By Brown Justice
On August 30th, the world would be celebrating the 69th birthday anniversary of one of the most experienced and sagacious politician on the face of the Niger.
Alhaji (Dr) Sule Lamido is a man I would say has seen both the good and the bad sides of politics in Nigeria.
Born in Bamaina, Birnin Kudu in present day Jigawa State on August 30th, 1948, Dr Sule Lamido began his political career in the Second Republic as an elected lawmaker on the platform of the defunct Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) led by the late Aminu Kano, the trendiest and popular politician the continent of Africa has ever seen.
When the promising Second Republic political experiment was aborted by some military obstructionists in 1983, Dr Lamido went back to private business where he successfully ran some business concerns which created lots of jobs for the country’s unemployed population.
At the dawn of the Third Republic which heralded another political opportunities in the country, Dr Sule Lamido returned back to national politics where he served as the National Secretary of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) which was one of the most popular political parties in the country then. In fact, it has been established that the party in which Dr Lamido served as its national scribe was the one that won the annulled June 12, 1993 Presidential election whose standard bearer was late Chief MKO Abiola.
When the military obstructionist led by the late military junta, General Sani Abacha struck again and disrupted the fledgling democracy, Dr Sule Lamido resorted to political activism challenging the powers that be; a development that never went down well with the military establishment and subsequently stirred the honest nest.
As the founding member and national secretary of another newly formed political movement which later metamorphosed in to political party known as Social Progressives Party (SPP), Dr Lamido delivered the harshest political criticism to the then military and maximum ruler of the country, General Sani Abacha.
It was the unyielding political struggles of Dr Lamido for the restoration of Nigeria’s democracy that led to his imprisonment by General Sani Abacha in 1998.
As an astute politician, his incarceration did not dampen his political activism and doggedness as he continued with his pro-democracy struggles even in the gulag until God finally called Abacha.
So, for the supporters of Dr Lamido who were outraged over his imprisonment for political reasons some months ago by the current administration, this is not the first time Dr Lamido is facing political persecution for his unquenchable believe in democratic Nigeria.
After his release from prison by General Abdulsalami Abubakar, Dr Lamido joined the political activities that led to the founding of the People’s Democratic Party in which he is not only a founding father, but a strong pillar.
Because of the role Dr Lamido played in the emergence of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as Nigeria’s new President in 1999, he was subsequently appointed as the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1999.
As Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Lamido formulated and implemented many far-reaching policies that shaped Nigeria’s diplomatic relations with other countries.
When the people of Jigawa State finally called on him to become their governor, Dr Sule Lamido yielded and was subsequently elected as the governor of Jigawa State in 2007.
As Executive governor who ruled Jigawa State from 2007 – 2015, Dr Sule Lamido executed unprecedented infrastructural projects and many human capacity development programmes in the state.
For Example, he built several schools and provided basic infrastructure in all the school environments as well as training and retraining of teachers in the state for effective service delivery.
He executed many housing projects for low and middle income earners in the state using both the Dutse Capital Development Authority and the Jigawa State Housing Authority.
In 2009, former governor Lamido provided free plots of land and basic infrastructures as incentives to investors wishing to invest in the state’s tourism and hospitality industry.
Even with little Federal Allocation to the state, Dr Lamido was still able to build a state university, a world class airport as well as massive infrastructural projects in all parts of the state.
Other milestones reached by Dr Lamido in Jigawa State include; payment of monthly salary as social security allowance to the aged and disabled persons in the state. The social security programme of the Lamido administration went round the entire state without leaving any part or person behind.
The Lamido administration in Jigawa State provided free maternal and child healthcare programme in the state.
During his reign as governor, Jigawa State was adjudged as one of the best states in the country that implement the Millennium Development Goals (MDS’s) to the admiration of the former United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Ban-Ki Moon.
Still on the health sector, the Lamido Administration also established the Jigawa State Medical Supply Organization (JIMSO).
Under this organization, there were free medical cares for all prison inmates in the state as well as the distribution of free treated mosquito nets to residents in all parts of the state.
Following the rehabilitation, renovation, construction, completion and equipping of the Administrative Block of the Rasheed Shekoni Specialist Hospital, the Lamido administration embarked on the supply of medical equipment as well as the recruitments of qualified health personnel to render specialized health related services to the people of the state.
With the introduction of ”Ask Jigawa People Health Initiative” in the state by the Lamido administration, the health orientation and awareness in the state became so high that everyone became very conscious of his or her health profile or status.
This is not to talk of the payment of monthly allowances paid to the students in the school of nursing and health technology.
