Warning: Illegal string offset 'ad1_displayType' in /home/content/76/7207876/html/wp-content/plugins/ad-inserter/class.php on line 40

Warning: Illegal string offset 'ad2_displayType' in /home/content/76/7207876/html/wp-content/plugins/ad-inserter/class.php on line 40

Warning: Illegal string offset 'ad3_displayType' in /home/content/76/7207876/html/wp-content/plugins/ad-inserter/class.php on line 40

Warning: Illegal string offset 'ad4_displayType' in /home/content/76/7207876/html/wp-content/plugins/ad-inserter/class.php on line 40

Warning: Illegal string offset 'ad5_displayType' in /home/content/76/7207876/html/wp-content/plugins/ad-inserter/class.php on line 40

Warning: Illegal string offset 'ad6_displayType' in /home/content/76/7207876/html/wp-content/plugins/ad-inserter/class.php on line 40

Warning: Illegal string offset 'ad7_displayType' in /home/content/76/7207876/html/wp-content/plugins/ad-inserter/class.php on line 40

Warning: Illegal string offset 'ad8_displayType' in /home/content/76/7207876/html/wp-content/plugins/ad-inserter/class.php on line 40

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/content/76/7207876/html/wp-content/plugins/ad-inserter/class.php:40) in /home/content/76/7207876/html/wp-content/plugins/post-views/post-views.php on line 64

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/content/76/7207876/html/wp-content/plugins/ad-inserter/class.php:40) in /home/content/76/7207876/html/wp-includes/feed-rss2.php on line 8
Olu Ojedokun, PhD – New Nigerian Politics http://newnigerianpolitics.com A New kind of Politics Thu, 09 Apr 2020 17:37:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.16 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/logo_new_draft_April23_NNP-50x50.jpg Olu Ojedokun, PhD – New Nigerian Politics http://newnigerianpolitics.com 32 32 The Subsidy Crises: A Way Forward – By Dr. Olu Ojedokun http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2012/01/19/the-subsidy-crises-a-way-forward-by-dr-olu-ojedokun/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2012/01/19/the-subsidy-crises-a-way-forward-by-dr-olu-ojedokun/#respond Fri, 20 Jan 2012 00:42:58 +0000 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=16976 By Dr. Olu Ojedokun, London, UK – Jan.  19, 2012 – We have taken stock of the grave national crises we face and we of, The Nigerian Front after a process of consultation and reflection have come up with a roadmap to provide some solutions for the nation.  We hope these detailed solutions will be considered and acted upon by the President, his advisers and the National Assembly.  We see these proposals as a way forward out of the present stalemate. 

The solutions are detailed as follows:

That the removal of petrol subsidy be immediately suspended whilst a process of re-examining the 2012 budget is immediately commenced.

  • That the 2012 budget be comprehensively revised based on an audit of the 2011 budget, determining from it its performance and non-performance.  That the EFCC/ICPC using forensic examiners be involved in this process;
  • That the government reduces the recurrent expenditure in the budget to 25% and this should be enshrined in law;
  • That the revision of the 2012 budget should take place to ensure it is balanced; and this should be done through the following steps:
  1. That number of ministries and ministers at the federal level be rationalised to an affordable level bearing in mind the need for a constitutional amendment to reduce the number;
  2. That the number of government agencies/parastatals be reviewed and their usefulness be identified and the redundant ones eliminated;
  3. That the number of Special Advisers at the Presidency be reduced to reflect the new spirit of austerity;
  4. That the Special Assistants allocated to ministers be limited to two;
  5. That all allowances currently contained in the remuneration of government officials be removed.
  • That the government ceases the practice of using the Federal Executive Council meetings as a forum for adjudicating upon every detailed contract of government that these role should rest with the Budget Office of The Federation;
  • That all government agencies such as the FRIS, NNPC, Customs, Immigration, Nigerian Ports Authority, Federal Airports Authority etc. be given revenue raising targets in the 2012 budget;
  • That President commences of a process of selling off excess government assets;
  • That the convention of executive’s security votes be abolished;
  • That all the savings from this process be paid in to a special escrow account;
  • That the government ensures as a matter of priority that that the EFCC/ICPCC investigates the abuse of the subsidy issue and brings to book those implicated;
  • That a comprehensive reform of the Judiciary be undertaken and adequate resources be provided to motivate them to treat these economic crimes with the uttermost of priority;
  • That the government re-energise and re-commence the war on corruption;
  • That the President should forward a proposal for the constitutional amendment to make the National Assembly a unicameral legislature.

We propose that only after these steps have been implemented should the issue of subsidy removal be revisited and in negotiation with the Labour sector.  The proposals detailed above will require monitoring and we therefore call upon the government to set up a monitoring committee, which includes a representative from Labour, Academia, Industry, Judiciary and Business to report back within 6 months of its establishment. 

We conclude by stating that:

“In moments of great challenge exists an even greater opportunity for us and for our nation. We must construct a vision for Nigeria rooted in values that can make our nation the last best hope of Earth – values that are anchored upon fairness, opportunity, the respect we have for and the responsibilities we have to one another.  We must construct a belief in a Nigeria where good jobs are there for the willing, where hard work is rewarded with decent living, and where we recognize the fundamental truth that the politicians in Abuja cannot prosper with stupendous allowances while other parts of Nigeria crumbles with poverty – that a successful democratic, polity must deliver a sound economy with thriving businesses and flourishing families.”

]]>
http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2012/01/19/the-subsidy-crises-a-way-forward-by-dr-olu-ojedokun/feed/ 0 a:7:{s:4:"lang";s:2:"en";s:8:"keywords";s:61:"government,budget,2012,process,detailed,number,federal,nation";s:19:"keywords_autoupdate";s:1:"1";s:11:"description";s:157:"government reduces the recurrent expenditure in the budget to 25% and this should be enshrined in law; That the revision of the 2012 budget should take place";s:22:"description_autoupdate";s:1:"1";s:5:"title";s:0:"";s:6:"robots";s:12:"index,follow";}index,follow
The Nigerian Front: Subsidy Removal is Not the Issue – By Dr. Olu Ojedokun http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2012/01/11/the-nigerian-front-subsidy-removal-is-not-the-issue-by-dr-olu-ojedokun/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2012/01/11/the-nigerian-front-subsidy-removal-is-not-the-issue-by-dr-olu-ojedokun/#respond Wed, 11 Jan 2012 15:46:16 +0000 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=16616 By Olu Ojedokun, London, UK – Jan. 11, 2012 – Over six months ago with painstaking analysis and a heavy heart we issued a paper titled ‘An Affordable Government’ to alert the government and the Nigerian people to the dangers of the profligacy contained in the budget. Today we face a crisis of monumental proportions because of the government’s determination to remove petroleum subsidy, a decision they claim is borne out of economic necessity.

