Saturday, 12 September 2020

ONLY THE DEEP CAN CALL TO THE DEEP-OBASANJO-By Olufemi Aduwo.

ln July 1981,Papa Awolowo"having studied the economy of the nation and observed its poor management by Sheu Shagari's NPN government,Awowolo wrote a letter to then President warning him about the imminent danger:"There is a frightful danger ahead,visible for those who care and are patriotic enough to look beyond their narrow self-interest.Our ship of state is fast approaching a huge rock and unless you,as the Chief helmsman, quickly rise to the occasion and courageously steer the ship away from its present course, it shall not the rock and the inescapable consequence will be unspeakable disaster such as it rare in the annals of man..."
Rather than thank the sage for his advice and make necessary adjustments, Shagari, probably resenting the fact that the content of the letter was made public, scornfully replied:You are not serious when you refer to our economy as depressed. Ours is acknowledged world wide as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, thanks to our economy policy..."He also dispatched his Finance Minister,
Party Chairman and other top government functionaries to London to address a "World Press Conference"where they debunked the claims of Awolowo and called him unprintable names.

It was soon obvious who was not serious because some months later,Shagari was compelled to adopt austerity measures to stem the slide of the economy.But already, the damage has been done.Some commentators have argued that Awolowo ought to have seen him in private and offered his counsel. Maybe, Maybe not.But Proverbs 27:5-6 says,Better is open rebuke than hidden love.Wounds from a trusted friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses."The government was at the end terminated by the beret Generals in December 31,1983,another set of robbers.

The recent comments of the former President Obasanjo only echoed what is the common talk in the beer parlours and pepper soup joints across the country.Let me repeat what the former President Obasanjo and elder statesman said "Nigeria is fast drifting to a failed and badly divided state, economically our country is becoming a basket case and poverty capital of the world, and socially, we are firming up as an unwholesome and insecure country.
And these manifestations are the products of recent mismanagement of diversity and socio-economic development of our country.Old fault lines that were disappearing have opened up in greater fissures and with drums of hatred, disintegration and separation and accompanying choruses being heard loud and clear almost everywhere.

Mr.President,in case you are not aware of these stated situations, probably as Shagari too was not aware ,it shows your aides (comprises advisers,Ministers, Vice President etc)are being economical with truth or President is impervious to correction.let us employ Prof.Adebayo Williams a renowned wordsmith writes as a compass,the game so beloved by the Nigerian political elite is going toward what is known in football as injury time. As all soccer fanatics know, it is indeed the most critical moment, distinguished by anxiety and acute uncertainty. Within the twinkling of an eye, anything can go wrong and invariably, things do go wrong. 
Carefully laid down plans go up in smoke.The players themselves with tired limbs, declining vision and deteriorating coordination look towards the referees for early deliverance since events have conspired to make it impossible  to settle for a draw, and a clear winner must emerge; it is this fleeting moment that determines whether the match will end in penalty shoot-out or the phenomenon known as “sudden death”.

This is the moment that has stolen upon us. As the country lurches and staggers from one crisis to another, as one measure is hurriedly abandoned for even more inept solutions, as the rule of law is recklessly abandoned at all levels of government for rule of man, it is clear that we are faced with what is known as an “organic crisis”Nations are also like human beings and when an affliction becomes terminal, when suffering is unbearably acute, when human misery is so stark and remorseless, it is time to consider the virtues of euthunasia.
Looking through the glass, herdsmen crisis,the Boko Haram insurgency, clamouring for Biafra and Oodua Republics,the high level of corruption and looting across government’s MDAs, it is glaring that we have in our hands a classic recipe for organic crisis.Calling Obasanjo names by President aides is not news,it was exactly how Shagari aides did to Awolowo.

Regardless of the centrifugal forces that may be pulling Mr President in different directions, restructuring  of the country is not negotiable.Our history is not our enemy but the way we deal or not with our history could be our enemy. A country that has not really faced its past cannot decide on her future. 

Olufemi Aduwo President ,Center for Convention on Democratic Integrity lnc,(CCDI)Maryland, United States & Permanent Representative of CCDI to United Nations. www.ccdiltd.org Email. olufemi. aduwo@ccdiltd.org

Thursday, 10 September 2020

FLOATING IS AN OPTION.

The naira should be floated to find its exchange rate value on the market if Nigeria's economy is to function well be productive. The writer discusses what economists call "purchasing power parity"  - what your currency can purchase for you in your national market as a way to measure GDP per capita.

Because we are an import economy, we want to maintain an artificially strong naira/dollar exchange rate, to subsidize the import habit of our elite.  We produce and export nothing that is value-added. Over 90% of our forex comes from oil. When an economy lacks "complexity" (value-added manufacturing as a ratio of GDP) but depends on exports of natural commodities or minerals, the exchange rate value of its currency is determined by the level of its foreign reserves, which accrues mainly from income from such commodity or resource exports. These reserves determine how many months of imports such a  country can pay for. So when oil prices are high for a long period, the reserves swell, and the naira value relative to foreign currencies rises. When the oil price crashes, our reserves are depleted. When reserve levels indicate a country's ability to pay for up to six  imports is threatened, market forces weaken the strength of the currency (naira in this instance). The value of the currency crashes, because that value is not underpinned by diversified exports as is the case with mature economies. If oil were $100 per barrel, for example, and our reserves rose to $60 or $70 billion, the naira value relative to the dollar will go up. For this reason commodity dependence exposes a country to currency instability except the country builds up huge reserves (eg Saudi and the Gulf countries which have invested heavily in oil refining AND have huge sovereign wealth funds in addition to exporting crude. It is OBVIOUS that there is backing for that legal tender in terms that are relevant internationally. The naira is not so fortunate because our economy is "naked" and globally uncompetitive.

What all this means is that CBN efforts to "defend" the naira is pure folly, economically speaking. It weakens the very  value of the naira it is defending because the dollar supplies come from the external reserves,  but is politically "expedient" because it creates an impression of patriotic nationalism. But it's just populism. Foreign investors have  exited, and forex is not coming in as investments aren't at a level that can create confidence.

So the only way to reposition our economy is to shift it from import-oriented to one that is export-oriented. For as long as CBN continues to subsidize the value of the naira this will not happen, because they are creating incentives for an import orientation. Forex "ban" makes the matter worse because local productivity is not enough to meet the gap in demand for the previously imported products. Smuggling booms. Meanwhile, in a frontier economy, Aso Rock cabals have access to the naira at CBN rates, so they obtain huge amounts of subsidized dollars from the apex  bank, and turn around to sell the dollars at the street market rates with huge profits. Arbitrage reigns. The black market booms.

But if CBN devalues the naira or allows it find its value in the market, this will create an incentive to manufacture locally and EXPORT in order to earn forex.  Ecause imports become more expensive. But other policies must accompany this approach. The absence of those policies is why series of devaluations have not solved the problems, but only import inflation. 

The necessary accompanying policy thrust is trade policy. Instead of forex bans, anyone can import, but slap high tariffs (revenues for the government!) on imports deemed luxury items. Provide policy support to enable local production of such goods to be cheaper than foreign imports. That way, rich people can buy expensive imported goods, poorer people can buy cheaper "local-made". More exports, more forex, and eventually the value of the naira stabilizes. The "cheap" exchange rate of the naira (from the perspective of foreign trade partners) will lead to greater orders of Nigerian manufactures, which = more forex earnings.  Foreign investors seeking profit will also flood the country with dollars because the market is "open" and trade transparent. This will also help stabilize the naira. 

But this is difficult when Nigeria is being mortgaged to a country like China. If our government treats China as its financial lifeline, can we slap the appropriate tariffs on imports from China which are so cheaply produced that it makes production in Nigeria uncompetitive? This is part of a broader problem  of the absence of a worldview that includes a strategy to rise in the world, including economically.

Nigeria Overtakes India As World Capital For Under-Five Deaths.By Osa

Nigeria has taken over from India as the world capital for under-five deaths, according to the 2020 mortality estimates released by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The development comes two years earlier than the World Bank projected. The global bank had said in 2018 that Nigeria will take over India as the world capital for deaths of children under the age of five by 2021. According to World Bank figures, India recorded an estimated 989,000 under-five deaths in 2017, while Nigeria recorded 714,000 deaths in the same yearUNICEF, in the report titled Levels and Trends in Child Mortality, said Nigeria recorded an estimated average of 858,000 under-five deaths in 2019 as against India which ranked second with 824,000 deaths out of 5.2 million under-five deaths globally. 

The report, which covered a period of three decades–1990 to 2019–added that 49 percent of all under-five deaths in 2019 occurred in just five countries: Nigeria, India, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia.“Nigeria and India alone account for almost a third, it said.India has at least six times the population of Nigeria.The report said under-five mortality rates have declined by almost 60 percent since 1990. 
However, the UN expressed concerns that the potential of a mortality crisis in 2020 threatens years of remarkable improvement in child and adolescent survival.While the extent and severity of the mortality impact of COVID-19 on children and youth is still unknown, the potential of a mortality crisis in 2020 threatens years of remarkable improvement in child and adolescent survival from 1990 to 2019, the period covered in this report,it read. 

The global under-five mortality rate declined by almost 60 per cent from 93 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 38 deaths in 2019.Meanwhile, mortality among adolescents aged 10–19 fell from 13 deaths per 1,000 adolescents aged 10 in 1990 to 8 deaths in 2019—a 39 per cent decrease.Even with that progress, some 5.2 million children died before reaching their fifth birthday in 2019 alone. 

Tragically, many of those children died of preventable or treatable conditions.According to the data in the report, Nigeria recorded 209,000 neonatal deaths in 1990– a 61,000 increase compared to 270,000 deaths in 2019.The figures for number of deaths among children aged five to fourteen also increased from 104,000 in 1990 to 119,000 in 2019.

Nigeria’s population has doubled since 1990, which means the percentage of neonatal deaths in the country has reduced, but the absolute numbers are higher.The report further said that while child deaths are uneven across regions, the situation is worse in sub-Saharan Africa and Central and Southern Asia.In 2019, sub-Saharan Africa carried more than half of that burden with 2.8 million under- five deaths (53 per cent), followed by Central and Southern Asia with 1.5 million (28 per cent),” it read.
The regions of Australia and New Zealand, Eastern and South-Eastern Asia, Northern Africa and Western Asia, Europe and Northern America, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Oceania (excluding Australia and New Zealand) account for the remaining 19 per cent of under-five deaths.Sub-Saharan Africa also bears the brunt of deaths among children and young people older than age 5, accounting for 44 per cent of deaths age 5–24.

The report added that while the pandemic has limited direct impact on child mortality, countries worldwide are now experiencing disruptions in child and maternal health services due to resource constraints and a general uneasiness with using health services due to a fear of contracting COVID-19.

