Nigeria, Government, Nigeria Kuta discussed on John Batchelor
To talk. This is the John Batchelor show. My colleague, Gregory copy editor publisher of defense and foreign affairs. Also, the author most recently of sovereignty we turn our attention to Nigeria sovereign Nigeria is undergoing an election process. That may spill out several more weeks, the original round of elections have been postponed because well, that's part of the mystery of Nigeria which is the most populous state last time, I checked in Africa also state that is critical to the success of its customers for its light. Sweet crude, but it is ripped apart by turmoil. Especially in the north the rebels who are associated with Al Qaeda and other cutthroats and in the south and in the centre part of the country. I go to the center part of the country. Gregory good evening to you. An amazing fact that you've known for some time about Nigeria, but I just discovered thanks to the economists is that for the last forty. Years. There has been a steel mill in central Nigeria Kuta where it's located. It's been the recipient of eight billion dollars a foreign aid over these forty years. It now has. A billion dollars in public money. Foreign aid some of the public other part now has ten thousand pensioners from these forty years. But and this is the twist that is hard to believe, but we're not making this up. It's never produced one beam of steel forty years a steel mill that's never made steel. Does this? Tell us that the present turmoil with president Bahari is is traditional in Nigeria. Good evening to you, Gregory. Good evening, John. Well, if education is the poster child for corruption inefficiency and Malays in Nigeria, and of course, it's not doing of Bihari himself about the fact that he didn't make a lot of progress in getting education operating. It is it is. Toyota tenure. So it's not surprising. He hasn't had anything working to be fair. A part of that project with with the steelworks and the railway line associated with it has been under some kind of movement since about two thousand sixteen when the government awarded contracts to to China, civil engineering construction corporation, which has been. They and their allies have been building most of the time in Nigeria and the Jalen Julius beg to repairing complete the railway. So they making a little progress there. But on the whole the problem of Nigeria is that it has not been productive that it has not yet. Transitioned away from its oil and gas dependency that hasn't revived its agriculture to anything like the requisite levels. And of course, it has lost infrastructure because of the successive damning of the Niger river, not just in Nigeria but upstream as well. So that you've lost the ability on the Niger river to use that river as the great cereal waterway that it once was so there was some things which are related to the absolute abject failure economically of the Buhari administration. And there was some things which are up to deep scope, historically, and regionally let's discuss the fact that this president election is not going to resolve Nigeria's problems. And they're in many moving parts. However, I want to start with something that you've acquainted with these last years the fighting in the north Boko haram. And other bad actors rating into northern Nigeria. The army the inability of the army to respond in any fashion. I believe they've lost an enormous amount of equipment and sometimes whole towns are occupied by the the cutthroats is the army's failure in the north part of Bihari and his predecessor Goodluck Jonathan and his predecessor is that part of the administration at of Nigeria that fails. And is that part of the cynicism of the Nigerian people that nothing's going to chain. I didn't believe that the Nigerian people feel that nothing is going to change. I think that they remain frankly, despite all they remain optimistic that they can make democracy work. The problem is that people who sees power mostly through electoral malpractice, determined to make sure that democracy does not work. We we saw went into four years ago. Goodluck Jonathan was facing an enormous challenge. And he was looking for ways right up until the day of the election to postpone the election. In fact, all of these advisers had hoped we can postpone the election, we can declare martial Logan state of on and we can spend the election indefinitely. The thing is that the international community would not accept that. And that we see that the same thing applied to Bahari. Though, the people around Harry in the state in the presidency office. They were mostly pushing for indefinite postponement of the election because they hadn't planned hell to win the election. Now the. Offering on several levels. Yes, they have now achieved a one-week postponement of the election. But it's all desperate last-minute stuff that also attempted to manipulate diverging system by making sure that for example, just one example, they have under delivered ballot papers to the voting stations around Nigeria. So if you've got say three hundred people on the books in one in one voting polling station. A hundred ballot papers than even if a hundred percent of that those papers made out in favor of the opposition candidate the government by retaining the two hundred other ballot papers can actually if you like file false papers for the remaining people on the on the register who went. Inviting because of the lack of ballot papers, but they can be they can be subsequently filled in and and you can rig the election. And make sure you you you. Win. No matter how many people go to the police with the intent of defeating the government. So we've now saying very much number Mary documented issues with the the the polling station. People have just said, look, we just delivered the one hundred papers instead of three hundred. So that would tell them with lead to count the papers we had assigned for them just signed to these papers. And and so clearly the process was being corrupted. Now, this may be part of the reason why the independent national electoral commission decided to postpone the vote. For a week to get more to remedy that situation, or it might be that the the government itself persuaded the enac the electoral commission to give it more time. Good question Bahari is not kinda give up even though all of the indicators against him. And these are particularly the economic indicators which have inspired so much anxiety never seen this level of youth. Unemployment in Nigeria for decades, perhaps since independence. This is that level of distrust is the the question of national security and the failure of the military to come to grips with Boko haram and related groups in the north and the revival of new Niger delta groups, which an anonymous Llamas, but the reality is that these problems at all related to corruption at the highest levels, the military leadership put in place, fifty by Goodluck Jonathan and then watch out and put it in another a lot of officers put in politically having just giving up all of the procurement contracts for the military. There is no proper actionable intelligence so therefore the units funding units in the north. I have no idea where the enemy is. And the thing consistently ambushed and defeated because they didn't have a chance I've got very poor higher level leadership and surprisingly, very courageous junior levels. So we have we have we have. Traditional corruption in Asia at a new and higher level. We have an army that's dispirited and badly lead in the north. And we have the oil revenue in the south to my knowledge. There's some tapping of the revenue by local groups, but it continues to flow and the foreign oil companies in partnership with Nigeria are stable is that all correct? Yes. The oil from from the the wellhead or the ports or just from the pipelines stealing from the from the at the ports is the hot is the biggest number because the government's involved in that that always becomes the second reissue because of the crisis in the economy, generally, not necessarily to to do with oil. Well, are they are they are the oil companies unhappy are they do they believe the instability is threatening their of their works. Or can they continue with Bihari happily? They can't continue with go, Harry happily, although. All the oil companies have made sure that they paid whatever the the tariff is in a Buddha to the politician. So they've done their bit. And now the politicians have to deliver you get a new governing there'll be another round of payoffs there. But so the time being companies relatively complacent simply because there was no insurgency in the Niger delta at the moment. But we see the signs that it's going to start again. In fact, not just in the Niger delta, but also among the boat people in looking at the the whole issue of raising the whole issue of autonomy. Oh, perhaps even independents once again full be afra- that region by region of Nigeria. The situation and for Bahari is that he's presenting the people who are going to vote eventually as he is the man of the status quo. If they like what they have right now, he will continue it the the challenger. However, we will turn to the challenger. Now is a man named avocado. Abu Bakar, and he campaigned on the slogan reminiscent of another populist. Let's get Nigerians working again. I'm speaking with Gregory copy editor in popular defense, and foreign affairs, the author most recently have sovereignty and when we come back the challenger in the troubled Nigeria. I'm John bachelor. This is the.