Quick one on 15 December

I was back on the radio today with Shopsy, and two stood out among the stories we talked about. The first one, from Guardian Nigeria, talked about the scale of oil theft.

The first question here is, “what is Nigeria’s elite”? Because that question is what determines responsibility. If we don’t have names, this is a useless exercise as no one would be brought to book, and as long as no one is brought to book, the lucrative business would continue. I had better roll up my sleeves and join in this lucrative gig.

In real terms, ₦16.25 trillion is about $46 billion. Let us look at averages here — we are talking of almost $4 billion a year that disappears, which means that it goes away from government coffers into thin air.

Consider that in real terms, except for 2012 and 2013, Nigeria’s national budget has never surpassed $30 billion, and then the scale of the problem becomes clear. Considering that 13% of your national budget walks away each year, consider the knock-on effects. Last year, the country’s revenue was $11 billion, and you’re telling me that $4 billion of this, an entire third of our revenue last year, disappeared? And no one is attempting to put names to the “elite” that are making it disappear?

I feel like I’ve been foolish all my life…

The second story is in The Punch about the UK opening up immigration to Nigerian teachers among others. I won’t dwell too much on this other than to point out that we’re watching, in realtime, how countries compete.

The UK shot itself in the foot with Brexit, and is doing everything to fill the canyon that moment of madness has created. This includes getting people to keep their country going wherever they can find them.

Do you have the skills?

It does not matter whether you are white, brown, black or green, just come and collect some £££. Ironic, considering that in the very same government, you have the likes of Suella Braverman chatting shit.

But for Nigeria, I find it hilarious that the NUT is beating its chest that Nigerian teachers are great, which is why the UK wants them. As always, we’re barking up the wrong tree. High-end schools such as the BIS, Dowen College, Vivian Fowler, Corona, and St Saviour’s will suffer the effect of this most immediately. It is their teachers who are paid well enough to be able to attempt the costly migration exercise in short order.

These more affluent schools will end up seizing teachers from second-order private schools, so middle-class education will suffer as those that will be left to teach in middle-class schools would be those who are currently teaching in places like Ugbojiobo Comprehensive school, and frankly, when you remember the tests that Adams and Nasir set, and the results of those, the future looks bleak for education in these parts.

Eventually, the middle-class teachers who moved to upper-class schools will follow their predecessors and leave Nigeria, and that is how the cookie will crumble as even the St Saviour’s will end up taking teachers from Ugbojobo. Do you see where I’m going with this?

Essentially, we will see even further gutting of our education system, making the japa crisis we are facing even worse. As I’ve said in the past, we won’t know what hit us when this shit hits the fan. Even worse, our government just doesn’t care.

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Using big data to understand West Africa one country (or is it region?) at a time.

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Cheta Nwanze

Using big data to understand West Africa one country (or is it region?) at a time.