Nigeria’s Perennial Fuel Scarcity: A Clash of Socialism and Capitalism

Socialism can be likened to the MMM Ponzi scheme that pervaded Nigeria last year. Socialism like MMM, promises prosperity, equality and financial security, but most often, it unleashes poverty, despair and desolation. What socialism ultimately achieves is that it equalizes everyone in misery.

Socialism may show early signs of success. But its accomplishments quickly fades as the deficiencies inherent in command economy rear its monstrous head. Government interventions as advocated by socialism may appear seductive; in the long run however, this appeal almost always proves to be pernicious and maleficent.

The MMM Ponzi scheme was unsustainable because it was based on faulty principles. Likewise, socialism. Its failure arises as a result of its inconsistency with fundamental codes of human conduct. The overarching defect of a system based on socialist approach is that it ignores incentives.

The Nigerian economy, since the incursion of SAP in the mid 1980s – a wholly neoliberal economic stimulus package – has practiced a mixed economy that tilts more to capitalism. And since we have tilted more to capitalism side of the pole, we cannot be romanticizing socialism that ignores market prices by way of price controls. In a world where resources are scarce, it is essential for an economic system to be based on a clear competitive structure to promote economic efficiency.

The real choice we face is between capitalism based on market prices on one hand and socialism based on price controls on the other hand. Presented with both choice, the evidence of history in Nigeria, with particular reference to the Telecom sector, overwhelmingly favors capitalism as the most efficient resource allocator.

The strength of capitalism can be attributed to a structure based upon – Prices determined by market forces; Profit-and-loss system and Private property rights. Since the focus of this piece is on Fuel Scarcity in Nigeria, yours sincerely will dwell on the first structure which is: Prices determined by market forces.

Successive administration in Nigeria has failed or lacked the balls to completely deregulate and allow market forces to determine prices of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS). Though an attempt was made in 2012, the process was hijacked and politicized.

The current fixed price regime of N145 per liter of petrol which is basically a socialist approach, is not sustainable. We may wriggle ourselves out of the current imbroglio, but in no distant time, we will be enmeshed in another biting scarcity.

It cost about N170 to import a liter of petrol. But the government insist a liter be sold for N145. So who defray the differentials? The shortfall is what we refer to here as subsidy or implicit costs  as we were told recently. This can never be sustained.

As long as pump prices are determined by government fiat, long fuel queues will continue to be a recurring feature. You cannot keep prices artificially below the market price and expect not to run into murky waters.  The hounding and shutting down of fuel stations that were selling above government fixed price by DPR was appalling to say the least. Free market would have sorted that flawlessly and with great efficiency.

The collapse of socialism was due in part to the chaos and inefficiency that result from such artificial prices. Fixed prices by the government are always either too high or too low, which then creates disequilibrium through constant shortages or surpluses. Market prices are the surest way to ensure economic efficiency.

If the prices of petrol is continually being determined by the government rather than allowing the efficiency of market forces to determine prices, we will continue to grapple with a spiraling cycle of poverty and misery.

Instead of continually reallocating resources towards greater efficiency, this socialist approach of price control will continue to lead us into a vortex of inefficiency and whirlwind of disaster.

Ogah, a Political Economist, wrote from Abuja.

Source : Opinionnigeria


Letter to Yusuf Buhari


Patriot Yusuf Buhari,

My Dearest Brother,

We praise and glorify the name of God Almighty, Creator of the Universe, the giver and taker of life, the protector and the magnificent for His mercies and blessings to us on earth. And we thank Him most profoundly for the gift of our lives as we enter the New Year in His blazing glory.

I send you warm, fraternal greetings on your hospital bed. I am short of words, but my heart pulsated in painful strains when I heard the sad news of your unfortunate accident on a motorbike in Abuja. A pensive mood instantly engulfed me and till this very moment, my eyes are wet with tears.

I am a mere mortal, with no power to question God on why He permitted this misfortune to befall you; nevertheless, I still asked rhetorically that why you and not me? If the mystery of life had made it possible to share your direct pains, myself and millions of Nigerians would have borne on your behalf, the pains of the injuries you sustained in the bike crash.

