Friday, 27 December 2013


Whenever Senior government officials  score their admininistration excellent with the growth rate of the economy's GDP it raises concern.  It suggests they' re just making statements filled with ambiguities.

I thought for once whether the GDP means something else. If these learned adults can be so confident about the GDP growth (with a deficiency in development) then GDP meant something else that most of us misconceive .

GDP has a new meaning in Nigeria---Gross Domestic Poverty which is the product of our hardworking "Harvard trained" co-ordinator and colleagues. The reality that an average Nigerian can attest to.

In fact the growth rate of this GDP is increasing by the second. Now, it is up to 80% of the population living below $2 per day. There's likely the possibility that before 2015 the per cent would have increased.

May be more companies would have folded up leaving more people out of jobs; inflation would have reduced the value of the take home pay of  both civil servants and private business employees.

Surely, the tertiary institutions would have turned out more half-baked graduates seeking non-available jobs. And Banks in a bid to make profits as well as meet up with their capital base would have layed off more workers and deny more loans or with outrageous interest rates. We are transforming gradually.

If you are an optimist you may look at this as a cynical forecast. But I plead with you to analyse the reality objectively. Our development is traversing towards retrogression while the rich and powerful service their frivolities--- very soon, if the report is true, we shall have our 11th Presidential Eagle...

Although, Progressive development is not an impossibility if sincerely pursued but the "body language" of  my "Oga at the rock" does not negate popular speculations. It is almost impossible to witness meaningful development without fighting corruption--the monster that now sits on "the high table".

In conclusion, if government really wants to be serious about curbing corruption (that has led to several abnormalities including poverty)  it must admit that a crusade of such importance does not consecrate any sacred cow irrespective of whatever she is ministering.

by.......SHOWUNMI REX  (@remirex on twitter)

publisher @yekeme

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

How to create meaningful jobs in Nigeria; the German experience

A decade ago Germany was the sick nation in Europe now the story has changed.’ Says Angela Merkel, the  German chancellor, as she spoke on the Economic crunch that has caused unemployment rate to increase in Europe. The German experience isn't rocket science, what makes it spectacular is its result. It is the aggressive pursuit of an Employment plan  that Nigeria can also learn from. A country with an unemployment rate of 5.2 %,  is worthy of emulation especially by  Nigeria with 23.9% unemployment rate.
Germany's employment plan comprise of two doctrines. Mrs von Der Leyen the Labour Minister gives the first strategy as she responds to the question below.

How did Germany solve her Unemployment problems?

“The problem of youth unemployment is that schools cannot equip young people with the necessary working skills. A dual vocational training system is needed to become a skilled worker. That is what has made the German economy strong” revealed  Von der Leyen. This strategy is what Germany refers to as the “dual education” system, which combines apprenticeships at companies with vocational training in schools.

Secondly, the availability of  capital to finance SMEs to complement the 'Dual vocation' policy. As Chancellor Merkel explained in one of her interviews, the problem of Economic inequality needed to be solved by empowering SME’s. It’s been observed that the ones with so much money are not using it while the companies who need cash badly are not getting it.  This in subtle terms depicts how and why the gap between the rich and the poor widens. It cannot be over-emphasized that Small and Medium scale Enterprise is the backbone of any blossom economy.

Back to Nigeria, what is there to learn from the German experience?

1. Improving,Redirecting and Repositioning Education: The bane of unemployment is poor education whether formal or informal. The quality of education will reflect on the quality of employees and on to the quality of the management that will affect how the company sustains. Business organizations are progressing because they are meeting a need or solving problems. Any deviation from this goal may attract feedbacks like profit loss and layoffs among others.

To enhance capacity building in America and the rest of the world, the Ivy league launched The Massive Open Online Classes (MOOC) in partnership with Coursera. This project has been applauded for its role in rendering qualitative, specialized knowledge to participants across the globe via the internet. Another wonderful  project complementing traditional schooling.

On our part as a developing nation, Nigeria’s educational system is decaying with every moment. The school isn’t even providing adequate theoretical knowledge to students let alone practical and pragmatic learning.  The average student isn't acquainted with the latest Tech and Trends in his chosen field. Pointing out that there's little or no preparation for the labour market.

Typically, the undergraduates are more concerned either about how to break free from the ‘bondage’ of school work or savoring the pleasures of school life.
 Basically, Education should solve contemporary problems not create more. In a discussion with a friend who studied Electrical Engineering, I argued about how disappointing it is to have a department as such that produces First class graduates in Universities and still live in a country without steady power supply.

