Category: Governance

 Maina AND MATTERS ARISING 

The dust over the controversial reinstatement of the flamboyant Deputy Director and the fugitive Ex chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team Abdulrasheed Maina, who brags of recovering over two hundred and eighty two billion Naira pensioners money to the corpers of the  government may be settling down, just like the reports of many high profile scandals, that are picking dust in government vaults and shelves un implemented across the country . 

    The saga will die down like many before it. We have seen the hype and frenzy generated by the millions of Dollars recovered at an apartment in Ikoyi, the millions impounded at Kaduna airport, the Babachir  grass cutting scandal, and many allegations against the President’s men, the list goes on and on. But so far no one  has been punished for the alleged crimes. 

    The import of this write up is not to find out who to blame for the reinstatement, the sacking of Maina from the civil service, this will be saved for another discourse when the report demanded by the President on issue is made public. 

    The purpose of this write up is to advice Maina to stand up and clear his name in the light of the claims of evidences he said he has regarding the activities of his committee.

    In the ensuing debate a friend of mine  scastically told us that  if you want steal money in Nigeria, steal “BIG” the Police will send you a senior officer to investigate and in the process you could  cut some deals and matter would go into lacuna forever. However  if one wants to go to prison steal “SMALL” a junior police officer would be sent  to harass your life and you would ultimately end up in prison.

    As if this is not annoying enough, he further added that If you want eat and enjoy your loots in Nigeria make sure you become a conduit,  steal for the bosses and accept to pick the crumbs from the table, you will be guaranteed protection by the “Big Men”

    However, in the event  the media stumble on the matter or a whistle blower decides to speel the beans since the bosses are involved a committee would be set up to  investigate the matter and the report will never see the light of day.

    Equally, the agencies who are responsible to deal with such  issues  will have their hands tied down and rendered prostate since “Oga at the top” is handling the matter. Consequently, the culprit is free the bosses are happy and life goes on. 

    One of such high profile cases that is still drawing the name of the country to the mud is the Malabu oil saga. The Vice President speaking at a conference organised by Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Monday, October 23.
     Said “It is important to underscore the fact that opacity in one section of the globe undermines openness in the other. We need to break down this wall together as we are all at risk of the evil effects of opacity in business ownership.

    To further underscore this statement he added that: “Nigeria is still grappling with the negative consequences of the use of opacity by senior members of government and their cronies between 1993 and 1998 awarding themselves juicy contracts in the extractive industry.”

    The  Malabu oil saga where the high and low in our society were involved is still a subject of litigation internationally, but the government is not keen in persuing the culprits because” Very important Persons” (VIP’s) were involved. The matter should therefore be put under the carpet at the expense of our collective National image and pride.

    Maina a Deputy Director in the civil service with rising profile leaves un precedented flamboyant life style which even the Head of Service can not afford. He is  the cause of his problems. He was too loud and upfront, this makes his bosses perhaps uncomfortable so he must be sacrificed quickly so that he does not speel the beans. The guy may need to read the 21 laws of power. 

    To know who is Maina one needs to look at the background of the officer. If it is true that Maina was just an Assistant Director in the civil service and could buy a house worth Two Million US dollar in Asokoro as is  being alleged then something is definitely wrong somewhere.

    Maina in his defence to the allegations labelled against him In a telephone conversation with presenter of “Radio Barekate”
    He said,  the committee recovered about N282billion pensioners money, established e-payment schemes for pensioners.  He also claimed no body gave him any kobo,  and that the committee had no account of it own. Then how come the Senate committee and EFCC are accusing him of embezzling billions of Naira? 

     In another interview with the press  he said ” the Pension cabal was after his life. “I am fast losing confidence in the country called Nigeria. “Imagine, I have suddenly become a villain for saving the country billions of naira, being stolen daily by pension thieves.
    “I’m saddened, demoralised by the whole mess. It is baffling that the hunter has become the hunted. It is simply ridiculous. How can one continue to fight for the country and the poor pensioners, when the system is so rotten to the effect that the thief catcher is being branded as the thief?” he lamented. 