It is our considered view that the government ignores and fails to understand the fundamental problems facing the Nigerian economy. This is manifested by its failure to prioritise its actions, tackling the issue of subsidy without addressing the nature of the bloated machinery of government and the root causes of corruption in the oil and gas sector in particular and our nation in general. We suggest that the removal of subsidy without addressing these issues would cause any so called gains will be swallowed up by the same corrupt and profligate system.

We have stated before that we do not relish being harbingers of doom and gloom but surely it remains our duty to speak truth to power and challenge the government to avoid economic disaster. For emphasis we repeat the words of a great sage, Chief Awolowo:
“We now believe there is a frightful danger ahead visible for those who care and are patriotic enough to look beyond their narrow self-interest. The ship of state is fast approaching a huge rock, and unless the President as the chief helmsman quickly rises to the occasion and courageously steers the ship away from its present course, it shall hit the rock and the inescapable consequence will be an unspeakable disaster of monumental proportions.”

We are sorry to note that nothing contained in the President’s last speech addresses the fundamental issues at stake. The issues we face is beyond the removal of subsidy, it is about the way we have run our so called democracy as a ‘legitimate’ front to siphon money from capital expenditure to recurrent expenditure and into the personal bank accounts of our leaders and it is about the way this subsidy business has been used to milk our economy and no one is held to account.

We return to the issue of the previous budget that was passed in 2011 to enumerate our concerns. In the budget was a total expenditure of N4.485 trillion ($29.2 billion) and a deficit of N1.136 trillion based on the benchmark oil price of $75/bbl.

The current 2012 budget proposals before the National Assembly continues the same trend, an increased budget of N4.749 trillion with a deficit of N1.105 trillion. We note that recurrent expenditure is due to fall by 2% with capital expenditure increase of 15%. We, however, remain concerned how Nigeria continues to run budgets with such huge deficits caused by the unsustainable recurrent expenditure.

We pointed to the fact that the 469 lawmakers would earn N338.6 billion in the next four years, adding almost N85 billion to the deficit every year. Further details revealed that only N18.245 billion of this expenditure is the actual budgeted salary for the legislature over their 4-year tenure. The rest of the jumbo pay came in the form of the quarterly allowances the two chambers of the legislature approved for themselves last year.

Our previous analysis of the allowance revealed a breakdown which came down to N42 million and N45 million each for a Representative and Senator respectively with the members of the House of Representatives earning an additional N168 million every year, a figure that translated to N672 million for the four years such a lawmaker would stay in office while for the Senate, it comes to N720 million per Senator.

We previously indicated that the budgeted recurrent expenditure of N2.425 trillion versus capital N1.147 trillion is simply unsustainable and a recipe for underdevelopment. How can we sanction the spending of more on salaries, pensions and allowances than on developing our nation with money we simply do not have?

The fundamental issue therefore is not the removal petroleum subsidy but that the structures and the system of governance are/is unaffordable, unsustainable and encourages and legitimises corruption on a grand scale.

The executive is not immune from the profligacy and economic insanity that has afflicted our governance. While in the United States the World’s richest economy the President covers his own catering needs as quoted below:

“President Obama may have his own executive chef now, but when his family and personal guests eat what’s coming out of the kitchen, he’ll have to foot the bill himself. Luckily for him, though, the government picks up the tab if he’s having a state function at the White House, which could get pricey since the White House’s website touts that its five chefs can crank out dinner for 140 or hors d’oeuvres for over a thousand people.

Does someone really keep track? Apparently, the White House functions like a luxury hotel in this regard. At the end of each month, the president receives a bill for his food and incidental expenses. Nancy Reagan was famously taken aback by this practice when an usher presented her first bill in 1981, saying, “Nobody ever told us the president and his wife are charged for every meal, as well as incidentals like dry cleaning, toothpaste, and other toiletries .” (President Reagan often joked that all the amenities made it like living in an eight star hotel.) See: http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/21928#ixzz1i2ZkHb1l
Another factor to note is that the President of the USA earns $400 000,00 per annum and his allowances total $169 000,00.

In Nigeria a report obtained by Premium Times indicates the Federal Government plans to spend approximately N1 billion in feeding its first and second citizens next year if the National Assembly approves President Goodluck Jonathan’s spending proposal as submitted to it last week. The President and his vice will enjoy N992.57 million worth of food and general catering services in 2012.

Whilst the President has indicated an immediate reduction in the salaries of all government officials by 25%, this is simply the tip of the iceberg. The government needs to go further and quicker, re-write the budget, line by line and cut its coat accordingly drastically reduce the cost of governance.

We cannot immediately amend the constitution to create a unicameral legislature but we can urge the current legislators to slash their allowances drastically and remove some. Furthermore we ask the government to revisit the questions below:

1. · What institutions need to be optimised and what budgetary expenditure needs to be curtailed or removed?
2. · What represents genuine investment as opposed to recurrent expenditure?
3. · The role of the Federal Executive Council (the cabinet) in expending its time and functions on adjudicating upon every detailed contract of government expenditure needs a review.
4. · How do we prioritise capital expenditure investment infrastructural maintenance over recurrent expenditure?
5. · How do we prioritise the governmental agencies from the customs to the immigrations in attracting inward foreign investments?
6. · How do we return to a balanced budget, where we only spend what we generate?
7. · A roadmap to return us to a sustainable policy, which allows us to save for the future when revenue diminishes.

