Recession: Can I Be Excused?

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Loud Whispers

The Statistician General who is gradually becoming someone I don’t like has just released the latest figures and it is getting worse. The economy shrunk by another 2.24%. My people at this rate won’t I just run away? Inflation at 18.5%, Naira hugging 470 to the dollar. These are definitely the worst of times for all Nigerians dead or living. I tell you, even the dead would be laughing at us, at least during their own austerity times they did not buy a bag of rice at a price of over N20, 000. This rain is really pouring O and from what we are seeing, the custodians of our economy are only escorting recession through the door, hoping that the thing at its own time would just pity us and leave us. I do not see any frontal purposeful attack on the problem despite the potential that we have in other sectors to change the wind.

Seriously, with the continued dominance of oil revenue in our economy and the weak international prices, coupled with the instability in the Niger Delta, there is little or nothing the CBN with all its monetary policies and many MPC meetings can do. We need a healthy dose of fiscal policies to galvanise the real sector especially agriculture, entertainment, manufacturing, tourism and services to turn this tide. If this trend continues, Nigeria may be an economic basket case within the next 12 months. At that point, it will not be only the DSS that would be released to chase the forex hoarders, the whole Army would be mobilised to the various markets to ensure that rice is not being sold for N1m per bag. This is really sad, very very sad. People are suffering, people are dying. This is not the Nigeria of our dreams. A once proud nation is now being so humiliated and gradually turning into a beggarly nation. I am truly in tears as I write in darkness. No power, fuel is finished in the generator and mosquitoes are having a feast on my delicate skin in constant reminder of the poor situation we find ourselves. Why wasn’t I even born during the colonial times? We need true and cohesive change my people. Make I keep quiet; I no get power, I no go fit cry.
Tony Elumelu : where forth at thou
In this gloomy mood, my mind goes to this Nigerian. I hear he wants to spend $100m to train over N10, 000 young entrepreneurs under his Tony Elumelu Foundation. This is quite remarkable and must be commended. In these times when people are falling off Forbes list and landing on the Akpabio list, doing all they can do including artificially shoring up the share value of their holdings to remain on a list that is basically a PR nonsense, a true Nigerian is actually planning to spend his hard-earned money to help bring succour to the teeming jobless youths in the country. If you have not heard, unemployment has reached 13% amongst employable youths. My brother, I am still a youth, how do I apply. The other day, I was in the UBA building and I saw Oga arrive. He was wearing a sparkling blue-fitted suit as he walked briskly into the foyer on his way to his office. I made to approach him to say well done baba and to ask how I can apply to be retrained but the look on his face made me respect myself. I greeted him and he acknowledged barely seeing me as he walked towards the elevators. I no fit vex o, that is a walking recession-proof Nigerian, I must to respect him o even if he knock me for head. My Lord, we are plenty in Shomolu awaiting the modalities for application, who do we speak to, kindly let us know as things are getting really rough here o my Lord.
Edgar Joseph: I am going into politics
Finally, I feel Nigeria is now ripe for my kind of leadership. That said, I will like to officially announce to the world that I would be declaring my intention of joining partisan politics come January next year. The only thing that would delay my entry is if I fail to get a firm written commitment signed by the Inspector General of Police, the Chairman of the EFCC and the Director General of the DSS that throughout my political career and after, I would be granted immunity from arrest. You see, snake no dey enter prison. I cannot be detained because I will not come out alive even if it is for one hour. I have been assured that I will soon get the letters which would be part of the training manual of all personnel of these organisations and which they will all carry with them as they go along their duties, that no matter what I say or do, they won’t arrest me. Failure to get these letters will lead to Nigeria loosing the benefits of my true leadership which would be geared towards the sustainable development of our people both dead and alive. Already, I have started consultations and have reached an advanced stage of being installed the Duke of Shomolu and would also be taking another chieftaincy title in Etinan, Akwa Ibom State come December. I would be eyeing the House of Representatives, representing either Etinan or Shomolu whichever one will agree to push my candidacy. You see, I have dual citizenship – Shomolu and Akwa Ibom.  Why the House of Representatives? It is because they are plenty and they have good allowances like car, housing and mortgage. They also have good holiday packages and life pensions. That was what my mum told me sha. My people, this is a Nigerian’s version of obama’s audacity of hope. First time, house of reps, to Senate and from there, straight to the Presidency. So fellow Nigerians, the only problem is I have not decided which of the two parties I should join or if I should form a new party. If I go towards APC, who do I speak to, Asiwaju or Oyegun. If I veered towards PDP, I don’t even know who the Chairman is anymore. People, kindly send me a text recommending which of the two parties you guys think will better partner me in my quest of being the first Akwa Ibom-Shomolu born President of our country. The jury is out.

