Nigeria, my dear Nigeria. When will our people change? Months back, when I heard that the deadline for the registration of the Bank Verification Number had been moved to October 31, I was happy. At least, people wouldn’t have an excuse anymore. Boy, how wrong I was. Imagine my shock when the news making the rounds on Friday was that crowds had blocked the entrances to various banking halls nationwide. I wanted to choke. Really? Like, REALLY??? I wasn’t sure I heard right. After four months, this was what we could come up with? I’m exasperated.
Little wonder the phrase “African Time” has come to stay. Nigerians sha. We push the limits sometimes. And talking of deadlines, did you hear what was also in the news last week? MTN Nigeria was fined for not disconnecting the lines of people who hadn’t registered their sim cards. Now, that isn’t the real issue here. The real issue is that they were fined 1.4 TRILLION Naira to be paid up by November 16th!!! What was NCC thinking when they decided on such a punishment? I mean, Nigeria’s economic situation isn’t one to write home about at the moment, and NCC pulls such a stunt?
The implication of this imposition is that ultimately, foreign investors will be afraid of coming in to invest in Nigeria. We’re all about economic improvement, but in this case, we just shot ourselves in the foot. Imagine! Nigeria doesn’t even have a Minister of Finance yet! At the India-Africa Summit, I believe PMB said something about wanting foreign investors to come in and develop the country. Why then would a part of his government impose such a jaw-dropping fine on one of Nigeria’s top investors? I respect PMB and most of what he stands for, but on this one, I believe he should put his house in order and let what he says be commensurate to what his government agencies do. You cannot say one thing and allow your underlings do another. Granted, what they did what irresponsible and a blatant show of insolence; still, the punishment isn’t commensurate to the crime. That’s my opinion though.
Another problem I have with this imposition of fines is this: where does the money go? MY PEOPLE, WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?? The same question goes for the so called “recovery” of looted funds. Where is all this money? In as much as I’m happy with the recent anti corruption policies being put in place, I’m not so optimistic about the disposal of these recovered monies. I earnestly pray we’re not pouring stolen water into a leaking basket. What’s your opinion though? Say your mind in the comments!!
Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence. – Vince Lombardi