Nigeria’s electricity regulator, the National Electricity Regulatory Commission, has indicated an intention to revoke the licenses of some distribution companies (DisCos); Abuja Electricity Distribution Company Plc (AEDC), Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc (BEDC), Enugu Electricity Distribution Company Plc (EEDC), Ikeja Electric Plc (IE), Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company Plc (KAEDCO), Kano Electricity Regulatory Distribution Company (KEDCO), Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company Plc (PHEDC) and Yola Electricity Distribution Company Plc (YEDC).
The notice which was issued on October 8, 2019 gave the affected distribution companies a period of 60 days to ‘show cause’ why their respective distribution licenses should not be cancelled. The regulator predicated its reasons for this action on the affected DisCos’ manifest and flagrant breaches of the EPSRA, terms and conditions of their respective distribution licences and the order.
The intention of the notice regardless has generated industry debate, concerns, insinuations, permutations and expression of investment concerns, most of which centre around the powers of the regulator to revoke the licences of the DisCos, the yardsticks for the determination of the DisCos selected for the sanctions,whether the yardstick for the revocation took into consideration the peculiar challenges of the DisCos’ operational areas, the determination of the collateral effect of the revocation on ongoing projects of the DisCos (incidentally coordinated by the NERC), and the post-revocation transfer of the services of the DisCos, whether to the government or to other companies.
I will focus on the powers of the regulator to issue the October 8, 2019 notice to show cause and the legality or otherwise of it A cursory look at the notice issued by NERC, especially under the “Particulars of Non-Compliance”, establishes the two major grounds upon which the proposed revocation is predicated; the failure of the DisCos to comply with expected remittance threshold to Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) for the billing cycle. Essentially, the failure of the affected DisCos to meet their debt obligation to the generation companies (GENCOs); thereby creating a cyclic debt within the electricity distribution value chain.
And the alleged failure “to provide the minimum financial securitization of their payment obligation to NBET i.e., “an adequate and unencumbered letter of credit covering three months based on their minimum payment obligation to NBET and MO” that would have addressed the compliance failure.
The matter of revocation of a licence is an issue of law, for which the electricity regulator is expected to be staunchly guided by its enabling statute; the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act 2005 and subsidiary legislations made thereto. Section 69 of the EPSRA 2005 provides that for a licence to be revoked under the following condition-precedents; issue a notice to the licencee of its intention to revoke; offer the licencee 60 days from the date of the licencee’s receipt of the notice to show cause why the licence should not be revoked; communicate its decision to the licencee after the expiration of the notice period. From all indications and contrary to the news of revocation making the rounds, the NERC is still in the first stage of the process.
BUILDING overhead bridges to link one part of a town to another is a familiar feature of road construction works. However, the movement of people and vehicles on and under such bridges ought not to be a risky venture. This makes it necessary to provide protective bars on both sides of the bridges to prevent mishaps.
The overhead bridges on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway from Methodist area, near Toll-gate, to Iwo Road require government’s attention to forestall harm from coming to road users, especially pedestrians. The state of the overhead bridges at the Academy/Olomi and Muslim/Odinjo ends of the expressway calls for an urgent fixing of their protective side bars.
A lot of schoolchildren and other pedestrians are passing on these bridges and are vulnerable to distractions of what is going down on the expressway.
A side of the bridge at Academy is littered and blocked with dirt. This is making it impossible for pedestrians to pass through the space provided for them. The implication is that they are being forced to use part of the space meant for vehicles. This is the risk passersby in this part of the town take every day.
Our governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, is hereby urged to look into these traps in the city of Ibadan and other similar cases in the entire Oyo State.
Bello Muyideen M,
Procrastination is the thief of time. According to the Cambridge dictionary, “procrastination is the act of delaying something that must be done, often because it is unpleasant or boring. Procrastination happens when there are not enough resources to execute the set goals. Sometimes, the zeal and the enthusiasm to give birth to goals are at their lowest ebb.
Welcome to the world of delay! Before a dream is realized, the potentialities have to be manifested before reality sends the dream to the abyss; does procrastination have good sides for intelligent people? Intelligent people procrastinate for the following reasons; logical buying of time to do things, utilisation of bought time, self management and prioritisation of steps to be taken, significantly, it is a fact that procrastination is common among students, for example: postponing of assignment that ought to be done before the submission time, but instead the student gets distracted and postpone assignment.
Procrastination has robbed many of golden opportunities and time. There is no need to procrastinate when one aims to be a great person in life. Those who make history and achieve great things don’t procrastinate. The phrase “Tomorrow and later” is the enemy of successful people, over the five past years that I’ve spent researching the science of success, I’ve discovered that successful people have the ability to “get things done even when they don’t feel like doing them.”
Procrastination can ruin a beautiful opportunities, damage business chances and promote failures because those who procrastinate are undermining and denying themselves of what the future holds for them, they are scared of failing again, they usually overrate themselves, assuming that things can be done overnight. Sadly, success is not accidental discharge! It is always executed with prompt steps. It is painful and regretful on the parts of those who procrastinate. They have allowed procrastination to rule their lives and wish they had never allowed it. Never work and walk in company of procrastinators.
Always remember time is precious and it cannot be redeemed, time waits for no one. Take a step at a time; make hay while the sun shines.
Steps that can be taken to overcome procrastination are avoiding distractions, never giving in to failure, always have a good rest and eat well, be determined to do away with procrastination and have a clear set goal and be motivated.
Obanla Deborah Irajeh,
The issue of embracing and living the Islamic worldview that deifies Almighty Allah alone, and forsaking the faulty ones that deify either man, nature or science, should be promoted to the Muslims and facilitated from a young age. They should be taught that everything they do, experience and come into contact with is based on a worldview and philosophy of life. As Muslims, all their physical, moral, spiritual and intellectual activities and processes ought to be simultaneously consistent, interwoven and permeated with the soul of the Islamic monotheistic (tawhid or Allah’s Oneness) message and worldview. The external environments which man creates for himself are no more than reflections of his inner spiritual and intellectual states. As the saying goes: “As within, so without”.
This verity should meticulously translate itself into a number of aspects of the primary, secondary and university curricula. The subject matter should be dealt with either independently or together with other topics and themes in an integrated manner. It should also be done gradually, so as to continuously suit the capacities of the students and the levels of their readiness.
The objective of education in the Muslim world should not be about producing excellent professionals only, but also good, enlightened and responsible men and women. They are not to be one-dimensional, selfish and greedy specialists and experts, but visionary, holistic, rightly-guided and accountable servants of a higher spiritual and moral order, using their professional lives as a means for achieving such noble purpose.
Once the students are equipped with the Islamic worldview, it will be easy to talk to them and ask them to commit themselves to the Islamic causes and the causes of the Ummah (community), for they will recognise consistency and correlation between the two poles. They will also be on guard when dealing with the foreign traditions and civilisational outputs that contain incompatible-with-Islam substances. They will need no, or very little, persuasion that for the Muslim milieus, such traditions and outputs will need to be aptly purified and Islamised.
Without the knowledge of the Islamic worldview, the Muslim individuals will still be Muslims and will certainly try to excel. However, little will they know that involuntarily and unconsciously, to varying degrees, they may work against the interests of Islam and Muslims. They can do so, for example, by engaging themselves in the fields of science, technology, art, epistemology, education, entertainment, etc., either as students, scholars, professionals, or ordinary citizens, and at the same time by encouraging and promoting the worldviews that inspire and shore up the mentioned fields, but which are partly or completely unacceptable to Islam.
Some of the problematic worldviews that the Muslims, due to their ignorance of the Islamic worldview, may unconsciously subscribe to and promote in a myriad of cultural and civilisational fields are: humanism (emphasising the value and agency of human beings, affirming that without religion people are capable of leading ethical lives of personal fulfillment, and preferring rationalism and empiricism over the revelation); naturalism (believing that only natural or physical, rather than spiritual or metaphysical, laws and forces operate in the world); rationalism (upholding that reason is the main source and test of all knowledge, not the revelation); secularism (believing that religion should be separated from the affairs of the state and public education); modernism (conflict with tradition and the traditional forms of art, architecture, literature, social organisation, daily life, and religious beliefs, values and practices); post-modernism (rejecting objective truths and moral standards, and believing that “reality” is ultimately a human social construction); pluralism (believing that the different world religions represent equally legitimate perspectives on the ultimate reality; they signify different, yet valid, paths to the same goal); materialism (advocating that everything in the universe is matter, without any true spiritual or intellectual existence, and that material success and progress are the highest values in life); liberalism (advocating within the framework of secularism the concepts of freedom – including freedom of, and from, religion – and equality).
