Events, People and Places
The Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olgoke has warned that unless the Nigerian Youth does what is right the coming generation will suffer.
Porf. Olagoke gave this warning on Wednesday, when the Southern Youth Forum(SYF) presented an award to him at the his office in Wakajaiye, Ibadan, Nigeria.
‘’If care is not taken, the coming generation will suffer. The youths have to take their destinies in their hands. In Nigeria, there is no sense of patriotism and nationhood. Government in Nigeria is just wasting money on trivialities and creating problems. The youths must take their destinies in their hands with sincerity. Anything given to anybody has been made for the person to cherish it. Unfortunately, Nigeria is surrounded with cottons of ignorance.’’
‘’The solution is for Nigerian youths to look inwards and make use of the opportunity of the little education they have to move forward. Politicians will continue to dictate to professionals, rather than allow professionals to come up. Inherent problems must be identified and expunged before one can say he wants to excel where others have failed’’, Prof. Olagoke noted.
Earlier the National Secretary of the SYF, Comrade Luke Ogemba who said he was representing the forum’s National President, Hon. Olarinde Thomas, stated that the forum decided to present an award to Prof, Olagoke because he was a source of inspiration to Nigerian youths, while stressing ‘’ we will like to tap from your wealth of experience.
Among those who accompanied Comrade Ogemba on the visit were, Comrade Tobiloba Amodu(Ondo state), Comrade Fynface Allo(Rivers state) and Comrade Stanley Omoregie(Edo state)
Over 300,00 trained and registered Teachers in Kenya are without jobs.
According to well informed sources in the Education Ministry, schools in the country are short of 96, 00 Teachers, with with primary schools having about 10 million pupils being short of 38,054 tutors and Secondary schools, with about 2.8 million students, have vacancies for 58,291 teachers.
Following Government aggressive campaigns to achieve 100 per cent transition from primary school, there has been a high enrollment rate coupled with the fact that 9,472 women and 6,950 men applied for government teaching positions but were not employed.
6,872 of the applicants posses Bachelor of Education while 1,596 had diplomas. Certificate holders seeking jobs in primary and pre-school schools accounted for 5,686.
However, the unattractive annual budget allocation to the education sector has continually manifested in the troubled learning environment, shortage of qualified Teachers and teaching aids, poor salaries and absence of incentives for those who impart knowledge.
Nigerians insist that the public higher institutions of learning in the country are yet to meet the purposes for which the institutions were established, even as they argue that the private ones are exploitative and fall short of acceptable international standards.
Sadly several fraudsters have exploited the situation, in connivance with a sizable number of supposed qualified Teachers, to defraud Parents and Guardians of their hard earned money ? in the guise of overseas admissions.
In this interview with, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke opines that Policy makers in government have to co-opt those with the technical know how to move the country forward. Excerpts :
What are your views on higher education in Nigeria, considering the falling standards ?
The Nigerian educational system started to have problems as a result of several retrogressive factors confronting its management, but with neglect and misplacement of priorities from all stakeholders, most especially on the side of government-which is supposed to set and enforce standards and quality in an environment of discipline. For example, federal character aims at ensuring uniformity of purpose and equity. But it has ended up in collapsing the ethics, as reflected in the admission standards, which have discriminatory minimum scores for admission across the six Geo-Political zones.
Unfortunately, this does not reflect in the quality of grades of those affected, but paradoxically in the quality of the products and their performance ratings.
This is the major concern of the South West that is struggling to go back to the virtuous era of discipline, quality, standards, graduate reliability and employ-ability that could be compared to the modern day acclaimed global competitiveness, through best practices.
Today, we are having 170 universities that are yet to make the first 200 best universities in the global rating.
This is purely due to under funding of education in Nigeria, most especially in the areas of Teachers’ standard upgrade, lecturers’ capacity building need and facility update challenge to meet up with the global trend of development in the world of Science and Technology, through the ever dynamic world of Information Technology(ICT).
Instead of government complying with the UNESCO’s benchmark of 26 per cent of the national budget allocation, Nigeria’s funding pattern of education is yet to attain 10 per cent.
Tertiary Education Trust Fund(TETFUND)has achieved in the areas of structure, but not totally in the area of facility.
The struggle to ensure that all tertiary institution Teachers have first, second and third degrees, is appreciable, but only fractional and unfortunately, the interest of having Doctor of Philosophy, is not for research and development purpose, but for accelerated career progression in the world of academics.
Worse still, our Professors in various fields of human endeavor are yet to be fully engaged in the scheme of aggressive nation building because of the murky waters of our partisanship driven political hostile environment, where expert views are supposed to be sought, but politicians use money to make a wrong choice. This has resulted in the re occurrence of problems in a more dangerous way.
Government’s inability to fund Polytechnic education, as appropriate, makes it a challenge.
Higher National Diploma (HND) programs are still limited by the National Diploma status of the institutions in question.
Today, most Polytechnics are mere surrogates of Universities.
Unfortunately, university education is more in favor of the cognitive domain that is more of research.
Polytechnic education, with adequate facilities, are expected to compete favorably with what obtains in the industries, which can transform, when harnessed, university theories into physical dynamic machinery of operation, that favors the Psycho-motor domain of education.
All institutions are supposed to work in tandem, with correlative synergy` to promote the country’s industrialization.
Nigeria’s costly neglect of the Technical Colleges, has made us to lose out in the areas of vocational and entrepreneurial evolution that would have formed the very practical bases for industrialization, but for the stigmatization effect.
Parents and children are running away from patronizing this aspect of Engineering appreciation, which the Canadian government has proved to the whole world that their products are crucial, with recruitment in mind, in the establishment of cottage industries for the Small and Medium scale Enterprises(SME).
90 to 98 per cent of this sector are responsible for the industrialization of China, Hong Kong, Russia and the United States of America.
The policy makers need to look inward, by contacting the relevant experts, both from the Polytechnic and University sectors to resolves this matter.
As the administration of Zimbabwe President, Emmerson Mnangagwa prepares to deliver good governance women of Mashonaland province have called on government to ensure that the process of decentralizing powers is bereft of political considerations.
This call was made recently by women from the rural province during an interactive session organized by the Institute for Young Women Development, for women of Mashonaland and their representatives in the Parliament , at Bindura .
One of the participants from Guruve, stressed that the discussions on devolution must be apolitical saying "What is required in particular is for national officials (both political and administrative) to commit to a devolution process that respects the rules of the game. Importantly, if devolution is to succeed it should be a shared objective supported by both those with and without power as well as by the general citizenry."
Another participant, Margret Chimombe from Shamva suggested that the lawmakers should educate the women on the aims and objectives of the proposed devolution of power, adding ''"It's only a few people who are aware of what this is about. Some are in the dark so it should the duty of office bearer to come down to us and tell us what this animal is all about before any other engagements."
In her submission, Member of Parliament for Women's Quota Bindura-Shamva constituency, Dorothy Mashonganyika warned the women to be wary of politicians who might want to use the process to feather their nets saying ''We do not want political involvement but let us respect political structures as they also play a part in representing our views''.
President Mnangagwa had indicated that his administration would implement decentralize power.during his 2018-2022 tenure, but the people of Zimbabwe have been expressing fears that politicians would hijack the process to further their political agenda.
Unless the New Crop of Leaders are Ready to Fix Things Nigerians Should not expect Miracles-Prof. Olagoke
The performance of political appointees of the President and 36 State Governors, in the last four years, is already in the public domain and Nigerians are expressing divergent views on their performances.
Even though the elections that threw up these political office holders were flawed and trailed with a lot of irregularities, Nigerians are very unhappy with the yardstick used by the Powers that be to select the Ministers, Commissioners and Heads of Departments and Agencies in the last dispensation.
Sadly, political patronage, nepotism and other self centered considerations play great roles in these appointments, just as Nigerians express fears that the yardstick for political appointments shall remain the same in the new dispensation.
In this interview, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke opines that the readiness of Nigeria’s new crop of leaders to fix the country should start from the downward review of their salaries and allowances. Excerpts :
Nigerians complain that the yardstick used in the appointment of Ministers, Commissioners and Heads of Departments and Agencies negatively affected governance in the last dispensation, what do you think should be the yardstick to do same in this dispensation ?
Nigeria’s situation is appalling because we have since reached a stage, where all theories always fail the test of time, even though they work elsewhere.
What is responsible for this ? It is all about the attitude of Nigerians generally, towards power and service responsibilities.
No economic theory can stand the structure and distribution pattern of our wealth to satisfy the democratic demand of equity and justice, where the new national minimum wage is controversially facing the challenges of implementation and the political class in power consume almost two thirds of the nation’s resources on their personal effects .
This is equally a nation where all professionals are dictated to and even neglected, when it comes to capital projects because of the greed of the people in power, who will benefit more from foreign partnership at the expense of the indigenous professionals, who they are supposed to motivate and encourage.
Equally, everything about Nigeria’s development is foreign as well as been fraught with fraud.
This is why little violence has been aggravated into high levels of insecurity because the hoodlums hide under the need to survive.
Instead of government at all levels coming out boldly to arrest and correct the situation, they have continued to fail in their responsibilities to protect lives and property.
With this climate of disillusion, Nigeria needs leaders who will be ready to sacrifice their lives to ensure a positive impact is made on the lives of the people.
In the light of the truth, Nigeria is yet to face the reality because majority of Nigerians are groping in the darkness of truth. For example, the Media only reports what government wants them to air, the religious community is now beclouded with blurred visions, while the political terrain is troubled by kleptomaniacs, who believe in self-enrichment through the spoils of office,rather than using the position of power to serve the nation.
Above all, Nigeria's case is shrouded in the cloud of falsehood, perhaps, one can conclude that nobody knows the truth, except the perpetrators of evil.
Normally, when you want to vote for people in positions of power, you are supposed to know each one of them, based on their antecedents of performances, but contrary is the case because we are only voting for posters and probably the sugar coated campaign promises,which would never come to fruition.
If those people in power are known to us only through their paper credentials, the implication is that the beautiful ones are not yet born.
For new newly elected power brokers, their second assignment is to choose Ministers and Commissioners as well as Heads of various service points, that is the Ministries, Departments and Agencies(MDAs).
One would therefore expect that the choice should be based on merit, rather than tribal sentiments, but this would not happen under the culture of federal character.
What we would consider as the worst in the South West, maybe fixed as a candidate from the North, and there is nothing anyone can do under the present arrangement.
The second consideration is skill, this involves the kind of relevant professional skills that would determine the kind of portfolio the holder shall assume.
But this may not necessarily come up again under the sentiment of party patronage consideration.
In the past ex-convicts would never hold any position of power, but now they are celebrities.
If the newly emerging crop of people in government are not ready to objectively fix things for us, then Nigerians must not expect miracles from them.
This is because our major problems are attitudinal, rather than material sufficiency.
If truly these people mean well to fix Nigeria, they must start with the downward review of the wages and allowances of the political class, while the stipends of civil and public servants as gratuities and pension arrears should be revisited for prompt payment, for the voters and the beneficiaries of the 2019 elections to rejoice on the same page
June 12 : GCFR without Payment of Reparation and Compensation to M.K.O Abiola’s Family is Meaningless-Prof. Olagoke
Even though it is post humous, Nigerians have continued to applaud President Muhammadu Buhari for deeming it fit, to confer the country’s highest honors of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic(GCFR) on the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential elections, late Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola.
In addition, Nigerians believe that if the bank accounts of the Late Bashorun Abiola frozen by the late Military despot, Gen. Sanni Abacha, are unfrozen and reparations paid to his family, justice would have been seen to have been done.
