By Iyinoluwa Aboyeji
– Jay-Z “D’evils”
This week’s column will be pretty short because I have said whatever I have to say about this week’s hot topic in its entirety before and not much has changed since then.
I am halfway through the probe by House of Representatives of the NNPC. Hopefully, once I am done, I’ll have more detailed thoughts on the matter. So far, there is no doubt there is a lot of depressing stuff in there. However, what I find surprising is the indignation of my fellow columnists at the fact that the government lied to its people. There is nothing new about that. Governments always lie. The more interesting point in this case, is how much the government’s lies actually do matter because as guardians of the state’s resources we have put them in a position where they have so much to gain and so little to loose by doing so.
Many are going to insist that the probe is ultimate proof that fuel subsidy removal was a horrible idea and its proponents are unconscionable agents of the government. What these people forget is that the best way to deal with maggots is to set their host to flames. The NNPC is crawling with infested maggots. It deserves a prime spot in government’s bonfire. A few months ago, in the heat of the subsidy debate, I wrote an article for this publication about why the subsidy still needs to go. I am going to ask you, to please re-read it as it remains much of what I have to say about this matter.
Let me conclude by quoting the conclusion of that article :
“As with Sauron’s ring in the fabled Tolkien classic, reforming the NNPC to make it work with our subsidized yoke might seem like an attractive option, but let’s not forget its rich history of enchantment. Perhaps it is better for us to keep it marching steadily towards the fires of Mount Doom.”
Farouk Lawan is no Frodo and we need to destroy the ring. Let’s do well to keep our eyes on Mount Doom.