The Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in a recent statement, revealed that the average price paid by Nigerians for Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) dropped by 1.2 per cent year-on-year. The Bureau also listed states with the highest and lowest average price of petrol in comparison with the approved government price of N145. The average price paid by consumers for PMS decreased by 1.2 per cent year-on-year and increased by 0.1 per cent month-on-month to N144.5 in September 2017 from N144.4 in August 2017. On Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK), the Bureau said the average price per litre paid by consumers for kerosene increased by 17.28 per cent month-on-month. It also decreased by -8.38 per cent year-on-year to N264.48 in September, 2017 from N225.52 in August, 2017. This confirms the assertion by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that its sustained, strategic intervention in the supply and distribution of petroleum products, has led...
Relentlessly, the State Governors, as soon as they got wind of the so called Paris Club refund money, the over-deductions on Paris Club, London Club and Multilateral debts on the accounts of states and Local governments (1995-2002), they piled up pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari for what they perceived as their own share of the windfall. One of the reasons they gave to justify the demand was that the money would enable them to meet pressing issues of governance. Some of these included clearing outstanding workers’ salaries and allowances, pension and gratuities to pensioners among others. Months after President Buhari acceded to that demand and when it was thought that the governors would have done the needful to address those issues they raised themselves, the workers and pensioners are still languishing in penury as a result of non-payment of those entitlements. As if this was not disappointing enough, the President has just...

Time To End The Bloodletting

No day passes without reports of killings by armed herdsmen. That is not the only worry as horrendous as the act is. What is benumbing is the apparent helplessness of the security agencies. The reports claim that the attacks are carried out at night when the target victims must have dropped their guards and retired for the night. A typical incident took place in Nkiedonwhro village in Plateau State, recently, resulting in the death of over 29 defenceless citizens. This attack happened just as the government imposed a dusk to dawn curfew in the area. It is one thing to impose a curfew and another to make it effective. Because when there is curfew, the tendency on the part of the people is to assume that if they obey the law, their lives are safe. By extension, it also means that law enforcement officers will be about their duty of...
It has, indeed, been confirmed that the Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, built and unveiled in Owerri, the State capital, a N520 million statue in honour of the South African President, Jacob Zuma, of all people. If the statue were in honour of Nelson Mandela, maybe, just maybe, it would have been a bit tolerable. Zuma was himself there in Owerri to receive the honour as part of activities marking his two day working visit also paid for by the state government. In addition to the statue, Zuma got a street named after him and a traditional ruler was commissioned to bestow on him the title of “Ochiagha di oha mma of Igbo land –” meaning the beloved war commander of the Igbo not only Imo State. Before we continue with this latest in the excesses of Okorocha, it is germane to draw attention to the rot in the...
Remove food from poverty, the rest will be easy to manage. This saying is not original to this newspaper, but it goes to emphasise the importance attached to food security. That is why, also, the United Nations’ Organisation (UNO) set up two sub- organisations- the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) as well as the World Food Programme (WFP) to galvanise actions geared towards food and agriculture so as to achieve the target of zero hunger for all. It did not stop there. The UNO also reserved a day, October 16 of every year, specifically to draw attention to issues related with food security. That date was not arbitrarily chosen, World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world to mark the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations in 1945. It is also now considered as Food Engineers’ Day. The theme for...

State House Clinic As A Metaphor

Recently, the wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, raised a storm on the decaying infrastructure at the high profile State House Clinic despite its multi-billion naira budgetary allocation. Speaking at a public function, she observed that there is a huge budget for the hospital and yet a visit to the facility will reveal activity relating to construction without an evidence to provide services expected of a hospital of that status. She startled Nigerians that the hospital cannot boast of a single syringe in its pharmacy. She also disclosed that when she was ill and needed an x-ray, the clinic was not able to provide that service and she had to visit a private hospital. Mrs Buhari wondered aloud that if she could be exposed to such shoddy treatment in the State House Clinic then the fate of ordinary Nigerians in need of a health service can only be imagined. The...
By Kunle Obadina Maritime resources are critical to maritime states because they harbour vital resources which include oil and gas, cobalt, manganese nodules among others. In this era of economic diversification drive in Nigeria, the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) need not look too far. Nigeria’s maritime resources could serve as major source of foreign reserve if properly harnessed. However, in order to benefit from the huge maritime resources, the FGN need to improve its efforts at addressing the security threats confronting Nigeria’s maritime domain. Threats associated with maritime environment as have been witnessed in the Straits of Hormuz, Malacca, Singapore, Gulf of Guinea (GoG) among others include piracy, poaching, and even terrorism. Therefore protection of the maritime environment is vital if Nigeria is to exploit these abundant sea resources as part of the government diversification drive toward enhancing national development. In Nigeria, the Nigerian Navy (NN) alongside other agencies such...
The swashbuckling former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Victor Samuel Leonard Malu (rtd), expired in an Egyptian hospital amidst encomiums from erstwhile comrade-in-arms and a grateful nation he served so well. Liberians partly has Malu to thank for the democracy they enjoy today and for the role he played in restoring normalcy to that country that was over-run by warlords scrambling for power and influence. He was the Force Commander of the ECOMOG peace-keeping force in that country from 1996 to 1998 and from pedestal, he gave the people back their freedom to choose their leaders. Malu, as commander of ECOMOG during the First Liberian Civil War, was reported to have impressed both Liberians and international observers with the improvements that followed his taking command. By March 1997, he was able to claim that Liberia was completely cleared of land mines. Of course, as a no-nonsense army commander...

EDITORIAL: Monkeys And Diseases

There seem to be no end to the outbreak of deadly diseases in Nigeria and their relationship with bush meat of which monkeys are part of. When the news of the disease was made public, many thought that the name ‘Monkey pox’ was a joke contrived by a humourist. Soon, it turned out that, indeed, there is a disease by that name. But what is wrong with monkeys? They are always associated with deadly ailments. We recall that HIV/AIDS was also traced to the hapless animal. Before now, Nigerian health authorities had claimed that there were a total of three recorded human cases in 1971 and 1978 of the Monkey pox disease. The virus that carries the disease was first identified in 1970. Then it was associated as the cause of smallpox-like illness in humans in remote African locations first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks occurred in colonies of...

The Gun Control Debate

The horror of the recent massacre of over 59 revellers at a Country Music Festival in Las Vegas, in the State of Nevada, United States of America, is still holding Americans and, indeed, the world firmly in its vicious grip. There is palpable disbelief at the level of wickedness the human mind is capable of. According to reports, one deranged mind, 64 year old Stephen Paddok, possibly acting alone, opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Hotel room on innocent citizens out to catch fun at a festival. At the last count, more than 500 others are battling to save their lives at various hospitals. Security agencies are as yet not able to decipher the motive behind that dastardly act as the man cowardly took his own life. In the meantime, it has reawakened the once latent debate on gun control in that country where freedom to do...