Chinese Exodus: Effect on Nigerian Football

Three Nigerian Super Eagles superstars have moved from their European club sides to the big spending Chinese super League. The trio of Captain John Mikel Obi, Strikers Odion Ighalo and Brown Ideye moved to the lowly rated, big money Chinese super league during the 2017 January transfer window. The question on everyone's lips is the effect of these move on these superstars and Nigerian Football.
mikel, ighalo and ideye moved to china this year

It is an age long-held belief that the best footballers ply their trade in Europe which is considered the pinnacle of world football where football of the highest standard is played. Every aspiring footballer dreams of playing in a European football league especially the English premier league, the Spanish La Liga and the german Bundesliga. Nigerian footballers are not left out. There are many Nigerian footballers playing for football clubs scattered around Europe waiting for the big break to play for one of the big global football clubs.

However, all that seems to be changing as the Chinese Super League is determined to attract the biggest names in the game to play in China. This they do by offering mouth watering pay packages to this players. Captain John Mikel Obi who played for the Chelsea football club of London signed a 3 years deal with China’s Tianjin TEDA.

Former Watford striker, Odion Ighalo who successfully netted 16 EPL goals in 37 matches, on January 31, completed his move to the CSL side, Changchua Yatai, for a whooping £20m.

Another Super Eagles player, Brown Ideye also joined john Mikel Obi at Tiajin TEDA after switching from Greek side, Olympiacos.

There have been concerns on the effect of these transfers on the game of these players with reports of the plans by the Tiajin TEDA coach, Jaime Pacheco to deploy Captain John Mikel Obi as a central defender.

It can be recalled that Mikel Obi came to limelight due to his amazing displays as a playmaker for the Nigerian under 21 side in 2005. He was however converted to a holding midfielder at Chelsea blunting his ball playing skills. If he's eventually converted to a defender, his game will be completely destroyed. And the effect on the Super eagles Team will be catastrophic.


The 2017 Budget Overview

This post is the first part of "The Fault in Nigeria's 2017 Budget" series. In this post, we will look at the entire 2017 budget at a glance. The 7.3 trillion naira budget was proposed based on the following benchmarks.
2017 Budget Benchmark (Credit: yourbudgit.com)


The budget benchmark is highly optimistic. The price of crude oil is on the increase and is expected to remain  that way all through 2017 due to recent OPEC's resolution. However, the level of oil production is unlikely to remain at 2.2 million barrels/day largely due to the Niger delta militancy situation.

The inflation and GDP growth are way off the mark. Inflation as at december, 2016 was 18.6% and with recession biting hard, it is unlikely that inflation rate will reduce in 2017. Nigeria experienced negative GDP growth rate for 3 consecutive quarters in 2016. A GDP growth rate of 2.5 percent is highly optimistic.

Of the 7.3 trillion Naira proposed for 2017, about 2.24 trillion Naira representing 30.69 of the entire budget was earmaked for Capital expenditure while the rest goes into recurrent expenditure and debt servicing. The government expect to fund the budget from oil and non oil revenue as shown below
2017 Revenue Projection (credit: yourbudgit.com)

From the Revenue projections above, the government expects a revenue of 4.94 trillion Naira in 2017 leaving a deficit of 2.36 trillion naira representing 32.34%. The government expects to finance this deficit from loans from both domestic and external sources.

2017 Borrowing Plan (credit: yourbudgit.com)

The budget deficit (32.34%) is greater than the capital expenditure budget (30.69%). So, it wouldn't be wrong to say that the federal government is planning to borrow for capital expenditure in 2017.

So, there you have it. An overview of the proposed 2017 budget.


The Faults in the Nigeria's 2017 Budget

The Nigerian economy has been badly hit following the fall in the global oil price. The economy of the west African country is influenced by the price of oil which is the country's biggest export. Oil accounts for more than 60 percent of government revenue. The fall in the global oil price has plunged the country deep into recession for most part of 2016.

President Buhari presenting the budget to the National Assembly

In trying to bring the country out of recession, the Buhari led administration which won the 2015 election promised to diversify the economy and reduce the reliance of the economy on oil. The administration for the second year running have proposed record budgets in their quest to stimulate the economy by increasing the government spending. The National Assembly passed the 2016 budget of 6.07 trillion naira in controversial circumstances in may, 2016.  The 2016 budget was 40 percent higher than the 2015 budget.

The Federal government has proposed a budget of 7.298 trillion for 2017. The budget christened "a budget of recovery and growth", is 20.4 percent higher than the 2016 budget. Again, the budget has drawn comments from a cross section of Nigerians if this budget is the right spending plan Nigeria needs at this time.

In this post and the next series of posts, we will examine the 2017 budgets in details - ministry by ministry, parastatal by parastatal and compare the 2017 budget to the previous budgets and examine the promise it holds for our dear country Nigeria. we hope that at the end of this series, our dear readers will be able to understand the government spending plan and reach a verdict on the effect the budget is going to have on our economy.


Trump Presidency and the Berlin Attack

Still wondering why millions of Americans trooped out to vote in a certain Donald J. Trump as the president of the United State of America on the 8th of November, 2016? The Berlin terror attack provides some sort of justification as why millions of Americans voted for a man whose campaign was built on what the mainstream media labelled as “Building walls instead of bridges”.

On the 19th of December, 2016, a truck was driven into the Christmas market next to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church at Breitscheidplatz in Berlin by a Tunisian immigrant Anis Amri killing 12 people including the original truck driver and leaving about 49 people injured. An international manhunt is underway to find the terrorist who entered Germany more than a year ago.
The Berlin Attack Suspect Arrest Warrant

According to reports, Amri who was a native of Tunisia left Tunisia for Italy in 2011 after dropping out of school. He allegedly entered Italy in February, 2011 amid the turmoil of the Arab Spring without any ID and claimed to be a 17-year-old minor. He served 4 years in an Italian after he was involved in an arson attack on a school. The Italian authorities ordered his deportation but the Tunisian authority refused to accept the request on the grounds of inadequate identification.

According to the Italian officials, Amri was asked to leave country and the officials lost track of him.
It is believed that Amri entered Germany in July, 2015. He requested asylum in Germany but was denied. The German authorities believed that Amri had contacs with radical islamists and kept a close eye on him. Deportation proceedings were started for Amri. But the inability to definitively ascertain his identity stalled the proceedings.

If the Italian and German authorities had been a little more thorough in their scrutiny of immigrants like Donald Trump campaigned about maybe Amri wouldn’t have committed arson in Italy and murder in Germany. And this 12 lost souls would’ve still been alive. Therein lies the justification of the millions of Trump voters who cast a vote for him.

A vote for trump was a vote against political correctness and a vote for a more ruthless pragmatic approach toward immigration.

House of Representatives or House of Embarrassment?

Accusations of Budget padding, gross incompetency, Sexual Scandals, corruption are a few of the many shades of mud the Nigerian House of Representatives have smeared themselves with. They have smeared themselves so much that they are nothing but a source of embarrassment to the whole Nation.
Budget Padding in the House of Representatives

Nigeria’s National Assembly is a bicameral legislature consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate is made up of 109 senators – 3 from each of the 36 states of the federation and 1 from the federal capital territory, Abuja. The House of Representative has 360 members elected from the 36 states and Abuja. The number of members of House of Representatives per states is a factor of the population of the state.

Together, the Senate and the House of Representative is the highest law making body in the land. As Lawmakers, the senators and the members of the House of Representatives are believed to be men of impeccable characters. Hence the prefixes – Distinguished Senator and Honorable for members of the House of Representatives.

However, the crisis rocking the House of Representatives have shown that the so called honorable members are far from honorable. In fact, referring to them as dishonorable members would not be so out of place.

It all started with the budget saga. The Alleged padding of the 2016 budget by the executive which was widely criticized and condemned by Nigerians. What we didn’t know is that while we were attacking the executive, the house of Representatives was busy doing a padding of their own. Padding so widespread that virtually all members of the House of Representatives took part in an illegal allocation of our common wealth to frivolous projects which are nothing more than a cover for siphoning funds.

So how did the bubble burst on the Padding by the House of Representatives?

It all started with an allegation that Jibrin Abdulmumin, the chairman of the appropriation committee – the committee charged with the appropriation of funds have secretly smuggled project worth billions of Naira into the 2016 budget. In a bid to punish the Chairman of the Appropriation committee, the Speaker of the house, Yakubu Dogara removed Jibrin Abdulmumin as the chairman of the Appropriation Committee. That was when all hell broke loose.

Jibrin Abdulmumin will not be branded corrupt and made a scape goat for a crime that even the speaker and all ranking members of the house of representative took part in. So, Jibrin Abdulmumin started singing like a bird. He accused the speaker and a whole lot of members of the House of Reps of smuggling items into the budget. He even accused the speaker of bribing the members of the appropriation committee with huge sums of money. He went ahead and presented hard evidence to support his accusations.

Well, the speaker have threatened to sue Jibrin Abdulmumin if he does not retract the accusations. So far, nothing has happened. Nigerians are waiting to get the true picture of what really transpired in the House of Representatives and the extent of the padding. But the scandal have embarrassed Nigerians and have put the anti-corruption drive of this administration under immense scrutiny.

Can Donald trump pull a Leicester in American Politics?

Leicester City Football Club, a modest football club based in Leicester in the East Midlands of England stunned the football world when they won the English Premier League against all odd while English football giants like Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspurs could only watch helplessly. Billionaire Businessman Donald Trump became the presidential candidate for the Republican Party against all odds this July. Can he go all the way and pull a Leicester in American Politics?

Like Leicester, Like Trump?

Regarded as an outsider who didn’t stand a chance when her first declared his intention to run for presidency, Donald J. Trump has seen off seasoned politicians like Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Ted Cruz and technocrats like popular neurosurgeon, Ben Carson to emerge the candidate of the Republican party in an astonishing and controversial manner. Trump Campaign was infamous for his controversial stand on hot issues like Immigration where he threatened to build a wall on the Mexican border and Security where he muted the possibility of a nuclear conflict.

Trump Campaign faced attacks after attacks. Millions of Dollars were spent in Television adverts in a campaign to stop him – The #NeverTrump campaign. He came under attack from within his own party. A huge chunk of his party’s hierarchy threatened to support the opposition than support Trump. They threw in everything in a bid to stop him from winning the Nomination. But the harder they try to stop Trump, the more unstoppable Trump became.

A social media enthusiast, Trump has a huge following on social media especially on Twitter. He is not shy to share his opinion on topical issues with his followers. And he is not afraid to get in the mud with anybody who comes for his head on twitter.

In my opinion, I believe his straight talking nature endeared him to millions of Americans who are tired of the Opaque establishment politics and believes that Trump is different from the others. Trump may have his flaws which includes his lose tongue, his obscene obsession with his net worth and the controversies surrounding his tax declarations. But right now, he is leading the fight against establishment politics and a lot of Americans are lining up behind him.

In the Republican Party convention, the party leadership tried to unite the party behind Donald Trump. Opinion polls shows there have been some successes. But there are still a lot of high profile Republicans who have not endorsed Donald Trump. Notable amongst them are Senator Ted Cruz,  John Kasich – the governor of Ohio, The two Bush Presidents and the Bush family, Mitt Romney – the Republican presidential candidate in 2012.

Hopefully, the party will be more united before the general election in November. But, whatever happens, Donald Trump is expected to put up a strong challenge in the general election and may possibly win. If Donald Trump wins the general election in November, it will be regarded as a political upset in the mold of Leicester’s amazing run to the English Premier League title. 

Lagos Mobile Courts: The Legal Supplement to Traffic watch and control.

Many people are unaware that the fines imposed by various traffic watch and control agencies in the country is illegal. It is now a norm for various traffic watch and control agencies like Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO), Lagos State traffic management agency (LASTMA) and other state traffic control agencies to impose a fine on any motorist found to be breaking any traffic law. Sometimes, the car is impounded

New Lagos Mobile Courts

Unknown to many, this act is unlawful. Many motorist and well-meaning individuals have taken these agencies to court over these fines and unlawful impound of vehicles. And in most of the cases, the courts’ judgement is always against the traffic watch and control agencies. And the court awards damages to the victims.

Here is an example one of these cases; In 2011, Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Lagos, has declared that Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, lacks the power to impose fine on traffic offenders while Delivering judgment in a suit filed by Mr. Jonathan Odutola. The judge also awarded Five hundred thousand Naira (N500,000) against LASTMA. The judge declare that LASTMA imposing fines and impounding cars is would amount to being a judge in your own case. The court declared that it is only a court that has the power to impose fines or impound cars.
The situation above brought the need for the creation of the mobile courts. With the mobile court in place, LASTMA and other traffic watch and management agencies in Lagos state can arrest any traffic offender and have them tried in front of a judge in the mobile courts and the necessary punishment imposed without breaking the law.

With the mobile court in place, traffic offenders in Lagos is in for a very tough time.