Also, all those who one way or the other lost their lives during the period ought to receive compensation through the families they left behind.
However, the body language of President Buhari is not in tandem with the peoples’ belief, even as a cross section of Nigerians argue that declaring June 12 Democracy Day emanates from gaining political mileage, if consideration is given to the fact that the incumbent President was part and parcel of the late Gen. Abacha military regime.
In this interview, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke opines that conferment of the highest honors in the land in not enough, but ought to also include paying reparation and compensation to Bashorun Abiola’s family, else Nigerians may think otherwise. Excerpts :
In commemoration of June 12, the day the freest and fairest general elections in Nigeria’s history was annulled, what do you think is the best compensation for the late Bashorun M.K.O Abiola’s family ?
The issue surrounding Bashorun M.K.O Abiola is a milestone of an historical record and antecedent in which Nigeria in particular, and the whole world in general, need to learn a lot from. He happened to be a victim of unholy friendship and treachery by his kinsman.
Besides this, his life depicted to the whole world, that even the pinnacle of affluence has a lot of limitations to the expected influences that may accompany it.
Despite God’s favor on him to win the Presidential elections, with outstanding performance over the National Republican Convention(NRC) candidate, Alhaji Bashir Tofa, based on what nature could give any man, in terms of what would have been the barriers-barriers of Muslim/Muslim ticket, Southern candidacy and the possible environment that is fraught with Ethnic, Tribal and Religious differences, the atmosphere was not only favorable, but the people put aside their differences to ensure that Bashorun Abiola emerged as the winner.
However, some household enemies and the hidden ones among his friends, became a deadly clog in the wheel of his destiny.
The funny aspect, is that of the failure of successive governments after, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, to revisit his case,and the eventual Democracy that ushered in a total departure from the erstwhile military rule.
His kinsman, the then President Olusegun Obasanjo and his successors, who happened to be the direct beneficiaries of Bashorun Abiola’s struggle for Democracy, equally failed to revisit his state incarceration and dehumanization.
Fortunately, an opposition political party, in the name of the All Progressives Congress(APC) and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari(rtd.)eventually revisited what the whole world helplessly claimed to be an act of injustice, hence the post-humous conferment of GCFR to the late Bashorun Abiola and by extension the largesse of the peak of recognition for his supposed deputy, in the name of Alhaji Babagana Kingibe, as well as the conferment of one of the highest honors in the land on the unforgettable activist, late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, who lived all his, life for the enthronement of Democracy and died without fulfillment of the struggle, to address the injustices meted out to Bashorun Abiola.
Mr. President deliberately refrained from giving his national address on May 29, during his inauguration, and I believe he must have reserved his speech for June 12, which he has been courageous enough to declare as Nigeria’s Democracy day, in fulfillment of the agitations of the progressives to recognize Bashorum Abiola as the symbol of Nigeria’s Democracy and the pathfinder of how the freest and fairest general elections ought to be conducted in Nigeria.
Most of Nigerians expect that the highest honor conferred on Bashorun Abiola as his right, shall be followed by his family having access to what Nigeria and our government owe the late business mogul, most especially in the aspect of unfreezing his numerous bank accounts, as the first step towards reviving his ‘’dead’’ chains of legacies. All these shall be to the benefit of the family he left behind and this shall serve to reunite them.
Recently, one of his oil companies of international repute was affected by the recent government policy through which some oil companies’ licenses were revoked.
Government owes Nigerians an explanation on why Bashorun Abiola’s business concern was affected and possibly work on how he would be exempted.
However, recognition through the conferment of the highest national honors in the land shall be meaningless, without supporting it with the attendant freedom for the family to have access to what he had spent all his life to acquire.
I have the belief that the Federal Government is waiting for June 12, for favorable declaration on this, otherwise, the stiff opposition against them may use any lapses on the side of the Federal Government to gain sympathy of the generality of Nigerians to turn the table against them as they did in many states lost by the APC to the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in the people’s court and parliament during the recent general elections.
9th National Assembly : Nigerians Hope for a Legislature that Shall Not Massage the Executive’s Back-Prof. Olagoke
Both chambers of the 9th National Assembly shall be inaugurated next week and Nigerians are hopeful that the elected representatives of the people shall make laws that shall impact positively on impoverished Nigerians who have not seized to contend with insecurity.
Nigerians are also hopeful that the lawmakers shall not in any way or circumstance become rubber stamps for decisions from the Executive that are anti-people and dictatorial in content.
In this interview, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke says that the expectations of Nigerians revolve on a people driven Legislature that would not massage the back of the Executive, but enact enabling laws that will not only regulate and control the excesses of the Executive, but emancipate the masses from the vicious cycle of poverty and insecurity. Excerpts :
What do you think the lawmakers of the 9th National Assembly should embark upon, considering the performance of the lawmakers of the 8th National Assembly ?
The 8th National Assembly’s performance was hostile and antagonistic considering its relationship with the Executive, this later affected the people negatively and harshly.
When bills are passed into law, there must be corresponding enabling empowerment programmes and projects on it, for the law to have impact on the society.
To an average Nigerian, the last four years of the National Assembly, has been more of orchestrated ceremony of wealth, rather than that of enabling the people that gave them the mandate to serve.
It had been more of celebrating trivialities, that have ever failed to articulate development.
It is unfortunate that Nigeria is yet to address several issues. For example, we failed to learn from the experience of secession by placing emphasis on the problem of the fall in the international price of oil as it affected the budget, rather than looking inward on the country’s style of management and the structure of the payment of salaries and allowances which tilts favorably more to the side of the political class, while the civil and public servants continue to groan and grumble with the given token because of the corresponding low purchasing power of the Naira.
Despite the heavy weight of the salaries and allowances of the political class, corruption and institutional indiscipline continued unabated, rendering the efforts of the Federal Government in this direction ineffective, specifically for Nigerians to turn a new leaf.
The aspect of plea bargaining for the big wigs and no deterrence record for the offenders had made the exercise to become a laughing stock, to the favor of the opposition that eventually rose from their ‘’dead’’ state to compete and win in a number of states and to pose a major threat to the’ almighty’ Federal Government during elections.
If all these issues are not addressed, Nigerians would not yet be happy, in celebrating the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly.
Characteristically, on record of history there had always been downward profile of performances on goodness and rising profile of moral decadence from one session to the other as the players exchange batons from one dispensation to the other.
From the look of things, although the mistake of the past whereby the All Progressives Congress(APC) government was not cohesive enough for the leadership of the National Assembly, to favor the Executive is still lingering.
Now that they are struggling to have their way, the fear must be on the effectiveness in serving the people, rather than rubbing the back of the Executive.
The expectations of the people generally, at home and abroad is that objectivity should be the axis of operation, based on global best practices that is incorruptible Judiciary, people driven legislature on the issue of their welfare through enacting enabling laws that will not only regulate and control the excesses of the Executive, but directed purposely to emancipate the cause of the masses on the issues of their welfare and well being.
The Executive, on their harnessing power for resources, is expected to serve the people sincerely through transparency and accountability to promote inclusive governance through the principle of equity.
If the APC government is to be sincere then, no member is expected to run foul of these goals because change of government is expected to address areas of heresies, weaknesses and failures of the outgoing dispensation, which visibly was responsible for the failure to effectively and completely achieve anything reasonable on the subject matter of zero tolerance to corruption and institutional discipline.
Irrespective of still controlling power, the arms and tiers of government which the ruling members of the ruling party are the occupants, now need to unite to achieve these fundamental aspects of heresies which happen to be the bane of our democratic disposition for worthwhile development.
Senator Muhammed made this dislcosure while receiving the report from the Economic Advisory Committee he put in place.
“I will bring in technocrats to implement this economic blueprint, in collaboration with the private sector, because there is need for partnership to open new frontiers, guided by global best practices.
“We have consulted some of the best technocrats in the country to show us the way; we will continue to do so, even though, sometimes, we will consider political expediency,’’ the governor said.
Meanwhile the Economic Advisory Committee has advised the state government to focus more on Agriculture.
The Committe headed by Prof. Usman Bugaje made this recommendation in its report it submitted to the state Governor.
Agriculture is an area where Bauchi has a comparative advantage to grow faster than others, so we implore you as governor to focus more in this area.
“In the next two years, we are looking at a Bauchi State that will export products to different parts of the world, and that will serve as reference point to other states,’’ Prof. Bugaje stated.
After Ramadan Fast Nigerians should not Return to What God has Rejected-Grand Imam Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide
As Muslims enter into the last days of the 30 day Ramadan fast period and prepare for the Ed L Fitri celebrations, the general belief is that the fast period has brought about a new direction for the faithful who must have cleansed themselves of impurities and all that is evil.
In this interview, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Gran Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke urges Nigerians not to go back to their sinful ways after the Ramadan fast. Excerpts :
What is your message to the Muslim Faithful as they are about to finish the 30 day fasting period ?
The first thing to do for every Muslim who happens to be alive at the end of the 30 day Ramadan fast, is to give thanks to the creator, almighty Allah, who has given us the wherewithal to go about the fast exercise successfully.
This thanksgiving need to reflect on the extent to which we have been able to learn about the culture of fear of God, in order that we may be able to live the expected exemplary lifestyles which society requires to keep the peace with accelerated development.
When one looks at the three major segments of the Ramadan period, as a school period to learn, one would appreciate God for giving and teaching us mercy in the first 10 days, forgiving us our sins, if we go about the exercise rightly with sincerity of purpose. The fast teaches us to forgive our perceived enemies and those who must have offended us.
The third segment is what we can regard as harvesting period, loaded with spiritual re-orientation in which we learn how to be very close to God, by taking to His will.
Besides this, it is a period when prayers are easily answered through sincere supplication to almighty Allah.
This translates to an all encompassing spiritual rejuvenation that transcends the usual mortal sourcing of power or miracles.
We must not lose sight of the fact that before or during the Ramadan fast, that some known colleagues must have passed on, leading us to the question of who is next after the Ramadan ?
However, with the promise of God the Koran 10 : 61–62, the almighty Allah calls us to the following order, that closeness to God is sacrosanct to having insurance against life’s hazards through the following three criteria :
- Keeping of good neighborliness to be accepted by the community and society.
- Translating the theoretical message to application point of living by the reformative messages of God from the Holy Koran.
- This bothers on legitimate earning to live, source and maintain power and influence.
The almighty Allah set this as conditions to be practically observed, in order that one would become a friend of his creator, who will be so much insured against any form of fear or grief.
Fortunately, this is the import of the message of Ramadan, which we are expected to live by.
After Ramadan therefore, the expectation of God and society from the Muslim graduates of the Ramadan school, ranges from as follows ;
- Just worship based on holiness for Allah and sincerity of purpose, without derailing from the righteous path in any aspect of life we may find ourselves.
- One must be a source of motivation, defense and protection for ourparents who we must ensure are close to God, as well as been clothed, well fed and protectively sheltered, without suffering from any hazards of life.
This is a recompense for the very care they gave us when we were babies or toddlers.
3. As parents , we must be responsive and responsible to the cause of the welfare of the children including their education and healthcare concerns as well as physiological needs.
4. We must preserve our bodies by avoiding sins and crime as well as ensuring that soul purification exercises are achieved.
This will make us rational and disciplined, which are embodiment of moral etiquette, that is not dangerous to the society, but beneficial.
We must refrain from cheating others, breaking of oaths and promises, and infidelity.
