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Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi Feast Day Jan 20 – Full Text

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Mount St. Bernard Abbey: Re-internment of the remains of the Lulworth Monks & Blessed Cyprian Tansi.
Re-Internment of Lulworth Monks at Mt. St. Bernard Abbey at which BLESSED CYPRIAN TANSI was present and appears.

Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi (born in Aguleri, Anambra State, Nigeria in September 1903 – died in Leicester, England, 24 January 1964) was an Igbo Nigerian ordained a Roman Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Onitsha, Nigeria on 19 December 1937. He worked in the parishes of Nnewi, Dunukofia, Akpu/Ajalli and Aguleri.
He was later a Cistercian Monk at Mount Saint Bernard Monastery in England. After being recommended by Cardinal Francis Arinze, who was inspired by Tansi as a boy (he had been one of Tansi’s students and knew him personally), he was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 22 March 1998, who said, “Blessed Cyprian Michael Tansi is a prime example of the fruits of holiness which have grown and matured in the Church in Nigeria since the Gospel was first preached in this land. He received the gift of faith through the efforts of the missionaries, and taking the Christian way of life as his own he made it truly African and Nigerian.”
Heritage and Early Life
Before he was born, the British had come to colonize Nigeria. The British [Royal Niger Company] was traded in Aguleri before Michael was born, and buying palm oil from the local people to sell abroad. An incident happened when a local person named Onwurume wanted to take a little palm oil to put on his roasted yam (yam is the staple food of Igbo people, and palm oil to yams is the cultural equivalent of butter to bread) and he decided to puncture a barrel of palm oil to get some. When the hole he made caused the entire barrel to be emptied out, he ran away but was grabbed by employees of the Company and put into custody. When the local people heard about it they gathered together to negotiate with the company agents, but the company called for military reinforcements and arrested the twelve chiefs who came to negotiate, and then afterwards proceeded to attack the neighbouring villages, burning down the homes of the local people, pillaging their property as well as mistakenly destroying a nearby village of a different group that had no relation to the incident.
Michael’s father was Tansi of Igbezunu, Aguleri. He was one of the people taken hostage by the Royal Niger Company, and later released. Later he named his firstborn son ‘Iwe-egbune’ shortened to Iwene, meaning ‘let malice not kill’; which was the birth-name of Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi. His father was a pagan, but not a polygamist, and he married twice, the second wife after the first one died. Michael was his first born, and he had another son with his first wife. His second wife gave him four boys and one girl.
His parents were poor farmers.
When he was a young child, he became permanently blinded in one of his eyes as a result of a mud-fight with other children.
His father sent Iwene to a Catholic mission school, with the intention of getting his son to receive a better education that would help lead their family out of poverty and would never again be taken advantage of by the westerners. Michael automatically became a Catholic by being enrolled and taught at the school, and he was baptized in 1913 with the Christian name of Michael.
Upon graduating, he became a teacher, and worked as a teacher from 1919-1925.
Seminarian-
At that time there was little enthusiasm for Blacks becoming priests in Nigeria. The Bishop was Irish, and most of the clergy were Europeans. Bishop Shanahan saw the native Igbo, even after conversion, as still being steeped in paganism, and that it was going to be difficult to teach them to be proper priests. While Igbo could become priests they were subject to strict discipline and were often expelled from seminary for relatively minor lapses. The priests who taught them were concerned that only the very best men should become priests.
Michael attended seminary from 1925-1937. His family was appalled at his entrance to the seminary, because they wanted him to go into business or something that would take them out of poverty, which was what his father had always planned. His family was poor and they desperately needed his help, but he felt that God, the same God he had learned about in the mission school his parents had sent him to as a child as a means of getting material benefits for the family, wanted him to continue in the seminary rather than do something else.
Parish priest
At that time in Nigeria, almost all priests were foreign missionaries. Few Africans were being ordained to the priesthood. The foreign missionaries were generally unwilling to live in the same poverty or conditions that the native-born Nigerians endured, and as a result if an area wanted a parish priest the local people had to get their money together and be able to supply enough money so that the priest could live well. This included building a church and rectory (which rather than adobe or mud, could be brick or concrete, with two stories and a zinc roof), buying a car, scooter or bicycle for the priest’s use, European style foods including wine, chicken, tea, coffee, sausages, peas, potatoes, imported foods, etc.
As Black priests became more common some often followed the lifestyle of the foreign missionaries. Monks and nuns also lived more comfortably than most Nigerians and some people began looking at taking holy orders as a priest, monk or nun as a way to escape poverty.
When Michael became a parish priest, he refused to live in this fashion. He lived a very austere life in comparison to the other priests around him. He refused to live in a nice home, and he would build his own home using adobe, mud brick or other traditional materials. He would sleep on any bed even if it is uncomfortable. He would eat even poorer food than what the local people ate, surviving on tiny portions of yam. He sometimes had a motorbike provided to him, but he often preferred to use a bicycle or even just to walk. He was not deterred from doing his work by tropical rainstorms.
His lifestyle shocked and amazed the Nigerian Catholics, who were not accustomed to this kind of priest. And he became extremely popular and loved among the four parishes that he served in. He organized the community to help the poor and needy, and he personally would help people to build their own homes or perform other projects. He never insisted that poor people pay the AMC, although for richer people he insisted. He was very good at building homes, and taught people new building techniques with adobe or mud brick that were copied and used by the whole community. He was remembered as always being very kind.
He was unyielding in confronting vice among his flock. For example, towards the issue of pre-marital sex, he would not allow men to see their brides before they got married, and he would organize the community to place the bride to be in a special home wherein she would be looked after until she got married, and if the groom attempted to go there without Fr. Tansi’s permission, he could be penalized. He also had a women’s group organized who would enforce disciplines on their own members to avoid pre-marital sex and deter abortion. He was also a very strict disciplinarian with students who failed to work hard at the parish school to the point of hiding near the school, waiting for the bell to ring, and then when he saw students coming late he would come out of his hiding place and penalise them for coming late to school.
He also stood up against oppression of women within the traditional culture and advised women to fight back against those who would rape them or mistreat them. On one occasion, a female parishioner was attacked by a group of pagan males, and she fought back against them, and Fr Michael, who was nearby, came on his bicycle and joined with her and fought them until they fled. He then encouraged her to bring the assailants to court and she did, and won the case against them, forcing them each to pay her four pounds; this case was a milestone in the establishment of women’s rights in Nigeria.
He also was opposed to some aspects of the traditional pagan culture in Nigeria, especially the masquerades, who were believed to be spirits and used to punish innocent people at times. Nigerian pagans had murdered his own mother after claiming she was a witch who had caused mischief.
He gave the community advice and teachings about the right way to live in a practical fashion. For example, there were many mango trees in his locale, and it was common for people to go to the trees and throw rocks at the fruit, and in the process they would knock down far more than they were going to eat, or they knocked down the unripe fruit along with the ripened fruit; and as a result the tree would be denuded before the season was over. Michael considered this very wasteful, and told his parishioners to pluck each mango individually so that nothing was wasted and that they would not lack mangoes to eat later.
He worked in four large parishes: Nnewi, Dunukofia, Akpu/Ajalli and Aguleri (his own home town).
He was also remembered as being a perfectionist, who wants things to be done in the most perfect of way possible, which sometimes placed a burden on those who were under him that they resented.
Trappist Monk
While serving in his last parish, in his own hometown of Aguleri from 1949-1950, Michael began to become attracted to the religious life and was asking about becoming a monk. At that time there were no monasteries established in Nigeria, and the bishop was interested in the idea of sending some candidates to a monastery in Europe who would become monks in Europe and later would return to Nigeria to start up the first Nigerian monastery. Michael and others were selected for this project.
1950 was a jubilee year in the church, and Michael was first sent to Rome to make the pilgrimage to the four major basilicas. He was then sent to Mount St. Bernard in England, to join the Trappist monks there. He arrived on June 8, 1950
