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Ahead with Coca-Cola

By Lawrence Daniel


UST before my final exams as an undergraduate, we were faced with a daunting but exciting term paper in one of our courses titled Environmental Biology. The term paper had as topic "Analytical review of EIA (Envi-

ronmental Impact Assessment) of some firms". To make it easier, the lecturer, Mr. Collins Onwe, divided us into groups, according to the relevant sectors. At the end, MTN represented telecommunication, Shell Petroleum stood for oil and gas, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited came in for beverage with Nestle. Each group was expected to make its presentation on a fixed date. Coincidentally, I was to lead the Coca-Cola team, having been tagged a Coca Cola ambassador owing to my media affiliation with the brand. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a planning tool, which is vital in determining the impact of projects, industries, and other establishments on the environment. This is done by evaluating the environmental consequences of a proposed activity at the design phase of the project. The purpose is to ensure that decision-makers consider the environmental impact of a project. The process entails reports prepara-

tion, public participation and independent review, decision making or authorization and post authorization activities. Our project was based on postauthorization since all the firms in question were already in operation. We were also told to dwell on the consumer waste which is perhaps higher in magnitude as against the source. However, an EIA should be followed by an audit by for performance evaluation by comparing actual impacts with those predicted. In Nigeria, the practice of EIA is enshrined in the constitution through the Environmental Impact Assessment Act promulgated in 1992 and the National Environmental Standard and Regulation (NESREA) Our research was based on data received from the internet, journals, and other media since we could not obtain data directly from the source. For the Coca-Cola group, we received the most applause and commendation for our foresighted-

ness. The lecturer, Mr. Onwe, specially commended our efforts on the Coca-Cola packaging model. Consequently, the giant strides of Coca-Cola on PET bottles (Polyethylene terephthalate) were brought to the fore. PET is the fastest growing packaging option in the beverage industry owing to changing consumer lifestyle and preference that emphasize convenience unlike returnable glass bottles or cans. The PET bottle does not break easily and constitutes no risk to the environment. But it must be properly disposed. However, Coca-Cola blazes the trail, once again through the post-consumer PET bottles recycling project. Interestingly, the PET bottles are being recycled into other useful items such as furniture-pillow, building insulation and other useful household items. It is noteworthy, however, that this has created a value chain which ensures the sanitation of our streets and drainages. It has also provided sustainable jobs for thou-

sands of Nigerians. This is a real case of waste-to-wealth. However, for other group, they advocated the promotion of online recharge as typified in their virtual top up (VTU) while doing away with the conventional recharge cards papers. Nevertheless, we may choose to like Coca-Cola brand for myriads of reasons or we may equally choose to hate them for various reasons based on unsubstantiated facts as in the case with my friend who attributed his mum's diabetes to Coca-Cola. But it is heartwarming to note that in a country where corruption is endemic, where institutional failure is the norm and where heinous crimes against humanity and the environment are being committed with impunity, there is a brand that truly thinks and works ahead of our times, generations and even its regulatory bodies. Invariably, Coca Cola has assumed the benchmark for the industry's standards, believing that there is more in the future than what the present holds for us as a people. Lawrence, recently graduated from Applied Biology, EBSU

My ‘Aso Rock’ memories


HE Abuja sun was indeed at its best. The date was Tuesday, December 13, 2011. I came into the capital city barely 48 hours ago to represent the youth of Osun East Senatorial District at the Inaugural Sitting of the second session of the Nigerian Youth Parliament. It took time before members of the parliament came into the National Assembly as the President of the Federal Republic was presenting the 2012 Draft Budget to a joint session of the National Assembly. Later, we settled for a mock parliamentary session in preparation for our inauguration the following day. I was in the House of Representatives Wing, still tired from the stress of our road trip. Afterwards, names were called. Some 36 names were called out of 109 of us. At the mention of my name, I joined the rest as we hurriedly left the Three Arms Zone enroute the Federal without any knowledge of what was in the offing. Upon reaching the Secretariat Blocks, we were ushered in by staff of the Ministry of Youth Development. Mallam Bolaji Abdullai came in afterwards to address us. I met a couple of known faces and felt at home. Then some 'brothers' came in to protest that they too wanted to 'go'. It was

