PRESIDENT BUHARI MUST FORGET HIS SHOPPING LIST ON HIS WAY TO G7 CONCLAVE
According to published reports, the Prime Minister of UK Mr. Cameron asked President Buhari (PMB) to bring along his shopping list to the G (7/8/10 whatever) meeting. Many Nigerians jumped on this generosity of UK and possibly US. Mr. Cameron often acts as US Secretary of State. Buhari should say “thanks but no thanks.” If he has such a list he should forget it at Abuja before getting into his Nigerian Airforce 1. He is assumed to be in the poor section of town
There are two advertisements in USA that tell one that it is the poor section. One is bold gold letter ad that tells you that weekly pay checks are cashed here. This means that there are no banks around there. The checks are discounted at 5-10% which usually means a usury rate of over 300% annually. Stretched and ignorant poor people fall for it. The other ad is the one advertising car sales and proclaiming that they sell at no down payment and “bad credit” or “no credit” does not matter. Again you see poor stretched poor people flowing into the parking lot to purchase a car for nothing.
What Mr. Cameron is selling to PMB are exactly what the mentioned ADS are selling to poor Americans. If you see these ads, please get out of town.
What Nigeria and most 3rd world countries need the most is noninterference in their economic and political decision making, not foreign aid in any form. PMB's shopping list would mean buying from UK's discarded stock at exorbitant prizes, inviting British installation and maintenance services and with a rope dangling from his neck to be used to hang him if dares change his mind at any time. It means US and EU “helping him” decide which economic projects to tackle first and to what degree. PMB should make those decisions with his economic team in Abuja. I bet that the recommended items would include Western arms and ammunition to fight BH perhaps before macadamizing Abuja-Enugu road or Ibadan express road or rehabilitating Kano eye hospital. Security is very dear to the West.
The other reason to forget the list is that by taking it to Europe PMB would be strongly advised not to buy from competitors like China, Japan, Brazil et al. Their goods would be considered inferior even when American markets are filled with Chinese made products at cheaper rates. Nigeria should be a free trade area that welcomes Middle Easterners, Chinese, American and yes European producers in a free market competition. It should no longer be an EU trading zone. The 1884/85 partition is over and done with. Though not forgotten.
Most of the Western products require that the technology not be transferred. Technology transfer is much more important than the product itself.
There is another reason for PMB to forget his shopping list at home and to leave home without it. This has to do with internal development. There are Nigerians at home and abroad with highly sought after skills. Our growth ought to start with making things for ourselves by ourselves. At Aba and Onitsha and Ikeja and Kano are high quality products locally manufactured but considered inferior because of our self-hatred and lack of established standards of quality. In USA there is what is called American Standards. Any good so certified is quality. PMB should work to establish Nigerian Standards and goods should be so qualified before going to market and once it is so certified would go into FG's purchasing queue.
Mr. Axelrod and the West helped install PMB and would expect a payback. PMB should try to pay back some but ought to draw a line that he would not cross to return the payback. He should not sell Nigeria to do so. He should also remember that he would never in his life satisfactorily pay them back. They would eventually find that he has served his purpose and shove him aside peacefully or in the case of Saddam of Iraq or the leader of Taliban, or Shah of Iran or the former head of the Soviet Union by full force or semi force.
They have no permanent friends or foes. They have permanent interests.
Nigeria's interest should be foremost on PMB's mind.
Avoid checks cashed here ads and no down payment for cars and “bad credit or no credit not important” ads.
Walk away from them.
Written by Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba.