From Iheanacho Nwosu, Abuja Two years to the 2019 general election, the Action Democratic Party (ADP) has announced the zoning of its presidential ticket to the North while South-East will produce the vice president. Rising from a meeting of its National Working Committee (NWC) chaired by the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Yabagi Sani and…
One of the dictionary meanings of joke is a person or thing that is ridiculously inadequate. And show me, is Nigeria adequate? What is adequate about and in Nigeria? Our health system is a joke. President Muhammadu Buhari banned medical tourism on his assumption of power, but when he took ill, he found the nation’s health institutions so incompetent that he had to seek help abroad.
Our transportation is a joke. Stakeholders have been warning lately of the imminent collapse of the country’s aviation industry. Is road transportation any better? What about road network? Ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo started second Niger Bridge. More than 10 years after, the bridge is still under construction. I just learnt that RCC, the contractors handling the Sagamu-Ibadan segment of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway reconstruction have moved out of site. The road rehab began with its ceding to a concessionaire in 2009. The concession failed and was terminated in 2012. Government has ever since been struggling to complete the reconstruction. Other major roads across the country have not fared better. Is our education system not a joke? We have more school age children out of school than in school and more children who desire higher education at home than in tertiary institutions. Our agriculture? We rely on foreigners to produce what we eat, only just realizing that we can’t continue to survive on foreign food. Isn’t our security system a joke? Ibrahim Idris, Inspector-General of Police, last Tuesday said the Nigeria Police Force required N1.13 trillion annually to effectively fulfill its obligations. That figure is about 15 percent of the 2017 budget. Since providing such huge funding for the police alone is a mirage, why then won’t criminal elements continue to kill, maim and terrorise us?
What about our economy? We are constantly assured by the current government that we are being led to buoyancy but renowned economist, Henry Boyo said successive governments had led Nigerians on this false belief that their yearly budgets would transform the economy. In a recent interview Boyo dismissed false expectation thus: “We all recognise that the issue of power is paramount for development. And it has been variously speculated that to get the power sector right will still cost us $100 billion even though we have spent close to $30 billion or more in the last 10 years starting from the Obasanjo administration. So, our entire budget in 2017 is N7.3 trillion, which is only about $22 billion. So, if we spend the whole of the 2017 budget on power alone, we still have not met our power requirements. Not only that, we still have not taken care of our healthcare, education, transportation, water and our other needs because power has taken up all the allocations. You find that if you depend on a budget of N7.3 trillion or $22 billion to change your life, you make a fool of yourself. Out of that $22 billion, $14 billion is recurrent expenditure. So, it’s really going to add very little to your life. And what is even expected to add something to your life is possibly the N2 trillion plus capital expenditure. When you convert that, you are talking about just $5 billion. Meanwhile, power alone needs about $100 billion. Why then should you hope that the budget that contains $5 billion for active capital use will transform your life especially when you know that 50 per cent of that $5 billion is going to be stolen anyhow? So, isn’t it stupid for any Nigerian to think the budget will change his/her life?”
Need I add political leadership system to complete the joke? Unfortunately, the biggest joke is that we don’t realize the absurdity of our situation, let alone agreeing on the solution.
I’m not amused. None of us should, that our country is a laughing stock in spite of its huge potentials.
But for how long are we going to continue this comedy show?
Re: Restructuring for one Nigeria
The fly that refused to listen goes into the grave with the coffin. We are a mere federation in name. Nigerians travel all over the world and know what federation is in practice but we pretend and say “we are peculiar”. We know the truth. What makes Texas different in USA? What did our Republican constitution provide for the federation before the military ruined the federation?
Let each state control its resources, take its VAT, if any one wants to practice law, medicine etc, let him or her take the state’s exam and get licensed to practice. That is what obtains in a federation. What makes a man an oil sheikh? Isn’t it because oil is found in his backyard? Let us keep deceiving ourselves. Where is USSR? Bury the 2014 conference report, change school curriculum and phase out CRK. Time is ticking away and only time will tell what Nigeria will become. –Tony Enyinta, Isuikwuato Abia State.
