Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Release! The day JFK was shot, taped conversion from Air Force One

Tapes of the conversations that took place on Air Force One immediately after President Kennedy was assassinated give some insight into the confusion and sad realizations of that day.

A call to Mr Kennedy's mother was made by President Lyndon Johnson on board Air Force One just minutes after he was sworn in, and he and his wife Lady Bird tried to console the Kennedy matriarch who was on the ground.

'I wish to God there was something that I could do and I wanted to tell you that we were grieving with you,' Mr Johnson is recorded saying to Rose Kennedy.

Moments before: President Kennedy, seen sitting in the back seat with his wife Jackie, died from a shot in the head

'Thanks a mill- thank you very much, thank you very much. I know, I know you loved Jack, and he loved you,' she responded.

All calls made on presidential plane are put through by a White House switchboard operator, which has a system in place to automatically tape the calls.

Lipstick and labor: Rare color photographs show glamorous women workers doing their bit for the nation on the eve of World War Two

Violin from 'the band that played on' as Titanic sank is discovered... and could become ill-fated liner's most valuable ever artefact

Mrs Johnson is also recorded on the tapes, which captured the activity on the flight from Dallas, Texas to Washington on November 22, 1963, though part of her comments are cut off by an interjection by Mrs Kennedy.

'Mrs Kennedy, we feel like we just had-' Mrs Johnson said.

'Yes, alright,' Mrs Kennedy interjected.

'We are glad that the nation had your son as long as it did,' Mrs Johnson continued.

Making the call: The newly-sworn-in President Johnson called JFK's mother Rose Kennedy (shown right later in life) to give his condolences while on the plane

While the conversation was brief, the plane ride was a busy one as President Johnson was sworn in just minutes before the flight took off.

In the air, he was preparing the speech he was going to give once the plane landed just over two hours later.

Conspiracy theorists have been known to obsess over every detail surrounding the assassination of Mr Kennedy, and are likely going to find fault with the fact that the 42 minutes of tape are only just being released now.

The tapes were found after the death of Mr Kennedy's top military aide Army General Chester 'Ted' Clifton Jr., when his family found the recordings.

They sold his copy to a historical documents dealer, who then gave a copy to the National Archives.

Also included in the tapes is the frantic call of a military aide trying to look for his superior, General Curtis LeMay, who was often at odds with Mr Kennedy.

Recently released tapes reveal the phone calls made on Air Force One as it flew from Dallas to Washington after President Kennedy was shot and killed

The tapes confirm that, like Secretary of State Dean Rusk and several other cabinet members, were all on flights at the time.

The tapes of the calls from Air Force One come shortly after the Kennedy Library released some of the recordings from Mr Kennedy's last days in office.

While speaking to an aide three days before his death, then-President Kennedy unknowingly refers to the day which would end up being his funeral as 'a tough day'.

The conversation arises while his aides are attempting to sort out his schedule, which was expected to be very busy when he returned from his Dallas trip.

One of the meetings they were trying to schedule was with General Nasution of Indonesia.

'I will see him, when is here here? Monday?,' Mr Kennedy says.

A staffer responds: 'Monday and Tuesday.'

'Well that's a tough day,' the President remarks.

'It's a hell of a day Mr President. He'll be coming back here though, I understand on Friday because I offered to entertain at dinner.'

The tapes also revealed his thoughts on the nearing 1964 election, a tender moment with his children, and conflicting reports about the ongoing operation in Vietnam.


November 22, 1963
12.29pm Central Standard Time: The presidential motorcade turns onto Dealey Plaza in Dallas. The open-top limousine has a driver and security guard in the front row, Texas governor John Connally and wife Nellie Connally in the middle row, and President John F Kennedy and wife Jaqueline in the back row.

12.30pm: Witnesses testified that three shots were fired. The famous video recording of the event filmed by onlooker Abraham Zapruder shows that first Kennedy clutches his chest and seems to gasp before another shot hits his head. Governor Connally is also hit.
Mrs Kennedy immediately begins climbing towards the back of the vehicle, apparently in an effort to grab part of the President's skull which flew back after he was shot. The Connallys reported that Mrs Kennedy said 'I've got his brains in my hand!'

12.33pm: Shooter Lee Harvey Oswald exits the Texas School Book Depository, where he fired the shots from a sixth floor window.

12.38pm: The presidential limo arrives at Parkland Hospital.

