How Corrupt Politicians Make Life Difficult For Everyone

, , No Comments
Two months ago, I was at a data journalism training and one of the main lecturers said people who blame their struggles on the government are just being plain lazy and uncreative. His theory is that anyone can rise through sheer hard work and resourcefulness. I agree with him that anyone can rise above the rot around us, but should everyone have to be extraordinarily hardworking and creative to live a fairly comfortable life?

Next week Switzerland is having a public vote on a decision to pay every citizen a guaranteed basic after-tax monthly pay of $2,500 even if you are unemployed. Consider the equivalent in Naira and the type of company and role you must be for you to get that type of income in Nigeria. Why are some countries able to give their citizens, regardless of how hardworking and resourceful each citizen is, a very good basic life? They don't have to sweat as much as we do to get the necessities of life. The answer lies in proper use of national wealth.

Countries that have a transparent system of public fund administration prosper whether they have little natural resources (Japan, Iceland etc.) or have a huge population (USA). Whereas countries like Nigeria where people steal from the nation's coffers without restraints suffer from infrastructural decay and low living standard.

Early this month, I was at Port Harcourt to train the south-south and south-east staff of a pension fund administration company. The international airport in Port Harcourt is terrible. Looks like that a war torn country like Sudan would have. Everything is falling apart. No proper boarding counter. We basically had to pick our bags from the vehicle that brought it from the plane to the makeshift exit tent. No conveyor. And the city itself looks not much different from a less rich non-oil producing state. So what happened to all the oil money? Now the rate of robbery, kidnapping and militancy has gone up. They kidnap anyone who has got a SUV. Even pastors. They rob whether it's daytime or night. And why? Because no more easy money.

We live in a 55 year old country that makes almost all (80%) of its revenue from oil found in the Niger Delta. The entire country feeds off just a small portion of the nation. We treat the people there as dirt. They are further ill-fortuned to have self-serving leaders who help the outside world suck their communities dry and destroy farms and fishing rivers. Now they have nothing to show for the blessing of crude oil.

And that is the same way we allow the politicians to destroy Nigeria. They go into government to loot the national coffers. We pay tax (as VAT factored into everything we buy and tax deducted right before we see our salary). We generate our own electricity. We dig our own wells and bore-holes. We hire own security guards and vigilante. We have poor roads. We bear the full cost of economic mismanagement (fuel increase, non payment of government workers salaries, mass retrenchment in the private sector). Some very few feed fat off the wealth of a nation. They eat as much as they can and ruin the rest. They do not allow any meaningful growth in the country. They steal and show their face, only their accomplices in the private sector face trials. We tolerate them. They individualise the nation's wealth and nationalise the risk/consequences.

Who are behind the rot in the power sector? the rot in the every sector of the economy? Corrupt politicians. They only think of what must come to them. They have more companies than proper businessmen. They inflate project amounts and award to their 1 month old companies rather than let them go to competent contractors. Yet they do a very low quality job despite the huge mark-up. And the projects they can't eat from, they kill. They make life difficult for everyone. And we let them roam free. The justice system is in their pockets.

Because of corruption we are not progressing and cost of living is going up uP UP. Because of corrupt politicians the criminally minded make the most gain and everyone else suffers for it.


Post a Comment

You can be sure of a response, a very relevant one too!

Click on Subscribe by Email just down below the comment box so you'll be notified of my response.