Category Archives: Nigeria

Nigeria Barbados student programme disaster – Donna St. Hill says Sharon Brathwaite unable to account for major funds

Nigerian Deputy Governor Utuama and Donna St. Hill

Nigerian Deputy Governor Amos Utuama and Donna St. Hill

Barbados Today journalist Emmanuel Joseph interviewed Donna St. Hill – programme director for the Nigeria-Barbados student disaster that continues to unfold.

The full interview is worth your time to read if only to see once again how these foreign student and employment initiatives always fall apart in Barbados. Always. Everybody tries to squeeze a little bit of the funds for themselves and their brothers and in the end there are never enough funds to complete the original goals and standards of the project. All the time. Every time.

But this time there were some major feeders at the trough… or so says Donna St. Hill.

From what St. Hill says, once again there was little or no oversight of employees in Barbados as St. Hill ran her end from Africa (taking her little bit of squeeze for sure).

Now St. Hill is blaming Barbadian Sharon Brathwaite for misdirecting, misspending and generally being unable to account for hundreds of thousands of dollars over a relatively short four month period. It’s the students who are suffering in the end, and the money is gone gone gone.

Sharon Brathwaite told her side of the story to Barbados Today (see article I’m Sorry)

Some selected quotes from the Donna St. Hill interview…

“My company Donna St Hill International manages this contract… I live in Africa, so I hire local project administrators, of which Miss Brathwaite [Sharon] was the one who was working on the Barbados project…   I thought that with some close supervision, more mentoring, she could achieve more than what she even knew she was capable of.”

“I have heard Sharon Brathwaite had travelled to Nigeria to see my clients, to see how she could, not take over the responsibilities and the headaches, but control more of the financing and have it paid directly to her. That failed.”

“So at no time could we think about bringing the money back because every other month we were coming and it needed to be there –– you know, salaries to pay and some small things, but certainly not $750,000 . . . . We are all shocked because I know what I have approved; and even with some seepage here and there, it can’t be right.”

“So what happened with that money? Well we are trying to find out.”

Read the entire story at Barbados Today

11 Comments

Filed under Africa, Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Nigeria

Nigeria sends Deputy Governor Amos Utuama to investigate allegations against himself and alleged mistress in Barbados!

Donna-St-Hill Barbados Nigeria Utuama

A few days ago, we reported that 90 Nigerian students are alleging that Deputy Governor Amos Utuama and his mistress Donna St. Hill pocketed programme funding for the Delta Youth Trainees in Barbados, causing the students to be shifted from the nice Infinity Beach Hotel to an inland dump of a hotel with no running water and slops for food.

Now, just like you’d expect, the Nigerian government sent the subject of the allegations to Barbados to investigate himself!

No problem, folks! We can write the results of the investigation right now… everything be fine. just a misunderstanding. everything is A-okay.

There.

That takes care of that!

Nigerian mission

A HIGH-LEVEL NIGERIAN GOVERNMENTAL TEAM is in Barbados on a fact-finding mission pertaining to the 87 Nigerian students here on a nine-month educational programme.

Deputy Governor of Delta State, Professor Amos Utuama, landed in Barbados last night, while Acting Nigerian High Commissioner to Trinidad, Ganiyu Adeyemi, his deputy Frank Nmadu and financial director, Paul Ataime, arrived on Saturday from Trinidad.

The acting high commissioner and his team met with all of the students at the Casa Grande Hotel in St Philip, where they are being housed, while they also held discussions with facilitator of the programme Donna St Hill, former administrator Sharon Brathwaite, who has been relieved of her duties, as well as Asha “Ram” Mirchandani, owner of the hotel. Reports indicate that the team also did a walk-through of the hotel, which has been a bone of contention with the students, and they were also on hand to examine the meals being served, among other things.

read the article at The Nation News

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Nigeria

Nigerian Students accuse Deputy State Governor Amos Utuama of running Barbados Trinidad scam with his alleged mistress Donna St. Hill

 Donna-St-Hill Barbados Nigeria Utuama

Barbadian Donna St. Hill alleged mistress of Nigerian Delta State deputy governor Amos Utuama

We might describe this happening as “The Nigerian Scam”, but the rest of the world is calling it “The Barbados Scam.”

What we know from local and African media is that 90 students from Nigeria’s Delta Youth Training Programme paid for 9 months accommodation in Barbados at the Infinity Beach Hotel. The students’ management team stayed at the hotel in December, and the students approved of their residence after they were shown photos and videos.

When the students arrived in Barbados they were taken to a semi-abandoned dump of a hotel, and found themselves pulling pails of water from the swimming pool to flush the toilets and to bathe.

Now reports are surfacing in Barbados and Trinidad of unpaid bills by the organisers.

Some of the African press are reporting that Barbadian Donna St. Hill and her alleged lover Nigerian Delta State deputy governor Amos Utuama pocketed money. Africans are calling the story “The Barbados Scam”.

Sahara Reporters published an account that held nothing back…

Neglected Delta Youth Trainees In Trinidad And Barbados Cry Out, Accuse Deputy Governor And His Alleged Mistress Of Abuse

“As I’m talking to you now we cannot take our baths because there is no water, some of us had to start fetching water from the pool. Do you know that we almost lost one of us yesterday due to food poisoning as we were told by the doctors? The issue of food is nothing to write home about. I repeat, we have sent a series of messages to the State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, to come to our aid, but ‘til date we are yet to get a reply from him,” a student told SaharaReporters.

Though the program advertised itself as one that would train students on agriculture, tourism, hospitality, and culinary arts, students now claim the entire program is a “scam.”    Continue reading

26 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago

Prime Minister Owen Arthur “invested” YOUR money in Nigeria. A predictable result.

Millions stolen with not one solar water heater made

by RLL

The short story: In 2006, your BLP Owen Arthur government “invested” $2.4 million dollars into a Nigerian solar water heater project. The Nigerian factory was never finished, not one water heater was made and your money is gone.

Question #1: Nigeria? What was Arthur thinking?

Question #2: For all the BLP “joint business ventures”, name one that was truly successful as a business.

There is the BLP hype about Owen Arthur being a brilliant economist, and then there is the reality. Owen Arthur borrowed 2.4 million dollars in your name, loaned it threw it away in Nigeria on a project that any drunk (except our drunk) knew would fail – and now you and your children have to pay.

Not one job was created in Barbados or Nigeria, and your money is not only gone – it is untraceably gone. There was no accountability built into the project to ensure that the money “invested” on behalf of Barbados taxpayers was used as intended.

Your government “invested” $2.4 million dollars of your money in Nigeria, one of the most corrupt countries in the world. What did they think would happen?

Who took the money?

Nigeria. Joint business venture with our tax dollars. Everybody knew what was going to happen.

Owen Arthur is truly an idiot… or… did he or anyone else in government have a piece of the action as a shareholder, supplier or consultant?

Somebody in your government probably made a quick five or ten percent on your lost $2.4 million.

Without transparency and accountability laws, we’ll never know. In any event, conflicts of interest like that are not illegal in Barbados. Your government officials are free to take kickbacks consultancy and supplier positions with companies that benefit from government grants, loans and contracts.

Compared to some of the past hits, the Nigerian solar water heater scam was a relatively small loss, but it perfectly illustrates why our country is on a downward slope without integrity, transparency and accountability laws. Once in power, the politician piggies have a field day and there is nothing that can be done.

Further Reading

You should read the news article at Barbados Today: Water heater write-off, but we’ll reprint the entire article here because the Bajan news media often removes or modifies news stories to change history and the BT gang did that when they worked at The Nation. Continue reading

31 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Energy, Freedom Of Information, Nigeria

Nigerian Ambassador: Barbados Foreign Minister refuses to see me!

