Tony Elumelu, a Nigerian economist and philanthropist, has given his thoughts on the country’s present situation.
In his recollection, he recalled how he had heard his coworkers lament the dire circumstances they were in, such as five days without electricity, increases in the price of diesel, alarming food inflation, and more.
Explaining why Nigerians must speak up against the upcoming general election in 2023, Elumelu questioned how it is possible that a country with so many natural riches has 90 percent of its people living in poverty.
A robust trajectory for advancement and development must be in place by 2023, the economist asserted, because evil triumphs when people remain mute.
As Elumelu noted, oil-producing nations are happy because their foreign reserves are increasing. We need to hold our leaders responsible, Elumelu said.
This is what he wrote.
This morning, I am listening to my colleagues at the office bemoan the very pressing issues that they face everyday in this country, and how things have been getting worse and worse - no electricity for 5 days, hikes in the price of diesel, frightening food inflation, etc. How can a country so rich in natural resources have 90% of its citizens living in hardship and poverty? I have often said that access to electricity is critical for our development, alleviation of poverty and hardship. And speaking of security, our people are afraid! Businesses are suffering. How can we be losing over 95% of oil production to thieves? Look at the Bonny Terminal that should be receiving over 200k barrels of crude oil daily, instead it receives less than 3,000 barrels, leading the operator @Shell to declare force majeure. Why are we paying taxes if our security agencies can’t stop this? It is clear that the reason Nigeria is unable to meet its OPEC production quota is not because of low investment but because of theft, pure and simple! Meanwhile, oil producing countries are smiling as their foreign reserves rising. What is Nigeria’s problem? We need to hold our leaders more accountable! Elections are coming – security and resources need to be everyone’s agenda – let’s be vocal for our nation’s priority. Evil prevails when good people are silent. We need to be vocal about 2023. Let’s focus on Nigeria. Demand and advocate for leaders that deliver. In 2023, Nigeria must be on a strong trajectory for progress and development.