Argentina Seeks FG Support for White Helmets Resolution Adoption at UN General Assembly

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The government of Argentina has sought the support of the federal government in endorsing the White Helmets Resolution at the forthcoming UN General Assembly. The Ambassador of the Republic of Argentina to Nigeria H.E. Mr. Alenjandro Herrero made this known on Tuesday, September 21 while leading a delegation on a courtesy visit to the Hon Minister Sadiya Umar Farouq in Abuja.

The Ambassador stated in his remarks that the Government of Argentina is seeking the support of countries to help expand and localize the White Helmet initiative in Nigeria.“The reason why we are here is to ask for the support of the federal government of Nigeria to support a resolution that will be adopted at the UM General Assembly at the end of this year regarding the White Helmets’ Operation around the world.“The White Helmets are part of our ministry of foreign Affairs. They participate in Relief and Humanitarian activities around the world and every three years, the continuity of the mechanism is being voted at the General Assembly. We request the support of the Nigerian government as the next adoption comes up between November and December this year.

Responding, the minister said that the core objectives of the White Helmets aligned with the mandate of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development. She commended the Argentine government for their humanitarian activities and pledged support to the White Helmets initiative.“I strongly believe that the work of the White Helmets can be implemented through the National Humanitarian Development Peace Framework NHDP to support Nigeria’s strategy and response to humanitarian crises and socio-natural disasters, with a specific focus on rehabilitation, reconstruction, and development interventions; and promoting disaster risk prevention and management.

“Your Excellency, the Ministry supports the use of skills and expertise of volunteers for humanitarian and development activities in a coordinated and coherent manner through existing national structures. Hence, we will work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in line with the vision and priorities of the Federal Government of Nigeria, to extend our support for the adoption of the Resolution on “White Helmets” at the United Nations.

The Ministry will also work with you to localize the White Helmet initiative in Nigeria. Minister Umar Farouq also reiterated the ministry’s commitment to work and collaborate with international partners in providing humanitarian action and socio-economic interventions to significantly improve the livelihood of the vulnerable in Nigeria.

The Government of Argentina established an international civilian body to coordinate its participation in the international response to humanitarian emergencies in 1994, which is now known as the White Helmet Commission.

The Commission is responsible for designing and implementing humanitarian assistance, relying on the expertise of volunteers from various disciplines and specialties.

FG Restates resolve to Return Refugees to Nigeria

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The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq says the federal government is determined to ensure that Nigerian Refugees are returned to the country in safety and in dignity. The Minister made the remark when a delegation from the United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees in Geneva paid her a courtesy visit.

Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development Mr. Bashir Nura Alkali

The Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary Mr. Bashir Nura Alkali said that one of the Ministry’s priorities is to sustain the process of bringing back the refugees which include the development of sustainable home-grown models for rehabilitation, reintegration, and reconstruction.“Being the coordination agency, the Ministry has facilitated the adoption of National Policies including the IDP policy which incorporated the provisions of the Kampala Convention.

The policy is an overarching framework that guides operations while ensuring coordinated and coherence approach.“To ensure the provision of a sustainable durable solution, the Ministry in collaboration with relevant organizations has launched a homegrown strategy, the Humanitarian Peace Development Framework, in line with global best practices and in tandem with the President Buhari administration plan.“The Nigeria government is poised towards ensuring the voluntary return of Nigeria Refugees in neighboring countries as a result of the activities of Boko Haram and we are committed to implementing this in line with international best practices. The Nigeria government is presently hosting a large number of refugees from neighboring countries and we are working hard in collaboration with UNHCR to provide adequate protection to the refugees and the asylum seekers”.

Earlier, the leader of the UNHCR delegation and Assistant High Commissioner for Operations, Raouf Mazou thanked the government of Nigeria for guiding them through their tour of IDP camps in Maiduguri, stating that their visit is to interact with the federal government and share ideas and views on some of the humanitarian challenges. “This visit is first, to express our solidarity. This is a difficult situation. In Borno particularly, there are close to three million Internally Displaced Persons.

From the Humanitarian point of view, this is a very serious problem that the country is facing, which requires the support of the International Communities.“We also came to discuss with the state government of Borno on the return of some refugees. In Niger Republic, there are 170,000 Nigerian Refugees and 16,000 in Chad. Some of them may want to come back to Nigeria, so how do we ensure that they can come back and what form of support systems and security needs to be in place for them to come back.“We also want to ensure that those already in the country receive assistance and if possible, included and integrated into the support that is available for the host population”.

