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Author Name: Omotayo, J. A.
Number of articles: 211
During my time too, there were scholaships, grants and busary awards to students. Some of my friends... (0) Comment

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G20 Meeting And Mr. Yar’Adua’s Lamentation - 2
Author: Omotayo, J. A. | June 04, 2009

Third, human development index (HDI) as a factor places Nigeria in the 159th position (out of 177 nations) with HDI index of 0.448. The U.S has HDI of 0.948 coming a distant 8th behind the first on the list, Norway, with a HDI of 0.965. But what is HDI? It is a âmeasure of life expectancy, literacy, education, and standard of living for countries worldwideâ (See: Human Development Index, Wikipedia, Are we not too far off to be invited among the best twenty nations of the world? Of course, yes! This is another âpotential differenceâ that we lack as a nation. Illiteracy is just too high. It is this inadequacy in human development index that has made Nigeria to engage in what Mr. Vilfredo Pareto (1848 â 1923) has called âCirculation of Elitesâ. A historian was once made a CBN Governor, journalist and lawyers as Ministers of Works, geographer as Finance Minister, etc, even after power has been rescued from the military. In other words, the arbitrariness of the distasteful military regime remains even with the civilian government till date. Fourth, in Nigeria we worship mediocrities and even give them various national, professional and academic honours. Think of the many rote professors who under normal circumstances would not have obtained their Masters degrees who have become Deans and Heads of Departments or have been made Ministers and Ambassadors! Think of the many Chief Engineers who under normal circumstances would not have risen above Senior Engineers! For instance, our Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo is a fellow of the Academy of Engineering in Nigeria even though he did not attend any Polytechnic(s) or University for his Engineering training! Think of the many senior lawyers and justices who misquote the provisions of the Constitution on Atiku-Obasanjo feud, Ribadu-AGF feud, 2007 election petitions tribunals, etc. Think of the noise-maker economists who designed our currency exchange rate systems since 1986 till date including the wizardry of âStrategic Agenda for the Nairaâ. The NNPC severally promised but failed to make the four refineries in Nigeria functional since the 1990s till date due to a lack of local expertise. In November 2007, Mr. Benjamin Abamefule, a Mechanical Engineer, was reported as saying that the December 2007 deadline for the effective operation of the four local refineries was impossible. According to him, NNPC lacked the right caliber of personnel to resuscitate them, and he gave the details (For further details, see: Kunle Owolabi, December deadline unrealistic â Petroleum expert, The Sunday Sun newspaper, November 11, 2007, pg 48-49). Mr. Abamefule has been proved right. The refineries are still in comatose more than a year after the deadline! We call rote professors, quasi-technocrats and pseudo-administrators âExpertsâ. I have written many times challenging these so-called âExpertsâ who refused to confess their ignorance. How can we have an âExpertâ if it will take $262 billion (N39.3 trillion approximately) to provide stable electricity for Nigeria when our highest annual national budget is just N3.1 trillion ($20.67 billion approximately)? Thus even if all the annual national budget were to be diverted to power supply alone, it would take us about 12.68 years (approximately 13 years) from now to get stable power supply. That is even beyond the so-called vision20:2020. Also, that is based on all normal conditions remaining constant: no inflation, no currency devaluation, no fall in price or production of crude oil for optimum revenue, no national emergencies such as vandalisation or fire outbreak, etc. Doesnât it seem that the position of the said expert on stable electricity is awkward? Yet we have the sun in abundance for solar power, dams and waterfalls for hydroelectricity, trade winds for wind power, coal and crude oil for hydrocardon, etc. We are a nation where both the government and our experts talk of GDP when the whole world has turned the corner to PPP. At times, the so-called experts use coinages that baffle reasonable people because they tend to be paradoxes. Consider âServant-Leaderâ, âRebranding Nigeriaâ, âStrategic Agendaâ, âDo-or-die electionâ, etc. Funny enough, one of the experts in Nigeria informed us that treated water expires after 60 days. How such a fuzzy statement was arrived at remains to me till date a mystery because available documentations suggest the otherwise. Fifth, Nigeria is a complacent nation often relying on Murphyâs law. What is Murphyâs law? It simply means that whatever is destined to go wrong will certainly do so because there are salient things that we may not see, notice or understand which surround such events (For further details, See: The New Websterâs Dictionary of the English Language, International Editor, Lexicon International, New York, 1995). Those who wish to repudiate Murphyâs Law and are desirous of altering the course of events run to the shrines (churches, mosques, etc) to meet religious leaders for spiritual intercessions. Libations are then made to placate the unseen gods who could bring favour and success in spite of our mistakes and misdemeanours. It should, therefore, be easy for a pastor or a sheik to gain access to meet with the executives (president, governors, chairmen, directors, ministers, etc) while professionals with better things to offer are at times denied even an opportunity to see these esteemed executives. Before ending this piece, I like to quote extensively from the work of Mr. Spencer for a general comparison of the developed country with our less developed country (LDC), Nigeria. His reference point is the United States of America. Although he did not mention Nigeria as the LCD in question, his description applied nonetheless. I quote:âThe United States has a large labor force with a relatively high proportion of skilled workers. Its business leaders are numerous and disciplined. It has substantial and diversified quantity of natural resources, an extensive system of transportation and power, an efficient and productive technology financed by an adequate supply of savings, and a stable and comparatively uncorrupt government. And, not to be overlooked, it has a culture in which the drive for profit and material gain is generally accepted. These factors in combination have stimulated Americaâs economic development. âIn the less developed countries, on the other hand, most of these conditions are absent. Labor is largely unskilled and inefficient, and is often chronically ill and undernourished. Saving is small or even negative, resulting in low rates of investment and capital accumulation. The cultural environment favors the CLERGY, the MILITARY, or GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION, while frowning upon commerce, finance, and entrepreneurship. And GOVERNMENT IS OFTEN UNSTABLE OR, IF STABLE, DICTATORIAL, CORRUPT, AND INEFFICIENT. Paradoxically, many poor countries are rich in natural resources. However, because most of these countries lack the other ingredients, they cannot sustain economic development (capitals mine for emphasis)â, unquote (See: James H. Spencer, op cit, pg 300-301). But if the truth must be told, we have to learn from the words of Mr. Patrick Wilmot (deported former lecturer of Sociology at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria) that, and I quote, âWhat I have given you is a mirror to see the reflection of yourself. Breaking it will not change your image or appearanceâ, unquote. On the basis of the foregoing descriptions and analysis, Nigeria is unqualified to be invited to the G20 meetings! What should we do to solve the problem, and is the Vision 20:2020 the way out? In a subsequent article, I shall examine these issues in details. As usual, I welcome criticism(s) and comment(s) either publicly or privately or both. Those criticizing must arm themselves with facts lest they become targets for another critical review. My email address remains jaomotayo2(at) CONCLUDED. God bless Nigeria. Continue to::- Part 1 , Part 2

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