I am far away in London for studies, or else, I would have been at your bedside, day and night to assist nurses speedily nurture you back to good health. Those on ground have assured us of their very best and we trust the Almighty God for your healing.

My dear Compatriot , you remain an idol because of your almost flawless personality. Like your father and great leader of our dear country, President Muhammadu Buhari, you are an epitome of discipline, humility and hard work coated in humanism. Your respect for the core values of humanity and existence are legendary and uniquely stands you out among your peers and siblings of privileged families anywhere in the world.

We look unto your exemplary character and conduct for emulation. We are proud of you as a source of inspiration to countless young Nigerians. I have no hesitation to say you are a great citizen of our beloved country, Nigeria.

I want to assure you that the motorbike accident is just a phase in your life, and like the Holy Scriptures say, “this too, will definitely pass away.” And you will recuperate and bounce back on the streets to reunite with your family and friends in robust health very soon.

Do not falter in strength, as I personally perceive it as nectar to fulfilling your positively pregnable destiny in the nearest future. There is no doubt that our country needs your education for regeneration and strength of character for leadership in the nearest future.

I, like millions of other Nigerians are silently beseeching God Almighty in prayerful supplication for your quickest recovery, as each day you spend on the hospital bed, is a great loss to humanity whom your upright character is silently remoulding in homes and palaces throughout Nigeria.

Please, permit me to end by counseling that as soon as you are discharged from the hospital, rededicate and redouble your efforts in the selfless service to humanity, from whose prayers, flows the abundance of God’s blessing on your life, family and Nigerians.

While I hope to visit you soon, may Almighty God spotlessly heal your wounds and elongate your life, and all humanity with your temporary incapacitation, Amen! Wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year.

Yours sincerely,

Chief Philip Agbese
A Patriotic Nigerian Activist based in the UK.

Source : Opinionnigeria


I Don’t Use Facebook, Beware Of Scammers- Ndidi

Super Eagles and Leicester City midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi has warned his fans to be wary of the multiple Facebook accounts that are being run in his name.

There are over five Facebook accounts with the name and picture of the football star, and about three functional fan pages dedicated to him.

In fact, one of the fan pages with the name Wilfred Onyinye Ndidi currently has 2,190 likes and 2,220 people following, but Ndidi has clearly stated that he is not behind any of those accounts.

“Hey guys, I’m not on facebook. If you chatting with anyone using my name on facebook it’s not me so you don’t get scammed… Thank you have a blessed new year 🙏,” he tweeted in the early hours of Tuesday.

Ndidi helped his Leicester side to a 3-0 victory over Huddersfield Town on New Year’s Day – a win that ended their five-match winless run in all competitions.

The club sit on 8th position in the league table on 30 points, and will face Fleetwood in the FA Cup third round this Saturday before visiting Chelsea in the Premier League the following weekend.


Source: Ripplesnigeria

Ex-Egyptian president Morsi jailed three years for insulting judiciary

Ex-Egyptian president Morsi jailed three years for insulting judiciary

A Cairo criminal court sentenced former Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi and 19 others to three years in prison on Saturday, and fined him 2 million Egyptian pounds ($112,700) on charges of insulting the judiciary.

Others tried by the court in the same case including leading Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel Fattah and lawmaker and television presenter Tawfik Okasha were instead given fines ranging from 30,000 to 1 million Egyptian pounds.

The verdicts can still be appealed.

Mursi, democratically elected after Egypt’s 2011 revolution, was overthrown in mid-2013 by then-general Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, now the president, following mass protests against his rule.

He was immediately arrested and is now serving a 20-year sentence after being convicted of inciting the killing of protesters during demonstrations in 2012 and a 25-year sentence for spying for Qatar.


