Pension scheme and threat of balkanisation

The introduction of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) 11 years ago by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration has, without doubt, led to an unprecedented transformation in the nation’s pension arrangement and administration. The need for the scheme became urgent as it was obvious that more elderly and weak retirees would keep losing their lives and even denied their entitlements following the poor implementation of the old arrangement under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS). Today, a larger percentage of workers believed that since the scheme came on board under the amended Pension…

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Beyond passage of ‘Not too young to run Bill’

There is no doubt that the recent passage of the ‘Not too young to run Bill’ by the National Assembly in the ongoing constitution amendment process is a welcome development given the belief that it will afford more young Nigerians the opportunity to stand for elections. With the Bill’s passage, sections 65, 106, 131 and 177 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) have been altered to reduce the age of eligibility for elective offices across board. This means that Nigerian youths can now contest for president at the age of…

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Hate speech, death warrant and governors’ burden

Recently, Nigerians were jolted by the Federal Government’s plans to criminalise peddlers of hate speeches, which had dotted the nation, especially since the beginning of this year. Its aftermath has, indeed, increased the cry for restructuring of Nigeria from fiscal federalism to regionalism and even secession by some aggrieved sections of the country, while others are issuing quit notices. Above all, the corporate existence of Nigeria was under threat as a result of anger, hunger, poverty and marginalisation, which had triggered hate speeches. But determined to keep hate speeches at…

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JAMB and its new admissions benchmark

Nigeria’s Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) is in the news – and for the wrong reason: Drastically lowering the cut-off marks for admission into institutions of higher learning for the 2017/2018 academic session. While it reduced the minimum entry points from 180 out of 400 (180/400) score/grade range to 120 for universities, and from 150 to 100 for polytechnics, monotechnics and colleges of education; innovative enterprising institutes have theirs pegged at 110. The Board said it only provided a benchmark for the institutions, which could raise their cut-off marks…

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Ozubulu killings: Justice must be done

On August 6th, the solemn worship of faithful at the St. Philip Catholic Church, Ozubulu in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State was shattered with the cacophony of gunshots. A gunman invaded the early morning mass on that fateful Sunday and snuffed out the lives of at least 13 innocent worshippers, among them women and children. The action of the gunman and his sponsors is condemnable in all its ramifications. But the seeming conspiratorial silence of the police and the government is sacrilegious. After the killings, the state governor,…

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Eagles, beware of wounded Lions

Nigerians are football loving people. Many of them are yet to forgive the Super Eagles and the football authorities over the country’s failure to qualify for the last two editions of the Africa Cup of Nations. In fact, in the past four editions, Nigeria has only featured once and that was in 2013 when the team won the trophy in South Africa. Sadly, Nigeria was not at the 2012 edition in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon while the back-to-back editions in 2015 (Equatorial Guinea) and 2017 (Gabon) were also missed. This…

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Eagles, beware of wounded Lions

Nigerians are football loving people. Many of them are yet to forgive the Super Eagles and the football authorities over the country’s failure to qualify for the last two editions of the Africa Cup of Nations. In fact, in the past four editions, Nigeria has only featured once and that was in 2013 when the team won the trophy in South Africa. Sadly, Nigeria was not at the 2012 edition in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon while the back-to-back editions in 2015 (Equatorial Guinea) and 2017 (Gabon) were also missed. This…

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Saving Lagos roads

Many Lagos roads are in a terrible state of disrepair. From one end of the metropolis to another, it is the same story as there is practically no part of the city that is free from this malady. A few examples will serve to illustrate the foregoing. Fagba is an important road linking Mushin and Oshodi, but the roads in the area are in a terrible state of disrepair. Lawal Street, Ikoti Street and environs in Shasha, Alimosho Local Council Development Area, is another place where bad roads are the…

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Saving local governments from states

The move by the National Assembly to have local governments’ accounts separated from the state governments’ is a move that should be of serious interest to every Nigerian. Although the presidential system of government, practiced in Nigeria, provided a three-tier of government, that is the federal, states and local governments, since 1999 when democracy returned in Nigeria, local governments have been battling for breath, under the suffocating weight of states. When former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration established the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), one of the major banana skins…

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Dismissing criminally-minded cops not enough

Efforts of the police hierarchy to sanitise the force in the last couple of weeks have been yielding positive results. In the last one month, at least more than 13 policemen have been dismissed for various infractions ranging from extortion to robbery. Three policemen, Inspector Okelue Nkemeonye AP No 136005, Sergeant Braimoh Sunday F/No. 355897 and Sergeant Yusuf Olukoga, F/No 35992 were dismissed in July for extorting over N200,000 from Nigerians and forcibly using their banking facilities at gunpoint. The three policemen were attached to Area ‘N’ Command, Ijede-Ikorodu, Lagos…

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