By Michael Ogueke
On September 11, 2012, NACCIMA announced that 800 companies has closed down in the past 3 years alone leading to 2012.
All the companies in Nigeria (Michelin, Unilever & hundreds of others) folded & the foreign ones left for neighbouring African countries during the 16 locust years of the Umbrella Marauders leaving millions of Nigerians without jobs.
During this same period, all the government owned companies & corporations were either liquidated or balkanized & sold cheaply to themselves (Alscon, NEPA, Nig Airways, Nitel, Delta steel, Iwopin, NICON, Nicon Hilton, AP, & hundreds of others) leaving millions of workers without livelihoods neither was any severance benefit paid them to at least start life afresh.
It was in this same 16 locust years that many banks in Nigeria collapsed because of huge bad debts mostly by umbrella politicians, their corrupt business men & bank managers accomplices (Afribank, Hallmark Bank, Allstates trust bank, Habib Bank, Intercontinental Bank, Societe Generale bank, Oceanic bank & more than 50 other ones) leaving hundreds of thousands of workers without jobs & millions of Nigerians losing their life savings with nothing to start life again with.
In this same period, more than 20 automobile assembly plants in Nigeria including those assembling motorcycles closed down (Volkswagen, Peugeot, ANAMCO, Leyland, Steyer, Yamaha, Boulous Enterprises & 20 other ones) leaving more than 2 million direct & indirect Nigerian workers without jobs & livelihoods. This excludes of course those in Boat building companies like Water Glass Boatyard, Witt & Bush, Yamaha Boat Engine, & tens of others.
Within this period also, more than 2 trillion naira, was owed both foreign & local construction companies & contractors. Many of them left Nigeria & more than 13,000 abandoned projects littered our country with over 2.5 million construction companies workers & their families stranded without livelihoods. This does not include the hundreds of thousands laid off by the oil companies as a result of the Umbrella Pirates government’s inability to meet up with Joint venture counterpart payments & the insecurity their sponsored militants unleashed on oil infrastructures.
Don’t forget too that all these happened inspite of the oil boom that brought in more than 840 billion dollars oil revenue which was stolen by the Umbrella thieves.
It is note worthy too that in these 16 years, embargo was placed on employment. Obasanjo instead of employing sacked 10,000 police men. The only attempt they made at employment was to rob 1,000 naira each from 2 million graduates for an advertised fake space of 4,000 & killed over a hundred of them in stadiums across Nigeria in the name of Immigration Service job interview.
We could go on & on but for space & time!
WHAT HAS BUHARI DONE ABOUT THIS I6 YEARS WICKEDNESS OF THE UMBRELLA SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE?
In spite of the world wide crash in oil prices, lean revenues & an inherited recession, the first thing President Buhari did was to vote out more than 400 billion naira in tranches to clear out salaries arrears, allowances & pensions owed both federal & state workers by the Umbrella thieves some for over 2 years.
He equally shared out millions of dollars of the Paris Club refunds to states & reimbursed state governments in Nigeria money they spent on federal projects all to help them clear workers remuneration arrears owed them as well as invest in critical infrastructures & social amenities to make life comfortable for the citizens of their various states.
Next, he voted out more than 700 billion naira to clear out federal contractors debts & mobilize them back to site.
Billions of dollars was equally paid in Joint Venture cash calls to resuscitate the oil sector already left in coma by the Umbrella thieves including the 3.3 billion dollars Egina floating oil rig built by Samsung Heavy Industries. Since then 2016, the oil & gas sector under Buhari has attracted long term investments of over 60 billion dollars from Europe & China in the last 5 years excluding modular refinery projects completed & producing with many others at various stages of completion.
There has been in the last 3 years investments of over one trillion naira in the power sector including Transmission overhauls, the Siemens deal, investments in solar energy & the Mambilla power project abandoned for over 40 years with work on going at steady pace.
Highways, Bridges, Railways, Airports, Seaports are been constructed & old ones rehabilitated with some completed & others at various stages of completion. Over 30 billion dollars in investment agreements has been secured from both local & foreign companies for more ambitious projects in these areas in the next 10 years.
What these means is that more than 2.5 million workers have been employed in these projects & millions more will be employed in the days, months & years ahead.
Government owned companies & corporations hitherto closed down are been reopened & hundreds of thousands of Nigerians are been returned back to work (Ajaojuta steel, Delta Steel, Alscon, 12 fertilizer plants, 4 refineries, petrochemical plants & scores of others)
The satanic 16 years embargo on employment in federal civil/public service imposed by the Umbrella thieves was lifted by Buhari’s administration & more than one million graduates have been employed in the last 5 years in mass recruitments on almost all federal parastatals & agencies including NNPC, Immigration, Customs, Prisons, Civil Defence, Road Safety, Army, Navy, Air force & not forgetting 75,000 in the police force & 350,000 teachers employed.
The Rice & entire Agricultural value chain including those in logistics/haulage, seed/seedlings/stems, chemical production & trained extension workers has seen the sustainable gainful employment of over 12 million Nigerians!
Over 500,000 graduates earn without fail 30k monthly in NPower, another almost one million vulnerable Nigerians earn 5k in Conditional Cash Transfers every month in the biggest social intervention programme in the history of Nigeria. Tens of thousands of Youth Corpers are earning presently an increased allowance under Buhari of 33k every month & inspite of 10 times lower revenues than the Umbrella Kleptomaniacs, Buhari has increased the national minimum wage from 18k to 30k.
We should also not forget the hundreds of thousands who have become self employed from accessing the various interest free loans & credits for SMEs disbursed by the FG thru the CBN & other relevant agencies of government which in the past 5 years has exceeded 3 trillion naira!
Thousands of Nigerians have also started new businesses & employed more hands from the severance benefits & pension arrears this administration has paid out which was owed them by the Umbrella thieves in spite of the huge revenues they earned in 16 uninterrupted years.
Note too that the school feeding programme is employing directly & indirectly more than 30,000 food contractors including their employees & farmers supplying meat, eggs, fruits & other food stuffs.
We can go on & on but for time & space.
It’s time therefore to tell ourselves the truth, stop all these fabricated wicked lies & cricket wailings against a sincere 78 year old man doing so much with so little revenue just to put Nigeria back on the part of sustainable growth & progress in spite of 2 recessions in 5 years & a world wide pandemic that has crippled world economies.
Is it not time we heal this avoidable hate disease we deliberately inflicted on our own souls because of politics & the lure of cheap corrupt gains, then move on to build a prosperous Nigeria?