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By Professor Dr. Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai

Published September 3rd, 2009

Dr. Reuben Abati’s article entitled, “Banking Crisis and the Revolt of the Poor,” is an informed commentary on Nigeria ’s social relations.

In the last ten years, I have noted that in our country, one does not have to be an innovator, pioneer, genius or even gifted to be a rich person.

It is rather who you know, or whether your kind of appointment creates an open sesame access to banking facilities or looting the treasury.

Money made by manufacturing is no more valuable.. Access to other people’s money through the bank is a process that has been minting millionaires in Nigeria . A billion is a billion, who cares how it is acquired!

If the borrowed money is used to create jobs, then it is socially productive. Abuse is what we condemn.

The Rubicon between poverty and being rich in Nigeria is crossed very quickly, loudly and with proclamation. Not many people succeed in Nigeria by dint of hard work any more.

Those days are gone and gone are those, who believed that “Honesty is the best policy” Gone, with their gentle, pure souls.

Today, the scoundrels in high and low places smile to and from the banks, but soon, their Epicurean and Dionysian dispositions will end in the wilderness.

The riotous disquisition between Dr. Abati and the nattering poor, as reported by the ace-story teller, is reminiscent of the great tumult against the French bourgeoisie, during the French Revolution and the Paris Commune.

However, we cannot destroy the geese that employ many Nigerians, who accepted to run enterprises government sold out, who try hard to borrow and sustain our country men.

The way out is to allow the Boards of the banks to review the mistakes of their CEO’s and apply corrective and not punitive measures, which, in the long run, will neither stabilize the economy nor help societal cordiality.

The enigmatic Nigerian society is gradually getting to understand that “Knowledge has three degrees, opinion, science, illumination. The instrument of the first is sense, of the second dialectics and of the third intuition.” (Plotinus).

States that elevate knowledgeable people like the United States , Britain , France and Germany , will always find solutions to their societal problems, whether in the banking sector or elsewhere.

Guess-work will never bring about progress. It is the product of a little learning.

States that ignore denigrate and mistreat their intellectuals, will continue to rely on the intellectual products of other states, as borrowers and poor imitators.

In spite of scrupulous negotiations which permitted hopes that our knowledge factories would have been running in top gear by now, I am dismayed that that has not been the case.

Vision 20-20-20 will be knowledge-based, right?

Then let the universities produce the Vision 20-20-20 army!

Professor Dr. Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai is the Academic Chancellor, BOSAS INTERNATIONAL LAW BUREAU, ABUJA, FCT, NIGERIA.


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