August 2023

image of mele kyari in the backdrop of a gas filling station with cars queued up, and the inscription 'no gas'

Gas Car Rigmarole, Questions Tinubu Can’t Ignore

As surely as big money never fails to follow big talk in conspiracies that often end in heart-breaking scandals, the Central Bank offered N250 billion to “support” the NNPC’s gas car value chain. All of this was nearly three years ago. As you read this piece, no one is sure how many of the estimated 12million registered cars in Nigeria are gas-powered or how many of the estimated 6.7million of registered commercial vehicles out of the 12m are on gas…Was the CBN’s N250 billion gas value chain support fund disbursed? If so, how much and what is left of it? Who were the beneficiaries, and what have they done with the money? I tried in vain to get the answers. Perhaps the bank or the Ministry of Petroleum Resources can help

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a picture collage of festus keyamo, femi gbajabiamila, and maryam shetty, with a blurred out photo of tinubu in the background

Tinubu’s List, Gbaja-nisation and Nigeria’s Politics

I’m not sure any Chief of Staff since 1999 has assumed and executed with a comparable degree of passion the task of dispatching nominees’ lists the way Gbajabiamila has done so far. Those who know him well, famously called Gbaja-philes in Villa-pedia, however insist that his performance is out of the goodness of his heart; and so, I won’t let anyone put words into my mouth or ideas in my head about his sterling qualities

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Image of Africa's map showing countries where there have been coup, edited from an infographic by Daily Trust

Again, A Bizarre Joke in Niger Speaks French

The other important part was Tanja’s confrontation with French state-owned atomic energy group, Areva, which had enjoyed a de facto monopoly of the country’s rich uranium, a strategic resource for France’s nuclear power. Areva’s profit from uranium is twice Niger’s GDP. In a multi-million-dollar deal with China in which Tanja did not mind cutting Niger’s nose to spite the face of France, he pulled the plug on Francophone Africa’s most significant player, making the French play second fiddle to the new Chinese bride. When the tables turned following Tanja’s ouster, Paris was more than happy to dance on his political grave. But the story did not end there. According to Tom Burgis in his no-holds-barred book, _The Looting Machine_ , Niger spent $47 million from the proceeds of the uranium deal on arms to suppress the Tuareg rebels; and when a further $300 million came later from signature payment by China National Petroleum Corporation, to develop an oil block, the question was no longer whether Tanja could afford to make trouble, but how much

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