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Blockchain Brunch Hamptons White Party: A new Concensus for Blockchain?

3 Jul

David O. Kuranga, Ph.D.

The first annual Blockchain Brunch Hamptons White Party  comes as the mainstream institutional investment community has started to embrace the emerging asset class of blockchain cryptocurrency. The Associates Incubator has organized the event, to move the blockchain industry towards courting traditional institutional capital. Over 95% of the conferences and events in the blockchain industry cater towards less than 5% of the potential investors that are interested in the space. To the average investor interested in the blockchain asset class, these events are all the same.

Each event brings out a panel of “experts”, that basically comprises of the early adapters and evangelists of the cryptocurrency asset class. Their talks to the average investor are essentially all the same. They tell everyone how successful they have been by investing so early on and how they have developed complex technical strategies to navigate emerging opportunities that 95% of the investors will not understand. At the end, the average investor gets beaten over the head about how much smarter the panelists are than them, how they do not understand most of the terminology used or the basic technology referenced–basically how they will never be on their level. Needless to say, this is not a useful way of attracting institutional investment capital into the blockchain industry. In fact, most average investors that I have spoken to, leave these condescending ego-tripping roadshows, unable, unwilling, and a times downright scared to ask their simple questions. There is no reason why an intelligent and highly successful interested investor should ever leave a blockchain industry conference or event feeling this way. Yet unfortunately that is the norm.

This informal blockchain party is very different from most of the smorgasbord of professional events in this space. Since we have realized that too many blockchain conferences cater solely to the early adopters and the evangelists of this asset class, we have turned the paradigm on its head. Most blockchain events fail to address basic questions relating to financial performance, liquidity and liquidity risks, and political and technical risk management that the broad range of investors are most concerned with. At the Hamptons Blockchain Party rather than alienating the many emerging  investors, we have made these newcomers the guests of honor.

We have taken the event out of New York City where the industry’s largest event, Concensus, is held, and put this event right in the backyards where many of these investors are most comfortable, on vacation in the Hampton’s surrounded by friends and family. At this party all questions are welcome and investors will be able to ask them on a one-to-one basis with any industry leaders that are ready to step outside their bubble and interact with this new class of investor. As regulations are now allowing for institutional capital to enter into the cryptocurrency space, the programming within the industry has to change fast! We hope our annual Hamptons Blockchain Brunch gets the conversation started and begins to help many of the “experts” in the industry to start learning what indeed are the issues that concern most accredited and institutional family office investors.

The Associates Incubator is a collective of creative and innovative leaders. The Incubator acts as advisory and asset manager with a principle practice areas in Blockchain, renewable energy, and investment in the emerging economies of Africa. To learn more about The Associates Incubator and our parent company Kuranga and Associates LTD contact us at theassociatesincubator@gmail.com. © Copyright 2018 David Kuranga. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Dr.Kuranga

David O. Kuranga; Ph.D.
Managing Director
The Associates Incubator
Phone: 646.481.6263
theassociatesincubator@gmail.com
IG: http://www.instagram.com/theassociatesinc/
Webpage: https://www.theassociatesincubator.com/events

Calling for the Resignation or Impeachment of both “Governor” Ahmed and Senator Saraki

10 Jun

Last Thursday, I came forward and started a petition, Calling for the Resignation or Impeachment of both “Governor” Ahmed and Senator Saraki; https://chn.ge/2JDKSY3, whichever happens first. I then contacted people in my network from Kwara State to sign the petition. I alone cannot bring a revolution to our state by myself. First, I need 330 brave volunteers to collect signatures on the ground, 20 in each of the 16 Local Government Areas of the state and an additional 10 in Kwara Central Senatorial district. I am not going to distort the truth, each an every volunteer will be putting their life on the line. The people you are up against have demonstrated that they are willing an able to kill and take lives so there is no reason to doubt that such tactics will not be used by them again. The time has come for the people of Kwara to take back their state from the hands of those who have stolen it. The power to do so right here and now, is in our hands. The days of us living in fear or feeling powerless are over. Darkness can only exist in the absence of light. Kwara State can only be oppressed if we collectively submit to the oppression. If we all stand up together, right here and now, we can free our state and take it back for all of us! Each and everyone of us has a job to do.

For those of you who are not able to volunteer to canvass the 16 LGAs, SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION (https://chn.ge/2JDKSY3), then send it to everyone in your workplace, household, place of worship, Whatsapp and Facebook contacts until everyone you know in the state has also signed. Finally, for the next 10 days, while the volunteers are out gathering signatures, each an everyone of you can call, send sms, drop of a letter at the office of every Kwara State Legislature you can find, calling them to do their jobs and bring articles of impeachment to remove “Governor” Ahmed from office immediately.

In the past we have allowed elites to divide us up by religion, ethnicity and tribe, generational, regional, or gender lines. When it came to pensions, every religion, tribe, region and gender did not receive their pensions. When it came to unpaid salaries, no distinction was made with the arrears, everyone has suffered. Those that oppress us do not care what your religion, ethnicity, region, or age is. They have made everyone to suffer. They have stolen from everyone, enriched themselves, and caused all of us to live in conditions with public services that nobody in their families will ever endure. The time is come for each and everyone one of us to stand together as one people and put an end to this tyranny.

If anyone is interested in volunteering to canvass anyone of the 16 LGAs and collect signatures email me directly at: KwaraRevolution@gmail.com.

To Contact the Kwara State House of Assembly: folahanmijimoh@gmail.com,  sunnyadeinfo@gmail.com, derele49@gmail.com, jummaihalimat@gmail.com

David O. Kuranga, Ph.D.

Kwara “Governor” & Sen. Saraki Must Resign!!

7 Jun

David O. Kuranga, Ph.D.

The author is the Managing Director and Principal of Kuranga and Associates Ltd Nigeria, and the Associates Incubator New York, a full-service investment, political and economic risk consultancy, and asset management firm that specializes in early stage high-growth investments. He is also the author of The Power of Interdependence with Palgrave Macmillan Press.

