Monthly Archives: August 2009

BANKS DILEMMA- WHO’S TO BLAME?

After the consolidation of banks in Nigeria, CBN the apex bank from late last year to early this year deceived Nigerians that the banks were so healthy and safe thereby leading investors and depositors astray, I think it is not just enough to sack these Managing directors and executive directors or even publish the names of Debtors, it should tell us what went wrong and why the facts were hidden before now.

But who is to blame for the situation in the banks- the MD’s, the Directors, the contractors, the Federal Government or the apex bank that started it all. Most people say CBN cannot be exonerated in this issue, because the apex bank is an institution and not just an individual. Others say the federal government also has a case to answer here as most of the debtors are contractors and business men who have worked with the federal government and have not been paid even years after the contract has been completed, if the government had provided necessary infrastructure like electricity and good roads the overhead cost of these would have been lowered and so leave a better bottom line to pay back regularly, among others.

From the list published by the apex banks, Intercontinental bank is owed the sum of N210.90 Billion, Afribank is owed N141.86 Billion, Oceanic Bank is owed N278.21 Billion, Union Bank is owed N73.58 Billion, Finbank N42.45 Billion which sums it to N747 billion. Well it would be very correct to say that most companies in Nigeria spend so much money generating their own power and this would account for the overhead cost. Record  shows that as far back 2007, the executive secretary of Manufacturing Association of Nigeria, Ikeja branch said a small pharmaceutical company in Ikeja spends N5.0 million on Diesel every week while it spends N20 million every month, and N240 million yearly on diesel, with this the company would increase the price of their product in other to make profit. Daystar Christian centre spends over N50 million annually on diesel. Continue reading

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TO BED OR NOT TO BED?

Does the helm of the female employee skirt determine how quickly she would achieve performance targets and subsequently her ascent up the corporate ladder? This debate is somewhat a cliché in the banter of the corporate world and to some might be undeserving of column inches.

Surviving in the corporate world is serious business for those who are committed to growing in their career. The do or die syndrome is not relegated to the banking industry. The suggestion that only female employees are compelled to use “bottom power” to achieve their performance targets is myopic because the complaints appear to be common across gender, guys now meet their targets by working overtime at odd hours at odd places, and well you know what I mean. The economic climate makes it extremely difficult to proffer solution in absolute terms since one is not unaware of how difficult it is to get jobs, or naive to pretend to be unaware of the hardships facing a lot of Nigerians, often times forcing them to desperate acts.

A friend of mine told me about a young lady who just left school and got employed in one of the new generation banks in Nigeria…(name withheld) she was there for only 6 months and rose to level of assistant manager of a branch in Abuja (wow) how on earth did she grow this fast, she had no experience before that job, she was too fresh in Abuja, so she used all she had to her advantage, trust she got all you can think of, and hey her phone could no longer take the all the contacts she had. The truth is that when faced with the choice of to bed or not to bed, it is important to know that no job is worth the sacrifice of your personal moral and professional ethos.

But most people do not care about their personal moral since the economy and the level of awareness now is on the increase. Taste is going high and people do all they can to meet up with trend, exotic cars, posh houses and trendy clothes, you are nobody if you do not fit in here, these girls and even guys flock around the rich and influential and do all sorts in other to get funds to live this elaborate borrowed lifestyle. Continue reading

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USAIN BOLT BREAKS RECORD


USAIN BOLT 200 M, 19,19 HDMore amazing video clips are a click away

Last night was a shocker to many including me, I watched a man break his own title in a manner which suggests the race was too easy and he was wants something tasking. In the past 15 months, Usain Bolt has won three Olympic golds, a world championship and set four world records. But tonight may been his most impressive feat yet.

This Jamaican sprint star shattered his own record in the 200m at the world track and field championships in Berlin, running a scintillating 19.19 and besting the second place finisher by over six-tenths of a second. (that’s strange) His old record, set in Beijing was 19.30, that means he trained so well and made sure he achieved this accolade.

Well I thought this was impossible as in Beijing his race was considered a “Perfect race”, instead Bolt burst out of the blocks, had a five meter lead at the midway and then accelerated down the stretch for yet another dominating victory. Not only this, did you see the looks on his face before the race? Well shows that he was so confident that the race was a done deal, well it is now history. When he came into this field last year, he looked so tired at the end usually he breaks a sweat during his races, but yesterday he was huffing and puffing during the final 15 meters. So much for the criticism that he was too lackadaisical at the end of his race.

