Nigeria Must Go

At the risk of sounding egocentric, I believe Nigeria is blessed with far more human and natural resources than Ghana can ever boast of. Yet, Ghana has consistently demonstrated that character would always supersede talent. Their unassuming and dedicated posture earned my admiration as a primary school pupil when they drilled me in mathematics and English language with so much devotion. Till this day, I credit my studying engineering at the university to the firm mathematics foundation I enjoyed from my Ghanaian teachers. Unfortunately, in the 1980s, the Nigerian government moved against this people under the guise that they were illegal immigrants. It however does appear that the tables have now turned around. Maybe, just maybe if they had remained in Nigeria, our educational system wouldn’t be this sick. I meet S.S.3 students who cannot recite their multiplication table (from 1-12) but yet under the Ghanaians I learnt it perfectly in primary 3.

Today, there is a massive exodus of companies from Nigeria to Ghana. Explaining the new trend, Consular General of the Ghanaian Embassy Sylvester Parker Allortey told Nigerian Tribune (2011) that “in a world of globalisation, most people would always move where they find opportunities and they find the cost of production to be lower. They would always move to places where they find stability because nobody wants to operate in an environment that is uncertain and they also need security in form of moving around the country freely without fear. Also, they also want to move to places where they find that their investment has been guaranteed.” Another revelation came from George Aboagye, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, who disclosed that between 1994 and 2011, about 17 Nigerian businesses located in Ghana had contributed US$1.5 billion (about N240 billion) to the advancement of the Ghanaian economy. He further added that Nigerian investments in Ghana were forecast to grow by an additional $500 million (about N80 billion) by 2015.

Internal corruption seems to have jeopardized the self-professed efforts by the Federal Government of Nigeria to encourage local and foreign investors. This corruption has led to the neglect of crucial infrastructure needed for businesses to thrive. I recall the experience when my friend and I teamed up to set up a small business as undergraduates of the University of Lagos. Aside the neck twisting rent we paid for the shop and additional Lagos State tax for putting a sign post, operations required us to constantly run on generator because of the epileptic power supply that had the capacity to damage our most important equipment due to its fluctuation and instability. Our average fuel consumption was 1000naira per day (times 6 days) which came to 24,000 naira for fuel alone per month. It was so tough for us that within few months our generator knocked and we had to purchase another generator for about 200,000naira. For goodness sake, how can a business built on loans and savings from students survive under this condition? I’m sure we may soon be on the queue to relocate to Ghana because till this day, after over two years, we are yet to break even. Thanks to the very harsh business environment they have created here in Nigeria despite their continuous call for more young entrepreneurs.

International businesses have somehow adapted to our unfriendly business climate by collaborating with “certain Nigerians” to become predators of the masses. In most cases, the Federal Government have been spectators and at other times collaborators with these extortionists. It therefore came as a surprise to me that the FGN could muster the balls to fine British Airways $135 million and Virgin Atlantic $100 million, over what they called “abuse of a dominant position, fixing prices, abusing fuel surcharges and taking advantage of passengers”. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority had in an ongoing investigation found out that the Lagos to London route had the highest “yield’ in the world. According to BusinessNews analysis, a one way ticket from Accra to London booked in advance for November 24th is $ 1,189 for premium economy, $ 2,049 for a business, and $ 2,300 for First Class. A ticket from Lagos to London is $1,867 for Premium Economy and $ 3,685 for Business and, $ 5,408 for First Class. Another analysis by Google Maps showed that the distance between Lagos and London is 6,405 kilometers and 322 kilometers shorter than the distance from Accra to London which is 6,727 kilometers.

Still with this damning evidence against BA and Virgin Atlantic, it have been reported that Nigerian lobbyists for these airlines have swung into action to make the government rescind her position. These lobbyists are top government officials and politicians that enjoy complimentary tickets and gifts (anticipatory bribes) from airline operators not minding the day light robbery that their fellow countrymen face. This reminds me of the fiery American revolutionist; Malcolm X. During the heat of the struggle for equal rights for Blacks, he noted that there existed two kinds of slaves in America; the house slaves and the field slaves. Whilst the field slave labored in the fields and sometimes had their mouths padlocked, the house slave lived, ate with the master and valued his life of servitude. Ironically, most Nigerian leaders are mere house slaves conniving with their western masters to further enslave an already suffering populace.

Peradventure Nigeria refuses to improve in terms of corruption and infrastructure; a day may come when Ghana would become the darling of all major foreign investors coming into West Africa (coupled with their recent discovery of oil in commercial quantities). Also, as Nigerian businesses continue to “invade” Ghana, I have no doubt in mind that soon our businessmen would begin to attract the wrath and envy of the local businessmen either due to their success or meddling with Ghana’s politics. This may trigger a Nigeria Must Go order from a Ghanaian Pharaoh that would have no regard for Nigeria. Then, it may be called xenophobia or retaliation.

To avoid this looming show down and national embarrassment, the Nigerian Government must take her searchlight first to all her Ministries and Agencies, then to other sectors such as the Oil and Gas, Construction and Telecommunications where various violations and exploitations have been reported to be taking place by expatriate officials in connivance with corrupt government officials. Just in case you are in doubt as to the pathetic state of this country, cast your mind back to the wikileaks expose where Ann Pickard, the then Shell’s vice-president for sub-Saharan Africa boasted that Shell had inserted staff into all the main ministries of the Nigerian government and that Shell consequently had access to everything that was being done in those ministries with access to politicians’ every move. Instead of the State Security Service commencing a deep covert investigation to expose these saboteurs, they have decided to keep using their resources to intimidate law abiding and tax paying citizens that disagree with some of the government’s flawed policies.