Earlier, the Honourable Federal Commissioner for Refugees Mrs. Imaan Suleiman-Ibrahim congratulated the UNHCR on the 70th commemoration of the 1951 Convention and applauded the cordial collaboration between the Commission and UNHCR in Nigeria. Mrs. Suleiman-Ibrahim acknowledged the ongoing registration of over 70,000 Cameroonian Refugees in Nigeria “I am happy to report that Nigeria has one of the best working processes for Refugees and Asylum seekers by ensuring that cases are looked into holistically and timely to ensure that there are no backlogs in the system.“

The Federal Government of Nigeria through the Armed Forces and the Multi-Joint Task Forces have been relentless in the fight against the insurgents – Boko Haram and ISWAP to ensure that areas of return are secured and now IDPs and returnees are being resettled in safety and dignity”.The Delegation included the Country Representative at UNHCR Chansa Kapaya, Nigeria Deputy Representative (Protection) at UNHCR John McKissick, and the Refugee Status Determination(RSD) Unit ·(NCFRMI) Mr. Murdakai Titus.

Major General Adekunle Oluwole Shodunke (Rtd.) & other Security Experts receive Awards & Honorary Degrees from International Summit of Leaders and Swiss School of Business & Management

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Former Chief of Defence Logistics & Chief of Army Standards & Evaluation Major General Adekunle Oluwole Shodunke (Rtd) and other influential security experts and personalities have received recognition at the prestigious World Education & Technology Summit 2021.

The summit/ Award ceremony- a gathering of Education, technology, and security experts globally was held on Saturday, August 28, 2021, at the Nigerian National Merit Award House, Maitama, Abuja. The event was organized by the International Summit of leaders worldwide- the largest gathering of leaders from different countries; in conjunction with the Swiss School of Business and Management and the Unicaribbean Business School.

L-R Dr. Turyatemba Alex Bashasha, Mrs. Mariarita Mercurio ( Ambassador of the International Summit of leaders), and Ambassador Dr. Olufemi Rasheed .A ( President of the Unicaribbean Business School and International Coordinator of the International Summit of leaders

The Summit/ Award ceremony which was virtual (Zoom)/ physical had as its theme: Education, Science & Technology are Tools for Sustainable Development in Arab and African Countries. The objective of the event was to promote innovations in education leading to an improved global education system. Again, the summit provided a platform to learn about education development, technology innovation, and agricultural tools as well as the technology trends & sustainability initiatives that are influencing the sectors.

The event had an array of outspoken guest speakers including  Dr. Roy Okhidievbe (Chairman/ CEO August Eye Security Services limited), Prof.Dr. Sudhir. G (founding Vice-Chancellor MGM University, India), Prof. Dr. Dileep Kumar (Pro-Vice-Chancellor GNS University, India), Prof. Dr. Nabil El Kadhi (President Khawaeizmi Int’l College Abu Dhabi, UAE), Dr. Abed Baidas (Group Chairman/ CEO Identity branding Forum Dubai, UAE) among others. 

Ambassador Dr. Olufemi Rasheed .A ( President of the Unicaribbean Business School and International Coordinator of the International Summit of leaders

In his welcome address, Ambassador Dr. Olufemi Rasheed .A ( President of the Unicaribbean Business School and International Coordinator of the International Summit of leaders said, ” our education should harness the power of technology in tackling future challenges. He stated that to prepare our students for the challenges of the 21st century, the government must continue to dedicate great effort to create a favorable environment for full implementation of e-learning by providing wifi infrastructure and professional training.” Furthermore, he applauded the efforts of all schools in Nigeria pioneering e-learning resources. 

Also speaking Dr. Roy Okhidievbe noted that Africa and Nigeria are still an attraction for the world for Agricultural and Mineral resources and wondered why Nigeria has become over-dependent on developed Nations for science, Healthcare, food production, medicine, and Education. He remarked that Nigerians and their leaders must become self-reliant and sufficient if truly they desire tangible development. He bemoaned the situation whereby Nigeria as a country has failed to utilize its strengths and weaknesses.

Dr. Roy Okhidievbe (Chairman/ CEO August Eye Security Services limited)

Again, he revealed that he was undecided if technology is both a strength and a weakness, citing references to the COVID-19 pandemic, September 11, 2001, World Trade Center terrorist attacks, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima, and Nagasaki in Japan by the United States in 1945 and Killer drones. According to him, ” we have failed in our generation to teach our children that there is reasonable doubt in strength and a weakness. A weakness can be a strength and a strength a weakness; it is now left for us to utilize anyone anywhere we find ourselves in order to face threats and opportunities”

In the same light, Mrs. Mariarita Mercurio Ambassador of the International Summit of leaders spoke on why Etech is important. She hinted that top Edtech companies have popularised the reliance of students on Modern technology which now makes Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics STEM more appealing to young people.

Major General Adekunle Oluwole Shodunke (Rtd) receiving his honorary award/ degree.

