Successful Nigeria: A Government Order or Citizens’ Bother?

Originally, political power has the purpose to serve in the interest every person identified as a Nigerian but unfortunately, it was lost to those leaders acting in the name of government, such as politicians, bureaucrats, judges, lawyers, and their conmen; as a result Nigeria derailed from functioning like a democracy but a Republic. A Republic is dangerous because it is a one dignity system-opposed to democracy, which is a three-vote system. Three votes to check tyranny, not just one. Nigerian citizens have not been informed of their other two dignities.

Procurement fraud remains a major problem for us Nigerians as against putting in place the widely-needed social amenities, with kickbacks, corruption in vendor selection and theft commonly occurring in supply chains within or linked to the same government who vow to protect our well-being. A survey of 890 senior Nigerian executives by members of “nigeria4betterrule” produced some staggering results. The Fraud Report 2008/2009 says the average loss per company as a result of various types of fraud over the past three years was N80.2b. Nearly nine out of ten companies surveyed experienced some form of fraud over the past 36 months, they say.

As Africa’s oil hub, Nigeria has a particular problem with fraud in the area of procurement. In Nigeria, procurement personnel are, generally speaking, not very well paid, yet they operate independently, are responsible for spending large amounts of money, and are usually responsible for inventory safekeeping. The opportunity to make some extra money by illegal means is often too much of a temptation for some who lack integrity.

Common misconducts in procurement in the country include kickbacks, theft and exploitation of conflicts of interest. According to our report, conflict of interest fraud – or selection of a vendor/supplier for personal gain or due to a personal interest in the company – is normally carried out by senior managers who, “have the wherewithal and opportunity”. Provision of proper training and education for procurement staff is highlighted in the report as a key action to mitigate this type of fraud. It is important that staff is aware of Nigeria’s policy regarding personal interests.

All employees ought to receive training and written policy and explanatory material, and should sign a declaration that they have been advised of their obligation to disclose potential conflict of personal interest. Vendor screening is also recommended as an effective measure to reduce the risk of conflicts of interest among staff. It makes good business sense to know exactly who the vendors are. This due diligence screening can be undertaken at little or no cost to the manufacturer by making it a contractual obligation of the vendor and making the vendor bear the cost.

Regarding kickbacks, manufacturers who use perishable raw materials are particularly susceptible. Setting price controls or thresholds on purchase prices is an important way to limit price manipulation used to fund kickbacks.
The challenge for manufacturers is defining a formula for the purchase price of perishable crops, as the price may be affected by factors such as sales demand, manufacturing schedules, seasonal availability, crop quality and competitor demand.

The purchase price range, and the sale price for waste, should be decided in consultation between several different departments such as sales & marketing, procurement, finance & accounting, and should require ultimate approval by the general manager. Nigeria as a nation has not failed but I still blame all politicians because with all the money they spend, Nigeria should be at least clean and organize like Malaysia and I’m freaking serious about it. Instead I’m desperate about our public transport, our heritage, our Flora and Fauna dying in pollution. All I see is our land having potential not being used and protected, our brilliant professionals like doctors going abroad to be nurses so that their talent is totally wasted.

I pay taxes what should I do more? Can we compare our politicians with the Singaporean and especially with the Koreans? I would give them our entire politician just to trade one of them. With less than one decade they used the proceeds to build factories, streets, trains and after 3 decades they can turn up into super power respected all over the world. You’re forgetting something! These countries have governments that could do pretty much whatever they please. We actually had one, right? And yes, at that time we could also build everything we want but that’s also the reason why we are mired in debt, which causes this regime to use our taxes to pay debt instead to develop us.

