Monday, June 21, 2010

How I Would Spend Ten Billion Naira.( If I were President)

If I were the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, and my officials came to me with a budget of ten billion naira, to spend on a jubilee jamboree. These are some of the things I would rather spend the money on.

Just trying to count all the zeroes in the amount, is dizzying. 

I might just build ten thousand  community health centres, spread across all the states of Nigeria. To maximize the use of the money, I would ask communities to execute the projects through direct labour.

We would then name them Jubilee Health Centres. I am sure we would reduce maternal, and infant mortality rates by fifty percent in less than one year.

We have a dubious reputation, of being only behind India, in this wicked, and unwanted statistic!

If I do not do that, I might consider building ten thousand e-libraries, equipped with solar powered back up systems across the states. I would still adopt the direct labour route. 

I have discovered that when people participate in building something, they usually take care of it. The reason for the library is to fast track us into the twenty first century, Our libraries are dying, derelict, and decrepit.

One other option I might consider, is to to build six Jubilees Secondary Schools in the six geopolitical zones. Communities would gladly donate tracts of land for them.

Another way to spend this money, would be to establish, fifty thousand simple Day Care Centres in government  offices across the country. 

These centres would be open to members of the public. They would be semi-commercial, to enable them pay for themselves,the aim is to help women who have children get back to work on time.

Another thing I might do,is to use the money to purchase electronic generating sets for our underfunded research institutes. You would be amazed at the impact.  

The last thing I might do is to invest it in a company like MTN to begin to reap dividends for our people.  

For a nation that went round the world asking for debt relief ten years ago, we have very short memories.We must look like a right lot of wastrels, and profligate spendthrifts.

I wonder why we are blessed with leaders who do not know the value of money, and how to manage, and grow it. 

Is it that they are less intelligent than we give them credit for? Could it be that we are being ruled by pirates who only know how to purloin, pillage, and plunder?

The world has been waiting for Nigeria, to stand up from the drink induced vomit she has been wallowing in for fifty years. Is this how we intend to rise? With a bottle of booze in our hands?.

Nations across the world are tightening their belts as a result of the global economic downturn. Nigeria, on the other hand, is showing that oil money is still flowing. 

This is a country that wasted her first forty nine years without a sovereign wealth fund.We spent, or embezzled , without saving, any of the money we made from oil. If our oil dries up tomorrow, we are bankrupt. We have nothing to fall back on.


So why enrich some already very rich civil servants, and their contractor friends, with money that would not have any meaningful, tangible,and sensible impact on the populace? 

The answer is simple. It is the Nigerian way! 

The wayward,wasteful, way!

Until we change our ways,


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