Sunday, 21 January 2018

Uncertainty as $3.8 billion Egina FPSO approaches Nigeria . Total, Ladol, avoid $10m towage services . NPA insists on barring FPSO from Nigeria



There are palpable fears that the position of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to bar the much-expected Egina Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) vessel from the Nigerian waterways may jeopardise the multi billion-dollar oil project.
   Egina Floating Production and Offloading vessel (FPSO) is a giant oil production ship operated by Total E & P Nigeria Limited for the production of crude from its Egina oil field deep offshore Nigeria. The FPSO, which had left South Korea since Wednesday 31, October last year, is already on its journey to Lagos Nigeria for further integration of its six topsides at LADOL Free Trade Zone, Tarkwa Bay, Lagos. The vessel is expected to sail for three months.
  The Guardian gathered that the FPSO is inching closer to Nigeria and may arrive any moment from now.
  NPA has threatened that it would not be allowed into Nigerian waters unless the parties complied with its towage laws. The Guardian gathered that the towage service would have cost the parties about $10 million.
  This development is posing danger to the multi-million dollars equipment and services that are already awaiting the arrival of the vessel.  It also poses setback to the Nigerian content and local capacity development agenda of the Federal Government, while the confidence will be eroded.
   Operator of the Egina oil field, Total and it's FPSO contractors, Ladol/Samsung have so far kept mute on the development, but The Guardian gathered that all is not well with them, as they have commenced negotiations and lobbying the government over the matter.
  Efforts to reach the Managing Director of Ladol, Amy Jadesimi was not futile, as she ignored several call and text message seeking enquiries.
   However, a source in the company who is close to the deal told The Guardian that, "we are already working thing out, we cannot allow the project to be jeopardised. All hands are on deck to ensure that the matter is resolved before the FPSO arrives,"
   The Egina FPSO has a storage capacity of 2.2 million barrels of crude oil and a daily production of 108,000 barrels per day capacity. It is 35 meter high, 330 meters long, with a flare boom that is 100 meters high just as it has capacity to accommodate 200 people at a time.
   Egina oil field is expected to add 200,000 barrels per day to Nigeria's oil output and it is expected to come on stream in 2018. The issues around the towage services may unnecessarily delay the first oil, if necessary actions are not taken.
   General Manager, Corporate & Strategic Communications, Abdullahi Goje, yesterday told The Guardian that nothing concrete has been done about the issue, expressing optimism that something should play out before the arrival of the vessel. He noted that NPA would not hesitate to carry out its threat, if the parties fail to comply.
   Goje had earlier said: “The refusal of the parties involved in the project to request for towage and pilotage service from the NPA, (being the only organisation empowered to provide same in the country), is contrary to the laws of the country and would be resisted.
   “Notice has already been given to promoters of the FPSO to the effect that the vessel would not be granted access to Nigeria’s waterways and that the NPA would pursue legal remedies in its determination to ensure that no organisation impedes on the mandate of the NPA as provided in Part II of the Port Act”, he said.
    An industry expert, who declined not to be named in the matter, described the Egina partners’ position as, “an act of impunity, because the law of the land is very clear on the matter. Any vessel coming into Nigerian waters should be towed by NPA. Why they are doing that is because they want to avoid making certain payment. If anything happens to that vessel, it would dent our national image, and that is why NPA insisting on the towage services.
  “NPA had recently bought four tug boats to render such services to the FPSO. Nigerian law has made pilotage and towage compulsory since inception,” the source said.
  Total described Egina as its flagship project positioned to buoy local content development, technology transfer and develop local capacity as well as oil production capacity of the country.
   Executive General Manager of the Egina project, Jean-Michel Guy, said: “Egina is a flagship project for Total, and it is above all a Nigerian project. At Total, our commitment to our host countries is one of the keys to our success.
  “We have taken up the ambitious challenge of playing a role in sustainably developing the local industrial fabric by bringing together international companies and local contractors. The idea is to accelerate the pace of technology transfer by training Nigerian employees (more than 410,000 hours in all). This win-win situation should enable Total and Nigeria to productively pursue a partnership that began more than 50 years ago.
  “Practically speaking, 21 million man-hours will be worked locally, corresponding to 70 per cent of the total hours planned for the project. Some 58,000 metric tons, or 34 per cent of equipment will also be produced locally. In addition, infrastructure will be developed and built in the country, including a 500 m long quay to assemble the FPSO. Afterwards, the quay will be available for other industrial projects,” he said.
 
Inland dry ports bring economic diversification alive
 
The Nigerian Shippers Council’s initiative of developing seven inland dry ports across the country has been described a critical move to bring alive the economic diversification agenda of the Federal Government.
   This came to the fore when President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned the Nigeria's first inland dry port in Kaduna State.
   President Buhari and other ministers and stakeholders at the flagging off of the Inland Container Depot (ICD) raised the hope that the facility would bouy the nation's economy.
   The Kaduna Inland dryport, with capacity to handle 29,000 tonnes of cargoes yearly, is expected to serve as port of origin and port of destination, as cargoes would be conveyed through locomotives from the seaports in Lagos to Kaduna.
    President Buhari, who said the industries and businesses have waited for too long for the facility, said the inland dry port would accelerate the implementation of the Federal Government's economic diversification agenda.
   According to him, the dry port provides importers and exporters in the interland the opportunity to ship and clear cargo at ease without travelling to Lagos.
 This he said will largely reduce the cost of transportation and cost of doing business and eliminate the congestion and traffic gridlock at Lagos ports.
   President Buhari said the Nigerian customs and other stakeholders should make the facility to work efficiently and not frustrate businesses at the dry port.
    He acknowledged the inputs of Nigerian Shippers Council to economic recovery and expressed hope that the six other Inland Container Depot (ICDs) at various stages of construction would be completed in earnest.
    Kaduna Inland Dry Port Limited, is among the seven dry ports being promoted by the Nigerian Shippers Council. Others are in Isiala Ngwa (Abia State); Erunmu, Ibadan (Oyo State); Heipang (Plateau State); Zawachiki (Kano State); Funtua (Katsina State); and Maiduguri (Borno State).
    Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said the project is targeted at alleviating the challenges of shipping interland.
    He added that the project would facilitate movement of cargo interland to boost the economy, generate employment opportunities and buoy the earnings of Kaduna State.
   Amaechi clarified that the facility is a Public-Private Project between the Nigerian Shippers Council, Kaduna State Government and the Inland Containers Nigeria Limited (ICNL).
      "Not only will this create employment, it will also facilitate importation and solves the problem of importers and exporters who are far away from the seaports. It will improve the ease of doing business, promote agricultural produce and reduce over dependence on oil," he said.
   Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El Rufai said the state government is putting facilities in place to ease doing businesses at the dry port.
  He said the state government is currently building a concrete road to access the port, while arrangement is in place to construct second road to ease movement in and out of the dry port.
   Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council, Hassan Bello, said the idea of the dry port is to stimulate the economies where the ports are located, adding that the facility is not just an infrastructure, but a modern infrastructure.
   He said the NSC is keenly technical about the projects to avoid the mistakes of Apapa seaports and integrate electronic gathering and cargo clearing automation.
   “It is also estimated to generate no fewer than 5,000 direct employments at the commencement of operations. The Kaduna Dry Port, which is the first of its kind in Nigeria, would receive cargo from Apapa Port in Lagos, through the railway or by road and also export goods through the same channel,” he said.
   He said the port would provide an easy process for the exportation of farm produce from Kaduna and neighbouring states as well as landlocked countries.
    Chairman, Kaduna Inland Dryport, Tope Borishade, said the inland container depot said farmers can form cooperatives and come forward with their farm produce goods to take advantage of the 4,000 square meter capacity warehouse at the port to store and consolidate their export goods for export forwarding to various countries.
   "It is a well known fact that Kaduna state is the largest producer of ginger in the country, and the new port provides the opportunity for the exportation of processed agricultural produce to other countries of the world.
   "The market for agricultural produce from Kaduna will improve from today, with exportation of the produce and others such as hibiscus, sesame seed, shea butter among others to China, Singapore, America, United Kingdom and other countries where demands are high " he said.
 
