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Thursday, May 19, 2022

I hope 2023 will bring the real change that could clear the Aegean Stable

These are not cheering times for our economy and Nigerians. Nigeria needs money for critical infrastructures but yet burning the dollars and Naira in exhausts pipes and leaking pipelines. Every administration from the military days to this present government has been enmeshed in one form of missing, or stolen oil funds. Funny enough, we have never had closures to the allegations…

It also seems to me that the more this country fights corruption, the more corruption seems to say, “guys, I have been with you for ages, I have become so virulent and purilent and there is nothing you can do to me anymore. After all,  I sleep with majority of your serving public and private officials in all strata of society. I also wake with them. So, no shaking!” Seeming, I think we have lost the fight against corruption. I hope the future will prove me wrong.

Interestingly, the peasant steals a fan worth thirty thousand Naira, security agents would tie his legs and hands to a bar for hours. In contrast, the elite steals billions of Naira and the agents of the government will line up more than two hundred count charges that will last over twenty years to prosecute. In the end,, lack of diligent prosecution makes the person a free citizen.

Have you not noticed that the government prosecuting a perceived economic saboteur, an enemy of the government and the people, also provides the person private security coverage everywhere the person goes, which the government funds from the same commonwealth the person looted blue-black? Which serious nation does that? 

At times I wonder the magic behind Nigeria still standing because the haeommoraging of our economic architecture perpetuated by state and non-state actors in the forms of corruption, stealing and blatant economic sabotage is humongous. Some of the revelations are nerve wreaking, appetite suppressing, and dwelling on them could cause hypertension.

In 2016, Nigeria lost N1.5 trillion due to attacks on the facilities of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company facilities – NPDC.

In 2019 Audit report, the Auditor General of the Federation flagged the nation that $13billiion worth of crude oil have gone missing. Besides, in 2019, Aljazeera reported that 100 million barrels of crude oil was not accounted for. In 2022, NEITI said $2bn was lost to crude oil theft in one year.

In the 2019, the Auditor General of the Federation said about 22,929.84 litres of PMS valued at N7.06 billion pumped to the two depots (Ibadan-Ilorin and Aba-Enugu) between June and July 2019 were not received by the depots. Were the products siphoned by unknown spiritual objects into ground tanks in hell?

In 2021, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari reported that Nigeria lost N5.973bn to pipelines vandalism in 5 months.

The above clearly show that Nigeria is nor crippled by the financial lack but by the inability to police our operational spaces for improved productivity. The more the government fights corruption, the more the act of stealing takes place and the more corruption throws deadly punches to the occipital area of the economy and tries to strangle the jugular of our economic pipelines. Is it that our modus operandi is wrong or “corruption entrepreneurs” are simply getting smarter and better?

I once watched how the UAE monitors its crude flow from a central control room. It is amazing to note that not a jot of its crude can be stolen because of using smart technologies, sensors and modern day pipelines. The question I find difficult to answer is, what does it take to remove money from the Federation account to purchase and deploy drones to monitor our pipelines?  Couldn’t we make that sacrifice and save the billions going into private pockets for?

I also read that apart from the hemorrhaging points in the oil and gas industry, Nigeria also had 178,459 assorted rifles of which, 88,078 were AK-47 rifles, pistols, other arms, ammunition unaccounted for nationwide. The report went further to state that N3.22bn was paid to ghost contractor – tribuneonline. I have never been this scared for my country and our people. What this means is that the losses of our security agencies are the gains of criminals and the underworld. Sad!

Even if no money or crude was missing, the damage to our national image is phenomenal. A country that has uncoordinated accountability systems cannot be taken seriously. The countries we borrow money from would be glad for us to continue in our dysfunctional states. I think Nigeria is bigger than what we are doing to it. Time has come to pick the pieces and earn our lost glory back.

I hope 2023 will bring the real change that could clear the Aegean Stable. If not, Nigeria is headed the wrong direction.

Grace and peace!!!

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