Plagued with scandal upon scandal, it is becoming increasingly obvious to anyone watching the developments that are surfacing, that the days of Bukola Saraki in Kwara State are numbered. His brand of politics is gradually becoming a thing of the past in Nigeria, an those who fail to see it soon enough will live to regret it. All this comes on the heels of televised revelations from the Nigerian Police that indeed the leaders of the gruesome robbery in Offa, Kwara State, were the armed thugs employed and armed by the same Bukola Saraki. In fact, one of them was in possession of a vehicle that had his name on the license plates! The actions of the Kwara State Governor to try and cover this up only further reinforces the case against them.

If the Governor of Kwara State and the Senate President were self-respecting upright people, they would be preparing to resign from their positions. Since they have not, I am saying again today, that I David Kuranga, a citizen of Kwara State, am calling the “Governor” of Kwara State and the Senator from Kwara Central District, to resign from their positions, effective immediately. Not only did they fail to provide adequate security equipment to the City of Offa–[such as armoured vehicles, surveillance drones, and fortified barracks]–they are the very perpetrators who armed and equipped the robbers instead! This is total madness! It does not matter how many paid supporters they want to send out with posters looking like fools, Kwara State today is a leaderless state, with criminal thugs now in control. Not even opposition figures in Kwara State are espousing qualities of leadership. If they were, articles of impeachment would already have been drawn up and tabled in the state legislature. Unfortunately there are no leaders in either chamber, and no leader among the office holders in Kwara State. Even more disturbing, is the deafening silence from those seeking to occupy office in the state. Nobody deserves to hold office in Kwara State if by now they are not coming out publicly condemning both the Governor and the Senate President and calling for both of them to do the right thing and resign immediately.

The sentiment on the ground in Kwara State is brewing as the polity prepares to shake the current establishment to its core. The revelation of these well-armed political thugs of the ruling establishment has clearly shown the masses their true and undeniable identity, that for years they used thugs to rig elections. As the sun sets on Saraki in Kwara State, the new leadership that emerges has to come from outside. Nobody in the current political establishment is worthy of being elevated to anything above street sweepers. At the very minimum, they have sat silent and watched a decay of corruption, debauchery, and bad governance spread across the state resulting in the suffering of the masses. Chronically public salaries are unpaid, pensioners die awaiting payments, Baruten LGA has become part of Benin Republic, all the while with all this going on “Governor” Ahmed ensured that Bukola Saraki received his ex-governors pension package that Saraki himself signed into law! As if this was not enough, Panama Papers and Paradise Papers have shown a web of deception and hidden assets of Saraki all over the world, some of which were illegally never declared, accounted for, or the source of which proven. Further, his district in Kwara State Central sits with poor infrastructure, flooding “roads”, pathetic “schools” that even he would never attend, and a health care facility that Saraki would not send his dog to be treated let alone anyone in his household. All of this after him being in office representing the state for 16 years!

However, nothing compares to the recent revelations of the Nigerian police force. Kwara State is becoming a national embarrassment and a total and utter disgrace to public service and elected officials nationwide. What is even more disconcerting is the deafening silence from members of the ruling party of the President (APC) and from the so-called opposition parties in Nigeria. Both Senator Saraki and “Governor” Ahmed, should not be allowed to finish out their terms in office. Both should be removed from office officially without delay. The fact that there are so few calls for this, is a further indictment of the moral decay in the Nigerian political class, media class, business class, and civil society. What is going on in Kwara State is madness, yet what we are now seeing in Nigerian society in response to what is occurring in Kwara State is even crazier. Nine police officers are DEAD! At least 2 dozen other people were killed on the spot! An those responsible were armed by and worked for a “Governor” of the State and the Third Highest Ranking Politician in the Nation who obstructed justice by trying to cover this up!? There is God! An whether these people realize it, he sees all of this and is not neutral. In an act of providence, it is God that has caused this house of cards to crash. Hopefully these worthless enablers of corruption in both the APC, PDP, other parties, the Media, and Business community, that are tacitly supporting this madness in Kwara State with their spineless cowardice, fall along with them.

Kuranga and Associates Limited is an investment management advisory firm and an asset manager with a principle practice area of Africa. To learn more about Kuranga and Associates LTD contact us at theassociatesincubator@gmail.com. © Copyright 2018 David Kuranga. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Dr.Kuranga

David O. Kuranga; Ph.D.
Managing Director
Kuranga & Associates Limited
Phone: 646.481.6263
david.kuranga@gmail.com
https://kurangaandassociates.wordpress.com

As the Sun Sets on Saraki in Kwara State

6 Jun

David O. Kuranga, Ph.D.

The author is the Managing Director and Principal of Kuranga and Associates Ltd Nigeria, and the Associates Incubator New York, a full-service investment, political and economic risk consultancy, and asset management firm that specializes in early stage high-growth investments. He is also the author of The Power of Interdependence with Palgrave Macmillan Press.

KMCLogo

Plagued with scandal upon scandal, it is becoming increasingly obvious to anyone watching the developments that are surfacing, that the days of Bukola Saraki in Kwara State are numbered. His brand of politics is gradually becoming a thing of the past in Nigeria, an those who fail to see it soon enough will live to regret it. All this comes on the heels of televised revelations from the Nigerian Police that indeed the leaders of the gruesome robbery in Offa, Kwara State, were the armed thugs employed and armed by the same Bukola Saraki. In fact, one of them was in possession of a vehicle that had his name on the license plates! The actions of the Kwara State Governor to try and cover this up only further reinforces the case against them.

If the Governor of Kwara State and the Senate President were self-respecting upright people, they would be preparing to resign from their positions. Not only did they fail to provide adequate security equipment to the City of Offa–[such as armoured vehicles, surveillance drones, and fortified barracks]–they are the very perpetrators who armed and equipped the robbers instead! This is total madness! It does not matter how many paid supporters they want to send out with posters looking like fools, Kwara State today is a leaderless state, with criminal thugs now in control. Not even opposition figures in Kwara State are espousing qualities of leadership. If they were, articles of impeachment would already have been drawn up and tabled in the state legislature. Unfortunately there are no leaders in either chamber, and no leader among the office holders in Kwara State. Even more disturbing, is the deafening silence from those seeking to occupy office in the state. Nobody deserves to hold office in Kwara State if by now they are not coming out publicly condemning both the Governor and the Senate President and calling for both of them to do the right thing and resign immediately.