Most of those worldviews evolved into intricate ideologies and systems of thought and life, often “upgrading” themselves and borrowing from each other in order to keep pace with the rapid progress and fluctuations of human societies. Modern civilization, which is dominated by Western ideologies and value systems, is firmly anchored in those worldviews. It derives its orientation and identity from some more than others.
There is certainly nothing wrong that the Muslims learn about other worldviews, especially for the sake of exposure, comparative studies, Islamisation, diagnosis of the Muslim woes and their potential fixing. That, too, should be integrated into the Muslim curricula. The weaknesses of those worldviews should be scientifically exposed and analysed, in which case the position of the Islamic worldview could inexorably be enhanced and rendered more appealing. Indeed, the truth is ever more perceptible and appreciated when juxtaposed with its antitheses.
The consequences of neglecting the Islamic worldview
Without the Islamic worldview in their hearts, minds and behavioural patterns, the Muslims are surely doomed. No Muslim can be adequately upright and good without it, and no institution, nor life system, in a Muslim micro or macro environment can prosper on Islamic terms without it. Every Muslim, and everything that is preceded by the adjective “Islamic”, ought to embody the worldview of the Islamic revealed message, and to translate it into the sphere of thought and practical life.
Having a bona fide Islamic thought and practice without the Islamic worldview is as unfeasible and anomalous as having the Islamic worldview without its ramifications extending to all aspects of everyday life. Undeniably, there is a causal relationship between the Islamic worldview and performance, the former being the cause and the latter the effect. There can be no separation of any kind and degree between the two orbs. Dissonant relationships are unacceptable either.
Resorting to any anomalous and uncharacteristic practices insofar as the relationship between the Islamic worldview and Islamic performance is concerned, inevitably leads to the creation of the proportionately anomalous and aberrant outcomes. Chief among them are intellectual as well as spiritual impairment, myopia and blindness. The absence of the Islamic worldview means de-spiritualization and alienation.
Only this can explain, for example, why numerous Muslims worship Almighty Allah in mosques, but idolise and exalt something else in the provinces of work, business, politics, art, architecture, education, entertainment and culture. It also explains why many Muslim children are taught about Islam in religious institutions, and perhaps at home, but are exposed and invited to something else totally opposite elsewhere.
As it explains why a great many Muslims build mosques, religious schools and other devout establishments, but at the same time build as many, if not more, “temples” of materialism, consumerism, secularism, modernism and post-modernism in the forms of commercial, entertainment, media, sports, political and cultural institutions and bodies.
It is apparent that for a long time, the Muslims are being fed with poorly explained and misunderstood religious rituals, services and ceremonies, religious literal symbolism and deadening formalism, while concurrently feasting on foreign philosophies and values.
The situation is so prevalent and dire that even the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah and their holy Mosques are not spared. On the contrary, in the name of progress and modernization, they seem to be affected most. Not many people realise, not least those in power, that the holy lands are increasingly being contaminated with impure ideas and values, and with the “temples” that typify and house them.
No wonder we managed to produce generations after generations of confused, disoriented, misguided, mediocre and lethargic Muslims. Just to be able to perform – mechanically though – the five fundamental acts or pillars of Islam, is perceived as a success. Anything else, such as regularly reading the Holy Qur’an – without really understanding and acting upon its content -, being appropriately dressed as prescribed by the Shari’ah, etc., is regarded as a great bonus.
Hence, a scholar inferred about a Muslim country that all of its citizens were Muslims on paper, but in reality, many of them were hard-core materialists.
The people are simply torn between conflicting ideological gravitational forces. This state of affairs may also explain why the cases of apostasy, especially the clandestine and intellectual types, are on the increase in the Muslim world. This kind of apostasy is more menacing than openly declared apostasy, for the former works continuously on a wide scale, while at the same time, it cannot be easily resisted in the same manner as the latter, which always makes much fuss, attracts attention, and stirs up public opinion (Yusuf al-Qaradawi).
And we all wonder, in particular our governments and their responsible agencies, why especially our youth are confused, troubled and indifferent. It is like we do not know the causes which, in fact, lie open before us.
Without its inclusive worldview, Islam as a way of life appears as though one-dimensional, excessively ritualistic, formulaic, hollow and unappealing a proposition. As such, effectively promoting and teaching it both to the Muslims and non-Muslims prove such a daunting, often impossible and futile, task.
Source: IslamiCity—Spahic Omer
THE Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) has advocated the strengthening of the protection of girls across the world against exploitation, dehumanisation and other forms of unfair treatment.
It particularly condemned all acts of violation of the rights of Muslim girls in Nigeria and called for their cessation forthwith.
The MSSN made the advocacy and condemnation in a statement by its National Public Relations Officer, AbdulAzeez Oladejo, in respect of this year’s edition of the International Day of the Girl Child, which was marked on October 11.
It noted that in 2012, the United Nations set aside the date as the International Day of the Girl Child to highlight and address the needs and challenges the girl child and promote their empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.
But the group expressed regrets that while the world was making a steady progress towards realising this goal, some people had continued to consciously victimise, exploit and dehumanise girls.
According to the MSSN, the ability of the United Nations to further stipulate appropriate sanctions for perpetrators of such deviant activities will go a long way in safeguarding the female children.
The statement reads in part: “To us as Muslim students, a day like this is important as it reminds us that there are people who are still committed to the lofty goal of raising the status of the girl-child as espoused by Islam.
“It also tells us that there are concerted efforts against the perpetration of deviant activities (like gender inequality, forced labour, forced marriage, humiliating cultural practices, denial of right to education and denial of right to inheritance) against the girl-child in third world countries, including Nigeria.
“Most importantly, this day reminds us of the traumatic experiences of the Muslim girls across the country because of their resolve to exhibit their fundamental human rights of using hijab as they pursue their education; from nine-year old Aisha AbdulAleem in Ogun State to Muslim girls in Lagos State and those at the International School, Ibadan. This calls for action because ensuring the rights and safe space for the girls should be beyond rhetoric.
“We use the occasion of this year’s edition of the International Day of the Girl Child to condemn all acts of violation of rights of Muslim girl across the country, while assuring all those who are currently experiencing any form of victimisation that Allah’s help is indeed near.”
“We also wish that the Muslim girl should be motivated by the theme for this year’s International Day of the Girl Child (Girl Force: Unscripted, Unstoppable) and know that the Muslim girl is simply unscripted and unstoppable.”
THE Amir (president) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria, Alhaji Abdul-Azeez Alatoye, has charged the Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, not to relent in his bid to raise the standard of living of the people of the state, especially in the area of infrastructural development.
Alhaji Alatoye gave the charge on Thursday when members of the society paid a courtesy visit to the deputy governor, Mrs Noimot Salako-Oyedele, in her office in Abeokuta.
He also commended the governor on his strides in the four months he had been in office.
He, however, notified government of the society’s women’s convention slated for December 2 and its annual Jalsa programme scheduled for December 21 in Ilaro.
Responding, Salako-Oyedele restated the government’s commitment to infrastructural development and reconstruction of inter-city roads.
The deputy governor said the administration was collaborating with the Federal Government on giving room for the private sector to reconstruct roads.
She explained that the anticipated tax returns would be used in offsetting the costs of roads reconstructed by private companies, adding that Governor Abiodun had been working on how best to tackle the problem of bad roads across the state.
“We have had different ideas on how to tackle the inter-city roads, so we are going to construct them on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis,” she said.
The executive order has been signed and we are hoping that it can be put into use very quickly and to facilitate private companies to come up with PPP agreement which will allow them to reconstruct the roads,” she said.
A statement by the Press Officer, Office of the Deputy Governor, Oluwaseun Boye, Salako-Oyedele added that the state Public Works Agency (PWA) had been rehabilitating and reconstructing some rural and township roads, but the weather had been a major challenge faced by the agency.
While imploring the citizens to bear with the state government as it executes its plans, she gave the assurance that as soon as the rains subside, the PWA would increase its pace of work.
THE National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) is yet to commence a hajj savings scheme, contrary to a media report, the commission’s spokesperson, Hajiya Fatima Sanda Usara, has said.
She told reporters on Wednesday that she had been misquoted in a report that said that the commission would kick-start the scheme for the next year’s hajj exercise.
“I actually spoke with reporters on hajj savings scheme but I didn’t specify the date or year of commencement as published by the news distribution medium,” she said.
NAHCON had announced that it would introduce a hajj savings scheme to enable Nigerians save gradually and pick a particular year to perform hajj.