    I think Maina needs to take some lessons from the EFCC Chairman on how corruption fights back.

    If Maina’s claim to have,  recovered N282 billion, blocked areas of leakages where pension funds are being siphoned, is true then he does not deserve the treatment he is getting, in fact he should be nominated for the National Merit Award.

    The question to ask is why does Maina go into hiding each time the heat is on. With all the documents he claims he has that would exonerate him from all the charnges.  why go under or even ran away from your home country and remain a fugitive forever. Good men never fear or  hide they confront their problems head on, especially when they have the conviction they are right.

    So far in all that  Maina has said, he did not address the main issues the government is accusing of, rather he was just  trying to generate sentiments so that he could be seen as a good man  being innocently persecuted by the cabals and the agencies of the state.

    My advice to Maina if wants to be taken seriously,  he should as a matter of urgency willingly submit himself to the EFCC answer all the queries they would confront him with and clear himself of the allegations against him.  

     I know he is claiming of several attempts on his life but since he can suruptitiously enter the country and resume duty,  nothing can stop him from paying a visit to the EFCC to answer their query. For how long would he remain under and a fugitive?  

    But if he still feels un safe he could  take the  bold step by authorising his lawyer to swear an affidavit and deposit all the documents he has in court and publish same in the National dailies for the records and put the whole matter in the public domain and allow the due process of the  law to take its cause and exonerate him and his committee from blame. 

    Posterity is there to judge him in the event what he fears happens to him. These are part of the hazards of public life,  so be bold and do the right thing. 

    BEFORE THE RACE BEGINS 

    BEFORE THE RACE BEGINS

    The government of President Muhammadu Buhari has passed the half mark of the time allocated it by the Nigeria electorates courtesy the revised 1979  constitution, wether or not it has  fulfilled its promises to the Nigerian people in the 28 month, it has been power, would be saved for discussion another time.

    A lot had been said and written on our  move towards the egalitarian society we all yearn for and wish to bequest to the next generations of Nigerians.

    Our successes and failures down lane in the 57 tortuous years that we passed through as an independent Nation State  speaks volumes about us as a people.

    Nigeria like any of the nation states  that were calibrated by colonialism  had its own fair share of the polemics. and contradictions  in its journey towards nationhood. The path has been  turbulent, and full of uncertainty.

    The polemics and the booby traps along the way, which has arrested our collective desire to move forward, integrate and develop as one indivisible people seems to be with us, in spite of the great strides in western education and relative development we have achieved.

    57 years ago  since we wrangled our selves from the shackeles of colonialism, several years since the military went back to the barracks to allow our nascent democracy to grow, nurture and mature, we are still  pointing accusing  fingers at colonialism and the military for our woes and failures in moving the country on the path of development.

    In spite of the evils of colonialism, we must agree it nurtured our economy  through the development of trade and cormmerce, banking, civil service, transport, rule of law and good governance.

    It has served as catalyts and linchpin of our drive towards building a great nation.
    However it may be argued that the colonial government built institutions which  main goals were to develop their own economies at expense of the settler countries. The relationship was un arguably exploitative, but it served as the bedrock for our journey towards self governance.

    The Military in depending their  incursions in to the national body  politics, claimed the political  class failed to steer the  affairs of the country towards the path of growth and development. 

    They often sighted, leadership deficiet, corruption. nepotism maladministration. bickering and civil strife as the reasons why they had to intervene in order to save the country from abyss and self distruction.

    The antogonist of the military dictatorship also argued their intervention in the polity has trancated our march towards achieving a stable demcracy.

    To them everything about the military is bad and they have no business with governance .  For them the military ethos introduced to the political space are antithesis to all  democratic tenant’s .

    According to them the military only succeeded in militerising  the pysche of the Nigerian people and trancated our journey towards building an enduring democratic structures and government.

    The political class that emerged  during the  colonial  period gained support because their  nationalistic and patriotic desire to wrestle power from the colonial government.

    But soon afterwards they realised the importance of power and its benefits. They clinged to power in order to achieve  their selfish, personal, group and subtreanian interests. They  continued with legacies of the colonial government of divine and rule.

