NIGERIA:A NATION ON THE BRINK.


BY OLUSEGUN OGOLO green white green

 

Nigeria is on life support (that’s a fancy phrase for a semi failed state), and it’s amazing how determined our politicians are to pull the plug.

I know it is well advised to speak positive things; however,  the operations of faith goes beyond a positive confession.

Faith also requires corresponding action.

Unfortunately, the corresponding action we’re seeing from Nigerians is lethargy and stupor; a people so dazed and confounded by happenings in  their environment  that their will and wiliness to effect a change has been impaled  by an inexplicable fear of death.

That Nigeria is blessed is trite. How then do you juxtapose the abundance of natural resources with the fact that our country is in the same league with Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia (countries that are apparently going nowhere) when it comes to all human development indices.

The late Fela Anikulapo Kuti was vilified for his mannerism, but this great Nigerian had a message and to me, the message is more important than the messenger.

In SORROW,TEARS AND BLOOD (lyric below),Fela provides a clear reason why there may never  be an ‘arab spring ‘ style change in Nigeria.

With all the thievery, injustice and lack of respect for human life happening in our country,When will Nigerians rise up to the fact that praying for change also requires ACTING  in line with desired change?.

When are we going to awake to the fact that citizens of a nation are the ones who effect the change they desire  not ANGELS: in fact the  only societies where Angels were permitted to effect changes are those of Sodom and Gomorrah (and you know the story).

The PDP has been in government since 1999 with nothing to show for their existence other than that they have put the country in reverse gear; the newly formed APC is living in a bubble and may even be a worse evil than the PDP.

Shouldn’t Nigerians rise up against these old and directionless politicians and tell them to leave us alone?

While I do not advocate a break up of the country, there is a very urgent need to convene a conference to determine the future governance structure of the country.

SORROW,TEARS AND BLOOD (LYRIC) Everybody run run run Everybody scatter scatter Some people lost some bread Someone nearly die Someone just die Police dey come, army dey come Confusion everywhere Hey yeah!

Seven minutes later All don cool down, brother Police don go away Army don disappear Them leave Sorrow, Tears, and Blood

[Chorus] Them regular trademark!

Them leave Sorrow, Tears, and Blood Them regular trademark That is why

[Chorus] Hey yeah!

Everybody run run run…

La la la la My people self dey fear too much We fear for the thing we no see We fear for the air around us We fear to fight for freedom We fear to fight for liberty We fear to fight for justice We fear to fight for happiness We always get reason to fear

We no want die We no want wound We no want quench We no want go I get one child Mama dey for house Papa dey for house I want build house I don build house I no want quench I want enjoy I no want go Ah!

So policeman go slap your face You no go talk Army man go whip your yansh You go dey look like donkey Rhodesia dey do them own Our leaders dey yab for nothing South Africa dey do them own

Them leave Sorrow, Tears, and Blood…

Ah, na so Time will dey go Time no wait for nobody Like that: choo, choo, choo, choo, ah But police go dey come, army go dey come With confusion

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A country so corrupt it would be better to burn our aid money


 

 Michael Burleigh |Daily Mail| 8  August 2013

 Nigeria is  not quite the most corrupt country on earth. But according to Transparency  International, which monitors international financial corruption, it is not far  off — coming a shameful 172nd worst among the 215 nations surveyed.

Only countries as dysfunctional, derelict and  downright dangerous as Haiti or the Congo are more corrupt.

In theory, Nigeria’s 170 million-strong  population should be prospering in a country that in recent years has launched  four satellites into space and now has a burgeoning space programme.

 
Frankly, we might as well flush our cash away or burn it for all the good it's doing for ordinary Nigerians

Frankly, we might as well flush our cash away or burn it  for all the good it’s doing for ordinary Nigerians

Moreover, Nigeria is sitting on crude oil  reserves estimated at 35 billion barrels (enough to fuel the entire world for  more than a year), not to mention 100 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. 

It also manages to pay its legislators the  highest salaries in the world, with a basic wage of £122,000, nearly double what  British MPs earn and many hundreds of times that of the country’s ordinary  citizens.

