Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Nigeria: Rightfully pouring scorn on Nigeria @ 50

Not surprised at all

I was quite amused to read that foreign firms operating in Nigeria had not responded to requests [1] to sponsor the Nigeria @ 50 celebrations.

In what might well read as sour grapes the Director-General of the organising committee for the celebration of Nigeria’s Golden Jubilee celebration somewhat narrated his ordeal on the day that the so-called celebrations were to commence.

I for one would not blame the foreign firms in any way for refusing to put their face or money behind this jamboree for so many reasons that we have not honestly recognised about their reticence.

A failure of priorities and importance

A well organised setup would have had the preparations for such an auspicious occasion well underway, probably a year before regardless of the time of flux that accompanied the illness of President Umaru Yar’Adua; Nigeria was going to be 50 regardless.

If the ship of state had not been serving the intents and purposes of people who were out for their own gain rather than for the progress of the country, the plans the country had for these celebrations would probably have impressed the foreign firms enough to engage them to be interested and be willing to contribute to the events.

No change still

I wrote at the end of July [2] that there was a lack of preparedness for the celebrations and apart from the money that has been doled out by the government which might well end up in the pockets of rogues, everywhere else seems to be well into organising something apart from the government itself.

Just under 3 weeks to the celebrations, we still cannot find a web presence of the celebrations being organised by the government or its organs of publicity.

It is with utter shame that I recall that Ghana had their website up months before their celebrations in March 2007 and catalogued a complete year of events just to celebrate their coming of age.

Typically Nigerian

Nigeria however wallows in its penchant for bumbling and unpreparedness with some official crying foul when in fact they have nothing to show for their ability to manage, organised and persuade, expecting miracles to happen and fate to rain success on their parades.

I am glad the foreign firms have occupied themselves with other activities rather then read the beggarly missive they received in March, they should have gone further in pouring scorn on the whole project, if only to awaken a sense of urgency and responsibility.

It is a shame that the official does not seem to have realised that a clear message was being sent to his committee and the government that if they cannot see signs of organisation, professionalism, seriousness, determination and probity, not one cent would escape their grasp to that fiesta of the debauched.

Nothing to salvage but shame

One can only contemn the organisers who after realising their difficulty in raising funds did not raise this matter earlier and find ways to appeal to the better elements of our society to prevail on these firms but allowed for this to drag on until the very eve of the events at which time literally nothing can be salvaged of the generosity of the firms or the reputations of the organisers and the government.

Hopefully, Nigerians would see beyond the rueful cry and have in mind the very fundamental saying, “If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.”

They might just pull it off but it all could have been better done but in Nigeria of who little is expected, much less is desired – we would celebrate in spite of the government and their representatives.


[1] How foreign firms scorned Nigeria @ 50, by Kaigama « Vanguard (Nigeria)

[2] Akin: Nigeria: Utter unpreparedness for the golden jubilee

[3] Ghana@50 - Official Website For The 50th Independence Anniversary Celebration Of Ghana