Pedagogy needs to change learning models from a job seeking academic to self-reliant and entrepreneurial outputs. More over, General Studies(GST) as a course should be mandatorily tailored to groom students on how to turn and carve  their niche into money making ventures.
As a matter of fact, there is a business side to everything. What men have achieved from following their talents,passion and callings is glaring for all to see.This is the season of creativity and Government should produce the enabling environment.

About a month ago or thereabouts, CNN featured a story about Michael Kors, an American Designer and his venture into the Cosmetics world. Kors was said to own a brand worth 50billion US dollars. That is how far people can go when they move in the direction of their  niche venture.

In addition,The Silicon Valley and our own Computer Village have shown us as well how the world have moved away from “white collar” superiority to the ‘Grey collar’ dominance.

My only concern is that Computer Village unlike Silicon Valley is not producing enough entrepreneurs with the mind of building big corporations. CV has become more of a base for young people with a daring heart to hustle and trade to earn a living.

2.  Open access of SME's to needed Capital.

It was last year or so, the news of one 8billion naira loan deal by a wealthy man to buy a Yacht hotel broke out. It took the media and its criticism to foil the deal. Then you ask yourself; 'Of what Economic value will that be to the common man on the street or the Economy?'. Imagine how many small businesses that money could start and finance? Banks are just too interested in giving out more Loans to the Affluent Rich to service their vanities. I dare any Bank in Nigeria to publish lists of how many start-ups they've granted loan. There seems to be a neglect to young businesses and government expects to solve unemployment problems? How impossible!

For the sake of emphasis, Government needs to take comprehensive education and SME fundings seriously.

Again it is not just about acquiring the skills, it should be more about grooming trainees to build sustainable businesses out of it. And Internship, empowerment and Loan support should form the nucleus of Government's  Employment plan.

Let us not forget that this country's unemployment problem is severe, it  is beyond what our  few billionaire entrepreneurs can solve and  government needs to see it that way.

*SHOWUNMI REX is a Writer, Public Speaker, Entrepreneur and Socio-political philosopher. His interests are Business and Politics.(E-mail:; @remirex on twitter)


Monday, 30 September 2013

What Jonathan needs to win in 2015

President Jonathan is contesting come 2015. That does not seem to be news anymore, it is so obvious no body needs a college degree to figure that out.That is the perceived factor causing the imbroglio within the PDP.  Actually, it is not that the average Nigerian is  against this in itself  only that how His Excellency is going about it is what is drawing resentment and that is what his opponents are capitalising on.

If you ask me, i'll opine that Mr President does not need this mud he's dragging himself into. Unlike, most of his adversary I believe he won the last election however, what I may not vouch for was that voters weren't induced. Like a friend pointed out, the rumour that his campaign spent up to a 100 million every day on the build up to the election proper was justified with the 1.3 trillion subsidy fraud declaration. As we all knew most of the campaign financier were either oil moguls or their proteges. Caveat, all these are assumptions.

Mr Jonathan's campaign will go down in history as one of the most sophisticated electioneering campaign in Nigeria. But then, with so much money and power play there is just little you cannot  do. That is where my headache starts, did the President sack all the think -tank that delivered the 2011 mandate  hurriedly ? Because, the President's popularity seems to be drowning with every event unfolding. However, that may not be the cause.

Mega campaign, meagre results
Well, this is what I can say, President Jonathan promised alot during his campaign, so much that made his achievements meagre and very unnoticeable, so much that the people are not actually feeling the positivity in his government. Four out of every Five graduates are still without jobs; the roads are still not motorable, food is still very expensive and the value of the Nigerian Naira is still dwarfing to foreign currencies, among others. Before GEJ's fans accuse me of being cynical about his government may I mention that I see the renovations in our Airports, I've had to ,during an air travel, obtain my boarding pass under a canopy to make that achievement stick in my head.  I've not been to the Enugu International airport but my friend who flew to Enugu last week had great experience of the place. And this gladdens my heart.

And our own Minister for Agriculture seems to be putting in place projects that will undoubtedly favour the country long term green revolution. The Cassava branding, the bank lending promotions, among others are well thought out, as well.

2015 Navigation Deciders

I'll keep emphasizing the fact that Mr President will determine who becomes President in 2015. A subtle way of saying the race is his to lose. Going by Nigeria's distribution, Mr President is next to God in the power he has to himself and only him(the holder of the office) can either desecrate the position or exploit it exhaustively.

Quality not Ethnic- based Campaign
That is why I laughed when Governor Akpabio and Elder Edwin Clark based their logic for the Goodluck 2nd term on thoughts like "We respected President Y'ardua and so President Jonathan deserves same" and " OBJ did two terms therefore this Ijaw man too must go for his second term" , respectively.

