27 Mar 2015
Without ambiguity, the role of the military is defined in Section 217(2) (a-d) of the 1999 Constitution. The statutory role of the armed forces is enabled always by an Act of the National Assembly. Even though Section 218 (1) spells out the power of the President as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces which includes “power to determine the operational use of the armed forces of the federation”, Section 218(4)(a) correspondingly deposits in the National Assembly power to make laws for the regulation of “the powers exercisable by the President as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federation…”
26 Mar 2015
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan’s closing statement at the last presidential debate that the elections will hold according to the revised timetable is both helpful and reassuring coming, as it is, shortly after the communiqué of the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), on the inviolability of the March 28, and subsequent elections.
25 Mar 2015
The monthly sanitation exercise no doubt has been done for over decades and it has become part of life in Lagos and many other states as residents have the rare opportunity, once a month, to devote about three hours to tidying up their immediate surroundings. Although the Court verdict may not have seen anything wrong in the cleansing of the environment, voiding the restriction of movement, is no doubt tantamount to bringing the exercise to an end in which case, it may be legally right but it is bad for a filth-riddled city like Lagos. Should residents take refuge in the Court’s decision, filth and garbage would once again take over the streets as people would not have time to take care of their surroundings any more. It is good enough, therefore, that the Lagos State Government has appealed the verdict to seek redress in the public interest.
24 Mar 2015
THE threat by the Steel Manufacturing Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) to shut down over high electricity tariff underscores the frustration of many Nigerians over the outrageous electricity tariff being paid by consumers amid paralysing epileptic power supply in the country.
23 Mar 2015
WORRIED by the extremely low capacity utilisation in the Nigerian manufacturing sector, caused by huge importation of goods that could be produced locally, the Bank of Industry (BoI) has appropriately advocated the expansion of protectionist policies for indigenous producers to save them from extinction. Most companies in Nigeria, after all, are merely struggling to remain in business due to competition with imported cheaper goods. Nigeria is, embarrassingly, a dumping ground for all kinds of imports ranging from second hand goods to new ones and from disused ones to even toxic others. The result, of course, has been a complete erosion of the homegrown capacity to produce and a sabotage of the nation’s interest. Which is why policies are needed to protect local industrial manufacturing in the country and create jobs.
22 Mar 2015
AS Nigeria grapples with a crisis of leadership, the 90th birthday anniversary of former president, Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari, especially the aftermath of the celebrations which attracted an array of former heads of state and dignitaries, offers Nigerians an auspicious moment to reflect on the quality of leadership this country direly needs.
20 Mar 2015
WHEN he turned 97, Chukwuma Anueyiagu said he was “just three miles from being a centenarian” and the veteran journalist, politician and community leader wished for “extra time” to make the milestone even as he had become visually impaired. Pa Chukwuma Anueyiagu must, therefore, have felt a sense of fulfillment in life as his wish was granted before taking his final bow the other day.
19 Mar 2015
The NYSC has introduced a skill acquisition programme in collaboration with private businesses. But this is open only to youth corps members who can pay the fees. This is discriminatory and wrong because it shuts out those who cannot afford to pay. This is nothing short of a denial of equal opportunity.
19 Mar 2015
In fact, housing, otherwise shelter, is recognised as one of the three basic human needs, together with food and clothing. And in most economies, whether classified as “developed”, “developing” or “underdeveloped”, huge economic prospects are tied to these basic needs. Agriculture and agro-based industries flourish to satisfy the need for food. Textile and fashion industries flourish to satisfy the need for clothing. And the real estate industry or housing sector flourishes to satisfy the need for shelter. So essential are such needs to man’s survival and comfort that the goods and services produced to satisfy them hardly need advertisement. This is an advantage for any system intent on making the most of such goods and services for economic development.
18 Mar 2015
It is also clear to those who can read between the lines that recent suggestions of an interim government are a forewarning of un-governability in the event that the opposition does not win the Presidency. An interim government is anathema to the 1999 Constitution as amended. How persons are to be elected into various offices are spelt out in black-and-white in the Constitution and other relevant laws, including the Electoral Act 2010 as amended. An interim government, as President Jonathan has rightly observed, is treasonable. Yet, the very fact that it is still being canvassed in a variety of not-so-ingenious ways might be a hint of what to expect in the aftermath of the elections. This is why managing the post-election period is an urgent task not to be trifled with.
18 Mar 2015
THE recovery of towns and villages from the rampaging Boko Haram insurgents and the return of many Nigerians to their homes are very comforting news indeed. And President Goodluck Jonathan’s belated morale-boosting visit to troops in the frontline may, after all, have played a part in instilling confidence in them towards containing the insurgency in the North East.
18 Mar 2015
AS the controversy provoked by the six-week postponement of the country’s general elections by the electoral body INEC simmers down, Nigerians have returned to their preparations for Election 2015. Concerning the country’s long awaited but often elusive national development, this will be one of the most consequential elections yet in Nigeria’s democratic experience. The realistic choice facing the Nigerian electorate this time around appears to be rather stark: The one option is to re-elect Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP and have him continue with his policies for the next four years. The other option is for Nigeria to pass the baton to the APC’s Muhammadu Buhari and have him implement a different set of policies.