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OVIE OMO-AGEGE BLOWING HURRICANE AND THE LESSONS OKOWA’S PDP MUST LEARN AHEAD OF 2023

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Court Order

The darkest place in hell are reserved for those who maintained their neutrality in times of moral crisis – Dante Alighieri

If Senator Ovie Omo-Agege decides to run for Delta State governorship in the 2023 elections, the only force that can stop him is the force of God and the will of the people. I don’t see him running, for the stage he currently occupies has grown beyond Dennis Osadebey. He is like a volcanic acid that can’t be curtailed. The Warri blood in him makes him aim for the very best leaving the crumbs for others to scramble for. In all of these, he is never desperate, rather leaving everything to God, chance and political leadership.

Like the King in the chessboard, he allows everyone go ahead first before moving in swag and style, losing little and conquering many. In conquest, he does not jubilate against the conquered and does not sneer at the politically wounded but retreat to his quiet moment and plot how to make them feel like it was a fair conquest. In doing this, he wins absolute loyalty and trust of them all. I have seen it time and time again and one incidence will suffice.

When he appointed a South Western person as his Special Adviser on Media and another one as Special Assistant on Electronics and New Media from same tribe, I wasted no time in condemning it, not because they were wrong choices. I vented my anger because there are tens of Deltans fit for such position and even if there are none, his first list of appointment should come from Delta. I felt like the conquered one who gave my all against my political family for him but now spited as I watch the very tribe we both belong not getting their rightful place.

Something was promised to be done in regards to the media section and what has never happened before was done and I felt like the conqueror (at least for that moment). That is the Omo-Agege political striker to you, fixing every piece of puzzles in their right places.
The wave of political appointment from him has swept both the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). One begin to wonder what his interest is by giving appointment to core PDP members who worked against him but never recognised by their own mother party.

With his vacation in the United States of America, every state in South South have persons currently appointed under him. In his words to me “Fejiro, this my position no be for only Urhobo or Delta o. Na for everyone wey dey South South”.
But he is human and in being so, he makes his mistakes. He errs not because he wishes to. He errs not because he loves to. He errs because he is flesh and blood, subjected to limited knowledge and surrounded by too many distractions. He falters because those who should tell him the truth fear to do so due to what they seek from him. I seek such from him too but morality binds me first to him, after all, that is what brought us close and has bonded us till date. Isn’t that was the quote above said?
The Agege I know should have called all the House of Assembly aspirants that contested and lost in the last general elections for a meeting and assured them of appointments, even if not tied to his office, but other Federal agencies.

Thankfully enough, he has grip of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) with his ally, Benard Okumagba as Managing Director Designate. This is where I expect him to push people like Prince Koyoyo and others to serve as Special Assistants to the MD since Efe Duku who also contested has been elevated to his Special Adviser. Why he has not done it, I do not know. For is it not said among them by Vladmir Putin that “there are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel”.

If the above can be said of the PDP in Delta State, it could have been better. But what do we see? Few weeks in Asaba to monitor event points to few people hijacking the appointments meant for those who truly worked and deliver their units and wards during the keenly contested election especially in strong places like Ughelli, Sapele, Ethiope West, Uviwe and Udu LGAs.

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I peeped through the last eighty names of appointees released and saw names of people who didn’t leave their bedrooms on election day or did anything tangible during the build up to the election. I see names of PDP Chairman lover sitting comfortably on the lists and girlfriends of other political kingmakers dancing with appointment letters. The only service they rendered was warming the beds of their sugar daddies, while the young men and ladies who did their best on the political field and others on social media still waiting for the rainbow. Monkey work, baboon chop is the order of the day.

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa must be made to know that these same persons who stuff the appointment lists with names of people who never worked for him will be the first to deny him when the Omo-Agege hurricane that is already spreading will begin from next year. I can tell for a fact that people who deserve to get their appointment letters from the PDP government they worked for but neglected will get it from Omo-Agege and there is no worse defeat and pain than the one from a former loyalist turned foe, for they fight with blood and life to crumble that which the former suffered to build.

The beginning of a new election begins the very day a king is sworn in and Omo-Agege knows this. Loyalty will begin to shift from next year and it will depend on what Okowa decides to allow his foot soldiers who are giving him names of their loved ones do to the trust he entrusted them with. There are never friends among them he should know but loyalists and their pockets determine their loyalty. When the Agege hurricane starts, may it not be said that I was alive and as a close member of the governor’s team, who was privileged to see things, hear from the streets but never advised him. May it not be written that when the battle to take over Delta State in 2023 was successfully hatched and executed, Fejiro Oliver betrayed the political family that loves him, even though when they were sharing the luxury Liberty Estate with all facilities built with government funds among themselves, I was not part of it.

If these truth be my crime, that politicians who work are desirous of their appointments like Omo-Agege has done and is still doing for his party men is my crime, so be it. If political treason is to speak truth to power that girlfriends of party chieftains should not be appointed but sincere youths who gave their all be appointed, then let the judgment for offenders be pronounced on me.

When the die is cast and Okowa is out of power, be it known that most of them will not be there for him.

In 2010, when Fmr. Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan election was annulled, he didn’t believe it. As he left government house for the then House of Assembly Speaker, Sam Obi to take over, it felt like a dream to him. He went to the House of a top political contractor to stay, with his world shattered.

Sam Obi took over office, looked around the office and called for cabinet meeting, which he dissolved. While with some party member, Uduaghan called his phone; he looked at it, smiled and refused to answer. After sometime he called back and Uduaghan asked him why he has not been taking his calls and he replied “Your Excellency, you were not also picking my calls when you sat on this seat”. Uduaghan became humble for his destiny lies in the hands of the man that was once his subordinate.

The above scenario I’m very sure Okowa should be privy to, on how Sam Obi became just powerful in three months.

The new Prado Jeeps and Toyota Corolla that Uduaghan bought and refused to share to appointees were ordered to be shared by him. When Uduaghan finally found his way back, he learnt his lessons, the lessons of a lifetime that all his political books never taught him, even though people who should have called his attention refused to do so out of fear of being blacklisted by him.

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The lesson to learn by Okowa and the Delta PDP is to stop taking the people who staked their all for a ride. The lesson to learn is that power is transient and can only be sustained when the genuine people are empowered and those who deserve reward are not short-changed.

In 2015, few months after Uduaghan left power, one of the first stinker he got was from a popular news reporter who lashed out on how the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have invited him. Uduaghan was shocked, not because the story was false but this was a reporter that he made to build a duplex in Asaba and other benefits associated with his job. In his days as governor, none of these reporter will do so for they were loyal not to him but his pocket. You do not buy loyalty, you earn it.

If the reason for the governor not asking questions from unbiased persons on those who truly worked and deserves speedy inclusion in his government but listen to words from those who will help to ruin him once the time is ripe, I will leave him with this fable.

Years ago in an ancient kingdom, a servant offended the King and in anger, he ordered him to be thrown to his wild dog. The servant begged the keeper of the dog to allow him take care of it for seven days before he is thrown into the cage to be eaten up. The keeper agreed.

For seven days, he cleaned and fed the dog, taking care of its wound. On the seventh day, the King ordered that the big cage be brought before him, with the dog inside, which was done. The servant was then brought forward from his prison and thrown inside the cage. The dog went to meet him and stretched his paws towards him while playing with the man. The king and everyone around was shocked and ordered the servant be brought out.

“Why didn’t the dog devour you?”, he asked the servant.

“My King, I served you for seven years and for one error, you forgot all the times I saved you and all the good deeds I did for you. I served this dog for only seven days and even when he was hungry and I was his meal, he remembered the little good works I did for him”, the servant answered.
In tears, the king ordered that the servant be elevated to Chief Servant which is modern day Chief of Staff.

As the Agege whirlwind of appointment and political patronage sweeps across the land, may the fable above be a constant reminder that loyalty not caused by political or wealth influence remains the cradle by which dynasties are built.

DELTA STATE BOARD OF INTERNAL REVENUE CHAIRMAN APPOINTMENT
The race for the Executive Chairman of the Delta State Board of Internal Revenue (DBIR) rages as Monday Onyeme rounds off his tenure next month.

Ordinarily, there should be no competitor, for Onyeme has led the board more than anyone who has ever held the position. This is the first time in history that DBIR has not only been transparent but scandal free.

As the Chairman of the board, the IGR has not only been maintained but became the saving grace when oil prices fell down in the beginning of this government. The board needs someone like Onyeme back to consolidate for a Stronger Delta. Onyeme did not come to the board a poor man and will not leave richer than he came. Unlike his predecessors who acquired wealth after leaving, he already had his hotel and establishment all booming before he was drafted in to rescue the board that was almost crumbling. Today, Delta State is better off.

