Elnathan John: How to give foreign aid

by Elnathan John

There is really no need to treat Nigeria differently from Burundi which relies on foreign aid for nearly half of their national income. Corruption is a great equalizer.

Make no mistake about it: You owe us. Big time.  For all the years of evil slavery, subjecting our brave sons and daughters to forced labour in cotton fields and sugar-cane plantations. For the wicked colonialism that forced your way of life on us and stole from us. It is not that God will not judge you for the sins of your ancestors- as sure as the sun will shine, he will judge you appropriately. But here on earth you need to forgive yourself for what your fathers did to us.

You will help us. We need help. Because even though we have so much money, we really do not know how to use it. I think it is built into our DNA to need help. It is not your fault. You are not the one who gave us these genes that make billions of dollars disappear from our treasuries and our children die from preventable diseases.  It is not your fault that while there are no drugs in our hospitals we have the highest paid government in the world. Anyone who blames your people for being complicit in the corruption of our leaders, God will truncate their hustle.

You will set up organizations and big NGOs for this purpose to do everything from HIV/AIDS to the protection of precious wildlife in Africa. Nigerians together with their other brothers in the third world must be saved from themselves. There is really no need to treat Nigeria differently from Burundi which relies on foreign aid for nearly half of their national income. Corruption is a great equalizer.

It is important to be pragmatic when designing development projects. We all know how lacking in skills Nigerians are.  If your well-meaning projects must work, you need to fly in consultants from Europe or America to oversee the technical aspects of it. Some people, wicked people, will say that a lot of the money goes back out of the country. However, you must ignore them; you and I know you can’t trust Nigerians with these technical things. The foreign consultants need to be kept happy. They need to be able to afford to live in the best houses in town with chauffeurs and cooks and stewards and gardeners and lush lawns and swimming pools.  Especially swimming pools. Nothing relieves Nigerian stress like swimming. That or alomo. And you don’t expect the expensive British consultant to do alomo.

It is important to channel funds into local NGOs. These are the foot soldiers on the ground. Don’t demand much from them. After funding, demand only photos, or videos, year-end reports, and budget retirements. With these you should get a clear picture of all the good that your money is doing in Africa.

Fund projects that the Government should be doing so that they can focus on doing other things. Like travelling to attend summits and all. Fund important things like vaccines and mosquito nets. Anyone who suggests the irony of purchasing mosquito nets in a country where 2.6 billion naira is used to maintain the Villa in one year, risks the swift and certain judgement of God.  What has a pretty costly Villa got to do with people dying from malaria?

Some wicked people will say blasphemous things like we do not need to have highly paid foreigners living posh lives in our country in the name of development. The evil people will even imply that by pumping in so much money into projects that the government should be doing and has the money to do, you are making the government lazy and inadvertently encouraging corruption.  They lie! And God will judge them harshly. Their real aim is to spoil your hustle, yours and those of all the good Africa-helping people of the world under the able leadership of Bono (and Madonna who has been kind enough to adopt dark Malawian babies who would otherwise have died of poverty or some dreadful disease).  God bless Bono and Madonna.

People don’t realize that, children will die if you don’t assist this rich government with drugs, the elections will be bungled if you do not arrange for six highly paid consultants for the INEC chairman, Nigerians will all die of malaria if you do not pay for mosquito nets.

Tell the government where you are going to spend your money. It is your money and you are allowed to say, do this and that. The government may complain, but you know as I do that what they want is your money so they will do what you say. They will put in place the policies that you ask them to put in place as a condition for your funding.

Sometimes you must ignore the small negatives so you can focus on the big picture. The government is corrupt. You know they are stealing half of the aid money that comes in, but what do wicked critics want you to do? Leave and let Nigeria perish? Your conscience will not allow you to do that. After you have pushed the aid out your door, (people don’t realize but this is hard work too), it will be wicked of anyone to expect you to be held responsible for how every penny is used.

I see your good foreign heart. I know that little by little you will save the third world from self-destruction, disease and poverty. I am not sure how, but I feel it. I feel it the way a wife knows her husband is cheating even when she can’t find the evidence yet- wives know these things.

I found this prayer that might interest you in the course of your hustle:


Our Fathers who art in Europe (and America)

Hallowed be they purse

Thy consultants come

Thy will be done in our governments as formulated by Bono

Give us this day our yearly funding

And forgive us our debts

as we increase the number of our debtors

And lead us not into self-reliance

But deliver us from ourselves

For thine is the aid-money, the power and the glory

Forever and ever, Amen

May God who touched your heart and moved you to save us, immensely bless your hustle.



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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