Fidelity bank banner NewsExpress advert
Attack on Jonathan, Okonjo-Iweala: Shocking elementary mistakes by Punch Newspaper

By Paul C Nwabuikwu on 19/11/2013

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 3,304

RE: Intellectually Bankrupt, Malicious and Defamatory Editorial on “Jonathan, Okonjo-Iweala and Waivers” by The Punch Newspaper.

We are astonished to find that The Punch, a national newspaper, can publish an editorial that is so ignorant, malicious and defamatory (“Jonathan, Okonjo-Iweala, and waivers”, The Punch Editorial, Monday 18 November, 2013). We know the antecedents of this newspaper, but this recent editorial truly beggars belief. When a newspaper can trivialize corruption by branding the country’s industrial policy and underlying fiscal regime as corrupt, it detracts attention from the serious issue of corruption. This is a disservice to the Nigerian nation, and to all Nigerians.

It is shocking that The Punch newspaper is not up-to-date on Nigeria’s industrial policies. In the past, waivers were granted to individual businesses in an approach that resulted in rent-seeking behaviors and an uneven playing field for other businesses. It was precisely the need to stop such a discretionary approach that led to reforms by the Economic Management Team under the leadership of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. A sector-wide waiver policy was introduced to provide specific incentives for some strategic, job-creating sectors. Under this regime, all businesses in a sector have access to the same incentives.

These sectoral policies have included reduced import duty rates or waivers for equipment and materials for the hospitality, power and aviation sectors; for agricultural machinery; for solid mineral equipment; for gas-using equipment; for the steel sector; for specific manufacturing sub-sectors (e.g. for imports of completely-knocked down parts) and for automobiles and tires. There are additional programs such as the Export Expansion Grants (EEG) Scheme designed to promote Nigeria’s non-oil exports. These sectors are seen as strategic areas which can stimulate growth, support diversification of the Nigerian economy, and create jobs for Nigerians. This new approach to waivers is therefore an important tool for our national industrial policy, and is also used by other fast-growing economies, such as South Korea, Malaysia and China.

Had this recent article been the work of a sole reporter, we may have excused these errors as the mistake of an individual. However, when an entire editorial board of a national newspaper makes such elementary mistakes, it speaks to the abysmal quality of discourse which some of our media institutions are now undertaking. We must remain thankful that there are other media houses that focus on reporting facts and issues in a spirit of true journalism and nation-building.

Now, it is also not surprising that the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) would complain about waivers. Naturally, NCS would not like any waivers because they directly lower the total revenues collected at our borders. The remuneration for NCS is calculated as a percentage of total revenues collected, and this is directly impacted when waivers are introduced. However, the NCS is fully on board that the new sectoral waiver policy is far superior to the previous ad hoc and often unfair approach to waivers.

As any undergraduate economist learns, a trade-off has to be made between short-term revenue collection, and the country’s long-term industrial development. We have to weigh the balance between collecting customs revenues today, versus providing incentives to our private sector to stimulate growth and job creation. We reiterate that, to label the government’s entire sectoral industrial policy as corruption, trivializes the fight against corruption, and diverts attention from such an important issue. This is irresponsible.

The Punch newspaper should note that no amount of spurious editorials will deter government from doing what is right for our national development. The newspaper only damages its own credibility, and will continue to do so, unless its uninformed reporting and editorial practices are changed.

Finally, it is clear that The Punch newspaper is deliberately hounding the Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy who is widely recognized for her strict professional standards at home, and abroad, during her 25-year career at the World Bank and her five years of dedicated service to her country as Finance Minister. As your article noted, in her book, Reforming the Unreformable, the Co-ordinating Minister strongly condemned the abuse of discretionary waivers and pushed for a level playing field for all Nigerian businesses. These attempts to attack her and the Government will fail, because they only confirm the questionable editorial and journalistic standards of The Punch.

•Nwabuikwu (shown in photo) is Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy.

Source News Express

Posted 19/11/2013 12:20:04 PM


Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+



REVEALED: 3 natural ways to get stronger erections, last 25minutes on bed, and increase manhood size without using drugs. Also, Natural Prostrate Enlargement Remedy.. Get In HERE...


You may also like...
Senate rejects report on Southern Kaduna crisis

Gombe vs Bayelsa: How ex-Super Eagles gaffer Eguavoen...

Claims that Buhari will Islamise Nigeria a brainless,...

Dangote Cement’s half year sales across Africa increases...

12 die, 5 injured on Lagos-Ibadan express auto...

Breaking News: Ghana President bounces back, wins election,...

Security guards kill boss over unpaid salary

NAF commissions new girls school, immortalises victims of...

Oil firm seeks to stop FG from signing...

Osun doctors protest over arrears of salaries, poor...

13 Russians indicted in US election meddling probe...

Nigerian foot wear firm in South Africa produces...


Latest News BREAKING: Real Madrid beat Liverpool in 2018 Champions League final EFCC begins probe of Obasanjo's $16bn power projects 30th May will witness a total lock-down of South East, South South - IPOB Police Recruitment: JAMB screens 37,000 candidates in 156 CBT centres Armed bandits kill community leader in Benue JOHESU appeals court judgement ordering it to suspend strike Anti-graft fight: We need support, not condemnation — FG If you use your powers negatively, posterity will haunt you - Jonathan tells Buhari Military confirms fire incident at Conoil fields in Bayelsa MeCAM laments effects of wanton killings on Nigerian children, tasks FG IDPs rape report: Stop living in denial, HURIWA tells FG 2018 African Brand Congress to hold in Nigeria


Most Read Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (346,004 views) NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (342,945 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (274,118 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (225,372 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (205,622 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (203,450 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (177,484 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (159,765 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (150,660 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (144,010 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (140,404 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (132,799 views)


Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (43) Business & Economy (3,163) Business Verdict (43) Columnists (858) Complaints & Requests (94) Enterprise & Opportunities (207) Entertainment (498) Features (598) Global Business Monitor (275) International (1,974) Interview (149) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (120) News (35,633) Opinion (973) Pidgin (10) Politics (5,079) Religion (747) Sports (1,519) Stock Watch (29) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update


CBN banner

Firstmobile banner




Boko Haram commanders surrender


APO Group Partner




REVEALED: 3 natural ways to get stronger erections, last 25minutes on bed, and increase manhood size without using drugs. Also, Natural Prostrate Enlargement Remedy.. Get In HERE...

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member



Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera