September 26, 2022

Dissecting Rivers Gains
Customs Foils Smuggling Attempt Seizes Goods Worth N1.48bn
Fighting Insecurity In A Democracy
Foundation Urges Collaboration To Save The Earth                  
We’ll Ensure 2023 Elections Are Safe – Buhari
Nigeria’s Economy: More Pains, Less Gains
We Have Our Indivisibility To Celebrate -Wonwu
Finding A Place For Rule Of Law
Nigeria: A Failed State At 60?
Nigeria At 58: Anything To Celebrate?
Seven Ships With Frozen Fish, PMS, Others Arrive Eastern Ports, Today 
Customs Wants Drones, CCTV To Fight Smugglers
MWUN Bemoans Neglect Of Aged Seafarers
NPA Blames Under-Utilisation Of Eastern Port On Insecurity
NIWA Links Boat Mishaps To Lack Of Navigational Aids
BBNaija And The Ongoing Culture War
Introspecting Father’s Roles In Societal  Dev
Food Preservation: Time To Check Traders’ Excesses
Single Parenthood And Future Of Our Society
Why Etche Should Be Grateful To Wike
I’ll Restructure Football Administration In Nigeria –Presidential Candidate
Pinnick’s Tenure As NFF President  Ends
Govt Should Encourage Grassroots Football – Coach
World Athletics Ratifies Amusan’s 100m Hurdles Record
Rangers International Get New Skipper
INEC Didn’t Deny Nigerians Voters’ Registration – Okoye
Ebonyi PDP Guber Ticket: All Hope Not Lost – Ogba
2023: Nigerians Want Trustworthy Leaders – Kukah
Fayose, Others To Ensure Victory For PDP Candidates In Ekiti
PDP Crisis: BoT Member Faults Presidential Campaign Council Composition
ANLCA Seeks N200bn Compensation From Bank Over Demurrage 
BOT Registration: ANLCA Acquires CAC Certificate
NANS’ Strike: Business Unhindered At PH Airport
Private Sector Battling Over 50 Taxes – NECA 
Petrol Retail Price Stood At N189.46 In August 2022 – NBS
Job Searching Tips for Recent College Graduates
Foreign Capital Imports in Nigeria drop by 78%
The inflation rate in Nigeria on an all-time high
Ugandan Appointed Managing Director In Nigeria
Become Job-Ready With a National Criminal History Check
50-Year-Old Man Docked For N8.5m Land Fraud
Domestic Servant Docked For Stealing Employer’s Property
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Why the UK’s Exit from the EU could Represent a Golden Opportunity for Nigeria
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NITDA To Develop Multi-Billion Naira Data Privacy Sector In 2021
Parents Task RSG On Virtual Learning In Public Schools
‘Fuel Subsidy Removal Inevitable’ 
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IPMAN Threatens Service Withrawal From South-East
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The 2022/2023 school year officially began last Monday in Rivers State. Most children were excited to go back to school, to learn and play again with their friends; but for most parents, September 12 could not come quickly enough. Yet for others, the inflationary cost of school items has turned the September budget to shreds. But nobody anticipated petrol scarcity, the likes we saw last week on the first week of school. But it was a baptism by fire for most parents in Port Harcourt, making it terribly hard to juggle the activities of the start of a new schedule year.
On the radio, one caller regretted his inability to return his children to their boarding school outside the state. He was unable to find fuel to fulfill his family tradition of driving his children to school at the beginning of a new school session. Parents in Port Harcourt already knew their budgets for the new school year may not survive, but no one knew enough to factor in the consequences of artificial fuel scarcity in the first week of school. For some parents, the fuel budget for the month of September was wiped out in one week.
While others were unable to send their children to school after exhausting their fuel reserve on Tuesday. Everyone felt the pinch.It is hard to reconcile the fact that Port Harcourt residents had to resort to the black market to get petrol at such unthinkable amounts per litre. In just one week, petrol went from N180 to N350 in some filling stations, and it was not due to scarcity of the product. Most Port Harcourt residents assumed that the petrol scarcity was national; they never knew that it was localised, and artificial. On one hand was the genuine concern of NUPENG, occasioned by the incessant harassment of tanker drivers, and the risk involved. But on the other hand, was the fallout of the turf war between two factions of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) over who should collect levies at the depots. After more than a week of total halt in the distribution of petroleum products by the Port Harcourt branch of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), a semblance of normalcy was noticed on Saturday evening with the gradual disappearance of queues at major filling stations.
But the damage had already been done, with most plans and budgets dislocated. During the one-week crisis, apart from most motorists spending whole days at filling stations without success, there were ugly tales of stranded motorists purchasing adulterated fuel that eventually led  to a replacement of fuel pumps as well as working  on the carburetors. . The dust of this infamy is yet to settle, we are already counting the cost, but I wonder if the security agents responsible for our recent ordeal are even remorseful.  Besides,  what is the guarantee that this will not happen again in the very near future? Or, how long would the measured steps taken by the Rivers State Government suffice to keep the greed of unionists in check? We may not be able to quantify the extent of economic damage dished out to individuals and businesses alike, but we knew it was huge, and everyone took the heat.
The toll on businesses,  vis-à-vis, the loss of man hours, and increased operational cost, had eaten deep into families’ revenue for the month of September. Apparently, we are used to pain, and struggles, even when there is virtually no reason for it. It is now in our DNA as Nigerians that we must suffer. But it ought not to be so. Someone once commented that as Nigerians, we were conceived and born suffering. We grow up in suffering, and some even make it in the midst of suffering. But others are not so lucky, due to the negative impact of events like what we went through last week. When you think you are starting to gain traction, and things are beginning to look good, suddenly petrol scarcity, an increase in pump price, or electricity tariff comes from nowhere to wipe out your savings, the disposable income of your customer base. Sadly, most Nigerians even crave for  suffering to feel normal. To make matters worse, those who ought to be serving us are the ones constantly, consciously, or inadvertently creating the enabling atmosphere that deepens our suffering. Like it or not, even the family members of security agents in Port Harcourt suffered with us at  last. It is the case of the man who throws stones in the market.
The full spectrum of the evil done by the police and other security agents is unimaginable. We are now familiar with the unknown gunmen ravaging the South East, but last week, we learned from tanker drivers that they are being chased to their death by an illegal task force. Many of them who spoke under the condition of anonymity alleged that police officers impound their tankers for no reason at all. Sometimes they are merely delayed; other times, their tankers are impounded based on trump-up charges according to the National Treasurer of NUPENG, Mr Williams Akporeha. But the men on the street are only foot soldiers acting on the orders of their ‘Ogas at the top. They seem not to care that chasing tankers laden with petroleum products is equivalent to flirting with disaster. This is true because in the event of  accident, it might not just be the loss of petroleum products, but the loss of lives and property. And when it happens, the security agents will only turn their trucks around and vacate the scene. It has happened on many occasions. President Buhari has done a lot of damage to our economy, he has got most of his policies wrong, but this is not his fault. We were being punished by fellow ordinary Nigerians, but the only difference is that they wear uniforms.
Some have blamed the Rivers State Government for not acting fast enough; however, it is very easy to forget that even though Governor Wike is the Chief Security Officer of the state, the commissioner of police takes his orders from Abuja.  It is the fruit of faulty security architecture. After analysing the panorama of events leading up to the seven days of warning before the strike, especially the nuanced back stories of harassment and exploitation by security agents, the strike itself, and its aftermath, it is my conclusion that this sad experience may not have happened under state police.
By:  Raphael Pepple
Leakages In Nigeria’s Economy 
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An article with the above title was first published on Monday September 20, 2021, but a need to revisit the topic arose from The Tide front page headline: Nigeria’s Economy On Brink of Collapse, NECA Alerts; (8/8/2022. The alert raised by the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) was not different from a similar surprise expressed long ago by a former head of state, General Ibrahim Babangida, about the resilience of the Nigerian economy. Surely the abuses, bashings and buffeting on the economy have been such that anyone would wonder how the nation is still able to survive. It is a delight, however, that the glaring signs of an imminent collapse are spreading faster and wider, such that even wolves themselves also join in crying wolf. How did we get to this point of economic haemorrhage! There is no way that current state of Nigeria’s economy would be examined without pointing fingers at the role of past military regimes, especially between 1970 – 1999, in the nation’s political economy. Neither would anyone deny an allegation of scrambles for the oil and gas resources, through oil block allocation during that period. Oliver Goldsmith in a poem titled The Lost Galleon said: “Ill fares the land, to hastening ills, a prey; where wealth accumulates, but men decay”.
A high-ranking military officer, now late, once said in a private conversation regarding “Abacha Loots: “Can we sacrifice our lives to keep Nigeria one, and not  seek for a reward, especially for those of us who survived the war?” Reluctant to leave the arena of politics, the military designed a constitution whose excrescences account for current Nigeria’s political economy.Euphoria of getting rid of military regimes accounts for why discerning Nigerians who knew implications of the military package of 1999, allowed a sleeping dog to lie. Today, it is obvious to some Nigerians that the National House of Assembly which includes the Senate, was designed as a stumbling block to changes. From possible impeachment of a president, to an approval of proposed Bills connected with the oil and gas industry, any discerning Nigerian can see political and economic shenanigans designed by professional strategists. Is it today, a few months to a change of tenure, that an impeachment fever would become most acute?  Were there not some grounds for impeachment long ago that were ignored? Current debt burdens hanging on the neck of the Nigerian nation are so heavy that the nation is listed among the first three most indebted nations on earth. Yet Nigeria was such a “father-Christmas” that huge donation in cash or cars could be made to a neighbouring country, purportedly to boost border security, when the masses are groaning because of hunger and insecurity.
More borrowing is being proposed as well as a hint of possible shrinking of the civil service, by encouraging workers to retire at the age of 50. Those earning N30,000 as monthly salary are already gittery, groaning. Corruption is a malfeasance common in Nigeria, whose mechanism includes abuses and taking undue advantages of public trust, confidence, mass ignorance, docility of the people and loop-holes in the society, even by those meant to protect the citizens. Such opportunistic tendencies have evolved to an entrenched parasitism, whereby Nigerians are at the mercy of smart and smooth operators, including monsters in clerics’ clothings. Nothing too sacred to be abused and exploited! Director-General of the Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Mr. Wale Oyerinde, would tell us that the economy is under the weight of an almost comatose aviation sector, stuttering education system, rising debt, depleting Foreign Reserve, etc. There had been gossips about how recovered loots were re-looted by those who recovered them, and of how the lawyers involved in such cases smiled happily to their banks. There are gossips also about state governors being on pension for life after 8 years official tenure, even when they become senators or hold other appointments.  Are there ex-military radicals and agitators being paid some huge allowances monthly to make them stay calm rather than “rock the boat” or disturb the polity? The status quo must remain!
Senator Shehu Sani once disclosed what scandalous allowances that Nigerian Senators collect monthly, even when their official salary is N700,000 only. As for State Governors, everything they live on is paid from public taxes, whereas security vote for each of them is as scandalous as the allowances associated with political office holders. Profligate spending on local and foreign travels both for official and private purposes take a huge chunk of the nation’s revenue. Free fuel consumption by political office holders is a part of rising fuel subsidy expense. With oil and gas as major sources of national income, that same sector of the economy is also the major theatre of revenue leakages. Despite the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act recently, it cannot be said that the shenanigans and malfeasance associated with the oil and gas sector have been addressed satisfactorily and transparently. Someone asked a vital question recently: “Why is the Kyari man still there in a privatised NNPC?” Whose interest is he protecting? Current value and exchange rate of the naira are not only alarming but also point towards some flaws in the Nigerian economy. If a public notary as late Captain Elechi Amadi, could say that the Nigerian nation does not place value on naked honesty, personal sacrifices and hardwork, can anyone not add that value is rarely given to patriotism?
