By Gwiyi Solomon
Conceiving the idea alone is evil. Pronouncing and making it public is shamelessness. Building up and mobilizing supports for this stinky development is obnoxious. Forcing the ominous concession down the throats of Nigerians is calamitous. Just as the faces and class of Nigerians queuing behind such disaster is heart-rending.
How can such class of supposed Nigerian statesmen, comprising the richest African businessman and chairman, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; the well-regarded Emir of Kano and former CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi; the Senate President and former Governor of Kwara state, Bukola Saraki; Governors and now, the Federal Government be routing to sell Nigeria’s jewelries as a way out of our current economic quagmire?
Nigeria is indeed, punished with bad leadership. We are no doubt, a populated enclave where visionlessness and lack of focus are the defining traits of our leaders. We have turned a nation where poor or lack of foresightedness is a major quality of our representatives. Otherwise, how can one explain the marauding quest for the sale of NLNGL and our refineries?
We are indeed, at a cross road – a time when the true lovers and shepherds of the Nation would be thrown up, while the real enemies of the country are unveiled in the broad day light. It is a moment when hypocrisy and shenanigans stare us in the face; while the cabals holding us by the jugular here are bared.
It is quite disheartening hearing that the only way out of the current economic albatross in the country is to put the country’s best investments in the market. The drums of selling our long seated and overly entrenched oil investments by the Dangotes, the Sanusis, the Sarakis, as well as the FG are nothing but evil winds that will blow us no good.
Contemplating it is a misplacement of priory. Considering it is evil. ‘The trouble with Nigeria’ indeed, ‘is failure of leadership.’ Otherwise, how can a government that is yet to make any monumental investment in the nation, capable of taking many unemployed Nigerians out of the doldrums as well as increase government revenues be routing to sell investments made by past leaders of the country?
While it is an open truth, Oil is the major source of Nigeria’s revenue generation today; it is unarguably factual same oil launched us as the sixth largest oil producing country in the whole world. It is on this parameter that the funding of the country’s budget is solely dependent on oil benchmarks. Hence the rise or fall of it has great impacts on the running of the country.
It is consequently on this premise that the monthly allocations to states and local governments in the country since the oil boom of 70s are the accruals from the same oil. The sector is the major reason why the country has remained indivisible even in the face of threats of balkanization and what have you. It trickles-in day-out and day-in, the barrels of crude we sell on daily basis for the survival of Nigerian populace.
It is same sector that houses the hope of the country’s repayment of its rapidly growing debt profile across the world. Call it the hope of servicing the loans as obtained From China, AFDB etcetera and you are not mistaking. So why dispense with the most vital string of survival of the country? Why tamper with the most sensitive part of the country’s financial security as was suggested by the African Richest businessman?
In business, the area of jurisdiction of Alhaji Dangote, the only language decipherable to him is buying and selling. Buying and selling of anything at all tradable, provided money will exchange hands. He doesn’t mind someday, suggesting that the country and its inhabitants be sold. It is his buying instinct that has driven him into making demands for the purchase of Arsenal football club, the Emirate giant.
It is in the same spirit he has expanded his scope of business to diverse areas of human endeavor – which also includes Oil as he has also told us he is building one of the biggest refineries in Africa. A development every Nigerian applauded as that would help in truly deregulating the downstream sector of the economy and allow competition too.
But such massive stride should not be hoisted at the detriment of the citizenry as his own oil investment will thrive better in an environment with competitive marketing demands and sale as a trade outfit concentrated in the hands one person will only remind us of what wicked shylocks will do in times of need. The story of MTN, Global Communication, Airtel Nigeria can attest to this.
It is therefore, on this ground that the efforts of the organized labor and other prominent Nigerians opposed to the proposed sale of National Assets is commendable as No country sells its assets in times of recession. Instead, all they do in times of difficulties like this is to look inwards and assemble the best of hands the country can afford and reach some stringent decisions on the possible way out.
The government on the other hand must draw a line and sieve between what it takes and what it discards as pieces of advice as wrong suggestions from an emir, richest man or Senate President anywhere remains an error any day, any time irrespective of whose mind it is incubated from. The government must look for other possible ways of injecting funds into the economy for its speedy revamping and resuscitation as the present proposition on the table has been rejected by Nigerians.
They must therefore, not play politics with our common patrimony as the task of building or safeguarding the Nigerian Nation is a collective responsibility. It is thus, at this juncture that the government should reject whatever Nigerians reject and accepts whatever Nigerians accept as government is all about the general wellbeing of its citizenry and not about the narrow mindedness of certain supposedly patriots.
Solomon writes from Abuja.
Contact Gwiyi @: firstname.lastname@example.org