Tuesday, 10 June 2014

NEPA Go NEPA Come



When NEPA was disbanded not a few of us shouted hosanna. We optimistically thought the new dispensation would herald an era of fresh breath in Nigeria power sector. We thought lessons have been learnt by the new Distribution Companies (DISCOS) as per the mistakes of their predecessors. With the advent of the DISCOS things have remained the same if not worse. Power outages are as frequent as ever. Outages remain a constant factor come rain or dry season. I believe due diligence was not properly undertaken by these DISCOS before the commencement of their homework before bidding for a piece of the defunct NEPA.

They now have assets which they obviously lack the knowledge of what to do with. The new power distribution companies can still be seen in town carrying ladders about, disconnection electricity to defaulting customers. If they had invested in pre paid meters their personnel would have been better allocated to other duties. The customers will also not feel shortchanged as they will be paying for electricity actually consumed instead of the current estimated bills. The backward looking concept of estimated bills should be discarded in favour of pre paid meters. This scheme will also conserve scarce power because consumers will be more prudent in their electricity usages. For examples they would not leave their houses with security lights on or over boil water etc. this will have an overall effect of conserving much needed power. People should pay for what they use for the sake of equity and fairness.

Friday, 6 June 2014

The Motor Dealer, The Buyer and The Custom Service

Imagine this scenario: you are travelling with your family in your newly acquired tokunbo car while enjoying the countryside. All of a sudden you are flagged to a stop at a Customs checkpoint. You are requested to produce the car documents which you confidently proffered. . to your utter dismay and horror the document are said not to be in order. You are told that your car was not processed legally. Despite your pleadings that your car is bought at a dealer’s forecourt it is impounded. Your journey is rudely cut short and you and your family left stranded. The above scenario plays out in one form or the other every day on our highways. Meanwhile the numbers of motor car dealers continue to increase daily. However, the argument remains that with the open display of Tokunbo cars on the dealer’s forecourts why do the Custom Service turn a blind eye only to embarrass defenseless buyers of such cars. 

Methinks the Custom Service will do well to impound these cars while they are still in the possession of such car dealers and not wait till a car is bought before swinging into a belated action. If an illegal product is being sold openly the onus lies on the concerned agency to arrest the seller and not wait till it was bought before doing the needful. Whatever the anomaly observed by the Customs it should be solved at the dealers’ and not subjecting the unwary buyer to unnecessary hassles after purchase. 

Come to think of it, what are the Customs doing in the towns instead of the International borders? If such unusual efforts and industry on the part of the Customs was put into policing our borders these cars would not have entered the country in the first place. I tried to check the papers of a car at the customs office before purchase only to be directed to the local airport where they demanded N5000 just to check the custom duty status of a car. This is not good enough. It is not encouraging people to know the status of car's duty before purchase. The appropriate authority should up to their duties.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Petrol Palava

  Petroleum Pump Price

For a while now the pump price of petrol has been hovering any where above ₦110 per litre. Surprisingly, some South-South states buy at well above ₦130. This is happening in a country where the legal pump price is pegged at ₦97 per litre. It will take some hard argument to convince anyone that the FG is not tacitly condoning the situation. This is due to the obvious lack of interest of government to call the dealers to order. The petrol dealers are given free reinto fix the price of the commodity. If the government intends to remove the petrol subsidy it should just go ahead and do so.



  A situation where station owners are feeding fat on the general population should be arrested forthwith. The problem lies with enforcement. Some people are being paid with the tax payers money to enforce compliance but choose to sit on their hands. Nowadays they don’t even bother to bark not to talk of bite. The Directorate of Petroleum Resources (DPR) saddled with enforcing regulation is a toothless bulldog as regulations are routinely flouted by the filling stations operators. This is hardly surprising since most of the personnel has strings of filling stations. It is a clique thing. most commissioners and political advisers have filling stations hence the lack of political will by the DPR to do the needful. 

