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Hoisting APGA’s Flag at the Senate

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By Ifeanyi Afuba –

From Octavia to Obama, the audacity of hope lives on. Also known as Augustus Caesar, Octavia dreamt of an indelible entry in history and moved on to achieve immortalisation of his name by inserting August into the then ten months calendar of the year. He was imitated by Julius Caesar whose introduction of July into the moon list brought it to the present twelve. Barack Obama, enduring and daring, rode on the tide of time to rewrite conventions of the American presidency. The elasticity of the human spirit remains an eternal wonder of creation. A despot may seal off voices but he cannot steal the visions singing in our hearts. Nelson Mandela, the African hero of the twentieth century, taught us that strong convictions are the secret of surviving deprivation. And we begin to get a sense of how the APGA and one of its star brands, Victor Umeh finally achieved a breakthrough in the knotty senatorial turf.
In the most clinical fashion of a long distance champion, Victor Chukwunonyelum Umeh breasted the Senate tape on Saturday, January 13, 2008, bringing to an end a cocktail of contrived confusion that stood in the way of implementing the Court of Appeal judgment of December 7, 2015. As The Nation editorial of Thursday, January 11 put it, the rerun is ‘despite the shenanigans of some political actors’, climaxing in the effrontery to purport a high court judgment superior to that of the Court of Appeal. Thus, the successful conduct of the election has immense significance for Nigeria’s democracy, and especially for the party APGA and the senator – elect, the development is a soothing balm on a political journey often marked by subversion and reversals.


Eminent historian, Ali Mazrui, had once described the Jews as the most brutalised but not the most humiliated race. A critical study of the APGA story will reveal that it is the most brutalised but not the most humiliated political party of the fourth republic. Its very registration as a political party was a tug of war. Acutely aware of the political tendencies represented by the association and their implications in the electoral contest, the ruling establishment employed every trick in the book to frustrate the realisation of this aspiration. It had taken a Supreme Court judgment in 2002 to force the withheld official recognition. Piqued by the development, the hawks in the ruling ranks mounted a prolonged persecution of the APGA; sometimes directly and sometimes through proxies.
Posterity will credit the collective of APGA faithful for steadfastness in the face of many aggressions. But if individuals are to be recognised for standing up to the assaults, the honour goes first to Victor Umeh and then Peter Obi. In the ten year period from 2004 to 2014, no single individual impacted on the fortunes of the All Progressives Grand Alliance as Chief Victor Umeh. Skeptics might tend to view Umeh’s influence on the APGA narrative as a given in the context of his vantage leadership position. But this would be simplistic. Umeh’s role in the APGA saga derives largely from a personality factor and acute sense of mission.
The story of Anambra’s journey of transformation is in part, the story of APGA’s travails and triumphs. APGA launched the movement that ushered in Anambra’s process of recovery from neglect and misrule in 2006. Though sensitization and mobilization was underway by 2002, events took a critical turn in 2004, when the party was subverted from within, from the highest rung of its leadership. This came in the sudden declaration that APGA as a party was no longer interested in the prosecution of its 2003 Anambra governorship petition then going on at the tribunal. It was a volte face that left terrible trauma on the party faithful. The severity of the internal conspiracy compelled a more deliberate search for a new leadership that could be ‘predicted’ and trusted. And it was in this very delicate circumstance that Chief Victor Umeh, hitherto national treasurer of the party, came to the fore as acting national chairman in 2004.
Ignoring the issues of his indictment, the suspended national chairman, Chekwas Okorie, pronounced that he could not be removed because his name was written in the party’s constitution. The disengagement generated a total of eleven suits, nearly all instituted by the sanctioned politician. A fuming Okorie proceeded to systematically lose and or abandon the cases and his desperation grew with each painful loss. Yet, the Maurice Iwu – led INEC demonstrating disdain for decorum, conferred recognition on a king without a kingdom and would have gone on with the perversion had Victor Umeh not initiated contempt charges against the offenders. With reality dawning, Okorie returned the APGA certificate in his possession but sought revenge with his bid to register a new party United Peoples Grand Alliance (UPGA). The spoiler game was clear enough. The phonetic and syntactic similarities between APGA and UPGA were sure to have devastating consequences for APGA in a society still contending with low literacy levels. An alert APGA leadership swung into action, detailing grounds which ought to render Okorie’s application defective. The INEC under Attahiru Jega, a man widely respected for his pedigree, considered and sustained the objections for their merit. Okorie had to settle for the unobtrusive name of United Progressive Party in the end.
There were more rivers and deserts to cross. About a year to the end of his tenure in 2014, then Governor Peter Obi was seized by his own pet idea of playing adventures with APGA. Members of APGA were at a loss as Obi tried to install a new national chairman in place of the man reckoned as an achiever and whose tenure had not ended. Umeh stood his ground and snatched victory from the lion’s jaw.
Consequently, he was able to influence the nomination of Willie Obiano as the APGA governorship candidate in the 2013/2014 election; signing off in style at the state level, driving the re – election of Governor Obiano for second term.
We see then why the outcome of the January 13, 2018 senatorial poll is so significant for APGA. If Umeh the veteran of APGA battles cannot make it to the Senate, what hope lies for others? With the prospect of free and fair elections brightening under Buhari’s presidency, the quest to launch APGA to the centre – stage of Nigeria’s government and politics has become feasible with the congruent leadership of Umeh and Governor Willie Obiano. Both as Governor and Chairman, Board of Trustees of APGA, Obiano has added huge value to the party that Umeh nurtured to reckoning in very difficult conditions.
With APGA’s flag flying at the Senate, notice is served to those ever in a hurry to define our political colouration as a two party system not to beat the gun. In 2019 the PDP will for the first time contest national elections without being in control in Abuja. That level playing ground guarantees that the PDP can no longer appropriate APGA’s victories as happened in the governorship cases of Ugochukwu Agballa, Enugu State, in 2003; Martin Agbaso, Imo State, 2007; and Alex Otti, Abia State 2015. APGA has not just elected its first senator from Anambra State; it has elected a senator who will not defect to another party!

