Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dear Mr. Goodluck...I need some answers

Dear Mr. Acting President, what's your gameplan? Please help this young Nigerian mind understand a few issues that discourage me about the future of my beloved country:

· I understand that the flexibility of the exchange rate is a key shock absorber for the economy when foreign reserves are declining. Since the national budget depends heavily on a benchmark oil price, I am curious to know what benchmark oil price was used to set the 2010 budget considering the fact that oil prices have risen again. What are you doing to diversify our economy considering the global push for green energy and a declining oil reserve?

· The violence in the Niger Delta was quelled by an amnesty deal, and although tensions are rising again, it’s important for the government to ensure that the situation is resolved so that crude production capacity may increase. $6.3 billion in stolen oil and another $28 billion in shut in (deliberately not produced oil) obviously impacted the economic growth back in 2008. How will you deal with the rebellion and how will you ensure that the poor people of Delta (your native people) that provide our nation with such great wealth are not living in decrepit conditions?

· Electricity shortage is a major drain on the economy because of the $13.4 billion spent each year to power electricity generators. Privatization of the telecommunications industry proved successful and it is safe to assume that privatization of the power industry will yield positive results. Can you outline the steps you’ll take to resolve the electricity dilemma that demoralizes the Nigerian people? The manufacturing sector could obviously benefit from the cheap labor market but electricity will need to be consistent to entice investors and companies.

· Banking sector regulations need to be forward thinking to prevent similar scandals that involved artificially inflating the capital market (e.g. by lending money to people to buy bank stock). What financial and monetary reforms do you intend to pursue to ensure that Nigeria’s banking sector begins to flourish again? In 2005, Goldman Sachs suggested that Nigeria could become one of the 20 largest economies in the world by 2025. At this rate, I need you to convince me that they were not crazy! Can I expect us to at least make the top 100? Why?

· The federal government should cooperate (not antagonize) with Lagos state to ensure that policies are beneficial for the state but not a hindrance to the overall national economic health. Being the commercial center of the country, success in Lagos has benefits to the entire nation. Neighboring states should also begin to capitalize on Lagos’ successes so as to develop their own economies and reduce overpopulation in Lagos. How are you going to develop other areas of the country? Lagos currently houses 60% of Nigeria’s industrial investment and commercial activity. What are they doing right that you can implement around the nation?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Well Done President Jonathan, Oops Acting President!

As Youths burdened by the downward spiral of the positive indicators that depict a working nation, strode or should i say peacefully matched down the tarred roads that clad the vicinity housing the national assembly, Abuja in a bid to send a message of hope to the citizens who have almost thrown in the towel and that of fear to the Cabal that have for years dragged the destiny of our country in the canals of dread and depravity; they hoped that somehow nations were watching, people listening and actions taken to begin the rebuilding of a frail and fast failing state.

Being one of the hopeful youths, my sights were set on the Vice President cum Acting President to set into motion a mechanism that would not just make Utopia a reality in the minds and fantasies of Nigerians alone, but make such hopes and dreams a reality. This awakening could not have come on a better day, March 17th, my birthday and a day after youths took to the streets to air their frustrations and to request accountability from our leaders: The dissolution of the cabinet of the ailing and inconspicuous president Yar A'dua.Way to go Sir!

I however am not getting drunk on this new development yet until an agenda targeted at easing the distress of the Nigerian citizenry is put in place, A cabinet that respects the rule of law,genuinely cares about the populace and would be accountable to the people they are suppose to "Serve" and "Lead" as oppose to putting their selfish ambitions in the forefront, are instituted. I am an optimist and i see change beyond recognition but first Nigerians have to continuously demand accountability and shun corruption at "ALL" levels.

Hat tip once again to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan on achieving such a feat, but we plead with you that you do not tread the same path of your predecessors, but that you set yourself apart and be a vehicle and vessel that would take Nigeria to her Eldorado. Well done once again!

Seleipiri Iboroma Akobo

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Enough is Enough: March 16th is HERE, We Support the Cause, Do You?

Please Retweet and Share this message:

March 16
is the date that young Nigerians will march in Abuja to say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

Time: 11am

Venue: National Assembly, Abuja (We gather at Eagle Square at 11am PROMPT)

1) President Yar’Adua should resume, resign or be removed
2) The promise of 6000megawatts must be fulfilled
3) The 5-month fuel crisis needs to end now.

· From wherever you are in Nigeria, come too Abuja and join the rally – if you book early on many airlines, you get cheaper tickets, and you can return on the same day!

· If you are in Abuja, attend the rally with an average of TEN of your friends/family.

· If you are in any of the neighbouring states - Plateau, Kaduna, Niger, Nasarawa, Kogi – attend the rally with an average of FIVE of your friends.

· Get at least FIVE of your friends and family who live or work or school in Abuja to attend the rally.

· Get at least FIVE of your friends and family who live or work of school in neighbouring states – Plateau, Kaduna, Niger, Nasarawa, Kogi – to come to Abuja and join the rally.