Lastly, we must never take laws into our hands and neither must we resort to extra judicial killings without following the due process of law
All these have been taught in the month of Ramadan, for us to be reformed as individuals, into instruments of light that will manifest in our care for others and sense of patriotism, most especially in the scheme of nation building.
Luckily for us in Nigeria, the governments at the Federal and state levels were sworn-in the the glorious month of Ramadan which came up almost after the Lenten season.
To be sincere to God, He has given us the opportunity to institute and establish a new government of Democratic dispensation with bedrock for functionality, dwelling on justice and equity for peace and development to reign supreme under the most perfect conditions of conducive atmosphere provided for us by God through Ramadan.
If we are to be sincerely grateful to God, the sovereignty of Nigeria is been given to the Christians and Muslims to manage as a trial that shall be assessed and evaluated through individual and collective performances.
What we need finally, is a perfect system of leadership and follower ship network, to be able to walk the talk because with education and religion as an advantage, counting the number of Churches and Mosques adherents now in power with additional advantage of been certificated through good education, there won’t be any excuse for anyone of us to fail Nigeria and the state.
However, it is expected that corruption and indiscipline shall be alien to the new political dispensation.
Let us all be gradates of Ramadan on quality and standards in tandem with global best practices.
After the Ramadan fast, Nigerians should not go back to what God has rejected, but allow the revamped core values nurture and nourish our attitude to be best players in running a well ordered society full of peace and development.
The Three tiers of Government and the Organized Private Sector(OPS) in Nigeria have been called upon to not to make the retrenchment of workers as a condition for the implementation of the N30, 000 new national minimum wage.
This call was made by the All Workers Convergence(AWC) through its National Coordinator, Comrade Andrew Emelieze.
''Government at all levels are called upon to come out with a policy statement, more of a commitment that no employer of labour, whether in the public sector or private sector must retrench before they can pay the new minimum wage. Workers are not begging any employer of labour and if at all they go ahead with their evil machinations, labour must pose a counter reaction, which of course must be uncompromising and that is the only way we can stop them from exploiting Nigerian workers. Any attempt by government to downsize would be vehemently resisted by workers''.
''To check any sector, government or private, from not implementing the new national minimum wage, the labour movements are called upon to also issue a policy statement that the country risks a national strike, if any employer of labour refuses to pay the new national minimum wage or goes ahead to downsize'', Comrade Emelieze stated.
May 29 : Nigerians Expect their Elected Representatives to Correct the Defective Aspects of Governance-Prof. Olagoke
As elected representatives of the people prepare for another dispensation, beginning from May 29, 2019, Nigerians at home and abroad are hopeful that the new dispensation will bring in its stride , good governance and development.
However, presently, despondency, hopelessness and disillusion characterize the state of well being of most Nigerians.
In this interview, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke opines that the unenviable past records of the country ought to inspire the elected representatives who will steer the ship of governance from May 29, to make up for the losses and ensure that the country celebrates its 60th independence anniversary. Excerpts :
A new dispensation shall commence on May 29, 2019, what is your message to Nigerians ?
Nigeria will witness a civilian to civilian transition, come ,May 291, 2019, that will move us into self-realization for the purpose of effective necessary changes for governance to have a positive impact, most especially in the areas of revisiting the welfare of the people.
However, we must be mindful of the fact that the elected representatives are still Nigerians, who are products of the bad past.
Worse still, the same hostile environment is still going to be confronted as barriers to development, unless they are very much determined.
Lee Kuan Yew’s experience in the history of Singapore’s development could be of help to our political office holders.
His travelling to many other nations including countries in Africa, to seek for the way out of his country’s economic challenges and the competency needs of the managers of the state, and the harnessing power of resources, coupled with the management classification of the people to work with, like the prime movers, the lackadaisical and the rebellious groups, who the leader needs to identify, to work on them, to enable acceptable values and positive mindset, to be able to move Singapore into the class of development.
On getting home, Yew reached an agreement with the lords of his political party and the people of his country, through a perfected agenda for development, with a good counsel on zero tolerance for corruption, indiscipline and impunity.
Having gained the confidence of his people, he became a role model on transparency and accountability, for others to make sacrifices.
Today in Nigeria, Political Parties are directed by their godfathers and the destiny of elected leaders are usually remote controlled, making many of them to deviate from the normal path of the promises made during their campaigns.
Worse still, appointment of people into sensitive positions of power usually lack merit, credibility, transparency and accountability, for the state Governors, the President and the people to assess their performances while in office. This gives them every opportunity to engage in corrupt practices, with all impunity, to the detriment of the peoples’ welfare, community and national development.
There is the need for the timely supervision of Commissioners and Minsters activities, to assess their performances.
Besides this, Nigerians generally, have no excuses not to perform well in office because the Swearing-in ceremony shall take place during the Ramadan fast period, which is expected to have provided and instilled the fear of God for due process in transactions, as an enabling environment to allow campaign promises tally with service delivery.
One would expect that Nigeria at 59 should look backwards and regret the failure in governance by the Military and their Civilian counterparts.
Most of our political office holders today, were either born during independence or after.
Unfortunately, these crop of people by omission, commission or inaction had in one way or the other soiled their hands in corruption, which were trailed with poor records of performances, most especially those who had always been in government or born before 1960, Nigeria’s independence day.
If only they can reflect back that till date, Nigeria’s development profile is neither bequeath able nor sustainable, their focus should therefore be on how to work assiduously to deliver, to make up for the losses so far and to meaningfully celebrate Nigeria at 60, when the time comes.
Using SWOT analysis, Nigeria still stands at the advantage of been potentially sound, in terms of the endowed natural resources.
Even when you consider the capacity building needs in terms of human resources, with globalization in mind, our high number of Universities, other components of tertiary institutions, give us the hope of having the ability to rise in terms of development, without necessarily relying on foreign experts.
