Tuesday, 28 March 2017

The Econometric Game 2017

Now in its eighth year, The Econometric Game, organized at the University of Amsterdam, is scheduled to take place between 5 and 7 April. 

The participating universities are:

Aarhus University
Corvinus University of Budapest
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Harvard University
KU Leuven
London School of Economics
Lund University
Maastricht University
McGill University
New Economic School
Oxford University
Stellenbosch University
Tilburg University
Toulouse School of Economics
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
Universidad del Rosario
University College London
University of Amsterdam
University of Antwerp
University of Copenhagen
University of Economics, Prague
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Lausanne
University of Rome Tor Vergata
University of São Paulo
University of Toronto
University of Warwick
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Warsaw School of Economics
Guess the winner by commenting below.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Dino Melaye's shame is not ABU's

True, Dino Melaye overstayed at ABU. He was a serial carry over student. He was also a cocky, staunch aluta comrade, and "insuferrably attention-seeking boor," Farooq Kperogi wrote. If you had known any real aluta nerd you'll testify that they're more interested in students' politics and gaining popularity (especially among ladies) on campus. Any other thing is secondary. But did Dino actually finish ABU?

Whether Dino finished ABU or not is still unclear. But for sure, even as recently as September last year, he was a postgraduate student in the Department of Political Science and International Studies at ABU. Then I was a final year economics student. He always came with his thugs and fleet of posh cars. Students were mostly impressed. Not me.

If at all Dino did not pass exams to qualify him for the degree, then he must be an excessive risk taker - faking ABU certificate and presenting it to ABU to obtain a higher one. And ABU's well-known phrase of conferring degrees based on "character and learning" would be under serious doubt. At issue is ABU's awe-inspiring admiration and the respect it earns in the sight of the world. 

As expected, Nigerians have already started hurling a stream of invective at the mighty ABU. This is what Nigerians are best at. They condemn it as corrupt, useless institution that lacks standard and all that. But is that fair?

First of all, even if Dino had obtained ABU degree without passing exams, that doesn't make the whole ABU a corrupt institution. He might have secretly connived with one or few lecturers to do that. The shame is on them, and not on the institution. If he had faked it himself, then shame on him - and only him. ABU has nothing to do with that. 

Second, the fraud of forging certificate is not peculiar to ABU alone. In 2007 the Dean of Admissions at MIT was forced to resign after it was discovered that she had faked three degrees, ending her 28-year career in one of the world's top universities. The shame was not on the colleges she lied to have attended, but on her. 

ABU is great. It'll always be. Dino is such a tiny person to bring a shame on it. It has produced tens of hundreds of alumni more honorable than him. Let's hope his degree is genuine.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Why are investors still interested in Nigerian debt?

The Economist provides a brief but cogent explanation on why investors are still interested in Nigerian debt despite obvious recession in the country.  Read it here.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Abuja global shapers provide hope when it's most needed

                                                                           Photo Credit: Global Shapers Community

Several days ago I was part of  about forty ambitious, highly motivated and well-educated youths that attended an interactive event organized by the Abuja hub of the Global Shapers Community, a youth-based initiative of the Word Economic Forum. Members of the initiative are called shapers. The event was titled Connect and was meant to provide platform for networking between shapers and non-shapers, and to enable intellectual brainstorming on pressing issues affecting the country.

The event was really fun, exciting and educating. It was divided into three sessions. First was the introduction and networking session. Blessing, a gorgeous lady with an exotic English accent, being the anchor asked everyone to make formal introduction to the gathering and to network with as many people as possible - share contacts, know about each other's works, background, and all that. We shared weird facts as well. Someone told us of his coconut allergy, while another disclosed that she hated to watch movies; still another disclosed that he disliked making people around him happy - whatever that means, I don't know!

It was an unmatched assemblage of highly talented youths, each with a different story and dreams on how to make indelible impact in the world. There were medical doctors and health practitioners, who dedicated themselves to improving public health in destitute communities; lawyers and activists, who vowed to protect human rights of everyone without fear or bias; entrepreneurs, the types that revolutionized different spheres from IT to business, consultancy to photography and many more. Some, like me, were early career academics that wished to have their impact through pen and paper, and by directly influencing the younger generations in the classrooms. Some were social workers with path-breaking NGOs that help IDPs, less-privileged students, sick people, and consumers. In fact Connect gathered literary some of the best minds Nigeria has got, and those that will influence the country's future.

The second session was a lecture on " Surviving Recession: Thinking Outside the Box". The speaker was a daring entrepreneur with amazing accomplishments and success story of hard work. He delivered authoritative and inspiring lecture on how to seek opportunities in the midst of challenges, explained how to start and manage enduring business, and took pains to explain that effective management of time, energy and money is what youths need to do in order to actualize their dreams and changes they wish to effect on their societies. To him, we all have have stake in creating a bright future for Nigeria.

The third was independent group discussions. Everyone belonged to either IT, Entrepreneurship or  Agriculture group. I was in the IT group. The task for each group was simple: discuss challenges facing that sector and proffer innovative solutions in just 15 minutes, and nominate a speaker for each group. That was the most engaging and educating session. Everyone left with ample knowledge of ways to revive agriculture, of untapped opportunities and potential of IT, and of new social enterprise that generate both profit and tangible benefits to Nigerians.

In summary, my experience with the global shapers gave me renewed hope in the ability of youths to effect change in the world. It also challenged me to dream big about the future and to create ways of making long-lasting solutions to problems, and improve state of the world.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Opportunity for the African youths

The 10 Academy is receiving applications from highly intelligent and motivated African youths that want to make impact on their communities and the world at large. The 10 Academy fellowship involves two months intensive training and 6 months internship at private firms.

For eligibility and more information visit 10academy website.

Best wishes.

The global economy is not in serious danger

In modern economic history, the financial crisis of 2007-2008, also known as the Great Recession, is second only to the Great Depression of the 1930s in both severity, scope and depth. It ended the so-called period of Great Moderation (i.e. the prolonged stability in the global economy that began in mid-1980s), and proved to be impervious to the conventional tools of fine-tuning that policy makers were accustomed to. It was tamed only by the extraordinary and bold actions of the major economies.

But the global economy is making a rebound. An upsurge in economic activity is underway and "for the first time since a brief rebound in 2010, all the burners are firing at once", the Economist wrote. Despite some daunting challenges, the Economist noted, global economy is showing good signs of resilience as growth in US economy is gathering momentum, capital expenditure is at the highest level in Japan in three years, fear over Chinese meltdown and devaluations is waning, stability is taking over Europe, while other emerging economies have been showing modest growth.

The question is: who will take the credit for this recent economic recovery? What are the long-term political consequences of this recovery? This week's edition of the Economist has the right answers. I highly recommend that you read it. The global economy does not seem to be in serious danger. This is contrary to what Harvard economist Lawrence Summers forcefully wrote on Washington Post column many months ago. But it does seem to be recovering at the "wrong time", so to speak.

Friday, 17 March 2017

uh-oh, welcome


Welcome to my blog. I intend to use this blog to share my opinions on issues that cut across economics, politics, governance, and development in Nigeria and other parts of the world, especially Africa. Moreover, I would also use this medium to entertain, educate and inspire my esteemed readers.

Please be patient as I am working day and night to make this blog a better one.

Have a nice day!