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Old 03-11-2012   #801
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Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
So Al Qaeda was behind it! . What are the US and AFRICOM waiting for?
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The claims - denied last night by the Foreign Office - were made by a Mauritanian news agency, Agence Nouakchott D’Information
AFRICOM is heading home, as you have also noted. As far as the British press and the USG go, I can tell you first hand that using open sources is far too complex (what motivates the concerned parties reporting). One thing throughout the African press is clear, there is the temptation to either downplay or exaggerate.

Why (or who) would start paying a ransom and then give a green light for a hostage rescue is absurd IMO. What's with Johnathan doing favors for the UK obviously knowing most Nigerians would be against British intervention ?
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Old 03-11-2012   #802
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Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
But isn't that exactly how Al Qaeda in Iraq started business? Even Al Qaeda didn't start out as the Al Qaeda we know today.

This phenomena has economic roots, but it also has theological and political roots - let us not discount them. Several decades of Wahabbist theology and the impact of the Iranian revolution on political Islam need to be considered.
Al Qaeda in Iraq didn't exist until a US occupation gave it a reason to exist.

I'm well aware of the complexity of the AQ phenomenon and its religious and geopolitical roots. I'm also aware that militant groups focusing almost entirely on national concerns but with some connections to AQ can in some minds morph into AQ "franchises" that may then be treated as full participants in AQ's global agenda. That perception can then become an excuse for the kind of foreign involvement that ends up enhancing the perception that "the west" supports the oppression of Muslims and the frustration of their goals, a narrative that can end up promoting AQ and further internationalizing the conflict.
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Old 03-11-2012   #803
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I'd also like to echo Dayuhan's post by saying AQIM back in the early 90s pledged to avoid civilians while attacking military and government.
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Old 03-11-2012   #804
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Default Bomb blast at St Finbarrs Catholic Church in Jos, Plateau State

Latest Boko Haram suicide attack. (Viewers discretion required in following link).

http://lindaikeji.blogspot.com/2012/...-catholic.html

Retaliation has already started.

http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/r...n-nigerias-jos

If one recalls that only two Sundays ago, another church was bombed in Jos ....

This is going to get ugly.
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Old 03-11-2012   #805
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Default An Account of the Rescue Mission, Part Two

In Post 780 KingJajaa asked:
Quote:
Could our military experts comment on this?
KingJaja was referring to the failed hostage rescue and I am not a 'military expert'.

Speed, Aggression and Surprise are normally the operational and planning principles used in law enforcement and I expect in the military in this situation, when negotiation is not an option. From the assorted reporting once the operation began none of the principles were present.

Once resistance started - by two armed men - access to the house was not gained. Instead it became a rather long, probably disorganised fire fight.
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Old 03-11-2012   #806
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Speed, Aggression and Surprise are normally the operational and planning principles used in law enforcement and I expect in the military in this situation, when negotiation is not an option. From the assorted reporting once the operation began none of the principles were present.

Once resistance started - by two armed men - access to the house was not gained. Instead it became a rather long, probably disorganised fire fight.
David,
I can't speak for UK law enforcement nor military, but US law enforcement officers and military are held to strict guidelines regarding excessive use of force. British, FBI and US Military all attend the same hostage rescue courses - often together. I would assume they are also all guided by the same principles. However, as I indicated above, had the soldiers realized that the captives were already dead, such a ridiculously long firefight would have terminated with a few grenades. It was clear that they had to at least recover the bodies and without any means of determining the state of the hostages, they continued the firefight.

Just my $0.02 !
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Old 03-13-2012   #807
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Default Nigeria: Tension as explosion rocks Nigerian town, six bodies found

The daily drip drip of violence will either be the new normal (we'll learn to live with it, shrug it off) or the beginnings of a transition to a more dangerous state.

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Lagos, Nigeria - The town of Mubi in Nigeria's northern Adamawa state was rocked by several explosions on Monday night, followed by sporadic gunshots that sent residents scampering for safety, eyewitnesses said.

It was not known who was behind the blasts, which came shortly after six bullet-riddled bodies were picked up in different parts of the town, which has been targeted in recent times by the Islamic sect Boko Haram.

The discovered of the bodies triggered protests among residents of the town.
http://www.afriquejet.com/nigeria-te...031334956.html
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Old 03-13-2012   #808
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Default Boko Haram: Aussie Special Forces in Nigeria

Can anyone comment on this bizarre story? Australia isn't normally a country you'd think about with respect to Africa.

