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What Is Stopping Southern Nigeria From Becoming A Separate Nation?

Y cant Southern Nigeria become a country of its own, even if it means balkanisation of the entire region (peacefully though). When a hand-shake goes beyond the elbow, it is becoming a wrestling match.

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We need a political and military alliance amongst the sounthern tribes to fend off the North.

None of us can go it alone like Biafra.

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Have you noticed that of all the West African Countries from Guinea to Nigeria, it is only Nigeria (perhaps Togo and Siera leone) which is controlled by the Hausa-Fulani hegemony. Less so in Ghana, Togo, Benin,  Ivory Coast, Liberia and Guinea. Why is it so considering the head start that proximity to the Atlantic and the institutionalization of modernity by colonialism bequeathed the southern shores. Is it because Nnamdi Azikiwe and Ironsi gave  Nigeria a false start?

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Oh yeah the North grows food and the South gets it for free. LOL lol LOL PURE RUBBISH

We buy food and the ones we don't need to buy we grow em. By the way the Middle-belt areas are where the food is produced not really the desert povert stricken north. Since when did the Hausa fulani man become a farmer? Does the North buy oil, coal from the South (East)? NOPE. They simply profit from it without investing a dime. Freaking PARASITES.

Like as if whenever visit my native towns I never see large acres of farm lands.

Anyway the SOUTHERNERS ARE A BUNCH OF BACK-STABBING MORONS SO I DONT SEE THAT HAPPENING SOON.

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Nigeria: Two Years On, A Few Cheers, But More Worries

By a Special Correspondent

28 May 2001

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Lagos, Nigeria — "Celebration is thanksgiving, and I feel there is something to be thankful about."

President Olusegun Obasanjo was speaking Sunday on a live television and radio media show called 'Democracy Dividends, sponsored by the government to showcase its achievements in the two years it has been power since May 29, 1999.

In a country that military dictatorship had brought to its knees, the return of democracy two years ago held out a glowing prospect. Nigerians had suffered a huge range of problems, from human rights abuses, including the lack of freedom of expression, to dilapidated social infrastructure.

Two years on, few doubt that there is something to celebrate in Nigeria. Even the broadcast of the television show, Obasanjo noted, was one of the dividends. Three years ago, he said, such an event would have been unthinkable.

Since coming to power, the president has regularly appeared on the show, allowing a panel of journalists to interview him on national and international issues and taking calls from members of the public.

Sunday's programme was unusual because, instead of journalists asking the questions, Obasanjo had a new set of interviewers - all politicians. The panel was intended to present a regional balance: Chekwas Okorie from the southeast, Ayo Adebanjo from the southwest, and Paul Unongo from the Middle Belt. Two others scheduled to be part of the team did not make it - G. G. Darah, from the oil-rich Niger Delta, and a representative of the Arewa Consultative Forum, from the north.

Paul Unongo is a former Minister of Power and Steel, in the elected government of Shehu Shagari, which took over in 1979 from Obasanjo (then a military ruler leaving office to make way for the second republic). Ayo Adebanjo represents Afenifere, the pan-Yoruba Cultural Organisation, while Okorie represents Ohaneze, which groups the Ibos of the southeast.

Obasanjo used the show to list the benefits that Nigerians have reaped in the past two years, in particular, the improvement in power output. Currently, power generation in Nigeria is around 2,400 megawatts (MW). Considering where the country was two years ago, the president said, Nigerians must appreciate this improvement. Power generation was as low as 1,500 MW, in a nation with installed capacity to generate 6000 MW, and an estimated average demand of 4,000 MW.

This was so because most of the generating facilities (which were built by Obasanjo’s military government in the late 'seventies) had been run into the ground by successive governments. At the Egbim Thermal Plant, (built by the government of General Ibrahim Babangida), only two out of its six units were working when Obasanjo came into office.

Obasanjo says, however, that Nigerians’ anguish over the 'epileptic' power supply will be over by the end of the year. He has set December 2001, as the target date for the National Electric Power Authority (Nepa), Nigeria’s power utility, to generate 4,000 MW of power.

