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Regular sex prevents mental disorder – Psychiatrist

By Newsdesk

Following statistics released by Federal Government on Nigerians suffering cases of mental disorder, a psychiatrist, Dr Maymunah Kadiri, has asked married women in the country to have regular sex with their spouses, basically to prevent them from depression and gain happiness.

Kadiri’s appeal came barely two days after the Apex Government lamented that 60 million Nigerians were living with cases of mental disorder across the country.

According to her, depression is a common mental disorder that causes people to experience depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration.

Kadiri, Medical Director, Pinnacle Medical Services, gave the advice in an interview with newsmen yesterday in Lagos, stressing that sex does not only nourish women body, but also beneficial to their mental health.

She noted that for any woman that aimed to avoid mental cases, their spouse must be their best friend, saying, studies have shown that women who have more active sex and in long term relationships were less likely to be depressed than women who went without sex.

“So, more sex is important and essential. It is a remedy to curing women from having persistent headache.

“Low sexual drive, which leads to depression, should be looked into. A woman can be depressed when that sexual drive that she used to have is no more there.

“Frequent active sex can play good roles toward women’s sense of well being and quality of life,’’ the medical director added.

She explained that sex was not just for procreation and to have children, adding that it could create bonding, good companionship and sound sleep.

Kadiri urged women dealing with depression to frequently indulge in sex, while boosting their self-esteem.

She also advised women who are over-weight to also involve in active sex, saying doing so will boost endorphins which are happy hormones.

“The happy hormones will make them lose some calories as well as sleep better. Orgasms trigger the release of endorphins which are happy hormones secreted by the brain that act as effective painkillers,’’ she said.

Kadiri added that sex was not only beneficial to the men, but especially to women because it was capable of freeing them from stress.

6000 protesters block London Bridge, demand zero greenhouse emission

By Newsdesk

No fewer than 70 environmentalist have been arrested by the British Police after blocking five bridges during protest to seek government attention towards reducing greenhouse emission to zero percent before 2025 in the country.

It was gathered that the action of the protesters triggered the law enforcement agency’s action after the barricade on the bridges across the River Thames crippled activities within the axis.

The protesters, who stormed Westminster yesterday, the seat of the government, were sighted displaying banners with different inscriptions including “Stop Climate Breakdown”, “Fossil Fuel Era Over” and “Rebel For Life”.

The protest, which climaxed on Westminster Bridge, was also felt by motorist on four other bridges as gridlocks were recorded on them for several hours.

Organizers of the ‘Extinction Rebellion’ event argued that the aim of the 6, 000 protesters was wanted to pressure British government to take greater action to slow climate change and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.

It would be recalled that Britain had reduced greenhouse gas emissions by over 40 percent between 1990 and 2016, and the government has committed to a total reduction of 80 percent by 2050.

The Extinction Rebellion campaigners are calling for emissions to be reduced to zero on a net basis by 2025.

Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Gail Bradbrook, in an interview with newsmen, argued that the arrest was absolute disobedience of the law.

She said: “This is an act of mass civil disobedience. This is the start of an international rebellion protesting the lack of action on the ecological crisis,” one organizer.”

Justifying the arrest, Police said demonstrators were arrested for obstructing the road, and had no immediate information on charges or the total number of protesters.

Representing the law enforcement agency, Waheed Khan, said: “The demonstration is having a direct impact on others across London who wish to go about their daily business – and (stopped) the emergency services from using the bridges to travel around London.”

Otedola hosts, endorses Sanwo-Olu as Lagos next Governor

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Ahead of the 2019 Governorship election in Lagos, Oil mogul, Femi Otedola, has endorsed All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, as next governor for the state

Otedola’s endorsement came barely five months after assuring residents of Lagos that he would never vie for any public office but rather stand with the masses to get dividend of democracy.

It was learned that the endorsement announced on his official social media yesterday came after he hosted Sanwo-Olu to a dinner in his house in Lagos, discussing the 2019 governorship poll in the state.

