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OPINION

A continuity of good governance as Dapo Abiodun is sworn-in as fifth governor of Ogun, By Ademola Orunbon

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Today, 29th of May, 2019, happens to be a double celebration for the people of Ogun state as the governor-elect, Prince Dapo Abiodun will be given the baton of another race of four or eight years in the history of the state and continuity of development sustainability, and also he will celebrating his birthday as he clocked 59 years of age, indeed, it will also represent a further confirmation and validation of the collective resolve of Ogun people as expressed on March 9th, 2019, though, Prince Dapo Abiodun, now the Governor of the state, as he will be inaugurated as the fifth governor of the state. And by the privilege/confidence reposed on him by the people in given him their mandate, it is imperative to commit himself to an all inclusive, equitable and fair minded approach to governance as pledged by him during the electioneering campaign and in his acceptance speech while given certificate of return.

Though, it could be recalled that, there was a slogan during the campaigns, tagged “Igbega Ipinle Ogun, Ajose Gbogbo Wa Ni”, and with this slogan, it is time now to start working together, there is more to gain as a people in collective efforts than otherwise. There is a Yoruba adage which says, “Agbajowo la’finsoya, Ajiji Owo Kan Ko’gberu Dori”. Now that the storms had been waded through, there is no need of flashing back at those who wanted to mar him or fall him down and those who make it possible for him to clinch the seat of number one in the state. But, what really important is to co-opt the people of likes mind in order to move the state to the greater height.

As a successful businessman and oil magnate, with the believes by the people of the state that the dividend of democracy that has over the years eluded in terms of human face will surely come to them, he is the Managing Director/‎Chief Executive Officer of Hyden Petroleum Limited (HPL), an indigenous player in the downstream, midstream, upstream oil and gas industry in Nigeria, he is also reportedly to be the founder of First Power Limited. With his experience in operating in business and achieve greater in those sector, then, Ogun State people need not to entertain any fear in handling their socio-economic of the state, believing that the governor-elect will probably be prudent and judicious with the state fund and resources.

Indeed, the journey to success might be rough, because there are some whom you contested with that even more capable to that position too, clinching to that mantle of leadership was like a war battle, though to some, you are not a popular candidate among your contenders, whose names appears on the media frequently and oftentimes, but some veteran politicians in the state knows that Prince Dapo Abiodun has been playing Ogun politics decades ago, moreover, let’s jettison the idea of popularity debate, not a discussion of today, but it is no more news that Prince Dapo Abiodun will steer the affairs of state for the next four years or thereabout, having gotten the mandate of Ogun state people in the last gubernatorial election that appeared to be a “War” full of political tension and aggression.

Prince Dapo Abiodun really fought a battle like a wounded lion in the ring, so as to clinch the exalted seat, but the most glaring part of it was the stiff opposition he faced from the out-going governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, his bosom friend/ally who turned to be his open enemy midway as a result of the former decision to contest for the state number one seat, which Amosun wanted to rule again in proxy, by planting his stooge/sorrogate or godson in person of Abdulkabir Adekunle Akinlade (triple A), which attained second position at the elections.

No one ever deed what Prince Dapo Abiodun done during his electioneering campaign in term of stretching his hands of fellowship to other opposition candidates, he brought together opposition forces in Ogun State within the little of his emergence. The political vendetta orchestrated and shown to oppositions within the seven and half years of Governor Ibikunle Amosun seems to be going down the line. Well, if you say Dapo Abiodun is accommodating, yes of course, indeed, you are not far from the truth. Dapo Abiodun has proven to the world what magnanimity in victory is all about, a steadfast, a forthright, a knowledgeable, a brilliant, a gentle man to the core and a straight forward man which do not play to the gallery when it comes to human face.

Even to cap it all, Prince Dapo Abiodun spread his arm of passion, love and compassion to oppositions and all top politicians within and outside his camps, in fact, he could not keep his kind heartedness away than to pay then special visits after his declaration as governor-elect. He went to Otunba Gbenga Daniel (OGD), of the PDP, he also went to Gboyega Nasir Isiaka (GNI), of the ADC, also to Buruji Kashamu of the PDP, he went to Ladi Adebutu (LADO), factional governorship candidate of the PDP despite the fact that he leased and adopted triple A in a few days to the election, he also went to Rotimi Paseda of the SDP, also to Demeji Bankole of the ADP to mention but a few.