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Osodieme Commends Nnewi North and South Support for Obiano

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By Emeka Ozumba
The wife of governor of Anambra State, Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme) has commended the commitment and support of the people of Nnewi North and Nnewi South Local Government Areas for the governor, Chief Willie Obiano and progress of the state as demonstrated by their massive support during the last elections.

(L-R): Representative of Osodieme and Member Representing Orumba South Constituency at Anambra State House of Assembly, and Chairman House Committee on Women Affairs, Princess Nikky Ugochukwu receiving a Portrait presented by Transition Committee Chairman of Nnewi South Hon Felix Odimegwu at Ukpor during the Empowerment tour of Nnewi South Local Government Area.

Osodieme who was represented by the Member Representing Orumba South at the State House of Assembly, and Chairman House Committee on Women Affairs, Princess Nikky Ugochukwu expressed the appreciations Friday at Nnewi North and Nnewi South Local Government Areas headquarters respectively in the course of her on-going Empowerment tour of the twenty-one Local Government Areas of Anambra State.
Osodieme assured people of the Council areas that the governor is committed to fulfilling the promises he made to them and the entire ndi Anambra.

(L-R): Transition Committee Chairman of Nnewi North, Prince Chukwudi Orizu, Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export, Hon Afam Mbanefo receive the Representative of Osodieme and Member Representing Orumba South Constituency at Anambra State House of Assembly, and Chairman House Committee on Women Affairs, Princess Nikky Ugochukwu on arrival at Nnewi during the Empowerment tour of Nnewi North Local Government Area.

She explained that the empowerment tour is to reach out to the less privileged, stressing that she apart the usual humanitarian gestures, her NGO, Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ) is ever ready to train indigent women, widows on new skills that would help them to be self-reliant and ultimately able to provide for their families.
Also speaking, Commissioner for Social Welfare, Women and Children Affairs, Lady Ndidi Mezue, said that the collaboration between CAFÉ and her Ministry has ensured that the governor Obiano’s policy of carrying everyone along is sustained. She thanked Osodieme for embarking on the Local Government tour to touch base with ndi Anambra even at a time of lean resources.