· If you cannot attend yourself and you can afford it, sponsor at least one other young person to attend on your behalf. To get more information about how you can do that, call 0702.810.1959 or mail

· On your Facebook (groups and profiles), Twitter, and BBMs, update DAILY with the date and time of the rally, as well as the website
www.enoughisenoughnigeria.com until the 16th of March so that people do not forget.

· Join the Facebook group
Enough is Enough Nigeria and invite your friends and family to join. Our target is 10000 members by the end of March. We need more people involved!

· Put up information about the rally daily on your website and blogs to sensitise young people so they don’t forget the date, venue and time.

· There are plenty of logistics that we have to deal with – buses, water, legal, media & publicity, crowd control, mobilization, distribution of publicity materials etc – if you have experience or resources in any of this, please call 07028101959 or email
info@enoughisenoughnigeria.com to offer your help.

· SUPPORT the rally. There is so much to do in so short a time and we NEED the support of as many young and older people who are fed up with Nigeria’s situation. If you are ready to support, please call
0802.222.6712 or 0702.810.1959 NOW!


www.enoughisenoughnigeria.com, www.whereisyaradua.com

Post Credit: Ore's Notes

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Voices of Jos: Top 10 Photos from Around the Globe (Naija Mondays)

Although we may pretend, the voices of Jos are crying out

So we will cry out with them today

These are the top 10 photos we've gathered from around the globe.

Reuters photo

Leero Photo

Elombah.com Photo

Article.wn Photo

www.welt.de Photo

2daynewsupdate Photo

Operationbrokensilence.org Photo

ITN photo

BBC Photo

Vanguard Photo

Jos, you are not alone.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Naija Mondays Post: A Letter to the New President, "Dear President Goodluck Jonathan, Please Restore Our Sanity!"

Dear President Goodluck Jonathan,

We crown you as president, since we don't want to be a "headless" country. We rejoiced when we observed Dora Akunyili's courageous memo where she suggested power should switch hands to you, and we saw the boldness in your grasp of power after almost three months of absence of our former (now ailing) president Yar'Adua. Thanks for firing some folk immediately you got to your throne. We understand that many political insurgents have been debating about whether or not what the senate did was constitutionally right, elevating you to your rightful position like that. But you know what, this is not our plight today. We have looked at section 145 of the Nigerian constitution which says that the president must send in a vacation letter to the Nigerian Senate, which former president Yar'Adua did not do (a major political crime with all due respect).

So, this is where we stand today: the younger generation cares more about the stability of the country, and yes our heads are nodding away to your boldness and courage. Your elevation has indeed saved the green-white-green flag from descending into the abys of socio-political conflagration and the shame of the international community.

So dear president Jonathan, please let us speed things up a little bit. It is getting rather slow at your end as we write. These are some things the country requires of you right now:

1) Remove the fear and anxiety in the international world and begin to have "real intelligent conversations" about Nigeria. Presidents talk all the time, or they make sure the Minister of Information and Communications (in this case, Dora Akunyili) is armed with powerful information about the country. Hillary Clinton blames Nigeria for extremism and radicalization (because of the Christmas day bomber maybe?); On January 4th Nigeria was added to the U.S terrorist list--there's nothing you can do about this other than to improve the security of Nigeria. You may want to start from the airport where the bomber took off. Maybe make the international airport(s) more presentable, appealing, and with consistent air-conditioning to liberate the brains of security officials.

2) Bolaji Aluko raises some very interesting points in his USAAfricaDialogue, and they actually make sense: "Abandon Yar'Adua's 7-point agenda," he says. After all, you are the new acting President, you need to sit down, prioritize and act fast.

This is his excerpt:

[President Jonathan] should abandon some of PDP's/Yar'Adua's 7-point agenda items.* [Power & Energy, Food, Security and Agriculture; Wealth Creation and Employment; Mass Transportation; Land Reform; Security, Qualitative and Functional Education] and Two Special Interests [Niger-Delta and Disadvantaged Groups] and concentrate on Five Priority Areas - Electoral Reform, Security, Power & Fuel, Major-Roads Infrastructure (East-West, North-South routes) and the Niger-Delta. Electoral Reform should really be TOP on his agenda, with a focus on implementing the Uwais Report, adopting some of the recommendations even by Executive order. He should abandon all constitutional reform not related to electoral reform for later. With regard to security, he could choose investigations into the heinous Dipo Dina murder in Ogun State, and the recent Jos riot in Plateau State as templates for future action. The Amnesty program of the Niger-Delta in all its social and economic ramifications should also be an important focus point.

3) Be transparent to the people. It is a democratic country. Yar'Adua did not put that into consideration when he took off, and obviously when he returned the news was heard first from Al Jazeera. We no longer want "he said, she said" rumors. Talk to your people. Please at least show Nigerians that you care. Have you heard of the #LightUpNigeria campaign?

We don't expect you to do all these in one day, but you need to speed it up because there's a lot of work to be done.

Thanks for reading our letter.

Humble regards,
The N4C team.