‘It was an elated crowd of young people as we stood still, singing the National Anthem. While I am not a fan of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, I knew I had the responsibility as a patriotic Nigerian to respect the office of the President of Nigeria’ amid this confusion that I overheard someone mention that we were going to the Villa. I asked myself rhetorically, which Villa? The Presidential Villa, of course, I thought to myself. I silently had to put a phone call to my elder brother to tell him what was about to happen. I told him I was about to meet the sitting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. After a brief address by the Minister, I confirmed that the Commonwealth bodies, the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) and the Nigerian Youth Parliament (NYP) were going on the trip. As members of the Nigerian Youth Parliament (NYP), we chose Halima Mohammed representing Bauchi South Senatorial District and Chukwuemerie Nwaeze of Ebonyi South Senatorial District to speak on our behalf. All these took a while, and

the time was 8pm. We got into coaster buses and moved through the Presidential Villa, of course, we went through many gates and security checks before arriving at the Banquet Hall into the waiting hands of Emeka Wogu, Minister of Labour; Labaran Maku, Minister of Information; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance; Director-General of the Debt Management Office and a host of government functionaries. I had a chat with President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Mohammed Dauda and other comrades. I relished my moments at the "revered Aso Rock." As we got seated I wasted no time consuming the apples that were served. Then, President Goodluck Jonathan came in, at exactly five minutes past nine, flanked by Vice-President Namadi Sambo and the Chief

of Staff to the President. It was an elated crowd of young people as we stood still, singing the National Anthem. I spared a thought for the majority of Nigerian youths who yearn for this opportunity of meeting key stakeholders like the ones I was about dining with. After the introductions, my president suggested we have our dinner before any discussion and we agreed. I had wanted to take Iyan with Egusi soup. But I couldn't find it on the menu that night. So, I took rice instead. Later, we settled down to discuss our business at the Villa which was the deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry. A presentation was made by Professor Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and I couldn't help but notice her grey hairs, and signature headgear. Afterwards, a session of

By Ademola Adeyeye

questions followed. The interactive session ended later and closing remarks. After the President's exit, we waited for buses to convey us to our Capitol Lake Hotel at Jabi. While I am not a fan of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, I knew I had the responsibility as a patriotic Nigerian to respect the office of the President of Nigeria. Ademola, 500-Level Crop Production and Protection, OAU

Benefits of education UMAN capital theory emphasises the role of education in enhancing the productive capacities of individuals. A contrasting view of education is the signaling model. According to this theory, education may act as a signal of the productive capacity of individuals. Central to this theory is the importance of imperfect information. In their hiring decisions, employers are imperfectly informed about the capabilities of potential employees. They, therefore, use education as a signal of a new hire's productivity. If these beliefs are subsequently confirmed by actual experience, employers will continue to use education as a signal. Thus, employers will offer higher wages to more educated workers. Facing a positive relationship between education and wages, individuals will have an incentive to invest in education.


One important factor in the creation of inequality is variation in individuals' access to education. Education, especially in an area where there is a high demand for workers, creates high wages for those with requisite skills. As a result, those who are unable to afford an education, or choose not to pursue optional education, generally receive lower wages. During the mass high school education movement from 1910-1940, there was an increase in skilled workers which led to a decrease in the price of skilled labour. High school education during the period was designed to equip students with necessary skills to be able to perform at work. In fact, it differs from the present high school education, which is regarded as a stepping stone to acquire college and advanced degrees. This decrease in wages caused a period of compression and de-

creased inequality between skilled and unskilled workers. The contribution of primary education to economic development is greater than how it has conventionally been perceived. This review of recent research shows that primary education increases labour productivity in both urban and rural sectors, and that the economic returns to such investment are high. In addition, it improves health and nutrition, and promotes other behavioural and attitudinal changes which are helpful to economic development. Investment strategies which give primary schooling an important place would be more conducive of growth-with-equity than many alternatives. This study surveys the empirical literature on the growth effects of education and social capital. The main focus is on the cross-country evidence for the Organisation for

Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, but the paper also reviews evidence from labour economics, to clarify where empirical work on education using macro data may be relatively useful. It is argued that on balance, the recent cross-country evidence points to productivity benefits of education that are at least as large as those identified by labour economists. The paper also discusses the implications of this finding. Finally, the paper reviews the emerging literature on the benefits of social capital. Since this literature is still in its early days, policy conclusions are harder to find. Besides obtaining education in schools and at the universities, one can always get some additional education by attending various courses or learn something new regardless of what their main vocation is. Abiodun, 100-Level Mass Comm., CALEB UNIVERSITY

By Abiodun Ogunnubi