After the race, He collapsed in joy on the track. Took a victory lap with the Jamaican flag, staged a race with the championship’s mascot and had his hand kissed by a cameraman.

Lesson learnt;

1-       Always know that what you achieved today is just a start point for better things, if he had relaxed on his previous record, he would have been shocked by his opponents.

2-       Life has ways to shock us, with the way he beat them at 100m mark, you know he prepared and met opponents that couldn’t match him.

3-        Dedication to whatever you do is the key to success. Be the best in whatever you do.

4-        Drop your lesson learnt…

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LAMIDO SANUSI SACKS BANK MD’s

CBN boss

CBN boss

My colleagues and I had a huge argument on the current shake down in the financial sector, well for the benefit of those who have not had electricity to watch the news as a result of PHCN’s failure, the helmsman of CBN the apex bank in Nigeria, Mr Lamido Sanusi recently sacked the MD’s of 5 top banks in Nigeria. There has been mixed feeling on the issues as many Nigerians see it as victimization of the MD’s and others feel it is a way to indict the past governor, Charles Soludo.

For me I stand my ground that this is the best thing I have seen happen in years, these MD’s have been living a life of excessive luxuries and spending lavishly on expensive lifestyle, well the D-day is her and they have been made to account for depositor’s money. The affected MD’s and figures stand at:

Mrs. Cecilia Ibru of Oceanic bank accrued N278.20 billion ($1.85m),

Erastus Akingbola of Intercontinental Bank with N210.9 billion ($1.4m).

Sebastian Adigwe of Afribank owes N141.86 billiion ($940m),

Barth Ebong of Union Bank owes N73.58 billion ($487m)

Okey Nwosu of Finbank recorded N42.45 billion ($280m).

I am made to understand that before a registered company can apply for a loan of N44 billion, there should be a collateral of sort in place, but the above figure total of N716.47 Billion is mind blowing, apparently this is stranded depositors money. Well I understand this is Nigeria where nothing works, and people can get away with anything they do, these guys play golf on one course and take lunch in the same restaurant, compete in the air with private jets and cruise about on expensive yacht, they have reputation and their names would give them anything. Then at the end of the day they give young marketers unreasonable targets that they themselves can never achieve, indirectly sending them out as prostitutes making them do the unknown, risking them to AIDS, and other diseases.

Who is to blame here, the MD’s or the CEO’s who apparently know so much about their dealings, or better still the auditors like of PriceWaterHouseCooper (PWC) or Akintola Deloitte, these two auditors of international reputation and have been auditing these banks for God knows how long, walk into their offices now one of their core value is INTEGRITY, this word has been abused enough, people come out and boast they have integrity but turn around and commit worse offence, how can we measure integrity?

Afribank is victim of the selfishness of many people, the Transnational corporation Plc, owes it $200 million and the loan has been tagged non- performing loan which in financial term means that the loan has not been serviced for over 3 months now…well has it ever been serviced? The irony here is that the director of the stock exchange who is among the director of the company, and she dares to come out in public to suspend the shares of these company. Another company that wrecked a bank is AP, with so much loan,  All so shocking to read but it boils down to what the society values. This is a country that simply worships money. Morals are out of the window. Both men and women alike do not think of tomorrow, they will do anything to live out today even if it may destroy their tomorrow. Everyone is in on the act. The Stock Market is in shambles as internal dealing is rife. There is no transparency. Abuja is a non performing debt on is on as no interest is shown by our President.

This is just the beginning of the breakthrough in Nigeria as only 10 banks has been audited and 5 cleared (Diamond bank, Guaranty trust bank, First bank, United bank for Africa, Sterling bank) leaving us with 14 more banks, some of the MD’s are going to court accusing CBN boss of injustice, while some are cooling their heels in EFCC nest, answering questions on how they spent money, we are yet to see the end of this, keep a date with me here as the path to our success unfolds……

HERE IS A LIST OF THE BANKS’ HUGE DEBTORS

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18 MINUTES TO SUCCESS

Time is life as I wrote in an article, the time you spend daily defines who you eventually become, I got this post from Jeff Brunson and since knowledge can never end I thought it would only be fair to share to all, as you need to be extra productive especially in this recession.

