Would you pray with me?

Thank God it is Friday we say as we welcome the weekend.  This weekend is so eventful for so many in the world.

I am humbly asking not so many, just a few that can join me pray tomorrow.  You only need to say a pray and that is enough.

For what you may ask? 

1. People in Kogi State Nigeria will be electing a Governor this saturday, 21st of November, 2015.  

a. Pray with me that Peace will reign

b. The Security Agents will be at their best in proactively guarding the electorate and citizenry.

c. The Electoral Officers, having the first test for the new Team, that their performance will be above average (free and fair).

d. That people who will want to start trouble, should have the trouble returned to the senders.

5. Above all that the right/best person will emerge.

2. Pray for places having challenges, like Syria, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, France and the North Eastern region of Nigeria.

3. Pray for you and me praying, that God will meet us at the points of our needs.

Thank you for being a part of seeing the world get better through Divine Intervention.

with my Best Regards, Happy Weekend.

Kogi State Elections–The need for the right persons to win.

Kogi State, the Confluence state is one of the most important states in Nigeria blessed with the true heart of the Country.  Psychics, metaphysis and the mystics can quote me wrong, this is the actual Power State and not Niger.  This is a place that held the powerful river Benue and tied a knot of marriage with the very rich dynamic and very long river Niger, making them one and emptying their wealth into the Atlantic Ocean.   The name Nigeria, the natural divide of the Nation into three regions can be attributed to the rivers routes. No wonder the Colonials saw Lokoja as a fit Capital for the country.  In our primary school history names like Mango Park, Richard Lander,Lord Lugard the Clappertons are few of the names you hear associated with Lokoja, Kainji and a place New Bussa.

This is a state that mingles with the Igbos, Hausas and the Yorubas.  That is if you want to discount the other tribes, like the Edo/Deltans, The Nupes, The Gbagyis, the Egedes, Idomas, Tivs and the Ogoris.  Kogi State is so cosmopolitan that you will find all the cultures from time amalgamated at the Lokoja Confluence.  

For me, it became a home away from home, on a night we spent at an Okene Police Station avoiding arm robbers on the Okene – Auchi road, while travelling to University of Port Harcourt for a NIFES (Nigerian Fellowship of Evangelical Students) in 1983. Till date this state is sleepless with commuters traversing the North, South, East and West of the Country.

On resources, this is a state that could be the Industrial Capital of Africa, if the Steel Industry is steered rightly. With Cement, Agriculture and Fisheries, kogi can compete with any viable state.  With the dredging of the Niger to allow for an Inland Water port, Lagos might see some decongestion from importers/exporters.

It was the Ibrahim’s Administration I advised through Alh Habu, his son on the making Lokoja a Dubai in Nigeria, how? 

1. Simply create a big Industrial / Commercial layout off the Major Highway.

2 Remove / reduce taxes (give incentives).

3. Build the needed infrastructures to enable manufacturers / Importers, from Aba, Onitsha, Nnewi, Lagos, Ota, Ibadan to warehouse their products in Lokoja.

4. Do the same for Agricultural products from Kano, Sokoto, Maiduguri, Katsina, Kaduna, Bauchi. Plateau, Jigawa, Adamawa and Niger.

5. Get luxurious and Long distance transporters to Night stop in Lokoja with incentives.

6. Promote the Free Commercial / Trade Zone to business concerns in Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Benin Republic, Ghana, Togo, Central African Republic and Sudan.

7. Energise the Chambers of Commerce to carry on. 

8. Go and rest. 

That was the cursory proposal. I believe if that had been done, Northern business travellers will get goods cheaper in Lokoja, than Onitsha & Lagos at a much shorter time and so will southern travellers, instead of reaching Sokoto for Onions, it is at their doorstep and cheaper.  Lokoja is already a 24/7 town, business will now become so too.  Transport consumes so much of the traders profit, any means of reducing cost of transport will attract the worst cynic.

Nigeria is one country that is feeding so many countries in Africa through the informal channels and so marketing in far away Benin, Ghana, chad, Niger, Sudan et al is no waste.

