Saturday, February 28, 2015

This Week in Nigeria: 18 dead in Adamawa Floods

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Adamawa State, Nigeria. Photograph by Nwuanyi.

This Week: News

250 villages flooded and 18 dead in Adamawa State floods

More than 250 villages have been flooded and 18 people killed in Adamawa State after Cameroonian officials released water from Lado Dam. Secretary to the Adamawa State government Kobis Ari revealed that Cameroon had given notice of their intention to release water from the dam located at the upper end of River Benue, but not enough warning was given to residents to vacate. The Emergency Management Agency has deployed its workers to affected areas to provide victims with food and blankets while awaiting further help from the federal government.

Senate blocks introduction of N5,000 banknote

The Senate Committee on Banking, Currency and other Financial Institutions has criticised plans by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to introduce a N5,000 ($30) note into circulation by next year. Chairman of the senate panel Bassey Otu said, “this type of action is only taken where there is a major crisis and the CBN must be very careful in order not to send a wrong signal or message to households [and the] domestic sector”. The senate has called for a suspension and review of the new banknote before consent is given.

National Institute for Sports to be adjusted

Bolaji Abdullahi, Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission, has inaugurated a panel to adjust the National Institute for Sports (NIS). The NIS was established in 1972 to train coaches and sports organisers and develop Nigerian sport. The creation of the panel follows a presidential directive to re-organise the sporting sector after the country’s poor performance at the 2012 Olympics. The panel is charged with evaluating staff strength, assessing the sports science and medicine department, and carrying out a full audit of the managerial and financial structure of the institute.

Boeing and Federal Ministry of Aviation sign partnership agreement

A partnership agreement has been signed between the aircraft manufacturer Boeing and Nigeria’s Ministry of Aviation to develop Nigerian aviation. An Eight-Point Programme of Action was signed during an investors road-show to the United States led by the Minister of Aviation Stella Oduah-Ogiemwonyi. The partnership will focus on areas including the establishment of Maintenance and Repair Organisations (MROs) in the country, the development of an Integrated Air Navigation System and the assessment of the technical conditions of aircraft operating in the country.

Cynthia Udoka Osokogu found in Lagos mortuary

A social media campaign to find Cynthia Udoka Osokogu, the daughter of retired Major General Frank Osokogu, has come to an end as the body of 24-year-old was found in Lagos mortuary. Cynthia went missing last week after leaving Naswara State for a business engagement in Lagos. Unsuccessful attempts by her family and friends to ascertain her whereabouts prompted an announcement of her disappearance online. It is alleged that the ‘business friends’ she had met on Facebook took the money meant for the business plan before strangling her. Six people were arrested and two have confessed to the murder.

This Week: Politics

The death of Cynthia Udoka Osokogu has sent shockwaves throughout Nigeria. The syndicate involved in Osokogu’s murder confessed that she was their sixth victim and that targeting rich young women had become their main trade due to a lack of opportunity and the ease of online fraud. The young postgraduate student is likely to be one of many victims who have been lured into a trap and such dangers need to be highlighted to prevent such crimes in the future. Instances of fraud via social networks are on the increase, with Nigerians and non-Nigerians alike falling victim to such practices. Osokogu’s murder must spur on a campaign to increase awareness of the dangers of online fraud in Nigeria.

The proposed introduction of the N5,000 note by the Central Bank of Nigeria has evoked strong reactions. The currency restructuring has further plans to convert the N20 ($0.13), N10 ($0.06) and N5 ($0.03) notes into coins. The All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) have claimed that the N5,000 note will not only cause inflation but will aid corruption in Nigeria. They believe that the transportation of funds will be made easier by the higher denomination note. It is feared that the introduction of N5,000 currency note would also exacerbate corruptive tendencies in the Nigerian government. The senate has ordered the suspension of the higher denomination note on the grounds of avoiding sending the wrong signals to stakeholders in the economy. The reason for its introduction must be clearly spelt out in order to inform the population of the changes and ramifications it will have on them and Nigerian society.

Writers of the week:

On the return of tollgates’ by Adewale Kupoluyi attempts to dissect the reason behind the federal government’s reintroduction of the tolling system. The author explores issues such as a perceived double taxation and road maintenance in his analysis. Whilst not against the reintroduction of the tolling system, Kupoluti advocates that all implementations must be ‘above board’ and carried out with the utmost professionalism.

Avoiding Future Dismal Sporting Outings’ by Peter Claver Oparah is a detailed write-up examining Nigerian sport. Oparah asks if the country’s sporting problem is just a one off, or if it can be placed side by side with other instances of corruption and incompetence. The writer advocates a return to grassroots, where school sports are held to be important alongside technical and infrastructural advancements.

Organisation of the week:

The National Mathematical Centre in Abuja was established in 1988 as an Inter-University Centre for Mathematical Sciences. The centre began operations at the University of Nigeria in 1988 but moved to the capital Abuja in July 1989. The objective of the centre is to produce specialists and teachers in the Mathematical Sciences at all levels of the educational system and to develop appropriate initiatives and resources of international standing for the re-awakening and sustaining of interest in the mathematical sciences and their application in Nigeria.

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