Citizens rarely trust their leaders in Nigeria because of infidelity and empty promises. All through a political tenure, they wiped out our character way of ingenuity, they wiped out the way we do things with laws that undermines our national integrity; they wiped out the way we organize the “Nigerian-ness” in us. I am not blind from seeing poverty in the land. Why won’t I puzzle why Nigerians love to be self inflicted with political wounds? My question is: is this country really poor? The World Bank classifies Nigeria as the 46th largest economy in the world out of 179 countries while the IMF ranked us at number 44 out of 180 countries. The GDP is the same for both IMF and World Bank at US$144.1B. Why are we not showing this to the whole world? Surely, there is disparity in income distribution among the citizens, the glaring difference between the rich and the poor but we can move forward.

I believe that our country is not poor, but rich in natural resources (minerals), with trillions of dollars beneath the Nigeria’s soil waiting to be extracted. We have great resources that can offer Nigerians with modern amenities comparable to the advanced economies. We have a strong character: the resiliency among the blacks….however, on corruption, it’s a different story. I’m not an economist nor know much about economics but here is my N100, invested or not; Nigeria is inherently rich and replete with resources but the wealth of the nation is being dissipated and wasted by a few corrupt greedy people.

Is vision 20-2020 new? Is it going to take Nigeria how long to develop? It took the U.S. 150 years to develop, nearly half of our age, yet Nigeria is still one of the world’s poorest countries. Many democracies started off flawed. But just because it started off flawed, doesn’t make it can become better over time. So what if it is based on the divide and rule system. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be forever! The U.S. was based on a slavery system. Does that last forever?! Nigeria is based on the ethnicity system. Does that mean Nigeria can be doomed forever?!

I was talking about the system that is not based on meritocracy while you are comparing them to issues of social stratification causing social injustices. Can Apples and oranges argument sustain us? The hapless citizen blames this present government and its’ administration but cannot do anything about it. It is a seasonal misery we have learnt to live with. The insensitivity of this government to the plight of her citizens is shocking. Everyone has taken it for granted that whenever it rains, electricity supply is bound to be disrupted, the telephone has to stop ringing, a few people and cattle heads have to get electrocuted here and there, roads have to develop cracks and water ultimately finds its own outlet.

Once the rain is over, so is the administration’s responsibility, whatever it is, to provide and maintain the basic civic amenities. Nature cannot be blamed for all the misery brought upon the citizens. Human negligence is also sometimes at work. Remember the plight of the residents of Opokuma and Odi villages, whose houses were flooded and crops damaged .Most of the inhabitants poor live and work in hazardous gas-flare exposure situations, shunned by the more affluent. They have to contend with bad s

anitation, contaminated water or chemical pollution. There is increase in water pollution, inadequate sanitation facilities, insufficient collection and disposal of solid and toxic wastes, and indoor and outdoor air pollution

While the Yar’Adua administration obviously bears the responsibility for the knockdown of infrastructure, we as citizens too must share the blame for the mess in which we find ourselves. The way the legal and illegal housing colonies are mushrooming without providing for basic necessities like a proper electricity connection or sewerage is provoking. The way Nigerians are rendered helpless by court no-care actions, is insinuating.

Inside Nigeria unauthorized building constructions takes place, there is little chance for improvement at the ground level. While building houses, how many take care to ensure that construction material like sand is not washed away by rainwater into the nearby sewerage, already choked with plastic bags? In villages rain havoc is on a wider scale. Small rivulets overflow, damaging crops. Rainwater remains accumulated for weeks, if not month’s together, breeding mosquitoes and diseases. Drinking water gets polluted and most villagers have no alternative but to consume it, with obvious consequences.

Once poverty issues are effectively addressed inside Niger Delta and Nigeria as a whole, the low-income communities will hopefully be able to develop their own housing and urban amenities in their own way and using their own mechanisms and resources, probably without support from effective local governments, and federal government by to improving infrastructure in slums and squatter settlements. By such actions, the living condition in can improve.

It is not for lack of funds that citizens’ welfare measures are not undertaken or the civic amenities are not provided, but it is the official indifference and public apathy responsible for taking away the smile of law abiding and tax-prone citizens of Nigeria.

Written by
L.Chinedu Arizona-Ogwu
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