Awardees for the Honorary doctorate degree by Swiss School of Business and Management (SSBM Switzerland) and Swiss golden Award include Dr. Ahmad Yahuza Getso ( A senior security and logistics specialist at USAID), Former Chief of Defence Logistics & Chief of Army Standards & Evaluation Major General Adekunle Oluwole Shodunke (Rtd), Prof. Dr. Dileep Kumar (Pro-Vice-Chancellor GNS University, India), Madam Joyce. N. Tamale CEO, Capital Solutions Ltd Kampala, Uganda, Dr. Abed Baidas (Group Chairman/ CEO Identity branding Forum Dubai, UAE), Dr. Roy Okhidievbe, Mr. Okoye Nobert Tochukwu, Dr. Shekhar C. Dasarda, Mr. Vikas Tukaram Patil.

Others in the list of those recognized with the honorary doctorate degrees are Apostle (Mrs) Folorunso Alakija, Dr. Abdulsalam E. Ogbemudia, His Excellency Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Governor Lagos State), Dr. Austine Eniwo Ofou, Dr. Turyatemba Alex Bashasha, Dr, Deji Patricks Bolusemihi, Amb. Dr. Ugwuji Catherine, Dr, Adewale Sanni among others.

Likewise, Caleb University- A foremost private university located in Imota, Lagos State Nigeria was also awarded the International Swiss Outstanding institution award by SSBM.

Responding after receiving the award and honorary degree Dr. Ahmad Yahuza Getso ( A senior security and logistics specialist at USAID) informed that he sees the award as a challenge to groom the younger generation and thus he dedicated the degree and award to all  Nigerians that had been victims of terrorism, pledging that he will continue to do more to contribute to the security architecture of the country.

Dr. Ahmad Yahuza Getso ( A senior security and logistics specialist at USAID)

Earlier on receiving his award  Former Chief of Defence Logistics & Chief of Army Standards & Evaluation Major General Adekunle Oluwole Shodunke (Rtd), clarified that there is still much that needs to be done and vowed to continue to give back to humanity.

Former Chief of Defence Logistics & Chief of Army Standards & Evaluation Major General Adekunle Oluwole Shodunke (Rtd)

In addition, Dr. Roy Okhidievbe, emphasized that ” the award is not for what we have done, but for what we intend to do”.

The summit was attended by Professors and professionals from Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Arab League countries. The Summit ended with awardees harping on the need to focus on the synergy between innovation and technology to create an optimal environment for Education to thrive.

Here are captivating moments and photographs from the summit:

Financial Literacy: 13 Money Mistakes To Avoid To End Poverty

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Money Mistake 1 
Never borrow money that accrues interest to start a business 
That is to say, never borrow money to start a business expecting that the business will generate income to pay back the borrowed money plus the interest.

Money Mistake 2
Never spend money you haven’t received

Don’t ever promise someone money based on a promise you have from someone else. 
If someone tells you: “Ezra, come to my office tomorrow at 9 am and pick N3000 naira” don’t go out to buy items on credit based on this promise, with the hope that you will pay off your creditor when the promised money comes; it may not come as promised and this will leave you in problems with your creditors.

Money Mistakes 3
If you want to save, whenever you receive money, don’t start spending hoping that you’ll save what remains
Normally what remains is zero because as long as money to spend is available, the numerous things you can spend it on are also available. And things to spend on even incite their ‘relatives’ so that you spend even more than you had planned. 
When money to spend is not available, we naturally find a way of doing without it. That’s why I’ve learned to save with an INVESTMENT CLUB.

Once I send money there I assume I no longer have it. 
Before you spend any money, put your savings aside then spend what is left after saving.

Money Mistake 4
When you get an opportunity to meet a very wealthy person, never ask for money. Ask for ideas on how to make money

 They may even choose to give you money on their own after seeing that your ideas are great, but let getting money from them never be your objective.

Money Mistake 5
Keeping your seed instead of planting it

Many people stop at saving. It’s very, very difficult to save and have all you need to maintain your lifestyle, especially after retirement. When you save, your savings are seed; plant it. When you just keep the seed (saving money) some seeds begin to die (eaten by inflation and the like). 
That’s why I recommend that you read about the different types of investment vehicles you can use to grow your savings. 
I am not necessarily talking about putting the money in a business, because you can easily lose money in business. I am talking about putting it in an investment.

Money Mistake 6
Never lend someone money you are not willing to lose

By the time you lend someone money, be contented in your heart that should the person fail to pay, you will not die. 
You should not even lose that person’s friendship if they fail to repay the money you lent them.
 If you feel the person might fail to pay you and this will not affect your relationship with them, then lend them money. 
If their failure to pay would make you hate this person’s entire clan, please advise the person to go to the bank.