We address the opposition parties, the ACN, CPC and plead with them to lead the way to call upon its own legislators to reject all the unaffordable amounts of money dressed up as allowances and specifying where such savings gained from their noble actions might be invested in.

We conclude that it is only when such actions are taken can subsidy removal return to the agenda.
Dr. Olu Ojedokun writes on behalf of The Nigerian Front .

Signed by the following Representatives of The Nigerian Front:
Mr. Remi Jibowu, Dr. Onochie Okoye, Alh Ismaila Zakari, Prince Asuquo Ibok, Mr. Bashar Dankaro and Dr. Olu Ojedokun

]]>
http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2012/01/11/the-nigerian-front-subsidy-removal-is-not-the-issue-by-dr-olu-ojedokun/feed/ 0 a:7:{s:4:"lang";s:2:"en";s:8:"keywords";s:74:"expenditure,government,president,budget,subsidy,million,recurrent,trillion";s:19:"keywords_autoupdate";s:1:"1";s:11:"description";s:159:"expenditure to recurrent expenditure and into the personal bank accounts of our leaders and it is about the way this subsidy business has been used to milk our";s:22:"description_autoupdate";s:1:"1";s:5:"title";s:0:"";s:6:"robots";s:12:"index,follow";}index,follow
Mr. President and the Courage of his Convictions – By Dr. Olu Ojedokun http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2011/08/07/the-nigerian-front-mr-president-and-the-courage-of-his-convictions-by-dr-olu-ojedokun/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2011/08/07/the-nigerian-front-mr-president-and-the-courage-of-his-convictions-by-dr-olu-ojedokun/#respond Mon, 08 Aug 2011 02:28:54 +0000 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=11371 By Dr. Olu Ojedokun, London, UK – August 7, 2011 – The recent silence from the front has been based on one consideration, the appropriateness of providing space for the President to consider the road map we have previously published.    We consider a honeymoon period allows the newly elected President time to establish the courage of his convictions, fine tune his team and assume stamina for a sprint lasting the next four years.   We believe everyone is entitled to such a period of grace, but the danger arises when honeymoon becomes a regular feature of governance and cover for shenanigans such as term extension.  
 
After a review of the state of our Nation we are sorry to declare that the omens so far are not good and the initial signs indicate Mr. President is intent on proving the critics right.   The first few weeks have been characterized by weakness, lack of direction and a continuation of the prevarication of the past 12 months.   Those who thought a mandate achieved through an electoral process would embolden Mr. President to go for the sprint, casting aside special/vested interests have been left bewildered.   The President is yet to come to grips with the fact that he can accomplish more in a day than most people can ever do in a lifetime.
 
A symptom of this is the amount of time the President spent prevaricating over the appointment of his Chief of Staff, a very intimate but strategic appointment the hallmark of the process was indecision.   However, we can only hope the flaws in the process was mitigated by the fact that the President considered the following questions in the appointment:
 
·        Is the current Chief of Staff smarter than him?
·        Would he trust him with his life?
·        Will he keep the wheel of government turning?
 
If Mr. President has been unable to process the answers to these questions then we appear to be in for more of the same, lethargy, weakness and prevarication disguised as governance.
 
Then there is the saga in the recent composition of the ministerial list, supposedly drawn up in our very own ‘Camp David’.   The list was forwarded to the Senate with names of nominees who had already undergone necessary security checks and then at a moment’s notice withdrawn just before being screened by the Senate.   What is puzzling, is the government is still unable or is incapable of offering any form of explanation whatsoever for the shambles of the process.   In this failure he demonstrates his inability to hold on to the courage of his convictions and escape the narrow party interests.
 
We are also concerned with the handling of the Boko Haram crises, which has bordered on appeasement rather than dealing with the roots and causes.   We remind the President that two thousand years ago a Roman citizen could walk across the face of the empire free of the fear of molestation.   He could walk across unharmed, cloaked only in the protection of the words civis Romanus — I am a Roman citizen. So great was the retribution of Rome, universally certain, should any harm befall even one of her citizens.
 
Now we ask where was the protection for the countless numbers of Nigerians that have been murdered by Boko Haram?   Where was the retribution for the families, and where is the warning to the rest of the group that Nigerians shall walk this length and breadth of its land unharmed, lest the clenched fist of the mighty military force comes crashing down on their houses?   In other words, Mr. President what are you doing about Boko Haram?
 
What about the war on corruption? Is Mr. President serious about such a war? We suggest that for any war to succeed it needs heroes and not cowards, however, there are limited signs that it is forming the highest of his priorities. We have the spectacle of the current Attorney General trying to hobble the powers of prosecution of the EFCC.     Further doubts are raised about Mr President’s seriousness when one understands that Mr. Francis Ugochukwu Elechi, the nominee for the Chair of the Independent Corrupt Practices Comission is a card carrying member of the ruling party.   We suggest seriousness should start with a Presidential communication to the nation along these lines:
 
  “ More than any time in recent history, Nigeria’s destiny is not of our own choosing. We did not seek nor did we provoke an assault on our freedom and our way of life. We did not expect nor did we invite a confrontation with the evil of corruption. Yet the true measure of a people’s strength is how they rise to master that moment when it does arrive.   Every time we think we have measured our capacity to meet the challenge of corruption, we look up and we are reminded that the capacity may well be limitless. In our war against corruption I realise this is a time for Nigerian heroes and I am prepared to go down fighting corruption as one. We will do what is hard. We will achieve what is great. This is a time for Nigerian heroes and we will fight the root causes of corruption and ensure accountability is restored.”
 
In conclusion we refer to an article written i n the first few months of term of the previous President:
 
  “A pattern, one, that seems to have emerged with this President, is a recurring theme that maybe crucial in the understanding of the character of his administration.   I see in the many government actions or inactions rarely any capacity for straightforwardness, directness or transparency.   For it appears it is congenitally incapable of being frank, clear or assertive.   Furthermore in my limited perception I believe this administration is playing some complex, convoluted game while Nigeria stagnates.   President Yar’Adua’s return, rather than a return to the routine of governance has been fraught with ambiguities, knee-deep in complications with hidden meanings, veiled power-struggles, passive-aggressions and paranoid confusions.   The Nigerian President’s handlers seem perversely determined to make everything as difficult as possible for his administration and for the country.”
 
