Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Driving licence and the fight against corruption

Osita Chidoka, Corps Marshal, FRSC
It’s over a year this month since I applied to renew my driving licence at FRSC, Ojodu.

As usual when I got there earlier this month, I was given another extension of my temporary driving permit. I was asked to go home and wait for a summon to come for image capture.  It was probably the fifth extension, and I’m sure, there are many more to go before I get that licence.

The subtle message is clear to me:  Bribe an official and and cut out all this endless stress of taking time off work, driving all the way to FRSC Ojodu, wasting more precious time looking for where to park your car, wasting even more time sitting in a crowded canopy and enduring indignities from uncouth civil servants, and having to go back empty-handed at the end of it all.  I’m just intentionally ignoring the message. I don’t know for how long I will be able to ignore the message, though.

There is some form of order in the process these days, compared to what used to be. There is a clear procedure now. Nobody bothers to explain it to you, but in my experience, it moves along smoothly enough, until after all the tests and it remains image capture, the final hurdle.

The officials haven’t changed much though. The elderly, irreverent and uncouth civil servant types are still aplenty, such as the dreaded sharp-tongued woman in Room 5. She is something of an insult goddess, worshipped by her own colleagues and feared by applicants. She treats applicants with the contempt usually reserved for kitchen pests.

Those who want to avoid these indignities would prefer to induce an official to fast-track the process.

If Nigeria is serious about cutting official corruption, it is not hard to figure out what needs to be done.  Look into the processes and make them work. Fish out those who deliberately prevent the processes from working in order to extort the public.

If an application is made, there should be a maximum number of days that application should stay on any official’s table before it is moved along. One year for a licence renewal is unacceptable!

The idea of death penalty for corrupt public official in my humble opinion is silly. How much seriousness have we applied to implementing existing law? If you have not effectively utilized what is existing, how can you complain it is ineffective? Is it when you cannot muster the courage and necessary sincerity to commit a thieving governor to jail that you will now find the courage to kill him? I get pissed off with this tendency for Nigerians to grand-stand and romance highfallutin ideas, when we lack the basic honesty to implement simple, practical measures to achieve the desired results.

Get a leader that is sincere to wipe out corruption in this country today and without changing a thing in our laws will cut official corruption by more than half overnight.

It is not rocket science. Neither is it brain surgery. Nobody wants to go to jail. But people will steal public money when they know they can pull a few strings to avoid going to jail. There only needs to be a leader with a strong determination and the COURAGE to stop that and there will be a positive change.

IGP’s tinted glass order is new avenue for extortion

IGP, MD Abubakar
The IGP stopped his men from mounting random road blocks across the country when he assumed duties, and voila, the incidents of police shooting bus conductors and passengers over N20 bribe nose-dived. He received accolades for the move. Now he is undoing the achievement he made in that regard with his latest order to his men to impound vehicles with any type of tinted windows.

Just drove past the men in black arguing with a gentleman in a sparkling Honda Accord 2008 model at Opebi Link road intersection. The argument was intense in the scorching sun. I could only imagine that it had to be about the car’s lightly tinted back windows.  Abi, that’s the only reason policemen can randomly stop motorists on a busy road now.
When the man was done blowing grammar, he would either let his car be impounded or call his accusers aside and ‘resolve’ the matter amicably, because like it or not, those policemen are on a legal duty, backed by the order of the IGP.
The IGP has simply given a new meal ticket to his boys. In the confines of his cosy office, he may threaten fire and brimstones against his men who extort motorists, but that is his own reality. The reality in the scorching sun outside is that only saints would turn down an irresistible settlement terms offered by an affluent gentleman in a posh Honda Accord. And I think we are all agreed the men of the Nigeria police force are no saints.  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Actor Jim Iyke gets own reality show

Jim Iyke. Credit: JimIykesWorld

Nollywood bad boy has got his own reality show tagged: Jim Iyke: Unscripted.

From Thursday, April 18, you can catch a glimpse of Iyke’s personal and professional life on  AfricaMagic Entertainment on DSTV.


You will see the famous actor as he promotes his latest movies while delving into the competitive world of men’s fashion and follow him as he manages the demand that comes with his huge popularity, busy schedule and outspoken personality.


Filmed in Lagos, Abuja, Accra, Houston, Dubai, Nairobi, Amsterdam and London, a new episode of Jim Iyke: Unscripted will be screened every Thursday (5:30/8:00 PM)  for 13 weeks.


Iyke said, “its no holds barred, unscripted and untamed”. Meanwhile series producers iFactory Live, Greyology Inc. and OH Africa described Jim Iyke: Unscripted as very real, giving fans a free pass into Jim’s life.


Executive producer Michael Djaba said, “Yes his image has sometimes been described as ‘Bad Boy’ but beneath it all, he’s as real as any celebrity can get and fans are in for one roller coaster ride”.


Meanwhile M-Net Africa Managing Director Biola Alabi is confident that like the man himself, the show will be a must-watch.


“Jim Iyke attracts attention on a daily basis and we’re definitely pleased that we’re in a position to screen his exciting new reality series. He’s such a talented individual who is not afraid to take risks, to speak his mind, to blaze his own future. His charisma, talent and energy are undeniable and his fans want to see more of him! So make sure you tune in weekly to see what drives his success, what determines his reactions and what defines his choices.”