Tuesday, March 05, 2013

TOPIC: POLITICAL ECONOMY OF OIL: A CASE STUDY OF NIGERIA PRESENTED BY: REV’D. KOLADE OLADELE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF OIL: A CASE STUDY OF NIGERIA INTRODUCTION At the beginning of this century, Africa surged into limelight of global energy security calculation with her about 9% of the world proven oil reserves. African oil has assumed critical importance in the context of a tight global oil market in the wake of increased global demand and the shrinking number of significant oil fields to replace rapidly depleting oil fields across the world. Africa occupies a very strategic place in the global political economy of oil amid growing US dependence on African oil imports, and the growing concern in the West following the recent arrival of energy-hungry Asian State Oil Corporations (Chinese, Indian and Korean) intent on securing a foothold in the Africa’s oil fields. Oil was first discovered in Nigeria in 1908, and exploration began during the 1930s by the Shell – BP Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited under the control of Shell and British Petroleum (BP). It was however, in 1956 that the first commercial quantities of oil were found in West Africa, in the Niger Delta basin of Nigeria. Today, Nigeria accounts for 86% of total West African Oil Production and almost all gas production. In January 2006, Nigeria’s proven oil reserves stood at 35.9 billion barrels, equal to 32% of total African and 3% of World proven reserves. In addition, it has proven gas reserves of 5.2 trillion m3, 36% of total African and 2.9% of World proven reserves. During the last 10 years, Nigeria’s oil production increased by an annual average of 3% reaching 2.6mbpd and gas production by 18% to 20billion m3 per year. Oil and gas production will significantly increase over the coming years with recent discoveries coming on stream and additional LNG Plants becoming operational. There is no doubt that Nigeria has become a major player in the global economy especially because of her natural resources. THE SCOPE OF THIS PAPER This paper is structured using the “A4” research tool of Anecdote, Analysis, Applications and Actions. Beginning with the introduction, and anecdotal survey of importance and emergence of oil economy is sort, placing Nigeria at the centre point of the discourse. Analysis of the various significant elements of oil economy will be done and a contextual application of the many issues involved attempted. Actions that will help deal with the identified issues and challenges shall be proffered as the paper ends with giving hope and light in the dark “portions” identified. THE WORLD OF OIL The dynamics involved in political economy of oil cannot be properly understood without a clear eco-political mapping out of the various strategic state players. This mapping is what largely determines the “plumb line” of investigating the political, economic implication of oil on the various players. Where you stand determines what you gain or lose in the oil eco-political equation. In a simplified way, the world of oil can be divided into two “blocks”. One, high consumption net importing block composed of North America, Europe and Asia Pacific and another one, net-exporting low-consumption composed of the Middle East, former Soviet Union, Africa and Latin America. TABLE 1 Top 10 Consumers, Importers and Exporters in 2005 (in million barrels per day and % of World Total) Rank Consumption Imports Exports 1. USA 20.7 (24.6%) USA 13.8 (27.7%) Saudi Arabia 9.1 (18.3%) 2. China 7.3 (8.9%) Japan 5.4 (10.7%) Russia 6.8 (13.6%) 3. Japan 5.4 (6.4%) China 3.7 (7.4%) Norway 2.7 (5.4%) 4. Russia 2.8 (3.4%) Germany 2.6 (5.2%) Venezuela 2.5 (5.3%) 5. Germany 2.6 (3.2%) South Korea 2.3 (4.6%) Iran 2.4 (4.8%) 6. India 2.5 (3.0%) France 2.0 (3.1%) United Arab Emirates 2.4 (4.8%) 7. South Korea 2.3 (2.7%) India 1.7 (3.4%) Kuwait 2.4 (4.7%) 8. Canada 2.2 (2.6%) Italy 1.7 (3.4%) Nigeria 2.3 (4.6%) 9. France 2.0 (2.4%) Spain 1.6 (3.2%) Mexico 1.8 (3.6%) 10. Mexico 2.0 (2.3%) Netherlands 1.0 (2.1%) Algeria 1.8 (3.5%) Source: BP 2006 U.S.A. accounts for the highest consumption and imports of oil. 25% and 28% in 2005 followed by China on consumption. Middle East is considered the world petrol station because it accounts for almost one third of production and half of inter regional exports. Although, African accounts for 12% of global production at best, it is the second largest exporting region with 16% of total exports. Today, Africa accounts for a quarter of European Imports and 20% of U.S.A. and China’s Imports. World refining capacity is still heavily concentrated in the importing regions, with U.S.A. and Canada, Europe and Asia Pacific, each accounting for around 20% of global capacity. Africa accounts for 4% of total refining capacity of which 13% is in West Africa. In 2006, Africa had 17 crude oil producing countries. Nigeria is the African biggest oil producer with 2.6 million barrels per day or 25% of total African production. AFRICAN OIL’S ECONOMY PARADOX African has grown in more recent times from just agricultural producing continent to natural mineral producing continent. Oil is now becoming African’s most strategic and sought after commodity in the global market. As earlier stated, Africa continent has really emerged as a key factor in global energy calculation. This so-called new scramble for Africa’s oil is impelled in part by a rapid increase in global demand by emerging industrial powers and has not only contributed to the priotization of the continent’s prized hydro-carbon resource for global economic growth, but also included, in a post-cold-war world, its integration into a US-led paradigm of global security. Oil is now a key element of global power (Obi 2009, P.471). Thus, the stakes in controlling oil are now very high, and constitute a core interest of the World’s powers. It also means that Africa as a valued source of oil and gas supplies is central to the strategic calculations of the World’s oil-dependent dominant powers. Nigeria, being the largest oil producing State in the continent stands very strategic in this dimension. The discovery, production and exportation of oil have a multifaceted impact and consequences both economically and politically. There is the power relation between peoples, States and International oil companies. African oil owning States operates in partnership with oil multinational corporations that dominates the technology of oil production, alongside the global shipping powers and navies that ply and patrol the maritime oil supply routes. In this sense, African oil-rich States are locked into complex and opaque transnational ties with global powers based largely on the joint exploitation of oil enclave investments (Ferguson 2005, pp. 378-379). The problem of the class relations, contradictions and conflicts manifesting in the subordination of Africa and her resources to transnational processes and African elites embedded in globalised capitalist relations is largely responsible for the evident economy paradox manifests in violent conflict, poor economic growth or acting as a disincentive for peace (Basedau and Lay 2009, p. 758). It is the quest for oil money that is largely responsible for most of the armed conflict in oil producing African countries. Oil wealth has also increased propensity for corruption, misrule, authoritarianism or political instability. Of note is the recent work of Lujala (2010, pp. 15-16), which examines ‘empirically how the location of natural resources affects armed civil conflict, and concludes that ‘oil substantially prolong conflict when located inside the