especially with the disturbing influx of strange characters from the old brigade of PDP, people with competing and insatiable political ambitions. Politicians from the CPC and ANPP are somewhat confused on what remedial steps to take after they realize lately the handwriting on the wall and perceived that they may have been used to achieve a self-serving ambition of the mystery Tinubu.

They reckon that their merged parties are legally dead, and it shameful to return to the PDP. Shekarau is said to have first moved this position but because he was probably misunderstood and apparently victimized for that by the taking of the Kano state structure from him by the APC, he was left with the option of migrating to the PDP. It is believed that he would return if this plan sail through.

In this Labour Party plot, it is believed that Adams Oshiomhole is to be presented as Presidential Candidate because of his general acceptability to north and south and also because he's from the south-south where the President is from. By the permutation, either El-Rufai, Lamido or Tambuwal would be Vice Presidential candidate while Fashola would be prepared to lead the Senate and Okorocha the House of Representatives and Buhari, if he moves in, would be leader of the party." a reliable source disclosed.

It is also rumoured that Buhari may lead the next batch of other APC decampees to Labour Party immediately after the APC Primaries, depending on the outcome. This plan was allegedly hatched in Benin during the smokescreen Youth Carnival where Fashola came to endorse Oshiomhole in Benin, whch seriously offended Tinubu.

According to another source in Sokoto, the main reason for the reexodus and realignment of forces into the Labour Party is "to extricate the true progressives from the current outlook of the APC which is now perceived among Nigerians as the Old PDP with the deregulated influx of everyone in the old PDP that ruined Nigeria".

It is however also believed that this plan is a ploy to preserve the political ambition of the new breeds like Oshiomhole, El-Rufai, Lamido and Tambuwal from political emasculation and annihilation by the schemings of the Tinubu Cabal which many believe is only using unsuspecting governors and legislators to build his APC and corner power for himself or his stooges.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Ekiti 2014: What’s Jonathan up to?

 Air of uncertainty pervades the Ekiti state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party's (PDP), as the rumour mill is agog about moves by President Goodluck Jonathan to subtly endorse one of the candidates for the forthcoming gubernatorial election. The alleged plan has thrown the camps of some of the aspirants into confusion as they envisaged they may not have an open field to contest the party's ticket. Party faithful in the state are in doubt of what to expect from Jonathan as the election draws close. Ayodele Samuel writes.

