Tags Posts tagged with "Economy"

Economy

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LAGOS, Nigeria – Nigeria’s acting leader Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in Thursday as president of Africa’s most populous country, as the body of his predecessor was flown north for a traditional Muslim burial hours after he died following a lengthy illness

 Jonathan put on a sash bearing the green, yellowNIGERIA PRESIDENT and white colors of Nigeria, signifying he had formally taken over for President Umaru. Yar’Adua though Jonathan had served as acting president for months.

   Late Thursday morning, soldiers escorted a stretcher bearing the body of Yar’Adua, wrapped in a Nigerian flag, onto a military cargo plane bound for his native Katsina state.

Yar’Adua, who long had suffered from kidney ailments and was recently hospitalized in Saudi Arabia because of heart inflammation, died Wednesday night after apparently succumbing to his ill health. Officials said he would be buried before sundown Thursday.

Jonathan now will serve as president through next year’s vote, likely to be held by April 2011. He also will be able to select a vice president to serve underneath him, subject to Senate approval.

In a brief address, Jonathan promised that his administration would focus on good governance during its short tenure, focusing especially on electoral reform and the fight against corruption.

“One of the true tests will be that all votes count and are counted in our upcoming presidential election,” Jonathan said.

An unwritten power-sharing agreement within Nigeria’s ruling party calls for the presidency to alternate between Nigeria’s Christians and Muslims. Yar’Adua, a Muslim, was still in his first four-year term though — meaning there could be a political fight brewing in the ruling People’s Democratic Party over allowing Jonathan to contest the presidency.

“Jonathan must be interested in contesting for the presidency, but he still has not revealed his hand and he’s still pretty hesitant about signaling what his intentions are,” said Mark Schroeder, the director of sub-Saharan Africa analysis for STRATFOR, a private security think tank based in Austin, Texas.

“Jonathan will certainly keep his hat in the ring and that will ensure he remains an influence within Nigeria‘s political system. Whether he has enough support (to run for president) … that’s another big question.”

Yar’Adua’s death came almost three months after Jonathan had assumed control of Nigeria as acting president and less than a year away from the next presidential elections in a country once plagued by military coups. Some Nigerians who awoke to the news of Yar’Adua’s death were initially skeptical, as the masses remained uncertain about the ailing leader’s condition for months.

Yet the streets in Lagos, the country’s spiraling megacity in the south, remained quiet as Jonathan declared the day a public holiday and the start of a seven-day mourning period in the nation of 150 million people.

The oil-rich Niger Delta, which has seen militant attacks throughout the impoverished region since 2006, remained quiet as well, allowing foreign oil companies to pump out the crude in relative security.

Schroeder said Nigeria’s political leaders knew they needed to quickly swear Jonathan in as president to show the world there was no power vacuum. When Yar’Adua went to a Saudi Arabian hospital on Nov. 24 to receive treatment, he failed to formally transfer his powers to Jonathan, sparking a constitutional crisis.

Jonathan assumed the presidency Feb. 9 after a vote by the National Assembly while Yar’Adua was still in Saudi Arabia.

“The U.S. wants political stability in Nigeria so that’s there’s stability in the oil sector,” Schroeder said. Nigeria was the No. 4 oil exporter to the U.S. in February, sending about 896,000 million barrels of crude a day to the U.S., outstripping even Saudi Arabia.

Jonathan said Thursday that peace in the Niger Delta, home to the country’s oil industry, remains a priority. Attacks by militants there last year crippled oil production. Yar’Adua had tried to peacefully end the insurgency but those efforts frayed due to his increasing illness.

Jonathan said Yar’Adua left a “profound legacy” for him to follow.

“He was not just a boss, but a good friend and a brother,” Jonathan said.

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Associated Press Writer Bashir Adigun contributed from Abuja, Nigeria.

The 2010 African Economic Forum, co-hosted by the graduate schools of Business, Law, and International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, brought over 350 people together to discuss key issues facing the continent as 17 countries celebrate fifty years of independence and the entire continent848739176_uMtZt-M848739745_deGBr-Mlooks forward to the next fifty years. As is the case each year, this year’s conference highlighted opportunities and challenges, from infrastructure development to re-branding Africa’s image in the media, to empower its audience, panelists and speakers with new ideas and fresh perspectives on the way forward. This year, the forum was fortunate enough to highlight the successes of many amazing women, from Dr. Oby Ezekwesili of the World Bank to Magatte848747387_UPjd5-M Wade, a successful entrepreneur, highlighting the necessity of African women to growth and development on the continent. AEF 2010, reflecting the diversity of its organizing committee, highlighted the many talented individuals working in diverse sectors and organizations, from the World Bank to the Africa Channel, alongside events like the first professionally-run fashion show, film screening, and gala dinner featuring the next generation of musical talent to emerge from the continent. AEF hopes that by creating discussions and interactions like this, in the next fifty years African nations would have taken their place as great nations, where they belong.

