I hope your week has started on a great note already?! If not, I wish you some more luck. Anyway, I am excited to be starting what I think (
hope & pray) maybe a permanent weekly feature on the blog. For now, the tentative title is ‘What’s hot?!’ (not sure I am convinced this should be the title but anyway…….)
Basically, ‘What’s hot’ would be a weekly compilation of things I found ‘hot’ – interesting, important, thought-provoking, intellectually stimulating etc. – it could range from local/global news, books, documentaries, articles etc. ..intellectually stimulating stuff really. I’ve been considering doing this for the longest time as I see many cool stuff everyday which I feel obliged to share with you guys- I figured this might be the best way to go about it. I am really excited about it and I hope you feel the same way too!
So let’s go!
- Today is June 12! For those who do not know, it is a day which many Nigerians consider as the true democracy day. It is marked in commemoration of the June 12, 1993 Presidential elections between MKO Abiola and Bashir Tafa; MKO Abiola overwhelmingly won the elections with broad based support across northern and southern Nigeria. But the then Military Head of State Ibrahim Babaginda annulled the elections despite promising a transition to Democracy. Stears has a great reading list about June 12.
- The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently released Nigeria’s unemployment data it currently stands at 14.2% up from 13.9%. Obviously, this is unsurprising given that the economy is still in a recession. The important signal this gives to Policymakers is that they need to prioritise jobs, jobs and more jobs for our people! Read more here
- Nigeria’s debt is increasing and currently stands at N19.16 trillion! Last year we borrowed $1billion via Eurobonds and $600 million from the World Bank/African Development Bank (AFDB) amongst others. To show how bad things are, the federal government would have to spend a third of its revenue (1/3) on debt servicing. The truth is that with the state of our economy, we really need to borrow as government revenue has significantly reduced. But as I explain in this article, the critical question is how we spend this borrow funds and the returns we get on them. Else, we are really just mortgaging our future.
- The World Bank has raised Nigeria’s economic growth forecast to 1.2% in 2017, due to increasing oil production levels (caused by a reduction in the activities of militants) and an uptick in oil prices, which are 10% higher than their 2016 levels. For sub-Saharan Africa as a whole, growth is projected to increase to 2.6% in 2017 from 1.3% in 2016. This is largely due to improvement in commodity prices, strengthening external demand and the end of drought in several countries. Read more here
- The Comey memo and the Comey hearing! Fortunately, my boss let me watch the Comey hearing live for a couple of minutes while I streamed the rest live. Besides the main issue of Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, It’s such a shame watching the World’s ‘greatest’ democracy turn into an actual reality show/circus. I hope America’s democratic institutions survives Trump’s administration.
- I just finished reading ‘Oil, Politics and Violence’ by Max Siollun. This is clearly one of the best Books I have read about Nigeria’s civil war – although it does not go into great details about the war itself, it gives a very vivid and fairly objective account of the events leading up to the war and all of Nigeria’s military coups up until 1976. This book got me really emotional in some chapters and made me realise once again that there has not been any significant change in Nigeria’s political economy since the 1960s…Fam, we have been dealing with the same basic issues! Nah, things need to change in Nigeria. Buy here
- Finally, I read this fantastic article by someone I have always admired. It is a personal and brilliant article which articulates the challenges immigrants in the US are faced with. Using her life experiences in the UK, US and Liberia, she is able to go beyond the media’s narrative to put a more humane face to the challenges of immigrants. You will really enjoy it.
I am so eager to know what you think about this new feature! Yay or Nay? Let me know in the comments section please. Thank you!!