A United Nations (UN) report released recently on Nigeria’s Common Country Analysis (CCA), has revealed a deeply alienated society based on the plurality of ethnic, religious and regional identities that had tended to label the country’s political existence.
Fielding questions from journalist, in Port Harcourt, Saturday on the future of Nigeria and other issues, a renowned economist and teacher at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Dr. Catherine Ogubor stated that the report which was read during a consultative conference on the formulation of the UN Development Assistance Framework IV (UNDAF IV) for the South -East geo-political zone in Awka, Anambra State, observed that for decades, various segments of Nigeria’s population had at different times expressed feelings of marginalization, of being short changed, oppressed, threatened, dominated, or even targeted for elimination.
The report, according Ogubor, also painted a dismal picture, with most of the social indices and development in the country recording much below acceptable standards.
The report which read thus, “Nigeria, with a population of over 175 million, is the most populous in Africa and the seventh most populous in the world. Her population will be approximately 200 million by 2019 and over 400 million by 2030, becoming one of the top five most populous countries in the world.
“Nigeria is one of the poorest and most unequal countries in the world, with over 80 million or 64 per cent of her population living below poverty line. The situation has not changed over the decades, but increasing poverty and hunger have remained high in rural areas, remote communities and among female-headed households and these cut across the six geo-political zones, with prevalence ranging from approximately 46.9 per cent in the South-West to 74.3 per cent in the North-West and North-East.
“In Nigeria, 37 per cent of children under five years old were stunted, 18 per cent wasted, 29 per cent underweight and overall, only 10 per cent of children aged 6-23 months are fed approximately based on recommended infant and young children feeding practices. “Youth unemployment which is 42 per cent in 2016 is very high, creating poverty, helplessness and despair and easy target from crime and terrorism. Over 10 million children of school age were out of school with no knowledge and skill”, she said.
As she puts it, “Nigeria’s economy in the report is currently in a recession and it is estimated that government revenues have fallen by as much as 33 per cent, which has further political existence need to be proactively strengthen for enduring future.”
She, however, said that since independence in 1960, Nigeria has struggled to build and sustain national integration, stressing that the report equally recommended that transforming and diversifying Nigeria’s development paths needed a radical and new approach, especially by investing in people and in a viable state for prosperous economy for the country.
Ogubor also called on Nigerian leaders, politicians and other stakeholders to design and support the joint programmes of government and the United Nations to address good governance, peace and security in the country.
Eradiri Faults NDDC Leadership Structure Wants Agric As Top Priority
The Special Adviser to the Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on Youths, Udens Eradiri, has faulted the leadership structure of the commission, saying it has not helped the cause of the Niger Delta in the last 25 years.
Describing the leadership structure of the NDDC as faulty, he said that the faulty leadership structure was the reason why President Muhammadu Buhari ordered for a forensic audit in the commission.
Eradiri who is the former president of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC)
disclosed this while speaking to aviation correspondents, last Friday, shortly on arrival at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, from Abuja.
He said the outcome of the forensic audit would be used to do a wholistic reorganisation of the organogram of the commission.
According to him, the wholistic review of the organogram of the NDDC will help in putting the leadership structure in order, and enable things to function properly.
“The leadership structure of NDDC in the past years had been faulty, and that was why the President said there should be forensic audit, which would be used to do a wholistic review of the organogram of NDDC, so that it can function properly.
“The new board is coming soon, but the whole process will pass through the National Assembly to be cleared”, Eradiri said.
On the achievement of the present NDDC management, the special adviser said that the Effiong Akwa led administration had recorded some landmark achievements compared to the last 25 years.
He said that the present interim management within two years completed and commissioned the headquarters of the NDDC, which had been left for over 25 years.
He also said that the completion of the East-West road project had intensified under the present management, adding that NDDC has also supported states on sanitation through donation of trucks.
Eradiri, however, admitted that the present interim management had not taken a firm stand on agricultural development even though it has been working with the Central Bank of Nigeria on the Anchor Borrowers Scheme.
“I believe that the only tool to use and get ourselves out of the quagmire we find ourselves is agriculture, and I think that the NDDC can design its own scheme on how to grow agriculture as a deliberate policy.
“This will bring change that will grow the region’s economy. We must talk about agricultural processing, and we can put palm oil into sachet, and even students can be buying them,” he said.
By: Corlins Walter
Nigeria Lost N851bn To Oil Theft, Sabotage – NEITI
Nigeria lost N851.84bn ($2.78bn) to oil theft and pipeline sabotage in 2019, the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said.
NEITI said this in its latest oil and gas industry audit report.
NEITI stated that it arrived at the estimate after using an average price of $65.61 per barrel and an average exchange rate of N306.42/$ .
It, however, noted that there was a significant reduction of 21 per cent from the previous year, where 53.28 million barrels were lost.
Losses such as these are recorded by companies whose crude volumes are carried through pipelines easily compromised by saboteurs.
The report also stated that some oil terminals recorded no production. These included Aja operated by Bayelsa Oil, whose license was revoked by the government.
Others were Asaramatoru and Oyo managed by Prime and Allied/CAMAC who were reportedly inactive for the year.
Nigeria earned a total of N10.49tn ($34.22bn) from crude oil and gas sales. This was a marginal 4.88 per cent increase from 2018 revenues of N9.99tn ($32.63bn).
The total crude oil production recorded was 735.24 million barrels, a 4.87per cent increase from 701.10 million barrels reported in 2018.
A total of N2.145tn ($7.011bn) was the domestic sales proceeds in 2019 from 107.24 million barrels of crude oil. This was 0.36 per cent lower than the domestic crude sales of 107.63 million barrels in 2018.
Residents Task New Council Chairmen On Dev, Agric Policies
Some residents in the 23 local government areas of Rivers State have urged the newly sworn-in council chairmen in the state to come up with good agricultural and developmental policies that will transform the grassroots.
They also urged the council boss to take pragmatic steps and actions towards tackling security challenges to encourage business activities thrive in their domains.
Some of the residents who spoke with The Tide at the weekend, noted that the local government administration in the state had not faired well in terms of real development in recent times, and urged the new council helmsmen to change the narratives.
A resident of Emohua Local Government Area, Mr Charles Amadi, noted that no real development had taken place in the area, lamenting the dearth of companies and small scale industries in the area.
He, therefore, called on the new chairman, Dr. Chidi Lyoid, not to solely depend on the monthly allocation, but to go all out to attract small scale companies to the area so as to create employment opportunities as well as generate revenue for the council.
He also urged the new chairman to invest in agriculture, especially farming and fishing.
On his part, Mr Ebenezer Otamiri who lives in Etche, urged the Etche council boss, Obinna Ayanwu, to consolidate on the achievements recorded in his first tenure, especially by building more markets for the people, as well as initiate good agricultural policy to drive the economy of the area.
He also urged the council boss to tackle the issue of electricity and security in the area, saying electricity and security are key to the development of the area.
In his own charge, Mr Mene Geoffrey Dekaa who hails from Bori in Khana Local Government Area of the state, called on his new council chairman, Bariere Thomas, to show capacity and competence in the area of security.
He noted that the issue of security has left native imprint in the development of the area, saying many investors have left Bori, the headquarters of the council, for other places.
“Because of security challenges, many people have left Bori to build houses and invest in Nonwa- Tai, and Eleme.
“Areas like Kono-Boweeh communities are no go areas, as people there can hardly sleep. So if the chairman can work with government recognised traditional rulers and security agents, security issues will be tackled, and people’s confidence will be restored, and business activities will move on”, he said.
By: Residents Task New Council Chairmen On Dev, Agric Policies
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