Tag Archive | Corruption

Our Nation_Cheap Shots

That Nigeria is struggling under the weight of security challenges is not in dispute. That the economy is still that of a privileged few is also not in doubt. That the hydra headed monster of corruption is still untamed in every material particular is also obvious.

No one also need to look far to see the lightening rod of all this systemic shocks and imbalances. And an easy and cheap target at that – the sitting president, Muhammadu Buhari (General or not!).

Disclaimer: this post is not a defence of the person of PMB, oh no, not today. Why? Even if Mother Theresa were to be alive and president of Nigeria, she would have had to contend with the same vitriol. So, I’d be disappointing many with my humble summation. Feel free to disagree without being disagreeable, if your politics or worldview allow for that!

So, why “cheap shots”? Because placing blame is easy, passing the buck convenient. What is hard, damn hard, is owing our part in this situation and offering ourselves as sacrifice for renewal. Please be patient with me.

Take security. I am sure that you have read, or maybe even read the report of others on the Homily of the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto at the burial mass of one Seminarian, unfortunately killed in the North by criminal elements early this week? Okay.

This sermon is symptomatic of my point in this piece. That unfortunate young man and his colleagues died because of the president’s action or lack of it, right? WRONG! I mean, it is easy to blame the president for every wrong, while WE ALL should be looking in the mirror!

We can all theorise why there are kidnappers, other criminal and terrorist elements in the land all we want but answer me this questions: (1) Buhari caused the Almaijiri issue in the north right? (2) He is the sponsor of Biko Haram elements, right? (3) He is that Fulani herdsman terrorising farmers and farmlands all over the place, yes? (4) He has his hands in the pocket of governments of the States and local governments such that he embezzles their funds, right? (5) Buhari is also the reason that mechanic over charged you for fixing your equipment, right? And oh, wait, it is because of this president that Nigeria is not worth dying for, yes?

Listen to me dear reader, we ARE ALL to blame for Nigeria’s morass. Yes, you, me, all of us. And our part in the mess did not begin with this president, and except we change, will not end with this one. Ask yourself this: why is it that most Nigerians who misbehave in this country travel to Ghana (Ghana o), and strive to do the right thing? How come we struggle to gain the system in our social responsibilities (i.e. payment of adequate taxes), yet labour to build up our various religious organisations and social clubs with humongous contributions?

You, me, everyone makes Nigeria what it is. The sooner we all begin to look in our mirrors for the problem, the early Nigeria will begin to get better. It is like a child blaming his parents for every obstacle life throws at him!

Wake up Nigerians. Talk and criticism is cheap. Play your part in your little corner, and bit by little bit, Nigeria will begin to evolve. Not before then, I’m afraid.

Enjoy your day!

©️Adewale Adeniji. 13th February 2020

Our Nation_Ponder This Series_Corruption. Everyone Is A Victim.

Corruption Background Image.jpg

Corruption. A lot rail against it, some defend it, many condone it. But it really affects all of us, whether we acknowledge it or not; whether we see the effects immediately or not. Regardless of our social standing, without prejudice to our clout or influence, corruption is an ill wind that blows nobody any good. (Permit the cliche)

Let’s take tax evasion, for example, which is a form of corruption. Those who pay a fair share, whether they want to or not are most likely to be those who work in the formal sectors of the economy, those whose income can be tracked. For many in the category, their tax is deducted at source. For some others, they are compelled, by reason of trade or professional requirement to pay. In some cases those in this category do not pay the total tax they ought to. What they pay is “guesstimated” (a corruption {sorry now!} of “guess” and “estimated”!)

More difficulty comes with the high-end earners in the informal sector, the business or professional categories. Without mincing words, observance for many in these categories is more in breach than compliance. There are several legitimate and less-so legitimate ways of not paying their fair share, or at all!

So, how does it affect everyone? For the folk that pay their fare share, with or without compulsion, they are affected in the schools, hospitals that ought to have been built and equipped; in the roads that ought to have been constructed and/or properly maintained; in the social safety provisions that ought to have been designed and funded. But are not!

For many in this tax paying category, because of corruption of paying or avoiding due tax revenue by others, they now have to pay premium for basic education; they get mis-diagnosis for treatable ailments or ailments that if caught on time should not be terminal, and even when diagnosed, they go through hell and back to afford palliative medication that keeps them coming back for more ineffectual treatment; they risk limb and life on roads that are not safe for human passage; they are left bereft of succor when they have financial emergencies! And they repeat this cycle, day after day, year after year, until some die prematurely in middle age! A form of constructive homicide tax defaulters ought to be charged with, if you ask me! 

For the upper class, those who have perfected the art of gaming the system, they live in constant fear of their lives because the gulf between their status (sustained by the way with the full taxes paid by others) and the generality of others. They virtually live in prison, behind high walls, they hoard the protection of policemen who should ordinarily keep the peace among generality of the citizenry. When they do fall sick, they travel abroad to pay premium because their dishonesty has denied their immediate environment funds to build, equip and run first class health institutions. They pay premium for vehicles that can ply the failed roads, and pay higher premium to avoid plying those roads by investing in helicopters. One can on and on!

If only everyone pays his/her fair share of tax! Then maybe, just maybe, all will not lose out.

Then there is the issue of embezzlement, brazen or subtle, the popular form of corruption known to all. It is now known that the crudest way to become ‘financially independent’ is to hold government office, or be a beneficiary of government largesse. No, not for provision or delivery of service, but for what you can get out of gaming the system, deliberately broken. This malaise is not political party, gender or faith specific, so no one should come here to beat any chest! It is pervasive, among public office holders, and sadly even in the private sector, and their hangers-on. 

Yes, everybody loses in the end. 

Where public services are deliberately compromised to feed corruption – the roads that are budgeted for but not constructed or maintained, the hospitals that are stocked with fake medications , or no medication at all despite budgetary provisions for them, the public transport system deliberated compromised so that more funds can be allocated for repairs and purchases that are never done etc.; everyone suffer the telling effect. Those who perpetrate these dastardly acts, and those who see and turn the other eye, hoping for a time when “my turn/the turn of my person, will come”, or when for primordial/parochial sentiments, condone or defend such acts!

Maybe time has come for a PERSONAL conversation with ourselves? Would we want our lives run the way we have allowed our governments, and public enterprises’ to be run? Would we wish that our children, born and unborn, continue to suffer for our collective amnesia? Oh, yes people can emigrate, but how many can do so? Even for those who emigrate, would you rather have access to a little of a whole, or a whole of a whole? 

Each person to his corner, to her tent, meditate. How have I been part of the problem? What can I do, in my little corner to begin to reverse (note I am not saying change, for that is a long, long way down the road) the trend? 

It will be a long, hard grind; but as they say, the journey of a thousand miles begins with just a step! And please this is not a political piece! 

Ponder this, dear reader.

©Adewale Adeniji. 3rd December 2018.

http://saharareporters.com/2016/02/23/buhari-has-scrapped-security-vote-top-federal-officials-sources

Our Politics_Abuse of Security Votes_Buhari’s Attack.

 

Perhaps if there is a way by which Nigeria’s autonomous States and Loxal Governments can replicate this, then more resources could be freed for developmental projects?

 

what do you think?

 

The Buhari administration has ended the controversial practice of routine security vote allocation to top government, military and security officials, SaharaReporters has learned.

Source: http://saharareporters.com/2016/02/23/buhari-has-scrapped-security-vote-top-federal-officials-sources