Ladidi Kolo, The Female Pilot From Nupeland

When women break barriers to make a mark for themselves in their chosen field of endeavor, we celebrate them. In Nigeria, for a woman brave the odds and follow her dreams, especially in what is still seen as a man’s world, is a great achievement.

That is the story of Ladidi Victoria Kolo, a female pilot of Nupe origin.

Taini Yahya, who followed her ‘soaring’ journey with keen interest, writes.

The Nupe people have been recognised for their tremendous achievements in the history of the black race. In many ways, Ladidi Victoria Kolo fits the description of the Nupe woman perfectly; hardworking, resilient, patient and certainly an achiever of what most women would still consider ‘a man’s terrain’. In the past, women did not hold positions more than that of cabin crew members or ticketing agents. But this has changed a lot where they have proven that old adage that says, ‘‘what a man can do, a woman can do too, and even better’’. Although, women have made great strides in the aviation industry, their male counterparts are often preferred when it comes to flying the giant bird.

When it came to choosing a career, this brave young lady would not take a backseat and cast her dreams aside Her childhood passion for flying a plane has grown and become a reality due to her determination, belief in her abilities and the goodwill of people who believed in her dreams.

How it began

Her journey to becoming a pilot began in 2014. ‘‘After I completed my first degree, I decided to open up to my dad concerning my dream.  He got in touch with his very close friend, Mr. Akin Eric Garuba who works at Capital Airlines. After a lengthy discussion, he promised to get me into a school to start.’’

She said Mr. Garuba contacted his colleagues in South Africa who assisted her in gaining admission. The private pilot license training cost a substantial amount of money. ‘‘It was quite expensive,’’ says Ladidi. ‘‘My dad had a panic attack because he didn’t even know how or where to start getting such money.

She said Mr Garuba came to the rescue. ‘‘I guess he saw how passionate I was, being a pilot himself.  He told my dad to calm down and that he would sort things out, which he did. According to him, it was time for him to pay back the goodwill he was shown years back by my dad. He told me my father was a good man who showed him so much kindness some years ago. I am really grateful to God and to Mr. Garuba because if not for his kindness, I won’t be a pilot today.’’

Kolo says that her interest in flying objects was piqued since childhood. She was fascinated by airplanes. ‘‘Back then, in my innocence, I didn’t understand the mechanism of flying until I got to know that airplanes were flown by human beings and that the object was called an airplane. I just knew that I wanted to be high up there flying one day.’’

Today, she stands tall among her peers in the industry and tells the story of how what began as a childhood passion has seen her soar in her chosen field.

Comparing female and male trainees, she said as far as she knows, ‘‘Male trainees face difficulties just like their female counterparts. Some would even drop out, while some give up in the course of training,’’ she said. But that is not the case for this ambitious, youthful yet bold, 22-year- old from Nupeland.

Her first experience in the air

‘‘Terrifying! As time went on, I got used to it though. Owing to the love and passion I have for flying, I overcame my initial fears. You know what it feels like when it’s your first time to learn how to drive. You are a little scared and careful but as time goes on, you’ll get used to it. It is funny but right now, I feel safer on air than on ground. I don’t even think about plane crash. If possible, I would relocate and live high up there.’’

My fear is more of the road than in the air. When I was told to ride a motorbike I was so scared.  I wish I could go anywhere I want to by air no matter how short the distance is.

Does she qualify to be pilot?

‘’Yes, to an extent, because I have my foreign pilot license.’’ However, she needs to cross the next stage which is getting the commercial pilot license.

‘‘I’m aware that the economy is in a bad shape and that things are pretty difficult but I am looking up to God. Only He can make my dreams come true because for the first training, my parents had to sell the only car they had which didn’t cover much.’’

How to achieve this?

I have gained admission into a flying school in America and South Africa but the cost is quite scary and I know my parents won’t be able to pay. The training costs about $57,000 for 6-9 month-course duration. I wouldn’t mind, if I can get support from the Governor of Kwara and Niger states to help me achieve my dreams.

Heroes in the industry

The graduate of Sociology says her flying hero is Captain Chinyere Kalu, Nigeria’s first woman commercial pilot. She is yet to find out if she is the first pilot, male or female, from Nupeland since she hasn’t heard of any. ‘‘Maybe there exists one whom I am not aware of yet,’’ she adds.

