Defence And The $15bn Scam

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...

VAIDS Moves Against Tax Evasion

The Federal government has just approved in principle, the implementation of a Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS). By its provisions, the scheme encourages voluntary disclosure of previously undisclosed assets and income for the purpose of payment of all outstanding tax liabilities. It is expected to help expand Nigeria’s tax base and, therefore, improve the low tax to Gross Domestic Product ratio currently at about six per cent. It also seeks to curb the use of tax havens for illicit fund flow and tax avoidance. The disclosure requirements would be in respect of all taxes payable to all levels of government – Federal, State and Local Government taxes including Companies Income Tax, Personal Income Tax, Petroleum Profits tax, Capital Gains Tax, Stamp Duties, Tertiary Education Tax and Technology Tax. Some of the objectives of the Scheme include but are not limited to increasing Nigeria’s tax to GDP ratio from six...

Emefiele And The Naira Miracle

Not long after the Muhammadu Buhari administration came into power, youth restiveness in the Niger Delta led to a decline in oil production and the accompanying fall in the nation’s earnings from the sector which has remained the main stay of the economy. It was no surprise then that foreign reserves plummeted leading to a drastic fall in the value of the Naira against other major currencies especially the United States dollar. Distributing the limited foreign exchange among the critical sectors of the economy became a delicate balancing act on the part of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and, in particular the Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele. The situation posed a huge challenge to the management of the apex bank. The Governor himself was, literally, in the eye of the storm as demands for foreign exchange kept rising even as the supply side of the hard currency remained static at...

Fee Hike In Tertiary Institutions

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...

EDITORIAL: Name Them

The recently nabbed notorious kidnap kingpin, Chukwudi Onwuamadike a.k.a Evans, is threatening hail and brimstone on those he alleged to be his backers in the deadly business he lived on for years. As the Police intensify their investigation on how he carried out his dare-devil operations that held cities and families hostage and struck the fear of God into the hearts of many a public figure, Evans has vowed not to go down alone. He is telling the police that he did not act independently in the business as he knew those he described as South East businessmen, specifically from Anambra State, who gave him names of those he kidnapped for ransom. To demonstrate his determination to bring down the roof on his collaborators, he claimed that he had given the Police the identities of those who fed him with information on his victims specially their names, residential addresses, and...

Social Media And The Family

By Pindar Balami Social media are computer mediated technology that allow the creating of platform for chats and friendship. It is a useful tool that is frequently used as part of daily personal and professional lives. As technology continue to advance, the number of people using the internet is rapidly growing. Unfortunately people become addicted to the social media and the number is growing each day. It is possible for any addict to have direct impact on the family, because members of the family may experience isolation when an addict is obsessively using social media they become quickly disengaged with their surroundings. Looking from an optimistic perspective, children and parents have gained a powerful tool of communication. Indeed while communicating in person might be difficult for both teenagers and their parents during the so called “teenagers rioting” period, the social network provide a valuable opportunity for communication. In our modern Day today,...

Nigeria, China Relations

The Nigeria-China relationship has come a long way dating back to more than three decades. Recent developments especially in the areas of construction, commerce, trade and strategic partnerships are designed to reinforce and strengthen existing friendship between the two countries. Though in its relations with Nigeria, she has tried to emphasise economic, scientific and cultural relations, aid is also an instrument for enhancing bilateral relations, a policy that is evidently different from the other exploitative practices that had kept Nigeria’s development on a low key since independence. China has a record of not indulging in imperialistic or expansionist tendencies or for that matter, enslaving those she has relations with. That abiding principle is being applied in her relations with Nigeria. Today, the more visible aspect of Nigeria’s relations with China is in the areas of construction-roads, airports and the railway financed through what is generally accepted as liberal enough terms...
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...

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...

Tsaragi-Patigi And Other Roads

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...