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OPINION: Is This The Renewed Hope Nigerians Subscribed To?

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By Richard Asoge

In anticipation to get the economy fixed for growth and development after some years of cankerworm, corruption and leakages, Nigerians came out putting aside propaganda on Saturday, February 25th, 2023 and voted relatively for the presidential candidate of All Progressive Party (APC), Bola Tinubu. The support he got from the people was not unconnected to the way he had built bridges among people of different culture, religion and ethnic groups, how he remodel Lagos during his tenure as governor between 1999 and 2007 and most importantly, how his political wizardry will turn the fortune of the country for good if eventually elected president.

The declaration of ‘subsidy is gone’ in the inaugural speech on May 29th, 2023 by President Bola Tinubu may be a landmark decision considering what had happened in the past in the oil sector but the policy effect thereafter was weighty. Nobody ever thought it can go so deep and far this way before the desired results will be achieved or that the policy effect will be evaluated after some weeks of implementation to consider initiating another policy to absorb, to some extent, the negative effect of the sudden and total subsidy removal on petrol but this was not really so.

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While grappling with the effect of the fuel subsidy removal, within two weeks, unification of exchange rate took its stand. Of course, no right-thinking Nigerian having the knowledge of how very few but connected ones were eaten fat from the common patrimony of the nation which persistently made the foreign reserve to nosedive would oppose the unification of exchange rate. The twin effects of the fuel subsidy removal and exchange rate unification with insecurity without another policy measure within three or six months to crowd-out these effects brought us to this ugly situation we find ourself today.

MORE FROM THE AUTHOR: Inflation: Where Are We Going From Here? [OPINION]

We have never had it so high and rapid as far as inflation is concerned in the last 28years. Going by what National Bureau of Statistics published for May 2024 (year on year basis), inflation is 33.95 percent. Breaking it down further into components, food was the most dreaded among them with 40.66 percent on a year on year basis. Agricultural produce is fast declining as a result of insecurity in the hinterland and tropical forests. To make things worse, the current generation of youth do not see faming as a vocation worthy of practicing but spending productive hours on social media.

There is a strong connection between diet and illness. The more nutritious your food is, the higher the immune system to resist any sickness. The current outbreak of cholera in most of the states is traceable to consumption of junks. Average income of individual is far below what can keep life together. Naira has lost its purchasing power and has led many to consume half rotten if not totally rotten foods. Hunger reflects on the faces of individual with no end in sight. An hungry man is an angry man, goes an African proverb. Poverty is getting wider. Only God knows the current position Nigeria occupies among hunger nations. In 2023 it ranked 109 of the 125 selected countries with 28.3percent in the hunger index.

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One of the things highlighted to bring relieve to commuters was conversion of vehicles to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) type. How many vehicles have been successfully converted to CNG? and what is the ratio to the population of vehicles? One year has gone now with no significant success in the conversion ratio to the 2027 target.

MORE FROM THE AUTHOR: 2024 Budget: What Average Nigerian Wants?

Before oil dominated the structure of Nigeria economy, internal factors determined prices of goods and services and not external factors like exchange rate. Recently, crypto currency and related activities joined the external factors. The more an economy is linked to foreign transaction for survival, the higher the risk politically, socially and economically. Believing and placing our local goods and services above foreign ones is a sure cure.

To fight hunger and bring down the foods’ prices, real action of all is needed. Ministry of Agriculture or Departments related to agriculture across the tiers of government must practice agriculture in full scale. Local government, been the closest to the people, must practice farming as their leading business ventures. For those that may not have land to practice, it is not bad to have memorandum of understanding with the neighboring local government or state. In year 2016, Lagos State followed that path during the tenure of Akinwumi Ambode as governor by having an arrangement with Kebbi State under the leadership of Atiku Bagudu in the production of rice branded as ‘Lake Rice’. Other states or entity can copy such model and fine tune it if needed and bring something good out of it. No state is idle without having comparative advantage in one area over others. Continuity of policy is our greatest enemy. Lake Rice production only lasted for six years and nothing of such is heard thereafter.

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Now that the revenue of various tiers of government has substantially increased, it shouldn’t be an avenue for political office holders to increase their entitlements at the expense of majority whose activities generated the revenue but opportunity to close deficit gaps of basic infrastructure. This takes me to the new minimum wage being negotiated between Federal Government and Nigeria Labour Congress with other concerned parties. N62,000 been offered as minimum wage by Federal Government or N100,000 been canvassed for by many analysts shouldn’t be the primary concern of most Nigerians but the sustainability and the value of every naira in the market place. if N100,000 or more is sealed and gazette today as new minimum wage but only to realize after two months that $1 goes for N4,000 and every other price of local items assumes exponential rise including items that do not have any foreign input, will it make economic sense? Definitely, none. Another negotiation may not come up until five years. This is why price stability should be a serious concern.

Hope of average Nigerian is renewed when there is food on the table and price stability is ensured.

Richard Asoge
08081492614
chards001@gmail.com

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UAE Resumes Visa Issuance To Nigerians

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The Federal Government and the government of the United Arab Emirates, UAE, have signed an agreement for the resumption of visa issuance to travellers with Nigerian passports wishing to travel to the Middle Eastern country.

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, who disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday, said the agreement took immediate effect.

He said, “You are aware that Nigeria has been discussing with the United Arab Emirates on the issue of visas for Nigerian passport holders going to the United Arab Emirates.

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READ ALSO: Japa: 7 Common Reasons Application For Canada Student Visa Gets Rejected

“Today, an agreement has been reached on that, and effective from today 15th July, Nigerian passport holders are able to obtain visa to go to the United Arab Emirates.

