Nigeria can not develop in darkness

This is a fatalistic Tedtalk from Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

 

 

From the time Dr Okonjo-Iweala was the Finance Minister, I loved that she likes to repeat the statement that I believe is the way out for Nigeria:

“In our countries, nobody, nobody is going to fight corruption for us but us.” 

 

I am just going to pretend this talk is meant for Nigeria alone. Good that there were balanced views of where the continent stands today. True, there is hope and plenty of opportunities for development but why is Nigeria the way it is though, why are we so hostile to innovative ideas that clearly is beneficial to people and certain to pave ways for other social and economic improvement ideas?

We have perfected this so well by disguising behind ‘homegrown’ products. This is evidence in many of our industries – a few people benefitting at the expense of larger society.

I am glad that Dr Okonjo-Iweala mentioned Kenya mobile-money and its benefits and how the innovation has paved way to others such as easy access to solar energy as the money can be paid by mobile.

6:02 to 6:29 –

” In Kenya, the development of mobile money — M-Pesa, which all of you have heard about — it took some time for the world to notice that Africa was ahead in this particular technology. And this mobile money is also providing a platform for access to alternative energy. You know, people who can now pay for solar the same way they pay for cards for their telephone. So this was a very good development, something that went right.”

I see the mobile money in action myself and was amazed of how quick that was without having to step into a bank. Families in remote areas get help from loved ones quickly with cost being a fraction of what a bank would have charged them.

All the articles I read around delay of mobile money were pointing to the government strict regulations of protecting local banks, really? When will the interest of majority of Nigerians ever matter in any decision making?

http://www.iea.org.uk/blog/why-mobile-money-transformed-kenya-failed-to-take-in-nigeria

And talking about mobile money as mentioned, I see this being used in a couple of resorts that I visited while in Uganda, one would have expected this to take off in Nigeria first given our over reliance on deafening household generators?

A note to those in charge of Ikogosi Sring Ekiti on this one, instead of apologising to guests and telling the same old stories about shortage of petrol to power the generator or NEPA issue, installing solar power will keep people coming, not the excuses after full room charge has been collected.

IMG_5042 3

 

 



Categories: Education, Nigeria, Politics, Women

Tags: , ,

11 replies

  1. FK, forgive me b,ut for me today, Nigeria is all about the talk and no action. The lack of action stems from public apathy to the few who have something of a cartel operating on various sectors of the economy, and successive governments with no concrete long sighted action plans for the greater good..
    As for Okonjo-Iweala, I’ve not much time for her. Her time in office in reflection was nothing to ‘write home about’. She should devote her efforts to make up for the huge damage she inflicted on the economy.

    Is it not criminal for Ikogosi Warm Springs Resort to take your money and apologise for power outages, while their counterparts in Uganda have overcome the problem by utilising readily available technology? In other words you get more value from money from Uganda and a more pleasant experience.

    Nigeria can come up with a dozen excuses for every apparent failing and will continue to do so, and say ‘it is a third world issue or an African issue, the fact is that as time goes on neither of these are true as other countries are finally ‘getting their act together’ the truth is, it is a ‘Nigeria issue’. There are no more convenient veils to hide behind.

    Well done for your tenacity, I feel you are talking to people who are set on the current path of under-development, but keep trying the ‘penny may drop’ for a few.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well jco, Nigeria is taking plenty of actions, abi? Just not the ones that are any meaningful to the general public – I read about continued efforts to find oil in the north – that wouldn’t come cheap.

      Feeling towards Madam Okonjo-Iweala is mutual, I actually think there must be a special, if need be stricter rule around diaspora who takes on appointments back home, it is not fair to leave the mess and resettle back in country, having said that though, someone like Mrs Okonjo-Iweala is a smart woman, I can live with what she has to say even though she didn’t really live up to the hype Nigerians had about her while in her post.

      And yes, totally Ikogosi Springs actions was criminal. We had planned to stay for three nights but we left after two nights – that is all one can do when it comes to Nigeria, sad.

