Tags Posts tagged with "finances"

finances

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I remember getting to work extremely early a couple of months ago and reading an article from a very infuriated wife that her husband wasn’t allowing her to take care of responsibilities in their home. Now, I am sure many of you are wondering what I am on about now. Let me start first by telling her story. Ms A grew up in a home, in which her mother took care of all responsibilities. She was the bread winner while her husband basically depended on her to bring home the cheddar. Ms A grew up thinking that this is the norm, that when she started dating, she always dated a particular type – in between jobs, unemployed, no future plans kind of men, until she fell in love with wonderful guy who grew up in a more traditional family setting in which Father took care of most of the financial responsibilities and that is where wahala (trouble) started. Ms. A’s husband thought it was very weird that his wife acted the way she did and he felt very disrespected because Ms. A will perform family financial responsibilities without discussing it with him.
Now, many will think this is an anomaly while many men will probably be wishing that this could be their story but upon reading this story – I wondered is this story a common one particularly in this present period of recession. As usual it got me thinking and searching. It is no secret that we are currently going through a recession but it seems that the industries that seem to be the most highly hit seem to be industries that are very male dominated, now with more men loosing their jobs as opposed to women – the question becomes what is the impact of this change in the family? It is a given that more women will be the bread winners and then what next? For some liberal men they do not see the big deal in such a switch but for many women even though they do not articulate their frustration, they detest being the bread winners. Some silently fume or find some ways of showing their frustrations. So men, if you find yourself in such a situation, quickly come up with ways to change the tides.
Personally, I know many women who are currently in this situation and none is happy. I will leave you with a story I heard a couple of years ago – a woman found herself the breadwinner in her house hold, her husband was unable to accept the fact that he now has a new role, now that his wife was the only one working. So basically the woman will leave early for work, get home late at night to see dirty dishes in the sink, the house extremely dirty, the toilet a mess and no food cooked. Each time, she will curse under her breathe and get to working.
So I leave you with these questions: A)is it okay for women to be bread winners? B)For men: if the tides turned and you found yourself in a similar situation will you be comfortable allowing your woman to be the breadwinner and women how will you feel about this switch? C) What is the impact of this switch in a relationship/marriage? Many men feel that when this occurs women stop respecting them – is that true? So you tell me what you think?

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To cut grass or weed with an un-sharpened cutlass is to labor in vain. To bring a knife to a gun a fight is to expect your death. These metaphors are exactly what are passing as norms in our Nigeria. We have lacked the will to employ a cut-throat solution to a very crippling crime–financial transgression. Financial corruption is so deep-rooted and entrenched in all the fabrics of Nigeria society that one could make a compelling point that it is indeed our culture. Lip service to this problem has been detrimental yet we have employed the same over and over again. Even when EFCC was commissioned, the agency was never given proper and sweeping tools to do its job, thus allowing criminals to hide under the existing due process and compromise some of our judges. Some of our laws and their due process as they are right now have loopholes and are quite susceptible to manipulation, leaving those who are supposed to be in lock-up roaming the streets.

As it is right now, our legal procedures and due processes are being maneuvered to shield those of the most egregious financial crime and drag out the judicial process up to the point of a serious case being forgotten by the public. Due to our judges’ discretion in sentencing, most of these criminals, when convicted, are being slapped with the lightest of sentence, hence no deterrence effect. Former Governor Igbinedion, despite the patent billions of naira misappropriated or stolen under his governorship, was only required to pay back a mere 3 million naira and was off the hook. Same goes for the former Inspector General of Police Tafa Balogun who was given a 2-year jail sentence for being caught with over one billion naira. Delta State governor James Ibori is still walking around the country hiding under the legal precept of “innocent until proven guilty” despite his unexplainable astronomical wealth while he was a governor. The list of politicians who need to be brought to justice goes on and on. Peter Odili, is smiling in our faces notwithstanding the visibly poorer state he left Rivers State and apparent enrichment of himself from the State treasure chest.

