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CAVEAT: This is a yet to happen REALITY. Reader discretion advised.

Now that Mr. President may not be dead after all, what happens?

With pictures and more confident words to prove their points, the presidency and All Progressive Congress (APC) are beginning to erase the possibility of the president’s death from the minds of Nigerians. So confident they hinted he could return to Nigeria the weekend of February 11th to 12th.

 

However, Speculations that the president might return to Nigeria this weekend might not come through as indications have emerged that the president’s UK doctors do not want him to leave just yet. Conversely, Buhari’s close friends in the presidency, who are said to be tired of the situation, want Mr. President to return immediately; so they do not lose their power and influence.

 

It is now becoming clear that the president might be responding to treatment and that the news of his death was actually a rumour.

 

Another factor that has also become clear to many, including President Buhari himself, is that many Nigerians do not really mean well for him.

 

It would be recalled that there were jubilations in all regions of the country when the rumour of his death broke out.

 

A Leader’s Attitude

While this could make any individual really sad and unappreciated (if deserving of appreciation), Mr. President should remember that healthy attitude is what distinguishes a true leader.

 

The attitudes of Nigerians to the rumour of his death should make the president think deep about his style and priorities. Having perhaps had his life flash before his eyes recently, this could be the time for President Buhari to ask himself the honest question of “How do I wish to be remembered?”

 

Fate and Nigerians’ desperation have been so fair to him to give him another chance to lead, despite his failure in the 80s. He should make the most of it.

 

The hardship citizens are going through are enormous, and could have been avoided had the president led with better approach and discretion. We hope he learns some lessons and take actions more strategically and with empathy.

 

His corruption war has been tainted with favouritism and insincerity. Mr President should retrace his steps to fight this war with sincerity; otherwise, it would all be efforts in futility in no distant time.

 

The much reported and proven cases of nepotism and favouritism is something the president also need address with sincerity immediately. Otherwise, he would miss this cheap opportunity Nigerians have given him to achieve something worth the while before his time is up.

 

You can follow us on Twitter @ngtomorrow

 

 

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Beautiful Irony: Nigerian Deaf Invents New Phone / Sound Technology

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Invention is a thing that often comes with much celebration and ovations as it always creates a new path of greatness for humanity. But when it comes from the rarest of places, it not proffers solutions to human problems, but also proves the richness of the human mind and its ability to create just about anything. This was the ironic case when a deaf Nigerian beat decades of research efforts to invent a sound separation technology.

 

When Bimpe Adelaja lost her hearing ability at age 7 to meningitis, her parents were devastated. Despite this tragedy, they never stopped believing in her ability to do just about anything, and imparted this belief into her through any communication means possible. After a year trying to fix the hearing problem, her parents decided to enroll her in a special school where she could get education through sign language.

 

Bimpe picked interest in Sciences since her primary school days. She later proceeded to Ladoke Akintola University of Technology where she studied Computer Engineering – with full scholarship, following her outstanding performances in WASSCE and JAMB.

 

Despite being deaf, she would often answer or make phone calls, and endeavour to pick some words from the “squeaky” sounds she sensed - the kind of sound that makes absolutely no sense to the hearing. She would call her friends and request that they speak on phone while also communicating same spoken words by text through Instant Messaging apps (on another phone).

 

With time, she would pick the spoken words before the text and the need for the text was occasionally disregarded in the course of discussions. One constraint she often faced was interference of background sounds. When this happens, she is not able to pick the words and ends up getting confused. So, she made up her mind to develop a technology that can filter the main voice on the phone from others, and also pick, separate and record background sounds.

 

Consequently, she ventured into sound engineering, with focus on sound separation-cum-programming. (She is a professional programmer.) Five years into this field, Bimpe discovered the innovation of sound separation scientists across the globe have been researching on for decades. She is practically blowing the world’s mind away.

 

She retains the patent of her discovery with her company, Esion (a reverse of “noise”), partnering with global giants as the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of their sound separation chips.