      One very important thing you mentioned about Nigerian’s apathy to politics, social and environment awareness need to change, otherwise no real change in sight.

      Like

      • Thank you FK.
        For sure tighter rules about which members of the diaspora can take office would help. Not just the diaspora, even homegrown ministers need to be scrutinised a lot more.

        This searching for oil in northern Nigeria smacks of desperation and a lack of creative thinking. Don’t Niger (the Republic) and Chad both have oil (they do), are they swimming in wealth? The answer is a definite – No. Even if they should find oil, will the poor of the north suddenly become rich, looking at the south – the poor remain poor or even worse off before the discovery of oil. In other words no lessons have been learned. We will still see the squandering of wealth, a damaged environment, kidnapping of foreigners, and greater calls for confederation and above all the mass exodus of funds. The wealth of Singapore and South Korea lay in the minds of it’s citizens not beneath the feet of it’s populace. This basic lesson Nigeria is turning it’s back to. Oil is not the golden fleece people there seem to think it is, even after two years of depressed oil prices. Venezuela has oil reserves that exceed Saudi Arabia’s, but is in ‘economic dire straits’. Nigeria’s reserves are really quite modest in comparison. People should not pin their hopes of economic recovery solely on discovering more oil and hope to continue as before ie importation of many manufactured items and food.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Agreed, I thought necessity for tighter rules for homegrown ministers goes without saying. Madam Okonjo-Iweala’s case is disappointing, but God knows Nigeria can’t have another James Ibori.

          Search for oil is pure desperation as you have noted, and it is a shame because we could have more success providing irrigation to farmers for agric products than this wastage.

          I am sure by the time they found oil (if at all) SW are going to kick thinking they have to dig all over to look for what is not lost.

          I bet no one is calculating the risks yet until we have wasted so much.

          Like

          • I doubt that Ibori will be the last of his kind. There are many others waiting in the wings, they will learn that if caught to sit tight and slug it out in Nigeria, rather than flee abroad and be subject to a law system that actually works.

            The politics of resource allocation or searching for oil, is really immature. All this squabbling, is Nigeria not meant to be one nation? Is it beyond them to sit round a table and hammer out an agreement as to what percentage of wealth that the states generate they can keep? The current ‘deal’ is obviously not working, so it will have to be revisited.

            Large amounts of money will be ‘lost’ due to the way contracts are awarded. They have conducted several mineral surveys of Nigeria previously. Yet they feel another round of searching is necessary. Other countries are diversifying like Australia is moving away from mineral exports to China and is developing it’s service sector. Yet Nigeria persists in swimming against the prevailing current. Other than yourself does anyone ever question the wisdom of such actions? It seems Nigeria’s politicians are addicted to the idea of oil and Nigeria going ‘hand-in- hand’ forever… No matter what the cost.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Folakemi,

    I not only admire the way you use every opportunity, including your holidays/leisure to share and educate our people but I envy your taking your adventurous spirit – far from the general practice of your (our) kinsmen – down to Kenya and its very developed tourism.

    I love seeing with my eyes your photos of the wild, similar scenic photographs I had only seen of safaris by mostly non-Africans!

    Thanks for your “silent” one-person effort at shining light on what governments at “federal”, state, and even local levels can achieve that would bring pleasure to our people and the hardy tourist souls – despite Nigeria’s sordid rep – who may dare to see the country for themselves.

    Regards,
    TOLA.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I thought these residences designed as such were folklore till you showed with your photos. Quaint and rustic. Thanks for sharing as always Fola 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, this is a resort reception. This design mimics the tribal homes of certain tribe in Uganda. From what I heard, this particular design is quite common in northern Ugandan even today. I agree, it is attractive. Thanks for stopping by.

      Like

  4. Fola, Dr Okonjo-Iweala was speaking for all of us. It is our job to keep their feet to the fire.
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

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