No matter your take on Trump, the fight is real

(CNN) — After almost a full year of Donald Trump’s presidency, and with a new year freshly started, I think it’s safe to say that we’re all exhausted.
I remember thinking after the first few months of 2017 went by, “He can’t possibly keep this pace up — governing by tweet — it’s unsustainable.”
Clearly, I was wrong.
             Kurt Bardella
                  Kurt Bardella
Just three days before 2018 began, in an impromptu interview with The New York Times, President Donald Trump declared that one of the reasons “I’m going to win another four years is because newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I’m not there because without me, their ratings are going down the tubes. Without me, The New York Times will indeed be not the failing New York Times, but the failed New York Times. So they basically have to let me win.”
After reading this, I realized that Trump won’t relent in 2018 and, to the contrary, will ratchet things up.
Trump’s words to the Times indicate that the press will abet him out of self-interest. But in a broader sense, he’s banking on the idea that the rest of us — media, commentators and citizens alike — can’t or won’t keep pace with his blusterous attacks and that by the default of complacency, he’ll win.
That’s why the most meaningful New Year’s resolution we can make is to get serious about really participating in the political conversations happening in this country.
For freedom of the press in America, 2018 could be one of the most consequential years in our nation’s history. Grappling with history and our place in it can seem opaque and out of our reach, but we have to do it anyway, because the President of the United States spent the entirety of his first year in office leading an unrelenting assault on the First Amendment.
He is expecting the free press to “let him win” his next presidential election — which raises the question: What if they don’t?
The free press is the first line of defense of our republic. It is the media that can demand truth from power and hold those who wield that massive power accountable to the people. The press represents the American people’s check-and-balance on government.
But the media cannot operate in a vacuum — which is where our New Year’s resolution to participate comes in. Now more than ever, the media needs an engaged, informed and vocal public.
Silence is as dangerous as ignorance and complacency.
It is the silence of the Republican Party’s leadership that allowed the extremists now in charge to hijack it and pave the way for the GOP to openly embrace socially destructive themes of sexism, racism, discrimination, homophobia, xenophobia and even an alleged sexual predator.
The Republican Party’s collective cowardice signaled weakness in its leadership and created the opening for Trump, Steve Bannon and their ilk to exploit their silence to seize control of the party and imprint their will and radical agenda on it.
Their brand of hate feeds off the fear and ignorance that thrives when the people are silent or disengaged from participating in politics.
2017 was a preamble, the beginning, the first act of Donald Trump’s war against truth and fact.
And 2018 is likely to be a transformational year in our political and civil discourse.
That is why it is, urgently, our job to remain diligent about the facts and to speak up to defend them.
It is our job to participate in the political process, not just on election day, but every day — because you can rest assured, the enemies of the First Amendment aren’t taking any days off in their crusade to remake the fabric of our country.
It is our job to broaden the conversation and expand the circle of those who are a part of it.
Ask yourself: What can I do to learn more, share more, speak out more and include more in 2018?
Twenty or 30 years from now, your children or grandchildren are probably going to ask you what it was like to live in 2018. They’ll look back on this time with the same moral clarity that we now can look back on the Vietnam era or World War II. Younger generations of Americans may well ask you what you did to fight back against the people who are trying to take our country backward.
What do you want that answer to be?
Your voice can matter. When you watch the news — and discuss it with those around you — it matters. When you “like” or “share” something on social media — it matters. Your voice amplifies that of the reporters, commentators and politicians. Without you, they are nothing.
By Kurt Bardella.
 Source : CNN

North Korea says it’s not backing down on nuclear development in 2018

(CNN) — North Korea will remain committed to the country’s nuclear development in 2018, according to a report released Saturday by state-run news agency KCNA.
“Do not expect any change in its policy,” the report read.
“Its entity as an invincible power can neither be undermined nor be stamped out. The DPRK, as a responsible nuclear weapons state, will lead the trend of history to the only road of independence and justice, weathering all tempests on this planet,” the report continued, referring to North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The report, titled “No Force Can Prevail over Independence and Justice,” provided a timeline of the country’s alleged 2017 nuclear weapon achievements, mostly focused on possible US engagement.
North Korea will “continue bolstering the capabilities for self-defense and preemptive attack with the nuclear force as the pivot as long as the US and its vassal forces persist in nuclear threat,” the report said.
North Korea boasted about its new capability to strike “the heart of the US” and its new “status” as a “world-class nuclear power.” It said it will “deal with the US’s most ferocious declaration of war with fire surely and definitely.”
Throughout 2017, North Korea has conducted a series of ballistic missile tests, despite constant criticism from the West and trade sanctions.
The most provocative moment came November 29 when North Korea said it successfully tested a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile, topped with a “super-large heavy warhead,” which was capable of striking the US mainland.
This missile flew higher and farther than any other previous tests and came came after a break of almost two months in testing.
The UN Security Council responded by adopting a new set of severe US-drafted sanctions designed to further strangle North Korea’s energy supplies and tighten restrictions on smuggling and the use of North Korean workers overseas.
North Korea called those sanctions “an act of war” and said the United States and other nations that supported the strict measures will pay a heavy price.
Russia even volunteered to act as a mediator between the United States and North Korea.