With due respect, let me mention that according to the dictates of politics every man must work out his own 'salvation' and it must be centred on the political necessity of the moment. Times are changing and so are the people, too. You don't appeal to former gestures or good deeds of the past; rather, you should think of the better way of appealing to people's interest. This new Nigeria is moving away from having rights to some benefits or privileges because you are from a particular region. Nigeria is wearing a "central culture" identity and more than your tribal affiliations, the Class you belong to is becoming the bane of bond and identity. That informs why a boy of Igbo origin will bond very well with the Yoruba boy that was his roomie in college at Harvard than his kinsman that lives at their village in Nnewi.

So the first people Mr President need to curb are his foot soldiers making offensive tribal statements. The President needs to distance himself from playing the ethnic card, it won't work!Not this time. All Barack Obama's campaign was never based on the "Black race agitation". He appealed, instead, to the young minds with a message of hope, of change and of a better America.

True and Cohesive Transformation
Although GEJ's campaign in 2011 also navigated around this paradigm , the fear of Mr President, it seems, is that he has not delivered up to the expectation of the people.  But for me, that shouldn't deter him from still running an inspiring campaign come 2015. Mr President only needs to focus more on sectors like Agriculture, Power and Petroleum resources(esp Gas)
Jobs !Jobs!! Jobs!!!
Job creation and Power will be a deciding factor in how much acceptance Mr President gets ahead of 2015 general elections. The Chancelor of Germany proved this assertion right with her re-election for a Third Term as the Country's Leader. Germany,it is widely attested, have created more jobs as its economy continues to grow more nourished.

Put Family in Order
Mr President needs to broker peace with his party members. Already, rusty leadership has caused the division within the PDP. And if that crisis is not well managed it may lead to something disastrous for his presidential ambition. GEJ's enemy within started with the 2011 elections where he downplayed the activities of the Party. His campaign wasn't fully orchestrated by the Party machinery and it seemed to work though, because most of the electorate I spoke with made statements like "I voted for Goodluck Jonathan not PDP" to justify their decision.

Rapport the West
Even after the election, Mr President's relationship with former President Obasanjo turned sour. It took time and pressure to appoint cronies into federal parastatal Boards. Also, GEJ's indifference to the South West has not helped the party's growth in the region.Since he became President, the Yorubas were left out of the first ten positions in power. Also, the sack of former Governor Oyinlola as National Secretary of the party and the  reality of a divided House of PDP in South West is no small issue. It could turn around to haunt him and his dreams.

My advise; Dr Jonathan must try as much as possible to put his house in order if he truly wants to taste the fruit again in 2015. Eagle Square is waiting.

*Showunmi Rex; LAGOS trained Socio-political Philosopher. (@remirex on Twitter)


Wednesday, 25 September 2013


Residents around Zumuratu pry school area at Suru Alaba in Ajegunle woke up this morning to find out that over 30 houses in their neighborhood was gutted by fire around  4 am today(25 sept).  

Sources in the area confirmed that an electrical spark occurred early this morning due to the high voltage of electricity that PHCN supplied.

For some, it was the worst day of their life as they could not salvage any of their properties. They could only run away from the inferno with clothe they wore for the night. The pictures for themselves speaks volume.


Thursday, 15 August 2013


By whatever fact they have on ground, the UK authority will never issue this sought of travel bond restrictions on citizens from the United States or China. The question therefore is, why Nigerians?
There is no need for the Nigerian government to beg the UK authority to reverse her travel policy on Nigeria. The same colonial master that raped Nigeria and the rest of Africa have finally told us that we constitute nuisance to her public facilities that were built largely from the plunder of Africa. Rather than put all our energies appealing to the UK government, we should focus on putting our house in order.  So Mr Minister of foreign affairs let it go and lets all concentrate at getting it right here at home because there is no need shedding crocodile tears when faced with the stack reality.
There is no need over flogging this issue, the truth is Nigerians are running away from their fatherland in their hundreds of thousands on a yearly basis especially young people because the nation seems to be making wrong policy choices and even when she makes the right one there seem to be lack of will for implementation. Today, ASUU is at it again leaving young undergraduates vulnerable to whatever vices that impress them. We seem to pride our self as the largest black nation on earth but of what benefit has this brought us; nothing but abuse and insult such as this from the UK. Take a trip to any airport around the world and see how Nigerian travelers are treated. This will give you a sense why UK’s recent action is taking this hostile direction.
We don’t need any soothsayer to tell us that it’s high time to start getting it right at home. Political leaders and wealthy Nigerians should stop this reckless attitude of running abroad for treatment any time they have ordinary headache but rather endeavor to creating the right environment here at home so these facilities can be found here too. This is the only way to save our name and face from this sought embarrassment.  