Sunday, 1 June 2014

The Loot Called Security Vote

The issue of the so called security vote in the Nigeria political reality is something of an anolamy. The security vote is the money ‘allocated’ to the Governors in Nigeria whereby they are meant to use the fund to deal with the security issues that may be bedeviling their respective domain. This is all well and good if not for the fact that the governors are not meant to account for the said vote. This obvious anomaly has continued to generate much discourse in the political space. As a matter of fact security vote is an alien concept to the Nigeria constitution.
     The Nigeria constitution distributes powers and allocates responsibilities. It matches perks of office with accountabilities. It is therefore strange that a concept like security vote, where the recipient owes NO ONE any accountability, has been allowed to take root in the Nigeria body polity. The so called security vote is therefore unconstitutional, illegal, and totally immoral in all its ramifications. Where the enabling powers emanate beat me. I challenge anyone to show me where the constitution mentions anything resembling the concept of ‘security vote’. What has it been able to achieve thus far except allowing the governors to extra constitutionally stash away at least N300 million every month in private accounts. Its proponents say the fund is needed in order to keep the level of crime and criminality down. But pray, why the secrecy? If the fund is truly being used to provide security why can’t they come clean and do the needful by accounting.
   The Governors of the North Eastern states collect same every month but has it brought any actionable intelligence to combat the militants operating in that corner? The truth is that the governors see the security vote as legalized loot and as the dividend of democracy. It comes with the territory as it were. This is an area the ongoing National confab should look into in order to correct this obvious anomaly. The issue should be put up to the light of the letter and spirit of the constitution.

Meanwhile: BringBackOurGirls

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Still On The Chibok Girls: A Nation Without Borders


   That about 300 school girls can just disappear into the thin air of Borno state is as mysterious as it is mindboggling. The Boko Haram insurgents came on that fateful day of April the 14th  to spirit away the young girls from Chibok to God know where. The level of impunity of these guys is just too hard to imagine. They came in a convoy and they left same way. This in a state under the cloud of a so called state of emergency. For criminals too operate for hours in normal times and climes are eyebrow-raising not to talk of during a so called state of emergency. It is obvious the Islamic militants are stealing a march on our security agencies and apparently tying them in a knot. They seem to have better intelligence, mobility, and motivation. 
Our borders are hopelessly porous. These are the same borders that are supposed to be manned by the Customs Service, Immigration Service, and other security personnel. The question that begs an answer is: where are the security guys when convoys of motorcycles and cars move so frefreely across our borders. If they can not spot and intercept a mass movement of people how can they be expected to put a stop to organized gun running across our frontier. If the criminal elements within the country continue to have access to guns and other offensive materiels, it is a no brainer to expect anything less than the current level of criminality and lawlessness currently holding the country by the jugular.

  • Meanwhile #BringBackOurGirls

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Collective Amnesia


Nigerians are a rare breed indeed. We tend to have the shortest memories of all humankind. You can always bet that a villain today will be the hero tomorrow. A known criminal will always be feted tomorrow. There was a time Sanusi was accusing the National Assembly of getting virtually all Federal allocation of financial resources. He was shouted down by the N.A. In a dramatic turnaround he is being heavily defended by the same N.A especially the lower arm. Ditto for Obasanjo. When he was in government he was hated by not a few for a myriad of perceived wrongs .He was accused of hounding his enemies with the E.F.C.C, and the third term debacle. They called for his head. He is now being invited to be the pathfinder of a party led by his former traducers. Week is really a long time in politics. El-rufai the former minister of the F.C.T was a pariah among the people for being elitist. his enemies cited his destruction of peoples’ homes and business in his pursuit of the F.C.T master plan, his riddance of okada riding business within the F.C.T metropolis, his allocation of plot to his family members on the very last day of his tenure of office. El-rufai has now somehow wormed his way into the peoples’ consciousness as the champion of the masses. It is a dramatic volte face to say the least. Bola Tinubu too was accused of cornering every juicy contract for himself. They said he has the contract for tax collection in Lagos, that his company collects toll on the Lekki-Ajah axis, that he made his wife a senator, his in-law a House of representative member, his daughter the Iyaloja of Lagos etc,etc. Apparently, however, the hoi polloi conveniently refuse to remember all these alleged sins in their desperate bid to oust one allegedly corrupt regime for the other. Saints are in short supply across the Nigeria political firmament. The ugly cream will always rise to the surface in our tolerant clime. The liver to come clean of the tainted political class is sadly lacking within the nation. Old wine continues to be recycled in new bottles. We continue to see the same tired and worn old faces. Nigeria surely needs a clean break with other soiled and sullied political class. The great impediment however, is our collective short memories.