The reward for a good job is more work. When music is nice, you play it twice and even thrice. Onyeme is nice music to the ears and should be played twice.
These little things matter…

Fejiro Oliver, an investigative journalist. He tweets with @fejirooliver86 and IG handle of @elahuva

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Opinion

Eze Commends APC for Reconciliation Moves

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Reconciliation

…Admonishes Party On Ways To Untie Rivers APC Knot

Moves for reconciliation in the Rivers All Progressives Congress (APC) may not be out of place but those making the moves must first find out the real mission and agenda of those perpetually hanging the Party in court with active support of those who boast of controlling the Judiciary. Those destroying the Party with litigation may actually be a secret group now in another political but using court cases as excuse to stay behind and ensure the total destruction of APC while their real Party is winning all elections, as a matter of strategy.

The erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP), and chieftain of the APC, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, who handed down the caution, however commended President Mohammadu Buhari and the leadership of the APC over moves to reconcile warring factions within the chapters of the party that are having divisive and internal conflicts. Eze has also urged the national leadership of the Party to take a closer look at the Rivers APC crisis because its own case is different and unique.

Recall that President Mohammadu Buhari had on 10th February, 2020, approved the reconstitution of the 12 -member Reconciliatory Committee, this time, to be headed by Chief Bisi Akande, while the 2019 governorship candidate of the APC in Cross Rivers State, Sen. John Owan Enoh, serves as secretary. The sole mandate is to address grievances of party members across the country and resolve existing conflicts in a bid to foster oneness, strengthen the party for better governance, and ensure unity of purpose within the ruling APC. Eze warned that while reconciliation may be in the minds of those quarrelling in other states, it may not be in the minds of those fighting the Party in Rivers State.

In a statement made available to media houses, Chief Eze urged the Reconciliation Committee to critically study the events in Rivers State before embarking upon on any reconciliatory move, as anything contrary to this will amount to an exercise in futility.

While expressing optimism over the capacity of the committee to deliver on its mandate, Eze expressed hope that the seeming unending crisis both in the Rivers APC and other chapters of the party will soon be consigned to history.

According to the party chief, “Dr Akande-led Reconciliation Committee should note that the case of Rivers State chapter of the party is a bit unique and different from that of other chapters and therefore, cannot be handled in a manner depicting a mere feud, owing to the fact that some extremes and agents of other political parties and external forces are interested and hell bent on destabilizing and weakening the party structure in the State in order to pave way for the operation of a one party system in the State.”

Chief Eze further posited that “in the eyes of the world we have two or three factions within the Rivers APC – Amaechi, Abe and to some extent Aguma’s 3rd Force. This is far from the truth.” Setting the record straight,  Eze said, “The truth is that Senator Magnus Abe insisted that if the party’s 2019 gubernatorial ticket is not given to him, then the party will not exist in the State. To achieve this, he hurriedly set up machineries to frustrate the party, and as a result, succeeded in installing the failed PDP Government which has left Rivers people in squalor and pauper.”

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Accordingly, Chief Eze expressed that “Abe’s protracted and divisive acts within the Rivers APC took a disturbing and calamitous trend during the 2019 electioneering processes when the party and its candidates were disallowed to participate in the 2019 electoral contest, paving way for the People’s Democratic Party to clinch victory at the polls at the detriment of Rivers electorate.” Eze said Senator Abe has made good his threat to punish the APC for not giving him the ticket, and thus wondered what anybody any reconciliation would fetch Senator Abe when he is expected to go and collect his reward for doing a good job for Governor Wike, PDP and his external forces.

Months after the general elections, one would have thought that Abe and his group would allow peace to prevail to enable the party put its structure in order and allow things to take shape within the party for sober reflection, stock-taking and proper planning for future engagements, but it is worrisome to learn that events have proved otherwise.

 The national leadership must understand that such a person would not want reconciliation at this moment so they can hide under party crisis to continue to work out things in their real party.

The none-existing Aguma’s third Force whose mission is to continue the decimation of the party from where Abe stopped shockingly came up immediately Abe’s case and attempt to frustrate the party from organising her Congresses duly approved by the National Working Committee of the party met its waterloo. Aguma went further to abuse and insult the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, including the Leader of the party in the State, Dr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.

The primary mission of Aguma and his cohorts is to weaken the party in order to pave way for the continuation of governance of the State by PDP come 2023 and sinisterly install another Ikwerre son after Amaechi and Wike come 2023, to the detriment of other tribes in the State. This mission seems more important to them than reconciliation which would not be in their interest. They know that if they decamp, their case in court against the APC would perish. So, it is in their interest to remain in the party and continue the agenda through court cases. Trying to bring them for genuine reconciliation could be difficult, Chief Eze observed.

Eze who laughed at the funny position of Aguma lashed at him over comments credited to him, calling on the Hon. Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, to step aside as leader of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State.

Describing the comment as childish and untutored, Eze tasked the committee to put an eye on Aguma, stressing that the rationale behind his own grievance is ambiguous and vague. Such demand is not the action of someone who is going into reconciliation. He said it can only show that somebody is afraid of Amaechi and the APC and is ready to use anybody and do anything to stop the Leader in the name of crisis.

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It would be recalled that the subsisting Order of Court restraining the APC from conducting Congresses in Rivers State is to Aguma’s credit. Despite the condemnations he received for his ill-conceived action against the party, Igochukwu Aguma has continued to brag about the court order, although he is yet to come clean on his reasons behind the move. It is clear that this crisis is being hatched from outside the party and any attempt for reconciliation with the ones the eyes can see would be impossible because of those beating the drum from outside.

“It’s unfortunate that characters that lack leadership qualities are demanding that Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi resign or abdicate his role as the leader of APC Rivers State. One considers such assertion as criminal boldness because he who builds should dwell in it. It is a natural phenomenon. These crass conservatives will not seize to amuse me. These are men with zero electoral value yet they fail to understand that they have been left in a political bus stop long before now”.

Chief Eze said, the pertinent questions are; ”What were their political imprint when service beckoned on them? What are their records of achievements as commissioners or federal legislators?  How many lives did they positively impact on? How many projects did they attract to their constituencies? How many bills did they sponsor or co-sponsor in the National Assembly (NASS)? What was their political reach- out that accrued benefits to Rivers people?

“Their outburst is nothing but a selfish demand of unserious minds lacking in objective thinking.” Eze asserted.

Eze wondered how the Akande-led Committee intends to reconcile the party with such characters whose agenda are well known.

Chief Eze advised that the honourable men and women in the Reconciliation Committee must first understand the agenda of the trouble makers in the Rivers APC to know if reconciliation is even in their master plan.

In another development, while the likes of Aguma are doing their best to bring down Amaechi, Chief Eze said Nigerians all over the country are celebrating and bestowing on him one honour or the other, including chieftaincy titles. Today the peoples Minister and Minister of the decade is honoured with a Chieftaincy Title of DIKE DI OHA MMA 1 of Uturu, Isuikwuato, by the Traditional Ruler and Chiefs of Uturu in Isuikwuato of Abia State. By this title, he has become a member of the Traditional Rulers Council of Uturu and Abia State.

In conclusion, Eze congratulated the peoples Minster on the Foundation laying ceremony for a Transport Institute at Gregory University, Uturu, Isuikwuato LGA of Abia State in Eastern Nigeria as timely and in the right direction. He said by this,  Chief Amaechi has proved his love and commitment to the development of the South-East.

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Business

Jumia: Promoting Nigerian Economy through MSMEs Empowerment

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MSMEs Empowerment

 

The role of micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) in areas of promoting inclusive growth, increasing the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), creation of employment opportunities and wealth creation, the world over, can never be overemphasised. Their immense contributions to the growth of their micro and macroeconomics is the reason countries, developed and developing, highly regard their MSMEs sector.

 

According to the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), MSMEs make up over 90 percent of all firms and account for an average of 60 to 70 percent of total employment and 50 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of any economy. In Nigeria, however, according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the sector has over 37 million MSMEs and employs over 54 million skilled and unskilled labour while contributing about 54 percent to GDP of the country.

 

To underscore the importance of the role the sector plays towards the economic development of every country, almost all countries make special provisions to aid the growth of the sector. For example, while the Indian government created a separate ministry to cater to their needs, Nigeria established the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) to specifically promote the development of the MSME sector in Nigeria. The efforts of Nigerian government in boosting the sector, notwithstanding, the sector needs more facilitators if it would catch up with its counterparts in other developed and developing countries.

 

One company that stands out in complementing the efforts of the government in facilitating the growth of the MSMEs in the country is Jumia Nigeria, the leading pan-African e-commerce platform. The company, which started in 2012 in Lagos and currently has a presence across more than 11 African countries, has woven its operations and products to suit the peculiar needs, and also serve the interests of the MSMEs.

