Nigeria Needs Positively Disruptive Forces To Overthrow Outdated Thinking – Ezekwesili

Ezekweisli Seeks Public Conversation On Nigeria's Economy

A former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, says only positively disruptive forces can fix Nigeria.

Dr. Ezekwesili said this on Tuesday while delivering a lecture on “Nigeria: The Economics of Failure” in Enugu State, South-East Nigeria.

She noted that the move would help to take the leadership out of the lowest equilibrium trap in governance, stressing that the disconnect between the elites and the rest of the people was the reason for the failure in the country.

“Nigeria’s problem can only be fixed creditably at this stage through positively disruptive forces that can overthrow the outdated thinking in our polity. Addressing the Nigerian failure demands calls for the fiercest sense of urgency.

The timeline for the proposed ‘Economy and Economic Structure and Class War’ must be immediate”
The former minister further stressed the need for Nigeria to redirect the resources invested in political discourse to addressing the economy for transformative development to set in.

She also advised the Federal Government to emulate Rwanda in placing the matters of economic well-being of the people at the center of governance.

“Rwandans use their confident expectation of yearly improvements in their individual and collective standard of living as a counterweight to any argument that seeks to diminish their national successes,” Ezekwesili said.

CHAN Qualifiers: Benin Beat Nigeria 1-0

AFCON 2017: Egypt Defeat Burkina Faso In Penalty Shootout To Reach Final

Nigeria’s home-based Super Eagles have lost to Benin Republic in the 1st leg of their 2018 African Nations Championship qualifier.

With the match heading towards a goalless draw, Akwa United Midfielder Hafiz Aremu conceded a penalty in the 90th minute to hand the Squirrels a life line.

And they duly took it with Mama Seibou converting from the spot to secure a crucial win.

Nigeria will host the return leg at Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano on Saturday, August 19.

FG Moves To Develop Science, Technology In Nigeria

Ogbonnaya Onu

The Federal Executive Council has declared a state of emergency in the science and technology sector.

The development is part of Federal Government’s efforts to boost local production in line with its Economic Recovery and Growth Plans.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, disclosed this to State House correspondents on Wednesday after the Council’s meeting in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The minister stressed the need for Nigeria to reduce its dependence on imports and encourage technological advancements in the country through a technology acquisition policy.

According to him, the initiative will help Nigerian firms to produce what the country needs as well as boost foreign investment in science, technology and engineering to develop local content.

On his part, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, hinted that the Council approved N20.6bn for the construction of roads in Kwara and Plateau states.

OPEC Asks Nigeria, Libya To Maintain Current Oil Output

Nigeria and Libya have been asked to keep their current oil output levels, and they remain exempted from current cut-back agreement among Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC producers.

This was decided at an emergency meeting of oil ministers from the OPEC and non-OPEC frontline producers like Russia today in St Petersburg, Russia aimed at discussing the state of the market and compliance with existing arrangements.

The meeting disclosed that compliance among members is currently around 95 percent with the agreed 1.8 million barrels per day in a deal already extended till March 2018.

Nigeria and Libya were exempted from the December 2016 cut back, which took effect in January, because of their struggles to restore production due to internal problems of damage to oil facilities.

Afrobasket 2017: Nigeria Draw Dr Congo, Mali, Cote D’Ivoire

Defending champions, Nigeria, has been drawn in Group A of the 2017 Afrobasket championship.

The group is made up of Dr Congo, Mali and Cote D’Ivoire.

Former champions Angola headline Group B alongside the Central Africa Republic, Morocco and Uganda.

In Group C, Co-Host Tunisia Joined Guinea, Rwanda and Cameroon while Mozambique, Egypt and South Africa complete Group D that also includes co-host nation Senegal.

The championship will start September 8 to 16 with Tunisia capital city Tunis hosting Groups A and C while Senegal’s city of Dakar will host Groups B and D.

Restructuring: Wole Soyinka Calls For Forum To Negotiate Nigeria’s Existence

Wole Soyinka on BBOG activitiesNobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has expressed displeasure over the agitations by some groups for Nigeria to break up along ethnic lines.