(L-R): Representative of Osodieme and Member Representing Orumba South Constituency at Anambra State House of Assembly, and Chairman House Committee on Women Affairs, Princess Nikky Ugochukwu, Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Barrister Rita Maduagwu, former Commissioner for Information, Chief Maja Umeh, Mrs. Igbanoi and former Commissioner for Information, Chief Maja Umeh at Ukpor during the Empowerment tour of Nnewi South Local Government Area.

In their remarks her counterparts who are indigenes of the two Council arrears; Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export, Hon Afam Mbanefo, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Chief Greg Obi, praised Governor Obiano and his wife, Osodieme for their dedication to charity and continuous effort to improve fortunes of the citizens of the state.
The Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Barrister Rita Maduagwu, thanked Osodieme for once more remembering her constituency in her empowerment programmes. The Speaker prayed for the governor’s wife, stressing that “those who remember the needy obtain abundant heavenly enrichment.”

Empowerment items for the less privileged

Also in their Vote of thanks Members Representing Nnewi North at the State House of Assembly, Hon. Amala Anazodo, and that of Nnewi South Constituency one, Barrister Kingsley Iruba, eulogized Osodieme for her passion for mankind and charitable programmes which they observed has touched the nooks and crannies of Anambra state and helped re-energize many of the downtrodden.
Earlier in their welcome remarks at Nnewi and Ukpor respectively, the Transition Committee Chairman of Nnewi North, Prince Chukwudi Orizu, and his Nnewi South counterpart, Honourable Felix Odimegwu, affirmed that Osodieme has touched every aspect of the human society by giving succour to the underprivileged in the society and called on ndi Anambra emulative her exemplary work.
The Empowerment programmes at Nnewi and Ukpor Council headquarters was witnessed by government functionaries and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) including former Commissioner for Information, Chief Maja Umeh and other community based associations.

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Meet the Teacher Who Dares to Speak With Boko Haram

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Few people talk openly about Boko Haram in northern Nigeria. Even fewer talk to them. But in her motherly way, the simple-looking Hamsatu Allamin is fearless and unapologetic. “I talk with Boko Haram even today, and they are open to [a] peace deal,” says Allamin, 60, sitting cross-legged on the floor of a yellowed bungalow, her veil circling her face and spilling down to the gray-green rug.
This educator-turned-mediator looks anything but imposing. But she cracks hard ground digging for peace in a nine-year civil war that has killed 20,000 people. So how can a woman speak to a sect that keeps women silent and slaughters them for not wearing veils?
In this war-ravaged part of the country, the answers are retold with a personal bent and remixed city to city. “If that woman is not a member of Boko Haram, they would have finished her,” a friend in the northern city of Maiduguri, Ahmed Abubakar, tells me. “But if she is not one of them, then she must be a powerful witch using a mysterious power to make them impotent.”
On a recent overcast morning, Allamin, who left public service in 2016 after more than 30 years as an educator, reveals how she might have charmed Boko Haram. Not with witchcraft, but with infectious smiles and a love for listening — all squeezed into a carefree courage that can be disarming even for the deadliest sect in the world.

After all, Allamin is a daughter of their soil, from an elite Kanuri family, the same tribe from which Boko Haram emerged. She knows the insurgents and their parents, who were her schoolmates, and she’s proven herself to the insurgents as a good and useful mediator. Working with her husband, a local chief in Konduga, she has resolved complex local disputes, including intervening to prevent the traditional practice of girls marrying under age 18.
Before the war escalated in 2013, Boko Haram insurgents lived in the communities — turning homes into hiding places after launching attacks on military units. “If you report them, you and your family would be the next target,” says Allamin. But the destructive cycle around her forced her to act. After hit-and-run attacks in Maiduguri, the military would invade the communities, searching for perpetrators and arresting every youth in sight, including the innocent. Houses often were razed.

According to United Nations data, some 7.7 million people — half of whom are children — in northeastern Nigeria need humanitarian assistance. Women wait in line with their children during a community outreach drive sponsored by the International Rescue Committee in Maiduguri, Nigeria, on Oct. 12, 2016.

So Allamin started reporting perpetrators to the military, talking to the insurgents about peace and sometimes confronting the insurgents who “brandish their cutlasses” in threat. “Gradually, even Boko Haram understood I was harmless, and they started opening up to me,” she says. As Nigeria-based analyst Justice Nwafor points out: “It is always important to spare a peacemaker in every violence.”
It’s not as if Allamin is taking the insurgents’ side. She helped organize the global “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign — garnering attention from then–first lady Michelle Obama — after Boko Haram abducted more than 200 schoolgirls in 2014. And she’s led the fight to empower women who have escaped their reign of terror. Allamin now tends to more than 30 former so-called wives of Boko Haram from displaced persons camps. She creates a small social network for them, with plans to send the younger ones to school and train the older ones in a trade — though some are pregnant with the offspring of the insurgents.

Still, Nwafor says Boko Haram appears to value Allamin’s skills more than the government. Allamin organized a peace meeting between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram in 2015. The deal failed because of the government’s “lack of interest in peace,” she claims. The government, as is the case on many Boko Haram–related topics, doesn’t comment on Allamin’s efforts.
Peace talks have sputtered on in the years since, and the horrors continue. “Life under Boko Haram is bitter, and women were not allowed to talk or come out of their homes,” says Fatima Umaru, a refugee whose community, Bama, was under Boko Haram rule for eight months before the military recaptured the town in 2015. But military rule comes with its own set of problems. Amnesty International reports that military officers and members of the Civilian Joint Task Force in the northeast have raped and sexually exploited women and girls, often in exchange for food and other necessities.
Families across the region have been shattered by indefinite military detentions. Allamin brought together 1,600 women and girls in what she called the Knifar Movement to increase pressure on officials to release their husbands and fathers, while also pursuing justice against soldiers and others accused of rape.
She’s also staying active in her field of education. Boko Haram roughly translates to “Secular education is a sin.” Allamin wants to brand her initiative “Boko Halal,” or “Education is good.” With donations from philanthropists and international organizations, she’s schooling close to 100 former child soldiers — frequently used in Boko Haram suicide attacks — who escaped or were rescued by the military, teaching them vocational skills.
Short of brokering an unlikely peace, her diplomacy and good works can only make a small dent. According to United Nations data, some 7.7 million people — half of whom are children — in northeastern Nigeria need humanitarian assistance.
While Allamin, a grandmother of 16, has been lavished with international awards for peace, she has no plans to capitalize on her fame with a book. Instead, she keeps her reflections for posterity in The Maiduguri Diary, a grim recounting of the conflict that would fit in the horror section (as well as history) of any library. Many plagues are inscribed in the pages, from rape to starvation, all prefaced by resignation.
Her most tangible legacy could come in her Maiduguri community, where 74 families already have named their kids after her in appreciation. “We want to make her immortal,” says Mallam Musa Mohammed, who has worked for Allamin for several years. “She is an icon of peace.”

 


Orji Sunday, OZY Author

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President Buhari Returns From London Vacation

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President Muhammadu Buhari has returned to the country from his 10-day vacation in London.
The presidential aircraft touched down on Saturday evening at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Ahead of his arrival, a Guard of Honor was mounted at the airport to receive the President who departed Nigeria for the United Kingdom on August 3.
Prior to his trip, President Buhari had handed over power to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, in acting capacity while he was away.
More to follow…

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‘Simply reality’: Public hits back at banning of ‘This is Nigeria’ music video

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‘This is Nigeria,’ a rap music video portraying the country’s problems, has been banned following accusations that it contains a “vulgar” line. The public has hit back, saying the video merely states the truth.
Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) fined a Nigerian radio station for airing rapper Falz’s adaptation of Children Gambino’s ‘This is America.’ The video has already racked up 13 million views on YouTube.
It gives a depressing portrayal of what life is like amid corruption and violence in the west African country. NBC banned the song from being aired, claiming the line “This is Nigeria, everybody be criminal” is too “vulgar” to be publicly broadcast.