Why am I drifting instead of speaking elections?  I will tell you.  The Tsunami or Hurricane called Buhari is not good for so many states and legislative seats, it brought in some people who have no reason whatsoever to be in leadership, as can be seen in their lack of vision.  They are still waiting for Buhari to cough from the centre, so they can catch cold, in this day of ‘business at the speed of thought’ (thanks to Bill Gate).  Kogi state electorate need to wise up and look between the candidates, then elect people they are sure have the interest of the state at heart and have the vision / capability to move the state forward.

This is not time for tribal, religious or party lines.  The best persons should be voted in.  What I pray for Kogi state is to see a state that can compete with Lagos in Internal Revenue Generation, a State where the potentials seen by the colonials (making it a capital) is exploited for Tourism and history.  A state where every state of the Federation will want to have a liaison office to cater for their persons and concerns.  A centre of Trade, Industrialization, Sports and Entertainment.  For once let us make the likes of the Attahs, Ado Ibrahims, Sunday Awoniyis, Adamu Attas et, al smile wherever they are that the labours of the heroes past are not in vain.  May God grant us a very Peaceful and Successful Elections.  May the Winners and Losers be humble / mindful of the fact that, it is not by their power or might; The Almighty, can raise or bring down whoever He wills and at whatever time.  Let us learn to give thanks to Him, whatever the outcome, because He knows what is best for the people.  In finality, Because some of us are praying, (we love our country), persons planning evil, should beware, the Nigeria’s change Mantra is divine, don’t be caught in the wrong.  God bless the Federal Republic.

Fixed Charge – Power Holding or NEPA?

The Power Holding Company of Nigeria or National Electric Power Authority has been in the news / front burner for such a very long time.  Now that we are having Ministers handling ministries that have Industrialization, Commerce, Power, Works, Finance under their purview it is hoped that better will the days ahead be.

For us the teaming Nigerian Consumers, it is time to join Ambode in his quest to have the citizenry become responsible and demand the leaders to also be.  When the electorate participates only in elections, wahala is the result that follows.  I stand with H.E. Governor Ambode and say lets us start participating actively in the the governance of our localities and nation at large.

A young new tenant dried up his savings to pay his rent in full, for a house in a quiet suburb of a state capital, only to discover that the credit on the prepaid meter was almost exhausted.  Knowing he stays less than 8 hours daily in the house, he decided to get at least some small credit, to keep him going before the end of the month.  On reaching the PHCN office he was returned his N1,000.00 and told he had a bill of over N22000.00 to settle before he can purchase any light credit.  His complaints of being a new tenants went on deaf ears.  The caretaker has collected his monies and like the motor park tout, is inaccessible.  As a new comer to a town, at that time, that had easy calm, he painfully looked for the monies and paid for light (though epileptic) to be sustained in the house.

Testimonies will differ, but pains are same.  Why should people pay for the inefficiencies of others?  Why should people pay for services not rendered to them?  Why should organizations be so immune to the heart cries and pains of the people they are suppose to serve and you cannot even take them to court? If the MTN Chief Executive were a Nigerian, he will not be told to resign because of the levy slammed on MTN by NCC, instead there will be massive sack / dismissal of workers.   Nigeria needs to start reflecting global best practices in all areas.

The service industry, charges for services, Yes they do, but not for un-rendered service.  I will hope/think both PHCN and NERC are working on ways forward.  My suggestion, very personal and humble, is that the Agencies concerned, should learn from the Tourism/Hospitality Industries.  Charges and Taxes are as you consume them.  A 5 – 10% service Charge on PHCN Consumers will go a long way to enable them get their charges, instead of a fixed charge.  So if I consume N5000 / month I pay 500 (that is if the charge is 10%), while someone that consumes N50000.00 (is charged N5000). If I do not use my light at all, then I pay nothing at all.

This I believe will be a good reason for PHCN to provide enough electricity for people to consume more and people will not feel bad paying for services rendered.  At the end of the day, the little consumer pays little and the bigger consumer pays more.

Like I said it is a humble personal suggestion.  On a lighter mood, I look forward to when PHCN will start replacing chargers, electronics and machineries, because their electricity damaged the consumers wares. 