The literary icon has therefore asked for a forum to negotiate and discuss the country’s unity, a position supported by the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson.

He made this known while speaking at a colloquium organised by the Bayelsa Government to honour him and other ijaw literary icons.

“Please don’t tell me, your Nigeria assistance is non-negotiable. For me, this is a fallacy, the nation has got to be negotiated – negotiations include ensuring that there is no marginalization.

“Negotiation has to do with control of resources, negotiation has to do with restructuring the nation in a way in which the component – the constituents are not feeding an over bloated centre to the detriment of their own development,” he stated.

This is coming in the face of agitations for a national restructuring with some groups issuing quit notices to others and some others calling for a secession.

Nigeria, Niger Republic Launch Joint Operation To Curb Trans-Border Crime

Nigeria and Niger Republic have launched a joint operation code-named, ‘Operation Ninibo’ to check illicit drug activities and other organised crimes, including recovery of stolen vehicles and drug trafficking.

Speaking at a training in Sokoto, the Interpol representative in Nigeria, Halidu Illo urged both countries to use Interpol policing capabilities to fight crimes across the West African sub-region.

Earlier in the week, 881 kilogrammes of illicit drugs were seized during a joint operation facilitated by the Interpol.

Illo explained that the operation was successful because of the effective exchange of data.

He therefore, urged both countries to always contribute their data to the Interpol policing effort.

U.S. Pledges Support For Nigeria’s Oil And Gas Industry

The Foreign Commercial Service of the United States Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria, in collaboration with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Nigeria and its leading local partner, Manifold Computers, have introduced an innovative technology Synergy and Aruba for use in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

Synergy and Aruba according to the U.S. helps companies operating in the Nigerian oil and gas industry to increase efficiency of operations, monitor people, manage resources, make real-time decisions, reduce risks, save costs, and increase flexibility, productivity and company bottom line.

Speaking during a public presentation of the technology product at an event in Lagos last week, United States Consul General F. John Bray renewed the U.S. government’s commitment to supporting trade and investment in Nigeria. He encouraged Nigerian oil and gas industry players to avail themselves of the innovative technology with a view to harnessing Nigeria’s abundant resources, improving their bottom-line and ultimately growing the economy.

“Nigeria presents tremendous long-term growth opportunities and the United States government remains committed to supporting American companies and local partners in deploying U.S. technology to help tackle some of the challenges the country is facing,” Consul General F. John Bray said at the event attended by leading oil and gas industry players, technology service providers, and senior government officials.

Acting Commercial Counselor of the U.S. Mission, Mr Paul Bergman, highlighted Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s long term partnership with the American Commercial Service.

According to him, the U.S. Commercial Service will continue to be at the fore-front of promoting trade and investment between America and Nigeria through the development and execution of mutually beneficial international trade policies and promotion strategies.

Managing Director, HPE Nigeria, Mr Chukwuma Okpaka, noted that the high performance computing technology solution meets the modern exigencies of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. Modeling and simulation applications, he added, will accelerate breakthroughs in oil and gas, science, medicine, technology, and energy sectors.

OPEC Invites Nigeria, Libya For Meeting On Oil Output

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers have invited Nigeria and Libya to their committee meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The meeting, set to hold on July 24 is aimed at discussing the stability of their production.

Kuwait Oil Minister, who is the chairman of the committee monitoring the compliance of OPEC and non-OPEC suppliers, said both countries may be asked to cap their crude output soon in an effort to help re-balance the market.

Crude sank into a bearish territory last month amid concerns that the cutbacks by OPEC producers, Russia and other allies are being partially offset by a rebound in supply by Libya, Nigeria and the U.S. Shale output.

Libya and Nigeria were both exempted from the cuts due to their internal strife.

EU Advocates Foreign Investments For Nigeria

The European Union has expressed concern over the inability of Nigeria to achieve competitiveness in the global market despite the nation’s huge potentials and has therefore pledged its support in terms of the economic recovery plan.

The European Union ambassador and head of delegation in Nigeria, Michel Arrion made this known at a meeting of his delegation with some business leaders, traditional rulers and other stakeholders from the Niger Delta.

He stressed that Nigeria has to first of all prove that it has the comparative advantage by taking certain critical steps.