A popular saying is that it takes hard work to get to the top and character to sustain you there. I have however realized that it actually requires both hard work and character to take you there as well as sustain you. The absence of character is what has mocked the acclaimed giant of Africa. At a time when we ought to be competing with China, Russia, Germany, United States, Japan, France, United Kingdom and other advanced/advancing nations, we are competing with our little brother Ghana. More tragic than the choice of our competitor is the fact that we seem to be losing the race.

By Eniola Joshua

Blog: eniolajoshua.blogspot.com

Twitter: twitter.com/EniolaDGreat

 

Tags from the story
ghana, nigeria

10 Comments

  • I totally agree with u. The pple that make up 9ja are d ones makn 9ja corrupt. If only we could truly find at least fifty honest peeps in d position of power, pple who wouldnt be blinded by the love of money!

  • And what makes Ghana a little brother to Nigeria? Is it by size,wealth or population? A junior brother may look bigger in size,wealthier and may have more children than his elder brother, but that still does not make him ‘older’ or even the ‘bigger’ brother.

  • The following actions are necessary for Nigeria and Nigerians to have direction to move with:
    – Mandatory residency registration, mainly for statistical purposes, at the place of permanent residence (min 6-12mths) at village/quarter/town/LGA level.
    – Abolish use of catchment Area and Educational backward area for admission to schools, economic and business purposes – the criteria only rewards laziness and backwardness. First class brains/hard working hands are retarded by this scheme initiated by 3rd class civil servants/military people of the 1970-1990s and continued to date. .
    – All citizens should be re educated to know that money is payment for work and services renders , not by begging, religious miracles, robbery, crime,manipulating retirement age, annual strike etc

  • As one of the previous writer said,nigerian’s need to be re-educated about money. The only prayer we need now is to pray for ”THEM”to die,for sanity to return to our nation. ”THEY” must die! Please join me to pray for their obituary. For david to become king soul have to die. I implore you to pray for their DEATH it’s very neccesary.

  • i strongly believe that this current leaders should die coz Nigeria wont be able to stand firm when corrupt leaders are still alive.we need a new foundation in this country….A foundation that wont be built with corruption,kidnapping,robbery,massacaring of your fellow country member which the boko haram’s are doing now.
    All we need to do now is to ask God to bring death to all the old leaders who built Nigeria in false foundation.coz once they die…..we can have a better Nigeria

  • is true only if we have a good leader,that means that our country will be more better than expected. our education in this country is collapsing what are we going to do nothing only for us to be on strike all the time. a Graduate in University can not even stand and defend his/her self in a public what a shameful thing to see in Nigeria a big country like that, let me ask question Nigeria and Ghana which first developed? Nigeria right but look at Ghana today what will you see a big Establishment in their country what a wonderful shame.

  • i strngly bliv dat our great country wil stand again, no country is said 2b d best 4now,let join hands,God wil bring a perfect out 4us.those commentin,v notin 2say, stay calm, God is God.

  • My broda u shal not die prematurely God bless u 4 dis how i wish dis crucked government wil read dis wat self wil they do any just thank bro 4 dat.

  • Today, there is a
    massive exodus of
    companies from
    Nigeria to Ghana.
    Explaining the new
    trend, Consular General
    of the Ghanaian
    Embassy Sylvester
    Parker Allortey told
    Nigerian Tribune
    (2011) that “in a world
    of globalisation, most
    people would always
    move where they find
    opportunities and they
    find the cost of
    production to be
    lower. They would
    always move to places
    where they find
    stability because
    nobody wants to
    operate in an
    environment that is
    uncertain and they
    also need security in
    form of moving
    around the country
    freely without fear.
    Also, they also want to
    move to places where
    they find that their
    investment has been
    guaranteed.” Another
    revelation came from
    George Aboagye, Chief
    Executive Officer (CEO)
    of Ghana Investment
    Promotion Centre, who
    disclosed that between
    1994 and 2011, about
    17 Nigerian businesses
    located in Ghana had
    contributed US$1.5
    billion (about N240
    billion) to the
    advancement of the
    Ghanaian economy. He
    further added that
    Nigerian investments
    in Ghana were forecast
    to grow by an
    additional $500 million
    (about N80 billion) by
    2015.
    Thats why i hav no respect 4 any Nigeria politician,minister,ex and present president bcos they dnt care about the citizenry. Only to pay lips service i will do dis and dat. Look at small Ghana yesterday and our govt is doing noting about dat.you finish school,u come out & nothing for you.in any ministries u go not that their is no job vacancy bt u will be ask to pay 200 hundred thousand naira to get the job. Tomorow they wil start runing to Ghana to buy houses in a better country but put ur own in order is capital NO. God wil punish u all that is stealing Nigeria away. No wonder REBADU CRIED ”i weep for nigeria.” who knw what he saw. Thieves. It can never be well with you all. God u have heard my prayer. Focusless goverment and Country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *