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Author Name: Omotayo, J. A.
Number of articles: 211
During my time too, there were scholaships, grants and busary awards to students. Some of my friends... (0) Comment


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Nigerians Must Wake Up - 2
Author: Omotayo, J. A. | March 24, 2010



Public Procurement Act (PPA) is nothing other than transparency in public expenditure especially through contract awards for supplies, installations, constructions, rehabilitations, refurbishments, management and or maintenance. Only registered companies are permitted to participate in government contracts. The cost of registering a company and subsequently running it is huge and beyond the reach of the common man. They are the rich and the elites who manipulate the laws of contract awards, not the poor man. All the reports of enquiries carried out since 1973 on various scams in government contract awards have all been centered on the rich and remain buried even till today. So many contract scandals have been reported since the coming into being of the civilian administration in 1999 till date. Some of the scandals involved the National Assembly too (See: National Assembly members involved in N5bn scam awarded 156 contracts in one month, www.ngex.com, May 15, 2009). The Act will not stop the country from taking foreign loans for the execution of politically motivated but irrelevant projects! The Public Procurement Act neither stops the execution of grandiose white-elephant projects nor ends the importation of equipment, materials and personnel since most of the projects are 50% to 90% import dependent. Of what benefit is the call for all Nigerians to rise up for the implementation of the Public Procurement Act to in order to save the country when the country remains a consumer rather than a producer nation? Even tooth picks that were first devised by the Ibos in the 1960s and 1970s are now being imported to the country. Which is superior: Public Procurement Act or the revival of dead and dying industries, the reactivation of decaying educational institutions, etc? How do we save Nigeria from import dependent technology in government procurements? I like to quote from the âGoodwill Messageâ of Mr. Okey Odukwe, Engineer, Professor and former Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1981. He stated that, and I quote: âTwo of the factors that have led to the polarization of the world into developed and under-developed countries are science and technology. Science and Technology are therefore very vital instruments for solving the material problems of a society. In order to remove this polarization which tends to make some societies inferior to others, the so-called under-developed countries should increase their trainings of Engineers and Scientists. These Engineers, be they student engineers, teaching engineers, engineer in the industries, etc., should address themselves to those tasks and challenges peculiar to their own environmentâ¦. The time has come when we should no longer rely wholly and entirely on foreign technology. No nation can claim to be truely (truly) independent and safe unless it has capable Engineers who can design and help produce what it requiresâ, unquote (For further details, see: The Nsukka Engineer, magazine, Vol. 8, 1981, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, pg 7). I have in the foregoing tried to debunk the notion that the Save Nigeria Group is out to save ordinary Nigerians from poverty, want, disease, illiteracy and homelessness, among others. Nigeria is greater than any motley collection of self-seeking leaderships that have metamorphosed from one stage name to another over the years. We have seen the Association for Better Nigeria (ABN) carry out rallies in the mid 1990s during the late Mr. Abacha years without any visible changes to the lives of ordinary Nigerians. The gainers of the rallies were the organizers, not the poor masses pulled into it. A youth corp (NYSC) member who refused to be drafted to Abuja from Zamfara State at the time once related his experience to me. Some of his colleague who went to Abuja were each promised N2,000.00. But after the rally, they were each given N500 only. The said N500.00 included their feeding and transportation as accommodation was said to be in the open field where the rally was held. Lest we forget the Mass Mobilization For Social and Economic Recovery (MAMSER) of the Mr. Ibrahim Babangida era. It was a disaster for the poor man, but a success for the rich and elites who partake in the programme. The organizers must have smiled home to the detriment of the poor Nigerians pulled together for the rally! The situation has been the same for all other rallies without an exception. A peep into the work of Osa Director in 2002 showed that, and I quote: âToday, it is a matter of debate over who has impacted more of the negative syndrome of first ladyism on our psyche between the two Maryams and Stella. In short, what did Maryam Babangida do with her Better Life Programme, and Maryam Abacha with her Family Support programme that Stella Obasanjo has not done and even surpassed with her Child Care Trust? When Stella launched her Child Care Trust, all local governments and state governments were falling over themselves to donate tax payersâ money. Even viable parastatals like the NNPC, NPA etc were literally summoned to donate heavy cash to the Trust Fund. All these were done apparently with the might of the federal Government. To complicate matters, the wife of the vice President, Titi Abubakar immediately wore her thinking hat and effortlessly rolled out her own NGO, where all over again, the viable parastatals, state and local governments lavished funds on the project. Indeed, never in the history of Nigeria have we seen the aggressiveness of a âsecond ladyâ as displayed by Titi. Very soon, we will move further to the third lady!â, unquote (For further details, see: Osa Director â A Failed Syndrome, Insider Weekly magazine, Lagos, November 18, 2002, pg 3). Nigerians must wake up. The ordinary Nigerians must realize that the solution(s) to their problem(s) will not include a rise in âcult of personalityâ (apology to Mr. Thabo Mbeki, former president of South Africa). Yesteryears in the late 1940s to mid 1960s, it was the late Mr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the âGreat Zikâ and the âZik of Africaâ who would bring his magic wand to lead ânot only Nigeria but Africaâ out of her miseries in the hands of the colonialists. Thereafter, it was Mr. Yakubu Gowon of the âGo-On-With-One-Nigeriaâ era to transform Nigeria until the âpolitical classâ failed to learn from their past. At another time, it was Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo who would be the âfirst military head of stateâ to hand over power to an elected civilian president in Africa who could be relied upon to save Nigeria and indeed Africa until the manipulation of the 1979 presidential election result. Still at another time, it was Mr. Shehu Shagariâs âOne Nation, One Destinyâ that would save Nigeria until the landslide and âmoonslideâ elections mandates of 1983 culminated in political crisis of monumental proportions, mainly in Ondo State. It was later the turn of Mr. Mohammadu Buhari of âThere is no other country that we can call our ownâ era to save Nigeria until the retrospective passage of banned drug law sent three young Nigerians into their graves. Yet at another time, it was Mr. Ibrahim Babangida, the âMaradonaâ, who could save Nigeria until the result of the fairest presidential election in Nigeria was annulled by him. Later, it was Mr. Earnest Shonekan of the Interim National Government who would save Nigeria until his regime was declared an illegality. At another time, it was the late Mr. Sani Abacha who could save Nigeria and restore the democratic mandate of the late Mr. M. K. O. Abiola until all five registered political parties at the time nominated the former as their sole presidential candidate. At yet another time, it was Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo who was our biblical David and the man to save Nigeria until the Third Term issue proved him otherwise. Yesterday, it was Mr. Umaru Musa YarâAdua who would save Nigeria because of the âGeneral Amnestyâ for the Niger Delta militants. Today, he is Mr. Goodluck Jonathan who would use his âgoodluckâ to save Nigeria until events will prove all wrong again. Suddenly, we are being dragged along to gamble because some people are so perfect in oratory that they can sway others to their often less ignoble ideas. Nigerians must wake up. They must realize that it is unbecoming of a priest who claims to be a Christian not to have compassion on the sick. Jesus Christ himself gave an example of a wounded traveler who was attacked by armed robbers on his way between Jerusalem and Jericho. After being stripped of his belongings, he was left half dead. Soon afterwards, a priest passed by without showing any compassion. He was followed later by a Levite who equally behaved like the priest. But unlike those two, a man from Samaria, simply identified as a good Samaritan saw and pitied the helpless victim, had the wounds treated before conveying him to a rest house for further treatment. Before living the wounded man, the good Samaritan left some money (two pence) behind for his upkeep (For further details, see: Luke 10: 30-37). Must Nigerians not ask my respected pastor and preacher, Mr. Tunde Bakare, who identified with the Save Nigeria Group if his behaviour was in anyway different from that of the priest mentioned by Jesus Christ in the parable cited above? What will it take from him to organize prayers for Mr. Umaru Musa YarâAduaâs recovery that his involvement in the Save Nigeria Groupâs rally will give back? Apparently nothing! Continue to::- Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3

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