Abuja

British Airways Joins the list of foreign airlines refusing to utilize Kaduna Airport during the Abuja’s Nmandi Azikiwe International (NAIA), airport runway rehabilitation.

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Despite Nigerian government assurances, the number of foreign airlines rejecting the option of flying into Kaduna airport over the six weeks of runway repair at Abuja continues to grow.

ICMS, Inc Reports
By Tom Okure, Ph.D
February 17, 2017

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British Airways is joining the list of foreign airlines including South African airlines, Air France and Lufthansa in declining to operate from the Nigerian Kaduna airport after March 8, 2017 as recommended by the Nigerian federal aviation ministry. The Nigerian aviation ministry states that it needs six weeks March 8, 2017 to enable it to carry out runway repairs at Abuja Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

british-airways-plane-pic-1
British Airways

Earlier in the month, the German carrier Lufthansa, had also indicated that it would not fly to the Kaduna airport during the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport (NAIA), Abuja.

nnamdi-azikiwe-international-airport-abuja
Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja Nigeria

A British airways spokesperson said that during the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport, the airline would refund airfares to passengers who are billed to travel with the airline from Abuja.

Apart from providing passengers with a full refund, another option available to passengers include rebooking their flights to an alternative date to and from Abuja when the airport is open.

While some of these foreign airlines have opted in favor of completely suspending their service to Nigeria during the period of Abuja runway repairs, others have decided to continue serving Nigeria through Nigeria’s Lagos Muthala Muhammad International Airport increasing operational pressure on the airport which also has its own operating challenges including deteriorating runways.

Despite the assurances of the Nigerian federal authorities regarding the temporary closure of Abuja airport and the operational, security update and readiness of the Kaduna airport for the resurfacing repair work at Abuja, the number of foreign airlines rejecting the option of flying into Kaduna airport over the six weeks of runway repair at Abuja continues to grow.

Read more:

British airways to refund affected booked passengers doing closure of Nmandi Azikiwe International airport, Abuja

South African airways cancels flights in Abuja Nigeria during runway repair

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The where about of President Muhammadu Buhari has put Nigerian rumor mill in overdrive.

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By Tom Okure, Ph.D.

President Muhammadu Buhari took leave from his official duties on January 19, 2017 for a brief vacation in the United Kingdom which was later termed as medical leave by his aides.  His failure to return to resume work and the open ended extension of his medical leave has spurred all types of rumors about the status of the president’s health including the possibility of his demise and cover-up by his aides.

The lack of clarity about Buhari’s circumstance this week created doubts in the Nigerian media about the claim by the Nigerian presidency that President Trump of the United States reached out in a telephone call to Buhari on Monday February 13, 2017.  According to Buhari’s aides, President Trump’s discussion with Buhari centered on a new possible arms deal to help Nigeria better combat terrorism. The US Congress has been reviewing Nigeria’s request to sell it military aircraft. The presidency in Nigeria said “President Trump assured the Nigerian president of U.S. readiness to cut a new deal in helping Nigeria in terms of military weapons to combat terrorism.”

There is doubt and disagreement among Nigerians and the media that Buhari could have spoken to US President Trump under the circumstance of his health and the lack of clarity about his where about. Many Nigerians are truly concerned about the president’s prolonged absence and how his health is? This is especially so, because of the president’s failure to address the nations on the status of his health and the way that his aides have failed to demonstratively show the curious public that the president is healthy or even fully disclose his whereabouts.

To match Interview NIGERIA-BUHARI/

Martin Patience of the BBC explains that the failure of President Buhari to appear in public to clarify his circumstance has put Nigerian rumor mill in overdrive ….Read more

Where is Nigeria’s president?

Nigerian 2014 Centenary Celebration and 100 Fascinating Facts about Nigeria

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By Tom Okure, Ph.D
August 25, 2016

Back in 1984, a Nigerian did not require a Travel Visa to visit the United Kingdom (UK) and during the military regime headed by Babangida in 1985, the US dollar exchanged for or was equivalent to 90 Nigerian kobo. Today (August 25, 2016) one US dollar is exchanged for 340 Naira (Government exchange rate) to 402 Naira (Parallel or black market rate in Lagos, Nigeria).

