Monday, May 21, 2007

WALK THE TALK...

The idea to put up this article came in response to Pseudo-Independent's comment about hoping that the incoming administration will enforce the Public Procurement Bill. It's a great initiative in writing but will our incoming government walk the talk that the outgoing OBJ administration has been talking for the last 8 years? Reflecting on the past 8 years, do you think that the OBJ regime has put a lot more effort into lip service than actual implementation, when it comes to corruption and good governance? On the other hand, is that effort well placed in that he has at least set up the platform for the next administration to actually DO more?

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Eurasia Group Note - NIGERIA: Obasanjo's fire sale of state assets continue

Mocking its own previous sermons about corruption and good governance, Nigeria's outgoing regime late on 17 May agreed to sell a majority stake in the country's largest oil refinery, the 200,000 bpd Port Harcourt Refinery, for $561mn to a newly created company controlled by some of the ruling party's largest campaign donors. The sale comes barely a week after the government organized a hasty sale of over 40 oil blocks to similar interests. The new owners of the refinery include a company, Dangote, best known for its flour and sugar operations, another, Zenon Oil, which is a major importer of refined products, and a third, Transcorp, which is essentially insolvent and in which outgoing President Olusegun Obasanjo has previously conceded that his family held some equity interests. Nigeria which consumes almost 350,000 barrels of refined product a day is unlikely curb its imports anytime soon. Nigeria's top domestic banks helped to underwrite the deal.

On another note, the sale of the Port Harcourt Refinery to the Dangote-led consortium and the previous sale of Nigeria's state-owned fixed line telephone company NITEL to Transcorp, another entity in which Obasanjo admitted to having owned significant equity, as well as the questionable sale of the country's largest hotel, Abuja Niccon Hilton, to Transcorp both raise questions about the sincerity of the country's
anti-corruption efforts. The fact that all these deals were underwritten by the country's largest banks also calls into question the business and good governance credentials of some of Nigeria's leading financial institutions.

Whether President-elect Umaru Yar'Adua takes action to reverse some of these controversial and opaque financial transactions remains to be seen. But unless he does, it is unlikely that any political settlement between him and his major political opponents, who have been completely cut out of all these deals, can't happen. On the other hand, if the supposedly stern and ethically devout Yar'Adua reverses some of these sales, he will run into political problems not only with Obasanjo, but with the country's top banks, almost all of which are exposed to these deals and could see their bad loan books affected.

All in all, these questionable financial transactions in the final days of the Obasanjo administration are a sign that the introduction of "democracy" into sub-Saharan Africa will not decrease corruption in the short term. Indeed, corruption is likely to increase in the short-term as new political parties on the continent need funds from oligarchs to run victorious campaigns, and fire sales of state-owned assets to major campaign donors is likely the only rational consequence, since
most ordinary voters on the continent are too poor to contribute to political parties.

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Eurasia Group is the world's leading global political risk advisory and consulting firm. They cover political, social, security and economic developments worldwide and their impact on business and financial markets on a daily basis.

14 comments:

quincy said...

OK I was gonna keep quite b4, but this post is erroneous and not at all current.

At least it's not as annoying as your nonsensical post on The Great MKO Abiola that was riddled with so many contrived and fictitious facts ( take note wikipedia is not a reliable info source, nor is gist)- for example , the claim that HE- Abiola funded the Buhari Coup- a palace and bloodless coup , that was partly a result of the disillusionment with corrupt civilian politicians, partly also because of the aforementioned politicians unwittingly assigning too much power to the Military and armed forces, logical then as they were trying to avoid a repeat of 1966, and also in their bid to quell the opposition and keep suppress any civilian uprising. My point being, an army that was well funded by the government, only needed to turn the GUN in the opposite direction and POWER was theirs. This is exactly what happened. The subsequent IBB coup was simple Mutiny because Buhari was too strict and the Boys (top Milt. brass) were not eating as well as they were under SHAGARI, hence the IBB largesse that followed (putting it simply). All that was needed was a MOTIVE and convincing the fellow CULT members of the Nigerian Army no Civilian Consent, or FUNDING necessary. That is done post consolidation of power- when those needing to be silenced / killed have been dealt with (Machiavelli 101/ Game theory 100). Then all comply, hence the Civilian/ successful business man’s term AGIP – Any Government in Power. Abiola met most of the Army men he considered friends while working for ITT in Ibadan . Ibadan being the site of the largest Army Garrison in Nigeria at the time. Business men, the elite and army became friends, as the rich/ up and coming needed security for Lorries with goods, and personal security, and the army liked money. Other prominent members of the Ibadan Fraternity include Mike Adenuga, Oba Otudeko, & Arisekola Alao.