The sentiment on the ground in Kwara State is brewing as the polity prepares to shake the current establishment to its core. The revelation of these well-armed political thugs of the ruling establishment has clearly shown the masses their true and undeniable identity, that for years they used thugs to rig elections. As the sun sets on Saraki in Kwara State, the new leadership that emerges has to come from outside. Nobody in the current political establishment is worthy of being elevated to anything above street sweepers. At the very minimum, they have sat silent and watched a decay of corruption, debauchery, and bad governance spread across the state resulting in the suffering of the masses. Chronically public salaries are unpaid, pensioners die awaiting payments, Baruten LGA has become part of Benin Republic, all the while with all this going on “Governor” Ahmed ensured that Bukola Saraki received his ex-governors pension package that Saraki himself signed into law! As if this was not enough, Panama Papers and Paradise Papers have shown a web of deception and hidden assets of Saraki all over the world, some of which were illegally never declared, accounted for, or the source of which proven. Further, his district in Kwara State Central sits with poor infrastructure, flooding “roads”, pathetic “schools” that even he would never attend, and a health care facility that Saraki would not send his dog to be treated let alone anyone in his household. All of this after him being in office representing the state for 16 years!

However, nothing compares to the recent revelations of the Nigerian police force. Kwara State is becoming a national embarrassment and a total and utter disgrace to public service and elected officials nationwide. What is even more disconcerting is the deafening silence from members of the ruling party of the President (APC) and from the so-called opposition parties in Nigeria. Both Senator Saraki and “Governor” Ahmed, should not be allowed to finish out their terms in office. Both should be removed from office officially without delay. The fact that there are so few calls for this, is a further indictment of the moral decay in the Nigerian political class, media class, business class, and civil society. What is going on in Kwara State is madness, yet what we are now seeing in Nigerian society in response to what is occurring in Kwara State is even crazier. Nine police officers are DEAD! At least 2 dozen other people were killed on the spot! An those responsible were armed by and worked for a “Governor” of the State and the Third Highest Ranking Politician in the Nation who obstructed justice by trying to cover this up!? There is God! An whether these people realize it, he sees all of this and is not neutral. In an act of providence, it is God that has caused this house of cards to crash. Hopefully these worthless enablers of corruption in both the APC, PDP, other parties, the Media, and Business community, that are tacitly supporting this madness in Kwara State with their spineless cowardice, fall along with them.

Kuranga and Associates Limited is an investment management advisory firm and an asset manager with a principle practice area of Africa. To learn more about Kuranga and Associates LTD contact us at theassociatesincubator@gmail.com. © Copyright 2018 David Kuranga. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Dr.Kuranga

David O. Kuranga; Ph.D.
Managing Director
Kuranga & Associates Limited
Phone: 646.481.6263
david.kuranga@gmail.com
https://kurangaandassociates.wordpress.com

Volunteer Statesmen? To be Governor of a Heavily Indebted State..

17 Apr

David O. Kuranga, Ph.D.

The author is the Managing Director and Principal of Kuranga and Associates, a full-service investment, political and economic risk consultancy, and asset management firm that specializes in Africa. He is also the author of The Power of Interdependence with Palgrave Macmillan Press.

Currently most Nigerian states are fiscally unstable. They collectively account for about half the debt attributed to Nigeria. Many even had to seek emergency relief from the federal government in the form of bailouts. The current crop of governors have crippled their states with an ever increasing debt burden that their states cannot service. Coupled with this there are chronic arrears in both salaries and pensions with a few exceptions. Without federal government backing and bailouts, most states in Nigeria completely insolvent while almost all the rest are close behind. Accordingly, going forward it is imperative that all the states implement a solid fiscal plan to rip states from the edge of the cliff of financial collapse.

Given the dire state of finances in Nigeria’s States, it is a shock that there are so many vying to become governors. It is safe to conclude that either they are totally ignorant of the current financial crisis gripping their state, or are ignorant of what will be required of them to address it, or they know but have no intention of addressing it in accordance with state needs. Not surprisingly, not a single person who has been elevated as a candidate (potential candidate) for the states governorship has tabled a government financial plan to address the states fiscal deficits. If the people want to put the days where salaries are 6 months in arears, and pensions are unpaid, in the rearview, they are going to have to pay much closer attention to the gross deficiencies in the acumen of current aspirants and their collective lack of a concrete plan to address the states dire need for money.

#1. Deny Himself & Shoulder His Cross

In-kind of what Jesus says in Matthew 16:24, Luke 9:23, Mark 8:34, if anyone wants to be the next governor of a highly indebted Nigerian State, they must first deny themselves daily, shoulder their cross, and like a common house servant–work diligently for the people of their state. The next governors must be willing to work as governor, without any compensation, salary, allowance, pension, or benefits. In a state like Kwara State, the government spends 16 million annually servicing debts, and spend another 10 million on the office of the governor alone! Its no surprise that the states debts continue to grow. Further the corrupt budgeting practices utilized by states like Kwara State include vague unspecified line-items like “Overhead” that accounts for 100 million dollars of the states budget annually. With no real forensic auditing, there is no telling how much of this has gone to the wind over the past 8 years. All the while, the debt has continued to grow at an unsustainable pace.

Going forward governors will not be able to dip into the states finances to provide themselves with any of the perks of office that their predecessors enjoyed unless of course they can afford to provide those things for themselves through their own means. Just recently Kwara State borrowed N4 billion simply to partially clear a backlog of salaries and pensions. Typically, when a government borrows responsibly, the money is spent on capital projects that generate revenue, like toll bridges, transit systems, and state-owned businesses or private sector loan schemes. Given that paying workers and pensions are not capital investments, the state is obviously broke, too broke for an elected governor to pay themselves anything or to utilize any of the perks of office. For the next crop of governors to actually lead a fiscally responsible state, they must lead by example by denying themselves while carrying out duties. Further if the governor (the Oga at the top) is willing to volunteer their time, it is quite likely that they will be able to find special advisers and aides also willing to volunteer and serve with little to no compensation as well.

In the past (& present), the disposition of the leadership has been to pay themselves while leaving the masses to suffer and to be paid last. The new leader has to turn this disgraceful conduct on its head, and make themselves the last to receive anything. This will save the state a tremendous amount of money when statehouse wastes at e channeled toward plugging the fiscal holes, servicing debts, and ensuring that state workers and pensioners are adequately and properly taken care of without further irresponsible and unsustainable borrowing. The current administrations have repeatedly asked for permission to borrow even more than they currently have, which thankfully has often been refused. This borrowing is basically a dirty band aid being used temporarily to hide a gaping wound. Going into elections, this type of behavior is likely to continue at an even more alarming clip. This will make taking over governance in the state, financially more difficult than ever before.

#2. Internally Generated Revenue

While there have been some improvements across the country in internal revenue collection, states still ranks relatively low on internally generated revenue nationwide levels nationwide. Many states like Kwara State adopted the current Buhari administrations policy of not introducing new schemes to generate more revenue. This has clearly been a colossal failure (hence all the new borrowing) at national and state levels. The no new taxes policy should be scuttled within the first day of office by the next administration. Nigeria ranks at 6% tax to GDP ratio, one of the lowest ratio’s in the world. States like Kwara State are likely collecting even less than this national average. With all the new borrowing, the state must generate new revenue and introduce new schemes. It cannot rely solely on enforcing existing laws (which just began a year ago). There are a number of new measures that previous administrations should have undertaken to rectify the states fiscal imbalances that are yet to be done. For sake of  this article I contained just 5 examples below (which is unfortunately more concrete policy proposals than anyone who has claimed they want to be the states next governor has done):

  •  Motor Vehicles: Parking in the three major cities and on state campuses should be regulated and metered, new bridges on various roads should have tolls in place, luxury vehicles should be taxed, and any household that own multiple vehicles should also be taxed.
  • While the government banned alcohol, it would make more sense for them to use it as another means of generating revenue. The taxes and fees levied on those that consume in the state and the establishments that serve/sell the commodities will serve as a deterrent while also generating revenue for the state. The current policy, only encourages proprietors to go underground and for patrons to cross state lines and take their money outside of the state rather than keeping it with Kwara State. Both alcohol, tabacco, and gambling within the state should be targeted for new taxes and fees.
  • Out-of-State cattle and livestock herders known for abusing Kwara State lands and terrorizing its people, should no longer be able to operate in the state and/or bring their livestock to graze without paying taxes and fees to graze livestock. All herders must register, upon entry with the state through the LGA office, and pay for a governors consent livestock grazing permit, that will be determined based on the number of livestock in there possession. Failure to do so will result in stiff fines for herders and/or loss of livestock.
  • State “big boy” taxes should be considered. In the VAIDS scheme, we are identifying new tax payers previously not paying and ripping off the state. These individuals own property and business in multiple states and at times multiple countries. Despite this many of them have little within the state, except a village home or a residence in the states capital. These are the people who the state needs to invest in the state, create jobs, and start businesses. However if our “big boys” are only invested outside of the state (country) and only own a token home in the state, the state should levy additional taxes on these individuals and their property in the state that will be waved if and when they decide to invest in the state and create an agreed amount of jobs.

Ultimately the Nigerian people deserve better, but they collectively must call for it. Ongoing right now is the usual bribing of traditional leaders and community groups with pathetic disingenuous handouts where failed, unaccountable, and unqualified political elites give small fractions of their looted spoils around election time. Already in Kwara State we are seeing all of this take place. If people want the past to continue to repeat itself, they can participate and accept this token patronage and sell their future and that of their children in exchange for it. The days where we could afford to have personalities and those with connections as leaders are long gone. Moving forward, only the right policies (which should be stated in the agenda of every candidate) can transform and rescue Nigeria’s States. Nigeria has received numerous warnings over its ballooning debt burden and investor sentiment surrounding it.

Kuranga and Associates Limited is an investment management advisory firm and an asset manager with a principle practice area of Africa. To learn more about Kuranga and Associates LTD contact us at theassociatesincubator@gmail.com. © Copyright 2018 David Kuranga. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Dr.Kuranga

David O. Kuranga; Ph.D.
Managing Director
Kuranga & Associates Limited
Phone: 646.481.6263
david.kuranga@gmail.com
https://kurangaandassociates.wordpress.com

Kwara: The Unappologetic Incompetence of “Governor” Ahmed

15 Apr

David O. Kuranga, Ph.D.

The author is the Managing Director and Principal of Kuranga and Associates, a full-service investment, political and economic risk consultancy, and asset management firm that specializes in Africa. He is also the author of The Power of Interdependence with Palgrave Macmillan Press.

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Following the Massacre in Offa, the Second largest city in Kwara State, the states “Governor” reactively finally announced that the state would be purchasing armoured carriers for Offa to supplement police and bolster security in that city. He then pleaded with onlookers that he not be blamed for the violence and carnage that engulfed the city.

I have a few questions for the “governor” if he is even worthy of being called that. Did Governor Ahmed purchase armoured vehicles for himself and his wife? Did he supply them to his deputy and his wife? If so, then certainly he cannot deny knowing the utility of them and thus allocated the states resources to protect those he wanted to protect. The fact that these supplies were not present in the states second largest city up until the Massacre means clearly that the “Governor” and his predecessor did not view the people of the city of Offa as being worthy of the expenditure. If they believed Offa was worth protecting they would have acted accordingly.

The city has been attacked 3 times in the past decade, twice now under “governor” Ahmed. In Lagos, and other states, police have surveillance drones and armoured carriers that are supplied to them by the state governments to safeguard the citizenry. Yet in Kwara these attrocities were followed by inaction and a complete and total disdain for the wellbeing of the citizenry by the “governor” and his predecessor. This last attack on Offa lasted about 2 hours, not 2 minutes, or 20 minutes, but TWO HOURS, meaning there was no resistance at all! The fact that no drones, and no armoured carriers were presents in offa, until this “governor” paraded his pathetic armoured motorcade into Offa to pretend as if he cared, speaks volumes about the total neglect that has been shown toward Offa by the states “government”.

