By Tim Akano
Nigeria’s P&L shows the country is technically bankrupt, if it were an American corporation, it would file for Chapter 11. While corruption contributes 30%, insecurity contributes 20% and structural deformity 35% to Nigeria’s failure. Any administration desirous of making a difference, therefore, must tackle those three devils squarely with fresh thinking. Prime Minister David Cameroon knew what he was talking about when he described Nigeria as ‘’fantastically corrupt’’
Corruption is not a people’s problem, though, rather it is a symptom of a decadent system. Corruption would always thrive in every self-help society, where social security, effective credit facilities,and an independent judiciary system are absent. Variables like greed, poverty, fear of tomorrow, unreasonable societal expectations from public officeholders, wasteful culture, and gross moral bankruptcy also help to fertilise corruption..
As long as private schools, private hospitals, bullet proof vehicles, private NEPA, and private water works, including private cemeteries and private armies are ‘’must-haves’’ for the middle class to survive, due to the total collapse of public infrastructure and institutions, so long will corruption remain the inevitable elephant in the room. All workers deserve living wages, especially the Judiciary, Teachers, the Police and Journalists. They need to be insulated against corruption. For instance, Judges should not be earning less than $7000 (N5m) per month. In the UK, judges are paid from $100,000-$300,000 per annum.
How other countries are taming corruption? The 5+1 models
1 *China*: Death penalty.
2 *Europe*: effective social security package plus credit facility
3 *Scandinavian*: egalitarianism, wealthy citizens and businesses pay up to 50% income tax which is used in developing efficient public infrastructure that serves all. Public utilities work excellently and they are free. Huge income inequality is an anathema. Little wonder why it is only cockroaches that inhabit the prisons built for humans in Scandinavian countries.
4 *Traditional Model*: Swearing an oath of office using ‘’snake’’ or ‘’Cutlass’’ instead of the Holy Books.
5 *Turkey Model*: 65-year-old wages for life that are inflation sensitive. This removes the fear of inflation and what to eat when tomorrow comes.
6 *Ali Baba &The 40 THIEVES Model*: Ali Baba was a wise man: he took a census of the number of thieves in his organisation and he arrived at 40 and made budget provisions for each of the 40 thieves.
Nigeria, too, can identify Major Corruption Charging Points (MCCPs) and budget for CORRUPTION INOCULATION JAB allowances for the Heads of such places ab initio. Rough estimates show that every new administration comes with about 5000 ‘’new troublers of Nigeria’’. They are found in the Presidency, National Assembly, Governor’s offices, Local government Councils, Judiciary, Military, Para- Military and MDAs etc.
The Nigerian corruption variant seems to be an untreatable and incurable disease. This means each administration should make a budget provision for a maximum of 5000 VIPS entitled to a Corruption Inoculation jab allowance of N250,000 per day for life. This is in addition to the 65-year-old wages for life (double jabs)!
Right now, some Governors are coming up with ridiculous pension allowances for themselves to further impoverish their people. Probably, standardization and legalisation of limited corruption in a transparent manner will reduce ad-hoc unregulated corrupt practices. After all, Marijuana was once banned in America, now it is legalized.
*A peculiar problem, the saying goes, requires a peculiar solution.
Here is why Nigeria needs fresh ideas to tame corruption: Nigeria sells 20% of Saudi Arabia’s Oil quota presently. And Shell Oil Plc. recently submitted that Nigeria can sell 4mbd of crude (i.e. 40% of the Saudi quota). Meanwhile, ARAMCO made a net profit of $161 billion in 2022. Nigeria is supposed to have made 20% of that (ceteris paribus), I.e. $ 32 billion. Sadly, NNPC had only made profits twice in 45 years which was nothing to write home about.
Going by ARAMCO RoI, when Nigeria begins to sell 4mbd, the bottom line will show about $65 billion net profit yearly. The question is what do we do as a nation, first, to realise a $32 billion net profit yearly on what we currently sell, and second, increase our daily production to 4mbd as suggested by Shell oil in order to make $65 billion net profit yearly?
The average age of the incoming VIPs is 60 years. Assuming they all live to be 80 years on the average age. This means they will be entitled to corruption inoculation jab allowances for an average of 20 years each at the rate of N250,000 per day.
Therefore: N250, 000×365 days in a year x5000 MCCPs x 8years= $ 4.684 billion (about $ 5 billion for the next 8 years or $ 100 billion for 20 years.
When corruption is tamed, from NNPC alone, Nigeria will earn about $32 billion net profits yearly. In 8 years it will be $256 billion or $640 billion in 20 years. Spending about $5 billion on ‘’transparent’’ corruption inoculation jab allowances would make financial sense to any economist anywhere in the world, including Adams Smith and Karl Marx in their graves.
We can challenge Norway or ARAMCO that the KPI is 4mbd oil sales and $65 billion yearly net profit to be shared 80:20 in favour of Nigeria, plus a performance bonus. Who says Norway or Aramco cannot give Nigeria a $ 100 billion ‘’sweetener’’ in advance to stabilise the country if we appoint either to manage our entire oil business 100%? Norway is not in OPEC and they have $ 1.3 trillion in savings!
The oil business is too oily and tempting for the Nigerian elites to run. Outsourcing the entirety of the oil business is the way to go. The oversight function by National Assembly members in the oil sector is a euphemism for corruption while the turnaround maintenance projects are like free ”jollof rice and ‘’dodo’’ for the boys”. Oil will soon lose relevance: let us make the next 30 years count, having wasted the last 45 years!
“What if, after collecting the corruption inoculation jab allowances and wages-for-life, they still put their hands inside Nigeria’s chocolate jars’’, I can hear someone soliloquizing. That question is for the whole house to discuss!
But, without taming corruption, fixing insecurity and restructuring Nigeria, we aren’t going anywhere as a nation.