Saturday, May 31, 2008

Piece on the banking sector on Reuters yesterday - thanks BA for the link

Stellar Nigerian banking growth brings high risks

Fri 30 May 2008, 11:14 GMT
By Nick Tattersall

LAGOS, May 30 (Reuters) - Nigerian banks' ability to manage risk may lag their explosive growth, souring investors' buy-in on the back of record oil prices, an expanding middle class and corporate lending appetite, analysts say.

Nigerian banks were among the strongest performing stocks in the world last year, even as a global credit crisis took its toll elsewhere, attracting interest from private equity and hedge fund investors from Europe, Asia and the United States.

The economy in the world's eighth biggest oil producer is growing at its fastest rate for decades, global oil prices look set to continue to rally and Nigeria's government has committed to reforms which will see a growing role for the private sector.

All of this in a country of up to 140 million people, just 15 million of whom are thought to hold bank accounts, meaning huge potential growth in retail banking.

"In the last six months the growth in earnings momentum at the banks has just been stratospheric," said Fola Fagbule, a Nigerian research analyst with stockbroker Afrinvest.

"We are seeing significant growth in loan books ... The average bank I look at has doubled its loan book from the last time it reported an audited account," he told Reuters.

But there are fears that they may be growing too fast.

A wave of consolidation has seen the number of banks in Africa's most populous nation slashed from 89 to 24 in the past few years, leaving the survivors competing fiercely for millions of consumer clients as well as for large corporate customers.

"We are concerned that banks may be tempted to expand into retail banking before they are able to adequately manage the risks," JP Morgan analyst Andrew Cuffe said in a report this month, initiating coverage of the Nigerian sector.

MANAGING THE RISK

Most banks have been scaling up, tapping international and local markets to raise more than $10 billion in capital last year alone, enabling them to increase their capacity to lend.

Eight banks, including Zenith Bank and Oceanic Bank , have posted 9-month or quarterly earnings increases of more than 100 percent since the start of the year.

"We're beginning to see banks put a lot of their capital at more risk. They have no problem expanding their loan books, the challenge is maintaining the quality," Fagbule said.

Afrinvest estimates that 80 percent of Nigeria's wealth is in the hands of just 20 percent of the population, meaning a potential market of up to 28 million banking clients.

But while many of them may be potential depositors, not all will be rich enough to make them profitable to lend to.

The lack of a national identity system or a fully functioning credit bureau in Nigeria, as well as the banks' limited experience with consumer finance products such as mortgages, all means extra risk.

"Following extremely strong rates of growth in advances, and with pressure on banks to deploy capital raised over the past year, we believe the risk of a sharp increase in non-performing loans has increased," JP Morgan's Cuffe said.

Even compared to other parts of West Africa, Nigeria feels woefully underbanked. Cash machines are a recent arrival and charges for simple transactions so high that many Nigerians prefer to stash wads of cash under their beds.

While some banks are doubling their consumer loan books every quarter, analysts say they are riding with a strong tailwind in Nigeria, a country flush with record oil revenues and expecting economic growth of at least 7 percent this year.

ROLLERCOASTER RIDE

With Nigeria determined to turn itself into one of the world's leading economies by 2020, involving huge infrastructure projects partly financed by the private sector, analysts agree that the banking industry remains a compelling story.

Russian brokerage Renaissance Capital launched two new financial stock indexes this month to capture growing interest in the sector, while JP Morgan Asset Management identified Nigeria as a leading frontier market for part of its new Africa equity fund, which it hopes could reach $250 million.

But there is less consensus on whether now is the time to buy Nigerian banks after a sharp share price rally last year.

Fears that the banks' meteoric rise could turn into a bubble have also been heightened by reports that some are engaged in high-risk margin lending, loaning money to other institutions or individuals for stock market trading.

Some analysts, such as JP Morgan's Cuffe, argue their shares have run well ahead of fundamentals and do not take into account the operational and macro-economic risks to the businesses.

Any external shock, such as a drop in world oil prices or serious political instability, could leave them vulnerable.

"We believe the sector is expensive on both an absolute basis and relative to emerging market peers .... Given a price correction, we would look to enter," Cuffe said.

Others, such as Afrinvest's Fagbule, point out that last year's stock market exuberance has waned and that banks are becoming more profitable than ever as they increase lending to the country's top companies and their employees.

"For any bank in Nigeria now that has a handle on risk management, they are going to do phenomenally well," he said.

"... As long as those loans don't go bad."

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Platinum opportunity in the Nigerian media..

Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Dele Olojede is setting up a media business in Nigeria, launching later this year.

If you, or someone you know, would love to work as a journalist in an organisation that will radically shake up the 4th Estate in Nigeria, and be one of the most exciting and rewarding places to work, click here.

Facebook page here.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

It's all over for Hilary..

Murdoch throws his antipodean weight behind Obama. As British politicians know full well from past experience ("it woz the Sun wot won it"), that means its curtains for the Clintons...

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Camerounian Arabica

I am sipping on some quite decent coffee from Cameroun (bag pictured left), brought back by Fidelis, my geeky chum from Douala. Its French roasted in style. I close my eyes and I can almost feel the Atlantic breeze whip in at Le Touquet plage..

The Camerounians clearly know a thing or two about coffee. Meanwhile, here in Nigeria, the coffee culture is still solidly 1940's instant coffee, Nescafe if you're lucky thank you very much. I'm sure there's a colonial story which gave Nigeria Liptons, and Cameroun Cafe Vital.

Coffee and the best forms of dynamic capitalism (new ideas, start-ups, disruptive reconfigurations of the market yada yada) go hand in hand. Nescafe is not coffee. We need a change people.

There's no reason why arabica of similar quality could not be grown in the far East of Nigeria, which shares a similar terrain to the Adamoua region of Cameroun. From our recent trip to Death Mountain/Gangirwal, we saw that the tea plantation industry in the region is not exactly thriving.

When the coffee revolution starts in Nigeria (with home grown beans or otherwise), let's just make sure its not Starbucks, who have no idea how to make a decent espresso, catering as they do to the insipid American style. Better to follow the Indian model of coffee chains (such as Barista), and go home grown.

Talking about Indian coffee, check this out.

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McCain backstory

Incisive and informative piece about the murk from whence McCain came by Mukoma wa Ngugi here.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thanatography

What comes first, the fear of losing things, of everything passing, disappearing, or the fear of dying and death? We can spend so much of our time in the suspended animation of the present, pretending to ourselves that it will always be so, even when we know secretly that everything will change. So much of our lives can be occupied by clinging to things: to possessions, to friendships that have outlived themselves, to a love that has faded though we will not name it that. We dress this attachment up as care, as love, as loyalty, as fidelity, when in fact it is simply the ego refusing to let life pass for fear of losing control of everything.

The reality for us is that we must lose everything. Everyone around us, we will lose. We will lose the world that we were sure of and even ourselves. And there may well not be anything else after this life. It is the first noble truth.

I am just finishing reading Julian Barnes’ latest book, Nothing to Be Frightened of. In his typical style, he twists and turns elegantly crafted thoughts and phrases around the central anxiety and terror: the impending reality of our finitude. He captures innermost thoughts as they are played out across time in conversations with his brother, and through reminscences of his childhood. Having my own morbid streak (who doesn’t?) I find it an enjoyable read, with some hilarious intervals.

But on another level, it disturbs me, not in the sense that it forces me to confront my own death again (I have done that too often to be alarmed any more by the prospect). Rather, I have a sense that intimations of mortality need not lead inevitably to panic and confusion and ego-revolt.

There is a way of accepting the transience of things, of the world, and even of oneself, with something close to grace and serenity rather than fear. It comes through accepting mentally that everything will pass. In vipassana meditation this mental-conceptual acceptance is played out across the bodily unconscious through a powerful technique. There are many other ways to a serene acceptance of the first noble truth, all of them transformative of the terms of what is here and what is now.

In other words, the acceptance of transience, and of finitude, is the only way in which one can fully live in the present, being-there. Its all we have and will have, until the end.

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Theorising (Homo)Eroticism in Africa


A thought provoking collection of essays, available free for download here from the International Resource Network.

Table of Contents:
IMPOSSIBLE AFRICANS 5
Sybille N. Nyeck (USA/ Cameroon)

SPINNING WITH LONGING 10
Terna Tilley-Gyado (USA/Nigeria/Liberia)

TWO-STEP SKIP 15
Crispin Oduobuk-Mfon Abasi (Nigeria)

PRISONERS OF THE SKY 26
Rudolph Ogoo Okonkwo (Nigeria)

THIS IS HOW IT FEELS 34
Shailja Patel (Kenya)

TWO GIRLS 36
Shailja Patel (Kenya)

OUTLIER 40
Cary Johnson (USA/ South Africa)

NOT BRAVE 41
Bernadette Muthien (South Africa)

SACRIFICE MAKING HOLY 41
Bernadette Muthien (South Africa)

YOUR SILENCE WILL NOT PROTECT YOU 42
Yvette Abrahams (South Africa)

AFRICA AND GAY RIGHTS 66
Leo Igwe (Nigeria)

THE CONTINENT AS A CLOSET 72
Notisha Massaquoi (Sierra Leone / Canada)

LES MOTS POUR LE DIRE 91
Charles Gueboguo (Cameroon)

WOUNDED EROS AND CANTILLATING CUPIDS 96
Femi Osofisan (Nigeria)

NOLLYWOOD, HIVES, AND HOMOPHOBIA 121
Unoma Azuah (Nigeria)

SCREAMING 128
Shailja Patel (Kenya)

RAPPORT PROJET EXTORSION 131
Charles Gueboguo (Cameroon)

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White is the new green

I've had my eye on the white tea they sell in wholefood stores when back in the UK for a while, but never plucked up a sense of adventure enough to try. Then Bibi brought some back. Mehn, the stuff is gorgeous. I've been drinking green tea for years, but white tea is smoother and classier. You have to try it.