By Ralph Ellis and Mayra Cuevas, CNN

Source : CNN

Sex And The Perils Of Office



Sex has always been a staple of US politics. In recent times, however, this subject has gripped that country in an interestingly new way.

After American voters ignored allegations of sexual misconduct against candidate Donald Trump by over one dozen women to elect him president, a rash of similar allegations continues to test the sensitivity of America’s prudish soul.

Just before Christmas, Roy Moore, a conservative two-time judge of the Alabama Supreme Court, lost the Republican ticket for the US Senate, partly because of allegations of sexual misconduct, which he continued to deny.

He’s opposed to gays and homosexuals and is also said not be fond of minorities and people of other faith, especially Muslims.

For all his transgressions, however, the one that haunted him most was the allegation of sexual misconduct by nearly one dozen women.

A number of the women, who were between the ages of 14 and 16 at the time, said Moore molested them when he was 32 and the district attorney.

Painting pictures that made Moore look more like the district randy goat than an attorney, it appeared that neither those whom he gave a lift in his car nor those who came to his office for counsel were safe from his predatory reach.

While America was still digesting the Moore story, a radio presenter accused Democratic senator, Al Franken, of groping her while she was asleep in a military aircraft on a trip to Afghanistan. The picture of Franken lounging at the breasts of the presenter and grinning at the camera at the same time was truly Frankenstein, yet the senator said it was meant to be a joke.

Before Moore and Franken, there was Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood super stud, and multi-millionaire who built a sprawling business empire as proof of his ingenuity but failed to keep his zip up or manage his testosterone.

And there was also Ben Afleck, the Oscar-winning actor and director who was caught pants down as he was mocking the fallen Weinstein.

Perhaps there was a time when America would have been nearly unanimous in condemning the sexual predators, swamping them in wave after wave of public outrage, as it happened in previous episodes involving Elliot Spitzer in 2008 or Gary Hart nearly a decade earlier.

In his own case, Bill Clinton rebounded, but only by the skin of his teeth.

Today’s America is different, very different. Trump will get away with a Lewinsky, unscathed and tweet about the act the next day.

With a sexual-predator-in-chief as president, there appears to be a shift toward a benign, even benevolent, attitude to sexual misconduct. While the Moore-Franken case lasted, for example, Trump was quick to mock Franken for lecturing about morality when his hands were not clean, insisting that it was up to Alabama voters to decide Moore’s fate.

And believe it or not, there were many who insisted that Moore lost not because of the sex scandals but because voters didn’t like the fact that he had been removed from office twice and was fiddling with funds from his religious charity.

While the liberal media are scratching their heads over the morality of the Trumpian age, the motives of the victims or the “Me-too-ers” – women who come out after the first allegation of sexual misconduct has been made – have come under severe scrutiny.

If they were too weak, afraid and vulnerable at the time of the incident, why did they wait until decades later – often until the alleged perpetrators are on the verge of a watershed moment in their careers – before coming out? What real risk did a radio presenter, for example, face in coming out to speak up against a predator at the time of the incident?

A number of the victims have said they’re not coming out from a vindictive motive or for the money. They just want to bring closure to a very difficult period in their lives and hope that by coming out other victims may also find the strength in numbers to come out and be truly healed.