“We are in Brussel, we are in Paris, we are in London, we are in Frankfurt, we are looking at the world. We can invest in Mexico, Vietnam and we can invest in Nigeria. I would like to attract more and more investment to Nigeria, but the Europeans, they have a choice, so you are the one to prove that you are the best, that you have comparative advantage.

“I will give one example, you know European cars, Peugeot, Mercedes and so on, a European car is made with parts from 47 countries and we are importing parts from 47 countries outside Europe, why not from Nigeria? The thing for you is not to produce cars, the thing for you is to be integrated into what you call the global integrated value chain.

“The Boeing is built with parts coming from 32 countries, why not 33, why not Nigeria. Some time ago you had companies that produce tyres, you had companies like Michelin, why not attract them back, because you have the comparative advantage, you have rubber. What you need to do is to create the so-called enabling environment,” he added.

The meeting was put together by the Rivers State Entrepreneurs and investors forum in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

NBA Condemns Hate Speeches, Says Nigeria Must Remain United

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has condemned the recent heightened agitations by individuals, groups and organisations calling for the violent breakup of the nation, stressing that Nigeria must remain united.

The association expressed its concern over the situation in a statement by its President, Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud, adding that the difficult economic times are a direct product of the failure of successive governments to diligently tackle the myriad of challenges bedeviling the nation.

“Some have advocated secession of certain parts from the country; others have called for some ethnicities to be excised and some others have even gone to the extent of issuing what they call “quit notice” against some ethnic nationalities in Nigeria.

“These advocacies have been characterized by deeply hateful and hurtful speech on all sides, incitement, tendentious and unguarded comments and war mongering all designed to attack the resolve of the Nigerian people to live in peace, mutual respect and harmony.

“The Nigerian Bar Association rejects these tendencies unequivocally and condemns all such threats to the sovereign existence of Nigeria and the peaceful co-existence of our communities.

“Admittedly, the content of these messages do not represent the views of most Nigerians, who remain peace-loving.

“The NBA is concerned, nevertheless, that these acts of hate speech threatening secession, war and violent breakup of the country have been allowed to persist to the point where they are now creating fear and anxiety amongst the people of Nigeria and sending panic signals to our neighbors and the international community.

“They have, in addition, shaken investor confidence in our country, contributing to slowing down economic and social activities.”

The NBA, however, reaffirmed its belief in unity and sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Nigeria saying “we believe that the peoples of Nigeria, irrespective of diversities of identity, face common and shared everyday challenges and desire a stable and secure country based on justice, equity and the rule of law.

“The NBA is convinced that our various peoples have consistently shown the capacity and desire to live together in a federation under democratically elected government, which alone can guarantee the conditions for addressing the imperfections that ail our country.”

As part of solutions to the situation, the association therefore appealed to media houses, publishers, broadcasters, opinion leaders, politicians, faith and community leaders, intellectuals, social media influencers and on-air personalities (OAPs) to exercise responsibility and utmost professionalism in the content they publish or distribute through their platforms.

It also urged Nigerians to “unite in isolating and shaming opportunists that have decided to put the co-existence and well-being of our people at risk for their narrow ends.”

Such a step according to the association would further affirm the resolve of the Nigerian people to live in peace and harmony under a democracy founded on justice, equity and rule of law.

The NBA went ahead to commend the steps taken so far by the Acting President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, in “dousing tension and restoring public confidence in the peaceful coexistence of Nigeria”.

It, however, urged Osinbajo to broaden the base of consultation to involve pan-Nigerian groups.

Nigeria Customs Launch Electronic Auction Initiative

Senate Summons Customs CG To Appear In UniformThe Nigeria Customs Service has launched the Electronic Auction initiative which will increase the revenue generation and ports decongestion.

The new initiative was launched in Abuja by the Comptroller General of Customs, Hammed Ali (Rtd).

According to the Comptroller, the electronic auction bidding process will replace the manual process of auctioning cars with which was characterized by fraud and other vices.

The Deputy Comptroller General in charge of Tariff and Trade, says Nigerians should expect a rise in its revenue profile as well as transparency in its operations.