Selected progressive and selected oppressive heds of government
Selected progressive and selected oppressive heds of government
Selected African Heads of Government

Babatunde Fagoyinbo


Trump can be likened to a man who lives in a neighbourhood and observes the foundation of his neighbours’ building being eroded. He called them to attention and they accused him of poke-nosing into their affairs. Let’s look at the major points raised in the statement:

  1. “If after 50 years of independence you have not built the necessary infrastructure for your people, are you humans?
  2. “If you sit on gold, diamond, oil, manganese, uranium… and your people don’t have food, are you, humans?
  • “If to stay in power, you buy weapons from strangers to kill your own citizens, are you humans?
  1. “If your only social project is to stay in power for life, are you being human?
  2. “If you despise and shoot your own citizens like game, who will respect them?
  3. “If you take all resources meant for development of your country for personal property are you humans?
  • “If you leave your country healthcare unattended and treat yourself abroad are you humans?
  • “Until your leaders think less of themselves and more about your people. You are not human but animal.”

Infrastructures Emplacement

Economic Infrastructural Status of uncolonised Ethiopia and Liberia relative to other countries in Africa

Colonial Africadepicting the colonising countries and showing those that were not colonised
Colonial Africa

(Fagoyinbo, 2018) observed that Liberia’s growth rate stands at 2.50%, ranking it 42nd position out of 54 African countries.  Ethiopia ranks highest on literacy level at100% while Liberia ranks 40th with a mere 43%. On Human Development Index (HDI) Ethiopia ranks 41st at 0.406 while Liberia ranks 39th at 0.413 within the region; France, UK and USA respectively scored 0.952, 0.946 and 0.951. Liberia has a high rank, 6th among 50 countries ranked, in political stability at an index of 0.55 while Ethiopia falls to 44th with a score of -1.57.

Very important is infrastructure provisioning to assess a nation’s economic development programmes. Ethiopia ranks 34th among African countries by annual electricity production of 98 KWh while Liberia ranks at 38th at a production of 73KWh. In healthcare delivery, Ethiopia is ranked 44th position among African countries and 180h in world ranking while Liberia is rated 50th among African countries and 186th in world ranking. France and United Kingdom ranked 1st and 18th respectively in health and provide 8,336KWh and 12,866KWh of Electricity respectively per capital.

The State of Development Infrastructures

In this section, we’ll look at basic socio-economic development infrastructures like electricity supply, road network, Human Development Index, population below poverty level and health delivery.

Table 1 lists the performance of countries across the world in the provision of basic infrastructures. It is observed that African countries are in the lowest rung of the socio-economic development world’s ladder in infrastructures provision, not because of lack of resources but because of little, if any, value addition to export commodities, thus, lacking in employment opportunities to the citizenry.

Over the years, most African countries have made their citizen believe that the government provides every basic need of life like water, electricity, housing, employment, and even sponsoring the performance of religious obligations.

In Nigeria, rather than embark on the provision of development infrastructures to create enabling environment for socio-economic development, many state governments have been supplying free wives to the indigenes in the way of chaste living (Fagoyinbo, 2018). Cheap promises devoid of achievable manifestoes characterise political campaigns for political posts. One clear example is the circulation of such ridiculous rumour of the cloning of a Sudanese by the name Jibril to function as President Buhari after the failure of the allegation of lack of West African School Certificate which to my mind is baseless when we consider the many pieces of training and educational attainment of the incumbent along with the diverse responsibilities that had been held and discharge creditably.

Overall, South Africa may be classified as the best performing African country. It has a nominal GDP of 370.887 x 109 US$ ranking it 34th position in the world but its population lowers its rank to 91st in per capita GDP at US$6,459. This lowering might be due largely to a high percentage of unproductive population coupled with a low level of gainful engagements. South Africa ranks fairly, 19th, in electricity production at 4,858KWh/yr per capita as compared with Nigeria that brands itself the Giant of Africa, with a nominal GDP of US$408,612 x 109 yielding a low rank of 143 at a per capita nominal GDP of US$2,108. Electricity supply is dismally low at a per capita generation of 164KWh/yr. 70% of Nigeria’s population lives below the poverty line due to the lust for multiple wives and prolific production of uncared-for children (Fagoyinbo, 2018).

Table 2 compares Nigeria with countries in the same range of per capita GDP. Among the 17 countries in the range chosen, Nigeria has the highest percentage of population below poverty level, the least per capita generation of electricity, the worst health provision, the least human development index, beating only Côte d’Ivoire while in road network it surpasses only the Republic of Congo and Djibouti.

Table 1: Development Infrastructures, by Country

State of Development Infrastructure -1

State of Development Infrastructure -1

State of Development Infrastructure-2

State of Development Infrastructure-2

State of Development Infrastructure -3State of Development Infrastructure -3State of Development Infrastructure -4State of Development Infrastructure -4
State of Development Infrastructure -5
State of Development Infrastructure -5
State of Development Infrastructure -6
State of Development Infrastructure -6
State of Development Infrastructure -7
State of Development Infrastructure -7

Table 2: Comparing Nigeria with Countries in the same GDP Range

Comparing Ifrastuctural Proviion by Countries in the ame GDP range
Comparing Infrastructural Provision by Countries in the Same GDP range

HDI is used to indicate the level of human development in different countries, to rank whether a country is developed, developing or underdeveloped. HDI combines three dimensions: A long and healthy life (Life expectancy at birth), Education index (Mean years of schooling and Expected years of schooling) and A decent standard of living (GNI per capita {PPP US$}).

The prospects of application of resource funds to the provision of infrastructures in Nigeria can be more clearly understood in the British Prime Minister David Cameron’s frank remark on Goodluck Jonathan’s attempt to win his (Cameron) support in attempt to solicit loans in international multilateral institutions for unspecified infrastructural industrial restructuring in Nigeria was that “lack of accountability and transparency is a big problem in Nigerian oil and gas industry.” (Aribisala, 2013). Aribisala further stated that Nigeria comes first among the African countries that have suffered from massive outflows of illegal funds between 1970 and 2008 (Tran, 2012; Kazeem, 2015; Roberts, 2015); and it is still on to-date.

Utilising Natural Resources Proceeds 

Socio-Economic Development Infrastructures

Most of the problems in Africa result from non-availability of infrastructures. A young professional willing to be self-employed needs power supply, water supply and transportation. These basic needs require higher funding than the small enterprise being envisaged. In Nigeria, for example, cheap means of transportation is not available; the trains are not functioning and water transportation is limited to riverine areas and not coordinated.

It is true that corruption cuts across the world but what is looted in Nigeria is not invested but stacked in hidden places, spent building luxurious buildings that are not inhabited or purchasing exotic cars that are not used (PR, 2017; Yakubu, 2017; Adepegba, 2018). Nigeria is an important oil producer, but much of that income is siphoned off by a greedy elite instead of being invested in the country (Gelling, Undated).

Population Decimation

Boko Haram

It is claimed that “the failed Sharia project during Nigeria’s fourth republic (1999–2003) led to the emergence in the north of sundry Islamist sects (Animasawun, 2015). Made up of between four and six thousand hard-core militants (Felter, 2018) Boko Haram remains a top-tier threat to Nigeria and it is claimed to be supported by top government functionaries. It is believed that the onset of Boko Haram was pleasing to traditional rulers in the core north; believing it is genuinely Islamic jihad. Until they discovered that they were part of the assumed haram, burning of Churches and slaughtering of Christians and killing of law enforcement officials was nursery school play to them (, 2011). Attributing the rise of the Boko Haram as a direct link between the uneven nature of distribution of resources and the rising level of violence in the country (Oke, 2012;, 2012) is not an authentic issue. What needs to be looked at is economic greed of the power players (Gidda, 2017; Abdulah, 2018); wanting to destroy their opponents by any means so that they can have access to the huge emoluments being paid to the law-makers.

Maj-Gen Ahmed Mohammed was targeted for killing by his soldiers blaming him for the killing of their colleagues in an ambush by suspected Boko Haram militants (BBC, 2014., 2016). His troop believed he was in complicity with the Boko Haram boys and thus ensured they were not adequately equipped. While deliberate decimation policy cannot be ascribed to any government in Nigeria, corrupt power brokers ensure that there is a hidden population decimation policy; scarce resources for dealing decisively with Boko Haram are not due to lack of military spending but corruption in high places (Gidda, 2017).

Unchecked Terrorist Fulani Herdsmen

Nigerians have been made aware that Boko Haram is not only the country’s internal security threat. States in Nigeria’s middle belt have been rocked by attacks from suspected Fulani herdsmen in a new wave of violence which primarily stems from disputes over grazing areas for cattle (Kazeem, 2018). Attacks in villages in Benue state have left hundreds of people dead, houses burnt, women and girls raped and barns pulled down for cattle to feed on. Thousands of people have been displaced from their homes. Government deafness to the cry of the middle belt states is a pointer to the fact that climate change is responsible for the attacks is unfounded (Lozano, 2016).

As a mark of the complicity of governance in the terrorist Fulani raid, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) claimed that some top commanders within the Division One of the Nigeria Army illegally deployed armed soldiers who invaded Awgu in Enugu State community whereby 76 indigenous Igbo farmland owners were arrested and hauled into the Umuahia prison for allegedly resisting the plots and activities of some armed Fulani herdsmen to annex some of their ancestral farmlands for the purposes of illegal grazing of cattle (Ugwuanyi, 2016). That the herdsmen carry arms with impunity in a country that has laws against illegal arms ownership and use is a pointer to the complicity of governance (Brisibe, 2018).

Rifle-carrying terrorist herdsmen are common features in Nigeria
Rifle-carrying terrorist herdsman

Though the focus has been on Nigeria, it is not the only country that has embarked on the decimation of its population. Mapfuna (Undated) listed:It is unfortunate that the southern belt that had been carrying the financial burden of the north and the middle belt region that had stood by the core north in the execution of the civil war are now the objects of attack. Fulani leaders should be ready for retaliatory attacks on their communities when the middle belt region gets tired of their antics. This is the time to save the Fulani race. A few reprisal attacks on communities in the northwest may completely eliminate the Fulani race. It should be noted that the age of horse-warfare is gone while wits and tactics belong to the middle belt. Even with the horses, none of the notable communities in the middle belt could be conquered.

  1. Mengistu Haile Mariam of Ethiopia (from 1974 to 1991) was responsible for between 400,000 and 1.5 million deaths
  2. Idi Amin oF Uganda (1972 – 1979) was responsible for between 25000 and 30000 deaths
  • Sani Abacha of Nigeria (1993 – 1998) was responsible for between 100 000-200 000 deaths
  1. Ahmed Sékou Touré of Guinea (1958 – 1984) was responsible for between 100 000 and-150 00 deaths
  2. Charles Taylor of Liberia (August 1997 – August Of 2003) was responsible for between 100 000 nd150 000 deaths
  3. Hissene Habre of Chad (1982 – 1990) WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR BETWEEN 80 000 AND -100 000 DEATHS
  • Macius Nguema of Equatorial Guinea (1968 – 1979) WAS Responsible for between 50 000 ND 7 000 DEATHS
  • Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea (1979 – date) Still counting. Abuses under Obiang have included “unlawful killings by security forces; government-sanctioned kidnappings; systematic torture of prisoners and detainees by security forces; life-threatening conditions in prisons and detention facilities; impunity; arbitrary arrest, detention, incommunicado detention and cannibalism (Daniels, 2004).
  1. Omar Al-Bhasir of Sudan (1989 -Date ) was responsible for between 30 000 and–  40 000 deaths. He has been charged with 7 crimes against humanity. He planned and committed genocide against several ethnic groups such as Masalit and Zaghwa killing tens of thousands of people. He is regarded by many as one of the most murderous dictators ever.
  2. Paul Biya of Cameroon (1982) IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BETWEEN 20 000 AN 30 000 Deaths

Constitution Manipulation for Prolonged Stay 

The common strategies used by African leaders to hold on to power has mainly been through imposing restrictions on political competition, the use of force and manipulating the constitution such as amending term limits. For the most part, these strategies have worked for the incumbents. Unfortunately, these constitutional amendments have not in any way been favourable to the overall economic development of the nations. In the wake of a slew of constitutional amendments granting Mugabe broad power, the country experienced drops in life expectancy and per capita income between 1990 and 2005, as well as a notable decline in its ranking on the UN Development Program’s HDI and resulting to underfunded or dysfunctional government departments and programmes (Felter, 2017). Felter also observed that the practice gained intensity after 2000 when many postcolonial leaders were nearing the ends of their constitutional term limits.

About seventeen heads of state have tried to remain in power by altering their countries’ constitutions. Sam Nujoma of Namibia did so in 1998, Eyadema Gnassingbe of Togo in 2002. Omar Bongo of Gabon got the parliament to modify the country’s constitution to allow him for a sixth term in 2003. Such countries as Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, and Uganda also made attempts.

However, 2017 was a tough year for Africa’s strongmen: Yahya Jammeh (Gambian, 1994 to 2017) was kicked out, José Eduardo dos Santos (Angola, 38 years in office) stepped down, and Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe, 37 years in office) was pushed off (, 2018).

Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is an Equatoguinean politician who has been President of Equatorial Guinea since 1979, continues (2018). Mbasogo’s eldest son Teodorin was given a three-year suspended jail term and a suspended fine of € a French court for embezzlement, money-laundering, corruption, abuse of trust and plundering public money from his oil-rich but impoverished west African state to fund a jet-set lifestyle in Paris. Cameroon’s President Paul Biya has won a seventh term in office in polls marred by low turnout and voter intimidation. Mr. Biya, at 85 and sub-Saharan Africa’s oldest leader, took 71.3% of the vote; making it the 7th term in office since 1982. Others include:

  1. Congo-Brazzaville President, Denis Sassou Nguesso, has spent 34 years in office; though with a break between 1992 and 1997;
  2. In Uganda, Yoweri Museveni has been in power for 33 years. He took office in January 1986 after winning the war that ousted brutal dictator Idi Amin Dada. He was elected to a fifth term in February 2016;
  • In Sudan, Omar al-Bashir has ruled for 29 years after staging a coup in June 1989.
  1. Chad’s Idriss Deby took over the northern nation in 1990, giving him nearly 28 years in power. He won a disputed fifth term in April 2016;
  2. The Eritrean leader, Isaias Afwerki, has been in charge since independence in April 1993, making 25 years;
  3. McVeigh (20175) added Rwanda’s Paul Kagame to the list. Rwandans have voted overwhelmingly to allow President Paul Kagame to extend his term in office with an official result of nearly 99% in an election criticised for numerous irregularities. He has been described as the “most impressive” and “among the most repressive” African leaders. It is, however, noteworthy that Kagame is credited with engineering Rwanda to a turnaround from a war-ravaged, ethnically divided country to a united and successful nation.

news also noted that two were killed in office:

  1. Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie holds the record for the longest time in power on the African continent. After reigning for 44 years, he was ousted in 1974. His regime was also criticised by human rights groups, such as Human Rights Watch, as autocratic and illiberal. The 1973 famine in Ethiopia led to Haile Selassie’s eventual removal from the throne. He died on 27 August 1975 at the age of 83, following the coup d’état of 1974.
  2. Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, who ruled with an iron fist for nearly 42 years. Gaddafi attended military college and almost immediately set about plotting to overthrow Libya’s ruler, King Idris I. He succeeded in 1969, taking power in a bloodless coup. Muammar Gaddafi was 27. Gaddafi remained firmly in power and built a reputation as a shrewd if eccentric, dictator. In 2011, he attacked protesters in his own country, leading to a full armed rebellion in Libya. The rebel forces overran Tripoli in August of 2011. Gaddafi escaped, but two months later he was wounded in battle after being cornered near his hometown of Sirte; he reportedly was captured and then died of his wounds shortly thereafter. He was famous for his all-female contingent of bodyguards, and for his habit of receiving visitors in a Bedouin-style tent.

Two presidents were relieved from power by death:

  1. Gabon’s Omar Bongo died in June 2009 after more than 41 years in power. Bongo was criticised for, in effect, having worked for himself, his family and local elites and not for Gabon and its people. For instance, French green politician Eva Joly claimed that during Bongo’s long reign, despite an oil-led GDP per capita growth to one of the highest levels in Africa, Gabon built only 5 km of freeway a year and still had one of the world’s highest infant mortality rates by the time of his death in 2009. It is believed that he died of advanced complications of cancer.
  2. Gnassingbe Eyadema also ruled the West African country of Togo for 38 years from 1967 to his death in 2005. He was succeeded by his son Faure Gnassingbe. He participated in two successful military coups, in January 1963 and January 1967, and became President on April 14, 1967. He was declared to have died of heart attack. Eyadéma’s son Faure Gnassingbé’ declaration as president was opposed widely byAlpha Oumar Konaré, president of the Commission of the African Union, the International Community and ECOWAS. The presidential elections of April 24, 2005, declared Faure president with 60% of the vote.

Will African Leaders Plan for Development?

Where is the hope for the emergence of Africa from squalor to eminence? From under-development to industrialisation? From poverty to wealth? The hope is bleak.

Let’s look at the Nigerian situation. An ex-Minister of Communication declared that the telephone is for the rich. A few decades later telephone became ubiquitous; even affordable to roadside hawkers. The same person rose to be Senate Preside with a two-time tenure. We voted him in. the same Senate with the lower House allotted huge allowances to themselves; as stated earlier.

In same Nigeria, ex-President Obasanjo declared the following concerning his Vice President, Mr. Abubakar Atiku, as:

  1. Possessing unsavoury corruption perception (Ogundipe, 2018)
  2. Anti-graft detectives allegedly came up with damning dossiers that linked his lieutenant (Mr. Abubakar) to a slew of financial misdeeds (Ogundipe, 2018).
  • $6m of the diverted funds allegedly went to iGate, a Kentucky-based communications firm that tried to do business in Nigeria in 2004 (, 2007)
  1. Atiku complained about taking on too many responsibilities as the nation’s Number 2 citizen. (Toromade, 2018)
  2. His judgment was not right and, on a number of occasions, I pointed this out to him (Toromade, 2018).
  3. a blatant and shameless liar (, 2018)
  • a most disloyal human being (, 2018)
  • If I support Atiku for anything, God will not forgive me (Ogundipe, 2018)

However, Obasanjo reneged on his “God will not forgive me” vows as he has pledged to support Atiku Abubakar’s presidential bid, as the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party. Obasanjo and Atiku have mended their broken fences or should we say that they have filled up the gulf existing between them?

Chief Olabode George was adjudged to be very corrupt, investigated and found to be involved in shady deals. Obasanjo instructed a review of EFCC findings and he got a clean slate (Obabueki, 2016), was later arraigned before a court that found him guilty and sentenced for 28 years on (, 2009) 35 of the 68-count charge (2 years each on 7 counts and 6 months each on another 28 counts of the charges- Abdulah and Adejuwon, 2009 ). Nigerians were not happy with the low penalty and PDP celebration after his release (Abati, 2011; Aziken et al, 2011). After serving out the jail term, the Supreme Court slammed the case, to the chagrin of legal luminaries (Falana, 2013; Obabueki, 2016) and accusing the Nigerian court of being penchant to dismissing corruption cases on the altar of technicalities, that it is on record that many corruption cases filed against members of the ruling class by the anti-graft agencies have been dismissed in the last few weeks on flimsy grounds (Falana, 2013) and that it is a significant setback to the fight against corruption in Nigeria (Muktar, 2014). When such highly placed individuals cry against corruption, it excludes themselves (, 2014; Abdulah, 2018).

Ibori was jailed in Britain but conferred with chieftaincy title on completion of his jail term and return to Nigeria (Yusuf, 2017). The old adage which says “Remember to uphold the family’s good name” has changed to “Don’t forget to haul in the nation’s resources that you have access to”. This new title agrees with the chieftaincy title conferred on James; “Ezi-Oyi Anioma”, also known as “a good friend of Anioma nation”

Way Forward

I have no apology concerning my views on Ango’s declaration on handpicking Obasanjo for presidency (Fagoyinbo, 2016). Obasanjo noted that beyond other PDP presidential aspirants, Atiku possessed, for him, relatively and of all the aspirants the widest and greatest exposure, experience, outreach and possibly the best machinery and preparation for seeing the “tough and likely dirty campaign ahead” through (, 2018). Obasanjo has the right to air his opinion and has not forced it on the nation. It is also right for the populace to consider Obasanjo’s opinion based on their assessment of his ow performance and the credibility that is assigned to him.

He claimed Atiku has a better understanding of the economy than President Muhammad Buhari.  He advised Atiku at their reconciliation meeting “You surely understand the economy better and you have business experience, which can make your administration business-friendly and boost the economy and provide jobs. “You have better outreach nationally and internationally and that can translate to better management of foreign affairs. “You are more accessible and less inflexible and more open to all parts of the country in many ways,”. Obasanjo further advised him to run an inclusive government where merit and performance count more than blood relationship, friendship or kith and kin like they both did between 1999 and 2007 and emphasising “Please uphold truth, integrity, principles, morality and fight corruption, crimes and insurgency’ and stressing that “The fundamental law of the land, our constitution must be scrupulously defended.”

Obasanjo unequivocally committed Mr. Abubakar to uphold the country’s constitution ”I make one demand and one demand on you today, I need you to say before God and man that you will always remain irrevocably committed to upholding all the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the whole country will remain your single indivisible constituency. “Constitutionalism, popular participation and inclusiveness are pre-conditions for reversing the deficits of the past three and half years.” They will ensure abiding faith in our indivisibility, oneness and faith in the survival of all against none. “The fundamentals for our development, economic growth and progress are hard and soft infrastructure.”

On inclusive governance, he advised “Remember to always give adequate places in your administration to our youth and women. All the authorities involved with the preparation, all processes and conduct of the election must ensure that the election is free, fair and credible.”

Atiku reiterated that he could not have become relevant without the training and tutelage from Obasanjo’s leadership. Atiku who described the day as one of the happiest days in his life said it was time for well-meaning Nigerians to come together so that the country could be repositioned on the path of unity and prosperity. He pledged to dedicate and commit his tenure, if elected as president, to the continuation of the Olusegun Obasanjo- led administration ( (2018).

Obasanjo is one ex-president that is accessible to any socio-economic development agency involved in active and participatory development programmes. He is involved in promotion f research and development, agriculture and governance. African leaders need to learn from his experience. He is not hunted by any international court or local judicial organisation.

Other ex-presidents to learn from are Arap Moi f Kenya

  1. General Yakubu “Jack” Dan-Yumma Gowon is a former Head of the Federal Military Government of Nigeria from 1966 to 1975. He took power after one military coup d’état and was overthrown in another. During his rule, the Nigerian government successfully prevented Biafran secession in the 1967–70 Civil War.

The postwar years saw Nigeria enjoying a meteoric, oil-fuelled, economic upturn in the course of which the scope of activity of the Nigerian federal government grew to an unprecedented degree, with increased earnings from oil revenues. Unfortunately, however, this period created the era of 10% gratification on contracts to federal government officials; and although the head of State himself, he was often accused of turning a blind eye to the activities of his staff and cronies.

General Gowon lives peacefully in Nigeria and is involved in Guinea Worm Eradication Programme as well as the HIV Programme with Global Fund of Geneva. Gowon founded his own organisation in 1992 called the Yakubu Gowon Centre. The organisation is said to work on issues in Nigeria such as good governance as well as infectious disease control including HIV/AIDS, guinea worm, and malaria. He is also the founder and Grand Patron of Nigeria Prays, an interdenominational praying group committed to praying for peace and development.

  1. Jerry John Rawlings was the former head of state and president of Ghana from 7 January 1993, to 7 January 2001. Rawlings initially came to power in Ghana as a flight lieutenant of the Ghana Air Force following a coup d’état in 1979 and, after initially handing power over to a civilian government, ousted the then government and took back control of the country on 31 December 1981 as the Chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council.

In 1992, Rawlings resigned from the military, founded the National Democratic Congress, and became the first President of the Fourth Republic. He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years. After two terms in office, the limit according to the Ghanaian Constitution, Rawlings endorsed his vice-president John Atta Mills as a  presidential candidate in 2000. He currently serves as the African Union envoy to Somalia.

  • Daniel Arap Moi was named vice president in 1967, Moi became president in 1978 following the death of Jomo Kenyatta. He quickly consolidated his power, banning opposition parties and promoting his Kalenjin countrymen to positions of authority at the expense of the Kikuyu. He also curried favour with the army, which proved loyal to him in suppressing a coup attempt in 1982. His continuation of Kenyatta’s pro-Western policies ensured significant sums of development aid during the Cold War (1947–91), and under Moi’s stewardship, Kenya emerged as one of the most prosperous African nations.

Following western countries’ demand for political and economic reforms Moi to legalised opposition parties in 1991. The following year he won the country’s first multiparty elections amid charges of electoral fraud. Riots and demonstrations marred the 1997 elections, and hundreds of Kenyans, mainly Kikuyu, were killed. Easily elected to his fifth term as president, Moi promised to end government corruption and implement democratic and economic reforms. In an effort to combat corruption, in 1999 he appointed Richard Leakey, the popular and respected anthropologist, the head of the civil service and permanent secretary to the cabinet, a position Leakey retired from in 2001.

On 25 July 2007, Kibaki appointed Moi as special peace envoy to Sudan based on Moi’s “vast experience and knowledge of African affairs” and “his stature as an elder statesman”. In his capacity as peace envoy, Moi was expected to help secure peace in southern Sudan.

  1. Nelson Mandela spent 28 years as a political prisoner in South Africa before becoming the country’s first black president.

He was a leading member of the African National Congress (ANC), which opposed South Africa’s white minority government and its apartheid policy. The government outlawed the ANC in 1960. Mandela was captured and jailed in 1962, and in 1964 he was convicted of treason and sentenced to life in prison. He served his prison tern on Robben Island, near Cape Town. He became a prison-bound martyr and worldwide symbol of resistance to racism.

South African President F.W. de Klerk finally lifted the ban on the ANC and released Mandela in 1990. Nelson Mandela used his stature to help dismantle apartheid and form a new multi-racial democracy, and he and de Klerk shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

Nelson Mandela was elected the country’s president in 1994. He served until 1999, when he was succeeded by his deputy Thabo Mbeki. Mandela remained a celebrated figure in South Africa and throughout the world until his death in 2013. Mandela is one good example to emulate by African rulers either in the Executive or legislative arms.


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PR (2017). How EFCC recovered $9.8 million from Yakubu, Ex-NNPC GMD . February 10, 2017 Press Release. (2014). Bode George calls for war on corruption in Nigeria. (2018). Hypocrisy in tackling Fulani herdsmen terrorism. Editorial Published January 10, 2018.

Roberts, S (2015). Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, Nigerian Notorious For Corruption, Dies At 62 (2018). ‘A MOST DISLOYAL HUMAN BEING’ AND OTHER BAD THINGS OBASANJO PREVIOUSLY SAID ABOUT ATIKU.

Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International (2007). Nigerian Vice-President Faces Corruption Charges. Staff and agencies. Wed 2007 28 Feb.

Toromade, S (2018). Obasanjo says Atiku complained that his duties as Vice President were too much for him.

Tran, M (2012). Former Nigeria state governor James Ibori receives 13-year sentence.

