Matters Arising: Jega’s Sack and Resignation
Following the cancellation of the National Assembly Polls while voters were busy casting their votes across the country last Saturday 2nd April many Nigerians have expressed outright disappointment while some are even calling for the head of the Commission’s Chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega.
Yes Jega must be blamed for this national embarrassment but do we need to belabour the issue when the man himself has openly accepted every responsibility saying “We have done our best; we have tried everything possible. We have been disappointed. Nobody likes it. We apologise to Nigerians for what has happened. I take responsibility for it because it is a major lapse. But there was nothing that we could have done to prevent this from happening.” Therefore, comments trailing the fallout of the cancellation and the call for his sack or resignation especially from the Federal Government quarters needs to be taking serious and adequately examined.
Prominent Nigerians and several international bodies have called for understanding. The European Union Electoral Observation Mission, (EU EOM) led by the Chief Observer, Alojz Peterle noted “We understand this as an expression to sustain the commitment to conduct credible elections, in particular by providing all technical conditions… the EU EOM encourages political parties to further respect the Code of Conduct. We also encourage the voters, electoral administration, candidates and other stakeholders to maintain confidence and determination towards a peaceful and credible conduct of the polls.”
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) called for calm stating through its Secretary General, Comrade Owei Lakemfa, that “Voters should not be discouraged. Postponement affects all parties and should be accepted. INEC was late in announcing the postponement and must do everything to safeguard materials already distributed.”
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, leader of Action Congress on Nigeria (CAN), one of the major opposition parties in the election said “This is terrible for Nigeria. Ghana conducted an election successfully. The giant of Nigeria cannot conduct a successful election. It is a shame.” Berating the INEC for shoddy preparation, Tinubu insists that given the shortage of materials and lack of adequate preparations by the electoral commission, it was better to postpone it than go ahead with the shoddy polls.”
While the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) through its Executive Secretary, Roland Ewubare, stressed that “Jega’s position as Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission is no longer tenable. He must now step down immediately in the national interest”.
Above statements are quite encouraging except that of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) an agency of the Federal Government. Ewubare’s statement is pregnant with loads of meaning. Who is Ewubare speaking for? Does one need say his master and why the call for Jega’s resignation?
If Ewubare’s statement be analysed it is rather than the cancellation because he, Ewubare is the Executive Secretary of a Federal Government Agency that has nothing to show to Nigerians for their existence since or what can he tell us that his own commission has done in the past to bring glory to the nation. Though it may sound as if one is attacking his personality but that is not the issue, Jega has taken responsibility, for how many of our leaders can be quoted since the beginning of this democratic experiment.
Me think Jega’s mistakes are: His desire to still keep his integrity by always openly admitting as witnessed during the voters registration and errors committed by his commission; His readiness to sacrifice some few bad heads either in the commission or contractors for the sake of majority just like the forced resignation of Aunty Ayoka and her cohorts; His refusal to award contracts without regard to due process and disallowing some established cult from making extra money from the system, and top above all his refusal to tow the path of many Nigerian leaders that would never admit errors or mistakes in the public.
Ewubare and his followers would have preferred Jega continue the aborted election, declare results with or without result sheet, and go to sleep, then allow candidates to proceed to tribunals, challenge the results state by state and the entire process declared illegal like Sonekan’s regime, leave the country in a precarious situation, and later tow the path of his predecessor by either go into hiding for some years and emerge to publish untold stories or wait for many years when someone else will make a mistake and use that to launch attacks and face savings.
Nigerians must be vigilant in respect of calls for Jega’s sack or resignation. The 1993 saga of Association for Better Nigeria (ABN) should be refreshed. They might be fifth columnist working against the interest of the nation to witness a free and fair election. Ewubare should know better than millions of Nigerians that no one can sack Jega now and his resignation will only lead to only one thing, an indefinite postponement of the election that will only lead to anarchy. Jega’s candour in accepting responsibility for the lapses that led to the cancellation inadvertently caused by the Commission’s vendors should be commended while all hands are on deck to ensure a free and fair electoral process.