According to the Harvard Business blog, you can organize an eight-hour work day and keep it on track by creating a ritual that will only take a total of 18 minutes each day.

Harvard Business blog’s Peter Bergman outlines three steps on how to avoid those days when you can barely remember what you intended to accomplish by the time you reach for your keyboard:

STEP 1 (5 Minutes) Set Plan for Day.
STEP 2 (1 minute every hour) Refocus..
STEP 3 (5 Minutes) Review.

Basically, you’ll start the day off right by grabbing a sheet of paper and writing down the goals which you can realistically accomplish that day. The important part is to immediately assign time slots to those tasks by order of importance and difficulty because these designated times make you more likely to accomplish your goals and give you a way of tracking your progress once every hour. At the end of the work day, you’ll take a few minutes to review not just the last hour, but the entire day. Did you stay on track? What can you do differently tomorrow to retain or improve your productivity?

Check out the full details on this time management ritual on the Harvard Business blog and tell us about how you organize your days and prevent slumps in productivity. Do you have a ritual or do you fly by the seat of your pants and hope for the best? Share your workday time management successes (or failures) in the comments.

An 18-Minute Plan for Managing Your Day [Harvard Business Publishing]

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LETTER TO HILLARY CLINTON

I was browsing the internet today searching for some facts on Nigeria and cause of the unending poverty in my land and I stumbled on a blog and a post by a Nigerian,  Jide Salu (a Nigerian returnee)…lol.  I must say this, he has one of the best writing skills I have seen in a while, he narrates stories and makes you feel part of the event, I was so thrilled by this letter which is actually addressed to Hillary Clinton, of course it’s no news she is visiting Nigeria since becoming Secretary of State, I know this visit is meant to compensate Nigeria on loosing Obama’s visit to Ghana. I would have preferred if she passed by Nigeria and maybe stopped in Cameroun maybe this would tell our leaders that the issue is getting really critical and Nigeria is becoming so irrelevant, and I’m hoping this would make them change and take responsibility for the development of Nigeria.

I share this letter on my blog hoping that Hilary Clinton would get to read it somehow (since the world has become a digital village), Jide Salu, I’m hooking this up on my blog to assist you the same purpose.

Dear Hillary Clinton,

Good afternoon ma. I hope this letter meets you in good condition of health. If so, doxology.

Apologies that I had to send the letter by DHL. I was going to email it but it occurred to me that an email written by a Nigerian living in Nigeria may not pass through the eye of the needle of the powerful Nigerian 419 email spam blocker now installed in all American government computers in accordance with the provisions of the 30th Amendment to the US Constitution otherwise known as the Nigerian Amendment. I also tried to send the letter to you through your Under-Secretary of State to Nigeria, Mr Ojo Maduekwe, but was told that he was not planning one of his infrequent trips to Nigeria from his base in the US any time soon.

Madam Secretary Ma, it is with great dismay that I read in our newspapers that you will be visiting Abuja later this week in a ‘make una no vex’ attempt to placate our ogas here who are still sulking and smarting from losing President Obama to Ghana. It is being widely reported here that you are coming to “talk tough” about corruption and electoral malpractices. Madam Secretary Ma, ordinary Nigerians like me, all victims of the people who will host you in Abuja, have been having a belly laugh at our paraga and burukutu joints. You are coming to Abuja to preach against corruption and electoral malpractices? You remind us of the tortoise in the folk tale who went to an assembly of cats to talk tough about the need for them to take rats off the menu.

That is not why I am writing and asking you to reconsider this trip o. That is just a small aside. Most Nigerians like me do not want you to come because we are the ones who will bear the brunt of the visit. Since you will not get to see any of us, it is difficult for one to explain to you how your visit will trample on our dignity and humanity. You see, when you host important dignitaries and world leaders in Washington, you always design the visits to have the most minimal disruption on the normal routine of the citizens of your country living in Washington. If your compatriots desire to be part of the action, you create a rope line where they can line up to see the modest motorcade and, depending on the circumstances, shake hands and have photo-ops with the visitor. Madam Secretary Ma, your hosts in Abuja believe that the human dignity of the Nigerian citizen stops where the two-kilometre-long motorcade of any foreign visitor begins. And because you are a visitor of timbre and calibre, forty-eight hours to your arrival, we would have been cleared off the streets – within a forty mile radius of wherever you will be in Abuja. Roads will be closed and businesses disrupted. The clearing exercise is never funny Ma. It is done by soldiers and anti-riot policemen with koboko, tear gas, machine guns, and tanks. They will kick the heck out of our butts to ensure that our offensive presence as Nigerians does not mar your trip.

