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Internal Security: Awaiting interior minister’s action as nation boils

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By Alhassan A. Bala

In every country across the globe the interior ministry is the one in charge of the internal security, providing solutions to internal security of the country.

Part of the responsibility of the interior ministry of many countries is providing information and update related to security challenges – attacks, communal crisis, among others.

The Nigeria ministry of interior, in its official website, says it is “To render to Nigerians and foreigners alike, diverse internal security and other ancillary services that are highly qualitative, efficient, courteous and transparent.”

The Ministry of Interior has undergone several structural changes both in functions and nomenclature and today the Ministry of Interior is responsible for:

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“Granting of Nigerian Citizenship;
Consular and Immigration Services;
Granting Business Permits and Expatriate Quotas;
Establishment and Maintenance of Federal Marriage Registries in Nigeria Licensing and renewal of Places of Worship for the celebration of marriages Issuance of Secured Federal Marriage Certificates in all the Federal Marriage Registries
Co-ordination of National/Independence Day Celebration;
Reformation and re-integration inmates;
Security of lives and properties;
Management of National emergencies;
Recruitment of officers and men of the Prisons Service, Immigration Service, Fire Service and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps; and
Managing the retirement benefits of retirees of Paramilitary Services under its supervision.”

From 1999, the ministers of interior mostly visit scenes of a disaster or any attack, be it communal, fire incidents or terrorists attack for assessment.

In the first tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari, he included police as part of agencies under interior ministry though in 2019 the two went their separate ways.

Nigeria has been battling with Boko Haram insurgency for a decade now; the issue of kidnapping that started from the Niger Delta region has spread to all parts of the country, as it is gradually becoming business for the criminals. The porous state of Nigerian borders is another worrying issue.

Information concerning criminal activities are everywhere, unlike other countries where one will only get them through the military, police and in some few occasions ministry of information.

Nigeria, once again, is in her trying moment as citizens are divided following ethnic and religious sentiments.

The vacation order for Fulanis to leave some states of the south-west is getting hotter with many issues coming up. While some divisive individuals are using that opportunity to over blow the issue and thereby heightening tension.

Lest we forget the burning of many houses in Enugu state by some cultists, which led to the lost of unquantifiable lives and properties.

With the current crisis in south-west, which, sadly, brought the Arewa Consultative Forum and Afenefere under each other’s neck, although many leaders like former Senate president Bukola Saraki have already called for peace.

The minister of interior, Ogbene Ra’uf Aregbesola, who incidentally is from the region this latest crisis is currently brewing, should have at least, even if unable to visit the burnt places, made a clear statement on the matter.

Albeit, Aregbesola had on his first day at work said he doesn’t know the work of the ministry, so people should not expect much from him, literally.

It has now been almost two years since his assumption in office, but a question continues to ring laud and lauder by the day: is the minister still ignorant about the work of the ministry?

If not, are we not at fault if we henceforth believe that the minister has officially became the minister of public holiday declaration?

Or is it only for to him inaugurate offices of agencies under his ministry?

With many challenges facing the country, the minister, as a matter of urgency, needs to make clear statement, and visit areas affected by many either communal crisis, cultism, fire incidents and a myriad of other internal crisis.

Looking at all these, one is compelled to again wonder whether the current minister do not value the lives of Nigerians, which will clearly (and expectedly) not be so.

Be that as it may, a section of the public needed to be made clear about this development, because you can blame them if they assume that the minister’s zipped mouth was a result of the fact that the properties lost were largely own by the poor?

Until the minister proves people wrong about these doubts, then many will have no option than to continue to tag the minister as the “minister of public holidays.”

Alhassan A. Bala
Writes this from Abuja.

Opinion

Wake up North-Abubakar Sadiq Dauda

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CBN Governor Emefiele

 

By Abubakar Sadiq Dauda

It is absurd that my Northern brothers are nagging and complaining over the unavailability of the new redesigned currency when we can transact using POS machines, online banking and USSD.

