Friday, 6 December 2013
My Missing 5000 Naira Note By Prince Charles Dickson
'Let us separate quarrel before we separate fight'. I start this admonition with the critics anthem, one that has always inspired me. It is by H.G. Wells and he says “we are going to write about it all. We are going to write about business and finance and politics and pretences and pretentiousness, and decorum and indecorum, until a thousand pretences and ten thousand impostor shrivel in the cold, ...we are going to write about wasted opportunities and latent beauties, until a thousand new ways of life open to men and women. We are going to appeal to the young, and the hopeful, and the curious against---the established, the dignified and the defensive. Before we are done we will have all life within this scope of the novel.
We at most, talk, write and discuss the Nigerian myth with a sense of fatalism.
I believe that If everyone thought as much as I did about justice and fairness, life would be better.
I am critic, but I am also the critics’ critic, the unrepentant believer that the best way to keep government on its toes is to keep harping on their flaws so they can improve.
Often I say I believe the things I write on, are important for our nation as they are for other nations, but when it appears to me Nigerians especially those in authority do not react to these issues as people in other lands do, I repeat them in new essays to remind old readers and recruit new ones to participate in the continuing dialogue.
The easiest and most attractive national past time now seems to be buck passing especially with the bunch of leaders that we have, a set that make mountains out of a mole and make simply moles become mountains.
Not many of us want to take responsibility for anything from personal, family to national life. The blame is on the system. And we do not need to create demons out of our leaders because they are specimen of demons, so we hang our sins on them appropriately and inappropriately too.
And unfortunately their behaviour has made it easy for the critic to descend on them.
As a critic, even my bitterest opponents, government disciples and apologist and crooks called politicians have to read me personally or have someone read me and tell them what I said and did not say, so that their anger can be kept burning hot.
Sadly this is Nigeria where nothing works and no one cares, when it works, it is because someone’s interest is about to be served or being served not the people’s interest. So even the anger is temporal for leadership, one that lacks embarrassment.
We talk about our institutions despairingly and our leaders, so also heads of institutions. It is in this cadre we have Sanusi Lamido Sanusi Dan Majen Kano, the man whom ordinarily this should be directed at.
I am not an economist, not a finance expert, I don't criticize everything because its being criticized. Not everything government does is wrong, but in these climes intentions are wonderful but its final product is often misery.
I acknowledge that I have poor reading of the economy. However I tread with caution when there's a thin line between political sentiment and economic sense.
Let me say quickly, on the issue of the N5000 note and coining of other former notes. It will not cause inflation, on the contrary, there already is inflation and its not Sanusi's fault but its part of his responsibilities to tackle it.
As usual, truth be said Sanusi's argument makes economic sense but so did Soludo's, when we were given the N1000 note. The fact rather is beyond their own economic sense however is street reality.
There is a lack of confidence in our institutions and leaders, listen to Doyin Okupe the man who should be clad in a surgical white in the hospital, telling us that after all the US have a $1000 bill.
The other day, one of the CBN media chiefs on television was explaining that after all Nigerians only use N10, 20, and 50 to spray at parties. Such lame reasoning from top.
The truth be told, 'we' the ordinary Nigerians that face the brunt can't have a stronger argument than the so-called stakeholders that have accepted the new note.
So this is no criticism but just a reality check, a reminder that the so-called note cannot be printed here, for a long time after its introduction won't be printed here. That the polymer notes which Soludo told us was the bomb is totally rubbish today, some notes tell you the simple story of poverty--the journey, route and geography the currency has plied.
Despite my barrage on the leadership, my disagreement on the introduction of this 'millionaire's wallet' is based on the point, I believe we ourselves can do a lot in improving our lot.
We do not need a law that would ban urinating in public place because it is wrong. We do not need government to teach us to stop treating ourselves like animals. We do not need government to teach us to demand responsible leadership and representation.
We should know that and act in a fashion that depicts that we demand more than what we are getting.
We demand a functional economic system, a stable progressing agricultural policy that can feed us. Strong health sector, a revived educational system and very few will bother if they print a million naira note or not.
The last rice I bought in my house I am told its Indian, I still ate it. There are no issues with the new notes, there are only issues with the man whose take homepay is just three notes, if it gets missing...hmmmmm. Its better imagined than experienced.