ABIOLA being greater than all these men put together, as he donated heavily to various charities all across Nigeria, funded many faith schools, single handedly sponsored sports at grass root level to international level all across Africa – my Tunisian friend knows Abiola as he went to an Abiola funded soccer academy in Tunis- for men and women- amongst numerous other things.

Such was the extent of this Man’s greatness that I was irritated that instead of Eulogizing him, you guys decided to focus on the negative. On the whole I’m sure most will agree HE has more POSITIVES than negatives. I am not saying banish objectivity, but if you’re going to criticize any man, especially a dead man please make sure you get your fact s right Bitchy. Abacha is there if you need a name to soil. I was peeved because people demanded HE be remembered, but He wasn’t done any Justice by that post at all. Especially seeing as you showed a lack of depth and concern for the subject matter, as there is so much to write on Abiola’s great deeds you instead focus on his daughter’s laudable yet tiny efforts in comparison to Her Father’s I suggest you remove or revise the post with TRUTHS.

Talk about digressing ,…… Anyways, the error in this recent post is that there is in fact a Lagos Light Railway project recently commissioned by OBJ see http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-53791.0.html, furthermore other mass transit projects such as commercial Ferry schemes a la Staten Island have also been initiated. The problem with Lagos is one of mammoth Logistical problems (which would give even Einstein a headache) as a result of many years of planning neglect, coupled with The fact it’s an AD state ; ) and also sadly to say we are in a ‘Democracy’ now and what happened in Maroko to create VI extension, Lekki etc would be tough to pull off in similar areas of Lagos.

Furthermore, the reason why Abuja is getting all the cheese is because WE are currently bidding to host the Commonwealth Games- Abuja 2014 and subsequently Olympics. So the investment will definitely pay for itself in the Long Run with all the tourist revenue expected. I’ m sure you’ll agree Lagos is nowhere near as ready for such events-Especially with the crap security in the state. Although we should all question the logic behind all these White Elephant projects – stadiums, space programmes, etc when basic Water infrastructure we can’t boast. It’s obvious that Obasanjo and his advisers are admirers of USSR Stalin.

Please note I’m not an Abiola , and I’m a Lagosian . I just don’t like the idea of knocking Good men in death. Also I would like to commend you blog I think It’s definitely necessary and well formatted, with good ideas just try and make sure you follow through and stick with it. Well done indeed, on the whole you guys are doing something positive so please do continue………. I look forward to more. God Bless

Misan said...

Thanks for your comment quincy. We appreciate your feedback but I would like to point out that your irritation is somewhat misdirected. The members of The Afro Beat set up this forum to discuss/dialogue issues regarding Nigeria and learn from each other. To clarify, most of what we put up are articles by others, with small blurbs stating our own opinions, which we’re entitled to have, AS ARE YOU! In the case of the “The Afro Beat Remembers MKO Abiola”, we knew we couldn’t dare say everything that can be said about MKO, (who can?), he had many facets, which many journalists have written eloquently about (more eloquently than Wikipedia I must confess, but in looking for basic quick facts about pp, Wikipedia sometimes offers a good scan of the facts, and that’s what informed the choice of that e-source).

As for the Did-You-Know’s on MKO, we wanted to get in some other facts that aren’t so public when it comes to Eulogies of MKO (which this post was NOT trying to be), I for one didn’t know any of these FACTS before reading them. In expressing an opinion on MKO’s achievements and what we choose to remember him for (i.e. his legacy through Hafsat’s (and other family members’) small YET IMPACTFUL steps), that was ONE opinion. Others expressed theirs, and so did you…now people will read your comment and know that, fact (1): In your opinion, Abiola didn’t fund the Buhari coup; fact (2): In your opinion, Abiola is greater than a sum of current Nija big men put together; fact (3): In your opinion, the writers of that post showed a lack of depth and concern for the subject matter, as there is so much to write on Abiola yet we focused on what we did, and so on…

I think the most critical point I am trying to make here is that The Afro Beat is for people to air their opinions and constructively discuss issues regarding the country, in an honest YET POLITE manner, and therefore, I’d appreciate it if in stating your opinions, you could at least be more courteous in expressing your agitation (you can use this post/comment as a gauge on how to do that ).

Thanks for dropping by and I look forward to seeing you back on here with more knowledge/opinions to share!

Bitchy said...