Honestly speaking, Ogun State need somebody like Prince Dapo Abiodun, that will bring his like mind to the same folder and brainstorming on how the state could move forward, with the advice of the elders of the party and beyond so as to make the state more than industrial hub of the country, though, industrialization was the hallmark of his agenda but need to excel beyond that, and it can not be done alone, moreover, a successful entrepreneurs for many decades like Abiodun could not be difficult to achieve but he  need to be embraced for the interest of all and not for the interest of few as witnessed in the previous government of “Baba Onifala Gogoro” me and my family crescendo.

In fact, Prince Dapo Abiodun sojourn in the politics was as far back as 1990s when he came back from the University, he was offered to serve the people of Ogun state but came second in the primary election then, instead of him to kick against the results of the primary, he showed the spirit of sportsmanship, he immediately after the primary joined Otunba Gbenga Daniel’s train and campaigned for him fervently, eventually Daniel became the governor of the state. Again, in 2011, he joined hands with the out-going governor (Ibikunle Amosun), to win the election, and in 2015 also he was with Amosun which he singlehandedly gave him ten thousand dollars $10,000, which wasn’t deny by the out-going governor till date, but he was offered to become the Senator but was not successful in that race because he lost out to Senator Buruji Kashamu, though according to him, he was not perturbed or heartbroken for loosing out, then, he did not give up because something continued telling him that he has brighter future, vision and mission which is yet to be unaccomplished.

He is a founding member of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun state before, although he is currently a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC)‎ defecting after the 2011 general elections. He contested the Ogun East Senatorial seat on the platform of the APC in the 2015 general elections but lost to opposition candidate, Senator Buruji Kashamu, though, he was elected a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the platform of the defunct United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) in 1998. He has served as a member of various presidential committees and organisations. In 2019, he contested in the gubernatorial elections in Ogun State and won, under the platform of APC, which his inauguration coincidentally fall to his birthday as he also mark 59th years of age today 29th May, 2019.

With all the recent peace moved by the governor, Dapo Abiodun then, the pundits still believe that this will serve as a good omen for the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the state, and honestly it will go a long way in stabilising the socio-economic and socio-political atmosphere of the state, the ideas of consultation of elders and former governors of the state by Dapo Abiodun will also give and help him in delivering of dividend of democracy to the people of the state. He shows that no man is an island and a tree can not make a forest, we need a collective efforts in running the day-to-day affairs of the state, not because of complexity but because of the kind of people involved in governing the state.

And moreover, the idea of the winner takes it all and the know it all tendencies of the “tall cap man”‎ seems to be going down the drain, and my friends and my family members of government seems to be vanishing gradually if not totally as people expected. That’s why every discerning mind and soul must rise up to those challenges of government and keep supporting the new administration, with our support and belive in good and responsible governance, we can achieve best and make life more meaningful for not only the civil/public servants only but the entire populace, so let’s joins hands together to make Ogun State greater among the comity of states in the country.

Lastly, they say; “The patient dog eat the fattest bone”, the patience, perseverance, uniqueness, long-suffering and tenacity of purposeful leadership displayed by Dapo Abiodun in his long quest to become the Governor of the state worth celebrating, the steps taken so far by him since he won the election also proved that Ogun State is for the best of times, he has broken the barrier of party and petty political sentiments by reaching out to even fellow contestants, it’s also showed that this is one governor that will make us proud in Ogun State. Indeed, we need to be happy, rejoice and celegrate our Governor, he is a Prince of peace.

Congratulations Prince Dapo Abiodun and Happy Birthday to you sir.

Orunbon, a public affairs analyst, wrote in from Abeokuta, Ogun state.

Can be reached via: orunbonibrahimademola@gmail.com or 08034493944, 08029301122.

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OPINION

Festus Keyamo: Amazing story of his journey to the top

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One of the major problems the Nigerian nation is facing is the PhD syndrome. In Nigeria, everybody is a PhD holder. By this, I mean Pull Him Down syndrome, once you have access to a dilapidated computer and you’re able to manage its keyboard, then the coast is clear to indulge in self gratification by yelling some nonsense down a hole. Like they say, Nonsense is so good, only, because common sense is so limited.

It is the twilight of another democratic assembly and again, as expected, errand boys, employed by political opponents have began the usual mudslinging games. Some attention seeking political jobbers, in a bid to impress their paymasters have started throwing gauntlets, looking for victims where there are none, just to steer the body polity-a case of kettle calling pot black.

A typical example is a fictitious article making the rounds where a self-harm writer of an article titled, ‘Keyamo’s Reward’ spuriously conjured his deliberative polling on one of Nigeria’s gifted young men with exceptional intellectual ability, Barrister Festus Keyamo, SAN.