The cover of Gambino’s hit piece went viral as it was picked up by hip-hop mogul Diddy.

Despite its popularity, NBC doubled down on its ban, saying the song is “unfit” to circulate.
It also received criticism from Nigeria’s Muslim Rights Concern, who in June threatened to sue Falz if he failed to issue an apology and redact the song.
The group said it “demonized Nigerian Muslims,” and raised concern about female dancers wearing hijabs, as well as a man from the Fulani tribe purportedly attacking another man with a machete.
The organization said Falz’s work was “thoughtless, insensitive and highly provocative,” and had “the potential of causing religious crisis of unprecedented dimension.”
Falz, whose real name is Folarin Falana, responded to the ban saying: “I’m not happy that the NBC is preventing the people from listening to such strong messages that need to be heard,” CNN reports.
“There is a lot going on that needs to be talked about, even though a lot of people may not want to hear the truth.”
The ban stirred outcry on social media, with people saying it does nothing more than portray the reality of the third-world country.

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Nigeria’s State Owned Oil Company To Go Public

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation will float 40 percent of its stock on the local stock exchange once the President signs the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, Nigerian media report. The PIGB is at the heart of an energy sector overhaul aimed at making the corruption-ridden state company profitable. To do this, NNPC group managing director Maikanti Baru said, the company needs to be more commercially driven. For this, it needs cash, which will be raised through the listing.
As part of the overhaul, the NNPC will be split into two: the Nigerian Petroleum Company, which will be an integrated oil company taking all assets of the NNPC with the exception of the production-sharing contracts, and the Nigerian Petroleum Assets Management Company.
NNPC’s existing stock will initially be split between the two state vehicles—Ministry of Petroleum Incorporated and Ministry of Finance Incorporated—with 40 percent going to each and another 20 percent held by the Bureau of Public Enterprises. In five to ten years, 10 percent of the initial stock plus a new batch of shares equal to 30 percent of this will be floated on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Nigeria, Africa’s top oil exporter, has struggled to make its oil industry work in the last few years after the oil price plunge exposed the problems at the NNPC ranging from graft to mismanagement. Militant activity in the Niger Delta, pipeline vandalism, and the subsequent production outages did not help the company get back on its feet. The federal government, however, has thrown its weight behind the reform drive that should make the oil industry more efficient and more profitable.
Nigeria produced 1.67 million barrels of oil daily in July, below the 1.8-million-bpd quota it had agreed with OPEC after it joined the production cut effort that was reversed this June. The West African nation should only benefit from the reversal as it can now expand its production as fast as it wants, which should boost oil revenues that the industry overhaul will require.

 


Irina Slav
Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

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INEC gives notice of 2019 elections

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By Emmanuel Oloniruha

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday released the notice of activities for the 2019 general elections.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the notice was pasted at the Federal Capital Territory(FCT) office of INEC in Abuja.
Mrs Ndidi Okafor, Head of Voter Education and Publicity Gender and Civil Society Liaison of INEC , FCT told NAN that the notice was in accordance with section 30 of the Electoral Act 2010.
According to the notice, collection of nomination forms for national and state elections by political parties is fixed between Aug 17 and Aug. 24.
Collection of forms for FCT elections will take place between 3 Sept. and 10 Sept.
“The last date for submission of nomination forms by political parties has also been scheduled for Dec. 3 for presidential and National Assembly Elections and state elections Dec. 17.
“The collection of nomination forms for FCT Area Council elections would commence on Nov. 3 to Nov. 10, while the last date for the return of the nomination forms is Dec. 14.
“On Oct 25 INEC will publish the personal particulars of National election candidates on Oct. 25 and those of the state candidates on Nov. 9.”
Okafor said INEC has announced Nov. 17 as the last date for the withdrawal or replacement of candidates for president and National Assembly elections, and Dec. 1 for governorship and state houses of assembly elections.
INEC would on Jan. 2, 2019 publish notice of the polls, and on Jan. 7, 2019 publish official register of voters for the election, which will begin with the presidential and National Assembly elections on 16 February.

