State Of The Economy: Buhari Has Failed In All Aspect, By Kabir Usman

Since assuming the reins of power, President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressive Congress have not only failed to meet their various campaign promises, but are also presiding over a Nigeria that many have come to see as least economically viable since 1999. Looking at poverty, unemployment, inequality, insecurity, inflation, decay in infrastructures, suffocating symptoms of under development, judicial rascality, electoral inadequacies, market failure, etc it appears Nigerians are in for a long haul with president Buhari and his APC led administration.

The inflation rate rose from 8% in May 2015 to 16.50% in June 2016, as reflected in the high cost of goods and services. Unemployment rate that has risen to a whopping 12.8%.

Nigeria only few days ago lost her place as the biggest economy in Africa to South Africa due to poor leadership on the part of Mr President and his team. Even the early euphoria that greeted Buhari’s coming has turned sour in the mouth of all Nigerians.

Insecurity situation has gone from bad to worse, with Boko Haram transmuting to herdsmen terrorizing peaceful Nigerians in Benue, Kogi, Kaduna, and some other states in the south.

Indeed, this is the most trying period for our country and it’s citizens. The President has hugely disappointed everyone, the only thing left for him is to desist from continuing blame of the past administration, identify technocrats that can help him salvage a sagging economy, and save the country from further shame.

My heartfelt sympathy is with Nigerians that are further put into misery by this administration. Everybody is aware of the reality that since the inception of the APC Government every elections has ended inconclusive. From Kogi state Assembly and Senate elections to Bayelsa state gubernatorial election which was like war, so many innocent lives were lost , Abuja Area Council elections also exposed the unpreparedness and unreadiness of the APC and Buhari administration. Now we are hearing of the APC supporters been recruited as Ad-hoc staff ahead of the Edo Gubernatorial election.

War against corruption is selective. We have a situation where petitions against some people within Buhari administration have not been investigated by the EFCC. War against corruption is very good one and a welcome development in Nigeria but it must be holistic and all inclusive and it must be within the ambit of our laws and fundamental human rights.The situation where people are condemned even before trials by the court of law is questionable and amount to arbitrariness and impunity.

PDP has learned from its shortcomings and Nigerians from all walks of life can attest to the fact that the decision to elect APC was a costly mistake.

There is a limit to what propaganda, mischief and deceit can accomplish, therefore the President and his team must brace up for leadership challenges instead of their usual name calling and blame game.

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#FreeAbuSidiq: Thank You Message By Abubakar Sidiq Usman

I would like to thank my family, my friends, my legal team, the members of the All Progressives Congress Youth Forum (APYF), political parties, members of the Nigerian online community irrespective of their affiliations, and hundreds of thousands of Nigerians who in one way or another spoke out against my unconstitutional detention by the EFCC.

Your tweets, posts, and demands for the constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of speech led to my release and the victory that we have achieved today.

This experience has stirred up broader conversations on the roles of our statutory established institutions, the parameters of our laws, and our civil liberties as citizens of our great Federal Republic.

Moving forward, I will be pursuing all legal and constitutionally established avenues to ensure that this does not repeat itself.

This is a government that I fought for. But occurrences like these are not the experiences that myself and millions of Nigerians have fought for.

I hope that we can use this to rectify the wrongs in our system towards the attainment of a more sustainable democracy.

The reason(s) for my arrest will be made know to you all.

Thank you all for the love and support you showed me

Abubakar Sidiq “Abusidiq” Usman

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The Sudden Exit Of Hadiza Bala Usman From Sir Kashim Ibrahim Govt House Kaduna: Who Fills The Vacuum?

Haj. Hadiza Dr. Yusuf Bala Usman is undoubtedly of an intimidating family lineage and sparkling prolific curriculum vitae (CV).

She is the daughter of late Dr. Yusuf Bala Usman a re-known astute scholar, a human rights activist of reputes and a full blood royal Prince, a direct grandchild of the famous Late Muhammad Dikko the Emir of Katsina in the early 20th century.

Haj. Hadiza bags her 1st and doctorate degrees from the premier Nigerian University of Ahmadu Bello, Zaria. She rose to national lime-light through various working activities and activism. She immensely contributed in the formation of the then solid and verile opposition party APC that won the 2015 general elections.

Her appointment as the Chief of Staff to His Excellency Mal. Nasiru Ahmad El-rufai of Kaduna state was to say the least but was however proved to be the stabilizing force given the entire administration cohesion and progress. As expected of the office, she combined political skills, technocratic mastery and administrative grandizment to propel the government of Mal. Nasiru Ahmad el-rufai higher most.

Her recent appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari as the new MD Nigerian Ports Authority doesn’t take analysts aback considering her immense successes and contribution on the nation building.

However it was a thunder bolt or earthquake to the people of Kaduna state who woke-up with shocks of the news that strip-naked the entire government of Kaduna state.

The night-mare therefore remains the tongue waggling of who bears the shoes of this giant wolf that moves to the national stage.

Pundits are of the opinion that some of the possible replacements to the office of the chief of staff government house Kaduna could be:

 

  1. Alh Uba Sani (Political Adviser)

Uba
He is the present political adviser to His Excellency. He had a track record of loyalty and commitment. His only short comings are the inability to help the governor to manage the political confusion in the state chapter of the ruling party APC.

The government is not able to tackle widespread accusations on the lack of an all-inclusive administration with most of those who politically contributed in the success of APC in the state very well sidelined.

He may only be qualified on the aspect of his closeness to His Excellency, loyalty and administrative management skills.

  1. Hon. Garba Abbas (IMC Chairman Giwa)

BashirHe is the present IMC Chairman of Giwa local government as well the state ALGON Chairman, a charismatic politician who was the pioneer secretary of the El-rufai campaign organization before the primary elections.

He was later to be the assistant secretary to the present commissioner for local governments & chieftaincy affairs Hon. Bashir Sa’eed during the stirring committee of the El-rufai campaign organization.

He well served in many capacities among which, the transition committee for the handing over of government to His Excellency Malam Nasiru El-rufai in 2015.

His biggest challenge may be his inability to manage his relationship with other elected officers from his local government area, but he may be considered for his political sagacity to serve as a bridge and a unifying factor.

  1. Hon. Moh’d Sani Dattijo

(Hon. Commissioner Economic Planning)

DaltijoA very young and exposed technocrat with vast knowledge, a level headed person with a brighter future in the state. He is the present commissioner of economic planning. He served in different capacities amongst which the United Nations (UN) headquarters in Washington DC. He is a prolific young politician.

His challenges could be his political limitations but he is however a sound administrator.

  1. Bashir Sa’eed (Hon. Commissioner Local Governments & Chieftaincy Affairs)

SkimA close ally of His Excellency with whom the political moves were initiated. He was involved in all of the skimisms and was later the general secretary pioneer state APC leadership doubling with that of the stirring committee of His Excellency’s campaign organization after securing the Party’s candidature for the governorship in the State.

Hon. Bashir Sa’eed was appointed Commissioner for local governments & chieftaincy affairs on the inauguration of the administration. However, His Excellency promise for the autonomy of local government councils is yet to be fully implemented. To worsen situations, the commissioner is more of the log in the wheels of the local government councils derive to deliver dividends of democracy to their teeming masses.

He is a more controversial senior member of the present administration and his appointment as chief of staff to His Excellency would add more to the desired need for an urgent rescue mission to project the government’s dwindling political image.

  1. Mr Jimmy Lawal (Senior Special Assistant Counseling)

JimmyA very close associate of His Excellency, he was part of the successes of Mal. Nasiru El-rufai as Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja. He made tremendous contributions in His Excellency’s journey to ascend to the present position.

Mr. Jimmy Lawal is undoubtedly a member of the inner-house that projects policy formulation and implementation for the administration in the state. He presently act in capacity of the chief of staff but may not be able to provide one of the key demands of the chief of staff office which is to stabilize various sectors and institutions due to his lack of touch with mainstream political structure in the state.

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Hadiza Bala Usman And The Doubting Thomases: A Rejoinder to Muhammed Auta

The last few days have been exciting in Nigeria’s social sphare, courtesy of president Buhari’s appointment of Hajiya Hadiza Bala Usman as the new head of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). Her appointment did not come as a surprise to many, particularly those who are following events with keen interest in Kaduna State. It is not out of place to assert that Hadiza’s pedigree, capacity, and experience have been phenomenal to the successes recorded in Kaduna State in the last one year under Mallam Nasir Elrufa’i.

It is therefore laughable to see her critics advance arguments that are not only intellectually impotent, but also logically imbecile in order to seek attention and score cheap political points. More shallow are the reasons given by an “author” Muhammed Auta in his article titled: Hadiza Bala Usman: A Square Peg in A Round Hole, Period! Published  on the 14th of July 2016.

From his arguments, it is apparent Muhammed Auta is a Doubting Thomas—One who habitually or instinctively doubts accepted beliefs. Doubting Thomases are nonbelievers, skeptics, unbelievers, pessimists and doomsday prophets. The author admitted he “has never met Hadiza in person, but has read about her since her days at the BPE as an aide to el-rufai when he held sway as the DG….” Hadiza must have made giant strides as an aide to be noticed and even read about by Muhammad in far away Jalingo.

It is unfortunate that the only experience the author saw after taking a “cursory look” at her CV was when she worked as a research intern at the Centre for Democratic Research and Training (CEDDERT) in the early stages of her career  “except as an aide to Mallam Elrufai”. This narrative is myopic and misleading. Indeed Mallam Nasir has been phenomenal in Hadiza’s career, and that has prepared her to take up greater challenges in the service of the people in which she has so far demonstrated her altruism and capacity.

As difficult as it is to convince Doubting Thomases, here is

Hadiza’s CV in a cursory look…Bachelors Degree in Business Administration (ABU), Masters in Development Studies (not a Postgraduate Diploma as the author suggested). It may also interest Muhammad Auta that while at BPE, Hadiza played a key role in the privatization policy of the Federal Government that saw the concession of many government assets including our seaports. She was the Special Assistant to (arguably) the best FCT minister on Project Implementation in the FCTA. She was also Director of Strategy and Planning at the Good Governance Group (3G) until her appointment as Chief of Staff to the Kaduna State Governor.

Muhammad Auta’s ignorance of public service rules and procedures is glaring, he is not familiar with the differences between mainstream civil service and other government agencies. What is good for the goose cannot be good for the gander in this case. He suggested and I quote…“I thought the seat should be advertised, certain number of candidates should be pre-qualified, interview and or examination be conducted preferably by a foreign consultant, and the candidate with the highest score appointed”.

Oga Doubting Thomas! This is not a Federal Tender’s Board and neither is it a contract award exercise. It is a presidential prerogative to appoint whomever the president wishes to, be it on a personal recommendation or experience, and Hadiza is so qualified on both fronts.

I borrow your words, “Lets call a spade a spade”! Your obsession with the name Elrufai which you have mentioned many times in your write up, seems to suggest that the piece is more about Mallam Elrufa’i than Hajiya Hadiza. Goodwill and prayers are what Hadiza Bala Usman needs from all of us­­­­­-the doubting thomases, the wailing wailers, the hailing hailers, and the fencing fencers, to deliver her mandate and revamp the Nigerian Ports Authority.

 

Habib Gajam can be reached via habibgajam08@yahoo.com or Twitter handle: @habibgajam

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The Hadiza Bala Usman They Don’t Know By Uba Sani

Let me confess that at the Government House, Kaduna, we all received the news of the appointment of Hadiza Bala-Usman as the new Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), with mixed feelings. It is an appointment roundly deserved. But the Kaduna State Government House without the gallant Hadiza seem unthinkable, at least for now as she is one of our finest. Following her appointment, slightly over a year ago, by Governor Nasir El Rufa’i as his Chief of Staff, Hadiza speedily became the bulwark and the engine room of sorts of the ever-busy Kaduna State Government House.

But moments after digesting the news of her appointment, however, it dawned on me once again, that our great nation is truly at the cusps of change – positive change, that is. In placing the young but extremely energetic and innovative Hadiza Bala Usman at the helm of the Nigerian Ports Authority, President Muhammadu Buhari abundantly underscored the direction of the new Nigeria: a nation where mediocrity will no longer find space; a nation where the energy of young, educated, talented, patriotic and incorruptible citizens will be harnessed to re-work a country that totally ran down by successive uncaring and insensitive governments.

I will not dignify the few critics of the appointment of Hadiza as the Chief Executive Officer of the NPA with a reply. It is not necessary. The Hadiza Bala Usman that I have known and worked closely with for almost two decades has shown serially that she is more than able to defend herself and even other unduly oppressed persons at all times. But I concede that it may well be true that some persons do not actually know Hadiza Bala Usman beyond her role as the co-convener of the Bring-Back-Our-Girls (BBOG) Campaigned that she and few other persons commenced in 2014 after nearly 300 girls were abducted from their secondary school in Chibok, Borno state.

The BBOG Campaign was to force the embarrassingly lukewarm Nigerian government, then under Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to act expeditiously to rescue all the girls alive. The very tenacious Hadiza Bala Usman and other members of the BBOG, fearlessly and relentlessly called out the government to act, and their campaign helped to draw global attention to the plight of the hapless Chibok schoolgirls. Till date, the about 300 girls have not been rescued, but the story might have been different if the Jonathan administration had acted fast and decisively.

Long before the BringBackOurGirls campaign commenced in 2014, Hadiza Bala Usman, at a relatively young age had begun leaving indelible marks in the sands of time. Groomed very early in life to speak to power and to take responsibilities for her actions by her equally indefatigable father, the famous Historian, Dr. Yusuf Bala Usman, Hadiza has never missed an opportunity to make a mark. I had my first close interaction with Hadiza in 2001 at the Abuja Head Office of the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) while she worked as an aide to my very close friend and associate, Mallam Nasir El Rufai, the current Governor of Kaduna State. At the BPE, Hadiza, though fresh from the University was generally viewed as way older than her age. She was bold and courageous in her handling of projects at a time the BPE was at the peak of the disposal of federal government’s interests in hundreds of firms and enterprises. Under the legendarily profound Mallam Nasir el Rufai, Hadiza Bala Usman and several other young Nigerians cut their teeth in the management of very complex projects. She and a number of her colleagues while at BPE benefitted from several management courses both within the country and abroad.

It did not come to several of us as a surprise when Mallam Nasir el Rufai absorbed several of these well-groomed aides to the Federal Capital Territory Administration structure when he became the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory in 2003. It is an open secret that Mallam Nasir el Rufai inherited an FCT Administration that was steeped in uncommon corruption and land racketeering that had culminated in the total distortion of the Abuja master plan. Defying huge odds, El Rufai and his team of young and well-groomed aides commenced the arduous task of restoring the dignity, beauty and original master plan of Nigeria’s Federal Capital. They generally succeeded.

