Sanusi Lamido Vs Ayogu Eze and Dimeji Bankole: Nigerians, Where is Our Money?

By Adeola Aderounmu

Sanusi Lamido said that the Nigerian lawmakers gulp 25% of the Nigerian National Budget. He said this in his capacity as the Chairman of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Ayogu Eze the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media said that was an exaggeration. In his analyses he said that it is only 3.5% of the Budget.

Dimeji spoke at Unilag and reiterated that he hoped that Sanusi was misquoted.

It may be true that on paper, our lawmakers are wasting 3.5% of the Budget. Yes, waste because for real I don’t see what those people are doing. I think they are just wasting time and money with their level of efficiency and the low level of intellectual discussions in both houses.

How did Sanusi reached his 25% conclusion? The man is not an illiterate and if there is something he knows, it is how to calculate money-in and money-out.

Who knows? Sanusi’s conclusions may have come from a more realistic approach. He is the Chairman of the Central Bank. This means that he has a very good grip of money flow in the Nigerian economy. He probably made his deductions from what he knew and what he saw-money flow to the lawmakers account. More explanations from Sanusi will avail much.

I am tempted to think along that line, I would say on paper, 3.5% but with all the allowances, exaggerated estacodes and all sorts of funds drawn for various dubious reasons then 25% may even be an understatement.

If Sanusi lied then he should be sacked with immediate effect. He must know if it is 3.5%, 25% or something in between. He said 25% and the rest of us have to take him for this words because he is the custodian of our treasury. I’m sure Mr. Sanusi knows other avenues that Nigeria’s monies have leaked away.

In plain terms if the Nigerian house of Assembly and Representatives take 3.5% of the National Budget, that in itself is even too much.

In a country of 150m people, a handful of people in Abuja earmarked to themselves a whooping 3.5% (on paper) of the country’s wealth. We also need to find out how much the executive and the judiciary arms have allocated to themselves. In rough statistical estimates it means that over 10% (on paper) of Nigeria’s wealth is legally embezzled by Politicians at the national level only!

Our optimism about a prosperous Nigeria must address these sorts of anomalies. We can’t build a virile nation when a few people are taking away more than 10% of the wealth because they are politicians. In reality and based on Sanusi’s revelations, we are probably talking about more than 50% of Nigeria’s wealth in private pockets.

It is therefore not surprising why poverty and hopelessness pervade the land north to south, east to west.

My suggestion is that all salaries and allowances of Nigerian politicians should be reviewed downward to tally with what is obtained in the Federal Ministries. Politicians are not gods and they should by no means earn more than the rest of the people in public services.

Nigerian politicians should start earning from N7 500. Why not? What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Why should politicians be earning millions of dollars when the minimum wage in Nigeria is still less than N10 000 per month? This is gross social injustice that is worse than both racism and xenophobism.

Nigerian politicians are spoilt and rotten. They get so much for doing so little. Nigerians must wake up from their slumber.

Political offices must be made to become an avenue to serve and not a means to be rich or to loot. The salaries and allowances of the politicians across Nigeria are great anomalies.

3.5% or 25% of the National Budget are both unrealistic figures for a few men and women if Nigeria really wants to set the country on the path of economic recovery, social justice, fairness and the good of all.

Nigerians must also know that one of the reasons why politics is a deadly game is because of the money people get when they are elected or selected or rigged into offices. One of the ways to bring sanity to Nigerian politics is to make the salary unattractive.

Indeed the exaggerated salaries were to discourage looting but that has been counter productive in many ways. They have looted more!

Let Nigerian politicians earn the same as the rest of us. If they steal, let us send them to jail.

If we don’t do the right things, our walk to freedom, justice, peace, true independence and economic vibrancy might take forever.

Let’s stop fooling around please!

Malcolm Fabiyi Wants a Change in Nigeria

By Adeola Aderounmu

Malcolm Fabiyi was one time president of the University of Lagos Students’ Union (That should be 1994/95). It was the same year/ time that I was the president of National Association of Zoology Students Unilag chapter.

