By The Time Fashola Is Done, You’ll Have Nothing Left But To Eat The Rich By Peregrino Brimah
Nigeria’s minister of works and power, Rotimi Fashola entered office running. He kicked off his new job by announcing to the distraught nation his plans to re-introduce highway tolls to tax the people. The toll gates like the ones he setup in Lagos are not run by the government, but by private companies of friends of his who make a delicious percentage from each vehicle, for life.
Next, the former Lagos state governor remembered for his demolitions of habitats of the poor and unconstitutional deportations of over 3000 Nigerians to highways at the entrance to various States, north, south, east and west, decided to hike electricity tariffs by a whopping 40% for the masses who cannot eat, have no security and have never yet reaped the dividend of citizenship, democracy or a new administration.
The hike in tariffs for next-to nonexistent electricity was protested against by Labour and described by the senate, for once on the side of humanity, as “ultra-wicked!” I believe they suspended it in the interest of God and delaying the revolution. Since the new administration resumed power, prices of food has risen and life has become so unbearable, but the first thing Fashola could think of was making his friends in the power sector happy with more ponzi money from every household in their pockets.
It is recollected that in 2012, elitist Fashola openly opposed government subsidies on electricity tariffs, arguing that the same way Nigeria’s telecom industry rips off the masses, making a killing for one of the shoddiest and most expensive services in the world is the same way the Federal government should allow the power sector fully deregulate and the cabal fix prices. How about honest decentralizing power and allowing whoever, including SMEs, decided to generate and sell power the freedom to do so? Don’t hold your breath. Fashola will keep the “decentralization” limited to crony cabal big business coys.
Fashola who is remembered for building boreholes as Lagos governor at $450,000 a piece for what should not cost more that $200 each, once again among other schemes to enrich himself through his half-a-million dollar bore-hole drilling cronies like Dr. Tunji Olowolafe, placed prices that could make you faint in his ministry’s budget. Boreholes were listed this time at $700,000! The rest of the budget was filled with other similar opportunities for his pocket.
While the dust from all his self enriching schemes was yet to settle, the Minister of Power announced that he wished to increase mobilization money for road contractors to get the roads done.
The question one has to ask Lord Rotimi Fashola is: is there anything he does where he puts masses first? Is there any project he does where he thinks of the people and not the cabal? Nigeria’s money goes: half for Fashola and half for Nigeria, and then money from your pocket continues to go to him in tolls and tariffs for life.
Fashola will provide infrastructure for Nigeria but at what cost? The works he did in Lagos made the State eternally enslaved to Fashola, his godfathers and their friends and placed the State calamitously in debt.
By the time Fashola is done providing infrastructure for you and me, for those of us he has not found a way to force our deportation or self-exile out of Nigeria, we will be so poor and enslaved to the cabal that as Jean-Jacques Rousseau said in describing the underpinnings of the French revolution, “having nothing left to eat, we will eat the rich.” Mark my word. Perhaps in a way, Fashola is a blessing as Nigeria can do with a revolution.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah @EveryNigerian