 
Rig owners get new technology to mitigate haphazard drilling
 
The Association of Professional Rig Owners and Borehole Drilling Practitioners  (AWDROP) has procured a new Intelligent Automatic Mapping Geo-physiological prospecting water detector, an equipment to militate against haphazard drilling of boreholes in the country.
  The President of the association, Engr. Michael Ale, who stated this in a chart with journalists, said the equipment would help in determining the actual depth in water drilling and help guard against indiscriminate activities of illegal practitioners.
   Ale noted that the equipment is an innovative technology that will help the government on precision in allocation of borehole projects to contractors and therefore prevent the borehole failure rate in the country as it will help the Geophysicists to provide accurate survey report.  
    He said: “What exactly we are bringing to Nigerian community is a new Intelligent Automatic Mapping Geo-physiological prospecting water detector, an innovative equipment in water drilling business. Considering the fact that we have so many entrance and lack of standard in the drilling industry which has led to indiscriminate activities and haphazard drilling, quite a number of people are confused about the depth of a drilling. Government give contracts without knowing the depth contractors must drill and as a result, our geophysicists give inaccurate reports, which are less professional.
   “In order to solve all these problem, we came up with this technology because we learnt digital technology replaces so many of our problems. The equipment is going to help the government on precision when it comes to allocating borehole projects to contractors. The equipment will prevent borehole failure rate in the country and help greatly in geophysical survey.
  “As an association, we want to use this to empower our members as well make sure the government enjoy our services. That is why we bought quite numbers of this equipment and we have distributed to our known geophysicists and practitioners in this field. We are imploring the government that this equipment is right here to help to solve a lot of problems especially ambiguity in terms of project allocation to contractors,” he said.
  Ale continued: “There are trained geoscientists who will handle the equipment coupled with interpretation of graphical illustrations to enhance efficiency because this equipment is highly technical. And I want to note that there is going to be technology transfer for better enhancement.
 
    “Also for foreign invaders that are practicing illegally, this is one of the ways we are empowering our local practitioners who are geophysicists against their foreign counterparts. This is the responsibility of government as we have physicists who are graduated but are not doing anything.
   “It is high time that government came up with solutions. We have many institutions that don’t even have geophysical equipment while those they have are obsolete or not upgraded. The government should please assist the young geoscientists to be assisted with necessary equipment,” he said.
 
Search continues, 31 still missing on Iranian tanker explosion
 
. IMO to investigate accident
 
Search and rescue operations continues as a body of one of the 32 missing mariners has been found on board the Iranian tanker Sanchi burning off China’s eastern coast.
   The Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) of Iran, which disclosed this on Monday said the identity of the deceased mariner is yet to be determined and activities are underway to organize the transfer of the body to the Port of Shanghai.
   The fire onboard the Panama-flagged tanker continues raging and fears have been raised that the vessel might explode and sink, state broadcaster China Central Television informed citing Chinese officials.
  However, PMO head Mohammad Rastaad said that it was unlikely the tanker would be lost.
   Efforts are underway on extinguishing the fire, but it is very difficult to approach the vessel due to fierce fires, poisonous gases and black smoke billowing from the tilted oil tanker.
   PMO has deployed a team on the scene to carry out the initial assessments of the situation and an investigation has been launched into the cause of the accident.
  The tanker belonging to the National Iranian Tanker Company, carrying 136,000 metric tons of condensate, was en route from Iran to South Korea when it collided with a Hong Kong-flagged CF Crystal.
   Due to the collision, an explosion ripped through the tanker which remains ablaze since.
   CF Crystal did not sustain major damage in the collision and its 21 crew members are reported to be safe, according to China’s transport ministry.
  The Chinese rescue teams are working around the clock to put out the fire, curb the pollution and find any potential survivors.
   The South Korean Marine Police Agency and the US Navy have joined the rescue efforts as well.
  Commenting on the incident IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said the organization was monitoring the ongoing situation and stood ready to offer any technical assistance that may be needed.
  “In the longer term, it is expected that there will be a full investigation into this incident and that the results and findings will be brought to IMO so that we can do whatever may be necessary to reduce the chances of such an incident happening again,” Lim added.
 