Ambassador John Musa tells Nigerian press of “discord”, “deteriorating situation” with Barbados

Barbados Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senator Maxine McClean, refuses to receive the Nigerian Ambassador. According to Ambassador Musa (also called Musa John Jen), this is because the image of Nigeria has “sunk to the gutters” in the Caribbean.

How right the Ambassador is! Can anyone in Barbados recount even one successful joint venture between Bajan business and Nigerians? Continue reading

26 Comments

Filed under Africa, Barbados, Business & Banking, Nigeria

‘District 9’ Alien Movie Drawing Criticism – “A Racist Movie About Racism…”

District 9 Racism

Unless you’ve been on another planet for the past few weeks, you’ve probably heard something about ‘District 9’ – a science fiction movie shot in Johannesburg, South Africa – where stranded alien visitors become the victims of a new apartheid.

Nope, I haven’t seen it, and yes I’d love to… but some reviewers have been taking the position that District 9 isn’t just about racism – it is racist itself in its stereotypical portrayal of blacks and Nigerians in particular.

How is the movie racist?

Well, to discuss that subject one has to decide to ignore the following reality…

WARNING: Plot Spoilers Ahead!

So there. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…

Okay, to start things off here are a few quotes from blogger D.C. Girl At the Movies

The filmmaker, Neill Blomkamp’s heart was in the right place, but he didn’t quite grasp his own topic. Because of that, DISTRICT 9’s take on issues of xenophobia and race has a perspective and frame that is itself laden with those very issues.

Basically, it’s a ‘RACE MOVIE’ with the same clichés I spoke about in this post on both the alien and human front.

(snip)

..And the real-live black people in the movie?? You know, the ones Blomkamp is basing his alien population on?

Ooga-booga negroes who think *eating* the aliens will somehow give them their ~*magic*~, gun-toting gangstas, hos, and yes, we even have a barely-there sidekick who is repeatedly called ‘boy’.

He might have been trying to be ~*edgy*~ironic when he did this, which seems to be all the rage these days, but I’m not feeling that when those attempting it, don’t grasp the subject themselves. You can’t say anything to the populace about race and still be in remedial classes yourself.

Nothing like a good African Cannibal & Inter-Species Prostitution Movie!

Carrying the observations about Hollywood racial stereotypes a little bit further is our friend Nicole Stamp at her Pageslap blog. The following excerpt is taken from Nicole’s article District 9 is racist

If you look at the film as an apartheid allegory, it has problems right off the bat. The aliens are loathsome, trash-eating vermin who fight endlessly, destroy property for no reason, and piss on their own homes, which isn’t a truthful or flattering allegorical comparison for actual black South Africans under apartheid. Apartheid is terrible because humans were denied rights. The “apartheid” of these aliens isn’t that terrible- it’s kind of justifiable, because they’re actually dangerous, violent and destructive.

(snip)

The Nigerians have a wailing “witch doctor”. Who instructs them to eat the aliens. And they do it. Bloody, wriggling, and raw, of course.

We’re told that the black prostitutes “service” the aliens sexually. ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME??!

And when Wikus’ arm grows a claw, the Nigerian gang boss starts licking his chops, eager to commit cannibalism.

Yup, that’s Hollywood’s Africa, isn’t it. Black Africans shown as degenerate savages who’ll have sex with non-humans and are pretty damn eager to eat people.

Disgusting.

The thing that really upsets me is that most people who see this movie won’t question, or even notice, this incredibly racist portrayal. It wasn’t even necessary for the plot, and in fact the racist elements actually created some plot holes.

What Do You Think?

Google “District 9 racist” and you’ll see how this discussion about the movie is taking off, with good people finding themselves on opposite sides of the arguments.