At the monastery he joined the novitiate and took his vows, later becoming a full monk, taking the name Cyprian after the Roman martyr. No one at the monastery had any idea of how he had constructed such great parishes in Nigeria and all his accomplishments, and he never told them. He did not try in any way to stand out among the other monks, and to them he seemed like just a normal monk, and many of them did not think that he was a saint or special person.
Despite fears of being treated with racial prejudice, he was fully accepted by the other monks, with the exception perhaps of one South African monk who seemed to look for things to find wrong in his work.
His novice master was very hard on the new monks, which caused him much stress. Bl. Cyprian was sensitive to criticism, and his novice master could always find things that were wrong with what he had done. This caused him much suffering and it was during this trying time that he understood he had made some mistakes in Nigeria with the hard discipline and expectations he had placed on those under him.
He was found to be intelligent and educated. When the monks were listening to a reading of Julius Caesar’s invasion of England, when the boats could not continue, Cyprian asked, ‘Why didn’t they turn on the motors?’ He also didn’t memorize the psalms which the monks sang every morning at 2am after getting out of bed, and would make up words as he sang along.
The English winter was also hard on him.
He didn’t go back to Nigeria again, but remained in Mount St Bernard, because of illness. He did not feel Nigeria independence movement was properly done. His health deteriorated, but he accepted death with no complaint. Before he died he went to Leicester Royal Infirmary, and when he was examined the doctor came out of the examination and spoke with monastery priest Fr James saying “Can you help me please, Father? This man must be in terrific pain, but he will only admit that he has ‘a little pain.'”. He died the same day as a result of Arteriosclerosis and ruptured aneurysm. The date of his death was 20 January 1964.
His body was buried at the monastery in England, but it was later moved to Nigeria.
His Quotations
“Count no one saved, until he is found in heaven” (Onye afuro na enuigwe, si aguyi na)
“Do not be imitating the whites in everything, strive hard to gain the Kingdom of God. The whites are already in heaven in this world, but you are suffering every want. Are you going to suffer also in the next world: Life on earth could be compared to the journey of a young student who received a slip for a registered parcel, and he had to go to Lagos to claim this parcel. On the way he passed through many beautiful towns, towns with very attractive things in the shops. He started going from one shop to another, stretching his hands to the beautiful things he saw. He stopped so often in these big towns that he almost forgot what he was travelling for. It was after a long time that he ultimately reached Lagos, and when he went to claim the parcel he was told that the parcel had lain in the post for so long without him arriving to claim it that they had finally decided to send it back to the sender.”
“God will give you double for what you give Him”
“If you want to eat vultures, you may as well eat seven of them, so that when people call you “vulture eater” you really deserve the name. If you want to become a Catholic, live as a faithful Catholic, so that when people see you, they know that you are a Catholic. If you are going to be a Christian at all, you might as well live entirely for God.”
“Whether you like it or not, saving your soul is your own business. If you are weak and fall by the wayside, we shall push you aside and tread on you as we march forward to meet God.”
“She is not ‘Onye Bem’ (a common Nigerian expression for wife, meaning ‘in my place) but your wife, your better half, part of your own body. ‘Onye’ means a stranger which your wife is not. You must recognize the worth and position of your wife and treat her as your partner and your equal. Unless you do that, she is not a wife to you but a servant, and that is not what God wants a wife to be to the husband.”
INSTITUTIONS NAMED AFTER BLESSED CYPRIAN IWENE TANSI
Blessed Iwene Tansi Major Seminary,Onitsha Anambra State Nigeria (Provincial Seminary)
Blessed Iwene Tansi Secondary School,Aguleri
Blessed Iwene Tansi Parish,Umudioka
Blessed Iwene Tansi Parish Ugwu Orji Owerri Imo State
Blessed Iwene Tansi Chaplaincy, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (Igbariam Campus)
Tansi International College Awka
Tansian University,umunya
Mount St. Bernard Abbey: Re-internment of the remains of the Lulworth Monks & Blessed Cyprian Tansi.

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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

Contact Orji Sunday

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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. 

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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.

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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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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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