 

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Nigeria is home to 500+ kinds of graft. Here’s a new way to think about them.

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Corruption in Nigeria is complicated, far-reaching, and multi-faceted. A new taxonomy can help us make sense of it.

Corruption in Nigeria is complicated, far-reaching, and multi-faceted. A new taxonomy can help us make sense of it.

Corruption in Nigeria runs the gamut from the jaw-dropping, to the creative, to the mundane. It encompasses the oil minister who diverted billions of petrodollars in just a few years. It includes the local official who claimed a snake slithered into her office and gobbled up $100,000 in cash. And it involves the cop shaking down motorists for 25 cents apiece at makeshift checkpoints.
When former British Prime Minster David Cameron described Nigeria as “fantastically corrupt” in 2016, Nigerians may have been rankled that the offhand comment failed to recognise the UK’s own key role in allowing multi-trillion-dollar global corruption networks to flourish, but few thought his assessment was wrong.
It is widely accepted that Nigeria suffers profoundly from corruption. However, the practice is much more complicated and far-reaching than the familiar headlines suggest.
Economically, corruption stymies Nigeria’s boundless potential, hamstringing the petroleum, trade, power and banking sectors and more. In the defence sector, it compounds security challenges in hotspots like the Lake Chad Basin, Middle Belt and Niger Delta. In the police, judiciary and anti-corruption agencies, it undermines the country’s already-anaemic accountability mechanisms, thereby fuelling further corruption across the spectrum.
It also rears its head in politics through electoral manipulation and the kleptocratic capture of party structures. “Brown envelope journalism” undermines democratic norms and the media’s ability to hold leaders accountable. Meanwhile, it is Nigeria’s most vulnerable that are worst affected when graft, fraud and extortion permeate the educational, health and humanitarian sectors.
Corruption in Nigeria, and elsewhere, is highly complex. It can take a variety of different but inter-related forms. Its effects can span across several disparate sectors. Yet most existing frameworks for studying corruption share a common shortcoming: they conflate how corruption occurs (i.e. tactics and behaviours) with where it occurs (i.e. which sector). This can muddle our understanding of an already complicated issue and prevent policymakers, practitioners and analysts from thinking about Nigeria’s greatest challenge in more sophisticated and nuanced ways.

Making better sense of corruption
In a paper recently published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, I propose a new framework – or taxonomy – for looking at corruption in Nigeria. Like the Periodic Table of Elements or the system used to classify animals and plants, this taxonomy aims to help make complicated and expansive topics more digestible.
The framework works by detailing twenty sectors that are especially vulnerable to corruption (such as media, infrastructure, and police). It also identifies eight categories of corrupt behaviour that cut across these sectors (such as bribery, subsidy abuse, and favouritism). These eight categories are further divided into 28 tactics, meaning that overall, the framework covers over 500 distinct kinds of corruption.
Among the forms of corrupt behaviour, the taxonomy includes “legalised corruption” and “deliberate waste”. These categories are not generally recognised as forms of corruption, but they make sense to include in the Nigerian context. These tactics include legislators’ exorbitant salaries (roughly $540,000 annually), vanity projects (such as one governor’s decision to erect multi-million-dollar bronze statues of South Africa and Liberia’s former presidents), and Nigeria’s three (yes, three!) expensive and unnecessary space agencies.
Using the framework to visualise different forms of graft is fairly straightforward. Take the dubious practice of the president or ministers waiving import duties for select companies. These tax breaks are typically granted to firms controlled by ruling party financiers and can be extremely costly. Between 2011 and 2015, Nigeria lost $2.8 billion in revenues to such import waivers.
Looked at through the lens of this taxonomy, we can see that this relatively intricate form of corruption is trade-related and takes the form of subsidy abuse as well as tactics such as favouritism and bribery. Unlike some simpler systems, this framework is flexible enough to recognise that corruption is not always clear-cut and limited in focus, but interconnected, involving a range of behaviours that cut across sectors.

