Wednesday April 16th, 2014
Wednesday April 16th, 2014
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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.

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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,”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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For public servants; the party is over

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:09 am   /   Comments

GEJ

Just in case public sector workers fail to get the point, the Federal Government went further to declare that “only actual earnings will be shared.” Again for those who might not understand the meaning of that statement, it means that the Federal Government will no longer dip into the excess crude oil to make up the difference between budgeted earnings and actual income. Typical of governments everywhere, the Federal Government failed to tell the entire story – perhaps because it might be too alarming. Yet, the truth must be told to enable public servants, at all three tiers of government, as well as creditors to government to prepare for the inevitable. And, what is inexorable?

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End Of Oil Dependent Economy – 1

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:22 am   /   Comments

Oil Installation

The second story was the real wake up call to Nigerians about our dismal economic future if we continue with our over-reliance on crude oil for our survival. According to the paper, “the country [Nigeria] began a new journey into the shackles of foreign and domestic indebtedness in which by 2011, statistics indicated its total foreign debt soared to the tune of US$47.9 while the domestic debt platform rose to about US$42.3 billion, much higher than even before the debt relief”.

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Worsening unemployment and bad politics

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:20 am   /   Comments

File photo: Unemployed youths at Alausa, Ikeja

“In Nigeria today, there are millions of young people who are economically dislocated, either through unemployment or a lack of engagement with any meaningful economic activities. In effect, 24 percent of our economic agents are disaffected and disenfranchised through unemployment and that figure rises to almost 70 percent when we consider those between the ages of 18 and 30”.

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ASUU STRIKE: Blame finance minister

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:30 am   /   Comments

*Finance Minister, Ngozi-Okonjo-Iweala

This is a government that signed an agreement with us on January 24, 2012, to the effect that they would inject N100 bn as funding into the universities in the first month; and that before the end of 2012, they would inject another N300 bn.”

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Is your bank in trouble? Act before it goes down

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:26 am   /   Comments

*File Photo

“When an old man dies, you lose a library,” according to an old adage. Having survived all odds to reach the age of 69, in a country where life expectancy is still under 52 years, it might not be too presumptuous to call myself “an old man.” Not just an old man, but one who actively attempts to document historical landmarks in the management of our national economy.

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Who Steals Nigerian Crude Oil?

  /   in Sobowale On Business 10:00 am   /   Comments

*File Photo: Activity at a vandalised oil pipe

Nigerians have been treated to a theatre of the absurd in which those close to the oil scene and those who should be the prime suspects for the incessant theft of crude are the same people complaining about it and passing the buck among themselves. Jonathan’s government is obviously powerless to stop the grand larceny or is unwilling to do so. Meanwhile, we face real fiscal catastrophe this year and next year if the theft is not checked. Who are the culprits? Take your choice from the list below.

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Nigeria’s slide into another debt trap

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:20 am   /   Comments

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

There are some situations in which a public official should pray not to find himself or herself. Just last week, a columnist with the PUNCH, Chido Onumah, reminded us of what Reuben Abati wrote about the President’s wife before he was appointed presidential spokesman. In particular Abati had written that “the possession of power in any form does not guarantee the right to be reckless or to ignore the etiquette required of office holders”.

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Fire alarm from finance minister

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:10 am   /   Comments

Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

“When the housewife announces that “the soup in the pot is totally burnt”, she is telling the family that there will be no dinner”, Old Uncle in Lagos.

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This NASS is nasty on 2013 budget amendment

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:30 am   /   Comments

President Jonathan, David Mark and Okonjo- Iweala

“What we find it not to our liking when a comment is made that tends to say that government will shut down if the National Assembly doesn’t do anything. We do not agree with that”, Senator Abaribe.

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POWERFUL LIES: Familiar stories on Blackouts … PART 2

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:20 am   /   Comments

PHCN-CARTOON

The announcement by the US President to provide an intervention fund worth $7 billion to seven countries in Africa, including Nigeria, should be regarded as a major embarrassment to this country and a vote of no confidence in our ability to solve the power problem by ourselves.

