By Adetunji Ayobrown
Truly, giving people ‘anything’ as hope just to make them believe a lie is going the extreme. And i am wont to say that that is what the government did to make Nigerians vote for them. Why this school of thoughts held on to this can be better explained using the scenario between Nigeria Labour Congress and FG on the new national minimum wage. I can tell you that it is self-explanatory. When I wrote about the consequential adjustment; the monster, the mischievous nymph behind Nigerian labours’ suffering, one of the readers called and prayed for me. He said truly it is ‘dishonesty in honesty’ and nothing more, as he summed it up himself.
Preconception is dangerous; if you doubt this statement of fact, ask the Nigeria labour force who thinks Buhari was sincere when he promised the new minimum wage. As if that is all, the 2020 proposed budget came as a greater surprise. The resultant effects are what is facing the Nigeria polity. As we have it today, strike or industrial action as labour puts it, seems to be is the only way it can make impact on government. Why would the Federal Government sign what it never believed in only just to win the presidential election and using all available tricks to lure its victims Nigeria Labour into voting its candidate? Really, I pity the Nigeria labour.
Why try something when it was obvious that 98 percent of its outcome is grand failure. No matter its colouration, we can’t run away from the fact that the proposed budget presented by the executive is not sustainable from all indices. Many wondered how we could be thinking about job creation when there is no investment in what would create jobs, it is rather unfortunate.
If you ask me, cover stories are full time gigs in the newsroom but many are not sure if same is applicable in other places. Why the budget office is not seemingly serious about the 2020 financial plans as stipulated is rather disturbing.
The debt service component of the 2020 budget is higher than capital expenditure at N2.14trillion for capital expenditure and N2.4trillion for debt servicing seems absurd; ask countries with better budget indicators.
Is it not rather too much to drink Garri with a whole cow head, while labour cannot afford ordinary groundnut, many are of the belief that the Buhari government seems not stupid after all. The economic projected growth as read by the President is just 1.9% less than the population growth of 2.6%, so if you look at it globally, we are still struggling that is why the National Assembly needs to work extra hard to take over and redirect the economic policy of this government having seen that the executive have not done anything meaningful and that they have failed woefully with the presented 2020 financial plans.
While ambition far exceeds talent, you can imagine the indicator from government that N30,000 per month is too much for the Nigerian worker, but honorarium and sitting allowances of our two chief servants will cost tax payers N184.438million in a single year. Though, behavioural scientists call it residual behaviour, but I call it nothing but self-centredness.
How far really is heaven? Something you have to live inside for you to understand, imagine, on foreign, local trips only, President Buhari and his vice, Yemi Osinbajo will spend N3.3bn, and their food will gulp nothing less than N149million in one year alone. If you doubt this, ask labour when it sets up a team to study the FG’s 2020 budget.
N3bn for junketing around is rather not only unfortunate but saddening, especially while the country workforce, labour, is wallowing in poverty, struggling to put just a meal on the family table. I want to believe that this government is not stupid. How many cows, goats and chickens can you buy from that huge sum? Three billion of the Nigerian currency is no joke.
When you start to question what is right or wrong, your convictions already is being shaken, my father told me when I was young, even when they know it, some people will rather choose the wrong thing. There is nothing like junketing around the world just to cheer you up, I concluded.
Our mass psychology and collective assumption’ was put to test during the last presidential election. But now, it is glaring that the FG is truly despicable, and that it is known to many Nigerians except the victim, the Nigerian labour, that the FG was never sincere with the union from the very beginning.
Truly, when a single piece attacked many of opponent’s pieces and eventually forced the opponent to choose which way he may want to lose. Nothing better explains ‘fork’, ask pros about this manoeuvre in chess game.
Whatever the amount of our total wage bill, betterment of our lives should be more paramount. Nigerian workers better living condition should be more than any security printed paper called naira. It is Nigerians money; why should we suffer because of what belong to us? Many are of the view that our economy cannot collapse if the new minimum wage is eventually implemented as against the lies being peddled.
Basically, this is forcing your opponent to choose which way to go when he is already losing. It is fun because you watch them squirm. It is unbelievable that the organised labour is still struggling with the Federal Government over the N30,000 minimum wage; it is damming that such scenario would still be at play in spite of the initial announcement.
Apology sometimes does not have to be sincere but the act itself matters, though Mr President pretends to be on side of the labour while acting otherwise. No qualms, without bad you can’t appreciate the good; labour had learnt the bitter lessons I suppose.
Differentiating between madness and stupidity can better be explained by those who know… one may consider the story of a mentally challenged man who was the only available adviser to a stupid motorist who lost three out of four nuts of one of his tyres, but didn’t know what next to do. While looking morose, the madman suggested that he can take one nut from each other tyres to make up for the other one. The amazed motorist was stunned that such common sense could come from a madman who said ‘I am only mad but not stupid’, funny indeed.
Except put otherwise by NASS, N91.681million will be spent on purchase of tyres for bulletproof vehicles, plain Toyota cars, CCU vehicles, platform trucks, Land Cruiser and Prado Jeeps, Hilux, Peugeot 607, ambulances and other utility and operational vehicles, which are not made in Nigeria, isn’t this a funny government?
‘Arise Oh Compatriots’ – the very first stanza of our national anthem is now about to be in its one hundred percent mode, if at the end of this new negotiations which has Buhari himself as the lead negotiator fails…then labour is set to shut down Nigeria. I hope this government is not stupid indeed, just as tweeted by a Nigerian in reaction.
Anybody can get people together and rig elections but very few can make it last by doing the will of the electorate. You just have to understand why things have to change. Surely, N2.5bn for President Buhari and N1.5bn for his Vice for food; how much is for local rice, if it is there? When you are the determinant in the equation, you need to do a round check, but unfortunately, the over-joyous labour is not aware of the unfaithfulness on the part of the paymaster, the FG. Even with Buhari himself as the Minister of Petroleum Resources, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is yet to be specific in its daily oil production rate, abi na lie?
Budgeting is truly a board game; we can all see where we stand, but let us leave that for other interpretations. While the executives have their intrigues, so do labour.