Compliments of the season to my readers, fans, friends and family. I hope we are enjoying this season of marvellous prophecies from our fanstastic men of God, I believe we are coping with our own stone–free and polished rice as it went yummier with chicken during Christmas and New Year celebration and I want to believe the gist of Saraki and Kwara State government on Ile Arugbo demolition, Obaseki and Oshiomole drama in Edo, EFCC and Sheu Sanni among others are mesmerizing our attentions. Smiles! Welcome to Nigeria, an abode of dramatic melody.
Among the gists listed above, I have never read any comments from our most dramatic former Senator Dino Melaye so far, most importantly, the demolition of Ile Arugbo in Ilorin that belongs to Dinno’s main man. Till now, it is hard to believe that Dinno Melaye can maintain such perfect decorum like a cemetery on issue that concerns Bukola Saraki. So, Dinno’s luggage is more than enough for him to carry. What a pity! People that decamped in order to foil Sai Baba’s second term could not even rescue themselves during distress. Power is indeed transcient.
Joke apart, if Dinno still maintains his position in the Senate, headlines would have been dancing Zanku to shame Kwara State Governor Abdul Rasaq by now on his vindictive decision. Now, I think Kogi man is busy writing script for his Nollywood movie. Well, Dinno remains my man; I love his innovative transition from politics to acting. The senate is having fresh air, rubber stamp Senate President is enjoying his seat and Mr President is living fine in the other room while the cabals are mulling over 2023 election in 2020. Dino should just remain silent before EFCC will extend greetings to his car park. This is Nigeria; the drama continues…
Busy Brain is an award winning writer, journalist, Researcher and Public Relations practitioner. Usmanissa247@gmail.com
Kwara Tractorisation, Farmers Should Commend AbdulRazaq Giant Strides By Yussuf Mubaraq
YUSUF MUBARAQ AUTHORITY
Despite the seemingly campaign of calumnies and conspiracy theories that greeted his Excellency many efforts, which the tractorisation scheme is one of them with negative comments from some quarter just to discredit the government and incites public sentiments against the people’s oriented governor.
While all this were rife, the farmers association in Kwara in thier thousands applauded the initiative and thank the visionary governor for coming to thier aids and to cushion the effects which exorbitant amounts of money would have mounted on them had the government not been proactive and responsive with such initiative.
The Kwara state government had earlier provided tractors and farm inputs to the local farmers at a subsidized rates in partnert with OCP Africa under the presidential fertilizer initiative.
The move which is well thought out and will in no small measure reduce unemployment, improve food security and bumper harvest and alleviate the glaring poverty in our localities.
The Farmers association reiterated their unalloyed supports to his Excellency drive towards ensuring an improved methods of mechanized farming which will hitherto leads to bumper harvest and food security.
The New Normal in Business and Economy By Abraham David Onoja
By Abraham John Onoja
As the COVID19 pandemic continues to ravage the world, leaving citizens of the world a new world order, businesses need to navigate their financial and operational obligations. They are also expected to meet the needs of their greatest assets- customers and supplier. whilst ingenuously trying to meet the needs of their greatest assets; customers and suppliers.
The crises may have paved way for uncertainties, but it has also created opportunities for sectors to emerge and grow, while some will fall and vanish if not properly managed and strategized as the companies who will stand firm in this era will be those that implemented risk management as part of their business strategy.
While this crisis is first and foremost a public health issue, which has claimed the lives of thousands of people worldwide and still counting, the economic would no doubt be overwhelming and is likely to create major economic meltdown in both the formal and informal sectors The train must be primed to chug along now! In the new normal, business owners are faced with overwhelming, competing challenges. They are surrounded by treacherous waters now darkly infested with covid-19 sharks.
Still, they must continue to dive into the deep end of the global pandemic. A business’s success depends in part on the economic systems of the countries where it is located and where its sells its products. A nation’s economic system is the combination of policies, laws, and choices made by its government to establish the systems that determine what goods and services are produced and how they are allocated. The resources of a person, a firm, or a nation are limited.