 

Being the leading online marketplace in Africa for a wide range of products, the company offers all manufacturers, distributors, and sellers, most of whom are MSMEs, a platform to sell their goods and services to their consumers. The company also offers logistics service, which enables the shipment and delivery of packages from sellers to consumers, and payment service, which facilitates transactions among participants active on Jamia’s platform in selected markets.

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Jumia Nigeria alone has over 15,000 active sellers, about 80 percent of whom are MSMEs, offering a wide range of goods including smartphones, consumer electronics, fashion and apparel, home and living, consumer packaged goods, beauty, and perfumes, etc. It also provides consumers with easy access to a number of services, such as restaurant food delivery, airtime recharge, etc. The Jumia platform saves each of these MSMEs the cost of marketing, renting and operating physical stores, thereby increasing their profitability and boosting their growth.

 

Only last year, the company launched the Jumia Mall, an online platform where any interested brands could reach their target audiences through advertisement and display of their products and services. This platform, with its wide reach, offers these brands, irrespective of their sizes, a much wider reach at a much-reduced price thereby reducing their cost of marketing and advertising. Many MSMEs, and even some Fortune 500 companies are taking advantage of the platform to reach their current and prospective consumers.

 

On the logistics aspect of its business, Jumia, not only uses its own vehicles but also third-party logistics companies to deliver merchandise from the sellers to the consumers. Apart from satisfying its numerous customers, Jumia has facilitated the growth of the logistics business in Nigeria by offering ready businesses, through patronage, to these third-party logistics services providers, who are mostly MSMEs. The company has over 100 local logistics services providers on its integrated network. It recently incorporated Gokada, one of the motorcycle hailing companies whose operations were recently restricted in Lagos State, saving the company from imminent collapse as a result of the regulatory restriction.

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The company also has a payment service, JumiaPay, designed to offer a safe, fast and easy solution to online payments on its platform. The service which is available in six countries – Nigeria, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Morocco, and Kenya – has been expanded beyond the physical goods marketplace to also include the purchase of the company’s on-demand services such as restaurant food delivery, and airtime recharge.

 

JumiaPay offers convenience to all the parties for every transaction – customers, sellers, financial institutions etc. Prior to the launch of the service in 2016, Jumia users had to use other payment platforms to make payments for purchased items. This state of affairs was fraught with issues, especially when transactions are not completed. It, then, took days to weeks to get a refund when, for example, an item you ordered for wasn’t delivered or is damaged, or doesn’t match website description etc. Jumia works with banks to provide a more secure option of payments where you get reimbursed instantly if anything goes wrong with your order. It also ensures prompt payment to the sellers once the transaction is completed.

 

On job creation, few private companies have impacted on the Nigerian economy as Jumia. They have promoted entrepreneurship by reducing the hassles that come with marketing and logistics. By offering these at reduced prices, Jumia has emboldened many prospective entrepreneurs to take up the challenge of entrepreneurship thus, not only employing themselves but also employing many other people.

 

Jumia has shown that the nation’s economic growth could be facilitated by private corporate concerns through the building of ecosystems that could empower MSMEs in every aspect of their businesses. Jumia deliberately built its ecosystem this way and it is working out, not only for the company but for the country at large.

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Opinion

Hitlist N Cruzin To The Next Level A Priority In 2020–Mursty Adinoyi

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Mursty Adinoyi

Seasoned entrepreneur and producer, Mursty Adinoyi, is the brain behind one of Nigeria’s leading television shows, Hitlist N Cruzin. For over a decade, he has successfully changed the lives of young Nigerians across several states via the programme which takes people on a dream shopping spree. In this interview with Lukmon Akintola, he speaks on his 2020 development plans for the show, the need for youths to be more dedicated to the country and the impact of terrestrial television on the society.

2019 was a positive year for you and Hitlist N Cruzin, tell us about your 2020 plans.

Personally, I have a lot of plans for myself, long term plans that will culminate into awing developments. In addition to our flagship programme, Hitlist N Cruzin, we have AIT Music+, and both programmes have garnered positive followership.

Are there plans to take the programme to other parts of the country where it is not popular?