Who knows what has become of Student Unionism in Nigeria?

In this video Malcolm encourages Nigerians to sign up for a change.

He condemns the wasteful celebration of Nigeria’s 50th anniversary.

I hope the Guiness Book of World Record has written that the celebration of Nigeria’s 50th anniversary is the worst and most wasteful celebration in the history of man. They should have it on record that for the first time in history over N17b was expended in the celebration of failures.

Malcolm went ahead to point up that in Nigeria the minimum wage in some states is N7 500.

How do Nigerian workers survive? How have they been paying their rent and bills? I think we need to send a group of researchers to Nigeria to find out how a Nigerian worker lives on N7 500 monthly. If I walk into a shop that amount of money cannot buy me a pair of shoes!!!

Here is Malcom in a video recorder at Wuse Market Abuja.

Every Nigerian must become a Malcolm if we want the change we talked about. We must act.

Naija: Charity Begins Abroad

By Adeola Aderounmu

If all the corrupt politicians and other corrupt people in Naija are to be arrested while abroad and put on trial, we will likely have a state of emergency.

What I mean is that there will be almost no one left in the seat of government in Naija and several businesses both private and public will need sudden adjustments to be able to continue with their functions or activities.

This is not an exaggeration. Corruption is a way of life rather than an exception in Naija and it must stop.

Naija’s seat of power will be empty if international laws make room or allowance for the sort of criminal prosecution that James Ibori is undergoing in UK.

Think about all the corruption charges and criminal activities that have been swept under the carpets in Naija since time immemorial.

It is impossible to write the list all over again; one can go mad trying to do that. Which one do you want to start from and where do you want to end?

Summarily you will hardly find any member of the ruling class both ex- and present at federal, state and local levels that are not soiled in one form of corruption/ looting charges or the other. You will hardly find officials who are not living above their income + allowances.

There are many probes that have been undertaken but we always end up at square one. That means that nothing comes out of the probes. Instead the discovered loots from Naija and abroad are redistributed and everyone goes mute. When it is not that, it is one corrupt group providing cover to another one.

Ideology departed naija long time ago.

The end result is the devastation of Naija by those who have promised to uphold the constitution, the rule of law and service to humanity. The outcome is the disgraceful ranking of Naija among the poorest countries in the world.

Time and time again I have refused to come to terms with how (probably) the most blessed country in the world became a home to some of the poorest people alive. This incomprehensible agony may follow me to my grave. It’s the greatest pain I bear.

How and what do you want to think about Naija. They tell us to stop complaining. How can we? Everyone of us must continue to use the means / medium available to him or her to continue to address the issues affecting Naija no matter how little the contributions seems. We will never have a perfect country but we must do all we can to pursue the optimal conditions-that aim at peace, happiness and the fulfilment of our dreams as individuals and as a nation.

Just the other day another Naija who has shamelessly contributed to the under-development of our football over the years was finally exposed far away in Switzerland. Amos Adamu, instead of accepting his fate, instead of repenting and turning a new leaf went bragging about his innocence. Evidence don’t lie, not when they are available in audio and video. If he pushes his luck too far the evidence may surface on YouTube sooner or later.

A person like me can only wish, but International laws are not going to change to the extent that they will allow all the corrupt people in Naija to be arrested and prosecuted while on wasteful adventures abroad.

I do not mean / and I have never stated that oyinbos are not corrupt but the differences are too clear. When oyinbos–as individuals-are exposed or caught in the acts, they tend to resign and then face court actions. Naijans don’t resign. They get promoted after each corrupt activity.

Even if a newspaper or news outfit in Naija publishes a story about one corrupt officer or public servant. The story may not appear twice.

The affected officer/ his people will kill the news information by several means. The journalist can be bribed and kept silence forever. The journalist could even be literarily killed like it has happened several times in Naija. The newspaper/ news outfit company may even see such information as a means to enrich the organisation as a whole. Blackmail may set in.

In the end the story dies. Poverty spreads and the moral decadence is aggravated.