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Australian special forces have been operating in several African countries, including Nigeria, over the past year gathering intelligence on terrorist activities, a report said on Tuesday.

The Sydney Morning Herald said 4 Squadron of the elite Special Air Service (SAS) had mounted dozens of clandestine operations in places such as Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Kenya in a role normally carried out by spies.

Citing a government source, it said the missions by the previously unknown squadron were believed to involve terrorism intelligence gathering amid concerns about the threat posed by the Islamist al-Shebab militia.

They are also aimed at developing rescue strategies for evacuating trapped Australian civilians while assessing African border controls and exploring landing sites for possible military interventions.

The information gathered flows into databases used by the United States and its allies, it said.

The Herald added the operations have raised serious concerns among some sections of the military and intelligence communities that the troops do not have adequate legal protection or contingency plans if they are captured.

“They have all the espionage skills but without (Australian Secret Intelligence Service’s) legal cover,” said one government source.

According to the newspaper, ASIS officers are permitted under Australian law to carry false passports and, if arrested, to deny who they are employed by.
http://pmnewsnigeria.com/2012/03/13/...es-in-nigeria/
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Old 03-13-2012   #809
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Can anyone comment on this bizarre story? Australia isn't normally a country you'd think about with respect to Africa.
Not so bizarre actually.
Several posts back I told you that US SF teams were a whole lot closer than you believed. Several as far back as 1985.

Even here in the early 90s we had teams performing similar missions, some even here just to immerse in language training.

Quote:
They are also aimed at developing rescue strategies for evacuating trapped Australian civilians while assessing African border controls and exploring landing sites for possible military interventions.
This is about 90% of the reasons they are around, not just Australia either. When Zaire imploded the first time, a massive evacuation took place with troops flying in from God knows where The entire four-day event went off without a hitch - perfectly executed and minimal local involvement. We managed to get over 15,000 people safely home with less than 30 soldiers.

Quote:
The Herald added the operations have raised serious concerns among some sections of the military and intelligence communities that the troops do not have adequate legal protection or contingency plans if they are captured.

“They have all the espionage skills but without (Australian Secret Intelligence Service’s) legal cover,” said one government source.
Rest assured someone knew/knows who they are and where they operate. As for having "adequate" legal protection inside the host country (such as declared spies purportedly possess) - that's a load of Sierra and history in Africa tells a different tale.

I'd be more worried about the spies than professional military trained to be in a jam and get out too !
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Old 03-13-2012   #810
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Stan,

That explains it. In that case they are of little concern either to myself or 160 million other Nigerians. Given the experience of Zaire, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Liberia - if Nigeria implodes, we don't expect the West to behave any differently.
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Old 03-13-2012   #811
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Stan,

That explains it. In that case they are of little concern either to myself or 160 million other Nigerians. Given the experience of Zaire, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Liberia - if Nigeria implodes, we don't expect the West to behave any differently.
Jaja,
Sadly, you are once again correct.
I wish it was so easy to dismiss as typical Western behavior. There are countless events on several continents where such measures have proven to be prudent vs not being prepared and "going in" blind.

You've displayed a better understanding of our politicians than I even pretend to care about - yet alone understand. But yet, you don't see the pressure most of us work under - whether we like it or not. All most of us can do is be prepared for an evacuation.

I wished just once the roles were reversed. Imagine you're the President of Nigeria and you have 10 to 25 thousand citizens in DC when the place has a civil war. They've been pumping oil for decades and they put you in office, and, they want a safe way out alive, or, you will not be doling out those 10 grand dinner parties. So, you put your AMERICOM dudes on it and they conclude a serious intel and language gap exists

The rest is easy.
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Old 03-13-2012   #812
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Default Nigerian Trends

I live in Lagos, Nigeria's biggest city and a barometer of where Nigeria is heading.

I went to Church last Sunday and heard an announcement about the creation of a cooperative. Members are supposed to pool resources for a period of six months and then be eligible to apply for loans and financial support. The amount requested per month is minimal (about $20), but the implications are far ranging - in a nation with a non-existent social security system, the Church has stepped into the void.

Juxtapose this with the planned retrenchment of 25,000 workers from the Civil Service next year, you'd immediately understand that the Church is thinking ahead.

Many Western analysts tend to underestimate the appeal and influence of Christian organisations in Nigeria. The Redeemed Christian Church of God, the largest evangelical denomination in Nigeria has at least 26,000 parishes and membership runs into millions. But evangelical churches don't just preach the word, they are heavily into education - these churches operate several primary and secondary schools and several operate or are in the process of establishing private universities.



(The pix above shows Covenant University campus, it may not be much by American standards, but for Nigeria, it is quite an achievement).

The same trend is mirrored within Islam (Nigeria also has a very large number of progressive Muslims, but they tend to be ignored by Western analysts). There are a rising number of "Nigeria Turkish" secondary schools (the Turks have street cred in those parts of Nigeria).

However, there is a strain of Islam that sees the superior organisational ability and financial muscle of Christian organisations as a threat that must be dealt with. Boko Haram, political Sharia and some Christian/Muslim crises may be seen as an attempt to mark boundaries.

As government is in retreat, religious organisations are rapidly taking over the functions of government. Will the next generation of Nigerians be even less tolerant than mine?

The next trend is the diminishing relevance of the center. Don't get me wrong, the central Federal Government is still hugely relevant, but due to compromises that have to be made to balance religious and ethnic sentiments and corruption it is increasingly less able to respond in a timely manner in meeting developmental challenges.

Lagos illustrates what the relationship between the Federal Government and more competent local administrations is likely to be in future. Lagos State depends on the Federal Government for only 25% of its funding (unlike most states in the North where the figure is closer to 95%). In addition the Lagos State government, through aggressive tax collection, is funding several important infrastructure projects.

The methods of Lagos are being adopted by more progressive states in Nigeria's South. Right now, there is talk about regional integration between Lagos and the five other states in the South West. (Ogun state is already leveraging on its proximity to Lagos to jump start its economy). Other states in the South are eagerly jumping on the bandwagon (levels of education in the South are high by African standards and increasingly so are expectations of governance).

Where does this leave us? It leaves us with a two speed Nigeria. With the terms North and South and Muslim and Christian not only referring to ethnic and religious affiliations but indicating steadily increasing differences in standards of living, educational attainment but most importantly worldviews.

For a nation to whether the test of time, it has to be much more than a vehicle to support the exploration of crude oil - it needs to have a common focus and a common soul. With two rapidly diverging identities (Muslim/Christian, Northern/Southern), is that possible?
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Old 03-14-2012   #813
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Default Youths refuse job offers in the North

A peek into the economic impact of Boko Haram. (Nigeria's educated workforce is dominated by Christian Southerners).

Quote:
The increasing flight of people, especially non-indigenes, from northern states to the southern part of Nigeria, in the wake of the unabated suicide bombings by the Boko Haram religious sect, is causing manpower shortages which are undermining economic activities up north.

BusinessDay gathered in Kaduna that chief among the sectors affected are privately owned companies, banks, insurance outfits and the informal sector, where most young men and women have been forced to resign their jobs due to pressures from parents and loved ones that they should return to the south which is considered safer.

We further gathered that the persistent suicide attacks and bombings in the north by the Boko Haram religious sect, on various institutions, including churches and banks, which have led to the death of scores of people and destruction of properties worth billions of naira, have forced a rethink by many who had wanted to stay.

Within the past four months, the activities of Boko Haram in the north have claimed the lives of well- educated bankers, artisans, technicians and other professionals, who had spent years in the northern states of Kano, Kaduna, Borno, Niger, Yobe, Bauchi, and Plateau. The situation is made worse by the fact that the Peace and Unity Conference initiated by northern leaders, under the auspices of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and the series of meetings held by northern traditional and religious leaders, as well as the Northern States Governors Forum, could not convince members of the sect to sheathe their swords.

According to a bank manager in Kaduna who spoke on condition of anonymity, the insecurity in the region has created vacancies in most banks in the northern states, especially Bauchi, Borno, Plateau, Kaduna and Kano. He said most young graduates who were employed not long ago, have resigned their jobs due to pressure from their loved ones to quit the north.

He added that when the banks attempted to transfer personnel from the south to fill the vacancies, they were met with resistance and threats of resignation by experienced staff. He added that “Most people interviewed for replacement from the northern region did not measure up”. BusinessDay findings are that other economic activities are at the moment, at a very low ebb in the region.

For instance, the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA) had to postpone indefinitely, this year’s International Trade Fair, due to security challenges currently facing the state.

Borno state Commissioner for Information, Inuwa Bwala, however told BusinessDay that notwithstanding the security challenges, the government of Borno would keep its electoral promises to the people, pointing out that in the middle of the crisis, the present administration has constructed four out of the five hospitals it promised to deliver before the end of its first year in office.