Nigeria’s Centenary celebration in 2014 witnessed a flurry of activities and events to celebrate Nigeria’s existence as a nation from January 1914 to January 2014. The celebrations included the announcement of plans to develop a centenary city, military parades, special legislative sessions, grand ceremonies with music and fireworks, rallies in Nigerian State capitals and Abuja the federal capital, special prayers for Nigeria by both Christians and Muslims.

Centenary Celebrations_Pics-2

There were exhibitions and symposia which included youth and children programs; awards and honors ceremonies recognizing prominent Nigerians; a special centenary pageant and centenary scholarships and academic recognition event; there were also international trade and investment shows promoting Nigeria’s trade and economic potential to gobal investors etc.
Centenary Celebrations_Pics-3During the celebrations, Important books and news paper articles were published and facts complied highlighting interesting facts about Nigeria and its political, social and economy history. This celebration was considered necessary by Nigerian policy makers to highlight where Nigeria began as a nation and where it was heading in its quest to become one of the top twenty economies in the world.

Take for example, the grandiose plan to build a Centenary city. It was justified according to the then Secretary to the Federal Government, Senator Pius Anyim as essential “to serve as a political and economic tool for securing foreign investment.” Nigerian President Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan at the time stated that “The idea is to get a better city than the present Abuja where people will not need to provide basic amenities by themselves.”

One of the benefits of the Centenary celebrations is the fact that it created an opportunity for Nigeria’s political leaders and scholars etc. to focus and carefully reflect on Nigeria’s accomplishments and historical facts.  According to a statement made by the Board appointed to develop the Centenary city:

“The Centenary City is expected to signpost the Nigeria of the future, leveraging world class urban development as a tool for securing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and signaling a new economic awakening across the entire country. By the end of its 10-year development Lifecycle, this revolutionary and expansive urbanization project is expected to create over 55,000 well-paying jobs, attract over half a million visitors daily and accommodate a residential population of about 150,000 people. The Centenary City is envisioned as a business, leisure and tourism destination, driven by the Private Sector. The structure of the City is inspired by other Model cities across the globe that are insulated from the vicissitudes of policies and broken infrastructure that characterize the poorly run cities around them.”

Centenary Celebrations_Pics-1

From all evidence, the Centenary City project appears to be progressing slowing towards its planned objective. Vital infrastructural construction is alleged to be progressing steadily in the Abuja Centenary City, Nigeria’s City of the future. Upon completion, this city is expected to generate over 350,000 jobs. In a recent briefing to President Buhari of Nigeria on the status of the project by the Board, the president

“thanked the Board and management for their project update visitation , and praised the Centenary City’s main development partners from the United Arab Emirates for having enough confidence in Nigeria to agree to invest about $18.5 billion in the project. He was optimistic that the skills, expertise and vast experience that would be brought into Nigeria to build the Centenary City on the Dubai model, would also be of immense benefit to Nigeria.”

An interesting article by Dr. Peregrino Brimah (published in Every Nigerian Do Something) revealed an interesting set of 100 facts about Nigeria which is fascinating to read.

Below are excerpts from Dr. Peregrino Brimah article entitled “100 Years and 100 Interesting Facts about Nigeria”

Did You Know That:

  • Nigeria has 5 of the 10 richest pastors in the entire world, with net worth’s according to Forbes, from $10-150 million. They are Pastors, David Oyedepo, E. A. Adeboye, Chris Oyakhilome, Mathew Ashimolowo and Temitope Joshua.

Did You also know also that …….

  • Nigeria has the highest paid legislators in the entire world.
  • Nigerians are 1/5th the total population of Black Africa.
  • Nigeria’s population was just 16 million in 1911. It is projected to hit 444 million by 2050, surpassing the US and becoming the 4th largest in the world.
  • According to current demographics, after Hausa-Fulani (29%), Yoruba (21%), Igbo (18%) and Ijaw (10%) comes Kanuri (4%) and then Ibibio (3.5%) and Tiv (2.5%).
  • Discovered in 1928, Nigeria’s North and North Central region hosts West Africa’s oldest civilization; the Nok, which flourished between 1000 BC and 300 BC. {Nok sculptures recently went on display disappointingly in Germany (not Africa).}
  • The Obasanjo military regime converted Nigeria from a Parliamentary system to a Presidential system of government.
  • Cameroon was an administrative part of Nigeria in 1945, hence the NCNC party (National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons). Towards independence the UN mandated British held former German territory, south Cameroon opted to join French Cameroon and not Nigeria.
  • The 2006 Census found Nigerians to be the highest educated ethnic or racial group in America.
  • Nigeria in 2013 was rated the worst country to be born based on welfare and prosperity projection.
  • Akwa Ibom: King Jaja of Opobo (1821–1891) founded Opobo city-state in 1867 and shipped palm oil to Britain independently of British middle men.
  • Cross River State: The Ejagham (Ekoi) people in the Southeast are believed to have originated the Nsibidi (Nsibiri) writing system which later spread to the Efik, Igbo, Ibibio, Efut, Banyang and Annag peoples.
  • There are several Nigerian officials in the government of English speaking The Gambia.
    Aliko Dangote funded Presidents Obasanjo, Yar’Adua and Jonathan’s 4th republic campaigns. Buhari rejected funding from Dangote.