Pictures from the banquet can be found in the photo section of Jaguda.com

Oby Nmezi

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A couple of weeks ago i taught my students about Corruption and its effects on economic development and I thought to share the main points of our discussion. Let us start by stating the facts about corruption. Corruption, commonly defined as an illicit transfer of funds, is everywhere. Corruption exists in every single corner of the globe and is born out of the fact that ALL human beings prefer more to less and at some point will be willing to sacrifice the rules to get more. Secondly, Corruption is bad. Countries that are less corrupt seem to perform better than countries that are more corrupt. That being said are we (Nigerians) poor because of corruption? Have we failed to develop as a country because somebody somewhere stole all the funds that should have been used for development?A look at some other countries who have historically been just as corrupt as Nigeria might help answer that question

Indonesia, commonly used as an example of a properly developing country, was at par with Nigeria in the 70’s and 80’s and also known to be just as corrupt. They have however grown a lot faster than Nigeria over the last two decades despite still being just as corrupt. It seems we are so eager to blame corruption for every possible problem we have in Nigeria. If we spent $16bn on electricity over the past 10 years and still have no electricity then it must be corruption. Remember, even good people make bad decisions sometimes.

Is Corruption an excuse?

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Delta Flight 253
Delta Flight 253

This was written up on a group I am part of on Facebook called I-Rev Naija (The Intellectual revolution) and it was written by Jinadu Adekunle. I am as angry as anybody else about us being put on the terrorist list but the things he has to say does resonate with me. We really need to do something because at this point, things are not getting better. In fact, they are getting worse, Case in point … Where the H*** is our president!!!!! Anyway, read it and feel free to comment on what you do and do not agree with. I agree with what he is saying and I definitely understand where he is coming from!!!

~ By Jinadu Adekunle.
Warning: please dont read if you hate truth and reality!

Nigeria is on the ‘list’ so what?!! Why are we complaining? Are we surprised? Shouldn’t this be a call to action? Wait a minute, of all the 150 million Nigerians, how many percent have the opportunity to even enter a plane not to talk of traveling to the United States? I’ve read all manner of articles in the last few days blaming America for their decision and I’m seriously disgusted – pardon my use of that word. Please tell me, in the last three years of what use have we been to them except for oil – and many African countries are taking our place in oil production!

Can someone please tell me where in the world a tenant defines rules to a landlord? E jo! E so fun mi! (Please tell me!). Can’t we ever learn to take responsibility and forge ahead instead of blaming someone else? Any country has the right to suspect anyone. The other option is to stay put in your country! Kilode? Is it the US’ fault that our diplomacy is reactive rather than proactive? Or that our ‘leader’ couldn’t give Obama a call or that we cant do simple lobbying? Are we also blaiming them for our underdevelopment?

Please read this:

“And oil, yes, Nigeria is a major oil producer, but Brazil is now launching a 10-year program that is going to make it one of the major oil producers in the world. And every other country in Africa is now beginning to produce oil.

And Angola is rivalling Nigeria in oil production, and the United States has just discovered a huge gas reserve which is going to replace some of our dependence on imported energy.
So if you look ahead ten years, is Nigeria really going to be that relevant as a major oil producer, or just another of the many oil producers while the world moves on to alternative sources of energy and other sources of supply.

And what about its influence, its contributions to the continent? As our representative from the parliament talked about, there is a great history of those contributions. But that is history!”
– from speech by Princeton Lyman, Former US Ambassador to Nigeria

It’s so painful that we are crying over the ability or inability of a few of us (less that 0.01% of Nigerians) who are privileged, to travel to the US. Do we realize that we have done more badly to ourselves in the past few years? Please show me development in Nigeria except maybe in a few cities. Industries are moving to Ghana, people are losing jobs, Education has failed (they say it’s failing… wow!), is an American your Governor or Local Government Chairman?

The koko is our influence is reducing as we have less to offer them! Is Ghana not better today after the “Ghana-must-go” era? Please tell me oh! Did they die? Aren’t they developing faster? If you’re not sure, ask Barack Obama why He went there and ignored us! Please let’s be responsible for once! Pushing responsibility is not going to help us! Let’s develop our own country as Ghana did when we pursued them! Nobody throws you away if you are an asset!

Let’s move this ‘unusual energy and unity’ into more meaningful use. Let’s start small meetings across the nation! Let’s stop talking and act! I can proudly say I’m taking positive steps geared towards developing my nation! What are you doing? Let’s stop being selfish! As an executive, how are you contributing to developing Nigeria? Are you just stacking up riches for your family?

You have a job now. Do you want to wait till angry Nigerians block the road and stop you from going to work? Your children are in Private universities. Do you want to wait till angry people deny them entry? You have billions in your account. Are you waiting for the day it will be inaccessible due to social unrest? Of what use will your dream car be of then? May we not see violence. Amen.

If we don’t act now, we only endorse violence in the future. One thing I know, Nigeria will change. If we act now, it may be peaceful. If we delay, we do so to our peril!

End of story!

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I’m back again with your Friday Fashion Fix!

FRUGAL3

Lately, I’ve been catching this Target commercial where the term ‘Frugalista’ was used to describe their kind of customer. Don’t know what a frugalista is? Well since the recession hit, people have been more careful of how their money is being spent, me included. So a frugalista is simply someone who is going to smart about how and where they spend their money or in Target’s case, one of their customers.

FRUGAL1

That commercial literally spoke to me. This past summer, I spent it with someone that taught me a WHOLE lot in the money department and I’m sure they don’t even know it. Now I’m not a frugal person with money and neither am I a lavish money spender but I can be reckless with it at times. I’m just going to put it out there because this is all a part of my healing process. I’ve been making changes to my spending habits and the difference is not yet clear but I’m getting there. I don’t get that impulse to buy anymore, which is good. One thing I’ve been doing when I go to a store and pick up an item, I literally stop and think about it. ‘Do I really need this?’ And nine times out of ten, I don’t so I just leave it where I found it. Simple as that.

I’m not familiar with other Africans countries but as Nigerians, we come from a culture where our parents would spend a couple of hundreds on lace for that your uncle’s wedding and then another amount for the tailor to make it. I know of some people who would spend their paycheck at that same wedding spraying it on the live band’s lead singer that is praising him or her. Yes, ladies are just as guilty. It’s a sad truth.

What am I saying? Let’s be a little responsible with the money we make. Let’s make it work for us.

How do we go about that?

THRIFT SHOPS! Now this is not the only option but it is the most resourceful one. Have patience and look through those clothes. You will always find something. If you’re not the one to wear second hand clothing.

FRUGAL2

REINVENT YOUR CLOTHES. Whatever old clothing you have take it to your nearest dry cleaners and have them make it into a new. Pick a design and show it to them, they should be able to do it for you.

If your don’t want to go through the trouble, simply BUY CLOTHES WITH LOWER PRICE TAGS. Trust me, no one will know the difference unless you tell them. It’s something new and cheap all at the same time.

If you love your name brands, SAMPLE SALES are the way to go! All these designers are always producing clothes that do not make it down the runway or to the stores. Sample sales are there to get rid of all their excess. The best thing about sample sales is that each piece is a one of a kind design so believe that no one else will have that cute dress you found. Plus the prices are always marked down 50, 75 and sometimes 95 percent so do your self a favor and look for a sample sale in your area.

Or you can shop at Target (and no they are not paying me for this shameless advertising I’m doing)

All I’m saying is let’s try and keep most of our money in our pockets. Lord knows I’m trying.

Deuces!

naija
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October 1st 1960..a day of hope, expectations and joy. Nigeria was born and ready to take on the world, ready to be Africa’s giant….a beacon of hope

Several military coups, a bloody civil war and 49 years later…how far have we come? Nigeria the Giant of Africa is merely a Giant staggering blindly in no direction. Recycled leaders continue to run our country into the ground as the rich get richer and the poor barely survive.
The courageous ones who are brave enough to fight the status quo are killed with no mercy (Dele Giwa, Ken Saro Wiwa,MKO Abiola etc..) and the others are ostracized or frustrated to the point of exile (Wole soyinka, Nuhu Ribadu)

We Nigerians like to pride ourselves on our heritage..we claim Naija until we die…we sing the songs that cause us to rep Gidi., we wear the t-shirts that proclaim us as “proudly nigerian” , Nigerians like to be patriotic but how many of us would actually die for our country, I know i wouldn’t..and why should we die for a corrupt nation in the dark..literally and figuratively, a nation where university education is constantly interrupted by workers strike, a nation where a man can commit the most heinous crimes against his fellow human but still be bestowed a Chieftancy title in his village because of the size of his bank account and we wonder why we were once described as the most corrupt nation in the world?