While current evidence indicates the direct impact of COVID-19 on child and youth mortality is limited, indirect effects stemming from strained and under-resourced health systems; limitations on care-seeking and preventative measures like vaccination and nutrition supplements; socioeconomic strain on parents and households resulting from job loss or economic downturns; and stress to children and parents associated with abrupt societal shifts may be substantial and widespread, it read. Moreover, many of these indirect effects may not be apparent for some time after the pandemic recedes and may reverberate for an extended period following the pandemic.Henrietta Fore, UNICEF director, said: The global community has come too far towards eliminating preventable child deaths to allow the COVID-19 pandemic to stop us in our tracks.UNICEF said;  If the child survival targets are to be met on time, resources and policy must be geared toward not only sustaining current rates of decline but also accelerating progress, which would save millions of lives. If the trends from 2010 to 2019 continue, 53 countries will not meet the SDG target on under-five mortality on time—if all countries were to meet that target, 11 million under-five deaths would be averted from 2020 to 2030.

According to Olufemi Aduwo, President and Permanent Representative of Centre for Convention on Democratic Integrity (CCDI )to United Nations,a non profit organisation operates in Nigeria and State of Maryland in United States, with Consultative Status of ECOSOC/U.N and committed to the attainment of SDGs ,achieving the child survival goals and heading off a reversal of progress in child survival in 2020 will require universal access to effective, high-quality and affordable care and the continued, safe provision of life-saving interventions for women, children, and young people,he urged the Federal Government as a matter of urgency to adopt the health care policy of the former Ondo State Governor,Dr.Mimiko.

The ABIYE Safe Motherhood Prorgramme a home-grown comprehensive health initiative formulated to tackle the challenges of maternal  mortality  and morbidity in Ondo State, It was initiated in 2009 by the Mimiko administration  in response to the 2008 Nigeria Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) which put Ondo State as having the worst maternal and child health indices in the south west of Nigeria.The Abiye programme was also intended to achieve SDGs goal by 2030.
 It is a free health program for pregnant women, and young children up to age 5.The Abiye initiative aims at ensuring that maternal health care service delivery in Ondo state is accessible and efficient enough to effect a reduction in the rate of maternal and infant mortality. The Abiye model has been recognized by the World Bank  as a viable template for achieving the targets of the Development Goals on maternal health within the African continent.

Ondo State Government has been able to reduce Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) by 84.9 per cent that is from 745 per 1000,000 live births in 2009 to 112 per 100,000 live births in 2016.He said If all countries reach the SDG child survival targets by 2030, 11 million lives under age 5 will be saved—more than half of them in sub-Saharan Africa.

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Difference Between World Bank and the IMF

If you have difficulty distinguishing the World Bank from the International Monetary Fund, you are not alone. Most people have only the vaguest idea of what these institutions do, and very few people indeed could, if pressed on the point, say why and how they differ. Even John Maynard Keynes, a founding father of the two institutions and considered by many the most brilliant economist of the twentieth century, admitted at the inaugural meeting of the International Monetary Fund that he was confused by the names: he thought the Fund should be called a bank, and the Bank should be called a fund. 

Confusion has reigned ever since. Known collectively as the Bretton Woods Institutions after the remote village in New Hampshire, U.S.A., where they were founded by the delegates of 44 nations in July 1944, the Bank and the IMF are twin intergovernmental pillars supporting the structure of the world's economic and financial order. That there are two pillars rather than one is no accident. The international community was consciously trying to establish a division of labor in setting up the two agencies. Those who deal professionally with the IMF and Bank find them categorically distinct. To the rest of the world, the niceties of the division of labor are even more mysterious than are the activities of the two institutions. Similarities between them do little to resolve the confusion. 
Superficially the Bank and IMF exhibit many common characteristics. Both are in a sense owned and directed by the governments of member nations. The People's Republic of China, by far the most populous state on earth, is a member, as is the world's largest industrial power (the United States). In fact, virtually every country on earth is a member of both institutions. Both institutions concern themselves with economic issues and concentrate their efforts on broadening and strengthening the economies of their member nations. Staff members of both the Bank and IMF often appear at international conferences, speaking the same recondite language of the economics and development professions, or are reported in the media to be negotiating involved and somewhat mystifying programs of economic adjustment with ministers of finance or other government officials. The two institutions hold joint annual meetings, which the news media cover extensively. Both have headquarters in Washington, D.C., where popular confusion over what they do and how they differ is about as pronounced as everywhere else. For many years both occupied the same building and even now, though located on opposite sides of a street very near the White House, they share a common library and other facilities, regularly exchange economic data, sometimes present joint seminars, daily hold informal meetings, and occasionally send out joint missions to member countries. 
Despite these and other similarities, however, the Bank and the IMF remain distinct. The fundamental difference is this: the Bank is primarily a development institution; the IMF is a cooperative institution that seeks to maintain an orderly system of payments and receipts between nations. Each has a different purpose, a distinct structure, receives its funding from different sources, assists different categories of members, and strives to achieve distinct goals through methods peculiar to itself. Purposes At Bretton Woods the international community assigned to the World Bank the aims implied in its formal name, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), giving it primary responsibility for financing economic development. The Bank's first loans were extended during the late 1940s to finance the reconstruction of the war-ravaged economies of Western Europe. When these nations recovered some measure of economic self-sufficiency, the Bank turned its attention to assisting the world's poorer nations, known as developing countries, to which it has since the 1940s loaned more than $330 billion. The World Bank has one central purpose: to promote economic and social progress in developing countries by helping to raise productivity so that their people may live a better and fuller life. The international community assigned to the IMF a different purpose. In establishing the IMF, the world community was reacting to the unresolved financial problems instrumental in initiating and protracting the Great Depression of the 1930s: sudden, unpredictable variations in the exchange values of national currencies and a widespread disinclination among governments to allow their national currency to be exchanged for foreign currency. Set up as a voluntary and cooperative institution, the IMF attracts to its membership nations that are prepared, in a spirit of enlightened self-interest, to relinquish some measure of national sovereignty by abjuring practices injurious to the economic well-being of their fellow member nations. The rules of the institution, contained in the IMF's Articles of Agreement signed by all members, constitute a code of conduct. The code is simple: it requires members to allow their currency to be exchanged for foreign currencies freely and without restriction, to keep the IMF informed of changes they contemplate in financial and monetary policies that will affect fellow members' economies, and, to the extent possible, to modify these policies on the advice of the IMF to accommodate the needs of the entire membership. 

To help nations abide by the code of conduct, the IMF administers a pool of money from which members can borrow when they are in trouble. The IMF is not, however, primarily a lending institution as is the Bank. It is first and foremost an overseer of its members' monetary and exchange rate policies and a guardian of the code of conduct. Philosophically committed to the orderly and stable growth of the world economy, the IMF is an enemy of surprise. It receives frequent reports on members' economic policies and prospects, which it debates, comments on, and communicates to the entire membership so that other members may respond in full knowledge of the facts and a clear understanding of how their own domestic policies may affect other countries. The IMF is convinced that a fundamental condition for international prosperity is an orderly monetary system that will encourage trade, create jobs, expand economic activity, and raise living standards throughout the world. By its constitution the IMF is required to oversee and maintain this system, no more and no less. Size and Structure The IMF is small (about 2,300 staff members) and, unlike the World Bank, has no affiliates or subsidiaries. Most of its staff members work at headquarters in Washington, D.C., although three small offices are maintained in Paris, Geneva, and at the United Nations in New York. Its professional staff members are for the most part economists and financial experts. The structure of the Bank is somewhat more complex. 

The World Bank itself comprises two major organizations: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association (IDA). Moreover, associated with, but legally and financially separate from the World Bank are the International Finance Corporation, which mobilizes funding for private enterprises in developing countries, the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, and the Multilateral Guarantee Agency. With over 7,000 staff members, the World Bank Group is about three times as large as the IMF, and maintains about 40 offices throughout the world, although 95 percent of its staff work at its Washington, D.C., headquarters. The Bank employs a staff with an astonishing range of expertise: economists, engineers, urban planners, agronomists, statisticians, lawyers, portfolio managers, loan officers, project appraisers, as well as experts in telecommunications, water supply and sewerage, transportation, education, energy, rural development, population and health care, and other disciplines. 

Source of Funding The World Bank is an investment bank, intermediating between investors and recipients, borrowing from the one and lending to the other. Its owners are the governments of its 180 member nations with equity shares in the Bank, which were valued at about $176 billion in June 1995. The IBRD obtains most of the funds it lends to finance development by market borrowing through the issue of bonds (which carry an AAA rating because repayment is guaranteed by member governments) to individuals and private institutions in more than 100 countries. Its concessional loan associate, IDA, is largely financed by grants from donor nations. The Bank is a major borrower in the world's capital markets and the largest nonresident borrower in virtually all countries where its issues are sold. It also borrows money by selling bonds and notes directly to governments, their agencies, and central banks. The proceeds of these bond sales are lent in turn to developing countries at affordable rates of interest to help finance projects and policy reform programs that give promise of success. Despite Lord Keynes's profession of confusion, the IMF is not a bank and does not intermediate between investors and recipients. Nevertheless, it has at its disposal significant resources, presently valued at over $215 billion. These resources come from quota subscriptions, or membership fees, paid in by the IMF's 182 member countries. Each member contributes to this pool of resources a certain amount of money proportionate to its economic size and strength (richer countries pay more, poorer less). While the Bank borrows and lends, the IMF is more like a credit union whose members have access to a common pool of resources (the sum total of their individual contributions) to assist them in times of need. Although under special and highly restrictive circumstances the IMF borrows from official entities (but not from private markets), it relies principally on its quota subscriptions to finance its operations. The adequacy of these resources is reviewed every five years. Recipients of Funding Neither wealthy countries nor private individuals borrow from the World Bank, which lends only to creditworthy governments of developing nations. The poorer the country, the more favorable the conditions under which it can borrow from the Bank. Developing countries whose per capita gross national product (GNP) exceeds $1,305 may borrow from the IBRD. (Per capita GNP, a less formidable term than it sounds, is a measure of wealth, obtained by dividing the value of goods and services produced in a country during one year by the number of people in that country.) These loans carry an interest rate slightly above the market rate at which the Bank itself borrows and must generally be repaid within 12-15 years. The IDA, on the other hand, lends only to governments of very poor developing nations whose per capita GNP is below $1,305, and in practice IDA loans go to countries with annual per capita incomes below $865. IDA loans are interest free and have a maturity of 35 or 40 years. In contrast, all member nations, both wealthy and poor, have the right to financial assistance from the IMF. Maintaining an orderly and stable international monetary system requires all participants in that system to fulfill their financial obligations to other participants. Membership in the IMF gives to each country that experiences a shortage of foreign exchange--preventing it from fulfilling these obligations--temporary access to the IMF's pool of currencies to resolve this difficulty, usually referred to as a balance of payments problem. These problems are no respecter of economic size or level of per capita GNP, with the result that over the years almost all members of the IMF, from the smallest developing country to the largest industrial country, have at one time or other had recourse to the IMF and received from it financial assistance to tide them over difficult periods. 

