Thursday, September 1, 2011


I doubt if any other nation on earth, has the dubious honour of starting, never finishing, and never benefiting from projects like Nigeria!

We have the Ajaokuta Iron and Steel Complex! A project meant to fast track us into the industrial age! Apart from not having a flat sheets component, the project after many billions, has not lived up to our "underexpectation"!

The national identity card programme: after making many civil servants millionaires, the people are still waiting for a viable national identity card!

Should we talk about our refineries that employ thousands, and somehow are never able to consistently refine without a fire breaking out in the distillation, or is it "fractionating" unit? The fire always happens in the vital component, always after a turnaround maintenance! It must be that all those in government are gullible fools, or they are complicit in this criminal act!

Need we examine our failed, epileptic, power situation? Despite being a monopoly, the power holding company has done exactly as it's name implies, held power, without releasing it for the people to enjoy!

Billions of dollars have been spent on these projects, and similar ones too, but very little return has accrued to the people! There are two projects in contention for the next "black" not white elephant, project award!

One is our proposed misadventure in nuclear energy, and the space programme!

I have already made up my mind that the day the foundation stone for a nuclear reactor is laid in Nigeria, I shall go on exile permanently! Chernobyl would be a wisp compared to the cataclysm Nigerian carelessness could unleash!

The purported space programme, is a joke taken too far! Every year Nigeria now spends twenty million dollars on a project whose benefits could be surpassed by an investment of five hundred thousand dollars in Google Earth!

We "built"  the first satellite, it failed, now we have ordered another two to be built after many excuses and if-it-had-being from those charged with the project!

By engaging in a space programme, Nigeria seeks to clothe herself in the robes of a developed, or emerging nation!

This is a nation where more than ninety million people live on less than a dollar a day! A nation where thousands of women, and children die from preventable diseases, and complications every month!

Need I talk about our sinfully abysmal failure rate in the GCE examinations? An ongoing, and tragic, disaster that saw only two percent of those who sat for the examination passing!

Should I add our deranged roads that have craters that are like humongous Venus fly traps, waiting to swallow whole, unsuspecting vehicles!

Space exploration, is a luxury, having a space programme is an indication that that nation has completed, and surmounted, her terrestrial challenges!

Water source, Adamawa. Nigeria

A "classroom". Adamawa, Nigeria

Water source, Adamawa. Nigeria

Children at a well, Adamawa, Nigeria

Children in a school in Adamawa, Nigeria

Children fetching water in Adamawa Nigeria

A "classroom" in a "school" in Bauchi, Nigeria

Men fetching water in Katsina, Nigeria

Woman getting drinking water in Adamawa, Nigeria

Village water supply, Adamawa, Nigeria

Nigeria, has not even become fully aware of these challenges, not to talk of solving them!

A space programme is the scientific equivalent of building your house from the roof down, if you are still grappling with polio, malaria, hunger, poverty, and all the other malaise we have made our call sign! It is illogical, and quixotic!

In my opinion, it is just another conduit for some fat cats to milk this already hemorrhaging country of a few more billions! We have been told that our own satellite would help us spot fire from space, spot, and warn of flooding, and other agricultural disasters!

Of what benefit is it, if we spot a fire somewhere in the bush, and we do not have well equipped fire fighting facilities? How would warning the people of Ibadan, that officials have opened a dam, and that a massive flood was coming, if we do not have a well funded, and properly articulated, disaster management programme? 

So yo see, we are putting the roof, before the foundation, as usual! 

On the lighter side, I wonder if any sane person would ever volunteer for a manned space flight! I can just imagine the fellow now, after his spacecraft has been struck by a meteorite, he radios over to mission control in Abuja "Mission control, this is mugu man in space over! We have been struck by an asteriod, and we are loosing pressure, and oxygen! Is any one there? Over"

Poor fellow! Unknown to him, mission control headquaters has suffered a power outage, their diesel powered generating sets are not working because no one could get diesel to purchase as a result of the strike action by petroleum tanker drivers!

When Nigeria solves the problems we currently have on ground, within reach, we can then begin to think about joining the exclusive club of space explorers!

The United States of America, has just wound down the space shuttle programme because of cost: that should be a lesson to an underperforming economy like ours!


No comments:

Post a Comment