Nigeria: The Avoidable Journey To Venezuela

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Woman Counting the Old 200 500 and 1000 Naira notes
Woman Counting the Old 200 500 and 1000 Naira notes
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Like in the case of Venezuela, Nigeria is experiencing what Economists describe as an extreme case of hyperinflation. In this case, the prices of goods increase by no small margin. Like Venezuela, the path Nigeria took to hyperinflation was not different from the mismanagement of its natural resources, profligacy, and recklessness. Plus, many of those are programmed to fail through a pervasive mindset of Nigerian greed; from the lowest to the highest societal rungs.

For example, the Anchor Borrowers Program —parceled to give loan access to Nigerian farmers —was marred by Nigerian corruption, where farmers and non-farmers —in cahoots with some government officials —got these loans only to divert them, used to defray non-agric expenses; facilitating ornate lifestyles; taking new wives and going for all sorts of adventures in the name of religion. All, with no apparent intentions to pay back the loans. Are we not reaping what we sowed?

As I have said repeatedly, the same, can be advanced for every government’s initiatives; from Unconditional Cash Transfer to Trader Money, to NPower, to Naira Redesigning, to eNaira, the same horrid fate; all sunk ships, left to fester at the ocean floor, from Nigerian greed. So, when I said it —unequivocally —that a leader doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and that a leader will NEVER succeed in an amoral society —not ready to purge itself of evil —this is what it takes to ‘wobble and fumble’ in the voice of coach Fanny Amu. It’s the end times and we are in for a long ride.

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From a land flowing with milk and honey, how did a country like Nigeria, similar to Venezuela which was once an oasis of pleasure get to this sorry stage? Simple, maladministration, nepotism, profligacy, recklessness and corruption. Despite differences in geography and politics, Nigeria and Venezuela shared similarities between the two countries in terms of Attributes.

The two countries rank among the world’s top ten oil producers, with economies significantly reliant on oil, and both are very corrupt – placing 145th and 177th respectively on the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index. Unsurprisingly, Venezuela/Nigeria suffer from the Dutch Disease as oil export earnings over the decades have been squandered on profligate populist policies.

As a nation, we are overwhelmed with a plethora of stories. The Nigerian economy is dominated by crude oil, which accounts for half of the government revenue and more than 75% of the country’s total export earnings (Coface). Nigeria is among the first ten oil exporters, and its oil reserves are estimated at 37 billion barrels (OPEC). The country also has become one of the lead exporters of liquefied natural gas, which accounts for an additional 13% of exports (ITC).

Additionally, the country also extracts tin ore and coal for domestic use. Nigeria’s other natural resources include iron ore, limestone, niobium, lead, zinc, and arable land. On the flip side, there are no corresponding effects of the resources in the affairs of the citizens. Amid this plenty, unemployment is rising, hunger is on the increase, and frustration and crime are also on the rise.

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In conclusion, I like to share with you the profound words of Abraham Lincoln, an American lawyer, politician, and statesman who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in 1865. Lincoln remarked as follows: “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”

Finally, as a birthday-mate with Abraham Lincoln, Although, today the 13th of February is mine whereas Lincoln is the 12th. I wish to rededicate myself in the service to humanity while joining millions of our compatriots at home and abroad in standing with our beloved country Nigeria and the family members of our dear ‘Head-Of-State’ General Murtala Ramat Muhammad 48 years after that black Friday 13th February 1975. Our matriarch Chief (Mrs) Hafsat Ajoke Muhammed, darling sister Aishat Oyebode nee Muhammed and my friend and brother Abba Risqua Muhammad.

REST IN POWER THE PEOPLE’S GENERAL.

Richard Odusanya
odusanyagold@gmail.com

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