 
The oil industry is highly corrupt, with 136 million barrels of crude oil worth $11¿billion (£7.79 billion) were illegally siphoned off in just two years from 2009 to 2011

The oil industry is highly corrupt, with 136 million  barrels of crude oil worth $11¿billion (£7.79 billion) were illegally siphoned  off in just two years from 2009 to 2011

No wonder the ruling elite can afford  luxury  homes in London or Paris, and top-end cars that, across West  Africa, have led  to the sobriquet ‘Wabenzi’, or people of the  Mercedes-Benz.

Yet 70 per  cent of Nigerians live below the  poverty line of £1.29 a day, struggling with a failing infrastructure and  chronic fuel shortages because of a  lack of petrol refining capacity, even  though their country produces  more crude oil than Texas.

And that poverty is not for want of  assistance from the wider world.

 
Poverty: Millions of Nigerians are living in poverty, despite the country earning huge profits from its oil deposits

70 per cent of Nigerians live below the poverty line of  £1.29 a day, struggling with a failing infrastructure and chronic fuel  shortages

Since gaining its independence in  1960,  Nigeria has received  $400 billion (£257 billion) in aid —  six  times  what the U.S. pumped into reconstructing the whole of Western  Europe after  World War II.

Nigeria suffers from what economists call the  ‘resource curse’ — the paradox  that developing countries with an abundance of  natural reserves tend to  enjoy worse economic growth than countries without  minerals and fuels.

The huge flow of oil wealth means the  government does not rely on taxpayers for its income, so does not have to answer  to the people — a situation  that fosters rampant corruption and economic  sclerosis because there is  no investment in infrastructure as the country’s  leaders cream off its  wealth.

 
Nigerian police can be easily bribed to look the other way in a country where corruption in Nigeria is endemic

Nigerian police can often be easily bribed to look the  other way in a country where corruption in Nigeria is endemic

Corruption in Nigeria is endemic —  from  parents bribing teachers to get hold of exam papers for their  children through  clerks handed ‘dash’ money to get round the country’s  stifling bureaucracy to  policemen taking money for turning a blind eye.

It is at its most blatant, perhaps, in the  oil industry, where 136 million barrels of crude oil worth  $11 billion (£7.79  billion) were illegally siphoned off in just two  years from 2009 to 2011, while  hundreds of millions of dollars in  subsidies were given to fuel merchants to  deliver petrol that never  materialised.

Whether the  country is ruled by civilians or  soldiers, who invariably proclaim their burning desire to eradicate civilian  corruption, it makes absolutely no difference.

 
The huge flow of oil wealth means the government does not rely on taxpayers for its income, so does not have to answer to the people

The huge flow of oil wealth means the government does  not rely on taxpayers for its income, so does not have to answer to the people 

The military  ruled Nigeria between 1966 and  1979 and from 1983 to 1999, but if  anything, corruption was worse when they  were in charge since they had a habit of killing anyone threatening to expose  them.

It is estimated that since 1960, about $380  billion  (£245 billion) of government money has been stolen —  almost the  total sum Nigeria has received in foreign aid.

And that even when successive governments  attempt to recover the stolen money, much of this is looted again.

 
President Sani Abacha, a military dictator who ruled in the Nineties, had accrued a staggering $4¿billion (£2.58¿billion) fortune by the time he died

President Sani Abacha, a military dictator who ruled in  the Nineties, had accrued a staggering $4¿billion (£2.58¿billion) fortune by the  time he died

In essence, 80 per cent of the country’s  substantial oil revenues go to  the government, which disburses cash to   individual governors and  hundreds of their cronies, so  effectively  these huge sums  remain in  the hands of a  mere 1 per cent of the  Nigerian population.

  

     

Political power is universally regarded as a  chance to reap  the fortunes of  office by the ruling elite and its  families and tribes.