Changes she would like to see in the industry

‘‘Enlightenment is the key. In Africa, Nigeria being no exception, females are relegated to the kitchen. Even the educated ones still have issues fitting into jobs perceived to be for males only.

In addition, the males often feel threatened when a female rises up to some professional levels. I believe females should be educated and accorded equal opportunities. Their confidence level should be elevated as that of their male counterparts.

Pilot trainings are capital intensive. Aside encouraging females, I feel the fees should be subsidized. The females should be accorded the enabling environment to bring into the industry.’’

Future plans

‘‘I have big dreams but top on my priority list is to serve my country. I want to use my experience here in Nigeria because of the love I have for my country. I told my dad sometime that I wouldn’t mind joining Nigerian Air Force, and he strongly believes it is possible but we all know what it is like joining any of the Armed Forces in Nigeria.’’

 

 

Emergency ‘Power’ Bill: Much Ado About Nothing

Recently, the Emergency ‘Power’ Bill which they rather, I called Emergency ‘Stabilization’ Bill, to borrow the words of a senior colleague, has come under severe and cacophonous condemnations from many quarters. This may not have been unconnected with the military background of Mr. President, particularly as it has to do with his government’s modus operandi as a military Head of State about 3 decades ago. Some had questioned why President Muhammadu Buhari did not invoke his extant powers to achieve the desired goal at this critical point in the nation’s economic life. More so that none of his predecessors in recent times saw no reason to do that. But then, the question which readily comes to the mind is: “When last did Nigeria witness economic recession?”

For those who are students of or are familiar with history, we will recall during the sway of the Sokoto State scion, President Shehu Usman Shagari era, the country witnessed a similar quagmire. The economy as it were then were in dire and precipitous straits. What did he do? Of course, he sought and secured emergency power to deal decisively with the situation then before his government was toppled in a military junta which co-incidentally had Muhammadu Buhari as the head of that military government. Subsequently, the country had no cause to be recessed largely because of those that handled her affairs. We all recall how the global meltdown of the 2007/2008 had no much impact on the Nigerian economy except for individuals who invested in the stock market. The handlers of the economy as it were-Chief Obasanjo and Ngozi Okonjo Iweala provided a shock absorber strong enough to mitigate its ripple effect. Our foreign reserve was okay enough.

The following government-Yar’Adua/Goodluck had no need to panic because the foreign reserve was strong enough to provide the palliatives that were sine qua non to any eventuality. However, the last administration had the highest revenue in the history of the country but perhaps the most extravagant too. It is sardonically lugubrious that a government with a revenue to the tune of N57trillion (2010-2015) could not muster the political will to save for a period like this. Like I mentioned in an online tête-à-tête with BudgIT, Japhet Omojuwa, Kayode Ogundamisi, Tunji Lardner and Aisha Yesufu of the #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) group among others, we cannot project into the future from today without being retrospective. We have to take a glimpse into the past and analyse how we got stuck. This is not about blame game. It is a matter of facticity!

How many Nigerians did read through the points listed in the proposed bill? About six points or so. And going through the listed points, none seemed to suggest ‘draconianization’ (sic) of power by the incumbent. Without unnecessarily sounding like the All Progressives Congress, APC bootlicker or apologist, there was no political import or innuendo from the bill. The bill for all intents and purposes was to circumvent the bureaucratic bottlenecks that are concomitant with our processes within the polity.  Most, if not all of it were about taking quick economic decisions without being bugged down by bureaucracy. The proposal is timely and should be welcomed by all and sundry if really we are serious about getting out of the plague steering us in the face in the name of recession.

Economy matters to all countries-developed, developing and underdeveloped. A leadership which underestimates the importance of economy to its country’s survival is analogous to failure. History has always been fair to man. It has always provided an avenue to take a look back and learn so as to project forward. Only recently, the world saw what happened to Greece. It (world) saw what became of the giant Greece. Her economy was in dire straits, rended and thrown into neck-deep financial privation. Many of her citizens became asylum seekers in other European countries. At a point, things went so awry and grotesque that her banks had to shut down. They no longer could fulfil customers needs. The country was headed for bankruptcy despite two bail outs by the European Union (EU). And shockingly, in another marathon talk, the EU was forced to converge in Brussels, Belgium and resolved to give her another bail out making it third time in a row. Otherwise, its (EU) refusal would have been very chaotic all over Europe.