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The missing hand-over note

I woke up this morning to find out that no one was going to work. I found out just a little later that that's because its "Democracy day", and that in Abuja at least, the weekend starts right here. I found a few moments later that we are celebrating a year in office for the new administration. That got me thinking. I doubt if one percent of the population can name more than three or four of the seven points of the 'Seven Point Plan'. A much greater percentage of Nigerians would be forgiven for thinking that zilch has happened in the past 365 days. The power situation is perhaps a little worse. Ditto security (we felt that one ourselves). The hoped-for conference on the Niger Delta has yet to happen. Health, education - both are in as parlous state (if not worse) than they were a year ago. And we seem to have one royal mess over what is happening to the budget, with the National Assembly threatening to go it alone.

But its all good. Thanks to This Day, we know its all because OBJ forgot to leave a hand-over note. That explains everything then doesn't it?

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The History Lesson (joke)

Thanks SG for this one:

It was the first day of the session and a new direct entry student Mensah, a Ghanaian joined the class in one of Nigeria ’s universities.

The Lecturer said, 'Let's begin by reviewing some Nigerian history. Who said 'I shall return to die in the land of my fathers''

She saw a sea of blank faces, except for Mensah, who had his hand up 'King Jaja of Opobo, 1875'

'Very good!

Who said 'the land use act will feed the nation''?

Again, no response except from Mensah: 'Obasanjo, 1976'.

The Lecturer snapped at the class, 'Class, you should be ashamed. Mensah who is new to our country, knows more about its history than you do'

The lecturer heard a loud whisper: ' Ghana must go' 'Who said that?' she demanded Mensah put his hand up. 'Buhari, 1984'.

At that point, a student in the back scornfully said, 'Hmmm, you think you are smart'

The Lecturer glared and asked, 'All right! Now, who said that?'

Again, Mensah said 'Babangida to Abiola, 1992.'

Now furious, another student yelled,

'Oh yeah? Eat this!'

Mensah jumped out of his chair waving his hand and shouting to the lecturer, 'Indian mistress to Abacha, 1998!'

Now, with almost mob hysteria, someone said, 'You little Shit. If you say anything else, I'll kill you'

Mensah frantically yelled at the top of his voice, 'Chris Uba to Ngige, 2004!

The Lecturer fainted, and as the class gathered around her on the floor, someone said, 'Oh shit, we're in BIG trouble now!'

Mensah whispered, 'Chimaroke Nnamani, James Ibori, Ayodele Fayose, Lucky Igbinedon, 2007”

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Documentary about being Nigerian in the US

Forwarded message:

"I am in need of help.

I need people who can write a script for a movie/documentary I am trying to produce.
It is about being Nigerian in the U.S.

I am talking about real life experiences of Nigerian in the U.S. Not fiction.

Thanks

E. A. Akinpelu

biokayus@netscape.net"

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

St. Benedict Monastery, Ewu

I mentioned Pax Herbals in a post a year or so ago. They make good quality/reliable herbal anti-malarials, blood tonics etc. many of which are NAFDAC approved. St. Benedict Monastery, Ewu is the home of Pax Herbals. I just noticed these website details on some packaging and thought you all might like to know. Their stuff is available from Catholic centres across the country.

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My 2001st post!


What better way to celebrate passing the 2000th post landmark on my blog than to mention my folks, Chris and Wes Weate. They made me what I am: opinionated, insatiably curious about the world, a lover of books, gardens, design, wine and foreign climes. Meanwhile, they have risen from more-or-less rural working class (although with solid land-owning 'yeoman stock' down the father's line, including an Oxbridge-educated Reverend in the 18th century - one William Weate) to rural upper-middle-class: bookish types who have travelled on every continent and do things like starting their own film club in Wheaton Aston, my home village.

Where else then to find them in the past few days than at Hay, which they now do every year. You can see a teeny clip of my mom being interviewed (post the Cherie Blair/Booth event) here. She talks from 1.01 to 1.05.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Constitutional Reform Dialogue Mechanism - fact sheet (click to enlarge)























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Shell

Interview with Jeroen van der Veer, Chief Exec of Shell, here. One wonders how the oil-producing states can honestly account for the billions of dollars they receive, given the state of places like Yenagoa and Port Harcourt.

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

14th and Serenity

Starts tomorrow with Allied flipping the first domino. As Naapali explains, "it is an experiment in fiction using different narrators whose characters meet in a place called 14th and Serenity. It involves 12 bloggers, writing in sequence but creating characters that meld/gel/collide with those created previously. Apart from Allied who starts first everyone else has 48 hours to keep the story moving."

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Colures magazine


Bibi picked up a copy of Colures Magazine in London recently. As the blurb on the website says:

"Colures magazine is an upmarket glossy publication aimed at style conscious and intelligent women of colour.

Super stylish with pages of fashion, beauty, arts, travel and interiors features, this magazine is a huge departure from the current black women’s magazines available. It is chic, intelligent, contemporary and, full of interesting articles that go beyond ‘black-related' features."

I'd agree with all of the above. Excellent reading for extended forays in the bathroom. As with all the best magazines, even if you are not the target market, its an engrossing read with lots of sexy eye candy in the mix.

Meanwhile, my fav magazine, Monocle, goes from strength to strength. The June edition is simply superb. The piece on Ban Ki-Moon's ever weakening grip on the UN is great writing, as is the Subaru advertorial (can you imagine another magazine pulling this off?) The website's not bad either.

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More on penile expropriation

Great article on penis theft by Frank Bures in June's Harpers magazine.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

The death of culture... (by Doig Simmonds)

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President Jammeh

The president of Gambia last week gave gays 24 hours to leave the country or face beheading. Here.
Thanks RT for the link.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Mothers and sons and Fathers..

Someone recounted a story of motherly interference in her son’s choice of a partner/wife today. The meddling was on a grand scale and resulted in mute and automatic obedience on the part of the son. If only I could gist you all – however it’s not possible to tell even the barest bones of the story without giving away the protagonist. This one will just have to go into the memoirs..

The question of how much parental consultation a son should indulge in can be seen as an index of transformation in any society. From family anecdotes as well as a more general historical sense, the post-war baby boomers in Europe and the US can be characterised as rejecting the wishes of their parents. This rejection reached its apogee in 1968, 23 years after the end of the Second World War. If the next generation do not question the wishes of their parents in any kind of radical way, what hope is there for social transformation?

I have heard Nigerian guys call their father Sir, Major, Chairman etc. I’m not sure I’ve heard a Nigerian call his father ‘Dad’ – ‘popsie’ seems to be the closest we get to an intimate nomination. The general trend seems to be one of Command and Control. The interesting question is what these guys will want their sons to call them.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

The violence spreads to Durban..

...where a group of Nigerians are attacked, as the govt finally brings in the army.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Nigerians in America

Not only is Nigerian news the most popular online news in America (for any nationality), but Nigerians are the most educated group in the US. Here. The comments are interesting - I wonder if they are representative of (non-Nigerian) American perceptions of Nigerian immigrants?

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The myth of the Abuja master-plan

The Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions report came out a few days ago, with the shocking figure that more than 800,000 people were forcibly evicted from Abuja between 2003 and 2007. Here for all the details (pdf download of the full report at the bottom of the page). Thanks WP for the link.

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Xenophobia rages in SA


I was sent this disturbing image today. The more unfactual elements of the Nigerian press are reporting that the 100,000 strong Nigerian community are being targeted. This is not the case - most of those being hacked and burnt to death are Zimbabweans.

As usual, we can rely on the utterly ineffectual Mbeki to stay ingloriously silent at times like this...

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Design training event in Lagos

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Monday, May 19, 2008

........


Self-portrait with abeti aja.

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Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 - Live at the Barbican - Wednesday 28th May

Thanks Alex for the heads up:

The sacred fire of Afrobeat. The heritage of Fela.
 
Seun Kuti is the youngest son of the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Nigeria’s most world-renowned popular musician and probably its most acerbic critic until his death in 1997. Seun Kuti has been performing on stage since he was nine years old, after starting his career as opening act for his father’s band Egypt 80 at the Shrine in Lagos.  He has kept the band – containing many veterans in their 50s and 60s – performing in the same style as in Fela’s day, with as many as twenty singers and musicians in explosive live sessions, wearing original costumes and fronted by Seun Kuti’s vocals and saxophone.

The name of Seun Kuti’s inherited orchestra might be seen as surprising. Fela’s renamed his original group, Africa 70, in 1983, after he’d read the resounding works of Senegalese historian/anthropologist, Cheick Anta Diop, on black Africans originating from Pharaonic civilisation.

The orchestra is legendary in the true sense of the word - and what an orchestra it is! As soon as Egypt 80 blasted out their first notes, they instantly set things straight. It’s been easy to forget what big dance orchestras are all about, what the likes of Fletcher Henderson, James Brown and Sun Ra, Count Basie and Lionel Hampton really mean. And not forgetting George Clinton, another – very audible! – influence on Seun Kuti.

Veteran musician Lekan Animasahun, nicknamed Baba Ani, has now relinquished his sax lead to the excellent Adedimeji Fagbemi, (stage name Showboy, who also plays the role of MC) as the instrument became too heavy for the seventy-year old. Baba has now taken on the keyboards but remains musical director of the orchestra.

But Seun’s orchestra isn’t a clone of his fathers, even if we do see as much crazy, frenetic movement on stage and even if two thirds of the orchestra’s members were there in Fela’s time. Above all they are just the best funk group today, which is no surprise really. For the last 25 years they’ve played and rehearsed daily in Lagos at the Shrine Club... the name of the club says it all.  Egypt 80 embody the major aspect that’s been lost in popular music: endurance. They’ve been together for over 20 years and it shows. Music is after all about human relations. Duke Ellington once said that to play well with another musician, you have to know how he plays poker!
 
Afrobeat has been one of the most influential sounds to emerge from the continent, combining jazz, James Brown’s Funk and Highlife in an explosive brew which went on to influence many US musicians.  Fela’s music was also closely tied to his outspoken political views, and Seun is also keen to perpetuate, in an updated form, his father’s message. ‘He wasn’t afraid,’ Seun has said. ‘I want to make Afrobeat for my generation. Instead of ‘get up and fight,’ it’s going to be ‘get up and think’.’
 
Wed 28 May 7.30pm
Groove Nations – Seun Kuti & Egypt 80
Silk Street
EC2Y 8DS
020 7638 8891
Tickets £12.50/15/20

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Lamorde on his way out

A Sahara Reporters' piece appears today on Farida Waziri taking over from Ibrahim Larmode at the head of the EFCC. The gist of it is that she will be directed to let the currently under investigation governors off the hook. Stephen Sackur's questions to Bankole on the issue of the EFCC (see previous post) may have been well researched.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Dimeji Bankole on Hard Talk



You can watch it again on Nkem's blog here. Is there a stronger version of the word 'smug'?

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Lagos Calling: a fantasy anthropological study of African skinhead fashion from the early seventies

Here. Thanks YO for the link.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

More on the BA story

A well-written riposte to the BA-bashers from Tolu Ogunlesi:

BEFORE WE BOYCOTT BRITISH AIRWAYS

I should start by saying I do not work for the British Airways. I am simply a Nigerian asking questions that I think we all should ask ourselves before we, in our collective rage, consign an airline to the (dust)bin of boycott.

The story has been repeated time without number, so the details are clear to most of us. A Nigerian citizen, concerned about the manner in which another Nigerian citizen was being deported, voiced his displeasure to the policemen carrying out the deportation, and ended up being bundled out of the plane. Other Nigerians on the flight protested vehemently, things got unruly [BA claims its crew was "subjected to both verbal abuse and physical assault"], and 133 passengers were ejected by police from that flight. 64 were allowed to re-board before take-off, while the others were later put on other plane[s]. The man at the centre of the protest, was arrested, detained for hours, had his money and luggage confiscated, and was banned from flying BA.

This is where I have to ask my first question. Was the deportee actually maltreated by the British police officers or not? None of the accounts or newspaper reports I have read have implied in any way that the unnamed deportee was maltreated in the deportation process. The only pointer to that fact, or the only plank upon which we may nail such an allegation is the “I go die o” that the man was said to have been screaming repeatedly as he was being put onto the plane. But I want to ask, is the screaming of “I go die” sufficient proof upon which to come to a conclusion of maltreatment? Does anyone honestly believe that a man (or woman) being deported will sit quietly, and smile through the entire repatriation process? Certainly not. Deportation is to be instinctively resisted, because of what it signifies: The suddenness, the shame, the blacklisting. So the fact that a man being deported is screaming that he will die is not proof that he is anywhere near death.

At this point, let’s listen to the account of the man at the centre of it all, Ayodeji Omotade: “I pleaded with the officers not to kill him and my exact words were ‘please don’t kill him.’ The British Airways staff said the officers were doing their jobs and that nothing was going to happen. The noise became louder and other passengers started getting concerned and were complaining especially about their safety.”

Why am I demonstrating this brand of skepticism? A number of people must have read the letter sent to Dele Momodu (and published in the This Day newspaper of Sunday, May 11, 2008) by Olu Ayodeji, a Nigerian who works as a Cabin Services Director with the British Airways in London. I read it and immediately came to the conclusion that Nigerians should pause and do a bit of soul-searching before hanging British Airways (after all we’ve already given this dog a bad name). And it is Mr. Ayodeji’s article that has emboldened me to share my own perspective on the matter. Mr. Ayodeji is quick to point out that he is not writing as an official spokesperson for the airline. (Whether he is to be believed or not is each reader’s individual choice.)

In the last few weeks much of what we have heard has been muddled up in the noise of Nigerian protest – mostly accusations of racism targeted at the “white establishment” that is British Airways. Much of which, very sadly, may be true. I must confess that I have not heard much that would endear anyone to British Airways. Perhaps in reality they are the cut-and-dried racist behemoth that their attackers would want us to believe they are; filled with stiff-upper-lipped ex-colonialists still mourning the demise of the transatlantic slave trade. Just last month they banned super-model, Naomi Campbell from flying with them, for spitting in a policeman’s face. Two years ago they banned the rapper, Snoop Dogg from their flights – for life – after his entourage smashed bottles and behaved violently at Heathrow.

But surely they do not hold a monopoly on “racism”, do they? In the organised maltreatment of Nigerians by foreign organisations, BA must come a distant second, behind the Embassies and High Commissions, which collect thousands of naira as application fees, ask us to queue up in the sun, harass us with overzealous NIGERIAN security-men, and then turn down our visa applications. Yet not once has any group of Nigerians called for a boycott of a foreign embassy. Why? Is it because we can’t do without their visas and work permits and green cards? Shame on us.

I don’t know how this may sound, and it will probably not earn me any cheers from this side of the divide, but I can’t shake off the feeling that, instead of stepping back to weigh the issues at hand, Nigerians have resorted to a defence mechanism whose deployment we have perfected over the years: namely, to wield the “Identity” Card. Don’t we all know that, by Nigerian standards, corrupt politicians are not tried or jailed because they have stolen money, but because they are from a certain ethnic group? This is the same card we have played in this case: BA has maltreated us because we are Nigerians - and we MUST fight back. (At this point though I must quickly add a caveat: that none of this is to in any way minimize the reality or extent of racism in high and low places.) In this fighting back, has anyone bothered to ask if the 133 passengers initially thrown off the flight were ALL Nigerians?

Let’s hear what Mr. Ayodeji (who speaks as someone who has “witnessed at close quarters the attitude of fellow Nigerians on BA flights”) has to say: “When I first joined BA, I used to stand up to my colleagues, at the risk of losing my job, to defend fellow Nigerians' integrity. Sadly, over the years, I've since abandoned that attitude having witnessed and experienced firsthand the embarrassing attitude of Nigerians.” He gives examples; examples which many of us as Nigerians, if we were honest enough to admit to ourselves, would admit are more often the rule than the exception. He speaks of a “generation of Nigerians who see every shortcoming on the part of BA as a basis for confrontation, verbal or physical assault.”

We don’t need to hire psychologists to officially diagnose us as a country at home with unruliness. Yes, we are the happiest people on earth, but we have also learned to match every ounce of happiness with two ounces of brashness. It is a collective brashness, a loudness and argumentativeness that must intimidate other nationalities when they encounter us. Next time you fly (domestic or international), watch out for how we treat cabin crew. Watch how we flaunt our sense of entitlement – for airline food and wine. How we rush onto planes whose seats are numbered because our “hand-luggage” is in actual fact “arm-and-leg” luggage that needs infinite space in the overhead compartments.

But the most interesting part of it all is this: what I call the Grand Irony: Everyday Nigerian airlines treat Nigerians worse than animals – overbook flights and reduce boarding to a Darwinian-cum-100m-dash; cancel flights and divert planes to other routes with reckless abandon; hoard tickets and hand over sales to touts; hike prices in a way that would make air travel the envy of Sotheby's. Time after time our honourable politicians shut down the airspace so their executive and chartered flights can land undisturbed; our Big Men delay flights (even international ones) for hours in order not to be late for their shopping binges; and our runways admit cows to graze merrily and watch planes land up close and personal. A few years ago an entire plane-load of Nigerian citizens was consumed by flames while a crowd (parents, relatives, and friends) watched, helpless, because an airport had insufficient fire-fighting capability. And life went on. It didn’t occur to us to boycott our airports until basic facilities were put in place. How I wish that (we) Nigerians were as vocal in our protestations against the inhuman treatments meted out to us by domestic airlines, as we now are against BA.

But no. When we are made to fly in engined coffins manned by overworked pilots, and given permission to land on runways bustling with cows, touts and potholes, all we do is whimper, perhaps grumble, and life goes on. We dey kampe! Nothing dey happen! No shaking! But when an international airline, concerned about the commotion aboard a flight that was their responsibility, chooses to take steps they deem necessary to safeguard the flight, before you can say “control tower”, an entire nation has risen and whipped out the race card. We have done it the way we have learnt to do it – the “Do You Know Who I Am”? Way.

It is our nature. We will continue to spurn the “organized” route, because things work faster that way – at least within our country. The Rule of Gra-gra makes things happen, and makes them happen fast. But we fail to learn that things may not always work that way outside our borders. We get away with a lot within Nigeria, so perhaps we think we get away outside as well.

Again I say it, I do not attempt to minimize the import and the gravity of the punishment and embarrassment meted out to Mr. Omotade. Nothing will ever justify that. I sympathise with him. BA should apologise, genuinely, and overhaul their crisis management response system. But we (Nigerians) should also step back and be at least a bit more dispassionate in our evaluation. The ranting and the calls for boycott will not do us any good. A country without its own international airline has no business making the kind of noise we are currently making, ordering the world to "respect" us. We should instead keep our mouths sealed and wallow in our collective shame of airline-lessness. And of course, we should enroll in International Diplomacy 101 – and learn to more often than not, temper our abrasive quest for justice with some measure of reason. It’s the season of the rule of law, after all.

Tolu Ogunlesi (c) May 2008

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CA thing later this month at Birkbeck

6PM WEDNESDAY, 28TH MAY, 2008

PUBLIC LECTURE
(ARTS WEEK)

“The Influence of Chinua Achebe on some Contemporary Writers”

By

Professor Elleke Boehmer,
(Professor of World Literature in English, Oxford University)

CHAIR: Dr Mpalive Msiska(Birkbeck)


ROOM 532, MALET STREET,
BIRKBECK, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON,
LONDON WC1E 7HX
m.msiska@english.bbk.ac.uk

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Wire as Greek/Shakespearean tragedy

Yesterday I did scarcely anything apart from watch 6 episodes of series one of The Wire (the remaining of the series) back to back. As I watched, it struck me that the show's broader canvas is to convey both the decline of the American Empire and explore the tragedy of African American /white American working class life. The tragic aspect seemed partly Shakespearean, partly Greek (what else of course?). There's definitely a sense of both the insight and blindness each character has about their role in "the Game" - an uncanny blurring between the sense of pre-destined fate and utter ignorance of what might happen next.

Moreover, to add to the texture, the show is not averse to comic counterpoint digressions - witness Herc and Ellis' routines, and the scene where McNulty and Bunk investigate an old crime scene and communicate using only variations of the word 'fuck'. Perhaps best of all however is the language of the show - a whole world of Baltimore slang emerges which creates both a strong sense of place as well as an almost complicit intimacy between the Barksdale crew and Daniel's "detail".
It was gratifying to read the show's creator, David Simon, being quoted in similar fashion (here):

In creating “The Wire,” Simon said, he and his colleagues had “ripped off the Greeks: Sophocles, Aeschylus, Euripides. Not funny boy—not Aristophanes. We’ve basically taken the idea of Greek tragedy and applied it to the modern city-state.” He went on, “What we were trying to do was take the notion of Greek tragedy, of fated and doomed people, and instead of these Olympian gods, indifferent, venal, selfish, hurling lightning bolts and hitting people in the ass for no reason—instead of those guys whipping it on Oedipus or Achilles, it’s the postmodern institutions . . . those are the indifferent gods.”

There is more analysis of the show here, including analysis of its form as a 'visual novel'.

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A Nigerian Loronix?


I love Loronix, a music download site devoted to old school Brazilian music. The album covers are often supersaturated like the example to the left, reminding one of the brilliant light and colour in the film Black Orpheus. The music is gorgeous, slow sambas, Anton Jobim-style jazz etc.

When is a Nigerian version of Loronix going to be set up, so out-of-print classics and their album covers are not lost to the dust of eternity?

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Michael Cardew retrospective



There's a major retrospective of master potter Michael Cardew's work next month in the Cotswolds, England. Cardew was a student of Bernard Leach and a master of slipware, influenced as much by Shoji Hamada. Cardew worked in both Cornwall and, from the early 1950's, in Suleja (near Abuja), where he joined forces with Ladi Kwali in turning the region into the centre for ceramics in the country. His name lives on at Bwarri pottery, where his student Michael O'Brien spends six months of the year working. To see a video of Cardew at work, click here. The images on this post are of Cardew and Kwali (she is also commemorated on the new N20 note!)

See the blurb below on the show. Thanks a lot Doig for the email.

MICHAEL CARDEW AND STONEWARE
SATURDAY 7TH JUNE TO SATURDAY 28TH JUNE 2008, 9.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. (closed Sundays)
(PRIVATE VIEW FRIDAY 6TH JUNE FROM 6PM TO 8PM)

A major retrospective of the career of Michael Cardew after World War II, focussing in particular on his work in Nigeria at Abuja and at Wenford Bridge in Cornwall.

The pots in the exhibition have been drawn exclusively from private collections, so visitors will have the rare opportunity to see some 200 pots not normally on display to the general public. Traditional pots from North Devon and Africa will also be exhibited.

The show will also see the launch of a new 160 page full colour book on Cardew’s pottery made in stoneware, a companion volume to the well received title we published in 2007, Michael Cardew and the West Country slipware tradition. Some contemporary pots will also be on sale by Svend Bayer, Clive Bowen, Mike Dodd, Michael OBrien and Danlami Aliyu.

Long Room Gallery is situated in the centre of the Cotswolds town of Winchcombe, which is equidistant between the towns of Cheltenham and Broadway, on the B4632. Directions are given in the map below, but do not hesitate to ring should you require any clarification.

LONG ROOM GALLERY & COTSWOLDS LIVING PUBLICATIONS ,
WINCHCOMBE [tel. 01242 602319]

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The Bullingdon boys


The infamous picture of the Bullingdon club has now been effectively banned from print publication in the UK. In the picture, we see David Cameron (top, second left) and Boris Johnson (no need for directions). Cameron has always shied away from talking about his time in the club, notorious for trashing restaurants and student rooms and general bad behaviour. It shows that the Tories' flirtation with the lower ranks of society (which hit rock bottom with Brixton boy John Major) is finally over. Cameron doesn't want to talk about Bullingdon (or Eton for that matter) because it shows him up to be the over-privileged toff that he is. These people have little knowledge or understanding of the lives of ordinary people. Little wonder that they still don't have any distinguishing ideas or policies.

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Aondoakaa's promises

The Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa, said some fine things recently (not sure exactly when, you know the newspapers here hate to give you too many facts). Banning landlords from charging two to 3 years rent in advance would be fantastic. Moving away from the anarchy of the previous administration has taken some time. Let's see if this administration can pull it off.

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Friday, May 09, 2008

The religion of the ancestors

Great piece by Sefi Atta here on growing up, religion and ancestors in the family.

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Persistent war in Nigeria..

Nigeria 2013 imagined by the Army War College at their Unified Quest gathering this week. O se YO for the link.

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Memories of Israel

As the 60th birthday of Israel has arrived, I turn towards one of my thousand memories:

At 15, my bones knew I had to get as far away from Wheaton Aston as I could, as soon as possible. At one point, I considered Japan – there was a family in the village who were members of Experiment in International Living – a Christian organisation with a programme there. But for some reason I never got round to talking to them. Then, a couple of years later I saw an ad in The Guardian about being a volunteer on a kibbutz in Israel. It was still a popular thing to do. I was interested in living in a collective/commune type environment and getting outside of capitalism and consumerism, so I went ahead and applied.

After finishing my A-level exams, Dad drove me to a large house in a Jewish area in North Manchester. We all had to fill in a form and be interviewed. I was approved, and so sent off the money for my El Al ticket to Tel Aviv. It was summer 1988 and most of my mates were going off to Uni. Lee and I had been doing gigs in a band we called The Big Wednesday. Kathryn and I considered ourselves to be in love. We drove everywhere in Jolene, my Citroen Diane. We went to Saddleworth Moor on a Smiths’ odyssey (with Suffer Little Children, a hauntingly beautiful song about the Moor’s murderers Myra Hindley and Liam Brady, in our heads); we went to Heptonstall above Hebden Bridge on a Sylvia Plath/Ted Hughes pilgrimmage. We wrote ardent poems to each other. But I think we both knew underneath it all that something was ending and that our lives were about to begin.

So I found myself at Manchester Airport, saying goodbye to Mom, Dad and Kath, leaving home and leaving the country properly for the first time. There were tears. After landing in the heat and dust, and then hours on a bus, we (about ten or so of us) arrived at Kibbutz Malkiya – right on the buffer zone between Israel and Lebanon.

The days began by being taken by tractor with the other volunteers to the fields at 5am, picking apples, with a bag strapped on to our fronts. It felt like being in an ad for Soviet life in the 1930’s, or some Communist Youth programme. We were healthy and young, and the apples were ripe and large.

The evenings were spent in the volunteers’ bar, with free beer (more than making up for the token pocket money we were granted each month), listening to The Cure and U2, dancing against the disco lights.

It was at the bar on that first evening that I met Corinne, a French-Israeli kibbutznik. From her body language, I detected some form of interest. Curiosity mixed with an excited sense of what form of the exotic might unfold. Somehow, I sensed the adventure ahead from the first moment.

She casually told me about the view from the top of the communal dining room. After a couple of drinks, she led me through the deserted space, sneaking through kitchens up a flight of stairs at the back. Emerging onto the roof, the night was an inky black, with the Golan Valley twinkling with the lights of settlements further down.

Entwined in small talk, we lay down. A sense of the inevitable washed over me, and I felt as if were in a film that was about to end. I started to count down from 100. Somehow I knew that by the time I reached 1 we would be there. I reached 50 and she was lying on the ground with her legs starting to open. At 30 we were in a grip, planting wild wet kisses on our faces and mouths, tugging urgently at our jeans. And, with sublime surreality, as zero struck, I entered. It was too cold however, so we went back to her room to continue.

Afternoons and evenings of love followed. The The’s album Infected and Soul Mining were the backdrop to our sessions, as was Paris 1919 by John Cale. “I’ve got you under my skin where the rain can’t get in, but if the sweat pours out, just shout” repeated itself endlessly from her tape deck. She could only come when we faced each other at a precise angle. She told me about a relationship with a Dutch guy the year before. He seemed a little wild and unpredictable.

In between times, we talked about art and ways of the world that I’d not encountered before. We ate pistachios and smoked roll-ups. Her friend came to teach me Hebrew and then we’d talk politics on the bed. Emerging from her room into the blinding light of the morning I felt sexed up and more aware of the world’s complexity. New ways of thinking were offering themselves up. I’d return to the volunteer dorm to shower and get ready for work.

My sense of bliss was interrupted by the raincloud reality that Corinne was already in a serious relationship with a Brit called Nick. He had been at the Kibbutz for a year or so. I really liked Nick; he was good looking, a few years older, had a snazzy London accent (I imagine he was Golders Green material), played a mean bass. He had got me almost instantly hooked on Charles Mingus. Cool in every respect, including his taste in women.

It was therefore no huge surprise that Corinne’s mother – who was in charge of the volunteer group - was not thrilled about my arrival on the scene. I had a sense that Nick and Corinne were lined up to get married by the community. Within days of the affair starting, I was demoted from picking apples in the fresh morning light to working in a plastic toy factory, assembling components. My co-worker was a flirtatious and comely Russian-Israeli called Yael. Bracketing Corinne out of my thoughts, we both agreed by day two to oversleep our way out of a trip to Lake Galilee put on for the whole kibbutz. After the coaches had departed, I walked over to her flat. To my delight, I found her sleeping in her room. I had half expected that she would have left on the trip with the others. I climbed on top of her. She yawned, put her arms around me and then pulled me in..

A few days later, I found myself mysteriously demoted yet further to working in a dimly lit modelling clay factory. My job was to pick large chunks of clay and put them into a machine for eight hours a day. My two colleagues were less than monosyllabic – in fact one didn’t speak at all. I found out later that he had lost almost all his family to Auschwitz. We ate half a water-melon each for lunch in silence, the only sound being the animal noises of our mouths at the fruit. During these days, I went back to seeing Corinne.