NAHCON’s chairman, Abdullahi Mukhtar Mohammed, who announced the measure had, however, said that the kick-off of the exercise was subject to the approval of the Federal Government.
He also said a team of trustees would be set up to manage the fund.
THE Jaiz Charity and Development Foundation has disbursed cash and items worth N3 million to 197 indigent persons in Jigawa State.
The empowerment items, distributed to beneficiaries in Dutse, included 30 agricultural sprayers, 22 sewing machines and five refrigerators.
The chairman of the foundation, Malam Adamu Bello, said the disbursement was the first to be carried out by the foundation in the state
Represented by the Chief Executive Officer of the foundation, Dr Abdullahi Shuaib, Malam Bello said the plight of the poor and needy was of great concern to the foundation.
“We are moved by the helplessness of the current situation that most of the poor and needy people have to contend with. It is in this light that the foundation deemed it necessary to intervene and bring succour to the underprivileged while putting smiles on the faces of those suffering from deprivation,” he said.
He urged the beneficiaries to make the most of the zakat funds and items.
“Please, shun the habit of diverting the items by selling them. To do that will amount to a betrayal of the trust which Allah and the zakat payers reposed in you.
“I also implore you to work harder and be focused because there is light at the end of the tunnel for you, by the grace of God,” he said.
A civil society organisation that monitors and reports hajj activities, the Independent Hajj Reporters (IHR), has urged the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to adopt two-year hajj registration policy.
The group, in a statement signed by its national coordinator, Ibrahim Muhammed and publicity secretary, Abubakar Mahmoud, called on NAHCON to commence the registration of intending pilgrims for Hajj 2021 alongside the ongoing Hajj 2020 registration exercise.
“While we commend NAHCON for issuing a timely directive to states’ Muslim pilgrims welfare boards to commence pilgrims registration, the current yearly registration of intending pilgrims in Nigeria often creates serious challenges on the delivery of consistent services to intending pilgrims in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“The introduction of tourist visa has opened the door for a large number of tourists to visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“Given this development, securing a standard accommodation close to the vicinity of the Holy Mosque in Makkah will be a tough task unless NAHCON and state Muslim pilgrims welfare boards devise ways of contracting pilgrims’ accommodations beyond one year as being done by countries like Pakistan, Indonesia and Malaysia.
“Allowing those who wish to perform hajj in 2021 to commence payment now will ease the process of pilgrims’ registration. Services like transport, accommodation and catering can be hired for two years as opposed to the current practice of securing services very close to hajj arrangements,” the IHR said.
It urged NAHCON to work towards the possibility of commencing registration for hajj 2021 along with that of 2020.
The group said early payment will benefit intending pilgrims in the areas of enlightenment, documentation and provision of other logistics as states’ pilgrims welfare boards would have ample time for such exercises.
“Seventy-five-80 per cent of Nigerian pilgrims belong in the middle class and 80-90 per cent of that number is made up of farmers. They, therefore, may lack the financial muzzle to pay for hajj seat at a go. As such, the majority of the intending pilgrims will prefer a system that allows payment in bits,” it added.
IHR advised NAHCON to urgently adopt a framework that is based on contractual deposits and fund investment mechanisms for pilgrims’ registration in the country.
“Hajj operation has now been digitalised with breathtaking innovations that have made it easy for countries to secure the best services for their pilgrims.
“People can now apply online for Hajj 2020 and countries such as India recently introduced a mobile application that made it possible for intending pilgrims to stay in the comfort of their houses and register.
“Adopting a two-year registration policy will assist hajj air carriers, caterers, accommodation providers and transport companies to engage in long-term planning and also reduce the pressure on the part of intending pilgrims.
“For example, the Pakistan Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony recently said it was preparing a three-year hajj policy on the pattern of other countries in which accommodation, building, catering and transport arrangements are under consideration on a long-term basis to ensure the best facilities at low cost.
“Intending pilgrims who wish to perform hajj in the year 2021 can be allowed to commence registration with their respective states. Pilgrims will now have enough time and escape the associated pressure of the fire brigade approach,” the group emphasised.
THE National Amir of The Companion, an association of Muslims in business and the professions, Alhaji Wale Sonaike, has called on the Federal Government to tap into the resources of Muslims to tackle poverty.
Sonaike, during a zakat funds distribution in Lagos, said zakat could eradicate poverty and generate surplus funds to cushion the budget deficit.
“The government has adopted different policies to alleviate poverty, including the N-Power and TraderMoni but the money given out to people is small. If the government can encourage all Nigerian Muslims to pay their zakat, they will be surprised the amount of zakat that will be generated,” he said.
He advised the beneficiaries to make good use of the funds they received and become zakat payers, too.
The secretary of The Companion Zakat and Sadaqat Committee, Abdul Kabir Baruwa, said the group was disbursing close to N4 million to about 50 people.
He said the group would ensure that zakat funds got to those that needed it.
A beneficiary, Mrs Taibat Aworodina, commended the group for the gesture.
Mrs Aworodina said she was given a shop to run a cold room business but did not have the resources to start the business.
“My sister gave me her shop to use for my business instead of hawking but I don’t have the required fund to run the business. I was given the zakat form and on getting here, I was given a deep freezer. I am happy. I pray to Allah to enrich the donors and make me one of those that will be paying zakat,” she said
In a world where many want to be DJs, you need to stand out from the crowd. There are far too many average wannabe DJs out there and they’re probably getting more gigs than you do. Not only that but the rise in popularity of DJing from hobby nerd to ultra-cool celebrities means there’s more competition than ever.
It’s almost as if there’s a formula that everyone thinks you need to stick to. Play the crowd pleasures, wave your hands in there are and fiddle with as many buttons as you can. Nothing could be further from the truth!
DJing isn’t just about beat-matching and mixing. It’s about curating the ultimate party playlist and thrilling the audience by taking them on a musical journey, building them up with audio intensity, taking them from one musical style to another with creativity and flare. So just playing “the hits” isn’t enough to surpass credible expectations.
Some of the best world-class DJs are known for their unique mixing styles. One that is almost their signature mark move from gig to gig. It might be a specific type of playlist or the way they mix between tracks or involve multiple tracks at once. If you’re looking to stand out from the crowd you’ll need to come up with your unique move. Your sets should always be memorable.
DJing is so much more than just mixing and blending music you need to be a professional business person too. Running an event of any sort that requires a DJ is not easy. It takes a lot of organisation and professionalism to pull it off. Your potential clients expect you to exhibit at least, the following professional qualities;
- Be polite – Don’t try and win an argument with a client. Usually, it sends across a bad impression.
- Be generous – Go the extra mile to making the event or gig a success Make sure you meet the client’s expectations and exceed them if you can
- Offer your services as a backup – let your clients know you can stand in last minute if someone lets them down
- Be on time – Don’t let a client down, be early, be ready
- Bring backup equipment – Equipment break down at the worst possible moment so be prepared.
Remember you’re responsible during your set to entertain and do the job you’re being paid for. Professional DJs get more bookings.
Finally, represent your brand when meeting people. Whether you’re DJing at a corporate event, festival or wedding, you are your brand so be sure to promote yourself well. Be friendly and polite, smile and be happy even if you’re not feeling it.
The moments spent with those you meet will set first impressions that could last a lifetime. Don’t be remembered for being ill-tempered, quiet or unprofessional. If people are paying to see you or might consider booking you then present yourself in the best possible way.
Throw-back party pace pusher for this week is 9ice– Gongo Aso
The Ignition coil, popularly referred to as “coil”, is the heart of the ignition system. Its job is to transform the battery voltage (12V) into the thousands of volts necessary to initiate the ignition on the spark plug.
In other words, the ignition coil is in charge of providing the energy required by spark plugs, some have an internal resistor, while others rely on a resistor wire or an external resistor to limit the current flowing into the coil from the car’s 12-volt supply.
The wire that goes from the ignition coil to the distributor and the high voltage wires that go from the distributor to each of the spark plugs are called spark plug wires.
There are three main types of ignition systems, hence three main types of ignition coils.
The conventional breaker point-type ignition system has been in use since the early 1900s. In this system, the primary circuit of the ignition coil receives power from the battery through a resistor. The power is grounded through closed ignition points in the distributor. Current flows through the windings of the primary coil, creating a magnetic field. When the points are opened by the rotation of the distributor cam, the current’s electrical circuit is broken, collapsing the magnetic field. The force from the collapse crosses the windings of the secondary coil and creates an electrical current within them. The current flows into the distributor cap and eventually into the spark plugs, all in a split second.