Quincy, I believe in your enthusiasm to air your disdain for the light-rail and MKO posts, you may have confused a few readers with your comments. I for one am confused as your comment seems to have nothing to do with this "walk the talk" post. Kindly endeavour to attach your critiques to the relevant posts so that any members of The Afro Beat who agree/disagree with you can respond to your comments, which as Misan stated, reflect your personal opinion. We have no problem with you agreeing/disagreeing with the posts, all we would ask is that you try not to get personal in the process. Perhaps if you had taken a proper look at the sources quoted for the articles that are put up on our website, you would have realised (as Misan said) that we are limited to using what we find on the web. We simply put up things we find, here on our website so that others, like yourself, can say what they think and possibly even insert additional perspectives that went untouched in whatever article is being debated at the time.

From your lengthy response to what you termed a "nonsensical post", you have clearly judged yourself to be better informed of the issues discussed here than we ourselves are, which is probably the case. Perhaps you ought to have considered before composing that diatribe, that we are two girls taking the time out of hectic academic schedules to try and help ourselves, and our peers, in the understanding of Nigeria's history and environment, as best we can. We do not profess to be founts of knowledge on the issues discussed here. Bear that mind, and be more constructive in your approach to this forum for debate, if you do decide to come again.

quincy said...

Firstly my comment is not where it was intended to be, my BAD pls feel free to delete it.

I have since posted my comment under the relevant posts. I don’t believe my comments were impolite at all. I critiqued the substance of the post not the writer (s). My intention was not to offend anyone, I believe I stated this explicitly in my last paragraph where I commend the OVERALL quality of your blog and also state that I feel you should continue as I feel it’s INFORMATIVE. The quality of the information I believe is of paramount importance, otherwise as a serious blog it’ll lose credibility. My comment was conceived purely to address this quality issue, in the hope of getting you to revise or remove an erroneous post. Because so long as it stays up , that post will be misinformative instead of the opposite. If, in writing future posts you analyse the quality and sources of your info especially when you intend on saying something negative about a dead person. Then believe me, your blog and all readers will be all the better for it. For so long as it’s accurate no one will complain. Changing your approach or being more diligent in future posts I understand to be constructive criticism, not so? Perhaps you should focus more on quality as opposed to quantity. As you guys have shown in the majority of your other posts that you are capable of writing good quality material, at least to the best of my limited knowledge.

I appreciate as you state, that you have busy schedules, but don’t you feel your readers are busy also (I’m currently a grad student at Yale), and deserve accurate and quality stuff from the afrobeat crew? So if not for me, do it for them and revise or remove the MKO post . As it stands there are also other errors in that post such as the statement that Abiola was practically Involved and a spokesperson of the IBB regime, totally untrue. But He definitely protected his interests by making friends with the powers that be. Totally Logical and goes on till today. Btw Misan my comment is purely an interpretation of facts widely available, can you guys say the same of those ‘did you knows ‘? I know you didn’t write it, just asking.

I think you guys should quit being so sensitive to criticism, not all your posts can be gr8. Your blog as I stated in my first comment is well formatted, with intelligent topics and good writing. Keep up the good effort and hopefully the best is yet to come.

DC Bukky said...

Ahn Ahn.... u guys should chill now, make LOVE not WAR :)hehe....

I agree with Quincy because I believed those statements about MKO and as a result my admiration for him diminished greatly. But this guy seems to know what He's talking about, and my appreciation reborn ( Or mayB I'm just confused??).

I think Bitchy set out her stall to b negative bout d guy, as she states she was reticent initially and as a result the few words she wrote bore these sentiments, which seem baseless to me now. SO at least I have gained from his comments, especially when viewed in reference to events in Turkey recently, where, the Army only needed to issue a statement and the whole country shook. SURELY FUNDING NOT NECCESSARY, JUST POWER / SIGNIFICANCE IN THE POLITICAL ARENA NEEDED.

SO I guess he was constructive after all as I have gained, and yes u guys should be more careful in future , as this guys just made 2 of ur posts and debates within redundant. I also think you guys should responsibly revise that MKO post.

I don't think he was rude also, just frank, come on the guy said God Bless and u guys didn't even say thanks ...hehe he. He gave u props and suggested new topics. Seems like constructive criticism to me and happy I have gained although I was misyarned initially.

Afrobeat is all the better for it, It's seems a great forum 4 serious minded peeps.... Peace

Bitchy said...

I'm sorry, but where I come from, you don't throw out words like "annoying", "nonsensical", "erroneous", "irritating" and then toss in a "God Bless" at the end as an attempt to give your harsh statement a peaceful edge. It doesn't work that way.

