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Opinion

Buhari Visa Initiative Will Boost Economy, Tourism, Education, But…

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—– Shae Bebeyi, Public Commentator

A public Commentator and the Chairman Board of Trustees of Chartered institute of Development and Social Studies, Mr Shae Bebeyi
has commended President Muhammad Buhari on the Visa initiative extended to African countries interested in coming to Nigeria and said it would boost the country’s economy, tourism and education

Bebeyi however cautioned the Federal government to be circumspect in the implementation of the policy as it could cause an increase of criminal elements into the country and cause further breakdown of law and order

His words “The policy statement made by the President ,Major General Mohammed Buhari(retrd)on December,11 at the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and development on Africa in Cairo, Egpyt ‘ Visa on Arrival for Africans is a ‘soft power ” approach to attract, appeal and co-opt,rather than coerce foreign Investors,foreign Direct Investment ,and to boost education and tourism.

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“However, the government must look into the security aspects of the foreigners and the locals.Currently, Nigeria as a Nation is experiecing a lot of security challenges ranging from kidnapping , killings, armed robberies, Boko Haram and much more.

“So therefore, proper security checks must be in place to monitor the foreigners, secure their lives and possessions. The Nigerian Immigration Services must also be up and doing to minimize bottlenecks that may be associated with the policy. Corrupt officials be shown the way out for the system to work effectively and efficiently.

“Visa on arrival will bring down barriers that have hindered the free movement of other Africans within the continent, increase high network investors with business interest in Nigeria, its an effective and efficient means of eradicating bottlenecks associated with obtaining business visa at Nigeria missions abroad, it will lead to huge investments,employments opportunities and robust economy and will enhance the flow of foreign direct investments” he added

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Opinion

Despite Hefty Debt Why going For Unclaimed And Dormant Accounts?

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By Abba Dukawa, Kano.

President Muhammadu Buhari signed the 2020 finance act on December 31, 2020. The Act, takes effect January 1, 2021. Now Buhari’s administration has perfected ways to borrow funds from unclaimed dividends and dormant bank account balances unattended for at least six years.

Nigeria had perpetually grappled with the twin problems of heavy budget deficits and weak balance of payments. What is the guarantee that the incoming administration in the next two years and the subsequent ones will have the capacity to repay Nigeria’s debt that has reached a scary situation where total debt stock stood at some humongous rose to N31. 009 trillion ($85.897 billion).

From every economic indexes that if the country keep borrowing, and our debt increases beyond accepted level, and our growing share of GDP now needs to go into debt servicing or repayments, it may start to take the tax revenue that is needed for development. We have seen nations, especially developing ones like ours, suffer severely from such bloated debt burden, which means struggling to meet even the debt interest payments with nothing left to develop

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Now financial Act, takes effect from January 1, 2021. Despite Hefty Debt for the country Why now Federal government intend to go after the amount of money in dormant account balances is about N737.5 billion. When combined with the N158 billion outstanding unclaimed dividends, the total amount of money that would be taken over by the FG may be up to N895.5 billion.

Even Though Minister of finance, dampened fears of owners of dormant accounts and unclaimed dividends. She stated, “They have nothing to lose as they would be paid their entitlements from the Special Trust Fund to be set up by the Federal Government once they are properly identified. How sure the owner of the unclaimed fund will access they fund considering bureaucratic bottleneck in the country is too inefficient and will not help the claimant to access his unclaimed dividend problem been solve.

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Is this not be stressful for an owner to request for returns of his fund. To be fair, how can a shareholder with an unclaimed dividend of about N10,000 expected him go to Abuja just to make a claim of the unpaid dividend.

The shareholders had opposed the idea , saying the government lacks powers to manage funds belonging to private sector investors. In spite the existence law before this financial act clearly states that there shall be no forceful takeover of any private movable property of any Nigerian without due and appropriate compensation and or valid court order. In view with guaranteed of rights to own property as provided by the nation Constitution, this move was unnecessary because capital market regulators and operators had leveraged technology to put in place initiatives that are already addressing the issue.

Almost every day, Concerns Nigerians and Economists experts express worries over the country’s rising debt profile. Even 2021 Budget over N3.3trn will go to Debt Servicing. federal government has disclosed how it plans to sell and concession government owned properties and non-oil assets to fund the 2021 budget.

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One may surprised too about the speed with which leaders at all level go for questionable bonds while legislators were preoccupied with determining their immediate benefits with unnecessary and conventional allowances which took no account of the state of the economy and the welfare of the people they represented. Nigerians current concern, however, is who will pay these huge debts? Really not us and also too weighty for the lean shoulders of our children? Is this not our children will be turns to slaves in their own country by the creditor nations, just because they want to pay off the debts left by the frivolous political class that have ravaged our common patrimony?

Dukawa write in from Kano state and can be reach atabbahydukawa@gmail.com

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Opinion

An Open Letter To His Excellency, Gov. Yahaya Adoza Bello, By Hon. Joseph Omuya Salami

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Your Excellency,

First of all Sir, on behalf of the good people of Adavi Local Government, I want to congratulate you on your recent appointment as the Chairman of Women and Youth Sensitization& Mobilization of our great party, All Progressives Congress ahead of the Revalidation and Registration Exercise.

I do not doubt your capacity, acumen and ability to discharge the duty and task assigned to you, by the ruling party, APC.

May Almighty God continue to be with you, guide you, and empower you with wisdom to do more for our beloved country.

Sir, with due reverence, I bring good tidings and salutations to you not just as an Executive Governor of our dear state (Kogi), but as a Change Agent, unifying bridge builder, a beacon of hopes, and a preacher of peace, unity, equity, & justice.

