By Azu Ishiekwene At a time when you would think there are enough small fires in the country, the religious army has started yet another small fire in schools. For most of the time this week, the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council had to whip out the hoses to douse the brush fire started by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) over rumours that the Federal Ministry of Education had removed Christian Religious Knowledge from secondary school curriculum. The President of CAN, Reverend Samson Ayokunle, reportedly told Acting President Yemi Osinbajo that the removal “would lead us to a godless nation, with violence and all forms of ungodliness as the order of the day.” Other Christian heavyweights, including Apostle Johnson Suleiman, have lent their voices. The moment the debate was framed as yet another step in the journey to the Islamic Republic of Nigeria – since Islamic Religious Knowledge was purportedly spared...

Time To Be Sober

A lot is going on in the social media on the Biafra agitation and the ultimatum issued to the neo-Biafrans to leave other peoples’ lands and go and form their country as they wish by some northern youths. Abu Najakku’s column titled “Standing up to Biafra” aptly summarises the views of many on this issue and I hereby share it with you below: Happy Sallah in advance. In all honesty, I am not in support of the dissolution of Nigeria as advocated by the so called Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) or that coalition of Northern youths who’ve issued an ultimatum to the Igbos to quit Northern Nigeria. So, I’m as much against the IPOB as I am against those Northern youths. The coalition of Northern youths did not speak for me. I’m for Nigeria, warts and all, and in the firm belief that things will improve in no distant...
BY Barrister, Hannatu Musawa Ramadhan which began on Friday, the 26th of last month is sadly coming to an end. From all indications, the Holy Month of fasting will end in the evening of Saturday the 24th of June, i.e. this weekend. This annual observance which is also one of the Five Pillars of Islam is a time for spiritual reflection, improvement and increased devotion and worship. Ramadhan is annually performed by Muslims worldwide in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Usually, the month lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon, according to numerous biographical accounts compiled in the hadiths. Fasting during the month of Ramadan was made obligatory during the month of Sha’ban, in the second year after ‘the Muslims’ migrated from Mecca to Medina. Fasting is ‘fardh’...
By Magnus Onyibe At first, clawing Nigerian economy out from recession ditch was thought to be not only a Herculean task, but one that couldn’t be achieved so fast. But at the rate at which the Naira/dollar exchange rate is converging, putting Nigerian economy back on even keel may be sooner than later. The analogy above may seem simplistic, but Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, who is working assiduously towards the convergence of the official and the parallel markets foreign exchange, FX rates, appears to be on track to accomplishing the feat before the end of 2017. Why is Emefiele becoming the legendary knight in a shining armor of Nigeria’s financial sector, when his neck was literarily being put on the line as Naira/dollar exchange rate spiked to N500-$1 in the first few months of this year? The reason is simple. Based on data from Nigerian Bureau of...
BY James Ume The Director General of Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr Mounir Gwarzo, in the year 2015, assumed the leadership of the Africa Middle East Regional Committee (AMERC) of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). Relying on his wealth of experience acquired over the years in the art and science of securities management, he has proved by his performance that he is an innovative thinker that has the dexterity to provide solutions to challenges. And this has continued to achieve milestones that have further put in bright lights the image of the Commission and indeed Nigeria, as a leading light in the global securities regulatory firmament. In his capacity as the current chairman of the Regional Committee, SEC Nigeria has been at the vanguard of expanding the frontiers of the African and Middle Eastern capital markets while also boosting the standing of the regional bloc in the...
By Abimbola Johnson It is time again for Nigerians living abroad to think home. In the age of globalisation, Nigerians in the Diaspora do not have to return home to contribute to the development of their country. They can do so through several ways and means. And one of these is to subscribe to the Diaspora Bond issued by Nigeria’s Debt Management Office, DMO. The Federal Government, on June 13, 2017, through the DMO, commenced road shows in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland, for the country’s first Diaspora Bond of 300 million dollars. The Director-General of the DMO, Dr Abraham Nwankwo, is leading the government delegation comprising representatives from the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Ministry of Finance to the roadshow. The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun is currently engaged with working details of the newly signed 2017 budget – hence her inability to lead the roadshow. The nation’s...
The recent rejection by the House of Representatives of the Bill seeking to establish a South East Development Commission is a vindication of what this column wrote on Thursday 2nd June, 2016. Under the title: DO NOT CREATE THE PROPOSED NEDC. That column opposed the so-called Northeast Development Commission or any other development commission at all except that of Niger Delta which is justifiable. It is hereby reproduced because of its relevance and timeliness: The National Assembly, particularly the House of Representatives has been very persistent in a call for the establishment of a North East Development Commission (NEDC). A Bill has already started going through the legislative mills for the creation of the NEDC. There is no doubt about the fact that many places and people have been devastated by the Boko Haram insurgency. It is equally true that there is need for a quick government intervention to bring...
BY Oyetunji Isiaka Mr Godwin Emefiele marked three years in office on June 3, 2017, as the helmsman of the nation’s apex bank. Prior to his appointment, there were squabbles between the Bank and the fiscal authority, which led to the suspension of his predecessor. It was thus a troubled time to be appointed as the governor of the Bank, more so that, the economy had started showing signs of distress. But he came with a mission. To appreciate how Emefiele has fared so far, a brief background of how we got to the present economic quagmire will suffice. Prior to the advent of petro-dollar (oil boom) years of the 1970s, the Nigerian economy was basically agriculture- based. Agriculture contributed about 65 per cent to the GDP and represented 70 per cent of total exports. The sector was marked with high labour-absorptive ratio and provided the scarce foreign exchange needed for...
Jonathan Nda- Isaiah The three most popular words in the country right now are restructuring, Biafra and Secession. The country is tethering on an edge and the gun has been loaded, the safety pin has been released, it’s just a matter of time before the bullets go off. The call for restructuring has grown louder in the last two years mainly by people who have lost out in the power game and some as a campaign tool for 2019. Most of the proponents of restructuring are telling us that’s the magic wand that will solve our problems. Restructure and all our problems will be over, we will be competing with UAE and America and to them, it’s that simple and without restructuring, the country is headed to Armageddon. They argue that when we restructure, we will start producing leaders like Barack Obama, Lee Kuan Yew and Wiston Churchill- it’s that simple. While...
By Azu Ishiekwene The government of President Muhammadu Buhari just boxed itself into a corner and the National Judicial Council (NJC) is very pleased to beat the government with a big stick. After last year’s dramatic arrest of nine judges on suspicion of corruption and the sense of relief that Buhari had, at last, taken the fight to the fallen temple of justice (aptly described by Femi Falana as the new supermarket), the government has been caught on the back foot. Days after the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) made the ridiculous call for the judges to be recalled, the NJC recalled them without wasting time. What is left to complete the government’s humiliation is a ceremony for the government to convey its profound apologies to the judges for the inconveniences they may have suffered in the last eight months. It’s a sad moment. Of course, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of...