Showing posts with label Latest News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Latest News. Show all posts

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The Quality of a Good Politician in a Democratic Society

My little Oxford dictionary defines politician as “person engaged or interested in politics” and politics as “science and art of government; political affairs or life or principles etc.” Politics consists of “social relations involving authority and power”. A politician is defined as one who is actively involved in politics or one who holds or seeks a political office. A politician is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making in government. Politicians play a central role in our lives. They are the concentrated voices of the people that make all efforts to improve their constituencies and peoples' welfare. Good and dependable politicians are delight to serve the people and consider themselves as servants and people their paymasters. They represent the hopes, aspirations and the interests of every citizen in the state. The government instituted among men is the elected representatives who are also known as the politicians. These politicians are required to implement social reforms and policy measures that contribute to the general welfare of the populace.

A politician's qualities are his characters that are natural, while some of the qualities are as a result of external influences. Promising politicians qualities are often backed by skills, experiences, intelligence, integrity, with instincts -all combined together to achieve their goals. First and foremost, the best quality of a politician is honesty, God fearing and loving. A faithful and effective politician is trustworthy and reliable. He must capture the essence of truth, display sincerity, candour and practices what he preaches. He makes decisions and accepts responsibility for his actions and his words. The same is true in his dealing with his people. He makes promises and keeps those promises. Somebody that people may be relied upon. Loving people with all his heart, might, mind, soul and striving to help them as a true mark of responsible politician.

Moreover, a fake politician, will after taking the oath of office with the Holy book and lousy thanksgiving services, use their power as an end in itself, rather than for public good, making them indifferent to the progress of their citizens. A good politician becomes the image of his creator. A good and responsible politician will give high regard for morality, law abiding with no tendencies to corrupt even a single cent or kobo. The greatest strength of good politicians is deriving joy in serving people and not to steal tax payers money. They know that a fulfilling and meaningful life is created through service to others. To be an effective politician, your followers must have trust in you. And the very best way for a politician to build trust is to display good sense of characters and qualities composed of values, beliefs, traits and skills.

Another important quality of a good politician is integrity and technical skills to handle those challenging assignments, fiscal matters, policies, plans, projects, ideas and initiative solutions to problems. Integrity is consistency of actions, methods, measures, values, principles, expectations and outcomes. It is doing what is right, both legally and morally at all time even when no one is looking. Since politicians play very significant roles in the administrative processes, especially having hands in thousands of important laws and policies to their communities and country, they should be well-educated, modest, with experience in social welfare, volunteering or should have done some good work for the society. A politician should have a thorough knowledge and up-to-date information about the constituency where he is going to contest an election.

Sir Winston Churchill, a famous British politician who served as Prime Minister twice (1940-45) and (1951-55) once said that “ a politician must have “the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn't happen”. Hence, a political career is meant for the people of high integrity and additional skills to achieve results and finding better ways of making life better for the people they represent. Politics are not meant for dropped-outs, area fathers, thugs, assassins, criminals, illiterates’ god-fathers, inept, dubious and corrupt politicians. These person, apart from being greedy doesn't know the importance of education and can never invest properly on it. Good governance, transparency and accountability will be eluding states and nations where these above mentioned set of people found themselves in the corridor of power.

An incompetent and irresponsible politician will make people to hang around his house like bees to honey to feed them with “amala”, “tuwo” or “eba”just for days. He prefers to give out expensive gifts, donations and bribes from tax-payers money to win elections. An achiever will not need to do such things to win elections or people to their side in all ramifications. That is why you will hear people saying “Politics is a bad game of deceit and hatred”, “Politics is a do or die affair”, “Politics is a dirty business”, “Politicians are very sick people” and so on. It is those politicians of limited merits and capabilities that are bad and not politics. They cannot do more than their moral and intellectual capacity. A true democratic government is the best concept for the growth of any nation. A good politician enriches lives and feeds souls of many people and not making them to become beggars, touts, kidnappers, armed-robbers and fraudsters.

A good politician should be of a well disciplined personality with selfless service to make live better for his people. This should be reflected in the community where he lives in all ramifications. Discipline is necessary for an orderly society and political life, without it, the social life would become miserable. A selfless service is putting the welfare of the people you're representing before your own. Winston Churchill described it as “the first of all human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others”. A good politician firmly believes in taking care and maintaining the community of his people. He believes that community service is about giving back. According to Theodore Roosevelt, “the most successful politician is he who says what the people are thinking most often in the loudest voice”. A person or politician who is with criminal background, or any links with criminals or whose allegations on corruption have not been cleared by the law court should be disqualified to participate in elections.

Responsibility and party loyalty is another quality of responsible politician in a democratic state. A transparent politician is nearer to his people and meeting them to understand their problems. Only fake politicians are seen by voters when an election is near or change parties as footballers change clubs. As every parent has its responsibility to teach their children the principles of moral, culture, truth, sincerity to be self- responsible, so politicians need to integrate its citizens with importance of political responsibility and democratic values. A politician leads by example and knows his minimum responsibilities as an elected representative. A politician comes to politics to work for his constituents and not to work against them. He is the beck and call of the people and ready to listen to everybody. All these build a strong foundation for a dynamic society which will create solutions for any challenges, and finally develop strategies and political systems that will help implement those solutions automatically. He is quick to give hand to his fellow man. A reliable politician should be very loyal and committed to his party which shares his vision and goals. The value of loyalty simply depends on trust. A citizen should belong to a party with most brilliant, skilful, patriotic and dynamic people with common goals and aspirations. Team work best when they have common goals, mutual respect and understanding of each party member's strength. Politics is to unite and reach consensus and not to divide or create enmity among people. Power is only a product of collective action.

Finally, to become a great politician or statesman, you have to use your talents, skills, experiences, honesty, integrity, challenges and constraints with the positive effect that we can have in touching other human lives. Politician must leave his constituency better than before elected. Greatness is within reach of a politician who consistently do things they out to be doing. He learns from mistakes and criticisms. It is a bad politician that will see that all the good is in his side and that all the bad lies with his opponent or just because someone does not agree with him, does not mean that all their ideas and solutions are bad. Good politicians show respect to the views and experience of others. Nobody has a monopoly of wisdom. He who aspires to be a great politician should have the ability to find and analyse problems in their constituency and find the best solutions for all these problems. There is no problem in this world without solutions. A good politician knows that simply giving consistent effort in the little task of services, social reforms, kindness or sacrifice in day-to-day life leads to true greatness of a nation. If all politicians make it a point of responsibility to develop and make life better for people in their units, wards, constituencies, states and regions-we will definitely have a great country.

Written by,
Adewale T Akande
Road traffic safety consultant based in Spain and currently on a World Bank Project with the Federal Ministry of Works, Abuja .   08125896631 (Nigeria) +34600877296 (Spain)

Monday, 11 November 2013

National Pink Day – “Taking Cancer Prevention To The Grassroots” Overview

October is an International Cancer Awareness Month (ICAM), with special emphasis on breast cancer, the commonest cancer among women globally. The ICAM is an annual international campaign against the cancer pandemic. The symbolic colour for the month of October is pink.
The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria) has designated the 18th of October, every year as the National Pink Day (NPD). It is a day to mobilize Nigerians from all walks of life, including diasporans, to join as advocates, donors and volunteers in the fight for better health for Nigerians, with emphasis on cancer. The day is observed by adding a touch of pink to one’s dressing, décor, website, social media, etc.

The colour pink is not only used in relation to breast cancer, but also refers to health in general, hence the phrase ‘in the pink of health.’ Reference may be made to the healthily glowing pink cheeks of new-born babies or energetic sportsmen/sportswomen and the like. In this regard, we may note that Nigeria has one of the lowest life expectancies in the world. Most Nigerians do not live to retire, to attend their children’s graduations or weddings, to see their grandchildren, or to enjoy the fruits of their labour. Cancer is a major cause of untimely death in Nigeria.

The NPD (October 18) is a day to remind all Nigerians to take an active role in ensuring that they remain in excellent health (the pink of health), by going for regular health screening, and supporting initiatives aimed at improving the health of society at large.
The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria) hereby invites all Nigerians to support the special project aimed at “taking cancer prevention to the grassroots”.

