Wednesday, June 11, 2008


The massive revenues the Saudis are earning from oil are being put to use - creating new cities, employing hundreds of thousands of people. See here and here. Quite what Nigeria is doing with its windfalls, no one knows. Various states dream of creating mini-Dubais (Dubai being the governor's wife's/wives'/girlfriend's shopping destination of choice), but whether that means more than spreading the love through construction contract kick-backs, we'll see...

Thanks to Nkem for the links.


Anonymous,  8:20 am  

Aaaahhh Jeremy!! I weep for my country. Others make it look so easy and here we are in this day and age still dealing with leaders with minds as wide and shallow as soup bowls. I just heard the story of what really went down with Tinapa and i'm just sad, it all seems so hopeless!

anonymaus,  11:52 am  

The problem with many governors, is that they lack imagination and just want to blindly emulate what others do, with no account of their local environs. Are the states in Nigeria up to the standard of Dubai? Is corruption in check?

You don't have to build tower blocks reaching into the sky and have 6 lane motorways and foreigners, doing the jobs locals turn their noses up at. Dubai (an already rich country) is targetting a market in a very prosperous region (becoming the financial hub of the Gulf region and also going after buying up multinational companies around the world. The same can't be said of Nigeria (a not so rich country, surrounded by poor neighbours). No need to build anymore cities, just implement proper planning for the existing ones and a strong culture of cleanliness and maintenace to make them more inhabitable.

Look at Kwara, and even Nasarawa, they are resorting to agriculture, yes agriculture, humdrum and not as sexy AGRICULTURE. If you can feed yourself, you can remove yourself from the unenviable situation of Ethiopa (one year without rain and all hell breaks loose). They have employed Zimbabwean farmers who are showing them what they could really do, if they chose to get their act together.

It doesn't have to end there, education is cornerstone, each state has a minimum of two universities. With all these graduates, they could encourage them to pursue studies in biotechnology, agriculture, technology all this should be done with an eye to local conditions as well as establishing international markets. Once a good idea is hatched, the local/state government will need to support the idea, quality control and a disciplined approach are key to becoming a success. So that some states in Nigeria could move the way Singapore has managed to diversify it's economy.

If other states can manage manufacturing better so be it, but they must look at their strengths and the local markets and hatch a plan.

Bottom line is people need to think for themselves, not foolishly emulate or compete with others whose circumstances are different. Well done to Bukola Saraki and Aliyu Doma for striking out on their own and the people of Kwara and Nasarawa states.

Naapali 5:31 pm  

This post highlights what I have been griping about for months. The UAE and its member states especially Abu Dhabi and Dubai have been converting the wealth from petroleum proceeds into long term investments across the globe. One of the gulf states (can't remember which one now) makes more money off its investments than it makes from petroleum.

anonymaus,  4:25 am  

Yes, Naapali
Agreed, but with democracy and people electing governors on a spurious basis. You get people who lack no vision and are happy to perpetuate the status quo.

With such people in place is it any wonder that many states make no progress? The local electorate don't hold them to account (they always swallow the lame excuse "it's all the fault of the Federal Government"). Even when wrong doing is blatant and flagrant, they are congratulated ie Alamiesiegha of Bayelsa state.

The most many governors can do is to talk about extraction of minerals which again is a very short term view (no mention of value adding at all), and is not sustainable or renewable. A real shake up is needed at state and local government levels. I've heard of of positive things happening in Akwa Ibom in addition to Kwara and Nasarawa.

Norway, has a future fund which they have implemented for decades to assure the continued wealth once oil ceases to be the mainstay of their economy. Australia has a future fund money derived from the export of raw materials, again used for the same purpose. What of Nigeria do they have any such thing, or is it all wasted (hosting conferences and international tournaments)? The Arabs are even using foresight to plan ahead, what of Nigeria?

The only good thing to think of is "never write Nigeria off, (as it is an unpredictable country where anything can happen be it good or bad").

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