At the FCT, Hadiza was feared.  Being the special assistant to the no-nonsense Mallam Nasir El Rufai on project implementation was never going to be a tea party, but Hadiza was clearly tailor-made for the job. She never bent the rules for even the closet friends and political associates of Mallam El Rufa’i. I had the privilege of being a fringe Political Adviser to Mallam El Rufai while he was FCT Minister and I was always of the impression that Hadiza was rather too strict and I confess that I had on more than one occasion advised Mallam El Rufai to prevail on her to be a bit ‘politically correct’ without breaking the rules. Mallam El Rufai typically would not have that and would always insist that anyone who was not prepared to meet the strict project implementation guidelines of the FCT administration should not seek to have anything to do with administration. In fact, on several occasions, I heard Mallam Nasir el Rufai telling Hadiza: “don’t bend the rules even for me.” Hadiza Bala Usman is a good student. She has, over the years been well tutored by some of the nation’s best brains particularly her dear father, the highly revered Dr. Yusuf Bala Usman and the phenomenal Mallam Nasir el Rufai.

It is absolutely important that I mention here that Hadiza Bala Usman brought her training, discipline, dexterity, tenacity and sheer ruggedness to bear at the Campaign Office of President Muhammadu Buhari, who was then the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC). She was the Administrative Secretary of the Presidential Campaign Organization and worked very closely with the Chairman of the Campaign Organisation, The then Governor of Rivers State, the Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, who is the current Minister of Transportation. Hadiza’s administrative acumen helped the campaign office to achieve a seamless liaison with all other campaign and electioneering organs of the APC during the hard-fought 2015 Presidential election. Party leaders have not stopped lauding the efforts of the APC Presidential Campaign Office.

Since the appointment of Hadiza as the Managing Director of the NPA, I have had series of discussions with Mallam Nasir El Rufai on this matter. Of course, the Kaduna State Governor, like a good father or teacher is extremely proud of Hadiza Bala Usman, and he is also proud of the leadership recruitment prowess of His Excellency,  President Muhammadu Buhari. It is the view of Mallam Nasir El Rufai that Hadiza’s appointment would help unlock the huge potentials in the nation’s maritime sector at a time the diversification of our economy has become compellingly inevitable. But from our discussions, I gleaned very unmistakably that Mallam Nasir el Rufai may find it extremely difficult finding a suitable replacement for Hadiza Bala Usman at the Kaduna State Government House.

Uba Sani is the Special Adviser, Political Matters to Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State  

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Hadiza Bala Usman: A Square Peg In A Round Hole, Period! By Muhammed Auta

When Thisday Newspaper reported that it was reliably informed that President Muhammadu Buhari was set to appoint Hadiza Bala Usman as the new MD of The Nigeria Port Authority (NPA), I dismissed it as one of those allegations aimed at denting the already dented image of the President by the “South Newspapers”. However, on deeper reflection based on the well known relationship between the Transport Minister who is responsible for the supervision of the NPA and on whose recommendation we were told Mr President acted, and Hadiza’s boss, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, I decided to keep my fingers crossed to see how things unfold.

Not long thereafter, we saw a Press Release by the Ministry informing us of Hadiza’s appointment which effectively confirmed what Thisday Newspaper alleged. I have never met Hadiza in person, but I have read about her since her days at the BPE as an aide to el-Rufai when he held sway as the DG of the government privatisation Agency, the Bureau of Public Enterprise.

A cursory look at Hadiza’s CV shows that, she is 40 years old which is quite interesting and encouraging, with a Postgraduate Diploma. But all her life, she has never worked a side the one year she spent in her father’s think-tank, Center for Democratic Development Research and Training (CEDDERT) in Zaria except as an aide to Mallam el-Rufai. From his days at the BPE, to FCTA, and to the Good Governence Group (3G) which he co-founded when he was being chased by Yar’adua government and to the Kaduna State Government House where she was serving as his Chief of Staff before her appointment. If we are to be honest with ourselves, a person with that credential is not qualified to handle a delicate task of managing our port. Being a personal aide is entirely different from heading a every strategic agency like the NPA.

Some e-rats may try to justify this nonsense by citing the case of Osita Chidoka who was appointed Corps Marshall of the Federal Road Safety Corps without any experience aside being a Special Assistant to a Minister and in the Presidency and other similar irrational appointments by the past government. My answer to them is simple: We are tired of the status-quo, that was why we demanded for change, and through shared effort, and the will of God we got it.

President Buhari should be careful with the way he handle some of these issues. He should not approve all the junks being wrapped by his ministers as recommendation with scrutiny. Because, Hadiza’s appointment clearly indicated that Mr President’s gospel of reform in the Transport sector is not for real.

I thought the seat should be advertised, Certain number of candidates should be pre-qualified, interview and or examination conducted preferably by a foreign consultant, and the candidate with the highest score appointed. With that, we are sure of the quality of the person so appointed. Lets call a spade by its name: el-Rufai ask his friend, the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi to recommend Hadiza for the post and cornered the President to approve the recommendation of the Transport Minister.