Money received from the IMF must normally be repaid within three to five years, and in no case later than ten years. Interest rates are slightly below market rates, but are not so concessional as those assigned to the World Bank's IDA loans. Through the use of IMF resources, countries have been able to buy time to rectify economic policies and to restore growth without having to resort to actions damaging to other members' economies. World Bank Operations The World Bank exists to encourage poor countries to develop by providing them with technical assistance and funding for projects and policies that will realize the countries' economic potential. The Bank views development as a long-term, integrated endeavor. During the first two decades of its existence, two thirds of the assistance provided by the Bank went to electric power and transportation projects. Although these so-called infrastructure projects remain important, the Bank has diversified its activities in recent years as it has gained experience with and acquired new insights into the development process. The Bank gives particular attention to projects that can directly benefit the poorest people in developing countries. The direct involvement of the poorest in economic activity is being promoted through lending for agriculture and rural development, small-scale enterprises, and urban development. The Bank is helping the poor to be more productive and to gain access to such necessities as safe water and waste-disposal facilities, health care, family-planning assistance, nutrition, education, and housing. Within infrastructure projects there have also been changes. In transportation projects, greater attention is given to constructing farm-to-market roads. Rather than concentrating exclusively on cities, power projects increasingly provide lighting and power for villages and small farms. Industrial projects place greater emphasis on creating jobs in small enterprises. Labor-intensive construction is used where practical. In addition to electric power, the Bank is supporting development of oil, gas, coal, fuelwood, and biomass as alternative sources of energy. The Bank provides most of its financial and technical assistance to developing countries by supporting specific projects. Although IBRD loans and IDA credits are made on different financial terms, the two institutions use the same standards in assessing the soundness of projects. The decision whether a project will receive IBRD or IDA financing depends on the economic condition of the country and not on the characteristics of the project. Its borrowing member countries also look to the Bank as a source of technical assistance. By far the largest element of Bank-financed technical assistance--running over $1 billion a year recently--is that financed as a component of Bank loans or credits extended for other purposes. But the amount of Bank-financed technical assistance for free-standing loans and to prepare projects has also increased. The Bank serves as executing agency for technical assistance projects financed by the United Nations Development Program in agriculture and rural development, energy, and economic planning. In response to the economic climate in many of its member countries, the Bank is now emphasizing technical assistance for institutional development and macroeconomic policy formulation. Every project supported by the Bank is designed in close collaboration with national governments and local agencies, and often in cooperation with other multilateral assistance organizations. Indeed, about half of all Bank-assisted projects also receive cofinancing from official sources, that is, governments, multilateral financial institutions, and export-credit agencies that directly finance the procurement of goods and services, and from private sources, such as commercial banks. In making loans to developing countries, the Bank does not compete with other sources of finance. It assists only those projects for which the required capital is not available from other sources on reasonable terms. Through its work, the Bank seeks to strengthen the economies of borrowing nations so that they can graduate from reliance on Bank resources and meet their financial needs, on terms they can afford directly from conventional sources of capital. The range of the Bank's activities is far broader than its lending operations. Since the Bank's lending decisions depend heavily on the economic condition of the borrowing country, the Bank carefully studies its economy and the needs of the sectors for which lending is contemplated. These analyses help in formulating an appropriate long-term development assistance strategy for the economy. Graduation from the IBRD and IDA has occurred for many years. Of the 34 very poor countries that borrowed money from IDA during the earliest years, more than two dozen have made enough progress for them no longer to need IDA money, leaving that money available to other countries that joined the Bank more recently. Similarly, about 20 countries that formerly borrowed money from the IBRD no longer have to do so. An outstanding example is Japan. For a period of 14 years, it borrowed from the IBRD. Now, the IBRD borrows large sums in Japan. IMF Operations The IMF has gone through two distinct phases in its 50-year history. During the first phase, ending in 1973, the IMF oversaw the adoption of general convertibility among the major currencies, supervised a system of fixed exchange rates tied to the value of gold, and provided short-term financing to countries in need of a quick infusion of foreign exchange to keep their currencies at par value or to adjust to changing economic circumstances. Difficulties encountered in maintaining a system of fixed exchange rates gave rise to unstable monetary and financial conditions throughout the world and led the international community to reconsider how the IMF could most effectively function in a regime of flexible exchange rates. After five years of analysis and negotiation (1973-78), the IMF's second phase began with the amendment of its constitution in 1978, broadening its functions to enable it to grapple with the challenges that have arisen since the collapse of the par value system. These functions are three. First, the IMF continues to urge its members to allow their national currencies to be exchanged without restriction for the currencies of other member countries. As of May 1996, 115 members had agreed to full convertibility of their national currencies. Second, in place of monitoring members' compliance with their obligations in a fixed exchange system, the IMF supervises economic policies that influence their balance of payments in the presently legalized flexible exchange rate environment. This supervision provides opportunities for an early warning of any exchange rate or balance of payments problem. 

In this, the IMF's role is principally advisory. It confers at regular intervals (usually once a year) with its members, analyzing their economic positions and apprising them of actual or potential problems arising from their policies, and keeps the entire membership informed of these developments. Third, the IMF continues to provide short- and medium-term financial assistance to member nations that run into temporary balance of payments difficulties. The financial assistance usually involves the provision by the IMF of convertible currencies to augment the afflicted member's dwindling foreign exchange reserves, but only in return for the government's promise to reform the economic policies that caused the balance of payments problem in the first place. The IMF sees its financial role in these cases not as subsidizing further deficits but as easing a country's painful transition to living within its means. How in practice does the IMF assist its members? The key opening the door to IMF assistance is the member's balance of payments, the tally of its payments and receipts with other nations. Foreign payments should be in rough balance: a country ideally should take in just about what it pays out. When financial problems cause the price of a member's currency and the price of its goods to fall out of line, balance of payments difficulties are sure to follow. If this happens, the member country may, by virtue of the Articles of Agreement, apply to the IMF for assistance. To illustrate, let us take the example of a small country whose economy is based on agriculture. For convenience in trade, the government of such a country generally pegs the domestic currency to a convertible currency: so many units of domestic money to a U.S. dollar or French franc. Unless the exchange rate is adjusted from time to time to take account of changes in relative prices, the domestic currency will tend to become overvalued, with an exchange rate, say, of one unit of domestic currency to one U.S. dollar, when relative prices might suggest that two units to one dollar is more realistic. Governments, however, often succumb to the temptation to tolerate overvaluation, because an overvalued currency makes imports cheaper than they would be if the currency were correctly priced. The other side of the coin, unfortunately, is that overvaluation makes the country's exports more expensive and hence less attractive to foreign buyers. If the currency is thus overvalued, the country will eventually experience a fall-off in export earnings (exports are too expensive) and a rise in import expenditures (imports are apparently cheap and are bought on credit). In effect, the country is earning less, spending more, and going into debt, a predicament as unsustainable for a country as it is for any of us. Moreover, this situation is usually attended by a host of other economic ills for the country. Finding a diminished market for their export crops and receiving low prices from the government marketing board for produce consumed domestically, farmers either resort to illegal black market exports or lose the incentive to produce. Many of them abandon the farm to seek employment in overcrowded cities, where they become part of larger social and economic problems. Declining domestic agricultural productivity forces the government to use scarce foreign exchange reserves (scarce because export earnings are down) to buy food from abroad. The balance of payments becomes dangerously distorted. As an IMF member, a country finding itself in this bind can turn to the IMF for consultative and financial assistance. In a collaborative effort, the country and the IMF can attempt to root out the causes of the payments imbalance by working out a comprehensive program that, depending on the particulars of the case, might include raising producer prices paid to farmers so as to encourage agricultural production and reverse migration to the cities, lowering interest rates to expand the supply of credit, and adjusting the currency to reflect the level of world prices, thereby discouraging imports and raising the competitiveness of exports. Because reorganizing the economy to implement these reforms is disruptive and not without cost, the IMF will lend money to subsidize policy reforms during the period of transition. To ensure that this money is put to the most productive uses, the IMF closely monitors the country's economic progress during this time, providing technical assistance and further consultative services as needed. In addition to assisting its members in this way, the IMF also helps by providing technical assistance in organizing central banks, establishing and reforming tax systems, and setting up agencies to gather and publish economic statistics. The IMF is also authorized to issue a special type of money, called the SDR, to provide its members with additional liquidity. Known technically as a fiduciary asset, the SDR can be retained by members as part of their monetary reserves or be used in place of national currencies in transactions with other members. To date the IMF has issued slightly over 21.4 billion SDRs, presently valued at about U.S. $30 billion. Over the past few years, in response to an emerging interest by the world community to return to a more stable system of exchange rates that would reduce the present fluctuations in the values of currencies, the IMF has been strengthening its supervision of members' economic policies. Provisions exist in its Articles of Agreement that would allow the IMF to adopt a more active role, should the world community decide on stricter management of flexible exchange rates or even on a return to some system of stable exchange rates. Measuring the success of the IMF's operations over the years is not easy, for much of the IMF's work consists in averting financial crises or in preventing their becoming worse. Most observers feel that merely to have contained the debt crisis of the 1980s, which posed the risk of collapse in the world's financial system, must be counted a success for the IMF. The Fund has also gained some recognition for assisting in setting up market-based economies in the countries of the former Soviet Union and for responding swiftly to the Mexican peso crisis in 1994, but its main contribution lies in its unobrusive, day-to-day encouragement of confidence in the international system. Nowhere will you find a bridge or a hospital built by the IMF, but the next time you buy a Japanese camera or drive a foreign car, or without difficulty exchange dollars or pounds for another currency while on holiday, you will be benefiting from the vast increase in foreign trade over the past 50 years and the widespread currency convertibility that would have been unimaginable without the world monetary system that the IMF was created to maintain. 