conflict zone; thereby rendering oil endowment a critical factor in the location, duration, and intensity of armed onflict. There is the established paradox of resource abundance, conflict and poor economic growth. The insurgency in Nigeria’s oil rich Niger Delta region has provided strong ground for this perspective. The case of Nigeria is worse in the face of these established paradoxes because Nigeria economy is a dependent and volatile economy relying majorly on oil and gas sector. Table 2: Nigeria’s Yearly Crude-Oil Production, Export and Domestic Consumption 1960-2008 (‘000 Barrels) Year Production Export Domestic Consumption 1960 6,374.0 6,244.0 1965 99,355.0 96,985.0 1970 395,689.0 383,455.0 12,234.0 1975 660,148.0 627,638.0 32.510.0 1979 854,463.0 807,685.0 37,778.0 1980 760,117.0 656,260.0 103,857.0 1985 547,088.0 486,580.0 60,508.0 1990 660,559.0 548,249.0 112,310.0 1995 715,400.0 616,900.0 98,500.0 2000 797,880.0 688,080.0 109,800.0 2005 919,285.0 846,179.7 73,105.9 2006 813,950.0 656,090.0 164,200.0 2007 803,000.0 791,826.5 Not available 2008 768,745.9 724,479.8 “ Source: CBN, Annual Statistical Bulletin Volume 18, December, 2007. Table 3: Contribution of Crude-oil and Gas Export to Nigeria’s Total Export 1960-2008 (Million Naira) Year Total Export Non-Oil Export Oil and Gas Export Oil & Gas Export as % of Total Export 1960 339.4 330.6 8.8 2.3 1965 536.8 400.6 136.2 25.3 1970 885.7 376.0 509.6 57.5 1975 4,925.5 362.4 4,563.1 92.6 1980 14,186.7 554.4 13,632.3 96.0 1985 11,720.8 497.1 11,223.7 95.7 1990 109,886.1 3,257.6 106,626.5 97.0 1995 950,661.4 23,096.1 927,565.3 97.5 2000 1,945,723.3 24,822.9 1,920,900.4 98.7 2005 7,246,534.8 105,955.9 7,140,578.9 98.5 2006 7,324,680.5 133,594.9 7,191,085.6 98.1 2007 8,120,147.9 169,709.7 7,950,438.3 97.9 2008 9,774,610.9 94,316.7 9,680.194.2 99.0 Compilation from the Central Bank of Nigeria, Statistical Bulletin Golden Jubilee Edition, December, 2008. NIGERIA AND OIL RESOURCE NATIONALISM Oil production is considered as the cornerstone of Nigeria’s economy, accounting for about 95% of the country’s foreign exchange. Oil operations account for 20% of the country’s gross domestic product and NNPC is responsible for nearly 65% of the budgetary revenue. Given the very sensitive role of oil in the nation’s economy and the fact that the commercial exploration which really began since late 1950s was left in the hands of the foreign multinational companies, it became very necessary for the Nigeria government to work towards the control of the resource. The Nigerian government introduced its first tax regulation of oil industry profit in 1959 whereby profits would be split 50-50 between government and Shell-BP Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited. By mid-1960s, the government formulated its first agreement for taking an equity stake in one of the oil companies, the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, jointly owned by Agip of Italy and Philips of the United States. By 1971, the Nigeria government was pushed into taking equity stakes in the Western Oil Companies that would constitute the basis of the NNPC’s holdings. Government questioned the contribution of the foreign oil companies to national development. The foreign companies were also not ready to work towards transfer of technology, social development, and employment of indigenous staff. So, on 1st April, 1971, Nigerian National Oil Corporation (NNOC) was born. The NNOC was established under the terms of government’s Decree No. 18 of 1971. NNOC was to “participate in all aspects of petroleum including exploration, production, refining, marketing, transportation, and distribution”. More specifically, the corporation was given the task of training indigenous workers; managing oil leases over large areas of the country; encouraging indigenous participation in the development of infrastructure for the industry; managing refineries, only one of which was operational at this time; participating in marketing and ensuring price uniformity across the domestic market; developing a national tanker fleet; constructing pipelines; and investigating allied industries such as fertilizers. The failure of the NNOC is traceable to the inherent limitations in the decree establishing it. Any activities beyond the scope of Decree No. 18 required government approval, and the government was well represented on the NNOC’s board which was chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Mines and Power. Thus from the very start, an establishment so crucial to the future prosperity of the nation was subject to close government manipulation and control. The operating failure of NNOC of the 1970s became publicly known at the time of the 1980 Crude Oil Sales Tribunal. One of the stunning revelations of the tribunal is the failure of NNOC and NNPC between 1975 and 1978 to collect some 182.95million barrels of their equity shares of oil being produced by Shell, Mobil and Gulf with potential estimated revenue over $2 billion. This happened because NNOC could not find buyers for its oil at the price it wanted. It had, however, paid the full share of operational period. In addition, NNOC had not produced audited account from 1975 onward. On April 1st 1977, NNOC was reconstituted as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The establishing Decree 33 vested the assets and liabilities of the NNOC in the NNPC, and conferred on the NNPC responsibility for some functions of the Ministry of Mines and Power. NNPC was also given some additional commercial freedom as the ceiling on contracts that it could award rose 50-fold and it was granted limited borrowing powers. The Decree No. 33 also enabled the establishment of the Petroleum Inspectorate, which was given responsibility for issuing licenses for various activities for enforcing the oil Pipelines Act and the Petroleum Decrees and for other duties. The Indigenization Decree of 1977 enabled NNPC on July 1, 1979 to raise its stakes in the Nigerian businesses with Elf, Agip, Gulf, Mobil, Texaco and Pan Ocean to 60%. NNPC’s stakes in the Shell venture was raised to 80% on August 1, 1979 after BP lost its 20% stake following disagreements with Nigerian government over South Africa. THE WOES OF DEPENDENCE AND TRANSNATIONAL TIES It has been stated previously that African Oil-owning States operate in partnership with oil Multinational Corporations (MNCs) because they dominate the sophisticated technology, management skills and globally integrated operations of the upstream section of the oil industry in Africa. Again, is the dependence on the global shipping powers and navies that ply and patrol the maritime oil supply routes. In this vein, most oil-rich African States can just be described as ‘revenue – collecting, oil dependent States’.Failure in development and economic growth is not only because of internal corruption of the nation but also the deficient oil company remuneration for drilling and extracting, and sharp corporate practice which simultaneously denies and removes profits (Bracking 2009, pp. 3-17). There is also the challenge of capital flight. Substantial resources that could have been invested in development are lost to capital flight. Between 1970 to 2008, Africa lost an estimated $854 billion to capital flight, with its “fuel exporters” being the largest losers, underlining the connection between oil endowment and high rates of capital flight from the continent (Kar and Cartwright – Smith 2010. Pp. 10-12). Nigeria, between 2000 and 2008 is estimated to have lost capital at the rate of nearly $10 billion per year (1bid). In this same context, MNCs made record profits (Boles 2006 and Macalister 2007, 2008), and their earnings both in terms of what they make from Africa’s oil fields and in terms of leveraged profits from their partnership with African States remain largely hidden behind opaque international accounting and banking practices (Adusei 2009, Brucking 2009). According to Kar and Cartwright-Smith (2010, pp.1) Capital flight also resulted from the “proceeds of Commercial Tax evasion, mainly through trade mispricing’, and much less to do with the ‘proceeds of bribery and theft by government officials”. This position is given much credence by the study by Ndikumana and Boyce (2008)and reports from Tax Justice Network (2008, 2009) that emphasized how the ‘aggressive tax avoidance policies of multinationals are among the darker sides of globalization’ (Tax Justice Network 2008), and also cause African resource – endowed countries to suffer the loss of massive amount of capital. With the aforementioned, African organized, transnational, evil milking, Africa’s oil remains anchored in a global political economy, consigning the continent to the position of a supplier of capital. This process of subordination of Africa’s oil production to domination by oil – MNC and transnational capitalist elites, and the demands of the global market has meant that oil investments ‘have been concentrated in secured enclaves, often with little or no benefit to the wider society’ (Ferguson 2005, pp. 378). In Nigeria for example, corruption is not an entirely internally driven process. Oil MNCs are complicit with political and economic elites in engaging in corruption and violence, taking advantage of the nature of the Nigerian Petrol-State and elites to reap super-profits. NIGER DELTA PHENOMENON Hardly can anything be written about Political Economy of Nigeria without reference to its oil production. The impact of the oil sector on the nation’s politics, economy and socio-ethnic relations and governance process can in no way be over emphasized. The current issue/crisis and insurgency in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria is not unconnected to the issue of oil production and oil-wealth distributions. Nigeria accounts for 86% of total West African Oil Production and almost all gas production. The majority of Nigeria’s oil reserves are found in the Niger Delta basin, an area of 75,000km2 which stretches into Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. Though, confounding but it is the paradoxical reality that the regions (Niger Delta) with very rich natural resources, the bulk of the population are living below poverty line. (Aghalino and Eyinla, 2009). The situation has resulted in insurgency in the region with militias fighting government forces, sabotaging oil installations, taking foreign oil workers hostage and carrying out lethal car bombing. At the root of the crisis is underdevelopment exacerbated by emergent issues of gross distortion of Nigerian Federalism in respect to resource control, citizenship rights and environmental degradation. The truth is that these militias are not only fighting the government but they are also at war with the extension of global capitalism represented in the region by the multinational oil companies. The fact that depravation economic and socio marginalization and environmental damage of Niger Delta are the reason for the birth of militias in the area is better attested to by the defense of late Ken Saro Wiwa, the murdered leader of Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) during his trial at the Military Tribunal: “My lord, we all stand before history. I am a man of peace, of ideas. Appalled by the denigrating poverty of my people who live on a richly endowed land, distressed by their political marginalization and economic strangulation, angered by the devastation of their land, their ultimate heritage, anxious to preserve their right to life and to a decent living……..”. (Ken Saro-Wiwa, http//www.unitedijawstates.com. Corruption in high places, accessed June 27, 2007). The roots of violence in Niger Delta do not lie in pools of oil; they lie in the inequitable (transnational: local, national and global) power relations embedded in the production of oil and the highly skewed distribution of its benefits and pernicious liabilities (Obi, 2007, 2009). The bane of the matter is the unholy exploitation and pollution of the Niger Delta area by a State- transnational oil alliance whose activities alienated the indigene from the land and means of their livelihoods, poisoned the eco-system, deepened pre-existing inequalities and grievances, and paved the way for the descent into violent conflict (Ukeje 2001, Okonta 2005, Obi 2010). The WAC Global Services (2003) document has established how some oil companies through largesse to local elites and youth groups to ease entry and provide “protection” to company interests and assets provided “fuel” for conflict between the groups and within and between communities. The large sum of money devoted to oil Company Corporate Social responsibility (CRS) budgets for the Niger Delta have not adequately addressed the needs of the region rather it has fed into fed into cycles of intra-and inter community violence (Human Rights Watch 2002, 2005, Best and Kemedi 2005, Ikelegbe 2006). The benefit of the wealth of oil exploration in Niger Delta goes to the political elites, global financial institutions and oil corporations, while the real curses goes to the people of the region whose lands and livelihoods are polluted or expropriated, and whose rights are trampled underfoot as they continue to live out a paradoxically impoverished existence in an oil-rich, but blighted context. POLITICAL ECONOMIC REFORMS OF THE OIL SECTOR Several administrations of Nigeria government came up with various “rescues” policies to help arrest the many problems of the oil sector. Special attention is given to some of these reforms starting from the start of 80s with the effects of the oil sales tribunal. The reform focus of the then government mainly focused on decentralizing the NNPC. As a result of this policy reform, nine(9) subsidiaries were established in 1981:  Nigerian Petroleum Exploration and Exploitation Company  Nigerian Petroleum Refining Company, Kaduna Limited  Nigerian Petroleum Refining Company, Warri Limited  Nigerian Petroleum Refining Company, Port Harcourt Limited  Nigerian Petroleum Products Pipelines & Depots Company Limited  Nigerian Petro Chemicals Company Limited\  Nigerian Petroleum Marine Transportation Company Limited  Petroleum Research and Engineering Company Limited In addition to this diversification, in March 1988, the Babangida Regime gave three areas of responsibility to the NNPC as Corporate Services, Operations and Petroleum Investment Management Services – the idea is to transform the NNPC into a financially autonomous and commercially integrated oil company. A new sale policy was also introduced, eliminating middlemen and setting out three (3) types of purchases to which the NNPC could sell its products: Joint venture producing companies, foreign refineries in which Nigeria has a holding and indigenous and foreign firms exploring in Nigeria. Around this same time, the NNPC’s subsidiary nomenclature was changed to eleven:  Nigerian Petroleum Development Company  Warri Refining and Petrochemicals Company  Kaduna Refining and Petrochemicals Company  Pipeline and Products Marketing Company  Hydrocarbon Services of Nigeria Company  Engineering Company of Nigeria  Nigerian Gas Development Company  LNG Company  Port Harcourt Refining Company  Eleme Petrochemical Company  Integrated Data Services Company One positive development was the increasing involvement of NNPC in the development of Nigeria’s gas resources. Its 60% holding with LNG Company was the springboard for an ambitious $2.5billion liquefaction project. All along, with all these developments, the fact that the NNPC was still learning how to master the technological and commercial complexities of the oil industry was still very much visible. The economic reform under Obasanjo from 1999 – 2007 was tailored towards Bretton Woods Institutions economic template. It was principally based on liberalization through privatization of the nation’s ailing public enterprises by the Bureau of Public Enterprise set up by the regime to coordinate the implementation of the privatization process. Another major highlight of the reform programme is the deregulation of the downstream sector of the nation’s oil industry and removal of subsidies from oil products. The implementation of deregulation exercise in the downstream sector of the oil industry was particularly tenuous as the removal of subsidy resulted in hike in the price of petroleum products, a situation that contributed to the worsening of living condition of the poor giving the centrality of petroleum products pump price to general commodities prices in the country. At the last count, the Obasanjo regime increased fuel price nine (9) times within eight (8) years with the price rising from N20 per litre in 1999 to N65 per litre for petro at the end of the regime tenure in 2007. However, the failure of the regime to sanitize the operation of the NNPC, control massive corruption that characterized the management of the agency and put the four moribund national refineries in operation is a major dent in the regime often touted economic reform programme. THE WAY FORWARD In concluding this work, as I look retrospectively I also see prospects and better tomorrow for our nation if only we can have the political will to tackle the hydra-headed problem identified in the submissions above. Certain fundamental flaws must be addressed to revamp Nigeria economy and reposition the State for prosperity and economic reckoning in the community of nations. I want to submit that: 1) Nigeria economy exhibits most of the pathologies connected with the ‘Dutch disease’ syndrome and our national wealth management reveals rentier mentality. There is the need for Nigeria to consciously rise from the resource dependent economy and move toward industrialization like the good case of emerging economies in the like of Malaysia, India, Korea and China. 2) The menace of corruption is a major economic cancer that the Nigeria State will have to seriously combat. The oil boom years expanded opportunities for unbridled corruption and profligacy in the process of national spending. The effect of the oil boom again is the filling of the State’s coffers with windfall revenue in billions which were actually, mostly spent frivolously. This has promoted corruption, encouraged patronage in the dispensing of public service and gingered a rentier economy that is tilted towards the wasteful spending of oil rents rather than productive creation of wealth in Nigeria. 3) Corruption must be genuinely fought, not just to a standstill but to grave, if Nigeria economy will move forward. 4) The problem of under investment must also be addressed. Of a major concern especially to the Nigeria’s oil economy is the non performing refineries. The total petroleum product production in the whole of West Africa (Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Senegal put together) is 385,000 barrels per day whereas the Nigeria’s petro daily demand stands at 400,000 barrels. Inspite of the fact that we are a major global crude oil producing State we still largely depend on imports of oil products from other countries. Bulk of real revenue that would have been gained by the exploration is lost through the exportation of the crude oil and the importation of more expensive oil products like petrol, kerosene, diesels etc. It is high time Nigeria emerge a leading refining State to supply not only our region but also nations in other continents. 5) Our oil development discourse should not center just on the rentier mentality we have being following before but on a diversification idea by which proceeds from oil can be used to develop and drive other aspects of our economy. This has been the sad departure line of Nigeria’s oil economy. The current ethos only serves narrow interests and hegemonic and transnational forces intent on fostering the integration of the continent into the global capitalist system on clearly disadvantageous terms. 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NIGERIA ECONOMIC PARADOXES Nigeria’s current economic condition is traceable to the historical condition from where she emerged politically. The continual influence of the neocolonialism and subtlety of modern imperialism manifesting in the current configuration of globalization are all part of Nigeria’s economic woes. Directionless leadership and terribly wrong economic policies which are partly as a result of synergic diabolical work between the political elites in Nigeria and the manipulating, imperialist, capitalist western power all contribute to the current messy state potentially great Nigeria economy now find itself. We can not understand the current state of Nigeria’s economic condition without making a historical survey of how Nigeria was trusted into this uneven global market and strangely configured global economic order. The word globalization, though relatively new is part of a historical continuum, began about six centuries ago, and every discovery and advancement in the technological and scientific world has impacted on its evolution. The examples of the railway, marine transport technology, air technology, telegraph, e-mail and now the Internet ensures faster and more efficient movement of goods and services. This development in Western technologies opened up Africa and exposed it to the destructive impact of colonialism. The colonialists came to Africa and put in place a system of government and trade that displaced the organized procedures and principles of the African people. Colonialism was accompanied by the exploitation of human and material resources in an inexplicable magnitude, hence Africa has entered the global village at a competitive disadvantage wherein its products were traded without bargain, and buyers fixed prices for the supposed sellers, and the period between 1870 and 1915 became known as the “Age of Empire”, a period when competition for sphere of influence and colonial space was driven by the exploitative desires of the West in dire need of raw materials and cheap labor attracted great importance to colonialism, and the deceptive acronym widely known as the civilianizing mission. In process, as the exploiters, they were confronted with intellectual guilt and sought to rationalize their rape of African human and material resources, and pretended that Africa needs a new form of government that would encourage liberal virtues, enlivens debate, accommodates criticisms and promote succession through the power of the ballot rather than by ancestral means, or might. At the turn of the 1940s and the advent of the Second World War, a renewal of globalization masked as internationalism came with the birth of the United Nations Organization (UNO), designed to promote universal membership and seek a just resolution to the Second World War to maintain world peace through collective effort. However, the colonies of Africa, including Nigeria, were never part of the deal, but simply integrated in turns at political independence. The UNO presented the world with the global village concept, designed to build a better world through basic fundamental methodologies such as tolerance, justice, and the oneness and dignity of humanity. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country has an estimated population of about 120 million people, emerged from the civil war of 1967 – 1970 with a devastated economy, however a meaningful recovery process started with the advent of petroleum in the mid- 1970s. The economy was basically agrarian; the relative share of agriculture, livestock, forestry and fishing which was 65.6% in 1960-1961 has declined with the agricultural sub sector accounting for only 32% per annum in the 1990s despite the fact that the sector still constitutes the source of employment and livelihood for about three-quarters of the population, 70-75%. Up until early 1980, Nigeria had a reasonable amount of foreign reserve with a insignificant record of foreign debt. Its currency, the Naira was competing strongly with other foreign currencies, yet by mid-1980s the economy started declining as foreign reserves became almost exhausted, and foreign debt started accumulating at an alarming rate as the naira lost its value in exchange with other currencies . The World Bank World Development Report indicated that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 1980 was US $91.13 billion, which puts it as the 20th on rank in terms of GDP size. From 1986 – 1987, the country was hit by the triple disaster of political instability, economic stagnation and the pursuance of inappropriate and ill-fated structural adjustment programs. This devalued the currency, assets and productive resources available for use, and left the country economic managers with the problems of: 7 correcting any distortion affecting any of the four major prices-exchange rate, interest rate, and domestic price level and wage rate; avoiding regression in employment and external balance; avoiding devaluation (although devaluation makes good politics in the short run, it is at the same time dangerous on the long run), and creating an incentive and opportunity system as a way of improving the economy. In this process, the level of industrialization and technology development is so low that it whittles the competitiveness of the economy in a globalized world to the point that foreign actors would have to give more, and have little or nothing to receive, since globalization is the channel of redistributing technology. This is to say that with the challenges of industrialization and technology development, the Nigerian economy is posed to encounter a Herculean task effecting globalization transactions aimed to Nigeria’s advantage. The lack of zeal of domestic corporate executives to engage investment in the industrial sector exposes finance capital to the hazard of foreign invasion, which implies that foreign investors could take this advantage to expropriate the wealth of the nation, and thus hamper the strength of the Nigerian economy because capital is mobile, and globalization is about interconnectedness and interdependence as the finance capital available in the economy is being moved at will to the economy of other states. Thus, globalization has brought about the domination of the Nigerian economy since its basic export is woven around raw materials (the basis for production and further production), whereas export in Nigeria promotes economic diversification abroad and restricts diversification in the domestic setting, placing the Nigerian economy in an uncompetitive space in the global trade circle. Debt Servicing Profile and Illusion of Globalization Globalization is at best an illusion in view of the high indebtedness of the countries of the South. The debt-servicing scheme has virtually created a perpetual debtor in the less developed countries, and has dehydrated the national economy and stultified growth, which erodes the much-taunted gains of globalizations. Using Nigeria as example, it is no news that the servicing of the nation’s external debt had severely encroached on resources available for investment, growth, socio-economic development and poverty alleviation. And although since 1986, the nation had taken a decision to limit debt service to not more than 30 per cent of oil receipts, it has not brought much relief as external debt overhang, adversely affecting the inflow of foreign capital investment. The picture created by this debt service regime is that any attempt to underestimate the crucial linkage between debt, growth, development and poverty reduction will create a distorted view of globalization and its side effects. 9 One of these is the unenviable role of the lowest rate possible. Typically, as noted by Akin Arikawe10 such a conflict of interest causes excess volatility in interest rates, as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) swings back and forth between holding down interest rates in order to borrow money as inexpensively as possible, and raising interest rates in order to control inflation and defend the exchange rate of the naira. From a paltry debt stock of $ 1 billion in 1971, Nigeria had towards the end of 2005 incurred close to $40 billion debt with over $30 billion of the amount owed to the Paris Club (an informal group of official creditors who find co-ordinated and sustainable solutions to the payment difficulties experienced by debtor nations) alone. Although, Nigeria’s debt was more than the total of those of the 18 other poor countries (14 of them African countries) classified as Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs), it had been a Herculean task convincing the creditors that debt cancellation was the most desirable option. Prior to Nigeria’s $18 billion debt cancellation deal, these eighteen other poor countries i.e. Benin Republic, Bolivia, Burkina-Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia had secured a 100 percent debt cancellation totaling $40 billion. The Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo had waged a six-year war on debt cancellation wherein he hired Nigerian-born former World Bank official Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala as Finance Minister to prosecute the war. In their bid, they joined several other anti-poverty campaigners to argue that by so doing, the Group of 8 (G8) countries will be stopping 30,000 children from dying each day of hunger, lack of clean water and diseases (Christian Science Monitor as cited in Time magazine) 13. The argument is that the poor countries of the world pay over $100 million dollars everyday as interest alone on loans which kept pilling. Before the debt cancellation deal, Nigeria was to pay a whopping $2.3 billion every year on debt servicing. This amounted to $32 billion between 1985 and 2001 alone14. At the Gleneagles meeting, Britain’s campaign that something must be done about the debt burden worked. World leaders saw reason, but tied debt forgiveness to good governance. President Bush for instance canvassed a partnership with Africa that is different from a relationship of “check-writer”. As he said, “We have got obligations and so do people we are trying to help” 15. According to the Centre for Global Development (CGD), Nigeria’s actual borrowing in the 1970s was $2.1 billion. The monumental debt build up was substantially due to highly controversial interest rates regime and penalties for not meeting attendant obligations. After intense negotiation, Nigeria was classified into the 60% debt forgiveness zone. The creditor nations felt Nigeria was not in the 100% zone of countries rated as extremely poor. Nigeria’s rich potentialities in natural resources and the oil deposit accounted for this feeling. Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala collaborated with her former World Bank colleagues now working with the Centre for Global Development (especially Nancy Bedsol an Todd Morse) 16 to ensure that Nigeria was able to borrow from both the concenssional arm of the Paris Club – the International Development Association (IDA) rather than the Commercial arm – the IBRD. With the reclassification as an IDA – only – country, the proposal for 67% reduction was tabled. Nigeria’s perception as having worked hard in the last few years to enthrone sustainable economic development was then used to secure the debt relief. The debt relief was simply put: pay $12 billion to buy back $18 billion and exit Paris Club. The details as provided by the Nigerian Finance Minister17 included the idea that paying back $18 billion for the next 23 years would no longer be required. Also, the $1 billion allocated to debt servicing annually can now be plough back to developing critical sector of the economy. Noteworthy, paying the $30 billion over a period of 23 years would have amounted to paying a total sum of $50 billion in the final analysis. Whichever of the options taken, Nigeria would still have to pay about $5 billion owed another group of creditors the London Club (an informal group of private creditors that reschedules commercial debt). The $18 billion debt cancellation for Nigeria is good but is less good than it should be. The creditors are nasty and stingy. To extract $12 billion immediately from a country with an annual budget of $3 - $4 billion is callous. Why would they be demanding so much from a country where children are dying, millions are not in school and hunger and disease pervade? This testament of dubious debt relief or cancellation package espoused by Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor of Economics and Director of the Earth Institute at Colombia University captures the perfidious attempt of the Paris Club and other Bretton Wood institutions to ensure the retrenchment of the Nigerian economy – an economy assessed to be of great potentialities but approached with debilitating economic policies surreptitiously packaged as contributions to getting a reprieve. The history of Nigeria mounting debt profile can hardly exonerate its decades of misrule and the continued recklessness of its leadership. As can be gleaned from the table below, Nigeria debt stock in 1971 was $1 billion. By 1991, it has risen to $33.4 billion, and rather than decrease, it has been on the increase, particularly with the insurmountable regime of debt servicing and the insatiable desire of political leaders to obtain frivolous loans for the execution of dubious projects.
PROPHETIC VOICE MARCH 2013 MY MONTH OF STRATEGIC FUNCTIONING (LUKE 23:26, MATTHEW 27:32, Mark 15:21) Gradually the year 2013 is rolling out and the spiritually sensitive children of God are already laying hold on its prophetic promises and packages. I welcome you to the 3rd month, a month loaded with actions and several divine deliveries. As you fully key yourself into the prophetic happenings, the divine grace be lavished on you more than ever before. The prophetic navigating tool for this month is the testimony of a man compelled to carry the cross of Christ to Golgotha, a strategic, historical action yet to be properly placed in the annal of global redemption agenda. 3 witnesses bore this testimony:  “And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross” (Matthew 27:32)  “And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross” (Mark 15:21).  “And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus” (Luke 23:26) This man from North Africa (Libya), I believe must be a proselyte who came for religious pilgrimage. This is prophetically significant for the students of missionology and chronoprophecy. It is a divine sign for the place of Africa in the end-time missiology campaign. In God’s end-time mission agenda, Africa is at the forefront. As we celebrate his resurrection, your placement in God’s kingdom business must be found. You must play your own part in the ongoing global mission campaign. No wonder that Paul posits in 1 Cor 3:9 “For we are laborers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building” 11 Cor 6:1 “We then as workers together with Him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain”. We must all find our place of service and mission, develop our God’s given abilities and rightly deploy them for the kingdom’s expansion. The word “aggareuo” translated compelled in Matt. 27:32 means “to press into service” and it implies speed and urgency. This month is for you to quickly locate your ministry placement in your church and addictedly commit yourself to the discharge of your God’s given assignment. Be a part of this great army God is recruiting whose descriptions conform with that of Joel’s end-time army: “They have the appearance of horses, they gallop along like cavalry. With a noise like that of chariots they leap over the mountain tops, like a cracking fire consuming stubble, like a mighty army drawn up for battle --- They charge like warriors, they scale walls like soldiers. They all march in line, not swerving from their course. They do not jostle each other; each marches straight ahead. They plunge through defenses without breaking rank --- The Lord thunders at the head of his army, his forces are beyond number and mighty are those who obey his command” (Joel 2:4-11). As we march through March, enroll in God’s workforce, and we pray that: (1) The Lord be honored over our lives this month. (2) All divine enablement to please and rightly serve God this month be given to us. (3) We find our right place in God’s kingdom. (4) God disengage us from every unprofitable transaction. (5) Grace be released upon our church to make her a voice for God and a city set upon the hill that cannot be hidden. (6) The ministry of God’s love compel us into greater exploits for God (II Cor 5: 14) (7) As we function for God, His unction be released upon us.
STUDY ON NEHEMIAH DESIGNED FOR ABRAHAM'S TABERNACLE SAGAMU (Written by Rev Dele Kolade) AN INTRODUCTION The book of Nehemiah is a master piece autobiographical narrative and a good example of a community life built around common goal, mobilized behind a herculean task, led by a character resourced with people’s skill. At the time, Israel was under the Persian Empire. The historical dating of the events in this book is pegged around 445-432 BCE. The narrative is all about Nehemiah marshalling the community towards rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, the socio-religious reform, and the repopulation of the city. These events are complemented by the account of EZRA. In 445 BCE,Artaxerxes 1 authorized Nehemiah to super intend the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall, a task completed within 52 days. The material we are about to study is about is about the community strategies employed by Nehemiah which led to the completion of this great project within 52 days amidst intimidations from enemies and socio-religious challenges from within the community itself. THE BIRTH OF A VISION (NEH. 1:1-3) PART ONE It takes a soul ignited by God’s fire to initiate divinely ordained spiritual awakening resulting in accomplishment of God’s intent. The scripture in view today is the beginning of God’s move over an individual the “conflagration” of which positively affected the entire Judean community. The phrase, “the words of Nehemiah, the son of Hachalian” (Vs 1), Is a testimony to the historicity of the book and a formula suggesting its an autobiographical narrative. The name “Nehemiah” means “God has comforted” looking at the nature of the events in the book, can there be any connection between the name of the principal character and the events in the book? Nehemiah was employed in the Persian court as a cupbearer (ref. Vs 11). How relevant is Nehemiah’s Job background to his new divine appointment? How can Christians utilize their secular influence in promoting the work of God? HANANI’S MISSION (VS 2-3) – Hanani a brother of Nehemiah and his associates’ report to Nehemiah was the very beginning of the great change about to take pace in Jerusalem. What lessons can we as Christians learn from the way Hanani communicated with Nehemiah? The report was a sorry case of the people (remnant) of Judah who returned from exile and the once glorious Jerusalem now in ruin. What 4 problems were mentioned in verse 3? What are some of the problems we can also identify in the church today? THE BIRTH OF A VISION (1:4 – 11) PART TWO Our reactions to divine instruction revelations and promptings usually demonstrate what actions we will probably take. Our aliveness to the things of God is always demonstrated in our reactions to the divine promptings. Nehemiah’s reaction after hearing the “bad report” tells a lot about his relationship with God even before Hanani and his associates came to Susan. Vision thrives only in a heart that is alive in Christ. What 4 reactions of Nehemiah are mentioned in verse 4? What do they communicate about him? Vs 5-11 give a summary of the petitive and intercessory prayers of Nehemiah, the contents of which finds parallels in some other prayers in the Bible. These interesting parallels may be attestation to Nehemiah’s closeness with the scriptures of religious tradition of his people. Check up the following parallels:  Neh 1:56 vs Deut 7:9, Dan 9:4, 1kings 8:23  Neh. 1:5a vs Deut 7:21  Neh 1:6 vs 1Kg 8:28-29, 8:52, 2Chro. 6:40, 7:15, Ps.130:2  Neh 1:7 vs Deut 5:31, Deut 34:5  Neh 1:8 vs Deut 4:27, Deut 28:64  Neh 1:9 vs Deut 12:5, Deut 12:11, Deut 30:14  Neh 1:10 vs Ex 32:11, 1Chron 17:21, Deut 9:29 What significance does the epithet “God of heaven” have in relation to Nehemiah’s situation and location at the time of the prayer? There is a great relevance in Nehemiah reiterating the universality of God at the time of his prayer. (vs 5) What does the phrase “day and night” indicate about the prayer life of Nehemiah, what lessons can we learn from his piety? Vs 6a What can we deduce from the “solidarity and representational confessions in his prayer? Vs 6-7. In our prayer today, how we appropriate the theology of “reminding God of His promises? Vs 8-9 There is a strong indication in verse 11 that other faithful Jews were busy praying for divine intervention. The sovereignty of God is further entrenched in Nehemiah’s appeal to God grant him favor before the king. Do we also recognize God’s sovereignty over our earthly leaders? THE LEGAL BACKING (2:1-10) Many a time favor and break through around may be an indication of divine sanction to a project or a decision. When God gives a vision He backs kit with provision. It is necessary for every visionary to pray in favor with men and resources to accomplish the vision. Before you set out to seek for help from men, pray for divine openings and favor first. Four months after learning about Jerusalem’s sorry condition, Nehemiah found an opportunity to request help from the emperor (Nisan is around March – April) What does the context indicated in verse 1 tell of Nehemiah’s previous nature ad attitude? What as Christian workers can we learn about our attitude to work from this picture? Vs 2. As leaders in various capacities, we must appreciate the emperor’s ability to right discern Nehemiah’s condition and him further question. Do we also study people’s countenance? Do we investigate interrogate or intimidate people who look (negatively) different from how we used to know them? Vs 3. Is there any relationship between importances attached by Nehemiah to the burial place of his ancestors? The king’s open ended question of what do you want is a clear sign of divine breakthrough. As a leader, are you also interested in the interest of your subordinates? That Nehemiah again resorted to God before responding to the king’s question again re-emphasized his intimacy with God and the fact that he always consulted God on every issue of his life. (Vs 4) Nehemiah was very specific in his response and request (vs 5). One of the reasons why we don’t get what we want (either from people or God) is because we are not specific in our demands or requests. Part of planning is timing. It is essential to set our projections around specific time frame. The king wanted to know when Nehemiah will finish the task of rebuilding Jerusalem What do you suggest necessitated this question from the king?( Vs 6 ) Vs 7-9 shows Nehemiah’s request for approval document and other resources that can help him fulfill his task. How do you think we should also request for things we need to fulfill our God’s given vision? INSPECTION FOR PROJECTION (2:11-20) Most visions, missions and projects are unfulfilled today because of initial lack of proper evaluation and planning. In today’s passage, Nehemiah demonstrates a very important leadership and visionary skill that we should all understand and emulate. Whenever we fail to plan and plan well then we are simply planning to woefully fail. Nehemiah is not only a good strategist but also a good communicator. How do we go about evaluation and communication of our vision? 2:11-20 FIELD OR OFFICE? (VS11) Many a time we are detached from reality because we are not at the real point or place of action. The “location” of our evaluation is important because where we are determines how we see what we see. We are plan from wrong places or wrong people our panning becomes non-effective. Nehemiah came down to where the actual problems are to have a better personal view and assessment of the matter. How should the church emulate Nehemiah in this regard? TIME FOR PLANNING.(VS11-16) Nehemiah demonstrated not only great planning skills but put planning in it right place. He never rushed into action but concentrated his efforts first in understanding by him the situation on the ground. He spent the first 3 days only inspecting the damage or the severity of the situation. Why do you think Nehemiah went on inspection in the night? How do we apply this action in our planning today? Why should Nehemiah go with only few people to inspect the damage? MOTIVATION & MOBILIZATION (VS 17-20) Many visionaries fail today not for lack of vision but for lack of necessary communication skill to mobilize people to work. Nehemiah knew how to arrest people’s attention and help them own the vision and the project. The sense of ownership in necessary in mobilizing people around a project What are some of the communication skills Nehemiah employed in his address to the people? Of what importance is his reference to the divine approval in vs 18a? THE WORK FORCE (3:1-32) Genuine leaders don’t act alone but they connect with others. Nehemiah knew how to connect with others and how to mobilize others to work. Pastoring is not the same as doing ministry all alone but developing people to do ministry. The picture in this passage is about a strategic division of labor by employed by Nehemiah to accomplish the big task by sharing it among the people. This can be described as using cells to handle task. What can we learn from this passage? i. It gives a clear picture of the topography of Jerusalem ii. It re-echoes the importance of record keeping iii. It gives impressive