 

Following her company’s $1.1 billion deal with Apple, the major feature that distinguishes the new iPhone 10c scheduled to be out in six month is the sound separation technology of the phone – the first 10 million units of which have already been pre-ordered.

 

She is scheduled to sign a $1.7 billion Dollars partnership agreement with Sony today at Ibadan where she operates from. To be in attendance are Nigeria’s Vice President, Minister for Labour and Productivity, and Secretary General of African Union.

 

The 29-year old is projected to top the list of richest Africans in 10 years, providing over 520,000 jobs  - just has the users of her renewable energy app moved from 250,000 to 78,000,000 a month after her sound separation innovation was made known to the world.

 

According to the Secretary General, AU, “We are really proud of Bimpe as Africans. She has challenged each and every one of us to be our best. If she could come up with this, then we have no excuse as Africans. We in the AU, than ever before, have been challenged to rise up to our responsibility of wealth creation in our continent, rather than always waiting for aids and grants from the West. We have got to rise up to this occasion. The world needs us, not for exploitation, but for survival; and we have got to live up to this expectation!”

 

You can follow us on Twitter @ngtomorrow

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Nigeria: Way to Prosperity

The future of a nation lies not in the volume of its natural resources or its infrastructure, but in the quality of the value its citizens have to offer – both within and outside the country. It is in the information they have, that is, what is IN them that results in their FORMATION; the education and skills of its people.

 

Everything boils down to life and economy. The responsibility of a government is broadly two: security of lives and creation of a conducive environment for businesses to thrive. This is what citizens must understand and demand from their leaders. Infrastructure do not necessarily result in development. There could be all the infrastructure and yet the people are poor because of instituted inequality.

 

So, huge investment in education and research and development is key and strategic. It is even required to equip citizens to make right political/electoral decisions.

 

A sincerely altruistic leader will focus more, not on the kilometers of roads s/he is able to construct, but on building the mental prowess of the citizens for them to lead healthy lives and fulfill their (economic) life goals.

 

Government should not be in the business of doing business, rather it should be in the business of equipping the people to do business profitably, then pay taxes for the good of all. If a government has both political and economic powers, like is the case in Nigeria where oil is the major source of funding for government activities, there would never be sustainable development.

 

Economic powers should rest with the people, not the government. That way, the government feels (more) obliged to “serve” the citizens, rather than “empowering” the citizens - a misplaced feeling of pride and dominance that has destroyed the nation for long. The government got the power from the citizens in the first place, why should it feel it is now so powerful the citizens should be at its mercy? Unfortunately, the citizens are because they lack their personal economic powers and they live in survival. Citizens even lack the understanding to know that they do not judge a government by the number of roads it is able to “repair” but by the impact it is able to have in educating and in-forming them.

 

 

What’s the way forward?

Citizens must first engage in self-awareness and make other citizens aware of the important things. We as citizens need to take this leadership role to educate fellow citizens until there is so much ripple effect and positive awareness.

 

We need to vote in leaders whose manifestoes talk about making the government directly less economically powerful but ensuring the citizens have more economic powers. It is even wiser because more people can engage in the multiplication of wealth than government and there would be better returns on investment.

 

You can follow us on Twitter @ngtomorrow

 

 

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#ChangeBeginsWithMe: Plagiarism or not, Change is a Must

On September 8, 2016, President Buhari launched the “Change Begins with Me” campaign. Unfortunately, the campaign has been judged by many as yet another way by the president and his party to shift blames.

 

In his inaugural speech, the President said “Our citizens must realize that the change they want to see begins with them, and that personal and social reforms are not a theoretic exercise. If you have not seen the change in you, you cannot see it in others or even the larger society.”

 

The questions many are asking are: how have the president and his cohorts shown that the change has begun with them? Are they not supposed to lead by example? For an administration that is known for blame shifting, is this not yet another show of irresponsibility? It is doubtful that change has begun in a leader and a party that keep going back on their campaign promises without respect for their electorate.