In a statement on his official instagram, Otedola stated that the relationship between them had been age long, disclosing that Sanwo-Olu is his childhood friend.

The business mogul, who posted the picture taken after the dinner at his residence, further described the APC governorship candidate as governor in waiting

He said: “Dinner at my residence yesterday evening, with my childhood friend APC Governorship Candidate, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. GOVERNOR IN WAITING!”

Ambode confirms receipt of funds spent rehabilitating Apapa-Oshodi, other FG projects

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has confirmed receiving from Federal Government sizeable percentage of funds spent by the state on rehabilitating Federal roads.

Ambode’s confirmation yesterday came barely three months after the Senate approved the executive request to refund N489 billion to 21 states, as funds spent rehabilitating federal roads within their states.

According to the Senate, Lagos State topped the 21-state list with N114.6 billion, while Akwa-Ibom State came second with N78.7 billion.

The governor, who disclosed receipt of the fund at the flag off ceremony of Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki-Ojota Expressway, lamented that the state of the road demanded that total reconstruction should have been embarked upon years back.

He stressed that his administration was already in the process of utilizing the funds to deliver other ongoing projects across the state in the next few months.

Ambode. However, noted that reconstruction of the road would bring permanent relief to motorists and residents over the perennial gridlock in the axis and enhance movement within the State.

The governor said it was particularly gratifying that the project would be done using concrete, expressing optimism that it would ensure the road last over forty years.

“Whatever it is that has been taking place in this particular project has always been rehabilitation and every Nigerian should be reminded that this road has been in place for more than 40 years.

“This is the first time the government at the centre is embarking on reconstruction, that means we are going to excavate everything all the way from Apapa, Oshodi to Oworonshoki and Ojota Expressway and actually reconstruct it, using concrete instead of asphalt because Lagos is below sea level, if you use asphalt, within seven to eight years, it would wash away because we are under water.

“So the concrete template is being used to give us a long lasting solution to this Apapa gridlock and this road will last for more than 40 years and we believe strongly that the PPP platform that has been given to this project to allow the private sector invest their money in it being driven by Alhaji Dangote is the best solution that we can use to develop public infrastructure right now and we must commend the Minister for that,” the Governor added.

Preempting what would happen after construction works commence, he appealed for understanding, saying that though the commencement of the project might bring some inconvenience, the end result would be a permanent solution to the gridlock that had bedeviled the area over the years.

He assured that the State Government on its part would deploy more traffic and enforcement officers to ensure free flow of traffic in the course of the construction.

“The future of development and infrastructure actually lies in the present administration and the future of the prosperity of this country lies in the hands of President Buhari and we make no mistake about it that it is in our own interest that we continue to support the present government of APC at the centre and also at the State for continuity and greater deliverables of infrastructure, goods and services,” Ambode said.

One dies, 16 injured during France petrol tax hike protest


By Newsdesk

Atleast one person has been confirmed dead and 16 injured as thousands of France citizens barricaded roads protesting against the new fuel regime imposed on them by the government.

The yet-to-identified protesters, who joined others in the march largely orchestrated through social media and aimed to prevent access to fuel depots and airports, was mow yesterday by a vehicle and passed on.

In the southeastern department of Savoie, a driver panicked when protesters surrounded her car and she accelerated, hitting and killing a woman demonstrator, French Interior Minister, Christophe Castaner, said in an interviewed.

Sources said that 16 persons were lightly injured in other accidents across the country, and a person run over by a car in northern France was in a critical state, according to the interior ministry, which estimated some 50,000 demonstrators were participating in the protests.

It was gathered that the demonstrators, part of a grassroots movement dubbed the “yellow vests”, caused logjams on highways and blocked roundabouts as they railed against the fuel tax hikes introduced by the country’s President, Emmanuel Macron.

As the protest continued, some citizens, who were dissatisfied with Macron’s economic reforms and his governing style, also joined the protest.