Abdulfatah, without pretence or servitude, your consistency at saying the truth on every issue concerning Nigeria’s problems and offering solutions to them show how concerned you are about peace, stability and unity of Nigeria. In advanced climes, continuum principle in governance is sacrosanct. An incoming government completes whatever project its predecessor left behind because most of those leftovers had passed through consensus of NASS and Presidency. The 2014 national conference report might not have been so treated, to give it life, but it has the consensus of Nigerian citizens, by the nature of its sound representation of respectable Nigerians from all the states and other stakeholders. Decision of such a forum cannot be wished away by any enlightened successor, no matter what. Buhari has not been pretentious about his disinterest in the conference report based on his “we were not part of it” statement he makes consistently on conference, as reported by some media men.
What a permissive reaction to a sensitive national issue by a prominent leader! Now the chips are down with Nigerians calling for restructuring of the country and presidency is numb on it by failing to respond urgently to Senate’s request for a copy of 2014 national conference report.
To a discerning mind, restructuring Nigeria to tested cost-effective parliamentary system, is the best option to save her from disintegration without an avoidable senseless war. Acting President Osinbajo’s peaceful resolution drive is commendable but he has to be prompt in response to issues such as restructuring of Nigeria, which dangles the flag of war on the mountain of subsequent disintegration of Nigeria. Meanwhile Nigerians should avoid infuriating words against one another, on ethnic lines, that could breed chaos. God save Nigeria, Amen. –Lai Ashadele.
Abdulfatah, your intervention on this vexed issue of the restructuring of our federation has come at a very appropriate time. Any well-meaning Nigerian after witnessing the spate of agitations across the nation knows that the only solution for now and even permanently, is restructuring. The basis for revenue generation and its sharing method is the most acrimonious. The powers given to the federal government to gather all the revenue that belongs to the entire federation and to share it in a manner that is disadvantageous to the states where the revenue is generated never speaks well of our federation. This goes against the spirit of fairness. The greatest drawback of this skewed system is that it gave rise to this corruption scourge ravaging the nation because it leaves the center with huge amount of money it has no need for while the states where the people reside are starved of necessary funds. It is a widely held view that if the states or regions are allowed to harness the resources in their domain, pay the agreed tax to the center and keep the rest for their development based on the needs of their people, governments at that level will be challenged to be creative and accountable to the people that elected them. With more revenue to the regions, the center will automatically devolve most of the unnecessary responsibilities it currently shoulders to them. In this manner, all the component units will feel wanted and involved in the Nigerian project. Thanks.
Sir, you have touched the very area I am waiting for a long time. Please sir, permit me to ask this question. ls there any pay or reward for any country that is highly populated in Africa or in the whole World? lf not, why not allow any part who wants to go? Russia was like Nigeria before they split. Cameroon was part of Nigeria before. Restructuring has been the order of the day from all tribes but monsters in power bent head to say NO.
Those calling for restructuring mean well for Nigeria but are we going to restructure our leaders who steal tax payers’ money meant for development. Before we talk of restructuring we must re-orientate ourselves on character thinking. Even if we restructure Nigeria today some groups will still complaint of not carrying them along. Past leaders who are calling for restructuring of Nigeria, why didn’t they restructure it in their own time? –Gordon Chika Nnorom, Umukabia
Re: Our billionaire kidnapper and his ilk
Thank you very much Abdulfatah for the concise approach you adopted while discussing the menace of kidnappings in Nigeria today.
It is very disturbing that the aberration that started out as an activity engaged in by frustrated miscreants or those seeking revenge which occurred once in a while across the country in the past, has now become a huge industry so profitable that the players in it own choice properties in high brow areas of our major cities and even abroad to the extent that ransom is now collected in dollars.
It is very painful that some Nigerians have decided that the only way they delight in making a living is by inflicting eternal wound on innocent and hardworking persons. But because it is a venture cursed by God and man, it should not be allowed to continue in this manner.
It is the duty of our law enforcement agencies to go after them and halt this misery this people are inflicting on their victims and their families. While we commend the police for ending Evans’ terror reign, I urge them to do more as many Nigerians even as I write now, are in the dens of these wicked people, including the Lagos schoolchildren.