By Adewale Sanyaolu Despite being a country with the second largest deposit of bitumen in the world, Nigeria, according to Foraminifera, a marketing and research firm, spends about N2 billion yearly on importation of asphalt, a derivative of bitumen. The occurrence of bitumen deposits in Nigeria is twice the amount of existing reserves of crude…
Last week brought us good news from Abuja about a document the government released on how the country would bounce back to prosperity from a dwindled economy that imposed unspeakable hardship on the masses.
It was good at least that the government heeded the long call of the citizens that they give us a direction on how the economy heals and how they would work towards getting it done. Even though the document came late, it is ok it did come at last. Now it is here, the major issue that is even more tasking than just putting figures in book faces us. It’s the implementation. All those digits we saw on GDP growth rates between 2017 and 2020, job creation figures, and many more are just numbers allocated by some human beings seated in an office. The growth rate figures would have been anything and any figure because it doesn’t take any effort to scribble on a paper that we intend to grow the GDP to N85tr. So it does not suffice to inform us that your plan is to create some millions of jobs without getting it done.
While Nigerians asked for a guiding document on what to pursue or work towards, they didn’t just ask for figures on paper. But that does not also rule out the possibility that the government has some plans already somewhere which it would unfurl as the days come. For now, and for today, the APC government runs a Spoils System where everyone conceived as not a member of the party and from a particular region of the country is an outsider and deserves not even a suggestion.
The President Muhammadu Buhari administration is grossly Fulaninised and even narrowed down to the Katsinanisation creed. This is a government that has no record of dialogue, until few weeks ago that the Vice President engaged in a shuttle of some troubled states. It is a government whose mantra is travelling abroad instead of travelling within the country to know what the citizen’s headache is, and every time the foreign trips are embarked upon, one outrageous thing or another is pronounced that inflames frenzies and causes more panic.
If there is anything this country could boast of, it is preponderance of expertise, and our government doesn’t feel like inviting such experts either at home or abroad to help in rescuing the nation and taking it on the track of progress. A government that boasts without restraint that it cannot and can never leave the people that gave it 95 per cent of the votes and consider outsiders that gave her 5 per cent votes is not in touch with reality and can never get it right until it finds a way of carrying along everyone. And even among the 95 per cent that voted it, according to its mathematics, 95 per cent of the benefits have gone to mostly voters from the same area of the country as the president and even the reputed human resource less developed or advantaged states. Any government that believes that only a people from a part of the country have all it takes for the nation to move on the path of progress has got it wrong and can never go right until such policy changes and that is the reason we are stuck in the worst economic crises of our history, akin to the woes of a country at war.
We cherish the document on recovery plans and wait for the implementation that would be a departure from this narrow system that doesn’t work. This week, the Federal Government announced a probe of the loss of the chairmanship of a major Commission of the Africa Union. Point is that Nigeria holds no position in the AU of which it is one of the major financiers. And the blame game has been on because the woman Nigeria presented, who is rumoured to be a daughter of the president’s Chief of Staff was the least qualified and reason she lost. Today, they all deny affinity of the woman with the powerful man in Aso Villa. But the fact has already consolidated that we lost the slot and got none at all. It is the same Spoils System that has no place for merit or for outsiders who are also Nigerians, no matter how good they are. From time, we are aware that Nigerianness has been a parochially defined concept but it’s at its worst today.
We are yet to have replacement for the ambassadors who were withdrawn in 2015. It took us about six months to come up with a ministerial list of people we already know among whom 98 per cent were the same recycled old persons. This is 22 months of the government in power and boards of government agencies are not in existence. Then, who manages the country, who runs or implements the economic agenda without these things in place?
What is the assurance that setting up the implementation structure of this recovery plan won’t take another two years and before we discuss the proper work, that would become another campaign issue in 2019 that we should repeat the CHANGE gamble, so that when they return to power they commence implementation. If that happens, as many have been boasting that, with or without Buhari, the presidency is the birthright of the north till 2023, where is the hope that anything would be done about this document that sounds so exciting to read?
Magu, just go!
Paragraph 14 of the DSS letter on Ibrahim Magu stated: “In the light of the foregoing, Magu has failed the integrity test and will eventually constitute a liability to the anti-corruption stand of the current government.” That was on October 3, 2016.
Again, on Wednesday, the Senate got another letter restating the same facts. So, what should the Senate have done than what it did? Their voice vote rejected Magu and so, he has to go. I get really disappointed when Nigerians elevate an officer to an office. It’s hypocrisy.
It was another ridiculous show with the Magu issue when people started the sloganeering that the Senate rejecting Magu was a setback and frustration of the anti-corruption fight. I ask a loud HOW? Is Magu so indispensable that unless he is there, EFCC won’t work? Is his name EFCC, was EFCC set up for an entity called Magu?
Magu, kindly leave. It’s not a must for you to head the EFCC and there are so many other Nigerians that can be there and I don’t want to suggest who you refund all the money you have made in that office because the report says you have been a liability to the agency.