What Even Is The Digital Economy?

October 25, 2019

If you’re reading this, you’re already too late. All the cool people got it a day early because they’re already subscribed to our newsletter – Game of Votes.

We know you don’t like being a professional LASTMA, so here’s a chance to read all that happened in Nigerian politics in a way that won’t bore you to death, before everybody else. Subscribe to the Game of Votes newsletter, to get just that, here.

1. Why Did The Ministry of Finance Get A Fancy New Name?

Someone in the federal government will not rest until every single ministry of Nigeria grows up, marries and adopts a multi-hyphenated last name. The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Development, The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning etc. Newly wedded and making the rounds as a blushing bride is the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

While I have long since given up on finding reasons as to why the government does its government things, the motives behind the ministry re-naming were offered, so I guess we have to talk about it now. Groan.

So… what’s up with the name?

On October 23rd, President Buhari, acting on the advice of the Minister of Communications – Isa Patanmi, approved the re-naming of the nations Communications Ministry (I bet your last ₦500, you had no idea who the minister of communications was). This approval was communicated in a statement to that effect.

According to the statement (and I’m quoting here), Mr Patanmi will now “properly position and empower the ministry to fulfil his digital economy objectives.” Anyone else feel a little chill at that ‘his’ personalisation? Just me? Okurr.

But what even is a digital economy?

Nobody knows, but it’s provocative.

The way I see it, the digital economy comprises any economic activity requiring electronic/digital measures to be fulfilled. So that’s everything from Instagram vendors, to heavyweight technology companies, to perhaps even the banking sector. Did the Minister of Communications just take a huge chunk out of the Minister of Finance’s role? And y’all said he suggested this to the president? Hm.

2. Simon Achuba, you have 10 seconds to leave the Kogi State Government House.

Wait, wait, make that 5. Your replacement’s already here. 
Note to self: do not ever cross your boss, ever. Especially when he’s a petty MF like the Kogi State Governor – Yahaya Bello.

Before we get into the why of the impeachment of Simon Achuba, former deputy governor of Kogi State, let’s take a look at some of the things he alleges the executive and legislative arms of Kogi State have done to him since his removal:

  1. They allegedly caused policemen to mount a barricade at the entrance of his home.
  2. They allegedly caused the electricity supply to be cut off from his home
  3. They also allegedly disconnected and disconnected the power generating set in his home … all within hours of his impeachment as deputy-governor.

What could have caused this treatment to my mans?

The tidy sum of N819,709,980. 

Now what exactly caused the rift between governor and deputy governor is cause for some speculation, but this figure is the amount Achaba alleged was owed to him by Governor Yahaya Bello. 

The sum represents unpaid salaries, travel allowances, hotel bills, pledges and outstanding monthly impresses, all of which had been allegedly withheld from the deputy guv since 2017. (Let’s pretend to not notice a government official allegedly racked up almost a billion in travel allowances and salaries over the course of two years).

The office of the deputy-first lady (?) had also stopped receiving payment alongside her husband. Petty what?

In July 2019, Achuba brought a legal action against Bello to enforce the payment of the sum allegedly owed to him. He also sprinkled allegations of financial misappropriation, non-performance and other crimes against the governor into the mix. Our guy also alleged that the governor attempted to assassinate him? Man, what was happening in that state house?

Gbas, meet gbos.

In August, the Kogi State House of Assembly expressed displeasure at Achuba’s conduct against the government of Kogi State. They accused him of criminal indulgence, financial misappropriation and non-performance. So they raised a petition against him, supported by a certain Governor Bello, who encouraged the house to look into the allegations against his deputy, ahead of a possible impeachment.

To decide on the petition, a seven-man panel was raised to investigate the allegations and they essentially found the Kogi deputy governor not-guilty. Guess who didn’t give AF anyway and called for his impeachment? Just guess.

Simon Achuba was officially impeached from office on October 18th. By the 21st, a new deputy was sworn in –  Mr Edward David Onoja.

Just to finally burst your heads with this Kogi issue, Onoja was sworn in by the Chief Justice of Kogi State- Justice Nadir Ajana. The same guy that ordered that a panel be set up to investigate the allegations against Simon Achuba. The same panel that found Achuba not- guilty of the allegations that were laid against him.

When I tell you I’m tired…

3. Boy, if you don’t fix that budget.

On October 21st, the Senate rejected the ₦23 billion budget presented by the Minister of the Niger Delta – Godswill Akpabio. Their reason? It was designed to fail. 

That’s very

See, what had happened was — the proposed budget listed a ton of new projects to embark on to transform the Niger Delta or whatever, the only problem is, the big ND is littered with just as many uncompleted and abandoned projects. Also, the Senate was none too pleased that the ministry failed to contact the necessary stakeholders in the Niger Delta before drawing up the budget. 

Back to the drawing board kids.

But wait, there’s more!

Make sure to check out the last newsletter here, to get a peek at the parts you missed.

Find Zikoko
wherever you are

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.