Inspirational and Socio-Political Blog.

Monday 30 May 2011

Nigerians Intellectual History

I am more than convinced that Nigerians are very smart and intelligent people with very rich intellectual history. Nigerians are well read, vast and part of the very best professionals and even entrepreneurs that the world have to offer. We have a very strong intellectual history, an average Nigerian spends over 20 years in school, studying to be specialist in various field of human endeavours. However, a lot of us waste those number of years we have spent learning, doing irrelevant things. Many Nigerians do not even know why they go to school, a lot more go to school, with the hope of securing a job only, some go to school simply to get the title and be classed degree holders.
A lot of Nigerians read under very debilitating and stressful condition, but only very few Nigerians commit their years of knowledge to any tangible use. Our years of study usually ends with getting just any job and surviving, however we need to understand that our educational attainment goes beyond only surviving, we need to put the ideas we acquire to good use and use it for the development of our nation.
Nigerians are rich in knowledge and we have the ideas to build a modest country, we have intellectuals who can contribute their ideas towards building the nation into a world-class model to the admiration of other countries, however we are often enmeshed in political quagmire, tribal and religious differences, making us ignore the work at hand and the need to build a virile nation. We keep nursing our dissonance that Nigeria cannot work due to our history of bad leadership. Our 'best brains' are now scattered all over the world in search of greener pastures and commuting our nation into the hands of non-intellectuals, with no ideas. This group of people who we have recycled since the nation got its independence have failed us over the years and do not have any idea of moving the nation forward. It is very disheartening to know that Nigeria with so much educated elites and a bank of intellectual history have continually left the country to be ruled by semi-illiterates and non-intellectuals who are only committed to swindling the rest of the larger population of its rights.
Nigerian have placed so much power into the hands of these clueless leaders who clearly do not have an inkling of what needs to be done to change the nation. These set of Politicians have sunk the nation into an abyss, leaving us with a lot of efforts to put us back on track. They only occupy the seat of power to protect their wages and fat-foreign bank accounts, with no sense of direction or intellectual capacity to move the nation forward. These set of leaders have continuously equated their leadership role as opportunity to rule and not to serve, they embezzle public money because they have no ideas of implementing any useful project and those of them who knew what to do, chose to ignore them.
Intellectual Nigerians needs to take up their responsibility of participating in the recovery of the Nation, It is the only way we have to move our great nation forward. We need to be guided that ideas do not develop in isolation from the people who create and use them and that we must study ideas not as abstract propositions but in terms of the culture, lives and historical contexts that produced them. All Intellectual Nigerians home and abroad needs to come together and participate in the drive to implement developmental projects and schemes that can kick start the wheel of our great nation. We have now sworn-in the new leaders to steer the wheel of the nation for the next 4 years, it is important we all team up with our fresh ideas and assist the new dispensation to achieve the goals of developing our great country.
We all should come together together to use our ideas in developing a nation we can be proud of, we do not have to leave everything in the hands of our leaders alone, we all need to come together with our pool of ideas garnered from our experience all over the world and look for ways to develop our Nation. We need the involvement of individuals and corporate organization to come up with ideas that can galvanize us into a model nation. Let us bring home ideas of developing our nation in the the areas of transportation, power, water distribution, policing and security, employment, manufacturing and many more. Let us pool together our ideas and offer our suggestions to help our various sectors develop. This way we can build a nation we are proud to live in, with peace of mind.

Monday 23 May 2011

PHCN: Increasing Power Generation In Nigeria Through Solar Energy (FIT)

