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Nigeria : A Nation Yet With Unfulfilled Pledge

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The functionalist behavioral scientists presented the evolution of human society by drawing an analogy between human organism and societal entity. They viewed human and social organism as a system in which their parts work interrelated and interdependently to maintain a healthy whole. While human entity consists of systems such as the nervous system, respiratory system, digestive system; the social organism (Society) comprises institutions like economy, education, family, government, religion as its system. 

Human entity also progressed from infancy to adolescence, and to adulthood, while society or a nation passes through progressional chain such as; hunting and gathering, horticultural, agrarian to the level of industrial society. The foregoing means that a nation like Nigeria with approximately 200 million inhabitants in an area of 920,000 km2 (360,000 sq mi) is subjected to growth just as a living organism.

It is yet hard to conclude that the expectations and dreams of Nigerian citizens , except few privileged ones , have been fulfilled, in spite of Nigeria’s 59 year existence as an independent nation. Is Nigeria still a fool at 59? Will it be a fool forever? Because a popular adage echoes that “a fool at 40 is a fool forever”. Though, life span of a country may be longer than that of a man, yet if a man cannot attain his appropriate position at age 59, he is likely to be considered a failed human. Even, as the ‘Giant of Africa’, can Nigeria nationale hope for a better Nigeria?

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Looking around, Nigerians daily see signs of hopelessness, retardation and backwardness which are antithetic to ” to life more abundance “, the slogan when Nigeria was granted a sovereign status in the 1960s by the then British Empire. It is only when a tongue is kept in the mouth that what has been displayed in Nigeria for fifty nine years (59) would be described as development.

Food prices keep rising, cost of living including accommodation skyrocketing, cost of education rising, yet yearly failure in exams and low quality outputs is the order of the day. Petroleum products prices keep rising from N11 per litre in 1994 to N145 per litre in 2019, yet state of infrastructure in Nigeria is deplorable, crimes and hostilities, the militant groups in the Niger Delta, Kidnappers and Bokoharam in the North among others, have assumed different dimensions in the land. The latter seems to be a reaction to injustice, which the leaders have allowed to permeate the land.

According to development experts, indices such as industrialization, Gross National Product (GNP), Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Capital Accumulation, Massive Investment in ICT like NigComsat and the newly launched one (s) ; even democracy, among others, cannot be used as yardsticks for growth or development.

Far back in 1969, it was Dudley Seers, a British economist who specialised in development economics that said the questions to ask about state’s development are : What has been happening to poverty and hunger? What has been happening to unemployment? What has been happening to inequality? “If all three of these have declined from high levels, then beyond doubt this has been a period of development for the country concerned. If one or two of these problems have been growing worse, especially if all three have, it would be strange to call the result ‘development’, even if per capita income had doubled”, Seers concluded.

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Premising on the conclusion of Seers, it is neither out of place nor over statement to conclude that Nigeria is far from development. If the nation is far from development, then, what is the root cause? Many causes can be adduced but chief and basic among them is LEADERSHIP.

Bad or ineffective leadership, including political and business leaders who run the nation’s economy, has been identified as the treat to sincere development in Nigeria and liberation of the Nigerian majority from poverty, hunger, homelessness and discomfort in its various manifestations. It is germane, not to deceive ourselves, to state that the type , the quality of person (s) put at the helm of affairs will determine the extent of progress recorded in the areas of socio – political, economic and human development, peace and tranquility that pervade a society.

With all these infuriating challenges, conspiracy of enslavement and pauperization by the imperialists in the corridors of power from the North to South, and West to East, when will that pledge and dream be fulfilled? May be at this juncture, Nigerian leaders should be reminded of the lines in the nation’s pledge which they have always forgotten.

“I pledge to Nigeria my country; to be faithful, loyal and honest

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To serve Nigeria with all my strength, to defend her unity….” Nigerian leaders , have you been faithful, loyal and honest with your fellow Nigerians? Have you been serving Nigerians with all your strength? Have you been defending the unity of your immediate constituencies, the country at large?

All these nagging questions require resolute answers

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National Issues

Nigeria’s GDP shrinks by 6.10 per cent

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The Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday revealed that the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has decreased by six percent in real terms in the second quarter of 2020.

This revelation was contained in the NBS’s GDP report.

The retreat ends a three-year trend of low but positive real growth rates recorded since the national economy emerged from recession in 2017.

According to the NBS, the decline was “largely attributable to significantly lower levels of both domestic and international economic activity during the quarter, which resulted from nationwide shutdown efforts aimed at containing the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Nigeria essentially shut down its economy in March – restricting inter-state travel, closing worship centres, schools and markets – as parts of efforts to keep the spread of the novel coronavirus under control.

“The efforts, led by both the Federal and State governments, evolved over the course of the quarter and persisted throughout,” the NBS said.

The oil sector, which accounts for a large percentage of the country’s revenues, recorded negative growth of 6.63 percent, “indicating a decrease of –13.80% points relative to the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.”

The non-oil sector also declined by 6.05% in real terms during the second quarter.

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“It was the first decline in real non-oil GDP growth rate since Q3 2017,” the NBS said.

Not a surprise

The economy’s decline did not come as a surprise to many as the coronavirus pandemic has gutted economic productivity across the world.

The report will be “negative,” Presidential aide, Tolu Ogunlesi, tweeted on Sunday. “Tomorrow we find out to what degree.”

The third-quarter results have also been projected to be negative, which will officially land the economy in a recession.

A recession is only declared after two consecutive quarterly contractions.

In May, Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, predicted that the country was heading towards a recession.

“On the economy, COVID-19 has resulted in the collapse in oil prices,” she said after a National Economic Summit meeting. “This will impact negatively, and the impact has already started showing on the federation’s revenues and on the foreign exchange earnings.”

 

Source: Channels TV

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National Issues

NDDC: Students protest in London over non-payment of tuition fees { Photos}

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Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) scholars on Monday protested the non-payment of their tuition fees by the commission.

The NDDC students staged their protest at the Nigerian High Commission in London

The students, who had planned to picket the high commission over the non-payment of their tuition by the NDDC were, however, prevented by the metropolitan police.

 

But they later apologised for their action which initially disrupted activities at the high commission before the intervention of the police.

The scholars also alleged that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) had neglected them.

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National Issues

Buhari’s anti-graft war has failed, says Odumakin

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The publicity secretary of pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin on Tuesday pronounced that President Muhammadu Buhari’s much talked-about anti-graft war has collapsed and failed.

Odumakin made this pronouncement while featuring Parrot Xtra Hour on Radio, in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.

According to him, the five-year anti-corruption war of Buhari ‘wombled and fumbled’ until recently when everything came to the open on how corrupt the system has been.

He said, “those inside know that there is no anti-corruption war. Those in the circle, on the corridors of power know that there is no war against graft. All sorts of embarrassing moments are being witnessed today to confirm this assertion.”

Since he was at a time very close to President Buhari, Odumakin was asked what he would tell the President on this issue of corruption if he should meet with him.

His response: “I will only tell him to go and retool. The corruption war he has been fighting has collapsed. The people of Nigeria do not understand again.”

He also addressed the issue raised by some observers that the President is no more in control of things in Aso Rock, the seat of power.

“Yes, Presidency has responded to those observers by saying that it is not true and that those who made the observation do not know what they are talking about. No. Those observers have their facts. Things have collapsed in Aso Rock. I quite agree with them. President Buhari must retool immediately.”

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He later revealed that while he worked as spokesperson for President Buhari’s former party, CPC, he was not being paid.

“I was not getting paid while I worked as the spokesperson for CPC. So, when he lost, he said he was not contesting again in 2011. That was how our working relationship frizzled out.”

On his relationship with ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Odumakin submitted “I got to meet Dr Jonathan through a vibrant young man, late Oronto Douglas. Then, we were made to understand that he, (Jonathan) would hold a National Conference and implement the report and outcome. That was why we related with him at Afenifere.

“You see, at Afenifere, we are passionate about restructuring. Anybody that is ready to do this will be supported by us”.

He also took time to speak about the leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

“There was a time we had issues. People from his camp threw jabs at me and I responded appropriately. Many leaders from Yorubaland intervened and the matter was settled.”

On the issue of whether Afenifere will support the perceived presidential ambition of the APC leader, Odumakin responded “It is true our leader at Afenifere addressed the topic. He did not emphatically confirm that Afenifere would support Tinubu. He said, since the APC leader is a Yorubaman, Afenifere may support him. Especially if he will pursue restructuring.”

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When speaking on the emergence of Professor Banji Akintoye as the leader of the Yorubas, Odumakin said “Professor Akintoye is not the leader of the Yorubas. He is the leader of Yoruba World Congress. Yorubas do not have any leader for now.”

The former journalist also addressed the issue of Amotekun saying, “it is a welcome development. Initially, Afenifere opposed the idea because we felt it would have been more reasonable to agitate for the establishment of state police.

“But when those people said we could not put Amotekun in place in Yorubaland, that was when we got up in support. It is our right. The north has its own version of Amotekun. My only desire, prayer is that the Amotekun project should be well organized and maintained.”

Odumakin equally used the opportunity to endorse the activities of the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN Commission).

“DAWN Commission is a worthy project being carried out by the governors of the Yoruba states. Afenifere is in full support and I believe the commission can do so much to hasten the development of Yorubaland.”

While speaking on the probability of running for an elective position. Dr Joe Odumakin’s husband said “I am not a politician. I am a political activist. But I will contest if and when our political terrain becomes transformed and politics of real progressivism is being practiced. I do not want to just join the bandwagon.”

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