Square Pegs and Round Holes


March 2015


The first thing the next government must do is to remove ALL government subsidies on petroleum products!
The current glut presents us with the best opportunity to do this. Let’s face it. The country is broke. Our foreign reserves are finished and we should rather be plugging more important holes.

Another step should also be to invite a consortium of experienced refinery operators from abroad to partner with a few Nigerian businessmen like Oando,Elumelu, Dangote, etc., and then dash them all the remaining waste pipes of refineries that we have.

The refineries are only operating at 16% capacity on the average, and they have an enormous and unsustainable staff burden. They should be given out for Zero Naira, under a production sharing formula that sees the government retaining 40% ownership as SILENT partners. No say on how the business is run. No operations representatives. Just stockholders! The only condition will be a hefty performance bond to be refunded once the production targets are met.To be continued.

PS: I do not care what the PIB says on this matter!


"Special Interests" and The rest of Us

Got this “soon to be neighbour”. He’s as special interests as can be. Don’t ask why. Same industry, but different sides. Grew up in same Waffi. Kids go to same school, etc. I make it a point not to discuss politics with special interests…it’s their stomachs against reason. That battle is lost before you even start. He gloats no end on how the power of incumbency never fails in Nigeria, etc. I mostly just smile and go “eh hen?”
The other day, I’m out doing my thing next door when he drives out of his gate, rolls down the window, of one of his extra premium autos, to say hello. Sweating profusely too. Whatsup bro? Why looking so harassed? Bloody NEPA, he says. Inverter packed up and generator has issues too. Double whammy. Service folks on their way. Oh, OK. House too hot, so he’s off to a nearby watering hole. Do I wanna come? No thanks, bro. Busy with all that.
So I think to myself, so this dude feels the same effects of poor leadership and mismanagement like the rest of us? You see, my community has barely had light for 2 hours a day for weeks now. My household has spent countless thousands on diesel…even with inverter. Speaking about this is termed moaning and unpatriotic by some. Some others will quickly rationalize it by saying, it did not start today. For some, it’s the opposition trying to sabotage the incumbent, etc. The fact is that this administration met 3700 MW and almost 10 new thermal plants at various stages of completion with a definitive power reform roadmap handed over too. We barely have 3500 MW today. That’s for another day.

After that brief exchange with Mr. Special Interests, I feel so much better. With all that he’s got and the satisfaction he gets from “being in power”, even by proxy, we are all the same. It rains on all our roofs, the sun heats up our homes and NEPA can be “bloody” to him too. I suspect that there are several other ways that a bad government affects us all, regardless of affiliation.

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