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Chidoka locks horn with Ameachi over comments that money Jonathan left could not last 3 weeks

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A former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, has countered the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, over comments that the money left behind by the administration of ex-president Goodluck Jonathan could not last for three weeks.

Amaechi spoke on Channels Television’s programme titled, ‘Hard Copy’.
Ameachi had indicated that, “As former chairman of the governors’ forum, I was told by the security in a meeting chaired by the former President, including the former minister of finance, that at every point in time, the government must leave money behind in case Nigeria goes to war that would last for six months. By the time we came, they didn’t leave money behind that could last us for three weeks. And I was speaking at that time as the chairman of the governors’ forum.”
Reacting, Chidoka said,
“I read with surprise and disappointment comments made by the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, during an appearance on Channels Television
“The Minister’s comment is rather unfortunate and not supported by facts readily available in the public domain. As a member of the Federal Executive Council that handed over to the current administration, I am disturbed that this urban myth of “empty treasury” is still the subject of conversation by a senior government member.

“Also, I am confused about what the Honourable Minister means when he says, “By the time we came in”, as he was not appointed Minister until six months after the May 29 Handover. Since he was not a Minister on the handover date, it may be pertinent to present him with the facts again.

“On May 29, 2015, President Buhari inherited a foreign reserve of $28.6 billion, according to official data still present on the website of the Central Bank of Nigeria, as well as $5.6 billion Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas Limited dividends. Also, a 2015 budget of over 4 trillion Naira was handed over to the incoming administration by the outgoing Jonathan government.

“Furthermore, the Jonathan administration left a total of $2.2 billion in the Excess Crude Account on May 29, 2015. (As verified by the Ministry of Finance both by the immediate past minister and the incumbent).

“To further create context, I would like the Minister of Transport to note the country’s economic indices after 1849 days of President Jonathan’s Presidency from May 06 2010, the date he took over from President Umaru Yar’Adua to the Handover date of May 29, 2015.

“On May 29, 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari inherited an economy that, by the testimony of the World Investment Report, prepared by the Geneva-based United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), was the number one destination for foreign direct investment in Africa.
“In the five years of President Jonathan, Direct Foreign Investment stood at about 35.25 Billion Dollars. You can compare this to the 11.55 Billion Dollars Direct Foreign Investment received from 2016 to 2020.

“The Jonathan administration handed over a $550 billion economy (largest in Africa and 26th globally) and a diversified economy.
On May 29, 2015, President Jonathan left behind an economy with a stable currency, where the Naira exchanged for ₦199 to $1, and Nigeria had a single-digit inflation rate. Today, after 2406 days of the current administration headline inflation rate hovers above 15%.

“Under President Jonathan, the unemployment rate stood at 7.5% (better than European Union) today. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, six and half years after Governor Amaechi’s government came in, unemployment is 33%.

“Before the government came in, Nigeria’s poverty rate was 32% as of May 2015. We need not compare it against 71% today after 78 months of President Buhari’s administration.

“Our External debt as of May 2015 stood at $7.3 billion, the Gini coefficient (degree of inequality) was not different from China’s as of 2015. In 343 weeks and four days of the current administration, our external debt has ballooned to $37.9 billion as of September 2021. It is important to point out that over 48% are bilateral and commercial loans.

“With the facts above, I am sure that the Minister of Transport will rethink his fixation on the past and focus on the clear and present danger of an economy on the path to Argentina – sovereign debt default.

“In the face of declining revenues, available public data revealed that external debt servicing gulped $1.82 billion between January and September 2021; this is 43.9% higher than the $1.27 billion spent in the corresponding period of 2020.

“In the same period of January to September 2021, Domestic debt servicing rose to N1.74 trillion from N1.53 trillion recorded in the same period of 2020.

“These issues should worry the Honourable Minister, coupled with unlocking the asphyxiating gridlock that Apapa port has created in the economy.

“2406 days after, a clear 557 days (1 year five months) more than President Jonathan governed Nigeria; this administration’s economic policies and heightened insecurity have left the country comatose.

