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Raymond Aliga: X-raying a ray of hope for humanity  



By Alozie Ibe


Some people don’t like you because your strength reminds them of their weakness. Don’t let the hate slow you down.Dr Thelma Bryant Davis 

There is an African adage – which is very prominent among the Yoruba people – that discourages parents and people generally from comparing children with one another. Specifically, the adage says that if we compare one child with another, we may end up beating the other one who is not doing so well to death. So, it is better we allow all kids of different characters, traits, talents and abilities to grow at their pace and time.

Having digested the theme of this adage, we in Africa over the years have learnt how not to compare two people at all, whether they are kids or adults. So in a family, community, workplace etc, we just silently dispense favours, benefits, commendations, awards, disciplinary actions and punishments on the basis of those who are deserving of any of them.

This is a culture we have to revisit for the purpose of inspiring, especially the younger generation to aspire for greatness. Because of this recent culture and the humility, modesty and fear of God in certain individuals, the fact that these individuals don’t blow their own trumpet, some persons have been seeking to rewrite our recent history and pull wool over the eyes of unsuspecting people by dressing truth as falsehood and packaging heresy as gospel. These people are trying to launch a lie that if we allow them to sustain in the front burner of discourse, it will begin to look like the truth.

Based on recent events in the political landscape of Abia state , we have to begin to separate the wheat from the chaff for the purpose of posterity. Raymond M. Aliga, a proud indigene of Nenu in Obingwa LGA of Abia state, a self-made, wealthy entrepreneur and philanthropist par excellence, is one of the underrated titans that I am talking about. A great, patriotic Nigerian who has for decades dominated the business landscape of the state and environs like a colossus and who has now expanded his terrain to Lagos and other parts of the country. An Industrialist of repute, Aliga has over two decades of experience in Shipping and General Marine Consultancy, Oil Field Services, Procurement Services, Construction, Oil and Gas, Hospitality, Agriculture and Manufacturing.

He is a multi-talented personality with a proven record of successfully steering organisations from humble beginnings to limelight. He holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA), Human Resource Management option from the prestigious Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, Oyo state. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Planning (Transport) from Lagos State University (LASU), and a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Shipping Management from the Certified Institute of Shipping, a Maritime University. Aliga is a Chartered Shipping Practitioner having been awarded Associate of the Chartered Institute of Shipping of Nigeria.

In 2005, he founded Allray Maritime Services Limited, an integrated shipping company which commenced operations immediately, offering services in Shipping, Air and Sea freight, LCL Consolidation, Trucking, Project Logistics, General Marine Consultancy, Oil Field Services and Procurement Services.

A restless entrepreneur, Raymond Aliga also founded Goodseed Foundations, which is a co-founder of Australian Academy in Nigeria. The Goodseed Foundation, an Africa-based philanthropic organisation, focuses on vocational training and providing short courses for artisans.

He is also the Chairman of Goodseed Industries with technical college called Kiara De – Luke Academy and with clusters of six industries which include Goodseed Farms Ltd,Integrated Farm, Logistics, De Luke Garment Manufacturing Company Ltd, a company whose specialty is textile and garment production, Logistics De Luke furniture manufacturing company Ltd, that is employing over 100 Abians, Logistics De Luke Construction Company Limited which specialises on construction of all kinds of building and roads, Logistics De Luke Electrical and Logistics De – Luke Fabrications.

Aliga has a strong flair for humanitarianism and hospitality. He is the managing Director of Staywell Hospitality Services Nigeria Limited; operators of Aries Suites Hotel, Osborne Foreshore Estate, lkoyi, Lagos, Nigeria. He serves as a community leader in Abia State, also an Elder of United Evangelical Church.

Mr Aliga is furthermore, a member of the Board of Directors, Vica Hope Foundation (VHF) a humanitarian organisation whose mission is “to provide a platform for enhancing the status of women, teenagers, and children through education, empowerment, welfare, healthcare provisions/ skills development and to undertake interventions in poverty reduction, obnoxious widowhood and teenage girl abuses as well as promote maternal and childcare, women, and children’s rights.”

Democracy, with its accompanying freedom of expression, is however a leveller… The sort of leveller that makes all manners of roadside charlatans and nonentities take advantage of the lack of adequate gatekeeping on social media to spew all sorts of ridiculous stuff against honourable gentlemen who have over the decades toiled day and night to get to the top and build mighty empires that are the envy of all and sundry.

As a result of the failure they have made out of their own below-average lives, some persons have conditioned their warped minds to think that it is impossible for anyone to make it as a result of decent toil or hard work. Because of their criminal mindset which would have made them loot the God’s own state dry if they ever got close to the cookie jar, they think people like Aliga had also depended on illicit money from politics to reach the heights it pleased God to take him to.

Let us however set the records for the sake of posterity, not for the purpose of these shady characters who are obviously uncoachable and can never learn. Aliga’s success in business did not start with the outgoing administration of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu. In fact, it was Aliga’s office that served as Ikpeazu’s campaign office when he aspired to be governor and won in 2015. It is therefore preposterous for people to insinuate or allege that Aliga made his fortunes from illicit funds from the Abia state government under Ikpeazu.

Aliga has for years been making game-changing impacts on the business climate of the state and beyond long before the coming of Governor Ikpeazu. Contrary to the lies the vocal minority would want to feed people with, all sane Abians will agree with me that Aliga has been making impact in philanthropy, human development, employment generation and community development and advancement of Christendom with his legitimate resources years before the coming of Governor Ikpeazu.

It was his contribution to philanthropy and humanitarian causes that earned him the national honour of Member of the Order of Niger (MON), which was bestowed on him by President Muhammadu Buhari last year. Even though he had prior to that time won several awards and commendations locally and internationally, the one from highest authority in a country like Nigeria is a crowning glory of his efforts over the years and a fitting tribute to his sacrifices and impact on his people. In a nutshell, Elder Aliga’s giant strides have over the decades been noticed by the people that matter in Abuja even though envious people do not know that their evil thoughts would never stop the work of God.

For us to be able to build a Nigeria of our dreams and reach the proverbial Promised Land, we have to be a society that gives honour to whom it is due. By the time we elevate the crooked elements among us and rubbish the icons who are deserving of celebration, we give our young ones the wrong impression that hard work doesn’t pay and that cutting corners pays, and by doing so, we destroy our society gradually.

Elder Raymond Mkpuruoma Aliga, MON, deserves better !!!

Ibe, wrote from Aba, Abia State


Speak now! Catholic priests want Kaduna gov’s reaction to El-Rufai’s Islamisation comments



Uba Sani, must either officially distance himself or affirm the declaration of his predecessor Nasir El-Rufai that Muslim-Muslim executive branch leadership, have come to stay or stand up to denounce it immediately.

These were the demands from Catholic priests in parts of the North, who as they expressed disgust at the statement, which showed the former governor captured in a video, which went viral last week, practically celebrating the continuation of an arrangement, which he first introduced in 2019, and which has now been sustained with the new governor having a Muslim deputy.

Clerics from Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria chapters of the Nigerian Catholic Diocesan Priests Association (NCDPA), in a public letter to Sani, urged him to declare his position on what they described as political supremacism in Kaduna state and Nigeria, as part of their reactions to the video, which has raised a lot of dust.

El-Rufai, who in his speech to Muslim clerics in the state, had recounted how after instituting an all-Muslim executive in the state himself and made it permanent in the state, the arrangement was pushed through at the national level with the election of Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shettima, as President and Vice President, respectively on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Informing that while Nigerians were actually believed that religion was not the issue in pushing through with the ticket, when it was in fact the case, the former Governor, who spoke in Hausa, declared that the arrangement had come to stay and would last for the next 20 years at the initial stage after Tinubu, adding that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), had been defeated by the outcome.

But an apparently thoroughly upset Catholic priests, in an open letter on Thursday, said: “Having soberly considered the contents and implications of such communication by a former state governor who is known to be your close ally, we feel compelled to write you, to know where you stand with regard to the commotions Mallam El-Rufai intends to propagate and perpetuate in our state,” the letter reads.

“We write you today because we are responsible stakeholders in the affairs of our beloved state with our own congregations and followers. Mr governor, we do not intend to conclude that you are in agreement with all the content of the former governor’s utterances, as you have given no explicit reason to suggest so (yet), even though you were present at the occasion! We therefore earnestly expect your direct official reaction to the utterances of your predecessor in office.”

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Buhari spent more than $19billion on revamping four refineries without result – Nasarawa gov



Barely two weeks after his exit, the records of former President Muhammadu Buhari, have come to to the fore with one of them indicating a damning verdict, as he was said to have sunk a whopping $19billion in trying to rehabilitate the nation’s four refineries, without anything to show for it.

Abdullahi Sule, Governor of Nassarawa State, who used the former President abysmal failure to make a case for supporting the removal on petroleum products, compared the huge wastage to the amount Dangote refinery, cost to give Nigeria a facility with the single chain production in the world.