If it happens, it will be good news for Nigerians. For now, both individuals and businesses continue to groan under the burden of expensive individual solutions to the constant power cuts. Power from Nepa is for now regarded as an alternative power source. Most businesses now now rely on generating sets. Those that run on diesel are expensive both to acquire and run. As Paul Unongo put it, if an industrialist builds a five million Naira factory, they currently have to invest another 15 million Naira to install the generators to power the plant.

For President Obasanjo, the encounter proved a little rattling. At one point, during the discussion on why power generation still remained so low, the president found himself answering in a fury: " I cannot produce power overnight!"

Citing another 'democracy dividend', Obasanjo pointed out that industrial capacity utilisation has increased from around 25 percent two years ago, to about 45 percent now. He noted that this varied according to the industry. However, Chekwas Okorie sought to differ with the president, pointing out that some factories had actually shut down in the last two years. Pressed to give reasons for such closures, he cited difficulties with electricity supply, among others.

While Nigerians wait for the arrival of regular power supply, they also have to grapple with the rising cost of basic food items. The price of garri, one of Nigeria’s staples made from cassava, has suddenly risen beyond the reach of ordinary people. "Garri was the common man’s food, [but] no longer," observed Paul Unongo. The price of garri has risen by 154 percent, to N2,800, ($1=113 naira) for a measure that cost about 1,100 naira at the beginning of the year.

Obasanjo blamed the sudden hike in the price of garri and other basic food items on crop failure last season in some northern states of Nigeria, and in neighbouring Niger Republic. The government had responded by sending grain to the affected areas, including across the border to Niger Republic. The gesture to Niger was aimed at preventing the arrival of its citizens into Nigeria, which could aggravate the situation in the north. The result of these measures, said the president, was that "we were short of grains."

While Nigerians worry about this problem, their leader says it will not last for long. "I see this as a temporary bitter pill that we have to swallow," said the president. The government’s attempts last month to import beans from Burkina Faso provoked a public outcry, which nipped that effort in the bud.

Obasanjo said the current high price of food in Nigeria should however augur well for both the farmer and the agricultural sector as a whole. The high prices, he said, should attract farmers to cultivate more land, "so that agriculture will be taken seriously." After his retirement from the army in 1979, Obasanjo went into farming, establishing Obasanjo Farms Nigeria, in southwest Ogun state, his home state.

But the current price spiral is bound to reduce further the economic well-being of the average Nigerian. With more than 60 percent of its nationals now living below the poverty line (defined as those living on less than a dollar a day), Nigeria is now listed as one of the least developed countries.

That status is at variance with Nigeria's position as an oil-producing and exporting nation. In the past two years, oil prices on the international market have exceeded the government’s own benchmark prices used for budgeting. But as Adebanjo noted, this unexpected revenue has not significantly benefited Nigerians.

Obasanjo blamed this partly on the mono-product nature of the Nigerian economy. Oil revenue accounts for as much as 90 percent of the foreign exchange earnings for the country, and about 85 percent of government’s revenue. "Very few of Nigerian’s are involved in the real sector of the economy," Obasanjo noted.

The currency, the Naira, has been under pressure in the past two months, with the exchange rate on the official market reaching 115 naira to a dollar. But on the parallel market, the exchange rate rose to over 140 to a dollar. Obasanjo blamed this on frivolous importation. He said unrestricted importing of goods into the country (by his count, there were now 72 brands of toothpaste being imported into Nigeria) had led to excessive demand for foreign exchange.

He said a new measure introduced by the Nigeria Customs Service to undertake 100 percent inspection of containers arriving at Nigeria’s seaports is yielding results. Through this measure, it’s possible for government to uncover frivolous items imported in the guise of essential material. But the measure has also led to congestion at the ports, as some of the importers have abandoned their goods, afraid of being caught by the government.

So who was to blame for the disappointments of the past two years? Okorie offered an Igbo proverb: If someone goes to a barber for a hair cut but comes home with his head mutilated, the question is, what went wrong? Was the barber not good or was the blade blunt? The message was clear, and Obasanjo thanked Okorie for the proverb, stressing that he took full responsibility for the actions of this government, including those of his advisers.

He clearly felt dogged by the past, however. Pressed by Paul Unongo for a deeper explanation for the continuing slide of the naira, Obasanjo said that if Unongo persisted, "You would be making me account for the sins of my grandfathers."

