By Godwin Emefiele - Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, today’s celebration comes at a time when our country is recovering delicately from devastating shocks and challenges which beleaguered us recently. At the height of the complexity and the accompanying economic recession, we all experienced untold hardship. While some businesses groaned under the prevailing difficulties others saw the opportunities to create a niche for themselves. We must recognise that every challenge holds an opportunity to prosper. Even as we turn the corner away from the harsh conditions, the need for independent, daring, and innovative entrepreneurs in Nigeria is greater today than ever. In line with these developments, and the privilege the conveners have kindly granted me on a topic of my choice; I will focus my talk on the need for young Nigerian graduates to change their mentality of the labour market. Rather than see yourselves as job-seekers, the time has come for you...
By Godwin Emefiele - It is my pleasure to be invited to deliver a lecture to participants of Senior Executive Course 39 on the topic “Financing Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for the Development of Agro-Allied Industries in Nigeria”. I am fully aware that Senior Executives course is organized yearly for top executives from both the private and public sectors in order to broaden their knowledge horizon on topical issues of national development and build capacity toward effective policy formulation and implementation in Nigeria. The theme of this year’s lecture “Science, Technology and Innovation for the Development of Agriculture and Agro-Allied Industries in Nigeria” is appropriately timed considering the urgent need to leapfrog the economy to full recovery and sustainable growth after recently exiting economic recession. In addition, the development of agriculture and agro-allied industries is central to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for which Nigeria is a major signatory....

October 1, A Special Day For Nigeria

My dear Nigerians, October 1st remains a special date for all Nigerians as this marks the day when we attained one of the most precious of human desires — freedom.. Over the years the country has gone through trials and tribulations, but October 1st is always a day for celebrations. It is a day for thanks giving, reflection and re-dedication. It is also a day for remembrance. We should remind ourselves of the recent journey from 1999 – 2015, when our country happily returned to democratic rule. However, in spite of oil prices being an average of $100 per barrel and about 2.1m barrels a day, that great piece of luck was squandered and the country’s social and physical infrastructure neglected. We were left with no savings and huge infrastructure deficit. The APC Government’s Campaign rallying cry to restore security, re-balance the economy and fight corruption was not all rhetoric. The country must first be secured. The...
By Lewis Chukwuma - Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah was nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari to join the federal cabinet in October 2015 and was subsequently appointed to the Industry, Trade, and Investment portfolio in November 2015. It was a merit-based appointment, by a president who follows his intuition. It was not influenced by any godfather. Interestingly, few know that the man at the helm of affairs of the nation’s strategic Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment is a medical scientist. But his vast thirst for knowledge compelled him to go even far beyond that turf, acquire more understanding from different arenas and ultimately demonstrate that medicine and business administration fundamentally address human development. It’s worth recalling here that Enelamah earned a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1985. He earned a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from Harvard University in 1994 where he was a Baker...
By Louis Okoroma - The past couple of days has seen the outbreak of what might be referred to as a needless controversy over a request made by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Chief Executive of the World Bank, Dr. Kim Jong, for the World Bank to focus attention in its operations and activities in Nigeria, on the troubled and devastated North east region of the country. The controversy arose following a media briefing by the World Bank President where in passing he mentioned that the President of Nigeria had requested that the bank give special attention to the North east region of the country and that the World Bank has largely complied. He then proceeded to reel out the challenges facing the bank in achieving desired result on this very important request. Ordinarily, the President deserves commendation for the request he made to the management of the World Bank and not...
Mariam Mohammed - Today I will share with you a speech. After listening to the speech myself, I decided to share with  you one of the most thought-provoking speeches I have ever heard from none other person than the eloquent Prof. of law - the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) in which he spoke extensively about success and greatness. For me, this topic came at a time when the country is in dire need of selfless leaders. After listening to the speech I asked myself; what have I been working towards? Is it success or greatness? Vice President Osinbajo is a theatrically effective orator, anytime, at any event when I listen to him, I get inspired by his speech irrespective of the topic. He sure has a way of capturing your mind no matter how tired you are, you will always want to hear more...

Welcoming The ‘Boss’ On Board

Mariam Mohammed - Let me begin with an unreserved apology. After my last piece I took some kind of ‘French’ leave at the expense of you, my esteemed readers. It is my slightest doubt that my inability to feature in subsequent editions of this column may have in a way robbed off on my readers. Evidently, some of you like my good friend and professional colleague, Aliu Akoshile, called and whimsically inquired if my ink had gone dry. Far from it! The unavoidable break was actually not intended and while I deeply crave your indulgence for the momentary ‘blackout’, I hereby resume with renewed vigour and a solemn pledge to always keep a date with you…. Be that as it may it suffices to recall that events happened in quick successions within the past couple of weeks that made headlines in the news media. Some of these events stretch through the...
Mariam Mohammed - I could not but watch with admiration the exchange of banters between the delegation of the federal executive and legislators after President Muhammadu Buhari presented the N8.6 trillion 2018 budget estimates to Nigerians through the National Assembly in Abuja. The atmosphere was congenial for both arms of government to put Nigeria first. The President, being the soldier that he is, stood for over an hour and point-by-point, reeled out figures that would translate into positive developments for the country in the coming year. I admired the steadfastness in which the President delivered the budget speech by analysing the 2017 budget performance and focused on the 2018 proposal. Considering the aforementioned scenario, one would think that at the budget presentation, a scene would take place after the incident at the Villa, but surprisingly many lawmakers swamped the President on his way out of the chamber to get a handshake after presenting...
Adetokunbo Kayode - When WTO officially commenced activities on 1 January 1995 under the Marrakesh Agreement, signed by 123 nations on 15 April 1994, that singular act replaced the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which commenced in 1948. As the largest international economic organization in the world, the WTO regulate trade in goods, services and intellectual property between participating countries by providing a framework for negotiating trade agreements and a dispute resolution process aimed at enforcing participants’ adherence to WTO agreements, which are signed by representatives of member governments and consequently ratified by their parliaments. Most of the issues that the WTO focuses on derive from previous trade negotiations, especially from the Uruguay Round (1986–1994). On 23 January 2017, the amendment to the WTO Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement marks the first time since the organization opened its doors in 1995 that WTO would be amended. One...
Mariam Mohammed - I am starting on a sober mood as the nation mourns the loss of an iconic elder statesman, a democrat who sacrificed his comfort to sustain the unity of the nation. To some, he is the father of geo-political zones that we have today in the country. The second Republic Vice President Dr Alex Ekwueme. As Nigerians continue to wish him peaceful transition to the new home beyond, I say may the nation he toiled for grow in line with the aspirations of its founding fathers to take its rightful place in the comity of nations. Again, my heart bleeds for the lives that were cut short by suicide bombers at Mubi in Adamawa state on Tuesday. May God in his infinite mercy grant eternal rest to them. Another episode that unfolded  within the week is the meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee, MPC of the Central Bank of Nigeria, saddled...