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Is Nigeria truly under a spell? By Simon Kolawole

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Is Nigeria truly under a spell?

By Simon Kolawole

In the dying days of his administration in 2007, President Olusegun Obasanjo sold 51 percent of federal government’s stakes in two of Nigeria’s four ailing refineries to Bluestar Oil Services Ltd — a consortium floated by Dangote Oil, Zenon Oil and Transcorp Plc — for $761 million. Shortly after the inauguration of a new administration, the oil industry unions — apparently prompted — kicked that Obasanjo sold the refineries to his cronies, insisted that one of the refineries alone was worth over $5 billion, and staged a four-day strike. President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua gleefully reversed the privatisation and returned the refineries to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Alhaji Abubakar Lawal Yar’Adua, appointed the NNPC group managing director by President Yar’Adua, told the world in September 2007 that all our refineries would start working at “near full capacity” by December 2007 after “rehabilitation” which, you may want to know, cost us several billions of naira. In preparation for the magic, he said government had awarded a $52 million contract for the repair of the Chanomi Creek pipeline, the main feeder pipeline to Warri and Kaduna refineries blown up by militants in 2006. All was set for the amazing revamp of the 445,000 barrels per day (bpd) refineries, after which we would stop importing petroleum products and live together happily ever after.

What happened next? We are now in September 2023 — on the 16th anniversary of Yar’Adua’s monumental promise — and Nigeria is still waiting for the magic to happen. (As an aside, Yar’Adua was named in the Panama Papers to have secretly bought an £890,000 house in London in 2008 while serving as the NNPC GMD, using a company he registered in the British Virgin Islands — but there is nothing to see there).

Sixteen years after the unions said the Port Harcourt refinery alone was worth $5 billion, no one would buy it for N5 million. Sixteen years after we bungled a major victory for local refining of petroleum products, we are still helplessly and hopelessly hooked on fuel imports.

But Yar’Adua was not alone. Every single president after him promised to get the refineries working at “near full capacity”. President Goodluck Jonathan vowed to raise the dead. Between 2013 and 2015, he reportedly spent $396 million on turnaround maintenance (TAM) — and the refineries have still not worked, although I admit that the fortune of a few individuals experienced turnaround miracles.

In April 2021, Mallam Mele Kyari, the CEO of NNPC Ltd, followed the enviable tradition of his predecessors by signing a $1.5 billion contract to rehabilitate the Port Harcourt refinery. President Bola Tinubu has now customarily promised that the refineries will be back by December 2023.

In summary, 16 years after we reversed the sale of the refineries because they were bought by Obasanjo’s “cronies” and promised to get them back to “near full capacity”, we have burnt billions of dollars on TAM contracts and we are still here waiting patiently and enthusiastically for Godot. We are still promising to get the refineries to work “by December” (why always December?) and have no clue when this bizarre bazaar will be over. From the time of Gen Sani Abacha till date, all the presidents have played the same card of getting the refineries to work. It appears there is a hymn sheet at the Presidential Villa from which they all sing: the harmony is enduring and unbelievable.

 

But you know what? If you take a proper look at the financial and economic implications of fuel importation in Nigeria, you will find a damning explanation for some of the woes overwhelming us today. Shall we discuss the billions of dollars we have burnt on demurrage and storage charges on fuel imports since 1999 (because our ports do not have the adequate reception capacity and the NNPC does not have sufficient storage facilities)? Shall we discuss the fact that the resources we have burnt on demurrage and storage expenses over the same period could have built the biggest refineries in the world and turned us to exporters of both crude oil and petroleum products?

 

Does anyone ever calculate how much of our forex earnings we burn on fuel importation? This is the largest single consumer of forex today. I wonder what might have been if we had taken another route. When Obasanjo was president and we had considerable savings from oil revenue, I campaigned vigorously that we should invest in a new refinery. I was lectured by neo-liberal fanatics that government should not run a refinery, that it should be the business of the private sector. I conceded but with a request: let us build a refinery (since no investor was willing to do so), lease out the management and sell it off after some years. Let us just stop fuel importation by any means!