 

To make matters worse, it was revealed a week after the campaign was launched that part of the president’s speech was actually taken from President Obama’s 2008 inaugural speech.

 

In the reaction to the plagiarism incident on Twitter by the president’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, the very first statement reads, "1. PMB has ordered that prompt & appropriate disciplinary action be taken against those responsible for a wrongful insertion in his speech.."

 

A leader who “starts” a rejoinder with an assertion to go after “those responsible for wrongful insertion” of a blunder he publicly made is irresponsible. Not only was it unfortunate that a campaign targeted at encouraging integrity was tainted with plagiarism, the presidency proved Nigerians right - by its response - that the campaign is yet another tactic to shift the blame of incompetence to the citizens. Leadership is taking responsibility.

 

How can Citizens accept a Mindset Change Campaign?

Everything rises and falls on leadership. Nigerians are not goats who like to break laws at any given opportunity – as we have been made to believe. The crux of the problem is that the vast majority of Nigerians live for survival and with scarcity mentality – irrespective of level of income.

 

At the survival zone, the irrational is made rational – with logic. Over the years, the emotional, logical, physical, economic, intellectual and social well-being of Nigerians have been bastardized by those they entrusted the management of our common resources to. People had to look for other means to keep heads above waters.

 

People had to sell goods by the roadsides (traffic disruption) so as to put food on the table; people had to make sure their own get jobs through their professional and business contacts (nepotism); people had to bribe traffic law officers (bribery) to avoid being arrested over a driver’s license (renewal) the government made almost impossible to get without bribing, or being wrongly accused - with evidence; people had to lobby their children into higher institutions (favouritism) because the system does not honour merit; people had to collect bags of rice during elections (aiding corruption) because 99% of the time, politicians will not fulfill their promises.

 

All these are survival techniques, and they are naturally developed as responses to threats.

 

These attitudes sure need to change. However, to get people to change their habit, you have to lead with sincerity and integrity, and provide the enabling environment, confidence, assurance, incentives and/or the benefits derivable. It is a simple principle of societal mindset change.

 

You can follow us on Twitter @ngtomorrow

 

 

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Nation Building: Nigerian Youths Empowered to Take the Lead

The world on Friday, July 12, 2016 marked the International Youth Day, and Nigeria was not left out in the celebration.

 

In Lagos, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Lagos, in conjunction with Strategy for Mentoring Initiative and Leadership Empowerment (S.M.I.L.E) organized a youth event with young entrepreneurs and leaders of organization in attendance. It was a motivating, educative and inspiring event for the young leaders present.

 

The theme of this year’s International Youth Day is “The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Production and Consumption.” The speakers spoke about leadership, sustainable development and bankable ideas being the resource that attract money – no matter how bad the economy.

 

In an interview with the press, Mr. Korede Oludiran, the CEO of Prescience Strategy & Consulting Ltd and Lawran Foods Ltd said he was again motivated to reassess how well he has been able to put knowledge he had gathered in such fora to use. He also said he had been further equipped to focus on developing strategies to consistently, effectively and efficiently communicate his vision to his (to-be) followers so that the vision could be kept alive and remain long after him, while equally raising leaders.

 

Fast Track to 2030…

The late 2010s and the whole of 2020s have been described by many as the era of paradigm shift in Nigeria. Many young people now see life a lot differently than they used to.

 

The many mind-shifting fora organized by different leaders and speakers have been identified as the cause for this shift in citizens’ mindset.

 

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) which conducted a survey on the disposition of Nigerians to leadership and prosperity, “The citizens have become more strategic, tactical and objective in their assessment of societal issues….A major reason for this development is the contributions of many motivational and subject matter speakers through numerous organized fora that they nation had witnessed in recent decades and the improvement in the quality of its education.”

 

This has had massive impact in the political, social and economic atmospheres of Nigeria, as decisions are made or demanded by ‘smarter thinkers.’”

 

Little drops of water have indeed made the ocean of "achievement of true human capacity building" – an achievement that was the major requisite to the actualization of a progressive and wealthy nation and citizens we all witness today.

