Cheta Nwanze: Yesterday I slept with NEPA… and she was good

by Cheta Nwanze


I’d have made a comment about the toothless bulldog, but the last time I did, not a few, err, toothless bulldogs sent an awful lot of barks in my direction. So I’ll pass.

I slept with NEPA for the first time in a long time yesterday, and she was ridiculously good. But not nearly as good as the kick I got from listening to the APC parrot parroting something about governments, GDP and ridicule in far away Washington.

You see, Nigeria’s last GDP re-basing was done in 1990. What this means is that the data being used to make policy in our country, up until last Sunday at least, was 24 years old. Think of it, a man, or woman, born 24 years ago, will be quite ready to have kids of his own, and will definitely not be the same infant he or she was when he or she was born. As a people, we need the updated figures so we can have a shot at development. Bear in mind that development always comes after growth. But there is no need to go into the grit of how the GDP re-base happened, more qualified people than me have already handled that. And that is the crux of my advice to the APC brass. Next time you guys are looking for a parrot, try and find an economic literate.

Speaking of economic literates, the IMF blouse is no doubt one, lest she will not be in charge of so distinguished a body. What one wonders about is her honesty. You see, yesterday, Ms. Lagarde informed the world that the IMF will not enter into deals with countries that have “proven” cases of corruption. That list without a doubt includes Nigeria. “There have been instances under my watch where we have said, sorry … we cannot work together,” shrilled Ms Lagarde while miles away, Nigeria’s 170 millions wondered what happened to various oil windfalls dating back to the First Iraq War.

Speaking of oil windfalls, and Seun Ogunbambo, who partook in the fuel subsidy windfall of 2012 has high-tailed it back to his country. His much adjourned case came up for hearing yesterday, and Emma Jackson, the EFCC’s wig, stood up in front of the gavel bearing wig and announced to the nation that Ogunbambo has “abused the liberty of being granted bail and his action is making the criminal law to look like a toothless bulldog”.

I’d have made a comment about the toothless bulldog, but the last time I did, not a few, err, toothless bulldogs sent an awful lot of barks in my direction. So I’ll pass.

Bits and bobs

  • Unhappy with her father’s disobedience of the Child’s Rights Act, Wasila, 14, took matters into her own handsOtapiapia solved her problem.
  • When next I’m in Lagos, I will not have to sit in three hours of traffic to go to the market to buy my paraga. An online retailer can handle that for me apparently.
  • It appears that said online retailers are booming despite assorted ratings agencies telling us otherwise about this, err, ridiculed economy.
  • Problem is, as previous story pointed out, most of those online retailers have huge foreign ownership. Why is that? Because the foreigners can access loans at low interest rates that our entrepreneurs can’t. Which is why I wonder why more people are calling for more young Nigerians to become entrepreneurs. With spittle?
  • Another thing that stands in the way of young entrepreneurs is that they are not indigenes most of the time. How can you do well for a place if you are not an indigene?
  • Who knows, maybe the non-indigenes will be the victims of the coming purge of NEPA establishments in Ibadan and Jos?

Right of Reply


Anthony wrote,

Let me point something out if you do not mind. The aviation industry parastatals should not be merged esp the NCAA to others as their purely regulative functions make them the check and balance, simply put they are the policemen. The ‘redundant’ 7500 staff u speak of can be weeded out bc they were brought in by the likes of Baba, FFK and mrs Amazon. Who is to say after merging these people won’t bring in ‘their people’ but you report well. Cheers.

Segun Koiki wrote,

Chxta First and foremost, I want to welcome you back to the online business. Congrats on your wedding and arrival of a “stubborn” baby. It’s always good. Back the basis, I want to strongly disagree with you on the merger of some aviation agencies by the government. If you know the sector so well, you will discover that some agencies can’t just be merged because aviation sector is internationally regulated. For instance, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, is the safety regulator of the industry and it’s very much autonomous (at least on paper), so, such a policeman of the industry can’t be merged with service providers like the Nigerian Airspace Management authority, NAMA, and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET. Water and oil don’t mix. If they are merged together, regulation of the industry would be watery and you will see planes falling off the sky once again. The International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, sets the standards for operations in the sector globally and definitely won’t agree with the country on this. Unless if we say we want file a difference to the organisation (ICAO) which might affect our rating in the international community. The USA, which the Steve Orosanye led Committee tried to fashion the committee work on is now in the congress trying to demerge the agencies and wanted them to be independent. Madam, it wasn’t the first time the FG would be carrying out the exercise, but after a few years, they are usually demerged. It is good for govt to cut cost, but you don’t cut cost at the expense of the lives of the citizenry. I rest my case.

Chxta responds,

That’s certainly putting the effects of the implementation side of the Oronsaye report in sharp relief. You are right Segun and Anthony. It’s one thing to reduce staff strength in our MDAs, and God knows we need a lot of people made redundant. But it’s quite another to do it right. Thanks for this.



Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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