Ok for arguments sake, let us say that the world is being unfair to Nigeria, after all we cannot compare Nigeria to the United States of America, The U.S is over 200 years old and has been through its own share of struggles and hardship. So lets NOT compare Nigeria to the U.S, lets compare Nigeria to a little country called Ghana.
We Nigerians love to hate on Ghana, we make fun of their accents…we call them black and shiny…the popular bag “Ghana must go” was named so after Ghanians were forced to leave Nigeria in the 80’s due to overpopulation. However, Ghana has come a long way..since achieving independence in 1957 (only 3 yrs before Nigeria), Ghana can at least boast of constant electricity and an educational system that works…How many Nigerians do you know that go to Ghanain Universities now? Imagine Ghanains went on a “Nigeria must Go
campaign tomorrow..where would all the Nigerian students go?

Yes,Ghana is a small country, merely 24 million people as compared to Nigeria’s over 100 million people…yes Ghana is perhaps not as ethnically divided as Nigeria. However, these are not valid excuses..Nigeria has the resources and ability to be as efficient as Ghana but we are constantly weighed down by a Government that is not accountable to its citizens. Corruption is allowed to run rampant and people go on with their lives as though they are not affected.

So what happened to our nation..a nation that produced literary geniuses such Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka and even more recently Chimamanda Adichie. A nation that has produced such great musical talents from the times of Kollington Ayinla, Fela Kuti, Bobby Benson , King Sunny Ade, Onyeka Onwenu to the more recent lyrical geniuses that are M.I, Dare Alade, Banky W and Dbanj to name a few. A nation that is filled with endless resources but now imports more than it exports. I remember in Primary school we used to learn about Nigeria’s raw materials..Tin, Coal, Limestone…there was hardly any mention of Crude Oil back then…but now Oil runs our lives.
Nigeria makes billions a year from oil exports but where does the money go?..not to the impoverished people of the Niger Delta or to the construction of better infrastructure and amenities for the society. The money goes into the pockets of the rich politicians and leaders who continue to ruin our beloved country.

So what do we have to be proud of in our 49th year of independence…perhaps the good works of Governors like Babatunde Fashola, Donald Duke and a handful of others who have used their official powers for good rather than corrupt purposes. So until we take our future into our own hands, until we campaign for a better Nigeria, free and fair elections and take to the streets like the young people of Iran did this past June…until we are ready to put our life on the line for our country. Nigeria will continue to be a Giant walking blindly in the dark.

Happy Independence Day.

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Naira
Naira

A Nigerian high court on Monday granted bail to seven bank chiefs arrested last month in a financial scandal rocking sub-Saharan Africa’s second largest economy.

The executives are part of a group of 16 directors arrested in August by the country’s anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for incurring billions of dollars in bad debts for five banks.

They were ordered to pay a bond of 100 million naira (648,507 dollars, 444,366 euros) each and submit guarantees of properties in upscale suburbs of Abuja and Lagos.

The directors of the troubled banks will also have to surrender their passports to make sure they do not leave the country.

The court is to rule on bail applications for the rest of the group on Tuesday.

“We will comply with the court’s ruling once the accused persons meet the court’s bail conditions,” EFCC’s spokesman Femi Babafemi told AFP after the ruling.

The country’s central bank sacked the heads of the five troubled banks on August 14 for mismanagement and running the institutions into insolvency.

It said the total loan portfolio of the five banks — Afribank, Intercontinental Bank, Union Bank, Oceanic Bank and Finbank — stood at 2.8 trillion naira (17.8 billion dollars, 12.6 billion euros).

Source: Yahoo News

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Naira
Naira

The Governor of the Central Bank, Mr Lamido, recently announced plan to print more money if needed to help “save more ailing banks”. This echoes similar ideas that were proposed by certain members of the public during the now infamous naira crash early this year. Printing money is however always a bad idea. This is because printing money does nothing but increase the inflation rate and inflation is really really difficult to get under control. The number one role of the Central Bank is to ensure price stability which is typically defined as an inflation rate of around 2%. Its currently 11%. This idea of printing money combined with the recent big cut in the monetary policy rate is sure to raise inflation to new highs in the coming months. It might already be too late though. Studies have shown that inflation is largely determined by what people expect inflation to be, and with recent announcements by the CBN we are probably on our way there already.

Whereas I support the idea to seize and run the banks that were, according to reports, about to fail, this should not be at the cost of a higher inflation rate.Bank failures are indeed essential for the long run stability of financial markets as long they do not cause a bank run hence the insurance of deposits. I know the actual amount guaranteed by the NDIC is kind of ridiculous nowadays but that is a story for another day.

I guess in the end it borders on if we will prefer to loose money today or loose more money in the future.

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