We do hope history is not about to repeat itself with this new President.  
However, it would be wrong to limit the critique to Mr President when we have a legislature that took the earliest opportunity after being sworn in to proceed on recess and has been unable to constitute the committees necessary for its oversight function of the executive.   Some would suggest this is amateur hour all the way but we will remain steadfast on the front.
 
Dr. Olu Ojedokun writes on behalf of The Nigerian Front .
 
Signed by the following Representatives of The Nigerian Front: Mr. Remi Jibowu, Dr. Onochie Okoye, Alh Ismaila Zakari, Prince Asuquo Ibok, Mr. Bashar Dankaro and Dr. Olu Ojedokun

]]>
http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2011/08/07/the-nigerian-front-mr-president-and-the-courage-of-his-convictions-by-dr-olu-ojedokun/feed/ 0 a:7:{s:4:"lang";s:2:"en";s:8:"keywords";s:54:"  ,president,mr,corruption,time,nigerian,process,did";s:19:"keywords_autoupdate";s:1:"1";s:11:"description";s:158:"   We consider a honeymoon period allows the newly elected President time to establish the courage of his convictions, fine tune his team and assume stamina";s:22:"description_autoupdate";s:1:"1";s:5:"title";s:0:"";s:6:"robots";s:12:"index,follow";}index,follow
THE NIGERIAN FRONT: An Unaffordable Deficit – By Dr. Olu Odejokun http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2011/06/07/the-nigerian-front-an-unaffordable-deficit-by-dr-olu-odejokun/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2011/06/07/the-nigerian-front-an-unaffordable-deficit-by-dr-olu-odejokun/#respond Wed, 08 Jun 2011 04:32:50 +0000 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=9343 By Dr. Olu Odejokun, Loindon, UK – June 7, 2011 – We of The Nigerian Front are gravely concerned about the state of our nation stemming from the current prognosis of the recently signed budget.   The budget indicates that greed continues to dominate the polity as our resources are being mismanaged.   If care is not taken the consequences would be devastating for generations to come.   While we do not wish to become prophets of doom and gloom it is surely our role to challenge the government to keep it honest in order to avoid economic disaster.

We will, in the ensuing paragraphs, provide a proper context to the seriousness of the Nigerian situation by quoting from an elder statesman of blessed memory.   A man who spoke truth to power in an era different from ours and echoed words that we restate today because we are left with little choice: We now believe there is a frightful danger ahead visible for those who care and are patriotic enough to look beyond their narrow self-interest.   The ship of state is fast approaching a huge rock, and unless the President as the chief helmsman quickly rises to the occasion and courageously steers the ship away from its present course, it shall hit the rock and the inescapable consequence will be an unspeakable disaster of monumental proportions.
We have begun this particular article with a great alarm only because the situation demands it.   The recent reports confirm that the President, Goodluck Jonathan has signed into law a budget with a trillion naira deficit.    The budget for the 2011 fiscal year reveals a total expenditure of N4.485 trillion ($29.2 billion) with a deficit of N1.136 trillion based on the benchmark oil price of $75/bbl.
The great concern is how the nation continues to run a budget with such huge deficits caused by the unsustainable pace at which the recurrent expenditure continues to grow.   This is illustrated by fact that the 469 incoming lawmakers will earn N338.6 billion in the next four years, adding almost N85 billion to the deficit every year.
Further detail reveals that only N18.245 billion of this expenditure is the actual budgeted salary for the legislature over their 4-year tenure.   The rest of the jumbo pay comes in the form of the quarterly allowances the two chambers of the legislature approved for themselves last year.   When providing justification for its approval they described it as: “running cost/quarterly allowance.”
The breakdown of the allowance which comes down to N42 million and N45 million each for a Representative and Senator respectively would see the members of the House of Representatives earning an additional N168 million every year, a figure that translates to N672 million for the four years such a lawmaker would stay in office while for the Senate, it comes to N720 million per Senator.
 
It is instructive to note but for the inflated allowances of the legislators what should be reflected on their pay slips should be their statutory salary of N18.245 billion, the total expenditure for the two chambers in over four years.   Of this amount, N4, 881, 394, 960 will be spent on the 109 Senators while the remaining N13, 364, 450, 550 will be spent on the maintenance of the 360 members of the House of Representatives.
 
In line with the remuneration package for political, public and judicial office holders approved by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) from July 2009, a Senator earns an annual emolument of N8, 206, 920 while a member of the House of Representatives takes home N6, 352, 680 per annum.   The cumulative emolument of a Senator for the four-year term will, therefore, come to N32, 827, 680.   In addition, each of the 109 Senators is expected to take home another N11, 145, 200 in allowances described by the RMAFC as non-regular, and are collected one off as the case may be, at the beginning of the tenure.
 
The legislators seem to have no reverse gear as far as spending is concerned, they are oblivious to the global trends and are steaming ahead on full speed with the legitimization of the public looting described as so-called allowances.   Whilst many in the developed world are prioritising and making conscious attempts to live within their means we seem to see profligacy as a virtue.  
This is demonstrated by the budgeted recurrent expenditure of N2.425 trillion and capital N1.147 trillion.   We spend more on salaries, pensions and allowances than on developing our nation and much of it is money we simply do not have.   It is clear that we are living beyond our means and the profligacy must stop.   We believe the priority of all organs of government must be to address this and the recently signed budget must be reviewed with a supplementary version provided to the newly convened National Assembly, which should engage with certain key questions:
·        What institutions need to be optimised and what budgetary expenditure needs to be curtailed or removed?
·        What represents genuine investment as opposed to recurrent expenditure?
·        The role of the Federal Executive Council (the cabinet) in expending its time and functions on adjudicating upon every detailed contract of government expenditure needs a review.
·        How do we prioritise capital expenditure investment infrastructural maintenance over recurrent expenditure?  
·        How do we prioritise the governmental agencies from the customs to the immigrations in attracting inward foreign investments?
·        How do we return to a balanced budget, where we only spend what we generate?
·        A roadmap to return us to a sustainable policy, which allows us to save for the future when revenue diminishes.
We also appreciate the task of restoring financial sanity to our budget making process does not belong to the executive alone.   The National Assembly and in particular the opposition has a role to play.   The CPC can live up to its claim of being incorruptible and different from the PDP and the rest by calling upon its own legislators to reject all the unaffordable amounts of money dressed up as allowances and specifying where such savings gained from their noble actions might be invested in.
Above all, the long suffering citizens of Nigeria should identify their own legislator and petition them to reject such unnecessary allowances, demonstrating we are all in this together.   
Dr. Olu Ojedokun writes on behalf of The Nigerian Front .
 
