florinsandu

African Politics and Realities

Occupy Nigeria-Day 3…What’s next?

with 5 comments

January 11th and the general strikes continues in Nigeria, reaching its third day. Despite the larger turnout at the protest in Ojota, Lagos and other cities in Nigeria, the Federal Government doesn’t seem to be backing down from their decision of removing fuel subsidy. At the same time, the legislative seems to be turning their back to President Goodluck Jonathan by supporting the reinstatement of the fuel subsidy and urging the presidency to take the necessary steps.

Analysis of the current state of affairs in Nigeria are capturing front pages of newspapers and headlines in news across the world, some more competent than others. Being in the midst of it all, it seems to me that a breakdown of the important elements at play is necessary:

1. Governmental corruption extended over a few generations and administrations/political systems

– the average citizen cannot trust the “plan” to save Nigeria from economical collapse predicted by the administration

-general mistrust in what will happen to the extra money that will be added to the national budget as a result of removing oil subsidies

 

2. Failure of government of covering basic needs of the population…steady electricity, good medical service, infrastructure, just to name a few

-people are regarding the subsidy as the only benefit they are receiving from the state, the only direct benefit nigerians have for living in a country that represents Africa‘s largest exporter of crude oil

 

3. High level of poverty with around 90% of the population living on $ 2/day

– the removal of the subsidy has made the price of oil to more than double (from 65 naira to 140), causing also a major increase in food and commodities prices

 

4. The abrupt way in which the president had announced and implemented the removal of the oil subsidy

– an overwhelming majority is of the opinion that a plan of gradually removing the subsidy wouldn’t have sparked the amount of anger we currently see

– the gradual removal of the subsidy should be accompanied by the investment in the nation’s refineries, which at present is importing most of it’s refined oil

 

To my opinion, these are major elements that have led to the current status quo in Nigeria. So…WHAT’S NEXT? Will the president crumble under the pressure coming from the population, civil society and even the legislative bodies and reinstate the oil subsidy? if so, what is the path he will follow? if not, can Nigeria be at the brink of a civil war, as Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate claimed?

These questions  are very hard to answer. A reinstatement of the oil subsidy and the construction of a solid plan of gradually removing it in the future, showing the ways in which the funds will be used seems to be the logical way to go. The decision, in my view, will not show the weakness of the presidency and the government of standing behind its own decisions, but will instead show an understanding of the complexity and gravity of the situation, as well as a great deal of solidarity.

Also, it’s hard for me to believe that the president will be blind to what the strike is bringing upon Nigeria: aprox. 160 Billion naira/day losses due to lack of economical activity; Lagos port shutdown; airports are at a stand still; sporadic violence and the emergence of groups of hoodlums taking advantage of the chaotic situation; the possibility of oil exports to be stopped….just to name a few..

 

Tomorrow is the fourth day of the Occupy Nigeria general strike…let’s see what’s next!

 

Florin Sandu

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Written by fashionroseblog

January 11, 2012 at 9:52 pm

5 Responses

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  1. Nice piece my friend, well captured

    Debo Adesona

    January 11, 2012 at 10:29 pm

  2. Asta e Nigeria, asta e Africa pana la urma. Chiar sunt curios cat va tine toata chestia asta pana la urma, pentru ca nu stiu ce zvonuri sunt prin Lagos, dar cele din Abuja sunt chiar hilare. Una peste alta, toata lumea are de pierdut din cauza asta si sper ca Jonathan sa gandeasca bine ce are de facut, ca parca n-am chef sa ne evacueze MAE pe toti.

    P.S. interesant blog-ul !

    john

    January 12, 2012 at 10:03 pm

  3. For a foreigner, this is very intelligent! Good reasoning too.

    Leye

    January 13, 2012 at 1:08 pm

  4. […] Occupy Nigeria-Day 3…What’s next? (florinsandu.wordpress.com) […]

  5. […] Occupy Nigeria-Day 3…What’s next? (florinsandu.wordpress.com) […]


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