I believe that our dear country has been under the illusion of wealth and riches because of oil. This illusion cuts across all boards, irrespective of our political, ethnicity and religious backgrounds.
I keep wondering, how can citizens (excluding students and disabled), that refuses or hardly pay TAX to the government but prefer to pay tithe in full to religious organisations be expecting palliative from the government? How come our president, vice president, senators and other political office holders in Nigeria are earning humongous salaries and other emoluments?
The truth of the matter to me is that, all this outrageous spending on political emoluments are either from crude oil or from borrowings.
Unfortunately, I’ve come to realise that these two are no longer sustainable. We are known to be a spending and importing nation, we even import our toothpicks from China despite the fact that we are blessed with palm trees and bamboo trees. Our spending habits cuts through government to individuals.
Most of us live above our earnings, believing that all is well, or it shall be well. Nigerians bribe TAX COLLECTORS, to either evade payment or heavily underpay their TAXES. Bills and other government levies are not left behind. Custom officials in collaboration with importers underpays government of all duties. My country has no developmental road map for the next five years either in infrastructure, education or health.
No savings for rainy day either. Government officials spend money as if there’s no tomorrow. How can my president, vice president, Senate president, speaker of house of representatives and governors justify their motorcade and aides? How can Nigeria justify the millions of dollars wasted annually on both Christians and Muslims pilgrimages? “Afęfę ti fę, a ti ridi adię”. Nigeria is a poor country economically based on mismanagement and courtesy of coronavirus.
My hope for the greatness of this nation had gone to sleep. How can I explain to my children, that a governor, whose states contribute little or nothing to the GDP of Nigeria earns more monthly from the federation account than those governors whose states contribute? That is the federalism we operate.
My worries are not about myself, my headache is about the children born now or yet unborn. Things will continue to get worse economically as a result of covid 19 and maybe, we will all realise now as Nigerians, that we’ve been living a fake life as a nation.
Like the bride who encourages the groom to borrow money for their wedding, it’s now time for reality!
By Chief Rotimi Williams Fadoju