Signed by the following Representatives of The Nigerian Front:
Mr. Remi Jibowu, Dr. Onochie Okoye, Alh Ismaila Zakari, Prince Asuquo Ibok, Mr. Bashar Dankaro, Mr. Derrick Kentebe and Dr. Olu Ojedokun

]]>
http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2011/06/07/the-nigerian-front-an-unaffordable-deficit-by-dr-olu-odejokun/feed/ 0 a:7:{s:4:"lang";s:2:"en";s:8:"keywords";s:72:"  ,expenditure,budget,allowances,·       ,year,billion,million";s:19:"keywords_autoupdate";s:1:"1";s:11:"description";s:159:"   The budget indicates that greed continues to dominate the polity as our resources are being mismanaged.   If care is not taken the consequences would be";s:22:"description_autoupdate";s:1:"1";s:5:"title";s:0:"";s:6:"robots";s:12:"index,follow";}index,follow
THE NIGERIAN FRONT: An Accountable Government- By Remi Jibowu & Dr. Olu Ojedokun http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2011/05/30/the-nigerian-front-an-accountable-government-by-remi-jibowu-dr-olu-ojedokun/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2011/05/30/the-nigerian-front-an-accountable-government-by-remi-jibowu-dr-olu-ojedokun/#respond Tue, 31 May 2011 01:31:34 +0000 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=9001 Some have questioned the legitimacy of the new Jonathan Administration and constantly remind us of the violence, which greeted some of the disputed election results.   We, however, deal with Nigeria as we find it, whilst noting the rights of others to pursue their grievances through constitutional means.
 
We of ‘The Nigerian Front’ intend to continue addressing the de facto situation that: Dr. Goodluck Jonathan currently holds the reins of power.   We will continue to hold this as the basis of our regular engagement with power as we seek to move the nation forward, creating a narrative where the many and not just the elite can own and identify with.
 
This is because through out history nations have only grown and prospered when all of its citizens have shared in the opportunities created by their economies.   That is why we believe Mr. President must create a bottom up growth that empowers hardworking masses of families to climb the ladder of success and raise their children in security, opportunity, and hope for a better future.   It is these hopes we wish to begin to place at the centre of the Nigerian idea.
 
We believe that history helps us understand that the transformation of the Western economies from a feudal based to industrial, from local to national, through war and peace has experienced one constant:   the advancement of individual opportunity.   Not individual opportunity for corruption but one that ensures that through hard work we can obtain just rewards.   That ensures that every Nigerian can have an equal shot at making a good living, raising a family, giving their children a good start in life, and enjoying a secure retirement.
 
We see it as part of our mission to articulate the enthronement of national values, the values described above which could be at the centre of the Nigerian idea, weaving together disparate groups and tribes to form a powerful whole.    But we also are aware that for any value system to take root grow and survive in Nigeria, the government must have accountability and probity at the heart of governance.
 
The governance, we speak of will bring many challenges and will collide with the challenges already present as part of the fabric of our nation.   We are convinced that to resolve these, the simple acts of throwing more money around cannot be the answer.  
 
The answer rests in constructing a plan that allows the rethinking and reinventing of our government’s attitude to utilisation and management of our nation’s resources.    We are aware that whatever plan(s) we suggest to the government needs an effective team to deliver, a team of all the best talents that our nation can offer.
 
The political reality we face in Nigeria today, however, suggests that there are two alternatives that President Goodluck Jonathan faces (1) he could sacrifice any lurking desire for a second term, ignore sycophants and select a can do cabinet or, (2) he could choose to do business as usual, recycling politicians of dubious pedigree, completely bereft of any vision.
 
If the President proceeds along the former path, then we are convinced it is one that will lend him the space to develop sustainable policies for Nigeria, establishing his position in history and cementing the building of a nation of values.    We warn, however, that any decision to proceed along the alternative route is destined for one terminus, one of more sweat, sorrows, tears and blood.
We have already suggested that only ‘a government of all talents’ can deliver on a clear and bold agenda for Nigeria.   Therefore Mr. President must continue a credible search, one that goes far and wide for people with the capacity to execute clear and measurable plans for our nation.   This search should reveal a team of people with imaginative ideas, integrity with a track record of accomplishment.
We have identified key ministries such as Finance, Trade, Transport, Education, Health and Power as essential for empowerment so that a sustained difference can be delivered and this could be done by assigning the very best individuals to appropriate ministries.   These ministries are those whose activities directly impact Nigerians in the human development indices recognised by the United Nations and enshrined in the Millennium Development Goals.
We urge Mr. President to note that at the dawn of his new government, this nation cannot afford to slip further, to avoid this we must commit higher percentages of our Gross Domestic Product to Health, Education, Power, and Transport, matching and reflecting what occurs in countries like Brazil, India, Indonesia and other fast emerging economies.
We realise that we require a national security apparatus that is professional in its operations for us to secure our aspirations.   We must ensure it dispenses with its reputation and penchant for brutality and corruption.   We are convinced that adequate security remains vital to ensure the right climate is created for economic development and growth.
We wish to indicate to Mr. President that in the developed market economies, where democratic principles are applied, there is a social contract between the government and its people.   Therefore the contract that exists between the President, the ministers and personnel he appoints must recognise the contract between them and the people they serve.
Accountability must be the foundation upon which the key performance indicators used to assess their performances must rest.   Public officers must be accountable to the system that they represent and one that appoints them.   It is the duty of Mr. President to ensure that there is no disconnect between them and the people they are meant to serve, they must see themselves as the servants and not the masters.
In conclusion we raise the question about the reported one billion-naira budget for the Presidential inauguration.    Whilst in the context of other developed economies this is hardly significant, we note our economy is not developed and has serious structural problems, which makes this an unnecessary luxury.   We are aware that it might be too late to urge a reconsideration of such expenditure, however, we expect transparency and accountability in all future such expenditure but not at the expense of investments in the areas of provision of health, education, power, housing and better infrastructure, power, portable water and better shelter.
 