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu – ‘ I Stand by APC’ – Not True
Aghhhhhhh baba, this is not what you told me when we met last at Ereko. You were not very happy with Oyegun and the perceived support he was getting from the people you single-handedly paid their school fees and eventually brought to the party. You swore to me that night as we drank kunu that you will get your pound of flesh and I remember very well that rain was falling and that traffic was really bad as we strolled along the Ereko waterside looking for where we will eat pepper soup. When we finally found a perfect point, we had a lengthy discussion on the Edo man’s place in national politics and your plans for the total annihilation of chicken pox amongst Lagos children. We spoke far into the night and I still remember just how passionate you spoke about Nigeria and your plans of building a monolithic country where we will all speak the same language. Well, when the governor of Plateau state came out with the announcement of your ill health, I just laughed at his perceived ignorance. Where on earth do you hear that the Jagaban;  the immortal and great Jagaban who is even greater than the Anikulapo who claimed to have death in his poach can fall sick? He was just starting. Well, after reading this your statement very carefully and analysing it over a cup of garri and dry fish, sorry, I can no longer afford sugar so I drank it like that, I have come to the conclusion that this your latest statement is just to let these small children let down their guards before you strike. Me, I trust you well o, you will not disappoint me o, you will soon send a masterstroke that will shock everybody except me who really understand your style and strategy. Kai, Baba you are the everlasting champion and anyone looking for your trouble will have himself to blame. Abi, didn’t they see how you made three governors all come down with dysentery at the same time leading to their not being able to make the Ondo APC rally. I just pity these people. By the way sir, I have submitted my CV to Demola Oshodi, your new assistant just in case you are looking for new godsons to replace Fayemi and Fashola. I come highly recommended. Waiting for your call. Thank you Sir.
ASUU Strike: Action of the Ignorant
This is what my friend, the great Obayagbon would call an imbecilic movement of gargantuan proportions carried out by proponents of Macedonic gragra in Lilliputian dosages. These lecturers are truly cavemen asking for the implementation of agreements reached in 2009, not taking into consideration the reality on the ground. I hesitated to label them cavemen for some of them lectured me. But how else can you label a group of people so disconnected from the current goings on that they threaten to go on strike which itself is a caveman approach to resolving issues . Can’t they see that we are in  recession and that the revenues have dropped by over 50% and as such the government is cash-strapped? Can’t they see that the need for government to release itself from funding tertiary Institutions and morphing more into a regulatory role is more than ever before becoming a possible reality? Where do they want the government to get monies to fund these demands? Are their needs more cogent than those of the military facing mounting insurgency or the health sector or even manufacturing? Please I have always said it, the government should privatise these universities and hands off. Let the private sector buy them up, pump in funds, develop curriculum, bring in technology, expand infrastructure so that the population of students will grow and that would in essence drop the fees and increase revenues leading to each institution catering for their staff instead of them  lazily waiting for government to continue to spoon-feed them. I think the government should do what I did to my wife recently when I got home to announce that I was facing a possible 50% cut in my monthly salary due to the continuous crash in the stock market. And immediately I made that announcement, she reminded me that I should quickly pay for a new car before the cut comes. I just looked at her up and down and put on my earphones ignoring her chatter. These clowns should be ignored, when they tired, they will call off the strike and go back to school. Time for total government involvement in things like these is gone. It’s over. Pata pata.
Bobrisky: An Introduction
From feedback, most people that read this column have never heard of snap chat. You see, with the young, they always bring new things and when we older people struggle to catch up, they bring new ones. First it was Facebook and then Twitter and Instagram. As I struggled to catch up, they announced Snap chat, I just gave up. Well, from what I am hearing, snap chat has made a celebrity of one boy like that who I cannot really tell if he is a boy or a girl. I have been watching his videos all week and each time, the confusion gets worse. His skin is so light and I hear he used to be so dark; he has done a lot of cosmetic changes on his appearance that he now looks like a very beautiful girl. He claims to have a boyfriend he calls ‘bad’ who is said to fund his lavish lifestyle. He is now so popular. What is this world turning into, this kind of thing I really don’t know what to say again o. Make I just keep quiet and be watching this unfolding drama. The next thing now, we will start hearing gay rights. I weep.