How Leadership Fails Nigeria

 

Hope for good governance and good leadership in Nigeria seems to be increasingly distant confidence. If leadership does not take the citizenry forward along the lines of development, growth and flourishing it can either stagnate the state or lead it backwards both in time and in comparison to other societies. Moving backwards in this sense and the manner it becomes manifest indeed is “de-civilisation”. Nigeria is becoming a largely de-civilised nation; sliding backwards in both modern and traditional senses because decay is profitable to the leaders. Continue reading

2017: “Saint Buhari” and More Economic Stagnation

The trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership. There is nothing basically wrong with the Nigerian character. There is nothing wrong with the Nigerian land or climate or water or air or anything else – Chinua Achebe

In the year 2017, Nigeria’s economy is predictably going stagnate further without recourse to rescue. Maslow’s ‘hierarchy of needs’ will be mostly only fulfilled at the bottom level in the nation. The imminent threat of mass hunger will eventually overtake the ‘Nigerian genius’ of denying hunger when living with sharply decreasing calorie intake over time. Stuff higher than food and water will be harder to acquire or keep. Hopes for improving personal prosperity have never been higher but the economic, cultural and political climate has never been so decisively forbidding. Business opportunities, profits, employment, ethical credit, education, exchange rates are all facing steep decline.  It is all, sadly, a problem of leadership and the “Household of Buhari” is a big part of the problem. Continue reading

Can Buhari Win The Oil War?

Buhari defeat

The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) may not be a praiseworthy entity to many but their emergence and defiance have provided a thorough and incisive diagnosis of the dissembling cohesion of the nation-state called Nigeria. Nigeria has never been a thoroughgoing republic but simply a geographical “convenience” of British colonial exploitation (for palm oil) and a political “convenience” of Northern Nigerian auto-colonial hegemony (for crude oil). Race and tribe have played an exceeding big role in the creation of NDA. Enduringly placing the ‘straightjacket of inferiority’ firmly upon Niger Delta people/region who never asked for it by people who have extracted its wealth in obscene amounts without considering the indigenes will generate extreme reactions. Oppressive exploitation of oil in a highly fragile state does not work forever; President Muhammadu Buhari will learn this. Continue reading

Nigeria: Stealing in the Name of Nuclear Power

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Anytime you hear that a new great ‘developmental project’ is being planned and undertaken by the Government of Nigeria (GON), it is important to identify who the short, medium and long term beneficiaries and losers created will be. Consultants, contractors, traditional land-owners, traditional rulers, government officials, board members and special interests groups are the short, medium and long term beneficiaries with a mix of obscene upfront fees, atrociously inflated contracts, preferential job offerings, generous concessionaire privileges under privatisation and convenient abandonment clauses. The 150 million ‘everyday Nigerians’ who the GON take out odious “development debts” on their behalf without asking them (by default) become the permanent losers but projected as winners by GON. This ‘development’ winners/losers dichotomy has now been moved to nuclear power, oil is failing. Continue reading

What Does The Niger Delta Clean-Up Mean for Profiteers

Ogoni-land

It has been announced by the Buhari Administration that the heinous cumulative oil pollution in the Niger Delta will be cleaned-up; this is very good news. The clean-up was recommended by the 2011 UNEP report (i.e. four years ago). Why it took so long to get to this stage can be said to be as a result of a confluence of sheer misgovernance, inordinate oil wealth greed, political insensitivity and as you might have known already, it is corruption. So what is the predictable expected scenario of the clean-up in practice? Continue reading

Fame and Prize Winners: Wole Soyinka and Nnimmo Bassey

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Wole Soyinka is famed for winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986 based on his significant contributions to poetry and drama. Though his award was highly controversial and the Nobel Committee’s ‘choice’ felbious, Soyinka won the prize anyway, deservedly. He was the first African to win the prize. There are very few urban Nigerians that do not know who Wole Soyinka is; he is a living legend. Continue reading

Nuclear Power in Nigeria: Another Crazy ‘Pole Vault’

For many years the Government of Nigeria seems to be managed by a class of “capability pole vaulters”. Government officials tend ‘pole vault’ the nation into many projects they lack the capability, will or wherewithal to execute or sustain effectively. The latest pole vault project is the establishment of nuclear reactors as power plants to provide conatsnt electricity in Nigeria. This is a nation that cannot independently manage its uncomplicated thermal and hydroelectric power plants with any efficacy or credibility. Continue reading

The End of Oil is the Beginning of Prosperity in Nigeria

One inexplicable phenomenon among Nigerians is their response to the news that Nigeria’s oil is facing a possible demise as a major export commodity. That would be “The End of Oil.” It is a distressing reality to grapple with for some in one category of the demography. Economists and political scientists who I hang out with regularly are cynical if not fearful of the implications for that state known as Nigeria. Such a disturbing reaction is probably the one to expect. We may ask, would the end of oil also mean the end of the oil curse?

