The White Lion, 80billion, Other Stories

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Nigeria Economy
Nigeria Economy

Source: Prince Charles Dickson PhD

Na as goat stand for market dem dey price am.

For Naija, make we yarn about correction,

Wey dey needed for dis our nation.

E go better make we face di truth,

And tackle corruption wit strong resolution.

From top to down, e don dey enta bone,

Government people dey flex, dey chop alone.

Money wey for develop, e dey disappear,

Na so e dey happen year after year.

Election time, na so we dey see,

Politicians dey share money, dey do jamboree.

But wen e reach to serve di people right,

Dem dey vanish, dem no dey in sight.

From police station to di highest court,

Corruption dey reign, e dey carry clout.

If you no get money, you no go fit win,

Na so many innocent people dey enter bin.

E don do, we need to make correction,

Fight corruption, make we no dey fear action.

Make we join hand, make we stand as one,

Make we tame the lions, the snakes and monkeys

If not the wildlife go dry…

For Naija to better, e go take correction.

Corruption in Kogi State, Nigeria, has been a longstanding issue that has hindered the state’s development and progress. Like many other states in Nigeria, Kogi has grappled with corruption at various levels of government and society, impacting sectors such as infrastructure, education, healthcare, and public services.

One of the significant challenges is the mismanagement of public funds, where government officials, both elected and appointed, have been accused of embezzling public resources meant for development projects. This mismanagement has led to the deterioration of infrastructure and basic amenities, further exacerbating the living conditions of the residents.

Political corruption is also prevalent, with reports of vote-buying, electoral fraud, and manipulation during elections. This undermines the democratic process and erodes public trust in the government.

Furthermore, there have been allegations of nepotism and favoritism in government appointments and contracts, where individuals with connections to those in power are awarded lucrative deals at the expense of merit and transparency.

The lack of accountability and transparency mechanisms exacerbates the problem, as there is often little oversight or consequences for corrupt practices. Civil society organizations and anti-corruption agencies have highlighted the need for stronger institutions and enforcement of existing laws to combat corruption effectively.

So, away from the English above, Kogi state is the land of the white lion, turned lame goat…if you know, you know. It is the land of Dino Melaye, the land of Lugard. The only state in Nigeria to border ten other states. For those that do not know, economically, Kogi State is largely based around agriculture, mainly of coffee, cashew, groundnut, cocoa, oil palm, and yam crops. Other key industries are crude oil extraction and the livestock herding of cattle, goats, and sheep.

It is the land of Ajaokuta, that industry that keeps chopping money, any honest audit would show that the project has long since become an elephant project.

In case you forgot, the state which is nicknamed the “Confluence State” due to the fact that the confluence of the River Niger and the River Benue occurs next to its capital, Lokoja. It is also the state of the Igalas, very dominant in Kogi East with nine local governments, the Ebiras who are in Kogi Central with five local governments and the Okun in Kogi West with seven local governments. These three ethnic majority do juju, are beautiful and schooled (make your choice).

It is the land of great lawyers, diplomats, media practitioners, and disrespectful fuel attendants. It once had a bleaching governor and a disappearing governor, it is the land of a tree-climbing senator and a mouthed motor-loving politician.

This is what makes the white lion stories very hurtful, did you know that Kogi state has 21 local government areas? No World Class Hospital, the Kogi Reference Hospital is supposed to be one, but the story is for another day. The state does not have a FIFA standard football pitch, that 80billion could build 40 football pitches at 2 billion each, or that 80billion could build 21 primary health care centres?

The roads in the state are in a terrible state, there are no world-class schools with state-of-the-art teaching facilities, and imagine what 80 billion could do?

Have you ever seen the smallest overhead bridge in Kogi and the amount it gulped, did you see the allocation that Kogi got in eight years, yet workers were paid a minimal percent of their salaries and in some cases where debited immediately after being credited…Let me help us understand, According to FAAC Kogi state from 2016 — 2023 got ₦750.60 billion, from the NBS the state generated internally ₦107.51 billion, its domestic debt for 2023 stood at ₦121.81 billion and external debt for 2023 was $51.17 million according to the DMO. According to EFCC a white lion misappropriated and made away with over 80billion in the words of my friend and colleague in the struggle, Steve Aluko, aka Maradona a son of ze shoil, the house of assembly should impeach the current white hen for aiding and abetting the white lion?

If you thought this was about Kogi state, follow let us conclude then. Efforts to address corruption in Kogi State require a multi-faceted approach, including:

Strengthening anti-corruption institutions and ensuring their independence and effectiveness in investigating and prosecuting cases of corruption.
Implementing transparent procurement processes and financial management systems to prevent misappropriation of public funds.

Promoting civic engagement and public participation in governance to hold elected officials accountable.

Enhancing awareness and education on the detrimental effects of corruption and the importance of integrity in public service.

Encouraging a culture of ethical leadership and accountability among government officials and civil
servants.

You see the solutions I proffered above is not just about Kogi state but a majority of Nigerian states, there are white lions, green serpents, blue monkeys, red onions and all sorts masquerading as governors and fleecing their states.

While combating corruption in Nigeria is undoubtedly challenging, sustained efforts and collective action from government, civil society, and citizens are essential to drive meaningful change and promote good governance and development in Nigeria, but we must tame the lions or else the wildlife will suffer—May Nigeria win.

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