Hence, economics is the study of choices—what people, firms, or nations choose from among the available resources. Every economy is concerned with what types and amounts of goods and services should be produced, how they should be produced, and for whom. These decisions are made by the marketplace, the government, or both. In the United States, the government and the free-market system together guide the economy. Business owners therefore should have their priorities clearly mapped out; providing support and being a backbone to their people, customers and suppliers.
They must achieve all this, whilst simultaneously addressing supply chain disruptions, maintaining a stable profit margins, aligning their businesses with evolving demand and changes and identifying potential pitfalls and new growth trends.
Businesses in the new normal requires a new mindset to recover from the crises, thereby identifying, analyzing and addressing effective strategies that would help the business return to normality and grow. This is the time to build organizational relationships with strategic partners for proper execution of effective strategies.
Management personnel and stakeholders are quickly turning their attention to the ‘next’; that moment of unpredictable and probably muted economic recovery with newly identified threats and opportunities. This is a new era defined by fast changing initiatives to shift the cultural norms, societal beliefs and values, such as renewed brand purpose. Leaders, corporate and political, are faced with the urgency to reopen their businesses.
To bridge the gap of uncertainty, reopening would require a series of ‘reinventive’ thinking. The pandemic offers a big opportunity to have companies invest in areas they wish they’d paid more attention to before the crisis. Now, to be more digital, data-driven, and in the cloud; to adopt a variable cost structures rather than fixed, to find its root in e-commerce and security are no longer deferrable agendas.
Consequent to the pandemic, organizations globally are experiencing an unfamiliar change in their work flow processes and harnessing their workforces optimally. Companies are yet to fully understand and determine how working remote working will help achieve corporate objectives beyond the survival hump. Profitability and business models are being cautiously reviewed. Teams and workforces try to function and perform in line with expected deliverables whilst struggling to cope with even more sombre personal and existential challenges in the new normal. Organizations, teams and workforces need new and bespoke fitting plans today.
They need to formulate strategies and drive policies that can position them advantageously to work out and around the emerging challenges as the state of global health and economic unfolds. All stakeholders have critical roles to play in developing and establishing systematic approaches that promote shared workforce resilience, flexibility and intelligence.
Similarly, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed customers, employees, citizens and humans’ experiences, attitude and behavior forever. The norms of behavioral consumer psychology are deviating from the expected curves. Results, though displaying expected changes, are creating sweaty anxiety for boardroom decisions.
The crisis has caused a fundamental change in human-human interactions and behavior. In the new world order, companies would necessarily need to review and redesign operational flow and operating models. These changes would impact greatly on design, communication, running expenses, remunerations, investments etc. The definitions of that people need and want has been reshaped and businesses need to blend into the new, emerging ecosystem so they can properly reposition for sustainability and profitability.
The global pandemic has created uncertainties and forced companies to reevaluate and reinvent how business operations units are leveraged. It has redefined how digital platforms can be used in supporting and ensuring continuity in the business through and beyond the crisis. The state of the economy affects both people and businesses.
How you spend your money (or save it) is a personal economic decision. Whether you continue in school and whether you work part-time are also economic decisions. Every business also operates within the economy. Based on their economic expectations, businesses decide what products to produce, how to price them, how many people to employ, how much to pay these employees, how much to expand the business, and so on. The crisis has fundamentally changed supply chain management economics and dynamics; we are in uncharted waters. Routes to market are evolving which would inevitably kick some companies off the market and make some others tether on balance.
In response to the pandemic, leaders have been mandated to increase their adoption of value chain transformation to help outrun uncertainty. For those who are able to successfully navigate to the other side of this new normal, it becomes imperative to establish strategies for greater resilience and apply lessons learnt to create systems and models that would better prepare companies and stakeholders for further future disruptions.
Where Is The Multi-Million Naira Scandal By Ibrahim Abdullateef
Since Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq assumed office last year, he never left the populace in doubt of his passion for Agricultural Mechanization. It defines the many steps his administration has since taken, including the distribution of NPK fertilizer in partnership with OCP Africa to 3000 farmers in Edu Local Government to boost rice production, and the well-anchored tractorization initiative in a bid to survive food insecurity which could arise from the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
The Tractorization Subsidy Scheme is an initiative to make tractors available to the farmers at a lesser cost available in the market. While as of the time of the flag- off, the market cost of hiring a tractor was between 15- N16,000, the farmers were given the tractors for a sum of N10,000 per hectare of land— a healthy N6,000 reduction. The farmers have since been accessing and lauding the scheme, with many saying it would scale farming, boost food security, and address the poverty rate in the state.