The most egregious example was  President  Sani Abacha, a military dictator who ruled in the Nineties and accrued a  staggering $4 billion (£2.58 billion) fortune by the time he  died of a heart  attack while in bed with two Indian prostitutes at his  palace in the nation’s  capital, Abuja, in 1998. Abacha’s business  associates did nicely, too — one of  them deposited £122 million in a  Jersey offshore account after selling Nigerian  army trucks for five  times their worth.

Public office is so lucrative that  people  will kill to get it. Nigeria has 36 state governors, 31 of whom  are under  federal investigation for corruption.

In one of the smallest states, a candidate  for the governorship occupied by one Ayo Fayose received texts signed by the  ‘Fayose M Squad’ — and it was clear the ‘M’ was for ‘Murder’ when they stabbed  and bludgeoned a third candidate to death in his own bed.

By the end of its term of office, the British  Government will have handed over £1 billion in aid to Nigeria.

Given the appalling levels of   corruption in that nation, this largesse is utterly sickening — for the  money will only  be recycled into bank accounts in the Channel Islands or  Switzerland.

Frankly, we might as well flush our cash away  or burn it for all the good it’s doing for ordinary Nigerians.

‘How ethnicity, religion influence appointments of varsities’ officials’


Rotimi Lawrence Oyekanmi.THE  GUARDIAN. 25 April 2013

Govt dumps merit, names indigenes as VCs, registrars, bursars

• Varsities bar northern, southern applicants from ‘elite’ courses

The minister of education prof ruqayyatu ahmed rufa.Photo:fmi.gov.ng

FAR from the tradition of academic excellence upon which the nation’s universities were built, appointments to their key positions are now increasingly being influenced by ethnic and religious considerations, an investigation by The Guardian has revealed.

Instead of curtailing the unethical practice, the Federal Government seems to have tactically endorsed the unwritten rule; looking the other way each time merit is disregarded in the appointment of vice chancellors, registrars and bursars.

The trend now holds sway, especially in the older universities as the government succumbs to pressure orchestrated by ethnic bigots who employ a combination of threats, blackmail and even religious sentiments to get their preferred candidates appointed.

Among the 27 older federal universities, that is those founded between 1948 and as recently as 2007, only the University of Abuja, headed by Prof. J.S.A. Adelabu; the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) headed by Prof. Vincent Tenebe; the Federal University of Technology, Minna (Prof. Musibau Akanji) and the Federal University of Petroleum Resources (Prof. Alhassan Bichi) have vice chancellors that are not directly from the geo-political zones where the respective institutions are located. The other 23 are headed by professors from the same geo-political zones where the universities are domiciled.

Of the nine new federal universities established in 2011, three out of the six located in the northern part of the country are also headed by academics from the north. They include: Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa (Prof. Jibril Amin); Federal University, Kashere, Gombe (Prof. Mohammed Farouk); and Federal University, Lokoja, Kogi State (Prof. Abdulmumini Rafindadi).

The remaining three are being headed by academics from the southern part of the country. They are: Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State (Prof. Ekanem Briade); Federal University, Wukari, Taraba (Prof. Geoffrey Okogbaa); and Federal University, Dutsin-ma, Katsina State (Prof. James Ayatse).

The last three in the 2011 set, located in the southern part of the country – Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State; Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa State and Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State, are also headed by academics from the south – Profs. Oye Ibidapo-Obe, Mobolaji Aluko and Isaac Asuzu respectively.

Looking even at the latest three federal universities established in the North in 2013,  Federal University, Gashau, Yobe State; Federal University, Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State and the Federal University, Gasua, Zamfara State, the first two are also headed by academics from the north (Profs. Shehu Abdulrahman and Lawal Suleiman Bilbis), while Prof. Chuks Ben Okeke, from the southeast, heads the last one.

The first generation universities, that had hitherto been the epitome of ethics and due process, have also been bitten by the ethnicity bug. For instance, the University of Ibadan (UI), founded on November 17, 1948, which appointed Prof. Kenneth Dike, from the southeast, as its first Nigerian vice chancellor and Emeritus Prof. Tekena Tamuno, from the Niger Delta region, as vice chancellor from 1975 to 1979, has since joined the ethnic vice chancellors’ club. After the tenure of Ayo Banjo, an emeritus professor of English, who was vice chancellor between 1984 and 1991, all the university’s vice chancellors have always been from the southwest.