My point with you Quincy is that all you had to do was point out the errors without being rude. If Misan and I do research about an issue (which no other person on this blog has offered to contribute to other than 'Confessions of a Moody Crab') and we find what look to us to be credible sources, how the hell are we supposed to know that the information is false? Did we ever, in putting up this site, profess ourselves to be running a bona fide PHD-quality information service? No we did not. But did we ever express ourselves to be anti-correction? No we did not. The people who have been using this blog prior to your arrival Quincy knew this, and so whenever they felt corrections were necessary, they said so in a polite and informative manner - that is what I mean by being constructive DC Bukky, so don't go on about us being sensitive etc because Quincy, in his first comment, was extremely rude.

Prior to now some of our posts have been disagreed with by some of the blog's users. The few who disagreed and who begun their "constructive critiques" with rude and insulting phraseology have ended up getting nowhere. But those who chose to put the information out there simply on the comments page, have ended up educating us and everybody else.

And finally, I'm not saying because we do this for free, or that because we're busy students, our readers should be given rubbish to read, No! I'm saying that because we do this for free and because we are not professionals, our readers should be, and so far have been, patient and helpful whenever they do choose to participate.

I know in your second message Quincy, you said you hadn't intended to be rude with your 1st critique, but the fact of the matter is that was how we interpreted it. Not because we're so sensitive, but because it was rude! Haba!

Lol! Anyway look I have always been a fight fire with fire kinda person. And once I get started down that track, it's difficult to come back. But really, thank you for alerting us to the errors in the post. If you have time to revise it, please feel free to do so, and email it to us at - info@theafrobeat.com - so that we can put it up. Cheers.

Lateef said...

Abeg pls dont let Quincy revise the post. I have read her post & she seems to be guilty of the same crime she is accusing you of.

a)MKO funded the Buhari coup as well as the subsequent Babangida coup. Abiola never denied that he was the single largest donor.Other donors were Mai Deribe, Isyaku Rabiu & late Aliyu Dasuki. He stated this in several interviews with his own Concord Press. Olusegun Adeniyi(Thisday columnist) worked for Concord then & if memory serves me right he conducted one of the interviews. He can still be contacted to see if you can get old copies of Concord from the archive.

b)Abiola met the military top brass whilst working for ITT in the early 70s but this was not in Ibadan. It was in Dodan Barracks. Murtala Mohammed was the Federal Minister of Communications then.

c)Abiola was a wealthy man but he also enjoyed the "Babangida largesse" & benefitted from his closeness to IBB. He was given an oil bloc in 1989 when he did not even have an oil company! His oil company Summit Oil was only set up in 1990(see Summit Oil site- http://www.kumepeters.com/tests/about_us.html

d)I am an Abiola fan but I am also objective. I concur with Quincy on why he should be celebrated ie his philanthropy. My grandmum was poor but Abiola sponsored her trip to Mecca thrice & he never met her. I know people who Abiola sent to school and gave them hope & future and yet he never knew/met them. This was done across the length and breadth of Nigeria and I dont know any other Nigerian(living or dead) who was as altruistic as Abiola.

Baba Sala said...

The irony is that every govt in Nigeria has promised to fight corruption & most times have been worse than the previous government.

Even Abacha had his Failed Bank Tribunal and NDLEA was active in his days and military coups like the ones of Buhari and Babangida emerged to correct the ills of corruption before them.

Yar'Adua may want to fight corruption but I doubt he really has the moral force to do so. He is humble and honest no doubt but he is a product of the most corrupt elections in Nigerian history. He was given this job on a platter of gold by the most corrupt ruling party and I seriously wonder where he will get the strength to tell this BIG BOYS to back off!!

The Pseudo-Independent said...

Talk the walk. I'll be back guys.

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

I'm with Baba Sala on this. Yar'Adua has been placed in a compromising position.

Yes, he has been heralded for being ethical and uncorrupt. But, the way he became President-elect will cripple any attempt to carry out the necessary anti-corruption reforms that Nigeria needs. I once wrote a piece titled UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES and I think that the title aptly describes Yar'Adua's predicament.

If he tries to make changes - he will be accussed of being a sham, if does nothing, he will be accused of being OBJ's lap dog and part of the problem. If OBJ, and the powers that be, had better sense, they would have done their damndest to not give the impression that they were interferring in the electoral process. They have now given the next administration 'k-leg'. Now, we all have to wait and see what the future holds.

Good post!

Misan said...

I heard a Nigerian professor from UI talk at Stanford last week about the Nigerian elections and how Yar'Adua would most likely have won (marginally) if the elections had been allowed to take their natural course....but heaven forbid the powers that be take such chances...

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