Between Subsidy Removal & Corruption Removal By AKIN-AYOADE Omotayo Chris

The entire Global Village which is populated by over 7 billion peoples of various climes and colours has its inhabitants variously and diversely provided for by the Creator of all, God The Almighty.
From the Caribbean to the Middle East over to the Americas, from the Far East to the Middle East, across the Atlantic to the Pacific,  Europe to Asia and back to Mother Africa, HE is so magnanimous to the extent of creating everyone, either as individuals or bodies of individuals herein referred to as Nations with all we need, not only to survive but also to succeed, little wonder someone once said He {God} is so caring a Father He first made available within the first 5 days of Creation, everything man would need before He created him on the sixth day, an indication, expression and exhibition of unprecedented and unparalleled love and magnanimity to Mankind.

As things began to happen, one thing led to another and gradually we found ourselves where we are today.
The destruction of the first world was not unconnected with what The Creator Himself succinctly described as corruption and ditto for Sodom and Gomorrah, the duo that were utterly destroyed with furious anger by God, The Maker Himself.

The Creator realized that the dreaded evil needed to be exterminated otherwise it would only turn around to do same to the good works of His Hands hence He took the Hard cum Painful Option of killing the killer lest it kills the “Not-to-be-killed”.

Countries the world over have had to deal with this Hydra-headed problem of Corruption and a holistic review of the horrendous damage it did to their nations and nationals compelled many nations to go for the Capital Punishment option with a view to sending Strong Signals to any other intending perpetrators of the heinous crime.
Painful as this option seems to be, heaven has never attempted to fall nor shake a little since heads began to roll.
The emerging leaders in global economy i. e . the Great China, Singapore, Indonesia and the likes all have gotten to where they are today because of their stance on this killer menace called corruption.
It is even so admirable to the extent that the past or the present position or status of the alleged looters really does NOT matter to the laws in these Highly focused countries, once you cross the Red Line, the Law takes its cause regardless of whose ox gets gored in the process.

The supremacy of the Law over ALL citizens as practically demonstrated in the case of Sovie Berlusconi versus the state of Italy, Pervas Musharaf in Pakistan, Hoshni Mubarak and Mohammed Mossi, both of Egypt and the likes calls to question the rationale behind the obvious docility of the various anti-graft agencies we have on our Land and the reasons for this might not be farfetched afterall, When the head is rotten, the probability of having a rotten body could be mathematically higher than half or approximately summed to 1, little wonder the bodies saddled with the responsibility of killing corruption almost got killed by its target prey simply because the hitherto number one citizen who should be on TOP of the game of salvaging the Nation’s Economy was himself an epitome of corruption, hence the likes of Abba Moro, Stella Odua, Diezani Allison Madueke, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and a host of other “undisputable” thieves had cause to walk tall even amid myriad of incriminating evidences that could get them nailed with little or no stress.

We have travelled this path long enough since independence and taking a drastic turn to fix the nose-diving economy that has no alternative remains the only alternative.

Making someone like Tunde Bakare, Gabriel Airewele, Olisa Agbakoba, Bolaji Ogunseye or Jimi Disu the head of EFCC would certainly go a long way in restoring sanity to governance in our Dear Nation.
The aforementioned countries evidently have no room for sacred cows and to replicate and institute same in Nigeria, eminently qualified individuals of the class mentioned above are needed to call the bluff of the “larger than life” humans who apparently lack human face, hence their numerous wicked actions that have thrown the nation into financial mess of the highest degree.

Right from the late 70s till May 29th, 2015, several trillions of US Dollars have been STOLEN from the Vault housing our Common Wealth and when whistles are blown, the “Judicial magic” confederates with the “Political higi haga” and before one could say Jack Robinson, the case is either thrown out for want of evidence or frivolous adjournments make the case die a natural death as they do happen in Nigeria.

One thing that has made me ponder especially since the strangulation of the case relating to the oil wind fall from the Gulf Crisis is that the successive administrations have never “bothered their heads” on ONE undeniable fact that MONEY is missing {and a HUGE SUM at that} regardless of whether the accused is culpable or another person is.

In decent societies where things work, investigations are usually carried out to a near-conclusion stage without the knowledge of the suspects and when the body entrusted with recovery of stollen public funds are as sure as certainty, arrest and prosecution get underway and these have largely led to successful conviction of many over the years.
$12B oil sales proceeds have being missing for more than 2 decades and the number one suspect who coincidentally happens to be the number last has been saved the trouble of “My lord Sir” , just because the successive administrations probably have skeletons in their own cupboards or perhaps they had intended to have and harbour some, thereby shielding the obviously corrupt officials of previous administrations, yet the Money for which these criminals are fingered remains missing. 

The government and people of the United States of America recently promised to help repatriate not less than $152b that were stashed away in American economy alone and when I did some calculations of the worth of this in our local terrain of business/economic transactions, it translated to more than 7 years of our National Budget and by the time one takes pain to compile figures from other countries of the World, especially those looted fund kept in Switzerland {the Global Capital of the save haven for looters,} the figures might be so unbelievable that one might be tempted to weep for Nigeria.

