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 Bunmi Oteniya - The importance of agriculture to the development of Nigeria cannot be over-emphasized. Previous administrations in the country as well as various stakeholders have at different fora harped on the significance of exploring the agricultural angle for the development of Nigeria, but the required blueprint to make it a reality has eluded the country leading to the current situation where a great potential has been reduced to a miserable reality. Nigeria is an agrarian society with agriculture contributing about 24 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). With an estimated population of 180 million people, it is instructive to note that about 70 percent of this population live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for livelihood. The worrisome aspect of the entire scenario is that a sizeable number of this population, 7 percent to be precise, are undernourished. The Global Hunger Index (GHI) in the last two decades...
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....
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...
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...
The United Nations Security Council meeting, an annual event, started its 72nd session few days ago at the UN Headquarters in United States of America. More than 100 world leaders, thousands of diplomats and advocates are presently in New York City, in an event scheduled to hold from 19-25 September 2017 to fashion out a way forward in pursuit of global peace and security. This year’s theme is Focusing on people — striving for peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet On the first day of the event, precisely on 19th September 2017, world leaders took turn to address their counterparts and other participants, either in advancement of their national agenda, pursuit of global ideas, defence of policies or solidarity with other nations Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari was at the event and he spoke on variety of issues, among which include Nigeria’s fight against terrorism and the...
By Lizi Ben-Iheanacho - Recently, the National Council for Arts Culture unveiled its compilation of the 37 Cultural Wonders of Nigeria.  The 37 Cultural Wonders of Nigeria is a brand identity and marketing concept premised on peculiar tangible manifestations and intangible expressions unique to the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT. Each of these constitutes the wonder of natural endowments or amazing evidence of human creative interactions. Together, they have evolved to become iconic emblems of Nigeria’s tourism destinations and technological processing. The selection was determined by considerations of long acknowledge exposure of some of these wonders as well as a deliberate attempt to highlight some long ignored totemic representations. Finally, it must be acknowledge that the 37 Wonders selected are in themselves beacons that map out even more of the untapped hidden treasures that collectively make up the rich variety of Nigeria’s cultural diversity. In alphabetical order, the wonders are: Ohafia War...
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...
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 Hussaini Ibrahim - Next year, Nigeria will become self-sufficient in cement production and a net exporter of the product. This entails that the country’s cement industry will save the nation’s economy about $2 billion in foreign exchange, with an output capacity of 45 million tonnes per annum, 1400 per cent up from about 3.0 million a decade ago. This is the outcome of the industrial evolution BUA Group is undertaking in the industry. Last Tuesday, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo commissioned the 3.0 million tonnes Okpella plant line-1. He also performed the ground breaking ceremony of the second line (Line-2) of BUA Group’s Okpella plant which has a target completion date in the first quarter of next year. It is not rocket science that a project whose groundbreaking was performed barely one week will be completed in Q1 of next year. The actual construction works had started earlier this year, reaching...