Nigerians who take pride in leaving their country and make Europe and America their abode should understand that those places where never a creation from heaven but by the commitment and hard work from citizens in those places. It’s time we take responsibilities for our collective destiny so as to move this country on a right path once again. A nation can only be taken seriously and respected by the rest of the world when its people are ready to make it competitive. This is what has driven countries like china to the level they are. Today the Chinese are all over the continent of Africa engaging in different economic activities. This is the path Nigerian should aim at. We can become a beacon of hope for Africa and a true pride to the Black race only when we understand our place in the scheme of human affairs and work assiduously towards it.


Friday, 2 August 2013

Niger Delta a Region Dying from the Negligence of its own People

Finally the people of the Niger delta, south-south Nigeria have their son in power yet the region remains a shadow of its self. This is a clear reminder that Nigerians must not allow herself to be drawn into electing people to power based on ethnic sentiment but rather they must take the courage to interrogate critically those who sought their mandate so as to see the substance of their candidature.
Judging by the attitude and mood of the people from the Niger delta before Jonathan was elected, a vote for their son means good bye to poverty and so those oppose even from within them are labelled as traitors who must be dealt with and never be allowed to raise their voice, even when their concerns were genuine. Today south-south Nigeria inspite of its enormous natural endowment remains a region whose people are faced with abject poverty, educationally backward and economically far behind places like Lagos.
A Jonathan ticket will never and can never be the solution to the plight of the people from that region but rather the people themselves must be active participant in any developmental quest it wishes to engage in. They must endeavour to engage government and other private concern in the development quest of the region. This is important because what the people of the Niger delta suffers today is not lack of infrastructure but lack of men and women with genuine interest and vision for the common good of all citizens of the region. What the Niger Delta parade as leaders are merely individuals with that egoistic tendency for the self.  
Since the era of Ken Saro wiwa, the region is yet to see true fighter who will stand up and say no to the banality and abuse going on. In fact after Ken Saro wiwa, the pen has suddenly gone dry of ink while the sword has become the potent tool for negotiation used by all who feels it’s time to take their own share of the oil wealth.  This fundamentally is the reason Niger Delta is a region dying from the negligence of its own people. If and only if the people from that part of the country are intellectually reawakened then they will truly see the darkness they have been in all these while. Mental darkness not just physical darkness is the most potent way to keep a people consistently suppressed. They cannot see who they truly are once they are in this state. This is the reason bad governance and corruption is prevailing not just in the Niger delta, but in Nigeria and Africa in general.
The key to bringing light therefore is to illuminate the minds of the people by getting them properly educated and skilled so as for the people themselves to have a greater mastering of their own destiny. This is because you cannot give development to a people but rather equip their minds so as for them to be creators of their own development. This is the sure way out of the mediocrity we see today in the region. 
yek keme

Thursday, 27 June 2013


Punctuality which is derived from the Latin word “TEMPUS” means time. Punctuality is the characteristic of being able to complete a required task or fulfil an obligation before or at a previously designated time. It is regarded as the soul of business and when cultivated becomes a potent virtue for greatness.
Punctuality signifies diligence, discipline, prudence and judicious use of time. Only those who understand the value of time appreciate what it means to be punctual; as they are faithful to appointments and they plan and utilize every minute of the day and none is allowed to waste.
Life is a function of time. Anybody who waste time on trivialities invariably waste life and is oblivious of the fact that any minute lost is gone forever. Cultures that value punctuality considers being late as tantamount to showing disrespect for others time and may be considered insulting.
In work places, punctuality communicates a plethora of positive virtue to both employers and employee. As it shows dedication, interest in your work and capability in handling responsibilities and also honouring your word.
In 2011, Career Builder survey that 15% workers, were late once per week this resulted to low productivity and fall in the Gross domestic product of the United States. Research conducted by Delongor states “managers are less likely to promote late employee”
How we manage our time determines how far we will go in the success ladder of life. Beauty is born when things are done at the right time. God’s design of life on earth where season come at the right sequence of time is atypical example of punctuality.
One should consciously fight one enemy of time which is procrastination and do away with the tag known as “AFRICAN TIME” which fundamentally negates the very notion of punctuality and connotes Laziness and indiscipline.
The Romans will always say, “TEMPUS FUGIT NON REGAMUS EST” which means time can never be regained.
Punctuality when made our watch word presents us as a more serious and reliable person.

Being a speech present at the morning meditation in Rivers state Nysc Orientation camp 2013 Batch A by Platoon 4