Monday, October 3, 2016

Why Nigeria doesn't work

I remember when I was younger, the few times I ever pondered on the mystery that is my country. I remember asking myself so many times why things do not work.
I watch a lot of movies, read a few books and never once do I hear it mentioned that countries have problems like light, infrastructure, good road network etc.
My mum visited Australia early last year and she regaled me with stories of good light, running water, paved roads and so on. This is a country that started out as a prison colony. Hearing her stories threw me into deep introspection and I asked the age long question I'd been asking for years. Why don't things here work?
A friend on Facebook narrated his awful experience on the Lagos Ibadan express road. How he spent hours in traffic. As he told his story he made reference to the recently discovered stinker of the former first lady who had over 31million dollars in a domiciliary account. Where does a first lady with no known business get that kind of money?
When we convert that to naira its a hefty sum which would be more than enough to fix the express way making it a joy for commuters. But of course our leaders will not do that.
My dad who is a politician, albeit not a very successful one (this I think is cos he is one of the few honest politicians in the business of politics, which is why he gets nothing when positions come up and gets sidelined more often that not). Well not to digress, he just returned from the governorship primaries holding in Ondo State.
According to him, most candidates spent over a billion naira minimum. I was flabbergasted when I heard. If they could spend that much on a friggin primary how much do they intend to spend on the election itself.
I sank deeper into my depressed thoughts as I pondered on this new bit of information.
And then a light bulb lit up in my head. Now I understood why they entered public office and spent most of their tenure doing little or nothing. If you spent such insane amounts to win an election it's only fair to assume you aren't doing it out of the goodness of your heart. From a business perspective, you'd most certainly want to recoup your investment. So they spend the first couple of years diverting funds and looting to get back their money plus interest before they even begin to try and rule the teeming masses.
They say Nigeria is in a recession. Even so I am not convinced there isn't enough money to go round and better the country if people will use the money judiciously.
Our amiable governor owes six months salary and instead of feeling shamed by it he and his sycophants go on every government controlled radio stations to sing praises to themselves on the sweet seven years of rulership he has done so well.... But he hasnt.
Workers are not paid, infrastructure is on the verge of collapse and people all over the country are starving.
Today, we've had electriciy for one out of twenty four hours. If one person can have $30mil in one account, how many others have just as much? Money that could be ploughed back to fix the ailing economy.
We hear stories of the antigraft agencies recovering stolen loot but no one knows where this recovered money is. Or even where it goes
In the papers yesterday they discovered one former governor had 48 houses traced to him. Forty eight houses!!! A public servant who I don't think had that big of a fortune when he entered office.
I am older now and I see much clearer. I know why Nigeria doesn't work. Because those that are in charge of it don't want it to work. May God help us  

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