Between 1960 when it was established and 1966, the University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka also had foreigners as its vice chancellor. They were Dr. George Marion Johnson (1960 -64) and Prof. Glen Taggart (1964-66). In fact, between 1978 and 1979, Prof. Umaru Shehu, a northerner, was UNN’s vice chancellor. However, from 1980 to date, except for 1994 when Prof. Umaru Gomwalk was appointed as the sole administrator, all UNN’s vice chancellors have been Igbo.

Take, also, the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, established in 1962. The institution’s first vice chancellor was British, Dr. Norman S.Alexander before he was succeeded, in 1966, by Dr. Ishaya Audu, a northerner, who held sway till mid-1975. But between 1978 and 1979, the institution also had what would eventually be its only vice chancellor from the southwest part of Nigeria, Oladipo Akinkugbe, a renowned professor of medicine. Since then, ABU’s vice chancellors have always come from the north. In fact, the attempt to appoint one in 2009, when Malam Adamu Ciroma was the pro-chancellor, got so messy that Ciroma decided to resign. The current vice chancellor, Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha emerged in controversial circumstances.

The case of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), established in 1970, is also intriguing. At the expiration of Prof. Emmanuel Nwanze’s tenure as vice chancellor in 2009, the campaign for the appointment of a Bini indigene as vice chancellor became ferocious. A particular group, in an advert published in a couple of newspapers, practically threatened the Federal Government, insisting that it was either a Bini indigene was appointed UNIBEN’s vice chancellor or nobody else. The eventual emergence of Prof. Osayuki Oshodin in November 2009 as vice chancellor, even when he came third among the contestants in the order of merit, is seen as a fall-out of that agitation.

The ethnic bias has also affected the admission process, as in one northern university and another in the South for instance; it is difficult for students from the South and North respectively, to be admitted for ‘elite’ courses like medicine, law, pharmacy and accounting, according to sources.

Banjo told The Guardian that the Federal Government might have encouraged the ethnic dimension by establishing a federal university in each state. To him, the decision by the Federal Government to ‘give’ each state a federal university is being interpreted by the states as their own share of the national cake.

He said: “When I was leaving the University of Glasgow (in 1959) and the position of vice chancellor became vacant, the search party went to New Zealand to get one. And that was because the whole thing was based on merit and the best interest of the university. The distance between New Zealand and Glasgow, Scotland is about 18,805 kilometres.”

Education Minister, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai, spoke directly on the issue recently, during the inauguration of the governing councils of 21 federal universities in Abuja. She asked the new councils to tackle the glaring irregularities in the appointment of principal officers.

Her words: “The councils must ensure that proper attention and priority be accorded the relevant universities’ laws and government guidelines in such appointments. Governing councils must ensure that transparency, probity and due process are followed in the selection and appointment processes, so that the best and the right candidates emerge for these positions.”

She added: “The erroneous idea that chief executives or any principal officer (of a federal university) should come from its locality is alien to the system and should not be allowed to becloud your decisions on this. Rather, merit should be the guiding principle.”

Why the Anti-Corruption Movement Is the New Human Rights Movement


 

 

By Anne Applebaum|SLATE. Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012

It’s about justice, fairness, and the rule of law—and it’s universal.

 

 

Riots across Tunisia, December 2010. Demonstrations in Moscow, December 2011. Fasts and street marches in New Delhi, March 2012—plus street movements in Slovenia, Quebec, Iraq, Azerbaijan, and Wukan in southern China, among others, throughout the past two years. What do they all have in common? The answer is corruption, or rather the desire to end corruption, which is now the primary motivating factor for dozens of political movements around the world.

Of course, many of the riots, strikes, street demonstrations, and much of the political turmoil we’ve witnessed in the past two years have other sources, too. Many, most notably those in Tunisia and Russia, were anti-authoritarian, and in Tunisia they overthrew the regime. But even there, political anger was fuelled by stories of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, his wife, and their relatives, particularly after an American diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks described “The Family” and their hotels, factories, and real estate, sometimes expropriated from other people, and usually exploited with connections and outright extortion. The riots which followed were anti-regime, anti-corruption, and anti-repression, all at once.

In Russia, last winter’s protesters likewise made no distinction between their repressive political system and the corruption of their political class: On the contrary, as their leaders have argued, the one exists in order to feed the other. On a website he created, dedicated to the investigation of local and municipal corruption, Alexei Navalny, the most prominent member of this new generation of Russian “dissidents,” explains bluntly: “Why is all of this necessary? Because pensioners, doctors, and teachers are practically starving while the thieves in power buy ever more villas, yachts, and the devil knows what else.” Although Russians still allude to the ideals of the past—last December, one Moscow demonstrator carried a “We need a Havel” placard—Navalny still doesn’t talk much about human rights or democracy. Instead, he talks about money: who has it, who stole it, who misspent it, who smuggled it out of the country.

In that sense, he has much in common with the Chinese communists who officially expelled the provincial leader Bo Xilai a few weeks ago—Bo’s wife stands accused of murder, and Bo himself of taking large bribes—as well as Liu Zhizhun, a former minister accused of taking some $100 million in kickbacks during the construction of China’s overpriced high-speed railways. “Reform,” in Russia and China, isn’t about human rights, or not only about human rights: It’s about getting people to stop stealing. As China’s new anti-corruption chief told his colleagues, the party’s survival depends upon it.

Corruption is hardly a new issue, in China, Russia, India, Slovenia, Azerbaijan, or anywhere else. Why has it come to the forefront of so many political struggles right now? As the Economist argues this week, the internationalization of the anti-corruption movement might explain some of the change. Pressure on corrupt politicians and businessmen now comes not only from within their own societies, but also from authorities enforcing America’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or Britain’s Anti-Bribery Act; from voluntary but rapidly growing industry groups, including the International Corporate Governance Network and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative; from activists such as Global Witness or Open Oil; and from campaigners in the mold of Bill Browder, the businessman who persuaded the Senate last week to pass the Magnitsky Act, a law which denies U.S. visas to Russian officials responsible for the torture and murder of the Russian lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, who uncovered a massive tax fraud. Transparency International, once a small, quixotic organization, publishes a corruption index which is now scoured anxiously by leaders around the globe.

Of course, Amnesty International was once a small, quixotic organization, too. But as the international human rights movement has grown in stature, authoritarian leaders have got better at fighting it. The human rights movement has been variously derided as “Western,” and thus alien to Chinese or perhaps “Asian” values, or else as “hypocritical,” originating in societies which have plenty of problems of their own. The Iranian regime has welcomed “persecuted” historians who deny the Holocaust to conferences in Tehran, for example.

Still in its infancy, the international anti-corruption movement has the potential to enhance and augment human-rights rhetoric enormously. Both rely on arguments about justice, fairness, and the rule of law. Though it probably won’t be long before someone finds a way to cast “anti-corruption” as another form of Western imperialism, for the moment the movement’s other strength is its universalism: Its arguments and tactics work in democracies as well as dictatorships. Indeed, they are more effective in societies where the public can at least vote the thieves out of office. One wonders whether their neighbors who can’t do so might not soon feel jealous.

AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP


By OLUSEGUN  OGOLO

Nigeria moving forward

Thank God the governorship elections in Ondo state (southern Nigeria ) have come and gone.

Although 12 poitical parties participated in the elections,there were just three major contenders: Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) represented by Rotimi Akeredolu,Labour Party (LP) represented by Olusegun Mimiko and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) represented by Olusola Oke.

When counting was concluded, incumbent governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko of the Labour Party (LP) was declared winner by INEC,the electoral commission.

Surprisingly,the elections went on very peacefully in a state known for extreme electoral violence and political thuggery although she boasts the largest number of  Professors in Nigeria.

The security arrangements made by the Federal Government obviously made an impression on the political thugs in and around Ondo state; this ensured that a permanent lid was placed on whatsoever plans they intended to execute.

According to the punch newspaper of 20th October 2021: 11,000 policemen, and three Commissioners of police were deployed to head the security units in each of the three senatorial districts in the state.

This figure is besides the number of heavily armed soldiers,Civil defenders and secret service personnel that were asked to literally sweep the entire state.

In fact according to the Tribune of Friday the 19th of October 2012, the General Officer Commanding, 2 Division, Nigerian Army, Major-General Abubakar Mohammed said his men ‘… were free to shoot at anybody caught making trouble and does not want to be arrested.’

I wasn’t in Ondo state during the elections, but I followed the proceedings on radio and television and what I saw was a community of eager and willing voters.

The 2006 census puts the population of the state at 3,441,024 of which 1,646,666  were registered voters for the 20 October 2012  gubernatorial election in the state.

 A post mortem of the elections shows that the electorate stepped out with a vengance,and I wasn’t surprised:

Firstly, after being governed for 4 years (2003 – 2007) by a PDP led administration without any progress or development to show for it, the people of Ondo state ensured by their vote that the PDP would stay out of power (at least) in the next 4 years, in the state.

It is very sad to note that this same party -the PDP has been the ruling party in Nigeria since 1999.

By their consistent supply of mediocres and charlatans, the PDP has filled critical offices in government with individuals that are nothing but greed and corruption personified. How do you explain a situation where 75% of the annual budget of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is spent on only 2million people in a country of 167million individuals (this argument was made by the minister of National Planning, Shamsudeen Usman).Where in the world does this happen? And  according to Fela, ‘…which kind contirii bi dis one sef?.

If the results of the ondo state election is anything to go by,the PDP may have seen better days even at a national level.

Secondly, the people voted against the ACN, again this does not surprise me. The Action Congress of Nigeria is the ruling party in 5 south western states in Nigeria, namely Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, and Edo states. The major problem with the party is that a dictator and an authoritarian is at the helm. This fellow goes by the appellation asiwaju (which by interpretation is frontman, or leader).

It is common knowledge in Nigeria (see the Punch Newspaper of 3rd April 2012) that the Asiwaju of the ACN rather than allow the emergence of the party’s candidates and representatives via primaries, single-handedly picks individuals; the most recent being Rotimi Akeredolu. While party faithful secretly seethe at his undemocratic practices, none is apparently bold enough to challenge him.

The asiwaju’s main preoccupation is the  narrow minded pursuit of the so called Yoruba integration, a project that seeks to unite the entire south-western part of Nigeria under the ACN with him as the undisputed leader of the Yorubas ,(when national integration would have stood him out as a true visionary).

Adding their state to the number of asiwaju’s conquest must have been both unbearable and  unthinkable to the good  people of Ondo state hence their vote against the ACN.

The electoral commission finally declared  Dr Mimiko the winner. Congratulations to him.

Whilst this  win gives the impression that Mimiko is very popular amongst the people, this assertation would imply an apparent injustice to the other candidates because they also had some votes. Governor Mimiko did not win by a landslide, there is still in Ondo state a sizeable number of people that believe other candidates can do a better job than him.

For Gov Mimiko’s information, the story most likely would have been different if the PDP and the ACN had formed an alliance just like the Torries and the Liberal  democrats did in the UK.

This last point actually throws up a number of questions about the Governor’s first term in office.

The economy of Ondo state is basically agrarian with strong bias in farming, fishing, lumbering and trading. The state is reputed for large scale production of cocoa, palm produce and rubber. Other crops like maize, yam and cassava are also produced in large quantities. Sixty-five percent of the state labour force is in the agriculture sub-sector. The state is also blessed with very rich forest resources where some of the most exotic timber in Nigeria abounds. The State is equally blessed with extensive deposits of crude oil, bitumen, glass sand, kaolin, granites and limestone. Therefore, the state has great potentials for rapid industrial growth in view of its raw materials base. The tourism potentials of the state is also high as its historical sites, long coastline, lakes, forest and cultural events can be developed for tourism. However, these very huge investment potentials in the state remain largely untapped over the years due to a combination of technical and administrative reasons’.