For a full list of 100 Years and 100 Interesting Facts about Nigeria by Dr. Peregrino Brimah, click on the link below:

100 years and 100 interesting facts about nigeria

Note: Nigeria’s century compilation was created as a historical snapshot of peculiar events, for our benefit and that of Nigeria’s younger generations. It was compiled to the best of our ability and influenced by our learning, recollection and prejudices. We invite Nigerians to collect and share with us more important and unique events that define 100 years of Nigeria. Resources utilized here can be found on ENDS.ng.
To read and learn more about Nigeria’s Centenary celebrations and the events that took place click on the link below:

Nigeria Centenary Celebration
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All rights reserved by Dr. Tom Okure, CEO of Inter-Continental Mgt. Systems, Inc (ICMS, Inc). The information included in this publication may not be used, reproduced, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written permission of ICMS, Inc. 

New amendments to Nigeria’s Constitution eliminates immunity clause for the President, the Vice President, State Governors and their Deputies.

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Nigeria’s House of Representatives approves new amendments to the Constitution including eliminating the immunity clause for the Office of the President, the Vice President, State Governors and their deputies.

Date: October 17, 2014
Written by: Tom U. Okure, PhD

Nigeria’s House of Representatives on Wednesday October 15, 2014 approved new amendments to the 1999 Constitution.   The House voted on the Conference Committee Report on a Bill for an Act to further alter the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and for other matters connected therewith. A significant feature of the en9JA_SpeakerOftheHouse_AminuWaziriTambuwalendorsement was the elimination of the immunity clause in the Constitution for the Office of President, the Vice President, State Governors and their deputies. These changes would allow occupants of these political offices to be tried while they are still in office for criminal offenses.

A total of 261 members of the House participated in the exercise, which adopted 70 new clauses added to the constitution. 252 House members voted in the affirmative, 8 voted against and 1 abstained. With the majority vote on the affirmative, the report was passed and adopted by the House. The clauses approved were compressed into a constitution amendment bill already harmonized by a conference committee of the Senate and the House.

The voting exercise was conducted manually for record purposes and House members were required to write down their names, state of origin, signature and the Federal Constituency they represent. Upon conclusion of the voting exercise, and as stipulated in the Standing Orders and Rules of the House, the Speaker of the House directed the Clerk of the House to transmit the adopted report to each of the 36 State Assemblies.

According to Section 9 of Nigeria’s constitution, a constitution amendment bill succeeds when 240 members (or two-thirds) out of the total of 360 members of the house vote in the affirmative. A similar measure in the Senate is expected to receive the same support, where there are 109 members. 73 votes are needed in the Senate to adopt the report for the amendment to pass.

If the document forwarded to the 36 state House of Assembly for “approval” obtains two-thirds of the state House of Assembly approval, it will be returned to the National Assembly again for a final approval.

Another important development was the approval by Assembly Members to grant financial autonomy to Local Government Councils in the country. If final approval is received on this matter from the 36 state House of Assembly, it would give local government councils throughout Nigeria full fiscal autonomy over their financial affairs.

The amendments in Section 7(1)(c) states as follows: “The House of Assembly of every state, shall, subject to Section 8 of this constitution, ensure that existence of Nigeria's National Assemblydemocratically elected local government councils under a law, which provides for their funding from the public revenue of the state and the autonomy of the local government councils.”  The amendments also provide for separate offices for the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice, with clearly-defined roles for each office.