 

You can follow us on Twitter @ngtomorrow

 

 

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#SaveMayowa: The Media and the Money

The #SaveMayowa campaign became popular a few weeks back and was generously accepted by many Nigerians. It is a campaign to save the life of a young lady who is suffering from Ovarian Cancer.

 

Just while the campaign was about to come to an end, it was alleged that it was actually a “scam.” This allegation was made by Nigeria’s infamous blogger, Linda Ikeji, who is reputed for profiting out of – sometimes fabricated – people’s misfortunes.

 

The blogger claimed to have found out that Mayowa’s illness was beyond treatment (according to LUTH doctors); therefore, the family scammed Nigerians. She arrived at her conclusion without the decency of reaching out to the family to hear their own side of the story.

 

Even though Nigerian doctors claimed her case was beyond redemption anywhere in the world, it was still unwise and wicked to tag it a scam. It is a fact that Mayowa is sick; and any loving family would do all in their power to see their loved one healed – no matter the opinion of LUTH doctors. Unfortunately, Linda Ikeji cares more about making more money, even if it means sending Mayowa to her early grave.

 

Facts of correspondences with Emory International (Hospital) have subsequently emerged to show that the family is truly planning on taking Mayowa to USA for treatment.

 

The Power of the Media and the Need for Regulations 

With great power comes great responsibility! The media is a powerful part of a nation. So powerful it gave the APC its victory in the last election. Any player in the industry is an opinion shaper whose work can make or mar a whole nation. It is with this sense of responsibility that work need be done in this sector, and regulations established and enforced.

 

It is so ironic that players (some of whom are accidental electronic journalists) advocate for free speech to keep the public enlightened and empowered, yet end up being the ones subjugating the masses with wrong information and manipulations.

 

The level of influence of the media in any society is massive. They shape the mind of the people, and of course of the future of a nation.

 

Well-meaning Nigerians are now torn between the risk of putting the urgent need to regulate the sector in the hands of corrupt politicians and that of putting up with indecent and destructive journalism. 

 

When journalism is done the way Linda Ikeji and the likes do it, we know the nation is heading the wrong way. Hence, the need for urgent action. 

 

While we sure cannot trust this current crop of politicians with such reform, this is a clarion call on some creative and visionary Nigerians to start working on getting journalism into good shape in Nigeria – for the sake of Nigeria’s survival and prosperity.

 

You can follow us on Twitter @ngtomorrow

 

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Nigeria Polio-free: A Proof We Can?

Sunday, July 24, 2016, was Nigeria’s 2nd anniversary of freedom from Polio. This is a great victory for the nation. Anyone who understands the impact this disease has had on the lives of its victims and the nation would celebrate this great achievement.

 

This victory over Polio is yet another proof that whatever the mind can see is achievable, even in the face of giant obstacles. Polio was sometime a global epidemy until the vaccine was discovered in 1955 by Jonas Salk.

 

In 1996, the Kick Polio out of Africa campaign started. By 2003, Nigeria along with Egypt and Niger were the countries left on the list of African nations affected by Polio. Since, the fight had continued.

 

Unfortunately, in same year, there was a setback. Polio immunization was suspended in Kano, and this resulted in the spread of Polio to 14 Polio-free countries and re-infected six (Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and Sudan). Yet, humanity never gave up.

 

On several occasions, ceasefires were agreed to give vaccinators the opportunity to reach people in war-ravaged areas. The world (including those at logger heads) came together to fight this common enemy.

 

In the end, humanity is about to win this battle – with only Pakistan and Afghanistan still dealing with the disease.

 

Lessons Learned

If the whole world, despite the many differences could come together to fight a common cause for humanity, then there is hope for Nigeria.

 

A few groups of people, who are only a fraction of the world, came together and developed of vision of a polio-free world. Today, that vision has almost come to pass.

 

That is what Nigeria needs, a few of us (20%, by Pareto standard), developing the vision of a beautiful Nigeria in our area of endeavour, and then, we make this nation great...