A week later, her mom called for me in her house for a chat. She explained to me that the standard of my work wasn’t high enough for the kibbutz and that they would have to let me go. An hour later I found myself outside the security gates, with nowhere to go or stay. Tanks rolled by against the razor wire landscape.

I hitched to the nearest town and then took a bus down to Tel Aviv and the central Kibbutz Office. I pretended that I had just arrived from the UK and was looking for work. They assigned me to Givat Haim Ichud near Netanya. It was a much larger place than Malkiya. Apparently Bob Dylan had stayed there way back when.

I settled in to my room for an afternoon’s rest, only for a knock at the door and a summons to work the night shift at the Orange Juice factory. They supplied Marks and Spencers. Till today, I suspect that a phone call had been put through and that the night shift was some form of retribution.

Still, I enjoyed working in the factory. For three weeks, I had to load 250kg aluminium bags of concentrate into drums using a winch machine from eleven to eight in the morning. If I timed it wrong, the bag would drop heavily on the floor and splat sticky gue everywhere. I did head stands and press-ups and recited poetry to keep myself sane (I’d taken a whole suitcase full of books with me). In my early morning delirium, I came up with the line, ‘If I die, there will be a small corner of an English field that is forever foreign.’

In the daytime after sleep, I had chance to meet the other volunteers and socialise. One day, a group of volunteers from France arrived, including a woman called Karinne. She came from Strasbourg and had a Sophia Loren air about her. I offered to tour her round the kibbutz. After a few minutes we arrived at the tennis court. The wire door screeched open. We lay down on the court. The time was crepuscular and right.

From that moment, for the few weeks we were together, we’d meet up each night. We’d sneak over the wire fence into the swimming pool to skinny dip. She would swim over and wrap her legs around me. She held onto the ladder and gasped. The moon and the shadows made a sublimely monochrome world, with the sound of the water lapping against the ceramic tiles. Other times, I’d go into her room at night in the dark. She would scratch at my back so hard I had to bite my lips.

Then, after a trip to the Dead Sea (and an unpleasant few hours under arrest for trespassing on Masada), I arrived back to find she had gone. Years later I found myself in Strasbourg, looking aside from time to time, in the hope that she would appear. The squares were empty of her presence.

After Karinne, I met Marilyn – a Canadian blonde who came into my room one night and told me she had to fuck me. Who was I to lie in her way? She was the first person I’d ever heard use the word ‘omniscient’ in casual conversation. Then there was also a Danish woman whose name I’ve forgotten..

Apart from all the foreign sex, there were many odd characters among the volunteers: a Brit from Devon who spent his time carving totem poles out of bits of scrap wood. His party piece was to fold his shoulders and arms under his legs and crab around (it took him two hours of warming up to get into the pose). There was a Hungarian guy who took himself very seriously. He would tell me the many ways in which the Jews were a special people. He reminded me of the perm-headed pianist guy from Fame. This was probably because he was Jewish, had a perm and was a pianist. A Brooklynite woman who left after my first week called him Goulash. From time to time Jordan (an Israeli Kibbutznik), the Hungarian and I used to jam together – Jordan doing a Mark Knopfler impression on his fake strat, with Goulash on keys. I would miss most of the chords on rhythm guitar at the back. Then, I recall an aryan looking Danish guy who spent his time uttering clever clogs comments. I tried to outsmart him by using the word ‘hermetic’ in a sentence, only for him to say ‘Hmmm, that’s quite an odd useage of the word in the context of the sentence you’ve just said.’ Bastard.

For years after, I would wander back to Israel in my dreams. I’d find myself in strange places, on unknown streets, asking after Corinne. I never did find her. Even now, twenty years on, with the kibbutz ideal all but dead, my abiding memory of Israel is centred on Corinne. Perhaps she married Nick after all..

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Anglican ban on polygamy in Nigeria

The Anglican leadership in Nigeria (specifically, the Extremely Very Mostest of the Most Highest Primate Reverend Peter Akinola) has taken a strong stance against polygamy. I wonder if the evangelical/pentacostal churches will follow suit? Also, I wonder what happens to the 2nd/3rd/4th etc wives of Nigerian Anglican men now? Perhaps someone should set up an ngo.

Article pasted below:


The Anglican Communion in Nigeria has banned polygamy among members of the church.

The ban was handed down by the Archbishop and Primate of the Church, Most Reverend Peter Akinola.

Worried by the proliferation of marriages in the church among polygamous members, Akinola wrote to all Anglican Communions in the country to desist from such practice, which he described as unscriptural.

According to him, the integrity of the Christian faith is far more important than the reputation of those who turn their backs on the word of God.

"Those of us who are in the forefront of the prophetic call for a return to Biblical truth, cannot close our eyes to the increasingly blatant disregard for the teaching of the Bible on family life.

"The observation will destroy our witness if not firmly addressed. We cannot claim to be a Bible-believing church and yet be selective in our obedience," he added.

Akinola stated emphatically that whosoever is involved in polygamous marriage, no matter how highly placed, must come under authority of the Bible.

He warned that any attempt to trivialise the Bible's teaching on monogamy as the ultimate standard for the Christian family "will make a mockery of whatever else we stand for.

"Sadly, sometimes, even our leadership has looked the other way on this matter."

The Anglican Communion Nigeria, during the crisis on whether to ordain gays (homosexuals) as preachers in the Anglican Communion overseas, stood against it.

Meanwhile, at its synod yesterday, the Lord Bishop of Lagos and Archbishop of Province of Lagos, Anglican Communion, Most Reverend Ephraim Ademowo, lamented the insecurity in the Niger Delta, saying that instead of using physical force, the Federal Government should employ the use of dialogue to resolve the issue.

He also stressed the need not to allow political thuggery, killings and lack of the fear of God to ruin the nation's political institutions and activities.

On the issue of collapsed of buildings in Lagos, Ademowo appealed to the state government to take pragmatic steps to curb the ugly trend, saying that all the adjacent property to the failed structures which are in a state of dilapidation and instability should be critically examined.
"Integrity test on buildings on Lagos Island, Ijora, Ebute-Metta, Bariga and other areas within the poor terrain locations, should be carried out to prevent further loss of lives.

"Government agencies in charge of physical planning and development permits should ensure that registered builders are carried along before granting approval to developers to avoid the use of substandard materials and shoddy construction work," he stated.

by Kazeem Ugbodaga

Taken from here.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

And now for a true story..

..that suggests the prevailing organisational culture still at work within the banking sector in Nigeria. The story was recounted this lunchtime, by a friend who heard the story directly from the man involved.

Our man had just been appointed the senior legal adviser to a well-known Nigerian bank. During his first week at work, he was in his office around 6pm, when one of his team, entered his room and closed and locked the door behind her. Before his shocked eyes, she stripped off in seconds, and completely naked, walked towards him. Stunned, he asked her what she was doing. She pointed to his desk and said, 'this has been serviced many times.' Horrified, the guy ran out of his room.

One has to ask, what exactly had been going on for the woman, without any questions, suggestions, dialogue or prompting, to undress herself in this way. What form of sexual/behavioural conditioning had she been subjected to? Did her former boss assume droit de seigneur upon all his female staff?

Put alongside the story that new female marketing recruits are given condoms as part of their induction pack (which unfortunately seems not to be an urban myth), we start to see the ugly reality for many women in the corporate workplace in Nigeria.

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Signs of food poverty increasing

Excellent (though depressing) photo-piece on the BBC's site on increasing food poverty in Kano, thanks to a poor harvest this year and increasing desertification in Kano and neighbouring states. Here. Thanks PA for the link.

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Hommage to Betty Davis


Betty Davis has been written out of musical history, which is a shame. Her short marriage to Miles Davis utterly transformed his music and was part of the inspiration behind his turn towards the Bitches Brew era. She introduced Miles to Hendrix and a new way of thinking about music.

More so, her music was the best kind of sleazy easy funk. Her lyrics were openly sexual, revealing an active female desire which even today appears raw, radical and revolutionary. What a stark contrast to contemporary female hip-hop lyrics (from Lil' Kim to Missy Eliot) where female sexual desire is still oriented around and ordered by phallocentrism. Davis embodied the Eve-principle of women embracing and prioritising their own sexual pleasure and needs above pleasing whatever man was around. However progressive we become, the male-ordered societies we live in will forever find this troubling and disturbing. To echo Latour, perhaps we have never been modern.

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Lagos, dumping ground

500,000 computers are offloaded at the port and dumped in Lagos every month, creating huge piles of toxic waste. Nigeria's commercial capital is one of the largest toilets for e-waste in the world. Here. Thanks Indar for the link.

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Rice is nice

As news comes through of food riots in Somalia and the prices of consumable commodities rise, food security issues are given increasing prominence in the Nigerian press. A dominant story of the past few days is that the Federal Government has set aside N80bn for "medium term agricultural development". There are some reports that a chunk of the money is to be spent on importing rice from Thailand, to ensure prices do not rise. Meanwhile, State-level governments are imploring market traders not to rise prices unnecessarily.

Due to the almost complete inability of the Nigerian press to report simple facts, it is not easy to work out how much of the FGN money is allotted to extraordinary rice importation, and how much to more sustainable measures. The question of whether a huge one-off importation of rice would actually have medium term negative impact (reducing demand on home-grown varieties and threatening local production) does not seem to be considered. Elsewhere in the papers today, I read that an Ofada rice plant is shortly to be commissioned in Ogun State, creating 500 jobs. This is good news.

The issue is that with rice as an example, far too much production is small-scale only-just-beyond subsistence with antiquated milling/par-boiling methods. Much more could be done to improve production methods by encouraging larger-scale facilities. In the rice business, as in other sectors, there are vested interests in the importation trade that need to be challenged by the govt.