Ondo is one of the oil producing states in Nigeria,meaning in addition to the regular Federal allocation to states, it gets an additional 13% via derivation.

Now considering the natural resources and the economic potential of Ondo state, have the people of this state been given a fair deal in the last 4 years? Can  Governor Mimiko truely say that the quality  life of  Ondo people has been improved by his first term in office?.

Campaign promises made by Nigerian politicians are mostly ridiculous and lacking in intellectual deepth : they say “when I become governor,or President or so and so, l’ll build roads, schools, hospitals, ultra-modern markets …” the list just goes on.

May I announce to governor Mimiko and the other governors in Nigeria that campaigning for office on the platform of these shallow and poorly thought out promises especially in the light of the resources available in the country is simply insulting the intelligence of our people.

Building schools, roads and hospitals are basic requirements of any society; for God’s sake, people pay taxes what less should taxes be used for?

If government collects  taxes from people, it is immoral to give those same people the impression that you are doing them a favour by building basic social infrastructure for them.

The lack of visionary leadership in Nigeria has been the bane of our society. While governments in other parts of the world are taking decisive steps to tackle unemployment ,reduce government spending, improve  living standards, tackle corruption, and guaranty good governance, the situation in Nigeria is the exact opposite.

75% of our annual budget is spent on recurrent expenditure; and we still lie to ourselves that spending the balance 25% (actually a substantial part of this balance is stolen) would give us a place amongst the 20 biggest economies of the world  by 2020.

Our law makers have been a perpetual burden on our economy  carting away undisclosed sums as salaries, allowances and benefits (and to their shame they are ever asking for more).

Contrast  this with  Senegal, a fellow west African country were the new government of Macky Sall just adopted the unicameral system of government after years of practicing the expensive bicameral system that our senators and house of rep members are determine to hold onto.

What exactly is wrong with this country?

Our educational system is on life support. In fact foreign universities find it very profitable to establish offices here in Nigeria and they routinely conduct intensive marketing campaigns to admit Nigeria students into their schools.

How about our hospitals, our roads, our agricultural sector, manufacturing, national security to name a few? Nigeria appears to be a big joke, and the tag line ‘giant of Africa’ simply amplifies the joke.

Is not strange that while Rwanda, a small central African country that experienced one of the most terrible examples of genocide is currently prospering and more united (under its current President Paul Kagame) ;Nigeria, whose civil war ended more than four decades ago is tottering dangerously towards a very scary end.

While Rwandese are proud to simply refer to themselves as such, Nigerians are imprisoned by anti-development issues: ‘the north,south-south,Niger Delta,Islam,sharia,Christianity,Federal character,Pension scam,Fuel subsidy scam e.t.c’

The job of any governor/national leader is to create a climate that would ensure the prosperity of his people and lay the ground work for the development of future leaders.

When will authentic leaders emerge in Nigeria?

Futher  Reading

http://www.punchng.com/viewpoint/the-said-and-the-unsaid-about-bola-tinubu-at-60/

http://cleenfoundation.blogspot.com/2012/10/introduction-as-ondo-state-prepares-for.html.

The Secret of Rwanda: Pushing Leadership down the Line

Transparency: Two-Thirds Of Countries Perceived To Be ‘Highly Corrupt’


By Antoine  Blua. RADIO FREE EUROPE .December 05, 2012

Transparency International says the findings indicate a public demand for institutions and officials to be more transparent and accountable.