These are not best of times for the embattled members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State. The party is faced with political squabbles capable of denying it victory at the governorship electing coming up in less than four months. Ability to put the already divided house of the party in order will go a long way to smoothening electoral success. But, that much may be a tall dream considering the level of attrition within the fold.
Barely four months to the governorship election, the party is bedeviled with various grandstanding aspirants leading different factions and it is doubtful that whoever gets the party's ticket would enjoy the support of others.
With many factions supporting its preferred aspirants, PDP in the state still remains un-united in choosing a credible candidate to challenge the incumbent governor, Kayode Fayemi, of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
However the state Executive Council of the party had allegedly commenced move to act on President Goodluck Jonathan's order on consensus arrangement.
Already, the seeming lull in the political activities in the PDP has changed with aspirants planning strategies to curry the party's favour. Though President Jonathan recently at a meeting with some governorship aspirants on the PDP platform announced that he does not have a preferred candidate, as he assured the aspirants of a level playing field, aspirants are still in delusion of who emerged the candidate of the party.
It was learnt that the meeting with the President was brokered by a chieftain of the party from the South-West, following reports that Jonathan had secretly met some aspirants from the state.
Aspirants at the meeting included Prince Dayo Adeyeye, Mr Ayo Fayose, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade (rtd), Chief Bisi Omoyeni, Architect Abiodun Aluko, Femi Bamisile, Bimbo Owolabi, Senator Gbenga Aluko, Yinka Akerele and Senator Bode Olowoporoku alongside notable party elders from the state.
Olubolade, who confirmed the meeting said "what the President said was that he has not endorsed anybody, and that means every aspirant can become the governor. That is good for democracy. What we need to do is to take it in good faith and learn the lesson he has offered and use it not to address the mistake of the past so that the election will be free and fair under a peaceful atmosphere."
He noted that Jonathan's decision to be neutral in the gubernatorial race was a good omen for democracy.
In spite of the fact that President Jonathan had laid to rest speculation about his much-touted anointment of candidate, many aspirants still go about telling those who care to listen that their ambitions had received the blessing of Aso Villa.
There has been mutual suspicion among supporters of various aspirants as some alleged that the leadership of the party was out for mischief in the process. While members of the party believed presidency might be rooting for former governor, Ayo Fayose, Afenifere Chieftain , Dayo Adeyeye or Senator Gbenga Aluko to fly the PDP ticket, Jonathan was said to have advised Olubolade not to contest the primary.
The crisis of who emerges the party's candidate has continued to spread discord among stakeholders in the party who are calling for a transparent primary election. Analysts believed that what played out during 2012 Ondo guber election, where Jonathan secretly supported and worked for Labour Party's candidate might replay itself.
A source within the state PDP said " the Obasanjo letter exposed that our candidate in Ondo state was not well supported by President Jonathan in 2012, same might happen here again because PDP in Ekiti is not organized. Everybody wants to become the candidate without winning primary election.
"We are also at a disadvantage position because the Presidency does not believe we can deliver the South West by 2015 and he is seeing Labour party of Mimiko as a better alternative. Many of our leaders in the region are doing LP, Former Ogun state governor is now in LP and this would affect our chances of reclaiming the region from APC in the next general election."
Political watchers in the state believe that neighboring Ondo State governor, Olusegun Mimiko, has perfected Presidency supports for Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele (MOB), a member of the House of Representatives and close ally of APC National Leader, former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Mimiko is said to be backing Bamidele on the instruction of Jonathan who is not comfortable with the rising profile of All Progressives Congress (APC) and believed clinching Ekiti would reduced its influence ahead of 2015 general poll .
The President was said to have ordered Mimiko to ensure Bamidele emerges the candidate of the LP for the poll to cause an anticipated acrimony among members and supporters of the APC .
A source informed our correspondent that Mimiko and Bamidele had secretly met President Jonathan several times last year to strategize on how to send Governor Fayemi packing by October.
Also, Bamidele is said to have the support of Chief Segun Oni, a former Governor and former National Deputy Chairman, South West, of the PDP. Oni, according to sources had earlier persuaded Bamidele to join the PDP fold to realize his ambition before joining the LP.
Oni has also concluded plans to release his political machinery for Bamidele to oust Kayode Feyemi. The former Ekiti governor, who is caught in the web of crisis rocking the party at the national level which took away his seat as Deputy national chairman in the south west might not support any PDP candidate if his interest is not protected.
Bamidele's chance of giving the APC a tough run at the poll remains high, having built a political structure at the grassroot from his days as political office holder in Lagos and as a leader of the Ekiti state caucus because joining the LP.
However National Patron of the PDP National Youth Vanguard and Chieftain of the party in the state, Ambassador Gbenga Olofin, believed there were no such plans insisting that the candidate of his party would only emerge from a transparent primary election and would be well supported.
Olofin assured party members that no plan of imposition on the party from any quarters.
"The president is neutral. He is a democrat to the core and I can assure you that he won't impose anyone on Ekiti people as the PDP candidate.
"The candidate will emerge through a transparent primary election. It won't be by imposition or by somebody just coming in to tell people lies that he has been adopted as the candidate of Mr President. I can say it categorically that claim that one particular aspirant has been adopted by the President is a blatant lie.
"I can also tell you boldly that Mr President wants to work with us and make sure that the PDP wins in Ekiti State because he knows that Ekiti is for PDP and PDP is the party to beat in the coming governorship election."
"The kind of candidate that the PDP will present will be someone with integrity. The PDP won't field anyone with dented image. Our candidate won't be somebody that is facing EFCC corruption case. And let me also say it with all modesty that the President is looking for a PDP candidate that is not stained in terms of name, integrity, antecedents and character."
Contrary to these, PDP State Secretary, Dr Tope Aluko, in statement alleged that the party's chairman, Makanjuola Ogundipe, had commenced moves capable of throwing the party into another round of needless crises in the state.
Specifically, Aluko alleged that the PDP Chairman had secretly compiled an unauthorised 15-man Consensus Template Drafting Committee without the knowledge of members of the State Working Committee. Also, a chieftain of the PDP, Mr Gboyega Akinola, warned that anything short of transparent process in picking candidates would spell doom for the party.
Akinola, a former state chairman of the PDP, urged the party not to waste its chance in the 2014. "The problems in Ekiti arose from political insincerity, because right from 1999, there was an unwritten constitution among Ekiti leaders on zoning. It is obvious that the existing parties like All Progressive Congress (APC) and Labour Party (LP) would pick their candidates from North and Central respectively. The PDP ought to have known that if it wants to win the next 2014 governorship election, it must pick somebody from the South," he said.
But the PDP Chairman , Ogundipe, denied the allegation, saying; "The issue of governorship does not fall within the purview of the State Working Committee (SWC) and only the National Working Committee (NWC) can act on it. I want to confirm to you that I have not compiled any list or sent any to Abuja." He hinted that the state officials would meet with all aspirants after meeting this week with a view to commencing the process of choosing a candidate.