Cooperation Between Bank and IMF Although the Bank and IMF are distinct entities, they work together in close cooperation. This cooperation, present since their founding, has become more pronounced since the 1970s. Since then the Bank's activities have increasingly reflected the realization that the pace of economic and social development accelerates only when sound underlying financial and economic policies are in place. The IMF has also recognized that unsound financial and economic policies are often deeply rooted in long-term inefficient use of resources that resists eradication through short-term adaptations of financial policies. It does little good for the Bank to develop a long-term irrigation project to assist, say, the export of cotton, if the country's balance of payments position is so chaotic that no foreign buyers will deal with the country. On the other hand, it does little good for the IMF to help establish a sound exchange rate for a country's currency, unless the production of cotton for export will suffice to sustain that exchange rate over the medium to long term. The key to solving these problems is seen in restructuring economic sectors so that the economic potential of projects might be realized throughout the economy and the stability of the economy might enhance the effectiveness of the individual project. Around 75 percent of the Bank's lending is applied to specific projects dealing with roads, dams, power stations, agriculture, and industry. As the global economy became mired in recession in the early 1980s, the Bank expanded the scope of its lending operations to include structural- and sector-adjustment loans. These help developing countries adjust their economic policies and structures in the face of serious balance of payments problems that threaten continued development. The main objective of structural-adjustment lending is to restructure a developing country's economy as the best basis for sustained economic growth. Loans support programs that are intended to anticipate and avert economic crises through economic reforms and changes in investment priorities. By using so-called policy-based lending, the Bank stimulates economic growth in heavily indebted countries--particularly in Latin America and in sub-Saharan Africa--that are undertaking, often at much social pain, far-reaching programs of economic adjustment. In addition to its traditional function as provider of short-term balance of payments assistance, the advent of the oil crisis in the mid-1970s and the debt crisis in the early 1980s induced the IMF, too, to rethink its policy of restricting its financial assistance to short-term lending. As balance of payments shortfalls grew larger and longer-term structural reforms in members' economies were called for to eliminate these shortfalls, the IMF enlarged the amount of financial assistance it provides and lengthened the period within which its financial assistance would be available. In doing so, the IMF implicitly recognizes that balance of payments problems arise not only from a temporary lack of liquidity and inadequate financial and budgetary policies but also from long-standing contradictions in the structure of members' economies, requiring reforms stretching over a number of years and suggesting closer collaboration with the World Bank, which commands both the expertise and experience to deal with protracted structural impediments to growth. Focusing on structural reform in recent years has resulted in considerable convergence in the efforts of the Bank and IMF and has led them to greater reliance on each other's special expertise. This convergence has been hastened by the debt crisis, brought on by the inability of developing countries to repay the enormous loans they contracted during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The debt crisis has emphasized that economic growth can be sustained only when resources are being used efficiently and that resources can be used efficiently only in a stable monetary and financial environment. The bedrock of cooperation between the Bank and IMF is the regular and frequent interaction of economists and loan officers who work on the same country. The Bank staff brings to this interchange a longer-term view of the slow process of development and a profound knowledge of the structural requirements and economic potential of a country. The IMF staff contributes its own perspective on the day-to-day capability of a country to sustain its flow of payments to creditors and to attract from them investment finance, as well as on how the country is integrated within the world economy. This interchange of information is backed up by a coordination of financial assistance to members. For instance, the Bank has been approving structural- or sector-adjustment loans for most of the countries that are taking advantage of financial assistance from the IMF. In addition, both institutions encourage other lenders, both private and official, to join with them in cofinancing projects and in mobilizing credits to countries that are in need. Cooperation between the Bretton Woods Institutions has two results: the identification of programs that will encourage growth in a stable economic environment and the coordination of financing that will ensure the success of these programs. Other lenders, particularly commercial banks, frequently make credits available only after seeing satisfactory performance by the borrowing country of its program of structural adjustment. Cooperation between the Bank and the IMF has over the past decade been formalized with the establishment in the IMF of procedures to provide financing at below market rates to its poorest member countries. These procedures enable the IMF to make available up to $12 billion to those 70 or so poor member countries that adjust the structure of their economies to improve their balance of payment position and to foster growth. The Bank joins with the IMF in providing additional money for these countries from IDA. But what IDA can provide in financial resources is only a fraction of the world's minimum needs for concessional external finance. Happily, various governments and international agencies have responded positively to the Bank's special action program for low-income, debt-distressed countries of the region by pledging an extra $7 billion for cofinancing programs arranged by the Bank. The Bank and the IMF have distinct mandates that allow them to contribute, each in its own way, to the stability of the international monetary and financial system and to the fostering of balanced economic growth throughout the entire membership. Since their founding 50 years ago, both institutions have been challenged by changing economic circumstances to develop new ways of assisting their membership. The Bank has expanded its assistance from an orientation toward projects to the broader aspects of economic reform. Simultaneously the IMF has gone beyond concern with simple balance of payment adjustment to interest itself in the structural reform of its members' economies. Some overlapping by both institutions has inevitably occurred, making cooperation between the Bank and the IMF crucial. Devising programs that will integrate members' economies more fully into the international monetary and financial system and at the same time encourage economic expansion continues to challenge the expertise of both Bretton Woods Institutions. 

Olufemi AduwoPresident/CEOCenter for Convention on Democratic Integrity lnc,Maryland-United States, A Returnee of World Bank &IMF boards of governors meetings in Washington DC and Permanent Representative of CCDI to ECOSOC/ United Nations

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Ondo State Gubernatorial Poll 2016 lection Retrospect.

The governorship election in Ondo State has been won and lost. The candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, was declared winner by the Returning Officer, Prof. Abdul Ganiyu Ambali, having polled a total of 224,842 votes to defeat 27 other candidates.  

The Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, who polled a total of 150,380 votes came second while Olusola Oke of the Alliance for Democracy placed third with a total of 126,889 votes. Akeredolu won in 14 out of the 18 Local Government Areas of the state but had the required 25  per cent of valid votes cast in the entire LGAs of the Sunshine State. The state has a total of 1,647,973 registered voters and 584,997 were accredited for the election while a total of 580,887 votes were cast. A total of 551,272 votes were valid and 29,615 votes were rejected. Ahead of the election, during and after the poll, I had the privilege of participating in a number of media analyses on several radio and TV stations.Also my organisation, Rights Monitoring Group was accredited to observe the total process. Predictably, the election, though keenly contested, was peaceful, credible and conclusive. 

The Independent National Electoral Commission did creditably well in terms of deployment and logistics as voting commenced in over 90 per cent of the 3007 Polling Units as and when due, that is , at 8 am. Sorting, counting, collation and announcement of results also took a shorter time. But for the results of Ilaje LGA which were late in coming due to the about five hours distance on water to the state capital, Akure, the entire exercise would have been wrapped up in 24 hours. 

Reports had it that most of the 16,723 Poll Officials deployed by INEC for the election were very professional, having been well-trained by the electoral commission. Even though there were issues with fingerprint authentication of voters in few of the Polling Units (outgoing Governor Olusegun Mimiko was among those whose fingerprints could not be authenticated and have to be accredited with Incident Forms to enable them vote), however, verification of Permanent Voter Cards by the SCR was flawless. 

Most worrisome, and a big minus to the credibility of the election was the ugly phenomenon of vote-buying. There were several reported cases of bribe-for-vote. It was a demand and supply thing which Ondo people labelled “See and Buy” unlike in Ekiti in 2014 where it was termed “Stomach Infrastructure”.( in these States l personally captured on camera where money exchange hands between voters and party agents).Nobody should be under any illusion that it was only the APC that was involved in this show of shame. “It was observed that members of the All Progressives Congress, the People’s Democratic Party and the Alliance for Democracy were giving money to voters at most polling centres visited across the state. Some polling units in Odigbo, Okitipupa and Ilaje local governments areas were given N450,000 while each voter got between N3,000 and N5,000.APC gave more than PDP and AD. I had warned ahead of the poll that Section 124 of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended has criminalised the act of vote buying as bribery and conspiracy. It says in Section 124 (4) that any person caught in the act is liable on conviction to a maximum fine of N500,000 or 12 months’ imprisonment or both. Despite the grandstanding of the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, that the Force would not condone the insidious act in Ondo as it did in Edo on September 28, the police personnel on election duty allegedly watched nonchalantly as politicians openly engaged in vote-buying. This is heartrending! If the police who have the statutory power of arresting, investigating and prosecuting criminals watched with disinterest as legal provisions were being breached, was it the Poll Officials whose primary duty is to conduct election that Nigerians expect to start running after those involved in vote-buying? It is sad that some hoodlums still tried to disrupt the election in few Polling Units despite the heavy deployment of security personnel to maintain law and order during the election. This shows the incorrigibility of the political gladiators and has made heavy security deployment a child of necessity during elections in Nigeria. 

I maintain that INEC did well by not acceding to the PDP’s request for postponement of the election. If every party facing an internal crisis were to ask for shift in the date of poll and have their request granted, the election will never hold. What happened to the PDP in the Ondo election is a warning signal to all political parties that they risk losing their chances of winning electoral contests if they allow internal wrangling to bog down their preparations for the polls. Any postponement of the election at the behest of the PDP or any other political party for that matter would have increased astronomically the cost of the election and would have been unfair to the 27 political parties that fielded candidates for the election as they would have to raise additional funds for their campaigns. I give kudos to the security agents, accredited observer groups, the media and indeed the Ondo electorate for supporting INEC to be able to conduct the election successfully last Saturday. It bears being emphasised that INEC alone cannot guarantee peaceful and credible election. I implore stakeholders to continue to partner the electoral commission in the forthcoming bye-elections next Saturday in Lagos and Abuja as well as the court-ordered re-run elections in Rivers State on December 10, 2016. INEC, like Caesar’s wife, needs to continue to be above board and act in a way that will inspire the confidence of stakeholders in it. Olufemi Aduwo. President, Rights Monitoring Group(RMG) ,Observation note made available to lNEC After 2016 election.

Monday, 20 July 2020

LOVE LETTER TO VP OSINBAJO.


My Dear Brother Pastor Yemi, l greet you in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the saviour of mankind . By the Grace of God, l am 56 years, a widowed and a responsible father. A member of the great denomination, RCCG for more than 24yrs. Up till last year, l was probably the oldest usher in my region, Glory be to God Almighty. Currently l am in charge of my Parish CSR Committee. l deliberately rejected not to be ordained as a Deacon or Pastor because I have reservations for some of the believes of the great mission. 


Brother Yemi, l was opportuned to collect your offering more than five times  either at the Camp or Apapa family of RCCG during special programmes.When you were the Attorney General & Commissioner of  Justice, l opened the case of your principal's undeclared assets in

 the United States banks.l wrote the then the sitting President, five letters and all the ruling party governors why the LION must be brought to justice. Please, google Olufemi Aduwo and Bola Tinubu .At last, the President summon courage and directed the AG & Minister of Justice to arraign  the only lion who does not reside in the jungle.The CCT, office of AG & Minister of Justice bungled  the case, before the lion was put inside cage.l was contacted for settlement by three people and l told them, it was not targeted for personal enrichment.


My Dear Brother in Christ, many Christians  believe probably you are the only Christian in government who is a saint.l told them you are not. Brother Yemi between 1988- 92  you  served as a Specia Adviser to the Attorney General, Prince Ajibola during IBB regime, a good number of people opined that you drafted all the draconian decrees then. 


For 8 years, you served another game master as AG & Commissioner for Justice. You assisted BAT in  preparing the laws which allow him to be paid after leaving office until he will enter grave. Such humongous amount, probably more than what the sitting governors receive.

Behold other former  governors join in what l call OFFICIAL STEALING. Recently under Buhari government, some courageous Judges have  declared such payment not only illegal but  direct stealing. Till this morning, your boss collects the payment.


Brother Yemi, Christ the hope of glory, the author and finisher of our faith should be our mentor in whatever we do as Christians either in market place or public space.


ln the year 2010, l lost my wife due to the carelessness of doctors and in less than two months, l got an invitation from DSS H/Q annex, Ruwane road lkoyi, to report.l did not know why l was invited but as an activist,l did not know if l had offended any Nigeria kingmakers. When l got there, a three man panel put questions across to me for six hours, some l answered and some l told them, such acts belong to the past.


l was asked to report back the second days with my certificates which l did.l was put inside a dark room and they took my pictures, front, back and both sides.It was after all these, they told me the purpose of the 24hrs assignment. I wept, to them, the DSS operatives, it was tear of joy. l told them why l would not accept such appointment from President Jonathan, my children were then 3, 4 & 7 years. How to care for them was my utmost concern.l pleaded with them to put in there report that l was not interested.


Less than a month later,l told Governors Segun Oni,Imoke and Chief (Uncle Ebino) about the appointment,which they were happy about but l did not tell them what l told the DSS, they contacted the Chief of Staff to the President, individually to find out when l would resume,they could not believe what they were told, that l rejected the appointment.They asked me why and l told them my reasons, they tried to convince me to pick up the appointment but l stood my ground and above all, l am not even a  member of PDP, in fact till date, l do not belong to any political party.All the money in my bank account as at when I was rejecting a federal appointment was less than N100,000.


Brother Yemi, God has been so good to you, on a platter of gold through the power of lion who resides in human house you became a Vice President.Brother Yemi nothing separate you from other politicians of either APC or PDP. Many believe by virtue of your academic achievement and being a pastor, you would be an exceptional leader, very sad, you failed. 


Judas was an apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ, he performed wonders and miracles, but he was a thief. Sir, regardless of your aides' defence, we know that you are not needed anymore as a Vice President by the same power that brought you in. I will advice you as a brother to please resign and ask for restitution from God for any shortcomings and move on. 


As Christians, we are called to be the “salt” and “light” of the world (Matt 5:13-15), and this certainly includes our workplace. Politics often lead to undesirable consequences such as workplace injustice, hostilities, discriminations, hurts and stress, etc. As salt has healing properties, we have the responsibility to bring healing to our workplace, to help undo the wounds caused by the politics in our organizations. We are also called to help transform the culture of our workplace for the better where possible. In the Old Testament, God placed servants like Nehemiah at the right place, at the right time to fulfill His purpose. In our modern times, God continues to place some of us in positions to be able to transform our workplace for the better. Sometimes this may be achieved by shedding light on dark politics in the office. But in a situation where it is becoming impossible to make meaningful changes, then, it is honourable to bow out.


Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:8,

 " Dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise" Brother Yemi, l wish you all the best and l look forward to see you at December  2019 RCCG Holy Congress.


Yours in Christ, Brother Olufemi  Aduwo, Permanent Representative of CCDI to United Nations.

Sunday, 19 July 2020

UNGASS 2021-UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY SPECIAL SESSION AGAINST CORRUPTION -CSOs FORUM APPLAUDED NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT

From 26 to 28 April 2021,the first-ever UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) focused on corruption will take place in New York.The UNGASS was officially set for these dates in UN General Assembly resolution 74/276 on 1 June 2020.The UNGASS provides an opportunity to shape the global anti-corruption agenda for the next decade, by advancing bold and innovative approaches,scaling best practices and developing new standards and mechanisms. The leaders of 193 Nation- States Civil society organisations with Consultative Status of United Nations held a Virtual High -Level Technical Session between15-18 July 2020.The high-level delegates Technical Session adopted four points agenda that must be included in the UNGASS Session next year and to be presented to United Nations, Secretary General who called for the session next month in New York. 

ln the goodwill message by Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti,Chef De Cabinet, Executive Office of the United Nations, Secretary General,she said,while Sustainable Development Goal 16 dealt explicitly with corruption,in fact,the success of the entire 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development hinged on fighting corruption.This is a global appeal for fairness,a collective demand for justice.The event today is a timely opportunity to reflect on how intentional community can make good on these commitments.

Corruption affects developed and developing countries alike and complicity knows no borders.lt cripples economic development, stifles entrepreneurship and deters investments.Society cannot function equitably and efficiently when public officials enrich themselves rather than perform their duties with integrity. The President of the Session Mr.Eddie Martins( United States ) and the Secretary Olufemi Aduwo (Nigeria) jointly appreciated the Commitment of United Nations during the COVID 19 pandemic and also commended the government of Nigeria in taken the bold step to investigate the anti corruption body in the country.The body along with the appropriate United Nations agency are monitoring the Nigeria development and in short time will formally communicate there position to the government of Nigeria.

ln another development Ndopu said Governments must not only legislate, implement and enforce laws, but also enlist the media, the private sector, civil society and academia in the battle of curbing corruption.
Also addressing the Session on behalf of African States-Civil society organisations,the Permanent Representative of Center for Convention on Democratic Integrity- Nigeria (CCDI) to United Nations,Olufemi Aduwo who also served as the Secretary of the Session,urged delegates to partner with their governments where necessary in fighting the menace.The United Nations bold step represents a fundamental recognition that corruption was neither an acceptable cost of doing business nor a necessary evil,but simply an unacceptable crime,he said.

NIGERIA REFINES OWN GOLD

On Thursday, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) presented a cheque of N268 million for the country’s first artisanally-mined and refined gold. The cheque was presented to the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMDI) on Thursday at the launch of the gold purchase programme in Abuja. President Muhammadu Buhari launched the PAGMDI, a comprehensive artisanal and small-scale gold mining development programme in 2019.The initiative is to foster the formalisation and integration of artisanal gold mining activities into Nigeria’s legal, economic, and institutional framework.Speaking at the launch, the Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, said the development is a step toward the actualisation of economic diversification in Nigeria. He said Nigeria will no longer be analysed
through the price of crude oil as gold is also valued in theinternational market in dollars
he said.

 lrrespective of the fall in the price of crude oil, with gold, “the Nigerian economy remains strong, remains resilient to withstand the exogenous shocks that we see around today. We seize this opportunity to assure our friends both locally and internationally to say that the Nigerian government supported by the monetary authorities is doing everything possible to diversify the base of the Nigerian economy and in the coming weeks and months, Nigerians and the world will see more that is going to be done in improving the output from our agricultural sector, improving productivity from the manufacturing sector, doing everything to make it easy for goods to move from farms to market in Nigeria.  Also at the event was the Governor of Kebbi State,
AtikuBagudu who
 said many states including Kebbi have people in the artisanal gold mining sector for decades but they have been doing so illegally,with health hazards to themselves and damage to the environment.He pointed out that this is the first time the miners will be energized by a national programme.He said because of its illegality, the mining brings insecurity.The miners are now registered, they have modern tools, protective gear with minimal damage to the environment, and above all they are buying centres which you will buy it from them at prices that they would never have gotten before and with the creativity and support of the Central Bank Governor. 
This gold will go into reserve providing a ready market. So this energizes state governors, gold-producing communities across Nigeria and I believe this is an initiative that will see us through more individually and collectively in this gold production and ensure that people benefit from it,” he said. In her remarks, Executive Secretary, Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF), Fatima Shinkafi, said the initiative would not only strengthen the national economy and impact on the individuals, but will also encourage private-sector-led investment.They have a space to participate in PAGMI and the laws and regulations are there.We will sensitize people together with the Ministry and the States, who have been very supportive as well.We have started a good journey towards improving the economy and we are moving at a very fast speed.I hope that this will translate into a better life, most importantly for the households that we intend to impact in terms of making better standards of living for individual families that we are supporting directly and indirectly with the artisanal miners,” she said.The launch was done at the Council Chambers of the State House, Abuja, and was witnessed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari; Governors Nasir El-Rufai, Bagudu Atiku, Gboyega Oyetola and Deputy of Zamfara, Mahdi Gusau. Others present were the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, and the Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Uchechukwu Ogah. Others joined virtually from their various offices.

Solution to Debt Relief Debate

 
Dateline: 07/6/04
By Olufemi Aduwo

The debt crisis in many low-income countries has become a cause celebre for the media and international charitable organisations for good reason. Countries whose people have difficulty feeding themselves are finding it impossible to spur economic growth despite an infusion of fund from organisations such as the IMF and World Bank. They are barely able to pay the interest on their outstanding loans even using funds that could be better devoted to public health and education programme.

Take Cote d'Ivorie, for example, inhabitants of this small country have a declining life expectancy that is already about 15 years below the average for all developing countries, and its literacy rate is 30 per cent lower than the average. Its per capital gross national product increased by only $45 in the 1990s. Yet in 1995, World Bank figures indicated Cote d'Ivoire spent over eight times as much to service its debt (which was more than double its GNP) as it did in public health and education.Despite a joint IMF World Bank debt relief programme, Cote d'Ivorie's debt remained one-half times its GNP, and debt service payments consumed 14.4 percent of the country's GNP in 1997.Heavily indebted poor countries (HIPCS) like Cote d'Ivoire are deteriorating under this increasingly onerous burden of debt service.

The path from problem to solution is far from clear.For centuries, economists of every ideology (from Adam Smith and Karl Marx to Robert Barro and Joseph Stiglitz) have grappled with the question of what makes economies grow. One point they all agreed on is that when a country starts from a low level of economic development as influxes of investment can spark explosive growth if wisely utilised.This observation is the underlying justification for the billions of dollars developing countries have received in loans and grants from multilateral and bilateral sources. Unfortunately, providing money to these countries does not automatically translate into economic growth. Poor spending decisions, corruption and economic policies that undermine opportunities for growth frequently negate the benefits of loans and investment. Much more than these, are the intentions of the lenders,(creditors) which are one-
sided benefiting. 

The IMF historic role is to stabilise the world economy.World Bank provides loans for infrastructure at low interest rates and on a long-
term basis.The
 IFC invests in private sector projects with low percentage require.The IMF itself provides the loan for balance of payments deficits.The nature of its loan is short term.It has some laid down conditionality.The conditionalities make access to the loan difficult. One of the conditions is the programme supervision by the IMF Staff of the recipient economy policies.

The external loan Nigeria obtained in 1978, was sourced from the money market in England.From 1980-1983 there was accumulation of foreign debt resulting from excessive issuance of import licences of goods and services in 1983, the letter or credit debts had risen to 12 billion US dollars.The figure was not verified but was accepted for redemption by the military government that came into power in the year.The credit was funded by each country's export guarantee organisation. These organisations refused to deal directly with the government of Nigeria but through the IMF, they insisted that IMF must approve the economic programme of Nigeria before they could reschedule Nigeria's debt. Nigeria's relationship with IMF is therefore based on the debt owed to the London and Paris clubs. 

Nigeria borrowed for Aladja Steel in 1980 and NEPA or ECN in 1978, talking of the Paris Club in particular,what Nigeria borrowed was only $3.5 billion we did not pay on time and unfortunately be compounding interest plus unpaid principal, this figure rose to about $5.8 billion by 1985 and by 1995 20.9 billion. How did this happen? We borrowed at certain level of interest which was about six to seven percent, sometimes in the 1980s, interest rate rose to 12 per cent and it was being compounded
and if you borrow at compounded interest of 12 per cent,it doubles every five year practically, so in 10 years you have got four times what you owed. This is how we find ourselves where we are. There is fundamental inequity in this sort of thing, if I borrowed $3.5 billion and invested it in good business, what business will yield $21 billion in 18 years, the principle of borrowing is that you used the money, you pay back and you have something.

The failure of traditional debt relief mechanisms to solve the debt problems of poor countries led the IMF and World Bank to create the HIPC initiative in 1996.The HIPC initiative offers to poor countries by rescheduling their debt when traditional debt relief measure proves in sufficient.

In order to be eligible for HIPC relief, a country must qualify for World Bank concessional assistance, have an "unsustainable" debt burden after exhausting all other debt relief options, and maintain a track record of adherence to IMF and World Bank conditions agreed to in return for loan referred to as "Conditionality". The HIPC initiative was expected to provide an 18 per cent reduction in debt service due but most countries did not pay their obligations in full. According to the IMF " in comparison to the debt service paid prior to HIPC debt relief, the reduction is about two per cent on average... and some countries are expected to experience an increase in debt service due even after HIPC assistance. This relief feel far short of the expectations of debt relief proponents.The development committee of the British House of Commons characterised this initiative as merely a "re-arrangement of account" which fails to provide a permanent solution to the HIPC debt problem. 

According to Rev. Jesse Jackson, 'Debt burdens are the new economy's chains of  slavery... remove the shackles from Africa, to guarantee life and opportunity to million of young children". 

The goal should not be debt forgiveness, but maximising the ability of heavily indebted countries to develop economically and socially. Forgiving debt can facilitate this goal, but will not achieve it without other measures. The single greatest determinant of future economic growth is a free market not the amount that governments spend. Thus to be successful, debt forgiveness must be accompanied by means to encourage countries to adopt economic reform, that increase the economic development, and measures to prevent a return to unsustainable debt levels through poor investment of borrowed funds. The most dependable way to ensure that HIPC adopts economic and institutional reforms is to require them to forgo future official credit in return for debt forgiveness. This will (1) provide a clean slate to allow poor countries to start fresh. In fact, foreign assistance has done little more than add to the burden many developing countries face by increasing their overall debt. The past loans did not generate sufficient economic growth to supply countries with means to repay them. Forgiving these ill-.
conceived loans would allow poor countries to focus their resources on development rather than reinforcing past errors in judgement made by the creditors. 

History indicates that foreign assistance has not helped nations develop.The study of London School of Economics concerning 92 developing nations 1997, found that "no relationship exists between the levels of aid and rates of growth in recipient countries".The argument that an aid cut-off would inevitably doom HIPCs to poverty is therefore a red herring. Access to private credit and investment will increase over time as countries adopt economic reforms experience economic growth and establish records of responsible debt management. There is ample evidence supporting this view. For instance, Hong Kong and Taiwan received little if any official assistance, yet they succeeded in outstripping large aid recipients in terms of economic growth by implementing economic and institutional reform.

Debt forgiveness without instituting economic reforms in each country and altering the lending policies and tendencies of multilaterial institutions is a shortsighted and ultimately futile gesture. Even IMF acknowledge that inability debt management and denominating their debt in dollars or other currencies while their own currencies devalue is not the best way forward. The best solution therefore is a combination of debt forgiveness and termination of future economic assistance. This approach would prevent the accumulation of excessive debt and ensure that the market (a better judge of creditworthy projects and policies than that official creditors) is the determining factor in lending decisions. HIPCs need a remedy, not a short-
sighted plan that foists the problem off on future leaders.

Aduwo writes from Lagos

NB;This piece was published on  the 7/6/2004 0n THISDAY NEWSPARER,Economic Confidential Newsletter and World bank bulletin. 

 

 

Monday, 23 March 2020

LET US BE POSITIVE- CORONOVIRUS


Attempt to kill by disease in times of war are not new. During the 14th century in Eastern Europe, the corpses of plague victims were catapulted over the walls of a city under siege, in an incident 400 years later. British officers deliberately gave smallpox infected blankets to American Indians at a peace parley during the French and Indian war.


This triggered an epidemic that contributed to the Indian surrender. However, it was not until the end of 19th century that it was discovered that microbes cause infectious disease. For more than 25 years, American and former Soviet Union and several other nations, ambitiously pursued the development of biological weapons. In 1972 the nations agreed to ban these weapons. Some countries however, secretly continued development and research, amassing stockpiles of deadly biological agents along with the means to deliver.


What let to the official ban on such weapons are numerous. One reason for this is that their effect is not immediate, it takes time for symptoms to appear, another reason is that their effectiveness depends on fluctuations of wind and weather. One analysis compared the cost of using various weapons to kill unprotected people in an area of one square kilometer, the estimated cost using conventional weapons was put at 2,000 dollars nuclear weapons 800 dollars nerve-gas weapons 600 dollars and biological weapons 1 dollar.


The terrorist groups have experimented with biological weapons. Yet, there is a huge difference between experimenting with biological weapons and launching an effective attack with them.First, the terrorist organizations have to obtain a sufficiently lethal strain of a disease pathogen,secondly, the storage must be handled correctly and safely and thirdly, ability to produce it in bulk. Tiny amounts of micro-organism are lethal enough to ravage a field of crops, a herd of animals or a city of New York, London or Lagos, assuming the pathogen is delivered precisely to the target. However biological agents do not survive well outside the laboratory. In reality only a fraction of the biological agent would reach the target population, so vastly larger amounts would be needed to launch a catastrophic attack. The need to know how to disperse the pathogen effectively, this involves ensuring that the pathogen is delivered to the target in the right particle size, and in sufficient concentration to cause mass infection.


It took more than ten years for a highly trained team of American germ – warfare researchers to produce a reliable bio-weapon delivery system. Once a biological agent has been dispersed into the atmosphere, it is exposed to sunlight and varying temperatures, which can cause the micro-organism to die. Weaponising an agent, therefore calls for detailed knowledge of the behaviour of biological organisms in the air. Considering the array of technological hurdles involved, it is not surprising that few terrorist attacks with biological weapons over the year’s produce few casualties. Anthrax laced letters killed five people in the United State, after 11 September 2001 attack.


History is not a clear guide to the future. Though past attacks have largely failed, futures ones may succeed.Advances in biotechnology are also a matter of concern. Scientists already have the know-how to alter existing pathogens to make them extraordinarily lethal yet easier to handle. They can genetically alter harmless micro-organism to produce toxins. Organisms can also be manipulated so that they will escape standard detection methods. Further, micro-organisms can be designed to resist antibiotics standard vaccines, and therapies. Scientists who defected from the former Soviet Union for example, claimed to have developed a form of plague that was resistant to sixteen antibiotics. Extraordinary weapons of stealth might also be developed in the future.


For example, highly specific weapons could disable the immune system itself, rather than being infected with specific diseases. If such lethal AIDS like virus surfaces, who is to know whether the source is a natural mutation or a genetic manipulation concocted in the laboratory of the leaders.


Let us buttress this point with past occurrence of virus disease plague, a highly infectious disease caused by a bacterium. The first signs of the lethal pneumonic plague are fever, headache, weakness and cough. Septic shock will follow, and without early treatment with antibiotics, death is almost certain. The disease passes from person to person through salivia droplets. During the 14th century, within five years plagues killed about 13 million people in Chinaand 30 million in Europe. During the 1950’s and 1960’s both the United States and former Soviet Union developed techniques to spread pneumonic plague.

Smallpox: a highly infectious disease caused by a virus. Initial symptoms include high fever, fatigue, headaches and backaches. Later, painful lesions appear that become pus filled. One in three victims die. Smallpox was eliminated worldwide in 1977, after many years confirmation that the disease could not be eradicated. The disease spreads from person to person via infected salivia droplets, contaminated clothing or bed linen may also spread the virus.

In 1980, the Soviet Union launched a successful programme to produce larger amounts of smallpox and to adapt it for delivery by intercontinental ballistic missiles. Efforts were also made to develop strains of smallpox that were more virulent and contagious. Anthrax, an infectious disease caused by a spore-forming bacterium, early symptoms of inhalation anthrax may resemble a common cold. After several days, symptoms progress, to severe breathing problems and shock. This form of anthrax is often fatal. In the second half of the 20th century, anthrax was developed as weapon by several countries, including United States and the former Soviet Union. According to one assessment by the United States Government the release of 100 kilograms of aerosolised anthrax over a major city like Lagos, Cairo or New York could be a lethal as a hydrogen bomb.

Botulism is a muscle paralysing disease caused by a toxin – producing bacterium. The symptoms of food-borne botulism include double or blurred vision, dropping eyelid, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing and dry mouth. Paralysis of breathing muscle can cause death. Botulinum toxin is a prime choice as a bio-weapon not only because it is one of the most poisonous substances known but also because it is relatively easy to produce and transport. Several countries are suspected of developing botulinum toxin as a biological weapon. All these symptoms mentioned manifest in HIV/AIDS victim.

Biological warfare refers to the deliberate spreading of disease among humans, animals or plants. Disease occurs when the target population is infected by living micro-organisms. These organisms multiply (some producing toxins). Some biological weapons cause incapacitation other death. Still others can be used to attack and destroy crops.  I hope my fear is not confirm true, that many African Countries where HIV/Aids victims are high also recorded poor planting harvest and serious famine are manipulated by the world leaders rather than sexually abuse. At the beginning of HIV/AIDS existence, the victims figures were high among the American and Europe. Today the Western governments and their press are saying African Countries has 70% of HIV/AIDS victims.


All countries are potentially at risk if organism such as smallpox, plague, anthrax, botulinum and HIV/AIDS are used by the American and Allied forces against any country in nearest future. The effect could prove catastrophic in terms of the resulting illness and deaths compounded by the panic such outbreaks would generate. If the smallpox virus were released today, the majority of the world’s population would be defenceless and given the virus 30 percent kill rate, nearly two billion could die. It is a chilling irony; while men or women of brilliance have devoted their lives to the conquest of disease in humans, other with equal zeal and skill have focussed on the conquest of human by means of disease.

The attacks on World Trade Centre in New York and on the Pentagon in Washington D.C in 2001 dramatically showed that there exist ruthless and hate-driven people bent on the mass destruction of human life. Further, the attacks proved that the United States and by extension, every other nation are vulnerable to such attacks. We live in a world where determined terrorists and wicked leaders  can, in an instant, snuff out the lives of thousand of people. Swiftly following the Sept. 11 attacks, U.S politicians and employees of the news media became the targets of letters containing anthrax, a deadly bacterium people were fearful. Fuelling such fears, the media along with experts speculated that terrorists might attack with pathogens more lethal than anthrax. l may be and l want to be wrong that  conorovirus is   man made and  those should know are aware.


Olufemi Aduwo

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

‘Why we’re at war with Obaseki’ — Airhiavbere



A chieftain of the APC in Edo, Gen. Charles Airhiavbere, explained on Sunday that the main All Progressives Congress is at loggerheads with Governor Godwin Obaseki because the governor has “refused to listen to voice of reason.’’

Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria Benin, Airhiavbere, a former soldier, said Obaseki “lacked interpersonal skills” needed to make the difference in the exalted office.

The party chieftain said the governor had resorted to “use of raw power” in dealing with his political associates, a development, he said, had alienated many APC stalwarts in the state.

Edo State is billed for governorship polls next August, in a high-stakes election expected to be characterised by back-stabbing, violence and betrayal.

Airhiavbere, who ran for party ticket against Obaseki in 2016, said “APC would never be united in Edo” with the way the governor was relating with other members of the party.

He said that contrary to what Obaseki wanted people to believe, agitations in the state were not because of “stomach infrastructure’’ or a quest for the resources of the state by the party members.

“It was never about godfather and godson struggling for the control of government or resources of the state.

“It is all about ensuring governance with human face and our resolve is to check the destructive approach to governance in Edo State and put our party on the path of moral rectitude, transparency and inclusion.

“The struggle is all about a governor who lacks interpersonal relationship skill; who is vindictive and repelled by the presence of his party members and without provocation, resorts to anger and pugnacious display of raw power.’’

Airhavbere said that Obaseki had “failed to fulfill his electoral promises” and had “refused to embrace dialogue, consultation, negotiation and compromise.”

“This is a governor who believes in all ramifications that he is above the people and who has suddenly become a tyrant.

“We cannot fold our arms and watch helplessly . With these traits , it is obvious that the governor was never psychologically and emotionally prepared to be a leader.”

Airhiavbere said it was because of these issues that “authentic members” of the party came together on November 13 to abolish the Edo Peoples Movement and suspend the governor, his deputy Philip Shaibu and the Secretary to State Government, Mr. Osarodion Ogie.

He said the suspension was also to send a signal to Obaseki that it was not going to be business as usual in the countdown to upcoming governorship election.

“Edo is the only APC state in the South-South and we are not ready to lose the state,” Airhiavbere said.

He noted that APC members remain loyal to the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, assuring that “everything would be done

WORLD PRESS CONFERENCE BY MEMBERS, LEADERS AND CRITICAL STAKEHOLDERS OF THE ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS, EDO STATE CHAPTER.



Party Leaders,
Members of our Great Party, APC,
Distinguished Members of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, we are gathered here as members, leaders and critical Stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress APCEdo State to address Edo people and the entire nation on issues that have been bedeviling the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Godwin Obaseki led administration in Edo State since the last three years.

THE STATE OF APC IN EDO STATE
It is important to note that the running of the party in Edo State by Barr. Anslem Ojezua has left much to be desired, a situation which was almost decimating the Strength of the party until we came in as a rescue team.

The inability of Barr. Anslem Ojezua to run an all inclusive party (the APC) in Edo State was gradually creating hopelessness among party members over issues that could have been amicably resolved, led to a situation that would have resulted in mass exodus of members from the party. Ojezua is not known to have been able to settle any party dispute no matter how minor, thus making his continuous stay in office as State Chairman a clear and present danger to the cohesion of the Party and therefore unacceptable to the majority of members.

For the avoidance of doubt, it is important to state that ​ Barrister Anslem Ojezua has been involved in a number of constitutional breaches and gross misconduct ranging from illegal and unilateral suspension of the State Secretary and other legally elected officers of the Party, causing division in the Party by taking sides in Party disputes, failure to be accountable to Party, failure to improve the fortunes of the party in his immediate Local Government Area and Senatorial district as he has serially been a loser in all elections, disrespect and disregard for National leadership of the Party, conspiracy in the execution of an illegal inauguration of Edo State House of Assembly and many more acts of misconduct.
Consequently, as loyal party members and leaders we decided to find a voice for the teaming members who have been alienated and wrongly treated by Anslem Ojezua and his collaborators in Government and this led to the formation of our group with which we have been engaging the party and government in the last six months. Thus , our group was a necessary appropriate response to the drift in the party as led by Anslem Ojezua, who rather than being Chairman of the Party became a misadviser of the government, a contractor handling several SUBEB Projects in the State, and thereby compromised his integrity and neutrality in party matters.
We are happy to state unequivocally that in spite of the resistance of Barr. Anslem Ojezua and the government he has been misleading on party matters we have been able to galvanize the majority of the APC members in Edo State to keep faith within the party. We have also been able to attract other members of the opposition in their numbers to the APC as we shall witness shortly.
In the light of the above positive development the leadership and membership of of our group have resolved to continue as authentic APC members to further galvanize our members towards actualising our next cardinal objective of producing a candidate that will deliver on the party programs and ensure the United party capable managing all the tendency within the party. Henceforth, we shall continue as critical stakeholders, members and leaders of our great party in pursuance of our party’s objectives of providing sustainable development for our dear state through a leadership that is responsive, responsible, accountable and people oriented particularly as we approach the 2020 Governorship elections.

We therefore wish to notify the National Working Committee of the Party that the State of the Edo APC at the moment is critical and requires urgent and responsible steps to ensure cohesion, particularly as the State Chairman has failed to manage the party responsibly.
Consequently, we hereby endorse the recent removal of Anslem Ojezua by members of the State Executive Committee of the party and urged the National Working Committee to urgently ratify the removal to pave way for the full restoration of peace and discipline in the party.

THE APC AND EDO STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY DEBACLE:
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is no longer news that Edo State is the only State in the Federation that is running an unconstitutional contraption call “ a House of Assembly”. You all will recall, that Governor Goodwin Obaseki in criminal conspiracy with Barr. Anslem Ojezua and Deputy Governor Philip Shuaibu abducted at gun point four members – elect and cause the Edo State House of Assembly to be inaugurated at 9:30pm on June 17th 2019 with 9 members out of the total number of 24 elected members. By their action, the Governor and his co-conspirators foisted on Edo people a minority rule contrary to Section 91 of the 1999 Constitution in the Edo State House of Assembly and well-meaning Nigerians including Traditional Rulers have intervened to no avail. The Obaseki led government have refused to reverse the wrong by complying with National Assembly resolutions on the matter, but instead have resorted to more desperate tactics of procuring black market injunctions and rulings to perpetuate the illegality. In the face of this wanton disregard for law and order, the lives of the other elected members have continued to be in jeopardy owing to attacks on their persons and followers. Indeed, Anslem Ojezua have continued to preside over their illegal suspension from the party in their various LGAs. This is unacceptable to Edo People and the generality of APC members in Edo State and we are concerned that Anslem Ojezua and the Governor have continued to be stumbling blocks to the restoration of the rule of Law in the constitution of the Edo State House of Assembly. We condemn therefore in strong terms their actions and complicity in this matter and demand that the right thing be done.

THREE YEARS OF GODWIN OBASEKI ADMINISTRATION
The Obaseki administration turned three years in office as at 12th November, 2019. You will all recall that the Governor was the Chairman of the State Economic and Strategy Team and the State Internally Generated Revenue Committee during the 8 years administration of former Governor Adams Oshiomhole, now National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress.
It is on record that under Governor Adams Oshiomhole, the APC (which metamorphosed from AC to ACN and then to APC) became a brand and metaphor for both human and infrastructural development in Edo State with Several major quality legacy projects like the Benin Storm water project, the Queen Ede and Auchi Erosion Control Projects , over a thousand kilometers of quality roads across the length and breadth of Edo State, Edo State Urban Renewal Projects, Education transformation Programme (Codenamed as the Red roof Revolution) in primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions, the Comrade buses for transportation and very many more too numerous to mention.
It was on the basis of this sterling performance that the need to install a government that will continue with these laudable achievements that led to the emergence of Godwin Obaseki as the Party’s candidate in 2016 having been part of the administration as both member of the cabinet and commission earning consultant on financial matters. He was neither a voter in Edo State nor a card carrying member of the All Progressives Congress (the APC). He was expected to build on the Legacy of the administration on whose back he rode to power. However, it is noteworthy, that other than the opportunity offered him to serve in Oshiomohole’s administration, he had no prior personal connection with the development of the State through any charitable work or investment in any form. Thus ,he rode to stardom on the back and goodwill of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and providence. He was certainly not the best at that material time.
However, upon assumption of office he began to manifest hostile attitude towards APC rank and file members, hatred for those who contested the party primaries with him and disdain for the State development master plan which he participated in formulating under Comrade Adams Oshiomhole; he also deviated sharply from the progressive programmes and policies of the party, introduced selfish and uneconomical programmes and policies which has resulted in huge capital flight,he shut down educational institutions which were set up to improve the Agricultural , health and Educational sectors of the state Economy and instead replaced them with consultants of doubtful qualifications. In fact , the consultants he hired for training of teachers were paid N1.5 million per teacher. Today ,we have the College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi closed, the Tayo Akpata University, Ekiadolor locked up and staff members and students left to idle away. The continuous closure of the functional College of Education in Igueben, Michael Imodu College of Physical Education Afuze and the College of Agriculture Technology Agenebode and the state school of nursing bears testimony to his insensitivity in building institutions, yet he is a technocrat.
The folly of Governor Godwin Obaseki reached its climax with the over N2B investments in the Sobe farms, In Sobe, Owan West Local government of Edo State the farm became a drainpipe to siphon the scarce resources of the Edo people into the pockets of his cronies and surrogates in the guise of Agric vendors from Lagos and Port Harcourt. Today, the impact of that investment on both the State economy and food security for Edo people cannot be determined.

