Oil remains a curse to Nigeria, there are no doubts about that.
Norway has oil and is rated as one of the most developed countries in the world. Norway is a prosperous country. How did Norway and some other countries succeed with oil while Nigeria failed woefully? Before the unrest in Libya, Libyans were living a fairly good life!
On paper, Nigeria is a prosperous country but in reality the masses are suffering despite the oil wealth of Nigeria.
Nigerians including the poor masses living in the Niger Delta where Dr. Jonathan was born are rated among the poorest people in the world.
Northern Nigerians, especially the women are rated among the least educated people in the world.
What a tragedy!
Why is a blessed country like Nigeria home to some of the poorest people in the world?
This is because of poor management, bad rulership, and outright looting of the Nigerian treasury by greedy men and women who have pretended to be serving the country since 1960.
There is an ongoing trial in Nigeria where the immediate past speaker looted billions of naira.
Imagine what will happen to the European economy as a whole if 1 billion dollars is unaccounted for?
Has anyone imagine what will become of Greece or Spain if 1 billion dollars suddenly grew legs?
Even Sweden will suffer as a country if 1 billion dollars suddenly disappeared.
But in Nigeria, several trillion of dollars have disappeared since 1960 and the thieves and looters are free people, mostly.
Some have died and their children have inherited the stolen monies.
Then we complain that our economy is bad, that our living conditions are terrible and about all the anomalies that we put up with.
If all the looters living in Nigeria can return the monies that they have looted, Nigeria will pay off her debts in a matter of seconds and there will be plenty of money to resuscitate the rotten infrastructure and to build new ones.
There will be free education and possibilities to provide basic needs of life like food, water and electricity.
Nigeria does not deserve a debt pardon, aids or grants.
Nothing close to those is among our needs.
What we need is to join hands, surround all the looters and force them to cough out stolen loots.
Then we should start serving out serious consequences to those who are still looting or that will be looting in the future.
When all these have been done, we must not forget to re-diversify our economy. We must go back to agriculture. The groundnuts from the north and the cocoa from the west can feed the world again.
We have pretended to be working on our natural deposits but we have deceived ourselves for too long in that aspect.
We should seek genuine efforts to do real work and sustain and spread the prosperity of Nigeria.
THE COST OF KEROSENE
Assuming that all is well with Nigeria, we should have moved away from using kerosene as the source of cooking in our kitchens.
There are over 90m Nigerians living in poverty, so kerosene remains the number one source of energy for cooking. In reality this is still a dangerous way to cook food as explosions are common due to counterfeit kerosene products and poor kitchen habits relating to safety and precautions.
If all was well in Nigeria, a product like kerosene should be provided free of charge for families that still prefer this out-dated method of cooking using of kerosene stove.
But instead a keg of kerosene, usually about 4 liters went up to about N1 500 in the scarcity that we have seen in recent days.
In the absence of scarcity this product cost about N500. That is a lot of money for poor people.
ABSENCE OF ELECTRICITY
I have written several times about the sad state of electricity in Nigeria. Electricity supplies in several places are close to zero percent!
Businesses are grinding to a permanent halt in many places because of the lack of electricity.
In the computer village in Lagos, it has become so bad that small scale businessmen and women are on generators 24-7.
Do they have a choice?
These people are crying inside. They are tired, worn out and living with hope of a better day.
The choices of good men in Nigeria are too limited. It’s as if politics especially at the top has been forever left to men of questionable characters, ex-rogues and gangsters.
Nigerians really hoped on Goodluck Jonathan but some of us did not. I respect the right of Jonathan concerning his aspirations but it is sad that Nigerians did not see that Jonathan is a PDP representative and that the PDP has no good plans for Nigeria.
The evidence since 1999 are there for all of us to see but Nigerians decided to differentiate Jonathan from the PDP.
The consequences are here with us.
The counter arguments are going to be rife. Nigerians will forget that the morning shows the day and that the hopes that they have in Jonathan are the same that they had in Obasanjo in 1999. Today, 12 years into the reign of the PDP, the standard of living has dropped sharply, and the percentage of unemployed Nigerians have increased. More people have dropped below the poverty level. Only a very negligible percentage of Nigerians have joined the (rich) middle class.
There is no hate over our arguments, time will tell. But I can add that 4 years from now the arguments will take known dimensions-a man cannot fix Nigeria in 4 years!
Nigerians will come to realize someday that with a PDP government and the current Nigerian mentality of service provision and lack of true patriotism, we may end up even worse in 2015.
Only time will tell.
In the meantime, there are reasons to step up anticorruption activities. There are urgent needs to invoke national debates on the way forward or backward for the various segments or nations within Nigeria. There is a need to discuss true federalism and what each region wants to contribute or take away from the national treasury.
The present structure is suicidal. There is a serious need to discuss wealth creation and distribution. With the threats of secession, growing terrorism, civil unrest and religious intolerance there has never been greater need than now to discuss about the entity called Nigeria.
Delay is dangerous!