The Swedish-Ghana Cancer Centre could have been established in Nigeria instead of Ghana. However, Nigerian civil servants asking for bribes killed that dream. Now, because of them, thousands of patients troop to Ghana for much needed cancer care. The reverse would have been the case and better for our people.
A national emergency telephone line could be operational in Nigeria today but Nigerian civil servants asking for bribes killed that too. The men and women at the helm of affairs asking for bribes before implementation put paid to the dream. Today, we do not have a responsible organisation that can respond to emergencies at an appropriate time. No national ambulance service we can be proud of.
We all suffer!
All over the country, many great plans and ideas are allowed to die because someone blocked the process, made it difficult or refused to allow ideas to germinate: because they wanted to be paid, personally and immediately.
The salaries and pension plans for Policemen and women are so poor they resort to scamming citizens and soliciting for bribes on our streets. Bridges, roads, hospitals, services and functions are not created because civil servants kill dreams daily.
This comes directly from the top to the bottom feeders in all tiers of the Nigerian civil service and government. I heard that members in the House frequently ask for money to share before contracts are awarded or services executed. They want the money before, not after. This inflates the cost of such contracts and makes it untenable. Makes it impossible to execute and Nigeria loses.
We all lose!
I also recently heard that government officials demand 2% of the cost (of projects) to vet proposals that will benefit the country. For instance, if you wanted to upgrade the hospitals in Nigeria and make them world class for N50B, our civil servants want N100M upfront to look at your ideas. Ideas they did not come up with, nor understand, before they open a file for you!
Recently, civil servants in the local government and some ministries have loaded up private hospitals with multiple taxation and are slowly killing private practice in Nigeria. They constitute themselves into enforcement units and harass private medical practitioners up and down the country. Now, the public hospitals are full to the brim with patients, leaving private hospitals fighting for scraps, yet, the same civil servants are crippling private facilities with dodgy charges in the name of oversight.
So, when they come to your clinic asking for assistance in some health challenge? That the public hospitals they decimated cannot solve their problem. Yet, they are unable to afford the cost of quality care in our private hospitals. What would you do when civil servants come to your office asking for some assistance claiming to be poor because they are civil servants?
So, you see!
Civil servants are at the front, the rear and the core of every single corrupt practice in Nigeria. They know what is going on and turn a blind eye to it. They hide files, compromise integrity and even burn down whole account departments making life difficult in Nigeria. Many investment and great opportunities are lost daily because of the greed and ineptitude of our civil servants. I submit that they are the bane of our society.
We are the ones making life difficult for each other. Yet, we all will in turn suffer from the consequences of our actions or inactions! This reminds me of the song by Michael Jackson in the aid for Africa concert many years ago.
There comes a time
When we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
Oh, and it’s time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all
We can’t go on
That someone, somewhere soon make a change
Nigerian civil servants must stand up and put Nigeria first. Start giving instead of taking all the time. You should allow that road to be built, the primary health facility to function and so many other matters, because it will affect your lives too. You will need the service you killed off!
No matter how much bribe you collect today!