That was the story until a report surfaced in the media, with a screaming headline alleging the scheme was enmeshed in a multi-million naira contract scam. The author Fresh Insight, needless to say, was the same with a misleading headline that Kwara spent 17.3m daily between April 1st- June 29, 2020, in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. With prejudice to antecedents, which is sacrosanct in journalism, this very one is not also premised on a detailed investigation. If it were, he’d have known and established the reasons there was a disparity in the payments to the two tractor- leasing companies, MECA and Traxi.
As it has since been espoused by the Technical Assistant to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Agriculture on a radio programme between him and the reporter earlier today, the attempts to slap the contract with a concocted financial scandal won’t ever fly. It is not because it is perfect but because there is nothing of such in the whole thing. Don’t take it from me. Let’s review the reports. According to the available documents, TRAXI was paid N44, 325,000 inclusive of 16.5% for 26 tractors, while the other company MECA received N48, 600,000 for just 24 tractors. The obvious payment of more money for fewer tractors caught their fancy and they’d go ahead to file a damaging story without establishing the reasons.
Since the public deserves a second story, it is incumbent upon someone like myself to review the claims. The reason money paid to MECA was more than that of TRAXI even when they were supplying lesser farm inputs borders on the terms of the contract. The contract with the former was broader, it included four different things; leasing of 24 tractors, logistics for transportation to Kwara, operators allowance( N5,000 per day), and refundable caution fee. On the other hand, the deal with TRAXI contained only two scopes; leasing of 26 tractors and logistics for transportation. How could they have been the same? A true investigation should have been to unravel that before hitting the published button.
One other big claim with no substance was that Governor AbdulRazaq signed a waiver for MECA– the same company they alleged received bigger money for fewer tractors for no reason. While skimming the 2- series report, there was no document to back it and there shall never be one. The governor as a true patriot never took such action. The fact of the matter is that both companies paid 16.5 % on the contract and the onus is on Fresh Insight to prove otherwise. We should also get something clear; farm inputs and equipment are not ideally vat-able but the government couldn’t forgo such a huge amount. It is then inexplicable some reporters painted such a bad narrative of him.
Like I said earlier, the contract process was not the most perfect. There may be one or two infractions according to the procurement law. However, these are even subject to interpretation in the court of laws. The Technical Assistant pontificated that fears expressed over the non- compliance with the law is covered by section 60 of the same law. The section speaks to an emergency which includes war, insurrection, catastrophe, etc. To argue the correctness, one must be armed with the knowledge that the government initially budgeted to procure 100 tractors for farmers until the pandemic struck.
The outbreak of COVID-19 made nonsense of the plan and had to revisit the decision by going for a cheaper alternative, leasing the tractors. This led to the Tractorization Subsidy Scheme– a response to the global fears of food shortage– to submerge the effects of the pandemic on food security. If one would argue over the points on procurement, he should be conversant with the change in plans ( acquisition — leasing) and the underlying reasons. The definition of an emergency according to the procurement and the dictionary may help. However, since we practice democracy, the court of law may not also be a bad option. The government may be sued for it.
It may only be necessary that one who calls for equity should come with clean hands. Fresh Insight has consistently failed to substantiate its claims against the government at two different times now. The latest in the series of blunders is grievous and unpatriotic. For not being able to establish contract inflation and waiver of taxes for contractors is highly disappointing and vitiates the prism of investigative reportage. To start with, no report worth its salt doesn’t carry pictures and videos to hold its claims. In the absence of evidence and articulation of claims, investigative journalism becomes a mere exercise of blackmail.
I make no attempt to exonerate the government of clear default on procurement law as only the court is most capable, but where is the multi-million naira scandal? Kwarans should ask Fresh Insight for documents having the governor’s signature granting waivers to the companies.
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