If we are serious about fighting the financial crime segment of corruption, I suggest we should, for financial crime only, change the fundamental legal tenet of “innocent until proven guilty” to “guilty until proven innocent.” If you are accused of a financial crime and there is a prima facie evidence to corroborate the accusation, you should be thrown in jail until you are able to exculpate yourself. Say if you are given a contract and it was not done or done ineffectively, you should be automatically jailed until you can prove your innocence using your own resources. If you are in charge of a ministry and you cannot account for all funds released to your ministry and there is no reasonable level of visible change in your ministry, you should be automatically locked until you can explain and justify what happened to funds allocated to your ministry. In addition, sentencing should be taken away from the discretion of judges. A stiff mandatory sentence should be set up for each million of naira stolen, misapplied, or misappropriated. For example, if a suspect is unable to prove his/her innocence, he/she should be sentenced for mandatory 5 years in prison for stolen amount between one million naira and five million naira, 10 years mandatory prison time for amount between 5.01 million naira and 10 million naira, and so on. This judicial system would pose no more a risk of an innocent being imprisoned than the status quo already does. However its deterrent value would be more potent as people would think twice before engaging in financial shenanigan when they know a strong accusation alone would jeopardize your liberty. Also if you are thrown in jail upon a prima facie evidence supporting accusation against you, it would be harder for you to manipulate the system while in jail than being a free man hiding behind innocent until proven guilty mantra.

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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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Black Professional Woman
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Before I start, let me introduce myself; My name is Mekus and I will be bringing you weekly articles on a variety of issues that are hot in the streets entitled “Gist Me”. I will decide what to write on based on what I hear people talking about. I attended Umu Igbo Unite Convention this past weekend which was such a dynamic event because the caliber of babes that were in the building was outstanding. There were Pharmacists, MBA holders, Doctors, Consultants, Lawyers, Engineers and so on. I got a chance to sit down and “gist” with a couple females who were part of this group of lovely ladies. Different issues came up during our discussions, but the most pressing and passionate was the fear of a woman making significantly more money than the man in a relationship. Why is it such a big deal?

Let’s take the one normal profession that is “guaranteed” bank, Doctors. Now before the rest of you start claiming that your profession is guaranteed bank too; I don’t doubt it, but name a normal profession that 90%of people in the field are making six figures. Anyways, babes that I talked to this weekend are scared that they are chasing their potential husbands away the second they open their mouth and say what they do for a living. Let’s say a 24 year old female who is starting her first year in residence as an ophthalmologist meets a 26 year old business man who has a “good” job by all standards – probably pulling in $60,000. They start talking and vibing,  they figure out mutual friends that know each other and get through all the formalities. After a while, professions come up and the guy says that he is a business man and she says she is an ophthalmologist. The babe’s initial reaction seems cool … but what she is really thinking is ‘as a business man he is making around $50,000′; she knows good and well after residency she will be collecting anywhere from $175,000 to $250,000. She is thinking about how this is going to work if they get serious. Meanwhile in his head he has the same mental calculation going on. He does his quick calculation and finds out what he is up against. When he realizes the deal he wants to start crying inside. Even if he gets a raise 5 times in the next 5 years – assuming a 5% raise each time – He will be making roughing $73,000, while she is making around $200,000. Now what do you think? Should these two people be together?

I don’t think it makes sense because he will want to go to Applebee’s and she wants to go Sundial ($150 a plate) for dinner. He wants to take a vacation to Myrtle Beach and she wants to vacate to Greece and cruise the Mediterranean. In my opinion I think people should date and marry people in the same ball park in all aspects such as culture, background, finances and so on. In the example above if he is pulling in $150,000 or there about, it’s not that different. But at $73,000 my guy is in trouble.

If you flip the scenario and it is the guy who is doctor and wife is in business; most people will claim that it is okay if he is one bringing the money. But is it really? Why would you want a man to feel like since he makes all the money that he is in charge? Marriage is a partnership and I think both parties need to be able to provide and support equally. There are extreme cases such as straight ballers like NBA players or actors or 19 boys (shame on you) and such but for common man lets keep it in same ball park.

Please don’t come at me with pride issues on the male side. If the guy has pride issues he should go sit down somewhere. This article has nothing to do with pride; it has to do with functionality.

What do you think? How important is your spouse’s money? I know people say people money does not lead to happiness but take a look at the number one reason people get divorced and it boils down to Naira… or Dollars…or Euros. :)