How this new taxonomy can help
As an analytical tool, this new taxonomy is useful to researchers looking to compare the situation in Nigeria with conditions in other countries. Though Nigeria-specific, it is adaptable and could be applied to other countries too. Doing so could help answer a question much-debated among Nigerians: is corruption in their country somehow unique?
This framework could also help policymakers, diplomats, development professionals and private investors to more effectively navigate Nigeria’s complex and interconnected corruption landscape. Tailored to Nigerian realities, it supports the World Bank’s push to “do development differently” by forging more context-specific approaches to addressing development challenges.
It also offers international partners and Nigerian civil society groups engaged in anti-corruption work a better basis for conducting programmatic assessments and analysing the prevalence, impact, and multiplier effects of different forms of the practice.
Developing more sophisticated policies could yield advances against a problem that drains billions of dollars a year from Africa’s largest economy, weakens the social contract between government and the people, and impoverishes Nigeria’s resilient but long-suffering people. But it must begin from a nuanced and accurate understanding of the problem.

 


Matthew T. Page is a consultant and co-author of ‘Nigeria: What Everyone Needs to Know’ (Oxford University Press, 2018). He is a nonresident scholar with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, an associate fellow with the Africa Programme at Chatham House, and nonresident fellow with the Centre for Democracy and Development in Abuja. 

African Arguments

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In Photos/Videos : Happening Now – Presentation of Certificates of Registration to the newly registered 23 Political Parties by the Hon. Chairman INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

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The Independent National Electoral Commission on Thursday presented Certificates of Registration to 23 new political parties in Abuja.
Photos and videos from the ceremony were shared on the Twitter handle of the electoral body, @inecnigeria.

The Commission has decided to extend the CVR to 31st August 2018. The exercise will continue in all the designated registration centres every day, including weekends, but excluding public holidays, between 9am and 5pm.

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Saraki yet to declare for 2019 Presidency – Aide

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The Special Assistant to the President of the Senate on New Media, Olu Onemola, has played down rumours that the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, will contest in the 2019 Presidential election.
In an interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday, Saraki disclosed that he is “consulting and actively considering” running for President, leading many to believe that he will vie for the country’s top job.
However, in a series of tweets today, Onemola asserted that the President of the Senate’s comments should not be assumed as a declaration to contest for the Presidency next year.
“Considering’ is not a declaration. At the appropriate time, the President of Senate will be specific about his aspiration for 2019. Moreover, the Bloomberg interview was 90% on the economy, and not politics.
“The President of the Senate has been clear that at the right time, Nigerian’s will know what his plans are,” he said.

Additional – OrderPaper

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Senate Asks INEC To Scrap “Smaller” Political Parties

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Nigerian lawmakers in the upper legislative chamber have asked the independent national electoral commission to “scrap smaller political parties to reduce the cost of 2019 general elections.

The lawmakers gave the advice as INEC chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu appeared before them on Wednesday to defend 2019 general election budget of 189 billion naira.
Nigerian lawmakers cut short their annual recess on Wednesday to attend to President Muhammadu Buhari’s budget – request for 2019 general elections.
Their return may have ended weeks of anxieties that the 2019 elections could suffer a setback unless the lawmakers reconvene.
INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu was around to defend the election budget which the INEC chairman put at189 billion naira.
The figure represents an increase of n69 billion from that of 2015 general elections.
Yakubu said the budget had to be increased because of the number of political parties.
The INEC chairman said his commission had registered a total of 91 political parties and that this number has affected the cost of the elections.
The lawmakers asked INEC to consider trimming down on the number of political parties even though what the president requested was the same in terms of figures with what INEC presented, there was a bit of difference in the manner the monies were to be released.
While INEC wants the sum of n189 billion approved in one trench, the president had requested the national assembly to give approval in two separate components in the 2018 and 2019 budgets.
Unable to reach a compromise on how the money should be approved, the meeting was adjourned till Thursday.

