KOKO: Where are you coming from that you are sweating like a Christmas goat?
Kaka: I’ve been house-hunting all day.
Koko: You are looking for another accommodation or planning to become an estate agent?
Kaka: I am looking for suitable accommodation for a school?
Koko: Ok, out with it. Who wants to start a school?
Kaka: I am starting a Chinese school.
Koko: To teach Chinese cuisine or what? What is going on, do you have malaria?
Kaka: So, it is people who have malaria who start schools. Maybe you can’t recognise opportunities when they are sitting on your doorstep but not me. When President Buhari returns from China with a busload of Chinese, Nigerians will have to learn Mandarin and that is what my school will specialise in.
Koko: Eh eh eh, Professor Kaka, first President Buhari has returned and he did not bring a busload of Chinese with him. Secondly, Chinese also speak English .
Kaka: Don’t worry, the Chinese will be arriving by ship soon.
Koko: Why are they not coming by air?
Kaka: Air tickets cost too much and don’t make Chinese sense.
Koko: Chinese sense indeed. So, where will you recruit your Chinese teachers who will be teaching Nigerians from?
Kaka: They will be arriving on the first ship.
Koko: Have you thought of the heavy accent of a Chinese teacher teaching an Ibadan woman or Nnewi trader and the kind of confusion that will follow breakdown of communication in your classrooms? It will make neither Nigerian nor Chinese sense to start a third world war in a school.
Kaka: Don’t worry your bald head over things that you do not understand. This is a major support initiative by a patriotic Nigerian who wants President Buhari to succeed.
Koko: Chaaaiii, dere is God ooo. I put it to you, Prof Kaka, that this Chinese school is a desperate business initiative by a broke Nigerian desperate to make a quick buck. Did you not already admit that you saw an opportunity sitting on your doorstep…
Kaka: Oook, that’s enough. We shall be providing a big service for a little fee.
Koko: Just don’t go and rent a big space.
Kaka: Why not? You don’t believe that this business will grow?
Koko: Hmmm, just remember that Chinese joke…
Kaka: Which Chinese joke?
Koko: The one about the Chinese baby that died…., that Chinese things don’t last.
Kaka: Prophet of doom. This Chinese baby will live to a ripe old age and shame bad people. This new initiative by the President is going to work, you’ll see.
Koko: Yeah right. But it is not a new initiative really. Both former President Obasanjo and Jonathan were in China too.
Kaka: Those ones only went to do massage jare. They didn’t bring back the business.
Koko: Rubbish, why would a Nigerian President go all the way to China for a massage when he can have a dozen masseuse at once?
Kaka: (whispering). You obviously have not heard of the proclivities of the Chinese masseuse. I hear they do things to a man that makes him want to keep going back.
Koko: Hmmmph, rumours spread to make the Chinese masseuse look special.
Kaka: Bad bele. I’m thinking I should add ‘Chinese Massage’ to my school curriculum.
Koko: Good for you. I suggest you also employ teachers that will teach your shipload of Chinese students how to speak Fulfude, Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa.
Kaka: Awesome, fantastic idea, my friend. Maybe you should become my consultant on this project or even Special Adviser.
Koko: Please leave me out of this hare-brained project. I do not even believe it will get off the ground.
Kaka: Don’t be so pessimistic. We need to believe in ourselves and do whatever we need to do to rescue our nation from this recession.
Koko: And you think handing over the economy to the Chinese is the antidote to this sickness eating away our country? It is a snake bite, for crying out loud!
Kaka: The snake is not a deadly one, so you need to calm down. China will give us the antidote.
Koko: The arrangement is suspicious. I heard that the deal does not mean the loan money will come into Nigeria. How can you say you have given me a loan when I will never see the money? What kind of loan is that?
Kaka: Look on the bright side, not seeing the money protects us from the temptation of stealing it. You know how our system works, you appropriate money for an airport and before you can say Mandarin there are 10 different committees and 12 consultants on that one project. By the time you are ready to move to site, the money is gone, all spent on all kinds of consultants and experts. This Chinese way will protect the money from disappearing into the pockets of evil people.
