Thursday October 23rd, 2014
Thursday October 23rd, 2014
Latest

Is AMCON/Bi-Courtney case tainted with malice and ethnicity? – 2

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:18 am   /   Comments

*Babalakin

Mr Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, is not a run-of-the mill lawyer. Even among Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SAN, he occupies the front rank. As a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, he would be expected to stand, at all times, as a shinning example to others. So, when this story broke, my first reaction was shock.

Read More →
Latest

From boom to gloom or doom–The story of oil -1

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:03 am   /   Comments

File Photo: Crude Oil

Crude oil has always been a slippery stuff – good when under control; destructive when out of control. Crude oil is about to destroy the Nigerian economy faster then Boko Haram or even Ebola.

Read More →
Latest

Missing $49.8b and missing organs in the Nigerian economy –3

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:48 am   /   Comments

economy

Lawyers, as a whole, constitute a pain in the wrong end of the body. As necessary evils, they are more evil than necessary. Priding themselves as “learned” people, all they do is to make laws so complicated as to turn the law into an ass. No other profession, known to man calls its products “an ass.”

Read More →
Latest

Missing $49.8bn and missing organs in the Nigerian economy – 2

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:13 am   /   Comments

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and Okonjo-Iweala

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, former Governor Of Central Bank, CBN, was not only a professional banker, but a professional manager as well. As the Managing Director of the First Bank Plc, it would have been unthinkable of him to announce that a large amount of money was missing from the bank, given the dire consequences for the bank of that revelation, without being totally certain that it was true.

Read More →
Latest

PIB and declining oil revenue

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:38 am   /   Comments

President Jonathan and Petroleum Minister, Diezani

Can you remember when the idea of privatizing NEPA, NITEL, NNPC, NPA was first eagerly promoted? Well, don’t worry. People like me are here to remind you. It was in the 1980s when the Technical Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, TCPC, headed by late Dr Zyyadd was established. For four years, after the proclamation, nothing happened to our biggest public enterprises – despite all the valid reasons advanced for getting governments to relinquish their strangle-holds on businesses which are best left to the private sector.

Read More →
Latest

The $1 billion rice MoU between Dangote and the Federal Government

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:23 am   /   Comments

Aliko Dangote

Last week the richest black man in the world, our own Alhaji Aliko Dangote, signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with the Federal Government of Nigeria for the establishment of a $1 billion integrated rice-producing company in Nigeria

Read More →
Latest

Requiem for PIB 2, hold leaders of Niger Delta responsible (1)

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:08 am   /   Comments

senate-Jonathan

The Executive Director of the group, calling itself, The Environmental Rights Action/friends of the Earth Nigeria, Dr Godwin Uyi Ojo, was reported to have said that, “We, as civil society groups and as community members, are disappointed in the National Assembly for playing politics with peoples lives. The PIB has been on the desk of our lawmakers since 2009 and another lawmaking session is coming to an end. Yet, the passage of this bill appears not in sight.

Read More →
Latest

$1b loan to procure weapons: Matters Arising

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:06 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan

“For this reason, I seek the concurrence of the National Assembly for external borrowing of not more than $1 billion..” President Jonathan in the letter to the Senate President, David Mark on July 15, 2014.

Read More →
Latest

Cashless Nigeria or confused CBN? – 2

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:29 am   /   Comments

The Central Bank of Nigeria head office  in Abuja.

I cannot recollect which one of my classmates wrote that report, when after a Scouts’ Adventure we returned to school at Igbobi College, Yaba and were asked to recount our experience. Mostly, we got totally lost in the forest and it was the benevolent appearance of a hunter which got us out.

Read More →
Latest

Cashless Nigeria or confused CBN?

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:19 am   /   Comments

The Central Bank of Nigeria head office  in Abuja.

Nigeria lags behind all the countries – South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, to mention a few – which were either at the same level of development or were even behind us in 1960 mostly because we never learn from our mistakes. Every twenty or so years, we are faced with a major shift in economic policies based on new global realities or technology and we end up messing up the transition – at our own peril

Read More →
Latest

Aviation ministry and the mess Oduah left behind

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:21 am   /   Comments

Stella Oduah, Aviation Minister

Last year, on my SUNDAY VANGUARD page, I had published an article titled AVIATION MINISTER: TIME TO GO. Prior to that, I had also carpeted the former minister for incompetence – among other failures. The first article received a rejoinder from her Senior Personal Assistant, Mr Joel Obi. As usual, Joel Obi, disregarded the point of the article and went on to do what spokespersons for government officials do best – present half truths and outright falsehood as facts. I allowed Obi to expose himself and the Minister on my page because there was no doubt in my mind that truth will prevail. I knew that Ms Oduah would never last the distance as minister and that she would be out of office soon.

