Last week, I confirmed an appointment to meet with a United States of America based journalist and researcher. He told me on phone that he was in Nigeria to research and evaluate the country’s financial sector with a view to submitting a report that will form the basis of Nigeria’s financial sector country report to his principal, a respected magazine in the US.

My talking date was scheduled with the foreign journalist on account of the content of FORTUNE&CLASS Weekly. He had excitedly talked about the magazine serving most of his information needs on the subject of his research and investigation in Nigeria, contents he could not get to see in other media class. Of course, I was humbled and though, I was in quandary on what exactly I was going to tell a foreign journalist on a mission to unearth hidden facts in the remote crevices of the nation’s banking halls and regulatory agencies.

I was caught between my intense patriotism for everything that can be possibly good about this country and knowing that an interview session with a journalist also means that I may fall into those emotive moments that a subject of an interview unconsciously fall into with the consequence of, perhaps, revealing some of those facts that won’t do the sector at issue good in international circles. Of course, I am a journalist, so I know how these things work, before you corrected yourself you would have crossed the boundary with some blabbing, remarkable to the journalist but embarrassing for me.

I may have to apologise on behalf of the media in Nigeria, it is a culture, you know; media practitioners, even around the world censor information, often, because of the practical standard of minimizing the extent of perception damage to an institution or sector.

The talking date didn’t happen after all, though we shifted the appointment twice, we could not get to meet. It suddenly turned out that the journalist’s temporary residence on Victoria Island, Lagos, was a travelling distance to my office in Ikeja, Lagos. The poor journalist made frantic efforts to get to Ikeja two times but he was not quite knowledgeable about the hours of convenient movement in the state. He always ended up in a traffic gridlock, and the two times he was compelled to ask his cab driver to turn back at the next access road; incidentally, such an access road won’t be available until he gets to the Gbagada end of the 3rd Mainland Bridge where he’s also confronted with a non-moving lines of vehicles.

Well, as it were, I guess the Lagos traffic logjam helped out of a dilemma for the first time. Courtesies won’t allow me to reject an interview appointment with a colleague practitioner but, I was quite apprehensive that some information may not be right for this kind of discussion. So naturally, I was not going to encourage the journalist to get to Ikeja, and I refused to offer the option of locating him on the Island.

The kernel of my revelation here is that most of us have become co-conspirators in the some what cultic ways of information dispensation. The Mafian rule of absolute silence dominates information processing and dissemination; I ascertained the journalist must have been convinced he was not getting the quality of information he needed from official quarters, the reason he resorted to self help.

In self respecting countries, information is key, either in political governance or corporate relationship. To get required information that are in the public domain, all one needed do was to go on dedicated website or get a journal of the government agency or company you wanted to know its details. It’s that simple.

This tells much on the integrity of information, where information is treated as a prized jewel to be hidden in the bunkers of atomic bomb as it is the culture in Nigeria, concerned communities of the agency or company treat such information with a strong dose of suspicion. This has become so endemic that routine statistical information from the office of statistics is addressed with nonchalance in the public place. Bank statements of account, a document that is supposed to be sacrosanct in facts and details, are for Nigerians, another fanciful fictional paper work conveyed to the public in consummation of lip service to the satisfaction of a legal requirement that has lost all its potency of sanction many years ago.

Disclosure in governance and corporate relationship is essential to confidence building and until the breach of this is punishable not by the letters of laws but by political will, the nation would continue to flourish in the appalling cesspit of wheeler-dealing, creating a continuous circle of privileged insiders and ignorant outsiders.

Can the parliament take another look at the Freedom of Information Bill, please.  

The Union of the Bull and the Power Engine

When the racing track got heated up in an electrifying second in the final round of the Red Bull Riders Cup competition at the 2.489-mile Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain, on October 25, Mathew Hoyle was the only last man that survived the heat and making the trophy finds its way down to the United Kingdom.


The competition which featured about 23 riders all over Europe put against each other the top 10 riders from the Red Bull AMA U. S. Rookies Cup and the 10 best riders from the European-based Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. All competed on the same identically-prepared KTM RC125 Motorcycle.


The power machine, which houses one single cylinder at 2-stroke, has its displacement put at 125 cubic centimetre. With a horse equated power of 45, the motorcycle makes a complete revolution of 13.000 in one minute.  You definitely can’t expect less!


The 13litres capacity engine was the highlight of the KTM RC125, a rotating force of 30Nm at 12,800 revolution per minute. Compressing air at the ratio of 9 to 1, CDI ignition, liquid cooled, coupled with a 6-gear transmission system, the little effort and secret of Hoyle in beating Spaniard Luis Salom to finish off the 17-lap race by 6.170 seconds just got uncovered! And if the carrier comes with front and rear WP suspension, Brembo Steel disk, Marchesini and 136kg, including the rider, then what is Matthew Hoyle bragging about?


