After one hundred and three days for a follow up medical vacation in the United Kingdom, President Muhammadu Buhari arrived Abuja on Saturday August 19, 2017 to a turmultous welcome. He was also earlier away for 49 days from January to March, this year. This column join other Nigerians in welcoming him and wishing him full recovery. Nigerians are prayerful and Buhari’s return must have been prayers answered. Both Christian and Muslim clerics and indeed millions other citizens have been offering constant prayers for his recovery since his illness was made public. Now that President Buhari is back, we hope that things are going to move very fast. Precious time has been wasted and vital opportunity has been squandered in the last two years. Buhari must know that no Nigerian leader, dead or alive, has ever had the type of goodwill that he has enjoyed from Nigerians and even beyond....

A Way Forward For The Railway…II

Barrister Hannatu Musawa Thus, the railway system can take its rightful place in the transportation sector in the country if only it is given top priority by the government and possibly also, via introduction of genuine private initiatives. Problems of poor management, underfunding, inconsistent policy, political interference and instability, and inflexible bureaucracy that have plagued the sector for decades must become things of the past. A couple of days ago, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi while inspecting the Abuja-Kaduna rail stations, dismissed several officials of the Railway Corporation. Among those dismissed were station managers, porters, and ticket officials at both the Idu and Rigasa rail stations in Abuja and Kaduna respectively, over ticket racketeering. It saddens me that they were dismissed since I alluded to ticket racketeering of VIP tickets at the stations in one of my recent articles. Nonetheless, the Minister rightly stated that sacking of the culpable officials would...

Politicians Of Fortune In Nigeria

By Emmanuel Onwubiko - Reading through a large volume of political history of Nigeria, a persistent theme present is the disturbing dimension that political corruption has stunted the progress and advancements of Nigeria since over half a century. Nigeria is a laughing stock in the international community because whereas the Country is enormously endowed with natural resources but also endowed with thieving leadership, the mass of the people are deprived, absolutely poor and hungry. The irony of starving in the midst of plenty is like someone who is swimming in the pool of water and yet the soap hurts the eyes of such a swimmer. It is for the colossal mismanagement of resources of the country by political office holders in all administrations that some writers concluded that indeed the massive natural resources that Nigeria are endowed with have become a collective resource curse. Take for example the case of crude oil resources in...
My dear citizens,  I am very grateful to God and to all Nigerians for their prayers. I am pleased to be back on home soil among my brothers and sisters. In the course of my stay in the United Kingdom, I have been  kept in daily touch with events at home. Nigerians are robust and lively in discussing their affairs, but I was distressed to notice that some of the comments, especially in the social media have crossed our national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation. This is a step too far. In 2003 after I joined partisan politics, the late Chief Emeka Ojukwu came and stayed as my guest in my hometown Daura. Over two days we discussed in great depth till late into the night and analyzed the problems of Nigeria. We both came to the conclusion that the country must remain one...
BY James Ume Less than seven months after Audu Ogbe, Minister of Agriculture promised the nation that the government was poised to crash fertilizer price down to N6,000 or below, tangible evidence has emerged that this is a promise kept. Last Monday. Uche Orji, the ebullient Managing Director of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA, revealed that the Authority had put back to work 11 fertilizer blending plants across the country, adding over six million bags of NPK 20:10:10 to the current fertilizer production in the country. This is cheering news for at least three reasons. The NSIA action has substantially crashed the price of fertilizer to below N6,000, something that was thought impossible earlier in the year. Second, it has also put an immediate end to the scandal-prone fertilizer subsidy and the non-accessibility of the product to farmers. Nigeria pays billions of Naira in fertilizer subsidy, yet farmers are...
BY FEMI ADESINA Not a few tongues had wagged over the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari was outside the country on medical vacation for weeks on end, and no member of his media team was with him. Many times, we had been confronted by journalists on why we were sitting pretty in Nigeria, while our principal was confronted by severe health challenges in London. How did I feel about the situation? I had always told the media, and others who cared to listen, that whoever is on a presidential entourage at any time is the prerogative of the President. In the first 20 months of this administration, the President had made scores of trips, both locally and internationally. There was none, and I repeat, none, in which the media team was excluded. We were always there to keep the world abreast with what the President was doing. When President Buhari first needed...

Don’t Blame Jonathan

By Azubuike Ishiekwene At last, former President Goodluck Jonathan appears to have found his mojo. In recent speech after speech, he’s been taking the fight to the doorstep of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and causing quite a stir. Until now, the only thing Jonathan could remember as his achievement after six years in office was the transfer of power. Yet, he often spoke about this considerable feat in whispers at the end of which he would usually remark, almost as an afterthought, that it was also on his watch that Nigeria became Africa’s largest economy. That awkwardness is changing. At the recent non-elective convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja, Jonathan, who led his party to a historic defeat in 2015, made one of his boldest statements yet. He said that apart from a few loopholes that he failed to plug, President Muhammadu Buhari’s government could so far not compare...

A Way Forward For The Railway…1

Barrister Hannatu Musawa A couple of days ago, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi while inspecting the Abuja-Kaduna rail stations, dismissed several officials of the Railway Corporation. Among those dismissed were station managers, porters, and ticket officials at both the Idu and Rigasa rail stations in Abuja and Kaduna respectively, over ticket racketeering. It saddens me that they were dismissed since I alluded to ticket racketeering of VIP tickets at the stations in one of my recent articles. Nonetheless, the Minister rightly stated that sacking of the culpable officials would put a stop to workers nonchalant attitude towards work and stop ticket racketeering in the stations. However, it must also be pointed out this is not the only solution to the myriad of problems currently plaguing the Abuja-Kaduna train service. The railway is one of the oldest, effective and efficient means for transporting passengers and cargoes worldwide. The crucial role the railway...
BY Ade Adefeko It is not very often you are called upon to be part of a conversation that involves a behemoth and a global giant (not in size as per land mass or population) but with credibility built over the decades. I am writing this piece aboard an African bird with a Livery that is authentically African and that is Ethiopian Air which like its maxim says, is the New Spirit of Africa. I am quite enamored of them and will crave your indulgence to shower on them a few unsolicited encomiums. I am extremely proud of the airline which by the way is the flag carrier of Ethiopia and flies to 113 destinations with 92 aircraft and another 60 in order. It is currently the largest, the only government owned but privately run airline in Africa and boasts a profit to boot. It is worth mentioning, that it...
By Simon Onmeje, For 10 years after its establishment, the National Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA) remained a sleepy outfit. But under a determined management, the agency conquered the peculiar and strangulating odds in Nigeria to impressively place the country on the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) ladder in just one year. By ensuring the visibility of ICT application and safety in the country recently, both the private and public sectors of the economy have been motivated to show extreme enthusiasm in cropping the multiple benefits of the ICT innovations and transformations instituted by the current management of NITDA. It has also positioned the agency as the ideal destination for e-Nigeria in accordance with its establishment mandate. NITDA Director-General, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami’s professionalism and leadership commitment have impacted on Nigerians in a manner never before felt in the administration of the agency. Consequently, it has posted many rewarding returns...