However, what we have now is a clear case of Square Peg in a Round hole which clearly indicated a clear evidence of Nepotism!

Muhammad Auta, Jalingo

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Its Official: Buhari Appoints Hadiza Bala Usman, Others Into NPA

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Hadiza Bala Usman as the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

This was made know in a series of tweets by the official twitter account of the President Villa, @ASorock.

The appointment according to the twitter account takes effect from yesterday, 11th May, 2016.

The appointment confirms earlier report that the president is considering appointing her into the position following recommendations from the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi.

The president also appointed Mohammed Bello-Koko as the Executive Director (Finance) of the port agency, while Prof. Idris Abubakar Executive Director (Engineering).

Also appointed Dr. Sekonte Davies who will serve as Executive Director (Marine Operations)

Ms. Bala Usman, who until her appointment was the chief of staff to the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, and a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was born in Zaria, Kaduna State, on January 2, 1976.

She grew up close to the ABU campus where her father worked and obtained her Bachelor’s degree in 2000 from the same university and her Master’s degree from the University of Leeds in 2009.

She worked for a non-governmental organisation, the Centre for Democratic Development and Research Training (CEDDERT) in Zaria, as a research assistant for a year starting in 1999.

She also worked for the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) when el-Rufai was the director-general of the privatisation agency and moved with him to work as his Special Assistant on Project Implementation.

In 2011, she worked as Director of Strategy for the Good Governance Group (3G). In 2015, she was appointed Chief of Staff to the Kaduna State governor.

She shot to national prominence in 2014 when Boko Haram insurgents kidnapped 276 girls from their secondary school in Chibok, Borno State.

Following in her father’s footsteps, Ms. Bala Usman, in conjunction with the former Minister of Education, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, co-founded the #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG), which brought global attention to the plight of the kidnapped schoolgirls.

She is married to Dr. Tanimu Yakubu, former Chief Economic Adviser to the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, and they have two sons.

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Buhari Considers Hadiza Bala Usman As NPA MD

In a bid to inject a fresh pair of hands to run the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, has submitted Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman’s name to President Muhammadu Buhari to take over as the new managing director of NPA.

Should Buhari approve the recommendation, Ms. Bala Usman, 40, will become the first female chief executive of a top tier federal government agency and of the NPA.

She shall take over from Alhaji Habib Abdullahi, who was reinstated by Buhari in August 2015 as the managing director of NPA, after he had been shown the exit by former President Goodluck Jonathan in April 2015.

Sources in the presidency, who confirmed that Ms. Bala Usman’s name had been sent to the president, said Amaechi had decided to make the changes in order to overhaul the NPA.

Amaechi, it was gathered, is not particularly impressed with the way the NPA was being run and has decided to effect a change of the executive team as soon as possible.

A presidency source said that the minute Ms. Bala Usman’s name was submitted to the president, Buhari was happy to consider the recommendation, given the past relationship he had with her father, the late Prof. Yusufu Bala Usman, who was a renowned Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) academic, historian and activist before his death some years ago.

Amaechi was also believed to have recommended Ms. Bala Usman, on the grounds that two chief executives of the foremost parastatals under his ministry – Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) – are from the south, and he would rather have an equitable distribution of appointments into the agencies under his ministry.

Ms. Bala Usman, who is currently the chief of staff to the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, and a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was born in Zaria, Kaduna State, on January 2, 1976.

She grew up close to the ABU campus where her father worked and obtained her Bachelor’s degree in 2000 from the same university and her Master’s degree from the University of Leeds in 2009.

She worked for a non-governmental organisation, the Centre for Democratic Development and Research Training (CEDDERT) in Zaria, as a research assistant for a year starting in 1999.

She also worked for the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) when el-Rufai was the director-general of the privatisation agency and moved with him to work as his Special Assistant on Project Implementation.

In 2011, she worked as Director of Strategy for the Good Governance Group (3G). In 2015, she was appointed Chief of Staff to the Kaduna State governor.

She shot to national prominence in 2014 when Boko Haram insurgents kidnapped 276 girls from their secondary school in Chibok, Borno State.

Following in her father’s footsteps, Ms. Bala Usman, in conjunction with the former Minister of Education, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, co-founded the #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG), which brought global attention to the plight of the kidnapped schoolgirls.

She is married to Dr. Tanimu Yakubu, former Chief Economic Adviser to the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, and they have two sons.

Credit: Thisday

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Corruption And Leadership: A Nigerian Perspective By Aminu Usman

 

Safe claims could be made that Africa is home to the poorest people in the world even though no other continent can rival it in terms of abundant natural resources. It is more than ever sad that almost the entire population of Africa has continued to suffer in all spheres of life (social, economic, and political), mainly as a result of leadership crises and corrupt practices which have engulfed the so-called “Black Continent” of the world. The whole system of Africa has been deeply destroyed, accounting for the continent being regarded as the most corrupt in the world. Corruption is without doubt a global problem, consistently being encountered by both the developed and developing nations of the world. It has become so much widespread that it does not take place only in top governmental offices, but as well in every bit of contractual agreements involving at least two persons.