At the entry to a tunnel under the Mont-Blanc mountain in the Alps, and traffic was backed up on several highways.

Demonstrators were also on the march in cities, including Marseille where around 100 people, wearing the high visibility vests drivers keep in their cars, blocked roads around its port.

The backlash is the latest confrontation between Macron and voters, mostly based in the countryside and provincial towns and cities, who view the former investment banker as the representative of a remote urban elite.

During his 18 months in power, the protesters alleged the president has often pushed through reforms, including an overhaul of indebted state rail operator SNCF, in the face of opposition from labor unions.

But the “yellow vest” movement has snowballed swiftly over the past month, catching Macron and even opposition parties off guard. It has already prompted a rare concession from the government, which announced recently fresh funds to help motorists on the lowest incomes.

The higher fuel taxes were approved in late 2017 but started to bite as oil prices surged in October, even though they have since eased off somewhat.

The diesel tax increases are designed to encourage drivers to switch to more environmentally-friendly cars.

How Nigerians can defeat Cancer- Anyanwu-Akeredolu

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

As 80,000 Nigerians die of cancer related diseases annually, Ondo State Governor’s wife, Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has disclosed strategy that could assist the country’s citizen beat the deadly scourge and reduces number of causalities recorded yearly.

Anyanwu-Akeredolu hinted that part of the strategy was for Nigerians to often identify with cancer patients and not neglect them.

Her statement came as World Health Organisation (WHO), maintained that over 100,000 Nigerians are diagnosed with cancer annually out of which 20, 000 survive while the others die.

She spoke at a fund-raising dinner organized by PROJECT PINK BLUE, tagged: “Show Love” in Abuja, adding that another strategy that could aid reduction in number of victims was to support them with funds to fight the life-threatening disease.

Anyanwu-Akeredolu, who is founder of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), expressed concern on Nigerians’ poor giving attitude when it comes to patient support, which according to her is a major force needed to beat cancer, which comes with a lot of financial burden.

She lamented that most women die of cancer because of delay in raising fund for treatment, which gives room for the cancer cell to multiply as the disease progresses with time.

The BRECAN founder urged Nigerians to pay attention to message of early detection which saves lives by adhering to the periodic breast self examination, letting go of the misconception that breast cancer is a spiritual attack, and see it as a pure medical issue by presenting it to a medical doctor, and not going to a prayer mountain.

She pledged not to relent in her fight against breast cancer as a life-threatening disease, under her twenty years old NGO, BRECAN, through public education, advocacy, patient support, and research.

In his welcome address, the founder, Project Pink Blue, Runcie Chidebe, said their “Show Love” fund-raising program was born out of their passion to make a little difference in the society, adding that government alone cannot do it all.

Stakeholders’ demand conversion of Nigerian military barracks to truck terminal

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Worried by the persistent level of gridlock within Apapa and Tin Can ports, Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), has demanded that Federal Government converts Signal Barrack in Mile 2, Amuwo-Odofin Local Government, to truck terminal.

They added that the conversion would reduce the stress their members were often subjected to while trying to access the ports in Lagos State.

Speaking on behalf of the association, Remi Ogungbemi, the President, lamented that the infrastructure at the ports cannot accommodate the volume of trucks aiming to access it.

Ogungbemi stressed that deploying hundreds of military personnels to the axis cannot solve the gridlock that had constantly crippled commercial activities within the axis, saying, what we see is the issue that would often arise.

“I remember that 30 year ago, when one visit Apapa, he cannot find any truck on the road. There were designated places where these trucks park. But today, these places have been converted to other uses. We want sanity and orderliness.

“We are not saying that the Federal Government should provide space for all trucks to park but for those that are visiting Apapa, we can provide terminals for them.

“For instance, in Mile 2, there are vast lands available within that axis that can accommodate minimum of 1,000 trucks. We suggest that Government acquire suck property and convert it to terminal for the trucks. And they will only come out when their services are needed.