Customs warns smugglers to close shop in 2018
 
. Says relationship with NASS cordial 
 
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has declared total war against the daredevil smugglers along the nation’s land borders this year, warning them to steer clear of the illicit trade.
   The Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, said the support enjoyed from government and the legislators would translate to improved performance in 2018, as more patrol vehicles and equipment as expected.
   “We are prepared to do more of what we did last year and we look forward to breaking the record of 2017 in 2018 by God’s grace.”
   However, Attah refuted the claim that the National Assembly is to be blamed for its 2017 performance, saying that relationship between the service and the National Assembly is cordial.
  Attah stated emphatically that the relationship between the Customs and the National Assembly was very cordial.
   His words, “For avoidance of doubt, we want to say that the relationship between the NCS and the National Assembly is cordial.
“There is no problem and we have no reason to blame the respected body for what is generally accepted as a very good performance in 2017.
   “How do we (Customs) blame an individual or an organisation when many are commending the service for a job well done in terms of revenue collection and suppression of smuggling?,” he stated.
Attah added that, “we are not reporting something negative; we are reporting something positive. Does it make sense to blame somebody for performing very well.”
   Meanwhile, Nigeria Customs Service has donated a total of 421 trailer loads of rice totaling 252,666 units of 50kg bags valued at N3,789,990,000 in the last 22 months to Internally Displaced Persons .
   Attah, a Deputy Comptroller of Customs, said that the donations which are in line with a presidential directive on the disposal of perishable seizures after due diligence of court condemnation, were carried out in four states of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Edo.
   The donation was carried out by the National Logistics Committee consisting members from Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Airforce, Nigeria Police Force, FRSC,NSCDC, NAFDAC, NTA, NAN, NUJ and Redcross.
   In addition to the rice donation, he said the customs also donated 82,140 jerrycans of 25 litre vegetable oil valued at N985,680,000;  soap worth N52,625,700 in 19,491 cartons and other items including clothing, insecticides ,foot wears,bags and 1 x40ft container loaded with frozen tilapia fish.
   Attah said sustained customs anti smuggling efforts have kept customs warehouses filled with seizures despite the various donations made by the service to IDPs.
    ''Despite tonnes of rice and other relief items already transferred to the IDPs, some NCS warehouses are still filled with rice. This only shows that the sustained onslaught against unrepentant rice smugglers continues to yield positive results.
   ''The ones in the warehouses now are either awaiting court condemnation or forfeiture to the Federal Government or have been already allocated to governments of the affected states who pay the Army Corp of Transport and Logistics for their transportation to the IDPs.
   ''Eventually, the seized rice and other perishable items presently in the warehouses will be given to fellow Nigerians affected by the unfortunate insurgency in the North -East'' Attah said.
 
Total begins talk with NPA, others over Egina FPSO
 
By Sulaimon Salau
To forestall possible hitches in the berthing of the much-expected Egina Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) vessel at the Takwa Bay, Lagos, Total E & P Nigeria Limited (TEPNG), has commenced negotiations with the Nigerian Ports Authority on the matter.
   NPA had threatened that it would not allow the vessel to sail into Nigerian waters unless the parties seek for its towage services in compliant with the law.
   “The refusal of the parties involved in the project to request for towage and pilotage service from the NPA, (being the only organisation empowered to provide same in the country), is contrary to the laws of the country and would be resisted,” the General Manager, Corporate & Strategic Communications, NPA Abdullahi Goje, said.
  Total, had however broke its silence over the matter yesterday, when it confirmed to The Guardian that it is currently meeting with the appropriate parties including the NPA over the matter.
   Public Relations Officer, TEPNG, Mrs. Irene Jerry-Iyoha, said: “Discussions are being held between NPA and all relevant parties to ensure a seamless passage of the Egina FPSO through Nigerian waterways,” she said.
   Stakeholders are already worried that the situation could lead to delay in oil productions from Egina oil field, and send wrong signals to the international community who are keen to see the giant facility being integrated in Nigeria, being the first of its kind in the nation and Africa as a whole.
   The FPSO, which had left South Korea since Wednesday 31, October last year, is already on its journey to Lagos Nigeria for further integration of its six topsides at LADOL Free Trade Zone, Tarkwa Bay, Lagos. After the full integration, the vessel will said straight to the Egina oil field deep offshore Nigeria to begin the process for first oil, which is expected later this year.
    The Egina FPSO has a storage capacity of 2.2 million barrels of crude oil and a daily production of 108,000 barrels per day capacity. It is 35 meter high, 330 meters long, with a flare boom that is 100 meters high just as it has capacity to accommodate 200 people at a time.
  An industry expert, who preferred anonymity, described the Egina partners’ position as, “an act of impunity”, saying: “The law of the land is very clear on the matter. Any vessel coming into Nigerian waters should be towed by NPA. Why they are doing that is because they want to avoid making certain payment. If anything happens to that vessel, it would dent our national image, and that is why NPA insisting on the towage services.
  “NPA had recently bought four tug boats to render such services to the FPSO. Nigerian law has made pilotage and towage compulsory since inception,” the source said.
  Total described Egina as its flagship project positioned to buoy local content development, technology transfer and develop local capacity as well as oil production capacity of the country.
   Executive General Manager for Egina project, Jean-Michel Guy, was quoted on its website as saying: “Egina is a flagship project for Total, and it is above all a Nigerian project. At Total, our commitment to our host countries is one of the keys to our success.
  “We have taken up the ambitious challenge of playing a role in sustainably developing the local industrial fabric by bringing together international companies and local contractors. The idea is to accelerate the pace of technology transfer by training Nigerian employees (more than 410,000 hours in all). This win-win situation should enable Total and Nigeria to productively pursue a partnership that began more than 50 years ago.
  “Practically speaking, 21 million man-hours will be worked locally, corresponding to 70 per cent of the total hours planned for the project. Some 58,000 metric tons, or 34 per cent of equipment will also be produced locally. In addition, infrastructure will be developed and built in the country, including a 500 m long quay to assemble the FPSO. Afterwards, the quay will be available for other industrial projects,” he said.
 
