Tag Archives: Goodluck Jonathan

Subsidy Removal for Forced-minimalism

24 Jan

For many Nigerians, 2012 did not have a good beginning. This is because the cost of living from Jan 1, 2012, skyrocketed to a frightening height, over a 100 percent. This was a bitter pill Nigerians were made to swallow by our government in the name of fuel subsidy removal. The government said it needed to remove the subsidy to open up the market and cut cost. So forced “minimalism” became the survival strategy from day 1 in 2012 and thereafter. Nigerians home and abroad hit the streets in protest. Nigerians from all works of life, ages and in different parts of the world set out to occupynigeria .

Minimalism is a green concept of living with only the exact things you truly need and reducing ones thirst to consume more. In this contest, “forced minimalism” is hoarding and managing what you have to make it last longer and holding strongly unto all other things you have because you know not what this subsidy removal has in store.

Minimalism this period became not optional but by instinct. The new cost of living, heightened by the nationwide strike activated forced minimalism in every Nigerian except ofcos government officials and their families whose fat pay and mega lifestyle  rejects cost cutting by default.

Nigerians began to save, hoard and protect whatever they had. From food to clothing, airtime, drinks, Alomo Bitters (Latest drink in Lagos and its environ) and most especially petrol. According to your social and financial class, use of resources got reduced a great deal. People turned off their air-con, reduced their use of generators and embraced a more eco-friendly means of transportation-walking and cycling on the empty streets.  Nigeria is hugely dependent on use of petrol because  electricity doesn’t work and no other means of transportation works as much as road transportation and air for the few who can afford it. So every thing was affected. Even the sky experienced a bit of FRESH AIR. Air transport was shut down . You either coughed out enough cash and time to travel by road, start a new life where ever you got stuck,  wait till the government reduces the cost of petrol and the strike is called off or wait till one of Mr Presidents  Subsidy SAVIOUR  Buses comes to take you away like the Chariot of fire.

I strolled out to buy some akara(bean cakes) and had a great laugh as I listened to a young boy narrate his forced minimalism ordeal to his friend. He had in his hand a sachet of pure water. He said “ My guy, see as I hold pure water for hand because I never finish am. If na before, as I drink am reach the amount wen I want, I no care whether na small or big remain, I go throw way am. But this one, I no care if e de spoil my swag o. I go hol am for hand till I finish am, I no care if na from mainland reach island o. Na N20  I buy am. No be N5 o!!!  20Nairaaa!!!!  My brother, my eyes don red. Na manage I dey”. It was so hilarious but also shocking to hear that the price of pure water had gone that high.

Lord, do it for her. You turned water into wine. You have done it before. You can do it again!!

Like majority of Nigerians, I am for subsidy removal because of the long term benefits. Opening up a sector for more investors, breaks monopoly and brings about competition/reduction in price of the commodity. The reason people rose up against this change and hit the street was majorly because of the timing. Jan 1. When folks were still back in their villages , have spent so much money during the festivities and getting set to go home possibly having just their transportation fares. Worst still, Nigeria lacks good infrastructure to help cushion the effects. Therefore, it was a story of pain and anguish for so many.

The question of cutting cost was unacceptable for Nigerians. In a nation with extravagant government spending and a history of widespread theft of billions by military rulers and present politicians. Why wouldn’t judgement start in the house of power? Why wouldn’t the government cut down on their wastage to help the economy instead of worsening the living of over 160million people.

I did not enjoy the striking period one bit(except the holiday and family bonding time), but I am sure mother nature did while it lasted. She must have been glad that we  learnt to use our resources wisely and in a sustainable manner.

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Long live mother earth and a moment of silence for all who lost their lives in the struggle for a better Nigeria. Have a great 2012 and overcome every challenge one day at a time.

More photos below.

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PHCN…… Stop the noise and the carbon.

13 Oct

Nawa o.

I couldn’t sleep well last night, therefore I put finger on keyboard to write this piece.