Nigeria dey better.

A double Barrel Approach–Interior and Defence.

This is a very short one, it is actually a prayer for peace and security in our dear land.

General Dan Ali (rtd), is a one Gentle man that has traversed the crannies and echelon of the military.  He had very good mentors, like General Gado Nasko, who was a highly respected Officer in all the positions he held especially as Minister of Agric and later FCT.    The new Minister of Defence had all the potential of a rising Crown Prince.  I rejoice with him today as he moves into the highest defence office as Minister.

Gen. Danbazzau, an Academic Military General, I rate with respect like the Powel of Nigeria.  I saw this man, when all his close colleagues were made Military Administrators, and his name missed, we went to congratulate him in error (of then Col. Shuaib as Plateau MILAD).  He rejoiced with us and with high sense of Royal Humility and sense of responsibility accepted and extended our felicitations to the right person.   My prayers has never reduced for him.  He encouraged so many of us to continue reading, with his blessings.  As Chief of Army Staff, on an official visit to Bauchi, amidst the crowd and business of the day, recognised and spent time encouraging us to keep increasing our good works.   His coming into to harness the affairs of Nigeria’s home front, desires our prayers and full support.

Now that the pegs are round in holes that are round, from Sambissa forest to the tributaries of the Niger, militants should beware. The Nigerian Borders, Cattle rustlers, Kidnappers, Oil Bunkerers and Small Arms Dealers beware.

My Prayer, yes my Prayer is that – The Almighty Maker of the Heavens and the Earth, will give this nation peace in our time.  That Nigeria will become a no-come area for persons who have ills in their minds.  That from Maiduguri to Bakassi, Sokoto’s Gobir / Sabon Birni to the Badary, Seme and Owode axis, Smugglers of Arms, insurgencies, kidnappings and all forms of unrests will be sent back to the senders, whether inside or outside our borders.  That the Uniformed and Plain Clothes Security personnel, will be so elevated/motivated to receive respect at home like they do on foreign missions.  That their families, in service and even after, will stand tall and proud that their children, parent served the nation and they have what to show for it.  May our tired, retired, reserved forces and those resting in their graves never have cause again to regret their years in service, because of pension or retirement benefits.

In earnest I pray that the Defence Industries will come alive again and reduce the monies we spend importing and in fact start exporting to other nations.  That the Kaduna Air-beetle dream will grow to become Hercules and the Bauchi Defence Installations, will force the Bauchi Airport to become a defence and manufacturers export Zone or Inland Port.   That Defence Academy/University will increase to have Defence Research Institutes, where we can harness the minds and knowledge of our cream de la cream in the Military, Police, Security and Civil Services after their retirements, instead of allowing them to rot in villages / towns for lack of intellectual challenges or low intellectual usage.

For us we will continue in prayers for you and your officers for success, as we are only able to progress in the midst of Peace and Security.  God bless and Keep Nigeria One and Peaceful.

Bauchi–CEO Office Please oh.

We are grateful to the Almighty for the successful hosting of the Progressive Governors in Bauchi a week earlier.  It is a step in the right direction for especially tourism in Bauchi.  The feelings from the hospitality sector needs assuaging as some of us were dreaming and reading for this visit for months. 

The pre meeting arrangement got hotels, putting the usual staffing, purchases of both provisions and perishables, repairs, modifications and facelift of places to meet the minimum expectations of our Highly esteemed expected visitors.   The height of the expectancy was the telephone reservations from the Protocol section of Government House.  To our amazement, the first night was a capital NOSHOW, the second night, even with the assurances of keeping some rooms, ended up NOSHOW again.  At this time you will appreciate phones RNRs, as who will want to face an agree hotel?    That was not enough, two days after the departure of the Progressive Governors and the retinue of advance and post mortem parties, a staff of one of the state agencies, was very humane enough to come through a hotel’s door asking for monies to be paid their agency as their office is disturbing them on internal Revenue Generation.   Haba, Oga State CEO.  The business concerns that have faith in Bauchi, came to invest, reducing unemployment and yes generating revenue for the state, but they need some governmental support, push, encouragement or whatever term you might call it.

