Northern Oil: Chasing a Wild Goose

By Oji Odu With over three billion US dollars already spent on the endless search for oil in the Northern parts of the country, the number of people asking for this now clear futile effort to stop has continued to increase, as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and some stakeholders remain positive that it will find oil in the region. What will the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration gain by wasting the scarce resources at this biting economic times? With the region harboring thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and…

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Kogi State of Pity

By Oji Odu Civil servants are daggers drawn with the state government over unpaid salary arrears ranging from 16 to 21 months. While many have been turned to destitutes. They are seen begging for survival, as others are either hospitalised or dead. Their offence? They dutifully did their jobs and the state government has continued to refuse to pay them. Rather, the governor, Yahaya Bello, has tagged their quest for their salaries, political. But help has come to the embattled state. A few days after Edward Soje, a director in…

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Scramble for 9mobile Heats Up

By Oji Odu The race for the purchase of 9Mobile, formerly Etisalat has continued to gather momentum following the indication of interest of some players, even as more interests continue to emerge for embattled fourth largest mobile telecommunications network with over 20 million subscribers. The Magazine’s findings reveal that about 16 firms have submitted their Expressions of Interest (EoI) to Barcklays to bid for 9Mobile.They include MTN, Africa and Nigeria’s largest telecommunications operator, India’s Barti Airtel which operates as Airtel in Nigeria, and ntel, a company that acquired the assets…

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Nigeria’s Rotten-Sweet Yams

By Oji Odu Ferdinand Akuso was not surprised after he discovered that about 70 percent of the tuber of yam which he was preparing to boil was rotten. “ I had to salvage what was left of the remaining 30 percent before I had something to eat of the yam that night. It was not strange because sometimes you may not know the rotten yams by mere looking,” he lamented. His experience is not isolated, as he only ate about 30 percent of the N500 yam. Since the rejection of…

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State House Hospital of Pity

By Oji Odu Why should President Muhammadu Buhari and other highly placed government officials, including the well-to-do in the society not seek foreign medical attention for the slightest headache when the neither N30 sachet of 12‘paracetamol’ tablets nor syringes are available at the State House Clinic? This is when billions of naira have been allegedly spent to make the hospital efficient and effective. The outburst of the First Lady, Aisha Buhari at a stakeholders meeting on Reproductive, Maternal,Nutrition, Child Advocacy and Health Nutrition organised by her pet project, Future Assured…

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Contentious Loan

By Oji Odu The decision by Federal Government to provide N39 billion loan to power Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to provide meters for their customers has continued to generate angry reactions. Last Friday, two major electricity unions in Nigeria’s power sector expressed their opposition to the decision besides that of the proposed increment in minimum wage in selected government agencies. The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) and the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC), disclosed this at an event organised by the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC)for…

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Missing the “Lion King”

By Oji Odu The pride is gradually heading for collapse. The centre is struggling to hold. The economy is still in tatters. Higher educational sector has been grounded. Boko Haram insurgents have increased the tempo of their attacks, with many dead and property worth millions of naira destroyed in the North-east, especially in Borno and Adamawa states. The level of kidnapping has increased in the country with ritual killings taking frightening dimension in the South-west. Where is the Lion King? Why is he not yet back from his medical sojourn…

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Deadly Fumes

By Oji Odu Nigeria’s power sector has continued to record further losses. Electricity generation recently crashed by about1,835.6 megawatts (mw), as the increased use of electricity generators continue to record pathetic tragedies due to suffocation by fumes. After achieving 4,282.6mw on August 2, 2017, power generation dropped by 1,835.6mw to as low as 2,447mw on August 5, according to the latest data on the performance of the grid. Power generation has continued to fluctuate for several months now, as operators blame the development on gas and frequency constraints. The Transmission…

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Who Buys 9mobile?

By Oji Odu As the newly rebranded 9mobile, Nigeria’s fourth largest telecommunications firm with over 20 million subscribers, some of who are at crossroads on remaining on the network, continue to find ways of resolving its myriad problems and put the company on a sound footing, the race to buy the company has continued to increase. This followed the December date to know the preferred buyer according to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). In line with this, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) 9mobile, Boye Olusanya, has asked the telecoms regulator for…

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BRT’s Fare Abracadabra

By Oji Odu About five months after the kick-off of Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) new fare regime which increased the fares to between 42-53 percent, the Lagos state-owned transport outfit has, again, effected a new transport fare regime, this time by about 25 percent. Was it because of the outcry by the public which accused the operators as being anti-people with their policies that do not have human face, or was it because of their loss of patronage by the people? Speaking on the new development, Managing Director of Primero …

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Starving the Babies of Breast Milk