Lot of thanks to Red Bull, the official energy drink and sponsor, which is going all the way for two- and four-wheeled motorsport racing than anyone else on the planet! It might interest you to know that Red Bulls sponsors the Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula 1 and brought up one of the first history making American F1 racers, Scott Speed, teammate of Vitantonio Liuzzi. And it is based on the success of their F1 rookies programme that led to the creation of Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup in cooperation with KTM Motorcycles. With lots of different sponsorship possibilities mapped out, Red Bull promises to give the art of racing wings to fly to the highest level!

BMW 320d M Sport Saloon: … and God saw that it was good.”

The statement, ‘And God made … and God saw that it was good” befits no other carrier than the 2008 BMW 3 Series!


The muscled power machine has everything built into its making without an error of omission. Neither is the safety of its occupants not only the priority but the elegantly designed auto took into consideration, in 100 percent thoughtfulness, the comfortability of its occupants.


The BMW 3-Series has established itself as the best seller in the compact executive class. This coveted status is not achieved through sheer normal energy injected into the automaking but the extra efforts by the automaker in ensuring that there exists no compromise in its production model. The series, launched some 30 years ago, and whose familiarity has refused to affect the wow factor positively due to the designers’ refusal to break with tradition, still ensures its contemporary. In short, the BMW 3-series is still a strikingly handsome car. This, obviously, is responsible for the machine’s balancing between boring and over fussy look. With well thought out cheek-bones, the conventional twin headlights, rear hockey-stick shaped light clusters and shark’s fin aerial, you definitely can’t miss out a BMa!


A BMW addict could bet his naira on what to expect of the interior, a very cool black interior roof, quality leather upholstery and M Sport branding on the gear knob and steering wheel. With a single instrument binnacle encasing, the speed reader and the revolution counter, you definitely can’t miss the 30-year-old making. Taking into cognizance the importance of ambience, the M Sport is when mapped out, either for the driver, passengers or the possessions. 20litre more boot space, 7mm more headroom for front seat occupants with additional 19mm for legroom in the back, it’s quite a little break away from the norm when compared to the previous models.


The car boasts of excellence in handling, being a driver’s car. It is a great fun for an anxious driver, the response is swift to command, you will soon realize you just got yourself hooked to the most obedient and reliable subject! What makes BMW dearly beloved are its main tenets. The obvious one is the hallowed 50-50 weight distribution, derived from the classic engine at the front drive to the rear layout. Besides, BMW has a well-deserved reputation for producing reliable cars, although since the launch of the new generation in March 2005, its reliability is yet to be ascertained.


There is an enormous range to choose from when it comes to 3-series, with an added option of choosing either a diesel or petrol engine. Flexing the reliability muscle, the four cylinder, 163bhp 320d M Sport completes a journey from 0-62mph in just 8.3seconds, can you imagine! Tell me if the cheetah is not reliable if I tell you that it tops out at 140mph.


Taking this car out for a test drive, you will definitely tick all the boxes because it comes right on top of your shopping list for this festive period! In the least, owing to the endless list of to-buys, you need a car that will also compliment and save you that extra change to add up, the 3-series performs fantastically well in terms of running costs. It is fun to drive a car which carries five in comfort but still returns nearly 50mpg!


Accidents happen, and how these come about depend on how each driver sees it. If you are of the opinion that the highway is a racing track, then Driver aid Dynamic Stability Control will surely help keep you out of trouble, but in case you don’t, six airbags will help you out, thereby ensuring longevity of your limbs! At 50mph, run-flat tyres will still carry you up to 150miles should you suffer a puncture. The 007 version of BMW’s Active Steering helps correct the car in case of an understeer. And with a full five-star rating following its crash test, you definitely have nothing to worry about.


However, for comfortability, especially for a lone driver, the sedan provides the needed companions in making the journey a pleasant one. Air conditioning, CD player, foglight, onboard control, keyless entry and start/stop button control all come as standard.  You just can’t stop counting when sports suspension, shortened gearshift, illuminated door handles, cruise control, rear parking sensors and superb sports seats are mentioned with the list.


Being a BMW 3-Series, it has become the most popular car in its class and is, for many people, the vehicle they aspire to. It’s easy to see why with a package which involves great driving, performance, economy, safety and practicality. So whether uptown or downtown, let’s go there!


Trading activities on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Thursday 6 November, 2008 were nearly marred by constant glitches in the Exchange’s network, but for vigilance, an unnamed investor would have lost 20 million units of his First Bank shares.

Indications of the discomforting disruptions that would characterize trading activities on the day emerged at about 10.59am when the Exchange’s management posted a notice on the work stations of brokers warning them of a failure in connection to the Central Securities Clearing System. The dealing clerks were warned not to use the opportunity to sell what they do not have or enter a wrong account number. “We would not cancel trades or change account numbers for you. Look before you leap. Thank you.” The message warned.

It turned out that the Exchange had no choice but to cancel trades after all. At about 1.18 pm, the Exchange’s, management posted another notice on the work station: “Camry sold First Bank shares without mandate, hence the Exchange called for a cancellation of the deal.