BASTARD OF THE WEEK:

A man gets home early from work and hears strange noise coming from his bedroom. He rushes upstairs to find his wife completely naked on the bed, sweating & panting. “what’s up?” he asked.

“i’m having a heart attack”, cries the woman. He rushes downstairs to grab the phone 4 ambulance,,,,,but just as he’s dialling, his 4yrs old son comes up & says, “DADDY!,DADDY!, Uncle Fred is hiding in your closet & he’s got no clothes on!”.

The man slams the phone down & storms upstairs into the bedroom, past his screaming wife,& rips open the wardrobe door. And Sure enough, there is his brother, totally naked, covering on the closet floor.

“You Bastard”,the man says,”My wife is having a heart attack & u are running around naked scaring the kids.!”

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MONEY PROBLEMS :-

Money problems make you smarter… if you solve your money problems, your financial intelligence grows. When your financial intelligence grows, you become richer. If you do not solve your money problem, you become poorer. If you do not solve your money problem, that problem often grows into more problems. If you want to increase your financial intelligence you need to be a problem solver. If you don’t solve your money problems you will never be rich. In fact, you will become poorer the longer the problem persists ~ Robert Kiyosaki

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PROFESSIONALS AND THE PUBLIC INTEREST:

Being excerpts of a speech delivered by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy & Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala while declaring open the 44th Annual Accountants Conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) on behalf of President Goodluck Jonathan, on September 9, 2014 at the International Conference Centre Abuja.

Unlike some other African countries, Nigeria is blessed with a rich network of professionals many of whom, such as ICAN, have existed for years. In the 7 years that I have been a public servant in Nigeria, I have found with great pleasure, that the great majority of Nigerian professionals take their professions very seriously and act with the utmost professionalism. I am sure many of you would agree with me that the professionalism that some of our medical practitioners have exhibited in the past 2 months has been exceptional and inspiring as they have worked hard alongside the government to control the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease in the country. In the same vein, our bankers, many of whom are accountants and members of ICAN, have been instrumental in building and restoring confidence in our financial system which has played a significant part in Nigeria’s strong economic performance.

Unfortunately, I have also come across some Nigerian professionals whose actions have fallen short of professionalism in the course of my work. There are professionals who resort to blackmail and abuse of government and individuals when they fail to win contracts that are competitively bid. There are individuals/professionals who have resorted to divisive ethnic and sexist sentiments to blackmail and undermine the government when policies have not favoured their narrow interests. For example, so called “professionals” have attempted to undermine new approaches designed to put this country in tune with international good practice. Take for example, governments attempt to support competitive recruitment processes that promote transparency and merit. Only yesterday, I was left shocked by the lack of professionalism exhibited by an individual who had gone through one of these competitive recruitment processes without success. Rather than gracefully accept defeat in a professional manner, this individual decided to personalise the matter and attack the whole process.

Such behaviour undermines the public interest and as professionals you must understand that professionalism means supporting good policy that is in the wider public interest even when it does not necessarily benefit the immediate interests of you or your own association. Professionalism also demands being constructive in criticisms of policies that you do not support without personalising issues. In the course of this weeklong conference as you revisit the ethics and body of rules governing your profession, I hope that you would also discuss these matters as they relate to the promotion of the public interest.

Update on the Economy

The professionalism and continued support of ICAN and other such professional bodies is indispensable to this Administration as we push forward the Transformation Agenda. I am glad that thus far, this support has been unreservedly forthcoming. I can proudly and confidently say that the progress and achievements that we have recorded would not have been possible without the support of Nigerian professionals such as you. Let me share some of these key achievements with you at this juncture.

Housing and Construction. We have taken giant strides in unlocking the housing sector and we anticipate that this would have significant multiplier effects on the economy particularly in creating additional jobs for architects, electricians, masons etc. In January this year, this Administration launched the Nigerian Mortgage Refinancing Company (NMRC) to facilitate the provision of affordable housing and in July, the first 10,000 mortgages were launched. We are confident that, very soon, many more hardworking Nigerian families will realize their dream of owning a home. In launching this sector, we have relied on a number of professional bodies such as the Mortgage Bankers Association of Nigeria (MBAN), the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON), and the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) to name a few. I want to thank these professional bodies for their support and professionalism. This is the kind of collaborative effort and support that would be instrumental to the government as we implement reforms in various sectors of the economy.

In the Power Sector we have successfully completed one of the most comprehensive and transparent power privatisation programmes worldwide- with the privatisation of 4 power generation companies and 10 power distribution companies. To provide comfort to private investors in the power sector, we have also strengthened power market intermediaries such as the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET), which is backed with over N120 billion in financing. The liberalisation of this sector has opened up new investments. This year, the 450MW Azura-Edo IPP signed a power purchase agreement with $1 billion backing from 14 high quality investors including: Standard Chartered, IFC, First Rand Bank, Siemens Bank, and Nigeria’s FCMB.All Nigerians would like to see uninterrupted power, and I know we are not there yet. But in the same way that the privatisation of the telecoms sector took some time to begin yielding benefits, I am very confident that our power sector will take off successfully in the coming years.

Communications Technology: For ICT, we constructed 500km of fibre-optic cable to rural areas and total of 266 Public Access Venues were established in 2013. We also deployed a fibre-optic high-speed internet network to connect 27 Federal universities, and provided computing facilities to 74 tertiary institutions and 218 public schools across the country. Finally, we have established innovation centres to support entrepreneurs in the ICT sector, and launched a $15m Venture Capital fund for ICT businesses. As a result, we have seen a growth in phone subscriptions and internet access buy 35 percent and 46 percent respectively since 2014. I know that these advancements will be instrumental in building on the skills of our youth cross various fields and professions.

We have also made significant progress in improving our Transportation Infrastructure:

For roads, we have completed more than 32 road rehabilitation projects and we have several more ongoing. Some of these include the Kano-Maiduguri road, the Abuja-Lokoja road, the Apapa-Oshodi road, the Onitsha-Enugu-Port-Harcourt road and the Benin-Ore-Shagamu road, among others. We also successfully launched construction of the 2nd Nigeria Bridge. As a result of these efforts, we have seen a reduction in road traffic accidents and their resulting deaths by 50% and 28% respectively.

For railways: the Western line linking Lagos and Kano is now functional; and work is progressing on the Abuja-Kaduna Standard Gauge line (72% completed); the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri Line (to be completed by end-2014)and the Eastern line linking Port Harcourt to Maiduguri (Enugu to Umuahia track has been rehabilitated). We now have 200 communities connected by rail and the number of passengers carried by rail has risen significantly to 5 million in 2013, an 80% increase from 2009.

For inland waterways: We have dredged about 72 km of the lower River Niger from Baro in Niger State to Warri in Delta State; and have also completed construction of the Onitsha inland port. As a result, we have increased cargo volume on the inland waterways from 2.9 million metric tons in 2011 to over 5 million metric tons in 2013.

In the aviation sector, we are completing the upgrade of 11 terminals. In the past year, the Enugu Airport became operational as an international airport with a new terminal under construction. We have also commenced work on the construction of four new international airport terminals: in Lagos, in Kano, Port Harcourt, and in Abuja.

In Agriculture, the government is striving for food security through the Agricultural Transformation Agenda and we have already seen a decline in the food imports bill from N2.38 trillion in 2011 to N1.5 trillion in 2013. In this respect, the Government’s Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES) is providing subsidized inputs to farmers via an e-Wallet program – 10.5 million farmers have been registered and an estimated 6.4 million farmers have received subsidies. We have been successful in increasing rice production and improving the cassava value chain. In the 2013 dry season, we engaged over 250,000 farmers producing 1.22 million metric tonnes of dry season rice. We have also seen increased investments in High-Value Cassava Processing and increased cassava exports. The government promised an additional 20 million MT of food by 2015 and 17 million MT have already been produced by the end of 2013.

