• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

Heavy civilian casualties

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Ever since Nigeria became tarred with the tag “fantastically corrupt”, the global media has gone into overdrive in a desperate attempt to get to the root cause of our ignominy and plunge into the bowels of purgatory.

Perhaps the most generous intervention was delivered by our newly acquired Chinese friends who have delivered a poignant verdict:

“It is a case of Ying and Yang”

According to CCTV [Chinese Central Television], Nigerians have been at war with each other, with the army as the dominant player since 15th January 1966 when the first coup d’etat brought in the military. The rest is history –with heavy civilian casualties.

These are some of the major reports to which the Chinese have given wide publicity.

Every Nigerian is prone to mental illness

  • MaymunahKadiri.

“Every Nigerian and indeed all humans are prone to mental illness because there is no immunity to mental illness. Consultant, Neuro-Psychiatrist and Physiotherapist, Dr. Maymunah Kadiri who disclosed this to Health & Living, noted that despite various successes in science, no vaccine can prevent mental health related problems.
Kadiri urged Nigerians to take their mental health seriously. She cautioned that symptoms such as prolonged days of sleeplessness, depression, stress, lack of happiness, sudden loss of interest, anxiety disorders and low energy level may signal mental health problems.

“One or two days of not sleeping well is not a problem but when it becomes prolonged, you need to find out why. If you are not happy for more than two weeks there could be a problem. If your energy level goes down or you suddenly lose interest in what you normally do, find out what is wrong,” she urged.

Noting that about 64 million Nigerians have one form of depression or the other, Kadiri said the Nigerian society is a culture medium for organisms that put people at risk of mental illness.

“These include poverty, child abuse, broken homes and broken marriages, financial problems, traumatic experiences, etc.”

She said in some cases, individuals may not even know that they are facing challenges and this is where family support comes in, to help identify that there is a problem and to seek help.

“Researches have shown that one out of four Nigerians will have a mental health related problem in their lifetime and we have less than 200 qualified psychiatrists for 180 million Nigerians. This means we have 1 psychiatrist per 1 million people.” She regretted that stigmatisation still remains a big issue in Nigeria.

“When a typical Nigerian hears the word ‘mental illness’ his or her first thought would be madness or some sort of aggressive behaviour. But no, mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions-disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behaviours.

Mental health awareness in Nigeria is very low, making it difficult for people to access health care or get diagnosed or even acknowledge the fact that they may be suffering some kind of mental health issue”.

Headline: “Power sector illegally sold, Fashola says

-Sector better off before privatisation – TUC

“The Federal Government and labour agreed yesterday that the power sector was illegally privatised but they differed on how to redress the “illegality.”

Labour leaders are demanding for the cancellation of the sale and reversal of 45 percent increase in tariff effected in February.

However, the government said though it agreed the deal was fraudulent there were legal issues that might make it impossible to reverse the sale.
Speaking at a Senate public hearing on the electricity tariff yesterday, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said government’s interests were illegitimately sold to some private businesses.

“As a minister, I inherited a power sector where government’s interests have been illegally sold and, therefore, I don’t control how power is distributed.”
Starvation diet for inmates”

“Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS)

Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS) Mr. Peter Ezenwa revealed recently that N222.30k (less than U.S.$1) is budgeted by the service to feed each inmate in a Nigerian prison per day. Ezenwa stated this when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Interior to defend the Prison Service’s 2016 budget. He also warned of a possible revolt if things continue this way. According to Ezenwa, the Service made a proposal of N10.6 billion for the feeding allowance of 65,000 inmates but that the Federal Government slashed it to N5.2 billion.
Anyone who knows the cost of food products in Nigeria would readily agree that to feed a person on N222 a day is a starvation diet. Things got even worse a few days after when the Senate declared that the actual amount used to feed an inmate per day is N130. Chairman of the Senate Committee on Interior Senator Usman Bayero Nafada revealed this when Minister of Interior Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau appeared before the committee to defend his ministry’s 2016 budget proposals. Nafada said, “N200 per inmate per day is unacceptable. If you look at it, you are actually feeding each inmate with N130 per day. When you remove Value Added Tax, contractors’ profit and other corporate services the N200 comes to about N130 to feed one inmate in a day. It is inhuman to feed a human being with N130 per day. What can anybody use N130 to buy? With N130 no inmate can come out of the prison better.”

 

As justification for its special focus in Africa (especially Nigeria), CCTV carried as “breaking news”, the following report:

            “Africans also investing in China”

(African countries have poured over U.S.$14 billion investments).

“In the first nine months of 2014, Guangzhou, a southern Chinese city hosting the largest African community in Asia, documented 430,000 arrivals and departures at its check points by nationals from African countries.”

This was followed by a report by the Editor-In-Chief of “Africa Renewal” magazine:

“China, the world’s newest economic superpower, surpassed the United States as Africa’s largest trading partner in 2009. Since then, China’s investments in Africa have been growing at a staggering speed. But many people are not aware that the Sino-Africa relationship is not just a one-way street.

 

Beyond the small businesses that attract Africans in Guangzhou – the so-called “Chocolate city” in China because of the large number of Africans who live there – African companies have made considerable investments in China. By 2012, Africans had invested a cumulative $14.2 billion in China, a 43% increase from the $9.9 billion invested by 2009.

In 2012 alone, the amount of direct investments from Africa to China was about $1.4 billion, mostly in petro-chemical, manufacturing, wholesale and retailing industries. Some of the top African investors in China came from Mauritius, South Africa, Seychelles and Nigeria, according to the White Paper on Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Africa published by the Chinese government.
   J.K. Randle