Money Mistake 7
Never append your signature to guarantee someone on a financial matter if you are not willing or able to pay the money on their behalf

 Do I have to explain that one? No, it’s self-explanatory.

Money Mistake 8
Avoid keeping the money you don’t intend to use in the short term within easy reach

For instance, don’t walk with #100K in your pocket when all you plan to do in a day costs N20,000 naira.
Like I mentioned in Money Mistake 3, there are always expenses available to gobble any money that is within reach, so if you don’t want to lose it, put it away in a safe place.

Money Mistake 9
Avoid keeping money in inappropriate places e.g. in socks, under the pillow, in a pit, in the sitting room, in the bra, in a travel bag that you will place somewhere in a bus … impulse buying is a devil that will keep you busy!

Money Mistake 10
Spending money on an item that you can do without (at least for the time being)

These days when I pick money from my pocket or wallet, before paying for something I ask myself: What would happen if I didn’t buy this? If I find I can live with the consequences of not having that thing, I smile and walk away.

Money Mistake 11 
Paying an amount for something that’s not the minimum you can get that same value for
In other words, if you are along east Legon road and you pay N5000 naira for a shoe that you can get at N3000 naira at Makola market, that’s a money mistake except for those who have achieved financial freedom.

Money Mistake 12:
Consistently spending all you earn or more than you earn

 It’s like having a drum where you have an inlet that’s smaller than the outlet. It will never get full.  And should the inlet ever reduce significantly the drum will run dry. If you do it the other way round and the inlet is bigger, it will get full and even overflow. 
Hence, we have to always ensure we are widening the inlet while narrowing the outlet – all the time. Your side hustle comes in handy!

Money Mistake 13
Thinking about short-term only and forgetting about long-term or thinking about the long-term and forgetting about the short-term
 For instance, Lydia was told that there’s money in land. She saved money over a long period of time and bought 30 acres of land. 
Now she has the land but she is always broke. She is always complaining. She’s disgruntled and she doesn’t seem to see herself earning from the land in the near future. 
Now, let’s ask ourselves: Having 30 acres of land and no money to feed your family or take a child to the hospital, is that wealth or poverty?
I think Lydia only looked at long-term needs and forgot that she has short-term needs that require money. 
What of those who find they are one paycheck away from salary? 
Are they thinking about the long-term needs?
Let’s take stock of our finances. 
How many mistakes are you guilty of? 
Do you now feel better equipped to do better with these tips? 

Adeyinka Anepo

ITF Trains Airforce Personnel on Stress, Time Management & Life After Paid Employment

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Fourteen personnel of the Nigerian AirForce recently graduated from Industrial Training Fund (ITF)’s Defensive Driving and Safety Management Techniques training held on Friday, August 6th at ITF’s Model Skills Training Centre (MSTC), Abuja.

Speaking on the topic; “Stress Management, Nutrition, and Healthy Living”, Mrs. Olayinka Shodunke Training Manager, ITF-MSTC, said that Airmen can escape burnout and stress when they take time to rest, manage their finances properly, and embrace time management.

According to Shodunke, stress is a negative feeling of being overwhelmed or unable to cope with mental and emotional pressure. Stress causes chemical changes in the body that can raise blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar levels, frustration, anxiety, anger, depression, and untimely death.

ITF Training Manager, Mrs. Olayinka Shodunke Interacting with the officers

She continued, “The causes of stress can be personal and work-related, carrying too many responsibilities (hats) can increase the chances of a person being stressed. Not all stress is bad, not all stress is harmful and stress will hurt you”.

Mrs. Shodunke affirmed that “life is time and time is life. If you misuse your time, you have already wasted your life. There comes a certain time in your life, you won’t be able to do some things again”.

She also hinted that having multiple partners, abuse of drugs and alcohol can greatly increase the chances of being stressed; urging the Airmen to denounce the perception or myth that the Military is “women, wine, war”.

She disclosed that stress can be managed when officers sleep well, engage in sports, eat a balanced diet, listen to music, get organized, setting short and long-term goals. She also noted that intentionally making out time for family and friends, having a “To-do list”, living with an attitude of gratitude, regular blood pressure checks, regular body mass index check, practicing deep breathing, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation can all help to manage stress.

On her part, the Head of Training ITF-MSTC, Hajiya Halima Usman lauded the facilitators and the participants for making the training very interactive and participatory, stating that the MSTC will continue to carry out more impactful training programs.

Also speaking on behalf of the trained Airmen Abubakar Ibrahim thanked ITF-MSTC and the Nigerian Air Force hierarchy for training them to live healthy by teaching them positive lifestyle tips.

At the end of the training, the participants were given evaluation forms, were asked questions, and presented with a certificate of participation, a flash drive containing the training package, and Souvenirs.

The Power of a Recommendation: A Personal Story By Kingsley Moghalu

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As a young man out of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (Enugu Campus) in the mid-80s, I consciously sought and acquired experience that would position me for leadership on the world stage and in my country. First I did my National Youth Service Corps (NYSC)  assignment as a Legal Officer at Shell Nigeria HQ in Lagos.

First-class global multinational. Dominant in Nigeria’s petroleum industry. I worked hard as a “Corper” and was kept very professionally busy by my supervisors Dr. V.O. Achimu the Company Secretary and Head of Legal, and Mrs. Efe Omole, a senior corporate lawyer in Shell. Then I joined Newswatch, founded by Nigeria’s most influential journalists of that era, the quartet Dele Giwa, Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbese, and Yakubu Mohammed, as its general counsel. In media, ’twas  THE PLACE.

To further internationalize my CV, and doubling as a lawyer/journalist, I became a special correspondent for influential foreign newspapers and magazines of the era such as South magazine, Christian Science Monitor, and Africa News (today’s AllAfrica Global Media). But I wanted, as I put it on my CV as my goal, “a career of distinction in international affairs”. Possibly in the Nigerian Foreign Service, following the footsteps of my now-deceased dad, but preferably in an international organization like the United Nations, Commonwealth Secretariat, or in the Organization of African Unity (now African Union ). That meant, at the very least, getting a master’s degree. From where? I thought it through, and had been advised by my own research and by mentors that one of the best moves for such a career was to obtain a master’s from the prestigious Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Massachusetts, USA.

I applied while working at Newswatch. I was admitted in 1990, but could not afford the $25,000 tuition fee. But I was determined. I deferred the admission by one year, and started looking for money. All the rich businessmen I approached turned me down.
Frustrated, I wrote to Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, immediate past Foreign Minister of Nigeria in the Ibrahim Babangida government. Akinyemi was an alumnus of The Fletcher School, having obtained his master’s degree there in 1966 and then gone on to Oxford University for his Ph.D.

He replied and gave me an appointment to see him (no email then, everything was by snail mail! so all this took several days!). I met him in his office then on Victoria Island, introduced myself and submitted my CV. He read it with interest, and was impressed.
“Well, young man”, he said, “I don’t have the kind of money that will enable me to pay your fees, but I’m impressed you were admitted to The Fletcher School. I will write to the school and recommend you for some sort of support and let’s see how they respond”. I was relieved.

This “Big Man” did not know the struggling young man from Adam, but had given me an audience and was actually trying to help. “God, I am in your hands” I prayed silently. He asked me to come back & take a copy of the letter he wrote. I did. In two short, powerfully constructed paragraphs of his letter addressed to Professor Jeswald Salacuse, Dean of The Fletcher School at the time,  Akinyemi introduced me as “a future leader in Africa”, and said my impressive CV at the young age of 27 was an indicator of this assessment in his view. He then asked the school to consider me for financial support to enrol.
Two months later I received a letter from Fletcher awarding me the Joan Gillespie Fellowship for identified future leaders from India, Nigeria and Algeria. Now to get a visa and leave. Ray Ekpu, my boss at Newswatch, and Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi, Managing Director of The Guardian at the time, introduced me to the United States Embassy in Nigeria. The American Embassy was impressed with my admission to The Fletcher School , a training ground for many American and world leaders in diplomacy, politics, business, military and security affairs. The embassy asked me to send over my passport but not bother to come physically to their office in Victoria Island, Lagos. They stamped my student visa and on top of it, awarded me a travel grant that covered my air travel ticket to the US! 

When I arrived at Tufts University, the world opened up. I worked hard to excel academically and survive financially, serving two professors as their research assistants and somewhat envious of the American students from wealthy homes who had credit cards given them by their parents and did not need to work. 
From The Fletcher School I joined the UN, my dream career. I started as a junior Associate Officer and rose to the rank of Director and later served on a special assignment at the political rank of Under-Secretary-General. From conflict resolution and nation building assignments in Cambodia, at UN Headquarters in New York on Angola, Rwanda and Somalia Desks under the supervision of Kofi Annan,  back to the field in Croatia and later as Legal Adviser and Spokesman of the International Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania, and then to the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland as Head of the Global Partnerships and Resource Mobilization Team at the $20 billion Global Fund in which I also played risk management roles, it was a versatile, satisfying and successful career. 

In 2006 while I was based in Geneva with WHO, Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed me a member of the high-level Redesign Panel on the UN Internal Justice System. Working at UN HQ in New York for six months  with Mary Gaudron , our chairperson and an Australian Supreme Court Justice, Louise Otis, Canadian Appeals Court Judge, eminent Egyptian international lawyer Professor Ahmed El-Kosheri, and Diego Garcia Sayan, former Foreign Minister of Peru, we overhauled the internal dispute resolution (between staff and management), accountability and transparency framework governing the world body’s 60,000 staff around the world as a core component of management reform. The UN General Assembly ratified our recommendations and voted them into UN administrative law. It was a watershed moment in the history of internal UN governance. 
While in Geneva, I enrolled in January 2004 as a part-time PH.D. candidate in International Relations at the London School of Economics (LSE). I wrote my 500-page doctoral dissertation in 12 months, shattering all previous records at the university, and graduated in October 2005 with a doctoral degree.  In December 2008 I resigned from the UN after nearly 17 years and founded Sogato Strategies, a risk management consultancy in Geneva serving global multinationals seeking business opportunities in Africa. 

This enjoyable experience of self-employment was suspended when I was appointed Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria by President Umaru Yar’Adua of blessed memory, on the recommendation of then Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, and confirmed by the Senate. The CBN was and is a very powerful and consequential institution. This development, however, was a disruption of my earlier plans. But it was, I came to believe later, divinely ordered for reasons only God knows fully. It came out of a seemingly “by-chance” encounter with Sanusi at the World Economic Forum meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, where he proposed the idea, entirely of his own volition and unsolicited, of my returning home to Nigeria to serve as his deputy and head the CBN’s Financial System Stability (FSS) Directorate that would implement the extensive reform in the banking sector that he had in mind. (Sanusi was just roughly a week into his confirmation by the Senate as the CBN Governor at this time). He later ran his decision to recommend me to Yar’Adua by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, then Managing Director of the World Bank, and she gave her strong agreement with it. 

When I reported for duty at the CBN on November 6, 2009 after the Senate confirmed my appointment a week earlier on October 27 (my appointment had been announced in August by Segun Adeniyi, Spokesman for President Yar’Adua) I found several letters of congratulation waiting for me. One of the ones that meant the most to me was one from Prof. Akinyemi. “Dear Deputy Governor”, he wrote, “Need I say anything more? Congratulations”. That was it. Two sentences, harking back to our meeting and his intervention 19 years earlier in 1990.

I am proud to have served my country in such an important leadership role where I made contributions that reformed our financial sector and payments system, including the development and introduction of the Bank Verification Number (BVN). In the CBN Monetary Policy Committee, we progressively brought inflation down to a single-digit 8% by 2014.
After a five-year tenure at the CBN, I was appointed a Professor on the faculty of The Fletcher School and taught the course, Emerging Africa, in the World Economy for two academic years. This was by courtesy of another helping hand: Admiral (Dr.) James Stavridis (Rtd), Dean of The Fletcher School and former Supreme Allied Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the military alliance of the Great Powers of the western world, who himself is also a Fletcher alum. It was an honor to have gone to school there; to be appointed a professor at this top global graduate school of international affairs was a double honor. 

But while teaching at Tufts University from 2015-2017, my mind turned to the increasing poverty and insecurity at home in Nigeria. I began asking myself why I was in Boston developing the human capital of citizens of the United States, Japan, France, Canada, Ghana, Switzerland, etc when my country was clearly adrift. I made the decision to return home to run for President in 2019. The rest is recent history.

The moral of this story for young people  is this: think beyond mere success to impact and consequence in whatever you do. Work hard, and be very strategic. I always aimed for the best of institutions in my career and did not settle for less. I know, the world today is very different, but it offers even more opportunities, and success has become more democratized with the age of the internet, globalization, and high technology. But the same principles apply. 

All of this, and much else, are what I bring to my current aspiration: I want to help build a nation that will give our youth great opportunities in the 21st century. We are all God’s children too, entitled to a place in the sun. Africa, and Nigeria, will truly rise one day! It’s always darkest before dawn

Capstone Educational Investment Limited Trains Over 500 Nigerians on Employability and Entrepreneurship

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Capstone Educational Investment Limited-a consulting firm that offers training, technical assistance, research services, and knowledge resources to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) that focus on low and middle-income segments; says it has trained and empowered 592 returning migrants, youths, and internally displaced persons on employability and job creation.

Its Coordinator, Mrs. Abimbola Ojeifo, issued the statement to journalists recently in Lagos at the graduation of the trainees.

According to her, the training is aimed at creating business development opportunities through entrepreneurship training and coaching measures.

“The program is innovative and intended to tackle the menace of unemployment in Nigeria and build the capacity of the economically active population”

“We taught them how to articulate their business ideas into feasible and bankable business plans”, she noted.

In addition, she disclosed that “It was a huge platform for the participants to put themselves together either to get employed or to become employers”. She also noted that the special employability and career sensitization training will build the capacity of the participants to become employable as they were taught how to effectively prepare for job interviews and to write excellent resumes.

