We need jobs for our youths first, before esusu or micro-finance before banks before stocks. We must pay one way or the other. What we call kidnappers, militants, stone throwers, dare devil armed robbers, rampant corruption, cults and prostitution in the universities are cries into “jobs wanted” in underground businesses inflamed by politicians. They will explode in our faces and destroy us. We cannot “patch patch join join” by bribing one group of militants without fulfilling others' needs. They will all rise up in revolt if we don't transform our primary industries like agriculture to provide jobs for our youths.

The silent majority is losing its moral bearing to mold future leaders that may turn out worse than those they emulate. Our children and future leaders follow the successful road map of the present politicians which paints a creepy picture. Instead of channeling our resources towards those who work hard and play by the rules, we are rewarding thugs and vagabonds that play to the weaknesses of our politicians to make money. As if that is not scary enough, the multiple dosages of deregulation, to raise our hope like magic, will drive people into more desperation.

Deregulation fever from the western economies that have already subsidized food, housing, water, health, roads and railway is gripping Africa like wild fire. The proponent of deregulations in US during Clinton and Bush administrations are the Regulators in the Obama Administration. These calls from well meaning Africans that can't get us to crawl out of poverty, are promising miraculous walk and run to paradise. So if it works in the 21st century in US and Europe with solid subsidized foundation, it can work in Africa without any foundation? It is not that Africans are century behind any continent, it is the colonial mentality of our people that is endemic.

Before we accuse callers of deregulation of colonial mentality, we must credit them with warp logic of economic reality. In 2010 Africa is yet to provide food for Africans. In the 17th century we had flourished when France's Henry IV wished for chicken in every pot. It was adopted by the US Republican campaign in 1928. But currently, while obesity is the common problem in these countries, hunger is ours in Africa. What about gari, rice and beans in every pot instead of preaching deregulations in multiple whammies? We will ask for the chicken in every pot later.

In industries such as agriculture, we would think that by now all potentials in universities and colleges of agriculture would be unleashed from all corners into the farms to demonstrate what they teach. There is no new technique, fertilizer or blight known to Zimbabwe farmers that is strange to our professors. We are just shooting ourselves in the legs if we cannot find any of our professors we can trust with such contracts. But once we get a contract, we spend most of it on foreign goods, services and vacations with little left for the job we are paid to do.

We must also credit deregulators that Nigeria cannot afford to subsidize everything at the same time especially if oil subsidy benefits people in the cities more than the majority in the rural areas. But that is the only benefit Nigerians get as oil producer and if it is no longer reasonable to subsidize, no one has educated us on what method they are going to use to alleviate the dire consequences on molue drivers or the lower working class they carry. In countries copied, some form of coupons, stamps or vouchers is provided. We are not demanding welfare payment, yet.

Before we recover from lectures about the corruption and disadvantages in oil subsidy, they have hit us with price increase in sporadic electricity supply, Haba! Even if they are right, they have made no provisions for alternatives like refuse as fuel or renewable energies, so that the working man does not have to pay a lion share of his income because he wants electricity. All these deregulations send shock waves to working men since we know the elites that can afford it, are indifferent to the plight of their fellow men. Despite environmental cost, we pay more for generators now and still create small business jobs. We can't buy PHCN/NEPA we don't have.

Nigerians are willing to pay for oil and electricity if the Government makes an initial investment and provide enabling environment on the basis of fair competition. Nigerians all over the world have a stake in the Country and are willing to stand by their investment as long as they are not crippled competing with cronies of those in charge of giving out the same contracts. Nigerians in and out of the Country with experience and access to collateral needed for loan in industries as: hydro-, wind- , bio- and solar-energy to provide jobs at home are available. But our leaders, unlike China, prefer foreigners to deposit kick-backs in hard currencies to their foreign banks.

There is no doubt that convectional electric power demands heavy investment, when we ask for kickbacks out of the contract given out, we are no more in the position to demand home jobs and quality as good as the ones in their countries since we have already compromised our monitoring power. Bound by whatever we are given, we can't groan as they extend deadlines then come back to increase cost. The increase in cost must of course include the kickbacks paid. After giving up regulatory functions including job trainings at home, we promise deregulation.

They usually allude to cell phone as an example of deregulation. Before Nigerians got used to cell phones, neighboring market women in Africa were using it. If you ask Mo Ibrahim, he would tell you the comparative cost of cell phone message compared to land line is an advantage but not enough. The cost of one message compared to fax machine, a taxi or a bus ride determines the equity in the distribution and buying of cell phones. If Mo Ibrahim was a Nigerian politician or their business crony, he would be looking for maximum profit to recover bribe immediately.

Everything in the western world looks glamorous like a candy store to a kid. They want to buy all they see and import it including deregulation. The problem is we must pay through bleeding noses because they do not take African currency. That is, we have to pay them from whatever they give us. So we sell our gold in exchange for their mirrors and toys, exporting jobs graduate youths need at home outside the Country. What happened to that old slogan: Made in Africa?

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

Articles by Farouk Martins Aresa