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