Ugwuanyi, S (2016).  Menace of Fulani herdsmen may result in civil war if not checked – HURIWA warns. Published on April 5, 2016. (2011). Boko Haram: Has Northern leaders found their voice? on December 10, 20111:04  in Politics. (2012)The ‘real members’ of Boko Haram! Viewpoint on February 29, 201212:27 (2009). Bode George, others jailed for 28 years.  Headline (2018). Obasanjo Recants, Backs Atiku’s Presidential Bid ON OCTOBER 11, 2018

Yakubu, D (2017). $25b NNPC scam: Nigerians can now see the hypocrisy in Buhari’s anti-corruption fight – PDP ON OCTOBER 5, 2017 11:05 PMIN NEWS296 COMMENTS

Yusuf, O (2017). James Ibori Gets Important Chieftaincy Title in Delta (Photos).


Political map of Africa showing respective countries

Babatunde Fagoyinbo



When Trump’s remark “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” in his reaction to the discussion on protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries in the Oval Office, Thursday, January 11, 2018 penultimate to January 28 annual summit of the African Union, with the official theme of combating corruption got into the open, African leaders feigned outrage! We’ll wait to see how African countries rate in the next Transparency International at the net assessment.

Is the outrage morally right? Did Animasaun not tell us in 2013 that we like to show our allegiances to religion yet we have lost our humanity? (Animasaun, 2013). What happens when we lose our humanity? We treat ourselves like shit. And because Trump reminded us in 2018 of Animasaun’s observation in 2013 so that we can brace up and restore the human aspects of ourselves but we draw daggers! Animasaun further stated that the elite use the ethnic divisions for their own benefit yet we are too blind to see it.

Which of African leader has left his country on a better socio-economic standing than he met it other than Obasanjo’s military regime and Rawlings’ military regime and civilian presidency? He was named African Union Envoy to Somalia. It is claimed that Rawlings’ success in governance results from freedom from family or tribal pressures. Obasanjo could have succeeded better than Rawlings in his civilian era. He had no inclinations to ethnic sentiments but he submitted himself to manipulations by the National Assembly because they refused to pass the budget due to his unwillingness to package Ghana-must-go bags; a resolve he initially made in order to rid the nation of the garments of irresponsibility, greed, avarice and lasciviousness.

It is the feigned outrage that amazes me. A look at Museveni’s track records shows that he came into power in January 1986, has remained for three decades and won the country’s very heated poll in 2016 to extend his 32 years for a further five years before the next elections in 2021 (Eweniyi, 2017) vis-á-vis his remarks that “It is the Africans’ fault that they are weak” (, 2018) shows that LeBas (2016) was right in his conclusion that “Executives are able to act with impunity because there is no strong, organised opposition to challenge entrenched incumbents and push them toward a genuine political opening,”


Corruption exists in governance everywhere but not in Africa! What exists in Africa is made up of irresponsibility, indiscipline, moral decadence, lawlessness, greed all combined together.


Sometime around 1980, I read either in Time or Newsweek Magazine of prosecution of the Mayor of Melbourne for taking kick-back. The students of the University of Melbourne stormed the court; demanding that the case should be dismissed.

It was. Why? The students claimed that the bridge on which contract the mayor received kick-back had resulted into the deaths of many, including students, prior to the mayor’s tenure without the previous ones doing anything about it but that after the bridge was rehabilitated there were no more accidents there. The case was not heard in the court but we should assume that there was kick-back, there was performance and the lives and well-being of the people were positively affected. It is unlike the cases in Africa where the contract will be awarded and the funds released but no work is done or, at best, shoddy performance observed.

To me, corruption is any form of gratification negotiated or promised prior to the execution of a project for the purpose of easy passage, approval or certification. In Nigeria, prior to military rule gratification might cause a contractor to lose favour with the awarding agency. Gratification should be seen as saying “Thank You” after a job has been successfully completed and certified. This was even rare in the pre-military era in Nigeria. Civil Servants viewed gratification as a scheme to get them out of service using contractors. However, when a contractor felt that he’d been blessed in the project, they usually gave appreciation to the spouses of the project supervisors.

I have supervised many projects where contractors came to negotiate kick-backs but I’d always advised them that they could offer whatever they were capable of after the projects had been accredited as properly done and had ensured that their projects yielded dividends. Only one of them took me to lunch after the conclusion of his project. In Nigeria, particularly, most contractors see contracts as portions of their own pieces of the national cake and thus want to share some portions with the project administrators.


This has to do with diversion of project funds to other means, most especially to personal accounts (Isenyo, 2017). Dasukigate is also a clear case of misappropriation, carried out without consideration for the dire consequences of his actions; the lives of young men and women who had been trained at great expenses for national security assignments, the loss of their service to the nation, the dashed hopes of members of their families.


Rifle-carrying terrorist herdsman

A government becomes irresponsible when it leaves undone what it is supposed to do. Let’s look at the rifle carrying herdsmen’s situation in a country that prohibits firearms without licenses, yet keeps mute over these so-called illiterates brandishing firearms in the open and attacking farmers on their farms so that cattle can feed on the farmers’ sweat. Is it Trump that called African nations shit pits or we ourselves who value cows more than human lives? (BBC Pidgin, 2018; PE, 2018)

Extension of terms by governance

Felter (2017) opined that (i) leaders are increasingly securing longer terms through “constitutional coups,” proposing amendments for approval by the legislature or judiciary, or in national referenda, that allow for additional terms in office, (ii) at least seventeen heads of state have tried to remain in power by tweaking their countries’ constitutions, (iii) countries lacking effective political opposition are vulnerable to constitutional coups, (iv) kleptocratic incumbents could lose their wealth if they were to lose power and potentially face prosecution and (v) very few African countries have any kind of pension or security scheme for former presidents or heads of state. This is necessitated because of fraudulent practices that siphon most of the state’s resources into private accounts.

Dr Yakubu  Gowon was ousted from Office as Head of State in 1975. He had no pension neither had access to his military salaries. He enroled and did a degree course and progressively acquired a PhD in political science as a student at the University of Warwick. There is no record that he has ever used those certificates to apply for employment.

Gen. Gowon is also involved in the Guinea Worm Eradication Programme as well as the HIV Programme with Global Fund of Geneva. Gowon founded his own organisation in 1992 called the Yakubu Gowon Centre. The organisation is said to work on issues in Nigeria such as good governance as well as infectious disease control including HIV/AIDS, guinea worm, and malaria.

In November 2004, Gowon won World Peace Prize Top Honor (awarded by World Peace Prize Awarding Council) for maintaining national stability, promoting economic growth, and organising a symbolic peace conference in the African region.

To-date, there has been no allegation of corruption, mismanagement or misappropriation of funds or embezzlement levied against him. He leads a simple life and moves about unguarded safe for official benefits as Army General.

Pacific-Ocean-wide disparities in salaries and emoluments

In Nigeria, there has been more than a decade struggle to raise the minimum wage to N30,000 for workers but in the same country the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) alleged that 21 former governors collected N40 billion between 2015 and February 2018 as pensions despite the fact that many of them are rewarded by their parties as ministers or senators for jobs well done in election manipulations for their parties. Osuntokun cited the immoral case of Akwa Ibom State Governor’s retirement emoluments as the most extreme in generosity (fraudulent practice), a former governor is entitled to the following: N100 million for medical treatment annually; N1 million monthly medical allowance; Five bedroom bungalow each in Abuja and Uyo; 300% of the basic salary of the incumbent governor as pension; a new utility and three saloon cars every three years; foreign holidays for wife and children under 18 years; provision of personal aide, cook, security guards not exceeding N5 million per month (italics mine). This is a State that is oweing pensioners upwards of 10 years gratuity and pensions based on a monthly minimum wage of 17,500 (Anthony, 2018). At the national Assembly Shehu Sani a total package of 14.25 million naira per month per senator who is part of decision making on a minimum salary of N30,000.00 struggle over a period of over 10 years..

Stark Illiteracy Syndrome

In Europe and America literacy is the ability to read and write, Isn’t it? In Africa, many of us have university education with high grades but cannot apply the knowledge even within the discipline; not to mention its application in the broad spectrum of socio-economic development. The reason is that we are thought-warped.

Please tell me, how will our children be able to work together when parents are asking for class separation on the basis of religion in school? Muslim students, Christian students, the various traditional religions must have their seats separated because of religion! What type of population are we nurturing?

In 1981, I hired a bus to carry my luggage from Zaria to Akure. Between Abaji and Lokoja the bus had flat tyres. His spare was down so he had to carry the two tyres for repairs. I had nothing doing and I was alone but nearby was an anthill. I drew near it and broke a part of the mound. Almost immediately came a swarm of termites. There were two different two different shapes of them. They immediately set up a task force to rebuild the damaged part. There was no segregation. I know that after the repair each would go back to its assigned responsibilities.

I have also watched ants; the little black ants.  They don’t give up on any crumb of the a food item. If it’s too large they’ll set off cutting them into bits and pieces but if it can roll the piece, it will persist until others come to team up; and together, they always succeed. I know they have colonies but I’ve never seen small ants fighting. I don’t know what happens if one strays into a colony it doesn’t belong to.

I remember that in my university days one of my roommates was a Muslim and had a Christian friend squatting with him. The Muslim would carry his mat and rosary at prayer time while the Christian would read his Bible as appropriate and attend Church services. The irony is that these parents are going through hard times and struggling to pay school fees but are not bothered about good education for their children.

I believe Donald meant that leadership in Africa is the passage through which Europe and America (Asia has joined the league) dump all sorts of rubbish on us. The unfortunate thing is that we are not resisting. We cannot resist because our leaders know our weak points.

Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) has an internal policy requiring that an Integrated Assessment IA be conducted for all new major projects and for significant modifications to existing projects. The scope of individual IAs is meant to be ‘fit for purpose’ (Orenstein et al, 2010),

Within Shell, an IA is defined as an assessment that:

  1. Looks at environmental, social (including economic), and health impacts in an integrated manner;
  2. Integrates the impact assessment process with the business development and project development process;
  • Integrates the impact assessment as a cross-functional activity within several internal departments (e.g. health, safety and environment, reputation/issues management, social performance); and
  1. Looks at issues raised by projects that are also important beyond the project scope, with regard to both the host society and international interest.

But the government that was expected to ensure compliance is the same that encourages the violation of environmental protection by Shell (Ahmed, Undated). Cases of submission of loyal forces to Boko Haram insurgents also abound in the armed forces (, 2014; Agbugah, 2015).

In agony, Prof Wole Soyinka bemoaned the governance of Nigeria “We haven’t had a situation where it is being alleged and proved that the money supposed to be spent on defending ourselves, nation and neighbours has been shared among individuals……..We have never had a case of critical emergency where children are being kidnapped under our noses, we are helpless and our soldiers have been sent to the front to defend our very existence and we are not backing them up. It has not happened before.” 

Why are Africans docile?

Africa can survive without shelter throughout the year

Africa is so blessed that if you eat pawpaw today, you will come to that spot a year later to harvest many without bothering yourself about caring for it. Notwithstanding that our soils are fragile; but, in most parts of Africa, you can survive without shelter throughout the year. This is evident in the lunatics that roam the streets daily. But the governments have tuned us to be dependent on governance including marriages in which government pays the bride price and provides furniture and household utensils for the newlyweds (, 2012; Usman, 2012; AFP, 2016; Aminu, 2017), performance of religious obligations where government pays for the travel expenses and sustenance allowances and blatant denial of such infrastructures as electricity supply, water supply, transportation so that the entrepreneurial among our children will have no facilities to promote self-engagement and healthcare delivery while they use government funds to treat themselves in foreign hospitals only to come back home to die or are cloned (Opejobi, 2017).

Donald Trump- American President

Trump can be likened to a man who lives in a neighbourhood and observes the foundation of his neighbours’ building being eroded. He called them to attention and they accused him of poke-nosing into their affairs. Let’s look at the major points raised in the statement:

  1. “If after 50 years of independence you have not built the necessary infrastructure for your people, are you humans?
  2. “If you sit on gold, diamond, oil, manganese, uranium… and your people don’t have food, are you, humans?
  • “If to stay in power, you buy weapons from strangers to kill your own citizens, are you humans?
  1. “If your only social project is to stay in power for life, are you being human?
  2. “If you despise and shoot your own citizens like game, who will respect them?
  3. “If you take all resources meant for development of your country for personal property are you humans?
  • “If you leave your country healthcare unattended and treat yourself abroad are you humans?
  • “Until your leaders think less of themselves and more about your people. You are not human but animal.”



AFP (2016) Cash crunch hits mass weddings in northern Nigeria. Agence France-Presse July 20, 2016 · Accessed 15 Nov 2018.

Agbugah, F (2015). DASUKIGATE: here is a breakdown of the alleged misappropriation of $2.1 bn by Dasuki and others.

Ahmed, FH (Undated). Violation of Human Rights by Shell Oil Company: government failure.

Aluko, M (2015). Dasukigate’s Diagraph of Corruption. Monday, January 11, 2015 11.58PM 

Aminu, M (2017). APC Chieftain to Sponsor Mass Wedding of 100 couples in Sokoto. THISDAYDecember 28, 2017.

Animasaun, D (2013). Nigerian lawmakers are the highest paid in the world  Vanguard August 25, 2013 In Outside Looking In.

Anthony, E (2018). Akwa Ibom and Payment of 10 Years Pension Arrears, Gratuities. The Nation on: November 2, 2018 In: Niger Delta.

BBC Pidgin (2018). Fulani herdsmen: Nigeria suppose declare dem terrorists? BBC Pidgin 13 January 2018. (2012). Nigerian Kano divorcees marry in mass ceremony. BBC World News 15 May 2012. Accessed 15 Nov 2018 (2014). Nigeria soldiers ‘fire at army commander in Maiduguri’ BBC News 14 May 2014.

Eweniyi, O (2017). Cameroon’s President Has Spent 42 Years In Power – And Here’s A List Of Africa’s Longest Serving Presidents. Accessed 15 Nov 2018.

Felter, C (2017). Africa’s ‘Leaders for Life’ Syndrome. Accessed 15 Nov 2018.

Isenyo, G (2017). Inside poor community where former NNPC GMD, Yakubu, hid over N3bn. Punch February 19, 2017.

Lebbas, A (2016). Term Limits and Beyond: Africa’s Democratic Hurdles. Current History May 2016. pp169-174 (2018). Ugandan President Backs ‘Frank’ Trump after ‘Shithole’ Remark. 2018-01-23

Opejobi, S (2017). Buhari was cloned in London, current Nigerian president is fake – Asari Dokubo. Published on October 3, 2017 Accessed 15 Nov 2018.

Orenstein, M; T Fossgard-Moser; T Hindmarch; S Dowse; J Kuschminder; P McCloskey & RK Mugo (2010). Case study of an integrated assessment: Shell’s North Field Test in Alberta, Canada, Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal,

Osuntokun, J (2018). Obscene Pensions for State Governors.  The Nation February 15, 2018

PE (2018). Hypocrisy in tackling Fulani herdsmen terrorism. Punch Editorial  January 10, 2018. (2018). AT A GLANCE: The DSS Breakdown Of How Politicians ‘Bribed’ Oshiomhole In Dollars. SaharaReporters, New York Nov 15, 2018

Usman, Z (2012). Nigeria’s First Mass Wedding. NigeriansTalk May 20, 2012. Accessed 15 Nov 2018.


Babatunde Fagoyinbo

Colonial Era Infrastructures


Birds Prepare Their Nests for Comfort

A newly resettled rodent through capture would search for a means of escape, if it fails, it would search out materials for building a nest and make itself comfortable. So also are birds. If it locates a new settlement by itself, it will prepare a comfortable nest and do everything possible to ensure its safety.

Man wants to maintain a certain standard of living below which he feels uncomfortable. Once he is in control, he carries out every activity that will ensure that the standard he is used to is either met or surpassed.

Towards the end of 1979, a group of students gathered themselves in a bid to denounce apartheid. It was a wonderful and welcome idea. They showed a film that presented a farmstead with the owner, his wife, a child and a dog occupying a two-bedroom duplex with two large sitting rooms, an expansive kitchen, two balconies and a terraced and floral-decorated surrounding. Each of the workers’ apartments contained a sitting room and a bedroom large enough to contain minimal sitting chairs and a bed respectively. The family of the worker that was shown comprised the man, his wife, five children and three family members, something similar to Figure 2)

That film was a wrong prelude to the message to be passed across.

As the lecture was about to begin, I asked for permission to raise an observation. The permission was granted and I observed as follows:

  1. The Boer built a house that was comfortable and adequate to the standard of life he’d been exposed to;
  2. He built a house that he believed was adequate for his workers and enough to accommodate all;
  • He chose to limit his family to three persons and a dog, it might be providence that chose the size for him;
  1. The worker decided to procreate five children and possibly expecting more;
  2. Some members of his family and/or his wife’s felt it was comfortable for them to squat with him and his family agreed to it;
  3. Can you please assess and compare these items I’ll mention as part of this lecture you want to present?
    1. The percentage of junior staff accommodated by this university and the percentage of professors accommodated; and
    2. The level of disparity between a professor’s lodge and a junior staff lodge with respect to that of the Boer and his workers’ lodges.


Farm Workers’ Housing. Insert 1 Boer’s House; Insert 2 Boer’s Family

The colonialists didn’t include these acts in their handover notesI thank God it was then; not now. I might have been lynched and killed. The seminar couldn’t hold; though I suggested that the seminar should be postponed until they got these facts. I hate apartheid. It is going on right now in Nigeria, as well as other countries in Africa. Certain ethnic group hiding under religion and right of grazing have taken it upon themselves to kill and slaughter human beings without the government doing anything about it. Human beings have been forced into Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDP) Camps for cattle to take over their homes and farms

Pre-Colonial Era Infrastructure

Basic framework of interdependent networks made up of facilities, services and personnel are needed for effective productive and efficient functioning of a community, organisation or society. For the well-being, economic growth and prosperity of any community, there must be integrated, purposeful, sustainably designed infrastructure for harnessing resources, carrying/transporting them to processing centres, processing to semi-finished or finished products, conveying to locations of needs and executing distribution capabilities that provide a reliable flow of products and services essential to the accomplishment of the objectives and aspirations of the community in relation to other communities.


In the North, the Hausa adopted a feudal system of government which was also inherited by the Fulani, their conquerors, with power centralised and later delegated to emirs who were vassals of the Sultan of Sokoto. However, Islamic laws did give specific powers to the emirs while traditions and conventions stated the limits of their power. The feudal system of government was found suitable to Britain that did not want to invest much on personnel.

Modernisation of the feudal form of government brought in a well-organised fiscal system and a trained judiciary. The Kanuri founded a dynasty in Bornu about a century before the modern states of the Hausa. Like the Hausa, the Kanuri had also established a relatively powerful type of government.

In the West, culturally the most homogeneous area, the Yoruba and the Edo operated a modern form of government as empires (Benin, Ife and Oyo) and Kingdoms. The paramount rulers operated their respective territories through their chiefs. The chiefs collected tribute from the people and divided it with the Oba of Benin, Ooni of lfe, the Alaafin of Oyo respectively. In Yorubaland, outside lfe and Oyo, Oba was the central chief. He was the priest as well as the protector of his subjects. He was the symbol of peace and honour but answerable to Ooni of lfe and Alaafin of Oyo depending on which empire he belonged to.

The most heterogeneous part of Nigeria is the East with the lgbos as the majority of the population. But for the riverine areas, the people were elaborately organised into small semi-autonomous communities as clan, village, or family. Kingship exists in Calabar, Opobo, Bonny, Ogoni and Onitsha with political powers comparable to that of Yoruba Obas.

Physical infrastructure provision

Pre-colonial physical infrastructures available in Africa are limited to bush paths, carved boats, hoes, cutlasses, baskets, calabash, clay pots, earth-mound stoves, mortar and pestle and in the Savannah belt we have in addition donkeys, bullocks and camels to assist in the transportation of goods. Water supply is limited to scooping of ponds and digging of wells while we still transport in the rainforest belt carrying loads on our heads. To date, our agriculture has not advanced beyond that level. Our healthcare delivery system has gone worse; having now more than 90% of our herbal healthcare centres as fake.

Economic infrastructure

Prior to the British effective occupation of present-day Nigeria, there were various empires and kingdoms with their respective modes of administration centred on joint ownership of land but trusted into the hands of family heads in the southern parts and community heads in the north. There were periodic markets that bound neighbouring communities together and interconnected by footpaths.

The transportation network was controlled by nature. In the southern parts, transportation was facilitated by waterways that had the capacity to take paddled boats. The sizes of the boats were dictated by the available depth of water and range of navigation limited by the reach of stable flows. the impressive network of Lower Niger, Benue, Donga, Katsina-Ala, Gongola, Cross, Ogun, Osun and Anambra Rivers and the numerous creeks along the coast provided routes of contact between the peoples cutting across the north and south axis, while the associated trading posts and fortes provided the points of exchange of goods and farm produce. Land route networks were dense in Benin, Igala, Igbo and Yoruba areas facilitated by established empires like Benin, Ife and Oyo, and various Igala and Yoruba kingdoms,

In the north, transportation was facilitated by the use of beasts of burden (oxen, camels and the donkey) as against the south where due to tsetse infestation human carriage was predominant. The Niger-Benue combination nurtured three major kingdoms: The Jukun Empire embraced most of the Benue valley and exercised influence over much of northern Nigeria as far as Kano, and as far as the estuary of the Cross River in the south; the Igala kingdom controlled areas around the confluence of the Niger and Benue, and traded below the confluence as far south as Aboh and Onya at the head of the Niger Delta. The big rivers Niger and Kaduna form the axes of the country of Nupe kingdom. These rivers also served as the kingdom’s effective and natural system of communication. The strategic location of these three kingdoms on the Niger-Benue meant that the history of traffic on these rivers would have a great deal to do with the history and relations of peoples comprising them (Agajelu, 2018).

Land routes made Awka to penetrate into many parts of the Igbo hinterland with their crafts and blacksmithing and carving, the Nok culture, the Ife and Benin bronze crafts, the Oyo aso oke and the Egba aso adire textiles all survived mainly on land routes. Kano, Maiduguri axis thrived on caravans to Timbuktu and the horn of Africa and the Arabs.

Agriculture was mainly hoe and cutlass technology and irrigation limited to shadoof system. Healthcare delivery was herbal and dosages were at the discretion of the herbalists; mystified in incantations. With respect to the pre-colonial use of currency, trade by barter was a medium of exchange. However, in an attempt to unify the mode of valuation and create a medium that would be acceptable, there were several creations across the ethnic groups and over time, multiple currencies emerged with some monies locally produced and acquired, and others imported through intercontinental trades, such as the Atlantic slave trade. Cowries were imported to West Africa via land from the Maldives Islands and later became one of the currencies of the slave trade, augmented by copper manilas (bracelets), iron bars, textiles, glass beads, liquors, and other imported objects (Guyer and Pallaver, 2018).

Infrastructures Provision in the Colonial Era

The first set of Europeans that visited Africa came for trade. Due to the problems of access, their operations were largely limited to the riverine areas but their impacts were felt in the hinterland through the activities of local traders who purchased goods from the hinterland to sell to the European traders. The riverine traders built warehouses and river ports as deemed necessary.

Others were Arabs who came by caravans through the desert. They left no infrastructures for history but brought Islam.

Next were the missionaries and the explorers who were respectively adapters to local conditions to be able to win the people for Christ and field men who moved from site to site in search of resources available and returned home for their reports. Infrastructures were not paramount to their missions.

With the advent of the slave trade, the operation remained the same. They had no need for infrastructures other than the “warehouses” used and which were unhealthy

Infrastructure is fundamental to success in businesses because businesses need roads to have production inputs delivered and hence to deliver finished products and services to their customers. The slave merchants contented themselves with delivery to them at the river and ocean ports in the coastal areas and trekking along the Sahara Desert.

Incursions into Africa


Pre-Colonial Africa

Germany’s fall in WW1 resulted in dividing its colonies between Britain and France to administer on behalf of the League of Nations (, 2018). While France appointed ministers among the people to represent their people in France, Britain used indirect rule. Before 1880, Europeans had only made small incursions into Africa, with forts and trading posts mainly around the coast; the interior, until then, remained largely inaccessible to Europeans because of disease and difficulty of travel. In 1884-5, the Berlin Conference was called to carve up Africa between Britain, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Germany. The Berlin Conference laid down ground rules for the partitioning of Africa. They drew lines on a map of places they had never been to, with no regards for existing kingdoms, geography or the people that lived there; believing that they were bringing civilisation to ‘savage peoples’ (Boddy-Evans, 2017). Navigation on the Niger and Congo rivers was to be free to all, and to declare a protectorate over a region the European coloniser must show effective occupancy and develop a ‘sphere of influence’. They introduced Christianity, trade, education, justice and a good deal of exploitation and forced labour. They also introduced cash crop agriculture to feed their home industries with raw materials.

India championed the quest for independence commencing with the idea of an Indian nationalist movement opposed to British rule dated from the 1850s. (EB, 2018) and actualising same in August 1947.

The actualisation of socio-economic is contingent on human capital made up of trained and motivated people of great ideas and abilities, capable of innovation, exploration, science and philosophy. The existence of a committed coordinating team, the government in the case of a country, to channel the aggregate action of these human resources acting in concert determines the status of the community.

Infrastructures Emplacement

Provision of Colonial Infrastructure


Upon amalgamation of the Southern and Northern Protectorates, indirect rule was practiced in the north using the existing traditional rulership system, while local authorities comprising District, Divisional and Provincial Councils were established in the south. Occupation was not without stiff resistance from the indigenous chiefdoms, kingdoms and empires. This made the British imperial government foist on the people coercive administrative instruments intended to extract their obedience and submission.

Under the Indirect Rule system, local authorities were conferred with legislative, judicial and executive control over their communities; empowering them to make laws, regulate the conduct of affairs in their areas of jurisdiction, adjudicated cases and carry out administrative functions with the sole objective of maintaining law and order and general development in their localities.

The colonial army, the police, the judiciary and prison services served as the main instruments of coercion. In the 1880s, the British government established the West African Frontier Force. The WAFF served to subjugate and “pacify” the people of the colony. With the enormous military might of the colonial power, the people were forced to submit to the colonial administration

Banking and Currency

Monetisation was a major aim of the colonial fiscal policy to enable the integration of the colonial economy into the imperial capitalist economy. A new and common currency was needed to replace the different currencies circulating in various parts of the country. A common currency would ensure portability, sustenance of export market economy and the establishment of a national market. The introduction of the British coins met a strong competition from the manila which was highly valued at the time. Acceptance of the British currency was made possible through the expansion of wage labour, taxation payable only with the metropolitan currency, penetration of the colonial economy by the British capitalism and integration of the local economy into the metropolitan system

The monetisation of the Nigerian economy necessitated the establishment of commercial banks. The first successful bank to operate in Nigeria was established in Lagos in 1892 by African Banking Corporation but it was sold to Elder Dempster who transformed it to Bank of British West Africa (BBWA) in 1893 BBWA changed its name to Bank of West Africa (BWA) in 1957 and was bought over in 1965 and renamed it Standard Bank of West Africa. In 1971, Standard Bank of Nigeria placed 13% of its share capital with Nigerian investors. It eventually changed its name to First Bank of Nigeria in 1979 (, 2018). It was the sole operating bank until Barclays Bank was established in 1917 (, 2018). In 1948, the British and French Bank for commerce and industry, which later became the United Bank for Africa, was established (2018).

The banks favoured mainly the British business circle until 1959 when the Central Bank was established in Nigeria to regulate the activities of these banks. The excesses of these banks led to the emergence of some indigenous banks (Industrial and Commercial Bank, 1929 Mercantile Bank 1931; Nigerian Farmers and Commercial Bank, 1947) which, however, experienced early demise due to factors that ranged from mismanagement, accounting incompetence, embezzlement, the Great Depression and unhealthy competition from the metropolitan banks (Agajelu, 2018; Ajayi and Sosan, 2018).


Transport, the cornerstone of civilisation, is an essential part of human activity development and it is essential to economic growth. As society and economic organisations become more complex, the relevance of transport grows. The complexity of transportation in any community is a reflection of its economic status reason being that a large proportion of its economic activities are largely dependent on an efficient network of roads. Transportation projects are: capital intensive; require long gestation periods; traffic volume, flow and pattern dependent and connective in nature.

Transportation infrastructures are usually provided by the government as social services to the population because of their capital-intensive nature. This explains why governments all over the world take responsibility for the provision of transport infrastructures; irrespective of their viability. Undoubtedly, the growth, development and functioning of an economy requires the use of transport; principally connecting raw materials to processing centres and products to consumption centres

Water Transport


This Mode of Water Transport is Still Typical

In north-eastern Nigeria, Hadejia River and others flow into the Lake Chad. Other major coastal rivers in South-western Nigeria include River Ogun, River Osse and Oshun River, while the coastal rivers in South-eastern Nigeria include Cross River, Imo River,Aboine (Ebonyi) River and other tributaries of the River Niger such as Anambra and Mamu Rivers. The major inland waterways in Nigeria that span much of the country is the Rivers Niger and Benue together with their tributaries Donga, Katsina-Ala, Gongola on the Benue River and Sokoto and Kaduna on River Niger. The major rivers meet at Lokoja where they dissect the country into east, west and north sections and later enter the Gulf of Guinea through a large network of creeks and distributaries which form the Niger Delta. The two rivers offer links to countries bothering Nigeria in the North and East respectively.

The role of the inland waterways and the seaports in the economic development of Nigeria was such that the numerous ports along the coasts and rivers of the country expanded, declined or completely disappeared as the pattern of trade within the country and with the outside world changed. Initially, there were scattered small trade activities along the coastline such as Lagos, Gwato, Forcados, Koko, Burutu, Akasa, Brass and Calabar, among others, each with a very limited hinterland trading variously in slaves and oil palm produce. However, as the penetration and subsequent control of the interior continued new trade routes were established and consequently, some ports such as Gwato, Brass, Koko, Forcados and others declined in importance or became extinct while other ports such as Lagos, Warri and Port-Harcourt became dominant (Onokala, 2015).

The early European traders relied on water transport using the numerous creeks and rivers from where they communicated with specialist traders from the inland trading communities such as Arochukwu, Awka and Nkwere traders in the interior of south-eastern Nigeria until the latter half of the 19th Century. In addition, some coastal and riverine communities such as the Efik, Opobo, Bonny and Calabar people traded directly with the European ships (Onokala, 2015).

Main Water Routes along the Coast and Major Rivers

Develop, own and operate ports and harbours. The years (1914 to 1953) were periods in which ports administration in Nigeria was under the auspices of Marine Department and which did not witness any remarkable port extension. The ports were characterized by narrow passages leading to shallow rivers on which vessels had to sail, and lack of dredging facilities to keep them open as much as possible (Brown, 2013). Onokala (2002) noted that the period after World War I and II witnessed remarkable development in water transportation in Nigeria, mainly through such improvements as introducing powered motor boats, government launches, motorised ferries in addition to engine boats and canoes for carrying goods and passengers along the River Niger and other major rivers and for transportation from one side of the river bank to another; the Nigerian Ports Authority having been established as an autonomous public corporation to manage ports and inland waterways (Brown, 2013) in March 1954 by the Ports Act of 1954 under the name, Nigerian Ports Authority (Badejo and Solaja, 2017; NPA, 2017). The NPA’s mandate consists of:

  • Provide a safe and navigable channel
  • Offer cargo handling and storage services
  • Maintain Port facilities and equipment
  • Ensure safety and security
  • Develop and own property

It is pertinent here to reinstate that the transport system was financed to facilitate the improvement and expansion of British trade and the distributive system (Agajelu, 2018). This should not be considered as a minus to the colonists but rather to our inability to maintain and improve upon them.

Timeline on Water Transport

1906:   the Nigerian Marine was created (Badejo and Solaja, 2017).

1907:   Commencement of work on the moles project deepening of the approach channel and the harbour to admit ocean-going ships to berth. 2 Small wharves were first constructed at Iddo and at the east mole site. By August 1913, with the attainment of a sixteen-foot draught over the bar for seven consecutive months, the long-desired goal of port development at Lagos was achieved

1909:   The effort towards the provision of facilities for ocean-going vessels started with the          opening of Lagos Lagoon (NPA< 2018)

1913    The Apapa Port in the South West was earmarked for development (NP, 2018).

   The construction of PH Port began on Bonny River. Skeletal services for coal loading      commenced through small wharves NPA (2018)

1916:   a berth for colliers was dredged for PH Port and its construction was completed (Brown, 2013)

1921    Construction of the first four deepwater berths of 548.64m at the Apapa Port began (NPA, 2018)

1923:   the construction of the main general cargo wharf for PH Port began (Brown, 2013)

1956:   Inland waterways department under the Federal Ministry of Transport was established Badejo, 2010)

1957:   Extension of the PH wharf by 1,600 feet (Brown, 2013)

1958:   linking the existing PH wharf electrically with the new ring circuit and construction work on the ports’ railway track and a new locomotive shed and fuelling point were completed and brought into operation (Brown, 2013).

1960:   The PH wharf which began in 1957 was first opened in October 1960 by Princess Alexandra (Brown, 2013)

 The Railway

The decision to delve into the expensive investment in railways in the Nigerian colony was influenced by a number of reasons (Agajelu, 2018). They included:

  1. Colonial Train (Locomotive)

    The desire to expand British trade by the opening up of the Nigerian interior as a new market for British goods.Curiosity in Britain about Nigerian interior.

  • To reach the produce centres remote to the inland waterways (Figure), to help the colonial merchants in moving cash crops and extractive minerals from their respective sources to the harbours for export.
  1. To facilitate the transportation of the bulk import and export commodities in view of the absence of good roads and unavailability of heavy haulage road vehicles.
  2. To establish a more flexible movement of colonial administrative personnel in the vast colony especially after the amalgamation of 1914.
  3. To facilitate the exercise of military control of inland territories.

Conception began in 1877 and construction of the railway started in 1898 at Iddo.

Timeline on the Establishment of Nigerian Rail Transport

1877: Conception of the need for rail transport (Agajelu, 2018)

1898:   Commencement of construction of the first phase of Nigeria’s railway network (Ayoola, 2016).

1901:   The railway extended from Lagos (Iddo) on the south coast to Abeokuta and later Ibadan; a distance of about 120 miles (95 km) (Ayoola, 2016).

            The northern line started in1901 at Zungeru, onwards to Kaduna (Agajelu, 2018)

1911, The Baro-Kano line was completed (Ayoola, 2016)

1912:   The Baro-Kano line was joined with the Lagos Railway line at Minna (Ayoola, 2016). Trains had to be ferried across River Niger at Jebba

1915:   The construction of Jebba Bridge across River Niger was completed

            Extension of the southern railway to Kano in the north (Ayoola, 2016).

1916:   Construction of the Eastern line fromPort Harcourt line was constructed to Enugu (Ayoola, 2016).

1932:   Eastern Line finally reached Kaduna due to the completion of Markudi Bridge (Ayoola, 2016).

1945:   Rail network reached Kaura Namoda in northwest and Nguru in the northeast (Ayoola, 2016)

1955:   Transformation from Department of Railways to Nigerian Railway Corporation

Road network

Although the outboard engine boat (the Erico) was used on the River Niger between Onitsha and Asaba.  a two-section railway bridge (with a total span of 1,795 feet [547 m]) over the Niger River was commissioned in 1915.

In Nigeria, although existing bush paths were widened to form a skeletal grid of road network, roads were not widely developed until the advent of motor vehicles in the 1920’s and 1930’s and extensive road development took place only after World War II.

In 1926, the road system of Nigeria was classified into three major types:

  1. Federal Trunk A Roads;
  2. Regional/State Trunk B Roads; and
  • Provincial/Local Government Trunk C Roads.

In this way, the Federal, regional and provincial/local governments were given separate responsibilities for the planning, construction and maintenance of roads in the country.

Although roads were primarily built to feed the railways and be complementary to them, roads eventually took over from the railways as the country’s road network improved and captured more and more traffic from the railways, especially after independence in 1960. The new roads resulted in tremendous savings in travel time and thus:

  1. Encourage the migration of population from the hinterlands to the new transport routes thus giving rise to a ribbon-like concentration of towns and villages along both sides of the new roads; and
  2. Provide employment for drivers, mechanics, spare parts dealers, vulcanizers, petrol stations, car washers and other related activities and their numbers have increased in recent times. The employment generating and other multiplier effects resulting from these forms of linkages have gone a long way towards the modernisation and rapid development of the Nigerian economy. Roads are also very important for successful tourism activities in the country.

Air transport

In 1920, A Royal Air Force aircraft landed on a polo field in Maiduguri. This marked the beginning of aviation practice in Nigeria and thenceforth continued to operate in West Africa with a squadron stationed in Sudan by 1925. The British commander sought approval from the Colonial Office in England to operate frequent cross-country flights from Khartoum to Maiduguri. By 1930, civil and military aircraft were carrying passengers across boundaries and touching down in places like Kano, Sokoto, Bauchi, Minna, Oshogbo and Lagos while British Imperial Airways carried regular passenger and mail services. Subsequently, Lagos and Accra became hubs for flights en route to the Middle East and India.

West Africa Airways Corporation

The Royal Air Force subsequently extended its services to Takoradi, Fort Lamy and Cairo. Aerodromes, stores and quarters were built for staff and to serve as night stop accommodation for pilots.

The Dakota aircraft was used extensively; and air services were operated from Lagos to Port Harcourt, Enugu, Jos, Kaduna and Kano until May 1946. After the Second World War, the economic recession which occurred in Europe compelled a wide influx of Europeans to West Africa which was then the main source of obtaining raw materials for European industries. This resulted in the development of a wide market and the consequent economic boom in the area. By then, nationalist agitations for independence had intensified in the four British West African colonies—Nigeria, Gold Coast (Ghana), Gambia and Sierra Leone.

The West Africa Airways Corporation (WAAC) was formed by Nigeria, the Gold Coast Siera Leone and Gambia by an Order-in-Council of the Colonial Office in 1946 as a result of their meeting of May 15 1946, and also handle the recurrent problem of transport and communication between the British Isles and the colonies. BOAC provided the technical and commercial staff.

In effect, the WAAC became a public corporation set up by the colonies to develop efficient air transport services in West Africa. It started operation with an initial capital outlay of £465,000 provided by the colonies and a Wet Lease Dore aircraft. Its operation was supervised by the West Africa Air Transport Authority (WAATA), which had powers to legislate and execute policies. WAATA’s supreme body consisted of the Governors of the colonies with the Governor of Nigeria as the presiding officer. In addition to its powers, WAATA was charged with the responsibility to keep under review all air matters of importance likely to affect aviation in the territories of member states.

WAAC took over the major air routes that had been established by the Royal Air Force in West Africa up till 1956. On 31 March 1948 WAAC became responsible for the operation of the inter-Colonial West African coastal services and extended operation to Freetown, Bathurst and Dakar. The airline began a Lagos-Khartoum service with Bristol 170s in April 1950

As the member states gained Commonwealth status from the United Kingdom, they set up their own carriers, namely: Ghana Airways; Sierra Leone Airways; and Gambia Air Shuttle (Magoon, 2016;, 2018; Tutu, 2018). In June 1958, Nigeria signed an agreement with the Fokker Aircraft Works in Holland, the company from which the new Nigeria Airways would be buying its middle range jets for Nigeria’s domestic and West African routes. On August 11, 1958, On October 1, 1958, the West African Airways Corporation was renamed WAAC (Nigeria) Limited with the Nigerian government jointly owning the shares with the British Overseas Airways Corporation and Elder Dempster. Nigeria owned a majority share of fifty-one per cent.

Power Supply

The history of electricity development in Nigeria can be traced back to the end of the 19th Century when the first generating power plant was installed in Marina, Lagos, in 1896 (, 2018), thirteen years after its introduction in England. Its total capacity was 60kW. After the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates in 1914 to form modern Nigeria, other towns in the country started to develop an electric power supply system on the individual scale. The following major cities thus had a dose of electricity supply in the following order: Port Harcourt (1928); Kaduna (1929); Enugu (1933); Maiduguri (1934); Yola (1937); Zaria (1938); Warri (1939); and Calabar (1939).

1898:   Electric street lighting was introduced in Lagos (Echeruo, 1977).

1923:   Ijora Power Station, formally commissioned (Echeruo, 1977).

1929:   Nigerian Electricity Supply Company was established (, 2018)

1946:   Nigerian Government Electricity Undertaking (NGEU) was established (Adesope, 2013).

1950:   Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (ECN) was established (Awosope, 2014).

            Nigeria Dam Authority NDA) was established (Awosope, 2014).

1951: April, ECN, officially took over all electricity supply activities in Nigeria (Awosope, 2014).

1956:   Commisioning of the Ijora power station February (Awosope, 2014). If Adesope’s report is correct, it is likely to be an expansion scheme in view of increased population.

Water Supply

The responsibility for water supply in Nigeria is shared among the three levels of governance: the federal; the state; and the local governments. The federal government is in charge of water resources management; state governments have the primary responsibility for urban water supply while the local governments together with communities are responsible for rural water supply.

1862: Sir John Glover, an early colonial governor of Lagos, introduced public wells to the city, but the quality of water from such wells was variable (Olukoju, Undated-a).

1864:   Deliberations on how to secure safe potable water began (Olukoju, Undated-a).

1910:   Completion of the Iju waterworks, located some 1,000 feet below the confluence of the Adiyan river and the Iju stream and conveyed to Lagos via a cast iron main trunk with a diameter of 28 inches(Olukoju, Undated-a).

1915:   Formal commissioning by 1915 by Nigeria’s Governor-General, Sir Frederick Lugard on 1 July. The scheme had an initial capacity of about two and a half million gallons per day, sufficient for 115,000 persons, more than half the population of Lagos. It consisted of three giant engines which pumped 5,000 gallons of water per minute. A total of 200 fountains were provided all over the city and 250 hydrants were installed to provide water in case of fire (Olukoju, Undated-a).

1933:   On 30 March water charges were introduced but resisted (Olukoju, Undated-a).

1940:   Lagos Township Ordinance (chapter 59) of 19 March 1940 fixed new water rates (Olukoju, Undated-a).

1943:   the capacity of Iju WW plant was increased to six million gallons per day and another cast iron trunk with a diameter of 26 inches was laid to facilitate supply to Lagos (Olukoju, Undated-a).

1944:   The first ten-year plan (1944 – 1956) included in its overall budget about 5.7% of the total expenditure for the water sector (Ajibade et al, 2015).

      Concrete open wells were constructed under the supervision of Public Works Department (PWD), of the Regional Governments who were responsible for providing safe water to the rural communities (Ajibade et al, 2015).

1954:   With the creation of regional governments, the financial and technical responsibilities for developing new water schemes were taken over by the regional governments who also assigned supervisory high-level manpower to oversee operations and maintenance (Ajibade et al, 2015).

in a few towns managed at the lowest administrative level. Amongst the early beneficiaries of public water supply in Nigeria in the early twentieth century were Lagos, Calabar, Kano, Ibadan, Abeokuta, Ijebu Ode (Ogun State) and Enugu.

Sanitation and Healthcare Delivery


Jericho Hospital Ibadan

As settlements grew there arose the need for concerted efforts at keeping the environment safe for human settlements. This led to the establishment of sanitary inspection with responsibilities of ensuring:Sanitation has to do with such public health conditions that incorporate clean drinking water and adequate treatment and disposal of human excreta and sewage. In agrarian communities sanitation may not pose very serious problems as there would be much space to keep human wastes far away from settlements; thus, reducing the possibility of transmission of contagious diseases.

  • Routine sanitary inspection of houses, markets, schools and
  • Waste disposal and environmental sanitation, pollution control and industrial sanitation.
  • Vector and pest control e.g. Malaria control
  • Prosecution of public health offenders in the court
  • Meat and food inspection
  • The disposal of the dead (corpses)
  • Occupational health and factory inspection
  • Vaccination/inoculation of both schoolchildren and adults.
  • Health education on personal and public hygiene.

In Nigeria, the development of environmental health has had a more challenging history. As far back as the 18th century, the Colonial government took the issue of preventive health services serious because of the need to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes, which was a major killer of the colonial settlers. They introduced the then Sanitary Inspectors to the Colony of Lagos h a position that earned him a seat in the Legislative Council in 1913 on the amalgamation of both the Southern and Northern Protectorates of Nigeria (

In 1920, the Nigerian School of Hygiene was established in Yaba, Lagos (Omipidan, 2018).

Healthcare delivery is summarized thus (Table 1).

Table 1: Timeline on Pre-Colonial Healthcare Delivery


Formal intervention into the housing sector in Nigeria dated back to the colonial administration, following the unfortunate outbreak of the bubonic plaque of 1928 in Lagos (Bigon, 2016; Faleye, 2017). This necessitated the establishment of the Lagos Executive Development Board LEDB in 1928 (, 2018) as the main organ for Town planning and housing development and subsequent ushering of Nigerian public housing programmes intervention like  the evacuation and drainage of entire swampy neighbourhoods (such as Oko Awo) and re-settling of the people on the mainland. This was the genesis of the establishment of the Yaba and Ebute Metta housing schemes (, 2018)

The policies are modest with the ultimate aim of addressing the housing problem at a National scale with a focus on the provision of expatriate quarters (Oni, 1989) and some selected indigenous staff in Railways, Marine, Police and Armed forces. Government residential areas (GRA) were established as well as some “African Quarters”. No effort was made by the government to build houses for sale or rent to the public and little effort was made to allow the growth of housing estates outside the GRAs (, 2018).

With the approval of the Lagos Central Planning Scheme in 1954, LEDB attempted to solve the problem of housing development in the metropolis. This led to the establishment of the following estates

  1. Workers’ Housing Estate and re-Housing Estate, Surulere;
  2. Akinsemonyi and Eric Moore Housing Estate, Surulere; and
  • Workers’ Housing Scheme and Sites and Services Estate in Surulere, Apapa, Ikoyi, Ilupeju and Isolo

In 1955, revived concern for slum clearance brought the central Lagos slum clearance scheme into effect. The scheme opened up Apapa and later Victoria Island as high and low-density areas of Lagos.

The Nigerian Building Society was established in 1956 to provide mortgage loans. Lean financial resources and poor response of the public to the scheme skewed the operation of the NBS to poor performance (, 2018).


Colonial House, Port Harcourt

In 1958, the Western Regional Government pioneered the establishment of housing corporations (Olukoju, Undated-b). Other regions soon followed suit. The main function of the housing corporations was the construction of housing units for sales to members of the public and the issuance of loans to whoever wished to build their own houses on their land.The construction of senior civil servant quarters in the capital city of Lagos and regional headquarters like Kaduna, Ibadan and Enugu are some of the practical efforts made at the same time with some form of rent subsidy and housing loans.


This article is presented with the view of raising concern for the development of the “developing countries”, not to condemn any government but to create awareness and fashion out concrete paths towards development. While African nations will be the focus, examples will be drawn from other regions. It is hoped that peoples from other nations will contribute positively to the programme of fashioning out the path of development.

There is a Yoruba adage that says “Eepa npa ara ę o ni oun npa’ja, t’aja ba ku n’ibo ni eepa yio wa?” meaning “The dog worm is carrying out its extermination; believing that it is killing the dog, where will be its habitation at the demise of the dog?”

This applies to African (and their likes) leaders who are busy carting away the resources of Africa into foreign lands to keep for their children. The Lord who created us said “So shall my word ‘If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. (Ex 22:1,KJV)’ be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isa 55:11, KJV). To those who assume that the grace has covered their iniquities “And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold” (Luke 19:8, KJV) to which Jesus replied “This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:9-10, KJV).

Any comment that does not address the subject of discussion will be spammed


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Guyer, JI and K Pallaver (2018). Money and Currency in African History. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History. Online Publication Date: May 2018 (2018). Treaty of Versailles. Accessed 15 Oct 2018

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Babatunde Fagoyinbo



This write up will look at the issues of colonisation with particular emphasis on how it has affected, is affecting and is likely to impact development in Africa as a whole and Nigeria in particular.

It is a journey towards economic development and welfare of mankind. A journey that will assist us to bring ourselves into the plan of creation; manifest the fullness of God’s blessing at creation: “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Gen 1:28, KJV).

The purpose of this long journey is to map out the path towards effective and purposeful nation-building beyond emotion, ethnicity, religion and partisan politics. Obasanjo (of Nigeria) demonstrated the solution to the last three of these ills in his first tenure (1999-2003) as civilian president when his cabinet cut across all political parties, religion and ethnicity but could not divorce himself from emotion. We would rate him high but, notwithstanding, emotion affected his administration and lowered his score on the success chart if it were quantified.

This journey of nation-building will be long and needs your participation irrespective of your nationality, residency or religion. The journey is likely to be tortuous but I believe that if we devoid ourselves of unnecessary emotional attachments we shall all benefit and manifest the output of God’s blessing at creation.

What is nation building?

The United Nations Organisation (UN) views nation-building as the process of establishing civic order and governmental functions in countries that are emerging from a period of war or other types of upheaval (Pan, 2005). Can we strictly apply this definition to the situation in Africa? Are we going to view the period of colonisation as the period of upheaval? Should we consider such countries as South Africa, Zimbabwe, South Sudan etc. as the only countries that are building up their nations?

What happens to such countries as Nigeria that was in clans, ethnic groups and empires but was forcefully re-grouped, amalgamated and colonised for governance?

When we consider the essential ingredients of nation-building as enumerated by the UNO thus:

  1. Sufficient financial resources;
  2. International political will;
  • Time;
  1. Security: guaranteeing citizens a safe environment;
  2. Political reform: building a civil society, developing strong local and provincial governments, and ensuring freedom of the press and other civil liberties;
  3. Economic reconstruction: restoring economic infrastructure by establishing lines of credit for business, restarting industry, and creating jobs, especially in the agricultural sector, which accounts for most of developing countries’ gross domestic product; and
  • Strengthening legal institutions: ensuring a functional and independent judiciary

A good consideration of the UN’s definition shows that there is no nation-building going on in Africa. Can we thus truly say that there is no nation-building going on in Africa?

Let us view nation-building as a multidimensional concept involving the active participation of the entirety of the population  in various walks of life and involving the dedication and hard work of its citizen, result-oriented planning on the part of the Government towards harnessing the potential of its human and material resources, reducing the social and economic disparity that exists in the society and creating an enabling environment, wherein individuals can live freely and attain their best in life. Keeping these in mind, we shall be able to assess the status of the environment in which we are in terms of nation-building.

It is to be noted that the ingredients enumerated by the UN are essential for the healthy building up of a nation.

An Examination of God’s Blessing at Creation

A critical examination of the blessing will break it into its components. The blessing equipped us with the rational, judicious and sustainable utilisation of the resource abundantly made available to mankind. The components are: be fruitful; multiply; replenish the earth; subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Be fruitful

Fagoyinbo (2016) stated that fruitfulness implies bringing forth useful results and end products that benefit mankind. King David revealed in his Psalms the significance of and the requirements for bearing fruit “The righteous shall flourish …” (Ps 92:12-14) while Jesus Christ stated the impact of “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit”  (John 15:8) which can be accomplished by “He that abideth in me, and I in him…” (John 15:5).


Multiplication is necessary because of the two other components of the blessing without which it would have been difficult; since man’s spirit is contained in his shell that has limited movement (Fagoyinbo, 2016). To His faithful, He says “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore…” (Gen 22:17).

Replenish the earth

Fagoyinbo (2016a) highlighted the resources that God made available to mankind as

  1. Terrestrial resources made up of the sun, the moon and the stars;
  2. Atmospheric resources made up of the clouds, the wind and microorganisms;
  3. Land resources made up of vegetation, the beasts, the birds, insects and microorganisms;
  1. The earth resources made up of minerals, soil, moisture and microorganisms; and
  2. Water resources made up of aquatic animals and microorganisms

Fagoyinbo further stated that the components in item (i) are without man’s physical reach and thus cannot be polluted by him. To date, there’s been no deterioration recorded of these terrestrial resources. God wanted the same for the resources contained in items (ii) to (v). They are within man’s reach and man needs to replenish them, in quantity and quality, for the continued existence of life; thus, the component of the blessing known as “replenish the earth”.

Subdue it

For the seven years or more, when Adam tended the earth in loneliness, there was no reason to subdue the earth in the sense of “bring into bondage” (Fagoyinbo, 2016b). After the formation of man, not creation, and his acclimatisation with his domain, “the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it” (Gen 2:15); this was his second placement in the Garden, the first placement being without responsibilities.

Fagoyinbo further stated that to be able to effectively rule over the earth there would be the need to effectively cover the terrain and access the interior. Thus, man has to devise means of accessing the resources within the earth’s crust, explore the depths of the oceans, access the top of mountains as well as move over the face of the earth. Developing the means of doing these is what God referred to as subdue.

Have dominion…

God’s concept of dominion was and still is over the other creatures; not man (Fagoyinbo, 2016).

That God is against man domination of man is contained in His response to the Children of Israel ’s demand for a king to which God replied “…Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me … yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king … He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself… your daughters to be confectionaries, … He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day” (1 Sam 8:7-18).

Notwithstanding man’s wickedness and rebellion, God is still compassionate: “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great …But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Gen 6:5, KJV). God’s compassion manifests greatly in “And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and … said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground …” (Gen 8:21-22, KJV).

Resources Availability

Natural Resources

Very often Africans project Africa as highly resource-endowed. In coal reserves, Africa lags behind Asia, Europe and North America. In natural gas reserves, Asia and Europe are better endowed while Africa is the least endowed continent in oil reserves (Table 1).

There is no African country within the 18 countries having the highest gold holdings (Table 2), South Africa is the only African country that entered into the 10 highest iron ore producing countries in the world (Table 3) while DR Congo and Zambia ranked 6th and 7th respectively among the 10 highest copper producers (Table 4). South Africa leads the world in manganese, platinum and tied with Australia in titanium production while it ranks second in palladium production (Table 5). No other African country is able to rank highly in solid minerals, fossil and nuclear fuel resources and gemstones

Table 1: World Fuel Reserves by Region

Table 2:Top 20 according to the World Gold Council’s latest rankings

(as of September 2018) (Wikipedia, 2018)

Table 3;:List of countries by iron ore production

Table 4: List of countries by 2017 copper production (Wikipedia, 2018b)

Table 5: Lists of countries by mineral production (Wikipedia-, 2018c)


An examination of global arable land (Table 6) shows a steady increase across all the regions; with the exception of Industrial and Transition countries where decline began respectively in 1997/81 and 1997/99. The increases are likely to have resulted from: development of high-yield crops; increased irrigation schemes; Increase in the use of fertilizers; Improved market access, regulations, and governance; better use of information technology; adoption of genetically modified (GM) crops; land ownership reform with productivity and inclusiveness in mind; and step up of integration into Agricultural Value Chains.

