Economy, History, Nigeria, Oil & Gas, Politics, Poverty, Social Justice, Social Responsibility, Sociology, Sustainable Development, Uncategorized


This article had been written in 2005, but it did not get published because it was thought to be too critical and not necessary at that time when Nigeria/ the world was in a boom (Unprecedented High Oil Price), some did not realise that the bubble in sight would soon burst. I have therefore released it from my archives due to the current economic situation, the country finds itself, with the hope that the stakeholders within our polity could derive some lessons and adapt in other to help heal our Nation, Nigeria.

March 2017

‘A few years ago, the writer had on an NTA Maiduguri programme titled ‘Your Rights’, with Babakura Abba, expressed an opinion to Policy Makers on the effect of implementing anti-people policies and attempting to force the bitter pill down the throats of the people, because it could lead to frustration and increase in suffering (attendant).

In the view of the writer, on the International level, issues such as Political Development and effect/ result of various policies as carried out by other nations of the world, should serve as lessons to the Nigerian Government on how to thread, in formulating their own policies.

It was at the interview, that the writer brought to light, that countries such as Brazil and Argentina had already, tried and tested, majority of our Economic Policies (Privatization, Free Market Economy, Devaluation of your country’s currency and Deregulation etc, which could be said to be advise from Foreign Institutions) and they found to their utter dismay, that such advise leads to nothing but impoverishment, sadness, crash of the economy, drastic reduction in the standard of living, creations of oligarchs (a new class of super-rich predatory elements, as it was in Russia), to the detriment of majority (over 90%) of the citizens of the country. In summation, the policies failed woefully in these countries.

This led the countries in South America, to vote out their Governments (whom they held responsible for implementing such policies that had a negative effect on them).

The citizens removed the right-wing capitalist-oriented Governments and totally went in the opposite direction by replacing the Governments with socialist and welfare parties i.e. leftist-oriented parties. This could be said to have happened across the South American States/ Countries.

On psycho-analysis of the citizens of these nation-states, it could be said that something fundamental and devastating affected the psychology/psyche of inhabitants of these countries, that they totally rejected any form of elitist, capitalist and conservative ideology. By their estimation, the representatives of these ideologies (the elites) had failed them, so they went in search of something totally different, in protest.

This brings me to my main topic, ‘Boomerang effect’ and ‘Domino effect’.

What is a Boomerang? A Boomerang, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is a flat V-shaped hardwood missile, used especially by Australian Aboriginals, that is able to return to its thrower. A second definition is a plan that recoils back its originator (back to sender/ back fired).

A Boomerang effect, in terms of policy formation relates to the effects/ result of Government (organisations as well) policies/ action, spiralling back to affect/ haunt the government that put it in place. It could affect the Government either positively or negatively. Positively by applause, positive commentary and re-election, while negatively by harsh criticisms, protests and removal from office (as was carried out in South America).

In terms of the Domino effect, what is a Domino? Domino is a game that is played with 28 small oblong/ rectangular pieces marked with 0-6 pips in each half of the piece.

The Domino effect/ theory is one whereby, one event precipitates others, in causal sequence.

A Domino effect, on the other hand, highlights the negative, more than the positive. This is a situation whereby on the occurrence of a fundamental event of monumental proportions in one country (for instance a change in government like voting out of a ruling party and its leaders), the trend set by the first country spirals to other similar disgruntled countries. The pattern if carefully managed, might remain/ be confined to the geographical part of the world it started.

Though if Leaders of the various nations of the World, do not grab the lesson to be learnt from the misfortune of others, the Domino effect could spiral across Continents and Oceans. This could be said to be the situation today, whereby the effect of the South-American experience could be said to have crossed the Atlantic, from South America to Europe, as can be seen from the experience of Spain and France (whose people have changed their Government/ Political leanings, to leftist parties i.e. socialist and welfare oriented), this coming, barely two months, after the advice by the writer.

What are the issues that make for events like the Boomerang and Domino effects on International Politics?

They include uncaring and insensitive leaders, leaders who believe too much in their personal power and thereby discount the fact that a greater authority is in control, since it is said that the voice of the people is the voice of God, people power could be said to be the greatest power in the world we live in. Examples abound throughout history, for instance, the fall of the Roman Empire, the French Revolution, Russian Revolution, the Philippines during the Marcos era, Iran during the fall of the Shah (which brought in the Ayatollah). This could be said to be responsible for the proliferation of Democracy as the foremost system of governance in operation in the world today.