Most definitely. We are expanding the map to other states. We want to take it to places where we are not known, not just where people are already watching us. Talking about plans, I pray that all the ideas we have materialise. At Emrose Adinoyi Productions, we don’t make one-year plans, but long term plans. It’s our lifestyle and we’ll keep seeing what we can do to get better.

You are known to be passionate about Nigeria, do you have plans to start a programme that will dwell on Nigeria’s peculiar challenges?

Having a programme that focuses on Nigeria’s issues will not make any change. If you watch Kakaaki on AIT or Channels Television in the morning, you will see all of this stuff ongoing. If you watch Focus Nigeria on AIT as well, you will see all these discussions ongoing, but have there been changes? They say that democracy is the best for us, but we have to find a way to make sure that it works for us, because the way it is right now, I don’t think it’s working for us.

What are the peculiar challenges in your industry?

There are so many challenges. Don’t forget that to shoot Hitlist N Cruzin, we go out, looking for winners to take on a cruise. You hit the road, you see bad roads. You get a good car before you know it, it’s gone because the roads are bad. Some major roads are bad, how much more the roads in the hinterland? So, the challenges are enormous.

These challenges have seen a lot of people relocating out of the country, are you thinking of joining them?

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If your father’s house is not painted, instead of looking for an apartment to rent, look for money and paint it, that’s my belief. So many young people are leaving the country because they’re looking for greener pastures. You can’t blame anybody, but for those of us who believe in the Nigerian dream, we will contribute to the development of the country. I will rather do that than leave for Canada or anywhere in the world.

You have also been making political statements in recent times, are you thinking of going into politics?

This is our country and some of us are committed to its development. If things are not going well, we have to speak out. We should all know that life is in stages, we are in our forties right now, it’s just very unfortunate that the Nigerian system tells us that at forty we are young, we are actually not young. Very soon, leadership will fall into our hands. So we need to be consciously telling ourselves the truth so whoever amongst us has the opportunity to occupy an office can do the right thing. If we’re doing the right thing, people will not travel to other places, and even if they travel, it will be for fun, they won’t abandon Nigeria.

There have been calls for people to make their industry buoyant such that it can contribute to the country’s GDP, do you think the television industry can do this?

Content can be created from the training that an ex-military man has gotten. People will benefit from it, and then there will be much money for him and even the television station airing the programme and other participants. I am telling you there are so many things we can create, lots of things, even an ex-banker can create a programme. So, there is a lot of money to be made here, but first, we have to develop Nigeria first, using television.  Everything about us can be on television and we would make money from it. Okada, for instance, can be used for stunts. If independent producers can have good money with them and we are tax-free, we can gather Okada riders, create stunts, stage them, put them on television and make money out of it for development of the country. We see all these things on foreign channels and we think they are just for the foreign market, but they are also applicable here. There are lots of independent producers that can create good content for television consumption that will engage hundreds and thousands of people. That way, the unemployment rate will definitely drop.

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You have severally called for a tax-free media, can you justify this?

When I say tax-free television, I am not referring to cable television because there is a lot of money on pay television. There is a lot of money coming in because people subscribe to watch. I am speaking in relation to terrestrial television, some of these stations cannot even pay salaries. You need to realise that a local television station and independent producers are capable of employing more hands. But if you tax this sector too much, there will be no much money to even sustain what they have talkless of bringing in more hands. If we are actually looking at a better country, policies that we create should be those that would be for a better Nigeria, that will benefit Nigerian companies. When I say tax-free, I don’t mean for foreign companies. For instance, if VAT is 7.5% media-related companies can be made to pay 2.5%. The country is not growing because the policies we make are not developmental. If we have developmental policies, we’ll definitely move forward. We need to face reality. The government needs to see beyond immediate gain and make policies to help grow Nigerian companies and also make plans for our growing population.

There are people who will argue that if a company can’t pay its staff it should close shop, what do you say to that?

That would be wrong because when you talk of a direct impact on our society, it is terrestrial television that gets it done, not pay television

You have asked for all-round development in the country, where would you want the government to start from?

The scripture said let there be light and there was light. So, taking it from that angle, I would say the first thing we should be thinking of doing in terms of development should be stable light. Light is important because if we have it, other things will grow. But it’s not just about having light because other aspects also have to work. Transportation, the train needs to be connected to every state so that instead of everybody moving to Lagos State, you can even stay in Kogi State and do your business and if you have to come to Lagos State, you come by train. There are so many things that need to be done. There is a need for a change in government policies such that it will favour Nigerians.

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