Day in and day out, the world, Africa in particular and most especially Nigeria my nation continues to face the negative connotations and consequences which are associated with corruption. The menace has permeated all segments of the Nigerian society, and continues to pose serious threats to the survival of the self acclaimed “Giant of Africa.” Whether it stems out of bad leadership, or bad leadership stems out of it, several arguments could be made to support either claim. The unprecedented widespread of corruption coupled with the leadership crisis Nigeria has become a prey to, has triggered me to write about this topic-“Corruption and Leadership”, which I consider as an applied ethical issue.

Although it is a fact of life that Nigeria is both a colonized and democratic nation, it is so much painful that the acts “colonialism” and “democracy” have produced for Nigeria insincere, money-minded, selfish, and unimaginably corrupt leaders whose focuses are and have been on enriching their pockets and their families. The gross and criminal mismanagement of resources by these immoral and unethical leaders has impacted Nigeria’s political stability, economic development, and the socio-economic well being of majority of its citizens. In fact, it is arguable that in Nigeria, every political office occupied by an individual either through election or appointment is a product of corruption which has disguised itself in various forms and shapes such as election-rigging, tribalism, nepotism, and age discrimination amongst many others. No sane individual would deny that corruption has reached an alarming proportion in Nigeria, although former president Ebele Jonathan in a national television show I watched did have doubts on whether corruption even exists in the West African country.

Leadership in its natural form implies goodness, and commands nothing but positivity. Corruption on the other hand represents every bad adjective and its axis of location is none other than the negative axis. However, due to a desire to abstain good and positive things from flourishing in the land, the concept of leadership in Nigeria has been modeled completely to befit all the practices which corruption commands. It could rightly be argued that from the colonial period during which Nigeria’s stream of resources were internationally abused, to the early independence and successive military regimes during which misuse and diversion of public funds was common, up to the civilian generation of political leaders in which exploitation of public funds for personal benefits has continued to become very widespread; Nigeria as a state or may be a country (although definitely not a nation) has failed in its system of leadership. For this, it has become difficult for the leadership class of the country to impact its citizens positively. Bad has therefore outweighed good in a century of the state’s existence.

Corruption in Nigeria predates back to the colonial period under the British rule. It is well known that Britain never settled in a country which lacked natural resources. It is in the nature of the white people even as of today to only go to places where they expect to benefit materially. These people exploited immeasurably the abundant resources which Nigeria had-from agricultural harvests to mineral resources and human workforce amongst others. They conspired with the initially just and faithful traditional leaders in Nigeria. These leaders who had total control over their people allowed the colonial masters to take full advantage of all the resources in these leaders’ communities in return for some amounts of money, luxurious and ostentatious goods. The people of those communities were therefore deprived of their communal rights as a result of the growing cases of corruption in their leadership. In such cases, the white people or colonial masters continuously enticed these leaders, thereby making corruption seemed okay or acceptable to the leaders.

This evil act was not limited to only the traditional leaders, because the then political figures or social reformers among the Nigerian society also covered up all the malicious misuse and misappropriation of Nigeria’s resources by the colonialists, in return for favors and power. As a person does an act every day, he becomes used to it. Additionally, it is said practice brings about perfection in whatever one does. From that act which one attains perfection, that person develops a habit. And because men are creatures of their habit, corruption remained in the blood stream of those Nigerian personalities or leaders of the colonial era, even after colonialism had ended and the colonial masters had left. Because they had enjoyed diverting public funds into their personal wealth while acting as inferiors; the first Nigerian leaders of early independence then had even more desire to embezzle the nation’s wealth and treasury after they had occupied the top governmental seats.

No one will deny the fact that the masses in Nigeria are currently facing the harsh consequences of corruption. The level of poverty continues to rise at alarming rates because the corrupt rich tend to become richer, while the poor tend to become poorer. There is as well socio-economic failure in the state. The standard of living is getting lower day after day. Businesses are on a downfall. Infrastructural development is at a minimal. It is so sad that as a result of corruption and leadership crisis, Nigerians cannot boast of good road networks, pipe-borne water supplies, stable electricity and power, good public schools, good hospitals and medical facilities, suitable marketing environments, and a host of so many amenities and benefits of life a richly endowed nation like this should harbor. Most of the security unrests across the country could as well be linked to the failure of the state to control the sporadic cases of corruption.

Reducing or even totally eradicating from Nigeria acts of corruption, more especially in the public service is not something which should be considered impossible to achieve. Stiffer penalties must be imposed on all those found guilty of embezzling public funds. These involve amongst others long term jail sentences. In addition, all public money or properties which the actors have diverted must be forcefully taken away from them and be reserved for governmental expenditures. Furthermore, public awareness and campaigns must be staged to warn people about the dangerous consequences of corruption, and the stiff penalties committers are likely to face. An introduction into the Nigerian educational curriculum, of a subject dealing with corruption would also help in combating any love of it that could be rooted in the hearts of individuals from their very tender ages.