It is in recognition of this fact that Politicians play to the gallery (by doing and saying whatever the people want, in other to gain acceptability), by putting on deceitful/ false appearances and actions.

The main issue for us in Nigeria should be how to avoid the Boomerang and Domino effects. This can be done by adapting the Bolivian experience.

Bolivia is a country in South America, bordering Brazil. The country can be said to be a third-world developing nation, with a high rate of illiteracy and unemployment.

Bolivia is the world’s third largest grower of coca, a plant that has traditional and legal uses among the Indians of Bolivia, but is also used to make cocaine. Bolivia also has South America’s second largest Natural Gas Reserves.

The country operates a Presidential system of Government of a Five year term. The Country possesses an elite class that is so into domination of the nation, that in the last five presidential elections since 1985, congress (the equivalent of the National Assembly) has passed over, the first place winners of National Election, twice (i.e. Abiola style).

The last election of the country, which took place towards the end of 2005, brought a new dimension to the country’s political history. The 2005 election, whose winner starts a five year term on January 22nd, 2006, as Bolivia’s fourth President since August 2002, has former President Jorge ‘Tuto’ Quiroga ( who is backed by Bolivia’s business elite) going up against Evo Morales, a socialist candidate (who is a coca farmer, in the cocha bamba area of Bolivia).

The result of the election was that Evo Morales won and as an Aymara Indian, Morales is seen as a symbol of hope, for many of Bolivia’s long down-trodden Indians, a majority in the country of 8.5 million people.

On psycho-analysis, this could be said to be a total rejection of the elite social strata/ class (those who are supposed to be standard bearers/ show good example and standard), due to their arrogance and domination while in charge of the administration of the country. The People could be said to have totally flipped (American lexicon), because shouts of “Evo, Evo” have taken over Cochabamba, where Morales built his party ‘Movement towards Socialism’ known as MAS, in Spanish, for short.

Such a change affects the fabrique of the society, to the extent, that even the losers realise it, such that the opponent Quiroga congratulated Don (Mr.) Evo Morales, for his electoral victory/ result.

Quiroga said “I congratulate the candidates of MAS. They undertook a good electoral campaign and now is the moment to set aside our differences and look to the future with peace, tranquillity and harmony, among all Bolivians”.

In other to avoid such a situation in our country, Our Leaders should learn from second-hand experiences of other countries like ours (which predominantly inhabit the continents of South American, Asia and Africa) and assist us (the people of Nigeria), in alleviating our problems (social, political and economic), by implementing policies that are beneficial to the country and its citizens.

It has always being the belief of the writer that a combination of capitalist and socialist policies, in one mixture (socio-capitalist system), will get us to our Eldorado. A strict application of any single ideology will always fail. We should learn from the actions of other countries.

For instance, even at the height of the cold war, when the super powers of the West and East were supposedly fighting for supremacy/ applying their ideologies strictly, the western powers of the U.S.A and the United Kingdom still gave social security (money, dole in the U.K and in kind, in form of free and subsidized amenities) to its citizens, every week. Yet leaders of developing countries in Asia, Africa and South America, do not feel that their citizens are deserving of such social security treatment (This is a typical situation of the poor countries, getting poorer, by not getting help, at all), where is the fairness??

Governments should always grade/ assess their actions, by the domino and boomerang effects of the actions.

The Bolivian experience is a good one to learn from even if all it teaches is magnanimity, fairness, sports manly camaraderie, spirit of give and take, acceptance of the voice of God (especially, if the voice of the people, is the voice of God), the spirit of amelioration, amenability and the spirit of making amends.

In conclusion, it can be said that “A word is enough for the wise”, may wisdom be our portion in Nigeria. Amen.

27th Dec., 2005

P.S: In light of the current situation in the world today, where terms such as ‘global meltdown’, ‘Recession’, ‘Bailouts’ and ‘Collapse of Financial Economies/ Banks and Stock Exchanges’ have taken over our Modern 2009 lexicon, where we are inundated with these terms everyday in the media, it makes the writer think that if World leaders in the last 8 years had applied policies along the mixed economy style of a socio- capitalist approach that would have made them better able to manage any downturn in their economies and if developing nations had not just followed totally and completely the economic policies of other nations, like Privatization, Free Market Economy, Devaluation of your country’s currency and Deregulation etc, without looking inwards at their particular peculiarities of their indigenous economy. If developing nations had better regulated economies (which is now the norm in various countries), especially with Western Countries at present Nationalising their economies by buying into large corporations with the aim of better monitoring and regulating of the economy. These are measures for a troubled economy.