Electronic ignition systems were popular in the mid-1970s and were developed to be more reliable and produce fewer emissions. This type of ignition is very similar to the conventional system, with the same configuration in the secondary circuit of the ignition coil. From the battery to the coil terminal, the primary circuit is also the same. But instead of a distributor cam and points, the electronic system uses a pickup coil to signal the control module, which then fires the ignition coil. On some electronic systems, the ignition coil is located inside the distributor cap.
In a distributor-less ignition system, which came out in the 1980s, its design allowed more energy to be available from the coils. Instead of two coils, there are typically three or more mounted together in a coil pack, each responsible for firing either one spark plug or a pair. This system uses a magnetic triggering device to determine engine speed and crankshaft position. The triggering device sends a signal to the engine control module or the ignition control module which, in turn, sends energy to the coil.
Despite the mechanical and technological changes through the years, the basic function of the ignition system has remained basically the same; take the voltage from the battery, convert it to a higher voltage, then send this electric current to the combustion chamber in time to ignite the compressed fuel and air.
How does an ignition coil work?
Basically, an ignition coil is a transformer. As any transformer, it has a primary winding and a secondary winding. It receives battery voltage on the primary winding and when the current is disrupted the magnetic field collapses causing a huge voltage output on the secondary winding.
Most recent designs of ignition coils have output voltages in excess of 45,000 volts, able to ignite the ultra-lean mixture of fuel injection systems.
Several factors determine the amount of energy required to create the electric arc in the spark plug. Some of them are the engine compression, air-fuel ratio, combustion chamber temperature, spark plug materials, spark plug calibration, etc.
Over the years, vehicle manufacturers have focused on developing more efficient engines. That implies engines with higher levels of compression and leaner fuel delivery. These changes demand more and more energy from the ignition system. As a consequence, single-coil engines became obsolete opening the way to multi-coil systems.
Nowadays, the most common multi-coil system is known as Coil-On-Plug (COP). This particular design consists of one ignition coil per cylinder. Each coil is directly attached to the spark plug, which contributes to eliminating electrical loses from spark plug wires.
Unlike traditional single-coil ignition systems, on current COP systems, the Electronic Control Unit is in charge of activating each individual coil when it’s needed. Most COP electrical connectors consist of three wires: one for ground, one for battery voltage and one for ECU activating signal. It’s not uncommon that all three wires connect directly with the ECU because many designs incorporate current and/or ground monitoring for each coil.
Symptoms of a bad ignition coil
A weak coil will not be able to accomplish its mission, having as a possible consequence, a “no spark” condition.
As explained at the beginning of the article, the ignition coil is vital for appropriate combustion. The most common symptoms of a bad ignition coil are:
- Check engine light
Due to its crucial role in the ignition system expect the Check Engine Light to illuminate after a few drive cycles with a damaged ignition coil.
- Poor fuel economy
Without a proper spark, the combustion process will not be efficient and a noticeable decrease in fuel economy will be evident.
- Rough idle
Depending on the vehicle year and maker the ECU may not compensate for this failure during idle. This might cause a rough idle or even an engine dying occasionally while idling.
- Difficulty during engine start
Depending on the number of defective coils, you may experience difficulty during engine start. Difficulty to start the engine can also be caused by other problems with the electrical system such as a flat battery, so it’s worth checking these out too.
- Engine misfires
Ignition energy degradation will cause engine misfires that will affect overall performance.
- Engine hesitation during acceleration
Having one or more faulty COP will cause a severe lack of power in the engine, especially during acceleration. This can also be caused by bad injectors, so it’s worth looking at these too. For vehicles that use a single ignition coil as the source of spark for all of the cylinders, a faulty coil will affect the operation of the entire engine. If the coil fails completely, it will leave the engine without spark, which will result in a no spark, no-start condition.
- Exhaust back-fire
Fuel particles won’t burn in the combustion chamber as they usually do and will enter the exhaust pipe with a high energy charge. That energy will be unleashed in the form of mini-explosions.
- Fuel smell from exhaust pipe
The failure to burn the fuel in the combustion chamber will cause a noticeable petrol smell coming from your exhaust pipe.
It is worthy of note that the ignition coil (irrespective of the design) is a maintenance item and requires replacement at certain intervals. Please consult the vehicle’s service /workshop manual for the recommendations.
Clearly all is not too well for Nigeria’s domestic airlines owing to several factors. Out of the six functional domestic airlines presently operating, only one or two are able to stand the heat within the sector. Many unable to withstand the challenges that come with the pressure have gone underground. In this report, SHOLA ADEKOLA identifies the factors responsible for the problem with key players urging government to come to the rescue of domestic airlines.
Many reasons have been traced to the myriad of challenges confronting domestic carriers despite their struggle to keep afloat in rendering services to Nigeria’s flying public. Among such reasons include multiple taxations which the airlines are subjected to pay to various government agencies. It is also no longer hidden that efforts being made by the airlines to meet the expectations of the traveling public are still far from being fulfilled due to many other factors ranging from government’s unpopular policies such as expensive and unavailable jet A1 (aviation fuel), undue advantages being enjoyed by foreign airlines, multiple entry points and unlimited frequencies doled out to foreign airlines at the expense of the domestic airlines, lack of political goodwill by government.
Besides these factors, there is the lopsided Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASAs) which Nigeria signed with over 80 foreign countries. These have been found to be disadvantageous to the course of domestic airline business. The high interest rate being charged by the banks is another major obstacle working against the optimal performance of the airlines and the highly unstable foreign exchange rate.
Our predicaments unbearable—Airline operators
Many of the domestic airline owners have identified the hostile business environment within which they operate as one of the major challenges confronting them. Speaking on this, the Chief Executive Officer of Medview Airlines, Muneer Bankole who lamented the negative impact of the high cost of fuel in Nigeria in particular, declared that “We cannot continue this way. This country is blessed. If you go to the market, you are the master of the market and the marketers sometimes say they don’t get FOREX. They import this fuel. Three parties are involved: the man who gets the license to bring in the fuel by whichever means he brings it in; another receives the fuel to keep for the man, he has his own value. Don’t forget the other chains including the one on the sea and on the roads. When the fuel lands, they keep it somewhere before it finally goes to the people who need it. Because of security situation, they don’t go to Maiduguri. Fuel there goes for between N250 and N270.
“We held a meeting. Two major issues were discussed. One was on Value Added Tax (VAT) and the other one was on fuel. We are about six or seven schedule operators in Nigeria. The meeting was for CEOs of airlines. When we sell for N21, 000, others are selling for N18, 000 or less. The fare will not help us. You are at the bottom. You must have a full capacity to break even. The other side of it is that somebody can sell for N15, 000 or N16, 000.”
For the chairman, Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Captain Nogie Megisson who described the non-involvement of government in aero politics as the bane of operators, “like Bellview which was frustrated out of the India market; Arik Air that was given a distant parking bay in Dubai at the far end of the terminal; Medview which was frustrated out of the London route by sheer regulatory technicalities and so called safety deficiencies, unfair slot allocation, exorbitant airport charges, levies and fees, and all forms of excuses to name a few which are mainly to discredit the airlines as a means of edging them out of the route in order to get rid of the competition the carrier posed to their own local operators on the route and to protect their own.”
To many key players across the sector, Nigeria with its size and its citizens been adjudged as the most traveled set on the continent and even one of the topmost traveling countries across the world deserves a more vibrant domestic airline sector.
According to the Managing Director of Centurion Security Services and a one-time Military Commandant of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Group Captain John Ojikutu (retired), there is the need for careful assessment of the business plans of the airlines to ensure that their aircraft can sufficiently comply with the safety and economic regulations of Nigeria’s aviation rules.
Ojikutu urged the government to equip its airports to sustain the airlines’ day and night operations and also install equipment which will enhance landing and takeoff of aircraft even during inclement weather. Megisson added that the Federal Government should not leave Air Peace but should stand tall with Nigerian Airlines and bring the full weight of its political machinery and influence behind Air Peace and effectively protect the airline from all forms of aero politics and regulatory biases that may arise during the course of the airline’s operations into various international destinations.
One of the major steps government can take to enhance the growth of the domestic airlines according to players is in the area of enforcing the “Fly Nigeria Act.” Even though it has again been debated that the act as good as it will help in enhancing the growth of the domestic carriers in line with the government’s crusade for local content policy, one obvious fact is that if this act is binding on government officials who may be traveling on official tours financed with government funds, which they agreed may gradually encourage their family members and other Nigerians to shift patronage to the Nigerian airlines which will subsequently empower the local airlines.Hadi-Sirika,
The stakeholders are however challenging the government to first reposition domestic airlines by resolving the myriad of challenges they have reeled out which have been traced to many unpopular policies taken in the past with a call on the government to drastically reduce the numerous taxes the airlines are presently paying, the need to resume the production of aviation fuel in Nigeria which is presently gulping over 40 percent of the cost of production of the airlines, the reduction of the high interest rate on the bank loans to the airlines to single digit, stoppage of multiple entry points and unlimited frequencies to foreign carriers and the need for government to be willing to not only designate its airlines to foreign routes but engage in playing aero politics to protect the domestic airlines before the government of such foreign nations.
