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Saturday, August 25, 2012

LIKE OLYMPICS LIKE NIGERIA’S COMPETITIVENESS IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY


  It is a shame that my country Nigeria, the so called giant of Africa, exited London Olympics without winning any medal. It is a shame indeed! With two-billion Naira wasted on the Nigerian team to the Olympics and nothing to show, it reminds some one of the various white elephant projects scattered everywhere across the country that consumed billions of naira without making any impact. Before the games we were told by the Nigerian authorities that Nigerian contingent to Olympics is going to bring home some medals, now we are being told that the essence of the games is participation not winning. The Olympics mirror our participation in the global economy where we boast about our strength and prowess but with nothing on the ground to show for it. Underneath all the Nigerian boasting about being this or that is colossal problems, corruption and ineffectiveness; the level of corruption in the system is such that with all kind of resources and wealth endowment, the country still cannot provide its citizens with the needed quality education and health care. If you look at the top ten countries on the all medal list you will find out that all these countries are in places where their citizens are doing well and poverty have been concurred. The world two most powerful economies are top on the list, to drive home the notion that it takes economic prowess and discipline to come top in such competition of eminent proportion. I remember the last time Nigeria seek the hosting of commonwealth games but it was not granted instead was given to India, though even India has nothing much to show for its participation in London Olympics and its hosting of the common wealth games, but it still shows how the world view Nigeria against the other giant countries in the world.
  A nation that is battling to fight the scourge of corruption which has eaten into all its moral fabric would certainly find it difficult to organize a world standard preparation to help her win medals in the Olympics. The monumental corruptions uncovered in the course of the subsidy prove is still hanging, and Jonathan administration has shown no sign of owning up to the public outcry to proof into the scandal beyond the lip service it is paying to the matter at the moment. Though, many analysts believe this administration can not bite the finger that feed it by turning the tides against major oil tycoons who sponsored it election campaigns back in 2011.  While the poor masses are left to suffer under the brunt of insecurity, poverty, higher cost of living; the rich few are busy enjoying their illegally gotten wealth. Of particular concern is the widened gap between the rich and the poor; while Nigeria boast of rich individuals like Dangote, it has some of the poorest people on the continent. Diseases, malnutrition, and illiteracy still ravaged many of its population; currently ranked among the most unstable countries in the world where crisis, like volcano, can erupt at moment notice. Boko Haram, the derided Islamic sect from North Eastern Nigeria, has managed to strike terror at the mind of individuals Nigerians. Today, any criminal can get away with taking a person life by pushing the responsibility on the Boko Haram group who are happy to accept doing so in order to strike more terror. The Niger Delta militias are coming out from their temporary slumber; recently it (through one of their prominent figures) claim it can put the country into a total war should the North attempt to destabilize the administration of Jonathan, which already show signs of weakness. One such militia leader Dakubo-Asari claims they (he and his associates) knew where the weapons to fight the war can be brought from, and they can bring them in when the time comes. Bakassi people are also back in the news with their claim on the Bakassi peninsular which Nigeria ceded to Cameroun back during the regime of Obasanjo; threatening to declare their independence from Nigeria and Cameroun (of course) including the option of declaring a war.
   While there is no doubt about the potentiality of the Nigerian economy on the continent to surpass that of South Africa as the continent biggest and most dynamic, a lot of teething troubles remain that will act as hindrance to achieving that goal. One of such is the problem of absence of strong leadership to put Nigeria on the road to achieving that; Nigeria’s leadership, as seen in the corrupt-ridden PDP government in power since the return to democracy in 1999, can not take the country near achieving that. What is more, a leadership and party that lack discipline among it members could not have brought the same into the country management. With no result oriented and tightly organized leadership like the one you find in China, Nigeria is not near achieving such a goal in the span of five to seven years envisaged by this administration. Wasteful expenditures remain at all the tires of government, despite inclusion of technocrats such as the world Bank Ngozi, fiscal indiscipline remain one of the main failings of this administration, as two-third into the year the regime could not implement its budget up to 35% but claim to have delivered, what an irony. Like many analysts see it, Jonathan is very weak to lead the kind of reform needed to fight corruption and to put the country on the pass of sustainable development and prosperity. Nigeria as it is now needed some one very strong, efficient, and devoid of parasitic cabinet as we have now to take it to the next era of growth. The time when Nigerians should continue to blame the hands of foreign powers in their internal problems and inability to move the country forward is gone, our real problem is our corrupt political leadership. Like we have seen during the London Olympics where lack of preparations, lost of focus, and institutional corruption have killed our dream of winning some medals, the same is to true in almost all the spheres of the country’s live. Nigerian leaders are corrupt and weak, its people are poor and ravaged by interreligious and interethnic hatred, and its infrastructures are dead and needed billions of Dollars for them to be revived. With a population of over 160 million people majority of them poor, Nigeria need to wake up from it slumber before it is consumed by it own inconsistencies, ineffectiveness and decay.