The professionals in all fields of human endeavor are equally many, waiting for challenges of government patronage and societal acceptance.
Obviously, our areas of strength and opportunities are versed, while the challenges, weaknesses and threats must be faced squarely by the new government, to correct the lapses.
These are the expectation of all Nigerians, whose mandate, entrust power onto the elected and indirectly onto the appointed representatives.
Politicians must embrace the culture of internal party Democracy and the opposition must equally refrain from hate speech and personality attack, but dwell more on critiquing issue based values and desist from criticizing that which is more judgmental than proferring solutions.
The structure of Democracy is such that the Executive is always put in check, with respect to its excesses, by the Legislative arm, which is expected to regulate and midwife people oriented legislation.
The Judiciary must see Nigeria as a project that must be free of corruption.
The Ministries, Departments and Agencies must equally be alive to their responsibilities of providing a safe and secure environment for development through ethical practice that is based on global best practices.
The Houses of God through its population target theory and proliferation of sects must be checked and controlled by making them to be scripture compliant, in order that this sector would be able to produce reliable and dependable adherents, who will be raw materials for governance at all levels.
Management of the House of God must be based on piety for the religious sectors to provide good aura of divinity for necessary divine intervention in the affairs of Nigerians, most especially through their governments.
Nigerians must be made to uphold the culture of innovation, skill acquisition and productivity, we must equally see ourselves as stakeholders in ensuring that government performs its duty as expected, whistle blowing, impunity and corruption, while ensuring that errant violators are brought to book as deterrent to others, while preventing re-occurrence.
What should be of primary concern now, is that all hands must be on deck to see Nigeria as a project and to manage Nigeria in such a way as to achieve in the areas of bequeathable legacy, for our children to enjoy the dividends of sustainable development.
The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) in Liberia, Authorities of the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) have organized a two day Price monitoring training programme for technicians.
The training which was held at Gbarnga, Bong County for 30 technicians was aimed at enhancing price monitoring mainly for basic food commodities in Liberia.
The training was also aimed at capturing and facilitating experience-sharing and equipping MoA, and LISGIS field-level staff engaged in collection, analysis and reporting of market data to better communicate, while also ensuring that there is an improvement in the contents of the monthly market monitoring bulletins, and strengthen partnerships and networks.
WFP Liberia's Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping Officer, Mr. Emmanuel Anderson commended the Liberian government for its enduring partnership with the WFP on price monitoring activities.
''WFP has a global mandate to support some of the most vulnerable members of society, with different social protection interventions," Mr. Anderson stated.
He also said that Liberia was increasingly vulnerable to high food price shocks as has been witnessed since 2008, whilke stressing that the government has been concerned about the rise in food prices, and as such, it has been undertaking regular joint government-WFP market monitoring exercises for which an MoU was signed between the Liberian government (MoA, LISGIS) and WFP.
This is a reflection of the sorry state of law enforcement in Nigeria, indeed most operatives hinge their functions on blackmail, frame ups and set ups of innocent citizens , to compensate for the absence of professionals.
In 2002, several rank and file of the Nigeria Police Force engaged in extra judicial killings. This prompted calls for psychiatric tests for serving and would be recruits to flush out drunks and criminals who had infiltrated the force. The situation remains the same in 2019.
Like the Russian roulette, the circle of corruption and inefficiency has continued to recur in the police force and usually making frantic moves to spin out every police officer that assume the position of Inspector General.
Insecurity is the order of the day all over Nigeria and Nigerians insist that the lack of political will by the government of the day to make the security agencies perform optimally has led to terrorism, kidnappings, killings and violence.
In this interview, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke opines that workers and the security agents are not happy as a result of alck of motivation from government. Excerpts :
What do you think is the way out of the security challenges confronting Nigeria presently ?
The Nigerian Army recently submitted that the security issue most especially in the areas of where Boko Haram holds sway and others have been discovered to be sponsored by some influential people, whose identities are yet to be declared.
If the security challenges are not traced to the root, we will continue to grope in the world of darkness to achieve nothing.
Recently, also the Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigeria Immigration Service submitted that the Nigerian borders, most especially the Northern zones are very porous, making it impossible to control the movement of the areas in and outside Nigeria.
The President equally observed and admitted that the Acting Inspector General of Police is not growing fat because the security challenges are overwhelming.
In Zamfara state, government and Emirs are looking for alternatives to vigilantes for the security measures to be more effective.
The whole scenario boils down to the fact that government needs to be decisive in taking action against any form of injustice and violation of the rule of law, through the following mitigation for eradication measures :
One, There is shortage of personnel in each of the units or departments constituting our agencies, the Nigeria Army, Air Force, Navy and their likes gives us the statistics of what a dependable unit should constitute against international standards expected with regards to the ratio of the personnel/population.
Where there is deficiency , government needs to do the needful in the areas of recruitment, equipment and adequate capacity building through the modern day techniques in line with global best practices.
The issue of state police may equally be revisited to be able to stop the continued killings in almost all states of the federation, with particular emphasis on the troubled regions.
This will equally mean the need for adequate funding.
A recent revelation by Dr. Sidi Mohammed that while soldiers who are at the battle field with the Boko Haram terrorists receive N1,000 daily , the terrorists mere participation guarantees each of them $3,000 on a daily basis, although the Army did not feel good about this observation.
Generally in Nigeria, workers are not happy including the security agents because of lack motivation from government.
For Nigeria to break even in the areas of restoration of peace, there must be a downward review of the remuneration of the political class, as well as cutting down the size of the entourage and cabinet crew for the money to be diverted for the procurement of necessary equipment, prompt payment of salaries of workers, job creation and opportunities, most especially for the youth who have already become puns in the hands of politicians and as useful tools for violence and other diabolic e acts in the hands of the enemies of the state.