Friday, January 3, 2014

2014 and industrial expectations

aganga olusegunAll eyes are on the Federal Minister for Trade and Investment Olusegun Aganga and his team to deliver on the many industrial projections in the New Year, Ayodele Samuel writes.
Reduced Cement Price
Currently Cement in major parts of the country is sold for 1,800 but Aganag has assured of reduction in the New Year.
Announcing plans to tackle the perpetually high price of cement in the country, which the minister said is inconsistent with the current level of local production of the commodity, he said that Nigeria has become a net exporter of cement and that efforts would be sustained in boosting Nigeria's output, which is currently at 28.5 mmt to get it to 32mmt by 2015, and also to reduce the price by 2014.
"The second phase review of the cement policy will commence in 2014 and some of the issues to be addressed include how to bring down the price of cement and how to open up the uses of cement especially in road construction in order to create more market for the product."
Reduction in the price of cement this year would spring up construction among middle class members of the society who has been lamenting the high cost of the commodity.
More exportation
Aganga also promised that the Federal Government's main focus this year, is to process the country's agriculture raw materials for export.
"As a nation, we will be devaluing our potential if we continue to buy our own raw commodities from other nations that have the technology to convert primary goods to secondary products.
"Internal value addition will reduce the bulk export of our raw materials, which are processed and then sold back to us at exorbitant prices,'' he said.
Aganga noted that the ability to process raw materials internally would boost Nigeria's foreign exchange earnings, while reducing capital flight.
N15. 4 trillion FDI
Nigerians should also be expecting about $96 billion (about N15. 4 trillion) foreign direct investment in its economy this year.
Aganga noted that some of the achievements of his ministry last year included the attainment of an investment pipeline of $96 billion, which he hoped, would materialise into concrete investments in the non oil and gas sector this year.
"These investments will go into petrochemical, fertiliser and telecommunication sector.
"We have $96 billion foreign investments in the pipeline and they are coming from United States of America, $1.4 billion through General Electric; South Africa, $3 billion; China, $9.3 billion; United Arab
Emirate, $4 billion, among other countries.
The ministry generated $7.4 billion (N1.2 trillion), as revenue for the Federal Government in 2013. Aganga said the industrial revolution plans put in place by his administration have started
yielding positive results as foreign investors will be investing $96 billion in the country next year.
Improved Business environment
Private business operators in the country have always lament poor business environment. Aganga added that government has embarked on far-reaching reforms aimed at improving the business climate and making the country the preferred investment hub in Africa and globally.
According to him, Nigeria currently has a very strong macroeconomic environment and this has made the economy attractive to both domestic and foreign investors.
"Today, Nigeria has a very strong macroeconomic environment and this has made the economy attractive to both domestic and foreign investors.
"UNCTAD has rated Nigeria the No. 1 investment hub in Africa and 4th globally with 35 per cent returns on investment."
Aganga said plans are at top gear to remove barriers to trade as well as the ease of doing business in the country.
According to him, issues of regional integration, trade with economic blocs, competitiveness, visa barriers and implementation of reviewed trade and investment laws would form part of its activities in the New Year.
Aganga said his ministry was working with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) towards significantly boosting the nation's investment climate in 2014.
He noted government's resolve to leverage the OECD and World Economic Forum (WEF) to boost FDI through engaging the international community in Nigeria.
He vowed to sustain the progress made last year, saying "we want to sustain what we have achieved by doing what we ought to do because of competitors in the region and globally.
"In view of this, we invited Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD, to review our investment climate and tell us how to do better.
"They have reviewed and presented their findings to President Goodluck Jonathan in London and in Abuja.
"The objective is that we want to attract investments from OECD countries as they control 60 per cent of global investments."
He disclosed that the ministry has also completed reviews on all Nigeria investment laws in a bid to sustain the considerable progress recorded in 2013.
"As I speak to you I am delighted to say that we have a competition and consumer protection Bill going to the national assembly and we have the competition policy that I have asked to be finalised and the
draft copy made ready. It may come into effect very early 2014," he said.
He said a new insolvency Bill would also be going to the national assembly and assured stakeholders that all other issues that were raised by the OECD findings would be addressed.
One Local Government, One Product
Also many jobs are expected to spring up from the One Local Government One Product which is expected to kick off in the New Year.
This he said is in line with determination to reposition the Small and Medium Enterprises sector of the economy through the National Enterprise Development Programme (NEDEP) which according to him would generate an estimated 5million jobs in the next two years.
Based on these commitment the 2014 budget proposal for the ministry has shown that the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) got N1.24billion in terms of capital allocation ahead of other agencies under the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment
He said that the Federal Government would initiate investments to achieve results in its One Local Government, One Product Programme (OLOP) initiative in 2014.
The minister said that the initiative was also intended to stimulate grassroots participation in the country's trade and investment activities.
Aganga said NEDEP would be implemented under three pillars, technical/vocational skills acquisition, business development services (BDS) Entrepreneur training and access to finance and is designed to
put the SMEs sector on the right footing.
NEDEP is anchored under the One Local Government One Product (OLOP) programme, which the government said is tailored towards revitalizing the rural economy and alleviating poverty in rural areas in Nigeria and would be done through the establishment of sustainable MSMES in the 774 Local Government Areas (LGA's) based on comparative and competitive advantages.
Implementation of Automotive policy
The new national automotive policy announced last year is expected to take effect this year, stakeholders in the sector are warming up to grasp investments opportunities and challenges that would follow.
Under the policy, duties on both new and used cars were upwardly reviewed to 70 per cent (35 per cent levy and 35 per cent duty), from the previous 20 per cent flat rate. Duty for fully built buses meant
for commercial purposes will now be 35 per cent instead of the previous 10 per cent duty.
Aganga had informed that the implementation of the policy will create quality employment and a wide range of technologically advanced manufacturing opportunities in the new year.
The Director General of National Automotive Council, Engr. Aminu Jalal said Nigerians spent more than N 550 billion to import vehicles every year would now be able a million of vehicle every year.