    The country which is now above half a century,  has grown and can longer be considered as young, even though it is still grappling with teething problems of growth. 
    Some still believe Nigeria is an artificial construct  put in place by colonialism with out taken into cognisance our differences as a people, a marriage which is imperfect and must therefore be desolved.

    They hold the view that the arrangement did not respect our cultural and geographical boundaries. And they want us to believe this has been the root cause of our problems and underdevelopment .

    Be it as it may, 57 years since our journeys towards  nationhood and after undergoing a civil war that consumed about one million lives if we are still thinking of succession or redefining how we can  live together, then something must be fundamentally wrong with us a people .

    America hinges it successes as a nation on its immigrants population. China and India the world’s most populous countries  are striving because of their populations. 

    China is not monolithic but today nobody is calling for successions. In fact till today they lay claims on renegade regions of  Taiwan and Hong Kong who are agitating for self rule and wanted to break away. The same thing between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir Province . The  Kurdis movement and Iraq. The latest in western Europe, Spain and the Cataland Province.

    In today’s world where population has become a factor in economic growth and power. Here we are still calling for the valcanization of our society.  Our diversity could be used as a source of strength in the interdependent world system which is  governed by globalisation and world trade.

    The Nigerian problems  are not our linguistic pluralism or diffrences in religion, but rather greed, nepotism, corruption, selfishness  and the docility of the population. The people have over the years mortgaged their conscience to the tiny ruling elites who have understood their psyche. They have come to the conclusion that we can only bark but cannot bite.

    Our docility has given the ruling elites the false assumption that they can leads by the shackles. They have come to believe with the stipends they give during election and the use of the cohesive agencies of the state at their disposal they can determine the course of events in their favour. 
    For how long shall we continue to allow our “leaders” to box us in to submission and blind following.

    In a democratic society, the people have the right to decide and hold their leaders to be accountable. They hold the key can change their leaders every four years.
    We must never again allow the bad and ugly in our society to continue thieving our common wealth with impunity and treating us like the slave and slave matters, while we hold the franchise to determine who will rule us.

    All the heus and and cries about seccessionism, restructuring and whatever acronym the elite would choose to define our existence . They are doing so no out of love for  the masses. But rather their main goal  is to see how they can continue enslaving us in order protect the massive wealth they have stolen from our common wealth.

    They thieved our Treasuries dry  in the states and frustrated the entry in to the political process through anointing their cronies and purchased their tickets to the National Assembly where they can continue to legislate mega salaries and allowances for themselves and cool down to protect and eat their ill gotten wealth while our collective fortunes continue to nose dive to a level of pity .

    The falacy did stop there they continued to  use the instrumentality provided the assembly to keep chocking the system to favours their lust for the good things of life at our expense.

    1. The PMB government which many Nigerians believed would be the messiah in solving to our collective national problems, has so far demonstrated that it too, had been overwhelmed by the cabals that are all over the space watching like the proverbial vultures searching for wherever they can spot our common wealth so that they can swoop and feast on it.

    So before the whistle is blown and RACE BEGINS  for another circle of rituals of selecting our “leaders,” we must ensure that only good people of proven integrity and honesty are returned or elected to the three tiers of government.
    We must not return the kleptomaniacs, the rapists, the amoral , the rogues, the charlatans, the vote stealers back to the States and National Assemblies to make laws for themselves.

    We must not also allow the government houses in the States and Aso Villa to be occupied by indecent people.We have been short changed for too long. 

     Let us take interest  in those that are going to represent and lead us. 

    Join me in this crusade for political correctness  by sending your comments and contributions to yabaniblog.com

    THE DIRT IN THE INFORMATION HIGHWAY

    I usually dont like to join issues with my colleques who comment on public affairs, but where I perceive injustice I tend to be on the side of the oppressed to ensure that fairness and balance which is the hallmark of the journalism ethos is seen to have been done.

    It  is no longer in doubt that
    Mr Kachikwu the Minister of State Petroluem leaked the 8-page letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari accusing Mr Baru  the GMD NNPC of “acts of insubordination, humiliation, disrespect and lack of due process in the award of contracts.”

