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Nigeria and Her August Visitor!

ByNews Editor

May 14, 2024

By Olumuyiwa F. Oladotun

In the last few days, the excitement and razzmatazz about the visit of Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle to Nigeria has been everywhere causing unwarranted distractions amidst socio-economic challenges that have bedevilled the country.

Several reports have revealed that the federal government has been the sole sponsor of the visit, after the British Government dissociated itself from the couple’s agenda to embark on trips to some specific countries.

The purpose of their visit was totally unclear. As some reports said they came into the country for advocacy on Mental Health. While some would say, Meghan Markle was the reason behind the visit so as to connect with her roots, following her discovery through her DNA that she has Nigerian heritage. The discovery she had sometimes last year.

Now to the question, how has their visit improved the lives of an average Nigerian amidst economic travails that has bedevilled this administration since inception???

Reports have it that Nigeria’s Chief of Defense Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa had extended an invitation to the couple.

And It was revealed that whooping sum of N10billion was earmarked and expended on this couple’s visit to the country!

This is in spite of the current administration’s claim that the country is running out of funds and therefore would be needing more loans from international banks and communities to sustain the implementation of her annual budgetary allocations.

This claim has led to several draconian policies introduced to the system so as to create sustainable income generating strategies into Federation accounts.

That has also brought about unnecessary multiple taxations on numerous public services to citizens such as a hike in electricity tariff, cybersecurity tax by the banks, hike in the prices of petroleum products with their attendant negative impacts on the citizens’meagre income without any hope of salary increments.

Already, shortage of food and ridiculous hike in their prices are dealing with the masses/citizens across the country without any sign of solution in sight.

Also, for five consecutive years, Nigeria has battled inflation and low foreign exchanges even ever before the last administration packed its load out of Aso villa.

This has led to an unstable Naira-Dollar exchange rate which has had negative impact on several businesses, causing them to fold up and relocate to other countries for better opportunities – Brain Drain.

So one would be bewildered that in spite of all the above mentioned myriads of challenges facing the country such amount of money could be wasted on supposed august visitor?

Ironically, in this part of the world, when such an amount of funds are earmarked and expended nobody gives an account for it.

Whether it was fully used for the proposed agenda or the remaining balance or left overs end up in the pockets of the public servants or anyone for that matter, nobody cares. – Lack of accountability and transparency.

The sad reality of how misappropriation of tax payers’ funds has become the ways of siphoning funds in the Public office, which has continued to eat deep into our system is totally appalling. And we mustn’t always be silent about it.

Sending an invite to Prince Harry and his wife Meghan may sound lofty and noble but to what end?? To add value to the Nigerian economy?? No! To boost trade and economic relations with other countries, No!

If the purpose of their visit doesn’t fit into these two above questions, inspite our current economic woes then we have no business spending such amount of money on them. It is pure wastage!

The end here, must always be towards improving the current economic situation of the country and not one fire side talk on mental health by some couple from somewhere.

Such a whooping sum could have been used to cushion the effects of these draconian policies. Or better still be used for poverty alleviation programmes and projects.

The solution should be how the current economic travail that we face as a nation would be solved so as to avert its negative impact on the mental health of the citizens. Because as it were, the mental health of the masses has been tampered with.

And something drastic needs to be done before the dead bodies of those who died of hunger starvation start littering the streets.

Nonetheless, Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle will always be the most adorable couple of the British Royals.

By News Editor

Our News Editor, Muyiwa is an information management expert and Development Blogger with more than a decade experience in investigative reporting and journalism. He is passionate about human angle stories to all social issues in Nigeria and Africa.