Prior to now, we were having an intense little (albeit one sided ) discussion about the power sector, and I stopped it half way to let you ponder on the facts I presented and hopefully, give me some feedback.
Never, throughout the annals of Nigerian history, has it been established that a consignment of loot, brought back from wherever the looters and pillagers stile it and took it to, has had a direct impact on the economy. Not the Abacha loot, and certainly not the Deziani loot. Despite the fantastic amounts that are reported to have been returned, all we hear are reports of foreign debt going higher and higher. Just days after reportedly retrieving a cache of money allegedly stolen and stashed away by Deziani Allison-Madueke, El Presidente, the Grand Patron of the Fools from Hades known as the Foolani Hadesmen, was asking the National Assembly to permit him to borrow another fantastic amount from China.
Where does this borrowed money go? Where does retrieved loot go? After all the talk of a Treasury Single Account, why does it seem like the nation has two separate stomachs, one which swallows loot and never brings it back up. Or is the retrieved loot sent to a special account to fund estacode for the President’s many nomadic jaunts? God knows his trips alone have generated enough estacode to make a billionaire in Naira at least. If e could not afford a presidential nomination form before, it will not be a problem anymore.
For those who do not know, whenever our esteemed leader, President Muhammadu Okongwu Imi-anwuru Okechukwu Buhari (igbo explanation required) escapes from the country on one of the many trips he takes to indulge his sokugo (wanderlust), he takes along with him a horde of aides and staff, who are paid a special allowance because they travelled on “National Assignment”. I can understand about Mpa nnukwu, being that he is a nomad, and for him, travelling is a “natural assignment”, but these other members of the presidential contingent, can they not be reduced or streamlined?
During the campaigns and the build up to the 2015 general elections, the Grand Patron of Miyeti Allah was famously said to have complained about the high cost of governance, and how running the country was needlessly expensive. Almost two years down the line, none of the promised streamlining has happened, government is still allegedly expensive, nobody has taken a salary cut, and business is still on as usual. To make things worse, despite the fantastic amount (3.8 billion naira) allocated for the medical centre at Aso rock, ostensibly to reduce the incidences of medical tourism that is the escape route of many a politician to siphon funds, we know the result of that. Nothing has changed, in fact, as I write this to you now, the nation’s number one citizen (that status is indeterminate, what with the icing sugar commissioner being in an acting capacity) is in a hospital, far away in the United Kingdom, costing the taxpayers of our dear nation hundreds of thousands of naira on a daily basis, expenses we can not afford, being that the country is in a recession, and the value of the naira compared to the British pound is enough to make a grown man cry.
The sad truth is that the problem we face as a country is not limited to the health sector. Pick a sector you like, any sector. Judge its current state. Then, visualize the expenses any player in that sector makes on power and alternatives to power. Fuel, purchasing, servicing and maintenance of generators, and imagine if those costs were added to the profit margin of that one player. With that as a guide, estimate the value that can be added to the entire sector if they didn’t have to spend so much on fuel and generators. To bring it down to earth, if like me, you are a danfo and bike hopping ninja, being that the engineers who are going to design your dream car are not done yet, now imagine what the costs of transport would be if petrol was less expensive as a direct consequence of less demand, being that only vehicles used the fuel, and that generators were not in use. Can you guess what it would be?
Cheaper transport, more available funds for other things, better standards of living, and a better life for everyone. But no, the likes of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Senator David Bonaventure Alechenu Mark and others of their clique have made vast fortunes several times over from importing and selling generators.
These are the men who, with their access to corridors of power, ensure that there is no real commitment to fixing Nigeria’s power crisis.
And just in case I forgot to mention, this is the twenty first century, where other nations are making fantastic advances in power generation, where nuclear energy, wind farms, and solar energy are the present, not even the future, and yet, the last time our power generating equipment got anything like maintenance or an overhaul was in the tenure of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the singularly most vilified leader Nigeria has ever had, special thanks to the APC and their media mavens!
We will no longer be deceived by the meaningless gesturing and posturing of the government. Power to the people, and not just a slogan of any party. Fuck corruption, and the efforts to fight it. Make electric power available, affordable, and cheap. Only then will the campaign promises make any sense.