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Monday, October 3, 2011


All the aforementioned are interwoven, because oil as the number one nation resources is a means to an end. To actualize minimum wage payments of #18000, the proceeds will have to come from the sales of crude oil. Most public enterprise that was privatized in the last dispensation, the means for setting them up comes from crude oil. As an economist I belong to the group that is not in support of total privatization of the Nations strategic industries. Instead of outright Privatization, why not Commercialization? In most of the developed countries despite the fact that  their economy is deep rooted in privatization, a sizeable portion of their Strategic Industries were still been controlled by both the Government and the Private led organization.This is commercialization.
The idea behind deregulation is to make petroleum products cheaper. However this is not likely to happen, going by what is currently been experienced in the nation’s oil sector. Presently the four refineries hardly perform to full capacity. So it will be very difficult for Nations refinery to compete favorably with the independent marketers, thereby bringing down the price level. Bearing in mind that this product is an international product, suffice it to say that people will only sell based on the prevailing market price, since it is the forces of demand and supply that determines the price. Deregulation can only work in an atmosphere whereby the nation’s refineries are working at optimal level. In fact the proposed deregulation of the oil sector has failed already before its commencement. The premise is to make the product cheaper by deregulating. Then why proposing an increment in oil price again? Why not allow the market forces to determine the price level. The government must find a way to stop the sharp practices that has made it difficult to feel the impact of oil subsidy from the past by ending the nefarious activities of some people who are siphoning the nation’s resources through this means.
The above argument makes me want to support the belief been held by some people that the impact of oil subsidy has never been felt by anyone in this country. Oil subsidy as economy policy in Nigeria only exists on paper. For those clamoring for its removal, they know the reason why they are saying so. Why don’t they tell us in clear term those who they have discovered are responsible for the diversion of this fund year in year out. What about the money being expend yearly for Turn around Maintenance on the Nation’s Refineries with nothing to show for it. Removing the subsidy will lead to nothing except hyper inflation cum stagnation, and this will have multiplier effect on the polity. The president should apply wisdom here.
 Listening to the arguments of both the Lower and Upper chamber on the activities of Bureau of Public Enterprises, the body set up to oversee the privatization exercises gladden my heart. It has become crystal clear that what actually happened was outright stealing of the country’s resources by some of group of people. I do belief that what we heard them discussed is not just mere rhetoric, but words that is going to be matched with action.
In fact it gives me a great concern listening to the arguments put forward by some states for why they might not be able to pay the minimum wage. I would like to sound a note of warning here especially to all the Governors of the states that are not been controlled by the ruling party. Just recently the party gave instructions to all the states under its jurisdiction to start paying the minimum wage. I think the party is trying to score a political point here, so other parties beware. You just have to brave up and work harder to increase your Internally Generated Revenue and cut down on frivolous expenses. Please you should copy the attitude of Governor of Imo State, Chief Rochas Okorocha.
Talking about wastefulness. At this juncture I would like to bring my experience in the Maritime sector to fore. Most people are not aware that Crude Oil has about eight derivatives, and all of them are hot cake in the international market. These products include PMS (Petroleum Motor Spirit) generally referred to as petrol, AGO(Automotive Gas Oil),LPFO(Low Pour Fuel Oil},HPFO(High Pour Fuel Oil) generally referred to as Black oil, DPK generally referred to as Kerosene, Aviation Fuel, Naphtali and lastly Bitumen. All these products are in high demand in the international markets especially whenever any of the producing countries especially OPEC member country is under political or economic turmoil, their respective prices are bound to rise.
So tell me how come the nation found it difficult to meet all her exigencies? The bitter truth is we are a wasteful country. Our leaders should change their ways. Remember I said I would have done a write up on these issues; the truth is I was looking for a direction and wisdom on how to present the issue to all. Thank God I finally see the solution to the Nations problem, and the answer lies in the hand of both the Upper and the Lower chambers. The solution does not lie with the President, though he is an Executive President, the truth is the entire Nations problem from time immemorial can be solved. All the wrongs can be right by both the House of Representatives Members and the Senators if they so which.
How will they attain this lofty height? By being a shining example to all. Leadership is about service. So if you claim you are serving us and you are there as people representative, then you should do what is right. If you as a legislature decided to do what is right other arms of the Government are bound to follow suit. The truth is that we as a nation are very wasteful, the Government expends so much on frivolities, and the question is why. Though immediately you came into office the speaker Honorable Tambuwall announced that you have decided to cut down your salaries from 100% to 60%.The senate President also confirmed it. This is still not enough, if you truly are sincere and you have the interest of masses at heart then its time to retrace your steps and addressed these issues of corruption that has eaten deep into our fabrics, which has also led us to where we are presently. The problem is now systemic in nature. Remember you got there through our mandate, the usual practice of winner takes it all and the sharing of the nation resources with the thinking of having a share of the national cake is very wrong, and should put a stop to it. What the former Speaker of house of representative in person of Honorable Dimeji Bankole did was not a surprise to most Nigerians, because we have been expecting it. It is the usual practice and the dictum is (chop I chop) live and let live. Honestly all these have to stop if truly you want this Nation to move forward and have direction. Nigeria state is now a country of everyone for himself and God for us all. However I have to commend the two houses based on the qualities of their argument on the floor of the house recently. To be sincere I was very happy with the house on their discussion over agriculture, both the mover and all those that contribute to the discussion did a yeoman job. Mentioned should also be made about their discussion on the activities of the Bureau of Public Enterprise. This only show that hope is not lost, probably Nigerians can still count on you. In order for us to have faith in you, you must slash your wages and all other fringe benefits to 20% from the current 60%.Formerly the total package in a month for a senator was #24million and house of representative #20m, by my own calculation a senator presently earns#14.4m while house of representative member earns #12m.This amount is till too much. If its 20%, a Senator will earn #4.8m while an Honorable will earn #4m .This is enough for a month. Unless you wanted to stick to the axiom “we must have a share of the cake”. Please shed your weight for the sake of this country. If truly you are committed, faithful, loyal and honest to this nation with all your hearth and strength, then you must be ready to defend her unity before it disintegrate. Remember the prediction of United States of America, 2015 is just around the corner, or you think it can never happen. Think. The former President once claim that the lawmakers are the real problem of this country, I belief he has a reason for saying so, but as for me I belief you are the solution.
In conclusion whatever becomes of the Nigeria states in the next ten years, either good or bad, Nigerians know who to be blame or praised. Thank you.
Quadri Kazeem
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