6 Things to learn from Tony Elumelu’s Comment on Nigeria’s Worse Situation

Babatunde Irukera

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Tony Elumelu
, the economist, philanthropist, owner, Heirs Holdings, and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation has called out Nigeria’s federal government on suffering that has no end in sight.

In a series of tweets, Tony mentions that the country should ordinarily be better than this considering the country’s natural resources. He was particular about the fuel scarcity that has lingered, and the power problem that is affecting everyone across the country.

He ends with a call for everyone to be energetic about voting in leaders who will do more than making promises in 2023.

See five things we learnt

The ‘talk’ that only about 5% of Nigeria’s citizens control the country (the economy) may be true. We wrote yesterday almost 90 million are living in abject poverty, but it may be a larger number than that, knowing that as more people are earning higher, they are paying higher amounts for the same bills, and with the fuel scarcity and electricity outage, the bills have become unbearable. The poverty level, indeed, keeps increasing. Purchasing power for even agbalumo is not available.

How can a country so rich in natural resources have 90% of its citizens living in hardship and poverty?

Security has become a daily conversation that has caught everyone on the neck. The weariness has made many Nigerians look for alternative ways to secure themselves. So many have no idea what to do and only look over their shoulders to be sure they are not about to be killed, kidnapped, robbed or waylaid.

And speaking of security, our people are afraid!

Due to the power outage, and fuel scarcity, businesses have lost more in two weeks than they would have projected to lose in six months. There are possibilities that some businesses may have closed shop because they cannot cope.

Businesses are suffering.

“There are indications that oil theft may be escalating as a result of sharp rises in price at the international market. Consequently, indigenous oil producers have called on the Federal Government to urgently tackle the menace of oil theft in the Niger Delta, which is impacting negatively on their operations,” according to Vanguard.

How can we be losing over 95% of oil production to thieves? Look at the Bonny Terminal that should be receiving over 200k barrels of crude oil daily, instead it receives less than 3,000 barrels, leading the operator Shell to declare force majeure. Why are we paying taxes if our security agencies can’t stop this? It is clear that the reason Nigeria is unable to meet its OPEC production quota is not because of low investment but because of theft, pure and simple! Meanwhile, oil producing countries are smiling as their foreign reserves rising.

There is no accountability, so everyone, in the civil service, in political positions operate with anyhowness because no one is going to ask questions. Also, Nigerian citizens do not even ask questions, so the country’s leaders continue to act like they own the resources.

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What is Nigeria’s problem? We need to hold our leaders more accountable!

There are people who know what can be done but they stay silent. Together with these people, we can have better leadership starting May 2023 when President Muhammadu Buhari hands over to the next president. But, we will need to support responsible leadership and go out to vote in 2023.

Elections are coming – security and resources need to be everyone’s agenda – let’s be vocal for our nation’s priority. Evil prevails when good people are silent. We need to be vocal about 2023. Let’s focus on Nigeria. Demand and advocate for leaders that deliver. In 2023, Nigeria must be on a strong trajectory for progress and development.

Tony Elumelu is not the first to make comments like this, and truthfully, he will not be the last.

This morning, I am listening to my colleagues at the office bemoan the very pressing issues that they face everyday in this country, and how things have been getting worse and worse – no electricity for 5 days, hikes in the price of diesel, frightening food inflation, etc.— Tony O. Elumelu, CON (@TonyOElumelu) March 17, 2022

Omoleye Omoruyi… an apprentice web/game developer, novelist, sensitive to happenings in the world. Meet him @Lord_rickie on Twitter/Instagram

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