A few days ago we hit rock bottom. The minister in charge of power admitted that there was complete blackout from the national grid. That was not news to me. I had spent the last five weeks in my home town where we had not seen a minute of electricity since August 2015 following a dispute with the providers forcing us to depend on generators. I had been buying petrol at double the official price. But it was readily available. Back in Lagos I have had to buy petrol at black market price thrice the official price since I cannot stand the rigour of queuing for four hours to get petrol at the official price. I cannot fuel my generator as the stations do not sell petrol in jerry cans and I am to take my generator or the tank to the station. This scarcity should never have been allowed to happen. It has helped to negate whatever the new government has achieved.
For fifty five years in this lopsided and ill-conceived federation, with ineffective and purposeless leadership, we have been moving three steps forward and two backwards while better ruled countries had landed somebody on the moon fifty six years ago and are exploring more distant planets and moving so fast forward with communications, the internet, science, you name it. We are left further and further behind.
No light
After throwing billions of dollars at generating electricity we still have no light. They call it sabotage, the same story we have been hearing for years. The principal beneficiaries are the Chinese who must be smiling to the banks from the sale of their generators to us. Even the poorest road-side trader has an `ah better pass my neighbour’ generator. It is from the same Chinese we want to borrow two billion dollars to make up for our budget deficit this year. Lucky people! They are exactly what we are not. They are well organised and disciplined despite their population which is ten times ours. Our fraudulent censuses put our population at about one hundred and seventy million.
Crash of oil price
The bubble has burst. Oil prices have crashed and our two plus two no longer equals four. Our naira has died to above three hundred to the dollar. It was once less than one naira to the dollar. That demonstrates how far back we have fallen. Our government that depends mainly on hard currency earned from oil is now owing all and sundry. Since everything depends on oil everything is now at a standstill. We are being forced to tighten our belts till we are about to faint. We had it coming.
We have perfected corruption. It was bad before. But Murtala Mohammed compounded it when he took the rash action that destroyed a well oiled civil service bequeathed to us by the colonialists. He retired ten thousand civil servants for questionable reasons including old age, declining productivity, ill health and so on. People just woke up and heard their names being read out on television as being retired. So, devotion to duty gave way to all manners of stealing. We are robbing ourselves blind! We have bequeathed two new expressions to the English language.
1.     Ghost Workers! The federal government say they have twenty three thousand of them in their service! For how long have these people been drawing money for no work from the federal government? I would not be surprised if it started soon after Murtala Mohammed’s blunder forty years ago. Imagine how much has been lost. I read somewhere that one of our northern states has confessed that it has ten thousand ghost workers. Even the almighty PDP that was supposed to rule for sixty years has its head office infested with ghost workers. There is an allegation at the Code of Conduct Tribunal that our Senate President has been drawing salary from his state years after he left office. Do not be surprised if hundreds of thousands of ghost workers are operating in the thirty six states of Nigeria, the FCT, the seven hundred and seventy four local governments and the national and state assemblies. Yes, we have perfected the art of corruption. No wonder that Nigeria is not making much progress.
2.     Budget padding. Even at such high level for our budget proposals to go from the Presidency to the National Assembly some people have the temerity to rig the proposals!. Worse than that, between the National Assembly and the Presidency there is an allegation that some people have the courage to tamper with the approved budget prompting our President to say to the whole world that he would closely scrutinise the budget before assenting to it.
Things can only get better
The best thing going for Nigeria now is Muhammadu Buhari. He ruled Nigeria before and nobody can accuse him of the sort of corruption that is killing Nigeria now. I hasten to say that corruption has many facets. But this write-up is only interested in outright stealing, dishonesty, treasury looting, accumulating ill-gotten wealth. He is the only person who can get Nigeria out of its present predicament. In many ways I support his `globe-trotting’. He is going out to those who can help us and telling them the truth that Nigeria is corrupt and that he needs help to fight it. Imagine saying to the whole world that his budget was not only padded but the one approved by the national assembly may have been tampered with and he would scrutinize it thoroughly. They believe him because they know the truth about Nigeria without anybody telling them.

Obasanjo got Dora Akunyili to try and launder the image of Nigeria at a time the whole world was aware of the depth of corruption in Nigeria. He failed woefully. Senator Ben Bruce is trying to tell the whole world how brilliant Nigerians are – something the whole world already knows. But he avoided mentioning corruption which is negating all that brilliance. General Buhari is on the right path and I wish him all the success. As I said in my write up, Buhari – The Leader Nigeria Needs Now, he is the only one who had previously led Nigeria who has the qualities, the honesty and the strictness to get us out of the current abyss. He can stabilise this country. And I wish him good luck! But we all, thanks to ISIS, Al Shabaab, Al Nustra, Boko Haram, are having to sleep with one eye open. It seems to me that he has to sleep with both eyes open for he is surrounded by the worst type of hyenas, lions and tigers in his Party ever willing to pounce, to further complicate matters for him. 

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