A country that elected Trump as president – warts and all – and which in fact believes that the warts are largely a creation of the spiteful liberal media, can hardly be expected to take latter-day confessions of sexual harassment seriously.

That does not mean that the younger generation of Americans, especially blacks and other minority males, are not learning any lessons.

As attitudes that used to be regarded as “normal” display of masculinity in social relationships are being called to question, men would have to reset amorous boundaries or risk crossing a dangerous line.

The Bukar Ibrahims in Nigeria’s Senate do not have to worry about this trend. When the Deputy British Prime Minister, Damian Green, was forced to resign just before Christmas on allegations that the parliamentarian had been very busy watching pornography on his office computer in 2008, I’m told that a Nigerian lawmaker laughed it off as evidence of “joblessness” in Whitehall.

But if our senators ask their cousins in the House of Representatives, who had an unforgettable experience on a trip to the US, they would know that in a globalized world, trouble is only one flight away.

The rich and powerful could be at risk not only in cases of non-consensual sex but even in consensual sex.

Take the recent case of a student doctor on the other side of the pond, for example. According to a story in the Daily Mail, Philip Queree, a student doctor, was convicted of indecent assault for grabbing the breasts of his consenting lover too hard in bed.

Even though it was the second time the pair was having consensual sexual intercourse after meeting on a dating site – and the second time specifically at the instance of the lady – she later went to court, complaining that Philip had grabbed her breasts too hard and “left her in tears.”

Poor Philip! Who, in his state of mind, would remember to mind, much less measure the intensity of a grip?

Yet, the judge, a woman, ruled that apart from enrolling the student doctor on a sex offenders’ list, he also had to do 180 hours of community service and pay a fine of £2,000. On top of this misery, he might yet be struck off the practitioners’ roll.

It’s not unlikely that in the not-too-distant-future, women would be wearing a chip, as part of their normal fashion accessory; the same way police officers now wear body cameras in some countries. That would make any case of sexual predation tighter and the evidence even more formidable.

Until then, however, the rich and powerful might be well served to remember what their mother told them: take a woman’s no as no, even if that woman is your wife.

Ishiekwene is the Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of The Interview and member of the board of the Global Editors Network. 

Source:  OpinionNigeria

What to Tell Your Bosses to Let Them Know You Really Appreciate Your Job


Be genuine and honest in expressing your appreciation.


Expressing your appreciation for your job can go a long way in cementing professional relationships and improving your long-term career prospects. While you want to avoid being cloying or overly sentimental in your approach, a sincere expression of appreciation for your current employment opportunity can set you apart as a gracious individual. Select the right time and setting for your appreciation so it is viewed by your boss in the appropriate context.

Letter of Appreciation

A letter of appreciation delivered on the anniversary of your hire date, during “Boss’ Week” or on the boss’ birthday can be an appropriate way to express your thankfulness for your job. Note the specific opportunities you’ve been given during your tenure with the company and how they’ve allowed you to grow professionally. Example: “During my first year on the job, you’ve entrusted me with three major projects which have allowed me to use all of my strengths and talents. I appreciate these opportunities, as well as the chance you’ve given me to be part of such a dynamic organization.”

Performance Evaluation Statement

A performance review is an excellent time to show your appreciation for your job. Your boss is likely to go over your strengths and areas for improvement, then work with you to develop new goals and objectives for your position. As your evaluation concludes, let your boss know that you appreciate his constructive criticism, and his willingness to help you grow professionally. Example: “Let me take this opportunity to tell you how grateful I am to be working with you and my colleagues in this department. I have appreciated the chance to take on new challenges and really grow into my role.”

Project Selection or Promotion

If you’ve been selected for a special project or task, or if you’ve recently been promoted, this presents an appropriate opportunity to express your appreciation for your job. Reiterate your excitement about the new opportunity and thank your boss for entrusting you with the additional responsibility. Example: “I appreciate the faith you’re showing in me with this new role. I love my job and I’m looking forward to this new challenge.”

