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Bailing out: FG’s exercise in futility

We are looking asking for an eighteen-month moratorium before we can start paying , so that we will be able to strategise…To develop the IGR is not overnight, it is a long term programme that one has to plan for…and we cannot say we are going to cut salaries and wages.” Governor Yari, Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum, April 28, 2016, in Abuja.

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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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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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“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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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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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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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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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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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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