In the Oil and Gas Sector, we have completed work on important projects such as the 136km gas pipeline from Oben to Geregu, the 31km pipeline from Itoki to Olorunshogo and the acquisition of 250 square kilometres of 3D-seismic data for the Chad basin. In addition, the government has also initiated the Ogidigben Gas Industrialisation Project which will provide a petrochemicals complex in Delta State.

We have also made significant progress in Job Creation. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, about 1.2 million jobs were created in 2013 (and a total of about 1.9 million jobs have been created since we started tracking the jobs data in Q3 2012). Many of these jobs came from the agriculture sector, from the manufacturing sector, and the services industries. In addition, the Government’s special intervention programs have also created jobs, such as: YouWiN (27,000 jobs) and the SURE-P Community Services Scheme (120,000 jobs). The government’s Graduate Internship Scheme in addition to reducing unemployment, is also important in enhancing the quality of professionals that our tertiary institutions produce. This Administration will not relent in its effort to create more jobs as we recognise that we have a large number of new entrants into our labour force each year (about 1.8 million) coupled with the existing stock of unemployed.

These structural reforms and developments in the real sector have only been possible in the backdrop of a stable macroeconomic environment. Nigeria’s economy is now the biggest in Africa since the rebasing of our GDP. Inflation have managed to curb inflation within the single digits at 8.3 percent (as at July 2014) while the exchange rate has remained fairly stable. Our fiscal deficit is low at about 1.2 percent of GDP, and our debt-to-GDP ratio is also low at about 12 percent. We are also rebuilding our fiscal buffers – Whilst the excess crude account declined in 2013 due to unexpected fall in oil revenues, they have steadily increased this year and now stand at $4.05 billion.

The Nigerian economy is increasingly diversified and the IMF projects that the non-oil sector will grow by 8.3 percent in 2014. The oil and gas sector now accounts for less than 20% of GDP. The services sector accounts for about 50% of GDP and other sectors such as manufacturing and the creative industries are growing very quickly.

We will forge on in our implementation of sound macro-economic policy and we call on ICAN’s support particularly as we work on improving government revenues. An FIRS diagnostic carried out in 2012 revealed that as many as 65% of registered tax payers have not filed their returns in 2 years, 75% of MSMEs are not in the tax system and 35% of companies operating under the Pioneer Status Incentives abuse their tax exempt status. The FIRS is currently working with McKinsey to plug these holes through a set of 7 key initiatives and increase non-oil revenues by at least N75 billion this year. We have already begun to see positive results and we recognise that our success will be dependent on the support, professionalism and integrity we get from ICAN members who audit many of these companies’ accounts.

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NEVET GIVE UP THE STRUGGLE IN LIFE:

As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at any time, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.

He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we used the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.

Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?

Failure is part of learning; we should never give up the struggle in life.

Suzgo Chingati is a trained entreprenuer who writes in his own capacity.

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HOW TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS

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Business startup

1.Come up with an idea: You will need an idea for a business before you do anything else. This should be something you are passionate about, since your new business will consume a great deal of your time and money.

2. Come up with business ideas by identifying things people need which no one else currently provides, that isn’t provided in your area, or which you can provide better than anyone else.

3. Be sure it’s unique. Whatever your idea is, be sure it’s as unique as possible. This will help you eliminate or significantly combat competition, which will make your business more successful. Simply putting a small spin on a currently existing product (making blue Redvines or something like that) is not usually enough to build a business on, so push the envelope!

4. Determine your cost of operation. You will need a solid business plan to present to any investors and the best place to start would be with determining your basic cost of operations. This will outline and help you determine how much money is needed to produce the product or offer the service you intend to offer or produce. It includes production costs, shipping, taxes, worker’s wages, rent for workspace, etc. [1]

Knowing your cost of operations will be vital to determining if your business will be profitable, since you will need to make more than this baseline in order to remain in business.

5. Create ideas fitting your budget. Once you know how much money you have, research the costs of different types of marketing and come up with ideas which fit those methods and are effective for the price range. If you have a lot of money to spend on marketing, for example, you can consider shooting a commercial. If you have almost none, you’ll want to think about ways to use social media effectively, which is very effective for requiring little money.

Suzgo Chingati is a trained entreprenuer who writes in his own capacity.

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MALAWI 50 YEARS IN PICTURES

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Malawi national flag.

Malawi’s national flag adopted in 1964 and readopted again in 2012 by parliament.

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the 1st and Life President of Malawi Dr. Kamuzu Banda

Doctor kamuzu Hastings Banda is the longest serving president of Malawi from 1964 until 1994. Born in kasunga, central region. After losing the presidency to Bakili Muluzi during the first multi-party polls he ensured a peaceful and smooth transfer of power.

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Dr. Bakili Muluzi. Malawi's second serving president and first multi-party president

Bakili Muluzi served as Malawi president for a decade from 1994 to 2004. Muluzi lead his UDF to victory during Malawi’s first multi-party elections in May 1994 during his tenure Malawi wrote a new constitution that came into effect on 1 January 1995. Towards the end of his presidency he tried to change the constitution to allow him to serve a 3rd term, but the open term bill was rejected by Parliament. His also the first muslim to be a president in Malawi.

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Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika. Malawi's 3rd president an indian trained economist.

Bingu wa Mutharika served as Malawi’s 3rd president from 2004 until his death from a cardic arrest in 2012. During his tenure Malawi witnessed an economic growth rate of 7% for 5 years and in 2008 was named the second fastest growing economy in the world after oil rich Qatar. During second term he fail out of favour with the international community and the Malawi economy began a downfall and witnessed forex and fuel shortages.

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Dr. Joyce Banda. She is the first female and shortest tenured president in Malawi.

Madam Joyce Banda made history in 2012 when she became president of Malawi. She is the first female and shortest tenured president of Malawi. Her tenure only lasted two years from 2012 to 2014. She became president after the sudden death of Bingu wa Mutharika in April 2012. 
During her tenure Malawi witnessed an economic recovery from one and a half week import cover to a three months import cover, Forex and fuel avaliablitiy among other things. She lost in her first election test in May 2014.

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Prof. Peter Mutharika an international law expert is Malawi's fifth president.

Peter Mutharika is the fifth and current president of Malawi. He was elected in May 2014. His a former foreign affairs minister in the cabinet of his elder brother Bingu wa Mutharika.

OTHER NOTABLE MALAWIANS:

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Hon. John Tembo is the longest serving member of parliament

Honorable John Tembo is the longest serving member of the Malawi parliament. He joined politics in 1961 and became a member of parliament for Dedza south from 1964 to 2014, he was the leader of the opposition in parliament from 2004 to 2014. He tired to be president on two elections and lost he was declared number two on both poll outcomes. During his political career he also served as vice president of Malawi congress party, Govenor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi, finance minister, CEO auction holdings, leader of the opposition in parliament, etc.

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Dr. Chakufwa Chihana. The father of Malawian democracy

Hon Chakufwa Chihana served as Malawi’s second vice president during the coalition of his AFORD party and Muluzi’s UDF. Chihana is credited as being the father of democrary in Malawi. He was the leader of the first underground movement in Malawi that challenged kamuzu to call for a referendum We was arrested for six years without trial. His death in 2006 was acorded a state funeral.

Suzgo Chingati is a trained entreprenuer who writes in his own capacity.

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AFRICA’S LAST WETLAND

Botswana’s Okavango Delta was named the 1,000th World Heritage Site by UNESCO this week, a hard-won designation that affords special protection against human development.

The delta encompasses a 3,000-square-mile (7,770 square kilometers) plain whose nutrient-rich water provides a sanctuary of channels, lagoons, and islands for thousands of plant and animal species. Among the area’s inhabitants: the largest population of elephants on Earth.

After some initial work to expand the delta’s tourism infrastructure, the delta’s new status will bring a halt to development.

Suzgo Chingati is a trained entreprenuer who writes in his own capacity.

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