Meanwhile, it seems like Malawi is setting the pace in the agricultural sector on the continent.

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More on Boris Buffoon

Quite a few people are despairing about the Bullingdon Blond's take-over of City Hall. Its true, democracy can throw up some unlikely victors, and no one is perhaps uniquely less qualified than Boris Johnson to take on the mayorship. He has made noises about reducing violent crime on London's streets, but absolutely nothing of substance. He will take the bendy buses away, but replace them with what? Who knows what his view on CrossRail is? He has no demonstrable ability to connect with people who are not toffs like himself (witness his disparaging comments on Liverpool and ugly reference to 'piccaninnies' amongst other gaffes in recent times). It really is too easy to rip hole after hole into the guy.

So instead of doing that, let's look at the upsides:

1. The Olympics is a self-contained process by and large. He won't be able to interfere too much with this.
2. He simply lacks the oomph to carry on expanding the role as Ken did. The mayorship will therefore shrink in size and significance year on year
3. Despite what Cameron thinks right now, Boris will quickly convert his asset of being London mayor into a liability. Expect more gaffes as he reverts to type. Above all, expect complete inaction on any critical London issues: security, transport, availability of low-cost housing etc.
4. He won on a small percentage margin (140,000 odd out of over 2 million voters). He hardly has the electoral mandate for radical change.
5. He also won because of a) transient discontent about the 10p tax issue and b) the Evening Standard's hate campaign, c) the economy/credit crunch wobble

Come the next general election, Boris Johnson will have done more than his fair share of showing that the Tories have nothing to offer centrist politics that Labour does not already offer. The only difference being the Conservative party serves a more exclusive constituency.

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Jewel by Lisa

Bibi's friend bought her a lovely Jewel by Lisa outfit for her birthday - an ankara and sequin box dress (Jackie O style).

Check the Lagos-based designer's website here.

If designers working in creative fields outside of fashion were as delightfully inventive as JBL in raiding and re-interpreting Nigerian cultural forms, Nigeria would quickly become a magnet for creativity on the continent.

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"I know, let's have 6 more States..."

There has been a longstanding complaint from various Igbo politicians that the South-East is 'marginalised' - having ony 5 Igbo States - Imo, Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu. The other five geopolitical zones have six states apiece. Obviously, as soon as a sixth Igbo state is created (increasing the number of states from 36 to 37) this marginalisation will evaporate overnight, guaranteed. How could anyone think otherwise?

I was at the National Assembly last week, and I saw banners proclaiming the need to create Naje state (I might have mis-remembered the spelling). Other Igbos want it to be called Anioma state. There would probably be the mother of all arguments agreeing on the name alone..

With appropriate absurdity, given the emphasis on 'Federal Character', the Senate has now indicated that if the Igbos are to be granted an additional state (one wonders where/how this State will be carved out - will southern Benue dash some land?), then five other States will be granted to the other five geopolitical zones.

Actually, this position might not be so silly as it seems, from a tactical angle. If each of the zones is to be allowed an extra state along with the South-East, it defeats the purpose behind the region rallying for an extra state in the first place - ensuring equitable numerical representation. The Senate (and the other zones) would have the last laugh.

All this said, the ongoing constitutional reform dialogue has many other big fish to fry, such as removing the immunity clause (MYA has already voiced his strong support for this) which is the passage to automatic enrichment for governors in the first place.

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Saturday, May 03, 2008

The Jefferson story resurfaces..

Here..

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Birthday


Last night we celebrated Bibi's birthday. The good times rolled..

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Friday, May 02, 2008

Omigod - Boris?

Unbelievable - its looks like London, in its collective (as)inanity, has elected that utter buffoon Boris Johnson to be the new mayor. The only thing I've picked up from Boris' campaign is that he is going to ban the bendy buses as soon as possible. I guess there's quite a few people in London who are old enough to vote but young enough not to know what a complete daymare the Tories are when they have power. Expect all the good things Ken brought in - such as free passes for kids and pensioners - to be phased out. Above all, expect ineffectual leadership from a prize pillock..

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Memories of Zaki-Biam and Odi that do not fade...

The Zaki-Biam and Odi massacres that took place under the watch of the last administration refuse to be forgotten. Click here for an update.

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Dora and her gongs

Does Dora win the record for the most decorated Nigerian, ever? See here (and pasted below) for her list of honours (grazie OO for the linkage):