Also speaking, Mr. Peik Bruhns, Team Lead of GOPA Worldwide Consultants; the implementing consulting company on behalf of GIZ (German Cooperation Deutsche Zusammenarbeit), said the company had reached out to about 5,000 Nigerians on Micro, Small, and Medium-scale Enterprises in six months

He said this was done in collaboration with nine organizations, including Capstone Educational Investment Limited

“I will like to stress the importance of working with returnee migrants because the training focuses on assisting them to reintegrate into society.

“A large number of the participants are women and many of them are returning migrants and they deserve to find their feet in the Nigerian society.

“This is just the first stage; we will continue to reach many people through organizations based in Edo and Lagos states,’’ he said.

Accordingly, Mrs. Abimbola Ojeifo lauded the efforts and assistance of the German Government through the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur International Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and implemented by Gesellschaft fur Organization, Planung und Ausbildung GmbH (GOPA Worldwide Consultants)/ SEDIN.

I Don’t Have Money, It is Goodwill- Obi Cubana

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Obinna Iyiegbu, popularly known as Obi Cubana, has spoken about how he rose to become a businessman The socialite encouraged Nigerians to put in hard work in whatever they do, noting that their efforts will eventually pay off Cubana recently made news headlines over the extravagant burial of his mother in Oba, a town in the Idemili area of Anambra state.

Oba, Anambra state – Popular socialite, Obinna Iyiegbu, popularly known as Obi Cubana, has disclosed that headwork is the foundation of his success. Cubana who made the disclosure in an exclusive interview with BBC Pidgin on Tuesday, July 20, said neither miracles from pastors nor blessings from native doctors can give people money.

He revealed that he was able to make his first N1 million in Abuja after his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme.

Watch the full interview here on BBC Pidgin

FG Engages 320 Independent Monitors for National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) in Kano

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The Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster  Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq on tuesday 15th June has flagged off the distribution of engagement letters and monitoring devices to trained Independent Monitors in Kano State at Coronation Hall Government House, Kano State. 

The Honorable Minister who was represented at the flag-off by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Bashir Nura Alkali disclosed that the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), created by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016 is mandated to lift citizens out of poverty through Its various programmes such as N-Power, National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP), the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) and Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP). The Programme is implemented in the 36 states including the Federal Capital Territory. 

Alkali said, the 320 Independent Monitors in Kano State are among the 5000 trained in February – April 2021 when the nationwide trainnig was held. 

” The devices to be used in monitoring the Programme are locally made in Nigeria with an Application called the Social Investment Management Information System (SIMIS) designed by an indigenous company. Using this Application the Ministry sees real-time activities of the Independent Monitors on the field, see reports submitted, and the NSIP performance indicator state by state. This will help the Ministry detect areas where there are challenges and essentially help the Ministry to deliver on the mandate, to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty” he noted.

“The Independent Monitors are expected to monitor a designated number of beneficiaries of the NSIP and will be paid a stipend of N30,000 monthly. However, they must meet up to 80% of the deliverables to get their stipends. The engagement letters articulated the scope of work for the monitors which include; routine monitoring of NSIP in their assigned L.GA and provision of evidence-based reports on findings amongst other things”

Furthermore, the Permanent Secretary warned the monitors not to assign their responsibility to third parties, each monitor will be held accountable by the Ministry in the event of any misconduct. He congratulated them and urged them to carry out the assignment with a sense of patriotism, diligence, and sincerity.

Also speaking, the Executive Governor of Kano State who was represented at the event by the Secretary to the State Government, Usman Alhaji waziriu Gaya, lauded the Ministry for its continued support in lifting Nigerians above the poverty line and improving on the living standards of the citizenry. He told the IMs to make good use of the opportunity given to them to attain greater heights.

Earlier the Focal Person of the NSIP in Kano, Baba Aminu Zubair, said indeed the Programme is in keeping with the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty, adding that Kano State has the highest number of N-Power beneficiaries across the country.

Aminu affirmed that 119,000 households registered under the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme (CCT) in Kano State received N5,000 monthly. He appreciated the Federal Government through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development for the kind gesture.

Others present at the event were:-  Special Assistant on Strategic Communication to the Minister, Halima Oyelade, senior officials of the State Government, the  NSIP Coordinators from the LGAs, and other dignitaries.

How People Made Millions of Dollars on Twitter Country

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I intended to write this months ago after Twitter and Facebook banned former president Donald Trump following the storming of the US Capitol, due to the risk of further incitement of violence but busy schedules & deadlines had kept me procrastinating.

Twitter – A private company being able to censor the president of the United States, and this issue will be debated for a very long time to come. This tells you how powerful Twitter country has become. I am more convinced now that this article is due for publishing with the recent action of Twitter to delete a tweet of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari that is threatening.

