Two highly government-favored Nigerians, Theophilus Danjuma and
Aliko Dangote have been selected by President Muhammadu Buhari to lead the
northeast rehabilitation committee. Danjuma's SAPETRO was awarded (OPL)
246 in 1998, paving the way for his billions, and Dangote was favored by the
Nigerian Obasanjo government since as far back as the 70s! According to
Wikileaks Cable: 05LAGOS362_a, 8:
Government has been very supportive of Dangote. We know the company at one time
or another held exclusive import rights in sugar, cement, and rice using such
advantages to do volume business and undercut competitors. In a December 1996
interview, Aliko Dangote admitted that a government mandate once forced him to
import so much rice that the local market crashed by almost 80 percent.  The
direction of GON trade barriers also suggests preferential treatment. High
tariffs or outright bans on imported items favor the Group in nearly all areas
in which they do business including wheat flour, cement, certain textiles,
sugar and pasta."
We are not talking of just preferential treatment here; these
advantages were to the destruction of competition and small businesses; they
were to the destruction of the fibre of Nigeria. Danjuma in his later days has
resorted to the "charities" business with his $100 million
donation to his "foundation" in what some may
consider "atoning" for his undue advantages to the detriment to
of the larger society, but others put a bit worse as Emeka
Obi said in Forbes in 2011:
“I don’t believe TY Danjuma is a hero of philanthropy,” said
Emeka Obi, a social commentator and journalist at Compass Newspapers. “TY
Danjuma is the problem with Nigeria whereby a few members of the ruling elite
appropriate the nation’s resources and wealth to themselves at the expense of
over 100 million Nigerians who are struggling to make ends meet. This is the
problem with the Nigerian system: a single man makes so much money not because
he is hardworking or deserving, but because he is merely connected to the
powers that be. Danjuma was given an oil bloc as a gift. It is preposterous.
The $100 million Danjuma has given to the foundation is not his money; it is
Nigeria’s money, and it is absurd that he pretends like he’s some sort of
These two men shall head the Federal-government set-up Northeast
Rehabilitation Committee, Buhari has just announced. Now this piece is
less concerned about the genuine agitation for the overdue probe into
the wealth of these duo and he like, as well as the need for some form of harsh
restoration of the balance in favor of the State over single individuals. This
piece simply asks:
Are billionaires and the Elite the best candidates for heading
the address of Nigeria's issues caused by the illicit cash flow to the very
billionaires and Elite and the social inequality thereby originated that led to
the very terror; and also these very monies flowing from them to Boko Haram and
the like also responsible for the ugly state of the nation today?
Are there no "austere" individuals like Buhari to put
in charge of these committees? Shall we always as a nation be made beggars to
Dangote's policies in particular were branded
"beggar-thy-countrymen," by US analysts. It is true. Now what is a
worse insult than the beggars rendered so are again put at the mercy of those
who made them victims of terror and poverty?
Could Buhari not find one rich man and one poor man to head this
committee? Must the committee be used to again enrich the almighty cabal, by
the use as can be predicted of their companies, their exorbitantly sold cement,
today marketed at the highest price in the world?
Will Buhari vote for Buhari?
We had other options including wealthy Jonathan, Atiku and
others to vote for as our President in 2015. But we chose "austere"
Buhari. To what end? To get the very cabal who got us in this fix, back in
charge of our nation's affairs?
To be turned into a nation of beggars?
Have we forgotten that the very Dangote chaired the fundraiser
for Jonathan's PDP, raising billions to campaign against Buhari, that we fought
blood and brains against? Now he is being put in control of the parts of
Nigeria most bitter about the insensitivity and robbery of the nation and
sponsorship of terror by the very cabal!
Today the government is forcing itself by depending largely on
World Bank and other foreign loans. Is this why we voted for
"change?" In the professional world, the dependance on donations from
these billionaires while employing them in government committees and using them
to fund government processes is called "conflict of interest." The results are
100% predictable: more favoritism for them, and more coveting of the nation's
land, dollars and all other resources by the few with resulting deeper deadly
social inequality. Is this Nigeria's eternal destiny? Do we not have faith in
the power of the masses?
If we want funds from the colonial globe and Cabal, do we have
to bend-over for them to put it in our backsides or rather shall we position
ourselves better, fine and tax them appropriately for the same and even more
figures we need that we today favor them to beg for in "donations."
Reposition ourselves properly for fair and equitable trade with the world...to
get the same value of the subjugating "donations."
In my recent article, "Of Proudly Injudicious Lawyers Being Ministers And $7000 Beds
For The Poor," I asked the same question when we saw the list of
appointees for ministerial positions. Some of whom have been indicted by the
ICPC. Some of whom construct $400 boreholes for $450,000. None being a common
man, the force behind the electoral victory of commoner Buhari. I asked, would
Buhari give Buhari a chance?
On a related note as was observed in the recent Media chat:
Buhari To Give Cabal-Industry Dollars But Deny Same To
The Largest Labor Employers–SMEs
Today small industry and small entrepreneurs have no access
to foreign exchange.
Perhaps President Muhammadu Buhari does not get it, or does not
understand the severity of it, but from the President's media chat and his
responses on the government's choice for distribution of scarce dollars,
Nigeria is at risk of not creating but losing millions of jobs.
President Muhammadu Buhari in the chat said that the government
was going to focus on making dollars available for big manufacturing
industry.He said: "On
foreign exchange, how much are we earning? We try in our priority to look after
industries that are employing people and producing goods and services."
Big industry are owned of course by the Cabal; many such Cabal
looted billions of Nigeria's national earnings to establish their companies;
but punishing them for this is not even the issue. The issue is that big
industry is the small employer of labor. This is a known fundamental fact of
economics especially in the developing world.
SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) is the largest employer of
labor. The companies that you and I run; we are the people that employ 75% of
labour in Nigeria. It is the same in India, China, Malaysia, Brazil and so on.
SMEs across the world employ anywhere between 70 and 80% of labor. The
so-called big industries only employ a tiny fraction of labor.
Developed societies have actually moved from "manufacturing
goods" to service economies. Lot's of such services are provided by small
and medium enterprises who are being starved of dollars.
The strict and partial moves being employed by the current
administration in these trying times are very risky and may implode the nation
before they possibly alleviate the crisis and before they may yield the needed
returns. Thousands of small and medium enterprises are folding across the
nation due to the shortage and denial of foreign currency. Nigeria has not yet
developed its manufacturing sector and a significant amount of SMEs depend
on various completed and partially manufactured materials from abroad. These
businesses are unable to get access to their raw materials, tools or
traded products. The implication is catastrophic.
While we are not suggesting that the government simply returns
the access to foreign currency to what it was; we demand that it be the same
for Cabal big industry as it is for Small and Medium enterprise. Whatever
ration of access to foreign currency is given to large companies, so also
the same ration of access to foreign currency should be given to small
entrepreneurs. We want change. We are tired of being slaves to the recurrently
preferentially treated Cabal who get tax breaks, access to credit, preferential
choice land and now, preferential access to foreign currency.
So we ask: why should the Dangotes and Danjumas always be
favored above the rest of us? Syria and Libya constructed infrastructure but
what happened? Many will say that the social inequality and government institutionalized disadvantagement allowed those nations to
crack; and look at them today. In seconds it all came tumbling down. What is
the use of Buhari building-up Nigeria only to deepen the lines of inequality,
frustration and anger that are the roots of the terror and that will pave the
path for the terror of tomorrow? If Elite individuals as these are so
good, I suggest we add Jonathan to the list and surely two more Ds,
Dasuki and Diezani to jointly head the Rehabilitation committee?
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