A recent news about the dismissal of an academic staff in Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, came a few days after a press release by the management of Rivers State University about a similar dismissal of a professor. Certainly, such dismissals must have been preceded by a thorough internal inquiry into allegations of some wrong doing. Hopefully, such inquiries must also have followed the rule of fair hearing and opportunity for an appeal. By the house of intellect, the mind of the reader should please go far beyond tertiary and other institutions of learning where intellectual quibbling pass for the search for truth. As a matter of truth, intellectual culture is a movement which began long ago and whose mission has been to confine and narrow down the scope of perception of humanity. High priests of that movement or culture were the custodians of various responsible for their propagation, truth-wise. Therefore, the house of intellect has many posts and mansions, ranging from academia, monarchy, the ecclesia, the arena of macho-men and the party or profession of death. There are those whose mission is not towards the enhancement of life, but the elimination of those who express contrary views from what the house and culture of intellect had erected as absolute truth. Historically the war of supremacy initiated by the high priests of the intellectual culture had its bloodiest arena in religious movements and proselytism. Readers who may be interested in this line of inquiry, including what horrors humanity had experienced in the past, are enjoined to read The Spanish Inquisition by Jean Plaidy (1978). Similarly, the Crusades or military expeditions between 1096 and 1272 sought to recover the “Holy Land” from the Moslems. History of horrors! Humanity did not experience only history of horrors arising from intolerance, but more of a tyrannical movement to keep the minds of humans as narrow as possible via instruments of fear and intimidation. Such movement of horror and mind control did not begin with Emperor Nero of ancient Roman civilization, neither did it end with Adolf Hitler of Nazi Germany. The Dark Continent of Africa had untold stories of village tyrants and flesh-eating macho-men. Today, emphasis tends to be focused on our institutions of learning, with “sorting, extortion of money and sex for grades” as deadly sins and signs of ultimate debauchery. But these are merely some of the visible evidence of the manifestations of movement of the intellectual culture. This unfortunate trend was enthroned a long time ago and it gradually took roots in the human mind with attendant expressions in actions, attitudes and value orientations. Hardly is anyone left out, except that hypocrisy is a ready camouflage.
Effects of the slow poison of the excrescences of the intellectual culture play out in the enthronement of tyranny and intolerance of contrary views. From the home, to national and international settings, there is the adoration and adulation of precocity or intellectual smartness. Parents take pride in showing off precocious children who become more clever than their grand parents. There begins the shaking of the house of intellect. At a certain time in Nigerian university system, there arose a policy that lecturers without PhD, degrees would be weeded out of the system. At the back of that policy were some dark and myopic motives. For example, Professor Wole Soyinka was not known to hold a PhD Certificate and there were many professors with only first degree, but were role models. In the good old days, professorship was determined by the fact that a university don had some value, ideal or value-added knowledge to profess to humanity. But later-day intellectual heroes and militants, discovered and spread the ideal that big certificates and appellations were synonymous with character, knowledge and productivitiy. Thus began another stage in the shaking of the house of intellect. Money is known to be an able soldier and so powerful that where it steps in, all roads would lie open. For those who have not heard, known or believed, big certificates can be bought and sold, not only in Toronto but in any back-house of intellect. Current stage in the shaking and spoiling trend via intellectual sagacity takes the form of putting square pegs in round holes. By this is meant wrong and corrupt deployment of human talents, skills and abilities where they do not belong or fit in most. Faces of corrupt practices feature where those who should engage in something else become educators and politicians. The result is the abuses of power. Shakespeare would say that humanity is still deceived with ornaments; but have there not been stories of clergy-men eating pepper-soup make with placenta of a woman seven hours after birth? Since eaves dropping and electronic capturing of dark, secret deeds have become popular pranks, Nigerians can expect more shocking revelations. By the way, walls have ears and no deed remains hidden forever! But many believe their sins are hidden! There are individuals and organisations with records and evidence of shocking deeds but who, for security reasons, would not let the cat out o f the bag. It is needful also that Nigerians be cautious of wearing the garb of hypocrisy, in spite of the prevailing culture of sanctimony. The shaking house of intellect will throw up more debris and scum that would be more putrid than we would tolerate. The shaking has begun. From the university system, the shaking would extend that harbour the intellectual virus.
Be Obedient To God’s Instructions, Oyedepo Tells Congregants
Wife of the Presiding Bishop of Living Faith Church (LFC) Worldwide, Pastor Faith Oyedepo, has urged winners to be obedient in the affairs of the Kingdom (of God).
