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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 - 3
Author: Omotayo, J. A. | March 24, 2010



Nigerians must wake up and realize that the solution(s) to their problem(s) will not end with the “Circulation of Elites” (apology to Mr. Vilfredo Pareto, 1848 - 1923) as the Save Nigeria Group would want us to believe. We, the Yorubas, once demanded that except a yorubaman became the head of state and commander in chief nothing would change. We accused the North of holding on to power for too long and in the process destroying the foundations of Nigeria. Our Mr. Earnest Shonekan was the head of an Interim National Government (ING) between August 26, 2003 and November 13, 2003 but nothing changed. We Yorubas continued with our agitation. Then our Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo was there from May 29, 1999 to May 29, 2007. Yet nothing changed. In fact, everything degenerated to an alarming scale by the time of his exit. The numbers of industries that went under were in their hundreds! This was even more shocking when we noted that about $230 billions was estimated to have been earned within the period with only about half of it accounted for (See: Over $100 Billion May Be Missing From Nigeria’s Revenue Earnings Between 1999 and 2007 – 1 & 2, www.ngex.com, May 12, 2007). Today, it is the turn of the South-South to be in the Presidency in order to deal with the cabal from the North. Tomorrow, it will be the turn of the enterprising “Ibos” to save Nigeria even though two of her professors recently performed poorly as heads of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Central Bank of Nigeria. The busted bubble in the nation’s stock market with market capitalization dropping from about 14 trillion to just about 5 trillion and various distresses in half (beyond the official ten as two other banks sought loans from a regional bank in Africa) recapitalized and consolidated 24 banks are glaring examples of failures of business policy initiatives! The argument will continue from one tribe to another, from one generation to another, yet the solutions to our common national problems will remain remote! The foregoing has been illuminated very well by the work of Mr. Kunstler, and I am delighted to quote him extensively for others to see reason with me. Since we are dealing with Nigeria, I urge my readers to substitute “Nigerian” for “American” in the reference cited. I quote: “What it comes down to, apparently, is a leadership elite across all sectors - politics, business, academia, media - that is incapable of processing the truth, and then conveying it to the broad American public. Alas, this also appears to be a common theme in history, with a commonly tragic outcome, which is that elites get ruthlessly dumped and replaced by new elites, often composed of zealots, maniacs, nincompoops, and others generally ill-disposed to the able management of complex affairs. It’s called the “circulation of elites,” and in times of crisis it tends to take on a kind of downward spiraling flavor, with each gang of discredited leaders tossed out for a progressively worse one until a kind of exhaustion is reached - whereupon the archetypal man-on-a-white-horse arrives on the scene”, unquote (See: James Howard Kunstler – Hope = Truth, Whiskey and Gunpowder, www.agorafinancial.com, April 29, 2009). Why has the Save Nigeria Group forgotten to call for a probe of our so-called “experts” in the Ministry of Power that misled Mr. Obasanjo despite the revelation by Mr. Danjuma Goje, former Governor of Gombe State (See: Experts in the Ministry of Power misled Obasanjo in 1999, www.ngex.com, May 14, 2009)? This may reveal why the power supply situation degenerated. The Group forgot to ask Mr. Nasir El-Rufai to appear before both the ICPC and EFCC to clear his name. After all, Mr. El-Rufai claimed to be ready to spill the beans. Who is preventing him from saying his mind openly here in Nigeria? Why is he now a fugitive in Europe and America? The same applies to Mr. Nuhu Ribadu. Lawyers have been accused of protecting looters, yet the group has been silent on this issue (See: Lawyers in Nigeria collaborate with those that stole money to frustrate the cause of justice – EFCC, www.ngex.com, June 8, 2009). The Group has not called on lawyers not to protect the thieves again! The names of those involved in Siemens contract scandal were released by Germany, but no one is calling for rallies for those involved to be prosecuted. The paths to truth are blocked just because there is a “cult of personality” built around certain individuals. Is this the way to save a nation? Was this the approach used by China to get her national leverage to stardom? I think otherwise. Why has the Group forgotten that the establishment of private secondary and tertiary institutions has crippled the functionality of public schools nationwide and should be abrogated? Why have they forgotten to call for the examination of the pseudo-billionaires who have cornered almost all the resources of the nation for their selfish ends? Why has the Group forgotten all the failed contracts and abandoned projects awarded to the rich for execution which should all have been probed? Why has the Group forgotten that an average contract costs 2.25 times more to execute in Nigeria than any of our neighbouring countries within the sub-region and that the trend should be stopped? Why has the Group forgotten that the “killing” of the rail system has a disadvantage to the average Nigerian and should be mitigated immediately? Why has the Group forgotten that food is expensive for the average Nigerian who earns peanuts (if he has a job) for their living? Today in Lagos State, the traders dealing on tomatoes, peppers, onions, cows, etc from the North have gone on strike. Why? They claimed that government taxes and corrupt law enforcement officials from the Environment, Road Safety, KIA, etc here have milked them to their marrows and that they were no longer able to make profit from their labour Tomatoes and peppers, for instance, are very scarce in the market now. The same applies to other commodities which supplies have been stopped. It is very disturbing! Based on news from Galaxy Television on Friday, March 12, 2010, a basket of tomatoes that used to sell for N2,000.00 on average now goes for N20,000.00 and more. The same applies to other items like peppers, onions, cow meats, etc. (Note: I once wrote an article titled “All Eyes On Taxation In Nigeria – 1, 2 & 3” on March 30, 2009 on this NigeriaExchange, www.ngex.com, but its import was not considered then). How has the change of power from Mr. Yar’Adua to Mr. Jonathan helped the poor masses in Lagos State then? According to the last population census figure, over nine (9) million Nigerians live in the State. In fact the State’s own population estimate was eighteen (18) million, twice the federal government’s estimate. How can such a tragedy be brewing in the State with the largest concentration of people without it getting to the attention of the Save Nigeria Group? Their ears were not on ground, simple! If we must save Nigeria, must we not be prepared to heal the sick; carry the wounded and injured up to where they can get help; provide for the poor to give them leverage like Mr. Muhammad Yunus, the year 2006 Nobel Price Winner of Economics who started Micro-Financing with his Grammy Banks in Bangladesh and other Latin American countries; make education accessible to every Nigerian child with grants, scholarships and free education (where possible) programmes; accommodate the homeless; provide benefits for the aged; redistribute the national wealth and its control in such a way that majority of the populace will have a lion’s share rather than the current situation where less than 1% of the population controls over 95% of our national wealth and resources? The questions are legion. But let us stop here now. I shall in subsequent write-ups examine the problems and propose feasible and meaningful solutions. As usual, I welcome both criticism(s) and comment(s) either publicly or privately or both. Those criticizing must arm themselves with sufficient facts lest they become objects for critical re-examination. My e-mail address remains jaomotayo2(at)yahoo.co.uk. CONCLUDED. God bless Nigeria.

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