Thursday, March 24, 2016

JPS recognizes Margaret Abu for 30 years of service

Fort Worth, Texas - Downtown Fort Worth was the choice destination for a select worthy group of employees of the JPS Health Network as their institution celebrated their long years of service at a banquet held in the high profile City Club. 
Margaret with CEO of JPS Robert Early
Those recognized had served for 25, 30, 35 and 40 years. Among them was our own dear Margaret Abu who had served 30 years. We congratulate her for her dedication to duty and her natural will to serve.

VIP’s in attendance included the President and CEO of JPS Robert Early, Chair JPS Board of Managers Reverend Ralf W. Emerson Jr., Senior VP Human Resources and Learning Nikki Sumpter among others. 

by Tosan Aduayi in Fort Worth

Monday, March 14, 2016

Does Nigeria Have an Economic Agenda?

There has been growing concerns about the President Muhammadu Buhari led Nigerian Governments handling of the economy. At the moment, there seems to be no clear cut economic blueprint for which government policies are framed. It appears to me that every minister is working by intuition without any economic guiding principle. The President is yet to appoint his Chief Economic adviser, have an economic management team or a think tank that meets regularly to discuss what is on ground, what measures needed to be put in place to address them quickly. It is like the focus is all about looking for thieves, catching them, and recovering what they have stolen. This is good and fair enough. After the President has finished the recovery of the looted funds, what next and how will the looted funds be channeled into the economy to benefit the ordinary Nigerian? 

What the ordinary Nigerian is interested in is food on his table, good school for his children, good medical care and shelter and security of life and property. In any economy, the goal of macro economic policy is to achieve full employment of resources, balance growth, stable prices of goods and services; and a stable currency through a healthy balance of payment. As it is today, all four macro economic indices are pointing south. This government seems not to understand or know what to do to address the situation. The government does not need to go too far to know what to do. 

Nigeria has several development research documents that speak of ways to better manage the economy. But the problem has always been that leaders are often not focused enough to implement them faithfully. In most countries today, the economics of the middle class has taken the center stage. This is because if the middle class is doing well, the purchasing power in the hand of this class will make the economy to grow. When in 1986, General Babangida introduced the famous Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), it was with good intention. But half way down the line of implementation, the programme was derailed by Nigerians who kept crying of the hardship the programme was putting the nation through. 

President Babangida before coming up with SAP had a retinue of very bright minds as his advisers. Babangida had a team then that was called the Presidential Economic Advisory Council. This body was busy preparing documents and seeking informed opinion from operators in the private sector. He went to the point of instituting what was then known as Corporate Nigeria — a yearly gathering of captains of industry to tap their knowledge of the economy before any policy initiative. When 

President Olusegun Obasanjo became the President, the economy was near its knees. He realised that he could not manage the economy all by himself. He appointed Professor Chukwuma Soludo as his Chief Economic Adviser and set up an economic management team. The team went to work and prepared a document called the NEEDS. It was the second of its kind to SAP. The document was the basis on which the nation was able to secure a debt relief from the Paris and London clubs of creditors. In fact it became the Policy Support Instrument for which the International Monetary Fund IMF, based its monitoring and evaluation of the economy on. Nigerians’ expectation was that the next government after Obasanjo would take the economy to the next level. 

President Umaru Yar ‘Adua came up with 7-Point Agenda and Jonathan the Transformation Agenda. They were mere slogans without content or direction.  President Umaru Yar’Adua followed with the appointment of Tanimu as his Economic Adviser. He again had his economic team. All his appointees followed the seven point agenda. The immediate past President had his team and his economic slogan was Transformation. Buhari and his team must realise that they do not yet have a coherent, credible agenda that is consistent with the fundamentals of the economy as it stands today. 

What the government has been saying contains some good principles and wish-lists, but as a blue print for Nigeria’s security and prosperity, it is largely ineffective. The President should for the sake of Nigerians who voted him to power present a credible development agenda to Nigerians. What the President must know is that the fundamental challenge of his government on the economy is how to set economic objective of creating ten to twelve million jobs over the next four years to have a dent on the ever growing unemployment and poverty in the country. 