Other achievements recorded by the Lamido administration in the state were; introduction of free and compulsory education for girls and physically challenged persons in the state, provision of learning materials, school furniture, electronic payments of students allowances to avoid diversion of funds, construction of 31 new hostels block for 6, 200 boarding schools, provision of 32 sitter buses for all girls boarding schools, construction of 38 new block classrooms, construction of 70 blocks of science laboratories as well as complete renovation of 48 schools and the sponsoring of 103 students to Singapore to study Information Communication Technology.
These were great achievements recorded by Dr Lamido as former governor of Jigawa State which are all pointers to what he will do for Nigeria if elected as President.
While we await the February 16, 2019 Presidential election to enthrone a new president in the country, I want to use this chance to say Happy Birthday to Nigeria’s President Awaiting.
Mr Brown Justice writes from Markudi, Benue State.
Is Loan Financing The Best For Startups?
By Otori Emmanuel
In setting up a business, various forms of resources are necessary to make the idea a successful one. Businesses require money, time, and human capital for growth. Unlike an established business with traction, startups are like the way they sound – starting from scratch. This business process requires financing from different sources, both internal and external, to get it started. Internal financing includes support from family and friends, personal savings, and other informal giving, whereas external financing can come from crowdfunding, angel investors, startup incubator, venture capitalists, grants and donations.
There are two forms of financing a startup; equity financing and debt financing. Equity financing is a form of financing where investors support the business by buying shares in the business. Capital raised by equity is not repayable because investors purchased a portion of ownership in the business. Equity financing is usually sourced from crowdfunding, venture capitalists, angel investors and the stock market.
Debt financing entails borrowing money and then repaying it over time with interest, and getting a loan is the most typical way to finance debt. Other ways include selling bills, bonds etc. A loan is any financial arrangement in which one or more individuals, companies, or other entities lend money to another individual, company, or other entity. The recipient incurs a debt and is often responsible for both paying interests on the debt until it is repaid as well as the principal amount borrowed. Equity financing may be less risky than debt financing because there is no loan to repay or collateral at stake. Debt also calls for recurring payments, which might hinder a startup’s cash flow and ability to expand.
Startup business loans are any loan used to start a new firm; they are not a particular kind of loan. Funding for companies that have already begun operations but are still in the very beginning stages might also be included in startup loans. Loan financing is one option that can be beneficial for some companies, but it is not appropriate for every business. Bank loans are not usually considered in startup financing as an option due to low or no credit history and collateral to hedge for the startup business. However, there are other types of loan financing to support startups. These loans include a business line of credit, online term loans and other microloans.
- Capital – Obtaining loans is a smart approach to get the money needed for the starting and ongoing costs of running the firm. If an entrepreneur is just starting out and doesn’t have enough money, loan financing is a viable choice.
- Credit score of startup – Business credit is an advantage to a business if it can fulfil its loan obligation as a startup. Having a good credit history can make way for future financing.
- Ownership and control – Loan financing is a technique to keep control of the business since not every business owner would want to sell their idea to a venture capitalist or angel investor. Shareholders are given control of a corporation through equity funding, and they make management decisions. As investors must have a role in how the business is run, this can easily lead to the business departing from the original objectives the owner had in mind.
- Choice of funds utilization – Unlike equity financing, a startup entrepreneur can choose how to spend money raised for the company at a pace that would ensure its survival.
- No collateral – Banks are cautious about providing loans for young businesses because of a variety of factors, such as a startup’s lack of collateral and experience managing finances. Those with substantial management experience rarely get the chance too.
- Interest repayment – Interest rates and repayment penalties that are part of the loan terms are very costly for a startup. Furthermore, because these payments are stretched out over a lengthy time, it will take longer for the business to stabilize, which has an impact on the startup’s financial records.
- Assets are at risk because the business runs the risk of turning over its possessions to the bank in the event of a payment default.
All things considered, startups have access to a variety of funding sources, albeit occasionally, it varies depending on the stage of the business. For efficient decision-making, it is also crucial to consider the pros and cons of loans against equity in light of corporate objectives.
How Much Is House Rent In Abuja? Everything You Need To Know
Are you thinking of relocating to Abuja? Then you should know the answer to the question, how much is house rent in Abuja? read this article to find out.
Renting a house in Abuja can be tricky, and with the high cost of living, many potential tenants are left wondering how much is house rent in Abuja.
The answer to this question is not straightforward and depends on various factors, including the area you are looking to rent and the type of property you are interested in.
If you are looking for a place to rent in the city and don’t know where to start, don’t worry. We’ve given you an overview of the average house rent in Abuja and provided useful information on renting a house. So if you’re ready to get started, read on to find out more about house rent in Abuja!
A Summary Of The Housing Cost In Abuja
People looking to make Abuja their home can choose from an extensive selection of rental houses.
The average cost of a rental house in Abuja can be as high as ₦2,500,000, making it a city only accessible to the affluent.
Nevertheless, those on a tight budget may also find options, with the least expensive rental house costing only ₦20,000.
On the contrary, those seeking luxury and exclusivity can find rentals with an unbelievable price tag of up to ₦50,000,000.
Therefore, regardless of one’s budget, Abuja’s rental market has something to offer everyone.
The following image from Numbeo illustrates the cost of renting a house in Abuja. Below is a pictorial representation of house rent expenditure in Abuja by Numbeo.
While living in the city, most of your resources will go to the rent then, followed by markets which mean various foods and edibles you buy for sustenance, as shown below.
A Summary Of Cost Of Living in Abuja
A family of four in Abuja would need an estimated N920,316.0 each month on essentials such as food, transport, and healthcare, not including the rent.
For an individual, the projected monthly expenses are N251,978.9 without the rent. So, you can imagine when you add rental costs in each case, the value and expenses skyrocket.
Food in Abuja tends to be more expensive than in other parts of the nation, with basic groceries costing more.
Going out for dinner can be costly as well, with prices for a meal at a budget restaurant around N1,500. This is why it would be nice to prepare meals and eat from home if you are on a budget.
Transportation expenses can also amount to a lot, with fuel prices being relatively high and public transportation not being widely available.
Regular monthly expenses on transportation can be as much as N15,000. Medical care in Abuja is also higher, with private healthcare being the norm.
It is critical for ex-pats and travellers to have adequate insurance coverage to pay for any medical expenses.
Despite the high expenses, the city offers many advantages and activities for its inhabitants.
However, it is important for individuals and families to carefully consider their budget and expenses before deciding to live in Abuja.
Types of Housing You Can Rent In Abuja
With the city’s diverse population, many housing options are available, from high-end apartments to affordable single-family homes.
Explore the different housing types available in Abuja, and you will find the perfect place to call home!
A bungalow is a single-story house that typically features a simple design and a small footprint. These houses are popular in Abuja for their affordability and ease of maintenance.
An apartment building is a multi-unit residential building with multiple separate homes stacked on top and next to each other, each unit acting as its dwelling.
They offer less privacy than other housing types but have access to shared common areas like green spaces and rooftops.
They are becoming increasingly popular in Nigeria due to the population becoming more urban and the cost-effectiveness of building vertically.
Penthouses are spacious luxury units on the top floor of a building. They are great for singles, couples, and families with kids.
One thing that makes penthouses desirable is the unique view of the surrounding city they offer. They are often located near luxury shopping, dining, and entertainment areas.
Semi-detached houses are single-family homes that share one wall with the neighbouring house, differentiating them from detached houses with no shared walls and terraced houses which share walls on both sides.
They can be single or multi-story, and building costs are typically lower than a fully detached house, offering more space for the same or less money. Some modern designs in Abuja are very pleasing.
Detached houses are popular in Nigeria, particularly in the affluent areas of major cities like Lagos, Abuja, and Kano.
They are affiliated with the wealthy and feature great architecture, luxurious amenities, and privacy. Often you will find detached houses with private gates leading to a private compound, making them ideal for people who value privacy and have larger families.
A mansion is a large, luxurious house with impressive architecture. Owning a mansion speaks a lot about you and your family; one thing that always comes out is that you are wealthy and well-established.
Mansions have many rooms and large grounds and may include features such as a swimming pool, tennis court, and stables.
A terraced house is a type of residential building that form a part of a row of identical houses, sharing walls with the adjacent houses.
Typically, such houses have a small outdoor area in the front and back. In many cases, terraced houses are found in medium-density areas in Abuja.
A duplex in Nigeria is a house that has two units on different floors, and each floor acts as a separate house for different tenants.
These houses are a popular choice for groups of friends who want to live together in terms of location but still be in separate spaces.
Factors Affecting House Rent Prices In Abuja
Renting a home in the city can be daunting, as the prices vary greatly depending on several factors.
To make an informed decision when searching for a place to rent, it’s important to understand the factors that affect house rent prices in Abuja.
By understanding these factors, you can better navigate the housing market and find a place that fits your budget and needs.
Properties in the city centre or popular neighbourhoods are more expensive than those outside the city.
And the reason for this is quite straightforward, the closer you are to town, the easier it is for you to access the many services offered in the city.
Size and amenities
The size and amenities of a house also play a significant role in determining its rent price. Larger houses with more bedrooms and bathrooms will be more expensive than smaller ones.
Properties with amenities such as a pool, garden, or garage will also command higher rent prices simply because of the value they offer.
Age of the property
Generally, you should expect newer properties to have higher prices than older properties because they may have more modern amenities and be in better condition.
However, older properties may have more character and charm, making them more desirable to some renters, especially the old-school type.
Additionally, the age of a property can also affect its maintenance costs, with older properties requiring more repairs and maintenance than newer properties. This can also impact the rent, with landlords charging higher rents to cover these costs.
The overall state of the housing market in an area determines the rental prices. During high demand, rent prices may increase, while rent prices may decrease during low demand. In other words, rent prices also abide by the law of demand and supply.
Security is very important, and many folks always want to know how safe they are before renting in an area.
Areas with lower crime rates and better overall security will always have higher rental prices, as they are considered more desirable places to live. Conversely, areas with higher crime rates often have lower rental prices.
Additionally, properties with better security features, such as gated communities or buildings with security personnel, will typically have higher rental prices than those without such features.
Remember that the highest form of insecurity in Abuja is robbery, followed by theft; areas with measures to prevent such are highly-priced.
The question of ‘how much is house rent in Abuja’ is important to those looking to move to the city.
The price of leasing a house in Abuja can differ significantly depending on multiple variables that were already discussed.
Exploring different rental properties and neighbourhoods is crucial before determining where to rent a house in Abuja.
Considering your requirements, budget, and lifestyle, you can constrict your alternatives and find the ideal home to rent at a cost that fits your budget.
2023 Presidency: Using Your Votes to Reconstruct, Reshape Nigeria
By Michael Owhoko, PhD
As Nigerians file out to elect a new president on February 25, it is imperative to remind electorates that a country’s future and destiny are shaped by the choice of personality they elect as president. Entrusting a country’s leadership and resources to someone with impaired vision and dubious national disposition will be a tragedy.
In context, the Nigerian President is one of the most powerful in the world, given the scope of responsibilities and powers as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution. With 68 items on the exclusive list and mere 12 items on the concurrent list of the constitution, the destiny and future of Nigerians are in the hands of one man – the president.
Since man is a product of his thought process, the president’s style of administration will be conditioned by his character. This means that the well-being of citizens, prosperity and wheels of development of Nigeria are contingent upon the demeanour and capacity of the president.
A president with integrity and a clear national vision devoid of materialism and ethnic prejudice can change a country, as we saw in Singapore under Lee Kuan Yew. The choice of Nigerian voters should be premised on this standard. Nigeria cannot afford to entrust its leadership and resources to a colourless personality to determine its destiny.
Nigeria requires a president that is capable of steering the country away from tragedy to optimism. Prosperous nations are not configured from heaven. They are products of the selflessness and commitment of those in leadership. Electing a person without vision, capacity, integrity and empathy as president will amount to sacrificing the collective well-being of the people on the altar of incompetence.
Therefore, as you vote for the president of your choice, let Nigeria’s overall national interest guide your decision. Your personal survival depends on it. Do not allow ethnicity, religion, emotions and primordial sentiments to influence your choice. A wrong choice at this critical period of Nigeria’s democratic journey will mean further erosion of citizens’ dignity, both at home and abroad.
Incompetence, ethnic nationalism, nepotism and greed, as evident in poor management of the economy, insecurity and corruption, are factors that have kept the country prostrate. These elements are responsible for leadership failure, stunted growth, and poverty in the country. It is, therefore, critical to vote for a candidate with the requisite capacity to deliver on the aspirations of Nigerians. Failure to do this will mean no lessons have been learned from the current widespread hardship.
As a voter, ask yourself this honest question. Has your living condition in the last eight years improved or dipped? Without subterfuge, Nigeria has been on a downward swing in all critical facets of socioeconomic space. This is evident in the increasing number of those falling into the poverty bracket, as reflected in the growing penury rate in Nigeria.
The 2022 Multidimensional Poverty Index survey carried out by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), together with its partners, captured this vividly.
According to the survey, 63% of persons living within Nigeria (133 million people) are multidimensionally poor, out of which 65% of the poor (86 million people) live in the North, while 35% (nearly 47 million) live in the South.