Figure 1: While there is a need for modernisation for small-scale farming activities, large farm development needs to be encouraged

With the highest area of arable uncultivated land in the world (Douglas, 2015) but having most farms at less than 2 hectares, attainment of food security and adequate nutrition will require governments efforts at agricultural modernisation. Nwanze’s statement that Africa does not even need to tap into uncultivated land reserves to feed its people (Dougas, 2015) should be seen as an effort to keep Africa’s agriculture at subsistent level. In the event that Africans refuse to progress others will do it and carry the benefits to their countries (Alexander, 2015).

Much of Africa’s failures in agriculture result from poor land governance and ownership. Land reform has had mixed results on the African continent (Binswanger-Mkhize, 2014) but changes that clearly define property rights, ensure the security of land tenure, and enable land to be used as collateral will be necessary for potential productivity gains.

Table 6: Total arable land: past and projected (FAO, 2003).


In the good old days, when we were introduced to History as a subject, and which could also be studied at the University level, we were made to understand that it is the study of the events of the past, relating them to the present and using their outcomes to predict the future. If this is true, then, I am amazed at such frivolous accusations that the colonial masters were responsible for the socio-economic and political woes of developing economies.

Colonisation in Africa

There were two countries in Africa that were not colonised: Ethiopia and Liberia. The statuses of these two countries are not found to be remarkably better than the colonised countries. On the high GDP of 10.20% annual growth rate Priewe (2010) surmised “In 2000, Ethiopia was the poorest country on the globe in per capita GDP – a mere 124 US$ in current prices, as compared with current 910 US$. The main finding is that the take-off was driven by heterodox monetary and fiscal policy which targeted public expenditure for infrastructure. This triggered an increase in domestic demand, reinforced by strongly rising terms of trade under buoyant growth of the global economy until 2008. The combination of favourable factors induced strong productivity leaps mainly in agriculture and lifted millions of smallholder peasants, at least, partially out of subsistence economy toward participation in markets. Aggressive expansionary macroeconomic policies triggered bulging fixed investment, much beyond a narrow public expenditure boom.”

 Table 7: GDP and Literacy Statuses of African Countries

Table 7: GDP and Literacy Statuses of African Countries (cont’d)

Table 7: GDP and Literacy Statuses of African Countries (cont’d)

3Liberia’s growth rate stands at 2.50%, ranking it 42nd position out of 54 African countries.  Ethiopia ranks highest on literacy level at100% while Liberia ranks 40th with a mere 43%. On Human Development Index (HDI) Ethiopia ranks 41st at 0.406 while Liberia ranks 39th at 0.413 within the region; France, UK and USA respectively scored 0.952, 0.946 and 0.951. Liberia has a high rank, 6th among 50 countries ranked, in political stability at an index of 0.55 while Ethiopia falls to 44th with a score of -1.57.

Very important is infrastructure provisioning to assess a nation’s economic development programmes. Ethiopia ranks 34th among African countries by annual electricity production of 98 KWh while Liberia ranks at 38th at a production of 73KWh. In healthcare delivery, Ethiopia is ranked 44th position among African countries and 180th in world ranking while Liberia is rated 50th among African countries and 186th in world ranking. France and United Kingdom ranked 1st and 18th respectively in health and provide 8,336KWh and 12,866KWh of Electricity respectively per capital.


This article is presented with the view of raising concern for the development of the “developing countries”, not to condemn any government
but to create awareness and fashion out concrete paths towards development. While African nations will be the focus, examples will be drawn from other regions. It is hoped that peoples from other nations will contribute positively to the programme of fashioning out the path of development.

There is a Yoruba adage that says “Eepa npa ara ę o ni oun npa’ja, t’aja ba ku n’ibo ni eepa yio wa?” meaning “The dog worm is carrying out its extermination; believing that it is killing the dog, where will be its habitation at the demise of the dog?

This applies to African (and their likes) leaders who are busy carting away the resources of Africa into foreign lands to keep for their children. The Lord who created us said “So shall my word ‘If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. (Ex 22:1,KJV)’ be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isa 55:11, KJV). To those who assume that the grace has covered their iniquities “And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold” (Luke 19:8, KJV) to which Jesus replied “This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:9-10, KJV).


Alexander, D (2015). The Biggest Opportunity In Agriculture May Be In Africa, And China Is Seizing It. Accessed 20 Sep 2018.

Binswanger-Mkhize, HP (2014).  From failure to success in South African land reform. African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics Volume 9 Number 4 pages 253-269.  (2018). Unemployement rate compares the percent of the labor force that is without jobs. Accessed 212 Sep 2018.

Douglas, K (2015). Forget uncultivated land – Africa must produce more on existing farms. Accessed 20 Aug 2018.

Fagoyinbo JB (2016). Understanding God-Ordained Destiny. Accessed 15 Sep 2018.

Fagoyinbo, JB (2016a). Replenish the Earth (Gen 1:28). Accessed 15 Sep 2018.

FAO (2003). Crop Production and Natural Resource Use. In World agriculture: Towards 2015/2030, An FAO perspective. Jelle Bruinsma (ed). Earthscan Publications Ltd London (2018). Colonisation of Africa. Accessed 20 Sep2015.

IMF (2018). GDP per capita, current prices

IndexMundi (2018).  Country Comparison- Population below poverty line (%) Accessed 21 Sep 2018. (2018). List of countries by Human Development Index.

Pan, E. (2005). UNITED NATIONS: Nation-Building. Accessed 06 Sep 2018.

Passi, A. (2018). Why Nation-Building is the Need of the Hour for a Country Like India. Accessed 06 Sep 2018. (2018). Political Stability- Country rankings. Accessed 20 Sep 2018. (2018). GDP Annual Growth Rate | Africa. (2018) (2018). Corruption Perceptions Index 2016. Accessed 21 Sep 2918.

Wikipeda (2018). Gold Reserve. Accessed 15 Sep 2018

Wikipedia (2018a). List of countries by iron ore production. Accessed 15 Sep 2018.

Wikipedia (2018b). List of countries by copper production. Accessed 15 Sep 2018.

Wikipedia (2018c). List of countries by mineral production. Accessed 15 Sep 2018.

World Energy Council (2018). Energy Resources > Coal. World Energy Resources 2016. Accessed 15 Sep 2018.

World Energy Council (2018a). Energy Resources > Oil. World Energy Resources 2016. Accessed 15 Sep 2018

World Energy Council (2018b). Energy Resources > Oil. World Energy Resources 2016. Accessed 15 Sep 2018 (2018). Production of electricity by the countries of the world. Accessed 21 Sep 2018). (2018). List Of Countries By Literacy Rate.


Joseph Babatunde FAGOYINBO

1.1      A Giant

Mythical Giants

In human term, a giant is a person larger than usual (Figure 1). “Giant” is the English word commonly used for monsters of human appearance but prodigious size and strength. There are also accounts of giants in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible. They were:

  • The Nephilim (Genesis 6:4-5) who were destroyed in the flood of Noah’s time (Genesis 7:23);
  • The Anakites (Numbers 13:28-33);
  • The Emites (Deuteronomy 2:10);
  • The Amorites (Amos 2:9)
    The Rephaites (Joshua 12:4);
  • The Magogs led by Gog the chief prince (Ez 38, 39; Rev 20:8); and
  • Goliath (1 Sam 17:4), the only giant that was recorded to live among humans, from Gath and with a height of 6 cubits and a span (about 2.9m / 9ft 6in).

Samson, the Hebrew power man, was not said to be a giant but a man of extraordinary strength (Judg. 15:7-13). He was granted supernatural strength by God in order to combat his enemies. He performed heroic feats such as wrestling a lion, slaying an entire army with only the jawbone of an ass and destroying a pagan temple.

In various Indo-European mythologies, gigantic peoples are featured as primeval creatures associated with chaos and the wild nature, and they are frequently in conflict with the gods.

1.2 A Dwarf

A dwarf is a person of small stature due to medical reasons, usually somebody with an average-sized body but unusually short limbs, or somebody with growth hormone deficiency. Many dwarfs are successful in businesses, acting, science, etc. They marry and produce healthy children, who also contribute to the socio-economic development of their respective communities, nations and the world

1.3 Implications of the Use of Giant as a Qualifying Title

Nigeria probably adopted this title during the Gowon regime because of its ability to deal decisively with the civil war, its huge natural and human resources, coupled with its overwhelming population, and also its efforts in successful intervention in the crises within the African continent which earned it some huge respect by the international community.

Taking a spiritual look at this title it can be deducted that Nigeria’s problems are associated, in part, with the adoption of Giant as qualifying title. In the Holy Bible all giants ended up as failures or were cursed; even Samson that was not described as a giant lost out at the end of his life. In mythology, all giants worked against the gods.

1.4 The Need for a Glorious Title Based on Accomplishments

From independence through to the 1st republic Nigeria had direction with its lean resources: the Western Region (including the Mid-West) pursued education vigorously. Agriculture, health, sports, communication, etc. were not downplayed; the Northern Region also did not downplay education. Greater encouragement was given to those willing to attend schools than it was in the West; the proportion of the population seeking education was limited in the Northern Region, thus the government had to put in greater incentives.

The Ahmadu Bello administration jn Northern Nigeria ran an integrative governance that was not biased against any faith, though some critics claimed that he had an Islamisation Agenda; one of his ministers reported an incidence when Sir Ahmadu Bello wanted to leave a message for one of his Ministers for a short discussion after Sunday Service only for the telephone to be picked by the Minister himself. The Premier was shocked that he, the Minister, was not already in the Church that Sunday morning. The long and short of the story was that the Premier told him, the Minister, where he could get a Holy Bible to buy, attend Church service and come later for their discussion. Sir Ahmadu Bello knew which Church each of his ministers attended, he was aware of their respective times of service, he knew which bookshop would be open and the Minister could get a Holy Bible to buy, and above all, he encouraged his Minister to attend to His God before attending to him. It was also said that the Premier offered to refund the cost. If he had an Islamisation agenda it was not a “be converted or die affair”: he was propagating the religion he knew and believed in.

The Ironsi Military Regime was probably too short to develop a direction. The Gowon era was initially bedeviled with secession. It later had to put the secession into check when there was a pull out by the Eastern Region. The end of secession rolled into the Reconciliation, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction stage. The Gowon Regime should be credited for ending a 30-month civil war without guerrilla warfare as the aftermath. The Regime also commenced the development of National Policies: a few of which were completed before being ousted out. These accomplishments probably led to the adoption of the qualifying title.

Aside from its resources, Nigeria does not qualify for a title by accomplishments.


There is a need to access Nigeria through how international assessors see it; not the way Nigerians observe it internally. International assessments are logical, quantified, scientific, unbiased and reliable.

A look at accepted economic indicators and Nigeria’s rating will assist a good assessment and possibly give governance opportunity to redirect their plans (Table 1). There may be a need to adapt these assessment methods to also give the States self-examination tools. Table 1 presents indices of some socio-economic indicators of development for selected African countries and one country each from Europe/North America, South America, Asia and the Oriental.

The indicators selected are Power Production, Human Development Index, Technological Index, Literacy Rate, and Global Peace Index in relation to the Land Size, Population and Annual Budget of each of the selected countries.

2.1 Power Production

The Transmission Company of Nigeria recently declared that power generation has gone up to 4,286 megawatts, as against the 3,700 megawatts that are being insinuated in the country: considering the huge amount invested in PHCN, this is not an achievement. Nigeria ranks 32 in land area, 9 in population but 70 in power production. Three African countries Algeria, Egypt and South Africa rank 53, 26 and 15 producing 45200, 143500, 268100 x 106 kW-hr/yr respectively as against Nigeria’s 20130 x 106 kW-hr/yr. Nigeria’s population more than triples the population of South Africa. If computed on per capita basis Nigeria will still rank lower than such countries as Namibia and Zambia.

The poor state of energy production has forced such manufacturers as Dunlop, Michelin, etc. out of the country and forced most other manufacturers to close down (Manuaka, 2012).

2.2 Human Development Index

The Human Development Index (HDI) provides an alternative to the common practice of evaluating a country’s progress in development based on per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is a summary measure of human development that is published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

HDI is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education, standards of living, and quality of life for countries worldwide. It is a standard means of measuring well-being, especially child welfare.

Table 1: Indices of Development for Selected Countries

It is used to distinguish whether the country is a developed, a developing or an underdeveloped country, and also to measure the impact of economic policies on quality of life. The index was developed in 1990 by Pakistani economist and Finance Minister Mahbub ul Haq and Indian Nobel Laureate for Economics, Amartya Sen.

Nigeria is ranked 156 at index 0.459. Nigeria is surpassed by Algeria (96, at 0.698), Angola (148, at 0.486), Egypt (113, at 0.644), Ghana (135, at 0.541), Kenya (143, at 0.509), Namibia (120, at 0.625) and South Africa (123, at 0.619). It falls into the Low Human Development group

2.3 Technology Index

Garcia et al (2006) observed that science and technology are central elements of a dynamic growth process because technical knowledge is a driving force for rising productivity and competitiveness.

Technology index denotes a country’s technological readiness. The index is created with such indicators as companies spending on R&D, the creativity of the country’s scientific community, personal computer and internet penetration rates.