The cost of the decisions we took — or failed to take — yesterday is coming back to bite us hard today and threatening to pull down the already fragile economy. With dwindling oil output and export, we are currently facing a double whammy: we export little oil and spend the little income to import petroleum products because we do not refine at home. Things got so bad at a stage that we did not have enough crude to exchange for products, so we mortgaged future oil production in order to import petrol for today. We are digging one hole after the other to fill the other holes we have dug everywhere. It is difficult to understand how we do things here and expect positive outcomes.

 

Help me make sense of this. A farmer produces yams and sells a tuber for N2,000 to Mama Put. But because he does not have the mortar and pestle to pound the yam, he goes to the Mama Put to buy a wrap of pounded yam for N1,000. Mama Put can probably make N10,000 per tuber, selling it as pounded, fried, boiled or roasted yam, or making yam flour and amala from it. Mama Put can sell the peels as feed for goats. There are several products from yam! Now, wait for this: our farmer friend runs into a harvest problem and starts buying pounded yam on credit, promising to pay with next year’s harvest. That is Nigeria for you: selling crude oil and spending the revenue to import petrol.

 

The country should be exporting petroleum products — such as petrol, diesel, low pour oil fuel, and jet fuel — and earning billions of dollars, in addition to the little matter of jobs and tax revenue. We want the naira to exchange at N1/$1 (whatever the merits are) but how can you spend all your forex on importing petrol and still expect the naira not to keep losing value? What else are you exporting to earn dollars? Where are the dollars? If income from your biggest export, which used to account for 90 percent of your forex earnings, has been going down for years, what else are you doing to get more dollar inflow into your economy? It seems we are expecting the dollar to fall from heaven.

 

Let us go to Singapore briefly. The country is less than the size of Lagos state and has a population of 5.6 million. But we are not here to discuss land mass and population. My interest is the size of the intellect. The country does not have oil but it has some of the biggest refineries in the world with the capacity to refine 1.5 million bpd. Nigeria, one of the world’s richest in crude reserves, has been having the capacity for 445,000 bpd since 1987 and rarely refines a barrel. Singapore is regarded as Asia’s oil hub and earned $40.8 billion from exporting refined petroleum products in 2021. Yes, $40.8 billion! It is not about resource wealth or political system. It is the brain. Vision. Mission. Passion.

 

What more can I say? Ajaokuta Steel Mill has become a centre of stealing since it was conceived in 1979. Up till today, we have not finished stealing through Ajaokuta. If it was a country where our heads were properly screwed on our necks, we would be earning billions of dollars from exporting iron and steel, to say nothing about the jobs and the value chain in the economy. According to data by CEPII, the leading French centre for research and expertise on the world economy, China earned $61 billion from iron and steel exports in 2021. Japan earned $35 billion, Germany $32.8 billion, Russia $30.5 billion, and South Korea $28 billion. These things start from the brain. It is not magic.

 

Don’t let us get started with palm oil. Forget the legendary story of how an Asian country came to take palm seedlings from Nigeria some decades ago and is now a world leader in the production of the cash crop. As far as I am concerned, that is history and we should move on for Pete’s sake. The part I cannot understand for the life of me is why we keep lamenting as if lamentation ever solved any problem. There are more depressing statistics to share with us but I think we can chew on this for a while: in 2022, Indonesia earned $27.8 billion from palm oil exports alone. I am attracted by the enormous forex earnings for sure, but I am more smitten by the associated economic activities.

 

Let’s be frank: the solution to our economic and security challenges are hidden in plain sight. It is no rocket science. Nigeria can be one of the biggest exporters of palm oil, petrol, solid minerals, name it — if we use our brains positively. We have no business with being a net importer of petroleum products, so much so the aviation industry is sometimes paralysed because of fuel scarcity. Nigeria is the only country that experiences this constant affliction. Some things are too weird about us. That is why some think the country is under a spell. I can’t say if it is a spiritual problem because spiritual matters are above my paygrade, but I am sure that we don’t know what we are doing. We’re lost.