Much more than what has been seen so far needs to be done by the leadership of the country if really an end to corruption is needed to be seen. Given the warm welcome corruption continues receiving in the populace and unless divine intervention is sought after, I doubt if we shall soon see a Nigeria free of corrupt leaders. Everyone must therefore prepare to live for quite a while in a community full of corrupt elements and processes. Hopes would be renewed with time though as the government takes the fight to the chains of corrupt public office holders. Until then, everyone must strive towards fighting the corruption in their hearts and the one in their immediate surroundings.

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N1.5bn Fraud: EFCC To Arraign Fani-Kayode, Nenadi Usman, Others

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is set to arraign a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode; a former Minister of Finance, Senator Nenadi Usman; a firm, Joint Trust Dimensions Limited; and one Jimoh Yusuf for an alleged N1.5bn fraud.

According to an EFCC source, Fani-Kayode, Usman and Yusuf would be charged with 17 counts bordering on money laundering and fraud.

The source added, “We have filed charges against Fani-Kayode, Usman, Yusuf and a company, Joint Trust Dimensions Limited. Yusuf was the signatory to the account of Joint Trust Dimensions Limited. They will be arraigned before a Federal High Court in Lagos this week.”

The EFCC had arrested Fani-Kayode and Usman for their role in the sharing of a N4bn campaign fund during the build-up to the 2015 presidential election.

The money was said to have emanated from the account of the Office of the National Security Adviser domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The money was said to have been transferred to the account of JTDL and then distributed to some chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Usman, who was the Director of Finance of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, was alleged to have transferred N840m into the Zenith Bank account of Fani-Kayode with account number 1004735721, domiciled in Maitama, Abuja.

Fani-Kayode was said to have received the funds in three tranches.

The first tranche of the payment, involving N350m, hit the account on February 19, 2015. Another N250m was also paid into the account on February 19, 2015, while N240m was credited to the account a month later; precisely on March 19, 2015.

Apart from Fani-Kayode, others, who also received the funds, were the Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, Chief Olu Falae (N100m); a former Governor of Imo State, Achike Udenwa; while a former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Viola Onwuliri, also got N350m in two tranches while Nenadi Usman took N36.9m.

A coalition of pro-Jonathan groups, headed by a former Special Adviser to the President on Political matters, Prof. Rufai Alkali, also received N320m.

The accounts of those accused of receiving funds have since been frozen by the EFCC.

Usman has returned about N23m to the EFCC while two of her properties in Abuja have been seized by the anti-graft agency.

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Usman Tinau Mohammed: A Long Walk To Niger State Pension Board, By Abdullbergy Ebbo

Registering his presence in the labour market as a youth corps member in 1982, Usman Tinau Muhammad embarked on what would become a meritorious career as he rose through the cadres of various organisations in public bureaucracy, aviation, Oil industry, banking, financial management and political service.
Born on February 10, 1960 in the colonial Minna, Tinau is of Chanchaga Local Government Area descent in today’s political formation in Niger State. In his service to the nation and humanity, Tinau has become a model and inspiring figure not only to the people in his place of birth but beyond the boundaries of the organisations that required his skills and training home and abroad, which he exhibited with exceptional commitment.

He embarked on his academic journey at the historic Central Primary School, Minna, where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate in 1972 before proceeding for his secondary education at the prestigious Government Secondary School, Minna, where he obtained his West African School Leaving Certificate in 1977.

In 1979, Tinau underwent a pre-degree programme at Bayero University, Kano, which was a preparatory process for his Bachelor’s degree in Economics at the same institution, earned in 1982. For his post-graduate studies, he enrolled for Masters in Business Administration at Usmanu Danfodio University, completing the  programme in 1995. He was at the famous Galilee College in Israel, leaving with a Diploma in Small Business and Industry – Development and Management in 1997.

His first engagement on passing out of the youth  corps service was as Planning Officer, otherwise known as Statistician, at the Niger State Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, from 1983 to 1985. He left Minna for Lagos in 1985 for a stint with the aviation industry, working as Market Research Officer at the Nigerian Airways Limited.    He left there in 1987 for Department of Petroleum Resources, a former inspectorate of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, on being engaged as Principal Planning Officer, a position he held until 1993.

The same year, specifically in November, Tinau transferred his skills as experienced and pragmatic economist to the Central Bank of Nigeria, heading the state and local government finance office. He was at the nation’s apex bank until his return to the service of Niger State Government in June, 2007, this time as Special Adviser on Economics and Due Process to the Executive Governor of Niger State. This advisory role was extended, a day after termination of the latter on February 15, 2010, as Special Adviser to the Executive Governor of Niger State on Economic Affairs until September 16, 2010.

The impressive applications of his learning and experience as diligent economic and financial expert to the everyday affairs of the state government,  which he carried out as a two-time Special Adviser, was rewarded with appointment as Executive Chairman of the Niger State Fiscal Responsibility Commission from August 4, 2011 to March 25, 2015.