As implied by your middle name “ADOZA” which literally means (the people’s father), you have been a role model and father figure to youths across the nation, and this has given rise to the call of Nigerians at home and in the diaspora, for you to run for the office of the President of Federal Republic Of Nigeria.

Your Excellency Sir, I can gladly tell the world a whole lot of things I learnt from you having worked directly under your administration as an Administrator and Senior Special Assistant on Security in charge of Adavi Local Government Area. I am proud of you and sincerely overwhelmed that God Almighty gifted my generation with an angel in human form to fuel the aspiration of youths who were in shock to dare to dream, today they have dreams because of the solidified foundation you have laid.

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As a believer of the Christian Faith, the Holy Bible in James 1:19 said “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;” Your Excellency, People love to be heard. Surely there have been times where people have turned to you for advice or even a shoulder to cry on. Why do you think they keep coming back again and again? only a special person like you can master the skill of listening. You take time for due diligence before interfering in any arising issue, you are a great listener and a visionary leader with foresightedness.

Dearest Adoza, think of all the impossibilities God had made possible for you, how else do you think you got through the tough moments? It certainly was not because you got scared and buried your head in the sand. And yes, it certainly was not fun to say, but think of how others looked up to you when you braved the stormy seas. Whether you realize it or not, you probably encouraged many others to become more courageous, just like you. Being courageous also means taking risks.

The Father of our dearest state, your friends and family are around for a reason, you obviously bring a smile to their faces and value their time. The care and attention that you bring to every one of your relationships and are one of the many reasons why we love you. Don’t believe it? How many thank-yous do you notice? Better yet, do you have any handwritten cards or thank-you notes people have sent to you that you’ve kept? The way you show love to others has made a bigger impact than you thought.
You have reawakened hope to so many who had long given up. Your love for humanity and nature cannot be compared anytime soon. We loved and you are loved beyond imagination.

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As the Chief Security Officer, you have secured our state and it’s territorial boundaries, are you aware that you are now a reference point for other governors on the huge success recorded over insecurities in Kogi State? we cannot count your achievements as they are numerous. Again, I am proud to be associated with you. Nobody knows how to put a positive spin on things like you do. Whereas many people concentrate on the problems at hand, you look towards coming up with solutions, COVID-19 is a case study. Your positivity about life was what gave the courage to stand firm against the politicization of the COVID-19 pandemic by most government officials in the country. You stood alone and today, Nigerians are celebrating your courage and singing your praises as a dogged fighter, because you put humanity first over gains, We are proud of you.

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I can not categorically lay emphasis on your achievement since the inception of new direction adminstration, where equal rights are extended to virtually everyone, regardless of religious beliefs, political affiliation, age and tribes.

Sir, you have an open eyes which see beyond just human, rather you see potentials and opportunities that can be put into advantageous use for better Kogi.

Your Excellency, thank you for putting an end to marginalization, thank you for running an all-inclusive administration, thank you for giving our women a sense of belonging, thank you for making our youths useful and resourceful, for all that you have done, history will never forget you, your name has been written with a golden pen and generation yet unborn will celebrate you, Thank you for all that you do.

Conclusively, I join well-meaning Nigerians, Youths, and People of Goodwill to call on you to stand to pilot the affairs of our great nation (Nigeria). Nigerians believe in your capacity, leadership styles, and administrative uniqueness, including your mental prowess which has made governance so easier to run successfully under your stewardship.

Accept the assurances of my highest esteem YOUR EXCELLENCY.

I appreciate your courtesies, past, and present.

Many thanks.

Sincerely,
Hon. Joseph Omuya Salami
Chairman, Adavi Local Government Area, Kogi State.

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Opinion

LEAVE PRESIDENT BUHARI ALONE AND JOIN LOCAL POLITICS

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By: David Alfred-Dogwo / January 5, 2021

Dear Comrade Omoyele Sowore,

I watched you on TV been remanded in Kuje prison yesterday, Monday 4th January, 2021.

Please note that I have nothing against your #RevolutionNow Movement if the purpose is to call attention to the dearth of leadership in Nigeria; but if the aim is to force Buhari and the other misfits out of government, be warned that the cost in human body-bags will be high.

You’re over-stressing your family members and well wishers in dire thoughts of loneliness without you and beginning to behave as if you care no more about your family.

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You want the Nigerian Senate scrapped and Buhari to go. I agree on both scores but at what price? Should we bait and goad them any further? I think there is another way – a nonviolent way.

We can change the whole by changing the component parts, one at a time – without violence. This is why a write to advice you and I am emailing this to your lawyer so that it will get to you in prison.

When next you regain freedom, you should relocate to Ondo State, be calm and wait for the right time. The chances of winning a governor seat, Senatorial or House of Representative or House of Assembly seat as a new entrant in the Nigeria political scene is far higher than when you want to become or want to replace the president at your first shot.

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Let charity begin at home. It won’t be difficult for you to win an election in Ondo. Considering your energy, charisma and know-how, you can govern Ondo State through popular vote of the people.

Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York does not agree with President Trump on many issues, but that does not stop him from doing such a good job in New York. Now Americans are saying they wanted him in the White House.

Forget about Aso-Rock, it doesn’t deserve you for now. At the right time, Aso-Rock will beckon on you.

I dream of a Nigeria where a Sowore is a governor in Ondo State and your friends Obiageli Ezekwesili or Kingsley Moghalu take over Anambra State.

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Please return to Ondo State and get involved in the grass-root politics in the Sunshine State. If the next election comes too soon for this mission, it is not too far ahead.

God bless and guide you.

@ALFRED DOGWO is former Senior Special Assistant on Communications Strategy to Executive Governor, Kogi State Government.
+2348034768404

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