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
When I read the article titled ‘The Welcome Party for Ibori’ by Simon Kolawole, it was thought-provoking journalism considering the context of Delta State’s ex-Governor, James Ibori’s much-celebrated release from Belmarsh Prison, London, England. Many Nigerians mostly see Ibori’s celebrated release by mostly people from his home state of Delta as a national disgrace and most rightly so. However, when you consider Nigeria’s history of convictions for corruption, many who complain about Ibori’s smug prison release may simply be tribalists who would do the same if “their man” was convicted and eventually released. The real crushing national disgrace for Nigeria is that it still cannot convict her Big Thieves in her courts and rely on foreign governments to convict “selected” offenders. Yet, Nigeria celebrates Independence. Continue reading
Even though President Muhammadu Buhari was riding on a high crest of fame and popularity during the Anticorruption Summit held recently in London, it was evident it would not last for long. Buhari used that momentous platform to assure Nigerians (and the entire world who were keenly watching) that the list of names of Nigeria’s big thieves (past and present) and their stashes will be “revealed” to the nation on the 29th of May 2016. The President did address the nation as promised but was silent on the promised “revelation”. Buhari should be thanked by Nigerians for saving “One Nigeria”. Continue reading
How can a so-called modern nation be perennially managed since Independence by way of “unsolicited proposals”? President Muhammadu Buhari came to power on the slogan of “Change” but he is still governing Nigeria unrelentingly with the instrument of “unsolicited proposals”. When loans are used to fund “unsolicited proposals” it is no different from gambling, high-stakes gambling. Any government that manages its affairs and vision with total dependence on “unsolicited proposals” is devoid strategic planning, structural effectiveness and reliable outcome expectations beyond the short-term; such is governance by improvisation [haphazard] and instantaneous expediency. Is this truly the way forward for Nigeria? Continue reading
President Muhammadu Buhari won many die-hard supporters purely because he refused to play the game of “begging bowl politics” at a time when Africa’s innumerable dictators were queuing up to take IMF / World Bank loans as global neoliberalism aggressively dictated. If Buhari had accepted the aggressively marketed neoliberal-induced loans, General Ibrahim Babangida might have never become president and Nigeria’s recent history different. Conversely, if Buhari had remained in office enduringly then with the “no loan” stance, Nigeria might be up there today with Botswana, a nation that rejected IMF / World Bank loans. However, Buhari, now a democratically elected president is actively courting loans from economic powers, the most recent being China. What happened? Egnahc? 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
The Niger Delta has been exclusively the undisputed source of Nigeria’s vast but plundered national wealth for five decades. When President Muhammadu Buhari came to power in 2015, his first “tough actions” were exacted on the Niger Delta with the bombings of illegal refineries and bunkering assets. It was an utterly senseless strategy that created only more pollution and all promises by the President to “clean up” the Niger Delta have proven to be empty. Now that the price of oil has fallen dramatically and Nigeria is catching economic perplexity, it is as if the Niger Delta and its incidence of ecocide have vanished from the government’s list of priorities and even the collective consciousness of Nigeria, yes, the “One Nigeria“.
Slavery, groundnuts, palm oil, cocoa, rubber, timber, tin, columbite, uranium, Gum Arabic etc. all combined as exports could not earn Nigeria the kind of wealth petroleum and gas has earned in a very short time. When Nigeria was an agro-state, most of the agricultural cash crops Nigeria exported were also from the Niger Delta, particularly palm oil – the product that led to the creation of Nigeria (first as a protectorate) by Great Britain. In return, the Niger Delta (its lands and peoples) has become an ecocidal and genocidal hotspot where death, disease, pollution, poverty and state violence flourish at the expense of people.
Anti-corruption from any technical or non-technical perspective is invariably about preventing, detecting and prosecuting corruption. The proceeds of corruption is another. The Buhari Administration has an innovative and creative approach to anti-corruption which has nothing to do with prevention, detection and prosecution whatsoever; it has all to do with refunding or recovery of monies stolen from thieving politicians by way of bargaining. The monies earmarked for refund and recovery so far is incredibly far less than 1% of the total monies that are recoverable. So, in the scheme of things what signal does “recovery as anti-corruption” send to politicians and public servants? Continue reading
Col Sambo Dasuki has sent a strong warning to President Muhammad Buhari; and the encoded message is “back off! or we both will share the same prison cell”. The recent disclosure that President Buhari was given two jeeps and $300,000 by former National Security Adviser, Dasuki, as a gift from the presidency in the aftermath of the assassination attempt made on his life may be the tip of a ‘sweetened iceberg’. Dasuki may have a lot to reveal about President Buhari and members of his fellow APC if he is forced to but this revelation is a warning. Perhaps, the truth will have to be held hostage and anti-corruption shall become a ‘miss road’ matter. Or they all go down. Continue reading
In the arena of corruption, especially at the grand level where billions of dollars are stolen as a rule of thumb, secrecy and cover-ups are two of the most dominant factors. Many of the world’s great scandals relating to corruption are found out by mistake or whistle-blowing. Once in a while trifling investigations into some minor malfeasance or routine crime ends up unexpectedly uncovering some case of grand corruption. A peripheral component of major corruption may seem frivolous by those who choose to see it so, but how about the main act? Continue reading
Nigeria is still in its “supposed” anti-corruption mode from a governance perspective, but the current state of the economy is not going to permit its success no matter how hard the country tries or well-meaning the leaders might be. There is a highly overlooked aspect of corruption that directly results from macro-economic requirements, whether it is self-determined or imposed by multilateral agencies. The devaluation of currencies particularly in developing countries exacerbates the incidence of corruption. Continue reading
In Nigeria there exists a non-market non-governmental extortionist technostructure that is nameless but for the purpose of convenience we shall call it the ONT (i.e. the Owners of Nigeria Technostructure). Continue reading
The recent bombshell released in the media by Charles Soludo on his evaluation of the 2015 general elections and the future of the Nigerian economy has created a “great debate” that has migrated to its “natural place”; the major theft of state resources and its protective syndrome. The only person who cannot be found in that “natural place” is Sanusi Lamido. Continue reading
When Charles Soludo released his bombshell on the future of the political economy and state of Nigeria beyond the 2015 elections between Muhammadu Buhari and Goodluck Jonathan http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/01/buhari-vs-jonathan-beyond-election-charles-soludo/ ,it contained a brilliant analysis of the economic conditions of the times blended with “politics” i.e. among other things, the “eulogy to Obasanjo as a master economic leader” which cannot be justified by facts or reason and the “hopelessness of the Nigerian situation” as if Nigerian politicians should not even try to bring about because of the paucity of resources. Continue reading
Sir John Glubb’s enduring claim to fame, perhaps among other things, is an essay he titled “The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival“. Having been an adept historian as well as military commander for the British empire in its twilight days he understood something worthy about the rise and fall of empires. His career started at a time it was believed the sun would never set on the British empire and he witnessed to the rise American and Soviet empires while the British dominion faded. Are there any lessons for Nigeria and other African nations in Glubb’s observations?
Empire typically moves from one dominant power to another over time and so on. Glubb explained in his essay to be the result of unmistakable cycles of stages an empire goes through from its inception to its collapse. These stages or ages are ;
The Evolution of Banditry in Nigeria: Markets: Independence, Oil Boom and Settlement Years
The two most obvious periods of steep rises in corruption in independent Nigeria were the oil boom years of General Yakubu Gowon and the settlement years of General Ibrahim Babangida, two military heads of state; the former associated more with waste and rent-seeking, latter more with rapacity and patronage. The high levels of corruption in the governments of Shehu Shagari and General Sani Abacha can be considered the terminal evolutions or manifestations of the corruption Gowon and Babangida regimes, respectively. The question that arises is, were these two men very corrupt in themselves or was the corruption of their regimes a reaction to the conditions of the time? IR012 (2010) makes it clear that conditions of governance of the times of both the regimes played a staggeringly greater role in corruption witnessed than by the cupidity or venality of the men themselves.
The Owners of Nigeria Technostructure
In Nigeria, there exists a non-market non-governmental extortionist technostructure that is nameless, but for convenience, we shall call it the ONT (i.e. the Owners of Nigeria Technostructure). The ONT is somewhat implicated in existing in the works of many authors (Dudley 1982; Agbese 1990; Diamond 1991; Osoba 1993, 1996; Cayford 1996; Ake 1996; Ihonvbere 1996, 1999; Smith 2001; Oduyela 2004; Madichie 2005; Asobie 2006; Omotola 2006; Oarhe 2010). Analogous to the concept of the market technostructure propounded by John Kenneth Galbraith in which corporate bureaucrats had more power than shareholders, and the focus of corporate activity was more on survival than profits. The ONT holds more power than market shareholders/leaders and government administrators, respectively or combined, and is focused on the survival of the nation’s economy to serve it interests rather than national prosperity (see Asobie 2006). It is a fact that citizens of Nigeria are also shareholders (or stakeholders) in the economy.
Contrary Institutions: A Brief Description
Why is it that institutional reform as touted by the international and local anti-corruption industries always fails in tackling the problem of corruption in Nigeria or elsewhere in Africa? One major problem is that the reforms are based on the foundations of Western institutions without giving adequate thought or attention to institutional activities or development in Nigeria or anywhere else in Africa (Ayittey 1994; 1999). Professionals thus have to develop a new sensitive understanding of institutions in post-colonial nations like Nigeria.
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