Resource Allocation: The More You Work And Produce, The Less You Get (419 Constitution 2)

by Bode Eluyera

As I have already said, the Nigerian Constitution is a 419 constitution, and equally insulting. Take for example the Resource Allocation Formula, without any exaggeration, and with all seriousness, it is a constitution of “MONKEY DEY WORK, BABOON DEY CHOP.” Most likely, the British helped the north to smuggle this in.

According to the constitution, resource allocation to states is based solely on population of its citizens, and not on their economic activities. The interpretation of this is that, if for example, Lagos state and Kano have the same population, nevertheless they both receive equal amount from the Federal Government irrespective of the fact that Lagos state has 20 times more engineers, 15 times more medical doctors, 20 times more lawyers, 30 times more professors, 15 times more accountants e.t.c., than Kano state. As far as resource allocation is concerned, what our constitution is saying is that if a Lagos father who knows the value of education struggles – out of his meagre earnings – to train all his five children to the university level, nevertheless he or his state is equally compensated like a Kano father with 5 children too; two of whom completed only primary school, one only secondary school, one a stark illiterate who begs for arms on the street, and only just one managed to study to the university level. You don’t need a PhD to understand and agree with me that all things being equal; “there is a direct correlation between level of productivity, development and education. The more and better people are educated in a society, the more goods and services they produce leading to a higher G.D.P. and G.N.P. respectively, provided the necessary facilities are on ground. But, our constitution and government are telling us that as far as Nigeria is concerned, that is irrelevant. To them, it is the quantity or number that matters, and not their quality. In essence, the drafters of our constitution are saying that if I, as an indigene of Lagos state, (since my mother is from Lagos and my father is from Ile-Ife, the Cradle of Yoruba land, in a way, I can claim Lagos) by the virtue of my good education and entrepreneurship, work harder, faster and give more to the country, at the end of the day, I still get equally rewarded like a Kano indigene who never bothered going to school and lives on welfare. It is just the same as saying that the senior executive of a company earns the same with the cleaner, despite the fact that their contribution to the company are completely different. Where is the fairness here?

Why is the resource allocation not based on criteria like number or percentage of graduates compared to the population, productivity, percentage of small and medium scale enterprises, percentage of self-employed people e.t.c.? Our government and constitution have given the predominantly polygamous, lazy, least educated northern Muslims the carte blanch to enjoy themselves to the fullest, have as many children as possible, without bothering to educate them or make them productive and useful to themselves and the country. They are rest assured that they will be taken good care of by the oil resources in the south, at the expense of the bonafide owners of the resources. There is no competition whatsoever for resource allocation. The only criteria and competition is the number of children you can father. I was just wondering if we are that generous, why not join Chad, Niger Republic and Cameroon, and perhaps other African countries too?

That’s not all. The same constitution says that the more the population of a state, the more representatives it will have in The Senate and House of Representatives, What does this mean? What this means is that Kano state for example with the highest population in the country; if we assume that the result of the census was not manipulated, will have much more representatives and senators than Bayelsa, Delta and all other oil producing South-south states combined. What is the implication of this? The implication is that based on their voting power, Kano state can connive with other northern states and easily block any proposal in the interest of the oil producing states (who unfortunately are minorities) and Nigeria in general, but not in their own selfish interest. You want a concrete example? I will definitely give you one. Supposing that a very important and sensitive issue like the amount of oil and gas revenues to be retained by oil producing states is being discussed. It is obvious that the oil producing states will want to keep or retain the largest percentage that is possible from their resources in other to develop their own territory. This is normal and fair since these resources belong to them in the first place, and not to Nigeria or Nigerians. Therefore, they have the full right to use as much as possible – if not all – of their resources for their own development. After all, provided you have conscience, you don’t expect Nigeria to grow with their resources while they wallow in abject poverty. Do you? However, it is obvious that the more percentage of the oil revenues the oil producing states keep for themselves, the lesser the northern states get for their development, and the lesser their lazy, good-for-nothing and redundant retired/serving military generals will have the opportunity to steal. Isn’t it? So, what do you have? You have conflict of interest.

So, after much discussion, arguments, deliberations and presentation of papers on this volatile issue, it is put to vote. After all, it is democracy. Deep in your, how do you expect Kano and other northern states to vote? Your guess is as good as mine. Of course, they will vote enmass for the retainment of the smallest percentage as possible for the oil producing states. What is the conclusion? The conclusion is that de facto, the oil producing states are a colony of Nigeria simply because they are not only being marginalised but they have no say nor influence on an issue which directly concerns them and is of life importance. They have no say in working out the terms of agreement on how their oil will be explored, including the financial terms. They have no say in deciding what kind of technology should be used for exploration that will ensure least pollution and damage to the environment. They have no say in deciding what amount of compensation they are entitled to due to the pollution of their land, water and air. They have no say in deciding what amount of fine or compensation the oil companies have to pay for violating some stipulated international norms or standards for oil exploration, which may result in larger pollution and/or very serious health problems/hazards. They have no say in deciding what kind of special medical programmes and life insurance packages the indigenes are entitled to due to the fact that they are permanently exposed to polluted air. They have no say in deciding how many schools, hospitals, recreational centers and factories will be built for their respective communities by the foreign oil companies. They have no say in deciding how the farmers and the indigenes in general who lost their land as a result of oil exploration or other constructions/installations related to oil drilling will be compensated. They have no say in deciding the number or percentage of their indigenes that must be employed by N.N.P.C and foreign oil companies. They have no say in deciding what kind of special medical service the indigenes should be entitled to incase they sustain injury in the course of working for the oil companies. They have no say in deciding how the indigenes will be evacuated and compensated incase of natural disaster like flood, earthquake, pipe explosion, fire outbreak, e.t.c. which may result due to the drilling of oil. They have no say in deciding how foreign oil companies and their workers – of various nationalities and cultures, conduct themselves and their affairs in the community and with the local people

in order to prove that they respect their culture, customs and the people that leave on the land. They have no say in working out the modalities for resolving conflicts between foreign oil companies, their multinational workers and the local people, incase of occurrence. And last but not the least, they have absolute no say in deciding what amount of dollars or percentage from the cost of each barrel of oil lifted by the oil companies they are entitled to.

Undoubtedly, the Niger Delta people and other oil producing states were not involved in discussing the above-mentioned issues; if at all they were ever discussed by the federal government. Now, fellow Nigerians, I am asking you, and please answer with your conscience. Will you call what is happening in The Niger Delta democracy? Isn’t this a mockery of democracy? Don’t you think that what is happening in the Niger Delta in general is inhuman? Don’t you think that the people that the oil belongs to should not only benefit most from it, but also equally have a major say in it? Don’t you think that wicked, evil and insensitive people are ruling us right from independence? Without any exaggeration, there is no difference whatsoever between how the northern rulers, and the federal government in general have been treating the Niger Delta people since independence, and how the white supremacists treated black South Africans during the regime of apartheid. Don’t you think that this cliché that have imposed themselves on us through the barrel of the gun, and fraudulent election, since independence, should be destroyed with any means possible, and as soon as possible?

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miracle December 5, 2010 - 5:41 pm

Fantastic presentation. However i seek your permission to use some parts of the article to promote my cause on FACEBOOK for Respondsible governance and allocation of Resources in an enviromental friendly Nigeria.

Tim March 26, 2007 - 5:33 am

Bode, you have some points but should concentrate on getting them across with better facts, logic and statistics and show less disdain/hatred for the north in your articles.


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