“Self-made Nigerian billionaire donates 41 million dollars to an American University,” screams the headline. Self-made indeed! Most billionaires in Nigeria are politicians, politically sponsored monopolists, or oil block thieves. When an inept, corrupt, shameless, and misanthropic government distributes the wealth of the nation to a favored few without any consideration of equity and fairness, there must be something inherently wrong with the entire nation. Even anachronistic monarchies as prevalent in the Middle East do not engage in such wanton daylight looting of their nations.
If you are well connected, the scenario might play out this way. Your phone rings in the middle of the night, griing , griing, griing…… and you pick up the receiver, “Hello, Your Excellency, what makes you remember me today?” The President responds, “Alhaji Chief Dr. Sir Donaga , I have finally decided to grant your wish and allocate to your company Latneiro Energy Resources Ltd, three oil blocks namely LMO 511, the Kowdol field, and the Kobe field. As my good in-law, you surely deserve 3 oil blocks. I know that you do not have any experience in the oil business. All you need to do is find some real oil company to drill a hole for you straight into the oil. You do not have to invest a single kobo or pay fees to the government. Any oil that you find is all yours. Sign an agreement with the real oil company that stipulates a royalty payment in dollars for Latneiro Energy Resources Ltd for every barrel of oil taken from your allocated blocks. I guarantee you that in 5 years you will be a billionaire in dollars terms.
Do you still have that Panama phone number that I gave you?” Alhaji Donaga who almost fainted with excitement replies, “Yes, yes, Your Excellency, and I know what to do with the number. “Good night, my great in-law.” The President bids him good night in return and hangs up.
The above is not from a science fiction novel but has been played out several times under different Presidents in Nigeria. Not only is it wrong to share the nation’s wealth amongst a few friends and cronies but it is even “wronger” for the beneficiaries of such undeserved largesse to flaunt their ill-gotten wealth brazenly and openly in the face of the downtrodden and suffering masses. Some of these oil billionaires have stated openly in public that they do not know what to do with the money!
No surprise, because you did not earn the money. The diversion of public wealth into individual wealth is abhorrent. The “lucky” individuals in turn stash their ill-gotten wealth in offshore accounts. The result is that there is no money for roads, electricity, water, agriculture, transportation, schools, and communications. Having denied the country good roads, these “money miss road” billionaires acquire fleets of private jets to fly them, their wives, children, and concubines all over the globe.
It is no surprise that Alhaji Donaga from the Boko Haram ravaged Northern Nigeria feels justified to donate $41 million of Nigeria’s money to Nyl University, a second class American University in Florida. While Boko Haram is beheading, maiming, and kidnapping people for acquiring Western Education, Alhaji Donaga’s children are acquiring Western Education in America. Boko Haram must be thrilled about this! He comes from the least educated, poverty-ridden part of Nigeria where schools of any type, water, phones, roads, and electricity are luxuries.
Confounding the situation are millions of citizens who have been displaced from their homes and living in horrible camps euphemistically called IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camps. Does he think about the humanity of these individuals when he overflies their camps in his private jet?
The recent Donaga-Irahub wedding is another display of hypocrisy by our leaders. To throw such a lavish wedding amid an economic depression in Nigeria is inhumane. By tying into the Irahub clan, Alhaji Donaga is protecting his ill-gotten, undeserved oil riches. The Nigerian masses are watching and waiting for a “change” in the oil business. Are those illegally acquired licenses going to revert to the state?
Billionaire Donaga has not contributed a kobo in ameliorating the suffering of the Nigerian people nor has he built schools and universities in his country. I understand his reasoning- uneducated folks do not know their rights. While the uneducated and impoverished masses are incessantly praying for unattainable riches, they are happy to pick the crumbs off the Donaga dinner table. Meanwhile, they keep waiting for the ever-elusive miraculous blessings from God.
The West which is the largest beneficiary of this resource robberies glorifies these individuals by calling them self-made billionaires. If Africastallestman is allocated an oil field in the Gulf of Guinea, Africastallestman would become an oil trillionaire in 10 years. The difference is that Africastallestman’s wealth will be ploughed back into Nigeria’s and Africa’s development and not in offshore accounts to develop already developed countries. The only word that can describe this crass stupidity is INDINIGATION (Hausa) which translates to Indignation in English. Any right-thinking person who is not bothered by this wanton act ought to have his/her head examined by psychiatrists or African Witch Doctors!
Alhaji Donaga must disclose how much money he is paying into the Nigerian treasury. Finally, Nyl University should return the ill-gotten wealth to its rightful owners- Nigerians. Alhaji Donaga should also return his fake doctorate degree to Nyl University. For a donation of $1 million spread over 41 Nigerian universities, Alhaji Donaga will be awarded 41 doctorate degrees in any 41 fields of his choosing and the universities will use the money to upgrade their facilities.