The Road To Recover Nigeria From Our Number One Problem (Part 1) -By Oyewole Michael

“The security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”

Section 14(2) (b), Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended.

Nigeria is in a very bad. I repeat, Nigeria is in a terribly bad shape.

This year, 2022, the Multidimensional Poverty Index survey reveal that: 63% of persons living within Nigeria (133 million people) are multidimensionally poor. To assert the credibility of this statistics, it is important to state that the quoted start above was a collaborative effort between the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, the National Social Safety-Nets Coordinating Office, NASSCO, the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, OPHI. Nigerians are historically poorer than ever.

What does all these mean? It means, there is fire on the mountain. Wait, in practical terms, let me elucidate some of the metrics highlighted above to something we all can relate to.

A bag of rice was sold in 2015 for #8,000, now it is #42,000. A litre of PMS sold in 2015 for #87, now it is #191. One dollar exchanged in 2015 for #199, now it is #800. Coke was sold in 2015 for #60, now it is #200. A sachet of tomato paste in 2015 was sold for #40, now it is #120. A bottle of groundnut oil in 2015 was sold for #400, now it is #1,200. A bag of sachet water in 2015 was sold for #80, now it is between #200 and #300. Nigerians can no longer go about their legitimate businesses for fear of being killed or kidnapped. Bandits are now so emboldened that they collect taxes from Nigerians. Nigerians have abandoned their ancestral homes as a measure to live another day.

This year, 2022, between 1st January 1 and 29th July, about 7,222 Nigerians have been killed and 3,823 abducted. There are over 2, 840 incidents of insecurity was witnessed in the Country. Nigeria Security Incidents Tracker revealed this. For the first half of 2021, according to SBM Intelligence, about 2,371 people were kidnapped in the country. Over one billion Naira has been paid as ransom. Sadly, between January and December 7, 2022, a total of 598 Local Government Areas have experienced serious attacks and killings. Only 176 Local Government Areas have yet to experience attacks and killings. More so, between January and December this year, 10,873 people have been killed and another 5,693 kidnapped.

Since the APC took over power in 2015, the Country has experienced a recessed economy three times. Today, Nigeria is the second highest on Global list indices as regards unemployment rate. In 2021, Nigeria’s unemployment rate rose to 33.3% — highest in over 13 years. Sadly, the unemployment rate in 2022 will be much more higher. Statista has projected the unemployment rate in Nigeria to reach 33 per cent this year, 2022. What this means is that, over 50 million people from the active population of the Country will be unemployed. In September 2022, Nigeria’s inflation rate hits a new 17-year high of 20.77%.

For the 7 plus years of the APC regime, Nigeria’s external debt increased by 291 percent while domestic debt grew by 86 percent. So, as at June 2022, the APC regime has sunk the Country into a debt burden of #30.72 trillion, and plans to borrow an additional #8.4 trillion. Presently, we are running a deficit budgetary system; we’re borrowing to fund our budget.

According Transparency International’s report, Nigeria ranks 154 out of 180 countries in Corruption Perceptions Index. The trajectory in decline is consistent; 136th in 2016, 144th in 2018, 146th in 2018, 149th in 2020, and now 154 in 2021. Nigeria is the second most corrupt Country in West Africa. Instructively, the APC regime’s intentional appointments into public office people undergoing trial lowers the bar in the drive for anti-corruption, probity, and transparency in administration. Many of those appointed by the APC still have an open file with the EFCC, including the party’s National chairman and other NWC members. The much touted fight against corruption is merely a façade.

The “Hon. off your mic…” scenario is still fresh in my mind. The grass cutting former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, is still a free man. 523 million Naira was said to have been expended to feed Children during the 2020 lockdown. The forensic audit of the NDDC is hidden in the Presidency. The panel set up to try the immediate past EFCC chair, Ibrahim Magu, has become a supremely guileful exercise despite the overwhelming evidence to support the allegation of corrupt practices and breach of public trust. Funnily, Magu got promoted. The allegations of financial mismanagement, financial recklessness, breach of financial regulations, and suppression of information that rocked the NHIS has been swept under the carpet. Sahara Reporters did an exclusive on the multi-billion Naira financial fraud that happened in NEMA. Till date, not one single person has been prosecuted. This year, petroleum products with methanol quantities above Nigeria’s specification were imported into the country. Was anyone held responsible? Millions of Naira was lost to car repairs, damages, etc. Truth is, the list is endless. APC = unprecedented corruption.

No wonder the former APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole said: “Once you have joined APC all your sins are forgiven.”

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has gone on cumulative strike days of 584 days in this APC regime. This is the longest ever since the creation of Nigeria. Also, for the first time ever, university lecturers were paid in pro rata. Shamefully, the APC regime has the least budgetary allocations for Education (Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary). These are testaments to the fact that the APC places no value whatsoever on Education. It is pertinent that I emphasis on this; the APC regime’s 2022 budgetary allocation to education is 5.39 percent. From all available data, this is the lowest percentage ever allocated to Education by the in the last ten years.

The more reason why we must collectively unite to recover Nigeria. I hope patriotic Nigerians will yield to this clarion call. We must ensure this inept and inutile APC is rejected at the polls, resoundingly.

Who will lead Nigerians to Recover Nigeria?

Enter Atiku Abubakar/ Ifeanyi Okowa… Enter Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

To be continued…

Oyewole Michael, a public analyst and political commentator can be reached via . He tweets via @NigerTrump