The challenge is to take the 'democracy dividend' beyond token gains. While the government brandishes what it says has been achieved in two years, and asks for time to do more, Nigerians are in a hurry; and Obasanjo and his government know, with an election due in 2003, that they don't have much time.

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Nigeria: Inside Illela's Booming Grains and Livestock Trade

Rakiya.a.muhammad

12 May 2009

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Illela, a border town in Sokoto State in the North west of Nigeria has over the years gained prominence as a hub in the international trade of grains and livestock.

The market which is about 100 kilometres from the state capital shares a common border with the Niger Republic and its strategic position as an import and export centre has enhanced growth potential for grains and livestock trade across the sub region.

Its strong potential as centre for grain and livestock import and export can be seen in the large quantity of grains and livestock which are exchanged at the weekly market. This is more so during the harvesting season. Though some quantity of grains are brought from other places to the market, Illela itself boasts of a number of agro raw materials such as rice, maize, wheat, livestock, vegetable and fishery.

The Chairman of Illela local government, Alhaji Aliyu Ahmed described Illela local government environment as a commercial nerve centre of the region. He told Daily Trust that "the market was established centuries ago and attracts traders from all over Nigeria and even outside .Mostly at illela international market activities starts ,Wednesdays, Thursday and Friday , then on Sunday we have the major weekly business, we call it international because traders come from even Ghana, Niger Chad,Burkina faso"

He noted that the existence of the market within the local government has transformed most of the residents to businessmen, adding that the Council has generated a substantial revenue from the market. He pointed out that apart from Sokoto North, Sokoto south and Wamakko, revenue generation was high compared to other local government areas in Sokoto state. He said that the council makes about N200, 000 and above every week.

Daily Trust observed that the grain section of the Illela international market is distinct from that of livestock.

The livestock section which is situated on a very large expanse of land, hosts thousands of livestock weekly, including cattle, goats, and camels.

The chairman of the livestock dealers association, Usman Luggu confessed that he couldn't estimate the number of livestock that is brought for the weekly business, stressing that mostly cows in their numbers are brought to the market on foot; and they come from far and near. He puts the price of cows between N60-N150, 000, noting that there has been notable increase in prices of cattle recently.

Alhaji Luggu complained of inadequate space at the market and called for expansion to accommodate more stalls.

At the grain section of the Illela market, Alhaji Musa Illela, who is the chairman grain traders association spoke on the activities of the traders.

He said while they get beans from Niger Republic the grains like guinea corn, millet, are brought from Kaduna, Kano, Katsina and Sokoto, noting that many people come from different part of Nigeria and Niger to buy from the market.

He added that about 11,000bags of assorted grains are traded at the market every week

Alhaji Musa Illela explained that there has been an increase in the prices of foodstuff at the market.

For instance, he said a bag of beans now sells at N9, 500 it was N7, 500 some two months back, Similarly, cost of transporting a bag of beans to Ibadan was now N400 up fromN250 while it is now N220 from N120 to Kaduna, Kano, Katsina respectively.

Alhaji Illela blamed the situation on the current exchange rate of naira against other currencies, adding that it was affecting the volume of trade between Nigeria and Republic of Niger. Because of the fall of naira.

"The economic situation has affected volume of trade in the market, before we sell between 6,000 and 7,000 bags of grains per week but now it is in the range of 3,000 -4, 000 per week"

He stressed the need for the three tiers of government in the country to buy large quantities of grains from farmers in order to encourage them to produce more.

Daily Trust gathered that a number of people who trade at the Illela International market have spent decades in going there for business. Alhaji Kabiru Shehu is one of the grain dealers.

He said he has spent over three decades in the grain business and travels from Ibadan, the Oyo state capital every week to buy beans from the international market.

According to him he buys about 150 bags every week from Illela and takes it to his base at Bodiga in Ibadan where he sells them.

Alhaji Shehu explained that he preferred Illela because of the quality of beans which he buys at relatively low rate."The beans I buy from here are usually very much appreciated by my customers back in Ibadan", he added.

Kabiru also expressed serious concern on the condition of the noting that because of inadequate stalls whenever it rains the market becomes muddy and people had to abandoned their goods to look for shelter.

Alhaji Malam Aliyu, another trader at the Illela international market, though said they enjoy cordial business relationship with traders from Niger, however wants the three tier of government to collaborate in ensuring that the market is enhanced.