Bwala also told BusinessDay that plans were underway to engage 27,000 youths in productive ventures, to reduce poverty and unemployment among the youths. He added that government plans to cultivate 10,000 hectres of land to keep the youth gainfully engaged in the production of various agricultural produce, regretting that the issue of Boko Haram has been hijacked by various criminal groups to unleash terror and even settle political scores with the present administration in the state.
http://www.businessdayonline.com/NG/...s-in-the-north
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Old 03-14-2012   #814
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Let me say right off, Kingjaja, I sure hope that your understandings and passion are being to real use for Nigeria and not just contributions to this forum. I appreciate them very much, but the Nigerian people are missing out on a lot if they are not getting some leadership and inspiration from you. I trust they are.

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Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
I live in Lagos, Nigeria's biggest city and a barometer of where Nigeria is heading.

I went to Church last Sunday and heard an announcement about the creation of a cooperative. Members are supposed to pool resources for a period of six months and then be eligible to apply for loans and financial support. The amount requested per month is minimal (about $20), but the implications are far ranging - in a nation with a non-existent social security system, the Church has stepped into the void.

Juxtapose this with the planned retrenchment of 25,000 workers from the Civil Service next year, you'd immediately understand that the Church is thinking ahead.
Given the present religious tensions (and actual bloodshed) in Nigeria, what the churches are doing shows that they have substantial, capable and ministry minded leadership that keeps their eyes and minds on more than the immediate.

This type of foresight and action will go a long way in winning the hearts and minds of outsiders (non-christians) and solidify loyalty. Yet, it is more than that is genuine ministering to people. Changing lives. When all seems to be polarizing and turning political, these leaders have the interest of their flock in mind.

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Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post

However, there is a strain of Islam that sees the superior organisational ability and financial muscle of Christian organisations as a threat that must be dealt with. Boko Haram, political Sharia and some Christian/Muslim crises may be seen as an attempt to mark boundaries.

As government is in retreat, religious organisations are rapidly taking over the functions of government. Will the next generation of Nigerians be even less tolerant than mine?
I assume you are saying "will they be less tolerant of the government." They probably will be. In fact, IMHO, much of the future of Nigeria is in the hands of the youth of today. Their is a new, entrepreneurial spirit among them. If they get VC investment from some of the elite in the country, they will be able to so contribute to the economic base of the country that they will have the confidence to not depend on the government, but take action on their own to bring improvements.

Some of the young entrepreneurs in Kenya are already rallying around a cry of "usikai kimie" - don't remain silent. They have the financial clout to be heard, not so much by the government, but by the populous.

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Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
For a nation to whether the test of time, it has to be much more than a vehicle to support the exploration of crude oil - it needs to have a common focus and a common soul. With two rapidly diverging identities (Muslim/Christian, Northern/Southern), is that possible?
Two diverging identities is one thing. Two diverging and hostile identities is another. In either case it is a major challenge to unity.

Sadly, the present polarization in the US has seeming brought government to a standstill and raising tension and animosity in the general populous. Granted things are far from as dire as you now face in Nigeria, but people often fail to see that hard line, uncompromising, belligerent stances toward those on the other side, are a often a prelude to violence and the degradation of life.
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Old 03-14-2012   #815
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Chowing,

Thank you very much, I will seek leadership positions but not electoral office.

Democracy in Africa is a topic I could spend an entire day talking about. My uncle was almost assassinated by a political opponent, but that's not the major issue.

If you insist on American style electoral politics in a nation as poor and vast as Nigeria (GDP per capita around $2,000), you are effectively excluding 99.99 pc of the population.

Where are the campaign funds going to come from? Of course from people who have access to a lot of easy money. Will they want to recoup their funds after the elections? Sure. Does that lead to corruption? Definitely.

What do the masses of unemployed youth do? Some seek employment as political thugs and some others use the experience of thuggery to form the nucleus of organisations like MEND and Boko Haram.

The British parliamentary system is less expensive, but it has a flaw of being adversarial - that won't play to well in Africa's divided nations.

Decision making in most African societies is consensual, not "democratic" in the Western sense. We may have to get back to that having tried democracy and failed for fifty odd years.
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Old 03-14-2012   #816
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Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
I went to Church last Sunday and heard an announcement about the creation of a cooperative. Members are supposed to pool resources for a period of six months and then be eligible to apply for loans and financial support. The amount requested per month is minimal (about $20), but the implications are far ranging - in a nation with a non-existent social security system, the Church has stepped into the void.
I have no idea if they are recent arrivals in Nigeria (I find it difficult to believe they are) but tontines are quite common across Africa and have been for some time. The chances of finding a rotating credit association anywhere on our planet where there are poor people are pretty good, actually.
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Old 03-14-2012   #817
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I have no idea if they are recent arrivals in Nigeria (I find it difficult to believe they are) but tontines are quite common across Africa and have been for some time. The chances of finding a rotating credit association anywhere on our planet where there are poor people are pretty good, actually.
We've always had cooperatives, we call them esusu down here. The Church getting fully into the business means that there is likely to be more honesty and better adherence.
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Old 03-15-2012   #818
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We've always had cooperatives, we call them esusu down here. The Church getting fully into the business means that there is likely to be more honesty and better adherence.
Depends on the church!
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Old 03-16-2012   #819
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Default FG to set up central military commands in Bayelsa

Bayelsa State is President Jonathan's home state. You can read between the lines.

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Federal Government has approved the setting up of central military commands in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

THE PUNCH learnt that the nation’s service chiefs took the decision after assessing the economic importance of the state to the country and the rising activities of cultists and pirates.

Also, there has been a resurgence of violence in the state, with some oil facilities destroyed by militant groups in recent times.

Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson said this on Tuesday when the Chief of the Air Staff, Mohammed Umar, paid him a courtesy visit while inspecting the Nigerian Air Force formations in the state on Tuesday.

Dickson, who was represented by his deputy, Mr. John Jonah, said the Navy would be in the state on Thursday to set up its central command.

Dickson said, “I have been told that the Navy is coming in full force on Thursday to establish its central command. The Army has the biggest headquarters around here. So, all the service chiefs will be fully established here in addition to the Joint Task Force. Bayelsa State will be having more of military presence than many states that are new.”

He said for the state to be secure, government must invest in human development.

Umar said NAF in 2011 reactivated its mobility command with its headquarters in Yenagoa.

He said the headquarters of the mobility command was established in the state because of its strategic importance to the economy of the nation observing that the state provided an “easy reach for the Service to conduct its operations especially within the Niger Delta area”.

He said a parcel of land had been allocated to NAF for the take-off of its command, urging the state government to provide infrastructural assistance to the command.

Umar described the emergence of Dickson as “a huge masterstroke to rescue the state from a yarning precipice”.

He added, “With a campaign theme titled, Restoration 2012, we are convinced that this administration will aptly respond to the yearnings of Bayelsans quickly and urgently address the degrading state of affairs in the state. We are all in agreement that a state like Bayelsa should be at the forefront of development.

“By all means it should be a model state; a state where leadership and governance are accountable, transparent and made to work for the people with the clear aim of being able to guarantee their welfare and progress.”
http://www.punchng.com/news/fg-to-se...ds-in-bayelsa/
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Old 03-16-2012   #820
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Default Ex-Militants Get More Money Than Health Sector: Nigeria's 2012 Budget

Could this be one of the driving forces behind some aspects of Boko Haram? Violence is profitable.

Quote:
The National Assembly yesterday passed the 2012 Appropriation Act of N4,877,209,156,933 with a startling revelation that President Goodluck Jonathan allocated more money to the ex-Niger Delta Militants than the nation’s critical health sector.

A breakdown of the budget shows that the Presidential Amnesty Programme for ex-militants has a recurrent expenditure of N66,176,411,902 while the entire health sector was allocated N60,920,219,702.

The staggering allocation to the ex-militants is separate from the huge amount also allocated to the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, which is to gulp N48,673,424,630. In other words, the ex-militants and NDDC, which ought to create a conducive atmosphere to discourage militancy in the Niger Delta, were cumulatively allocated N114 billion.

The controversial fuel subsidy has the lion share of N888 billion followed by Works which is to gulp N244 billion.

Education, which is another critical sector of the economy, received only N66 billion, while Power was allocated N75 billion.

Transport is to gulp N89 billion and Water Resources N75 billion.

The 2012 budget, which was increased by about N228.3 billion after it was amended by the National Assembly, is predicated on a crude oil benchmark of $72 per barrel and a production output of 2.48 million barrels per day, as well as an exchange rate of N155 to the U.S. dollar.

After the passage of the budget, Senator President David Mark congratulated his colleagues for the quick passage of the budget and enjoined the executive to submit the 2013 budget to the National Assembly “latest by September this year, to enable us consider and pass it before the end of the year
http://www.nairaland.com/894394/ex-m...ore-money-than
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