Koko: In other words, there are no evil people or consultants in China? Have you not heard that Chinese contractors do not complete their contracts and we will still be indebted to them whether they complete the jobs or not?
Kaka: Mitcheeew. Do Nigerian contractors finish their jobs? Aren’t there uncompleted projects all over the country?
Koko: At least, when Nigerian contractors steal Nigerian money, they spend it in Nigeria. They marry new wives, acquire new concubines, they take new chieftaincy titles and throw lavish parties. That way the loot goes round. From the supplier of the ‘aso-ebi’ to the caterer, everybody gets something. These Chinese people will further worsen an already bad situation.
Kaka: Don’t also forget that your people also employ bodyguards, thugs, buy guns for their thugs and generally mess up everywhere with blood and violence.
Koko: Guns are not manufactured in Nigeria. That’s just international trade.
Kaka: See, it is people like you who led us into this hole, this ditch and getting out of it is what China is coming to help us do.
Koko: In your dreams, you are seeing Nigeria out of this ditch, right? Well, let me tell you, dreams are not reality. A man sitting in a ditch and dreaming of the castles he will build will wake up and still find himself in the ditch. The way to get out of the ditch is to get out of the ditch, not move from one ditch to another,
Kaka: You are so pessimistic today. But the president cannot just sit in his office, sip green tea and do nothing. Meanwhile, the old things we have done for ages have not helped us.
Koko: I agree we have to do something new but we first must acknowledge our problem before we can solve it.
Kaka: And what is our problem?
Koko: Import dependency. Importing China and Chinese will not turn us into an exporting nation. It will not take away our trade deficits and imbalances.
Kaka: What do you now suggest, wise one?
Koko: That we revisit our budgeting system.
Kaka: Don’t even go there. We have visited and revisited the budget so much we are likely going to end up budget-less this year.
Koko: When you had a budget-full year in 2015, what did it fetch us? If every budget has taken us farther and farther into this ditch of depression, must we continue to use that same system?
Kaka: Are you by any chance suggesting we run this country without a budget?
Koko: I’m suggesting we stop pretending that we have resources to run all our sectors and ministries from one budget, year in year out. It is not working. All we are trying to do is force an impotent man to make love to a woman. Both of them will get bruised and nothing will be achieved.
Kaka: You will have to expatiate on that impotent man theory.
Koko: Every year we allocate money to education, sports, health, works, power, airports, waterways…everything. Everybody ends up getting inadequate funds. Everybody starts what they can’t finish or divert the funds to other things since it is not enough to do what the ministry or the department wants.
The following year we repeat the same fruitless strategy, planting beans in the swamp. Tell me, what kind of person plants beans in the swamp?
Kaka: A foolish man.
Koko: What kind of person forces an impotent man to drill the oil well of a hot-blooded 25-year-old woman?
Kaka: An absolutely stupid person.
Koko: What kind of man first cures the impotence before bidding for a drilling licence from a beautiful woman’s family?
Kaka: A smart man with his head screwed on right.
Koko: Good. How about we focus on two or three critical sectors per year per budget instead of foolishly appropriating peanuts for everything and getting nothing? How about we pump all our resources into power, agriculture and mining this year, for instance, instead of attempting to build rails, road and bridges that we cannot and will not finish under this administration?
Koko: You are right. We can start tackling our import dependency by creating a mining industry, establishing massive farms, supporting agriculture in every way and installing processing plants that will export what we mine and plant while at the same time doing whatever will make power sector work.
Kaka: That is what makes sense, not running all over the place like a headless chicken. Next year, we can move into rails and education and invest massively there.
Koko: But the constitution says…
Kaka: There you go again. Those laws didn’t protect you from becoming beggars in China. Keep scratching your itch and ignore the leprosy, Nigeria will soon be begging that odd one in North Korea for loan.