None of Nigeria’s four refineries, located in Kaduna, Port Harcourt, and Warri is currently operational despite the huge amount sunk to resuscitate them, most of the funds borrowed from foreign lending agencies, the latest being the securing of $1.5million loan for that of Port Harcourt.

Bemoaning the situation, the governor, said: “Look at how much the President Buhari administration spent on fixing the refineries. In the eight years, he spent more money than the $19 billion that Dangote spent in building a refinery. That is one and a half times the size of our three refineries combined.”

A guest on Sunrise Daily, a breakfast programm of Channels Television on Thursday, Sule, pinned the payments of subsidy on Nigeria’s non-functional refineries, adding: “From the government side, I think we didn’t do a good job. When the (former) President (Buhari) came in in 2015, prices of crude oil dropped by less than 30 dollars. At that time, there was zero subsidy.

“Our three refineries in Nigeria today have a total of 450,000 barrels per day, Dangote is 650,000. He spent $19 billion on building it. We spent, not building a new one, but in maintaining these refineries; more than $19 billion in eight years, yet they have not been maintained.”

The Dangote Refinery, Africa’s biggest oil refinery, which took off in 2017, drew Nigerians and global personalities in different fields of life, including four African Presidents at its commissioning on May 22, 2023 by Buhari.

Sule, who also lamented the complexity of maintaining the refineries due to their diverse components, added: “The refinery is actually a component for water, crude, and diesel, about five or six different components that constitute a refinery. The moment the government says we are going to spend $2 billion this year on the refinery. The $2 billion is spent and as far as the President is concerned, they have given $2 billion.

“Now when it goes to the three refineries that we have in Port Harcourt, Warri, and Kaduna. Then they say, you now take $700 million, you now take $800 million – by the time they take that, it goes to fix maybe only one component out of the four components that are all bad. The ideal resolve would have been to allocate the major funds to one of the refining states to fix it totally before allocating the remainder to the other states.

“So, zero work is done. These are the true realities of what is happening, and that is why none of the refineries is working. These are truly the problem, we have not really managed this thing well.”

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Japan goes tough on asylum seekers, enacts new law to check abuse



Despite desperate attempts to block it, including a ruckus, which broke out in parliament Japan went ahead on Friday to enact an immigration law that would see the government deporting failed asylum seekers, even with members of civil society, joining in the pushback.

The law gives refugees only three chances to try after which they would face deportation, unlike before when applicants could stay in Japan during the decision process, regardless of the number of attempts they made to secure refugee status, reports, say.

The revised law will “protect those who must be protected while strictly dealing with people who have violated rules. There are many people who misuse the application system to avoid deportation,” Justice Minister Ken Saito, was quoted as saying, adding that this had persisted even when such people were not fleeing danger or persecution.

Last year, Japan accepted just 202 refugees out of some 12,500 applicants, and separately allowed 1,760 people to remain in the country due to “humanitarian considerations,” including more than 2,400 evacuees from Ukraine under a different framework.

Activists staged rallies against the revised law, but a protest from the opposition bloc in parliament was voted down by the ruling coalition, which holds a commanding majority.

“It is intolerable to deport people, even if they have criminal records, to countries that may violate their human rights” and where “their life and freedom would be in danger”, the Tokyo Bar Association said this week.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party says the revisions will bring better access to medical care and accommodation options for people whose asylum applications are pending.

Japan’s immigration detention conditions have been under scrutiny since the 2021 death of Wishma Sandamali, a 33-year-old Sri Lankan woman.

Sandamali was not an asylum seeker but had been held for overstaying her visa after seeking police protection, reportedly to escape an abusive relationship.

Her family are seeking compensation of more than $1 million from the government over her death.

Sandamali reportedly complained repeatedly of stomach pain and other symptoms, and campaigners allege she received inadequate medical care.

Controversy and political pressure over the incident led ruling lawmakers to drop a push to enact similar legal changes to immigration rules two years ago.

Shoichi Ibusuki, a lawyer for Sandamali’s family, told AFP on Thursday that the revised bill was “equivalent to having a button to execute those who seek refuge by deporting them”.

“Japan’s refugee recognition system is not working,” he said, with officials turning down applications quickly, sometimes without face-to-face interviews.

Amnesty International also said in March that Japan should scrap the proposed revision to immigration laws, calling the country’s detention policies “harsh” and “repressive.”

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