The CECP-Nigeria is an initiative co-promoted by six of the core bodies of the Organized Private Sector in Nigeria, namely: the Institute of Directors (IoD), the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and industry (LCCI), the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

The purpose of the committee is to unite Nigerians to jointly tackle major societal problems. The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) was first established in the United States of America, where the committee has become a formidable force for supporting the non-profit sector through sustainable public – private – social partnership.
Each year the CECP will take advantage of the opportunity provided by the International Corporate Philanthropy Day (ICPD) to mobilize Nigerians to unite in accomplishing one major community project. The focus for ICPD 2013 is “Taking cancer prevention to the grassroots.” The specific goal is the acquisition of 37 Mobile Cancer Centres (MCCs) for the screening and early treatment of cancer in all parts of Nigeria.
The choice of cancer as the flagship cause for the CECP initiative is strategic, given the fact that cancer is not just a health issue. Cancer affects every ramification of life, all age groups and every social class. It should therefore, be a major concern to the private sector; since it has cut short the lives and careers of many gifted and talented professionals. Cancer is a catastrophic illness; a catastrophic illness is any disease that takes away more than 30% of the income of the family. Tackling cancer indirectly prevents other related social problems like school, drop-out, poverty, marital breakdown, etc.

Cancer is a global epidemic. In 2010, cancer took over from heart disease as THE No. 1 KILLER OF MANKIND. Cancer kills more people than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. It is now being diagnosed in one out of every three persons alive.
As if this were not bad enough, the projections for the future point to a geometric rise in the incidence of cancer. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), globally, there will be 21 million new cases of cancer every year and 13 million cancer deaths by the year 2030, while deaths from infectious diseases will reduce by 7 million every year.

Sadly, 80% of cancer deaths worldwide occur in developing countries like Nigeria. The key factors are the lack of access to information, late presentation, and inadequate treatment due to inadequate public health infrastructure. Cancer is the most expensive disease afflicting mankind, with an economic toll in 2008 of 895 billion USD, so that most people with cancer in developing countries cannot afford the treatment and do not survive.

Cancer is a major contributor to untimely death in Nigeria. Every year, over 100, 000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed in Nigeria out of which 80, 000 die i.e. at least 10 deaths every hour and 240 deaths every day. The gravity of this statistics can be illustrated by comparing the loss of lives from cancer to other better publicized occurrences, for example air traffic accidents. The 3rd of June, 2012, was a very sad day in Nigeria, because of the plane crash that took about 150 precious lives. However, this incident rightly precipitated a series of remedial actions and reactions at all levels of society. In contrast, scarcely any attention is paid to the fact that on that same day more than 240 Nigerians died from cancer. Most of these preventable deaths from cancer are preceded by untold suffering which the cancer victims endure for months or even years, before finally succumbing to the disease.

In Nigeria, the commonest cancers in women are breast and cervical cancer while prostate cancer is the commonest in men. Liver and colorectal cancers are common in both sexes. The commonest cancer in children is Burkit’s lymphoma. Leukaemia (blood cancer) is also a common cancer in children. The death rate of some of the common cancers in Nigeria is alarming: thirty (30) Nigerian women die every day from breast cancer; a Nigerian woman dies every hour from cervical cancer; 8900 Nigerians die from liver cancer every year; prostate cancer kills 14 Nigerian men every day; and every two hours a Nigerian dies from colorectal cancer.

Although the cancer epidemic is a global phenomenon, the situation in Nigeria is particularly sad because of the high death ratio - out of every five (5) Nigerians who have cancer, only one survives. This is the most unfavorable death ratio worldwide. The outcome of cancer today in Nigeria is worse than the situation in the United States of America sixty years ago, when, out of every three (3) Americans that had cancer, one survived. Today the survival rate of cancer in the USA has further improved to two (2) in three (3). Furthermore, the stated target of the American Cancer Society is to improve the survival rate of cancer to 100%, thus making this the last century for cancer in the United States.
The cancer situation in Nigeria is even worse when you consider specific cancers. For instance, out of every 30 Nigerians that have leukaemia, only one (1) survives. This is very unfortunate because leukaemia, a common cancer in children and young adults, is now curable. At the Tata Cancer Centre in India, out of every 100 cases of leukemia, 99 survive.

The Tata survival rate with leukaemia illustrates the fact that given our current level of medical knowledge most deaths from cancer are easily preventable. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one-third of cancers are preventable, another one-third is curable and the last third can have good quality of life with appropriate care. For example, cervical cancer is virtually 100% preventable; and yet it kills one Nigerian woman every hour. Death from prostate cancer is easily preventable if detected early; and yet it kills 14 Nigerian men every day.
There are countless cancer survivors all over the world that can testify to the fact that cancer is not a death sentence. For example, there are currently nearly 14 million cancer survivors living in the United States. Two factors are responsible for their survival: early detection and access to first-class treatment.

Some well-known examples of cancer survivors include Banky W. (Olubankole Wellington), Colin Powell, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and Martina Navratilova. Ronald Reagan survived colon, skin and prostate cancers sequentially; after he was treated for the prostate cancer, he declared that he had never felt better in his life. Ruth Ginsburg, the only female judge on the bench of the US Supreme Court, survived pancreatic cancer; during her treatment, she never missed a day on the bench.

One may ask, what other countries are doing right that Nigeria could emulate. The answer is that many countries are investing a lot of funds in cancer research, screening programmes and treatment. Every sector of the society is involved in the fight against cancer in these countries.
Some developing countries that have Comprehensive Cancer Centres include India, Egypt, Zambia, Mauritania, Pakistan, South Africa etc. A Comprehensive Cancer Centre is a tertiary health institution focused exclusively on cancer care. India has over 120 Comprehensive Cancer Centres (CCCs), mostly established with the support of the private sector. Bangalore, an Indian city with a population of 8 million has four Comprehensive Cancer Centres whilst Nigeria with a population of 167 million neither has a CCC nor a full-fledged Mobile Cancer Centres (MCCs).

India’s progress is a result of innovative philanthropy by leaders of the private sector. The first Indian cancer centre was sponsored by the late Sir Dorab Tata (Chairman of the Tata Group). His wife, Lady Meherbai Tata had leukaemia (blood cancer), for which she was treated in England. Sir Dorab then determined to establish similar facilities for the treatment of Cancer in India. He successfully initiated the project and the Tata Cancer Centre, Mumbai, was commissioned in 1941. Today, the Centre treats over 70% of its patients almost entirely free of charge.
The largest cancer centre world-wide was opened in 2010. Mrs Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is the main sponsor of the Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Centre (MSCC), Bangalore, named in her honour. It has 1,400 beds and cost 150 million USD. It is the fourth cancer centre in Bangalore, a city of 8 million people. At the age of 25, Mrs Shaw created a biotech company in her garage. Today that start-up, Biocon Ltd, is a 1 billion USD operation. The MSCC treats poor patients for free in the evenings so that they can continue to work and care for their families during the day. Where are the Tatas and Mazumdars of Nigeria?

We need to borrow a leaf from other countries like India which has become a major destination for medical tourism for the teeming Nigerian cancer patients. According to the Nigerian Minister of Finance, Nigerians spend over 200 million USD on such overseas treatment. Meanwhile, it would cost 63 million USD to set up a Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Nigeria.
Already, there have been efforts to combat the cancer epidemic in Nigeria. For instance, the National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP), a non-governmental initiative, was launched in 2008 and became the first major national effort towards the control of cancer in Nigeria.
In spite of its limited resources, the NCPP has been carrying out nation-wide awareness/ screening/ treatment campaigns. Over 100,000 Nigerians have been directly screened/ treated so far, and through the awareness being created, the NCPP is helping to protect millions of Nigerians from the cancer scourge. These life-saving campaigns would be facilitated by using Mobile Cancer Centres, which is the focus of CECP-Nigeria for 2013/ 2014.

Ideally, we need at least one Comprehensive Cancer Centre in each of the 6 geopolitical zones of Nigeria, as well as Mobile Cancer Centres (MCCs) to take advantage of all levels of cancer care. However, given the fact that Nigeria does not have the adequate structure on ground to take full advantage of the second and third levels of cancer care (cure and care), it is important to focus first and foremost on the first level (prevention), which is better and cheaper. For this we need 37 of MCCs, one for each State and the FCT, Abuja.

[caption id="attachment_662" align="alignleft" width="320"]MOBILE CANCER CENTRE - exterior MOBILE CANCER CENTRE - exterior[/caption]

A Mobile Cancer Centre (MCC) is a clinic on wheels, in which screening, follow-up and several forms of treatment (including surgeries), can take place. It includes facilities for mammography, sonology, colonoscopy. It will also contain colposcope and cryotherapy equipment for follow-up and treatment, and a side laboratory for Prostate and colorectal cancer screening and other basic tests for hepatitis, malaria, HIV/AIDS and diabetes. Thus the MCC takes care of the double burden of disease (Communicable & Non-Communicable Diseases). A surgical theatre is incorporated into the MCC, as well as facilities for telemedicine.
There are so many advantages of mobile over fixed centres; only a few can be highlighted here, namely:
•Accessibility: The mobile cancer centres will enable easier access to the remote areas of Nigeria. They are tropicalized and customized to operate in our difficult terrains.
•Equity: Unlike a fixed centre which will be utilized mainly by those in its locality, the use of mobile centres will help to ensure that no community is left out.
•Cost-Effectiveness: According to a study by the Harvard Medical School the estimated savings of mobile clinics is staggering. The study found that for every dollar invested in the operation of the mobile clinic, 36 USD was saved in terms of management of chronic illnesses, avoided hospital visits, and prevention of diseases.
•Accuracy of data and statistics: The data and statistics gathered through the MCCs will be superior to the hospital-based data available at the fixed centres.
•Tried and Tested model: The use of mobile units has been successfully tried and tested in numerous countries. There are over 2,000 mobile health clinics across the United States of America.

[caption id="attachment_663" align="alignleft" width="350"]MOBILE CANCER CENTRE - interior MOBILE CANCER CENTRE - interior[/caption]

Each MCC costs ninety-five (95) million naira. Two platforms have been established for fund raising towards this project. The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) facilitated the formation of a special short code (44777) which is common to all networks. Interswitch Nigeria Ltd also established a common code (777526) for electronic donation
Anyone may contribute towards the project by sending the word ‘ACT’ to ‘44777’ (N100/sms); or via ATM or online at using the code ‘777526’. We request all Nigerians to join in publicizing these two codes – 44777 and 777526 within their spheres of influence. We need volunteers (‘Connectors’) to support this cause. Further information is available at Let’s ACT! Attack Cancer Together! Together we can!!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Participate at the 17th World Business Dialogue

[caption id="attachment_647" align="alignleft" width="286"]world-business-dialogue world-business-dialogue[/caption]

The World Business Dialogue is the world’s largest international student-run business convention. Each year, the leaders of today and the leaders of tomorrow come together in Cologne, Germany to discuss current innovations and trends regarding their impact on existing business models and their chances to generate new business models. Therefore, the conference brings together excellent students with renown executives, founders, politicians and scientists and offers them an ideal platform for a cross-generational and cross-cultural dialogue.

The World Business Dialogue has a rich history. Its story began in 1987 when it was still named “Deutscher Wirtschaftskongress” and only German students and executives participated. In 1999 it successfully opened its doors for international guests as well and since then has attracted students and executives from almost any place on earth.
The story continues to be written. Stay excited for the 17th World Business Dialogue in 2014!

[caption id="attachment_648" align="alignleft" width="150"]world-business-dialogue world-business-dialogue[/caption]

The OFW Organisations forum Wirtschaftskongress is an entirely student-run initiative based in Cologne, Germany. Since its foundation in 1984 it gives a team of ~40 students a unique and exciting challenge every year: To organize the world’s largest international student-run business convention, the World Business Dialogue. The goal of the organization is to give students the opportunity to combine the theoretical knowledge of their university life with hands-on business experiences. During one year of being on the team they face numerous complex challenges and learn to master them. Here comes the 17th World Business Dialogue. Students across Nigeria can apply and get affiliations that could unlock their closed corporate doors. Experience an eyes-opener to other great opportunities. It's free to apply. And, free to be sponsored to Germany to-and-fro. Apply now at !

Yours truly,
Matthew Adetunji
OFW's Ambassador West Africa

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

I’ll Sustain Enugu Beyond Oil — Maduka

The Chairman, Managing Director and the CEO, Peace Group, owner of the Popular Transport Firm, Peace Mass Transit, Mr Samuel Maduka Onyishi, in this interview with  ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM, discusses why he wants to continue to sustain the empowerment programmes and an all-round industrial revolution in Enugu State, this time, as a politician.

Some major entrepreneurs would rather focus on their business, but you are gearing up for entry into politics; what is the lure?

[caption id="attachment_625" align="alignleft" width="300"]Mr Samuel Maduka Onyishi Mr Samuel Maduka Onyishi (Peace Mass Transit)[/caption]

I do not think I want to be called a politician. Politics, for me, is a calling. I am into politics, because I want to be part of the decision-making process in the country. I know what Nigerians need, from my experience. I also know how the poor feel and I am in a privileged position to address the numerous challenges faced by the poor, the middle-class and the highly-placed in society.

If you consider my antecedents, you will understand that I started life as a poor man. I can never forget where I am coming from. I also have experience as a middle-class and as a highly-placed.

When businessmen shy away from politics, you can attribute that to lack of the sacrificial spirit and will power to solve the many demands of society. I have come to realise that God empowered wme to do same for others, and not to indulge in frivolous spending or the so-called ‘bigmanism’. Another reason is that I also want to leave a legacy, one which I will be remembered for.

When I was growing in business, I made a pact with God, telling Him that I will use the resources he availed me to bless him in return. What better way to do this than to render service to humanity?

Money is no legacy; if you leave that as a legacy for your children, they end up fighting over it and breeding hatred among themselves. But legacies are beyond money; they are more tangible and valuable.

You have been a member of the PDP since 1998; with the latest drama in the party, which of the factions are you loyal - the purported ‘New PDP’ as led by Baraje or the ‘mainstream PDP’ chaired by Tukur?

We don’t have factions in the Enugu State chapter of the party. We have only one PDP and it starts from the ward. In my ward, council, local government and state, we have only one PDP, and we don’t know any other PDP except the one whose chairman is Bamanga Tukur.

What is your take on the formation of the Baraje-led PDP?

You should be aware that the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) cannot register two PDPs. That said, I see what is happening now as a family problem that must be resolved. In that regard, President Jonathan is the leader of the party, the one playing a leading role by calling the family into the house to resolve contending issues. It is a family matter and, as such, must be tackled in-house. I am confident that the president is equal to the task.

There are reports that you are eyeing the number one seat in your state, Enugu, in 2015; can you confirm that?

Our governor, Sullivan Chime, has actually zoned the next governorship slot to Enugu North Senatorial Zone, which is Nsukka where I come from. The PDP in the state has also zoned it to Enugu North. Because they saw me grow from grass to grace and as a person they can trust, it is normal for them to beckon on me to represent them. I am not telling you whether I will run or not; what I am telling you that I am qualified to run. However, if my people say I should run, I cannot say no, because I have been an instrument of service to the people. That said, my decision is hinged on God’s approval.

How do you intend to do that in order to surpass the aforementioned strides of the former and current governors of the state?

Given the availability of funds, the potential to make more money for Enugu State and as an entrepreneur of repute, I believe that the God who has taught me how to create wealth and manage resources will not abandon me even as governor, hence, my strong belief that with the third eye of an entrepreneur, I will only do what I know how to do best. Enugu, at this time, needs a person who can sustain and improve  ongoing development initiatives, and prepare it for the economic challenges ahead. With what is happening in the oil and gas sector, it is clear that so many countries are discovering oil at their backyards and, sooner than later, you will know that most of the countries who import oil from Nigeria have started discovering oil in their respective countries. A clear example is the United States of America (USA). When they tap into their new-found oil wells, they may not see the need to buy from us again. Now, since oil is our major source of revenue, this means that we would have lost our major source of income.

When this happens, the monthly allocation from the federal government will be reduced. States must strive to survive. The implication is that any state which cannot survive on its own through internally generated revenue to sustain development and service delivery is only sitting on a time bomb, and may not survive. The earlier we start planning for a Nigeria without oil, and an Enugu State without oil, the better for us. The future of the state, in terms of development, income generation and all other economic indicators depends on who the leaders are and their qualities – creativity, economic savvy and goodwill.  I have done it before and, today, I have over 4,000 Nigerians on my payroll. I can do it again.

If I am a governor, the state will be more sustained under me. I will provide adequate security measures and build the capacity of my people through education, provision of good health facilities, agriculture, tackle unemployment among the people, especially the youths, provide sustainable job opportunities through agriculture and others.

Political pundits at different fora are of the opinion that President Jonathan is the most distracted and criticised leader in the world; if what they say is true, has it in any way affected his transformation agenda over the past two years? The opposition political parties are yet to see anything good that this government has achieved.

For me as a businessman, and as a believer in the transformation policies of Mr. President, the core aspect of every activity or programme is organisation. When turning around businesses to achieve transformation, many things ought to be put into consideration. Nigeria, because of our diverse culture and religion, needs some special skills to run. Jonathan has performed exceedingly well; his result in terms of achievement over the past two years is excellent. As a stakeholder in road transport business for now, I look at Nigeria from the road transport perspective; I knew how the roads were prior the assumption of office of the present administration. I am aware how the road from Enugu to Port Harcourt highway was; I know how the Enugu-Abakiliki road was. Apart from what the state governments are doing, the federal government is working assiduously on the major highways, building dual roads, massive construction of bridges and flyovers; you cannot start and finish constructing a 100-kilometre road in one month, therefore, he needs time for the result to manifest.

There is a lot of improvement now, more than when he came in. When the roads are bad, we spend more, and when they are good, we spend less; should I say a man who is making me spend less is not doing well? I must be an ingrate and a joker to do that.  I am confident to say that he is doing well. Aside the roads, I know how often we used to have scarcity of petrol in the country before he came on board. It is true that the price of oil per litre went up a little, but if you look at the amount people pay for fuel outside the shores of this country, one can as well say our oil price is still very fair. You and I know that we now have stable supply of petroleum products, earlier than now, there were period we bought PMS at N200 per litre and N1,000 a galon but now we buy at N97 a litre while a galon cannot cost you more than N500, unlike before. When there is difference in the price of oil, it is the operators that suffer more. For instance, somebody can be buying at N250 in Kano, another may be buying at N130 in Port Harcourt, while another person may be buying at N97 in Lagos and Abuja; this makes a mess of our business, as it will be difficult for us to know how much we are making, and all the money we are making eventually ends up in other people’s pocket, because you cannot actually tell your driver the amount of money he will spend on fuel, because you don’t know it.

But the case is different today; our business is stable and one can now make better plans and aspire for better things ahead. One distinguishing factor that has endeared me to this government is the achievement made on the roads and petroleum sector; these are verifiable achievements. Between 1999 and 2011, the price of petrol in South East Nigeria was never the same with the price in other parts of the country, today the price all over Nigeria is the same (Peace Mass Transit operates in the six geo-political zones of the country, so, I know what I am talking about).

I could recall about five years ago when some people came to me, asking for N2 million so that my name will be included among those to receive national honours, I refused because I know I merited it. In 2012 President Goodluck Jonathan bestowed on me the national honours award (MON) without any third party fronting for me; should such leaders not be encouraged? Do you know that I can now conveniently walk from my workshop at Emene, Enugu, to the airport and board a flight to China where I do my business? Indeed, Jonathan has done well.

Again, when a man tells me that there is going to be an election and my vote will count, which was achieved in this administration, I went to my ward in Nsukka in 2011, and for the first time in my life as an adult, I was able to cast my vote, I watched as the votes were being counted and then the results were announced, and taken to the collation centre; this tells you that something new is happening. Those that won election in 2011 won it from their votes.  Some people who go about saying that elections were rigged did not have agents in the boots. When a man is contesting election and he does not have agents in boots, how can he claim that he was rigged out? Who informed him? Those who contest election but lack the capacity to have agents in various boots where election are being held are responsible for aiding and abetting rigging in this country; therefore, the earlier INEC starts sanctioning people who contest election without bringing agents to monitor the votes cast, the earlier Nigerian democracy will get better.


Mr. President is yet to announce his intention to run in 2015; are you one of those who are agitating for his comeback at the expiration of this tenure?

As far as I am concerned, the president is doing well and if the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria permits him to run in 2015, I do not see anything or anybody stopping him from running. The constitution has enormous powers to determine whether or not he is qualified to run again. I will urge the people of Enugu State to vote for him en masse.

Aside Goodluck Jonathan, who else do you think has the capacity to pilot the affairs of this country?

Statistically, we have over 160 million Nigerians; Goodluck can only be president for maximum of eight years. After this time, Nigeria must continue and, at the right time, God will provide the right leader to succeed Jonathan in 2019. No one should be in a hurry to ask him to leave, as it is not yet time to do so.

$25,000 bribery scandal: My story—Emodi

FORMER Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Joy Emodi, has reacted to speculations making the rounds on the reasons for her sack.

Irked by reports that her sack was not unconnected with the bribe-for-impeachment drama that allegedly rocked the House of Representatives recently, Emodi denied knowledge of anything that has to do with ‘money-sharing’ in the National Assembly.

She stated that she has never been part of any plan to give financial inducement in order to impeach any member of the House.

Speaking with Vanguard, yesterday, she also denied having any shouting match with anybody over $25,000 allegedly given to National Assembly members, saying most of the reports published about her were false.

“I was surprised to read the report of my alleged involvement in the money-sharing scandal. I was not given any money to share and definitely, the alleged money shared did not pass through my office. I have never brought any money to the National Assembly. If they brought money to the members, they know who brought it but not me. I don’t know anything about it. And more over, I don’t encourage such things.

“They said I had a shouting match with Diezani and that was not true. I have never fought with her. She is my friend and we only meet during occasional meetings. She is not a member of the National Assembly.

“I have heard all kinds of things since last Friday but you must realise that National Assembly members are my colleagues. I used to be one of them. I was there as a member of the House and a senator. I was relating with them through dialogue and diplomacy. You don’t achieve anything by fighting.”

Asked to shed more light on what transpired before her sack, she said she owes a lot of gratitude to President Goodluck Jonathan for letting her serve as his Adviser.

“I thank the President and all the legislators for the opportunity given to me to work with them. I enjoyed working with them”

President Goodluck Jonathan had last week Friday relieved Mrs Joy Emodi, (Special Adviser on National Assembly) and Dr. Tunji Olagunju, (Special Adviser on New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) of their duties without giving any reason. The statement of her sack was read by Mr Rueben Abati, Special Adviser to the President on Media.

Senator Emodi was appointed to the position in 2011, and walked the difficult path of forging cordiality between the administration and the often skeptical National Assembly. She was able to win the confidence of the legislators despite the hard feelings felt towards some elements in the administration while Mr. Olagunju had served as Special Adviser to the President on NEPAD since June 2007.

The new Peoples Democratic Party, nPDP in a reaction had kicked against the sack of Emodi urging her recall.

The party’s statement read: “We learnt Senator Joy Emodi was sacked as Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters because of her candid advice that inducing members of the National Assembly financially to impeach their principal officers would be counter-productive. If this is true, we hereby demand her immediate reinstatement.

For Senator Emordi to be bold enough to tell Mr. President the implication of such a corrupt inducement of the lawmakers should earn her commendation rather than a sack. Instead of sacking such a forthright and patriotic Amazon, the President should sack those hawks around him planning to ridicule him by encouraging him to embark on acts capable of making him very unpopular amongst his supporters and followers.”


Saturday, 21 September 2013

List of Postgraduate Scholarships for Nigerians

Scholarships from various bodies are available for postgraduate students to study in Nigerian or foreign Universities and Colleges abroad. While some are full tuition scholarships, others only offer a specified amount (i.e. partial tuition).

Note that deadlines for some applications might not fall within the present time. For these, you need to bear the deadlines in mind and start early to prepare for the next award. Also, for current and up to date information, be sure to visit or contact thelng sponsors through the contact details provided.

We have compiled a list of Postgraduate scholarships available to Nigerians and other Africans. [You may want to see our complete 'Scholarship Lists'. To receive more scholarship notifications in future, subscribe to our free scholarship newsletter.]

  1. Akwa Ibom State Government Postgraduate Scholarship Awards
    In pursuance of his deliberate policy of providing continuous qualitative man power training and development to citizens, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Chief (Dr) Godswill Akpabio, (CON) has approved the training of Akwa Ibom indigenes on proficient ICT Post Graduate Training in approved Universities in India.
    Consequent upon this, the Ministry of Education invites applications from suitably qualified candidates of Akwa Ibom State origin for scholarship awards to pursue post graduate studies on more.

  2. Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) Scholarship Programme
    PTDF offers two categories of scholarships: The Overseas Scholarship Scheme (OSS) and the Local Scholarship Scheme (LSS). PTDF annually invites interested qualified Nigerians to apply for its postgraduate (MSc and PhD) scholarships in Engineering, Geology, Sciences, and Geosciences in Universities in the United more.

  3. Mansion House Scholarships Scheme for Nigerian Masters Students
    Are you interested in winning a postgraduate scholarship? Are you currently working in the financial services sector and want to study for a post graduate degree in the UK? Here is an opportunity for you. The British Council in Nigeria is partnering with the UK Trade and Investment unit (UKTI) to present the Mansion House Scholarship Scheme.
    The Mansion House Scholars scheme provides scholarships in support of overseas students for training and work experience in the United Kingdom's financial services industry.
    The Scheme supports the funding of students from overseas taking Masters level degree courses at British Universities or to enable business trainees or officials to undertake study or training in financial and related business activities.
    Deadline for submission of essay is the 12th more.

  4. Developing Solutions Masters Scholarship for International students
    In order to encourage academic excellence, aid diversity, develop relationships with sponsors and offer real financial assistance in cases of hardship, whether individually or by region, the University of Nottingham International Office offers a comprehensive and expanding range of scholarships.
    Celebrating over 10 years of the Developing Solutions scholarship scheme, the University of Nottingham is offering 105 Masters scholarships for a global future for students from Africa, India and commonwealth countries to study for masters degree at the university.
    The Developing Solution Master Scholarships are designed for students who want to make a difference to the development of their home more.

  5. Newcastle University (NU) Nigeria Scholarships
    The International Office is delighted to announce the Newcastle University Nigeria Scholarship (NU Nigeria Scholarship) awards. These are available for high achieving Nigerian students applying for entry onto postgraduate taught degree or research programmes within the Faculties of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS), Science, Agriculture and Engineering (SAgE), and Medical Sciences (FMS) more.

  6. Afren and Syngenta One Planet MBA Scholarships for African Students
    The One Planet MBA Scholarships are a group of scholarships offered at the University of Exeter to different subsets of students.
    They include the Sustainable Enterprise Scholarship, the Full-fee Company Scholarships (Afren and Syngenta One Planet MBA Scholarships), The Ayudar Scholarships, Corporate Partnerships Scholarships, and the Business School more.

  7. Federal Government Nigerian Scholarships Tenable in Nigerian Tertiary Institutions
    The Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Education through the Federal Scholarship Board offers the Nigerian Scholarships Award Programmes Tenable In Nigerian Tertiary Institutions to Nigerian Postgraduate, Undergraduate, Higher National Diploma and National Certificate in Education students.
    The Honorable Minister of Education, hereby invites applications from qualified Nigerian students in Nigerian public tertiary institutions to participate in the selection interviews for scholarship awards tenable in Nigeria tertiary more.

  8. Fulbright Visiting Student Scholarship Program for Nigerians
    The Junior Staff Development Program is a non-degree program funded by the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. and administered by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Institute of International Education (IIE) in New York.
    The program is designed primarily to strengthen capacities of African universities through higher degree training and to develop the potential of their academic staff.
    It is targeted at young and exceptionally promising faculty members who wish to conduct their doctoral research in the United States. Applicants must be at least two years into their doctoral program in any discipline at a Nigerian university or research institute at the time of application. However, preference will be given to those applicants in the areas of natural and social sciences, arts, and more.

  9. Federal Government Oversea Scholarships for Undergraduate and Postgraduate students
    The Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Education through the Federal Scholarship Board is offering the Bilateral Educational Agreement (BEA) Oversea Scholarships to Nigerian undergraduate, masters and doctoral students.
    Bilateral Educational Agreement (BEA) Awards are scholarship awards made to eligible Nigerian youths after due process by development partners who have entered into Bilateral Educational agreement with Nigeria. Nigeria equally offers reciprocal awards to citizens of the following Bilateral Education Agreement countries: China, Romania, and more.

  10. Imo State Government Scholarships for Imo State Students
    Imo State is one of the states in Nigeria with a high literacy rate. The prestige of a family is determined by the number of educated persons it has produced. Interest in education is self evident from educational development efforts of communities. Such efforts include the provision of educational opportunities and physical structures for the advancement of knowledge.
    In fulfillment of his promise to extend free education to the State owned tertiary institutions, the Imo State governor in January 2012 distributed scholarship forms to students of Imo State origin.
    The Governor reiterated that the free education programme will commence in September 2012 onwards, and that the free education programme will be extended to indigenes of Imo State schooling in other tertiary institutions during the second phase of the programme, adding that indigent students of the State owned schools that are non-indigenes will be given scholarships as more.

  11. Bayelsa State Scholarships for Postgraduate Bayelsan students
    The Bayelsa State Scholarship Board was established by an edict of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly and signed into law by the then Governor Chief Diepreye S.P. Alameyeseigha on May 21, 2003.
    The Third State Scholarship Board inaugurated on June 12, 2012, by the present Governor Barr. Henry Seriake Dickson invites application for Batch B of the scholarship more.

  12. Oyo State Scholarships Scheme for Oyo State Indigenes
    The Oyo State Scholarship Board, one of the parastatals established by the Oyo State Government, provides scholarships to indigenes of Oyo state who intend to study or are currently studying in any tertiary institution(s) in more.

  13. Nigeria LNG (NLNG) Scholarship Scheme for Postgraduate students
    The Nigeria LNG Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme, launched in October 2012, is an overseas programme aimed at supporting the emergence of indigenous experts, professionals or entrepreneurs especially; but not exclusively, within the oil and gas industry.
    The post graduate scholarship program is part of NLNG’s Community Development programme which aims to contribute to long-term socio-economic development in its host communities and Nigeria at more.

  14. Griffith International Scholarships for African nationals
    The scholarships are on offer to students from any African nation that are currently residing in Africa and are planning to commence their studies at Griffith University in January or July. Applications will be assessed on academic merit, demonstrated leadership and personal character. Applications should be sent directly to Griffith more.

  15. Lagos State Local Scholarship Award for Lagos State Indigenes
    The Lagos State Scholarship Board is one of the earliest agencies established shortly after the creation of the state. It was constituted through Executive Council Memorandum No LSEC (68) as an advisory and implementation organ on Scholarship awards. The Board administers both the Lagos State Local and Foreign Scholarship Awards.
    The Local Scholarship Award is for prospective students of Lagos State origin except otherwise directed by His Excellency. It was resuscitated in the year 2002. Students should be on full-time and not part-time more.

  16. Google Anita Borg Scholarship for Female Students from Europe, Middle East, Africa
    Dr. Anita Borg (1949-2003) devoted her adult life to revolutionising the way we think about technology and dismantling barriers that keep women and minorities from entering computing and technology fields. Her combination of technical expertise and fearless vision continues to inspire and motivate countless women to become active participants and leaders in creating technology.
    As part of Google’s ongoing commitment to furthering Anita’s vision, the company is pleased to announce The Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship: Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Through the scholarship, Google aims to encourage women to excel in computing and technology, and become active role models and more.

  17. NITDA Scholarships for Postgraduate Nigerians
    The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in pursuance of her mandate of producing globally competitive manpower in order to bridge the digital divide and transform Nigeria into an Information Technology capable country, has established a scholarship scheme for Post Graduate (PG) studies in Master’s and Doctorate (PhD) degrees in relevant areas of information Technology (IT) obtainable in National and international more.

  18. Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Nigerian Students
    The Swiss Government, through the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS), awards various postgraduate scholarships to Nigerian students in three categories: Excellence Research Scholarships, Excellence PhD Scholarships, and Excellence Post-doctoral Scholarships.
    These scholarships provide Nigerian graduates from all fields with the opportunity to pursue postgraduate studies or research in Switzerland at one of the public funded universities or recognized more.

  19. Rotary Foundation Global Grants for International Students
    The Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship program has ended in 2012-13. Beginning in 2013-14, The Foundation will offer scholarship opportunities through the Rotary Foundation Global Grants.
    Global grants may be used for: Humanitarian projects to fund humanitarian projects, Scholarships to fund academic studies, and Vocational training more.

  20. UNIL funding for Masters Students from Developing Countries
    To facilitate access to Master’s degrees by students with qualifications from foreign universities, the University of Lausanne makes available around ten Master’s grants which are awarded on a competitive more.

  21. Kaplan International Colleges Merit-based Scholarships for Nigerian Students
    Kaplan International Colleges (KIC) works in partnership with leading universities to prepare international students for studying a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the UK. KIC has launched a scholarship scheme for Nigerian students.
    *These scholarships are donated for the first time in close collaboration with our top Country Partners – Preparation For Life, Chris Enuke and Associates, Dave Abion Consulting, NUBI Educational Counselling, SOARS Educational Services, Harvestfield Educational Services, CUPA study Abroad Ghana, in recognition of the high calibre of Nigerian students at KIC.C.” more.

  22. Shell SPDC Students Programme
    Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) operates various scholarship schemes, a welcome feature of educational development, especially in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria.

    • Shell Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme - Study in UK
      This is an overseas scholarship programme that gives 10 places to candidates from SPDC’s operational areas (Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta states) to study for postgraduate qualifications at three top British institutions - Imperial College London, University College London and University of Leeds. Potential beneficiaries must possess a Bachelor's degree in the relevant field of study at the Second Class Upper Level.
      The scholarship cover tuition fees, one return flight from Nigeria to the United Kingdom and a contribution towards living more.

    • Shell Postgraduate Students Internships
      Open primarily to talented Nigerian Postgraduate Students in Nigerian Universities but in exceptional cases to Nigerians in Overseas Universities. Shell offers approximately 20 research internship appointments yearly. A number of interns have taken up appointment with Shell on completion of their more.

  23. NNPC / ESSO International Scholarship Awards
    Mobil Producing Nigeria offers International Scholarships to outstanding Nigerian graduates wishing to pursue postgraduate studies in the following disciplines: Geosciences, Engineering (Petroleum, Mechanical, Chemical, Electrical, Sub-Sea and Marine). The EEPNL scholarship award applies to tuition, books, accommodation and living expenses for the duration of the selected course of study including air fare to and from the location of study. Shortlisted candidates would prepared to take a skills more.

  24. NNPC/ESSO National Postgraduate Scholarship Awards
    In continuation of the Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (EEPNL) efforts to provide opportunities for developing careers in the petroleum industry, Mobil Producing Nigeria offer Scholarships to outstanding Nigerian graduates who are currently pursuing postgraduate studies (Masters Degree) in the underlisted disciplines in Nigeria Universities.
    In 2007, EEPNL introduced the National Postgraduate Scholarship program in other to complement the existing foreign scholarship more.

  25. PTDF Scholarships for the Split PhD Program
    The Split PhD is a type of PHD program which allows an individual to split their research time between a foreign institution and an institution in the home country where they live and work. It is part of its 2012/2013 PTDF SCHOLARSHIP more.

  26. African Humanities Fellowship program
    The African Humanities Program (AHP), organised by the American Council of Learned Societies, ACLS seek to revitalize the humanities in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda through fellowship competitions and meetings associated with them. The AHP is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Approximately 40 fellowships are awarded annually. Completed applications must be submitted by more.

  27. Indomie National PostGraduate Nutrition Scholarship Awards
    As Part of its corporate social responsibility, Dufil Prima Foods Plc, in 2009 introduced a postgraduate scholarship programme for Nigerian students studying Nutrition and Dietetics at Masters degree level. The programmme is aimed at assisting the training of high level Nutrition and Dietetic manpower in the country. The scholarship is open to all Nigerian students qualified for admission to an MSc programme in Nutrition (and Nutrition/Dietetics) in the Nigerian university system. Awards will be made to qualified and suitable students from every geo-political zone of the federation, including the more.

  28. Nigerian Agip Exploration (NAE) Post Graduate Scholarship
    Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited (NAE), on behalf of the NNPC/NAE/OANDO PSC, is committed to the training and development of manpower as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme. In pursuance of this, NAE invites applications from suitably qualified and interested Nigerian graduates for the PostGraduate Scholarship Award Scheme. The award is in two categories – Nigerian and more.

  29. RSSDA Overseas Postgraduate Scholarships for Nigerians
    The Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA) invites applications from suitably qualified candidates for selection into the Governor’s Special Overseas Postgraduate Scholarship Programme for 2012/2013 more.

  30. Delta State Government Scholarship Scheme for female students
    Applications are invited for five places in the Delta State Government Scholarship Scheme for female students, tenable at SMC, Pan-African University, for the programme PGD in Media & Communication (Journalism Stream) more.

  31. Robert S. McNamara International Fellowships Program
    The Robert S. McNamara Fellowships Program was established in 1982 by a resolution of the Executive Directors to award fellowships for full-time study or research at the postgraduate level in fields related to economic development.
    Funding for the Program was provided by US$1 million contribution from the World Bank and US$1.8 million from the governments of Bangladesh, China, India, Kuwait, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, and former Yugoslavia. The income from the investment of the endowment fund set up with these contributions currently provides the funding for the fellowships.
    The Program provides support to lecturers and young researchers working in academic and research institutions from eligible countries (see link below) preparing a doctoral more.

  32. Postdoctoral Research Fellowships at University of Ilorin, Nigeria
    As part of her efforts in building a global academic environment, the University of Ilorin through her Centre for International Education (CIE) offers a variety of Research Fellowships to qualified scholars of foreign nationals to carry out relevant developmental more.

  33. Scholarship Opportunities for International Students, University of Ilorin, Nigeria
    The University of Ilorin, Ilorin, through its Centre for International Education (CIE), offers scholarship opportunities for International Students in any field of their interest. The offer is opened to both undergraduate and graduate students up to Master more.

  34. Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program for International students
    The Government of Canada offers scholarships to Canadian publicly funded universities or colleges as part of the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program (CCSP) and Government of Canada Awards (GCA) more.

  35. Commonwealth Scholarships for Developing Commonwealth Country Citizens, UK
    The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) is an international programme under which member governments offer scholarships and fellowships to citizens of other Commonwealth countries. The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom (CSC) is responsible for managing Britain’s contribution to the CSFP. Commonwealth Scholarships for students from developing Commonwealth countries are offered for Master’s, PhD, and split-site (PhD) study in the UK. These scholarships are funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) more.

  36. Australian Development Scholarships (ADS) for African Students
    The Australia Awards in Africa (AAA), an initiative of the Australian Government, is a pan-African program of development scholarships and fellowships that offers 1,000 postgraduate scholarships each year to eligible African professionals.
    Australia is committed to developing the capacity and leadership skills of Africans to enable them to contribute effectively to development in their home countries. Over the past three years, the number of scholarships available for African professionals has increased ten-fold to a total of 1,000 development awards annually. One-quarter of all Australia’s development scholarships are now directed to more.

  37. Postgraduate Scholarships for Nigerians at University of Sheffield
    The University of Sheffield offers the Nigeria Merit Postgraduate Scholarships for Nigerian students who show exceptional academic potential starting a postgraduate taught masters programme at the University of Sheffield. The University does not offer research studentships or funding specifically for Nigerian research students. There are, however, studentships and funding for which all international students can more.

  38. Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Distance Learning Scholarships in Tropical Forestry
    Bangor University is pleased to announce that several fully-funded scholarships (each worth over £12,000 to cover tuition fees) are available for applicants from selected developing commonwealth countries to study for the MSc Tropical Forestry by distance learning.
    This postgraduate course is primarily intended for students who already have an interest in forestry and who wish to learn more about the environmental and societal benefits that forests can provide.
    Suitable applicants include individuals working in forestry/forest-related industries/ natural resource management, particularly in the fields of planning, regulation, policy, monitoring and environmental protection. The course is also suited to individuals working in forestry education who wish to further their knowledge and expertise in order to improve their more.

Monday, 19 August 2013

God will uproot bad leaders in Nigeria, says Gowon

Ibadan – Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, on Monday in Ibadan prayed that God should uproot all the leaders with evil intentions against the country so that the polity could move forward.
Gowon spoke during his visit to Gethsemane Prayer Ministries Cathedral, Eleyele, Ibadan presided over by National Coordinator, Nigeria Prays, Rev. Moses Aransiola.
“I want God to uproot bad leaders from Nigeria as a way of moving the country forward from the present situation,” he said.
The ex-military ruler had been involved in ministration work praying fervently for peace and progress of Nigeria.

[caption id="attachment_608" align="alignleft" width="271"]Gen Yakubu Gowon Gen Yakubu Gowon[/caption]

He also faulted the prediction that the country would break up by 2015, saying that similar prediction by France had already failed.
The former Head of State said, “Nigerians should stand up as one and intercede on the crises rocking this nation.
“That is when God will uproot all the leaders that have evil intention against this country. Nigerians needs to desist from creating problems which they cannot solve and stop blaming God for their shortcomings.
“We had series of crises in the past and if Nigerians can pray fervently well, sooner or later, this country will be free from its challenges; God has heard our cries and will surely answer.
“I don’t believe that the prediction by America that Nigeria will break before 2015 will happen. France said the same thing in the past that we will break up before 2014, but we still stand as one.
“Every Nigerian should stand against the claims. If we believes that it will not happen, then it will not.
“I believe God will not allow such to happen. Nigeria Prays is really praying against such.”
He said Nigerians at home and abroad were very concerned about the crises rocking this nation.
“We believe that only prayer can solve it. If you love Nigeria the way I love Nigeria, we should have faith, then we shall overcome”.
On political activities ahead of 2015 general elections, Gowon said, “the politicians are over-ambitious.
Gowon advised that the over-ambitious politicians should be ignored, as they spelt doom for the nation.
“Politicians should not be selfish but should protect the interest of the people to ensure equitable development of the country,” he said.(NAN)

Source: Vanguard News

Saturday, 17 August 2013

JTF arrests B’Haram suspect in Abacha’s house

[caption id="attachment_568" align="alignleft" width="300"]Members-of-the-boko-haram-sect Members-of-the-boko-haram-sect[/caption]

JTF arrests B’Haram suspect in Abacha’s house
The Joint Task Force in Kano has arrested a suspected member of the Boko Haram sect at the residence of the son of late former Head of State, Sanni Abacha, Mohammed.

Saturday PUNCH gathered that the suspect, who is a domestic aide of Abacha, was arrested on Wednesday afternoon by a combined team of JTF men, who stormed Mohammed’s Government Reserved Area residence in Nasarawa Local Government Area of the state.

A source said that a suspected member of the sect earlier arrested in Borno State led the team of security operatives to the residence.

It was gathered that the security operatives got to Mohammed’s residence while the residents were observing prayers, and waited for them to finish their prayers before making the arrest.

According to the source, the security operatives asked residents to lie down and then brought out the suspected Boko Haram member, who was in their custody, to identify the domestic aide out of the residents.

The suspected sect member, who led JTF to Mohammed’s residence was said to be in handcuffs, but while the identification process was ongoing, the domestic aide reportedly tried to escape by attempting to jump over the fence. His move was, however, not successful as he was apprehended by the security operatives.

At the time of writing this report, the name of the suspect had yet to be disclosed; even though, the JTF confirmed the incident to Saturday PUNCH.

Source: Punch Newspaper

2015: G5 Governors Want Sambo's Seat Says Pro-Jonathan Group

The National Unity Project (NUP), which is a group dedicated to the re-election bid of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 has made a startling revelation that the group of five Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)'s governors of northern extraction known as G5, which has been traversing the landscape of Nigeria are not actually opposed to the Jonathan being returned as President in the next general elections but are mainly interested in replacing NamadiSambo as the Vice President.

This was disclosed yesterday by the Convener, Mr. Igwekala Ugomaduefule, who charged journalists to expose the real motives of the five governors in the seeming opposition to the President's second term ambition.

Ugomaduefule said the G5 that includes Governors RabiuKwankwaso of Kano State, AliyuWamakko of Sokoto state,  SulehLamido of Jigawa State,  Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State and MurtalaNyako of  Adamawa had two missions, which were for one of them to become Jonathan's running mate and to mount pressure on him to make mistakes.

He however, advised the warring governors to perish that idea because according to him; "there is no vacancy for the position of the Vice President" or any chances of the Jonathan replacing Sambo as his running mate.
He noted that since the first Republic, no democratically elected Nigerian President had abandoned their Vice President as running mate during their second term bid, and that Jonathan must not be pressured to make such mistakes.

His words: "I want to say that the so called four or five governors touring the nation in the name of Northern President or whatever is a ruse.  There real missions are two; one they are seeking for the office of the Vice President,  which I am here to tell you that it is not vacant.  It can never be vacant because it has never happened in the country. From the time of Tafawa Abubakar Belewa as the prime minister to the present, none of them has ever abandoned their vice presidents as running mate,  it has never happened.


Fake doctor takes delivery of over 90 babies

A man who holds a secondary school certificate, Stephen Nwankwo, but worked as a doctor in a fake hospital has been arrested alongside the owner of the hospital.

Nwankwo said they took delivery of over 90 babies within the two years he worked in the hospital established by 39-year-old Gabriel Onyema, another secondary school leaver, who lives in Ghana and sells paper.

The suspects spoke with journalists while being paraded on Friday at the Lagos State Police Command Headquarters, Ikeja.

Spokesperson for the police command, Ngozi Braide, said Nwankwo and Onyema were arrested by officers of Area ‘E’ Police Command, FESTAC Town, after a pregnant woman, who had gone to the hospital, died during labour.

40-year-old Nwankwo said he was an auxiliary doctor in a hospital in Ondo State before he moved to Lagos, where he was employed by Onyema.

But while being questioned by journalists, it turned out that he was only a non-medical employee in the unnamed hospital.

The suspect said, “I worked in a hospital in Ondo State sometime ago. I finished from a secondary school before getting a job in Care Hospital, Iba.

“I met Gabriel (Onyema) in the house where he was living in Iba and told him the house was good for a hospital. We then teamed up and entered into a partnership with another man, Dr. Abayomi.

“Gabriel later said I should start working in the hospital as a doctor as well. We undertook up to 90 deliveries. There was a delivery we started about 8 am but did not end until 4 pm. The woman lost a lot of blood. When the baby did not come out on time, we used hand to pull the baby out.”

He, however, claimed that the woman and her baby survived the operation.

Onyema said he lives mostly in Ghana “where I sell bond papers.”

Asked if the hospital was registered, he said, “Work is ongoing on the registration.”

He stated, “I don’t really know all the details of what the doctors I employed there do. They are in the best position to tell you since I was always in Ghana.”

When journalists asked if he was aware his employees perform illegal procedures in the hospital, Onyema said, “Ask me a valid question.” He refused to answer questions onwards.

Meanwhile, the police also paraded four robbery suspects who were arrested during a gun battle with a team of anti-robbery men in Okokomaiko area of Lagos.

“On July 26, 2013, the control room got a distress call that a woman was being robbed in her house in Okokomaiko. The men of the anti-robbery team under the Area ‘E’ Command were able to arrest Godwin Obinwa, who later gave a confession, which led to the arrest of other members of the gang – Nonso Mbonu, Emmanuel Andy and Duke Onugbo,” Braide said.


Why I was absent from Achebe’s funeral, by Soyinka

ALMOST one month after Nigeria bade farewell to literary icon, Prof. Chinua Achebe, issues associated with the colourful rites of passage are yet to be exhausted.

Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Wednesday came down hard on those he says are still ‘caviling’ at his absence from the  funeral of Achebe that climaxed on May 23, 2013 at his home-town, Ogidi, Anambra State.

In a statement issued Wednesday, titled “The Village Mourners Association”, the literary giant said he “is a solid believer in the collective rites of Farewell. I believe in Ritual. Humanity is often assisted to reconcile with loss in a collective, and even spectacular mode.”

And the choice to participate or not, he insisted, “belongs to each individual, including even those who arrogate to themselves the mission of imposing on others their own preferred mode of bidding farewell.”

To Soyinka, “these self-righteous clerics are dangerous beings, especially where they flaunt the credentials of secular learning and gather in caucuses of presumed Humanities.”

Soyinka, in a recent interview with The Guardian, had frowned on making his ‘absence’ from the funeral a subject of debate on the Internet.

Reacting to a question on his view about life after death, he had said: “Before I answer that question, let me make a plea. I want to request the media to stop creating problems where there are none. I am referring to… even after all one has been saying and writing, and through interviews etc. Even after …Chinua Achebe … his last tribute, the poem to show we should respect the dead, and that mourning is a continuous process… it is not just now that he is dead. I am shock to read online… it was actually sent to me something like, ‘J.P. Clark, Soyinka shun Achebe’s funeral.’

“For me, this is so mischievous and dishonest. If I didn’t go to the funeral, it was because I couldn’t. In any case, we all have our way of sending off people. I haven’t seen J.P. ... since we made that statement. I am sure that there were reasons why he couldn’t be there. There are reasons why I couldn’t be there. But my presence was still there. As far as I am concerned, I was heavily there. We all have different attitudes to this thing. The media, especially a lot of this Internet blogs and so on, should just lay off and stop polluting the airwaves with their own diseased antagonism which they want to foist on other people.

“Let people resolve their own relationship the way they want. They shouldn’t have imposed relationship. What is that? ‘Wole Soyinka, J.P. Clark shun...’ Shun is active. If ‘they couldn’t be present’ had been used, one wouldn’t have bothered, that is passive. ‘Shun’ means you take a deliberate action. What kind of nonsense is that?”

Part of Soyinka’s statement  read: “From the herd, the mindless Internet fiddlers for whom the landing of a planetary probe, or a medical breakthrough is simply distraction from fraudulent Internet mailing, nothing less is expected. What menaces the collective health of society is when the deserving highs of intellectual application of the former, become indistinguishable from the loutish low of the latter.”

The renowned dramatist, poet and social crusader insists: “I do not pander to the expectations of the sanctimonious,” noting that he could absent himself from any event, “for reasons that are personal to me.

“I can absent myself as the result of a mundane domestic situation, as legitimately as from a visceral rejection of occupancy of the same space, at the same time, in the same cause, with certain other participants.

“I may absent myself for the very reason of my disdain for that breed which is certain to cavil at the very fact of my absence.”

Condemning what seems like romanticising his absence as the matter has since become a subject of debate online, Soyinka declares, “such specimens pollute the very space they claim to honour.  Sputter and rage they may, but even the most illustrious of that ilk cannot control that choice, neither will they be permitted free passage to encroach upon, and abuse the private spaces of human responsiveness.”

Dismissing his critics, Soyinka said: “Your psychological profile is commonplace. It is not the honour to Chinua that agitates you, no, it is your own self-regarding that seeks to be reflected in the homage to a departed colleague. It does not take a psycho-analyst to recognise this phenomenon of greedy acquisitiveness, even of immaterial products.  Like emotional parasites, you feed off others, but you have never learnt to value what others give, or be thereby nourished.”

Soyinka described the architects of the attacks on him as “atavistic minds” that “once disseminated an unbelievably primitive accounting for Chinua Achebe’s motor accident.”

After narrating the story, especially “for those who seek light relief from ponderous unctuousness,” Soyinka asserts: “Yes, it is that same breed that continues to sow poison in the minds of the susceptible. Alas for you, it so happens that some of us insist on our own way of commemorating, of being there, even when absent.

“You, by contrast were never there, however ostentatiously you position yourselves at the event, or at vicarious gatherings to denounce, attribute sinister motivations, and inseminate hate against those whom your pedestrian vision cannot see.

“Your very loudness proclaims your absence. You were always absent. You will always be absent. So, this communication is not really meant for you but for those potential almajiri – whose minds you corrupt daily with your jeremiads in that accommodating madrassa known as Internet.”

“As a teacher, I lament your failure to use the opportunity of the passing of a revered writer to turn your younger generation in enlightened directions. You have chosen instead to coarse their sensibilities and breed in their minds misunderstanding, suspicion and above all – hate!

“You will have understood by now how I have come to view you as no different from the homicidal clerics who arm youths with kerosene and match, cudgel and knife, a few Naira in their beggars’ bowls, and dispatch them to set fire to structures of comradely cohabitation, of reflection, of mind enlargement, and destroy communities of learning. Your gospel of separatism goes beyond the geographical – in which I have not the slightest interest! – but the humanistic. The difference is in the weapon – in your case, poison, mind corrosion. The means – Internet, and its wide open, undiscriminating generosity. That is where you lay spores of poison, and doom future generations to a confinement of human relationships within the darkest corners of the mind.”

Soyinka’s concluding remark, a warning, is both stern and sarcastic: “You are beyond pity. Kindly absent yourselves from my funeral, when that event finally intrudes.”

The statement reads thus: “Nigerians who are old enough will surely recall the source of the above title. For others, I ought to narrate its origin. Fortunately, early this year, I delivered a lecture at the University of Ibadan where I made a passing reference to the true owners of that copyright. Here is the relevant section: “At the passing of a short-lived dictator, his successor decreed two weeks of mourning, two weeks during which the nation went into a coma. Even the television and radio stations closed down – nothing but martial and funeral music was played, while churches and mosques took over the abandoned air-waves to drown the nation in suras and canticles of lachrymose outpouring. A very sharp group quickly formed something that was called the National Mourners Association – clever lot!  While the nation was quarantined and bogged down in the orgy of lamentation, they were touring the world, sponsored by government, to take the gospel of anguish to every corner of the world that boasted a Nigerian diplomatic mission.”

“Yes, that was at the death of Gen. Murtala Muhammed. But now, we turn to address the latest progenies of that association, operating in a different clime and context, but cacophonously enmeshed in variations on that ancient tune.

“When that day comes that individuals encounter hostility over their sensibilities in dealing with loss in their own way, privately, away from public eye, with or without symbolic public gestures, then we are witnessing the end, not simply of plain civility, but of civilisation, and the enthronement of Fascism. It is not the intolerance and excess of a moment’s excitation, but of a cultivated arrogance and will to imposition, one that attempts to dictate the private responses of others to shared events. Once again, we are confronted with the Nigerian phenomenon of the egregious appropriation of what is not on offer and thus, is not subject to dispute. Where frustrated, these claimants reel out chapters from their Book of Imprecations.

“Let it be stated here, for the avoidance of doubt, that I am a solid believer in the collective rites of Farewell. I believe in Ritual. Humanity is often assisted to reconcile with loss in a collective, and even spectacular mode. The choice to participate or not, however, belongs to each individual, including even those who arrogate to themselves the mission of imposing on others their own preferred mode of bidding farewell. These self-righteous clerics are dangerous beings, especially where they flaunt the credentials of secular learning and gather in caucuses of presumed Humanities. From the herd, the mindless Internet fiddlers for whom the landing of a planetary probe, or a medical breakthrough is simply distraction from fraudulent Internet mailing, nothing less is expected. What menaces the collective health of society is when the deserving highs of intellectual application of the former, become indistinguishable from the loutish low of the latter.

“I do not pander to the expectations of the sanctimonious. I can absent myself from any event, for reasons that are personal to me. I can absent myself as the result of a mundane domestic situation, as legitimately as from a visceral rejection of occupancy of the same space, at the same time, in the same cause, with certain other participants. I may absent myself for the very reason of my disdain for that breed which is certain to cavil at the very fact of my absence. Such specimens pollute the very space they claim to honour.  Sputter and rage they may, but even the most illustrious of that ilk cannot control that choice, neither will they be permitted free passage to encroach upon, and abuse the private spaces of human responsiveness.

“I shall speak to them directly: your psychological profile is commonplace. It is not the honour to Chinua that agitates you, no, it is your own self-regarding that seeks to be reflected in the homage to a departed colleague. It does not take a psycho-analyst to recognise this phenomenon of greedy acquisitiveness, even of immaterial products.  Like emotional parasites, you feed off others, but you have never learnt to value what others give, or be thereby nourished. I recognise you, atavistic minds – was it not your type that once disseminated an unbelievably primitive accounting for Chinua Achebe’s motor accident? Here goes the story, for those who seek light relief from ponderous unctuousness:

“What happened was that I found myself unable to return to Nigeria for a Colloquium in honour of Chinua’s sixtieth birthday.  My dramatic mind immediately scrambled for some striking manner of compensation. So, I telephoned a business friend who had some agricultural connections in Delta State and told him: find the chunkiest, spotless ram in Delta State – all white or all black, but a thoroughbred of striking physique. Find a leather pouch, tie it to its neck with the following message and deliver it at the venue of the Colloquium. I no longer recall the exact dictated wording, nothing inspirational, just the usual felicitations and injunctions to turn that ram into asun for general feasting.

“Those who attended the event will recall the grand entry of the gift - as reported by one and all, including the foreign visitors, and Chinua’s reported reaction, seated on the podium. He shook head and said, “Typical of Wole”. The ram was then led off to meet its destiny at the hands of the gathered. (As a side note, it was I who took a gift away from his seventieth at Bard University – a sobering flash of time past that resulted in my ELEGY FOR A NATION. I had that poem re-published to mark the day of his funeral.)

“Our story is only beginning. On the way back from that celebration, Chinua had his accident and was flown to the United Kingdom (UK). At the first opportunity, I made my way there and called up the High Commissioner, Dove-Edwin, who was certain to know the hospital location. It turned out that he also planned a visit that afternoon, and he agreed to give me a ride. We waited – I was joined by two others – waited, and waited, then a phone call came from him that the visit had been called off. The High Commissioner would explain why, on arrival – over a promised dinner, as compensation.

“That explanation was this: Dove-Edwin had received communication that some of “Chinua’s people” – a university professor among them, who was named – had pronounced publicly that “Chinua should have known better than to accept a spotless ram from his enemy” – yes, that was the word used – “enemy”.  I verified this report from various other sources.   Later, an alternative diagnosis surfaced: “Chinua had been too long away from the chieftaincy politics of his hometown, otherwise he would have realised that the title that he took was coveted by some others – and these were deeply steeped in traditional psychic combat”.  In short, those rivals “did him in”.  Both diagnoses competed for dominance for a while, petering out eventually.

“Before the promotion of that alternative cause-and-effect however, Dove-Edwin had re-scheduled, and we had a most bracing, optimistic afternoon with Chinua. Yes, our patient was eventually told the cause of the earlier postponement, and he had a good laugh. On my return to Nigeria, I could not wait to take the opportunity of a public lecture to invite all desperate enemies to please send me their rams of choice – spotless, spotted, piebald, stripped or nondescript – so I could treat starving writers to free meals in my home for the rest of the year. And I promised to taste a piece of each ram before serving.

“Yes, it is that same breed that continues to sow poison in the minds of the susceptible. Alas for you, it so happens that some of us insist on our own way of commemorating, of being there, even when absent. You, by contrast were never there, however ostentatiously you position yourselves at the event, or at vicarious gatherings to denounce, attribute sinister motivations, and inseminate hate against those whom your pedestrian vision cannot see. Your very loudness proclaims your absence. You were always absent. You will always be absent. So, this communication is not really meant for you but for those potential almajiri – whose minds you corrupt daily with your jeremiads in that accommodating madrassa known as Internet. As a teacher, I lament your failure to use the opportunity of the passing of a revered writer to turn your younger generation in enlightened directions. You have chosen instead to coarse their sensibilities and breed in their minds misunderstanding, suspicion and above all – hate!

“You will have understood by now how I have come to view you as no different from the homicidal clerics who arm youths with kerosene and match, cudgel and knife, a few Naira in their beggars’ bowls, and dispatch them to set fire to structures of comradely cohabitation, of reflection, of mind enlargement, and destroy communities of learning. Your gospel of separatism goes beyond the geographical – in which I have not the slightest interest! – but the humanistic. The difference is in the weapon – in your case, poison, mind corrosion. The means – Internet, and its wide open, undiscriminating generosity. That is where you lay spores of poison, and doom future generations to a confinement of human relationships within the darkest corners of the mind.

“You are beyond pity. Kindly absent yourselves from my funeral, when that event finally intrudes.”