Nigerians Must Boycott MTN

Source: David O. Kuranga, Ph.D.
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Dr David Kuranga.

The author is the Managing Director and Principal of Kuranga and Associates, a full-service investment, political and economic risk consultancy, and asset management firm that specializes in Africa. He is also the author of The Power of Interdependence with Palgrave Macmillan Press.

Recently the Nigerian Senate began a probe showing that MTN Nigeria repatriated some $14 Billion US Dollars out of Nigeria over a period of 10 years. This staggering amount taken out of Nigeria’s foreign reserves for 1 company is in part responsible for the collapse of the Nigerian national currency and massive inflation that has occurred since. It is the collapse of the Nigerian currency that has caused Nigeria to slip into a recession for some time. Accordingly, addressing matters of foreign exchange hemorrhaging out of Nigeria is the most paramount issue facing Nigeria today. One would think that a competent legislative body would forcefully deal with the matter. Instead, a report released by a committee of the senate did nothing. Further, the rest of the body, while they rejected the report, have done nothing to address this matter. Instead they are seemingly more preoccupied with their ongoing feud with the presidency, that appears to be functioning, than they are with addressing this paramount matter involving MTN.

As I always say, in public policy, you have to speak with one voice. Needless to say, this worthless, time-consuming “probe” and report, is not worth the paper that its written on. Neither are the people responsible for it, or the entire legislative body that is wasting time revising it, acting as a professional government body worthy of being taken seriously. As even this worthless report shows, it is known fact that MTN Nigeria willfully removed $14 billion US Dollars out of Nigeria over a period of ten years. Nobody is disputing this. The real question now is, what is Nigeria collectively going to do about this? What is this Senate going to do about it? What about the House of Reps? The rest of the Federal government? All the state governments? All the local governments? Shockingly so far, the answer is nothing.

As any good parent knows, when a child misbehaves, and you watch them, and do nothing, you are in fact endorsing and encouraging their misbehavior. Further, when other well-behaved children witness this, you in fact encourage them to commence misbehaving also. So when a child misbehaves, their must be consequences, and they must be disciplined. In the same manner, for willfully moving $14 billion US Dollars outside of Nigeria, (regardless of the corrupt CBN governors that no doubt aided and abetted them) on principle MTN themselves must face swift consequences, and they must be disciplined severely. Otherwise, others will follow their lead. Contrary to the nauseating approach of the Nigerian Senate, it is not really that complicated to figure out what Nigeria’s “leaders” should be doing in response to MTNs misbehavior.

Since clearly none of them have the sense and/or patriotic mindset required to be “leaders” of a Great Nigeria, as a patriotic citizen, I must do my duty and spell it out for them:

*******No self-respecting Nigerian government official, their subordinates, or even immediate family, at the national, state, and local level should be an active user, or be in procession of a mobile phone, or mobile data service, provided by or linked with the MTN network. Accordingly, as a matter of principle, every singly Nigerian government official, from the national-level to the local-level, without exception, should by boycotting MTN, its network, and all its ancillary services.*******

The mere fact that this has not happened to date and there have been literally no calls whatsoever for it within any level of government, speaks volumes about the sheer stupidity, obscene levels of incompetence, and total absence of patriotism that exist today among government officials and political “leaders” at all levels in Nigeria. Even with the xenophobic killings Nigerians in South Africa, expelling of Nigerian nationals from South Africa, Nigerians are more preoccupied with lashing-out at each other than addressing a serious offense committed by this company. Do you think a Nigerian company could go to South Africa or any country, withdraw $14 billion US Dollars while they are in a currency crisis and recession, while Nigerians kill their nationals at home, and expel them, and the leaders of those countries would treat it with same level of indifference we see among Nigeria’s “leaders”?

The problem with Nigeria is not its structuring and the solution is not its disintegration. Equally to blame are all Nigerian elite from every region! Who had condemned MTN for what they have done to undermine Nigeria’s economy and the well being of ALL OF US? The Biafra leaders? They have all been silent and said nothing, because they too at just as worthless and incompetent. The Northern leaders or Youths? They too have been silent and said nothing, because they too are just as worthless and incompetent. The Yoruba Oodua leaders? They too have said nothing because, they too are just as worthless and incompetent. The fact is, all our elite have sat silent (both government and otherwise) because they do not care, yet they have distracted the masses with regionalism to mask that plain and ugly truth. No amount of restructuring or disintegration will change this. The Nigerian masses need to realize that nobody among the regional elite is worthy of trust. They do not feel your suffering and they will never fight for you. If they cared about the plight of Nigeria’s people, there is no way any of them could sit silent and watch South Africa’s MTN exploit Nigerians with impunity. If Biafran leaders cared 1 iota about Biafran Nigerians, they would be vigorously fighting MTN on their behalf. If the Northern Youths and leaders cared 1 iota about plight of Northern Nigerians, they too would be vigorously fighting MTN on their behalf. If the Yoruba Oodua leaders cared 1 iota about Yoruba Nigerians, they would be in total war with MTN on their behalf. Yet, they are not. Their total apathy is one thing they all have in common! Let their collective inaction serve as a reminder to all Nigerians, who these people truly are, and who they truly represent.

It is time for a Nationwide boycott of MTN, and I call on all true Nigerian patriots who actually care about common Nigerian people no matter where they are from, to join me.

Kuranga and Associates Limited is an investment management advisory firm and an asset manager with a principle practice area of Africa. To learn more about Kuranga and Associates go to . © Copyright 2017 David Kuranga. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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