The sad thing is, the problems of this generation are its dramatic personae. We don’t ever see anything good in ourselves. The writer, though gave credence to the brilliance and intellectual capacity of the legal luminary, Festus Keyamo, like all hatchet men, he didn’t forget the primary briefs from his sponsors- to weigh-in, undermine and subvert the sterling and exemplary career status the young man, Festus Keyamo has laboured to build over the years.

Maybe he should be reminded that excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny.

Those who have followed the footsteps and career mastery of the youngman will not be surprised the way he has emerged so far. He, is a product of dedication, doggedness and gradual result of always striving to be better, in actual fact, excellence, to Keyamo, is not a skill, it is an attitude. His likes are rarely found and more rarely valued.

The writer did not forget how he has nurtured a blossoming career from that super genius youngman who hails from a humble background and how he was able to walk tall amongst scores of brilliant legal team at the late Gani Fawehinmi’s chambers to earn himself the ‘Gani Boy’. If the dead do look back for real, the late legal icon, Chief Fawehinmi will be proud of what he has become at the moment and if it’s that easy, the mischievous writer too should have been able to step into the shoes of the famous Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Shoyinka but obviously, wicked and envious people never see anything good in greatness for envy is pain at the good fortune of others.

He who is best prepared can best serve his moment of inspiration, the youngman has prepared himself for this job long ago right from his civil rights activism days to his relentless battle at the legal field.

His sins must have been his willingness to accept to serve his fatherland and they’ve forgotten that, the worst disservice to any nation is the act of winking in the dark. We now live in a world where politics has replaced philosophy, there’s no way you can make a difference if you continue to bark from behind.

Leadership is the ability to have a compelling vision, a comprehensive plan, relentless implementation, and talented people working together. It is however, not by chance that the C-in-C, President Mohammadu Buhari had had the vision to choose someone whose cerebral influence, oratory prowess and over bearing personality was able to break the enemy’s camp without fighting during the last presidential election.

There’s no doubting the fact that, guided missiles from misguided men are expected at this point in time, from those cowards who now play victims to circumstances they created.

Jite Usman Writes from Akoko Edo, Edo State Nigeria

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OPINION

Ministerial Nomination: Godwin Jedy Agba, best man for petroleum ministry

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Godwin Jedy Agba

One of Nigeria’s very experienced energy administrators, Mr. Godwin Jedy-Aba, is a minister-nominee of President Muhammadu Buhari. And there is, understandably, song and dance in the quarters of those who know the capacity and experience of the nominee in the oil and gas sector. But for those who crave the enthronement of mediocrity to aid and abet the culture of incompetence or the regime of laissez faire in the management of the petroleum sector, the prospects of Jedy-Agba emerging as Buhari’s choice for the critical sector cannot resonate well with them.

Regardless of the prognosis of possibilities or otherwise, Jedy-Agba is one of the few “technocrats” in a list that has been largely dubbed “political” by critics. Notwithstanding his previous temperate, restrained and strategic foray into partisan politics, his accomplishments and exploits as an astute administrator have not diminished a bit. His administrative savoir faire and legerdemain had been writ-large in his public service trajectory from which he retired at the NNPC.

While the likely portfolio that would be assigned to the Prince of Obudu from Cross River state is not the subject of this piece of writing, it is, however, not in doubt that Buhari has made up his mind about using the few “technocrats”-like Abubakar Malami (SAN), Sunday Dare (journalist) Osagie Ehinare (consultant physician) et al, in his list to man some specialized ministries to demand value for knowledge and experience.

And, if this is the intendment, then one does not need a crystal ball to guess where Jedy-Agba, a former Group General Manager (GGM), Crude Oil Marketing Division (OMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will likely be assigned: perhaps, not far away from the petroleum ministry. While it is unlikely the President will hands off his direct control of the Petroleum Ministry, as the substantive Minister-in-charge, he will need a brilliant and effective minister of state who can be saddled with all the basic responsibilities of the ministry without caving in.

If the politics of administration is played with humility and wisdom, a minister of state can enjoy the privilege of full control with the confidence of the President to boot. Nothing suggests to the contrary that Jedy-Agba cannot be trusted to deliver on a presidential mandate with tact and precision. That will be in spite of the salacious narratives by detractors and traducers who are on a voyage of upending a luminous epoch that beckons.