    Neither the Minister no his press crew have come out to deny the assertions being widely circulated in the main stream and social media that the memo was not leaked by him.

    Its clear to me and to every decerning person that the Minister knows once the press got hold on to the document the consquencies of his action would have a huge damage on the image of the government more especially when the issues at stake borders on personalities and procurement processes.

    As a public officer he ought to have known there are several ways he could reach to his boss. The leak to the press must be the last resort, if at all it must be persued.

    In my little knowledge of how government works, the Minister could still use the following channels, if he perceives the Chief of Staff is becoming a stumbbling block to getting to his boss;
    1. He could explore going through the  Vice President, unless if he tried and failed ;
    2,. Convert whatever issues he wanted to discuss with President in to Council Memo. I am sure the minister is aware of the types of council memos they use to communicate among members of the Federal Executive Council.
    3. Go through the National Economic Council of which he is member or at least attends as a revenue generating agency. The Minister knows the Vice President briefs the President on all decisions taken by the council;
    4. Seek the intervention of the Party leadership if it becomes so absolutely neccessary.

    But in all these the Minister choose to  gamble with the image of the government, simply because he feels the Cheif of staff and some other very close associates of the President whose  companies might have  benifitted from the procurement process.

    Aware that  the leak certaintly would give press  the opportunity to pounce on the document and sensationise it with big catchy headlines that may embrass the government.

    Now that he has seen the President and open up the the government to redicule. what kind of  damage control mechanism would the Minister put in place to deal with the situations he delibrately created, now that  Mr President has asked the Minister and the GMD, to find ways to work together?

    In the light of the wanned trust between them how could this possibly happen?
    Lest I forget before the Minister of state was up graded by Mr President he was the Group Managing Director of the same company and operated under the same rules and regulations. He approved contracts under the same threshold, he is now trying to blow whistle as if something  wrong took place.

    Now that NNPc has told  its story, that all their actions were done according to extant rules and regulations.

    In providing an eluminating explanation to the ensueing drama, one Ibrarhim Suleiman extensively quoting the Daily Nigeria said;  “the raging rift between the two oil czars, a senior NNPC official who preferred not to be named exclusively told DAILY NIGERIAN that the fight was beyond what was contained in the letter.
    “The fight between Kachikwu and Baru emanated from two clauses within the NNPC. And these are the NNPC Act and the Clause in a correspondence from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to the then GMD of NNPC (Ibe Kachikwu) regarding contracts.

    “In the NNPC Act,” the source added, “it was stated clearly that the GMD NNPC will report directly to the Substantive Minister of Petroleum Resources, in this case President Muhammadu Buhari. Sadly for Kachikwu, the Act was silent on the GMD reporting to him.

    “Secondly, in a letter dated June 26, 2015, the BPP clarified a clause regarding the power of the NNPC Tenders Board (and not the NNPC Board) to award contracts without recourse to the Minister of State.

    “The approval limit of the NNPC Tenders Board is $20m. But where such contracts exceed the tenders board’s limits, approval must be sought from the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

    “And in the case of the $26billion Kachikwu claimed Baru spent without due process, it was the same Federal Executive Council, with Kachikwu as a member, that approved the contracts. How would Baru, who is not even a member of FEC, be blamed for side-stepping the minister and bypassing due process?” the insider queried.

    To this effect the  BPP’s clarified this position to Mr Kachikwu on powers of NNPC Tenders Board to award contracts thus;
    “The [NNPC] Governing Board is responsible for approval of the work programmes, corporate contract plans and budget while the [NNPC] Tenders Board is responsible for approval of day to day

    “Strangely, the same Minister who obtained such clarifications from the BPP while serving as GMD NNPC has now turned against it,” the source added.

    According to him, “the whole bone of contention was because while Mr Kachikwu realized he was powerless to influence Baru as Minister of State in terms of contracts and other demands, the Minister could still not stand watching Baru having unfettered access to the President.

