By Aduragbemi Omiyale
A retired Major-General in the Nigerian Army, Mr Henry Ayoola, has said the security and economic problems facing Nigeria are purely self-inflicted, noting that it was time the citizens took action rather than depending on prayers alone.
In his keynote address at the inauguration of the Africa Kingdom Business Forum Institute (AKBF-I), he recommended an “all citizens approach” to end insecurity, urging Nigerians to explore their rights to self-defence.
Mr Ayoola, while in active service, was the Chief of Defence Research and Development of the Nigerian Army and the commander of Special Task Force (STF) Operation Safe Haven in Plateau State.
At the event held in Abuja over the weekend, he said, “Yes, the security challenges! Well, one thing to say upfront is that our problems, not only security, simply put, are self-inflicted.
“We have been living like nobody is really interested in solving the problems because it’s not for lack of what to do. It’s not for lack of what to do, advice, ideas, or strategies, it just appears as this is the Eldorado some people know for Nigeria. This is our golden era, so we should allow it last.
“That’s what I see. I don’t see any palpable attempt to solve a problem. Like I said, one can easily conclude that it is self-inflicted problem.
“Not only because I know the genesis of those problems, having been a player in it myself but I think Nigerians themselves are too timid, too docile that we will just allow anything goes.
“We take everything and anything. At what point are we going to get sufficiently aroused as to rise up and solve our problems ourselves?
“I don’t know. What else do we want? Until half of us are dead or what?
“For me, self-defence, like I said, is a divine right, it’s a universal right – Article 51 of the UN charter talks about the inherent right of the individual and the collective self-defence. So, if somebody is threatening my life, I don’t have to wait until he has killed me before I respond.
“There is pre-emptive defence, which is part of self-defence. So, the ball is in our court really. Even the government is overwhelmed. So, it’s gone beyond them. It should be an all-citizens approach when everybody is ready to put an end to this nonsense we’re going through.”
Another speaker at the programme, Mr Sam Amadi, a former Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), said the major issue facing the country was the leadership crisis.
The former Head of the Department of International Law and Jurisprudence at the Baze University, Abuja harped on the need to redefine the process through which leaders emerge in the country.
“Leadership presupposes a common vision. That means people have a vision of where they are going; they have a common understanding of the problems of Nigeria.
“Unfortunately, we have never had a common vision and a common understanding of our problem.
“Even before colonialism, our people were disparate people, different people and the colonial authorities put us together and never cared about our well-being. They put us together for their own good.
“When they left, our leaders were trapped into ethnic competition and that also led to why they didn’t build a common consensus.
“Today in America they talk of the American dream because different immigrants came together and had some degree of what America represents for them. That is the first problem of leadership in Nigeria.
“The second is: how do you recruit leaders? How do your leaders come up?
“They don’t need to be first class people but they are leaders, people who have gone through a process. If you look at countries all over the world: China, America, or Britain or any other places in the world, you see that leaders rise through a process that give those leaders some common vision about their country and some have some experience about solving problems.
“In Nigerian democracy today, leadership can emerge from anywhere. A mechanic who is doing his work can this year become Senator because the Governor likes him. So, the tide changes and people just emerge from nowhere. That’s another problem.
“The third issue is a leadership task, what should leaders be doing? So, leaders diagnose the problem, they pay attention. Why is there unemployment? In paying attention, they find solutions,” he said.
Speaking further, the visiting Professor at the Emerald Energy Institute at the University of Port Harcourt noted that, “The fourth become implementation of that solution. If it’s a leadership that is looking for ethnicism, you won’t implement it well because some of the solutions may require you disrupting some dominance if you take some actions.
“For example, when we were building the power sector, we knew that the best thing was for us to take the power to Niger Delta where we have all the gas. But because we are a country that is consumed by geographical competition, they can’t take it to the South-South.
“We have to take some to the North Central and so on. But those ones don’t have glass again. We have to spend a lot of money to carry the gas to those places.
“That’s a simple story that tells you that there is a dysfunction in leadership because leaders are not solving problems based on the based ways of solving them. They are solving problems in a way that will align with their own strategic ethnic geopolitical needs.
“So, the Nigerian crisis is a crisis of leadership. But we should start first with a vision – what we want to be as a people, understanding our problems – where are we in history? Where are we now? Why are we trapped?