There are thousands of cases of Naija officials who have escaped from the arm of the law even under the EFCC since its inception. EFCC as it was in the beginning is still the same today-selectively and inconclusively pursuing justice. It makes no sense. The essence of our lives remains eroded by the consequences of all the things we have done half way or totally neglected.

In 1983 Mrs Obi my class teacher at Central Primary School, Festac Town, taught me that nearly does not catch a bird. Throughout life, my father told me that what is worth doing at all is worth doing well. I have learnt many things in my life. These things indicate to me that the people who have managed to hold the rest of us hostage in Naija are abnormal people.

The rest of us have loads of sacrifices to make if we want true freedom and normal independence. To this day, it’s absolute madness at the helm of affairs where corruption continues to beget corruption.

The cost of the destruction and devastation that has befallen Naija are inestimable. We could have built a bridge that goes round the world if we wanted. We didn’t. Instead we created emperors, tyrants and dictators who have total evil intents and wicked purposes.

For example, if we look at the cost of going to school alone in Nigeria, we get an overview of the doom ahead. Whilst every nation of the world strive to provide basic, compulsory and affordable or free education to their citizens, Nigeria continues to make it harder and harder for ordinary people to get education. It is as if that is the plan for the slavery of the future.

We have gone through the first slavery. We have gone through first colonisation. Both perpetrated by oyinbos. We are now enduring second (internal) colonisation. Yet the present indicates that the future might be worse. I am not a pessimist but when you take education away from the people, you make their emancipation even harder.

I could write forever about my pains and frustrations as a naija person. But my message as usual, is that we should put an end to the stupidity that reigns in our public institutions. I know that it is possible to turn things around. I’ve been searching for the turning point for naija.

Rather than trying to fix problems, wouldn’t it be better for us at every point in time to ensure that we do the right thing, seek peace, fairness and justice?

In all that we do, because no one will build this nation but ourselves, Charity must begin in Naija.

Okey Bakassi and the Nigerian Mentality of How Politics Works

By Adeola Aderounmu

Okey Bakassi’s real names are McAnthony Onyegbule. He was a guest on The Teju Babayface Show sometime ago. He is currently the Executive Assistant to the Imo State Governor.

The position of the Executive Assistant is one of the thousands of positions in Nigerian Politics that are unconstitutional, irrelevant and wasteful.

Think about this, there are 36 states in Nigeria. Each Governor has an almost redundant Deputy Governor. Governors have several assistants, Deputy Governors have several assistants. All the assistants have deputy assistants. The chains continue down the ranks creating one of the most wasteful forms of governance in the world.

The situation is the same in the House of Assembly and House of Representatives both at the state and national leverls. Each non-thinking dude or madam creates a similar links of deputy, assistants, executive assistants and so on.

In my world, these types of situations are classical social madness.

On that particular episode of The TejuBaby face Show, Okey Bakassi as he is fondly called said so many things about Nigerian politics which made me conclude (once again) that hope is far from Nigeria.

He mentioned that what journalists write about Nigerian politics is far from what is going on in the government houses.

He also mentioned that “when you are inside” you see things differently and that there are many things on how government functions that are not known to the rest of us.

I was furious when he spoke because his body language was obvious. It gave him away as “now one of the corrupt”.

What journalists write about Nigeria may not always be the truth for sure. The reason is because Nigerian Press has been overtaken by the Nigerian Factor. Many Journalists are corrupt, they accept bribes in different forms-cash and kind-from the politicians.

There may be a few corrupt-free journalists left in Nigeria but they are rare species. This means that sometimes we still get to read or hear the truth about how corrupt and silly our politicians are. It means that on rare occasions we still get to know the “truth” about some things in Nigeria.

Many newspapers are owned by corrupt people, godfathers and all sorts of dubious characters. I have almost stopped reading Nigerian newspapers. It is so-so hard to find honest inputs in the Nigerian press.

Opinion writers and editorial stuffs are even sometimes based on the brown envelope syndrome. No Nigerian newspaper is free of this shame.

Corruption-escalated by tribalism, nepotism and ineptitude-has eaten deep into all the possible things and places in Nigeria.

“When you are inside”. What does Okey Bakassi mean by this expression?

We have asked for a transparent and honest form of government. We got nothing close. Even the present government in Nigeria is a serious scandal to the black race.

There is no attempt to fight or stop corruption because the custodians of power are travelling in the same boat as the guilty and the criminals.

When the people we know and trust enter into/ or become part of government, the first thing they do is to disappoint us.

There are thousands of names of people whom we trust. People whom we thought, Oh this is going to be better. Alas..! As soon as they are inside everything changes.

Nigeria is likely to remain a hopeless country (forever) in terms of political greatness if this mentality is not erased once and for all.

Nigerian politics has been used by people to transform their lives. One month after entering into politics, a Nigerian politician or some funny assistant can afford to send all his families abroad-to live or study there permanently.

Why can’t they fix Nigeria and let their families stay here in Nigeria like the rest of us?

They scoop our monies and loot our treasury. The truth they spoke when on the outside suddenly departs them “when you are inside”. They are now agents of lies and deceits.

I am not talking about only Okey Bakassi now. I am talking about a typical nice and well brought up Nigerian person. He/ she enters into politics and become evil in nature.

It is evil and wicked to steal, loot or to partake in stealing and looting in whatever ways.

Every kobo stolen in Nigeria adds to the persistent and increasing level of poverty. Every ½kobo taken one way or the other in the wrong manner adds up to the devastation of lives.

Look at Nigerian roads, schools, hospitals and all that is common to the common people. What you get is disaster..! After all these years and after all we have said and done, Electricity is almost absent in Nigeria!

Yet when one of us gets into government house as assistant or even the speaker of the house of rep, what we get back are monsters who suddenly forget about the transiency of life and power.

They forget completely the purpose of life. At that moment, a form of psychopathic madness characterised by egocentrism and demonic urge for money, wealth and acquisition of inexhaustible riches take over.

I will never come to terms with Nigerian politicians and public servants buying houses and property abroad with monies that should have been used to serve the people in Nigeria. We destroy our motherland while pretending to be doing good. We lie and make it a way of life. We kill those who speak the truth.

Nigerian politics is peculiar. It beats me that murderers, looters, thieves and generally incompetent people are running for the presidency and other government houses in Nigeria. Where is law and order?

If this is the best dish we can serve Africa and the rest of the world, the rest of us “who are outside of government” really have ourselves to blame for the type of stories coming from Okey Bakassi and the extremely low of quality of life that we live.

“When you are inside” My Foot!

Adamu de-Brands Nigeria…FIFA has spoken

Adeola

FIFA has now found Nigerian Amos Adamu guilty of trying to sell his vote for the world cup bid.

I discussed this briefly in a recent post here on this blog .

The guy has been suspended for 3 years.

I should think that the evidence against him were convincing to Fifa Ethics committee. Adamu was caught on camera and I hope he stops pushing the case himself because the video may end up on YouTube.

My concern here is the way Adamu’s image has been splashed on all the major newspapers around the world and how once again the rebranding of Nigeria has been rubbished.

This is what you get when you cannot clean your house and going ahead to trying to clean the streets.

Adamu’s shameful and disgraceful involvement in this scandal is both a reflection and a boomerang of the Nigerian civil service where everything revolves around corruption, settlements and unimaginable acceptable codes of conducts.

Just last week roads were commissioned in Ikenne Ogun State in Nigeria by Goodluck Jonathan. There are reports that the roads already have pot holes. In less than one week!

It shows that the governor of the state is corrupt and the man who left Abuja to Ikenne to commission a bad road is…?

And for the past 6 days there has not been electricity in Ikenne.

This is Adamu’s background, a society founded on rot and gross ineptitude.

He should use the last pride and dignity in him to vacate FIFA and sport altogether. But No, not in Nigeria.

I will NEVER be surprised if he is rewarded in Nigeria with the position of the Sports Minister. Nigeria has several ways of rewarding stupidity and corruption.

Unless something unthinkable happens, this case is nothing to Nigeria and the further elevation of Adamu nationally is around the corner.

You must love my country of birth.

N18 000 is Still Minimum [Poverty] Wage

By Adeola Aderounmu

There was a strike in Nigeria on Wednesday November 10. These strikes were called by the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress.

These Unions reached an agreement with the Nigerian government in 2009. As a tradition the government didn’t keep its part of the agreement.

The people want a raise of the Minimum wage to USD120 (about N18 000). The present minimum wage is about USD 60 or N9 000.

The goal is to eventually get the minimum wage to USD350 which is about N52 200.

This is touching, sad and extremely irritating. In 2010 there are people earning USD 60 in Nigeria!

More sadly there is no unemployment benefit, which means that some people don’t earn or gain anything at all at the end of the month.

This is the same country where the politicians earn more money when compared to the US president Mr. Obama. Nigeria is one of the largest producers of crude oil in the world and our politicians are probably the highest paid in the world.

Irritatingly they are also grouped among the most corrupt persons on planet earth.

These demands for wage increase reduced the Nigerian labourer to almost a piece of unappreciated rubbish. Very sorrowful and extremely painful against the backdrop of a country that tries to preach that it is the giant of Africa.

If we put the national earnings of Nigeria since 1960 side by side with what the workers are demanding we see one of the biggest contradictions of the century.

We need no reminder that Nigeria has been mismanaged and plundered by her rulers and dictators in various forms-military and civilian authoritarianisms even to this day.

The strikes have been suspended. What the Nigerian government should do is to assess the standard of living of the average Nigerian and work out appropriate wages that will ensure good quality of life for all and sundry.

Apart from money, infrastructures must be provided or reinstated. Food, Water and Housing must be provided for all. Good roads and modern schools cannot be left out. Along with good health, these are the indices of poverty.

Nigeria must fight corruption by all means and ensure that the dividends of the oil and other revenues trickle down to the last man/woman on the street. By all means we must become more productive and transform our economy for the better.

Unemployed persons should receive benefits while active measures are taken to reduce the rate of unemployment both in the skilled and unskilled labour forces.

The strengthening of our democratic structures and empowerment of public and private institutions through manpower development and the acquisition and utilisation of technological knowhow are not least among the exigencies facing Nigeria.

The outcomes of the 2011 electoral processes will be a decisive factor that will shape the things to come.

Anyway, with the cost of living in Nigeria today no one should be earning less than N200 000 as monthly wages. This is about USD 1 300 and it is definitely not a bad proposition. This is what the labour unions should be struggling to achieve and not a poverty wage of USD120.

With probity, accountability and functional economic variabilities, the issue of inflation should not become a threat or hindrance to the good life that we deserve.

Cars and Vehicles Heading To Nigeria

Adeola

It will no longer be business as usual for people bringing in cars and vehicles into Nigeria. Usually these people load their vehicles with all kinds of things. Often these things are condemned articles in Europe and other places. In rare cases cool and new items are loaded into cars, buses or other second hand vehicles heading to naija.

They are redefined and resold in Nigeria.

A few weeks ago some people tried to smuggled arms and ammunitions into Nigerian through the Lagos port. Since then it has been “bad for business” for people whose livelihood depends on bringing second hand stuffs into Nigeria. Now if you are sending a loaded car or vehicle to Nigeria there is a risk that no shipping agent will get it off the ground.

But it will be interesting to know how arms proliferated in the Nigeri Delta area of Nigeria during the Obasanjo/ Odili arrangement. It would actually be more interesting to hear from Jonathan about his opinions and knowledge about the “seeping” of arms into that region having served as a deputy gov and then governor.

I really feel sorry for some people that I know. I mean there are guys out here who live on sending stuffs to Naija. They must be thinking hard now on the next level.

Maybe they have to switch to containers. I am sure they can still do their loading with containers by increasing their investment capital. But it will be a tough call and I really wish them the best of luck. They are naija or people connected to naija and I’m sure they will find a way out of the dilemma.