In the similar way, the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation has been put on the First Line of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation.

Finally, the state creation provision in the Conference Committee Report has been changed. It now requires a formal referendum to be conducted in all local governments that comprise a state in order to decide whether a need exist to create a new state out of an existing state.

Insurgency Mitigation: FG averts North-East famine, steps up power projects

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Insurgency Mitigation: FG averts North-East famine, steps up power projects

Source: Federal Ministry of Information, Nigeria
Date: July 11, 2014

 

Federal Ministry of Power, Abuja
Federal Ministry of Power, Abuja

In anticipation of the likely food crisis in the North-East occasioned by prolonged insurgency in the zone, the Nigerian Government has ordered the engagement of co-coordinated intervention programmes for implementation by a special Committee already put in place by the President.

The report from the Publicity Department of the Federal Ministry of Power on Thursday July 10, 2014 revealed that the Group has drawn its membership from serving Ministers and high ranking political office holders from the zone. It said further that this demonstrates the administration’s commitment to holistic development of the North-East. Adding, the presidential effort is also tied to the ongoing fast-tracking of identified key power projects as catalysts for socio-economic emancipation, food security and poverty alleviation.

The Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil made the disclosure while receiving a delegation of the Economic Summit Group, indicating that the Mambilla Hydro Project has been on the drawing board for decades without any meaningful sign of take-off, until President Goodluck Jonathan brought it back to life. He also noted that with a whopping sum of seven billion dollars, it has the capacity to deliver 3,050 megawatts to the grid.

The Minister of State further opined that the Kashimbilla Multi-purpose Dam in Taraba State will not only provide water for domestic purposes and irrigation, but also the electricity component would be activated to add 40 megawatts to the national grid. He averred that other transmission line projects are on course to evacuate power and enhance the quality of electricity supply in both Borno and Yobe States.

The Minister told the delegation led by the former Director-General of PENCOM, Mohammed Kabiru Ahmed that no stone should be left unturned towards realizing the objectives as contained in the group’s mandate. He noted that the Group should in line with its mandate, draw-up a comprehensive recovery agenda like the Marshal Plan which will provide workable solutions to issues that have been thrown up, especially those that will help avert impending food crisis.

Speaking on behalf of the Group, Mohammed Kabiru Ahmed assured the Minister that the Group is appreciative of the enormous responsibility entrusted on them at the moment, saying they would assist Government in the harmonization of development programmes for the benefit of the common people living in the region.

Mohammed Kabiru Ahmed informed the Minister that the group has so far enjoyed maximum support from the Federal Government, disclosing that his group has submitted a preliminary report to President Goodluck Jonathan. The report, he said, has captured our findings on the field.

According to him, the report covered humanitarian activities and developmental priorities as well as extensive coverage of devastation and solutions to the insurgency in the zone. “We may eventually have to hold a donor conference as the magnitude of funding needed to address the developmental challenges of the region cannot be provided by both the States and the Federal Government alone,” he said.

While responding to the group leader’s comment, the Minister of State said that the administration is working seriously to ensure that insurgency does not totally affect the farming population to the extent that there would be famine in the zone. He promised to assist in streamlining Government’s activities aimed at alleviating the suffering of the people. He remarked that a food security programmne in the office of the National Security Adviser is targeted at ensuring that there is food security in the heart of the insurgency area.

He also disclosed to the Group that he had recently met with the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Agency (UNFPA) in New York, who promised a scheduled visit to Nigeria with the sole aim of energizing the proposed social mitigation programmes for the zone. “We are grateful to Mr. President for breaking the jinx on power projects. The Mambilla and Zungeru were conceived by late Ahmadu Bello’s Administration, the Kashimbilla is almost completed and the transmission projects are at 90 percent completion,” he revealed

Sewing Nigeria back together

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Sewing Nigeria back together

Source ThisDay (Nigerian Newspaper)
Date: June 11, 2014
By Atiku Abubaka  (Nigeria’s former vice-president)

Atiku Abubakar (Nigeria's former Vice President)
Atiku Abubakar (Nigeria’s former Vice President)

Nigeria is at a crossroads, entombed within a growing quagmire shaped by chronic apathy and an institutionalised disregard for human welfare.  A once promising nation, Nigeria was a beacon of hope for African development, education, security and economic prosperity. Today, however, we find ourselves the victims of extreme insecurity resultant of lackadaisical policy implementation and enforcement, coupled with the persistent neglect of the needs of the Nigerian people.