AREMO OLUSIJI BALOGUN
A Man of Destiny
Oluwasijibomi Gideon Balogun was born on 8 September, 1972. He is an Associate Member, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management in Nigeria among others. He is the Founder of Ase Youth Association, among other organisations. His company Promec Innovative Concepts was a child of necessity when his attempt to register Prince Royal Media Concept (Promec) at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) met a brick wall.
He is a media guru and an organizational growth and business development expert with adaptable skills. He is able to use own initiative or work as part of a team. An efficient and effective Human Resources Manager, community worker, excellent communicator at all levels within and outside organizations; he has good problem solving and analytical skills with pioneering spirit. Specific interests include teaching and learning for new product development, business development, participatory social activities, keen insight into the needs of others and with high energy, initiative and focus, proven leadership skills including managing and motivating others to achieve objectives. An effective community and social worker, he is fluent with information technology and capable of handling executive assignments and leadership. Other qualities include being positive with potential ideas, he has the ability to work with anyone under any condition or situation and contribute greatly to achieving the best goals of the establishment.
Born in Ondo town to the family of Samuel Olusegun Balogun and Mrs Grace Remilekun Balogun, both retired. He was raised up with strong Christian virtue.
He had his early education at St. Luke’s Primary School, Akure but finished at Muslim Primary School, Ikaram Akoko, all in Ondo State, where he obtained the First School Leaving Certificate. Olusiji Balogun subsequently earned his West African Senior School Certificate in 1990 after attending Omoluorogbo Grammar School, Akure before proceeding to Ala Community Comprehensive High School, at Ala-Elefosan, Idanre Local Government Area of Ondo State. He also attended Institute of Journalism and Nigerian Institute of Journalism, (NIJ), Akure Campus for his Diploma in Journalism and Public Relations, after a sojourn at Federal University of Akure (FUTA) briefly in the Institute of Science Laboratory Technology. He also attended Akwa-Ibom Polytechnic, for his Higher National Diploma in Business Administration. He later proceeded to Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma. Edo State. for his Bachelor of Science in Public Administration. He is an Associate Member of various professional bodies.
After he left school, he started working as a freelance Journalist and Printer. He started Eminent Leaders Magazine in 1996 and registered Prince Royal Media Concepts with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), in 1999 which he upgraded to Eminent Leaders World Communications Limited publisher of Eminent Leaders magazine.
He worked with several organisations. He was Technical Assistant to the Managing Director of Quarry Managers Company in Abuja, headed by the late Abdulhakeem Amao. He was Special Event Manager with ITAD/MotMacdonald/PWC in Calabar and Water Supply and Sanitation Reform Programme (WSSRP) in Abuja. Both projects under the Integrated Water Resource Management European Commission. He also had a stint with Hatlab Delight as a Business Development Manager and Head of Administration, O.T. Otis Engineering Limited and resigned his appointment with Successory Nigeria Limited, Abuja, as Head of Project Management, in year 2019 to move his outfit forward.
Olusiji Balogun experience in politics is vast. His team helped installed Olusegun Agagu, Olusegun Mimiko as Ondo State Governors. He was the nucleus of Olusegun Mimiko Campaign Organisation for his second term when he was Editor of Grassroots Vanguard Newspaper of Grassroots Network.
His experience in administration is versed as he is an Associate Member, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM), Full Member Institute of Professional Administrators and Managers (IPMA) and many other professional bodies. He is a partner in many companies and Chief Executive Officer of Promec Innovative Entrepreneurship and Science Academy (PIESA) and several other firms.
FG trains unemployed graduates in Delta under GIS
The Federal Ministry of Finance, through its Graduate Internship Scheme has trained about 50 Graduates inDelta State at a training titled “Orientation and Employability Skills Training”.
Mr Dennis Chukwu, Director Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS), Federal Ministry Finance, on Monday said that the ministry would train over 50 unemployed graduates under the scheme in Delta State.