A Huge sum was said to have been laundered by an erstwhile aviation minister, after almost a decade of commic trial, it got thrown out for want of evidence, yet the laundered money has yet to be “unlaundered” , so #WhereIsOurMoney or better still,  #WhoIsWithOurMoney???

The billions of US Dollars missing from the Tower of Corruption {the NNPC} hasn’t been found, neither have we traced successfully the destination of the #10B spent unconstitutionally on chattered aircrafts by perhaps a ghost minister of Petroleum since the immediate past occupant of the seat had denied the knowledge of such.
The conspicuous case of abuse of office involving Stella Odua isn’t any to be proud of as she has continued to walk tall to the extent of “winning” election into the Nation’s hallowed chambers, this is a follow up to the availability of empirical evidences in the “persons” of the 2 bulletproof cars she bought from extra budgetary funds for #255M even though millions of Nigerians do treck half their daily journeys because they earn such a take home that had never been good enough to take them home.

The once respected World Bank employee who reportedly resigned from a very Corrupt administration of a two-timer because she never wanted to join the crowd to do evil later came back to perfect the act of Stealing in another marionette administration where several Billions of US Dollars have been STOLEN from the Treasury housing our Common Wealth, yet the same had over the years denied {foolishly though} the disappearance of any fund from our Save until the likes of Adams Oshiomole decided to give her the fight of her life before she then agreed to some of the allegations.

A whooping sum of $16B was discovered to have been wasted on the ever-powerless Power Sector, probes were set up, findings were made and people indicted, unfortunately, the case later joined the league of the Whole lot that have enjoyed immunity and the protection of being swept under the carpet, we have yet to recover the money even as the sector continues to dwindle in productivity by the day.

Funds that are substantial enough to build modern cum state of the art Refineries were many times allocated to turn around the sabotaged Refineries, refined fuel “we no see” , neither did the allocated funds return to the Nation’s Treasury, yet someone is somewhere answering Mr. President even when nothing presidential appears to be happening in the real sense of the word.

Many government parastatals, departments and agencies like the Customs and Excise, Immigration Department, Maritime Authorities, Federal Airport Authorities of Nigeria, the newly corrupted Federal Road Safety Commission and many others do mop up several Billions of Naira in form of statutorily generated revenues, little or no mention of these are made in the Nation’s plan of annual spending except for the heavy loads they’ve always placed on this oil, oil and oil, who then corners Our Money from other sources??? Nigerians are waiting for answers.

It is only in Nigeria that provisions are made annually for fixed and semi-fixed assets like computers, furniture, vehicles and more and a right-thinking mind cannot but wonder whether we have someone called the Accountant-general of the Federation who should query all these, to save us some money for developmental projects or is the nation specially cursed to be ruled by thieves.

Recovery and repatriation have been successfully completed of several Billions of US Dollars that were stollen by the late Sanni Abacha, ostensibly because he’s no more and we do hope that more shall be recovered when the likes of the self-acclaimed Evil Genius, Lion of Burdillon, the one and only Ębora of Owu and many other seemingly “untouchables” are gone, but the very annoying aspect is that non of the national annual budgets has had these enormous sum so recovered incorporated into it, nor has any extra budgetary project got executed with it, neither is there any known account opened for its future use, as a matter of fact, a funny drama took place in recent times when 3 different government agencies traded accusations and blames on the custody of this looted but recoverd funds and up till now, the day has being breaking as usual as if nothing serious has happened that has the propensity to affect very negatively, our collective being as a nation.

This lackadaisical attitude towards governance and most especially from the highest hierarchy invariably paved way and soft landing for other thieves from the private sector and simply because the Oga At The Top obviously looks and acts corruption-friendly, the termites, worms and aunts from the private sector crept in and joined forces to milk the Nation dry.

This has over the years subjected the masses in their millions to a high level of impoverishment as the price of the God-given liquid has risen from about 40 kobo per litre to an unbelievable #140 per litre.

Several barrels of our crude leave our shores under the supervision of heavily settled high ranking military officers and men whereas this menace and other forms of oil theft including illegal bunkering could be nipped in the bud with application of modern technology.

Don’t forget again Mr President Sir, that Modern Technology has brought about Simple and cost effective Modern Refineries and this could make Nigeria produce even beyond our 40 million litres daily need and very cheaply too, so that Nigerians would for once benefit from the gift of mother nature.

Such Refineries are cheaper and could be put together in record time.

One thing Economics taught us is that Availability of Raw Materials should be a major factor for consideration in location of industry and whilst I’m not advocating the relocation of the Kaduna Refinery, I sincerely advise Mr President to consider allowing every state that has oil deposit in commercial quantities have their own Refineries.

The very ambiguous Theory of Subsidy viz a viz it’s sustenance or removal has never had a sincere argument advanced by government at least not in favour of the masses.

The successive governments have always {over the years until recently} taken advantage of the vulnerability and docility of Nigerians to hike the selling prices of all these essential commodities under the auspices of :

1. The products are too cheap thereby making them targets of smugglers

2. Running Refineries is not the business of government

3. Subsidy is going to the pockets of few {now referred to as the Cabal}

4. Deregulation is the in-thing and would bring down the prices of the products after a short while like it happened in the Telecoms Industry and many unreasonable reasons that a reasonable person can NEVER see as reasonable to reason with.

Now, to the excuse number 1 which is talking about the “uneconomic affordability” of the products, research has shown that no other country has her citizens pay as much as Nigerians pay for these products and when one goes further to juxtapose the pump prices here in Nigeria with those obtainable in other oil-producing nations of the World, it would further aggravate the level of discord and acrimony from the governed against the governing and this is justifiably so. One also wonders if the Check Points created around our borders are just there for fun and the Customs and Excise officials manning them mere robots.

The second excuse of having government remove its hand from running Refineries equally has no precedence as governments of both oil-producing and non-oil-producing nations have been seen running Refineries for years to the benefits of their people and other Global users and without any record of malfunctioning or fraud of any kind arising from such.

Another fraudulent theory blindly sold to our people is that the so-called subsidy is only going to the pockets of few individuals and one cannot but wonder whether we truly have qualified people at the helm of affairs because this is quite shameful a reason to be given by any government that knows it’s purpose of being in power but because the system has over the years put Highly clueless clique in public offices, the so-called cabal has always held the entire country to ransom except for the doggedness of few Reasonable Leaders like the late Omar Musa Yar’adua of Blessed Memory.

The 4th argument of deregulation appears to be the worst of all as the only case study of Diesel has never reflected the real benefits cum essence of the policy.

This product {Diesel} has been deregulated since about a decade ago and despite the series of sharp fluctuations that have characterised the sales of crude at the International Market, the price of Diesel has never dwindled below #140/litter, though the crude had traded between $18 and $110 per barrel since its deregulation.

Another area of interest is the continued waste of national resources on Kerosene which should be selling @#50/litter BUT unfortunately still sells for #150/litter, yet there was someone answering Mr. President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with many assistants in the name of Minister of Finance, coordinating minister of the Economy including numerous Special Assistants and many Senior Special Assistants who again could not function except they are in turn assisted by there own personal assistants,  one then wonders if these people fear God at all even if they give no damn about their fellow Nigerians.

When we have enough Refineries manned by People of Purpose, the fraudulent subsidy provisions that have milked Nigerians dry would have no need being in the national budget any more thereby making more funds available for developmental projects that would catapult Nigeria to the realm of Developed Nations.

The good news about this is that Modern Technology has gone farther to the extent of Building better Refineries yet faster and cheaper and the respective state governments that would have this done actually don’t have to rack their brains on how to source the fund, agreement could be reached with the Builders to have their bill settled from the proceeds of the daily production. The entire Citizenry then enjoys the benefits of the partnership right from the commissioning of the project and even more when the contract debts are fully paid.

It is therefore STRONGLY advised that CORRUPTION and NOT Subsidy get removed from our acts, action and inactions as a nation and by the time this is done without either double or multiple standards, Serious act of holistic and people-oriented governance would set in thereby leaving more in the till for both capital and recurrent expenditures and with this standard set, your name would definitely get written in GOLD and Posterity, even without having either mandible or maxilla would definitely speak well of you Mr President.

The rumours making the round in some quarters that ex-Presidents, their sons or daughters with some “man-made untouchables” are either running helter-skelter or visiting Aso Villa at ungodly hours with a view to perverting the cause of Justice is certainly a litmus TEST for you Mr President, if Turai’s Daughter had taken her time to think twice of what would be her father’s position on Stealing, she probably wouldn’t have dipped her hands in the Cookie Jar, so, it is my very passionate appeal that you MAKE NO ROOM for blemish, however little it may be.

Corruption takes its toll on all and sundry, so dealing with it should know NO BOUNDS regardless of the status of the “culpables” or your political association with them.

Like I do say,  “Shameful things can be done only by Shameless people” and in the same vein,  it could be aptly said that “Shameful things can be done only by Shameless and unserious nations like ours” but here presenting themselves are ample opportunities for a Glorious paradigm shift from the business as usual system of governance so that generations yet unborn would stand tall amongst their peers because of our singular act of fixing the fixables.
Remember again Mr President Sir,  empowering the relevant agencies to fight this menace would do your image a lot of good, all you need do is to make a public speech telling Nigerians of your non interference with the activities of the agencies that have been caged over the years by the erstwhile Executive arm of government and you can be sure, heaven would NOT fall when you do the long-awaited needful of putting Nigeria on the path of honour and whether you like it or not, your failure to do so would definitely make NO difference between you and the “Professional Pen Robbers- PPR” This you’ll agree with me has serious image and integrity consequences that are better imagined than experienced.

A copy of my Letter to you on HITTING THE GROUND RUNNING might also be of immense benefits to your APC-led government and when the contents therein are holistically considered, especially my suggestions to revamp the Power Sector, you might be singing Halleluyah before you mark the first half of your first year.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
God bless Mr President and his crew,
God bless Akin-Ayoade Omotayo Chris.

Yours Sincerely,

AKIN-AYOADE Omotayo Chris
MC EDAGHOR
aka AKINdGREAT