As the country reels under the effects of a shortage of foreign exchange, concern has been raised over the draining impact of Nigerians' pursuit of foreign education.
The Story As the country reels under the effects of a shortage of foreign exchange, concern has been raised over the draining impact of Nigerians' pursuit of foreign education.
What about it? Despite severe shortage of forex, overseas education continues to drain the country’s resources, as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, admitted $80 million weekly disbursement for personal travel allowances or payment of overseas school fees. The amount, which translates to $960 million yearly, is disbursed to banks to enable Nigerians meet their forex responsibilities.
Why's the focus on education when the CBN approval covers other overseas commitments? This is after a recent report indicated that Nigerians spend £30 million (about N20B) yearly paying tuition in the United Kingdom alone. According to a report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP), a global foreign-policy think tank, Nigeria contributes £30 million yearly to UK economy through the education sector. This amount, which does not cover the cost of living in the foreign country and other school-related expenses, is about 16% of the Federal Government’s 2021 education budget.
A corruption enabler. The CEIP publication explored how overseas studies have become potential sources of financial illicit flows from prominent politically-exposed persons (PEPs) and politicians, some of who have been accused of corruption. The research called on UK officials to conduct more scrutiny on the conditions under which children of politicians enroll in British schools, arguing that this would help realise the UK’s global anti-corruption objectives and “close a troublesome anti-money laundering loophole.”
Authored by Matthew Page, a U.S. intelligence community expert on Nigeria, the report revealed how PEPs in West Africa waste unjustified wealth on overseas education. However, Chrisland University's Pro-chancellor, Prof. Ayodeji Olukoju, has noted that education is just one of several forms of tourism for which Nigerians are famous for, as he lamented the capital flight impacts of medical and other forms of tourism Nigerians engage in. SOURCE
How $5bn Stolen from Nigeria Frozen in Foreign Countries
The Story In what gives an idea of the damning amount of resources the country loses to graft, Transparency International (TI) has said an estimated $5B stolen from Nigeria is frozen in accounts in foreign countries.
That's huge! This was disclosed on Monday in Abuja during a media workshop organised by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), local chapter of TI in Nigeria. Vaclav Prusa, CISLAC policy advisor, said Nigeria is responsible for the highest illicit financial flow in Africa, adding that the estimated amount lost annually in Nigeria is between $18 to $25B.
Why aren't the funds returned to Nigeria instead of the freezing? There are processes to the recovery of such funds. “In the case of Nigeria, it is estimated that $5B stolen assets are frozen. What does this mean? It means these are funds sitting somewhere in Switzerland or somewhere waiting for reparation,” Prusa said. “It means even though some funds have been repatriated from New Jersey, Switzerland back to Nigeria, there is a lot of funds still out there. I think it’s important to rely on the media to push for these assets", Prusa added.
Shouldn't that be the responsibility of government? Less than three weeks ago, the United Kingdom had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the federal government to return £4.2 million loot recovered from James Ibori, former governor of Delta, and his associates. CISLAC also decried the poor handling of recovered funds, which are allegedly re-looted. Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, executive director of CISLAC, said lack of transparency with regards to recovered funds in the country creates room for re-looting and mismanagement.
The much-awaited 'Proceeds of Crime management' legislation has not yet been signed into law, supposedly because of the power struggle within agencies about economically and politically lucrative mandate to confiscate and manage stolen assets. SOURCE
Kenya orders closure of two refugee camps, gives ultimatum to UN agency
The Story Kenya on Wednesday ordered the closure of two sprawling camps that host hundreds of thousands of refugees from neighbouring Somalia and gave the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) two weeks to present a plan to do so, the interior ministry said.
Why would they do that? The Dadaab and the Kakuma refugee camps in northern Kenya together host more than 410,000 people, a small proportion of whom are from South Sudan. Authorities in Nairobi first announced their intention to shut the Dadaab camp, which is closer to the border with Somalia than Kakuma, back in 2016, 'citing national security concerns'. Fred Matiang’i, the interior minister, has now given the UNHCR 14 days to draw up a plan for the closure of both Dadaab and Kakuma, his ministry said in a tweet, adding that there was no room for further talks on the issue.
How's the UN responding? UNHCR urged Kenya to ensure that those who need protection continue to get it, and pledged to keep engaging in a dialogue. “The decision would have an impact on the protection of refugees in Kenya, including in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” it said in a statement. Somali authorities did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Is there an established security threat linked to the camps? The Kenyan government’s attempt to close Dadaab in 2016 was informed by intelligence reports showing two large attacks on Kenyan targets in 2013 and 2015 took place with the involvement of elements in the camps. The plan was blocked by the high court, which called the move unconstitutional. The camp was established three decades ago and was once the world’s largest refugee camp, which at its peak hosted over half a million people fleeing violence and drought in Somalia. SOURCE
Musical Chairs But The Song Never Ends
The Story The relatively impressive handing of the coronavirus pandemic has not been enough in easing the political troubles of Israel's Prime Minister.
How's that? Four elections in two years have failed to give the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, the necessary 61 seats to form a coalition government with a majority in Parliament. With more than 90% of Wednesday's vote counted, Netanyahu's right-wing alliance had 52 seats while his opponents had 56. And the gridlock extends beyond the election.
What's the implication of this? Administrative stagnation has left Israel without a national budget for two consecutive years in the middle of a pandemic, and with several key Civil Service posts unstaffed. The idea that the political deadlock paralyzing the country isn't going to get better, and in fact appears to have gotten worse, has Israelis pondering the viability of their electoral system, the functionality of their government and whether the divisions between the country's various politics --- secular and devout, right-wing and leftist, Jewish and Arab --- have made the nation unmanageable.
Will Netanyahu remain PM? With the votes counted, his right-wing bloc is on course to win 52 seats - nine short of the threshold. In a surprise development, an Arab party, Raam, which is projected to get four seats could hold the balance of power. At the moment, Raam has not declared whether it will support the efforts of Netanyahu to form a governing coalition or those of the bloc of parties opposed to him.
The Netanyahu opponents are projected to win 57 seats, according to the latest tally, and although backing from Raam could give them a majority, they are fragmented and unlikely to be able to agree to work together. If neither bloc succeeds, the country could face its 'fifth' election since 2019. A Tel Aviv-based analyst said Israel isn't yet a failed state, like Lebanon, because it still has institutions. "But there is definitely erosion," she said. "Not having a budget for two years --- this is really dangerous." SOURCE
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Highlife originated from…? a. Nigeria* b. Ghana c. South Africa
QUESTION & ANSWER
What inventions had deeply personal beginnings?
“What inventions had deeply personal beginnings?”
In 1981, a young engineer in Japan named Kikuo Ibe broke the mechanical watch his father had given him as a gift. Ibe accidentally dropped the watch on his way to work and it smashed into pieces on the floor. At the same time, he started to observe some construction workers around his office who were using jackhammers and realized they were never wearing any watches because of the vibration. After that he came up with an idea to create a tough watch that can't be destroyed.
When Ibe later got a job at Casio Computer Co., Ltd., he developed the chunky digital watch called G-Shock. The G-Shock was conceived as a watch which would have triple 10 resistance, meaning it would have a battery life of 10 years, have a water resistance of 10 bar and could survive a fall of 10 meters. Since most watches on the market were made as slim as possible, it was not an immediate success, appealing only to construction workers and police officers. But it later became a style icon when the skateboarding craze hit the world, leading youngsters to seek a tough timepiece that matched their baggy clothes. Subsequently G-Shock became very popular amongst the general public. On September 1, 2017, Casio celebrated its 100 millionth shipment of G-Shocks worldwide. SOURCE