So far, many southerners are unperturbed with the happenings. The complaint, curses and insults is mainly coming from the North. It is ridiculous that the masses and average persons in the North are hailing our politicians for opposing the monetary redesign scheme, not knowing that the politicians are crying because it is going to affect their chances in the upcoming elections if the policy is not reversed or extended.

 

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I can’t fathom how the unavailability of the newly redesigned currency affects any smooth transaction of any kind when there are many online payments platforms, numerous POS terminals in our shops and markets.

The North must learn to embrace technology. We must not relegate ourselves to second division when it comes to education and technology. Even against many odds, we must wise up. We must equip ourselves with basic knowledge in areas of communications and technology.

It is a clarion call, let us wake up!

Sadiq writes from Kano. Can be reached via sadiqdauda55@gmail.com

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Opinion

The Falling State Of Businesses In Nigeria-Umar Ismaila Isa

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Umar Ismaila Isa

 

By Umar Ismaila Isa

Its saddening, psychologically and traumatically worrying that in our today’s Nigeria, the major employers of labour are not just falling, but also wobbling, humbling, crumbling and collapsing like packs of cards much to the chagrin of other African countries that have long been venerating and reverencing and referencing Nigeria’s economy as the giant of the continent. How are the mighty falling.

Some of the factors responsible for these colossal falls are partisan political influence, interest as well as corruption which had brought businesses in Nigeria to their humble knees, specifically the micro, small and medium enterprises, while also not staking claims for even common macroeconomic factors like recessions, insecurity, government debt, exchange rate and high-interest rates.

As we speak, there were over 41million MSMEs in Nigeria in 2017. which have as at 2022 dropped to about 35 million.

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No doubt, failure to provide value money can make customers disgruntled and avoid patronage, so also poor inventory management, failure to differentiate product and services in a highly competitive environment, and strong bargaining power of buyers which can as well cause business failure, not mentioning weak economy, tax burden, high exchange rate, lower purchasing power, high inflation, money running out being in the wrong market, lack of research, bad partnerships and wrong allocation. All these undoubtedly in no small measure can cause business failure.

Also, Challenges like rising cost and reduced revenue, poor power supply, restrictive economic policies, foreign exchange hike, high cost of production, insecurity, high inflation rate have drastically reduced the number of MSMEs which were over 41million in 2017 and now ar about 35million in the just last year 2022.

The data from the bureau of labor statistics isn’t encouraging at all, as it shows that approximately 20percent of new businesses faile during the first two years of operation, 45percent during the first five years and 65percent during the first ten years, while only 25percent makes it to 15 years or more.

In Nigeria, MSMEs account for 48percent of the Gross Domestic Product, (GDP), 96percent of businesses, 84percent of employment in the the country, according to a pricewaterhousecoopers report, and also the three CCCs which are concept, capability and capital. So it’s worthwhile to make sure that before engaging in any business that you make sure you have the basic concept, capability before investing your capital.

As a matter of fact and emergency, beyond the rhetorics, there are practical ways government can create the right environment for businesses to thrive increase, the ease of doing business, eliminate multiple taxations of MSMEs, encourage public-private partnerships, improve power supply, tackle the issue of foreign exchange hike, because with the rate of inflation in the country many businesses can’t survive.

The government and other necessary authority have to take measures to save the country before it’s too late, and the time is now especially as we prepare to elect another president in less than 40 days from now that will take the baton of leadership from President Buhari.

Umar Isa is a business writer and analyst. He writes from Kano and can be reached via issihbaba@gmail.com

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Opinion

What Axe Does Governor Yahaya Bello Has To Grind With The Ohinoyi?

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By Ozumi Abdul

I read in bathed breath the query letter issued by the Kogi state government to the paramount ruler of Ebira Kingdom, The Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Dr Ibrahim Ado dated 5th January 2023, wherein the revered and venerated traditional ruler was indicted and inculpated for his failure to come out of his Azad Palace to welcome President Muhammadu Buhari during his last year December’s visit to Okene to commission the legacy projects of Governor Yahaya Bello’s led administration in the place, particularly the newly built Okene Reference Hospital and the refurbished official Ohinoyi palace.

Therein in the query letter signed by the state’s Director of Chieftaincy Affairs, Enimola Eniola, the Ohinoyi was shotgunned and impelled to reply to it within the 48 hours from the day it was issued, being on the 5th January, 2023.

As a concerned and full fledged son of the soil, I became seriously concerned, perturbed and disturbed, hoping for the very best way these two illustrious sons of Ebiraland can diplomatically meander through the egoistic duels that has subtly been marring their relationship since the coming on board of this Kogi state’s government.

I fervently prayed for the abatement of the seeming gloom of doom that is looming large, if the relationship between the Ohinoyi and the governor gets deteriorated, and breaks down beyond repairs.

God forbid, I dreaded, and still dreading the unfortunate Kogi version of Ganduje versus Sanusi debacles and faceoffs in Kano state, the one that led to Sanusi Lamido Sanusi || being deposed as the 14th Emir of the ancient city of Kano, by the Abdullahi Ganduje led Kano state government.

I dread the fact that the relative peace Ebiraland has been enjoying since the coming on board of the Yahaya Bello’s led administration might soon be stymied and once again shrouded in the tumultuous state of yester years, when in Ebiraland life was “Nasty, Brutish, and Short”: Yes, that you can’t take that away from this Yahaya Bello’s administration in Kogi state, because his administration stemmed the tides everything insecurity in not just the Kogi Central alone, but the entirety of the state; he came and restore parity and sanity in the state that was hitherto ravaged by the activities of different cells of gun-trotting and gun-fighting non state actors.

Worryingly though, one thing that is, and will surely be of great concern to every Ebira son and daughter, is the umpteenth running subtle battles between the Ohinoyi and the governor; the battles rumours have it in some quarters that are more of “patriarchally historical” than egoistical; because one will surely be mystified to know that the Ohinoyi can be served a query letter for his failure to come out of his palace to welcome President Buhari during his visit to Okene, without a prior official letter noticing him of the president’s purported visit to his domain from the state government, coupled with the fact that bomb went off right in front of his palace on the scheduled day of the President’s visit, where about four people lost their lives, as well as the destruction of the barricading fence of his Azad palace.

In other northern states for instance, particularly the core northern states like Kano and Zaria Emirates, where reverence and veneration for their paramount rulers (Emirs) are given unequal premium, whenever a president goes visiting to their (the Emirs) domains, he is usually led by the governors of the states to their palaces, where he (president)pays homages to them; then proceed together to the venue(s) of the event(s) in which purpose(s) the president goes to the state. Then, why is ours different and have become embarrassing subject of discourses in both conventional and social media?

Why is Governor Yahaya Bello exuberantly dancing to the sound of the destructive drums of sycophantic naysayers who don’t mean well for him and his government? Why is he being lulled by the metaphoric lullaby and mendacity of power, power that is only transiently tenure-bound; believing he has an axe or axes to grind with the Ohinoyi, a nonagenarian at that who is old enough to be his grandfather?

Governor Yahaya needs to halt these dances that may hurt and haunt him even after the expiration of his tenure as a governor. He needs to thread with caution so that he won’t walk the tight rope of life after the conclusion of his tenure as a governor.

The fact that the Ohinoyi responded to the query, though days after the 48 hours the Kogi government impelled him to answer the query, with sheer wisdom, maturity and equanimity does not necessarily mean that the nonagenarian is overtly contended with being maligned and contemned by the state government in such a ridiculous and ludicrous manner.

A proverb in my native Ebira parlance has it that when a dog is on the cusp of public-glare disgrace, he will be all of sudden be inflicted with sores right at the back of its head, and out of the reach of the leaking of its tongue, because leaking the sore will endear the sores’ quick healing. May Governor Yahaya Bello never be such proverbial dog.

Ozumi Abdul is a staff Columnist in Arewa Trust.

He can be reached via Abdulozumi83@gmail.com

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