“That is why we talk about restructuring; people don’t want to hear about restructuring. It is not about changing geography or changing who collects what money. It is about changing the underlying factors that are creating the problems we want to deal with.
“So, if you don’t want to solve those underlying structural problems and you keep preaching “we’re going to be a great nation” we have been preaching before you became President, the present President is doing his best preaching. Later, another person will come and start preaching.
“They blame the Nigerian people, the youths are not working hard, the Nigerian people are divided. That’s what they are answering because we don’t have leaders who have knowledge about the problem and the process of solving those problems and have the will to execute.
“Like I said today, you need humility to say that you don’t know and seek for answers to “why is this happening? Why is the economy like this?
“Look at Nigeria, a country that is spending 89% of its revenue serving debts, not paying for them and you keep borrowing. You dedicate 40% of revenue to seek for oil where you know that you may not find oil at a time you know that oil is a wasting asset. The future is to invest in human beings to create wealth.
“So, how can such self-deception lead to leadership growth? How can it lead to country prosperity?
“We’re trapped because we leaders who not even leaders because they neither have the priestly profile of humility and compassion nor the kingly profile of effective execution. They don’t know the problem, they don’t care about the people and they cannot even execute the solutions well.”
However, Mr Amadi expressed optimism that their strategic principles will change the direction of leadership in the country, pointing out that the birth of the institute “is a right intervention and that is what I have been saying that for years.
“They are now going about, bringing people together to show them why things are not working and should them patterns that can work and building in their understanding, knowledge and ethics of leadership.
“So, we’re not talking about governors. We’re are talking about leaders in ministries, parastatals, agencies, the private sector, youth platforms, and so on.
“Leadership is diverse. What they are doing now is the right way; it’s to solve a problem by identifying the problem and providing tailor-made solutions that deal with that problem.
“And that is what this platform is doing and it’s long overdue and the people behind it are people who have built experience over the years trying to solve problems. So, we have hope that it will succeed.”
Other speakers at the occasion like the Continental Chairman Africa Kingdom Business Forum (AKBF), Mr Steve Olumuyina as well as Mr Emeka Nwankpa, agreed that prayers were not enough in dealing with the several challenges of Nigeria.
Eaton Calls for Stoppage of Sulphur Hexafluoride Gas
By Adedapo Adesanya
Leading power management company, Eaton Nigeria, has advocated the regulation of sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) gas usage in electrical power distribution networks.
This call was made during the company’s Power & Water Nigeria Exhibition and Conference 2022, an event that connects the Nigerian utility industry.
The event which was organised by Vertex Global services saw the participation of experts and exhibitors from over 20 countries.
The gathering enabled global stakeholders to access engaging technical discussions, on-the-spot assessment of the region’s opportunities in power generation, distribution, renewables, and water & utility sectors; as well as exhibitions from leading local and international suppliers.
During his presentation on the topic, A Call to Action on the ‘dirtiest’ greenhouse gas in clean energy, Mr Charles Iyo, Regional Sales Manager Eaton West Africa said “Sulphur hexafluoride gas which is used in the production of most switchgears remains one of the world’s potent greenhouse gases that adversely affect the environment. 1kg of SF6 is equivalent to 23,500 Kg of CO2 in global warming potential, and each unit of switchgear is estimated to use 2.5 kg of SF6 gas; which makes it devastatingly dangerous to the climate.”
“Government in Africa, especially Nigeria needs to take proactive measures such as implementing new regulations to ban the use of SF6 Gas in switchgear production. Also, regulatory bodies and industry stakeholders need to collaborate and elevate industry practice and policies to implement the use of SF6 free technology thereby creating a safe and sustainable future,” he added.
Mr Iyo further highlighted SF6-free alternatives that could positively combat climate change, saying the adoption of vacuum technology is considered a safe, compact and reliable alternative to SF6 gas in the production of switchgears.
Eaton has been at the forefront of advocating the elimination of SF6 gas globally. The power management company pioneered SF₆ free medium voltage switchgear production in 1960 with Magnefix, a compact solution for distribution system operators.
The various range of SF6 free switchgears are produced with environmentally friendly technology in comparison with the methods used by many other suppliers, which use SF6 as insulation gas.
OVH Energy Rewards Distributors for Outstanding Performance
By Adedapo Adesanya
Leading supplier and distributor of refined petroleum products, OVH Energy Marketing, has rewarded its top-performing lubricant distributors for their outstanding performance at a presentation ceremony held in Lagos.
