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    Sobowale On Business

    Consequences of N145 per litre fuel

    FUEL5

    Lai Mohammed, Information Minister, NATION, May 17, 2016, p 6. In the report by Yusuf Alli, Yomi Odunuga and Vincent Ikuomola, all senior editorial staff of the paper, the Minister also pointed out that “Government is not about popularity. There are times in life you have to take a very hard decision and this decision is for the long term and benefit of everybody.” Fortunately or unfortunately, the three journalists were with the paper in January 1, 2012 when Jonathan’s government increased the price of fuel from N97 per litre to N141 – an increase of 45.3 per cent. Each of them should be able to recollect what he wrote in response to that announcement. Lai Mohammed, then the National Publicity Secretary for the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, also should go and find out what he said in 2012.

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    BAIL-OUT

    Federal government faces reality on bail-out

    “…every Nigerian is now sober. The governors have realized now that this can happen and that oil prices can plummet from $100 to $28 within a short period of time, and that we can be so exposed that we can’t even pay salaries…”So there is a sobriety that has come in. So, we are working with the states and we are not bailing them out. We have said to them that we have a fiscal restructuring plan…”Whatever we are doing will be conditional. Mrs Adeosun, Federal Minister of Finance, May 5, 2016.

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    BAIL-OUT

    Bailing out states: FG’s exercise in futility

    Readers would permit me if the APC spokesman is not identified. He is a long term associate and one of those who have helped me as a columnist in the early years. Like Shakespeare, 1564-1616, “I hate ingratitude more in a man than lying, vainness, babbling drunkenness or any taints of vice” (VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS p 103). But, that far I will go and no further.

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    File: Buhari during the 2016 budget presentation to the National Assembly.

    Economic Conference: An afterthought too late to rescue budget 2016 (1)

    NOTE: This article was written on March 8, 2016, two weeks after it was announced that President Buhari had agreed to organize an Economic Summit. Even then, it was clear to some economists that this government was not really interested in the summit. The summit failed to take off on Thursday, March 10, 2016 as scheduled and no new take-off date had been established. Obviously, there is no commitment; only an attempt to silence critics of government.

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    Prepaid Meters

    “No” to protest against tariff increase

    Most of our Fellow Countrymen (“How many fools make up Fellow Countrymen”, asked Thomas Carlyle, 1795-1881, in despair) are emotional and unrealistic. Less than one tenth of one per cent understands the basic principles of economics. Most of the leaders, drawn from the same pool of people, are not different. Even those among the leaders who understand the principles of economics lack the moral courage to tell the truth when issues pertaining to economics become contentious. They choose to play to gallery by telling the “masses” what they prefer to be told instead of telling the truth which might be unpopular.

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    Geregu power

    Killing discos; commiting national suicide

    Like most Nigerians, I consume electricity and receive all those bills, about which everybody complains, and the services are not satisfactory. But, unlike most Nigerians, five DISCOs, two in the North and three in the south, provide me services. With one pre-paid metre, four estimated bills, popularly called crazy bills, are received and paid monthly. I don’t have shares in any DISCO and I tried my best to discourage friends wanting to invest in DISCOs when the last administration slated them for privatization.

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    File: Buhari during the 2016 budget presentation to the National Assembly.

    Can these figures and budget illiterates run a government?

    It ain’t the things you don’t know that cause the problem. It’s things you think you know that ain’t so. Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882. VANGUARD BOOK p 117. President Buhari must have entered into the GUINNESS BOOK OF RECORDS for taking five months to assemble a cabinet of less than fifty people and about thirty Special Advisers, noise makers as he called them.

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    Mr Godwin Emefiele answering questions  during his screening by the Senate for  Central Bank Governorship in Abuja on Wednesday

    Soludo vs Emefiele: Pot calling kettle black

    Professor Chukwumah Soludo, former Governor of the Central Bank, CBN, was in his elements a few weeks ago, when he declared that the current CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, turned the bank into an ATM machine for the Jonathan administration. The imports of that statement are numerous; but, two would have struck most readers who are no knowledgeable about the role of the central bank in any nation.

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    Emefiele CBN Governor

    Finally, FG addresses fiscal policy

    Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, is one official who has my total sympathy. He is the victim of economic circumstances absolutely beyond his control, yet, he is looked upon to provide solutions to problems well outside the mandate of the CBN. Unjustifiably, he had become the target of attack from all sides – manufacturers, importers, exporters, BDCs, domiciliary account holders, banks, oil companies,

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    deltaplane

    Taraba enters age of aviation, tourism with Overland Airways

    It is like a marriage made in Heaven which invariably produces great results. When Governor of Taraba State told me in November last year that his state capital, Jalingo, will in about three weeks, enjoy direct flight from Lagos, through Abuja, it sounded like one of those political promises “made to be broken” (apologies to Jonathan Swift, 1667-1745). Given the short period he had been in office, in one of the poorest states in the nation, and being distracted by his political adversaries, it would appear that sealing a deal with an airline to start operating a flight to Jalingo would be almost impossible.

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    supermarket

    Expected lower aggregate consumption in 2016

    When Morita wrote the article from which that statement was lifted in 1992, I was a Senior Lecturer/Consultant at the Nigerian Institute of Management, NIM, and an avid reader of the Harvard Business Review. That explains why the VBQ is filled with insights from the HBR. But, in 1992, Japan was the second largest economy in the world and the second biggest manufacturer; the USA was first in both. China was nowhere in sight and the VBQ was still fifteen years away from being published. But, I had started on it.

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    Buhari presents N6.08trn 2016 budget to NASS

    Consequences of states reducing budgets for 2016

    The most obstinate illusions are ultimately broken by facts.” Trevor Roper, in THE LAST DAYS OF HITLER. (VAGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS, VBQ, p100). Roper, in one of the best books on the last days of the German leader wrote about how Hitler, deceived by his field commanders set about deploying imaginary troops in order to halt the advance of the Allied Forces into his country. It was comical and historical. It demonstrates how political leaders can turn to clowns when faced with realities which are too harsh to admit.

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    Emefiele CBN Governor

    Banking blues in 2016

    When oil companies fail to pay, bankers are in a fix. But, not just bankers; we are all in a fix. Shareholders of Nigerian banks, already waving off a bad 2015, will again have to endure two economic woes – low or no dividends and plummeting share prices. Currently, only two banks shares are above N15 per share: ECOBANK and GTB. None of the others is above N6 per share.

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