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OPINION: Let Kenyans Enjoy Their Kenya



By Lasisi Olagunju

Hugh Gaitskell became Britain’s Minister of Fuel and Power on October 7, 1947. Soon after taking that office, because there was an energy crisis, the minister told his countrymen and women to save fuel by reducing the number of baths they took. Gaitskell said: “personally, I have never had a great many baths myself, and I can assure those who are in the habit of having a great many that it does not make a great difference to their health if they have less.”

Winston Churchill, who had by then become the opposition leader, heard him and said no wonder the government smelt so badly. He replied Gaitskell on 28 October, 1947: “When ministers of the Crown speak like this on behalf of His Majesty’s government, the Prime Minister and his friends have no need to wonder why they are getting increasingly into bad odour.”


Nigeria is an unwashed country. It stinks. It needs deliverance but won’t get it. The fire we have on our mountain is uncontrollable and unquenchable. At least, it is not the type you kill with thunder claps of anger. Some people demolished their own Wall of Jericho with noise. In case you believe that story and think you can replicate it here, you are wrong. What Kenyans did on their streets and achieved in one day last week, you can not have here. We have enough shock-absorbers and fissions to take all shocks and frustrate all enemies of frustration.

You’ve lately been reading of unbelievable in-your-face sad acts of our democratic government. You’ve heard rumours of expenditures that you would pray were not true. You’ve been watching circus shows on a new minimum wage for public and private sector workers.

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You watched the Kenyan parliament with its President William Ruto thoroughly whipped by their angry children. You wonder why our own king and his lawmakers are not as worried about all this as they are concerned about the purchase of new presidential jets. You’ve also been hearing sermons calling for more sacrifices from you, the people. You’ve wondered why it must be you who must always tighten your belt while the pilot eats to explosion.


You are hearing rumours of four budgets in one country by one government in one year. The government wants to operate, in 2024, the 2023 main and the 2023 supplementary budgets plus the 2024 budget while preparing another supplementary budget. You don’t understand? The government wants to eat yesterday’s pounded yam with today’s in addition to a supplementary one in preparation. It won’t matter that some projects and their votes are duplicated in the various budgets. They must appear in all the budgets because they are tagged ongoing. Money here (2024), funding there (2023) make the smart wealthier.

Why are people quiet? What should they say and what will their talking amount to? Felix Adler (1851-1933) was a German-American professor of political and social ethics. In an address to the Society for Ethical Culture of New York on Sunday, 6 February, 1898, Adler spoke on what he called “the wisdom of mute lips”. In the speech entitled ‘The Moral Value of Silence’, he counseled that “reticence should be observed when the likelihood is wanting that what is said will have its due effect.” Those of us who write the ‘rubbish’ we write daily or weekly know that no one who should care really cares. We know that regime-backers’ passion for power or belly won’t let them accept the truth just as the regime won’t. But we also know that truth, even in silence, has its own unique way of asserting its supremacy no matter how long the night lasts.

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So, let Kenyans of last week enjoy their Kenya of today. It is not our challenge. Our street is silent and withdrawn because it cannot believe that today has truly manifested itself in worse details than the horrible past. People who should be afraid of the people’s silence are not. They are happy that those who suffer suffer their deprivations in the quietude of their holes. You remember that city, Ègbin (the filthy) with its peculiar inhabitants, in D.O. Fagunwa’s Ogboju Ode ninu Igbo Irunmole. We can locate it in today’s Nigeria. The government has made itself smell so badly that no one wants to contest the soup pot with it. Its operatives can have everything – and they enjoy having everything. The filth and the ugliness of their character have won for them permanent residency in our vaults. It didn’t start today.


You must have come across an old August 11, 1956 newspaper story with the headline ‘Nigerian MPs’ pay.’ The story reads: “Chief (S.L.) Akintola, the official leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives, described as a scandalous waste of public money a government motion providing for advances of £800 to each member of the House, except Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries, to enable them to buy cars. The motion also provides for a consolidated travelling allowance of £140 a year for each member. The present salary of a member is £800 a year. Denouncing these measures, Chief Akintola said that the financial benefits accruing to members were unduly generous for their part-time service, compared with the whole-time members of the British House of Commons who were paid only £1,000 a year. He said many members had earned less than £300 a year before they became members of the House of Representatives.”

You see that? In 1956 (four years before independence) full-time British lawmakers were paid £1,000 a year. During that same period, part-time Nigerian lawmakers were paid £800 a year. Chief Akintola was lucky. If he says of our Senators or Reps today what he said in 1956, he would be suspended indefinitely from his legislative duties.