Unfortunately it is not much better statewide. For the past 8 years, Kwara State has been completely and totally leaderless. The stooge put in place at the statehouse has made that very clear at every juncture. After all, this is the same “governor” who paid his predecessor a pension (who was also collecting salary and allowances from another well-paid government position), while AT THE SAME TIME was failing to pay poor retired state pensioners throughout the state, many of whom died while waiting, and failed to pay actual State workers for over six months! One of whom, Biodun Bashir, hung himself in agony, after being unable to provide for his family not receiving pay for over 6 months! The people of Baruten LGA have no government to speak of in Nigeria, an thus are now joining Benin Republic! Thus a sitting “governor” found it more important that his predecessor could collect two streams of government checks and benefits, while state workers, pensioners, residents from Offa to Baruten, in his state were left out to hang by their necks. The fact that these two people allowed this unspeakable injustice to occur speaks volumes about who they truly are as people what they truly stand for. While all this came to light as a result of a Code of Conduct probe, it is worth asking Kwarans what would these people have done if all this did not come to the light? It’s what people do when nobody is watching that tells you who they are.

It thus comes as no surprise that the people of Offa were left hanging for 2 hours to be slaughtered, and nothing was done beef up security after the same incident happened 5 years before in the “governors” tenure. Despite all this, every utterance of the “governor” has been tantamount to saying “it’s not my fault” and “don’t blame me”. He even had the audacity to say that by blaiming him critics were being disrespectful to the dead in Offa. This is the same “governor” that has yet to visit the homes of a single victim, has not attended a single funeral service, has not paid for a single funeral, something that any real leader would have done. Yet he is lecturing those pointing out his incompetence about honouring victims? It’s time we hold this disgraceful display of “governance” to account and hold “governor” Ahmed’s feet to the fire. Since he does not want to own up to his own failures and apologize, there is nothing useful the “governor” has to say at this point.

For all this to end, Kwara Must Change, and in that, the people of the state must stand together in unity. Any attempt by elites to divide the population along ethnic, regional, generational, or religious lines, will only result in the past repeating itself. When it came to unpaid pensions, Kwarans of every dispensation were affected. When it came to Offa, Kwarans of every religion and stripe lost their lives. When it comes to unpaid salaries, or school session being held under trees, and total abandonment of Baruten, Kwarans from every region, and every LGA have been suffering. If Kwarans stand together, shoulder to shoulder, with one goal of cutting down the tree that has left the state and its people hanging out to die, the future of the state lies firmly in their hands. Together, they can take back their state, and when they do, I believe that together there is nothing that the people of Kwara cannot accomplish.

#KwaraMustChange
#KwaraRescueAlliance

Kuranga and Associates Limited is an investment management advisory firm and an asset manager with a principle practice area of Africa. To learn more about Kuranga and Associates LTD contact us at theassociatesincubator@gmail.com. © Copyright 2018 David Kuranga. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Dr.Kuranga

David O. Kuranga; Ph.D.
Managing Director
Kuranga & Associates Limited
Phone: 646.481.6263
david.kuranga@gmail.com
https://kurangaandassociates.wordpress.com

The Human Faces of the Offa Massacre

12 Apr

David O. Kuranga, Ph.D.

The author is the Managing Director and Principal of Kuranga and Associates, a full-service investment, political and economic risk consultancy, and asset management firm that specializes in Africa. He is also the author of The Power of Interdependence with Palgrave Macmillan Press.

Earlier in the week, I wrote a scathing critique of the Nigerian Media establishment, and those within it that have relegated themselves, for whatever reason, into the mouthpieces of propaganda for political elites. By so doing, I argued, that they ignored the unnamed and unnumbered victims, and thus reduced and dehumanized them and the untold suffering that is affecting ordinary people in that city and region. I received a blowback from some in the media, who explained, that unlike other countries, the governments in Nigeria (Federal, States, Local), do not provide a public record or a list of names with documented death certificates for media outlets to publish and investigate the biographies of the deceased. Further, in most instances, the government tries to minimize the total the death toll, which in Offa has risen to over 50 victims. Thus, like many other things, duplicating in Nigeria what is the normal standard internationally, of naming and numbering victims and telling their story, is somewhat more difficult in Nigeria. In that, I do accept and understand this explanation.

Still, while I recognize that doing the right thing in Nigeria, may be substantially more difficult than it is elsewhere, it is not impossible. After several media outlets received my article, several stories began to appear, naming some of the victims.

  1. https://newtelegraphonline.com/2018/04/offa-robbery-how-officer-caused-policemens-death/
  2. punchng.com/offa-robbery-vigilance-man-died-rescuing-victims-colleague/
  3. http://www.informationng.com/2018/04/photos-of-the-police-officer-inspector-yemisi-makinde-who-was-killed-during-offa-bank-robbery.html

In addition to these stories, the statewide advocacy group, #KwaraMustChange, compiled the stories of 2 more victims of the Offa Massacre. The first is Mrs. Oyinlola Ajogbe Shakirat, a 26 year old mother of a 9 year old boy, who also left behind her husband.

d56616af-dda2-4d33-b8fd-843b18435ab7.jpg

The second is Mr. Jamiu Adekunle Alawode, a 40 year old banker at Stockcorp Microfinance Bank in Offa (one of the 6 banks robbed that is not even mentioned in the press). He had 4 children, was a degree holder from University of Ilorin, and was a prominent figure in the Oyun local government area of Kwara State.

Alawode

In expressing our condolences to both families, and thanking them for sharing with us these photos of their loved ones, it is important for all to see them and realize how similar these real people are to ourselves and our own families. The suffering that is now impacting them, could just have easily have been any of us. In calling for justice for their killers, we need to also re-examine the total and utter neglect that the successive Governments of Kwara State have shown for providing security  within the state.

