magine a 61-year-old ‘kid’ who is still a toddler, has not been weaned, and is still wearing diapers. Infants use diapers to capture and hold pee and waste. Napkin or nappy are other terms for the same thing. Nigeria is the 61-year-old ‘child.’ Despite her age, which falls into the category of the elderly, she refuses to grow and stays a “kid.” A 61-year-old can have children and grandchildren. Nigeria should have risen to a mature economy in the category of First World Countries at the age of 61, from a political economy standpoint.
However, she has arrived in a third-world country. Nigeria, I sincerely hope and pray, would not be the first country to be classed as a Fourth World Country, if there is any classification like that. Nonetheless, some people say that this is our best moment since 1999. Despite the obvious indications to the contrary, they claim Nigeria is still not a failed state.
Regardless, Nigeria is widely seen as a developing country. Is that the best place for us to be right now? Is that the right kind of niche for us to carve out? Oh! Please excuse my rudeness. Our political gladiators built a space for us.
Nigeria is still a “kid” because she cannot do much on her own. Her restriction on rice importation, for example, in order to promote local production, demonstrates that she is powerless to act alone. What would normally be a respectable policy becomes a foreshadowing of excruciatingly difficult times. The price of rice in this area is excessively high. She is unable to raise inexpensive common rice. Do not even bring up beans, which is the poor’s only source of protein. It is considerably more costly than rice. However, everything appears to be fine.
What about natural gas for cooking? It is a terrible situation. In Nigeria, a salary earner is faced with a difficult dilemma. He either fills up his gas tank or goes out and buys some rice muds. It is difficult to find a happy medium. There will be no food to buy if he fills his gas cylinder. There will be no need to fill the gas cylinder if he purchases rice muds. It is now a miracle how food gets to his table. The ability to feed once a day is the biggest achievement of regular Nigerians on any given day in Nigeria. What a shame!
Nonetheless, they claim that the Naira is superior to the Dollar in terms of value and strength. “Even if a Dollar is traded for 580 Naira, the latter can offer a day meal, whilst the former cannot,” they claimed. This type of argument has grown tiresome. As a result, I will not engage in debate. I will just ask these government-employed economists to explain why Nigerians are flocking to the United States and other nations in large numbers to earn Dollars. Why does it not work the other way around? Are they claiming that the Naira has improved since the 1970s? I defer to their inner conscience.
Nigeria is still a “baby,” in the sense that any attempt to move forward is met with one or two steps backward. She slumps like a toddler attempting to walk several times on her path to socioeconomic progress. However, kudos to a toddler who, after multiple failed efforts, eventually walks. Alas! After sixty-one years, Nigeria is still crawling. Nigeria would have been able to walk if she had repaired her refineries, diversified her economy, and saved for rainy days. The oil industry’s corruption is disastrous and extremely stinky. How can we prove that the ‘great’ Minister of Petroleum is not to blame? Who else could it be if not him?
Nigeria, at the age of 61, is still a suckling infant that has not been weaned. As a result, she has a lot of mothers. Other countries are still feeding her—Britain, which colonized her first, and others who are on the verge of colonizing her. Nigeria screams to her mother, China, her mummy, America, and her granny, the World Bank, for a loan, just as a hungry but yet-to-be-weaned kid cries to its mother for breast milk. Mrs. Germany for electricity, and Miss Malaysia for graduate studies, she begs. Only a few days ago, she officially ‘begged’ by formally requesting funds from the Queen of the Netherlands. What a pity!
In terms of landmass, the Netherlands is smaller than Yobe State, and its population is smaller than Lagos. I wish these were stories rather than truths. I weep for the sake of my country.
Her debt profile soared to record levels since she was or is being nursed with loans. In the first quarter of 2020, she has a total debt stock of 28.63 trillion Dollars (March). Is it COVID-19, or do you believe it is? No! Before that, there was this. Nigeria’s debt profile was at around N12.12 trillion in June 2015, only a month after the APC gained power from the PDP, according to the Debt Management Office (DMO). It is N31.01 trillion as of June 2020, according to DMO. If President Muhammadu Buhari’s proposal for a $22.7 billion foreign loan is approved, the debt will grow to N33 trillion, according to the Senate.
The estimate is correct: 33.107 trillion Dollars as of March 31, 2021. The current administration is on the verge of tripling the debt that the PDP administration bestowed upon it in 2015. Worse, the loan has not improved the lives of Nigerians in any discernible way. On a daily basis, the masses, on the other hand, face adversity after adversity.
Nigeria continues to use diapers at 61. Are you surprised!? But that is the case. Corruption is revolting. It is similar to a diaper covering or holding a baby’s faeces. Because our looted funds stink, they are kept in foreign accounts. Foreign banks are like the diapers that Nigerian looters wear. We smell the stench when the diapers burst due to the volume of the excreta. You may recall Abacha’s riches, notwithstanding Malami claim that it is an “asset.” Whatever adjective you use, it was the diaper that burst; we would have been completely unaware.
Let us now devote our attention to President Buhari’s independence day remarks. Who was the one who removed the part that was missing? I am unsure. However, there is a flaw. That is what I think. Maybe I am mistaken. Because I doubt the President would be willing to probe the high-profile funders behind Sunday Adeyemo and Nnamdi Kanu, but not those hunting Nigerians at large to their early graves, especially in the North.
Who removed from the President’s speech the North’s terrorist financiers? I was under the impression that their names would be announced in the address in order to shock Nigerians. Are these accusations of ethnic jingoism and parochialism true? Is terrorism being criminalized in the South and legalized in the North? Is the President satisfied with the tumultuous situation in the North? Perhaps the President simply read the speech word for word, without questioning its content.
People in the South should be grateful to the President if we presume Nnamdi and Igboho were harassing their region. They should be thankful for continuous investigations into the terrorist funders in their region. Terrorism is not an assumption for those in Northern Nigeria; it is a reality. The reason why the North’s terrorist financiers are not exposed is a closely guarded secret known only to government officials.
Despite what Nigeria has become in the last six years, the Presidency always declares boldly, “No administration since 1999 has done what we have done in six years…” Is such a speech necessary? In any case, it is a Nigerian tradition. This is the last but one address, I believe. If everything else remains equal, President Muhammadu Buhari’s final speech will be delivered next year.