 
Never get tired of doing little things to others, because sometimes those little things may mean so much to them.
Sulaimon Salau

THE HOUR



All life as we know it must end one day; just as everything that has a beginning must have an end. That end, for us human beings is the surest thing: A certainty that is indisputable and immutable. When that end will come and how it will come are matters hidden from us. Jesus said: No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.Matthew 24:36
Every day of a man’s life, the end draws near: As we add a new day, week, month and year to our earthly life, the end becomes shorter. It is therefore, incumbent on all of us, especially our leaders to use the beginning of a new year to reflect on the inevitability of the end. Many will sleep and never wake; many will go on a journey and never return home; some will go on a boat ride and never get to shore, while others will take to the skies and never land; there are those who will say their Maghrib prayer but will not be among the congregation for the Isha prayer; while many will stay up to say their Tahajud but will not see the Fajr prayer. Everything is as it pleases Allah: He gives life unto whom he pleases and takes it from whom he pleases. Our lives and our death are at his pleasure.
That to thy Lord is the final Goal:  That it is He Who granteth Laughter and Tears;  That it is He Who granteth Death and Life;(Quran 53:42-44) 
Why then are we so preoccupied with the Duniya of this life and forget the end that will surely come. As we go about our daily life, it is important that we always have at the back of our mind what epitaph will be written on our tombstone. Will we be vilified, condemned and cursed or will history be kind to us. The choice is ours. Those who have perfected the art of robbing others of their common patrimony had better ponder and turn a new leaf. This life as we know it must surely end. And history will judge us all. The scale on which we will be judged might differ: For some, judgment will be on a household level, while for others it could be at the street or neighborhood level and for others it could be at the universal level. The New Year offers each one of us the opportunity for a new beginning and a fresh start.
Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) prophesied that: “People would follow a way of life other than mine, and give guidance other than mine”…“I fear for my people, only the leaders, who lead men astray”…“Before the Last Hour there will be great liars, so beware of them”…“When the most wicked member of a tribe becomes its ruler, and the most worthless member of a community becomes its leader, and a man is respected through fear of the evil he may do, and leadership is given to people who are unworthy of it, expect the Last Hour”.
For those who have made our lives a living hell, we pray that they turn a new leaf and realize that this country belongs to us all. And that they will one day have to account for their stewardship to the God who created both the leader and the led, the rich and the poor, the ‘oga’,  the servant, the master and the slave; the Senator and the janitor.
“On the Day when their tongues, their hands, and their feet will bear witness against them as to their actions.” (Quran 24:24).
In the Quran, the hour is mentioned in Chapters, 6:31,40; 12:107; 15:85; 19:75; 22:55; 33:63; 54:1,46 while in the Bible we see it in: Matthew 25:13; 26:45; Mark 14:35,41 Luke 22:14, John 4:21,23,52; 5:25,28; 12:23; 16:32; 17:1 Acts 3:1 and Revelation 3:10; 14:7
Death has been written into our DNA and it must come to pass. No escaping the Hour. When it is time, there is no postponement and no avoidance.
To every People is a term appointed: When their term is reached, not an hour can they cause delay, nor (an hour) can they advance (it in anticipation).  (Quran 7: 34),
The end time is a future time-period described variously in the eschatology’s of several world religions, which believe that world events will achieve a final climax. This is an important fact in that the idea of the Hour transcends all known religions and faith. It is a fact of human spiritual life. We are bound by the moral precepts of good and bad. What is good in Lagos is good in China. There is no other name for what is bad, but ‘bad’.
Judaism, Christianity and Islam maintain a linear cosmology, with end-time scenarios containing themes of transformation and redemption. In Judaism, the term "end of days" makes reference to the Messianic Age and includes an in-gathering of the exiled Jewish Diaspora, the coming of the Messiah, the resurrection of the righteous, and the world to come. Some sects of Christianity depict the end time as a period of tribulation that precedes the second coming of Christ, who will face the Antichrist along with his power structure and usher in the Kingdom of God. However, other Christians believe that the end time represents the personal tribulation experienced before they become enlightened with the Word of God: Here, we are under our very own Anti Christ’s or Dajjal. We are experiencing our own ‘Tribulations’ and waiting for the advent of the Mahdi and the ‘Second Coming’.  In Islam, the Day of Judgment is preceded by the appearance of the Mahdi. With the help of Isa (Jesus), the Mahdi will triumph over Masih ad-Dajjal (the false messiah).
Non-Abrahamic faiths tend to have more cyclical world-views; with end-time eschatology’s characterized by decay, redemption, and rebirth. Since the development of the concept of deep time in the 18th century and the calculation of the estimated age of the Earth, scientific discourse about end times has centered on the ultimate fate of the universe. Theories have included the Big Rip, Big Crunch, Big Bounce, and Big Freeze (heat death). But the bottom line is that the end will come. For sure the end will come. Those who have ears should listen now!
Barka Juma’at and a happy weekend