The City of Offa had been robbed before, and still had no armoured vehicles supplied to defend the town from such attacks despite numerous requests from residents. The state government has purchased and supplied armoured vehicles to protect the political elite, but somehow, did not find it necessary to provide the same equipment to its second largest city. Further surveillance drones, that are used in Lagos and other parts of the country, could easily and inexpensively have been deployed through Kwara to aid in early detection, and apprehending suspects. No such equipment’s were in Offa. Adding insult to injury, the states leaders have not visited any of the homes of the victims, or attended a single funeral. They have only paraded the city in their own armoured vehicles, only visiting the king, and retroactively passing blame to other arms of government. If the suffering ongoing in Offa today is to end, Kwara Must Change, and we as a people can support that change by unmasking the human faces of the suffering and demanding the change that will be a befitting memorial.

#KwaraMustChange

Kuranga and Associates Limited is an investment management advisory firm and an asset manager with a principle practice area of Africa. To learn more about Kuranga and Associates LTD contact us at theassociatesincubator@gmail.com. © Copyright 2018 David Kuranga. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Dr.Kuranga

David O. Kuranga; Ph.D.
Managing Director
Kuranga & Associates Limited
Phone: 646.481.6263
david.kuranga@gmail.com
https://kurangaandassociates.wordpress.com

Tragic Dehumanization of Suffering in Nigeria

9 Apr

David O. Kuranga, Ph.D.

The author is the Managing Director and Principal of Kuranga and Associates, a full-service investment, political and economic risk consultancy, and asset management firm that specializes in Africa. He is also the author of The Power of Interdependence with Palgrave Macmillan Press.

Last week, in the latter hours of Thursday afternoon, a group of 30 armed robbers stormed into Offa, Kwara State, (the second largest city in the state), and robbed 6 banks, the surrounding homes and market shops, killing well over 2 dozen people including police officers that were stationed in the city, and injuring scores of others. The operation lasted for almost two hours, while the robbers, without any resistance reigned terror for the third time on the city of Offa. The news was so horrific that the story was carried by several international news outlets. However, when I began to look at the local media coverage, I became nauseas from the disturbing trend.

While the tragedy of Offa is well known, to date, not one Nigerian media outlet has published the name or identity of a single one of the victims that were killed in Offa, not even those in Kwara State! There are videos and gruesome images of corpses all over the internet and social media, however, nobody knows the names of any of them. Nobody knows their families, their story, their dreams, their past accomplishments, or their promise. If you accept this narrative handed down by the unaccountable, bought and paid for, corrupt Nigerian media establishment, these people are not even real people or real human beings. So the rest of us should run along, hurry up and be going, and not think twice about who these poor souls were, who their families are, and what the impact of their loss is having on their surrounding community.  If they were human beings, the media would find out all their names, report on their ages, who they were, and tell us their story, especially those based right on the scene in Kwara!

Instead, the only names and stories the corrupt media tells the public are those of arrogant corrupt politicians, who in the aftermath, paraded through the city of Offa in motorcades of numerous armoured vehicles, the same city that because of their neglect, did not have one single armoured vehicle to secure and protect them despite numerous requests from residents. Let their be no mistake about it, while policing is still executed at the federal level in Nigeria, State Governments have a duty to supplement this and provide supplies and support to secure their territories. Other states, like Lagos, have purchased surveillance drones, and armoured carriers to aid police operating in their state to maintain peace and security. Yet in Kwara, the only armoured carriers that are purchased are used to secure the corrupt political elite and their families and not the population they were sworn to serve. Clearly in Kwara State, the states “leaders” did not do their job, but who cares? Who has really been affected? A bunch of unnamed and unknown “victims”? Unnamed, incorrectly numbered, and unknown “victims” who will be forgotten tomorrow are of no significance right? Clearly nobody human was lost. Nobody who had a name, a family, or a story worth telling. Nobody, that is, if you pay attention to the subtle message being delivered by the worthless Nigerian media establishment, and the compromised local Kwara outlets that have relegated themselves to spewing propaganda.

If you read the coverage, many names are mentioned in relation to this tragedy, but of course NEVER the names of the victims, but rather of corrupt politicians pretending they care. Further, when these useless corrupt figures visited Offa, they did not even go to the homes of all the victims, they never attended any of the funerals, (as you would see leaders in a civilized nation do), not even for the police, rather, they ignored the plight of these “subhuman”, “nameless” “victims” altogether, choosing rather to take their armoured motorcades only to the palace of the king to pay their lip service charade of sympathy. These politicians cannot name a single victim. They do not know where they lived. Could care less when they were buried, and/or who had to pay to burry them. An further, have no care for what their loss has done to their surrounding community. Their actions in the aftermath speak volumes for who they are and what they stand for. What is more shocking than their action, or lack thereof, is the fact that it has all been endorsed and normalized by the worthless, corrupt, coopted, and unprofessional Nigerian media establishment, and a group of highly compromised “journalists”, “bloggers”, whom are yet to question any of this nonsense. While the systematic and deliberate dehumanization of suffering is becoming all too common in Nigeria, no place is the concerted dehumanization of victims campaign more prevalent than in Kwara State.

Since the Nigerian media establishment is so worthless, so unprofessional, and so compromised, and all they respond to is money awashed in corruption and debauchery; forgive me, and let me speak their language. I will give N100,000.00 to the first “journalist”, or media “blogger”, that can name the 2 dozen Nigerian citizens gunned down in Offa, their ages, genders, and surviving family, I will give an extra N1,000.00, if you can secure a picture of them while they were still alive. Despite what the useless Nigerian media has been doing all this time, these people were real human beings, real people that had a real family, real hopes and real dreams, and real stories worthy of being told. I will not stop until they are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Kuranga and Associates Limited is an investment management advisory firm and an asset manager with a principle practice area of Africa. To learn more about Kuranga and Associates LTD contact us at theassociatesincubator@gmail.com. © Copyright 2018 David Kuranga. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Dr.Kuranga

David O. Kuranga; Ph.D.
Managing Director
Kuranga & Associates Limited
Phone: 646.481.6263
david.kuranga@gmail.com
https://kurangaandassociates.wordpress.com

 

U.S. Soldier Killed in Mali Amid Corruption Makes Case for Continued Ban of AFRICOM in Africa

13 Nov

David O. Kuranga, Ph.D.

