Sunday, January 22, 2012


I am sure I have your attention now! As inconceivable as it might sound, all the signs point to a nation on the verge of a financial meltdown!

When an entity's liabilities outweigh her assets, and ability to generate enough income to meet future liabilities, such an entity is usually said to be insolvent, bankrupt, or broke!

In movies, when a person is shot, or stabbed, the victim usually dies instantly, except where a slow death has been written into the plot!

In real life however, we know that death from shooting, or stabbing, can be agonizingly slow! It is a process of hemorrhaging the precious life sustaining fluid, blood: that eventually kills!

Nations do not die like people in films, they die in slow motion! The death blow could have been delivered through a failed policy resulting from a fundamental failure of leadership!

In our own case, that failure has been the policy of successive governments budgeting more on recurrent expenditure (mostly the salaries of political office holders, and other emoluments) instead of capital projects!

We spent more money on areas that did not produce wealth, while neglecting the wealth-generating ones!

Successive leaders have operated with the mentality that oil will never run out, and that their profligate lifestyles would never undermine the nation as a whole: they were all wrong!

Our nation is broke! 

It is the only explanation for the madness of January 1st 2012: the complete removal of subsidy on petroleum! The government could no longer sustain an expenditure that was sure to doom it's very survival!

Nigeria is a modern day example of the infamous General Santa Anna! A man who was reputed for having the ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory! In a nutshell, he often managed to turn a winning situation, to one of desperation!

The question of removal of subsidy, or otherwise, would not have arisen, if Nigeria had properly utilized her God-given asset: crude oil!

Through criminal neglect, collusion with fuel importing cartels, and abdication of responsibility, we allowed our refineries to die without as much as a whimper!

If we had been refining our own crude for local consumption, the argument that we ought to be paying international rates would be a non-starter!

For years we mollified the people by living a lie! Money that could have been used to develop our infrastructure, was paid to government cronies, and carpetbaggers, as the difference in the cost of importing petroleum products, in order to keep prices at an artificial level!

It was the only way peace could be sustained in a nation of such institutionalized corruption, and poverty!

Some of the individuals who benefited from the payment of this subsidy, are actually ministers in this present government!

As we are all aware, many nations in the Euro zone have been seeking external funding to keep them out of insolvency!

Nigeria is aware, that if she goes cap in hand, looking for a bail-out, no one would listen to her!

We are a major oil producing nation! Our president has eight presidential jets in his fleet! He, and his vice president will feed themselves with one billion naira this year alone!

So the only option left to the government, was to go to the people for "a loan"! It is not one they intend to pay back!

It is actually more a case of a drowning man clutching at floating leaves!

If the truth must be told, Nigeria can actually save so much more money, if all political office holders, elected, and appointed, were to take a seventy five percent pay cut!

In that single move, we would see the pendulum swing from red, to black!

Nigeria is broke, and fixing her will not be easy!


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