Question: When has the Developing Countries Economies not been in trouble? Answer: They have always been in trouble. Therefore Nationalisation or Commercialisation (Not Privatisation) should always be part of their economic strategy, until they become a developed economy and better able to hands off.

The Motto for a developing economy like ours should be ‘Protect your economy’, and protect means to regulate with an eagle eye.

Developing Economies, like Nigeria, should hold on tight to the words of their best and tested Economists like Prof Sam Aluko, and jettison the likes of our follow/ follow Economists, who just follow hook, line and sinker the dictates of some Organisations, who don’t bid us well.

A word is enough for the wise.

Feb 2009′

Business, CSR, Economy, Human Rights, Law, Nigeria, Poverty, Social Justice, Social Responsibility, Sustainable Development, Uncategorized

Privatisation vs. Commercialisation – The Sustainability Issue.

Developing country rules are different from established developed country rules, this is due to various factors which include, but not limited to poverty, lack of institutionalised processes, corruption, nepotism, weak institutions etc.

The question has always arisen about what is the best form of economic model to adopt in running Government enterprises, ‘Privatisation’ or ‘Commercialisation’ (especially in light of government failures in running enterprises in developing countries). The phrase “government enterprises’’ explains itself, it means a government-sponsored business activity, such as a public utility. It is an enterprise set up by the government for the provision of goods and services, for the benefit of the people. The writer has always advocated for any other model except privatisation, for developing countries.

Privatisation as a model elicits selling government enterprises to private business concerns, usually owned by very rich individuals, who are mostly motivated by profit, at the expense of the people in the country. The arguments for privatisation include that the companies would be better run, provide jobs to the benefit of the society. Inspite of the stated reasons, from hindsight, these are not enough reasons for the case, in under-developed countries. In a country with weak institutions, how do you control unbridled capitalist tendencies i.e excessive increase in prices of goods and services. America cannot be compared with Nigeria, esp when comparing GDP and minimum wage issues.

It is the opinion of the writer that the model of commercialisation as adopted in the U.K, is better for developing countries to adopt.

What is Commercialisation, in this context? Commercialization is a system of leasing out govt enterprises for a few years to the best and most capable hands. This is a better model, in the sense that government enterprises still belong to the state and those holding the leases would not take permanent control which would give them a sense of superiority, which could lead to them riding roughshod over the populace. Commercialisation is more advantageous because it can help governments protect the people by getting a better deal for the people at the expiration of a lease, before the renewal of another. Developing countries rarely learn from second hand experience i.e experience of other countries. Russia and Britain have experienced both models and have totally rejected privatisation. One of the advantages of commercialisation of government enterprises is education and technology acquisition, upgrading standards, learning new work ethics and management cultures and skills acquisition. These are important because the major problems with government enterprises, in developing countries, is motivation and job satisfaction which is lacking in most cases. Inculcating a new mind-set is fundamental to a developing country’s progress. Inevitably, this would lead to a more sustainable economic environment where both the country and people can benefit. Instead of a privatised system that creates oligarchs (a new level of super-rich) which goes against the new ethos in the world which is bridging the gap between the rich and the poor by creating a more solid middle class. It has always been the view of the writer that those who profess privatisation as a system, lack adequate understanding of sociology, motivational psychology, political philosophy and positive socio-economic theories that hinge on socio-capitalist initiatives such as social welfare, CSR and community development in a protected and better monitored environment.

It should be noted that governments that privatise their enterprises give control of their economies over to private individuals and when this happens, chaos would be the end result, because this erodes democratic ideals, where the people lose the right to run/ decide their economic destiny, because those elected lack the power to implement the people’s wishes. So the real power would reside in the owners of factors of production/ the commonwealth. If the government controlled its own enterprises and partook in the same economic environment as privately run companies, this would create competition which could spur a rejuvenation of government enterprises and the government could control prices of its goods and services which would also have an effect on prices in society, which could defeat any cartel arrangement in fixing prices to the benefit of the cartel.

In short the espoused phrase of ‘Government having no business in business’ is totally flawed and wrong for developing countries. It can even be said to be wrong also for developed nations in light of the recession of the 2007-8, where due to the collapse of major enterprises, the governments of USA and UK not only gave out bailout funds, but even bought stakes in some banks in the UK, as well. This is the result of unbridled capitalism.

It should also be noted that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is different from Indigenous Privatization of Government enterprises and the excuse of the issue of frustration of FDI initiatives, such as the Richard Branson’s debacle in Virgin Nigeria (Note: Not Virgin Atlantic business in Nigeria) should not be used as a yardstick for privatization in Nigeria. When individuals own all the companies in a developing country, no one can hold them back from maximising profit, over public interest. To whose detriment is this? Answer: the people, citizens and consumers.

Can this bring about sustainable progress/ development for the majority or only for a few?

Business, CSR, Dangote, Human Rights, Law, Nigeria, OXFAM, Poverty, Public Relations, Social Justice, Social Responsibility, Sustainable Development, Uncategorized, Warren Buffet

Injustice and Inequity: the Bane of Under-Developed Nations. (Nigeria as a case study)

‘For the same reason that a Dangote is great, is the same reason why underdevelopment persists in third world countries.’

Why in the midst of so much riches, is a society so poor? There are a few reasons – inadequate distribution of resources, corruption, insincerity and the prevalence of an individualistic nature.

Inequality has become a global phenomenon, in today’s world, but it is a lot worse in developing nations, where there exists various forms of cultural, political, social, legal and economic imbalance and injustice.

The writer has on numerous occasion attempted to enlighten at various fora, the unnecessary nature of having too much in an under-developed nation. Why should one man have over 10 billion dollars, in a country, where some cannot even afford to feed on 1 dollar a day. It is the belief of the writer that no man should aspire to over 1 billion dollars, if their society is bereft with poverty and under-development. The logic behind this is that the more a man takes out of an under-developed environment/ market, the less for the people of the country.

This would somewhat explain the philanthropic nature of billionaires in more developed climes e.g Warren Buffet. These set of men understand the essence of money and money-making. In better climes, there is something extra to having money. Developed and more enlightened societies develop strategies and systems that instil a sense of responsibility on the rich e.g through charitable organisations like OXFAM or by the rich setting up their own foundations e.g Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This sends a message, which is you are only a temporary custodian of the monies in your possession and bestows some responsibility on the holder of such monies to be more communal and charitable in his or her actions.

In contrast, what is found in underdeveloped nations, is a set of people (Elite and the Rich), who believe that society owes them indefinitely. They possess a megalomaniac disposition, imbued with an over-bloated ego of self-importance, almost feudalistic in nature, to the detriment of the society around them. A set of people, who are on a one-way track of constantly stripping the society and the environment of its resources, without giving anything back. If this is not wicked, I do not know what the word means.

In a business or capitalist environment, there is nothing wrong in healthy competition amongst entrepreneurs, but when that need for capitalist competition begins to hurt society, then it is wrong and we should know when to draw the line. It is this sort of unbridled money-making, without any care for the society from which the money is derived, that leads to the collapse of societies and civilisation i.e. Syria, Iraq, and Libya.

It is the opinion of the writer beyond all reasonable doubt, that the cause of high corruption in the land, is based on this circumstance of injustice and inequity. The blame lies not only on Government officials, but also on the people of the nation, who have been so impoverished over the years, that they now suffer from a poverty mentality, even in the midst of riches, making the people desperate and less humane.

How do you explain the situation where banks ask their workers to meet crazy monetary generation targets (in the Billions) or they would lose their jobs? The multiplier effect on the psyche of Nigerians in this era of little or no job security, is best left unimagined. Most people will become criminals and will be encouraged to steal to meet up. Even Juju/ Obeah (Traditional Spiritual assistance) is not out of the question in this effort, of unbridled primitive acquisition of material resources.

One solution to this situation is the implementation of a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Law in Nigeria, as in India. This would make it compulsory for every company that makes over a particular amount, to spend a part of its revenue on CSR. The implementation of such a law would act as a driver towards sustainable development in the society.

Why is this not prevalent in most under-developed nations?

In the words of Bob Dylan, the answer my friend is blowing in the wind.

A word is enough for the wise.

Videos on Inequality in today’s world: