It is either there are two countries or a single country owned. The country you and I think we know appears to be quite different from what we are made to see. I’ll explain.
When was the first day you heard or read about Nigeria supposedly needing a magic number of $15 billion to get out of the recession?
When was the first day you heard that the federal government of Nigeria wished to sell its assets to get that “$15 billion magic number?”
As Lord Dangote Dictated
If you are like me, the first time you heard that Nigeria supposedly needed $15 billion to buy itself out of the economic recession was in a CNBC interview aired on September 16 this year. In the interview, Africa’s notorious richest man, Aliko Dangote, categorically, in an apparently teleprompter or ear-plug, slowly-delivered interview, gave a magical figure needed, “$15 billion.” Dangote also quizzically ticked-off a script of what should be sold and how it should be sold. “NLNG,” should go, he said, Nigeria should sell “100 percent” of its ownership in it. Also choosing that “African Finance Cooperation,” should also be sold for $800 million.
Suddenly, like me, you noticed that the federal government of Nigeria was on this “sell-to-survive” page opened first publicly and unabashedly by Dangote. The government announced, as was repeated in a Vanguard story yesterday captioned, “Until we ‘sell’ assets, we may not be able to reflate the economy – Udo Udoma,” that the government needed $15 billion. The same magic number. And that the way Buhari wished to get this magic figure was not by simply and as it was elected to do, recovering the tens of billions of dollars looted by the past Jonathan, Obasanjo and Babangida governments in concert with the cabal, but by selling Nigeria’s assets to the very same cabal.
Indeed, it is no surprise that former president Obasanjo, who clearly has a lot of Nigeria’s assets and money in his pockets, including money to overhaul its power sector – much of which he invested in government-made billionaires like the very Dangote– is one of those who has come to chant, “sell, sell, sell, sell,” in Buhari’s ears.
Going by Dangote’s peculiar success in governing the governance of Nigeria in his CNBC skit, I am tempted to predict exactly what assets Nigeria would sell and for how much. No, not the Presidential jet fleet as PremiumTimes jested today. Going by Dangote’s September 16th Nostradamus prediction act, Nigeria will be selling 100% of its stock in NLNG and will also auction-off the African Finance Cooperation. These will be sold at exploited prices as Nigeria sells from a position of desperation and weakness as Antony Goldman, head of London-based risk advisers PM Consulting, told Bloomberg, and will yield figures right around the magic “$15 billion.”
Nigeria will not retain a majority stock in the assets as happens in UAE, Saudi Arabia, China and other sensible nations when they privatize, but will sell-off the entire thing(s) to enable cabalistic exploitative oligopolies with no benefit or reprieve for the people as is/was dictated/ordered.
So which country are you in? The one where Dangote is God or the other one where we get the feedback of the choices Dangote, Obasanjo and other cabal members hand to the “President(s)?”
There’s no need repeating the list of differences in the two countries. In one, there are import waivers that earn the privileged cabal billions; there are government enforced oligopolies that cement their success; there is government subsidized forex which literally hands over billions of dollars to the cabal and true owners of Nigeria; there is cabal self-help selection of assets desired and determination of prices to buy them for, and many more perks. The strict and serial government cabal patronage has most recently been blamed in the loss of 4.6 million jobs provided by sideswiped small businesses.
In our country, there is an absolute lack of a government ear (even Tolu Ogunlesi spits at you if you dare talk); there are new taxes and fines: road use tax, phone and data tax, international calls hikes in tariffs, bank use taxes, stamps and other levies; removal of fuel subsidies, denied access to forex and limitations on use of black market sourced forex; custom bans on goods; increased custom levies on needed items; and information comes third hand, after being dictated by the cabal to the presidency, a distorted and filtered version is finally released to us, typically through the foreign press.
That’s how Nigeria has always been and that’s how it will sadly continue to be. A Muslim Hadith reported to have been said by the Prophet of Islam goes: “…[Whenever a nation] lessens weights and measures [i.e., being deceitful in business transactions], they will be afflicted with famine, price hikes and and an oppressive leader. When they refuse to pay Zakah (yearly charity), they will be deprived of rain. Were it not for the animals, it will not rain [at all]…”
You can follow Dr. Brimah on Twitter @EveryNigerian.