Once the cost of governance is reduced and merit becomes sacrosanct in the labor market, restoration of our core values based on peace, honesty and integrity will naturally return to address the issue of insecurity. This will make the concept of keeping good neighborliness become a realizable message of hope.
Once we are able to achieve attitudinal adjustment, security agents would have less to do because good citizenry would have created a conscious awareness that everybody is a stakeholder in the quest to maintain the peace.
Keeping of the justice system and equality of access for an inclusive society will accelerate the pace of development , that would be sustainable to create a conducive atmosphere for good interpersonal relationship.
The Zimbabwe Government has for the past four months withheld the salaries of three leaders of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), who led protests against the Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube's austerity policies in January.
The union leaders and others who were arrested in Macheke and charged with criminal nuisance, appeared in court in Marondera before their case was referred to Harare.
Before they could appear in court they were again arrested in Ruwa just 40km outside the capital, however the court ordered their release.
President of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), secretary general Robson Chere and Mashonaland West chairperson Munyaradzi Ndawana, have however, called on workers not to be deterred by the latest action of government.
"This so-called new dispensation is using every trick in the book to curtail trade unionism in Zimbabwe, the freezing of salaries is a desperate attempt to silence our membership. We will not be cowed into submission by such cowardly acts on an anti-worker establishment, we demand salaries in US dollars or market equivalent. Austerity measures are killing the working class and benefiting the ruling elite, we call upon the working class to rise and crush austerity.
"We are surviving on handouts from well-wishers. It's a difficult situation and cannot even afford paying school fees for our children'' they said.
While other unions seem to have adopted a different tact choosing to negotiate with government, Masaraure and his group have taken the authorities head on.
The Oyo State Fire Service has insisted that even though it has all the requirements to perform its primary functions, it is looking up to the incoming administration for more assistance.
The position of the the Service was made know by its Deputy Director, Mr. Moshood Adewuyi in a chat with People.
''We are always ready in terms of safety. Everyone grows old, so does equipment, we are looking forward to the new administration to take care of our needs. We carry out routine inspection annually. My people are at First Bank premises. The objective is to assess, recommend and implement. We also visit industrial premises, petrol stations, Media houses and several others because their compliance might be 60 per cent. We have been experiencing a reduction in fire incidents, Mr. Adewuyi noted.
He advised members of the public to always be safety conscious saying, ''Keep matches out of reach of children. Making use of handsets in petrol stations should be discourage. We are friends with the public, we are here to save lives and property. We expect maximum cooperation whenever there are incidents, not fighting''.
The All Workers Convergence(AWC) has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint a qualified person with vast experience in labour matters as Minister of Labor.
The AWC gave this advice through its National Coordinator, Comrade Andrew Emelieze.
‘’What is expected from authentic leadership is to put the right persons in the right positions. People who are professionals in their particular fields, who possess not just academic qualifications but also practical experiences.’’
‘’Our expectation is that President Muhammadu Buhari will search for someone who is knowledgeable in the field of industrial relations and other related courses. President Buhari should not resort to political patronage as far as the Ministry of Labor is concerned. The Ministry of Labor should not be an all comers affair as we have seen in the outgoing dispensation, where a Medical Doctor is saddled with the responsibility of industrial relations.’’
‘’Though while giving this advice we know that the President might have his own personal views and approach to such issues, which of course had led to the delay in the appointment of Ministers in this dispensation and we have seen the results. Therefore if the President does not take to popular advice, one might not expect anything extraordinary in terms of performance from his new Ministers. After all, despite all the noticeable shortcomings and non performance of the Ministers, President Buhari was unable to change his cabinet for four years’’, Comrade Emelieze concluded
On Wednesday, 28 September 2011, the Federal Executive Council approved N30.066 billion for the accelerated implementation of the ‘back-end’ component of the National Identity Management System(NIMS).
The delivery date of the NIMS was December, 2013.
It should be noted that the National Identity Management Commission(NIMC) was to receive a sum of N23.074 billion, in the last quarter of 2011, for the procurement of the redesigned multi-application National Identity Card.
Before this time, the National Identity Card Scheme executed by SAGEM was a failure.
The NIMC Act №23 of 2007 mandated the NIMC to establish a reliable, secure and ‘scalable’ identity management system that makes use of advance Bio-metrics technologies to identify every individual in Nigeria in unique ways.
Despite the colossal amount government has expended on the project, most Nigerians, who have registered have only laminated papers to present where necessary.
Although choice brand of papers serve the same purpose, on a condition that negotiated payments are made to the relevant officials.
The insinuation is that the laminated papers are just open cover ups for the failed project.
The expectations of Nigerians were that , upon completion of registration, physical cards would be issued. This is not the case.
At the NIMC registration center at the University College Hospital(UCH)Ibadan, Nigerians are made to pay N100.00 for the registration form, while N500.00 is the amount for the change of name after registration and other unspecified fees for the lamination of the registration slip. There are other hidden fees.
The NIMC officials also instruct people to write their Bank Verification Numbers(BVN) on the form. Nigerians want to know the reason why this is so ?
Of worry, is the rude behavior exhibited by the NIMC officials in a sizable number of centers, which over time has discouraged several Nigerians from having faith in the project.
Indeed, NIMC proudly insists that over the years, it has issued out millions of the National Identification Numbers(NIN), even though it has continuously avoided making categorical statements on the Identity Cards.
Nigerians have the impression that the project is one among several white elephant projects of government.
According to the Minister for Industry and Trade Joseph Kakunda, who made this known recently, the government would also take over 33 others this May, if they failed to submit their investment reports.
The Minister expressed worry over the distress situation of 68 enterprises, amone which some have already closed shop.
Some time in March, the Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Constantine Kanyasu , warned that the government would take over some privatized hotels and lodges over alleged mismanagement and poor handling of tourists and visitors.