1pm: President Kennedy is pronounced dead. A Catholic priest had been found and he performed his last rites. Doctors said that while they tried extremely hard to save his life, the wounds were too great by the time he arrived in the hospital. 'We never had any hope of saving his life,' said Dr. Malcolm Perry.

1.15pm: Oswald shoots and kills police officer J.D. Tippit while he is on the run.

1.33pm: White House press secretary Malcolm Kilduff entered the area of the hospital where the press had gathered and made a brief statement confirming the President's death, as caused by a gunshot wound to the brain.

1.50pm: Oswald is arrested inside the Texas Theater movie house where he went in an effort to evade capture.

2.00pm: President Kennedy's body was brought to Air Force One.

2.38pm: Lyndon Baines Johnson was sworn in as the country's 36th president on board Air Force One, standing next to Mrs Kennedy who continued to wear the blood-stained pink skirt suit that she had on earlier.

3.01pm: FBI director J. Edgar Hoover writes a memo saying that the President's killer had been captured.

6pm Eastern Standard Time: The plane arrives at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington. President Kennedy's casket and Mrs Kennedy leave first before President Johnson makes a brief statement on the tarmac. 'This is a sad time for all people....I will do my best; that is all I can do. I ask for your help and God's,' he said.

7.05pm CST: Oswald is charged with the murder of Officer Tippit.

11.26pm: Oswald is charged with the murder of President Kennedy.

Two days later, November 24, 1963
11:21am: Television cameras catch nightclub owner Jack Ruby shoot Oswald in the basement of the Dallas Police headquarters.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Contempt of Court: Federal High Court Remands Edo State Attorney General in Prison

THE Federal High Court I sitting in Benin City, Edo State yesterday ordered remand of the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Osagie Obayuwana over non- compliance of the state government with an interlocutory injunction.
It was learnt that the court gave the injunction in a suit involving it and a private investor, Churchgate Industries Limited over the state-owned firm, Bendel Breweries.
Justice Adamu Hobon in its ruling ordered that Obayuwana be remanded in prison until the state government was able to provide an affidavit of compliance with an order the court had earlier issued directing it to comply with the interlocutory injunction sought and got by Churchgate. The judge later adjourned the substantive suit till March 20.
It would be recalled that the court had last week issued a warrant for arrest of the attorney-general. Several other lawyers in the court yesterday tried to intervene on behalf of the AG who claimed he did not receive any copy of the injunction. But Justice Hobon insisted that government should be held responsible for its disobedience of the order and that the AG was the representative of the government in court.
   The judge said the government only filed a notice of appeal in the trial court against the injunction but the appeal was not entered properly, adding that it was a ploy to delay court process.
   Shortly after the end of proceedings, some senior government officials were sighted in the court premises apparently to seek any possibility of reversal.
When they could not achieve their aim, the AG was taken to custody at about 4 p.m. in a Black Maria guarded by more than 20 policemen.
The suit was instituted by Churchgate to challenge alleged forced ejection from the management of the Bendel Brewery on June 17, 2003.
   In issuing the warrant last week, Justice Hobon ordered the Commissioner of Police to ensure that it is carried out.
The case was further adjourned to yesterday for hearing of the committal proceedings


Sunday, January 29, 2012

This Is A Must Read! Some Of The Challenges We Are Bound To Face In Life

I am not here to talk just about making a living, but making a positive change in your life and in your environment. if only you know that everything is within your reach, you will agree with me that the answer to what you need in life is in your hand. You do not have any limitation. We all have something in our hands that will lead us to the point we desire. All you have to do is to decide what you need to do with what you have in your hands.
Most times in our lives, when we are faced with the critical question of what to do with the dreams in our hands, we tend to look for someone who is already made to help us. Yes, you might need help to do certain thing, but your readiness and sincerity to yourself will go a long way to realising your dreams, if only you always remember that the answer to each question is also in your hands.

We all have dreams, it's just that some of us do not know we have. Situations and circumstances of life can never be fair. Whatever you do with your life is entirely yours.

Let me tell you a story about this. One day, I walked up to my mother with a clenched fist trying to outwit her. "Mom, what do I have in my hands?"

She smiled and answered "the answer is in your hands"

"Ok Mom, you got me there. It is a butterfly I have in my fist. But, tell me, is it dead or alive?"

She replied again, "the answer in your hands."

I became angry and agitated. "what do you mean the answer is in my hands"

She smile and levelled her eyes with me,"If I say it's alive you will simply clench your fist tight and the butterfly dies, but if say it's dead, you will open your palm and the butterfly flies away. That is why I say the answer is in your hands.

Today, I thought about it and realised that, Like the butterfly's case, the answers to your dreams are in your hands and only you know what to do with it. You either clench your palms and let it die or open them and let it fly.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Behold German 'Sex Meters' For Taxing Street Prostitutes

The city of Bonn, Germany, collected around $20,000 last year from prostitution taxes paid via automated curbside pay stations or "sex meters." Under the new program, sex workers are required to purchase tickets to work the streets at night, the Associated Foreign Press reports.

While a number of other German cities collect taxes from prostitutes working in brothels, Bonn became the first city to extend general prostitution taxes to workers soliciting clients on the street when it introduced the sex meters last August, according to the AFP.

The sex meters charge prostitutes a flat nightly rate of $8.65 for the right to solicit clients on the street between 8:15 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to The New York Times. City estimates place the number of sex workers at around 200, with about 20 of them working the streets on any given night.

It was unclear whether the city would recoup costs from installing the Siemens-built machines around the city, which cost $11,575 for installation plus the cost of security guards hired to protect workers using them, according to The New York Times.

In addition, the city paid to construct special wooden garages, or "consummation areas," near the machines where customers can park their cars and have sex, Reuters reported.

City officials were pleasantly surprised when the machines earned around $400 the first weekend and went on to earn around 14,000 Euro, or $18,200, by the year's end, according to the AFP.

"We are satisfied with that and plan to continue levying the tax," a city spokeswoman told AFP.

Between taxes paid by prostitutes in brothels and on the street, Germany collected around $326,000 last year.

Franz-Reinhard Habbel, a spokesman for the German Association of Cities and Municipalities, told The New York Times he expects other German cities to follow in Bonn's footsteps as the nation's 11,000 municipalities are struggling with a combined $11 billion debt.

Germany legalized prostitution in 2002 as part of an effort to regulate the financial working conditions of prostitutes, Francesca McCaffery explained in The Utopianist.

McCaffery is not convinced the legalization has actually helped the lives of sex workers, but is not ruling out the possibility that it will in the future.

"It is commendable, certainly, for these governments to work to improve and legitimatize the life of a prostitute. But sex workers continue to be ostracized, exploited, and abused," McCaffrey wrote in The Utopianist. "Perhaps ... prostitution will continue to become more legitimized, better tolerated, and better understood. Until then, others continue to fear that the laws help mask a harsh reality that persists beyond a veneer of legality."

"Time will yet tell if Germany's progressive stance on prostitution will improve the lives of sex workers, discourage organized crime, or properly clamp down on human trafficking," she said.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Possible Solution to Boko Haram Crisis.

I remember, in those days a man called Oze. He lived in the small hut left for him by his uncle in the Village of Udomi Uwessan. Uwessan is made up of 8 Villages.

He informed everybody that he was specially made god of stone to instill discipline in the people of Uwessan. He wanted everybody to turn away from their gods and follow his. He had followers though, who were also ready to die for his course.

He was very powerful. His might was known and respected by both his age group, older men and all. Warriors feared him.
Although he is not particularly short, he was less than six feet and bulky. Rumour had it that he had one bone, meaning he was a physical giant.

If he hits you or you hit him, you get injured. He was like a stone.

One day, Oze fell out with the son of a renowned herbalist. As usual, when Oze and his followers were done with him, his face could barely be recognised. They burnt down his house and made him homeless.
Of course, the elders and Village heads were too frightened and witless to discuss Oze. They made secret treaty with Oze's relatives with the hope that they would speak well of such elder or village head.
However, the 8 Village herbalists who were Still faithful to their gods summoned up courage and gathered to find solution on how to curtail the Might and excesses of Oze and his followers.

The herbalists cried out to their gods and their gods heard their voices and was moved with compassion that he sent great affliction on Oze and even his supporters. Oze was struck with terminal ailments, his body withered and his might collapsed, gradually, Oze and his supporters died out.

Today, Boko Haram terrorises innocent Nigerians with bombs and all sort of weapons. They have directed almost all their attacks on Christians , killing scores of heaven seekers faithful. Even, some prominent Christian leaders called on Christians in the Boko Haram zones to defend themselves.

I think, as the bible says, the battle is the Lord. The church or, like the 8 village herbalists, the heads and prayer warriors in all the churches nation wide should cry to the their God for divine intervention against Boko Haram menaces. I believe, like the days of Biblical Moses, Joshua and even David, All Mighty God will personally rout Boko Haram out of our land. Unless God All Mighty no longer listens or they are false prophets.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

New rules set for international money transfers

Customers who send international money transfers will soon be entitled to clearer cost disclosures.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Friday issued new rules governing remittances, which are often used by immigrants to send money to family back home.

The rules also require companies to disclose any fees, the exchange rate and the amount that will ultimately be paid out to the recipient in local currency. Companies will also be required to investigate disputes and to give customers at least 30 minutes to cancel a transaction.

The rules take effect after one year.

The CFPB, which was created as part of the nation's overhaul of financial regulations, was required by law to issue the rules on remittances by Jan. 21. International money transfers previously had not been subject to federal consumer regulations.

Frustrations with the industry include complaints about hidden costs, missing funds or funds that never arrive at all, according to Ruth Susswein, a spokeswoman for Consumer Action, an advocacy group. She said customers can also face difficulty getting companies to resolve such problems.

The CFPB noted that consumers transfer tens of billions of dollars from the U.S. to foreign countries each year. Richard Cordray, who was appointed as the agency's first director this month, noted that the new rules will help consumers compare prices and hold companies accountable for any errors.

"People sending money to their loved ones in another country should not have to worry about hidden fees," Cordray said.

A Western Union Co. spokesman, Tom Fitzgerald, said the company plans to be compliant with the rules by the effective date. He said the company already provides customers with disclosures on fees, exchange rates and payouts.

"We agree that consumers will benefit if all remittance providers are held to the same requirements," he said.

MoneyGram International Inc. also said in a statement that it gives customers information about fees and rates and responds to complaints in a timely manner. The company said it is reviewing the rules to see if any adjustments will be needed.


Friday, January 20, 2012

The escape of Christmas day bomber, Kabir Sokoto: My Conversation With A Bike Man

Conversation with an Okada Man

Me: "Along"
OkadaMan "N200"
Me: "why? Just along..,"
OkadaMan:" Na me cause am, I think you know how much is a litre? Well let's go N150."
So we commenced our journey.

OkadaMan: " Ogah, I get a problem I want to share with you."
Me: " I am listening"
OkadaMan: " My Inlaw has a big farm where he rears all kinds of animals- goats, dogs, pigs, cow and even fowls
Me: "Hmmm!"
OkadaMan: " yes! But recently, the dog among them has been destroying things and has also been taking pride in killing fellow animals. Even on our Igue Festival day, the dog set a part of my inlaw's barn ablaze. So many animals lost their lives in the process. The festival that usually brings happiness was turned to a mourning day.

Me: "that is bad"

OkadaMan: "My Inlaw, in fear and anger, invited some dog catchers to help catch and restrain the dog. I have never seen a vicious and fierce dog like that.

Me: "do you think the dog was acting alone?"

OkadaMan: " Not by any means. I learnt that It has the support of Fellow Dogs and some of my inlaw's friends. Even Fellow Inlaw Association cannot deny one or two association with the dog. They have constantly pleaded that using force to dissuade the violent dog might trigger chain reaction from some quarters and those sympathetic to It course.

Me: "What Course?"

OkadaMan: "That Bone, the best meal for dog should be the default food for all animals."

Me: "That is wrong, what about fowl that has no teeth, goats that eat herbs?"

OkadaMan: "Ask me. However, it took the combine efforts of over a hundred dog- catchers, Medicine Men, palace guards with bows and arrows, chains and cudgel to finally bind the dog.

Me; "Ah thank God"

OkadaMan: "Thank God? Hmmm! When the dog catchers were taking it to "dog house" Fellow Dogs in large group barked and snarled ready to attack, and the dog catchers numbering about Ten panicked and ran away, and the Violent dog was allowed to escape."

Me: "That is dangerous."

OkadaMan: " Ogah, My Inlaw in rage insisted that I was in charge of the Operation I must produce the dog otherwise he will take my wife from me. I love my wife and I love to be called a married man"

Me: " Yes, you must find the dog before It kill again. Why did you allow it to escape?"

OkadaMan: "Ogah, the dog was scratchy my palm, it didn't mean to escape. It was to go and come back. It said when I say Boko, even before I add Haram It would come back."

Me: "Was that the pet name - Boko Haram?"

OkadaMan: " No. Boko Haram is the accolade for pack of Dogs on Dog day. We use it for fun like Jack. The name is Kabir Sokoto"

Me: "In that case, look well, what you are looking for in Sokoto may just be in Shokoto"

OkadaMan. "Thank you Ogah, that is comforting. We have raised a bounty of N50 for any clue as to where about the dog.

His phone rang.
" Hello yes, you say? Yes yes. Astray? Aimlessly?, wandering and crossing to your village? I can't hear,,,, O you caught the dog. Good. Insh' Allah, haba. Lost memory? that is good. Insh' Allah. No problems.
By the way, are you a commissioned dog catcher? Yes... It doesn't matter".

He turned to me." Ogah you stop here, am no longer going, they found my pet, I mean my dog."

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Senator David Mark, Nigeria New "Mr. Fix It"

Some days ago during the hue and cry about fuel subsidy, when Nigerians were ready to occupy Nigeria, technocrats, politicians, artisans and, even the unemployed were deployed to the streets as foot soldiers for and against the removal of fuel subsidy. Some worked for their pockets other, selflessly, ie for the unity of Nigeria. In all, one person stood out. The senate president, Senator David Mark.
His role in ensuring that the subsidy crisis did not over blow, and thus destabilising the government of president Goodluck has earned him a new name -"Mr Fix It".

I must commend him and the speaker of the house of Representative for having the common man's view in mind, and not just playing the politics of what is in it for me.

Be that as it may, I implore them not to gloss over the vexed issue of corruption in the oil sector and all other government establishments but, to ensuring that all offenders are brought to book.

After all, if the country is rid of corrupt elements to the extent that foreign investors find irresistible and attractive to invest, our generation and those yet unborn will benefit.
Then, the need and means to develop our health sectors, repair our roads, and even improve on our educational system to affordable state may be within reach. Nigerians in diaspora would have reasons to come home instead of remaining in foreign land where they are treated as second class citizens.
Our Politicians' may reduce the act of wasting money on constant trips abroad for medical check up and all.
Even some of the governors might humour us by allowing their children attend neighbourhood schools.

For all these to work, every hands must be on deck to lift our dear country up. As the saying goes, what is good for the goose is also good for the gander.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Return of Queue in the Petrol Stations

Despite the hard stands by the Nigerian masses against withdrawal of fuel subsidy by President Jonathan, the masses, NLC/TUC and Politicians have since be rejoicing at the suspension of strike and hostility by both party. Although, largely, the masses feel betrayed by labour and TUC, at least, petroleum pump price is no longer N141 but N97. However, the dreaded queue usually experienced in the old days of Obasanjo have returned in full force. We hope it's for a while.

The Ministry in charge of Nigeria oil, according to customs boss, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko-Inde, has been short changing Nigerians due to lack of transparency. But, the Honourable Minister insisted that she did no wrong, even the Trillions of Naira allegedly disbursed as fuel subsidy was ordered by Her Majesty, auntie Ngozi Nwela.

It is apparent that from the various claims and finger pointing by people in authority, the fight to eradicate corruption in our society may not see the light of day.

One thing is sure, if president Jonanthan decides to sacrifice a sacred cow, and make the high and mighty walk free, the untrustworthy NLC and TUC may not need to call people out to the street, it could just happen like a tsunami. A word is enough for the wise.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


More details into the quagmire of oil subsidy removal scandal presently unfolding within the Jonathan administration appears to be making its way into the public arena. This is as the house of representative committee charged with investigating the management of funds related to fuel subsidy began public inquiry into the process of subsidy payments by the Federal Government of Nigeria to select licenced marketers of petrol and kerosene.

Yesterday, the finance minister, Okonjo Iweala honored the invitation of the [adhoc] committee. The committee quizzed her on the finance ministry's involvement in the oil subsidy process. In her exchanges with the committee, the minister made it clear that all monies made from crude oil through NNPC and partners – are not paid directly into the federal accounts of the nation. The minister stated that the monies for the oil subsidy are withdrawn before it gets to the national accounts – of which she accented by noting that it was unconstitutional for the NNPC to deduct any monies from Nigeria's crude oil revenues before payment into the national accounts.

However the Petroleum Resources Minister's appearance before the adhoc committee today discounts the finance minister's accession as untrue. The Minister pointed blame to the finance minister for the authorization of the N1.3trillion payment for oil subsidy. This she noted repeatedly while adding that the N1.3trillion may have been misleading to the Nigerian public.

The Petroleum Minister admitted under questioning from Hon Lawan Farouk that the N1.3trillion was not only paid for petrol subsidy – that the sum contained arrears for Kerosene and Petrol subsidy dating back to 2008 – thus giving the impression to the Nigerian public that the nation was disbursing disturbing amounts of money for the payment of petrol subsidy. She admitted also that only N250billion out of the N1.3trillion was paid for petrol subsidy.

The Petroleum Minister admitted that she does not know the total volume of petrol consumed in Nigeria. This is as she complained that Nigerian Federal Government was virtually subsidizing the entire ECOWAS community – as illegal transporters of petrol move subsidized petrol out from Nigeria to neighboring ECOWAS countries. But the federal petroleum minister was pinned on an embarrassing note – as it was pointed out to her that the Petroleum Ministry should know the total volume of petrol consume locally – that it would amount to a rudimentary embarrassment should the ministry not have the data.

The Petroleum Minister was not able to provide the total nominal capacity of the refineries in Nigeria. She indicated that information available to her showed that 12% of locally consumed petrol is refined in Nigeria – that Nigeria imports up to 90% of her petrol. She explained that Nigeria's refining capacity has increased to 60% from 30%.

It was learnt that operations at the Petroleum Ministry may have lost is focus starting from 2006. As gathered, the NNPC imported 92% of all the petrol used for local consumption in 2006 – at a much reduced cost – while private marketers [importers] were contracted to import about 8% of petrol. Today, it has flipped, virtually the entire locally consumed petrol is imported by independent marketers at an exorbitant cost. The Minister states that the independent marketers were introduced "to add competition".

"We have done nothing unconstitutional as a ministry" – exclaimed the Petroleum Ministry who spoke in a subdued demeanor as she managed to explain the huge disparity in the amounts of money paid to subsidize petrol in 2006 [when it was recorded that 27million liters of petrol was subsidized] and in 2011 [when it was recorded that 33million liters of petrol was subsidized]. In effect, N200billion in subsidy money was paid in 2006 for 27million liters of petrol while N1.3trillion was paid in 2011 for 33million liters.

In 2008 when the average crude oil price per barrel was $100 about 33million liters of petrol was subsidized at N630billion – similar to today's market conditions where the average price per barrel of crude oil is $100 – and about 33mllion liters of petrol was subsidized at N1.3trillion.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

President Jonathan Unilaterally Reduces Fuel Price To N97

Dear Compatriots,
1. This is the second time in two weeks I will address you on the deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector. In the last seven days, the nation has witnessed a disruption of economic activities.  Although, the economic imperatives for the policy have been well articulated by government, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) went ahead to declare a nationwide strike.
2. There was also near-breakdown of law and order in certain parts of the country as a result of the activities of some persons or groups of persons who took advantage of the situation to further their narrow interests by engaging in acts of intimidation, harassment and outright subversion of the Nigerian state. I express my sympathy to those who were adversely affected by the protests.
3.    At the inception of the deregulation policy, Government had set up the Justice Alfa Belgore Committee to liaise with Labour and other stakeholders to address likely grey areas in the policy, but despite all our efforts, Labour refused the option of dialogue and also disobeyed a restraining order of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria.
4. However, following the intervention of the Leadership of the National Assembly, and other well-meaning Nigerians, Labour accepted to meet with government, but this yielded no tangible result.
5. It has become clear to government and all well-meaning Nigerians that other interests beyond the implementation of the deregulation policy have hijacked the protest. This has prevented an objective assessment and consideration of all the contending issues for which dialogue was initiated by government. These same interests seek to promote discord, anarchy, and insecurity to the detriment of public peace.
6.    Government appreciates that the implementation of the deregulation policy would cause initial hardships and commends Nigerians who have put forth suggestions and credible alternatives in this regard. Government also salutes Nigerians who by and large, conducted themselves peacefully while expressing their grievances. Let me assure you that government will continue to respect the people's right to express themselves within the confines of the law and in accordance with the dictates of our democratic space.
7.    Government will continue to pursue full deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector. However, given the hardships being suffered by Nigerians, and after due consideration and consultations with state governors and the leadership of the National Assembly, government has approved the reduction of the pump price of petrol to N97 per litre. The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has been directed to ensure compliance with this new pump price.
8.    Government is working hard to reduce recurrent expenditure in line with current realities and to cut down on the cost of governance. In the meantime, government has commenced the implementation of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment projects: including the Federal Government- assisted mass transit programme which is already in place, and job creation for the youth. 
9.  Furthermore, the legal and regulatory regime for the petroleum industry will be reviewed to address accountability issues and current lapses in the Industry. In this regard, the Petroleum Industry Bill will be given accelerated attention. The report of the forensic audit carried out on the NNPC is being studied with a view to implementing the recommendations and sanctioning proven acts of corruption in the industry.
10.   Let me assure Nigerians that this administration is irrevocably committed to tackling corruption in the petroleum industry as well as other sectors of the economy. Consequently, all those found to have contributed one way or the other to the economic adversity of the country will be dealt with in accordance with the law.
11. My dear compatriots, I urge you to show understanding for the imperatives of the adjustment in the pump price of petrol and give government your full support to ensure its successful implementation. I further appeal to Nigerians to go back to work and go about their normal duties as government has made adequate arrangements for the protection of life and property throughout the federation.
12. Government will not condone brazen acts of criminality and subversion. As President, I have sworn to uphold the unity, peace and order of the Nigerian State and by the grace of God, I intend to fully and effectively discharge that responsibility.  Let me add that we are desirous of further engagements with Labour. I urge our Labour leaders to call off their strike, and go back to work.
13. Nigeria belongs to all of us and we must collectively safeguard its unity.
14. Thank you. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Federal Republic of Nigeria


To What extent is the FG of Nigeria subsidising fuel?

Speech Delivered by Pastor Tunde Bakare:


To subsidise is to sell a product below the cost of production. Since the federal government has been secretive about the state of our refineries and their production capacity, we will focus on importation rather than production. So, in essence, within the Nigerian Fuel Subsidy context, to subsidise is to sell petrol below the cost of importation.


The Nigerian government claims that Nigerians consume 34 million litres of petrol per day. The government has also said publicly that N141 per litre is the unsubsidised pump price of petrol imported into Nigeria. (N131.70 kobo being the landing price and N9.30 kobo being profit.)


Daily Fuel Consumption:   34 million litres
Cost at Pump: N141.00

No. of days in a regular year: 365 days

Total cost of all petrol imported yearly into Nigeria:

Litres          Naira       Days

34m    x     141    x     365

= N1.75 trillion


Nigerians have been paying N65 per litre for fuel, haven't we? Therefore, cost borne by the consumers =

Litres          Naira     Days

34m      x     65    x     365

= N807 billion

In 2011 alone, government claimed to have spent N1.3 trillion by October – the bill for the full year, assuming a constant rate of consumption is N1.56 trillion.

Consequently, the true cost of subsidy borne by the government is:

Total cost of importation minus total borne by consumers, i.e. N1.75 trillion minus N807 billion = N943 billion.

Unexplainable difference: N617 billion

The federal government of Nigeria cannot explain the difference between the amount actually disbursed for subsidy and the cost borne by Nigerians (N1.56 trillion minus N943 billion = N617 billion).


A government official has claimed that the shortfall of N617 billion is what goes to subsidising our neighbours through smuggling. This is pathetic. But let us assume (assumption being the lowest level of knowledge) that the government is unable to protect our borders and checkmate the brisk smuggling going on. Even then, the figures still don't add up. This is because even if 50% of the petrol consumed in each of our neighbouring countries is illegally exported from Nigeria, the figures are still inaccurate. Why?


NIGERIA: 158.4 million

BENIN:    8.8 million

TOGO:    6 million

CAMEROUN: 19.2 million

NIGER:    15.5 million

CHAD:     11.2 million

GHANA:     24.4 million

The total population of all our six (6) neighbours is 85.5 million.

Let's do some more arithmetic:

a) Rate of Petrol Consumption in Nigeria: Total consumed divided by total population:

34 million litres divided by 158.8 million people = 0.21 litres per person per day.

b)  Rate of Petrol Consumption in all our 6 neighbouring countries, assumed to be the same as Nigeria:

0.2 litres x 85.5 million people = 18.35 million litres per day

Now, if we assume that 50% of the petrol consumed in all the six neighbouring countries comes from Nigeria, this value come to 9.18 million litres per day.


There are two illogicalities flowing from this smuggling saga.

a) If 9.18 million litres of petrol is truly smuggled out of our borders per day, then ours is the most porous nation in the word. This is why: The biggest fuel tankers in Nigeria have a capacity of about 36,000 litres. To smuggle 9.18 million litres of fuel, you need 254 trucks. What our government is telling us is that 254 huge tankers pass through our borders every day and they cannot do anything about it. This is not just acute incompetence, but also a serious security challenge. For if the government cannot stop 254 tanker trailers from crossing the border daily, how can they stop importation of weapons or even invasion by a foreign country?

b) 2nd illogicality:
Even if we believe the government and assume that about 9.18 million litres is actually taken to our neighbours by way of smuggling every day, and all this is subsidised by the Nigerian government, the figures being touted as subsidy still don't add up. This is why:

Difference between pump price before and after subsidy removal =

N141.00 – N65.00 = N76.00

Total spent on subsidizing petrol to our neighbours annually =

N76.00 x 9.18 million litres x 365 days = N255 billion

If you take the N255 billion away from the N617 billion shortfall that the government cannot explain, there is still a shortfall of N362 billion. The government still needs to tell us what/who is eating up this N362 billion ($2.26 billion USD).


i) We have assumed that there are no working refineries in Nigeria and so no local petrol production whatsoever – yet, there is, even if the refineries are working below capacity.

ii) Nigeria actually consumes 34 million litres of petrol per day. Most experts disagree and give a figure between 20 and 25 million litres per day. Yet there is still an unexplainable shortfall even if we use the exaggerated figure of the government.

iii) Ghana, Togo, Benin, Cameroun, Niger, and Chad all consume the same rate as Nigeria and get 50% of their petrol illegally from Nigeria through smuggling.

These figures simply show the incompetence and insincerity of our government officials. This is pure banditry.

9) FACT 9: The simplest part of the fuel subsidy arithmetic will reveal one startling fact: That the government does not need to subsidise our petrol at all if we reject corruption and sleaze as a way of life. Check this out:

a)  NNPC crude oil allocation for local consumption = 400,000 barrels per day (from a total of 2.450 million barrels per day).

b) If our refineries work at just 30%, 280,000 barrels can be sold on the international market, leaving the rest for local production.

c) Money accruing to the federal government through NNPC on the sale, using $80/bbl – a conservative figure as against the current price of $100/bbl – would be $22.4m per day. Annually this translates to $8.176bn or N1.3 trillion.

d) The government does not need to subsidise our petrol imports - at least not from the Federation Account. The same crude that should have been refined by NNPC is simply sold on the international market (since our refineries barely work) and the money is used to buy petrol. The 400,000 barrels per day given to NNPC for local consumption can either be refined by NNPC or sold to pay for imports. This absurdity called subsidy should be funded with this money, not the regular FGN budget.

If the FGN uses it regular budget for subsidising petrol, then what happens to the crude oil given to NNPC for local refining that gets sold on the international market?


The federal government is making the deregulation issue a revenue problem. Nigerians are not against deregulation. We have seen deregulation in the telecom sector and Nigerians are better for it, as even the poor have access to telephones now right before the eyes of those who think it is not for them. What is happening presently is not deregulation but an all-time high fuel pump increase, unprecedented in the history of our nation by a government that has gone broke due to excessive and reckless spending largely on themselves. If the excesses of all the three tiers of government are seriously curbed, that would free enough money for infrastructural development without unduly punishing the poor citizens of this country.

Let me just cite, in closing, the example of National Assembly excesses and misplaced spending as contained in the 2012 budget proposal:

Number of Senators: 109

Number of Members of the House of Representatives 360

Total Number of Legislators   469

2012 Budget Proposal for the National Assembly N150 billion

Average Cost of Maintaining Each Member  N320 million

Average Cost of Maintaining Each Member in USD  $2.1 million/year

Time has come for the citizens of this country to hold the government accountable and demand the prosecution of those bleeding our nation to death. Until this government downsizes, cuts down its profligacy and leads by example in modesty and moderation, the poor people of this country will not and must not subsidise the excesses of the oil sector fat cats and the immorality cum fiscal scandal of the self-centred and indulgent lifestyles of those in government.


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