Due to insecurity, a broken economy and increasing environmental misfortunes, Nigeria has become a collection of fragmented pieces, loosely held together by a common history and identity. Roughly six million Nigerians have found themselves homeless after relocating to unfamiliar lands after violence and insecurity, insufficient economic opportunities or uninhabitable environments took away their livelihoods, homes and loved ones. 3.3 million Nigerians are internally displaced within Nigeria, while the remaining 2.7 million have found themselves scattered across the globe. Often times, the improvement brought by the move is minimal at best as combinations of prejudice, poor economic conditions and insecurity provide for widespread instability across Nigeria.

In a recent report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), it was discovered that “the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Nigeria is approximately a third of the IDPs in Africa and 10 per cent of IDPs in the world.” According to the report, approximately “470,500 persons were displaced in Nigeria in 2013 alone placing it as the country with the third highest number of displaced persons in the world. Nigeria is only ranked behind Syria with 6.5 million IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) and Colombia with 5.7 million IDPs.”

I find this news devastating and unacceptable. For decades, earnest Nigerians at all levels of society have made efforts to change the wave of negligence and dishonesty that have fuelled the rash of insecurity, violence, instability and economic misfortune, but their efforts have been disjointed, tenuous and in vain.

Change does not happen in a vacuum full of individuals acting independently of one another, but takes the conscientious, collective effort of an entire community. Together Nigerians must recognise the underlying problems that have ushered in Nigeria’s current problems, and develop sustainable solutions to reverse the downward trends of apathy, insecurity, unemployment and intolerance. In order to resolve these mounting issues, it is necessary for Nigerians to implement a multi-level, unified effort, incorporating a steadfast government policy and enforcement programme coupled with grassroots attention to local conditions and needs.

Nigeria’s journey towards recovery will require unprecedented focus and perseverance. Violence, insecurity, and the multitude of maladies that have caused millions of Nigerians to relocate will take time and the dedication of our leadership and our people to resolve, but there are a number of proactive steps that can be undertaken to alleviate some of the pain of relocation in the interim. There are two primary tiers of action involved in addressing internal displacement of Nigerians.

The first tier addresses the immediate concerns of displaced Nigerians, by appointing a government body in charge of guaranteeing the safety, protection and economic vitality of displaced persons. A former Minister of the Niger Delta, Dr. Sam Ode, recently called for a constitutional provision that would ensure the security and resettlement of displaced persons while providing shelter, clothing, and food. In tandem with a federal body tasked with overseeing and protecting displaced persons, local agencies will need to be established to develop localised solutions to the needs of the displaced persons, while serving as the main distributors and monitors of the identified goods and services. Key areas of services will include vocational education and job training, health assistance, access to clean water and cooking fuel, and more.

The second tier addresses pervasive and damaging apathy of governing bodies while simultaneously confronting the current instability, insecurity, intolerance and insurgency in Nigeria that have arisen from deep-seated avarice. Together, Nigeria can make kidnappings, bombings, disenfranchisement and intolerance a thing of the past.

I see a future Nigeria free of oppression, insurgency and widespread indifference – a Nigeria where its people are unified in an effort to bring criminals to justice and pave a safe path upon which Nigerians can return to the comfort, safety and familiarity of their homes.

Change is constant and unpredictable, but even uninvited change can be transformed to represent a new beginning with new opportunities for Nigeria’s future. Nigeria has been presented with an opportunity to cleanse itself from its bleak past, and to unite once and for all as a Nigerian people who will no longer withstand the intolerance, violence, apathy and economic volatility of yesterday, but join together with a single goal of creating a better tomorrow.

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Chinese Funded Railway Nears Completion in Nigeria

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Infrastructure Improvements in Nigeria

Source: CCTV Africa

A Chinese funded standard gauge railway construction project that connects the Nigerian federal capital Abuja with the country’s central commercial hub Kaduna, is nearing completion and is expected to reduce road congestion and the time it takes to travel between the two points. The Abuja Kaduna line, scheduled to be completed by December 2014, is co-funded by the China Exim bank and the government of Nigeria. And as CCTV’s Peter Wakaba reports this project is just one of many that are transforming lives in Nigeria.