FRIDAY Column BY Engr. Abubakar A. Fari
In June 1977, I was employed by the then United Nigeria Textile Limited (UNTL) as a Supervisor Refrigeration and Air Conditioning in the Engineering department. Management and control then were in the hands of Chinese. For a textile plant, refrigeration and air conditioning is akin to blood circulating in the human body. Without it, the production would be impossible. In the key operations, spinning and weaving to turn the cotton into cloth ready for printing, there was need for the maintenance of atmospheric conditions to achieve the desired results. Air conditioning is the simultaneous control of temperature and humidity and the quality of air to serve the production arrangements. With air conditioning one could sustain virtually any atmospheric condition. Refrigeration is desired at the printing end, where chillers that produce ice blocks and the shirting is submerged in a cool chemical before printing could proceed.
My chief engineer was an old Chinese living in an office with no much paraphernalia. Nor was it secluded. He had cause to observe loud that “promote a Nigerian and he will not work”. He saw a Nigerian as one seeking promotion to be a manager just to enjoy huge perks. In addition, there goes a free car, a domestic servant, a cook with a gardener to go with it. Take huge bonuses at the end of the year with a rest and recuperation package and a ticket to travel abroad and a handsome US Dollar to crown it all. But wait a minute, the moment he becomes a manager, it is a privilege to come late to work and close as he wishes. Somewhere somehow he will like some business deals perhaps curved out to enhance his cash flow and see to it that he acquires property and houses to rent. As for value addition, that is not his responsibility, but value addition to enhance his net worth is the agenda. No commensurate work to earn his real income.
So the same scenario plays itself with the Nigerian in the public and the private sector. He will scheme to get promoted at the expense of the system. That is why the colossal amount of “earthquake” corruption in governance in Nigeria remains the living interest. In the public sector, the collapse of banks, finance houses, hotels, automobile service industry, truck and commercial vehicle plants. Also, the agro-allied industries, the textiles including the once bubbling UNTL, retail outlets, commercial transport companies, you name it. The indigenous GSM providers running the so-called CDMAs and a host of industries in Kano and Abuja have died out. The impositions of deadly and brutal policies like SAP and financial and fiscal policy regimes that were only announced to impress Nigerians. Yet the ruling class was fraudulent and the micro and macro-economic environments were rendered corrupt and lacked the discipline to run enterprises for profit. Politics is a game for crooks to enrich themselves while doing no work. Like the Jewish-Zionists that the French accuse that do not work but live on interests and the sweat of the productive workers. So the moment these crooks capture power, the Federation account is the cash cow to do no work. Every month the one kind President, Governor, Executives, Legislators, Judiciary, rogue politicians and civil servants in the Federal, State, Armed Forces go for the recurrent and capital expenditures to fend for themselves.
The executive in collaboration with the legislators in the name of appropriation bills just appropriate for themselves the largesse. The retired Governors in the Senate promote themselves to “Distinguished Senators” so they collude with the Executive to pad the budget and make more money. They are fat cats that seat and say nothing in the Senate or the House. They are so-called Chairmen of rosy Committees to do no work but baboon de chop. Former Governor of Yobe state is quoted in the media saying virtually all the former Governors in the Senate have “issues” to resolve with the EFCC. The corrupt practices are reduced to “issues”. During OBJ and GEJ it was loyalty to the Executive that gave them immunity against prosecution. But with Buhari, even the Senate President Saraki is sweating it out with the ICPC and the court of public opinion. One can deceive some people some of the times but will not deceive them all the time.
The many technocrats as the HOS, Pension Administrators, Military and para-military and heads of departments and agencies when under investigations to account for missing billions, one will wonder is this guy a supposedly a salary earner. Even big companies like MTN and Glo do not declare profits in their quarterly reviews. These enterprises employ people and create value and generate tax for government and create multiplier effects. In Nigeria 55 are reported by Lai the information minister to have stolen US 6.2 Billion Dollars. If the monies were invested, just imagine the impact on the economy. But people seat and do no work and claim such colossal resources that could build the Mambilla project to themselves! Some even pay billions into the accounts of their children as if it were a family business. When sent to prison, without shame they say the anti-corruption drive is a farce. In fact, they will run for the Presidency to loot more. After all they are created to steal from the government treasury and co-opt their children and so Nigerians could commit suicide. They are so unjust, ignorant and arrogant to appear to believe that with illegal wealth even when they die Paradise is automatic for them as revealed in the Qur’an Al-Kahf: 32-36.
“And put forward to them the example of two men: unto one of them We had given two gardens of grapes, and We had surrounded both with date-palm; and had put between them green crops (cultivated fields).
“Each of those two gardens brought forth its produce, and failed not in the least therein, and We caused a river to gush forth in the midst of them.”
“And he had property (or fruit) and said to his companion, in the course of mutual talk: “I am more than you in wealth and stronger in respect of men,”
“And he went into his garden while in a state (of pride and disbelief), unjust to himself. He said: “I think not that this will ever perish.”
“And I think not the Hour will ever come, and if indeed I am brought back to my Lord, (on the Day of Resurrection), I surely shall find better than this when I return to Him.”
In governance, one who was “lucky” beyond his expectation and wild dreams was one Goodluck Ebele Jonathan an Ijaw from one of the oil and gas producing areas of Nigeria. He was born from a very poor family to the extent that he went to school barefooted. And there are many so-called high profile Nigerians from similar background. Obasanjo packaged a promotion for this dark horse to occupy the highest office in Nigeria. When he was sworn as the President many children in his enclave were named “Goodluck” as a result of the spectacular promotion in a do-or-die as it were. The rest is history. The cluelessness is better imagined. Indeed, the best leader that Nigeria never had, had he not been tested at all. Instead of doing a good job of moving the nation forward, he reversed it to a state of despair, helplessness and drift to anarchy. While that was going on, looting in an “earthquake” manner shook the very foundation of the Nigerian state. Obasanjo wrote him a letter castigating him in the worst of terms and concluded that his role has condemned the Ijaw never again as a material for the office of the President of Nigeria. Under GEJ morale and motivation to work as an honest Nigerian was killed only to steal and do no work and build scandalous assets callously.
In management practices and by extension administrative practices and governance, there is the expectancy theory of motivation. One works for a reward. But the PDP that ruled Nigeria for 16 years made nonsense of the dignity in labour. The corrupt military regimes that introduce poverty and downgraded Nigerians to the poor and unfortunate class of human beings are the shakers and movers of PDP today. It is who you know and not your capacity to work and deliver. So Nigerians see baboons chop but no work. So every one wishes to be a baboon and do no work but be a rogue politician or technocrat. For respect in Nigeria flows from how much fraud and corrupt accumulation one schemes out of the positioning in the crooked system. So since sincerity and hard work are no yard sticks for progress financial and economic criminals should know that out of 100 days, the 99 days is for the thief and just 1 day for the owner. All the 99 days will have become regrets and humiliations. So cry my beloved country.