It will be interesting to see how this movie does in theatres in the Caribbean and, I guess, in South Africa. Is ‘District 9’ fatally flawed by racism in the making of the movie? Will black audiences notice or care? Is the criticism justified?  Do the critics realize that some of the nasty values and behaviors portrayed in the movie (cannibalism, rape, rape to cure aids) aren’t exactly unknown today on the continent?

Is the criticism justified? Once again, I haven’t seen District 9, but I have that impression. Nonetheless I’m wanting to see ‘District 9’ anyway for two reasons…

1/ The discussion of race, culture, history and the media always interests me.

2/ I love a good shoot-em-up!

Cliverton

Further Reading

Beliefnet: District 9 (Review)

Beliefnet: District 9 – About Racism or Racist?

Racialicious: Shrimpin’ Ain’t Easy – A Look At District 9

Sony Pictures: District 9 Official Website

Wikipedia: District 9

12 Comments

Filed under Africa, Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Nigeria, Race

Shell Pays Up In Nigerian Human Rights & Ken Saro-Wiwa Execution Case

In the lawsuit, the families of the Ogoni nine alleged Shell conspired with the military government to capture and hang the men. Shell was also accused of a series of other alleged human rights violations, including working with the army to bring about killings and torture of Ogoni ­protesters.

The company was alleged to have provided the Nigerian army with vehicles, patrol boats and ammunition, and to have helped plan raids and terror campaigns against villages.

Supporters of the legal action said the fact that Shell had walked away from the trial suggested the company had been anxious about the evidence that would have been presented had it gone ahead. Stephen Kretzmann, director of Oil Change International, said Shell “knew the case was overwhelming against them, so they bought their way out of a trial”…

… from the Guardian story Shell pays out $15.5m over Saro-Wiwa killing

Shell To Pay US$15.5 Million Over Nigerian Government Execution Of Nine Activists

Ken Saro-Wiwa - "Shell has blood on its hands"

Ken Saro-Wiwa - "Shell has blood on its hands"

Considering that Shell makes about US$3 million dollars profit per hour – every hour of every day – we’d say they got off pretty lightly for their environmental rape of Nigeria and (denied) complicity in the hangings of nine innocent Nigerians who wanted clean air, water and soil for their children.

Why did Shell settle at the last moment before the trial was due to begin in New York City?

Because going to trial would have exposed the truth about Shell in Nigeria to the whole world. US$15.5 million is pocket change to make risk go away.

What is the Lesson for Barbados Farmers Coping With Shell Oil’s Barbados Pipeline Spills?

Barbado Environment Denis Lowe (left) remains silent on the Shell Oil spill since his election.

Since his election, Barbados Environment Minister Denis Lowe (left) is suddenly silent on Shell Oil spill.

Perhaps the lesson in Barbados should be to sue the hell out of Shell. After 15 years of Shell ducking and dodging their responsibility, the Shell Barbados pipeline spill case needs to go to court.

We’d advise the Barbados Government to charge Shell with environmental offenses of failing to keep records, spilling petroleum and failing to clean up the spill – except that Barbados has no environmental legislation. That’s right folks – we don’t even have a law that requires Shell Oil to check their pipes and tanks every day for leaks.

Welcome to Barbados: where we have no hazardous materials standards and companies can pollute at will without worrying about the consequences.

How much did Shell Oil “donate” to the “political campaigns” of the DLP and BLP?

Oh, sorry… no legal requirement for anyone to reveal that, either!

Further Reading

Wall Street Journal: Shell Settles Nigeria Case

Times Online: Shell agrees $15.5m settlement over death of Saro-Wiwa and eight others

BFP: Shell Oil Announces Pipeline Spill A Non-Issue – Barbados News Media & Government Ask Zero Questions Of Company Hired To “Ensure Buy-In” To Shell Strategies

BFP: Shell Oil Pollutes And Runs In Barbados. After 15 Years Government Has The Answer: Committee Of Politicians

17 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Disaster, Environment, Ethics, Nigeria, Oil, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption