Saturday, February 18, 2006

Chewing on the hand that feeds..

I've just finished reading Graceland - one of my favourite passages is when the King of the Beggars says this of the World Bank:
"Funds? What funds? Let me tell you, dere are no bigger tiefs dan dose World Bank people. Let me tell you how de World Bank helps us. Say dey offer us a ten-million dollar loan for creating potable and clean water supply to rural areas. If we accept, dis is how dey do us. First dey tell us dat we have to use de expertise of their consultants, so dey remove two million for salaries and expenses. Den dey tell us dat de consultants need equipment to work, like computer, jeeps or bulldozers, and for hotel and so on, so dey take another two million. Den dey say we cannot build new boreholes but must service existing one, so dey take another two million to buy spare parts. All dis money, six million of it, never leave de U.S. Den dey use two million for de project, but is not enough, so dey abandon it, and den army bosses take de remaining two million. Now we, you and I and all dese poor people, owe de World Bank ten million dollars for nothing. Dey are all tiefs and I despise dem - our people and de World Bank people!" the King ranted."

The question is, how much has changed since when the King of the Beggars made this fictional critique in the 1980s?

Graceland by the way is definitely worth reading - it shows just how far Lagos (and Nigeria) sank into the abyss during military rule, and therefore how deep the wounds that still need to heal. Although the change is not enough for anyone, Nigeria has come a long way since the dark days of the man with the Goggles and his predecessors.


Anonymous,  8:46 pm  


Nice did you come up with that lol....

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