Why do we relish in deception in Nigeria? Can Nigeria afford to go the way of Greece and survive it? Who will come to her aid should she go bankrupt or should the economy keep tottering? African Union (AU)? Albeit, Nigeria may not be burdened by huge debt like Greece, but the so-called “rebased” economy by the World Bank and IMF lackey and frontier, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala in 2014 is feckless. A government created the impression that it was the largest economy in Africa. Meanwhile, the economy was and (is) still import-dependent. At best, what the former Coordinating Minister of the economy and her boss, Goodluck Jonathan handed over (as recently affirmed by Ngozi Okonjo Iweala herself) is a “debased”, “debauched”, “profaned” and “cancerous” economy. The question is what was rebased in an economy that could not even produce pencil. An economy that could not manufacture toothpick?

Of course the past administration knew many Nigerians were bereft in economic literacy. And it quickly cashed in on that, used it to hoodwink the public as if it did something spectacular with the economy. Could Nigeria have been compared with a country like South Africa? A thriving economy with no noise about her milestones. Nigeria is flooded with South African companies. They make ‘cool’ money and repatriate same to develop their country. Companies such as MultiChoice, MTN, Shoprite, Eskom Nigeria, Protea Hotels, South African Breweries (SAB Miller), South African Airways amongst many others take advantage of Nigeria’s teeming population. They make humongous monies, send to their country while we are here gloating about rebased economy. Rebased economy my foot!

After battling with the comatose economy handed over to him more than 15 months ago, President Muhammadu Buhari saw the urgent need to act fast in revamping the hitherto bastardized economy. Thus, it was widely reported in the media that he would be seeking ‘Emergency Economic Power’ from the National Assembly on his plans to ‘stabilize’ the economy. If this is the way to revive economy, why not give him a trial instead of attacking him frontally? Need we be told that a drastic situation requires drastic measures? President Barack Obama in 2008 took over an almost dead US economy from George Bush Jr. He sought from The Congress a whopping $800billion stimulus package to stabilize the economy. The Congress had to jettison its political inclinations to save the country. It was never a rancorous and cacophonous argy bargy from the Democrats and the Republicans. Today, the US which was faced with hyper-inflation, high unemployment rate 7 years back is happy for it.

Methinks President Muhammadu Buhari should be given a chance. He has his ‘integrity’ speak for him. The impression that such ‘powers’ (as being sought) may turn him despotic can no longer fly in the current political dispensation. Even if his moves are tilted towards that, the National Assembly is there to ensure such is or are curtailed. There are a lot of bottlenecks that will stand a cog in the wheel of instant rejig of the economy. And something needs be done and done fast too. I pray the “Emergency Economic Stabilization Bill” sails through at the National Assembly, otherwise, we may have used our ethnoreligious cum political proclivity to further exacerbate an already excruciating situation. One can only think Nigerians will think straight!


 

BABAWALE L.A. OMOGBOLAHAN, ACE, APA, MICA, CFIP

E-Mail: riches.babs@gmail.com

Twitter: @ogbeniczar

School Of Nursing Bida Is Dying

Members representing Bida should bring up the matter at the floor of the House and invite the Commissioner for Health to explain why a new school is being established elsewhere when the existing has unresolved challenges.

These are two critical issues for concern: the issue of saboteurs and the state of school of Nursing Bida.

School of Nursing Bida is dying. The 40-year-old legacy is about to die…and will soon be replaced by Kontagora School of Nursing.

Some of the problems are:

-Dilapidated structures

-Lack of manpower

– Lack of accreditation since inception in 1976

One also questions the need for proliferation of the schools when the existing one is going down the drain. One would think that the resources, if channeled to developing the existing one would have more impact.

The experienced staff being engaged on contract was stopped. Currently they have four qualified Nurse Educators; a School of Nursing with only four qualified instructors is not enough.

The facilities are so bad that the Nursing council has threatened to close down the school. Can you imagine the damage half-baked nurses would do to individual and collective health?

Government needs to do something urgently

I remember that the School of Nursing Kafanchan in Kaduna State has been winning the best Nursing School in Nigeria for some time now. My point is and has always been that, of all the privileges I have had of witnessing Governor Abubakar Sani Bello discussing issues, I am yet to pick an iota of discrimination or bias against any of the 3 zones we have in the state. If anything, I believe he should be commended for establishing the school in each zone. And to buttress our point, when he granted the Muslim Ummah political committee from Bida an audience some time ago, the state of Bida School of Nursing formed the bulk of their interaction.

