Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Nigerians, Shine your Eyes!
I just needed to put something down today again on my country. Have you heard about the One-Stop shop for foreign company registration in Nigeria and the visit of the President of China (read more about it here)?
If you ponder on the vast difference in the treatment the Nigerian government metes out to Nigerians and the treatment meted out to foreigners on Nigerian soil, it leaves you to only marvel.
For me, I do not only only marvel, I ask myself a question that I do not know who or where to direct it, but my head (which frequently results in aches in the head) and to you, hoping you would find an answer,
"Who does the Nigerian Government owe its ultimate allegiance to? Nigerians or Foreign Investors?
The Government is working tooth and nail to put all required infrastructure and system in place to make the country conducive for foreign investors and for a desirable International image. This ambition has helped the Obasanjo government to clearly define its priorities and this is reflected in the committees and boards that are set-up, executed/executing projects, commitments made, the pattern of expenditure and the system of justice in the country.
This is why the government can think up a one-stop shop when it comes to the issue of foreign investors in order to ease their stress, but will not have the initiative available to develop at least a three-stop shop for company registration by Nigerians and also build a stadium for N60Billion while neglecting school teachers and university lecturers' request to invest in the eductaion of Nigerians.
The foreign investor is given every opportunity to milk as much as he can from the country's resources, but while making sure he 'shares' the politicians and their allies. The system is tilted to favour all of his moves because he has come as our savior which gives him the right to treat employees at his own discretion (be it crude, cruel or cute).
When the foreign investor has enjoyed all due to him by our government, we, common Nigerians are left to build wings, create a sky and fly on our own. We are advised not say to ourselves, we wait on our Government.
We are not surprised though, because it is clear, the government careth not and maybe knoweth not that we sleep under the bridge, go to school under a tree, drink water from the gutter, beg the foreign investor for food and money on the streets, wear clothes that have been worn by the people of the foreign investor, drive on roads that makes it easy to get killed and live on less than $1 of the foreigners currency per day to mention a few.
Hmm... this makes me cringe. I am scared and wondering if we are not on the way to being sold to Civilized Slavery. There are no obvious sign to provide basic social needs for the 1.3Billion Nigerians that live in this country, instead we only see ostentatious plans that will accommodate the foreign investors, politicians and their allies.
There is absolutely nothing wrong in sourcing for foreign investor at all cost, it sure brings with it many benefits for the economic development of the country, but please, not while neglecting your own growing population and their social needs.
Does the government want the Nigerian citizen to remain poor and helpless so we can beg more, work more, earn less and not question their decisions? Why are there no concrete plans and not just plans but projects being executed to empower every, not some Nigerian citizen to become an independent citizen with the capacity to make choices.
I guess this calls for a sober reflection and I'll say to Nigerians, Shine your eyes!