“Thank God, we are not fighting any war. And in Lagos we have military Barracks everywhere. I will advise that they are converted to truck terminals. For instance the Signal Barrack in Mile 2 can be converted for this purpose. Lets remove some of these barracks,” he added.

LASG approves Hijab usage in public schools

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

To prevent religious crisis in Lagos, the State Government has ordered Tutor-General and Permanent Secretaries and Principals public schools to immediately permit use of Hijab, (Muslims headscarf) in their schools.

It was gathered that the circular titled Re: The Use of Hijab in Lagos State Public Schools, was outcome of the panel constituted by the State Government on the use of Hijab in State Public schools in the state.

In the circular sent to Oshodi Comprehensive Senior High School and obtained by Vanguard with reference number ED/DISTVI/CCST/HI/14/I/63, issued yesterday, was signed by O.A. Olukoya, directing schools to comply immediately.

According to the Circular, since the case of the use of Hijab in Lagos State is still pending in the Supreme court of Nigeria, status quo be maintained, to avoid contempt of the court, that is students be allowed to wear Hijabs on school uniforms but same must be short, smart, neat and in the same colour of the uniform (skirt).

“Furthermore, schools management are advised to downplay comments and disciplinary actions on the use of smart Hijabs until the final determination of the case by Supreme Court.

“No student should be discriminated against in any form on the basis of religion. All principals and teachers must be sensitized to comply accordingly. You are enjoined to adhere strictly to these recommendations.”

The approval to enforce the Appeal Court order came two years after a five-man panel presided over by Justice, A.B. Gumel, set aside the earlier judgment by Justice Grace Onyeabo of the Ikeja High Court, Lagos, banning use of hijab and declared that students especially Muslims have right to wear Hijab within and outside their school premises without being punished or victimized.

.MSSN reacts


Reacting over the State Government approval for enforcement of Appeal Court judgement, Amir, Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, MSSN Lagos State, Saheed Ashafa, said that it would help to stop harassment and victimization female Muslim students wearing hijab.


By issuing the circular, Ashafa said the Lagos State Government has towed the path of honour and deserved to be praised for such.


“We extol this gesture and the resoluteness of the state government in ensuring that an avoidable strife do not find ways into the peaceful atmosphere being enjoyed in Lagos State.

“We are pleased with this development because the embarrassing way and manner that our members are being victimised, harassed, punished and denied entrance into their classrooms for wearing hijab would stop.

“We have constantly told the state government that while a case on the hijab is awaiting final verdict at the Supreme Court, no teacher has the right to punish female pupils for wearing hijab. The Appeal Court in the case clearly states that wearing hijab by students, whether within or outside the school premises was a fundamental Human Right entrenched in the constitution.

“It is important to notify you that we will not allow further lawlessness and flagrant disregard for rule of law to stay after this circular. The circular would also help to stop the abuse of rights which could have degenerated into crisis or violence that may lead to the disruption of activities in schools in our dear state.

“We commend this intervention aimed at calling teachers, principals  and tutor general to order. This circular approving wearing of hijab by students on their school uniform within and outside school premises, will ensure peace and order in our schools and stability in the state’s education system.”

Osinbanjo extends TraderMoni initiative, captures three more markets in Lagos

By NewsDesk, 

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has extended Federal Government’s TraderMoni initiative, which has been giving traders across the country access to N10,000 interest free loans, to three other markets in Lagos State, the development of which came weeks after the programs were flagged off in the state recently.

Osinbajo, who led other Federal and State Government officials to Ikotun, Igando and Ile Epo markets yesterday, urged the traders to make judicious use of the loans to secure more from Federal Government.

While interacting with the traders, Osinbajo said the objective of the scheme would be defeated if traders do not repay the loan to secure more from Federal Government.

“This is one initiative this administration has put in place to address the plights of those at the grassroots. To help you grow your businesses and make lives meaningful to you and your families. That’s why we ensure there is no collateral and when you repay the loans, you can secure more from government because it shows you are serious with what you are doing, ” he said.

Some of the traders who spoke to Daily Trust applauded the gesture but pleaded for more loans saying they would be willing to boost their trades and businesses with as much fund as possible made available to them.

Yemisi Babalola, a salt trader in Ikotun market expressed readiness to invest the money in her trade. She said although she would love the money to be increased, she is nonetheless going to make judicious use of the initial fund to qualify for more loans.

Similarly, Jide Akanni, a butcher at Old Epo market said he took the arrivals of TraderMoni officials in the market for him to be convinced that it was really. He said having been registered and his account credited, he now believes the scheme is real.

“When they say TraderMoni, I always thought it was one of these political gimmicks. But today, I am convinced it is real. If I can repay the initial loan given, I have been assured of prompt increased money,” Akanni said.

Aig-Imoukhuede and the initiative for public governance

By Reuben Abati

A week ago, I stumbled on an article titled “Africa and the burden of Leadership” (The Guardian, Nov. 7), written by Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, banker, investor and entrepreneur, former Managing Director of Access Bank Nigeria, our compatriot. The piece was actually excerpted from a speech he delivered at the graduation ceremony of government and public policy students at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, UK, in his capacity as founder of the Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG). The AIG was founded by him in 2014.

The piece made me curious and I had to check out the Africa Initiative for Governance online. In this age of “google-it” or what others call the “white man’s oracle,” if you are in doubt about anything or you are looking for information, just consult the google-oracle. So I googled it to double-check some of the information already provided in the article before me.

Indeed in 2014, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede founded the Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG) as a not-for-profit, private sector-led Foundation to promote good governance and public sector reform. Every year, since 2016, the AIG, in partnership with the Blavatnik School of Government has provided post-graduate scholarships for a Masters in Public Policy (MPP) programme at the University of Oxford. To date, persons selected from Nigeria and Ghana have benefitted from the programme. Five of them graduated in November 2018.

They are expected to return to their home country and become change agents in their country’s public sectors. Five other AIG scholars enrolled for the MPP in September 2018.

Every year, the Foundation also awards the AIG Fellowship to an outstanding public official in Nigeria or Ghana. To date, Professor Attahiru Jega, former Chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the immediate past Chief Justice of Ghana, Justice Georgina Wood have benefitted from the Fellowship.

The AIG is involved in partnership with the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation (OHCSF) to give teeth to a 2017-2020 Federal Civil Service Transformation Strategy and Implementation Plan to ensure the transformation of the Nigerian civil service, and general public sector reform. As recently as October 2018, the Africa Initiative for Governance(AIG) sponsored and facilitated a session: “The Unfinished Business of Reforms” at the 24thNigerian Economic Summit held at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja, FCT. I further discovered that my friend and brother, Olusegun Adeniyi sits on the board of the AIG. I recall that he actually once wrote a piece on the initiative when it was first launched.

Aigboje Aig-Imokhuede is a member of the emergent generation of Nigerian wealthy men and women, the 80s generation that made its money in the last two decades, from banking, finance, securities, real estate, oil and gas and just about anything that could be turned into money as the decades progressed.

This rise of new money in Nigeria as different from “old money” (represented by the the Odutola brothers, Dantata, Ibru, Ojukwu, daRocha, Fernandez etc) also seems to have coincided with a rising consciousness about the need to give something back to society, that is philanthropy or social responsibility. There has been, in Nigeria, a re-definition of capitalism, in terms of a more benevolent construction, and the rich man as a responsible man of community and an agent for social good.

What has been seen, therefore, is the growth of institutions and initiatives devoted to the public good or ostensibly so, with too much money seeking to do much good. Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President of the Dangote Group, and one of the richest men in Africa, has the Dangote Foundation. Jim Ovia, owner of Zenith Bank, has a Jim Ovia Foundation, and is founder of the Jim Hope Schools. Tony Elumelu, Chairman of the Union Bank for Africa (UBA) runs the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) which has been supporting and grooming entrepreneurs in 44 African countries. Of all these efforts that I know, the least publicized in my view is the Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG). Or to put it differently, in a country where a Foundation that distributes food to the poor, and another small one that gives out second hand clothes, are much better known, a Foundation like the AIG which focusses on reform, governance and policy deserves more aggressive publicity – not to promote ego, but to inspire a much broader debate about its goals and objectives.

