Saturday, February 28, 2015

KILLER CUSTOMS OFFICIALS ON RAMPAGE : 3 Die, Others Injured Trying To Escape From Customs Officers [See Photos] VIEWER DISCRETION ... 9JaKonceptBlog

Three young ladies lost their lives on Thursday along Lagos-Benin highway after their bus was hit by a vehicle carrying the operatives of Nigerian Customs Service in a hot chase.
According to an eyewitness,the deceased ladies were in a hummer bus with a registration number EDO AKA 35 LG carrying their goods known okirika.

They were chased by Custom officials from the Federal Operations Unit,Zone A,Ikeja,from a checkpoint in Ijebu Ode after the driver carrying them refused to stop at the checkpoint.
While chasing them,the vehicle carrying the officials hit the hummer bus which somersaulted several times into a bush at a location called J3.
Three of the passengers died on the spot while others were severely injured with the driver losing one of his legs.
There were no security personnel to assist or convey the corpses to morgue.

LOVE GONE SOUR WITH DEADLY CONSEQUENCES : Couple Shot Dead At Wedding Venue By Jilted Ex-Lover In Delta ... InformationNigeria

A man who was apparently angry after being ditched by his girlfriend had caused serious chaos in the Ukala community of Delta State on Saturday, January 31, 2015 when he stormed the wedding venue of his ex-girlfriend, and shot the couple to death.
He went further to shoot sporadically at the guests who were gathered to witness the event and eventually killed the bride’s mother in the process, Nigerian Monitor reports.
The venue of the ill-fated wedding, which was also to serve as reception for the guests, was laid waste when trouble started immediately after the couple’s first dance. The bride who was simply identified as Stephany, was a graduate of Office Management and Technology from one of the polytechnics in the state. It was learnt that she had walked up to her ex-boyfriend simply identified as Teddy to inform him that she was tired of their relationship which had lasted for eight years without leading them to the altar. Some sources in the know disclosed that her intention was to make Teddy propose to marry her with immediate effect since they had both secured jobs.
After receiving the news, Teddy was said to have started nurturing plans to finally settle down with her. Things took new turns however, when Stephany’s mum suddenly appeared with a United Kingdom-based businessman who arrived Nigeria in December 2014 and introduced him to Stephany.
The deceased bride’s mum told her that the unnamed United Kingdom man was in dire need of a wife and Stephany who was desperate to settle down welcomed the idea since virtually all her mates were married.
They started plans to tie the knot as soon as practicable without any knowledge of the unforeseen danger ahead. Unfortunately they could not live to tell the story of their big day as the bride’s angry ex-lover decided to nip the relationship in the bud by sniffing life out of them halfway into their wedding ceremony.

Source: Talk of Naija

TRY WHICH KIND RECONCILIATION ABEG? : Please dissolve our one-week marriage, I can’t cope with his big manhood, wife tells court ... TribuneNews

If she wants to leave, she must pay me N60,000 —Husband
There was laughter at the Sharia Court, Samaru, Gusau, Zamfara State,  during the week, when a housewife, Aisha Dannupawa, asked the court to dissolve her one-week marriage to her husband, Ali Maizinari, because she could not bear the size of his penis.
When the case came up, the woman told the court that she married her husband after her first marriage failed.
The mother of three revealed that  before she packed into her husband’s house, as the tradition demanded, she was invited into his parents house.
She told the court that “when he came, we had sex but the experience was a nightmare. Instead of enjoying the sex, it turned out to be something else because his penis was too big,” she told the court.
She also told the court that after the experience, she took some medication, which was given to her by her mother.
“I told my mother the experience but she told me to endure and that with time, I will be able to cope. She then gave me some drugs,’’ she added.
According to her, “two days later when he came to visit me, we had sex again, but the experience was too much to bear. It was then I knew that I coulld not continue with the marriage because of the size of his penis.’’
The husband, Maizinari, did not deny what his wife said. He told the court that he was willing to divorce her but that she should pay back the dowry and all that he spent on her during the courtship.
When he was asked to state the amount, Maizinari disclosed that what he expected from her was N60,000.
President of the court, Alhaji Mamman Shinkafi, told the couple to try reconciliation before the next date.

