By: Folorunso Fatai
Naira has no gender. If it were a male, we could have been convinced it is the reason females are avaricious. And if it were a female, it would have been evident to establish it as reason males are completely rapacious. But naira has no gender, yet, its unparalleled enchanting and enticing power to get embezzled by all, including Nigerians in high places is unimaginable.
Even Nigerian at the foot of the mountain, their fraudulent acumen in the face of Naira will amaze you. Are you doubtful of that? Visit computer villages, visit motor parks etc. You’ll be here to regale me with your different hilarious stories about them.
Corruption is not limited to certain class; it cuts across board. This is partly the reason sleaze is unveiled in high places and petty thieves apprehended on our streets. We don’t celebrate hardwork; we only celebrate instant success. Another reason the ‘get rich quick’ syndrome’ is popular among Nigerians today and by extension, the youths. Hence, the alarming rate of cybercrimes among other inhuman ventures.
This also explains the reason an average Nigeria does not see anything wrong in same Patience Jonathan, a civil servant owing a whooping 4.5billion Naira under another person’s name in one account and close to 15billion naira in another account- Naira has no gender, Naira knows no gender!
Sadly and tragically, Naira is drained of its vigour. Our rapacious leaders have maimed its beautiful prospects which were eye dazzling in its days of yore. It has been outpaced in value and eminence by its equals(such as US Dollars and British Pounds) in the early 70’s. And some of its younger ones then such as UAE Dirham, S/Arabia Riyadh etc have also upscaled it.
Millions of naira is like air to our politicians, it is ubiquitous in their houses. From their rooms, to bathrooms, garages, sceptic tanks and even on their roofs. I hope it is still fresh in our memories the sum of $1 million that was discovered in a soakaway pit in ex-Air staff chief, Amosu’s Lagos residence.
And the EFCC’s March 14, 2017 interception of illegal movement of cash totaling N49 Million found at the Kaduna International Airport.
Latest is the humongous sums of money to wit: $38,000,000.00 (Thirty-Eight Million Dollars),N23,000,000.00 (Twenty-Three Million Naira) and £27,000.00 (Twenty-Seven Thousand Pounds) uncovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC) from an apartment in Osborne Towers, Osborne Road, Ikoyi Lagos. No wonder Olajide Abiola, a seasoned business analyst, rightly lamented that ‘A whole Second Niger bridge kept in someone’s apartment and we are wondering where our own Dubai, Paris, New York, Qatar, South Africa are.
In saner climes, only drug dealers do this kind of stuffs, not public servants nor political office holders.
Interestingly, the $50 Million has got no claimant. Imagine such humongous amount suddenly become an orphan. Who would think that people would be avoiding $50 million like a plague?
Dishearteningly, it pains one to see genuine business owners and farmers have no access to any form of credit facility at all. This is made worse by the knowledge of those who wickedly stole and idly stashed away monies that can save several lives in the country.
Some people only need just between N50,000-N100,000 to back up their trades.
For every loot found and recovered, avalanche of thoughts cross one’s mind on many credible SME operators that such movies could have provided a strong financial lifeline and the value it would have added to the economy in jobs, income, VATs and Taxes.”
Cumulatively, I would suggest every money recovered should be judiciously utilized on projects that have direct benefits on the masses, such as water, alternative power while the SMEs operators and farmers should be made to smile by offering them low interest rate loans.
Folorunso Fatai writes from University Of Ilorin and can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org