evidence of Nehemiah’s organizational and administrative skill iv. It shows widespread support for the wall building project. Of what importance is the involvement of Eliashib and his priestly crew in the building project? Does Eliashib heading the list of the workers tell you something about the pastorate position in God’s kingdom business? What does the apparent omission of Nehemiah’s name from the list of the workers suggest? HANDLING OPPOSITIONS (4:1-23) Our ability to rightly handle opposition is a major pre requisite to fulfillment of our vision and aspiration in life. That you have opposition is a clear sign that you have a strong position. Nehemiah was surrounded by opposition from every side-Sanballant from the north, the Arabs, under the influence of Geshem to the south; the Ammorites to the east and the Ashdodites to the west. Apart from these external oppositions were also internal traitors. It must be said that oppositions to Nehemiah’s vision began right away from the very beginning of his mission. Let us study how he handled his much opposition The oppositions from the very onset were not happy with Nehemiah mission. What do you think is the reason for there grieve in 2:10? What do you suggest caused the increase in the number of opposition in 2:19? The people were mocked and indicted against the emperor’s authority. What do you think the motives of the enemies were? In 2:20 Nehemiah decided to answer the enemies. Why do you think Nehemiah should do that? When Sanballat heard of the commencement of the building project he became greatly incensed. Why do you think he should feel this way? (4:1) Sanballat raised 5 sarcastic questions aimed at derailing the workers. How do you analyses these questions and what could their effect had been? • What are those feeble Jews doing? • Will they fortify themselves or restore their wall? • Will they offer sacrifices or expect a miracle to aid them in the project? • Will they finish in a day or in record time? • Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble-burned as they are? Tobiah also rained verbal attack on the Jews’ workmanship and the quality of their building materials. He suggested that if a nimble fox jump on their wall it would knock it over. Nehemiah response was also verbal but not directed directly at the enemies but an imprecatory prayer addressed to God (4:4-5) Strategically, Nehemiah translated oppositions’ insult into catalyst for greater action. Vs 6. What can we learn from this response? What major factor is identified in this verse making the work possible? • Vs 7-8 present a sudden change in enemies’ tactics of attack. Now, the 4 major enemies blocks came together to plan a major physical attack. • What were the responses of Jews to the new plan of the enemies? Vs.9 • Does the addiction of watching with prayer tell you of anything? Vs 9 • What were some of the negative effects of this new development (plan of the enemies) on the Jews and the work? Vs 10-12 A new strategy for the project was developed by Nehemiah; “watching and working”. What do you think can be the dangers if the principle of combining watching with working is not practiced? Vs 17-18. What are some of the practical examples of non-application or misapplication of this principle in the Christian life today? How do we prevent and or redress these anomalies in our lives?  How do you see Nehemiah speech of vs 14?  What does the sounding of the trumpet represent? Vs 20.  Why was the trumpeter needed vs 19  Why do you think the trumpeter should be near Nehemiah? What does this imply in ministry?  What does vs 23 connote? SOCIO-ECONOMIC CHALLENGES (5:1-19) It was not only the threat of the external enemies that raised its head against the work but also the multifaceted internal socio-economic challenges. At time we over concentrate on the external threats and we loose sight of the many internal challenges. In this passage, certain internal challenges were recognized and consequently tackled to ease the internal frictions there were developing among the people. The first group of the complainers were probably landless poor formers who were forced to pledge the labor of their sons and daughters in exchange for essential food stuffs. How do we relate this to our contemporary child labor and abuse saga? Vs 1-2 The second group of debtors complained that they have had to pledge fields, vineyard and houses in order to get grain. (Vs 3). How do you understand their desperation for survival in term of our attitude towards possessions? The third group of debtors has had to borrow silver in order to pay the Persian royal tax, again using their fields and vineyards as collateral (vs 4). The unfortunate thing is that the creators who were foreclosing on loans to all three groups were members of the Jewish community. Is there any relation in this situation with the African economic woes? NEHEMIAH’S RESPONSE (6-13) How good will it be if all leaders will spontaneously respond to the cry of the oppressed and the marginalized in the society just as Nehemiah did. Reflect on the following actions of Nehemiah in resolving the issue and see how these actions can be applied today in conflict resolution.  He boldly confronted the upper class and expressed his displeasure at their exploitation on their brethrens vs 6-7.  Soberly reflected on the issue .Vs 7a  He convened a public assembly o deal with the brutal creditors. Vs 7b  The response was a great repentance and restitution. Vs 12-13 Read through vs 14-19 and careful dilate on the practical example of Nehemiah in helping the less privilege and sacrificially serving God and his nation. What can leaders learn from this selfless service? COU TERACTING ANTAGONISM (6:1-19) Nehemiah, in this portion of the book demonstrated wisdom and prudence in dealing with the multi-dimensional antagonism besetting him and invariably his noble vision of re-fortifying and re-populating Jerusalem. It is interesting to see the many nature of the antagonism, the tactics employed and the many people involved in the various plots. What can you probably attribute the sudden soft tone of the enemies words in vs 2 to? Can it be connected to the incredible progress chalked as started in vs 1? Sunballat and Geshem wanted to meet with Nehemiah at Ono, 20 miles northwest of Jerusalem and for that matter one of the most remote parts of the province. Is there anything we can learn from the courteous but candid response of Nehemiah to the request for a meeting with the enemies of Ono? Vs 3 Vs 4 why should the same message (which was already rejected) sent again 4 more time? Nehemiah was very consistent in giving the same response. What can we learn from this consistency as Christians? Vs 5-7 presents a change in enemies’ attack tactics. An opened letter was reportedly sent to Nehemiah accusing him of rebelling against Persian Empire. Why do you think the letter was left unsealed? If Sanballat really thought Nehemiah was traitorous, why would he want to meet with him? Nehemiah responded by refuting the allegations and praying for more divine support. FALSE PROPHECIES (vs 10-14) Nehemiah has to contend with false prophecies from Shemaia (10) and Noadiah(vs 14)  How do you see Shemiaiah prophecy of fear in relation to some of our contemporary so called “prophets”?  What do you think is wrong with Nehemiah going into the temple’s innermost (vs 10, 13)  What would have been the negative consequences of Nehemiah listening to these false prophecies according to vs 13? Vs 14 suggest very strongly that Tobiah had many political and religious supporters from inside Jerusalem. Written By Rev Dele Kolade (Pastor in charge)