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10022018 - 2019 : How we'll stop Buhari - Opposition parties

Vanguard Newspaper 10 january 2018

36—SATURDAY Vanguard,

36—SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 10, 2018 Presidential Executive Order: Nigerian content is good if… Before her party got voted out of power via the most sophisticated polls we have ever had, erstwhile Petroleum Minister Diezani Allison Madueke actually did some good. She was an active champion of the Nigerian Content Act, which stipulates that every company executing a project in a community must establish a project office in that community with an attendant retention of created Nigerian Content value in Nigeria; which in turn is expected to stimulate the growth of the local communities including associated derivatives from Oil and Gas production. The Act, signed into law in 2010, also stipulates that every multinational oil company operating in Nigeria must domicile 10% of its annual profit in Nigerian banks. In addition to this, the Act provides for all aspects of insurance in the oil and gas industry to be handled by Nigerian insurance companies unless where in the opinion of the Nigerian Insurance Commission, the capacity of the Nigerian company has been exhausted. It provides that the award of contracts shall not be solely based on the principle of the lowest bidder where a Nigerian indigenous company has the capability to execute such a job. Nigerian Indigenous companies with bidded costs not exceeding 10% markup of the lowest bidder shall be awarded the contract. Operators and project promoters shall consider Nigerian content when evaluating any bid where the bids are within 1% of each other at commercial stage and the bid containing the highest level of Nigerian content shall be selected provided the Nigerian content in the selected bid is at least 5% higher than its closest competitor. Allison-Madueke, in promoting Nigerian Content whose overriding principle was to grow indigenous capacity in an aggressive manner, has been placed on the path of irreversible progress with increased indigenous investment in critical infrastructure. In a 2014 Media parley, she reported that the country has seen robust indigenous investment in Marine vessels of various categories, while wholly owned Nigerian vessels have increased astronomically through the years. According to her, investment in the sector has created over 40, 000 jobs across the hydrocarbon value chain while we have witnessed increased local investments in asset, in land, swamp and offshore rigs which are vital performance indicators in business growth in Nigerian service companies with Nigerian companies forging partnerships for deep water rig ownership and evolving strategies that will increase rig ownership among local players. There have been many a slip between lip and cup, where the Oil industry Nigerian Content Act is concerned, and while we still struggle to close the gap between the theory and the practice, President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in Abuja signed an Executive Order to enhance local content in public procurement. The order which consists of science, engineering and technology components, is expected to promote the application of science, technology and innovation towards achieving the nation’s development goals across all sectors of the economy. Pursuant to the authority vested in him by the Constitution, Mr President ordered that all “procuring authorities shall give preference to Nigerian companies and firms in the award of contracts, in line with the Public Procurement Act 2007”. The “Presidential Executive Order Five for Planning and Execution of Projects, Promotion of Nigerian Content in Contracts and Science, Engineering and Technology” also directs that ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) engage indigenous professionals in the planning, design and execution of national security projects; saying “Consideration shall only be given to a foreign professional, where it is certified by the appropriate authority that such expertise is not available in Nigeria.” Not only is this Executive Order consistent with the Buhari administration’s ease-of-doingbusiness policy, it also enjoys the good fortune of the opportunity to learn from the modest gains and not-so-modest challenges following the Nigerian Content law of the Oil and Gas industry, which by the way is guided by a governing agency. It also enjoys timeliness and favourable context, if we all agree that what we require is a quantum leap in order to be at par with advancements made by our peers in other parts of the world. In a post that has been widely circulated digitally, former presidential aspirant Professor Pat Utomi hit the nail on the head, raising questions on the readiness of Nigeria to produce the jobs of the future, which will be technology based. Reasoning futuristically, he called urgent attention to our neglect of our educational sector, and its ability to train young people the technological skills without which life in an few decades’ time will be impossible. In as much as it focuses on innovation and technology, the president’s latest Executive Order has the potential to create the impetus for this quantum leap. Minor inconsistencies in policy exist, as expected, even within this administration. The ease –of-doing-business visa to foreign businessmen policy is somewhat at variance with the President’s in this executive order, but nothing that cannot be ironed out. Potential red flags are the same red flags plaguing enforcement of Nigerian Content provisions in the Oil and Gas industry- High Corruption helped along by watery regulation. For this impetus to be created and gains sustained in the Oil and Gas variant, new, non-governmental, non-profit independent regulatory bodies must be constituted to check and balance adherence and ‘punish’ or deter noncompliance. This is where extreme attention to detail must come in if that Executive Order is not to deteriorate into an Executive Joke. Ambode and Participatory Governance Continues from page 16 outcomes, monitor each step in the implementation process, review, correct or reinforce measures, disseminate efforts (especially in mass and social media) and document best practices, so that legacies achieved will be enduringand sustainable. All these best practices are features that are inclusive in governance - they are essential parts of Ambodeism. The concept of participatory governance permeates all developmental thrusts of Ambode’s Administration: health, security, roads and transportation, energy and power, education, housing, infrastructure, agriculture, employment generation, etc. Let’s take education for instance, you cannot run an all-inclusive government if the majority of your population is unlettered and ignorant on important issues. To prepare our future leaders for quality and universal participation in politics, he has achieved dramatic improvement in the education sector by employing no fewer than 1,300 qualified teachers for the Primary schools and by spending over N1billion to renovate and upgrade infrastructure in secondary schools. Asa listening Governor, in order to address the protracted problem of Lagos State University (LASU), the Governor came up with an Executive bill which gave 5- year single tenure to the Vice Chancellor, increased the retiring age of professors to 70 and made the University a residential one.Now there is peace in LASU and the institution is gradually reclaiming its lost glory. To further strengthen the communication gap between His Administration and the people, improve the understanding of problems behind issues, explain challenges and solutions and rally the required support around his policies, programmes and activities for highly rewarding outcomes, Ambode has evolved a strategy of constant consultations and engagements of people in different fora of specific and general nature. It is a highly demanding venture, but a worthwhile one nonetheless, bringing immense benefits to the State. To proliferate gains of programmes and projects, Ambode continuously carries out massive awareness promotion of beneficial information and messages, especially on health and socio-economic services. Ambode’s Administration has developed a cogent partnership with the media. Here again, the prominence of government policies is unrivalled. The Governor is the most trusted,the most famous and the most liked by the press and the public among all governors in Nigeria. This is evident in the responses and feedback process from such platforms as Inter-Faith parley and Town hall meetings, among others, held periodically with the people. Much in tune with the people yearning for more roads and other public conveniences,Ambode is gradually addressing these needs including general infrastructural growth and renewal. The Governor deservedly continues to receive accolades. He has constructed many new roads and flyovers, including those in Ipaja, Mosan- Okunola, Oshodi-Isolo, Ikotun-Ejigbo and Somolu and directed that 2 new roads be built in each of the 20 Local Government areas and 37 Local Council Development Authorities. H e undertook massive rehabilitation, modernization and expansion of Federal roads and more than 500 roads have been rehabilitated,while about 190 have been earmarked for the next phase. To meet the modernization quest of Lagosians, His Excellency is implementing ambitious and game-changing projects at strategic locations, across the State; at Oshodi, Yaba and Surulere axis, Badagry-Seme corridor, Epe-Lekki- Ikoyi axis etc; i n t e g r a t e d infrastructural amenities, such as multi-lane express ways, state-of the art fly-overs and bridges, railway, hotels, recreational centres and parks, stadium and ICT centres are converged in each of these single locations. Definitely a bright and beautiful future awaits Lagosians as they prepare to inherit their new and Greater Lagos. Changes are occurring at a rapid and unprecedented rate, because the people have bought into Governor Ambode’s vision and have consequentially become part of the driving force. They are ready to make the necessary sacrifices and hopeful that greater destiny awaits Lagos State. Ambode is aligning democracy with Abraham Lincoln’s definition of its ideal form: “government of the people, by the people and for the people,” and Lagos shall not diminish but will continue to grow in peace, progress and prosperity. •GOV AMBODE

SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 10, , 2018—37 Your partner’s affair needs not endanger your marriage! he went to the bathroom, I accessed his messages. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read a couple of J messages from Ropo with one UST at what stage do you start getting cynical about love? ending with love you’, see A few weeks ago, Jade, an old friend became irritated you soon! When I confronted because her daughter’s boyfriend of 18 months didn’t want to Greg, he said what they had face the reality of the death of the romance. “He keeps on was platonic friendship, that hanging around the house like a love-sick puppy,” she he didn’t always tell me when complained. “I’ve asked my daughter how she feels about him they met in case I got the and she assured me she was wrong idea. That all Ropo was no longer interested in the relationship. As a matter of fact, she’d moved on to greener pasture. But would he listen? He said he’s in love. In love my foot! He’s just miffed because he’s the one who was dumped!” A couple of our friends present were a bit irritated by her outburst. I scolded her not to be that dismissive of relationships. We might be less starry eyed about love, but we owed it to to younger ones to make them realise love could conquer all in the end. Her eyes narrowed: “It hasn’t conquered much for you over the years, has it?” she asked nastily. Ouch! She then went off on one of her lecturing jag: “Have you taken notice of how much sleeping around goes on these days?” she asked. “lt’s even more rampant amongst married couples—all pretending to be family friends! As a result, when your husband has an affair with someone close, you don’t even have to agonise over what the other woman looks like because you already know. The betrayal is a double bow— two of the people you are closest to going behind your back and shattering your life.” “Charlotte, who was really just an acquittance, hadn’t said much, but she was suddenly interested in what Jade had to say. “My husband’s mistress used to be a member of a close group we belonged to at our social club,”she said sadly. We