With President Buhari’s commitment to consolidating on the achievements of his first four years in the saddle, attention is focused on experience. The president appears unprepared to gamble with “untested hands”. He is greatly seeking to make a better impression in his second term of office. To do this, he cannot afford to put square pegs in round holes. Buhari cannot afford to deploy a learner who cannot take the pressure off him in the administration of the critical petroleum sector.

Besides, time is of the essence. While the nation is waiting to see the ministers hit the ground running, critics are also waiting to feast on the administration’s mistakes.Viewed from any angle, Jedy-Agba is a good pick who could help the administration to weather the storm in the entire oil industry. That is why the malicious media campaign against him has been thick. His traducers know that he cannot be stopped when he gets cracking in delivering on any mandate.

Sadly, we are in a season where traducers who masquerade as critics, are wont to sacrifice everything – knowledge, capacity and accomplishments – at the altar of contrived criticisms in the guise of seeking the promotion of perfection in the land of sinners. This is not unexpected. However, the ninth Senate is urged not to entertain needless distractions in the screening and confirmation hearing of Jedy-Agba.

But of course, while the law must take its course where and when it is activated to do so, a phony media campaign to smear someone who has never been questioned or prosecuted by any anti-graft commission, must never be dignified as something worth scrutinizing or countenancing. President Buhari was an appointee of the late General Sani Abacha. Hundreds of millions of dollars that were taken out of Nigeria during that regime have been recovered from the late dictator and his family; but, this cannot, in anyway, qualify or translate as an indictment, simply because Buhari served under Abacha.

Unfortunately, the merchant of the smear campaign against Jedy-Agba cannot grapple with the fact that he was a top official of the NNPC, who could not escape working with a Minister of Petroleum. It is therefore disingenuous and wicked to think that everyone who has anything to do with Deziani Alison-Madueke, in the line of duty, is guilty as opined in the media. This is distasteful and uncharitable. This concern is not just about Jedy-Agba alone but it is also inclusive of everyone who had previously worked with Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Interestingly, in all the corruption cases filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) involving Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, there is not one in which Jedy-Agba has been listed as a party, whether separately or jointly with her. This is a matter of judicial records for anyone to verify. In addition, the sponsors of this narrative about his involvement in large scale corruption under Diezani Alison-Madueke should also have known that the security agencies must have subjected the nomination of Jedy-Agba to due diligence checks before the final pick.

This nomination, for Jedy-Agba, is a spring board for bouncing back to a familiar terrain of service, having worked for several ministers as a Personal Assistant and in different other capacities between 1985 and 1995. He is perhaps one of the most versatile nominees with requisite administrative experience, who once worked at ministerial level. For decades, he had acquitted himself creditably and meritoriously without scandals. He is indeed a great addition to the Buhari’s team. It is going to be difficult to cut shady deals on his watch behind the government, whether or not he is sent to the petroleum sector.

It is therefore not impossible that the people behind the smear campaign against Jedy-Agba are among the notorious oil mafia and cartel whose deep backend activities and shady deals are threatened by this strategic nomination. Jedy-Agba knows the oil industry like the palm of his hand, and his likely headship of the sector or as a minister of state to Buhari is bound to ruffle feathers and put an end to some underhand dealings. The level of opaqueness in the management of public finance in the oil industry in Nigeria has continued to be worrisome. This could thus be another tough call for an administration that has committed itself to fighting corruption.

It could be recalled that Jedy-Agba’s onerous tasks as Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division, NNPC had put him in a good stead to manage a complex terrain. He was responsible for liaising with Crude Pricing & Technical Evaluation Section on Price movement and other input data for market reports. He also monitored and analyzed consumption of other energy types, terms of cost availability and relative impact on world petroleum supply/demand balance. Jedy-Agba was simply vast and deep; and was capacitated enough to handle his huge responsibilities.

The campaign of calumny will not be over even after the senate screening and confirmation hearing. To be sure, those behind the sponsored malicious media reports are likely to shift their attack to the specific – calling on the president, not to appoint him as a Minister of State for Petroleum, while playing up their unsubstantiated allegations. Regardless of the shenanigans, Jedy-Agba remains a wonderful pick.

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OPINION

Tasks before Kyari in turning around NNPC, By Abba Dukawa

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ALL eyes are now on Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Male Kolo Kyari in turning around the fortunes of the Corporation and also need to make the company to be runs in very transparent ways.  In view the challenges before him in whirling the NNPC to practice the best norm in the world oil industries.  There is need for Kyari, to focus his attention on the implementation of the findings of the audit reports of the NEITI which has severally indicted the NNPC of operational maleficence. Nigerians were expected see that his nicked mane of Mr. Transparent really translated into the way he will tackle on poor transactional transparency, as NNPC had over time recorded differences in actual volume of crude oil lifted and actual volume of production NEITI stated.  

A recent World Bank report had shown that Nigeria spent N731 billion to subsidizes petrol consumption last year. The report had explained that within the year under review, Nigeria’s oil sector declined in productivity, ending on 1.9 million barrels a day (mbd) production mark as against the government’s hope of 2.3mbd.

In April 2019, Revenue Watch Institute (RWI) in its publication of National Oil Company Database, place NNPC as one of National Oil Companies (NOCs) with record challenges of transparency.   There is need for Kyari to initiate a see-through process in management of the corporation’s operations and also making it more profitable. It’s hardly and even became part of NNPC tradition not disclosed its net income from core revenues; capital and operational expenditures; cash flows from operations; total assets worth to public.

Saudi owned of National Oil Company ARAMCO raked in profits of £85 billion in 2018 as most profitable company making more than Apple and Google combine. Aramco raked in more cash than global ITC giant companies, Apple made roughly $60 billion, while Exxon Mobil made roughly $20 billion). The Wall Street Journal reported. ARAMCO revealed details of its finances for the first time since it was nationalized in the Seventies as part of a push ahead of its first bond sale.

Nigerians expected to see Kyari turning around the fortunes of NNPC into rakes profitable national oil company through openness, transparency and accountability. Establish a concrete economic Diversification plan with a concrete path to a post-oil future for Nigeria, based on emerging global trends.

This plan, akin to the Saudi Arabian government’s economic diversification plan, should include a clear strategy with interlinked policies – trade, industrial, fiscal – and far-reaching structural and governance reforms of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation that could include partial privatization (with share listed on the stock exchange for purchase by ordinary Nigerians and not by Government- Related cronies).

The uncanny tasks before GMD are to turn around the nation’s nation feeble refineries remained terribly poor in operation and mostly constituted a deficit to NNPC cash flow. This decades problems placed the NNPC as a mere trader in the oil industry as against its potentials as a national oil company capable of establishing and running profitable ventures in the Upstream  and Downstream sectors of the industry. Finding a lasting solution would in many ways be a plus to Kyari and his team.   Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation recorded losses in the region of N551.46bn between January 2015 and December 2018. The Corporation repeatedly failed to meet projected profits as its subsidiaries, particularly refineries, running cost at the headquarters and other arms left whopping deficits.

 

Things you need to know about Kyari

Male Kolo Kyari was appointed to head production sharing contracts management in the Crude Oil Marketing Division (COMD). Also led the team that proposed and managed the Direct Sales And Direct Purchase (DSDP) arrangement of petroleum products from 2016 till date replacing the Crude Swap Arrangement. Under his watch, the Crude Oil Marketing Division has recorded noticeable transformation in the management and sales of the various Nigeria’s crude oil grades via an infusion of transparency and automation of the processes.

He contributed to reconcile alleged loss of $48 billion and established actual status of transactions involving NNPC in 2014. Malam Kolo Kyari pursued the determination of the tenure of the Amenam/Kpono carry arrangement with potential savings of over $1 billion; he also revised and initiated the process for the redetermination of the Applicable Fiscal Regime for the Addax PSC with potential shortterm savings of $1.6 billion. As the group general manager, crude oil marketing division. He created systems to ensure maximum transparency and accountability of crude oil and gas sales in the industry. He was the supervisor of production sharing contract for the NNPC.

Mr. Transparent’ he was one of the major people that came up with the NNPC’s commodity trading initiative. This initiative makes it possible for the government to know those who are buying the country’s crude and at what prices, and how much has been made. Kyari led various teams in developing the petroleum industry bill (PIB) that redefined the government’s take in production sharing contracts with oil companies. He was the secretary of the FG INTER-AGENCY team that coordinated the creation of the current basis of the fiscal and regulatory framework of the PIB.

He  is  unionists, per excellent and he is  fearless  toward welfare of his follows members and Kyari popularly called ‘Grand Chairman or Mr Transparency by other  comrades in the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) often refer to him as a comrade after he was group chairman of NNPC PENGASSAN.

Male Kolo Kyari won four awards, namely: GMD Prize for the Overall Best Performance for NNPC Management Development Program; GED CS Award for Best Performance in Leadership; GM Group Learning Division award for Best Project work, NNPC Management Development Programme; and Examiners award for 1st Runner-up for Effective Presentation.

Dukawa a public commentator and can be reached at abbahydukawa@gmail.com

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