The only significant thing I notice however is that the acronym of the Africa Initiative for Governance is AIG. The founder, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, is also more popularly known as Aig, a shortened form of his name. But greater publicity for the Foundation should expand access to the opportunities it offers. This is my point. How many persons in Nigeria or Ghana are aware of the scholarships and Fellowships on offer? Who knows that the Foundation exists? Aig-Imoukhuede may assume that the work of the Foundation will speak for it. These days, Foundations speak, and they should speak for themselves.

It remains for us to interrogate the foundations of the initiative, and some of the points raised in Aig-Imoukhuede’s article. The original assumption is that the civil service is the engine-room of a country and that for a country to function effectively, attain a competitive edge and for democracy to work, there must be in place a development-oriented civil service in place. Aig-Imoukhuede obviously believes as shown in his piece “Africa and the burden of leadership”, that the failure of African states is a function of the failure of the bureaucratic machinery in those countries, and that reform is required to reverse the trend, rediscover lost glory and reposition African countries for progress.

There is a touch of nostalgia in this. Many Nigerians growing up in the 60s, 70s, and early 80s in Nigeria will remember a country that once worked. Chinua Achebe referred to this when he titled one of his books, “There was once a country”. In that country referred to by Chinua Achebe, there may have been small corruption within the system, tongue and “tribe” may have differed, but Nigeria was a country that worked.

There was in place a state bureaucracy that provided opportunities and service for the average citizen. We had in the country some of the best schools in the sub-region, if not in the entire continent. Scholars from around the world came to teach at the country’s universities; there were foreign students in Nigeria as well. As a secondary school student, some of my teachers were from Pakistan, India and other parts of the Commonwealth. As an undergraduate, we had Faculty members from the United States, France, UK and Canada. Nigerian roads were fixed by a department called PWD, that is Public Works Department. In those days, teachers were special citizens because students and their parents celebrated them and appreciated their value.

A school principal or a primary school headmaster or headmistress was definitely a member of the local elite. There was a Sanitary and Hygiene Department at the Health Office. Today, Nigeria ranks second on the ignoble, global list of countries that are guilty of open defecation due to the absence of public latrines! There was regular power supply in those days. Nobody had any need for a generator. Today, every home is a power station. You have to generate your own water, your own electricity too. The situation is so bad that the Federal Government has had to declare a national emergency on water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

AIG believes that the narrative can be changed and that new thinking can produce a new Nigeria. Aig-Imoukhuede is convinced that public sector reforms focused on human capacity development and institutional capacity building can change our circumstances.

The truth is that there have been many public service reforms in Nigeria as has been convincingly argued and rigorously analysed by Tunji Olaopa, our former Perm. Sec at the State House who in a few days will be delivering an inaugural lecture as a Professor at the Lead City University in Ibadan. (see for example: Tunji Olaopa, Managing Complex Reforms, Ibadan: Bookcraft, 2011, 315 pp). Nonetheless, in spite of all of those reforms, Nigeria remains classified as a “hesitant reformer”. Countries like Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa, Mauritius, Botswana, and Kenya are ahead of Nigeria. Nigeria remains resistant to new thinking.

Aig-Imoukhuede through the AIG, wants to intervene from within, through private sector injection, into the policy making process. His entry route is education. He believes that if the private sector can invest over time, in human capital, create a pool of public policy experts who have been schooled in some of the best institutions in the world, when such individuals are injected into the system, they can make a difference. He even intends to set up a public policy university in Nigeria where such new thinkers can be produced.