I have worked within the energy industry for a few years now and paid close attention to how the Solar Photovoltaic (PV) works for the generation of electricity. I have also attended some trainings and worked closely with the micro renewable team and observed the installation process. I find the process very insightful, I am also fascinated by the UK Government’s high level of interest in the Photovoltaic (PV) and the Feed in Tariff (FIT) initiative. I feel it will do well if the PHCN look at a way of implementing similar process in Nigeria to boost and increase our much needed power generation. This is a very interesting initiative, such that people can generate electricity themselves through their solar panels mostly installed on their roof, within the comfort of their homes, they enjoy the free electricity and still get paid for what they have generated through FIT and Export Tariff fed to the nations grid.
Photovoltaic (PV) is a way of generating electrical power through the process of converting solar radiations into direct current electricity using semiconductors that exhibit the photovoltaic effects. The generation of Photovoltaic power uses Solar Panels composed of several cells with photovoltaic materials.  PV Panels have gone through considerable transformation through series of developments over the years and many countries are making use of its benefits to boost their electric generations. This technology is now reputed to be the fasted growing electric generation in the world, currently adding almost 25GW and yet still growing, to the 4.8 TW total global power-generating capacities. Nigeria can only boast of less that 3.5GW out of the estimated 7.5GW demand needed to keep the country running efficiently, so the need to have other cheaper and easier method of generating electricity is worth our consideration.
Most of us are already familiar with the solar power technology through the use of calculators and adding machines with solar cells, these calculators do not use batteries, and in some cases don’t have off button, which means they work forever as long as there is light. You also might have noticed or seen larger solar panels in street lights and emergency road signs. The attractive aspect of PV effect is that as long as there is light, the technology will continue to work. Nigeria is blessed with abundant sun, 365 days a year because of our geographic location and would benefit immensely if the PV effect is implemented.
With the current trend in the UK, the solar panels can be installed by the energy company for free and the company remain the owners of the solar panels for 25 years. During this period, they earn income from the governments through Feed in Tariff and the Export Tariff initiatives. These panels are normally installed on the roof of the property and how many panels installed is dependent on the size of the roof, they mostly appear in dark blue colours. Individual can also buy the solar panels themselves and get private companies to do the installation or can also have it done free by their energy company once they have the solar panels ready. The details below explain what these two terms mean.
The Feed in Tariff (FIT) is a government initiative designed to encourage the uptake of the micro renewable technology, this is implemented by the owner of the PV panels receiving a fixed amount of money for every unit of energy generated by the panels. This is irrespective of the electricity being used in the property or exported to the grid. There is also additional money that is earned from the energy exported to the grid through the Export Tariff.
The Export Tariff on the other hand allows a company or individual to earn money for every unit of electricity generated from renewable sources which is exported back to the grid. This means that any energy generated by the PV panels that is not used in the property will be exported to the grid. The owner of the panels will receive a fixed amount of money for each unit exported. This is in addition to the money earned from the FIT.
If an individual have the capital to pay for the Panels, it will cost about £8,500(N2, 500,000) for an average system, which means the individual can keep the income from the Feed in Tariff and Export Tariff. However, there is the option for the Free Solar Package Scheme, that way the initial large investment can be avoided, however, with this scheme, the energy company owns the panels for 25 years and then they become yours.
In the scheme Individuals are allowed to generate up to 5MW of electricity, the amount you are paid will depend on the scale of the panels installed. A typical 2.5kW, solar PV can save you around £140(N35,000) per year on your electricity bill and you could earn around £900 (N225, 000) per year through the cash back scheme. These type of scheme can work wonders if introduced in Nigeria as it will increase our energy capacity, the government (PHCN) gains, the ordinary Nigerians using the the energy transported to the grid gains and also the individual who owns the solar panels gains. So it’s a win win situation.

Wednesday 18 May 2011

How We Can Make Nigeria Work

We need to change our attitude and start believing that Nigeria can work. Our attitude establishes a very important part of any achievement we can attain. Attitude is as important as life because attitude is the judgemental responses needed to take appropriate decision that works. Attitude represents an individual’s degree to like and dislike something, it is important to have the right attitude to achieve anything meaningful. We need the right attitude to start a nation that works and full of potentials. We need to change our wrong attitude that Nigeria cannot work. Many sees Nigeria as a country where the resources and assets belonged only to a privileged few, please be reminded that we all have equal rights and equal predispositions to the wealth and resources of the country inherited as a result of being citizens of Nigeria. We have the civic rights to protect the treasures and build a nation that works.
Nigerians need to break away from their experiences, which have clashed with their expectation leading to contradictory beliefs. It means that people struggle with learning new things when they are committed to their previous knowledge, this type of psychological phenomenon is referred to as Cognitive dissonance, which creates a feeling that makes people hold on to ideas that are in conflict with their expectation. Dissonance is reduced by justifying, blaming and denying, but we do not start a change in developing a nation that works until we do away with our dissonance.
Example of Dissonance is expressed in the fable by Esop; the Greek born fabulist who had many fables ascribed to him, he wrote the classical fable titled; “The Fox and The Grapes”; This is the story of a fox that sees some high-hanging grapes and wishes to eat them. He tried to reach the grapes, but was unable to think of a way to do that, and then he said to himself that the grapes are probably not worth eating, as they must not be ripe or that they are sour. This example follows a pattern such that one desires something, finds it unattainable, and reduces one's dissonance by criticizing it. Nigerians have long created dissonance of their expectations and have denied themselves of their rights, they see Nigeria as a great nation, but have the mindset that it cannot work because the resources of the nation only belonged to a privileged few and we have history of bad leadership.
We need to do away with our dissonance, create a positive attitude that is forward looking and open to the emerging national-progression. We need to forget our past mistakes and hurts, we may not start the drive we need in building a nation that works if we hold unto our past, we all need to get ourselves motivated to believe Nigeria is not a 'dead' nation, we all can contribute our very little towards starting the revolution we so desire. We need to free ourselves from expectancy from our leaders to perform miracles because that would not happen, we as individuals needs to do our little to move the nation forward. We need the right disposition and free ourselves from our old beliefs that Nigeria may not work.
Nigeria needs not only be re-branded, but we need to start making the brand work. Our leaders needs to get down to work towards moving the nation forward with the right attitude and not believe that they can always get away with their inactivity and corrupt practices. Nigeria is over 51 years old and now old enough for its people to start enjoying the impact of independence. Our leaders need to be organised and start a revolution that will drive the nation forward. Leaders are not elected just to lead, but to serve, they should work with people who have the right attitude to drive the ship of the nation on the right direction. Nigeria is our country and we have the moral duty to make it work, our leaders needs to make it work. We have heard enough of promises, now we want those promises to be put to work. Let us live the politics and tantrums that goes with electioneering; it is time to show we can make the country start to work.
Nigeria Leaders needs to address poverty, which has ravaged the nation for all this years, Nigerians need to start enjoying the dividend of democracy, constant power supply, which has long been overdue. Nigerians need good roads and transport network, cheaper and affordable communications, better employment opportunities and increased livelihood. Adequate and cheap medical facilities, world class education that can be comparable to what is obtainable in advanced countries. Nigerian leaders need to put their promises to work and stop the self gratification that has been the bane of our system in the past. Nigerians have suffered enough neglect and need open and transparent leaders who have our interest at heart. We need a nation that works.

Tuesday 10 May 2011

Vox Populi, Vox Dei

Vox populi is an old Latin phrase which literally means 'voice of the people', the phrase is usually used to represent the opinion of the general public. It is further made popular by the talented 12th century historian named William of Malmesbury, he said 'voice of the people (is) the voice of God' (Vox Populi, Vox Dei) and has become a popular proverb since the twelfth century. This famous proverb is further exemplified by the just concluded general election in Nigeria. The elections have proven that the voice of the people of Nigeria is the voice of God, and all the candidates who contested must have learned how important it is to listen to the voice of the people because it counts most when they are needed.
The victory recorded by President Jonathan even in the parts of the country where odds are well against him is enough to show that people are no longer voting for just the party, but for candidate that is well prepared to listen to their voice, help their cause and meet their yearnings. The latest victory recorded by Owelle Rochas Okorocha in the Imo State Governorship Election, which he won over the incumbent Governor Ikedi Ohakim is another pointer to the need for our leaders to listen to and respect the voice of the people , Governor Ohakim ignored the voice of his people and did not serve them enough for them to serve him when he needed them. He ruled Imo State like an absolutist and had many corruption allegations levelled against him. He had learned his lessons now that the voice of the people of Imo State is louder than his voice and they have spoken right.
Governor Babatunde Fashola's impressive win in the last Governorship election in Lagos is as a result of his exemplary leadership, he understands the need to serve the people through openness, truthfulness and execution of laudable projects. He listened to the voice of his people, because he knew their voice always counted and his people equally believed in him because they are not neglected. He showed the desire to serve his people from day one of starting his role as the executive Governor and never underrated anyone, he responded to the yearnings of the people of Lagos and tried to meet as many of the requests as he has the resources to do. Fashola gave 24 hours of his day to the people of Lagos State; This worked for him, attested to by the margin of the vote he got compared to his political opponents.
Governor Fashola's exemplary leadership and ability to listen to the voice of the people was felt in all facets of the state, such was the case when Eniola Olajuwon, a primary school pupil of Saint Saviour's School, Ebute Metta invited Governor Fashola for a Lecture on Leadership, Eniola made a promise to fellow pupils to invite Governor Fashola to a Leadership Lecture if made the School's Head Prefect. Shortly after being made the head prefect, Eniola invited the Governor to deliver a lecture on Leadership by sending email to the Governor, Governor Fashola honoured the invitation despite his very busy schedules, without any third party involvement and lobbying as was normally the case in Nigeria, Fashola attended the lecture and gave his lecture on Leadership, this single act fulfilled a little boy's dream, Eniola said this is the happiest day of his life because Governor Fashola has made it so.
The outgoing Governor of Oyo State, Governor Alao Akala must have learnt by now that voice of the people is always louder, Governor Alao Akala ruled Oyo State like an authoritarian, his god father late Adedibu gave him so much confidence that made him see the citizen of Oyo State as his footrest rather than the people he is called to serve. All he did was to attend parties, fight one camp or the other and speak to the people of the state like they are insignificant, he disorganised and disrespected the traditional rulers, concentrated on looking good than making his people good, he is very pompous and openly ignored the voice of the people. The Oyo state election has proven that the voice of the people counts a lot, he lost to ACN's Senator Ajimobi to his utter surprise.

There are several lessons to learn from the last election, Nigerians have realized the need to exercise their rights to vote and elect their leaders based on their conscience. The impressive turn out to vote for leaders who listen to them and to vote out the greedy and overzealous says it all, it bemoans on our leaders to know that true leadership is a natural process. True leaders will emerge through their truthfulness, openness and understanding of their leadership roles, their ability to serve will pick them out among the rest. These we have witness in the last election and was a good lesson for us all and for the future of the country. This is a call for our Leaders to exercise their civic duties of serving their people and relent from lying, manipulating the people they serve and ignoring the voice of the people calling for deserved change.

Our new leaders need to learn from the past mistakes of some the leaders, they need to listen more and understand the voice of the people they lead, They need to understand the need to serve and develop their constituency, it will go a long way for their future political ambitions. Voice of the people should be louder in the mind of our leaders because the voice of the people is the voice of God.

Tuesday 3 May 2011

Obama's Osama

President Obama has announced the killing of Osama Bin Laden in a Abbottabad compound in Pakistan, the news came as a complete surprise to the world, it heralded a new dimension to America’s fight for the eradication of terrorism and the Al-Qaeda group. Bin Laden’s killing is a big achievement to Americans, who came out in their thousands to celebrate this massive achievement. President Obama gave a strongly worded speech to announce America’s victory after 10 years of searching for the dreaded Al-Qaeda warlord.
The killing of Bin Laden is an impressive accomplishment for the military forces of America. It also brings so much relieve to the relatives who have lost members of their families and friends in the September 11, 2001 massacre masterminded by this highly dreaded evil man. The killing has been said to be a boost for President Obama’s second term ambition after authorising the commando style operation, he has achieved in 2 years what the military strategy in George W. Bush administration could not in 7 years. President Obama's popularity has now soared, American’s are happy and thousand’s of them trooped out to the streets of New York and Washington to celebrate this massive achievement.
Feedbacks have been pouring in from all over the world, many are happy that America have achieved the aim of getting rid of the most wanted man in the world and hope this ushers in long period of peace all around the world. Others have also queried the way Osama Bin Laden was killed and his body dumped in the Sea within 24 hours of his death. Questions are being asked as to why America has not shown the corpse or pictures of the killing to the world as was the case when Saddam Hussein was killed. Many believe America have something to hide, and request for more evidence to support the alleged killing has been growing. Americans have explained that Bin Laden was killed, while President Obama watched the video of the operation live as camera was fitted on the soldiers performing the operation, he was buried few hours later according to Muslim rites and to avoid having his grave turned into a shrine of worship by his Al-Qaeda followers. Also report has it that no country was ready to accept his corpse in their Land, they quoted Saudi Arabia and Pakistan as some of the countries that rejected his corpse. The world are still waiting for more answers from America on the operation and the intelligence that led to the killing of the most wanted man in the world.
The question we all need to ask now is; what is the effect of the killing of this man to our world today? Many of our questions might go unanswered and this killing might just fizzle away like others before it. Though Bin Laden’s death is considered a good news in the western world, Al-Qaeda particularly believed that one of their own has been killed and would not stop until his killing is revenged. This latest threat I believe, may add another dimension to the battle, where many countries now have networks of Al-Qaeda style Jihadist. This calls for the security forces all over the world to brace up and improve on their security intelligence to forestall any unexpected breakdown of the law and killing of innocent people.
Al-Qaeda made the vow to avenge the killing of Osama Bin Laden, a Muslim Jihadist named Assad al-Jihad2 has been on the online Jihadi chatroom to condemn the killing of Osama Bin Laden and promised that the holy war is far from over, he wrote in the chat; “Woe to his enemies, By God, we will avenge the killing of the Sheik of Islam. With the Al-Qaeda announcement, America and British are now intensifying their security. Also meetings have started all over the world on ways of improving security, because Al-Qaeda’s threats cannot be overlooked.
Security warning have also been issued for all of us to be more vigilant, avoid unnecessary gathering, watch out for any funny looking luggage or parcels, call the police immediately if you site anything thing or persons suspicious. Not speaking out if you see anything suspicious might make you the victim. If you notice any suspicious discussion or activities in your neighbourhood, do not just brush it aside as nothing, report it. We live in a world now where we have to be at alert and ready for any unexpected, this is not to say we should live in fear, but events in recent past have really changed the cause of history and except we start to be our brother’s keeper and watch our back’s, we may end up a victim ourselves.