The real challenge is to craft a development agenda to deliver dividends of democracy within the context of broken public finance, and an economy in which painful structural adjustments will be inevitable if current trends in oil prices continue. Mr. President must come to terms with the fact that programmes such as war on corruption, security, power, infrastructure, etc, are  instruments to achieving the macro economic objective of full employment. As it appears, this government seems to be disoriented and unorganised in the economic front. 

What is the economic slogan of this administration? What is the economic direction of government ministries, departments and agencies? All we hear is war against corruption, I will not devalue the naira, we will invest in agriculture, and we will invest in solid minerals. So far, there is no policy direction toward these sectors. This government campaigned on the basis of stimulating the economy. Buhari’s stimulus strategy as of now is not focusing on cherry-picking projects that can create jobs almost instantaneously, as well as on programs that can deliver immediate returns to Nigerians. It is now all out war on corruption. 

The projects and programs this administration should get into include infrastructure, education, health, and energy. It is a shame that nine months into the life of this administration, these sectors are yet to feel the presence of this administration. The budget is riddled with confusion and yet to be passed. Almost one year is gone with little to show for it on the economy. The President has already reneged on his unemployment benefits he promised during his campaign to pay N5, 000 unemployment benefits to Nigerians and other social welfare provisions. The informal sector in 

Nigeria is very vibrant, with millions of underemployed youths. This ought to be one sector this government of change should concentrate on to unleash its potential on the economy. This sector ultimately will generate employment opportunities. This government should wake up and face the task of reconstructing the Nigerian economy; period.

Source: Omoh Gabriel/Vanguard

Monday, March 7, 2016

Ex-Army Chief Badeh sent to Prison

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has remanded a former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, in Kuje Prison. Badeh was arraigned before the court today on 10 counts of money laundering. He is accused of fraudulently removing N3.97bn from the account of the Nigerian Air Force in 2013. He used the money to purchase a mansion at No. 6, Ogun River Street, Off Danube Street, Maitama, Abuja, which the defendants were said to have purchased with N1.1bn.

The accused also allegedly bought a commercial plot of land at Plot 1386, Oda Crescent Cadastral Zone A07, Wuse II, Abuja, for N650m. They were said to have paid N878m for the construction of a shopping mall at Plot 1386, Oda Crescent Cadastral Zone A07, Wuse II, Abuja, and another sum of N304m to complete the construction. $1M cash is reported to have been discovered in one of his properties. The anti-graft agency also accused them of paying N260m to purchase a duplex at No. 19 Kumasi Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja, for Badeh’s son. The sum of N60m was said to have been paid for the renovation of the property and another N90m to furnish the property. The retired Air Force officer also allegedly paid N330m to one Honourable Bature to purchase a duplex at No. 14 Adzope Crescent, Off Kumasi Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Nigerian Police Rescue Kidnapped School Girls

The three female students of the Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary (BMJS), Agunfoye-Lugbusi, Ikorodu, Lagos State, who were abducted last Monday in their hostels have been rescued by the Police. The Police rescued the Barbington school girls around Igbokuta Area of Ikorodu. No ransom was paid for their release. 

A member of the gang who took part in the abduction was said to have been arrested by operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, IRT, lead by CSP Abba Kyari, when he left the gang’s camp in Adamama Forest in Arepo, Ogun State, off Ikorodu. Sources disclosed that the school girls who are currently with the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, was rescued following intense pressure mounted on the gang following the arrest of their colleague by a combine team of the IRT operatives and their counterpart at the Lagos State Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, Ikeja.

source: vanguard

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Billionaire Trump avalanche super Tuesday wins

Donald Trump romped through the second biggest day in American politics – only November presidential elections are grander – etching his name on seven trophies in the Republican party's Super Tuesday display case, and hoping for more. Two prizes, Texas and Oklahoma, have eluded his grasp and went to Ted Cruz, a senator from the Lone Star State. But the rest of the night so far belongs to The Donald.

And Marco Rubio claimed Minnesota's caucuses late into the night. But the rest of the night so far belongs to The Donald. The billionaire real estate tycoon has been declared the GOP primary winner in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia. He's leading in one undecided race and two more will end later.
Cruz held on to claim Texas on the strength of an almost single-minded campaign strategy that ceded other southern territories to Trump. Partly as a result, the GOP front-runner's early victories set a blowout pace.

The tea party senator later added Oklahoma to his column in an unexpected development: Trump had out-polled him there a week ago by a dozen percentage points. 

source: dailymail