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The Ontology of the African V: The Exploitation & The Blindness

The ontology of the African is an emergent creature of exploitation, historical and contemporary. It started with slavery and colonisation. The late Dr Abdul Rahim Tajudeen, former head of the Pan-African Movement, was a fierce opponent of do-gooding foreign aid and charity. To him, when the African adopts the attitudes of the non-African towards the exploitation of Africa and its peoples, it necessarily creates serious concern. What disturbed Dr Tajudeen most was the contemptuous and cynical “image of Africa” exploited by non-African NGOs to raise money in non-African societies. These images of Africa were also used by African governments to secure odious loans by way of “begging bowl politics.” One thing that disgusted him was the regular incidences of immunisation aid projects used as “human experiment labs” on African peoples. How about the fictitious characterisations of Africa with terms like “mineral curse” and “neo-patrimonial state”? Imagine “poverty tourism” which is on the rise today whereby non-Africans visit African slums to “enjoy the observable pleasures of the African in suffering”; sheer Schadenfreude! With such an ontology, should it be shocking if the is asked, “Are Africans also human beings?” Dr Tajudeen was justifiably angry.

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Silent Holocaust in the Niger Delta?

Leaking wellheadThe Niger Delta is a top “ecocide hotspot” on planet Earth. Minor and massive oil spillages are frequent and ubiquitous in the Niger Delta, causing untold pollution and ecocide with highly devastating impacts on the lives and livelihoods of the people who reside in the region. There is evidence of a sleek everywhere; on the water (the Niger Delta is a landmass of the riverine terrain boarded by a coastline with the Atlantic Ocean). It is on the land (in the villages, in the towns, on farms, in houses, in schools, in churches). And it is in the air. Animal and plant life in the ecosystem has suffered a terrible terminal fate. However, this is an endless perennial story, usually more of the same.

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To Cook a Continent: A Review and a Comment

REVIEW:
To Cook a Continent: Destructive Extraction and Climate Crisis in Africa is yet another book about Africa’s exploitation but with a significant difference from all others. The author presents the challenge “what can be done now to end destructive exploitation in Africa?”. This is a far more superior and immediate question than “what can we do for Africa?” in which tomorrow never comes; every day, every year, every decade is always now. Continue reading

Resisting Ecocide: Crimes and Rents

It is interesting to know that the Niger Delta is listed third out of ten hotspots of ecocide in Polly Higgins’ Eradicating Ecocide. I have written a review of the book on this blog for two reasons: its project represents the amalgamation of my three main research interests namely, corruption, institutions and green economics, and it is a very interesting visionary book. The fact that the region has been classified as an ecocide hotspot saves me the need to describe the monstrous environmental and human degradation going on there in the name of Nigeria being a “middle-income nation” and doubling as an “improving nation” within the provisions and expectations of “transparently globalised profit-seeking”. Transparency for what it is worth washes its hands of a lot of things and especially ecocide. Continue reading

Educating a Shell Worker

Ever since ex-President Obosanjo threw the gauntlet to Nigerians in general in to prove the acts of corruption of General Babangida (rtd) (Nwaobi 2004), it has become fashionable for specially interested Nigerians to ask for proof of obvious crimes and malfeasance carried out against the nation and its people by either privileged individuals or organisations with a sole purpose i.e. the presumed impossibility of individuals to provide the proof asked for. That is a very delusional precedent for Nigerians to uncritically follow since in reality there is abundant proof of Babangida’s acts of corruption. Continue reading

Eradicating Ecocide: A Review

Ecocide eradication as both a concept and an institution of (enforceable) international (and local) application is creating a popular stir of concern for its critics and enthusiasm for its supporters; respectively. It is going to get more serious as the ascendance of both its acceptance and the resistance to it unfold. Acceptance often takes time, and resistance wears out with time so that time will decide the fate of ecocide law as a legitimate institution.
The one main innovation of the book is the complete replacement of the concept of mitigation (market-driven sustainability) with the concept of eradication (legally-protected responsibility) as an approach to saving the planet from lapsing into a moribund state. The mitigation approach to tackling ecocide is presented as effete since it fosters a deeply entrenched accommodation of the enslavement and exploitation of the planet by corporations, to serve the logic of economic justice and the imposed fetishes of the global market. Profit in itself is not condemned, but irresponsible profit is; responsible profit preserves the natural state of the planet while reckless profit kills the “living” planet. The author contends that it is the “irresponsible” quest for profit that is “killing” the planet and sustainability approaches are suitable for “irresponsible” profit, hence creates a paradox. Only eradication approaches to preserving the planet by way of creatively introducing robust, binding and enforceable international laws that adequately criminalise ecocide using existing legal infrastructures suffice to solve the problem. The other main innovation of the book is the formulation of ecocide as the 5th Crime Against Peace alongside genocide and others. The book is not short on innovation or rethinking.

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