With the final assessment of the Kaduna Inland Dry Port, yesterday, by the Minister of Transportation, Hon Chibuike Amaechi, Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el Rufai, the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali and the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Barrister Hassan Bello to ascertain its readiness for commissioning, we draw attention to an earlier editorial on the subject in which we highlighted the significance of the Kaduna project and its relevance to the economy of the North in particular and Nigeria in general. For Nigeria, a vast country with a landmass of approximately 923,766 square kilometres, a road network of 15,000 kilometres and an estimated population size of 190 million, concentrating shipment inlets and outlets to the sea ports alone can pose a grave challenge for those involved in that line of business. Nigeria’s, it needs to be emphasised, is largely an import-dependent economy. That makes shipping...
There is simmering restiveness in tertiary institutions in the country over recent hike in school fees. The increase which cut across federal, state and private institutions is seen by the authorities of those schools as one of the ways of shoring up their internally generated revenue in the face of dwindling resource allocation from, especially, the federal and state governments. The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has raised an alarm on the possible negative implications of the hike on the chances of the poorer segment of the society having access to tertiary education. This is not the first time the schools are jacking up their charges so as to augment receipts from government sources. ASUU, understandably, is not out rightly against the increase in fees but blamed the inevitable development on the failure of the government to adequately fund the schools as prescribed by the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific...
The deplorable state of Tsaragi-Patigi Road, the Mokwa-Jebba Road and the Bida-Nupeko Road have been trending since the collapse of the Talabu Bridge, Jebba. The inconvenience to road users can only be imagined. It tells the story of what is the situation on other major highways that are caving in due to overuse. These roads in question are among the busiest highways in the country as they link the South West to the Northern parts of the country. However, a travel on the Enugu-Onitsha highway, Okigwe- Umuahia, Ore-Benin highways and the stretch on the Ajaokuta axis will paint a picture of the horror commuters have to endure in order to get to their destinations. Disrepair that is the status of the nation’s road network is having its negative impact on the economy generally as a result of man hours wasted and deaths recorded. Decaying infrastructure is one of the deficiencies that...
The Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika recently revealed that the federal government has put in place a policy to regulate the engagement of expatriates in the aviation sector, which it hopes will help to take on more Nigerian professionals in the sector, particularly pilots and engineers.  The minister said that with the policy in place, the only areas where expatriates could be engaged would be areas where there are no licensed Nigerian professionals to handle and that the Nigerian government was eager to do what was correct and proper to develop the aviation industry. This is a heart-warming development which we hope will help in securing job opportunities for Nigerian professionals thrown out of employment by expatriates in flagrant disregard of the country’s expatriate quota policy. There was a time when the problem was lack of indigenous professionals such as aircraft engineers and pilots but the story...

World Refugee Day

The United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, could not have captured it better when he said this of refugees, “I’ve met so many who have lost so much. But they never lose their dreams for their children or their desire to better our world. They ask for little in return – only our support in their time of greatest need”.  World Refugee Day, June 20, as an international observance day is dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world. On December 4, 2000, the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 55/76 decided that, from 2001, June 20 would be celebrated as World Refugee Day. In this resolution, the General Assembly noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. However, it must be pointed out that African Refugee Day had been formally celebrated in several countries prior to...
Nigeria is very rich. Otherwise the level of graft in high places would have been enough to render the country bankrupt.  The Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, indicated this much when he said, recently, that the previous governments stole some $15 billion of public money through fraudulent arms deals. He also said that investigations into Defence spending proved that the said amount was unaccounted for, with no guarantee that the nation will ever be able to recover it. Since the coming into office of the Buhari administration, the extent of exposition of corrupt enrichment by officials of government and their collaborators in the private sector is mind-bugling. This latest figure is part of the money that was lost to corrupt practices in security equipment spending allegedly during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan. But Osinbajo gave the assurance that no public officer can steal the resources of this country and...

Killings By Badoo Cult

When the deadly activities of Badoo cult group became public, we said in an editorial with the above caption that they were dancing the drumbeats of someone powerful, First, a handkerchief soaked in the blood of their victims sold for as much as N100,000. Now a landlord has reportedly confessed that he collected N5 million to point out a particular family that became victims of the attack. Badoo is a group of blood- thirsty scoundrels. We decided to rerun that editorial A ritual cult group that goes by the name Badoo, has been terrorising residents of Ikorodu area of Lagos State and has killed at least 26 people and injured 14 in the last 12 months. The deaths, according to reports, were carried out between June 5, 2016 and June 27, 2017. The modus operandi of the gang is to smash the heads of their victims with rocks or grinding stones while...
Today is World Population Day, a day set aside by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) since 1989, to be observed by the international community. The theme for this year is “Family Planning: Empowering People, Developing Nations.” The day is significant considering that no fewer than 214 million women in developing countries including Nigeria, who want to avoid pregnancy do not use safe and effective family planning methods, for reasons ranging from lack of access to information or services to lack of support from their partners or communities. Population from time has grown and will continue to grow as long as humans exist and continue to procreate. However, population growth must be planned and controlled to ensure a good standard of living for the population. Statistics indicate that Nigeria’s estimated population, as at 2017, is 192 million with a growth rate of 3.2 per cent. This implies...
It is simply amazing the level of graft that was visited on Nigeria’s oil sector under the supposed watchful eyes of former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke. The revelations in a civil lawsuit, brought by the United States of America Department of Justice (DOJ’s), Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, can only be described as mind boggling. In that lawsuit, that US agency is seeking to recover $144 million in assets, including a $50 million luxury condo apartment in New York and the $80 million yacht. The yacht, Galactica Star, a 65-meter luxury yacht, owned by Kolawole Aluko which he acquired for $80million is proof that something evil went on under the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. This money that was splashed on one luxury item was from an oil deal Nigerians were made to belief will alleviate the hardship they experienced then as a result of the inadequacies of local supply...

Amnesty Taken Too Far

A bill that seeks to take treasury looters out of the reach of the law has passed its first reading in the Senate. By the provisions of the bill, Nigerians and residents, who have any money or assets outside the system or have acquired such money or assets illegally (looted or any variant of the cliché) are to come forward, within a set time frame, to declare same, pay tax/surcharge and compulsorily invest the funds in any sector of the Nigerian economy; and be granted full amnesty from inquiry or prosecution. The draft law that is about to enter the second reading covers all assets whether held in Nigeria or outside the country. Tagged Economic Amnesty, Section 4 of it provides for a 30 percent tax and additional surcharge of 25 percent of such tax. It goes on to stipulate that the proposed tax will be remitted to the federation account...