Finally, I agree that instead of our members summoning, they should instead seek audience with the Governor. Obviously, something more than talks is needed urgently.

We engaged ex-governor Babangida Aliyu for 8 years, he would feign concern yet refuse to carry out one single project in the school.

I personally believe that there are unseen hands that deliberately want the school to die in my opinion.

Bida Emirate Council, Bida Forum and Nupe Foundation can join forces and mount the necessary pressure where action would be taken.

My candid opinion is that the proposed establishment of an additional three institutions in other zones of the state is a misplaced priority for obvious reasons. The present economic challenges of the nation cannot accommodate such projects at this time when the state cannot even pay salaries and wages as at when due without borrowing from banks. Why start a project that you know very well you cannot complete? There are abundant projects all over.

Let stakeholders advise the Governor to suspend those ideas and channel the resources to improve on the existing one in Bida that is going under. The school is for all Nigerlites and other Nigerians. It is high time we called our politicians to order on matters like this one.

The reason why we are always at the receiving end of issues, is that we hardly act, we only talk from a distance. All the organisations mentioned above are big names and when they talk, the world will listen but the problem is most of them and their members do not like to get their hands ‘a little dirty’ ;dirty in the sense that they would speak out directly to the government. This is what is expected, that is why we need a strong and vibrant youth wing that can come in and do the work because that is what government fears most.

The Emirate Council and Bida Forum are already discussing the issues but I would like the Foundation to also come in otherwise, if the new schools being proposed for other zones scale through, we would all be witnesses to the loss of that institution and generations yet to come would not forgive us for keeping quiet or just talking without acting! This must be seen as an all-important rescue mission.

It is hard to believe that the school has not been accredited since inception in 1976. Something is definitely wrong somewhere which requires urgent attention by those saddled with the responsibilities of getting the school accredited. God help us.

The institution looks more like an abandoned secondary school. It baffles one to see that there is a Federal Medical Centre just a throw stone away from there; one should have expected much than just the land the school has.

The Government should concentrate on equipping and restoring the accreditation of the old Institution first. After all, most often than not, non- indigenes are the ones that fill up the available slots every session and standards will not be lowered by the Nursing Council just because the next one is located in Kontagora or anywhere else. Whatever it takes, Governor Bello’s attention should be quickly drawn to the pathetic status and the need for urgent intervention.

By Etsu Usman

Economic Recession: A Time To Look Inward

WHAT’S ECONOMIC RECESSION?

An economic recession (in a country) is commonly defined as a decline in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for two or more consecutive quarters. GDP is the market value of all goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time.

Recession-Economic
Recession-Economic

IS RECESSION ANALOGOUS TO ECONOMIC DEPRESSION?

No! A recession is characterised as a period of negative economic growth for two consecutive quarters. A rise in unemployment, a fall in output, an increase in government borrowing among others are symptomatic of a recession. Conversely, a depression is a recession much more severe, exacerbating and long lasting. By and large, in economics, the words recession and depression are used to refer to economic downturns. A severe recession with a 10% decline in GDP is usually called a depression.

Recession-Economic
Recession-Economic

IS NIGERIA IN RECESSION?

Economically and superficially, yes! The statistics rolled out barely 72 hours ago from the office of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) confirmed the country has had two negative economic growth in two consecutive quarters. And this by implication confirms we are in recession.

BUT HOW DID WE GET HERE?

Should the present leadership be held culpable for the current situation the country finds herself? Such belief belong to those with myopic and parochial-minded, those that lack history and are not ready to learn. In 2007 through 2008, a Great Recession hit the entire globe which was then termed Global Economic Meltdown. The United States was worse hit, so were many other developed countries. In Nigeria, the country’s economic did not feel it much except for individuals who lost fortunes as a corollary of the plummet in stock market. Yours Truly wasn’t left out.

Nigeria’s economy did not feel the pang much because of the shock absorber provided by the Obasanjo-led administration with Okonjo Iweala as a minister. The savings of 2004-2007 provided the shock absorber that salvaged our situation back then. But we are in this quagmire today because a government with so much revenue at its disposal did not have the political will to save for a period like this, even with the el dorado that hallmarked its era.

Recession-Economic
Recession-Economic

ANY LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL?

Yes! Many at times, a period of economic recession allows serious nations to go the extra mile. It affords them to think outside the box. To look inward and device mechanisms that will get them out of the doldrums. America did it! Great Britain did it. Brazil did it, Singapore did it and Nigeria too can do it.

