Letter from America

Hi dear,

National Assembly, Abuja - Nigeria's Profile Photo
National Assembly Complex, Abuja, Nigeria

Promoting The New Americans magazine in Columbus, Ohio reminds me of the early days of Aviation Weekly newspaper in Lagos, Nigeria in the year 2000. I will join other staff – about 10 in Lagos – to sell, market and promote the newspaper in and around the Lagos airport. We also tried to market it to people in the transport and travel business like the hotels, travel agencies, airlines and coaches’ operators. I combined the marketing with the editorial work and still must meet up with production for the week.

When the pressure for weekly became much as there was no commensurate advert revenue with production and administrative cost, we became biweekly, and eventually transformed to monthly before the end of year 2000. By hindsight, we should have started publishing Aviation Weekly as an Aviation monthly publication. That would have enabled us to work with fewer staff and the publication would have survived beyond the period it did.

But many lessons were learned during the period that became very useful when I started another publication – Business Travel. It started as a monthly publication and went on for about four years and became a weekly Newsletter for another five years. It was rested in 2011 because of my relocation to the United States of America. We made a lot of impact in the aviation industry with Business Travel magazine and later Business Travel Weekly

It is therefore not a new terrain for me publishing a magazine or newsletter as an art or act, now that I live in the United States. What is new is the audience. I had a special audience in Lagos, the aviation and travel audience but in Columbus, Ohio I have a wider audience which is the general interest. So I will not just be reporting aviation, I will be reporting politics, economy, entertainment, education, health, business, environment, people and many more. There are many advantages now than in 2000 especially in access to information, people and relevant assets to media development.

My person, remember two weeks ago, I wrote you that the Nigerian system that allowed a politician to convert to personal use the money contributed to his election campaign funds should be reviewed. That is why Governor Ayodele Fayose, of Ekiti State could say in a statement July 7, according to the Punch newspaper, that “since the money he got for his election was from legitimate sources and not from the National Security Adviser, how the money is spent remains his own business and not that of anyone’.”

Who told him, and probably other politicians, that such funds eventually become personal money, after the election, that should not be accounted for?

The money was contributed for election purpose and where a balance is left, it should be converted to foundation projects to help the needy or saved for future election or acquired by the election board to research and improve on electoral processes. But because the election board, probably, does not oversee such funds, politicians get away with it believing that they can do anything with the money. That is why it is open to abuse where fraudulent money can be transferred to and at the end to the election withdrawn by the fraudsters.

Now is the time for the National Assembly and the Executive to look at the system and check the abuse. Whatever is contributed for election purposes should be for the election and not for some politician to spend it to acquire properties and come to the public to boast that ‘it is his business how he spends the money” contributed towards his election campaign. No, it shouldn’t be so.

Enjoy your week.

Yours,

Deba Uwadiae

July 7, 2017

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