“Details of that will be provided to you latter today when we put out a statement.

“But I can tell you that the agreement has been reached, and effective from today, Nigerian passport holders intending to travel to the UAE are able to do so.”

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Elon Musk,World Leaders, Celebrities, Others React To failed Ass@sination Attempt On Trump

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World leaders, celebrities and the global online community have expressed disgust at the attempted assassination of former US president Donald Trump while he was holding a rally on Saturday, July 13.

Butler County district attorney Richard Goldinger said in a phone interview that the suspected gunman was dead and at least one attendee was killed after gunshots rang through the crowd as former President Donald Trump spoke at a rally Saturday in Butler, Pennsylvania.

House Speaker Mike Johnson was the first Republican to put out a statement in the moments after the party’s presumptive presidential nominee was rushed off the stage with blood streaming from his ear.

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“Praying for President Trump,” Johnson simply wrote on X.

Former US President George W. Bush says he is “grateful” that former President Donald Trump is safe.

Laura and I are grateful that President Trump is safe following the cowardly attack on his life. And we commend the men and women of the Secret Service for their speedy response,” Bush said in his statement.

US president and Trump’s opponent in the coming election, Joe Biden, wished Trump quick recovery.

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“I have been briefed on the shooting at Donald Trump’s rally in Pennsylvania,” Biden wrote. “I’m grateful to hear that he’s safe and doing well.”

Biden added: “I’m praying for him and his family and for all those who were at the rally, as we await further information. Jill and I are grateful to the Secret Service for getting him to safety. There’s no place for this kind of violence in America. We must unite as one nation to condemn it.”

Former President Barack Obama said in a statement that “There is absolutely no place for political violence in our democracy.”

He added that while details were still scarce, “we should all be relieved that former President Trump wasn’t seriously hurt, and use this moment to recommit ourselves to civility and respect in our politics.”

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“As one whose family has been the victim of political violence, I know firsthand that political violence of any kind has no place in our society,” former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

“I thank God that former President Trump is safe. As we learn more details about this horrifying incident, let us pray that all those in attendance at the former President’s rally today are unharmed.” she added

House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries said on the social platform X that his thoughts and prayers are with former President Trump. “I am thankful for the decisive law enforcement response,” he said. “America is a democracy. Political violence of any kind is never acceptable.”

North Dakota Sen. Doug Burgum, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Sen. JD Vance, the three men on Trump’s shortlist for vice president, all quickly sent out statements expressing concern for the former president.

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Rubio shared an image taken as Trump was escorted off stage with his fist in the air and a streak of blood on his face along with the words, “God protected President Trump.”

“I am horrified by what happened at the Trump rally in Pennsylvania and relieved that former President Trump is safe. Political violence has no place in our country,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer in a statement.

Billionaire Tesla CEO, Elon Musk tweeted that his vote will be going to Trump in the coming election .

 

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Mut!lated Bodies Of Women Discovered At Abandoned Quarry In Kenya

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Six severely mut!lated bodies of women wrapped in polythene bags have been found at an abandoned quarry used as a dumpsite in Kware near Mukuru kwa Njenga in Nairobi, Kenya.

The grim discovery made on Friday morning, July 12, 2024 has sent shockwaves through Mukuru kwa Njenga slums and beyond.

According to an eyewitness who spoke to Citizen Digital, the bodies had visible injuries and had been tied with ropes.

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The eyewitness called on the government to investigate the killings to determine what happened to the women who are yet to be positively identified

“A woman came and told me that she dreamt of the whereabouts of her missing sister and wanted us to go and retrieve her body. We doubted her at first and as we approached the scene, spotted a wrapped polythene bag,” said the eyewitness.

READ ALSO:Seven Sentenced To Life Imprisonment In S’Africa For B*rning Two Sisters To D@ath Over Alleged Witchcraft

Upon examining the area, we found several bodies wrapped in the polythene bags with some being cut into pieces and tied with ropes. If they lived nearby, we would have heard of the reports which means that these bodies were transferred to this location. We want the government to investigate this matter.”

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Police officers arrived and cordoned off the area.

The bodies were transferred to City Mortuary as the search gets underway to positively identify them.

Law Society of Kenya President Faith Odhiambo called for police to investigate the matter to establish what transpired.

We need investigations to be done! Unacceptable,” she said.

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The Directorate of Criminal Investigations in a statement, confirmed that six bodies have been retrieved from the abandoned quarry.

READ ALSO: Heated Rhetoric As Republicans Blame Biden For Trump Shooting

The DCI said that all six bodies were females and had been killed in the same mode.

The Director of Criminal Investigations Mohamed Amin, said the bodies were severely mutilated and were in various stages of decomposition

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“Earlier today at approximately 1100hrs, the Embakasi Division Police and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) responded to an urgent call from the public in the Villa area of Mukuru kwa Njenga,” Amin said.

“The alarm was raised following the discovery of six severely mutilated bodies, all female, in various stages of decomposition.”

READ ALSO: Trump Releases Statement After His Assassination Attempt

He said the bodies were wrapped in nylon papers and reinforced with nylon ropes.

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The discovery was made at an abandoned quarry, currently filled with water and used as a dump site,”

Amin added that the Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) personnel from Embakasi quickly arrived at the scene, retrieving the bodies and documenting the area.

The bodies have been transported to the Nairobi Funeral Home (City Mortuary) to await postmortem.

“Homicide detectives and officers from the Forensics Division of the DCI are currently analysing samples to identify the bodies,” he added.

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The area has been cordoned off and designated as a crime scene as the investigation continues.

Amin called on Kenyans to cooperate with the authorities as investigations continue as probe continues.

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