Power supply  in Abuja has been such bad news. It started with electricity going off  for a few hours on Monday, Oct 10 2011 then gradually going  for a whole day and more. I thought it could just be peculiar to my area which was very unusual (I am favoured to have found an APARTMENT  in an area specially loved by PHCN. Guess they realized that Ugochi has moved in. No vex, no beef me. Receive this same miracle …….AMENNNNNN). Anyway  we soon got to realize that it  was not just us, it was a total ‘’BLACK-OUT’’  in the entire nation. The Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN)  shut down five power stations in the country because  Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) shut down five gas stations for maintenance to help improve gas supply to the power plants. With the shutdown, Nigeria will be losing about 1,400 megawatts of electricity. And so since monday, tons of carbon have been realized into the Nigerian atmosphere. To worsen the situation, RIM seized the Blackberry network , right after Airtel users recovered from a network shutdown caused by a protest over the undue sacking of about 3000 of Airtel staff. With all these many issues, ICT had a down time, thereby adding fuel to fire.

I usually sleep and sleep well, and not even a sucker mosquito with metal “piercing and sucking” equipment is able to stop my sleep till I am ready to wake up. This night, was different. The noise generated by the ‘’very many’’ generators in and around my vicinity is able to alter ones sense of hearing. OMG!!!!!!!

Half of my neighbours have been running their generators the past 24hours, not even the darkness of night nor the sweetness of sleep would stop them talk less of ‘’eco-friendliness’’. A large amount of the air we are going to inhale this night and in the days to come would contain some amount of carbon monoxide. Carbon inhalation for the generator user and a non-user like me. Yes I do not use one. Not because my salary no reach, I just don’t like the noise and I ‘’HATE’’ the fume. The last one I had was just powered for a few hours, stayed out redundant for months till I gave it out  and remember I stated earlier that my area has generous supply of power so you would not quite miss not having a power generating set.

The power sector of Nigeria has been a huge failure and over the years, the people are beginning  to give up on ever having constant power supply. We have heard different sweet promises by politicians. We have also seen probes of individuals involved in looting of funds, billions of dollars  meant to bring Nigeria power. Nothing is ever heard after the initial ‘’gragra’’ (so much noise about the issue). We are still believing and hoping that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan delivers on his promise in the area of power provision.

So for millions of Nigerians, especially those who never see electricity beyond 2hrs or less daily, monthly or yearly, this ‘’BLACK-OUT’’ season, the inhalation of toxin has increased. Businesses will be halted, running cost would increase, children would breathe in the fumes emitted, and globally, extra pressure (no matter how small) would be added to earth’s climate. It’s a cycle. This extra pressure will further alter the climate and a rural farmer would cry when the extreme sun dries up her crop, when his cattle finds no grazing area or the excess rain washes her crop and investment away. For we, city dwellers, we would pay some extra naira to put food on our table, And for the super rich who doesn’t mind an extra bucks, you and your entire household would pay by joining the poor/everyone to inhale this air that we are polluting.

For the Politian and contractor who stole the funds for solving this energy crises, u-follow-join. Whether you live in Nigeria or not, the climate we are changing is the same. And the companies manufacturing and shipping to Nigeria, you would experience earth’s anger as well.

I would try and go back to sleep. I do not have the power to stop the deafening  sound from these generators, nor the power to stop  the carbon from finding its way into my room once in a while (because I need air, the windows have to stay open) but I have realized that I have the power to ensure my children have a better environment. The power to secure their future, their health, their share of earth’s resources (until Christ comes for the saints. Yes I am a Christian) and save their own children too. I can do this by sticking to living an eco-friendly life style. It’s not always as easily done as preached, but step by step, day by day, I would ensure that every one of my action is fair to the environment. I would strive to reduce my carbon footprint by ECO-ly thinking through my every action. But for my power to work, I need to work with you. I need you to do your part. Please consider our dear mother nature.Local individual actions would bring about a global result.

By Franke James

I will try to get back to sleep………Awwwwwww!!!!!!! Low batteryyyyyyyyyyyy……….


I have asked about 5 colleagues what they thought about the blackout and guess what, they asked me “When”? They amazingly did not notice. They have gotten so used to NEPA  Never Expect Power Always(old name). PHCN Power Holding Company of Nigeria (new name). We hope this maintenance really improves our electricity. Stop holding the  power. The name change did not work biko !!!!!!