"The ownership of the hotels will be shifted to other investors who are ready to manage them in the interest of promoting tourism," Kanyasu stated.
20 years ago, the government privatized 176 public firms under the World Bank-funded Presidential Parastatal Sector Reform Commission (PSRC).
The signing into law of the N30,000 new national minimum wage by President Muhammadu Buhari was received with joy by all Nigerians, especially workers and their dependents. Even though workers are not too comfortable with the consensus method of picking leaders of their unions.
The leaders who emerged via consensus and the 36 state Governors would in the coming weeks,to a great extent, determine how long this joy will last.
In this interview, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke opines that Nigerian workers think of only themselves at the detriment of retirees and other Nigerians. Excerpts :
Do you think workers in the states of the federation have any cause to rejoice over the signing into law of the N30,000 new national minimum wage by President Buhari ?
Generally workers are expected to celebrate the so called N30,000 new national minimum wage in the preciseness of unsustainable economy with poor growth rate, that has no impact on the general lives of the people.
Workers are expected to be holistic, fighting for the cause of the welfare of the people and the structural effects of our democracy, that is yet to be achieved.
Injustice and inequality, marginalization and equity challenges are supposed to be in place before Nigeria and its states can have peace and development that may be sustainable and beneficial to all.
I would have expected that the workers’ unions fight the cause of the retirees and the issue of unpaid salary arrears, before vigorously embarking the satiation for the increase in the minimum wage.
This is because fighting for an holistic cause is expected to be step wise and developmental, which implies that we expect that no state government should be able to stay in power without been confronted every week with the workers’ agitation on these issues; to force them to reason that it was only through the peoples’ mandate in democracy that they had been able to get into the juicy positions of power.
Unfortunately, Nigerian workers became selfish, limiting themselves to the cause of those people in service only, at least ensuring that all states comply rationally with the old minimum wage would have made a good level playing ground to fight for the increase.
State Governors under our democratic dispensation have only succeeded in impoverishing the people, most especially their children-graduates-majority of whom are made to roam the streets aimlessly thereby becoming nuisances.
While government officials and the executive live in affluence, the people under them continue to groan under the harshness of abject poverty affecting their fundamental human rights to have access to the very good things of life; that can make them realize the benefit of governance dynamics.
Now, we are having a change of government come My 29, 2019, derisively, the outgoing Governors may show deceptive friendship, by accepting to pay the N30,00 new national minimum wage, to set a trap for the incoming government, so as to make the new government highly unpopular among the people who gave them the mandate.
Those who will continue in power, maybe ready to damn the consequence, by not agreeing to pay the new wage.
It is a known fact that only between two to three states have the capacity to pay the new national minimum wage, even in the face of unabated corruption.
The government may end up contending with industrial disputes.
This is not to say that Nigeria is not potentially capable to implement the assented payment of the new national minimum wage of N30,000, but the government failed to back it up with good economic policy and formula.
The cheapest way to do this, does not lie in increasing the Value Added Tax(VAT), because this would negatively affect the prices of commodities for home consumption as well as inviting increase in inflation, with direct consequence on the impoverished masses, who constitute more than 70 per cent of the population.
For equity sake, in which the welfare of the masses would be taken care of, there is the need for the downward review of the salaries of the political class, the executive and the Legislature in particular, say by half, so that the upward review of the minimum wage, which is more of a daily token and stipend in the hands of the elite, who constitute less than 10 per cent of the population of Nigeria, would succeed.
If this had been done, the heavy top would have rolled down to augment the meager amount meant for mass distribution.
Stomach infrastructure is basically primary and should not be toyed with politically, otherwise the provision of basic amenities, if absent, would rubbish the efforts of government in the areas of transportation, mining, power and other sectors that would aid development.
Stomach infrastructure has direct link with the ability of government to provide employment and empower all Nigerians, most especially the youth, so that they would be less restive.
Remember, more than 95 per cent of the small scale industries facilitated industrialization in all the developed countries-the United States of America, United Kingdom, Russia, China and South Korea.
This very good model is sought after by Malaysia and Singapore, which gained independence in 1965.
Let this government in the next political dispensation follow suit, by developing the nation and be virile enough to become a strong institution, rather than building strong individuals, who have become untouchable in the face of corruption, destroying equitable legacy for our youth as it is today. God save Nigeria.
Most state Governments in Nigeria have over the years failed to ensure that the environment is habitable .
Even though the state governments introduced task forces to enforce environmental regulations and expended large sums of money on sanitation, the environment in most states still remain dirty.
Interestingly, Waste Management Boards in the states have done little or nothing to improve the worrisome situation.
Of worry, is the recycling of quack ideas, which has resulted in the conversion of the multi-billion Naira Ogunpa River Channelization scheme in Ibadan, Oyo state to a major refuse dump.
No doubt the negative habits of the people have for long been a major factor that has contributed to the poor state of the environment, just as government seeks solace in its feeble efforts to reverse the ugly trend.
Heaps of refuse at every available space constitute a major feature in most cities.
Sadly, environmental mismanagement in all its ramification has resulted in unreported cases of bad health conditions, with origins from identified environmental nuisances.
It should be noted that most state governments have displayed the lack of political will to decisively enforce policies on the environment.
Political considerations have, not surprisingly, overwhelmed the governance abilities of a sizable number of political office holders, to the extent that the absurd is now the order of the day.
For instance, in the Olorunsogo, Molete area of Ibadan a landlady of a two storey building, Mrs. Ajayi and her tenants of №5 Kehinde Aderibigbe street, have for several years converted the building beside theirs(№3) to a refuse dump, where they also deposit excreta.
Even though the Environmental Health Officers in charge of the community are aware of the ugly development, monetary considerations have beclouded their quest for professionalism.
Without doubt, governance cannot go on smoothly in a dirty environment, especially when lawlessness and criminality are the trend. This is the situation in most states of the federation.