If you think I am lying Ma, you will see those soldiers and anti-riot policemen throughout your visit. You will see tanks and so many other things you never see when receiving Presidents and world leaders in Washington. In fact, the presence of troops and tanks mobilized by our rulers to give you maximum security and keep us at bay will remind you of that little situation in Bosnia when you had to dodge sniper fire. As you must have been briefed by the Nigerian Desk at the African Desk at the State Department, we are the giant of Africa and we do things giantly. So, we all live in giant darkness here because 140 million of us share a little under 2000 megawatts of electricity. We are targeting 6000 megawatts by 2015 in order to become one of the world’s top 20 economies five years later Ma. Anyway Ma, we ration our roughly 2000 megawatts. What that means, Ma, is that each Nigerian is entitled to about 3 hours of electricity per month.

Now that you are coming Ma, your hosts in Abuja will have to divert every single megawatt meant for us to places like Aso Rock, the National Assembly, Nicon Transcorp Hotel (if you stay there). Normally they run all those places on generators imported from Japan and China but they may not want you to hear all that generator noise. And there is no telling if the petrol and diesel they import to run those generators are not adulterated. They can’t run the risk of exposing you to the dangerous fumes reserved exclusively for Nigerian citizens. So, every megawatt we have in the country will have to be diverted for your exclusive use Ma. They may even have to borrow a few more megawatts from Benin Republic and Cameroon just to make sure that you enjoy uninterrupted electricity throughout your stay. Continue reading

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RED ALERT; NIGERIA IN DISTRESS

Welcome friends to a new month, I am so happy with how life is treating me and even though I have my reservations about occurrences in Nigeria I still find time to celebrate life. I had the privilege of seeing a new month that shows me that my essence of living is still to manifest, I have enough time to make all the impact I planned.

I regret starting this post with a heavy heart knowing well all that is going on in Nigeria, from the killing of Christians and burning of houses in the north, to the strike that has adversely crippled the educational sector, oopss I can’t forget the power sector, or should I close my eyes to the increasing unemployment in my dear country. Hmmm I could go on and on but I might not have enough space to efficiently pour out my heavy heart and since I am a man of little words I would like to get straight to the point.

Recently the president of America, Barrack Obama visited Africa and had a tour round some African countries; he spent days in the black continent without visiting Nigeria. To make matters worse, he spent days in Ghana, a country whose citizens ran to Nigeria years ago searching for greener pastures. A country that I grew up knowing a bag to be tagged to them, a country whose citizens came into Nigeria and begged for menial jobs to keep them afloat. This country now has hosted the world power, well not to mention the fact that most countries are leaving Nigeria to open shops in neighboring Ghana. This country can boast of power 24/7, but my dear country, the self acclaimed greatest black nation in the world is still struggling to meet up with the 2009 deadline for regular power supply.

I was having lunch this afternoon and the chef was a young Ghanaian girl and a lady asked her why she was in Nigeria and not in school, she proudly said with confidence that school is not on session that’s why she came to Nigeria to chill with her aunt who made her  serve us food, well we probed further if she would like to school here, but she bursted out at us saying she has been reading in the papers about the strike in Nigeria, and told us that in Ghana schools would never close down when students are ready to learn. Well I couldn’t care less what she thinks, but for her to phantom confidence to talk like that then …..

This is not the last you would hear about Nigeria, do you know that most companies are fast abandoning Nigeria? Michelin has moved out of Nigeria, Dunlop too, Wilbros (an oil servicing firm) packed out and folded up operations Guinness has put its producing line for sale in the tune of about N150 billion, and claim they would be building an ultra modern facility in Mowe soon, City people just opened an office in Ghana, Omatek also has expanded to Ghana and also several ISP firms. Ovation relocated from the UK and settled in Ghana; Mudi clothing now has a shop in Ghana to tell us that Ghana is the next best place to do business, and the Ghanaian government is making things smooth for them by providing constant power, good roads and basic infrastructure, what can be said about Nigeria. Continue reading

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