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Wise people always know that anything that can fester will eventually get rotten. And, it actually got worse for Nigeria immediately after independence. The second republic perfected whatever heist was inadequately staged in the first republic. Dafe Otobo, Professor of Industrial Relations, in his ‘The Political Clash in the Aftermath of the 1981 Nigerian General Strike’ (1982), tells the story: “Typically, the more disadvantaged in society are requested to make sacrifices in difficult times: the legislators and bureaucrats jettisoned all previous (minimum wage) agreements in the name of ‘austerity measures’ after they themselves had stoutly opposed a cut in their pay and allowances! In fact the federal government’s 1981 approved estimates have confirmed that legislators collected a total of 15.1 million naira as remuneration and allowances for their aides for the year; 450 members of the House of Representatives received 13,673,700 naira or 30,386 each; and the 95 senators collected 1,462,240 or 15,392 each. Added to these sums were ‘constituency allowances’ which amounted to eight million naira (18,652 for each senator as against 13,840 for each representative), and then a vaguely titled ‘consolidated allowance’ which enabled each senator to collect another 5,000 naira and 3,000 for each representative. All this amounted to the tidy sum of 24,925,000 naira, apart from the 1.2 million naira spent by all the legislators on foreign travels when only N656,250 was actually approved for the purpose.” Note that one dollar officially exchanged for 61 kobo in 1981.


“What cannot be cured must be endured” is a phrase in Robert Burton’s 1621 book, ‘The Anatomy of Melancholy’. Burton says Melancholy is that feeling which “goes and comes upon every small occasion of sorrow, need, sickness, trouble, fear, grief, passion, or perturbation of the mind, any manner of care, discontent, or thought, which causes anguish, dullness, heaviness and vexation of spirit…” As negative as its character is, Burton says the melancholy of the world he lived had “grown to a habit” and so “will hardly be removed.” I recommend continued endurance to our millennials and their Gen Z cousins. They should read our history and calm down. Nigeria’s bald-headed vulture has been in the rains since it was created. They should stop dreaming about its salvation. The rain won’t stop.

The author, Dr. Lasisi Olagunju is the Saturday Editor of Nigerian Tribune, and a columnist in the same newspaper. This article was first published by the paper (Nigerian Tribune). It is published here with his permission.



Japa: 4 Ways Nigerians Can Migrate, Get Jobs In Canada



As Nigeria continues to experience economic challenges, an increasing number of its citizens are exploring opportunities to migrate to Canada.

Canada, known for its welcoming immigration policies and robust job market, has become a top destination for Nigerians seeking a better life. Canada’s comprehensive immigration programs and strategies for job seekers make it an attractive option for those looking to start anew.

Canada’s plan to invite half a million newcomers by 2025, coupled with its need for skilled workers, opens various pathways for Nigerians.


From the Express Entry system to family sponsorships, these avenues provide hopeful migrants with multiple options to settle and work in Canada.

Here are five key ways Nigerians can migrate and secure employment in Canada:

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Express Entry

The Express Entry system is Canada’s fastest and most popular immigration program, enabling candidates to receive permanent residence status in as little as six months. By 2025, Canada plans to invite half a million newcomers, with a significant portion coming through one of the three streams of Express Entry. This system evaluates candidates based on factors like age, education, work experience, and language proficiency.


Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

Throughout the pandemic, Canada’s provinces continued to nominate overseas workers for permanent residence. By 2025, Canada aims to welcome 117,500 new immigrants through PNPs. Each of Canada’s ten provinces and three territories offers unique nominee programs with specific eligibility criteria. Some PNPs require a connection to the province, while others invite candidates based solely on their ability to meet the province’s labor market needs.

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Business Immigration

For those with experience in managing or owning a business, federal and provincial business immigration programs offer a pathway to reside and work in Canada. These programs are designed for individuals planning to be self-employed or start a business in Canada. Business immigration typically requires a significant investment, with specific amounts varying by program and region.


Family sponsorship is often the easiest route for those with a qualifying family member who is a Canadian permanent resident or citizen. Canada plans to welcome 105,000 new permanent residents through family sponsorship programs this year. The cost of sponsoring a relative is around CAD 1,135, with additional fees for residents of Quebec. Processing times vary, with spousal sponsorship typically taking about 12 months.


How to get jobs in Canada

Securing a job in Canada can be facilitated through several strategies:

Networking with Experts

Engage with professionals in your field through events and networking opportunities to learn about job openings.


Continuous Learning

Stay updated with the latest trends and roles in your field by reading articles, watching videos, and gaining new knowledge.

Building Professional Relationships

Attend job fairs, industry meetups, and online groups to connect with potential employers.



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Top 10 Most Dangerous Countries In The World 2024



The world’s most dangerous countries to visit in 2024 have been unveiled in a recent report by the Institute for Economics and Peace.

The report ranks 163 independent states and territories based on their level of peacefulness, covering 99.7% of the world’s population.

It also noted that there are currently 56 active conflicts, marking the highest number since the end of the Second World War, with fewer conflicts being resolved either militarily or through peace agreements.


Using the Global Peace Index (GPI), here are the top 10 most dangerous countries in the world in 2024.


With a 2024 Global Peace Index (GPI) score of 3.397, Yemen remains one of the world’s most hazardous nations, with its catastrophic civil conflict since 2015 causing immense suffering and turmoil.

Yemen is grappling with widespread famine, disease, and infrastructure collapse amid a prolonged state of war. What began as an internal conflict has escalated due to the involvement of neighboring countries, each backing different factions, prolonging and intensifying the destructive nature of the conflict.


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Sudan is widely regarded as one of the world’s most dangerous countries, influenced by a variety of factors that severely affect its safety and stability.

Sudan’s instability stems primarily from the ongoing conflict in Darfur, alongside unrest in South Kordofan and Blue Nile districts. In 2024, these conflicts resulted in over 3,000 deaths and displaced nearly 2 million people, according to UN estimates. The humanitarian crisis is exacerbated by frequent attacks on civilians by government forces, opposition groups, and militias.


Also, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), about 14 million people need humanitarian aid.

South Sudan

South Sudan, with a 2024 Global Peace Index (GPI) score of 3.224, continues to rank among the world’s most dangerous nations due to ongoing civil conflict, ethnic violence, and political instability since gaining independence in 2011.



Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous countries in the world, with a Global Peace Index (GPI) score of 3.448. The country has been experiencing ongoing violence for more than 40 years, making it a center of international concern.

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Decades of conflict have shaped Afghanistan into one of the most dangerous countries. The Taliban’s seizure of power in August 2021 has intensified instability, with heightened risks of terrorism, kidnappings, and widespread violence.



Ukraine has experienced the most significant decline in safety and stability, not only within its region but globally as well. This notable deterioration can be primarily attributed to the Russian invasion that began in February 2022.

By 2024, the conflict in Ukraine has claimed over 150,000 lives, including soldiers and civilians. More than 8 million Ukrainians have fled to neighboring countries, with an additional 7 million internally displaced, causing widespread destruction of cities and critical infrastructure like homes, schools, and hospitals.

Democratic Republic of Congo

The conflict in Congo has spanned more than four and a half years, has taken more lives than any other since World War II, and is the deadliest documented conflict in African history, according to the International Rescue Committee.



In 2024, Russia, with a Global Peace Index (GPI) score of 3.249, ranks among the world’s most hazardous nations, exacerbated by heightened geopolitical tensions stemming from the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

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Russia is grappling with internal challenges including organized crime and corruption, which undermine law and order, alongside escalating environmental concerns such as industrial accidents and pollution, posing significant health risks to the population.




Syria’s civil war, beginning in 2011, has resulted in a profoundly tragic and complex situation. The conflict has ravaged infrastructure, including buildings, roads, hospitals, and schools, severely impacting the daily lives of those remaining in Syria.

The humanitarian situation in Syria is dire, with over 13 million Syrians, including 6.6 million internally displaced, requiring humanitarian assistance, according to the UN.


More than half of the population faces food insecurity, and the healthcare system is in disarray, with many hospitals either destroyed or operating at minimal capacity.


The conflict between Israel and Hamas has escalated regional risks for Western travelers and exacerbated unrest-related dangers.



Mali has been in the grip of armed conflict since January 2012, when Tuareg rebels seized control of northern territory and subsequently declared the independent nation of Azawad by April of that year.

The situation escalated further with a military coup in March of 2012, intensifying the turmoil in the region.

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Nigeria’s Public Officials Received ₦721bn Bribe In 2023 – UN, NBS



A newly released report by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), has said Nigerian public officials received nothing less than ₦721bn as bribes in 2023.

The result was based on a survey conducted with the UNODC.

According to the report “Corruption in Nigeria: Patterns and Trends”, published by the NBS on Thursday, the ₦721bn paid in bribes amounted to about 0.35 per cent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).


According to the survey, the average cash bribe was ₦8,284, an increase from an average of ₦5,754 in 2019.

“According to the 2023 survey, the average cash bribe paid was 8,284 Nigerian Naira. While the nominal average cash bribe size increased since 2019 (from NGN 5,754), this does not account for inflation. The inflation-adjusted average cash bribe in 2023 was 29 per cent smaller than in 2019 in terms of what could be bought with the money.

“Overall, it is estimated that a total of roughly NGN 721 billion (US$1.26 billion) was paid in cash bribes to public officials in Nigeria in 2023, corresponding to 0.35 per cent of the entire Gross Domestic Product of Nigeria,” the report read in part.

The report indicates that 56 per cent of Nigerians interacted with a public official in 2023, down from 63 per cent in 2019.


Despite this reduction, bribery remains widespread, with an average of 5.1 bribes paid per bribe payer, totalling approximately 87 million bribes nationwide. This is a decrease from the 117 million bribes estimated in 2019.

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On payment mode, the report noted that over 95 per cent of bribes were paid in monetary form (cash or money transfer) in 2023.

It said public officials were more likely to demand bribes while private sector actors included doctors in private hospitals, which increased from 6 per cent in 2019 to 14 per cent in 2023.


Despite this rise, bribery in the public sector remains about twice as high, with public sector contact rates also being twice as high as those in the private sector.

In 2023, 27 per cent of Nigerians who interacted with a public official paid a bribe, a slight decrease from 29 per cent in 2019. Including instances where bribes were requested but refused, over one-third of interactions between citizens and public officials involved bribery.

Similarly, the report shows a growing trend of Nigerians refusing to pay bribes. In 2023, 70 per cent of those asked to pay a bribe refused at least once, with the highest refusal rates in the North-West zone at 76 per cent. All regions recorded refusal rates above 60 per cent. This indicates that Nigerians are increasingly standing against corruption.

According to the report, bribery is becoming less accepted in Nigeria. The percentage of citizens who view bribery requests as acceptable to expedite administrative procedures decreased from 29 per cent in 2019 to 23 per cent in 2023.


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Fewer citizens reported suffering negative consequences after refusing bribe requests in 2023 compared to 2019. This suggests a growing empowerment among Nigerians to confront corrupt officials without fear of repercussions.

In 2023, 21 per cent of bribe refusers indicated they refused because they had other options. Normative concerns (42 per cent) and cost of living pressures (23 per cent) also played significant roles in their refusal to pay bribes.

Furthermore, not less than 60 per cent of public sector workers were hired due to nepotism, bribery or both between 2020 and 2023.


The report noted that six out of 10 successful candidates admitted to using either nepotism, bribery, or both to improve their chances of being recruited.

Specifically, 27 per cent of these candidates admitted to using only bribery, 13 per cent to only nepotism, and 19 per cent to both bribery and nepotism. On the other hand, 40 per cent of the candidates claimed to have secured their positions without resorting to any such means, based on data collected between November 2020 and October 2023.

The report read, “The selection process used to recruit public officials plays a crucial role in shaping the culture of integrity that should drive the civil service as well as ensure that recruits have the highest standards of professionalism and merit.”

However, the 2023 survey findings indicate that the public sector recruitment process requires closer monitoring, as almost half (46 per cent) of people who secured a job in the public sector in the last three years before the survey admitted that they paid a bribe to facilitate their recruitment – about 1.5 times the share found in the 2019 survey (31 per cent).



“The 2023 survey also found evidence that a considerable number of people recruited into the public sector secured their posts with the help of a friend or relative, many in addition to paying a bribe: of all successful applicants in the last three years before the 2023 survey, 32 per cent were helped by friends or relatives. Overall, in the three years before the 2023 survey, around 60 per cent of public sector applicants in Nigeria were hired as a result of nepotism, bribery or both – about 1.2 times the share found in the 2019 survey.”


The report also noted that the use of bribery is notably lower when the recruitment process includes formal assessments.

Specifically, 51 per cent of candidates were not formally assessed, and of these, a significant 53 per cent admitted to using bribery or nepotism to secure their positions.

Conversely, among the 49 per cent of candidates who underwent a written test or oral interview, the use of unethical means such as bribery or nepotism dropped to 41 per cent.

The report read: “The 2023 survey data show that approximately half (49 per cent) of those who secured a position in the public sector in the three years before the survey passed a written test and/or oral interview during the recruitment selection process. Importantly, the data suggest that the means of selection had a role in facilitating or preventing the use of illegal practices during recruitment. Among those who underwent an assessment procedure (written test / oral interview), 41 per cent made use of bribery, while the share was as much as 53 per cent among those who were not formally assessed.”


It was also disclosed that bribery is more common in rural areas, with rural residents paying an average of 5.8 bribes compared to 4.5 bribes in urban areas.

It was also disclosed that bribery is more common in rural areas, with rural residents paying an average of 5.8 bribes compared to 4.5 bribes in urban areas.

The report stated that corruption was ranked fourth among the most important problems affecting the country in 2023, after the cost of living, insecurity and unemployment.

It added, “This suggests relatively stable and high levels of concerns about corruption over time and compared to other concerns such as education or housing.


“Nigerians confidence in the government’s anti-corruption effort has been declining over time and across regions. While in 2019, more than half of all citizens thought that the government was effective in fighting corruption, in 2023, the share declined to lessons than a third of all citizens. The downward trend in the citizen’s confidence is observable across the entire country, with all six zones recording reductions of more than 10 percentage points between 2019 and 2023 in terms of the share of citizens who thought the government was effective in fighting corruption.”

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