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...
By Sampson Ikemitang In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “We must learn to live together as brothers, or we will perish together as fools.” Fifty years after Nigeria was plunged into a deadly civil war on July 6, 1967 which terminated in January 1970 with an unprecedented massacre of over 2 million people in the nation’s history, there has been a resurgence of strange drumbeats of war across its geo-political zones. As a result, many people have been left to wonder in utter despair, asking: “Can Nigeria really afford one more bloodshed?” This is against the background of recent events in the country which tend to suggest that the nation may once again be thrown into another needless war, if the gale of hate speeches and violent messages being freely circulated among ethnic nationalities is allowed to go on unchecked. It will be recalled that Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the...
The Nigerian Police has unveiled a technology which is designed to bring to an end, the incessant cattle rustling in the country. The initiative, according to the police, is aimed at preventing cattle rustling which has been prevalent in the country in recent times. The high-tech and user-friendly technology which was developed by a private firm, would apart from being used to ascertain the actual population and demography of our national herds rather than the currently used estimated figures, also help in tracing and tracking of animals stolen or rustled. The technology according to the police, would also prove useful in improving Nigeria’s international ranking in livestock and animal information transparency which is sine qua non in international trade in livestock and livestock products and it will impact positively on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the nation. Cattle rustling and pastoralists-farmers clashes have inflicted a lot of pains, fears, anxiety...
It is safe to conjecture that by the term indigenous peoples, it should be understood that the International Day observed on August 9 each year refers to the people living in a particular geographical area before either colonialism or urbanisation, or both caught up with them resulting in the dilution of their ways of life or even wiping out such traits altogether. There are many instances of countries where the aborigines, as they are sometimes referred to, are marginalised in the scheme of things in a territory they have the right to claim as their own. Time was when such territories were said to be made up of fauna and flora. In other words, the humans living in those areas before the invasion by outsiders were not recognised as humans; hence, the word fauna, a reference to them as animals and attempts were made to wipe them out by people on...
The Senate may yet be capable of doing some public good. On the floor of the legislative chamber is a bill with the caption: Existing Vacancies in the Federal Civil Service (Prohibition) Bill. When passed into law, the bill is expected to put in place guidelines and procedures that will hopefully curb, if not eliminate, the trend of silent, subterranean processes of filling job spaces in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). The bill will make it a punishable offence to fill vacancies in government establishments without due process of advertisement. It will also set time frames for recruitment and will make it the duty of the heads of government agencies to ensure compliance so as to ensure the actualisation of the intendment of the Federal Character Commission.  But the truth of the matter is that most of the nation’s laws are observed more in the breach especially by the same...
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...

Shame Of A Nation

Is it possible that three former Presidents, Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan, collectively and jointly squandered N11 trillion on the nation’s electricity project as alleged by  a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP)? The money was meant to provide regular electricity supply to Nigeria and Nigerians in a manner that will boost the production processes essential in sustainable nation building. The report by the CSO claimed that the money represented public funds, private equity and social investment (or divestments) in the power sector. It also stated that the figure is estimated to reach a N20 trillion mark in the next decade given the rate of government investment and funding in the power sector amidst dwindling fortune and recurrent revenue shortfalls. The organisation hit the nail on the head when it stated the obvious which is that the power sector reforms in Nigeria under...
Aung San Suu Kyi needs no introduction. No Nobel laureate does. She won that coveted prize for her stand against authoritarianism in her country, Myanmar, for which she was recognised and accepted as the conscience of the nation and the heroine of humanity. This lady had the stature of a moral giant. Unfortunately, she has become a pragmatic politician, with all its negative connotations, who has turned to an apologist for the most grotesque abuses of basic rights inside her own country. Before now, she was universally acclaimed as a champion of human rights and the moral face of Myanmar. That unfortunate country is not new to oppression. As an adult, Suu Kyi experienced first-hand the brutal power of an oppressive state, when she spent 15 years under house arrest. The democracy champion turned politician made her name as an implacable fighter for human rights. She sacrificed her family life, her...
The Minister of Education, Alhaji Adamu Adamu, recently expressed worry at the level of illiteracy in the country. This was during his visit to Kebbi State. He will be surprised that those children he classified as illiterate can possibly be fluent in Arabic and Hausa, for instance. Why insist on teaching them in English? In Nigeria, anyone who cannot speak English, is an illiterate. In an earlier editorial with the above caption, we argued against this position. The concern over the vanishing indigenous languages pre-dates the current efforts to revive the dying use of these languages in schools. The governments did not do anything to counter the policy of declaring local languages as vernacular which must not be spoken during classes. The colonial masters and the early missionaries used that act of obvious cultural imperialism to stymie the growth and development of the local languages and, in the process, compelled...
The news is all over the place regarding the pounding the Americas are getting from storms and hurricanes. They come in varying nomenclature- Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, Hurricanes Katia and Jose. They mean two things- destruction and death on a scale that will remain unprecedented in history.  It is reported that Texas alone suffered a loss of $125 billion. Moody’s Analytics estimate $97 billion in destruction alone and some $108 billion in total damages counting lost output. All eyes are said to be on Hurricane Irma as it moves toward Florida, but it’s not alone. Jose and Katia are strengthening, bringing the number of hurricanes churning in the Atlantic basin to three. Experts claim that this is the first time since 2010 that three active hurricanes have been in the Atlantic almost at the time. This is sure to refocus international attention on the issue of climate change or global warming,...