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Develop Infrastructure And Your Economy Will Grow By Joe Igbokwe

February 28, 2016

"Trillions of naira meant for Nigeria’s development went unremitted by the various government agencies in charge of their remittance; TheCable has learnt. About 600 government agencies, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) all under-remitted revenues generated"-The Cable.

When some Nigerians talk about growing the economy of Nigeria, when they scream that President Buhari knows nothing about growing the economy, when they quote uncountable books on micro and macroeconomics, I laugh and laugh until tears start coming out of my eyes. Now, why do I laugh? Yes, I laugh because we have not done what needs to be done to grow the economy of Nigeria. I laugh because we have not laid the real foundation for the real economic growth. We have been very busy for years chasing shadows and playing politics of the stomach while the world is leaving us behind. Our leaders either by acts of omission or commission have forgotten that you cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs. Every sensible person knows that he cannot try to travel to America or UK without a Visa and an International Passport. You cannot grow your economy on nothing. You must pay the price. You must develop your infrastructure first, and every other thing shall be added unto you.

The above quotation from The Cable, an online publication powered Simon Kolawole tells a big story of where the rains started beating us since 1999. Civil Servants and political appointees in 600 government agencies have pocketed trillions that would have been used to develop our roads, our schools, hospitals, airports, transportation, security, agriculture, manpower, power sector, tourism, petroleum sector in the past sixteen years. If Nigeria had invested wisely in the past sixteen years, Nigeria would have been a world destination today. Today those who have stolen the nation dry and even stolen what they do not need are the fools telling us about the economy and how one dollar now sells for N500 under Buhari. The Alibabas and the forty thieves who brought the country to its knees through actions and deeds are the ones giving us lectures on the economy. They should now shut up and allow President Buhari to begin to lay the foundation for the growth of the real economy and not the voodoo economy and the fraudulent so-called rebasing of Nigeria's economy they claimed surpassed that of South Africa. They are liars from the pit of hell. Their narratives were simply pathetic. They are simply economic saboteurs.

The pathetic fraudsters should ask why Dubai continues to commission new power stations as their economy grows? Why is Dubai building the biggest Airport in the world? Why is Dubai building the biggest and the best Hospital in the world? Why is everybody going to Dubai today? What is pushing families in Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East, America, etc. to troupe to Dubai every other day?  Have seen their roads, airports, malls, schools, markets, housing estates, security architecture, hospitality, transport architecture and tourism just to mention but a few of them? Why is Indonesia paying China 5 billion U.S. dollars to build a 150 km high-speed rail project?  Why did Norway spend billions of dollars to bore through a mountain just to create a 28-kilometer road just to link another city? Why is Turkey spending billions of dollars to build an undersea highway to connect to Russia? Why did the UK spend millions of pounds to build the first undersea highway in the city of London few years back? Have you been to China recently to see how much they are investing in infrastructure development to meet the demands of the 21st Century? Have you seen the transportation system in Japan? What is the difference between Nigeria and South Africa regarding infrastructure development? Have you seen the decay in our airports, our roads, our hospitals, our schools, and other critical institutions? 

If Nigeria had invested heavily in the areas of infrastructure development during the time of oil boom things would have been different today. The dollars were frittered and stashed away by Nigeria's thieving elites and their cronies. Go to Abuja, Europe, Canada, U.S. Dubai, South Africa West Indies, etc. and see where the miserable idiots took our money to. These are the shenanigans who tell naira/ dollar relationship. These are the common criminals who educate us about the economy. These are the ' experts' who lecture us about the economy these days. They should hide their faces in shame and allow President Buhari to clear the Augean Stable they left behind. They should bury their heads in the sands and know that those that who created yesterday's pains will not be the ones to rebuild or control tomorrow's potentials. They are worse than armed robbers. They left thousands of Nigerians dead as a result of rapacious greed and political irresponsibility.

Throwing your frustrations and annoyance on President Buhari for winning the 2015 elections will not help matters. Hitting your heads against the wall because feeding bottles were forcefully taken away from your mouths will not help either. What will help Nigeria now is that those who destroyed Nigeria should just keep quiet and allow President Buhari to do the needful by changing the way we think, the way we reason, the way we do our jobs and the way we perceive the project Nigeria. The good for nothing Wailers may not see anything good in Buhari's monumental display of courage and political sagacity in dealing with those who stole everything in sight, but the man is getting it right. President Buhari is laying a new foundation in Nigeria not based on corruption and impunity but hard work, integrity, honesty and character. I may not know what he has recovered from our past leaders whether military or civilians but I know that they run into trillions. This is unprecedented in the history of Nigeria.

We elected President Buhari to do what he is doing now in Nigeria, and woe betides anybody who cannot see what is going on today. Woe betides anybody who thinks President Buhari is not building the economy of Nigeria.  Mr President, please do not listen to them. If you reduce corruption by 80%, the money that would have gone into private pockets would have been released for infrastructure development which will kickstart the real growth of our economy. The money that we need to develop this country is in private pockets. We need to take it by force if need be, and I know that Buhari will not be cowed in doing so. Now my advice to the President: collect all the stolen funds and invest it in infrastructure development. Plug all the loopholes and leakages and invest the proceeds in infrastructure development. This is the way to go. Anybody who thinks we need a magic to grow Nigeria's economy cannot get it.  That person may still be living in the past. He may be trying to solve a 21st Century problem with 10th Century solution. 

Joe igbokwe