 
The anticorruption group Transparency International (TI) says high levels of bribery, abuse of power, and secret dealings continue to “ravage” societies around the world, despite a growing public outcry over corrupt governments.
The annual Corruption Perceptions Index, published on December 5 by the Berlin-based group, shows that two-thirds of 176 countries are perceived by citizens to be highly corrupt.
Transparency International regional coordinator Svetlana Savitskaya told RFE/RL the findings indicate a public demand for institutions and officials to be more transparent and accountable.
She said priorities include stronger rules on lobbying and political financing and more transparency on public spending and contracting.
Governments ‘Still Inactive’
Afghanistan, along with North Korea and Somalia, were once again at the bottom of the Corruption Perceptions Index.
Russia and former Soviet republics also scored poorly – with the exception of Georgia, which showed improvement.
TI says its composite index is based on data collected in the past 24 months by independent institutions specializing in governance and business climate analysis.

Governments still remain inactive and still continue to act as before, and continue not to take effective measures to tackle corruption.
Transparency’s Svetlana Savitskaya

Two-thirds of the 176 countries scored below 50 on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean).
“Despite the demonstrations all over the world, in many countries, which were sparked on the ground of corruption, the governments still remain inactive and still continue to act as before, and continue not to take effective measures to tackle corruption. Everywhere, even in the EU countries,” Savitskaya said.
In these countries, TI says, the “lack of accountable leadership and effective public institutions” calls for a much stronger stance against corruption.
Iraq and Pakistan ranked 169 and 139, respectively.
Russia placed 133rd, alongside Iran and Kazakhstan.
Elsewhere in Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan ranked 154, followed by Tajikistan (157), Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan (both 170).
In the Caucasus, Georgia ranked 51st, leaving Armenia (105), Azerbaijan (139) and all the other CIS countries far behind.
Belarus was ranked 123rd, Ukraine 144th.
‘Utterly Untransparent’
Savitskaya says the situation is not improving in Russia and other former Soviet republics, “with the very small exception of Georgia.”
“These governments continue to be utterly untransparent and nonaccountable to citizens,” Savitskaya said. “Even though many of these governments introduced very elegant anticorruption legislation — very elaborate, very detailed strategies — these remain to be not enforced and not implemented. And also there is a continued lack of citizen oversight — civil oversight — over what the governments are doing or not doing.”
Savitskaya says Georgia has introduced “robust anticorruption reforms” under President Mikheil Saakashvili, particularly in the police and education sectors. But she adds that corruption remains a big problem in the country, including in the government.

SOUTH AFRICA slides down graft rankings


 

 

 
        GRAEME HOSKEN | 06 December, 2012

Image by: Gallo Images/Thinkstock
 

        THE handling of government scandals, service delivery corruption, and rampant bribery have resulted in South Africa ‘s ranking in a table of the world’s most corrupt states .

South Africa dropped five places in the Transparency International corruption perception index to 69th. There are 174 listed countries.

This country’s latest ranking means that it is now hovering just above the “highly corrupt” category.

The Transparency International report, released yesterday, showed that the least corrupt country was Denmark and Somalia the most.

The rankings range from 0 to 100. Data are drawn from independent institutions specialising in governance and business climate analysis, such as the World Bank.

South Africa scored 43 points. Anything below 50 points indicates endemic corruption.

Chantal Uwimana, Transparency International director for Africa, said that though South Africa, compared to the rest of Africa, was not in a bad position, perceptions of corruption had increased.

“Now people believe there is a huge amount of corruption,” she said.

Uwimana said the perceptions were based on corruption scandals and the perception that the government lacked resolve.

Scandals that the survey would have taken into account include the handling of the case of former national police commissioner Bheki Cele and his involvement in the R1.6-billion police leasing deal, in which he was found to have acted “unlawfully”.

The Department of Public Works is refusing to disclose how much money is being spent on President Jacob Zuma’s R274-million Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

Said Uwimana: “There is a dire need for the government to take heed of warnings, especially when it comes to ensuring that the judiciary remains independent of political interference, particularly in relation to cases of corruption.

“There are strong perceptions of corruption where the political elite is above the law.

“The decrease [in South Africa’s rating] is linked to issues such as access to information and socio-economic rights in terms of basic service delivery.”

Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said: “Corruption is one of our key areas of focus.”