I get the point about human capacity investment. Many countries in the developing world have learnt to recruit into their bureaucracy only the best and the brightest available. In India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Pakistan, you must be really smart to be a civil servant. It is understood that what happens in terms of the management of the state determines everything else.

In Nigeria, our civil service system has been overtaken by nepotism, lack of merit, incompetence and complete disregard for critical thinking. The same Nigerian civil service that once produced Super Permanent Secretaries (including Philip Asiodu, the late Allison Ayida and late Hayford Alile), now produces ethnic champions, looters, “area boys”, and closet politicians. Aig-Imoukhuede believes that a carefully groomed and intellectually exposed new elite can create a revolution. He has taken the strategic step of involving beneficiaries from Ghana and other African countries.

I assure Aig-Imokhuede that he may end up having more success stories from Ghana and elsewhere in Africa. But that does not mean he must give up on his own country. He made his money here and he has an obligation to contribute to the re-making of the country of his birth. The path he has chosen is much better than donating money to politicians who do not understand policy or the developmental process that will produce a better society.

It is a much wiser way of spending his money than acquiring additional wives or side chicks, living large like an octopus, dressing like a coxcomb, or becoming an embarrassing face of capitalism. My worry is this: when the new bureaucratic elite that he is helping to create through first world education return to Nigeria or Ghana, how do they fit in, into the rot in Nigeria especially? How do they fit into the prevalent culture of anti-intellectualism?

A Masters in Public Policy (MPP) from Oxford is great but is Nigeria’s civil service today, ready for Oxonian intellect and competence? What is the guarantee that some of AIG’s products will not end up elsewhere in other countries where they may be better valued? Aig-Imoukhuede wants to create 21st century technocrats for a 19thcentury system in Nigeria. Will elite public policy education also prepare his beneficiaries for the primordial constraints of the Nigerian public sector?

Let me simplify that. In Oxford, and I believe in the elite school that Aig-Imoukhuede wants to build, they will teach things like planning, processes, innovation, creativity, efficiency and outcomes as parts of the bureaucratic engine. How will the AIG agents when they return to Nigeria respond to their other colleagues who in the first place are holding strategic positions because of Federal Character and whose secondary school certificates cannot be traced and who have never been to anywhere close to Oxford? How will they relate with the horde of civil servants who will leave the office before noon every Friday and will not return?

How will they deal with a system where records are not kept and nobody wants to keep any record because of an established “Guardian syndrome” – the this-is-how-we-have-always-done-it mentality that has always made new thinking impossible in the Nigerian civil service? The plan is to train AIG Fellows to think modern, post-modern even, but what should they do with that other colleague who during the weekend had been shown wearing a masquerade attire and prancing about with a primitive sword in his hands, and paraded as the chieftain of a 9thcentury society?

I am not knocking AIG’s emphasis on human capacity development and institution building. I am trying to problematize what they propose by saying that there is a whole lot more beyond the development of a new skills-set, and a new generation of thinkers. Nigeria failed first at the level of values, culture and ideals before its public service followed suit and failed. The entire country itself needs to be re-built before the input of private institutions like AIG can be better felt. We need a different kind of leadership: a leadership that values ideas and the capacity of human beings to make a difference, and a governance system that is driven by ideas and a competitive spirit.

Nigeria cannot afford to continue drifting. It is the reason many of our capitalists are beginning to jump into the fray to see what they can do from the private sector-end to reduce the spread of institutionally generated madness. It is probably in their enlightened self-interest to be seen to be actively creating new currents within the country, and an enabling environment for capital to thrive, but we should hold Aig and others at the higher end of the spectrum: their love for country.

The founders of AIG and similar others have proven one point: that leadership is a collective responsibility and more so, between the public and private sectors. In doing so, they all hold up a candle to future generations and offer hope that some day, this country will reach the turning point of progress. AIG doesn’t want Nigeria and the rest of Africa left on the tarmac. That’s fine. Nigeria needs to board a flight to a higher destination…