Again with the recent clap back on  Friday,  by the federal government announcing the indefinite suspension of Twitter’s operations in Nigeria, this piece is apt.

In this article, I dispel the myths of Twitter country, the trends, the dragging, by showing you several examples of how you can become a successful global citizen on the app.

I don’t just want to give you the facts. Facts can be boring, especially when you’re desperately looking for how to ‘hammer’ (succeed) on Twitter. Instead, I’ll be sharing the success stories and limitless opportunities that prove just how possible it is to become more than Jack in a Twitter country. I promise this article will be long and short enough like a skirt. Not too long beyond the kneels, but short enough to cover the subject matter.

As you read reflect by taking decisions because ‘decisions make men’ until you make decisions you’re not ready to become.

Happy Reading!!

Become an Influencer

An influencer offers exposure to their online audience in exchange for a fee. Influencers are the first group of people that have built wealth and clout on Twitter. It is glaring that the majority of these influencers are more powerful than two to three Nigerian Media houses combined in terms of followers. The list is endless: Ogbenidipo, Pamilerin,  Omojuwa, Yemi Fasipe, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, Auracool, and many more.


Become a constructive Critic

By being a constructive critic and having a good mastery of controversy you too can build wealth. Reno Omokri aka Buharitormentor is a case study. Rant, rave and smack someone online. Remember, Twitter is also a platform to vent your anger or release emotions about issues or a brand that is performing below expectations… A Nigerian bank was once dragged on Twitter for doing giveaways when the process of resolving failed transactions was taking like an eternity.

A Goldmine for content creators

Whether you’re a Music artiste, model, rapper, author, actor, dancer, spoken word artist, cook, poet, speaker, coach, podcaster,  Thought leader, comedian, or into funny video skits production you too can earn an income on the app. The likes of Lasisi Elenu, Taooma, Sydney Talker, Aprokodoctor, Mr. Macaroni, dairyofanaijagirl, Broadshaggi, Ifedioku, Sisi Yemmie will teach you that Twitter is a money-spinner if you’re creative & consistent. They consistently create videos that garner thousands of likes, retweets, and comments.


Jump on trends and threads on the app and tag as many as possible

Twitter trends are pretty insightful capturing the thoughts and emotions of the Twitter populace at any given point in time. And one of the constant traits of trends is that they are always changing. END SARS, fall of Trump, the fall of Motara, Arrest of Omah Lay & Tems in Uganda. You can leverage trending topics on the app to earn some cash. All you need is just to add the trending hashtag to all your tweets and boom.

Sell everything except human beings

Sale of anything including artworks, your products, services/affiliate marketing, and many more can be sold on Twitter. Sell on your timeline and continue to make a buzz about it until Twitter people start retweeting asking for information on the product and actually buying the products. With this, a lot of entrepreneurs and freelancers have found sustainable wealth.  You can sell your book, shoes, perfumes, confectioneries, Ankara, Powerbanks, juice, pieces of jewellery and many more. As regards affiliate marketing, simply introducing other people’s or company’s products to your followers on Twitter. If you tweet links to these products and any of your followers click these links to buy a product you get paid as a reward.

Drive traffic to your blog or YouTube channel

If you have a blog or a YouTube channel and you have monetized it. This is another way you can make money. All you have to do to achieve this is to tweet links to interesting articles or videos you have made. People are tempted to watch or read. Once they click through to watch your YouTube video and read your article on your blog, traffic is already being driven or redirected to those platforms, and guess what? The multiplier effects on income generation is huge! Ask Linda Ikeji or Burna boy they would testify. Examples here are Arise TV,  Thereasa  Tekenah, Bellanaija,,, instablog9ja, Tweetsavages, the Winlos, and many more are achieving great feats with Twitter.

Uche Pedro ( Founder of Bellanaija)

Become a Social Media Handler

The job here is you tweeting per day, responding to complaints, booking appointments, increasing followership, and so on. A social media manager job can also be done from anywhere in the world as long as you have a phone and internet. Caution: you also have to be careful about what you tweet and how you respond to issues because you can be reported and your account suspended by Twitter. For being a social media manager in Nigeria you can be paid an average of 20,000- 50, 000 naira per month depending on how well you can bargain.

Join a trendy challenge on the app

Lori iro, Endsars, BelikeNgozi, BussitChallenge, Duduke, Davido’s Tule, Silhouette challenge, Sweet boy Association, Stingy Men Association….and many more. Join, network, and win cash giveaways.

If you are not on Twitter, you better join ASAP, unless according to Beverly E. Jones, you might just look like a dinosaur. Kindly follow me on Twitter @storiesosagie let’s talk, I follow back.