Holiday Greeting

A holiday greeting is a good time to wish your boss good cheer and express your appreciation for your job. It also presents an opportunity for you to remind your boss about your contributions during the year. Example: “Wishing you the happiest of holidays with thanks for your wonderful mentoring support during the year. From the launch of the marketing campaign in January to the annual report preparation in November, I’ve appreciated the chance to spread my wings in this position.”

About the Author

Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey’s work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.

Colombian visually impaired women help detect breast cancer

 Garcia and Papamija are two of five women who are blind or visually impaired who have been specially trained to use their fingertips to detect breast cancer, one of Colombia’s biggest killers.

They are among the latest practitioners to use a method made popular a decade ago by German doctor Frank Hoffman, who noted that the blind have an innate facility to detect nodules — groupings of cells — which may be the first signs of the disease.

At the hospital, physicians found that checks carried out by the blind auxiliary assistants had “better” results than those with the regular evaluation. “The clinical examination performed by them is a more elaborate examination and requires more time.

While clinical trials show that a woman performing self-examination can detect masses of between 15-20 millimeters and a doctor can find one of 10 millimeters, the blind can find nodules as small as eight millimeters. Regular mammograms are widely available in the developed world and recommended for women over the age of 40.

Don’t Wait For The Pirated Versions, We’re Watching These 2018 Movies In Cinemas

Movies are mini-escapes from the crushing difficulties of life. We’ve reminisced about our favourites of 2017, re-watched Christmas specials over and over and even spent late nights thinking about murder over them. We’ve also been binging on trailers for the upcoming ones next year, from the climatic Fifty Shades instalment to the magical sequel to The Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them, even a horror movie that’s almost completely silent? There’re so many more that we’ve yet to divulge on, so here’s (some of) our can’t-wait-to-watch movies of 2018 — there’re lots of sequels like Incredibles 2, which is an added incentive to re-watch our favourite series to catch up!


2017’s been the year of disappointing superhero movies, and we want to give a particular shoutout to Justice League which did the fandom serious injustice. We were pretty much defeated by the poor executions of characters from the DC universe, but our insatiable appetite for action-packed coolness hasn’t died down thanks to the highly-anticipated Infinity War. The Avengers are in shambles after Civil War, but when super villain Thanos arrives on Earth to collect Infinity Stones in order to power his destruction, the team forcibly bands together with the Guardians of the Galaxy! and salvage the state of the world.

The Avengers: Infinity War comes out 25 April 2018.


The Conjuring series has creeped us out with its clapping hands in a wardrobe and creepy doll Annabelle spin-offs, but none quite stuck with us than the demon Valak did from Conjuring 2 last year. It’s been confirmed that The Nun is director James Wan’s latest franchise venture following the creepy presence with its jaundice-yellow blinding eyes and donning of a nun’s habit, which we’re guessing is a sign of religious defiance. Nothing’s been confirmed about the story line, but if we’re getting more heebie-jeebies like we’ve seen on the big screen, we’re definitely signing up for it.

The Nun comes out in theatres 13 July 2018.


Though a great movie, a lot of people complained about how Thor: Raganok was slapstick-funny. Jokes and Thor mayn’t be the most resonant pair, but Deadpool certainly isn’t one to shy away from the laugh-out-loud lame. Underlying the humour is a pretty tragic story of a man who underwent torturous experiments to “cure” cancer which scarred his Ryan Reynolds-lookalike beauty but ultimate gave his superhuman healing powers and kick-ass ninja skills. Besides being a great superhero comedy to sequel it’s also an anti-movie that breaks the forth wall and parodies other films Scary Movie-style, which is an added nugget to drag us into theatres.

Deadpool 2 comes out in theatres 31 May 2018.


There’ve been more X-Men movies than Octo-mom has kids and that’s a good thing because we’ve seen many timelines and generations of mutants played out. Hugh Jackman may no longer be Wolverine since his departure after Logan but the X-Men franchise is reinventing itself by promising two X-men movies next year, one a horror! and the other where the X-Men have to fight off Jean Grey in outer space when her Dark Phoenix powers overcome her? Heck yea!

The New Mutants comes out in theatres 13 April 2018.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix comes out in theatres 2 November 2018.

Header image: Screen Rant

SOURCE: Kopitiam Bot