 

You can follow us on Twitter @ngtomorrow

 

 

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Dear CNN, you got this wrong; this is the Lagos we see

CNN on Thursday, July 14, posted a demeaning futuristic picture on Twitter with a caption, “Is this what Lagos will look like in 2050?” Nigerians did not wait for long before giving the media house some knocks. What some may not have discovered, however, is that the picture was designed by a Nigerian architect turned artist based in the US, Olalekan Jeyifous, as his idea of Lagos in the future. He is also scheduled to exhibit this collection of art he called “Shanti Megastructure” at London's 50Golborne in September 2016, and San Francisco's Museum of the African Diaspora, in October 2016.

 

A pictures, they say, is worth a thousand words. Is this the story one of our own intends to tell about Nigeria? After these folks have succeeded in making our today what it is, should we allow them use us to again destroy our tomorrow? Work of art? How about the popular work of art showing the beautiful Oshodi of 2045 named “Oshodi 2045”? Why has CNN not promoted that instead? Because some people want us to remain backward forever.

 

The mind is wired to believe anything - truth or false - it is told over and over again. Instead of Olalekan using his architectural and artistic mind to create a beautiful future of Lagos, he is creating destructive images that could be hung on the walls of London’s 50Golborne and Francisco’s Museum of the African Diaspora for decades.

 

Lekan! Are these not the same people who have used their media to make their people believe we live in the forest and on trees in Africa? How does your “work of art” make Nigeria’s economy better? This is war! The greatest victory or defeat happens in the mind. The future of Nigeria is in our hands. We have to create it, believe it, live it and work towards it to get it. That is the principle of deliberate prosperity. And it is same for deliberate subjugation of any people. And you should not be the tool they use for that.

 

While they are busy promoting a wrong future of Lagos and Nigeria, what we must do is to create our own future through our imaginations in the form of arts, words, movies and every available form of communication.

 

Lagos 2050: The Future We Know

Yesterday, January 5, 2050, the world stood in awe of Lagos yet again as the city was ranked the most infrastructurally developed city in Africa the third consecutive time. The journey of Lagos from one that was erroneously associated with shanties to one that competes with Tokyo in aesthetics is such that inspires the staunchest of pessimists.

 

Nigeria’s prosperity the past 3 decades and the strategic positioning of Lagos as a major commercial centre are the major factors for this transformation. According to The Economist, “Not only do the local economy of Lagos provide it with massive figures in taxes, its returns and intangible equity in export trading increase at the average rate of 120% year after year for the past 3 decades.

 

“Therefore, investors and businesses (especially those owned by Nigerians), and the international community as a whole had no choice but to invest heavily in infrastructure in Lagos. The cost of not doing so, was projected by all economic indices to be grave.”

 

The restructuring of governance in Nigeria which led to the advancement of regional economies is also a major factor for Lagos’ transformation. It led to the promotion of Lagos’ potentials and raised confidence amongst business owners.

 

With beautiful roads networks, intelligent rail system, improved city layouts, and a 100-year strategic metropolitan plan, Lagos is undoubtedly on a course to becoming the most beautiful city in the world sometime in the future.

 

You can follow us on Twitter @ngtomorrow

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US Killings: What can Nigerians learn from it all?

The various killings in the US the past days should give any discerning Nigerian a reason to think beyond the now and about the future of Nigeria. That the American system, despite its reputation for respect for the constitution, allows police officers to murder black people without prosecution should give any Nigerian who tries to shut up anyone who complains about tribal sentiment by northern leaders a prod to have a rethink.

 

Moves by racial groups to subdue others are real and are better tamed early than dealt with later. Any country that fails to do so will pay for it - even decades or centuries after. No matter how small or underprivileged a minority group is, if they are deliberately put down for the benefit of others, they will one day demand to be treated right. The Niger Delta people are a good example.