During the presentation ceremony which happened at Aspamda Market, two qualified distributors who each sold over 1 million litres of lubricants were recognized in line with the management’s commitment to award deserving distributors.
Chucorl Nigeria Limited and Ade De Young Auto Limited, who met and exceeded the set target in the distribution of OLEUM lubricants, were awarded OLEUM branded trucks at the ceremony.
Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer, OVH Energy Marketing, Huub Stokman posited that the ceremony was organized to reward top-performing distributors as well as inspire others through their exemplary feats.
“Our distinctive progress as the leading downstream oil and gas company is built on the commendable dedication and support of our partners as well as the contributions of our staff. I applaud the awardees and other OLEUM distributors for their diligence and resourcefulness in making sure that the OLEUM range of lubricants remains a market leader,” he said.
“Oleum is a product made in Nigeria, by Nigerians, for Nigerians. Our dream is to formulate the best lubricant available in the Nigerian market at a very affordable price. The hard work of our partners continues to contribute immensely to the growth of the organization and for that we are thankful,” he continued.
Commenting at the presentation ceremony, Mr Lateef Adeleke, owner Ade De Young Auto Ltd., an awardee said “I appreciate the company for this initiative to reward distributors with branded trucks. Rewarding deserving distributors with the branded trucks is a thoughtful initiative from OVH Energy Marketing.”
On his part, Mr Oliver Jacob, CEO Chucorl Oil and Gas Limited said “This acknowledgement from OVH Energy Marketing is indeed an incentive to do even more. The trucks will be valuable in strengthening our supply chain and meeting our increasing consumer demand.”
In recent years, OVH Energy Marketing has embarked on diverse empowerment initiatives such as the OLEUM Academy and the Mechanic Oleum Reseller Enterprise Initiative.
OLEUM academy has impacted over 5,000 individuals nationwide through the provision of automotive mechatronics, lubrication, and entrepreneurship training.
The Mechanic Oleum Reseller Enterprise Initiative is an avenue for auto-technicians to boost their income through the sales of lubricants in their workshop.
Capital Market Can Attract Funds to Solve Nigeria’s Infrastructure Deficiency—Yuguda
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Lamido Yuguda, has again emphasised that the current infrastructure deficiency in Nigeria can be solved with the help of the capital market.
While addressing the new executives of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) in Abuja over the weekend, he said all that was needed was for the government to partner with the private sector to bridge the infrastructure gap by approaching the capital market for funding.
“We have a huge infrastructural deficit in the country like insufficient power, lack of good roads among others. We want our country to have good infrastructure and I know this is possible with the help of the capital market and other stakeholders.
“It requires adequate planning and financing and we can achieve it as a nation. The capital market through the private sector can fund road construction while the government focuses on other issues,” the SEC DG said, appealing to the relevant stakeholders to cooperate with the agency to achieve this goal.
He also said for the capital market to attain full potential, all stakeholders need to ensure they carry out their functions with integrity and fairness in a bid to restore investor confidence.
Mr Yuguda acknowledged CIS as a key partner in the commission’s regulation of the market, assuring that the SEC would continue to provide the needed support.
“On behalf of the Board and staff. We will give you all possible co-operation you desire to make your job easy. We are here to support this market and make it the market we all desire,” he said.
The SEC boss stated that derivatives trading has commenced for people who want to manage their risk, adding that the SEC is working to increase the literacy of Nigerians so they can take better decisions.
“The future for this country is bright and we have the young population to push it. We can have a much better standard of living than we have now and we hope you will continue to give a lot to the market.
“We are committed to any initiative that will further spur the growth of the capital market. We also have a review of the ISA bill pending at the National Assembly and that bill has a lot that will revitalize this market,” he added.
In his remarks, the President of CIS, Mr Oluwole Adeosun, commended the SEC for the relationship that exists between the Commission and the Institute and thanked the Management for always supporting the organisation.
“Thank you always because you have embraced the institute and made it clear that you desire a very harmonious relationship and we are happy about it.
“You have shown this in your actions since you came into office and we appreciate you for all your efforts, we pray that investors benefit greatly from their investments in the capital market. Thank you for all your support to the CIS Bill,” he said.
The former President of CIS, Mr Olatunde Amolegbe, also thanked the DG for the efforts the management has been making to support the CIS, adding that the institute has been able to function effectively due to the support of the SEC.
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