I have purposely kept quiet about the Boston bombings. While I am so sorry for all the lives that were lost, the situation re-iterated to me that I still live in a 'hole' called Nigeria.
I love Nigeria, I believe change can happen. So when I write about things, it is so that we can inform each other and see if we can cause or like my friend (Lucas) says 'Spark Change"
We have seen what Boko Haram has done to our country and most of us are aware that they sect is primarly made up of assasins from Niger. But have you wondered as to how they enter Nigeria? It is the inefficiency of an agency called the Nigerian immigration services.
People stroll in and out of Nigeria without any issue. At the Seme Border, you can cross the border as you like provided you are on foot but car owners get troubled, troubled enough for the time-saving people to bribe officials.
To make matters worse, there is no gate per se, just Mikano donated police stands with Immigration written on the 'Lintel' in several positions. And we stand like idiots claiming that we are the giant of Africa. They probably mean blind, deaf and dumb giant!
And Nigeria just continues...
Their brothers in arms the custom officials are criminally worse.
I am yet to meet a custom official who is not wealthy. And why won't they be wealthy? Bribery is the currency of the agency ( and I dare anyone to refute this)
Facts & Figures
1. Three subsidiaries of Vetco International – Vetco Gray Controls Inc, Vetco Gray Controls Ltd and Vetco Gray UK Ltd – pleaded guilty to violating anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) when they admitted to making US$2.1 million worth of corrupt payments over a two-year period to officers in the NCS through Panalpina, a Swiss-based freight forwarding firm in Nigeria.
2. At the same time as the subsidiaries were charged, another Vetco subsidiary – Aibel International Ltd – entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the US Department of Justice for its involvement in the same scandal. This deferred prosecution agreement entailed co-operation with the Department of Justice, stricter controls and the retention of FCPA monitors. Subsequently, however, the company admitted to failing to comply with its obligations and paid a monetary fine.
3. Oil services firm Transocean Ltd made corrupt payments to the value of US$90,000 to Nigerian customs officials between 2002 and 2007 to extend its importation status and receive false paperwork.
4. Tidewater Inc., an oil service firm, paid US$1.6 million through Panalpina to Nigerian customs officials to clear vessels into Nigerian waters.
5. Noble Energy authorised payments by its local subsidiary to obtain eight temporary permits. In November 2011, Noble, Transocean and Tidewater were three of the companies that settled allegations of involvement in a US$100 million bribery scheme in Nigeria, as part of the Panalpina settlements.
6. Royal Dutch Shell entered into a U.S. plea deal in November 2010 over its contractor's involvement in bribing Nigerian customs officials. US authorities accused Shell’s subsidiary Shell Nigerian Exploration and Production Co Ltd. of bribing Nigerian customs officials US$3.5 million to quickly process needed equipment for its offshore Bonga field. A heavy fine was levied on Shell after Panalpina, which was also employed by Shell, agreed to plead guilty to taking bribes on behalf of its clients
So tell me once again who is keeping you and I safe? Should al-queada decide to level Nigeria, it will be done in minutes. Just have the right amount of money and everything will fall on your laps.
Corruption is woven together like a tapestry in the DNA of many Nigerians and the above just proves it.
It is just one more reason for me to keep hoping that Nigeria will get better.
Please check out more on the Nigerian situation http://ilsa-aida.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-police-state-security-or-guns-for.html
our style blog: www.stylesandweddingsbyilsa-aida.blogspot.com
Remember, it is just through my eyes. You may see differently! (Comment if you do!)