Among the class of citizens most guilty in the causes of leakages in the nation’s economy, the elite count first, especially political office holders. Talk about unpatriotic attitude towards the groaning masses, Nigerian politicians stand tall. Talk about tax evasion and sharp practices in the political economy, political and economic elite are the smoothest operators. Neither can you beat them! Yet who are the worst victims and major burden bearers of a mis-managed economy, unemployment, poverty, insecurity, job losses, hunger and squalor? Surely, the helpless masses are the foremost. Current state of insecurity arising from activities of bandits and terrorists, surely undermine farming activities seriously. One of the results is that rural dwellers and traditional occupations have been systematically dislodged and placed in gross jeopardy. Ban on open grazing? It is not a hate speech to say that there is a bleak future for Nigeria, if current situations continue. Neither would it be correct to hold the groaning masses as being responsible for the leakages in the nation’s economy. Under the present sad conditions, would Nigerian masses be asking too much by telling their political leaders and over-lords to cut down their earnings and allowances by 50 percent, so that Nigeria may survive?
By: Bright Amirize
Dr Amirize is a retired lecturer, Rivers State University, Port Harcourt.
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Jesus Christ is the foundation of Christianity in the world. His followers were first called Christians at Antioch, Acts 11:26. The disciples exercised high level of faith to maintain the teachings of Jesus Christ even after his death. They did not deviate from their belief and faith despite the harsh and terrible persecutions they faced in their time. The missionaries who believed and preached the gospel brought Christianity to Nigeria. In preaching the gospel, they also established schools and health centres to treat the locals. What would have been the nature of Nigerian education, if Christian missions had not come to Nigeria in 1842 and thereafter? Fatunwa, 1976.  The greatest contribution of the missionaries in Nigeria was in the field of education. The first known school in Nigeria was established by Mr and Mrs De Graft of the Methodist Mission, in Badagry and was “Nursery of the Infant Church”.
The church saddled with the responsibility of faith building is gradually becoming docile in some aspects. Materialism has been misinterpreted in some certain quarters. Christianity has unbreakable foundation which is Jesus Christ. Therefore, faith in Christ does not change because of development or technology. In short, faith helps one to strive for mastery.  In Nigeria, there are so many faith-building churches or organisations and the primary aim and objective of such Christian body should be teaching the biblical principles to members to reduce to the barest minimum, high level of atrocities witnessed in this modern time. Psalm 11:3 said “if the foundation be destroyed what can the righteous do?”.  It is pertinent to hold on to the existing foundation which is Jesus Christ.
Indeed, it is worthy to make known that there is no modernity in faith with the earliest apostles. Yes, there could be changed environment or society due to science and technology which have given room to discoveries, inventions, and manufacturing of sophisticated products for use in this dispensation. Faith should not be run parallel from Christianity. The real practice of faith building should not be hinged on  denomination, doctrines, rather denominations should teach and enlighten members about the importance of living life according to Rick Warren, in his book, ‘The Purpose – Driven Life”, he says in Eden we see God’s ideal relationship with us: Adam and Eve enjoyed an intimate friendship with God. There were no rituals, ceremonies, or religions just a simple loving relationship between God and the people he created. According to Rick Warren, God is at work in the world, and he wants you to join him. This assignment is called your mission. God wants you to have both a ministry in the body of Christ and a mission in the world. Your ministry is your service to believers, and your mission is your service to unbelievers. Today, there are so many religious fanatics without real faith in Christ. They profess to be Christians, but they are not in faith practice; According to Martin Luther 1483-1546, as quoted by Roberts Liar Don, “I was born to war with fanatics and devils. Thus my books are very stormy and bellicose (war-like and belligerent). I must root out the stumps and trunks, hew away the thorns and brier, fill in the puddles. I am the rough woodsman, who must pioneer and hew a path”.
Christianity in Nigeria should be about uniting and building a united body of Christ that should not be viewed as  a modern life-style rather it should be a way of life ordained by God. Faith should be used to improve service in Nigeria and should not be used for selfish gains. The faith of our fathers should not be allowed to be in vain in Nigeria. Let us build a strong nation by faith. The song, ‘Give me the old time religion’ is gradually fading away; as many modern Christians are ashamed of practicing their faith publicly. Morality and holiness have been watered down and many are now moved by emotions. This must not be allowed to thrive.
By: Frank Ogwuonuonu
Ogwuonuonu is a free lancer with The Tide.
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What is happening in Nigeria today  is enough to cause depression in people. The myriad of socio-economic challenges facing Nigerians are factors to the seeming antagonistic behavior and attitudes of many people in the country. The events and circumstances of life more often than not determine the mood or state of mind of many people. It is not saying a new thing that when things consistently go wrong in a place like Nigeria they can cause a nervous breakdown of even the emotionally and mentally strong person.
Only last week, there was another twist to the unfriendly economic policies of the present Federal Government led by Muhammadu Buhari. A litre of petrol which sold for between N160 and N180 before the strike action by a section of the petroleum sector, sold for between N500 and N800 last week.  This is outrageous. Petroleum products dispensing stations suddenly shut down sales to motorists only to sell to black marketers at exorbitant prices. The black marketers conversely sold to motorists at high cost, the passengers bore the brunt as transport fare increased by one hundred percent per drop. Movements were hampered to an extent, as some people did not have financial capacity to cope with the sudden increase. Some resorted to long distance trekking with attendant stress.
Recall that the umbrella union of university teachers in Nigeria, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been on strike since February 2022 following the present administration’s refusal to comply with agreement it reached with the union.  The end of the strike is not in sight as ASUU insists on continuing with the strike untill the Federal Government does the needful. Consequently, most students in public universities are at home. The fate of the affected students on when to finish their programme is ironically on the balance. Many have resorted to skills acquisition as an alternative.  Parents, another consumer of education, seem to be more worried for their ward or and children. The domestic problems have correspondingly increased because the children who supposed to be in school are at home.
The cost of living is very high because of bad economy. These sad incidents are weighing heavily on the people. This could also explain the reason for slumping and sudden death of many in recent times which some health experts blame on hypertension. Emotional and mental disorder can cause depression or nervous breakdown. The World Health Organization’s Institute of Mental Health estimates that about 30 percent of adults over age 40 suffer some type of depression, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria, and other developing countries of the world.  Depression is not limited to adults, youths are also vulnerable to depression.  Current research on depression not only shows its prevalence   among all groups. It gives an indication that it is getting worse as time goes on, affecting mainly the adult and youth population. According to Tan, a Neurotic therapist, depression is one of the most prevalent and serious mental disorders of our time.  From worldwide reports, no one is immune to depression, it affects people of all ages, every ethnic group, racial and social groups and  exonerates no gender.
A country that has no social welfare scheme for its citizens especially the elderly, unemployed and physically challenged is more prone to depression. A depressed people can express their emotional disorder through anti-social behavior, civil unrest or disobedience, protest, sometimes violent.  Some persons resort to taking their own life when they no longer see the need to live. Depression is reaction to unacceptable and unpleasant occurrences which a person lacks the capacity and capability to address. Christians have always taken solace in the unfailing promises of God in the Bible which gives substantial hope for adherents of the faith. However, even Christians are not immuned to depression and its effects when not nipped in the bud early.
A bad economy and bad administration affect every person, faith or creed notwithstanding. This is why the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), the umbrella body of Pentecostal churches in Nigeria, and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the parent body of all Christian families in the country have decided to be vanguard for good governance by insisting that every Christian must have a permanent voter card.  The truth is that the church which was apolitical is determined to drive a change for a better Nigeria – a country of our dream.
This is particularly necessary because no church operates in a vacuum. The church exists for the people, so should not be apathetic to the anti-people policies of the government. Bad economy affects the economic life of members which also adversely affect the church. Church leaders should guide the membership on qualities that are needed in a good leader and should influence them to vote right though members may have their political interest as well. Primordial sentiment like ethnicity, tribalism and party cleavages should not hold sway rather should be sacrificed for patriotism and nationalism.
Everyone has a potential resource to check depression inducing activities that are common in our society today. The Federal and other tiers of government should initiate welfare and economic empowerment schemes for citizens. Job opportunities should be created in the public service to fill existing vacancies created by retirement, death and resignation. Employers of labour should improve on staff welfare.
Government at all levels should help retirees  not to slip into depression by fulfilling their obligations to workers. Though it is difficult for workers who earn peanut in a depressed economy to save, because salaries are not enough to meet even the basic needs, there is need to diversify. A monolithic economy is the greatest enemy of economic stability and viability. Let’s help to fight against depression in Nigeria.
By: Igbiki Benibo
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