This September it was announced that the Malawi government was selling their presidential jet to use the proceeds, $15 million to feed the poor.
The proceeds will be used to purchase maize locally and some for legume production. President, Mrs. Joyce Banda, said the cost of running the jet was too much and as such she was selling it to help feed the 10% suffering from food shortage in the African nation.
President Banda also cut her salary by 30 percent and pledged to sell off 35 Mercedes Benz cars used by her cabinet.
Nigeria according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has 112 million poor with 100 million ‘destitute,’ living under a dollar a day.
The number of poor has doubled since 2004, midway into the predecessor Obasanjo’s government, when the number stood at 54 million, to the present 112 million in 2013.
Despite Nigeria recording impressive economic growth, the wealth is simply not reaching the poor who are getting poorer and more desperate while the government and business friends of the government are getting stupendously rich, cutting up chunks of the nation’s resource and sharing its assets among themselves.
As the year 2013 draws to a close, Nigeria is promised more of the same. The government, unlike that of Malawi has budgeted to purchase another presidential jet to add to 10 jets already in the presidential fleet.
According to a recent report, the proposal for the new aircraft has already been included in the 2014 Appropriation Bill submitted to the National Assembly. This latest toy to be added to the presidential fleet will cost N1.5 billion.
It is no secret that most of these presidential jets are used for personal business including the ferrying of the president’s political campaigners and even for transporting questionable cabal, investigated for national fraud.
In November 2012, Jide Omokore, a front-man of the Nigerian president and minister of petroleum was flying from Monaco to Paris when the presidential jet was detained for two days by the French authorities, as reported here.
As Nigeria’s military does a great job checking the atrocities of Boko Haram in the north east, several sources in the military have complained that they lack proper equipment.
This has led to vulnerability to attack with the superiorly equipped Boko Haram being able to ambush and destroy military barracks’.
In the recent attack of a barrack in Bama in which several soldiers were killed and their family members burned alive, raped and also killed, it was reported that the base had only one armored personnel carrier (APC). Most of the equipment used by the Nigerian army was purchased since the Shagari regime.
The battle against terror can never be won by military force alone, however it is almost unheard of for rebel forces to sack military barracks.
Even if the army falls short in protecting civilian villages, it is expected that they are armed and equipped enough to protect themselves.
However Nigeria’s government satisfies itself, getting all the toys, in private jets for politics and business and bullet proof cars, while the army is left exposed and civilians suffer living under a dollar a day without things as simple as drinking water.
It is true that the raping of Nigeria did not start with this or the immediate previous governments during this 6th republic; however Nigerians are tired of being raped. It is no excuse that because others from other ethnic groups have forcefully seized power via coups and raped the country, that the people must open up to all 500 ethnic groups to rape the nation’s people, civilian and military in succession.
While many in urban areas and the totally abandoned villages will be going to bed with empty stomachs, lit kerosene lamps and no hope of employment and restitution, those in the corridors of power sleep once again with all the latest toys.
While the army at war stays up at night afraid that Boko Haram terrorists will sweep their camps, lacking in craft, APC’s, drones and modern technology to keep them ahead in the war, Nigeria’s leaders will fly high-speed and happy in latest jets and drive safe in their bullet proof jeeps.
We pray for a miracle in 2014. We pray the Lord will give us leaders who will not free convicted murderers, but will help us arrest and lock up all the government thieves of the past… lockup the cabal thieves as the poor thieves are locked up today, for what is mete for the poor is likewise mete for the rich.
We pray the Lord replaces this crop with leaders who will start the process of cleaning up the oil polluted swamps of the Niger Delta.
Who will protect the gold mining poisoned children of Zamfara. Who will repair government assets and not sell them to their friends to extort us in unregulated monopolies. Who will create a path to create jobs for our 50% unemployed Youth.
Who will resurrect our police force, equipping them with the toys and decent wages they need to work proud and effectively in curbing crime. Who will build roads without taxing us and even build subway systems.
Who will encourage the setting up of automobile industries in pure competitive fashion, without first punishing us by banning us from importing cars we manage; while they hand themselves unlimited waivers.
We pray the Good Lord will abruptly seize power from the wicked and give it to people with kind hearts, selfless nature and astute judgment, people like Malawi’s President, Joyce Banda, for we cannot last like this much longer.
And we pray the Good Lord strengthen each and every one of us to stand up and say NO! And demand our rightful toys. To resist temptations of xenophobic stupidity which make us complacent to corruption and rape when it is ‘one of ours.’ We pray for progress.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah
http://ENDS.ng [Every Nigerian Do Something]
Email: [email protected] Twitter: @EveryNigerian
NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution
Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has warned telecom consumers to desist from using illegal GSM boosters.
The commission also said that anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.
GSM boosters are devices that transmit and receive telecommunications signals and can therefore interfere with other radio frequency equipment.