For Mr Olumide Ohunayo, a Director at Zenith Travels in Lagos, the ‘Fly Nigeria Act’ if implemented will improve the performances of the airlines.
“I am in support of the Fly Nigeria Act which was initiated fifteen years ago and sadly, we are still pushing and begging for support for the policy. The act if implemented will support Nigerian carriers and it will be an improvement on their market share and I hope one day government will respond to it. Ohunayo like many key players are canvassing for single digit interest rate loan for the airlines on the premise that this would cushion the effect of the high cost of operations and the hardship further brought on the airlines by the highly unstable FOREX as 90 per cent of airline transactions are done in foreign currencies.
“A single digit interest is a good way to support the airlines, but you can only give this to airlines which have schedule flights and not chartered flights or non scheduled operators. Subsidies are given to scheduled operators; they are the ones that help the economy and as you are doing that government needs to work on infrastructure; the roads are not good. For travel to generate the needed indices required, airports must be opened for a longer time to allow airlines spread their flights. Airlines are still registering to get their Airline Operators Certificate (AOC), it means there is market in Nigeria. If airlines are investing in smaller countries like Togo or Ghana, why not in a country like Nigeria that has the largest market?” He said.
Speaking at an event recently, Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Senator Hari Sirika had hinted that the Federal Government would aggressively pursue a Fly Nigeria Act as part of plans to make Nigerian airlines including the proposed new national carrier, Nigeria Air viable and competitive. This is just as stakeholders in the nation’s aviation industry at the latest breakfast meeting organised by the Aviation Round Table Initiative in Lagos have expressed the need for the Federal Government to sign the Fly Nigeria Act legislation so as to help protect the Nigeria travel market for both local airlines and travel agents.
Besides it is generally believed that if the government is able to tackle these lingering problems, domestic carriers like Air Peace will have very little to do to successfully fly the flag of the country in high esteem around the globe thus reducing the exploitation of Nigerian travelers by foreign carriers.
Megisson added that the empowerment of the domestic carriers by government «will mean more travel choices for Nigerian travelers at affordable rates; more contribution to the Nigerian economy and GDP; increased growth for the Nigerian aviation sector; the transfer of technology and technical expertise; and a reduction in capital flight from the country by foreign airlines. Government therefore needs to rally round Air Peace as a proud Nigerian operator and give the airline and others all the support to succeed.”
Baffled about the continuous damage caused by incessant flooding in his community, the Baale of Ogombo, community in Etiosa Local Government Area of Lagos state, Chief Abiodun Ogunbo has called on the state government to come to the aid of his people by finding lasting solutions to what he termed the perennial flood that ravages his community and causes losses for his people.
The traditional ruler made the call in his palace recently during a ceremony held in his honour by City Herald Magazine in acknowledgment of his outstanding contributions to the development of the area, as well, as the enhancement of people’s wellbeing, with particular focus on the development of Lagos state.
Chief Ogunbo, while asking for government’s help in tackling his community’s flood challenge, said government should live up to its responsibilities as the community had been doing its best to salvage the terrible flood situation, adding that every time it rains, the people are put in a dilemma and for them, rain is a period to worry about the after effects of a natural situation, as the consequences is usually devastating.
He urged the Lagos State Government to put the necessary infrastructure in place to further enhance the living condition of residents as there can only be development when the people live in good conditions devoid of fear and worry.
According to him, his driving principle is to do everything within his power to ensure that all parts of Ogombo community are adequately developed in line with the government’s plan to make Lagos a megacity that will stand out in Nigeria. He explained that if the government intervenes in the community’s challenge and stops flood from ravaging the area, it will go a long way in reducing the suffering of the people and further enhance the wellbeing of the residents and endanger peaceful co-existence among them.
Ogunbo further reiterated his commitment to serving his people better, and ensuring optimum development of the community, stressing that he will continue to promote love, unity and peaceful cohabitation among the indigenes and non –indigenes in his community as a symbol of his love to serve humanity.
He stated further that the award given to honour him and acknowledge his contributions was a pleasant surprise because he was not aware that the media or other organizations were conversant with his activities in Ogombo and environs.
The traditional ruler called on other well meaning individuals to support efforts aimed at making the community great and expressed his appreciation to members of the Community Development Association (CDA) for their constant support.
The publisher of City Herald Magazine, Comrade Oguntuase Adegboyega, commended the traditional ruler for championing the development of Ogombo community and serving as an example of what leadership entails.
Ekiti State governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, in this interview by Group politics Editor, KUNLE ODEREMI, speaks on issues of governance in his state and sundry national issues, insisting that the country cannot afford an upward general wage review for workers.
Almost five years of All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government, the general belief among Nigerians is that nothing seems to have changed as the people are yet to witness the change your party promised when it came to power in 2015. How would you react to that?
But the fact is that Nigerians just re-elected the APC-led Federal Government for a second term. Of course, you will agree with me that election is the best option of measuring performance by political parties as we haven’t devised any other means to judge political parties. You may argue on the fairness and credibility of the processes of the recent presidential election, but there is only one vehicle of sorting it out. The jurists are still on that; there is still one leg to go, so we won’t push that any further. But, let me come back to your substantive question that concerns every Nigerian and which is: How far has APC gone in taking Nigeria out of the woods? I think it is fair to say that it is work in progress. We are exactly not where we ought to be, but we are also not where we were in 2015, when our party took over.
No doubt, there are things that are in our manifesto, which for one reason or the other that we have not done, particularly on issues such as restructuring. But, when you put that in proper perspective, the power to do that resides with the legislature; it doesn’t reside with the executive. However, a determined executive can still push the legislature to do it.
You know what happened in our first four years; there was no synergy between the executive and legislature and sometimes I wonder if Nigerians even want synergy between the two arms of government. I think Nigerians sometimes behave as if they want enmity of some sort. They think that progress will come if the two arms are not on the same page, but I believe that we have seen the result of that from the Bukola Saraki-led Senate and the Muhammadu Buhari presidency. That clearly contributed to the slow pace of activities during the first term. For me, growth is key but stability is probably what most Nigerians are interested in right now because it is when we suffer a reversal that we will know how much progress that has been made.
To what extent has the feelings you had when you were leaving Ekiti Government House in 2014 influenced your actions in your second term as governor of the state?
Naturally, the reason people seek for a second term in office, in my view, is to consolidate on their achievements. Theoretically and practically, from my experience, you can do a lot and you can also do a little if you worked out an agenda before you come into office. By the time I was leaving, my state had the highest enrolment of children in school with about 96 per cent; it had the lowest maternal mortality, child mortality and they were not accidental because when you looked at what happened four years after I was out of office, we fell to the lowest in terms of enrolment of children in school in the South-West.
In just a period of four years, maternal mortality went up; child mortality also went up. And it is easy to see why these happened. I ran a free and compulsory education programme, but my successor came in and introduced education levies and fees. The consequence was that those who could not afford it, stayed away. So, you can see a correlation why enrolment dropped and retention also dropped. Even some of those who were in school and who were asked to go and look for West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Council on Education (NECO) fees, which I paid for the four years I was governor, had to drop out of school. These are things that we don’t often pay much attention.
Again, the N5,000 that I was paying to the elderly may not mean much to somebody in Lagos, but in Ekiti, it meant much as some of those elderly people even saved out of the money after taking care of themselves and were also able to contribute to other things, including taking care of their grandchildren or even their children who had no jobs. So, in terms of human capital development indices, it wasn’t perfect, but we achieved close to what we would have loved to. However, in terms of opening up Ekiti, which was my major priority, we tried to make the state a destination for business and tourism by doing Ikogosi and other things. Before I left, we hosted the NNMA and the Future Awards in Ikogosi. Several Nollywood movies were filmed there.
In doing this, we had challenges and these challenges tied in to our status as a state within a federation. Of course, there were a lot of things that I started, which were abandoned by my successor; not just about education and healthcare, but also about infrastructure. Virtually every project that was ongoing then was stopped by my successor and left for four years in abeyance. It was only when I came back that I restarted them. The disadvantage of that is that instead of moving on with new things, we are going back to resuscitate and rebuild schools, hospitals as well as Ikogosi, which was running before we left.
