Op ed

The Looted Funds from Nigeria Have Found Other Destinations

“Nigerian treasury looters have found new destinations for their loot: Persian Gulf, India and China. This revelation came from former United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador John Campbell, one of the speakers at the 2010 Achebe Colloquium on Africa,” a Nigerian newspaper, This Day reported two days ago, Sunday 5th of December 2010.

According to the report titled, “China, India, others now haven for Nigerian loot”, the funds looted from Nigeria are no longer going to Switzerland, France, United Kingdom or the United States. Instead, the new destination for Nigerian looted money is now Persian Gulf, India, and perhaps China.

This is exactly the point. Somebody is not doing the right calculation about the Nigerian pitiable situation, the artificial hardship that has been created for the Nigerian people.

The politicians are pretending to be gentle now as they beg to be voted into power, come 2011. But not sooner they have gotten the mandate will many become passionate looters of the Nigerian oil money and rubbing the nation’s name in the mud.

They think they have created a philosophy: “it’s the National Cake; you chop, I chop”. Well, it is because many Nigerians are not asking the right question: “how can you have your cake if you have eaten it?”

Any singular “Naira” that is burgled out from the Nigerian state and taken abroad for safekeeping is both a “double incident of loss” and a serious impediment to the Nigerians’ ability to develop their local system and depend on themselves. See the article, “Underdeveloping Africa through Corruption”, an extract from the research, “UNDERDEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA: My Hands Are Clean”.

Let’s get the mathematics clearer.

Firstly, the money in question was stolen from the public funds, meaning loss number one to Nigeria and Nigerians. Secondly, the guy who has stole the money think he is intelligent by taken the money to India or China, where it will eventually be invested to create job opportunities for the Chinese or Indian youths. That is the loss number two to Nigeria, because whatever China or India has gained in that regard, Nigeria has certainly lose.

If we further extend this argument, the situation will automatically emerge clearer. At least, to those who will accept the bitter truth that corruption in Nigeria is being deliberately used to punish the common people and deny them the ability to depend on themselves.

By siphoning the public funds meant for the creation of electricity, the construction of good roads and the provision of medical facilities, it means that Nigerians will have to depend on other people to provide them with their means of livelihood. Whereas the Nigerian people would have been able to satisfy their own needs, if the government had provided the needed facilities.

It can even be much simpler. Just because the person who is in charge of the power project has taken the project money to his private bank account in India or China automatically means that the Nigerian factory owner who produces toothpaste will have to generate his own power. Meanwhile, the individually generated energy is far more expensive and oftentimes hazardous to the environment, especially in the case of continues burning of diesel to power electric generators, not to talk of the noise and nuisance to the Nigerian public.

Quite apart from that, the consequence of the additional cost is that the aforementioned toothpaste will now become more expensive, so that the producer can recover his additional money. Yet, the real danger to the local economic development is only waiting at the corner.

According to several economic analysts, what really determines production is not necessarily the desire to produce, but the demand for the good that is produced. Therefore, for the singular reason that the Nigerian producer of toothpaste has increased his price will mean that he stands the risk of not, even, selling his product. This is because with the global economic competitiveness of the 21st century, a toothpaste producer in Italy who do not have to pay the extra cost for power generation, like his Nigerian counterpart will easily dominate the market, simply by selling at cheaper prices to the Nigerian consumers.

The real result from the above situation is that the Nigerian producer will eventually become jobless, because when his consumers can no longer afford his products himself would no longer have a reason to keep producing, thanks to the Nigerian corruption.

The ordinary Nigerians deserve better, please do not take away their money and their means of survival.

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