Babatunde Jose
+2348033110822

Myths versus real cause of corruption




                              By Bayo Ogunmupe
    December 9th, 2017 was the International anti corruption day. It was celebrated nationwide in Nigeria by highlighting the evils of corruption in retarding Nigeria's progress. However, corruption is sometimes portrayed as a cancer in the society. The use of this terminology  indicates that this is a social ill that starts in a place in the body and then spreads as it infects more cells. If this metaphor gas any value, it is essential to find the right location of the corruption problem in our societal body.  If you do not know the location of the disease, you are not likely to be able to cure it. So, it is important to recognize, that like any insidious disease, that corruption will present many myths to obfuscate its source to elude attempts to cure it.
    The following aims to wade through these red  herrings and identify where in the body we might administer a treatment that can cure corruption at its true source. We begin our search from where researchers identified the first myth of the cause of corruption as structural defects in a society. In examining structures that may harbour  the source of corruption, we found that countries dominated by Lutheranism, that are geographically small, that never had  a history of exploitation by colonial powers and that are relatively ethnically homogenous have fared better as nations without corruption. As these results are valuable, they are like a cancer patient asking for a cure isn't helped by the doctor's advice that he should have chosen other parents other than his own.
    Myth two borders on the behaviour of citizens like the level of integrity and standard of ethics of politicians, civil servants and other professional groups. Here research data  do not have explanatory power. Thus researchers moved to myth three which is the importance of institutions. But then, institutions are built, reproduced and destroyed by humans and are open to policy induced change. Even then, we need the particular institutions to focus on in order to lower the level of corruption. Here, research provided a clear answer, namely that the importance of formal anti corruption institutions like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is overrated.
    A case in point is Uganda; which after numerous interventions and the establishment of an institutional framework; with the anti corruption regulators scoring 99 percent in Global Integrity Index, yet Uganda is, according to existing measures, one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Another case is Italy. Corruption studies in Italy show a remarkably large variation between the regions. Yet this is a country with established anti corruption institutions for 150 years. The result implies focusing on strong anti corruption agencies is a misplaced anti corruption strategy. This is not to say that laws against corruption are unimportant, but it is obvious from the Italian example that they are far from sufficient. Most highly corrupt countries have stringent laws against corruption.
    The fourth myth is culturalism. Anthropologists as well as economists are prone to cultural relativism, in using culture to excuse corruption. Economists  even blame the cultures in highly corrupt societies labelling them dysfunctional. However, there are two problems with this cultural view of corruption: first is a lack of empirical support. The second is how to relate it to policy. Morally blaming the culture of a nation does not provide any remedies. The solution is to solve the problem of where corruption is located in the societal body. The answer to this was put forward by the Nobel laureate in economics, Elinor Ostrom when he suggested that we distinguish between, rules in form and rules in use.
    Organizational theorists have suggested that between culture and formal institutions exists a type of informal institution labelled standard operating procedures. These are rules, not formalized but are well known to participants. but importantly, are not part of their moral orientation. They are simply ordinary social norms. In a corrupt society, even people who think corruption is morally wrong  are likely to take part because they see no point in doing otherwise. There is a clear distinction between understanding corruption as ingrained in the society versus corruption as standard operating procedure, that may force people to act in ways they think are morally wrong.
    From the policy making perspective, this is good news. While there is very little knowledge of how to change the culture or moral norm of a society, there is a considerable amount of research on how standard operating procedures can be changed through collective action. There are tangible examples of how genital mutilation in young girls have been eliminated and how organizations have built trust back into systems where people had previously become disillusioned. Through focused policies aimed at creating rules in use and and standard operating procedures, we might finally be able to challenge corruption at its source and provide a long term cure to a disease that has afflicted the Nigerian society for far too long. A return to true federalism is the best way to tackle corruption.