THE ART OF STUPIDITY AND UNMITIGATED FOOLISH TALK PERFECTED : Tinubu, Osinbajo in secret pact over presidency – PDP ... PremiumTimes

Femi Fani-Kayode
The spokesperson of the campaign office of President Goodluck Jonathan, Femi Fani-Kayode, has accused a national leader of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, and former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, of plotting to emerge Nigeria’s president through the back door.
Mr. Fani-Kayode, who addressed a press conference Friday in Abuja, said the APC is planning to foist on Nigeria “an evil, ungodly, wicked and ruthless agenda” in the event the APC wins.
He said since the formation of the APC it has been an open secret that Mr. Tinubu is its national leader and also its biggest financier.
“The question that should agitate every Nigerian is why Tinubu has been investing heavily in the APC presidential project to such a point that he has single-handedly produced the joint presidential ticket of General Muhammadu Buhari and Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
“It should baffle well-meaning Nigerians why Senator Tinubu has decided to draft General Buhari, despite his age, acrimonious background and questionable health status, into the presidential race whilst ensuring that his stooge, Prof. Osinbajo was foisted on the general as vice presidential candidate,” he said.
The reason, he said Mr. Tinubu is doing all that is to seize the presidency of Nigeria by subterfuge.
Mr. Fani-Kayode said the former Senator had wanted to be running mate to Mr. Buhari in spite of a nationwide resentment for Muslim-Muslim ticket in the country.
He said Mr. Tinubu had justified the ticket by saying that competence was the important thing and not the issue of religion.
He said when that agenda could not succeed, the opposition leader, after being given the opportunity to nominate a vice presidential candidate, decided to “prop up his stooge in the person of Prof Osinbajo”.
“Now the real reason Senator Tinubu nominated Osinbajo has been made known to us and we hereby offer a public service to the Nigerian people by drawing national attention to it. Credible pieces of information at our disposal indicate that Tinubu has perfected plans to come to power through the back door.
“Senator Tinubu, according to our information, has compelled Professor Osinbajo to swear to an oath that after six months in office, he would resign as the vice president, in the unlikely event that their party wins.
“The wicked plot, as laid out by them, is to force Professor Osinbajo to resign for Senator Tinubu to be nominated by General Buhari as his replacement,” he said.
The campaign spokesperson said the ultimate objective of this plot is to ensure that Mr. Tinubu becomes President.
The script he said, is that given the “questionable” health of Mr. Buhari, Mr. Tinubu who is desperate to be president, will simply bid his time in the expectation that Mr. Buhari will not be able to go the whole hog.
“How wicked can those that hatched this plan be? How unfair can they be to the North, to General Buhari and to Nigerians? We wish General Buhari long life.
“Senator Tinubu’s dangerous plan is about getting power. This is sad. No thoroughbred Yoruba man or indeed Nigerian wants to get power through the misfortune of another person,” he said.
To buttress his point, Mr. Fani-Kayode said Mr. Tinubu had perfected the same plan prior to the 2011 election when he attempted to force then running mate, Tunde Bakare to resign and pave the way for him to emerge as vice presidential candidate.
He said becoming the vice president is not the destination for Mr. Tinubu but becoming the president!
“The agenda of the cabal within the APC is with the perceived health challenges of General Buhari.
“They have told themselves in hushed tones that he has prostate cancer, acute asthma and that he suffers from dementia,” he said.
Mr. Fani-Kayode said all structures around Mr. Buhari belongs to Mr. Tinubu.
He said all the actors around Mr. Buhari that are driving his campaign behind the scenes are all Tinubu’s men.
“Most of the covert funding for this campaign comes from Tinubu’s friend outside the country and from Tinubu’s himself. So, if he becomes President, Buhari will become virtually incapacitated and he will not be the one running the government.
“Those behind this plan would now be waiting for Buhari to pass on. That is what Tinubu want to do to the North and to Nigeria.
“This is a wicked and ungodly attempt for Tinubu not only against the North and the Hausa/Fulani but against the whole country.
“We are convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that most Nigerians are not with this cabal. This is because no sane or rationale person would wish another evil to actualize his political ambition,” he said.

FOR THE RECORDS : Who wants Buhari dead? ... By Yomi Odunuga

The All Progressives Congress presidential candidate in the re-scheduled March 28 election, General Muhammadu Buhari, must have grown tired of reading news about his failing health and imminent death mostly hyped by political interests that would stop at nothing to frustrate his ambition to rule Nigeria again. Indeed, it is a miracle that Buhari is not only alive but also remains a candidate in an election that has shredded all bounds of common sense and morality. Never in the history of this country has a general election been this divisive, bitter and brimming with biting hate. If Buhari had not tried his luck thrice in the past to mount the saddle of leadership through the ballot box, you would have thought that he is one character from Mars that has come to upset the apple cart. It is, to say the least, benumbing that some people have elevated political buffoonery to a craft in governance. Pity!
As I write this, there are over ten cases filed at various courts in the land against the Buhari candidacy. Some of these cases are being handled by renowned legal luminaries who continue to feed off a warped political arrangement in which alleged corrupt politicians conveniently retire to the National Assembly to doze on the couch of slush funds; others are under the care of the popular ‘charge and-bail’ lawyers scattered across the Federal Capital Territory. At first, it was the long-running rant about his eligibility to contest based on the spurious allegation that neither did he attend a secondary school nor possess the requisite secondary school certificate. You would have thought such allegations, hollow and irritatingly mundane as they were, would naturally pale into insignificance after Buhari eventually made public a Certified True Copy of his secondary school result. Instead, it fired up other issues that confound the senses. The wailings of Buhari’s detractors continue in decibels of needless noise. That simple document had gone through different forensic analyses in the laboratories of the ‘Jonathanians’ with divergent findings to the consternation of many Nigerians.
In fact, the ‘findings’ as espoused by the lackeys of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party are parts of what the courts would have to determine in the next few weeks. Ordinarily, one would have thought that those pushing for Buhari’s disqualification from the presidential race would allow the courts do its constitutionally assigned responsibilities on the conviction of the ‘evidence’ before the judges. Unfortunately, that is not the case. It appears some of them would prefer a natural or, better still, faster exit of the enigma called Muhammadu Buhari. Do not get it wrong please. By all shades of imagination, Buhari, a former military dictator and strict disciplinarian, should not be an issue in this election. At least, not after three failed shots at the exalted seat with a crushing humiliation by a victorious President Goodluck Jonathan in his last attempt. That was in 2011. At that time, Buhari had his own crowd but he was not anywhere near the besotted bride he has transformed into in the last six months. Needless to say that, in 2011 and other elections before then, no one cared about the genuineness of Buhari’s certificates if he had any neither did anyone give a second thought to his age or health. It was immaterial who his friends were. He was simply a man of his own crowd, testing the murky waters of politics thatalmost drowned him.
Four years after, the story has changed. The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone and that has thrown some people into palpable tension. A presidential candidate that the dull-witted ones at the PDP had described as a ‘no contest’ and an easy pie for Jonathan to take to the cleaners has suddenly become a dreaded dictator that must be stopped by all means possible. Sadly, this election campaign has been enveloped in unduly negative sentiments; this election has been riddled with the bullet of seething hatred. The gloves are off and bare-knuckle punches are unleashed on the nation. It got to its infamous best with a muckraking documentary on Buhari that was serially aired on a popular television network. It was a hatchet job carried too far. Buhari, his life, his family and his anguish as a father became subjects of odious political propaganda. In that documentary, he comes across as an anti-establishment figure and a revenge-seeking bigot out to inflict a damaging blow on the waning psyche of a nation in turmoil. His second coming, when it happens, is projected as the real Armageddon. Then, you ask, why this rush of hatred for a man who had always been dismissively labelled an underdog in his last three attempts?
The answer is simple. The sudden outpouring of support for Buhari by millions of Nigerians jolted the authority to the reality of an ‘underdog’ pulling the rug from under their incompetent platform. For, if the truth must be told, the Buhari phenomenon and acceptance even in geo-political zones where he wouldn’t have mustered significant votes in the past developed due to the failure of the ruling government to walk the talk of its electoral promises. At a point, nearly all the indices of development with which the electorate would have assessed the performance of the government fell through. Clearly, the shoddy handling of the general insecurity in the land, especially the deadly activities of the Boko Haram insurgents in the North East, contributed to the low rating; coupled with the misfortunes of a rebased economy with the highest number of the employed grappling with survival. The situation is not helped by the perception, in spite of the persistent denial by the government, that corruption continues to grow in leaps and bounds as rent-seekers and shady portfolio cabal control the levers of business in the oil sector. The cry for change, which was borne out of despair and alienation, marks the beginning of a campaign that has been anything but issue-based.
Now, the concern is no longer about Buhari’s certificate. That should be settled by a court of competent jurisdiction. His eligibility or otherwise should also be by a verdict from the court since key members of the PDP believe he should be disqualified. In a democracy, litigants are free to test the veracity of their arguments, no matter how tendentiously mundane or pedestrian such arguments are, in the law courts. What they do not have a right to is the resort to blackmail and falsehood without any empirical basis or justification. That is exactly what Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has been doing through his devious fixation to a Buhari terminal sickness and likely death. It is one thing to play politics with an opponent’s credentials and past conduct. It is another thing to play god with that person’s health and life. Ever since Buhari left for the United Kingdom, Fayose continues with his mockery of that visit. Not satisfied with his doomsday prediction of a likely death on the throne should Buhari win the general election, Fayose now stalks Buhari. He has become a leech. He insists Buhari is sick and undergoing treatment in the UK. Earlier in the week, he vowed to release a picture of the retired General on his sick bed in the UK. In addition, he says that with such relish and sense of conviction that I doubt if Fayose would flinch should Buhari fall dead today. In fact, that should be his greatest joy.
Then, we ask why? It is surprising that no one among the ranks and file of the PDP has deemed it necessary to rein in Fayose in his bestial, demeaning and vicious propaganda against a man whose only sin is picking another party’s ticket to give Jonathan a run for his popularity in a presidential contest that still runs neck-to-neck. Vacuous as it may sound, Fayose has said that he is not particularly against a Buhari presidency. His greatest wish would be to see that such emergence must be based on the truth. He said he loathes the propaganda of deceit by the opposition party. That is fair enough. However, what elsecould be more dubious propaganda than when a man spends millions of naira to sponsor newspaper advertisements predicting the imminent death of a fellow citizen on the altar of political chicanery? What do you call Fayose’s commitment to scurrying the end of the world in search of the photograph of a sickly Buhari on his deathbed in a UK hospital? Moreover, how would the ruling PDP have reacted to it if the table has changed and the opposition is the one attempting to make political capital out of this no brainer? Would the hawks at the PDP have kept mum, believing that it is all fair and square in politics to throw decorum to the dogs?
By the way, this is not in anyway to say that the APC should not come clean on candidate Buhari’s health if indeed it is true that he suffers any debilitating illness. Anything contrary to this would be tantamount to a direct abuse of the term, political expediency. It would be a disservice not only to Buhari but also to the millions of people who have decided to vote for him.Besides, it is a disservice to a nation that had travelled the same road in its penultimate presidential election.However, the concern is that even if the party comes clean, the likes of Fayose would not just be content with allowing a sleeping dog lie. Buhari’s medical report, no matter the reputation of the institution that issues it, would still be another subject of litigation. That is the sickening part of this election; nothing seems to be genuine to the ruling party unless what its propaganda machinery reels out to the public. That is why theysay the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, is no longer competent to supervise the election. That is why they are no longer comfortable with the use of the Permanent Voter Cards and the Card Readers. That is why they want Buhari disqualified on the excuse that Muhammadu and Mohammed are two different names with diverse meanings. That is why they say the death of his children because of a terminal illness should be an election issue. That is why they want him out before Election Day, by whatever means possible. The fear factor is driving those who fear change to nuts. And that’s scary. Really scary because of the length they are willing to go, even at the risk of putting all else asunder!

WHERE IS MANKIND HEADED ... WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH MEN TODAY? : B-I-Z-A-R-R-E: How a cleric poisoned client, chopped off his hands, head, private parts ... VanguardNews

Residents of Obele community in Oko-Agbola, Magbon area of Badagry, Lagos, were taken aback at the sight of policemen at the site of a swimming pool around the area on February 13, 2015. However, before their arrival, a crowd had gathered to watch the bloated headless body of a man in the river. At the approach of the policemen, the crowd disappeared into thin air for fear of possible arrest.
Fatai-AderomuOn closer observation , it was discovered that the headless man also had other parts of his body mutilated. For instance, his two breasts were slashed off, his two wrists chopped off and his chest region dissected, revealing a conspicuously deep hole. Not only that, his stomach was also discovered to have been sliced open with the intestines missing, as well as his manhood.
Before the arrival of the policemen, the crowd reportedly tried in vain to fathom the true identity of the headless man who was dumped in the river, stark naked. However, the nut has been cracked by operatives of the Homicide section of the State Criminal Investigations Department ,SCID, Panti, Yaba, following the arrest of a Muslim cleric , otherwise known as Alfa.
The 27 year-old suspect, Alfa Fatai Aderomu, an Arabic teacher popularly known around Oko-Agbonla area of Magbon, is currently cooling his heels inside the dreaded cell at Panti. He gave a shilling account of how the headless body found its way into the river.
The headless man was later discovered to be one Rafiu Suleiman , a father of one, who also lived around the area. Further checks showed that he left home for his place of work in Apapa on Valentine day, February 14, 2015, but never returned. Apprehension reportedly set in next day following his continued absence, a development that led to his family reporting at Morogbo police division the next day.
Search, as gathered, had been conducted round the area, with visits to hospitals and mortuaries but he was not found. His wife and their 3-year-old baby were said to have waited in vain for the arrival of their 41-year-old bread winner, until news about the discovery of a headless man in Obele river reached them.
Crime Guard gathered that members of the family were invited to ascertain whether the headless body was that of the missing Suleiman. While they were at it, the wife reportedly called a member of the family who was with the Police on phone, informing that her husband had informed her on Valentine day that he would stop by Alfa Aderomu’s place on his way back.
With that information, operatives of the Homicide section led by the officer-in charge, Mr Iyamah Daniel, a Chief superintendent of Police, stormed Aderomu’s apartment located at 32, Oko-Agbola street,where he was seen teaching children Arabic and Islamic studies. He was subsequently apprehended.
Spokesman for the Lagos State Police Command, Kenneth Nwosu, who confirmed the arrest, revealed that when a search was conducted round the cleric’s apartment, a pair of blue Jeans identified as the one worn by the victim was found in a nearby bust opposite Alfa Aderomu’s house. On further interrogation, he reportedly opened up by saying that he administered a concoction on the deceased that fateful day which led to his death, right in his apartment which he shared with his wife and five children.
In an encounter with the Oyo state-born suspect, he gave a terrifying account which could be likened to a horror movie, of how the victim whom he claimed to be his client, died and how he was dumped in the river. Hear him: “ Rafiu Suleiman (deceased) was a friend and a client for two years . He usually came for spiritual cleansing. Yes, I have been an Alfa ( Islamic cleric) for 15 years.I own a mosque where I teach children Islamic and Arabic studies.
I also administer treatment on strange sicknesses. Also, I prepare concoction of favor, success and quick sales for my clients. On February 14 , 2015, Suleiman called me on phone to inform that his child had dislocated his arm. I told him I could prepare medicine that would heal him. That morning, he came to my house and dropped N2000 for the preparation of the medicine intended for his child.recovered-earthen-pot
On his way back from work, precisely11pm, he came to my place and demanded for an earlier concoction I prepared for him. It was for favor. He said he needed it in order to gain his boss’s favor at work. He worked as a crane driver. After preparing the concoction, he took it . That was 12 midnight. By then, he said he could not go back home, that it was late. At about 2am, he started complaining of stomach ache. I gave him palm oil, after which we both slept.
At this point, the suspect paused , shook his head intermittently and cast a stare at this reporter as if he was in a trance. After a long silence, he continued: “ I woke up at about 4am. But by the time I shook Suleiman to wake him up, he was cold. I shook him vigorously and at the same time called out his name but there was dead silence.”
Crime Guard asked if his (Alfa’s) wife and children whom he said occupied one of the two bedrooms were not attracted by the noise, he replied: “ No, I did not shout that loud . Immediately, I picked my phone and quickly dialed the number of the Chief Imam of Obelle community (name withheld). When he came, he suggested we should take the body away from the house in order to avoid prying eyes.”
Alfa Aderomu stated that the body was cut and and packed into two bags of rice and thereafter, taken to a bush along the street. From his explanation, it seemed the Chief Imam came prepared for the dehumanizing act, as according to him: “ When we reached the bush, the Chief Imam brought out a knife and cut the two wrist s and the head.
He hid them somewhere in the bush with a promise to come pick them later. Next day, we called another cleric named(name withheld) on phone. On arrival, we discovered that came with another cleric(name withheld) . They dissected the chest and removed the heart . They also cut the stomach and removed all the intestines. They further cut off the breasts and manhood.”
Asked what part of the body he collected, he said , “I did not collect any part”. Also asked what they intended doing with the body parts, he said : “ I believe they either wanted to sell them or use them to prepare concoction for fertility , stroke or other illnesses.’’ Continuing, he said : “ We, thereafter, pulled his clothes and pants before dumping him inside the stagnant pool . Our intention was to prevent his death being linked to me. I did not plan to kill him.
How could I plan to kill Rafiu Suleiman who was like a brother to me? I have prepared several concoctions for him and nothing bad has ever happened. What actually killed him was the powdery substance I added in the concoction. I believe it was too much. That was why, when he complained of stomach ache, I quickly gave him palm oil.
I didn’t know it would kill him. Since I became a cleric, such calamity had never befallen me. I had to call my colleagues because I was confused. I did not know they would end up complicating my problem,. If I had known, I would have called his family or even raised alarm.
When asked what the earthen port with burnt substance which was recovered inside his apartment was meant for, the suspect revealed that it was a concoction for success which was at the verge of being prepared for a client. According to him: “ The burnt substance were in different denominations of naira I added some ingredients to it before burning them. It was at the last stage of preparation when I was arrested.
The last stage would have been the killing of a ram for the blood to be added to the burnt materials. Thereafter, the ram would be cooked and shared to people. It was meant for a client who wanted to be successful in his business”, he said , insisting however that his intention was never to kill his client.
As at the time of filing this report, operatives of the Homicide section were on their way to recover the head of the victim from where the suspect said it was kept. Also the Chief Imam of the community alleged to have cut off the head and wrists was said to be on the run. But the Police stated that they were on his trail, assuring that they would get him.
Lagos State Command Image maker, Kenneth Nwosu, who confirmed the story said that the suspects would be charged to court at the conclusion of investigations.

Friday, February 27, 2015

THE PROMISE OF HARDER DAYS AFTER MARCH 28TH : More austerity measures coming – Okonjo-Iweala ... PunchNews

Coordinating Minister for the economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Following the continuous decline of the price of crude oil in the international market, the Federal Government on Thursday said it was preparing additional measures to mitigate the impact of the price drop on the Nigerian economy.
It also denied withdrawing the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework from the National Assembly, adding that the MTEF and the budget were with the lawmakers.
The Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, stated these in Abuja while speaking at the launch of the Action 2015 programme, where she had a dialogue with school children of 15 years of age.
Action 2015 is an international movement to call for more action in the area of fighting corruption, inequality and climate change, and it is based on the believe that 2015 can be a pivotal year that will change the future.
The concert-styled event had in attendance celebrities such as Genevieve Nnaji, Samson Siasia, Dbanj, Timi Dakolo, Praiz, Marvellous Odiete, Nike Laoye and Jaiye Keys, who lent their voices to the call for inclusive growth.
Okonjo-Iweala said the country was facing a challenging time because of the developments in the global economy, adding that this had necessitated the need for additional austerity measures.
The minister did not provide details of the additional measures being planned.
She had during a public presentation of the 2015 budget proposal listed the stoppage of the purchase of new furniture, and reduction in international travels and trainings by government officials by 50 per cent as some of the austerity measures to be taken this year to boost revenue.
Others are the implementation of the Stephen Orasanye committee’s report on the rationalisation of the civil service; and introduction of 10 per cent tax on private jets, three per cent surcharge on champagnes and one per cent property tax on mansions with value exceeding N300m.
Between December 17, 2014 when the budget proposal was submitted, with oil benchmark price pegged at $65 per barrel, and now, global oil prices have further crashed to around $46 per barrel.
The development has further heightened tension in the country because of the Federal Government’s almost total dependence on crude oil exports for its revenue
Specifically, Okonjo-Iweala told the children that 2015 would be a very difficult year for the economy, noting, however, that with appropriate fiscal and monetary policy instruments, the government would manage the economy in a manner that would be beneficial to all.
She said although the country could have moved faster in achieving its goal in the past, a lot of efforts had been put in place to ensure that it achieved the Millennium Development Goals.
The minister gave an assurance that despite the challenges facing the economy as a result of the drop in oil prices, the government was prepared to respond with additional austerity measures.
She said since the budget proposal was with the National Assembly, the government was monitoring developments around oil prices in order to come up with appropriate measures once the decline got to the lowest point.
The minister said, “We have to provide an environment for the children to grow so that they can become leaders that will uphold the values that we need such as honesty, hard work, truth and valuing the country above self.
“Even though the oil price is going down, the budget is with the National Assembly. Let me just tell you that measures are being put in place so that we can manage the budget and the economy at whatever the oil price bottoms out.
“Right now, no one knows the bottom because it is falling every day. Once it stabilises and we know the bottom, we will accompany it with appropriate measures. So, we are working everyday with scenarios; we are following exactly the plan we told Nigerians.
“There are scenarios at $55, $50 and below of the additional measures that will be needed, and I believe that though this will be a very difficult year for the country, we have the tools, we know how to apply them and we know that working together, we will be able to take this country through this year and then to a brighter 2016.”
On what is being done to assist the poor to mitigate the difficult times, Okonjo-Iweala said although things might look tough at the moment, the government was building a platform on which it would assist those at the bottom of the pyramid.
She said. “For one to help lift people out of poverty, we are doing something that is technological, which is trying to give every Nigerian a smartcard and your generation will be the one to mostly appreciate this.
“It will enable us to target those at the very bottom once they have a card to be able to help them with some assistance that can assure basic health care and their children being in school through a conditional cash transfer programme and that programme is being put together by the President.
“These are some of the things that will target and include more people who are left out now.”
She said the government was working towards providing an environment for the children to grow so that they could become leaders who would uphold the values of honesty, hard work, truth and valuing the country above self.