Person of the Year 2005 Award - Silverbird Communications Ltd, Lagos, 05-01-2006
Merit Award - Nigerian Medical Association, FCT., Abuja Branch, 14-12-2005
Award of Excellence - Integrated World Services (IWS), Dec. 2005
A Star Performance Award - Ateko Women Association (AWA), Lagos, 17-12-2005
Award of Excellence - Advocacy for Democracy Dividends International, Lagos, 17-12-2005
Meritorious Award 2005 - St. Michael's Military Catholic Church, Apapa, Lagos, 04-12-2005
African Virtuous and Entrepreneurial Women Merit Award 2005 - African Biographical Network, Dec. 2005
XCEL Award of Excellence 2005, XCEL Magazine, December 2005
Award for the Best Government Parastatal - National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), December 2005
An Icon of Excellence Award - The African Cultural Institute and Zenith Bank Plc, 08-12-2005
2005 Grassroots Human Rights Campaigner Award London Based Human Rights Defense Organization. 08-12-2005
Ambassadorial Award African Women's Cancer Awareness Association 05-11-2005
Midwife of the Health of the Nation Award Nigerian Bar Association, Aguata Branch Nov. 2005
Most Innovative Director Award Federal Government College, Ijanikin, Lagos. Oct. 2005
Achievement Award The Int'l Nature Conservation & Environment Programme Oct. 2005
Award of Excellence Umuahia Diocesan Council of Catholic Women Organization (UDCCWO) 23-10-2005
Stewardship Excellence Award Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF) 12-10-2005
Pride of Woman – Ugwu Umunwanyi Catholic Women Organization (CWO) of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Maitama, Abuja. 09-10-2005
Merit Award Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) 05-08-2005
Distinguished Award as a Role Model of Nigerian Society Ahmadu Bello University Students' Union Government (ABUSUG), Zaria, Nigeria. 08-07-2005
Women Achievers Award 2005 Women's Wing of Christain Association of Nigeria (WOWICAN), Lagos State Chapter, Lagos, Nigeria 23-06-2005
Merit Award Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce, Nigeria 27-05-2005
PHCCIMA Merit Award 2005 in Recognition of your achievement in Public Service. Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA), Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria 14-05-2005
Award of Excellence for Social Service. WDPC May 2005
Role Model Award Halifield School, Lagos, Nigaria 28-05-2005
An Award Par Excellence in Children Welfare. Kiddies Loveworld, Abuja, Nigeria 27-05-2005
Merit Award Polytechnic Female Staff Association, Oko, Nigeria. 25-05-2005
Honorary Doctor of Sciences Degree (DS Honoris Causa). Federal University of Technology (FUTO), Owerri, Nigeria. 14-05-2005
Women Recognition Award Pan Ndi-Igbo Foundation, USA, Inc. 07-05-2005
"Quintessence Award 2004" New Jersey General Assembly, U.S.A. 23-04-2005
Agribusiness Award 2005 European Marketing Research Centre (EMRC) International Association, Belgium. 21-04-2005
Award of Excellence Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria (CYON), Uyo Diocese. 09-04-2005
Excellence in Public Service Administration Award Business Reports International Merit Award (BRIMA). 02-04-2005
Award of Excellence (Public Service Role Model of the year 2003 in Nigeria) Truth Talk Foundation, Asaba, Delta State, Nigeria April 2005
Integrity Legacy Award Transparency & Integrity Foundation, Kaduna, Nigeria 23-03-2005
Executive Performance Award Centre for Presidential Studies Igbinedion University, Okada 17-03-2005
Award of Excellence Newcare Home Health Services, Inc., U.S.A. 26-02-2005
Award For Excellence International Inner Wheel, Aba, Nigeria. 18-02-2005
Amazon Mother of the Year Award. Africa Women's Voice (AWV) 17-02-2005
National Prestigious Honourary Award. WRITA Jan. 2005
Outstanding Fellows 2004 Award Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) 2004
Nation Builders Award Counseling Agency & Galaxy Television, Lagos, Nigeria Dec. 2004
Merit Award (in Recognition of her role and contribution to National Development in the Health Sector of Nigeria) Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria Dec. 2004
Appreciation Award Champion Newspapers Limited 15-12-2004
Gafem Awards 2004 for Best Grassroots Personality Sicoplus Media 12-12-2004
Achievers Merit Award Nigeria Youth Organisation (NYO), Abuja, Nigeria. 11-12-2004
Merit Award for Health Leadership. Nigeria Federation of Catholic Students (NFCS) 10-12-2004
Excellence Award in Humanity Service & Nation Building. Association of Former Local Government Chairmen and Councilors in Nigeria, (AFLOG), Abuja, Nigeria 07-12-2004
Distinguished Eminent Lioness Award. University of Nigeria Alumni Association, Lagos, Nigeria 02-12-2004
Most Outstanding Public Servant in Nigeria. Xclusive Magazine, Nigeria Nov. 2004
Merit Award Association of Master Bakers & Caterers of Nigeria (Lagos State Chapter). 26-11-2004
Award of Excellence Catholic Women Organisation (C.K.C Parish, Kubwa), Abuja. Nov. 2004
Merit Award Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Abuja Branch. Nov. 2004
Merit Award ECWA Student Ministry Association Forum (ESMAF), Abuja 2004. Oct. 2004
Merit Award for Excellence in Service. Students' Union Government, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus Oct. 2004
2004 Prestigious Woman of Distinction Award. African Woman International Merit Award (AHUDA Awards 2004), Abuja, Nigeria Oct. 2004
Award in Recognition of Excellence. Eze Ndi Igbo, Lagos State. 30-10-2004
The African Virtuous Leadership Gold Award. African Gold International Communication. 30-10-2004
Merit Award Fellow of the Institute of Management & Technology (FIMT), Enugu. 30-10-2004
Merit Award Institute of Directors (IOD), Lagos, Nigeria 27-10-2004
Honours Award Association of Advertising Practitioners of Nigeria (AAPN). 29-09-2003
Most Outstanding Female Administrator National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) 25-09-2003
Hope for Humanity Award Rotary Club of Tin Can Island, R-1, District 9110 Nigeria 20-09-2003
Annual Merit Award 2003 Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Ebonyi State Branch. 18-09-2003
NIPR Merit Award for Distinguished National Service. Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Anambra State Chapter. 10th Anniversary, 2003. 13-09-2003
An Award of Professional Excellence Inner Wheel Club of Garki FCT District 913 International 13-09-2003
The Mirror of Tourism in Nigeria The Youth Tourism and Hospitality Club (YOUTAHC) University of Jos 26-08-2003
Award of Excellence in Administration Graduate Student Association of Ibadan (GSAN) University of Ibadan Chapter. 23-08-2003
Ambassador of Peace Award Inter-religious & International Federation for World Peace, Nigerian Chapter 21-08-2003
Patriot of Honour Award International Centre For Development Policy 21-08-2003
Patroness Award College of Medicine Students' Association (COMSA), University of Lagos. 13-08-2003
Alps Merit Award Association of Lady Pharmacist (National) 12-08-2003
Award of Excellence Royal Avan Foundation 05-08-2003
Vocational Gold Service Award Rotary Club of New Haven, Rotary Int'l District 9140, Nigeria 26-07-2003
Distinguished Catholic Professionals Award Young Catholic Professionals Church of Assumption, Falomo, Lagos. 26-07-2003
Paul Harris Fellow Award Rotary International District 9110 Nigeria 25-07-2003
Award of Excellence Female Ministers Forum (F.M.F) International. 11-07-2003
Humanitarian Service Award Rotaract club of the University of Nigeria Enugu Campus 28-06-2003
Honorary Award The Dokita Editorial Board, University College Hospital Ibadan. 24-06-2003
Award for Service to Society St. Paul's Cathedral Nsukka 12-06-2003
Best FCT Woman of the Year 2002 Ministry of Federal Capital Territory, Health Services Development. 27-05-2003
TI International Integrity Award Transparency International
Berlin- Germany 25-05-2003
Nigeria Mothers Merit Award Mama Fiesta 2003 (Nigeria Mothers Festival). 11-05-2003
National Service Award 17th All Nigerian Multi-District Conference. (Rotaract District 9110, 9120,9130 & 9140 Nigeria, Owerri) 10-05-2003
Award of Excellence Citizen Image 06-05-2003
International EMRC Euro Market Award European Market Research Centre (EMRC), Brussels, Belgium. 29-04-2003
NUJ Merit Award Nigeria Union of Journalists, Plateau Council. 10-04-2003
Fellowship Award IAEA A-1400 Vienna- Austria 10-04-2003
Award of Excellence Coalition for Women in Democracy in Nigeria. 08-04-2003
Honorary Award National Association of Medical Laboratory Sciences Student (NAMLSS), Sheraton, Abuja. 31-03-2003
Jochebed Award for Motherhood House on the Rock 30-03-2003
Woman of the Year 2002 The American Biographical Institute Board of International Research (ABI) 27-03-2003
Best Democrats Award Movement for the survival of Democracy in Nigeria (MOSDIN), Abuja. 25-03-2003
Business Times Person of the Year Award (2002). Daily Times of Nigeria, Plc. 24-03-2003
Eko Fm Listeners' Person of the year (2002). Radio house, Lateef Jakande road, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos. 18-03-2003
Honorary Award Association of General and private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria 16-03-2003
Rare Gems 2003 Award Women's Optimum Development Foundation (WODEF) & United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). 08-03-2003
Icon of Good Leadership National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS). 01-03-2003
Unity Bar Merit Award Unity Bar, Nigeria March-2003
Distinguished Service Award UNILAG Alumni Association, Cross River State Branch 21-02-2003
Award of Excellence Federal Medical Centre Centenary Anniversary. Owerri 08-02-2003
Total Quality Leadership Award African Institute for Democracy & Good Governance. (AIDEGOG) 23-01-2003
Recognition Award Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria. (PMG-MAN) 2002
Gender Award 2002 Gender Research Women Emancipation and Empowerment Development. 2002
Award for Professional Excellence National Women Peace Group (NAWOPEG), Anambra State Chapter. 2002
Beauty Merit Award Operal Benson Beauty Training Institute. Dec. 2002
Award of Excellence Agulu Transition Committee (A.T.C.), Agulu, Anaocha L.G.A., Anambra State. 27-12-2002
Award of Excellence Parish Priest, President and Members of C.W.O. Madonna Parish, Agulu, Anaocha L.G.A., Anambra State. 26-12-2002
NDLEA Annual Merit Award for Excellence National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Lagos, Nigeria. 19-12-2002
Merit Award Nigerian Bar Association Abuja Branch 19-12-2002
Distinguished Administrators' Award for Administrative Excellence. Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State Council. 18-12-2002
Merit Award NTA-2 Victoria Island Lagos. 14-12-2002
Honourary Fellowship Award Federal Polytechnic Offa, Kwara State 14-12-2002
Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) Chief Olusegun Obasanjo President, Commander in Chief of Armed forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria. 13-12-2002
Excellence in Public Service Administration. Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), Anambra State Chapter, Akwa. 13-12-2002
National Service Merit Award Obafemi Awolowo University Alumni Association (Abuja Branch). 12-12-2002
Crime Fighters' Excellence Award Crime Fighters 12-12-2002
Life Fellow of the Institute- FIJM Institute of Journalism & Management, Enugu 12-12-2002
Award of Excellence The Standing Committee of Medical Education & Health. Medical Student Association ABUTH, Tudunwada – Kaduna. 07-12-2002
Female Achiever for the year 2002 City people
3B Allen Lane, Hospital Bus/stop, Off Allen Avenue, Ikeja. 02-12-2002
Award of Excellence Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Ogun State Chapter. 29-11-2002
African Woman Corporate Giant Award African Woman International Communication Ltd. 28-11-2002
African Youth Achievers Award 2002 Planning Committee, African Youth Achiever Award 2002 25-11-2002
Chieftaincy Title Igbo Speaking Community 23-11-2002
Award of Excellence Nanka Patriotic Union, Lagos Branch. 16-11-2002
Honourary Merit Award Association of Resident Doctors Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital, Abuja. 13-11-2002
Amazon Award Mixed Media Communication Ltd. 07-11-2002
Model Presentation Association of Anambra State Development union. 01-11-2002
2002 Vocational Merit Award Rotary 2002/2003 International District 9140, Rotary Club of Ogbor Hill, Aba. 31-10-2002
Leadership Award Leadership Watch 26-10-2002
Merit Award National Universities Association of Management Students, University of Calabar. 18-10-2002
Juli Award Annual Lecture and Distinguished Pharmacy Award Ceremony by Juli Plc. 10-10-2002
Indomitable Spirit Award People Democratic Party,Wuse - Abuja. 07-10-2002
Vocational Service Award. Rotary Club of Asokoro, District 9130 – Nigeria. 05-10- 2002