Steps that save lives when disaster strikes.






By Bayo Ogunmupe    


              Although Nigeria isn't disaster prone, earthquakes, hurricanes and terrorist attacks appear in radio, newspaper and television headlines too often. We should prepare all the same. One thing is to read about disasters, it is quite another to live through one. Here are what you can do before, during and after a disaster to improve the likelihood of your survival. Preparing against disasters before they happen is your most important ingredient to survival.
    Therefore, preparation involves acknowledging the fact that disasters do happen and that you and your loved ones are potentially at risk. It will be too late to prepare after disaster strikes. You then learn about disasters that can occur in your area. Know where shelters are. Consider whether the construction of your home and its location are as safe as possible. Remove fire hazards, install smoke detectors and change their batteries at least once a year.
    Prepare emergency supplies: power, water, phone because transportation services can fail. Always keep the fuel tank of your car at least half full. Always have food, water and an emergency kit in your home. Disaster management organizations urge families to store  and yearly update emergency supplies. Of course needs will vary according to your location and circumstances. So, check with local emergency managers for recommendations that could be applied in your area.
    In general, it is recommended that you keep at least three gallons of water per person and three days of non perishable ready to eat foods. Also, you may have prepared 'go bags' with child care supplies and special needs items for seniors or disabled. You must have access to phone numbers of friends both near and far. Make and rehearse an escape plan. Know the nearest exits in your building as well as the emergency plan of your children's school. Set up family meeting places - such as a school or libraries nearby or outside your neighborhood.
    Authorities recommend that you practise walking with your family to those meeting points. Plan to help others including the elderly and the infirm. During the onset of disasters, particularly a fire disaster, act quickly, stay close to the floor; move quickly to the nearest exit. Smoke makes it hard to see, which is why most fire deaths are caused by smoke inhalation. Leave behind personal items. Seconds can make the difference between life and death.
    In an earthquake, hide under sturdy furniture or exit to an inside wall. Expect aftershocks, so get outside and stay away from buildings as soon as you can. Rescuers may not arrive for hours, so try to rescue others if you can. In a tsunami, if the water suddenly rushes away from the shore, move quickly to higher ground. Expect more and larger waves of the tide. In a tornado or hurricane, go to a storm centre immediately. 
    In a flood, stay out of flooded buildings. Avoid wading in or driving through water. Food water can contain sewage and conceal dangers including debris, open manholes and downed power lines. We know that two feet of moving water can carry a car away. Most deaths in floods result when people try to drive through moving water. If the authorities order evacuation, leave immediately. Let friends know where you are, or they may risk their lives looking for you.
    Also, text messaging is more reliable than telephone voice service. If the authorities direct residents to remain at home or shelter in a place, stay inside. In case of an outdoor chemical, biological or nuclear accident or attack, stay indoors; turn off ventilation and seal all doors and windows. In the event of a nuclear attack, go to the lowest internal part of your building to reduce exposure to radiation. Listen to local radio, television news to gain direction. 
    Stay indoors until the authorities announce that the threat has passed. After the disaster, keep your normal routine. To avoid disease and danger follow these recommendations: stay with friends rather than in a camp. Keep your living space sanitary. Use personal protective equipment when cleaning up debris. If possible, wear gloves, sturdy shoes and dust mask. Beware of electrical wires and hidden embers.
    Keep your daily routine, do not dwell on the news coverage of the tragedy or take out your frustration on family members. Accept help and help others. Acknowledge that disasters cause loss and relief from others and the government focus on helping people survive not in replacing everything that was lost. To survive we need clean water, food, clothing and shelter from the weather.-1 Timothy 6:7,8.