Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Nigeria, This Is Madness!


"Most times I wonder whether our leaders have human brains or that of goats. The Nigerian government is like the proverbial landlord whose house is on fire but is busy chasing rats. It high time we remove the plank first from our eyes, before we try to remove it from others!"
Many Nigerians and businesses must have been miffed and surprised to know that two West African countries, Benin Republic and Togo, are currently being supplied with electricity through the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) by the Federal Government.

This is stupid!

This supply of  electricity to Togo and Benin Republic has a cruel irony. It sputters in the face of current epileptic power supply in Nigeria. It is coming at a time Nigeria and its citizens are facing perhaps the worst power supply crisis in years. Electricity is central to development in every country.

The persisting power outages in Nigeria has crippled businesses, and accounted for prohibitive costs of locally manufactured goods. Many households have also suffered untold hardships. With Nigeria's plan to supply electricity to Benin Republic and Togo.

Such charity makes better sense if it starts from home. Starting such magnanimity from outside our shores is a rather cruel irony that ridicules a nation in the eyes of the outside world.

Most times I wonder whether our leaders have human brains or that of goats. The Nigerian government is like the proverbial landlord whose house is on fire but is busy chasing rats. It high time we remove the plank first from our eyes, before we try to remove it from others!

Despite huge natural resources and vast tracts of arable land, Nigeria, sub-Saharan Africa s second largest economy and the continent's most populous nation, largely relies on imports because of epileptic power supply. We import almost everything, from the important items such as food and medicines to the frivolous ones such as toothpick and razor blade. We have become a classical importer nation.

Nigeria is the only country in the world that has oil wells without a single working refinery. Nigeria's proven oil reserves are estimated to be 36 billion barrels; natural gas reserves are well over 100 trillion cubic feet. Yet fuel and gas are still being imported to Nigeria till today. We have cotton but no single textile company. We have cement but still import cement.

There are many unresolved problems in Nigeria, but the issue of the upsurge of mismanagement and corruption is troubling. And the damages it has done to the polity are astronomical. The menace of corruption leads to slow movement of files in offices, police extortion tollgates and slow traffics on the highways, port congestion, queues at passport offices and gas stations, ghost workers syndrome, election irregularities, among others. Even the mad people on the street recognize the havoc caused by corruption - the funds allocated for their welfare disappear into the thin air. Thus, it is believed by many in the society that corruption is the bane of Nigeria. Consequently, the issue keeps reoccurring in every academic and informal discussion in Nigeria. And the issue will hardly go away!

Our leaders are so corrupt and they pretend that they are fighting corruption. Until we get some people executed in this country, we can’t get anywhere in the fight against corruption. Corruption stares us in the face and we are not fighting corruption the way we need to do it. Ghana made sacrifice with 13 of their leaders executed. We need to do something like that too to make progress as a nation. Those milking us dry in this country are not up to 5,000. We are a country of over 140 million and we can afford to loose just a few thousands to get Nigeria going forward.