“Minister Amaechi and the APC government should stop this perennial blame game and focus on redeeming its tattered image by signing the electoral bill passed by a legislature it controls”

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Kano Gov reinstates Sanusi Lamido as Emir

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The Governor of Kano State, Abba Yusuf has reinstated Malam Sunusi Lamido Sunusi as the new Emir of Kano.
This came following his assent to the Kano Emirate Councils Law (Repeal Bill) 2024 which repealed the establishment of the 5 new Emirates earlier established in the state.

Yusuf announced the reappointment shortly after assenting to the Repeal Bill at the Government House,Kano.
The Governor ordered the former Emirs and other officials whom operated under the extinct law to move out of their official residences and palaces within the next 48 hours.
The Governor also directed them to hand over all government properties in their possession to the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, who is also the Deputy Governor of the State,Comrade Amin Abdulsalam Gwarzo

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PTDF promotion scam allegations prompt calls for Governments intervention

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The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), saddled with the training of personnel for the oil and gas industry, is under intense scrutiny for alleged promotion irregularities.
Ongoing investigations have revealed significant concerns about the agency’s promotion practices.

For precisely three years, while the former executive secretary, Bello Gusau, was heading the organization, it was discovered that twenty-four PTDF officials were sent on a training course called the Chief Officers’ Course, followed by a qualifying examination to move to deputy manager positions. The agency camped these twenty-four officers in a hotel in Utako for about nine weeks. After the conclusion of the examination exercise, the management, led by Bello Gusau, chose ten out of the batch for promotion, citing insufficient space to accommodate all officers due for promotion.

This decision was met with significant rancor, especially since management had earlier declared fourteen managerial positions vacant. An anonymous PTDF official noted, “It was almost obvious that the former ES organized the course as a sham, having predetermined who would be promoted and who would be discarded under the excuse of insufficient space.” This sentiment was echoed by other staff members who felt that the process was deeply flawed.

Moreover, double promotions were swiftly granted to management members within a year. Immediate pressure from the PTDF branch of PENGASSAN led to expedited promotions for junior officials, further masking underlying favoritism, tribalism, and discrimination. This prompted our reporter to embark on a fact-finding mission to uncover the truth behind these allegations.

The present ES, Alhaji Galadima, who took over from Alhaji Gusau, is allegedly planning another round of promotions despite purported vacancy limitations. According to findings, Alhaji Galadima has recently concluded promotions for top management staff, predominantly from the North, granting some double promotions while claiming there were no vacancies.

A staff member speaking anonymously highlighted the lack of a board of directors, which has centralized power in the hands of the Executive Secretary, allowing for unchecked influence over promotions and other matters. “The absence of a board of directors has allowed the ES to wield unchecked power, influencing promotions and other crucial decisions,” the staff member stated.

Another Chief Officer criticized the system for favoring the northern region, alleging, “They monopolize top positions and rotate power among themselves, perpetuating a cycle of exclusion and marginalization.”

Further investigations revealed that the same staff member had vied for the Executive Secretary position when the tenure of the immediate past Executive Secretary elapsed. He attributed his failure to favoritism perpetrated by the northern hegemony ideology, which many staff members believe is taking over the PTDF.

“Alhaji Galadima plans to merge previous course attendees with recent promotees, cherry-picking favorites for promotion to management cadres,” another staff member explained. “Some staff who have been due for promotion and waiting for nearly ten years are forced to answer to their juniors. This further perpetuates nepotism and favoritism.”

These practices have led to a significant decline in staff morale. Employees lament that merit and diligence are reportedly overlooked in favor of ethnic and religious affiliations. An anonymous staff member remarked, “Merit and diligence have taken a backseat to ethnic and religious favoritism. It’s demoralizing and undermines the integrity of our organization.”

The revelations underscore the urgent need for comprehensive reform within PTDF to ensure fairness, transparency, and accountability in its operations. There is a growing call for government intervention to rectify the situation and restore confidence in PTDF’s promotion process.

“The need for government intervention is urgent,” emphasized another staff member. “We need reforms to ensure fairness and transparency. Our organization’s integrity is at stake.”

As investigations continue, the hope remains that the PTDF will address these issues promptly to rebuild trust and uphold its mission of training personnel for the oil and gas industry with integrity and fairness.

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Andrew Chapman explains why scouting produces better leaders for better society

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The Chairman, World Organisation of Scout Movement (WOSM), Mr. Andrew Chapman, has explained why scouting has the potency to produce better leaders who will take the society to greater heights

He said they better and more useful in the society than their peers who did not have scouting experiences.
Mr. Chapman made the assertion while fielding questions from journalists in Abuja, at the National Parade and Presidential Awards, organised by WOSM.
According to him, scouting is all about building confidence and self-esteem, learning important life skills and leadership skills, team building, outdoor adventure, education, and fun, stressing that Scouts learn how to make good choices and to take responsibility for their actions so that they are prepared for their adult life as independent persons.
The WOSM boss noted that this year’s scout jamboree taking place in the nation’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), would remind the young people that they are party of the global community.
Mr. Chapman, who came to Nigeria from Chicago, to witness the Scout jamboree and Presidential Awards, expressed optimism, that scouts who would become leaders at various levels in the country in future, would apply the noble skills and values they acquired in their early years in life, to render examplery and exceptional leadership to the nation.
“Scouting reminds the young people and even the old people that we are all interconnected. So, we coming here reminds the young people that they are part of the global community. And during their bids to become the governors, the mayors, the presidents of this country, I believe they will demonstrate those values instilled in them in scouting.
“We have done a lot of studies on the social impact of scouting, and we have evidence and proofs in every continent of the world, that young people who joined scouting, later in life become much more likely than their peers to get better jobs and to be more stable in the family.
“They are more likely to have better formal education; they are more likely to make more money throughout life and they are more likely to get along with other people because what we do in scouting cascades to after life. We teach young people how to get along with each other. Imagine if all the leaders of the world today are being involved in scouting, they will know how to get along with each other” he said.
Also speaking, the Director, African Region of WOSM, Mr. Frederic Tutu-Tutu Kama Kama, noted that highly qualitative Scouts have been trained in Nigeria, assuring that they are going to have positive impact on the lives of the Nigerians and the country at large.
He explained that, in scouting, they teach young people how to love each other, live in peace among themselves and give peace to the society in general, stressing that the way to achieve world peace is not by war or use of weapons, but through heart to heart and love for each other.
Mr. Kama Kama underscored the importance of recognising and rewarding people who had made meaningful contributions to the development of the society, pointing out that troubles do erupt societies because those who contributed so much to the society are not rewarded or given recognition.
“Our visit is not just to meet the leaders or the patron; our visits is also to meet the Scouts, to look at the quality of the vocational skills we are giving to the young people today. And the quality of that offering is also a reflection of the quality of the Scouts we have formed in Nigeria. And the quality of scouts in Nigeria is also going to have impact in the lives of these young people
“Our leader, Paul Baden Powell was a two star general of the British Army. He fought in India, he fought in South Africa and he fought in Ghana. However, what was important he said was, if you want world peace, it’s not through war; it’s not through weapons, it’s through heart to heart. In scouting, we teach the young people to love each other.
Like the experience these young people are having in this jamboree, is one that will last a life time. Between them, it’s very difficult for them to raise hand in violence against each other.
“Psychology teaches us that a character we have in life is what we develope through our young age. And if you miss instilling characters in young people, later life is useless. So, what we do to the young people today is to teach them friendship, love, characters, discipline. And these are the things that are going to present them as responsible citizens later in life and to be peace lovers.
“The significance of the award is much of recognition. Sometimes in life, we have disgruntled people because many people are not recognised. From my country, from Kenya where I work, and from around the world, many of the people, especially the teachers, the health workers, the soldiers, we have trouble in the society because these people are doing much and not recognised.
“So, the world needs to recognise the contribution of each of these persons to the development of the society. Scouting in very important to the development of the community, the development of the society and the development of the world scouting is for the development of the society. We don’t have the Nobel praise prize to give, but in the world, it is a recognition that you have made a contribution and it’s very important for us to recognise you”he said.
About 1500 delegates across the 36 states of the federation including the FCT are taking part in the Nigerian National Scouts Parade and Presidential Award, which is the second edition, and the largest scouting jamboree in Africa

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