promptly perked up our ears. “Greg, my husband, and Akin, the other woman’s husband, were teaching each other how to play golf when Ropo, Akin’s wife, said she too was interested. There were some second-hand golf clubs advertised for sale on the club’s notice board and she promptly bought a set. That was how the four of us often met at the club, becoming such good friends that we saw each other most weekends. “Ropo was bubbly and flirtatious. She and Greg often exchanged banters with each other, but I didn’t think much of it. Early this year,Greg told me he’d bumped into Kopo at the club without her husband and I instantly had this gut feeling that something wasn’t right. So, I watched Greg’s mobile like a hawk and when All you want to do now is start repairing your marriage. This might be learning new ways to relate to each other or putting intensity back into your love life interested in was perfecting her golf moves. He obviously thought I was an idiot with a child’s imagination. Months later, I sort of suspected Akin too guessed what was going on—he just chose to turn a blind eye, hoping it would blow over. It’s amazing what some spineless men would condone in the name of peace. The final straw was when a female member of the club told me she knew where their love nest was. Apparently, Ropo is a sort of barracuda, who had snapped up a few gullible husbands and my informant’s husband was one of them. I staked out the place for days until I saw Greg’s car in the park. I stormed into the bungalow in spite of the night guard’s protest, knowing both of them would be there. I found her cowering in the toilet with Greg begging that we needed to talk. I simply walked out of their illicit nest. “The saddest bit is that I don’t trust Greg anymore,” “He certainly hasn’t given you enough reason to trust him, has he?” I asked her. “And the affair has nothing to do with you but if your marriage is to survive, you both need to look at your role within the problems you now have. “He has assumed full responsibility for the affair but you need to stop seeing yourself as the victim and move past the hurt. If a partner cheats, the woman’s instinct is to wonder what she did wrong—was she too fat, too thin, not smart enough? In some ways, what you’re mourning is the relationship you once had, and having difficulty coming to terms with the fact that it may never be the same again.” “I can’t stop going to the club because of her,” fumed Charlotte, “in spite of the fact that Greg assured me it is all over, he can’t really stop talking to Akin and Ropo. You said a woman has to come to terms with her husband’s infidelity, But, what about Akin? He too is a victim and a lot of members laugh behind his back for getting stuck with a nympho. Why hasn’t he given her the heave-ho, after all these years of humiliation? The other day, the same female member who hinted us of the affair, pointed to Ropo’s last child and asked me to look closely at him, then look at the current chairman. The resemblance was startling. Yet, the Mugu of a husband still fetches and cares for her. Why? “Well never know,” I soothed. “All you want to do now is start repairing your marriage. This might be learning new ways to relate to each other or putting intensity back into your love life. Learn to talk more rather than look for external solutions.” “And that would be it?” Charotte sneered. “Not really. Some couples find an affair turns out to be a sort of blessings—they come out of it with a closer, stronger marriage than they imagined. For them, the affair is a wake-up call and a chance to begin a new and better relationship. But, if your spouse is a philanderer, there’s not much you can do—even if you talk till kingdom come. There’ll always be that last fling he must have before he gives up!” Good stress is short-term, mild, stimulating... Experts are claiming that stress can be good for you. Research has apparently found that nerve-racking situations such as making a speech or dashing to the airport, will help you stay healthy and live longer. Stress, blamed for everything from depression to cancer is the biggest cause of long-term sickness, prompting warnings that it has become the ‘new back pain’ for office truants. But researchers say mild-to-moderate stress increases the production of proteins that help repair body cells, including those in the brain, and enables them to work at peak capacity. Exercising this self repair mechanism can therefore help people look and feel younger. They say the right kind of stress can even boost our natural defences to illness such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s and arthritis. Dr. Marios Myriazis, medical director of British Longetivity Society, said that when we are exposed to mild stress, the cells start to break down and so a repair mechanism kicks off. This strengthens the cells and removes harmful chemicals but as it is more than is needed to repair damage, it leaves the cells stronger than they were before. “The best way to keep the process working efficiently is to ‘exercise’ it in the same way you would exercise muscles to keep them strong,” he said. “This means you have to seek out stress in order for the body to keep responding to it. He told the second Anti-Aging Conference in London recently that he prescribes mild doses for frantic activity to patients such as redecorating the front room in a weekend or packing in a hurry to reach the airport in time. He also suggests people shop for a dinner party in their lunch hour and learn to set the video using the manual. He even recommends periods of food or sleep deprivation. Good stress is short-term, mild, stimulating and gives a sense of achievement once it is over. He warned, however, that prolonged exposure to stress, such as long-term care for a sick relative, is unhealthy. Being stuck in a traffic jam is also bad as the person is powerless to change the situation. The conference also heard from a Danish researcher who found that subjecting skin cells to mild stress can beat the signs of aging. Professor Suresh Rattan, of Aarhus University, discovered that when skin cells in a test tube were exposed to 105 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature reached during a fever—they kept their shape better and were less affected by ultraviolet light. C M Y K