Our appeal to the Nigerian people remains the same and consistent, using the President’s Facebook accounts send him messages indicating men and women you consider worthy of serving this nation for it is your nation and you have no other but Nigeria.   
Mr. Remi Jibowu and Dr. Olu Ojedokun write on behalf of The Nigerian Front .
Signed by the following Representatives of The Nigerian Front:
Mr. Remi Jibowu, Dr. Onochie Okoye, Alh Ismaila Zakari, Prince Asuquo Ibok, Mr. Bashar Dankaro, Mr. Derrick Kentebe and Dr. Olu Ojedokun

]]>
http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2011/05/30/the-nigerian-front-an-accountable-government-by-remi-jibowu-dr-olu-ojedokun/feed/ 0 a:7:{s:4:"lang";s:2:"en";s:8:"keywords";s:54:"  ,mr,nation,president,nigerian,nigeria,people,power";s:19:"keywords_autoupdate";s:1:"1";s:11:"description";s:158:"   We, however, deal with Nigeria as we find it, whilst noting the rights of others to pursue their grievances through constitutional means.   We of ‘The";s:22:"description_autoupdate";s:1:"1";s:5:"title";s:0:"";s:6:"robots";s:12:"index,follow";}index,follow
THE NIGERIAN FRONT: The Preamble – By Dr. Olu Ojedokun http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2011/05/23/the-nigerian-front-the-preamble-by-dr-olu-ojedokun/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2011/05/23/the-nigerian-front-the-preamble-by-dr-olu-ojedokun/#respond Mon, 23 May 2011 14:42:24 +0000 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=8740 By Dr. Olu Ojedokun, London, UK – May 23, 2011 – Every generation is often presented with opportunities to offer definition, scope and direction to its nation.  This extends to the construction of defining values, the anchoring of the nation’s progress and creating an all-inclusive space for its development.
 
For our forbearers, who struggled in support of Nigeria’s independence, it was the newly acquired independence, the liberation from the colonialists and the rebuilding following, the seminal opportunities presented, for a new social system and mobility for a new class, the middle class. 
 
However, seven years later many of them found their initial hopes dashed.  The idealism of independence was replaced with the realism of a civil war to keep Nigeria one. The members of the same united family who rejoiced on the 1st October 1960 now found themselves in different armies waging a brutal fratricidal war of against each other. 
 
Many were grateful that the nightmare ended at the beginning of the 70s with the refrain ‘No Victor, No Vanquished’.  This presented our nation with another opportunity, one of tearing down walls, ending the legacies of an avoidable war, whilst taking advantage of the newly discovered oil wealth.  Sadly four decades later, we are still awaiting our Uhuru after many false starts.
 
As a nation, whilst the legacies of our forbearers are defined by dashed hopes, corruption, mindless violence, militarism and wasted opportunities, we must ask ourselves how we want our children to tell our own stories. 
 
In moments of great challenge exists an even greater opportunity for us and for our nation.  We must construct a vision for Nigeria rooted in values that can make our nation the last best hope of Earth – values that are anchored upon fairness, opportunity, the respect we have for and the responsibilities we have to one another.   We must construct a belief in a Nigeria where good jobs are there for the willing, where hard work is rewarded with decent living, and where we recognize the fundamental truth that the politicians in Abuja cannot prosper with stupendous allowances while other parts of Nigeria crumbles with poverty – that a successful democratic, polity must deliver a sound economy with thriving businesses and flourishing families.
 
In a Nigeria still riven by ethnic suspicions and rivalries, coupled with monumental corruption, forging the kind of future described above will not be easy.  It will require the opening of a front, which requires new ways of thinking and a new spirit of cooperation.  It will not be easy, there might be frustrations but it is not impossible if we seize this moment to look beyond our differences and focus on the challenges that affect us all, we can meet them and it remains our best strategic choice within the prevailing international political economy.
 
We can choose to remain on the same path to failure we have travelled since independence, or we can come together like generations of other nations before us and forge a future where we create a value based vision, upon simple promise, which can be at the heart of the Nigerian idea, a Nigerian dream that was articulated by President Goodluck Jonathan in his declaration for presidency.  That Nigeria can be a place where everyone has a chance to make it if he or she can work very hard and play by the rules. 
 
We believe that it is this chance that gave many of us from the east, north, south and the west, the opportunities to attend some of the best schools and obtain the best education our country had to offer.   It is that promise that has led us to set up this front we call ‘The Nigeria Front to rise above the stench of failure and to confront our unique challenge as a nation.  To proffer and offer solutions to begin to create a nation that believes that no matter how great the challenge or how difficult the circumstance might be, change is always possible if we are willing to be consistent in our fight for it, work for it and above all believe in it.
 
 
It is towards this end that we open with a new front on the issue of the jumbo pay and allowances of the Nigerian Legislature. 
 
A new mandate presents opportunities to revisit the old ways of doing things, renewal and to make amends.  We therefore urge the President to commence his new administration by addressing the inequity and wantonness in the legislature’s remuneration package and send the right message across the nation.
 
We refer to a previous comparative analysis of the issue, revealing the sheer scale of the Nigerian legislators’ earnings with other countries showing that how it is unsustainable and unrealistic.  Previous facts indicate that whilst a lawmaker in India earns $23,988 (N3.7m) per annum a Nigerian senator earns about $1.2m (N182m) per annum and a member of the House of Representatives earns N127m per annum. 


 
This on many levels is unsustainable because Nigeria has a meagre per capita income of $2,249 per annum when compared against the United States’ $46,350 and yet Nigeria’s federal lawmakers are the highest paid in the world, higher that of the United States who earn $174,000 per annum.
 