The author is the Managing Director and Principal of Kuranga and Associates, a full-service investment, political and economic risk consultancy, and asset management firm that specializes in Africa. He is also the author of The Power of Interdependence with Palgrave Macmillan Press.

The unraveling international debacle of a suspected murder of U.S. special operations soldier Sgt. Logan Melgars in Mali has shined light on what a greater presence of U.S. troops in Africa would look like. The Elite U.S. soldier belonging to the Green Beret outfit of the U.S. Army is now widely believed to have been murdered by two of his brothers in arms from the U.S. Navy, Seals Team 6 outfit. The dispute appears to have arisen due to the deceased discovery that two of his colleagues were stealing money from a fund they were given to pay informants that would provide them with intel. Instead of using the funds for what they were meant, the suspects were discovered mismanaging funds for personal gain.

Needless to say, the entire debacle is giving Africa a clear picture of how U.S. forces operate in Africa, and what increasing their presence would look like. Highly trained elite forces on the ground are given extreme latitude to engage in a host of activities that not even the commanders of those forces are aware of. Before forces can be deployed there is an operating agreement between them and the host countries. However that agreement is made at the leadership level. What this incident shows is that U.S. leadership’s command and control of the actions of its forces on the ground in Africa is at best, extremely limited, and at worst, there is little to no control at all.

The AFRICOM missions are mixing and matching forces from competing units, such as was done in this case with the Navy and the Army, which have completely different command and control structures. Despite efforts by military leadership to integrate forces over the years, this incident proves beyond a doubt that they are nowhere near able to ensure that their personnel across competing units can function effectively on the ground. Further what this incident also is now showing is that for a paltry amount of money, these elite forces can by coopted and diverted from their mission to engage in nefarious activities. Perhaps, politicians, criminals, businesspeople, and corporations are exploiting this and certainly could if their presence on the ground in Africa were to expand in any meaningful way. Just one of these elite forces could destabilize an entire city in Africa, yet alone a small group of them, acting completely autonomously, with an agenda to maximize their profits from their deployment.

Even if these forces were keeping to protocol the fact that they are paying local actors should raise eyebrows. They claim that they are paying for intel so that they can operate and support local forces, but could they also be paying local actors for something else? Could they pay-off and/or hire local police forces to engage in unsanctioned activities, especially when they notoriously go unpaid for months in Africa? Could they pay-off gangs, criminals, rebels, opposition groups, unions, or key figures in society to foment unrest and instability? One thing that’s certain, is that all these scenarios are a possibility, and given that there are many ways to profit from deployment in Africa, there is no way that even the most genuine U.S. commander could ensure that this would not occur given what is now transpiring. They could not prevent their soldiers from engaging in these activities, yet alone even have any knowledge of them.

What is even worse, given that the stated objective of AFRICOM is to establish a foothold in Africa, what incentive do they currently have to quell unrest and instability in Africa? Would it not make more sense for them to allow instability to increase so as to justify a need for their growing presence on Africa soil. This very issue came to the forefront when the involvement of the U.S. in the Boko Haram fight in Northern Nigeria only seemed to make things worse. Further, the same country refused to sell weapons to the elected government in Nigeria that was fighting terrorist allied with ISIS. It was visibly clear that former National Security Adviser Susan Rice harbored overt hatred for Nigeria and its very existence. Only recently with the election of President Donald Trump in the U.S. has policy begun to shift.

If one looks at the model of Afghanistan and the global opioid crisis and prevalence of heroin world-wide, the increase of U.S. forces has indeed resulted in a greater uncontrollable crisis for them. In the context of Africa, if Afghanistan duplicates itself in Africa, African leaders will be faced with extremely well-financed criminal elements like has never been seen before. Wars and conflicts over natural resources continues to foment unrest and instability in Africa, but if illicit narcotics were to be added into the mix, Africa could plunge into perpetual conflict with ungovernable narco-states, natural resource theft, and a total erosion of developmental gains over the past decade. Countries throughout Africa, should critically rethink any expansion of U.S. military presence in Africa, and focus their efforts of capacity building and redoubling cooperation with neighboring states to maintain its own peace and security without the presence AFRICOM.

Kuranga and Associates Limited is an investment management advisory firm and an asset manager with a principle practice area of Africa. To learn more about Kuranga and Associates LTD contact us at theassociatesincubator@gmail.com. © Copyright 2017 David Kuranga. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Dr.Kuranga

David O. Kuranga; Ph.D.
Managing Director
Kuranga & Associates Limited
Phone: 646.481.6263
david.kuranga@gmail.com
https://kurangaandassociates.wordpress.com

Nigerians Must Boycott MTN

31 Jul

David O. Kuranga, Ph.D.

The author is the Managing Director and Principal of Kuranga and Associates, a full-service investment, political and economic risk consultancy, and asset management firm that specializes in Africa. He is also the author of The Power of Interdependence with Palgrave Macmillan Press.

Recently the Nigerian Senate began a probe over MTN Nigeria an the repatriation of some $14 Billion US Dollars out of Nigeria over a period of 10 years. If these foreign reserves were still in the Nigerian central bank today, Nigeria would have almost 50 billion in foreign reserve capital. It is likely that the Naira would also still be trading at at least 200 to 1 dollar. Thus this staggering amount taken out of Nigeria’s foreign reserves for just 1 company is in part responsible for the collapse of the Nigerian national currency and the massive inflation that has occurred since. The naira collapse also primarily caused Nigeria to slip into a crushing recession for quite some time. Accordingly, addressing this matter, of foreign exchange hemorrhaging out of Nigeria is among the most paramount issues facing the Nigerian economy today. Since the naira collapse the CBN has put in place strict restrictions on foreign exchange usage and has even limited access to foreign capital for manufactures like Innoson, the Nigerian automaker.