 

But when you see that some sectors are doing well —  fintech and entertainment, for instance — in spite of the government, you cannot but conclude that the political leadership has questions to answer. We have a warped concept of governance. When you run a system where the unwritten code is that leadership is all about personal comfort and there are no consequences for bad behaviour, what you get is a Nigeria. We know what ails us. It’s been well diagnosed. But we have refused to take our medication: competent and patriotic leadership at all levels. Our capacity for shortsightedness and selfishness is legendary and damaging. Do I really need to spell that out again?

 

AND FOUR OTHER THINGS…

GABON GARRISSON

Gabon is the latest African country to come under the jackboot with the overthrow of President Ali Bongo Ondimba shortly after he was declared winner of a flawed election that returned him to office for a third term. He had succeeded his late father, Omar, in 2009. I was amused that father and son had ruled Gabon for a combined period of 56 years before the military coup — only for me to read reports that the new military ruler, Brigadier General Brice Oligui Nguema, is the ousted president’s cousin. I didn’t know whether to be angry or burst into laughter. I now can’t say what is more odious — the father-and-son stranglehold on Gabon or the incursion by their extended family. Africa!

 

COUP CONTAGION

Military coups are back in full force in Africa and I must be one of the least excited. I will say this one more time: military should stay out of politics.

By their training and orientation, soldiers are not primed to govern the civil populace. Most of Africa was ruled by soldiers in the 1970s and 1980s and if they were geniuses, Africa would be competing with the rest of the world today. I will never argue against the notion that there is a general leadership problem on the continent. I will also not deny the fact that liberal democracy has not delivered the dividends as it should. But the military has not proved itself to be better either. Let’s give democracy a chance, no matter how imperfect. Liberties.

 

ALL EYES ON P&ID

There are underground moves by some selfish Nigerians to cut a deal in the P&ID case by seeking to arrest the British high court judgment. The facts, according to our lawyers, are positive for us. More so, we have a right of appeal if we lose, so it is difficult to understand why some fellows are trying to stampede President Bola Tinubu to go for out-of-court settlement. If we win, P&ID and its backers will not get a penny. Instead, the court may ask them to pay our costs. It is already a good signal that a court allowed us to challenge the $6.6 billion (plus interests) award because of allegations of corruption in the contracting process. Tinubu must not cave in to these commission chasers. Greed.

 

AND FINALLY, DAPO ABIODUN VS WALE ADEDAYO

Mr Wale Adedayo, chairman of Ijebu East LGA, Ogun state, bluntly told Mr Dapo Abiodun, the governor, that the “emperor has not clothes”. He accused the governor of hijacking the funds meant for councils — a major obstacle to the proper functioning of the local government system in Nigeria.

The emperor was very angry. Councillors from Ijebu East quickly visited the emperor with their tails between their legs, apologising for Adedayo’s misdemeanour, and wailing: “We are sorry sir! The emperor has clothes! The emperor is not naked!” Seven councillors proceeded to suspend Adedayo for three months over allegations of maladministration and financial mismanagement. Nigeria!

  • Kolawole is the founder and chief executive officer of Cable Newspaper Limited

Opinion

Sanusi Lamido and Kano’s royal ding-dong – Farooq Kperogi

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Sanusi Lamido and Kano’s royal ding-dong – Farooq Kperogi

Kano’s Muhammad Sanusi II has been rethroned the exact way he was initially enthroned and dethroned: in the melting pot of the politics of vengeance and recrimination.

And he just might be dethroned yet again by this, or another subsequent partisan government, given Sanusi’s infamous incapacity to rein in his tongue and to understand the wisdom in restraint and tact, which his position requires of him—and, of course, the juddering, hypocritical contradictions between what he says and what he does.

Recall that when he worked at the UBA, Sanusi had derided then Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso as a scorn-worthy “rural aristocrat” who “surrounds himself with provincials and places key posts in the hands of rural elite.” He characterized the Kwankwaso administration as “the classic comedy of the Village Headmaster in a village council.”

Kwankwaso was so incensed by Sanusi’s boorishness and Kano urban condescension that he threatened to pull out the Kano State Government’s money in UBA if Sanusi wasn’t fired from his job. Yet it was the same Kwankwaso who, for partisan, anti-Goodluck Jonathan political considerations, enthroned Sanusi as the emir of Kano even when he wasn’t the choice of the kingmakers.