When ever a big name, whether Royalty, Government, Celebrity or Religious, is visiting any place, serious Tourism Agencies, utilise the opportunity and make it a tourism affair.  That leads to the increase generation of News, Business, Activities and the need for such to either return again or encourage others to come.  That we had hoped will be in bauchi with the meeting of the APC Progressive; surprising it did not even wink, with over 10 APC progressive Governors in Bauchi.  Hotels will tell you that, the town that was placed on a stand still during the wedding of the Atiku and Muazu’s children.

People wanted Rochas Okorocha who happens to be like a son of the North, visit an IDP camp, Yelwa or any Motherless home and pledge a Rochas Foundation school in Bauchi, even with the issue of his flight, we only heard  after his departure.  People will have wanted to engage El-Rufai on issues of championing the cause of the masses.  Some would have wanted to take count of the states in attendance and at least add to their individual story lines, the list of important persons they have seen.

We in the service industry, wanted to see our end of year report highlight an increase in revenue attributed to the visit.  Anyway that is over, I hear somebody say. True, but it will be good to see, how Bauchi will be made to benefit in all ramifications, when issues like this come to be again.

If an airline, that flies ones daily except on Saturdays, will be giving some incentives on flight.  The same airline, collects monies they make daily, envelope it and it is sent on board to Abuja or Lagos, (when such should have been paid into a Bauchi based bank, so IGR can improve and work increased), how much more of those who have removed their eyes, from Abuja, Kano, Lagos and domiciled their schools, shops, eateries, hotels and other businesses in Bauchi?  They need incentives too.

This plea is to our Oga – State CEO.  To make Bauchi increase it’s revenue generation, your input as the Captain is major.  Bring this friends of yours back more more often,again and again.  Encourage us to be part of your success story, the state na we own together.   The synergy of strengths, is the only way forward for the development that the state needs direly, you have all that it takes, I pray you will do it. As it is a new day in the political dawning of this state and the region.    May the Almighty continue to bless the People and Government of this our mother land.

Bauchi Welcomes the APC Progressive Governors.

A Yankari welcome, to all the APC Progressive Governors and their Entourage.   This is an epoch making event, that we in Bauchi hope will be just the beginning.   For the the Bauchi Tourism stakeholder, what will we want the visitors to see and experience in Bauchi?  I am sure I will not be alone to ask that they visit places than their meeting venue.

In my dreams, I will hope that:-

* The Sports Ministry will organise a special friendly novelty football match between the Progressives Governors and a team of selected Internally displaced Children at the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium.  

* A Special visit to the Trauma Centre for prayers, and encourage those on admission

* If only for to make history, visit the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Rest House in Bayara and see the show of modesty  it still exudes of the Late Premier.

* The Bauchi Golf  and Polo Club, organise a special outing at the Clubs for the visiting Excellences and their Guests.

* The Visitors will have a detour and visit the Industrial layout and see what their states can source from Bauchi as a substitute to India, China or Malaysia.

* The Cultural Agencies (both State and National) will bring together a cream of talents and have a command performance for this our visitors.

* That the Hospitality outfits will have their chefs join hands and bake a very big APC Progressive Governors Cake as a Welcome, please Come again gesture from the Tourism sector.

*  Our Masa joints enjoy patronage and high exports from Bauchi, when the guests are leaving

* All water to be consumed, be the one from Bauchi.  Yes gara su sha ruwan Bauchi, Yankari on my mind; Fariah to be precise.

* I pray the service charge of hotels and restaurants this month will be good to make Christmas worth the while.

* is that all, No.  I hope we will all get to tell the Executive Governor Thank you and ask that it be repeated soon.  

* My actual prayer is that Yankari will become the place, President Buhari, Osibajo, the Ministers and Governors of all states and Chief Executives of our Companies and Agencies, will start using as retreat and get away place.  It can truly be the Nigeria’s version of America’s Camp David.

* Finally, I hope our Bauchi Media houses have been mobilised to show case the best of Bauchi to this our Executive Visitors.