Icon of Hope Chief Olusegun Obasanjo President, Commander in Chief of Armed forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria 1-10-2002
African Woman International Merit Award (AWIMA) African Woman International Magazine. 0ct. 2002
Grand Defender of Faith Merit Award Anglican Diocese of Maiduguri. 29-09-2002
Award of Honor The Guild of Medical Directors, GMD (Abuja Chapter) 28-09-2002
Honorary Award National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) 26-09-2002
Social Service Award of Excellence Women Development Project Centre 26-09-2002
One of the Top 20 Chief Executives in Corporate Nigeria. Vanguard Media 17-09-2002
Merit Award Nigerian Medical Association, Anambra State Branch. 11-09-2002
"Professional Woman of Distinction" Merit Award. Center for Criminal Justice Reform & Citizen Awareness.
11-09-2002"
Prestigious Africa International Award of merit 2002 West Africa International Magazine with collaboration with African Refugees Foundation and Liberian Embassy Nigeria. 05-09-2002
National Media Award Nigeria Union of Journalists. Garki, Abuja. Sept. 2002
Excellence Award MD/CEO, Jodal Creations Sept. 2002
Merit Award Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), Abuja Branch. 29-08-2002
Contemporary who's who 2002/2003 Award Intl. Who's Who of professional & Business Women Nigeria 05-08-2002
Honourary Award Food & Drug Administration and Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, USA 22-07-2002
"Contemporary Age Honors" Contemporary Age Magazine 20-07-2002
Woman of the Year International Foundation for Excellence (IFEX), Lagos. 30-06-2002
Distinguished Executive award Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) 28-06-2002
Vocational Service Award Rotary Club of Enugu-Capitol 13-06-2002
Woman in Service Award Medical Women Association of Nigeria Enugu State. 25-05-2002
Award of Excellence NUJ (Abuja State Council) 22-05-2002
Prime International Corporate Women in Leadership Merit Award. Prime International Communications Ltd. 11-05-2002
Merit Award People State and Resources (PSR) 11-05-2002
Woman Achiever NCWS Anambra State 07-05-2002
Excellent Performance Award NUJ (Anambra State Council) 26-04-2002
Award of Excellence The President, PANS, Obafemi Awolowo University Branch, Ile-Ife. 19-03-2002
Special merit Award National Association of Igbo youths 22-02-2002
Award of Excellence as a Milestone Centenary Anniversary Committee, Federal Medical Centre, Owerri Imo State 08-02-2002
IBC's 21st Century Award for Achievement International Biographical Centre Cambridge CB2 3QP England. 23-01-2002
Woman of the Year 2002 The American Biographical Institute Board of International Research 23-01-2002
Certificate of Excellence Igbo Youths Association. Enugu. 26-12-2001
Award of Excellence College of the Immaculate Conception (C.I.C.), Old Boys Association, Enugu. 08-12-2001
Distinguished Alumnus Award The University of Nigeria Alumni Association, Nsukka. 07-12-2001
United Nations Youth Merit Award Certificate. All Nigeria United Nations Students and Youth Association, Abia State University Chapter. 07-11-2001
Honours Award Anambra State Development Foundation. 03-10-2001
The Woman of Merit Gold Award People State and Resources (PSR) Magazine, Nigeria 04-07-2001
Merit Award Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Enugu Branch Nov. 1998
International Pharmaceutical Federation Award International Pharmaceutical Federation, Hague Sept. 1998
Pfizer Travel Fellowship Award For the 54th International Pharmaceutical Federation Conference, Portugal Sept. 1994
U.S.A. Congress Award Family Health International (10th International Congress on AIDS) August 1994
Pharmacological Society of Canada's Congress Award 12th International Congress of Pharmacology, Montreal, Canada July 1994
Fellowship Award Common Wealth Post Doctoral Fellowship. 1988/89
Vice Chancellor's Postgraduate and Research Leadership Prize 19984/85 and 1985/86 academic Sessions- Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences 1985
Kingsway Prize for the Best Pharmacy Student 1st Year Professional 1975
Undergraduate Scholarship Federal Government of Nigeria 1974
Post Primary Scholarship Eastern Nigeria Government 1967
Most Exemplary Women Leader Award. Women in Support for Development (WOSUD). 14-10-2004
Merit Award Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology, (NIFST). 12-10-2004
EarthWATCH Award for Unique Woman of the Year. EarthWATCH Awards 2004 30-09-2004
Visionary Award First VISIONigeria 01-10-2004
Award of Relevance Guidance and Counselling Section of the Faculty of Education, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria Oct. 2004
Human Restoration Award WOTCLEF, Rivers State, Nigeria Sept. 2004
Excellence in Administration Award. National Union of Chemical Footwear, Rubber leather and Non-Metallic Products Employees (NUCFRLANMPE), Lagos, Nigeria 29-09-2004
Friends Of Jesus (FOJ) Award Serenity International, Abuja, Nigeria 25-09-2004
Award of Excellence Catholic Nurses Guild of Nigeria (CNGN). 21-09-2004
Certificate of Merit for Dedication, Objective & Transparent BUKAR NL ARAKU 09-09-2004
Encomium Award for Political Leadership ENCOMIUM Magazine, Nigeria Sept.2004
Merit Award for Outstanding Personality Lecture Series Students' Historical Society of Nigeria, University of Ibadan Chapter 08-09-2004
National Integrity Award Pharmaceutical Association of Nigerian Students (PANS) 31-08-2004
Merit Award National Institute for Policy & Strategic Studies, Kuru, Nigeria. 23-08-2004
Merit Award Apostle Paul Gospel Crusade: (Rebirth of a National Conference, 2004). Aug. 2004
Heroes Award in Recognition of Her Selfless and Immense Contributions to the health and the quality of lives of Nigerians. Academic
Staff Union of Universities, Lagos State University Branch, Lagos, Nigeria 24-08-2004
Sponsorship Award Area 2 Children's Park, Abuja 07-08-2004
Merit Award for Administrative Excellence and Promotion of High Ethical Standard in Business and Profession. Rotaract Club District 9120, Nigeria 07-08-2004
Distinguished Service Award Nigerian Association of Hosp. and Admin. Pharmacists 13-08-2004
Brand Personality of the Year (Female) Award. The Pacesetters, Department of Mass Communication, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic Abeokuta. 07-08-2004
Merit Award as "Motivator of Nigerian Youths" National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) 06-08-2004
Role Model of a distinguished Nigeria Woman Award Association of Nigeria Women in the Gambia (ANWIGAM) 06-08-2004
Dorcasian Award Women of Destiny of Jesus Christ of Nazareth Crusader Church Int. Inc. A.K.A. Jesus Battle Axe. 01-08-2004
Combating Fake Drugs Award 2004. Newsgate Communications Limited 31-07-2004
Outstanding Achiever's Award Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA) 23-07-2004
The best Public Personality of the Year (Female) Encomiums Magazine, Nigeria 09-07-2004
Merit Award for Excellence in Health Administration Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Enugu, Nigeria 18-06-2004
2004 Special Award for Combating Economic Crime International Chamber of Commerce – Commercial Crime Services (ICC-CCS), London 16-06-2004
Vice-Chancellor's Distinguished Service Award. University of Nigeria, Nsukka June 2004
Transparency Award The Campaign for positive change in Africa (CPC). June 2004
Certificate of Recognition Institute of Industrialists & Corporate Administrators. 10-06-04
Excellence in Christ in Governance Award Ecumenical Apostolic Church Diocese, USA. (Received in Abuja) 05-06-2004
International Award CWA International May 2004
2004 Encouragement Award Women Support Group (WSG), Abuja, Nigeria 26-05-2004
African Peace Award The Aguata – Orumba Women Association, Southern California, USA. 22-05-2004
African Civic Responsibility Award 2004-2005. The African Times – USA. 21-05-2004
Award of Excellence Lagos Archdiocesan Council Catholic Women Organisation (LACCWO) 13-05-2004
Award of Excellence Lagos Archdiocesan Council Catholic Women Organisation (LACCWO). 13-05-2004
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Africa Leadership Awards - 2004 Intra-West Africa Communications Ltd. (Publishers of West Africa International Magazine), Ghana. 30-04-2004
Merit Award for outstanding contribution to the Accountancy Profession. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria. 2004
Citadel of Excellence Y.W.C.A. 2004
Award for Excellence Rotary Club of Ikoyi, District 9110, Nigeria. 26-04-2004
Special Award National Confraternity of Catholic Christian Mothers of Nigeria, Lagos, Nigeria 24-04-2004
Distinguished Leadership Merit Award. Zone 7 Police Community Relations Committee, Abuja, Nigeria 06-04-2004
The Exemplary Nigerian Award for Transparency & Incorruptibility. New Direction Initiative 01-04-2004
Award of Excellence The Student Union Government House of Parliament, University of Jos, Nigeria 01-04-2004
1st Best Consumer Sensitive Government Agency. Consumer Advocacy Forum of Nigeria (CAFON). 30-03-2004
Award of Excellence Excellent Women Int'l Ministries (EXWIM). 25-03-2004
Recognition Award African Society for Toxicological Sciences (ASTS), Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. 23-03-2004
Nady National Award 2004 National Association of Democratic Youths, Kaduna, Nigeria 20-03-2004
Award of Excellence, (Outstanding Public Administrator (OPA) of the Year2004) National Universities Association of Management and
Business Students (NUAMBS) – UniJos Branch, Jos, Nigeria 12-03-2004
Merit Award, University of Calabar (UNICAL), Calabar, Nigeria 04-03-2004
Excellence in Public Administration, Accountability & Integrity Award Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), Nigeria. 26-02-2004
Gold Medal Merit Award for Excellence and Peace Performance. International College of Chaplains, Imo State, Nigeria 24-02-2004
Award of Honour St. Dominic's Catholic Church, Yaba, Lagos. 21-02-2004
Consumer Excellence Awards 2003 All Nigerian Consumer Movements' Union (ANCOMU), Lagos, Nigeria 10-02-2004
Merit Award Association of Resident Doctors, University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), Jos, Nigeria 07-02-2004
Honourary Award National Union of Anambra State Students (NUASS), University of Ibadan Chapter, Ibadan, Nigeria 31-01-2004
Excellence Award in Leadership and Service. Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria 27-12-2003
Great African Merit Award (GAMA 2003) Complete Success Magazine 20-12-2003
Excellent Service Award Nigeria Union of Journalists, OSBC Chapel. 18-12-2003
FCS (Fellow Council of Scholars) Award Oputa Chambers of Justice, Faculty of Law, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria 13-12-2003
UNMSA Executive Excellence Award. University of Nigeria Medical Student Association, Nsukka, Nigeria 08-12-2003
Excellence Award Ndigbo, Lagos, Nigeria 03-12-2003
Appreciation Award Asc Esien E. Esiet 2003
Award of Excellence National Council of Women's Societies Nigeria, Lagos Branch 2003
The Humanitarian Award 2003 Handicapped Affairs Association of Nigeria. 2003
Honours Award College of Medicine, University of Benin, Nigeria. 2003
Award of Excellence Nnamdi Azikiwe University Medical Students Association (NAUMSA), Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria Nov. 2003
Merit Award of Excellence University of Nigeria Alumni Association, Ogun State Branch, Ogun State, Nigeria Nov. 2003
Honours Award National Institute, Nigeria. Nov. 2003
Humanitarian Award Nigeria Red Cross Society, Island Division, Lagos, Nigeria 29-11-2003
Awards for Excellence (XMA) 2003. Xclusive Magazine, Nigeria 29-11-2003
Fellowship Award Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Nigeria 29-11-2003
Prestigious International Award for Covenant Integrity. International Covenant Ministers of Integrity. 29-11-2003
The Nigerian Health Achiever of the Year. Nigerian Achievers Awards 2003, Abuja. 28-11-2003
Africa Merit Award Chi-Chi of Africa Org (NGO), Lagos, Nigeria 22-11-2003
American Association of Nigerian Pharmacists Award. American Association of Nigerian Pharmacists, USA. 19-11-2003
Merit Award Howard University Washington DC, USA,19-11-2003
Merit Award of Excellence Morabo Day Nursery and Primary School, Lagos, Nigeria 04-11-2003
2003 Rimson Risk Management Award. Risk & Insurance Management Society of Nigeria (RIMSON). 31-10-2003
Honours Award Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (2003 Annual Conference). 29-10-2003
Award for Excellence Queen of the Rosary Secondary School, Nsukka. (Old Girls Association). 26-10-2003
Role Model Award Chemical Society of Nigeria, (CSN) 18-10-2003
Christian Integrity Award 2003 The Gospel Music & Arts Festival (GMAF), Surulere, Lagos 05-10-2003

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