One would think that a competent legislative body would forcefully deal with the matter. Instead, a report released by a committee of the senate called for almost nothing. Further, the rest of the body, while they rejected the report, have done nothing to address this matter. Instead they are seemingly more preoccupied with their ongoing feud with the presidency, that appears to be functioning, or supporting seperatists, than they are with addressing this paramount matter involving MTN and lost foreign reserve capital. We have seen Senators dancing, begging for rice, displaying their cars, and foreign travel, yet we have not seen any tangible leadership on the matter of MTN and its theft of Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves over a 10-year period.

Needless to say, this worthless, time-consuming “probe” and report from the senate, is not worth the paper that its written on. Neither are the people responsible for it, or the entire legislative body that is wasting time revising it. It does not appear that they have any desire to act as a professional government body worthy of being taken seriously. As even this worthless report shows, it is known fact that MTN Nigeria willfully removed $14 billion US Dollars out of Nigeria over a period of ten years. Nobody is disputing this. The real question now is, what is Nigeria collectively going to do about this? What is this Senate going to do about it? What about the House of Reps? The rest of the Federal government? All the state governments? All the local governments? Finally, WHAT ARE THE NIGERIAN PEOPLE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? Shockingly so far, the answer is nothing.

As any good parent knows, when a child misbehaves, and you observe them, yet do nothing, you are in fact endorsing and encouraging this misbehavior. Further, when the other behaved children witness this, you also then encourage them to copy and commence the same misbehaving. So when a child misbehaves, their must be consequences, and they must be disciplined. In the same manner, for willfully moving $14 billion US Dollars outside of Nigeria, (regardless of all the corrupt CBN governors that no doubt aided and abetted them) on principle MTN themselves must face swift an dire consequences, and they must be disciplined, severely. Otherwise, others operating in Nigeria, like the notorious airline industry, and others, will follow their lead. Contrary to the nauseating, infantile approach of the Nigerian Senate, it is not really that complex to figure out what Nigeria’s “leaders” should be doing in response to MTNs misbehavior.

Since clearly none of them have the sense and/or patriotic mindset required to be “leaders” of a Great Nigeria, as a patriotic citizen, I must do my duty and spell it out for them:

*******No self-respecting Nigerian government official, their subordinates, or even immediate family, at the national, state, and local government level should be an active user, or be in procession of a mobile phone, or mobile data service, provided by or linked with the MTN network. Accordingly, as a matter of principle, every singly Nigerian government official, from the national-level to the local-level, without exception, should by boycotting MTN, its network, and all its ancillary services.*******

The mere fact that this has not happened to date and there have been literally no calls whatsoever for it in the halls of government of any level, speaks volumes about the sheer stupidity, obscene levels of incompetence, and total absence of patriotism that exist today among government officials and political “leaders” at all levels in Nigeria. Even with the xenophobic killings Nigerians in South Africa, expelling of Nigerian nationals from South Africa, Nigerians of recent appear more preoccupied with lashing-out at each other than addressing a serious offense committed by this foreign company that has cut in half the value of the naira and halved the average Nigerians purchasing power. A governor even erected a statue of the South African President in Nigeria recently! Do you think a Nigerian company could go to South Africa (or any country), withdraw $14 billion US Dollars leaving their local currency in crisis and economy recession, while at the same time Nigerians kill the nationals of that country in mobs on the streets of Lagos, and expel them at the airport, that the leaders of any country would treat that same Nigerian company with same level of indifference we now see among Nigeria’s “leaders”? Do you think they would be patronizing that same Nigerian company, buying their products and using its services? While in Nigeria, we erect statues to their leader, use their products, and ignore the cataclysmic damage they have caused to our economy and well being of our people as a whole. Even elite companies in Nigeria have lost tens of millions due to this issue of currency collapse.

Contrary to the media hype, the problem with Nigeria today is not its structuring and the solution is not its disintegration or reorganization. Equally to blame are all Nigerian elite from every region. Who among these regional leaders calling for restructuring or succession has condemned MTN for what it has done to undermine Nigeria’s economy and the well being of ALL NIGERIANS? The Biafra IPOB leaders? They have all been silent and said nothing, because they too are just as worthless and incompetent. Perhaps the Northern leaders or Youths as they call themselves? They too have been silent and said nothing, because they too are just as worthless and incompetent. The Yoruba Oduduwa leaders? They too have said nothing because, because they too are just as worthless and incompetent. The fact is, all our elite have sat silent (both government, regional, and otherwise) because they do not care, yet they have distracted the masses with regionalism to mask that plain and ugly truth.

No amount of restructuring or disintegration will change this. The Nigerian masses need to realize that nobody among the regional elite calling for restructuring or succession is worthy of your trust or support. They do not feel your suffering and they will never fight for you no matter what happens. If they cared about the plight of Nigeria’s people, or the people in their regions, there is no way any of them could sit silent and watch South Africa’s MTN exploit Nigerians with impunity. If Biafran leaders cared 1 iota about Biafran Nigerians, they would have no choice but to vigorously fight MTN on their behalf, yet they have not. If the Northern Youths and leaders cared 1 iota about plight of Northern Nigerians, they too would be vigorously fighting MTN on their behalf. If the Yoruba Oduduwa leaders cared 1 iota about Yoruba Nigerians, they too would be in total war with MTN on their behalf. Yet, they are not. Their collective total apathy is one thing they all have in common! Let their collective inaction serve as a reminder to all Nigerians, who these people truly are, and who they truly represent with their calls for restructuring and succession.

Ultimately we as Nigerians are the ones who accept this. It is time for a Nationwide boycott of MTN, and I call on all true Nigerian patriots who actually care about common Nigerian people no matter where they are from, to join me.

Kuranga and Associates Limited is an investment management advisory firm and an asset manager with a principle practice area of Africa. To learn more about Kuranga and Associates go to www.kaglobal.net. © Copyright 2017 David Kuranga. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Dr.Kuranga

David O. Kuranga; Ph.D.
Managing Director
Kuranga & Associates Limited
Phone: 646.481.6263
david.kuranga@gmail.com
https://kurangaandassociates.wordpress.com
http://us.macmillan.com/thepowerofinterdependence/DavidOl