On his part, the husband, Bishop David Oyedepo, said obedience was better than sacrifice.
The couple spoke at this at the church’s monthly leadership conference at the weekend.
Oyedepo’s wife, while citing Isaiah 1:19-20, stressed the need for Christians to be obedient to spiritual instructions to enjoy the good of the land.
She said: “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it” (Isa. 1:19-20).
She urged the church to pray for God’s Spirit to serve and be obedient.
In his sermon, Bishop David Oyedepo, while unravelling the mystery of the covenant of obedience, said: “To be obedient is better than sacrifice. Obedience may be costly but the end result is always priceless.
“When you live your life as a seed, its impact lives for generations after you”.
RSG Unveils, Flags Off 15 Key Projects In 15 Days …Kick-Starts Two New Flyovers, Azikiwe-Illoabuchi Road Dualisation …Opens Orochiri-Worukwo Flyover, Ogbunabali-Eastern Bypass Road, Two Others For Use
Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital and other urban centres will witness major activities from today, as the state government begins another round of strategic infrastructure projects’ commissioning and flag off across the state, with the unveiling for public use of the Orochiri/Worukwo (Waterlines) Flyover in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu at 11am.
Similarly, the Governor Nyesom Wike-led government will inaugurate the Ogbunabali-Eastern Bypass Road, also in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, tomorrow.
According to a schedule of events made available to The Tide by the government, last Friday, the former Sokoto State Governor, Senator Aliyu Wamakko will perform the ceremony at Ogbunabali Junction.
Also to be commissioned on August 11, by the Director-General of NYSC, Brig.-Gen. M.K, Fadah, is the 5,000-capacity NYSC Auditorium; while the new State House of Assembly Quarters will be inaugurated by the Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila on August 12.
However, on Wednesday, August 10, the former Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, will flag off the dualisation of Azikiwe-Iloabuchi Road in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area.
Between August 16 and 26, 10 more projects would either be commissioned or inaugurated across the state.
These include the Government VIP Lounge at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, in Ikwerre Local Government Area on August 16; unveiling of the remodelled Waterlines Building on Port Harcourt/Aba Express Road by Waterlines Junction in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area on Wednesday, August 17; flag off of the construction of the 11th flyover at Ikwerre Road by Rumuokwuta/Rumuola Junctions in Obio/Akpor LGA on Thursday, August 18; and the flag off of the 12th flyover at Mgbuoba-Ozuoba/Ada-George Road by Location Junction in Obio/Akpor LGA on Friday, August 19.
Other landmark projects lined up for special commissioning or flag off are the construction of Omagwa internal roads on Saturday, August 20; and flag off of Igwuruta internal roads on Monday, August 22, both in Ikwerre Local Government Area; as well as unveiling of land reclamation, shore protection, road network, drains, power station and water reticulation, and housing complex at Ogbum-Nu-Abali sandfill, Port Harcourt City Local Government Area on Tuesday, August 23.
The rest are the unveiling of a police station at Ogum-Nu-Abali sandfill-Eastern Bye-pass area on Wednesday, August 24; Eneka internal roads in Obio/Akpor on Thursday, August 25; as well as Community Secondary School, Obuama (Harry’s Town) in Degema Local Government Area, Friday, August 26.
Meanwhile, a statement by the Special Assistant (Media and Documentation) to the state Commissioner for Works, Dornubari Kiinee, last Saturday, indicated that following plans to commission the Orochiri/Worukwo (Waterlines) Flyover, both ends of the flyover had been consequently closed on Saturday, August 6, 2022 at 12 noon to enable the ministry prepare for the commissioning ceremony.
The statement explained that “Vehicular movement from Garrison will be diverted through Oroworukwo; traffic from Hotel Presidential Junction will be diverted through GRA Junction. The flyover will be opened for use immediately after the ceremony on Monday”.
The statement further said that “The Ogbunuabali axis will be temporarily closed and traffic diverted accordingly until after the ceremony” on Tuesday.
Kiinee said that, “Furthermore, the dualisation of Azikiwe-Iloabuchi Road will be flagged-off on Wednesday, 10 August, 2022 by former Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko. That road will be closed also and traffic diverted to neighbouring streets for the period of six months”.
According to the statement, “As preparation for the commencement of the construction of the 11th and 12th flyovers reaches its final stage, the Commissioner for Works, Rivers State, Dr. George-Kelly Dax Alabo, wishes to use this medium to inform residents of Rivers State, particularly motorists plying Ikwerre Road and NTA Road that there will be road closures around the axis of Rumuokwuta/Rumuola Junction, and Location Junction by Ada-George, where these projects are to be sited.