* At the end of your Stay, Excellences, we say Bon Voyage and please come back again.

May the meeting be successful with results that will touch the generality of humanity, especially in this region.  May we see the sweetness of communion and oneness amongst the leadership of our Nation and pray it trickles down to us.  Again, Happy Deliberations.

Adamu  Ayuba

Consultant – Fariah Suite Bauchi.

Migrants–Internally or Externally Displaced Persons in our thoughts.

I was on a transit stop, Cairo International Airport, a not too familiar face approached me. I was 6.1’ slim (athletic built, i will tease myself), might be what he saw.  ‘Good morning Sir’, do you still play? Yes of cause, from time to time (Thinking he meant music). You reside in abuja, he told me categorically. How did you know?  That was how the gist started.  He had a shop opposite Abuja Sheraton (Zone 4), before El-Rufai’s demolitions. He is a Sports Agent.  There my laughter could be heard from one end to the other of that side of the duty free shops of the Egypt Air Departure.  He was talking football, while I was thinking music.

That was where, I learnt of how they deflect travellers, from especially Africa looking for greener pastures, to Europe, then through a port in Larcana.  This persons are globally connected through diverse formal and informal links.  The dark syndicate has infiltrated all facets of the society and their only aim is illegal trade/exchanges for gains.  Call it prostitution, drugs, smuggling, arms sales, body part merchandise, sports men/women trade, money laundering name it.  In the cause of our discussions, I got to know that of the 2 –5 persons that become stars in football especially, thousands have disappeared with no knowledge of their being dead or alive.   But because we so celebrate this 2 – 5 persons, millions are ready to gamble their future, to either succeed or die, with no middle ground.

The case of the Trans Saharan route, was one that has been for decades, and colonies of migrants have been formed with their administrations and government.  Some have started having families on transit. They cannot return home and have not reached their desired destination.

Get this, that was during the reign of relative peace, before the various hurricanes in the Maghreb.  Now that the world has risen to several carnages, in different parts of the world, the need to and want to, have become so merged that you do not know where to draw the line.  Europe, America, Far East / Austrasia might be looking serious now.  The catastrophe is in a decade or more from now, what will be their situation in the various places they are migrating to?  I will as a reason to; the times are different.   Behind this need for movements from areas of crisis and poverty are masters of gain, counting their gains, as they juggle between arms, insurgencies, child, prostitution, drugs, human organ trades.

My take is, some questions to increase our resolve as Citizens of the World.  What are the remote causes of people seeking to migrate from their localities?  Why do some persons, spend so much resources (enough to start them comfortably, a times in their present abode), to migrate to places with unforeseen challenges/future?  What can governments and leaders do to reduce migration to the minimum?

The questions will not end, but let me go more directly now, will the stay of action on militarized zones reduce IDPs / Migrations?  What will the leaders need to do, to bring such to be?  The mistakes of Libya, might not be far from that of Iraq, but what is the situation in Southern Sudan, Somalia, Chad and Nigeria?   Syria has become a rising concern, how can we sincerely bring an end to the quagmire?  

The insincerity of stakeholders is always difficult to trace, but in all cases the actual persons on the divergent divides, do not suffer from the resultant pains caused by their actions/inactions, could we start thinking of removing the causative agents and let peace be?

Finally, why are migrants looking to far away nations and not closer nations like,  Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Qatar, Egypt, Iran, Morocco, Algeria, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Zambia?  Will looking at building possible alternative resettlements in Africa and Middle East reduce the weight on Europe? Is it feasible?

While we stay in thoughts, my prayer still is, like Fashola Stated,  That ‘may we never reach a time when our Loyalty will be tested’.  May the Almighty look at us with Benevolence and teach us to number our days, so we can apply our hearts to wisdom; that we will start looking at truly replenishing creation (not destroying it).  Have a wonderful God filled week, with a thought of persons suffering, especially Children and their Mothers.  If you can visit or send help anywhere near you to reduce the hardship these Children, Brothers, Sisters, Mothers and Fathers, you will experience some divine relief. Try it and share with me your story.

Thank you.