Ikechukwu Adinde, director, public affairs, NCC, said in a notice published on NCC website, that only licensed network operators are allowed to use GSM boosters.
The booster, also known as amplifier or repeater is made up of three main elements – exterior antenna, amplifier, and interior antenna.
They form a wireless system to boost cellular reception
“Members of the public should note that, willful interference with any wireless telegraphy is an offence under Section 16 of the Telegraphy Act, 2004,”it said
The agency said it will not condone any flagrant breach of this law.
It has also enforced measures to prosecute offenders.
Accordingly, monitoring mechanisms have been put in place and anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.
“Any member of the public with useful information regarding the illegal use of GSM Boosters should contact the Commission on 09-4617000/7351 or send an email to [email protected],” the notice said.
“Individuals desirous of using GSM Boosters should note that they can only do so in conjunction with licensed network operators,” it added.
Tizeti announced that it selected Nokia’s Fastmile Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology to enable usprovide superior internet services to over 1 Million subscribers in Port Harcourt, Edo and Ogun in Nigeria.
Tizeti will deploy Nokia’s AirScale Base Station TDD-LTE and FastmileFixed Wireless Access (FWA) gatewaysto deliver premium internet and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to Residential, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The solution will also enable Tizeti’sto deliver a more robust, high-speedinternet service to subscribers and the flexibility to seamlessly evolve to 5G Fixed Wireless Access when needed.
Nokia’s FWA solution enables Tizeti to fast-track broadband access and provide a best-in-class broadband experience to its subscribers.
Nokia’sAirScale Base Stations ensure high-quality connectivity and coverage and enablesTizeti to evolve the network in line with customer demand.
Nokia’sFastmilegateways connect wirelessly to the existing network to createa fastbroadband connection and enhanced Wi-Fi experience in the home.
The Nokia Network Services Platform will help Tizeti to simplify operations and quickly respond to changing market demands.
Kendall Ananyi, Tizeti, said:“We are committed to providing the best-in-class network experience to our subscribers. We are confident that Nokia’s proven technology and expertise will help us differentiate our services based on quality. This a crucial project for us as it introduces LTE in our networks and allows us to bring new and innovative services to our subscribers.”
Eniola Balogun, Nokia, said:“We are thrilled to work with Tizeti on the initiative to upgrade their network to bring the latest products and services to its subscribers. Nokia Fastmile will help Tizeti to cost-effectively enhance the customer experience.
The project will also enable them to delight their subscribers by providing more reliable data services.
On the other hand, Tizeti will benefit by adding new revenue streams.”
Risk Assets Push Higher on Vaccine Hopes; Eyes on the Fed
By Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist at FXTM,
After two consecutive weeks of back-to-back declines, global stocks kicked off Monday with solid gains amid a surge in M&A activity and positive signs towards vaccine developments. Currency markets were little changed ahead of a busy week of monetary policy announcements, while Oil and Gold ticked slightly higher.
The two big deals announced over the weekend were Softbank’s plan to sell chipmaker ARM to Nvidia for more than $40 billion and Gilead Sciences to acquire Immunomedics for a price tag of $21 billion. Meanwhile, on the vaccine front, AstraZeneca resumed its phase-3 trial on Covid-19 after being suspended last week following a neurological illness developed in one participant, and Pfizer announced that its vaccine could be distributed before year-end if found safe and effective.
Central Banks will take centre stage this week with the Federal Reserve, Bank of England and Bank of Japan all due to announce policy decisions. Out of the three meetings, the Fed is likely to be the most watched following its historic shift towards average inflation targeting. The big question remains how will the FOMC put this policy into action?
From what we know now, the Fed is set up to keep interest rates near zero for a long time, possibly for several years. Given the new framework, any spike in inflation won’t translate into immediate rate hikes as the Fed wants to compensate for the lost years when they have failed to hit the target. The dot plot will be the key guide for investors and traders alike. If inflation projections remain at 2% or below for the foreseeable future, this will solidify market expectations for a low rate environment for many years to come. That said, Jay Powell would still have to explain in more detail how the new framework will be translated into policy action.
In June’s economic projections, the Fed anticipated unemployment would be at 9.3% by year-end, but, in August, unemployment was well below that forecast at 8.4%. Many other economic data surprised to the upside during the June – August period in a clear sign that most economists were overly pessimistic towards the strength of the recovery. However, there is still a considerable amount of uncertainty given the latest surge in Covid-19 cases worldwide and the US, especially as we get closer into the winter season. A second wave will undoubtedly put the recovery at risk in the final quarter of the year and it will be interesting to see the Fed’s view on that issue.
As for the market selloff over the past two weeks, the Fed isn’t likely to show any signs of concern. In fact, policymakers should be satisfied with the pullback as the risk of a bubble in several assets has been growing due to the Fed’s extremely accommodative policies. Unless we see another 10 -15% drop, do not expect the Fed to intervene.
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