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Odenjiji Ndi Igbo

Minister Mary of Carnaby London delivering a bag to Biola Okoya, daughter of Razaq Okoya – the renowned Nigerian industrialist, owner of Eleganza Group of Companies and Aare of Lagos

Minister Mary of Carnaby London delivering a bag to Biola Okoya, daughter of Razaq Okoya - the renowned Nigerian industrialist, owner of Eleganza Group of Companies and Aare of Lagos

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70-year-old Nigerian fit with a pacemaker in Dubai

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In Photos/Videos : Happening Now – Presentation of Certificates of Registration to the newly registered 23 Political Parties by the Hon. Chairman INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

Education3 days ago

Stormzy launches Cambridge scholarship for black students

Home3 days ago

Saraki yet to declare for 2019 Presidency – Aide

Life & Style3 days ago

Picture of Rihanna and Donald Glover drives fans wild

Home3 days ago

Senate Asks INEC To Scrap “Smaller” Political Parties

Parliament3 days ago

Court halts Saraki from declaring Akpabio’s Seat Vacant

Home3 days ago

In Pictures : Atiku Visits Imo and Enugu , Vows to Reposition Nigeria

Photos/Videos3 weeks ago

In Pictures : His Majesty, Eze Eri 34th, Eze Aka Ji Ovo Igbo and the President of the Ohaneze Ndigbo Visit Virginia, USA to attend the World Igbo Festival of Art and Culture.

Life & Style3 weeks ago

‘Most beautiful girl in the world’: Five-year-old Nigerian sends social media into frenzy

Home2 weeks ago

News Pictures Of The Day : Chief (Mrs) Bianca Odumegwu Ojukwu celebrates as daughter ,Chineme graduates from University of Brighton

Home4 weeks ago

PHOTONEWS: Senators visit Ekweremadu at home

Home4 weeks ago

Video:Nigerian football coach Salisu Yusuf filmed taking cash

Home3 weeks ago

Igbo Elders Reject Buhari’s Offer of 2023 Presidency, Insist on Restructuring

Home4 weeks ago

Breaking : Saraki Sneaks Self Into National Assembly , Presides over The Tuesday , July 24th Plenary

Home3 weeks ago

Dogara Assures South and Middle Belt Forum, comprising Afenifere, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), and Middle Belt Forum Leaders On Restructuring.

Home4 weeks ago

Video : More Trouble as Dogara Storm House of Reps Amidst Hailing From PDP Reps Members

Life & Style3 days ago

Picture of Rihanna and Donald Glover drives fans wild

Home4 weeks ago

Senate angrily urges security operatives to vacate Ekweremadu’s residence immediately.

Home4 weeks ago

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala : Twitter appoints ex-Nigerian minister to its board

Home4 weeks ago

UPDATE: Melaye, Kwankwaso, 13 Other Senators Defect To PDP

Home4 weeks ago

Oshiomhole Threatens Ngige With Expulsion

Home4 weeks ago

GOVERNOR OBIANO PRESENTS CERTIFICATE OF RECOGNITION TO NEWLY ELECTED TRADITIONAL RULERS

Home3 weeks ago

Press Statement By The President Of The Senate, His Excellency, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, CON, On July 31, 2018

Home3 weeks ago

Saraki, Dogara slam Ortom’s impeachment by 8 legislators

Home4 weeks ago

President Muhammadu Buhari withholds Assent to Five Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Fourth Alteration) Amendment Bills

Home4 days ago

Cardinal Francis Arinze as a brand of Anambra – By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

Home3 weeks ago

News Pictures Of The Day : His Majesty, Eze Eri 34th, Eze Aka Ji Ovo Igbo Visits Igbo Village & Museum in Staunton, Virginia, USA.

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