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"The market as an international centre, affects the federal government, state and local government and should come together to boost it."

Aliyu was happy with the online banking which he said has substainly reduced the rate at which they lose their money to robbers, adding that it has increased their business activities at the market. No doubt Illela international market faces serious problem of lack of structure and unconducive site. The Chairman of the local government has acknowledged this problem. He however gave assurance that the present administration of Alhaji Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko has promised to establish a modern market within illela which would be sited close to border area. "This plan was made by this present governor and I believe it is planning to implement the promise he made. He enthused.

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In addition to garri, palm oil and plantains from the East and Niger Delta also go up North. As of today, it may interest you to note that beans and corn are imported from Niger Republic and elsewhere, and then distributed in Nigeria, beginning from the north. So next time you see those food-bearing trucks on the highways, be rest assured that many originate from across the border and not from northern Nigeria

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The truth of the matter is Nigeria has not been able to feed itself for a long time. Food security was the reason for

Operation feed the nation;

National accelerated food production program &

Green revolution.

These unsuccessful programmes have spanned the past 30 - 35 years. It is quite clearly a myth that the north fed the country.

Then as well as now, Nigeria relies heavily on imports especially for wheat, maize, corn and rice.(these are not staples in the south). Garri is the southern staple.

Having said this, there is no need for a separate nation, we need resource control for all. Just as the north are able to keep the money for their 'prolific farming and food production', other regions should be able to benefit 100% from their natural resources and hard work.

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this is the kind of attitude that's sucking the life out of many Nigerians today.

Instead of looking for practical ways to make a difference, they wander away in dreamland and what-might-have-been or some other such hallucinogenic nirvana. Meanwhile, nothing gets done but their mouths can curse the living daylights when ranting about some other "evils" exclusive to Nigeria.

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so Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Gabon and other countries you want to mention, dont do business with the north?

Make una siddon dey fan una sef!!!

na only jollof rice you dey worry about? Better talk to the Scandinavians to supply more stockfish!

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Someone said the north was the food basket of the nation blah blah blah. Then why did the Brits joined us with the North for the sake of spreading the wealth? Why? Remember cocoa was in the south too or you get amnesia? The things is if Nigeria breaks, human rights abuse in the north will increase cause it seems the majority of them are ready for Sharia law (Just my speculation). Also in the west too cause we have our own shares of fanatics. While I see the South South doing well cause of no religious fanatics, I see them as the new Nigeria cause alot of tribes live in that area.

This is cheating oooooo, we are all held hostage by some people cause they frighten themselves.

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I have never disputed the fact that food is cheaper in the north and there is a lot of food stuff flowing from the north to the south, which are fully paid for by the buyers in the south in any case. Southerners will probably have to device another way of cooking jollof rice without the tomatoes from the north. However, there are also food baskets in the south like Abakaliki, Afikpo and Ohaji in the south east.

With regards to food sustainability of the south, should either side stay on their own, the north will lose and poverty will increase further in the north if they refuse to sell to the south. They need the market in the south to continue to earn an income. On the other hand, if the south cannot get food from the north, they can either get them from Cameroon, Ghana, Benin, Garbon or better still increase their production of food stuff just like Israel does not depend on the Arab states for food.

Like I said before, every part of Nigeria has something to offer, but lets try not to overstate southern dependence on the north for food as if the north is giving away the food stuff free of charge with no benefit to the producers.

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Becomrich, the feeling other Nigerians have for the Igbo (as you claimed) is mutual. That is why the North has been able to ride the south roughshod so far.

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The coal used in part, to grow the economy before oil come on board was obtained from where? Now talking about oil, are Imo and Abia not oil-producing states?

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I don’t know how old your father is or where he lived, but I remember quite clearly that my monthly allowance in primary school could buy me up to 6 solid tubers of yam with no sweet. Back then, 10 kobo bought you good solid bread. I lived in Lagos, and we bought bread directly from the bakery at 10 kobo each during the break or in the mornings.

The north was in charge of food in that country and they did a good job supplying the country. Problems started when government started paying too much attention to oil and less on farming.

So, yeah!! Ask him why he lied to you.

By the way, It was not just peanuts that came from the north back then. Wheat, Sorghum, Rice, Tomatoes, Onions, Yam, Cheese etc came from the northern states back then.

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this board needs an ignore function. A way to block the posts of posters u are not interested in.

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LOL - Bros, you know you get to follow protocol. As you know Eyadema came to the ancient city to take permission from the Oba of Benin before changing Dahomey to the Benin Republic. Do you have clearance for this plan of yours?

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I didn't realise that southerners received free food allocation from the north in the past and my papa had the effrontery to complain about cost of yam and co. Thanx for exposing him; now , I need to ask him why he lied that he was paying for all those onions that came from the north when he received them free of charge.

On the other hand, if he was paying for the food stuff he bought; should he give special thanx to the trader who just took his money off him in exchange for food stuff ? Or maybe, next time he should just buy from the Cameroonian who realises the importance of his custom .

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Very, very funny, the reason they stacked the pyramids that high was because the bloody things weren't selling quickly. On the subject of contributions pre oil boom. The south has always outperformed the north hands down because the cash crops planted in south namely palm oil, cocoa, rubber & palm kernel oil always fetched more than groundnuts on the international market.

So can we please stop peddling this nonsense about groundnut pyramids.

Lets assume that this assumption of the north being the food basket of the nation is correct and not propaganda like 'giant of africa', the north didn't give this food away free. The south worked hard and BOUGHT this food. It was not an act of charity nor was it the dependency / parasite syndrome that is currently being exhibited.

May be una food come from the north but my starch, banga soup and fresh fish nah Delta e come from!

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An ojukwu, oheneze, dora akunyuli and most igbos leader are ready to stay in nigeria with the north. so we Yorubas, edo, delta and bayelsa leaving would not result in a civil war.

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Ko lo mu da omu iya e gbe (lets divide and everyone goes his way)

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The small matter of civil war.

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let south go. we r tired of ibo and yoruba criminal killing our image

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Elruzar take me serious, we hope to meet one of the former president of another country next week .

see a copy of the bill sent via email to the clark of the house, senator david mark, bankole and president yar adua. we are not joking. you can see fox new and abc and other news email too.

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Err . . . . .I once read his post, but i never read it again !

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You dey mind them? Up till the early 80's, majority of the food in that country came from the north oo!!!

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A civil war is the reason why it is not possible for the south . but there are other reason. Some ethnics group in the southern niger benue of nigeria may not want to go with the igbos too. alot of southerner do not trust the igbos.

But it is possible for the Yorubas, edo, delta and bayelsa to leave. because majority of northerner would approve it to make themself majority and have 70% of the oil.

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look at these fools talking trash as usual.  Before the Oil exploration was perfected was the north not the food basket of Nigeria. Remember the groundnut pyramids.

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That is exactly why i posted those words above your post.

Smart educated southerners indeed.

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something occurs to me while reading this post.

IF THE OIL IS IN THE NORTH, WHAT DO YOU THINK THE NORTH WOULD HAVE DONE?

I personally think they would have asked all of us to become muslim, they would impose sharia Law and tell us down south what they are willing to offer us, and we can either take or leave it, or even they don't want us to be part of Nigeria, espeially if they also have the sea.

Shame that we can't find out as it is the south that have the blessing or 'curse' (if you prefer to call it that) of having the oil and the sea.  

I am sorry to say, that the Leadership being provided by the North and the Army, and their southern cronies/accomplices is pathetic and frankly disgraceful.

I will like to hear Nairaland opinions on  IF SHOES WERE ON THE OTHER SIDE- AS IN OIL AND SEA IN THE NORTH WITH THEM HAVING BETTER EDUCATION!

OVER TO YOU GUYS AND GALS

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Because southern nigerians are dumb and daft.Forget are so called education.

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Oil, and the North is afraid of becoming an impoverished, land locked desertified hellhole.

For what its worth, we are smart people (Nigerians), as Nigeria continues to democratically develop, we can use the North to extract much $$$ from the Arabs.

The north will become a cash cow for us, give it 20 years.

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2 Words, OIL & GAS. - The petroleum in the south south produces 95% of the nations revenue.

All this stuff about constitution is mere lip service. With the current agitation, revenues have already fallen by 50%.

With regionalisation and resource control, there will be no need for the split, Nigeria will need to embrace economic diversification.

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