In his remarkable career that has spanned over three decades, Tinau was responsive to evolving ideas and innovations in his calling, and thus he participated in various short courses in and outside Nigeria.

Overseas, he was in Vienna, Austria, for the 1988 Working Attachment to the Finance & Economic Division of OPEC. In 1991, he was at the International Human Resources Development Corporation in Boston, U. S. A., for Petroleum Management  Certificate Programme. In 1994, he was at the University of Texas, Dallas, for Project on Advanced International Oil & Gas Financial Management. The same year, he was in Vienna again for a seminar on Industrial Project Preparation, Financial and Economic Analysis for Nigerian Investment Bankers.

As the world strategised for the economic stability and financial security of global economy on approaching the millennium, Tinau was also in the forefront of professionals expanding their ideas to reinvent new methods of managing the affairs of the world. He was a participant at 1998 “Banking & Development Beyond the Year 2000” in Dublin, Ireland. And then, on crossing the millennium, he was in Nairobi for Macro-economic Policy and Financial Management at the Kenya Monetary School in 2003.

In August, 2004, he took park in the programme “Creating and Maintaining Quality and Value for Money” in London. He returned to London four years later for “Managing Budget, Procurement and Strategic Management.” These are among others, home and abroad, that have broadened and updated his professional foresights.

As much is expected from whom which is given, or expected from the vastly learned and experienced, some of Tinau’s managerial practices were recorded as head and member of many organisations, committees and events around his profession and for his organisations. He served as Vice-Chairman of PENGASSAN PID of the NNPC chapter in 1990; Chairman, Departmental Task Force on Integrated Data Management System of Central Bank of Nigeria; Chairman, Niger State Handball Association; Secretary, Departmental Committee on Strategic Business Unit Planning; and has served as member and secretary various political, economic and social causes.

His life of dedication to duty and passion for service comes with tremendous commendations and medals of honours, among which are: Director’s Award on the Preparation of a Seminar on Oil Industry’s Security Preparedness in 1989; 10 Years Long Service Award by the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2003; Niger State Executive Governor’s Award in 2008; Merit Award for Meritorious Service to Humanity in 2010; Merit Award as Ambassador of Culture in 2010, amongst others.

Tinau’s skills and experiences have been documented in various publications he authored and published in academic and professional journals and as independent and unpublished papers and research projects, some of which were presented at seminars, workshops and in reactions to charging topical issues.

Tinau is a fellow of Institute of Professional Managers and Administrators of Nigeria, associate member of United States Project Management Institute and member of Nigerian Gas Association. He’s married and has six children, and speaks English, Nupe and Hausa. His hobbies include public policy analyses, reading, playing table tennis and badminton.

His vast wealth of experience and knowledge is applied to his current engagement as Director-General of Niger State Pension Board

May Allaah guide him to do that which is right and Good.

Abdullbergy U. Ebbo
Senior Special Assistant To Niger State Governor on Information and Communication Technology
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EFCC Confiscates Two Houses Belonging To Ex-Finance Minister, Nenadi Usman

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has seized two houses belonging to Senator Nenadi Usman who was the Director of Finance of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation.

It was learnt that the two houses seized were located in Abuja.

The EFCC had arrested Usman last week after it was established that N2.5bn was paid into her company account, Joint Trust Dimensions Limited, and N140m cash was allegedly paid into her Zenith Bank Account with number, 1000158311, domiciled on 7, Kachia Road, Kaduna.

The said transfer, which emanated from the Central Bank of Nigeria, took place in January 2015, during the build up to the presidential election.

The PUNCH had reported that Usman had returned N23m to the Federal Government and also promised to return more money.

It was learnt that the suspect revealed that she had two houses in Abuja and the EFCC swiftly sealed off the buildings.

A source at the anti-graft agency said, “She has been cooperating with us as she has returned N23m and we have also seized two houses belonging to her in Abuja.”

The source revealed that Usman complained of health challenges and she might be released on an administrative bail soon.

“Since she has been cooperating with us and has also returned some money, she will be granted an administrative bail. She seems to have some health challenges. Also, releasing her will give her the ability to return more funds,” the source added.

The PUNCH had reported in March that Usman had on the instruction of a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih, transferred different sums of money to several individuals and interest groups during the build up to the last elections.

Usman allegedly transferred monies to several persons through the bank account of a company, Joint Trust Dimension Nigeria Limited.

Through the said account, the Director of Publicity of the Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, received N840m. According to the documents sighted by our correspondent, the money was deposited into Fani-Kayode’s Zenith bank account, Maitama Branch with number 1004735721 on February 19, 2015.

EFCC sources said a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, Chief Olu Falae, received N100m through a company, Marreco Limited, where he is chairman. The fund was credited into the company’s United Bank for Africa Plc account number 1000627022.

About N320m was also paid into the bank account of the Goodluck Support Group, an association of over 100 pro-Jonathan groups headed by Jonathan’s Special Adviser on Political Affairs, Prof. Rufai Alkali.

ThePunch

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