Mr. Chukwu said the GIS was developed to enhance the employability of up to 50,000 (by 2015) unemployed graduates in the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT through internship programs in pre-selected institutions; reduce the vulnerability of unemployed graduates; build manpower base towards attaining national development operations and provide income supplement and a social safety net for unemployed graduates.
Mrs Ifejiako representing the Director GIS, while addressing the participants in Asaba during the opening ceremony, said that the programme was to train universities and polytechnics graduates on skills acquisition.
She said that the Federal Government was committed to empowering the youth in the area with skills acquisition for job creation in the country as he decried the current unemployment rate in the country, describing it as unacceptable.
Saying that in view of its prospect for skills building and job creation, the scheme has developed special programmes for non-oil sector. GIS has entered into special partnerships with government and non-governmental organisations to have graduates trained, mentored and supported in areas such as non-oil export trade, ICT, agriculture, community health, construction, financial inclusion, amongst others.
She reiterated that many of the interns are currently part of these partnerships and the Directorate is happy with the positive feedbacks it is receiving from some of the employers, as she maintained that the only key to solve unemployment problem could only be through concerted effort by all the stakeholders.
Basically, the internship programme is to prepare the graduates for the job market, in the quest for job search. “The interns had been placed in reputable private and public organisations for the period of 12 months where they were trained on various skills and paid monthly stipend of N30,000 and above.”
She said many graduates have used the GIS platofrom to distinguish themselves in their places of work. in the face of obvious challenges they have defied the odds against them to be true representatives of their families, their communities, the organization where they worked and the country at large.
She also said the objective of the Prepare interns exiting from scheme on opportunities for wealth creation in different sectors of the Nigerian economy; Guide them on strategies for enhanced job creation or employment; Expose interns to opportunities in cooperative system in mobilizing funds for business start-ups and sources of funding.
The programme is also designed to help interns in the place of networking and partnership; Enterprise establishment and development of business plans and Financial literacy and management.
Fundamentally, the training seeks to economically empower the unemployed graduates through conscious engagement and development of entrepreneurial capacities. In an attempt to rightly position the interns to take full advantage of the intervention, the Exit Training was held at the Conference Hall of Southgate Hotel, Asaba, Delta State.
The Lead Facilitator, Aremo Olusiji Balogun of Successory Nigeria Limited therefore, admonished participants to take the training very serious by following the instruction and the basic rules with a view to getting the best.
He said that nobody would give them what they wanted unless they worked towards their own set agenda and goals as he urged the participants to use the knowledge gained to be self-reliant and contribute their quota to national development.
A representative of one of the partnering firm Barr. Jude Itedjere also urged the Federal Government not to relent in its efforts towards making our graduates employable especially through the GIS Scheme as most employers are reluctant to employing green horns but those with qualities and skills. He praised the FG for the initiative and pray that the programme will be expanded to cater for more graduates.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala -Profile,about her,family and work.
Ngozi okonjo iweala A princess born into a family of well educated Nigerian Royals on 13th day of June 1954, she hails from Delta State of Nigeria,
and spent the early years of her life living with her grand parents while her parents studied abroad. Upon the return of her parents she moved with them to Ibadan, South west of Nigeria where her parents worked with the then University College of Ibadan now University of Ibadan. She latter attended the girls school in Enugu and add a long break due to the civil war in Nigeria. She completed her secondary education at St Annes College in Ibadan.
Though the civil war disrupted her education it did not slow her down, she passed her a levels in with good grades and got admitted into Harvard University to study Economics. Leaving the shores of the country Ngozi Okonjo Iweala performed expectionally well in school and Graduated with good grades. She has a PHD from MIT the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Ngozi Okonjo Iweala at the World Bank
Her first experience in the World Bank came through her internship program where she got the first experience of the institution and upon graduation she applied for the young professionals program of the world bank and was absorbed to the team of the world bank elites.