For me, I don’t want to dwell on that because it generates negative energy. That is why I have basically refrained from the usual blame-game and exchanges over probe and others because what the people want is good government. Yes, people must account for their time in office, but there are mechanisms in place that should do that without distracting occupants of the office and that is basically the advice I have been giving to my colleagues as chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF). I have had cause to sit down with incoming and outgoing governors to resolve issues in the interest of their state.
Once you start this rush to the law courts, it never ends and you won’t even have time to focus on your own work. My belief is that anybody who has issues should go and sort himself out with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) or the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). Those are not state institutions; they are federal institutions, so that you can focus on governmental activities.
You earlier mentioned restructuring which is a major component of your party’s manifesto. Where do you stand on the issue?
I have never stopped pushing for restructuring in all its ramifications. Sometimes, I get into trouble for pushing it, but everywhere you hear me speak, I push for a multi-level security arrangement that takes into account the gaps that we currently have. I deliberately say multi-level security arrangement because some people think that when you say state police, you want to get rid of the federal police, but that is not what the concept is all about.
The federal police has federal jurisdiction; state police has state jurisdiction and local police has local jurisdiction. Part of the problem is that we have overloaded the federal police and they are suffering from the tyranny of an unfunded and expanded mandate. They have this huge mandate, but they don’t have the resources and the states that make resources available to them, don’t have control over them. So, we are all in suspended animation.
The other day, somebody asked me a question at an event organised by the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) about cost of governance and restructuring. I gave a comprehensive answer, but the only thing that interested the media was that I said that we should go for a unicameral legislature. But, I think that if we should go for a unicameral legislature, it should be the one that really represents the people on account of the population because the House of Representatives is a product of federal constituencies and you know that the average population of a federal constituency is 100,000.
It is not the same with the Senate and I used my state as an example. Ekiti has three million people; Lagos is about 20 million and both have equal number of senators- three each. There are issues that warranted that, which include fear of oppression of the minorities. The constitution provided that because we have equal mandate as states, but the same constitution privileges landmass and population in the distribution of resources.
So, why don’t we reduce institutions, whether it is at the level of the executive, especially Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as the Oronsaye Report proposed, or at the legislative branch? So, I think there is really need for restructuring, but not just restructuring of public institutions alone. We also need restructuring of the mind. What does Nigeria mean to all of us, because if the tribe does not die, the nation cannot rise, as the late President Samora Machel argued?
What is the position of the NGF on the status of local governments, especially as regards the directive by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) on council funds?
As far as we are concerned, the position of the NGF on the issue of NFIU’s directive on local governments’ fund is the position of the law. There is no law that has been passed in the country on local government autonomy. There have been several attempts, but it has never received the support of 24 state Houses of Assembly out of the 36 in the country to make it happen. That is the process. Currently, Nigeria is a two-tier federation; it is not a three-tier federation. Talks about Nigeria been a three-tier federation is a distortion.
It is even an aberration that we even have to go to Abuja to get approval on local governments. If you want to create 200 local governments, it is your business because you and your people in your state should figure it out. It should not be the business of Abuja because, that for me, is surreptitious unitarism. You cannot go behind to do what the constitution does not allow you to do and that was what informed our position at the NGF over the ridiculous instruction to banks. You know that you cannot confront us; you are now going to bankers.
What is the business of the banks with the accounts maintained by local governments, as long as the accounts are funded, the process is transparent and the proper persons run the accoumts? Besides, what is the business of the NFIU on local governments’ funds? When you read the NFIU Law, NFIU monitors what is going on in the banking system, internationally and locally and if you have a specific case of money laundering, please bring it up. You cannot have a general rule to address a unique problem. You can’t because you want to fight money laundering; you now say that states and local governments cannot run joint accounts, which is in the constitution of Nigeria. Section 162 and we have a case pending in court on the issue.
What is your take on the new national minimum wage and threats by labour to embark on strike over its non-implementation?
We don’t want workers to down tools, but you will recall that the governors’ proposal in the course of the tripartite negotiation was N24, 500. But, negotiation back and forth, we ended up with N30, 000 and the governors, in principle, said ‘we will pay.’ However, in private discussions with the president, we made it clear that this is another recipe for future bailout. To be frank with you, I don’t even consider N30, 000 a living wage in today’s Nigeria, but you cannot promise what you don’t have.
It is also a fundamental principle of labour relations because you get into trouble if you do that. So, we agreed N30, 000 and we all agreed to look for ways to boost revenues going to the states and we are working on that. We are doing reconciliation with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on issues concerning pipeline vandalising. We have a committee headed by Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, working on that. We don’t want workers to down tools, but we made it clear during the tripartite negotiation that an increase in the national minimum wage is not tantamount to a general wage review.
The fact that we moved people who are below N30, 000 to N30, 000 and wherever they should be on the scale should not automatically mean that we must increase the salaries of people who are on Level 17 and who are on N400, 000. It is a minimum wage law; it is not a general wage law. Yes, if you promote Levels 05 or 06, they may go over what the current Level 07 is earning. So that calls for consequential adjustment, but that adjustment should not go over Levels 08 and 09.
The Federal Government has even agreed to do nine per cent for Levels 07 to 12 and five per cent for Levels 13 and above, but they said no and insisted on 45 per cent. Where is Nigeria going to find the money? I mean the economy is in doldrums. Whether we openly admit or not, everyone knows. If you have an economy where N2.4 trillion is for debt servicing, then what are we talking about. So, I hope good sense will prevail and that people will be able to convince labour that it is futile effort if they do so because Nigeria cannot pay what it doesn’t have.
Historians agree that Richard Nixon actually committed treason in helping swing the 1968 US elections in his favour. President Lyndon B Johnson, in the final days of the 1968 presidential election, became convinced that Richard Nixon (who eventually won the race) and his campaign associates were working surreptitiously with the South Vietnamese government to obstruct peace talks between the US and North Vietnam; undermining the US government. President Johnson chose not to heat up the polity by throwing Nixon into jail or exposing him. Statesmanlike, he overlooked it, allowed things to be and Richard Nixon became President. It was typical of the larger-than-life big-heartedness of the big Texan Johnson; a jolly man who was not at home with toxic vindictiveness like some lesserpolitical leaders would.
President Nixon later got himself inexorably tied to outright crimes in the Watergate affair and was disgraced out of office. President Gerald Ford as Commander-in-Chief could merely have allowed the law, take its course but he granted Richard Nixon full and comprehensive pardon. He doused the political temperature of the nation with one stroke of his pen.
Dr. Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria experienced the dark days of national political interregnum when as Vice President, he was rendered useless and kept incommunicado by centrifugal forces from his ailing boss. He definitely knew of the many unconstitutional acts that were being carried out. And when he finally became president with access to all the facts, he chose to look away rather than call in the law to justice wreck vengeance on the self-conceited felons. Or he would have chosen to leak out compromising details of blatant heist and misdeeds bordering on outright criminality. Some less urbane retrogressive individuals under the name of being upright and to garner the adulation of their court jesters would heat up the polity and seek to dwell on those deeds. Dr. Jonathan chose to overlook. History will be very kind to Presidents Johnson, Ford and Jonathan.
Dousing political high tension and ensuring the peaceful coexistence of all subjects regardless of political leanings has been employed by certain leaders as benchmark of their governance style while others choose antagonism and the take-no-prisoners-dogmatic approach. The peacemakers fling open wide an umbrella and persuade all to come under one roof. They have access to top secret information but refrain from pursuing certain course of actions because: All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. 1 Corinthians 10: 23.
The governor of AkwaI bom State, Udom Emmanuel, on taking the oath of office for his second term in office, opened his hands to all in the state, irrespective of their political persuasion and affiliation. This was coming after a generally heated political campaign and elections where the illegality and horrors of the extreme violence of the Nazi invasion of Poland was said will be recreated to oust him from power. Speaking on May 29, 2019, Governor Emmanuel let out the olive branch, “Decades ago, when our founding fathers dreamt of a state that was homogeneous in culture and contiguous in thoughts and language, the thread that linked this noble aspiration was the uplifting and inspiring belief that we are one people, united by the lone ingredient that has shaped all known societies: the need to live in a united, safe, secure and prosperous society where people are free to dream, dare and drive, where the circumstances of one’s birth or the axis of his or her geography will not limit the individual’s capacity to succeed. They projected this ideal and, today, we stand as worthy heirs and heiresses to their noble aspirations.