At 2.99 Nigeria ranked 86 globally trailing after Egypt (64, at 3.68), Ghana (77, at 3.21), Kenya (71, at 3.31), Namibia (65, at 3.66), South Africa (39, at 4.33), and Tanzania (82, at 3.12).

2.4 Literacy Rate

Literacy is the ability to read and write one’s own name and further for knowledge and interest, write coherently, and think critically about the written word. The inability to do so is called illiteracy. For statistical purposes, UNESCO defines a literate person as someone who can read and write a short simple statement about his/her life. In recognising its impact on poverty, health, active citizenship and empowerment, the development community recognises the fact that illiteracy is a condition that denies people opportunity.

Literacy encompasses a complex set of abilities to understand and use the dominant symbol systems of a culture for personal and community development. In a technological society, the concept of literacy is expanding to include the media and electronic text, in addition to alphabetic and number systems.

Nigeria ranks 189 globally at 61.3% literacy level. Algeria (177, at 69.9%), Angola (176, at 70.1%), Egypt (174, at 72.0), Ghana (183, at 67.3%), Kenya (142, at 87.4%), Malawi (168, at 74.85), Namibia (138, at 88.8), South Africa (147, at 86.4%), Tanzania (178, at 69.4%) and Zambia (158, at 80.6%) all surpass Nigeria.

Over two-thirds of the world’s 793 million illiterate adults are found in only eight countries, namely Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Among the countries contributing the highest illiterate population. Nigeria also has the highest rate of poverty at 67.98 %.

2.5 Global Peace Index

The Global Peace Index (GPI) is an attempt to measure the relative position of nations’ and regions’ peacefulness. The study is the brainchild of Australian entrepreneur Steve Killelea and is endorsed by individuals such as Kofi Annan, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, economist Jeffrey Sachs, former president of Ireland Mary Robinson, and former US president Jimmy Carter (GPI, 2010; Vision of Humanity, 2012). Factors examined by the authors include internal factors such as levels of violence and crime within the country and factors in a country’s external relations such as military expenditure, its relations with neighbouring countries and the level of respect for human rights.

Nigeria ranked 146 at 2.801 falling in the rank of the least peaceful countries in the world. Every other African country listed in Table 1 has a higher level of peace. From 2007 to date, Nigeria has consistently ranked low in the index, signifying worsening state of the nation in terms of peace and security in the past five years. The latest ranking conflicts with the Nation’s proclamation that Nigeria is safe for investment, despite incessant bomb attacks that had killed and is still killing many people, especially in the North, kidnapping in the East and resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta.

Table 2: Nigeria is one of the 8 Largest Contributors to Global Illiteracy


In the curriculum handed over by the colonialists, there were such subjects as Civics that deals with social sciences and the local culture, Geography that deals with the earth sciences and History that tells of stories relating to explorations, navigation, religion propagation and the past relating to the presence of the localities.

In most of the religion-based schools, there were orchards filled with palatable and tempting fruits that no student dared pluck. Those who went through such training are the ones that are being circulated in governance when they should be relaxing in their “armchairs” and giving advice to the younger ones in governance. These are the same people in administration up till the late 1970s when an ex-student could apply for transcript through the Post and Telecommunications Department (P&T) and it would be attended to with despatch, when a Youth Corps Member would apply for refund of his/her caution deposit from his former university and it would be forwarded within a fortnight through the P&T, when an applicant did not need to know the location of a university before the day of his/her enrolment.

Our leaders up to and including Gowon’s regime were patriotic:

  1. Awolowo, Chief Obafemi: He was an astute businessman before he went to study commerce and eventually law. He was trading in cocoa produce. He practised land law and there were claims that he received his fees mainly through land ceding. He was wealthy for his time and left a substantial estate.
  2. Azikiwe, Dr. Nnamdi: A well-learned man of repute. He was a journalist and owned a newspaper publishing; which platform he used for his contribution to the struggle for independence. He also probably made some wealth before entering into politics
  3. .Balewa, Sir Tafawa: He was a teacher turned politician. He left no substantial estate even as the Prime Minister.
  4. Bello, Sir Ahmadu: He was a teacher turned politician >He was committed to the emancipation of the Northern Region. He was not wealthy and left no substantial estate. There was a story that those who murdered him, in a coup, wanted to show off his loot and thus brought the security safe in his house to the open. On blowing same open the safe was found to contain one shilling and the address of an English friend: if this is not the truth it would be near; considering the status of the estate he left behind;
  5. Gowon, Dr. Yakubu: Ousted from office as a young man, he subsequently went into exile in the United Kingdom, where he enroled for a degree programme and furthered to acquire a Ph.D. in political science as a student at the University of Warwick. He lived in north London and integrated himself with the English community. He served a term as Churchwarden in the local church. On his return to Nigeria he formed a non-denominational religious group, Nigeria Prays. He is also involved in the Guinea Worm Eradication Programme as well as the HIV Programme with Global Fund of Geneva. Gowon founded his own organisation in 1992 called the Yakubu Gowon Centre. The organisation is said to work on issues in Nigeria such as good governance as well as infectious disease control including HIV/AIDS, guinea worm, and malaria;
  6. Okpara, Sir Michael: He was a strong advocate of what he called “pragmatic socialism” and believed that agricultural reform was crucial to the ultimate success of Nigeria. He never owned a house of his own while he was in government. His friends and beneficiaries had to build a house for him in his home place after his return from exile.

What really went wrong between then and now? Fagbadebo (2007) reported that the Nigerian state is a victim of high-level corruption causing the retardation of national development and a ceaseless cycle of crisis arising from peoples’ discontent against the government. He further stated that corruption became legitimised, especially during the Babangida and Abacha regimes (1985-1998), with huge revenues, but wasteful spending, and nothing to show in terms of physical developments


Late Chinua Achebe said that “the trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership”. He is of the view that “the major problem is the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to rise to the responsibility, to the challenge of personal examples which are hallmarks of true leadership”. His claim can be substantiated with the following:

  1. There was an insurgency that gradually developed into civil war after the failures of several dialogues. The insurgency was put off through what was described as “military action”. The antidote “military action” left no splinters in the form of guerrilla warfare: a feat for Nigeria;
  2. Towards the end of Babangida Administration, into the short-lived Sonekan’s interim leadership, the banks had lost the confidence of the people. The Abacha regime quickly restored the integrity of the banks; although many of them failed out;
  3. An erstwhile Minister of Communication declared that telephone was for the “rich”: Obasanjo Regime made telephone available to all and sundry (Fig. 2): breaking the dominance of Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL);

    Telephone is now ubiquiyous
  4. From Babangida regime, all through to the Abacha regime fuel scarcity was the order of the day but Obasanjo was able to put this in check and there was most of the time free flow of fuel:
  5. The tenure of Namadi Sambo as Executive Governor of Kaduna State brought the trains out to roll again on the tracks: thus, easing transportation along Kafanchan-Kaduna-Zaria and spurring the Nigerian Railway to wake up: this act has resuscitated the Lagos-Kano line;
  6. Nigerians were made to believe, and are still being told, that there is subsidy on fuel but Abacha made us aware that profit was being made on fuel: the Abacha regime sold PMS for N11.00/litre and a declared N4.00/litre profit was ploughed into the Petroleum [Special] Trust Fund (PTF) that funded the national facilities and infrastructures rehabilitation programme of the regime; Subsequent administrations have resurfaced the subsidy issues and Nigerians have also refused to ask how Abacha was able to gather profits he utilised for infrastructures rehabilitation and where the subsidies of the subsequent regimes surface from; and
  7. Raji Fasola Administration’s capability to handle the menace of solid waste management in Lagos metropolis.

Table 3: Price Fluctuation of Premium Motor Spirit From 1977-2012
(N1= 100k; N165=US$ approx., by 2013)

4.1 What are the Problems?

To be able to salvage Nigeria there is a need to identify the problems, identify their sources and proffer solutions. Nigeria’s problems are known and are solvable. Every Nigerian believes that it is the other Nigerians that should address and carry out the solutions while he/she is excluded from the solving process.

4.1.1 Corruption

Every prominent politician has spoken against corruption and advocated integrity but how many of them can boldly claim to be free from gratifications from establishments for the passage of budget drafts (Adeniji, 2012)? The fuel subsidy issue is still fresh in memory (Ajayi, 2012). Also of note is Alamieyeseigha’s pardon (Odebode and Olokor, 2013) notwithstanding that Nigeria as a whole and the judiciary were ridiculed because of the man: is there any justifiable reason for the pardon on a crime committed by the recipient?

Public officers embezzle with impunity: allegedly under covers of higher authorities (Razaq, 2004; Bajulaiye, 2007) while those elected to govern involve themselves in money laundering. Iyaniwura (2013) reported that in 2001 when former President Obasanjo tried to look into the US$12.4 billion that disappeared under IBB’s regime, it was said that all records with the Central Bank of Nigeria that were relating to the scam had disappeared. But in 2005 when the House of Representatives wanted to impeach the President, the records suddenly reappeared.

Every prominent traditional ruler has pleaded with governance on ending corruption but conspicuously and flamboyantly confer traditional titles on corrupt politicians and so-called statesmen and those who have displayed wealth acquired through doubtful means: some get implicated in acts of malpractices (thepost, 2012; Information Nigeria, 2013).

Notable “men of God” mount the pulpits and rostra to preach against corruption and malpractices but many are known to bootlick politicians, wealthy retired military officers and businessmen of doubtful characters for gratifications and sponsorships (Olokor, 2013). The Christ Embassy’s complicity in Sheraton Hotels’ N39m loot is a case in point (Ajaero, 2003).

4.1.2 Divide and Rule Approach

Caulcrick (2013) aptly summed this up thus “The government of Babangida created a relief valve for dissent by allowing dual nationality for Nigerians. That masterly act allows the untouchables in the society to have a window of escape to other lands, instead of confrontations with the government of the day as the effect of SAP began to bite. It would have been the children of influential people who would most likely have been born in the West and not those of the masses. They, most probably, would have been the ones to champion the dissent to the government. With them out of the way, it was a picnic for that government to dish out unpalatable meals to the populace”.

4.1.3 Deception

On what basis was the title “giant” adopted? As shown above, the title is spiritually damaging. No sane person ever names his child Cain or Judas. Nigeria ignorantly assumed that the rapidly diminishing and unsustainable oil money, the vast unutilised land, the vast water resources that flow through the land into the Atlantic unused, the uncontrolled solid minerals that are being exploited unofficially and the high poverty-stricken illiterate population are enough qualifying factors for leadership of the continent: the United States of America is able to lead the world because it is resourceful and productive. Europe was able to explore and colonise Africa because it is adventurous and enterprising and such developing countries as India are able to lift up their economies because they are progressively determined.

From the establishment of the Nigerian Civil Service by the British colonial power in 1861 it has undergone several reforms (Ogunrotifa, 2012). Every effort from post-independence era to the contemporary times aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the federal civil service by successive governments in Nigeria have failed to cause the civil service to deliver efficient service to the people. Ogunrotifa further observed that it suffers from obsolescence, lethargy and a lack of enthusiasm in carrying out government policies. He noted that most of the previous reforms largely failed because of plethora of factors: lack of political will to implement the reforms on the part of the political leadership, politics, sentiments and mediocrity that have undermined and ensured that the recommendations of several committees were never implemented to the letter, government attempt to reform civil service out of the way of its capitalistic foundation without taking a break from the status quo, and conscious attempt at ignoring democratic practice in the management of civil service.

Very often Nigerians blame their woes on the colonialists; however, somebody needs to reveal the documents the British colonialists left behind stating that:

  1. State Executive Governors should concentrate on money laundering and not service delivery;
  2. The refineries should be kept inactive to ensure regular importation:
  3. Natural gas should be flared to ensure that Nigeria does not have too much money;
  4. Mandates of research institutes should be distorted to ensure non-performance;;
  5. Extension agencies of the various agricultural establishments should be detonated to allow for food importation;
  6. Government properties should be sold for a pittance; many beneficiaries sold minute portions of the containing lands to pay for the properties, built houses in their hometowns, bought cars and still had millions in their accounts;
  7. Productive and honest officers should be rationalised out of service to allow for mediocrity;
  8. The railway transportation system should be discontinued;
  9. Funds for establishing and rehabilitating public infrastructures should be embezzled;
  10. Facilities and infrastructures should not be maintained; etc;
  11. Civil Service should be made inactive;
  12. National Assembly should decide their own emoluments; carting millions of naira on a monthly basis while civil servants are pegged at N18,000 monthly


Mythical Giants


Presently Nigeria does not need a qualifying title: Nigeria needs an aspiration; an aspiration that is related to the Vision 20 2020. But Nigeria also needs to review that vision based on where it is in relation to the target (Table 4). Nigeria threw away the flying elephant because elephants do not fly.

Nigeria should cease to be a giant because giants do not succeed. Giants do not develop; they die out. Nigerians are interested in titles: Alhaji; Hadjia; JP (Jerusalem Pilgrim); TP (Town Planner); QS (Quantity Surveyor); Surv (Surveyor); Senator (Even after the expiration of term); Hon. (Notwithstanding that he never raised or contributed any meaningful discussion to any bill); Engr (Even when he never entered the walls of a Trade Centre/Technical College); His Excellency (Notwithstanding that no developments are visible in the state attributable to him after his tenure but state revenues laundered into his accounts kept outside the shores of the land. Because Nigerians love to be entitled, they believe the nation also should.

Note: This write up should have been published 2013 but there was an oversight that made it unpushed. Until a reference was to be made to it was it discovered that it was still in a draft form. The conditions of Nigeria have not changed much.
Though economic growth is declared, economic development does not translate into improved wellbeing of the populace. The NASS people cart home millions monthly but states are owing civil servants their basic salaries of approximately N35,000.00/month for upwards of eleven months

Table 4: Economic Indicators of Level of Industrialisation


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