I cover my face in shame sharing this. Nigeria, a nation with huge resources is clogged in the wheels of corruption. Apparently, we all knew that APC as a party may not deliver the goodies, but some of us rooted for President Muhammadu Buhari as a promising individual contender that can get the DAMN JOB DONE, in the last presidential poll. Fast forward to the present, Baba don fall our hands big time o. And I begin to wonder: what the heck is wrong with this country for goodness sake?
Just 2 years ago, he was the last man standing. He was the best foot any sensible person will put forward. Today, even the most die-hard fan of his, then, will tell you otherwise, now. Docile, ineptitude, and other big big words are what we name-called the previous administration. I’m sure you are now armed again (just like me) with negative words to describe the government of Mr. Buhari.
Let me come back to the crux of this yarn: corruption. Economically and humanitarianly, I’m afraid for Nigeria. We are not faring well at all. What is it about Nigeria that has defied or eluded successive regime in transforming the fortune of this country? Corruption is the number one enemy! “If we don’t kill kwaraption, kwaraption will kill Nigeria,” even Buhari himself said so.
My attention is humanitarian crisis or better yet, economic downturn may befall Nigeria if we don’t do something about corruption. For over 2 decades we had a wind fall and consistent sale of crude oil translating to billions, if not more than that. Not minding the future, not minding the fate of the unborn generation, we squandered everything. No meaningful transformation.
Mind disturbing was when David Cameron, former British Prime Minister said, if the kind of corruption perpetrated by government officials in Nigeria was done in Britain, Britain as country will no longer exist. That is to tell you how weighty, how colossal the kind of corruption perpetrated in one country called Nigeria. The saving grace to this has been a consistent inflow of oil revenue. It gave us a watertight protection.
However, in the present dispensation or in the current global oil market, oil is no longer lucrative. The world is shifting from hydrocarbon to clean energy. The emphasis is now on GREEN—green energy. Due to the depletion of the ozone layer by human activities such as bush burning, burning of fossil fuel etc., which has hazardous effect on global climate, countries of the world are now leveraging on advancement in technology to find a solution to their energy need. China, France, Germany, England, United States and some other Western countries have already proposed a timeframe to stop usage of hydrocarbon energy, yet many of our politicians are unaware of this future reality. They are completely oblivious of the implication of low patronage of our number one source of revenue.
The consequence of not properly managing our resources may tell severely in the nearest future. Mismanagement of resources brought the economy of Greece to her knees. They could no longer pay pensioners. They became borrowers. They were humiliated in the European Union. It should interest you that the Nigerian government owes National Pension Commission (PENCOM) a lot of money to the tune of billions. In the next 10 years if something drastic was not done, the Nigerian State may become defective in paying pension rights of senior citizens of this country due to corruption, dysfunctional policies and bad leadership.
Mismanagement of a lucrative natural resource like the crude oil brought humanitarian crisis to Venezuela. One fundamental observation in the case of Venezuela is practically leadership. Before the demise of their charismatic president, Hugo Chavez, things were going smoothly. They prospered economically. Chavez to an extent astutely employed proceeds from crude oil sale to transform his country. He was highly revered in his country. One Nicolas Maduro took over after him and completely messed up the effort of his predecessor. Today, their economy has collapsed. No food to eat. They are basically sourcing for food across border. Poor management of resources and bad leadership characterized their great fall from grace to grass.
The Venezuela story is relative to the Nigeria situation. Thus, some disappointed minds in Nigeria question the essence of having crude oil with no substantial benefit (the living standard of Nigerians is barely affected).They labeled crude oil as a curse. Meanwhile, countries like Scotland, Norway, Qatar, UAE, just to mention a few saw it as a blessing. Countries of the world with sane leadership are already experiencing heaven on earth with their comparative economic advantage, the Nigerian-State is waiting for when we get to heaven before we can enjoy or have a feel of heaven. Nawa o. Oil money transformed the fortune of the aforementioned countries, but here in Nigeria, it has brought poverty, pain, crisis, to many, due to mishandling of crude oil proceeds. So, who will get the damn job done? Is there anyone left on the log after Buhari? Who is your best bet to clean Nigeria’s Augean Stable come 2019? We are already late.
(Grudgingly) Happy Independence Day!
Mr_Odunayo Bankole is a multimedia professional. His brand of journalism is both liberal and conservative. A broadcast major, he is very passionate about online journalism and digital media. Feedback—firstname.lastname@example.org