War Against Indiscipline
Buhari’s war on indiscipline in his first rotation as an illegal President (came to power through a coup) was ill conceived, because he jettisoned the basic economic principle of supply and demand. You build your economy and the law of supply and demand creates order. You cannot create economic order by brute force and public whipping.
Venezuela’s current economic crisis cannot be whipped into shape by President Nicholas Madura, a Buhari-type economic planner. Blaming your problems on corrupt companies, individuals, past administrations, and foreign governments, while mismanaging your economy, is just an excuse for incompetence.
If Buhari did not understand economics 32 years ago in his prime, he cannot understand economics in his eighties. Anyone who thinks that the senile Buhari thought process has improved in 32 years, must be living in a fool’s paradise.
During the 1973 Arab Fuel Embargo, Americans fought at gas stations, but when gas became plentiful again, there were orderly queues once again at gas stations. The sensible thing his military junta would have done, is to loan money to driver-owners of minibuses to buy more buses, complete the light rail project, and resurface the already existing roads. His “disciplinary” approach to demand and supply plunged the nation into recession. He is back in power again with the help of Afonja Bola Tinubu, and he has plunged the once booming economy into recession once again, in the name of fighting corruption. The only indigenous vehicle assembly plant in Nigeria, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Co. Ltd. at Nnewi has folded up. This remarkable plant uses 70% local content in its operation!
Transportation is a rare commodity in overcrowded, infrastructure handicapped Lagos. First, Dictator Buhari cancels a light rail project, and forfeits over 78 million dollars to the French Company that partnered with the Lagos State Government to build the project. His reason, while speaking at an APC rally in Lagos in December 2014 was; “Then, we didn’t know how much debt was on us as a nation and we felt that we should not add another N 100m to it. I had to set up two committees to a****s how much we owed and we promised not to take more loans or to devalue the naira but to develop the economy.”
What a warped sense of reasoning? He cancels a development project to develop the country. Yes, I will demolish this bridge to make movement across the river easier!!! After his incomprehensible and incongruous cancellation of the light rail project, meant to ease transportation in Lagos, his War Against Indiscipline (WAI) forces 100 people to form a line for 20 seats on a bus. The line is manned by whip wielding, grim faced, and armed soldiers. If you jump the line, these soldiers would force you to lie face down in a puddle of putrid water, whip you, and make you perform the frog jump in full glare of the public. The light rail project that would have been the first in Africa is now being built at a higher cost. Meanwhile, Ethiopia has earned the distinction of first light rail in Africa.
In the old scheme, workers going from Surulere, Lagos to Victoria Island, Lagos would fight for seat on the bus to guarantee their jobs. Those going on an amorous trip on the same route would not fight as hard to get on the bus. They can wait for the next bus.
Economic greatness is a long term planned undertaking, and no amount of public whipping can prevent an economic catastrophe, when the monetary and fiscal policies are lacking or skewed to favor the least productive individuals in the economy.
Finally, the abundant and highly qualified Nigerians, that are scattered all over the globe must be utilized in nation building. That I trust my dog to bark at an intruder does not imply that my dog should be made the defense minister!