She continued there with a 21-year career as a development economist at the World Bank, where she held the post of Vice President and Corporate Secretary. This included two tours of duty (six years) working in the East Asia Region, the last tour (1997-2000) as Country Director Malaysia, Mongolia, Laos and Cambodia during the East Asian financial crisis; two duty tours in the Middle East Region, the last (2000-2003) as Director, Operations (deputy vice-president) of the region. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala also served as Director of Institutional Change and Strategy (1995-1997). In this post she assisted with the implementation of the Bank’s reform agenda. From 1989 to 1991 she was Special assistant to the Senior Vice President, Operations, an assignment that enabled participation in high level policy formulation and discussions for countries as diverse as China and Burkina Faso.
She left twice to serve as Finance Minister of Nigeria, under the dispensation of president Olusegun Obasanjo and president Goodluck Jonathan, came back in between the two presidents term in office to be the Managing Director of the World Bank. Currently she is been tipped to be the President of the World Bank, she received backing from South Africa, Brazil and Scholars like Harvard Professor Pritchett, there might be backing from China and India if they would vote based on merit.
She unsuccessfully ran for the World Bank Presidency, though she was the preferred and most qualified choice the US backed candidate won, she however sets precedence for other contestant to challenge the status quo.
As Finance Minister in the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Following her role as Vice President in the World Bank the Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo asked her to be the Finance Minister of the country. The president was impressed with the brief on economic reforms he requested from her and asked her to serve as the Minister of Finance. The position she held between 2003 and 2006,during this period she had a short stint as the Minister of foreign affairs.
As a Minister of Finance she heads a team which is responsible for the economic reforms policy in Nigeria.
She initiated the practice of publishing allocations from to the Federal government to each states in the country.
She was instrumental to boosting Nigeria’s credit rating from Fitch and Standard and Poor’s to BB minus.
She headed a team that renegotiated the cancellation of US $18 billion about 60 percent of Nigeria’s external debt with the Paris Club which includes a juicy buyback to wipes the countries debt and reduces it indebtness to $5 Billion.
After her resignation as Minister of Finance she founded NOI Consulting and also co founded Makeda Funds with SEAF. The Fund was designed to help and support small business in emerging markets. She left NOI consulting to serve as Managing Director of the World Bank. After a while she was called to serve again has the Finance Minister of Nigeria by President Goodluck Jonathan a post she still holds till date.
Recently she has been tipped and nominated for the world bank presidency a position that has been held since inception by a US candidate. If elected she will be the first female president of the bank and also the first non-US candidate. Though she has declined interest she is the best candidate so far, having been a Finance Minister of Nigeria and also a Managing Director at the World bank.
Ngozi Okonjo Iweala’s contribution and works
She brought to the forefront the issue of Corruption and need for transparency and accountability in African Countries. She Joined Brooks a private not for profit research and innovative policy solution organization as a distinguished visiting fellow, where she would be working on three key areas within the global economy and development program:
- The Wolfensohn Centre for Development, led by Johannes Linn
- The Global Health Financing Initiative, recently launched with a Gates Foundation grant
- The Transparency and Accountability Project. The health and transparency projects are led by Senior Fellow David de Ferranti.
She has an academic piece published by Africa World Press in 2003, The Debt Trap in Nigeria: Towards a Sustainable Debt Strategy. Co-edited with Charles C. Soludo and Mansur Muhtar.
A biography of renowned and respected author. Chinua Achebe: Teacher of Light: Co-authored with Tijan Sallah.
TIMES Europe –Hero 2004
Euromoney Magazine – Global Finance Minister of the year 2005
Financial Times/The Banker African Finance Minister 2005
Honorary Doctorate Degrees
Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.
Colby College, Maine, USA.
Amherst College, Amherst, MA, USA.
Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland.
Northern Caribbean University, Mandeville, Jamaica.
She is fond of her family, and has Four Children, three boys and a girl. Her Husband who is also her childhood sweetheart is a surgeon. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is not only a professional who knows her onion but also a true ambassador of Africa. She is mostly seen wearing her traditional attires.
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