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Sobowale On Business

Go tell it to Nigerians the optimists are leading

Ordinarily, it would have required up to the second half of the year for those in the minority to start saying “I told you so!” But, fortune and research had combined to provide optimists an early advantage in the competition for the minds of Nigerians. For this writer, this turn of events was expected and the reasons had been pointed out in the December article. But, the pessimists might have ignored it as hearsay and unreliable information, while the optimists might have missed its significance altogether.

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Federal government building castles in the air

Dosumu attended Baptist Academy, then on Broad Street in Lagos Island, and was so good in Bible Knowledge, he was one of few members of his set who collected distinction in BK at the Cambridge School Certificate among a string of other distinctions. He went further to bag the prestigious ASPAU scholarship to study in the United States – becoming the first “Lagos Boy” to do so. He was in the Midwest of the USA where he and Dr Kalu Idika Kalu and others made Nigeria proud by their achievements. Each collected a doctorate in his field of study. Wahab’s was Engineering.

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When did annual budgets become such a joke?

The Honourable Minister was speaking in Vienna after the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, had voted to cut supplies for six months in order to firm up the price of crude oil globally. OPEC went further to exclude Nigeria from the widespread cut because the other members had long regarded this country as the “poor cousin” whose dependence on crude revenue is almost total – unlike others. So, Nigeria was allowed to keep its 2.2 million barrels per day quota.

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Open letter to Buhari on behalf of Nigerian consumers

Mr President, Sir, you probably don’t need a reminder that there is a recession on in the country. As a matter of fact, what we have is stagflation – a wicked combination of inflation (now 18.5%) and declining GDP (now -2.4%). Most economists and marketing professionals would testify that the two translate to low purchasing power and empty pockets. Permit me to confess that I am both a practitioner of the dismal science (economics), as well as Marketing.

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Wanted: Governors who can do more with less

Newly-elected Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State struck the right note in his maiden address to the people of Edo State when he declared that “there is more free lunch”. He has his reasons which the tables below will pertly explain. Contrary to what some consider an early rebuke of his immediate past predecessor, it was nothing more than a bow to reality. Facts remain the eternal enemies of illusions which still drive most of our politicians promising free everything under the sun.

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Why the school food programme might not work

When the currenyear ends on December 31, 2016, several previously sterling reputations would have been diminished because they were deaf to advice which did not emanate from official circles. Despite all the nonsense about having all hands on deck, they preferred to err their own way instead of being corrected by others. In order of protocol, the reputations steadily declining are those of President Buhari, Vice President Osinbajo, SAN, the Minister of Budget and Planning, the Minister of Finance and Mrs Uwais, wife of the former Chief Justice of the Federation who is the Director of the N500 billion Social Welfare Programme, SWP.

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Central bank in a dilemma over Nigerian banks

MY first major article on banks was in 1992; when one Mr Jimi Lawal, was the Managing Director of Alpha Merchant Bank. From the quarterly, semi-annual and annual reports of the bank, anyone could be forgiven for thinking that Mr Lawal, who was also a flashy dresser and certainly not conservative, as traditional bankers were, had his own mint for printing the funds his bank was allegedly making. He was not alone.

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How sound are Nigerian banks?

In the report titled ‘Banks bad loans rise above CBN limit’, the report which was attributed to Bloomberg, the global rating agency, also quoted Mr Emefiele’s statement in which he tried to re-assure Nigerians and the international community that all is well. According to the CBN Governor: “The Nigerian financial system remains stable and resilient in spite of prevailing macroeconomic challenges.”

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Falsehood and empty promises will not end recession

Buhari was speaking the day before to people that were tagged “creative youths”. One only hopes they had brains as well. He also vowed to continue to blame past administrations. Whether that was a threat or promise is difficult to say. But, to Buhari’s stubborn insistence to continue to bore Nigerians, a late Vice President of the United States, Hubert Humphrey, 1911-1978, had given the appropriate riposte as far back as 1965 in Madison Wisconsin, on August 23.

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National self-deception on agriculture

For good measure, the expert would remind everybody that before the Age of Oil exploded on Nigeria in 1973, the country was a large exporter of several products cocoa, rubber, cotton, palm oil, groundnuts, coal, hides and skins, tin, rubber etc; and when the three Regional Marketing Boards East, North and West had offices in London to handle the export of products from their own particular region.

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