The poor Nigerians under reference here are not politicians but a majority of the voting public. Unfortunately, the hope that Nigeria will get out of this mess soon was dashed by President Muhammadu Buhari when he asserted that he had done his best for the country, even in the face of a growing debt profile, inflation, unemployment, corruption, insecurity and capital flight. This is the mirror image of the country’s leadership capacity.
When this is juxtaposed with the recent report by the Debt Management Office (DMO) on the nation’s debt, then Nigeria is in big trouble. The DMO stated in December 2022, the country’s public debt had reached N44.6 trillion. When viewed against the backdrop of Nigeria’s revenue-to-debt service ratio, which The Economist Intelligence Unit described as the worst in the world, it means that Nigeria is in crisis. With a high debt-service ratio and dwindling revenue, the provision of infrastructure is relegated, compounding the woes of Nigerians.
Voters should, therefore, not repeat the mistake of the past. Those who voted in previous elections based on ethnic and religious lines had no inkling that their fortunes would plummet. Today, many of those voters have been humbled by the poor performance of the economy as depicted by the misery index, particularly inflation which has eaten deep into their pockets. They have become victims of their own decision.
Obviously, the wrong choice of candidates has been unhelpful to the future of this country. Check your conscience and reflect on the number of Nigerians that have lost their lives in the last eight years, either through insecurity or poor management of the economy or suicide.
Also, think about the number of businesses that have closed shop or the growing band of single parenthood resulting from broken marriages. All these have their roots in the poor handling of the nation’s economy.
As part of the consequence, there has been a mass exodus from Nigeria. Voters must note that to “japa” or flee abroad is no solution. Of all those leaving or escaping from the country to seek greener pastures overseas, only less than five per cent achieve their aspirations. Over 90 per cent of these Nigerians struggle to make ends meet, regretting the decision to relocate.
On one of my trips to London a few years back, I went to Kaycee’s Bar, a popular Nigerian joint in Holloway, where Nigerians hang out and where sometimes, Nigeria’s independence celebrations were held. While there, I met two Nigerians at the underground disco section. They begged for money, saying they were trapped and would like to return to Nigeria. I was touched and parted with a few pounds as support. This is just one of the tales and ugly experiences of Nigerians abroad.
Ironically, while the majority of Nigerians are reeling from the excruciating effect of poverty, the president, governors and other elected officials are swimming in affluence with high-quality life made possible by manipulative access to the public treasury, despite managing the economy aground. Politics in Nigeria is the surest way to break out of poverty.
Voters should know that the president and governors do not spend their salaries while in office. Their bills are borne by the government, including feeding at the government’s expense. Even members of their extended families are relocated to the Villa or government house to enjoy these privileges. This cannot happen in advanced democracies. Yet, in midst of this, the average Nigerian toil day and night to stay afloat.
At the last World Cup in Qatar, the President of Liberia, George Weah, watched his son, Timothy, play for the United States of America. It is most unlikely a Nigerian President will allow his son to play football games for fear of injuries. He would rather make his son a billionaire through the award of indirect contracts or presidential favours.
The underpinning motive of politicians is not to serve but to acquire the power to accumulate wealth. Without empathy, they multiply poverty through fiscal indiscipline and extravagance while fraudulently feeding fat on the nation’s resources. This is why voters must liberate themselves from this hopeless life of poverty and frustration caused by leadership greed and bankruptcy.
With 48 million youths out of a total of 93.5 million eligible voters, coupled with the poor, credible leaders can be elected, but politicians exploit their vulnerability, using ethnicity, religion and handouts as inducements to manipulate them. Voters should be reminded that these office seekers would move on to oil their profligate lifestyles, leaving the electorate to suffer the consequences of their choice.
Nigeria has the resources to pull the country out of poverty, but leaders are indifferent. As long as they can access good healthcare and send their children abroad for quality education, they care less about the masses who are left to contend with low-quality education, poor healthcare system, erratic electricity and bad road network.
If the resources of the country are effectively harnessed and deployed, particularly in a restructured political system which is best suitable for a plural society like Nigeria, the country will quickly recover from current economic woes. But leaders with entrenched interests are opposed to this arrangement, preferring the status quo for selfish reasons.
Voters must therefore rise in unison and vote out ethnic bigots and visionless persons without integrity and capacity as president, failing which, they have no other persons to blame but themselves. February 25, 2023, has provided another opportunity, so be resolute and courageous. Vote conscientiously to reconstruct and reshape Nigeria in order to restore its corroded dignity.
Dr Mike Owhoko is a Lagos-based journalist and author. He can be reached at www.mikeowhoko.com
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