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OPINION: Breaking Shackles Of Business Monopoly In Nigeria

Nigerian Authorities grant some of their influential kinsmen or party chieftains, the sole permission to import or produce certain goods: for some selfish and ulterior motives. These beneficiaries, who are usually the affluent in the society, now hike the prices of their imported goods, or manufactured products arbitrarily. This they do in the absence of competitors, to the detriment of the down-trodden masses.

The monopolies then share their unjust gains, with top government officials and country rulers, at agreed percentages. Those at the helm of affairs, also divert huge sums of money to these parasites, in the guise of funding their construction projects. Actually, they hide stolen money running into billions of dollars with those fronts. It’s very difficult to probe or recover such stolen funds. The fronts act as conduit pipes, by which the nation’s money are siphoned and looted.

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We appeal to current Nigerian Government, to thoroughly probe the shady transactions between successive governments, and Dangote Group of companies. What actually transpired in the reported pumping of billions of dollars to that monopoly; ostensibly to finance the refinery construction projects? On what ground was the money given? Where is the money? What is the rationale behind funding a private refinery, when all government owned refineries, and other companies are grounded?

Why grant monopoly to only one person, for the importation and production of cement? Ibeto and other cement producers have been frustrated out of the business. We learnt the imported shipload of Ibeto cement, are still stranded in the high seas, because of ban by the Government. Price of cement has sky-rocketed in the country. It has made cost of building construction to be ever very high. As a result, house rents have soared over the years. The masses are helpless, due to obnoxious government policies.

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The conspiracy to exploit Nigerians, has degenerated to the level where the product is being sold to neighbouring countries, at much reduced prices. You manufacture bags of cement here, and sell at the rate of 5,000 naira a bag. Then, you transport same cement to countries like Togo and Ghana, and sell at drastically slashed price of 1,500 naira a bag. What’s the rationale behind it? What a wicked country? The whole issues boil down to the illiterates, diabolical, and wicked persons, ruling Nigeria over the years.

Another danger of monopoly, is that the goods produced can be substandard; yet very costly. The people have no choice than to buy them. These fronts can be high profile political associates, or kinsmen of the ruling class. Therefore, consumers are compelled to patronize them, as they don’t have alternatives. Government and their collaborators, are holding the people to ransom.

This evil circle of monopoly in Nigeria must be broken. We must be free from the shackles of our rulers, and their conspirators. Something drastic has to be done, to stop the politics of fuel hike in the country. The masses are groaning helplessly, under your outrageous hike in fuel pump price. You want to make outrageous gain, to the detriment of the people. You all want to count in trillions. Remember, God can take you out this world suddenly. Naked you come naked you will go.

Allow other competent hands to participate in importation, or production of any commodity. Business thrive in healthy competition. It helps to force down prices of goods and services. There was a time a former Chairman of a ruling party, was granted the sole license to import tyres into Nigeria. He made so much money from it, selling at a very costly price unchallenged. Later, he organized lavish party to celebrate his first one billion naira. That was when naira was stronger than dollar. He bragged about his enormous riches. He lived ostentatious and extravagant lifestyle, without sweating for it.

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Creating monopolies, is an act of bad and corrupt governance. You channel public funds to bank accounts of your fellow looters, for one flimsy excuse or the other. You make them partners, in the monumental looting of the treasury. Our unscrupulous rulers create sole producers, where they hide their stolen billions. When they relinquish power, it will be extremely difficult to trace and recover the stolen money. They will be withdrawing their loot, at their own pace under agreement. All forms of monopoly should be prohibited, to restore sanity for business to thrive.

We admonish all the monopolies (parasites), to stop exploiting the masses. You are making unjust gain, with Government backing. Profiteering doesn’t make you the richest over others. You can be the richest monopoly; while your sponsors are far richer than you. By the time your collaborators withdraw their stolen money hidden with you, you may only end up being the richest in your ward level, or Local Government Area. Stop bragging that you’re the richest. By the time the owners of “The Legs” withdraw their legs; and the owners of “The Hands” withdraw their hands; little will be left for you to brag about.

Written by
Evangelist Joseph U. Afurobi.

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