]]>
http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2011/05/23/the-nigerian-front-the-preamble-by-dr-olu-ojedokun/feed/ 0 a:7:{s:4:"lang";s:2:"en";s:8:"keywords";s:65:"nation,nigeria,new,annum,nigerian,best,independence,opportunities";s:19:"keywords_autoupdate";s:1:"1";s:11:"description";s:163:"nation.  This extends to the construction of defining values, the anchoring of the nation’s progress and creating an all-inclusive space for its development.  ";s:22:"description_autoupdate";s:1:"1";s:5:"title";s:0:"";s:6:"robots";s:12:"index,follow";}index,follow
Speaking Truth to Power: Pentecostals and the ‘Daddy’ Syndrome – By Dr. Olu Ojedokun http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2011/03/07/speaking-truth-to-power-pentecostals-and-the-%e2%80%98daddy%e2%80%99-syndrome-by-dr-olu-ojedokun/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2011/03/07/speaking-truth-to-power-pentecostals-and-the-%e2%80%98daddy%e2%80%99-syndrome-by-dr-olu-ojedokun/#respond Tue, 08 Mar 2011 05:28:54 +0000 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=5045 By Dr. Olu Ojedokun, London, UK – Mar. 7, 2011 – The current narrative of the many UK based ‘African Majority’ Pentecostal Churches is the clinging to the fantasy that the ‘Men/Women of God’ who serve them are perfect.   That they can do no wrong, have no weaknesses and live and embody perfect lives.   It is suggested that it is this fantasy that allows the church members to neglect the construction of protective layers and structures around their ministers.   This singular failure of church membership and followership has exposed many of these ministers to possibilities of unspeakable scandals.  
 
In many of these churches there has been the substitution of accountability structures for some expectation that the ‘Men/Women of God’ inhabit a higher moral plane than the rest of us, setting up their churches and the world out there for a massive fall from grace.  
 
At this stage, before proceeding any further, allow me to indulge you in a number of personal confessions as follows:
 
·        I regard myself to be of and from the Pentecostal tradition and consider myself to be ‘born again’;
·        I am a miserable sinner and not whiter than white nor beyond reproach; and
·        I am not qualified to speak truth to this issue but find myself in a position of having no choice.
 
 
The context of this article is located within the recent conviction of Dr. Albert Odulele. The doctor, the Senior Pastor of Glory House; a London based Pentecostal Church, previously President of the African and Caribbean Evangelical Alliance and a renowned personality within the evangelical world was convicted of indecent assault on male members of his congregation, one who happened to be a minor.
 
This is a very tragic case, tragic on so many different levels. It is tragic for the victims, tragic for the perpetrator’s family, for the reputation of the ‘African Majority’ Churches in Britain and for the perpetrator himself.
 
In the midst of the unraveling reports about this conviction while some are struggling with the loss of the reputation of a ‘Man of God’ many more find themselves facing a terrible truth, a truth that even ‘Men of God’ face the same struggles as other human beings. The victims could of course be left to struggle with the life long trauma of abuse and would naturally be casting about for someone to blame.  They could blame the government for inadequate regulation of these Churches, the Christians for permitting ‘wolves’ in their midst, and of course the ‘Man of God’ himself for falling prey to his own particular perversions.   The victims could naturally blame everyone they can think of and be filled with unspeakable rage.  But then we must pause and try and find a way forward to ensure such abuses never have the space to occur again.
 
Whilst the victims and many observers would naturally demand retribution but this alone will not prevent further abuses.   We could blame the Church but again this alone could rob of us peace and space to reflect and rebuild preventive mechanisms and surely we have had enough of that. 
 
Whilst there are many churches with spaces and places where people are blessed and set free, other churches must exercise more humility and open up a spaces, which begins to allow them to question their own criteria of success.   In support of this position I quote Revd. Gideon Para-Mallam of IFES who states that:
“ Evidence suggests that indeed, the foundations of Christian discipleship are weak in many of these churches experiencing explosive numerical growth across sub-Saharan Africa. This is the case from Lagos to Lusaka, Kinshasa to Kumasi, Accra to Addis Ababa, Abuja to Yaoundé, Nairobi to Kampala, Harare to Blantyre, Cape Town to Dare Salaam. Churches need to refocus on their character and how this impacts their commitment to completing the task of world evangelization. Yet the impact of the gospel on society is diminished by the disjuncture of belief and practice. One major result of this is the lack of depth found in many Christians. Religiosity is widespread; however, godliness is scarce. People from all walks of life profess faith in God; however, this is not displayed in everyday life practices. Is it any wonder that Christians going into government are unprepared to withstand temptations of the office? They fail to be true ambassadors of Christ in government. Many have instead brought shame to Christ’s name.”
 
There is also clearly an issue of accountability that needs to be addressed by many of these Churches that happen to be independent.   The absence of little or any clear accountability structure or reference point for many of the ‘founding’ ministers is very troublesome.   There is, however, a greater concern of the attempts by many followers to ‘daddify’/deify many of these mere mortals, elevating them to superpower and superstar status. The conferment of such status encourages the myths that these men are free from struggles or do not have issues that we mere mortals struggle with on a daily basis.
 
Another phenomenon is that many have styled themselves after their long distanced American mentors and have no local mentors they can relate to on a regular basis.   There is the possibility that some might see the issue of relating to a mentor as a sign of weakness rather than of strength.   However, even Jesus needed time apart with the inner cycle of three disciples. And the ultimate example I might suggest is how God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit relate to one another.
 
In concluding, I suggest these independent ministries and their leadership continue to expose themselves if they stand or remain in isolation for whatever reason.
 
Dr. Olu Ojedokun resides in the United Kingdom

]]>
http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2011/03/07/speaking-truth-to-power-pentecostals-and-the-%e2%80%98daddy%e2%80%99-syndrome-by-dr-olu-ojedokun/feed/ 0 a:7:{s:4:"lang";s:2:"en";s:8:"keywords";s:52:"  ,churches,god’,blame,church,god,tragic,victims";s:19:"keywords_autoupdate";s:1:"1";s:11:"description";s:163:"   That they can do no wrong, have no weaknesses and live and embody perfect lives.   It is suggested that it is this fantasy that allows the church members to";s:22:"description_autoupdate";s:1:"1";s:5:"title";s:0:"";s:6:"robots";s:12:"index,follow";}index,follow
SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER:The Asiwaju of Progress or Manipulation http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2010/12/24/speaking-truth-to-powerthe-asiwaju-of-progress-or-manipulation/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2010/12/24/speaking-truth-to-powerthe-asiwaju-of-progress-or-manipulation/#respond Fri, 24 Dec 2010 15:09:36 +0000 http://politiconigeria.com/?p=696 By Olu Ojedokun, PhD, London, UK – Dec 24, 2010 – With the reversals by the courts of some gubernatorial electoral ‘victories’ of the PDP in the South West the focus in the media and the internet chatter fora has now shifted to the person of the ‘Asiwaju’, ’Bola Tinubu of Lagos.   To some the man awaits canonisation as a saint and to others he attracts vilification.   Some praise him to the highest heavens for his tactics and singular determination to wrestle the South West from PDP’s grip.   A few others remain aghast at what they perceive to be the perpetuation of godfather politics and certain anti-democratic tendencies.
 
The title or appellation ‘Asiwaju’ is not new and entered into popular discourse with the unanimous acclamation of Chief Obafemi Awolowo as the ‘Asiwaju of the Yorubas’, a proclamation which emerged at a time of emergency for the Nigerian Federation.   It was a proclamation that was confirmed by the Arole Odua, Ooni of Ife.   Chief Ajasin was also confirmed in near similar circumstances.   A vivid narration of this was provided by the late sage in his autobiography, Adventure in Power (page 314):
 
“After my release, Colonel Adebayo who was military governor of the Western Region convened   a meeting …including the leading Obas (Royal Majesties) in the region were also there. Leaders of all shades of political opinion in the region were also there……    I was elected by the governor to preside over the deliberations at the meeting.   At the very outset, the question of electing a leader for the Yoruba people was raised. I ruled it out of order…The vocal among them were former members of N.C.N.C. and N.N.D.P.  …….When one of the speakers pleaded that I should reconsider my ruling, I gave in. There was a big applause for my compliance and so without any further debate a motion was proposed, it was seconded by acclamation and unanimously passed; electing me the leader (Asiwaju) of the Yoruba People.”
 
There is little doubt that Chief Awolowo grounded his progressive welfare oriented ideology in democratic values, coining the usage of the term democratic socialism.   It was suggested that Awolowo achieved so much because he consulted widely with the intelligentsia, the academics and Obas before he took a position on any issue and he was focused.   In other words, it could be argued that the ends of progressive politics and the means of achieving it were mutually exclusive to Awolowo.   However after his death a dangerous disconnect emerged, linked to attempts by his numerous ‘disciples’ to assume his mantle through organisations such as the Afenifere and the old Alliance for Democracy.   This disconnect manifested itself as the disentangling/decoupling of Awolowo’s fondness for democratic and transparent values from progressive ideals, replacing the vacuum with an era of manipulation, imposition and godfatherism.  
 
Chief Awolowo’s disciples failed to appreciate the link between the ends and means.   The comatose status of the Afenifere and the virtual extinction of Alliance for Democracy in my view was traceable to a betrayal and manipulation of this link.   A betrayal manifested as a viral infection of political myopia, manipulative hegemony and omo onile tendencies. The then Afenifere leaders in their actions were unable to demonstrate a belief in the salient democratic principles which Awolowo was known for or the transparency, rule of law and respect for a fair and free electoral process at party level.   One example of this was of the then Minister of Housing, Chief (Mrs) Mobolaji Osomo who, allegedly won the I999 AD governorship primary election in Ondo State but the Afenifere allegedly turned upside down the result at their Ijebu Igbo meeting.   In that action Afenifere betrayed the pillar upon which party democracy should be built which is freedom of choice, not manipulation or imposition.
 
It has also been suggested that the emergence of Raji Babatunde Fashola as Governorship candidate on the platform of AC was riddled with manipulation and imposition. The ‘Asiwaju’, ‘Bola Tinubu has been ‘heard’ to glory in that particular act of manipulation and imposition and to argue that Fashola was produced by the structure and the same structure is able to produce someone as good if not better that Governor Fashola.   In other words he is guilty of the suggestion that Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc applies.    It follows the premise that s ince that event followed this one, that event must have been caused by this one.     It is of course a particularly tempting error because temporal sequence appears to be integral to causality . If this claims are indeed attributable to the ‘Asiwaju, then he reveals a fallacy that lies in coming to a conclusion based solely on the order of events, rather than taking into account other factors that might rule out the connection.
The ACN emerged from the rubble of AD and Afenifere, but has showed no inclination or desire to repair the decoupling/delinking between the progressive means and ends.   The perceived current travails of Fashola in seeking a 2 nd term in Lagos is potent evidence of this.   There are many who are simply focused on the dislodging of the ‘sinister’ PDP machine and would happily argue that the means justifies the ends, that the manipulation and impositions facilitated by the ‘Asiwaju’ must be tolerated in the wider scheme of things.
 
I have grave fears that in adopting this position, they betray a naivety of grand proportions and risk relegating the ACN into the same league as the PDP making them barely distinguishable from each other.   In other words in the longer term are in danger of falling into the trap that consumed the AD and Afenifere.  
 
The ‘Asiwaju’ and other ‘progressives’ must be reminded that Fashola has shown that government can be a place where people come together and where no one gets left behind.   We must fight for the restoration of the link between the ends of progressive ideals with the democratic and transparent values.   
The writer, Dr Ojedokun resides in the UK.

]]>
http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2010/12/24/speaking-truth-to-powerthe-asiwaju-of-progress-or-manipulation/feed/ 0 a:7:{s:4:"lang";s:2:"en";s:8:"keywords";s:65:"  ,afenifere,democratic,manipulation,awolowo,chief,ends,fashola";s:19:"keywords_autoupdate";s:1:"1";s:11:"description";s:163:"   To some the man awaits canonisation as a saint and to others he attracts vilification.   Some praise him to the highest heavens for his tactics and singular";s:22:"description_autoupdate";s:1:"1";s:5:"title";s:0:"";s:6:"robots";s:12:"index,follow";}