    If the CUPSNIGERIA have seen or read the write up of Ibrahim Suleim and that of Daily Nigeria or conducted a more indepth ressearch I am sure they  would have  been a bit rational and circumspect in their write up, that is going round calling the chief of staff names like.
    “ABBA KYARI – THE FACE OF EVIL AT THE PRESIDENCY”
    Dr. Idris Ahmed who authored the article referred to above is a PHD holder I want to believe, he must have known the value of a good researched work for him to play in galary by writting without indept research and impute on the personlity of people is not fair.

    Here are some of the things he wrote;
    “The corrupt and unpatriotic Abba Kyari has a frightening influence at the Presidency, to the extent that most people in the know view him as the second  powerful” man at presdency, after the President himself” Is this true? if Abba is the second most powerful man in the house where then did he place the Vice president who is constitutionally regarded as the number 2 in the heirachy.  At least we witnessed situations when the VP became the acting President a couple of times.
    He also accused the chief of staff of committing crimes against the Nigerian state part the crimes he said Abba committed is; “The latest one being denying the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachukwu, from seeing the President. Regardless of the wrongs or rights of his spat with Dr. Maikanti Baru,  as a Minister of the Federal Republic, Dr. Kachukwu has the right to have audience with his boss and Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic. It is therefore very embarrassing and demeaning to the office of the President and image of Nigeria at home and around the world, for Buhari to learn about the Kachukwu/Maikanti saga through the media!”
    Since Dr Idriss, and his cups group are well educated  I expected them to try finding out what job descriptions and the schedules of the Chief of Staff.
    Allow me deviate and draw the attention  of “CUPS to the international dimension they introduced in to the discussion. Are they aware why the American President dismissed his chief of Staff recently and what happened during the alpointment of a new person?   In accepting his nomination to the office of the chief of staff, General Kerry,  a fine officer and a gentleman. told  President Trump that  he would accept the nomination on the condition that he would be allowed to determine who sees and what goes in to the presidents office. I am sure by now you must started rationalizing some of the duties of the chief of staff. My brother the chief  is a gate keeper, he articulate the President’s programme. The President has alot on his plate. And afterall at the end of the day, it is the President who decides who he sees.
    Dont you think Kachukwu didnt know this? He delibrately choose to leak his letter to the press for personal reasons? He has so many ways to reach to the President, some of which I mentioned in my opening paragraph.
    I was also amazed by the type of venom and out pouring the “cupsnigeria” lampoon the the Chief of staff, the hate was apparent as if the groups has a bone to pick with Abba.

    I can recall similar pattern of behavior were used to force President Jonathan to sacrifice his chief  of staff for un substantiated corruption claims. Thank God President Buhari is not given to such kind of frivolity of pull him down syndrome. He listens but allows due process to take its course, before he takes any decision in respective of who was at the receiving end. 

    “Cupsnigeria” further  claimed in their article that they fearless and this what they said;
    ” Despite the colossal evidence against him, we understand that the Nigerian media are afraid of exposing Abba Kyari, for fear of reprisals. “We at CUPS are NOT. We are ferociously independent and fearless in our reporting. We will always tell the truth, no matter whose ox is being gored”

    while we salute “CUPS” for their resolve to be fearless we expect them to also be social responsible. This is the hallmark of journalism and the goals of public affairs commentators, fairness and balance in dealing with all matters that affect public affairs and public officers, should be handled responsibily.

    A mare statement without coresponding incontrovertible evidence to support any comment on public affairs  are part of the junck journalism we can do without. I therefore appeal to all my colleques in this business to respect the rights of individuals and ensure that what they ditch out  to the public are factual materials devoid of sentiments and personal idiosyncracies.

    Governance – PENCOM 1

    Recently in a lively discussions with my colleagues after attending pre-retirement training session organised by our employers to prepare us for life in retirement. one of our colleague could not hide his disdain why the trainers were asking us, what plan we have for life after retirement? I did not partake in the discussion. My take at that time was that haven attained the age of 60 years and spent 35 years of meritorious service and having been contributing to the National Pension Scheme. what else I do need to do.

    Continue reading “Governance – PENCOM 1”