“This new development will last for the period of 10 months, which is the stipulated duration of the construction work.
“Motorists are kindly advised to use alternative routes to be outlined thus: Vehicles coming from NTA axis will pass through Farm Road to Ben Wosley along Ada-George Road, or through Ohakwe Street.
“As for Rumuokwuta/Rumuola flyover project, traffic will be diverted to Psychiatric Road; those coming from Wimpy Junction will be diverted to Road 1 through Kala Police Station”.
The commissioner appealed to the people of Rivers State to show understanding and patience with the state government, whilst the meaningful projects are flagged-off and commissioned in record time for traffic decongestion in the metropolis.
By: Nelson Chukwudi
Nigeria’s Economy On Brink Of Collapse, NECA Alerts
The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA, Sunday in Lagos, raised the alarm that the nation’s economy is on the brink of collapse, warning that spiralling inflation, rising energy cost (scarcity of FOREX, the dwindling value of the Naira among others, are bleeding the economy.
Speaking in Lagos, the Director-General, DG, of NECA, Mr Wale Oyerinde lamented that the economy is under the weight of an almost comatose aviation sector, stuttering education system, rising debt, depleting Foreign Reserve and rising fuel subsidy expenses among others.
The newly appointed D-G of NECA advised the federal government to employ a holistic and multi-pronged approach toward resolving the challenges faced by the nation.
According to him, “The nation is currently faced with multiple challenges. With a dire combination of spiralling inflation, rising energy costs (aviation fuel, diesel, etc.), scarcity of FOREX, dwindling value of the Naira and an almost comatose Aviation sector. Also, with a stuttering education system, rising debt, depleting Foreign Reserve and rising fuel subsidy expenses among others, that threatens to lay bare the country’s economy, there is no better time for Government to reappraise current economic policies and deepen its engagement with the Organized Private Sector. While Government’s effort to salvage the economy is commendable, there is, however, a need for a more holistic approach to resuscitate the stuttering economy.
“Being dependent on Crude oil for about 90 per cent of its Foreign Exchange earnings and 80 per cent of its budgetary revenues, Nigeria has always lived dangerously on the precipice, with a major chunk of its revenue dependent on the complexities of global Crude demand and supply. A dangerous blend of self-destructive tendencies, insecurity and fiscal and monetary policy inconsistencies have also conspired to make the situation worse. While revenue continues to shrink, the nation continues to dig its feet deeper into debt.
“At different times over the past few years, various international bodies including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization have warned about the excessive nature of the country’s borrowing. While some Stakeholders have canvassed that the revenue to GDP ratio of the country is healthy, a recent announcement by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning that the revenue to debt service ratio is in the negative calls for urgent concern.
“In April, the World Bank warned that the rising cost of fuel subsidy could significantly impact public finance and pose debt sustainability concerns. Alas, this projection is almost happening. The Fiscal Performance Report released recently by the Federal Government confirmed the accuracy of these projections. The combination of a struggling aviation sector and roads taken over by bandits have also conspired to fuel the situation, leading to rising inflation at 18.6% (according to the NBS). These have continued to worsen the promotion of Commerce and the increase the rate of de-industrialization of some regions of the country.”
The DG of the umbrella body for employers in the country, while recommending how to deal with the multi-face challenges, called for “a deliberate and economic priority influenced approach and wide consultation with Stakeholders should commence, with the view of harvesting alternative policy options to re-energize all sectors of the economy. While the challenges of revenue shortage are acknowledged, burdening businesses with new taxes or levies will be counter-productive and self-destructive action. Over-burdening already burdened businesses will only lead to business closure and an escalation of job losses with consequential effects on our social and economic stability. Government should, in the short-term widen the tax net, reduce wastages in governance, and focus on economic projects that will stimulate the Nigerian economy and guarantee an enabling environment for businesses to operate. An enabling environment for local businesses will create the platform for new foreign direct investment, which could increase FOREX inflow into the country.
“In the medium term, the Federal Government should, as a matter of urgency, fix the four national refineries and encourage the development of Modular ones as a precursor to total removal of fuel subsidy. With over N5trillion budgeted for subsidy payment in 2022, an amount larger than the budget for education and agriculture, this is unrealistic and unsustainable. Economic interventions aimed at improving living standards (to stimulate consumption) and Enterprise sustainability (to promote job creation) should be implemented. While FOREX scarcity persists, allocation of the available FOREX to manufacturing and other productive sectors of the economy should be given priority.”
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