WHAT NEEDS BE DONE

Government must continue with its diversification plan. It is a sure way to get out of the malaise.

Government must cut drastically its recurrent expenditure. This is peculiar to all organs of government.

There is no justification for keeping up to 11 Presidential Jets, same way there is no apologia for monthly N500million allocation to state governors as Security Votes

Government must embark on import substitution. That is, an economic policy which advocates replacing foreign imports with domestic production. The enabling environment must be provided-security and power.

Companies must embark on what’s called Backward Integration. This refers to the process in which a company purchases or internally produces segments of its supply chain.

Increase in capital project spending which in the long run leads to increased in employment opportunities and disposable income (dy).

Our leaders must show the recession is not only affecting the common man in their actions and inaction. There is no moral justification for any ‘làù làù’ (sic) among many other measures which time and space may not allow Yours Truly for now. Ire ò!

 

OMOGBOLAHAN BABS

Ògbéni Czar….. Àsę ñ t’Èdùmàrè

 

Ògbéni Czar is not a politician, he is an economist and a forensic accountant. His opinions are subject to constructive criticisms.

 

Twitter: @ogbeniczar

Instagram: @ogbeni_czar_kokumo

 

Buhari Won’t Resign Over Recession

Amidst public angst over the appalling state of the economy under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari which has been officially confirmed to be in recession, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has said its hands are clean.

The party rather asked Nigerians to blame the current economic mess on former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Good­luck Jonathan, whom it accused of plundering the country’s resources for 16 years.

APC said the three leaders, who ruled under the platform of the now-turned opposition Peo­ple’s Democratic Party (PDP), had the golden opportunity to turn the economy around, but wasted it.

Reacting yesterday in Abuja to the PDP’s call on Buhari to re­sign over his poor performance, the APC said that the party lacked the credibility and rectitude to make such a call.

The PDP had, while reacting to the declaration of economic recession by the Presidency, de­manded that the President resign his position for leading Nigeria into the crisis.

In a statement issued by the APC National Secretary, Hon. Mai Mala Buni, the ruling party assured Nigerians that the Buhari administration remains commit­ted to resuscitating the economy in the quickest possible time and in the interest of the people.

The party reinstated its com­mitment to returning Nigeria into a strong economic nation, regret­ting that it met an already battered economy which was handed over to it by the past PDP administra­tion.

“The statement by the PDP is the latest in the party’s insensi­tive plot to deflect attention from the ‘voodoo’ economics and reck­less fiscal policies the country was subjected to during its 16-year rule.

“For the umpteenth time, the PDP lacks the moral basis and credibility to comment or con­demn the government on the economy after the mess it left be­hind. Instead, the PDP must apol­ogise to Nigerians.

“The warning signs were glar­ing to the immediate-past admin­istration but it chose the path of economic sabotage by looking the other way and squandering the country’s commonwealth – a reckless decision that has brought the country to its knees.

“Nigerians will recall that even the immediate-past finance minister and coordinating minis­ter of the economy, confessed that the zero political will to save un­der the immediate past adminis­tration is responsible for the chal­lenges facing the country.

“Happily, the President Buha­ri administration has embarked on a well-thought economic agenda, policy actions, appropri­ate fiscal governance, and socio-political reforms to revamp the economy and tackle the nation’s current challenges in the short to long term,” the ruling party noted.

Recently, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, asked President Buhari to retrace his steps and stop the blame game to avoid going the way of the ad­ministration of Jonathan.

He lamented that while Jona­than made oil subsidy billionaires, Buhari was making the same mis­take of creating forex billionaires.

Even the foreign exchange policy, which Sanusi criticised, was hailed yesterday by the APC.

The party said that the Presi­dent has introduced a new flexible foreign exchange policy through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in June 2016, adding that, “we now have a single market-de­termined exchange rate which en­ables suppliers of foreign curren­cies to bring in their money and take the same out at market-de­termined rates.”

The President’s shuttle diplo­macy has yielded positive effects on the country’s economic poli­cies, the party added.

According to the APC, “the generality of Nigerians agree that the days of impunity are over. Through the full implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s APC-led admin­istration, revenue leakages have been greatly plugged.”

Meanwhile, President Buha­ri has restated his commitment to the implementation of the change agenda he promised Nigerians.

Buhari, who spoke yesterday during his official visit to Osog­bo, the Osun State capital to in­augurate the 3,000-capacity Os­ogbo High School, however, said that the promised change won’t come overnight.

He was in the state to com­mission the project as part of ac­tivities marking the 25th anniver­sary of its creation.

The President, who said that change could not be achieved on a bed of roses, added that through patience and perseverance, the challenges the country was facing would become a thing of the past.

He reiterated his adminis­tration’s determination to imple­ment the change agenda through the fight against corruption.

The President said: “We are determined to implement our change agenda by curbing exces­sive wastes in government. We shall restore integrity to govern­ance through the fight against cor­ruption. We are determined to de­liver and rescue the country from bad governance.’’

The President, who said he was happy to be in Osun State, which he described as the spirit­ual home of Yoruba civilisation, thanked the people of the state for voting for APC in the 2015 gener­al elections.

Governor Aregbesola in his remarks, said that building the school was part of the state gov­ernment’s efforts toward the de­velopment of education in the state.

He said that the school, which has 72 classrooms and a multi-purpose hall among oth­er facilities, would provide a con­ducive learning environment for students.

Authority Media …….

Infantino To Receive $1.53m As Annual Salary

FIFA president,Gianni Infantino has accepted a salary of $1.53 million a year, with the Secretary General, Fatma Samoura set to receive $1.3 million.

Under the contract, Infantino also gets a car and lodgings paid during his term of office and “contribution for expenses in accordance with FIFA’s expenses regulations ($2,000 per month)”.

Samoura has the same benefits but lodgings are not included.

There is no bonus for either in 2016 but they will be eligible for bonuses in 2017, the FIFA panel which set terms of the agreements said.

Infantino’s salary agreement comes a few months after he had labeled a $2m salary offer from FIFA audit panel chairman Domenico Scala as “insulting”.

By way of comparison, the former FIFA president Sepp Blatter was paid a total of $3.7m in 2015. But an internal investigation by FIFA attorneys revealed evidence in June that Blatter, former secretary general Jerome Valcke and ex-finance director Markus Kattner had enriched themselves through annual salary increases, World Cup bonuses and other incentives totaling more than $80 million in the years before FIFA’s financial watchdog was formed.

“The FIFA president’s annual compensation represents less than 25 percent of his predecessor’s compensation (average 2010-2015 including bonus),” said the FIFA statement.

 

Pinnick Explains FIFA Executive Post Ambition

The President of the Nigeria Football Federation(NFF) Amaju Pinnick has confirmed his ambition to be one of the African representatives at the executive committee of the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA).

Pinnick said in Abuja that the burning desire to ensure that a Nigerian is placed in the international football politics has necessitated his move to fight for a seat at the next FIFA election, stressing that Nigeria commands big respect at FIFA.

He noted that the non-representation of the country at the highest level of football politics has denied the country a lot of things, stressing that the country would not have lost some qualifying tickets it missed in the past if it had won a representative at both CAF and FIFA.

The NFF president, who disclosed that the members of the NFF executive board have endorsed his candidature for the FIFA seat argued that Nigeria commands a lot of respect at FIFA and hence should now compliment that respect by making to the FIFA executive committee.

The last Nigerian that made it to FIFA executive committee was former Director General of the defunct National Sports Commission (NSC), Amos Adamu who was later suspended for an alleged corrupt practice.

Pinnick noted that if a small country like Benin Republic could produce a member of FIFA executive committee in its federation president, Anjourin Mouscharaf, Nigeria as a larger contributor to world football should deserve a slot in FIFA.

“If a Nigerian is in FIFA, I see nothing wrong with that. If we were in FIFA we would not have lost the AFCON ticket. It is obvious that if the former NFF president, Aminu Maigari had won his election to be in FIFA, we would not have been treated the way we were during the past qualifying games that stopped us from the Nations Cup.

“Again, if Mouscharaf of Benin Republic could be in FIFA, why not a Nigerian? Right now Nigeria commands a lot of respect from FIFA and since the federations’ board has asked me to go. I will go”. He stated.

 

Rio Olympics: Probe Team Nigeria – SWAN

The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) FCT Chapter has called on the Federal government to probe the poor performance of Team Nigeria at the recently- concluded 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Nigeria won only one bronze medal, courtesy of the football team, the Dream Team VI.

Rising from its congress in Abuja, the body regretted that despite the outcry of Nigerians over the poor preparation of Team Nigeria ahead of the games, the minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung insisted that Nigeria was fully prepared, promising that the country would get at least five medals.

While calling on the minister to take the full blame of the Team Nigeria failure. SWAN regretted that the poor planning and disconnection between the ministry of Youth and Sports and the Nigeria Olympics Committee(NOC) brought a disgraceful outing for Nigeria, which it noted began with the late arrival of the teams’ kits for the games.

The communiqué’ issued at the end of the congress read: “… the country performed dismally at the just-concluded 2016 Rio Olympics and we call on the sports Minister, Solomon Dalung who believed Nigeria was fully prepared for the Olympics to take full responsibility for the failure

The congress also agreed that the Presidency should probe the delayed arrival of the Olympic Contingents kits to Brazil after seven Officials of the ministry were in China for the purchase of the kits.

‘Smart Policing’, Best Policy – Osinbajo

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has charged the Nigeria Police Force to adopt what he christened ‘Smart Policing’ and the use of technology to combat crime and criminality in the country.

He gave the charge at the foun­dation laying ceremony of the Crime and Incident Data Base Centre at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, yesterday.

The Centre, which will gulp an estimated N16 billion for its con­struction, will help in facilitating the process of collating and pro­filing suspects no matter where they commit the crime in the country.

The Vice President, who la­mented that the police is cur­rently faced with the challenge of inadequate equipment, expressed confidence that the establishment of the data centre will enhance the capacity of the Police to combat crime effectively in the country.

According to him: “The Nige­ria Police Force has been one of the best in the world. I am say­ing this because I witnessed what they achieved in Somalia on a peace mission as I worked with the United Nations and I equally saw how our police distinguished themselves.

“Also, as an Attorney-General in Lagos State for eight years, I worked with the police. The chal­lenge has been lack of equipment and welfare of the policemen.

“I believe that with the pro­posed Nigeria Police Crime and incident database, our men will conduct police activities smartly and faster.”

Earlier, the IGP, Ibrahim Idris, explained that the centre will en­able the police harness data from the 36 states and the FCT into a central pool.

This, according to him, will as­sist detectives get information on suspects immediately their names are keyed in.

“The introduction of the Ni­geria Police Crime and Incident Data Base is long overdue, con­sidering the myriads of challeng­es that are characterised with the manual form of Police Crime and Incident Registers, which have become obsolete and moribund.”

“The data centre is certainly one of the latest technological innovations in use worldwide, spanning the fields of crime pre­vention and detection, gathering and storing criminal biometric and forensic information for use, not only by law enforcement, but also by other government and private agencies, such as banks and Inland Revenue,” he noted.

 

Authority Media …….

Restore Nation’s Lost Value System – Gov Ambode, Others

Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has called for restoration of the nation’s lost value system, saying they would have positive impact on the nation.

 

Akinwunmi said this at the 17th Bishop Mike Okonkwo annual lecture titled: “The State of the Nigerian nation, Redefining our values” held at the Muson Centre, Lagos.

 

Gov. Ambode represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, said Nigerians; irrespective of religious, tribal and political affiliations, should join hands to build a strong, united and virile country.

 

He said, “Great cities and civilizations were never built in a single day.

 

“All nations derive their identities from entrenched values which are transmitted from generation to generation by families which give the strength and historical direction towards greatness for individuals and countries, generally.

 

Bishop Mike Okonkwo, the Presiding Bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), said the masses were expecting a lot from those in authorities.

 

And until we restored our value systems, government would not be able to do much.

 

Okonkwo blamed all acts of terrorism, insurgency and other vices currently rocking the country on dysfunctional family value systems.

 

He called on parents to rise up to their responsibilities by instilling moral values into their children which, he said, would bring the needed change for Nigerians.

 

“Our values have been eroded in the country, every system is virtually breaking down and it has to do with values as individuals and as Nigerians.

 

“ I think we get it wrong when we started celebrating money much more than character, the moment money was being celebrated rather than character and performance, we lost it.

 

“Parents should know that they have a responsibility to what is happening in view of the economy situation.

 

“Some of the parents have left the training of their children to television and caregivers because they go to work, if we must have a change there must be a prize to it.

 

“Parents must be willing to pay the prize to give their children strong and solid foundations so that when they go into the world, they will not join the rest of the people in doing what they are doing,’’ Okonkwo said. (NAN)