Read More →
Latest

Thank you Nissan; but will history repeat itself? (3)

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:11 am   /   Comments

NissanJona

Part two of this series touched on the critical role of the price of crude oil in the success, or otherwise, of the NISSAN Assembly plant – as well as others about to start up again. It is vital to point out that the price of crude might not be the only variable which can have a significant impact on the survival of the assembly plants.

Read More →
Latest

Thank you Nissan; but will history repeat itself? (2)

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:13 am   /   Comments

NissanJona3

Last week this article ended with the plunge in the price of crude oil from $28 in 1982 to N9.95 during Babangida’s regime 1895-1993. At Kuru, IBB explained how we got into the mess which would later bring an end to our attempt at car manufacturing. Nissan had re-started the journey. Will history repeat itself?

Read More →
Latest

Thank you Nissan; but will history repeat itself? (1)

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:34 am   /   Comments

Nissan-Naija

Edward Gibbon, perhaps the greatest historian the world has ever known left us with the great epic THE RISE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE. So, he is as qualified as anybody to summarise for us what history is all about. His comments about register of follies, if taken with another view of history, which says history repeats itself, will help us to understand where Nigeria stands today with respect to automobiles assembled in Nigeria.

Read More →
Latest

So you want to be governor in 2015?

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:50 am   /   Comments

A mammoth crowd at the Liberation Stadium for the rally. Eleven individuals died following a stampede

“Looking from the fact that the funds from the Federation Account are not judiciously utilised by the states and they are not accountable to the people and the state legislature, our concern is that even if they get money from bonds and it is not invested, the state will be left with a huge debt burden which will hurt in the long term.” Dr Usman Muttaka, Head of Department of Economics, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

Read More →
Latest

Minister of Agriculture in fantasyland —1

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:17 am   /   Comments

Agric Minister, Akinwumi-Adesina

With all due respect to the Honourable Minister, unless repudiated by him, this statement represents an illusion. And I fervently pray that this is not what he presents every week to the Federal Executive Committee, FEC, as progress report.

Read More →
Latest

Revisiting the Nigerian Stock Exchange -2

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:01 am   /   Comments

Unlike the Stock market, Forex trading is Online

Last week, companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, were classified into three. Those who render their Annual Reports and Accounts on time, or even ahead of time; those who fail to meet the deadline by a few weeks; and those who, invariably, have to be forced to issue their reports

Read More →
Latest

Budget 2014 hostage to hostile politics

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:20 am   /   Comments

Okonjo-Iweala-budget

Back in January this year, as members of the National Assembly, NASS, returned to their duties, at the Three Arms Zone, I made the point that this year’s budget would be the fifteenth to be prepared for execution by elected officials. I also predicted that we would be fortunate to have a budget signed by the President by the end of April.

Read More →
Latest

Power generation and professors

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:10 am   /   Comments

generator

“For example, Nigeria has signed an MoU with the Democratic Republic of Congo for the importation of electricity from the Inga Dam Power Plant.” Professor Nebo, Minister of Power, PUNCH, March 25, 2014.

Read More →
Latest

The Inheritors (4): Chief Adeyemi Lawson (1)

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:13 am   /   Comments

BANK

The report by Oyetunji Abioye, also said that “SEC investigated the lender after do Rego [the Group Executive Director of Finance and Risk] told the SEC in August that Tanoh and former Chairman, Kolapo Lawson planned to sell assets below market value. Do Rego said she was pressured to write off debts owed by a business headed by Lawson and manipulate the bank’s results. Tanoh and Lawson have denied any wrongdoing,”

Read More →
Latest

Okonjo-Iweala vs Sonala Olumhense: Tag teams (1)

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:12 am   /   Comments

Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

The answer is simple. For years, if I had to choose one columnist to read every Sunday, and no other, it would be Olumhese. I stopped buying Guardian on Sunday when he left. Today, March 2, 2014, I just asked for Guardian, and there was Olumhese in a battle of words with Paul Nwabuikwu, spokesman for the Finance Minister. Spokesmen are echoes, not voices; they are like microphones.

Read More →
Latest

World Economic Forum – A waste of time and resources

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:11 am   /   Comments

Jonathan with other world leaders at the Nuclear Summit in the United States.

“There is nothing more wasteful than doing diligently what should not be done at all.”
President Jonathan took a plane load, or more, of people to Davos, Switzerland for what was billed as the World Economic Forum, WEF. The entourage included several Ministers, some Governors, captains of industry and others too numerous to mention.

Read More →
Latest

Our unrealistic expectations from the power sector

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:00 am   /   Comments

*A major power grid

“Power failure will be a thing of the past within six months.” Late Chief Bola Ige, Federal Minister of Power and Steel, June 1999.

It has become necessary to remind Nigerians that our unrealistic expectation about the Nigerian power sector is not a recent occurrence; in fact, it predated the Cicero of Esa Oke, as Ige was then known.

Read More →
Latest

Is this any way to run a government?

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:48 am   /   Comments

Nigeria-map

The management of Federal, as well as states funds, since 1999 had been one great swindle perpetrated by all the governments without exception. But, I had long restricted myself to the Federal government because the unitary constitution handed to us by General Abdusalami Abubakar, on his way out of office, gave so much power to the Federal government.

Read More →
Latest

Oil Benchmark: Haggling over nothing

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:21 am   /   Comments

Oil Installation

“Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain.” Fredrick Von Schiller, 1759-1805. (VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS p 235).

Read More →
Latest

Duty waivers, SWF & ECA: Three musketeers of economic management

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:11 am   /   Comments

economy

The objective of the waiver policy, the implementation of which was reviewed and strengthened in late 2011 is to curb the abuses and inefficiencies of the previous regime…There is evidence that it is working to boost key sectors of the economy.” Federal Ministry of Finance in November 2013.

Read More →
Latest

Sure-P: Okonjo-Iweala’s Waterloo

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:10 am   /   Comments

Okonjo-Iweala: Begs for time

But in Nigeria, it almost invariably ends up getting bogged down in colossal corruption. The minute government embarks on a multi-billion naira enterprise the sharp guys devise the plans to subvert it by robbing the programme blind. SURE-P is going the way of National ID Card Scheme, Obasanjo’s $13-16 billion IPP for which we had nothing to show until PHCN was privatized and the National Water Rehabilitation Scheme of another regime.

Read More →
Latest

SURE-P: Okonjo-iweala’s waterloo

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:27 am   /   Comments

Okonjo-Iweala

But in Nigeria, it almost invariably ends up getting bogged down in colossal corruption. The minute government embarks on a multi-billion naira enterprise the sharp guys devise the plans to subvert it by robbing the programme blind. SURE-P is going the way of National ID Card Scheme, Obasanjo’s $13-16 billion IPP for which we had nothing to show until PHCN was privatized and the National Water Rehabilitation Scheme of another regime.

Read More →
Latest

Another capital market crisis is round the corner

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:11 am   /   Comments

File photo: The  floor of Stock exchange

In my nearly twenty years of writing on these pages, I had predicted four crashes – two banking and two capital market crashes. The first was in reference to the banking crisis of the 1997/98 financial years. Writing under the titled FUNNY MONEY, I had predicted that Nigerian banks, which at the time were enjoying rave reviews in the media in general, were as a matter of fact deceiving all of us. The high profits and dividends being declared were out of tune with the underlying economy which was in a recession. My query then, as now, was “What sort of investments were banks making to earn the returns they were declaring?” I went further to list seventeen (17) banks which were sure to go under. The list included Alpha Merchant Bank, the darling of ignorant investors, and Commerce Bank headed by two former heads of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, CIBN. Few people believed me until the banks went belly up and bankers changed designer suits for prison uniforms.

Read More →
Latest

CBN takes desperate measure on foreign exchange (2)

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:09 am   /   Comments

naira-Dollar

“We are not looking for a stronger currency neither are we looking for a weaker one. People want to pay fees and investors want to know if they will have returns on investments.
We will use the reserves, we will use interest rates, we have gone through difficult months; hopefully, the next few months will not be difficult. We will not allow the naira to be weakened and we are committed to that”. Governor of CBN, Sanusi Lamido, in September.

Read More →
Latest

Why state governments cannot pay

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:17 am   /   Comments

Gov Uduaghan

Governor Uduaghan earned my respect during his first term when he boldly warned his people about preparing for a future Delta State without oil. It was almost sacrilegious. Who ever wanted to contemplate such a future with so much oil still in the ground to be lifted? Even the Governors Commissioners, who clapped with gusto, were skeptical about such a prospect. Nationally, the Governor might as well have been talking to cows – for all the attention he received. Nigerians have demonstrated that if there is anything they don’t want to think about, it is a future without oil – because it will require a vast amount of effort to build such a future.

Read More →
Latest

FG’s N14trn budget for three years

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:38 am   /   Comments

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and Okonjo-Iweala

It would have amounted to economic self-delusion of the worst kind if the Federal government had failed to take into account the failure of this year’s budget, largely on account of the shortfall in crude shipments while preparing next year’s budget proposals. By July, revenue shortfall for 2013 had already reached N686bn and are projected to get close to N1 trillion by year end. So instead of N4.925bn proposed for 2013, the nation will be extremely fortunate if N4tn is received. Thus, while the 2014 proposed budget is lower than the 2013 appropriation, it is N495bn more than what can be reasonably expected this year.

Read More →