Building Foundation For Hajj 2018

By Mousa Ubandawaki The 2017 Hajj has gone with the controversy, drama and of course its successful end- what more can one ask for? In fact, that is the one thing about Hajj every successive year. There will always be bit of blot, a feature that will make it distinct or unique. Though there have been write ups about the 2017 in retrospect. As its often said, yesterday is but gone, confined to the dust bin of history, while Today is the time and turn to prepare for the question. (Tomorrow) – the 2018 Hajj. After the stock taking and celebration of the 2017 Hajj, attention and focus immediately shifted to the 2018 Hajj. Since the introduction of the its reforms programme last year and which is still continuing. And like most reforms, they aren’t always pretty and good music to the ear of many who are beneficiaries of the status quo. Sometimes,...

Lessons From The Arowolo Saga

Recently, there have been high profile cases of domestic violence, of spouse against spouse. One In Ibadan earned a lady lawyer seven years imprisonment for killing her husband. Also in Abuja, the son of a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was allegedly murdered in cold blood by his wife who stabbed him severally. Before now, what was more common was the killing of wives by their husband. However, who gets killed and by whom is not as important as the fact that domestic violence in whatever way it rears its ugly head must not be condoned. Its impact on the family, especially the trauma it visits on the children, is incalculable. The stigma it leaves behind can trail a family for generations. Some years back, when a similar incident took place, we had cause to speak up against it then. As at that time, our argument remains...
By Yushau A. Shuaib In quick contrast to their respective jurisdictions,  they are maverick and young with enormous political powers to determine the fate of their nations and their neighbours. Kim Jong-un, the Supreme Leader of North -Korea and Mohammad bin Salman (MBS), the Defence Minister and Crown Prince of Saudia Arabia are below the age of 40 with hereditary powers from their fathers who influenced their current positions as world most powerful young leaders. While Jong-Un took over the reign of the leadership of North-Korea after the death of his father, Mohammed Bin Salman, popularly known as MBS was appointed Defence Minister and Crown Prince by his Father King Salman Bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia. The two young leaders are not pursuing known political ideology or religious beliefs in their campaigns to preserve their powers. They nevertheless have various things in common. Since he took over leadership of North-Korea after the demise...

Banks And Hurtful Interest Rates

At a recent outing, the President and Chairman of Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBN), Professor Segun Ajibola, re-echoed an issue that had, over the years, bothered and is still bothering the government and people of Nigeria. From his vantage position in the industry, he lamented that interest rates in the country are among the highest in the world. This is not disputable. He also expressed his worry over the quick win propensity of banks especially their reluctance to lend to sectors that are critical to the growth of the economy such as agriculture, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME). He blamed this disposition on the part of the deposit money banks (DMBs) for the weak performance of the economy. It is impressive, in our view, that this observation is coming at this time that the government is making strenuous effort to rebuild the economy and create jobs by...
Media reports indicate that there are plans by the Borno State government to convert the house of the late leader of the Boko Haram terrorist group, Mohammed Yusuf, into a museum. The intention of the government in taking this step, the report said, is to archive all things related to that terrorist group so that future generations will have something to learn from what happened and is still happening. This, in our opinion, is a strange development that ought to set off the alarm bells and send out warnings that the government is preparing grounds to make terrorism a sophisticated intellectual pursuit. The Borno State government could not have forgotten so soon that when Boko Haram reared its ugly head, allegations were rife that it started as a youth movement set up by politicians in the state then to actualise their evil political intentions that did not augur well for the...
The authorities of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, recently disclosed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has spent N6 billion on its Business school. They also pointed out that the injection of funds has helped the school especially in its effort to expand and introduce related academic programmes in the school. This follows the apex bank’s policy under the supervision of the Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, to delve into development banking that will rub off on all sectors of the economy in an integrated pattern. The ABU intervention is one among many in the nation’s tertiary institutions that have gone a long way to positively enhance the expansion of the frontiers of academic pursuit just as it eased the stress that would have been involved if the benefitting institutions were to toe the line of sourcing for funds through other channels. On assumption of office as the helmsman at the...

EDITORIAL: On The Whistle-blowing Policy

As part of its effort to carry Nigerians along in the anti-corruption crusade, the Muhammadu Buhari administration, in February 2017, instituted a whistle-blowing policy. The idea is to encourage anyone with vital information that can possibly expose corrupt practices and, in particular, lead to the recovery of stolen money, to come forward. To make it even more attractive, the government offered five per cent of the recovered money to the whistle-blower. Before now, they were known as police informants who disclosed information to the security agencies which ultimately led to the resolving of tough security issues. It took a life of its own and an international dimension with the celebrated cases of the American, Edward Snowden, Czech Libor Michalek and Australian Julian Assange of the WikiLeaks fame. Who is a whistle-blower? He or she is a person who exposes any kind of information or activity that is deemed illegal, unethical, or...

Ekwueme, The Sage, Goes Home

Alexander Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme, in his lifetime, was urbane as he was intellectual. As a pioneer in the field of architecture, he was said to be to the profession what Chief Akintola Williams is to Accountancy. He practiced from the platform of his firm, Ekwueme Associates, Architects and Town Planners, the first indigenous architectural firm in Nigeria. His practice flourished with 16 offices spread all over Nigeria with landmark structures across the country signposting his proficiency. In today’s parlance, he would have been called a local champion because of his active and passionate involvement in the socio-economic development of his community assuming the prestigious traditional title of Ide, not just of his native Oko Kingdom, but also of the old Aguata Division made up of 44 towns. That was how close he was to his people. From that pedestal, he became a driving force in the educational and socio-economic strides that his...

EDITORIAL: Time To End The Maina Saga

Mr Abdulrasheed Maina must be revelling in the superstardom, albeit, negative media blaze, that he has exposed himself to in the aftermath of the alleged pension fund fraud. It is possible that he is enjoying the whole scenario that has suddenly thrown him up as a public figure who has been making headlines in the media on a sustained basis. Okay, he is of a royal background from somewhere in the North East. He was also an obscure civil servant of the rank of Assistant Director when politicians brought him out into the limelight he was not yet ready for with his appointment as the chairman of the Pension Reform Task Form Team. There are arguments that he was too junior in rank, at least by civil service regulations, to be saddled with such, as it has turned out, enormous responsibility that exposed him to the kind of budget and...

EDITORIAL: Buhari In The South East

President Muhammadu Buhari has just concluded a two-day trip to the South East. He may have been on his way to Anambra State to participate in the last stretch of the political campaign for the gubernatorial election that held yesterday. Beyond the political hue to that long awaited visit to the geopolitical zone and regardless of the reason for the mission, it is pertinent to note that the significance of the stop overs in Enugu, the regional capital, and Ebonyi State are not lost to political observers, particularly in the light of perceptions that there is no love lost between this administration and Ndigbo. The conviviality that was noticeable during the visit must have eased whatever tensions, real or imagined, there were in the relationship that existed between the President, his administration and the people of the south east. On the lighter side of the trip, it was a pleasant...