BY Gabriel Patterson, Rivers
I am glad that our Governors are beginning to understand national politics occasioned by national corruption. Nigeria as presently constituted by past military juntas is a replacement of indigenous colonial tendencies to British one using military might backed up by weapons of massive destruction.
The Nigerian oil boom under the military did not come about as a result of hard work but through a process of mortgaging the economic future of the Niger Delta People through senseless borrowing to fund what never produced any oil. While they built refineries and a crisscross of pipelines across Nigeria yet the exploration and production of crude oil rested in the hands of multinationals who later supplied the refineries.
Hence, Nigeria upon inception of political independence so called has nothing and not a single assets perhaps this is some of the frustrations that led some young military officers to heed the appeal of some well educated Nigerians (whose names I will mention in another episode) to carry out the coup of January 1966 in order to do away with a crop of political leaders who are clearly unproductive.
Yet the military is no different as instead of working to archive what they carried out a coup for rather they resorted to confiscation of assets worse than the unproductivity of earstwhile Political Fulani Marauders. The Nigerian Embassy in London is a building belonging to the Government of Western Nigeria, the Nigerian Television Authority is the property of the Government of Western Nigeria. NNPC is the Property of the Niger Delta via the Resources they confiscated, the University of Nigeria Nnsuka is the property of Eastern Nigeria.
There is no single assets Nigeria can be proud of under Military Rule largely led by Fulani Marauders, the Port Harcourt Refinery belongs to a joint venture of Shell, Chevron, Texaco and Mobile. The railway belong to British private Businesses etc eveb the so called Nigerian Airways was a private British business that metamorphosed in to an unfortunate national carrier. Following these antecedents, it should not surprise Mr. Wike why the Nigerian State has been collecting VAT illegally from Rivers and Other States respectively.
While I commend the move by Mr. Wike to stop this brazen daylight robbery especially because the money illegally collected and pushed to Abuja disappears from Abuja to God knows where, however, it came late on the side of Mr. Wike and this is because most Governors are only interested in party politics, how to win election and the control of the state without exercising meaningful legislative and legal power politics.
I agree with Mr. Wike that you cannot multiply your population to your own peril by not growing the economy of your states instead looking for ways to rob Peter from other states to pay a reudundant population through institutional corruption as shown in the picture below. Again, you cannot practice unhealthy and anti-economic religious policies yet strive to benefit from funds accruing from another state for same things you banned in your states.
Nevertheless, Mr. Wike must show sincerity of purpose for the VAT WAR by ensuring that the monies that will accrue from this war is equitably distributed infrastructure wise and not the current upgrade of Federal Infrastructures largely in his ObioAkpo Local Government. He is asking other states to grow their economy yet the Rivers State Micro Finance Agency has never rolled out any economic plan to grow small and medium scale businesses and industries in the state.
The Rivers State Transport Company has been under lock and key since April 2020 till date and for almost seven (7) years, Rivers State Pensioners have never received a dime of their pensions which would have added to the money in circulation in Rivers so, is Mr. Wike running a poverty economic policy in Rivers State?? No wonder he is threatening to shut down banks and oil companies as there are no other thriving Indigenous businesses that pays VAT…..while the war is good, the end result must be all inclusive.
Rt. Hon. Gabriel Patterson
Writes from Rivers state, Nigeria.