 

One recommendation that has, however, been most popularly made in the aftermath of the recent killings in USA is “open and honest conversations.” This is something Nigeria needs to learn from. Not talking about our grievances can only result in the piling up of gun powder that would later explode in everyone’s face - as it is currently exploding in our faces.

 

Some have even become so hypocritical that they argue that “It doesn’t matter where they come from, we just need people who can do the job” in order to defend a president whose security chiefs are 95% northerners. Having this skewed formation could only provide short term solutions (if at all) which could be destroyed by agitations in no time. Why was the doctrine of national character so important when it was time to drag the whole nation backward, and no more important now that we claim to be building it?

 

Securing the Future of Nigeria

Nigerians have to wake up and drop myopic reasoning. We cannot afford to pretend that there are no regional biases in Nigeria; and we sure cannot afford to support or by quiet about it because of the immediate change (gratification) we so much desire. We as citizens must imbibe rational, just and lawful standards in our assessment of national issues and hold our leaders to those standards. Only these standards can guarantee sustainable growth, not the quick fixes we have had over and over again.

 

We cannot be penny wise, pound foolish because we are desperate. The iron is, we are where we are today because we were desperate yesterday; yet we want to get out of the situation with same acts of desperation.

 

We cannot be so concerned about development today that we do not bother to ask if such can be sustained for even 3 years. For us to actually move forward, we need to listen with sincere empathy to one another, and to encourage or compel the government to give every region a fair chance to grow through true federalism.

 

 

You can follow us on Twitter @ngtomorrow

 

 

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True Impact of Ban on Street Selling and Buying in Lagos

The Lagos government yesterday announced that, starting from July 1, 2016, it would commence total enforcement against street hawking and street buying with N90,000 fine, 6 months in prison, or both. This does not seem to bother most Lagosians so much, because many believe it engenders a civilized environment.

 

What is the reason for wanting to get traders off the street? They are to reduce traffic in Lagos, avoid accidents and make our environment appear civil. Fine, below is a quick analysis:

 

How many deaths in Lagos have been caused by accidents or delays that can be linked to hawking? Maybe 500/month (of course that is an exaggerated figure). How many deaths are caused by malnutrition and inability to settle health bills? According to NOIPolls, these factors contribute cause death 24% of the time. This account for 1,059 of the 4,410 maternal deaths per month in Lagos. This is only for maternal deaths!

 

And if this is about civility, it is still not justifiable. Civility is about the well-being of citizens; it is something from within. So, for a government to attempt to create a façade of civility with the lives of Lagosians as sacrifice as share wickedness.

 

No race on earth is averse to rowdiness. After Hurricane Sandy struck, we all saw, on CNN, how many Americans were looting shops and fighting over groceries. When the survival of any human is threatened, he forgets civility and FIGHTS for his/her life. This is the situation majority of the hawkers have found themselves. They are not foolish to not know that they risk their lives on the road. They are people are the lowest level of life where you either fight to live or you die.

 

It is easy for us to clamour for a civil environment, but at what and whose cost?

 

It is so unfortunate that the enlightened and educated among us – the middle class, who are supposed to be the ones that reason objectively to support or oppose government policies are actually suffering from colonial mentality, pride, hypocrisy and selfishness. We often believe that anything done in the developed world is appropriate and should be replicated verbatim in Nigeria. It is worst level of poor esteem! Nigeria’s (especially Lagos’) middle class is perhaps the most selfish globally. Once a policy does not directly affect us and it appears civil, we support it or simply keep quiet.

 

The Way Forward

Enforcing penalties against street hawking and buying is putting the cart before the horse. The government should concentrate on creating environments that will boost the economy first before cracking down on street hawking.

 

Nigerians are not animals as the government often tries make us appear – to cover up their failures. People are fighting to live. Road and bridge constructions should be secondary to direct investment in citizens’ enlightenment, education, food production and health. Without prioritizing these areas, development cannot be sustainable. The quality of the people using the infrastructures is far more important that the infrastructures. The vision of Lagos state need be reengineered.

 

You can follow us on Twitter @ngtomorrow

 

 

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