Tafia Hallelujah: Yankikpuzi! Way say you now!
Yankius: Any time you come around here, I know you have a quarrel for me. What is it?
Tafia Hallelujah: You didn’t event greet me or ask me how I am doing?
Yankius: Tafia: “Tafia We Thank God”, What is angering you?
Tafia Hallelujah: No be small o. Oga Buhari is asking Obasanjo what he did with the $16 billion that he voted and disbursed for electric power development during his time as president. The question don wound Obasanjo.
Yankius: I no fit laugh o, I no fit laugh at all. Buhari is just looking for someone to blame for his own dreadful failures again. It is true that Obasanjo, Segun Agagu, Liyel Imoke, Charles Soludo, Ngozi Okonjo-Iewala, Oby Ezekwisili and some others know about that $16 billion very well but why is it now that Buhari is raising the matter? The Senate raised the matter three years ago when Buahri just came to power but it died a very natural death. Predictably. Continue reading
Where is the Government of Nigeria (GON) or the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) winning their war against corruption? Nowhere. No vigorous prosecutions, no convictions, no legislative reforms, no judicial reforms, no constitutional reforms, nothing. All the citizens of Nigeria see are publicity stunts and government-engineered scandals. Is there anything else substantial to show anywhere? The incentive now is, after all its tough talk, the GON must save face as Nigeria, and the rest of the world watches her anti-corruption activities. Recent developments are now verifying the stage-managing of the cash seizures; the money is going back to where it came from directly – the Central Bank of Nigeria. (see http://wp.me/p1bOKH-KW)
There are many rational reasons for the GON (its agencies) and EFCC to stage-manage mysterious theatrical large “cash discoveries and seizure” to make them look like they are doing a good job and these are evident to everyday Nigerians. Continue reading
In this article, the context of the Government of Nigeria (GON) and its agencies killing a truth-seeking environmentalist is (a) physical as in murder, execution, assassination or driving one to suicide. Or (b) psychological as in breaking one’s spirit, discrediting one’s name, ruining one’s career; being a victim of government-sponsored attack dogs. Ken Saro-Wiwa a major Nigerian environmentalist suffered such a fate. It would not be paranoia or scaremongering to be concerned that the GON is after yet another environmentalist, Rev Nnnimmo Bassey. The question is to what extent, considering the beginnings of similar trends and actions in the past. “Discredit him then kill him” is an old tactic. It should be taken seriously. Continue reading
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
When last week Grand Minister, Babs Fashola (SAN), claimed his now-famous incapacity to revamp the Nigerian electric power sector was partly due to the inadequacies of Nigeria’s population census agency, he knew he was lying. Another grand act of blamocracy engendered by the Buhari administration. Nigeria’s electric power problems are primarily that of money (investment) and transparency (incorruptibility); it has nothing whatsoever to do with population census. Fashola did not even have to lie about Nigeria’s electricity development backwardness even though he lied about giving Nigerians an ‘electricity miracle’ in just 18 months if President Muhammadu Buhari won the 2015 general elections. Any fiens?
In 2000, Nigeria’s electric power sector had an underinvestment backlog bill of a minimum of $5 billion, $10 billion was more like it. That bill accrued during the period, 1984 to 1999, tacitly under the leadership of Generals Buhari, Babangida, Abacha and Abdulsalami according to the United States Trade and Development Agency. Olusegun Obasanjo squandered the best opportunity Nigeria had to invest in the electric power sector (2000-2007). Goodluck Jonathan also squandered a fair chance and blackouts were interestingly put up for privatisation. Now in 2017, the bill stands at about $20 billion minimum. The reality of electric power development is straightforward – if you do not have several billions of dollars to invest transparently and diligently, forget about it altogether. Nigerians should bravely accept they will not get constant electricity (24hrs all-year) for many years to come.
Does Fashola’s ministry have even just $5 billion to invest, a quarter of the minimum sum required to revamp the sector?
One of the big lies trumpeted of the electric power sector in Nigeria is the spectacle of “installed capacity”. For over 40 years Nigeria has been struggling hopelessly with 6000 MW installed capacity. Installed capacity is the generation capacity of the sector. Capacity is only a potential and does not automatically translate in electricity delivered to end-users. Despite Nigeria’s installed capacity Prof J B Akarakiri published a paper in 1999 in Energy titled ‘Private Electric Power Generation as an Alternative in Nigeria’. The paper was just three pages, but its implications were visionary and devastating; Nigeria should forget about the centralised electric power National Grid for its constant and sustainable electricity supplies; people should opt to their own generators if they wanted stable or on-demand supplies of electricity. Less than a year after the publication, Nigeria witnessed it’s first “zero installed capacity moment”, total national blackout.
