From: David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
A major player in the oil industry and Chairman, Chief Executive Officer of KM Oil & Gas Limited, Anambra State, Ichie Kenneth Maduakor, on Thursday, in Nnewi, said that Nigerians in South Africa should see the xenophobic attacks in that country as an opportunity to pull their resources back home and develop Nigeria.
He noted that since after the attacks more Nigerians were being deported from South Africa, it would not make sense for Nigerians to continue to build the economy of a country that did not need them.
Maduakor reasoned that if any Nigerian in South Africa was doing a legal and sustainable business in that country such a business idea or work experience should be brought back home to develop the nation. He saw the attacks as a slight on Nigeria as a nation “and the best way to address it is for all Nigerians in South Africa to come back home.”
He said even though there could be some bad eggs amongst Nigerians living in South Africa that it would not be enough for the rest of Nigerian immigrants there to suffer the kind of humiliation meted to them by the host country. He wondered the wealth Nigerians could make in South Africa which they could not make at home, if they so desired.
On the fight against corruption in Nigeria, the oil magnate said he did not see any genuine fight against corruption when the refineries were not working, prices of commodities remained skyrocketed and cost of living soaring high to the detriment of the Nigerian poor masses.
He explained that the barometer to determine whether the corruption war was on course or not would be to compare the present dispensation with the past administration and see whether Nigerians were better off. Ichie Maduakor argued that there is no way you could convince an average Nigerian that you are fighting corruption whereas he is under sever economic hardship, saying that something urgently has to be done about it.
“Who is fighting corruption. What is corruption. Where are they fighting it. There is corruption everywhere. Go to oil industry, name them. This regime is collapsing. Until these questions are answered, I will never believe there is any fight against corruption,” he argued.
He justified the presidency for not disclosing the ailment of President Muhammadu Buhari since, according to him, Mr President was entitled to some level of secrecy. He said those who were making President Buhari’s ill health an issue were doing so mischievously since anybody could fall sick anytime. He insisted that it would be inhuman for anybody to wish Buhari dead.
On the Bill going on in the Anambra State House of Assembly to make a law that would order relocation of filling stations away from residential buildings, Maduakor described it as a wrong step in the wrong direction. He said what the lawmakers should rather do was to enact a law on safety measures. He noted that among the safety measures was to direct fuel tanker drivers not to exceed 40 kilometres per hour speed limit while plying through residential locations.