And let’s not forget that Sanusi is a vicious, unashamed enemy of common people. His entire economic philosophy revolves around sheepishly advancing the annihilating policies of the IMF/World Bank, such as removal of every kind of subsidy for the poor while leaving intact the subsidies that sustain the sybaritic extravagance of indolent but overprotected elites like him.

Well, after destroying properties worth billions of naira and restoring Sanusi as emir all in the bid to get even with Ganduje, I hope the government will now get down to actually governing and improving the lives of the people who elected it.

The sense I get from people in Kano (many of whom are supporters of the government) is that governance has been on hold in Kano in the last one year in the service of retaliation.

There is also no doubt that Sanusi’s unrelenting public censures of the rotten, if time-honored, cultural quiddities of the Muslim North discomfited many people who are invested in the status quo, and this became one of the convenient bases for his ouster.

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But Sanusi isn’t nearly the victim he has been cracked up to be by his admirers and defenders. First, he rode to the Kano emirship in 2014 on the crest of a wave of emotions stirred by partisan politics and came down from it the same way.

Even though he wasn’t initially on the shortlist of Kano’s kingmakers, APC’s Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso (who is now in PDP) made Sanusi emir in 2014 to spite PDP’s President Goodluck Jonathan and shield Sanusi from the consequences of his [false] unmasking of multi-billion-dollar corruption at the NNPC. Apart from his unceremonious removal as CBN governor for his [false] whistle blowing, he was going to face other untoward retributions from the Jonathan administration, but his appointment as emir put paid to it.

Now, Sanusi lost his emirship to the same partisan politics that got it for him in the first place. In an ironic twist, he was made emir by an APC government for making privileged [if false] revelations that disadvantaged a PDP government and was removed as an emir by an APC government for his overt and covert acts that could have benefited the PDP in 2019.

In other words, Sanusi’s emirship was molded in the crucible of partisan politics and was dissolved in it.

Nonetheless, Sanusi, given his intellectual sophistication and pretenses to being an advocate of egalitarianism, had no business being an emir. Monarchy is way past its sell-by date not just in Nigeria but everywhere. It’s an anachronistic, vestigial remnant of a primitive past that invests authority on people by mere accident of heredity. Any authority that is inherited and not earned, in my opinion, is beneath contempt.

Emirship isn’t only a primeval anomaly in a modern world, it is, in fact, un-Islamic. In Islam, leadership is derived from knowledge and the consensus of consultative assemblies of communities called the Shura, not from heredity.

Monarchies in the Muslim North, which have constituted themselves into parasitic, decadent drains on society, but which pretend to be Islamic, are grotesque perversions of the religion they purport to represent. Anyone, not least one who makes pious noises about equality, that is denied the unfair privileges of monarchy is no victim.

Most importantly, though, Sanusi embodies a jarring disconnect between high-minded ideals and lived reality. He rails against child marriage in public but married a teenager upon becoming an emir. When the late Pius Adesanmi called him out, he told him to “grow a brain.” He suddenly became the patron saint of conservative Muslim cultural values.

He expended considerable intellectual energies critiquing polygamy among poor Muslim men, but he is married to four wives. His defense, of course, would be that he can afford it, and poor Muslim men can’t. Fair enough. But transaction-oriented reformists lead by example.

Fidel Castro, for example, stopped smoking when he campaigned against it. It would be nice to say to poor, polygamous Muslim men, “Why are you, a poor man, married to four wives when Sanusi, a wealthy man and an emir, is married to just one wife?”

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That would have had a much higher impact than his preachments. In spite of their moral failings, Buhari, Abba Kyari, and Mamman Daura would be much more effective campaigners against disabling polygamy by poor Muslim men than Sanusi can ever be because they are monogamists even when they can afford to marry four wives.

This is a legitimate critique since Sanusi has a choice to not call out poor Muslim men who marry more wives than they can afford since polygamy is animated by libidinal greed, which is insensitive to financial means.

Sanusi habitually fulminates against the enormous and inexorably escalating poverty in the north, but even though he is an immensely affluent person, he has not instituted any systematic mechanism to tackle the scourge of poverty in the region in his own little way.

Instead, he spends hundreds of billions of naira to decorate the emir’s palace, buy exotic horses, and luxuriate in opulent sartorial regality.

And, although, he exposed [what he thought was] humongous corruption during Goodluck Jonathan’s administration and dollar racketeering during Buhari’s regime, he is himself an indefensibly corrupt and profligate person. In two well-researched investigative pieces in 2017, Daily Nigeria’s Jaafar Jaafar chronicled Sanusi’s mind-boggling corruption as emir of Kano, which apparently didn’t abate until he was dethroned.

Sanusi was ostensibly a Marxist when he studied economics at ABU, which explains why he exhibits flashes of radicalism in his public oratory, but he is, in reality, an out-of-touch, unfeeling, feudal, neoliberal elitist who is contemptuous, and insensitive to the suffering, of poor people.

He supported Jonathan’s petrol price hike in 2012 and even wondered why poor people were protesting since they had no cars, and generators, according to him, were powered by diesel, not petrol!

When his attention was brought to the fact that only “subsidized” and privileged “big men” like him use diesel-powered generators, he backed down and apologized. But I found it remarkably telling that until 2012 Sanusi had no clue that the majority of Nigerians used petrol-powered generators to get electricity.

In a September 1, 2012, column titled, “Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s Unwanted 5000 Naira Notes,” I noted that Sanusi was “one of the most insensitive, out-of-touch bureaucrats to ever walk Nigeria’s corridors of power.”

Again, in my December 10, 2016, article titled, “Dangerous Fine Print in Emir Sanusi’s Prescription for Buhari,” I wrote: “If you are a poor or economically insecure middle-class person who is writhing in pain amid this economic downturn, don’t be deceived into thinking that Emir Sanusi is on your side. He is not. His disagreements with Buhari have nothing to do with you or your plight. If he has his way, you would be dead by now because the IMF/World Bank neoliberal theology he evangelizes has no care for poor, vulnerable people.”

Sanusi Lamido and Kano’s royal ding-dong – Farooq Kperogi

Farooq Kperogi is a renowned Nigerian newspaper columnist and United States-based Professor of Journalism.

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Nigeria’s economic apartheid in electricity consumption – Farooq Kperogi

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Farooq Kperogi

Nigeria’s economic apartheid in electricity consumption – Farooq Kperogi

I am writing this week’s column from Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, where I have come to deliver a talk on media theory. But this column isn’t about the talk or about South Africa. It’s about the enduring problems of electricity generation and distribution in Nigeria, which I have brooded over for quite some time.

It’s ironic that I am writing about Nigeria’s new economic apartheid in electricity consumption from the previous land of apartheid where electricity is a human right, where even the poorest of the poor “have a public law right to receive electricity” even before the abolishment of apartheid, according to F. Dube and C.G. Moyo in their 2022 article titled “The Right to Electricity in South Africa.”

I’m not sure there’s any modern country on earth where electricity is as precarious, as insufficient, as unreliable, and as socially stratified as it is in Nigeria. The hierarchization of electricity distribution into “bands” in which people classified as “band A” (read: the wealthy) get the most electricity and people classified as “Band E” (read: the most economically disinherited) get the least electricity is the most starkly state-sanctioned economic discrimination I have ever seen anywhere in the world. President Bola Tinubu should order that the bands be disbanded forthwith. This is embarrassing official idiocy.

The point isn’t even that so-called Band A electricity consumers don’t actually get the amount of electricity that their socio-economic status should guarantee them, according to the new state-sponsored economic apartheid that imposes discrimination on electricity consumers. The outrage is that the government would conceive of a program where a resource as indispensable to modern life as electricity is rationed on the basis of economic status.

Electricity is the cornerstone of development. It isn’t a privilege. It should be a human right. It should be accessible to everyone. It’s the driver of economic development, is indispensable to healthcare, is the backbone of education, supports modern agricultural practices, is fundamental to technological progress, powers social development, and enhances quality of life.

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The government’s goal should be to generate and distribute “Band A” electricity for all consumers in Nigeria—like is done in other countries, including countries much less endowed than Nigeria.

As I pointed out in a previous column, the depth of Nigeria’s electricity problems didn’t become magnified in my consciousness until July 2009 when I visited my mother’s maternal relatives in the city of Parakou, the capital of Borgou State (or, as states are called there, “Department”) in Benin Republic. Throughout the one week I stayed in Parakou, Benin Republic’s third largest city with a little over a quarter of a million people, electricity didn’t blink for even a split second.

Except for the distinctive sights, sounds, and smells of the city, it felt like I was still in the United States.

To be sure that the impressively continuous electricity we enjoyed wasn’t a fluke, I asked my mother’s first cousin (that would be my “first cousin once removed” in Standard English and my “uncle” in Nigerian English) in whose house we stayed to tell me the last time they lost power in the city or in the neighborhood.

He started to jog his memory and even enlisted the help of his wife because he thought I needed to know the exact day for record purposes. I told him not to bother, but I later learned from him that although power outages occur, often for maintenance, they are infrequent, relatively brief, and often announced ahead of time in the broadcast media.

This is particularly interesting because Benin Republic buys most of its electricity from Nigeria, although my cousin said that wasn’t true of Parakou. Most importantly, though, there was no invidious social differentiation of electricity consumers into “bands.” If there was, my relative in Parakou would be in “Band E” because he retired from the Beninese civil service on a modest rank.

Almost every Nigerian I know who has traveled outside Nigeria shares the same experience as mine. A former colleague of mine at the Presidential Villa in Abuja who traveled to Iran for weeks returned and told us he didn’t witness power outage for even a fraction of a second throughout his stay in the country, which caused him to insist that if Iran was a “Third World” country, Nigeria must be a “10th World” country.

And that leads me to the question: why has it been impossible to power Nigeria? Why does every other country on earth seem to be doing better than Nigeria in electricity generation and distribution? I think it’s because we have never had anyone with a clue to manage Nigeria’s power sector. Let’s look at some of the ministers of power we’ve had since 1999.

In 1999, the late Chief Bola Ige, who became the minister of power, promised to “turn stone to bread.” He was deploying a biblical metaphor to imply that he would make the seemingly impossible possible. Well, he didn’t have a stone to start with, so there was no bread. His legacy was darkness.

On November 28, 2012, the then Minister of State for Power, Hajia Zainab Kuchi, told South African investors that “evil spirits” were to blame for Nigeria’s interminable electricity troubles. “We must resolve to jointly exorcise the evil spirit behind this darkness and allow this nation take its pride of peace [sic] in the comity of nations [sic],” she said.

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About two months later, her metaphysical explanation for Nigeria’s electricity difficulties got a professorial endorsement when, on January 23, 2013, Chinedu Nebo, a professor of engineering and former university vice chancellor, told the Nigerian senate that power outages were caused by “witches and demons” and that “If the President deploys me in the power sector, I believe that given my performance at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where I drove out the witches and demons, God will also give me the power to drive out the demons in the power sector.”

He got the job. But neither he nor Kuchi were able to exorcise the “evil spirits,” “demons,” and “witches” that they believed sucked the megawatts out of Nigeria’s power plants. Their legacy was more darkness.

Then on July 11, 2014, Babatunde Fashola said Nigeria’s electricity problems were political, even electoral. “The only way you and I will have electricity in this country,” he said, “is to vote out the PDP.”

Again, at the 7th Annual Bola Tinubu Colloquium on March 25, 2015, Fashola blamed “amateurs” for Nigeria’s power generation problems. He infamously said, “Power generation is not rocket science; it is just a generator. So just remember and imagine that your ‘I-better-pass-my-neighbour’ in one million times—its capacity but in one place. So, if you can make that size of one kilowatt, you can make a power turbine of one thousand megawatts…

“So, with all the billions of dollars that have been spent, the story is that we still live in darkness. Our government lies about it, but it is not because power is impossible. But to tell you very confidently that we do not have power because power is difficult to generate; we have darkness because we have incompetent people managing our economy. As one of my friends fondly calls them, our economy is being managed by amateurs.”

He was appointed the minister in charge of power a few months after this overconfident political diagnosis of Nigeria’s unending electricity woes. Within a few months of being in power, disappointed Nigerians nicknamed him the “minister of darkness,” and Buhari didn’t reappoint him to the ministry for a second term.

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He was replaced by a man who didn’t know what his job was supposed to entail, who didn’t know he was the minister of power, who was so colorless and so uninspiring that no one knew him when he held sway, much less remember him after his tenure expired.

So, from 1999, we went from treating our electricity problem as one that could be resolved through Ige’s poetic and theological flourishes to thinking that Nebo’s and Kuchi’s metaphysical delusions provided the keys to unlocking it, to imagining that Fashola’s two-bit, evidence-free, exaggeratedly partisan outbursts were any good, to the unpretentious shallowness of Fashola’s successor.

Now we have an Adebayo Adelabu, a completely clueless, unfeeling buffoon who is clearly out of his depth, as the minister of power. Here is a minister of power who is so hopelessly ignorant about power that he thought keeping freezers connected to electricity continuously was a waste of power that was peculiar to Nigeria and has championed the idiotic social stratification of electricity consumers.

Now he says if Nigerians are not prepared to pay an arm and a leg for electricity, they should come to terms with perpetual darkness. What kind of responsible government official says that?

This is especially tragic because everyone knows that electricity is the driving force of technology and innovation, not to mention basic creative comforts. Any country that can’t fix its electricity can’t participate in the increasingly digital economy of the 21st century and will be stuck in permanent developmental infancy.

Yet, in spite of the drag that poor electricity exerts on creativity and innovation, Nigeria’s youth have been some of the world’s most high-flying digital creators and drivers. Imagine what Nigeria would be if it had a leadership that cared and knew how to fix its electricity crisis.

Nigeria’s economic apartheid in electricity consumption – Farooq Kperogi

Farooq Kperogi is a renowned Nigerian newspaper columnist and United States-based Professor of Journalism.

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Who has bewitched our beloved America? – Femi Fani-Kayode

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Femi Fani-Kayode

Who has bewitched our beloved America? – Femi Fani-Kayode

I really do wonder whether those great patriots that fought a long and bloody war against

British colonial rule and founded the United States of America (US) in 1776 like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and so many others envisaged what has happened to their beloved country today?

I wonder whether the Pilgrim Fathers and great and wise men of old who, by faith in the Living God, left the Old World, crossed the Atlantic ocean in hazardous conditions and went to the New to establish a new beginning and build a new nation founded on freedom, equality, the fear of God and solid good old fashioned Christian virtues and values, would believe what the beloved nation they toiled, prayed for, established and worked so hard to build has turned into today?

Would they not all be turning in their graves?

A nation that was once referred to by both friend and foe as the “land of the free and the home of the brave” is now neither free nor brave.

A mighty nation that delivered itself from its own internal prejudices, contradictions and demons by fighting a brutal civil war to free the slaves and that presented a great hope for those that dreamt of a world where all men and women could have equal opportunities, regardless of class, history, color, race or creed, has now lost its sense of decency, equity, honor and morality and turned into a corrupt, power drunk, morally bankrupt, blood-lusting, war-loving, terror-funding, egocentric and idiosyncratic collection of self-serving, self-seeking, cowardly and deluded individuals who serve the interests of not their own people but that of AIPAC, the Jewish lobby and the State of Israel.

A rich and powerful nation of over 300 million people that delivered the world from evil in both the First and Second World Wars, that defeated and dismantled the curse of Soviet Communism, that entrenched democracy throughout much of the world and that literally rules the waves today as the greatest super power in the history of humanity in a unipolar world, is now nothing but the lap dog of little Israel?

It seems so hard to believe. Yet true it is!

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Like Lucifer fell from heaven, so you, O mighty America, has fallen from grace!

I weep for you.

Apart from your internal decay where the family system has been destroyed and traditional religious beliefs have been replaced by humanism and a godless philosophy in which the Lord is no longer revered, where men marry men, where abortions are encouraged, where homosexuality is adored, where Satanism is practised, where money is worshipped, where God has been banned from the schools and indeed every sphere of human endeavour and where the establishment of a New World Order is your ultimate objective, you have also, with the help of your servile and fawning vassals like the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Holland and others, debased and destroyed the fortunes and vision of many countries with your reckless and self-serving foreign policy and your insatiable thirst for power and world domination.

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