Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nigerian President sacks EFCC Chair

President Goodluck Jonathan has unexpectedly fired the head of Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
A spokesman for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said Wednesday that chairwoman Farida Waziri had been fired. Spokesman Femi Babafemi said Waziri had at least another year left in her tenure.
Babafemi says agency deputy Ibrahim Lamurde has been appointed acting chairman. He said he did not know the president’s reason for firing Waziri.
Waziri and a presidential spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.
Waziri has been criticized by U.S. diplomats in leaked cables for being unprepared and for apparently being controlled by politicians. Others have leveled corruption allegations against her and operatives of the commission, though none have been proven. Farida has been less than a shadow of the previous anti-corruption czar Nuhu Ribadu who was removed by former President Yar’ Adua to prevent same from trying his friends.
Meanwhile reactions are already trailing the sack. Professor Pat Utomi post thus on his facebook page:

"With this change, let me advise the Federal Government that the only way to ensure that the EFCC is effective in fighting corruption, which is the bane of Nigeria's development, is for the executive to give that agency complete autonomy and independence and this can only be done if the law creating the agency is amended to ensure its independence. PU"

However, Mallam Nasir El Rufai former FCT minister has condemned the process of her removal. He reacted on twitter immediately:

"Farida Waziri has been removed by GEJ before the expiration of her term. This is contrary to the EFCC Act and illegal. We must all stand up for rule compliance even if we do not like the victim. We stood up when Nuhu was similarly treated. It is wrong! Farida Waziri was the instrument of my years of persecution by Yar'Adua & GEJ. I don't like her. But that is personal, her removal illegal! The EFCC Act requires GEJ to show cause - insanity, incapacity, not in public interest, etc. No reasons given. She did not resign. WRONG!! All I am saying is that when leaders do not act in compliance with the law, we must question. It is Farida Waziri today. It will be you soon Let us not celebrate this because we think Farida is a scumbag. Let us stand up & question because of non-compliance with the EFCC Act. Farida's tenure is supposed to end in May 2012. My persecution started the day she took office. So I am not her advocate personally. Farida was neither competent nor honest. Trial by headlines was her landmark. Plea bargains with the corrupt her specialty. But Her tenure had not ended, & if it is to be prematurely terminated, it must be done in accordance with the law. They did it to PCA Salami too .This GEJ administration revels in gross violating the law & surprised that Nigerians are resorting to taking the law into their own hands!! . When leaders break the law with impunity, they should expect that sooner or later, every citizen will join & settle disputes via self-help!! 


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My take on the proposed fuel subsidy removal

I wrote this article days ago but couldn't post here for some reasons. Enjoy
It is no more news the president Jonathan and his crew are bent on removing oil subsidy, the last thing the masses enjoy from government. Nigerians have reacted and majority have spoken against the planned action but the government seems hell bent on going ahead with the removal. Below is a quote from a Nigerian interviewed by a national daily:

“Removing oil subsidy will make poor people poorer and make life more difficult for Nigerians because the entire economy of this country, not just its revenue is hinged on the pump price of fuel. The cost of doing business will increase by more than 200%  since subsidy will result in over 200% increase of the pump price of petrol. So imagine the effect of that on small business, its catastrophic.

Now my argument of the federal government that subsidy will bring in competition that will send prices crashing as soon as the private sector keys in to take advantage of the abounding opportunities that the removal will bring. Sincerely that’s a good and logical argument. But Nigerians will love to know why the price of diesel that has long been deregulated is still skyrocketing.”

I read the above piece and was convinced the government on self destructive journey. Truly, after the increase in the price of diesel (due to deregulation), cost of production increased (as factories use heavy duty diesel generators for power) which increased the price of locally made products, cost of doing business increased, food stuffs became more expensive because they are transported down south from the north with diesel powered truck/lorries. Telecommunication tariffs remained high because the claim they spend so much on diesel to power their masts. And as widely reported, businesses have moved to neighbouring countries before of the high cost of power in Nigeria.

A government that knows all this will still want to go ahead and to remove subsidy without first tackling the corruption is not a serious government. For example, kerosene is subsidized but do not get to end users at the subsidized rate, this goes to show how corrupts the oil sector is (need I emphasize that???).

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan should rather fish out the culprits who has frustrated subsidy as he has claimed. But we all know that won’t happen and we know why. Fresh Air Indeed!!!