By Oji Odu As the world celebrates World Breastfeeding week, Nigeria, China, India, Indonesia and Mexico have been described as baby starving countries by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and lose approximately $119 billion annually due to lack of investment in breastfeeding. Sadly, Nigeria loses about 2,300 under-five year olds and this ranks the country as the second largest contributor to under–five mortality rate in the world. Over two-thirds of the deaths are associated with inappropriate feeding/poor practices. Investigations show that complementary feeding begins too early because the babies are…

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Starving the Babies of Breast Milk

By Oji Odu As the world celebrates World Breastfeeding Week, Nigeria, China, India, Indonesia and Mexico have been described as baby starving countries by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and lose approximately $119 billion annually due to lack of investment in breastfeeding. Sadly, Nigeria loses about 2,300 under-five year olds and this ranks the country as the second largest contributor to under–five mortality rate in the world. Over two-thirds of the deaths are associated with inappropriate feeding/poor practices. Investigations show that complementary feeding begins too early because the babies are…

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Still Hope For Power Devolution

By Oji Odu Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has in what appears to be a welcome development following the rejection of the Power Devolution Bill, reassured Nigerians that the defeated bill still stands a chance of being passed, as part of the amendment to the 1999 Constitution after the resumption of both chambers of the National Assembly from the annual recess which commenced last Friday. Saraki gave the assurance in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, while speaking with newsmen shortly after receiving a delegation of the #NotTooYoungToRun# group in the state.…

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9Mobile-Quake

By Oji Odu There are mixed reactions and activities from all quarters among telecommunications stakeholders, especially in 9Mobile, formerly, Etisalat. While anxiety and fears have heightened among the company staff and their subscribers in respect of their fate, the race to acquire the company and the scramble for its about 20 million subscribers has also increased. Yet, the company is doing all possible to survive and remain relevant in the nations competitive telecommunications industry. Huawei technology, a strategic partner of 9Mobile, formerly Etisalat, has ended employment contracts of its  engineering…

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The Lai Controversy

By Oji Odu The name, Lai Mohammed has now been associated with controversies by Nigerians. His actions both as the All Progressives Congress (APC) Spokesman and the Minister of Information and Culture continue to prove so. This includes his most recent when he said that the Federal Government has planned to ban Nigerian musicians and Film makers from producing music videos and films outside the country. Following the criticisms this elicited, the Minister has come out to explain what he meant. “I didn’t say that henceforth, all music videos and…

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Attacks Too Many

By Oji Odu Few minutes after five o’clock in the morning of July 17, 2017, Muslim faithfuls were observing their morning prayers at the University of Maiduguri Mosque. None knew the evil that lurked in the shadows. Suddenly, some suicide bombers believed to be Boko Haram insurgents detonated their explosives inside the mosque, leaving about 10 people dead and several injured. The attack is one of the many in recent times after their claimed ‘Technical Defeat’ by the Nigerian army struck. The recent increase of attacks by the insurgents have…

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Epe Six: 49 Days of Trauma

By Oji Odu It’s now 49 days and the six kidnapped students of the Lagos Senior Model School, Igbonla, Epe, Lagos State, have not been released. It has, indeed, been 49 days of trauma for both the students and their parents, including concerned Nigerians who are now living in fear as nobody knows whose turn it may be next. Has the government failed? Has the society failed? High hopes and expectations by the parents of the kidnapped students and middlemen in the negotiation for the release of the students over…

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Aisha: A First Lady’s Outburst

By Oji Odu Senator Shehu Sanni, All Progressives Congress (APC) representative, Kaduna Central, stirred the hornet nest in his twit where he used animals to describe the state of President Muhammadu Buhari’s health. But the wife of the President, and First Lady of Nigeria would not take likely to it. “God has answered the prayers of the weaker Animals, The Hyena’s and the Jackals will soon be sent out of the kingdom. We strongly believe in the prayers and support of the weaker animals,” Aisha Buhari replied. Senator Sani of…

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BRT Standstill

By Oji Odu Monday, July 10, 2017, Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) scheme drivers decided to embark on a partial strike. Passengers who patronised the laudable transport outfit of the Lagos state government were stranded from the early hours of the day, as the drivers refused to work. At all their bus stops from the Ikorodu terminal to Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), passenger were seem stranded and waiting for the buses to convey them to their destinations from 5.30am to no avail, as the angry drivers loitered around the Ikorodu terminal.…

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Etisalat: “Day” After Takeover By Creditors

By Oji Odu There is heightened anxiety on the 21 million Etisalat Nigeria subscribers of the fate that has befallen their telecommunications provider following the takeover by a consortium of Nigerian banks due to the inability of the firm to pay the $ 1.2 billion it borrowed from them. Unfortunately for Etisalat, the impatience of the Nigerian subscriber which is worsened by their anger over years of rip-off by telecommunications operators in the country and their poor Quality of Service (QoS), even as they continue to rake- in billions of…

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