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Nigeria is broke on purpose- Ben Bruce

…There is No Reason for Nigeria to be Broke
…Aviation should be privatized

In the past decades every administrator all government sectors has always claim that lack of money as factor that to doing little of nothing in office.

Obasanjo regime began the issue of privatization of some cogent sectors for the betterment. This in turn becomes rumble rouser within the country as some already privatized sectors are yet to show something for it.

However, the issue of privatizing Nigeria Aviation Industry has got to the naves of some prominent well wishers in the country among which is Senator Ben Murray Bruce. Ben in a conversation with newsmen expressed his annoyance towards the deteriorating condition of essential airports and the overwhelming taxes airlines shoulder in the country.

The senator in the conversation emphasized that poverty in Nigeria is intentional and there is no reason for her to broke and maintained that the sector should be privatized and not commercialized.

Read his words
Privatization works, if it does not work is because those that privatize don’t want it to work; they make it fail on purpose. Let’s go back in history, president Obasanjo invited Rachel Branson and many times I was sitting in front of Obasanjo in his house when he asked me to place a call to Rachel Branson invited Rachel Branson to buy air Nigeria, make a deal with him, give him a slot at Muritala Muhammed where you could fly domestic and international at the same time. Somebody got angry and forcefully removed Nigerian virgin from MM1 to MM2 violated an agreement. Rachel Branson pulled out of Nigeria and Virgin died, till today nobody has apologize to him.

If you want to upset somebody would you upset one of the greatest entrepreneurs in the world like Branson? He (Branson) then writes a book and he talks about Nigeria in a very negative way. But somebody signed that agreement; if we sign a bad agreement with a foreigner whose job is to make money why are we not punishing the person who signed the agreement or who wrote the agreement on behalf of the government, why are we punishing the business man who benefited from the agreement that he sign to benefit his company?

Then Babalakin, he goes to MM2 he signed in an agreement. We don’t want to honour; what is wrong in honouring agreement, if the agreement is bad in 10years it’s over. We take great pleasure in not honouring agreement. The two cases; they go after Rachel Branson and then Babalakin but the man that draft the agreement on behalf of the Federal Government is a nice guy. He is a clean guy. Does that make sense?
Why Aviation should be in Stock Exchange

Now let’s look at the aviation sector. The aviation right now generate over 100 billion naira in cash- listen carefully one hundred billion naira in cash, Cadbury generates 28 billion naira they are in stock exchange, Guinness generates 118 they are in the stock exchange, Nestle 130 billion they are in stock exchange, Nigerian Breweries 293 billion they are in stock exchange, GT Bank 301 billion they are in stock exchange but the Nigerian Aviation Company generates over 100 billion naira in cash. Think what I’ve just said. Yet with this kind of money you have no UPS in Lagos, toilets don’t work, escalators don’t work, generators breakdown; everyday there is one problem and the other. Now how can you as a private business man explain all these?

Vouched for privatization of Aviation
I am dumbfounded. I am going to work on bail and motion to privatize not commercialize. They need to be sold to people who have capacity who can run aviation sector. It is a life and death issue it is not question of whether you like it or not it’s a life and death issue. Take a look at the runway at Nnamdi Azikwe Airport, it expired 15 years ago. So for 15 years what were the ministers doing, why not build the second runway?

If I were the president I would over hold the entire sector but more than that I would call the Nigerians engineer to build the runway will not give out the contract. I will get the Nigerian Army to start building the second runway and in less than to year that will be ready.

I wish I was not in government I’ll tell you the truth, because when you are in government you know too much and when you know too much you get very very angry when I was in the private sector I didn’t have access to information I have today, I didn’t have access to budgets of ministries and department as I have today but when I have access to budgets of ministries and departments there is no reason for Nigeria to be broke. We are broke on purpose. Really! We want to be broke, we want to be poor we want to be miserable. We want to be broke, because I see these numbers 100 billion naira cash, I’m not talking of allocation from federal government I’m talking of cash in bank. One of these parastatals has 16 billion naira in cash already. So explain to me why we’re having a problem?

As we cris-cross all the agencies in Nigeria there will be more revelation. There is no reason on planet earth the aviation should need any money from the government they can fund all their operations, service all their dept and be profitable, pay taxes and be in the stock exchange tomorrow morning if this was run privately.

All the airlines are been taxed to death. All the domestic airlines are broke. All of them have no cash. No domestic carrier today is rich they are barely surviving that become a safety problem in future. So these agencies are becoming tax collectors, they want to increase the IGR and then spend it on personal overhead, kill the airlines. Abroad airlines pay not over 5 and 10 percent of their gross income as tax, here they pay close to 30 and 35percent. You are over taxing the airlines and the money you collect is being use on salaries, travel expenses training and more training and more visit and more training and more overhead and where is the service. If you collect your 100 billion will you say your toilet don’t flush? There no UPS at Muritala Muhammed airport, if they take light we’ll wait because all the computers have to be rebooted, and how much is the UPS.

I asked a question and I’ve not gotten answer to that; what does it cost to run Muritala Muhammed airport 1, what does it cost to run Nnamdi Azikwe? Portharcourt doesn’t have cost because there is no airport there what it has is a shield.

So what does it cost? Are we becoming agency of an un-productivity or we are agency to create wealth and services for Nigeria? If all we do is empty people nice let’s employ people but what services are we providing for them? So we are broke on purpose.

I am dumbfounded from the private sector. This is unacceptable and I cannot be part of this.

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