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Powerful lies: Familiar stories on blackouts

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:10 am   /   Comments

Late Sani Abacha

“Privatisation of electricity distribution in the country will come into effect next January, Power and Steel Minister, Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu said yesterday. DAILY TIMES, November 10, 1995.

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FAAC crisis and the dangers ahead

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:20 am   /   Comments

*Gov. Isa Yuguda

“The Forum of Commissioners of Finance from the 36 states led by the Chairman, Mr Timothy Odaah, had expressed anger over the unpaid arrears amounting to about N160bn($1bn)”. PUNCH 19, 2013.

Nigerians, for reasons difficult to understand, seem to be totally uninterested in the most important issues affecting their lives; one such is monthly revenue allocation to states. For the last one week, while the focus had been on politics, NGF, PDP etc, the Finance Commissioners of the 36 states had been in a tug of war with the Federal government; which owes them, collectively, about N160 billion.

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Floods and Famine – The Future is here – 1

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:03 am   /   Comments

*File Photo: Flood victims

With flood ravaging virtually every nation on earth where there has been record rainfall, it is important to issue a reminder to Governments and the people of this country that the devastation this year is likely to be worse than what we suffered last year. Read last year’s warning first and wait for this year’s.

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Mid-Term reports on key ministries: MTI – 2

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:10 am   /   Comments

RECEPTION FOR FIRST LADY—From left: Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Aloma Mukhtar; wife of the Vice President, Hajiya Aminat Sambo; First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan; President Goodluck Jonathan; Vice President Namadi Sambo; Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu; Deputy Speaker, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha and members of the Federal Executive Council during a reception for the First Lady at the Banquet hall, State House, Abuja, yesterday.  Photos: Abayomi Adeshida. See more pictures on Page 13.

“MITI facilitated the early development of nearly all major industries by providing protection from import competition, technological intelligence, helped in licensing foreign technology”. MITI also assisted with research funding to help selected Japanese industrial sectors to catch up with, and even surpass the achievement, of advanced economies.

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Mid-Term reports on key ministries: MTI – 1

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:05 am   /   Comments

Jonathan

By Dele Sobowale “On earth there is nothing great but man; in man there is nothing great but mind”, Sir William Hamilton, 1788-1856. The Honourable Minister for Trade and Investments is one public official who, at the beginning, appeared to be cast in a superfluous role in an over-bloated cabinet of over forty Ministers and

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Open letter to President Jonathan: Roof is about to cave in on economy.

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:03 am   /   Comments

Jonathan

Your Excellency, Mr.President, it does not matter anymore who wins the 20I5 elections. Nigeria at that time will need a leader who can manage widespread poverty at the Federal level and state governors, unlike the wastrels we now have, running the show. By 2015, Nigeria’s crude oil exports and earnings will be far less than what we realize now.

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Updates on Ministry of Trade and Investments

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:09 am   /   Comments

Minister of Trade & Investment, Olusegun Aganga

In a few weeks time, the Jonathan administration would have completed its second year in office after the 2011 elections – although it will also mean that President Jonathan would have completed his third year as President. It is time to take stock; to ask what has been achieved and what remains to be done.

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Apologies to NBS and Dr Kale

  /   in Sobowale On Business 12:00 am   /   Comments

Dr. Yemi Kale

The media, including me, made a terrible mistake a few weeks ago. It all started from a story in the PUNCH newspaper of April 5, 2013, by one Friday Olokor, titled “Only 27.2% of Nigerians’ll be poor by 2015 –NBS.” The title was totally misleading and other commentators, apart from me, reacted to what, we knew, was a fallacious statement. As it turned out, the Chief Executive of the National Bureau of Statistics, Dr. Yemi Kale, had already sent a correction to media houses in Abuja. Our copy at Vanguard had not reached Lagos by the time I wrote. That was the source of the error on my part.

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