“Our founding fathers did not see their struggle through the prism of ethnicity neither did they believe that to succeed, you must pull down your brother or sister. Even though they may have had disagreements but those were purely philosophical and were not one rooted in anger, hatred or animus. They envisioned a state where people will rise to the faith of their greatness, where our sons and daughters will accomplish great things and become major players in the boardroom of the Nigerian enterprise.
“The time then has come for the healing of our land. As I said in my victory speech, I extend again my hands of fellowship and bond of friendship to my brothers and sisters on the opposite side of the political divide. I call on them to join me in building a state that we all, irrespective of political affiliations will be proud to call our home. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. Today, we remain the proud sons and daughters of Akwa Abasi Ibom State, and no fleeting passion of politics should break the cords of our brotherhood.”
As a leader, he was dousing the political temperature that was at boiling point. Imagine a young man who, at the zenith of his international investment banking career, was co-opted by his people to come home and lead them in this political dispensation. Coming from a background of international business activities where the excellence of ideas thrive, he spoke out from his heart to his people to discard primitively entrenched ethnicity and tribalism, along with a tendency of people to pit themselves as hostiles, violently criticizing every governmental plans, making ridicule of policies. Governor Emmanuel has tried, right from his first term in office, to rally all together, to speak with one voice and get along as a family. Almost all indigenes of the state are of the Christian Faith and Christians are taught how to settle their differences in consultation and in deference to their leaders and not to use daggers on another man’s throat or to de-market him.
Udom Emmanuel has become the personification of what a democratic leader of a people should be under our democratic rule. Not so much in playing to the gallery; he is civil, the quintessential fresh calm face invigorating government as a business and employing ideas to generate wealth for his people. A governor’s job description is not just to pay salaries of civil servants and pocket huge security votes; apart from providing necessary infrastructure, he needs be a democrat in heart and in deeds. Navigating the ship of his state through the economic recession that Nigeria fell into while still ensuring constant payment of salaries with other huge government developmental obligations, is no easy task. Akwa Ibom State is not among those where workers commit suicide because salaries are owed them for 20 months while the governor marries new wives and lives in luxury.
A governor needs be a gentleman, free from outright thuggery. He needs live by values. Udom Emmanuel has shown his civility by demonstrating respect for elders of the state, working to ensure the bond of peace reigns. At the State Banquet organised in Uyo to mark former governor, Obong Victor Attah’s 80th birthday, Governor Emmanuel renamed the Ibom International Airport the Victor Attah International Airport. “Because you have honoured me tonight, in future somebody will also honour you,” Obong Attah had told Governor Emmanuel that day. Governor Emmanuel had also named the state’s international standard stadium after his predecessor, Senator Godswill Akpabio, while the beautiful state secretariat has been named after former Governor Idongesit Nkanga.
Governor Emmanuel has used almost every forum to preach peaceful coexistence. On the occasion of his re-election for a second term in office, on March 10, 2019, he told the state, “As we get ready to start our second term, I urge you to continue to maintain the peace we have so far enjoyed, show love to your neighbours, and let our minds be conditioned by the immortal words of the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, who, in his famous second anniversary speech after a bitter civil war, had promised to run a government “with malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right.”
Speaking recently on the occasion of the 32nd anniversary of the state, on September 23, 2019, he said, “Let me again express my deepest appreciation to you my dear Akwa Ibom people for maintaining the peace during the last election cycle. We went to the polls as brothers and sisters who may have desired the same thing through different channels. I urge my brothers and sisters who offered themselves for service at different layers to our people during the just concluded elections to close ranks and join me to develop our state, chart a new course and ensure that the Akwa Ibom story continues to be told in glittering terms.”
During his inauguration in May 2015, he had told all Akwa Ibom people, at home and abroad, to come with hoes and shovels to bury the twin evils of ethnicity and tribalism, which can slow down the pace of development. Four years down the road, the pace of development is getting faster in Akwa Ibom state.
- Bassey, a public commentator writes from Uyo
ANJET seminar: Olota of Otta, Olowo, Akinboboye, others task FG on policy-driven tourism development
Stakeholders in the Nigerian tourism sector have urged government at all levels to focus more on tourism to boost development as alternative source to the country’s oil wealth which is fast dwindling.
The stakeholders made this call recently in Lagos during an annual tourism seminar organised by the Association of Nigerian Journalists and Writers of Tourism (ANJET).
The Olota of Otta, Oba Adeyemi Obalanlege, who took the lead on the seminar theme: “Tourism and Jobs: Better Future for All” urged the government and Nigerians to explore tourism potential for job creation and revenue generation.
Obalanlege said that Nigerians must stop depending on the government for job creation but get creative to explore the enormous tourism potential the country was endowed with.
“Festivals in each community could be developed by members of such communities to generate revenue while ensuring that the festivals are developed over the years to attract local and International tourists,” He said.
He identified the egungun festival as an example of tourism potential to leverage upon, likewise the monumental buildings across communities which could be converted to tourist sites.
Obalanlege said, “With the huge tourism potential we are blessed with in the country, we should not be complaining about lack of jobs. the country.
“Nigerians need not to depend on the government for job creation; the government is only meant to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.”
Also, managing Director, Sabre Network, West Africa, Dr Gbenga Olowo, urged government to take the tourism industry seriously by making sufficient budgetary allocation to the sector.
The Olowo, who was represented by Mr Mayowa Badewa, deputy zonal director, western Zone, Sabre Travel Network, said that the tourism industry must be prioritised as huge employment opportunities could be derived from it.
He, however, urged the Nigerian government to collaborate with the private sector, intensify efforts in fighting security, create policy for ease of doing business and provide good roads for tourism businesses to thrive.
“We are known to be the giant of Africa, and Nigeria is not recorded in the list of the top 10 visited countries in Africa because we are not doing things correctly.
“Government should try to allocate huge revenue to the tourism industry annually because the returns will be in multiples at the end of the day.
Speaking, the president of La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort in Lagos, Otunba Wanle Akinboboye, declared that the power of tourism sector in transforming a community, people and the country is such that it cannot be neglected, and doing so over the years has cost Nigeria and its people a lot.
He gave the example of how he, through La Campagne Tropicana, had Ikegun community where his resort is based to one of the richest and fast developing localities in Nigeria, adding that he had economically empowered the people and transformed their lives.
He recommended such a model to the Nigerian government and Nigerians, urging everyone to look inward and see where they have comparative advantage and latch on to it for the development of the people.
The event was attended by big names in the tourism industry.
The association commended one of the association patrons, Chief Samuel Alabi, and the management of the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, for their kind gesture of providing the seminar venue and refreshment for the guests.
The chief executive of Dubai Tourism has identified Nigeria as one of Dubai’s top 25 to 30 source markets in terms of visitation globally because of the population advantage.
The Senior Manager Campaign Management, Dubai Tourism, Salim Ali Mohamed Dahman, who spoke with journalists on the sideline of the Akwaaba African Travel Market held at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, said the market size has attracted Dubai tourism to come to Nigeria at least four or five times every year to do trainings, trade shows and also interact with talents. He said, “We work closely with Nollywood talents and musicians to try and also have an exchange of culture between the two countries
“Every year in the last three to four years with Akwaaba and in Nigeria in general, we have seen the growth; the destination has been growing steadily in double digits throughout and what we have decided as well is to sustain that growth.
Everybody knows that Emirates as one of the airlines operating direct flights to Dubai has increased its frequencies to Abuja and Lagos as well, so we want to fill the plane. We know that there is opportunity to fill the seats as well; and in order for us to do that, we need to have a big presence at Akwaaba and also talk to decision makers and tell them what else is new, what else is happening.
“We have seen the middle class in Nigeria growing; people are aspiring to go to Dubai whether for education, health or general tourism to have a good time. And in time of proximity and ease of visa processing, while you spend seven hours going to the US with all the visa issues you might have, that is non-existent with Dubai.
“Dubai is very straightforward. With your ticket, your travel agent will help you get the visa. You don’t need a thousand documents.
Salim Ali Mohamed Dahman who was visiting Nigeria for the first time spoke with great enthusiasm about how happy he was to have attended the travel show, sayingit gave him an unprecedented opportunity to meet African tourism players under one roof.
“This is my first visit to Nigeria, but for my team, no. My experience so far has been great, unlike the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, where you have the African pavilion, which is usually overshadowed by northern African countries; but here, you get the real feel of the industry and the professionals from the sub Saharan region, I have not experienced that before.
“The insight I got by talking with different countries and tourism agencies – you get to understand their frame of mind, what is important to them, how they sell destination and their optimism for the future as and fulfilling,” he said.
Giving a broad explanation on the recent focus on Dubai cultural promotion, Dahman said “the cultural advocacy has always been there, but what I think is that in the last few years, we have tried to show more of our culture.
“First of all, when you come to Dubai, you have a great experience at the beach or shopping. That is what people know Dubai for, so we said no, Dubai should not be only shopping and amazing infrastructure. We wanted more, to get to the soul and understand what Dubai is. That is why we tried to push culture to show that, yes, we do have a history and we want to celebrate our history.
“People go to dessert safari but the desert safari is a different type of experience. It’s the Bedouin experience versus eating, and then you have the dancers. That is not really what a desert safari should be; it should be culture. It should be massive and we are trying to push that so that people will understand.
“Same like us coming to Nigeria, when we see music, which is something like a cultural export from Nigeria to the world right now, we understand Nigeria. So, whatever bad perception the press had shown about Nigeria has now gone away because the music and the movie industry is now creating a new narrative.
“Now, we are all like, we will all come to Nigeria because Nigeria is a place to do business now. They are just like us; they are progressives. So it’s the same thing with our culture, we are showing culture. We are showing women; we are showing Dubai is safe, accessible and that is what we would continue to do.”
Speaking on next year’s Akwaaba African Travel Market, Dahman was confident of a strong presence in Nigeria in September next year because of the preparation for Dubai expo in October 2020.
“In October 2020, we will be going live. So, when we come here in September next year, we will be showing you what is happening live. We will show you the real expo site and say this is ready and ongoing now and not an animation,” he added.
THE employer always feels that his profit margin would be threatened if the worker is adequately compensated. To avoid such a situation which he considers ugly to him, he cuts down on the factors that ensure the workers access to decent pay, decent work environment, dignity of work, some rights and occupational freedom. He also knows that if pays the worker adequately, the worker might gain some financial freedom and advantage and could establish a similar business which could threaten the employers enterprise. This could be easily captured in the present Nigerian Government and Labour situation where the Government is absolutely unwilling to implement the N30, 000 minimum wage to the Nigerian workers. This is unimaginable in a country such Nigeria which is one of the most natural and human resources endowed nation on earth.
It is even more terrifying to know that Nigerian workers are about the least paid in the world despite the massive and imposing but misused wealth of the country. On the other hand, the Nigerian political office holders are the highest paid in the world. What a highly negative consequential paradox. The least paid American worker earns USD 7.5 an hour and he much likely to work for 10 hours which translates into USD 75 times N361 = N27,075. The implication is that the two days salary of the least paid American worker can conveniently pay the three months salary of the least paid Nigerian worker. Whereas going by the purchasing power parity (PPP) of the US dollar, what one dollar can buy in America one dollar cannot buy it in Nigeria. So the Nigerian workers suffer multiple economic indignities. Contrarily, and sadly, the Nigerian senator goes home with a monthly emolument of about N32 million for doing nothing for his nation but for his personal pocket while his counterpart in the USA earns about N2.3 million monthly for doing something good for his nation. Implicatively, the one month salary of a Nigerian senator can pay about 14 American senators in month.
Also, the monthly salary of the Nigerian senator can pay the monthly salary of 1,777 Nigerian workers at the current N18, 000 minimum wage while at the proposed N30, 000 minimum wage one Nigerian senators monthly emolument can pay the monthly salary of 1,066. If the Nigerian senator is to earn about N2.3 like his American counterpart, N29, 700, 000 would be saved a month. This amount times 109 senators in the country the amount would be N3, 237, 300, 000 which can pay the monthly salary of 179, 850 workers at the current N18, 000 minimum wage. Then add the excesses of the House of Representatives and the States Houses of Assembly, many Nigerian would be taken out of the saturated and excruciating labour market Even the manageably low income paid the Nigerian worker which could make him to win the Gold Medal as the least paid worker in the world is still directly and indirectly stolen from him through agents of societal retrogression, including but not limited to high taxes, personal electricity and water generation, bad roads, personal paid security mechanism and apparatus, among many agents of societal retrogression.
In the final analysis, the Nigerian worker ends up working in an environment that is not very decent, low pay, with his dignity and rights virtually taken away from him. In the end, the worker is made to live in decent and manageable poverty that if care is not taken his offspring would inherit the circle of decent poverty while those in power and who have accumulated primitive wealth at the expenses of the workers would have their children inherit the primitively accumulated wealth through kleptomaniac pattern at the painful detriment of the cheated and downtrodden workers. All the negative and oppressive actions against the Nigerian worker must stop. The Federal Government must imitate what is obtainable in the global labour arena and implement the meager and manageable minimum wage of N30, 000 in pro rata format for the Nigerian workers across board. Thank you for listening. God bless you in Jesus Name.
- Being excerpts from a lecture delivered Dr. Ufuophu-Biri, Head, Mass Communications Department, Delta State University, Abraka, on October 7 at the Labour House, Asaba, during the World Celebration for Decent Work.
ON Wednesday, in a move touted as being geared towards achieving fiscal prudence, President Muhammadu Buhari reduced the number and duration of foreign trips for ministers and other categories of government officials. In a statement signed by the Director of Information in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Willie Bassey, the president also removed travel allowances known as estacode, while cutting down the number of persons permitted to travel with ministers and other government officials for official trip. Buhari however approved the use of business class for ministers and economy class for lower categories of government officials, indicating that approval for such trips must be sought through the office of the SGF or Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
The statement was quite detailed: “In a bid to curb leakages and ensure efficiency in the management of resources of government, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved for immediate implementation, additional cost-saving measures aimed at instilling financial discipline and prudence, particularly in the area of official travels. Henceforth, all Ministries, Departments and Agencies are required to submit their yearly travel plans for statutory meetings and engagements to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and/or the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation for express clearance within the first quarter of the fiscal year, before implementation. Also, when a minister is at the head of an official delegation, the size of such delegation shall not exceed four, including the relevant director, schedule officer and one aide of the minister. Every other delegation below ministerial level shall be restricted to a maximum of three.”
The president permitted ministers, permanent secretaries, special advisers, senior special assistants to the president, chairmen of extra-ministerial departments and chief executive officers of parastatal agencies to continue flying business class, while other categories of public officers are to travel on economy class. Also, travel days will no longer attract payment of estacode allowances as duration of official trips shall be limited to only the number of days of the event as contained in the supporting documents to qualify for public funding. The statement added that only trips that would benefit the country must be embarked upon by the affected officials, noting also that ministers and other categories of government officials must not travel more than twice within a quarter of a year except with the president’s permission.
To the extent that the president’s latest directive is aimed at reducing the overall cost of governance, it must be seen as a commendable step. Time and again, we have pointed out the contradiction in increasing recurrent costs while carrying out little or no capital expenditure. For the most part, the Buhari administration has, while mouthing the need for paradigm shift, actually toed the same discredited and prodigal path of its predecessors with its poor and often unconscionable handling of public funds. Nevertheless, if only in the acknowledgment of the fact that current practices in the Presidency as well as the various ministries, departments and agencies cannot engender fiscal prudence and thus the overall vision of a leaner and less costly governance, the latest directive has to be seen in positive light.
In reality, though, cutting costs should go beyond streamlining foreign trips. For instance, the Presidential Air Fleet (PAF) which the president promised to reduce prior to his ascension to power is still criminally large; it has nine aircraft. If the president is really desirous of cutting the cost of governance, there is no better place to begin than the PAF. Besides, it is incongruous that the president wanted to cut costs, yet he created four new ministries. Worse still, the ministries were asked to source for fresh staff while they could have been staffed by transferring workers from the already overpopulated extant ministries. It is also strange that a government intent on reducing the cost of governance has only just announced the appointment of six new special advisers for the office of the First Lady, an office which, let us recall, the president promised to abrogate.
Besides, a substantial part of the budget of ministries, departments and agencies is devoted to meaningless local and foreign training programmes. These training programmes, often no more than a grand scheme to siphon public funds, must be reduced to the barest minimum.The foregoing is of course not to suggest that cutting costs should be the exclusive preserve of the executive. Quite the contrary. On current evidence, even the legislature and the judiciary need to cut costs. For a long time, Nigerians have had cause to complain about the remuneration package of lawmakers, and the National Assembly’s case is not helped by the retort that it has over 4,000 civil servants on its payroll. Truth be told, there is no valid reason why the National Assembly with 109 senators and 360 members of the House of Representatives should have such a large number of staff on its payroll.
We welcome President Buhari’s move to cut governance costs. But we urge him and his team to look inwards and eliminate all forms of leakages in the system that enable the wastage of public funds. They must do more to earn public trust and confidence. Nigerians certainly have a right to expect a government dedicated to their welfare, not a superstructure erected on, and profiting from, their agony and pain.