Apart from that, there was also the CBN Agricultural Credit Scheme( CACS) of N5B which came into Edo State coffers in 2018.As a CBN loan, it was meant to assist farmers increase their yields in the State .Part of it was to be used for clearing farmlands while the balance was to be given to farmers in clusters as loans supervised by the state government for increase in agricultural produce in the State. The Obaseki Government need to show Edo people the land that it cleared with N2.8B it earmarked for that purpose , publish the names, numbers and location of farmers to whom the balance of N2.2B was shared to. This is a loan which the state government is paying back monthly with deductions being made at source from the Federation account.
We demand that Governor Godwin Obaseki comes out clean on the millions of naira Edo State investment in the Ossiomo Power Project, and the ownership structure of the project.
The APC in Edo State is saddened by the recent flooding associated with the heavy down pours in the last raining season. This arose due to the neglect by Governor Godwin Obaseki of the Benin Storm water project which was started by Comrade Adams Oshiomole. His failure to commence the second phase of the Storm Water project came at a great cost to the residents of Benin-City as houses were submerged by flood.
More scandalous is the verifiable fact that not a single teacher has been employed in the last three years with the result that many schools (primary and secondary) have no adequate number of teachers to teach the necessary subjects to pupils and students. Many of the teachers have retired from service, thus resulting in the shortage of teaching personnel in Edo schools which has adversely affected the quality and standard of education in the State, yet, this was a Governor who procured from NUT the award of best Governor in Education in Nigeria. What an Irony?
In furtherance of the plundering of the educational sector, Governor Godwin Obaseki has criminally diverted the sum of N1.4 Billion Naira from the Statutory Allocation of the Edo State Oil Gas Development funds (EDOSOPADEC) - a statutory commission with clear mandate to initiate and execute developmental projects in Oil producing areas in favour of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) - another statutory agency of Government with its own mandate and budget without any valid legislative approval.
This is apart from the plundering of Local Government funds and revenues in various guises, using the mandatory signatory of the State Accountant General and each serving council Chairman to move various sums meant for the development of the Local Government Areas to various accounts of the State Governments. This was authenticated by the Chairman of the Commission Pastor Kennedy Osifo and is already a subject of investigation by EFCC and ICPC. We hereby use this medium to call on both EFCC and ICPC to expedite investigations on these various acts of financial impropriety.
The APC, Edo State wish to demand from the Governor, to publicly account for all revenues he has received from all sources so that Edo people can 5decide whether his so called performance can reasonably be measured against actual receipts. It is on record that apart from Statutory Allocations and Internally Generated Revenues, the Governor has received, on behalf of Edo people, funds from the Paris Club refund, repayment by Federal government on road projects constructed in Edo State by his predecessor, the loans he has borrowed so far which has made Edo state the second highest indebted state ( debt profile of $277.74m) in the Country and several other receipts into the coffers of Edo state. In this way, Edo people will appreciate the hypocrisy of the Governor and the tokenistic performance which he has shored up by means of propaganda.

In the health sector, Governor Obaseki has shamelessly sought to blackmail his predecessor over the state and condition of the Edo Specialist Hospital which was built and equipped before he assumed office as Governor. However, in his imaginary fight against godfatherism he attempted to manipulate the House of Assembly and erstwhile Commissioner of Health into indict Comrade Adams Oshiomhole over that commendable health project. Unfortunately both the House under the leadership of Kabiru Adjoto, who investigated the project and the Ministry of Health confirm that the hospital was indeed built and equipped in accordance with the terms of the award. As we speak, Governor Obaseki has given the hospital to non-Edo indigene who now charges exorbitant fees, way beyond what the average Edo person can afford thereby defeating the objective of providing affordable and quality health care to Edo people. Efforts by civil society groups in Edo State to ascertain the true status of the hospital was met with attacks by state sponsored thugs who beat up journalists and members of the civil societies during a peaceful protest.
Sadly, the Governor manifested his crass incompetence in governance when after almost three years in office he visited Stella Obansanjo hospital and lamented that he never knew the hospital was in such a bad shape. Meanwhile, he has been in government for 11 years in Edo state. It is on record that Comrade Oshiomhole equipped the Eye Centre at the Stella Obasanjo Hospital, and Governor Obaseki was at the commissioning of the Centre, which has been adjudged one of the best in the South-South. What a hypocrite!

In the area of road construction, Obaseki has woefully disgraced the APC by constructing substandard road projects. It is unthinkable that a man who served in Oshiomhole’s government which constructed quality road projects across the state will be engaged in substandard projects even with World Bank loans that generations yet unborn will have to pay back. Regrettably, these roads are what have earned him the sobriquet “wake and see” instead of “wake and sleep”. We apologize to Edo state people over this scam.
As at date, Governor Obaseki has executed over 100 MoUs under the pretense of bringing different investment to Edo State. However, none of these has materialized despite the huge resources spent on them and in view of the fact that these investments agreements are shrouded in secrecy. Indeed, as we speak, Governor Obaseki in connivance with his Lagos Cabal of capitalist and bank executives have sold off Edo Share in the Azura Power Plant without due process or legislative imprimatur. What a way to divest a States interest in an investment attracted to the state by his predecessor!
Ladies and Gentlemen, we can go on and on to list the missteps and maladministration of the Governor in complete deviation from the APC policies, programmes and developments paradigm instituted by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. As if his mis-governance is not enough, Governor Obaseki on the Counsel of Barr. Anslem Ojezua, the state Deputy Governor, the SSG and other sycophants has launched a war of attrition against members of All Progressive Congress (APC) beginning from the National Chairman to leaders and members of the party in every local government in the state. He has demonized the party members and called them thieves and greedy politicians whereas, he has increased his security vote to six billion N6B per annum (N500 million monthly) in a state where crimes and state sponsored criminal elements are on the upsurge.
We as a party cannot continue to condone this subversive approach to governance in a state that hitherto enjoyed some degree of tranquility and political stability.
We hereby apologize to Edo people for the mistake that the party made in 2016 and shall correct the wrong in the 2020 gubernatorial primaries. We appreciate the absence of human face of the Governor Obaseki administration through his draconian policies of sending traders and market women to priso
His intolerance for opposing views which has become legendary has driven him and his coterie of fearful advisers including Anslem Ojezua into desperate mode all in a bid to silence all voices of dissent attacks. We cannot be cowed as our commitment to rescuing the party and Edo people from his tyrannical hold remains unwavering.

POLITICALLY MOTIVATED ATTACKS BY OBASEKI’S GOVERNMENT
For the first time in Edo State we are witnessing a Government that recruit thugs to attack openly political opponents and voices of dissent. On the 9th of May, 2017, Chief Blessing Agbonmhere, a PDP candidate for 2019 National Assembly elections was attacked and assaulted at the Benin airport by thugs deployed for such a despicable act by the Deputy Governor.
Senator Mathew Urhoghide was attacked by Government sponsored thugs on the 26th of July, 2018 in the full glare of Governor Obaseki who rather than condemn same, thumbs up for the perpetrators.
On the 18th of June 2018, State empowered thugs ably guided by “Wabaizigan”, private security outfit of the Governor headed by the CSP to the Governor invaded Golden Tulip Hotel and beat up House of Assembly members-elect who were denied inauguration.
On the 12th of October 2019, thugs loyal to the Governor attacked the house of the Former Governor and National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomole in Benin.
At different occasions, the Obaseki led administration have recruited thugs to attack Party members and Support group Ikpoba/Okha, Uhunmwode ,Owan East, Etsako West, Etsako Central, Igueben, Ovia North East and other places. The administration has stooped so low to the extent of organizing thugs to the 1st Convocation Ceremony of the Edo University, Iyamho which provoked the unfortunate incident of denial of access into the Country home of the National Chairman of APC by angry youths of some dignitaries.
Governor Obaseki intolerance has driven him into becoming a dictator,fascist with autocratic tendencies which also evidenced by the bizarre manner he truncated the condor primaries for the National and State Assembly primaries in Edo State in September 2018.

PURPORTED ENDORSEMENT OF GOVERNOR OBASEKI AND SHUAIBU/ ANTI PARTY ACTIVITIES
Only recently the former State Chairman of the party , Anslem Ojezua led a few party leaders to endorse Governor Obaseki and his deputy for a second term at a fee of N100, 000 each to all those who attended the ill-fated meeting. For us as the authentic APC stakeholders in Edo state we wholeheartedly denounce such endorsement. From his antecedents Governor Obaseki does not deserve such endorsement and we hereby dissociate ourselves from it. We wish to state that at the appropriate time the APC National Working Committee will initiate the process of party primaries for the selection of the party’s gubernatorial candidate. We will abide by the guidelines for such primaries as the constitution of the party vests the responsibility of conducting primaries on the NWC. Governor Obaseki should note that no amount of intimidation or harassment will stop all those who are interested in the governorship of the state from contesting and we are prepared to give every aspirant equal opportunity to test their popularity. We will resist any attempt by the Governor to close the political space.
Governor Obaseki, His Deputy,Phillip Shuaibu, Anslem Ojezua And Osarodion Ogie(SSG) from available information from top Leaders of the PDP have concluded plans to defect from the APC and seek re-election on that platform. As part of the negotiations the Governor has agreed to pay to the opposition party the sum of SIX BILLION Naira out of which some leaders of the party ( PDP) has received from him the sum of THREE BILLION Naira . The balance is to be paid as soon as the Governor secures the party’s ticket or formally defect as he is likely to do in the few weeks. In fact , this is why the rumblings in the PDP leading to the suspension of those leaders involved by a group known as the integrity group in the PDP
It is therefore not surprising that the Governor is working tirelessly to destroy the APC in the state .
Consequently, we hereby SUSPEND Governor Godwin Obaseki, Hon Phillip Shuaibu and Barr. Osarodion Ogie from the the for anti party activities and urge the National Working Committee to set the machinery in motion for further disciplinary action against them .We wish to inform all our party members in Edo State not to give in to the antics of Obaseki and his handlers as their intention is to railroad them out of the ruling party into opposition Given the numerous anti-party activities that the Governor, his Deputy and his appointees have been involved in , it is certain that their agenda is to use Government resources to decimate the Party and move to other platforms. We shall remain vigilant in order to protect our party

CONCLUSION
Suffice to say that our concerns and agitations in the last few months are not and were never about stomach infrastructure or a quest for compensation from State resources. It was never about a god-father and a god-son struggle for the control of Government or resources of the State.
It has been about ensuring a good governance with a human face and our resolve is to check the destructive path approach to governance in Edo state and put our party on the path of moral rectitude, transparency, inclusion and the progressive agenda of the APC in Edo State.
This struggle has been about a Governor who lacks interpersonal relationship skill, who is vindictive and repelled by the presence of his party members and without provocation, resorts to anger and pugnacious display of raw power. This is about a governor who has not shown any iota of appreciation for all efforts and sacrifices of his Party members across the state. This is about a Governor who has failed to fulfil his electoral promises to the people of Edo State and who has refused to listen to the voice of reasoning irrespective of where those voices are coming from. This is a Governor who has neglected to employ the tool of dialogue, consultation, negotiation and compromise which are necessary ingredients for proper administration. This is a Governor who believes in all ramifications that he is above the people. This is about a Governor who has suddenly become tyrant! In the history of our dear state and country this is the first time a serving Governor is openly applying for a banking license for his company which was near liquidation at the time of taking over the reins of governance in Edo State. We cannot fold our arms and watch helplessly.
With the above traits , it is obvious that this Governor was never really psychologically and emotionally prepared to be a Lead. In a politically vibrant state like ours with the abundance of quality and talented political leaders in all spheres of human endeavor, there can be no stopping of opposition to these insidious and unacceptable behaviour by a political leader.
We wish to therefore restate our commitment, our unalloyed loyalty to the National Leadership of the All Progressive Congress, and we pledge to do everything humanly possible to protect it from those who are bent on destroying it after they have used it to ascend to political leadership.

Long Live All Progressives Congress!
Long Live Edo State!!
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!