Fashola has had a few “zero installed capacity moments” of his own since he became the Grand Minister.
Going back in time, in 2000 the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) had on its books 1.6 electricity customers with 51% residing Lagos State even though, Nigeria had a 150 million population and Lagos State had 11 million. These figures indicated that just over 1% of Nigerians were electricity customers and Lagos State only 7% of the national population. It is evidence of gross nonfeasance and inefficiency by NEPA and the government. Research by the author carried out in 2002 demonstrated that in Lagos State, electricity customers were about 400% greater than what NEPA had recorded. Electricity meters for customers were scarce and expensive, power theft was rife, illegal (mostly unsafe) connections (to whole communities) rampant. Furthermore, tenement buildings (face me, I face you) that litter Lagos had ten to twenty families as tenants. Many tenants used microwaves, TVs, VCD recorders, boiling rings, electric irons in them using one meter and registered as “one customer”. How can peak demand and average daily demand for electricity supplied be appropriately calculated with such grossly underestimated customer data?
How many electricity customers does Fashola say the regulators claim they had on their books in 2017? Ask him.
In a properly run society, every regulator like energy corporations conducts its own customer-based census. It is called market research. Guinness Nigeria plc knows how many customers it has and uses it to determine growth areas, supply chain approaches, marketing strategies and more. It even uses such information to determine how many people are not drinking Guinness stout because they drink Star, Gulder, Trophy or other beers. If Guinness data management cannot be handled by itself, it would outsource the job to a reputable market research firm like RMS.
Fashola’s advisers should tell him the difference between per capita and per customer in market/sector analysis or planning.
What is the solution to the problem of electricity in Nigeria, many would ask? $20 billion and meticulously transparent oversight; any other technical explanations will have to start from here on. Where will Fashola find the money and are there enough honest personnel to get the job done? Environmental campaigner, Nnimmo Bassey, has persistently highlighted in the media how Nigeria loses over $1 billion annually in uncollected gas flaring penalties from oil production companies operating in Nigeria and also over $5 billion annually in tax fraud from oil services companies. That amounts to over $6 billion annually lost to the Nigerian purse; legitimate and deserved money. This money if honestly collected and invested, can clean up the Niger Delta and completely revamp the electric power sector in just five years. It is not Fashola’s problem but his boss, Buhari, is Minister of Petroleum. For all his anticorruption messianics, he has done nothing about this particular fraud and inertia.
Fashola does not have to be dishonest about the deplorable state of electric power in Nigeria. He unwitting inherited a disaster. And he can keep his blamocratic excuses for election time. Nigerians should know the realities of their electric power sector even though it is not pretty and “change” is faraway.
“Empowerment” has a strange meaning in the Nigerian context; “the sharing of money by politicians to clients, supporters, the undecided and antagonists”. Empowerment is thus the use of state money to buy political support within the polity by many means such as rent offerings, sinecures, “pacifiers” and prebendalism. Empowerment can wear a ‘something-for-nothing’ shirt since it is often unearned or undeserved. From keen observation and credible sources, the “empowerment game” is one that President Muhammadu Buhari, despite the genuine criticisms levelled against him, has apparently refused to play both as military and democratic president. It is a powerful sign of moral uprightness. Yet, does refusing to play the empowerment game as old as independence not have costs? Can someone rule Nigeria in peace and harmony without empowerment? Continue reading
While there is a clearly identifiable oil production and exploration (E & P) ‘cartel’ constituted of mostly multinational corporations (with local clients) in the upstream sector of the Nigerian petroleum resources industry, such does not exist in the downstream sector relating to the distribution of fuel products. What causes fuel scarcity is the result of the actions and reactions of a ‘cabal’ of government officials and their clients in the private sector; such corporate clients are erroneously perceived as cartel members. Continue reading
If it is true that countries can be ‘cursed’, Nigeria’s most prominent curse will be constantly having “Good Leaders Surrounded By Strictly Evil Men”. It does not matter if these Good Leaders turn out to be thieves or incompetents, they remain Good Leaders. Another prominent curse on Nigeria would be “Political Treachery In High Places”. The way Nigerian politicians betray each other and the political parties they made their fortunes from perpetually beggars belief. These two curses become rolled into one when considering the fuel scarcity crisis and power supply failures punishing Nigeria at the moment. Egnahc is not helping! Continue reading